May 28, 2024

Hotel: The Belfry Hotel & Resort, Birmingham

THE HOTEL: On a 550-acre estate in the North Warwickshire countryside close to Birmingham, this resort is perhaps best known as being a four-times host of golf’s prestigious Ryder Cup. It’s now back on the golfing map as the host of the British Masters until 2026. Acquired by Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Cedar Capital Partners in 2021, it has been substantially refurbished with over £26m spent on various upgrades and more planned.

THE CHECK-IN: For such a large and sprawling resort the reception area is on the smallish side but as I arrived long before the afternoon check-in time I was dealt with swiftly and courteously, handed a map of the complex and an explanation of the various facilities and invited to make a dinner reservation.

THE ROOM: The 320 rooms are spread out across a labyrinth of corridors and stairways and finding mine, 2531 in the Torrance wing, proved something of a challenge! Overlooking the 18th green of the PGA course, the room was generously spacious with two double beds – the heavy duvet and fluffy pillows were perfect for a dead-of-winter stay – a spacious seating area with comfy chair and table, a work desk, a large HD Freeview widescreen TV, tea and coffee-making facilities. A large bathroom had a walk-in shower with ESPA toiletries.

THE FACILITIES: For kids there are various activities like woodland walks, indoor games, library and mini-golf. The sports bar, Sam’s Club House, serves pub food and shows games. For a more refined high tea, The Brabazon Bar is housed in an atrium. The resort’s main restaurant, the Ryder Grill, has a classy feel but is relaxed and informal with an open kitchen. Private dining is available in the Wine Room, accommodating up to 12 guests. There’s also a Roca’s Pizza Pasta with a Starbucks. The Spa has a full-size pool, hot tubs, relaxation rooms and thermal experiences. The gym is extremely well equipped and offers fitness classes.

THE VERDICT: The Belfry is determined to further re-establish itself as one of the finest resorts in the UK. It will soon boast more dining options and new accommodation thanks to funding for further development.

THE DETAILS: Wishaw, Sutton Coldfield B76 9PR, prices start from £169 for a signature room including full English breakfast, golf and spa short breaks also available.

Steve Hartridge