Thursday, 2 August 2018

How to choose amongst luxury Cotswold Hotels

Here’s our luxury Cotswold hotels guide, highlighting accommodation ideas and ways to enhance your inner Kardashian. Artist Residence, in Oxfordshire, for example, is one of the new breed of cool, artist desgned English pubs. Very discreet and tucked away - try for the Barn Suite with its private terrace and log burner.

Village Pub, just over the road from sister property, Barnsley House is another discreet littl Inn, distonguished by good food and central setting on one of the smartest of Cotswold villages.

Hotels in a Cotswolds setting Calcot Manor is highly respected amongst luxury Cotswold Hotels. Your children can experience a little luxury too, with a playbarn and OFSTED-inspected nanny on the staff. Nearby Whatley Manor is yet another property with a reputation for doing things ‘right’. There’s Michelin dining and the unusual fact that the hotel has more gardens than guest rooms.

Up in the North Cotswolds, Cotswolds House has a smart contemporary feel, some suites with hot tubs. It really is in position ‘A’ too, in the heart of Chipping Campden, on the town square, yet with a wonderful hidden garden at the back.
The nearby Three Ways House hotel is popular with fans of a family-run hotel, just perfect for visits to nearby Kiftsgate Court and Hidcote Manor Garden.
There are plenty of luxury Cotswold hotels on offer, for more inspiration explore then on our website.

More luxury Cotswold hotels ideas

Hotels in the CotswoldsIn pursuit of the luxury Cotswold hotels, take a look at what is happening on Fish Hill, just outside Broadway. Here under private ownership, there are no fewer than 3 private hotels on the same slopes. 
Dormy House is the original, a beautifully restored and converted Cotswolds Farm House at the top of the hill.

Nearby Foxhill Manor is really quite different, an Arts and Crafts gem amongst luxury Cotswold Hotels. The aim here is to create a house party atmosphere. The kitchen team and hosts are on hand to serve food and drink as and when you wish. The property is often used for private bookings and the likes of Lady Gaga and Take That have stayed here. The third property in the group is The Fish, a recently refurbished hotel, with creative use of outdoor spaces - they make the most of wonderful views down over Broadway. 

You’ll find outdoor bars and chef barbecues dotted around as well as some new, luxurious treehouses which are now some of the most sought after bedrooms in the Cotswolds. So too are there Hilly Huts, Shepherd Hut style accommodation.
The Painswick is another relatively new development that has completely revitalised a former hotel. 

With views over the blissful Painswick Valley, the hotel also has one of the most peaceful outdoor spaces in the area. Last time we popped in for a drink, Jude Law was at at the next table.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Hotels in a Cotswolds setting

Hotels in a Cotswolds settingBuilding styles in the Cotswolds have evolved to fit the landscape and local building materials, a style known as Cotswold vernacular. The buildings with the greatest character, for the visitor today, are surely the farm houses, cottages and manor houses which date from the 16th to 18th centuries. Many hotels in the Cotswolds are from this period, when a great influx of wealth accrued from the staggering success of the local wool trade. Cotswold breed wool attracted high prices in the wool markets of Europe. Hotels in Cotswolds buildings from this time display dormer windows (attic windows essen-tiually), gables, steep pitched stone-slated roofs. Typically Tudor windows continued long after the Elizabethan period because it suited the local build-ing materials and style.

If it seems unlikely that Cotswold buildings should have survived for so long (they are after all made of a very soft and crumbly limestone), it’s surprising that we have in part to thank Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries. Skilled masons were attached to the monasteries and were effectively freed up by the dissolution and many, plus the following generations, turned their hand to domestic construction. You’ll often see finials, embelishments and decorations in places where you might not expect to find them. Another factor that leads to the harmony of many Cotswold villages is that they were often built in a planned way by landowners for workers. Some hotels in the Cotswolds follow a later style of porches, sash windows and doorways - they tend to still blend in, in their village setting. because they are rarely large enough to stand out.

Hotels in the Cotswolds…(and Rome)

Hotels in the CotswoldsIt might be surprising that the hotels in the Cotswolds are a great base for exploring aspects of Roman Britain.

Hotels in the Cotswolds are never far from a Roman site - there were over 50 Roman villa sites in the Cotswolds although many have almost entirely disappeared. Chedworth Roman villa, has a romantic setting and a typical courtyard setting, there is evidence of a sophisticated bathing system and various mosaics. Pleasingly, the villa was discovered by a farm worker who found some tesserae whilst digging out a ferret. There is a stunning mosaic floor at Woodchester Villa, near Stroud which is sadly rarely uncovered.
Bill Bryson wrote about the remains of the villa at Spoonley Wood near Sudeley Castle, seemingly overwhelmed by the fact that a Roman mosaic is available to see simply by lifting the couple of stones that weigh down a black bin liner.

If you are setting off from hotels in the Cotswolds to explore a little Roman history, try heading straight for the Corinium Museum in Cirencester, which has a collection of coins and objects that belies its relatively modest size. Cirencester even has the remains of an amphitheatre to explore.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Your Hotel in Cotswolds Stone

Your Hotel in Cotswolds StoneThe Cotswolds are made of limestone, to be specific oolitic limiestone. To geologists it’s calcium carbonate pressed together tightly like fish roe. The ancient greek words that make up ‘oolite’ are for ‘egg’ and ‘stone’. So much for geology, for most visitors the real appeal of limestone is in the colour of a hotel in Cotswolds stone or a row of cottages, as well as the curve of the landscape.

You’ll see quarries all over the Cotswolds and it’s a still a requirement that buildings use local limestone for repairs and additions. The local limestone is usually thought of as yellow or gold but, when newly quarried, it varies from an orange-hued blond to a pale cream.

Your hotel in the Cotswolds is likley to evoke the gentle colours and gentle landscapes of the area, They are, after all, linked. Limestone is pretty soft and the gentle contours of the wolds have been formed by the action of the elements. No mountains, harsh contours or angularities here. The stone also dictates the landscape in other ways, beech woods are part of the landscape, rare and beautiful lime-loving wild flowers and grasses. In the slopes that are too steep to plough and by the side of the road more common flowers grow.

For centuries the Cotswolds was dominated by open sheep-friendly terrain. To some extent these have been replaced by arable fields and, in the right season, fields sway with green, bronze or the acid yellow of rapeseed. Barley is king, it thrives on drained, shallow soil. A few years ago it occurred to someone that no-one was distilling some of this barley and The Cotswolds Distillery was created in pursuit of excellent whisky. Perhaps a something try at the end of a long day back at your hotel in the Cotswolds.

Hotel Building in Cotswolds Stone

Hotels in the CotswoldsCotswold stone, as well as shaping the natural landscape so directly has also dictated the character and form of local buildings. Some oolites form a fine-grained stone which is easy to cut - in fact it can literally be sawn into blocks. This is when it is newly quarried, later it hardens on exposure to the air.

This material forms the basic building material for your hotel and Cotswolds houses and other structures. Even the rooftiles are made of a specific type of surface Cotswold stone, which splits when left over winter into a usable thickness. Flooring, too, is made of local stone. The saying is that you can do anything with Cotswold stone except eat it.
Hotel buildings in the Cotswolds are often former manor houses and, indeed, The Cotswolds area is famous for its cute cottages and manor houses, but also for stone walls. This is a reminder that stone was once easier to come by here than wood.

Visit ancient sites such as Belas Knapp, a long barrow near Winchcombe and you’ll see ancient slated walls, supplemented by modern ones - the skill hasn’t changed much in 4000 years. Stone walling needs to be made of the right stone quarried at the right time of year - if not it will crumble due to frost damage after a few winters, something that sometimes people discover when they pay too little for new drystone walls. Hotel, Cotswolds, landscape - all together as one perfect rural escape.