Returning to a familiar name but with a modern makeover for Ramsgate’s Royal Oak Hotel

Stefano Draper heads up the Royal Oak Hotel

Work to modernise the former Thorley Taverns’ hotel on Ramsgate’s Harbour Parade includes a nod to its history by reverting back to the Royal Oak Hotel name.

The 34 bedroom venue has been taken on by Margate dad-of-three Stefano Draper​ who has completed the façade and is working through a refresh of the interiors.

The function room and bar with a balcony overlooking the harbour is open to all on Friday through to Sunday and there are plans to introduce Sunday afternoon teas, a range of events and Stefano is also offering the facilities for chefs to have pop-up nights.

The 48-year-old is no stranger to the hospitality trade having previously owned the Dalby Rooms between 2016 and 2018.

Stefano said: “This is three times the size of my old hotel but it has been well maintained, it was tired but I’m hoping to give it a new lease of life.

“We are bringing it a bit more into the modern age, including with our booking systems and housekeeping apps.

“We have done the front and we are in the process of a programme of works starting with the front, sea view rooms and working our way back.

“We have gone with blue as it is a bit more regal and it gives it an update. We have gone back to the Royal Oak Hotel, being on the marina and harbour it has to be that name.”

Stefano plans to return to the 1930’s style signage which once ran across the front of the Grade II listed property.

The site was known as the Royal Oak Hotel and Royal Oak Tap from 1828 up until the change to Oak Hotel in around 2018. The premises was a Thorley Tavern site up until its sale to Thanet businessman Dayne Gooding last October.

It now houses four independent businesses – with Ronnies cocktail barThe Works café bar, Scott & Mortensens at the former pub unit and the fresh Royal Oak Hotel

Stefano and daughter Jasmin, who is helping to run the business, have taken on around 10 staff for the venture and say working alongside other independents is a positive experience.

Stefano, who was in the Army Reserves during the pandemic and manned the testing station at the port, said: “There are now four new owners on the seafront, all trying to make a go of something and make the harbour area great.

“Ramsgate is a holiday destination, it isn’t just contractors here Monday to Friday, and there a shortage of accommodation.

“Our bookings have been going through the roof.”

The hotel will be busy with veterans this weekend who are in town for Armed Forces Day tomorrow (June 24) and on Sunday there will be a DJ event in the main bar which is open to the public as well as guests.

Stefano is urging any chefs who would like to host a pop-up at the venue to get in touch.

Find the Royal Oak Hotel on facebook here

Or call 02035511182 or email [email protected]


    • Didn’t they have Gadds beer in cask prior to the makeover? If so, then it wouldn’t be a bonus, it would be an essential, non-negotiable fixture

  1. Great, hope the new owners does well.

    The rooms overlooking the harbour offer a beautiful view,well worth paying a little more for those rooms. So unique and the arts barge is now transferred to the slipway artsbarge.

    Have already mentioned and shared your hotel info with people who visit ramsgate like every month.Arty people

  2. I hope it’s a cash-friendly venue. Unlike Little Ships and the Travellers in Italy, which are both card-only

    • Handling cash in hospitality and bar sector has almost dissappeard, rightfully too! How many bar tenders around the world would handle cash then pour drinks while touching top of glasses, server’s taking cash and delivering food… all of this can be saved for backstreet dives and Wetherspoons no doubt!

  3. Great accommodation, stayed quite a few nights recently , great host, nothing is to much trouble, free upgrade a few times, lovely hotel, will only get better and better. Good luck with the bar and food

  4. I wish them all the luck in the world and they will need it if Manston re-opens! If and its unlikely I grant, Manston re-opens then dirty old cargo aircraft will fly over Ramsgate harbour at less than 300 meters high, almost within touching distance of guests at the hotel! A few nights of these flying over the harbour, and guests will soon fly too, and never come back. Both of Thanet’s chocolate tea pot MP’s are promoting the re-opening of Manston, the traitors, which will destroy the harbour, the town, and every property in the CT11 postal code area!

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