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“Just a light lunch, but took our stresses away”

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Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in New Milton
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 September 2011

Last Saturday, we decided to drop into Chewton Glen to look at the Spa. We had just checked out from our previous night's stay at a thoroughly disappointing 4 star hotel and spa in Christchurch.

We were shown around the spa and went to the bar for a pot of tea for me and a beer for my husband. There was a family in there with a crying child but once his lunch arrived, he settled down. We took our time over our drinks, savouring the great atmosphere and friendly banter between the bar staff. Finally, we decided to have a bar snack. We just had sandwiches which were delicious and came with a small salad and crisps. Another drink each and in total our bill including service was £32 which was reasonable. (Not sure the pot of tea justified its £4.75 price tag).

Spending 2 hours there was enough to bring the stress levels down before we hit the summer holiday motorway traffic for them to rise again!

The staff are exceptional, the service excellent and there was no stuffiness about the hotel.

Amusing to us, was the 2 older ladies who were so obviously putting on posh accents and talking loudly to attract attention. At the other extreme were the party of 4 where the 2 men obviously thought they were in their local Wetherspoons as they sat sprawled on the settee, legs akimbo!

We have decided to return for a weekend break later this year and looking forward to experiencing the spa.

  • Stayed: September 2011
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Thank HampshireCarol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ChewtonGlenNewForest, General Manager at Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 22 September 2011

Many guests don’t realise that we are happy for guests to pop in for a drink or snack and we are delighted that this reviewer did exactly that whilst coming to look at the spa. I am thrilled that the 2 hours they spent with us had the desired affect and that they are planning to come back later in the year from a weekend spa break.

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1,751 - 1,757 of 1,988 reviews

Reviewed 2 September 2011

This is one of the most restful hotels around. Very high quality service, lovely rooms with lots of reading material. The public area and gardens are ideal for snacks or tea. The walk to the beach is a treat for all your senses. Spa was excellent but must book ahead. The dinner was good, but not excellent. We could easily spend 3-4 days here.

  • Stayed: June 2011
    • Value
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1  Thank Edmund L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ChewtonGlenNewForest, General Manager at Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 6 September 2011

We are delighted that these guests found Chewton Glen to be one of the most restful hotels around and that they could have spent three of four days with us. Most guests are surprised at how much there is to do both in the hotel and the local area. We are lucky to have a number of lounges for guests to relax and when the weather is fine we have the added bonus of several terraces as well. Even with ten treatment rooms and the grooming lounge, our spa can get booked up in advance and hence it is good advice to book early if you can. We have also just started a new scheme to contact guests in advance of their arrival just in case they have forgotten to book treatment times. We look forward to welcoming these guests back for a longer stay next time.

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Reviewed 2 September 2011

We have visited Chewton Glen several times over the years, mostly to the restaurant and a few times for an overnight stay. Until this recent stay our expectations of 1st class service and food have always been met. However, although our recent visit showed the hotel to be as excellent as ever the new restaurant, Vetiver, was a huge disappointment. First of all there seemed to be some confusion as to whether our table was ready. We said it would be ok to sit in the bar and look at the menus while they sorted it out, but it took them about 10-15 mins to bring the menus. Service has declined significantly. It used to be so personalised, attentive and with so many people trying to do things for you. On this occasion we had one waitress, who seemed to be serving quite a few tables and then brought the wrong starter. Food was nice but definitely not exceptional for the huge price tag and there was no optional showcase "degustation" menu which the old restaurant had. there was also a big group in a room with open doors and they made a hell of a noise. I don't know if its the new furnishings that emphasize this, but not exactly a "romantic" atmosphere. All in all a disappointing meal. The room, however, came up to the high standards expected with amazing bathroom and beautifully appointed furnishings. But we won't be back for dinner until we are confident it is back to its old standards. Its a lot of money to spend on average food.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank helwise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ChewtonGlenNewForest, General Manager at Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 6 September 2011

It was disappointing to read that an otherwise enjoyable stay was let down by this reviewer’s experience of Vetiver. Based on feedback from a large number of guests we have de-formalised however the service should still be exceptional and I am embarrassed that it wasn’t. Although guests are welcome to order in the bar or lounge we try to encourage them to order at the table which ties in with the style of service. These guests should have had this explained on arrival and they should also have been presented with the ‘tasting menu’ which is even better than ever. The new design of the restaurant has been appreciated by the vast majority of our regular guests and it is disappointing that a larger party in part of the restaurant disturbed them. All of the areas can be closed off for private dining and hence I am not sure why this was the case. As regular guests of the hotel it would be good to have the opportunity to discuss this feedback in person with a view to us making amends and with this in mind I look forward to hearing from them directly.

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Reviewed 2 September 2011

Having stayed at the CG a number of times i find rooms and facilities still get top marks. Food remain of the highest standard. My only concern is how the service seems to fluctuate. The hotel should be judge on the highest of standards which it generally provides and does not disappoint. I would suggest more smiles and a welcome in the bar. More assistance - support for the sommelier who seemed under pressure the night we dined. Breakfast needs someone who can welcome and start a guests day on a bright note. Generally a lighter tone throughout the hotel on behalf of the staff would put the icing back on the cake.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank StanDee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ChewtonGlenNewForest, General Manager at Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 22 September 2011

It was disappointing to read that our service on this occasion was not up to the usual high standard and I hope that this reviewer will accept my sincere apologies for our shortcomings. Although super facilities and great food are essential ingredients, we firmly believe it is our staff who make Chewton Glen so special and I am embarrassed that we failed to rise to the challenge. With over 200 staff there is no excuse for any departments to be under pressure however the unpredictability of the hotel business can result in the occasional bottleneck. Needless to say we look forward to welcoming these guests back in the not too distant future when we will make every effort to ensure that normal service is resumed.

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Reviewed 1 September 2011

The staff and the setting were lovely, but that didn't change the fact that the room was tired, not particularly clean and that, although the website says the hotel is family-friendly, the hotel is not set up well for children and we ended not relaxing at all during our stay.

Some specific negatives:

(1) The indoor pool is only open to children for 2 hours a day (9-10 and 4-5), which is fine as it is part of the spa, but during the 4-5 period, staff came in to rope off an adult swimming lane so that one adult could swim. The pool is not large and I thought that this incident basically summed up the attitude to children. They want tone viewed as family-friendly but actually their core business is not families, and so they won't go too out of their way to accommodate children's presence.

(2) the outdoor play area for children : great idea, but it is located just next to the terrace area where on a nice day people want to sit for a quiet drink or cup of tea to enjoy the surroundings and view. Hearing the shouts of children so close irritated a couple of the other guests, so much so that I was constantly telling our children "shhh", even though they were paling on the hotel's climbing frame. the play area should be set far enough away from the one area for guests to sit outside that they can play without worrying whether the wedding guest party is being disturbed.

(3) Ditto for the pool, which is next to the children's play area and the terrace. It is a small area and since children are not allowed in the indoor pool for the majority of the day, even on cold days my children were in the pool. The problem is that this is also the only place on a nice day for adults to sit outside in swimming costumes and sunbathe, read, etc. And the pool area is so small that children playing even quietly quickly splash the guests sitting poolside. And so we had to endure frequent annoyed looks for most of the time we were using the outdoor pool in good weather.

(3) we were advised that the only rooms really suitable for families are the duplex suites. At £890 per night, I expected them to be perfection. They were not. They are large, but old and tired. Much of the space is not used and of the two cot beds that they set up in the downstairs of the suite for the children, one was set up with the side running along (touching) a glass case containing porcelain. Afraid that a toddler thrashing at night might do some damage to the porcelain and himself, we moved the cot bed against another wall, but then the living space in the room becomes very cramped and unusable. The set up just isn't good, but could easily be improved with a renovation of the room.

(5) We ordered room service the send night we were at the hotel as the dining room is quite formal and the children were tired. The meal came without a table for the meal to be eaten off of. When I asked the waiter where the children should eat, he pointed to the (large, low) coffee table. I was dubious, as leaning over from the sofa or a high upholstered chair (the only options pin the room) did not strike me as a good idea. I expressed this to the waiter and he shrugged. Not surprisingly, within 2 minutes of the children starting to eat, brown gravy was dropped all over the white carpet. I called housekeeping who came to clean it immediate, but the lady actually tutted when she saw the gravy. At which point I slightly lost it and said "how do you expect two young children to eat a meal off of a coffee table and sofa?" She then told me I should have requested a table. Well, I thought I had asked if there was anything better available and none was offered. Frustrating.

(6) Welcome pak - the website and literature in the room brags about the welcome "pack" and mini terry dressing downs and slippers children receive at arrival. I hadn't realised that until the second day, but when I did I asked whether these were available. The housekeeping lady was very nice and went to get me the dressing gowns and slippers straight away, but said that they hadn't been told the ages or names of the children, which is why they hadn't brought the welcome gift and slippers initially. Even if the reservations lady had neglected to pass along our children's ages and names (which I remember giving at the time of booking), when we checked in the children were there eagerly peering over the reception counter - the three people helping with checking in could have realised the children's details were not there and remedied that right away. As they did not, it took 2 days for the"welcome gift" to arrive (which I think was improvised as it was a little handbag mirror for my older child and a pair of striped, nylon socks that were shrunk into a small cube of plastic and were supposed to miraculously grow when put into water. Very strange welcome gifts. ) And when the gifts did come, one child's name was mis-spelt and the other's was completely wrong. Not very welcoming.

(7) Cleanliness: not great. When we moved the fold away bed to a safer position (see above) we found a dark line of dust and bits of fabric under the sofa that we moved. Trying not to complain immediately upon arriving, we didn't' say anything, but when housekeeping came later that afternoon (to put cushions on the outside chairs and wipe the bird poo off the chairs and tables - why did they not think to do this before our arrival rather than upon my request after a tray of tea and hot chocolate for the children had already been brought to the rom and placed on the outside table), I did ask that the next day when the room was being serviced that they hoover under the foldaway bed. They didn't.

(8) Noise - the duplex suite we had, although it had a garden area outside(not completely enclosed or private to our room, but with access from all the duplex suites) was next to the delivery bay, so our first morning we were woken at 7am by the beeping of a reversing van. This happened every morning around this time. If one had counted on being able to sleep in, one would have been very disappointed.

(9) Room condition: as I said, the room condition was close to tatty and certainly on the wrong side of lived-in. The wallpaper was actually peeling off in at least 3 places by the bath, the balcony off of the adult sleeping area was covered in dust and chipped paint, rendering it unusable, and the white paint on the iron work on the balcony was at least half chipped off, which made the place look tatty. The shelves of the glass cases (locked) and full of decorative, antique porcelain we covered in dust.

(10) Food - was good but not amazing. Given the prices, I really expected excellence (£26 for my 6 year old to have one waffle and the continental breakfast, which for her consisted of a bowl of rice krispies, juice and some fruit.)

Summary: The staff were very kind, and seemed to genuinely want to correct the problems that arose, and were very nice to the children, but there were just too many problems. The manager gave us one free night to compensate us for some of the problems, but to honest, we wish we hadn't gone at all. The bill for the two nights' accommodation that we did pay and food for 2 adults and a 6 year old (the 4 year old's food was free) (we either had room service or one night ate in the bar, so no amazing meals or bottles of expensive wine, no spa treatments, one tennis lesson) was £2500, which I found completely outrageous for a place that had so badly disappointed.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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6  Thank LondonMumUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ChewtonGlenNewForest, General Manager at Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 6 September 2011

It was disappointing to read that these guests felt we were not geared up for children and also highlighted a number of negative points about their stay. During half terms and holidays we have welcomed literally hundreds of families and again the vast majority have been very impressed. We promote ourselves as hotel that welcomes children and families rather than one that specialises in children and we constantly listen to our guests with a view to constantly improve.
Children are welcome to use the outdoor pool at any time of day and the indoor pool is available for an hour and a half each morning and an hour in the afternoon, which is the same as most of our competitors. We purposely leave one adults lane, which tends to suit both adults and children as it allows for both adults and children to continue using the pool without disturbing each other. We are constantly reviewing these procedures however this has always worked well.
The children’s fort is purposely located in close proximity to the bar terrace so that guests can enjoy a drink on the terrace whilst their children play however it isn’t so close that there has ever been a conflict in the past. There will always be guests who do not tolerate children however it is very rare. It is worth noting that we have swings and plenty of room to play a long way from the main building.
It is a given that there will always be children in and around the outdoor pool and the pool is heated to 28 degrees centigrade to ensure that is pleasantly warm for children even on cooler days. As almost all of our bedrooms have private balconies or terraces and there is a large deck for adults only beside the spa, there is ample place for adults to go if guests feel the need to find a quiet retreat.
We have four duplex suites and the others are better suited as they have second bathrooms and sofa-beds for children. Although this room is undoubtedly in the “traditional” category, it is unfair to describe it as tired. We refurbish around eight to ten rooms every year and all of the duplex suites are due to be refurbished completely. As we have started welcoming families since these rooms were last refurbished we will certainly use this as an opportunity to make them more family friendly. Your point about the location of the cot bed is extremely valid and I have already discussed this point in particular with the housekeeping teams. We have a variety of suitable options for families including interconnecting silver rooms and the new Tree House Suites we are currently building will be designed specifically for families.
Our restaurant has recently been de-formalised and we now start serving at 6pm so that families can enjoy eating together and as the menu is a la carte guests can simply come and have one course if that suits them. We also serve meals in the lounge and often families choose to eat in here rather than their bedrooms. The room service team should have offered you a table for your children to eat at and again I have passed on this feedback. The children’s charge for breakfast was £13 and not £26 as stated.
We normally pride ourselves on our attention to details with guests names and our reservations team are tasked with collecting the ages and names of children so that we can put in a personalised gift and appropriate robes and slippers. There was obviously an unusual and unacceptable lapse in communication and all of the staff involved have asked me to convey how sorry they are for letting you down. Our housekeeping team are particularly sorry that these nice touches were not waiting your arrival and also saddened that the room wasn’t as perfect as it should have been.
Ultimately I am bitterly disappointed that this family’s experience was very different from the norm and I will be contacting them to discuss their stay in more detail.

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Reviewed 31 August 2011

We had our small family wedding at Chewton Glen this year. Everything worked out perfectly and ALL the staff were helpful. We stayed a total of 3 nights and, unlike one other reviewer, we did not have a problem with room 15, in fact we felt it was a delightful and enchanting room for our stay (althought the fridge did not seem to be working for us either, but we didn't make a fuss). We also viewed a number of other rooms which our wedding party stayed in and found them all to be delightfully different. The service was outstanding and we were made to feel special. I would highly recommend this hotel for very special occasions, we will never forget our wedding day and the many happy memories Chewton Glen will hold for us.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Zeckie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ChewtonGlenNewForest, General Manager at Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 6 September 2011

It was great to read that this small family wedding was such a success and it was memorable for all involved. All of our rooms are different however they are all popular and room 15 is also one of my favourites. I look forward to sharing their super feedback with the whole team and we look forward to welcoming these guests back for the first anniversary if not before.

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Reviewed 29 August 2011

Took a party of 6 here for a business meeting and spa break. Rooms were excellent and huge - mine was at the top of the hotel and had two sitting rooms, bedroom, dressing room and vast bathroom. The spa is one of the best I have seen in the UK with separate aquatherapy and fitness pools. The buffet lunch served in our Conference room was superb and puts the traditional curly sandwiches usually served at business meetings to shame! What genuinely surprised me about the hotel is the overly relaxed attitude to service. Despite a much advertised 3:1 staff to guest ratio I had to queue to check in, queue to check out and had a 2.5 hour dinner service in a not very full restaurant. The hotel also managed to mislay an important Fedex delivery. When I raised the poor service level with the hotel I was told 'we like to take a more relaxed attitude to service' - well sorry but when you are charging these prices I would expect service levels to be faultless. The hotel is in dire need of a front of service manager who knows what he/she is doing and can immediately resolve service issues like these - I don't know if the management team were on holiday / off site in a meeting when we stayed but these issues could so easily be resolved to make a stay at the Chewton Glen a true 5 star experience.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank David777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa

Address: Christchurch Road, New Forest, New Milton BH25 6QS, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > New Forest > New Milton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in New Milton
Price Range: £275 - £1,180 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
An English Original. Chewton Glen is a luxury hotel and spa set in 130 acres of Hampshire countryside on the edge of the New Forest National Park and just a few minutes walk from the sea.12 new luxury treehouse suites now open. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chewton Glen Hotel And Spa
Chewton Glen Hotel New Milton
Hotel Chewton Glen
Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa New Milton, Hampshire

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