The Isles of Scilly (pronounced “Silly”) are located 28 miles off the southwestern tip of Britain. They include more than 140 islands, five of which are inhabited. According to the website Official Isles of Scilly Tourism, hotel accommodations are offered on four of the five inhabited islands: St. Mary's, Tresco, Bryher, St. Martin’s and St. Agnes. The largest island and the one with the most developed tourist infrastructure is St. Mary’s, followed by Tresco.
Star Castle Hotel
Dating back to 1593 and retaining its eight-sided-star-shaped walls and original cannons, the Star Castle Hotel is an ideal accommodation choice for history buffs. The hotel affords unmatched views of St. Mary’s and the other Scilly Isles from its position on top of Garrison Hill. Accommodations at the Star Castle Hotel are available in two categories: castle rooms, which have modern amenities while retaining the original character of the castle, and garden rooms, which are located within the grounds of the castle. Some of the garden rooms feature sea and harbor views. The hotel hosts two award-winning restaurants, one of which was originally an officers’ mess. The 400-year-old castle dungeon is now a cozy pub.
Hell Bay sits within expansive private grounds on the western side of Bryher. It offers 25 suites, each distinctive in decor and configuration. Every suite features a living room, and the majority have a balcony or patio with sea views. The furnishings and decor of the guest rooms are described by Hell Bay as “New England and the Caribbean meet Cornwall.” Beaches are within steps of the hotel as well as the entire island of Bryher to explore on foot, but for guests seeking more active pursuits, Hell Bay’s staff can arrange kayak rentals and boat rides to neighboring islands. The on-site restaurant presents seasonal specialties, including fresh seafood caught off the island.
The New Inn
The New Inn on the island of Tresco offers ground-floor rooms with private sun terraces, first floor rooms with views over New Grimsby harbor and double and twin rooms in the oldest part of its building. The New Inn's pub, which has been lauded by the Michelin Guide, offers a large selection of locally brewed ales, which you can enjoy inside the nautical-themed bar or out in the beer garden on a sunny day. A heated outdoor pool is open from May through September. Guests may rent a golf cart from the New Inn for exploring Tresco.
Bell Rock Hotel
The Bell Rock Hotel has welcomed visitors to the island of St. Mary's for more than 100 years. Boasting the title "the most southerly hotel in England," the 23-room hotel sits between two sandy beaches. The beaches, a harbor, coastal paths, a museum and numerous shops are found within walking distance from the hotel. Guests returning after a long day exploring the island will enjoy the hotel's heated indoor pool, bar, restaurant and lounge stocked with books and games. The hotel has a deliberately informal atmosphere with thoughtful touches such as a choice between blankets and a duvet on your bed, and a complimentary upgrade to a sea-view room if one is available.
- il verde delle Scilly image by Drawen from Fotolia.com