All aboard! Coastal spa ahoy

The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - FRONT PAGE - Rachel Cran­shaw

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; teletele­ 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.

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