Luccombe Hall Hotel
Originally built in 1870 as the Summer Palace for the Bishop of Portsmouth this is now a family-run hotel with fine views of Sandown Bay and direct access to the beach. Taking tea in their landscaped garden is among the most uplifting experiences on the Island. Seaview rooms take in the bay all the way across to Yaverland and Culver Down.
Circular Road, Seaview
This lovely hotel provides the welcoming feel of a family home and stands hard above the shore at Seaview, with fine views across the Solent. The Shaw-Yates family have owned Northbank since 1959 and it is now run by Michael and Mary with their two sons, William and Mark. Rooms have modern facilities with nice touches such as retro dial telephones. There’s great emphasis on local produce at dinner, including vegetables grown on the family allotment.
The Birdham Bembridge
1 Steyne Road, Bembridge
Recently given a makeover and a new name, this pub with rooms combines atmosphere and good food within the skeleton of a fine Edwardian inn. With 14 rooms, it’s bigger than it might feel. Attention to detail is everywhere in the bedrooms, from painted radiators to snappy counterpanes. Dinner offerings range from 28-day-aged steaks to a vegan-only menu, so everyone in a party should be happy.
Springvale Road, Seaview
Just four rooms here, which have recently been refurbished to a high standard and are airily decorated with cream and light blue tones. Some rooms have bay windows. Located at the end of the road that runs behind Seaview Duver, so provides some of the best sea views from an Island bedroom.
The Chequers Inn
Niton Road, Rookley
Three smartly and immaculately furnished en-suite rooms in this pub, which is gorgeously located in the empty, farming hinterland between Newport and Godshill. Rooms feel spacious and airy despite being fitted into a building now well into its third century (think narrow corridors, recesses and pyramid hipped ceilings). Two have a patio with outdoor seating; all have countryside views.
The Crab & Lobster Inn
32 Forelands Field Road, Bembridge
Five bright and airy, neatly appointed en-suite bedrooms. Two – The Ledge and The Nab – have fine sea views. You will be struck by the utter quiet and solitude of this tucked-away gem.
111 Fishbourne Lane, Fishbourne
The half-timbered Fishbourne Inn is tucked away on the northern tip of the island and offers serene views. The inn has five recently refurbished rooms with the occasional touch of tongue and groove panelling and driftwood artwork. Within walking distance of the Portsmouth–Fishbourne ferry terminal.
Littlestairs Road, Shanklin
All rooms have sea views. Terrace and patio also offer superb views across gardens and lawns to the sea. No children.
The Pilot Boat Inn
Station Road, Bembridge
Shaped liked an eponymous pilot boat, with rigging and curves to match, this quirky building has five comfortable and recently refurbished rooms – though only three have what could be describe as glimpses of the water. Owner and staff work hard to make this a welcoming port of call, and the inn supports greener transport, offering a charging point for electric bikes, maintenance for traditional cycles and a wash station for boots.
The High Street, Seaview
When it comes to charm, location and service, the Seaview, positioned just a few yards back from the village’s beach, is hard to beat. The hotel combines swish modern décor (smartly decorated rooms and walk-in showers) with a generous nod to the sea that is in the Island’s blood (paintings and photographs of nautical vessels). The ground floor is home to two restaurants and a friendly, always-busy bar serving 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 floo. The hotel rents out electric bikes to guests and non-residents and will provide bespoke routes that keep away from the busier roads. Also offers free bus passes (no age restriction); consider taking this up as Island buses make a good way to explore the island.
For more information, check out Mark Rowe’s guide: