British boltholes: The Yarrow, Broadstairs, Kent: hotel review

October 3, 2016

East Kent further education college has its own hotel, restaurant and spa, where students learn on the job. A great idea that makes for an enjoyable, endearing stay

The Yarrow looks unremarkable. OK, the building is Grade II-listed and has an interesting history: it was built in 1894 as a convalescent home for children, by shipbuilder Sir Alfred Yarrow, who declared Broadstairs the healthiest place in Britain. But heritage buildings are turned into hotels every five minutes; we don’t seem to know what else to do with them. On the inside, too, it ticks the boutique boxes without much wow factor.

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But appearances can be deceiving. This hotel is the only one in the country owned by a further education college and run by its students. What a brilliant idea by East Kent College! Why farm out students for work experience when they can graft right on campus, and bring in a few quid? After years of cuts, cash-strapped colleges need all the help they can get (though the government’s Skills Funding Agency did chip in for the £11m refurb).

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