Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa | COTSWOLDS HOTEL REVIEW

Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa is a luxury manor house hotel located just on the edge of Malmesbury in the Cotswolds, just a 35-minute car journey away from Bath or 1.5 hours on the train from London. With beautiful bedrooms, a relaxing spa, 12 acres of garden to explore and three fantastic restaurants, it's the perfect countryside escape to destress and unwind.  

Key Facts ✏️
  • 5-star hotel ⭐️
  • 2 Michelin-starred restaurant 
  • Beautiful Cotswolds location 🌿
  • Committed to sustainability 🌍
  • 23 rooms and suites, starting at around £250 a night for a classic room 
  • Dog-friendly 🐕
  • No children under 12 


Bedroom 🛏

Whatley Manor is a manor house style hotel, meaning that every room is unique in its own way while being both elegant and providing a country feel. We were lucky enough to stay in one of their suites (starting at around £500 a night) which was absolutely beautiful. 

The bedroom itself had an incredible bed that I wish I could have brought home with me. The sheets were incredibly smooth and cool, and the super-king size bed super soft (it's by luxury bed manufacturer Harrison Spinks... I need to get one of these ASAP). Next to the bed, there were a couple of buttons, one of which opened and closed the curtains to a massive window that let in a golden stream of sunlight in the morning.





In terms of storage, there was more than enough hanging space for your clothes both in the bedroom and in the hallway, great for suits and dresses.

The room also had a large separate living room equipped with plush sofas, a Bang & Olufsen TV (there was one in the bedroom too) and a desk area. It was the perfect area to hang out in if you didn't want to go to one of the several lounges in the hotel.



In terms of amenities, the room was equipped with still and sparkling water (glass bottles), homemade cookies (which were delicious), a coffee and tea making area, crisps made using renewable energy (🤯), a chocolate bar and some elderflower cordial. All of this was complimentary which we really appreciated as often hotels add on extortionate prices for their minibar. We also really appreciated how sustainable the little touches around the room were, for example, the glass bottled water and the crisps. 

5/5 ⭐️

Bathrooms 🛁

The main bathroom came with both a shower and a bath, both of which had a strong steady stream of warm water. The bath actually had some bath salts in a little coconut bowl (so sweet), and there were several Molton Brown products in reusable jars.




There were two white fluffy bathrobes and pairs of slippers (which didn't have any plastic packaging), as well as underfloor heating which we really appreciated. 

These are just a couple of small, thoughtful examples of how sustainable Whatley Manor is being. Rather than having several small plastic amenities that guests take home with them (and generally never end up using, leading to lots of plastic waste), housekeeping at Whatley Manor sterilises the jars and fills them back up in time for the next guest's arrival.






Because our room was a suite, it actually came with a bathroom which was down the corridor, and an extra separate toilet which was closer to the bedroom. We really liked this as it was much easier to get to in the middle of the night.

5/5 ⭐️


Breakfast

Unlike several other hotels, Whatley Manor doesn't have a buffet in sight. Instead, they focus on a two-course menu using high-quality ingredients, presented in a luxurious style.

On the table, we were given deliciously buttery, flaky croissants, paired with various jams. We were also promptly given our choice of warm drink (mint tea), juice (fresh orange) and toast (white).



The first course had some lighter options such as bircher muesli and their very own grain and seed mix cereal. One of us decided to go for the fruit salad which was light, fresh and a nice starter. The other one of us went for the smoked salmon tartare with dill cream and a crumpet. The dill cream was exquisite, and the smoked salmon was very high-quality.


To follow, we both went for the avocado on sourdough toast with smoked salmon - it usually comes with poached eggs, but we asked for these to be removed. The sourdough was the same as the one used in The Dining Room (the Michelin-starred restaurant), and it came beautifully presented. The avocado was cut in a rose shape and the same fresh, high-quality and delicious smoked salmon was used.


It was lovely to have a proper breakfast as opposed to a buffet, and it was a great start to the morning. As always, Whatley Manor's staff were very kind, attentive and accommodating.

5/5 ⭐️


Restaurants & Bars 

As mentioned before, Whatley Manor has three different restaurants, all of which are excellent.

The Dining Room just recently won its second Michelin star. Niall Keating's menus focus on using high-quality seasonal produce to create exquisite dishes, tying modern British cuisine in with Asian influences from his travels. We would highly recommend the gastronomic experience. Click here to read our full review.



Grey's Brasserie is a more casual restaurant with a sophisticated vibe and a great menu to match. We would highly recommend their chateaubriand with béarnaise sauce. I think it's been replaced by a côte de boeuf to share which I'm sure is equally as delicious. Order it with fries and their pomme purée which are the smoothest, tastiest mashed potatoes we've ever tried. Click here to read our full review.



The Green Room is a gastronomy bar where you can sit and watch the chefs create delicious small plates before your eyes. It's a truly unique experience, and you can either spend the whole evening here or have a couple of sharing plates before heading into Grey's Brasserie for your main meal. Click here to read our full review.





The food at all three restaurants is of very high quality. It's delicious, well thought out and all three of them offer their own, unique experiences. What we love in particular is how so many of the ingredients are local. A lot of the meat, fish, cheese and eggs are from the UK, and lots of their herbs and vegetables even come from the hotel's very own vegetable patch which you can see if you take a walk around the property. You can't get any more local than that.

5/5 ⭐️ (We would honestly give it more if we could)



Spa, Gym & Other Amenities

The setting itself is stunning and the garden is immaculate. We visited lots of the surrounding gardens when we were there, and there's a sweet stream that runs down the end of the property - you can even order a picnic from the kitchens and have it at one of the picnic benches down there. Don't worry about packing your wellies, there are a couple of those plus some Dubarry boots to borrow!






We love the fact that there are also several lounge areas around the hotel - you almost feel as if you're staying at a friend's home. We curled up by the fire and read books, chatted in the lounge, played croquet on the lawn and even played a couple of games of chess. There's even a private cinema that you can rent for £40 with your very own popcorn!





The spa has an indoor/outdoor hydrotherapy pool, heated stone recliners and a thermal suite. It's a great place to relax and unwind, however it can get quite busy as it isn't reserved for hotel guests only. While the gym is small, there are several machines covering both weight training and cardio which is more than enough considering that there are only 23 rooms in the hotel.

There are also several treatments that you can book including body treatments, massages and manicures, however, we didn't experience any of these so cannot comment. Although children above 12 are welcome at Whatley Manor, only those above 16 can use the spa and gym making it pretty much an adult-only zone, perfect for complete relaxation.

4/5 ⭐️

Location 📍

The setting itself is stunning. With 12 acres of garden to explore and lots of rolling green hills to look at, it's the perfect place to unwind. Any city noises are long gone, and you can actually hear the birds singing in the mornings.



In terms of getting there, it's relatively fuss-free but could be easier. The closest station is Chippenham, from which you need to get a 20-minute taxi (around £25) to the property. If you want to drive from Bath, it's around 35 minutes and from London around 2 hours depending on where you are in the city.  That being said, the journey is definitely worth it as Whatley Manor is a little secluded for a very good reason. The staff are more than happy to help you book a taxi whenever you require one. 

4/5 ⭐️

Price 💰

£££-££££ Being a luxury hotel, it's definitely on the more expensive side, however, standard rooms start at around £250, and the largest, most lavish room starts at around £700. Although this was a complimentary stay and experience, we would definitely come back as paying customers and several of our close friends have already visited after our initial review in the summer.

Overall, we would highly, highly recommend Whatley Manor to anyone looking for a countryside escape. While there are only 23 rooms, the property is spread out and there are lots of things to do, so you never feel like it's crowded in any way. The service is absolutely incredible: nothing is too much trouble and the staff are very kind, thoughtful and attentive in all areas of the hotel. Although it's not ideal for families with young children, it's great for those who would rather not hear screaming children whilst enjoying the spa, reading by the fire or eating delicious food in one of the restaurants. 

Thank you Whatley Manor for having us and making our stay so special! 


Disclaimer: Press invite - Complimentary stay.

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