So what seemed to follow endless weeks of very little sleep (caused by my little one’s new walking hour of 5:00 a.m.) my husband surprised me with a night away for my birthday. Is it sad, that the thing I was looking forward to most, was a night of uninterrupted sleep and a lie in?!
The Greenway Hotel
We arrived bleary eyed at the Greenway Hotel & Spa in the early afternoon, when it was still light enough to see the exterior in all its glory. The driveway swept round to the grand old Edwardian Manor house with its impressive entrance and extensive grounds.
I was immediately impressed, if not somewhat embarrassed, when we were greeted at our car by the porter, when I was still sat in the passenger seat desperately trying to conceal the bags under my eyes with a touch of touche eclat!
Very politely he offered to take our bags and then showed us to our room and informed us that we could pop down to reception later, to check in at our convenience.
I must admit that I was initially disappointed to be whisked away to the newer part of the hotel, which was above the Spa, and I was, despite the tiredness, prepared to kick up a fuss. However, as soon as we were shown our room, the Silver Birch, any reservations I had were blown away.
The room was huge, tastefully decorated in an old fashioned country style, with hunters wall paper (which wouldn’t be my choice for home decor, but suited the room), comfy chairs and also, most importantly, a very cozy and sumptuous looking bed. Heaven!
Just like the bedroom, the main hotel oozes character, with its gorgeous fireplaces, ornate wooden stairwells and Laura Ashley style furnishings. There are plenty of lounge areas to have a drink or chill out with a good book.
The Garden Restaurant
Dinner was served in the Garden restaurant, which has chef Marcus McGuiness at the helm serving up delicious combinations with a commitment to sustainability and traceability. The two star Rosette restaurant has a regularly changing menu, depending on the season and availability of local produce.
We had pre-dinner drinks and canapés (of delicious pork scratchings and marmite pastry straws) served in the light and airy lounge areas with their cosy chairs and grand stone open fireplaces.
The changing menu was limited to around five choices per course, with beef, monkfish, pigeon and sole all making an appearance, and there was also good choice of wines to wash them down with.
The restaurant itself was relatively small, tastefully decorated with its light grey striped wall paper, crisp white table cloths and candlelit lighting ensuring a romantic feel. The atmosphere was relatively hushed with mainly couples dining, with the occasional table of ladies that spa, thrown in.
The highlight of the dinner for me was the crab starter. The crab meat was served wearing a mango beret and was accompanied by a vibrant mango sorbet. The dish was divine, with the fresh crab and the cool mango given an injection of heat from the hints of chilli. If I had not been in a fine dining restaurant, I may well have licked the plate clean.
Breakfast was also served in the restaurant and had the usual continental buffet, but with some novel twists, such as the banana smoothie served in miniature milk bottles with straws making it quite funny when discerning guests inadvertently had their final slurps resonate throughout an otherwise quiet dining room. The cooked breakfast was made to order and as nice a breakfast as I’ve had anywhere.
Service throughout dinner and breakfast was impeccable; we were well looked after but not hovered over.
The Greenway Spa
Take it from me, you don’t want to come to this hotel and not make use of the Spa! The Spa area was really lovely, with a sizeable hydro pool surrounded by loungers to chill out on. It was relatively small, but as it doesn’t cater for lots of people, you didn’t feel on top of the other guests.
The usual Sauna and Steam rooms were there, along with a novel rainforest shower, which had the noise effects and water effects of a rainforest, well not quite, but it was a bit of fun.
There was even an outdoor hot-tub! You have to brave getting in and out in the freezing cold, and the unglamorous entrance (it’s quite a drop to get in and I ended up stumbling a bit and practically sitting on the lap of an un-expectant chap), but once in you’re able to soak in the heat and look up at the stars. All we were missing was a glass of champagne!
I had an aromatherapy body massage during my stay which used the lovely E-Spa oils and was thoroughly relaxing. The masseur was really nice and friendly, but thankfully didn’t try and chat to me during the treatment, a bit of a pet hate of mine.
The Spa also has a small bistro and Champagne nail bar, where Spa guests can have their lunch or a glass or two of champagne. There were some people there on Spa days and I had a quick peek at their menu choices, which looked very good.
So what makes The Greenway Hotel & Spa so special?
It’s the little things they do at The Greenway Hotel and Spa that make it special, from the initial welcome to the check-out, the service was faultless. We were even given a little brown paper bag with some small bottles of water and a couple of chocolate bars for our journey home. Little touches like that make you feel valued as a customer and make you want to return.
The hotel throughout had a relaxed feel, and was small enough to give you that sense of personal service, which often larger hotels can fail to do.
Despite feeling that you are miles away, set in the countryside within its acres of its grounds and views of the rolling Cotswold hills, you are just a ten minute drive outside of Cheltenham.
You could combine your stay with a trip to the races, a day of shopping or a wander round some of the pretty Cotswold villages. We took a trip to Bourton on the Water, which was an idyllic chocolate box village, with honey coloured stone buildings and beautiful bridges. It is also full of quaint little tea shops and mini-museums.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay, I left the Greenway Spa & Hotel feeling relaxed and re-charged and ready to face my three little monkeys and a night of interrupted sleep, that I knew waited for me at home, with refreshed vigour!
Address: The Greenway Hotel & Spa , Shurdington Road, Shurdington, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 4UG
Tel: 01242 862352