Despite being a frequent visitor to the Channel Island of Guernsey, 2019 was the year I spent my first Christmas in Guernsey with my husband’s family.
Just an hour by plane from London, and with six daily flights from London Gatwick via Aurigny, I can think of no reason not to visit this lovely Bailiwick island. Once you add on amazing restaurants, beautiful beaches and tax-free shopping; this makes the perfect weekend get-away, and even more so over the festive period. From seasonal afternoon teas to Christmas tree festivals, Guernsey is a magical place at Christmas and during our 6-night stay we explored many of the festive activities available around the island.
The Town Church were hosting their annual Christmas Tree Festival from 7th December to 2nd January, showcasing over 40 charity trees of different varieties which really light the place up. My personal favourite was Project Linus’s tree pictured below, they are a charity who provide handmade blankets and quilts to local babies and children who are going through a tough time. The knitted and crocheted squares that make up the trees were crafted by the local ‘blanketeers’ and really caught my eye.
The town centre is lit-up with a plethora of Christmas lights and they are just stunning, my favourite being the net cast high up in the air outside The Town Church centred with a star.
Market Square has its very own Christmas Tree, and before the 25th this is where the St Peter Port Christmas Market also stood, I can just imagine the craft stalls and smell of mulled wine as I type and I hope to visit within the next couple of years in person.
Although we usually stay with family, to explore the centre effectively a stay near St Peter Port was needed, and the first place that sprung to mind was St Pierre Park Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort. Located just a 20-minute walk from town, this 4-star hotel was the perfect place to rest our weary heads and tired legs after a day of exploring.
Internally the hotel had Christmas trees dotted around the place which added to the festive atmosphere, and when coupled with the friendly service we received, we knew we’d made the right choice of accommodation. We stayed in the beautiful Alderney Suite which has views of the lake, with its fountain centrepiece, and gardens. The suite consists of an entrance hallway, lounge area, bedroom with plenty of wardrobe space, and a large bathroom with a separate bath and shower.
The suite has plenty of outdoor space with a balcony and seating off of the bedroom, plus from the lounge you can access the large private garden complete with chairs, loungers, and the pièce de résistance – a hot tub, which offers some welcome warmth in December. Furthermore, all amenities you could need are available including bathrobes and slippers, coffee machine, Gilchrist and Soames toiletries and complimentary WiFi.
The hotel undertook an extensive refurbishment of the health club and spa in 2016 and it still looks brand spanking new, featuring a swimming pool, marble steam room, volcanic stone sauna, experience showers, treatment rooms, a relaxation room and outdoor hot tub with views across the beautiful hotel grounds and lake. The gym was also expanded to include a dedicated fitness studio with new cardiovascular equipment. The spa won ‘Best Spa in the Channel Islands’ at the Good Spa Guide Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018 so be sure to check out their spa day offers if that piques your interest.
Once dark we sat in our private hot tub with a bottle of fizz and soaked up the night sky and peaceful surroundings before making our way down to dinner at The Pavilion restaurant. There were a variety of options on offer with a good selection of vegetarian or fish dishes alongside traditional meat choices such as steak. The presentation of food and the attentive service made for a pleasant dining experience. We enjoyed a lovely three-course meal with a bottle of delicious house red wine to see out our evening.
A sumptuous breakfast buffet (a la carte breakfast menu options are also available) the following morning was taken in the Victor Hugo Suite followed by a walk in the grounds to take in the lake and beautiful gardens including tennis courts and mini golf course. A seamless check out ended a wonderful stay at St Pierre Park Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort. Not only am I already looking forward to Christmas in Guernsey again, but I’m sure my next trip to the island will also include a return visit to the hotel.
Our stay and dinner at St Pierre Park Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort were gifted but all views are of course my own.