The Limewood Hotel, Herb House Spa

“Set in the heart of the stunning New Forest National Park, we like to think Lime Wood is laid-back luxury at its best – the perfect secluded hideaway escape!” – The Lime Wood.

This winter was gruelling, summer wasn’t coming soon enough and we wanted a relaxing weekend break. After a little research and knowing the New Forest area from my university days, Lime Wood seemed like a dreamy destination. As well as a desperate need to escape the City, my partner and I had spent the past 3 days in a wooden tree house – a bubbling hot tub and glass of champagne to finish… please!

A very warm welcome

The moment you pull up the gravel drive (by drive we mean a mile of gorgeous landscape and sheep) the hotel oozes luxury. The exterior is simply gorgeous, almost like the hotel had grew there, nature had accepted it.

The absence of a reception area certainly helped kick start the indulgent service which was promised. A pair of quaint podiums positioned either side of the entranceway served as a colloquial greeting spot. We felt like we had arrived at home, from home. As soon as our check-in was mentioned the spa manager introduced herself, the entire team ensured that we had everything we needed throughout our stay including an upgrade to private 60 minute massages as well as a private mud hut treatment – dreamy!

The Herb House Spa facilities

It’s safe to say we were more than easily pleased as I skipped to the changing rooms with huge excitement for a shower, fresh robes and a moment to breathe. Ditch the communal gym changing rooms that you’re thinking about, picture 5* luxury and the most gorgeous interior design. A quarter of the room contained individual bathrooms including your usual facilities as well as a private tin bath to start your relaxation. Next, you’ll find a collection of comfy cloud-like sofas to sink into with a magazine whilst waiting for friends to be ready and the final path contained rainforest showers and heated flooring. Our favourite touches are the little extras you seem to forget, a fine comb for wet hair, moisturiser for post-swimming, GHD straighteners and the most heavenly smelling shampoo from Bamford. I came out the other side suited for the pool and a lot more refreshed.

We had heard amazing things about the facilities and couldn’t wait to explore for ourselves. A marble staircase guides you upstairs to the first of many treatment rooms. The Hydrotherapy Room instantly transports you into a serene environment right in the heart of the New Forest. An entire glass wall overlooking the landscapes of Dorset allows you to bob in the heated pool and watch the wildlife fly by. In addition, button-activated areas of the pool invite you for a energising wave of bubbles or the pool length allows for a relaxing lap, or two. Steam rooms, saunas and a giant rock for a cooling escape attracted us to explore, but I was happy bathing at the edge.

The lap pool promised a competitive edge with sporty individuals taking a moment to exercise. However, the atmosphere was still calm, comfortable loungers with poolside menus were available (although, we recommend getting one quite early as they get busy) and a full glass wall once again, allowed the nature in. Our weekend was a rainy one, however the outdoor spa was still very inviting. A cute hot tub buried amongst the hotel’s garden provided the most romantic setting. Stairs twisted and turned up the side of the spa entering the Herb Garden through which you can explore and learn about all the ingredients freshly picked and used in the cafe, Raw and Cured.

Things to Do

The spa offers a range of packages to suit every individual. Couples, Hens, expectant mothers or a girls trip – there’s a package dedicated to you. We went for the Herb House Duo package and we’d recommend it to anyone looking for some quality quiet time away with your partner.

As well as Spa Days you can just pop in for one treatment, perhaps a short stop whilst exploring the New Forest or for your monthly top-up. Lime Wood also offer memberships for those who are regulars.

The hotel and spa both have a range of eateries including Raw and Cured as well as the hotel bar for bubbles. The food is delicious and nutritious, with the option to have a sweet treat of course. A special touch were the opportunities to order drinks whilst you’re around the pool, with 12 fresh teas, coffees, smoothies and cocktails, you’re able to try a range across your day.

In conclusion, we were looked after beautifully by the staff and had a wonderfully decedent and relaxing day. I would return in a heartbeat. Further information regarding the hotels and membership can be found here.

Take It From Us

  • REVIEW IN ONE WORD: Relaxing!
  • BEST TABLE: We had a small table in Raw and Cured right by the window, perfect for nature-lovers.
  • BEST TREATMENT: My 90 minute massage was absolute bliss.
  • PACKAGE PRICE PER PERSON: Herb House Duo - £520 per couple (£260 per person!).
  • UNIQUE SELLING POINT: The changing rooms - I didn't want to leave!
  • WHAT TO WEAR: A comfortable bathing suit and your favourite flip flops (robes are provided).
  • WHAT WE LOVED: The natural surroundings, 360 degree forest and wildlife.
  • WHAT WE DIDNT LOVE: A little understaffed so we had a delay, but they make up for it with free bubbles.
  • HOW TO GET THERE: We drove from London in 2 hours, the nearest station is Ashurst New Forest.
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