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“Shabby chic”
Review of Keppels Head

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Keppels Head
Ranked #29 of 34 Portsmouth B&B and Inns
Reviewed June 19, 2013

I loved the reception area at the hotel as it showed character and hadn't had a makeover to match every other hotel.The rooms and beds were clean apart from some dust on an electric cable in the bathroom.
The cleaner was friendly and always busy in the morning but she can only work with what she has-the hotel needs refurbishing which would cost a fortune.
The other downside was that our room smelt of TCP.
We had room 23 which is a family room at the front.The views are great and we slept like tops.
The breakfasts are lovely with plenty of choice and served by a nice young lady.
The free secure car park was a plus and the kind receptionist told us that several pubs were nearby so we went to The Lady Hamilton which was nearest and did good food.
A most enjoyable couple of days touring the dockyards.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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2  Thank taylorgirl196
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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321 - 327 of 452 reviews

Reviewed June 5, 2013

As you approach the hotel you get a boding of upcoming disaster. The hotel is between Gun Wharf Quay and the Historic Dockyard, so you would think they would make an effort to keep the outside smart - the paint on the name sign and metal fittings was chipped and peeling and it looked run down. Approaching the entrance, there was a stain on the ground, which I assume was from someone's over indulgence the night before. It had not been cleaned when I left the following morning - surely a bucket of disinfectant could have been found. The doormat was caked with dirt and grease and may even have dirt from Hornblower's shoes on it. The reception area is very dark, but you can see that the décor is very old fashioned and very tired. Now comes one of the few nearly positive comments. The fellow on reception was not overly dynamic, but he was very efficient. Going up the stairs to my room (#14) the stairs and floorboard all creaked, but it is an old building. Now the nightmare begins - what is the first thing you do in a new room - look out of the window - all I had was a brick wall, a metal fire escape and kitchen extractor duct (Concorde later in report), the only day light was by craning you neck up and to the left - no direct sunlight (see photo). The next thing is sit on the foot of the bed - a mistake, the bottom 50 cm of the base had collapsed, the only thing that stopped me hitting the floor was the mattress. That is the next problem. It was very thin and you could feel all the springs - a very bad nights sleep on the way - more sleep problems to come later. Next the en-suite shower room - mould around the shower tray (see photo), three screw holes but no soap tray in the shower and a glass holder but no glass over the sink. The towels were clean and good quality. Now bed time - you pull the curtains and the curtains are of different lengths due to the hem coming unstitched (see photo). I have already mentioned the rubbish mattress, now it is the turn of the two pillows - about 5 cm thick and very soft , not enough support (see photo). The quilt and sheets were of good quality, but with just a quilt you either cook or freeze, no in between. The bedside light had a very loose fitting on the top and may be bordering on dangerous. Now you are in bed, every person who moved in the hotel woke you up because of the creaking floors. It is now 06:49 in the morning and you have just managed to nod off when the chef turns on the kitchen extractor - it was like Concorde starting up outside your window (see photo). Other people had said the breakfast was good, but I left without trying it. I left without making my feelings known to the management, but await a rebutal here on Tripadvisor

Room Tip: There may be good rooms, but room 14 is not one
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank andrewack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2013

Just got back from a one night stay in Portsmouth. We made a weekend of collecting my nephew from Uni and decided to stay in a hotel with fab location and competitive price. Paid £79 for a double room including full cooked breaky which was very good. However I'm convinced this hotel is only staying afloat given its location as the interior décor and maintenance was very poor. There was wallpaper pealing, different carpet everywhere you looked and heaps of maintenance all round. Overall shabby and dated décor but this could not detract from the fact that our room had a magnificent view of the HMS Warrior 1860 and was a strones throw from Gunwharf Quays shopping/bars/restaurants. However once again our room had drawbacks. Opposite the hotel is an all night burger stand attracting a noisy late night crowd which caused a disturbed sleep and, if that wasn't bad enough, my mattress was such poor quality I could feel each and every separate spring inside. The worst mattress I have every slept on in my life. In fact, the floor would have been more comfortable.
The staff were friendly, if slightly slow and sometimes, odd, and the room was large. Trying to find the positives!! Positives:- Large room, great location and good breakfast included in price. Negatives - noisey, if at front of hotel with fantastic view, and VERY uncomfortable mattress.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Jenny C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2013

Although we had read some rotten reviews we decided to stay here due to it's excellent location. The hotel does look tired, but rooms were clean and staff friendly. Excellent value, but don't expect The Grand! The hotel overlooks the Hard Interchange, so dont expect peace & quiet - buses running their engines, trains squealing into the station and a 24-hour snack bar means there's always something going on, but the views are great and our room had double glazed windows so you can keep the noise down to a murmur. Breakfast was average, I dont know why some hotels cannot invest a few extra pennies for decent sausages!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Nick M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2013

Attended a reunion in Portsmouth and stayed for a Friday and Saturday night in the Keppels Head on the hard in Portsmouth.

First impressions were of a bit dated and past its best hotel in a brilliant location for sightseeing and travel, the bus station, railway and ferry are opposite the front door.

After two nights I have to say that the staff were the best I have come across in a long time from a very welcoming reception to first rate service at breakfast. I asked for extra towels and these were produced without any comment even though the receptionist had to make a lift trip to find some.

Don't expect 4 star, it isn't, but it is one of the best small city centre hotels that I have stayed in in a very long time. Well done

Room Tip: I asked for a room next to the lift as the wife has trouble walking and it was provided
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Tugwilson40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 13, 2013

Stayed here for 1 night whilst visiting the historic dockyards. Entrance not the best but enthusiastic welcome at reception. Lift a bit scary, room at the back of the hotel (39) so very quiet, a light airy room, some of the furnishings have seen better days but both bedroom and bathroom ver clean, spotlesss. Bed good and linen good quality. Very close to bars and shops so walked 5 minutes and sat out with a cocktail overlooking the water then a meal at Lock Fynne.
Breakfast very good and we were able to leave the car for a couple of hours in the hotel car park after checkout so we could carry on sight seeing. No complaints and will return.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Chris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2013

Convenient for ferry next morning and easy to access, but room quality poor with plaster falling off ceiling in bedroom and dining room. The hotel is next to a pub and faces Portsmouth Harbour rail station and the entry to Gunwharf Quays, so don't expect a quiet night's sleep.

Room Tip: Room at the back might be quieter.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Andy M
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 #29 of 34 B&Bs / Inns in Portsmouth
Price Range: $77 - $118 (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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