Top Mini Break Hotels in The Cotswolds

I must admit I’m a bit biased.

I’ve lived in the Cotswolds for most of my life, and can’t help still being stunned by the thatched cottages, meandering dry stone walls, and plethora of fields I often get to see.

There’s plenty to do here, too. Think trudging across muddy fields in your Hunters with the dog, pottering around tiny Cotswold stone shops, sipping afternoon tea with a view of the hills, or in the summer, dipping your toes in sparkling streams with a cider. There are so many things to here that simply can’t be done in the city.

So I thought I’d write a post about the best spots to stay if you too fancy visiting the Cotswolds.

Here’s my top 5 selection of mini-break hotels in the Cotswolds:

  1. Ellenborough Park.
A multi award-winning luxury country hotel in the Cotswolds, Ellenborough Park was transformed several years ago into a stunning 5* estate. I stayed here myself for a wedding and was really impressed by the beautiful building and its positioning. There’s a reason it’s been voted Europe’s 5th Best Luxury Hotel, and I can fully see why.

Nestled in the Cheltenham Racecourse estate, the hotel is the ultimate choice if you’re seeking accommodation during the much applauded Gold Cup festival, thanks to its indulgent offerings and excellent location. Particular touches I think are simply marvellous about the hotel include the fully stocked boot room open to guests, complete with a selection of Dubarry boots and Hunters for long, muddy walks, and the roll top baths found in select rooms offering a view that is perfectly complemented by a glass of champagne under the rustic Tudor beams that really add character to the rooms.

Offering some fine dining options, I’ve also heard great things about the afternoon tea from many of my friends, thanks to the beautiful bespoke fine china and the extensive range of teas to choose from. Enjoy the splendour of the oak-panelled Beaufort Dining Room if you’re celebrating a special occasion, or if you’re after something a little more low key, opt for The Brasserie. I can vouch for the delicious breakfasts myself also!

When you manage to pluck yourself away from the hotel’s gorgeous spa, why not try polo or shooting? Stratford-upon-Avon is only a 35 minute drive away for some of the most splendid theatre in the world, or if a night on the tiles is more your thing, nearby Cheltenham offers some excellent nightlife.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

         2. Cowley Manor.

A contemporary country house and hotel spa in the heart of the Cotswolds, I remember having camp here as a Brownie many, many years ago! A popular weekend hang-out for Cheltonians – be it for a cocktail or a spa session – this stunning manor is awash with Cotswold country and stunning architecture.

There is a choice of rooms, from ‘good rooms’ through to the ‘best room’, depending on your level of extravagance, but all are colourful, bright and contemporary, filled with fabrics picked by British designers. 

One must whilst staying at Cowley is a trip to the spa – I’ve heard excellent things about it. Award-winning (naturally!), it offers two stunning heated pools and four treatment rooms. i personally fancy the evening spa – featuring dinner and a moonlit pool, what’s not to love!?

Touches I really like about Cowley Manor include the picnic hampers available from June ’til September, complete with all the essentials including local charcuterie and Cowley mess. With acres of luscious green grass, I love the idea of popping a tartan rug on the floor and picking away at delicious food with a loved one. They even handpick the best locations for you to enjoy your picnic. Cowley also has its very own spa product range, Green & Spring, which is pretty impressive for an independent hotel in the Cotswold countryside.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

           3. Hotel No. 131.

Heading back from the countryside and into the town, you’ll find Hotel No. 131 in a fantastic location on Cheltenham’s famous Promenade, just down from the affluent and stylish district of Montpellier. A stunning Georgian Grade II villa, the hotel was recently restored to produce 11 beautiful rooms, a restaurant, and a bar.

Having frequented the bar, Crazy Eights, for the past few months, I keep meaning to try the restaurant. It offers outdoor seating with an impressive view over the building’s stunning architecture, and across the road to Cheltenham’s Beer Gardens – a perfect spot for doing some people watching.

Recommendations from the restaurant that I’ve received include the platter of oysters, prawns, mussels, whelks, and winkles, as well as the half grilled lobster – perfect if you love seafood as much as I do. And from the bar, I can personally recommend a Regency Fizz – a celebration of Cheltenham’s heritage – which is a powerful blend of gin, triple sec, strawberries, lime, mint, and champagne.

Particular touches I like about this hotel include the fact that each bedroom is individually decorated – there’s something so refreshing about the fact that each has been carefully considered. Expect to find reconditioned, antique radiators in each also, and some rooms also feature Rogeat Lyon baths dating back to 1875, for a beautiful air of authenticity.
Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

               4. Lords of the Manor.

Lords of the Manor is a beautiful former rectory nestled in the quaint village of Upper Slaughter in Gloucestershire. With acres of beautiful Cotswold countryside to enjoy on your doorstep here, this hotel makes the perfect mini break destination to share with your other half. Simply relax and take in the Cotswold scenery, or get out and about in the local area – the choice is yours entirely.

I personally love a hotel with character and history, and this really delivers. Think crackling log fires in the winter, tastefully embroidered bedding and furniture and ambient lighting, alongside patio seating during the summer, and wellington boots ready at your disposal if a gentle ramble takes your fancy.

For the more active among us, why not try a little archery? There’s also clay pigeon shooting, horse riding, or for those who prefer the finer things in life, there’s the opportunity to hire a classic car such as a Jaguar E-Type, to go for a quiet drive along the cobbled streets of the Cotswolds and the surrounding area.

Touches I really like about this hotel include the choice of extras you can pick for your room – celebrate a special occasion with an icy cold bottle of Laurent-Perrier, or even handmade chocolates crafted by the hotel’s kitchen. Massages are also available in-room, if you fancy a pampering session together for a touch of romance.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

imgThe Lords of The Manor Hotel
Photo courtesy of

           4. The Lion Inn.

The Lion Inn is a refurbished coach house dating back to the 15th century in Winchcombe, consequently promising history, heritage, and fabulous architecture. The Inn has maintained its role of hospitality to both tourists and horses since its construction, and continues to in fashionable style through to today. Enjoy the character and charm of this beautiful building by staying in one of its 7 double bedrooms.

Each room promises individual character, and each has been carefully considered in the decorating process to deliver something quite unique. One has a converted hayloft, and two others with their own stone stairway, making your stay quite a surprise. The little touches are celebrated, with fresh flowers, natural products, and stylish decor coming as standard.

I was very impressed with the restaurant – the menu boasts delicious food made from ingredients from local suppliers, and it hosts barbecues in the summer. I’d highly recommend the seafood platter, and the sirloin steak is simply to die for! The accompanying wines are equally to be celebrated.

Touches I like about this hotel include the fact, surprisingly, that there is no television in any of the rooms. In a society dominated today by technology, I think it’s important we each embrace an escape – guests are instead encouraged to socialise in the bar and restaurant.
Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of
I hope you’ve enjoyed my pick of the best mini-break hotels to be enjoyed in the Cotswolds.

Can you think of any more?

Let me know if you decide to book a weekend away to the Cotswolds!

I’m Laura, a roaming blonde who recently made the leap from my home in the Cotswolds, UK to be based across the pond in Vancouver, BC for a brand new job and plenty of adventures.

Find me on: Web | Instagram


Leave a comment

  1. August 19, 2014 / 3:20 pm

    These are all beautiful! I've lived in the UK for 4 years of my life, and all though I have visited Cheltenham, I have never fully experienced the countryside in the area! I see now that it should be at the top of my list for my next mini-break!

  2. August 19, 2014 / 3:25 pm

    Hi Lisa! Make sure you come to the Cotswolds – we'd love to have you here! If you have any questions about places to stay or things to see, let me know – I'll happily help! 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: