Albion Hotel in Freshwater Bay is set to reopen this summer

By Mal Butler Feb 23, 2024
The Albion Hotel in June 2019 (pic: Google Maps)

Two West Wight beauty spots have revealed good news this week, with confirmation that a hotel and café on the coastline will be open this summer.

The Albion Hotel, Freshwater Bay, has told the IW Observer that it aims to be open by June 1, while The Bay Café, on Totland Pier, is looking to open at the end of March or beginning of April.

However, hopes that the The Pier by Seasons restaurant, at the end of Totland Pier, will open this spring have been dashed with the opening date put back. Last October the Woolridge Group announced plans for the restaurant to be opened in May 2024, but the company has since announced it is to appoint administrators after almost 50 years in business.

Mark Craven, hotel director of The Albion, confirmed: “We will be open to the public on June 1 – if not before. We are 10 days behind, but our builders, who have been working full-time, say they will make that up this week.

“It’s been a huge project, more than we expected. We didn’t think we would have to rebuild the whole building and all its roofs. We have new heating and rewired it and done this with all our heart.

“It would have been easier to demolish it and start again, but we have given a 300-year-old building a new lease of life and it will be here for another couple of hundred years.

“It will look so much better from the outside, once it has been painted and rendered, but we need some dry weather for that, so it can wait until April.

“All our heads of staff are in place except for our heads of housekeeping and reception. It’s going to be truly amazing when we’re finished.”

Meanwhile, owner of The Bay Café on Totland Pier, Charlie Wooldridge, also had some good news, saying: “The cafe is going to reopen at the end of March or beginning of April.

“We are in the process of organising our team of staff to take us forward.”

The Pier by Seasons restaurant at the end of the pier, will now be delayed, possibly for another season. Charlie added: “We are still working on getting open as soon as possible, but there has been some tweaking of the design inside the building. We want to make sure that all we do works best for the restaurant and its customers.”