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Hotel Highlights

  • Cosy country manor with all mod cons, set in an idyllic Cotwolds hamlet
  • Modern French and British cuisine served in an atmospheric restuarant with an excellent wine list
  • Family-friendly but still glamorous and romantic; ideal for festivals and racing fixtures in Cheltenham

Overview

In one of the prettiest spots in Gloucestershire, Lower Slaughter Manor hotel scraps the traditional country retreat template by offering all the trimmings and luxury design flourishes that you’d expect in a stylish boutique hotel in the city. (Think rich fabrics, aubergine-and-taupe décor and oversized beds.) Of course, all of this is set in a stately home in the Cotswolds, surrounded by impeccably landscaped gardens, green rolling fields and a charming village.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Lower Slaughter Manor with us:

A half-bottle of house champagne in your room on arrival, and late check-out (12 noon)

Facilities

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Lower Slaughter Manor Hotel - Cotswolds - United Kingdom

Need To Know

Rooms

19, including nine suites.

Check–out

11am, but flexible subject to availability. Check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $222.19 (£138), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include full English breakfast and a newspaper.

Also

Book in-room beauty treatments, or get the hotel to arrange boredom-busting activities: they can sort out anything from archery and rock-climbing to murder-mystery evenings, blind 4x4 driving, and duck herding. Yes, you did read that correctly.

At the hotel

Five acres of landscaped gardens, croquet lawn, tennis court, DVD library. In rooms, Vi-Spring mattresses, TV, CD/DVD player, iPod dock, free WiFi, bottled water and sherry, fresh fruit.

Our favourite rooms

For an extravagant weekend of romance, book one of the ground-floor Garden rooms in the Coach House: Valentine Strong is a decadent suite with a bathroom featuring twin roll-top baths that gives onto a private garden with a hot tub; Magnolia is a huge double with a freestanding bath and private garden. Deluxe and Master rooms on the second floor of the main house have wonderful views of the village; Mrs Smiths will love Longborough – it has a freestanding roll-top bath and a separate dressing room.

Packing tips

Slippers, robes and luxury toiletries are all provided. Bring your bathers if you fancy a dip in the hot tub, and activity-proof clothes if you want to try quad-biking, rock-climbing or any of the other more mud-prone outdoors options.

Also

Two-night minimum stay at weekends.

Children

Lower Slaughter Manor is a good choice for getaways en famille, particularly if your children are young. Three sets of rooms can be connected for families. Cribs (free) and extra beds (£50 a night, including breakfast) can be provided.

Read more

Food & Drink

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Lower Slaughter Manor Hotel - Cotswolds - United Kingdom

Hotel Restaurant

Silk-lined, crystal-spangled Sixteen58 offers fine dining from Jamie Raftery (former chef at The French Laundry), using local, seasonal delights. The sommelier has amassed an impressive cellar of vintage champagnes and prestige wines.

Hotel Bar

There’s no bar, but waiters will bring you whatever you desire. The drinks menu will melt whisky-lovers’ hearts.

Last orders

9.30pm in the restaurant.

Room service

During restaurant hours you can order from the Sixteen58 menu, out of those hours classic room service favourites are available, such as sandwiches and soup.

Smith Insider

Dress code

It’s not stuffy here, but pack your smartest casuals.

Top table

An intimate table for two overlooking the gardens.

Local Guide

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Lower Slaughter Manor Hotel - Cotswolds - United Kingdom
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

The Georgian charms of Cheltenham are a few pleasant miles’ drive away. Have a nose around town, or attend an event at one of the festivals: there’s jazz in May, a series of science events in June, music in July and literature in October(www.cheltenhamfestivals.co.uk). Horseracing fans will know that the famous Cheltenham Gold Cup is held at the nearby racecourse (www.cheltenham.co.uk), but there are plenty of other race meetings throughout the season. You're also close to Batsford Arboretum and delightful Cotwolds towns including antiques-shop heaven Stow-on-the-Wold and Bourton-on-the-Water. Give something back to the community and take part in dry-stone wall reparations or tree-planting projects organised by local groups (www.gvcv.org.uk).

Local restaurants

Set in a honey-coloured rectory in Upper Slaughter, the whisper-quiet, romantic restaurant at Lords of the Manor is known for its on-trend British cuisine (+44 (0)1451 820243). At the Royalist hotel in Stow-on-the-Wold, 947AD (+44 (0)1451 830670) has a menu that reads like a mediaeval banquet of meat, fish and game, including ox cheeks, mackerel and guinea fowl. Next door, its gastropub Eagle and Child (+44 (0)1451 830670) is a popular lunchtime stop-off, serving British favourites cooked with flair – we love the steak, kidney and thyme suet pudding. Booking is advisable at both on busy weekends. In Chipping Campden, have a pre-dinner champagne cocktail at the bar in Hick’s Brasserie at Cotswold House hotel, before moving into Juliana’s Restaurant to enjoy its excellent Modern British and Mediterranean menu (+44 (0)1386 840330).

+ Enlarge
Gloucestershire’s prettiest village

Lower Slaughter Manor

Lower Slaughter, Cotswolds, GL54 2HP, United Kingdom

Planes

The nearest airports are Bristol International and Birmingham. The international hubs in London are a little further – Heathrow's 74 miles away, Gatwick is 138 miles.

Trains

A direct train runs from London Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh, where you'll need to catch a taxi or bus to Bourton-on-the-Water. The hotel is about a mile further north east.

Automobiles

The M40 will come in handy from both London and the Midlands.

Reviews

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Lower Slaughter Manor Hotel - Cotswolds - United Kingdom

Anonymous review

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

This review of Lower Slaughter Manor in Gloucestershire is taken from our guidebook Mr & Mrs Smith: Hotel Collection – UK/Ireland Volume 2. I had my first afternoon at Lower Slaughter Manor in the Cotwolds all worked out: we’d arrive, explore, potter, drink tea – and then I’d let the pampering commence. Except, my in-room facial and pedicure was supposed to start half …
Read more

Lower Slaughter Manor

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

This review of Lower Slaughter Manor in Gloucestershire is taken from our guidebook Mr & Mrs Smith: Hotel Collection – UK/Ireland Volume 2.

I had my first afternoon at Lower Slaughter Manor in the Cotwolds all worked out: we’d arrive, explore, potter, drink tea – and then I’d let the pampering commence. Except, my in-room facial and pedicure was supposed to start half an hour ago, and we were still stuck in a tailback in the wrong county, with temperatures rising and blood boiling. When we’d set off from home, it had been the kind of glorious, early summer day on which, if you’re not careful, you burn your driving arm on the sunny side. Mr Smith scalded his. ‘Lower Slaughter’ – a name that was already proving strangely apt, thanks to the en-route limb reddening.

A hint of Hammer House of Horror isn’t an obvious element in the name of a boutique-hotel getaway. But thankfully, images of horror-movie carnage are the last thing to spring to mind as you crunch up the 18th-century coach house’s sweeping gravel drive. The imposing country manor, which overlooks a gentle curve in the dreamy River Eye, has got that tranquillity thing down to a T, with its bowling-green perfect lawn, ancestral chestnut and beech trees, and walled gardens dotted with statues, old climbing roses and gnarly fruit trees.

I don’t know why I’d got so hot and bothered about being late; nobody else was. Check-in is a seamless affair and Mr Smith barely gets a chance to dump his suitcase in our room before he’s banished with his book to make way for the pre-booked therapist, who has managed to rearrange her schedule so she can make my pain go away. A few calming, soothing moments later, the garden doors are open, and I’m zoning out with a lavender-and-mint-scented zephyr wafting over me from the walled garden outside. The only thing that breaks my trance is a low, rhythmic grunting sound. Which – quelle horreur – I realise is me. Snoring.

Still, I’m in the perfect position to check out the decor. Lower Slaughter Manor rocks the classic country-house-chic look, but with enough contemporary flourishes to knock any suggestion of fuddy-duddiness on the head. I mentally tick off my list of requirements: luxe drapery in opulent fabrics – yup. Sexy aubergine and taupe colour scheme – check. Enormous, Princess-and-the-Pea-sized bed – can’t miss it. Knock-out bathroom? I think the freestanding claw-foot bath and the wet room have got that covered. All that, and an abundance of scatter cushions. You get the feeling that if you were to fall, you’d never be too far from something soft and squishy to bounce you back up again. Oh yes, I’m feeling to the manor born and, on discovering the complimentary decanter of sherry, come over all Penelope Keith. Mr Smith, on the other hand, is busy eyeing up the enormous flatscreen plasma TV, the free WiFi and iPod-ready stereo. Men really are from Mars.

But the best was yet to come. I don’t know how we missed it but, tucked inside our private, walled garden is a huge hot tub, complete with sparkly lights for added LA-style glamour. It’s a shame I hadn’t known it was there, otherwise I’d have brought my bikini. (Well, a shame for anyone in the room upstairs that happens to glance down upon us as I dive in, sans swimwear.)

All pampered and hot-tubbed, I’m sorely in need of a pre-dinner reviver. With no main bar, drinks are served in lounges, all stuffed full with antique furniture, gilt-framed paintings and dominated by enormous log fireplaces. It feels like we’ve wandered, unchallenged, into a gentleman’s club in Piccadilly – only without the cigar smoke and old boys.

We sip our aperitifs and pore over the dinner menu which, as well as your old-school favourites (smoked salmon, Châteaubriand, tarte tatin), also has your contemporary classics (Gloucestershire Old Spot, line-caught sea bass). Appetites suitably whetted, we head through to the chocolate-brown dining room, where hushed conversations are punctuated by the chink of crystal goblet and the scrape of chunky silver on fine bone china. It’s the kind of experience that would make any girl feel special. Breakfast is served in the same room. But, come morning, we discover that the daylight has transformed Lower Slaughter’s dining room into an airy, sunny space with engaging views of the gardens, which are a perfect blend of formal and cottage planting.

I’d love to report that we worked off the calories of our full English breakfasts by getting up at dawn for a canter across dewy fields, before fitting in a round of golf at the local 18-hole course. We do at least talk about a spot of tennis. But then we get held up pootling about in Chipping Norton, where we end up eating slabs of home-made chocolate cake and people-watching outside the charming, independent Jaffe and Neale bookshop and café. The combination of sedate pace, country air and obscene amounts of carbohydrate has rendered us good for not much other than sighing happily and eating more cake.

We meander back through the kind of green and pleasant picture-perfect scenes that calendar salesmen make fortunes from. Enamoured of the country life, I even sneak a look in a few local estate agents’ windows and innocently mention to self-confessed, die-hard townie Mr Smith that, if the Young Farmers need any (not-so-young) recruits, I’d like to be considered. If it hadn’t been such an incredibly romantic escape, I think my comment might have earned me the kind of reaction that would make Lower Slaughter live up to its name after all…

The Guestbook

Reviews of Lower Slaughter Manor 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…

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Lower Slaughter Manor was made for relaxing. There's lots of space with side rooms and nooks appearing throughout the building. This, coupled with the free decanter of sherry in the rooms, makes for a rather old-world feel. They even give free use of very posh wellies for ploughing through the surrounding fields and lanes. The restaurant is superb – fine dining at its best. This is the first fine-dining place where I have not had to count the mouthfuls nor wonder if there would be a new supply of biscuits waiting for us in our room.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved the peace and quiet of the charming village setting and the hotel staff. Everything was fantastic

 

Rating: 7/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The hotel looks beautiful on the outside the inside. Room (suite) was perfect for us and meant we could use it to relax in as well as sleep. Free sherry a nice (if a little old fashioned) touch! Food was fantastic; we loved the breakfast choices. Best of all however is the service: attentive, personal and dedicated. Loved it.

Don’t expect

The dining room needs to have pillars or be redesigned as in the evening there is no ambience; you feel you have to whisper!

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Lovely hotel; we had a beautiful room; staff members all very helpful at all times. We got engaged so it will be a special place for us.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I went to the hotel with my sister and brother in law and had a wonderful time. The staff was very attentive and gave us numerous suggestions on where to go and what to see. We will return

Don’t expect

It was all great.

Rating: 10/10 stars