What once was a monastery for over 150 years, now sits an extraordinary country house hotel with buckets of history and character. I’m talking about Hand Picked Hotels’ Stanbrook Abbey, a Grade II listed building that still features its original architecture, dating back to the early 16th century.
From the Gothic stained-glass windows to the authentic stone cloisters (it ’s a stunning sight when the sun shines through, illuminating the hallway), this building has stayed true to its roots and continues to reflect its origins, giving guests the chance to travel back in time. 26 acres of gardens surround the hotel and the Abbey, while the stunning Malvern hills can be seen in the distance. It ’s an incredible view to wake up to. However, what really takes your breath away is the design inside. As I walk around the hotel, antiques from when it was a monastery have been left for guests to view, while the Abbey offers a chapel and place of worship.
The Abbey isn’t used just for weddings though, I ’m told that many businesses have held private parties and banquets in here, to provide clients with a backdrop that is truly unique. It ’s no surprise that the hotel is such a popular spot with weddings thanks to the Abbey. But what surprised me was the amount of space available on site for meetings, private dining, outdoor activities, BBQs and more.
There are 16 spaces on site that can be hired, from the Library Bar, Bistro, Games Room, Boardroom, Callow Great Hall, St Anne’s Hall, Garden Pavilion and more. There ’s even an outside fire pit to keep everyone cosy in the cooler months. You really are spoilt for choice.
I got the chance to experience each of these spaces during my overnight stay, including Sister Charlotte ’s restaurant and the terrace. However, the cellar proved to be my favourite spot. Tucked away beneath the hotel sits the space, which offers a games room and opportunities for private dining.
The cellar proved to be my favourite spot. Tucked away beneath the hotel sits space, which offers a games room and opportunities for private dining.
Wine bottles also line the walls – these have been left by previous guests who are encouraged to leave a note around the neck of the bottle to document their choice of tipple and time at Stanbrook. It ’s a lovely personal touch.
There are two entrances to the hotel, one that has kept its original form while another has received a modernised upgrade that houses a new bar and dining area, known as the George’s Bar. I am told that due to the building being listed, the extension had to look dramatically different to the rest in order to be completed, and they have done just that. Soft lilacs and lime greens welcome guests in to try some of the locally sourced gin and delicious cocktails. But watch out for the Vodka Marmalade Martini – you could easily believe you’ve been drinking orange juice until you try and walk back to your room.
Adjacent to the George’s Bar is another conference and dining area, the Thompson Hall. This space can be split into separate rooms or can be used as one huge space capable of hosting up to 300 people. It ’s no wonder to hear that Stanbrook is incredibly popular with car launch events thanks to this generous space, as well as its outdoor offering.
If you’re looking to take your team away for a few days of team bonding and activities, Stanbrook boasts a private manor within its estate. The Manor House comes complete with a drawing room, kitchen, a snug, four bedrooms and a suite, meaning you have everything you could ever need all in one place.
Walking around the grounds, I still can’t believe how much space is hidden away inside this building. You could get lost in no time at all as you take in all the fascinating architecture. From its beautiful glass windows in the Abbey to the hundreds of books in the cosy Library Bar, there ’s something here for everyone.