October 3, 2023

Destination: Cotswolds


Best Luxury Hotels in the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is a magical destination to visit for a holiday, whether you’re walking the famous Cotswold Way or visiting the many quaint villages and historic towns.

Covering nearly 800 square miles and straddling five counties (Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire), the Cotswolds has beauty around every corner. It’s no surprise that it’s Britain’s biggest designated area of natural beauty (AONB).

There really is nowhere quite like it: unspoilt and unapologetically British on the one hand; home to some of the UK’s finest pubs, restaurants and some rather special places to stay, on the other.

Whether you’re visiting the Cotswolds for the weekend or a long break, we’ve hand-picked some of the best luxury hotels in the Cotswolds to make your trip extra special.

Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Wiltshire

Lucknam Park in Wiltshire

Lucknam Park is a 5-star country house hotel, which oozes elegance from the moment you turn onto the long winding drive. Just six miles from Bath, it’s ideal if you’re planning on visiting the city but want to stay in a more rural setting.

Set within 500 acres of beautiful parkland, you might find it hard to leave and explore the rest of the Cotswolds, especially when the Brasserie also serves such wonderful food.

The highlight, though, is undoubtedly the spa. It’s a true retreat, with a variety of relaxation rooms, treatments and a beautiful glass-fronted pool. If you’re in need of some R&R, take a look at the spa packages.

Lucknampark.co.uk; Lucknam Park, Chippenham, SN14 8AZ.

The Painswick Cotswolds Hotel, Stroud

Painswick Hotel may be the little sibling to famous Barnsley House and Calcot & Spa, but actually, it still carries great charm, comes at a more affordable price point, and is also a little cooler.

There are just 17 rooms, decorated in the Calcot Collection’s country-chic style. It’s snug and homely with deep sofas, roaring fires and delicious food; enjoy a Painswick afternoon tea or indulge in a tasting menu.

Located in the quaint village of Painswick, it’s a great spot from which to explore, with historic country homes surrounded by stunning lush green landscapes right on your doorstep.

Thepainswick.co.uk; The Painswick, Kemps Lane, Painswick, Gloucestershire, GL6 6YB.

The Manor House Hotel and Golf Club, Castle Combe

The Manor House, Castle Combe

The Manor House Hotel is the ultimate getaway for foodies. Part of the Exclusive Collection, which includes Pennyhill Park and the Royal Berkshire, the 14th-century Manor House Hotel and Golf Club is the place to go not only for golf and a luxurious stay, but a memorable dining experience.

Home to Michelin-star restaurant, Bybrook, where Executive Chef Rob Potter has curated a six-course tasting menu, which can be upgraded with wine to match by the sommelier.

There are 50 rooms to choose from, ranging from ‘cosy’, ‘traditional’ or ‘plush’, and plenty to keep you occupied, such as a gym, acres of land to explore, and of course, golf.

The Manor House; 49 Whitegates, Castle Combe, Upper Castle Combe, Chippenham, SN14 7HQ.

The Double Red Duke, Bampton

A classic Cotswolds combination of wisteria, honey-coloured stone and casement windows, this 19-room boutique hotel could hardly look more typically English if it tried. So it’s no surprise to learn that it was a major location for the filming of Downton Abbey.

The characterful 17th-century premises were refurbished in 2020 when it joined the Country Creatures group and was turned into a chic haven of patterned wallpaper, bright colours and plush decor.

Relax in the garden room or small hotel spa, or take to the terrace with a book. Dining takes place in one restaurant, and the cuisine is largely based around grills and over-fire cooking, alongside colourful salads, and seasonal specialities.

It’s luxury but on a smaller scale – perfect if you’re looking for a more intimate stay.

The Double Red Duke; Bourton Rd, Clanfield, Bampton, OX18 2RB.

Ellenborough Park Hotel, Cheltenham

Bedroom at Ellenborough Park

Sitting between the Cotswolds’ highest point and Cheltenham Racecourse, Ellenborough Park is an immaculate, luxury 5-star hotel, with 62 rooms and 90 acres of glorious grounds.

The decor is classic and timeless, with large bathrooms and tubs you’ll sink into and spend hours floating in. The restaurants showcase the freshest, seasonal produce, and of course, there’s the classic offering of afternoon tea, too.

Ellenboroughpark.com; Ellenborough Park Hotel, Southam Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 3NJ.

Estelle Manor, Oxfordshire

Estelle Manor is the grand older sister of Maison Estelle in London’s Mayfair. The Grade II-listed building is a country club and hotel, perched on the Cotswolds’ doorstep, in Oxfordshire.

It refers to itself as a ‘new school club’ with ‘old school values’. So while the furnishings are classic, vintage and elegant, it’s unstuffy, fun, and accepting to all.

There are 108 rooms, four restaurants, a billiard room, workspace, gym, studio, padel tennis court, and a kids club. Oh, and a tepidarium bathing hall, five pools, a lounge and thermal cabins.

If your Cotswolds getaway has to include a bit of work, or you’re looking for somewhere that’s both a home and hotel, Estelle is a great bet.

Estellemanor.com; Estelle Manor, Eynsham, North Leigh, Park OX29 6PN.

Cowley Manor Experimental, Cheltenham

Cowley Manor Experimental Spa in Cheltenham

A stunning Grade II-listed country house hotel from the Experimental Group, if you enjoy your history blended with ultra-stylish modern design, then Cowley Manor is the place.

The 36 bedrooms are all elegantly furnished. Downstairs in the restaurant, the menu is curated by the brilliant British chef, Jackson Boxer, and brings together local produce and French cuisine to unforgettable effect.

The spa pool is fronted with large glass windows, so even though you’re floating inside, it almost feels like you’re bathing among the trees. And if you really want to go outside, there’s a pool there, too.

The hotel often hosts outdoor cinema experiences and live music events, so be sure to check if there are any scheduled during your stay.

Cowleymanorexperimental.com; Cowley Manor, Cowley Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL53 9NL.

The Fish Hotel, Broadway

One of the Farncombe Estate’s trio of wonderful hotels, The Fish Hotel in Broadway is literally swathed in woodland.

Rooms-wise you can choose between huts and treehouses, which are as novel as they are beautiful, while Martin Burge’s Hook restaurant offers a fantastic seafood-inspired menu.

Whether you fancy relaxing in the Farncombe Zen wellbeing centre, taking a guided meditation, going forest bathing, or doing something a little more active like axe throwing or archery, there’s something for everyone at The Fish.

The Fish Hotel; Farncombe Estate, Broadway, Worcestershire, WR12 7LH.

Thyme, Southrop

Thyme Hotel and Restaurant

Thyme is a restored 17th-century manor farm surrounded by beautifully tended gardens. Inspired by the family’s passion for the land, food and conservation, the love and attention are evident in every detail.

The rooms are elegant, with colours inspired by their botanical names and furnished with carefully sourced antique pieces. Choose from a variety of different bedrooms and cottages, to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

Away from the rooms you can relax in the Meadow Spa, a haven of restorative calm, take a cookery or florist workshop, and feast on the seasonal delights of Charlie Hibbert in the Ox Barn restaurant.

Thyme.co.uk; Thyme, Southrop, Lechlade, GL7 3NX.

Soho Farmhouse, Chipping Norton

Soho House’s rural outpost is a cross between a members’ club and a hotel, offering the same luxury Soho House vibe visitors are used to, just with a touch of rugged countryside chic.

The Farmhouse boasts a variety of stylish cabins, cottages and bedrooms, and has a bakery, bar and restaurant. There’s also a 135 ft pool, and a ‘Lazy Lake’ spa, where you can enjoy experiences in the sunken hot tubs and infrared saunas – just what you need after a long country walk.

Surrounded by 100 acres of Oxfordshire countryside, Soho Farmhouse also offers a variety of activities, from clay pigeon shooting to tennis, horse riding, boating and workshops.

Sohofarmhouse.com; Soho Farmhouse, Great Tew, Chipping Norton, OX7 4JS.

Thinking of a trip to the Cotswolds? Check out our luxury walking tours.

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