Exclusive Retreat With Design & Wellness At It’s Heart
As I write this I’m getting ready to pack our cases to head to Portugal. As regular readers will know, the last time I went abroad was for a girl’s trip to Copenhagen almost two years ago. My husband and I have been treating ourselves to lots of staycations over the past couple of years so as we indulged in what the best of the UK had to offer, we never got round to getting on a plane. I spent a long time earlier today looking back over some of the pictures – the memories that we’ve made and I realised that I never shared fully with you our week long experience at the incredible, Lakes By Yoo.
The Cotswolds has always been a particular favourite of ours. We normally stay at the exquisite Dormy House for three or four nights each year, always around the same time – a tradition we started before we got married. We have of course ventured to other places nearby and are big fans of their sister, The Fish Hotel (great for kids) which we also head to every year for a couple of nights.
But while hoteling is great, sometimes you want a bit more space and something a bit different. So fancying a bit of a change, last Autumn I found the incredible Lakes By Yoo website while researching areas in The Cotswolds. It boasts 850 acres of freshwater lakes and woodland and is one mile from the pretty Cotswold town of Lechlade Upon Thames. On the estate are huge individual properties to buy or rent, all dotted around a lake.
We decided to take the plunge and rent a 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom home for a week. It’s quite the investment (a 4 bed can set you back around £4,000 for 7 days (extras like childminding, bike hire etc. are on top). Sure, you’re probably thinking why on earth would we need a 4 bed home for the three of us but when you see the insane property, you’ll be just as tempted. Lakes By Yoo ticked all the right boxes for us and is fabulous for kids too, not to mention the incredible spa with indoor heated pool.
*This trip was paid for by ourselves with a small PR discount
In terms of the accommodation itself, our home had 4 spacious bedrooms each with a Super King bed. We used one for us, one for Mia and one for midday naps (on the ground floor). Mia was excited to switch to another room midway through! The interior design is centred around luxury living, from the huge roll top baths to the rainforest showers and heated flooring. The property has a south facing 40 foot terrace which I used for morning Yoga stretching, playing with Mia and chilling out with headphones. Even a BBQ. The sight of swans in the distance (and no one else around) was priceless. You’ll find everything you’d expect in a luxury accommodation – a large open plan living area that sits 10 comfortably. The Smart TV is equipped with SkyQ, the kitchen accessories and gadgets are superb and there’s even a separate utility room with washing machine and dryer. Great for washing kiddies clothes and even our own after bike rides and playing out on the lake. Everything in the home has been designed to make your stay as relaxing as possible. The kitchen was also huge!
What I especially loved about Lakes By Yoo is the concierge service who could not do enough for us during our stay. From arranging childcare to advising on the best local restaurants, their service was second to none. We arrived to a big welcome pack and even a bottle of wine. A great touch when you want to sit down with a glass of wine and forget the journey you’ve just taken to get there.
During our stay, we spent most of the time on the lakes itself and only ventured to the nearest restaurant once or twice. There was something so special about cooking in a large open plan kitchen for me, Dan and Mia. On one occasion we did treat ourselves to a Deliveroo takeaway too! I packed minimally so I could relax properly rather than having to worry all the time about what to wear. Pack appropriate footwear and outdoor clothes and mix the evening outfits up a bit!
The spa is out of this world! It’s super quiet with a heated pool and lots of break out areas for relaxation and treatments. I had a lovely massage and time to myself by the pool which left me feeling totally recharged and rejuvenated. You can find the full treatment menu here. There is so much for kids to do with kids club, exploring and organised activities. There’s a wonderful restaurant with amazing food, a gym, basketball court and playground and of course not forgetting the lake itself. Our property had amazing views from every window – it was incredible waking up and opening the curtains to the lake every morning!
For rates and availability head to thelakesbyyoo.com. There is sometimes a minimal stay of 7 days and properties vary on price depending on size, location and with/without a private pool..
Have you been to Lakes By Yoo? Are you tempted?