Inside the luxury hotel brand which is coming to Devon

PUBLISHED: 11:09 10 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:02 19 October 2020

The restoration of Hotel Indigo Stratford-upon-Avon, seemlessly blends old and new. Photo: Hotel Indigo

The restoration of Hotel Indigo Stratford-upon-Avon, seemlessly blends old and new. Photo: Hotel Indigo

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We take a peek at the chain which will open a new branch in Exeter in 2021

The Woodsman restaurant delivers�an exceptional dining experience. Photo: Hotel IndigoThe Woodsman restaurant delivers�an exceptional dining experience. Photo: Hotel Indigo

Shakespeare wrote in A Comedy of Errors about “A table full of welcome.” The Great Bard’s words came to mind as we checked out of our luxe hotel not 400 yards from his birthplace having not only experienced a table full of welcome, but pretty much the kitchen sink too.

The team at Hotel Indigo in Stratford-upon-Avon are to be commended for their hospitality which made our two-night stay at this hotel where old meets new both special and memorable.

Faced as they were with the early onset of the new coronavirus lockdown measures and all that entailed, I can only commend them for their efforts. They didn’t miss a beat in terms of service or standards.

And while our experience visiting Stratford means I’d recommend you take a trip to the Hotel Indigo there if you want to experience the historic town in luxury and comfort, the good news for all of us in the South West is that it won’t be long before we have a chance to experience this fabulous hotel brand a little closer to home.

Every one of the 93 guest rooms pays homage to the town’s heritage. Photo: Hotel IndigoEvery one of the 93 guest rooms pays homage to the town’s heritage. Photo: Hotel Indigo

Because the Hotel Indigo has announced it will be opening up in the former House of Fraser building in High Street, Exeter, later in 2021 when conversion of the premises is complete. Which can only be good news for those of us who live and work in this part of the world.

Hotel Indigo Stratford-upon-Avon, formerly The Falcon Hotel, opened its doors in April 2019 after a multi-million-pound major restoration project, during which the Grade II listed historic building, which dates to the 16th century, was painstakingly restored over a 22-month period.

READ MORE: 4 fabulous places we recommend for dining

Discover many of the world’s most beautiful butterflies in an exotic, rainforest environment at Stratford Butterfly Farm. Photo: Stratford Butterfly FarmDiscover many of the world’s most beautiful butterflies in an exotic, rainforest environment at Stratford Butterfly Farm. Photo: Stratford Butterfly Farm

As a result, this Stratford branch of the hotel chain melds its ancient and modern architecture seamlessly. Enter the front of the hotel and you walk through an old doorway very much in keeping with the Tudor exterior, the classic hallmark of a building in this historic town. Before going too far you could be tempted to tuck yourself into one of the exquisite and atmospheric wood-panelled rooms, drink in the history...and a relaxing snifter or two.

But make your way to the back of the premises and you are greeted by a light and airy extension, beautifully done out in timber frame, which only serves to enhance the experience. There is a fabulous tiered courtyard garden outside where drinks and outside dining options are delivered to table and it is hard to believe, with the peace and serenity all around, that you are but a quarter of a mile from the centre of one of the UK’s busiest tourist hotspots.

Our room was in a modern ground floor part of the extension and lived up to Hotel Indigo’s pledge of providing stylish interiors inspired by the history of the local neighbourhood. Every one of the 93 guest rooms pays homage to the town’s heritage, by using classic English materials such as wool and raw wood. A combination of antique furniture pieces and modern fixtures aim to create a contemporary space that celebrates the past with a modern twist.

The British Motor Museum houses the world's largest collection of historic British cars. Photo: British Motor MuseumThe British Motor Museum houses the world's largest collection of historic British cars. Photo: British Motor Museum

Dinner was in the The Woodsman restaurant, headed by head chef Jon Coates and restaurateur Mike Robinson, who is also co-owner of the Michelin-starred Harwood Arms in Fulham, whose passion for British produce and sustainable wild food is well renowned.

Bringing his core ‘field to fork’ philosophy to Stratford-upon-Avon, The Woodsman delivers an exceptional dining experience with a focus on sustainability, seasonality and locally-sourced produce. A large wood-fired oven and charcoal grill forms the focal point of the restaurant, where guests can watch chefs as they prepare the finest British deer, wild boar, beef and Hebridean lamb; all raised on farms with the highest standards of husbandry.

Our experience certainly backed that up. The food was exceptional and the service staff were attentive and knowledgeable. We returned to our room at the end of the evening feeling very satisfied at our lot and greatly looking forward to welcoming Hotel Indigo to our home city next year.

Find out more here about the hotel

TWO ATTRACTIONS TO TRY IN THE AREA...

Stratford Butterfly Farm

Rain or shine, discover many of the world’s most beautiful butterflies in an exotic, rainforest environment of tropical blossom with splashing waterfalls and fish-filled pools.

Watch in awe as hundreds of spectacular and vibrantly coloured butterflies fly and feed around you. Discover the link that Stratford Butterfly Farm has with the rainforests of Belize and the ancient Maya civilisation whose artifacts have been replicated and are now on display throughout the farm.

In the Discovery Zone, there are caterpillars, cocoons, giant silk moths and shining pupae hanging on the plants. Observe the amazing life-cycle of a butterfly within the Emerging Case.

The Minibeast Metropolis is teeming with life, where stick insects, beetles and frogs live alongside snakes, geckos and some of the worlds’ largest spiders. The Metropolis is also home to one of the UK’s largest leafcutter ant colony, watch in fascination as they go about their daily business on the overhead ropes.

Fnd out more here about paying a visit

British Motor Museum

Explore the British Motor Museum - the world’s largest collection of historic British cars, celebrating the past, present and future of British motoring.

There are over 300 British classic cars for visitors to explore from the collections of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust and the Jaguar Heritage Trust including iconic cars such as the Austin 100 HP, Land Rover No1, Morris Minor No1, the first and last Mini, MG old No1 and the Thunderbirds Fab1 car.

Learn about the people behind the cars, the places they were built and hear the stories from the guides. Plus, there are free tours and interactive family activities which will inspire and bring the stories to life.

Find out more here about planning your trip

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