We love visiting the Cotswolds, with its honey-coloured buildings, rolling green hills and quaint villages. It’s one of the most beautiful parts of England, so it was difficult to turn down the invite to review what the four-star Cotswold House Hotel and Spa has to offer families looking for that little bit of luxury.
In terms of location, the Cotswold House Hotel is hard to beat. Located in the heart of Chipping Camden, an upmarket little town with independent stores, tearooms and restaurants, it was the just what we needed to escape from the first few weeks back at school and enjoy some family time in the Cotswolds.
With 28 rooms, 3 cottages, 2 restaurants, a spa, lovely gardens and arguably one of the best locations to stay in the Cotswolds, it was the perfect place to call home after our fun packed day at Blenheim Palace (you can read our review here) a 45 minute drive away.
We were so lucky with the Autumn weather and glorious sunshine and as we arrived in the centre of town we saw the imposing honey stone building of the hotel. The building dates back to 1815 and it has been a hotel since 1930. It has recently been refurbished so the reception area has more of a stylish living room of a country home than that of a hotel lobby area.
The way they have managed to mix the historic features of the hotel with modern décor works really well. One of my favourites being its wooden spiral staircase and the feature lighting.
If you have never been to the Cotswolds before, the hotel and the town of Chipping Camden is just what you would imagine it would be after watching the movies, which is why it’s so popular especially with foreign travellers.
As soon as we stepped into the reception area, the staff at the Cotswold House were really friendly and happy to help us with any questions we had. Because of the hotel’s location in the middle of town, there was limited long term street parking outside but the hotel gave us details of where their private car park was.
Ian went off to park the car and the girls and I collected our keys (no door cards here) and made our way to our home for the night, a cosy honey-stone cottage, one of three available at the hotel and no more than a 15 second walk along the cobbled path outside from the main hotel.
Holly excitedly skipped ahead with key in hand, loving the fact that we had our own little private cottage in the Cotswolds and not the typical hotel room that they must have been expecting.
Our cottage was called ‘Ashbee’ with an entrance hallway and large bathroom, landing area and generously sized master bedroom upstairs which had a wonderful cosy rustic feel with its exposed beamed ceilings and had the same country house charm as the hotel.
Complimentary water and juices are provided in the minibar which along with high quality tea, coffee and the jar of home-made cookies was a lovely welcoming touch, and just what we all needed when we checked in.
We had a king size bed and the hotel put up two single beds in the room for the children, although we would typically opt for two rooms there was more than enough room for all of us.
The bathroom was immaculate, with a large walk in shower, deep soaking bathtub, fluffy towels and stocked with ‘White Company’ toiletries.
For a 16th century cottage the hotel has cleverly ensured that it has all the mod cons that families require, including plenty of plugs to charge our phones and tablets, flat screen TV, free high speed wifi and what was really important on a warm September evening – air conditioning.
Every window in our cottage had the most amazing views of the hotel’s grounds and the town of Chipping Camden. It was so nice to relax on the bed and look through the leaded windows onto the gardens.
Our cottage provided plenty of places to curl up with a book. One of the girls favourites was the little seating area in between the bedroom and the bathroom. Basically our cottage at the Cotswold House Hotel offered everything you could want for a relaxing countryside break.
As comfortable and spotlessly clean as our cottage was, I couldn’t wait to get out and explore Chipping Camden. There was plenty to see within a few minutes walk from the hotel, including St James Church and the iconic market hall in the high street that wouldn’t be out of place in a Harry Potter movie.
It was the high street that was my favourite, browsing the independent stores – so many towns have the same national chains that they are basically clone town so it was lovely to shop for some unique products.
Although there were lots of great looking restaurants in Chipping Camden, after a busy day we chose to dine at the hotel for our evening meal . There are two restaurants in the hotel, the two AA-rosette Fig restaurant and the more family friendly Bistro on the Square, which is where we dined with the children.
The children’s menu, which was very reasonably priced, offered a good range of dishes even for the fussiest of eaters and the girls selected the Steak and Chips and fresh fish goujons and chips.
For mains, I couldn’t resist the special fillet steak with crab salad and triple cooked chips and Ian chose ribeye steak. Both meals were delicious.
We had heard that the desserts were impressive and after dining here I can see why – they were fantastic. I chose the strawberry Eton Mess and Ian had chocolate brownie and ice cream. The girls chose crème brulee and homemade shortbread and vanilla ice cream.
After dinner it was lovely to return home to our cottage to find nightly turn down, one of my favourite things when staying at luxury hotels.
We all slept deeply in our comfortable beds and had a lazy Sunday morning, loving the fact that the Sunday papers were delivered to our door. After a morning walk around the town we made our way to the Fig restaurant at the hotel where breakfast was served. Our table had views out towards the gardens and the service, like the rest of our stay, was exemplary.
Breakfast consisted of a small selection of continental items with a range of cooked-to-order hot options (as you would expect from a hotel of this standard) – all cooked perfectly. Don’t let the crisp white table cloths put you off, breakfast at the Fig is really family friendly and set us up perfectly for the day ahead.
We walked breakfast off exploring the gardens of the hotel and found the elegant hotel spa, located at the end of the gardens.
With a small pool with underwater jets, Jacuzzi, treatment rooms and more, our faces lit up, especially Chloe and Holly – however we found out that the spa facilities were only for adults much to the disappointment of the girls. If the hotel wants to attract the family market, the impressive spa and its pool is one asset that they need to take advantage of.
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If you want to experience the very best of the Cotswolds, then I would highly recommend a stay at the charming Cotswold House Hotel and Spa, everything about the hotel is stylish coupled with fantastic customer service.
If you are travelling like we did with the kids, then the private cottages are the perfect choice. Location wise, the town of Chipping Camden is within easy reach of Stratford Upon Avon, Oxford and the family attractions that the Cotswolds has to offer.
The best prices for a stay at Cotswold House Hotel and Spa can be found directly on their website, where a family stay in a junior suite costs £260 bed and breakfast.