With stunning views, its own beach, six hole golf course and helipad to boot, The Priory Bay Hotel in Seaview is the perfect retreat to while away the weekend.
From the minute you pass through the gate and wend your way up the drive past the verdant six hole golf course you feel your cares start to fade away. The Priory Hotel is the jewel in the Island’s crown offering chic yet relaxed accommodation, both in the hotel and onsite in the converted Tithe Barns and one of their three luxury yurts.
Set within 60 acres of woodlands and landscaped gardens, the Hotel is the self styled ‘Country House Hotel by the Sea’ and it certainly lives up to its own ego. The Hotel is a medley of beautifully restored and decorated buildings combining Tudor and Georgian architecture, while its grounds boast a golf course, private beach, tennis courts, croquet and outdoor swimming pool.
Guests may even arrive by helicopter if desired, with the required coordinates for the hotel’s helipad available to ensure safe arrival.
The hotel’s history is a long and prestigious one, built upon the site of a Monastery pre dating the Doomsday Book, the oldest surviving buildings at the Priory Bay Hotel date from about 1100, and are believed to have been part of the original Priory Farm. The imposing Tithe Barn, though now in ruin, was originally constructed in the 13th century and reconstructed in 1749.
On arrival you enter under a 14th century portal, before checking in and being shown to your room, all of which have their own distinctive character and are superbly decorated with a mix of styles and eclectic furniture; both antique and new.
For the ultimate experience opt for a Principal room with roll top free standing bath at the foot of the bed, or if you are visiting with children, family rooms are available and a babysitter can be arranged to allow you to escape down to the restaurant for dinner.
Dining is an absolute must when visiting the Priory Bay with all tastes catered for. The gastronomic experience has entered a whole new phase with the arrival of Head Chef Olly Stephens in 2012. Having completed his apprenticeship at the Priory Bay, Olly returns to the hotel hot from 9 years globe trotting at some of the worlds best restaurants from the Michelin starred restaurants Roussillon in London, and Hotel de Crillon in Paris and most recently at 2 starred Noma in Copenhagen.
For a formal dining experience, the Regency-muralled Island Room showcases Head Chef Olly’s talents with an exciting and innovative tasting menu.
Or try the more relaxed brasserie-style Priory Oyster, which specialises in fresh fish and seafood – eat in or move out through the restaurant’s French windows onto the terrace. On a sunny eve you can creep out onto the terrace and enjoy an aperitif while looking out to sea, or on those hot summer nights, why not explore the grounds and slope off down to the private beach with a bottle of something chilled to watch the sunset?
Whether popping in for a light lunch alfresco on the terrace, grabbing a delicious sandwich or opting for the full tasting menu experience all the dishes are well conceived and beautifully balanced. A myisleofwight favourite is the Priory High Tea – but substitute the champagne with a Hendrix Gin to accompany the cucumber and juniper sandwiches – yum.
The Priory Bay is the essence of country house chic, having retained many of its original features, it is a place of huge personality. Whether playing croquet on the lawn, taking a dip in the pool or relaxing in one of the drawing rooms, the ambience, coupled with the friendly and engaging staff, make you feel so at home you may never want to leave.