Things have been a little stressful on the work front recently, so at the start of last month we decided to get away for a short break. We’re so unaccustomed to having a weekend off that we couldn’t decide what to do, but conveniently enough a promotional email from the Greenway Hotel and Spa popped into my inbox late on the Friday. We booked an overnight stay for Sunday night, and a two-course meal, breakfast and a glass of Pimm’s each were included in the very reasonable price of £159 for the two of us.
The Greenway Hotel and Spa is just south of Cheltenham, in a village called Shurdington. It’s only about half an hour from us, but the hotel proved to be so peaceful and relaxing that we really felt able to switch off from the moment we arrived. We were really impressed with how lovely the staff were, in particular the concierge, Chris, who came out to the car to say hello and offered to help carry things in (it was raining when we left next day, and he escorted us to the car with a big umbrella!) and then showed us round the hotel so we’d know where everything was.
Having checked in, we were led up to our room. Each of the rooms is named after a tree, and ours was Larch – a spacious, comfortable room overlooking the front of the hotel.
I am a huge fan of country house hotels and consider them to be the perfect place for a blissful UK retreat. I love the fact that you can lose yourself in their relaxed, luxurious atmosphere and forget about the outside world for a while. A quiet, comfy room is a must, and this one fit the bill perfectly.
I liked the decor, in particular the classical theme to the art and sculpture.
The high-brow literature in the room set an intellectual tone that made me feel at home; pictured here, an inviting stack of two Henry James novels and a book on Winston Churchill.
And, in case one was merely in the mood for perusing a book of pictures, there was this lovely volume on garden room design, which I enjoyed having a flick through before dinner.
The bathroom was lovely (the pic doesn’t do it justice), my favourite feature being the underfloor heating. It’s surprising what a difference it makes to have the luxury of underfloor heating, even in the summer.
The toiletries were suitably upmarket, too, from ESPA.
Like many such hotels, the Greenway was once a private stately home, and the impeccable furnishing and decoration throughout made me imagine what it would have been like to be a guest in such a house once upon a time.
There are lovely views to the back of the hotel, in particular of the dramatic lightning-struck tree.
The spa part of the hotel is equally inviting, with a pool, steam and sauna rooms, a Champagne bar and treatment rooms.
I had a dip in the pool before lying back with a magazine on one of the comfortable sun loungers.
There’s also an outdoor hot tub, which is in a little courtyard that also has lots of outdoor seating. We had the whole place to ourselves, which was great (Sunday night seems to be the perfect time to go if you prefer a quieter stay).
We enjoyed our free Pimm’s from the comfort of the hot tub, where they brought it out to us, which felt nicely luxurious.
I hadn’t booked a spa treatment in advance, but we had an offer in our room for 20% off for that day only and I couldn’t resist. I spend all my life hunched over a computer, so I wanted a massage to ease my aching shoulders. The only time they had available for one was with a MALE masseuse, an entirely new experience for me, which I admit to having been a little nervous about! He had the memorable name of Rocky and I must say, he was amazing! (In an entirely professional way, I hasten to add!!) So, if you ever stay at the Greenway and want a massage, make sure you ask for him.
By the time early evening came round, we were ready for a drink, so we had a wander around the grounds before taking a seat at the bar for some Prosecco. The grounds are delightful, and I particularly loved this spiral staircase. This whole scene has quite a Mediterranean feel to it, don’t you think?
The mandatory croquet lawn.
Isn’t this just the most exquisite shade of pink you ever saw?
A particularly exciting find – the helipad! One day, when I finally get my helicopter licence, I shall have to fly in here for afternoon tea.
Lee was getting annoyed with me for taking too many photos by this point, so I snapped this quick shot of the lightning-struck tree cradling the Moon and then put my camera away.
We then headed to the hotel’s restaurant to enjoy the excellent meal that was included in our stay. There were plenty of tempting options included in the price, or you could pay a small supplement if you wanted some of the more expensive things. I had smoked eel and gazpacho for my starter and I think slow-cooked lamb for main. It was all absolutely delicious and beautifully presented, so I’d definitely recommend eating in the restaurant if you do stay here. Breakfast the next day was great too. All in all, a superb hotel and one I’ll definitely be going back to, whether by road or by helicopter!
(By the way, this post is in no way sponsored by or written in association with the hotel! I just loved it enough to write about it.)