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“Great Hotel - Shame About the Restaurant!!!”

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Holiday Inn Portsmouth
Ranked #23 of 38 Hotels in Portsmouth
Manchester
Level Contributor
102 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
“Great Hotel - Shame About the Restaurant!!!”
Reviewed August 27, 2013

We arrived around 2.30 p.m. and had no problem finding a parking space on the car park. At reception we were greeted with a friendly welcome. I checked to see if the room we had been allocated had a Solent view, as previously requested, and this was confirmed - room 501. We had booked a dinner inclusive deluxe room. I doubt whether there is any discernible difference in the size of rooms and suspect that the deluxe tag has more to do with the supply of bath robes and bottled water than anything else. The room had a side Solent view, which was fine, as we could watch the comings and goings in and out of Portsmouth harbour and the room did get the sun all afternoon. It was also well appointed in that everything you could possibly need for a short, comfortable stay was provided. Toiletries were replenished daily and we got water and chocolate two out of the three days we stayed. We were off to a promising start!
Dinner time was when things started to go downhill. We had already paid for dinners and were told that we could choose a three course meal from the main menu from all the items marked with an 's.' If we wanted to stray from these options we had to pay an additional £2.50 per item. 4/6 of the starters were so marked, but the pate (which wasn't,) was the same price as the others. Only 6/15 mains carried the magical 's,' but, again, some of the other meals listed were the same price. We were informed that this made the steaks great value - wow - fine if you like steak! Three of the mains were unavailable on the first night. We might have been tempted to pay the extra for salmon, but this was 'off.' Only 2/8 puddings were blessed with the magical 's,' despite them all being the same price, apart from the cheese, (which you would normally expect to carry a supplement.) This meant, that if staying for three nights, as we were, we could not have something different without paying a premium for it. We also noticed that our menus showed items at different prices, with mine carrying mains at £1 extra and puddings at 50p extra. Despite telling the server about this, the more expensive menus were still being handed out on the third evening. The food, when it did arrive, varied between poor and atrocious. Very few people were using the restaurant (no wonder!) They appeared to be mainly business people and those trapped in the dinner package thing, like ourselves. Despite there being many available tables, the servers did turn people away. I really felt sorry for the front of house staff. They face the flak for poor, late food. I am pleased to say that on two occasions they did use their discretion - we were given a drink on one evening, after waiting nearly 25 minutes for soup and just as long for dessert. we entered the dining room around 6.50 p.m. and left around 8.30 p.m. The quality of the food was appalling.
Breakfast was an education. This is a very busy place at breakfast time, but it was chaos. On being shown to a table, we were asked if we wanted tea or coffee On one morning, it simply did not materialise at all. Guests are trusted to make their own toast, so why not trust them with self-service beverages also? The usual help-yourself buffet was the order of the day, so people are continually foraging and waiting for milk, plates, dishes and refills of coffee. Although there were plenty of members of staff, they lacked overall direction, so tables were not being cleared and items were not being replenished on the buffet to meet demand. People waiting for a table were seen to be ignored, even though staff were passing by them. Food was fine overall - there was something for everyone, even if you did need to wait for it at times. There are clearly serious staffing issues in the restaurant and we certainly would not have dined in the restaurant at dinner after the first night if we had not already paid up front.
All this is such a shame. The location of this Holiday Inn is fabulous and clearly, many of the rooms have great views. Individual members of staff are great. There is a leisure centre with a reasonably sized pool. All in all, it is a very comfortable place to stay. We just found ourselves dreading the evening meal. Our complaints about our experience were reported to staff at the time and also to the reception manager on checkout. He reponded to our concerns in a most professional way, making notes. When we told him that we would never have dined in the hotel in the evening had we known how poor an experience we would endure, he offered us a partial refund on the dining cost. We were not expecting this and found it to be a very positive gesture. We really felt that he cared about it spoiling our overall experience. The dining room issues need to be dealt with. Ten minutes from the hotel is Gunwharf Quay, with more reataurants than you can shake a stick at, so there is plenty of competition. Do not let this put you off staying here. Just remember that the choice for dinner is out there!

Room Tip: Ask for a front-facing room overlooking the Solent and you will not be disappointed.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank planeteer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laura R, General Manager at Holiday Inn Portsmouth, responded to this review, August 29, 2013
Thank you for your review regarding your recent stay. I was very pleased to read you enjoyed most aspects of your stay. Please accept my sincere apologies for the issues you experienced with dining, I can assure you they are all being dealt with to ensure they do not recur. Kind regards
Laura
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2013

After a long drive and a tiring day we had to wait for over 40mins to get checked in. We were okay with the waiting time as half of us felt asleep waiting for the room to be ready. But we wanted to have a good sleep and a rest so can enjoy the rest of the days in Portsmouth. We had room no3 in ground floor. The main room door was not sound proof, hence walking up every time someone else in another room left their room. The bed was a tiny double. So had to be wary all the time so that the other person won't fall off during the night. My spouse and I couldn't get a good sleep on neither of the nights we were there. The room was fairly clean but the headboard was dusty. The car park was just outside our window; therefore, had to keep the blinds closed to have some privacy. There was good lighting by the main door and in the toilet. Apart from that the rest of the room was dark and did not have adequate lighting. I don't mind having to use a desk lamp to do the makeup but I would have preferred a good night's sleep.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rachitha A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laura R, General Manager at Holiday Inn Portsmouth, responded to this review, August 29, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay. I am sorry we were not able to check you in early. Check in time from 2pm, and although we do try where possible to assist early arrivals this is very much dependant on the departure times of the previous guests. Our standard double beds, are of standard sizing, but I am truly sorry you did not find it to your liking. Should you be returning to Portsmouth please do not hesitate to contact me directly so that I can organise you a room on a higher floor and ensure your stay is more to your liking. Thank you again, kind regards Laura
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Travelers are raving about these Portsmouth hotels

Crawley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 27, 2013

Stayed at this Holiday Inn before but some time ago. Very welcoming and recognised as an IHG card holder. Offered a drink and sbnack as upgardes were not available. Not the newsest hotel but adequate, room was a bit tatty. Air con not very good.

Not cheap compared to other Holiday Inns but presume that's to do with the location.

Room Tip: All much the ame from what I could see. Hotel getting a bit tatty - needs a revamp.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank ecps3955
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laura R, General Manager at Holiday Inn Portsmouth, responded to this review, August 29, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review the hotel. I was pleased to read as a return guest you found the hotel welcoming and score the guest service high. I am pleased to say we have an ongoing program in the rooms to freshen them up throughout the year, and have just upgraded many of our bathrooms. Thank you again for your comments and I hope we will see you again soon. Kind regards Laura
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Mumbai (Bombay), India
1 review
Reviewed August 26, 2013

Pathetic service. You can only imagine by the fact they asked me they will charge gbp 3.5 only for bringing an empty plate and a spoon upto my room (which I askked as I ordered food from outside). Then the other day the reception guy told me to be careful in bathing to not let a little water spill out the tub (how can you avoid that in such a small tub even for 5.5 feet tall me) as he is afraid the water will get to the floor below. This way he disclosed how weak his own hotels construction is. Then the housekeeper woould often forget to replace the towel or the soap or shampoo. Then at thw breakfast for 2 days their pan cake machine would not work. So this is the summary of my entire 7 days stay experience. The holiday.inn lost its trust on my mind now....

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank priyanka1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laura R, General Manager at Holiday Inn Portsmouth, responded to this review, August 29, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post your review. Please accept my sincere apologies that you did not enjoy your stay. Perhaps if you could contact me directly I can help further, unfortunately I do not fully understand your comments. We strive to give every guest personalised and genuine service and for you not to have experienced this is a disappointment and I would like to understand this more fully so we can rectify any issues. Kind regards Laura
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Wirral
Level Contributor
21 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2013

As can be seen from Tripadvisor Portsmouth is not abundant with good hotels; particularly those accessible by public transport. Although not immediately apparent on the map this hotel is well situated being in good walking distance of both Southsea and Old Portsmouth as well as the Harbour station for those travelling without a kitchen sink.

The hotel is a 60s/70s tower block but my room was fine. Nothing special but quiet and caused me no problems.

Dinner on the other hand was shocking. Imagine a bare unadorned windowless room four fifths empty, coupled with a basic and overpriced menu. The real shocker was the service, which was slow, unfriendly and amateur. I am sure that the four people in charge of the bar and restaurant are nice people but utterly clueless in a service environment. A mixture of running around aimlessly and hiding in the shadows to avoid customer contact. The hotel also operates the optout 10% service charge scam but to the credit of the server (definitely does not deserve the title waitress) took it in good grace when I asked her to take the bill away and take off the service charge before I would pay it.

Did I mention the service was poor? I mean really poor. Bring your relative to work and let her pretend to be a waiter for the evening poor.

I liked the location though!

Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
Helpful?
Thank GRIFFYGB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laura R, General Manager at Holiday Inn Portsmouth, responded to this review, August 27, 2013
Thank you for your feedback. I was pleased to read the room and location met your requirements. I was very sorry to read of the poor experience you had in the restaurant, please accept our apologies for this. All your comments have been passed to the new Food and beverage manager to work on with his team to ensure they are rectified. Kind regards Laura
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
53 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2013

The car parking is insufficient if the hotel is full although they will give guests parking tickets to use on the roads nearby. Our room was very small and there was insufficient space for clothes if two people stayed for more than two days.

Plus points: The breakfast was good and the staff friendly and helpful. There are places of interest nearby and the beach is just a short walk away. Gunwharf Quay and the Historic Dockyard are well worth visiting and not a great distance from the hotel.

Downside: The charge for Wi-Fi was expensive and a source of irritation to other guests as well as myself. The room was not cleaned until 2.30 p.m.on Sunday afternoon and although I realize that on Sunday staffing levels might be low I would have expected more on a week-end in August.

Room Tip: Ask the size before booking.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Janet C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laura R, General Manager at Holiday Inn Portsmouth, responded to this review, August 27, 2013
Thank you for your kind review. I was pleased to read you enjoyed most aspects of your stay. I am sorry your room servicing time was not to your liking. Servicing of rooms, particularly on a Sunday as we try to respect that many of our guests enjoy a sleep in, can delay the full hotel servicing program, however when staying at any of our hotels should you have a preferred time for servicing, please advise the reception and we will ensure to work around your timings. In regards to Wifi, we have taken note of your comments for when the company next look at our various charging options. Thank you again, kind regards Laura
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2013

I arrived at 9.50am and because breakfast was still being served I walked into the restaurant and asked a member of staff for a cup of coffee. At 10.10am my coffee still had not arrived and I noticed a manager and a staff member having a chat. I went over and reminded them about my coffee. It was eventually brought to me at 10.15am. A large cup but average coffee (£3.50). No offer of any biscuits, cake etc.
I then went to the spa to sign up for membership. (By this time I was late for my appointment) Here I was treated very professionally. Staff were very knowledgeable about the various products on offer and went out of their way to welcome me as a member of the club. The facilities are adequate although the changing area is still tired but at least better serviced than before. No old Elastoplast and long hairs caught in the drain as before!
We went back into the lounge area to complete the membership form and my empty cup of coffee was still at the table...I had finished it about half an hour before
I have been a member here before and the service in the restaurant/bar area has not changed despite my having complained about the poor service and lack of customer focus many times.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Susan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laura R, General Manager at Holiday Inn Portsmouth, responded to this review, August 27, 2013
Thank you for your feedback. I was very pleased to read you have rejoined the health club after your years away, there have been many changes in your time away from the club. The new club team are great, and I was pleased to see you also felt this way. I am sorry to read of your experience with coffee in the bar area. Having spoken to you in the bar regarding the 10 minute wait for your coffee I was genuinely suprised to read your comments, and again our apologies for the delay. Your comments have been passed to the new Food and beverage manager. Hopefully as a newly returned member of the club you will have more opportunity to see the improvements that have taken place and those we continue to work on as an ongoing improvement program throughout the hotel. Kind regards Laura
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Portsmouth

Property: Holiday Inn Portsmouth
Address: Pembroke Road, Portsmouth PO1 2TA, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > Portsmouth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #23 of 38 Hotels in Portsmouth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Holiday Inn Portsmouth 3*
Number of rooms: 166
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located near the seafront in Portsmouth in the heart of Hampshire within easy access of the M27 MotorwayOnly a five minute walk from Old Portsmouth where you can spend a nautical day discovering the famous Historic Dockyard and ships HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary RoseThe leisure and shopping destination Gunwharf Quays near the Spinnaker Tower is set on the waterfront and minutes from the hotel with designer label stores, cinema, bowling alley, comedy club and numerous bars and restaurants. Port Solent is one of the south coast s most impressive marinas with shops, restaurants, bars and a cinemaThe hotel consists of 165 en-suite fully air conditioned bedrooms, Spirit Health Club, Academy Conference Centre, Restaurant, Bar and Lounge AreaThe excellent accommodation has all the comforts you would expect from a first class hotel including interactive TV's with movies and Play Station Games and high speed internet accessThe facilities include Restaurant, 24 hour Room Service, Lounge and Bar Area and complimentary use for residents of the Spirit Health Club with gym, indoor pool, Jacuzzi and sauna. The hotel has 9 conference and training rooms and can accommodate from 2-150 delegates in the fully air-conditioned Academy Conference Centre with wireless internet access and all day tea and Starbucks coffee. Accessible & Family Rooms available. Kids Stay & Eat Free (terms and conditions apply)The hotel has limited onsite parking but can supply permits for in house guest for the ample parking surrounding hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Portsmouth Hotel Portsmouth
Portsmouth Holiday Inn

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