For families traveling through England’s Cotswolds region, The Rectory Hotel marries a quaint atmosphere and modern, kid-friendly conveniences in a tranquil countryside location. Just an hour’s drive from Bath, this former 18th-century mansion makes a great base to explore local sites, from postcard-perfect Cotswolds villages to Stonehenge and even London. Best of all, the owners have preserved the homelike feel and personal air of welcome.
Patrons walk down a gravel drive to reach the hotel’s 12 rooms, each individually decorated with a crisp, casually elegant vibe and named after a different Cotswolds hill. Since my kids are older, we had two rooms, both outfitted with antique furnishings and a comfortable king-size bed. Cribs and rollaway beds are available for young children.
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Every room offers immense character, from old-fashioned radios to classic collector’s books, and each has a view of the walled garden or the village church. The hotel generously provides extra bottles of spring water. For a bit of luxury in the bathroom, there are fluffy bathrobes and organic toiletries; outside the doors in each hallway, you’ll find complimentary tea and coffee.
It’s fun to hang out in The Rectory’s lobby, full of comfortable chairs, magazines and board games. Parents can sip Champagne while kids run around the gardens and ogle the outdoor sculptures, or try out the croquet equipment onsite. There’s also a heated pool on the premises (open from May until October). The piece de resistance: Wellington boots in all sizes for guests who want to stroll through the Cotswolds countryside.
Breakfast is included in the rates and served in the back-of-the-house dining room, which is spacious, brightly lit and quite elegant. Choose from cold foods like cereals, yogurt and bread, or cooked dishes such as smoked salmon with scrambled eggs or Gloucestershire Old Spot sausages and black pudding.
Dinner showcases local ingredients — it’s quite popular among locals, so a reservation is essential. For picky palates, the restaurant serves delicious children’s meals made with organic ingredients. Guests can also cross the road to the Potting Shed, a local gastropub that serves a creative take on farm-to-table British fare.
Editor’s Note: Holly received a media package to review The Rectory Hotel for families. As always, our opinions are our own on Ciao Bambino. Photos by Holly Rosen Fink.
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