Dear mummy, we’ve had a great time at Marwell Wildlife (Zoo) seeing the dinosaurs, so what better way to end the day than a stay across the beaten track at Marwell Hotel. It’s a hop, skip and jump from the entrance to the zoo and there is oodles of parking.
The hotel is 15 minutes from Winchester Train Station and 10 minutes from Southampton Airport. We stay on a Friday night and the hotel is at 80% capacity. Marwell Hotel has 68 bedrooms and an award-winning restaurant too!
We check in at 5pm when the zoo closes for the day and are greeted with friendly reception staff who offer to help mummy and I with our luggage. Mummy pushes the buggy right up to the front door as the hotel has good access for limited mobility, however they could do with some more automatic doors nearer the accommodation areas.
We have the buggy and one rucksack, as daddy is joining us after work with a suitcase. Coming straight from the zoo we are soggy and cold. The hotel lobby is warm and inviting. It looks like a large safari lodge with giant wooden beams and wood panels and lots of safari artwork on the walls. As the sun comes out we look through the giant windows and it looks like we are abroad. It’s very green my mummy thinks! When we leave the lobby area we walk into a long corridor that leads us down into the accommodation buildings, each one has it’s own name too. All the rooms are surrounded by 60 acres of woodland and it is very peaceful.
One helpful staff member even opens all the doors for us and leads us up to the Giraffe Pavilion where we are staying. She even carries my buggy up the stairs on her own while mummy carries me in her arms. What a star! First class service! We should have left the buggy in the car, my mummy thinks, but it just goes to show that it’s relativity easy to go from looking at animals in the zoo to your hotel room in less than 5 minutes! Great access from Marwell Wildlife. We have opted to stay in an executive room, as we didn’t really want to take up a large family room as it’s only me and my parents. We don’t need bunk beds and loads of room. The hotel staff have kindly put a travel cot in our room ready for our arrival.
We stay in room 214 and when we get there we are greeted with an impeccable room! It’s so clean and tidy, a little on the hot side, but there’s a fan to cool the room down. Not really kiddy safe, but then what hotel rooms are?!? We love the Cosatto Monster Travel cot for our room (funnily enough this was the one mummy and daddy had their eye on to buy!) so we get to road test it. The staff had also left us a kiddies activity pack, with crayons and a colouring in book, which was a nice thought. There are kettle facilities in the room and a nice little bathroom with bath and mummy enjoys a long hot soak in and I have a quick play in. No slip mat so I have to be carefully in it. No mini bar or fridge, so we have to use the communal fridge on the landing right outside our room. It’s stacked with fresh milk and fruit. Yummy!
When daddy turns up from work, we have some playtime in the room as it’s big enough for me to have a little run around in. When we mentioned earlier that the room is not baby safe, it’s mainly because of the handles on the drawers as they stick out and the TV wires are hanging down the side of the wall, but then this is an executive room not a family room, so it’s probably unusual for babies to be in here. I sit down and write a letter to the hotel management…like an executive! Hehe.
When it’s bedtime after my lovely bath, mummy my gives me my bottle in the armchair. We turn the lights down low, keeping to my bedtime routine. I get sleepy eyes and start to yawn. It’s been such a busy day seeing all the animals and dinosaurs that I’m very tired. We play the sneaky cow peek-a-boo game on the landing in the hotel and run back into our hotel room with giggles.
Mummy’s transformed the room into darkness and all I can see is my blue night-light and the green shining stars from my turtle night-light on the ceiling. It’s just like my room at home. All nice and snug as a bug in a rug. Mummy and daddy have tested the Angel Care monitor and know the distance it will travel, they put me down in the travel cot with big kisses and I drift off while they wait outside.
My mummy and daddy lock the room and retire down to the lobby bar, where they enjoy a fabulous meal on the mezzanine. They both enjoy dinner in the lobby area and have outstanding Ambrose Sausages and Mash which has won awards, they later inform me that it tasted great. The waiters are very friendly and the food is delivered fast…..I mean, really fast! It’s lovely and looks/smells wonderful. It was very nice that the staff accommodated us as we couldn’t go into the restaurant due to the baby monitor reception.
Bliss… Mummy and daddy think. They remain down at the lobby and use the free wifi and watch all the wedding hotel guests arrive for a wedding at the zoo the following day.
All ages are at this hotel. Mummy and daddy see a young family and their baby in the lobby area at 10ish, the mother is breast feeding her newborn. My mummy reminisces of a time when she used to feed me like that. My parents check in on me every 30 mins to make sure I’m sleeping soundly and that everything is ok. It’s less than a minute walk from the lobby area to the room.
Mummy tells me that when they sneak back later after their meal they feel happy and content, having had a lovely meal and a relaxing couple of drinks. I sleep peaceful through the night only waking once to turn over and talk in my sleep.
The next morning I’m up bright and breezy at 6am, I’m jumping up and down in my travel cot excited about the day ahead. A very sleep mummy and daddy feed me my bottle and give me a nappy change and we head down to breakfast.
Breakfast was from 07:30 til 10:30, so we kill a little bit of time kicking my football up and down the long corridors that join the buildings, far away from the rooms and sleeping guests. It’s great fun and I peer out of the floor to ceiling glass windows outside into the dreary wet woods *I pretend it’s a jungle to make it more fun* we spot some bunnies and squirrels running around too.
Breakfast was a continental and cooked breakfast. The spread was great and the hotel staff even provided Ella’s KItchen fruit puree which was a nice touch. Great sausages and bacon for brekkie, I help myself to some scrabbled egg and toast as well. All the food was piping hot and they waiters were quick serving tea and coffee. It was a very relaxed breakfast. But could have done with some beans and hash browns, daddy thinks.
Afterwards mummy and daddy take me for a little swim in the hotels spa. It’s just before my morning nap so I’m a little bit tried but I take a dip in the pool with daddy while mummy relaxes in the jacuzzi. Afterwards mummy puts me down for a nap and they head to the lounge area to catch up with the morning papers and have another cup of tea.
Mummy watches the monitor closely and checks on me every 20 minutes. I sleep until after 11am and the hotel staff offer us some extra time in the room to pack everything up. We stay an extra 30mins than the usual 11am check out, which is a nice gesture… No one likes waking a sleep baby!
On the way out we notice that the hotel actually has a kids games room, but at that time it wasn’t open which was a shame as we could have played in there. From what we can see through the locked doors they had a table tennis table, drum machine, a TV, board games and a games console. I must admit though, this side of the hotel looked a bit tired, the floor boards creaked and walls could have done with a lick of paint.
On checkout there were no queues and the reception staff let me sit on the desk and chat to them while mummy and daddy settled the bill. I was kicking my legs eager to go into the sunshine and explore the zoo again.
A great hotel stay and a lovely mini-break for my parents who found their stay at Marwell very relaxing and the staff accommodating. Great location, next to the zoo and close to the M3 corridor with oodles of space. The executive rooms are of a high standard and very clean from what we saw! The food was fantastic too! All in all a lovely beginning to the Bank Holiday weekend. Thanks Marwell Hotel, we will be back!