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It was raining when we set off for our few days away wondering why we hadn't gone abroad. When we arrived Paul showed us around his luxurious establishment our mood improved. Our room was lovely; the view perfect, the breakfast superb. They even sorted out a ferry crossing problem before we even ...
An increasing number of holidaymakers are heading for the Isle of Wight each year in search of something special. Offering a unique medley of dramatic, chalky cliffs, pristine beaches and unspoiled countryside, the island has a way of satisfying all who venture over from the mainland. To add to its superb natural beauty, the Isle of Wight also has more than its fair share of exquisite five star hotels.
Those looking for accommodation with a certain charm, x-factor or a little touch of 'je ne sais quoi' (we're not that far from the coast of France, after all!) needn't stray far from sunny Ryde to have their prayers answered. The Ryde Castle Hotel is as dramatic and opulent as it sounds, set in a unique and spacious Victorian property. The five star hotel sits right on the seafront, proffering stunning views out across the marina. The recently refurbished rooms are tastefully decorated, and the restaurant's traditional English menu is a delicious way to start or finish the day.
The Victorian seaside town of Ryde is a delight. The seafront is well served for kids' activities, from the fun fair to the canoeing lake. When the tide goes out, the vast expanse of sand makes a truly unique playground for all the family.
There's something about the Isle of Wight that feels intimate. Perhaps it's the lack of any large towns or cities, or the friendly nature of the locals. Either way, it seems fitting when visiting the island to seek out some friendly accommodation, with no compromise on quality. Koala Cottage is the Isle of Wight's first five star B&B. With just three deluxe suites, guests are guaranteed a peaceful stay, with all their needs catered for by the welcoming guests.
Breakfast is a particular highlight at Koala Cottage, with the hosts cooking up a veritable feast of locally sourced, free-range ingredients. In recognition of the kitchen's excellence, the hotel has been given a AA breakfast award.
The B&B is situated in the sleepy village of Godshill, not far from the east coast. Highlights of the pretty village include one of the country's finest model villages.
Across the Isle of Wight, visitors are bombarded with breath-taking natural beauty. From the rolling inland hills to the dramatic coastal landscapes, there's no respite from the beauty. The Hillside Hotel in Ventnor continues the aesthetic onto its own grounds.
The hotel is set within a gorgeous 18th century Georgian property. The south-facing aspect means that the gardens are bathed in sun throughout the summer months, and the views down to the ocean and town are marvellous. It's not only the guests who come to relish the garden, either The woodlands are inhabited by all kinds of wildlife, from red squirrels and black sheep to butterflies.
The hotel's restaurant offers sumptuous French cuisine with a Scandinavian twist. The hotel is featured in a number of good food guides.
If you can prise yourself away from the exquisite accommodation, the nearby town of Ventnor has plenty to offer. The Victorian town centres life around the seafront, where visitors can walk along the bustling esplanade, finding plenty of places to eat and drink along the way. A favourite with tourists, the town is home to some of the finest hotels on the Isle of Wight.