Guernsey has a very special place in my heart. The clifftop walks, the perfect cobbled harbour-side town of St Peter Port and the empty sandy beaches keep me returning again and again. One of my favourite hotels on the island is the Fermain Valley Hotel, which boasts the most stunning views across the forested valley and down to the twinkling cove of Fermain bay.
There are a number of reasons why the Fermain Valley Hotel is so special. Initially the views are the highlight here. The layers of decked terrace where you can dine or simply take a drink while absorbing the views are a reason to stop by even if you aren’t staying. But this hotel is also about the little luxuries that make a good stay great. All the rooms, for example, offer a complimentary decanter of extremely tasty sherry along with apples and handmade chocolates. The staff remember your order from the previous night and really seem to care. Finally the location above one of the prettiest bays in Guernsey enables you to wander down to the shore and then pick one of the many clifftop walks which take you through a landscape of pink heathers, wildflowers, butterflies, all looking down upon the azure blue sea.
The Fermain Valley Hotel is both immaculate and contemporary. The small but enjoyable pool area has floor to ceiling windows and also enjoys the valley views to the sea. The gardens, which lead both up and down the valley, stretch for acres and are full of beautiful flowers and tropical foliage (Guernsey is further south than the most southerly point in the UK so beautiful plants such as echiums and palms, thrive here in the frost-free environment which wouldn’t survive in the UK) . At the top of the gardens sits an extensive lawn which is perfect for big events and weddings.
The Platinum room which we chose (number 26) was delightful. Wallpaper with bamboo leaves on matched the forested feel of the valley and the south-easterly views meant the room was bathed in sunshine for most of the morning. The bathroom had a generous number of “Noir” toiletries which smelled of sweet sandalwood. The bathroom itself was immaculate and although we didn’t have a walk in shower, the over bath shower was powerful. Best of all, you could laze on the bed and simply gaze out of the window and down to the bay for hours. It is worth noting that the rooms to either side of us also had balconies so if you are booking a Platinum room I would suggest requesting one with a balcony so that you can enjoy your complimentary sherry alfresco.
The main hotel bar area was clad in a stylish pine with a large bar, plenty of seating including comfy sofas and tall bar stools. In good weather the bar opens out onto one of the tiered terraces offering more seating so that you could take in the spectacular views over a drink. There was also a second bar area inside the Rock Garden Steak house which has boisterous music and a young funky vibe.
The Ocean restaurant was lovely, offering filling and tasty seafood. The decor was New England clapboard style, in blues and creams with fishy murals and at night, candlelit tables. My sea bass with noodles was delicious and my husband’s turbot with asparagus was equally tempting. Desserts were also worth mentioning, from mouth-watering Eton mess to my chocolate brownie with salted caramel ice-cream -yum! The second restaurant at the hotel is the Rock Garden Steak house which is a modern bar-restaurant that wouldn’t be out-of-place in central London. Muted lighting, comfy dark wood booths and bar area lead onto tables which spill out into a rock garden – in case you are wondering this is a patio area surrounded by boulders. The large metal bull centrepiece and funky music made the rock garden a lively addition to the eating options at the Fermain Valley hotel. Recent additions to the hotel include a petite coffee shop with home-made cakes and an additional comfy lounge area to enjoy drinks.
A huge reason to come to this hotel is for the mesmorizing coastal walks which are on the hotel’s doorstep. You can walk down to Fermain Bay which in itself is stunning and feels more like a mediterranean cove with a pebble beach and sparkling ,clear water. From here, be prepared for lots of hill climbs as you either scale the path around to St Peter Port or head in a northerly direction along tiny hilltop paths through small pine forests and bursting with wildflowers and blackberries (late summer).
St Peter Port
The Fermain bay is a short bus ride or a longer coastal walk from the Fermain Bay and it’s picturesque streets that lead down to the prettiest harbour you can imagine is a great place to spend the day.
The Fermain Valley Hotel is a hotel that I will be returning to. Even though the summer of 2015 has been a write off, the warmth of the staff at the hotel, the coastal walks, the tasty food and the stunning views in the moments of sunshine that we experienced will all entice me back to the little slice of how England used to be (only better) that is the Isle of Guernsey.
Our Platinum Room cost £220 per night for two people including breakfast. In the winter you can book into this room for just £140 per night for two including breakfast.
Fermain Valley Hotel also features in our choice of the best luxury hotel in St Peter Port, Guernsey.
Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.