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It's easier to be ensnared by a cloying, bijoux tourist trap of an overpriced traditional place to stay in the beautiful Cotswolds than almost anywhere else in Britain, such are the numbers who want to buy into the region's rolling countryside, honey coloured walls and olde worlde charm.
And now, being easily accessible from London, another sort of hotel has begun to make an appearance here: to accommodate stressed-out metropolitans looking for a weekend escape, with spas and champagne bars and Wellington boots in a row, in the unlikely event that anyone should take a walk. "Who are your ideal clientele?" one owner was asked. "Porkers (people in Porsches) who come from London and spend £4,000 in a weekend", came the candid reply.
None of those hotels quite do it for us, but the following is a selection of some of the best places to stay in the Cotswolds in different price ranges with a more extensive list below.
One of the best examples in the country of a genuinely family-friendly hotel that also works for couples. Set in its own estate, the former farmhouse, with a courtyard of lime trees and old barns, is praised for the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff. Comfortable bedrooms, indoor pool and outdoor hot tub next to a roaring fire.
Sister property to Calcot Manor, Barnsley House bears all the same hallmarks: attention to detail, elegant interiors and helpful staff. Once the home of famous garden designer Rosemary Verey, the grounds are a sight to behold. Add to this great food and spoiling spa and you have the perfect ingredients for a country escape.
Smaller, less formal and less expensive than a fully fledged hotel yet offering many of the same services and standards. Bar and restaurant with bar stools fashioned from saddles, luxurious bedrooms, with calming views of the Evenlode Valley, good food and a lovely garden.
This characterful inn is situated in a quiet village, yet is only minutes in the car from the hustle and bustle of Burford. Six simple yet stylish bedrooms are located in a converted barn. Expect a warm welcome and excellent gastropub fare.
Set on an unspoiled village green with a comic old pub sign the Kings Head is run with bonhomie, bags of character, cosy corners and just the right sort of superior pub grub that suits today’s new-style old country inn. Bedrooms are the sort we love: simple and unpretentious, yet artfully decorated.
Charming 400 year old stone-built inn with an easy-going ambiance and plenty of character. The food consists of comforting dishes at sensible prices and locals drink merrily at the bar. The rooms are excellent, individually furnished, and the service is prompt, professional and friendly.
Browse through our list of the best places to stay in the Cotswolds and start to plan your stay. Please feel free to call or email a friendly guru for advice Contact
Mellow Cotswold house with a famous garden, good food and a sybaritic spa. A popular rural escape for urbanites in a lovely part of the Cotswolds.
Superb all-round hotel in its own estate: the perfect retreat for families or couples with top notch rooms, spa, indoor pool, and great dining.
16th century rambling manor restored to former glory in beautiful Costwolds setting. Opulent luxury suites boast antiques, four posters and Nina Campbell interiors. A serious country house hotel, with spa, pool and gourmet dining.
Understated, sophisticated hotel behind a neoclassical facade that mixes modern and traditional to good result. Chic, contemporary interiors, central location, fine dining.
Intimate, chic Cotswold village hotel. Dining room, informal grill, beautiful gardens, spa. Large comfortable rooms.
Bourton on the Water, The Cotswolds
Elegant 17th century mansion turned hotel in very pretty, classic Cotswold village, overlooking the river. Traditional yet stylish interior, lovely bedrooms and fabulous walled garden.
Delightful B&B in sleepy Cotswold village. Pretty rooms in an ancient house, some with separate entrances, and views over the lovely garden. Good sit out terrace in summer.
nr Cheltenham, The Cotswolds
Hip hangout in the Cotswold countryside for escaping urbanites - more for grown ups than nearby Calcot, with an award-winning spa. Glorious grounds, gourmet dining.
Gloucestershire, The Cotswolds
Classic old traditional manor house in peaceful grounds, with attractive rooms. Timeless elegance, men dress for dinner, and no keys to the doors. Quiet, good food.
Pretty and charming 400 year old stone-built inn overlooking the Stour Valley on the village green - good value with pretty rooms and plenty of character.
Cirencester, The Cotswolds
One of the most beautifully situated hotels in the Cotswolds - a Jacobean manor on the trout filled Rover Coln. Classic Cotswold village, much photographed.
Popular, luxurious and imaginatively decorated converted inn - of which the Cotswolds abounds. Except the rooms here are super comfortable and the food exceptional. Family friendly.
Burford, The Cotswolds
Charming 14th century inn. Cotswold charm. Award-winning restaurant. Stone-paved garden, lawn, rose-lined walkway. Michelin recommended bar. Comfortable bedrooms.
Burford, The Cotswolds
Cosy 17th century townhouse. Centre of Burford. Comfortable, elegant interiors. Antiques, linens, bright colours. Garden room, garden courtyard, dining room.
Witney, The Cotswolds
Renovated old mill in 60 acres of woodland and orchards. Traditional charm, period features. Antiques and modern comfort. Dining room with gastro pub. Riverside gardens fishing.
Painswick, The Cotswolds
Hip hotel in the Cotswolds. Contemporary interiors in a traditional country backdrop. Bright comfortable bedrooms. Restaurant, bar, cookery lessons.
Lower Slaughter, The Cotswolds
Manor house hotel country escape. Gardens, lawns. Elegant public rooms, individually decorated bedrooms, restaurant.
nr Moreton-in-Marsh, The Cotswolds
Charming countryside B&B with scenic backdrop. Spacious and cosy rooms. Log fires, flagstone floors, four poster beds. Restaurant and garden.
Lower Slaughter, The Cotswolds
Country house hotel. Cotswold stone, beamed ceilings, views over the gardens. Restaurant, bar, riverside terrace. Comfortable light bedrooms.
Upper Slaughter, The Cotswolds
Elegant but understated country manor. Honey-coloured stone, parkland, walled garden & lake. Michelin-starred restaurant, spacious bedrooms.