I’ve stayed at a lot of hotels over the years, but something about the Old Swan & Minster Mill has stuck with me. It made me feel all warm inside, like I had arrived back at home, and for that, I will keep this review brief.. as I believe that says it all. Romantically set in 65 acres of woodland and orchards, The Old Swan & Minster Mill is over 600 years old and located only 14 miles from Oxford.
The Old Swan & Minster Mill is nestled in idyllic grounds in the picturesque village of Minster Lovell, and it is the most quintessentially British hotel I have stayed in. The hotel even has a river (River Windrush) running next to the hotel, and an adjoining mill, which seamlessly blend the rural charm of these historic buildings with modern design, luxurious comfort and delicious menus crafted from the best seasonal produce. The hotel is home to stunning gardens, wild flower meadows and woodland, that comes alive during the summer, and gives you a chance to explore the British countryside. You can also partake in some fishing, walking, croquet and tennis, whilst during the winter there is nothing better than sitting in the snug, next to the roaring fire.
Old Swan & Minster Mill offers boutique, timber-framed respite from urban life. Me and Theo stayed here during the weekend of Wilderness Festival (which you can read about here), which was only five miles away, and a short drive. We opted for a hotel stay instead of camping as we were fed up with feeling rubbish at festivals, and never enjoying them, either due to loss of sleep or being uncomfortable. We loved having the luxury of a hotel, whilst also being able to chuck on the wellies and head across to Wilderness. Old Swan & Minster Mill was the perfect place to enjoy our weekend!
Why not have lunch on the terrace, or while away the afternoon with a soothing ESPA spa treatment. The hotel has 60 rooms split between the Old Swan, a 600 year-old coach house that includes the restaurant and bar, and the modern Minster Mill, where reception is, which looks onto the gardens and river.
We were super impressed with the bedroom we stayed in, a lovely attic room in the Minster Mill end of the hotel. Minster Mill has 37 bedrooms offering a more contemporary, Scandinavian style; the choice includes several outstanding river rooms with their own private terrace with fire pit, family rooms and several dog-friendly rooms. Whilst the adjoining Old Swan comprises 15 charming guest rooms and suites epitomising the classic beauty of the rural Inn. If you like twisting staircases and period trimmings go for one of the 16 rooms in the Old Swan. And don’t leave your dogs at home, as they also count dogs as guests, and have speciality suited rooms for you and your pooch.
Our room was a beautiful Deluxe Meadow Suite, located on the first floor, with oak beams across the ceiling. It offered a spacious lounge area with sofa-bed and stunning views over the gardens and the river. Our room had a wonderful king size bed and featured a modern, en-suite bathroom with a walk-in shower and separate bath. Interiors are contemporary cosy with white waffle dressing gowns, The White Company amenities, complimentary sloe gin and a hot water bottle in your bed if it’s cold. They had everything we needed, and more.
On our first morning at the hotel we popped on our swimsuits and headed down to the Garden Spa, which opened in December 2016. It is the shining star of the hotel, hidden from view, offering a tranquil haven in the heart of the beautiful grounds. They’ve got an indoor heated plunge pool, poolside rock sauna, aroma steam room, ice fountain and tropical rain forest showers. Me and Theo both indulged in a treatment too, opting for a couples massage in one of the three treatment rooms – which was lovely and relaxing!
Old Swan & Minster Mill, Minster Lovell, Witney OX29 0RN (01993 774441; oldswanandminstermill.com). In March double rooms cost from £175 with breakfast. Wifi and parking is free.
* I stayed complimentary at Old Swan and Minster Mill, but as always, opinions are honest!