Quirky Boatels: Britain’s Best Boat Hotels

By Lottie Woodrow | 17th May 2024

Ahoy there! On the search for a quirky holiday experience this summer? Embark on a trip across the seven seas (almost) with a stay at one of Britain’s best boat hotels, or boatels as we like to call them.

From luxurious London yachting hotels to hobbit-inspired narrowboats, here’s where to jump on board a ship.

Top Boat Hotels In The UK

The Boathouse London - boat hotel
The Boathouse London - boat hotel

The Boathouse London 

For those on the search for a quirky holiday experience but don’t want to forgo the hotel luxuries, The Boathouse London is the boutique hotel experience you never knew existed. Docked in the Floating Pocket Park in west London, the hotel was originally built in partnership with MADE.COM and boasts quirky Scandinavian-style interiors. You’ll be left lusting over the white tiled bathroom and cosy living room wood burner.

Although originally designed as a one-bedroom barge, the hotel can house up to four sleepers so it’s the perfect quirky hotel stay for families or for a night to remember with your friends. See a new side to London while you float on board the ship, I mean, barge.

The Floating Pocket Park, Merchant Square, Paddington, W2 1JX

Sunborn hotel, London - boat hotel
Sunborn hotel, London - boat hotel

Sunborn Hotel

For a truly luxurious boating hotel experience, you’ll want to jump on board the Sunborn hotel, London’s finest yacht hotel. 

Famous for its beautiful sauna and pool area, Sunborn Hotel will provide you with a safe space away from the windy, and often dreary British weather. Inside, you’ll be able to relax aboard the ship and gaze out from your room deck at London’s soaring skyline. It looks even more special at nighttime with the twinkling lights. Close your eyes and you might even be able to pretend the yacht is your own… 

Royal Victoria Dock, Western Gateway, E16 1AA

Good Hotel at the Royal Victoria Dock - boat hotel
Good Hotel at the Royal Victoria Dock - boat hotel

Good Hotel London

Is there a hotel or restaurant you always walk past but have never actually experienced? For us, it’s the Good Hotel at the Royal Victoria Dock. Since arriving in 2016 following its epic journey from Brazil to Amsterdam to finally arriving in London, it’s sparked up a serious hub of activity. The floating hotel recently underwent a refresh under their new ‘sleep good, do good’ campaign. 

Inside interiors inspired by Dutch design, with ensuite bathrooms featuring walk-in rain showers, while outside you can spend your evening looking out over the London skyline while sipping on a cocktail or two on the terrace bar.

Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1FA

Woodfarm Barges. - boat hotel
Woodfarm Barges. - boat hotel

Woodfarm Barges

Escape the city and embark on a rural countryside adventure when you step aboard ship on one of the Woodfarm Barges. Here you’ll find two barges that have been converted into modern, floating holiday ‘cottages’. On board, there’s a real home-away-from-home vibe expressed through the modern and cosy interiors.

One of the barges is docked in the historic village of Snape Maltings, famous for its little farmers market and the other barge is located in the market town of Woodbridge. Both are equally as wonderful to experience and explore.

Woodbridge / Snape Maltings, Suffolk

Boutique Houseboat - boat hotel
Boutique Houseboat - boat hotel

Boutique Houseboat

As soon as we saw this little houseboat we fell in love. With views overlooking Stourbridge Common and just a short walk from the hub of Cambridge city centre, this little boutique houseboat is perfect for those wanting a UK escape but still want to be at the centre of a city atmosphere. You’ll soon fall in love with its narrow ways, wooden quirks and cosy bedroom. 

Cambridge, United Kingdom

Secret Water, Beccles - boat hotel
Secret Water, Beccles - boat hotel

Secret Water

Explore the best of the Suffolk scenery with a floating trip to Secret Water in Beccles.

This little floating glamping pod sleeps up to four guests and is the perfect spot to cosy up with friends and family while on a rural staycation this summer. Enjoy breakfast at the breakfast bar and just imagine sipping on Prosecco on the deck front. It’s just a 20 minute drive from the little seaside town of Southwold too, perfect.

Beccles, Suffolk

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