With half-term fast approaching, the pressure is on for parents to find a fun way to entertain the kids. And if that's the case, New Park Manor in the New Forest has got you covered.
We recently spent a long weekend at the manor, and let me tell you the odds were against us. It was raining. Not just raining, actually - it was torrential from the moment we arrived. This was going to be the ultimate test for both hotel and parents…
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Searching for the New Forest deer and horses
We needn't have worried. To say that the hotel is kitted out for cooped-up children would be an understatement. From the indoor swimming pool, to the games room, the cinema nights, the snug areas complete with books and movies they can borrow, and the expansive outdoor play areas, the kids had more than enough to keep them entertained.
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Parents should also take particular note of the crèche area, which is exceptional – and not just because it allowed mum and dad to enjoy a cocktail or two next to a roaring fire. Child-free!
The manor has a warm and cosy feel
Next, on to the manor's spectacular location. It is set in the New Forest, which is teaming with fun activities for all the family. Whether it's pond dipping, crabbing, cycling or spotting the famous wild horses or deer, even the most screen-obsessed teen can be tempted to put down their devices and get connected with the great outdoors.
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Walking in the rain!
We booked into a family suite for our stay, and the layout was perfect for us. The two bedrooms are connected by the bathroom as well as an impressive entrance hall. Due to coronavirus restrictions, we pre-booked swimming slots, along with breakfast and dinner, and I did also manage to sneak away for the best massage I have ever had. Ever. A massive thank you to Lauren and her miracle hands.
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The peaceful spa terrace
And that's what really sets New Park Manor aside from other hotels – its staff. From the moment we arrived, we were made to feel incredibly welcome by the team, who went out of their way to answer our questions and make suggestions about how best to spend our stay.
The Stag Restaurant
Whether it was providing maps and directions for child-friendly walks (thanks Henry) to printing out Peppa Pig colouring sheets for our tantruming two-year-old at dinner, they couldn't have done more to help us. A huge, huge thank you to all (especially Michelle, Amy, Ellie and Henry).
…And for those of you wondering, we did venture out on that walk. In the torrential rain. For an hour and a half. In the wrong direction. It's still too soon to talk about it.
For bookings please go to www.luxuryfamilyhotels.co.uk or call +44 (0)208 0765555