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Historical Traveler Reviews Balmer Lawn Brockenhurst
A great weekend
I booked a romantic weekend away at the Balmer Lawn Hotel, after reading some of the reviews I was expecting to be disappointed. How wrong I was!
The staff where attentive, pleasant and very efficient. Even a porter to assist with our luggage! I booked a forest view double and on check in was upgraded to a Four Poster.... The room also had a great view overlooking the front lawn (They where playing cricket! and on to the forest. The room was beautiful, great little extras that made the weekend special (Ordered a gold special package, that looked great sitting in the room on arrival) We ate in the restaurant for our evening meal, very good and nice as a treat, the second night we had a bar snack on the terrace as the weather was great, again very good. The outdoor pool was a nice surprise and most enjoyable. We would without a doubt recommend Balmer Lawn Hotel for weekend break and a big thank you to all the staff!
Great for a break in the New Forest
We booked a night at Balmer Lawn last minute, as a short break away. The hotel looked impressive from the drive, and once inside we were not dissappointed.
The reception desk staff were attentive, pleasant and prompt and we had been complimentarily upgraded to a large four-poster room (room 9), which had recently been refurbished. The room also had two large windows which overlooked the front lawn and on to the forest. We were impressed with the standard of both the bedroom (which included a plasma tv) and the bathroom.
We did not eat in the restaurant for the evening meal, only for breakfast - which was average for a three-star hotel.
The indoor pool & sauna were extremely clean & enjoyable. The pool was large enough for some swimming but not really long enough for the more competent swimmer. The changing room showers were wonderful.
We would certainly recommend the newly-refurbished Balmer Lawn Hotel for short breaks (especially if you get a good late deal).
As we approached this lovely looking hotel we were sure we made the right choice in booking this hotel. As we checked in a piano was playing creating a wonderful ambiance - however don't be fooled by this as this is where the good things end.
I wouldn't normally be this picky but because I had such a bad time here i am going to comment on everything that was wrong about this place which on their own (apart from the restaurant food) would be acceptable.
The guest lift is near a swinging door where i nearly got hit by a member of staff carrying a pot of tea and cups so I had to do an amazing swerve (carrying my baby) - health and safety issue i am sure.
Then to the room, very tired and worn which you could accept as the view was quite nice but the bathroom, well, what can i say, the tiles on the floor were cracked and lifted up in areas, where, yes you guessed it, I stubbed my toe, i promptly laid a towel on the floor to walk on, it really was that bad.
We had requested a travel cot when we arrived at 3pm the receptionist said she would get it delivered before five- yep you guessed it, it did not arrive so had to ask again.
But that wasn't the worst of it. The restaurant was rated as serving very good food - umm, no it did not, the food was flavourless, warm and far from reaching any standard at all, overall very disappointing and believe me not cheap either.
So my advice if you are wise to take it, is don't stay here you will probably regret it as we did I am sure.
Good service, rooms a bit tatty
Went for a saturday night stay with a small baby. The family rooms have been updated (superior rooms), but have a view of the back of the buildings, though thanks to this web site we knew that. They can provide a small room adjoining a 'standard' room. Somewhere for the baby to sleep in. We went for that. Standard rooms have tatty bathrooms, and the room itself could do with some redecoration. Bed was very large, clean and comfortable. nice view over forest, made up for worn bathroom.You actually get a teapot and biscuits too.
The heated indoor pool is really a childrens pool. Ideal for us. The Jacuzzi seems home made and has some very sharp edges in it. Nice gym.
lots of helpful staff everywhere cleaning and polishing.
The 'gourmet' restaurant has 2 AA rosettes. The food and service was good, though the food was not as good as 2 rosettes might imply. May have just been me. Most guests were really happy with the food its seems. You do not get much food for your money!! If you order coffee and petit fours you only get 2 choclates !! seemed a bit mean, as is charging 10 pounds for a Cot, every other hotel I have tried does not charge. On friday / saturday night there is a pianist - very good.
It is expensive to stay there, try shopping around on the internet to get the best deal.
Its a worthwhile place to stay for a long weekend in the forest.
A lovely hotel in a lovely setting.
The food in the restaurant is exceptional. They were very busy on the Sunday evening and our main course was delayed but they gave us a freebie sorbet and kept apologising.
The staff work very hard and I think they need extra bar staff for busy times.
The room was lovely and had a view across the new forest with ponies and cattle grazing on the grass.
The pool , jacuzzi and sauna were lovely. The pool is quite shallow so difficult to do serious swimming when part of it is only 0.6metres deep.
Breakfast on Sunday was disappointing. The food was lukewarm and had obviously been kept hanging around. on Monday it was all freshly cooked and much better.
A lovely relaxing weekend and I will return.
A very disappointing 2 night stay at an extremely tired hotel. Our room was reminiscent of an old lady's bedroom. Everything was desperately worn, complete with cracked sink, cracked tiles, broken skirtings and an air of charity shops. The shower was no better than a leaking hosepipe, the showers in my local swimming pool are a million times plusher and more effective. We were expecting a wonderful weekend at a wonderful hotel but got quite the opposite. Room prices were well over the top, do not expect value for money. 1 out of 10 to Balmer Lawn, try looking in the yellow pages under 'Painters & Decorators'.
What a difference
The Balmer Lawn has regained its former glory, it had become a little tired and was in need of some refurbishment last time we visited three years ago. The transformation is geat, new bedrooms, new restaurant and friendly happy staff. Our family room was fantastic and even had its own Playstation 2 - great for the kids!!!
The restaurant food was second to none and the Restaurant Manager (Vincent) is a real character. We look forward to going back soon.
Lovely time, but a few problems
My husband and I stayed at the Balmer Lawn hotel for a weekend in March 2004. Overall, we had a lovely time but there were a few problems. Firstly, on entering the hotel, there was a distinct smell of paraffin in the lounge - not the most pleasant smell to be welcomed by. Secondly, our room looked out onto the centre of the hotel, so our "view" was of air conditioning units rather than the New Forest. As we were about to get changed we noticed workmen walking right outside our window, which was a bit disconcerting. Thirdly, the fitness centre was undergoing a major refurbishment, so we were unable to use the facilities in peace - something we were not informed about when we called to make our booking. Finally, after experiencing an enjoyable meal with excellent service on the Friday night of our stay, we decided to repeat the experience on the Saturday night. Unfortunately, the service was inconsistent to say the least. It took almost 40 minutes for the starter to be brought to our table and it was very late by the time our dessert was served, so we decided to forego the coffee and petit fours that were offered as an extra on the menu at ?5 a person. For some reason though, on checking out the next morning, these had been added to our bill. As I stated at the beginning of this review, despite these problems we had an enjoyable weekend in the New Forest. However, I feel the Balmer Lawn could certainly improve on aspects of its service if it is to truly justify the price it charges for its rooms.
It's not all roses
The Frommer's review makes the Balmer Lawn seem better than it is.
Stayed there in August 2003 with our 2 small children. We ate dinner one night (included) and breakfast two mornings in the hotel. Friendly staff but inconsistent quality. For walks into the New Forest it's in a good location (our kids liked all the horses and cows on our walks...
"it's a bit like where Shrek lives"). But note that the front of the hotel faces the very busy main road which passes through the New Forest (lots of traffic noise). Good indoor and outdoor pool. Walking distance to decent pubs.
As of August 2003 the Balmer Lawn has seen better days and needs updating. Tattered room, mildew in the bathroom, very very old plumbing and balconies that are in my view extremely unsafe for kids and not at all appealing. We stayed at many better places for the same or less money. We made the most of it but it was disapointing. Judge a book by it's cover.... even the "Balmer Lawn" sign is covered in rust!
TripAdvisor Reviews Balmer Lawn Brockenhurst
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