Countryside chic, serene, interior design dream
Heckfield Place, Hampshire RG27 0LD, England 44-118-932-6868 heckfieldplace.com
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At a Glance
Just one hour outside of London, in Hampshire (not technically a part of the Cotswolds, but similar in atmosphere), Heckfield Place is an immaculate 18th-century estate-turned-countryside-hotel that opened in 2018. The passion project of Boston-based businessman Gerald Chan, the property feels more like a home than a hotel—not least because the Chans’ spectacular private art collection lines the walls. The grounds at Heckfield beckon you to live out your Austen- and Brontë-inspired fantasies, but every other element is firmly rooted in the (very upscale) present: a large wardrobe in the “boot room” contains racks of Hunter wellies and raincoats that can be borrowed throughout your stay for walks to see the resident Saddleback pigs or exercises with habituated owlets and gyrfalcons; the enticing Moon Bar is centered around a glimmering, dangling disco ball; and the bedrooms—which are accented with dried flowers, chevron-woven wool blankets in greys and mustards and personal coffee-and-cocktail cabinets with delicate brass tools and complimentary homemade snacks—will have you snapping photos for redecoration projects at home (thanks to designer Ben Thompson, who also contributed to Stockholm’s Ett Hem in collaboration with Ilse Crawford).
The Standout: The Assembly, an in-house cultural program that includes film screenings (in a custom 67-seat cinema), guest speakers and art workshops
Don’t Miss: Afternoon tea in the dreamy Glass House—and a nightcap crafted to your tastes at the jewel-toned Moon Bar
- The gorgeously detailed, Scandinavian-inspired spaces, which invite guests to settle in for reading, games and tea by the fire
- The signature suites, including the Long Room, a stunning one-bedroom suite with a loft-like feel
- The 400 acres of gardens and woodlands, where guests can enjoy falconry, fly fishing, nature walks and visits to the biodynamic farm
- The farm-to-table cuisine crafted by celebri-chef Skye Gyngell at restaurants Marle and Hearth
Heckfield Place Review
Located one hour outside of London in the county of Hampshire and just 45 minutes from Heathrow, Heckfield Place owes much of its magic to its affable owners, Gerald Chan, a Boston-based businessman with no background in hospitality but an undeniable knack for creating special places, and his family. Their first venture into the industry, Heckfield Place is a true passion project, and the time it took to develop it is in large part due to the Chan family’s ambitious vision to create a self-sustaining property that feels more like a home than a hotel. The team they brought on to run it, including some top talent from the Aman hotel group, interior designer Ben Thompson (who helped Ilse Crawford design Stockholm’s gorgeous Ett Hem hotel) and culinary director Skye Gyngell (behind London’s acclaimed Spring restaurant), have created an unparalleled five-star experience.
A deeply unique place, Heckfield Place has 45 rooms, each of which has its own character and charm. From the cozy Friends Rooms (which offer an affordable way to experience this paradise at around $450 per night) to the Signature Suites and the Long Room, the top suite ($13,000 per night for one bedroom) which has a living room, kitchen, two fireplaces and two terraces, each room is supremely comfortable and intimate. Decamping from one’s accommodations might seem hard here, but Heckfield also has a number of gorgeous living spaces ideal for reading, enjoying afternoon tea or marveling at the works from the Chan family’s spectacular private art collection that line the walls. Beyond the main buildings, Heckfield Place is situated on 400 acres, which includes a river and two lakes (fly-fishing is available), a farm that uses biodynamic practices and has pigs, sheep and cows, walled gardens and centuries-old trees that were planted here by pioneering horticulturalist William Wildsmith.
An integral part of Heckfield Place is its culinary program. Overseen by Skye Gyngell, the airy Marle and cozy, brick-walled Hearth implement fruits and vegetables grown at the on-property farm. Breakfast starts with cinnamon-cardamom buns and lemon raspberry polenta muffins, lunch might include tagliatelle with rabbit, swiss chard and dried chili and dinner is best enjoyed with dishes straight out of the open fire at Hearth. Farm-to-table is a way of life here, and guests are encouraged to visit the farm and pick ingredients for their meals.
While guests could easily spend their days relaxing and luxuriating in the peaceful English countryside life, Heckfield Place espouses cultural experiences as well. The hotel’s Assembly at Heckfield Place is an incredible program that offers a rotation of screenings (in the hotel’s custom 67-seat cinema), speakers and workshops. This includes everything from blockbuster film showings to lectures: the program launched with Christiane Amanpour’s talk about the need for “Truthful, not neutral” news and another about the importance of biodynamic farming. For guests who wish to venture further afield, popular diversions include horseback riding at the nearby Wellington Club and touring surrounding hamlets—for a dash of history (Jane Austen’s house is just a 30-minute drive away) and perhaps a visit to a pub for Sunday roast.
Spotlight: Little Bothy Goes Big
Heckfield’s lovely Little Bothy Spa currently offers five treatment rooms for all-natural facials, body wraps and scrubs, massages, beauty services, personal training, Pilates and yoga; however, the new and improved “The Bothy” is set to take its place, soon—in a new building, with a 50-foot indoor pool and seven treatment rooms for wellness and relaxation.
Who Should Stay
Couples and families with mature children will appreciate the highly sophisticated but homey and pastoral atmosphere at Heckfield Place. The property is ideal for a relaxing few days in the countryside and a great spot to visit after spending time in London.
— Emma Pierce