Boutique B&B's The Windsor Carlton in Ventnor

A large imposing four floor 'gothic revival' building looking down on Ventnor Haven from the middle of Alexandra Terrace houses the stylish Windsor Carlton guest house. You can easily make out this line of houses from the bottom of the Cascade as they are the only ones with little hexagon turrets on the roofs and they stand proudly above the Winter Gardens.

Number five, The Windsor Carlton, has five en-suite rooms with four having views of the sea and one looking out on the imposing St Boniface Downs that loom over Ventnor as it tumbles down the hill toward the shore. The guest house has recently been refurbished in a classic modern style and one room even has a four poster bed, Caroline, which also has a bay window with 180 degree view of the garden and the sea beyond and is decorated in Sanderson’s fabric and wallpaper designed by William Morris in his Acanthus design for a real period feel.

This is an adults only guest house, so your slumbers will not be interrupted by the patter of little feet on the staircase. Speaking of which, it is apparently the only original staircase in this row of houses in Alexandra Terrace to survive intact. As was the fashion amongst the middle classes of the day, the pitch pine balustrade and handrails have been painted to resemble burr walnut.

The current owners, Paul and Ann Hutchins, have discovered a great deal about the house since purchasing it in 2003 and participate in English Heritage open days throughout the year. In a film produced on one of these tours, which you can view on their website, you can see that the rooms on the ground and first floor have high skirting boards and attractive Victorian covings and large ceiling roses adorned with acanthus leaves around the light fittings.

This terrace was originally built in 1868 on the former site of the town's mill and mill pond, and when completed each floor would have housed a suite of rooms. Number five was at that time called Enville House and the first reference to this was made in the Kelly's Directory of 1888, when a Mrs Roff ran it as a lodging house.

Now a top of the range boutique bed and breakfast establishment, you can enjoy all the heritage with all the mod cons as well. Wireless internet access is available in all bedrooms and public areas, while all double rooms have DVD & CD playing televisions – so bring your favourite films and music to unwind.

Guests can also enjoy the cliff top garden with views along the coastline to the headland of Steephill Cove. And if heading out beach towels are available free of charge and bike hire can be arranged and picnic lunch hampers supplied, making this the perfect base to explore Ventnor and the Undercliff.

Prices range from £35 per night for a single room (Eva) in low season to £99 per night for either of the bay window/sea view rooms in high season.

Windsor Carlton, 5 Alexandra Gardens, Ventnor, Isle of Wight, PO38 1EE, 01983 852543,

Top Tip: Treat yourself to dinner at Fogg’s of Ventnor just a few streets away on the High Street - for a fantastic fusion of world cuisine and a great value Menu Prix Fixe at £15 for two courses.

Jo Macaulay

21 April 2016

By Jo Macaulay in Articles