We spent a night catching up with family in Portsmouth over the Christmas holidays. Over the years our brood has got too large for family sleepovers, so for the first time on one of these get together’s we opted to stay in a hotel. I had a good look online before booking a family room at the Holiday Inn Express. Most of the family options available offered an extra bed or cot in a standard double room. As anyone who’s ever stayed in a double room as a family of 4 know, this can be a tight fit and generally results in poor sleep all round. However the Holiday Inn Express – Portsmouth North offers an actual family sized room…aswell as inclusive breakfast, wifi and great decor! Located just off the A27 the Holiday Inn Express is modern, clean, family friendly and extremely good value.
Despite being out of the city centre the hotel is easily accessible by road. We spent the day in Gun Wharf Quays and were able to travel from a city car park to the hotel in roughly 10 minutes. The hotel is easy to find and easily accessible from the A27. The benefit of travelling slightly out of town is a much larger family room, and a very reasonable price.
We were able to park right next to the front door making it easy to unload both the children and our luggage. Reception greets you as you enter the smart entrance. We were the only people checking in and were greeted by two helpful members of staff. We were given directions to our room, details of breakfast times and were informed that there is a limited menu available from the hotel’s own bar in the evenings. This was music to our ears. We hadn’t thought about our evening meal…and having been out all day our 16 month old was exhausted. On site food meant one less thing to worry about.
Our room was large, smart and clean. In addition to a King Sized bed a double sofa bed had been made up for the children..despite this there was still plenty of floor space for our 2 hyper bunnies to explore. There’s a large TV on the wall, tea and coffee facilities and ample storage. The bathroom was extremely smart with a high end feel. My only criticism of our whole stay, however, is that in a family room it is much better to have a bath rather than a shower. Both our children would have struggled to wash in a shower had our stay been any longer. The room and fittings, especially in the bathroom were smart and new. This felt like a mid-range hotel, certainly not a budget chain. We were really impressed.
We shared a couple of bar meals between us…nachos and a panini. These weren’t anything to get excited about but were enough to keep our tums happy until the morning. Matt and I both had a beer with our food which were £4 each! The lounge / dining area, however was really smart with bright decor. There is a generous seating area with an outside terrace for warmer months. Again, we had to remind ourselves that this was a budget venue as it certainly didn’t feel like it!
We all slept well..helped by the fact the rooms have heavy black out curtains. The hotel corridors were a little noisy in the very early evening but we were not disturbed by noise after a reasonable 9:30pm. Our next appointment was the hot buffet breakfast, served between 7-10 am. The buffet offered all that you would expect from a typical English Breakfast: sausages, bacon, beans, scrambled egg and toast as well as pastries, muffins, yoghurt and fruit. Juices and hot drinks were also readily available. There was plenty of food available and staff were available for any help needed. We all enjoyed a huge breakfast, and when we were finished our plates were cleared away promptly.
We checked out feeling refreshed, well rested and with full stomachs. I can not believe what good value this stay was. For a family of 4, including our breakfast this one night stay cost us just £66 booking through Expedia. Local alternatives were all slightly more (around the £75 mark) and either didn’t include breakfast or compromised on space in the bedroom. We will certainly consider staying here on future visits to Portsmouth…although our diva daughter has insisted we stay at a hotel with a pool next time! No pleasing some people!
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