Having arrived in the New Forest 2 days previously with a surprise weekend, with friends, at Lime Wood I didn't really know how my 40th birthday celebrations could get any better!
I quickly realised as we pulled up outside the impressive frontage and warmly greeted by a smart and very quick witted doorman that I was one very lucky lady!
We were told to leave the car and our belongings and were shown around the lounges and restaurant by an incredibly professional and respectful member of the reception team (he said to me "I believe this is a special celebration is this something that you are happy for us to acknowledge!" How very tactful!
Our treehouse wasn't yet ready (it was 2pm after all) so we enjoyed a delicious cup of tea and homemade flapjack amongst other treats with a wonderful backdrop of sunshine and a pianist no less (this may have been due to it being Sunday lunchtime?) which we loved!
We then hopped into one of the few dedicated golf carts which are available night and day to transport you too and from the Treehouses (ours was Spruce the very last Treehouse so a good 10 minute walk away from the main hotel and spa)!
Upon our arrival my expectations where again exceeded as we quickly realised they had unloaded our jam packed car (I had no less than 40 presents plus pretty much all of my wardrobe just in case!) So all that was left for us to do was open all the bi-folding doors, strike a match to the wood burner and open the champagne!
The Treehouse was nothing like I had imagined, far more spacious and luxurious- see photos! (I have never seen so many fluffy towels/soaps and magazines in any hotel bathroom before) it had THE biggest Bath, albeit that the plug didn't work, built in TV, that you couldn't switch off!, fantastic monsoon shower and not forgetting the underfloor heating all of which overlooked the woodland.
I was pleased that we had no Neighbours (there are two treehouses per pod) because actually our decks are only divided by a canvas sail which isn't 100% flush to the wall and when you have your own hot tub it's nice not to have to worry about your neighbours seeing you!
Sadly due to a design fault (so the very friendly maintenance guy told us) we couldn't use half of our deck as every few moments a waterfall crashed down from the flat roof (even though it wasn't raining) and made the deck incredibly slippy and the table and chairs er well very wet and unusable. This was annoying especially as it was an incredible mild few days that we were there in January, however, the alternative was to fling open all the doors and snuggle up in the ginormous bed and enjoy breakfast, a tough life!
You really do have everything you need in your treehouse, a fridge stocked with water and milk, state of the art coffee machine, teas, homemade biscuits upon arrival (shame there not re-stocked each day) so actually you don't need to leave during your entire stay! (perfect for honeymooners) we ordered one of the delicious suppers from the hamper menu (all done via the ipad like system
which was very user friendly). We could have requested the meal be left in the hatch (like they do for breakfast) but we were happy for them to come in and they laid up the table (sadly not with linen) I had the Lobster curry and my husband the Buffalo lasagne as our main course and they were fantastic!
Breakfast was delivered via the hatch at 7:30 each morning (not a requested time) and as I am a light sleeper I did hear them but I don't think you can avoid this unless you ask them just to leave it by you front door)!
Each morning was slightly different, smoked salmon, cream cheese and a bagel one day muesli another porridge, fresh fruit! Always accompanied with such a generous amount of mini croissants, pain au chocolate, muffins, breads and dawn pressed juices wonderfully fresh and super filling! (So probably just as well the don't re-stock the biscuits!)
I used the gym (much needed after the afore mentioned breakfasts) which was well equipped but sadly the staff just weren't welcoming or anywhere near as helpful as the other staff members we had met. Indeed I barely was greeted with a hello and felt awkward having to ask where the gym was! I did, however, attend two very good class's in their studio where the instructor was fantastic and super friendly (I would advise to pre-book as they were busy classes!)
So my actual birthday arrives and we took their advice of a lovely wonder through the grounds and down to the beach (highly recommended) we headed back and I was greeted with a lovely card, balloon and delicious Champagne from the Chewton Glen team which was a really lovely touch and very much appreciated.
I then had a further treat of having my make up done (I opted for a smoky eye which I wouldn't ever normally choose) I was pleasantly surprised, sadly my husbands shave wasn't at all what he had experienced before, having a five o'clock shadow just a few hours later! they didn't charge us for this when he raised it with one of the Management team).
That night we headed to the bar enjoying a delicious champagne cocktail before dining in Vetiver and we absolutely had to have the 7 course taster menu with accompanying flight of wines (the sommelier was superb) and it did not disappoint it truly was a meal to remember, sadly seeing the newly appointed Assistant Restaurant Manager shouting and hissing at one of the junior staff members most of the evening didn't leave such a great taste in our mouths!
We headed to the spa late the next night and continued our unwind - we near enough had the place to ourselves as it was 7:30pm! It was wonderful although a shame that both the sauna and steam rooms are located in the changing rooms so my husband and I couldn't enjoy these together!
Overall I felt very lucky to be celebrating at Chewton Glen, however, there where a few things that would make us question wether we stay there again especially having had such a wonderful few days at Lime Wood previously!
My husband did discuss our concerns (a few additional issues not mentioned in this review) with
The Management Team and they were hugely apologetic and incredibly generous in an attempt to reconcile our stay,indeed, offering a free overnight stay in the coming year! Sadly my first thought rather than excitement is it's a long way from our home in Cambridge!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An English Original. Chewton Glen is a luxury hotel and spa set in 130 acres of Hampshire countryside on the edge of the New Forest National Park and just a few minutes walk from the sea.12 new luxury treehouse suites now open. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Chewton Glen Hotel New Milton
- Chewton Glen Hotel And Spa
- Hotel Chewton Glen
- Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa New Milton, Hampshire, UK