Rarely have 15 potato fields seen such a radical transformation. Even with Peter Allis’ and Dave Thomas’ vision, when they sat down for a pie and a pint in the 1970s to discuss a world-class golf course for Warwickshire, they could never have imagined their success. Four Ryder Cups on from its inception, The Belfry Hotel and Resort is a place where many amateur golfers aspire to play and stay, in fact, they have a choice of three courses.
The hotel, hosting 319 rooms and suites, with immaculate gardens of white roses and lavender, sits at the heart of 550 acres.
The entrance to the Belfry Hotel makes a dramatic statement. Beneath a chandelier fashioned from hundreds of gleaming golf clubs, there is a golfing gallery of fame. Black-and-white photos show golfing greats intent on just one objective: winning the Ryder Cup. Yet, the Belfry Hotel and Resort attracts guests who would not know the difference between a birdie and an eagle. With a spa, swimming pool and children’s outdoor adventure playground, there is something for all the family.
There may be a traditional locker room feel to the wood panelled décor but there is a also youthful zest to the Belfry. Quite rightly, dress codes are in place for both the golf courses and The Ryder Grill but this is far from a tradition-bound stuffy golf-club. Spa indulgence, mini-golf for the kids and the cocktail-making lessons all bring a sense of relaxed pleasure to one of golf’s most celebrated venues. And the huge golf shop has the stylish air of a fashion boutique with golfers trying on a golfing dress or Belfry logo shirt.
With several reception desks available, check-in is speedy. Young children are welcomed with a welcome gift-pack and a liveried porter is on hand to help with luggage.
Spacious suites – named after great golfing locations such as Muirfield, Sunningdale, St Andrew’s and Wentworth – overlook the lake and green of the Brazabon’s 10th. This is where, in a designated quiet zone, the world’s greatest golfers prepare for challenges ahead when competitions are hosted.
In a neutral toned lounge, there is a dining table for room service and doors leading out on to a large and secluded terrace. A separate climate-control system for the bedroom ensures that guests sleep well on their wide Sealy Royal Crest mattress. Amongst the gallery of photographs, one iconic image dominates: the Ryder Cup, silhouetted against a setting sun as it is held aloft by victorious hands.
Golf is a tiring business, for both amateurs and professionals, so there is a separate room for a deep, free-standing bath, which leads into the shower room.
Food and drink
A range of restaurants meets the needs of the Belfry’s broad clientele. Home-sick American golfers will seek comfort amongst the sports bar big screens of Sam’s Bar, conveniently located next to the PGA course for breakfast on the way to the first tee, while families head for Italian themed Rocca’s Pizza Pasta.
The Ryder Grill is The Belfry’s premier dining attraction but with the bright, light ambience of the dressers of a farmhouse kitchen – after all once there was a farmhouse at the heart of those potato fields.
With a number of professional golfers now opting for a plant-based diet, the Ryder Grill offers a separate three course vegan menu. Under the creative lighting of cutaway barrels and chandeliers made of empty wine bottles, the Ryder Grill is an ideal place for carnivores and vegans to meet up.
With the world’s top golfers amongst their diners, the immaculately sourced Ryder Grill maintains the highest culinary standards – and of course provide sweeping views of the lush green fairways of the Brazabon course too.
The Belfry’s vast spa, with indoor swimming pool and whirlpools, includes a plethora of rooms and treatments. One popular treatment is the 60-minute Well Being Experience which includes a back exfoliation, followed by a soothing back massage, a warm mud mask application to the back. a tension reliving calf and foot massage and finally a mini facial. Groups of friends often follow a treatment with a private cocktail-making class.
For serious golfers never satisfied with their game, there is the PGA National Academy. Golfers can use Top Tracer technology fitted in the driving bays to analyse their game or seek training from a professional coach. For guests staying at the resort, the hotel can also arrange packages that include tickets to Twycross Zoo, Drayton Manor and Cadbury World.
In a nutshell
Far more than an irresistible resort for golf aficionados lured by the temptation of walking fairways in the footsteps of golfing giants, this is a classy getaway for all the family with slick presentation and sleek service.
Suites can be booked from £256.