Regally restored Georgian townhouse, No 38 The Park is a calming Cotswolds home-from-home. Its distinctly loungeable lounge plays gallery to an impressive collection of British art. Repair upstairs and you'll find 13 individually designed rooms, all elegantly accented with statement wallpaper, tactile throws and tempting antique tubs. If we're ever asked to pick a Cheltenham winner, our money's on No 38…
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm. Luggage storage is available for early arrivals and later departures.
Double rooms from £104.00, including tax at 20 per cent.
Rates usually include Continental and cooked breakfast, Bloody Marys or Buck’s Fizz (unless booking the room-only rate).
If you fancy indulging in an in-room spa treatment, ask for details before arrival.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout, free on-site parking. In rooms: Apple TV, Bose iPod dock, WiFi, Nespresso coffee machine and Bramley bath products.
Our favourite rooms
All rooms are individually decorated, have beds bedecked with bespoke throws, and artworks by British artists, including David Hockney, Sir Peter Blake and Roni Stretch. Book an Excellent Room to guarantee one of the impressively indulgent bath tubs; we’re especially partial to the free-standing tin number in Room 7.
Bring richly-hued wellies to match the pops of colour inside and cosy jumpers that transition effortlessly from park walks to evening drinks by the fire.
Grab a green bench seat by the folding glass doors to catch the morning sun.
Channel updated country looks if you’d like, or make yourself at home: no one will bat an eyelid if you came down for breakfast in your slippers, so long as you don’t take a page from the Emperor’s New Clothes with your other sartorial choices.
A new restaurant is in the works, but the hotel is currently only serving breakfast – come morning, you'll find a Continental buffet spread and all your early-hours favourites (we're partial to the frankly genius combination of honeycomb and porridge, the fluffy pancakes topped with crisp streaky bacon and the creatively concocted Bloody Marys).
The restaurant-entrance corridor is home to a well-stocked, artfully arranged bar area where staff will surface to take your order. Beers and ciders (including one made by the owner's family, no less) are on hand to soothe a spicy supper and there's a wine list peppered with nimble whites and bolshy reds.
Early risers rejoice: breakfast is available from 7am to 10am.
You’ll find the hotel on the edge of Pittville Park and about eight furlongs from Cheltenham Racecourse.
From Bristol Airport it’s two hours by car to the hotel; arrange a transfer for two people for £80 each way. Heathrow International Airport is also two hours away; transfers for two cost £85.
Trains from London, Manchester, Bristol and Bath pull into Cheltenham Spa, five kilometres from the hotel. Arrange a transfer or grab a taxi at the station for under £10.
Guests exploring the Cotswolds by car can park at the hotel's car park or in front of the hotel for £10 a day.
Worth getting out of bed for
Cheltenham Racecourse is only a few furlongs down the road; don your fanciest fanscinators and dandiest top hats for a day at the races. If you prefer a slower pace, Pittville Park is practically on the hotel’s doorstep. For an idyllic afternoon, take your beau or belle rowing on the lake. Admire local modern art at the Wilson Gallery on Clarence Street, or catch a concert or comedy show at Cheltenham Town Hall.
The Tavern on Royal Well Place follows a ‘nose to tail’ philsophy, using locally sourced ingredients in everything from small plates to sharing dishes. It also has a wide range of craft beers, cocktails and wines from across the world to go with the modern British fare. It’s not exactly a looker from the outside, but Le Champignon Sauvage on Suffolk Road is the long-standing favourite for French cuisine in Cheltenham. It’s helmed by award-winning chef David Everitt-Matthias, has a seasonally changing menu and does not allow visible phones. Meat-loving Smiths can get their protein fix at The Ox, where it’s all about the steak, ribs and charcuterie sharing boads. Start with a gin-based Silver Bullet apéritif and choose from the red-heavy wine list for your meal. For British dinners with a twist, book a table at Lumière on Clarence Parade; its kitchen is run by Blumenthal-trained, Somerset-born Jon Howe.
On cool days, grab a takeaway coffee at the Scandinavian Coffee Pod on St George’s Place before heading into the park.
For a classic Cotswolds pub experience, complete with garden seating, pull up a chair and order a round at the Beehive. Have a dram or two of whisky, or a few glasses of wine if that’s more your style, at John Gordons whisky and wine bar. Book ahead if you want to take part in a guided tasting.
As soon as you arrive at boutique hotel No 38 the Park in leafy, gracious Cheltenham, you know you’re never going to want to leave. From the sweeping staircase in the hallway, to the comfy sofas in the lounge, strong edit of coffee-table magazines, and – when we visit – classic Christmas decorations draped around the fireplace, it all just feels… well, lovely. The thing that really strikes me is that No 38 doesn’t feel like a hotel at all; it feels like a home. Not necessarily my home (if only), but a wealthy aunt’s perhaps — one with impeccable taste. She’s a great host and I truly do feel like she’s thrilled I’m here to visit.
Mr Smith and I arrive at No 38 late on Thursday after a slow journey from rush hour-riddled London. Once we’re inside though, the hotel’s warm and buzzing — a Christmas party is taking place in the dining room — and instantly, I’ve forgotten about the drive. There’s no check-in desk per se, but a cabinet in the lounge with bits and pieces that do the trick. I like the informality here. For regular travellers, it’s sure to be refreshing. We’re shown around the ground floor, which is comprised of a large lounge, dining room, kitchen and conservatory, before being led upstairs to our room.
At first I’m confused as we’re ushered to one of several open doors on the landing. I assume this is perhaps where the tour continues, but in fact, this beautiful suite, complete with a bath tub at the foot of the bed, is our home for the weekend! In my head I’m doing my happy dance.
I skip around the room in glee, then do the same in the bathroom, in which there is actually room to dance… Host a disco, even. We’ve got his and hers sinks and his and hers showers. So over-indulgent, but I have zero complaints. The honeycomb-shaped tiles on the floor and emerald tiles lining the walls make it Pinterest gold, and I’m busy taking visual notes to add to my dream bathroom wishlist.
I’m not even that big on taking baths, but the novelty of having one in the bedroom turns me into a super-fan. Before long, I’m knee deep in bubbles while Mr Smith watches Sky Sports on the TV. It’s s paradise for us both, and it’s just a bonus that it happens to be contained within the same room.
We miss last orders at No 131, The Park’s off-site sister restaurant, which is a pain – but we settle for a quick dinner at the local Thai. We don’t mind, more time in the room is only a bonus, especially when there’s that pour-yourself-a-nightcap honesty bar downstairs. However, it’s worth noting that No 131 aren’t hesitant to close the kitchen a little early if it’s quiet, so be sure to book ahead.
When we wake up the next morning our requested tray of croissants and orange juice is waiting outside our door. What a treat! A pre-breakfast breakfast which, for someone who likes a lie-in, but also snacks, is completely perfect. Not long after, breakfast in the dining room doesn’t disappoint. There are the most wonderful pistachio pastries, as well as cheeses, hams, fruit and even a Bloody Mary station. From the hot menu, order eggs, if just to witness the brightest yellow yolks.
Later, we trundle into Cheltenham town (a mere 10-minute walk away) and return to accidently snooze in the lounge. Whoops! But that’s how homely we’re talking… It’s all just so relaxing.
One of my favourite things though, possibly the simplest of all, is that all the doors to the vacant bedrooms are deliberately left open. This not only satisfies a Nosy Parker like me, who wants to see not just my room but everyone else’s, but really makes No. 38 feel like a home over a hotel.
When it finally comes to checking out, we’re reluctant, but paying up is a quick, simple job and we’re packed on our way with bottled water and snacks — it really is like we’re at my Aunt’s house…
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in No 38 The Park ’s Guestbook below.
Such a special place - from speaking to the hotel for guidance about which room to book, to arriving to the most gorgeous suite and amazing bathroom stocked full of luxury eco-friendly products and beautifully fitted. The service was amazing - and for such a smart place it was so baby friendly - every member of staff was so lovely to my little boy. We ate at Pritvi, their restaurant, and the meal was seriously good - one of the best fine dining Indian meals we have had, and well up there with many of the London Michelin starred Asian restaurants we had been to. The location is also great - loved that it is opposite a fantastic park for small children - we really enjoyed our time there.
To want to leave - it's wonderful. We didn't make it into Cheltenham high street or streets as the hotel was such a lovely place to spend time at. If one improvement to suggest - breakfast could be better.
Stayed on 23 Nov 2019
We were in Room 1 that is just off the entryway and in the path of the restaurant. This was no problem for noise though! The room was huge and the bathroom appointed in great style – very clean and comfortable! The Dyson hairdryer was incredible.
Stayed on 19 Sep 2019
The spacious double shower and double sinks in bathroom, the friendly, helpful staff, the pleasant location, and the 5 to 10 minute walk from the centre of town.
Stayed on 24 Jul 2019
We loved the decor, the extremely comfortable bed, great toiletries and the shower. The staff were very welcoming and friendly. Breakfast was one of the best; the poached eggs were cooked to perfection! The complimentary flask of hot chocolate and cookies left next to the bed at bedtime was a nice touch.
Stayed on 30 Mar 2019
Our room in No 38 The Park was absolutely gorgeous. Make sure to ask for room 1 - huge double bed, his and hers sinks, a massive double shower and a centrally placed bath. The location was a 5-minute taxi to the sister hotel - we went for a drink in Gin and Juice, which I'd also highly recommend. Staff were helpful and polite with service in the morning with orange juice, newspaper and croissants which was a lovely touch. It was perfect for a couple looking for a romantic break.
A typical hotel set up - there's a relaxed atmosphere and you're encouraged to treat it as if it was your own home. It's not cheap but worth staying in room 1!
Stayed on 27 Feb 2019
The roll top bath and the delivery of orange juice and croissants in the morning. Breakfast was fantastic!
A bar in the hotel.
Stayed on 17 Feb 2019
The room was beaut and all the personal touches like the pre breakfast tray made it very special.
The room was very hot! My husband found it difficult to sleep despite having the windows open.
Stayed on 12 Feb 2019
The room, the bath products, how helpful all of the staff was! The wonderful breakfast/coffees. Books in the room. Everything
Stayed on 10 Feb 2019
We loved loved loved this hotel, especially room 1! And a very tasty breakfast. It's a short walk into Cheltenham, which is a lovely town to explore.
A hotel vibe – it is very much like a B&B.
Stayed on 5 Jan 2019
We loved the relaxed atmosphere, boutique style of the hotel and friendly staff. Amazing food and the room was fabulous.
Stayed on 5 Jan 2019
The quirky style and pastries deleivered to your bedroom in the morning! A huge bed!
The bathroom door didn't quite shut properly so banged in the night with the wind a bit. Also, the pillows weren't great.
Stayed on 7 Dec 2018
The location – great stroll into Cheltenham. The room was spacious and well designed. The breakfast was amazing – just loved the attention to detail. The perfect base for a city break.
A hotel and all the service that comes with it. There's no reception as such (the staff are in an office) and no bar. Although the honesty bar on the ground floor is nice enough.
Stayed on 9 Oct 2018
The relaxed vibe and stylish interiors. Use the free taxi service and eat at No 131 in town – great cocktails and food.
A big room, even in the Excellent category. Room 4 for the money had very limited space, and storage was at a premium. A lie in, we were told on arrival we had to have breakfast before 9.30am on a Sunday. When I questioned this, they said they had a brunch event on and it was fully booked. Sure enough by 10am they were taking the furniture out of the dining room around us, while we finished breakfast. Not the chilled out, lie in and papers over breakfast environment we'd expected.