10 Charming Hotels in the Cotswolds for a Break in the English Countryside?

Vacationing in the Cotswolds in the winter is like something out of “The Holiday,” so if that sounds appealing, plan a trip there. There are a few genuinely outstanding hotels scattered among the rolling hills, gardens, and attractive tiny towns adorned with stone homes and bridges in the southern part of England.

Hotels in the Cotswolds range from quaint inns to swanky members-only retreats, driving directions and we’ve compiled a list of the finest of the bunch for your next vacation. Vacationing in this beautiful part of the English countryside is a must-do any time of year, but especially if you’re planning a trip during the warmer months.

Barnsley House, Cirencester, as chosen by the editors

Barnsley House is a luxurious Cotswolds hotel with all the amenities you could wish. To begin with, it is located in a stone mansion that was built in 1697 and has ivy climbing the walls and groomed gardens beside areas of wildflowers. Every 18 rooms and suites are different, but you can expect things like patterned headboards and freestanding tubs. A detached cottage on the farm, complete with three bedrooms and a kitchen, is also available for reservations.

Barnsley House offers all the amenities of a Cotswolds hotel, including a restaurant serving hearty, home-cooked meals. The Potager, a fine dining restaurant, and The Boot, a village bar offering beverages and Sunday roasts, are both available on the premises. Several of the meals at both establishments use ingredients picked fresh from the kitchen garden that same morning. Throw in a full-service spa and a jetted outdoor pool, and you have yourself a really delightful weekend retreat.

A Farmhouse in the SoHo Style in Chipping Norton

Soho House is a well-known chain of exclusive members’ clubs transformed into hotels, having locations in several of the world’s most populous cities. The Cotswolds outpost, Soho Farmhouse, has the same high standards of service and luxury as the other hotels in the Soho family, but adds a healthy dose of rustic rural charm. The Oxfordshire hotel stands on 100 private acres, and after you’ve checked in (assuming you’ve been accepted, since non-members need to apply to even reserve a room there), you won’t have to leave until you check out.

There are a wide variety of outdoor pursuits available on the site, including horseback riding, boating, clay pigeon shooting, etc., as well as a fitness club with tennis courts, yoga studios, and an indoor/outdoor heated swimming pool. You can have some sushi for lunch, and then have some lamb chops and truffle fries for supper at one of the many restaurants in the area. Accommodations are the cherry on top of a rustic-chic experience. Wood-burning stoves, Cowshed toiletries, and weathered wood paneling are all to be expected.

The Broadway Fish Hotel

The Fish Hotel is a mix of individual homes, shepherd’s huts, and even a few treehouses, and is perfect for anyone looking for a peaceful retreat from the bustle of the city. Basic rooms are neat and neutral, with tasteful splashes of color provided by the drapes and bathroom tiles. Some of the deluxe cabins have terrace hot tubs and skylights over the beds, and one even has its own lake and boats, making them seem like something out of a “small home” Pinterest board.

And then there are the tree dwellings. Each of the three is equipped with luxurious amenities, such as heated flooring and wraparound decks, and two of them even have outdoor bathtubs with intercoms so that guests can call for room service without ever leaving their tubs. You can get some great seafood at the aptly called Hook restaurant, open for supper and Sunday lunch if you’d rather eat out of your hotel. A variety of unusual outdoor pursuits, such as axe throwing, falconry, and archery, are available to guests of the hotel.

For Kingham’s Wild Rabbit

The moment you enter The Wild Rabbit, where leather sofas and stone fireplaces are standard, you will feel at ease. There are just 13 rooms in the hotel, however it acts more like a tavern with rooms attached than a traditional hotel. Many of the ingredients for the farm-to-table meals and traditional Sunday roasts served at the on-site restaurant come directly from the landlady’s organic farm just down the road. Seasonal ingredients drive the cuisine, yet even the seasonal menus include creative delicacies like fig leaf ice cream and juniper-smoked duck.

All of the guest rooms, which are named after animals found in the woods, are decorated in a similar, whimsical manner and include light stone walls, exposed wood beams, and framed images of such animals. A little distance from the main pub are a handful of cottages that can accommodate one to three people and have complete kitchens and sleeping quarters. Also, every room comes stocked with luxurious Bamford toiletries.

Broadway, Dormy House

Dormy House, which was originally built as a farmhouse in the 17th century, is today one of the trendiest hotels in the Cotswolds. The new home retains many of the ancient features (such as stone walls and comfortable alcoves) of its predecessor, but it has been updated with a more modern aesthetic that keeps it from becoming stuffy. The available rooms capture this aesthetic tension beautifully: Country cottage design and soaring wood ceilings can be seen throughout the main farmhouse, while many of the apartments include contemporary Scandinavian furniture and dazzling metallic soaking tubs. The hotel even has a room dedicated to music, complete with a drum kit and record collection.

Excellent cuisine and a full-service spa are two more staples at Dormy House, making it a true Cotswolds hotel. Guests may dine in The Back Garden, where seasonal, locally sourced foods are featured, or at MO, where a tasting menu prepared by the chef is served to a maximum of 12 diners each night. As for the spa facilities, they have a heated indoor infinity pool, Finnish sauna, salt steam room, and hydrotherapy hot tub.

Herbs: Thyme, Southrop

A collection of homes, farmhouses, and gardens, Thyme calls itself “a hamlet inside a village” because of its secluded location in Southrop. Caryn and Jerry Hibbert, the current owners, purchased the estate in 2002 and have since been painstakingly restoring the outbuildings and the main manor house. Starting with a culinary school in a converted barn over two decades ago, the facility has grown to include a spa, a restaurant, a pub, and 31 guest rooms.

Each of the unique rooms exudes an abundance of England character with its flowery wallpaper, vintage furnishings, and claw-foot tub. The English Rose bedroom, with its dusty pink walls, two fireplaces, and glittering chandeliers, is especially stunning. Thyme’s eating is perhaps its strongest suit; at the Ox Barn, for example, the day-to-day offerings on the menu are determined by what the chefs harvest from the garden. After an exciting game of tennis or croquet, relax in the spa’s pool and indulge in one of the many soothing treatments available.