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“Ideally placed for shopping and history” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth - Gunwharf Quays

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Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth - Gunwharf Quays
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   The Plaza | Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth PO1 3FD, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #25 of 39 Hotels in Portsmouth
New Fairfield, Connecticut
Top Contributor
255 reviews 255 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 78 cities Reviews in 78 cities
147 helpful votes 147 helpful votes
“Ideally placed for shopping and history”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2011

As its name implies, the Holiday Inn Express, Porsmouth, is situated at Gunwharf Quays - a fairly recent shopping and entertainment district that grew up on the site of a former naval establishment. Gunwharf Quays is crammed with shops, a multiplex cinema, clubs, restaurants, cafes and other entertainment options. At the waterfront you can watch cross-channel and Isle of Wight ferries coming in and out of the harbour ... you can also occasionally see one of the few remaining Royal Navy ships entering or leaving Portsmouth, although a harbour tour by water will reveal that the UK doesn't have many RN ships left!

The historic dockyard - a short walk away - is a real treat, harking back to the time when the UK DID have a navy! HMS Warrior, the UK's first ironclad, has been brilliantly restored and HMS Victory - Nelson's flagship - is one of the finest historical ship experiences anywhere in the world. In fact, visiting Portsmouth without visiting Victory, is almost a crime!

The Holiday Inn Express, as its name implies, is a cut-down Holiday Inn, with reduced services and amenities. Breakfast, for example, is a very basic serve-yourself affair, but the surroundings are clean and the food perfectly adequate for this type of hotel. As the hotel is fairly recent, everything is in good repair and the rooms are basic but comfortable. All-in-all, this is a very good example of a budget hotel. There are so many excellent restaurant options within walking distance (the Indian Palace is particularly good) that you certainly don't miss a formal restaurant in the hotel itslelf ... in fact, it would be completely redundant!

The front-desk staff were friendly, although it was a bit off-putting having to wait for a good five minutes while receptionist #2 was placing a hotel supplies order rather than helping the growing queue of people wanting to check out. I know this sort of thing needs to be done, but doing it at a time when most people were leaving - and doing it within earshot of that growing queue - was a bit insensitive! But that apart, this is a hotel that can be recommended with some confidence.

The biggest negative issue? Finding it! If you're driving, head towards Gunwharf Quays and, if you don't have heavy luggage, park in the main Gunwharf car park and then take the escalator to the main shopping deck. As you are approaching Gunwharf, you can see the hotel, but there are no sgns showing you where the front entrance is, so if you want to unload big suitcases and family members, it's not that easy. However, if you approach the main car park slowly, you will see a "secret" entrance to the front lobby which comes up on your left - about 50 yards before the car park entrance. Once you have unloaded, there is a separate entrance back into the car park. Once parked, return to the front desk with your parking ticket and they will validate it.

If you have parked your car first and have taken the escalator to the main shopping deck, at the top of the escalator you need to turn 180 degrees and walk towards the hotel. You pass a restaurant called "Jamies" and you will then see a sign pointing you to the hotel entrance. Congratulations to the architect for making the entrance so small and hidden - you must be very proud. For most people the entrance will appear to be on the wrong side of the building and accessible through a narrow passage which can appear a little unfriendly at night.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RJTodd, Manager at Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth - Gunwharf Quays, responded to this review, September 14, 2011
Thank you for your review of The Holiday Inn Express Gunwharf Quays Portsmouth and for providing some helpful tips for future visitors. I am pleased you had a great stay with us and enjoyed the surrounding area. With regard to the Reception staff, you are absolutely correct and Hotel orders will not be placed on the Hotel Front Desk again. Once again, many thanks for taking the time to review the Hotel.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (171)
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Northern Ireland
Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2011

We stayed here for one night before catching the ferry to France. It's a great location, close to the ferry port (10 mins in a taxi), right next to the historic Naval Dockyard, and slap bang in the middle of the Gunwharf Quays shopping centre with its shops and restaurants. The staff were friendly and efficient, the room was large and spotlessly clean. We've stayed in several Holiday Inn Express hotels, and the standard is generally good. We visit Portsmouth regularly and will definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RJTodd, Manager at Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth - Gunwharf Quays, responded to this review, September 14, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to post your Tripadvisor review, I’m sure your review of the Hotel will be useful for visitors in the future. Your comments regarding the staff on duty will be welcomed by all, recognition such as yours means such a lot to us. Once again many thanks for your review.
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Pocklington, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2011

We stayed here for 2 reasons - 1) We wanted to be near Gunwharf Quays & Spinnaker Tower to do some pre holiday shopping. 2) We were on the early ferry to France.

The location was excellent. Straight out of the hotel & into Gunwharf Quays. It only took 5-10 mins to get from the car park to the ferry terminal the next morning.

On arrival, the car-park was a bit of an adventure. You drive down in front of the hotel into the main multi-storey for the Gunwharf Quays. Once you have (hopefully) found a space (it's a massive car park) you get your ticket validated at the hotel reception for free car parking. We left our car until next morning. I don't know if you have to pay if you take your car out. My main concern was that the car park would close overnight - but it is 24 hours.

Reception & checking in was fine. We were offered more than one room key - always good when you have 2 teenagers. The room was clean & functional. We had to ask for 2 more cups & more tea/coffee - when I book a room for 4, I expect enough cups etc. I'd booked the room for 2 adults & 2 stroppy teenagers. Valuable lesson was learnt.......the room can take 4 people, but there are only 2 double beds in it.......might be fine if your kids are agreeable, but 2 grumpy teenagers was not a good start to our hols!
We had a BB rate and I was pleased to read that breakfast service started at 6.30am. This gave us time to get something to eat before heading off for the 8.15 ferry. The food was of a reasonable standard and kept the moaning teenagers quiet.

At £84 for BB, I thought the room rate was ok. We had spent the previous night at a Premier inn at Leicester, I suppose we were paying for location in Portsmouth - but at £45 BB for all of us the previous night, this hotel did feel slightly expensive.

I would stay there again - like I said - fantastic location, ok hotel. Last thing - the staff we encountered were really friendly.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RJTodd, Manager at Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth - Gunwharf Quays, responded to this review, September 14, 2011
Many thanks for taking the time to review the Hotel on Tripadvisor, I am pleased overall that your stay at the Hotel was satisfactory and am sure that your constructive review will be helpful for future visitors. The Hotel does have varying types of rooms to accommodate all, I will review our procedures at the Hotel to ensure guests, when booking are informed of the accommodation arrangements in the specific room types to avoid any confusion in the future. We are constantly reviewing our Breakfast offering to try and improve our standards as we want our Breakfast not to be reasonable, but to be great. I would like to thank you for your kind comments regarding the friendliness of the staff, comments such as yours mean such a lot to us.
I will share all of your comments with the team so that we can strive to achieve a higher standard. Thank you once again for your comments.
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Jersey, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2011

The hotel is situated in a terrific location, very close to the waterfront, and in area that is buzzing with a great range of bars and restaurants, a vibrant nightlife, and classy shops.

However, the hotel itself has all the finesse and quality of a Poundworld Store.

The published tariff for a standard room is £200, and whilst I did not pay that rate personally, even at the price that I did pay, which was in excess of £100, I would expect such niceties as a tablet of soap in the bathroom, rather than a squidgy bottle fixed to the wall and filled with low quality shower gel.

I have regularly stayed at low cost, budget hotels, and am happy to do so, since if all that you require is a clean room, and a bed for the night, then they often represent excellent value. However, when an hotel has a published tariff of £200 per room, it is not unreasonable to expect that the traditional English Breakfast offering, which thankfully is incorporated in the price, might perhaps include the option of a rasher of bacon, and maybe even a fried egg. At this hotel, the hot food choice at breakfast was comprised of scrambled egg or sausages. The only choice available was effectively "take it or leave it !"

In most instances the adage that "you get what you pay for" holds true - but this hotel manages to flout that rule, since everything about it is low quality and cheap - except the price.

In summary, a great location and well worth a visit, but prospective guests must appreciate that the Gunwharf Quays complex incorporates a considerable number of high quality bars, restaurants and shops, and businesses - but this hotel is not one of them.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RJTodd, Manager at Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth - Gunwharf Quays, responded to this review, September 14, 2011
Thank you for taking the time to review the Hotel on Tripadvisor following your recent stay with us, I was disappointed to read you did not feel the Hotel was good value for money and did not meet with your expectations.
The soap and shower gel in the bathrooms were a recent introduction and have been very well received by the majority of our guests, I will review these products with my team to see where we can improve.
With regard to Breakfast, we do not offer a Traditional Full English Breakfast, a complimentary Express Continental Breakfast with hot favourites is available to all Hotel guests, which has proven to be very popular. The hot dishes were added to our Breakfast selection as we are constantly striving to achieve higher standards with the quality of our Breakfast. Once again, thank you for taking the time to review the Hotel.
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Shanghai, China
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2011

Was there for a wedding and staying in their regular room. The room it self was ok. But on the first night I checked in one of the two elevator was broken, so the wait for it to shuttle guests up and down was quite long, on the day we were checking out, both elevator was out and I had to lug both of my heavy luggage up and down four flights of stairs.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RJTodd, Manager at Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth - Gunwharf Quays, responded to this review, August 22, 2011
Many thanks for taking the time out of your day to review the Hotel on Tripadvisor, I hope that the problems we experienced with the lifts during your stay did not inconvenience you too much, the problem was beyond the Hotels control and I am pleased to say that the lifts were back in working order later the same day. Once again many thanks for your comments.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2011

We recently stayed at hotel for a family week away.
Hotel is in a fantastic location and ideal for families, large spacious rooms with children's activities on the doorstep (to the right).
Hotel has a car park, which is free for the first 24Hours then £2.00 per day after that.
Complimentary hot breakfast - good variety and replenished continually.

Room Tip: Ask for room 324, great views and very spacious
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RJTodd, Manager at Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth - Gunwharf Quays, responded to this review, August 22, 2011
Thank you for your review of The Holiday Inn Express Gunwharf Quays Portsmouth and for providing a helpful tip for future visitors. I am pleased you had a great stay with us and enjoyed the complimentary Express Breakfast that we offer. Once again, many thanks for taking the time to review the Hotel.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wrexham, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2011

My wife and I stayed 3 nights and were meeting 2 friends from Australia.This hotel was good value and we would recommend it .It is close to the railway and bus stations, historic dockyard (a must if you haven't been) , the busy restaurants along the Quays (including Mr Olivers). and the ferry to the Isle of Wight, which we took.
It was clean, comfortable and efficiently run in our opinion.We would certainly use it again.The only downside for us was that only one of the 2 small lifts was operative.This must have been an inconvenience to the cleaners too.We were advised that it would not be fixed for some time but with no explanation as to why.Despite that hiccup,an enjoyable stay.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RJTodd, Manager at Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth - Gunwharf Quays, responded to this review, August 17, 2011
Thank you for your review to Tripadvisor following your recent stay with us, I was pleased to read that you had a great stay with us. Unfortunately during your visit we did have one of our lifts out of order due to circumstances beyond our control, this has now been rectified and I do hope that it did not inconvenience you too much during your stay. Once again many thanks for taking the time to review the Hotel.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth - Gunwharf Quays

Address: The Plaza | Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth PO1 3FD, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > Portsmouth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #25 of 39 Hotels in Portsmouth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth - Gunwharf Quays 3*
Number of rooms: 130
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth hotel is located within Gunwharf Quays which is a vibrant waterfront development offering a number of attractions, including over 95 designer clothing outlets,over 25 restaurants & bars, a cinema, ten pin bowling, casino and comedy club. The Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth Hotel is ideally located for business or leisure breaks. It comprises 130 en-suite bedrooms and 2 modern meeting rooms, all with comfort cooling, natural daylight and free wifi throughout the hotel. The Great room and lounge area situated on the first floor offers drinks and relaxation in the evening, as well as a free continental breakfast with hot favourites which include scrambled egg, sausages & baked beans in the morning. Undercover secure parking is available in the award winning main Gunwharf Quays car park, all Hotel guests receive discounted rates for car parking in the main Gunwharf Quays car park, first twenty four hours or first exit is free of charge and then second 24 hours or exit and thereafter are charged at £2. Access to trains, buses and ferries are all within walking distance. Southampton International Airport is 22 miles away. Convenient access to all of Portsmouth's many attractions, including the Spinnaker Tower, The Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth Old Town with its cobbled streets and the waterfront, filled with traditional pubs and restaurants are all within walking distance. PLEASE NOTE: THE HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS - PORTSMOUTH GUNWHARF QUAYS HAS DEDICATED DISABLED CAR SPACES OUTSIDE THE HOTEL ENTRANCE, WITH A DROP OFF/PICK UP FACILITY BY THE FRONT DOOR. THERE IS APPROX A 3 MINUTE WALK FROM THE UNDERGROUND CAR PARK TO HOTEL ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Express Portsmouth - Gunwharf Quays Hotel Portsmouth
Holiday Inn Portsmouth

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