When you’re driving from the main road towards the hotel, that first view of the old hall is breathtaking. There is a long drive leading up to it and as you go along you pass one massive lake with lots of little satellite lakes around it. Once you arrive there’s a modern part and a stables alongside the original hall, which is an amazing centrepiece to the whole experience.
Walton Hall is a four star hotel but has something really special about it to offer guests, I can’t explain how enchanted I was with it. There are 197 rooms and 11 serviced apartments, and 149 of those rooms are located in the modern Walton Hotel within the estate. A further 19 rooms are in the Coach House which is a short walk from reception, and the remaining rooms are in the old hall itself, so you have a range of options to choose from. The hall itself is beautiful; the architecture, the chandeliers and the paintings all take you back in time to another world of elegance and glamour that makes you feel really special on a weekend away.
The spa is situated in the more contemporary hotel and while it’s more of a leisure experience than a specialised health spa, it’s another string to this beautiful destination’s bow. There are 12 loungers around the pool with soft white cushions on them – believe it or not someone once complained that they were actually too comfy! There is a refreshment area connected to the pool where you can have hot drinks from a machine free of charge. The actual spa area has a large waiting area and a relaxation room which has seven loungers, two seats, water trickling away in the background, soothing music and soft blankets to cuddle up in after a treatment. There are also three manicure stations and two pedicure areas, and seven treatment rooms, so it’s a wonderful space to relax with a small group.
The main restaurant, the Moncreiffe, is back in the old hall, and I really can’t express how beautiful it is. Recently renovated it has crystal chandeliers and an old fireplace still intact alongside a host of other original features that have been preserved. It has views across manicured gardens which really adds another level to the experience, and to cap it all off, it’s been awarded an AA Rosette for its food. There is also another restaurant, The Orangery, and the Lemon Tree Bar located in the modern hotel.
The estate is a short drive to Stratford-Upon-Avon and surrounded by 65 acres of countryside; it really is a very special place to visit. It’s relaxing, romantic, and quite simply a lovely place to be. In the summer they do yoga outside by the lakes and there’s a croquet lawn for whiling away the afternoon in quintessentially British style.
Quite simply the hotel was a beautiful surprise. It is part of the Mercure collection, but what they do as a group is manage to maintain the individual identity of each place, so it doesn’t have the sense of being part of a chain. There is something for everyone whether it’s groups staying in apartments or couples looking for a romantic break in the old hall, or maybe even popping the question in the grounds by those beautiful lakes – it’s a very special place to visit… oh and they’re dog friendly!
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