I had occasion to spend a long weekend in the Royal Hotel in Ventnor. This was my first taste of Ventnor and the Royal.
The hotel is privately owned and to that extent it is magical. It is well appointed and is situated at the Easterly point of the town on high ground facing South East and overlooking the English Channel. If you have not experienced the Isle of Wight, then be aware that road trips are not short - as a general rule take the mileage and multiple by 3 and that is how long it will take you as a minimum. I say this because it will take at least 35 minutes from the ferry to arrive at the hotel. This could be a good thing because it is as far away from Cowes (Cowes week was running when we were there)as you can get and still get a decent bed. There are three places to park; in the entrance drive if you are lucky or disabled, at a car park in front on the other side of the road taking about 8 cars and at the back of the hotel which necessitates the tackling of at least 25 steps in a downwards direction to reach the hotel. The drive parking is policed by reception staff. I witnessed a rather large lady get very obstreperous about moving her car from a spot that had been reserved for a disabled customer; the staff stuck to their guns and insisted the lady move her car. She eventually grudgingly relented and moved her not insignificant mass to undertake the task.
The hotel is Victorian, but has been tastefully decorated and modernized. That said, there is no wifi in the rooms, nor means of plugging into the internet. There is wifi in the main hall and reception areas. In addition, there is no air conditioning in the standard double rooms (not sure about the others). This is normally fine but in hot weather fans can be borrowed from the reception. This can be a nuisance if you need to be cool in order to sleep as the fans make a certain amount of noise. The en suite facilities in each room were good. We stayed in a front facing double room. There are some rooms that face the back - I would not recommend them.
The hotel has a very good restaurant which is frequented by many non residents. There appears to be a sensible rule that children, under a certain age, cannot dine in the restaurant in the evening; they must use the glass entrance area which is nicely laid out with tables.
The Royal also has an outside swimming pool which is well kept and popular in the summer with children. The gardens are in front of the hotel and a pleasure in which to sit on one of the many seats provided. Refreshments can be served outside and even across the road on a private lookout point. The road outside is not very busy but this does not stop the errant youthful motorcyclist who insists on riding without any form of silencer.
The staff are attentive and obviously know the regulars well.
In my opinion the hotel is great for relaxing and also as a civilized base for experiencing the Isle of Wight. It is not a business hotel or one for someone who requires to be plugged in 24/7.
The hotel was on the pricey side; we paid £1000 for 3 nights half board inclusive of a ferry crossing with car from Southampton.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Royal Hotel is one of the Isle of Wight’s Best Kept Secrets – a refined and elegant historic jewel and a destination for the discerning traveller for more than 150 years. This is the island’s leading AA Four Star hotel.Grand yet intimate, this beautiful early Victorian hotel has 54 bedrooms and is set in sub tropical gardens in the seaside town of Ventnor, on the island’s south coast. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Hotel Ventnor
- The Royal Hotel Ventnor, Isle Of Wight