Dog-friendly breaks at Down Hall Hotel and Spa
PUBLISHED: 15:14 20 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:43 20 December 2017
There's no need to leave the dog at home if you want a short break, Sarah Grosvenor trys out a new dog-friendly hotel stay.
When I was asked to review Down Hall Hotel and Spa’s dog-friendly package I didn’t know quite what to expect. My docile three year old golden Labrador, Lottie, has only stayed once in a hotel before which was full of restrictions such as ‘must not be left in the room alone’ and ‘please lock your dog in the car whilst at breakfast’ so I was a little sceptical about how this break would compare.
Upon arrival at this impressive Victorian country house hotel we were whisked to our room where we found a plush dog bed, water bowl, a walkies map, scoop bags, pet treats and a rather fetching bandana.
We instantly knew that this break was going to be a completely different. Our room was in the ‘West wing’ and big enough for a kennels. The room was on ground level and had double doors leading to the garden. In fact Down Hall is surrounded by 110 acres of gardens and woodland which we took off to explore.
Upon our return we opted for a drink in the bar which has its own area for dogs with waitress service. Lottie was offered a bowl on arrival which consisted of water and ice cubes which she made a mess of. None of the staff minded and played with her, she was in her element lapping up the staff attention.
We were informed there were three options for dinner that evening, dinner in the bar and our dog could eat with us, dinner in our bedroom, or dinner in The Grill Room, and leave her for a well earned rest. We opted for the latter but Lottie was not forgotten. Her dinner was delivered at 7pm to our room as requested and consisted of freshly cooked chicken, peas and gravy. Being a Labrador she eats quickly but I have never seen her eat this fast.
We then settled Lottie in for a sleep whilst we went to the AA rosette restaurant and opted for three courses and a bottle of wine. The wine selection is enormous and we chose an Italian Gavi. I opted for the smoked trout to start and my partner the duck, both were very well presented. This was followed by Lamb Cannon for both of us which was delicious. Finally we opted for a cheese board, there was a great selection of cheeses on offer and it was a lovely round off to a fantastic meal.
After dinner we headed to the bar for a nightcap and my partner went to get Lottie from the room. She was contentedly snoozing when he arrived but it wasn’t long before she was back in the bar receiving a great deal of fuss. She even made a friend in a pointer called Podge. All in all it was a very enjoyable evening.
The next morning we took Lottie out for a walk around the frosty grounds which were simply stunning in the morning sun. We didn’t need to put her on a lead at all and she loved playing ball in the grounds with Podge.
Then to breakfast which offered a huge selection of options. The sausages were from the local butchers, and there was a selection of hot items and cold buffet. You can also order from the menu.
For a real treat there is also a spa on site for humans, but unfortunately our pawsome break then had to draw to an end. Would I recommend it? Yes, very highly, just be aware that your doggie may get ideas of making Down Hall their permanent residence.
Down Hall’s ‘It’s a Dog’s Life’ package priced from £209 per night.
Down Hall Hotel & Spa
For reservations telephone: 01279 731441