These sunkissed islands are part of the British Isles, but these elegant hotels make them feel like a vacation, not a staycation
The Channel Islands are the most southern part of the British Isles and get more hours of sunshine than anywhere else in the UK. If you travel to Guernsey, you can easily include the car-free islands of Sark and Herm, which are just a short ferry ride away.
Both Alderney and Jersey are better explored as single destinations as they are a little further away from the other islands (Alderney to the north and Jersey to the south). Whichever unspoiled speck you choose, you’ll find wild-flower strewn coastal paths to walk or cycle along, beaches galore and an abundance of local produce; whether you want a crab sandwich from a cafe or a seafood platter in a fine-dining restaurant. Here are some of the best places to stay across this rugged archipelago.
The best hotels in the Channel Islands are:
- Best for outdoor pool: Stocks Hotel, Booking.com
- Best for stepping back in time: La Sablonnerie
- Best for walkers: The White House Hotel, Booking.com
- Best for hipsters: Blonde Hedgehog, Booking.com
- Best for entertainment: Fermain Valley, Booking.com
- Best for beach access: Imperial Hotel, Booking.com
- Best for views: Atlantic Hotel, Booking.com
- Best for foodies: Longueville Manor, Booking.com
- Best for shopping: The Royal Yacht Hotel, Booking.com
- Best for history buffs: Old Court House Inn, Booking.com
Best for outdoor pool: Stocks Hotel
Ask this country house hotel for a luxury transfer, and you’ll be met by their horse and carriage at the top of Harbour Hill, where the tractor bus brings you up from the ferry on this car-free island. Otherwise hire a bicycle or make the 20-min journey on foot. This 23-room hotel is the oldest on the island and has an idyllic garden with a heated outdoor pool and a restaurant that transforms local ingredients into international dishes. The oak-beamed Smugglers bar is full of character and serves homemade wines and liqueurs alongside a fine collection of whiskeys.
Price: Doubles from £166, B&B
Best for stepping back in time: La Sablonnerie
Neighbourhood: Little Sark
Separated from Sark by a narrow isthmus, Little Sark is like a private island of which the queen is Elizabeth Perrée, owner of La Sablonnerie Hotel. Elizabeth has lived her entire life on the island and inherited the hotel business from her parents. Not much has changed here for 50 years. Penguin-suited waiters pour glasses of Bollinger to guests who come to eat lobster lunches in the garden. Those who chose to stay in one of the 22 simple rooms will hear tales of island life in the wood-beamed bar which stays open until the last guest has turned in for the night.
Price: Doubles from £98, B&B
Best for walkers: The White House Hotel
The only hotel on Herm, the White house Hotel has grown and expanded over the years and now includes a self-catering cottage, interconnecting family rooms and eight dog-friendly rooms. There’s no televisions or clocks in the rooms to encourage a disconnection from the modern world. Instead play games in the lounge, swim in the outdoor pool, skim pebbles on the nearby beach or go for long walks on this petite car-free island.
Price: Doubles from £145, B&B
Best for hipsters: Blonde Hedgehog
One of the newest hotels on the northern Channel Island of Alderney, the Blonde Hedgehog brings city hipster chic to this sleepy island where cars are left unlocked and the speed limit is just 35mph. Created by converting two Georgian townhouses and the old Rose and Crown pub, you’ll find seven rooms and two suites all styled in Farrow and Ball paint colours with metro tiles, free-standing bathtubs and antique furniture. They also have a self-catering cottage and farmhouse.
Price: Doubles from £230, B&B
Best for entertainment: Fermain Valley
Neighbourhood: St Peter Port, Guernsey
This well-equipped four-star hotel looks out on the wooded Fermain valley and the sandy bay beyond. Several lively and atmospheric restaurants attract a local crowd, including a Greek restaurant, Mexican and steakhouse. A treehouse spa offers an unusual range of treatments, while there’s also a private cinema and indoor pool and sauna. Enjoy a stroll down to the (the road is flanked by bluebells in season) and then, if you’re feeling lazy, you can take advantage of the free shuttle back. Rooms are luxurious and period styled.
Price: Doubles from £123, B&B
Best for beach access: Imperial Hotel
Neighbourhood: Torteval, Guernsey
You get the choice of two beaches within a few minutes walk, if you stay in this smart Georgian pub and restaurant with rooms in the western tip of the island. The terrace is lively with locals enjoying sundowners and plates of mussels, crab salads, or beer battered fish and chips, while the rooms are decorated in calming seaside blues with picture windows, large bathrooms and tea and coffee facilities.
Price: Doubles from £90, B&B
Best for views: Atlantic Hotel
Neighbourhood: St Ouen, Jersey
There’s perhaps no finer spot in the whole of the Channel Islands than the patch of land claimed by the Atlantic Hotel in Jersey. It sits high on a headland on the southern corner of west-coast St Ouen’s Bay, surrounded by golf course and grassland, and enjoys views of the entire five-mile sweep of sand. Play tennis and golf, swim in the indoor and outdoor pools and enjoy leisurely afternoon teas on the terrace. Rooms are a little small, but many have seaview balconies.
Price: Doubles from £128, B&B
Best for foodies: Longueville Manor
Neighbourhood: St Saviour, Jersey
This sedate and sophisticated country house hotel is Jersey’s only AA five-star hotel and member of Relais Chateaux. It’s the place to enjoy elaborate tasting menus in an oak-panelled dining room rounded off by a selection of cheeses from the famous cheese trolley (chef Andrew Baird regularly travels to France to select the cheese himself). Take a tour of the kitchen garden to check out what’s next on your plate and book a tasting in the walk-in wine cellar.
Price: Doubles from £195, B&B
Best for shopping: The Royal Yacht Hotel
Neighbourhood: St Helier, Jersey
The Royal Yacht looks out over the marina in St Helier so you don’t feel in the middle of town when you’re relaxing on your balcony. And yet when it comes to hitting the shops, you are just a five-minute walk from King Street, the main pedestrianised shopping street. You also have the boutique stores of Liberty Wharf on your doorstep and the bus station is opposite to easily transport you to the antique stores and art galleries of St Aubin.
Price: Doubles from £83, B&B
Best for history buffs: Old Court House Inn
Neighbourhood: St Aubin, Jersey
This boutique hotel occupies a unique 15th-century granite building on the edge of the harbour in St Aubin. The oldest part of the building dates back to 1450, when it was a wealthy merchant’s home and quirky features include a well in the characterful downstairs pub and an internal granite staircase with a right-hand thread that favours those defending rather than attacking. You’ll find a lively buzz in the pub and the wood-panelled first-floor restaurant and bar. Rooms are bijou but boutiquey, with fresh contemporary interiors that include vintage telephones and radios.
Price: Doubles from £80, B&B