Overall we had a nice time at Cowley but it was average as hotel experiences go.
The setting is fabulous and we loved the fact that the hotel is dog friendly - ask for one of the 2 stable block rooms where they allow dogs. Our puppy came with us and he didn’t go on the lead for the 3 days we were there. The grounds are extensive and the walk around the two lakes is very relaxing even in the pouring rain – the hotel has wellies for guests to borrow if they forget your own which is a nice touch.
We had a “good” room which is the basic level and were pleasantly surprised. As it was in the stable block, the bedroom area was on the ground floor with a spacious bathroom on the mezzanine with freestanding bath and a huge separate shower. Interiors are funky and modern and all in all very comfortable. The stable block rooms also have garden doors making it very easy to let dogs out to go and do what they need to do.
The main house was pleasant enough but I’m not sure all the attempts at forcing modern interior design into an old building are 100% successful. Some of it works well, some of it less so.
The food at Cowley is rather disappointing which is a shame because the menus look fantastic and I was looking forward to eating in the restaurant. Unfortunately it was not to be - it just didn’t seem that the food was cooked with care. Basic things like I got a side order of broccoli which had been boiled until it was softer than you would find in school dinners all over the country. The food is edible but it’s just disappointing – I was expecting better. The lowlight was when I ordered a burger in the spa thinking “they can’t get a burger wrong” and it arrived raw in the middle.
The pool is nice – great to be able to just pop in for a quick swim. Although if you’re looking for a WOW factor spa pool this isn’t it. If that’s what you’re after check out the spa at Whatley Manor in Wiltshire instead.
The staff are very friendly and are accommodating and helpful. Despite their best efforts though we ended up joking that all the staff looked like young students working part-time and as a result not everything was dealt with as you would expect – for example bathroom products not replaced by housekeeping, so you have to call down for shampoo after you’re in the shower and all wet and then wait etc. They are friendly though and they seem to be trying their best.
All in all, we had a nice stay. We wanted to escape for a weekend and not do anything but walk the dog and veg out and that’s what we did. The food could have been nicer and the service less lacking in attention to detail but we got over it.
It’s not what it’s cracked up to be and we would look for an alternative next time we want to escape for the weekend.
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- Also Known As:
- Cowley Manor Hotel Cowley
- Manor Hotel Cowley
- Cowley Manor Cotswolds