The luxury hotels of the Cotswolds really are among the nation’s most photogenic, comfortable and relaxing places to stay. From luxury spa hotels in the Cotswolds countryside to luxury family friendly hotels in the Cotswolds that will even welcome and pamper your pooch. There’s something in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire or Worcestershire for every type of traveller.
This guide will help you find the ideal luxury hotel in the Cotswolds with a five star rating, or exceptional boutique hotels with a quirky, unique vibe. Whether you prefer fine or pub style dining or would pick a spa over sporting facilities, these hand-picked Cotswolds hotels have 5 star luxury in spades.
Luxury hotels in the Cotswolds
Best for: Townie types
Address: 131 The Promenade, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 1NW
In the heart of Cheltenham’s smart Montpelier district, No.131 successfully combines old school hospitality with contemporary style. This white pillared, Grade II listed Georgian townhouse is packed with character. All thanks to a clever mix of painted panelling, parquet flooring, original artworks, period bathrooms and industrial lighting.
Downstairs there is a bar, restaurant, private dining rooms and a party space. The place is buzzing during Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. The bar Gin and Juice stocks over 350 gins, and is the place for weekend brunches, a glass of fizz or an expertly mixed cocktail.
Each individually decorated room varies in size, and features an iPod dock, Nespresso machine and Apple TV. Serving meals from breakfast to supper and afternoon tea daily, No.131’s restaurant is an elegant yet relaxed place to meet and eat.
Best for: Superlative service
Address: Foxhill Manor, Farncombe Estate, Broadway, Worcestershire WR12 7LJ
Foxhill Manor is an arts and crafts mansion occupying a 400 acre site, yet offers just eight intimate bedrooms. Close to Broadway, accommodation has a boutique feel and food is tailored to each guest’s tastes. Enjoy complimentary drinks in the lounge, wine tasting in the cellar, a movie room, and plundering your own in-room pantry.
Whether you plump for a room or a suite you can expect lots of space and unique styling. The ultimate in luxury is, of course, a given. The concept is for guests to wallow in the superb service provided, catering to every whim. All while having access to the spa and other facilities at nearby Dormy House, Foxhill Manor’s sibling.
Best for: A star of a spa
Address: Dormy House Hotel, Willersey Hill, Broadway, Worcestershire WR12 7LF
Sister to Foxhill Manor, Dormy House can also be found on the Farncombe Estate above Broadway. Occupying a 17th century farmhouse, the property has an award-winning spa with an outdoor hot tub, indoor pool and thermal suite.
Rooms are sumptuous, yet completely unstuffy thanks to retro touches like mid-century or ethnic furniture, pops of colour and lots of natural light. A range of rooms and suites caters to every preference, from rustic rural charm to courtyard hot tub suites.
A clutch of eateries should satisfy even the fussiest foodie. The Back Garden’s seasonal, locally sourced dishes can be enjoyed in the restaurant or the more relaxed, pub-style Potting Shed. While MO offers a theatrical, chef’s table tasting menu experience for just a dozen guests at a time.
Best for: A romantic retreat
Address: Barnsley House, Barnsley, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 5EE
Famed for its glorious gardens, Barnsley House is crafted from honey-toned stone and is centrally located within the Gloucestershire village of the same name. It’s an unashamedly romantic retreat, with mullioned windows, roaring fireplaces and chic yet laid-back decor.
The spa set among the beautiful gardens is a big draw, and The Village Pub over the road is under the same ownership. There’s an on-site restaurant, named The Potager to reflect the kitchen garden ethos. Barnsley House also has its own cinema, which hosts regular film evenings.
Rooms and suites combine fresh and classic countryside charm with ultra comfortable beds, roll top tubs, soothing muted hues, Nespresso machines and a fully stocked snack pantry. The Village Pub also has half a dozen rooms, while Home Farm Cottage accommodates up to six.
Best for: Wildlife, woodland and water
Address: Cowley Manor, Cowley, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL53 9NL
Although it’s miles from the coast, the C-side spa at Cowley Manor calls to mind summer living by the water. In fact it boasts two pools, one indoors and the other set among the 55 acre gardens.
This property is more family-friendly than others in the area, and also allows dogs. Kids and pets alike will be entranced by the magical grounds, where they can look out for local wildlife and explore the woodland.
A down-to-earth approach is taken to describe the room categories, which range from Good to Best via Better, Great, Outstanding and Marvellous. Even Good rooms are generously sized, with jewel-hued walls, colourful rugs, Bose speakers and deluxe bathrooms.
As for food, there is a bar, terrace and restaurant serving all meals plus afternoon tea. While the Bell Tent provides a unique venue for a laid-back lunch or supper.
Best for: Cookery school classics
Address: Thyme, Southrop Manor Estate, Gloucestershire GL7 3NX
The name calls to mind rich, flavourful cooking, lush countryside and being at one with nature, and it suits Thyme to a tee. Originally set up as a cookery school, Thyme’s philosophy is to supply a beautiful countryside retreat with delicious dining and a pampering spa.
Thyme caters for those who want to unwind and do precisely nothing, just as well as more active types. There’s a heated swimming pool filled with spring water, manicured gardens and a tennis court.
The 31 bedrooms are botanically themed and designed by the owner, supplied with fresh milk, Nespresso machines, thick linens and handmade soaps.
Regular cookery classes are still run at Thyme, and diners can enjoy dishes made with produce from the Southrop Manor estate, farm and kitchen garden. Just over the road is The Swan, a charming and snug Cotswolds pub.
The Fish Hotel
Best for: Eclectic living
Address: The Fish Hotel, Farncombe Estate, Broadway, Worcestershire WR12 7LH
The name is almost a misnomer here, as The Fish Hotel is actually more like an eclectic series of rooms nestled among the grounds of a 400 acre Cotswolds Farncombe Estate. Dormy House and Foxhill Manor are the neighbours.
Fun geometric prints, contemporary lines, vintage telephones and radios, and soothing tones characterise rooms at The Fish Hotel. They are located in The Stables, The Coach House, the Outhouse, treehouses and huts.
The on site restaurant, Hook, serves up innovative, exclusive fare centring around sustainable, responsibly sourced fish and seafood. Guests can also book a ‘Tipsy Tea’, or enjoy casual slider burgers served in the convivial surroundings of the hotel bar.
Lords of the Manor
Best for: Classic Cotswolds
Address: Lords of the Manor, Upper Slaughter, Gloucestershire GL54 2JD
Don’t be put off by the rather brutal name of Upper Slaughter. This village near Bourton-on-the-Water is actually one of the Cotswolds’ finest and home to the grand Lords of the Manor hotel. It’s also right on track for those walking the popular and scenic route between here and nearby Lower Slaughter.
This gorgeous country house hotel dates back to the 17th century and is constructed from the warmest golden stone – even by Cotswolds standards. Inside, you can expect fresh, contemporary chic, whether you book a cosy Country room or a Lord’s bedroom complete with a vast bay window.
Outside, there are rolling green hills and plenty of rural charm. Food-wise, there’s the secluded yet relaxed Dining Room with views of the walled garden, or Atrium for fine dining in a light-filled, classically styled space.
The Slaughters Manor House
Best for: Cotswolds contemporary
Address: The Slaughters Manor House, Copsehill Road, Lower Slaughter, Gloucestershire GL54 2HP
Situated in the becoming Cotswolds location of Lower Slaughter, The Slaughters Manor House occupies a stately country house styled as a deluxe boutique retreat. All 19 bedrooms are unique in character and decor, and are spread between the main building and the coach house. Highlights include complimentary sloe gin, retro radios, Nespresso machines and Bramley bath products.
The restaurant offers diners an elegant space in which to savour well-executed dishes created from local ingredients with flair. With a large, original stone fireplace and lots of windows, it’s a light, bright and stylish space.
Upmarket yet laid-back is the vibe here, with crisp linens, buttoned sofas and contemporary hues. Antique and modern furnishings and features rub along very nicely together, and the grounds are made for relaxed ambling.
Artist Residence Oxfordshire
Best for: Creative expression
Address: Artist Residence, Station Road, South Leigh, Oxford OX29 6XN
If you’re a free spirit whose tastes lean towards the ephemeral, then you’ll love the Artist Residence in Oxfordshire. Decor is eclectic and characterised by intriguing twists and modern artworks: think shabby chic here and opulent metallics there.
Three rooms are in converted outbuildings, five are in the main beamed building, and there’s also a quirky Shepherd’s Hut by the fragrant herb garden. Whichever you select, expect retro Roberts radios, reclaimed furniture, organic toiletries and a fully stocked mini bar.
The Mason Arms serves up expertly cooked and presented cuisine featuring local produce, including herbs and vegetables from the grounds. Local and guest ales are available, or guests can request a sophisticated cocktail or pick from the wine list.
Kings Head Hotel
Best for: Central Cirencester
Address: Kings Head Hotel, 24 Market Place, Cirencester GL7 2NR
Slap-bang in the centre of smart Cirencester is the Kings Head Hotel, a surprisingly spacious property with two restaurants, a vaulted spa and 52 bedrooms. For those who want to be close to where it’s at, this place is ideal. The adjacent Corn Hall hosts regular local events and the Farmer’s Market is held in the square directly outside.
Something of a local hub and a family affair at the same time, rooms at The King’s Head feature furnishings collected during the owners’ travels, and some have original fireplaces, wooden beams or panelled walls. Room categories range from Classic or Superior to Feature or Indulgent. There are also one bedroom apartments.
The Grill has a farm-to-fork ethos and is the more formal of the dining options. While MBB brasserie is a contemporary, canteen-style space with an open kitchen and a neighbourhood vibe.
The Wild Rabbit
Best for: Fine organic fare
Address: The Wild Rabbit, Church Street, Kingham, Oxfordshire OX7 6YA
It may be merely a pub, but The Wild Rabbit boasts a very impressive pedigree. This Kingham eatery with rooms is close to the Daylesford estate, renowned for its outstanding organic produce. It’s up there with the finest luxury hotels in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds.
Rooms are named after woodland wildlife and all are decorated in a neutral, pared-back style with high thread count cotton linens and quirky stone walls. It’s the service, though, that truly makes this place stand out. Nothing is too much trouble for staff, including electric bike hire, wellie loans, and lifts in the Land Rover Discovery.
Food is an obvious highlight, with the best organic produce sourced from Daylesford farm before anyone else gets a look-in. As well as the main restaurant, diners can also opt for more laid-back fare served on the terrace or in the bar.
Best for: Painswick panoramas
Address: The Painswick, Kemps Lane, Painswick, Gloucestershire GL6 6YB
With sweeping views over the valley from its mullioned windows, The Painswick lies just beyond the high street and famous Rococo Garden. As one of the Cotswolds’ prettiest villages, Painswick makes a picturesque and most pleasing place to stay.
This chic hotel has an intimate feel, and there are just 17 rooms and suites to choose from. These include Cosy, Snug, Hideaway, Terrace and Palladian rooms. George’s Suite is the jewel in the crown, with a four-poster bed, roll-top bath and private balcony.
Food options include casual, smorgasbord-style eating at The Hearth, or afternoon tea, dinner or Sunday lunch at The Painswick Restaurant.
Best for: Two Michelin star dining
Address: Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa, Easton Grey, Malmesbury, Wiltshire SN16 0RB
With double Michelin starred dining, a sparkling spa, sumptuous accommodation and gorgeous gardens, Whatley Manor is home to some of the finest food in Britain. The grounds are almost as noteworthy as the food, and are split into numerous distinct and separate outdoor spaces.
Other highlights include the Aquarias Spa, and the property’s other impressive facilities include a cinema. Service is impeccable, while each of the 23 rooms is as individual as the guests who stay here. Even the smallest have space for armchairs and a desk, and all come with Dualit espresso machines, Molton Brown toiletries, pale wood flooring and plush fabrics.
The Dining Room boasts two Michelin stars, while Grey’s Brasserie offers grazing and sharing options as well as a full a la carte menu. Sampling the Gastronomic menu at the former is a must. If you want 5 star luxury hotels in the Cotswolds offering the culinary journey of a lifetime, book into Whatley Manor and reserve your table without delay.
Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa
Best for: Working up an appetite
Address: Lucknam Park, Colerne, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 8AZ
Just over five miles from Bath – often seen as England’s most photogenic city – is Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa. This 300 year old Wiltshire property occupies a 500 acre site and is home to another Cotswolds Michelin starred restaurant.
Restless types can roam the grounds with the resident horses, or play a game on the football pitch, tennis court or croquet lawn. It’s the ideal way to work up an appetite for dinner, either at Michelin starred Restaurant Hywel Jones or the more laid back Brasserie.
Rooms have a grand yet welcoming ambience, with regency touches and a country house feel. They range from Classic rooms to the top-of-the-range Grand Master Suite. All feature Egyptian cotton bedlinen, DAB radios and flatscreen TVs.
Lucknam Park also has a spa, plus an outdoor hydrotherapy and saltwater plunge pools and a heated indoor pool.
Visitors to this charming part of the UK are utterly spoilt for choice when it comes to luxury hotels in the Cotswolds. Have you been lucky enough to stay in any of these exceptional establishments? Let me know in the comments or get in touch on social media. I’d also love to know if you booked to stay in any of these luxury Cotswolds hotels after reading this article.
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