We love the Isle of Wight and thought we would try out Warner’s at Norton Grange having stayed at Warner’s Bembridge earlier in the year(see separate review).
There are 8 of us that try and go away somewhere each year for a long weekend…there were some blinding offers for Warners …with the I.O.W venues having a “ferry for a fiver” deal which was an absolute bargain!
The weekend we could all make was mid October and a tribute band called Showmaddymaddy was the main entertainment on the Saturday with a comedian on the Friday.The weekend was also a “ drinks inclusive “ break which was from 6pm until midnight (some drinks were excluded from this offer eg real ales but we were more than happy with what was on offer…& the wine was very drinkable!)
After a very pleasant ferry crossing(we chose the Lymington to Yarmouth crossing)we made our way to Norton Grange which was only a few minutes away.
On arrival we received a warm welcome and directed to our chalets.Two couples had an upgraded chalet which included a small lounge area(see photos)….we were impressed by the standard of the furnishings and everywhere was spotless.There was a large wardrobe which contained a safe plus quite a few drawers in the sitting area as well as bedside tables. If you have walking difficulties or use a wheelchair there are chalets nearer the main building with a private car park bay as Norton Grange is a car free zone.The car parks are quite close by however.
The dining room was bright and airy and had lots of different seating areas some of which were elevated.We were shown to our table -in a nice position on an elevated section -which was for the duration of our stay.
We could not fault the quality or variety of the food on offer at Breakfast or Dinner….whether from the self service buffet or via waiter service “from the kitchen*”.I have included a few photos of the food * which shows it was nicely presented too. As one of our party was celebrating her Birthday on the Friday we paid £12.95 for the celebration pack which included balloons,party poppers,table confetti and a disposable camera!There are also other celebration packages available.
Snacks & sandwiches etc are available at lunchtimes but we tended to go out exploring during the day however we enjoyed sandwiches after arriving on our first day.
Sadly the weather wasn’t on our side so we were unable to play on the outdoor bowls rink but a few of us went for a swim & a sauna.I had every intention of going to the gym (I was the only one who had brought my kit)but I felt this was unsociable so joined everyone else for a walk along the seafront when we had a dry spell! We didn’t really take advantage of the many daytime activities as we wanted to get out & about …we all visited the pretty village of Godshill(sadly the model village was closed) and a few of our party went to Carisbrooke Castle for which they had discounted tickets for (provided with our Warners welcome pack…a nice touch!).We also went into Yarmouth where we enjoyed a coffee in Gossips café on the front by the ferry…try & visit the interesting Antique centre which is close by.Also make a beeline for a fantastic shop called “Drift” …run by John & Katia …who personally source every item from exotic locations ensuring the handmade items are bought directly from the person who has made them…true Fairtrade…and yes we did buy something !!
There were plenty of board games etc in the Lounge Bar which I thought was excellent-save us bringing our own next time!A few of us wanted to try our luck at Bingo in the evenings but never made it due to lingering over Dinner. There was a comedian on Friday evening who was quite funny but Saturday’s entertainment was brilliant….the frontman of Showmaddymaddy was hilarious & the music was great….all of our party loved the act!! The resident Entertainment team also perform a panto during the festive season….I thoroughly enjoyed watching Aladdin….they did a great job!
Being eight of us it was quite a struggle to get seated all together in the Entertainments lounge….it was like ‘Pickfords removals’as we moved tables & chairs from here & there on the Fri & Sat nights!However I must say on the first night the staff did their best to help us out. Sadly we hadn’t thought to reserve a table ….which I later found out we may have been able to do!Hence the reason we couldn’t face the hassle on the Sunday night and decided to stay in the Bar & play some games!
There was a well stocked shop as there is at all Warner hotels –ideal if you have forgotten any toiletries ,want to get a newspaper or magazine or treat yourself to one of the many lovely gift items.
We all had a brilliant weekend despite the wet weather…we enjoyed all aspects of our break …the food,friendly service & entertainment at Norton Grange as well as getting out & about on the island.
Although most people see the I.O.W as a Summer destination we think it has a lot to offer in all seasons and definitely would not hesitate to return to Norton Grange (or the other Warner venue at Bembridge)…both coastal resorts with nice views and so much to see & do!Sadly we didn't get to see a red squirrel which means we will have to return!