Luxury UK Weekend Away: The Calcot Manor Review

I do love a British country house hotel.  Welly boots and country walks, a roaring fire with a G&T and a bedroom filled with four-poster beds and ye olde furniture.  In the old days pre kids there were so many options available to give you that decadent weekend break.  With kids however, it’s a slightly different story.  What luxury country stays are really family friendly?  We put a luxury Cotswolds hotel, Calcot Manor to the test!

Calcot Manor - Playing Outside

Georgina, husband, Abbie (2.5yrs) and Sam (4 months)

Calcot Manor, Cotswolds, UK

Jan 2014

Hotel Booking
Direct through the hotel. This gave us the opportunity to talk through the layout of the rooms and to ensure that the crèche was available during our stay.

Getting to Calcot Manor
Takes roughly two hours from London.  We needed to stop shortly before we got there to feed Sam and we found a cute little cafe, The Cotswold Lion Cafe – really bright and friendly with homemade cakes and a toy box for kids.

Hotel Room
The hotel has double rooms available in the main house, and family rooms in separate buildings around the courtyard.  They offer family rooms (with rooms for kids to sleep in the main room), family suites (with a separate room for the kids), large family suites (set across two floors, and with a separate room for the kids) and a deluxe suite (set across two floors, with two bedrooms and a separate lounge).

The rooms (and the rest of the hotel) have been beautifully designed.  I saw a couple of them during our stay, and they are all different but very stylish.  Big comfy beds, Panasonic Tvs, Nespresso machines etc.  Here’s the scoop on a few of the suites:

Calcot - our room 'Woodchester'

Our room, ‘Woodchester’

Woodchester (we stayed in this one) – large family suite – a main bedroom, small kids bedroom (bunkbeds with just enough room for a travel cot at the side) and a toilet downstairs, with a huge bathroom (toilet, two baths, massive shower and a TV!) upstairs.

Woodchester master bedroom

Woodchester master bedroom

Calcot - Bathroom

Calcot Manor - bunkbeds

Calcot Manor - Kids Bedroom - Malmesbury

Kids bedroom – Malmesbury

Tetbury – deluxe suite – lounge and master bedroom downstairs with a bathroom and a large twin room upstairs.  This room is fabulous!

Tetbury Suite - Master Bedroom

Tetbury Suite – Master Bedroom

Tetbury suite - lounge

Tetbury suite – lounge

Baby/kid facilities
Each family room includes a baby box kitted out with a steriliser, bottle brush, washing up liquid and bottle warmer.  We were also given a nappy bin (which was emptied every day) and fresh milk to keep in our fridge.

Calcot Manor - contents of baby box

The Playzone (the hotel’s Ofsted regisered crèche) was the star of the show, and the main reason for our trip!  I was a bit apprehensive about using it, as it was the first time that we have used a hotel crèche for the kids.  The staff put us totally at ease and both of our children were very happy there.  

Calcot Manor - Creche 2

They take babies from birth and were happy to keep to our routine for his feeds and naps.  Our toddler absolutely loved it in there, she bounded in happily each morning before we disappeared off to the spa. You do need to prebook sessions once you have booked your stay at the hotel, as they have strict staffing ratios that they need to keep to.  They also have an area called the Mez for older children, which includes computer games.

The hotel also provides a baby listening service which is available all day long (unlike other hotels where they only switch it on in the evening).  We used this at lunchtime (during naps) and in the evening.  You can also book babysitters if you prefer.

The swimming pool is open to kids each day from 3.45pm to 5.15pm and sometimes also for an hour or so in the morning (mainly at weekends I believe).  A travel cot, baby changing table, baby seat and nappy bin were all provided in the changing room and floats were available poolside.  Unfortunately there are no family changing rooms so one of us had to cope with both kids each time!

The Spa has an indoor pool (and an outdoor one which is used in the middle of summer), sauna, steam room and an outdoor hot tub, as well as plenty of places to sit and chill out.  We booked a few last-minute treatments and really enjoyed them.  The treatment prices compared very favourably with other places that we have stayed, and the Spa as a whole had a very relaxing atmosphere, even during the kids swimming times!  We didn’t really make the most of the outdoor facilities due to the weather, but there is a small outdoor playground and a running/walking trail.

Calcot Manor - small outdoor playground

There are four dining options, the Conservatory (the main restaurant), the Gumstool Inn (the pub), the Lounge (sandwiches and afternoon tea) and the Spa (light lunches).  We ate in each of the restaurants and the kids were made to feel very welcome.  The breakfast buffet was incredible and there is a kids tea served at 5.30pm in the Gumstool.  We did feel that some of the dishes were overpriced, but no more so than at other similar, luxury hotels. 

Afternoon tea!

Afternoon tea!

We ordered room service a few times and were pleasantly surprised to have a choice from the menus at the two main restaurants, rather than just a small room service menu.

Calcot Manor - Kids Menu

What made Calcot Manor stand out?
Calcot Manor is a beautifully appointed hotel in a lovely setting, but it was the staff that really made it stand out for us.  Luxury is rarely synonymous with ‘family friendly’, but they really do make it work. In particular the staff at the reception, in the crèche and at the breakfast buffet, were just lovely and made us feel very very welcome.

1 comment

  1. Wendy at Tots

    Love the bathroom….

Leave comment