How would you like to stay at a Historic 15th century Manor House Hotel in a scenic country town where it is claimed the first performance of Shakespeare`s Midsummer Night`s Dream took place and is also the location of a famous ‘Kissing Tree’ where William Shakespeare reputedly had his first kiss!
I recently stayed at the Macdonald Alveston Manor Hotel, an original Tudor House In the heart of picturesque Stratford-upon-Avon. It has to be one of the most authentic looking 15th century, 4-star hotels in the town.
Situated in its own attractive gardens and grounds, on the more peaceful side of the river Avon, the Hotel is just 5 minutes – walk from all of the cultural attractions of the town. It is the perfect venue for leisure breaks, romantic weekends, business meetings, weddings and special occasions.
We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep.
The Hotel has had an interesting history, a small Monastery having been built on the site during the Anglo Saxon period and a number of Roman artefacts have been found during past excavations point to its historical importance to the town, but it is still very much a 21st Century hotel, having 113 comfortable and traditionally furnished bedrooms, with all modern amenities.
The outside façade of the hotel is superb, retaining much of its historic charm, attraction and appeal. There is a large car park at the front of the Hotel and I noticed there was a `pay to park machine` but as a guest I left my vehicle details at reception, assuming that the car parking was free for guests.
My definition of a good hotel is a place I’d stay at.
Robert De Niro
Entering into a warm, rustic reception we were greeted with friendly smiles and the check in was prompt. The reception area and other communal spaces are rich in architectural splendour. In fact many of the public areas of the hotel are located in the historic Manor House, parts of which date back to the 16th century. The character of the Hotel is boosted by its extensive Tudor panelling, leaded lights and its beautiful Elizabethan staircase. It really is a striking looking hotel, in my opinion.
Contemporary Classic Rooms are located in the modern extension wing of the hotel, off long corridors, but if you are looking for some character and charm with views over the gardens, then ask for one of the Executive rooms or Suites. Accessible rooms are also available upon request.
The modern extension wing, joins the much older Manor House but rooms offer modern comforts such as Air Cooling, Mini Bars and Satellite Television channels. The feature rooms and suites are to be found in the older part of the Hotel, many of which offer old beamed ceilings and Half Tester or Four Poster Beds.
I stayed in a spacious executive room in the Georgian Coach House, which sleeps up to 2 adults in a large very comfortable king sized double bed. The room was full of individual charm, character and comfortable character. I did need to be a little careful when moving about because there was a very low oak beam right across the room. There was a sign advising occupants to be careful of the beam, but I did manage to bang my head on two occasions. That is of course no fault of the room, I really loved the original decor and character. It should also be noted that the room was spotlessly clean.
There were plenty of additional touches to make my stay extra special. There were two thick, fluffy bathrobe`s in the room, slippers, a well – stocked tea and coffee tray, biscuits and upgraded Elemis toiletries.
I still enjoy traveling a lot. I mean, it amazes me that I still get excited in hotel rooms just to see what kind of shampoo they’ve left me.
Unfortunately, I did not have a clear garden view, but we could see a small section of the garden and the lawns around the front car park. In my room I was also provided with complimentary filtered water and a Nespresso coffee machine, which I made good use of during my stay. The heating in the room was set at a comfortable temperature and there was no noise from the other rooms or the rest of the hotel during the night. I had a very peaceful night`s sleep.
The award-winning Manor Restaurant boasts fine dining at its best and displays an AA rosette for the quality of its food, presentation and service. I was not disappointed! The restaurant serves the finest British cuisine and uses local organic suppliers for their vegetables and dairy products wherever possible. The Restaurant was traditionally furnished and has an impressive wine list! I was told many guests visiting the Royal Shakespeare Company like to enjoy a starter and main course at the Hotel before departing for their show, later returning to the hotel for their dessert!
When we arrived for our evening meal we were shown to our table and our order was taken quickly and professionally. The waiting staff were efficient, but never intrusive.
- Superfood Salad: Quinoa, Pomegranate, Avocado, Sweet Potato, walnut, Fine Leaves & Citrus Dressing.
- Beetroot Carpaccio: Goats Cheese &Pine Nuts
- Lamb Loin: Creamy mash, Roasted Roots & Rosemary Sauce
- Scotch Medallions: Fondant Potato, Celeriac Puree & Wild Mushrooms
- Sticky Date Pudding: Vanilla Ice Cream & Toffee Sauce
- Cambridge Burnt Cream: Short Bread
All of the food was cooked beautifully and superbly presented. We decided to take coffee in the comfortable bar area, which was a pleasant way to complete a wonderful evening.
For a less formal dining experience diners can enjoy tasty snacks and drink freshly brewed tea or coffee in the Blue Lounge, whilst relaxing in the splendour of the oak-panelled room.
The great advantage of a hotel is that it is a refuge from home life.
George Bernard Shaw
The Hotel also has superb leisure facilities at Vital Health, Fitness and Beauty. In addition to an 18 metre swimming pool, there is also a well – equipped Techno Gym, Sauna and Steam Room. There are also a range of treatments available at Vital Beauty.
As I walk a great deal, almost five miles a day, I decided to give my feet a treat at The Spa and opted for the `Best Foot Forward` treatment, lasting about twenty five minutes. We too often neglect our feet so this was just what my feet needed!
I wasn’t always aware what exactly was being done to my feet as I was lying down relaxing but the sensation was wonderful. My feet were gently scrubbed with Monoi Salt then massaged with an assortment of foot creams. At one time, I felt what can only be described as a warm sock being placed over my foot and then the massage continued on the other foot. My feet and I loved the experience. Thank you Juliette!
If you love your golf and want to combine golf with a break, I was informed that the hotel is situated just one mile from the highly regarded Stratford-on-Avon Golf Club. The historic 190 acre course is now in its 120th year and has many tree-lined fairways, fast greens and excellent drainage, making it playable all year round.
I think the Hotel would make a magical setting for a wedding with its historic setting, classic function room and easy access to the pleasant gardens and patio terrace. I was told that the Cedar Room can seat up to 120 wedding guests and has stunning garden views looking out over the setting for the first ever performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Avon Room is more intimate setting for smaller groups of up to 60 guests, looking out over the inner courtyard. It must be one of the most romantic wedding venues in the town?
I really enjoyed my short stay at the Alveston Manor Hotel and would fully recommend the Hotel if you are planning to visit the town for an overnight stay or longer break.
Macdonald Alveston Manor Hotel – AA 4 Stars,
Tel 0344 879 9138 International +44 1789 205478
If you decide to stay at the Macdonald Alveston Manor Hotel as a result of reading this review please mention The Travel Locker.
Disclosure: My stay was courtesy of Macdonald Hotels & Resorts.