The Best Boutique Hotels to Book Near Cheltenham, England

All rooms at Cowley Manor come with huge soaking tubs and separate drench showers
All rooms at Cowley Manor come with huge soaking tubs and separate drench showers | Courtesy of Cowley Manor / Expedia

The boutique hotels of Cheltenham and its surrounding villages hint at a distinguished past. Once home to nobility, the glorious manors, historic townhouses and ancient inns are now booked out by Cheltenham Racecourse punters and ramblers heading into the Cotswolds. While there are plenty of classy places to say in Cheltenham, here are the pick of the bunch.

1. The George, for town centre location

Hotel

Stylish room with dark walls at The George
Courtesy of The George / Expedia

Behind this immaculate Georgian facade are some of the smartest rooms in Cheltenham – generously proportioned spaces in dark blues and gunmetal grey, with brass fixtures and black-and-white photos of jazz greats. Downstairs, a continental breakfast is served in an American-style diner. The hotel is well-appointed for shopping on the promenade, a four-minute walk away, or admiring the regency architecture. Retro lunch and dinner joint, the Tavern, run by the George’s sister company, is just over the road.

2. Cleeve Hill Hotel, for country hikes

Hotel

Classic room at Cleeve Hill Hotel with floral curtains and views of hills
Courtesy of Cleeve Hill Hotel / Expedia

Pack your walking boots because this dog-friendly hotel is perfect for a weekend country retreat. Built on the edge of the Cotswolds’ Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the early 1900s, each of its twelve rooms has far-reaching views, either of the Malvern Hills to the west or the sheep-scattered Cleeve Common to the east. Request a packed lunch for a day in the hills and unwind afterwards with a pint of local ale in the lounge. Cheltenham is a ten-minute drive away.

3. No 131, for artsy accommodation

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

Rooms at No. 131 pair Georgian refinement with top-end country chic, featuring sash windows, fireplaces and raised ceilings alongside statement walls, industrial lighting and original artwork by David Hockney and Banksy. Occupying three handsome whitewashed townhouses on the promenade, the hotel also owns one of the busiest late night venues in Cheltenham, Gin & Juice, an indoor-outdoor space with DJs at the weekend and over 350 gins to sample. Dine at the Asian-inspired restaurant, where top dishes include Korean beef tartare and miso-glazed salmon with chilli-fried pak choi.

4. Cowley Manor, for rural pampering in Cowley

Spa Hotel, Luxury

DIning room with large arched windows overlooking garden at Cowley Manor
Courtesy of Cowley Manor / Expedia

With a grand, Italianate exterior, Cowley Manor is the stand out property in the sleepy village of Cowley. Its 55-acre (22ha) estate is home to a Victorian cascade leading to a lake, one of two to be discovered while staying here. Its rooms are surprisingly contemporary, but no less inviting for it. All come with huge soaking tubs and separate drench showers. For dinner, expect locally sourced, exquisitely prepared British dishes. Don’t leave without venturing into the spa, complete with two pools.

5. Jessop House, for a historic stay in Tewkesbury

Boutique Hotel

Large four poster bed and floral wallpaper in room at Jessop House
Courtesy of Jessop House / Expedia

Jessop House sits in the medieval market town of Tewkesbury, occupying a historic townhouse, part of which dates from the 12th century. A 20-minute car ride will take you to Cheltenham, but Tewkesbury’s Norman abbey, riverside walks and independent retailers are a worthy alternative. Inside, suites feature period pieces, fine linens and views over the abbey. You’ll also find a traditional English breakfast menu with ingredients sourced from local farms.

6. Queens Hotel Cheltenham by M-Gallery, for regal grandeur

Boutique Hotel, Luxury

Dining room at Queens Hotel Cheltenham by MGallery with dark wall and blue padded seats
Courtesy of Queens Hotel Cheltenham by MGallery / Expedia

When it opened in 1838, the Queens Hotel – its name a nod to Queen Victoria – was one of the first purpose-built hotels in Europe. Now it overlooks one of the most arresting streets in Cheltenham, as well as the Imperial Square and Gardens. Its regal moniker is matched by its neoclassical architecture, dominated by 50 all-white Corinthian columns. Rooms combine heritage pieces with contemporary stylings. There are also several dining options including a traditional afternoon tea room.

7. Malmaison Cheltenham, for a romantic getaway

Boutique Hotel, Chain Hotel

Large double bedroom at Malmaison Cheltenham with monochrome wallpaper
Courtesy of Malmaison / Expedia

From the outside, with its grand facade and sweeping driveway, Malmaison fits in well with regency Cheltenham. Inside, it’s a different story. Contemporary stylings bring you into the modern age. Rooms are decorated with block colours, statement wallpapers and modern furnishings. At night, head to the in-house bar for a cocktail, or two, with your other half. There’s also a brasserie serving an international menu.

8. No 38 the Park, for an upscale bed and breakfast

Bed and Breakfast

Homely dining room at Number 38 The Park with dark blue walls and a heft wooden table
Courtesy of No 38 The Park / Expedia

Occupying a Georgian town house in Pittville, No 38 the Park is a 15-minute walk to Cheltenham Racecourse. If – and when – you’ve sunk your money in the ponies, returning to this boutique hotel is ample consolation. Its 13 rooms are decorated with mahogany leathers, antiques and carpets woven with seagrass. In the morning, a continental breakfast features freshly baked pastries, artisanal teas and freshly brewed coffee.

9. Cotswold Grange, for a cosy night's sleep

Boutique Hotel, Independent Hotel

Stone exterior of the large Cotswold Grange
Courtesy of Cotswold Grange / Expedia

Traditional Gloucestershire beauty is found in abundance at the Cotswold Grange, one of the finest luxury hotels in Cheltenham. Its honey-hued facade and stone mullion windows are typical of the large country manors in the area. This continues inside where high ceilings, decorative cornicing and the original cantilevered staircase are found. Sitting in the historic suburb of Pittville, Cotswold Grange has easy access to both Cheltenham town centre and the racecourse. If you don’t want to leave, however, there’s an in-house bar and a restaurant serving modern British cuisine.

10. Lypiatt House, for a boutique bolthole

Boutique Hotel

Homely living room at Lypiatt House Hotel with pink walls, floral armchairs and large windows
Courtesy of Lypiatt House Hotel / Expedia

Hugging the edge of the Montpellier district in Cheltenham, Lypiatt House is well located for shopping during the day and dining at night. Set in private grounds, this boutique hotel was built in the Victorian period and finished with contemporary flourishes. Fancy exploring the nearby Cotswolds by car? Onsite parking is available. Fill up for the hike with a continental or full English breakfast.

Mark Nayler contributed additional reporting to this article.

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