From £105
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One of the oldest hotels on the Isle of Wight, the Royal has been welcoming guests for nearly 200 years. Suited waiters, white tablecloths and tiered afternoon teas whisk you back in time, while contemporary-styled rooms provide modern comforts. There are fabulous sea views from many of the rooms, although it's a steep walk to the beach.

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Rooms available from £105 per night

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The seaside town of Ventnor is one of the island's most popular resorts and this historic hotel stands guard over the town below. Perched on the cliff, it commands great views, however there is a busy road that runs between the hotel and the hotel-owned cliff-top viewing platform on the other side. The lovely sandy crescent of the beach is the biggest attraction; the Botanic Gardens are a 15-minute walk away.

By car: 3 hours 30 mins from London via A3. 3 hours from Brighton via A27. All drivers will need to take the Fishbourne - Portsmouth ferry to get to the hotel. There is free parking at the hotel.

By train: From Portsmouth Harbour, change at Ryde Pier Head for Shanklin station (1-hour journey). Shanklin is a 15-minute drive from the hotel. Book trains.

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The hotel was built as a coaching inn in the 1830s and has the grand proportions of the era. The dining room is as big as a ballroom, the reception hall has a parquet floor and vaulted ceiling, while the rooms have large sash windows. The décor is in keeping with the era, while also being fresh and contemporary.


Service here is first-class with just the right amount of staff to keep the place running smoothly; attentive without being obsequious. An outdoor pool is heated from May to October, and there are garden games and board games, as well as and 24-hour room service. You can also charter the Royal Rib for day trips at sea.

  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Outdoor heated swimming pool
  • Boat for charter
  • Family rooms
  • Pet-friendly

  • Family-friendly

  • Free parking

  • Free Wi-Fi


It is worth splashing out for the "prestige" rooms to secure the sea view and more space. Other rooms have views of the garden, although some have no views at all. The décor varies from room to room; perhaps a contemporary floral wallpaper with sedate grey upholstery or full-on flouncy magenta red fabrics and antique furniture.

Room types: Classic, Deluxe, Premier, Family

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom, flat-screen TV, direct dial phone, tea and coffee-making facilities


The hotel restaurant has maintained two AA rosettes for more than 20 years and the food is consistently good. Seafood risottos, cheese soufflé, pan-roasted fish and meltingly soft meats are on the dinner menu. Afternoon tea has been an institution since Queen Victoria's visit and the beer-battered fish and triple-cooked chips are a hit on the lunch menu.

The Royal Kitchen: 2 AA Rosettes, seasonal food including seafood and meats, fine wines, afternoon tea. Children's menus available. Open for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Mains from £18.95.

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