The Greenway Hotel & Spa – Cheltenham
Whether you are looking to spend a few days at the races, touring the beautiful Cotswolds or looking to enjoy a luxury spa break, the Greenway Hotel & Spa is the place to stay. Located on the outskirts of the Regency town of Cheltenham, the twenty-one-bedroom Hotel is a former 16th century Elizabethan manor house. With its warm Cotswold stone exterior, the Hotel looks in every way, the picture of quintessential English country house.
Situated in eight acres of impressive grounds with picturesque views over the rolling Cotswold and Malvern Hills, the hotel offers luxury bedrooms, a 2 AA Rosette Restaurant, a fantastic Elan Spa with hydrotherapy pool, thermal suites, Canadian outdoor hot tub, Champagne nail bar and ESPA treatments.
The Hotel also has several delightful spaces to further relax after a long day, including a classic lounge and bar with delightful open stone fireplaces, perfect for relaxing with a quite pint, cocktail, cream or afternoon tea.
The Hotel is conveniently located, just three miles from the once fashionable health resort of Cheltenham with its rich history, exclusive retail stores and coffee shops and six miles from the County town of Gloucester, making The Greenway Hotel & Spa such a convenient and exceptional place to stay.
On my approach to the Hotel, I passed the entrance Lodge and drove down the old carriage driveway to the imposing façade of the house. Built around 1584 the west front has short wings either side of a gabled centrepiece and small tower like projections with smaller gables between them. Although on a much smaller scale, this is reminiscent of similar features to be found on large Jacobean country houses, reflecting their grandeur, splendour and importance.
Some alterations and extensions took place between 1835-1865 including the door cases in the old library, which is now the drawing room and there is a fine example of an early Victorian carved wooden fireplace and wall panelling in what was once the dining room, now the panel room. The ornate wooden staircase and chimney piece in the entrance hall would also have been added sometime in the 18th century, when the former Little Shurdington Estate changed its name to, `The Greenway`.
The House is named after a pre-Roman pathway which leads up into the hills to Long Barrow, an early burial mound site. Greenway means Grove or Sheep road, through which farmers would drive their sheep to market, rather than use the wet marshlands and forest tracks of the lowlands.
Since the house was converted into a fine country house hotel around 1946 there have been very few alterations, except for the conservatory `Garden` restaurant. The hotel is surrounded by perfectly manicured lawns and many Yew trees and has picturesque views over the Malvern Hills. The original layout of the garden remains very much as it has for many years with a great oak standing in the meadow and the sunken garden with square fish pond.
When I passed through the classic stone archways into the beautiful entrance hall with its polished wooden floors and patterned carpets, I felt as though I was entering a fine country house, rather than a hotel. I was welcomed with a smile by the reception staff and the checking in was quick and efficient. I was taken up to my room and my luggage followed soon after!
The Greenway Hotel & Spa offers four stunning Master bedrooms including Copper Beech, Poplar, Yew, Holly and Chestnut. All Master rooms at The Greenway are simply superb. Large and luxurious with King size beds as standard, views across the grounds and a mix of features including roll top baths, his and hers sinks, double showers and comfortable sitting areas.
I was staying in the Poplar room, my room was very large with luxurious high ceiling to floor curtains and a huge King-sized bed. There was plenty of room in the en-suite with a good range of quality toiletries. The room was spotless indicating that the housekeeping standards at the Hotel are obviously very high. I had some wonderful views out to the rolling Malvern Hills and below my window, there was a sunken garden with ornate lily pond, containing some of the largest Koi Carp, I have ever seen.
There were also a couple of comfortable armchairs in front of a small LCD television and several pieces of period furniture including a tall wardrobe containing not only space for hanging my clothes but also the ubiquitous tea/coffee/hot chocolate facilities, including a small jar of cookies. The walls were not surprisingly adorned with prints depicting horse racing, with references to the Cheltenham Festival.
After checking out my room I decided to visit the facilities at the Elan Spa. The Spa is an oasis of tranquillity and relaxation. The decoration of the Spa is inspired by the Greenways location in the Cotswolds, a combination of Gloucestershire exposed brickwork, old beams and stimulating vibrant colours. There was a bathrobe and slippers in my bedroom so that I could walk down to the pool and treatments directly.
The Spa offers an oasis of tranquillity and relaxation with a wide variety of luxury treatments in comfortable surroundings. Other facilities include treatment rooms, fitness suite, studio for classes, sauna, steam room & sanarium, experience showers, a Champagne Nail Bar and retail area. It was a wonderful experience to sit al fresco in the Canadian hot-tub during the cold month of February and for those late summer evenings! The comfortably warm hydrotherapy pool with power jets and jacuzzi loungers was very relaxing with lots of comfortable seating around the pool.
I opted for the Hero treatment, which is the ESPA Back, Face and Scalp treatment. It included a back exfoliation and back massage along with a personalised facial and scalp massage. I was expecting to be in the treatment room for just under an hour, but the treatment lasted almost 90 minutes. The back massage was firm, just as I like it and the masseuse did a fine job. She found that the back of my neck and shoulders was particularly knotted and she worked hard to release the tension so that I felt relaxed and revitalised by the end of the session. The facial was particularly energising, and I always enjoy a scalp massage, so I felt wonderful by the time I walked out of the treatment room. Thank you, Bianca.
My wife had a ESPA Body Wrap – Detoxifying Algae Wrap which was a luxurious wrap which included lymphatic skin brushing, a smoothing full body exfoliation and a deeply relaxing and nourishing scalp massage. She told me it was simply stunning!
In the evening my wife and I enjoyed a superb meal in the impressive oak panelled Garden restaurant, with its grand stone feature fireplace, elegant decor and beautiful views over the sunken garden and ornate lily pond. It is the perfect place to enjoy good food, agreeable company and superb wines. It was clearly added as a brick-built conservatory as there was a strong wooden outside door on the inside wall of the restaurant. I was visiting in the Winter but in the summer months the glass doors open out onto the terrace. When the weather is good, guests can also enjoy a game of croquet or take an after dinner or pre-dinner stroll around eight acres of well-tended gardens.
The food was excellent, and the waiting staff were all very friendly and professional in their service, attentive but without being intrusive. The meal was of a very high standard, beautifully cooked and the presentation was what I would expect at such a prestigious award-winning restaurant. Local suppliers are used, whenever possible, to ensure that only the freshest, tastiest ingredients are used with many of the herbs coming from a small herb garden at the back of the hotel. The restaurant had a convivial atmosphere and it was good to note only the finest quality white linen and Robert Welch cutlery were set on the table.
The menus change seasonally, Head chef Marcus McGuinness and his team working with nature to create flavoursome dishes reflecting a high degree of imagination and innovation, throughout the year.
Amuse Bouche of the Day:
- Devon Crab Salad, Avion Mango, Coriander, Chilli & Mango Sorbet
- Langoustine Tartare, New season Asparagus, Wild Garlic Consommé
- Glazed Cornish Cod, Confit Chicken Wings, Confit Cabbage & Chicken Hollandaise
- Spiced Goosnargh (Corn fed) Duck breast, Leg Rosti, Confit Turnip & Orange Sauce
- Yorkshire Rhubarb Savarin, Chantilly Cream, Rhubarb & Cardamom Sorbet
- A selection of British & Continental Cheeses
Wine: Malbec – Bottle of Pendriel – Vinos De Terroir – Argentina 2014:
The Malbec was a ripe, succulent wine offering aromas of violets, spice and tobacco, leading to a round, mouth filling palate with flavours of berry fruit and a persistent finish.
Breakfast was terrific and there was so much to choose from; poached eggs on toast, kippers, cereals, salmon, a selection of fruits, yogurts, French pastries and a cooked selection including my choice, the full English, surprisingly without baked beans! I was spoilt for choice and the tea, coffee and toast just kept coming, when requested! Hot breakfast was cooked-to-order, as well as the help yourself buffet, so all food was freshly prepared and was tasty and plentiful!
The breakfast waiting staff were warm and friendly. The food at both dinner and breakfast over the two days was excellent. Care had obviously been taken to source only the best ingredients. The food was well cooked and served by knowledgeable and friendly staff.
The hotel staff had been very friendly and helpful throughout my stay. The high-quality level of service really does make you feel very special. The staff were efficient and polite, and nothing was too much trouble for them, which was really appreciated. All the staff I met were very professional and delivered very high-quality service throughout my stay. They took the time to learn our names and engaged with my wife and I in bouts of genuine conversation.
The décor, furnishings, food and service were very much in keeping with the age, character and ambience of this very good 4-star hotel, restaurant and Spa. It ticked all the right boxes!
A great night’s sleep and excellent breakfast topped off what had been a superb, restful weekend.
The Greenway Hotel & Spa, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL51 4UG.
t: 01242 862352
f: 01242 862780
4 AA Silver Stars for our levels of comfort, service and hospitality.
Winners of ‘Most Romantic Wedding Venue’ at The English Wedding Awards 2017
The Eden Collection: 2014 -15: ‘Small Hotel Group of the Year’ AA Hospitality Awards.
Disclosure: My stay was courtesy of Eden Hotel Collection
The views and comments expressed are as usual my own
If you decide to visit The Greenway Hotel & Spa as a result of reading this blog/review please mention The Travel Locker.