Beginning of a 700-word article, pictures available


by Pam Hobbs

During the drive from Heathrow Airport to Hampshire I began to wonder about my choice of accommodation. To my mind there is nothing more relaxing at the start of a trip than a couple of days at a country house hotel, and Chewton Glen fits the bill better than most. It is owner-operated, historic, and being snug against the New Forest it is ideal for a leisurely walk to clear my head after the overnight flight. With only 52 rooms and suites it won't be as busy as a city railway station on holiday weekends, and so many accolades have been heaped on it guest comfort and service have to be outstanding.

Then the doubts crept in. What if I am the hotel's only guest, rattling around public lounges, hovered over in the dining room? A wet Sunday in late October can't be the busiest time for a country resort. And with room rates starting at roughly 210 a day double, well this could be a lonely sort of stay.

Silly me. Chewton Glen is in a world of its own, far removed from everyday turbulence of life in the '90s, a haven for stressed out executives and travel-weary tourists.

Story ends with "If You Go" and reservations information.