Set on the coast of the English county of Essex, Clacton-on-Sea is a 90-minute train journey east of central London’s Liverpool Street Station. Once a popular resort town -- before the English started going to the Mediterranean countries for their holidays in the 1980s -- Clacton still sees a fair share of visitors during the summer months. Most of the town’s hotels, including some budget options are clustered around the seafront esplanade. The Clacton Pier dates back to 1871 and now features amusement rides including a 50-foot helter skelter slide.
Set in a white Victorian property right on the seafront, the family-run Esplanade Hotel has 30 rooms, many with sea views. The hotel is a 10-minute walk from Clacton-on-Sea’s railway station. Breakfast is included in the room rate and the hotel restaurant also serves lunch and dinner, offering a selection of British and international dishes. Nearby dining options include the Regency Cottage, which serves Indian food and the La Riva Restaurant offering Italian specialties. Holland Haven Country Park consists of 100 acres of unspoiled coastline and is just three miles from the hotel.
The Geisha Hotel
Housed in a modern building on the seafront esplanade, the Geisha Hotel is just a few steps from Clacton’s pier. The hotel warns that it is noisy, especially at weekends, and may not suit families. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the hotel’s nightclub, the Basement, is open until 2 a.m. and features live music, variety acts and comedy. The on-site restaurant, Mortimer’s, serves a modern British menu and bar snacks are available in the Geisha Bar. A five-minute walk from the hotel, the Westcliff Theatre stages drama and music.
Comfort Hotel Clacton-on-Sea
The Comfort Hotel Clacton-on-Sea overlooks the sea and Clacton’s pier. The hotel restaurant serves breakfast lunch and dinner. Alternative dining options nearby include Prezzo, an Italian restaurant, and the American-themed Charnallies serving pizzas, pasta and burgers. The Clacton-on-Sea Golf Club, an 18-hole course that welcomes guests except on weekends, is one mile from the hotel. The restored Jaywick Martello Tower, part of a network of 29 towers built in the early 19th century to defend against a feared French invasion, now operates as an art gallery and is a 15-minute drive from the hotel.
The Pier Hotel
The Pier Hotel is set a 100 yards back from the seafront in a building painted a jolly shade of blue with a furnished terrace at the front. The on-site cafe serves breakfast and traditional English favorites during the day. The hotel has a honeymoon suite featuring a jetted tub and a rooftop terrace. A few steps from the Pier Hotel, the Moon and Starfish is a seafront pub that offers bar meals and traditionally brewed ales.