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Ventnor Towers Hotel
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Reviews (207)
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All reviewsfamily roombest western hoteldining roomswimming poolfaded grandeurisle of wightextensive groundsthe cliffgood quality ingredientsadds to its charmwedding receptionviews are fantasticstay somewhere elsemobile phone signalhomely feelsea wallvictorian hotel
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Reviewed 30 October 2011

We decided, at very short notice, to visit the Isle of Wight, with our 14 year old granddaughter, during the recent half-term holiday. We had a little difficulty finding a suitable hotel, but the Ventnor Towers had a three-person room available for the four days in question. We had read the reviews, and balanced the positives and the negatives, so decided to confirm the booking and go with an open mind.
On balance, this hotel has a lot going for it, but there are shortcomings. Some would be easy to address, but others are going to take substantial investment and time. So; what's good, and what's not so good? The owners, and most of their staff are delightful, they are pleasant, polite, and eager to please. Breakfast is served in a spacious room which gives great sea views from virtually every table. There is a reasonable selection of self-serve cereals, juices, yoghurt, fruit, and preserves. Hot croissants and danish pastries are available on request. The cooked breakfast is of good quality and good portions. It is cooked to order, but this does cause rather a longish wait for service, particularly if two or three table groups arrive close together.
We ate dinner once only in the hotel, and this was rather a disappointment. The table d'hote menu was very short and unimaginative and rather expensive at £21 a head for three basic courses. My main course was scampi and chips with peas. It seemed as though the scampi was a standard supermarket product, and the chips were definitely frozen. How difficult is it to provide proper chips? That alone would be a real enhancement to a simple meal.
Our room was on the top floor, and be warned! There is no lift, and it was a long, long trudge up for my 70 year old knees. Although John, the proprietor, did take up our luggage himself. The room, no:18, was reasonable. It had a good sea view, and a small, but pleasant, sheltered balcony with two chairs, which we were able to use each evening while we had a pre-bedtime snifter. The beds were comfortable and the bathroom was large, but there were many indicators of a hotel much in need of maintenance. The television was tiny and very old, rain leaked in through the ceiling during a heavy storm, there was only one bedside table, no light bulb in one of the bedside lamps, and no telephone in the room. The shower consisted of a hand-held spray device which could only be parked on the wall at knee level. But, unforgiveably, the servicing of the room was abysmal. Bed making was cursory. The outer cover was very neatly rearranged, but hid the barely straightened sheet beneath. Towels were never changed, nor even tidied on the rails, and the sycamore seeds that were on the bathroom floor when we arrived were still there when we left.
So what's the verdict? Well, we did have rather a pleasant stay. There is something endearing about the staff, the resident chocolate labrador, and the general atmosphere in the hotel. But would I go back, or recommend the hotel to friends? No. I'm afraid I wouldn't. I am too fond of a good hot shower every morning. I like to pick from imaginative menus when I am on holiday. And I couldn't face those stairs again.
But you must decide for yourself. There is certainly something going for the hotel. Lots of people seem to love the faded grandeur, but it's just a little too faded for me. However! Who knows? If I was to read that the place had been renovated, under the same management, I just might be tempted back.

Room Tip: It's a long way up to the top floor if you are in later years, although the view is spectacular
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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8  Thank granfavas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2011

The reviews are a bit mixed, and the hotel certainly is a little faded, dated & shabby in places but if you want a warm welcoming, charming hotel experience, comfortable stay, loads of amenities (especially for the kids), a good view/location and nice/friendly/helpful staff/owners then this may be the place for you.    

The gardens are immense & nice, we had our drinks there watching the lovely sunset over the English channel.   Certainly if we had time or were at a loose end there was much to do around the hotel such as the tennis court/table tennis/pitch & putt/football pitch & swimming pool in the summer.   Our room was clean, modern & comfortable overlooking the terrace/garden.  Our only gripe was the tv was quite small & had a indoor analog arial, the reception was quite poor,  if we had been staying more than 1 night this would have detracted from our stay.  

I hope they do get round to remodeling/updating the decor as I think then this will be perfect.  
I would recommend it & if we have another short break definitely consider going back. 

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank obliqua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2011

When I first read the reviews I was afraid of what I was going to find but finally Ventnor Towers is a wonderfully charming hotel!! Ok it might not be the most modern hotel on Earth but it's all the more charming! We had a very spacious family bedroom with an en-suite bathroom. Everything was cleaning! My 2 daughters enjoyed the toys to play and the home-made chicken nuggets at the restaurant. The food was delicious! We had 3 dinners there and the menu was differnt each time and truely good and healthy!
We will go back that's for sure! The owners, Pauline and John are adorable people who were much more than hotel owners, they are here to satisfy their clients (by cleaning and drying my children's clothes after the beach, lending us towels for the swimming pool...).

Room Tip: Room n°3 is a very large family room with views to the ocean.
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank Pigwidgeon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2011

Stayed here for 3 nights. Owners and staff incredibly friendly and helpful. Hotel is a bit run-down, but clean and in the most beautiful location with fabulous views of Ventnor. The breakfasts were large and delicious and the overall feeling was relaxed and enjoyable. Would recommend. Lovely lovely people.....

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank abbie b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2011

The bedroom furnishings and fittings are dated, and the bar is tired, and the front view of the hotel is disappointing. HOWEVER, the grounds and staff made up for this. The communal lounge is well furnished and very comfortable, the owners are lovely people, and they have the most laid back dog I've ever met! the gardens are a little overgrown but my children loved exploring it and the freedom to roam. (Parents of younger children beware -tthe lawn ends on the cliff top and the fence is rickety). There's even an area for kids to play football. The pool is beautifully kept. There are a few things which could easily be done to improve the overall appearance without too much expense - the hotel sign had a plywood panel covering the old Best Western logo; there was a broken pane of glass in the toilet (?) window; there were old dining room chairs piled up in an open store room by the garden path; and stacked chairs at the side of the dining room which make it feel like a school or village hall. The views are fabulous though, and the cliff walk to Ventnor is lovely though not do-able in the dark! Our family room was very spacious with great views on three sides. My children really want to go back there! One other thing - the coat and hat stand in the hall would look lovely with some character hats and walking sticks in it, rather than sadly empty.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank Fuspots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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