After a busy 2011, we were delighted to be invited down the New Forest to stay at the Bartley Lodge Hotel, one of 4 hotels in the area which are part of the New Forest Hotels chain.
Bartley Lodge is promoted as a family-friendly hotel, and we were looking forward to seeing how it family-friendly it would be for our family – 2 adults and our 2 and 3 yr old children!
Arrival at Bartley Lodge did not disappoint. Easy to find, just minutes from the main M27, yet set in what feels like the middle of the forest, as the entrance to the hotel takes you up a long, winding drive… instantly you feel transported to a much calmer place!
The staff on reception were excellent – they engaged with our children and chatted about our impending visit to Peppa Pig World – it was lovely to be in such beautiful surroundings (the hotel is lovely – has just been through a refurbishment and doesn’t disappoint) and also have the staff be welcoming of all the family members, not just the adults!
They were very accommodating of allowing us to book an earlier table in the Dining Room (which isn’t meant to open until 7pm, but they were flexible allowing us to eat at 6.30pm to fit in with the kids bedtimes a little better).
Our room was great! We were staying in a Verderer Room, which is one of the larger size bedrooms, and just perfect for a family. Equipped with everything you could need, and even a little bunk bed tucked around the corner from the double bed where we were sleeping for the children. Bed guards were provided, as was a cot (as we weren’t sure which bed our youngest would prefer). Even with all this furniture in the room , there was plenty of space for the kids to play on the floor and for us to store our things. The rooms are also equipped through the internal phones with a baby-listening service. Unfortunately, on the night we were there, I was feeling quite unwell and opted for an early night, but it is a great option for any family who wants to put their children down for the night, and then when settled pop back down to the bar.
The quality of the food in the restaurant was excellent. The kids barely looked at the menu that evening and simply asked for Sausage, chips and peas – which the kitchen obliged with no problems (and they were the most delicious looking sausages I have ever seen!!!) The atmosphere was great – I was slightly worried about being in a formal dining room with two young children (who don’t sit still at the best of times!) but they were welcomed and the ambience of the dining room meant that we didn’t feel awkward. There were some teething issues with the service we experienced in the restaurant, but these seem to be the result of the change in staff teams which has just been undertaken at Bartley Lodge – and am sure these will be quickly resolved, as the quality of service everywhere else in the hotel was first class.
Breakfast in the morning was good – a wide array to choose from, and we followed this by a walk through the grounds. Some more outdoor activities for the little ones would be a fantastic enhancement to the hotel, but nevertheless our children enjoyed having a go with the croquet set, and the Giant Connect 4 games in the garden.
Bartley Lodge is also so close to the heart of the New Forest and the very popular Peppa Pig World. Both Lyndhurst – a quaint town to wander around (with a very useful Tourist Information shop to discover all the features of the New Forest) and Peppa Pig world were literally just a short 5-10 minute drive from the hotel… and being so close to the main motorway route into the New Forest, it was also easy for our getaway once our stay came to the end.
So for any family who wish to stay somewhere where they will be made to feel welcome and special – New Forest Hotels should be on your list – especially as it is the perfect way to take a mini-break where you can enjoy the beauty of the New Forest as well as the attractions of Peppa Pig World – truly something for everyone!
See http://www.newforesthotels.co.uk/ for more information
Peppa Pig Packages
Based on 2 adults and 2 children all requiring tickets staying at Bartley Lodge – 2 nights in a family Verderer room with 1 day Peppa Pig World tickets will cost £437 Sunday to Thursday night. This is a 20% discount from the gate price per person over 1 metre in height.