Project Description

Dormy House : Cotswolds


Built around a 17th century farmhouse, Dormy House is perched high above the village of Broadway, England, with fabulous views across the Cotswolds. The Spa was an addition to a complete refurbishment & remodelling of the hotel.

Dormy House is located within an area already blessed with a rich vein of nationally renowned manor house hotels, including the renowned Calcot Manor, Cowley Manor, Whatley Manor & The Lygon Arms, all with Spas as well-known as their respective hotels. Clearly, any spa addition required to be competitive, not only to a local, but National level.

Furthermore, all the competitors offered Day Spa & Memberships to a limited & scattered local population, seemingly saturating the local market with supply.

Project Brief

Andrew Grahame [CEO of Farncombe Estates] approached Neil Howard with a layout plan for a prospective new spa/fitness facility that lacked focus or identity. However, Andrew’s goal was to create an exceptional nationally recognised Spa.

Neil evolved the proposed layout to ensure that Dormy’s Spa would supersede the established competition by:-

  • Re-allocating the 1000 sq.m of space providing a stronger Spa focus, together with a greater sense of luxury.
  • Introducing highly specialised training to provide superior services.
  • Creating a Personal Training membership concept guaranteeing personal attention; encouraging fitness goals to be achieved with a resultant increase in membership retention; plus higher revenues per sq.m, than traditional ‘self-service’ gyms.
  • Forging strong partnerships with brands to elevate points of difference.

The Result

The House Spa has been winning awards since the day it opened, offering guests an indoor/outdoor blend of soothing therapies, serene pool, terrace hot tub, and Scandi-style thermal suite:-

  • ‘Best Spa Hotel 2014’ from approximately 400 Mr & Mrs Smith hotels with Spas, worldwide.
  • Winning Best Spa Hotel in the Sunday Times ‘Ultimate 100 British Hotels’.- Sep 2014
  • One of the five Best Spas in Britain awarded by the Good Spa Guide, with House Spa gaining the highest accolade of ‘Five Bubble Luxury’, a new tier of excellence initially awarded to just five spas, including House Spa.

What the client said…

'Put simply the difference between creating a good Spa and a great Spa is Neil Howard. His eye for detail is quite extraordinary, he is also practical and commercially focused, contributing positively to every stage of the Spa’s development. I wouldn’t embark on any spa projects without him'.
Chief Executive Farncombe Estate


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