Lorraine Jackson visits the Hampshire hotel and examines its rich history and facilities

Tylney Hall Hotel is located in the beautiful Hampshire countryside in Rotherwick, close to the small town of Hook and around 10 miles east of Basingstoke.

Outdoor Pool Aerial Tylney Hall

Aerial view of the hall and the pool

Only one hour’s drive from London, and with good links to major routes, it is an independently owned country house hotel, Grade II listed and situated within 66 acres of mature grounds incorporating lakes, woodland and landscaped gardens. The approach to Tylney Hall takes you along a sweeping drive and up to the main courtyard entrance in front of the impressive mansion building. Tylney Hall has a total of 112 rooms, some of which are suites, located within the mansion house or in the Orangery and walled garden, many with views of the lovely grounds. There are a number of ground floor bedrooms and also wheelchair friendly accommodations.

On arrival at reception we were greeted by pleasant staff, efficiently checked in and shown to our room in the mansion house, via a grand staircase. Our suite consisted of a large bedroom with décor and furnishings befitting of the period, a lounge area with ornate fireplace and far-reaching views of the lawns and mature Redwoods and a recently renovated contemporary bathroom. The rooms were well- appointed with tea and coffee making facilities, flat screen TV, complimentary WiFi, trouser press and comfortable sofa and armchairs in which to relax. The spacious bathroom offered a Jacuzzi extra-large bath, twin marble sinks and Molton Brown toiletries.

I met up later with friendly Senior Assistant Manager, Frederik van Niekerk for a tour of the hotel. He highlighted some of the more recent history of the Hall including the fact that it had served as a Hospital during the First World War, with the Park being used by the Army Service Corps as a base for mules. During the Second World War it was the headquarters for Lord Rotherwick’s famous shipping line, the Clan Line Steamers Ltd. In 1948 it became a school and remained as such until 1984. After extensive restoration, the hall reopened as a hotel and restaurant in 1985, and was acquired by Elite Hotels in 1986. Frederik escorted me into the sumptuous lounge areas, perfect for light lunches and afternoon tea.

The Italian lounge was an elegant and luxurious drawing room with marble fireplaces, comfortable period furniture and beautifully ornate ceiling, which was imported in sections from the Grimation Palace in Florence. The old library, with its traditional wood panelling, had been restored to house the bar and was a cosy area popular for pre-dinner drinks. We looked at several of the many rooms available at Tylney Hall for meetings and conferences, weddings and parties. Of particular note was the spacious and atmospheric oak-panelled Tylney Suite with a separate stage and minstrel’s gallery, able to accommodate 120. Also of note was the Chestnut Suite, a self-contained building offering an exclusive venue in its own corner of the grounds and the Hampshire Suite benefitting from its own private garden.

In all there are 12 meeting rooms, which can cater for group sizes of 10 to 120 and provide first class business and MICE facilities. The hotel is very flexible with individual group requirements and will consider negotiated rates for interested parties. My tour finished in the beautiful grounds taking in the Gertrude Jekyll water gardens and the Italian and Rose gardens. During the evening we dined in The Oak Room restaurant, which can serve 100 covers, managed by Head Chef Stephen Hine who is responsible for the RAC Three Ribbon award.

Tylney Hall Phillips Banqueting We enjoyed a drink and appetisers in the Italian lounge before being shown to our table. The restaurant had a relaxed ambience and the waiting staff were friendly and professional. Dinner courses were offered from a set dinner menu or full a la carte and included choices such as starters of Maryland Crab Cake, Salmon Rillette, Ham Hock Terrine and mains of Pan Fried Fillet of Sea Bream, Char-grilled Rump Steak and Supreme of Guinea Fowl. I particularly savoured the Sea Bream with Saffron, Prawn & Chive Risotto. In between courses we also tasted refreshing appetisers; the passion fruit sorbet was luscious. To finish we enjoyed delicious desserts from the temptations on offer. A pianist played throughout the evening which added to the ambience.

In the morning I returned to The Oak Room and just managed to squeeze in a small breakfast from the continental buffet. In the daylight I could fully appreciate the fine qualities of the dining room with its wonderful baroque ceiling and full-length windows looking onto the gardens, providing natural light into the lovely room. Excellent leisure facilities exist at Tylney Hall Hotel including an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, gym and sauna and, for those who like to be pampered, an onsite spa offering a range of enticing treatments. As for outside pursuits the hotel stands alongside an 18-hole golf course, available to guests, as well as offering wooded trails for walking, jogging or biking and all-weather tennis courts. In addition archery and clay pigeon shooting can be pre- booked for groups within the grounds. Tylney Hall also has a secret gem, hidden within its own walled garden, in the shape of an outside heated swimming pool and terrace, perfect for hot summer days.

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