With its gentle rolling hills, timeless villages and quintessential British landscape, the Cotswolds have long been a firm favourite with tourists from the UK and further afield. This beautiful hilly escape in the south west of England is designated an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the picture perfect hotels in the region make it an ideal place to get away for a long weekend – or even longer.
Cotswold Gourmet Hotels
The Old Bell, Malmesbury
If you’re looking for a hotel with charm and character, along with a large dose of history, check in to what’s reputed to be the oldest purpose built hotel in England. Built in 1220, this charming hotel, which is close to Malmesbury Abbey, is the perfect retreat.
The area is full of oddities, for example you can visit the grave of the unfortunate Hannah Twnnoy, who has the unlucky claim to fame of being the last person to be killed by a tiger in England. US visitors keen to brush up on their own history might also be interested to know that the ‘Mullet and Bars’ Washington family crest, on display at the local Garsdon church, was the inspiration for the famous Stars and Stripes flag.
The hotel is warm and cosy, equipped with log fires and comfy sofas as well as a sumptuous dining room with a view and an inspired menu. All of the rooms are en-suite, and individually designed, to include features such as quirky roll top baths and gorgeous squashy sofas – and some offer stunning views across the town. Expect to find all the usual modern conveniences too – free Wi-Fi, flat screen TVs and DVD players.
Calcot Manor, Tetbury
Another beautiful hotel with period credentials, Calcot Manor is a country house hotel that dates back to the 14th century. The building is surrounded by 220 acres of stunning Cotswolds countryside and the interior of the hotel is just as impressive, with no less than 35 exclusively designed bedrooms to cater for everyone from romantic couples to families wanting to explore the outdoors.
You’ll find each room equipped with exquisitely tasteful decor, as well as hi-spec entertainment options and indulgent Aromatherapy Associates’ toiletries. If you’re in need of a little extra relaxation, there’s a tranquil spa on hand to offer beauty and holistic treatments, and the opportunity to while away some me-time in peace and quiet by the pool.
When you feel peckish, you can opt for a hearty pub-style meal in the Gumstool Inn, set in the hotel grounds, or something more refined in the upmarket Conservatory Restaurant, for finer cuisine with a contemporary Mediterranean flavour.
The Feathers, Woodstock
The Feathers, situated in the famous town of Woodstock, is well-known for being different. Not only is the antique clock outside permanently set to ten to eight, but the hotel has set the world record for offering most varieties of that typically English tipple, gin, commercially available anywhere in the world. At the time of writing, there were 174 varieties to choose from!
The charming 17th Century country townhouse is a boutique hotel with log fires, antique furnishings and just 16 bedrooms and five suites, all completely different and enhanced with lush fabrics, funky design features and even decanters of jelly beans.
The Restaurant will satisfy the most discerning of guests, with its award winning menu of English favourites. Ingredients are seasonal and locally-sourced, and the bar is open all day if you feel like chilling out with a coffee, lunch, cream tea or informal supper.
Whether you’re stopping for the night or staying a little bit longer, it’s worth investigating these luxurious hotels for their location, charm and just the way they make you feel.
Written by Alexandra Johnson from Carlton Services, who provide catering equipment and repairs to restaurants and commercial kitchens across the Cotswolds.