There can’t be many places where you can sit in an outdoor hot tub, sipping a glass of bubbly while watching a herd of deer graze in the surrounding woodland – but that’s precisely what we did at New Park Manor Hotel. This attractive former royal hunting lodge, tucked away in the heart of the New Forest, is part of the Luxury Family Hotels group, and successfully manages to be both luxurious, relaxed and family-friendly at the same time. The comfortable rooms vary in style – some are traditionally decorated with four-poster beds, while others are more contemporary – and most are large enough to fit extra beds for children or inter-connect with other bedrooms. Our spacious room was lovely and looked out over the Forest – we even had a great view from the bath! The public rooms are smart, with roaring fires in winter, and a chilled-out country-house weekend vibe. Older kids can amuse themselves with x-boxes, table football and a DVD library, while there’s a complimentary hotel crèche for the younger ones, so that mum and dad can be pampered in the spa, stroll round the grounds, or swim in either the indoor or outdoor pools. Children can have an early high tea or join their parents in the dining room for tasty locally-sourced meals, such as South Coast Plaice or New Forest venison – the board of local cheeses is delicious. The staff here are friendly but unobtrusive and always on hand to help out with the children – or to bring you another drink. All in all, it’s makes for a thoroughly relaxing and pampered stay – with or without children.

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★★★★★

Superb anniversary treat

Hubby booked this for our anniversary. We had a fantastic meal in the restaurant and the spa managed to fit me in for a last minute massage. Bliss. Plenty of space in the bedroom, nice toiletries. Attentive and polite staff. All in all a lovely evening away.

by Catherine Greenwood

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