Hampshire, United Kingdom

Lime Wood

Rates from (inc tax)$264.76

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (21GBP), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Mannered modern manor

Setting

New Forest’s ancient capital

A stately pile fit for a royalty, the Lime Wood hotel in New Forest has a history dating back to the 13th century, where it began life as a hunting lodge. In the 1740s, the manor was reclaimed by the Duke of Clarence. Since then, it has had an elaborate makeover, with exquisitely designed interiors, an indulgent spa, fantastic eateries, and gorgeously landscaped grounds.

 

Smith Extra

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A bottle of champagne

Facilities

Photos Lime Wood Hotel – New Forest – United Kingdom

Need to know

Rooms

32, including 14 suites and two Forest Cottages.

Check–Out

12 noon. Earliest check‑in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $264.76 (£204), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP245.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates exclude breakfast (around £16.50 for Continental; £25 for full English).

At the hotel

Library of books and DVDs, pool, snooker and billiards, mountain bikes and wellies for guests, walking and running trails, valet parking, helipad, free WiFi throughout. The Herb House Spa has an indoor pool. In rooms: flatscreen TV, CD/DVD player, preloaded iPod, free bottled water and Bamford bath products.

Our favourite rooms

For honeymoon‑perfect privacy, go for Pavilion 1 – it’s separate from the main house and has a dramatic black vaulted ceiling, four‑poster bed and a roll‑top bath in an alcove overlooking the green pastures outside. The bedrooms in the main house are also high on romance, thanks mainly to the elegant Italian marble bathrooms in soft grey and white – Rooms 1 and 2 have bath tubs beneath wide sash windows, and Room 11 has double sinks and an enormous bathroom. If you like a quirky attic abode, plump for an Eaves room.

Poolside

The heated indoor swimming pool is family-friendly and has specific children’s swim (read: splashy) hours: from 8:30am to 10am Monday to Friday and from 8:30am to 11am on weekends and Bank Holidays. There’s also a hydrotherapy pool and an outdoor hot pool connected to the spa.

Spa

The Herb House spa is spread across three floors, with assorted treatment rooms (eight single, one double with steam room and garden, one bath house with indoor pool and steam room), a mud house, sauna, steam house, indoor pool, outdoor pool, sun deck with herb garden, a café offering uncooked or preserved food only and a bar serving juices straight from the garden.

Packing tips

Leave sensible shoes and coats at home – there’s a whole range of wellies and waterproofs to borrow.

Also

Pets are allowed in the outside lodgings – the Coach House, Crescent and Pavilions. In-room spa and beauty treatments can be arranged.

Pet‐friendly

Yes: in the outside rooms (the Coach House, Crescent and Pavilions), dogs stay for £30 a stay: beds and bowls are provided, as well as a Bonio wrapped up in a ribbon. See more pet-friendly hotels in Hampshire.

Children

Little Smiths are well looked after at Lime Wood – cots are £10, extra beds are £30; there’s a children’s menu and bikes and scooters on loan. Babysitting with a local nanny costs £60 an evening (48 hours’ notice required).

Food and Drink

Photos Lime Wood – Hampshire – United Kingdom

At the hotel

Chefs Angela Hartnett and Luke Holder (who have a formidable Michelin pedigree) plunder their British and Italian heritage, forage for fungi in neighbouring woods, hand rear their meat and cure it in the onsite Smokehouse to bring refined comfort food – on small, less formal plates – to Hartnett, Holder & Co. The dining space mixes aristocratic eccentricity with trattoria bric-a-brac, including an espresso machine, oak bar and Tracy Emin artwork; or guests can get cosy on a velvet corner sofa and split a sharing dish for more intimate affairs. Adjourn to The Courtyard for alfresco afternoon tea or opt for a leaner, but no less delectable, salad at Raw & Cured, the Herb House Spa’s café.

At the bar

The light and bright Courtyard Bar has cosy sofas and swivelly Chesterfield-style bar seating; it's a sociable place to enjoy a glass from their extensively researched wine list, a freshly shaken cocktail or a few bits to nibble from the grazing menu. Roasted heritage beetroot with goats cheese, arancini and comfort food including eggs and marmite toast and meatballs and Tuscan ragout are just some of the finger foods with flair on Hartnett Holder and Co's menu. 

Last orders

Breakfast is served in the Scullery between 7am and 11am. Hartnett Holder & Co serves lunch from 12 noon to 2.30pm, dinner from 6pm until 11pm. The grazing menu in the Courtyard Bar is served until 11pm.

Room service

Dishes from the Hartnett Holder and Co à la carte can be eaten in-room from 12 noon to 11pm. After hours (until 7am), a few select picks from the Courtyard Grazing menu can be brought to your room.

Location

Photos Lime Wood – Hampshire – United Kingdom
Address
Lime Wood
Beaulieu Road, Lyndhurst
SO43 7FZ
Hampshire
United Kingdom

Planes

Southampton airport is the nearest, a mere 15 miles away, or 25 minutes' drive. Bournemouth airport is 25 miles (40 minutes' drive) away.

Trains

The nearest station is Brockenhurst, a 10-minute drive (six miles) away with trains connecting you to Winchester, Southampton, Basingstoke and London – South West Trains (www.southwesttrains.co.uk) can whisk you here from London Waterloo in about 90 minutes.

Automobiles

The hotel is conveniently located just 20 minutes from Southampton and has free valet parking for guests, as well as an additional car park for spa- and restaurant-goers. A car's not essential if you're weekending here, but for longer stays you'll want one to get out and explore.

Worth getting out of bed for

Among its myriad charms, the hotel's cuisine is a stand-out, so take a cue from the talented kitchen team and attend a class at HH & Co Backstage: the on-site cookery school. Both beginners and masterchefs can learn insider tips and tricks from Angela Hartnett and Luke Holder, the duo behind the hotel's acclaimed restaurant. Full- and half-day courses range from risotto and pasta making, to cocktail mixing, to biscotti crafting. Get out into the country air for a spot of horse riding, archery, falconry or rambling. Stock up on seasonal fruit and veg at Warborne Farm (www.warbornefarm.co.uk), a mile and a half east of Lymington. Visit the vintage cars at the Motor Museum in Beaulieu (www.beaulieu.co.uk) then walk along the river to Buckler’s Hard (lovely at high tide). Take the ferry from Lymington to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, then hop on an open-top bus to see the Needles. Let Lime Wood know in advance and they'll arrange a kayak trip on the nearby Beaulieu River.

Local restaurants

At Beaulieu, call in at The Master Builder’s at Buckler’s Hard for lunch or dinner – this elegant rustic pub makes the most of the excellent local produce, turning a recent shoot’s venison into sausages and cooking up comforting Sunday roasts (+44 (0)1590 616253; www.themasterbuilders.co.uk). More locally sourced fare awaits at the Oak Inn on Pinkney Lane in Bank – seafood from Lymington in summer and game from within a five-mile radius in winter (+44 (0)23 8028 2350). For something more Continental, head to Franoi on the high street in Lyndhurst (+44 (0)23 8028 2745; www.franoi.co.uk), an Italian trattoria serving up authentic delights from Emilia Romagna.

Reviews

Photos Lime Wood – Hampshire – United Kingdom

Anonymous review

Spotting wild ponies and singing loudly to the Glee soundtrack in glorious evening sunshine isn’t a bad way to pass the time in the mother of all traffic jams. But then this is a Friday evening, and we are heading to Lyndhurst. Yet it is with peckers up that we turn off the Beaulieu Road to Lime Wood. In the style of the best country house hotel arrivals, we approach a suitably patrician Georgian house in golden stone along a sweeping drive flanked by well-tended lawns. Perfection. All we need is a dashingly handsome young man in a slightly self-conscious tweed cap to take our bags. Ah yes, there he is. Next, cheery front-of-housers joke with the children, ignoring chocolatey faces and bare feet. Lime Wood, you do welcomes very well indeed.

The new owners spent five years and untold millions creating a destination that offers the last word in out-of-town indulgence. The kind of place to spend your bonus admiring a beautiful view, pretending to be country types without leaving your freestanding bath. Lime Wood’s setting is stunning, and the building was handsome even before extensive remodeling, which has resulted in a fabulous central atrium with a retractable roof.

Imaginative annexes have been added to the 29-bedroom property, and an enormous spa, more Champneys than Chiva Som, is set to be booked solid by locals. The gardens are not yet mature, but are spectacular, and showcase excellent sculptures. Inside, David Collins’ decor has won awards, and is what I’d describe as Hotel Costes meets Daylesford: lots of silk upholstery in cool subdued colours and rustic touches applied with exquisite taste in Farrow & Ball. There’s even a basement billiard room with cigars and a massive screen for Sky Sports. The place simply reeks of cash.

And here are we with our mismatched luggage, too-cool 10-year-old tomboy and hot-pant-wearing four year old, alongside my exuberant entrepreneur Mr Smith. ‘This isn’t a business venture, this is a trophy asset,’ he decrees in less-than-subtle tones as we’re shown to our quarters. Is it a little house? A maisonette? Or a duplex? I’m not sure of terminology to suit such rarified surroundings, but there’s a rather lovely sitting room with a massive sofabed for the girls, French windows opening onto our own terrace, and the forest beyond. Upstairs, an opulent master suite displays an orgy of cushions on the bed and just as exrtravagant an array of fluffy towels in the bathroom.

After my second glass of complimentary wine, I declare our little corner of Lime Wood ‘New England show home’ in look. White painted slatted walls, exposed eaves, sisal matting, everything gleaming, no detail overlooked. (Actually, they forgot a corkscrew, but the nice tweed-capped chap soon puts that right.) There’s even fresh fruit and reference books to identify the local trees and tips on how to forage for mushrooms. Yes, there are two massive plasma TVs, but the kids are champing at the bit to choose from a rainbow of borrowable Hunter wellies and bikes. As there are not yet child seats or stabilisers, Mr Smith rediscovers the lost art of the ‘backie’ and we’re off.

Enid Blyton would be proud as we pedal away in the early evening sun, our cheery faces glowing as we explore cycle paths galore. A corner of England where sturdy ponies with fluffy hooves roam freely is undeniably special, especially when you can cycle energetically and safely down country lanes. And thankfully, as after 20 minutes our muscles start to burn, when it even promises world-class cocktails within reach.

Mealtimes are when hotels show their mettle, never more so than when they sell themselves as luxury hotels that actively welcome children. This isn’t a nursery tea and babysitters kind of place (though they are available) – no, this is a grown-up environment that is genuinely friendly towards kids. It’s a tricky path to navigate, and I heartily applaud any establishment that succeeds. There are two restaurants – the Scullery, for fantastic breakfasts, lunches and relaxed suppers, and also a full-on posh-crockery formal dining – and unusually, kids are welcome at both.

Dithering over cocktails in the atrium, we munch on olives as big as the gobstoppers we buy the next day in Lyndhurst’s Ye Olde Sweet Shoppe. From the all-adult, well-dressed clientele in the smart dining room, we consider stage exit left to the Scullery. Yet, feeling it our duty to you dear Mr & Mrs Smith reader to sample that tasting menu, we stay committed. Yes, we’re going Michelin-starred all for you. At this point we meet Lime Wood’s star, Cedric, the charming Belgian maître d’. Proffering not just top-drawer amuses bouches, he also suggests that our family might like the best table in the hotel… Seats at the chef’s table in the kitchen – a rare privilege, of course – and the best of the menus accompanied by the theatre of watching the chefs at work. It is a masterstroke of diplomacy and bonhomie.

In the sepia tint of this uncharacteristically clement spring weather, we turn back the clock to 1950, and go crab fishing on Mudeford Quay. Next thing we’re riding horses through the kind of ancient forest that Robin and his merry men would have happily capered about in. How comforting that should the heavens open, we could head back to Lime Wood, settle back against the scatter cushions, book a massage, and order tip-top room service. There’s no question that Lime Wood is a hotel prepared to go to any length to ensure its guests, whatever age, get what they want. It’s not what you’d call understated, and neither – having counted the Porsches and Ferraris in the car park – are its guests. But Lime Wood delivers on its promise of luxury, with genuine friendliness, and a damn-fine melon martinis. Welcome, ladies and gents, to the Nouveau Forêt.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Lime Wood’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The spa, the grounds, our suite. So many lovely walks. Visit Hurst Castle. 

Don’t expect

Book to eat at The Pig well in advance to avoid disappointment!

Rating

Stayed on 26 Aug 2016

We loved

The roof terrace, the relaxing vibe and the breakfast in bed. 8/10

Don’t expect

Privacy or calm at breakfast in the scullery. Tip top food - we went for the food but actually the rest of it was better than the restaurant. Good food, but not great.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Jul 2016

We loved

Gorgeous room, friendly professional staff, swimming pool and spa, Mr and Mrs Smith "extra" bottle of champagne that you could drink anywhere in the hotel. Lymington is lovely, as is Beaulieu. Visit the Beaulieu museum - a great day out.

Don’t expect

Check out the Mr & Mrs Smith deposit is removed from the bill. Ours wasn't!

Rating

Stayed on 4 Jul 2016

We loved

Our Forest Hideaway Suite, the Herb House spa, the wonderfully friendly and helpful staff. 

Don’t expect

To want to go home

Rating

Stayed on 15 Mar 2016

We loved

The setting, luxurious feel to the place and the spa. Take a walk in the new forest, the hotel has road bikes and helmets to use, as well as a wide array of hunter willies!

Don’t expect

In my opinion the service wasn't great in any of the restaurants. It's such a shame because the rest of the experience was fantastic.

Rating

Stayed on 3 Mar 2016

We loved

Pretty much everything: the food, the spa, the bar, Pavilion I, the rooms in the main house to relax in, and the grounds.

Don’t expect

Lively, buzzy atmosphere or fast access to town.

Rating

Stayed on 12 Feb 2016

We loved

Everything! Beautiful setting, lovely for walks in the countryside. The spa facilities are top-notch, stunning bedroom and fantastic food. We came here for a romantic weekend away and it was perfect. Very friendly staff and welcoming, relaxed atmosphere. Will certainly look to return.

Don’t expect

Complimentary breakfast – delicious though it is, you will have to pay for it.

Rating

Stayed on 5 Feb 2016

We loved

The impeccable service, relaxed atmosphere and superb food.

Don’t expect

Complete unlimited use of all facilities.

Rating

Stayed on 1 Feb 2016

We loved

The beautiful surroundings, elegant and comfortable rooms, incredible food and great hospitality.

Don’t expect

A complimentary breakfast; even a small basket of pastries and toast is £8 per person, although it is absolutely delicious!

Rating

Stayed on 21 Jan 2016

We loved

The super friendly service from every member of staff, outstanding food, great bar, and beautiful setting. We loved the variety of gin and tonic cocktails on offer!

Don’t expect

It is what it is, a stunning country hotel in the middle of the New Forest, don't expect wild nightlife.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Jan 2016

We loved

Everything. The restaurant is excellent – relaxed atmosphere and the food is top class. The bar area in the courtyard is stunning and well worth spending an hour or two enjoying some cocktails. Rooms are of very high quality. The spa is excellent and facilities well laid out – the spa tub, steam room sauna is in a separate area to the pool, but still connected by a door. The grounds are lovely, and for relaxation it is perfect – the main house has a huge numebr fo small rooms on the ground floor to hideaway and read a book or paper and feels very private.

Don’t expect

A loud noisy party atmosphere.

Rating

Stayed on 8 Jan 2016

We loved

The food!

Don’t expect

It to be a very formal place.

Rating

Stayed on 14 Dec 2015

We loved

The peace and quiet in beautiful surroundings both inside and outside the hotel. The eaves room was spacious and there was everything there you could wish for. Staff were attentive yet discrete.

Rating

Stayed on 5 Oct 2015

We loved

A beautifully designed and finished hotel with lovely rooms, friendly, helpful staff and an excellent restaurant. Very difficult to fault it. We all agreed we would (and will) go back in a heartbeat! The best hotel we have stayed in in England for some time.

Don’t expect

An old building with all its problems. There may be a core of an old property but everything that matters is half a dozen or so years old although the feel is of a classical property of Georgian origin.

Rating

Stayed on 2 Sep 2015

We loved

The spa! Great massage from Sophie. The pools were fabulous too and so it didn't matter that it was pouring with rain all day!

Don’t expect

We couldn't get the coffee machine to work in our room but that's not the end of the world and we could have asked for help so it seems a bit trivial to mention it.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Aug 2015

We loved

Beautiful hotel and grounds. We loved our room and the outdoor pool and terrace area. The food and service were also excellent.

Don’t expect

Complimentary breakfast which is a shame given the price of the rooms. Also was tricky to get a table for dinner at the time we would like although the staff did their best to accommodate us, it would be nice if guests were given priority over dinner reservations.

Rating

Stayed on 7 Aug 2015

We loved

The beuatiful hotel grounds, and the friendliness of the staff. The spa was fantastic too. We had our 1 year old baby. she loved the pool, although limited hours only.

Don’t expect

Lively nightlife. The bar was pretty quiet after dinner.

Rating

Stayed on 11 Jun 2015

We loved

The Spa was exceptional. I loved the gorgeous country walks, the food and the blissfully peaceful surroundings. The service was great too.

Don’t expect

Nothing could be improved on the location. It's the best I have ever stayed at.

Rating

Stayed on 23 Jan 2015

We loved

The spa was incredible, the rooms, the dining areas and the bar.

Don’t expect

The service at the bar was slightly slow at times.

Rating

Stayed on 14 Oct 2014