The first time we reviewed Four Seasons Hampshire was back in 2016, and following a return visit, I feel compelled to share exactly why this hotel is hands down the best family hotel in the English Countryside.
The Four Seasons Hampshire is set in a beautifully restored Georgian Manor on a 500-acre estate in the English countryside. The hotel is only just over an hour from central London by car and just 10 minutes from Fleet railway station (with a train service to London Waterloo Station four times an hour). If you decide to drive, there is an ample-sized guest car park that you can use for free. All in all, this slice of country living is easily accessible to anybody who fancies the guaranteed luxury of the Four Seasons set in the glorious English countryside.
These benefits will be added to your booking at no extra cost, even if the rate is a special offer rate, such as four nights for the price of three or three nights for the price of two promotions.
Style & Character
We must have been to this particular Four Seasons more than ten times, and each time I stay, I’m reminded why I love it so, and I immediately book another stay! Driving up the immaculate driveway edged by perfectly mown lawns reminds me I am back at a Four Seasons hotel, where nothing is tatty, and everything is perfect.
This great country house sits on the top of a hill and looks down over swathes of grassland and wooded copses. More modern wings have been built onto the house containing many of the rooms, and outhouses have been extended and converted to accommodate a stunning spa and two extensive pools, as well as a great gym and kids club.
The interior of this Georgian Manor has been beautifully restored. Marble has been used throughout, which gives the place a warm creamy hue. The manor and its various wings are adjoined by enclosed glass walkways with underfloor heating, ideal for walking barefoot between the rooms and the Spa.
Extravagant flower arrangements adorn the hallways leaving trails of delicious fragrance wherever they are displayed and open fireplaces add atmosphere and warmth. You can see the stunning flower arrangements and more on our Instagram feed.
My family was heartbroken to discover that the hotel dog, Oliver, who had previously won a “best hotel dog” award (he was very, very lovely), no longer lives in the reception. It seems he has been immortalized in a cast bronze statue outside the front entrance, which is fittingly representative of the care and love that is taken of everything and every guest at this fabulous hotel.
Service & Facilities
Four Seasons Hampshire is a large estate, and you can walk, jog or cycle around the grounds on the hotel’s complimentary bicycles. A popular activity here is archery, along with horse-riding, fishing, clay pigeon shooting, falconry, and playing in the adventure playground. If you want to leave the confines of the vast grounds, you can cycle along the Basingstoke canal or to the cute villages nearby.
More recently, the hotel has built an ice rink and treetop walk with a zip line which we hope to try on our next stay.
The Spa, located in an 18th-century stable block, is an absolute highlight. Not only do you have a fantastic spa for relaxation, but there is also a large swimming pool leading to an outdoor heated vitality pool and Sharky’s Reef for the kids.
The main pool is largely reserved for adults except during family time. It is huge and enclosed in a large Victorian-style glasshouse that is full of light and surrounded by comfy loungers. Kids can frolic in the pool at certain times, but for most of the day, this is an adults-only area. Next door to the main pool is Sharky’s Reef which is one of my son’s favorite places in the world and is a wonderland for 2 to 15-year-olds.
There are two pool areas in this section, a waist-deep swimming area and a knee-deep splash pool with buckets, umbrellas, and channels, all adjustable with child-friendly levers. The biggest and best bit is a wide, red, super slippery water slide. It’s so wide that numerous children can slide down at the same time, along with their parents, if they don’t mind being splashed. The best thing is that this pool is reserved exclusively for families staying at the hotel so it never seems to be overly full. Mums and dads can sit on comfy seats around the pool and watch their kids having fun. You will literally have to drag your kids away. This pool is just too much fun.
The rooms here have recently been refurbished, and for our latest stay, we were booked into a Heritage room, which is much the same as the Mews and Garden rooms except for the view. All the rooms are spacious with a seating area, a large and hugely comfortable bed, and an enormous Four Seasons bathroom. You can see the decor in the photos in our slider above. Most rooms have olive-colored walls with a comfy rust-colored sofa, and a super thin and massive TV stuck to the wall (it sounds silly, but I’ve never come across TVs that are this thin!). I really like the luxurious feel of the color scheme, and of course, everything in the room is immaculate.
The Heritage rooms have views across the countryside, and ours overlooked the hillside, which was particularly lovely as the sunset. The Mews and Garden rooms look out to the private entry road and gardens. While I enjoyed the view from the Heritage room, I would honestly be happy with any room at this hotel as I don’t spend a great deal of time looking out of the window as there is so much else to do.
I suppose the highlights of the rooms here are the superbly comfy bed, great sound-proofing, incredible blackout curtains, surprisingly comfy sofa bed, and the classic Four Seasons bathroom with soaking bathtub, separate glass shower, separate toilet with door, and large vanity area around the sink for your toiletries, all finished in marble.
Food & Drink
At hotels we regularly frequent, we allow ourselves to be a little indulgent, waking up fully rested and ringing down for room service breakfast. The breakfast here is excellent. You can have a standard English breakfast or a Continental breakfast, but I prefer to pick and choose off the menu. I order poached eggs and smoked salmon, a fruit platter (berrys kiwis, and so forth), Bircher Muesli (which is particularly great here), and hot chocolate. The rest of my family love their own favorites of chicken sausages, scrambled eggs, cappuccino, waffles with Nutella, and Coco Pops (they cater to all tastes!).
For the rest of the day, and if you chose to take breakfast downstairs, you can’t help but be impressed by the sweeping and enormous ivory marble staircase leading to the beautifully designed “Wild Carrot” bar and restaurant at the Four Seasons Hampshire.
The bar is designed like a 1950s sitting room but in a good way. It has jungly wallpaper, a stylish fireplace, fun lighting, and bright furnishings. As I read this description back to myself, my writing makes the bar sounds horrible, but it really isn’t. It’s fabulous! This is an extremely stylish space that you won’t want to leave. The bar itself is in the middle of the space and is a colorful mix of bottles and busy bar staff.
In the summer, the staff opens all the floor-to-ceiling windows, and you can walk out onto a vast patio with endless comfy seating overlooking the lawns and hillside beyond. This has to be one of my favorite bars outside central London for relaxing with the excellent Four Seasons service. Your glass will never be empty for long.
Next door, the Wild Carrot restaurant offers a tasty menu with local ingredients. The decor here incorporates plants and lots of wood separating the tables. The room has a colonial feel and again benefits from massive floor-to-ceiling windows, which are opened in the summer on warm nights.
Like many Four Seasons hotels, this hotel seamlessly combines a stylish retreat for adults with a brilliant place to stay for children. At this Hampshire outpost, you have a super spa, fine dining, country walks, and a host of county pursuits like riding, but you also have a huge pool, a second children’s adventure pool, an adventure play park, and a great kids club. This means that the whole family can enjoy the indulgent break, and unlike many hotels in England, children (and dogs!) are welcome in this luxury hotel.
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