The seaside resort of Ventnor is a delightful time warp with a host of off-beat arty shops and its own subtropical microclimate. The Royal, built in 1832 overlooking the Esplanade, complements it to perfection, with solidly traditional values and service but updated amenities and rooms. It is one of the only establishments in the country to have been listed in every Michelin Guide since its first publication in 1911, and has held two AA rosettes for its excellent food since 1998. As well as a refined, formal dining room, there’s a sleek, relaxed bar and brasserie, an airy conservatory and the Geranium Terrace, an original wrought-iron veranda backed by a riot of pink climbing mountain flowers. But for the best al fresco views, head for the clifftop Riviera Terrace. The nearby beach, heated outdoor pool and daily high tea make this a great choice for families. Doubles from £195.
Name to Know: Donna Reed, head of reception, who has been with us for over 20 years. Ask her anything, including why you should book direct.
See: Visit Ventnor Botanic Garden. Their subtropical and exotic plant collection is unrivalled and the garden is an immersive landscape, transporting the visitor to experience Mediterranean regions from around the world.
Eat: Dining at The Royal restaurant will be a highlight of your stay. The Royal Hotel has achieved 2 AA Rosettes for excellent food for over 18 consecutive years and has appeared in every Michelin Good Food Guide since its inception.
Buy: The Royal Kitchen Experience (not available in the summer), and discover what happens behind the scenes of The Royal’s award-winning restaurant.
Want to find out more? Visit the hotel's website.
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