As you begin dreaming of your 2020 adventures, let me tempt you with a GlamperRV trip to the Isle of Wight. For once I am not writing this one but am sharing a wonderful report from Luxuria Lifestyle who recently experienced the joys of the open road.
When some great friends from America came to visit and regale us with their tales of motorhome adventures across several US states we felt a sense of envy, the freedom and fun we saw from numerous photos and videos was evident and they are planning to repeat this experience regularly.
When they left we felt the urgent need to give this motorhome touring adventure a ‘go’, so we set about looking for a reputable, comfortable and stylish vehicle for us to emulate our US friends trip. The obvious difference being the road size, so the vehicle size and capability was of paramount importance.
After a little research, we came across GlamperRV who provide luxury A-class motorhomes that are the epitome of style, luxury and comfort. A few very necessary driving license and personal checks later and we were ready to take our GlamperRV on a four-night journey to the Isle of Wight.
Lucy and Raphael Caillé are the business owners of nine of these amazing vehicles and the story is that they loved the idea and freedom of travelling ad hoc, but hated the thought of camping, they required a certain degree of pleasure. They very soon realised they were not alone, regular ‘campervans’ seemed a little unattractive and lacked those finer details that ensure that your needs are met. The shell of the GlamperRV motorhomes remain but the duo reimagines the interior, including sumptuous cream leather upholstery, The White Company bedding, linen and towels, unlimited wifi, espresso coffee machine, hairdryer, and every conceivable extra you could ever need on your trip away from home.
The vehicle features a large double bed at the rear with a super little shower, toilet and sink, separated from the main area for privacy with a door. In the centre is a great fridge, sink, oven and a three-ring gas cooker, plus all of the utensils needed to create most meals that can be enjoyed at the dining table that easily seats four, with two of the seats being the driver and passengers seats that rotate towards the table. For year-round comfort central heating and air conditioning, a large freshwater tank and hot water are available at the touch of a button. There is a further bed above the front area that you would not know was there and it is super-cosy. The motorhome travels well, it speeds along happily and takes the hills with no labouring, the performance is great and is easy to drive, turning on a sixpence, most handy when you miss a turning. The automatic gearbox and rearview cameras ensure driving, reversing and parking are simple. The sat nav is especially helpful as it is programmed to only take you where this vehicle can easily go, avoiding narrow roads.
We have spent a lot of time in Devon and Cornwall and had never seen the Isle of Wight, so this was our plan. First, we needed to book our ferry crossing, we had been recommended Red Funnel, the online booking system was so simple and extremely reasonably priced. We arrived as advised 30 minutes prior to leaving Southampton which was our port of choice from the UK. The route Southampton to Cowes was just 45 minutes, we had our small dog with us and the staff were so happy to see him in the dog-friendly area, offering dozens of dog treats. The restaurant onboard was clean, warm and bright with a super menu, we had a fabulous fish and chips lunch, it was hot, tasty and speedy. We were lucky, it was a clear and sunny day and the south coast from Southampton to Portsmouth providing a super view, it was a smooth and quiet crossing, a shame it wasn’t a little longer really!
We had planned our route, taking the coastal road, as far as possible around the whole island. The motorhome had been well-stocked by Lucy with delicious local farm produce, we had bread, butter, sausages, bacon, orange juice and jam, so that evening we had ‘breakfast’ while parked in a long-stay carpark between a golf course and the coast. We had contacted the Isle of Wight tourist board to ask for campsite addresses, being out of season they were all closed, but we were told the long-stay carparks are fine to stay in overnight. We found each carpark to be well lit, safe and cost just a few pounds for an overnight stay, but don’t forget you will need a nice flat surface, you don’t want to be rolling out of bed!
Every evening before dark we found a carpark close to the beach, the sound of the crashing waves and the brisk sea air was so refreshing, our little dog enjoyed the beach walks as much as we did. The Isle of Wight is quaint and peaceful, with most of the towns a bit quiet, a lot of the seafront businesses were shut for the winter. We still found plenty of wonderful pubs and restaurants, dog-friendly of course and enjoyed some really fabulous meals.
Our favourite lunch was at The Royal Hotel in Ventnor, a stunning traditional 5-star very smart and stylish hotel, sitting high above the esplanade. This four-storey well maintained elegant building features a variety of rooms and suites to suit all and is ideally located within walking distance of the town and beach.
The Royal Hotel has achieved 2 AA Rosettes for excellent food for over 20 consecutive years and has appeared in every Michelin Good Food Guide since it’s inception, we experienced this first hand with a fabulously tasty lunch of locally caught fish and chips, with a lovely bottle of wine and dessert. The dining area was chic and comfortable, the food steaming hot and the service five star.
Our experience of motor-homing was a complete joy, our home for these few days was delightful, we loved the freedom to come and go as we pleased. The summer months would prove to be even more enjoyable as the large Thule awning would give so much more space. I could just imagine taking the table and chairs out from the huge ‘garage ‘ space and throwing some locally caught fish on the bbq, enjoying a lovely bottle of wine while watching the sunset over the horizon.
When visiting the Isle of Wight the Tourist Board is extremely helpful, offering all kinds of advice, where to eat, where to camp, places of interest, dog-friendly and child-friendly pubs and the best beaches.
Roll on the summer months, I feel another trip coming on, but maybe a visit across the channel to France!
These GlamperRV motorhomes are available to hire or buy, check out the website here or call Lucy on 0845 838 6796 for personal and bespoke service you won’t find anywhere else.