Relaxing in an outdoor hot tub on the hottest day of the year in semi-rural Gloucestershire. One of many enjoyable treats during our stay at this intimate Elizabethan manor house hotel.
Located in the village of Shurdington, a few miles outside Cheltenham, The Greenway Hotel & Spa is approached via a long drive set in grounds of 8 acres. With a backdrop of rolling hills, the views from the rear are wonderfully pastoral. Built in local Cotswold stone, the house dates back to the early 1600s. Operating as a hotel since the late 1940s, there have been a few additions over the years, though the main house retains much of its original features. There are two spacious dining rooms, a bar and a lounge as well as two lovely terraces. Our stay coincided with a heatwave – a welcome change after a wet and disappointing 2021 summer – so all our meals were eaten outside; blissful. No air conditioning. But we weren’t complaining!
The hotel was originally a private home. Unsurprisingly, there is considerable variation in the style and size of the 21 bedrooms, reflected in the seven room categories available. We stayed in a master bedroom with stunning views to the hills. The room was huge with classic style décor, large fireplace, seating area and was very comfortable. Fresh fruit, chocolates and complimentary water were most welcome.
The Greenway is part of the Eden Hotel Group whose small collection specialise in individual hotels with emphasis on good food and service. On both counts we were not disappointed. The service was friendly and attentive, rather than intrusive. The food was really very good. Particularly given many restaurants and hotels throughout the UK are currently struggling to employ staff at all levels, it was all the more impressive.
A good selection of continental and cooked fare was offered at breakfast. The only slight disappointment (for me), no fresh yoghurt and muesli or soaked oats: my usual morning fare! A rare treat, though, was the excellent eggs Royale, whilst he had the full English with locally supplied meats and eggs. Dinner offered a choice of 5 options for each of the three courses. Without exception, every dish flavourful and delicious. Vegetarian and vegan options were also available; something for everyone.
In a separate building, but also with direct access from the hotel, the Elan Spa is built around an enclosed courtyard with a log burner for cosy autumnal days, a comfortable outdoor seating area and a wooden hot tub. Inside, a reasonable sized pool, sun loungers, steam room, sauna and several treatment rooms. Due to covid restrictions not everything was open, but it was blissful to use the pool, luxuriate in the outdoor hot-tub and relax in the courtyard – log fire definitely not needed! We had two treatments each, by excellent therapists who’d both worked at the spa for over five years – always a good sign – very relaxing and good value. I loved everything about the Elan Spa.
There are lovely rural walks direct from the hotel across fields and up hills (for the more energetic). A wonderful croquet lawn if you’re feeling competitive! It’s also only a short drive into Cheltenham with its Regency architecture and wide array of interesting shops and eateries.
One of my favourite things about our stay, though, was the unpretentious, calm, intimacy of the hotel, which made for a really relaxing stay. The spa also aided relaxation. Some hotels are just not that relaxing, but the Greenway certainly ticked all our boxes on that front. Room rates vary depending on availability and category, but classic rooms are available from £145, on a bed and breakfast basis.
I would recommend, though, given the quality of the food, dinner bed and breakfast rates offer good value.
I’m hoping to return to the Greenway for a pre-Christmas break with my Bestie – the perfect antidote to present shopping in nearby Cheltenham – with a few treatments to aid the stress. Any excuse.