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“A wonderful stay...” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Florence Suite Boutique Hotel and Restaurant

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The Florence Suite Boutique Hotel and Restaurant
Ranked #9 of 38 Hotels in Portsmouth
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
1 review
“A wonderful stay...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 December 2013

Well, what can I say, what a lovely experience we had at Sea-la-vie! We were warmly greeted on arrival and straight away told that we had been upgraded to the double superior room. What a great start! We had our luggage taken to our rooms and a parking permit given which was hassle free. Our room was spacious, clean and very comfortable. The bathroom had both a shower and bath that provided us with plenty of hot water. The breakfast the next morning was delicious and the restaurant very cosy. Our host, Mary, was extremely helpful and accommodating,providing my partner with a packed lunch as he was up very early and couldn't make breakfast. We were also given an extended check- out time for free which made life so much easier. Our luggage was held safely in reception whilst my partner completed the marathon and again, Mary carried our luggage to the car as we left. I have to say, I have stayed at many hotels and bnbs but not had nearly as good service as we had here. We will definitely return and recommend Sea- la- vie to our family and friends.
Once again, thank you Mary for making our stay so enjoyable

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank 111Ceri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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313 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    252
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    10
    4
    1
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39
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (86)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Tarragona, Spain
Level Contributor
136 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 December 2013

When we arrived at this B&B we were delighted to find that we had been upgraded to a far superior room. Apparently this is normal practice if a room of a higher standard is free during your stay, you automatically get upgraded. Couldn't fault the cleanliness and we had lovely white fluffy towels. Although we only stayed for one breakfast during our 3 night break - it was lovely. On our last night as we were leaving at 6 am on the Sunday morning we were given Juice and some cereal bars and fruit to take with us (which was really thoughtful) and much appreciated. Would definitely return and recommend to everyone. All the staff were very friendly and welcoming - nothing was too much trouble.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lorraine R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 December 2013

From the minute we arrived at this B&B the service was incredible. The staff were extremely friendly and made sure we had everything we needed. The rooms were fantastic!! I was staying with my mom who is a stickler for cleanliness and she was overwhelmed with the room. The standards were extremely high with the room and furnishings being incredible. Even the toiletries provided were lovely. My little sister currently lives in Portsmouth and I will make sure that every time I visit I stay at this hotel.

Room Tip: We stayed in a superior room and it was beautiful and still a bargain!! Definitely worth the upgrade...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Charlotte S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reception1113, Manager at The Florence Suite Boutique Hotel and Restaurant, responded to this review, 3 December 2013
Thanks so much for leaving us such a nice review about our Superior Room, we really appreciate you taking the time to do this and look forward to welcoming you back when you are next visiting your sister.

Best regards

All at Sea La Vie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 November 2013

We stayed here a few days ago and although I was a bit apprehensive with it being a B&B, I needn't have worried.
I had booked a while ago as I was looking for accommodation in the area but some of the bigger hotels were full , but I was trying to find a place suitable for my husband who has mobility problems. The staff were really helpful as they made sure that they booked us into the right room on the ground floor ( he can walk but not lots of stairs etc)
The room was really big and bright, and was very newly decorated, it was fresh and classic and made a nice impression on us both.
Breakfast was very good, it was 2 doors down which was about 6 steps, so was fine (prob shorter then going from room to restaurant in most places!) managed to fill my face with the buffet, and hubby (who is fitness fanatic) managed to also do very well for someone super picky!

All in all, a great stay with super helpful staff, have stayed in the sister hotels on my other visits however would stay here again in a heartbeat, thanks again!

Room Tip: The ground floor room was bright and spacious and a good room for anyone with difficulty getting abo...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jody3432
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reception1113, Manager at The Florence Suite Boutique Hotel and Restaurant, responded to this review, 3 December 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review the hotel. We are really pleased the room worked well for you and your husband. Indeed breakfast is very close to Sea La Vie and we glad you enjoyed the selection!

We look forward to welcoming you to another Mercer hotel soon,

Best regards

All at Sea La Vie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
112 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 November 2013

Was very impressed with the Sea La Vie B&B. Very large room and a nice powerful shower. The room was spotlessly clean. The breakfast was great as it was a buffet so i managed to fill up on sausages! All the staff we saw were very friendly and i would definitely return.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Peggy05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reception1113, Manager at The Florence Suite Boutique Hotel and Restaurant, responded to this review, 3 December 2013
Thanks for taking the time to review the hotel. We really appreciate it and look forward to welcoming you again.

Kind regards

All at Sea La Vie
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 November 2013

Room was fine, although difficultly in closing the curtains without standing on the bed, due to bedside tables in the way. It was warm and we had the benefit of on-street parking, as main car park was full. The disappointment was having to leave our room to walk to their sister hotel for breakfast, which is highly unpleasant on a cold and rainy day. On balance it was ok, but would we return? Probably not

Room Tip: I would prefer to have the benefit of checking in and out as well as having breakfast in the hotel w...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank janhealyrichard1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reception1113, Manager at The Florence Suite Boutique Hotel and Restaurant, responded to this review, 3 December 2013
Thank you for your review. We are sorry you found the curtains difficult to close but hope you enjoyed the room overall. I believe you were in one of our brand new rooms in the building.

We generally find guests do not mind leaving the hotel for breakfast as it is literally a few short steps away (likely shorter than the distance from most hotel bedrooms to a breakfast room in a larger property). I am sorry this was a concern during your stay and would put you off staying again. We do also offer a breakfast in bed service for guests should they not wish to walk to the breakfast room.

I hope perhaps you would consider one of our properties with a breakfast room in the same location in the future.

Best regards

All at Sea La Vie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 November 2013

We were disappointed to learn that Eileen and her daughter have gone and Sea-La-Vie is now one of three adjacent properties which involved a walk from No 6 to Number 2 Malvern Rd for breakfast. Fortunately, we only experienced one wet, windy morning!

Pros:
- excellent location/proximity to seafront
- very pleasant refurbished rooms
- requests/complaints were addressed promptly

Cons:
- breakfast room too small for number of guests; tables too close together
- polite, friendly staff but operated in a very inefficient manner. Disappeared for long periods of time, tables were not cleared quickly enough, had to clear our own table one morning.
- excellent muesli but generally a poor selection of 'starters'. Cooked buffet breakfast was not kept topped up, consequently at least one element was often missing. A number of guests complained one morning that the buffet breakfast was cold. One morning they ran out of food and we were kept waiting 20 minutes for our cooked breakfast which kept us late for an appointment.
- Room 4 in No 6 is really only suitable for a single person. Very small bed, no bedside table/light on one side so had to get out of bed to switch light off. Shower head fitment kept falling down. Mirror light in bathroom operated from an isolator switch high up on the wall outside the bathroom. Got upgraded to Room 6 that had no mirror in it and the heater wasn't working. No cupboard was high enough to hang a full-length coat or long dress. Neither of the rooms had curtains with keepers on the ends; reminded me of my lodgings in my student days!

Comparing Sea-La-Vie with other comparable places, regarding both location and price, we were disappointed and consequently will never return. Unfortunately, we thought we were going to a guest house run by Eileen and realised too late that it had very recently changed ownership.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank emc302
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reception1113, Manager at The Florence Suite Boutique Hotel and Restaurant, responded to this review, 3 December 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review the hotel.

Naturally considering all the efforts we went to during your stay it was with great disappointment we read the review. We did our utmost to provide an excellent experience for you upgrading you from a "small double" to a "superior" at no cost. We allocated you one of our best rooms to make up for any disappointment on the bed size (a standard double bed) in the previous room. We also, at length, discussed that naturally hotels in Portsmouth - a coastal town an hour from London with fabulous waterfront amenities does reflect higher prices than the north of England and that £30-40 for a King size room was not a normal price to expect in the area for Boutique accommodation and cooked breakfast.

We offered our sincere apologies about the breakfast issue on one of the days and did offer to serve you a fresh breakfast al la carte to ensure you could make your appointment.

Regarding the fact you believed the old owner was still here we did make sure to inform each individual guest personally that she had left offering a free cancellation if the purpose of the visit was to meet Eileen. You did not wish to cancel the stay.

We are most certainly not "trading on the previous owner's reputation" as you will see by the other lovely reviews further up and the fact we have other hotels we have built up in the area over the past 8 years.

We are sorry we were unable to meet your needs on this occasion and I believe you did tell my colleague that you were "never happy" wherever you stayed so perhaps it was an impossible task for us. We do hope one day a property will fully meet your requirements to ensure you of an enjoyable holiday for you both.

Very best regards

All at Sea La Vie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Florence Suite Boutique Hotel and Restaurant

Property: The Florence Suite Boutique Hotel and Restaurant
Address: 6 Malvern Rd | Southsea, Portsmouth PO5 2NA, England (Formerly Sea La Vie)
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > Portsmouth
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 38 Hotels in Portsmouth
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — The Florence Suite Boutique Hotel and Restaurant 4*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A Boutique hotel, part of The Mercer Collection . All rooms have been furnished with lavish fabrics and are all en suites. Tea and Coffee facilities are available in the room. Free parking and restaurant. ... more   less 
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