Extensive, beautifully kept grounds with walking trails
Plush rooms with marble bathrooms and big tubs
Spa with three pools, a gym, and a natural food bar
Brasserie-style restaurant serving Italian-influenced English food
24-hour room service
Free use of bicycles
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Free on-site parking
Not walking distance to the closest village (Lyndhurst)
Rooms above the restaurant can be noisy
Restaurant gets mixed reviews
Lime Wood Hotel is easily the top luxury option in New Forest National Park, and those who can afford it will almost certainly enjoy its gorgeous common areas, plush rooms with large bathtubs, verdant grounds crisscrossed with walking trails, and three-story spa with three pools. The restaurant serving Italian-influenced English food with local ingredients is marketed as a foodie destination, but some past guests complain that the food isn't worth the price; there are no other options within walking distance. Still, almost everything else about the hotel oozes grandeur and it is a good choice for anyone looking to be pampered. Those looking for a slightly more affordable option in the park might consider the upscale Montagu Arms or Careys Manor, but neither can match Lime Wood's level of luxury.
Georgian mansion remodeled to offer modern opulence
Tucked away at the end of a winding country road, the 32-room Lime Wood Hotel is a classic Georgian country manor set on beautifully kept grounds. The two-story cream-colored house was completely refurbished in 2008 and has modern English-country decor. The mood is set by the butter-yellow lobby with a chandelier and a marble fireplace. There are two rooms for reading and relaxation: the dusty-green Morning Room and the lavender Drawing Room. Both have plush furniture and modern paintings, and there's even a grand piano in the Drawing Room. Floor-to-ceiling windows give glimpses of the well-manicured grounds with striking sculptures, which can be explored via many walking/biking trails that stretch off into the distance. The hotel is spotless down to the white-tiled floors in the hallways and eclectically combines antique decor and art with more contemporary furnishings. It's an expensive place to say and, as such, most of the guests here are leisure travelers in search of a decadent of getaway.
In the New Forest National Park, just outside of Lyndhurst
The hotel is located in the New Forest National Park, a four-minute drive (or half-hour walk) from the village of Lyndhurst. As there's nothing in the immediate vicinity, a car or bicycle is a good idea; fortunately, the hotel offers bicycles that guests can borrow for free. There are a few restaurants and shops in Lyndhurst, and there's a large golf course north of town. It's a 10-minute drive to the closest train station, Ashurst New Forest. All the major sights within the park are within easy driving distance: It's an 12-minute drive to Beaulieu, where the 13th-century Palace House is located; a 12-minute drive to the New Forest Wildlife Park; 18-minute drive to Buckler's Hard, an 18th-century village with maritime history; and a 20-minute drive to the famous Exbury Gardens.
Plush rooms with large marble bathrooms and minibars
The rooms at the Lime Wood Hotel have the same plush, sophisticated furniture found in the common areas. Most are decdorated in a calming, understated palette of gray, tan, and cool blue, and every room has a king-size bed and large windows that let in lots of natural light. The marble bathrooms are enormous, with lighted mirrors and huge bathtubs, plus separate walk-in showers. All rooms come with electric kettles, minibars, flat-screen TVs with satellite channels and DVD players, iPod docks with iPods, safes, hairdryers, and bathrobes/slippers. Steer clear of rooms located above the restaurant, as patrons can be noisy and the soundproofing isn't great.
Those looking to curl up by fire should book a Forest Cottage or Forest Lodge; some of the Forest Hideaway Suites have fireplaces as well. Rooms are located either in the main house or in several buildings across the grounds -- the Pavillions, the Crescent, or the Couch House. Many rooms have beautiful views of the forest and some have balconies or French doors leading to patios.
Three-story spa and on-site restaurant, plus 24-hour room service and free Wi-Fi
A major draw of the Lime Wood Hotel is the Herb House, a three-story spa with a Roman-style caldarium, a sauna, a hydropool, an indoor swimming pool, a steaming outdoor hot pool, a natural food bar, and a gym with fitness classes and personal trainers. There is also a gourmet, brasserie-style restaurant that serves Italian-influenced English food, though some guests have found food to be too salty and not worth the exorbitant prices. The dishes do incorporate local, seasonal ingredients, however, including from the hotel's own gardens and smoke house. Cakes and a huge selection of teas can be enjoyed in The Courtyard. The hotel provides free Wi-Fi, free parking, and 24-hour room service, and dry cleaning is available for a fee.