Famed for its of untouched land, the New Forest in southern England remains one of the most sought after (and beautiful) parts of the country. For those seeking fresh air and sanctuary in luxurious surroundings, there is no better place to stay than Hampshire’s award-winning period 200-year-old country house Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa itself surrounded by 130 acres of verdant land.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, guests return time and time again to enjoy its top-notch (and locally sourced) British cuisine, the best modern amenities money can buy and take part in a range of outdoor facilities amidst 130 acres of English countryside bliss – with the forest and seaside within a short walking distance from the hotel.
Age is no limit here; anyone from love-struck honeymooners to young families and grandparents will find something to suit.
Walking and jogging trails leading through the forest towards the beach are most popular; but so are the indoor and outdoor tennis courts, croquet lawn, 9-hole golf course and shooting and archery activities, among others.
For a truly relaxing session, book in for one of the hotel’s specialised facials and massage combinations – where therapists are happy to explain the spa’s holistic guide to treatment. After you’ve woken from your slumber, pull a robe over your swimming suit and head to the hydrotherapy spa pool. Then take a dip in the 17-metre Roman-themed swimming pool – before scouting out the gym, dance studio and stopping of at the pool bar for a buffet lunch in between. If that’s not enough, guests are welcome to enjoy the golf course, indoor and outdoor tennis centre and local walking trails.
Treehouses are suites are a far cry away from the rustic treehouses of our childhood. Here there ar twelve of them located away from the main hotel hidden withing the trees. Take the Treehouse Loft Suite, located 35ft above ground: you’ll walk into a fully-furnished apartment, with locally-sourced sweet treats in the kitchen, a heart-warming fireplace in the living room, and best of all, an outdoor hot-tub overlooking a stunning view of the forest. Glass of champagne in hand, you can watch the sunset (or rise) as you take in the view.
With a king-sized bed for adults and a bunk for children, kids can make their way up a private bookcase to their conclave – an escape for them too. And the best bit? You get a meal hamper funnelled into the room – a dream breakfast including smoked salmon.
But if the price is too steep (the Treehouse Loft Suite starts from £1,250 a night and sleeps up to six), why not try one of the hotel’s 70 traditionally decorated bedrooms – which range in price and interior.
Food and drink
Chewton Glen traditional British cooking combines with modern techniques and flavours – without compromising on the hearty portion sizes (the Chewton Glen twice-baked Emmental Souffle is heavenly, as is the grilled Dover Sole!) or lengthy cocktail list. Locally sourced produce – some drawn from the hotel’s own garden – add a fresh dimension to dining at the hotel.
Chewton Glen is set to open up a cookery school in February 2017. Prices start from £185.
But make sure you don’t leave Chewton without taking to the Mahogany bar – looking cosy in dark wood, upholstered chairs. Its range of cocktails that would rival any trendy London offering.
Venture off-site and you’ll make memories on the horse riding or cycling trails – or nearby fly fishing sites. If that’s not for you, traditional villages such as Lyndhurst, Beaulieu & Lymington offer some retail relief and cosy dining.
Seeped in history, local country estates, cathedrals and monuments make the region a popular go-to-place, with Highcliffe Castle, Beaulieu Abbey and Winchester Cathedral being among famous historical sites.
Is Wi Fi Available?
Yes, its free
Garden rooms from £325 per night