FIRST LOOK: Heckfield Place vows to open its doors in September bringing a six-year project to fruition


Heckfield Place, the country house hotel that has been plagued with delays since its initial launch date of 2012, will finally open its doors this September.

The house, gardens and home farm situated on the 400-acre estate in Hampshire will welcome its first guests in the autumn, with culinary director Skye Gyngell promising a food offering that will make guests ‘feel like they are being hugged’.

The property, owned by the Chan family will be home to a total of 46 bedrooms, spread across the main house, ‘the corridors’ and a cottage in the grounds, as well as two restaurants, a private cinema and a spa.

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A Moon bar, Marle restaurant and Hearth open-fire restaurant, plus 13 bedrooms will all be situated within the main house, alongside the 67-seater cinema and wine cellar.

The Little Bothy spa will boast five treatment rooms, steam and relaxation rooms and three studios.

Outside in the grounds, the home farm will practise biodynamic principles and a walled gardens, a sun house, kitchen garden, greenhouses and an orchard with over 500 trees will feed the rooms and the restaurants.

There will also be a biomass energy centre on site.

Heckfield Place has been designed by Ben Thompson, who has used salvaged stone and distressed walnut for the floors, while a mix of worn Persian carpets, antique furnishings, natural linen and wool upholstery adorn the rest of the property.

Rush mats harvested from the River Ouse and modern pieces sit alongside the owner’s family collection of British paintings.

General manager Olivia Richli, who was appointed in January 2018, says: “A group of uniquely talented people has come together over time to build a place of intrinsic beauty where extraordinary things can happen. I am very excited to open the doors and share Heckfield Place with our future guests. The House and grounds will offer an antidote to the modern world, where guests can connect with each other and to nature.”

The original plan was to open Heckfield Place – having been described as ‘world-beating’ – in time for the London Olympics in 2012, transforming the former 18th training centre and wedding venue into a new hotel.

It has since been plagued with setbacks, with numerous staff joining and subsequently leaving the project before it got properly off the ground, until now.

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Zoe Monk

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