Tried and Tested: Beachcroft Hotel Beach Hut Suites, West Sussex
After what seemed like an eternity in lockdown (both working from home, lively toddler, no childcare, general state of tiredness and disorientation...) we were more than ready for a break. So as the hospitality industry opened its doors at the start of July and the opportunity to try out the Beachcroft Beach Hut Suites came up, our bags were packed in record time.
Set on a 7-mile long coastal path in West Sussex's Felpham (walking distance from Bognor Regis but retaining its villagey charm), the Beach Hut Suites are part of the adjacent Beachcroft Hotel, and provide alternative dog-friendly bed and breakfast accommodation for up to four guests per hut (two adults and two children).
We arrived on a sunny Monday afternoon and parked up in our dedicated spot right behind our beach hut (most convenient when travelling with a 2-year old and all the extra trappings that come along with them!).
There are four huts in total, and ours was Pebble beach hut which was all ready and waiting for us on arrival. When we entered we were welcomed to a beautifully calm and tranquil space, with classical music playing on the TV and the large ceiling fan keeping the hut nice and cool.
The first room we peeped into was the cosy kids bunk room to our right, which was equipped with lovely treats for the little ones - a Bognor teddy bear, a bright yellow fishing net and sandcastle set, which our son made a beeline for straight away. Next door was the lovely, luxurious shower room with rainfall shower, and then up the steps we entered the bright and modern main living space.
We were immediately struck by the deceptively spacious interior with high sloped ceiling, nautical porthole window and enormous wall-to-wall glass bifold doors which opened out onto our own beachfront deck, with the gloriously soothing sounds of the sea to enjoy from two large and inviting-looking teak wooden sun loungers.
Inside, there was a large Netflix-enabled Smart TV, a super comfy big sofa, a mini fridge stocked with water, chilled fizzy drinks and a bottle of wine, plus a tea and coffee bar with Nespresso machine and biscuits. The master bedroom was set on a mezzanine area just up another small flight of steps, overlooking the lounge area and equipped with a large and comfy bed, storage space and sea views through the glass partition. As our son is just 2 years old we brought along a travel cot and there was plenty of room for that alongside our bed.
The pops of colourful décor throughout were evocative of the great British beach break, but in a smart and modern way. The huts, being pet and child friendly, seemed to us to be a perfect way to enjoy a seaside break for all the family but with the mod cons of a luxury hotel suite, with cooked or continental breakfasts and an excellent restaurant a stone's throw away.
After a little rest on our deck and meeting some of our doggie neighbours in the huts next door, we headed onto the beach for a refreshing paddle in the sea before dinner. Our son currently has an obsession with picking up pebbles, so busied himself attempting to place all the pebbles on the beach back into the sea. A valiant effort that kept him amused for a good 30 minutes!
After the drive and settling in, we were looking forward to our evening meal in the Beachcroft's spacious restaurant, where we received a warm welcome from Phil, Andre and the team.
As we were by the seaside we thought it would be rude not to opt for the traditional cod and chips with crushed peas and tartare sauce - which was every bit as mouth-watering as it sounds. Dessert came in the form of a zesty lemon posset with shortbread for my partner, and the chocolate delice for me which was absolutely heavenly (above - I'm still daydreaming about it now). Our son had fish fingers ,chips and peas from the kids menu, and ice-cream to finish off - a perfect meal for a toddler!
All that was left to do was to stroll back over to our beach hut, and once the smallest member of our party was tucked up in bed, spend the evening relaxing on the decking to the sound of the waves - bliss.
After a refreshing and very comfortable nights' sleep, we were excited to pull back the curtains, open the bifold doors and take in the view again before heading over to the hotel for a most delicious cooked breakfast - the full meaty version for my partner, and vegetarian option for me.
We have family fairly local to the area, so after another go at putting all the pebbles on the beach back into the sea, we all met up on the seafront to catch up - the first time we'd seen each other since February, so there was a lot to talk about!
We had heard good things about the Lobster Pot, a restaurant and coffee shop right on the seafront with a pretty rockery garden and tables dotted around, so we sat down for lunch and took our time choosing from the extensive menu. Some of our party opted for the seafood, and I had a falafel burger which was tasty and very filling. To walk off our meals we took a stroll to The Fox Inn, an 18th century flint walled village inn, for our first post lockdown drink in their lovely beer garden.
On the way back we happened upon the poet, artist and visionary William Blake's beautiful little cottage (above), where he lived with his wife Catherine between 1800 and 1803, and his time there marked the beginning of the most important period of his creative life.
Ice-creams on the sea wall then provided the perfect end to a perfect day. We headed back to our beach hut haven and ordered a continental breakfast hamper for the next day before spending another evening on the deck!
The continental breakfast hamper arrived right on time in the morning, full of wonderful things - Tiptree jam, juice, croissants, fruit, fresh Greek yoghurt etc - and set us up for a walk into Bognor Regis town along the promenade, taking us past Butlins and a lovely kids seafront play area with an enormous sandpit. We stopped for lunch at a café and then headed back for a rest before I decided to try out one of the complimentary bicycles that come with each beach hut.
It was a long time since I had been on a bike, so I took it fairly easy, but it was so invigorating to ride along the coastal path and take in more of the scenery along the picturesque route.
As a fitting end to our beach getaway, we ordered the Beachcroft's takeaway fish and chips for our evening meal, which were delivered piping hot to our beach hut door right on time. Lucky for us, the little one had gone to sleep without a fuss, so we were able to enjoy that most hallowed treat for any parent - a full meal eaten in peace! We sat out on the loungers as the sun went down, and savoured every bite.
After another peaceful nights' sleep, it was time to say goodbye to our beachfront haven. We enjoyed one last cooked breakfast in the restaurant to fuel us for the journey home, gave our sincerest thanks to the wonderful Beachcroft staff for looking after us so very well, and bid farewell to that privileged seafront setting, feeling rejuvenated and ready to face the world again.
If we've tempted you and you'd like to experience a stay at the Beachcroft Beach Hut Suites, why not enter our competition and be in with the chance to win a 2-night Alternative Dinner, Bed and Breakfast getaway? You can find out more and enter here.