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The Elms – the new Luxury Family Hotel
We arrived at the Elms hotel near Worcester on a grey and drizzly summer day, and were warmly welcomed into the cosy lounge by the staff. We checked in while our children aged 3 & 4, instantly made friends with the resident chocolate Labrador called Tickle.
The hotel is grand but not imposing the lounges are full of comfortable and beautiful furniture and antiques, over sized sofas and a huge stunning fireplace that made me wish it was colder so that we could enjoy it. The lounge has a friendly, welcoming feel, slightly separated from reception, with another smaller lounge leading to the bar which has retained a more formal feel, with wooden panels and leather chairs and sofas, a large selection of books and a very well stocked bar and charming and attentive staff.
We stayed in interconnecting rooms, which were beautifully decorated in a grand but comfortable style. Our room had the biggest bed we’d ever seen, covered with pretty cushions and cosy throws. We had a seating area and ample extra space. The childrens room was smaller, equally gorgeous, with floor cushions and a good sized bed. The bedrooms were refreshingly different and even the bathrooms each had a different feel. The rooms had lovely individual touches, a small pile of paperback books here, a collection of glass perfume bottles there, Roberts digital radios and traditional wind up alarm clocks on the bedside tables, a perfect blend of traditional and contemporary style.
The views from the room overlooked the front of the hotel and the croquet lawn and beyond towards the hills. All of the rooms in the hotel enjoy great views of the surrounding countryside and some have far reaching views over the valley.
While my husband and kids enjoyed cookery lessons with the chef (Award winning chef Darren Bale), I enjoyed a lovely facial a taster of what will be on offer at the new Aquae Sulis spa being built at the hotel. Due to be completed in Spring 2008, with a pool, new informal restaurant, treatment rooms, and additional function rooms. I think that the new spa will prove to be an excellent addition to an already superb hotel and will make it very hard for guests to leave and explore the surrounding area.
Back down through reception and through the back door, past the rows of Wellingtons and the scooter for the children, you exit into a lawned area with garden furniture, fountain and gentle pretty planting over terraced beds and lawns. Further up past the flower beds and small orchard you will find the brand new eco-friendly crèche - The Four Bears Den. This newly built eco–friendly building situated at the back of the hotel within the newly landscaped kitchen garden offers supervised play areas for younger children with attentive and experienced staff. There is also a separate area for older ones with X Box, Air hockey and Table Football. Further down via the tennis court is a new outside childrens area with climbing frame, trampoline, swings and table tennis. We had a hard time dragging the children away for tea, they had been so busy painting mugs, drawing and playing games. They couldn’t wait to go back.
For dinner we had a tasting menu, the food was amazing – all seven courses of it!! The hotel champions local producers and suppliers with a bias towards organically and naturally produced ingredients. The menu was high standard British food. The accompanying wine was also fantastic, and perfectly matched the menu.
We used the baby listening service, however the hotel can also provide babysitters with advance notice for those who prefer. The children were up early in the morning insisting that they went to the creche again, so we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and were sad to pack up our bags to leave.
The kids had great fun at the hotel - we were all made to feel very welcome. The Elms offers the perfect combination of family friendly accomodation with no compromise on luxury and comfort - fun for the kids, relaxation and fine dining for adults. When the spa is complete – it will only add to an already perfect break.