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Home / Press
May 2016

Why Benedict Cumberbatch – And The Rest Of The A-List – Loves The Isle Of Wight (From Someone Who Knows)
Where to stay

There are some great posh hotels, like The Priory Bay near Seaview - locals speculated that this was where the Cumberbatch wedding would be before we learnt of the road closures in Mottistone – and The Hambrough in Ventnor. For something a bit different, try Vintage Vacations, with their Airstream caravans and a converted scout hall, all decorated beautifully with retro features or Wight Bells with their gorgeous bell tents (that have electricity!) for a spot of glamping.

Read more here.

The Spectator
August 2015

A museum of dirty postcards and Britain’s coolest bulldog: visit the strange side of the Isle of Wight

Every day the Isle of Wight becomes England’s smallest county: when-ever the tide comes in, the island steals the crown from Rutland, if only for a few hours. Taking the Wightlink ferry reminds you that the isle gave us the hovercraft, Christopher Cockerell’s early experiments there involving a hairdryer and some empty cat-food tins. Less successful as a seafarer was Lord Lucan, who once sank a powerboat off the Needles. It never surfaced, leading some to believe that when the time came to disappear he returned to the area and drowned himself.

Current exports include most of the signage for the London Underground (A.J. Wells and Sons, vitreous enamellers of Newport), and all manner of garlic from the Garlic Farm in Newchurch (fresh, black, smoked, elephant). The plant was brought to the island by Free French sailors stationed there during the second world war — the bland British food, they thought, needed livening up a bit. If you have similar taste buds you could head to Branstone as well, where the House of Chilli offers a ‘Psycho’ range. Gentler souls will prefer Minghella’s ice cream in Wootton. (Before you ask — yes, Anthony was related.)

Mark Mason's full article here.

The Culture Trip
November 2014

The prestigious Priory Bay Hotel has two restaurants for diners to choose from, both of which have achieved an incredible reputation with islanders and visitors alike. The Priory Oyster concentrates mainly on seafood caught and prepared on nearby beaches. Paired with local, often organic wines and beers, these dishes were described ecstatically by Rick Stein in his Seafood Lover's Guide. While this more informal venue is ideal for a relaxed lunch or dinner with friends and family, the Island Room is designed for a truly exclusive, luxury experience. In its intimate setting, diners can enjoy seafood, game, mushrooms and vegetables foraged on the Hotel's estate, along with little-known wines and other exciting local produce. The Hotel also offers one of the Island's most famous and lavish afternoon teas.

Full article here.

Traveller notes by Expedia
March 2014

When searching for a hotel on the Isle of Wight, I wanted to stay somewhere with a difference, somewhere unique and special as I was taking my niece and younger brother away during half term. I wanted the location of our stay to be just as much an event as the activities we would be taking part in whilst on the island. When I stumbled upon Priory Bay Hotel, I knew I had found the perfect place for an adventure get away.

Priory Bay Hotel offers a multitude of accommodation options from cottages, lodges, rooms in the main building and the one that really caught my eye, Yurts on the beach. The pictures of the interior of the yurt online summed up every magical feature I was hoping to include in our stay – accommodation that is out of the ordinary, somewhere that would wow us upon arrival and remain a mystical retreat throughout our stay.

Kelly Convey Travel Writes - Expedia Pioneer UK's full article here.

East Anglican Daily Times
August 2014

The isle where time stood still

And while the island is rightly proud of its sailing heritage, for me, its chief attraction is the way life seems to have stood still. Three cars represent a traffic jam.

But visit Cowes and there is no mistaking its sailing heritage. Shops, pubs and restaurants all have a nautical feel.

Ryde is the most traditional of seaside towns, complete with promenade, pier and theatre, as well as a golf course and seafront bowling green. On the day we visited, the pub where we had lunch couldn’t take payment by a new-fangled debit card.

The powers-that-be have turned The Needles into something of a mini theme park, where you buy supersaver tickets that entitle you to a ride on the chair-lift and assorted fairground rides. If you do nothing else, you must take the chair-lift, which provides spectacular views. Young children will love the fairground attractions. There are also plenty of places to eat.

Osborne House is visited by more people than any other attraction and it’s not difficult to understand why.

It was built between 1845 and 1851 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert as a summer home and they spent a lot of time there. Prince Albert designed it in the style of an Italian Renaissance palazzo. It was built by Thomas Cubitt, a London architect and builder whose company built the main façade of Buckingham Palace for the royal couple in 1847.

Queen Victoria died at Osborne House in January 1901. Following her death, it was given to the state with a few rooms retained as a private royal museum dedicated to Queen Victoria. From 1903 until 1921 it was used as a junior officer training college for the Royal Navy.

Today, Osborne House is under the care of English Heritage. The former Naval College’s cricket pavilion was converted into a holiday cottage in 2004 and can be booked by members of the public. Guests at the cottage can use the Estate’s private beach.

Steve Russell's full article here.

eaTravel - The isle where time has stood still
August 2014

Derek Clements was delighted to find an island where some of the best things haven't changed - the scenery is glorious...

Mention the Isle of Wight and images of yachts crashing through the waves probably come to mind.  And while the island is rightly proud of its sailing heritage, for me, its chief attraction is the way life seems to have stood still.  Three cars represent a traffic jam.

But visit Cowes and there is no mistaking its sailing heritage.  Shops, pubs and restaurants all have a nautical feel.

Ryde is the most traditional of seaside towns, complete with promenade, pier and theatre, as well as a golf course and seafront bowling green.  On the day we visited, the pub where we had lunch couldn't take payment by a new-fangled debit card.

See full article here.

Just Because The Lady Loves... the Priory Bay Hotel
November 2014

I've stayed at this lovely country house hotel quite a few times now and I get the same thrill every time I do.

I'm not quite sure what it is.  Having an overactive imagination helps I think. I like to dream that it's my house and I have a private beach, helicopters full or my friends landing on the lawn and a team of well-trained and old school staff pandering to my every desire.

Full article here.

The Sunday Telegraph
August 2014

Who goes?

A great mix: families from all walks of life, parties of friends and couples, all drawn to the easy going atmosphere and the hotel’s fabulous private beach, its extensive, natural grounds, its swimming pool, tennis court and nine-hole golf course.

Location 9/10

Priory Bay, formerly a private house, stands in extensive grounds that run down to a private beach. The unusual country house stands on what was a medieval monastery and is a quirky hotchpotch of styles, with a Tudor farmhouse at its core and a Norman tithe barn in the grounds.

Style/character 8/10

The house has idiosyncratic charm and notable features include a French Gothic church porch, brought here in the 1930s by the then owner, a Tudor fireplaces depicting the Sacrifice of Isaac, and a dining room entirely decorated with Georgian murals depicting local island views, still recognizable today. There is a large, relaxing drawing room and a pleasant panelled sitting room where Ernest Bevin wrote his Union of Western Europe speech in 1948.

Service 7/10

Endearing, slightly potty and very British. A new and experienced general manager has recently been taken on to tighten up service and bring a less laid back, more professional attitude.

Rooms 6/10

When I first stayed here in 1998, shortly after the present owner took over, I thought the rooms, whether in country house or seaside style, beautifully decorated. They have hardly changed and now need to be upgraded: furniture, beds, linens, toiletries and Wi-Fi throughout.

Food & drink 8/10

The cooking needs to be good quality but not too fancy – a menu that pleases everyone – and that’s just what is achieved, with the considerable added bonus of a sommelier, a young local called James Trevaskis, who has real flair and some highly interesting wines on his list.

Fiona Duncan's full article here.

Muses & Visionaries - Let's Go Glamping
January 2014

Sleeping on rocks and catching dinner in a nearby lake is not everyone’s idea of fun, but glamping might be more enticing to the camping cynics. It’s the 21st century version of camping with a glamorous twist. This is wanderlust at its best, where roomy canvas tents, soft lighting and comfy beds are situated in the most picturesque settings.

The Isle of Wight flourished as a resort in the Victorian period, and Priory Bay Hotel is ideal for the astute traveler. Its five yurts, all uniquely designed, are perfectly British, complete with en suite bathrooms, expansive windows and cotton-linen sheets. Begin and end each day on the secluded terraces with
candlelit lanterns overlooking the ocean. priorybay.co.uk

Full article here.

Enjoy magazine - A Spiritual Stay
January 2014

The Priory Bay Hotel, in Seaview on the Isle of Wight, is special, very special indeed.  Several factors contribute to this and as the time passes during one's stay, these factors become clear.

Full article here.

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