“ Address: Arden Street / Stratford-Upon-Avon CV37 6QQ / Warwickshire „
We were recently delivering conference materials to Birmingham. It's a long way to go just to drop off a load of boxes and come straight home again so, we thought, let's extend the trip to an over-night and find somewhere to visit? So we did. But where?
There are a number of very interesting places to visit in the Midlands and, although Stratford-upon-Avon is one of them, one I have visited several times, I really can't say that I have ever actually explored The Bard whilst I've been there. So, time to rectify that serious omission.
If we're going to do the touristy thing then we will need somewhere to stay. A search on The Web eventually revealed The Stratford Hotel, one of the QHotels chain. The deal on offer was a double, including breakfast and evening meal for two for £90. Normally we would like to eat out in the evening but at that price this was too good to turn down.
The hotel itself is quite modern but designed to be in sympathy with it's surroundings. It is located in large grounds just on the edge of the town centre and within very easy walking distance of all of the attractions; within less than 10 minutes you could be standing outside Shakespeare's birthplace.
There is plenty of parking space around the outside of the hotel, if you are coming by car. Entry and exit is barrier controlled, with a token from reception to allow you to drive away. The exit barrier control box is a long way before the barrier so don't drive right past it as I did, and have to back up again!
We parked at the rear and were able to enter the hotel from there. At Reception we received a friendly welcome and were soon signed in, allocated our room and on our way up in the lift.
Our room was on the top floor. The room was fairly spacious, with a gable window and sloping ceilings. Tastefully decorated and with all of the facilities you would expect a modern hotel to provide, we anticipated that this would be a good place to base ourselves. Indeed, I would have had no qualms about a longer stay. The en suite bathroom was bright, clean and attractive, with adequate space for all our travelling knick-knacks.
Before long we were on our way back out to "Do The Bard". In the time that was available to us we managed to visit: Shakespeare's Birthplace (very enjoyable); Nash's House and New Place (a little disappointing but great gardens); Hall's Croft (beautiful gardens; interesting house); and Anne Hathaway's Cottage (wonderful). We shall return.
Our "free" evening meal actually consisted of a food allowance of around £50; if your bill comes to more than that then you pay the balance in addition. With wine to be consumed, that is a fairly likely occurrence.
The food was good but not outstanding. Service was excellent. The atmosphere enjoyable. All-in-all, I felt that it represented reasonable value for money. If I was staying longer, however, I think that I might want to exclude dinner from the equation and spend time exploring the some of the dozens of restaurants Stratford has on offer.
As a base for a short stay in historic Stratford-upon-Avon, The Stratford Hotel offers a very comfortable choice and, at the price we paid, for the deal we got, it would be hard to do better. I can certainly recommend it.