Kiki, The Pet Inspector, celebrates her 5th birthday in style with a trip to Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa

It was Kiki, the Pet Inspector’s 5th birthday and to celebrate we took her on a fabulous dog-friendly staycay to Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa in Wiltshire. We had heard wonderful reports about the hotel and how luxurious and dog-friendly it was from a friend who had visited with her five dogs (!) and I was also keen to revisit the hotel which I had first visited several years ago when researching my book  “Weekend Breaks” for the Evening Standard.  

I decided to invite along my shoe designer daughter Camilla, and her dog Lulu who is Kiki’s best friend and partner in crime, Together they can be quite naughty but we were hoping that they would be on their best behaviour for our stay…

The Hotel

This dog-friendly hotel is in a lovely rural setting, close to Warminster, nestled in the heart of the idyllic Wiltshire countryside and a world away from city life. Bishopstrow is an exquisite Georgian mansion set on a sprawling 27-acre estate, perfect for a dog-friendly getaway. Our first impression was that it exuded timeless elegance and charm.

This historic country house hotel has a rich heritage, dating back to 1736, and its classical architecture is a testament to its grandeur. Our first impression was that it exuded timeless elegance and charm, and when we pushed open the rather grand front doors we discovered its stunning interiors which really have a wow factor.

Kiki and Lulu were given a wonderful welcome and after we had settled in, we were invited on a grand tour of the hotel. It has plenty of spacious and tastefully appointed sitting rooms decorated in vibrant colours with lovely bay windows, sumptuous sofas to sink into and roaring fires – everything you would want from a winter weekend away. The restaurant is a lovely light-filled contemporary space, serving up locally sourced food and there are also outdoor private dining domes dotted around the gardens for al fresco dining. 

And after a hectic Christmas, we were also looking forward to a visit to the Halcyon Spa, with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, as well as thermal suites and relaxation areas. Bliss!

Our Dog-Friendly Bedroom

After our tour of the hotel, we were led to the courtyard and up the stairs to our dog-friendly bedroom. We had told the hotel that we were celebrating Kiki’s birthday and they had given us a truly fabulous room – a junior suite, which was the epitome of luxury and comfort.

Inside there was a huge king-size bed, French doors which led to a private outdoor terrace, complete with a delightful hot tub, stunning views of the garden and crucially plenty of space for four-legged friends. 

The opulent marble bathroom featured a fabulous roll-top bath and double shower, providing a spa-like experience with soft fluffy bathrobes and slippers, gorgeous VOYA toiletries and even a Dyson hairdryer – we really were in the lap of luxury. 

The dogs were equally pampered with the largest and most luxurious pet beds we had ever seen, plush towels, and woof boxes filled with irresistible treats and toys ensuring they felt equally as cherished as their human companions!  The dogs also loved stepping out onto the terrace which was totally enclosed and safe while we enjoyed the delights of the hot tub!

What Makes This Hotel Dog-Friendly?

We felt just how dog-friendly the hotel is right from the word go when we were given such a wonderful welcome at reception and met the lovely manager, Alex. The whole team seemed to love dogs and Kiki and Lulu were made to feel just as welcome as we were. 

We loved how dog-friendly the bar and sitting rooms were with dog beds and bowls dotted around the rooms, and of course, their treats in our bedroom. The dogs were pampered with the largest and most luxurious pet beds we had ever seen, plush towels, and woof boxes filled with irresistible treats and toys ensuring they felt equally as cherished as their human companions!    

But the extensive grounds are the real plus providing ample space for doggy adventures. We were able to let the dogs run around to their heart’s content – in fact, there’s no real need to go anywhere else.

The Food & Service

At Bishopstrow Hotel, the culinary experience is impressive – it is home to one of the finest eateries in Wiltshire. 

After settling into our room and exploring the grounds in the afternoon we enjoyed evening drinks in one of the opulent sitting rooms. We decided to take the dogs with us for drinks, and we met with a charming local couple – Lizzie King and her husband, who owned a dog-friendly lifestyle shop nearby. 

As Kiki and Lulu were tired after all their fun-filled day running around the grounds we decided to take them back to the room and to enjoy dinner in the elegant dining room – the Garden Grill.  The culinary philosophy of the restaurant is rooted in a No-Dig kitchen garden, where they cultivate fresh produce that forms part of every meal they serve. After the meal, we asked if we could have coffee in the sitting room with another glass of wine and chocolates! Heaven, well we were celebrating Kiki’s birthday after all!

The next morning, Kiki and Lulu joined us for breakfast, where they sat hopefully awaiting a few treats. The setting at breakfast was perfect, with tables overlooking the lovely views of the grounds.

What Did We Get Up To?

Apart from lots of wonderful dog walks around the grounds with Kiki and Lulu what we really enjoyed was our trip to the spa – just a short stroll away from our courtyard room.  The spa is super luxurious, as you would expect, and offers Elemis of VOYA treatments as well as indoor and outdoor heated pool, steam and sauna rooms with monsoon shower, plus relaxation rooms. We then enjoyed sipping tea on the loungers in our fluffy robes and slippers before padding back to the dogs who we found sprawled out in their beds.

As well as the stunning grounds which truly are a haven for furry friends to frolic there’s also a lovely river walk beyond the estate. Other walks close by include Cley Hill, a ten-minute drive away where you can see for miles from the top of the hill.  Dogs are also welcome at Clanger Wood at Westbury which has a 145-acre estate you can explore. 

Kiki’s Verdict…

What truly set Bishopstrow apart was its unwavering commitment to being a haven for dogs. Every detail, from the welcoming staff to the thoughtfully provided dog-friendly amenities is designed to make their stay a truly memorable experience. With its captivating history and unparalleled dog-friendliness, Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa had all the ingredients for an unforgettable adventure, offering Kiki and Lulu a glimpse into the grandeur of a bygone era while ensuring a fabulous dog-friendly stay.  We will definitely return!

Want to experience Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa for yourself? Book your stay now.