Port Hotel

Eastbourne, Sussex, United Kingdom
Book from GBP Book from £106 per night

Port Hotel

Eastbourne, Sussex, United Kingdom

A refreshing reincarnation of a classic seafront hotel turned hip haven, with an excellent bar and stylish rooms

A refreshing reincarnation of a classic seafront hotel turned hip haven, with an excellent bar and stylish rooms

Sussex has attracted movers and shakers for some time: folk are drawn to the gorgeous South Downs National Park, its charming small towns, iconic white cliffs and long beaches. Proximity to London and good transport links help too. Quintessential seaside resort Eastbourne is shaping up nicely as the next big thing. On its western flank is Beachy Head, Britain's highest chalk cliff, with terrific far-reaching views. The Victorian grand mansions stretching along the seafront are protected (no shops allowed). And there's a striking and award-winning art gallery, good browsing in eclectic shops and a host of independent cafes and restaurants.

Taking advantage of all this is on-trend Port Hotel, an extensive transformation of a townhouse B&B. By every measure the hotel contrasts with its neighbours: the exterior is painted not magnolia but black (very controversial!); you get cork flooring instead of carpets; design-led interiors pull off the neat trick of being both functional and beautiful. 19 contemporary rooms come in a range of sizes, accommodating everybody from romantics to families to dog-owners, while the inviting ground-floor bar and lounge has original artwork and a sea-facing terrace. A bold new opening which deserves its success.


  • Fabulous Sussex-sourced drink, including organic wine and craft beer
  • Rooms are really stylish and comfy: we slept deeply on our super-kingsize Hypnos mattress
  • You're a pebble's throw from Eastbourne's lovely pier and beach (there's six miles of it to explore), and it's easy walking to antique and vintage shops
  • Genuine eco-credentials, from the cleaning products used to the cork flooring and emphasis on natural materials
  • Though it was new when we visited, we found the staff very helpful and friendly


  • It may be on the up, but we felt Eastbourne doesn't yet have the vibe of Brighton or Hastings
  • Only six of the rooms have sea views; the rest face the rooftops and the South Downs
  • No lift and not ideal for those with reduced mobility as there are quite a few steps
  • The beach is shingle not sand (as most are along this coastline)
  • The restaurant is only open Friday-Sunday, but you're walking distance to Eastbourne's best eateries

Best time to go

Any time of year is nice to be beside the seaside! That said, the English Channel does become much more attractive when the sun shines on it. In common with its neighbours Brighton and Hastings, Eastbourne has mild winters and sea breezy summers. The famous Eastbourne Tennis Tournament is held in June each year, while the Eastbourne Airbourne air show is in August.

Our top tips

It's no coincidence that Port Hotel has a lot of wonderful art and ceramics on display. There's a vibrant local art scene, and much of what you see was sourced from local creative hub Devonshire Collective. If you would like to check out their wares and workshops, head to their Volt Gallery and Makerspace.

Great for...

City Style
Great Outdoors
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 19 rooms
  • Restaurant (weekends only) & bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car not necessary
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service


The 19 hip bedrooms are all decked in sandy and earthy tones; warm cork floors are neatly offset by black trim in taps, window frames, radiators and chair legs. Additional colour-coding in subtle green, neutral or blush pink is seen in the poured concrete sinks, kettles, throws and mini-fridges.

Six rooms are sea-facing, the rest not – your budget will determine which to choose. Top of the pile is the first floor Studio Apartment (where we stayed), with built-in shelves and desk, a big bathroom with egg bath and twin sinks, and impressive bay windows opening to a private balcony. We loved the cool turntable and LPs. The Sea View Rooms with Baths have glorious freestanding tubs. Sea-facing rooms all have super-kingsize beds and – a nice touch – binoculars.

In the lower ground floor are the Family- and Dog-friendly Rooms, also with super-kingsize beds and large walk-in showers, plus small patios for outside access. One family room has adult-length bunk beds.

To the rear are the compact, entry-level Cabin Rooms and Town Rooms, which have kingsize beds and walk-in showers. The further you ascend, the better the view to the South Downs across Eastbourne's rooftops.

All rooms come with comfy Hypnos mattresses, uplifting Faith in Nature products, attractive designer pottery, a coffee-maker with Craft House bio-degradable capsules, and a kettle with fabulous Hoogly teas (and a choice of soy, oat, almond or cow’s milk).

Features include:

  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar
  • Safe box
  • WiFi


Breakfast is a continental buffet consisting of fresh pastries, cereals, granola, yoghurt and other usual suspects. Divine smoothies and coffee (choose oat, soy, almond or cow's milk) round it off.

The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner on Friday and Saturday, serving up contemporary British cuisine and showcasing regional produce. And on Sundays, their hearty roasts of Sussex wagyu beef, corn-fed chicken and veggie pie served with all the trimmings are popular with guests and locals alike.

Recommended eateries include Bistrot Pierre on the seafront; all-day Company for Sussex produce; The Gren Almond for vegetarians and vegans; wine-restaurant Cru or tasting-room Levels for oenophiles. Before you head out, though, stop by the luminous Lunar Bar for a pre-dinner aperitif. The bar is full of award-winning artisan drinks and local brews; there's an impressive cocktail list too.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee maker
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby


  • Step outside to admire the Pier and stroll along the beach, a shingle strip which stretches for six miles to Beachy Head
  • Amble through Eastbourne's under-rated Old Town for Victorian architecture, cafés and pubs (The Lamb Inn is its oldest), antiques and bric a brac emporiums
  • The Devonshire Quarter, where the more traditional wedding-cake seafront hotels predominate, has three of the town's theatres
  • Walk on the wonderful, rolling South Downs - over chalk cliffs, to Friston's beautiful beech forest (excellent views of Cuckmere), or on to Cuckmere Valley; if you want a picnic made up, just ask
  • Visit the attractive towns of Alfriston and Lewes, or dip into award-winning wineries at Rathfinny and Tillingham
  • You can't miss the striking Towner Art Gallery, Museum of the Year 2020, which has 4,000 works by historic and contemporary artists, with a focus on modern British art (Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Vanessa Bell, Henry Moore, Grayson Perry, Olafur Eliasson)


Children are welcome at Port Hotel, although there are few dedicated facilities for them. Kids of all ages will love the proximity to the beach. There are baby cots, high chairs and two family rooms (but no extra beds in the other rooms).

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

There are two Family Rooms for a family of four (plus a baby): one (on the lower ground floor) with a pair of full-length bunkbeds, the other with a double sofabed. Both have a small external patio. The Studio Apartment on the first floor has a double sofabed and can also sleep a family of four plus a baby.

Families Should Know:

The hotel is on Marine Parade, which is a relatively busy road, with the beach opposite.


  • Airport: 1 hour
  • Hospital: 8 minutes
  • Shops: 2 minutes
Kid Friendly: dog


Port Hotel is right on Eastbourne's seafront, just to the east of the iconic pier.

By Air:
The nearest airport is London Gatwick, which is about an hour and 15 minutes away by car. Or you can get direct trains from Gatwick to Eastbourne which take an hour.

By Train:
From London Victoria take Southern Railways directly to Eastbourne. The line extends eastwards to Hastings or westwards to Brighton, and connects to Ashford. Get a taxi from the station or it's about a 15 minute walk.

By Car:
A car is useful if you're intending to explore the area, but you'll probably not use it much in the town itself. If renting a car, see our tips. The hotel doesn't have its own car park, but they'll lend you on-street parking permits.

Detailed directions will be sent when you book through i-escape.


  • London Gatwick 70.0 km LGW


  • Beach 0.1 km
  • Shops 0.3 km
  • Restaurant 0.3 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 2 independent reviews from i-escape guests


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