Not so long ago, I was doing a little bit of research on Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs. Eventually, I convinced myself that I needed to explore the area over a weekend (not that it needed much convincing) and came across the luxury boutique Yarrow Hotel…
Normally when I’m doing my hotel research, I look for something unique – a place that I’ll remember for years to come – and The Yarrow Hotel ticked this box. Not only was it a boutique – which means a more personalised service – it’s also the only training hotel in the UK. It just so happens that the Yarrow Hotel is owned by East Kent College and its students are the ones doing the training. By doing this, the college is helping the future leaders of the hospitality industry by placing them among highly skilled, professional staff who can coach them on the practical aspects of their courses, as well as the technical. All pretty great in my opinion.
Not only that, The Yarrow Hotel is a historical wonder. Built in 1894 by Sir Alfred Yarrow after his daughter unfortunately became sick in Broadstairs. Sir Alfred was inspired by his friend, philanthropist Dr Barnardo, who famously housed children stricken by poverty, and built the Yarrow as a place to house and help children recuperate from illness, close to the fresh sea air.
So, with all this in mind, I made the hour and a half drive to find out more for a weekend…
Walking through the beautiful doors of the grand reception room, I was greeted by a number of smiling staff. Whilst reception checked my room to see if it was ready, I was told stories about the building and why, at first glance, it may seen a little curious. It turns out the Yarrow Hotel is symmetrical on both sides – one wing was for the boys and one for the girls – each totally the same. But it was the corridors and staircases that amused me the most – the corridors were built wide enough for children to play in and the staircases were shallow yet wide, perfect for children’s feet. I immediately knew I’d come across a gem.
Upon being told my room was ready, I walked up the truly unique staircase and found my room for the night – I’d opted for one of the Junior Suites. I couldn’t have been more impressed. The suite itself was larger than my flat! There was a spacious living area, a plush working area, a massive King-sized bed and my personal favourite, a set of double doors that led to the largest bathroom I’ve ever seen. The room’s decor itself was Scandi minimalist with baby blue hues on the walls and hints of grey furnishings around the room – it couldn’t have been more luxe.
After having settled into my room for the night, it was time for me to head down to the Yarrow Spa for my full body massage. I wanted to treat myself after starting my brand new job and relieve some of the anxiety I’d felt over the past few weeks, ya see. For the next hour+, I had an incredibly relaxing yet chatty massage from the delightful Amy. The massage itself was on par, soothing every part of my body in woody smelling oils, the chat was helpful too – it felt like talking to a friend in a local coffee shop. I came out feeling the most chilled I’d felt in months.
The best thing? Not only does the Spa do an array of massages, the Salon also does tinting, waxing, manicures, pedicures, facials – all starting from just £9.99! An absolute bargain, if you ask me – you can even relax in the hotel’s hot tub or spa after…
Later that evening, I headed down to the Yarrow Restaurant for their A La Carte menu. I was excited for this meal as the award-winning Head Chef, Ben Williams, has cooked in Michelin starred restaurants and believes in only the finest, freshest, local ingredients, which makes for an ever-changing menu at the Yarrow Hotel. I began with the warm ham hock salad with crispy potatoes, a poached egg and pea foam, had rib-eye of beef with potatoes, field mushrooms in a red wine sauce as my main and finished with the raspberry soufflé with vanilla and toasted scone ice cream.
In absolute honesty, I’ve only ever had food that delicious on my wedding day and again, that was by a Michelin-starred chef. The cuisine was simply put, unforgettable. After my wondrous meal, I went up to bed with a happy feeling in my tummy and revelled in the clean, white sheets that I curled up into.
The next day was for exploring sunny Broadstairs – more to come on that. Before I left, I took advantage of the continental breakfast buffet – serving everything from freshly squeezed juices to flaky pastries and a selection of ham and cheeses – with a cup of steaming fresh coffee straight from the pot.
As I left, the lovely lady at reception said, ‘We hope to welcome you back again one day.’
I replied, ‘You absolutely will.’
It’s rare that I ever say that and I meant every word.