Part of Iconic Luxury Hotels, Cotswolds property the Lygon Arms is a sister hotel to Chewton Glen in the New Forest (reviewed here) and Cliveden House in Buckinghamshire. The historic four-star property completed an extensive multimillion-pound renovation in September last year.
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
The history of this former coaching inn stretches back to medieval times. During the English Civil War, when it was known as the White Hart Inn, it played host to both Oliver Cromwell and Charles I – look out for framed portraits of the two foes. These days, the Lygon Arms is a bolthole for mini-breakers looking to explore this particularly beautiful part of the Cotswolds.
The refurbishment has brought contemporary style to the property while respecting its abundant character and original features (stone walls and fireplaces, weighty wooden doors, mullioned windows). Reception is to the left of the medieval entrance, with a crackling fire and window seats for watching the world outside, while to the right is the reinvented Lygon Bar and Grill.
Beyond these spaces is a warren of seven cosy lounges for lingering over a drink, taking afternoon tea or perusing the paper. These include a new bar, which leads on to a freshly landscaped courtyard for sitting out in warmer weather, and, at the rear, more than a hectare of private gardens.
WHERE IS IT?
In the heart of the postcard-pretty town of Broadway in Worcestershire, about a two-hour drive from central London. Situated on the high street, the property’s chiefly Tudor façade is easy to spot as you approach by car. Pull up outside and the staff will park it for you in the car park behind the property.
Several new suites have been added during the revamp to bring the total room count to 86. Some 36 of these are located in the main house, and the rest in the Orchard, Garden and Courtyard wings. They start from 14.5 sqm (for a Cosy room; Classics are about 22.5 sqm, Deluxe rooms 25.5 sqm and Junior suites 30.5 sqm) and are homely and elegant with predominantly grey and plum colour schemes.
Included as standard are free wifi, tablets loaded with hotel information, Nespresso machines, fridges with free soft drinks, bottled water, safes, ironing boards, robes, Floris toiletries and turndown service. Many contain antique furniture, including pieces by acclaimed Arts and Crafts designer Gordon Russell, who had a studio onsite in the 1900s.
If you are looking to treat yourself, upgrade to one of the seven Courtyard suites, which are 38-48 sqm and have their own front terraces. Spacious and restful, they feature luxurious king beds, comfortable sitting areas (with sofa beds, making them suitable for families) and large bathrooms with twin sinks, tubs and walk-in showers.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
The main restaurant, now called the Lygon Bar and Grill, has undergone a stunning revamp. Street-facing, it features a beautiful barrel-vaulted ceiling, wood-panelled walls and portraits hung salon-style. It offers relaxed dining, with the menu focusing on British dishes made with local produce. A cocktail bar has been added at the far end.
We had a very good meal here. To start I had the Chewton Glen twice-baked cheese soufflé (£10), which was suitably comforting and served with a generous side of artichokes and chestnuts. My ten-ounce 30-day dry-aged ribeye steak (£29) was juicy and flavourful, while my partner’s Scottish beef tartare with egg yolk and ciabatta crisp (£19 as a main) was rich and robust. Breakfast is also served here, with à la carte dishes offered alongside a continental spread.
To the left of the main building is the Lygon Wine Bar, which specialises in Italian wines and dishes. Food and drink served in the lounges includes sandwiches, burgers and a fun range of cocktails. No meeting in the morning? Try the absinthe negroni (gin, Campari, vermouth and absinthe; £11) or the Lygon Drunken Monkey (Monkey 47 gin with Pedrino alcoholic tonic; £12).
There are three meeting rooms, all with natural light. They include the Cromwell boardroom – where he once stayed – and the Edinburgh room for 50 delegates. Exclusive hire of the hotel is available, and away days can be arranged to include the likes of duck herding and archery in the grounds.
The attractive spa comprises seven treatment rooms, a 13-metre pool with a retractable roof – lovely for an early morning dip – a spa bath, steam room, male and female saunas, a good-sized gym with Technogym kit, a relaxation room, nail studio and café. I had the revitalising facial (£85 for 60 minutes), which was wonderfully relaxing and truly left my skin feeling younger.
Guests are allowed to use the members-only Broadway golf club, less than a mile away.
Combining historic charm with stylish looks and impressive facilities, this warm and welcoming property is an excellent choice if you are looking for a base to explore the Cotswolds or simply looking to chill out in comfort for a few days.
Internet rates for an overnight stay in April started from £239 for a Cosy room.
The Lygon Arms, High Street, Broadway, Worcestershire; tel +44 (0)1386 852255; lygonarmshotel.co.uk