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“Really dissapointing...”
Review of Balmer Lawn

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Balmer Lawn
Ranked #4 of 10 Hotels in Brockenhurst
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 26 October 2009

Positives; Nice location and ideal for getting into the forest, friendly staff.
Negatives; Tired bedroom and public rooms, the whole feel is a hotel that is tired and should not be 4 star, I am not a snob but having stayed in number of nice hotels I have been in better 2 star ones, room was over priced, we were in the 'honeymoon room' and it was really dissapointing. Not worth the price at all. Spa was really a tiny jacuzzi, sauna and a fairly useless pool, odd shaped and too shallow. Public areas small and food was ok but nothing special. I suggest you look elsewhere or negotiate a good deal....

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Spawns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris W, Owner at Balmer Lawn, responded to this reviewResponded 25 February 2016

Dear Spawns

Your post was made a long time ago, I am very sorry that we did not manage our TripAdvisor listings then like we do now and this is why we did not reply to you post at the time. Please accept our apologies for this.

In the intervening years we have invested heavily in the Hotel and massively improved all of the facilities with the addition of the Saltus Spa and an award winning restaurant producing some of the best food in the New Forest in a relaxed but professional environment in our Beresford’s Restaurant.

All of our six function rooms have been completely refurbished and offer free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and access to external gardens.

All the bedroom corridors and our Grand Staircase have been fully refurbished and re carpeted as have many of our bedrooms.

Whether or not you had a good or bad experience at the time of your last visit I would urge you to come and see us again, I am confident to say that you will not recognise either the physical product or the standards of service across the board.
What hasn’t changed is the iconic look of the building and the unrivalled location of the Hotel right in the heart of the New Forest National Park offering direct forest access.

We have a wide variety of room types and prices to suit all budgets, these can all be viewed using our unique “Choose Your Room” facility on our website.

Please remember to book directly with the Hotel for the best value rates and room allocations. Some believe that they will get the best rates from third party sites, this is simply not true in our case, we have to pay up to 25% commission to the third parties and would much prefer to offer clients who book directly with us the best available rates.

We very much hope that you will come and see us again after all these years have passed.

Chris

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,623 - 1,629 of 1,722 reviews

Reviewed 24 October 2009

This was my second stay at the Balmer Lawn. Previously, I stayed in a ‘Four Poster’ room but took my chances and booked a standard double and wish I hadn’t. If you’re going to stay at this hotel, I wouldn’t recommend the standard rooms as the room and bed sizes are far too small considering the 4 star status. Go for one of the bigger rooms so you won’t be disappointed.

The hotel is in a fantastic location, staff are friendly, the rooms are clean. The booking the hotel was a little confused. I booked with the hotel by phone stating I would call later in the week to reserve my table in the restaurant, doing so, only to arrive to find out they didn’t have my booking to stay that evening.

Eating in the restaurant was a mixed affair. The ingredients used were bold but the menu lacked depth – especially when a number of seasonal meats were absent from the list. The starter of terrine of sardines was divine. The main however was a different affair. After being told by the maître d' that their beef supplier had just gained a contract with a prestigious London restaurant, I decided to opt for the slow cooked beef. What was presented was a tough, overcooked piece of meat which didn’t resemble anything I ordered. The saving grace of the meal however was the pudding. The restaurant service couldn’t be faulted. The bar staff were friendly and attentive.

Breakfast in the morning was the typical buffet affair. I wouldn’t recommend ordering anything off the menu unless you’re prepared for a wait.

I enjoy staying at the Balmer Lawn, the location is fantastic especially in the Autumn. Previous attempts at the restaurant have been favourable; maybe I was unlucky this time round.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank WightRabbits
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris W, Owner at Balmer Lawn, responded to this reviewResponded 25 February 2016

Dear WightRabbits

Your post was made a long time ago, I am very sorry that we did not manage our TripAdvisor listings then like we do now and this is why we did not reply to you post at the time. Please accept our apologies for this.

In the intervening years we have invested heavily in the Hotel and massively improved all of the facilities with the addition of the Saltus Spa and an award winning restaurant producing some of the best food in the New Forest in a relaxed but professional environment in our Beresford’s Restaurant.

All of our six function rooms have been completely refurbished and offer free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and access to external gardens.

All the bedroom corridors and our Grand Staircase have been fully refurbished and re carpeted as have many of our bedrooms.

Whether or not you had a good or bad experience at the time of your last visit I would urge you to come and see us again, I am confident to say that you will not recognise either the physical product or the standards of service across the board.
What hasn’t changed is the iconic look of the building and the unrivalled location of the Hotel right in the heart of the New Forest National Park offering direct forest access.

We have a wide variety of room types and prices to suit all budgets, these can all be viewed using our unique “Choose Your Room” facility on our website.

Please remember to book directly with the Hotel for the best value rates and room allocations. Some believe that they will get the best rates from third party sites, this is simply not true in our case, we have to pay up to 25% commission to the third parties and would much prefer to offer clients who book directly with us the best available rates.

We very much hope that you will come and see us again after all these years have passed.

Chris

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2009

Good points...staff friendly & helpful. Public areas comfortable.

Bad points...room...standard double £150 per night...rubbish...don't know what the smell was but unpleasant.. Poorly designed, furnished from a car boot.

Arrived at check in time 1400, unable to book on site dining.

Whenever I stay in a room like this I wonder what foreign visitors, particularly those from the Far East think of British standards. Perhaps they find it charming. Doubt it.

Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
Thank harshbutfair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris W, Owner at Balmer Lawn, responded to this reviewResponded 25 February 2016

Dear harshbutfair

Your post was made a long time ago, I am very sorry that we did not manage our TripAdvisor listings then like we do now and this is why we did not reply to you post at the time. Please accept our apologies for this.

In the intervening years we have invested heavily in the Hotel and massively improved all of the facilities with the addition of the Saltus Spa and an award winning restaurant producing some of the best food in the New Forest in a relaxed but professional environment in our Beresford’s Restaurant.

All of our six function rooms have been completely refurbished and offer free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and access to external gardens.

All the bedroom corridors and our Grand Staircase have been fully refurbished and re carpeted as have many of our bedrooms.

Whether or not you had a good or bad experience at the time of your last visit I would urge you to come and see us again, I am confident to say that you will not recognise either the physical product or the standards of service across the board.
What hasn’t changed is the iconic look of the building and the unrivalled location of the Hotel right in the heart of the New Forest National Park offering direct forest access.

We have a wide variety of room types and prices to suit all budgets, these can all be viewed using our unique “Choose Your Room” facility on our website.

Please remember to book directly with the Hotel for the best value rates and room allocations. Some believe that they will get the best rates from third party sites, this is simply not true in our case, we have to pay up to 25% commission to the third parties and would much prefer to offer clients who book directly with us the best available rates.

We very much hope that you will come and see us again after all these years have passed.

Chris

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2009

Our evening meal in the restaurant was good and the sevice was excellent. However I have to agree with other reviews, the rooms are decidedly tatty (for the money). Breakfast was very busy and I had to wait a long time for bacon, but I would like to add that we thought the the staff were very helpful and freindly towards the children. The location is brilliant, there is a lot to commend this hotel on, I would go again.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank TheSouthGeorge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris W, Owner at Balmer Lawn, responded to this reviewResponded 26 February 2016

Dear TheSouthGeorge

Your post was made a long time ago, I am very sorry that we did not manage our TripAdvisor listings then like we do now and this is why we did not reply to you post at the time. Please accept our apologies for this.

In the intervening years we have invested heavily in the Hotel and massively improved all of the facilities with the addition of the Saltus Spa and an award winning restaurant producing some of the best food in the New Forest in a relaxed but professional environment in our Beresford’s Restaurant.

All of our six function rooms have been completely refurbished and offer free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and access to external gardens.

All the bedroom corridors and our Grand Staircase have been fully refurbished and re carpeted as have many of our bedrooms.

Whether or not you had a good or bad experience at the time of your last visit I would urge you to come and see us again, I am confident to say that you will not recognise either the physical product or the standards of service across the board.

What hasn’t changed is the iconic look of the building and the unrivalled location of the Hotel right in the heart of the New Forest National Park offering direct forest access.
We have a wide variety of room types and prices to suit all budgets, these can all be viewed using our unique “Choose Your Room” facility on our website. Please remember to book directly with the Hotel for the best value rates and room allocations. Some believe that they will get the best rates from third party sites, this is simply not true in our case, we have to pay up to 25% commission to the third parties and would much prefer to offer clients who book directly with us the best available rates.

We very much hope that you will come and see us again after all these years have passed.

Chris

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2009

I recently organised a Golden Wedding party for my in-laws at the Balmer Lawn. We were impressed by the high standard of service and organisation from the initial enquiry until check-out and yet there was a very relaxed feel about the hotel. The events co-ordinator Gemma was highly organised, communicative, helpful and everything went to plan seamlessly, which, when you live 250 miles away and have never been to the hotel is an added bonus!

We held our function in the Savernake room - which was perfect and as we were lucky to have a rare sunny day we were able to use the room's outside terrace/decking for our reception drinks. The meal was delicious and the service unobtrusive and efficient.

Most of the family stayed at the hotel. The bedrooms were very clean and comfortable. We had booked a standard double room (no forest view) but when we checked in had a twin forest view room. The hotel was full and as it was only for one night we chose not to ask to change for a double, especially as we had a lovely forest view. The bathroom was very modern and clean with large towels. My only complaint was that there was only one small shower gel for the two of us. I don't understand why hotels scrimp on items like this when you are paying £140 per night.

The breakfast menu was excellent - my only complaint is that they did not serve tea and coffee in a pot - it was a self-serve system by the cup and I need several cups of steaming tea in the morning to get me going, so would have preferred a pot.

The location is superb with trails into the forest on the doorstep. My husband and I did a couple of runs into the forest and could have gone for miles if we'd had more time. Unfortunately we did not have time to use more of the hotel's leisure facilities.

I would definately consider going back to the Balmer Lawn. It is a shame we did not have more time there.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank DottyUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris W, Owner at Balmer Lawn, responded to this reviewResponded 26 February 2016

Dear DottyUK

Your post was made a long time ago, I am very sorry that we did not manage our TripAdvisor listings then like we do now and this is why we did not reply to you post at the time. Please accept our apologies for this.

In the intervening years we have invested heavily in the Hotel and massively improved all of the facilities with the addition of the Saltus Spa and an award winning restaurant producing some of the best food in the New Forest in a relaxed but professional environment in our Beresford’s Restaurant.

All of our six function rooms have been completely refurbished and offer free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and access to external gardens.

All the bedroom corridors and our Grand Staircase have been fully refurbished and re carpeted as have many of our bedrooms.

Whether or not you had a good or bad experience at the time of your last visit I would urge you to come and see us again, I am confident to say that you will not recognise either the physical product or the standards of service across the board.

What hasn’t changed is the iconic look of the building and the unrivalled location of the Hotel right in the heart of the New Forest National Park offering direct forest access.

We have a wide variety of room types and prices to suit all budgets, these can all be viewed using our unique “Choose Your Room” facility on our website. Please remember to book directly with the Hotel for the best value rates and room allocations. Some believe that they will get the best rates from third party sites, this is simply not true in our case, we have to pay up to 25% commission to the third parties and would much prefer to offer clients who book directly with us the best available rates.

We very much hope that you will come and see us again after all these years have passed.

Chris

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2009

We just stayed for 1 night, service was very good and staff were great. Rooms as per other reviews were tatty, bathrooms old and tired. Breakfast very average. I booked using Late rooms and the main issue I had with the hotel is that they took £80 from my credit card without authorisation. This happened when I made the booking through Late rooms and there was no confirmation of this. I checked with late rooms and they siad it was not them and agreed that there was no wording stating this £80 deposit. I then checked with the hotel and they were not sure....after emailing them i had no response, is annoying when this happens, long story but in the end our room was upgraded and they have spoken to Late rooms to update thier wording ref the £80 deposit. Apart from this deposit issue i would only rate the hotel as 3* - rooms and breakfast were not great

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Oldsurfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris W, Owner at Balmer Lawn, responded to this reviewResponded 26 February 2016

Dear Oldsurfer

Your post was made a long time ago, I am very sorry that we did not manage our TripAdvisor listings then like we do now and this is why we did not reply to you post at the time. Please accept our apologies for this.

In the intervening years we have invested heavily in the Hotel and massively improved all of the facilities with the addition of the Saltus Spa and an award winning restaurant producing some of the best food in the New Forest in a relaxed but professional environment in our Beresford’s Restaurant.

All of our six function rooms have been completely refurbished and offer free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and access to external gardens.

All the bedroom corridors and our Grand Staircase have been fully refurbished and re carpeted as have many of our bedrooms.

Whether or not you had a good or bad experience at the time of your last visit I would urge you to come and see us again, I am confident to say that you will not recognise either the physical product or the standards of service across the board.

What hasn’t changed is the iconic look of the building and the unrivalled location of the Hotel right in the heart of the New Forest National Park offering direct forest access.

We have a wide variety of room types and prices to suit all budgets, these can all be viewed using our unique “Choose Your Room” facility on our website. Please remember to book directly with the Hotel for the best value rates and room allocations. Some believe that they will get the best rates from third party sites, this is simply not true in our case, we have to pay up to 25% commission to the third parties and would much prefer to offer clients who book directly with us the best available rates.

We very much hope that you will come and see us again after all these years have passed.

Chris

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2009

I took my boyfriend here for his birthday for one night. I paid a lot more than I would have liked for the hotel (although to be fair it seemed to be the most reasonably priced hotel in Brockenhurst), and as the hotel is classed as 4 star I was hoping for a really luxurious stay.

Unfortunately I was disappointed. The hotel is pleasant enough, but not what I would expect from the price tag and the classification.

As other people have mentioned in their reviews, the décor in our room was tired and mismatched – the wallpaper was peeling, and everything looked a bit old and saggy. The TV reception was truly awful – we could barely get the main terrestrial channels, yet we were meant to be able to get Freeview. We had a view of the forest…if you ignored the dirty old roof immediately in view, and there was some kind of fan outside which made noise all night.

I was also very disappointed that when we asked to hire bikes (which is advertised on the website and at reception) the receptionist looked surprised and said she would have to order them in. We waited around for about 15 minutes for her to ring up whichever company supply the bikes to be told that there weren’t any available. Although it was a Saturday and we didn’t know to prebook, I just felt that she could have been far more helpful in directing us to another way of hiring bikes (we didn’t have a car so it was a bit inconvenient to walk all the way back to the village to hire them).

None of the above would have mattered if I hadn’t paid so much for the room, I’m really not normally picky at all. But considering that I was expecting a really nice luxurious stay, I was disappointed that the hotel wasn’t better.

There are good points – for example, the location is superb – right in the forest with ponies grazing outside, the leisure suite is nice, the breakfast is good and the double bed we had was massive and really comfy.

So overall, the hotel is fine, but definitely overpriced so I would probably book a guesthouse instead if I stayed in Brockenhurst again.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Gazelle1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chris W, Owner at Balmer Lawn, responded to this reviewResponded 26 February 2016

Dear Gazelle1

Your post was made a long time ago, I am very sorry that we did not manage our TripAdvisor listings then like we do now and this is why we did not reply to you post at the time. Please accept our apologies for this.

In the intervening years we have invested heavily in the Hotel and massively improved all of the facilities with the addition of the Saltus Spa and an award winning restaurant producing some of the best food in the New Forest in a relaxed but professional environment in our Beresford’s Restaurant.

All of our six function rooms have been completely refurbished and offer free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and access to external gardens.

All the bedroom corridors and our Grand Staircase have been fully refurbished and re carpeted as have many of our bedrooms.

Whether or not you had a good or bad experience at the time of your last visit I would urge you to come and see us again, I am confident to say that you will not recognise either the physical product or the standards of service across the board.

What hasn’t changed is the iconic look of the building and the unrivalled location of the Hotel right in the heart of the New Forest National Park offering direct forest access.

We have a wide variety of room types and prices to suit all budgets, these can all be viewed using our unique “Choose Your Room” facility on our website. Please remember to book directly with the Hotel for the best value rates and room allocations. Some believe that they will get the best rates from third party sites, this is simply not true in our case, we have to pay up to 25% commission to the third parties and would much prefer to offer clients who book directly with us the best available rates.

We very much hope that you will come and see us again after all these years have passed.

Chris

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Balmer Lawn

Address: Lyndhurst Road, New Forest, Brockenhurst SO42 7ZB, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > New Forest > Brockenhurst
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Brockenhurst
#3 Luxury Hotel in Brockenhurst
#6 Romantic Hotel in Brockenhurst
Price Range: £154 - £249 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Balmer Lawn 4*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A good quality 4 Star Hotel & Spa set right in the heart of the beautiful New Forest National Park. We have extensive leisure facilities - indoor and outdoor pools, Jacuzzi, 6 Spa treatment rooms and relaxation area, tennis and squash courts and fully equipped gym. Beresford's our award winning restaurant with 2 AA Rosettes offers some of the finest locally sourced foods in the area. You can access the Forest directly from the hotel. We have 6 rooms suitable for private, wedding and conference/corporate use. The hotel is privately owned and managed and we pride ourselves on offering great service. Book directly with the hotel for the best rates and room allocations inclusive of a full English breakfast. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Balmer Lawn Hotel Brockenhurst
Balmer Lawn Brockenhurst, New Forest

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