Albion Rooms, Margate, Kent
Make like a rock star in this one-of-a-kind seaside crash pad, where the cuisine is local and the cocktails, dirty.
05 November, 2021
Pete Doherty is a bit like Marmite: people seem to love him or hate him. And we rather think his seafront townhouse hotel in modish Margate will provoke the same reaction.
Daubed in black with a red neon sign à la Tracey Emin in the window, it feels like the kind of place where you're just meant to do bad things. In your room you'll find a blindfold on the bed, a vape and Pete's Margate "bingo" card, which involves checking off tasks such as spotting a seagull, eating vegan food and getting publicly arrested.
The thing is, you're not meant to take the place too seriously. Gilt is used in abundance, there's pop art on the walls, random quotes here and there, velveteen cushions, somewhat naff chandeliers and chipped paint. It's tongue-in-cheek, fun and like nowhere we've stayed before.
We hate Marmite. We're ambivalent about Pete. We love The Albion Rooms.
Seven seductive rooms are gaudily gorgeous. We stayed in the William Blake, where a gold ceiling and walls meet black faux snakeskin wallpaper - a detail we're now working out how to incorporate into our home. Throw in some black-leather armchairs, leopard-print cushions and you get the picture.
Other rooms are trussed up in red, the paint shade of choice an ode to the famous Libertines jacket. Some rooms have sea views and balconies, while dark bathrooms are stocked with Haeckels products.
What's for breakfast?
An à la carte breakfast is included in all room rates. The full English is done properly, as you'd expect with owners who are no stranger to hangovers.
How about lunch and dinner?
Tuck into local food from executive chef Tim Ross-Watson, who's worked at The Goring Hotel and Restaurant Gordon Ramsey.
British dishes with an Asian twist arrive in small and large sharing plates in the moodily lit Arcady Lounge. The intimate hang-out has become a popular destination for Margate locals.
Is there a bar?
Of course. The Waste Land is wonderfully grungy, featuring indoor and outdoor spaces and offering various pub bites including burgers and Korean fried chicken. Expect comedy nights, poetry events and live music, too.
GHD hairdryers, Apple Beats sound system, tea- and coffee-making facilities.
How about their green credentials?
Hmm. We couldn't find anything on the website, bar the food being locally sourced.
What about accessibility?
It's a five-storey Victorian townhouse, so it's not the most accessible, no…
Things I should know
There's an on-site, state-of-the-art recording studio.
Within a short walk I can find…
Take a dip in the freshwater pool, win a souvenir in the arcades, enjoy a spot of culture in the Turner Contemporary art gallery, catch a ride in Dreamland, then go for a knees-up in one of the many seaside pubs.