Portsmouth has long been crying out for a top-quality hotel.
As a city which bills itself as a major tourist destination on the south coast, the lack of five-star hotels on the island is a major Achilles heel.
We have world-class museums and attractions, but places to match that standard are sorely lacking. Our nearest five-star accommodation is miles away, which is a touch embarrassing for a city of our size and aspirations.
And even with the events that Portsmouth can already boast, with the America’s Cup World Series returning this summer, and Victorious Festival going from strength to strength, and the regular draw of the Great South Run, tens of thousands of people will be visiting Portsmouth and many of them will be looking for somewhere to stay.
Some of those people will inevitably be looking for the highest standard of hostelry.
This is not to denigrate the hotels we have here already, or to damn them with faint praise – we do have plenty of fine hotels and B&Bs, and they serve their purposes and their guests perfectly well within their categories. But we do not have somewhere that can cater to high-end customers.
If, as it seems the MoD is to sell off The Wardroom at HMS Nelson then it would be ideal for a luxury hotel.
Given the government’s stated preference for housing on the sites the MoD is disposing of, that would bring its own set of problems into our already crowded city.
A hotel would be a useful alternative that could serve a real purpose in bringing a five-star hotel to Portsmouth
While we may have many problems here in Portsmouth, tourism is not one of them. Anything that can encourage that further is only to be welcomed.