“ Address: Charlotte Place / Southampton SO14 0TB / England „
* Prices may differ from that shown
This review is for SHEFFIELD JURYS, newly opened. It is 5 minutes walk from the railway station, 20 minutes walk from town centre.
Book in from 2pm. Ours was delayed over a mix-up as to whether the room was ready.
The view from my huge window was an undertakers premises, but fortunately the curtains were thick and luxurious.
The beds and pillows were good quality and very comfortable.
It was good to have a bath but unfortunately there was no hot water at 9.30 on a Saturday night. The shower head was fixed to the wall type, but was adequate.
There was no bedside radio.
Outside our room was an ice-making machine which was fantastic but unfortunately after a few hours it was just dispensing water.
There were no instructions for controllers for the heat/air conditioning.
The lighting was poor. All side lights, and all were dimly lit so there was no option to see really well unless you went to the bathroom. I like the option of a main bright light.
The furnishings were smart and the TV was excellent with good reception.
I paid £49 for a large room with a double and a single bed, shower, bath. Breakfast not included. For three of us, this was a good deal, and being a new hotel I was comfortable in the knowledge that the bed would be clean and wholesome. There was quite a strong smell of paint about, being new, but I expect that has gone now! We stayed weekend of 24 January 09
Southampton is a City that people go to and go through, go to because of shopping and things to do in and around the City, but also because of ferries to the Isle of Wight and the numerous cruise companies that are based there, and just to add another layer to the cake the City is also a vibrant student town. Especially around the London Road area where there are a number of Pubs and Bars located and is quite a lively area at the weekend.
I went to Southampton to partake in celebrations for a friend's birthday. So unless I was going to be off the 'magic party juice' and drive back to London that night, I had to find a hotel room. After ringing around such places as Travelodge or Premier Inn, I was surprised to be recommended to call the Jury's Inn, and after taking an abnormal 3 hours to drive down from London the expectations were very high indeed, especially by the photo's I saw on the website when I made the booking.
Jury's Inn is a national chain of Hotels and the Hotel itself is still a relatively brand new 3 Star 12 floor building with a massive 270 room capacity, in the last 18 months construction of the underground car park was completed. The Hotel is effectively at the bottom of the main arterial road into Southampton from the M3/M27 junctions. The building is situated at Charlotte Place which is on a roundabout where you have a three lane one way system fully encompassing the building. Now don't let this put you off, as I will explain and clarify later on. It's located in a very handy position of being near enough the City Centre to walk in, as it is only 10 minutes away, but far enough away to ensure that there is no unnecessary noise at all. If you don't fancy a stroll through the gardens then a cab can be called by Reception, who will be more than happy to do this.
After parking the car and walking into the Reception for the first time you stand in a very elegant, modern and stylish entrance area, as I arrived on a Saturday afternoon at peak time there were plenty of staff available progressing the high volume of incoming guests who were checking in at the same time as me. The lobby area is decked out with a marble floor that you can quite literally see your reflection in, with an attractive yet very modern colour design that announces calm and enhances a level of tranquillity, furniture wise there are a number of well placed comfortable leather sofas. One thing I did notice was that even though the Reception had over 50 people in it, the area didn't seem at all cramped and everyone still had their own space to move about within without bumping into other guests. The main thing is that there is plenty of space.
There is a small Coffee Bar as well as a Bar and Restaurant available to use, the Bar is stocked with a full range of Beers and Spirits including a decent range of blonde beers, as there were a number of these available on tap as well as the usual brands of Guinness, Fosters, 1664 and so on. The prices of beers well exceeded the £3 mark for a pint, but to be honest I was away from home anyway and which I expected to be a little more expensive anyway.
I did use the restaurant as well, this is where Breakfast is served right up till 10.30am and can safely say that the food is good quality. The setup at Breakfast is the food is laid out and is completely self service which is handy if you have a hangover from the night before and need a Full English to assist in the recovery process. Breakfast comes included in the price of the room.
Parking is also available with an underground car park, but be careful as this is run by NCP so the longer you are there the more you pay. Usually this is around £25 per 24 hours. There are other car parks about a 10 minute walk away but I felt that these would not be as secure as this one. At he time I used this there was no offer that the cost of parking was discounted for guests, so I paid the full whack. The Hotel also offers Conference Centre facilities as well, and has a total of 10 meeting rooms dedicated specifically for this purpose.
As in most other Hotels if you need anything you just call Reception, if you do they are more than happy to provide as much as they can and also as fast as they can. If you find you've forgotten any form of Toiletries, then the Hotel can provide them. I think this is a great service as I did see people asking for stuff like hair gel and shaving foam.
So with my plastic swipe card in hand, I went up to start getting ready for a night of partying. The room itself has the standard identical lay out as Premier Inn or Travelodge and the room furniture includes a kettle, trouser press, full length mirror, air conditioning and of course the en-suite bathroom. One nice touch was that three packets of biscuits were given as well with the complimentary Coffee and Tea. The decor in the room is mainly pastel tones that do actually enhance the calm ambiance, as the colours used were a mild yellow bordering Tope I felt this was a calming tone, but not so much that it made the room look garish, it was just balanced right. The Bathroom continued the theme in nature and was in a matching style and very well presented, most important of all it was clean. In fact it was something that I noticed throughout the whole place, everything was spotlessly clean. This impressed me a lot as the usual experience is the further you move from Reception the grimier and more unkempt the place becomes.
The main difference with Jury's Inn is that the bed is a lot bigger for a double and a hell of a lot more comfortable. The shower is also a power shower but has a number of settings such as 'Massage' and 'Thrust'. One thoughtful addition was two internet connection points for dial up. A lot of the other Hotels that I have stayed in have had only the one. So this initiative was very welcome indeed, as was the wireless facility on site as well, so in theory you could work from the Bar!!!
The TV also has all the usual BBC, ITV and Sky Channels available including Sky Sports as well as the excellent Cartoon channels (Yippee!). Also included on the TV are a number of both local and national radio stations. I thought his was a good idea as you can listen for local travel news, especially if you are checking out that morning. If you are catching a Ferry or Cruise Ship then information on this is available via the TV as well on one of the closed circuit channels.
As I said earlier, the location is on a roundabout but that is nothing to worry about as all the windows are double glazed and unless they are opened you won't be able to hear anything at all, which is quite astounding given the location of Hotel in the first place. The room that I had was 6 floors up and I had a lovely view of the city and could see as far over to the Docks with the cruise ships coming in to Dock, but strangely couldn't hear the traffic below.
As mentioned earlier the City Centre is only a 10 minute walk away. The nearest Station is Southampton Central where trains can be boarded for most major locations including London, Birmingham, Bournemouth and stations along the coast as far away as Brighton to the West. Southampton International Airport is less than 20 minutes away by car or one stop on the train, alighting at Southampton Airport Parkway. Anyone catching a ferry to the Isle of Wight or staying over before leaving on a Cruise the next day will need to order a Taxi as this is further away, especially if you have luggage.
For me one down point is what is behind the Hotel. As Jury's Inn is on the edge of the City Centre the area behind the building can only be described as a little rough. It is called New Town and is part of the St Mary area of Southampton. Personally I have walked along here in the daytime and seen various members of what I call the 'Stella people'. People who were completely off their head drinking cans of Stella and this was at the early hour of 8am!!
Booking a room is simple; I called the Hotel directly by phone. I found this quicker going through the Reservations Team than I did clicking about on-line. The cost of a room was £79 per night including breakfast which I though was good value for money. Remember this was for the room itself and not the cunning 'per person per room per night' setup that other independent Hotels sometimes charge. When I was checking out I was advised by the Reception staff that if I was booking a room again in the future then if I called them direct again I could get a better deal than going on-line. I have done this and it has worked, I saved £20 on a room price as compared with on-line quotes.
Since my arrival on the Saturday to when I left on Sunday morning I was treated with the best level of customer service ever from a Hotel chain. Spoken to politely and given correct directions of how to get to my room. When interacting with the staff I was never being fobbed off at all and all questions were answered in a professional yet friendly and clear manner. All staff that I passed in the corridor greeted me with a smile and politely greeted me. I really did feel that this was a refreshing experience.
I go to Southampton a lot on business and never really get the chance to stay over as I usually return the same day. On this occasion I was pleasantly surprised with the standards of the Hotel and would pass that recommendation, on my experience alone this solidly hit all my expectations that were set. As Southampton is a lively place anyway the location is good enough to act as a base and starting point for any exploration or onwards travelling.