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“Real opportunity to enjoy time with children in family-friendly environment” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Old Park Hotel

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Old Park Hotel
Ranked #8 of 9 Hotels in Ventnor
Certificate of Excellence
Oxford
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Real opportunity to enjoy time with children in family-friendly environment”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2010

Put simply ... it was refreshing to spend time in a place where families are truly made welcome and no-one is irritated by the presence of children! The old house and its history made it a fascinating and fun place to stay.

The bedrooms were clean and tidy with basic essentials (tea and coffee, CBeebies channel on TV). The facilities are exactly what you need to entertain (and exhaust) lively young children. The meal for children were well-received by our fussy children and they enjoyed the experience of being in a restaurant. We loved the grown-ups meals too. It was great to be able to sit with the other parents in the bar and chat in the evening whilst the monitor kept an ear on the children upstairs.

People who are impressed by boutique style (chain?) hotels, sculptured grounds and flashy extras will not appreciate this place. We don't want it to change because the Boden set will go and the prices will rocket!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank wptmd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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120 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Fareham
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2010

This is a perfect location for a quiet holiday with children. It has extensive grounds, and a fantastic climbing frame which kept our two young children (3 and 4) entertained for hours. The food for children was good and for adults - well, absolutely excellent. Really, surprisingly excellent. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly; you feel that this is your home while you are there. Quite clearly the large country house is expensive to maintain and it is a bit dated, but that didn't detract from a holiday which we all thoroughly enjoyed. I can't describe how much fun our children had playing in the grounds, the indoor play area, and watching a magician for the first time!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TezGosport
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
brighton
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 7, 2010

We had a wonderful stay at the Old Park Hotel. The location is fantastic with loads of room for the kids to explore. We stayed on a half board basis and the food was great. The staff were very friendly and nothing was to much trouble for them. The rooms are huge and beds very comfortable. The perfect place for a relaxing family holiday. We will definitely be back!!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank angieday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
131 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2010

We decided upon staying here at half term, despite feeling that there was a general "marmite" perspective about the place from all of the other reviews i.e. you love it or you loath it....I definitely agree with the most recent reviews in that it feels that the whole set up is very "hand to mouth" and is in desperate need of a refurb. The facilities are pretty good for yonger children and the setting is good - grounds, sea, away from it all. But in Feb when we were there the weather was very mixed and there seemed nowhere in the hotel which felt warm and cosy and somewhere to curl up with a book or paper. We had arrived the day before half term so hotel occupancy was just 2 families. The dining room was freezing and we had to request a heater - surely any proactive, thoughtful hotel staff would have clocked how cold it was and sorted that out. It just had a feeling that I was there to grin and bear it with my stiff upper British lip..but I'd paid £200 of my hard earned cash a night and it was my holiday..why should I grin and bear it ? We left after 1 night, having booked for 5 and found a more delightful, warmer, cosy, friendly and engaging hotel with lots of attention from the staff and kids facilities. That's what I want on holiday.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ShugsyLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worthing
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 20, 2010

The Hotel is situated in a lovely location and is a great place to bring children. It is very informal and for the children it is like staying in a huge country house. From an adult point of view very 'faded glory'. It is our 2nd stay, this time with our daughter, partner & grandchild (8yrs. old). We treated them to the best room in the house, expensive, very nice, but again it needs a coat of paint.
The food was certainly better this year and the barman was charming.
You get the feeling that the owners just can't make ends meet adn are struggling. The owner, chef & barman seem to be the only people working in the house. It obviously is not enough.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank sybilouise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 11, 2010

We go away quite a lot and have done the usual staple of luxury family hotels like Ickworth House, Fowey Hall, Cowley Manor and Pine Cliifs in Portugal etc etc so we ae used to a certain type of place. The Boden set, the mini-bar, the Hunter wellies at the door, the bouncy staff, the comfy sofas scattered around with hefty newspapers and back issues of Tatler and Country Life dotted around. All do- able with one child as we only needed one room but now that we have two kids going to these places is prohibitively expensive especially during the holidays.

Basically the Old Park Hotel is crying out for investment. It has all the basic structures to make a fab hotel - fantastic location, wonderful old building, plenty of original old features, beautiful views and huge spaces but it is old and tired an needs some serious money spent on it. We kind of knew form this website about what to expect and so we just smiled when we saw our dark bedroom with flowery carpet and 1980s decor and we giggled a bit when we saw the hose to stick on the bath taps to make a shower!! And we laughed at having our dinner in the function suite with just 5 other families whilst eating our very nice dinners (really very honest and delicious food) even if the desserts smacked of Costco! We were the last people to leave the bar at 10pm most evenigs - its not the sort of place to settle in for cosy after dinner drinks.

BUT - and I cannot make this a big enough BUT - our 4 year old son absolutely adored this place and spent all day out and about asking when we would be heading back to the hotel! He loved the play area (brilliant) and within 4 hours of arriving he had held an owl and an eagle during the falconry display (really relaxed and interesting). He loved that he knew which table was his in the dining room, he made loads of friends and looked forward to the DVD each evening. He couldn't believe his luck when he found that the barman would serve him (with a nod from us)and became adept at charging Freddo Frogs and orange juices to the room! There was never a feeling that he could not enter the dining room in the evening but he knew he had to be quiet and walk slowly when he came in to ask for anything.

He was delighted by the magician one evening - the kids were mesmerised and shrieking with laughter throughout whilst watching Crisco who said he'd been doing the show for 40 years (we could tell from the props but who cared??)

We found the owner to be very low profile but friendly enough and all of the other staff were very friendly and accommodating. We saw two families appear late for the childrens' tea and both were served although really why couldn't they just be on time??

If this place had even a couple of hundred grand spent on it, it would be fantastic, adult-friendly as well as child-friendly but then it would probably be just another formulaic place and we probably would only have been able to afford to stay one night instead of three. would we prefer that? Its difficult to say but I know what our 4 year old would say. He nearly fainted with delight at the pine bunk beds and doesn't care about the thread count in the egyptian cotton bed linen.......

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Punzer26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shoreham-by-sea
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2009

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!!!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ahmurray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Old Park Hotel

Property: Old Park Hotel
Address: Old Park Road, Ventnor PO38 1XS, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Isle of Wight > Ventnor
Amenities:
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 9 Hotels in Ventnor
Hotel Class:4 star — Old Park Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 136
Also Known As:
Hotel Old Park
Old Park Ventnor
Old Park Hotel Ventnor, Isle Of Wight

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