I have visited Donnington Valley before, and I would always take up the opportunity to go again, but on this occasion it was an entirely different experience for me, proving that you can have a spa break with the kids and come away feeling completely relaxed.
I didn’t have a treatment; it was all about quality time where I could unwind and my son could have fun while I knew he was safe and happy. Children’s swimming times are restricted to two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon, and when we arrived there was only an hour to go. We were only there for the night, so the hotel kindly extended our room time in the morning by a couple of hours so we could make the most of it, and made a point of letting me know the times so that Angelo could make the most of his stay.
Our room had my double bed and a separate bed made up for Angelo, complete with his own toiletries, a bathrobe and a teddy wearing a robe for him to keep, which immediately made him feel special, and was a lovely introduction to the stay.
We went for our swim that evening and made the most of the hour that we had, I could relax on the beanbags and loungers knowing Angelo was safe in the pool, we could order drinks around the edge of the pool, and if I chose to go and sit in the cafe/bar area next door then I could, while still keeping an eye on him because of the glass partitions, so we both had freedom and flexibility.
Dinner was in the WinePress Restaurant, named for the hotel’s history. We both got dressed up, and as the hotel is renowned for its food, it was a real pleasure to see that the children’s menu was not merely populated with chips but good, wholesome kid friendly options such as proper spaghetti bolognese, which Angelo declared as the best he’d ever had.
The staff were charming throughout, calling Angelo ‘sir’ and treating him like a grown up, which again made him feel special and important and was a joy for me to see, and his dessert was quite possibly the most fabulous chocolate brownie we had ever seen. The beauty of it, both at dinner and at the buffet breakfast the following morning was that the hotel really did cater for children without undermining the adult experience.
In the morning Angelo swam again and I enjoyed a coffee in the bar while I watched him, so despite not having a treatment i really felt as though I had time away – quality time with my son, and time to myself as well – a rare combination.
I felt so chilled out by the end of it, that it really highlighted for me that you can take your children with you on a spa break and everyone can enjoy it, without sacrificing your own experience and whilst still visiting a luxurious and elegant hotel.
As a family hotel and spa, I highly recommend it – next time, we might even venture out onto the golf course… because there will definitely be a next time!
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