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Best Isle of Wight hotels 2024: Where to stay for great food and beach views

From The Needles to Osborne House, if you’re exploring the Isle of Wight, complete your visit with a stay at one of the island’s stylish hotels

Mark Rowe
Thursday 28 September 2023 10:14 BST
Fantastic sea views are never far away, wherever you’re staying on the island
Fantastic sea views are never far away, wherever you’re staying on the island (Photo by Lison Zhao on Unsplash)

If you’re after a year-round holiday destination in the UK, the Isle of Wight is pocket-sized yet picturesque – and it’s only two hours from London.

Once famous for being a bucket-and-spade, budget destination, the island – the second-most populous in England – has reinvented itself as a place for a stylish sojourn by the sea. It now offers an impressive array of food and drink spots (more than 50 independent producers, at the last count).

Known for The Needles, beautiful beaches and pretty promenades – alongside gorgeous countryside and colourful gardens – there’s something for everyone.

As for where to stay, several island hotels used lockdown to refurbish, clear out the mothballs and pull themselves out of their 1970s torpor with impeccable style. Some are swish and sleek, others ooze history and character. Wherever you’re planning to stay, from the north in Cowes to the west in Yarmouth, or Ventnor in the south, you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay.

Here’s our round-up of the best hotels on the island, where you can enjoy a sundowner while drinking in the views.

Best family hotel: Luccombe Hall Hotel

Location: Shanklin

Fancy afternoon tea with a sea view? (

Originally built in 1870 as the Summer Palace for the Bishop of Portsmouth, Luccombe Hall enjoys what its original incumbent must have deemed a heavenly location at the southern end of Sandown Bay (which is more than five miles long), with views all the way to the north end of the beach at Culver Down.

The hotel has an indoor and outdoor pool, large gardens with a giant chess and draughts set, a mini putting green and an children’s outdoor play area, making it a great choice for families.

Rooms are decorated tastefully with ocean-blue tongue-and-groove furnishings and many have balconies. For a treat, book a garden room with a hot tub and a view of the sea.

There’s a short but excellent menu, which you can enjoy in the aptly monikered Grand View restaurant.

Best retro hotel: The Northbank Hotel

Location: Seaview

Tucked away in Seaview, this makes for a charming stay (Northbank)

Entered from a narrow lane off Seaview’s genteel high street, the Victorian-built Northbank Hotel stands above the shore, with the hotel’s stately lawns sloping to a gate that opens out onto the village promenade.

The hotel may have been updated over the years but its heart lies defiantly in the 1960s. Run by the Shaw-Yates family since 1959, it combines modern facilities with yesteryear touches, such as retro telephones and even an original 1960s Sega fruit machine. Rooms are fitted with traditional decor (OK, chintz prevails), oak furniture and sash windows.

Dinner is cooked on the Aga, and the restaurant places great emphasis on local produce, including vegetables grown on the family allotment.

Price: Doubles from £160, including breakfast (note the hotel closes for winter from 1 November 2023 until late April 2024)

Book now

Best luxury hotel: Sentry Mead Hotel

Location: Totland

The views at Sentry Mead will blow your socks off (

The Sentry Mead Hotel overlooks Totland Bay on the island’s west coast. A former country house topped with a turret, the hotel has recently undergone a major refurbishment and is now among the most serene and stylish places to stay on the Isle of Wight.

Rooms have been painted in deep tones, decorated with local artwork and fitted with London-brick tiling in bathrooms. The accommodation is spread over two floors – if you want a sea view, just ask.

There are spacious grounds, ideal for taking in the setting sun over the western reaches of the Solent, with a glass of island gin.

Best boutique hotel: Villa Rothsay Hotel

Location: Cowes

Looking for something cosy? This won’t disappoint (

Cowes is steeped in shipbuilding and seafaring traditions, and few places encapsulate this spirit as much as Villa Rothsay. A son of the original owners won a sailing gold medal in the 1908 Olympics, while the Morning Cloud suite – named after the yachts owned by former prime minister Edward Heath – offers a 180-degree view of the Solent.

Located on a small rise above the water, the villa incorporates old and new – bay windows, wood panelling and the chance to sit by a sleek modern fireplace on a Georgian chair.

Best hotel for sea views: The Wellington Hotel

Location: Ventnor

The Wellington Hotel is spectacular, inside and out (

Looming over the main promenade in the Victorian town of Ventnor, the refurbished Wellington offers not only sea vistas from its filigree balconies but also the mildest of climates. That’s because this part of the island is typically 5C warmer than elsewhere, thanks to the sheltering influence of the hills on which the town is built.

Rooms have been refitted with richly coloured fittings but retain the old-time ambience, with sleigh beds, delicate coving and wooden balconies.

One of the most striking things here is just how tranquil it is – no shipping lanes cross your gaze and the bustle of the Solent seems a world away.

Best budget hotel: Ryde Castle

Location: Ryde

Ryde Castle is a luxurious (but affordable) option, with chandeliers in every room (Ryde Castle Hotel)

The location of this hotel (which is part of a pub chain) makes it an excellent choice. History buffs may be interested to know the building’s original incarnation was as a castle built on the orders of Henry VIII, to deter Spanish and French incursions.

Still boasting its parapets and battlements, the hotel takes its place on Ryde’s esplanade among a hotchpotch of traditional shop fronts, decorative stucco and Georgian townhouses.

Rooms feature chandeliers and richly embroidered bed covers – some rooms even come with four-poster beds – while dark-wood flooring adds to the ambience.

Food leans more towards classic pub fare, but of a high standard, while Ryde’s open spaces, public gardens, sandy beaches and seaside stalls are only a short promenade away.

Best hotel for couples: Shoreside Inn

Location: Shanklin

The design here is encapsulated with exposed brickwork and designer mirrors (Shoreside Inn)

The only real giveaway that this property was built in the 19th century is the stately, squat façade of the three storeys and bay windows. Inside, the owners have created a stylish boutique hotel (for adults only).

All rooms have full or partial views of the sea and include feature walls – think exposed brickwork and designer mirrors – while you can relax in a roll-top bath or walk-in shower. Two ground-floor rooms have their own private sun terrace with a view over the English Channel.

Best hotel in a historic town: One Holyrood Hotel

Location: Newport

Relax and unwind in the courtyard (One Holyrood)

Located in the heart of Newport, the island’s capital, this well-run, cosy hotel is much nearer the equator than the Scottish Parliament with which it shares its name.

Like many older island buildings, the hotel makes good use of the small space it inherits from its medieval origins. Attic-style rooms include period features, such as exposed beams, pitched ceilings, walnut-wood beds and the more contemporary metallic textures of Zoffany wallpaper.

There’s a pleasant flower-laden courtyard and pergola at the back – perfect on a warm summer or mild autumn evening. In the dark nights of winter, cosy up in the lounge/bar, where you can put your feet up, next to the fire.

Best hotel for foodies: The Seaview Hotel

Location: Seaview

We recommend renting one of the hotel’s electric bikes, to explore the area (

When it comes to charm, location and service, the Seaview Hotel, positioned just a few yards back from the village beach, is hard to beat. You’ll find swish modern decor (smartly decorated rooms and walk-in showers), with a generous nod to the sea, in the form of paintings and photographs of nautical vessels.

The ground floor is home to two restaurants – go for the Michelin-recommended cuisine in the restaurant, or top-notch fish and chips in the friendly bar, which serves local ales, island gin and good wine.

Accommodation is on the first and second floors, with a spacious family suite for five on the top floor. The hotel rents out electric bikes to guests (these are definitely worth considering when tackling the island’s downs).

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