Recently I was invited to stay at 5 Valleys Aparthotel in Stroud, one of the properties in the impressive portfolio at Michael Paul Holidays. I’m acutely aware that I often spend so much time exploring far-flung destinations that sometimes I forget to explore closer to home so this was a brilliant excuse to see a little more of our beautiful English countryside. Therefore I jumped at the chance to explore somewhere a little closer to home.
Stroud is in the perfect location not far from the M4 so is easily accessible for a little last-minute weekend away. It’s one of the larger towns in the Cotswolds region and a great base for some exploring! But we’ll come back to that in a bit. First I want to tell you about my experience at 5 Valleys Aparthotel.
I should say at this point that yes, I was hosted at 5 Valleys and Michael Paul Holidays but my opinions are, and always will be, my own.
Stroud is in the perfect location not far from the M4 so is easily accessible for a little last-minute weekend away. It's one of the larger towns in the Cotswolds region and a great base for some exploring! #stroud #cotswolds Click To Tweet
What you can expect from this article...
- 1 5 Valleys Apart Hotel in Stroud Accommodation Review
- 2 Who are Michael Paul Holidays?
- 3 What about Stroud?
5 Valleys Apart Hotel in Stroud Accommodation Review
Who are Michael Paul Holidays?
Michael Paul Holidays have a portfolio of around 500 hand selected self-catering properties across the UK. Speaking with Michael when we arrived at 5Valleys, it’s clear he’s proud that every property on his website has been selected for both its standard of customer service AND it’s facilities and stylish decor which is akin to a 4-5* hotel. He is hoping that his portfolio will be twice the size with 1000 properties showcased in one years time.
What is an Aparthotel anyway?!
An aparthotel is a collection of apartments or flats within a single complex which are available for short-term and medium-term hire. They are self-catered and all have a kitchen, bedroom, living area and bathroom so they are like a home from home. Imagine it’s like having several Airbnb’s all in one complex owned by one person.
The main advantage is that you can come and go as you please according to your own timetable. If the weather is bad, you have can batten down the hatches and snuggle up on the sofa for an evening watching TV and drinking wine. There are dining tables where you can entertain a few friends or family. You can basically treat it as though it was your own home for the duration you stay.
Aparthotels often tend to be more affordable than hotels which offer a similar level of luxury so really, it’s a win-win and I think we’ll see more aparthotels popping up over the next few years.Aparthotels often tend to be more affordable than hotels which offer a similar level of luxury so really, it's a win-win and I think we'll see more aparthotels popping up over the next few years. Click To Tweet
Who Stays at an Aparthotel?
- Anyone looking for smart accommodation but can’t afford to splash out on a 4-5* hotel
- Families who need a little more space
- Groups of friends that want somewhere to socialise in the evenings
- Those on business looking for somewhere to stay Monday-Friday whilst they are working.
5 Valleys Location.
The location of the 5 Valleys Aparthotel is ideally situated a 20-minute walk from Stroud town centre(follow the pretty canal way.) It’s the perfect location if you want a quiet stay away from the hustle and bustle of the town centre but fear not, you can easily walk home from the pub after a few drinks here.
I found the property fairly easily considering I was travelling there in the dark AND the rain. It’s a square victorian building clearly signposted and with ample parking.
Accessing 5 Valleys ApartHotel
Since these are self-catered apartments, there isn’t always somebody on site to let you in. But fear not, it is easy to let yourself in with the door code that they will email you a few days before your stay so don’t forget to check your email! The same door code will let you into both the main building and into your own apartment.
What are the Facilities like at 5 Valleys?
These 15 spacious contemporary apartments had absolutely everything I needed for a few days away and more besides. there was a comfy sofa and also table space. A huge comfy double bed and a fantastic power shower in the bathroom.
The kitchen was well stocked though there is no oven so I suggest you plan some meals you can make on the hob or cook in the microwave. There is, however, a dishwasher which is great, I mean who wants to wash up when they’re on holiday?!
The bed can be made up into 2 singles or 1 huge double so perfect for getaways with friends or for couples.
There is 1 accessible flat with an open shower for wheelchair users. There are also some flats which are dog-friendly if you like to travel with your canine friends. This area would be perfect for a spot of dog walking!
What was the Decor like at 5 Valleys?
Each apartment has been thoughtfully decorated. My first thought was ‘wow this is light and airy’ with its huge ceilings and white walls. There is a fresh modern feel to the place with recycled pallet headboards, rustic wooden tables and pops of bright colour. I loved the local artwork featured on the walls including a gorgeous photo of Coaley Park.
Would I stay there again?
I had a blissful nights sleep and was very impressed by the amount of space and how well presented each apartment was. I still have a lot more exploring to do in the area so I fully expect I will go back.
What about Stroud?
Stroud is a charming, lively market town which is a great gateway for exploring the Cotswolds and the Gloucestershire countryside. It’s ideally situated where 5 valleys meet, hence how 5 Valleys Aparthotel got its name.
Things to do in Stroud
Stroud Farmers Market.
For me, the highlight of visiting Stroud was for its lively local farmers market. I could have spent an absolute fortune! Stroud market would be a great place to visit before Christmas to start your Christmas shopping. I enjoyed chatting to all the various stall owners and discovered that much of the produce was made locally. There were some delicious food stalls so I was glad I skipped breakfast!
Eat at one of the many cafes
We had lunch at Woodruffs Organic Cafe and sat upstairs with a fantastic view of the bustling high street. I had some warming soup and a cheese and homemade chutney sandwich which tasted fantastic. Sadly only a day in Stroud didn’t allow me time to sample all the cafes on offer but here are a few recommended by Simon, the owner of 5 Valleys Aparthotel.
- Upper Lock Cafe. Situated on the canal and open between 9 am and 3 pm.
- Mills Cafe – tucked down a side alley, this cafe has a lovely courtyard great for summer days.
- Star Anise Arts Cafe – serves organic food, this cafe predominantly serves vegetarian food.
Attend one of the many festivals throughout the year
Stroud appears to be a cultural and creative hub and there are many festivals throughout the year in Stroud and nearby. These include the Stroud folk festival, Stroud fringe festival and Cheltenham jazz festivals. The weekend that I visited Stroud happened to be the Stroud Book Festival so I went to an inspiring talk about women in business given by Mary Portas who was promoting her new book.
Visit a nearby garden
There are several beautiful gardens in the local area although sadly, we did not get the weather for it! If you are luckier, you should check out these two popular local gardens
Miserden Gardens – Found in a beautiful estate overlooking a deer park. I am reliably informed there is a great cafe here for coffee and cake too.
Painswick Rococo Gardens – designed in 1740 as a pleasure garden and just a 15-minute drive from Stroud.
Take a walk along Rodborough Common
You don’t have far to go to reach some beautiful countryside and Rodborough Common makes a lovely place for an afternoon stroll. We went for sunset and it was really pretty with all the autumnal colours and the sparkling lights from the town below.
Visit Slimbridge Wetland Centre
Whilst I didn’t visit Slimbridge on this trip, I have many fond memories of Slimbridge wetlands centre as a child. My Dad was a big fan of birds and bird photography so I remember many a weekend visiting Slimbridge to see the birds. Here you can spot everything from cute otters to colourful flamingos and it’s situated just 20 minutes away from Stroud.
Explore the Cotswold Villages
Stroud is the perfect base to explore the famous Cotswold Villages. Take photos of the Instagram-perfect quintessentially English villages, browse stately homes and stop in quaint cafes for afternoon tea.
I had a fantastic weekend break in Stroud and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a great base to explore the Cotswolds. Staying at 5 Valley Aparthotels will give you the freedom and flexibility to explore at tour own pace.
If you would like to book to stay at 5 Valleys, you can do so HERE.
Have you been to Stroud? Tell us about it in the comments! Would you like to stay in an aparthotel?
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