Jewel In the Island’s Crown...The Royal Hotel, Ventnor

Nestled in the Victorian seaside town of Ventnor, on the southern tip of the Island,  is a glorious jewel in the metaphorical crown. Built in 1832, it is one of the oldest hotels and has been a popular magnet for the cosmopolitan. The Royal also claims a very rare honour of being handpicked by the Michelin Guide every year since it was first published over 100 years ago. Even Tatler Magazine heralds the hotel as elegant and truly stylish.

The building itself is situated in stunning sub tropical gardens with outstanding views of the Ventnor coastline and the deftly styled interior, part of an on-going revamp, has brought The Royal bang up-to-date with an eclectic mix of modern classic furnishings.

The Royal’s first class service and attention to detail has scooped up a Certificate of Excellence Award 2015 from the people’s own trusted website Trip Advisor. One good reason for The Royal’s continued success is the owner, William Bailey who hails from a family of top hoteliers. So take note that each member of staff greets you with a warm welcome and waiting staff don some of the finest, crisp white linen aprons.

But beyond the elegant refinement of this handsome establishment, The Royal is a champion of outstanding local food (it even employs its own local fisherman to catch bass, plaice and skate). It's also the first hotel on the Island to achieve Four AA Stars, and has held 2 AA Rosettes for the past 20 years. Glowing endorsements abound from the Michelin Guide and Good Food Guide to The Times and Daily Telegraph, where the hotel’s fine sophistication, excellent modern British food and green credentials impress.

Head chef, Steven Harris maintains a high-end culinary tradition of excellence in the kitchen, onto the plate. Most of the meat, game and vegetables come from local farms and small producers, usually within a five-mile radius. Vegetable scraps are turned into compost to mulch and fertilise the garden, where the kitchen team have planted an organic soft fruit garden to produce the ingredients for summer pudding and jams and preserves throughout the year.

It’s easy to see why the majority of The Royal’s guests eat in and enjoy these culinary delights. The last bastion of a bygone era is the enormous formal dining area, the Royal Hotel Restauant, serves a table d'hote menu daily from 6.45pm - 8.45pm and costs £40.00 for 3 courses or £31.00 for 2 courses. Here you can dine on some exquisite local food (try the pan fried sea bass with some fennel risotto and asparagus).

Or opt for lunch in the Bar or Brasserie and sample The Royal Set menu at £16 for two courses, or £21.00 for three courses.  In summer, you can dine on the geranium filled terrace or feast on a delicious Afternoon Tea otherwise known as cake o’clock (3pm-5pm) and nosh on incredible hand-made cakes, dainty sandwiches and miniature pastries, freshly baked scones all created by the talented patisserie chef.

Staying at the hotel offers plenty of choice too, with a wonderful pick of 53 individually styled en suite bedrooms from premier and family rooms to deluxe and classic rooms. Each has a tone of Art Deco or English country house with a contemporary twist using opulent fabrics, interesting prints and carefully chosen accessories. Tea and coffee making facilities, a high tech flat screen television and direct dial telephone, add to a sense of sumptuous comfort. What’s more, most of the principal bedrooms, offer wonderful views over the picturesque garden and Ventnor Bay.

The Royal also warmly welcomes families with the Classic family rooms, which cater for two adults and three children. For parents with babies, there are baby listening facilities and a children's high tea in the early evening. The wonderful heated outdoor pool is open from April to September and another hugely enjoyable pastime is an aperitif on the terrace looking directly out over the sea.

See more information on The Royal Hotel


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Jo Macaulay

17 April 2016

By Jo Macaulay in Articles