Steph - Cruise with Amber
Staying at the Southampton Harbour Hotel and Spa
Located in the heart of the Ocean Village in Southampton, the hotel channels superyacht design with a contemporary twist.
The Southampton Harbour Hotel and Spa opened in 2017 and is still Southampton’s only five-star hotel. The hotel encompasses 119 luxury rooms, including 10 suites. Rooms either have views out to the marina or across the Solent. There is an on-site pool and spa, a fine dining restaurant, a rooftop terrace bar and even a private cinema.
Pre-cruise stays at the Southampton Harbour Hotel and Spa
Southampton Harbour Hotel is perfect for a pre- or post-cruise stay and is perfectly located to all the cruise terminals in Southampton – especially the Ocean Terminal. If you book a pre-cruise stay you can add on a ‘cruise and park’ option with a complimentary shuttle to and from the terminal.
As the hotel is perfectly placed for amazing views of Southampton Water, if you get up early enough on the morning of your departure you might be lucky enough see your ship sailing in. My tip is to request a room facing the docks rather than the marina, the higher up you are, the better the view you will get. Alternatively you can always head up to the Har Bar to catch a view.
What types of rooms are available at the Southampton Harbour Hotel and Spa?
The hotel offers 6 different types of rooms. All rooms feature the following amenities:
Complimentary WiFi, Air conditioning, 24-hr Room service, Complimentary gin & sherry, Tea & coffee making facilities, and a Nespresso coffee machine, Glassware, Electric kettle, Alarm clock, 400 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, Bath robes, Slippers, Waterfall shower, White Company toiletries, Flat-screen TV, Hairdryer, Telephone, Safety deposit box and Ironing facilities.
Double or Twin Room rooms
These are the standard room option and are tastefully decorated with luxurious furnishings and have an uncluttered and calming atmosphere. Several of these rooms are accessible for disabled or impaired guests.
Double room with Juliette Balcony and the slightly smaller Cosy Double Room with Juliette Balcony. These rooms are perfect if you wish to have access to a balcony. If You cruise and prefer balcony cabin rather than an ocean view cabin, then this might be the option you. However as these rooms are accessed via an internal staircase, they are properly not the best option for guests with limited mobility.
Deluxe Room with Marina View: these double rooms are slightly more spacious options.
The Studio Suite with Balcony
Moving on to the suite categories The Studio Suite with Balcony has a lovely, long Juliet balcony and a spacious lounge area. The suite also includes kitchenette facilities, however at the time of writing (October 2020) kitchenette facilities are currently unavailable for use. The studio suites benefit from views over the marina.
The studio suite we stayed in offered some additional space which is useful for a family staying across two rooms. However at the time of our stay (August 2020) we were unable to use the kitchenette facilities. The studio suite is a great option to use as base to explore the South Coast on holiday expect to pay around (£225 per night) for a room only rate.
Despite the spacious lounge and kitchenette area, the bathroom space is somewhat disappointingly small for this grade of room. For example, the twin room which we also stayed in on the same floor had a much bigger bathroom which was almost twice the size. So if you prefer to have a bath and shower and a more spacious bathroom area, then it might be wise to opt for a different suite or room option.
Watch my tour of Southampton Harbour Hotel
Marina View Suite with Balcony
These suites overlook the marina. These suites have lounge areas located within the bedrooms, spacious bathrooms, including double sinks, shower and a full-length bath. These suites will catch the sun for most of the day and the outdoor balcony space includes two sun loungers and a table and 4 chairs.
The balcony space on the 3rd floor is longer than the 4th floor. The 3rd floor balconies are also overlooked from the HarBAR on 6th so if privacy is your thing, you might wish to opt for the suites on the 3rd floor or opt for a lower grade room with a more secluded Juliette balcony.
Deluxe Marina View Suite with Balcony
These are the premium rooms in the hotel. These suites are located on the 5th floor and benefit from marina views and full day sun. While these suites only sleep 2, they seem to be geared up for extensive entertaining.
The interior space is made up of a bedroom with a king size bed and doors leading onto the balcony. There is a separate open plan lounge, with a sofa and two comfy chairs. There is also a dining table which seats 6. The bathroom has a separate bath and walk in shower and double sinks.
They also offer extensive outdoor dining and lounging space – a L-shaped sofa which could easily seat 4 people and an outdoor dining space to seat 6. The only downside with these premium suites is that as they are directly underneath (and overlooked) by the HarBAR on 6th so don’t expect much peace or privacy.
As far as dining options go, you have the choice of the Jetty Restaurant and Bar which is located on the ground floor of the hotel, or the HarBAR on 6th located (funnily enough) on the sixth floor. Room service is also available.
The Jetty Restaurant and Bar
The Jetty Restaurant and Bar offers for fine dining options and specialises in locally caught seafood, seasonal ingredients from the New Forest, and has impressive views over the marina. This is a quieter and more refined option rather than the HarBAR on 6th. If the weather is on your side, there is also an alfresco dining area on the terrace, which is the perfect place to dine or sip a glass of wine while watching the super yachts sail by.
The Jetty Restaurant and Bar is open for lunch between 12 PM and 2:30 PM and dinner is served between 5 PM and 10 PM. There is also all-day service on Friday and Saturday between 12 PM and 10 PM.
HarBAR on 6th
Up on the roof, the HarBAR on 6th offers a more relaxed dining option. The atmosphere here is informal, casual and fun. It also features a terrace with outdoor fire pits, heaters and a woodfired oven.
The HarBAR offers all-day dining. Breakfast is served in an area facing towards the marina and is perfectly apparently to catch some spectacular sunrises. (Breakfast served from 6:30 AM – 11 AM Monday to Saturday and 7 AM to 11:30 AM on Sundays and bank holidays).
(Breakfast served from 6:30 AM – 11 AM Monday to Saturday and 7 AM to 11:30 AM on Sundays and bank holidays).
Dining continues throughout the day with afternoon tea (available Monday to Saturday from 3pm-5pm and on Sundays between 4pm-6pm) followed by dinner and then late-night bites. All dining options come with spectacular panoramic views over the Solent, courtesy of floor-to-ceiling windows and a wonderful al fresco dining space. As there are heaters and fire pits on the terrace, this really is year-round venue.
What is the spa like at the Southampton Harbour Hotel and Spa?
Guests can access the spa area via an elevator from the accommodation floors or alternatively directly from the marina by one of the two entrances. Spa and gym facilities are free for all hotel residents.
There is a fresh and colourful well-being juice bar and café area at the spa reception. This area offers the perfect place to relax before or after spa treatment without having to return to your room.
I particularly liked the calming relaxation room which is just off the main pool area. The spa area features a sauna, steam rooms and a mud Rasul. Whilst the pool is small (the hotel refers to it as a ‘lap pool’) there is enough space for swim and the hydrotherapy pool is much larger than your average Jacuzzi. Spa treatments are on offer using Temple Spa and exclusive HarSPA products and there are seven treatment rooms available.
On the first floor, the gym is equipped with running machines, cross trainers by with a selection of multi-exercise weight machines and free weights. he gym also offers a range of exercise classes (free to hotel guests) and personal trainers.
What’s it like to stay as a family at the Southampton Harbour Hotel and spa?
The accommodation in each room across the hotel is configured as twins or double rooms. Even the premium suites only have a maximum occupancy of two. Therefore, if you are thinking of staying as a family for a pre-cruise stay, it can end up being a pricey option. Expect to pay around £500+ for a couple of rooms with breakfast included.
However, if you are looking for a bit of luxury before a special cruise, it’s a perfect option. It’s just a shame that the hotel doesn’t offer rooms which accommodate four people. We would certainly be more inclined stay more at the hotel if this was an option.
As far as entertainment goes, we really liked the quirky addition of an on-site cinema. My tip is to enquire at reception when you check-in to find out when the cinema is available, you can then reserve a slot for exclusive use. The hotel has a long list of films (and I mean, pages) to suit all tastes and ages – including some familiar titles and recent releases. Our kids had a difficult time choosing.
As far as dining is concerned, the children’s menu in the HarBAR on 6th caters very well for younger guests, offering familiar options such as mac and cheese, burgers, chicken goujons and pizzas.
The Spa also operates dedicated times for children to use the pool. While guests are reminded not to use mobile phones in the spa area, just be aware that the spa don’t actively enforce this. For example, when we alerted reception to the fact that one guest was carrying out a video call on his phone in the pool area during the dedicated children’s pool times, the reception staff didn’t seem to care or seem bothered to follow up on this.
What COVID measures are in place Southampton Harbour Hotel and Spa?
In the days leading up to our check-in, we received a helpful email from the hotel outlining all of the Safe Harbour measures the hotel had implemented for the welfare of hotel guests. We were asked to complete a short health questionnaire online before check-in and also asked to bring masks with us and requested to wear them as we wondered around the hotel’s public spaces.
The majority of our check in process was completed online and when we arrived at the hotel all parts of the process were contactless. Check-in staff were separated from guests via Perspex screens.
During our stay we were given the option to not have our room serviced, but to receive fresh towels and replenished amenities in a sealed bag, to be left outside out room. We decided to choose this option and this service was efficient and well executed by the staff.
Hand sanitizer was freely available throughout the hotel, restaurants and bars. Guests were also frequently remined to socially distance by well placed signage in the public areas and lifts. We were also given a small bottle of hand sanitiser in our room, which we were encouraged to take with us when we were out and about.
When we arrived at the spa our temperatures were checked. Some of the spa facilities were not open when we stayed (such as the sauna and steam rooms).
The Safe Harbour measures were extensive throughout the hotel, and we felt reassured during our stay. You can read more about the hotels safe harbour measures here.
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Hi, I’m Steph I’ve travelled around the world, backpacked across Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii and spent over 100 nights at sea. Having grown up by the coast, the sea is my passion and now I enjoy exploring the world on cruise ships with my family. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to keep up to date with my ever expanding set of port guides to inspire you on your travels plus money-saving cruise tips, ship tours and cabin reviews.