10 Idyllic Cotswolds Hotels Perfect for an English Countryside Escape

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Barnsley House Cotswolds England
Photo:

Courtesy of Barnsley House

If you’ve ever dreamed of a cozy winter vacation à la “The Holiday,” consider booking a trip to the Cotswolds. This region in southern England is filled with rolling hills, gardens, and charming little villages lined with stone houses and bridges, as well as a handful of truly extraordinary hotels.

We’ve rounded up some of the best Cotswolds hotels to consider for your next trip, ranging from restored farmhouses to ultra-exclusive members-only clubs. Whether you decide to visit this winter or are planning ahead for warmer months, you’ll definitely have a memorable stay in this delightful slice of the English countryside.

Best Cotswolds Hotels of 2022

Editor’s Pick: Barnsley House, Cirencester

Barnsley House Cotswolds England

Courtesy of Barnsley House

Why We Chose It

With charming rooms, farm-to-table food, and a soothing spa, Barnsley House is the perfect Cotswolds hotel.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

Breakfast included, free on-site parking, complimentary bike rentals

Hotel Description

Barnsley House has everything one could want in a Cotswolds hotel. For starters, it’s housed in a stone manor that dates back to 1697, with ivy creeping up the walls and manicured gardens sitting next to patches of wildflowers. It has 18 uniquely decorated rooms and suites, though patterned headboards and freestanding tubs are common threads. There’s also a separate farm cottage available to book, with three bedrooms and a full kitchen.

No Cotswolds hotel would be complete without comforting food options, and Barnsley House has that base fully covered. There are two on-site restaurants: The Potager, a fine dining establishment, and The Boot, a village pub serving drinks and Sunday roasts. Both venues emphasize garden-to-plate dishes, with many of the vegetables and herbs coming directly from the kitchen garden every morning. Add to that a full-service spa — complete with a jetted outdoor pool — and you have yourself one impossibly charming weekend getaway.

Soho Farmhouse, Chipping Norton

Soho Farmhouse

Courtesy of Soho Farmhouse

Why We Chose It

The bucolic outpost of the exclusive Soho House brand, Soho Farmhouse has a lineup of activities and dining options well worth checking out — if you can get in, that is.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

Heated indoor-outdoor pool, Wellington boots for guests (in the correct size), health club

Hotel Description

You’ve undoubtedly heard of Soho House, a line of private members’ clubs turned hotels with venues in major cities across the world. Soho Farmhouse is the brand’s outpost in the Cotswolds, with all the exclusivity and exquisite taste of its sister properties, only with a major dose of countryside charm. The property sits on 100 private acres in Oxfordshire, and once you arrive (and that’s if you arrive, since nonmembers have to apply to even book a room), there’s really no need to leave again until you check out.

The property boasts every bucolic activity imaginable — horseback riding, boating, clay pigeon shooting, etc. — as well as a health club with tennis, yoga classes, and a heated pool that stretches from inside a barn to the outdoors. There are also several dining options available, so you can have sashimi for lunch and lamb chops and truffle fries for dinner. The rooms and cabins are the icing on the rustic-chic cake. Expect distressed wood walls, full bottles of Cowshed bath products, and wood-burning stoves.

The Fish Hotel, Broadway

The Fish Hotel

Courtesy of The Fish Hotel

Why We Chose It

The Fish Hotel has some of the coolest accommodations in the region, ranging from luxury shepherd’s huts to multiroom treehouses.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Breakfast included with treehouse bookings, pet-friendly rooms with complimentary dog treats

Hotel Description

Less a traditional hotel and more a collection of private houses and shepherd’s huts (and even a few treehouses), the Fish Hotel is ideal for those seeking a quiet escape from the city. The standard bedrooms are clean and neutral, with well-placed pops of color on the curtains and bathroom tiles. The luxury huts are like “tiny house” Pinterest boards come to life — some have terrace hot tubs and skylights over the beds, and one has its own lake and rowboat.

Then there are the treehouses. All three come with incredible perks like heated floors and wraparound decks, plus two outdoor bathtubs fitted with intercoms so you can order room service directly from your soaking session. If you’d prefer to leave your room for food, the appropriately named Hook restaurant serves up delicious seafood dishes for dinner and Sunday lunch. The hotel also has a unique list of outdoor activities on offer, including axe throwing, falconry, and archery.

The Wild Rabbit, Kingham

The dining room at the Wild Rabbit
Jooney Woodward

Why We Chose It

With a stellar location and luxe amenities, The Wild Rabbit feels far more expensive than it actually is.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$

Notable Amenities

Free bike rentals, breakfast included

Hotel Description

You’ll feel more relaxed the second you step foot inside The Wild Rabbit, where leather armchairs and stone fireplaces are the norm. More a pub that doubles as a 13-room inn than a regular hotel, the property puts food at the forefront. The on-site restaurant is known for its farm-to-table dinners and traditional Sunday roasts, with many ingredients pulled straight from the landlady’s organic farm down the road. The menus change depending on what’s in season, but you can expect thoughtful dishes like juniper-smoked mallard and fig leaf ice cream.

The guest rooms — all named after woodland creatures — vary in size and style, but they’re all equally comfortable, with light stone walls, exposed wood beams, and whimsical framed illustrations. There are also a few self-catering cottages located a quick walk away from the main pub, with full kitchens and up to three bedrooms. The lovely Bamford bath products in every accommodation are an added bonus.

Dormy House, Broadway

Dormy House

Courtesy of Dormy House

Why We Chose It

Dormy House has a knockout spa, fine dining venues, and some of the best en suite bathrooms in town.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

Breakfast included, full-service spa with indoor pool, Muck Boot Wellingtons in rooms

Hotel Description

Formerly a 17th-century farmhouse, Dormy House now serves as one of the chicest hotels in the Cotswolds. The current property still has plenty of historical charm — lots of stone walls and cozy nooks and crannies — but it’s imbued with contemporary style that prevents it from ever feeling too fussy. The room options perfectly encapsulate that aesthetic dichotomy: The main farmhouse has spaces filled with country-cottage decor and vaulted wood ceilings, while many of the suites feature Scandinavian-influenced modern furnishings and striking metallic soaking tubs. There’s even a music-themed suite with a vinyl collection and full drum set, because why not?

Dormy House also has the two other stalwart amenities of a great Cotswolds hotel: excellent dining and a full-service spa. On the food front, head to The Back Garden for fine dishes highlighting local ingredients, or enjoy the chef’s table-style tasting menu at MO, which only allows 12 guests per evening. As for the spa, it comes fully loaded with an indoor infinity pool, Finnish sauna, salt steam room, and hydrotherapy hot tub.

Thyme, Southrop

Window view from Thyme in the Cotswolds in Southrop, England
Courtesy of Thyme

Why We Chose It

Thyme is something of a culinary mecca, with a year-round cooking school and menus that change based on what the chefs pull from the kitchen garden each morning.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

Honesty bar, free parking, EV charging, spring water swimming pool

Hotel Description

Thyme describes itself as “a village within a village,” with a scattering of cottages, farmhouses, and gardens located in a quiet enclave of Southrop. The current owners, Caryn and Jerry Hibbert, moved here in 2002 and slowly began to renovate the historic buildings surrounding the main manor house. The first step was converting a barn into a cooking school, and after nearly two decades, the property also houses a spa, a restaurant, a pub, and 31 guest rooms.

No two rooms are the same, but they’re all bursting with English charm thanks to floral wallpaper, antique decor, and claw-foot tubs. The English Rose bedroom is particularly lovely, featuring dusty pink walls, two fireplaces, and dazzling chandeliers. The dining is perhaps Thyme’s best asset, especially at the Ox Barn, where the short menu changes daily based on what the chefs pull from the garden that morning. The Meadow Spa has a pool and plenty of tranquil treatments, which you can enjoy after a lively round of tennis or croquet.

Lucknam Park, Chippenham

Estate Lucknam Park in Chippenham
Courtesy of Lucknam Park

Why We Chose It

In terms of size and sheer opulence, you can’t do much better than Lucknam Park.

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

Equestrian center, babysitting service, tennis courts

Hotel Description

If you’re looking for a country estate with old-school glam, look no further than Lucknam Park. This Georgian manor house is impressive enough from the outside, but it’s the interiors that will knock you off your feet. The common areas are decorated with gold-framed oil portraits and heavy silk curtains, while the library is lined with antique books and wood-paneled walls (and more portraits). The guest rooms are just as fancy — think canopied four-poster beds, marble bathrooms, and decorative pillows thrown on anything that sits still.

The hotel is set on a 500-acre estate, meaning there’s plenty to explore outside of your room. The Michelin-starred Restaurant Hywel Jones creates unforgettable tasting menus featuring as many local ingredients as possible. The massive spa has an indoor pool, an indoor-outdoor hydrotherapy pool, several treatment rooms, and its own adjoining restaurant for post-massage bites. Lucknam Park is also known for its equestrian center, and guests can book group rides through the Cotswolds countryside.

The Manor House, Castle Combe

The Manor House

Courtesy of The Manor House

Why We Chose It

Located in one of England’s prettiest small towns, The Manor House’s sumptuous interiors are rivalled only by its bucolic surroundings.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

Full English breakfast included, golf course, 24-hour room service

Hotel Description

Castle Combe is one of the cutest small towns in England, which makes The Manor House all the more alluring. The house’s foundation dates all the way back to the 14th century, and it’s surrounded by forested hills, Italian gardens, and a small river. On the ground floor, several lounges are defined by dark wood-paneled walls and tall windows overlooking the gardens. Afternoon tea is served in a bright yellow drawing room or, weather permitting, on a lovely outdoor terrace.

There are 50 rooms spread across the manor, as well as stand-alone cottages. Depending on which room or suite you choose, you can enjoy four-poster beds, fireplaces, towering stone walls, or private hot tubs. The property also contains a Michelin-starred restaurant, golf course, tennis court, and designated stargazing areas where you can watch the sky with warm drinks and blankets from the hotel.

Calcot & Spa, Tetbury

Exterior of Calcot & Spa
Courtesy of Calcot & Spa

Why We Chose It

Calcot & Spa is an excellent option for families, with fun activities for all ages but also a decidedly grown-up wellness center.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $$$

Notable Amenities

Complimentary bicycle rentals, babysitting service, full-service spa

Hotel Description

Calcot & Spa doesn’t look particularly child-friendly at first glance. The exterior is defined by drystone walls and herb gardens, and the neutral-toned contemporary furnishings definitely cater to more sophisticated tastes. But the hotel is actually packed with fun facilities for the entire family, including The Playbarn, which is filled with toys, games, Xboxes, and a 12-seat movie theater, and there are a few nannies on staff to lend parents a hand. There are even designated children’s swim times at the pool, and family suites come equipped with baby monitors, bath toys, cribs, and more.

Of course, Calcot & Spa isn’t just for families. The Cosy Rooms are specifically designed for no more than two adults, and the spa is all about getting some quality me time, with two swimming pools, an outdoor hot tub, and plenty of indulgent treatments. And while children are technically allowed in both restaurants, The Conservatory’s elegant dishes and extensive wine list typically draw a more mature crowd. There are also plenty of outdoor activities that both kids and adults will love, including disc golf, tennis, and bike rides.

No.38 The Park, Cheltenham

Why We Chose It

No.38 The Park is an affordable stunner with colorful rooms and a skylight-topped restaurant.

Key Specs

  • Free Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Resort Fee: No
  • Room Rate: $

Notable Amenities

Bramley bath products, breakfast included, in-room hot-water bottles with hand-knitted covers

Hotel Description

Located on a leafy street just outside of central Cheltenham, No.38 The Park occupies a stately Georgian town house. Its design is at once classic and funky, cool and comfortable. The front sitting room welcomes guests with contemporary chandeliers and plush velvet sofas, while the adjacent light-filled restaurant could easily double as a hipster brunch spot in Brooklyn. You’ll definitely want to circle back for the meat-heavy British dishes come dinnertime.

The 13 guest rooms are individually designed with mismatched textures and bold prints, plus classic touches like crown molding and claw-foot tubs. Some come with fireplaces and park views, while all come with Nespresso machines, fluffy robes, and Bramley bath products. If you’re able to swing a Christmastime visit, you can also enjoy festive holiday decorations and a special Christmas feast.

Final Verdict

There are three main things you should look for when searching for Cotswolds hotels: luxurious rooms, excellent food, and a spa. Many properties have all three, including Barnsley House and Dormy House. If you want food to be the main priority, you can’t do much better than the farm-to-table restaurants and cooking school at Thyme. And if you’re planning on traveling with children, don’t look any further than Calcot & Spa, which caters to families with thoughtful amenities and designated kid zones.

Know Before You Go

  • Most of these hotels are about a 2.5-hour drive from London, so your best bet is to rent a car and journey in from the city. If you’re too nervous to drive on the left side of the road, you can also book a train or bus ride.
  • There’s really no wrong time to visit the Cotswolds. Spring and autumn make for the best photo ops, while winter is perfect for curling up next to a fireplace or spending hours at one of the aforementioned spas. Summer brings warm weather and lavender blooms, but it’s also when you’ll run into the biggest crowds.
  • If you can extend your visit into a longer vacation, consider hiking the 102-mile Cotswold Way. It takes about 10 days to traverse the entire path, and you’ll pass through some of the region’s best towns along the way.

How We Chose These Hotels

We evaluated dozens of the best hotels in the Cotswolds before choosing the options on this list. We considered elements like the property’s reputation, quality of service, design and architecture, location, and notable amenities. We also looked at each property’s dining options, whether there is a spa on-site, and the types of experiences available to guests. In determining this list, we evaluated numerous customer reviews and considered whether the property has collected any accolades in recent years.

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