This month, I have been lucky enough to have two weeks off between two jobs. As this coincided with our first wedding anniversary, Mr Big and I enjoyed a relaxing autumn break in the Costwolds countryside.
I had my eyes on Dormy House for a while as it has been receiving so many accolades. I collected lots of photos, thoughts and even videos during our stay to help you make your own mind about this new luxury hotel.
|What we liked (oh oui!)||What could be improved (zut alors!)|
My five senses review
The view from the hotel itself is pretty nice as you look out to the countryside. However, the hotel doesn’t have its own grounds. That being said, you just have to walk outside and in two minutes there are many walks in the magnificent Costwolds hills. Bedrooms generally don’t have much of a view either as they either look out onto the entrance (and consequently the road) or are on the ground floor at the back.
You can see this more for yourself in the video tour below.
Can you sleep peacefully in their rooms? Yes. The bed was confy and even though the room was overlooking the entrance and the road, it was really quiet during the night. We had room 1 on the first floor of the main house. The room was a bit small for our liking but I believe that other rooms in that category (Splendid) in the grounds are bigger.
Here is a video of the room:
Definitely the highlight of a stay there. We had dinner both nights in the Garden Room restaurant, which is the gastronomic choice. Delicious food full of flavours and not heavy at all.
The foie gras as a starter came with a tasty grilled ginger bread, my main of spinach cannelloni and mushrooms would have sent a vegetarian to heaven and the pear macaron with roquefort ice cream was a welcome innovative desert.
Shame that they didn’t make a bit more ceremony (for instance, no amuse-bouche when you order an apéritif, no description of the dish when it comes to you) as the food really deserves it.
Dormy House was voted best Spa hotel in the Mr&Mrs Smith awards last year and deservedly so. What makes a great spa for me, more than the space itself, is the quality of the treatments and the expertise of the therapists themselves. We were not disappointed.
We had a Turkish treatment for two, which included a scrub, a Rasul (basically you cover yourself in mud and sit in a steam room for half an hour, quite funny) and a body massage. The treatment room for two was vast with a sofa and opened onto the rasul room later on. The therapists were absolutely excellent: gracious, knowledgeable and with exactly the right massage touch. I’m sure that there are a lot of great other treatments.
For those of you really interested in the Spa, there is a bonus video behind the email signup below.
Ok, this is a bit far stretched to associate smell and atmosphere but hopefully you get what I mean. The atmosphere was fine, albeit a bit bland. It lacked sophistication for us and the decor in the main areas was not as classy as we hoped. Out of the three lounges, only one was really cozy. Didn’t quite understand why one was so open right onto the entrance hallway.
What I would say to you, my friends: let the hotel grow on you
After an initial slight disappointment, Dormy House actually grew on us. While the decor is not always spot on, the quality of the staff, all very friendly and smiley, the delicious food (one of the best we had in a hotel recently), the expertise of the treatment of the spa won us over.
Foxhill Manor, their sister property just down the estate has just been voted best hotel in the UK by the Sunday Times. Looking at the photos and the fact that there are only 8 rooms and private chef, I have a sense that this could have been the more special place we were looking for.
We are picky though as really many of you will really enjoy Dormy House. Plus, there is really a magnificent countryside just outside of the hotel. I really recommend Broadway, a pretty village full of old houses all more charming than the next one, which we discovered in a lovely 4 hours walk.
So what do you think? Are the videos a good way for you to get a sense of the hotel? Let me know in the comments, that would be really interesting.
Finn Lough Resort, Ireland
- 38 rooms
- from 230£
- Indoor pool