Homely heart of Gloucestershire
Get this when you book through us:
A Calcot house champagne cocktail each
Rates from (inc tax)$320.07 If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days. Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (21GBP), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.
Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (21GBP), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
Homely heart of Gloucestershire
Get this when you book through us:
A Calcot house champagne cocktail each
11am – but later check-out may be available. Earliest check-in: 3pm.
Double rooms from $320.07 (£262), excluding tax at 20 per cent.
If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days. Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP314.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP314.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.
Rates include breakfast.
There’s three miles of cycles paths woven around the manor, and the hotel has bikes freely available if you didn’t pack your own pedals.
Spa, gym, tennis courts, two lounges, DVD/CD library, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: Hypnos beds with Frette linen, flatscreen TV, Aromatherapy Associates toiletries.
The 10 rooms in the converted old barn have been specially designed for families, so if you’re after a more romantic rendezvous, book one of the rooms in the main house. Large Standard and Deluxe Rooms have king-size beds and Deluxes also have walk-in showers in their ensuites. Of the family suites, Woodchester is our favourite, with its little private garden and double-bathed first floor bathroom, but we also like the cottage, Malmesbury, which has a lovely bathroom with nautical-style teak flooring.
The hotel has both indoor and outdoor pools, as well as an outdoor hot tub that just begs for champagne-supping soaks under the stars.
Bring the kids: Calcot Manor’s children’s facilities truly are a cut above, and staff have been trained to cater to youngsters of all ages.
Weekends require a minimum stay of two nights. Dogs are welcome by prior arrangement (so the hotel can arrange one of its rooms that opens onto the outside). Please note that Standard, Large Standard and Deluxe rooms do not have space for kids.
Fido can be accommodated in selected rooms – no charge – but please ask when booking. See more pet-friendly hotels in Cotswolds.
Calcot’s a strong contender to be the most child-friendly hotel in the UK: family-designed bedrooms, an all-day crèche, an over-eights' entertainment area, a kids’ tea every day and a special swimming pool for little ones.
Tots, toddlers, tykes and teenagers
13 spacious rooms and suites have been specially kitted out for families. The Large and Deluxe Family Suites are sit on two floors, and have separate kids’ bedrooms, dotted with teddies and toys.
The Playzone is a fully staffed, Ofsted-accredited day nursery where you can leave little ones unattended for a couple of hours at a time (9am–12.30pm and 1.30–5.30pm, seven days a week). There’s a wealth of fun and creative activities available, including art, games and dressing-up, as well as a good selection toys. Booking recommended.
The Mez children’s area for over-eights is stuffed to the rafters with games, including table football, Wii, Xbox, PlayStation and a home cinema. For more outdoorsy diversions, there’s 220 acres of grounds featuring cycling trails (bikes with child seats are available free), walking paths, tennis courts and during the summer months, a maize maze.
Older children will love the in- and outdoor pools and the outdoor hot tub; younger swimmers have a dedicated pool beside the main one. Children may use the spa pool between 3.45pm and 5.15pm during the week and 8.45am and 10.15am at weekends.
There’s an excellent children’s tea served in the Gumstool every day at 5.30pm. Under-eights are discouraged from the main Conservatory restaurant but the Gumstool children’s menu is one of the best we’ve seen – entirely home-made and organic. For the miniest of Smiths, organic baby purées are also available. High chairs are available, baby food or milk can be heated at any time, and staff will readily prepare a packed lunch.
Either crèche staff or members of the hotel’s known nanny network can be booked for babysitting, for £8.50 an hour (paid directly to the sitter).
Even if you forget everything but the children, the hotel will either provide or obtain all the essentials. Family rooms come with special baby boxes containing bottle warmers, sterilisers, changing mats, nappy bags and bottle brushes.
Rooms have fridges, and travel cots can be booked in advance. Children staying in parents' rooms are charged at £30 a night, including breakfast, high tea and unrestricted use of the Playzone facilities.
In the Conservatory, take a table in the alcove by the window for light, views and privacy; the Gumstool has a lovely terrace for sun-soaked summer dining.
Cotswolds chic in the Conservatory; more relaxed in the Gumstool.
Partly thanks to its wood-fired oven, Michael Benjamin’s the Conservatory serves dishes infused with a Mediterranean flavour, all made from fresh, local ingredients. Its gastropub sister the Gumstool offers hearty fare in a traditional country air; head there for burgers, steaks and warming winter meals by the fireplace.
The Gumstool’s cosy log fire and warm, lodge-like interiors create a charming country-pub environment in which to laze with a fine wine or artisan ale, and there’s an elegant hotel lounge for pre-dinner drinks or afternoon tea too.
Lunch is on offer in both eateries between noon and 2pm; Dinner in the Conservatory is served until 9.30pm (9pm on Sunday); the Gumstool’s open until 11pm (Sunday: 10.30pm).
Sandwiches and drinks are available 24 hours a day; the Gumstool menu is available during pub opening hours.
Bristol International is an hour's drive from the hotel and operates flights to many cities, including Manchester, Edinburgh and Dublin. A taxi to the hotel will cost around £85.
First Great Western runs a direct service from London Paddington to Kemble station (10 miles from Calcot Manor). The journey takes roughly an hour and a half. A taxi from the station will cost around £25.
A car will be very handy for bumbling about sleepy Cotswold villages and taking in the gently rolling hills. Calcot is a two-hour drive from London; the village of Tetbury is just a short drive from the M4. The handsome, historic city of Bath is a 20-minute drive from the hotel. Calcot Manor has free parking and a valet service on request.
Indoor go-karting is available at Hullavington, a 20-minute drive from Tetbury (www.m4karting.com). There are golf clubs at both Minchinhampton (www.mgcnew.co.uk), 15 minutes drive away, and Cirencester (www.cirencestergolfclub.co.uk), 20 minutes away. Browse the beautiful vintage clothes and handmade jewellery at Qetty Bang Bang (+44 (0)1666 503148) at 32 Long Street, Tetbury.
Tetbury, three miles down the road, may be a small Cotswolds market town, but it's got its fair share of dining options, including the Blue Zucchini Brasserie (+44 (0)1666 505 852), which offers both great bistro food and a great spot to stop for a cappucino. The Ormond at Tetbury (+44 (0)1666 505690) plays host to an award-winning ever-changing menu of locally sourced foodstuffs. Five minutes out of town on Cirencester Road, The Trouble House Inn (+44 (0)1666 502 206) is a traditional Cotswolds country pub serving a daily-changing blackboard menu of specials such as Cornish fish soup and hay-roasted ribeye of beef.
A favourite haunt of pub-loving Princes William and Harry, The Cat & Custard Pot (+44 (0)1666 880 249) is an hour's country stroll from Tetbury – the perfect spot for Sunday lunch after a morning ramble.
I have a confession to make. This isn’t my first visit to Calcot Manor. My wife and I came here about five years ago, eager to see whether it was right for the then-youthful Mr & Mrs Smith collection. We enjoyed our stay, but felt it wasn’t quite what we were after. Since then, though, both we and this Cotswolds boutique hotel have grown up considerably. We’ve got a 14-month-old son in tow and, according to the Smith members who regularly post on our website, the Manor has a whole new look. Like us, it’s become a lot more child-focused.
As we turn off the A46 and roll our way up Calcot’s driveway, I have to say that little seems to have changed. The slightly corporate signposts telling us where to park and which way to turn for the spa are still here, and, so far, the feel is definitely more golf club than boutique hotel. I turn to Mrs Smith and make my ‘told you so’ face. ‘Oh come on,’ she says, rolling her eyes. ‘Give it a chance.’
I have to admit that the manor itself is a pretty building and the gardens that surround it perfectly pleasant, but, as I walk into reception with a bag under one arm and a toddler under the other, I’m still not convinced. The manager on front desk greets us very politely, the check-in he carries out is efficient and quick, and the assistance he gives us with our luggage is gratefully received, but it is only when he throws open the door to our room that I really begin to change my mind about the place.
Our room, the Woodchester, is simply lovely. Even though my eyes range over the room in search of style faux pas, I find none. There’s not a hint of chintz in sight, and they seem to have got that hard-to-pull-off blend of classic look, contemporary feel just right. There’s a plasma-screen TV, high thread-count sheets, stripped wooden floors – everything, in fact, screams luxury. This continues in the upstairs bathroom, where we admire twin sinks, a glut of Aromatherapy Associates products and a shower big enough to host a Sumo bout.
Our favourite discovery, though, is a neatly appointed corner bunk bed, which blends into the room so effortlessly that both Mrs Smith and I completely failed to notice it on our first exploratory circuit. It comes with an intercom system that feeds directly down to reception, which means that we’re going to be able to enjoy ourselves and dine like adults, rather than having to scurry up and down the stairs every half hour. Mrs Smith gives a firm nod of approval.
In an effort to stop Tom from wrecking our perfect new pad, we head out of the room to explore our new surrounds. Our first stop is the Gumstool Inn, the country pub-like restaurant, where we decide to put Calcot’s child-friendly ethos to the test. The kids’ menu is certainly everything you’d hope for. All the food is home-made and organic – no hyperactive tots pumped up on E-numbers here – and the young staff combine willingness and ability with being impressively smiley. They’re still beatific when I apologise for the umpteenth time as Tom hurls another fish finger five metres (his current food-throwing record) across the dining room.
The hotel is home to a fabulous spa, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a courtyard hot tub that just begs to be lazed in with a glass of champagne. There’s even an outdoor open fireplace that roars away just metres from the water. As it’s a bit nippy outside, Mrs Smith and I both agree this is a nice touch. We toy with the idea of leaving Tom in the fabulous, fully staffed crèche, but, alas, any thoughts of massages have to be put to one side as our son has no intention of being left without his parents.
Later, when he finally drifts off to sleep, we drift down to the reassuringly grown-up Conservatory Restaurant. Much more formal than the Gumstool Inn, it offers fine but unpretentious dining in a space filled with high-backed chairs and tables swathed in white cloths. The food rather than the design, however, is the real star of the show here. Head chef Michael Croft, formerly of London’s Mirabelle, has been serving up gourmet cuisine at top hotels for years, and has garnered plenty of awards for his cooking while at Calcot, so our expectations are high. Thankfully, they’re met – and then some. Hungry after a day of entertaining a demanding toddler, we devour the freshly baked bread before enjoying Dorset crab salad, roasted pork belly with seared scallops and some of the best beef I’ve ever tasted. The wine list, too, is excellent (all your favourites are laid out in a simple, easy-to-understand format), and we treat ourselves to a delicious bottle of Pomerol.
Full and ridiculously content after the meal, we take what’s left of the wine through to the comfortable and stylish lounge, where, on suede sofas beneath low-level lighting, we relax with a final glass before heading up to bed. ‘Your son hasn’t made a noise,’ says the woman on reception, completely unprompted, as we pass. ‘I hope you had a good evening.’ We have. In fact, we’ve been having such a lovely time that we’d completely forgotten we had a child back in the room.
There are a lot of hotels out there that put style over substance. Calcot Manor isn’t one of them – it’s got plenty of substance and now there’s a healthy coating of style, too. In fact, I can’t think of a better place to take the family for a break. If you think these are empty words, you’re welcome to check my diary. The last thing I did before we departed was to book my entire family in over Christmas. Peace and goodwill to all men – and children – is just what we need.
The little touches and attention to detail - bath toys and baby bath as well as a nappy bin.
Super speedy service when the restaurants are busy
Friendly courteous staff, great food, little extras (freshly baked biscuits in room for kids, maps for local walks, garden games), creche/play zone, spa. Lovely local walks.
Changing mat in room
Excellent day care facilities for children, exceptionally friendly staff, breakfast is unlimited! All food was exceptional. Facilities for children is second to none. Local antiques hunting is very good
To want to go anywhere else with children once you've stayed here
The beautiful decor and friendliness and attentiveness of the staff. The food was superb.
To be able to try all the different gins. (the bar is a gin lover's paradise and you may need to stay an extra night!)
The way that small people were accommodated/entertained and well catered for, giving parents some free time - we were travelling with five children. We did not go outside the hotel as it catered for all our needs! 10/10
It to be too quiet, this hotel caters for families. At peak times I would expect lots of young children.
Children love Playzone, we love the Spa and we all love the big open spaces. It is really a great family place to go away on holiday for a short time or a long time. Any of the towns or villages around are worth a visit. Tetbury is great full of little shops to investigate, Cirencester is a great town worth a visit
The fantastic staff who went out of their way to make our stay special, the brilliant kids club (we were travelling with our 3 children, all under the age of 5), fabulous breakfast and great family suite. Barton Farm, the local horseriding stables, hosted a pony ride for my son's 3rd birthday and they were absolutely lovely and made it very special for him.
Glitz and glamour - the hotel is fabulous in its understatedness.
The hotel in general, very beautiful and gorgeously decorated. Our room was lovely.
To be really impressed by the food.
The staff are very friendly and helpful. Nothing is too much trouble. The kids creche is outstanding and my grandchildren aged 5 and 2 loved going there. They serve a special kids tea from 5:45pm, which is great and everything including bibs and plastic cutlery is on hand, as well as a very kids friendly menu.
If you do not have kids and go during one of the half terms you might not find hotel as peaceful as it would ordinarily be!
Discussion prior to arrival paid dividends in the necessary arrangements to accomodate a large family party of adults and children of varying age. Management proved receptive and helpful. We had seven children in total from 4 to 14. Calcot hospitality for them was a credit to the Hotel, and the specific Playzone/Mez facility well supervised and much enjoyed. Go-Karting proved a highlight for all ages. Gloucester is more welcoming and better equipped for children than Hullavington, where stag hen parties appear to remain dominanant, to the potential exclusion of families.
Ultra designer chic. This is essentially "Country House" and all the better for it. That said, bedrooms and bathrooms can sacrifice some practicality for design. eg lack of shelf/cupboard space, baths that are less accessible to older guests.
Everything...we were too happy there to venture out! 10/10
The family ethos without having to compromise on luxury elements of our stay. The well thought out children's facilities were loved by all. Excellent creche, dedicated high tea and breakfast menus. The spa was also fantastic, one of the best massages i've had and the Mr concurred.
A shower in every room.
Excellent service, great food, smiling faces, great room, great time.
Kids club. Great staff throughout the hotel.
The indoor pool to be full of children. It's reserved most of the day for adult spa users.
The spa and outdoor hot tub with log fire
noisy lively nights
Spa, restaurants and kids club
The service and the food was fantastic! Nice part of the the world and the mini walk was amazing. Ten out of 10.
Just be careful of the horse flies when you walk around the fields. I got bitten rotten and still suffering even after a month later. ;( However that has nothing to do with the hotel!
The attached pub to give a choice of style of food and ambience. The local town of Tetbury is great for an afternoon of browsing.
To go to bed later than 11pm!
Wonderful welcoming ambience, very friendly helpful staff, delicious food, great indoor pool and spa, wonderful kids creche facilities and staff - my grandchildren loved it!!
Service during breakfast a bit chaotic.