An extraordinary private island hotel in the Solent
A luxury stay at Spitbank Fort - a unique hotel off the South Coast with a rooftop hot tub, plus the option to book the whole fort for sole use
The historic Spitbank Fort may not have fulfilled its original purpose as a naval defence, but it turns out it was destined for far more glamorous things. Now one of the most exclusive and unique hotels in the British Isles, this private island playground features spa facilities, a Laurent-Perrier champagne bar and eight luxuriously converted rooms.
With its own departure lounge in Royal Clarence Marina, the experience starts before you're even on the water. You'll travel by private boat across the Solent and check in to a room complete with super king-size beds, high riveted ceilings, cowhide rugs and masses of space - enough for each room to have been divided into two if the designers had felt less decadent.
There are three bars at this five-star retreat, alongside a wine cellar and games rooms. Up on the decked roof, there's a fire pit, heated pool, sauna and restored red lighthouse with an observation deck for surveying those far-reaching views of the South Coast and Isle of Wight.
Good to know
If you choose the festive weekend offer, in place of a light lunch, you'll receive a mulled wine on arrival, plus hot chocolate and marshmallows to toast around the fire pit.
In contrast to the sea-lashed exterior, the rooms at Spitbank Fort are a transformation of luxury furnishings and leading interior design. Working with the riveted ceilings and exposed red brick, the rooms boast an impressive floor plan, super kingsize beds and a large flat-screen TV. Stylish rugs and contemporary seating are mixed with globes and telescopes - the adventurer's essentials.
The Officer's Mess is a beautifully atmospheric setting for fine dining, with historic arched ceilings and views towards the harbour. The Crow's Nest is more modern, with plenty of light and access to a barbecue terrace. The Laurent-Perrier champagne bar has to be one of the most exclusive spots anywhere in the world.
Occupying an isolated spot a mile from the shore, Spitbank Fort offers total privacy and a unique perspective on the south coast. With panoramic views of the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Harbour and Spinnaker Tower, you can relax on the rooftop and watch the sun rise (or set, more likely) over land and sea. The fort is reached by private boat transfer from Portsmouth's Royal Clarence Marina.
The best bit...
- Snug blankets and hot chocolate by the fire pit for Sunday stays, looking out towards the Isle of Wight
- Travelling in style, with a private departure lounge at Royal Clarence Marina and Bond-style water transfers
- The eight rooms - a revelation of luxury furnishings and original brickwork
- Staying in one of the most exclusive and unusual hotels in Britain
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