We had booked this hotel because they offer parking in front of the hotel, also because they have rooms with a whirlpool bath, which we thought would be relaxing after our long walk. It was, but to get up to our room we had to climb up several steep stairs. This was the same in all the hotels or B&Bs we stayed in this time in England, they were all old houses converted into hotels and so had many steep stairs.
But the Ormonds House was the one with the most turns and steps, puzzling but not too hard for us. However, someone who has trouble walking or climbing up stairs cannot stay there.
Our room was large and had a fridge where we could keep some cold drinks and joghurts. - very good, since it was quite warm. The bathroom was ensuite but - can you guess it? - up a few steps from the door of the bedroom. The whirlpool bathtub was large enough to really relax in it.
Breakfast was included in the price and was excellent.
This inn comes complete with two golf courses. We had a lovely stay there using a Groupon voucher, but I know the inn, itself, does many special deals throughout the off season and in season for golfers. The food is excellent, which is a real bonus, and the staff couldn't be friendlier. It's just one mile from the M27, and that makes reaching the inn very convenient and close to the M3. Our dinner was included in the price, and that was worth the amount we paid by itself. We also got a cream tea and breakfast (full English).
Two golf courses
I didn't actually stay IN the hotel I was simply there doing a temp job. They put me up in the former Keeper's Lodge - which with my broomcupboard room barely (literally bare) big enough to fit a single bed, a door which didn't shut properly and a shared loo with no light was the naffest staff accommodation I've ever been put in. Needless to say I didn't stay long.
However the hotel itself is rather magnificent. Converted from a former stately home it was originally constructed in 1887 as the home for the newly married daughter of the Eastwood Colliery owners, the Walkers. No expense was spared in the building which is described as a combination of Tudor and Gothic styles and the internal decoration and features must have involved teams of skilled masons and woodworkers.
It is now under the ownership of the luxury group Hand Picked Hotels who have created a solidly 4-star environment using the original features but with the addition of modern touches (including the fitness centre). Service is generally friendly, although slightly formal, and the food offering superb - rated 2 Rosettes by the AA.
I haven't seen the inside of any of the bedrooms (it has 50) but judging by the level of comfort and opulence provided in the public spaces I imagine these are characterful, comfortable and equipped with the expected 4-star mod-cons.
Whilst there are many outstanding characteristics of Rhinefield House, in my opinion the most outstanding of all is the location. The hotel is set in several acres of land, a mix of formal garden and untamed woodland, in the middle of the New Forest - the main road is over a mile away. This makes it an ideal base for exploring the delights the National Park has to offer - if you can afford it that is!
The Cottage is a very nice, clean and welcoming B&B in Lymington. Run by a friendly elderly lady (and talkative, I should add), it may serve as a good starting point for your New Forest explorations. Lymington is one of the bigger towns in the national park, so it is not only central but also good for shopping or some nightlife.
Very friendly owner, a nice and well-behaved little dog (and I say this although I don't like dogs at all), well-kept garden where breakfast may be served, convenient beds, clean rooms...
The only drawback was the shower which took a very long time to become warm.
This B&B is not located in a village but rather as the name suggests right on the edge of the New Forrest national park. You can walk across the road and straight into the park and as far as your legs can take you. We were very pleased with the location, and you can easily reach anywhere further afield by car.
The accomodation itself was spotless and basically looked as if it had just been renovated with a very smart toilet. We had the Mocca room which as we were warned is very small, about the size of the bed plus 3 feet around it on all sides, but the bathroom was reasonably sized and is of a 3-4 star hotel quality with little shampoo botles etc. The bed was a bit soft, but on the plus side tea and coffea with cookies and bottled water was provided in room and there is a nice flat screen tv.
For breakfast you had several choices, three of which were full English, salmon on toast and scrambled egg on toast. We had full English and scrambled egg and it was as good as it really gets. There was also a choice of cereals and fresh fruit salad.
They also have self-catering accomodation.
The best feature of this B&B is undoubtely despite the overall impeccablness the location where you feel you actually live in the New Forrest. Only drawback is you can't walk back from the pub.
My new husband and I stayed at the Balmer Lawn Hotel - www.balmerlawnhotel.com for our wedding night, which is situated in Brockenhurst in the New Forest. It was a wonderful hotel and we received excellent service. The facilities in the hotel and around it were excellent. There were so many activities available. The food was very good, and of a very high standard. We were so pleased with the decision that we made, and will definitely go back. This is a great New Forest Hotel. It would have made a great wedding venue, but unfortunately it was already booked for the day we wanted.
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