As parents across the land caught in the throes of the Easter hols know all too well – it takes a lot to keep those nippers occupied on their jollies. Is time off a relaxing holiday for their folks? Not unless they’ve planned well. What’s so great about this 14th-century farmhouse set three miles from Tetbury, amid the leafy rural roll of the Cotswolds is that Calcot Manor offers the acme of family escapes, with child-friendly facilities at every turn and a parent-pampering spa. Oh, and it still manages to be romantic…
Style Family-friendly farmhouse
Setting Homely heart of Gloucestershire
Why this week The hotel still has availability for the Royal Wedding and first May bank holiday weekend. Members will have a bottle of champagne in their room. To get the best rates and to check availability ring the Smith24 team.
Our favourite bits 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 shallow pool perfect for teaching little ones to swim. The Playzone is a fully staffed, Ofsted-accredited day nursery where you can leave your little tykes unattended for a couple of hours at a time (9am–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. 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. When it comes to suppertime in Michael Croft’s the Conservatory, pop to the gastropub in situ, the Gumstool for the children’s tea.
Mr & Mrs Smith say ‘Our room, the Woodchester (pictured right), is simply lovely… they got that hard-to-pull-off blend of classic look, contemporary feel just right. There’s a plasma-screen TV, high-threadcount sheets – everything screams luxury. This continues in the upstairs bathroom, where we admire twin tubs with a TV and a glut of Aromatherapy Associates products.
Our favourite discovery? A corner bunk bed room 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 to reception, which means we can enjoy ourselves and dine like adults, rather than having to scurry up and down any stairs every half hour.
Full and ridiculously content after the meal, we take what’s left of the wine through to the lounge, where, on suede sofas beneath low-level lighting, we relax with a final glass before heading to bed. ‘Your child 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…’
Read the full anonymous review of Calcot Manor.