We found service in this "leisure Centre" of a spa-hotel to be excellent.The staff are a mix of British and Eastern European, all with two-a-penny smiles and chat. After breakfast one grey morning, we were reading in the lounge near the breakfast area when one of the waitresses asked if we would like some of the left-over pastries. They were perfect for our walk later that morning. We couldn't fault the food. Even when, arriving late, the muesli had run out, we found plenty of alternatives on the buffet table.
We walked most of the way to the island's capital, Newport, discovering an ancient farm, originally wheat-farmed by monks in the 15th C; nowadays lavender is the produce. Try their Lavender and Lemon Shortbread with a cuppa.They produce small bottles of lavender oil which fit into tiny corners of luggage.
There doesn't appear to be any way of covering the 4miles to the capital without walking on a road for part of the way. Luckily, after the lavender farm, we discovered a bus stop. Buses are frequent and well-used on the island and all of them run to/from Newport. I would have liked the hotel to have had more information on local walks.
Our room,[overlooking the lake and far fields of brindled cows], lighting, bed, and bathroom were spacious and clean. Kettle etc for hot drinks. Twin packs of biscuits. Even bottled water.
So, just what is it that lets this well-sited establishment down? I think the soft landscaping gives a feeble first impression...
Visit Osborne House, which is expensive but absolutely stunning and compare the gardens. Viburnum bonariensis and Phormiums [flax] plants are fine when planted with compatibles, but they are just depressingly placed at Lakeside Park, expected to be statements. If ever there was a beautiful location screaming for Dan Pearson [Millenium Dome, Olympic Park] or even a lesser designer, then Lakeside Park is it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Brand New, Purpose built 4 star property set in 37 acres of outstanding natural beauty incorporating a 20 acre lake. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lakeside Park Ryde
- Lakeside Park Hotel & Spa Ryde, Isle Of Wight