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Space & Luxury at The Yarrow Hotel, Broadstairs

The Yarrow Hotel historic building

During a recent, and very much enjoyed, trip to Broadstairs, we had the pleasure of spending two nights at one of its most prestigious hotels, The Yarrow Hotel.

Both the building and its setting are impressive.  Set back from the road among well-tended gardens (plenty of free car parking for guests) within the grounds of East Kent College, the Jacobethan-style Yarrow was built by Sir Alfred Yarrow in 1894.  Its original purpose was as a convalescent home for sick children, mostly from London.  Sir Alfred, a shipping magnate, was a friend of Dr Barnardo and had the idea to build such a facility following his daughter’s illness.  The building was planned to be mirrored on either side of the hallway with boys accommodated on one side and girls on the other.  For today’s visitor (at least, I speak for myself) it can be confusing. I was never quite sure which staircase I’d emerge from!

Expansive, bright lobby

When we arrived, I remarked to Hub that the stair treads were very shallow.  It turns out that they were designed like this to make the stairs easier for children to climb.

Wide, bright staircase with its shallow treads

The corridors are purposefully wide, created to provide children with play areas during bad weather.  Along with the light flooding in the tall windows, this gives the visitor a great feeling of space.

Convalescing children playing in the corridors

During both World Wars, the patients convalescing were soldiers, before reverting to children during peacetimes.  With its perfect setting close to the fresh, sea air of the Kent coast it must have been idyllic for the children from the bustling city.

Following some time as a part of the college facilities, the building deteriorated and lay unused for eight years until a three-year refurbishment program, completed in 2016, turned it into the first class hotel now open to visitors.

The Yarrow doesn’t try to cram in as many rooms as possible.  It hangs its hat on exclusivity, offering just 23 large bedrooms and 5 suites, all with expansive windows overlooking the gardens to the front and rear of the building.

Rear garden

It’s an ideal location for a wedding reception.  On the lower ground floor there’s a large suite that caters for 120 guests with a bar and doors opening to the rear garden featuring a gazebo.  I imagine when decorated for a special occasion the setting would be stunning.  There were floral displays aplenty during our stay.  The hotel even has its own hair and beauty salon so the wedding party don’t have to stray far to look their best.

Beauty Spa and Hair Salon Welcome Desk

Our very large room was comfortable, decorated in restful greige (trendy brownish greys) with crisp cotton sheets on an enormous bed that offered the perfect level of firmness.  The feeling of space was, again, compounded by the large, sash windows and high ceilings.  There were even double doors into the bathroom.