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.
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- Also Known As:
- The Hotel Beaulieu
- The Beaulieu Hotel New Forest