Barnsley House and Spa, The Cotswolds

From the moment you pass through the gates of Barnsley House you enter a world that is relaxed and designed to make you forget about your life back home.

You are greeted with the warmest of welcomes.  In fact all the staff regardless of their position are genuinely friendly, there is no place for snootiness at Barnsley House. It is described as a home from home where you feel as if you're joining a big happy family. We were incredibly lucky to have been upgraded and when we entered our room, we couldn't believe our eyes.

The room was in what seemed like the old stables/outbuilding. You entered into a large living area with a huge deeply comfortable sofa and massive TV screen. The  impeccable bathroom was off this room, spacious with a huge bath tub and walk in shower. Fluffy towels and dressing gowns encouraged a lot of lounging from me whilst I indulged in the generous amount of aromatherapy toiletries.

Then upstairs was a vast bedroom with again another huge TV screen. The most comfortable bed in the world and a lovely dressing table. There is a great attention to detail; magazines to read, a Nespresso machine and a great variety of Pig teas to choose from, as well as fruit, biscuits, sweets and snacks.

The main house is a picture of understated elegance, roaring log fires glowing in each sitting area. There are plenty of nooks and crannies to escape to, and enjoy the smell of the wood fires or to read your book with a nice cup of tea or something stronger.  Designed by the late Gardener Rosemary Verey, the gardens are also wonderful place to take a leisurely stroll, they looked particularly beautiful under a blanket of frost on our Sunday morning walk.

However, if you truly want to relax then their Garden Spa is the place to head to. We spent a couple of hours in the amazing hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam room. The essential oils permeating the air instill an instant feeling of well being, the husband had a massage (my birthday treat to him) which he reported back as being one of the best he's ever had. The fact he slept most of the way home and walked around like a zombie seems to be a good testament to that.

There is also a cinema room, a vast DVD library which you're encouraged to help yourself too. Barnsley House is set in a very quiet picture postcard perfect village with only one pub (which also belongs to the same group), so don't come here expecting a night life. You come to relax, enjoy good local food, delicious wines and a great Armagnac, as we did!

We had the most incredible weekend in a very special place. I'd like to thank Barnsley House for the best stay we've had in a UK hotel and we cannot wait to return!

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