If you are looking for a family friendly hotel then it’s well worth taking a look at the 4* Solent Hotel and Spa in Fareham.

Located just off junction 9 of the M27, the Solent Hotel is situated in a great location halfway between Southampton and Portsmouth so its perfect for visiting Paulton’s Park and Peppa Pig World, Marwell Zoo and Portsmouth, all of which were on our to-do list for our visit to Hampshire.

This was one of the reasons why we chose to stay here along with the great rate for an executive family suite that we found on Expedia.

We have stayed at many hotel chains over the years but never at a hotel from the House of Daniel Thwaites group. If all House of Daniel Thwaites hotels are as good as our experience at the Solent then I wouldn’t hesitate staying with them again for a family break.

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Many areas of the hotel including the public spaces, spa, restaurant and most rooms have undergone a dramatic £5m refurbishment in recent years transforming the hotel into one of the best choices for a comfortable family stay in the south of Hampshire.

As part of this transformation a sister property to the Solent Hotel also opened onsite called ‘Lodge at Solent’ which looked a really smart option for families at budget prices along with the Parson’s Collar Pub which was really family friendly (more on that later).

After a busy day at Marwell Zoo followed by a visit to Gunwharf Quays for a little shopping and lunch our spacious family suite was perfect to recharge our batteries with a really comfortable queen sized bed, sofa bed for the girls and a calming nautical inspired colour scheme.

As you might know from previous hotel visits, a sofa bed is not my favoured option for the kids but the one at the Solent Hotel was really comfortable and fine for an overnight stay.

When booking I would recommend requesting one of the refurbished rooms which feature modern flourishes including a large wall mounted LCD flat screen, cool radios and wooden Venetian blinds giving these rooms a distinctive coastal inspired stamp.

Our room like all of the other 117 bedrooms at the hotel had everything you’d expect from a 4* hotel such as tea/coffee making facilities, bathrobes and slippers, fresh milk and water, super fast wifi and 24-hour room service.

But there were also so many thoughtful little touches. On each of the girls beds were welcome gifts of activity books, cookies and fresh milk, drinks and chocolates along with V.I.Little P dressing gowns and slippers that they could use in the hotel spa. It’s these little details that make the Solent Hotel a good choice for families, the girls loved it.

The smart modern en-suite bathroom consisted of a shower over the bath and maintained to a very high standard with lovely Caudalie Paris toiletries.

The biggest attraction of the hotel for the children apart from their welcome gifts was the indoor swimming pool. As soon as we had put our cases in our room the first thing Chloe and Holly wanted to do was to check out the swimming pool, but as the children’s swim time finished at 7pm we missed out.

However we got up early the next morning for a quick swim before breakfast. The spa facilities included a Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room which was so relaxing and the girls enjoyed the pool so much that they didn’t want to leave.

Although the hotel is only a short drive away from numerous restaurants and retail parks we decided to eat onsite at the Parsons Collar Pub. This was such a fun relaxed place to dine with kids with lots of comfortable seats, smart décor and what will be a hit with most kids who visit, their fab ice cream parlour stocked with Jude’s ice cream from Hampshire.

Our pizzas from the wood fired pizza oven were delicious and the wide range of craft beers and live sport on the many TV’s in the pub were a big hit with my husband.

Breakfast at the Terrace Restaurant the next morning was a little hectic but had an excellent selection of food on offer from hot cooked breakfast to small pastries, fruit and cereals and set us up perfectly for our visit to Peppa Pig World.


The Solent Hotel and Spa is one of the most family friendly hotels we have visited in Hampshire and everything about the hotel is stylish coupled with fantastic customer service.

It was the perfect location for us to explore the great family attractions of Marwell Zoo, Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World along with the New Forest and the cities of Southampton and Portsmouth.

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