With our first wedding anniversary around the corner, we were both looking forward to a welcome mini break at The Belfry in Warwickshire. The reviews looked good on TripAdvisor, so we decided to give it a go and booked a night’s stay with the hope that our expectations would be met – exceeded even! You only get one chance at celebrating your very first anniversary after all… (no pressure!)
Upon arrival I was instantly drawn into the charming, woodland environment that is home to the allocated guest parking; leading onto the sweeping green landscape of the golf course. The hotel entrance left a fabulous first impression, and I found a sense of calm descending long before I had even reached the room.
I loved the bespoke chandelier that strikes your senses as you enter, but I actually didn’t realise that it had been crafted from golf clubs until I was leaving! What a gem of interior design, and a fitting nod to the hotel’s world-class golfing history and reputation. I’m not a golfer myself, but I still felt inspired by this place.
As we entered, the concierge were quick to ask if we required any assistance, and were extremely attentive and welcoming. I don’t know about you, but I always anticipate first walking into the room for the first time after being handed the key. I like to take in the details of the room as I enter and feel that ‘happy to be home’ sensation. It is after all your home for the night/s of your stay, so it’s only fair that you want to feel right at home and even a little pampered.
We’d barely walked in when my husband grabbed his gym bag and asked me if I was joining him (typical!) As much as I wanted to vegetate on the pristine bed, I grabbed my bag too and off we went. The gym is fair-sized with largely cardio machines, but there is a mat area with free weights, balls and weighted bags, along with an additional section including a boxing bag, weights, benches and manual resistance machines, so we found there was enough variety to satisfy our fitness routines.
After the gym we prepared for dinner, with restaurant options including ‘Rocca’s Pizza Pasta’ offering Italian classics, or ‘The Ryder Grill’ offering a la carte dining. We chose the latter which required a reservation.
The only issue for us with the room during our stay was that our shower didn’t have a functional thermostat – the water was way too hot. After a back and forth period with reception and maintenance, we were assured that our room would be changed whilst we were away for dinner.
Our meal and overall experience at The Ryder Grill definitely left us satisfied, as the options were not just tasty but incredibly fresh! We opted for the buffet, and as much as I would have loved to return for more, I had to call time out after my first plate (we’ve all been there…)
The waiting staff were super attentive, as seemed to be the theme throughout the entire hotel, and we were informed that the chefs would be more than willing to cater for any special dietary requirements.
When we returned to our new room, I was impressed to find that we had been upgraded. Our previous room was lovely, but this ground-floor room was more spacious and included views of the entire golf course, with a lovely bistro set for the option to sit outside and take in the surroundings. The bed was even bigger, and we laughed at the idea of having a bed so big that if we wanted to sleep apart on each side, then we’d still have space for two people between us! You don’t get that kind of freedom with a standard-sized bed (cue duvet fight!)
On the morning of our anniversary, we returned to The Ryder Grill for a buffet breakfast, and once again we had no complaints (apart from a slight craving for some vegetarian sausages to complete our cooked breakfast line-up! This would be a great option to see included in future).
We took some time to relax afterwards before preparing to leave – we were so relaxed in fact that I enquired about the late checkout fees, to which we were given an extra hour complimentary. Of course we didn’t refuse, and when our time came to depart I was more than reluctant to pack my bags.
Although we only stayed for one night, our experience during the stay was enough for us to immediately settle in and feel a sense of contentment with our choice of hotel. Thank you to the team at The Belfry for helping to make our first anniversary celebrations memorable for all the right reasons, and both myself and my husband have already discussed our intentions to stay again in future – this time for longer and with the chance to use more of the resort facilities!
Who knows, I might even try my hand at a game of golf…