My wife, two little boys (2 & 4) and I stayed here for 3 nights for my wife's 30th birthday; we stayed in a family chalet room situated by the leisure centre. My main gripe is that much of our interaction with the hotel was via the leisure centre rather than the main building, which was disappointing after the website led me to believe otherwise. Highlights: The breakfast was to die for and the rooms were superbly furnished and prepared for a family stay.
THE ROOM: Despite the initial disappointment of arriving in the grand, old house only to be told we had to walk outside, around the building to our room, we were pleasantly surprised on entering the spacious, nicely decorated room to find the boys had a separate room within our room which had a junior bunk bed and kids welcome pack; it was perfect to be able to put them to bed in the evening and be able to sit comfortably in front of the TV. Our king size bed (2 singles joined) was very comfortable indeed. The only feedback to the hotel is that the bathroom could definitely do with a decoration refresh, as it looked very tired around the tiling. Please note, there is NO Wi-Fi connection in any of the rooms, or mobile data signal, so the only internet connection was via a BT FON connection in the restaurant); this was a shame, as internet was needed each day.
THE FOOD: Breakfast and main meals were served in the leisure centre restaurant with only afternoon tea and fine dining being situated in the old house, which was disappointing at first. We had breakfast each day, which consisted of a breakfast buffet (pastries, fruit, cereal, bread) and a cooked breakfast; put simply, the breakfast experience was an absolute dream, with polite service and delicious food; to date, Elmer Court served the best black pudding I have ever eaten! What was utterly bizarre was how such an inviting breakfast room can be such the opposite by night... I couldn't put my finger on it, but after breakfast the restaurant divides into a seating area with sofas and a dining area; it just wasn't inviting, at all... I really felt like I'd walked into a Premier Inn or Travelodge restaurant and as a consequence, I didn't want to eat in for our evening meal. Fortunately, with Lymington just down the road, there were plenty of alternatives. I should note that the menu did look decent onsite, it was just the restaurant that didn't capture me. We ordered afternoon tea on my wife's birthday, which was a generous helping of sandwiches and cakes, but the quality was not exactly as I'd expect; the cakes seemed bought, rather than prepared onsite. Nonetheless, the serving was generous and the price was very reasonable, so, on balance, I do feel we received value for money.
THE SERVICE: The service was generally pleasant and polite, but I expect that in any place that I stay; the fact our room was situated outside of the main building, I would have expected someone on hand to show me the way and perhaps offer to help with the bags, as I had my pregnant wife and 2 little boys, which meant 3 trips to and from the car were needed. As mentioned above, we ordered afternoon tea on my wife's birthday, which we were told would be served in the drawing room; when we arrived the receptionist pointed the way, rather than show ed us, and when we arrived at the room, the lights were off and it was very cold. If we'd turned up as a surprise, I could have forgiven this, however, we'd be asked to give a time, which we did, so I would have expected the room to have been made ready for our arrival. Fortunately, the staff agreed to move us into the sitting room, which was a lot warmer and inviting. The night we arrived, we did order a pizza in the bar in the leisure centre, but this arrived 35 minutes after ordering and only then arrived as I chased up the front of house... That's all the negativity (sorry!), so now for the positivity; the breakfast staff were a delight, as were the guys on the desk for the leisure centre, so well done!
THE FACILITIES: Being October, the main attractions on offer were the leisure centre and kids playground; the swimming pool, which was large and water temperature warm, was perfect for our boys and their favourite thing each day. The playground was OK, but, like the bathroom, could do with some modernisation.
THE LOCATION: Very easy access to Lymington, which was very pretty with shops and eateries, and very quick to get into the New Forest including Beaulieu.
THE VERDICT: Overall, we had a very pleasant stay and my wife and two boys really, really enjoyed themselves; for me, that was the most important thing and despite my personal high standards, the hotel was good value for money, but would benefit greatly from some thorough work on the ethos behind the staff service and some minor modernisation. It should probably also be made clear on the website that the majority of the accommodation is situated outside of the main, old house building. Note to management: I should add that, despite some of the comments above, I would be happy to return to stay at Elmer Court with my family in the future, so please take the above as constructive feedback.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on the stunning Solent Coast, this New Forest hotel is only 15 minutes' walk from the nearby town of Lymington. Set in a manor house dating from 1820 and surrounded by 23 acres of private grounds, the Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel & Resort is the ideal venue for a weekend break or a romantic wedding in the Hampshire countryside. Swim in the indoor or seasonal outdoor pool, book in for a spa treatment, dine in the elegant Waterford Restaurant or simply relax in the spacious accommodation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel Lymington
- Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel And Resort
- Macdonald Elmers Court Lymington
- Elmers Court
- Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel & Resort Lymington, New Forest