Luxury Explorer Review

5-Star Hotel Review

The Fish Hotel

United Kingdom

A back-to-nature family-friendly retreat in the heart of the Cotswolds

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The Fish Hotel
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The Fish Hotel


Broadway, Cotswolds, England

Travel Information

The hotel is a 1 1/2 hour drive from London, and a similar time by train (with a 15 minute taxi transfer)

Top Tips

Be sure to visit Broadway Tower, an 18th-century folly on the top of Broadway Hill. Pack a picnic (which The Fish can provide) and take in the panoramic views stretching to North Wales

5-Star X-Factors

Luxury treehouses are few and far between in the UK. These were designed by the team who worked on Chewton Glen’s arboreal retreats. It’s a bucket list experience - and tremendously enjoyable

The Fish

Tucked away, on the 400-acre hillside Farncombe Estate in the Northern Cotswolds, The Fish Hotel is a boutique property with some extraordinary features. A recent £4 million revamp heralds the arrival of several new additions, including three show-stopping luxury treehouses.

“You don’t have to be a kid to appreciate the sheer awesomeness of treehouses,” the hotel says - and how true that is. Entering our tree top location via a wobbly rope bridge is just such fun. The bridge leads to an expansive private wraparound decking area, with tables and chairs, and two enormous his & hers wooden baths, overlooking the forest canopy. I pop the complimentary prosecco (one of many treats in the mini bar), and recline in the vast tub, warmed by the glow of candlelit lanterns. Listening only to the sounds of the birds, we breathe a sigh of complete relaxation.

Scandi Chic

Inside, it’s a 50sqm space, all oak interiors under curved walls. There’s a ‘hygge’ theme, reflecting the laid-back Scandi-chic design - as inviting in winter as it is in summer, particularly with the addition of underfloor heating. It’s an open plan living area, with a big comfy bed with high quality soft linen, textured blankets and a stylish retro radio at one end. At the other, there’s an L-shaped sofa with cushions, rugs, books, stacks of board games and a flat screen TV.

A spacious second bedroom with bunk beds is ideal for families. For those looking to bathe inside, there is an ensuite bathroom, with a bath and shower, and a selection of divine Temple Spa bath products.

A note to consider is that while we loved our stay among the trees, we noticed the treehouse became incredibly hot, as it is not possible to open the windows. We therefore had to sleep with the front door open - but if you travel with a dog (which is allowed in one of the three treehouses), that may be tricky.

Hideaway Huts

A collection of five new “Hideaway Huts” opened this month. These converted Shepherd’s Huts, which are dotted around the grounds, feature a cosy double bed and a roll top freestanding bath, as well as a separate shower room. Similar to the treehouses in style, there’s an L-shaped sofa, and a wood burning fire for those chillier evenings. A private deck - some with river views - offer ample seating as well as an oversized outdoor bath tub that fits two people. For a romantic bolthole, these are a great choice.

A stroll down the hill leads to the new Hook restaurant. Former two Michelin star chef Martin Burge took on the role of culinary director here in 2017 and has introduced a delectable maritime-inspired menu. We tuck into juicy scallops followed by the catch of the day, accompanied by fresh local vegetables, and buttery potatoes - simple, but superb. We eat on the large paved terrace, but inside there is a light and airy dining room, with an open kitchen for watching chefs at work.

The following morning we are welcomed at breakfast with a continental buffet featuring cereals, pastries, cheeses, meats and fruits. The chef’s station is also open, with cooked to order eggs and full English accoutrements.

Family fun

This is such a great spot for families. The activity team can set up archery and segway tours, and there is a children’s playzone in the woods. A private cinema can be hired from £15 per person, and there’s a new games room with a pool and foosball table. Dog lovers will enjoy the eight obstacle dog agility course.

Soothing Spa

If you’re looking for pampering, on week days guests can book spa days at sister property Dormy House, up the road. The House Spa has been winning awards since the day it opened, offering guests soothing individual spa treatments, Scandi-style thermal suites, a tranquil indoor pool and a terrace hot tub.

If you prefer the great outdoors, then head to The Fish’s photogenic welly room, lined with pretty boots in every size, as well as printed walking maps of the area. We’re in the heart of the Cotswolds countryside, surrounded by patchwork fields, and rolling hill panoramas. It’s complete back-to-nature seclusion despite being within 1 1/2 hours by train or car from London.

Outstanding Beauty

From our treehouse door it is a 25 minute walk (or 5 minute drive) to the top of honey-hued Broadway High Street, with its quaint tea rooms, smart pubs and galleries. The Cotswolds is England’s largest area of outstanding natural beauty and the hotel is ideally situated for exploring its exquisite chocolate box villages. We return to London both relaxed and energised. If only every weekend could be spent at The Fish.

Holly Rubenstein
Holly Rubenstein

Luxury Explorer
Luxury Explorer
Luxury Explorer

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