If one of the most scenic parts of the country has the idea of combining a traditional beach break with a few rounds of golf, The Beechcraft Hotel in Felpham, West Sussex will tick a few of your vacation boxes, writes Nick Bailey.
There was that little whiff once the seaside break in the UK Defective tower Connected Hi-D-Hi! About them, things have moved on gratefully since John Klees was last seen whipping his beloved Austin Countryman with a tree branch on a Torque street.
Where once it was a two-star B&B and row upon row of entertainment arches, today’s seaside resorts and coastal towns – while still providing food for the ‘bucket and spade’ brigade – are more likely to offer boutique-style luxury accommodation and monastic tempura. Rather than a triple-cooked skin-on fry they have a punch and Judy show and a donkey ride while chewing a stone stick.
The epidemic, with its subsequent restrictions on foreign travel, has seen many of us return to traditional British beach vacations for the first time in decades, for others it meant sharing the coast with a generation of tourists who have never experienced it. High and low summer vacations in the UK, with its temperate climate, sparkling beaches and bracing waters.
All of that, and more, is offered at the archeological south-coast seaside resort that shows out over the fragmented waters of the English Channel, halfway between Bognor Regis, east of Worthing and west of Portsmouth. Famous for its Buttlins Holiday Resort and its long-forgotten royal connection, Bagner was the setting for that classic 1980s upcoming-era film. You want to be here And has since gained a certain level of notoriety as the host of The Birdman of Bougainville, an annual event where people with thin ideas about the laws of physics try to slow down their inevitable contact with the ocean by denying Madcap non-gravity. contraptions
At the exact corner of all this may be found the more oppressed village of Felpham, which, to be honest, has been swallowed up by the expansion of Bognor, but still managed to retain its own identity. And here it is, at the bottom of a narrow alley that leads just to shore, where you’ll stumble across the Beechcraft Hotel – a quiet oasis that offers mesmerizing blends of warm hospitality and those endless views of the sea and sky.
The main part of the hotel – which underwent many updates during the lockdown, as well as a more extensive recent renovation program to enhance the guest experience – offers dog-friendly ground floor rooms, 40 spacious, well-appointed rooms with family and sea view rooms with a private veranda. And a luxurious penthouse suite with porch.
With a wide range of family-friendly facilities, including a spa, swimming pool and gym, and a choice of excellent dining options, Beechcraft is not only a beachside bouthel where you can rest, but also an ideal springboard from which. Explore the area. Mile-to-mile beach paths to the east and west, and bikes available for rent on site, you can apply the paddle power to the back of the car to check the locale, or, as I did, let you walk.
For couples, families and small groups looking for an extra touch of privacy or luxury, Beechcraft Hotel also offers four beach hut suites. Opened in 2019, and just a few yards from the hotel, this stunning split-level apartment has two bedrooms (mezzanine double bed and a bunk bed), bathroom and a double-height living room that leads directly to a private deck. The sea. With comfortable sofas, smog fridges, coffee and tea making facilities, and a large flatscreen TV with Netflix, you can happily dive into one of these for a few days if the weather is unfavorable.
Breakfast is included as part of the stay at the hut, which is served fresh every morning as part of a breakfast bar, while meals with a gorgeous fish and chip sapper in a basket can also be delivered to the guests at the beach hut. If cabin fever starts – which I highly suspect – Beechcraft’s site has three excellent dining options – the newly expanded Garden Terrace Restaurant Blakes, with outdoor dining pods, offers light bites and traditional afternoon tea; Tamarisk Restaurant and Monte’s Bistro, which serves freshly caught seafood and traditional British fare. The kitchen will happily make you a great picnic hamper for your travels, whether done by bike or car, which I can thoroughly recommend.
With welcoming dogs in the beach hut and several rooms downstairs and with excellent service and friendly staff, for whom no request is too much of a hassle, the Beechcroft Hotel will restore your faith – if it needs to be restored – the days of Basil Faulty and Limp Waldorf Salad , Fortunately, far behind us.
For golfers, the hotels and cottages are just a few miles from the always-enjoyable layout of Bougainville Regis Golf Club, where Chichester Golf Club has two 18-hole courses within 15 minutes and Little Hampton Golf Club Link / Parkland style. The layout is just a few miles along the east coast.
My trip included a round at the Chechester Golf Club’s cathedral course, an 18-hole layout that first opened in 1990. Built at the height of the previous golf boom, when farmers were encouraged to convert arable land into fairways, there were few. Its previous use is in disguise, but the cathedral course is a pleasant, easy-to-walk arrangement that offers a decent challenge for all levels of golfers.
Playing 6,442 yards away from the whites and 6,100 yards from the Yellow, the Par-72 course is loaded forward from a distance, playing 300 yards more than the starting nine rear. This is mainly due to the 601-yard, per-five 5th, being known as ‘The Mother’. Miss the fairway just a few yards on either side and you’ll continue fishing in a red-spotted pit, wasting a lost ball and another lost shot. As if that wasn’t hard enough, the fairway is close to your green and your second and third shots should be threaded into a tongue of the fairway at the risk of water which is about 30 yards wide. This hole in the scorecard has a reason for being the stroke index 1 and it survives up to the hype. Mom has been sandwiched between two powerful par-threes on the water, making the first nine of Sussex the hardest.
The rear nine is more subtle, with two par-fives – the 12th and 14th – both reaching for the larger heaters, while the smaller, but deceptive par-three 15th, is made of 300 giant Portland stones, and is surrounded by a raised green sand. , Probably highlight. The card closes with three equal fours, featuring both the smaller 16th and 17th water and a narrow triline ensuring that only the most accurate heaters will be rewarded with a sniff in a birdie, while the 18th is a gently climbing hole that requires a second shot. Hit the corner of the tree line to reach the green. Overall, it’s a decent course, with some interesting holes, but it’s probably frustrated by its greens, which are subtle but lacking in imagination, with some edges or shields you can really think of.
Another 18-hole course in Chichester, the tower has a good balance of holes which makes it a more forgiving alternative to the cathedral. The spacious clubhouse offers an excellent selection of home-cooked meals and local beers, with an 18-hole adventure course for those who want to further test their puttingty skills.
Mid-week green fees for cathedral courses start at £ 27 and increase to £ 42 on weekends. Visit to book tea time www.chichestergolf.com.
Stay and play
Rates for B&B at Beechcraft Hotel start at £ 126 B&B per night (Sunday to Thursday only) based on two adults sharing a classic room. Classic Room (Twin / King) from £ 150 (Friday to Sunday). Classic Room with Sea View (Twin / King) 175. Classic Family Room CV (King and Banks) £ 190 (2 adults, 2 children). Penthouse Suites Seaview Private Lounge, Dining and Seaview Terrace (with up to 8 seats) from 4 334 for four guests. Beach Hut Suites, catering for up to four guests, start at £ 275.
For more information, visit www.beachcroft-hotel.com or call 01243 827142.