A British brand is remaking 150-year-old military installations into modern, luxe destinations.
Built in the mid-19th century to protect Portsmouth Harbor from the French Navy, the four Solent Forts a mile off the southern edge of England were sold off during the "pirate radio" boom in the sixties by the Ministry of Defence. Today, AmaZing Venues owns three of the forts and is slowly turning each of them into a luxury destination. The latest, No Man’s Fort, will open this fall as a 20-plus bedroom hotel.
Because the fort sits over a mile out in the Solent, the straight separating the Isle of Wight from England proper, designers are building in all sorts of facilities, including a virtual golf course, a laser tag arena, and a cabaret. The former military installation, manned by a staff of 80, will essentially become the world’s coolest and slowest cruise ship.
Visitors to the installation previously known as No Man’s Land will arrive and depart by helicopter and spend much of the rest of their time in the atrium section of the installment, which will serve as a sort of greenhouse beach, keeping the chilly North Atlantic winds at bay. When it’s sunny – between June and early October – guests will have to decide whether to hang out topside or hole up in their extravagantly appointed rooms.
Nearby Spitbank Fort already attracts clubby types of the LSE and EDM varieties, but No Man’s Fort will likely bring in a larger crowd of tony weekenders and military buffs. And no wonder: Just look at this thing.