Stanwell House hotel review: A central Lymington bolthole that perfectly marries forest and sea

Stanwell House — located in the harbour town of Lymington, Hampshire — isn’t all about the New Forest; it’s also fresh from refurbishment, has a new chef and a new partnership with Land & Water. We sent Emily Anderson to take a closer look at this Georgian hotel’s new lease of life.

Once a private home and a finishing school for girls, this historic building still boasts an imposing presence from its position on the high street. 

The bright white facade and jaunty flag crowning the entrance way are a sure marker that this is a refuge for locals and tourists alike. 

You’ll find Stanwell House in the delightful yachting hub of Lymington, a short scramble down a colourful cobbled street to the marina. 

If you’re there on a Saturday, don’t miss the hustle and bustle of the weekly market, right on the hotel’s doorstep. And you mustn’t leave with the obligatory rugby shirt souvenir from Edwards Heavies.

The rooms 

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All the rooms, along with the rest of the hotel, were completely refurbished in 2022 and everything still looks freshly done. One of the best rooms in the hotel is the luxury balcony suite which overlooks a stylish courtyard. 

In keeping with the rest of the building, the interiors are Georgian-inspired, with a mix of soft natural colours and antique pieces of furniture including, in my room, an exquisite mahogany writing desk. As much as a large, flat screen TV isn’t aesthetically pleasing, it is always welcome in my book. 

Rooms come with a complimentary Land & Water Wellness kit — including essential oils to take home with you to help prolong that holiday feeling. 

Eating and drinking 

Downstairs, the spacious, stone-floored hallway leads guests past the Salt Bar — normally buzzing with chatty guests and friendly locals, sipping on cocktails — and into a serene orangery. 

This space is flooded with natural light and the perfect spot for a Sunday roast or afternoon tea. 

Fine dining restaurant Samphire, is tucked around another corner. It recently welcomed acclaimed chef Matthew Tomkinson — the talent behind the Michelin-starred Montagu Arms in Hampshire and The Goose in Oxfordshire. 

The menu is inspired by the hotel’s surroundings with plenty of New Forest-sourced produce and freshly caught seafood. 

What else to do while you’re there 

One of the highlights of this hotel is its proximity to the New Forest — and walking is the best way to experience it. Click here for some inspiration and a link to downloadable app containing 40 different routes, from family-friendly trails to all-day yomps.

Beaulieu is a popular tourist spot and has a burgeoning events calendar. Car enthusiasts will be especially well catered to (there’s a special exhibition celebrating Top Gear).  

For something a tad more peaceful, visit Palace House gardens

Lymington Sea Water Baths — a 19th century open-air, saltwater pool — is a short walk from the hotel. You can swim, paddleboard and challenge yourself on the inflatable obstacle course.

Finally, for a touch of something luxury, charter a yacht with Lymington Yacht Chartersor escape by ferry to the Isle of Wight.

Who is it for? 

Friends and family — simply because there’s so much to do. The hotel is also dog friendly.   

What gives it the ‘wow’ factor

Location, location, location — the hotel is smack-bang in the centre of Lymington’s busy high street and a five minute walk from the train station. 

The one thing we’d change 

What you gain from the hotel’s central location you sacrifice in parking — though there is a free private car park a minutes walk away for a limited number of cars. I found arriving by train to be a romantic endeavour, but it obviously restricts you from exploring the wider area.

Rooms at Stanwell House start from £175 a night. Call 01590 677123 or visit for more information and to book