We spent a week at the Old Park Hotel in August for the first time and loved it, I simply cannot understand the other reviewer having any significant grounds for complaint, unless they missed the scheduled mealtimes which we never did.
The hotel is in an idyllic setting away from any roads and with acres of open space and woodland paths down to its own private cove. The main building itself is also lovely and gothic with pleasant reading rooms (although these are off limits to children)!
The main reason we chose to stay there was to have a week away as a family without the hassle of self-catering and so that my wife would have a chance to relax rather than do the same stuff she does at home in more cramped and less well-equipped surroundings!!
The accommodation was not lavish but clean, freshly decorated and perfectly adequate. We were in the East Wing which is slightly cheaper and more modern, although the rooms are smaller and the sound insulation is poor. However we did have a family room with a separate bedroom for the children which was the most important consideration. I looked in some of the West Wing rooms and they were larger although the decor was somewhat dated and tired, but as you spend very little time in your hotel room I don't feel that this is a big deal. However, on balance I think we would pay a little more for the West Wing next time.
What made our holiday really special was the family-friendly setup, the great food and service, and the intimate feel of the hotel, with all the families (adults and children) becoming more sociable during the week. Our children aged 6 and 3 just had such a fabulous time with the big group of kids of all ages who all mixed and played together like one huge happy family!
There isn't much to do during the day other than the soft play and indoor pool (which is pretty cold!) and everyone heads out to explore the Isle of Wight, returning for children's tea around 5, which was great; huge choice and all really tasty, with jelly and cakes for pudding. The children then all convene in the outdoor play area for an hour or so of fun before the younger ones are dragged off to bed, and the older ones head inside to watch a DVD in the bar. The baby listening service means you can then enjoy a quiet meal as a couple while knowing that your children are safe and happy.
The food was excellent, five courses every night including a home made soup course which was always excellent. One night we even had a fillet steak which would have cost around £20 in a restaurant and was delicious. The service is informal and friendly (don't expect to taste your wine or have it in a cooler, it is just placed on your table) - but this sums the place up, it's everything you need without any pretension.
There is great entertainment most nights (in the school holidays) for children and adults, with Punch and Judy, magic, falconry and a great singer, all of which made the stay even more memorable for all of us. Every night the kitchen leftovers are taken out to feed the badgers who come right up to the house which was also really special for us all.
Amazingly, the hotel didn't seem that busy even at the height of the school holidays, and the owner said that some rooms were empty to allow for people to move if they weren't happy with their accommodation. The owner was also extremely helpful when we asked for bed guards and irons and did everything possible to make our stay comfortable.
The Isle of Wight is a great place to explore with something different to do every day if you are adventurous (and rich!) or lots of lovely beaches if you just fancy the traditional bucket and spade holiday.
In all the cost was not a lot more than we have paid for a week self catering in a luxury mobile home at an overcrowded holiday park surrounded by chavs, and while holiday parks might have water slides and amusements, what we really wanted was a great week together as a family without any of the drudgery of domestic life. Thanks to Old Park that is exactly what we got and we'll be back next year!!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.