Holiday Inn, Winchester

Hotel Review

I was recently invited to stay at the Holiday Inn, Winchester which underwent a major £2.5m refurbishment programme in 2019 to expand its lobby and dining areas and add a luxury spa.

Lobby lounge, Holiday Inn, Winchester
The hotel’s lobby lounge

Location:

The hotel is located on the outskirts of Winchester in southern Hampshire, south west England. The city lies 60 miles south west of London with Southampton 12 miles to the north.

Holiday Inn, Winchester
The entrance to the hotel

Winchester enjoys good rail access with South Western Railway operating frequent services from London Waterloo with journey times of approximately one hour.  For those arriving by car, Winchester is located close to Junction 9 of the M3 motorway.  The hotel is situated a few minutes drive from the city centre and with a bus stop on the main road close to the hotel it’s very easy to get around (Bus 64, half hourly service).

Arrival and check-in:

Entrance lobby, Holiday Inn, Winchester
The entrance lobby

Check-in is from 3.00 p.m. and it was around two hours later when we arrived at the hotel.  The hotel has a large car park, free to guests and we just needed to enter our registration number onto a tablet on the front desk counter.

Front desk, Holiday Inn, Winchester
The hotel’s front desk

The hotel has a large, contemporary styled open-plan lobby with comfortable sofas complimented by brightly coloured mis-matched cushions.  We were greeted by a friendly receptionist who prepared our room cards quickly, confirmed our dinner reservations and offered us a bus timetable into the city centre.

The Room:

We took the lift up to the first floor which has a large galleried balcony overlooking the hotel lobby.  The hotel has 131 rooms comprising standard, executive and suites and we were booked into one of the executive rooms which was decorated in a neutral palette with stone coloured walls and an oatmeal carpet.

Bedroom, Holiday Inn, Winchester
Our room at the hotel

The work desk/dressing table was equipped with several sockets to charge our devices with both the desk and armchairs adding a splash of colour.  The king size bed was extremely comfortable and, as with other IHG hotels came with a pillow menu enabling guests to request alternative pillows to suit their needs.

Executive room, Holiday Inn, Winchester
Our executive room

Other amenities included a flat screen television with satellite channels, bathrobes, slippers, a digital safe plus an iron and ironing board.  I was pleased to find plenty of hangers in the wardrobe enabling us to hang all our coats, dresses and shirts without having to leave some items folded.

Hospitality tray, Holiday Inn, Winchester
The well stocked hospitality tray

An added bonus of executive rooms is that as well as the usual hospitality tray, they also come equipped with a free mini-bar which is replenished daily containing complimentary soft drinks, water and best of all, bars of chocolate.  Moving into the en-suite bathroom this had a full sized bath with power shower over, thick Egyptian cotton white towels and complimentary, fragrant Soak toiletries.

Dining: 

Dinner: The hotel’s Odyssey Restaurant welcomes both guests and non-residents to its large seating area which is cleverly separated into sections offering the choice of intimate dining alcoves or tables overlooking the open kitchen.

Odyssey Restaurant, Holiday Inn, Winchester
The hotel’s Odyssey Restaurant

I like to watch the chefs preparing dishes and we found a table offering cosy banquette seating which was perfect for viewing the open kitchen.  Dining in the hotel’s restaurant is relaxed with friendly, efficient service.  The menu contains a variety of dishes from steaks to pizzas,  all reasonably priced with a wine list to match.

Main dishes served at Odyssey Restaurant, Holiday Inn, Winchester
Our main dishes

We dined in the hotel on both evenings enjoying starters of tiger prawns followed by mains of juicy steaks, grilled salmon fillet and a steak and ale pie.

Sticky Toffee Pudding, dessert, Odyssey Restaurant, Holiday Inn, Winchester
My yummy sticky toffee pudding

From the dessert menu we dithered on what to select as everything sounded tempting and our choices of sticky toffee pudding and chocolate and orange tart were both mouth-wateringly yummy.

Breakfast: This is served each morning in the Odyssey Restaurant and comprises a varied buffet selection of hot and cold dishes, pastries, yoghurts and fresh fruit.

Breakfast buffet at the Holiday Inn Winchester
The breakfast buffet set out in front of the open kitchen
Breakfast at the Holiday Inn, Winchester
Breakfast selections

In addition to the hot buffet, guests are able to order numerous items made to order including eggs benedict, omelettes and porridge.  On the first morning I opted for eggs benedict which was cooked to perfection with the poached eggs lovely and soft, just as I like them.

Breakfast at the Holiday Inn, Winchesterv
The breakfast drinks corner

On the second morning I opted for a traditional breakfast but rather than adding the scrambled eggs from the servery, I requested two poached eggs from the kitchen which were prepared straightaway.

The Facilities:

Pizzeria, Bar and Coffee Shop: In addition to the Odyssey Restaurant, the hotel boasts a coffee shop serving drinks and snacks throughout the day, a pizzeria and stylish bar.

Odyssey Pizzeria, Holiday Inn, Winchester
The Odyssey Pizzeria

The spacious open-plan lobby offers a combination of cosy seating alongside high tables for working.

Hotel bar, Holiday Inn, Winchester
The hotel bar

Wi-Fi throughout the hotel is fast, easy to connect to and reliable with a printer for guests use in the lobby.

Hotel Spa: A separate lift leads to the lower floor which comprises numerous meeting rooms and the luxurious ANA Spa.

ANA Spa, Holiday Inn Winchester
The thermal spa

I was given a guided tour around the facilities before my beauty treatment took place.  The ANA Spa is one of the most beautiful and well equipped that I have visited and includes a Himalayan salt sauna, hydro spa, steam room, twin foot spa, relaxation lounge, treatment rooms, gym and cafe.

Treatment room, ANA Spa, Holiday Inn, Winchester
The treatment room where I had my massage

Numerous treatments are available and I’d opted to have a 30 minute neck, shoulder and back massage which was very relaxing and eased my muscles.  Afterwards, I enjoyed my first ever Rasul treatment which begins with cleansing and exfoliating the skin before covering it in a clay mixture.

Relaxation Room, ANA Spa, Holiday Inn, Winchester
The ANA Spa relaxation room

This was followed by time in the steam room and a cleansing rinse to wash away the clay, leaving my skin feeling silky soft and glowing.  I really should indulge in these spa treatments more often as it was heavenly.  I spoke to some girls in the relaxation room who told me they had booked to stay on one of the hotel’s Spa Breaks which sounded a lovely idea for a relaxing get together or celebration.

The Gym, Holiday Inn, Winchester
The hotel’s well equipped gym

Car Park: In addition to parking for hotel guests, the hotel also offers overnight accommodation, parking and coach transfers for cruise passengers departing from Southampton.  More details can be found here.

Out and About:

Start with a walk along Winchester’s historic high street, said to be Britain’s oldest which stretches from the Westgate Arch all the way down the hill to the small bridge over the River Itchen.

Winchester High Street
Winchester High Street

Visit the Great Hall which is one of the finest surviving aisled halls of the 13th century with its painted archways and marble columns.  It once formed part of Winchester Castle founded in 1067 by William the Conqueror shortly after his victory at the Battle of Hastings.  The Hall is dominated by the famous ‘Round Table’ linked to the ancient legends of King Arthur and his knights.

Winchester Great Hall
Winchester Great Hall

Explore some of Winchester’s interesting museums including the Westgate Museum which is located inside a surviving fortified medieval city gateway.  Entrance is just £3 with joint tickets available with the City Museum just down the road.

Westgate Museum, Winchester
Westgate Museum

The City Museum tells the story of Winchester which was England’s ancient capital and the seat of Alfred the Great.  Arranged over three floors, the galleries document its origins from the Iron Age.

Winchester City Museum
Winchester City Museum

Explore Winchester City Mill now owned by the National Trust and free to visit.  The City Mill is one of the oldest working water mills in the country and at weekends you can watch the flour being milled.

Winchester City Mill
Winchester City Mill

Explore the ruins of Wolvesey Castle now operated by English Heritage (entrance free).  This castle was the main residence of the Bishops of Winchester throughout the Middle Ages and its extensive remains date from the 12th century.

Ruins of Wolvesey Castle, Winchester
The ruins of Wolvesey Castle

Book a one hour guided tour of Winchester College which was founded by William of Wykeham in 1382 and is one of the world’s most famous independent schools.  This fascinating tour covers the Chamber Court, Chapel, College Hall, Cloisters and parts of the 17th century school building including the kitchens and oak panelled dining room.

Entrance to Winchester College
Entrance to Winchester College

Last but not least visit the magnificent Winchester Cathedral.  Notable events that have taken place there include the coronation of Richard I (1194) and the marriage of Queen Mary (1554).

Winchester Cathedral
Winchester Cathedral

Many of the ancient Kings of England are buried within its walls along with the author Jane Austin.  Marvel at the intricate carvings on the choir stalls, the exquisite medieval floor tiles, beautiful stained glass and the 13th century bible font.

Hotel lounge, Holiday Inn, Winchester
Comfortable seating in the hotel lounge

Overall

We were very impressed with the quality of the hotel and the level of service offered.  The facilities are actually so good that I found this hotel to be better than some IHG Crowne Plaza hotels which are supposedly of a higher level than a Holiday Inn.  Don’t be put off with its out of town location as its only five minutes from the centre of Winchester by car and a few minutes longer on the bus.

Details:  Holiday Inn Winchester, Telegraph Way, Winchester, SO21 1HZ

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A short break in Winchester

A walk around Winchester and to its cathedral

 

During our stay we were guests of the Holiday Inn Winchester and as always all views and opinions are entirely my own.

29 thoughts on “Holiday Inn, Winchester

  1. Looks like a nice place to stay Marion, you can see it’s been recently refurbished. Now that we have made it to the Georgian capital we are enjoying a much more varied landscape of cuisine. But that Sticky Toffee Pudding has reminded me that boy, we are a long way from home.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a beautiful hotel, and I must say it is much nicer than any Holiday Inn we have stayed in here in the U.S. We rarely see hotels with cafes, dining rooms, or bars anymore, though our stays are mostly for sleep and showers. I would love the spa and the relaxation lounge. Of course, where this hotel is located is a huge plus!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s great that there is a large car park at the hotel – that’s always a bonus! And so much colour in the lobby … love that! A free mini-bar – oh wow, that’s generous of the hotel. As always, your food looks delicious (and well presented) … and the spa, a definite thumbs up from me! This is a really lovely hotel Marion – I’m sure you had a great time here!

    Liked by 1 person

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