Scandi Style In The Heart Of The Cotswolds: Dormy House Hotel – Review

By Nick Hendrix

3 months ago

Actor Nick Hendrix heads to Dormy House Hotel – and arrives in style in the Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Tourismo


Nick Hendrix, star of Midsomer Murders, is a car nut – and he tries out life in the green lane at Dormy House Hotel in the Cotswolds.

Hotel Review: Dormy House Hotel, Cotswolds

Having your cake and eating it. It’s what we all want really, isn’t it? As an automotive journalist, it’s a bit of a minefield as I want to shuffle through all seven gears of an Italian supercar. As an avid holidaymaker, I want to take to the air and enjoy the extravagance of luxury hotels. But I also acknowledge the need for behaviour change because of our impending climate disaster. 

There are, of course, many companies that are working hard towards a sustainable existence and an anti-throwaway culture – without losing their style and quality. One saving our (organic) bacon is The Farncombe Estate in the dreamy Cotswolds.

Red Porsche outside Dormy House Hotel

Since the 1700s, the estate has been nestled in the hills near Broadway and now features three hotels, a clutch of different self-catering properties and 500 glorious acres. From the time it was bought by the Philip-Sorensen family in the 1960s until now, the hotel has always focused its efforts on sustainability. 

I’ll confess that I’m no Greta Thunberg, so to test the green credentials of Dormy House Hotel and Spa – a warm and inviting boutique hotel at the estate’s heart – I enlisted my greatest inspiration for all things eco, my big brother. My brother had a ‘keep-cup’ before anyone could even say Stojo and considers his umbilical cord his first attempt at recycling, but he also likes nice things and wants to experience luxury like anyone else.

GETTING THERE

Turning up in a Lamborghini or Rolls Royce would be like potting the 8 ball from the break, and we’d spend the next two days planting trees to try and offset the carbon. It had to be an EV, but this is a five-star hotel so you can’t be drifting in a Renault Zoe. Enter the Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Tourismo – a car with as many words in its name as good reasons to drive it. It looks fantastic, is AI fast and has enough space for four adults and their baggage – ours came in punchy Carmine Red with sultry black wheels. We collected our VIP passengers and quietly blasted through Oxfordshire and Worcestershire in search of tranquility. 

STAY

Hotel bedroom with taupe accents and dormer windows.

Dormy House is just as charming as we’d hoped – even in the typically dreary, January weather. It is very much a ‘house’ hotel in that it feels like walking in through your own front door. If only my house was so lovely. With the Taycan safely parked and plugged into a free overnight charger (win), we brothers (plus wives) headed to our rooms. 

A short tour by the charming manager took in all the 38 room types, which were a cross-section of styles and designs that felt natural – everything was in-keeping with the building and embraced the world around it, whether by honouring an old part of the house like a stable or outbuilding, or by surrounding a suite with tall glass windows to let the outside in. The Loft, if you’re asking, is probably the best room in the hotel. Although there is a studio that has a drum kit and turn tables in it should you be a Ringo Starr or Calvin Harris – which seems a little out of place, to be honest, but why not have a drum kit? It’s a luxury hotel after all.  

DO

Outdoor hydropool with green wall.

The afternoon was mapped out with a gentle structure to try and keep in with the hotel’s ‘hygge’ Scandi sensibilities (which basically means ‘hug’, which is nice). We all lounged next to the 16-metre indoor pool before stepping into the cold to the outdoor hot tub and then back in again. The hot/cold cycle can be repeated in the Himalayan salt sauna and/or tropical shower, before reversing it all in the ice blast or snow shower – yes, a shower of snow. 

If you didn’t know the hotel was owned by Scandinavians, you do now. Wim Hof would be proud. While the women stayed in the spa, my brother and I headed off to relive our days as junior tennis champions – he’d always win but I blindly believed I was better. We had a good knock and returned to our wives, who looked as though they had just floated off a cloud. The treatment list is as long as it is of quality, and priced to match the setting – but apparently, it’s money ‘extremely well spent’.

DEPARTURES

As I unplugged the Porsche, I found myself next to one of the Estate’s three Mitsubishi Outlander Hybrid SUVs, which are brightly coloured and curiously named Thunderbirds 1, 2 & 3 – not sure where that sits within the subtle, Scandi aesthetic but hey, it’s fun. 

Unfortunately, the overnight weather had been so cold that it slowed the charging to such a point that I could barely get out of the car park. Ah well, I knew the road to true sustainability would never be smooth, but I’m up for the bumpy ride. 

BOOK IT

Doubles at Dormy House from £340 B&B. dormyhouse.co.uk | porsche.com