The Belfry, West Midlands
THE HOTEL: Synonymous with golfers around the world as the onetime home of The Ryder Cup, the hotel has recently undergone a £26million refurbishment throughout. Offering 319 bedrooms and 14 suites, the property is located close to the M6 and M42 and a short drive from Birmingham Airport and the NEC
THE CHECK-IN: The check-in was quite busy as a small group arrived at the same time. However, staff did their best to speed things up and after a short wait the formalities were completed. I was given a map of the resort and to my room.
THE ROOM: I was staying in a signature 'Double Double' room which consisted of two double beds (as the name would suggest), a work station, seating area and cupboard space. The bathroom was compact, with a toilet, basin and walk-in shower. A range of amenities were provided in the bathroom, while in the bedroom there were tea/coffeemaking facilities, a widescreen TV with freeview and a hairdryer. A balcony provided extensive views across one of the hotels golf courses.
THE BUSINESS: There are 21 event suites and six boardrooms, all with natural daylight, air conditioning and the latest AV technology. The largest, The Woodlands Suite, can host up to 400 delegates in a theatre-style setup. With its 500 acres of outdoor space the hotel can also offer a range of team building events. The DDR is £49 including lunch, all refreshments and VAT. Wifi access is now free throughout the hotel
THE FACILITIES: The Ryder Grill with its open plan kitchen offered a range of dishes and was also the venue for breakfast. The Brabazon Bar serves a range of cocktails and fine wines, afternoon tea and light bites, and for a more leisurely dining approach there is Sam’s Club House. There’s the Belfry Leisure Club with an indoor pool, gym and spa. The three golf courses on site offer a challenge for all abilities of golfers.
THE VERDICT: Having not stayed at the hotel for over ten years I was pleasantly surprised by how much it had changed – it is definitely more corporate friendly than it was on my previous visit. Its various facilities remain comprehensive.
THE DETAILS: The Belfry Hotel & Resort, Lichfield Road, Wishaw, Sutton Coldfield, B76 9PR. Room room rates start from £110 including VAT and breakfast. Tel: 0844 980 0600; www.thebelfry.co.uk
Reviewed by David Clare(2014)