Stratford Upon Avon in January 2009

Aug 31st, 2008, 03:22 AM
  #1  
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Stratford Upon Avon in January 2009

My husband and I, our 3 children, and 2 grandparents in their 80's will be visiting Stratford upon Avon for 2 nights in the first week of January 2009.

I have been researching hotels, B & B's and Inns online and have contacted quite a few, only to be told that they are closed in January. I have read that some Fodorites have stayed in a youth hostel in Stratford, but I don't feel I can expect the grandparents to sleep in bunk beds.

Does anyone have any suggestions about accommodation in, or near to Stratford that will be open in January? We will have a car, so we don't need to be within walking distance of all the Shakespearian attractions.

Grandma has had hip replacement surgery but we can carry her suitcase for her, so a few flights of stairs won't be a problem. We would be happy with modest accommodation as long as it will be warm (the grandparents live in the UK so they will be used to the cold - it's us Ozziez who will be freezing!)

Ozziez is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 04:09 AM
  #2  
 
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i can't speak for your experience contacting stratford hotels and b&bs but stratford is a reasonably good sized town with many hotels that are certainly not seasonal. some decent ones are:

-thistle
-welcombe (outside the city centre)

i have also stayed in the holiday inn when it was branded as something else. this is a large, modern business hotel that is well located and pretty decent. hard to believe it would be closed any time of year unless it's under major refurbishment.

i have never stayed there but there is a pretty large mercure that would almost certainly be open in january.

i have also stayed in the grosvenor probably every month of the year over time. this is an old style place with some rooms better than others...might try the 'executive' rooms if you want something better and have a bigger budget. OK place i would say.

places to avoid are the swan (nice on the outside but pretty dismal rooms), and the stratford manor. apologies if it has improved and been refurbished but a couple years ago, i would say that this is easily the worst hotel at the worst value i have ever stayed in. horrible breakfast and terrible management is evident. it does seem to be popular with tour groups and it was depressing to see people subjected to this place on a pleasure trip. over a 2 night business stay, i would say that this place did almost nothing right...bad room, unable to handle simple check-in, check-out queues and breakfast was a circus of incompetent management and staff.

'the stratford' is owned by the same company and is incrementally better than the stratford manor but has a bad decor (mock tudorish with horridly depressing dark wood and bad carpet everywhere). it certainly would not be my first choice but probably won't be a disaster either. and i'm sure it's open in january.

so you really should have no problem finding an open hotel in a busy town like stratford. many choices.
walkinaround is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 07:42 AM
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How would you feel about a cottage two miles from Stratford (in Wilmcote, where Mary Arden's house is located), but easily linked with a regular train service and frequent buses? I don't know if they would be open to a two day rental, but January would be their low season and if you rented both their units, it might be worth their while. Plus you have the advantage of a little kitchen, private spaces and great hosts.

Their website is: http://www.peartreecot.co.uk/
and the hosts are Ted and Margaret Mander. We stayed there for four months in 2006.
rickmav is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 08:21 AM
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http://www.theemsley.co.uk/ We stayed at the Emsley House in Stratford. We loved it there. They have individual parking garages included in the price.
bratsandbeer is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 08:25 AM
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Try using "Smoothound", once in the site, type in the town name and you will see a listing of B&B's.
rogeruktm is offline  
Aug 31st, 2008, 04:56 PM
  #6  
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Thank you all very much for your suggestions. Walkinaround, I really appreciate your recommendations - and warnings - and am investigating accordingly. I was surprised how many establishments are closed or partly closed in January, but I suppose it is too expensive for many hotels and B & B's to stay open when they won't be fully occupied.

Rickmav, Pear Tree Cottage looks absolutely delightful. Unfortunately the grandparents are not a couple so this makes bedroom configurations a bit complicated, but I have contacted Pear Tree Cottage to find out if they will relax their minimum 3 night rule for us.

Bratsandbeer, The Emsley looks delightful too and I have e-mailed them. Hopefully they'll be able to accommodate us because I can work out quite an acceptable bedroom allocation plan for our party if The Emsley has vacancies.

And Rogeruktm, thanks so much for telling me about Smoothhound. I hadn't come across this website before and it will be most useful if my other enquiries prove to be fruitless.

How anyone plans a holiday without the help of Fodorites who are so generous with their time is beyond me!

Ozziez is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2008, 12:25 AM
  #7  
 
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This is doing my head in. I have spent masses of time in Straford over the years with rellies, but I guess not for some years now. I worked in the White Swan when I was a student- it was a perfectly acceptable Forte hotel without being anything special, and from a quick glance at Trip Adviser it still is.

The Alveston manor used to be the "posh" hotel; with the Swan's Nest a close runner up. The George was quite posh too.

The Falcoln and the Shakespeare were perfectly OK too. These are all central and within, at a push 15 minutes walk of the theatre. But there was one right next door, and I just can't for the life of me remember the name......
sheila is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2008, 12:27 AM
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Got it! It's changed t's name. It used to be something else but is now the Thistle. Another chain, I'm afraid, but very well located
sheila is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2008, 04:43 PM
  #9  
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Thanks for thinking so hard for me Sheila! Much appreciated. And thank you to everyone else who gave me such good advice. This has been an interesting exercise because I have found out two things. First, many hotels, B & B's and inns in this area (and in the south of England)are closed in winter. Second, those that are open prefer bookings for three nights or more - sadly that was was the case with the gorgeous Pear Tree Cottage, rickmav.

Anyway, I have managed to get a booking at Penryn Guest House which looks lovely. It is on the outskirts of Stratford but this won't be a problem for us because we will have a car. The proprietors have been very prompt and helpful and they can accommodate my large group. I'll let you know how it goes!
Ozziez is offline  
Sep 5th, 2008, 07:30 AM
  #10  
 
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Too bad about Pear Tree cottage. And this is very weird - some years ago my husband and I, and my sister and her husband stayed at Penrhyn B&B. It was nothing fancy but a fairly typical B&B, and although not right in the middle of things, we did walk into Stratford to eat and wander along the river. If I remember, the reason we picked it was because we could park without too much hassle and not have to take the car into town. Have fun.
rickmav is offline  
Sep 5th, 2008, 07:42 AM
  #11  
 
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Hi OzzieZ
That was spooky!
I read your message sitting in the office just up the road from Penryn at 126 Alcester Rd.!!!
You should be fine there. It's not right in the centre of town but about 10 min walk from the railway station in one direction and 15 min walk into town (20 mins to the river and theatre). Taxis and buses easily available nearby.
January is a good time to visit. There are fewer school parties roaming the streets, yet all the attractions will be open for business. have fun!
bellini is offline  
Sep 6th, 2008, 12:42 AM
  #12  
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Thanks so much for the info Rickmav and Bellini. Great to know that Penryn Guest House will be OK. We're really looking forward to our trip!
Ozziez is offline  
Sep 4th, 2009, 08:15 AM
  #13  
 
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Ozziez- it would be good to hear what you did in Stratford and whether you enjoyed your visit.
bellini is offline  
Oct 4th, 2009, 05:05 AM
  #14  
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Hi Bellini
I haven't accessed Fodors since March - I had a big thesis to finish, a major operation to have and recover from, and Grandpa died - but I am so pleased you haven't given up on me.

I started a trip report but had to stop when life became too hectic this end. If people are still interested in reading about what we got up to, I will undertake to finish it.

We had a wonderful time in Stratford and Penryn Guest House was great. We were there in week 5 of our 6 week holiday and my trip report has only got as far as the end of week 1!
Ozziez is offline  
Oct 4th, 2009, 03:50 PM
  #15  
 
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I'm always delightfully surprised at the quality of the responses on the Fodor forum. I guess I'm exposed too much to a world where fewer and fewer people write well--or adequately. Not, in my limited experience, on Fodor. (I just returned from a trip to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and discovered the Fodor site and found the conversation and suggestions helpful and entertaining--just like this thread).

I'm thinking of taking a two to three week trip to England in May 2010 and have to decide whether to go on a bus tour with about 25 people--the kind of trip I normally avoid--or travel alone or with someone. That's not a formal question, seeking responses. I'll have lots of questions in the future, especially if I choose to go alone or with someone. Just wanted to let you all know how much I enjoyed reading this thread. Not incidentally, Stratford will be one of the place I visit, regardless of which choice I make. This travel forum can become addictive. Best to all, Happyfella
Happyfella is offline  
Oct 4th, 2009, 06:24 PM
  #16  
 
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Ozziez, I'm sorry for your loss.

When you have time, I'd love to read your trip report.
ElendilPickle is offline  

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