Fort Road Hotel in Margate, England

, June 14, 2024

The steady rise of Margate as a destination for good food and contempoary art has refreshed the seaside town in recent years. Notable artist and institutions such as Margate local Tracey Emin and Turner Contemporary have established foundations, fastening down the future of the otherwise typically English coastal town.

A latest additional to Margate is the Fort Road Hotel which now studs the bottom-right corner of the British isles with designer rooms and an attractive frontage overlooking Turner Contemporary and town’s harbour. Opened in September 2022 by Frieze co-founder Matthew Slotover, developer Gabriel Chipperfield and artist Tom Gidley, Fort Road Hotel is Fleet Architects’ successful attempt to turn a deteriorating building into a stunning 14-room hotel.

The 1820 building was originally opened as a boarding house and was used as accommodation for nearly two centuries until Slotover, Chipperfield and Gidley started their resuscitation. The new hotel now renders 18 Fort Road with the 14 unique bedrooms, a ground floor restaurant, two-storey bar and a roof terrace open to guests. Throughout artworks from Emin, Sophie von Hellermann and sculptor Lindsey Mendick add local detail, with vintage furniture and a natural palette accompanying.

Bathroom at Fort Road Hotel (Photo: Ed Reeve)

Fortunately, Fort Road Hotel has steered clear of Emin’s 1998 My Bed work, instead relying on European King or Super King beds made from natural fibres and 400 thread count cotton sheets. Rooms starting at £120 per night traverse four categories: King (17m²), King with Sea View (17m²), Superior (21m²) and Suite (31m²). Superior and Suites come with Super King beds. Wood and inlaid marble surfaces extend the natural theme, with exciting bathrooms serving as home to local Haeckels, ointments local to Margate.

Fort Road’s Colina Restaurant is open for breakfast from 7am, as well as lunch in dinner. The hotel bar “Fort Road Bar” is also a centrepiece, housed on two floors with capacity of up to 60 people.

Lunch at Sargasso

Near to the hotel is the revered Sargasso which is orientated as a bar with a fantastic menu. For coffee, look to Curve who roast locally. Other ideas on food are Angela’s for fish, or DIVE for tacos and margaritas.

Training Notes

Margate’s coastal setting ensures easy access to running routes along the sea wall, a stone’s throw from Fort Road Hotel. The local running track in Margate track is nearer Ramsgate – Royal Harbour Academy track, Ramsgate – catch the Loop bus there. The track is home to Thanet Roadrunners AC and Thanet AC (see website for training schedule).

Cyclists are forced inland towards Bridge which is south of Canterbury (route). There is a Pig Hotel in Bridge which serves as a turnaround point 20 miles away.

Swimmers have the choice of the seawater lido at Walpole Tidal Pool. Nearer to the harbour is a small boating lake where swimming isn’t permitted, but where you can get in a few lengths. For indoor swimming, get a £7.50 swim pass at Hartsdown Leisure Centre (link to schedule) where there’s a 25m indoor pool.

Header image: Ed Reeve
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