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“worth the wait”
Review of Keppels Head

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Keppels Head
Ranked #30 of 34 Portsmouth B&B and Inns
Reviewed May 5, 2013

I have wanted to stay in this hotel since I lived in the Portsmouth area 18 years ago, but had never been able to justify it. It looks full of characterand so it proved. We had arrived on the ferry from Caen and wanted an overnight stay before the drive North and the location was perfect. The view from our very large and well-appointed room was superb - The Spinnaker, ferries coming and going and HMS Warrior.. Yet it was not noisy, despite the proximity of the railway station.

The staff were friendly and helpful.and the breakfast was very good. I can understand to some extent the negative reviews this place has had, but scuffed paintwork and imperfect wallpaper in the corridors doesn't bother me at all. I think they should spend some money on the front doors because first impressions count for a lot, and some people would not like the almost non-existent reception on the TV, but otherwise I really enjoyed my one night stay and it was worth the wait..

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the sea
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JackandWillsMum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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317 - 323 of 441 reviews

Reviewed May 4, 2013

Wonderful name with a most intriguing history, the Nut is wonderfully located for those travelling by bus and train and want to visit the historic Dockyard. My wife and I were on a nostalgia trip and booked on line which earned us a £10 reduction and a suite. The hotel has a long history and it shows. However we could not fault the cleaning. Our room The Victory Suite was large with two settees and a small dining set, ideal for a Chinese takeaway from the restaurant two doors down. There are many ways the Nut could improve, but are big towels and air conditioning really necessary? What I would have liked is the main window to be repaired as the misted window spoilt the view and the duvet not be 13·5 tog. Wh

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RJandJBW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2013 via mobile

Firstly, can I say we had not read any of the reviews prior to arriving. Secondly, we were tired, hadn't booked accommodation and were not prepared to pay forty billion pounds (slight exaggeration !) to stay at the Holiday Inn, which, was fully booked anyway presumably with corporate accounts......
Our first impression ? A fine old building, an extremely pleasant gentleman at reception, who was surprised I think at our enquiry ! For the price of a single decent meal, not including wine, we secured ourselves overnight double accommodation including parking for our car which also extended to the following day allowing us to visit the
nearby attractions. Now I'm not going to pull any punches here but I think it is fair to put up some defence in support of this venue. Yes it's tired, yes it needs a refurb, maintenance, decorating, new bathrooms, carpets, furniture blah blah blah. Where, exactly, are they going to raise the sort of money to achieve this ? Yes there was a slight smell of sewerage in the communal areas when we arrived but it wasn't there in the morning. Yes they are providing accommodation for local homeless and/or council tenants I believe, but only visiting guests use the breakfast room so one doesnt have to hobnob with the commoners (get real this is 2013 and at least they're English.) Try coming to Dover and staying in a guesthouse here, they've all been turned into bedsits for eastern europeans with ten plus to a room. But I digress. It is sad to think that this once beautiful building with lovely paintings and architecture is now so down on it's luck. The Keppels Head Hotel's central position is excellent for Portsmouth Harbour, the Spinaker Tower and Gunwharf Quay shopping with it's bars, cafes, cinema etc and also particularly as it lays adjacent to both the bus and railway station and adjoining taxi rank. All very convenient. Yes there is an all night burger stand across the road but we heard nothing. Our room was dated but comfortable with adequate tea and coffee making facilities. I read another review on here just now, Jesus, you want a biscuit ? Go to the spar shop or whatever it is, just one minute's walk away and get some sea air in your lungs ! Yes, there was a hideous avocado bathroom suite straight out of a 1970's sitcom ! But it was clean. Yes, the lift is ancient, it frightened the life out of my good lady, but that just made me love it even more (only joking Hun !!) It works ! What do you want it to do ? It goes up and down doesn't it ?! No not on you, with you in it I mean !! The dining room where breakfast was served was beautiful. Light and airy with sunshine streaming through the windows facing the harbour, ornately adorned with mouldings and decorations that harken back to an all together different era. It is true to say a section of the moulding on the ceiling has been damaged presumably due to a water leak and that is a crying shame. The tables were beautifully laid. The self service area generously stocked with all that one could wish for. Yoghurt, cereal, fresh fruit, chilled fruit etc etc. Our cooked breakfast arrived and was served by an extremely pleasant young waitress, not that i paid much attention but my stitches come out next week anyway ! My lady always insists that a good sausage with breakfast, or even before, on occasion, is imperative and im inclined to agree. Sadly this one didn't quite measure up, which has happened quite a lot lately I'm sorry to say, but everything else was fine....! Good service in tired but once, no, still beautiful surroundings. I winced a little when I started this review and gave the grades that I did.
It is a crying shame that this tired old lady has been allowed to succumb to the pressures of a downturn in business and therefore limited investment which then creates a vicious ever imploding circle. If you want a budget, value for money base from which to explore Pompey then give this a go. After all they can't do it without money can they ? Enjoy your stay.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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4  Thank TOBYJUG868X
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2013 via mobile

Just stayed the one night at the Keppels Head Hotel and I wouldn't want to stay for another.
The welcome at reception was superb with the receptionist being Very polite, knowledgable and with a good sense of humour. This is particularly apt as you would need a good sense of humour to visit here.
The hotel is incredibly dated and more akin to something out of the 70's. The whole place looks dirty and there was an acrid smell of stale smoke in the air.
The room I had was large with a high ceiling and good view out the front. It was however filthy dirty with stained net curtains, carpets, walls and ceilings. At night you are kept awake by the drunks outside using the taxi rank and chippy.
The bathroom was dirty with very poor water pressure and mould around the taps and sealants. The towels looked clean but had some ominous staining.
The bed was comfy with clean sheets and the room had tea and coffee facilities and good choice of TV channels.
The hotel is located in particularly rough part of town, albeit, Portsmouth is renound for being a bit rough. Nevertheless the hotel is close to some good pubs and clubs.
All in all though for £50 you can't expect much and you certainly get what you pay for, I wouldn't visit again though.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank Pau109
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2013

Based on reviews, we took a chance...God help us! The absolute worst ever! There were actually springs sticking up in bed, big cuts in linoleum, dirt everywhere and on and on. We were never so happy to leave a hotel! Most of the locals we spoke with said it was past it's prime 40 years ago! We are sure some of Lord Nelson's crew stayed there and nothing has changed!
Do not stay here no matter how good the location!

Stayed: March 2013
1  Thank pilotmomandpop_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

Don't look for 5* luxury, but what a brilliant place to stay. Dave and his staff are warm and friendly, the rooms spacious and clean, beds comfortable.Well placed for city centre and various amenities the breakfast was filling and freshly cooked and non greasy!

Thank you. we will stay again.

Ps my ex wife and I will re- marry!

Room Tip: Go for the sea view
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank franklin1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2013

Despite a lot of negative reviews, I rather liked it! It was chosen for its proximity to the station and ferry terminal, and was fine for the price. I actually prefer the "older style" feel to many more modern places

Room Tip: The view over the harbour is great - even better when it is snowing!
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank iandun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Keppels Head

Address: 24-26 The Hard, Portsmouth PO1 3DT, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > Portsmouth
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 34 B&Bs / Inns in Portsmouth
Price Range: $87 - $106 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Keppels Head 2*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Keppel's Head Hotel (Est 1779) is situated in "The Hard" in Portsmouth. The Hard is a historical area with many connections to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, which is only a short stroll from the hotel. Gunwharf Quays is also nearby, which thrives with many shops, restaurants, clubs and pubs. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Keppels Head Portsmouth
Keppels Head Hotel Portsmouth

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