Southhampton Needs to Spruce Up

What does it say to you about Southampton’s appeal as a pre- or post-cruise destination that the top ranking hotel on TripAdvisor is not a place down on the city’s quite lovely waterfront – but the Premier Inn Southampton Airport?

Clearly Southampton wins, hands down, when it comes to be the U.K.’s busiest home port. So a lot of us have little choice if we’re cruising from England (Dover’s way behind). Southampton has a lot of quiet charms – and quite a bit of potential — but after my most recent stay here it seems that its hotels, in particular (which are a key aspect of a pre- or post-cruise visit) have gotten smug and lazy. Let’s put it this way: It’s no Barcelona.

The hotels that are located in cruise-centric places are primarily a utilitarian Novotel and Ibis (nothing wrong with cheap and cheerful but it’s not exciting). Numerous friends have grumbled about the Holiday Inn on the Solent. At the DeVere Grand Harbour Hotel, which is considered the city’s top-rated hostelry, it would appear that there have been few if any upgrades since the place opened in 1994. Beds are lumpy, rooms are tired, there aren’t many contemporary amenities (slow Ethernet, no Internet, lousy selection of television channels, fans in rooms in place of better air system). One caveat here is its balcony rooms; snag one that overlooks the Solent and you won’t care about the limitations!). Speaking of which – this photo of Celebrity Eclipse was snapped this morning from just one such balcony as the sun began to creep over the horizon at 4:15 a.m.!

With one exception – the delightful boutique hotel Ennios, which lies at the foot of the Red Funnel ferry and is a six-room place atop its own delightful Italian restaurant – the best way to sleep well in Southampton is to get out of town. Otherwise, New Forest-area places like Hotel Terravina and Lime Wood are superb spots for splurge stays.

Do you have a favorite Southampton (area) hotel? Tell us about it.




Filed under Advice, Destinations, Luxury Cruises, Uncategorized

5 responses to “Southhampton Needs to Spruce Up

  1. Tend to agree with you there – stayed at Premier Inn Soton Central for the ACE Convention – usual PI fare – purple and comfy – a tad noisy as it appeared to be built on a traffic island and the parking was a bit rubbish – but great breakfast and wi fi in every room, air conditioning and freeview on the telly – pretty good. BUT, yes Soton needs a great 5-star hotel – we recommend the 4-Seasons for pre-post cruise luxury at Hook in Hampshire – they do transfers too.

  2. Also meant to say that many hotels, including and especially the waterfront ones, are premium priced and book up quickly for prime weekends even with the high tariffs. So plan ahead. Especially if you want to stay at Ennio’s! It was my first choice but with only six rooms…let’s hope its owners plans to expand go into effect soon!

  3. paulco

    My dad and I spent a great night at the Crown Hotel, on High St., Lyndhurst, in the New Forest. Loved it and not expensive, just a short ride to Soton.

  4. Lorraine Lees

    Agree having stayed at the De Vere and the travel lodge but as we leave again on the indie in August we have gone for the cheap and cheerful (just about)at Lodge Road.£60 for 2 adults and child no breakfast.
    really good restaurant (was there 2 years ago) opposite.we arrive evening dine out get up early and are in the windjammer having lunch before 12. And thats all we want really ,the experience is all about the ship the sooner we get on the better

  5. I did a trip on the Braemar in March to the Caribbean in the rebuilt section, no 3098. Excellent room for stowage, good shelving too & a well appointed safe. In June we went to Norway including a force 8 gale northbound, handled with great skill by the Master.
    However the extended bit increaded the number of passengers, on what is usually an open ship because of the bad weather. 4006, one deck up had no shelving & the beds were too low to put suitcases under. Hope this is remidied at the next dry docking.

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