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"An Original Enid Blyton Style Getaway…"
Just got back from a lovely break at this hotel with our 3 children. It's been the most relaxing break we've had since having the children. It's fantastically old fashioned with a real sense of faded glory but this gave it a special quirky appeal - as if you were visiting an aged aunt's old palace tucked away in the countryside. It has a stunning setting with beautiful gardens set right on the coast - even a little woodland walk down to it's own secret cove on the beach. The children had the best time ever, made some great friends and begged us not to leave. We'd love to return to this all-original shabby chic hotel. Perhaps not appropriate for folks expecting a posh boutique style hotel.Read moreLess
"We stayed here for 4 nights (June offer was 4…"
We stayed here for 4 nights (June offer was 4 for price of 3) and thought it was an excellent option if you really want a 'holiday' (unlike what we did the week prior to staying here, which was a self-catering cottage - very nice but I cook and clean just like I do at home so its not that much of a break for me)
The hotel is quite grand but ruined somewhat by the ugly extension on the front. The owner/manager is a lovely man. Bit eccentric but tries very hard to help in any way he can. The girl waitressing/cleaning the rooms was also lovely. Worked very hard and theres nothing so wonderful as leaving your room in a mess and coming back to have it all neatly tidied away. Was a bit wierd for me at first, and I told her not to bother on the second day but she just said 'but its your holiday and its my job!' which is fair point
We had a set of rooms on the west wing, which was very nice. although the carpet in the bathroom was drenched every night by our two littlies. There is no shower (there was one of those old fashioned rubber shower heads you attach to taps in our room) but if you really want one, you can use the ones at the pool. The bed was very comfy. Curtains thick (but not enough to blackout the kids room - I brought my own blackout fabric to clip to them) The kids room was fine - wooden cot (bit like the ones you get a centreparcs) and 3 beds, although we only needed one. chest of drawers for their stuff. Small TV in main bedroom had terrible reception - we could just about see cbeebies! No fridge - probably for a good reason as they dont want food all over the bedrooms. I took carton milk for my little one and just washed his bottles in the sink.
The babysitting service worked fine. We were really apprehensive at first, but calmed down a bit, and the kids were out for the count every night anyway. The kids dinners were nice, although too much salt in the potatoes. Usually two hot options, and plenty of puddings to go round. The adult meals were also nice, although often slightly odd, always immaculately cooked and presented beautifully. The addition of a soup course was probably a bit much for me, but tasted lovely. Highly seasoned though. Not quite a restaurant, but as near as you're going to get by being in the same building as your children! Breakfasts you have the option of cooked, then plenty of cereals and fruit and toast.
The grounds are fantastic for exploring children - the woods are vast and its not a long walk to the sea. The play area was fun for the kids, although a bit big for my one year old (not that he cared - he gave it a shot anyway) and the pool was fun for them. (you can borrow fluffy white towels - you dont need your own from your room) The soft play area is small, but a great option for a rainy day. We had the magician after tea one one evening, which the 4 year old enjoyed, but the 1 year old wasnt interested in, and another evening we played bingo, where all the kids won a chocolately prize. I think the most appealling thing for the kids actually was the presence of other children to play with. For us we found that after dinner, it was also nice to chat to some of the other parents.
Ventnor is a beautiful location, although not the best beach for kids (I'd put Sandown high on that list) . The glassworks is a five minute walk around the corner (free with voucher from free booklets on ferries) and my 4 year old surprisingly enjoyed watching them making things. Again, had to keep the 1 year old out of there!
The only issue I had perhaps was that my kids wake up at the crack of dawn, and it would have been nice to be able to take them to play in park, but it was all locked up at that time (access is through the bar) You arent supposed to use the soft play until after 8am. One solution was to get them in the car and drive to the Botanical Gardens, which are free, and open!
I really would like to go back. Its not cheap, but then you are paying for the luxury of 'evenings' out. Well almost. And for someone else to clean your mess. For me that made it worth it.Read moreLess
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