I admit it - we have stayed at Calcot many times and love it. Some people don't get it but perhaps they just don't know how to get the most out of this wonderful place, so here's the deal:
1) Business people, loving couples and grandparents: ask for a room in the main building. Either opt for room service breakfast or go early (if you can get out of bed!). Book a treatment in the Spa and go there at some point between 10.30 and 2.30pm, then explore the Cotswolds before coming back perhaps to enjoy an evening soak with champagne in the outdoor hot tub (after 5.45 when the kids should be well clear of the Spa). Enjoy grown up cocktails and dinner in the Conservatory (we're not completely raving about the new refurbishment and the loss of some favourites from the menu but equally we weren't at all disappointed and can see the advantages of all-day availability of drinks and high quality nibbles). Stay 2 or 3 days - it will feel like 2 weeks.
2) Families with children - arrive in time for children's swimming (3.45-5.15). There is a real point in having swimming limited to this time. It allows adults and Spa members some well deserved peace and quiet for the rest of the day and it tires out the kids just at the point where they are very happy to have tea and go to bed, leaving you able to enjoy dinner together with the safeguard of baby monitoring or a wonderful team of babysitters at less than London rates. Our kids have always loved the Playzone and any child who likes being with others, doing fun painting or activities or (when older) playing on the Xbox or watching films in the mini cinema should enjoy themselves, while you retreat to the Spa (see above). Breakfast will be busy but the staff really know how to look after families and, if you ask, will do everything they can to help. Vacate your room straight after breakfast to allow the housekeeping staff in but then return later and enjoy more sleep! Get some fresh air in the early afternoon by going out to visit one of the local attractions. There are so many places to go and things to do that we are still finding new things, years after our first visit.
Tea for the kids is a 3 course affair, with several choices and bread and drinks are freely available to you as soon as you arrive. If your child is completely desperate, ask politely for pasta and it shouldn't be a problem, but, honestly, the choice is so good that there really is something for everyone. You will see several dads hoping for sticky toffee pudding from their child's plate. Portions can be small for older children but, again, ask and you will find that the kitchen will accommodate a hungry pre-teen. Enjoy a pint or a G&T while they eat. If you really can't cope having dinner a deux and have to have the children eating with you, stay in the Gumstool. There is nothing worse than seeing bored or tired small children having to sit through dinner in the Conservatory falling asleep or glued to their DS. By the way, if you can't stir from the hotel but want your child to colour in pictures, do lots of practice for their 11+ exams which will happen in 2 years' time, sing at top volume or just run round manically, for the sake of others, please let them do it in their room or in the Playzone, rather than taking over the whole of the lounge.
A black pepper martini before dinner and a chance to talk to one's significant other in peace and an adult atmosphere is a wonderful treat for a usually-harassed mum.
3) Most importantly, if you think nothing is good enough for you or your child - that you (or they) are the centre of the universe, number one priority and so should be able to take over the pool, eat whatever you want to eat at any time of the day or night, park immediately outside your room with no consideration for safety and show no consideration for others because you paying, JUST DON'T COME!! Everyone else, save up and enjoy........
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Cotswolds are lovely! Tumbling hills, lavender horizons, wildlife, walks and waterparks - they're all on offer, and what's more, they're all on the doorstep of Calcot and Calcot Spa. With an indoor pool, secluded (lavender-lined) courtyard, hot tub and log fire, gymnasium and multiple treatment rooms stocked with the best therapists and the best products, Calcot is renowned as one of the most luxurious spa hotels in the Cotswolds. 35 bedrooms and they're all beautiful - we guarantee that bit. We've suites in all shapes and sizes and two-floored (separate bedroomed) cottages - ideal for families. All within a 220-acre meadowland that has lots to do (or not - that's up to you). Tennis courts, climbing frames, outdoor pool, running routes, cycle tracks, a disc golf course and a woodland gymnasium! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Calcot Manor Hotel Calcot
- Calcot Manor Cotswolds