Once you have taken in the astonishing grandeur of this Italianate stone house near Cheltenham, you may think yourself convinced that whatever is within cannot match it. To call the look 'designer' doesn’t do justice to Cowley Manor’s funky, flamboyant aesthetic; the effect of cowhide window seats and comical papier-mâché ‘hunting trophies’ is certainly a world away from the usual country-house hotels.
Spectacular Cotswolds setting
Award-winning contemporary design
Fabulous spa and indoor/outdoor pool
A complimentary spa product
In the know
Also need to know:
CD and DVD library. Wellington boots are provided. Pets welcome in one of the two dog-friendly rooms; £25 charge per pet, a night. Two-night minimum stay at weekends.
Running kit, if you fancy scenic cross-country.
More uptown than dressed down.
Mr and Mrs Smith reviews
Cowley Manor at just over a decade old is still a favourite of ours for a romantic escape. This time, however, we had two children in tow, and were nervous about disturbing the other couples' peace. We needn't have worried: the attitude to children here is incredibly welcoming. The ethos is of flexibility and fun. Apart from the obvious swimming-pool activity, our children loved the garden: sculptures, incredible water features, giant FatBoy beanbags and hammocks strewn across the lawn, as well as a giant garden toy box filled with Jenga, Connect 4 and so on… Cowley and kids mix as well as gin and tonic. When we got home, Tom (aged 5) piped up: 'Mummy, can we have a big garden one day?' 'Hmm,' I said, 'not quite that big I don't think honey – Daddy would never be able to keep up with the mowing!'
Cowley, near Cheltenham, Cotswolds, GL53 9NL, United Kingdom
4.8 mi / 7.8 km from city centre
- Aerobics instruction
- Exercise gym
- Internet services
- On-Site parking
- Complimentary in-room coffee or tea
- Room service
- Onsite laundry
The grand, oak-panelled dining room is formal but candlelit and welcoming. The hotel has a new chef, Matthew Cuthbert, fresh from perfecting his art alongside the likes of Marco Pierre White and Heston Blumenthal. Expect punchy, flavoursome food that focuses on the very best of seasonal, local ingredients.
By the window, especially in summer.
Food: 11pm at weekends and 10pm during the week. Breakfast is available from 7.30am until 11am.