We take our children to stay at a landmark hotel in the centre of Stratford
What is it
The Grosvenor Hotel is a landmark hotel in Stratford town centre with 76 rooms. It used to be known as the Villare Hotel but now has its original name back.
Where is it?
It’s in the centre of Stratford, a few minutes’ walk from the main attractions.
Our ground floor room had a large bed and a sofa bed, tv, desk and en-suite. It was very hot but a fan was set up ready.
Our room was a good size and simply decorated.
It is family friendly?
There were quite a few families staying here when we visited. There is nothing specific designed for children but the rooms are a reasonable size and it is walking distance into Stratford.
Food and drink
Breakfast was a simple choice of cereals, toast, fruit and hot options like egg, bacon, sausages and tomato. Our children enjoyed having branded cereals they could choose from.
Breakfast at the Grosvenor Hotel
We also had afternoon tea here which included a selection of sandwiches – egg, cheese, coronation chicken and tuna, plus chocolate brownies, lemon cake, strawberries and scones with cream and jam.
Afternoon tea at the Grosvenor Hotel
There is a lounge and bar area which serves discounted drinks during Happy Hour between 9pm and 11pm.
*The hotel’s position is good, it’s a nice walk along the canal to the very centre. Don’t miss the entrance to the canal, which is across the road from the hotel.
*The staff did their best but I felt like more were needed, they were run ragged on reception and at breakfast. The young man who served us afternoon tea did an excellent job and seemed happier than some of the other employees.
The hotel bar
*There is a back entrance from the car park so you don’t need to keep going up and down the front steps.
An outdoor area at the back of the hotel
*As it is a grade two-listed building there is no lift so let the hotel know if you need a downstairs room.
It’s a short walk into Stratford town centre if you cross the road, turn right and take the canal path.
There is loads to do in Stratford – Shakespeare-related attractions such as his birthplace and school, shops, boating on the River Avon, restaurants and cafes and of course theatres. See our top picks here.
Address: Grosvenor Hotel,12-14 Warwick Road, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 6YW.
Parking: There is a car park and it costs £9 per night to park your car. The car park did get full when we visited so arrive early to park and then leave your car to walk into Stratford.
This is the school where William Shakespeare was taught in the 1570s, where he wrote his first works and saw inspiring actors perform plays.
Shakespeare was able to attend this local grammar school as his father was Mayor of Stratford.
The attraction is guide-led and their passion and enthusiasm for the building shines through.
The best bit is where you get to sit in the schoolroom with an actor playing the part of Shakespeare’s teacher Master Thomas Jenkins. We even had a Latin lesson. It is very interactive with adults and children getting involved in the fun. The 20-minute lesson was a real highlight of our visit, especially when our daughter got to play the part of Julius Caesar.
A lesson at Shakespeare’s school
The visit here starts with a guide explaining about the history of the building, visitors watch a short video and then learn about a painting discovered in the Guildhall.
Later, you can dress up in Tudor clothes and learn to write with a quill and ink in a classroom still used by King Edward VI School in Stratford.
Writing with a quill
Time taken: One to two hours.
Address: Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall, Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6HB.
New Place, built in the 1480s, was William Shakespeare’s home from 1597 until he died there in 1616.
At the time it was also known as the Great House as it was the largest in Stratford and the only one with a courtyard.
Sadly, the medieval house was demolished in 1759, today you will find a museum there and an Elizabethan garden.
The gardens at Shakespeare’s New Place
The museum has a nice introductory animated video about Shakespeare and his return to Stratford which was interesting.
However the gardens are definitely the best part of New Place, they are beautiful with space to run around and lots of statues and information boards for children to learn about Shakespeare and his plays.
Time taken: Around 45 minutes with children
Address: Shakespeare’s New Place, 22 Chapel Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6EP.
We try out a city centre hotel in Stratford close to its top family attractions
Hotel Indigo Stratford upon Avon.
Where is it
It is in a great location in the centre of Stratford, opposite two tourist attractions – Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Shakespeare’s New Place.
What is it
It’s a boutique hotel with 93 rooms in a stunning building made up of a Georgian townhouse, a 16th century building and a modern wing.
Is it family friendly?
Our children really enjoyed our stay but we didn’t see any others during the trip – this classy hotel seems more aimed at couples, friends and older families.
Inside the hotel
However, staff couldn’t have been nicer.
Our suite was in the Tudor section of the hotel and was a heady mix of modern comforts and 16th century character.
The main bedroom in our suite
The fun layout was made up of two rooms with a Jack and Jill bathroom in between and a wide, furnished corridor which also links the two.
The main bedroom had a big comfy bed and the second room had a sofa bed which the children loved.
The second room
The decor was modern and quirky. There are plenty of nods to Shakespeare with paintings of characters from his plays on the walls. Our children enjoyed discovering which plays the characters were from.
Further rooms are in the Georgian townhouse section and the contemporary wing. There are rooms suitable for families in all three areas of the hotel depending on if you want traditional Tudor or a more modern-style room.
Food and drink
Breakfast was served in the ‘Feasting Room’ and included a good continental spread of cereals, pastries, toast, hams, cheeses and extras like carrot muffins.
Breakfast at Hotel Indigo
Hot food to order such as a cooked breakfast, French toast with fruit and honey or egg, hash brown and spinach on a brioche bun, was delicious.
You can book a table to eat dinner in the upscale, on-site restaurant The Woodsman, which serves a changing menu made up of farm-to-table dishes like deer, boar, beef and lamb.
The chefs cook in an open kitchen, using a wood fired oven and charcoal grill.
It is quality over quantity – there were five main course options when we ate there including cod and a vegetarian mushroom option. My pork was melt-in-the-mouth delicious with a side dish of crunchy potatoes.
This is not the restaurant for you if you are after very simple food or pub favourites, but we really enjoyed the tasty fare and the desserts were equally delicious and well presented.
There was no printed children’s menu, but they offered to make a smaller version of any of the main meals or serve sausage and mash, chicken or fish goujons and chips.
Chicken goujons for the children
*The snacks in the hotel room like popcorn and crisps, are complimentary.
*The fun layout of our room.
*The great central location – we could just leave our car here and explore the town, without having to worry about finding somewhere to park in Stratford.
There is a gym/fitness room, bar, nice little seating areas dotted around and also a pretty little garden with tables to sit at.
Opposite is Shakespeare’s Schoolroom and Guildhall. This is where William Shakespeare went to school and has guides showing you around the different sections who are passionate about the site and its history.
Also opposite is Shakespeare’s New Place – the site and gardens that housed his home for 19 years.
Plus, there are other interesting places to see nearby, boat trips on the River Avon, shows at the Royal Shakespeare Society and dozens of places to eat and drink on the doorstep.
Read our full, detailed round-up of the best places to visit in Stratford.
The hotel entrance at the back of the building
Address: Hotel Indigo, Chapel Street, Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6HA.
Parking: There is a small car park which costs £10 per car per night. It can not be booked in advance and is first come, first served.