When I first walked into the Rectory Hotel during our recent visit to the Cotswolds, I was in total awe of its decor which is a modern ode to British culture. The hotel is a bit of Pottery Barn mixed with luxury, and its modern yet rustic features and amenities are extremely welcoming. Located in a grand Georgian country house on three acres of walled beautiful gardens, it was the perfect spot for my family to rest our heads and one of my favorite hotels I’ve experienced as of late.
Why were we there? To experience some of England’s most stunning countryside and picturesque villages during a bit of a whirlwind summer family vacation. We were also admittedly fortunate to be invited to experience this luxury boutique hotel set in Crudwell, Wiltshire on the edge of the Cotswolds in the Cotswold triangle of Tetbury, Malmesbury and Cirencester. The hotel is relatively small, which makes it feel more like a home base, with its twelve uniquely decorated rooms.
The Rectory Hotel’s Faithfulness to Tradition
Despite all its modern touches and amenities, the hotel manages to maintain its British roots with beautiful china, flowers in vases and framed tributes to its homeland scattered around the hotel. It’s also incredibly cozy with a colorful, inviting lobby with comfy chairs and magazines, and a small bar that offers champagne and snacks throughout the day, and it couldn’t be more child-friendly. There were several other families taking a break, and I can’t think of a better place for downtime or a short break from reality. These parents were relaxing in their white bathrobes and slippers while taking kids to the outdoor heated Victorian-style pool or playing with their kids in the English gardens. The hotel also offers food in its own dining room, or across the road in its sister gastro pub, The Potting Shed, really simplifying family travel.
Where We Stayed
All of the twelve rooms all have names and range from standard to superior to deluxe. We stayed in the “Pennsylvania” room, overlooking the front lawn. It was a large, spacious room with an abundance of light, antique furnishings and books, a cozy sofa and armoire, and a king-size bed. The bathroom, down a few steps, has a bath with shower. Each room comes with Roberts retro radios, TV/DVD players and organic Bramley Skincare products. Other rooms have various bed options including twin size with smaller spaces but have glorious views of the village church, or Victorian pool. Another perk: free bottles of spring water.
What We Did
We definitely did our share of relaxing at the Rectory. It’s totally tempting to sit in the garden, or hang out in the lobby reading magazines. They also free tea and coffee in the hallway nearby rooms, which made it easy to grab a cuppa tea and go chill. The hotel also offers equipment to play croquet or boules on the lawn, and of course, there’s the pool. For more active travelers, there are several local villages full of shops to explore. We chose Cirencester, a mere 10-minute drive from the hotel. We were also only an hour from Stonehenge and Bath, a British town known for Roman baths (stay tuned for future posts on our visit to both tourist spots).
Where We Ate
Breakfast is included and is served on the main floor in the back room overlooking the garden. The decor is quintessential English as is the style of service with traditional china. There was something for literally all of us. My son ordered pancakes. I indulged in homemade yogurt and muesli. My daughter and husband had cereal and partook in cooked dishes, which includes everything from smoked salmon and scrambled eggs or Gloucestershire Old Spot sausages, Wiltshire smoked back bacon and black pudding. My kids do have British blood in them, so they like to experiment in English food, but not eating pork does have an impact on their choices.
While they do serve dinner in the hotel, which gets very busy, we opted to cross the road and head to the Potting Shed, which ended up being a fantastic choice. The restaurant serves traditional British fare with a twist, using farm to table freshly picked ingredients. The restaurant buys locally; there’s a long list of local meat, veg and dairy suppliers from nearby villages. Local produce pops up all over the menu, and it was very evident in my vegetarian dish. The decor is very much in the same vein as the Rectory Hotel, partly because it’s run by the same owners. The restaurant boasts stone walls, retro flowerpots, wheelbarrows and watering cans. Best of all, there are good kids’ options, from hamburgers to healthier options and dessert is simply divine.
To sum it up, our visit to the Rectory Hotel was a one of a kind and one of our favorites on our recent summer holiday, which crossed over several countries and time zones.
For more information or to make a reservation, call 01666 577194 or email the hotel at firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclosure: I was invited to stay at the hotel on a complimentary basis to facilitate this review and others but all opinions are my own.