Booked a room for a solo traveller the night before an unscheduled visit to the area but failed to read the small print about checking in before 8pm. I called the number on the notice by the reception desk and a moment or two later the proprietor greeted me warmly, took me to my charming room, gave me the wi-fi password and a guided tour of the facilities, and I was home.
The Rothesay is a delight. My double bed was modern and comfortable, the TV offered the full Freeview menu, wi-fi reception was more than adequate, and there were tea- and coffee-making facilities in the room. The compact shower room and loo are modern and to a high standard and soaps, shampoos and lotions are well presented and not the usual cheap and tacky fare.
The hotel is quiet and road noise minimal, as a result of which I slept long and well. My test of any hotel breakfast is a full English with copious quantities of good strong coffee, and the Rothesay does not disappoint. There are several cereals and alternatives to the carnivore's option of bacon, sausages and eggs, etc. I finished a large cafetiere, fresh orange juice and a genuinely top notch breakfast and didn't think about eating again until the evening. The hotel's proprietor and his family run the place with cheerful efficiency and I was made to feel welcome and a little bit special. Last week I stayed in a hotel where I suspect no one there cared if I lived or died, so the Rothesay was a wonderful contrast and an utter treat.
The hotel is not purpose-built but the conversion is tasteful and well executed, as is only right considering it stands within the grounds of Highcliffe Castle. There is a glazed and light seating/communal area near the reception desk, from which the entrance, swimming pool, dining room and stairs radiate. At the front there is sufficient parking on the gravel for a couple of dozen cars. Highcliffe is half a mile distant and Christchurch, Ringwood, Bournemouth, Poole and Southampton are a short car journey away.
My only complaint: it rained.
Excellent hotel run by people who actually seem to care that their guests are having a good stay. And no, I'm not related or a family friend. The sign by the gate says the AA rates the Rothesay as a four star and I'm not about to argue with the AA. I like it a lot.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.