Best Cotswolds hotels 2022: Spa hotels, dog friendly finds and more



From its photogenic honey-stone cottages to its postcard-perfect country pubs, there’s very little that isn’t ridiculously good looking about the Cotswolds (and that includes its celebrity residents).

Stretching across Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire, this area of ​​outstanding natural beauty delivers charm in spades. Hotels range from sprawling countryside estates and shirt-and-tie manor houses to cozy restaurants with rooms and boutique B&Bs.

Options are plentiful, so it’s all about finding the right fit and making yourself at home. Here’s the cream of the crop.

The best hotels in the Cotswolds are:

Best for village vibes: Thyme

The pool at Thyme: cross your fingers for sun

(Rich Stapleton c/o Thyme)

Neighborhood: Southrop

Dotted throughout Southrop Manor’s sprawling 150-acre estate you’ll find the cozy pub, 17th-century cottages, two restaurants and al fresco pool that make up Thyme, which is not so much a hotel as a village-within-a-village. Guests have the run of the place, swanning from central-hub-slash-watering-hole Baa (which also happens to be a bar, set in former lambing sheds) to the first-class Meadow Spa that offers probiotic treatments in soothing surroundings. When it comes to sleeping, 31 restful, neutral-hued rooms are set in restyled farmhouse buildings (including a former rectory and a magnificent tithe barn) while ex-Quo Vadis chef Charlie Hibbert is doing wonders in the kitchen.

Price: Doubles from £420

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Room number 16 at Number 131

(Simon Brown c/o Number 131)

Neighborhood: Cheltenham

If you have designs on one day rattling around a grand Georgian mansion, make it Este grand Georgian mansion. Traditional on the outside and eclectic on the inside, this good looker from the team behind The Lucky Onion is a (really big) home away from home. Each of its eight opulent rooms is decked out in statement wallpapers, industrial lights and moody blues with brassy touches, while antique knick-knacks rub up against original artworks by David Hockney and Banksy. The newest addition is events space The House, which can be booked out in its eight-bedroomed entirety for OTT weddings and parties.

Price: Doubles from £135

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The Hilly Hut at The Fish: the ideal hideaway for high-end glampers

(The Fish)

Neighbourhood: Farncombe Estate

With shepherd’s huts, forests prime for stomping and adult-friendly tree houses poking out from towering silver birch trees, The Fish is a veritable playground for the Cotswolds set who want lashings of luxe with their long country walks. Set on 400 glorious acres, it’s dog-friendly, romance-friendly (we’re talking twin soaking tubs and prosecco in the minibar) and seafood-focused, with elegant restaurant Hook serving up poached fish, tender mussels and Porthilly oysters that are a coastal bracing walk on a plate.

Price: Doubles from £160

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Seasonal and locally-sourced food is the name of the game at The Wild Rabbit

(The Wild Rabbit)

Neighborhood: Chipping Norton

The most genteel sort of pub with rooms, The Wild Rabbit is actually a meticulously transformed 18th-century coaching inn. Set just a few fields apart from Daylesford’s Bamford Haybarn spa and organic farm shop (where posh sorts get their eggs and kale), the hotel is a brilliantly mellow space filled with blonde wood, honey stone and nature-inspired touches, like tree-trunk four poster beds and twig coat hooks. But grub is the real name of the game here and menus are based on what’s in season on the Daylesford Estate. Dishes are not cheap, but the market garden Jerusalem artichokes and cote de boeuf with Roscoff onion cooked over charcoal is certainly worth it.

Price: Doubles from £135

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Equestrian enthusiasts will love the on-site stables at Lucknam Park

(Lucknam Park)

Neighborhood: Colerne

Is there anything Lucknam isn’t good at? From its Michelin-star restaurant to its award-winning spa, everything here is superlative – including the gloriously glossy horses that trot round the on-site stables. Set in a 500-acre estate, guests at this grand 43-bedroom property (alongside three cottages) have access to tennis courts, croquet lawns and manicured gardens. Rooms and suites – which are of the chinoiserie silk and chandeliers variety – look out onto green views, and downstairs chef Hywel Jones (who earned the opulent restaurant its Michelin star more than a decade ago) does wonders with hearty meats and seasonal ingredients, such as wild garlic, morels and lemongrass.

Price: Doubles from £375

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The Oak Suite at Foxhill Manor

(Foxhill Manor)

Neighbourhood: Farncombe Estate

This small and intimate modern manor has only eight rooms, so you’re unlikely to get trampled by a rush of welly boots on your way to breakfast. Here, privacy is king and you’re as welcome to hole up in your airy room (with rolling views of vales and mountains) as you are to settle down with head chef Richard Thorpe in the cushion-strewn dining room to discuss menu options. Grounds are pretty and well-maintained; ask the kitchen to pack you a picnic and head out to explore the 400-acre woodland on your doorstep, or Dormy House and its bounty of high-end amenities are just a short transfer away.

Price: Doubles from £599

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The al fresco hot tub at Calcot & Spa

(Calcot & Spa)

Neighborhood: Tetbury

For a family-friendly space that welcomes tiny tearaways with open arms, Calcot Manor is decidedly chic. Drop the small ones off in the play zone for mask-making, den-building or other such mucky craftwork with the enduringly cheery staff, then make straight for the heated indoor pool or al fresco hot tub for a champagne-in-hand soak. The 35 rooms are splashed with Farrow & Ball and decked out in restful neutrals, and many of them sit under sloping eaves or ancient beams. The Gumstool Inn serves unpretentious pub grub that tastes great, from Gloucester sausages with mash and shallots, to Jerusalem artichoke risotto with porcini.

Price: Doubles from £368

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The chic bar at The Slaughters Manor House

(The Slaughter Manor House)

Neighborhood: Lower Slaughter

Forget opulent chandeliers and duck-printed cushions, Slaughters Manor House takes the country-house archetype and hurls it gleefully out the window. This place looks more like a boutique city crashpad than a stuffy country grande dame, with rose gold and marble in the dining room and strokeable aubergine and taupe in the bedrooms. Nineteen rooms and suites make The Slaughters wonderfully intimate, and some even open up onto their own private gardens. Outdoorsy sorts can take part in anything from rock-climbing to duck herding, but if you’re more of a homebody, the in-room spa treatments are the epitome of indulgence.

Price: Doubles from £260

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The indoor pool at Dormy House spa

(Bedroom House)

Neighbourhood: Farncombe Estate

Think of welcoming Dormy House as your secretly posh uncle’s second home, with 38 rooms and a spa so decorated with awards it draws in zen-seekers from across the country. The owners are Nordic, so interiors are suitably Scandi-inspired, with clean lines and calm, quiet washes of color on the walls. At the property’s heart is a 17th-century farmhouse, replete with flagstone floors and flames crackling in imposing stone fireplaces. If you don’t fancy clay-pigeon shooting or quad-biking around the estate, then surrender to the salt-infusion steam room or the hands of the skilled massage therapists for an afternoon of knot-busting.

Price: Doubles from £274

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For more UK staycation inspiration read the below

Best country hotels near London 2022

The best hotels in Blackpool for every budget

10 of the best boutique hotels in Edinburgh


www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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