Gert has recently re-invented the imposing 18thC house at Ventnor on the south coast of the Isle of Wight. The exterior remains unchanged — thatched roof and stone walls — but inside it's now contemporary, mostly white, and with a distinctly Scandinavian feel. Their colour scheme - or lack of - initially feels impersonal, but Gert is a friendly host who knows how to create a relaxing, welcoming environment.
   Downstairs, the common areas are large and furnished with Scandinavian pieces, while colourful modern paintings adorn most walls. The bedrooms, although rather uniform, are stylish, comfortable and provide everything you need.
   Recent developments include two apartments, Hillside Stables and Hillside 30PS with similar decoration and furnishings. The Stables are adjacent to Hillside whereas 30PS is a self-catering Victorian house 50 metres from the sea in downtown Ventnor. They have also started opening their restaurant seven days a week (not just dinner), and they've opened a 'continental' bistro a five-minute walk away.
   St Boniface Down - the highest point of the Isle of Wight - has tremendous views over the island and is a brisk walk away. The Boniface cliffs mean Ventnor is sheltered and so enjoys a mild maritime climate.