Calcot is a warm and welcoming 14th century country house in the Cotswolds. A cosy, family friendly, spa hotel. They have 35 bedrooms, two restaurants, a large indoor pool, a spa and an exceptional outdoor hot tub with open wood fire. It is set in 220 acres of gorgeous meadows and the ideal place to luxuriate whilst you visit the surrounding areas.
The original building dates back to 1300 AD, when Henry of Kingswood established it as a tithe barn annexe of Kingswood Abbey. Subsequently owned by Nicholas Poyntz, a Knight of the Shire of Gloucestershire (a wonderfully evocative title), it then passed in 1958 to Sir Thomas Escort and remained in the family until the early 19th century. Calcot Manor opened its doors to paying guests in 1984 and has been independently owned ever since. The hotel has recently been extended and tastefully refurbished to retain the original features and characteristics of the property, whilst adding the comfort and luxuries you would expect from a top English hotel. The architecture focuses on a relaxed, yet refined ambiance, reflected in the friendly manner of the staff, who go out of their way to ensure everyone enjoys their stay.
The spa pool is delightful, big enough for a proper swim, encircled by comfortable lounge beds, with an adjoining cafe where you can read the papers in peace while waiting for your massage. The piece de resistance is the outdoor jacuzzi in the courtyard with open wood fire, to be taken with cocktails at night, under all the twinkling lights. The setting is magical with the smoke rising off the water and clouds racing across the sky above, even in winter. The Calcot is ideal for all occasions, weddings, team building or private parties.
The Conservatory, the main restaurant, is informal and serves good seasonal and locally sourced English dishes with a very fine vegetarian selection. The ambiance is bright and sunny rather than stuffy, and again very family friendly, with staff that are happy to provide anything a smaller child might need. I had the Steak Tartare, one of my favourites, followed by Cod with Lemon Mash (delicious) and finished with the Warm Chocolate Mousse and Milk Ice Cream. Her ladyship had the Smoked Salmon with Trimmings, then the Stone Bass with Pommes Parisienne and Chorizo, ending with the Tarte Tatin and Caramel Ice Cream. The portions were Goldilocks perfect, prepared with fresh ingredients, cooked and served with pride. The other restaurant is a traditional country pub, The Gumstool, serving gourmet pub food that everyone recognises, but finessed to please the connoisseur. This is where you can get your real ale and relax in proper English style.
They also have a lovely brick and glass barn for business which can be hired for meetings and for office get togethers. These also include use of the spa and pool, so brilliant fun for the day or evening. There is also nice little cycle path around the estate and they provide bikes free of charge for guests. They even have a play zone for kids and an Ofsted Creche, with all the game systems and arts and crafts you could want, so you can keep the kids safely entertained while you take some time out with your partner. There are plenty of pursuits for the kids outdoors too, such as some rather awesome Segways!
We had the Deluxe Wiltshire Room, situated opposite the front of the hotel, with its own entrance and en suite bathroom. The room was lovely, decorated in natural wood finish with a seaside theme and oak beams criss crossing the ceiling, providing an airy, comfortable sejour . The bathroom was large with a spacious walk in shower and bath including twin sinks. It felt like home from home and when we left they provided water and sweeties for the journey, little touches like these make a place, and the Calcot Hotel clearly prides itself on looking after their guests.
The Calcot Hotel and Spa is surrounded by beautiful countryside, with staff that are particularly lovely and helpful, and a great location from which to explore the Cotswolds, whilst enjoying the spa and pool and some genuine English dining and traditional pub grub. It’s an informal, luxurious venue to get pampered and de-stress, where you can take friends and family and leave your worries at home.