Calcot Manor, Gloucestershire


It’s always fascinated me how one’s horizon’s change when you have kids.

Ask me four years ago to define paradise and I would not have come up with the idea of a hotel in the Cotswolds, let alone one that caters primarily for families. Ask me now, and I’ll give you two words: Calcot Manor.

The Pollards have been on a three year quest to find the perfect family hotel. I am here to tell you that at Calcot Manor I found it.

Whoever first had the idea of setting up a luxury country house hotel designed specifically for people with young children — which viewed them not as uncouth horrors but as part of their core clientele — deserves not just the profits that come their way but also a huge thank you.

From the moment you enter Calcot Manor’s grounds you are enveloped in relaxation. The fact that this is a hotel for children as well as adults does not mean that service is — as in some of Calcott’s supposed competition — less attentive and slick than it might be.

Quite the opposite: every need is anticipated and the whole shebang is structured around the needs of families with young children.

Our cottage-style suite had every conceivable amenity, and the walk to the main building was through beautiful gardens. There are 220 acres to explore — and a spa in which to be pampered. The Ofsted-registered crèche, the Playzone, is as good as they get.

Meals were a joy, from the delicious fresh lunch and kids’ dinner in the Gumstool Inn, Calcot’s own pub (with fantastically friendly staff) to more adventurous food in the Conservatory Restaurant for Mrs P and I after the children had gone down.

We stayed for two nights. Two weeks would not have exhausted Calcot’s powers of relaxation.

Rates: Standard room from £280 per night. Includes bed and breakfast based on two sharing
Tel: 01666 890391

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