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The White Swan Hotel 4.0

Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England

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Review Summary

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  • In the heart of the historic center, walking distance to attractions
  • Historic building dating back to the mid-15th century
  • Charming, classically furnished rooms with modern amenities and upscale bathrooms
  • Character Rooms have original historic features such as fireplaces
  • Cozy, historic pub with original 16th-century frescoes and bar food
  • Breakfast included in all room rates
  • Flexible meeting space for up to 70 guests
  • Free, fast Wi-Fi throughout


  • No on-site parking
  • Some rooms are small for the price
  • Complaints of poor soundproofing

Bottom Line

Dating back to the mid-15th century, the four-pearl White Swan Hotel is one of the most charming boutique hotels in central Stratford-upon-Avon. The 41 rooms are classic and homey, with refined country-style decor in neutral tones, free Wi-Fi, and sleek bathrooms. Character Rooms are particularly striking, with original historic features and clawfoot tubs. The on-site pub is popular among locals and guests alike for its original 16th-century frescoes and cozy atmosphere. This upscale property is a good pick for couples and business travelers, but there is no on-site parking, and some rooms are a little small. Those seeking something more contemporary may want to consider the Church Street Townhouse instead. 

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Charming boutique hotel with original historic features and a popular pub

Although fully renovated in 2012, The White Swan retains much of its 15th-century character. The facade is of a traditional Tudor style, with dark timber framing, whitewashed walls, and pitched clay-tile roofs, and is decorated with small colorful flowers. The hotel’s main entrance is tucked away in a small alley around the corner from the main street, which lends the lobby a serene and warm atmosphere. The space has a strong historic-yet-homey feel, with wainscoting, an open brick fireplace, several small clusters of seating, and a red-hued rug. A large contemporary painting of swans dominates the lobby, and a couple of wiry swan-shaped ornaments are cute details. The front of the hotel is occupied by the hotel’s popular pub, a cozy space with wooden floors, tufted leather couches, and weathered trunks instead of coffee tables. The bar’s most outstanding features -- and the reason many locals and non-guests visit -- are the original 16th-century frescoes that can still be seen hanging above some tables. They’re unique works from the Tudor era, and are now protected by glass panels. 


Centrally located in the historic center, within walking distance of most major attractions

The White Swan is located on a busy street in the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon’s historic center. There are dozens of restaurants, bars, and shops nearby, and most tourist attractions in town can be reached on foot. The property is right down the street from Shakespeare’s childhood home and within a 10-minute walk of several other major sights, including the Royal Shakespeare Company theaters, the Holy Trinity Church, and Hall’s Croft. Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is a 10-minute drive from the hotel, and Warwick Castle can be reached in about 20 minutes. Stratford-upon-Avon’s train station is a few blocks down the road.


Cute country-style rooms with great bathrooms, some with original historic features

The hotel has 41 stylish rooms ranging from small Classic units with cute English country-style decor to striking Character Rooms with original historic features and opulent unique details. Most rooms have soft neutral palettes with a few pops of purple or silver, plus lovely mixes of old and new elements, such as rotary phones, bright-red retro reading lamps, period-style furniture made of untreated wood, and small, delicate crystal chandeliers. Grand units are larger than Classic Rooms and have a few extra details, including white wainscoting, wooden floors, and large wall murals. Character Rooms are housed in the oldest part of the building and have original exposed wooden beams and other unique features, such as historic brick fireplaces, carved wood headboards and desks, and elegant leather touches. 

In-room amenities are on par with similarly priced hotels in town, and include iPod docks, flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges stocked with water and milk, and electric kettles. Bathrooms are clean and sleek, with glass-enclosed rainfall showers, heated towel racks, Cole and Lewis toiletries, and dark floors that stand out against the white subway tiles. Some Grand units and all Character Rooms have separate clawfoot tubs.


A popular pub, two meeting rooms, and great freebies including Wi-Fi

The hotel’s centerpiece is its historic pub, featuring original 16th-century frescoes and cozy all-wood decor with leather accents. Working fireplaces keep the space warm, and a lounge area with couches and armchairs placed around wooden tables and trunks is inviting and homey. The pub menu is made up of traditional English pub food, and an afternoon tea service and a kids’ menu are also available. The pub has its own extensive cellar, although some guests consider prices to be too high for the variety and quality offered. Sidewalk seating is also available. The pub gets busy, especially at night, and reservations are recommended. Continental and full-English breakfasts are included in room rates. 

The hotel also has a meeting room equipped with a plasma TV that can seat up to 70 guests or be divided into two smaller rooms for more intimate events. Wi-Fi is fast and free throughout the property. Note that there are guest drop-off spaces by the hotel, but there is no on-site parking here.

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Rother Street, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6NH, United Kingdom

Also Known As

  • The White Swan

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