Hampshire, United Kingdom

Lime Wood

Rates per night from$321.52

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 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP249.17), 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.

 

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Facilities

Photos Lime Wood facilities

Need to know

Rooms

32, including 14 suites and two Forest Cottages.

Check–Out

Noon. Earliest check‑in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $321.52 (£249), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

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, Roberts radio, reusable water bottle and Bamford bath products.

Our favourite rooms

For honeymoon‑perfect privacy, pick the Pavilion Forest Lodge – it’s separate from the main house and has a four‑poster bed, a private terrace overlooking the countryside and a roll‑top bath in the bay window. 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 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 soul-soothing Herb House spa is spread across three floors, with assorted treatment rooms (eight single, two double and one for manis and pedis), a mud house, sauna, steam house, indoor pool with serene forest views, steamingly-hot outdoor pool, sun deck with a herb garden and the Raw & Cured café serving fresh smoothies, juices and other virtuous treats. The 'Matt Roberts' gym is fitted out with the latest equipment and you can take an extensive range of group fitness classes in the studio.

Packing tips

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

Also

In-room spa and beauty treatments can be arranged. A two night minimum stay is required at weekends.

Pet‐friendly

Yes: in the outside rooms (the Coach House, Crescent and Pavilions), dogs stay for £30 a stay: beds and bowls are provided. 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 food and drink

Top Table

Pick a quiet table for two by the window, or ask to dine at the chef’s table in the kitchen.

Dress Code

There’s a grown-up manor feel, so clean off the country muck before dinner.

Hotel restaurant

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. Don't be surprised if you have a healthy glow after a stay at Lime Wood – the hotel has worked with celebrity nutritionist Amelia Freer to incorporate her food philosophy in many of their menus. 

Hotel 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 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 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 location
Address
Lime Wood
Beaulieu Road, Lyndhurst
Hampshire
SO43 7FZ
United Kingdom

Set in neatly manicured grounds on the outskirts of the New Forest, near to Lyndhurst, Lime Wood is easily accessible from London and close to Southampton.

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.

Other

There's also a helipad (call ahead if you're planning on making a big entrance): N50:51:52, W01:33:11, OS: 196 (SU) 314073.

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's 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 and 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, a mile and a half east of Lymington. Visit Beaulieu, then walk along the river to Buckler’s Hard hamlet (lovely at high tide). 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. 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. For something more Continental, head to Fra Noi on the high street in Lyndhurst, an Italian trattoria serving up authentic delights from foodie region Emilia-Romagna.

Reviews

Photos Lime Wood reviews
Katie Derham

Anonymous review

By Katie Derham, Prom queen

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 or villa, 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 relaxed atmosphere. All the staff were friendly and very willing to help with any and all requests. The room, a spacious one, was exactly that. The bathroom was a good size as well. The food was excellent both in the hotel and in the spa.

Don’t expect

Disco nights!

Rating

Stayed on 8 Sep 2019

We loved

We really loved the hotel and spa. It was very luxurious and we liked the style of the hotel. The grounds were also lovely. The mini bar was very impressive! The food at dinner was delicious and the service was good. The spa was very relaxing and I had a wonderful massage. The showers were powerful and I liked the Bamford toiletries. My only real criticism of the weekend is that breakfast is not included in the room rate and was then quite expensive. There were also very few staff at breakfast and we waited a long time to order and to get food which wasn't great when it cost an additional £50. Overall I loved it – it was relaxing and a real treat.

Don’t expect

Don't expect to get much change out of £800 for one night's stay with dinner and breakfast.

Rating

Stayed on 1 Sep 2019

We loved

We had such a wonderful stay at Limewood. The room was fabulous, the spa was amazing and the food was delicious. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful.

Rating

Stayed on 17 Aug 2019

We loved

The paintings in the various common spaces like the drawing room, library and courtyard dining area. We also loved the breakfast room! The garden is wonderful and we appreciated the open space. The spa and pool are very nice. The food is utterly delicious!

Don’t expect

A prompt or welcoming check-in; we had to wait and chase up that our rooms were ready. The reception staff need to learn to show more warmth in welcoming guests! Don't expect to have your room made up by lunchtime, ours was still not cleaned by 15:30.

Rating

Stayed on 22 Jul 2019

We loved

The staff, the spa and walks through the forest. Amazing quality restaurant and staff who are just the right amount of attentive. The bar and its amazing sun roof!

Don’t expect

Wild nights out.

Rating

Stayed on 9 Jun 2019

We loved

The spa was amazing and the breakfast was excellent. We loved the walking trail suggestions left in our room and the reusable drink bottles which you can fill up around the hotel and keep. Our room was much bigger than we expected which was a great surprise. It was our first wedding anniversary and the staff really went out of their way to spoil us.

Don’t expect

Not to feel totally relaxed and pampered.

Rating

Stayed on 8 Jun 2019

We loved

The spa, main restaurant and the friendly staff.

Rating

Stayed on 12 Apr 2019

We loved

The staff were very welcoming, the house is beautiful - it's definitely a hotel stay where we wanted to spend time in the common spaces rather than just tucked away in our room. Loved the bar (delicious cocktails) and the restaurant for dinner. Our bathroom was huge and had a beautiful marble design. Both bathroom and bedroom had lovely big windows with a country view. The bed was super comfy. We really enjoyed the 4-mile walk suggested in the map in the room. This hotel feels tucked away from it all but had enough buzz from the other residents to feel like a good mix.

Rating

Stayed on 27 Mar 2019

We loved

Our cabin room and tub overlooking the small pond. Cool, wintry walks in the forest. Amazing food even breakfast was just outstanding.

Don’t expect

Lively nights.

Rating

Stayed on 19 Jan 2019

We loved

We loved everything: the staff, the rooms, the decor, the service, the location in New Forest, the food and the spa facilities. The gym offers classes, too, that residents may attend and wellies are provided for walks in the forest. The games room includes snooker and chess, so there is plenty to do.

Don’t expect

Don't expect to be disappointed!

Rating

Stayed on 3 Jan 2019

We loved

It's always an enjoyable stay at Limewood – the setting is incredible, the facilities are superbly maintained and the staff are cognizant of providing a truly individual experience. We have stayed in a variety of different rooms and all have been excellent! We are already looking forward to our next stay at Limewood.

Rating

Stayed on 2 Jan 2019

We loved

Service, room with an open fire and lovely spa.

Don’t expect

An automatic table in the restaurant – book ahead.

Rating

Stayed on 14 Dec 2018

We loved

Gorgeous suite in the main house with lovely view over the grounds and very comfortable four-poster bed. The spa facilities are spectacular - spacious, great variety, loads of pump pressure. And it's a lovely area for walks in the New Forest. And we had a wonderful dinner in the Hartnett Holder restaurant, followed by a few gins from the wide selection on offer.

Don’t expect

Wild nightlife – bring your own!

Rating

Stayed on 7 Nov 2018

We loved

The staff were brilliant and so was the food.

Rating

Stayed on 14 Aug 2018

We loved

The informality of the staff, who didn't wear uniforms. Suite was excellent and food was delicious especially the cream tea. Lovely grounds and great location.

Rating

Stayed on 13 Aug 2018

We loved

The standard of the rooms was exceptional. Quiet and luxurious. The spa was excellent but not busy. Lunches at Raw were amazing.

Rating

Stayed on 8 Aug 2018

We loved

The food, the spa and staff were fabulous; a perfect place to really get away from it all and be pampered.

Don’t expect

To want to leave.

Rating

Stayed on 6 Jul 2018

We loved

We love everything about this hotel and try and go at least once a year. Great location with direct access to the forest and the hotel and spa are amazing.

Don’t expect

Lively nights.

Rating

Stayed on 14 May 2018

We loved

We loved everything about this hotel. We had one of the rooms above the main entrance, looking down the long drive, which was elegant and spacious. The food is excellent and we still keep talking about the risotto! We appreciated the postcards in our room detailing different options for walks. We can't wait to return!

Don’t expect

Don't expect to want to leave.

Rating

Stayed on 2 Apr 2018

We loved

Loved the hotel, the service, the spa, the restaurant, the bar, the room with fireplace, the location with direct access to the New Forest.

Rating

Stayed on 9 Mar 2018

We loved

We loved everything about this spa. The best spa I have stayed in, truly relaxing, beautiful surroundings, absolutely wonderful treatment and delicious food! Could not recommend more! So many gorgeous walks nearby. Can also go to The Pig for some great food for lunch or dinner.

Don’t expect

Not a place for young children.

Rating

Stayed on 14 Jan 2018

We loved

Absolutely everything.

Don’t expect

To have to complain about anything.

Rating

Stayed on 19 Nov 2017