Old forts and watchtowers that once provided protection against marauding intruders are being given new life across the globe, but perhaps none are as luxurious as the bespoke Spitbank Fort Hotel. Located one mile outside of Portsmouth Harbor in Hampshire, the old fort was decommissioned in 1982 after defending British nationals from boats and light aircraft for over 100 years and passed on to a series of private owners. The latest spent no less than $4.85 million transforming the place into a luxury island retreat.
The old fort doesn’t look like much from afar as much of the original crude infrastructure has remained intact. Don’t worry, it’s stalwart and safe, but the owners added a few classy finishings to lure the rich and famous to this unique weekend getaway destination. Exposed brick walls, fortress windows and a handful of old cannons allow visitors a glimpse of the fort’s original incarnation, but the British military certainly didn’t have the luxuries available today.
A rooftop hot pool, sauna, sun deck and champagne bar, as well as a wine cellar, library, three restaurants and three bars are available not only to the guests staying in one of nine gobsmacking rooms, but also dinner and Sunday brunch guests. It is reached either by taking a helicopter ride to No Man’s Fort and a quick 10 minute dash to Spitbank Fort, or a longer boat ride from Gosport. Now, as much as we love renovations for their reuse of existing structures, we must admit that the $565 nightly price tag is a bit absurd – reserved as it is for the wealthy elite.