Actually it's "We'll Be Back Again". And not for the first time. This review might be in the "couples" category, because this latest visit was just me and the missus. However in the past, my in-laws and the pooch have come along as well. They too love the old Harrow Lodge as much as Myself and Linda (the long suffering other half) do.
I (We) first stayed at this particular Hotel in 2005 - although I have always loved Shanklin since boyhood anyway The first thing to say about Harrow Lodge is that it represents excellent value for money.The Car Ferry package is always worth having. Right that's the monetary biz out of the way.
The "Harrow" also has one of the best locations and outlooks in this lovely old town of character and characters. The view looking out to the open sea from either the bar area or perhaps your balcony room - if you have one - is stunning and instantly relaxing.
To your left you can also gaze towards Culver Down. I recommend visiting the top of "The White Cliffs Of Culver" whilst on the IOW. Again, the view is wonderful. In the other direction beyond the lovely cliff-top "Keats Green" is Knock Cliff and an ambience of complete contrast. Whilst Culver Cliff is white - Knock Cliff/Yellow Ledge is golden, mixed with dark blueish clay. A walk along the beach in the morning in that direction towards Luccombe - is well worth it , via Horse Ledge (a flat rock juts into the sea just here). Apparently its possible to walk right the way through to Ventnor along the coastline, for people with those sort of ambitions.
Anyway back at the Hotel. Grub great. We always have both the brekky and evening meal and our family reckon the food is always wholesome, tasty, home-cooked stuff. All the chefs are good but special mention must be made here of the lovely Gina. Gina used to chef much of the time at this hotel and still does sometimes.
However all the staff are versatile and work as a proper team - much like a family. Many staff stay and work here for years on end - just like most of the guests that come back year upon year for a vacation. Alan, his wife Lyn and family, should have full credit for what they have made of Harrow Lodge, since taking it over in 1988. Alan in fact is one of those people who loved the Island so much when first visiting - that he bought the Harrow Lodge business and came to live at Shanklin where he himself enjoyed so many wonderful holidays (well "most of 'em anyway" - he tells me).
The staff in fact, interact with the guests and locals very naturally and we've had so many laughs here.The most recent was this year, when myself and Linda locked ourselves out on the balcony and had to call down to the cliff railings opposite - for someone to go into reception and relay our predicament - so that we could get back in. This caused great hilarity down in the bar & reception area that morning. After all what are holidays for - and we have always, without fail, been happy staying here.
In fact I would much rather have the family atmosphere and character that goes right alongside a place such as Harrow Lodge, than somewhere overpriced and soulless.
The Harrow Lodge Hotel, is most certainly not one of those. I personally would rather stay here, than anywhere else in town. Chris Newman & Linda (Southampton).
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- Also Known As:
- The Harrow Hotel Shanklin
- The Harrow Lodge Hotel Shanklin, Isle Of Wight