Our first visit to Chewton Glen was six years ago and we loved the place then. We returned recently to get a feel for its latest offerings and we were not disappointed. In fact we loved it more.
Somehow this hotel, (part of a small group called Iconic Luxury Hotels which includes Cliveden House, Lygon Arms - currently undergoing much needed refurbishment, and 11 Cadogan Gardens in London) manages to be a grand old dame of five star luxury country house hotels and yet appeal to leisure guests of all ages and corporate groups. No mean feat. How? Service, attention to detail and flexibility. They listen.
As professionals in the service industry our biggest bugbear is poor service. So many places just get it wrong. But Chewton Glen nails it. Fancy? Yes. Stuffy? No. And that's the thing. There was no pretentiousness in the air. The fact that regular guests are the likes of Radio DJ and car enthusiast Chris Evans says it all. It manages to be all things to all people.
The hotel offers 70 (soon to be 72) bedrooms in total, 58 in the main house and 12 suites in 6 treehouses (1 more treehouse is currently being built which will add 2 more suites to the offering). There's so much to do. Or you can do nothing at all. You can pull on a pair of the complimentary wellies lining the foyer and in 15 minutes you can walk down to the sea. The hotel has a large spa with 11 treatments rooms and nail bar, indoor, outdoor and hydrotherapy pools, tennis courts, croquet, free bikes, kids clubs during the holidays, a 9 hole par 3 golf course, and a variety of dining options.
The latest opening is The Kitchen, a casual dining restaurant and cookery school away from the main hotel by celebrity chef James Martin, who worked at the hotel when he was just 22. The modern open plan layout allows you to watch the Chefs at work and the menu features wood-fired pizzas, gourmet burgers, superfood salads and more. The cookery school offers state of the art equipment and a wealth of courses from 'It's a Gin Thing', a half day gin blending class with lunch to 'Spotted, potted and pickled', a foraging and preserve making class.
From a corporate group perspective there is much to offer. There are a variety of smart high tech meeting spaces, the largest being the Lake Suite which can take up to 80 classroom or cabaret style. Down time can include watersports on the sea - Lymington Yacht Haven is just a short drive away, motorsports in the grounds, outdoor activities such as clay shooting, a lesson with a snooker, croquet or golf pro, spa treatments, cookery lessons, wine tasting, cheese tasting, cheese and wine tasting...you name it, you can do it.
And we haven't even touched upon weddings yet! There are a number of beautiful spaces licensed for ceremonies around the property from the Lake Suite to the beautiful Walled Garden and the Summer House. And as with everything at Chewton, your day will be managed with style and discretion.
The pièce de résistance at Chewton Glen for us on this recent visit, was the treehouse accommodation. Currently there are 12 suites, soon to be 14. The ultimate in romantic retreats. Suspended 35 feet above the ground, each suite offers a wood burner, hot tub on its private terrace, breakfast delivered daily through a hatch in the wall and a kitchenette. Some of the suites sleep 4 or even 8, but for us, the ones that slept 2 were the most romantic. With prices starting from £850, not everyone will have the budget for a stay in one. But that's what makes them so special.
By the time we came to leave Chewton Glen we had mixed emotions. Sad that our time at the property had come to an end but happy to have revisited, safe in the knowledge we'd be back and wondering what new delights would welcome us next time.
If you would like to find out more about the Chewton Glen or are interested in holding an event there, please get in touch here.
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