13 of the Best Hotels in the New Forest

Master Builders

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 ships 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 Lymington, Brockenhurst or Beaulieu.

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. Plus there’s the slightly bumbling flow of the Beaulieu River into the ever dramatic Solent coast, and views across to the Isle of Wight. Walkers are really spoiled for choice. The New Forest is also a wonderful place for cyclists who can enjoy an ambling exploration of countryside, rather than hill challenges. And of course it’s much loved by sailors. Use our guide to the best hotels in the New Forest and start planning your country getaway.

For an historic hotel

New Park Manor

  • 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 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.

For Romance

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!
  • 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 an atmospheric restaurant serving modern British cuisine.

For great value

Britannia House

  • Britannia House is a five room B&B in charming Lymington. Each of the rooms has its own design with some nice artworks and antiques and richly coloured fabrics and furnishings. They also have a separate apartment. 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. 

For a complete escape

The Pig

  • The Pig is the first Pig in the chain, and a traditional country escape with all the modern comforts you might need to really relax, including a great spa menu and an impressive variety of rooms and suites, including some great family friendly options. And bags of style. The Pig is famous for its gorgeous conservatory restaurant, which serves locally sourced food — including plenty gathered direct from the hotel’s garden. You'll come back time and time again. Even though you have to book quite a long way in advance now.
  • The Mill at Gordleton is a charming modern British restaurant, with eight riverside rooms attached. This is a great place to spot wildlife, and they have a beautiful ‘secret garden’ where you might see kingfishers or herons.

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.

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.

For Foodies

The Montagu Arms

  • If you value 3 AA Rosettes 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 lovely garden. The highlight is the restaurant, of course, featuring gourmet food made from locally produced or foraged ingredients.
  • 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.

Still not sure where to stay in the New Forest?

  • You could refine your search to the best places to stay in Lymington, the best places to stay in Brockenhurst or the best places to stay in Beaulieu.
  • You could read our article: 7 of the Best Family Hotels in the New Forest or widen the net to include all the best places to stay in Hampshire.
  • Alternatively, you could contact one of our friendly Gurus for personalised advice.
    • Master Builder's Beaulieu (Hants) 26 rooms from £125

      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

      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. See More

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    • New Park Manor Brockenhurst (New Forest) 21 rooms from £135

      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
      Families
      Outstanding location  -  In the middle of the New Forest

      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. See More

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    • Rhinefield House Hotel Brockenhurst 50 rooms from £135

      Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor and Indoor Pools
      Great walks  -  Situated in the heart of the New Forest National Park
      Traditional

      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. See More

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    • Lime Wood Lyndhurst, Hampshire 32 rooms from £395

      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

      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. See More

      Hotel Website
    • Britannia House Lymington (Hampshire) 5 rooms from £85

      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

      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! See More

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    • East End Arms East End, Hampshire 5 rooms from £110

      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

      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. See More

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    • The Pig Brockenhurst 31 rooms from £185

      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.
      Traditional
      Recommended by  -  I Escape, Mr & Mrs Smith

      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. See More

      Hotel Website
    • The Mayflower Lymington (Hampshire) 6 rooms from £110

      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

      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. See More

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    • Chewton Glen New Milton, Hampshire 72 rooms from £325

      Exclusive offer  -  Spring offer until 20th March 2020
      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.
      Kids Club  -  All new The Beehive, available every weekend and school holidays
      Fishing  -  There is fishing available nearby, ask at the hotel for details.
      Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet, Frommers, Good Hotel Guide, Kiwi Collection, Relais & Chateaux, Michelin Travel

      NB Temporarily Closed. 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. Imitable service, gourmet dining and The Beehive, kids club. See More

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    • The Montagu Arms Beaulieu 22 rooms from £228

      Spa  -  Access to Spa at sister hotel Careys Manor.
      Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
      Traditional
      Recommended by  -  Frommers, Good Hotel Guide, Michelin Travel

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

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    • Three Lions Nr Fordingbridge, Hampshire 7 rooms from £125

      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.
      Traditional
      Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide

      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. See More

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    • The Mill at Gordleton Lymington 12 rooms from £150

      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

      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. See More

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    • Stanwell House Lymington 30 rooms from £140

      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.

      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. See More

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Written by Kat Parr Mackintosh

posted Tuesday, 21st July 2020