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17 September 2018

one night of luxury at haven hall, isle of wight

i can count on one hand how many "luxury" hotels i've stayed in in my life; in fact, i'm pretty sure i could count on one finger how many five star properties i've even been near, let alone been inside, so when i found out where we'd be staying while on the isle of wight, i was vehhherrrryyyyy excited. haven hall is the island's only five star boutique b&b, and since its launch only a few years ago, it's already hosted some of the uk's most well-known faces; from the firths to the clanceys (or, the crouches, if you're that way inclined) - and now me and jasmin! a line of natural progression, wouldn't you say?

the whole redesign and creative decoration during the restoration of the edwardian building was done by the owners, arielle and david - a real passion project for the couple. and i have to say, since jasmin and i not only had a room each, but a whole penthouse suite - the original staff's quarters, to ourselves, we got to see quite a lot of the interior of the hotel during our stay; including our own balcony that opened up to views of the hotel's award-winning gardens, and the most crystal clear water you've ever seen.

and the rooms themselves? just exquisite. mine was "the pink room" and jasmin's was "the green room" which basically just dictated the accent colour of the linens. i think actually the rooms were named after author's - i'm pretty sure jasmin's was named after dickens, but i can't for the life of me remember what mine was.. anyway! the rooms were biiiig, and had such beautiful natural light and views of the gardens, or out to the ocean. i just sat and stared, for ages, at the gazebo down in the garden - from the comfort of a ridiculous antique chair that was in the corner of my room. ideal or what? the bed was enormous, and the most comfortable thing i've ever slept in.

our stay came with complimentary breakfast, as any good b&b does, and this one was easily one of the better ones. mainly for two reasons: there were two types of pancakes - blueberry and protein, and there was handmade rhubarb compote and lemon curd. oh, and real maple syrup! let's put that down to arielle being american and knowing what a real breakfast should look like. there was obviously also the cooked english classics, as well as fruit and cereals, and as much tea and coffee you can drink. the staff were super attentive, and it was nice to see the owners - david and arielle, out and chatting with guests over breakfast too; sharing recommendations and suggestions for things to do while on the island. 

we ate breakfast outside in the garden, and it was a real - can't believe this is my life - moment. the gardens were named the "best commercial garden" last year, and it's easy to see why. the grounds have been extensively landscaped, and planted to enhance the natural beauty of the sea views from the house and land. our whole stay was unbelievably tranquil - not a peep was heard in the night, and thanks to the house being at the end of a quiet road, there's no road noise either. 

it's just a shame we were in the hotel for less than 24 hours, as it was such a beautiful treat - a little break from reality, that had us blown away from the moment we rolled up to the gilded gates until the moment we were waved off the next day. i can understand why those who know continue to visit this property, because it's nothing short of the ideal stay - and one i'd definitely want to do again, on my next trip to the island.

for prices and availability, check out the site.

*we were lucky enough to be hosted compliments of david and arielle, thanks to visit isle of wight. all words are mine still, but truth be told: i don't book fancy places for myself - well, i do now!