It doesn’t hit you how much you need a break until you actually go away, does it?
After what has been a physically and emotionally draining period of juggling work with homeschool for 5 long months, a weekend away at the De Vere Cotswold Hotel* for some much-needed R and R was just what this mama needed!
It provided an opportunity for the whole family to collectively exhale and reconnect in a new, tranquil surrounding, and I for one, feel like a brand new human being for it!
The De Vere Cotswolds Water Park Hotel is more a modern complex than a traditional hotel and it curves itself around a picturesque lake at its core, one of 152 lakes in fact spread across the Cotswolds Water Park.
We enjoyed several strolls around the lake which boasts adjacent streams and ponds the children threw pebbles and pooh sticks into!
This was just a stone’s throw away (literally) from our vast apartment in the furthest wing of the complex, The Watersmeet which boasted two ample sized bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, a compact kitchen, sprawling lounge and outside area to sunbathe in, if we fancied it.
Our master bed was comfy as could be and despite me drinking far too much vino (FYI that’s 2 glasses over here) on the Saturday night, I slept like a baby, my second baby that is!
The entire complex is one happy-making sunlight magnet and as it’s secluded in countryside (despite being just a short drive from the nearby pastel coloured villages closeby) the only sound you’ll hear are the tweets of the birds.
I’d like make it clear that every care was taken to reassure us that health and safety measures were in place in light of the current crisis, with hand sanitisation units on every corner as well clear sign posting to remind guests to comply with social distancing.
Gift bags with disposable masks, hand gel and handy socks could also be found in all of the rooms and apartments (I didn’t pack enough socks for the kids so those came in handy).
Importantly, our apartment was deep cleaned before arrival and our room keys were placed in sanitised envelopes for our safety.
Even the teddies kindly left on the children’s beds were encased in clean and transparent plastic bags.
The hotel also operated on a cashless system and staff wore masks so we always felt safe and protected.
Equally, when I visited the hotel spa (Spa 6) on the Sunday, masseur Melissa wore PPE and took my temperature before the treatment took place.
A gentle aromatherapy massage with mandarin and lavender essential oils, I fell asleep at one point (which is always a sign of a good massage) and Melissa made me feel both welcome and safe at all times.
The Spa Manager, Louise was also generous with her time, taking us on a tour of the hotel on arrival, ensuring we felt comfortable and content, even arranging chocolate treats for the boys when she noticed they were hungry. It’s this attention to detail and thoughtfulness which trul;y makes hotels like The De Vere Cotswolds Water Park stand apart from its competitors.
Another highlight was being able to swim again. We lapped up (get it) every minute of the hour we had in the hotel’s luxe hydro pool on site and again felt safe due to the extra measures taken with those using the facilities.
For safety purposes, only a few people were allowed to use the pool at a time and for 1 hour sessions only, to ensure regular cleans. We actually spent most of our session alone in the pool, distancing when another family joined us towards the end.
Alexander had forgotten how to swim to start with bless him but after a short while, he was soon racing his brother and front-crawling with ease. I liked that the entire pool was shallow so I didn’t have to worry about the boys either.
The sauna and steam room were understandably closed during this time but the Experience Shower and Cold Water Bucket Shower were available for those brave enough to sample them (not me!). I did lounge on the underwater recliners for a breather from all the laps I clocked up though and it’s well worth booking a swimming session if you visit.
When it came to the food at the hotel, it was excellent across the board, as were all the extras such as Continental Breakfast left in paper bags outside of our apartment (you could order a hot bap option if you wished too), as well as items stocked in our apartment’s fridge with over 10 bottles of still and sparkling water, orange juice and milk (as well as non dairy options) and a wide range of snacks such as fruit, crisps, biscuits and muffins. This generosity makes a huge difference to families there as children are constantly hungry and not needing to source food and drink meant less stress for us!
As well as enjoying the open countryside nearby, within the complex, the kids squeeled with excitment when they saw the Games Room with its retro arcade games and fusball and table tennis tables.
I personally loved the Hotel sweet shop which offered a huge variety of local delicies and treats from chocolate banana pieces I couldn’t get enough of to Cornish ice cream and artisan crisps. I ate in peace whilst they played. Good times!
We also dined al fresco at The Old Boathouse restaurant on site which overlooks the lake. The Bar and Restaurant offers a considered seasonal menu incorporating fusion dishes with much-loved classics. Tthe Jalepeno poppers with lime and corianger mayo with their creamy come spicy hit and the tempura prawns were top-notch as was the fillet steak.
The portion sizes were perfect for a hungry family who’d played all day, and the waitress had thoughtfully marked up the children’s menus highlighting available choices in light of their allergies which saved both time and stress.
Oliver said it was the tastiest chicken he’d eaten! The cheesecake sure went down well too! Yum!
A wonderful meal, hotel, surroundings and company. What more could an exhausted mum ask for?!
We spent the entire weekend laughing until we cried (you can watch my Insta videos for all the madness) feeling more carefree and happy than we have in a long time.
Thank you De Vere Cotswolds Water Park for your hospitality and care.
Now, excitingly dear reader, you can win a stay with your family here. Find out all the details on how to enter below! Good luck!
*This was a press trip but as always, my words are honest and my own.
De Vere prize: An overnight stay in a family room at De Vere Cotswold Water park with breakfast included
De Vere competition terms and conditions:
The prize is available for up to a family of four, maximum of two adults and two children only, in a family room only. Prize winner must be aged 18 and over. Only one winner will be drawn. The prize is non-transferable, non-refundable, non-exchangeable and there are no cash alternatives. Prize may be changed without prior notice. Prize to be redeemed and booked by 31/12/2021 and is subject to availability. Reservation must be booked in advance by contacting the PR team at Devere@daviestanner.com. Travel expenses are not included. Any extras not mentioned in the prize, including food and drinks, will be charged. Prize to be claimed at De Vere Cotswold Water Park only.
If the winner does not respond within 7 days of the notification email being sent, a new winner will be selected.
Ends 1st October 2020.
Enter more competitions here.