Luxury Explorer Review

Luxury Villa Review

The Lakes by Yoo - The Glasshouse

United Kingdom, The Cotswolds

Elegant contemporary country house luxury in the Cotswolds.

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The Lakes by Yoo - The Glasshouse

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The Lakes by Yoo - The Glasshouse
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The Lakes by Yoo - The Glasshouse


4 - all en-suite




The pretty village of Lechlade, in the Cotswolds.

Travel Information

One and a half hour’s drive from Central London, and one hour and twenty minutes from Heathrow Airport.

Top Tips

Plan a few film nights in the home cinema


Amazing outside-in living

The Lakes by Yoo - The Glasshouse

Hidden in 850 acres of Cotswolds woodland, on the exclusive The Lakes by Yoo private estate, this lakefront four bedroom architectural masterpiece offers a unique experience of “outside-in living” thanks to its glass construction. Experience a haven of tranquility where nature and contemporary design blend in perfect harmony.

There is nowhere more quintessentially English than the Cotswolds. Just an hour and a half’s drive from London, here you’ll find perfectly preserved villages, seemingly untouched for hundreds of years. Unspoiled thatched cottages, built in distinctive, glowing honey-coloured Cotswold stone sit amidst undulating fields dotted with sheep and criss-crossed by narrow lanes flanked by dry stone walls. It’s England’s largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; the home of Shakespeare and nowadays, a long list of movie stars. After a visit, you’ll want it to be your home too. 

The Lakes by Yoo is a collection of private properties and a few select rental villas. They’re the brain child of design collective Yoo Studio, co-founded by Philippe Starck.  Built around several large lakes it’s a haven for wildfowl of all descriptions; a bird-watcher’s paradise, with each property cleverly screened by woodland for total privacy. Situated only a 15 minute drive from many of the Cotswolds’ major sights (ancient Bibury, Bourton-on-the-water, Burford and the Slaughters, to name a few) it’s the perfect location for exploring.  


The Glasshouse distinguishes itself from all others on the extensive Yoo estate, because, as its name suggests, it appears entirely made of glass. It also sits within a lake itself, accessed by a single bridge and surrounded by decking. Combined, the experience is that of “outside-in living”, wholly connecting guests to nature.

Shutting the glass front door behind you feels like shutting out the worries of the world. Dramatic artwork and a centrally exposed stunning staircase first take your breath away - towering canvases, awash with colour pop out from the whitewashed walls, starkly contrasting with the black stairwell. Sizeable sculptures are perfectly placed to vie for attention with the moving tableau taking place outside, glimpsed through every spectacular floor to ceiling window. 

The Huntsman Lake, on which the house sits, ripples with the movement of swans and ducks gliding past. Diving birds cause a short-lived commotion, fish scoot past the deck, the water so clear that anything and everything can be spotted. Leaves from the lush vegetation enveloping the house contribute to this soundtrack of a gentle hush. In the summer steps down from the deck into the lake offer instant access to refreshing wild swimming. Kayaks and paddle boards can be hired, too.


Inside, there’s a serene flow between the expansive living spaces, all interconnected. At the heart of the house is a dazzling kitchen and dining area, a foodie’s heaven complete with every gadget and appliance imaginable including a tandoori oven, wine fridge and pizza oven. Of course, looking out to the lake while cooking can be highly distracting. Is that a kite or a hawk circling above, I wonder, adding topping to my pizza dough.

Separated by a striking glass wood-fired fireplace, is one of two living rooms, an elegant sunken L-shaped sofa space, with a projector throwing TV and film onto a crisp full height white wall. Another TV room, with squishy velvet chaises, is more of a cosy escape for a spot of privacy.


Each ensuite bedroom is individually designed and full of character. They all have glass walls offering a remarkable sense of sleeping outdoors when the blinds are retracted  - something we recommend for an unforgettably soothing experience. 

The master bedroom is a true showstopper, a vast 500 sq ft in size, with a direct lake view. Along with his and hers walk in wardrobes and a huge rain shower and steam room, a deep and commodious bath tub sits up against the glass for a breath-taking outlook over the lake, bathed in natural light.

Also facing onto the water is the office. Sleek and minimalist, this is one helluva desk with a view and probably not conducive to that much work.  

At the top of the staircase, the roof terrace is entered via an electric skylight and catches the sun throughout the day. With its own BBQ and dining area and far stretching views over the lake and surrounding estate, it’s a fabulous spot for sunbathing, relaxation and entertaining. 

When night falls, the fun doesn’t stop. The basement provides the ultimate relaxation and leisure zone. Descending the stairs, an enticing jacuzzi and sauna, sit on one side. With elegant sculptures and neutral tones, the ambience is one of Japanese-style zen. On the other side, in the cinema area, there’s an altogether different vibe, with movie posters, a huge bar complete with popcorn machine, and a full size snooker table. The cinema itself is extraordinary. No expense has been spared in this 9 seater screening room, from its fully reclining leather electric armchairs and dynamic lighting, to its sound system and vibration based “butt kicker” to add realism to big production movies. Mission Impossible is the film recommended by the owner for the full on experience. 


It’s tempting to remain permanently cosied up in this incredibly comfy abode, but the great outdoors calls and there’s an infinite array of options to entertain both young and old without ever leaving the estate’s grounds. The lakes are an endless source of fun, offering kayaking, fishing, and even a zip-line across them. There’s endless walks, an arboretum, a vegetable patch and herb garden, a hennery where you can help yourself to eggs, a bird-hide and even a small beach.


The Orchard spa offers indulgent relaxation and beauty treatments using local Bamford products. There’s a heated indoor swimming pool tiled in a deep blue and surrounded by yet more glass - along with a sauna and steam room - providing another space to switch off. 

It’s hard to leave this safe haven. Hopefully we’ll have the chance to return to explore other lakefront villas, all offering their own individual allure for peaceful holiday escapes to the country.

Each rental home at The Lakes by Yoo is available for weekly and shorter weekend and mid-week breaks. For pricing and availability, please contact our concierge.

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