Tom’s Eco Lodge at Tapnell Farm on the Isle of Wight ~ Our stay at the award winning glamping site
Tom’s Eco Lodge makes up part of Tapnell Farm, a former working dairy farm which has successfully diversified it’s business to blend both agriculture and tourism on the Isle of Wight. The Turney family currently own the farm, with son Tom Turney taking on the glamping element of a diverse range of projects now established at Tapnell. Tom’s Eco Lodge was set up…by Tom….when was just 25 years old in 2012. The site has since developed to offer a wide range of luxury glamping accommodation including five safari tents, two cabins, two eco-pods and two modulog pods.
The variety of accommodation appeals to a wide spectrum of guests including families, couples, solo travellers, groups, hardened campers and those after a more 5 star experience. The beauty of Tom’s Eco Lodge is that there really is something for everyone. Add in the fact that the farm is located on the stunning South Western corner of the Isle of Wight, overlooking rolling countryside towards Freshwater Bay…and you start to get the picture. This place is pretty special.
As an avid glamper I’d heard good things about Tom’s Eco Lodge over the last couple of years. They have won numerous awards…including ‘Green Business of the Year’ and two gold trophies at the Beautiful South Awards – celebrating the cream of South East tourism at the end of 2018. Their reputation goes before them. So when my family and I booked a Christmas break on the Island there was only one place we wanted to stay…it was time to experience a stay at Tom’s Eco Lodge for ourselves!
Choosing our accommodation
Due to both the time of year and the size of our family (we’re a family of 6) there were two options for accommodation for our stay: a modulog or a cabin. I love the idea of the modulogs – a pair of stunning, custom made pods which are fully insulated offering cosy year round stays with all facilities provided in one place…they even come with their own wood-fired hot tub. Having talked things over with Chloe Baker, the site accommodation manager she advised us that the wood cabins would be a more spacious, comfortable option for the time of year as the modulogs only have 2 bedrooms. Perfect when you have full use of the outdoor space in the Summer…but a bit cramped for the long December evenings we’d be experiencing.
The Wood Cabin
The site has 2 wood cabins which offer fantastic year round accommodation for large families like ours, or get togethers. With a total of three bedroom the cabins offer bedding for 8 with space for an additional 2 on the sofa. The cabins are fully insulated and heated…in all honesty we were warmer in the cabin than at home! It had a snug ‘ski lodge’ feel about it. Facilities include an electric oven, freezer, dishwasher, washing machine, shower, bath….and of course…an electric hot tub!
I don’t think we could have asked for better accommodation! The wood cabins are functional, well thought out and a joy to spend time in. The interior offers both a spacious, open plan living space where we could spend time together as a family in the evenings…but also comfortable, bright bedrooms where the children were happy to take time out on their own. The two cabins are positioned next to each other, yet due to clever landscaping there is a real sense of seclusion and privacy. Views across the front look out over stunning farmland towards Tennyson Downs and Freshwater Bay and on a clear evening you can watch the sun set from the decking. In addition to the practicalities of the accommodation we also found that there had been a lot of thought given to ensuring an all round positive guest experience: we were provided with charcoal for the BBQ, books and games we laid out on the bookshelves, we had our own pretty Christmas decorations, utensils and crockery catered for all requirements, dishwashing tablets, tea and coffee were provided…all the small things that can make a huge impact!
The hot tub needs it’s own mention. This really added to the quality of our experience at Tom’s Eco Lodge. It was a real novelty to spend evenings (and some mornings!) as a family spending time together in a beautiful setting, giggling and chatting in the tub. This is what I will remember about our stay. Time away from the routine of screens and schedules enjoying something truly fun and indulgent together.
The rest of the site
The site has been laid out to encourage families to explore and feel at home on the farm. Guests are invited to help themselves to eggs from the hen house, cook on the wood fired pizza oven, embrace open spaces and walking trails, play on the tree swings..and there’s even an honesty shed where you can buy cleaning items and food including locally produced meats for impromptu barbecues. The essence is that the farm is here for guests to enjoy.
The rest of the Tapnell Farm site includes Tapnell Farm Park, The Cow restaurant, Top Targets shooting and Adventure Activities UK outdoor pursuits. It’s fair to say you could plan a whole weeks holiday based on the activities available right on the doorstep of your accommodation. During our stay we visited the farm park nearly everyday. Our toddler loved the indoor soft play whilst our older children enjoyed the animals and the more adventurous rides in the park….especially the go-karts.
Tom’s Eco Lodge was everything I was hoping for and more. They follow an ethos that combines forward thinking business strategies whilst keeping the guest’s experience at the core. Guests can do as little or as much as they choose with amenities being provided on site allowing maximum time for relaxation and pleasure. I hope to return to Tom’s in the future, but for now I’m very happy with the memories we’ve already made there.
We received a discount for our stay in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.