Review: Hotel TerraVina, New Forest

Hotel Terravina is run by Nina and Gerard Basset OBE, a husband and wife team who’ve got hotels in their blood – Nina was a hotel inspector, and together they co-founded the original Hotel de Vin group in the 90s. So when I was invited to stay in their award-winning boutique hotel in the heart of the New Forest, I jumped at the chance. The hotel is nestled in the middle of a wooded area and prides itself as being a true boutique – with only a handful of rooms and individual service.

On arriving, we were greeted by a friendly receptionist who had us sign in and showed us up the spiral staircase to our room for the night. The place is full of little touches of luxury – for example, by the front door are pretty wellies and umbrellas in all sizes, which was perfect for those who wan to explore the surrounding in typical British weather.

Our room was up the spiral staircase and to the right. It was very spacious with high ceilings and a huge private terrace, which was a lovely surprise considering we’d picked a weekend when the sun was actually shining. The bed was comfy, and instead of the traditional Do Not Disturb door handle hanger, they use a stuffed patchwork dog. Very cute. The minibar was well stocked and far more reasonably priced than hotel chains charge. Oh, and a Nespresso coffee maker with a variety of long and espresso pods. Our safe ran out of batteries and locked up with all our things inside, but a quick call to Lydia on reception resolved the problem.

The bathroom had a huge opaque window, making it bright and perfect for applying make up! I didn’t use the shower, but my other half did and he said it was decent. So there’s a definite bonus.

One thing that bothers me when I stay in hotel is noise. I’m such a light sleeper, so doors banging and people clumping up and down hallways is my idea of a nightmare. But as the room was only attached to one other and there was a middle door in the lobby, noise wasn’t an issue at all.

The hotel has a restaurant with open kitchen, as well as seating on an outside raised deck – complete with blankets in case it’s a bit chilly. We started with drinks on the terrace and nibbles. The wasabi nuts and mini bhajis were to die for. The great thing about it is that the sommelier was on hand throughout the meal to suggest the best wines to match our food. Being a wine newbie (in that if it’s pink and sparkling I’ll drink it without hesitation) it was nice to have guidance on the finer flavours and notes. Service was attentive but not intrusive – no one like an over familiar waiter, do they. At one point Gerard made his way around the restaurant to speak to everyone and make sure they were being catered for which was a nice touch.

After about half an hour we were shown to our table inside. The restaurant was busy, with a party of about 12 people celebrating as well as a few other guests tucking in to their food. We ordered pork and salmon to start, and I was sold. The salmon was fresh and tasty, and portions were just right. The meal was delicious and definitely worth heading downstairs for.

Oh. One thing the girls will understand, the loos. They’re well stocked with everything you could ever need in case of life’s little emergencies. It’s these little things that really made us feel welcome.

Breakfast was a combination of the usual self-serve cereals, fruit and yoghurts. Our waitress took an order for a full English and sausage sandwich and it was delicious. Again, the restaurant was full of guests enjoying the sunny morning.

Overall, we had a great time. The warmth and friendliness is genuine; these are people who love what they do. Check in and check out was pain-free, and it’s a really beautiful place to stay.

Top tips
Don’t follow the TomTom as it takes you down a dirt path for some reason. Keep going down the road and look out for orange signage.
Our room (Room 11 Ausbruch) and Room 4 Vin Doux Naturel have huge terraces, and Rooms 5 and 4 have a smaller balcony area.

Hotel TerraVina | 174 Woodlands Rd Woodlands, Southampton, Hampshire SO40 7GL | 023 8029 3784