History, culture and countryside – there are plenty of attractions to enjoy in Warwickshire. Known as being Shakespeare’s birthplace, it’s perhaps no surprise that one of the county’s star attractions is Stratford-upon-Avon, and there’s a cluster of boutique hotel accommodation to match. Beyond Stratford, however, there’s more to discover in charming villages and towns and all with the kind of hospitality and individuality that will keep you wanting to come back.
Warwickshire Boutique Hotels mentioned in this article:
- The Arden Hotel – 44 Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6BA
- Arden House B&B – 58 Rother Street, Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6LT
- Ettington Park Hotel – Stratford-upon-Avon, Alderminster, CV37 8BU
- The Stratford Q Hotels – Arden Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6QQ
- The Fuzzy Duck – Ilmington Road, Newbold on Stour, CV37 8DD
- The Howard Arms – Lower Green, Ilmington, CV36 4LT
- Henley Boutique Lodges – Hill Cottage, Liveridge Hill, Henley in Arden, B95 5QX
- The George Townhouse – High Street, Shipston on Stour, CV36 4AJ
- The Kenilworth – 61 Warwick Road, Kenilworth, CV8 1HN
The Arden Hotel and Arden House
Beginning in Stratford-upon-Avon, The Arden Hotel (****), pictured top and below, benefits from an enviable location opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. It’s a relaxed, modern hotel, with 45 rooms that offer clean, contemporary style and range from Classic rooms up to Feature Suites. Every detail has been considered, from the major (such as marble bathrooms) to those all-important details (think fresh milk in room fridges for tea and coffee making), while some rooms also benefit from scenic views of river Avon. Relax in comfort in the guest lounge, indulge in the hotel’s Two AA Rosette dining on offer in the Waterside Brasserie and perhaps head for a couple of classic cocktails in the Champagne Bar. Also look out for the Arden’s sister hotel Arden House, a more informal ‘home’ stay, with 10 individually styled rooms. Guests get the run of the place, with the lounge and garden room to relax in and aided by touches such as afternoon tea and a complimentary drink each day and a snack bar with of crisps, biscuits, popcorn and the like (fruit is also available!).
The Arden Hotel is opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre
Ettington Park Hotel
If Gothic is more your style, head to the Ettington Park Hotel (****), a gorgeous country house that’s even said to be haunted. Rooms, however, offer up to date luxury, with sumptuous furnishings, alongside details such as flat-screen TVs and DVD players, Hypnos Lansdowne cashmere mattresses, bathrobes and luxury toiletries. Dine in 18th-century splendour in the Oak Room Restaurant, which serves locally sourced, seasonal produce, while the ornate Great Drawing Room is the site for morning coffee, afternoon tea and evening cocktails. The facilities don’t end there however: there’s also an indoor pool, steam room and sauna, as well as tennis court. The River Stour runs through the picturesque parkland setting, and you can even discover the romantic ruins of 12th-century church in the grounds.
The Stratford from QHotels
The Stratford from QHotels (****) is an award-winning boutique hotel on the Western side of Stratford-upon-Avon, housed in a former Victorian hospital, which has been transformed into the epitome of modern luxury. Indulge yourself with one of the feature rooms for a four-poster king-sized bed, a couple’s twin wash basin and stunning views over the gardens. There are two eating options, the more casual atmosphere of the Lounge Bar, or the delicious, seasonal menu available in Quills’ restaurant, with a corresponding extensive wine list. The Stratford also is a Gold medal winner for Green Tourism. This is at work throughout the hotel, from ‘hedgehog accommodation’, down to the eco-friendly toiletries in each room.
The Fuzzy Duck
Moving to the Northern Cotswolds, about seven miles from Stratford-upon-Avon, you’ll discover the boutique inn, The Fuzzy Duck. Not only does this former 18th-century coaching inn come complete with wooden beams, flagstone floors, magnificent fireplaces and an excellent reputation for sophisticated pub food, it also has four luxury rooms. Soundproofed from the pub noise, each room is a haven, decorated in calming creams and whites. The big, beautiful beds are dressed with frette linen, and en suites have details such as roll top baths, making them perfect to collapse into after an evening spent imbibing downstairs.
The Howard Arms
Another charming inn with rooms is the Howard Arms, again found in the Northern Cotswolds. The cosy pub is a mix of the traditional with some contemporary updates, and serves local ales a tasty menu based around local ingredients. The eight bedrooms, meanwhile, all have their own individual decor. Above the main inn you’ll find more traditional style, with four posters or details such as the beautifully carved bed and wardrobe in the Oak Room, while bedrooms in the annexe are more contemporary. All benefit from thoughtful touches such as radios with iPod docks, Temple Spa products, duckfeather and down duvet and pillows and a percolator with fresh coffee alongside gingerbread to munch on.
Henley Boutique Lodges
For something a bit different, check out Henley Boutique Lodges (****). As the name suggests, this is lodge-style accommodation, housed in beautiful landscaped grounds near Henley-in-Arden. Each lodge benefits from boutique-hotel style luxury, with super king size double beds and stunning ensuites with glass mosaic details as well as amenities such as Wi-Fi and flat screens. They are family friendly too, and there’s a dedicated children’s play area. You’re encouraged to make the most of the setting with easy chairs and sunbeds in the grounds and an impressive BBQ with all the utensils ready to get going and create a feast.
Each lodge at Henley Boutique Lodges is immaculately appointed.
The George Townhouse
The George Townhouse (***) is a contemporary coaching inn. This handsome building is found in the high street of Shipston-on-Stour and marries its historic interior with contemporary styling and service. There are 16 stylish bedrooms, ranging in style from the ‘Cosy’ up to The Suite, all with a king-size bed, en suites with rainfall showers and details such as iPod docks and Nespresso machines. The buzzy open-plan dining area downstairs caters from more formal options to casual bites, while the bar offers a selection of 14 gins and a changing selection of craft beers.
Finally, for another boutique stay with great drinking options, take a look at The Kenilworth. The 16th-century building now plays host to 11 contemporary rooms and an award-winning cocktail lounge, with own-made syrups, tinctures, bitters and freshly squeezed juices. The building’s original features such as exposed beams sit alongside modern decor of dark wood and rich, luxurious fabrics. Each of the individually styled rooms has its own unique features, from wet rooms to private patio areas, perfect for some relaxation after a few of those cocktails!
Author: Frances Ambler