The Hotel TerraVina Blog

Boutique Hotels – Our history by Nina and Gerard Bassett

Hotel TerraVina is a small, award winning hotel- a boutique style place, which we  opened 2 and a ½  years ago, located in the beautiful New Forest National Park.

Gerard, was the co founder of the original Hotel du Vin Group and I was the AA’s youngest ever hotel inspector. Together we have created a small hotel with a distinct personality. After purchasing the property in early 2007, we spent months renovating it before its opening in September that year. The hotel is fast becoming known and was named as one of the world’s top new hotels in Conde Nast  Traveller’s 12th Annual ‘Hot List’, in 2008 and has won a number of other awards during the time we have been open, including, Best Small Hotel 2009 for South East Tourism award for ExSEllence. A César Award from the Good Hotel Guide for 2009, for Best Hotel Newcomer and we have been rated the top restaurant in South East of England in the Hardens Restaurant Guide in conjunction with Remy Martin for 2009.

Now nearly three years old, TerraVina has evolved hugely and changed considerably since those first early days. Much comment has been made regarding our interiors, the look and feel of the hotel and the fact that it feels like the forest has “come inside” and the hotel has been featured greatly in the National press and many glossy magazines and a couple of TV shows.

Gerard and his first-class wine knowledge is a huge draw for visitors. In addition the small touches about the place,  such as our now famous leather dog doorstops and designer stripe dog stops (more about them another time) and associated TerraVina branded products are extremely popular and help keep Hotel TerraVina front of mind with past guests…… our newest marketing tool is a recently launched, well received, quaterly newsletter and Gerard and I becoming more “au fait” with social media and the art of Tweeting, blogging and use of Facebook, although I’m not sure we will ever quite “get it”.

Gerard’s expert knowledge of wine and previous involvement with Hotel du Vin has enabled him to mentor a series of young sommeliers, including TerraVina’s head sommelier, Laura Rhys, UK Sommelier of the Year, 2009. Many of his protégées are now highly respected and qualified themselves. Gerard himself has been chosen to represent the UK in the ASI Best Sommelier of the World competition, taking place in Chile in April and you can follow his training preparation here on this blog.

To the many numbers of returning guests- thank you all so much for continuing to keep visiting and to those yet to discover us, we hope you might love TerraVina as much as we do and come and visit us soon.

Nina and Gerard

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