When my pal Laura tasked me with finding somewhere luxurious to stay for our overnight trip to Cheltenham, I wasn’t holding out much hope. I grew up a stones throw from Cheltenham and my memories of it weren’t holding up to the insta-worthy standards I have now. Luckily, a short google search pulled up No 131, part of The Lucky Onion Hotel group.
Conveniently located a stones throw from the main shopping street in Cheltenham, No 131 inhabits a traditional Georgian townhouse. It may be historic on the outside, but inside is a quirky trove of modern design. As soon as we walked in the door we were greeted by friendly staff who couldn’t do enough for us. They checked us in swiftly, then carried our bags up to our room for us.
We sprung for a ‘very good room’, which is the mid level of three rooms offered, mostly because we were sharing and wanted a little more room to spread out (and that emperor sized bed). The whole room was stunning, from the hardwood floors, to the quality of the soft furnishings.
Our room featured a gorgeous double marble vanity by the window (the perfect spot for two beauty addicts to do their makeup in the morning). I loved the finishings of this, and the giant mirror (nothing worse than a badly lit hotel room, or no good mirrors!).
The room was packed with a whole host of amenities, lots of them tucked into sweet little cotton pouches. There were your usual sewing kit, cotton pads, cotton buds, and solid soap, as well as the less usual, a tube of toothpaste, a little vial of shaving oil, earplugs and even a pouch with sanitary towels and tampons. It’s the little touches!
My biggest regret of the trip was not soaking in this tub! This gorgeous claw footed tub was the focal point of the bathroom, and they even supply a tub of lavender bath salts to tempt you in. I loved the attention to detain in this room, the beautiful teal tiles, the wrought iron towel rail, and the giant mirror. They left a selection of gorgeous Acqua Di Parma shower products (and a note encouraging you to take them with you if you didn’t use them), and big fluffy robes to wrap yourself in. I’m a big believer that it’s not a luxury stay if there’s no bathrobe! The floor in the bathroom was heated too, which made for a nice touch stepping out of the tub.
I’m a bit of a fusspot when it comes to beds, my bed at home is perfect, we spent a lot of time picking bedding, pillows, and the mattress for ultimate comfort, so often when I stay elsewhere it doesn’t measure up. That certainly wasn’t the case here, in fact the first thing Laura and I said to each other when we woke up was ‘let’s never get out of this bed’. Super soft pillows, a mattress that was supportive but soft, and perfectly soft sheets. It was a treat to sleep in this bed!
We stayed in Room 1, which is on the back of the building, overlooking a gorgeous Cotswold stone building of Cheltenham Ladies College. The windows are single pane, but there’s a secondary window to help block the noise out, we were impressed by how well that worked. It’s worth noting that the rooms here have no A/C, which didn’t bother us as it wasn’t that warm, but we did leave the window open for a bit of fresh air, and they do supply a fan. We did end up closing the window around 5.30am because the council seem to have decided that’s the best time to empty the bins, but had we not had the window open we never would have heard it. It was actually a very peaceful, quite room!
Tucked beneath No 131 is the hotel’s very own speakeasy inspired bar, Gin and Juice, and it would have been rude not to visit, right?! Crammed with cosy seating, plants and candles, it was the most me bar I’ve ever visited! With over 350 gins, this is THE place to visit for your evening tipple. They also have a Rum and Fizz bar, where the super friendly barman made us cocktails on and off the menu.
My favourite drink of the night was definitely the Cotswold Mojito, the bar’s signature drink. Honey spiced rum served with ginger ale, a splash of orange bitters, lime, sugar and mint, spicy and sweet, just how I like my drinks! All the staff were so friendly, the barman chatted drinks with us whilst theatrically mixing our cocktails, and the General Manager even popped over to chat with us, about the bar, the brand and living in Cheltenham. We visited on a Wednesday night and were pleasantly surprised at the steady flow of patrons, but the GM said it was packed on weekends!
After a few too many cocktails in Gin and Juice on Wednesday night, I’ve never been so excited for breakfast! Breakfast is included in room rates at No 131, and is served in their beautiful dining room. We sank into leather chairs and were immediately offered coffee (I was pleasantly surprised that in addition to the usual soy milk, No 131 also stock almond and oat milk, which is almost unheard of in hotels and a massive plus for me – one oat milk latte please!). The breakfast service comprises of a simple continental buffet, as well as the option to order anything you like from their main menu included in the price.
The buffet comprised of a range of pastries, sourdough and wholemeal bread, preserves and spreads, some different cereals and granolas, fresh fruit, juices and even champagne. We snacked on a few bits and ordered the avocado and eggs on toast from the main menu, with added streaky bacon at our servers recommendation. It was a struggle to pick just one dish, there was a great selection of excellent sounding sweet and savoury meals.
Laura claimed our avocado toast ‘the best she’s ever had’ and honestly she wasn’t wrong. Fresh sourdough toast with salty butter, a giant portion of freshly sliced avocado, crisp maple bacon and perfectly poached eggs. Simple, but exactly what we needed to perk us up! The staff were super friendly, and the hostess checked in with us frequently throughout our meal.
I also wanted to add a quick note here about EV Charging – I know this won’t be relevant to most of you, but as an Electric Vehicle owner, I struggled to find good information online. This hotel has a Tesla Destination charger on the front of the property, to use it you’ll have to phone reception on your approach and get them to come and open the private gate for you. Unfortunately I just couldn’t get the charger to actually work with the vehicle (I use the same charger at home and work so it definitely was a fault with the charger not the car). However, the staff were super accommodating, and after helping me reset the charger with still no luck, they let me plug my 3 pin charger into a generic outdoor socket to charge. Obviously this was slower, but I was still able to fully charge the vehicle overnight, and I was super grateful to the staff for their help!
We definitely left No 131 reluctantly, it was such a beautiful hotel and the staff were truly excellent. I’m already plotting a trip back with Con (mostly to use those baths!). It’s definitely not a cheap stay, but if you’re looking for a little luxury in the heart of Cheltenham, I can’t recommend it enough!