All aboard! Coastal spa ahoy
Cruise passengers setting sail from Southampton now have somewhere to get their holiday started in style – a chic five-star hotel directly on the harbour boasting levels of luxury unparalleled in the city’s hotels. There’s a spa, a great restaurant and a top-floor bar with roof terrace.
The opening of the hotel looks set to inject much needed life into the under-developed waterfront area of Southampton. It’s not the prettiest of harbours, but the hotel juts right out onto the water. Southampton Central station and the cruise terminals are less than a 10-minute drive away; the site of the annual boat show is a 20-minute walk away.
Like being on a trendy cruise ship, complete with tiered terrace-style decks at the rear. Inside, nautical There were teething problems with service during my stay, but the overall operation will hopefully become smoother in time. A request for tonic water to be delivered to my room proved unnecessarily difficult. Service in the restaurant, however, was excellent, and spa therapists were spot-on. Try the Lava Shell Massage for a marine twist on the hot stone classic. Facilities comprise a pool, whirlpool, sauna, steam room and relaxation room; plus a gym.
All rooms have the same amenities – water views, complimentary sherry and gin, White Company toiletries, Nespresso machines and bedside plug/USB sockets – and differ only in size, but even standard doubles are perfectly roomy. Walls are a soothing pale blue/grey, and the same eyecatching décor as elsewhere continues, with Fifties-style desks, and fashionable prints in gentle primary colours on chairs and cushions. Marble bathrooms have either shower-overtub or walk-in rain shower (or both). Rooms with terraces and loungers are a boon in fine weather. Suites on the fourth and fifth floors are expected to open by mid-November. Southampton’s yacht-inspired Harbour Hotel & Spa brings a touch of luxury to the marina 5 Maritime Walk, Ocean Village, Southampton (0238 110 3456; teletelegraph.co.uk/ tt-southamptonharbourhotel) The Jetty is already establishing itself as one of the best places to eat in the city. My octopus carpaccio starter was velvety and flavoursome, while a main of cod with a crab-and-herb crust had a perfect crisp bite and tender follow. Desserts include an inventive take: ice cream dropped in edible sand. The wine pairing offer, at just £20 extra for a large glass with each course, offers Adapted rooms are available. There are also lifts and accessible loos.
Yes, with children’s swimming hours, a cinema room with free popcorn, and interconnecting rooms available. Suites can be adapted for family use.