Ettington Park Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon

The location

ImageLocated just outside Stratford-upon-Avon, the hotel is also within easy reach of Birmingham, Royal Leamington Spa and Warwick. Set in beautiful countryside complete with ruins, sheep and bunnies, the hotel offers a lovely and romantic destination.

The room

Our room was very spacious. A flight of stairs led to a sitting area next to the large bed. There was also a desk and the room was well equipped: television, safe, mini bar. Water was provided. Although there is wi-fi in the communal parts of the hotel, a cable was provided in the room. I found it impossible to connect with a VPN, especially as 3G was really weak. The bathroom was equally large.

There was only one problem with the room: we were able to hear the noise from the adjacent rooms. This is really something I hate.

The evening meals

Two options were offered: dinner in the lounge or in the pannelled dining room. I must say I preferred dining in the lounge, which offered lovely views of the surrounding countryside and better value food. We decided to dine in the dining room the second night and were told this was a big affair: you had to drop your reservation at reception the day before. Of course when we turned up the following day there seemed to be no trace of our reservation and we were kept waiting for about half an hour before we were allowed to enter the dining room. We were expecting it to be full of diners, but it was fairly empty. We also found the food was quite average. Wine was also priced in a strange manner: I was able to enjoy a glass of mature Bordeaux for the same price as my wife’s recent Chablis.

The other issue was the staff, which switched from the extremely formal (addressing us as Mr and Mrs) to the oddly familiar. Coffee was also quite disappointing, for the hotel seemed unable to produce a hot cup.

The breakfast

In contrast to our dinner experiences, we really enjoyed breakfast. A few cooked options are provided; I sampled the full English and the scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and loved both. There is also a buffet replete with bread, jams and fresh fruits.

The facilities

Another aspect of our stay that we loved was the ability to use the hotel’s indoor pool and sauna for no extra cost. It definitely makes for a very relaxing stay.

The price

In total, including two nights, four dinners, a few drinks, four breakfasts, £377 (€477). Before returning, we would certainly give it some thought, because of the issues with food mentioned above, but also because we had to ask for our bill to be corrected a few times before getting the correct amount.

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