This former coaching inn, sited by Westgate Tower (part of the 800-year-old city walls) is similarly steeped in history, having welcomed weary travellers since the 15th Century. Sister property to the excellent The George in Rye, a terrific makeover has elevated style and comfort while retaining The Falstaff's character and charm – think beamed ceilings and big inglenook fireplaces. Across the threshold you'll spy the long sleek bar, to either side are handsome guest lounges; while the breakfast room looks out over the courtyard at the back. The 50 delightful bedrooms, each unique in layout and decoration, are spread across three buildings; the wood mill to the rear and neighbouring pub The Tap having been incorporated over time. Step outside to immerse yourself in the bustling centre and its chronicles of yesteryear, and meander in search of fine food and collectables. Return to cocktails before dinner and cosseting chambers. In short, the perfect place for modern-day pilgrims.
- Wonderfully comfortable bedrooms and good bathrooms, with goose down duvets and pillows in all
- Welcoming helpful staff who can advise on sights and restaurants nearby
- Easy to find, just a short stroll from the railway station, and close to Canterbury's many historic sights
- Elegant bar area and plenty of nooks for relaxing on the ground floor
- Good value for such well-appointed rooms and a central location
- Only breakfast and afternoon tea are served but there are plenty of eateries within a couple of minutes' walk
- The Falstaff is just outside the medieval city walls, so although it isn't technically in the historic centre, it is just a minute away
- Cosy Rooms are compact
- Some traffic noise may be experienced in front-facing rooms, to be expected as the hotel is on a through road
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Inn
- 50 rooms
- Breakfast only + restaurants nearby
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car not necessary
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
This quirky building has been added to and expanded over the centuries, with the addition of two 'wings' to the rear across the courtyard and car park. Rooms come in a range of sizes and shapes across all three buildings. As a result, no two are alike; you may find panelled walls, thick beams or an original fireplace in yours. The decor takes its cue from this, with a differing and delightful array of contemporary fabrics, headboards and statement lamps in each room.
Cosy Rooms are compact, perfect for solo travellers and those seeking style on a budget and don't mind sacrificing on space. Classic Rooms are larger, also great value, with kingsize or super-kingsize beds.
You might find four-poster beds or French doors leading to courtyard terraces in the Superior Rooms, all have seating areas. We slept like babies in our Luxury Room (some have four-posters), which featured green and pink tropical fabrics, and high-backed velvet armchairs. All have an in-room tub. Top-of-the-range Junior Suites have super-kingsize beds, sofa-beds for kids.
Goose down duvets and pillows come as standard, and all categories come with Damana toiletries in LeFroy Brooks bathrooms. You get bathrobes in Luxury Rooms and Junior Suites; Cosy Rooms and Luxury Rooms have walk-in showers, the rest have showers over bathtubs in their ensuites.
Breakfast is taken in the wood-panelled dining room to the rear of the main building. There's a continental-style help-yourself buffet spread of yoghurt and granola, fruit juices, fresh fruit, pastries and bread which you can toast yourself and slather with Kentish butter and jam. Tea and coffee are served to your table. From the cooked breakfast menu choose porridge with honey, pancakes with compote or bacon and maple syrup, smashed avocado on sourdough, or eggs Benedict (as we did). We did eye up The Full Falstaff as chosen by neighbouring guests as it looked delicious – if very filling, as befits the name.
Afternoon tea is served daily: choose any variation from the basic tea and cake up to champagne or cocktail tea (you get sandwiches, scones, petit fours and cake too). Otherwise no other meals are on offer, but you can order paninis for room service, or a plate of cold cuts and/or cheeses to accompany your tipple of choice in the evenings, which we found to be sufficient as a meal. The elegant bar is very much the focal point of the hotel in the evenings and does a nice line of local gins and craft beer, as well as cocktails and mocktails (I had a sort of strawberry daiquiri the bartender came up with on the hoof which impressed us).
If dining out there are many options within just a few minutes' walk; the front desk can advise.
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Vegetarian options
- Canterbury Cathedral, St Martin's Church and St Augustine's Abbey (now ruined) together comprise a UNESCO World Heritage site for its 1500 years of worship and pilgrimage. The cathedral is beautiful, there are daily services, and the crypt and cloisters are well worth checking out
- One minute away is Westgate Tower, England’s largest surviving medieval gateway and former gaol, now a museum
- Stroll through water meadows and riverside gardens or hire a punt and float along the winding River Stour, which divides in two through the city, creating river islands
- Award-winning regional cultural hub The Marlowe showcases theatre, dance, music, comedy and opera year-round, and is 4 minutes from The Falstaff
- The Romans captured this Celtic settlement in the 1st century AD, there are various surviving structures and a museum with a fine mosaic floor to visit
- The city has a long musical heritage, particularly of choral works; the annual Canterbury Festival (opera, symphony, world music, jazz, folk) takes place every October
- This part of Kent has some charming villages and vineyards (England's finest!) to discover nearby
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
- Wine tasting
Families are made welcome at The Falstaff, and there's much for them to enjoy in Canterbury, from historic sites like the Westgate Tower to boat trips along the Stour. However, there's not much at the hotel specifically for kids.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
As befits a historic building, each room is unique and consequently only some rooms can host families. All rooms except the Cosy rooms can take a baby cot. Four Junior Suites have sofa beds for kids (those without can fit a rollaway bed) so these are your best bet for a family of 4-5.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
- Airport: 1hr 45m
- Shops: 2 minutes
The Falstaff is beside the medieval Westgate Tower, which denotes the edge of the historic centre of the city of Canterbury, Kent.
London Gatwick is the nearest airport, and it's about an hour and a quarter's drive to the hotel. If you want to hire a car see our car rental recommendations.
If driving, The Falstaff is conveniently sited outside the pedestrian city centre and has a car park for residents. It's about an hour from the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone, and about 45 minutes from the Dover ferries.
For many the train will be the best option. Canterbury West is only a 3-minute walk away and has regular services to London Victoria, London Charing Cross, Margate and Ramsgate, and high-speed to London St Pancras. From Gatwick Airport take the Thameslink to London and then the high-speed to Canterbury West; the journey should take two hours.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.
- Gatwick International Airport 118.0 km LGW
- Beach 25.0 km
- Shops 0.2 km
- Restaurant 0.5 km