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Best boutique hotels in The Cotswolds 2023

Best boutique hotels in The Cotswolds 2023

What is it that makes the Cotswolds quite so enchanting? Spanning five counties in the heart of England, the 800 square miles that make up this region of rolling hills and gentle valleys are heart-tugglingly lovely and have timeless appeal. But it’s the stone that makes the Cotswolds truly special; honey-coloured building material used for centuries in country mansions, taverns, churches, cottages, barns and more (some say the only thing you can’t do with Cotswold limestone is eat it, which might be a just a tad over the top).

The sheep trade made the area rich back in the Middle Ages and, in due course, the region’s wealth was expressed in some of the country’s finest stone buildings. Gracious honey-stone manor houses liberally grace the landscape and, today, many of these are top-notch hotels that exude leisured wellbeing. Meanwhile, a number of old stone coaching inns have evolved into luxury boltholes glorying in a patina of history. Our selection of these havens ranges from landmark Lygon Arms in the north of the region to gorgeous, foodie Whatley Manor in the south east – they all encapsulate style and intrinsic elements of Cotswold beauty.

Location: Barnsley, Cirencester

This adults-only hotel has a spectacular garden

(Barnsley House)

This mellow, 17th-century manor house is now an adults-only hotel. Complete with a spectacular garden, it is the ideal romantic retreat. There are quiet corners in which to hide away, both inside the property and in the wonderful grounds; there are old stone fireplaces to snuggle beside in winter and stylish terraces and outdoor recliners to enjoy in summer. The décor is immensely soothing and the facilities first class, from fine food to a flamboyant little cinema and a chic spa with views onto a meadow. The 18 gracious bedrooms include the sublime Secret Garden suite with a four-poster and a private courtyard.