This week was Mr Bones’ birthday, so Dotty and I wanted to whisk him away on a fun-filled trip full of walkies, good food and maybe a spa thrown in for good measure. Obviously ‘dog friendly’ was top of our agenda when searching for the perfect getaway, as was an idyllic setting, so when we came across Whatley Manor we were sold!
Whatley Manor is amongst a handful of other venues that are part of the Pride Of Britain Hotels, an exclusive collection of the finest independent hotels across Britain. Set in the beautiful Cotswold countryside near Malmesbury, Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa is a wonderfully restored 19th century Grade II listed Cotswold manor house hotel with 23 rooms, a luxurious spa, it’s own cinema… and even a helipad. What really sealed the deal for us was the Dog Welcome Pack for Dotty which included a gorgeous wicker basket, her own bottled water, a tugger toy, instructions on where she could take us for a ramble in the countryside AND a scrummy dinner from Bob & Lush.
So we packed up the car, (far more than we needed for just one night of course!), and off we went up the M5 to Wiltshire. As we approached the hotel, the scenery changed very quickly from motorway to beautiful rolling hills and evergreen foliage, as you would expect from the Cotswolds. We turned off the road onto the long driveway, through the gates and into a stunning courtyard, where we were greeted by a charming bellman who swiftly took our bags to our room and parked the car.
The hotel really is beautiful, and the staff are extremely attentive. Dotty got lots of attention of course, and we were made to feel very welcome! Our room was spectacular, located on the ground floor right next to the doors into the garden (very well thought out) so that Dotty could relieve herself at a moment’s notice. The bed was huge, and we had a wonderful deep tub in the bathroom which Dotty got acquainted with!
In the afternoon, we took a nice stroll around the gardens before venturing into the spa for some pampering. It was lovely and relaxing, but we did both say that we wished Dotty was there! Afterwards we all went for afternoon tea in the drawing room… in front of a roaring fire. It was delicious, what dreams are made of! They even put a birthday candle in one of the cakes! Dotty had a little nibble on some sausage roll so she was happy!
That evening we went for dinner in the Brasserie. We were greeted with a glass of champagne for the birthday boy; we both had steak and thought best not to opt for dessert after the many cakes we’d eaten that day already!
The following day, after a wonderful breakfast of Eggs Royale (for me) and avocado with poached eggs on toast (for him), we went for another explore of the grounds. This time greeted with some sunshine which was welcomed after so much rain recently. We wandered down to the river at the bottom of the gardens and Dotty had a good old sniff of the daffodils and bluebells, and yomped through the meadow of lush grass before tiring herself out.
The whole stay was almost perfect, if not a little short. The hotel and grounds are stunning and the staff were wonderful, couldn’t do enough for us all. It is a luxury full service hotel and therefore the price reflects that, but we will definitely be back for special occasions with Dotty in tow!