With its neat red-brick facade and sweeping, immaculately manicured grounds peppered by gravel drives and meandering walking paths, Heckfield Place in England’s Hampshire region appears as if it is frozen in time. But in fact, the Georgian-estate-turned-quietly-luxurious-hotel has been abuzz since 2009 when the property, which was originally built as a private home in the early 1800s, was bought by its current owner. Since then, nearly every aspect of the house and grounds has been carefully stripped back—revealing and restoring original architectural details and adding seriously luxe upgrades fit for the modern traveler.
After nearly a decade of meticulous work, Heckfield is finally reading for its much-anticipated debut, set to welcome its first guests in early September. Though just 40 minutes outside of London, the property feels a world away with its 400 acres of gardens, greenhouses, and rolling hills. Inside, the manor’s 47 guest rooms (which vary in size from cozy to palatial) all exude a tranquil elegance thanks to hushed earth tones, residential-style decor, and wide windows that let the crisp country light pour in. When not curled up with a Jane Austen novel in the living room of one of the top-of-the-line Signature suites or entertaining friends and family in the secluded, stand-alone Church Lodge Cottage, guests can enjoy free rein of the property’s many quiet corners.
Activities are all meant as anecdotes to the breakneck speed of 21st-century life. Experts are on hand to lead historic tours of the grounds and whisk guests away to explore the surrounding country houses. Should guests want to try their hand in River Whitewater that runs through the estate, fly-fishing equipment is available, and a fully equipped stable will be ready to welcome both expert equestrians and novice riders. When the property opens, guests will be able to unwind from days out at the Little Bothy Spa, which features five treatment rooms alongside space for fitness classes and personal training. Come next summer, however, the full spa will debut—adding an additional five treatment rooms, a sauna and steam room, and perfectly warm indoor pools.
Come meal time, the full bounty of the property is employed in its two restaurants—with both menus fueled by the estate’s biodynamic farm, two walled gardens, and orchards. Nights are then wrapped up under the stars at the Moon Bar (where drinks and infusions are made with ingredients sourced on-site) or with one last glass of wine in the estate’s extensive cellar.