More about Mercure Shakespeare Hotel Stratford Upon Avon
Good but not great
Stayed here for two nights, 9th - 11th June' 06. Wanted something a bit special, hence the reason for paying a bit more than we normally would.
Overall we had a lovely stay here. No complaints. The staff were polite & friendly, the general interior of the building was clean and had lots of charm & character. Our room was nicely presented, clean and very quiet.
The car park attendant was excellent - sorted us out with a space right by the rear door entrance & escorted us to the reception desk.
Hotel location is also excellent - close to several of the Shakespeare attractions, RSC and shops, but away from the busy roads.
Overall, it's a very nice hotel, but quite honestly, it's not that special. Also, just a couple of minor criticisms -
The room was quite small, bordering on cramped and the breakfast was a little disappointing (Ramada Jarvis chain beats this by a long shot). Although breaky is buffet style, the buffet only consists of juice, cereal, croissants etc. So if you want hot food you have to order it from a menu & what you receive is the equivalent of a children’s portion (i.e. ask for sausages, scrambled egg, fried bread & tomatoes and you get one sausage, a dollop of scrambled egg, half a slice of fried bread and half a tomato).
Overall, it was a very nice hotel to stay in. But, if there was a next time, I would probably consider staying somewhere that was a bit cheaper.
An Excellent Stay
I stayed at the Shakespeare last week for a school reunion and I was delighted with it.
The Reception is of the small country-house style which is amazing for a chain hotel in the very centre of a major tourist destination. Check in was friendly and efficient and they had met my special request for a high floor room. It was a genuine single (my wife had let me out overnight!) on the top floor in the gables and had a large bathroom with a window overlooking Shakespeare's last home, New Place. The shower was excellent. There was a good-sized wardrobe, plentiful supplies for tea/coffee making and two bottles of water provided.
The hotel has good, supervised, car parking for residents which was another plus feature, especially given its town central location. However it did cost £5, which seemed a bit churlish and administratively cumbersome when they could have put it onto the room rate and I'd never have bothered. But, a minor matter in the overall scheme of things.
I have to take issue with the previous reviewer about the breakfast, which I found to be excellent. I was cordially invited to take a table of my choice, was informed of the arrangements and was delighted with the choice of real fresh fruit starter. I ordered from the menu for the hot part and chose the smoked haddock with poached egg, which arrived in a most timely manner and was perfectly cooked. Piled high it is not, piled just nicely, it certainly is. The coffee came in a cafetiere, so plenty for two cups. The breakfast room was very pleasant and spacious, with views out to one of the central streets in town.
I will be going back to Stratford and will definitely be staying at the Shakespeare again.
Lovely hotel - disappointing restaurant
We stayed at the Shakespeare for one night in February, as a birthday treat.
The hotel itself is very cosy and has lots of atmosphere- added to by lovely open fires in all the communal areas (wonderful on a freezing cold February evening).
The deal that we got was great - Bed, breakfast and a 3 course evening meal for not much more than £100 (for both of us!)
As other reviewers have mentioned you have to pay extra for the car park - but as parking space is at a premium in Stratford, you can understand why.
The room we stayed in was rather cramped, but the contemporary design and great view made up for the size. The luxury ensuite bathroom was very spacious compared to the room itself - very nice indeed.
Location wise - you couldn't ask for a better location. Ideal for visiting all the significant houses, bars, theatres and shops.
Our evening meal in the hotel restaurant was distinctly average. The restaurant has little atmosphere and unusually bland decor compared to the rest of the hotel- this was the most disappointing part of the stay.
The breakfast was OK - I couldn't really say any more than that.
Unfortunately, the staff at the Shakespeare really do lack enthusiasm and seem rather unapproachable. This is a shame, as the hotel surroundings are really lovely.
I would recommend this hotel and possibly even stay there again - but I would definately eat out of the hotel.
Lovely building, disappointing service
We stayed in the Horatio Suite for 2 nights.
The building itself was atmospheric and historic with a pleasant lobby to relax in.
Our room - I would call it a room, not a suite - was clean and nicely furnished. But being at the front of the hotel overlooking the street it was very noisy.
However, there were small things about the service which disappointed us and lessened our enjoyment of this 4-star hotel:
1) Despite check-in being advertised as 2pm we were told on arriving at 2.15 our room was not ready and that it would be 30 minutes. We finally got into the room at 3pm with no apology or effort to make us comfortable in the meantime.
2) Being charged £5 per night to park in the hotel's private car park.
3) Being charged a £2 fee to pay our bill by credit card.
4) Being charged £30 more per night than the rate we had booked which we had to query and get corrected - again without any explanation or apology.
5) No replacement toiletries for part-used ones.
Taken individually these are not big things, but I would not expect them all at an expensive 4-star hotel. Generally, the impression was that the service was shoddy, unhelpful and uncaring. We would not stay here again.
Ambiance and Location in Stratford
My wife and I stayed one night at the Shakespeare Hotel in Stratford during a road trip around England. The location is in the center of Stratford with parking for a fee. The building is historic and the modern features of the hotel have been added to the existing structure. The room was modern, compact and well-decorated. The internet price was reasonable, compared to their normal rates and the other hotels in Stratford. The staff varied in attitude and competence, but my feeling is that too few staff were trying to run the hotel. Wifi is available in the lobby (T-Mobile) for a fee but I couldn't get it to function and the staff was unable to help. The breakfast came with the room and had a combination of continental for cold items and ordering for hot items. The first floor had several sitting rooms that enhanced the ambiance of the setting. The historical nature of the hotel, together with the superb location made the Shakespeare a good choice.
Good for what it is...
I stayed here with my husband and 10 month old son for 3 nights at the end of June 2006. Before arriving, making reservations was nothing less than painful since I had to contact the hotel directly to insure that I could have the same room all 3 nights (I was also there part of the time for a conference). Having been told a month in advance that the reservation was all set, when I called 3 days prior to confirm, I was told the reservation was not in the computer. The person I talked to squared everything away, but that was not the end of the tension.
Upon arriving, while coming from NYC I didn't mind spending the equivalent of $10/night for parking, I do mind waiting too long on line. Apparently the computers went down right before I got there. Luckily, since we had the need for a cot in the room, the room was actually ready and waiting and they could hand me the key, but I was told that I might still have to change rooms the next day since I had 2 separate reservations and the next 2 nights they could not yet check me in for.
Fine, so I couldn't get comfortable the 1st night since I was worried I'd have to pack back up. Luckily we were in the King Lear suite. I agree with the other poster, less of a suite, than a room with an anteroom akin to a dressing room next to the bathroom. The bathroom was spacious. For the age of the hotel, I expected things to be a bit deteriorated in the room, but I was quite pleasntly surprised. The bed was a bit squishy but surprisingly comfortable. They made up my son's cot everyday with fresh linens, fresh blanket and fresh towel. I was extremely impressed with the cleanliness and maid service.
I was decidedly not impressed with the desk service - why oh why does it take 3 people to do the job of just 1 behind the desk? As it turned out I was able to stay in the same room all 3 nights, but their computers didn't come back up until the middle of my second day.
Also, I was truly unimpressed with the food in the restaurant. I do not know how this chef got his accolades, but the food was less than par and the service shaky.
I also did not like being charged a service fee for using a credit card. Explain me this - am I supposed to carry thousands of pounds in cash around to pay my hotel bills? I felt like it was just one more chink in their customer service.
Aside from the food and customer service, the hotel is immaculate and I do think I'd stay here again if I ever had the chance to visit Stratford-Upon-Avon again.
Spent one night in the Hotel on August 21st, location was absolutely spot on, right in the town centre. Staff were friendly enough and the room we stayed in was excellent. Two areas of feedback however
1. Be warned if you are in the annex area (we were in room 133) the bins are outside this part of the hotel and was a little noisy (23:30 they were still moving bins)
2. Get to breakfast early - the couple next to us turned up at 09:00 and didn't even get a coffee until 09:40, try and get there before 08:30 to get served straight away.
Finaly, please note that not all the rooms are themed on a play (another review stated they were) my wife and I stayed in a really nice suite but did expect a themed room after reading another review.
We didn't get the chance!
We turned up with a confirmed booking (pre-paid) to be told there had been a computer "error" and there was no room for us! We were sent to billesley manor instead, which turned out to be fine but not what we had wanted (as we were seeing a friend in a play and wanted to be in the town). In the end, we got adequate compensation - a free night's future stay, and taxis to and from the manor. But there were 4 others in the same situation and the taxi drivers told us they were often busy taking people to and from the manor who wanted to stay at the shakepeare, so either they have computers that always make mistakes or they are constantly overbooking to give their sister hotel some more business! Double check if you book here in the future
A fantastic weekend
My husband and I stayed at the hotel for our wedding anniversary
and had a fantastic weekend.
The receptionist was very friendly and upgraded us to a junior suite which made our weekend even better. The room was very spacious and, although it did not have a great view it was very comfortable.
We did not eat in the restaurant for dinner but judging by the breakfast I am sure it would have been good.
I would advise getting up a bit earlier as 09.00am seemed a popular time for other residents and we did have a little wait for a table
Overall it is a pretty hotel and great for exploring the town
On the plus side: the hotel's in a great location, has pretty nice rooms and a good restaurant. But we had problems with the service.
First: I booked this a year in advance and asked for a particular room. They gave it away. This hotel seems to have a habit of wanting to move people from room to room. They wanted us to stay in an upgraded room one night, then move to our promised room. I travel a lot -- when I've had rooms given away before, the immediate response at any decent place is to upgrade us immediately for the duration of the stay at no extra charge, and usually they take off a night or two for our trouble. We had to argue with the manager to get upgraded. And please all hotel managers note: NO ONE WANTS TO BE MOVED ONCE THEY'VE CHECKED IN! We were staying for 8 nights, so we thought our needs might take precedence over someone there one or two nights. We were wrong.
Second: we came back from sightseeing all day to find the housekeeping master key still in our lock. So anyone could have come in our room at any time and taken our belongings. We got an apology, but nothing else.
Third: I was feeling unwell one day and asked them to please service our room fast so I could come back and rest. Two hours later, they had done nothing. So I suffered in the lobby while they finally got around to cleaning the room.
Finally: I'd emailed them back and forth as to what the price of the rooms would be. My mother was overcharged 50 pounds a night! This caused us to have to make all sorts of long distance phone calls once we were back in the States in order to fix it. When I personally called McDonald Hotel's corporate offices to ask them to step in, they told me in no uncertain terms that it wasn't their problem and I had to deal with the hotel directly.
After having some great service in London hotels, this was quite a shock. I heard many different guests complaining at the front desk about all sorts of things.
I would not recommend a McDonald Hotel and specifically not this one. But if you want to take a chance for just a night or two, go ahead.
Shakespeare Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon
Shakespearen maidens hanging around
Preserved behind panelling
Strange creature and fights