If you are starting to feel tired and need an easy luxury escape not far from London , then I can really recommend Limewood Hotel. We’ve been there shortly after they opened and then returned either as a family or just the two of us for about 6 times now!
We tried it at the end of November when Mademoiselle had an inset day or in the spring a few years later when she was on her Duke of Edinburgh practice weekend.
This time we were excited to discover the refreshed design by Susie Atkinson.
Limewood Hotel is of a class of its own. It’s a five star luxury hotel set in the beautiful New Forest where horses and pigs wander freely. So the first thing you do is don your wellies (borrowed from the boots room) and go for a walk. The second thing you do is settle in your lovely room.
Limewood hotel – which room to choose?
We have stayed in the main building and in the outside pavilions. Often for families, they will recommend that you book a Forest Hideaway Suite. The pavilions are separated by a short walk from the main building. The benefit is that you get a lounge downstairs where Mademoiselle slept and open fireplaces! Bathrooms have wonderful fluffy towels and rain showers. All in all very luxurious.
We do tend to prefer staying in the main house though. We had a lovely room just the two of us the first time we went as a couple but the rooms which acommodate children are good too. Your child will either sleep in the separate lounge area or at the end of your bed.
Being in the main house means that room service comes to you warmer and also that, in colder months, you can just go down to breakfast without puting a coat on.
MAY 2022 UPDATE: THE NEW DESIGN
The new interior design by Susie Atkinson brings more simplicity and modernity to the rooms.
Carefully selected pieces such as ceramics or lights make the rooms very on trend but in a subtle way.
The main common rooms have only be slightly touched as the original design stood the test of times.
Watch the video below for a taste of the new design and if you want to compare, I am leaving the previous video room tour narrated by a young Mademoiselle.
Delicious food at the Angela and Hartnett Holder & Co
In the main hotel, the restaurant and the courtyard have been refurnished and are much more welcoming than before. The food by Angela Hartnett is delicious, quite simple but full of flavour.
As they have now stopped serving lunch in the room where you have breakfast, it is much less busy in the hotel than when it opened. At the time, there were a lot of ladies who lunch even during the week.
It is now used for afternoon tea.
The bar in the courtyard area serves good cocktail and you can also order more relaxed food there. Everything on the menu is also available for room service.
MAY 2022 UPDATE: NEW AREA
We particularly enjoyed the lunches this year. We had them all in the courtyard bar. A selection of delicious cold meats and Italian flavoured salads (tomatoes, eggplant with mozzarella..) donned with a glass of rosé were delightful.
They created a new area adjoint to the main restaurant and clearly intent as a garden restaurant. It must be lovely on a warm day.
However they kept that area open for our diner and the cold draft really was unpleasant. If you have diner there make sure to ask for a table in one of the warmer corners!
Great spa with updated hours of swimming for kids.
Fortunately, the spa is peaceful and has a lovely hydrotherapy space with a warm pool (the main indoor pool is a bit cold said Mademoiselle and I agree), big sauna, hamam, and power water jets.
MAY 2022 UPDATE
Following my previous rant about the swimming hours for children being cut short, it’s good to see that this has been reverted.
They can now swim Monday – Sunday from 8.00am – 10.00am Friday to Sunday & Bank Holidays from 5.00pm – 6.30pm In addition, they are running a 30-minute Teenage swimming session for 12-18 year olds from Friday to Sunday 6.30 – 7.30pm with a maximum capacity of 3 teenagers per lane.
Our verdict on Limewood hotel in summary
There is a true sense of luxury when you are secluded in your room and the surroundings are beautiful. The food is great and if you don’t come with kids you can really enjoy the wonderful spa.
Good choice of food and lovely grown garden and trees make it a sure bet. We will be back.
What we liked
What could be improved
My tips for your family holidays
- There are many activities for children in the New Forest so you won’t be short of ideas to entertain them.
- One of the closest is Paultons Park which has a Peppa Pigg world, perfect for toddlers. It’s only 20 minutes from the hotel. I do recommend going there at the end of November as it was really not busy and we were getting on the rides as soon as we had decided to try them.
- The restaurant does half size portions of the main dishes (all Italian inspired so lots of pasta) and has a light graze menu perfect for small appetites
- No need to take your welly boots (only you have an unusual size) as they have plenty of them including kids’sizes.
- You can borrow bikes (with child seats or child carrier) to cirle around the area.
Limewood Hotel, New Forest
- 16 bedrooms
- 14 suites
- 2 forest cottages
- From £385
- Rates exclude breakfast which is at £16.50 per person
- Cots are £10, extra beds are £30
- The simple menu is actually perfect for kids with favourites such as bangers and mash, ravioli, etc. You can also order small portions of the main menu dishes
- Pool but only from 8:30 to 10 am
- Heated indoor pool
- Outdoor heated pool (but not for laps)
- Hydrotherapy pools in the Spa
- Wellington boots to borrow in every size