The world-renowned brand of hotels and resorts, Four Seasons, has, amongst hundreds of locations and fabulous venues around the globe, placed the picturesque semi-rural Hampshire firmly on their luxurious global map! Jessica Way has been along to stay and review with her family.
Hawaii, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Chaing Mai, Mumbai, Florence, Milan, The Seychelles are just some of the hundreds of luxurious destinations where you will find an enchanting Four Seasons hotel or resort.
In the UK, there are two London venues, Park Lane and Canary Wharf, and one in Hampshire, close to Surrey’s border. All the reviews I found while doing a little pre-visit research online were outstanding, including many 5 star ratings and “OMG’s”, or “this place was AMAZING!” style comments. So, my excitement levels were already high in anticipation for our luxury families stay at Four Seasons Hampshire.
Despite having expectations that I knew were going to be difficult to fulfill, arriving in the grounds outside the impressive restored Georgian manor house, I found it difficult to believe I was in Hampshire (my home county) and had never known this beautifully divine hotel was so close to my front doorstep.
Previously to my research on the Internet I knew very little about the Four Seasons brand. Since my stay however, and sharing my experience with friends and colleagues, (many who have replied telling me about the Four Seasons Hotel they have stayed in), I feel as though I am now a part of the ‘in the know’ Four Seasons club!
And this sums it up for me, as I arrived it felt like I was exploring one of Hampshire’s best-kept secrets. The Hotel seems very modest, and understated with their advertising and marketing, and I guess this is because those who are ‘in the know’ spread the word for them. Each person I have met from the ‘in the know’ Four Seasons club! has had a similar glint in their eye. One to suggest they too were charmed by the Four Seasons elegance and exceptional service, just as I was.
Four Seasons Hampshire is about one hour’s drive from London, just outside the village of Dogmersfield, set amid 500 acres of rolling hills and a beautiful heritage-listed garden landscape. Only a short drive to Jane Austen’s House, Farnham Castle, Legoland, The Vyne National Trust Property and Birdworld, to name but a few.
The Hotel has a charming entrance, 2 adjacent lounges, (one with a Bar), 3 restaurants, 111 rooms, 22 suites (perfect for families), a gym and fitness centre, swimming pool with adjoining outdoor hydrotherapy vitality pool, a 27,000 sq ft Spa, a snug perfect for 10 years and older with football table, air hockey, and other fun games called Rose Cottage, tennis courts, and acres of stunning grounds with a host of possible activities; fishing; walking; trails; cycling; croquet; pony and horse riding, even boating trips along the picturesq Basingstoke canal.
For me, Four Seasons stood head and shoulders over so many other beautiful hotels I have stayed in with my family, because not only were their friendly staff at the hotel willing to go completely out of their way at any given opportunity to ensure you were having the best possible stay, their services and recreational activities perfectly followed suit, and so often with young children and families first and foremost in mind.
For example, at the swimming pool they had an array of choice for children’s armbands and floats, they offered complimentary baby swim nappies, perfect for those who had forgotten to bring them for their babies. The dressing gowns and slippers were supplied in miniature version for the children to enjoy too.
The pony riding was not only the pony riding, Four Seasons had developed a fabulous ‘own a pony’ day programme, designed entirely from a little one’s perspective. My girls cherished every moment of their experience, brushing down the ponies, cleaning their hooves, mucking out the stables, putting on the bridal wear, it was wonderful!
Other examples of their outstanding recreational offerings included; surprise barbecues ‘en-route’ at selected points during an outdoor trip; an expert member of the lawn croquet society, or a tennis pro, being arranged for expert tuition; a complimentary All Seasons children’s club with supervised activities including games, crafts, stories and movies for the younger guests; 24 hour in-room dining and special menus created just for children, plus so much more.
General Manager, Charlie Parker, is always on the look out to offer even more variety into his already impressive and bespoke range of activities available to guests while staying at the hotel. For example this Summer, he appointed Peter Burwash International, the world’s leading tennis management company, to direct a new tennis programme, marking Four Seasons Hampshire as the only UK destination offering their expertise.
If ever there was any doubt, Four Seasons Hampshire has proven beautifully to me that you can thoroughly revel in luxury, while feeling the relaxation benefits that you would normally associate with a couple-only Spa retreat, but all of it with your children! I whole-heartedly mean this, in fact in many ways it was even more relaxing than if we had been away just the two of us, as being with the children gives you a contentment of completeness too.
It was the fact that Holly and Daisy were made to feel so special too, they picked up on the finer details, those qualities thought of especially for little people, and they thrived on it, becoming a part of it all, relaxing into it and enjoying the experience with us.
Highlights from the trip
Daisy (aged 5)
Cleaning out the horses stables
Holly (aged 8)
Having a manicure and pedicure with her little sister!
Dad (aged – best not tell you!)
Relaxing in the outdoor hydrotherapy spa pool while mum helped the girls practice their swimming in the pool
Mum (aged – definitely not going to tell you)
All of it