Frequently Asked Questions
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After you have read through all of the FAQs, if you are still in need of support, feel free to get in touch with us. Use the following link to head on over to the contact page and fill out the form. We will reply within 24hrs.
Throughout the year, both Red Funnel and Wight Link run ferries almost every half an hour from all of their terminals. The journey from London will take approximately 2 hours. If you arrive at the ferry terminal early or late you will be asked to go into a holding lane. It is sometimes possible to go on an earlier ferry. There is a fairly inexpensive snack bar at all of the ferry ports so you can leave your car and wait in comfort. If you miss your ferry this is not a disaster. For some of the busy days in August it could mean that you have to wait for an hour, but do not stress yourself out, or worse, to catch that ferry !!!.
If you travel by White Link Ferry from Portsmouth or Lymington it is possible to come over on one ferry and then return on the other.
The childrens's meal takes place between 4:45 and 5:45. This allows enough time to see any evening children's entertainment and get the children off to bed before dinner.
During the busy periods the dinner will take the form of a buffet.
Here you will find a selection of :
- Baby foods
- Milk, squash, water
- Fresh fruit, ham, cheese, salad, bread, jam and marmite
- Pasta or pizza dish of the day
- Roast meal of the day - e.g. meat and two vegetables.
- A selection of chips, fish fingers, chicken nuggets, beans etc
- A selection of deserts and cakes
A Supervisor will be available to heat up milk and baby foods as requested.
In quieter times the main meal will be served on an A La Carte Basis.
During the busy periods the hotel provides entertainment and workshops at no extra cost. These activities take place after the children's meal.. Details will be posted on the entertainment board in the entrance hall. Current activities include :
- 2 Hour Supervised Play and Activity Time - organised by energetic, screened and qualified staff.
- David Randini - Magician and Humour
- Traditional Punch and Judy Show
- Children's own bingo game played with picture cards.
- Birds of Prey Display
- Children's Disco
During the adult meal, the large TV will be on in the bar area, where a favourite children's video will be played. Children's board games and toys are also available from the bar. The bar area is immediatley next to the dining room, so you are able to stay in touch with your children. We find that even the very young ones sit quitely in the company of other children.
During the busy periods the hotel provides adult entertainment. We ensure that this entertainment is also suitable for children. Details will be posted on the entertainment board in the entrance hall.
The Casino Night is the most popular.. We are lucky to be able to employ a very professional local company, who manage both black-jack aand roulette table.
Children are allowed to play for a prize until 10:00pm.
The bar is also stocked with a selection of popular board games.
The hotel offers the following facilities at no extra cost:
- Table Tennis
- Indoor Swimming Pool with Children's Pool
- Large Indoor Soft Play
- Children's Supervised Play and paints toys etc
- Adult and Children's Entertainment
- Areas for Ball Games - Equipment is provided
- 9 Hole Putting Area
- Outdoor Play Area with Swings, Climbing Frames, Slides and Sandpit
- Waterfalls and woods to explore
- Rock Pooling on the local beach
- Follow the Coastal Path to the Botanic Gardens and Steephill Cove
- Evening Badger Watch from the bar
- Evening Children's Video
- Board Games and toddlers toys in the Bar
- Exploring the little Village of St Lawrence
- Sun Bathing on the Sun Loungers in the Gardens
Most evenings at dusk, badgers arrive from various sets within the grounds to eat from the box that we fill with the surplus breakfast. The box is placed outside the window of the bar and is illuminated by a spotlight which provides a superb vantage point to view our families of badgers at very close quarters. We often see over ten badgers at the window at any one time. During the Summer months teh badgers come during the daylight. The badgers do not fear peoople this side of the glass and are not even spooked by boistrous children. It is very easy to get some good pictures from just 1 meter distance from the badgers.
The hotel has 24 family suites out of the total of 34 rooms. These rooms contain a private hall, off which can be found a Parents Room, one or more Children's rooms and a bathroom. The children's rooms contain either bunk beds or one or more single beds. Some of the suites can accommodate over six children. The majority can comfortably sleep 2 adults and 2 children. Although all of the children's beds are full size, we do not recommend an adult sleeping in the children's room. Some of the rooms will also take an additional cot in the children's or parents room.
We have several double rooms, some with a side room, which can take a child in a cot.
The West Wing rooms in the main house are furnished in a Victorian style. Most do not have a direct sea view, but they tend to get booked first with our regular guests.
The East Wing rooms are furnished in contemporary styling and most have a sea view.
The Spindler Suite is a superior family suite.
The Child Listening service is operational between 7.00pm until the bar closes every night. It is possible to have the listening service during the day by special arrangement.
Every room has a speaker-microphone which is operated by a switch on the unit. Family Suites have a unit in the Parent's room and the Children's room. It is only necessary to activate the unit in the room(s) where the child is sleeping.
Please do not put it on too early as your efforts to settle down your children will be heard in the bar. As it is switched on, an alarm tone may be heard. This tone will advise the operator in the hotel that listening has been activated in your room and that the reception end needs to be switched on. Normally the switches for each room are pre-set each evening from your booking information and in this case the tone will not be heard. It is possible to check with the barman that the listening is on in your room before going through to dinner.
If your baby cries or becomes upset this can be heard by staff in the reception, office, bar, kitchen and wine store. We are able to locate your room via a switch matrix which can isolate a set of rooms, then looking within this set for the sound of your child. Normally you will be notified personally, but if we cannot locate you will will put a message over the Hotels Public Address. You are then able to hear your child at the bar and decide on your next action.
The baby listening also operates within the Cottage Suite.
Be assured that if you mistakenly leave your child listening on when retiring, we will advise you.
The hotel is situated in 16 acres of woods and gardens which extend to the sea. The beach is no longer private but is only really accessible for Hotel Guests and local residents. The beach may be reached by walking along a flat path through the woods and then finally down several steps.
Some summers the beach is largely covered in sand but this is a result of tide conditions and is not guaranteed. When the tide is in, there is not much to see except for the exhilarating force and noise of the sea beating the small shore of Binnel Bay. When the tide is out however there are many rock pools to explore. The beach is also a beachcombers paradise as many items are washed into the Bay.
There are several ways through the woods to the Bay you may find it fun to find a new route every time.
If you are looking for a nearby sandy swimming beach, there are two within a short driving distance at Steephill Cove ( next to the Botanical Gardens ) and Ventnor.
Semi skimmed milk is available for children during breakfast and kiddies teas. Semi-skimmed milk can also be obtained from the bar in a children's cup.
Many of our guests have young children who require full milk or have special dietary requirements. For this reason we have a guest fridge behind the bar where you can leave your own supply. The staff will always be happy to warm milk or other food during the day.
To keep milk fresh at night time for the early morning, many guests bring ice packs and cool bags etc. We will be happy to put these in the guest fridge.
You must get to the dining room by 8:30 pm for the Evening Dinner. If your children will not settle down before this time there are several options.
There will be a Children's Video during the Evening Meal in the cafe area, which is next to the dining room. Mostly the children sit quietly with the other children and are pleased to have some independence from their parents. There are also many board games and building blocks etc, available in the bar to play with and new found friends. Note that we do not allow games in the dining room and we ask that children do not run in and out of the dining room.
As a last resort, you can take your children to the dinner and give them something from your plate. We do not allow prams or push chairs in the dining room for safety reasons, but you can use a crib or a highchair.
If your child is sick and you want to stay in the room with them, we can arrange food to be collected to be taken to your room.