Gravesend Hotels

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Situated on the south bank of the Thames, the town of Gravesend has a history and culture forever associated with its prime location on the famous river. At one point the only gateway from London to Dover, ferries from the town carried goods and passengers across the Thames for further travel south on the old Roman road, now Watling Street. Today it serves a similar purpose for those wishing to travel south to the continent, via the Eurostar station at Ebbsfleet. As the times change and means of transport become ever more sophisticated, this old Kent town has lost nothing of its historic character and appeal, and the demands placed on Gravesend hotels are testament to its enduring popularity.

Resort towns throughout the UK have come to define British holiday-making, but Gravesend has the distinction of being the first. Steamboats brought visitors down the river from the capital as early as the start of the 19th century and even today the Port of London authority has its headquarters here. The Gravesend Regatta has an even longer history, dating back as far as Tudor times, and is still contested on oak-built boats known as Gravesend Skiffs. Visitors have always come for the river activities, employing Gravesend hotels as a convenient base, but also to enjoy the gardens of Terrace Pier, Springhead, and Rosherville. The recently refurbished town pier remains a major attraction and is the oldest cast iron pier in the world still in operation.

There is another, rather curious, historical association with the town, that of the final resting place of Pocahontas. The Native American chief's daughter married John Rolfe, an English settler in Virginia and upon returning to London she became something of a national a celebrity, presented to court as a princess and stirring the public imagination in the process. She fell ill on the ship shortly after it set sail back to Virginia and died at Gravesend. She is interred at St George's Church and there is a life-size bronze statue of her in the churchyard. There are many more attractions in the town, both historic and contemporary, and Gravesend hotels will be well placed for the best of them.

The range of Gravesend hotels is impressive,with accommodation to suit most tastes and budgets. As one of the oldest resort destinations in the country there are some terrific traditional hotels of the type found in coastal resorts around the country, where Victorian elegance and grandeur sets the scene for stylish dining and the rooms and suites have a certain period charm perfectly suited for a romantic break. Other traditional establishments are the smaller independent hotels and inns, where the period interiors are every bit as appealing and with the added benefit of a friendly local bar, often serving pub food and snacks. Rooms will be comfortable and equipped with all the basic necessities such as hospitality trays and TV.

Some of the smaller hotels are pretty stylish, adopting something of a boutique hotel philosophy in their approach to d├ęcor, service and amenities. Traditional Gravesend hotels may evoke all the historic appeal of the town but they are also mindful of the needs for contemporary features and facilities in what is a lively modern community. To this end, technologies for internet connectivity and for print, copy and fax requirements are common and many hotels will have function spaces as perfectly suited for hosting a wedding as a business conference. Modern hotels in the town will certainly have a business-oriented slant but visitors to the town on whatever purpose will find most hotels will meet their needs for an enjoyable stay.