The moment you enter the Cotswolds, you can feel your shoulders immediately drop, and your whole body takes on a relaxed position.
This typically English region is rich in history, culture and natural beauty, and its limestone villages, rolling wolds countryside, beautiful gardens and stately homes will make you feel you’ve truly come to a place to relax and rejuvenate from the demands of everyday life. And to experience the beauty of this area, an overnight stay or more is a must.
My friend and I checked in at The Cotswold Water Park Four Pillars Hotel for a spa, dinner and a night’s stay. Set in a wonderland of lakes, rivers, woodland and open countryside, the hotel has been designed to complement its magnificent surroundings. The hotel’s Luxury Spa 6 offers some good quality ‘me’ time with a range of treatments to suit. So whether you’re looking for a whole day of pampering or just a couple of hours of bliss, there’s something for you to choose from the menu. Not being able to afford the luxury of time on my side, I settled for the ‘Aroma Ultimate ‘Relaxer’ Body Massage’. Lasting just under an hour, this intricate combination of massage, acupressure and essential oils acts on tension points and left my entire body feeling completely relaxed and pampered. My therapist was thorough in addressing the exact places I had asked her to draw attention to on my body. The result? I was energised and returned to my normal self which was well worth the £70 massage.
There are two main dining options at the hotel which take the form of the Cotswolds Brasserie restaurant or the Old Boathouse Pub. While the latter is more traditional in line with pubs, it’s actually designed with a stunning contemporary twist with plentiful lighting to marvel at the picturesque views in the distance. We dined at the Brasserie, and were grateful to be positioned at our seats overlooking the lakes at South Cerney.
The restaurant design is synonymous with the Cotswolds surroundings with natural materials an integral part of the décor. Large expanses of glass maximise the views and add to the restaurant’s airy feel. The menu, like the décor, is fresh and made from ingredients sourced locally. The meat, for example, is supplied by Jesse Smith, a family butcher of over 200 years in Cirencester. And if you have a penchant for desserts, I would urge you to leave the room for something sweet. The sticky toffee pudding was most divine. It was easy to polish the whole lot off within minutes.
The theme of being as close to nature as possible with a modern twist runs throughout each of the hotel’s 328 bedrooms. Wood, stone and other natural elements are integral to the design of the en suite rooms as are the views from the floor to ceiling windows. Almost all of the rooms have a lake view, but even if you’re not lucky enough to get one, you’re still wrapped up in the lap of luxury.
For more information, visit www.cotswoldwaterparkhotel.co.uk
By Sabi Phagura