Old Government House is the best and most luxurious hotel in St. Peter Port in Guernsey. 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.S
Staying here is like stepping into an Agatha Christie novel. The decor includes all sorts of intricate detailing that you might not initially notice, but that creates an ambiance of olde world grandeur and charm.
An example of this detailing includes the beautiful gates at the entrance to the library, which were originally created for Titanic’s sister ship, RMS Mauretania, and were then transported to Guernsey when the Mauretania was dismantled.
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Old Government House hotel is a short stroll up the hill from the main street in St Peter Port on the island of Guernsey. The hotel occupies a prime position in this quaint harbourside town, with terraces, lawns, balconies, and a bar area offering glorious views over the nearby gardens and the harbor.
Style & Character
The hotel has been extended and modernized over the years but retains a boutique feel, with windy corridors opening up onto an array of public rooms. 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 particular favorite is the curry room, where you step into a Raj-style restaurant decorated in rich, deep reds. The perfect backdrop to the fabulous Indian cuisine served within.
Service & Facilities
The pool at the Old Government House is outdoors, but I’m delighted to share that because of the pool’s location in a dip and in the sunshine, even on a cool summer’s day, this pool area seems to retain its warmth. This circular pool offers the perfect sun trap.
The pool sits 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 offer complimentary fruit-infused water and cooled fruit skewers (fresh strawberry, kiwi, pineapple, and melon). All this and the generous volume of towels mean 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.
Many rooms sit right at the front of the building with windows that gulp up the views over St Peter Port. if you pick a Junior suite, there is a sofa by the window that you could waste days on, watching the boats go in and out and the seagulls flying by. Rooms vary in size, with decent-sized bathrooms with baths. They are beautifully decorated, some with statement pieces, like a large gold-edged mirror shaped like the sun and leopard print seating. The room’s decor and objet d’art all help in retaining the British colonial feel employed throughout the hotel. The result is both fun and elegant. It makes the hotel feel original and unique.
Food & Drink
I love the numerous bar areas at Old Government House, each with a different ambiance and offering a different view, be it over the pool or onto the town below. The expansive views across the harbor are my personal favorite. An elevated porch area allows for alfresco beer and nibbles on a partially covered balcony, perfect for watching passers-by go about their business below.
Breakfast is an absolute highlight here, and you must ensure that breakfast is included in your room rate. If the weather’s nice, you can take it beside the lawn and pool under olive trees and surrounded by friendly robins! If it is cooler, you take it in the brasserie, which has a continental feel with lots of green hues and large windows looking out over the lawns.
Breakfast includes a buffet area with dried fruits, delicious fresh fruit, and berries with natural yogurt, cereals, water (including sparkling), juices, etc. The a la carte breakfast (also included) provides you with eggs just about any what you could possibly want them, plus loads of other healthy as well as “full English” options. The staff here are mainly Italian and deliver the food with care and style.
The Bistro restaurant within the hotel that serves up breakfast also serves lunch and evening meals; 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.
We decided to try The Curry Room in the evening. Inside the Curry Room, blood-red floors and walls are decorated in rich fabrics and old black and white pictures depicting soldiers of the Raj. The atmosphere is unbeatable.
The Old Government House has been the best hotel in St Peter Port for many years. Although there are some newcomers on the scene, you will not find another hotel of this caliber more conveniently located in the center of St Peter Port, with such an array of facilities and excellent restaurants. We will return for the glorious pool, the excellent breakfast, the array of terraces and balconies to enjoy a drink upon, and the colonial decor that makes the place feel unlike anywhere else.
Old Government House hotel also features in our choice of the best luxury hotel in St Peter Port, Guernsey.
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