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“Perfect tree:hot tub ratio”

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Forest Holidays Blackwood Forest, Hampshire
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 11 August 2014

Beautiful setting. Lovely staff. Gorgeous cabin. Refreshing to wake with no alarm to peaceful silence.

It's a small forest, so you don't walk far before you brush against a boundary which is usually a busy trunk road.

Recliner on deck would have been even better.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank jrchumphries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda_Clarke_FH, Guest Relations Manager at Forest Holidays Blackwood Forest, Hampshire, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2014

Thank you for your review, I love your summary of the perfect tree to hot tub ratio. I am pleased you enjoyed your stay and I hope you will come back and stay with us again.

Kind regards,
Amanda Clarke
Holiday Advisors Team Leader

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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477 - 483 of 711 reviews

Reviewed 8 August 2014

For those looking for a quieter, less commercial alternative to the well known forest parcs, this is a compelling choice, with no compulsion or expectation to stay on site all day every day on expensive activities. However, activities are available if you want them, just at a smaller scale.

Our Golden Oak cabin was clean and comfortable, the towels and robes proving very useful for our many uses of the hot tub. Kitchen was reasonably equipped for catering for family sized groups. Our stay was during Summer and dry so we didn't have any issue keeping floors clean, but could see something more than a dust pan and brush being useful during other weather conditions.

On our arrival one of the staff came down to the cabin to show us how to work the hot tub, oven and TV, and generally the service of all staff was very good.

We did hire bikes, and cycled the 4.5km trail once as a family, but only stayed on site for 1 full day, taking the opportunity to explore Winchester and beyond on other days.

Bolt on extras are expensive, but only at the level of hotel room service, or luxury spa prices. The on site shop is compact, but combines basic foodstuffs with local products.

All in all a very enjoyable few days, and will definitely consider another Forest Holiday break.

Room Tip: Cabins generally well spaced, so unless you have very specific requirements avoid the £25 fee to boo...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank J G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda_Clarke_FH, Guest Relations Manager at Forest Holidays Blackwood Forest, Hampshire, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write a review following your recent holiday at Blackwood Forest. I am pleased you enjoyed your break and that you found our style of holiday to your liking. We look forward to seeing you again in the future, either here at Blackwood Forest or at another of our 9 UK locations.

Kind regards,
Amanda Clarke
Holiday Advisors Team Leader

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

I had a winter retreat to Blackwood Forest in order to get some relaxation and do some work. I stayed in a Copper Beech cabin as I was not fussed about having a hot tub especially in light of comments about dubious cleanliness here. Thankfully I found the cabin to be very clean and tidy. I would have liked a wood burner - seems a shame that you can only get these in the hot tub cabins.

The shop and the cafe were a good idea and sold the basics (tea bags, chocolate - what else do you need?) and the people were very helpful. The takeaway pizza was very tasty - I ate at the cafe a lot and the food was very nice.

The walks were good but a bit on the short side - perhaps it will expand in future years. There's enough for families to do here also without it being kiddified - I could envisage taking my young nephews to one of these - they would love the treehouse cabin and the playground and most probably would have enjoyed trampling through all the mud! There also seemed to be a lot of activities for kids to do and these did not seem to be too expensive. I liked the communication through the TV advising of activities, etc - a good idea.

But now the cons.

The cabins were a little too close to each other for my liking but they were angled cleverly so you got enough privacy. I was also surprised to see (what I presumed) was a member of staff messing about with something outside my cabin one morning - unless there's an immediate problem, maintenance should wait until the cabins are unoccupied or, if it can't wait, the occupant should be told that there will be workmen around. The whole point of these cabins is to "retreat" so for me, privacy was extremely important.

My biggest bugbear was the price of the WiFi. The entertainments package is very expensive for films that I don't want to watch. The WiFi cost £9 per day which was my biggest complaint - WiFi is something I've got for free in other holiday places I've stayed. It was compounded by there being no phone signal and not even a public landline in the reception to use! I had to ask the office to use their phone to let my family know I'd arrived safely. I would have liked to have taken my own movies/box sets to watch so the lack of a DVD player also grated. In addition I couldn't use the panel that was supposedly to plug iPods in to play music - the panel came out of the wall completely and didn't seem to be attached to any wiring! So I couldn't even play my own choice of music. The packages offered (such as the breakfast package) were overpriced - I went to Asda and stocked up for a quarter of the price instead. Overall, I really don't think their prices are doing them any favours especially in Blackwood where it's a short drive to get a better deal. On checking the Deerpark cabins later on, I noted that they are a lot cheaper than Blackwood Forest for identical cabins at the same time and wonder why this is.

Overall though, I did enjoy the location - it was clean and felt secure. I'm not sure I would go to Blackwood again - not remote enough for my liking, but will most probably check out one of the other forests.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank LoverOfLight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda_Clarke_FH, Guest Relations Manager at Forest Holidays Blackwood Forest, Hampshire, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2014

Thank you for your comments following your winter break at Blackwood Forest. I am pleased you that you enjoyed your retreat on the whole and I hope you managed to as relax as well get some work done. Thank you for your additional feedback about the areas you feel we could improve upon. These will be discussed at our regular review meeting. We hope to see you at one of our other locations in the future.

Kind regards,
Amanda Clarke
Holiday Advisors Team Leader

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2014

Our lodge (Silver Birch) was advertised as "fully equipped" and "luxury". We have stayed at many lodges in different parts of the country and this was by far the most expensive - but we thought we would treat ourselves - expecting that we would see many little extras! We were a bit disappointed by the fact that they charged us £140 for our two small dogs, but hey, they are part of the family. What was really disappointing was that (unlike most of the lodges and cottages we have been to) there were no dog towels provided - that comes as pretty standard in most places that want you to help keep the cabin clean (but they do sell them in the shop!!). There were also no dog bowls. We did get given one biscuit for each of them and two dog bags for cleaning up - for a week (we took our own - as we always do). They did, however, offer a doggie welcome pack, which seemed to be a bag of dog biscuits, but this was at extra cost (I think £15, but don't quote me on that - we were so annoyed that they provided next to nothing and yet charged us the most we have ever been charged for the dogs that we didn't even consider paying anything extra- we just packed our own stuff into the car).
For me, a luxury, fully equipped cabin should come with a hairdryer - not this place! I would have expected fluffy bathrobes maybe, and disposable slippers for the hot tub for the price we were paying - not this place - you don't even get towels - unless (you guessed it!) you pay an extra ten pounds per person for one bath towel and one hand towel. Not really sufficient when you are using the hot tub and this "fully equipped" lodge does not have a washer / dryer. But not to worry - they do have a coin operated facility for washing if you want to use it - yet more money! They have a flat screen TV and you can have an entertainment package for your holiday (I think that was an extra £45) You can apparently get Wifi in your cabin but as I began the process of using it I realised that it was going to cost extra (another £40 - or maybe £45, I can't really remember because again I was annoyed at the way the extras were racking up on this £2000+ holiday). The idea of in-cabin massage and treatments was quite appealing and we were prepared to pay out extra for a bit of luxury - but not over £200 for a couple of hours. The fridge was ok but there was no separate freezer - just large ice box, which was sufficient to store ice cream and some frozen veg and chips. We had an order delivered from Waitrose and were pleased that we had because the shop on-site is small and pricey (to be fair - I would expect this because they probably have to pay a lot more wholesale than big supermarket chains). In their defence, they do tell you before you arrive that you wont be getting towels and a hairdryer, so you can load the car up with your own. My grudge is that they call the cabins luxury and fully equipped and that they charge so much. There is nothing particularly different about these lodges from most other ones we have stayed in that have cost us significantly less and have not had all the extra expenses piled on top. In some places we have had Molten Brown toiletries as freebies - not here (a tiny shower gel each) so you need to bring plenty of your own shampoo etc.
On the plus side, the location is very nice, and the cabins are pretty well spaced out so you don't feel too overlooked. They are mostly quite peaceful (although one night it sounded like a plane from the nearby airfield was about to crash into us). The veranda area was very well designed for use by dogs / young children. It was completely fenced in and there was a gate that could be locked to prevent access to the hot tub by young children. This meant we were able to leave the doors open and let in the fresh air - knowing the dogs couldn't escape. Unlike another reviewer, we did manage to open the windows wide because the lodge got very hot. There is a restraining catch on them, but this can be taken off. There were a lot of different areas for walking our dogs and they absolutely loved exploring the place. I was impressed by the way the routes were marked out for people and I liked the fitness trail ( a walk interspersed with exercise opportunities and a guide on how to use the equipment - and which muscles it toned).
The really big plus point is the helpful and friendly staff. They went out of their way to make us feel welcome and to research local attractions for us and suggest places to visit - even finding us the post code of the best car -parks for visiting Winchester - they couldn't do enough.
On the whole, we had a very pleasant time, and if you have already booked - don't feel that your holiday won't be nice. You will probably have a good time. Just don't expect anything extra luxurious, and take a well stocked wallet if you want the extras.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
4  Thank SueSurf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda_Clarke_FH, Guest Relations Manager at Forest Holidays Blackwood Forest, Hampshire, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2014

Thank you for your review following your recent break with us. The points you have raised and suggestions you have made will be discussed at our next review meeting. We do of course charge for the extras we provide but the prices are made clear at the time of booking (I should clarify that Wi Fi is included with the Entertainments Package). I am pleased that you enjoyed your break on the whole and that you managed to see some of the local area too.

Kind regards,
Amanda Clarke
Holiday Advisors Team Leader

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Reviewed 2 August 2014

My Wife, Daughter, Jack Russell and I have recently returned from Forest Holidays Blackwood site. All in all, we had a fantastic holiday, spending much of our time walking on the forest trails and then relaxing in the hot tub afterwards - all except the dog that is!! I don't know if we were lucky or it's the norm, but we spotted five dear on our rambles, these moments will live long in the memory.

Our Silver Birch lodge was spotlessly clean, modernly furnished and very practical. We paid the extra for the entertainment package and although quite expensive, was worth it.

Without exception, every member of staff we crossed paths with, was extremely helpful. We partook in the Bush Craft and Archery excursions, both of which we thoroughly enjoyed.

At some point most days, we popped into the "Retreat" - as others have previously mentioned the shop was far from cheap and if it's general supplies your after, you'd be best picking something up on your travels. That said, we found that both the snacks served in the cafe section, as well as the Pizza's delivered to our front door, to be reasonable priced and really tasty. On the subject of food, we ordered in a Chinese one evening and it was delicious, we also visited Northbrook Arms and loved it quaintness; the food was decent also!!

During our stay, we did a little sightseeing, with trips to Winchester and the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth being the highlight.

One thing of note, some of the Lodges were more privately situated than others; Lodge No.12, our home for the week, was well placed. However, others particularly when the summer foliage dies back could be a little exposed - I'd suggest you phone before booking and seek advice as the online lodge layout doesn't provide the full picture.

In summary, we wouldn't hesitate to return.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
Thank creganfinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda_Clarke_FH, Guest Relations Manager at Forest Holidays Blackwood Forest, Hampshire, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2014

Thank you for your review following your holiday at Blackwood Forest. I am delighted you enjoyed your break. It sounds like a great combination of forest activities, trips out and easy relaxing. We’d love to see you again in the future.

Kind regards,
Amanda Clarke
Holiday Advisors Team Leader

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2014

We recently stayed in a golden Oak cabin, which was luxury. The staff could not do enough for you. The cabins lovely and clean. The cabins are spacious, and are not too close to each other. The outside spas were checked and maintained every day and it was good to see that the water is totally drained from the spa at the end of your stay. We really felt as though we had been away from home for more than 4 days. It was really relaxing.

The minus however, is the cost of bringing your dog - we do think that £10 per night per dog is excessive. We are aware that more cleaning needs to be done because of the dogs, surely it does not cost that much. Also if you want to use the internet or the sky package, you have to pay extra for this as well - this seems a bit mean, as most accommodation of this quality would offer this in the rental price.

However, having said that, we will definitely be booking Again, because although it is expensive, on reflection it is worth it.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Linda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda_Clarke_FH, Guest Relations Manager at Forest Holidays Blackwood Forest, Hampshire, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2014

Thank you for your review; I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed a real getaway. With regards to the charge for dogs, it reflects not only the cleaning but additional wear and tear too. We believe that the pet-friendly cabins should be every bit as luxurious as other cabins and this means we have to replace fixtures and fittings more regularly. I am delighted you would wish to stay with us again and I hope we will see you soon.

Kind regards,
Amanda Clarke
Holiday Advisors Team Leader

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2014

We stayed in a Golden Oak cabin last weekend - a lovely family celebratory get-together. Check in was welcoming and efficient, the reception area provides food, drinks, general bits and bobs. The cabin itself was really super, spotlessly clean and everything in there that you could need. We were rather spoiled by the baking hot weather but the site itself is amazing, so very peaceful and you are asked to keep noise to a minimum after 10ish - which just adds to the joy of the place. Hot tubs are fantastic and spotlessly clean. Plenty of mapped walks, from a shortish stroll to a full on hike and bike hire available. I think at one point on a stroll I saw an old coffee cup in the forest but that was the one and only piece of rubbish I saw all weekend! Great for families and romantic weekends, or just for a relaxing giggle weekend away. There is a chef on site but he was booked up so if you want food delivered make sure you book well in advance. We used a company called The Little Kitchen Company who are based in Winchester - every day they delivered pre-prepared and pre-cooked food literally to our door and all we needed to do was heat it up - I would highly highly recommend them if you don't want the fuss of cooking for yourselves while you're staying here. Great service from them and fantastic food.
I would highly recommend Forest Holidays in Blackwood Forest - its a great break and we've returned feeling refreshed and relaxed.

Bring a torch

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank alison29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda_Clarke_FH, Guest Relations Manager at Forest Holidays Blackwood Forest, Hampshire, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write a review after your weekend break at Blackwood Forest. I am delighted you enjoyed your stay and were lucky with the weather too. The Great Little Kitchen Company sounds like a good choice and we also stock high quality pre-prepared meals in the Forest Retreat, from the excellent COOK range. I do hope we’ll see you again in the future.

Kind regards,
Amanda Clarke
Holiday Advisors Team Leader

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Forest Holidays Blackwood Forest, Hampshire

Address: Larkwhistle Farm Road, Micheldever SO21 3BG, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > Micheldever
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Micheldever
Price Range: £100 - £300 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Blackwood Forest site in Hampshire offers the chance to holiday in one of 60 luxury woodland cabins, hidden deep in a 270 hectare beech forest. Many cabins have hot tubs on the decking! Leave the world behind as you pass beneath the towering Blackwood Forest beeches and enjoy the unique Forest Holidays blend of nature's wonder and life's little luxuries. ... more   less 

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