When you think of a spa hotel, you might not necessarily consider bringing your kids along for the ride. But that's exactly what New Park Manor wants you to do. We paid the hotel a visit to help you decide whether it's worth the journey.
Where is New Park Manor?
The hotel is nestled in the heart of the New Forest, surrounded by peaceful woodland. It is a few miles south of popular tourist location Lyndhurst which offers quaint shops, galleries, restaurants and traditional pubs. A couple of miles in the other direction is the village of Brockenhurst while eleven miles to the east is the bustling port city of Southampton.
Where will I sleep?
This entirely depends on who you're bringing with you! If it's you and your other half or a friend, there are lots of king or twin-bedded rooms to choose from. For families, there are options like the Manor Deluxe Suite which has a living area that can be transformed into a bedroom for three children or why not go for Muntjacwhich incorporates two bedrooms and a large family bathroom.
We stayed in the spacious Fallow which had a king-size bed and a child's day bed. While it's worth mentioning that there wasn't a bath in our room, the walk-in shower was lovely and there are lots of gorgeous toiletries on offer with Elemis for the adults and Little B for young ones. Having visited during very hot weather, we appreciated the air conditioning and touches like the biscuits, offer of fresh milk and coffee machine with eco-friendly pods.
NPM will also make sure to equip your room with everything you need for your youngster. Just let them know in advance and they will provide essentials such as a cot, changing mat, bed guards, baby monitors and potties, ready and waiting for your arrival.
Each morning and evening, the hotel can deliver milk to your room, free of charge, and their chefs are also able to provide pureed baby food from 7am to 7pm. Alternatively, if you'd prefer to bring your own, they will store it in their fridge too.
What is there to do?
Oodles! Along with the spa (more on that below), there's an outdoor swimming pool (open May – September) plus climbing frames and outdoor games to play. There are even two rabbits Bertha and Florence to visit and stroke, not to mention the horses and deer that safely roam the grounds. You can even bring your pooch along for the stay so the whole family can enjoy a break from the norm.
New Park Manor truly lives up to its family-friendly claims. You can choose one of their 90-minute complimentary crèche sessions in The Den for each night of your stay, supervised by their den team.
There's a Cinema Room showing daily movies for children which also doubles up as a games room for older children, full of activities such as Foosball, table tennis, Nintendo Wii. We also loved the reading nook which was full of board games and a wide variety of books for all ages to snuggle up with.
Outside of the hotel, there are plenty of opportunities for family walks or cycles, or you can even head to the beaches of Lepe, Milford-on-Sea and Barton-on-Sea.
The spa at New Park Manor
Following Covid-19 regulations, we made sure to book dedicated slots for our time in the spa which meant we got to enjoy plenty of peace and quiet. The whole spa was incredibly clean and varied and we were really impressed with the facilities like the steam room, sauna and sanarium which are delicately laced with delicious aromatherapy scents.
We made the most of the beautiful weather by curling up on the loungers on the spa decking, watching the horses amble by and ordering drinks from the well-stocked Spa café just feet away.
The indoor pool hall of the spa is available to be used by the whole family but if you fancy making use of the complimentary crèche sessions, there are dedicated adults-only facilities too so you can really relax, which includes the following:
A 16m UV filtered swimming pool
Hydrotherapy and spa pool
Outdoor hot tub
30-minute treatments start from £30. There is a lot to choose from, ranging from an Intensely Cleaning Salt Scrub (£45) to a Peaceful Pregnancy Massage (£80). You can even pick a manicure or pedicure or bring along your youngster for a Mini-Me treatment.
We enjoyed a Bespoke Deep Tissue massage (£45) where using selected aromatic oils, our highly trained Elemis therapist massaged tension areas of the back, neck and shoulders - highly recommended for any knackered parent.
What is there to eat?
Let's start with breakfast! Enjoyed in the bright and welcoming Conservatory, everything you could possibly desire for breakfast is available on the New Park Manor menu from a Full English (veggie available too!) to smoked salmon and scrambled egg as well as pancakes. There are lots of continental options too including pastries, fruit and Charcuterie and cheese.
Although we didn't personally try it ourselves, there are two new Wind in the Willows inspired Afternoon Teas to try if you fancy, one for adults and one for children. Fowey Hall, New Park Manor's sister hotel located in Cornwall, is actually believed to be the inspiration behind Toad’s majestic residence, Toad Hall.
For dinner, we headed to the Stag restaurant, which while offering more casual choices during the day, in the evening becomes a haven of fine dining. We tucked into the beautifully presented and flavourful Owtons Hampshire fillet steak and Noah’s Ark chicken, leek and mushroom pie for our mains, both absolutely delicious and made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. For dessert we opted for chocolate hazelnut brownie and sticky toffee pudding which although nice enough didn't particularly blow us away.
Although all the staff we encountered were well-mannered and friendly, we were disappointed by how often food orders were forgotten or simply wrong. Although always eventually rectified, it did become somewhat frustrating.
How much does it cost to visit?
Rates start at £189 per night on a B&B basis.
There is no doubt about it, New Park Manor is a great place for families. It offers a home away from home in a beautiful setting that feels relaxing as soon as you make your way down the driveway. There really is so much to enjoy and explore and every member of the family is catered for, whatever their age. We would 100 per cent recommend it to parents who still want a break but don't want to leave their little ones behind.