The Hotel Review: Arden Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK
Review: Val Jones
This sophisticated and modern 4* luxury boutique hotel is part of the Eden collection and has 45 uniquely styled bedrooms. Sitting in an ideal location directly opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and River Avon, and central to the historic town of Stratford-Upon-Avon. As you can image the town is steeped in history with William Shakespeares’ birth place being five minutes walk away in Henley Street. We loved the black and white Tudor style of buildings with the Garrick Pub being of particular interest, and not only for the drinking (!), but it’s said to have been an Inn since Medieval times and the oldest Inn in Stratford.
We entered the reception directly from the hotels private car park, this is a light open conservatory area, the pastel colours and bold art work are reflected throughout the hotel and the soft furnishing were well placed and enabled us to sit and admire the beautiful Christmas tree getting us in our festive break mood! Reception staff at were attentive and polite and we were quickly on our way to our room.
We were delighted with the ‘Apple’ Suite, with it’s huge comfy bed, choice of pillows, two sofas in the seating area, coffee table and LCD TV, which we made full use of later after a busy day and evening. Tea making facilities were on hand with fresh milk in the fridge along with choices of still and sparking water plus a coffee machine. The large luxurious bathroom had a welcoming bath always great for that ultimate relax with a cheeky glass of fizz and a good book! If you prefer to shower you wouldn’t be disappointed with the large walk in rain head shower and wonderful ESPA toiletries, the fluffy robes and slippers gave our stay an even more luxurious feel.
Prior to a planned stroll into Stratford-Upon-Avon we had a drink in the Residents lounge; a nice relaxing area with views over the River Avon & across to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Again, hotel staff were attentive giving us lots of information to our many questions about the theatre and town.
There were some great photographs of actors that that have appeared at the RSC, this further highlighted the close relationship the hotel has with the theatre.
Following a wonderful afternoon of Christmas Shopping in Stratford, we ate our dinner in the 2 Rosette Waterside Brassiere Restaurant with its’ horse shoe shaped giving it that intimate and comfortable ambiance. Sitting at the bar having pre- dinner drinks we noticed the impressive views across to the RSC and realised just how close the Theatre actually is to the hotel being sat at the same level, the hotel also boasts a champagne bar and quaint coffee lounge both adjacent to the dining area.
We ordered our choice of food and were shown to our table by the window which was set very nicely with a white tablecloth, sparkling glasses and cutlery that shone, we were pleased we had dressed up for the occasion as this was fine dining at its best!
For starters we both had the rabbit leg croquette with saffron aioli and picked carrots, this dish appealed to me straight away it’s not something I’ve tried before and I’m pleased to say it was delicious with the flavours blending well together and the croquette being very light. Following this I had Gressingham duck breast with braised chicory, mini fondant potatoes, blackberry jus, carrots and a side order of green beans in garlic butter, again a dish that I can highly recommend. My husband enjoyed the Woods Farm free range belly pork, pork consommé, oriental stir fry vegetables and soy dressing.
You can actually buy theatre tickets at the hotel and the pre-theatre dinner package is a great idea you can eat starters & main-prior to the performance then come back afterwards and finish your meal with your sweet! We were particularly impressed with this as I think we’ve all been there with the pre-theatre rushed meal due to bad service!
After a good nights’ sleep we headed down for a late breakfast as I must admit to sleeping longer than normal so it was lucky that breakfast was served until 10am. We were pleased to see that there was quite a choice on the menu and following fruit from the buffet I ordered kippers with lemon butter, it’s not something I would have at home so a special treat, my husband opted for the full English breakfast with poached eggs, both meals were excellent and set us up for our onward journey.
After check out we had an option to leave our car in the car park whilst we had a last walk around the sights and shops the friendly and helpful staff explain we could just use the code to leave when we were ready so no rushing about!Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6BA, England.