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Royal York Hotel

December 2013



Ryde on the isle wight was once a popular tourist destination and transport hub, like many other resort towns it has its share of boarded up hotels and guest houses...

The Royal york hotel was built in 1938 and replaced an earlier Victorian hotel of the same name. The advent of the railway and the pier with regular passenger ferries had made Ryde the gateway to the island and a popular destination for holidaymakers.

I can imagine that when it opened the Royal York's smart art deco styling and modern facilities must have been the height of fashion. The hotel boasted a modern spiral staircase, lit by a glass skylight and tall curved windows. There was a ballroom, with decorative round columns and a segmented glass skylight above the stage. There was also a terraced lounge bar/restaurant, games rooms and 3 floors of bedrooms, the smartest of which were en suite, with balconies looking out onto the Solent.

By the 1970's the hotels fortunes were on the turn. People were starting to travel abroad more for their holidays and the Royal York probably seemed a bit out of date. A few attempts were made to modernise and refit. This resulted in lots of changes to the fixtures and fittings, which must have extended the appeal of the hotel to contemporary customers while compromising on its period styling… Avocado bathroom suites anyone?

In spite of the modernisation work the hotel was still had enough art deco features to justify it being listed in 1998, It also forms part of the Ryde conservation Area. The listing information is interesting as it suggests the staircase has been messed about with and is now missing a metal balustrade supported by pairs of female figurines to 1st flight.

By the early 2000's I think the hotel was only open during the summer season before finally it closed in around 2006.


Faded Glory,










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