After dinner, the royal couple used to walk from Osborne House, their home on the Isle of Wight, to Egypt Point in front of the hotel to watch the sunset over the Solent, watching the twinkling lights of Southampton back on the mainland. Victoria and Albert were very familiar with Holmwood House, which later became the hotel you see and can stay in today.
Built in 1872 the house was rented to continental royalty during the world-famous Cowes week regatta, which had started 60 years earlier. After Queen Victoria’s death, her son King Edward VII continued to visit the Isle of Wight staying at the New Holmwood for Cowes week with his German cousin Kaiser Wilhelm II, both of them glued to the racing from their front row seats in the front garden. At just 20 paces from the shingle beach Best Western New Holmwood Hotel provides the perfect vantage point for watching the ever-changing scene on the Solent and these days you don’t need to be royalty to enjoy it.
From the hotel’s glass fronted lounge and Spinnaker restaurant it can feel like the boats are within easy touching distance. Breakfast on the palm tree terrace can be interrupted by conversations taking place on the boats, guests can hear every word, including every curse should things not be going to plan on board.
Even when the weather is not so kind the warm welcoming lounge at Best Western New Holmwood Hotel provides plenty of distractions with healthy stocked shelves of books and board games to while away the time and a well-stocked bar providing local ales of the island.
But really all eyes are on the outside, whatever the weather. You can see why famous painters such as J M W Turner came to paint the Isle of Wight and Cowes in particular. The light is incredible.
Oh, and did we mention that the Churchill family home, now owned by the National Trust, is just 50 paces from New Holmwood and is where Winston Churchill’s mother and father got engaged. Guest of honour that day, Queen Victoria.
A break on the Isle of Wight and a stay at Best Western New Holmwood Hotel, will guarantee you are following in the footsteps of some very famous Britons.