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Staycation incentive ideas just two hours from London

  • Business
  • By Natalie Baker
  • Published 02 November 2023

The New Forest in Hampshire is an undoubtedly magical place. With just a two-hour drive from the chaos of the backlogged London roads, you can be transported to a world of roaming wild horses, winding cobbled streets and endearing country pubs. Whether it’s an incentive or a team-bonding weekend you’re looking for, this is the ultimate staycation.

Swap the Friday after-work drinks at the local for a private transfer down to the national park and watch your colleagues’ eyes widen and shoulders relax as they immerse themselves in a weekend of country living. However, we know not everyone likes the same style, and with so many luxurious hotels to choose from in this gem of Hampshire, we’ve picked our top three properties to suit each individual taste. 

Chewton Glen Hotel and Spa – for the luxury spa break

This award-winning property is elegance defined. Quintessentially British, this tranquil retreat is located on the fringe of the New Forest in New Milton market town and is surrounded by 130-acres of luscious greenery and picturesque countryside. Room interiors are simple and sophisticated, and lathered in delightful colour palettes of pastels and royal purples, creating an air of old British flamboyance. The spa is extravagant and reminiscent of a roman bath, the perfect place for you and your team to indulge in a little me-time. With a hydrotherapy pool, nail studio, aromatherapy and crystal steam rooms among all the offerings you would expect from a luxury spa, letting the stresses of work evaporate with the rising sauna steam will be easy. 

Chewton Glen’s signature accommodation is its treehouses, where understated opulence takes to the skies, to let you become one with nature among the heights of the towering bark. Watch the sun set from the comfort of your private hot tub on the terrace after a day of discovering nearby Christchurch, where vibrant foliage travels to the edge of the whitewashed sands. When it comes to team building exercises, Chewton Glen houses a cookery school, where you can learn invaluable skills before creating your own masterpiece under the watchful eye of the chef. There are also tennis courts, dance studios, archery and falconry available, while a nine-hole golf course should do the trick if it’s team bonding, you’re looking for. 

Limewood House - for the cool kids

Limewood is where you’ll find the trendsetters of the South, with its contemporary styling and refined aesthetics. The cool kids flock to the plush candyfloss-pink chairs while the standalone bathtubs and sleekly designed spa scream exclusivity. Think Miami crossed with Paris on an English farm. If it’s relaxation you’re after, a place like Limewood House is where you’ll find the cutting-edge technology appearing on the internet’s trending lists. Microneedling and LED light therapy round off a strenuous aerial yoga session or core class on the studio. It may overflow with luxury, but pretension is absent here, as you walk past knocked-over Hunter wellies (which are complementary, by the way) to your room. 

Once you enter the rooms, décor is pulled back with adornments sprinkled in the right places with vistas out onto the canals or the forest – the perfect morning view. Make sure to treat your colleagues to a Generous Room, where oak wood flooring sits underneath an open fire, with a roll top bath looking out on to the dense woodland. Relaxation areas include a quirky mini library where home-style comfy sofas circle around an open fire with traditional art hanging above. It’s the ultimate blend of new and old, appealing to the stylish crowd who can appreciate history and culture.  When you’re not enjoying the aesthetics of the hotel, the quaint village of Lyndhurst is less than a ten-minute drive away. Known as the “capital” of The New Forest, cosy tea rooms, country pubs and fine dining restaurants all await your presence, serving freshly baked delights and hearty locally produced ales. Downton Brewery does a particularly bitter drink, so look out for this in the pubs.  

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The Pig - for the culinary escape

Declaring itself “a restaurant with rooms”, you know you’re in for a gastronomic treat when you arrive at The Pig. The Kitchen Gardens are at the heart of everything they do, with only the freshest and most authentic ingredients being used. Forget about the flamboyance of city settings and menus for a weekend, and immerse yourself in local produce and shabby-chic interiors. Any produce that cannot be grown on the premises is sourced within a 25-mile radius to make sure every mouthful is bursting with the distinctive character of the Hampshire woodlands. Meats, fish, cheese and delicate English wines are in abundance on the daily-changing menu. If it’s a mixture of work and pleasure you’re looking for, The Green Room is a fantastic menu for holding a meeting while enjoying the culinary delights of the specially designed courses. 

It may put the emphasis on the foody feasts, but that doesn’t mean the rooms are lacking in finery and flare. All choices have a larder well-stocked with vintage treats and locally sourced snacks for those midnight munchies, and the décor is relaxed with a contemporary British vibe. Suites come in the form of the Forest Hut and Bert’s Box, hideaways tucked among the trees at the bottom of the garden. A stroll down the gravel of the outside area will greet you with the smokehouse, greenhouse, and kitchen garden, as well as chickens and a paddock with pigs! You couldn’t feel further away from The Big Smoke if you tried!

Whether it’s an incentive, team bonding or a reward, a trip down to the garden of Hampshire will always delight with its culinary wonder, inspirational hotel styling and luscious green spaces.

With our team of personal travel managers, experts in corporate travel, Winged Boots Business can design a completely bespoke trip to the New Forest that you’ll never forget. Get in contact with the team here or call 0203 816 0985 to find out how we can provide the highest standard of service for your travel needs. 

Tagged: UK
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