The ultimate getaway: Historic fort one mile from the coast gets multi-million pound transformation into luxury B&B
Spitbank Fort built in Victorian era to protect Britain against French invasionNew owners have spent 3million turning it into 350 a night hotelCosts 5,000 to be hired exclusively
Guests arrive via taxi boat from Portsmouth Harbour and can have a drink in Crow's Nest bar
18:56 GMT, 4 December 2012
It was built with huge cannons to repel the French Navy – but now the 134-year-old Spitbank Fort is a little more welcoming.
The historic sea fort has undergone a 3million pound radical conversion to turn it into the ultimate B&B for people seeking isolation.
Standing a mile out to sea, guests have to arrive at the 350-a-night hotel via taxi boat.
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Secluded: Spitbank Fort sits a mile out to sea from Portsmouth Harbour where it was built to defend Britain against French invasion in 1878
Transformation: At one time up to 150 soldiers would sleep in hammocks beneath the fort – now up to 18 guests can stay in the luxury hotel
At one time up to 150 soldiers would sleep below in hammocks – now the fort has room for 18 guests who can enjoy a terrace hot tub, the Crow’s Nest bar and a rooftop fire pit.
Groups can hire the fort exclusively for 5,000 which includes lunch upon arrival, champagne reception, a three-course dinner and breakfast the following morning.
The venue – which was recently visited by the cast and crew of the James Bond film Skyfall – can also host 60 guests for functions such as weddings and birthday parties.
Built in 1878, Spitbank Fort was later blitzed by the Nazis during World War Two before being decommissioned by the Ministry of Defence in 1982.
After a massive restoration project, many of the fort’s original features have been kept intact, with the gun ports transformed into bedroom windows offering sea views and gunpowder rooms enlisted as cosy snugs.
Getaway: The historic fort couldn't be more secluded standing one mile out to sea
Unique: The sea fort hotel offers an unusually secluded getaway experience
Colourful history: Spitbank Fort has previously been a nightclub and hosted TV shows
The 15 feet granite walls of the fort mean guests are well protected from the roughest of weather.
There are also plans to transform neighbouring forts into a spa retreat and a naval history museum in the near future.
Makeover: The former sea fort which had anti-aircraft guns now features a sun deck where visitors can watch boats passing in and out of Portsmouth Harbour
Unique: The luxury hotel has unique a Crow's Nest bar, hot tub, sun deck, gaming table, restaurant and even a firepit
Restoration: The former sea fort has been given a mulit-million pound makeover to turn it into a luxury hotel
Mark Watts, general manager of the hotel, said: 'It was an empty shell when we bought it in 2010.
has been used for various things in the past but we had this plan to
turn it into a luxury hotel in the middle of the Solent.
'We’ve been open for five months now and we’ve had an amazing response. It’s obviously been popular with men and we have had a few birthday celebrations here for 40th’s, 50th’s and 60th’s.'
'It is normally the wives who book it up as a treat for their husbands but they end up enjoying it here just as much as the men.
hot tub on the roof terrace and crow’s nest bar have gone down very
well and I think our guests see it as a really fun venue.
'Even though we are only a mile away from land people feel like they are going on a long journey when they come here.
'We have four weddings booked for next year so far and expect to get a lot more interest for that.'
The hotel provides boat transfers from nearby Portsmouth and Gosport in Hampshire.
Renovators Clarenco worked alongside English Heritage to ensure many of the original features of the fort, which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, were preserved.
It used to have room for 150 soldiers, who slept in hammocks, but now guests can relax in the lap of luxury in nine spacious bedrooms.
During the Second World War the fort was decimated by Nazi bombs before it was
revamped and turned into a night club in the 1990s.
Rooms in the basement contain artefacts from the island’s past with guests able
to view the giant bellows used to heat up the forge and a large muzzle cleaner.
Outside guests can take in the sea air and fish for mackerel, sea bass and pollock which swim in the waters surrounding the fort.
VIDEO: The ultimate Christmas hideaway Take a tour around Spitbank Fort…
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