Hotel Terravina

Dogs and Ducks in The New Forest

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Walking through the brightly coloured orange door of Terravina, you realise straight away that you have entered into a dazzlingly out of the ordinary, boutique hotel, quirky and very much showing the individual taste of the owners, Nina and Gerald.  In the entrance there is an impressive feature staircase, that wraps around a beautiful glass chandelier with wellington boots arranged as if you have just been out to play or gone for a long walk in the New Forest. The warmth of the hotel immediately welcomes you from the chill of the winter weather and we were greeted by a very nice person called Chris as we turned up to the hotel after a long drive in the Land Rover. Chris turned out to be the newly appointed General Manager and was eager to please with his great customer service.

After check-in, we walked up the floating style staircase to our bedroom, to be greeted by a lovely black and white tartan fabric covered dog saying “Too Cosy To Get Up”, which you can put outside your bedroom door so as not to be disturbed, another nice little quirky addition to Hotel Terravina. The room we had for the night had a roll top bath taking centre stage also a brightly coloured duck on the bath bridge rack with Hotel Terravina printed on it, a fun little memento for you to take home to remind you of your stay at this family run hotel.  If you did not fancy a long soak in the bath, there is an en-suite walk-in shower so all needs are catered for. The bath area is provided with products from the local region, which smelt lovely after a day walking in the Forest!

To our great delight, we opened the French doors to find we had a terrace which overlooked the garden of the hotel where we could see the red autumnal trees.  There were sun loungers and also a table and chairs for you to relax if you wanted to take in the air or a relaxing drink, which can be brought up to your room by the staff from the great cellars, as Terravina’s main passion is not only the great care of its residents but wine (as the name suggests). I recommend asking the sommelier for a glass of wine to watch the sunset on your balcony. Each room has an individually managed temperature control, which was simple to use, making it east to be lovely and warm in the winter or air-conditioned and cool in the summer.

After enjoying the look around our room, we returned down the spectacular staircase to find a surprise cream tea that has been laid out for us, most welcome and beautifully presented.  Becky brought in our tea which consisted of sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, and cakes.  There was an abundance of tea, just right for the autumnal weather and a delightful start to our stay.

After we had sipped our tea, we found in the lounge library a stripped covered scrap book which contained a photographic record of the conversion of the old building to the boutique hotel that is now Hotel Terravina.  Originally a gentleman’s residence built in 1868, it then became a maternity hospital to which, even today, people born there return to be pleasantly surprised at how the building now looks and meet the welcoming staff.  It became a hotel and in 2007 and was converted from the dated appearance to its current boutique look.

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Chris showed us around the Hotel Terrvina with great pride.  Each room has a wine themed name, ours being “Vin Doux Natures” meaning naturally sweet wine of southern France. All the rooms are subtly different with each having a striped or tartan dog with a message that acts as the do not disturb sign.  The dogs are a little touch of individuality and another humorous side to the hotel, like the bath ducks.

That evening we dined at the restaurant downstairs and had a very pleasant, wine-filled night before retiring to our room sated and merry from a very enjoyable meal. The next morning, we left our comfortable room after a lovely sleep to have a freshly prepared breakfast served in the open kitchen restaurant. We then met the lovely owner Nina, who was a joy! We were disappointed to hear we would not be meeting her husband Gerald, a world renowned sommelier, as he was away, but Nina was happy to tell us all about the history of the hotel and once again you could feel the passion of Hotel Terravina’s owner and employees. From the little yellow ducks bearing the Hotel Terravina name and the lovely cloth dogs sitting on the white duvet beds to the incredibly welcoming staff, this is a place where nothing is too much to ask and this mirrors the welcoming manner and attention to detail that is the owners outlook.

Hotel Terravina
174 Woodlands Rd
Southampton
Hampshire SO40 7GL
United Kingdom

BLACK BOOK QUARTERLY