Life’s a beach

This month Kent specialist rental company and sponsors of our travel section, Bloom Stays, reveal three of their most in-demand luxury coastal holiday homes all perfect for a local getaway…


Summer 2023 is not far off and if you’re looking to stay somewhere that’s stylish and in a great location this summer, then here at Bloom Stays we have some of the best to choose from.

In recent years the lines between boutique hotels and self-catering have been increasingly blurred and for our guests at least, their expectation of ‘special’ has gone up several notches. There’s extra awareness around what the house looks like; what it can do for you and your holiday. The house you choose for your holiday becomes a destination in its own right. In this Insta-age we love a cool stay. Well-thought-out, contemporary homes are a huge draw to a destination.  Here are three of our favourites…


We love Dungeness for many things including its wide-open beach and its ‘end of the world’ feeling, but equally we love that we have ultra-modern North Vat or the restored Coastguard Lookout to choose from. North Vat is the epitome of contemporary cool: a black-clad, modern, clean-lined house.

Coastguard Lookout towers over the southern end of the shore and shares the same contemporary interior feel. But its previous life as a watchtower over the English Channel before the days of radar technology ensures its historic past is never far from view.


Waters Edge at Greatstone is one of those houses that instantly relaxes you. The huge windows overlooking Greatstone Beach draw you to the outside first and even on the greyest of days bring light flooding in.

Beginning its days as a relatively modest single-storey house, Waters Edge has been updated and enlarged over the past year or so. It retains its family feel, but it now sleeps 15 people, so there’s plenty of room for everyone. However, it’s the entertainment factor here that’s been designed into the bones of the house. There’s a games room, a huge kitchen, and large, comfy sofas for dropping into after a day on the beach(es) along this wild and quiet piece of Kentish coastline.

Besides the obvious design credentials in the actual building, Waters Edge has a few artistic touches that allude to its design- conscious interiors. Keep an eye out for two very special original posters from the 1930s which were designed to promote nearby Dungeness and on-the-doorstep Greatstone, especially with the then-new miniature railway. Rescued and hung in Waters Edge, they recall that glamorous earlier age of travel and the ever-present need to bring people to the coast to marvel at it. Previous times, present sentiment.


Away from Dungeness in Camber, Lark Rise is where East Coast American cool meets Camber’s wild ruggedness to create a space that makes you just sit back and relax. It is beautifully designed yet also practical, and certainly not pretentious for its place. Beach houses have to be tough to take whatever the tide can throw at them all year round but they also have to welcome in those elements of light, air and space. Beach houses should shelter and protect, but they should also throw you headlong into that next wave and open up the possibilities of being next to the sea.

This Camber house, one of the largest plots on the famous dunes, was designed by its owners to capture that relaxed ruggedness. The tough, scaffold-board floors ensure it has a hand-built, rough-hewn quality which continues throughout. Even the bedroom walls are clad with hand-sawn timber to continue the surf shack vibe.

Design ideas, such as the triple-height glazed living area echo the roof of the original bungalow that once sat quietly on this site, but the new annexe – a bright yellow painted addition shouts fun and games. It houses a pool table and cinema room, perfectly designed for rainy days where the British weather gives reason to stay in and leave the wetsuits hanging for another day. Colour is key in this house, the bright zingy yellows shout fun and a holiday care-free attitude which is why you’re here, aren’t you? Turquoise greens and Montauk reds weave in faraway vistas.

In the main house, which sleeps six, surfers and skateboarders will love the nod to their sporting glory with vintage boards adorning the walls. Those keen to ensure they get their full R&R may choose the hot tub rather than high tide here.

What a brilliant house to find your art, design and beach fix all in one place. We’re off to find our warmest wetsuits…

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