Believed to be where William Shakespeare wrote ‘As You Like It, Billesley Manor Hotel is proud of its rich history, located in 11 acres of rural countryside, just three miles from Stratford-upon-Avon. The 16th-century hotel underwent a £5.6 million refurbishment in 2021, injecting new life into its 71 guest rooms, communal areas, bar, restaurant, and newly renovated spa and wedding venue. The interior design has created modern decor without compromising history.
I turned up in the Ferrari Roma, which is a lifestyle car. It certainly created a scene and matched this stunning 16th-century Manor.
Just outside the medieval town of Stratford-upon-Avon, Billesley Manor Hotel is set right in the heart of Shakespearean England, near Stratford-upon-Avon. As such, there’s plenty of Shakespeare-focused history to take in.
As for the Shakespeare-related highlights, visit Shakespeare’s birthplace, the Holy Trinity Church to see the writer’s final resting place, his wife Anne Hathaway’s cottage (although opening hours are seasonal), The Royal Shakespeare Company when it reopens, and the All-Saints church, where Shakespeare allegedly married Anne Hathaway, right next to the Billesley Manor Hotel.
I am always fascinated by history and the idea that a doorway I’ve just walked through is over 400 years old. From the time of the Norman Conquest, the manor at Billesley was one of a number of Midland properties belonging to the increasingly influential Trussell family circ 1327. A family linked to deposing King Edward II.
Original stone windows in the main dining room, which was originally the main lounge (off the kitchen) take you back to the fifteenth century. I am so glad the manor’s original charm and beauty have been preserved so well.
The open fireplaces in both the reception area and the bar are what I call the best of Manor experiences. So if you are hiking for the day this is the best way to snug up and drink a cocktail.
The Main Hall & Library
In addition to the comfortable reception area with its jewel-tone armchairs and fireplace, the main public areas include the Great Hall Lounge and Bar and The Library. The bar space is comfortable but also feels particularly glamorous with its double-height ceilings open to a galleried balcony, oak panelling, stone fireplace, and oil paintings.
Elsewhere, The Library – where Shakespeare is said to have written ‘As You Like It – is a quiet space with tables perfect for reading, catching up on work, or playing chess, all overlooking the garden. The room also has a striking art installation, featuring books cascading out of the shelves and climbing up and across the ceiling.
As for the 71 bedrooms, Billesley Manor Hotel offers a number of different styles. My Junior Suite was spacious and well-equipped with modern amenities, a huge bed, and decorated with a moody
dark blue and modern white colour scheme stylishly contrasting the remaining Tudor accents. A loose Forest of Arden theme also permeates the room, with framed feathers and plenty of floral
The bed was very cosy and the views overlooking the gardens both day and night were stunning. The very comfortable two velour armchairs adorned with a loud floral print also brought a splash of colour, as an ideal space to sit, work and admire the garden view from the large traditional windows, overlooking the 125-year-old topiary garden, tennis courts, fountain (which is, thankfully, turned off overnight), and the hotel’s picturesque grounds.
Do take a stroll throughout the gardens they are truly lovely with quirky hedges.
It had a minibar and a dictated working desk where I could also have tea. It was lovely peering out of the window during my zoom meetings.
The bathroom was relaxing and the decor was pristine and white to give a nice vibe to it. Victorian features made it all that authentic British decor one would expect here.
When visiting Billesley Manor Hotel, it’s worth requesting a room in the older part of the hotel, ideally overlooking the garden.
The spa is nice and quaint and is undergoing new launches of products which many locals venture here when looking for some wellness. Book in advance your treatments to avoid missing out.
A large buffet full of English breakfast overlooking the gardens was the perfect way to wake up and take in the day. The seating area is lovely and the chair is very comfortable. Fresh produce and limitless coffee and tea are why I soaked up breakfast taking my time.
Timeless & Classic
Inspo Alert! During my stay, I kept noticing a particular pattern and design choice through the Manor; a herringbone pattern (I was even wearing a pair of tights with the same pattern on my arrival!). So, as a creative indication to me that I was ‘recharged’ I started to look into the significance and history of the Herringbone
Examples of the herringbone pattern can be seen in the intricate jewellery of the Ancient Egyptian elite and in fabric originating in Ancient Italy.
Both herringbone and chevron patterns became very popular throughout the 1600s in France, symbolizing status and elegance. One of the first examples of
wooden herringbone flooring can be seen at the Francis I Gallery at the Chateau de Fontainebleau, which was installed in 1539.
Hotel Billesley is perfectly located for a weekend stay if you are looking for a break from a hectic life. Stratford Upon Avon is not far at all. The area allows one to hike for the day and explore the area. The garden is a perfect way to unwind and have a nice drink. With access to going for a swim and a sauna or booking a treatment for some pampering. If you are wanting a wedding celebration this hotel offers all the requirements for any celebration. Thanks for a great stay and that is down to the staff.
- Room reviewed: Junior Suite
- Website: www.billesleymanor.com
- Address: Billesley, Stratford-upon-Avon B49 6NF, United Kingdom
- Phone: +44 1789 279955