Studley Castle, near Stratford-upon-Avon, is the 14th hotel in Warner Leisure’s growing portfolio. It is the first site the company has opened in 20 years and, after a £50 million restoration project, is firmly placed as its flagship hotel.

It took the company three years to turn the grand Warwickshire castle into the modern hotel it is now. This included the construction of an entirely new hotel wing, revamping and rearranging the pre-existing interiors, and creating a spa in the original stables block, complete with a pool and sauna.

The journey to Studley involves many windy country roads through fields and farmland, you would not expect a castle to be around the corner.

But once you reach the entrance, the first impression is unforgettable. Driving down the tree-lined promenade to the front of castle, I felt as though I was on the set of a movie.

I realised immediately that every room at Studley would take my breath away. Even as I first reached the foyer to check-in I looked up to a beautifully-decorated floral ceiling in wonder.

This was where I also got my first taste of the 'through the looking glass' theme for the decor of the hotel that was noticeable in every slight attention to detail. There were unicorn heads adorning the walls and silhouettes of rabbits in various posing glinting at me from every nook and cranny.

Another feature Studley Castle that is immensely popular with its guests is its entertainment facilities.

There is a cinema room, with a bar that serves popcorn and refreshments, where there are daily screenings of classics of the big screen and new releases.

On the music front, the hotel has hosted a variety of acts such as BBC DJ Jo Whiley, Kim Wilde, Pixie Lott and Rebecca Ferguson.

During my visit, I was treated to an absolutely incredible performance by (and this is not a joke) an Irish hip-hop harpist named Lisa Canny. There were many other talented performances but she definitely stood out.

For guests who prefer having a giggle to live music, the hotel also books top comedy talent such as Jason Manford and Jo Caulfield.

Now onto food and my only regret of the trip: arriving too late on the first evening to enjoy the buffet for an extra night.

I was apprehensive about the school canteen-style service at first but I soon realised that this was not your average buffet.

The service from the waiters and waitresses, who you would order your starter and drinks from, was faultless and they could not do enough for you.

Then it was onto the mains where a different meat was on the butcher’s block every night, accompanied with a variety of trimmings. Across the time I stayed at Studley I was treated to a broad range of flavours from across the world, but in my opinion the curry night was the culinary highlight. Each different curry dish was magnificent, exciting and exploding with flavour (compliments to the chef).

For breakfast there was always plenty of fresh fruit available and a choice of a continental selection or a classic British fry-up. Everything was delicious and I often succumbed to going back for seconds (and sometimes thirds I must confess...).

The Stables Spa was elegantly incorporated into the hotel and I thoroughly enjoyed relaxing in the sauna after trying my hand at a spot of archery.

Because the pool area was all housed under a glass dome in the castle grounds, I could lay back in the jacuzzi while admiring the magnificent sight of the main entrance again and watch other guests enjoying laser clay pigeon shooting out on the lawn.

Overall, my trip to Studley Castle was everything that a short break should be - packed with things to do and yet still a relaxing break away.

The castle is Warner’s flagship for a reason. The attention to detail is clear in everything and the hotel staff and management deserve all the praise in the world for creating an incredible experience for their guests.

Best of all, I can now brag to friends and family that I have stayed in a castle.


Studley Castle is the 14th luxury hotel to be added to Warner’s portfolio, which boasts many other iconic and historic buildings.

Famous for being destination hotels, they offer something to suit everyone’s interests, whether you want to relax, explore, or be entertained, creating a unique proposition in a market that can be hard for consumers to find distinction in.

The Grade II* listed property was originally designed by the famous London theatre architect Samuel Beazley, and has had a diverse list of owners, from Lady Warwick - who turned it into an agricultural college for women - to the Government - which used it to train the Women’s Land Army during both world wars.

As well as the gothic building and stonework, Warner worked with ecological consultants to safely move a family of bats to a new home, and created a protected area for Great Crested Newts which also reside within the grounds of Studley Castle, making it an interesting conservation project in its own right.

A hotel curating more than 180 years of history, but utterly modern in outlook, Studley Castle is a great setting for a short break exploring and relaxing in rural Warwickshire.

With a choice of 209 bedrooms, other facilities include two restaurants, a cinema, bars and lounges, a spa with a range of specialist treatments, a wide choice of outdoor pursuits to enjoy (laser clay, cycling, archery), and one of the largest live performance venues on the UK hotel scene.