“ Address: Winston Churchill Avenue / Portsmouth / England „
I stayed in the Ibis Hotel in Portsmouth for one night last summer on the eve of my graduation from the university. Living in London we drove down and arrived at the hotel at approximately 4pm. The first thing we noticed when arriving at the hotel was that the car park was tiny, must have been about 40 spaces in total for a hotel which boasts 144 rooms; not what you want really. Things soon improved though because luckily enough someone was leaving so we nipped into their space, removed our bags from the car and made our way to the reception to check-in.
I had walked passed the hotel on a daily basis as a student, but had never put my head in the door, so was intrigued to see what it was like on the inside. Walking into the reception and bar area I was very impressed, it was very modern and the bar was very snazzy - wish I'd been in here for a few drinks on a night out I thought! It seemed quiet but apparently does fill up and become quite noisy due to its close proximity to guildhall walk (where all the bars and clubs are). The reception staff were very helpful and extremely efficient and we were in our room in no time.
The room was on the second floor so we took the lift and I remember thinking that it was quite small, again not ideal for a 144 room hotel but hey. To enter the room you had to use a keycard given to you at reception when you check-in. Once the door was open, again I was presently surprised by what I saw. The bed was larger than I expected and the room very clean. There was a satellite TV, plenty of wardrobe space so I could hang up my suit and the usual tea and coffee making facilities complete with a few packets of biscuits on the bedside table. The view wasn't up to much though looking straight out onto the main road which did prove to be quite noisy. The en-suite bathroom was the only real downside to the room, it was tiny. The doorway was at a 45degree angle to the rest of the room and the door opened inwards so it was a real struggle to close the door once you were inside. It reminded me of my student halls bathroom in my first year. Although the bathroom was small it was clean and tidy and had shower gel and soap, plus plenty of white fresh towels.
That night we went out for a meal at Gunwarf Quays only a short walk away and stayed out quite late as we had a few drinks as well. Upon returning to the hotel at about 11.30pm the staff were once again very friendly, greeting us and asking if we'd had a good evening which was nice.
In the morning I had to be up early to get to graduation in order to get my outfit sorted so I was unable to tuck into the continental breakfast; my girlfriend and parents told me that it was very nice though and compromised of a selection of cold meats, croissants, toast, cheeses, fruits, tea, coffee and juices. I could have done with some to be honest because I had a slight hangover! Apparently the breakfast opens at 4am and stays open until noon which is fantastic.
Reception and room service 24hrs
Alarm calls can be requested from reception
Wireless internet available for business customers
The hotel location is excellent, right in the centre of town
Approximately £60.00 per night for a double room, can't remember exactly how much we paid but it is definitely cheaper if you book online instead of at the hotel reception.
Winston Churchill Avenue
Tel: 02392 640 000
Gunwarf Quays shopping
My overall opinion:
If you are staying in Portsmouth just for a few days then the Ibis is the ideal place to stay, cheap, nice rooms, friendly staff and an ideal location. Any longer though and you may want to look for somewhere a bit further out from the city centre because it can be noisy. Well recommended though.
Thanks for reading
(This review is also posted on Ciao under the same name)
I've stayed at this hotel 3 times now over the last 3 years. My friend and I usually stay here for a night or two each May or June just as a short cheap break in Portsmouth.
Prior to finding this hotel I stayed in the Travelodge as it was cheap too but the Travelodge is in North End which is not such a nice place to be and is also not walking distance really to any of the sights or attractions in Portsmouth so what you save on staying in the room you spend on parking.
When we first found the Ibis it was £50 for a room and it was free parking. It is very central and if you are not worried about walking up to a mile or so then you can walk to both Gunwharf Quay's in one direction and Southsea beach and castle in the other direction. It is also only about 2 minutes walk from Portsmouth Guildhall where were have seen a few concerts which is the reason we generally go! In fact we were "lucky" enough last year to have Shayan Italia staying in the hotel and sitting in the bar with us hoping to be recognised! (Go on Google him you know you want to! He's barely famous but was the support act for G4 at the Guildhall who we went to see! Nonetheless we were still suprised that a "star" would be staying at the Ibis!)
We last stayed there in May of this year (2008) and the price had gone up to £59 for a room (still good value!) Also they neglected to say on the website that parking is now not free. It is £6 per day. You still save money by parking in the car park and walking everywhere especially to Gunwharf Quays as the car parking there is extortionate (think it's something like £9 for 4 hours!) but it was a shame they didn't put it on the website just so that you knew before booking, especially as it had been free all the times we had visited before.
The Ibis is a generally well run and clean but basic hotel. The bathroom's are absolutely tiny and have a little port hole type window. The beds are not the most comfortable in the world as i think they have foam mattresses rather than sprung and to be honest i couldn't stay there happily more than about 2 or 3 nights. However if you are looking for a cheap and cheerful hotel either for a seaside break or to go shopping or see a concert in the Guildhall then i would say this would be the best place to stay.
The hotel does offer breakfast I think for about £4 or £4.50 extra charge but there is a great cafe a couple of minutes walk away. Sadly i can't remember what it is called but if you walk out of the hotel and past Subway and keep walking it is a big blue cafe on your right with lots of chairs outside on the pavement. It is hugely popular with a wide range of people - business men to students and they do great breakfasts! Better stop there otherwise this will become a review of the unnamed cafe rather than the Ibis in Portsmouth!