Priory Bay Hotel is in an absolute stonking location, with one of the best Isle of Wight beaches on its doorsteps - yet it has been empty for seven years now.
The beach has a special place in my heart (Ed: get a grip, man). It was our second favourite beach growing up (Compton Bay was first) and we would have been there more often if it had been slightly closer to Carisbrooke.
I've been Googling Priory Bay Hotel sporadically and thought I would share the latest update for those who haven't seen it themselves.
Here's a potted history of the last decade, including an update from the new owners last year.
The Closure of Priory Bay Hotel
Back in 2016, Priory Bay Hotel went into administration and went up for sale. It had been a pretty posh hotel for a long time and featured in our guide the best posh hotels on the Isle of Wight when we started this website in 2013.
According to the Caterer magazine, Priory Bay Hotel had been owned by the founder of the New Covent Garden Soup Company. This has no real relevance but my mother enjoys reading little details like this.
The photos I took in summer 2020 aren't great, but I'll share them anyway:
A dramatic turn of events
I may have overdone the headline here, but the next developments were quite dramatic in my mind.
Getting to Priory Bay has always been difficult, unless you are staying in the hotel. It requires a walk from one of the adjacent beaches and is easier at low tide. On the issue of access, the new owners now say that "it has been necessary to install boundary fencing along a section of Bridleway R84, the primary purpose of which is to safeguard the health and safety of the public throughout the construction process. We will also be implementing a signage strategy to warn any members of the public who might stray from the public rights of way on the coastline". The website continues to give further details on the access issues.
Anyway, it is great to see something happening at the site! Best of luck to the new owners - let's hope it can re-open soon.
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