13 of the Best Hotels in the New Forest

Hampshiredavidgsteadman via Flickr

This delightfully green and pleasant region of heathland and forest around the Beaulieu River is neither new nor really much of a forest. Proclaimed a royal hunting preserve in 1079, it’s now a national park known for its wild ponies, deer, rare birds, picturesque villages and eccentric English charm. Some of the best hotels in the New Forest have been converted from historic buildings, like the Master Builder’s, which is where some of Nelson’s fleet from the Battle of Trafalgar were built, or New Park Manor, which was once a hunting lodge belonging to Charles II. But if your taste runs more to modern design or the charm of small towns then you might find the best hotels in the New Forest in the charming towns of Lymington, Brockenhurst or Beaulieu.

HampshireHerry Lawford via Flickr

Close to London, but feeling like a proper visit to the country, what with all the cows and ponies just roaming around, the New Forest is a haven of rural peace and beauty. The heathlands are just windswept and interesting enough, the farmed sections add a nice organisation to the landscape and the forests and gorselands add plenty of colour, shade and seclusion. So walking across it you feel as if you’ve seen a lot of countryside. Plus there’s the slightly bumbling flow of the Beaulieu River into the ever dramatic Solent. So you have coastal and riverside landscapes as well. Walkers are really spoiled for choice.

Hampshiredavidgsteadman via Flickr

The New Forest is also a wonderful place for cyclists who enjoy an ambling exploration of countryside, rather than hill challenges. And of course it’s much loved by sailors.

As far as sights go, the New Forest is where William II was ‘accidentally’ shot with an arrow, and the Rufus Stone is there to mark to spot. Then there’s Beaulieu Village, with its Abbey, Palace and Motor Museum. And of course you’re just across the Solent from the Isle of Wight.

13 of the Best Hotels in the New Forest

The best hotels within the New Forest National Park

New Park Manor

  • The New Forest has several other historic properties, including New Park Manor, once Charles II’s hunting lodge. There are 21 rooms and a family friendly pool, spa and games room. The restaurant serves traditional English fare.
  • Rhinefield House Hotel is a grand Gothic-meets-Tudor country house within the New Forest National Park by Brockenhurst. this is a 50 room hotel with the amenities to match, including an outdoor pool and gym. There’s also a very versatile restaurant.

Master Builders

  • The wonderfully historic Master Builder’s is right on the Beaulieu River just outside Buckler’s Hard, above the river mouth. Its name refers to Henry Adams and his sons Balthazar and Edward, who built ships for Nelson’s navy, including three ships present at the battle of Trafalgar. There’s a list of the ships built here in the wonderfully atmospheric bar - where you can also get a top class meal. Or if you’re looking for something more formal there’s a restaurant facing the river. Standard rooms have a traditional, country house feel, but you can upgrade to rooms in the actual house and those are really something - expect plenty of historic features and wonderful details.

The Most Romantic Hotels in the New Forest

Lime Wood

  • Lime Wood is a beautifully renovated and redesigned Georgian mansion in the heart of the New Forest. There are 32 generous sized rooms with four-poster beds, fireplaces and free standing baths, plus a superb restaurant which also has a cookery school. They also have babysitting onsite., so it’s a romantic option for parents too.

The Best Value Hotels in the New Forest

Britannia House

  • Britannia House is a five room B&B in charming Lymington. Each of the rooms has it’s own design with some nice artworks and antiques and richly coloured fabrics and furnishings. They also have a separate apartment. Rooms start from around £85 per night and children over ten are welcome.
  • The East End Arms is the village pub in East End, but with five simple, fresh rooms to rent. The restaurant has a great local reputation for seasonal treats and there’s a good choice of local ales on tap. Rooms start from around £110 per night.

The Best Hotels in the New Forest for Escapers

The Pig

  • The Pig is a traditional country escape with all the modern comforts you might need to really relax, including a great spa menu and 31 oh-so comfortable rooms. There’s also a lovely restaurant serving locally sourced food - including much from the hotel’s garden.

The Best Hotels in the New Forest for Sailors

The Mayflower

  • The Mayflower on Lymington’s marina is a smart, nautical themed pub with six individually designed rooms - one with a private balcony. There’s a friendly vibe and a menu featuring plenty of seafood.

The Best Hotels in the New Forest for Families

Chewton Glen

  • Chewton Glen is just outside the New Forest near New Milton, but it’s worth including for its newly built luxury tree-house bedrooms, which offer extraordinary panoramic views over the valley and forest. The amenities are five star, and there’s plenty to do here in the 130 acres of parkland. There’s also a gourmet restaurant.

For more family-friendly hotel recommendations check out our article: 7 of the Best Family Hotels in the New Forest.

The Best Hotels in the New Forest for Foodies

The Montagu Arms

  • If you value a Michelin star then The Montagu Arms in Beaulieu is for you. As well as the exceptional restaurant there’s a library bar, and terrace and 22 sumptuous rooms. Plus you’re in the heart of the Beaulieu Estate right by the car museum.
  • The Three Lions is at the northwestern tip of the New Forest, near Fordingbridge. It’s a converted village inn, now a wonderful, chef-owned and run restaurant with seven carefully decorated rooms and a wonderful garden. The highlight is the restaurant, of course, featuring gourmet food made from locally produced or foraged ingredients.

Stanwell House

  • Stanwell House is a boutique townhouse hotel in the heart of Lymington, with 30 rooms and a range of dining options, including private dining and an all day bistro menu. The decor is contemporary and chic, and the food is modern European.
  • Another great restaurant with rooms is The Mill at Gordleton, which has eight riverside rooms attached to a wonderfully pretty restaurant specialising in modern British cuisine. This is also a great spot to spot wildlife, they have a beautiful ‘secret garden’ where you might see kingfishers or herons.

Still not sure which of our Guru’s recommendations for the Best Hotels in the New Forest might be perfect for you? You could:

The 13 Best Hotels in the New Forest

  • Master Builder's Beaulieu (Hants) 26 rooms from £95

    Lovely historic property situated on the Beaulieu River. Maritime themed living rooms downstairs whilst bedrooms have a traditional country feel with the addition of colourful Indian fabrics. An award winning restaurant serves modern British cuisine. A host of activities. Ideal for families.

    Active Holiday  -  NFA, situated within the Beaulieu Estate, specialise in outdoor activities suitable both for team building and family fun.
    Country Escape  -  A stunning historic and cosy riverside property situated within the 9,000 acre Beaulieu Estate and the New Forest.
    Local markets  -  Make a trip to the quaint Lymington Saturday market and sample local foods and drink.
    Great walks  -  The very location, within the New Forest, makes this ideal walking terrain.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Sawdays
    Check Availability
  • New Park Manor Brockenhurst (New Forest) 21 rooms from £135

    Situated in the stunning New Forest, and once Charles II's hunting residence, this hotel prides itself on its family-friendly facilities. The spa, swimming pool and games rooms mean that no members of the family will be bored. The hotel has its own traditional English restaurant.

    Spa breaks  -  Fabulous purpose built spa with family friendly pool, adult only terrace, steam room, sauna, hot tub and treatments aplenty!
    Child friendly  -  Creche and child games room available
    Outstanding location  -  In the middle of the New Forest
    Check Availability
  • Rhinefield House Hotel Brockenhurst 50 rooms from £135

    Gothic/tudor style country house hotel set in the depths of the New Forest. Beautiful gardens and traditionally done bedrooms. Dining to suit all tastes and leisure facilities including outdoor swimming pool and gym.

    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor and Indoor Pools
    Great walks  -  Situated in the heart of the New Forest National Park
    Check Availability
  • Lime Wood Lyndhurst, Hampshire 32 rooms from £395

    Scintillating luxury hotel in a superbly redesigned Georgian house in the heart of the New Forest. Wonderfully comfortable beds in large rooms all with unique features including free standing baths, fireplaces or four posters. A sublime restaurant curated by a celebrity chef. Countryside perfection.

    Exclusive offer  -  Complimentary upgrade
    Foodies  -  A super chic restaurant, serving Anglo-Italian fare. A product of Lime Wood’s Luke Holder and high-profile chef Angela Hartnett.
    Families  -  Extra beds allowed in rooms, kids activities on site and baby sitting facilities makes this an obvious choice for parents.
    Country Escape  -  A beautifully renovated country house situated in the heart of one of the UKs finest National Parks.
    Cooking classes  -  The excellent Hartnett Holder & Co Backstage cookery school has a wide variety of hands on courses.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, I Escape, Tablet, Good Hotel Guide, Kiwi Collection, Relais & Chateaux, Sawdays
    Hotel Website
  • Britannia House Lymington (Hampshire) 5 rooms from £85

    Enjoy a memorable stay at this characterful "home away from home" B&B. Each of the five rooms are filled with artwork and antique pieces; richly coloured fabrics and furnishings. There is also a separate apartment to rent. Enjoy a hearty full English breakfast - fuel for the days outdoor pursuits!

    Great walks  -  The New Forest has an abundance of routes of try The Solent Way coastal walk
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Hurst Castle, Henry VIII's fortress and Beaulieu Abbey-Palace House
    Sailing  -  Lymington is a sailing mecca
    Restrictions on children  -  Over 10's welcome
    Check Availability
  • East End Arms East End, Hampshire 5 rooms from £110

    Genuine village pub that works well both for locals and overnight guests alike owned by the bassist from Dire Straits. Simple fresh rooms are well designed and comfortable. Hearty British fare is served in the restaurant and local ales are on tap. The New Forest is on the doorstep.

    Country Escape  -  Has all the quaintness necessary for a quintessentially British rural experience, plus great walking and a cosy bar.
    Foodies  -  Wonderful seasonal and locally sourced cuisine, the menu changes twice daily depending on what produce comes in.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the Beaulieu estate and view the stately home, the Abbey and the National Motor Museum.
    Great walks  -  Grab a packed lunch, get your wellies on and head straight out into the New Forest.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
    Check Availability
  • The Pig Brockenhurst 31 rooms from £185

    A country escape a step above the rest. Traditional meets modern world comforts in rooms with oh-so comfy beds and huge rain showers. The restaurant is worthy of a visit alone with produce being very locally sourced (often from the garden). Treatment rooms on offer for some pampering. Glorious.

    Spa  -  Potting Shed treatment rooms with one of the hotel's personal therapists
    Great walks  -  Borrow a pair of Hunter wellies and set out in to the New Forest.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Beaulieu Abbey, Hurst Castle or Buckler's Hard.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Mr & Mrs Smith
    Hotel Website
  • The Mayflower Lymington (Hampshire) 6 rooms from £110

    The Mayflower is a smart pub with rooms close to Lymington's marina. Six individually designed rooms, all with a cool nautical theme & one with private balcony. Dinners (AA Rosette standard) feature delicious locally sourced, seasonal fare. A great base for exploring the coast or New Forest.

    Local exploring  -  Whether you're a yachtie or land lubber, there's plenty in the surrounding area to keep everyone happy.
    Birdwatching  -  Britain's largest colony of Black headed gulls can be found in the North Solent Nature Reserve
    Sailing  -  Charter a boat and enjoy a day's sailing off the South Coast
    Sights nearby  -  Motor mueum at Beaulieu, plus gardens at Exbury and Furzey
    Check Availability
  • Chewton Glen New Milton, Hampshire 72 rooms from £325

    Classic and superbly run country house hotel with great attention to detail and a wonderful spa close to the New Forest. Newly built, luxury tree-house bedrooms set high in a scenic valley with panoramic views. 5 star amenities, imitable service, gourmet dining and The Beehive, kids club.

    Exclusive offer  -  A Taste of Chewton Glen
    Country Escape  -  A gorgeous country house spa, set in 130 acres of parkland at the edge of the magical New Forest.
    Great walks  -  Plenty of walking across the 130 acres of parkland, or head into the New Forest.
    Fishing  -  There is fishing available nearby, ask at the hotel for details.
    Kids Club  -  All new The Beehive, available every weekend and school holidays
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet, Frommers, Good Hotel Guide, Kiwi Collection, Relais & Chateaux, Michelin Travel
    Check Availability
  • The Montagu Arms Beaulieu 22 rooms from £228

    17th century country house hotel in the heart of the New Forest National Park. Michelin-starred restaurant, library bar, terrace, sumptuous rooms.

    Spa  -  Access to Spa at sister hotel Careys Manor.
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Good Hotel Guide, Michelin Travel
    Check Availability
  • Three Lions Nr Fordingbridge, Hampshire 7 rooms from £125

    Converted village inn housing an excellent, personally run restaurant in the New Forest. Rooms decorated in mellow hues have large glass patio doors leading onto the fine garden. The piece-de-resistance is the restaurant headed by owner and chef. Ideally placed in the New Forest for local exploring.

    Foodies  -  The restaurant takes centre stage in this hotel - think gourmet food made with locally sourced and foraged produce.
    Great walks  -  Walk straight from the property in to the New Forest or a short drive will take you to coastal walks.
    Sights nearby  -  The beautiful Beaulieu estate and Abbey makes a great day trip from the hotel.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
    Check Availability
  • The Mill at Gordleton Lymington 12 rooms from £150

    Rural restaurant with rooms in an idyllic riverside location with "secret garden" and wildlife galore including kingfishers and heron. Pretty country rooms some of which feature lovely views over the river. Modern British cuisine and a snug bar. Ideally placed on the edge of the New Forest.

    Foodies  -  Delicious food, crafted by Chef Toby Hill from only the best local produce- everything you eat is made in house, heaven!
    Country Escape  -  A charming converted mill, surrounded by flower filled gardens, right on the outskirts of the New Forest.
    Sights nearby  -  Less than 30 minutes away is the medieval Beaulieu Abbey.
    Great walks  -  Miles of countryside to be explored in the New Forest.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
    Check Availability
  • Stanwell House Lymington 30 rooms from £140

    Boutique townhouse hotel in the centre of delightful Lymington. Rooms feature large windows and contemporary chic design. A host of dining options including fine modern European cuisine, private dining and a laid back all day bistro menu. Well priced and placed for local exploring.

    Exclusive offer  -  Stay five nights pay for four
    Local exploring  -  Situated in the pretty market town of Lymington and right between The Solent and the New Forest National Park.
    Great walks  -  Grab a packed lunch and head out to explore the miles of beautiful countryside in the New Forest National Park.
    Local markets  -  Lymington's famous Saturday market is not to be missed, packed with the cream of local produce.
    Sights nearby  -  Check out the neighbouring historic towns of Winchester, Southampton, Romsey, and Lyndhurst.
    Check Availability


Written by Kat Parr Mackintosh

posted Thursday, 28th November 2019