The Best Hotels in West Sussex
  • HOME

The Best Hotels in West Sussex

Where to holiday in the UK's most diverse county

Let’s take a trip to the Home Counties, where you can find some of the UK’s most glorious landscapes and most attractive towns and villages. Our first stop? West Sussex.

Best Private Houses in the UK

The Best Hotels in West Sussex

Some reviews are taken from this year’s Great British & Irish Hotels Guide. You can read the full reviews online or purchase your print Hotels Guide here


Photo 1 of
The Cat Inn West Sussex

The Cat Inn, West Hoathly

A spell at The Cat in West Sussex will leave you purring with contentment. With its regulars chatting at the bar, its blazing fire in the huge inglenook, its hops, pewter and mix of airy and cosy dining areas, this early 16th-century, timber-framed village inn exudes character and bonhomie. One of our greatest gastropubs, its landlord Andrew Russell, previously GM at nearby Gravetye Manor, mixes professionalism with a natural flair for people.


+44 (0)1342 810369 /

The Spread Eagle Queen suite, West Sussex

The Spread Eagle, Midhurst

The Spread Eagle elegantly marries history, tradition and character with contemporary, spoiling treats. In the fine, old-fashioned, oak-beamed dining room, earthenware basins dangle from the ceiling as a tangible reminder that here puddings are still presented to guests every Christmas using a prized recipe that dates back decades, just as tradition dictates. Yet the same coaching inn also sports an on-trend gin bar, with more than 100 different brands and 12 different tonics, plus garnishes from the garden.


+44 (0)1730 816911 /

Ockenden Manor Exterior

Ockenden Manor, Cuckfield

You get the best of both worlds at Ockenden. If you prefer reassuring, traditional comfort, look no further than this charming Elizabethan manor house. If you want slick, sophisticated modernity, that’s yours, too. As well as the elegant drawing room, there’s an oak-panelled bar (where the wine list boasts over 25 English wines, many produced by local vineyards), the Burrell Room for private dining, with its original Tudor ceiling, and an airy restaurant where Stephen Crane serves some of the finest food in Sussex.


+44 (0)1444 416111 /

Ballifscourt Hotel

Bailiffscourt, Climping

Located a short stroll across parkland from the secluded Climping Beach, Bailiffscourt is a gorgeous, medieval-style house, named for the 13th-century chapel that still stands in the grounds today. 39 bedrooms range from medieval to contemporary in style, spread throughout a series of charming houses and cottages in the parkland. The newest stand beside the old moat, overlooking the fields beyond, but all feel charmingly authentic. Lawns are dotted with medieval-style outbuildings, flowers, and peacocks, and there’s an airy spa with indoor and outdoor pools. The charming courtyard and rose garden is the ideal spot for sipping wine – produced by a local Sussex vineyard – or for afternoon tea in the sunshine. 


+44 (0)1903 723511 /

Horse & Groom

The Horse & Groom, East Ashling

This centuries-old former blacksmith’s shop turned pub was a local haunt of jeweller Annoushka Ducas and her businessman husband John Ayton for nearly 20 years before the pair decided to buy it in 2019. The pub had lost some of its charm, and their aim was to restore and redesign, putting it back at the centre of village life again. Now, there are 10 cosy rooms, all with traditional oak furniture, exposed wooden beams and a palette of soft, calming hues.


+44 (0)1243 575339 /

The Crab & Lobster

The Crab & Lobster, Sidlesham

A place for all seasons, this delightful 350-year-old hideaway and sibling of Halfway Bridge is stunningly located at Sidlesham Quay, a grassy expanse on the banks of Pagham Harbour nature reserve, once occupied by a tidal mill. Its views stretch to the distant sea across salt marsh and woodland, with a tracery of creeks. The four attractive, comfortable bedrooms in the renovated 16th-century pub, plus the two-bedroom Crab Cottage next door, are all decorated with stylish simplicity in restful pastel shades.


+44 (0)1243 641233 /

The Pig in the South Downs

The Pig – In the South Downs

Set within the small hamlet of Madehurst, The Pig threw open its doors in September 2021 – complete with its own vineyard. Situated close to Arundel and a short drive to the yachting playground of Chichester, it is a brilliant base for exploring – but also for hunkering down and relaxing. The 28 lovingly restored bedrooms – with indulgent fabrics, reclaimed wood, and roll-top baths – are spread out between a higgledy-piggledy collection of traditional brick, flint and timber-clad stable yard buildings. The 25-Mile Menu, is, as ever, terrific: simple British food done well with a focus on local and homegrown produce. Plus, there’s a wide-ranging wine list and garden-inspired cocktails to boot.


+44 (0)1234 974500;

Halfway Bridge

The Halfway Bridge, Lodsworth

If you love the Crab & Lobster at Sidlesham (and who doesn’t?), then make tracks for its younger sibling in the South Downs National Park. Near Petworth, it stands back from the A272, the only road we know to have had a book written about it: Ode to a Road, by Pieter Boogaart. The 250-year-old inn has been completely restored by owners Sam and Janet Bakose, and now has eight bedrooms fashioned from a beamed stable block that overlooks a sunny lawn, with woods to the rear.


+44 (0)1798 861281 /

Featured image: The Spread Eagle

Best Hotels in LondonBest Hotels in Norfolk