TO THE MANOR BORN IN THE HEART OF ENGLAND: THE BILLESLEY MANOR HOTEL & SPA
Updated: Nov 17
Set in the stunning lush green rolling countryside of the English county of Warwickshire, sits a stunning 16th century Elizabethan Manor House; Welcome to the chic boutique Billesley Manor Hotel & Spa.
Although it seems to be in the middle of nowhere, this is definitely part of its attraction. As we approached the Manor, we quickly got drawn into this perfect peaceful sanctuary.
We were instantly transported to another time, the perfect setting for a grand ball or murder mystery. The hotel harmoniously combined its tradition with elegance and all you needed for a stay away.
Seemingly remote, the Billesley Manor is in fact a perfect base for exploring the region. This is William Shakespeare land and the Billesley Manor has played its part in the playwright’s history. Shakespeare wrote his comedy play ‘As You Like It’ in 1599, in the gorgeous snug of a lounge – with the quirky décor of books artistically stuck to the ceiling.
The view from the library bay window looks out onto the 125 year old Victorian Topiary Gardens designed with giant chess pieces based on the characters from Alice in Wonderland.
Although there is no village at Billesley today, remains show an ancient medieval village was once present. Today, the local sheep happily graze on the green grass left behind.
Also located next door to the Manor is the 11th century All Saints Church, a tiny building with a small graveyard. Church records show that William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway here in 1582!
From the moment you step into the reception of the hotel, you feel at home. We were greeted with a very warm and super friendly welcome.
With original wood panelled walls, large deep lead window frames and huge fireplaces, the original features of the house combine with stylish decorative pieces and splashes of modern flair wherever you look, there is a sophisticated yet cosy magic in the air.
Our bedroom was big and very stylish with all the modern amenities, located in the eaves of the Manor roof our room had a wonderful view across the immaculate Manor lawn complete with circular pond and fountain.
Creating a hotel in such an old building has its challenges including the very steep and narrow staircase leading to the bedrooms in the eaves of the roof, but even this just adds to the charm.
We arrived in time for dinner in the busy Stuart Restaurant. Sitting under stunning grand chandeliers, with another period feature fireplace, our meal featured the best local produce accompanied by a wonderful wine list.
All around the hotel are little pieces of history. Several locks on doors date back to the 17th century. They are believed to have come from a close relation of the house’s owner who worked as the Keeper of Armouries at the Tower of London during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
The mezzanine level offers cosy areas for quite drinks or coffee but still with the rich décor and beautiful painted ceiling roses.
After our Sunday morning buffet breakfast, we headed for the Spa; it was indeed a sanctuary.
Following a wonderful back, neck and shoulder massage we swam in the indoor pool and relaxed in the sauna and steam room. It really was perfect pampering!
The Billesley Manor is definitely a country retreat that offers pure relaxation. We would definitely return again and can imagine how magical it would be at Christmas.
Located in the countryside outside of Stratford, the Billesley Manor Hotel is a hotel like no other. It is a huge estate with beautiful grounds.
We arrived in the evening but even with just the lighting from the hotel you could imagine what it would look like in the morning. You could also imagine what the hotel would be like at Christmas, all decorated and christmassy - it would definitely be a magical experience at one that would be truly English.
Even with the cosy vibes, you still expected to see Hercule Poirot appear around every corner, it was the perfect setting for a murder mystery to take place.
We checked in at the reception and made our way to our room. It was lovely! It was very spacious and we had a great view of the lawn and fountain. The bathroom was huge but had that lovely crisp clean feel, plus it was! The only thing that wasn’t so good was the shampoo, it just didn’t foam up.
We took the rather narrow, wooden stairs down to the restaurant, which was quite posh as there was a dress code to adhere to.
The wine was delicious and the food was well presented and matched our surroundings.
As a starter I had heritage tomatoes with creamy feta which was fresh and the best course of my meal. For the main dish I chose salmon with green beans (very al dente) and potato with mushrooms. My desert was a chocolate and coconut cake mouse which needed to be taken out of the fridge earlier as the mouse was too firm. Nevertheless, the wine was great; and there was a big choice of global wines to choose from.
The next morning, we headed down to breakfast. The buffet breakfast was as expected with pastries, bread, cereal, fruit etc. English breakfast was available too. Unfortunately the mini pain au chocolate and the pain au raisin were totally dried out. The mini croissants were good. It was a pity as it was a chance to have something different and special that you don’t get at home.
After breakfast we explored the hotel a little and found the lounge which was charmingly colourful. The old wooden desk, elegant fireplace and a floor to ceiling cabinet of books were accompanied with cosy chairs. The surprise was when you looked up at the ceiling and saw lots of books hanging there.
We arrived at the spa in time for our pre-arranged and much needed treatment, which was so relaxing and calming that you just wanted to stay there all day. Following our massages we enjoyed the steam room and sauna as well as a swim in the pool which was very refreshing.
Overall, the environment and interior of the hotel were great and I loved that aspect, so I would certainly go again. What is not to like about a weekend away in the English countryside with some pampering too!