The perfect place for VIPs (… that’s Very Important Parents!): Inside the Jacobean manor house hotel near Bath that’s a dream come true for children – and a fairy tale for adults
- Woolley Grange offers long-suffering parents a babysitting service and lots of activities for their little ones
- There’s an indoor Ofsted-registered children’s club full of books, games and dressing-up costumes
- Adults can de-stress in an Elemis spa inside a walled garden, where fruit and veg for the restaurant is grown
- There’s also an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, a playground with swings and a vast lawn for croquet
Once upon a time, my husband and I would spend the odd weekend at a luxury hotel. But since we’ve had children, such jaunts have been something that other people do. Until now, that is.
Woolley Grange, a charming Jacobean manor house near Bath, not only caters for children but, in doing so, cleverly allows their parents a proper rest, too.
The immaculate gardens, terrace and interiors are very grown-up (oak-panelled walls, fine furniture and velvet sofas). Yet the bedrooms are designed with families in mind – adjoining rooms in a suite.
Indulgent: Woolley Grange not only caters for children but, in doing so, cleverly allows their parents a proper rest, too
The interiors are very ‘grown-up’ with oak-panelled walls, fine furniture and velvet sofas. Pictured is the hotel’s lounge
Children are made to feel like little VIPs but this is not just for them. Staff know the true VIPs are the Very Important Parents.
For some me-time, a modern Elemis spa is tucked away within the beautiful Walled Garden, from where organic veg is produced for The Orangery restaurant.
Take the family for a swim in the indoor pool and they can gaze through the windows to see ducks waddling around outside. There is also an outdoor swimming pool with sunloungers, a picnic area, a playground with swings and a vast lawn for football or croquet. There’s also the Woolley Bears’ Den, an indoor Ofsted-registered children’s club full of books, games and dressing-up costumes, with 90 minutes’ free childcare thrown in.
The bedrooms are designed with families in mind – adjoining rooms in a suite. They all come with a babysitting service
Kate describes Woolley Grange as ‘indulgence for parents and their children’, but she points out that she saw child-free couples too
Pictured is the bathroom in the largest suite, Hayloft, which sleeps two adults and up to five children
Dive in: The hotel has an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, plus an Elemis spa tucked away within the Walled Garden
Cheerful staff know that a busy child is a happy child and have constructed a series of activities where youngsters can shake their own mocktails, romp around on a scavenger hunt and toast marshmallows around a campfire.
Mealtimes, meanwhile, are a revelation. You can choose to have High Tea (it starts at 5pm) or a family supper and children can nip off to the cinema room to watch a Disney movie while you eat dessert in peace. Alternatively, once little ones are asleep, you can sample cocktails, the organic menu and matching wines at leisure while taking advantage of the babysitting service.
For my little city kids, Woolley Grange was a dream come true. For their long-suffering parents, it was glorious to know that luxury hotels are not just a fairy tale.
Pictured is the beautiful Walled Garden, where organic veg is produced for The Orangery restaurant
Revelation: You can choose to have High Tea (it starts at 5pm) or a family supper and children can nip off to the cinema room to watch a Disney movie while you eat dessert in peace, says Kate
The USP: Indulgence for parents and their children, but we did see child-free couples here too.
The rooms: We checked into the McIntosh suite. All rooms come with a babysitting service.
The food: A delicious and creative a la carte menu, with dishes such as rabbit terrine, cured chalk stream trout with samphire, and Salcombe lobster. An extensive children’s menu covers every whim.