The grounds are stunning and the building looks a bit like something from a romantic fairy tale set in Victorian Europe. It is old enough to look good from a distance, but when you get near you can see that some TLC is needed on the outside.
Parking is a little way away from the hotel (about 200 yards), so if you have heavy cases you will need to drive past the car park up to the main entrance and unload.
Reception was a bit of a surprise. I was expecting something grand and nearly walked past it without noticing it. There was no grand front entrance where you could sit and chat - except a small room leading through to the rest of the hotel with a piano and seating for about a dozen people.
We were there for a private dinner function in the library, which was very nice. Before dinner we had drinks outside the main bar and although the choice of beers is poor (Hotel, please note that the Hogs Back Brewery is just down the road!) the atmosphere could not be bettered. The dinner was good (food OK, but I have had better at worse hotels). Being a vegetarian I am now fed up with the default chef's choice for veggies of butternut squash risotto. Being a large dinner party, it was eat what the chef had chosen, or go hungry!
The staff however, were really attentive and efficient. My wine and water glasses never seemed to get empty. Good if you like that sort of thing, which I do.
Now to the room. We had room 121, which is on the first floor. Up a grand staircase and a couple of yards to the left. I didn't see a lift and I don't think there is one. Which raises questions about disability access...
The room was large and well appointed. The bathroom was large and had a bath with shower. All worked very well. There was tea and coffee making facilities and an iron, hairdryer and trouser press. The bed was two 3 foot singles joined together. The view from the window was of another part of the hotel and a low roof with a couple of large cooling fans on. The significance of these fans didn't appear until we went to bed at about 1.30 am. It was a very hot night and we had the windows open. The fans made a very loud continuous whine/humming noise, and kept me awake for several hours. When I mentioned this to reception on checking out they appeared surprised. I can't imagine that no one had ever mentioned this loud noise before...
Breakfast was a buffet. Not what I would expect from a hotel like this. Fried eggs and scrambled eggs (my basic cooked breakfast) are not at their best when kept on a heated plate! Also, no choice of vegetarian alternatives to the bacon and sausage. If there was one thing they could do to make me want to return (I would get a better room next time) would be to improve their vegetarian cooking and choices and change to cooked to order breakfasts...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Elvetham is a privately owned country mansion, taking great pride in delivering outstanding customer service and attention to detail. We are located just outside Hartley Wintney, a quaint little village in Hampshire, surrounded by rolling countryside and beautiful views. Our fascinating history dates back many centuries yet our modern approach to our customers is fulfilled with dedication and professionalism. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Elvetham Hotel Hartley Wintney
- Elvetham Hartley Wintney
- Elvetham Hotel Hartley Wintney
- The Elvetham Hartley Wintney, Hampshire