The Kings Head Hotel, Cirencester
THE HOTEL: The Kings Head Hotel opened in 2014 after a comprehensive refurbishment. In the heart of historic Cirencester ('capital of the Cotswolds'), it has 45 guest rooms, restaurant, bar, meetings spaces and spa – plus a Roman mosaic beneath a glass floor in the reception area.
THE CHECK-IN: The centuries-old hotel is set right on the central Market Place. I parked opposite in a pay and display bay but was unable to check in due to my early arrival. Instead I enjoyed an excellent lunch in the restaurant where there’s an open kitchen, dark wood furniture, jars of gerberas and walls adorned with portrait paintings and photos. I chose several dishes from a menu specialising in Robata-style grilled cuisine. Upon check-in I was offered one of the hotel’s limited parking spaces in a garage at the rear.
THE ROOM: The hotel is a small maze of corridors and staircases and its period architectural features are evidence of its many years. Overlooking the Market Place, my room had enormous sash windows, with décor a modern palette of white, black and greys, plus olive green headboard, lampshades and easy chairs. In addition to sizeable double bed, there was a wardrobe with safe, plus sofa, coffee table, desk, coffee machine, kettle, fridge and large wall-mounted TV with computer functionality via a wireless keyboard. The white-tiled, L-shaped bathroom had both an expansive bath and a large open shower.
THE BUSINESS: Meeting and event spaces include the Chesterton (for up to 110 delegates theatre-style) and Assembly rooms (max 250), plus the atmospheric vaulted cellar (up to 200 for cocktail receptions). For smaller events there’s the Watermoor room. Wifi access is complimentary. 24-hour delegate rates are from £168 per person including VAT.
THE FACILITIES: The restaurant merges with a bar and lounge area, and the whole space is smartly furnished and imbues a relaxed atmosphere. There's also a spa.
THE VERDICT: This is a very smart boutique hotel with real character that, judging by the number of suited guests tucking into breakfast, is proving popular with the corporate crowd. The staff were friendly and service unfailingly efficient.
THE DETAILS: The Kings Head Hotel, 24 Market Place, Cirencester GL7 2NR. Room rates start from £135 per night including VAT. For more information; see; www.kingshead-hotel.co.uk
Reviewed by Andy Hoskins (2016)