Hotel Review – Dower House

The Karma Hotel Review
Hotel: Dower House Hotel & Spa
Location: Knaresborough, North Yorkshire
Room Type: Double, large room, half board
Date: Tuesday 18th – Thursday 20th February 2014
Facilities: Pool etc, Gym, Spa
Check in: 3pm
Check out: 11am
Dog Friendly: Yes
About the hotel: Dower House is a 15th century building with 29 en-suite bedrooms, a luxury spa and treatment rooms.  The hotel is set in a traditional market town with small town and stunning river walks. 

My husband, Tinkerbell our miniature dachshund and I arrived at around 2pm at the hotel and greeted warmly by two of the hotel staff.  We made reservations in the hotel restaurant for 7pm that evening.  We were asked if we needed help with our luggage and then directed to our room a first floor traditionally decorated room. 


Getting to the room wasn’t too much of a problem although a group of gentleman sipping tea and standing near the staircase did make it slightly difficult.  When the group had left the sitting area with stunning log fire the cups that they had used continued to remain for all of the afternoon and evening!

When originally making the hotel reservation I had opted for a larger room as the standard rooms according to the reviews were very small.  I therefore expected to open the hotel room door to what I’d requested and paid for however the room was still what I would consider a standard room size. 

Once we had taken our luggage from the car and into the room I went back to the reception desk to inquire about the room.  I believe it was the manager I spoke to about my concern and she said that it was one of the bigger rooms however they did have larger rooms but one of those only became free the next day and asked if we would want to move.  Our mini break was only two nights and would really of been silly to move rooms, the manager however said that she would see what they could do. 

The room with the exception of not being what I would consider large it was extremely clean and the furniture set out well a double bed, dressing table, wardrobe and two chairs.  Part of the ceiling over the bed appeared to of been repaired or damaged by possible water at some stage.  The television seemed a little unsafe and the wire ran down the wall, along the skirting board to the plug.  The heating in the room was poor the radiators only worked certain times and as the windows weren’t double glazed didn’t keep the cold out and the window in the bathroom wouldn’t open and the extractor fan failed the work.


When I reported the heating issue the hotel provided a small fan heater this however worked for 30 seconds and then just stopped working. 

The bathroom again was clean although signs of wear and tare were noticeable, the large wall mirror a little loose and the sink had been repaired as a large section was discoloured.  The shower worked perfectly the first day but a little poor the second and the cold water tap ran warm for a while.

After we had unpacked briefly my husband and I decided to use the gym facilities.  The gym was small however had all the equipment I desired to use. 

My husband used the pool but said that it was also very small. 

The evening meals were included for both evenings of our stay.  The ‘Storm’ restaurant was beautifully decorated and clean with crisp white table clothes. 


The restaurant staff especially those from other European countries had wonderful manners and good service skills. 

The menu both evenings varied slightly however offered a variety to choose from.  The meals on both evenings were delicious.  Warm tiny individual loaves of bread were served at the start of dinner.   
First Evening


Second Evening


Breakfast was a cold buffet and any cooked breakfast was served directly to the table.  The food served with breakfast was as expected. 


Parking at the hotel wasn’t a problem as the last Best Western has terrible parking issues.  Each time we parked the car we were able to park right outside the hotels front door. 

On Thursday morning we checked out at around 9am our drinks which we had ordered with the evening meals (two bottles of Sparkling Harrogate Water) and Tinkerbell’s accommodation costs of £10 a night where wavered which was a nice gesture. 

Overall thoughts:
We have been to a selection of Best Western hotels some good some not so.
This hotel did have some points for improvement however the staff were friendly and well mannered and appeared to act on concerns/complaints.  The WiFi was a little hit and miss thankfully I had my own WiFi on hand. 
My husband, Tinkerbell and I had a wonderful mini break and had the opportunity to experienced much of York which really helped make our time away.
Dower House is a dog friendly hotel which is the reason why we picked the hotel and I would recommend it to any one wishing to take their dog along with them for a mini break but because of the size of the rooms only small dogs would be best suited to the hotel. 
The ‘Storm’ restaurant I would however recommend to anyone as the food really was delicious. 

See what we got up to during our time in York.


About The Life of a Housewife

Abigail is married to a wonderful man. They have a very fabulous Mini Dachshund her name is Tinkerbell and now a very beautiful son. Abigail's absolute favourite time of the year is Christmas it has been since she was a little girl. Abigail' enjoys being creative, enjoy cooking, making and especially fond of organization.

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