An Inspector Calls… A review of Dormy House in the Cotswolds

An Inspector Calls… Dormy House in the Cotswolds has everything from a champagne nail bar to cream teas – but it feels ‘cramped’ and ‘corporate’

  • Dormy House is located near Broadway in the northern reaches of the Cotswolds
  • There are 38 rooms, two restaurants, a spa and a Delamotte champagne nail bar 
  • The Inspector said it was ‘cramped’ not cosy – and gave it a two-star rating

Dormy House was once a simple 17th-century farmhouse near Broadway in the northern reaches of the Cotswolds. It was bought in the Forties by the Broadway Golf Club (Dormy is an unbeatable round of golf) to provide basic accommodation.

Now owned by the Philip-Sorensen family (founders of Group 4 security), whose Farncombe estate also includes The Fish and Foxhill Manor hotels, it has morphed into a rabbit-warren of a resort where every last space has been given over to something or other.

There are two restaurants, a spa with indoor pool and outdoor hot tub, gym, Delamotte champagne nail bar, private dining room and 38 rooms.

Dormy House (above) is located near Broadway in the northern reaches of the Cotswolds

The Philip-Sorensens originally come from Denmark, and much is made on the website about Dormy’s ‘hygge’ cosiness. But it’s far too cosy. Cramped.

It’s top-heavy at weekends with families; there are few quiet corners in which to cogitate; there’s no real outside space (unless you count car parks) and it has a curiously corporate atmosphere as if we’re all on an office jolly and been told to let our hair down. Proof of this comes when we realise the best part of our stay is leaving the premises for a long, bracing walk.

On our return, we reward ourselves with a delicious cream tea, which we have in our room because we want to get away from a busy reception desk that is at the heart of the hotel.

It’s expensive, too. We are paying more than £300 for our room, and in the Back Garden restaurant, it’s £55 a head for three courses and still £55 a head even if you have just one course. So we eat in the more informal Potting Shed.

Our room has double aspect views — of the car park, and of a courtyard with rooms off it. You would never know this is the bucolic Cotswolds. Mind you, our bathroom is big and well appointed and there’s a chic sofa in front of the TV.

The hotel has a spa with indoor pool and outdoor hot tub, gym and champagne nail bar

The hotel has a spa with indoor pool and outdoor hot tub, gym and champagne nail bar

The wi-fi is not working. When I call reception, I am told to look for the router and turn it off and then on. It still doesn’t work. At these prices, you might expect someone to fix it immediately.

Before dinner, I go for a swim. Couples are doing their best to look relaxed on sunloungers practically falling into the pool. The outside hot tub is next to high walls on three sides. I stare at the leaden sky and marinate for a while before realising that this isn’t much fun.

TRAVEL FACTS 

Dormy House Hotel, Willersey Hill, Broadway, Worcestershire, WR12 7LF. Doubles from £269 B&B. For more information call 01386 852711 or visit dormyhouse.co.uk  

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