None of the character of this black-and-white timbered hotel, which claims to be the oldest building in Stratford, has been lost in its swanky, but sympathetic update. Low beams, wood paneling, and winding corridors are partnered with the best of contemporary design, original art work, and striking swan motifs. Public rooms feel ancient, yet cozy; bedrooms come individually designed, many with free-standing or copper baths, and a choice of pillows. If you want the most
history, ask for a room in the oldest part of the hotel. Don't miss the stunning 16th-century wall painting in the restaurant.