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Built in 1797 to house the officers quarters of the Invicta Barracks, this distinctive lodge is one of the most welcoming hotels in Maidstone. Rather than repelling Napoleonic troops it now serves as relaxing budget accommodation for short breaks and business travel, and is ideally placed for exploring Kent or nearby towns like Chatham and East Malling. The colonial-style building offers 12 comfy rooms and a cosy pub, where you can unwind with a pint of cask ale and some freshly cooked, seasonally inspired food. Maidstone is Kent s business heart, but there s plenty to see and do besides attending an event at the East Malling Conference Centre. It s best known as home to the beautiful Leeds Castle, with its 500 acres of scenic parkland and popular golf course, but you could also enjoy the town s theatres, bars or busy shopping centre. Or you could explore the area via water, taking a canoe along the River Medway or a more leisurely boat trip on the Allington Belle or Kentish Lady.