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Wednesday 5 December 2012

Sluttery Travels: The Montpellier Chapter, Cheltenham

In need of some classic rest and relaxation? I only spent a night at The Montpellier Chapter in Cheltenham but I think it was one of my most relaxing hotel stays ever. I'd quite like to cosy up in one of their fluffy white robes and spend most of the winter there if I was allowed.

It's a beautiful historic building pleasingly updated with luxury touches and contemporary technology. The furniture comes courtesy of people like Matthew Hilton and Antonio Citterio, though it's been done in a way that's not going to frighten anyone. There's lots of touches to make your stay just that bit more civilised, like coffee machines, gorgeous Ren toiletries and complimentary mini-bars in all the rooms, and large beds to sink into.

Our room was one of their feature rooms, which meant the corner of the room was dominated by a stunning Villeroy and Boch free-standing bath. For less exhibitionist washing, there was also  separate shower room complete with speakers playing whatever was on on the bedroom, so you could retain your modesty without missing any of what's happening in Made in Chelsea because you were cleaning your teeth (not that we spent any of our time in Cheltenham watching Made in Chelsea - or Neighbours, or Home and Away - you understand).

It was a pleasant surprise to come from the peace and quiet of the room to the buzzy atmosphere in the bar, library and restaurant. The Montpellier Chapter seems to be quite a hangout for Cheltenham's smart set and, alongside its extensive cocktail menu, offered hours of people watching opportunities. The uniformly friendly staff wear a uniform of suits with Converse sneakers - quite fun once I'd got over the idea that I was being served wine by a member of an early 00s indie band.

The restaurant had an open kitchen helping to add to informal feel. However, the food was anything but thrown together. There was a great range to pick from, from hearty British winter fare to a mean chestnut and mushroom risotto to a classic steak. There's even pizza if that's what'll make you happiest. I'm also very pleased to report that their cheese board catered to our local loyalties containing both Lincolnshire and Shropshire varieties.

The hotel is perfectly placed to let you stroll out to the bars of Cheltenham after your meal, but the comfort of that room was just too enticing for us. Once we emerged the next day, blinking in the day light, we enjoyed exploring the pretty little shops and cafes in the surrounding Montpellier area.

The whole pace of life seemed to slow while we were staying there, and the one downer we had was missing out on a much-needed pre-train cup of tea because the service was slightly too laid back. The flip-side of that laid-backness is that I felt just a night of staying there slowed me and calmed me down a notch too: perfect before the onslaught of Christmas begins in earnest. The Montpellier Chapter do packages including treatments for their Ren spa which sound perfect: wander from your room to the spa, amble to the bar, float to the restaurant. It makes it seem effortless and that's exactly what I want my hotel stay to be like.

We were guests of The Montpellier chapter. Regular rooms start at around £105 a night, while feature rooms start at around £165. Or really go for it and book the Penthouse suite. Then you really won't want to leave. 


  1. Sounds like the perfect stay except the missed cup of tea of course. Love the huge V&B bath in the bedroom and you can't beat REN toiletries.

  2. The sister hotel in Exeter is fab too. Also worth noting both hotels are ncredibly wheelchair friendly which makes a nice change

  3. The sister hotel in Exeter is fab too. Also worth noting both hotels are ncredibly wheelchair friendly which makes a nice change


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