Hotel Cowley Manor Hotel 5 star
Easyexperts
Cowley, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL53 9NL, Royaume-Uni Cowley, United Kingdom
Amy Adejokun Section editor

One of the most beautiful 18th-century converted manors in the Cotswolds, Cowley Manor is set in 55 acres of gardens and lakes. The 30 rooms are split between the main building and the outhouse. Charming, exuding character with comfortable contemporary rooms that range from Good to Best, a gorgeous spa with an indoor and outdoor pool and plenty of lounges to curl up with a good book in the main house, makes the colourful contemporary take on what could have been Austin Powers' lair, a winning formula for a wide-ranging clientele from couples looking for a romantic getaway to families.

A mix of 18th-century charm and contemporary chic.

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  • Rest
  • Charm
  • Luxury
  • Spa
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    Location 3.0 /10

    Cowley Manor is located in the village of Cowley, a 10-minute drive from Cheltenham and Cirencester, and less than 5 miles to Oxford. The closest train stations are Kemble or Cheltenham.

    Accommodation 8.70 /10

    The 30 rooms range widely in size, shape and style. While the lead-in category is Good rooms, which are the smallest, the next category up is Better, followed by Great, Exceptional and the Best room (akin to a presidential suite). All rooms have Nespresso machines, LCD televisions, blu-ray DVD players, Bose iPod docking stations and sound systems, mini-bar, safe and include Wi-Fi. The rooms also come with breakfast.

    We liked the fusion of the Austin Powers colour themed contemporary style with the building's original 18th-century features like the fireplace in the Best room (which also has a king size four-poster bed and comes with a free mini-bar). Our favourite room is the Exceptional in the Stables building. The original layout means the bathroom is actually up a staircase above the bed but also these rooms have a cosy den adjoining the room and opening out onto a small courtyard.

    Overview 9.70 /10

    The five-star hotel opened in 2002 and is exactly what the region needed. A risky conversion of an 18th-century manor, the owners have done a grand job of bringing it into the 21st century without spoiling its original features meaning it retains all its charm and character. Rescued in 1999, it took three years of works to transform the manor and rescue it from falling into disrepair.

    The manor is located within 55 acres of land that includes a swan lake. The views from the lounges lining the front of the house (if the entrance is at the back of the house) are breathtaking and instantly relaxing. The lounges run parallel to a corridor that lines a spacious bar. Expect a wacky toned down seventies style with wall-mounted paper mâché animal heads. The corridor running between the lounges and the bar leads to the hotel restaurant. Completely panelled in wood with an open fireplace, this space is very atmospheric and we would recommend dining here at least once, even if not staying at the hotel.

    The hotel has complimentary Wi-Fi throughout, a den that doubles up as a TV room for sports fiends, children and die-hard Come Dancing fans. Wellington boots are also provided in a range of sizes (and colours) at the front door for guests wanting to explore the grounds. One of the many highlights here is the C-Side spa with its indoor and outdoor pools. The service at the hotel is informal and friendly and gives the hotel a homely feel.

    Food and drink 7.70 /10

    There is one restaurant and a bar at Cowley, both of which are in the main building. The bar is extremely spacious and sometimes doubles up as a dining space for young children before the parents nip next door to the beautiful entirely wooden panelled restaurant. The original parquet floors, floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto a terrace, open working fireplace and red ceiling add to the room's explosive charm. Like in most local restaurants, the hotel serves fresh local British fare.

    To know

    Cowley specialises in weddings and with the quaint Cotswold stone St Mary's chapel next door, it's advisable to double check with the hotel about events taking place during your stay as it can be noisier and more animated than usual.

    Equipment

    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Spa

      sauna, spa, Turkish bath, massage

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      gym, fitness

    advantage

    • The beautiful C-Side Spa (with indoor and outdoor pools).
    • The original layout of the 'Exceptional' category rooms.
    • The magnificent original manor building.
    • The beautiful gardens.
    • The soothing soul of the hotel.

    disadvantages

    • The contemporary décor might not be to everyone's taste when visiting the Cotswolds.
    • As the rooms differ quite widely, choosing your room well is key.

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10