Hotel Review: Careys Manor Hotel & Spa, Brockenhurst in Hampshire
Carey’s Manor Hotel and Spa is a place that draws you in and send you back out into the world a refreshed and well fed being.
I was looking forward to visiting the secluded New Forest hotel after I had enjoyed a trip some 5 years previously, and it didn’t disappoint. My guest, Nick, and I rocked up late morning when the summer was doing its finest impression of a rainy autumn day and didn’t think twice about spending the day in the spa. SenSpa is a Thai spa with so many luxurious facilities you actually do need the day to fully enjoy them. It has to best the best spa I’ve visited in terms of the variety of facilities available and the amazing effects each one has on you.
All hotel residents have access to the ozone 14m swimming pool with a jacuzzi tucked away at one end of the space as well as a steam room, sauna and gym. If that isn’t enough and you really fancy a treat you can upgrade to the SenSpa area where Nick and I spent a good few hours letting go of any stresses and clearing our minds. We began with a dip in the hydrotherapy pool where you can sit or lie on underwater benches or stand aside bubble jets, which target and massage different areas of your body. Above the water there are taps, which targets your neck and shoulders and a circular area with strong jets was powerful and therapeutic. We tried all areas of the pool out and found the jets and taps very nourishing.
We then moved on to the 80oC herbal sauna but I didn’t stay for long as I find them a bit suffocating. I do, however, love a steam room and the crystal steam with a huge Bohemian Amethyst sitting in the middle was great. Pink hues emanated around the darkened room and mixed with lovely, gentle aromas to soothe my senses. Next up was a visit to the health and tropical experience showers to choose from ‘Caribbean rain,’ ‘Atlantic storm,’ ‘ice cold’ and more. Each option had light and sound effects with the Atlantic storm spraying cold water from different angles and fantastic sound effects had me laughing the whole way through.
Upstairs sits a laconicum, which holds benches on a heated floor to lie on and has a temperature of 48oC with 50% humidity. We ended the experience with a visit to the tepidarium, which had slightly cooler air with tiled, curved, heated benches on which to lie. A little fountain tinkling under an octagonal roof with twinkling ‘stars’ was the focal point and was so calming I’m sure every person in the room fell asleep! We dragged ourselves away to the relaxation room to wake ourselves up with a magazine, water and a hot drink. The whole experience was incredibly relaxing and enjoyable, and if we had more time the next day we easily would have visited again.
A late lunch in the Zen Garden Restaurant was beckoning us and, although we missed the lunchtime Thai options, we enjoyed a gnocchi and pear and walnut salad. Carey’s Manor has three dining options to choose from, each with their own differing style. Zen Garden serves authentic Thai cuisine (at lunch and dinner times) and welcomes non residents as well as those who are joining from the spa in their robes and La Blaireau is a brasserie and bar serving French cuisine and wines in an informal atmosphere. Finally, Cambium is a newly refurbished fine dining restaurant bringing the outside in with regards to the décor and serving delightfully creative and tasty British dishes with local produce and worldwide influences. I enjoyed a delicious dinner at Cambium, of which you can read about HERE.
The four star hotel holds 77 rooms and suites as well as Pittefaux Cottage, which sleeps 8. each of the resident rooms holds a king or super king size bed, flat screen TV with freeview channels, robes and slippers, a safe and en suite with a bath and shower. Rooms located in the 18th century manor house itself offer traditional character with options of a four poster bed or roof terrace suite, which features your own private roof terrace. Our room sat in the newer part of the hotel and was spacious, modern and comfortable with our own table and chairs outside, looking onto the private grounds, partitioned off from neighbouring rooms. A brown velvet sofa and light walls with a feature wall holding patterned white and bronze wallpaper complemented red accents on an armchair and cushion. Mirrored furniture added a glamorous feel to the room and a sandy coloured tiled bathroom with black marble sink unit completed the room.
We were sure to squeeze in a visit to the cocktail bar before dinner and its friendly and relaxing atmosphere set us up well for the evening. Calming cream, yellow and oranges mix with dark wood and brown leather armchairs and decorative bird feature wallpaper to create this space where you can enjoy a tasty cocktail or two before or after dinner. There is also a lounge in which to relax and two function rooms where you can host 80 or 100 for a private event.
Dinner (read full review here) was a dream and our night’s sleep was even better. We forced ourselves to get up for breakfast in Cambium and had a selection of hot buffet items (hash browns, egg, beans) bread, cheeses, pastries and coffee. There were also Full English and vegetarian options as well as porridge, kippers, poached smoked haddock, fresh and dried fruits and Champagne on offer.
In a nutshell
Carey’s Manor is so welcoming, from the tree lined driveway to the friendly concierge and every member of staff you meet along the way, who help to make your stay a happy one. Nick and I greatly enjoyed our time here and were quite reluctant to leave! There must be something about the New Forest – maybe its enchanted, we certainly had an enchanting time at this hotel.
Address: Lyndhurst Rd, Brockenhurst SO42 7RH / 01590 624467