6 uniquely historic hotels to experience in Stratford-upon-Avon

As the birthplace of Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon has no shortage of historic boutique hotels where you can experience the town's unique cultural hubbub – our favourites are here!

As the beloved home of the world’s greatest playwright, it is no wonder that the historic market town of Stratford-upon-Avon has a culture all of its own. The unique hotels that I have chosen to include in this roundup embody the town’s combination of historical preservation with a forward-looking vision.

From the wooden beams and wattle and daub architecture of historic coaching inns in the centre of the old town to grand and eccentric mansions in the surrounding countryside, these are some of my favourite hotels in Stratford-upon-Avon – each inspired by history and with a unique story to tell.

Live out your fairytale fantasies in this Stratford-upon-Avon mansion hotel

Ettington Park Hotel is one of the finest luxury hotels near Stratford-upon-Avon, located in the rural village of Alderminster. The neo-Gothic mansion looks like it has been taken straight out of a fairytale, complete with turrets, rooms leading onto balustrade balconies and ancient church ruins in the extensive gardens.

Throughout the hotel, large paintings hang from the walls and friezes and historic artefacts offer a glimpse of the property’s history and its eccentric former owners. Each of the 48 rooms has been decorated in luxurious furnishings, with four-poster beds, large bathtubs, coffee machines and stone fireplaces and archways adding to the unique atmosphere.

Indulging in a traditional afternoon tea experience in the grand Great Drawing room, surrounded by hanging tapestries, chandeliers and huge floor-to-ceiling windows is an experience you can’t experience anywhere else. The impressive two AA Rosette Oak Room Restaurant pairs traditional surroundings with a modern approach to cuisine.

Hotel Ettington Park

Top rated
Stratford-upon-Avon
8.9 Excellent (892 reviews)

Embrace the charms of a Grade II listed boutique hotel

As a fan of historical buildings, I was more than satisfied with The White Swan Hotel, a Grade II listed 15th century boutique hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon. Book a stay in a room with traditional whitewashed walls with quirky exposed wooden beams and drift off to sleep in an grand wooden four-poster bed. Each room is adorned with historic 16th century artefacts, flat screen TVs and oak writing desks.

The White Swan is located just 300 metres from the house where William Shakespeare was born and a short walk to the picturesque River Avon. After a busy day exploring the history of the town or before watching a play at one of the Royal Shakespeare Company theatres, the bar is the place to be for a cask ale or fresh coffee.

In the bar and lobby, spending time in the company of paintings, walls canvases and rare books in glass cases that are as old as the hotel itself offers a taste of the hotel’s history.

The White Swan Hotel

Top rated
Stratford-upon-Avon
8.9 Excellent (966 reviews)

An intimate boutique hotel at the heart of Shakespeare's Stratford

The Townhouse is the perfect place to stay in Stratford-upon-Avon, steps from all that the town has to offer. This 400-year old luxury boutique hotel is located near the schoolroom where the Bard studied, the Royal Shakespeare Company theatres and the New Place, the house where Shakespeare lived.

A luxury vibe runs throughout this intimate hotel. Heavy mirrors, bold wall prints, super king-size beds and heavy leather chairs and chaise lounges are found throughout the 12 individually-designed rooms. Homemade fudge and a carafe of port in each room makes you feel right at home.

The onsite gastro-pub has won many accolades since opening. Dishes focus on the freshest locally-sourced ingredients. Unwind over fine dishes including pan-fried sea bream, orange poached pears and coconut cookies, paired with a refreshing wine or ale.

The Townhouse

Top rated
Stratford-upon-Avon
8.8 Excellent (253 reviews)

A quaint village inn full of English character

The Howard Arms may only be located a 10-minute drive from central Stratford-upon-Avon, but it ticks all of my boxes for a quiet village hotel. The historic stone inn has retained many of its period qualities, including a log fire, low beams and snug window seats overlooking endless fields.

The eight bedrooms have been decorated in calming neutral tones, with large beds, oak roof beams, each individually designed. In the award-winning onsite restaurant, savour head chef Chris Ellis’s array of tantalising Sunday roasts, fresh breads, local game and mouthwatering puddings. Wash it all down with a locally-brewed ale or fine wine.

The Howard Arms

Top rated
Shipston-on-Stour
9.2 Excellent (183 reviews)

Spend the night in a historic house built by Shakespeare's father

Sitting in a quaint riverside location directly opposite the world famous Royal Shakespeare Company’s theatres, The Arden Hotel is a luxurious boutique hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon that is steeped in the town’s literary history.

The 45 rooms and suites combine timeless luxury with contemporary furnishings – housed in an imposing red brick building, built by William Shakespeare’s father, John, and now part of the Royal Shakespeare Company estate. You can touch the history when you relax in the gardens where the Bard wrote many of his plays.

Relax in the sumptuous king size beds and watch boats sailing by on the River Avon from the large sash windows. Or sink into a deep bathtub filled with bubbles with a glass of champagne for the perfect way to end a busy day.

The No. 44 Brasserie boasts two well-earned AA Rosette awards and serves a seasonal menu of tasty British dishes in an enviable riverside location. In the exclusive Club Bar, reminiscent of a gentleman’s club, shots of Shakespeare performances deck the walls as you enjoy a cheeky tipple on the private terrace overlooking the river.

The Arden

Top rated
Stratford-upon-Avon
8.7 Excellent (1232 reviews)

Escape to an impressively luxurious rural hotel close to Stratford-upon-Avon

Fans of over-the-top luxury, like myself, will enjoy Grade II-listed The Welcombe Hotel, a grand neo-Jacobean mansion with its own 18-hole golf course, set on a tranquil 157-acre estate. Book a room in the original house and live out your “Downton Abbey” fantasies. Each room boasts period oak furniture, large chandeliers and four-poster beds with views overlooking rolling countryside.

This hotel near Stratford-upon-Avon includes direct access to a championship golf course and a relaxing spa, sauna and treatment rooms. In the historic Trevelyan Restaurant, enjoy a changing menu of traditional British and French dishes in the warmth of a roaring fireplace.

Warwick Castle, Warwick Racecourse and the British Motor Museum are all just a short drive from the hotel. Meander to Stratford through the Clopton Park Nature Reserve and escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The Welcombe Hotel, Best Western Premier Collection

Stratford-upon-Avon
8.2 Very good (1421 reviews)