We left our comfort zone well and truly behind for a weekend of comedy and music at Warners Heythrop Park in the Cotswolds .
If we had known the average age at a Warner Hotel is 70 we definitely wouldn’t have booked, but then we would have missed out on a really fun experience .
Let me explain ……
I have previously dismissed Warner Hotels as oldie territory, but after Google brought forth a Manor House in the Cotswolds with a £100M make over hosting Dolly Parton and Boy George tribute acts we were in !
With an all inclusive price covering archery, rifle shooting, breakfast, dinner and entertainment,
the Comedy and Music themed weekend price wasn't cheap, but it offered good value.
Next we set about finding out more about the glamorous Manor Hotel we had booked for our stay.
Heythrop House is a Grade ll listed early Italian Baroque Style 18th Century House near Chipping Norton.
Since 1700 ownership has passed from Aristocracy to an Industrialist, Jesuit College, National Westminster Bank, Oxfordshire Millionaire Firoz Kassam and now Warner's .
The house has an interesting history which you can find out more about via this link
After booking we’re invited to log on to MY WARNER STAY where we get to virtually book every aspect of our break from restaurant and showtimes, to all activities.
I imagine this is possibly a bit irritating to some guests, especially if they are not tech savvy.
The benefit was that after we arrived and parked up we could just relax get just on with the holiday .
We booked a superior room for extra space and were pleased to be allocated a magnificent room in the Manor House.
The Hydrangea Room was light and bright boosting high ceilings and tall windows over looking one of the ornamental gardens.
Luxury features included his and hers marble sinks, roll top bathtub, chesterfield sofa, William
Morris wallpapers and an enormous bed.
We could have easily spent the whole weekend in the luxury of the room . No chance of that as we had booked so many things to do !
Our booked meals were taken either in Brassiere 32 or in Market Garden Buffet Restaurants. We didn’t choose the pub option, as to be honest it didn’t appeal to our taste buds. Unexpectedly our favourite was the the Market Garden. We enjoyed the less formal environment, variety, themed nights and a la carte options.
The Brassiere with its waited on tables was fully booked all weekend. This was probably because it is a much smaller restaurant than the Market Kitchen which always had availability.
We found the quality of the food equally good in both restaurants.
After meals the hotel has lots of very stylish lounge areas for guests to relax, play board games or take selfies in. These were often empty durning our stay. Drinks are served in the Brassey Bar and we found that people mainly congregated around that area .
The Theatre and Late Lounge are the locations for the afternoon and evening entertainment. Shows last between 45mins and 1hr. We saw a lots over the weekend, including Definitely Dolly, Asa Elliot, from the TV series Benidorm and Simon Mark , a Peter Kay Tribute who was hilarious.
Our favourite act was Jasun Watkins, the voice of Boy George, who looks and sings just like the real George . It was an interactive show and we ended up joining in a 'Recruitment Conga' around the Theatre and a Dancing competition - it was “a scream."
We had one paid for Spa Treatment each (deep tissue, back, neck, shoulder massage) and Afternoon Tea in the Wedgwood Room.
These alongside Rifle Shooting and Archery (inclusive) made the weekend extra special .
My screen time over the weekend was down by 95% . I was too busy having fun, trying out new things and realky didn't have any time to spare for my phone.
Whenever we had a break from planned activities we would go for a walk around the grounds.
The room made the stay feel very luxurious, but if we'd booked a smaller room there was lots of places in the hotel public areas to sit and relax. Every bedroom appeared to be of a high standard as all are freshly refurbished.
Because Heythrop wasn't at capacity, without prior booking we could freely come and go to shows and use the spa. We dropped in on unbooked comedy shows with plenty of free seats.
There is so much to do at Heythrop, but for those wanting a change of scenery we noticed there were some day trips on offer from Heythrop by coach to local attractions on offer.
Check before booking your accommodation if you have mobility issues. The site is vast and you will probably want to be near the amenities.
As soon as you can after booking log onto My Warner Stay and book your times for the restaurants and free activities as these get booked up very quickly. However if you change your mind about things afterwards you can easily rearrange times durning your stay (subject to availability).
Go for one of the free organised walks to orientate yourself as soon as you can after you arrive . Alternatively grab a map and explore - just watch out for the golf balls !
Try out as many of the free activities as possible. You may surprise yourself and discover a new hobby or interest you'd never otherwise of thought of doing.
Take your own shampoo and shower gels as the ones in the room are single use plastic small sample size products.
My only negative comment about our stay was that we didn't enjoy any of tea and coffees served at the hotel all weekend (with the exception of the afternoon tea).
Warners do their best to make sure all guests are happy, and without exception the staff were always helpful and kind .
Three nights was a good amount of time to stay at Heythrop as there is so much on offer to do. We gave ourselves a packed schedule and still didn't fit in everything we would have liked. We missed out on cycling around the grounds, Nordic Walking , Tea and Gin Tasting and more swimming. These will just have to wait for a return trip !
We went to a lot more shows than we planned as the standard of the entertainment was so good .
Going back to my original assumption of Warner's being 'Oldies Territory'. . . Yes, this a holiday environment currently attracting an older clientele, but depending on the theme of the break the age profile will no doubt vary. To be honest it didn’t bother us at all.
A break at Heythrop could even be described as a cruise on dry land.
I commented to another guest "I have never been on a cruise but this is what I imagine it to be like". He replied “I have and you’re spot on ! "
We are now eyeing up the option of booking a Tony Hadley Weekend next year .
Useful links -
Tony Hadley at Heythrop Weekend Breaks
The nearest town to Heythrop is Chipping Norton
Diddly Squat Farmshop is close to Heythrop
Find out more about William Morris Wallpaper and Design
All photos in this blog were taken by me.
We paid for full price for our accommodation at Heythrop Park.