The time has finally come. You couldn’t think of anything else once you heard word of its charms, and meticulously made arrangements for the following plan: En route to London, through the countryside of Solent, stop at the dock marked Portsmouth.
With your binoculars double-check off the coast, towards the horizon, and when you see a large floating rock, you’ll know that you’re in the right place. Your yacht awaits, and we’re coming with you..
But first, storytime: Not too long ago, around the year 1878, the Brits decided to get a little crafty and build a floating fortress off the coast of Solent, the Spitbank Fort. The French are probably to thank for such inspiration. And we are grateful, because after about 200 years and a million dollars, it has become a luxury boutique-hotel and a special experience at the Solent Fort Hotel.
You’ll no doubt feel protected behind its imposing granite walls (15-ft thick) of the so-called “No Man’s Fort.” It’s as if you’re in a fortress, except here we don’t do penance in the shade, but we do tan (besides a 19th century canon), in a colorful swimsuit, flute in hand. Speaking of bubbly, the hotel has some very skilled staff waiting to teach you how to pop champagne medieval-style, which is to say with a saber.
You get the sense that this is the kind of place where princesses are held captive … Could it be the gilded high ceilings, outstanding arched window, and no escapees policy? But there’s also an intimate rooftop jacuzzi, lighthouse lounge, and fireplace, a library holding Shakespearean poetry, aged wine in the cellar or its 4 bars, fine dining in its 3 restaurants--why would they ever want to leave? We intend to stay a little bit.
It’s a fresh air of sophistication, with elegant sofas, sea-chic decor, decadent oars, and Persian rugs, the scene is set for the kiss that saves the day or seals the deal. And with only 22 suites, chances are limited. So send him (or her) a text that he (or she) needs to hurry! But while you wait, why not relax, take a glass of brandy, against the backdrop of the English coast.
We concur, this stone island can melt any heart of stone into one of gold.
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