I am someone who likes to be positive about things in life and i was looking forward to my stay here but was sadly very disappointed with it.
The website for the bed and breakfast is quite good and all of the contact i had with the proprietors pre-stay was great. Paula was the name of the person i was in contact with and she always responded to my enquiries promptly, professionally and in detail. Booking the room was easy and i thought the rates were quite reasonable - i got a 5% discount as i was visiting the university. The only request of me was that i telephone in advance during my journey there to confirm my expected arrival time (i couldn't confirm before as i had a 7 hour drive to get there and really wasn't sure when it would be).
The day of my stay arrived and i telephoned when i was 2 hours away from arriving. The person i spoke to on the phone wasn't Paula, it was her mother, and she was extremely abrupt with me on the phone. I said i would be arriving in very close to 2 hours time and she said this wasn't good enough and wanted a more exact estimate. I gave her one but arrived 30 minutes before this at around 4.40pm. I didn't get a very warm welcome and even though i am perfectly willing to transport my own luggage, an offer of help to carry my heavy suitcase up the 4 flights of stairs to my room would have been nice!
The room i had was nice in itself. I booked a single room with wash basin and shared bathroom. The whole bed and breakfast was very clean and was nicely decorated. The room facilities weren't as good as in other places i've stayed...for example, there was no ironing facility or hairdryer, but i had the basic things that i needed. One negative about my particular room was that there wasn't a proper curtain, just a net, and it faced the main road......therefore, it never got very dark in there at night because of streetlights shining through the window and it was always noisy with the traffic. Thankfully, i'm a heavy sleeper.
After unpacking, i went to explore the guest house a little as i wasn't told where the bathrooms were or if there was a lounge or something. I found the lounge......there was a little girl in there, who immediately addressed me by my first name and asked me if i'd watch TV with her. Some people may find it nice that this girl knew my name but i found it unprofessional that the little girl had been told my first name and was allowed to address me this way (she turned out to be the neice of the owners). When i said i had to make some phone calls and wanted to have a rest (i had literally just arrived after driving for hours) the girl seemed quite stroppy because i wouldn't watch the TV with her. I then found the woman who had shown me to my room and asked if there were any DVDs available to watch (TVs and players were provided in the rooms). The response that i got was a vacant stare, a look that conveyed that she considered me some sort of idiot and then "no."
As a bed and breakfast doesn't usually serve an evening meal, guests were welcome to bring takeaways to their rooms, which i did on one occasion. When i asked if i could have some cutlery the response was again extremely blunt......i was told abruptly to get myself some from one of the tables in the breakfast room. During this request, a male guest approached me and asked that i go out and eat with him and then go for drinks with him. Although it isn't the responsibility of the guest house to vet their guests or to be completely responsible for guests' personal safety, i was quite upset that the owners just let this middle-aged man pester me (and it was pestering, not just polite requests) when i was a 19 year old girl staying alone there miles from anywhere i knew. It made me feel quite unsafe.
My major complaint above all else about this guest house concerns the breakfast. Although a good range of cold/continental items are advertised on the website, the only things available were 2 types of fruit juice and two types of cereal. Therefore, the breakfast choice was either cereal or the hot option. I had some of both each day to fill me up as i had very long and busy days whilst i was there..............as i said, i like to try and be postive but the hot options were what i could only describe as horrible. That is because everything was pre-cooked and then microwaved. Each day, i only wanted eggs and beans on toast so i can't comment on the meat aspects of the cooked breakfast. Obviously, it is perfectly OK to microwave baked beans but the eggs were foul and made me feel quite ill, in particular the fried eggs. They were literally like plastic eggs one might find in a child's play kitchen because they were so overdone and dry and even though i was hungry i just couldn't finish them.
During breakfast the little girl i had encountered in the lounge kept wandering through the dining room half dressed in her school uniform and moaning loudly that she didn't want to go to school. At one point the woman who i had had all of my dealings with at the guest house came out of the kitchen and started shouting at the girl telling her to "shut up and just go to bed then!"
When staying somewhere for a few days you obviously need to wash.........i only tried one of the three showers available and was shocked because even though the bathroom looked very nice and clean (except for the large hole in the ceiling above the shower caused by severe damp) the shower wouldn't work properly. I would compare the shower i had, in all seriousness, to letting a small child pour a toy watering can of water over your head, having blocked up most of the holes in the spout first! During my entire stay at the guest house i couldn't get any hot water except out of the kettle! No matter how long i ran the taps for in the bathrooms or my bedroom there was just no hot water.
The positive thing about this guest house is that it is very easy to find coming into Southampton as it is just off the main road into the town centre. It is literally a 2-3 minute walk to the train station, which is exactly what i needed. It is a 5 minute walk from all of the local takeaways, shops and restaurants, and is a 5 minute drive into the main town and from the university. There is plenty of parking which is all lit in some way.
A nice thing i experienced was two men who lived at the guest house (not sure which part of the family there were!) driving to the university so that i could follow them and get to the right building for my interview without making any mistakes and being late. This was out of their way but they did it anyway out of kindness.
I did experience some friendliness from the staff............but that was when i was making my payment!!!
Overall and to summarise, this guest house looks very nice.....online, upon first contact, and in itself. However, on arrival and during your stay, don't expect to feel very welcomed, don't expect things to work and don't expect a nice, fresh breakfast. There are literally a hundred other guest houses very close by (2 hotels are right next door) so i would highly recommend staying at those instead. When i was staying somewhere far from home for a week and had some long and testing days ahead of me it would have been nice to have somewhere to go back to where i felt welcomed, relaxed and cosy. Instead, i just wanted to go home and be around friendly people where there were showers that worked and edible food. I am disappointed that i never got to meet the lady who had taken my booking or dealt with every single one of my phone calls and emails because she seemed different to the staff i met there. I am beginning to wonder if she actually exists.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.