The Lakes by YOO is a private estate of second family homes and rental residences in the heart of the Cotswolds. In November, the estate was named in the LUX Global Luxury Hotel and Spa Guide as the ‘Most Outstanding Luxury Estate in the UK’. We took the opportunity to speak to John Hitchcox, Co-founder and Chairman at YOO, to get some insight into the estate’s remarkable reputation.
Located just 90 minutes from London in the idyllic Cotswolds town of Lechlade Upon Thames in Gloucestershire, The Lakes by YOO makes an astonishing first impression. Dotted across the estate’s impressive 850 acres are contemporary luxury four, five and six-bedroom homes, available to purchase or rent for those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life for something much more serene. Naturally, since the estate’s construction, visitors from far and wide have journeyed to get just a taste of The Lakes by YOO’s multi-award-winning innovative design, which celebrates the contemporary and the avant-garde in equal measure. But, this is far from the estate’s only draw, as John takes a moment to discuss the estate’s appeal and creation.
“The concept of the Lakes was to create luxury lakeside and woodland second homes with leisure facilities in a peaceful and secure estate in the Cotswolds. The Lakes is ideal for families seeking peace of mind, relaxation, concierge and plenty of activities. Over the estate’s 850 acres there are eighteen holiday rental villas available for guests to book. Whilst on the estate guests have access to a full-service concierge team, a kids club, a food outlet, spa, indoor pool and a huge variety of outdoor family activities that can be arrange on and off site. Our owners and guests come from all over the world, though most do live in West London and are young families looking for a country escape that allows them to escape London’s urban jungle.”
“Yoo is a design-focused development company, which I co-founded with one of the world’s most celebrated designers, Philippe Starck. The Lakes by YOO is a yoo project that is very close to my heart – my family and I love spending time at the Lakes and enjoying the natural surroundings and the fantastic choice of activities on offer.”
The Lakes have enjoyed a reputation defined entirely by excellence – whether that be in the elements of its design, its location, or in its exemplary guest services. On this, John continues: “Our whole service philosophy is based on personalisation and taking individual needs and wishes into account. We are one of the very few second home estates in the UK where owners can design their own dream home – all our homes are inspired by the owners’ visions, hence why they are all so different yet fit into the estate as a whole. We do the same when it comes to our service – we listen to our guests on an individual basis and are happy to help and arrange anything that is humanely possible.”
“Our staff is trained on a regular basis and are all aware (and have been part) of what we have created here at the Lakes. The staff we have is fantastic and happy to go the extra mile for owners and guests – they are like a family, help each other if needed and are strong communicators to make sure the owners and guests receive a seamless service. Without our staff nothing would be possible – they are really at the heart of our success.”
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that, in this technology-driven age, people are starting to cherish the natural and the sustainable. Equally, The Lakes by YOO has only become more popular in the wake of the health and wellness boom, as John moves on to explain. “The last two years have been the best we have seen as a business. London families are more than ever keen to own or rent a secure country retreat in nature with management and concierge services, which makes it all hassle free for them. If anything, we feel that people are now more than ever interested in conscious living and offering the opportunity to connect with nature to their children – which is sometimes not possible in an urban setting such as London. Hence why the Lakes is a perfect choice – it’s close to London and offers lakes, meadows, woodland to explore. One other trend we noticed is that smaller families are interested in buying or staying at the Lakes – this is where our new apartment offering, which we will launch in 2019, comes in.”
As we come to the close of the interview, the conversation moves to discuss how the Lakes adapts to trends in the residential design and hospitality sector. As John was quick to correct, the estate prefers to forge their own path, confident in YOO’s ability to stay one step ahead of the competition and the curve. “In general, as a business, we are more pioneers and leaders than trend followers. We do believe we have a fantastic product which has been developing and evolving over time – and keeps doing so! We mainly look at and evaluate our owners and guests’ needs and adapt our offerings accordingly”.
In her closing comments, John speaks on the future of The Lakes by YOO, as they look to expand on the estate’s luxurious offerings. “The future holds a lot of exciting developments for the Lakes. We just launched a new set of woodland plots with lake access, which are set in 1 to 2 acres and will be launching our apartment offering and restaurant soon. We are also looking at extending our spa and offering more outdoor activities on the estate. There is a lot in store and the Lakes will always keep improving and evolving.”
Company: The Lakes by YOO
Address: Lechlade, Gloucestershire, GL7 3DT, UK
Telephone: +44 (0) 1367 254 260