The Best Hotels to Book in the Cotswolds

St James Church in Chipping Campden is a popular Costwolds tourist destination – and its easy to see why
St James' Church in Chipping Campden is a popular Costwolds tourist destination – and it's easy to see why | © Stuart Black / Alamy Stock Photo
Bianca Barratt

Travel Expert

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.

1. The Painswick, for a rustic chic vibe in Painswick

Hotel

Room at The Painswick with neutral decor, a large bed with white linen, two green armchairs, and a marble fireplace
Courtesy of The Painswick / Expedia

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.

2. The Bay Tree Hotel, for village centre location in Burford

Hotel

Attic room at The Bay Tree Hotel with rustic decor, including floral wallpaper, a double bed with red headboard, two armchairs and a dressing table
Courtesy of The Bay Tree Hotel / Expedia

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.

3. The Swan Hotel, for riverside views in Bibury

Hotel

Exterior view of The Swan Hotel – a rustic-looking building surrounded by well maintained gardens
Courtesy of The Swan Hotel / Expedia

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.

4. No 131, for vintage style in Cheltenham

Boutique Hotel

The white exterior of No. 131, a luxurious, colonnaded mansion house with a row of small topiary trees out the front.
© No 131 / Expedia

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.

5. Barnsley House, for a romantic break in Barnsley

Spa Hotel, Luxury

Stonewall exterior of Barnsley House, a grand building with foliage running up it and outdoor seating at its front
Courtesy of Barnsley House / Expedia
With 18 luxury bedrooms, two restaurants and a private cinema, Barnsely House ticks all the boxes for a couples’ weekend away. Just a short drive from Bibury, it’s well placed for exploring the Cotswolds on foot or by car, but only if you can tear yourself away from the garden spa with its heated outdoor pool. Afterwards, take an afternoon nap in your Deluxe Garden room, which come with two bathtubs and glorious leafy views. Come nightfall, dine at onsite restaurant The Potager, which serves up simple, rustic dishes (many ingredients comes straight from the kitchen garden) or more relaxed Village Pub.

6. Lords of the Manor Hotel, for rural grandeur in Bourton-on-the-Water

Hotel, Luxury

Stone exterior and front entrance of the Lords of the Manor Hotel, with flowers and and plant bushes out front
Courtesy of Lords of the Manor Hotel / Expedia

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.

7. Dormy House, for a pampered retreat in Broadway

Spa Hotel

Room at Dormy Hotel with rustic decor, white-painted walls and wooden flooring, and white and light-blue furnishings
© Dormy House
A crackling log fire; a suite with a private hot tub; a gourmet tasting menu – what more could you ask for from a luxury hotel in the Cotswolds? Staff at this 17th century farmhourse-turned-hotel will cosset you from the moment you walk through the door – whether that’s serving your favourite cocktail in The Shed bar or preparing a bed and welcome treat for your dog. Take advantage of the award-winning spa, complete with a 16m (52ft) infinity pool, Finnish sauna and salt steam room, as well as a state-of-the-art flotation tank, designed to send you off into a deeply relaxed state.

8. The Lygon Arms, for a historic stay in Broadway

Boutique Hotel

Stonewall exterior of The Lygon Arms, a large building made up of several storeys, with two union flags at full mast at its entrance
Courtesy of The Lygon Arms / Expedia

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.

9. The Slaughters Manor House, for family-friendly luxury in Cheltenham

Boutique Hotel, Luxury

Stonewall exterior of The Slaughters Manor, a large building with many windows and well-maintained gardens at its front
Courtesy of The Slaughters Manor House / Expedia

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.

10. Buckland Manor, for foodies in Broadway

Boutique Hotel

Exterior of Buckland Manor, made up of several connected stonewall buildings, which surround a space for lawn games
Courtesy of Buckland Manor / Expedia

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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