Looking for a short break away, David Powell visits Southampton on the south coast to review the iconic, nautical themed, De Vere Grand Harbour
Southampton, a modern, vibrant city, with a history that goes back to the 12th century, is home to one of Britain’s most historic ports and is regarded as the cruise capital of the U.K. It is estimated that over 1.4 million cruise passengers will visit and pass through here in 2012.
Southampton is also a shoppers paradise with three major shopping venues including West Quay. This is a super shopping centre laid out over 3 floors and here you’ll find all the big name stores and more with plenty of places to eat. Southampton is a great base from which to discover the nearby Hampshire attractions including the New Forest, Beaulieu Motor Museum, Exbury Gardens, Marwell Zoo, and perhaps even a day visit to the Isle of Wight, as the island is only a short distance by ferry.
For my short break away to Southampton I wanted to review a hotel for readers that was a little different but still luxurious. I certainly wasn’t disappointed as the De Vere Grand Harbour ticked all the right boxes!
Overlooking the waterfront and easy to find, this is an iconic, nautical themed, modern hotel. The glass atrium is stunning and towers beautifully over the hotel. Grand Harbour stands alongside the medieval town walls and is within easy reach of all 4 of the city’s cruise terminals.
CRUISE HOTEL PACKAGES
The hotel specialises in cruise packages where you can book dinner, bed and breakfast and transfers to your cruise ship. Parking can also be included if required. There’s a de-luxe package offering a champagne a la carté 3 course dinner, full english breakfast, cruise lounge and up to 21 days car parking - what a great way to kick off a cruise!
THE HOTEL FACILITIES
Grand Harbour has 173 en suite bedrooms which incorporate a range of suites and waterfront rooms with balconies. You can choose from a cosy standard room with all the facilties you need including internet access to executive rooms and beautiful suites with super king size beds.
My room was one of the executive King room’s. This was a very comfortable room with the added bonus of a balcony view over the Solent. After a morning exploring the waterfront area it was great to unwind with a light lunch and beer in the Royal Bar and Atrium. Here you can also enjoy afternoon tea which seemed very popular with a lot of the hotel guests.
For dinner the main restaurant had a relaxed and sophisticated atmosphere and needless to say the menu choice was excellent and food and wine of a high standard. From the moment I checked in to my departure, the service standards were first class. All of the staff I came across were professional, friendly and welcoming.
SPA & LEISURE
De Vere are big on relaxation and no more so than Grand Harbour. There’s extensive leisure facilities including the delightful Serenity Spa where there are comprehensive body and beauty treatments on offer. There’s also a very inviting indoor pool (so take your swim wear!) sauna, steam room and a fully equipped techno gym. Gift vouchers and appointments for the Spa can also be purchased in advance.
Southampton is an excellent shortbreak destination . My break away was superb - time to relax, recharge the batteries and enjoy some wonderful views of Southampton water. Do have a look at the De Vere website to see more photos and offers. I have also produced a short video review which you can see by pasting the following link into your computer browser
Tel: 023 8063 3033
Written by David Powell