Ticking all the luxury boxes: special places to stay in Kent


At Sawday’s, we handpick our places not because they are identikit but because they each have their own distinctive personality. We choose those that are run with passion and creativity, places that make you feel good the moment you arrive. When you feel like staying somewhere that is truly indulgent and cosseting, a place that ticks all the luxury boxes, then start by checking out this selection in Kent. We’ve chosen places that pamper you with sublime meals and spoiling spa treatments, roaring fires and drams of whiskey, walks from the door and cloud-comfy beds. You’ll never want to leave!

The Ferry House

This ancient, recently-extended inn, perched on the edge of the river Swale and surrounded by bird-filled marshland ticks all the boxes for a restorative stay. Bedrooms are comfortable and indulgent, views soar from the dining terrace over the river and the inn itself is a definite foodie destination. They grow most of the produce used in the restaurant in their one-acre garden. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, every meal is imaginative and cooked to perfection. There’s a remote feel to this tranquil spot and you’re just footsteps from the seafront, sandwiched between the Elmley Nature Reserve and Swale Nature Reserve. Walk or cycle the 8-mile Isle of Harty Trail, visit the Blue Flag beaches, or linger at the spa for a luxury massage or spoiling treatment.

“The Ferry House is a delightful spot for a relaxed stay, far away from all the bustle of everyday life.” – Inspector Ursula

Stay at The Ferry House >

Hensill Farmhouse

This stand-alone, scrupulously renovated Victorian gardener’s cottage is a very thoughtful and peaceful house. Set on a private estate up a winding farm track with a garden and plenty of space for happy holidays with family or friends. You’re surrounded by glorious countryside for walks and you’re left a very generous welcome hamper with locally-sourced produce. Downstairs you’ll find a sitting room with a wood-burning fire, and a kitchen semi-open to the sitting room making it a good gathering space. Upstairs are two tranquil bedrooms with deep mattresses, crisp white cotton and lovely views over the countryside. Enjoy sociable cooking and eating in the lovely kitchen, settle down for a film in front of the fire, or walk just under a mile to the Eight Bells pub.

“We enjoyed a couple of nights in the gorgeous Hensill Farmhouse to escape the city and cannot speak highly enough of how much we enjoyed the serene and beautiful property.” – Guests Matthew & Remy

Stay at Hensill Farmhouse >

Kingshill Farmhouse

Just one hour from London, a magical transformation of a beautiful old house on a unique family-owned Nature Reserve on the Isle of Sheppey. Look after yourselves or upgrade to be cosseted incredibly thoughtfully from breakfast to a relaxed or formal supper and housekeeping in between. The team is dedicated, friendly and efficient. Bedrooms have underfloor heating, walk-in showers, deep window sills, pretty fabrics and vintage finds. Light a roaring fire for wintery nights, settle with a whisky in the snug or in the library full of books and games. On sunny days you’ll be eating outdoors in the lovely big gardens where you’ll find a gas barbecue and a firepit (complete with blankets and marshmallows) for when the stars come out. You have 3,300 acres of nature reserve to explore (book onto a wildlife tour to learn more), miles of nature trails to wander and your own shell beach with sheltered swimming at high tide. Yoga, massages, all is possible.

“Everything is here, you don’t really have to move once you’ve arrived except to wander about taking it all in and enjoying lots of birds and wildlife and walks.” – Inspector Nicola

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The Dog at Wingham

Wingham is a pretty village near Canterbury known for its thatched cottages, medieval houses, and this much-loved pub. It’s a 15th-century building (one of the oldest pubs in Kent) offering a mix of old and new: a blazing fire in the ancient inglenook and stylish stools at the bar. Three talented chefs and smiley staff have put this pub on the map: people travel miles for the modern British food. Enjoy a locally-sourced steak served at a table set with fresh flowers. Four creaky staircases lead to super-smart rooms, the most characterful in the old pub, and two more in the separate Doghouse. One room is on the ground floor with a private entrance; another has an extra bunk-bed room for families. After a very good breakfast (brought to your room if you like), hop in the car to Sandwich. You can walk from the estuary quay to the wild shingle shore: a happy half hour for your dog.

“Wonderful welcome, amazing food and brilliant service. My vegan daughter was carefully catered for too….a delight.” – Guest Lucy

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The George & Heart

An ancient coaching inn, refurbished with huge personality, individually designed bedrooms and a pretty courtyard garden. Help yourselves to tea, coffee, biscuits and cereals from Reggie’s; you’ve got your own private mini-bar, or pop into the amnesty bar for afternoon cocktails or a late night tipple. The feel is very relaxed, staff are incredibly friendly and the idea is that guests feel like one big family. Breakfast is continental with delicious smoothies or, for those in need, a strong Bloody Mary. At the bar you’re served local craft beers and fine wines while admiring the beautiful stained glass windows and having a look at the menu. This is seasonal and ever-evolving with lots of Kent produce and plenty of vegan and vegetarian choices, alongside meat and fish which supports British farmers and artisan producers. There’s a Zen Den for yoga or meditation and it’s a three-minute walk to the sea.

“The George and Heart perfectly reflects the quirky, arty and independent nature of Margate. The chef cooks up a great menu here too.” – Inspector Alice

Stay at The George & Heart >