There are three restaurants within the hotel, the 3 AA Rosette fine dining Cambium Restaurant, French style bistro Le Blaireau and Zen Garden which serves authentic Thai cuisine. Careys Manor also boasts its own multi award winning spa, SenSpa which has state of the art hydrotherapy facilities such as herbal sauna, crystal steam room and ice showers and the spa offers a range of treatments from massages to facials. The multitude of dining options are a big plus point as is the well-equipped spa. We were shown to our room, where a welcome bottle of chilled prosecco, handmade chocolates and SenSpa products awaited, which were thoughtful touches.
My first impression was that the room was spacious and light and the neutral colour scheme gave it a restful air. The comfortable bed dominated the space and there was a desk, flat screen television, two armchairs and tea and coffee making facilities too. Each room is equipped with a king sized or super king sized bed, each of which are handmade locally and adorned with duck feather pillows and a variety of luxurious bed linen also sourced locally.
I liked the fact that this felt more like a suite than a room, with attention having being paid to both comfort and amenities (iron, ironing board and hair dryer were included which was helpful) as the inclusion of armchairs and desk catered to both work and relaxation needs.
The bathroom was equally well-appointed, with bath and shower as well as mini products by The White Company which were handy.
We stayed in a garden room (which come with either patio or balcony) with a glass door which opened directly on to a pretty garden area; there were chairs outside which made this the perfect place to soak up the morning sunshine on our second day and it was such a peaceful spot overlooking the manicured lawns.
We made a coffee which we enjoyed outside while we perused some of the magazines which were left in the room (another example of the attention to detail this hotel excels at) and then it was time to head to the pool.
I love the pool area at Careys Manor which is part of the SenSpa located within the hotel which offers full hydrotherapy and spa treatments. We decided to unwind with a swim before dinner; there are lounge beds around the 14m pool where you can relax and read one of the newspapers or magazines which are provided poolside.
There is also a jacuzzi at the edge of the pool, which is the ideal place to unwind. After swimming, we went back to our room to get ready for dinner, as we had a reservation at the hotel’s stylish Cambium Restaurant (separate review to follow) after dinner we went for a walk around the village before retiring to our room to enjoy some prosecco. We slept so soundly, the vast bed was very comfortable and when we awoke for breakfast I felt so refreshed. Breakfast was served in the Zen Garden, where a full menu of hot breakfast dishes is available alongside a continental selection.
We were seated by the window overlooking a waterfall and we sipped smoothies as we decided what to order. I ordered one of my favourite breakfast dishes, Eggs Benedict which was delicious with a creamy Hollandaise sauce over the two perfectly poached eggs.
My partner had a bacon breakfast roll and we also selected continental items from an impressive array including pastries, toast, muesli, chia seed pudding, fresh fruit, juice, cold meat and cheese.
After breakfast, we relaxed in the sunshine; luckily it was a lovely morning so we sat outside our room overlooking the garden. At 10.30 it was time to head back to SenSpa as we had an aromatic detox massage booked, a lymphatic drainage massage using cold pressed, organic oils blended with essential oils. The hour-long treatment was so soothing; this full body massage is designed to rid the body of toxins and I felt rejuvenated afterwards.
Completing the spa experience, we then had a lunch reservation at Zen Garden where we sampled the food from Spring Green, a London based company which specialise in healthy meals made from nutrient rich ingredients. You can customise your order, choosing a base salad with a range of dressings and toppings. We started the meal with fresh fruit smoothies which were a refreshing treat and my partner had the super beetroot burger with sweet potato fries, pink slaw and green leaves.
I decided on the botanical salad (broccoli, kale, sugar snap peas, baby spinach, peas and quinoa) with a topping of grilled Halloumi with squash purée, lime and tahini dressing and herb and coconut mayo.
I sampled my partner’s burger which had a subtle flavour of earthy beetroot which paired well with the sweet potato fries and greens. I was stuck by the generous portion size, the patty of the beetroot burger was big and there was a good amount of fries. My salad was equally satisfying and tasty with bright flavours from the abundance of green vegetables which worked well with the creamy halloumi and the zesty lime and tahini dressing which added zing. The meal demonstrated that eating healthily needn’t be boring as the mains both had a variety of flavours and they were very filling. On to desserts and we sampled both the Night Sky, raw chocolate and banana ice cream with crispy chocolate circles and the Cacao chai bowl, with raspberries, cacao chips and goji berries. The ice cream had a rich texture reminiscent of mousse and the intense chocolate flavour had a delicious hint of bitterness. The Cacao chai bowl was fruity and smooth and both the desserts were indulgent despite being free from refined sugar.
Careys Manor is the perfect place to unwind, the hotel has so many amenities and such a wide range of dining options, that it makes a great destination for a weekend away. The location, right in the heart of the New Forest is an added bonus and the staff are extremely helpful. The attention to detail here is excellent, with so many items you may need during your stay having been provided, which is just what I want from a hotel. I always forget something when I am travelling and in this case I forgot my hairdryer, so I was pleased to find there was one in the room. For a special break, I would recommend booking a garden room as the outdoor area made our stay even better. It was so nice to open the door and walk directly from our room in to the garden with a cup of coffee. The award winning SenSpa is another attractive attribute of this hotel and the range of treatments on offer is impressive. You can keep your spa robes on while dining in the Zen Garden Restaurant too, which means you can go straight from your treatment to a relaxing lunch. This hotel is excellent for a luxurious and tranquil break and its location makes it ideally situated for exploring the surrounding area.
Careys Manor Hotel and Spa
*I was invited to review Careys Manor Hotel and Spa, my stay was complimentary for the purposes of this review. All opinions expressed herein are my own and honest.