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Beaulieu Hotel
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Reviewed 8 March 2011

We stayed here for two nights, over the weekend, in a standard room. The room was comfortable, with the furnishings and decorations in keeping with a country house hotel. It was a beautiful location too, with views across forest heathland, ponies strolling through the mist. The room was spoiled a bit by a very obvious tear in the sofa with the stuffing coming out – not sure why they left that there, all the other furniture was in perfect condition. The bathroom was good too, with an unusually powerful shower, nice big, fluffy towels and all the usual little bottles of smelly things. There was free wi-fi access, which worked perfectly with a good, strong signal, without having to faff around with access codes. And the door had a proper key – not those stupid electronic cards that never work.

We had dinner at the hotel on the first night, which was excellent – one of the best dinners I’ve ever had at a hotel, they’re usually a bit dull and predictable. The atmosphere in the restaurant was nice, unhurried and relaxed with friendly staff.
Next morning, breakfast was slightly less perfect. They’d run out of croissants, apricots, and (bizarrely) brown sauce. But the cooked breakfast was good, nicely cooked, with the standard BEST breakfast included in the price. BEST stands for bacon, egg, sausage and tomato, but you can mix ‘n’ match – I substituted the sausage for mushrooms, so BEMT I suppose.

The website advertised discounted tickets for local attractions, but when we enquired, they didn’t have any (running out of things did seem to be a problem). The bar looked cosy and pleasant with appetising-sounding (cheaper) bar meals, but, yes, they’d run out of beer ... So, on the second night, we went to the pub next door, which is also owned by the hotel. There was a very good selection of bar meals there, and a good range of hand-pulled beers, and they hadn’t run out of anything. If you want to eat more cheaply than the hotel restaurant, and get a better range of drinks, it’s well worth considering, and only a few seconds’ walk.

The hotel had a swimming pool too, but we didn’t try it. I’m not generally attracted by the idea of immersing myself in dilute bleach while breathing chlorine, and this one looked small, to say the least. I could have swum a length without my feet leaving the side (almost).

If you like modern, bland, corporate chain hotels, then don’t stay here. This is more traditional, perhaps a bit old-fashioned, but none the worse for that, and not worn out or tired. Overall, we liked this place. Peaceful, traditional, elegant, friendly, comfortable, and quiet. If they could just stop running out of things (and mend the rip in the sofa) it would be perfect.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Peter_Chowney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2011

We booked a 2 night break using a Red Letter voucher. This hotel is described as a charming escape but sadly didn't meet our expectations. The rooms were bland, curtains didn't fit the windows, plug leaked in the bath... attention to detail was lacking. Nothing a lick of paint and some new carpet and bedding wouldn't fix. Location wise it is in the middle of the New Forest but Beaulieu village is about 3 miles away so nowhere to walk to in the evening. You need to eat at the hotel or pub next door or drive to other towns. The swimming pool is useless, fine for kids but so small you would do 2 strokes and be at the other side. No nice loungers to relax around the pool either. On the plus side, you really got the feeling of being away from it all, it's quiet and in the heart of the forest. Definitely take bikes and the hotel does have a shed to lock them away in and some kit incase you have problems. Staff were very helpful. I wouldn't rush back only because hotels and B&B's in beaulieu seemed to offer better value for money.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank bugbabe333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2011

Stayed for 2 nights late February on the Tesco Clubcard Deal. Having upgraded to an Executive Room we paid over £400 for DBB and can honestly say we were very disappointed with the overall standard of the hotel. The interior is very dated and absolutely crying out for a makeover. The bar area is truly awful and the restaurant is utterly soulless. The whole place totally lacks character and has a sad and downbeat feel to it.

By total contrast the pub next door, The Drift Inn which was affiliated to the hotel, was an oasis in this sea of mediocrity and really saved our bacon. Let me explain. On making the original booking a few months ago we pre-booked dinner for both nights as they offered a discounted rate. In a nutshell the food was acceptable but not great. My husband had green thai curry with rice for his main course but the rice was little more than an eggcupful. All we could do was laugh. I had the pork belly which was OK. After dinner we waited an age to have our main courses cleared and to be given dessert menus. All around us the very young staff were clearing empty tables and generally faffing about and we waited and we waited and yes, we waited some more. In the end my husband, who is VERY easy going, resorted to waving to attract attention. To no avail. After a few minutes he ventured another wave which, er, went unnoticed. You know that horrible moment when you realise that you are invisible. That pretty much made up our minds that there was no way we would eat there again the next evening, even if we lost the money we had pre-paid for dinner. Eventually someone came to our table and I explained we were unhappy with the service and would like to have dinner in the pub the following evening and would therefore like to transfer the monies we had pre-paid. To give the chap credit he acknowledged there were problems, was extremely apologetic and explained he was having a lot of staff issues. He also said he would do his best to transfer our monies to the affiliated pub next door. The next morning we spoke to the Receptionist who was aware of the situation and confirmed we would be able to eat in the pub that evening and was just waiting to hear the balance that was being transferred. Later that day they confirmed that our allowance was £43 which was the amount we had pre-paid. We were soooooooo relieved. Despite our bad experience at least the communication between the staff was good and we got the outcome we wanted. We were appreciative and thankful.

Overall we did not believe we got value for money; our Executive Room (20) was equally as soulless as the rest of the place, it was a good size with dual aspect but the buck really stops there.

To sum up, if you do stay here do not use the restaurant – eat in the pub next door. Fantastic food and staff, great service.

Sorry Beaulieu Hotel but you seriously need to up your game – renovate your hotel and employ more experienced staff. Get some character and life into this potentially lovely hotel. It’s not often I’ve had that feeling after check-in that what you’re looking forward to most is checking out but, hey, you can’t win them all…

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank barleycat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2011

Stayed here with my partner for 3 nights. The hotel is in a fantastic location within the new forest. The service was fine with pleasant staff. The food in the restaurant was average at best and fairly expensive. They also set for dinner whilst you're still eating breakfast. The pub next door was much nicer and better value.
The cleaners start very early, and you have to run the gauntlet of their cleaning materials and dirty sheets all over the floor. Our room was ok, a slight disappointment at first, but upon seeing the others we realised how ours was one of the better ones. The hotel is in need of a refurb and then this would be a fantastic hotel.
We would come back due to the fantastic location, and the other issues are liveable for a short stay.

  • Stayed: January 2011
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Thank Rubymoo101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 November 2010

offered upgrade to find room was very dated in need of decoration-grubby with cobwebs
surrounding the main lights. Complained and was givern a smaller room in much need of a good clean. Restaurant and food disgusting with lack of serious staff training! Laying tables for b'fast whilst you are eating. No parmasen cheese to accompany ravioli or red currant jelly for lamb etc. Hoovering whilst you are eating breakfast complained to be told this is "for staff to hoover between 9-10am" other clients also complained. Lesiure areas to sit in are dreadful & bar area words canot discribe. Noisy creeky floorboards everywhere. Staff to young and no team leader at front house it appears! I am now taking the complaint further as the staff did not listern to our concerns and complaints.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Marilyn081
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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