Inside A Gorgeous Riverside Hotel At Shakespeare's Stratford-Upon-Avon That's Ideal For A Cultural Weekend

2024 has been a rather hectic ride so far, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve been getting the urge to escape it all. The perfect remedy? A peaceful hideaway boasting stunning scenery, where you’ll also get brownie points for history. Enter, The Arden Hotel, nestled in outrageously pretty Stratford-Upon-Avon.

The Arden Hotel Stratford Upon Avon Reviews | DesignMyNight

Prepare for unrivalled River Avon vistas... bring on the summer we say. 

First things first, the train journey from London is very straightforward, just a short changeover at Leamington Spa. This means it’s not too much of a schlep for a weekend away, especially as the hotel is a mere 15-minute walk from the station. Whether you're catching a show at The Royal Shakespeare Company or seeking a relaxing, luxurious holiday, The Arden Hotel is a safe choice.

… and boy, was the hotel a beauty or what? From the preened and meticulously manicured gardens (there’s a hedge in the shape of an A) to the stately home exterior, it literally stopped us in our tracks. Quaint, floral-covered cottages cuddled the venue, plus we liked the central location: Shakespeare’s birthplace, Holy Trinity Church and The Black Swan pub are within strolling distance.

After navigating through the maze of corridors and up a spiral staircase (reception is on the first floor - I accidentally went into a cupboard trying to find it), we arrived at our room for the night, charmingly called Maple after a forest nearby. Feature rooms like ours start at £295 per night, and honestly, it was huge. Massive. Bigger than my last London flat. Hell, it even had a hallway linking the living area to the bedroom, plus not one but two TVs. Gorgeous tapestry curtains and artwork inspired by the Bard adorned the walls, both tying in nicely with the colour scheme of green, dark wood and purple. Everywhere was faultlessly clean too. But the main event? The views were remarkable, not only of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre but also the River Avon, with gliding rowers and vintage boats on the water. Very wholesome indeed. Also, drama buffs, you might even catch actors going in via the stage door.

The Arden Hotel Stratford-Upon-Avon Warwickshire | DesignMyNight

The Arden Stratford On Avon is perfect for sweethearts (we're looking at you, Romeo and Juliet).

You’ll have seen countless The Arden Hotel reviews that say service is outstanding here, right from check-in through to dinner and breakfast. We totally agree. The in-house restaurant, No.44 Brasserie On The Waterside, boasted geometric lighting that matched with statement zigzag wallpaper. It had an airy, stylish feel, bringing together a pre-theatre crowd, date nights and staycationers. As for the food? The award-winning No 44 Brasserie menu promised modern British classics with European flair. My starter of Wye Valley asparagus, grilled polenta, poached duck egg and hollandaise (£10) was a golden ray of sunshine, featuring perfectly al dente veg drenched in oozing yolk. What caught my date’s eye? The salt cod scotch egg (£8.95); a wicked twist on the classic. The cubes of chorizo provided fire, plus the flaky fish and crispy coating delighted on all levels. Why had we never heard of this before? It was amazing.

Mains came next, and my partner’s gourmet cheeseburger (£18) didn’t disappoint. Think a heavenly bun housing lettuce, tomato and a juicy patty, generously drizzled in marmalade sauce. My only minor gripe is that there was only one veggie plate to choose from, but I soon forgot about that as the wild mushroom risotto (£19) was lovely. Just imagine florets of broccoli, pungent parmesan and rich truffle pesto, topped with a beefy king oyster. Our advice: make sure you try the sticky toffee pudding (£8) for dessert, as we slurped every last bit. The texture was spot on, and we devoured the nuggets of salted caramel and silky ice cream.

The Arden Hotel Stratford Reviews | DesignMyNight

No 44 Brasserie reviews shine a light on how great this space is.

After a peaceful night’s sleep (the blackout curtains, colossal bed and super soft linen worked a treat), we arrived back to browse the No 44 Brasserie Stratford menu for breakfast. Despite the full English looking divine, we went for building our own sandwich (£20 each). I opted for a hash brown, runny fried egg and vegetarian sausage sarnie, the latter being deliciously herby, while my date packed in wonderful lemony avocado and bacon. Top tip, don’t skip the continental breakfast, which is included, particularly the pastries, fruit and a virgin bloody Mary station (a nice touch).

The DesignMyNight Digest 

To stay or not to stay? That is the question. Well, obviously, the answer is yes here. As someone who loves words, this weekend break singed to me in more ways than one. Culture vultures will adore the links to the RSC (like the monochrome prints of notable actors in the lounge) while visitors in the summer should make a beeline straight for the lush terrace… did we mention it’s dog-friendly too? Finally, and on a foodie note, trust us when we say The Arden Hotel Stratford menu is worth making a trip alone.

  💰 The damage: Around £425 between two, plus service charge.

  📍  The location: 44 Waterside, Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6BA.

  👌 Perfect for: An irresistible weekend escape.

 ⭐ Need to know: The afternoon tea and pre-theatre menus are worth a look.


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