Villa Amanti as a Sauna and Solarium

Many people will be familiar with Villa Amanti on Ventnor Esplanade, dating from 1843, and now wonderfully restored. But what many will not know is that, in the late 1970s, it became the location of the first commercial sauna complex in Ventnor. Finnish sauna baths and solariums had been installed there, the idea of Brenda and Peter Wright who had previously run the Macrocarps Hotel on Mitchell Avenue and who had recently acquired the Metropole Hotel, for which Villa Amanti had for some time been the Hotel Annexe.

The Sauna opened in June 1978, from 10 am to 10 pm. Mr and Mrs John Suckling had been engaged to undertake supervision of the new facility.

In 1987 the Metropole Hotel was sold on and started to gain a reputation for high quality cuisine under experienced chef, Andre Van-Pottlesberghe. A new restaurant had been opened for the purpose in the main sun lounge, with the hotel itself ably overseen by Kay and Colin Knowles. Unfortunately, within four or five years, the Hotel had drifted into bankruptcy and been closed.

A Southampton businessman, Simon Andrews, purchased it, but his tenure proved tortuous to say the least. The hotel was damaged by fire in 1996. By 2001, parts of the frontage were boarded up, creating a sea-front eyesore.

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