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As I mentioned in my review of Greyhound Coaches, I took a trip to the Isle of Wight last year. I was looking around on the Internet for somewhere to stay, and hit upon the Dorset House Hotel in Ryde.
As a frequent solo traveller, I am often frustrated with the fact that single rooms in hotels or guest houses tend to be either non-existent or highly priced. The Dorset House Hotel offered a reasonably priced room in a good location – I wanted to stay in Ryde for the sake of convenience as this Victorian seaside town is the home of the Hovertravel port.
The hotel appears on sites such as laterooms.com and booking.com, but I booked my stay on the hotel’s own website at http://www.thedorsethotel.co.uk/. I paid £40 per night for my single en-suite room, which I felt was very reasonable. Prices for double, twin and shared bathroom rooms are available on the website. You don’t pay for your stay when you book – you reserve the room and pay when you check out, which gave me plenty of time to save up before my holiday.
The hotel offers the following facilities: • Residential Licence Bar • Mostly en-suite bedroom • Some sea view rooms • Colour Television in each room • Hospitality tray in each room • Free car park I didn’t use the bar or the car park, and I don’t watch television on holiday (or much at home, for that matter), but the tray with a small kettle and selection of tea and coffee came in very handy.
On my arrival in Ryde, I took out the map I had printed out and walked to the hotel, which only took about ten minutes. The hotel is located on Dover Street, uphill from the seafront. When I arrived at the hotel, I was greeted in a friendly manner, shown to my room and left to get my bearings and to unpack.
*The Room* The room was small, but perfectly suitable for my needs. It had a large double bed with sheets and quilts, comfortable pillows and bedside tables and lamps. There was a wardrobe and a chest of drawers. The colour scheme was old-fashioned, but pleasant and cheerful: just what you’d expect from this type of hotel. The window gave a view of the sea, albeit slightly hidden by the buildings in front. The room was thoroughly clean, as was the en-suite, which was small but adequate and consisted of a toilet, sink and shower.
*Breakfast* I completely adored the breakfasts here. Breakfast took place in the dining room in the basement, which was decorated in an old-fashioned style similar to the bedrooms. The breakfast consisted of cereal, toast, juice, tea and coffee which you helped yourself to, as well as hot food served at the table. Full English breakfasts were available, as were vegetarian options and lighter bites such as scrambled eggs on toast. All the food was utterly delicious, but my favourite part was the homemade cheese scones with butter and Marmite. My mouth is watering now thinking about them! Service was quick, friendly and efficient, and the other guests were pleasant too – I ended up chatting to other solo travellers on several occasions.
*Clientele* Most people staying in this hotel seemed to be middle-aged couples, though there were a few older people. There weren’t lots of young people, though there were a few. I don’t think this hotel is an obvious place to take children: there were one or two there, but generally as part of bigger parties of adults.
*Staff* I think the hotel was a family-run enterprise, as there were several members of what I think were the same family at breakfast or on the reception desk. All of the staff were friendly, helpful and professional at all times. On the last day I was able to leave my luggage at reception to avoid carrying it around town with me.
***Conclusion*** I wholeheartedly recommend the Dorset House Hotel. It was well priced, in a great location, clean and comfortable with delicious food and lovely staff. I originally booked it because it was one of the only places offering reasonably priced single rooms, but I wouldn’t hesitate to return with friends or family.
*Further Details* Dorset House 31 Dover Street Ryde ISLE OF WIGHT PO33 2BW
Tel: 01983 564327 Fax: 01983 614635
Website: http://www.thedorsethotel.co.uk. Contains photographs of the hotel and rooms, details about the hotel and useful information about the Isle of Wight. You can also book rooms via the website.