Careys Manor is a welcoming, warm and relaxing four star hotel and spa, set within the beautiful New Forest. The hotel boasts history stemming from the 17th Century, and even used to be a hunting lodge, subsequently, many royals and Welsh Guards have passed through its doors.
The drive to the hotel is a treat in itself; you will have to pass through the open terrain and winding forest roads of the New forest, on the way you will be taking in the wildlife and natural beauty. To reassure you, the hotel is also close to human activity, with the local town of Brockenhurst just a few minutes away.
Let me first tell you a little about the hotel, and then I will regale you with information on the hotel`s wonderful SenSpa.
Careys Manor has 79 suites and bedrooms, all of which are spacious, comfortable and if you are lucky, like we were, you may also receive a complimentary bottle of Champagne on arrival. A great touch. Prices begin at £158 a night for a Small Manor room and go up to £338 for the top Manor Suite.
One concern with did have with the Hotel was some of its interior and exterior aesthetics. Let me explain – on the approach to through the hotel grounds, and in particular at the spa entrance, we were a little cautious about the seemingly mish-mash appearance of the exterior. But with an open mind, we went inside, and to be honest, we were left equally confused Another decorative note I would make about our room, a similar one to the other parts of the hotel, was a seeming discontinuity between some of the décor and furnishings. For example, our room had a red carpet, but the entrance hallway had a colour scheme of greys and blues. This is only a minor gripe, but one I thought could have been addressed.
Predominantly, Careys Manor is a fantastic Spa destination; the vast range of spa facilities, the great treatments and the highly relaxing feel of the place, make it the perfect place for a spa break or romantic trip.
The hotel`s SenSpa is top notch. The Spa utilises a combination of western and eastern influences, resulting in a really relazing atmosphere and is one in which you can really lose yourself. There is a vast selection of facilities to pick from, 17 in fact. For example, there is an experience shower where you `Choose from warm tropical rainfall or a refreshing and invigorating cold sea storm or ice storm encompassing your whole body to awaken the senses. Each experience comes with added light and sound to give a unique refreshing and invigorating sensation.` This is an entrancing and captivating experience. But be careful of this if you are epileptic, as the shower uses strobe lighting.
In addition to this, there are various sauna like rooms, such as the Lanconium. There is also a scented crystal steam room and a very large hydrotherapy pool. In short, the spa offers something for everyone, and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit.
I was lucky enough to try the `Saboo Deep Cleanse` (£105).
Here is what the treatment offers: `Lying on a warm traditional Moroccan Hammam slab your therapist will begin by cleansing your body with a luxurious natural soap and exfoliating mitts. Then the Vichy shower will release jets of warm water all the way down the centre line of your body whilst your therapist washes off the soap. This is followed by a full body Rhassoul mud massage using Swedish techniques which will relax and soothe muscles as well as easing out tension and knots. Your therapist will then wash the mud off of you and apply a nourishing balm using long stroking movements to moisturise the skin. The treatment is completed with a relaxing scalp massage.`
Not your typical treatment, the cleanse aims to re-energise your skin, and I have to say, it worked a treat. The short term effects were: it left me with exfoliated, soft skin, and a distant feeling of freshness. The long term effects were also very impressive; after a couple of days I noticed that it had cleared up some persistent areas of dry. This is an excellent treatment for those who aren`t fussed by comfort, but would love to treat themselves to the ultimate skin treatment.
My partner also experienced the spa`s brand new `Hot Stone Massage` and she assured me that it was as relaxing, if not more so, than any she had had before. Hot Stone Harmony massage (£90).
Dining at Careys Manor
Careys Manor hotel and its spa offers a range of dining experiences, all of which have different atmospheres and different price tags.
The Zen Garden restaurant is a Thai restaurant adjoined to the spa area. On a nice summer`s day, this is a bright, breezy and serene spot, therefore extending the feeling of relaxation once you leave the spa.
According to the menu, the food is locally and ethically sourced (where possible), therefore giving you a great taste of New Forest flavours, but with an oriental twist. There is also a great range of resh smoothies available, in particular, the Thai Mango smoothies was excellent. Made from a blend of mango, yoghurt, banana, kaffir lime and pineapple juice, this drink is a great balance of flavour and nutrition.
The Manor restaurant is a classier affair than the Zen restaurant, and it comes complete with a grand feel, tranquil atmosphere and a pianist to boot.
Particular highlights from the menu include the `Cheek and Joul of Pond Head Farm Pork` with Black Pudding and Celeriac Puree, Pancetta Creamed Potato, Savoy Cabbage and Tongue Jus. We were also rather taken by the `Trio of Chocolate`: a warm Chocolate Fondant, Milk Chocolate Pave and White Chocolate Ice Cream served with Cherry Compote. This was a fantastic journey through chocolate and we left feeling fully satisfied, if not a little guilty.
Service was a little slow in places, and we had to wait a long while for our latte, in fact, I forgot I had even ordered it!
To view a sample menu click here: http://www.careysmanor.com/manor_restaurant_a_la_carte.html
Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
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