There's been so much hype surrounding Lime Wood that I was prepared to be disappointed. But I wasn't. It truly is impressive.
The whole feel of the hotel is Chelsea (or Mayfair) meets the New Forest. My partner said the decor reminded him of George, the Mayfair club. Let's just say it's an updated version of the country hotel that's also relaxed and very comfy.
Our first-floor Forest Suite was a corner room in the main house. It was luxurious, with two TVs, two wardrobes, and a seriously good bathroom. A few things kept it from being perfect. First, the hotel allows guests to park outside the hotel's entrance, which was directly under our room. A car alarm went off in the middle of the night, and it wasn't pleasant. I think the hotel should require guests to keep their cars in the car park, which is a bit away from the hotel. The other side of the room looked over a terrace, where people sat with their drinks. So there's a bit of a privacy issue with the room (no. 2), as people can definitely see in. You can hear them, and they you. The final issue was the lack of air conditioning. There should have been cross-ventilation, as it's a corner room. But the windows couldn't be opened more than about three inches (for safety and security reasons, I assume), so the room felt a little bit stuffy during the heatwave.
We had dinner twice in the Hartnett Holder restaurant and enjoyed it. It's good value for a restaurant headed by a celebrity chef. Service was knowledgeable, friendly, and attentive.
Breakfast was similarly good. All of the food we had in the hotel tasted fresh and homemade. We even came across one of the chefs foraging in the forest.
Speaking of the New Forest, it's a quintessentially English one -- lovely and unthreatening. Some of the clearings look like they could be putting greens. There are wild ponies, but they're so used to people that they don't even acknowledge your presence. Nothing dangerous at all here except for deer ticks!
I had a couple of treatments at the spa, and they were both excellent.
We had an issue with our bill. The restaurant had added someone else's dinner to it. If we hadn't checked, we would have overpaid by about a hundred pounds. The front desk took it off as soon as we pointed it out, but you should definitely check your bill carefully.
We asked the front desk to order us a taxi to take us back to the train station. The taxi was running late, so the hotel offered to drive us in their Range Rover. Little things like that definitely make a difference!
In summary, this is now one of the UK's best country hotels.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Lime Wood, a boutique country house hotel in England, is set in the heart of the New Forest National Park, 1.5 miles from the small town of Lyndhurst and just an hour and a half drive from London. We like to think of ourselves as a luxury country house hotel with a difference. We've used Lime Wood's classical structure as the basis of our design but we've lovingly renovated it with a fresh approach, reviving its architecture and grounds. We've kept the spirit of its past, taken inspiration from its extraordinarily beautiful surroundings and added the odd contemporary twist to bring it to life. The food is by Luke Holder and Angela Hartnett. With its proximity to London, our New Forest boutique hotel really is the ultimate countryside getaway; perfect for weekend breaks, a dash from the city, or an escape from home; whatever your motivations, we can't wait to show you around. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lime Wood Hotel Lyndhurst, New Forest National Park Hampshire