The Best Hotels in Scarborough

Enjoy historic architecture, old-school charm and seaside views at the Crown Spa Hotel in Scarborough
Enjoy historic architecture, old-school charm and seaside views at the Crown Spa Hotel in Scarborough | © Peter Scholey / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Judy Cogan
21 December 2020

Scarborough claims the title of Britain’s original seaside resort — people have been breathing in the restorative North Sea air here since the 17th century. Today, there are plenty of other reasons to visit this North Yorkshire town, from a burgeoning surf scene to moody castle ruins, and even Europe’s largest open-air theatre. With its long history, Scarborough has historic hotels, country pubs and everything in between for you to rest up after a long day exploring. Here’s Culture Trip’s pick of the best hotels in and around Scarborough.

Bike and Boot Inn

Hotel, Budget Hotel, Boutique Hotel
4.6/5 (51 Reviews)
Courtesy of Bike & Boot / | Courtesy of Bike & Boot /

As the name suggests, this is not your average seaside pied-à-terre. Newly opened in 2020, the Bike and Boot Inn styles itself as a leisure hotel for the 21st century, so whether you’re visiting Scarborough to surf, cycle or walk the North York Moors, you’re well catered for. Rooms are bright, styled with vintage Scarborough posters, and there is on-site bike and surfboard storage, plus doggy grooming equipment – perfect for cleaning up muddy pups, who are welcome throughout the hotel. On-site eatery Bareca will keep you fuelled throughout your stay, with a hearty breakfast to a cheeky nightcap before you turn in.

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The Farrier

Luxury, Boutique Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of The Farrier / Expedia

What the Farrier lacks in scale, with just four elegantly designed bedrooms, it makes up for in character. Located in the village of Cayton, 6.5km (4mi) south of Scarborough, the property dates back more than 200 years and was once home to the local smithy and inn; spots where weary travellers could rest while their horses were re-shod by the blacksmith. Today, the luxurious rooms pay homage to the property’s equestrian heritage and an ambitious restaurant twists local produce into delicate gourmet masterpieces. Perfect for a romantic dinner and luxurious lie-in after a long day walking.

Crown Spa Hotel Scarborough

Hotel, Chain Hotel
4.2/5 (704 Reviews)
Courtesy of Crown Spa Hotel Scarborough by Compass Hospitality / Expedia

Overlooking Scarborough’s South Bay Beach, the Crown Spa Hotel offers all the trappings you’d expect from a traditional British seaside escape, including swimming pool, sauna, spa and those all-important sea views. The rooms are more old-school luxury than cool and contemporary, but they’re perfectly comfortable and you can always dial up the retro charm by opting for a room with a four-poster bed.

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The Central Hotel Scarborough

Hotel, Budget Hotel
4.1/5 (40 Reviews)

If you’re after an olde adventure with a touch of grandeur, check in to the Central Hotel. Located on a Grade II listed Georgian crescent, built between 1833 and 1857, this hotel is a must for history buffs with its decorative corniced ceilings and interiors that hark back to a Victorian heyday. That means no Scandi minimalism: expect generous helpings of Scarborough chintz. Outside, you’ll find the leafy Crescent Gardens on the doorstep, and the town’s cultural quarter opposite.

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The Chapel House

Hotel, Independent Hotel
4.6/5 (108 Reviews)
Courtesy of The Chapel House Hotel / Expedia

Prefer your hotels with their own pre-Raphaelite chapel? Look no further than the Chapel House, a 14-bed hotel in a building that dates back to 1850. As well as the ornate stained-glass chapel many other period features have been retained, including open fireplaces and fabulous wooden floorboards. Modern comforts include flatscreen TVs, tea and coffee facilities and wifi, but these luxuries don’t come at the expense of charming antique furniture. Centrally located in the South Cliff area of Scarborough, it’s an excellent base for exploring.

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The Plough

Pubs with Rooms
4.9/5 (221 Reviews)
Courtesy of The Plough Scalby / Expedia

Just outside Scarborough and on the edge of the North York Moors National Park, the Plough is a historic pub with rooms that ooze homely character. Styled as a village pub with rooms (eight luxury en-suites and five self-catering cottages dotted nearby, to be exact) guests can enjoy quintessential Yorkshire hospitality and creature comforts galore, including roll-top baths, handmade four-poster beds and wool blankets that put the cute country twee in tweed. Not much can beat rolling into a hotel bed after a hearty pub meal.

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  • The Mayfield

    Pubs with Rooms
    4.5/5 (165 Reviews)
    Courtesy of Mayfield Hotel / Expedia

    When your locality is as spectacular as North Yorkshire, it’s only right that you put it front and centre in your design scheme. That’s exactly what you get at the Mayfield – a pub with rooms just south of Scarborough in the village of Seamer. Each of its 16 bedrooms features a wall with a spectacular black-and-white scene from the local area, be it Scarborough’s elegant promenade, the atmospheric ruins of its castle or fishing boats bobbing in the North Sea. Teamed with modern furnishings and good pub grub, you’re all set.

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    Palm Court Hotel

    3.9/5 (164 Reviews)
    Courtesy of Palm Court Hotel / Expedia

    Smack bang in Scarborough town centre, the Palm Court Hotel places you in easy access of all the town’s highlights, including the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round (the first of its kind in Britain), Scarborough Cricket Ground and the beautiful South Bay Beach. Inside, you’ll find 40 bedrooms authentically decked out, plus local flavours including Masons Dry Yorkshire Gin and hearty Yorkshire grill breakfasts on the menu.

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    Wrea Head Hall

    Independent Hotel, Luxury
    Map View
    Courtesy of Wrea Head Hall / Expedia

    A hotel befitting Yorkshire’s famous Brontë sisters, Wrea Head Hall in the village of Scalby is a gothic sandstone mansion dating back to 1881, all wood panelling, open fires and uninterrupted views of the North York Moors. Located on Scarborough’s northern edge, here you’ll get all the romance of a country house hotel paired with a healthy dose of decadence courtesy of a fine-dining restaurant, antique furnishings and gold flock wallpaper.

    The Crescent Hotel

    4/5 (43 Reviews)
    Courtesy of The Crescent Hotel / Expedia

    Overlooking Scarborough’s magnificent Crescent Gardens, the Crescent Hotel is located on a Grade II listed Regency street. Jane Austen aesthetics aside, this spot is a great launching point for all Scarborough has to offer, with 20 classically fitted bedrooms (100% hypoallergenic goose down quilts, if you please), spanning executive suites for up to five to cosy singles for a much-needed solitary seaside escape.

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    These recommendations were updated on December 21, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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