We were able to stay here owing to an offer which made the value acceptable - I would not pay full rate on any account. Our welcome was fine and although our twin room had been set as a double, the receptionist did exactly the right thing and had the room altered straight away and gave us a tray of tea while we waited. The pool is nice although for what is quite a large pool for a hotel, the changing rooms are very small but there were plenty of towels etc.
Dinner in the Glass House Restaurant went from very good to acceptable over the 4 days we were there. I wondered if the chef had taken a couple of nights off as the choice and quality of the food was really nice on days 1 and 2 and a bit mediocre on the other 2 days. Our meals took about 2 hours overall - certainly plenty of time for the courses to arrive then go down! Our package included the TdH dinner fortunately. The a La Carte would have been expensive with a capital E - many main dishes were well over £20 and the veg were extra! Question. Why do such restaurants while serving generally high quality food prove so stingy with the vegetables? Anyway, the three choices on the first two nights were really nice but after then were OK but less exciting. Room service was fine and on the occasions when they forgot to replenish something, reception were quick to help.
Things unfortunately went a bit wrong on the last evening. Firstly, I went for a swim and, as the notice by the pool says, if swimming alone, use the emergency phone to tell reception. Trouble was on this occasion I could not raise a reply for a good 7 minutes having let the phone ring until the answerphone cut in the same number of times. I did point out that this was totally unacceptable. Just suppose I had found someone in the pool unconcious, that kind of delay can make a fatal difference but whoever was on recption that day (not the really helpful people that were on duty on the other days) really did not appreciate the seriousness of this.
Later, at dinner I almost choked on a piece of string that had been left in my meat and the best the maitre d could come up with was "I'll tell him" presumably referring to the chef. On nights 1 and 2 there were different staff covering the restaurant who could not do enough but the 'main guy' on nights 3 and 4 I found aloof and while polite enough exuded an aura of superiority that made you feel almost uncomfortable. He certainly failed big time. If he had offered us a complimentary coffee or something, it may have communicated at least some slight remorse for nearly choking me. The rather off-handed receptionist was still on duty so I felt that complaint there would also have been a waste of time. I went to bed very unsatisfied.
Breakfast is another area where this hotel, part of a group of four has let standards slip over a few years. Whilst what you get is generally of good quality, the range is much reduced and whereas the cooked course was part of your B&B, now you get 5 items and anything else is 50p per item extra! Considering the standard room rate is on a par with many hotels in the Hilton chain, the breakfast is nothing approaching the Hiiton Breakfast which to me is a benchmark of a good breakfast. Expecting guests to pay 50p's for every little item over a basic minimum is extremely petty, stingy and devalues what should be a really great experience.
The final avoidable error is that this hotel (like others in its group have previously) totally failed to respond to the guest questionnaire I always take the time to complete. It is the loss of the other three if they fail to address their guest concerns but Forest Lodge also displays the Best Western Badge and should adhere to their (higher) standards. I do receive feedback from other Best Westerns when I stay and complete their form including when giving a 5 star rating. The New Forest Hotel Group do have 4 nice hotels in the New Forest and just a little more care in responding to their guests at the time of afterwards would pay dividends.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Formerly a Georgian Dower House of the Notherwood Estate, the Forest Lodge Hotel blends historical charm and contemporary style with warm hospitality. Located just minutes from Lyndhurst and the beautiful New Forest, our boutique hotel is the perfect destination for weekend getaways, family breaks, wedding celebrations, corporate meetings and events. Family-friendly doesn't just mean the kids, we welcome dogs too. With comfy, well appointed rooms featuring great amenities, we're ideal for swift overnight stays and long, indulgent breaks. Stroll into Lyndhurst and hit the boutiques, explore the beautiful New Forest surroundings, relax in our bars and dine well in the award-winning Glasshouse Restaurant. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Forest Lodge Hotel Lyndhurst
- Best Western Lyndhurst
- Lyndhurst Best Western
- Best Western Forest Hotel
- Forest Lodge Hotel Lyndhurst, New Forest