Best hotels in Sussex from the Good Hotel Guide

Striking coastline, a vast national park and historic towns

Attractions include Battle Abbey with its poignant evocation of the Battle of Hastings, Brighton with its long shingle beach and Prinny’s famous Pavilion which encapsulates the raffishness of the Regency age. Spa hotels, country hotels, charming reastaurant-with-rooms and tasteful B&Bs all make up the independently-reviewed Good Hotel Guide's accommodation in Sussex.


While in the pretty county, vsit the ancient town of Winchelsea (where Spike Milligan is buried), the market town of Lewes, Rye (once a Cinque Port, now far inland) with its half-timbered medieval buildings lining cobbled streets, and literary associations with Henry James and EF Benson, Arundel and Leeds castles, Ightham Mote, Winston Churchill’s home, Chartwell, Glyndebourne opera house and Charlston Farmhouse (embellished by the Bloomsbury group). Walk, cycle or ride a horse in the vast, newly opened South Downs national park.

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Featured hotels in Sussex

Gravetye Manor, EAST GRINSTEAD, Sussex

‘All was quite perfect’ according to visitors to this luxury country house hotel (Relais & Châteaux). Once the home of William Robinson, pioneer of the English natural garden,


Stone House, RUSHLAKE GREEN, Sussex

Henry VII was on the throne when the original timber-frame, tile-hung house was built by the Roberts Dunn family, whose descendants still live here. The later Tudor, gabled building with massive oak


Hotels in Sussex

  • The Millstream, BOSHAM, Sussex

    In the village where King Canute failed to stop the incoming tide, the Wild family’s hotel ‘appeals strongly to a mature clientele who value the traditional decor and ambience’, said

  • drakes, BRIGHTON, Sussex

    Close to the pier, this modern hotel occupies two Regency town houses on the seafront. It is owned by Andy Shearer; Richard Hayes manages, with ‘courteous, helpful’ staff. Bedrooms vary in size: some

  • The Town House, ARUNDEL, Sussex

    ‘The food and the welcome are superb’ at Lee and Katie Williams’s ‘pleasant’ restaurant-with-rooms at the top of the High Street. It is within walking distance of the antique shops and historic sites

  • The Royal Oak, EAST LAVANT, Sussex

    ‘Every detail has been thought of’ at Sarah and Charles Ullmann’s 19th-century pub/inn at the foot of the South Downs. Walkers coming off the moors will appreciate the open fire,

  • The Griffin Inn, FLETCHING, Sussex

    Owned by the Pullan family, this 16th-century Grade II listed coaching inn, with beams, horse brasses and ‘country-style bedrooms’, is in a pretty village overlooking the Ouse valley. ‘We cannot

  • The Old Store, HALNAKER, Sussex

    ‘Standards remain the highest’ at Patrick and Heather Birchenough’s B&B on the edge of the South Downs. Once home of the village bakery and shop, the Grade II listed 17th-century brick-and-flint house

  • The Old Railway Station, PETWORTH, Sussex

    On a disused railway line bordered by woodland, this B&B with a difference occupies a renovated Victorian station building and four restored Pullman carriages. Hosts Gudmund Olafsson and Catherine

  • Jeake's House, RYE , Sussex

    Once the ‘deeply cherished home’ of American writer Conrad Aiken, this 17th-century wool store and adjoining Elders House is run as a B&B by Jenny Hadfield. ‘Very nice owner and staff, splendid

  • Zanzibar International Hotel, ST LEONARDS-ON-SEA, Sussex

    ‘With an exotic name, themed bedrooms, showers that say “welcome” and “goodbye”, there is a splendidly quirky feel about this small seafront hotel.’ Guide

  • Wartling Place, WARTLING, Sussex

    ‘We were very pleased with the rooms, the atmosphere, the garden and the breakfast.’ Visitors to nearby Glyndebourne were ‘delighted’ by Rowena and Barry Gittoes’s tastefully furnished B&B in a Grade

  • Crossways Hotel, WILMINGTON, Sussex

    A visit to Clive James and David Stott’s restaurant-with-rooms has become ‘an annual ritual’ for a long-time Guide reader who reports this year: ‘Happily, it’s as good as ever.’ Within easy access of

  • Park House, BEPTON, Sussex

    ‘Everything is of the highest quality: the food, the table, the delightful staff.’ Praise again in 2015 for the O’Brien family’s ‘very pretty’ Victorian country house close to the South Downs.

  • Langshott Manor, GATWICK, Sussex

    There are exposed beams and feature fireplaces in this ‘beautiful’ Elizabethan timber-framed manor house in ‘peaceful’, well-kept grounds close to Gatwick airport. It is part of the small Alexander

  • Grand Hotel, EASTBOURNE, Sussex

    'Impeccable.' Regular guests at this 'beautifully run' Victorian hotel on the seafront like its 'old-fashioned' feel and 'wonderful service'. Traditionally furnished rooms are 'sumptuous'; many have

  • Paskins, BRIGHTON, Sussex

    ‘Met my needs perfectly.’ Friendly hosts Susan and Roger Marlowe run their characterful Art Deco B&B in two Grade II listed 19th-century houses near the seafront in Kemp Town. Bedrooms are immaculate

  • Five, BRIGHTON, Sussex

    A stone’s throw from the seafront, Caroline and Simon Heath’s homely B&B is in a Regency town house within easy reach of shops and restaurants, the conference centre and universities.

  • Swan House, HASTINGS, Sussex

    By the ‘charming’ 14th-century St Clement’s church in Hastings Old Town, this timber-framed Tudor cottage (built in 1490) is run as a contemporary B&B by the owner, Brendan McDonagh. He has given the

  • Ocklynge Manor, EASTBOURNE, Sussex

    Close to the seafront, this pink Georgian mansion stands in stunning gardens with an 18th-century gazebo, an ancient oak and plenty of places to sit. It was once the home of children’s book

  • Hastings House, ST LEONARDS-ON-SEA, Sussex

    Steps from the sea, Seng and Elisabeth Loy’s ‘immaculate’ B&B is a four-storey Victorian house given a ‘modern, stylish’ interior. The greeting is warm (a welcoming drink might be offered). All of the

  • The Crab & Lobster, SIDLESHAM, Sussex

    In a peaceful situation on the banks of the Pagham Harbour nature reserve, this 350-year-old inn has been renovated in spare, modern style by structural engineer-turned-hotelier Sam Bakose and his

  • Rooks Hill, CHICHESTER, Sussex

    New owner Erling Sorensen runs this smart B&B in a Grade II listed former farmhouse in a little village at the foot of the South Downs. Bedrooms have feather pillows, crisp linens, a hospitality tray

  • Old Whyly, EAST HOATHLY, Sussex

    In the East Sussex countryside, this Grade II listed Georgian manor house has medieval origins and a history spotted with drinkers, card players and deer poachers. Today, run as an upmarket B&B by

  • Black Rock House, HASTINGS, Sussex

    On a quiet residential street on a hill above the town, this ‘handsome’ Victorian villa is run as a B&B by the owner/manager Yuliya Vereshchuk. ‘She is a terrific host who works really hard to keep

  • Crouchers, CHICHESTER, Sussex

    In open countryside where pheasants can be seen roaming the fields, Lloyd van Rooyen’s much-extended hotel is set in ‘refreshing greenery’ close to West Wittering beach. Simply furnished bedrooms are

  • Belle Tout Lighthouse, EASTBOURNE, Sussex

    ‘The views are fantastic’ from this ‘lovely and unusual place’, a decommissioned lighthouse on the chalk cliffs of Beachy Head. It is owned by David Shaw; Ian Noall is the manager. Individually

  • Coast, BEXHILL ON SEA, Sussex

    ‘A delight.’ In a coastal town reputed to be the birthplace of British motor racing, Piero and Lucia Mazzoni run their ‘lovely’ B&B in an Edwardian villa close to the seafront. ‘Impeccably decorated

  • Deans Place, ALFRISTON, Sussex

    On the outskirts of a pretty medieval village, this country hotel stands in ‘lovely’ gardens on the banks of the Cuckmere river. Liked for its ‘nice traditional feel’, it is owned by Michael Clinch;

  • Wingrove House, ALFRISTON, Sussex

    Guests are pleased to return to Nick Denyer’s welcoming restaurant-with-rooms, in a 19th-century colonial-style house fronted by an elegant veranda. Friendly and ‘relaxed’, staff willingly supply maps

  • The Hope Anchor, RYE , Sussex

    A once-upon-a-time smugglers’ refuge, and a watering hole for sailors and shipbuilders past, this white-painted, family-owned hotel stands at the end of a cobbled street. It has good views across the

  • The Cat Inn, WEST HOATHLY, Sussex

    Opposite a ‘lovely’ old church in a village on the Sussex Weald, Andrew Russell’s 16th-century inn has many fans. ‘The welcome was warm, and the owner and staff were helpful and considerate,’ say

  • Green Oak Barn, BERWICK, Sussex

    In landscaped gardens, Christine and Colin Munday’s wine centre includes a well-regarded restaurant, ‘comfortable’ accommodation and a shop with more than 140 varieties of English wines. ‘Smart’

  • The Halfway Bridge, LODSWORTH, Sussex

    Flanked by the rolling countryside and ancient woodland of the South Downs, Sam and Janet Bakose’s refurbished 17th-century coaching inn is popular with walkers. Locals and families are likewise drawn

  • A Room with a View, BRIGHTON, Sussex

    Stephen Bull’s ‘immaculately presented’ guest house, in a Grade II listed Georgian building in Kemp Town, has ‘cheerful, friendly’ staff and ‘lovely’ views over the seafront and the Brighton Wheel.

  • The White Horse, CHILGROVE, Sussex

    ‘Simply lovely’, this 18th-century staging post inn, in the foothills of the South Downs, has been renovated in contemporary rustic style. Niki Burr is the ‘charming’ manager.