Top 10: the best boutique Cotswolds hotels

An insider’s guide to the top boutique hotels in the Cotswolds, including the best for hidden spas, buzzy bars and cosy but cool bedrooms, in locations including Stow-on-the-Wold, Barnsley and Cheltenham.

The Close, Tetbury

What a pleasing place, set in the very heart of Tetbury. The Close is a comfy-chic haven filled with arty flourishes. The walls are hung with modern paintings; the 18 bedrooms are spacious and beautifully devised. Dove has a four-poster; Nightingale’s bathroom features a slipper bath and also an armchair. There’s a clever arrangement of fabrics in each room, with chairs specially covered to complement curtains or bed-heads. The Close has become a hub for locals, who drop in for coffee and lunch; you’re very much in with Tetbury’s café society here.

Read the full review: The Close

The Close

Modern paintings can be found inside 18 spacious bedrooms at The Close, which is also a hub for Tetbury locals.

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No 38 The Park, Cheltenham

This Georgian mansion houses a fabulously stylish art-filled b&b that looks out to a stretch of Cheltenham’s Pittville Park (the stylish Montpellier district is about a 10-minute taxi ride south). You ring the bell and the housekeeper ushers you into a tall hall with black and white floor and stucco ceiling decorations. Spread over three floors, the 13 rooms are individually designed: some with bold feature wallpaper, some with claw-foot tubs in the room, all with fine Egyptian cotton and bright throws on the beds. Bathrooms are stocked with organic 100 Acres soaps and shampoo made in the Cotswolds.

Read the full review: No 38 The Park

No 38 The Park, Cheltenham, Cotswolds, England

At No 38 The Park, guests eat breakfast in a light-filled dining space after spending the night in rooms combining glamour and homely comforts.

Credit:
Chris Terry

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The Wild Rabbit, Kingham

The Wild Rabbit is a haven of eco-elegance a few fields away from sister enterprise Daylesford, the organic farm shop, deli, spa (and more) of Carole Bamford. She transformed this 18th-century inn and it has been meticulously devised in quiet colours, stone and wood. Named after woodland creatures, all 12 bedrooms are decorated in a designer symphony of cream and taupe. They are luxury sanctums of rustic-chic, with beds clad in the softest Egyptian linen, twig coathooks behind doors and in several rooms four-posters fashioned from birch trunks. Breakfast is an epicurean spread across the big wooden table in the restaurant.

Read the full review: The Wild Rabbit

The Wild Rabbit

Rooms at The Wild Rabbit are sanctums of rustic chic wrapped up in a haven of eco-elegance.

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Barnsley House, Cirencester

What a beauty. With its golden stone, gables and mullion windows this is a dreamily romantic house. But for all that, the building is magnificently upstaged by its garden. There are four acres of formal gardens including a knot garden and a potager. Beyond is a terrific vegetable garden along with outlying meadows that back on to a dairy farm. The six bedrooms in the main house range from large attic suites with fabulous views over the garden to the hotel’s smallest, but still generously sized, double room looking on to the front drive. The spa – hidden in a garden dell – has added imaginative touches such as herbs drying outside the sauna so that the air is filled with their scent.

Read the full review: Barnsley House

Barnsley House

Barnsley House is a beauty – but it is still upstaged by its four acres of landscaped gardens.

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Cowley Manor, Cowley

An Italianate country house with contemporary-cool interior styling, Cowley Manor is located in dreamy and extensive grounds. Interiors are laid-back chic with wry details and funky flourishes, such as cowhide chair covers and bold chandeliers. Oversized papier-mâché animal-heads adorn the wacky bar, and the large sitting room is decorated in a colourful palette of blues and greens. The icing on the cake is the exceptional C-side spa, with two swimming pools. The glass-fronted building is a beautiful piece of modern design, sunk into a hill to one side. The treatments in the four rooms use the hotel’s own Green & Spring products.

Read the full review: Cowley Manor

Cowley Manor

The highlight of Cowley Manor is the spa, which boasts two swimming pools and uses the hotel’s own products.

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Foxhill Manor, Broadway

A splendid 1909 Arts & Crafts mansion enjoying glorious seclusion in 400-acre Farncombe Estate above the village of Broadway in the northern Cotswolds. It has more of an atmosphere of a club or hip home than a hotel, with retro-chic furniture, original stucco work on ceilings, and shelves around the house lined with books chosen by the Sorensen family, who own the estate. Across the estate lies sister hotel Dormy House and its state-of-the-art spa that Foxhill guests are welcome to use (staff will drive you over). Outdoor options are abundant, from walks to activities arranged by the estate, such as archery and clay pigeon shooting.

Read the full review: Foxhill Manor

Foxhill Manor

Foxhill Manor: an atmosphere more like a club or a hip home than a hotel

Credit:
Ray Main

The best boutique Cotswolds hotels

The Old Stocks Inn, Stow-on-the-Wold

Spread across three golden-hued stone houses synonymous with the region, The Old Stocks Inn is in the Market Square of Stow on the Wold. The style is a hybrid of designer furnishings and original features (which were buried underneath renovations carried out in the 1970s and 80s). Think Ercol-style chairs in a pastel-coloured palette, a brass-topped bar, grey-wool easy chairs and free-hanging lightbulbs, all framed by crooked stone walls and wooden beams. All rooms follow the same lines as communal areas with features including freestanding bathtubs, zingy tiles, cerulean velvet chesterfield sofas, snazzy headboards, wool throws and patterned cushions.

Read the full review: The Old Stocks Inn

The Old Stocks Inn, Stow-on-the-Wold

A hybrid of designer furnishings and original features await at The Old Stocks Inn, in the market square of Stow-on-the-Wold.

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Oak House No. 1

A flamboyant treat. Oak House No.1 is an exclusive boutique establishment filled with a sensational collection of modern art. Set in the heart of Tetbury, it’s a brilliantly opulent private house whose welcoming owners have devised it as the ultimate take on a b&b. Where else could you have breakfast under the gaze of the Queen by Andy Warhol and lounge in a limited-edition chair by Mark Brazier-Jones? Step into this handsome Georgian house and you catch your breath at the exuberance of the décor, even in the hallway.

Read the full review: Oak House No. 1

Oak House No. 1

Looking for an exclusive boutique hotel housing modern art? Oak House No. 1, inside a gorgeous Georgian home, is what you are looking for.

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Thyme, Southrop

Thyme is in postcard-pretty Southrop. You scrunch into gracious, gravelled grounds to reach the main buildings which sit alongside the village’s 12th-century parish church. They are backed by the owners’ farm and from the doorstep offer wonderful walks in the Leach Valley. It comprises a choice of cottage and farmhouse hotel accommodation – some of which can be separately rented by groups – along with a cookery school and pub. Thyme farmhouse has eight good-looking bedrooms decked mostly in creams and browns. Some have roll-top baths; some creak under beams and eaves; all are generously sized. Three cottages are effectively suites set over two floors and decorated with much charm.

Red the full review: Thyme

Thyme

Thyme sits alongside the village’s 12th-century parish church, and is reached by scrunching through gracious gravelled grounds.

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Dormy House, Broadway

Dormy House lies in the 400-acre Farncombe Estate, which is set on the edge of the Cotswold Escarpment and above the pretty (and tourist-thronged) village of Broadway. The core is a 17th-century farmhouse, complete with big stone fireplaces and flagstone floors. It exudes a tremendous sense of comfort and geniality. You enter a hallway lined with oak panelling, which gives on to three laid-back stylish lounges. Sprawling over several floors and in its own wing, the Scandinavian-chic House Spa leads directly off the reception lobby, so you are in no doubt that it’s centre stage at this ‘reinvented rustic’ country house hotel. There are gyms for both work outs and classes and personal training sessions, a thermal suite, including a Cotswold lavender sauna, salt therapy room, rhassoul mud room and outdoor hot tub.

Read the full review: Dormy House

Dormy House

Expect big stone fireplaces and flagstone floors at the 17th-century Dormy House, as well as a Scandinavian-style spa.
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