I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Solent Hotel & Spa. As a conference venue it is really strong with plenty of meeting room options, both large, medium and small, as well as a fantastic, newly refurbished, restaurant and bar that served amazing food. On top of this it has unbelievably good leisure facilities – spa, swimming pool, gym, tennis court, pub, and coming soon…the outdoor cinema which will be amazing! But it is the friendliness and attitude of both the staff and management that made it stand out for me – both of which were second to none. If you’re looking for a venue with a positive can-do attitude with really solid meeting spaces, you’ll be in safe hands here!
Address: Solent Hotel & Spa, Rookery Avenue, Whiteley, Fareham, Hampshire, PO15 7AJ
Conference Sales Contact: Claire Lunt (Sales Office Manager)
Tel: +44 (0)1489 880000
Distance & time from nearest airport: Southampton is located 9 miles away (10 minutes by taxi)
Distance & time from nearest railway station: Parkway in Southampton is located 9 miles away (10 minutes by taxi) – providing direct access to Waterloo station in London (75 mins)
Official star rating: 4 star
Situated just off the M27 (although far enough away to not hear any traffic noise at all), the first thing you see as you enter the grounds is the lovely Parson’s Collar pub and the newly opened ‘Lodge at Solent’ – these two venues support the main hotel and are literally just a few paces away from the main hotel. More of this later…
Once you’ve parked up in the large, and totally free, car park – the first thing that strikes you as you enter the Solent Hotel & Spa is just how friendly everyone is here. From the front desk staff through to the restaurant and spa team, the welcome could not have been any better!
The ground floor of the hotel is home to the fabulous Terrace Bar and Restaurant – both of which have been totally refurbished and recently re-opened. As you will see from the photos, the results are amazing. The restaurant was my particular favourite part of the hotel – not only does it have the main indoor part of the room but it also has a section which can be used for private dining or for group lunches for conference etc. On top of this was the conservatory which leads to an outside patio area for when the weather is nice…like it was on my visit!
Out the back of the hotel was an area which is just about to begin work to house an outdoor cinema – wow! Guests will be able to sit on deck chairs and bean bags and enjoy a ‘silent’ outdoor cinema (where everyone will wear headsets) – what an amazing asset to have at a hotel? It would also seem ideal for product launches, informal presentations etc. Watch this space for news of the completion date, expected to be around July 2018.
The ‘Lodge at Solent’ – is a fantastic offer from the hotel. Aimed at a slightly less expensive price point, it gives a totally different experience to the main hotel. The bedrooms here are amazing too – really stylish, practical & dog friendly (some even have lovely balconies!). Right up my street. Particularly good for large conferences when you might need those extra few bedrooms.
Parking: There 250 spaces in the car park at the Solent Hotel & Spa – and the great news is, it’s all totally free!
Coach / Bus Pick-up Location at hotel: No problems at all – coaches can drop off / pick-up right outside the main hotel entrance and there is a coach park at the far end of the car park.
Number of bedrooms: 117 in main hotel, 54 in the Lodge at Solent
Bedrooms: The bedrooms at the Solent are great – all recently refurbished with large flat screen TVs, nice bathrooms and lots of room. My room had a coffee machine, fridge, as well as great working space to catch up on your emails and a couch to relax on. I also had a really good night’s sleep as it’s really quiet at the hotel.
Number of floors: Three in the main hotel, two in the Lodge
Business centre: Yes, located on the first floor.
Wi-fi: Yes, totally free and worked really well all over the hotel
Fitness gym: I used the gym and it’s a really decent size for a hotel – quite a few cardio and resistance machines as well as some excellent free weights and kettle bells etc.
The big news is that gym has just been refurbished with all brand-new TechnoGym equipment!
There is also a spacious separate studio which is great for classes – you can hire it for your group, for yoga / wellness sessions etc
Spa & Swimming Pool: The swimming pool and spa at the Solent Hotel & Spa are amazing and recently refurbished. It’s got a really good-sized pool with whirlpool, steam room and sauna. Love the chill out area where you can even go outside on the loungers too!
There are also 7 treatment rooms at the hotel including one double room where Caudalie products beautify and empower guests’ well-being.
RESTAURANTS & BARS
There are three bars and one restaurant in the main hotel – the Terrace Restaurant & Bar is just off the lobby and has been completely refurbished recently. The bar area is a welcoming place to relax or do a bit of work. You can even rent out one of the two booths in the corner to hold meetings or catch up on some work.
The AA Rosette restaurant is a gorgeous place to eat. Having just reopened after it’s refurbishment, this 130-cover restaurant is bright, spacious and fabulous! You can eat inside, in the conservatory or even out on the terrace where there is a rotisserie and a grill – ideal for BBQs.
The food was amazing, highlights include the Chef’s table option which you can have as a starter or main. A real treat if you like seafood! There is also a PDR section which has natural light and can cater for 40 diners!
The other two function bars in the main hotel are situated inside the two largest meeting rooms – the Hambledon Suite and the Carisbrooke Room.
Last but not least is the fantastic Parson’s Collar pub & kitchen with its lovey, relaxed atmosphere and family friendly menu including pizza oven & ice cream parlour for the kids - which is located right next to Lodge at Solent. Both just a few paces away from the main hotel.
MEETING / CONFERENCE ROOMS
The Solent Hotel & Spa is home to 13 fantastic ‘Creative Space’ meeting rooms (all with natural daylight) giving you lots of different options for your conferences. There are 7 meeting rooms in the main hotel (Hambledon 1 & 2 or combined, Arundel, Carisbrooke, Dorchester, Bembridge & Osborne) as well as 6 large bedroom suites which double up as breakout rooms.
The hotel has a really forward thinking approach by offering adaptive spaces which can be tailored to suit the objective of your meeting with different layouts. So that could be in the form of holding your meeting sitting on bean bags or outside on deckchairs etc. If you dream it, they’ll try and make it happen!
This is backed up by the fab ‘Conference Café’ which is open to all delegates to use throughout the day – offering fab coffee machines, hot and cold food, lots of snacks – pastries, popcorn, etc and its generally a really lovely place to be when you’re on a coffee break. Lunches are generally taken downstairs in the Terrace Restaurant to enable delegates to feel fully refreshed when they return to the meeting room.
The Hambledon Room
This is the hotel’s largest room and is a really flexible space. With its own lobby outside, which is ideal for registration and coffee breaks, it can be used as one large room – hosting up to 200 pax in theatre style or it can be split into two or three separate rooms. It is ideal for conferences, dinner dances or weddings. It has built in AV including PA and microphones, all of which is included in the price. Access for AV kit or stage sets is also really good, as you can load directly into the room without going through the main hotel.
Natural light: Yes Size: 233 Sq.M Dinner Dance: 150 Theatre: 240 Cabaret: 100 Classroom: 100 Dinner: 180 Location: Ground floor AV Equipment included: Screens, projectors & PA system including microphones
For meeting room capacities, layouts and further information please click here: www.solenthotel.co.uk/meetings/