Nestled amidst the serene landscapes of the Cotswolds, Lakes by YOO is a private-gated, 850-acre countryside retreat that beckons those seeking a retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Lakes by YOO is designed as a home-away-from-home, so much so, that you won’t ever want to leave.
What began as a vision shared between property developer John Hitchcox and renowned designer Philippe Starck, Lakes by YOO has evolved into a unique destination where families, friends and colleagues can get together to revel in its interior design-led homes that look over the lakes and reconnect with the great outdoors.
We booked a stay at the lakes with friends. I felt like a kid on Christmas Day, giddy with excitement about the prospect of staying at Lakes by YOO. And the cherry on top? Moose, our dog, was going to get to experience it too. But enough of the anticipation, let’s get right into my review and discover why Lakes by YOO is the ultimate countryside escape.
Dubbed as “the Hamptons of the Cotswolds”, Lakes by YOO is situated in Lechlade, just a 90-minute drive from the bustling heart of London. The private estate spans 850-acres, boasting ten lakes, meadows that stretch as far as the eye can see and densely populated woodland that invite every explorer.
With suites, cabins, apartments, or houses to choose from, Lakes by YOO offers a diverse range of accommodations to suit every taste. Beyond the allure of the luxury lakeside residences, the estate is home to a relaxing spa, lakeside dining, and a plethora of outdoor activities. From paddle boarding and canoeing to zip lining, fishing, tennis, hiking and swimming, the estate caters to everyone, including the adventure seekers and those simply yearning for a breath of fresh air.
I love being outdoors in nature. I could spend all day walking a trail, so naturally I was in my element. As was Moose. The abundance of dog-friendly walking trails meant both of us were in as what Moose likes to call, canine heaven.
OUR LAKESIDE ACCOMMODATION
Our lakeside haven at Lakes by YOO, Maricor, surpassed every expectation. We stayed in a three-bedroom, three-bathroom luxury lodge which in itself is a masterpiece. The interior, designed entirely by the talented Amy Davies, a semi-finalist in Alan Carr’s BBC1 Interior Design Masters exudes sophistication, timeless elegance and modern charm.
The open-plan living, dining, and kitchen area provided the perfect social setting for our stay. It was a space filled with laughter, friends and board games that carried on into the late hours of the night. The space seamlessly flowed onto a decking area that overlooked the serene lake and despite it being November, the private hot tub and fire pit made it a perfect setting for relaxation amidst the natural beauty that surrounded us. And just when I thought I couldn’t feel anymore relaxed, Farley handed me a glass of bubbles, suggested slipping into the cosy bathrobe hanging in each of the bedrooms’ wardrobes and heading outside to enjoy the hot tub.
The bedrooms were beautiful. Each of the three kingsize rooms, complete with private en-suite facilities, have been thoughtfully crafted to provide its own distinctive touch of luxury and tranquility. The upstairs master bedroom takes this concept to new heights, boasting floor-to-ceiling windows and its own balcony with seating, with panoramic views of the lake.
FOOD AND DRINK
Staying in our own lodge meant we had the convenience of a fully equipped kitchen, allowing us to indulge in the joy of creating our own meals and, of course, the added benefit of saving some extra cash. However, on Saturday night, we decided to treat ourselves to dinner at Waterside Kitchen & Bar, just a four minutes drive from the lodge.
Waterside Kitchen & Bar offered a delightful experience of Asian Fusion Tapas. We made a reservation ahead, which proved to be a wise decision, as the popularity of the restaurant was evident – there wasn’t an empty table in sight. After savoring the dishes, it became clear why it was in such high demand. What’s more, the restaurant was dog friendly, which meant Moose could dine with us too. It was an evening of exquisite flavours, shared laughter, and impeccable hospitality.
MOOSE AND HIS STAY
Moose, our dog, had an absolute blast during our stay at Lakes by YOO. While I know I had my fair share of fun, I’m convinced Moose might have had even more!
Lakes by YOO truly understands the importance of accommodating our furry friends, offering dog-friendly cabins and selected lakehouses for an unforgettable stay. What’s particularly reassuring, especially for a water-loving dog like Moose, is that the accommodations are fully secure, so as a dog owner you can relax knowing your dog won’t be diving head-first into the lake as soon as you turn your back.
As well as the dog-friendly accommodation, Lakes by YOO boasts plenty of dog-friendly options for restaurant dining and drinks. They really do go above and beyond to ensure that every member of the family, including the VIP (Very Important Pooch), is catered to. For us, Lakes by YOO served as the ultimate dog-friendly getaway. It was a real treat for all of us. Moose was not only made to feel very welcome, but our lakeside adventure became an opportunity to create some cherished memories.
In wrapping up our Lakes by YOO experience, it’s undeniable – this place redefines luxury escape. Admittedly, the term ‘luxury’ often translates to a higher price tag, especially if travelling as a two. However, if you’re planning to travel with friends, family, or as a group, every penny invested feels justified.
One visit to Lakes by YOO is simply not enough; it acts as a tantalising teaser, that has left us yearning for more. Driving away, with the lodge fading from my rear-view mirror, I couldn’t help but acknowledge that the memories made at the lakes would something I’d always remember.
Until next time, Lakes by YOO.