We’ve stayed at the Winchester Royal Hotel on several occasions – always at weekends and always in April and October. Having stayed outside the city in cheaper accommodation in the past we realised that the location of this hotel is important to us for a visit to this wonderful small city as there’s so much within a short walk of the hotel: my husband has gone off to his meetings while I’ve explored on foot. The Royal is a comfortable traditional 4-star hotel with reception, dining room, conference rooms, events rooms and more expensive suites and bedrooms located in the main building, some of which dates back to the 16th century. However, we’ve always stayed in the two-storey annexe with its more modest rooms, but none the worse for that, as they have everything that’s needed; the rooms on one side of the annexe look out onto the hotel’s large pleasant walled garden and those on the other (which we’ve always had) overlook the car park and businesses in Parchment Street. I won’t go into too much detail about the hotel because it’s all on the website but will just pass on the following tips gained from our experiences there. I will also do another review later about places to visit in Winchester that aren’t usually reviewed.
Car parking is an important factor with this hotel as if the hotel is busy you might be unlucky and find the car park full when you arrive, as has happened to us on one occasion, so it’s best not to arrive too late. The system works like this: having found your way round the one way system (horrendous because locals know where they are going and drive too fast) and entered St Peter Street (also one way) the hotel’s car park is just before the hotel building and has a barrier. Once inside, if there isn’t a space, don’t worry, just leave the car there long enough to take your case into reception, tell the staff you haven’t found a space, and they will let you know if there’s one in the overflow car park which has an entrance in Parchment Street, down the hill and parallel to St Peter Street; they will then provide you with a code to get out of the main car park. Assuming there is a space in the other car park you will need to drive to the end of St Peter Street, turn right, go all the way round the one way system again but this time turn right into Parchment Street, the street before St Peter St. On the one occasion we turned up late and there were no spaces in either car park just drove to St Peter’s public car park which is a 5-minute walk back to the Hotel. For this turn right at the end of St Peter St. and then 1st left into Hyde Abbey Road, just after traffic lights on the one way system (B330/North Walls). This sounds more complicated than it is! To date, along with most other Winchester City car parks, there is no charge between 6.00 pm until 8.00 am weekdays or all day Sundays. The Royal charges £10 a night for parking.
If travelling by train the railway station is approximately a 7-minute downhill walk to the Royal, but obviously takes a bit longer walking back up the hill. The bus and coach stops are in Broadway at the bottom of the High Street, again only a 6-minute walk from the Hotel.
We’ve never eaten in The Royal, apart from breakfasts, which are very good. The waiting staff are efficient and well-organised. In the past it’s obviously been a buffet with really good choices although there are a couple of steps up to the area where it’s set out. I’m sure other meals there are very good but there are so many restaurants in Winchester that we’ve been working our way round them. The Royal does have coach tours like Titan and Saga stop there but that has never caused us any problems with getting breakfast.
To sum up – great location, only a 3-minute walk to the High Street and 6 minutes to the Cathedral – and very friendly, helpful staff. I don’t have any photos of The Royal but there are many on the website, so I’ve illustrated this review with a few photos of places nearby.
“See hotel website for photographs and more information”:https://winchesterroyalhotel.com/