It may have been built as one of Portsmouths first line of defence against an invading Napoleon III, but No Mans Fort has clearly shed its battle-scarred past in favour of a more refined accommodation for a few of the worlds finest hotel guests. Make no mistake though, No Mans Fort is still a fortress built right between the harbour of Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom. Just what is it like to stay in this once-formidable fortress that has now been turned into a fine luxury hotel accommodation?
For starters, the location of No Mans Fort is already a novelty. Sitting placidly in the Solent, No Mans Fort is like a Royal Guard of Buckingham, standing at attention yet ever vigilant to the threats that may be coming from the not-so-distant shores of continental Europe where Napoleon III and his army are hatching up a plan of bringing the war into British soil. Being in the middle of a body of water, the only way to reach it is by ferry from Portsmouth Harbour.
If this is your first time to stay at the No Mans Fort, you will have perhaps an eerie feeling that youre there as a tourist and not as a hotel guest. It is, after all, a historical piece of architecture built in defence of the Motherland.
But spend a few more days or so and youll begin to appreciate its worth as a fine hotel accommodation standing guard with the Isle of Wight on its reticles. Youd appreciate the room service, the highly varied meal times, and even the in-room hotel guest information. Youll find the basement to be an exhilarating adventure unrestored and just waiting for your more inquisitive touches. Unfortunately, laser lights have somehow spoiled the grandiose authenticity of the forts basement.
Where you would want to spend most of your time while on the fortress is in the circular sitting room which is conveniently located atop the forts lighthouse. Here you can spend countless hours just looking at the magnificent sea views of the French coast and the land mass that is Britain. It offers a unique perspective on this beautiful seascape and must be among the top sea views in the country. See this guide for more inspiration on stunning sea views.
If this is not your thing, then heading to the astroturf roof and immerse yourself in one of their hot tubs should really make your day. Of course, while a sense of privacy and peace is much desired, youll find the bonhomie between hotel guests to be especially welcoming.
There are only 22 bedrooms on No Mans Fort. Each one comes with its own character. These used to house the mighty guns of the fortress as they peer out through the walls of the man-made island. Iron ceilings and the hooks used to hoist the cannons of the past are still pretty much intact in the bedrooms.
Buffet lunch is always served at The Street while dinner is consummated at the Mess Hall. Breakfast is always observed as a regiment of hotel guests.
No Mans Fort rightfully challenges your perspective of what a unique hotel experience should be. At any rate, you can always say you stayed in a place that helped define a nation.