East Sussex

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Bordered by West Sussex, Kent, Surrey and the English Channel, East Sussex is one of the greenest and least spoilt counties in the south of England. It has some striking scenery, charming towns and historic buildings but no motorways. The Hotel Guru selection of the best places to stay in East Sussex ranges from Old Whyly, a luxury B&B with a house party feel and ideal for Glyndebourne to The Gallivant a 1960s motel which has been given a new lease of life à la New England beach house style, right on Camber Sands. If you think that a self catering holiday cottage or apartment would suit you better, we recommend the range with our online partner, Booking.com.

Rural Highlights

The landscape varies from rugged chalky cliffs, the most famous being Beachy Head, to the rolling hills and forests of the Weald. This is wonderful walking country, whether you ramble through Ashdown Forest or tackle one of a number of long-distance trails, such as the Sussex Border Path or the Vanguard Way.

East Sussex Towns

Of the towns, Rye, a picturesque medieval port, the county town of Lewes, historical Hastings and Battle, the resorts of Eastbourne and Bexhill-on-Sea, and Hailsham, a thriving market town, are all worth a detour.

East Sussex for Culture Vultures

There are castles to visit at Bodiam and Herstmonceux, and an Abbey at Battle, built to commemorate the Battle of Hastings. At Bateman’s, a stunning 17th-century house just outside Burwash and home to Rudyard Kipling, it feels like the writer has just walked out of his book-lined study. Other attractions are its beaches, including Camber Sands, with its windswept dunes, and the wide flats of Normans Bay.

Best places to stay in East Sussex


The best places to stay in East Sussex if you're planning to explore the great outdoors are

  • The Griffin Inn a hugely popular village gastropub with outstanding views over the Ouse Valley and its very own cricket team.
  • Stone House in Rushlake Green which is set in 1000 acres and offers shooting on site.
  • Ashdown Park Hotel also offers activities galore and is surrounded by the Ashdown Forest which was the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh.


Our pick of the best places to stay in East Sussex includes hotels in Hastings, Battle and Eastbourne though the best served appears to be Rye, where one can choose from Jeake's House, The George in Rye, or The Ship Inn.


For seaside escapes try

  • The Zanzibar International Hotel in St Leonards on Sea, a contemporary hotel fashioned from a Victorian townhouse.
  • The Grand Hotel in Eastbourne, locally known as the "White Palace" and full of 5* trappings, but not the stuffy attitudes!

For a holiday cottage or apartment

  • If you think that self catering is a better option for you, then check out the wide range with our online partner Booking.com.

If you can't find what you're looking for in our selection of the best places to stay in East Sussex, then try our Brighton choices or our picks in West Sussex.

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The best hotels in East Sussex

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  • Ocklynge Manor

    East Sussex

    This picture perfect 18th Century Georgian house sits in a glorious walled garden which maintains its beauty throughout the seasons. The bedrooms are bright and lovely sash windows make the most of the views. Delicious breakfasts with hand-made bread and marmalade can be enjoyed each morning.

    3 rooms from $64
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Beachy Head, with panoramic views of the English Channel
    Sailing  -  There are lots of sailing clubs in Eastbourne
    Views  -  Pretty garden views from each of the bedrooms
    Great walks  -  Walk the South Downs Way
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
  • Cavalaire

    Brighton (East Sussex)

    A welcoming Victorian townhouse B&B in one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan areas of this beautiful coastal city. Rooms are decorated with character; iPod docking stations, wonderful bed linen and the occasional four poster bed. A homely B&B, walking distance from all the top Brighton sights.

    9 rooms from $83
    Close to nightlife  -  Brighton Seafront Night Clubs.
    Sights nearby  -  Volks Railway and the Royal Pavillion
    Great walks  -  Brighton Pier, promenade and beach
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
  • Twenty Seven


    Stylish and sophisticated B&B just minutes from both seafront and city centre. Feel at home with large double beds, crisp Egyptian cotton, fluffy bathrobes and free WiFi. The perfect base for exploring everything this eclectic city has to offer and close to the vibrant nightlife.

    5 rooms from $83
    Sights nearby  -  Brighton Pier and the Royal Pavilion
    Close to nightlife
    Value chic
    Restrictions on children  -  No children under 16
  • A room with a view


    Contemporary B&B on the seafront. Rooms have cream furnishings, large bathrooms, big windows and 5* mattresses. Charming breakfast room and lounge area. Perfect location to explore this eclectic city from.

    9 rooms from $101
    Romantic Break  -  Enjoy stunning views of Brighton Pier, excellent walkable restaurants, wandering through the lanes and the peace inside hotel
    Local markets  -  Food and clothing markets through Brighton Lanes
    Sights nearby  -  Brighton Pavilion and Pier
    Great walks  -  Along Brighton seafront
  • The Printworks

    Hastings, East Sussex

    Hip seaside haven housed in an old printworks once home to the local rag. The property combines cosy comfort with loft style interiors to provide an upmarket bohemian sleepery an hour from London

    2 rooms from $103
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
  • Rye Windmill B&B

    Rye, East Sussex

    Charming and unusual B&B - two rooms in the mill itself (one of Rye's most famous landmarks) the rest attached. Next to the river and within walking distance of Rye town centre.

    10 rooms from $103
    Landmark  -  Comes with a reputation.
  • Griffin Inn

    Fletching, East Sussex

    Very popular village gastropub with excellent food and 13 comfortable rooms, many with 4 posters, in picturesque Fletching, with fabulous views over the Ouse valley. Ideal for families.

    13 rooms from $109
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    Views  -  Lovely garden views over Sheffield Park
    Full of character
  • Pelham Hall

    Burwash, East Sussex

    A gorgeous little B&B in picturesque Burwash. Elegant romantic bedrooms impeccably decorated with lots of character. Fantastic breakfasts, friendly hosts, and plenty of local exploring. Perfect for a romantic getaway.

    3 rooms from $116
    Sights nearby  -  East Sussex boasts National Trust properties, world-famous gardens, important historic monuments from the Norman Conquest.
    Local markets  -  Rhye, Lewes, Tunbridge Wells nearby for antique shopping.
    Great walks  -  Along the North and South downs.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
  • Artist Residence Brighton

    Brighton (East Sussex)

    This arty 23 bedroom hotel, cocktail bar and restaurant is centrally located in Regency Square, with sea views over the iconic West Pier. Cool, contemporary decor in the middle of Brighton with lots of galleries and good restaurants just minutes away. Really great for weekend group getaways.

    23 rooms from $116
    Close to nightlife  -  Explore everything this eclectic city has to offer.
    Great walks  -  A stones throw from the beach front
    Sights nearby  -  Walking distance to Brighton Pier
    Other Activities  -  Visit The Theatre Royal
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Sawdays
  • Jeake's House

    Rye, East Sussex

    An old favourite; quirky, old-fashioned and slightly theatrical B&B bang in the centre of Rye. Full of character, in a wonderful town for weekending.

    11 rooms from $116
    Sights nearby  -  Situated bang in the centre of town.
    Full of character
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Quirky  -  An experience!
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • Buxted Park Hotel

    Buxted, East Sussex

    Palladian mansion, now a luxury country house hotel close to Uckfield. Ideal for a relaxing country getaway and close to sights such as Hever Castle and Wakehurst Gardens. 2 AA Rosette standard modern British cuisine and cookery classes too.

    44 rooms from $122
    Sights nearby  -  Close to Ashdown Forest and the famous Winnie the Pooh bridge, Hever Castle and Wakehurst Gardens
    Cooking classes  -  Check for timings.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
  • Old Whyly

    Lewes, East Sussex

    Listed manor house set in beautiful gardens with heated pool and tennis court. Luxury B & B with antiques and a house party feel. Dinners can be arranged. Good base for Glyndebourne.

    3 rooms from $122
    Garden  -  Attractive outside space.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor Pool
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • Hastings House

    Hastings, East Sussex

    Newly renovated victorian townhouse B&B in the centre of town. Modern bedrooms with vivid colours. Breakfast included and snacks on demand.

    8 rooms from $127
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
  • The Ship Inn

    Rye, East Sussex

    Michelin recommended laid back pub with rooms in the centre of Rye. Old beams, wooden floors, pine tables. Simple and comfortable rooms.

    10 rooms from $128
    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • The Old Rectory


    Elegant guest rooms provided in an eighteenth-century building. Guests can enjoy sitting rooms, beautiful gardens and the nearby town of Hastings. Freshly cooked breakfasts on offer, including locally caught fish and free-range eggs.

    8 rooms from $128
    Restrictions on children  -  Children from 10 and up only
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
  • One Broad Street


    A great B&B just seconds from the beach and only 5 minutes from The Lanes. All white rooms with bright cushions and throws for a splash of colour, excellent breakfasts and great local knowledge for a homely stay. Perfect for weekends away or local exploring.

    8 rooms from $141
    Sights nearby  -  Brighton Pier, the Royal Pavilion and The Lanes
    Walking distance restaurants  -  Owners can recommend plenty of local eateries
    Restrictions on children  -  No children allowed
    Great walks  -  Brighton Beach
  • Zanzibar International Hotel

    St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex

    Contemporary and stylish romantic refuge on the seafront. Impeccably decorated in whites and nudes, large light rooms, sea views. Fish restaurant.

    8 rooms from $148
    Restrictions on children  -  No children under 5 years.
    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
  • Swan House

    Hastings, East Sussex

    Former 15th century bakery. Stylish B&B in the heart of mediaeval Hastings. Tasteful interiors - original features complement contemporary designs. Guest lounge, breakfast room, courtyard.

    4 rooms from $148
    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • Black Rock House


    A bijou property located on a residential road in the coastal market town of Hastings. Its contemporary decor and clean lines makes this hotel a refreshing place to stay. This manager owned property has a much talked about and locally sourced breakfast menu. A perfect coastal weekend break!

    5 rooms from $154
    Sights nearby  -  Visit historic properties of Great Dixter, Sissinghurst, Bodiam Castle and Battle Abbey as well as their beautiful gardens
    Great walks  -  Travers Country or Alexandra Park or Britain's steepest East Hill funicular
    Local markets  -  Old Town and Norman Road have collection of independent and craft shops
    Restrictions on children  -  Above the age of ten accepted
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
  • Wartling Place

    Wartling, East Sussex

    Located in the heart of 1066 country this B&B provides guests with a traditional Sussex stay. Set amidst three acres of manicured grounds, attention to detail continue within. Huge, plushly covered beds centre antique adorned rooms. Breakfast is fresh and locally sourced and dinner by arrangement.

    4 rooms from $161
    Sights nearby  -  The historic sight of Hastings Castle, where the infamous battle was fought, is just a short drive away.
    Local markets  -  Open every Saturday, Hasting's Farmer's Market is popular amongst tourists and locals alike.
    Great walks  -  Beckley Walk Beckley walk takes flaneurs through the heart of 1066 country.
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
  • The Grand Hotel

    Brighton (East Sussex)

    A glorious Victorian hotel with sea views, traditionally elegant bedrooms and deluxe suites over 7 floors. Brighton's original "grand dame" offers an exceptional culinary experience with locally sourced ingredients and luxury spa. A perfect venue for weddings, conferences or a short seaside break.

    201 rooms from $166
    Close to nightlife
    Spa  -  Wide range of ESPA treatments for men and women.
    Great walks  -  Stroll the promenade, pier and beach
    Sights nearby  -  The Royal Pavillion
  • The George in Rye

    Rye, East Sussex

    'Rye’s most luxurious hotel,’ they claim, and we think that is fair: newly renovated historic inn with plenty of special touches. Great seafood, sumptuous rooms with chic styling.

    34 rooms from $173
    Restaurant  -  Recommended.
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
  • The Gallivant

    Rye, East Sussex

    1960s motel reborn as stylish New England beach hotel with good cafe and bistro dining, on Camber Beach. Driftwood style, retro detailing and a magnificent sandy beach.

    18 rooms from $173
    Views  -  Fantastic views over Camber Sands
    Cooking classes  -  Overnight packages available
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    On the beach  -  In front of the hotel.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays, Mr & Mrs Smith
  • Stone House

    Heathfield, East Sussex

    Antique filled country house B&B owned by the same family since 1495, just outside the village of Rushlake Green. Excellent dinners offered, and pheasant shooting available.

    8 rooms from $177
    Garden  -  1000 acre estate
    Cooking classes  -  Overseen by Master Chef Jane Dunn
    Restrictions on children  -  No children under 9
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
  • The Mermaid Inn

    Rye, East Sussex

    Historic inn in the centre of Rye which dates back to the 13th Century. Rooms ooze period charm with carved four poster beds, sloping beamed ceilings and gorgeous original features including a vast fireplace in the bar. Delicious 2 AA Rosette dining. A perfect weekend getaway.

    31 rooms from $193
    Exclusive offer  -  Weekend Escape
    Historic  -  The cellars date from 1156 and the building was rebuilt in 1420. It's a genuine piece of Tudor architecture
    Full of character
    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
  • The Grand Hotel

    Eastbourne, East Sussex

    Eastbourne's 'White Palace' - a luxurious English seaside hotel. A host of facilities - spa, indoor and outdoor pools, award-winning restaurant, children's playroom.

    152 rooms from $256
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Kids Club  -  Fully staffed.
    5* Luxury  -  Very high service standards.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor/outdoor
    Recommended by  -  Johansens, Small Luxury Hotels
  • Ashdown Park Hotel

    East Grinstead, East Sussex

    Country house hotel with excellent facilities for the whole family in Ashdown Forest. Acres of parkland, spa facilities, golf course, tennis courts. Award-winning restaurant with forest views.

    106 rooms from $256
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  Johansens, Small Luxury Hotels
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