From the outside it’s a stunning Italianate manor house set in classical cascade-filled grounds; inside it’s a flawless, hip hotel, with 21st-century good looks. And although the style is cool, the welcome from ever-helpful staff is warm. After checking into your state-of-the-art room – in six categories with plenty for families – you can while away time playing pool in the padded leather billiards room, drinking in the funky bar or relaxing on the elegant stone terrace, a sun trap with fabulous views. If you’re inclined to go walking there are wellies by the front door or bicycles for those who want to feel the wind in their hair. Although the restaurant at Cowley Manor is in a magnificent panelled room, the atmosphere is relaxed and the menus (including for children) concentrate on robust, seasonal British food. Star of the show is the modernist, award-winning spa, C-Side, with its organic bath and skincare range, Green & Spring, and two pools. Cowley Manor is contemporary cool and elegant stone grandeur, seamlessly blended.
Doubles from £205
+44 (0)1242 870900; cowleymanor.com