In need of a short family break, we wanted to go somewhere the kids could have fun, but that would allow us some time to ourselves for a bit of pampering and relaxation. Oh yes, I nearly forgot, we also wanted luxury. And we wanted all of this somewhere in the UK. Yes I know, we wanted a lot. Expecting a cursory Google search for ‘luxury hotel in UK with kids club’ to result in the words ‘nice try’, we were quite shocked to discover the stressed-out parent oasis more commonly known as – The Four Seasons hotel, Hampshire.
Set on a 500 acre country estate, The Four Seasons, Hampshire is an extremely elegant hotel within a Georgian mansion.
Driving straight up to the front door, we were greeted with a very warm welcome. Our luggage was swiftly removed from our car, as the complimentary valet service took it safely away. Upon walking into reception our children were delighted to be welcomed by name and offered a complimentary welcome gift from the hotel toy box. A few minutes later we were given a full tour of the hotel, helping us to know what was going on where and most importantly to feel settled.
Our accommodation was two adjoining garden rooms, both spacious and grand. Complete with marble bathrooms and one of the comfiest beds I have ever slept in. The family friendly vibe continued here too. The children’s room provided the most adorable child size spa robes and slippers. Plus, you can imagine the kids delight upon discovering a welcome message written for them on their bathroom mirror. As starts to mini-breaks go, this was up there with the best.
As I mentioned, we were there for some pampering and relaxation, so undoubtably our first stop was to the ‘Kids for all Seasons’ on-site complementary children’s programme, within the charming Reeds Cottage. Kids for all Seasons had a lot to offer – toys, movies, crafts, treasure hunts, stories and an outdoor play area. From the moment we stepped inside not only did the staff ensure that the children felt comfortable and excited about being there, they also spent time talking with us to give us complete confidence our kids would be safe and well looked after. With the children obviously happy and occupied, we headed for base camp – the spa.
The spa was fantastic. There are outdoor and indoor heated pools, plus plenty of freshly towelled sun loungers to wile away the hours. To make your life so much easier, you are only required to remember your swim suit – the hotel provides, robes, flip flops, water and sunscreen. Staff can bring food and beverages direct to your lounger, so minimal disruption to relaxation time is required. We had pre-booked treatments and after indulging in a perfectly relaxing one-hour full body massage, I spent some time becoming even more serene, lying on the beds in the spa’s relaxation area.
Once our optimum point of chilled had been reached, it was time to collect the kids. As a family we decided to make use of the hotel’s bikes, but there are also a number of other family friendly activities on offer too (see good to know below). It was great to explore the grounds with lots of fun hills to go soaring down. If you have more than the hour that we did, the hotel can provide food within back packs or even arrange to have your lunch ready for you at an agreed point along your route.
The special treatment of our kids hadn’t stopped after arrival. Heading back to our rooms in the early evening, the kids were thrilled to find a plate of yummy treats waiting for them. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that mum and dad were just a little bit jealous! Luckily they didn’t overfill their tummies too much and were able to take full advantage of the kids tea-time buffet, offering a host of kid favourite foods from jam sandwiches to macaroni cheese, not forgetting cookies, popcorn and a vintage style ice-cream cart. All served with child-friendly plates and cutlery.
Completely tired from our bike ride and their full day at Kids for all Seasons, they snuggled into bed. We took advantage of the babysitting service the hotel provides and enjoyed a cherished date night sampling the great cocktails on offer in the hotel bar.
Heading for breakfast after a restful night’s sleep, we were impressed with the array of food on offer in the breakfast buffet. They hadn’t forgot the children either, a children’s breakfast section including cereals and pancakes with chocolate sauce, set them up happily for the day.
We managed to squeeze in some more resting time at the spa, before collecting the kids and hitting the tennis courts. We needed to work up a sufficient appetite as we had pre-booked a table at the highly recommended Farmers Market Sunday lunch. Come hungry! Table upon table of delicious food to try plus the mandatory carvery and don’t let me forget to mention the complimentary glass of Champagne you get to wash it all down with.
Despite my reservations that I might actually sink post-lunch, we took the children to the indoor pool. If I haven’t said this enough, let me be clear – this hotel is ultra-family friendly. They think of everything from steps up to bathroom sinks to complementary swim nappies by the pool. I wasn’t surprised to find swim aids either. When your children are old enough to swim independently, you can relax on the loungers whilst watching them in the pool.
You might not be surprised to hear that only a very small dinner was required. We ate as a family in the hotel bar. We enjoyed light dishes and were pleased to see a decent children’s menu on offer too. Whilst the adults enjoyed a glass of wine, we as a family played some board games (available from the hotel) before hitting the pillow after a rather culinary indulgent day.
Before we knew it, it was sadly time to depart. From the moment we arrived until the moment we left, the staff were exceptional – always friendly, professional and efficient. They made it a truly lovely stay.
Driving away, we asked ourselves – would we go back? Well, when you discover a luxury hotel that recognises the needs of families as a whole, but also caters for the enjoyment of each individual member, we knew we had found a gem that absolutely should be returned to.
This hotel is located within reaching distance of some great days out. We chose to visit Hampton Court Palace on our departure day, but you could also consider visits to:
The hotel can arrange transport if required.
Good to know
- The Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire is located in the village of Dogmersfield. 1 hour drive from Central London.
- Kids for all Seasons is a complementary organised children’s programme that operates on Saturdays (09.30-12.30 & 13.30-16.30) and Sundays (09.30-12.30) for children aged 3-10 years. Children under 3 can use the cottage but must be supervised or have a babysitter with them.
- For children over 10 they will be provided with a key to the games room within the cottage.
- A babysitter can be arranged by the hotel for an hourly fee.
- This hotel is not only family-friendly, it’s also dog friendly. They offer a 3-hour dog sitting service for a charge.
- The hotel has free wi-fi throughout
- The outdoor pool is only for use by persons aged 16 and over
- The Farmers market Sunday lunch occurs every Sunday between 12.30-15.30pm. It costs £65 per adult and £17 per child (aged 5-11) under 4’s dine for free. Pre-booking is advised.
- It is advisable to pre-book any spa treatments you require, especially if you want them whilst your child is at Kids for all seasons.
- Some of the activities on offer (available at an additional charge) are: Horse riding, tennis lessons, clay pigeon shooting, high wire adventure, falconry.
- The use of the tennis courts and hotel bikes is complimentary.
- For further information and bookings, visit the Four Seasons hotel, Hampshire website
If you have any questions about this hotel, let me know in the comments box below, I’d love to hear from you.