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“Beautiful Rhinefield”

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Rhinefield House Hotel
Ranked #7 of 10 Hotels in Brockenhurst
Reviewed 7 April 2008

I booked a mid-week stay at Rhinefield House to celebrate my wife’s birthday. We stayed in an Executive Room in the new annex which was opened Sept. 07. I was advised that this room would be sufficient for us to stay in with our 3 children (aged 10, 7 & 3). In fairness it was. The older two slept on a sofa bed and the youngest in a travel cot (provided). The room was clean and contempory in design but I would have preferred two adjoining rooms in hindsight. Upon arrival (impressive approach through Ornamental Drive) we were greeted by friendly reception staff and a porter helped us to our room. The large plasma screen TV and the smaller LCD TV in the bathroom were nice touches. The room could use more information/welcome pack but it’s very comfortable on the whole. The spa/pool area is very clean and well maintained but fairly small when you consider that this is a large hotel. The interior of the hotel is impressive with beautiful dining areas. The Maître de in the main restaurant is new and we found him to be friendly and informed. The food is very good but I was surprised that the menu remained the same during our stay. The brassiere is great for a light snack and the children enjoyed their food in there. Lucie, the brassiere manager, was great; she was friendly and accommodating to my children’s requirements. The grounds are beautifully maintained, it’s a stunning location. Things to note however, the glass in the new annex is NOT privacy glass although it appears as such so be warned! Also the hotel bar area could use a freshen-up/redec. as there is a “pub” smell which is probably a hang-over from the days when you could smoke in the building. Overall, we had a great stay and we will definitely return. Previous comments regarding staff efficiency and courtesy were not observed during our stay, quite the opposite.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled with family
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Thank HampshireGent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,686 - 1,692 of 1,762 reviews

Reviewed 25 March 2008

I was a little nervous about booking this hotel, I’m addicted to reading reviews and this website has a real mixed bag for the Rhinefield. However, it was our first wedding anniversary and we had got married in the New Forest …

Firstly, the lady who took the booking over the phone (Hannah) was absolutely lovely!!!

The drive up to the hotel is very impressive. It could almost be said to look a little over the top, with its castle like stature. The modern newly built building is very sympathetic to the original building (perhaps a little naff). However I was very impressed with the executive rooms building: it is glass as opposed to wall and is reflective. As it is situated in front of a grass bank it actually camouflages it!

On checking in we were informed that we had been given a complementary upgrade which I was ecstatic about! I had considered booking an executive suite but decided that it really wasn’t worth the money as Hannah had assured me that the standard room was of a very high quality (I managed to have a nosey in one and it did look lovely in a cosy sort of way). The executive suite was far from cosy! The bedroom was very spacious, allowing for a queen size bed (actually 2 singles put together) and a large sofa. The huge LCD tv (which is apparently in every room) certainly made my husbands eyes light up. He was even more excited to see that there was a smaller one in the bathroom!! However, when this was used the volume seemed to go up and down at its own accord which would have got very frustrating.

I totally agree with a previous review in the fact that it feels quite inappropriate to lug bags through the main bar when people are trying to relax. Half way to the room my husband realised that he was a pair of trousers less (not the ones he was wearing I hasten to add!!) and a very kind member of the kitchen staff managed to locate them.

So, back to the room… the little touches that impressed me (which generally isn’t a hard feat) were the selection of magazine’s on the coffee table (all in date!), the double-headed shower, the selection of films available (we didn’t watch any so I’m not sure how you go about borrowing one) and hot chocolate in the tea & coffee assortment. I was a little disappointed with the rag-like dressing gowns.

The dining room is lovely, although smaller than perhaps the pictures seem. It is lovely and intimate. Rhinefield must have taken heed of one of the previous reviews which stated that there is no background music. The menu was as fussy as I had imagined it would be but we certainly weren’t left hungry (infact I couldn’t finish my desert!). To start with we presented with a pear and brie soup which we surprisingly both loved. To follow I went for scallops which were beautiful (very glad I opted against the crab as the one served to the next table didn’t look too appealing). My husband went for the pork which he liked but I found far too chewy. For the main I had lemon sole which was gorgeous and my husband had the steak. They had forgotten to give us any bread so due to the fact we asked for it we presume the steak was done a little bit more than he would have preferred. For desert my husband opted for the cheese selection (satisfactory although I think the biscuits were a little too ‘posh’ for him) and I went for something lemony (which was a bit too lemony). My husband thought that the service was average and the fact that we had not been offered bread was certainly a sore point. I found the service to be very good considering they were possibly understaffed. My husband did the very uncouth act of pouring the last of our wine for ourselves, the head waiter practically sprinted across the dining room to relieve him of the bottle and apologise profusely.

After dinner we retreated to the bar… one tia maria and coke with a vodka and red bull came to £15. They were double measures though.

We were adamant that we were not going to miss breakfast. It is ‘sit where you like’ but we still waited until a member of the waiting staff greeted us. There is a wide range of cooked breakfasts but habit led us to both order a full English. I was a little disappointed with the one sausage but the meal was very nice. They certainly don’t fill the plate but it was enough for me. There was a small selection of pastries (not a great variety though) and lots of fruit..

We were told on checking out that we could still use the spa. However, on visiting it it was exceptionally small. There were 2 children in there at the time and we decided that there probably wasn’t enough room for us as well. I didn’t get to see the outside pool but was told that it is twice the size.

To summarise, I was very happy with our stay at Rhinefield. The only down points being the size of the spa and the dressing gowns.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ralf313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2008

Stayed at this hotel over Easter and had a great time. Despite what other reviewers say we had fantastic service from all the staff both at reception and in the bars and resturant. Staff were very attentive and couldn't do enough to help. Room was good with bottled water in the fridge, as well as real milk - which was a nice touch. Food in the resturant was excellent with a first class wine list. Two weddings took place while we were there, but they didn't disturb us at all. Health spa is a bit on the small side, but good enough for what we wanted. House is situated in lovely grounds, with plenty of walks. Overall money well spent.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank blueboy0461
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2008

We recently stayed at the Hotel and found it to be an excellent experience. I fail to understand the poor reviews for the hotel, we had a great time, the Hotel was quite magnificent, the price was very good - through the website and the service was stellar. The one flaw i found was that when we arrived at 1pm our rooms were not ready for check in, we therefore had to wait until 3.30 to be given our rooms . However we were well compensated by bein given a room upgrade, to a wonderful executive room with nice views and spacious luxory, with a TV in the bath etc. The Restaurant was the greatest strength of the Hotel, The Armada served up a wonderful 5 course meal- with decent portions and wonderful food from Scallops to Venisson and lovely puddings. The private dining room was spectacular and added to our enjoyment. The leisure facilities seemed adequate although the indoor pool was somewhat small. But overall we had a great experience and I would thoroughly reccommend Rhinefield House.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank rishimansi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2008

Stayed at Rhinefield House after a dinner function there, went with friends to the bar afterwards for nightcaps -nothing special coffees and spirits-what a shame it took two staff more than 20 minutes to serve us (there were only 6 other tables occupied). The room was good, but hot (unlike the heated towel rail in the bathroom which was cold) but the windows opened for fresh air. Huge TV at the end of the bed, not sure it was neccessary to have one that big as it really dominated the room. The bathrobes were really old, frayed and tatty which was a shame. Plus point for mineral water in the fridge, but only one small bottle of still and sparkling water so you either have to share or fight who has which water.The complimentary beverages had a reasonable selection, fresh milk if you need it and a cafitiere as well - the downside was that it was a one cup cafitiere with a three cup size pack of coffee, minor points maybe, but perfection is always in the detail!
I was offered a morning paper, not complimentary, and by 9 o'clock it still hadn't arrived, reception gave me a story about staff problems etc. - I'm a paying guest not their human resources manager, so I 'm not interested in your staff problems -don't offer a service you can't provide.
Breakfast, however, was disappointing, a previous reviewer says it is cooked to order, believe me it isn't (I'm a chef, I know the tricks) the only things cooked to order are the eggs, everything else had been pre cooked and reheated to order( trust me - I'm a great chef and even I couldn't get a "full english" to your table from scratch in 6 minutes). The coffee was awful - made in a large filter brewer, very over brewed and bitter, they have cafitieres in the rooms why not on the Breakfast tables? Toast arrived almost as we sat down, so that when the food arrived the toast was cold, I asked for fresh toast,and when it didn't arrive had to ask other staff members to go find it, when it eventually arrived, I had eaten what I wanted and the rest was cold anyway. There were plenty of staff walking round trying to get rid of the awful coffee, but nobody able to get me fresh warm toast. The breakfast chef seemed to have shares in a black pepper company, the food was covered in it, and there was also a pepper mill on the table. Small pots of Hotel branded preserves on the table a good touch, but ours were nearly all strawberry jam with no marmalade, remember - perfection in the detail. Breakfast is usually the last thing a guest has before they check out and for me a poor experience at breakfast marred my stay

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled on business
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1  Thank Andy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2008

Just returned today after a 2 night stay at Rhinefield house hotel. It didn't start well - when I arrived I found I had to lug my bags from the car all the way through long hotel corridors to my room - no doorman, and the receptionist watched me struggle in with my 7 year old helping to carry one of the big bags. No porters or offers of help at reception.
The meal on the first night took ages between courses and the bread never arrived at all to go with the butter on the table.
My room was very nicely decorated in neutral tones and very comfortable and clean - great for me on a business trip but not so good if you are looking for something with a bit more character. No fresh milk or even UHT milk pots in my room, which I did not realise until my tea bag was in! Also, no feedback forms in the room so I could not even leave some feedback. Also the corridors to the bedrooms needed a good vacuum.
The biggest disappointment was that I was running a corporate event for 50 people (so we were spending a LOT of money at this hotel) and the first coffee break was missed completely, making me look unprofessional and leaving people with the wrong feeling about the place. It took a lot to get a smile out of some members of staff, or an apology. It feels to me that this place is running with very low staff costs, as there are not enough staff. In summary, some things were lovely (food on the second night was good), but nothing was reliable and service was dour and unimaginative. This is a hotel with great potential that does not seem to be working in the hospitality business.
Try Chewton Glen down the road if you are going to spend this kind of money - you'll get what you pay for!

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled on business
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2  Thank chesterbest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2008

We stayed here 2 nights at the end of Feb to celebrate my husband's 30th birthday.
I wanted to book somewhere special and had struggled deciding whether to go for Rhinefield or Careys Manor in Brockenhurst as both had mixed reviews on Tripadvisor.

I'd say that if you're after a stunning setting and a proper historic country manor for a special occasion, Rhinefield House wins hands down!
(True, Careys Manor has a lovely spa but the car parks and 70s style blocks dominate, it's on a main road with no grounds to speak off and there seemed to be some sort of ugly industrial building next door!).

Rhinefield House Hotel is situated in a secluded location right in the centre of the forest and has stunning grounds - terrace, fountains, croquet lawn, koi carp ponds - it really was beautiful.

We stayed in one of the new Executive rooms which was large, modern and had everything you needed. Tea, coffee, biscuits (always a bonus), proper milk, large plasma TV, DVD player, generous seating area. There was even a plasma TV above the bath in the lovely, modern bathroom which was decent sized with separate shower unit. The 'do not disturb' soft toy ponies mentioned in earlier reviews did actually amuse us to my surprise.

We ate in the Armada restaurant on my husband's birthday which was a lovely wood panelled room with huge fireplace and chandeliers etc. Perfect for a special occasion. The food couldn't be faulted and was wonderfully presented with great service. The restaurant was two thirds full (on a Tues night) so not too quiet and not too busy. At £37.50 for 3 courses (5 courses if you included the appetisers and sorbets) it was good value as well. Even the champagne was reasonably priced for this sort of hotel.

The Full English Breakfast was cooked to order (rare these days it seems) and was served in the same room overlooking the lovely grounds. Again the food and service was great and there was plenty of cereal, fruits and pastries in the b/f buffet.

We made use of the pool and spa on our first day. It all looked very clean and brand new with twinkling little lights above the spa pool- very pleasant and relaxing. Note though that the pool and changing rooms are very small so we may not have had such a relaxing experience if we hadn't been the only people in there.

Although I thought this was a lovely hotel and we had a great stay, minor criticisms and points to note (& hence the 4 stars instead of 5) if you're thinking of booking include the following:
- The excecutive rooms are in a modern new wing but still connected to the hotel. We like contemporary rooms but some people may prefer a more traditional room or might be disappointed not to be in the main part of the hotel
- The view from these rooms are of a grassy bank and edge of the forest. My husband liked this but I would personally have preferred a view of the stunning grounds. It looked like only (some of) the standard rooms and the suites had a proper view of the main gardens.
- The hotel has only one restaurant and they allow children. We were a bit unlucky in that we had to share the first hour of our birthday dinner with a couple with a noisy 2 and 4 year old eating at the next table! Same at b/f. (We have children but would personally never bring our toddler to a restaurant like this but each to their own!).
- There were a couple of areas of the hotel that needed work (eg area past restaurant leading to the health club, stairs down to cloakroom)
- They were doing work on part of the chimneys and refurbishing the orangery whilst we were there so a bit of noise and dust.
- No birthday card or birthday greeting to my husband I'm afraid! (see an earlier review). Reception staff / welcome ok but some staff could still benefit from training.

Overall, I would definitely recommend giving Rhinefield House Hotel a try.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JJF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rhinefield House Hotel

Address: Rhinefield Road, New Forest, Brockenhurst SO42 7QB, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > New Forest > Brockenhurst
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Brockenhurst
#3 Romantic Hotel in Brockenhurst
#4 Luxury Hotel in Brockenhurst
#4 Spa Hotel in Brockenhurst
Price Range: £149 - £272 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Rhinefield House Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Like a magical secret, Rhinefield House is located deep within the New Forest National Park. Step inside and the aura of magic simply deepens - and nowhere more spectacularly than in the Alhambra Room, bedecked in glittering jewels. With beautiful surroundings and a blend of Tudor and Gothic architecture, Rhinefield is the most perfect fairytale wedding venue. It is also the ideal setting for an indulgent break and an inspiring conference venue for meetings, team building or product launches. Downtime means the chance to take in the great outdoors we have on our doorstep, whether its pony trekking, long walks in the forest or a day trip to the sea. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rhinefield House Hotel Brockenhurst, New Forest
Rhinefield Hotel Brockenhurst

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