Newest Review: ... We had a lovely little break, and for £29.95 it was a real bargain. Unfortunately, Innkeepers Lodge have sold off over 40 of their hotels... more
Great Value Stay at Portsmouth North
Member Name: Lbird99
Advantages: Large comfy Room
Review of Innkeepers Lodge Portsmouth North
Due to little mans operation and the long road to recovery we have been having a few days here and there by the coast whenever we could get a good deal, rather than our usual month in the Caribbean (I wish). We decided to book a hotel near Portsmouth for the night a few days after my birthday so that we could take little one to Southsea, and I could go to Gunwharf Quays and grab some bargains! Initially we were going to stay at the Holiday Inn Express at Gunwharf Quays, but at £149 for just a room I felt we could have had a proper few days for not a lot more! So it was back to the drawing board - after checking out the common budget chains Travel Lodge, Premier Inn etc I remembered we had had a few decent stays at Innkeepers Lodge before we had little man (Doncaster and Stoke), so decided to see if they had any hotels in the area.
There website is www.inkeeperslodge.co.uk, and you can search for hotels by town, postcode, or there is a drop down list if you know the name of the Lodge you want to stay at. The hotel chain is run by Mitchell & Butlers, and all sites are attached to a Mitchell & Butlers restaurant. All bookings include a continental breakfast. There were two lodges in the Portsmouth area - Portsmouth which is attached to a Toby Carvery and Portsmouth North attached to a Harvester. I chose Portsmouth North as they had the option to pay for the room in advance for a special rate of £29.95 per room, although it was not possible to cancel or change the booking if you took this option. You could also pay their standard rate of £57 per night if you wanted a flexible booking that could be cancelled up until 4pm on the day of arrival. Check in starts at 2pm and check-out is a very generous 12pm.
The lodge was located just off of Junction 2 of the A3, which is the route we use to get to Portsmouth anyway. As you follow the road straight about a mile away from the A3 you get to a mini roundabout with a Harvester on it. The Hotel is tucked just behind it and it is a large white wooden building. There is a large car park for the restaurant as well as additional spaces for hotel guests. There are also parking spaces for disabled guests. At the door to the hotel there is a sign telling you to check in at the Harvester, and when you step inside the pub the reception is clearly signposted.
I was warmly greeted at the desk (or end of the bar!) and as my card had been charged prior to arrival, all the documents were there for me, so I just needed to sign and let them know our car registration number. He informed me where breakfast would be served, and that if there were any problems there would be someone there until 11pm, but there was a 24 hr number if we needed assistance overnight.
As the hotel block is not permanently staffed, they had a security lock on the door activated by a special key fob. Our room was on the first floor, and the door to the room was activated by a standard key, rather than one of those horrible door cards. Our room was quite spacious, with a double bed, armchair, and tea station with a kettle, tea, coffee, milk, sugar, sweetener and biscuits. The bathroom was quite spacious, with a toilet, washbasin and large shower, with a soap dispenser full of a yummy coconut shower gel. There was also a double hanging space with lots of hangers, with extra pillows and towels at the top. The room was not air conditioned, but there was a window that opened to let the air in, and as we were upstairs we could leave it open at night. The location of the hotel was not busy, and there was no real noise the whole time we were there.
The one thing missing was a cot for little man, but as I left the room to go back across to check in the housekeeper was just bringing the travel cot to us. She offered to set it up for us, but we decided we could cope with that ourselves. Sheets for the travel cot were provided, but not duvets, but we had brought little man's cover with us. The lovely housekeeper even knocked before she went home for the day to check if we had everything we needed. Even once we had set up the travel cot there was still plenty of crawl and play space for little man.
We then went to spend the afternoon and evening down in Southsea, soaking up the sunshine! We returned about 6.30 for a quick refresh before we had dinner at the Harvester. When we returned to the room just after 8 there was plenty of hot water for us all to have a shower. The room had a flat screen TV, with clock attached and there were quite a few freeview channels, including ITV2, Film4, Dave and CBBC for little man. It meant that when he had settled down for the night we could find things to watch which was a bonus! The curtains in the room were lined with black out material, so it was pitch black inside the room once drawn. The bed was only a double, which is a bit of a struggle when you're used to a king size, and the mattress was a bit soft for my liking, but it wasn't uncomfortable.
Breakfast is served between 7.30 and 9.30 in the Harvester restaurant. The selection was great for a free breakfast. There was a self service toaster with white, granary and wholemeal bread, bagels, croissants and raisin whirl pastries. There was also every cereal you could think of, a huge fruit bowl plus dried fruits, and an array of cheeses, jams and marmalades. It was all really fresh and yummy, and I was stuffed when I left! Little man was a bit of a nightmare at eating, and there was no problem with me taking him a few bits away with us for him.
As it was all paid for in advance, there is no need to check out. There is a locked key box in the foyer of the hotel and you just leave your keys in there on the way out. It meant we could just chuck our bag in the car and head of and spend as much time as possible by the sea. We had a lovely little break, and for £29.95 it was a real bargain. Unfortunately, Innkeepers Lodge have sold off over 40 of their hotels to Travelodge, and this is one of the ones that is changing over which is a real shame as I'm not a Travelodge fan! I would definitely use Innkeepers Lodge in the future, and think they are way above other budget chains.
Summary: Great Value Hotel Chain