Nestled at the end of a serene cul-de-sac in Shanklin, England's Isle of Wight, Haven Hall Hotel is a resplendent retreat that transports its discerning guests to the enchanting Edwardian era.
Run by proprietors David and Arielle Barratt, this Arts and Crafts country house underwent a meticulous four-year, £7,000,000 renovation in 2017. The culmination of this effort is a place of allure where Lutyens-inspired architectural elements harmonise with exuberant gardens.
Arielle, an alumna of the Slade School of Fine Art, personally curates an eclectic selection of artefacts, from Royal Doulton figurines to opulent chaise longues, and crafted the quilted bed runners adorning all 14 bedrooms. The ambiance exudes elegance in every corner, and the proprietors, David and Arielle, extend personable service.
Gardens of splendour, a serene heated pool, and a picturesque tennis court
This sprawling estate has welcomed stars such as the actor Colin Firth and boasts a range of amenities, including a heated swimming pool, an intimate honesty bar, and a lush tennis court. Sun loungers command vistas reminiscent of the Côte d'Azur, while a sauna offers respite during cooler weather. A charming gazebo provides the perfect setting for a cup of coffee. Guests are welcome to brew their coffee or tea in the reception room or poolside, where tranquillity reigns, making it an ideal spot to finish that long-awaited novel or simply bask in the sun.
A helipad within the hotel's two-acre grounds beckons to those seeking an aerial arrival, while the gardens, crowned
Best Hotel Garden on the Isle of Wight,
flourish in resplendent grandeur.
Sumptuous bedrooms: The Lewis Carroll room
The sea-facing garden rooms offer a divine awakening, and the Lewis Carroll room, with its vintage William Morris décor and sparkling chandelier, is one of its enchanting options. Modern conveniences, including a Nespresso machine and kettle, are thoughtfully provided and attention to detail abounds, from Cantuccini biscuits gracing your tea tray to the exquisite Penhaligon's toiletries adorning the marble-decked bathrooms. Guests can also opt for apartments or studios, complete with kitchens, while designated rooms ensure that four-legged companions are welcome. Upon arrival, guests are often greeted by Maizie, David and Arielle's adorable labradoodle.
The Lewis Carroll bedroom at Haven Hall Hotel
Delightful breakfasts with expansive garden views
As dawn heralds a new day, anticipation builds for breakfast. Guests are welcomed into a sunlit living room or, weather permitting, the garden. A cornucopia of treats awaits, from sourdough bread to fresh fruits, croissants, and locally sourced sausages. Serenity reigns here, encouraging you to linger over coffee before embarking on the day's adventures. David, the owner, often joins guests to offer recommendations or share intriguing tales of his family history; his father was Sir Lawrie Barratt, the visionary behind Barratt Homes.
There is no restaurant at Haven Hall unfortunately, but David generously shares a list of his favoured island restaurants with guests before arrival. Advanced reservations are encouraged especially during the summer months.
Invigorating hiking adventures near the hotel
Haven Hall Hotel is ideally situated for nature enthusiasts who relish long coastal walks and other outdoor pursuits. Stroll left along the coastal path toward Yaverland Beach, nestled between Sandown and the cliffs of Culver Down and take a refreshing swim before embarking on an exhilarating clifftop walk leading to Yarborough Monument, a tribute to Lord Yarborough. The hour-and-a-half journey from the hotel is rewarded with a delightful drink and snack stop at the monument's kiosk or a visit to The Culver Haven Inn, a nearby pub.
Another option is the coastal path leading to the village of Ventnor, which also offers breathtaking views. The Tennyson Trail was named after the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson and takes you through forests and ancient burial sites and provides views of The Needles, a row of stacks of chalk emerging from the sea.
There are plenty of other attractions to see on the island including Osborne House, a 30-minute drive away from the hotel, a magnificent summer residence that was built for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in the 19th century.
How to reach Haven Hall Hotel
The journey to the Isle of Wight from London itself is an adventure. You can opt for a thrilling helicopter ride or savour the scenic beauty of a ferry trip For a straightforward route, take a train from London Waterloo to Portsmouth Harbour, then board a Wightlink foot passenger ferry. Upon arrival on the Isle of Wight, a 20-minute taxi ride transports you to Haven Hall Hotel.
Accommodation prices at Haven Hall Hotel range from £420 per night, including breakfast, for the generously sized and elegant Winston Churchill bedroom to £1,250 per night for the penthouse suite, featuring two bedrooms, a spacious living area, and a fully-equipped modern kitchen.
Note that the hotel is closed between October 1 2023 to March 27 2024.
The bottom line
A heavenly oasis of tranquillity, Haven Hall Hotel offers the perfect respite from London. From its resplendent gardens to its elegant rooms, every aspect of the hotel exudes a sense of serenity enveloped by the harmonious beauty of its surrounding gardens.
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