Monday, 16 April 2012

Holiday Inn at Eastleigh Southampton - Easter 2012

Going on a holiday with children to places like Peppa Pig World could be more stressful for parents than staying at home trying to find things for them to do. When we went there (you can read more about our experience here: Day 1 and Day 2), the queueing and trying to walk around the park in the rain really tired us out. So we decided to relax on the second day at Holiday Inn, our accommodation for a night, before heading to Peppa Pig World again.

We chose Holiday Inn Eastleigh branch to be part of Paultons Park Short Breaks package, as it was one of the cheapest but better deal at the time. They have a swimming pool and spa facilities, includes breakfast while children eats free (any meals).

We asked for a late check-out when we checked in, as we wanted to take a dip in the pool in the morning, and sorting kids out can take time. We were given a free priority club membership that allowed us check-out late for free. You can use it to check-in earlier as well.


The Room

Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Eastleigh
We were a bit disappointed as the room was quite small. There was enough space for us to set up our travel cot (you can request for it but we had to bring ours anyway so we didn't), but even without the cot it felt quite restricted.


Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Eastleigh
For some reason the extractor fan only worked at odd times (when we didn't need it), which we have no control of. And the air conditioner didn't work either so we had to open the window for fresh air, which I wouldn't expect needing to do in a hotel. Guest house yes, but hotel no.


Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Eastleigh
Overall it was still a nice room though a bit old and small. The beds were comfortable, and I would have slept well if Clay didn't throw up on my side while feeding in the middle of the night! The TV was a good size too.

I must complain about the hair dryer though. There is just no excuse, safety or whatever, to provide a hair dryer that your guest must constantly hold onto the button to keep it working. A slight lift from your finger and the hair dryer will turn off. So while I was drying my hair, it went on and off, on and off throughout the whole time. Hubby tried really hard ignoring it, occasionally let out a burst of laughter, while I was annoyed with the noise and my sore thumb.


Swimming Pool

We had a great time at the swimming pool watching Clay and Abby fighting over a ball we brought with us. Clay showed great potential by kicking the water like a jellyfish! They have a baby pool as well but the water was quite shallow so we stayed in the big pool. The big pool's temperature was well maintained and not as cold as other ones we went to, but I suspected that it might had something to do with water entering the pool from the Jacuzzi.


The Food

Dinner

Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Eastleigh, holiday inn dinner
Holiday Inn were doing an offer on dinner, where you pay £12.50 for 2 courses from the selected dishes, or add £2.50 for other dishes that are not part of the deal. And of course, kids get a complimentary 3 course meal.


Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Eastleigh, holiday inn dinner
We both went for Sticky Spicy Wings (or something like that). The spiciness builds up the more you eat, which can be balanced out by the cool dip. It was quite nice and we both liked it.


Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Eastleigh, holiday inn dinner
Abby had a Cheesy Garlic Bread. She was absolutely starving after the first day at Peppa Pig World, so she couldn't even wait for us to take a family picture before hacking at the bread! It was the first time we noticed that she already learnt how to user a knife. The way she ate them I assumed that they were really good!


Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Eastleigh, holiday inn dinner
We both ordered a steak (Ribeye for hubby and Sirloin for me). It was delicious and cooked well, but not very balanced. The portion of wedges was too big, and it only came with a piece of mushroom (hidden under the pile of wedges).

We ordered a Cottage Pie for Abby but she was too full and only ate a few bites. Clay didn't seem to be too keen at the pie either.


Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Eastleigh, holiday inn dinner
We shared Abby's Banana Split that has ice-cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and golden syrup on. It was yummy and the banana itself was perfect as well, not too raw, not too ripe.


Breakfast

Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Eastleigh, holiday inn breakfast
The next morning we had quite an alright breakfast. The fried eggs were great as they were fried, while other breakfast places serves fried eggs that looked more like poached. The yolks were still runny too. The sausages however were a bit soft for me. And the coffee and tea were both too strong, which would have been better if we were to make our drinks our way.

I burnt my hand with the food tongs, which I was really not happy about. And it's not like I can stop using them as I still have to grab the food. Come to think of it I should have asked for a new pair.


Overall the experience has been quite pleasant, the staffs were nice, the restaurant looked fancy, and we did have a relaxing time and felt that we were on a holiday as well and not just the kids! We checked out at 2pm and went to our next stop, Premier Inn, which I will write in another post.