The Belfry hotel is well known for its world class golf courses having hosted the Ryder Cup four times, but we went there during the October half term for a 2 night stay to see what the hotel offered families who want a luxury family break in the Midlands.
From the moment you turn into the hotel and see The Belfry sign you just know you are in for a special stay.
Set within 550 acres of stunning countryside the meandering drive into the hotel takes you past its perfectly manicured lawns until you reach the impressive Belfry hotel. Car parking was complimentary and there were lots of spaces available.
As you walk past the doorman who welcomes you to The Belfry and enter the hotel you’re immediately struck by the grandeur of the lobby.
It is all so impeccably presented and had a luxurious and welcoming feel boasting a large fireplace and clock together with elegant seating areas with many people enjoying afternoon tea at the Brabazon lounge.
There were a lot of businessmen and golfers using the hotel but it very much had a family feel and catered for children brilliantly.
Our welcome at check-in was friendly, fast and efficient and we had drinks at the impressive Brabazon lounge in the lobby until our room was ready.
A friendly bellman took our luggage and led us to our room which was located in Torrence house section of the hotel.
The Belfry hotel has 319 rooms located within several interconnected buildings and it can take some time to find your way around the hotel, although the girls had no problems in finding their way back to our room on each occasion. The Belfry also has several outdoor pods which offer more space for families.
We stayed in a family double room which was perfect for a family of four. The stylish and tastefully decorated rooms were of a good size with plenty of space with 2 comfy double beds and were very clean and well maintained.
When we arrived in the room the girls found an activity pack on their bed which was a kind welcoming gesture, appreciated by the children.
There was also a good-sized desk with plenty of power points if you were planning to work, high speed complimentary wifi and a large HDTV wall mounted flat screen television . There was a charming checkered armchair in the corner of the room to relax on in keeping with the decor of the hotel.
Unusually the rooms had no air conditioning which was unexpected for a 4 star hotel, however our room did come equipped with a powerful Dyson fan.
Our room had a large balcony that looked over the golf course and beautiful countryside. This was the view from our room and the girls loved waking up in the morning and going out onto the balcony to take in the view.
Within our room were tea and coffee making facilities but I felt that little extra touches that we have had in comparable hotels were missing. Having welcome amenities such as bathrobes, slippers, bowls of fruit or confectionery would have been a charming and welcoming addition. There was also no turn down service each evening.
The bathrooms were of a good size and modern, comprising a shower over a bath plus delightful ESPA toiletries which are one of my favourites.
We were initially offered a family room which was not in the main building but in the Parkland Pods. These rooms offer additional space giving families further room to relax but were not suitable for us due to it being cold and dark in the evenings. Our children are young and our preference was to be in the main building where the girls could access the health club, swimming pool and restaurants without having to go outdoors. However these rooms would be great for a group of families visiting the resort as they had their own shared lounge area. These are pictures of the rooms in the Parkland Pods.
Breakfast in the morning was delightful and of a very high standard. Our table in the Ryder Grill dining room overlooked the beautiful grounds of The Belfry.
The breakfast in the morning was available until 11am and was delicious with lots of options from hot cooked breakfast to small pastries, fresh fruit, yoghurts and cereals.
One well thought out idea with the breakfast was that they had a toasting station where toast was already warm and waiting for you to collect. This was great and saved you wasting your time trying to work the toasters that you usually find at breakfast.
Complemented by very good service, the breakfast at The Belfry is highly recommended.
We had a very pleasant family meal at Roccas the Belfry’s family friendly restaurant on our first evening which was a bright and modern Italian restaurant located next to the health spa.
The menu was great for children but it was limited serving only a small range of pizza and pasta, however service was quick, the quality of the food was good and reasonably priced.
The girls enjoyed margarita pizza and the garlic bread for starters and the meatball rigatoni pasta and spicy chicken fusilli pasta that my husband and I had was delicious.
After our visit the girls now highly recommend Rocca’s cookie ice cream sandwich whilst for adults the chocolate sundae with hot chocolate pouring sauce was amazing.
We booked the award winning afternoon tea in the Brabazon Lounge which was lovely and of the highest quality. The Brabazon Lounge where afternoon tea is served offered a very relaxed environment with lovely comfy chairs and a pleasant atmosphere.
The selection of teas, sandwiches, cakes and scones, served with butter, jam and clotted cream were delicious coupled with fantastic service from our waiter Andrew. The Belfry catered perfectly for the girls offering sandwiches and cakes to their liking which were welcomed touches.
Afternoon tea at The Belfry was a lovely way to relax after a hectic day out and an experience that the girls are still talking about.
On our second evening we dined at Sam’s clubhouse which is the sports bar/restaurant at The Belfry. There are no table reservations required and you can choose to dine in the bar or within the restaurant area which offers waiter service. We sat in the restaurant area and the food was really good.
The children had fish fingers and chips and we ordered Scotch beef burger and an American all-star burger.
We enjoyed the food however the levels of service could be improved which was disappointing. We were waiting over an hour for our meals to arrive and the staff lacked the professionalism of not offering further drinks or asking how the meal was when it did arrive.
I am hoping this was an isolated incident as it does not reflect the excellent levels of service we experienced elsewhere during our stay at The Belfry.
The leisure and beauty spa at The Belfry was a 5 minute walk from our room and consisted of a swimming pool, gymnasium, relaxation and treatment rooms together with a steam room and sauna. Complimentary towels are provided for hotel guests and family changing rooms were also available.
We only used the swimming pool at The Belfry spa and it was a relaxing way to unwind after a busy day exploring Drayton Manor (you can read our review here).
The girls loved the pool during our stay improving their swimming in the process and it was difficult to coax them away from the pool so we could explore the rest of the hotels facilities.
There are lots of activities for children to enjoy at The Belfry and one our favourites was playing on the Ryder Legends Mini Golf Course.
It was a 12-hole mini golf course complete with kid sized clubs for little ones and was really great fun. The course was well designed and is based on previous Ryder cup courses from over the years.
The children’s play area is a new addition at The Belfry and was a big hit with the girls, they loved their time here, which we would visit after breakfast each morning.
The interactive woodland walk was also fantastic, the girls loved making their own hideaways in the woods and looking for secret fairy doors in the trees.
Along the woodland walk there were lots of information boards for the girls to look at and ready made den’s to play in. The woodland walk area of The Belfry is really well done and a great addition to the family friendly facilities offered by the hotel.
As one of the leading golf facilities in the country the grounds of The Belfry were simply stunning. It was nice to walk around the resort to take in some of the fantastic scenery.
The walls around the hotel are decorated with lots of golf related artwork, photographs and notices where historic Ryder Cup moments took place which my husband loved looking at.
Even the topiary trees have a golfing theme at The Belfry.
The Belfry is an excellent family friendly hotel and is highly recommended. Situated just 5 minutes drive away from Drayton Manor theme park and many other attractions nearby such as the Snow Dome, Cadbury World and the Sea Life Centre it’s the perfect location for a luxury family break away.
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Find out more about The Belfry hotel on their website at http://www.thebelfry.co.uk
NB: We paid for our stay at The Belfry on a media rate for the purpose of our review. All opinions, words and content are entirely my own.