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Warwickshire: Warner's Studley Castle £50m make-over makes venue the perfect place to stay

By Lynn Cox

My sister has been to some of Warner's other resorts, but I was a newbie.

She said I would love the concept, I certainly did and she's never been so impressed by one as she was when we visited Studley Castle Hotel in Warwickshire.

The castle just has that immediate wow-factor as soon as you are heading up its long tree-lined drive.

Studley Castle Hotel, Warwickshire (14080390)
Studley Castle Hotel, Warwickshire (14080390)

We'd been in the car for a while as that M25 is an unforgiving place, but I couldn't wait to get in and relax and hey, the castle is just the perfect place to do that.

I'd driven from Rochester, which of course has its own castle, but even though ours is grand enough, this castle was just the epitome of luxury from the moment we walked through the front door.

It's the leisure company's newest investment, they've spent £50m on it and it sure is beautiful, contemporary and just one of the most stunning places I've ever stayed.

The hotel is near to Stratford-upon-Avon, it's a Grade II listed and has been restored and renovated superbly.

As I said the start, I was a Warner virgin, I didn't know what to expect, but I was very, very happy with what the venue has to offer.

No only is it a magnificent place, but for the money you pay, everything is included.

The only thing we paid for the whole weekend was drinks at the bar and of course, in typical me style, the bar was the first place we found.

The castle was built almost 200 years ago, in 1834, has not only been resorted to its former glory, but there is also a brand new wing which has been added onto the original stable block which now also houses a beautiful pool and spa.

It has two restaurants, The Market Kitchen (which later turns into the best entertainment venue I've seen) and the Arden Cafe Bar and Restaurant.

It was the Arden bar we found first and it has this amazing patio area which we took full advantage of.

The view from the Arden Terrace
The view from the Arden Terrace

It has this pretty impressive view of the countryside and the nearby village of Studley.

We sat there for ages watching the sheep and wild hares and admiring the wonderful countryside while drinking our not so expensive ciders.

I was expecting alcoholic drinks to be a bit pricey, but I was so wrong, we both were both able to enjoy one each for under a £10.

The hotel is quirky and bohemian at the same time, there is so much mix and match decor, but it certainly does match.

Even the astroturf sofas and deckchairs on the terrace fit in.

We took a wander around the beautiful grounds, checked out the rifle range, the spa and the pool.

We went in for a dip the next day, the pool is stunning and is big enough to swim a few lengths without anyone getting in your way.

And don't start me off about the food on offer. I could write a whole book on how much choice there is.

The food I had was just mouthwatering, we ate in both restaurants and I can't fault a thing.

The Market Kitchen is a foodie's heaven and you can just go back for more and more if you can fit it in.

Get the chefs to do you a fresh sea bass, it was cooked in front of me and was just perfectly delicious.

My sister had an Indian meal which she devoured and the ice cream roulette wheel for dessert was just a delight.

We stayed in a room in the castle, number 21, the view overlooks the driveway and entrance.

Everything about it was luxurious, the beds, the decor, the bathroom and even the tea and coffee making facilities must have cost a fortune.

It's taken three years to restore the building to how it looks today, it is just breathtaking where ever you go, inside and out.

We were there for the WarnerFest event and I didn't know how Radio's Jo Whiley was going to do her set.

She first introduced some new emerging talents of the music scene, all brilliant performers, but she rocked the place afterwards with some classic 80s tracks, even I got up and danced when she played Wham.

The night before we'd watched the in-house band, New Dimensions, wow, just wow. Amazing performers.

Watch out for the late night long haired piano player... I'd marry him for his musical talents alone.

Other acts to feature this year at the castle include Kim Wilde, Jason Manford, Pixie Lott, Rebecca Ferguson, The Feeling and more.

As I said at the start, I'd been a Warner virgin, but I will certainly be staying at one of their resorts again.

That's exactly what they are, resorts, luxurious, clean, modern and just jam-packed with things to do and the entertainment they put on is far more superior than any other place I have stayed.

From eating, drinking, watching the fabulous performers, or just relaxing on a lounger by the pool, Warner have certainly got Studley Castle Hotel absolutely spot on.

And a must is taking a trip on the brewery tour, it's so interesting and you get to drink all the wonderful fresh beer you want.

And the added bonus is no kids allowed...what more could anyone want?

Take a tour of Studley Castle Hotel

The hotel

Studley Castle is the perfect setting for a short break exploring and relaxing rural Warwickshire.

Set in 28 acres of countryside, the castle has four different room types and 209 bedrooms.

All have historic or contemporary features and are designed so guests can relax in comfort and enjoy a luxurious stay.

The rooms are set up by location and lots have a balcony or patio.

Castle rooms are rich in period detail and statement furniture, while the rooms in the brand-new Studley wing are elegant and fresh with contemporary colours.

In all the locations, the room design pays respect to the building’s history and reflects the natural world outside.

It also houses a cinema, The Picture House, bars, luxurious lounges, two restaurants, a spa with a range of specialist treatments and a modern pool.

There is a wide choice of outdoor activities to enjoy including, laser clay shooting, archery, cycling or pop into the rifle range to get some target practice.

It also houses one of the most modern and largest live performance venues in the hotel scene.

There are sports showings during some afternoons and acoustic sessions in the bars at night.

Music lovers can also step it up a beat, and watch brilliant acts from the 80s as well as, live big bands, cirque-style artists and comedians.

Evesham Bar is a fantastic place to have a drink
Evesham Bar is a fantastic place to have a drink

The two main dining venues are the Evesham Restaurant and the Arden Café Bar & Restaurant, both in the newly-built Studley wing of the hotel.

There are also lounges in the castle for snacks and afternoon tea with speciality teas and coffees or drinks from the bar.

Guests get to choose between bed & breakfast and dinner, or just bed & breakfast breaks.

The Evesham Restaurant and Market Kitchen is a theatrical restaurant and accommodates guests morning, noon and night.

There’s live theatre cooking, a choice of daily specials and a fish bar, salad counter and desserts, using the best fresh, seasonal ingredients.

During the day, there may be sports on the big screen, while the evenings become livelier with wine and gin-tasting sessions.

The Arden Cafe bar and restaurant is a delightful dining experience, with a menu mostly featuring British classics with a bit of a modern twist.

During the day it's a coffee lounge which spills out to the outdoor terrace area.

The Oak room is a great place to enjoy afternoon tea or a snack, a very relaxing place to sit and admire the quirky decor.

The Garden Room and Hideway are also beautiful rooms to sit and relax and read or play a vintage board came.

The Stables Spa is a casual space with lots of comfy chairs and loungers, and is a good place to enjoy healthy drinks and snacks. Guests can book a class in the Fitness Studio, or receive a treatment from the extensive Spa menu.

The pool is open from early until late, and there’s a sauna and steam room too.

Visit the local area

The Cotswolds is only 20 minutes away by car, while the Arden Way, right on the doorstep, is a gateway to wonderful walks through countryside.

Tickets to Warwick Castle, Shakespeare’s former homes and boating on the River Avon are also available at Studley Castle.

Other places nearby to visit include, Boughton-on-the-Water, Henley-in-Arden, Broadway, and Stow-in-the-Wold to name but a few.

For more information and to book a break at Studley Castle, click here

For more information about other Warner Leisure Hotels, please click here or visit it's facebook page by clicking here.

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