The Best Cheap (Yet Chic) Hotels in the Cotswolds, UK

No38 The Park
No38 The Park | Courtesy of No38 The Park / Expedia
Photo of Isabella Noble
7 December 2020

Unravelling the Cotswoldshistory, mystery and charm in style without breaking the bank is perfectly possible. The six-county Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty may host some of England’s most country-chic hotels, lavishly converted mansions and ultra-luxe spas, but dig around a little, wander beyond the most touristed towns and trails, and you’ll find highly original properties that keep things stylishly creative, peacefully private and sensibly priced.

The Close

Boutique Hotel
Map View
The Close Hotel, Tetbury, Cotswolds
Courtesy of the Close Hotel / Expedia
A colourful art-filled bolthole, The Close occupies a glorious heart-of-Tetbury townhouse from the 16th century. The lovingly converted, all-different rooms are freshly styled with bold prints, statement walls and original artwork, and have robes, slippers, coffee machines and full-sized Bramley bath products, too. Stays here involve browsing Tetbury’s antique shops and wandering Westonbirt Arboretum, Highgrove Gardens and once-Roman Cirencester. Then retreat to the fire-warmed library or the walled fairytale garden with a G&T, before dinner at the season-inspired Garden Room Restaurant.
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No 38 The Park

Bed and Breakfast
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No38 The Park, Cheltenham
Courtesy of No38 The Park / Expedia
There’s a Shoreditch-design edge to this affordable Georgian townhouse looking out on Cheltenham’s Pittville Park, home to the 19th-century Grecian-inspired Pump Room. Bold prints and punchy colours meet antique furniture, patterned tiling, historical features and original artwork in the 13 rustic-chic rooms (all dog-friendly). Luxury touches include Bramley and Acqua di Parma toiletries, hot-water bottles, cosy robes, rain showers and, for Excellent rooms, freestanding baths. Start the day with Insta-worthy breakfasts of avocado and poached eggs or smoked salmon. Doesn’t sound like a budget hotel? Our thoughts exactly.
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Cotswold Garden Tea Rooms

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast
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Cotswold Garden Tea Rooms, Cheltenham
Courtesy of Cotswold Garden Tea Rooms / Expedia
What could be more authentic Cotswolds than staying at a cosy cottage tea house in the lovely, high-walled market town of Stow-on-the-Wold? The four modern-rustic rooms (all with coffee kits) are styled in soothing neutral palettes with pops of colour and art, some with beamed ceilings or antique furniture. Cotswolds-grown ingredients fuel the full English breakfasts and the afternoon teas of home-made cakes, oven-fresh scones and decadently rich cream, which you can devour in the sunny split-level terrace garden.
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The Swan Inn

Hotel
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The Swan Inn Swinbrook
Courtesy of The Swan Inn Swinbrook / Expedia
Chic 16th-century inn The Swan delivers on both design and gastronomy. Between Burford and Chipping Norton, with foodie favourite Kingham nearby, it’s in a less-touristed, still-charming patch of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. Timber beams, open fireplaces and wood floors mingle with floral-stamp wallpaper and statement textiles; the handful of rooms have all-natural toiletries and, for some, freestanding baths. The ambitious gastropub wows with seasonal Cotswolds-sourced dishes such as Swinbrook Farm beef and red wine pie, and impressive wines.
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The Wheatsheaf

Budget Hotel, Inn
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TThe Wheatsheaf Inn
Courtesy of The Wheatsheaf Inn / Expedia
Medieval homes surround a spectacular gothic church in the market town of Northleach – home to this creeper-covered hotel. Part of the classic-on-the-outside, cool-on-the-inside Lucky Onion group (also behind Cheltenham’s much-loved No 131 and No 38 hotels), The Wheatsheaf reimagines a 17th-century coaching inn with arty flair – colourful throws, freestanding bathtubs, Cotswolds-inspired tones, velvet bedheads, organic toiletries and roaring fires. The locally loved restaurant shows off seasonal British ingredients in deliciously inventive creations such as Cotswolds gin cured trout and beetroot-spelt risotto. Cirencenster, Bourton-on-the-Water, Burford and Chedworth are nearby.
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  • The Bell Inn Langford

    Inn
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    The Bell Inn Langford
    Courtesy of The Bell Inn Langford / Expedia
    Peter Creed and Tom Noest’s prize-winning, modern-British cooking has transformed the 17th-century Bell Inn into a Cotswolds-food-scene highlight, just south of honey-hued Burford. Dine by the crackling fire or out in the beer garden: hearty classics get an inspiringly original makeover, with fresh, locally procured ingredients finding their way into oven-fired pizzas, beer-battered fish and succulent steaks with hand-cut fries. Then stumble over to one of the eight effortlessly cool rooms, which spotlight historical quirks alongside king-size beds, feature walls, walk-in showers and local 100 Acres toiletries.
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    Hare and Hounds

    Hotel
    Map View
    Hare and Hounds
    Courtesy of Hare and Hounds Hotel / Expedia
    Set in a meandering mid-19th-century mansion on the edge of Westonbirt Arboretum, near Tetbury, the Hare and Hounds hits just the right country-cosy, boutique-charm blend. Whether you pick the original historical building, or the flashier Silkwood Court extension, all rooms have Molton Brown toiletries, fluffy bathrobes and jolly colour schemes (some are dog-friendly, too). The smart Beaufort Restaurant revolves around seasonal Cotswolds flavours, and there’s more relaxed dining at Jack Hare’s Bar.

    The King’s Head Inn

    Pubs with Rooms
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    The Kings Head Inn
    Courtesy of The Kings Head Inn / Expedia
    In the honey-stone village of Bledington, this 500-year-old pub fuses country-retreat snugness with creative up-to-date style. Within a 10-minute drive you can be strolling around pretty Stow-on-the-Wold and Cotswolds-glam Daylesford Organic Farm, or checking out Kingham’s lively foodie scene. Courtyard rooms feel fresh and contemporary: those in the original inn channel a more rustic charm. At meal times, dig into jazzed-up, local-produce British cooking, including beer-battered haddock and rotisserie chicken.
    These recommendations were updated on December 7, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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