134-year-old British fortress becomes a luxury island escape
Located one mile out to sea off the coast from Portsmouth Harbor in Hampshire, U.K., the 134 year old Spitbank Fort was originally used to defend the coast of Britain against ships and light aircraft. Now, after a £3 million (US$4.85 million) makeover, it has been transformed into an exclusive island retreat.
The Fort was once home to nine 12.5 inch muzzle loading guns, which were later replaced in 1884 with more “modern” 12-inch breech-loading guns, remaining in service until after World War I. In 1982 the Ministry of Defense decommissioned the fort and since then the historical landmark has been in the hands of private owners. The current owners bought the fort in 2010 and after extensive renovations, the hotel opened its door in the second half of 2012.
Spitbank Fort Hotel is now home to nine luxury guest rooms, three bars, three restaurants, rooftop champagne bar, wine cellar, library, rooftop hot pool, sauna and sun decks. Many of the fort’s original features have been retained, featuring exposed brick walls, fortress windows and a couple of old cannons.
Spitbank guests are greeted at Gosport before being escorted by a private boat onto the resort. And if that’s not enough style for you, one does have the option of being flown in by helicopter, landing aboard Spitbank Fort's big brother No Man's Land Fort, before being whisked across on a short 10 minute boat ride.
As a one-of-a-kind destination the fort provides a unique overnight escape or a great day trip for a special Sunday lunch or Twilight Dinner. The fort can also be hired for exclusive use, with packages available for weddings, private parties, sailing weekends and themed events such as the “Ultimate Boys Weekend Away” or the “Luxury Girls Getaway”.
A night at Spitbank Fort will set you back £350 (US$565) per person, including a full English breakfast served the following morning.