I was impressed from the moment I arrived outside (except for the fact that there was no one available to carry my case up the steps - I had to leave it outside while I went in to find assistance, risking it being blown up as unattended baggage)! Other than that hiccup my stay was perfect from then on.
The hotel is a glorious Victorian building with oak staircases, chandeliers and various nooks and crannies, and "gathering" rooms to enjoy a drink or snack overlooking the South Parade promenade. Public rooms are named after Naval vessels eg. The Ark Royal function room.
I did not have any meals here as I always missed breakfast and ate out during the day. Room service breakfast and meals were available. I was surprised though when I asked the bartender for a "lemon lime and bitters" and he had no idea what I was talking about! Even specifying it contained Angostura Bitters, he was none the wiser............
The reception staff were always very welcoming and helpful, and there is a bus stop about 100 yds away which takes you through Southsea and into Portsmouth city centre. As a former BW employee I had been allocated a queen size room with a sea view (Rm 208), overlooking the South Parade Pier and promenade. The room was huge and has a Juliet balcony, but unsafe to go onto through the wall to ceiling sash windows which actually opened.
The hotel didn't have aircon, but a fan had been provided. The rooms have phones.
Apart from the bathroom sink being too small, and there being no bathroom shelf, a disabled seat was provided in the shower, as well as a bath safety mat, a magnifying mirror, tissues and even a toilet brush! The room amenities included Gilchrist and Soames soaps, an actual wardrobe (with door) and upmarket coat hangers, a luggage rack, an iron and board, and the tea tray included really nice biscuits.
There were iced water dispensers in the corridors and two lifts.
The only negative was that although there is a room safe, it is located at the bottom of the wardrobe, necessitating lying on the floor to get to it - not possible for a disabled/aged guest. The alternative is to leave valuables in the hotel safe at reception, which I did.
I do not have a device to connect to wifi, but there is a free computer in reception for guest use. It is okay for very short term use but the stool provided to sit on precludes being there for no longer than a few minutes............ less