Newest Review: ... very far in the future so it would not be possible to use it and therefore was not of any benefit to us. The hotel is easy to find and it ... more
Lodge in the Forest
Forest Lodge Hotel (Hampshire)
Member Name: pinkpowderpuff
Forest Lodge Hotel (Hampshire)
Advantages: Swimming pool, location
Disadvantages: too posh food
The Forest Lodge Hotel was built in 1820 and was used as a hunting box by King George IV. The hotel retains much of its Georgian architecture and stands in its own grounds. It is located on the outskirts of the village of Lyndhurst in the heart of The New Forest in Hampshire. It is part of a chain of 4 hotels that come under the banner of New Forest Country House Hotels. This means that each hotel can be centrally booked and have the same cost and promotions. The guests have use of the other hotelsí facilities but this is not that relevant as, even though they are all in The New Forest, they are not exactly round the corner from each other and anyway the facilities are much the same in them all.
My family, including two small children, stayed half board within a midweek break promotion. This meant that the children were accommodated free as they stayed in our room (where else would they stay?) and there was no family room supplement. Also on departure we were given a voucher for a substantial reduction on the price of a return visit. Unfortunately the expiry date of the voucher was not very far in the future so it would not be possible to use it and therefore was not of any benefit to us.
The hotel is easy to find and it has just about enough parking spaces within easy reach of the entrance. However it is set on one of the main roads into Lyndhurst and we would get caught in traffic jams when trying to get to and from the hotel. Coming from a big city at the time, it was surprising to experience this in the country but we were used to such occurrences and were not bothered by it. It was only a short walk down the road to go into the village and this would be the recommended means if that were where you are heading. There is a big one-way system in operation and it can take awhile to get round it with all the congestion. Then again, right opposite the hotel we could see New Forest ponies so, for us, it was a nice, convenient spot.
We stayed in a comfortable family room with space for an extra bed for the older child and a cot for the baby. It was nicely furnished and included an en-suite bathroom, colour television and hot drink making facilities. However, our room was located about the furthest possible distance from reception up a flight of stairs and along a maze of uneven corridors and separating fire doors. So it was quite a trek there and back with all of our luggage and without any assistance. There are some ground floor bedrooms so wheelchair accessibility is fine. However these ground floor bedrooms are not family rooms.
The main feature of the hotel that attracted us was the indoor, heated swimming pool. It is a good size with an interesting mural on one wall. The pool is mostly too deep for the kids to stand but with armbands and supervision they are perfectly safe. This was a lovely place to relax in for an hour or so before dinner after a day out in the wonderful countryside. It was easily accessible down some steps in the centre of the hotel. There is also a sauna and fitness room but since we didnít get the opportunity to use them, I cannot comment further.
Breakfast and dinner were served in the elegant restaurant, which was laid out with plenty of room between tables. It was good food, just a bit too posh and fancy for the kids who would have enjoyed simpler food set more to their tastes. We found it was best to get to the lounge outside the restaurant early for dinner in order to order our meal before entering the restaurant. This was to get served as soon as possible to minimise the length of time spent with impatient children at table. (Our children usually eat earlier than their serving times so were pretty hungry by then.) A big breakfast buffet is laid on each morning plus the option of cooked English breakfast. We adults could thus stock up in order to last right through until dinner and then we only had to be concerned for the childrenís lunches.
There is a pleasant bar area and another lounge area where there were board games and puzzles available for all guests. We enjoyed playing with them before and after dinner. This simple but effective little touch was a valuable contribution to keeping our children entertained. In fact we bought junior monopoly on our return home after road testing it here!
Reception had lots and lots of leaflets advertising places to visit in the surrounding area. This was very useful in giving us plenty of ideas of things to do that we were not previously aware of at home before our visit
We had a lovely stay at this hotel. It was a good central base for our daily, outside activities in The New Forest area
Summary: We had a lovely stay at this hotel. It was a good central base for our daily, outside activities in
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