Approaching Rhinefield House Hotel on the wooded driveway in the heart of the New Forest, the first view you get of this magnificent edifice, framed by soaring redwood trees, is to die for. Which was fitting, as I was staying there for a murder mystery weekend.

The grand Gothic and Tudor exterior, creaking oak front door and maze of corridors and stairs added perfectly to the occasion. As did the baronial-style, chandeliered public rooms with their lofty leaded windows and ornamental gardens beyond.

Hercules Poirot and Sherlock Holmes would be in their element in this magnificent country house hotel, part of the Hand Picked Hotels group and offering 50 bedrooms, outdoor pool and leisure centre in 40 acres of woodland. But with friendly staff and four-star comforts, it felt very homely even to a lesser sleuth like me.

Some rooms are in the new section, which is used as a conference and wedding venue. Mine was in the old part, with a stone-mullioned window, but was very cosy. I particularly liked the toy New Forest pony left on the bed, which you put outside the room if you don’t want to be disturbed. Unfortunately, the bathroom radiator did not work, making for a quick dash for warmth after showering.

With two AA Rosette fine dining in a stately restaurant boasting a carved Armada frieze above the fireplace, the food is first rate, although my murder mystery companions and I ate in the glorious Grand Hall.

What a pity not all of them stayed around to enjoy the whole weekend.


Rhinefield House Hotel

Rhinefield Road, Brockenhurst, Hampshire SO42 7QB

Tel: 0845 072 7516

Double room from £135 B&B

Search availability via our partners

Murder Mystery weekends can be arranged through The Killing Game

best for

  •  Forest escapes
  •  Romantic breaks
  • Weddings

could do better

  • Warm rads, please

All prices and details were correct when published, please check before you visit.