Southampton: Hotel TerraVina
Every May, Condé Nast Traveler releases its Hot List, a collection of the best new hotels, spas, restaurants, and nightspots. Check the Daily Traveler every day for a new post from this year's list.
A fine wine cellar and the local terroir are the essence of this country hotel, the latest enterprise of Hotel du Vin founder and sommelier Gerard Basset and his hotelier wife, Nina. Two new wings flanking the brick Victorian house emphasize earth tones and a natural country look, albeit with some shortcomings: The plank walls do not blend well with the old house, and the stairs are cramped and steep. Yet a stay at the TerraVina is still a delight. The staff are simultaneously unobtrusive and efficient, and the 11 rooms, although snug, are light and inviting. Chef Rory Duncan's cuisine is based on locally sourced and organic ingredients, superlatively prepared in an open galley kitchen and served in an attractive space overlooking a garden. Close by are the lovely meadows and paths of the New Forest, now a national park, where you can ramble or ride (a bike or a horse) and glimpse the forest's famed wild ponies.
Address: 1 Suffolk Place, Netley Marsh, Southampton, England SO40 7GL
Tel: 44 2380 293 784
When to go: In spring, when the rhododendrons are in bloom, or anytime from May through September, when you can bask in the rays on a sunny terrace.
Which room to book: An upper room with a terrace for privacy and a treetop view; if a big bathtub at the foot of the bed is your thing, ask for a room with one.