North House – West Cowes, Isle of Wight
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It’s well worth the short, steep climb from the High Street to the top of Sun Hill and this engaging 19th-century, grade II-listed townhouse, Cowes’ very first boutique hotel. Apart from the splendid sea views (best from some of the bedrooms), North House has been sympathetically restored and decorated with flair. Public rooms and bedrooms sport tasteful Farrow & Ball wallpaper or paint, with a nod to the nautical here and there. The 14 bedrooms come in three categories: cosy, comfy and spacious, though even the ‘cosies’ are a good size. They have everything you could want and more, including Roberts radios, hair straighteners and Ren products (some also come with wood-burning stoves or freestanding bath tubs). There’s a distinct emphasis on the fruits of the sea on the menu in the relaxed restaurant, which blends rustic and seaside chic with its scrubbed wooden furniture, white tongue-and-groove walls and photographs of boats. From March to late October, the heated outdoor pool is open and the dining terrace and cloistered garden come into their own.
Doubles from £145
+44 (0)1983 209453; northhousecowes.co.uk