The public areas have been completely refurbished since I was last here 2 years ago, and this has absolutely transformed these areas of the hotel making them cool, contemporary and a really well designed, nicely decorated and finished environments in which people want to hang out!
What a transformation!
There’s a lounge next to the lobby, a large bar and an extensive deck out in the garden. I was too busy to really take advantage of these this time around, but I did manage to squeeze in a quick power-lunch one day and an after-work drink on the last night.
The staff were all brilliant, really friendly and helpful – front desk, bar / restaurant / housekeeping – everyone I came into contact there on this visit made me feel welcome – even if they could not do anything about the issues I had with the internet (see below!).
It’s usually an annual pilgrimage for me to work at the Global Gathering EDM Festival, and you get an interesting mix of clientele at the hotel during this period – from retired genteel holidaymakers checking out Shakespeare’s Stratford to a slew of ravers and party people working and performing at the festival – which usually grantees the bar to be lively into the small hours.
The festival site at Long Marston Airfield is only a 10 minute drive up the road so that’s really convenient.
The rooms have not been upgraded or refurbished yet, (and the building is not attractive from the exterior) but I had a good sized room (I booked an executive class) with a large desking area, good sized window, DVD player and a few other accoutrements like a fridge, free water, ‘natural’ lemonade and chocolate.
All the basics were there - the best was comfy, the bathroom had a full sized bath which I always like and although not massive was not too cramped either, there were plenty of convenient hooks and sockets, etc.
Everything was fine – nothing outstanding – just a decent Holiday Inn standard.
The parking was free as I have a Priority Club reward card, there was lots of spaces and the charge was £5 if you did have to pay – so not bad really!
The only negative … was the WIFI / internet facilities.
For me they are rubbish! For someone just wanting to check their mail and do a bit of internet surfing, then the free service is absolutely adequate … but I am not the norm on this front!
I arrived from the last job with a load of important images to be Ftp'd to my partner in the business for processing - around 5 Gb .
Uploads on the free internet session are capped at 250 Mb ... so to upload these pix from the previous night – I’d flown in from Glasgow - I had to sit by the laptop during the transfer 9which was not a great speed either!) upload to the cap of 250 Mb each time, disconnect, reconnect, re-start the session and upload the next 250 Mb.
That was a real pain!
Normally I would start the upload and get on with something else, go out, etc. – in this case I could not even get to site in time for my first meeting because I had to sit by the machine – in the end I speeded it up slightly by having two sessions going simultaneously on two different laptops … but it’s really easy to get muddled between what’s gone up and what hasn’t!
I would have been very happy to pay for an internet service with some decent upload allowance and bandwidth at this point … BUT .. Nothing available!
Plan B in this situation is always to fire up my Vodafone 3G / 4G dongle .. but the Voda cell reception in and around the hotel is almost non-existent! You were lucky if you could get one bar for a voice call …. So you can whistle for your data which does not take precedence on the cell network!
I was a bit stuck.
Also, the business centre was closed, so I was unable to get printing done – with that my working schedule for the weekend completely disrupted, the stay was a bit of a disaster from that point of view!
I will think carefully before booking in there again unless they can guarantee some sort of serious option for power internet users … or a new Vodafone mast is erected nearby!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated on the River Avon and set in beautiful landscaped gardens, the Holiday Inn Stratford-upon-Avon is the perfect location for discovering the delights of Shakespeare's birthplace, while other local attractions and historical sites are within walking distance. The hotel is within easy reach of J15 off the M40 and 20 miles from Birmingham Airport and the NEC and only a short drive from the amazing Warwick Castle. All 259 refurbished bedrooms have air-conditioning, wireless internet access and tea and coffee making facilities. Car parking is available at the hotel with over 300 spaces on site. Renowned as an excellent meeting and conference venue and with the impressively modernised Ballroom with adjoining exhibition areas Holiday Inn Stratford-upon-Avon can host events for up to 550 delegates. To dine in style, the Terrace Lounge and Bar and the Riverside Restaurant offer excellent food to suit all tastes. Or to really unwind and recuperate, the leisure club is available for all guests to use with a wide range of first class facilities including a fully equipped gymnasium, indoor heated swimming pool, sauna and whirlpool. Discover Stratford-upon-Avon and visit the many nearby places of interest including the National Exhibition Centre, The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Warwickshire and the Heritage Motor Centre. The Hotel, in compliance with UK smoking regulations, is completley non smoking. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Stratford-Upon-Avon Hotel Stratford-Upon-Avon
- Stratford Upon Avon Holiday Inn
- Crowne Plaza Stratford-Upon-Avon England