A fairytale stay at Tylney Hall

As a family of six, travelling in and out of the UK can be difficult. With the majority of hotel rooms only equipped for a standard family of four, we often face the dilemma of all cramming into one small space or forking out for two budget rooms. For that reason, our experience of hotels with the children solely consists of budget chain hotels where, although we are grateful for a comfortable bed and a warm shower, could never be described as luxurious. So when we were offered the chance to stay at Tylney Hall, a luxury country house hotel near Basingstoke in Hampshire, we quite literally jumped at the chance!!

From Lancashire down to Tylney Hall took around four and a half hours, which doesn’t seem like a lot but, with four whiny children in the back, it’s never fun. Having spent the entire journey gritting my teeth and screeching at them to stop arguing/kicking my seat/pulling faces at other drivers/spilling drinks/needing the toilet every two seconds, by the time we grew near I was asking myself why we had even bothered!

And yet as we drove up the avenue and Tylney Hall appeared before us, I knew in an instant it was worth it!!

The children fell silent for the first time in hours, their mouths dropping open in amazement. “WOW!” said Harry. “It looks like a castle!” said Eva. “It looks too posh for us!” said Lewis. And as we unloaded our cases and were met by the doorman to take then from us, I couldn’t help but wonder if he was right!

Tylney Hall is a Grade II listed building and remains an outstanding example of a luxury country house hotel that has never lost its old world sense of charm, and believe me, it is just beautiful. It is, quite simply, fairytale-esque, with sweeping staircases and floor to ceiling walnut panelling, boasting 112 rooms situated in the Mansion house and across the surrounding gardens. And having seen how grand the entrance to Tylney Hall was, we couldn’t wait to be shown to our room!

We were lucky enough to stay in one of Tylney Hall’s Master Suite’s, The Duchess, and let me tell you I have never stayed in a hotel room quite as large, or as luxurious as this! With a separate lounge, spa bath, and views over the avenue and the golf course, The Duchess is perfect for larger families with extra beds being made up in the lounge area for the children. I loved that each child received a gift bag containing lots of little things to make our stay more comfortable, including colouring books and crayons, little toys and games, and even bird food to feed the ducks the following day.

The master bedroom was pretty special with a four posted bed that I later learned had been slept in by a whole host of royalty and celebrities, including Richard Gere and Madonna! I bet not many people can say they have shared a bed with those two, and I will be name dropping that little nugget of information for many years to come!!

With a huge family bathroom and separate toilet, and ample luxury bath products, towels and robes, there was nothing at all that Tylney Hall hadn’t provided.

Hungry from our long drive, and excited to see more of Tylney Hall, we made our way down to The Oak Room Restaurant for our dinner reservation, and shown to our table. The Oak Room is just beautiful, and evidently gets its name from the rich oak panelling, crowned with a domed ceiling, and views across the gardens and lawns. Having won the award for Best Hampshire Restaurant at Bookatable’s Diner Awards 2018, we were excited to sample, what is reputed to be, an innovative cuisine with a distinctly British twist.

With the majority of diners adult only parties, speaking in hushed whispers, enjoying a lavish meal whilst listening to the tuneful notes of a grand piano, I felt a niggle of fear at how Harry, Megan and Eva would behave over dinner. I couldn’t help but think that should I have paid  a costly amount to eat in a restaurant as beautiful as this, I certainly wouldn’t want my three on the next table singing songs about bodily functions and sword fighting with their dessert spoons. But we were hungry, and the food looked too good to miss, and so we whispered our threats with smiling faces, and simply hoped for the best.

Having placed our orders from the menu, offering both seasonal specialities and signature dishes, we were brought a variety of breads and appetisers, all beautifully presented and utterly delicious!

The table service was absolutely faultless each course was brought out promptly and extravagantly. I don’t think I have ever been to a restaurant where my soup has been poured infront of me from a porcelain jug, nor where I have had a waitress brush down the table cloth in-between courses. Several times throughout the meal, particularly when the courses just kept coming, Lewis piped up with, “Do you think this is how posh people eat every night?”.

Gaz, Lewis and I all chose the same main course – Slow cooked fillet of lamb served with Crispy sweetbreads, confit shoulder bubble and squeak, and turnip. The lamb was by far the tastiest, and most tender, I have ever eaten and I’m assured by Gaz the sweetbreads were delicious, although Lewis’s face when we told him what he had just eaten was a picture!

The children chose sausage and mash and cod and chips, and I loved how, although very much child friendly, it was still served in an adult like manner to allow them to really feel a part of a formal meal.

Dessert was my favourite course, although I’m amazed that we even managed to fit in a another mouthful, with Milk chocolate cremeux, served with Nut crunch, caramel shard and dulce de leche. It was undoubtedly the most delicious dessert that I have eaten, pretty much in my entire life!

At no point during the meal did we feel that anything was too much to ask. When we ordered a drink it was brought almost instantly, and when the children grew restless and began to screech at the top of their voices speak a little louder than everybody else in the room put together others, we didn’t feel uncomfortable or awkward, and were met with kind smiles and understanding eyes. And that right there is exactly what I want from a family stay, regardless of the setting.

When we got to our room, bursting with food and utterly exhausted, I would love to tell you that the children fell into their beds and went to sleep. Instead we had two hours of mass hysteria, uncontrollable laughter, defiance and screeching (them and then me) and yet climbing into that four poster bed and closing my eyes has never felt so good.

The following morning we were up bright and early (thanks kids!) and yet waking up in a setting like Tylney most definitely softened the blow!

Breakfast was served back in the Oak Room Restaurant and, with a self service hot and cold buffet, and a made to order menu available, we couldn’t wait to tuck in!

When the children asked if they could have hot chocolate, we were brought a whole jug to the table to share. When Eva requested an omelette with extra cheese, it was made and brought for her in no time. And when Gaz, who had forgotten his swimming trunks, asked one of the staff if there was a shop nearby he could buy some, they offered to take the twenty minute drive and buy some for him! I don’t think that I have ever stayed at a hotel where the service, and the kindness, shown by the staff was to such a high level as this.

Whilst the children finished their breakfast I was met by the hotel manager who shared the history of Tylney and a guided tour of the rooms. One of my favourite rooms was the newly refurbished library and bar area.

I was also shown the various suites where wedding ceremonies are held, including buildings where couples can have their wedding service and reception in self contained areas with their own private gardens. With two of the suites set up for weddings that day, I couldn’t help but imagine what a fairy tale wedding that would have been!

Back with Gaz and the children, although Tylney Hall has a Health Suite with Spa treatment rooms and leisure facilities, including an indoor and outdoor pool, with the weather so glorious we decided to walk off our breakfast with a walk around the grounds.

With 66 acres of parkland, and the longest uninterrupted view in the whole of Hampshire, it is the individual historic gardens which are a real selling point for Tylney Hall. Originally designed by the renowned gardener and planter, Gertrude Jekyll, and which have been lovingly tended over the last 30 years by a team of dedicated gardeners led by Paul Tattersdill. And they are utterly beautiful.

The gardens boast expansive woodlands and hidden paths to explore, as well as beautiful water features and lakes, ducks to feed and fish to spot. And we spent a good few hours doing exactly that.

After the most wonderful stay at Tylney Hall it was time for us to leave for the next step of our adventure, and I think all six of us were a little reluctant to go! There is something about Tylney that I can’t quite put into words, a sense of history and grandeur, that leaves you feeling a little like royalty for the duration of your stay.

For those looking for a luxurious hotel stay, or to host a special occasion or business event, Tylney is quite possibly the most perfect location. I’ll be honest, at £640 a night for The Duchess Suite it is most definitely out of our price range (although other rooms are available at a lower rate) and yet for us, as a very normal, every day family, it was a hotel stay we will never forget.

Plus really, Richard Gere and Madonna……could it ever get any better than that??  

 

** We were guests of Tylney Hall for the duration of our stay. All words and opinions are our own. **

Can A Young Family Stay At Tylney Hall? | Staying in luxury hotels doesn't have to stop just because you have young children. This post explains how Tylney Hall welcomed us with 3 young kids and a teenager and how we found it in comparison to our usual budget hotels www.fivelittledoves.com

Follow:

92 Comments

  1. Ann Snook-Moreau
    May 2, 2018 / 9:23 pm

    I would love to explore the beautiful grounds of this hotel! I love that they gave the kids food for the birds in their welcome bags . . . that’s such a cute touch 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 8:29 pm

      It was such a lovely thing to do! We really enjoyed our stay! xx

  2. May 2, 2018 / 9:31 pm

    Oh, my! Tylney Hall is absolutely beautiful! It really does look like something out of a fairytale! The cuisine looks delicious too! I could walk the grounds all day and enjoy nature.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 8:30 pm

      The food was amazing Nancy! Some of the best I’ve ever had! xx

  3. May 2, 2018 / 10:22 pm

    Oh my word! What a magical place! The drive there that you described did sound, well less than desirable, but it seems that it was well worth it! My eyes almost popped out of my head when I viewed the photograph of the bathroom! And that newly refurbished library – amazing! The service you received is incredible and those grounds – out of this world! It was a delight to read about your stay and the photographs are wonderful! I do so hope that I will be fortunate enough to one day get to experience this gorgeous hotel!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 8:31 pm

      Yes! Mine too! Our suite was bigger than the house I used to live in!! Just amazing!! xx

  4. May 3, 2018 / 3:14 am

    How pretty! The bedroom reminds me of a Disney princess’s room.
    Xo, Sondra
    Cuisineandtravel.com

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 8:31 pm

      Me too! A four poster bed is pretty special! xx

  5. May 3, 2018 / 3:16 am

    What a wonderful experience. It sounds as though the staff has customer service down to a science. And to be pampered the entire stay – TREMENDOUS!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 8:32 pm

      Yes the service was top notch, I couldnt fault it! xx

  6. May 3, 2018 / 5:24 am

    What a beautiful place, I can’t believe I haven’t heard of it before yet it’s not too far from me. Definitely a stay that no one would forget x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 8:32 pm

      I know! I think it’s a real hidden gem although the manager said they are fully booked pretty much all year long! It’s just beautiful! xx

  7. May 3, 2018 / 7:55 am

    It must be tough having such a large family when going away, even with just 2 kids it can be a squeeze sometimes x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 8:50 pm

      Yes it can be really hard to get a room anywhere! xx

  8. May 3, 2018 / 8:47 am

    Oh my goodness Laura, your photos are stunning. This hotel looks amazingly plush – what a fantastic little break away for your lovely family. Sarah x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 8:50 pm

      Thank you Sarah! It was such a gorgeous place to stay, we had a lovely time! xx

  9. May 3, 2018 / 8:52 am

    This is beautiful Laura – what an amazingly gorgeous place – well worth the trip. The kids look like they are having a blast!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 8:50 pm

      Yes definitely! We had such a lovely stay there and then on to another hotel then Longleat! XX

  10. May 3, 2018 / 9:16 am

    It certainly looks like a castle to me! What was it like sleeping in a four poster bed?

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 8:51 pm

      Amazing! I slept like a log! xx

  11. May 3, 2018 / 10:16 am

    Oh gosh Laura this looks amazing!! It really does look a fairytale castle – We would love to explore these grounds. I am now off to price this beautiful place for half term!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 8:51 pm

      It was stunning Natalie, those grounds are just beautiful! You could stay there and never need to leave! xx

  12. May 3, 2018 / 2:42 pm

    Finding a hotel room or a place that could accommodate us as well.remains a challenge, too..we have five boys plus my mom would never allow to.be left behind…I could very well.understand the concern on.space and room.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 8:52 pm

      Yes it’s hard to get large family rooms, this was so spacious for us! xx

  13. May 3, 2018 / 3:23 pm

    Wow. This is such a beautiful place, and the grounds look lovely. We often stay in budget hotels and at the moment we are in Turkey, staying 5 star. She is so shocked at the difference. It sounds like the customer service was excellent there.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 8:52 pm

      Yes! When you stay somewhere as lovely as this it’s amazing, and SO appreciated! xx

  14. Hannah Swancott
    May 3, 2018 / 3:50 pm

    Oh wow, it does look like a castle! It reminds me of Hogwarts, so cool! Looks like you had a totally great time.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 8:53 pm

      Haha yes! Gaz said the same! xx

  15. Sally Pink
    May 3, 2018 / 3:50 pm

    Hi I totally agree Tylney Hall is a special place I got married there in 2015 and we stayed in the duchess suite for our honeymoon. I can’t fault the place or people and I’m lucky enough to be able to visit there as I live quite locally. I’m so glad you and the children enjoyed your visit it is a calming place

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 8:54 pm

      Oh wow lucky you!! The Duchess Suite is amazing isn’t it? I couldn’t get over how big it was!!! xx

  16. May 3, 2018 / 4:20 pm

    Oh wow! This looks like an absolutely stunning place to stay!! The service sounds amazing! You don’t find too many places that go out of their way like this anymore.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 8:55 pm

      I agree, it really felt as though they went out of their way to make our stay as comfortable as possible! xx

  17. Ally
    May 3, 2018 / 4:30 pm

    I have to say that I agree with your kids, that absolutely looks like a huge castle! I would love staying in a hotel like this!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 8:59 pm

      It felt SO regal! Just gorgeous! xx

  18. May 3, 2018 / 4:34 pm

    Wow! It reminds me of a castle. I would love to stay there! Sign me up.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 9:00 pm

      I can’t wait to go back….maybe without the kids, haha! xx

  19. May 3, 2018 / 5:23 pm

    Oh my, Tynley Hall certainly looks incredible and vast enough to accommodate your whole family. The grounds are amazing and I love that they cater to children in an adult way too.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 9:00 pm

      Yes I loved that, I think it’s great to make them feel included! xx

  20. May 3, 2018 / 5:51 pm

    Oh my goodness what a dreamy place to go and stay. I would absolutely LOVE a four poster bed, though totally not that practical. This sounds like the most amazing place to go and spend some time.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 9:01 pm

      It was SO comfortable! Or maybe I was just that full up and exhausted….but still…..bliss!! xx

  21. May 3, 2018 / 7:36 pm

    We struggle to find rooms that will accommodate us as a larger family too, this place looks perfect, so luxurious and what amazing grounds. You lucky things!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 9:01 pm

      Yes! I felt so lucky the entire time of our stay! xx

  22. May 3, 2018 / 8:19 pm

    I would love to visit Tylney Hall! I enjoyed the ‘photo tour’ of your stay.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 1:11 pm

      It’s amazing Jocelyn, thank you for reading! xx

  23. Brittany
    May 3, 2018 / 10:40 pm

    This place looks like a dream! Your photos are absolutely amazing!!! Thanks for sharing your stay!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 1:10 pm

      Thank you for reading! xx

  24. May 4, 2018 / 3:32 am

    It’s a fairy tale indeed! Can I just live at Tylney Hall?
    My whole family will surely enjoy staying here but £640 will really break our bank. 🙁

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 1:09 pm

      Haha I wanted to! It’s expensive, and for me a completely luxury, but what an experience it is! xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 1:06 pm

      It was amazing Emily! I don’t think I have, or ever will, stay somewhere quite as gorgeous as that! xx

  25. May 4, 2018 / 9:47 am

    That looks like my kind of hotel! It’s beautiful, and the food looks incredible. I always make a note of such places when I read a post like this as family friendly (and enough space for a family!) in the UK is quite hard to come by sometimes…

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 1:06 pm

      It was amazing Emma, I can’t recommend a visit there enough! xx

  26. Heather
    May 4, 2018 / 2:26 pm

    It looks like a place fit for royalty (and not just rock royalty like Madonna). It’s the perfect balance of historic charm and modern luxury.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 9:02 pm

      Yes! They get a lot of royalty staying there Heather, it doesn’t surprise me! xx

  27. May 4, 2018 / 4:08 pm

    this sounds like right out of a Victorian era..totally would love to live there, like Karla says.. but that is just a fairytale at this time 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 9:03 pm

      Yes it felt like a real life fairy tale! Just gorgeous! xx

  28. Dannii
    May 4, 2018 / 5:42 pm

    What a beautiful place to stay. That bathroom is total bathroom goals and I want to eat everything in the photos.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 9:03 pm

      The food was amazing Danni! That dessert – YUM! xx

  29. May 4, 2018 / 5:54 pm

    Wow, you’re right! This place sure is fairytale-esque. So stunning!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 9:03 pm

      It’s just breathtaking isn’t it?! xx

  30. May 4, 2018 / 9:01 pm

    We love it there and we live just around the corner! Small world. My mummy had pregnancy photos taken in Autumn by the lake one year and my folks often stay 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 4, 2018 / 9:04 pm

      Oh no way! That’s so funny! I had never heard of it until recently! xx

  31. May 5, 2018 / 2:11 am

    O wow. This looks like a great place to visit. Love the pictures of the facility. Looks like you all had a blast!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 10, 2018 / 8:21 pm

      Thank you! We had a great time! xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 9, 2018 / 10:46 pm

      It was above and beyond what we could have hoped for! xx

  32. May 5, 2018 / 3:23 pm

    What an absolutely gorgeous place to stay! I hadn’t ever though about the lack of places that cater to larger families with their rooms, I’m glad Tylney Hall met your needs. The food looks absolutely delicious and I’m now craving a cooked breakfast

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 9, 2018 / 10:46 pm

      It was just beautiful Tanya! So much space for us too! xx

  33. May 5, 2018 / 4:19 pm

    What a wonderful experience, so glad that you got to spend family time in such a fabulous place.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 9, 2018 / 10:45 pm

      Thank you Nayna! xx

  34. May 5, 2018 / 4:37 pm

    What a fabulous looking place – there’s nothing better than a proper English breakfast and I adore Molton Brown toiletries (it’s the little things). Love the ‘whispered threats’ over the dinner table. Ha!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 9, 2018 / 10:45 pm

      Oh I agree! I’m all about the breakfast! Hahah it has to be done right? xx

  35. May 6, 2018 / 5:43 am

    Wow what an incredible place to stay. I would love to explore there x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 9, 2018 / 10:44 pm

      It’s just beautiful Jenni! xx

  36. Felicia
    May 6, 2018 / 6:28 am

    This looks like a fantastic place to visit. The pictures you took are great!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 9, 2018 / 10:44 pm

      Thank you Felicia! xx

  37. May 6, 2018 / 6:38 am

    Tylney Hall seems like such an incredible place, I wouldn’t mind taking my parents here for their anniversary coming up. I love that they went above and beyond with there service, not many hotels would offer to drive that long and get items for you.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 9, 2018 / 10:44 pm

      I agree, it was just exceptional! xx

  38. May 6, 2018 / 12:29 pm

    Wow it looks like such a gorgeous place! I wouldn’t mind going there with James and Amelia! Looks like the perfect place to have a break! xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 9, 2018 / 10:42 pm

      It’s GORGEOUS Lucie! Definitely the best hotel we’ve ever been to! xx

  39. May 7, 2018 / 2:36 pm

    I would love to visit this beautiful hotel! I wish UK was a little bit closer! It looks so royal!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 9, 2018 / 10:34 pm

      It’s amazing isn’t it? I want to go back! xx

  40. Bryanna skye
    May 7, 2018 / 4:08 pm

    Oh my goodness their comments made me laugh out loud! It does look amazing and I’m so happy it was a welcoming and relaxing time 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 9, 2018 / 10:34 pm

      hehe they are pretty funny aren’t they? xx

  41. May 7, 2018 / 8:14 pm

    That place looks beautiful and the food looks amazing not to mention, your kids are all so adorable. What a fun family getaway!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 9, 2018 / 10:31 pm

      Ahh thank you Lynne, it was a fab trip! xx

  42. May 8, 2018 / 10:48 am

    Like you we struggle to find hotels to fit in all the family but Tylney Hall looks stunning. Looks like the perfect getaway and I have always wanted to sleep in a four poster bed

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 9, 2018 / 10:24 pm

      Me too Kara, I felt like royalty! xx

  43. May 9, 2018 / 4:50 pm

    Wow! Such a charming stay, Laura. Tylney Hall definitely offers a fairytale stay, especially for families! Plus, the food seems truly mouth-watering. 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      May 9, 2018 / 10:17 pm

      It was amazing Lydia, we had the best time there! xx

  44. May 17, 2018 / 7:50 am

    Wow! This looks amazing! What lovely grounds to explore! Thank you for sharing xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *