- Style Chilled-out child-friendly mansion
- Setting Amid the Malverns
The Elms hotel’s ivy-clad country mansion is a luxurious playground for tots and adults alike. Sprawling gardens, stylish dining, a spa and plenty of activities for little'uns add up to a wonderful Worcestershire retreat. Don’t be deceived by the 18th-century exterior – there’s nothing musty or fusty about this hotel, packed with mod cons to entertain the entire family.
Need to know
- Rooms 23, including one two-bedroomed suite.
- Rates Double rooms from $204.69 (£125), excluding tax at 20 per cent.
- More details Rates include full English breakfast.
- Facilities Gardens, child-friendly spa with four treatment rooms, relaxation room, gym, bar, DVD library, Ofsted-registered crèche, outside dining area, tennis court, orchards, playground, free WiFi in the main house. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD player, free bottled water.
- Poolside Dip into the indoor heated swimming pool or soak in the indoor-outdoor hydro pool, both of which are family friendly.
- Check–out 11am but flexible, subject to availability. Check-in, from 3pm.
Children Very child-friendly set-up in terms of facilities and activities for all ages. Children are welcome in both the swimming pool and hydro pool.
- Also If you want to bring a pet, book up an animal-friendly Coach House room.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms To feel like true country-house gentry, book into Colwall. The aubergine and gold colour palette, heavy Tudor-style bed with sumptuous sink-into mattress, opulent swathes of fabric draped by the windows and the garden views add up to a lord-of-the-manor setting. Colwall is also one of the hotel’s most spacious rooms, boasting a pretty sitting area overlooking the lemon-and-lime scenery.
- Packing tips Bring loose clothes for cream-tea gorging and trainers for post-cream-tea strolling; some understated chic for the stylish restaurant and bar; your iPod for tuning out giggles and squeaks.
- Also Look out for the friendly four-legged residents, George the cat and Tickle the chocolate labrador.
Food and drink at The Elms
- Hotel restaurant For fine dining in a romantic setting, head to the hotel’s Brookes Restaurant. This grand and gregarious space is decked out with ice-bright chandeliers, an ornately carved fireplace, pale-olive sash curtains, crisp white tablecloths and a grandma-pleasing array of fine china. Though the setting has a stately formality, relaxed staff take the edge off with friendly and laid-back service and the award-winning food is sublime. Chef David Hammond oversees a polished menu of modern European fare, including dishes such as baked cod loin with a pinenut crust, and partridge crown with a pepper sauce. For meals en famille, visit the Garden Café at the spa and enjoy unfussy and wholesome sandwiches, salads, burgers and pasta, served all day.
- Dress code If you’re heading to Brookes, bring out that dress or shirt you’ve been hiding from baby. Understated glam will suit this relaxed yet regal space. Anything goes at the informal Pear Tree Brasserie.
- Top table Request a table by the bay windows to get the best lawn views at Brookes Restaurant. At the Garden Café, sit out on the terrace on sunny days.
- Last orders Breakfast is served at Brookes 7.30am–10am, lunch is 12 noon–2.30pm and dinner is plated up between 7pm–9.30pm. The Garden Café offers lunch and dinner at similar times, with an all-day menu of lighter bites served 10am–9.30pm.
- Room service Room service is available between 7.30am and 9.30pm, with a selection from the Garden Café's menu.
- Hotel bar All that time preening and pampering in the spa and helping your little ones paint, paddle and play-act in the crèche may make you forget you’re deep in the country. For a stylish reminder, head to the Library bar, a regal-rural drinking den. Pull up a worn leather armchair by the roaring fire and sip a whisky, cognac or daytime coffee with petits-fours, surrounded by treacle-dark wood and glittering bottles.
Also worth knowing
- Weddings This property is suitable for weddings. More details