Four Seasons Hotel, Hampshire – is it good for families when your life has become more Heinz baked beans than haute cuisine?

I stayed at the hotel for one midweek night with a seven-year-old boy – this is what we both thought

Four Seasons, Hampshire

by Georgina Terry |
Updated on

There are lots of things you forfeit when you’re a mum: perky boobs, an absolute guarantee that your hair is ketchup free, sweet, sweet alone time in the bathroom.

But do you need to wave goodbye to staying in a nice hotel in the UK? Absolutely not, mama. My son and I spent a night at Four Seasons Hotel in Hampshire, and it was absolutely banging. We went in February half term when the hotel actively lays on special activities for kids. A look at the website tells me they’ve got lots of Easter break activities planned too.

How family friendly is Four Seasons Hotel, Hampshire?

In a word: very. There were loads of families with kids there when we visited, taking advantage of the half-term activities on offer at no extra charge. My little boy loved archery, especially as it was with full size bows (I think, I’m no Maid Marian).

archery at four seasons ©Georgina Terry

It was held outside for extra ‘fresh air’ points but hot tip: if the hotel offers you Wellies to get to an activity, take them up on that. I wish we had. Thank goodness for the hotel’s free shoe cleaning service.

Inside, there’s a pool that’s just for little ones called Sharkie’s reef. My seven-year-old was a little too old for it, although that didn’t stop him having multiple goes on the slide. But there’s family splash in the main pool from 8am – 10am in the school holidays and from 4 – 6pm always that he absolutely loved.

The main pool is part of the hotel’s new spa complex and is lush. I’d love to go back with a grown-up to experience the spa properly. If your child will go to the kids’ club that runs each day, all day, with a break for lunch, you could live the spa dream while your child is entertained elsewhere onsite.

Sharkie's reef
Sharkie's reef ©Four Seasons

The spa’s changing rooms are gorgeous, not a hint of a verruca plaster anywhere, and there’s Molten Brown toiletries galore to get rid of any chlorine tang. There are free swim nappies for kids, and free nappies in all the bathrooms, male and female thank goodness, which is a lovely touch.

There’s also recycling bins in all the bathrooms and in the bedrooms which I have never seen before ever at a hotel, even at ones that shout about their green credentials. I loved this.

Food at Four Seasons

My little boy absolutely loved living his breakfast buffet dream, and it really is a glorious spread. There were three (three!) types of smoked fish, two (two!) types of sausages, and even falafel available. The cold spread had live yogurt which I was delighted to see as the gut microbiome is my new favourite health obsession, and also proper delicious buttery croissants which of course I had too as I’m not an idiot.

food at four seasons
a grown up salad at the wild carrot cafe ©georgina terry

There was a lunchtime buffet available for kids, my only quibble with it is that it was on a shelf that was too high for kids to see / use, and part of the buffet delight for my little one is being able to serve himself.

We stayed over Valentine’s Day and the evening kids’ buffet was at a height that was suitable for children. He had six plates (not full plates, bless him – he was coming back with a couple of crudites and a dollop of houmous) and no regrets.

What's the hotel at Four Seasons, Hampshire like?

The manor house is stunning to look at and set at the end of a sweeping driveway in 500 acres of grounds so you can live your To The Manor Born fantasy. Inside, it’s luxurious without being ostentatious with armchairs you want to sink into and spend a quiet hour drinking a latte and staring mindlessly out at the grounds. Although I went with a child so obviously that didn’t happen for me.

public room at the four seasons hotel
live your to the manor born fantasy ©four seasons

But what really makes the hotel is the staff. They are an absolute delight and so friendly to children, making an effort to ask my son’s name and question him about his day. They are also numerous, so there was always someone around to help, in my case mainly with directions as the hotel is large and I have no sense of direction even when maps are helpfully provided.

There’s no two ways about it, this hotel is amazing, and a great place to visit with kids. However, it’s not cheap, or even moderate. In fact, I’m going to just come right out with it: it’s spenny. So, despite my son asking if we could live there, it’s going to be a special occasion only treat. Unless anyone knows the lottery numbers for this weekend and wouldn’t mind sharing..?

A midweek stay for one adult and one child at Four Seasons Hotel, Hampshire, starts at £620.

Georgina Terry is group editor of Closer and heat online and mother of two. She's been with Bauer since 2015 working at titles includingMother & Baby and would quite like to become a hotel reviewer full time if anyone is offering.

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