The stylish Fermain Valley sits in a commanding position with outstanding views across to the sea, in delightful tropical gardens courtesy of the same team who designed the Eden Project in Cornwall. It’s an oasis and a perfect base to explore the island, whilst enjoying the excellent facilities, and of course the food.
A large “On the Road” poster in the superbly refurbished Rock Garden Steakhouse at the Fermain Valley Hotel is a metaphor for the pleasures of eating and drinking which are at the heart of an enjoyable stay on Guernsey. To paraphrase Jack Kerouac – drink and eat to enjoy life.
Back in 2005 (as regular visitors to Guernsey may remember), the popular Favorita Hotel was acquired by entrepreneur Derek Coates, who then added the neighbouring Fermain Valley Hotel to his collection. After substantial refurbishment, the Fermain Valley has become Guernsey’s leading 4 star leisure hotel with renamed sister property, “The Venue” offering the perfect location for events on the same site.
Two minutes’ walk through the gardens (but somehow hidden) the footpath leads from the Fermain Valley to The Venue which also boasts the largest private cinema on the island, a luxurious affair with 27 fabulously comfortable leather seats and a large screen with 3D no less.
Well-located, it’s about 10 minutes’ drive from the airport and a few minutes from pretty much everywhere else. Then again you could say that about anywhere of the island which covers just 24 square miles. There’s a courtesy minibus to St. Peter’s Port and a whole range of activities within easy reach from walking to sightseeing, from yoga to coasteering. On the other hand, you could simply enjoy complete R&R in great comfort and the wonderful food.
The main hotel restaurant, the Ocean, serves excellent seafood, including a fresh catch of the day and specialist local dishes. And for lunch, what could be more enjoyable than sitting outside on the sun drenched multi-layer terrace, and soaking up the view?
The Rock Garden Steakhouse has a decor and ambience which is quite unlike the rest of the hotel. American themed, with a large model cow in the centre, it has the largest gin bar on the island with over 30 varieties, and excellent value steaks from around the world from only £12 for 8oz. Little wonder that it is popular with residents and locals alike!
Feeling in need of burning a few calories after lunch? A five minute downhill walk through the tropical gardens leads to the beach. For the more energetic, you can turn in either direction and enjoy a fabulous coastal walk, either to bustling St Peter’s Port to the left (around 45 minutes) or up to St Martin’s Point (also around 45 minutes) to the right. Outstanding sea views at every turn, and very well-marked footpaths (local granite rocks with directions carved into them provide reassurance at every junction – which is more than can be said for the roads!). And what better excuse on finding oneself back at the Fermain Valley than to enjoy afternoon cream tea on the terrace. The terrace can also be accessed from the indoor pool and sauna, ideal for winter months and cooler weather.
And after fine dining and all that exercise, it’s off to bed in one of the spacious and well-equipped bedrooms, designated Platinum, Gold and Silver with the former affording balconies with views across the valley to the sea. There really can be no better way to wake up than to throw back the curtains onto a beautiful day and a sea view.
Eat and drink to enjoy life? A stay at the Fermain Valley really does come highly recommended.