The economy is causing drastic changes to all of our lives. More and more of us are having to resort to “Staycations” instead of lovely holidays in the sun, we stay at home and maybe go away somewhere close for a weekend. That’s exactly what we did this year. However, our stay at The Queen’s Hotel in Portsmouth was a lovely surprise and didn’t break the bank.
According to their website, “The original Queen’s hotel was known as Southsea House and was built by the architect Augustus Livesay, in 1861. It was then a large private house owned by Sir John and Lady Morris and was later transformed into one of the first hotels in Southsea by William Kemp Junior, this is when it became known as the Queen’s Hotel. In the late 18th century the Queen’s Hotel had a yacht club that stood behind it called the Royal Albert and was also surrounded by woods, which were then called Stone Woods.”
“On December 8th 1891 in the early hours of the Sunday morning a disastrous and fatal fire occurred. Aided by strong winds it raged until the whole of the premises had been completely gutted. The Hotel was rebuilt in 1903 by the architect T.W.Cutler into the splendid building that stands today, complete with its Edwardian baroque style in brown terracotta.”
The building itself is beautiful and stands out as luxurious compared to the other buildings around the area. There is a beautiful view of the sea from most rooms, just be sure to ask when you book. The rooms are a good size for the UK with comfortable queen or king sized beds, a flat screen television, nice, modern, clean bathrooms and tea making facilities. Even though the building is old, everything is clean and very well kept. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful in all areas of the hotel. Since I’m an American, I have to mention that for those of you not used to summers in the UK, the rooms do not have air conditioning, so please be aware of this if booking during hotter days.
I looked online for a hotel to stay at in Portsmouth and chose The Queen’s Hotel because they offered a Champagne Break. This offer states as of November 15th, 2010: 1 x Bottle of Champagne, Dinner, Bed and Breakfast (3 courses) For only £150.00 per couple, stay second night for only £125.00 (Including the above) Anyone staying additional nights, the normal rates apply. (Subject to Availability, excluding Xmas, and New Year Periods). We were staying in late September so didn’t have any trouble booking. It turned out the weather was lovely as well so we were doubly lucky. There was a wedding that evening which could be noisy if you minded the music, but we enjoyed it and it ended at a reasonable time.
We sipped our champagne while we watched the big ferries go back and forth between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight and had a lovely evening. The next day, we took a walk along the sea front to the old Navy outposts and to a lovely pub right on the water called the Still and West and had a real ale and watched the boats cruise by.
The bottle of champagne is brought to your room whenever you choose and is lovely and chilled. It was a decent vintage as well which we didn’t expect. The dinner was top-notch and served in the beautiful restaurant down stairs. We both had a starter, main meal of steak and even dessert and it was included in the price of the break. The next morning, we had a lovely breakfast in the same restaurant, which looks more like an elegant ball room than a restaurant, of buffet style hot and cold foods which was also included in the break price. You really couldn’t fault the hotel on anything, and the food was very tasty and fresh and we felt that we received a great deal for our money. We would love to return to another champagne break very soon!