A friend has been going on about No. 38 The Park and its sister hotel No. 131, and the glories of Cheltenham itself.
Arriving in a taxi from the station, I understand why. All those wide avenues, regency villas and leafy parks.
We book into No. 131 because it has a restaurant, but my friend said we should stay at No. 38 as it’s quieter and, anyway, a free taxi is laid on if you want dinner at No. 131.
Glorious: The Inspector loved his stay at the luxurious No. 38 The Park hotel in Cheltenham
So we switch at the last moment — and are glad that we did.
This is a glorious, double-fronted Georgian townhouse with fixtures and fittings of the highest calibre, contemporary art, a courtyard garden, a huge honesty bar and 13 fabulous rooms.
Well, I assume they are all as fabulous as ours.
Room one, on the ground floor, is massive, with probably the biggest bathroom I’ve ever seen — twin showers to accommodate an entire rugby squad, two basins, two solid towel rails, a sofa — and a WC in a separate room altogether.
My wife starts taking photos and mutters: ‘Oh my God, this is so me.’
We take the free shuttle to No. 131, where the atmosphere is more excitable.
There’s a nightclub in the basement and at the end of the restaurant is a fluorescent cross against a Chicago street scene. It says: ‘Sin will find you out.’
So we order two gin and tonics, a bottle of wine, six oysters and a giant T-bone steak to share.
The wine’s fine, the meat chewy and lean on flavour, the prices hefty.
Leafy: The hotel offers a courtyard garden, and Cheltenham has a fine countryside setting
We’re pleased to return to No. 38, where we sleep blissfully.
The telly is one of those that rises up at the end of the bed at the tap of a tablet.
None of this comes cheap — we’re paying £220 — but it’s a proper treat.
Breakfast is a leisurely affair. No one wants to leave.
It’s only at check-out that I learn we have to pay extra for an espresso and latte at breakfast and, at these prices, you might expect to get a cooked breakfast, rather than just continental.
But it’s the only fault we can find.
No. 38 The Park
38 Evesham Road
Glos GL52 2AH
Doubles from £120 B&B