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Hotel Highlights

  • Urban style in a pretty village
  • Terrace with views of the Cotswolds Hills
  • Intimate bar and restaurant

Overview

Housed in a Palladian mansion in the picture-perfect village of Painswick, Cotswolds88 Hotel is a shrine to fantastically over-the-top Italian design. Opened by Marchella De Angelis, the co-founder of the ever-popular, kitschy cocktail bar, Loungelover in Shoreditch, this eccentric and slick hotel is awash in funky patterns, unusual upholsteries, eclectic art, and eye-popping colour schemes. It's comfortable and luxurious with a cheeky sense of fun.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Cotswolds88 Hotel with us:

A 10 per cent discount on a beauty treatment

Facilities

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Cotswolds 88 Hotel – Cotswolds – United Kingdom

Need To Know

Rooms

17, including three suites.

Check–out

11am. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $127.78 (£75), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast.

Also

It might be worth hiring a small car for this trip. The Georgian streets that surround Cotswolds88 Hotel are no friend to larger vehicles.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout, laundry service, king-size beds with Frette bed linen, LCD flatscreen TVs, DVD players on request, DVD library, iPod docks and Molton Brown bath products. Some rooms have Jacuzzi baths.

Our favourite rooms

We love the six Detmar rooms – named after the famous 20th-century architect – with their vivid red accent colours and playful atmosphere. We particularly liked the giant lip prints on the wall.

Packing tips

Bring some sharp Italian tailoring to fit in with the Versace-esque vibe; and don't forget your GPS – you'll need it to find the hotel amid Painswick’s winding lanes.

Also

Leave the hamsters at home. Pets are not allowed. The hotel has a treatment room for all kinds of facials, manicures and men's grooming. The set Valentine's menu served on 14 February costs £65 each and is the only option available.

Children

Kids are welcome, though the hotel isn't particularly geared towards them. Cribs are available on request.

Food & Drink

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Cotswolds 88 Hotel – Cotswolds – United Kingdom

Hotel Restaurant

Chef Lee Scott – who previously shared a kitchen with Gordon Ramsay – heads up the Juniper Restaurant & Bar, serving up delicious Cotswolds produce with French flair. Food is available all day, from kippers, French toast and dippy eggs at breakfast to ham-hock tortelloni or lemon sole in brown shrimp beurre noisette for dinner. Save room for the cheese tray. The decor is as bold as in the rest of the hotel, and a camera in the kitchen transmits to the restaurant so you can see what the chefs are up to.

 

Hotel Bar

The Juniper bar is a stylish intimate space in which you can sip drinks to an eclectic and well-chosen soundtrack of chill-out tunes. It gets busy on Saturdays, but there's always space on the terrace or out on the lawns. Try a Purple Forest: an homage to the black forest gâteaux in liquid form.

Last orders

The restaurant closes at 9.30pm most nights, but 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The bar will stay open for as long as residents require.

Room service

Breakfast can be in bed each morning, and there's an in-room menu to pick from at certain times of the day.

Smith Insider

Dress code

You may be in the country, but this is no place for tweeds. Dress to impress.

Top table

For an intimate meal, pick the window table facing the courtyard. Nab a spot on the terrace for cocktails in summer.

Local Guide

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Cotswolds 88 Hotel – Cotswolds – United Kingdom
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Little Fleece Bookshop on Bisley Street, Painswick GL6 6QQ (+44 (0)1452 812 264). Collectors of quality secondhand and antiquarian books will thrill at the copies stacked from floor to ceiling, while browsers will find this 16th-century National Trust building worth earmarking alone for a visit. The Antiques Emporium Griffin Mill on London Road, Thrupp near Stroud, Gloucestershire (+44 (0)7970 601 624) Anyone in the market for shabby-chic treasures for the home should scour the  furniture-packed rooms of French and English antiques here – from chintzy lampshades to grand dressers, this is an Aladdin's Cave of objêt d'art and top tat.

Local restaurants

The Woolpack in Slad is a timeless little country pub overlooking a valley one side, and a church the other (+44 (0)1452 813429; www.thewoolpackinn-slad.com). Especially popular for Sunday lunch and beloved by Alex James and the hip Cotswoldian brigade, it can fill up quickly – definitely call in advance.

Local cafés

Olivas Delicatessen on Friday Street, Painswick GL6 6QJ (+44 (0)1452 814 774). Far from your typical Cotswolds teashop, Brian and Ximena Nunez have not only brought a taste of their native Colombia courtesy of the coffee that is served at this tiny hidden-away cafe and deli, but there are heartier homecooked delights on offer for lunch and dinner as well as traditional cream teatime treats.

+ Enlarge
In a quiet country town

Cotswolds88 Hotel

Kemps Lane, Painswick, Cotswolds, GL6 6YB, United Kingdom

Planes

Bristol International is a 55-minute drive. From here, you can access other cities in the UK, including Manchester and Edinburgh, and Dublin.

Trains

First Great Western (www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk) runs services directly from London Paddington to Stroud (a five-minute drive from the hotel). A taxi ride will cost around £10.

Automobiles

The hotel is an hour and a half from London and 15 minutes from Cheltenham. It's not far off the A46. There's free on-site parking and a valet service.

Reviews

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Cotswolds 88 Hotel – Cotswolds – United Kingdom

Anonymous review

by Juliet Kinsman , On-the-go editor at Mr & Mrs Smith

Of course we're excited about our impending visit to postcard-perfect Cotswolds village, Painswick. But if I'm to be brutally honest, as cool as Cotswolds88 looks, our expectations about this eccentric hideaway are mixed. I’m definitely excited about staying at a place designed by Marchella de Angelis, the larger-than-life character behind flamboyant, kitsch cocktailerie, Loungelover in East…
Read more

Cotswolds88 Hotel

Anonymous review by Juliet Kinsman, On-the-go editor

Of course we're excited about our impending visit to postcard-perfect Cotswolds village, Painswick. But if I'm to be brutally honest, as cool as Cotswolds88 looks, our expectations about this eccentric hideaway are mixed. I’m definitely excited about staying at a place designed by Marchella de Angelis, the larger-than-life character behind flamboyant, kitsch cocktailerie, Loungelover in East London. When I describe it to a friend, she rolls her eyes at city slickers wanting to sip martinis amid in-your-face eclecticism in the countryside. ‘Bolshy wallpapers and acid-coloured mid-century sofas in the Cotswolds,’ she sighs, ‘Who wants to feel like they’re in London?’ I decide that while you can take this missy out of the city, you can’t take a hankering for hip out of the girl, and we head off eager to experience this OTT escape for ourselves.

After zigzagging through the leafy hairpin-bend lanes, our final destination – an imposing 18th-century Palladian mansion – comes as quite a surprise. We swerve into the snug car park and admire Costwolds88's grand, classical grey stone façade. There’s certainly little indication that anything off-the-wall lies beyond. Neatly coiffed bushes and a perfectly groomed emerald-green lawn are all so far, so country house and sheep-dotted hills beyond suggest that this is more swoon-inspiring Jane Austen-evoking stuff than a 21st-century serving of boutique-hotel chic.

Up a few small stone stairs and one foot into the hallway and it's clear this technicoloured playground is anything but a conventional Cotswolds retreat. A cursory peek at the kitsch cocktail bar and black-and-white-striped restaurant whets our appetite for our evening's entertainment. Are you a fan of Alfie’s Antique Market in Marylebone? This statement-piece-studded establishment will have your eyes darting excitedly from retro treasure to in-your-face artwork in the same way, as you take in Seventies' tiled coffeetables alongside kitsch Fifties' sweetheart sofas and an Austin Powers-esque light installation – it's all a world away from the previous occupant's personality when it was fusty and chintzy.

A quick crane of the neck to admire an original carved ribbed-and-bossed ceiling, and up the steps to the reception, greeted warmly by a super-lovely receptionist – fittingly a platinum-blonde bombshell in Vivienne Westwood choker. She swiftly checks us in and shows us to our suite; en route we eyeball huge photo-art close-ups of Marchella’s iris by David Hiscock. Cheekily, I've booked the best room in the house for our one night away and we brace ourselves for the visual thrills that await. A mishmash of imaginative old and new continues, with a backdrop of glorious leaded windows looking out onto those gorgeous green gardens, and across to that get-that-on-your-camera countryside view.

Afternoon tea on the lawn is in full swing below, and relaxing on the modern undulating loungers that resemble reclining Henry Moores is a model-like couple, making the whole scene even easier on the eye. Before our dose of metropolitan dining back at Cotswolds88, we decide to take a whirl around this adorable village and soon stumble across Olivas Delicatessen. Smooth jazz emanates from the basket-filled café and tempts us to pause at one of the two small tables on the pavement. Here, over Earl Grey and scones, we ponder how it’s all very well scarpering somewhere sweet for a night out of town, but however delightful the hotel, for the full experience you want to a decent brew in its locale too. Full marks to Painswick. With enough time for another tramp around town before supper, we have a poke through Painswick’s delightful gift shop, Ha'penny Antiques on Bisley Street. A brightly coloured cushion and a floral teapot later, I assume that's our share of twee retail met; then we sniff out the sweetest bookshop. Possibly in the land. The star of the show at the Little Fleece Bookshop proves to be Sidney the cocker spaniel/basset hound – trust us, it’s an unmistakeable mix.

Wolves temporarily staved, we make it back to swap trainers for high heels (me), pressed shirt (him), before pouncing on champagne cocktails, perched at bar stools. The young barman – perhaps a decade and a half our junior – doesn’t really know what to make of our barrage of irreverent chitchat and phototaking, but humours us. What staff must have made of previous larger-than-life owner, Marchella, a half-Chinese, half-Italian former rock chick boggles the mind.

Supper selected over aperitifs, we move to the monochrome dining room. The enormous oversized fabric bow dominating the back wall inspires a gasp from my better half. ‘It’s like Sloane Ranger eveningwear on acid,’ he whispers before putting the young server’s sommelier skills to the test. If he’s anything less than knowledgeable we can't quite tell, as his suggestions are delivered with reassuring conviction. Moments later, an unexpected treat arrives to amuse our geules: a celeriac soup. Next we’re given culinary kicks by daringly tasty starters of homemade artichoke ravioli and scallops (dishes worth fighting over, but thankfully both delicious so we go halves). Main courses satisy both vegetarian and pure carnivore desires, leaving little room for dessert. But still we persist. Well, you try and resist talk of chocolate fondants?

It's almost a relief when after dinner the bar and garden are by now quite quiet. Following in the footsteps of the other couples, young and old, we decamp unashamedly to our suite and get stuck into some serious slumber. (Yes, back-to-back cocktails on our moonlit balcony would be a more rock 'n' roll night befitting this photoshoot-fit setting, but the magnetic draw of that comfy bed and fluffy duvet on us sleep-starved urbanites wins through.)

A lazy spell in the state-of-the-art bathroom later and after a full English breakfast kick-off, we act on our plans for plenty of walking. We pause again at the 14th-century bookshop, and after stocking up on dusty last-edition hardbacks as gifts, we plod up the high street past a half-timbered Tudor post office – the other most charming outpost in the world, we decide. Rococo Gardens are a mere 10-minute trot further, and prove a heavenly place to while away a Saturday with the papers. (We highly recommend the sunkissed benches in the middle of the ground's maze as a most unconventional reading spot.) But the flora-inspired frissons didn't stop there. Painswick has another horticultural headline act: the yews in St Mary’s churchyard are the stuff of legend. On the way back, we bump into a local who tells us there are 99 of these green Gaudí-contoured trees, and folklore has it there will never be any more. Oh no. 'Each time one more tries to grow, it's zapped by the devil,' she tells us, her eyes the size of saucers. If only I had a professional camera – a snapshot of her peepers à la Marchela's would make the perfect David Hiscock homage and a photo-art souvenir of our stay at Cotswolds88hotel. Well, if you have to take the girl out of the Cotswolds, at least let her take a little of the Cotswolds back with the girl.

 

 

 

The Guestbook

Reviews of Cotswolds88 Hotel from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This is a lovely idyllic setting combined with Old World charm.

Don’t expect

I hadn't realised that the restaurant was closed on a Monday and Tuesday night. After the great breakfast experience, I would say we will have missed out on some gourmet dining!

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

It was so laid back and the staff was friendly and the decor was outstanding. Our room was lovely and we had a beautiful view of the hills.

Don’t expect

It would possibly be better if there were the option of a traditional menu alongside a la carte or nouveaux cuisine so there are choices to suit all people.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The decor and quality of finish was outstanding, creating a wonderful atmosphere. The food was really very good: I have eaten in Michelin star restaurants where the food was not as enjoyable. Service was spot on.

Don’t expect

The bar area lets the hotel down: it was pretty cramped and as a consequence drinkers were close to each other creating a rather strange atmosphere. Converting the residents' lounge into a bar could work.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The service was fantastic. The food was great.

Don’t expect

The WiFi could be better.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the decor; the rooms were very spacious.

Don’t expect

I would've liked a wider range of meals; the set dinner was very expensive. And, the hotel should take action against disruptive and noisy guests: we were kept awake until 3am by a party, which spoilt the experience slightly as we were both tired in the morning.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This is a beautiful location (quite difficult to find if you arrive in the dark, though). I had a nice room with views over the Cotswolds. We didn't eat in the resturaunt in the evening but could not fault the breakfast we received. I would definitely return.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the location and lovely garden.

Don’t expect

The WiFi did not work properly in the bedroom.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The hotel is a beautiful historic Cotswold House. With only 17 rooms it feels very intimate. We were in the top attic room (room 19) and we felt like no one else was staying in the hotel but us. Off the main lounge is also a small balcony, which is lovely to sit on in the evening and sip your drinks bathed in moonlight. The service was very friendly and just right – not the hovering sort! Food was amazing too. Every meal we had was delicious. Nice touches like taking a half-finished bottle of wine and putting in the fridge for the following evening for you. Ice buckets are supplied too should you take your own bottle of fizz to drink.

Don’t expect

I would have loved a fridge/minibar in the room.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

We had a great welcome at Cotswolds88 with the two members of staff we met both doing all they could to makes feel at home. We had had quite a long drive, so it was great to see a smiling face. One thing to watch out for, though, is the postcode being the wrong side of a dead end, so don't follow the sat nav — look out for the hotel's brown signs. Our room (no. 10) was beautifully furnished and overlooked the valley below Painswick. Toiletries in the bathroom were Molton and Brown, which was typical of the very high quality of the room. Dinner was delicious and the chef is obviously trying for a star. Cocktails before dinner were also very well done and we had a very velvety White Lady.

Don’t expect

Breakfast was very good, though perhaps a little pricey — 14.95 per head — for anyone not on an inclusive tariff.

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The question is 'What didn't we like?' We have now been here three times; this hotel has very friendly staff, amazing food and beautiful rooms all set in a quaint British Cotswold village. Highly recommended.

Don’t expect

Would be nice to have a few more vegetarian options on the dinner menu.

Rating: 10/10 stars