Child friendly hotel, Worcestershire – Farncombe Estate, Worcestershire
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About Dormy House
Dormy House Hotel & Spa is one of the Cotswolds’ finest luxury child friendly hotels, and thanks to a recent £10 million renovation it just got even better. It is the perfect relaxing rural retreat with lashings of luxurious touches to satisfy both parents and children alike. Children of all ages are welcome at Dormy House and the estate grounds are a child's paradise. With fabulous views across Farncombe Estate, there are stunning walks and woodlands you can explore safely and there is a whole host of additional outdoor activities that will appeal to older children. Younger guests are given a warm welcome at the hotel with goody bags left in their room. Babysitting can be arranged so that parents may wish to choose ‘me time' to pamper and relax in the spa. There’s a ‘dormy club grub’ menu for younger children and even their beds have special themed bed linen for them to feel at home. Children can also use the exquisite swimming pool at set times twice daily. All-in-all this beautiful place harmoniously blends timeless elegance with contemporary features to provide a truly relaxing family getaway.
As already mentioned Dormy House is a gently sedate and elegant country house hotel that screams boutique chic, yet somehow ensures you feel completely relaxed and at home – albeit a very beautiful and immaculately presented one. A former farmhouse, Dormy is part of the sprawling 400 acre Farncombe Estate and it’s a real treat. This gorgeous rambling building comprises retro-chic bedrooms, The Garden Room restaurant to enjoy fine dining overlooking the walled garden, The Potting Shed - an English pub in its finest glory – serving fine ales and reasonably priced good pub food, as well as three relaxed lounges that will all charm you. The stunning and award-winning spa is visible from the oak-lined hallway and I admit to finding it very difficult to walk in any other direction except towards it!
The Staff are smart, efficient and equally friendly – which is the perfect mix. They are as happy to give pointers as to what you might do with your day as to explain who the jolly man in the picture at the back of the bar is – the former owner.
The 40 rooms are individually styled – all are calm havens, Scandi-styled with clean lines and very well chosen luxurious furnishings. The smallest ‘Intimate’ rooms don’t feel cramped – the 'Comfy' and ‘Splendid’ rooms and suites can fit extra children’s beds in easily (at additioanl cost per night) and there are inter-connecting rooms available also. The Courtyard Suites are a brilliant idea for families as you have space outdoors for the children to wander. These suites combine a lounge area with a sofa bed and a master bedroom suite so that both parents and children can enjoy their own space. Children’s cartoon bed linen is supplied which will be a hit with your little ones. A tablet is used to access hotel details, menus, room service etc. A Nespresso supplies caffeine, Temple Spa supplies the lovely smellies, cookies are waiting to be scoffed and fresh milk can be ordered via your tablet - don't let the kids find out or the door may be knocking quite often!
There are 18 rooms on the ground floor and two that are mobility friendly.
The House Spa
Your stay at Dormy House must include a Spa treat – it would be such a waste if you didn’t. In its own wing a warning should be issued that you might never be found again! The Temple Spa goodies assail your sense of smell immediately, the options of a thermal suite, which includes a Cotswolds Lavender sauna, Thassoul mud room, a salt therapy room and an outdoor hot tub are all too appealing. The nail parlour is a buzz; lined with bottles of Veuve you're invited to sip bubbles through a straw whilst having a manicure – yes please! The 10 therapists have the best treatment menu on offer with a facial that is said to rival Botox – I know this is a family site but gosh that's got to be a pull for a girly weekend away too. Gym rooms are available for work-outs, as well as classes for those who like to exercise too.
The 16m infinity pool (which has mood lighting) offers time during the day when all the family can share the decadence and so not impact on others grownup time. The Greenhouse lounge is the perfect place to take a healthy lunch in a really chilled out setting and again offers food suitable for all ages.
You may have the impression that I might need to go back?!? You may be right!
The Garden Room restaurant is relaxed by virtue I think of the lovely aspect into the garen and wall to ceiling glass windows from which to enjoy it. It's where you will enjoy the excellent buffet breakfast and if it's a fine morning you'll be able to enjoy it on the patio. A full English breakfast and a buffet is included in the room rate, with pastries, meats and cheeses and cereal; cooked options include eggs benedict with smoked salmon or kippers. Dining here in the evening is 'fine' and though still quite informal it's probably best to save this one for a night when you have a babysitter booked. You are in any case guaranteed a seriously good taste sensation with a clever chef set to mix up local ingredients and present them for you to ahhh over. You have an excellent wine list to choose from.
The Potting Shed is Dormy's pub - an ideal spot to relax together. The layout is set around the lovely Oak bar and offers an easy atmosphere to immerse yourselves in. With the relaxed seating, offer of real ales and a menu comprising the best of British cooking including bangers and mash, fish and chips (in various guises) and sharing platters dining here is very reasonably priced and the food is quite simply delicious. Tables are set out of the main bar area if you want a quieter spot.
As you might expect the Spa's Greenhouse lounge offers salads, smoothies and raw foods - some carrot and cucumber sticks are always a sure bet! There is also a selection of delicious cakes and excellent coffee as sometimes being too good is just too much!
Room service is available 24 hours a day using your in-room tablet.
For the Children
Children are welcomed with a smile and greeted with a Dormy passport and goodie bag. The hotel supplies high chairs, cots and booster seats and babysitting is available. Do bring along toys to keep them occupied in your room. A TV and childrens channels are available. It is best to pre-book though short-notice baby-sitting is available, charged at an hourly rate. ‘Dormygrub’ is a sensible pub menu in The Potting Shed and whilst children are allowed in the Garden Room restaurant I suggest this is the most family friendly option. The menu offers delicious options so that even the fussiest eat! Meals can be customised to your child’s taste and staff are happy to heat milk and baby food. High tea is served in the lounge, with jam fingers, sausage rolls, fruit smoothies and more (for under-12s).
Things To Do
Farncombe and Dormy are all about the outdoors and the estate is a children’s playground of the highest order with acres of space to explore and run wild. There is a real secret garden to explore - ask reception for the key. Once you've foudn that walks through the grounds are a great way to savor this lovely place – arrange a Dormy hamper, the perfect accompaniment, and spend an easy day strolling round, playing hide and seek or frisbee and enjoy not going anywhere! Deer spotting on your way round is always a welcome distraction. Farncombe overlooks the very pretty town of Broadway which is walkable (get a cab back) and can get very busy - views from much of the grounds are far-reaching and make you stop in your tracks.
For older kids on-site activities are very much ‘estate’ themed and pretty much involve firing including at clay-pidgeons, pistol shooting and archery – not your every day pastime and certainly something for them to write about in their school diary the next week! All activities are managed by professionals and both adults and children can enjoy together.
Indoors the afore-mentioend exquisite pool is available at designated times in the morning and late afternoon - I’d much rather a mad hour than try to maintain a sedate quiet splash whilst trying to avoid others, so much more fun for everybody involved. The hotel does discreetly ask that everyone acknowledges the peace of others - that's not just aimed at parents.
There are plenty of activities close by including Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm Park where kids can get up close to small animals, drive tractors and learn about farm management. The Falconry Centre and All Things Wild Nature Centre are within an easy drive of the hotel whilst the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway is the perfect distraction for Thomas the Tank Engine fans.
Dogs over one year old can stay at an additioaml cost per night in one of two Comfy-category rooms - bowls, baskets, a pet menu, dog sitting and a welcome pack are provided. Pets are not allowed in any of the communal areas.
12 noon, but may be flexible, subject to availability. Check-in, 3pm. Shoud you arrive earlier you may store your luggage and go explore.
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