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While our love for hotels knows no bounds, our feelings about getting from A to (boutique) B are slightly less rosy. When flying is involved, the prospect of lengthy waits, over-zealous security personnel and sinister-looking plane food can slightly dampen the hopes of even the most optimistic traveller. So, as everyone else jets off to far-flung locations, we’re skipping the fuss and making the most of the gorgeous weather right here in the UK by heading to Rectory Hotel, in the sloping hills of the Cotswolds.

Style Period-detail family retreat
Setting Walled gardens in Wiltshire

Why this week? Until 27 August, the hotel is offering 25 per cent off room rates for Smith members who book Sunday–Thursday night stays.

Our favourite bits These warm summer months are the time to make the most of Rectory Hotel’s heated outdoor pool and three-acre walled gardens. Revel in the Englishness of it all and have a game of croquet, or make a mental jump across the Channel and play pétanque. Peter Fairclough’s modern British menu of fresh, seasonal produce – mostly organic, mostly locally sourced – is served outside in fair weather.

Mr & Mrs Smith say ‘You could be forgiven for thinking we’d pulled up at the country pile of a very flush friend. It certainly doesn’t look like a hotel. There’s no reception, just a simple desk in the front room. While there is mobile-phone coverage and a computer available for guests to use, you’ll probably get more use out of the cricket bats and croquet sets piled up by the front door. I know we did.

Set in three acres of walled gardens, this 17th-century Cotswold stone house started life as the rectory for the Saxon church next door. Its new owners, Jonathan (ex Hotel du Vin) and Julian (an antiques/art dealer and interior designer) have given it a makeover that’s considerate of the architecture, yet has enough contemporary twists to make us feel at home, rather than trapped in a heritage piece. Wood panelling and hand-sprung mattresses, cream walls and muted plaid and floral fabrics – period detail with sufficient modern accents to assure its boutique hotel status.’

Read our full review of Rectory Hotel, Cotswolds


Compiled by Louise Barr

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