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“Beautiful setting and amazing martinis!”

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Lainston House Hotel
Ranked #1 of 13 Hotels in Winchester
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level Contributor
77 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Beautiful setting and amazing martinis!”
Reviewed October 9, 2011

I booked a Saturday night away to celebrate our anniversary, so I wanted something special, which Lainston House certainly lived up to. As we checked in, we were 'warned' that there would be a wedding reception there during the afternoon. AS it happened, it looked like most of the guests stayed there for the night, but it craeted a great atmosphere.

We didn't eat dinner there, but we were told the martinis in the beatiful bar were excellent and indeed they were. We had a drink there before going out for dinner and not only was it a fantastic vodka martini, served with a few drops of 'holy water', 100% vodka at -18C and a twist of lemon peel, but also with great panache by the barman.

Our room was up in the old servants' quarters, so quite small and under the eaves, but had beautiful views over the avenue leading up to the house and also a great walk-in shower with powerful side jets.

A great place to stay for a special occasion, but not for those on a budget - £16 a head for continental breakfast was a bit too steep to justify, even if it was their own honey being served.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mikkelbates
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,038 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (209)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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  • Any
English first
Hampshire, UK
Level Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed October 4, 2011

My wife and I planned to celebrate our 40th anniversary with friends with a special dinner at Lainston House. The event was booked several months in advance with the help of Shanna, the hotel's event planner. The final details, menu etc were finalised a few weeks before. The nine couples all stayed overnight afterwards. The stay was perfect. Our Chapel Suite had a garden door with table and chairs outside so we could enjoy the glorious weather and the bathroom was almost big enough to hold the party in! Our meal (Chef's Table) in a private dining room was superb and (unlike a previous reviewer) I loved the amuse bouche which was both tasty and excellent.
Breakfast the next day was served in the same room so our party could continue to socialise together.
Service was top notch, nothing was too much trouble and was delivered with a smile! I will return and recommend it for that special occasion.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AnonyMouse63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2011

What a lovely location and beautiful gardens. Could not fault this Hotel. The Staff were so polite and welcoming. Our room was amazing. If you want to stay some where a little bit special do try this wonderful Hotel. Not cheap but worth every penny. We will be going again.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nikizac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cologne, Germany
Level Contributor
44 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2011

This was my 5th or 6th stay at Lainston House and it is nice to see that some things do not change: if you stay for more than 2 nights, you can be sure that pads for the coffeemaker will only be refilled on the first day, if you’re lucky.

When I arrived they did not have my changed reservation date and not much of an attempt was made to apologize. It was implied that the mistake must have been made on our side. The room I was assigned to had access to a patio, but when I stepped outside my shoes got stuck in heaps of pidgeon muck. Sitting outside my room with a coffee, trying to enjoy the morning sun, was downright disgusting.

The rooms are all different and range from somewhat small and dark, to large and airy suites. All of the rooms have large bathrooms, with rain-showers and bathtubs. A separate faucet for hot and cold water, like in the good old days, takes some getting used to. Most bathrooms do not have a window and not all of them have exhaust fans.

Not only the building is in need of repair, the carpets and furniture are dated as well. Some may find this cozy and “very english country”. The pavillion for the outdoor dining area is dirty and torn in many places.

It is hard to avoid weddings, birthday parties and other gatherings. Depending where your room is, you’ll have the pleasure to listen to the music and the toast masters’ commands until midnight, or the noise of the departing guests well after the party noise ends.

The bar is small and at certain tmes of the day you may not be able to find a seat. There is an adjoing room with couches and chairs (most of them uncomfortable), which can be very noisy during the afternoon or before dinner.

While I enjoy piano music, the bar is just to small and holding a conversation is strenuous when you’re sitting right in front of the piano.

When you stay for several days you can get tired of the menu. The lunch menu is not very appealing. Asking the chef to prepare a simple Chicken Caesar Salad was a grave mistake.
The marinade tasted of bad mayonnaise and entire anchovies were just thrown into the mix.
I’m sure I felt Cesare Cardini turning in his grave !

The dinner menu has one or two reasonably tasting dishes, but they are not always served in the same quality. One night the lamb can be fine, the next day it feels like you’re chewing a piece of rubber. The salmon and the halibut smelled fishy on two occasions. The amuse bouch ‘mushroom foam’ just tasts awful, the watercress version somewhat better. The cheese platter is not very creative.

When the restaurant is fully booked, the wait can be long and there is no such thing as a ‘quick lunch’.

The waiters and bar staff are mostly friendly and efficient, some of the younger staff appears a bit too scruffy and unkempt.

The business center is a joke, but at least the Wi-Fi has been improved and is free of charge.

Same as others have said before me: when you see the place and the beautiful grounds, you expect more from a ‘Luxury Hotel’ once you’re inside.

Stayed September 2011, traveled on business
Helpful?
2 Thank Hiiri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pershore, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
138 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2011

Lovely historic house in a lovely setting. Room was in the new part a long walk away, but no problem. The decor was fab, the bathroom was stunning - just my taste - great free toiletries (great to see they use products with no parabens or sulfates), the attention to detail was clear. Very comfy bed for us, as it was on the firm side.

Lots of very smart people in having what looked like a delicious afternoon tea, all the staff - even whilst we were walking in the grounds - smiley and welcoming.

The dining and breakfast rooms are cosy and welcoming, lighting is just right, staff very efficient and very good food. On the 'lazy lainston' offer it was good value for money, but the bar prices were ridiculously expensive (don't really understand the need to be 'that' expensive) and put us off an after dinner drink, which was a shame.

I would recommend it.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Karen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2011

Had a short family break here in August. Reception staff were excellent, hotel is a class act but still relaxed and child friendly. Our suite was large and overlooked the gardens to two sides; the grounds are vast and good for exploring on foot or using their tandem! Nyetimber and strawberries on arrival; excellent dinner and breakfast. Nothing too much trouble, attentive without being overbearing. Not exactly cheap, but very good value.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ATPTour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2011

Recently celebrated our wedding anniversary here and loved the secluded setting.First impression is rather grand with a sweeping driveway and fabulous property which is a mix of old and new, with a tasteful extension onto the original. Our room was in the new part which felt like miles away from the main reception & bar ... I seriously wondered if I should leave a trail of breadcrumbs enroute to our room... but the journey to our jnr suite was worth it. Huge room and bathroom. Nice touches like heated floor in bathroom but old style decor with lots of woodpanelling and shutters. Shame about the wet towel left lying on bedroom floor from previous occupants though!
We wandered back to the bar & terrace in time for the falconry display. Tables on the terrace were all reserved so it wasn't possible to sit outside. We lingered around the bar area for ten mins while the many passing waiters seemed determined not to make eye contact. There was a drinks reception for a wedding on a private terrace so yes they were busy, but one staff member should have been tending to the regular guests. We had a bottle of bubbly back in our room so didn't waste any time deciding to head back there to enjoy our suite.
Dinner was impressive and food cooked to perfection (lamb). No fault on the dinner service apart from being a little slow. We had breakfast in our room - it was fabulous!!!
Plus Points: gorgeous old property and grounds in quiet country location.
Minus: service doesn't quite meet the level that the venue suggests. Bar area in need of a revamp. Noisy corridors at night with wedding guests' high heels click clacking on the wooden floor - please invest in a carpet runner!

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the old part of the building if possible. Have breakfast in bed!
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mariah22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lainston House Hotel

Property: Lainston House Hotel
Address: Woodman Lane | Sparsholt, Winchester S021 2LT, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Hampshire > Winchester
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Winchester
#2 Romantic Hotel in Winchester
#3 Business Hotel in Winchester
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Lainston House Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Drive through the gates of Lainston House, up the winding drive, you will enter a world where historic charm and contemporary elegance blend seamlessly. This charming 17th-century country house is a luxurious five star hotel, encapsulated in 63 acres of Hampshire parkland. A peaceful drawing room, sumptuous individually designed bedrooms and food created with passion (awarded 3 AA rosettes). The Cedar Bar is the place to relax for a cocktail and the outdoor terrace is even more so for sipping a glass of Champagne or a chilled glass of wine over a light lunch in Summer months. Don't forget to book for Afternoon Tea, a day in the on-site Cookery School or a spot of Falconry, located at the back of our stunning kitchen garden. This is a classic Country House where you can put the world behind you whether it be for a creative meeting, a relaxing leisure stay or a family celebration. Minutes away from the historic city of Winchester and only a short drive from Salisbury, Stonehenge and the New Forest. Visit Jane Austin country, Highclere Castle (home of Downton Abbey), Bombay Sapphire Distillery or a local Vineyard such as Hattingley Valley. The famous River Test is close by for perfect fishing and quaint villages to explore. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lainston Hotel Winchester

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