The Cotswolds are the epitome of the charming English countryside – think rolling hills, ancient woodland and centuries-old pubs, ready for you to kick off your hiking boots and settle with a hot toddy by the crackling fireplace. It’s easy to see why this 2038sqkm (787sqmi) area is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK. Read on for our pick of the best hotels in the Cotswolds, complete with award-winning spas and gourmet cuisine – all bookable on Culture Trip.
If you’ve been dreaming of a3 stay in the country, this Cotswold hotel is probably what you’re picturing. Tucked away in a quintessential village of the same name, its Cotswold stone building manages to combine an impressive classical facade with a cosy boutique interior. Take a walk through the rolling countryside around, then drop your wellies at the door and curl up beside one of the wood-burning stoves with a book or a G&T. Young chef Jamie McCallum is a big name locally ‒ stump up for his six-course tasting menu and you’ll see why.
Another of the best hotels in the Cotswolds with a cosy vibe, this spot is located in Burford, one of the Oxfordshire villages on the borders of the Cotswolds area of outstanding natural beauty, known for its shops and galleries along its olde worlde high street. This historic building has been fully modernised but still has its flagstones, exposed beams and picturesque fireplaces. Its 21 rooms have plenty of individual character, plus dogs are welcome too.
Set by the River Coln, this ivy-covered stone cottage is the perfect country retreat. There are 18 individually designed bedrooms in the main house, each decked out in plush antique furniture, plus four garden cottage suites in the courtyard for larger parties. Enjoy hot coffee from your in-suite Nespresso machine before filling your rolltop bath with Molton Brown bubbles, or head out to the garden to soak in the hot tub. The bar, with its cosy open fire and squashy armchairs, is just the place to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail or two. Cirencester is a 15-minute drive away.
Perched overlooking Imperial Square Gardens, this Georgian townhouse is one of the most beautiful hotels in Cheltenham. Rooms are stylishly decorated with bold panelled walls, leather Chesterfield sofas and original fireplaces; book a Superior Suite for your own rolltop bath or a cosy Family Room if you’re travelling with little ones. Downstairs, the Victorian-style Gin & Juice bar gets the balance right between easygoing and achingly cool. Book in for a Saturday night to enjoy the resident DJs while sampling their collection of over 350 gins.
Set within eight glorious acres of manicured lawns, Lords of the Manor Hotel is easily one of the finest places to stay in the Cotswolds. The Lords Rooms, with their king-sized beds and bay windows, are nothing short of cavernous, offering plenty of space for you and your pooch (the hotel is dog-friendly). Make sure you book afternoon tea while you’re here – it has rave reviews, thanks to head chef, Charles Smith. Afterwards, walk it off with a stroll around the grounds in summer, or hunker down in the lounge next to the fire during winter.
The Lygon Arms in Broadway has an impressive roster of former guests, with everyone from Charles I to Prince Philip having graced its halls in the past 600 years. Kick off your boots and flop onto the bed in your deliciously cosy room, decked out with tartan bedspreads and antique furniture. It’s not all olde worlde, though – Nespresso machines and power showers feature throughout, plus there’s an extensive spa in the newer part of the hotel with a 14m (46ft) swimming pool.
Travelling with little ones? This country house hotel goes the extra mile to make sure you and your children feel welcome. Choose from an interconnecting room, twin or suite with a living room and sofa bed. Let them run wild in the 2ha (5 acre) garden, complete with tennis, croquet and boules, before tucking into a gourmet picnic hamper, packed with healthy treats from their V.I.L.P (Very Important Little People) menu. Children under the age of two stay for free – they even have baby monitors and travel cots, in case you forget yours.
Just over a mile outside Broadway, you’ll find this English country manor house with a AA Three Rosettes restaurant, fronted by head chef Mark Potts, who previously worked at the two-Michelin starred Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham. Tuck into locally sourced suckling pig raviolo, garnished with pineapple bacon and jam crackling, followed by Cornish bass with a side of Jersey royals. When the weather’s fine, stroll around the expansive garden with Oscar, the resident dog, who’s available for walks at the drop of a biscuit. There’s also a tennis court and croquet lawn for active types.
On a budget? Book into one of the best cheap (yet chic) hotels in the Cotswolds. For something extra special, discover the best spa retreats in the region. Hungry too? Check out these foodie hotels in quaint Chipping Campden. Heading to Cheltenham? Check out our top pick of hotels and book now on Culture Trip.
Sarah Warwick contributed additional reporting to this article.
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