Staycation: Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa, Hampshire
by Nadine Brown
Nadine Brown skips the popular New Forest for a trip to Southampton’s stunning Harbour Hotel & Spa and some ‘me-time’ at the marina.
Where is it?
Set in a small private marina, the hotel is just a five-minute drive from Ocean Cruise Terminal, making it the perfect start before setting sail on a luxury adventure.
What’s the accommodation like?
The exterior is designed to look like a super yacht, so you know the 119 rooms inside plus suites won’t disappoint. Décor is sleek with nautical touches, including porthole mirrors, and an ocean palette with splashes of colour. My suite has a private balcony with enviable views across the marina and ample seating for drinks, meals and sun catching. There’s plenty of seating inside too, with separate lounges providing enough space to watch the two TVs, huge wardrobes and an even bigger bathroom with The White Company toiletries and a bath as well as a walk-in rain shower.
What did you eat and drink?
You’re spoiled for choice whether you eat in or out. Chef Alex Aitken’s Michelin history is evident in the meals that come out at The Jetty restaurant. Meadowbrook Produce, run by Aitken’s son Justin, provides them with locally sourced meat, and of course there is a ‘sea’ of fresh seafood available. As such, popular starters like the crispy, salty moreish ‘cockle popcorn’ or the deeply satisfying main of ‘chicken, prawn and lobster’, which is rich with flavour and style, sing. Drinks are great here too, but if you can head to Ennio’s, an Italian restaurant that was the place where the first-class passengers stored their luggage before boarding the Titanic. Now, they serve classic, first-class cocktails – their Negroni is sublime.
What is there to do?
There’s the spa with ample treatments using Temple Spa products, swimming and hydrotherapy pools, mud rasul therapy, sauna, steam room and gym. The HarBAR has a DJ at the weekend if you fancy shaking a leg, or opt for afternoon tea if you’re after something a little more refined.
What do I need to pack?
The hotel provides you with slippers and dressing gowns to use in the spa, but it’s definitely worth packing loungewear to relax in and a couple of cossies. If you plan on going on a historic walk of Southampton, don’t forget your comfiest shoes.
The view looking out across the marina with a glass of the welcome sherry refilled each day. On a summer evening with a gentle breeze, it couldn’t be more perfect.
Sainsbury’s magazine insider tip
Unlike other Harbour Hotels, this flagship location has a private cinema to watch your fave flicks – perfect for a special birthday or hen party.