Guernsey is a hidden gem. It is only around 1 hour 20 minutes from London Gatwick or Heathrow and less from Southampton and Bournemouth airports, or you can take a 3 hour or so ferry ride on the Condor from Poole (my favourite way to arrive).
This island is a time capsule offering an England from Dads Army with vistas worthy of an Agatha Christie’s Marple or Poirot movie at every turn. Guernsey needs to be on your bucket list, particularly if you have kids and yearn for that perfect Cornish beach. That beach isn’t in Cornwall, which is packed full of tourists in the summer, it’s on Guernsey!
Enjoy the picture-perfect harbour town of St Peter Port, which comes complete with its own castle, the clifftop walks surrounded by ripe blackberries, pretty heathers and thousands of butterflies, or the numerous stunning and empty white-sand beaches with clear blue waters and edged by rockpools. Guernsey is how Cornwall should be, perhaps how Cornwall used to be. There is nowhere else like it and in the summer, there is nowhere I would rather be.
Visit Guernsey in the summer months when the weather can be a blissful 20-25’C with light breezes, but the bar at Bella Luce Hotel has at least two roaring fires and the bar at the Old Government House has heater lamps and cosy restaurants, so you can enjoy Guernsey at any time of the year.
In this article we guide you to the very best luxury hotel in Guernsey, we have tried them all personally and have detailed the advantages and disadvantages of each so that you can make an educated choice and the right choice for your family on your next trip to this magical island.
Wherever you decide to stay, The Channel Islands, or elsewhere, book via our luxury travel concierge. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts and free perks at hotels including the Four Seasons, Park Hyatt, Ritz Carlton, Marriott, InterContinental and more at no extra cost.
1. Old Government House
If you are looking for colonial luxury in the centre of St Peter Port with an outdoor pool, the Old Government House Hotel in Guernsey is the very best hotel on the Island. It is a luxury boutique hotel and the only 5-star hotel in Guernsey.
There are so many reasons to love The Old Government House hotel. The location at the top of the main street could not be more convenient. This location means that many of the rooms offer extraordinary good views across the harbour, so you can watch the sunrise and set and the Condor chug in and out along with all the other sailing craft and fishing boats.
The building’s history dates back to 1796 when it was the official Governor’s residence for the island and the Bailiwick, which includes Alderney, Herm and Sark, until 1842. The hotel still occupies the prime position in this quaint harbourside town, with terraces, decks, balconies and bars offering glorious views over the nearby gardens and the harbour.
The hotel has been extended and modernised over the years but retains a boutique feel, with windy corridors opening up onto an array of public rooms and bedrooms. Outside, the building is painted in white with a classic Victorian look. Inside the decor is that of an old colonial mansion, befitting the history of the building.
My favourite part of the hotel is the bar which overlooks the pool on one side and the street life and gardens on the other. An elevated porch area allows for alfresco beer and nibbles on a partially covered balcony. You can sit out into the late evening under a heater lamp and enjoy the dramas of the passing traffic.
On our last stay, we booked a Studio Suite which is ideal for a family with a child because it comes with a large sofa which converts into a bed, as well as a hugely comfortable large king-sized bed for the adults and a super bathroom with a bath, a separate walk-in shower and delicious L’Occitane En Provence Essential Oils toiletries. Most of these rooms have a bay window that looks across St Peter Port.
Restaurants & Breakfast
There is a Bistro within the hotel which serves up Guernsey staples like freshly caught fish, crab, scallops, lobster and steaks. The bar also offers a variety of light dishes with a similar theme. You can also order generous sandwiches, snacks and drinks by the pool. Breakfast is particularly good here in the main Brasserie and spilling out into the gardens which overlook the pool.
This is easily the best breakfast in Guernsey with a generous buffet and an a la carte menu from which you can order eggs and other hot dishes (all as part of your bed and breakfast rate). The buffet is magnificent by Guernsey standards with around 5 cereal options, trays of yoghurts, many bowls of freshly cut and dried fruit as well as berries. I don’t think I have ever enjoyed such deliciously sweet fresh blackberries as those from the berries bowl here. They are very special. The pastries and breads are plentiful (the fresh muffins are particularly more-ish) along with cold meats and cheeses and plenty of fresh juice.
The pool at the Old Government House is outdoors but offers a perfect sun trap and if there is a patch of sunshine, this area of the hotel is beautifully warm and feels more like a pool in the Mediterranean than on an island in the channel. It is located in a little dip surrounded by ivy-clad walls and chic loungers shaded by parasols. As such, it escapes the wind that you can find on the coastal shores of Guernsey – it’s a balmy and sheltered escape.
The pool is not large but is sufficient for getting some lengths in. There is also a shallow pool interconnected, which at only 50cm deep is perfect for little ones to have a splash. Nice touches include the hardworking pool boy, always on call to set up your lounger with a perfectly rolled-up towel or to offer complimentary fruit infused water. All this and the generous volume of towels means you can easily spend your day lazing poolside.
The hotel also offers a gym with plenty of modern equipment; cycling machines, treadmills, weights and rowing machines are all available. For those like myself with an aversion to all things gym related, the beautifully tended gardens of the hotel offer a great place to relax with a Sunday paper or enjoy an afternoon tea with views across St Peter Port.
The Old Government House has been the best hotel in St Peter Port for many years and it remains the number one hotel on the island for the rooms, the service, the ambience and the breakfast. It is so very convenient, located right in the centre of St Peter Port, and has such an array of facilities along with excellent restaurants. We love it so much that we rebook every year and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it as the best hotel in Guernsey.
2. Bella Luce Hotel
The Bella Luce Hotel hotel in Guernsey is easy to love. It is such a pretty hotel, built out of thick lumps of uneven Guernsey granite, as it was originally a 12th Century Norman Manor house.
The hotel is located down a maze of tiny one-way roads to the South of the Island and around 10 minutes drive from St Peter Port. Make sure you hire a car or buy a bus pass to get around. You are located 10 minutes walk from the beach, which is down quite a steep hill and you are also a short walk from some pretty clifftop walks.
The interior charm matches the beautiful exterior, with huge open fireplaces, exposed beams all over the place. There are cute unique travel items tastefully dotted around, which bring the place alive. The historic flooring is a mix of flagstone, wood and original exposed tiles and there is a whole host of archways and historic passageways joining the communal rooms.
Every room and suite at the Bella is unique, having been individually designed and appointed to complement the character of the property. They provide the perfect environment to retreat to for a restful night’s sleep.
We had a Loft Suite and it was a delightful and peaceful place to relax, with the gentle breeze wafting across the room from the skylight. The bathroom was huge with a stand-alone bath and walk-in rain shower.
Beyond the rooms, there are extravagant loungers around the pool if you want to take a dip and in the evening, the Bella Luce dining room is absolutely excellent with tasty seafood dishes for a surprisingly reasonable price and in a refined setting with candles on the tables under the beams.
The other highlight at the Bella Luce is the ESPA Spa which is one of my favourite Spa brands and which also supplies the delicious amenities in the rooms.
One of the highlights of the hotel is their Willy Wonka style Gin distillery which bubbles away in the corner of one room. This human-sized apparatus spouts fine flavoured gins for guests to taste.
3. La Fregate
La Fregate is a 4 star hotel in Guernsey with an incredible view. The vista that greets you spans from the forested hills to the right of this beautiful harbour-side town, across to the Islands of Sark and Herm in front of you, then around to St Sampson’s to the North.
In between you can watch the Condor chug in and out of the harbour, the many little craft and yachts making their journeys between the channel islands, and of course, the numerous cruise ships that anchor offshore for the day. While we stayed, the gargantuan P&O Britannia spent the day in port, but whenever you stay, you can be assured of a constantly changing view to gaze out on. This is what La Fregate is all about; relaxing and absorbing that magnificent view.
La Fregate Hotel is located up one of the windiest of Guernsey lanes, the sort which knocks both your wing mirrors off. Once through the door, you enter a historic Guernsey mansion. Dating back to the 18th Century, parts of the hotel showcase the original heavily beamed ceilings and thick stone doorways that would have been part of the original construction. Downstairs the cosy bar area embraces the history with plenty of character and exposed brickwork. The bar spills out onto the terrace which spans the hotel and offers plenty of seating under parasols, all of which look out upon the port.
Adjoining the bar is an excellent restaurant which specialises in locally caught fish and crab dishes, although their steaks and chicken dishes are equally accomplished. Upstairs each bedroom faces outwards to make the most of the vista, some with terraces, others with balconies all boasting the same incredible view.
It is worth noting that while the communal rooms showcase the history of the main building, the rooms are modern with mainly floor to ceiling windows (although some have smaller windows) and double beds rather than King beds of the 5-star hotels above.
The centre of St Peter Port is just a short stroll away. A pretty footpath drops down from the hotel’s lawned gardens to take you into the centre in under 5 minutes. Although do be prepared to battle the same flight of stairs on the way back up which makes for a great work out!
La Fregate Hotel is a very loved boutique hotel. Expect modern interiors and a view from every room, a bar with a fabulous terrace and a very good restaurant.
4. Fermain Valley Hotel
The Fermain Valley Hotel is located just outside the pretty harbour town of St Peter Port. Make sure you hire a car or buy a bus pass to get around. Enjoy the vista of treetops and sea from this hotel, stretching right down to Fermain Bay. There are layers of decked terraces where you can dine or simply take a drink.
There is a small but enjoyable indoor pool area and gardens, which lead both up and down the valley, stretch for acres and are full of beautiful flowers and tropical foliage. The location is ideal if you like walking. 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.
Go for the Platinum rooms, number 26 is particularly good, with wallpaper with bamboo leaves matching the forested feel of the valley. The south-easterly views mean the rooms are usually bathed in sunshine for most of the morning. The bathrooms are immaculate but don’t have a walk-in shower. Best of all, you can laze on the bed and simply gaze out of the window and down to the bay for hours.
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.
In the more affordable range of hotels, Ziggurat boutique hotel can be found in the heart of St Peter Port. Moroccan-inspired interiors have been carefully designed with all sorts of cute extras like a cafetiere with local ground coffee and a vanity box contains earplugs (as you are in the centre of town), although do bear in mind that the rooms are small. The double beds are pushed against the wall to make for more space which doesn’t detract from the experience but maybe a problem if you like to have a roomy room.
The hotel is actually located down the historic Constitution Steps, in Market Square. This hotel is tiny and loved with just 14 rooms. The décor is like a Marrakech riad, with lots of authentic decorative objects.
The restaurant is good but you have so much choice being in the centre of town that you will be spoilt. Breakfast is a menu includes Marrakech inspired dishes with potatoes, peppers and onion with poached egg and bacon, sausage, cheese, spinach, mushroom and feta.
6. The Duke of Richmond
This four-star hotel is also located in St Peter Port but on the edge, so in a quiet location within walking distance of everything. Each room is unique and the hotel has an unusual safari-inspired decor, plus there is an outdoor pool heated May to September and a sunny terrace. The Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery and Guernsey Tapestry are nearby, as are buses to the rest of the island.
Children and dogs are welcomed with dog beds while kids get a teddy with a Duke of red jumper (kids also get a nice teddy at the Old Government House (our best hotel in Guernsey) too. In the summer, there are popular barbecues on the terrace. Rooms are a little tired. Go for the sea-view rooms with balconies or the suites with private terraces.
7. The Farmhouse
Described as “one of the most relaxing Guernsey Hotels and Restaurants”, this boutique hotel is situated in the rural parish of St. Saviour Guernsey. Because of the location away from the coast, this hotel feels alittle like it’s in the Cotswolds rather than Guernsey, although the beach and St Peter Port are not far away.
The Farmhouse Hotel dates back to the 15th century and is in a quiet loaction with updated accommodation and cuisine. Beyond the restaurant, there are beautiful gardens and lawns, a pool and conference facilities. As one of the oldest family-run Guernsey hotels The Farmhouse is perfect for family holidays, business visits or a quiet country hotel short break in Guernsey.
8. La Grande Mare Hotel
Beautifully located right on the beach, this is a great hotel for the family with a landscaped golf course, large health club and indoor and outdoor pools. There are plenty of options for dining here but the beachfront location is the major selling point of this hotel. You don’t even need to rent a car.
9. White House Hotel
Just across the water from St Peter Port and reached by the small inter-island ferry that traverses the water between Guernsey and the small island of Herm throughout the day, the White House Hotel is peaceful escape with a super pool and a lovely lawn to relax on.
10. St Pierre Park Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort
Saint Pierre Park is located towards the centre of Guernsey on the edge of St Peter Port. It is not on a beach but it is walkable from St Peter Port if you like a long walk. It has a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts, a lake and a health club and spa. Honestly, it feels a bit stuck in the 1990s and is modern and conference-y rather than quaint and cutesy, but you can’t argue with the facilities or the cuisine, and the terrace of the bar is a fairly happening place to be.
Disclosure: Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.