Words by Christine & Granville Orange. Photography by Crestow House & Granville Orange.
This is the 17th article in the series that began in 2017, providing our readers with a recommendation of places to stay offering outstanding high quality accommodation along with safe parking for your Morgans when visiting the Morgan factory in Malvern, Worcestershire. Last but certainly not least, is Crestow House, a truly exceptional place to stay.
Situated in the stunning Cotswolds, in the attractive tourist town of Stow on the Wold, Crestow House offers a discreet, luxurious stay in this beautiful private house hotel with just seven four star bedrooms. Crestow House only opened two years ago and is managed for the private owner by Rasa and Kevin Hanlon who have always worked in the hospitality business. Whilst working in Scotland they were headhunted by the owner and involved in turning this large Victorian house (with much history and dating back to 1860) into a top class, unique boutique hotel, with an emphasis on creating something a little bit different for the more discerning guest. Kevin and Rasa kindly invited Christine and I over to stay overnight and experience their hospitality.
Situated a few minutes’ walk from the town centre, the hotel has ample private and safe parking for your precious Morgans. A warm and personal welcome is promised, and we were met and shown to our room by Rasa, who originates from Lithuania. We stayed in a Superior double room which was simply stunning. The decor, fixtures and fittings were all top class, and the bed was exceptionally large and comfortable with luxurious bedding. Rasa showed us the other bedrooms too….the Classics (smaller and cosy but certainly not second best), then a Deluxe double and finally the Junior Suite…OMG ! Say no more !
The owner of the hotel is an art collector of some repute, albeit he prefers to remain anonymous. Crestow House was his personal home prior to been converted into a hotel two years ago. The art collection on show throughout the hotel is quite amazing, with superb originals and limited edition prints. The hotel also features contemporary works for sale by well-known living artists.
There are two very comfortable guest lounges, and when we arrived the log fires were burning. On the coffee table was a copy of the December edition of MOG, and Crestow House have been supporting our magazine and advertising in MOG since they opened, for which we are most grateful. They have one regular guest who flies in from Hong Kong, and who keeps his Morgan in storage here in the UK for when he visits. It is personally delivered for him to Crestow House ready for his arrival each time…now that is style !
A real bonus is that from the front gate a short walk leads you to the town centre and all the amenities. The hotel doesn’t offer dinner (unless by special prior arrangement – see below) but does recommend a number of excellent restaurants within Stow as dining venues. We opted for the “Old Butchers Shop”, which ironically is a specialist fresh fish restaurant offering fish and shellfish from Cornwall delivered daily (see the specials board as well as the extensive and tempting menu). Informal, friendly and warm, we would certainly recommend it. As a guide, our dinner for two, for two courses (we passed on desserts) with drinks, was £105.
Upon our return to the hotel I enjoyed a nightcap with Kevin in the hotel bar. No surprise to find a well-stocked range of classic malt whisky as Kevin originates from Islay, part of the Scottish Hebrides. The bar also has a superb wine list, and a wonderful cigar humidor with a wide range of Cuban cigars to be enjoyed on the veranda adjacent to the bar, and if it’s a cool evening, lovely warm blankets are provided.
Breakfast, served in the conservatory, was a gorgeous spread of all that one might desire, and more. As for activities, in the summer months guests can enjoy the garden with large heated swimming pool, and particular bespoke activities can be booked via the hotel, such as clay shooting, fly fishing, and recommended walks and hikes. Nearby are a number of places to visit…not least the many picturesque Cotswold villages with their quintessential buildings constructed from the local soft warm yellow sandstone. There is Batsford Arboretum, The Adam Henson’s Rare Breeds Farm Park, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway with a regular service between Broadway and Cheltenham, and the Bugatti Trust Museum and Study Centre at Prescott to name just a few.
I asked Rasa about any famous guests who might have stayed at Crestow House. She remained discreet, but did let on to enjoying the fact that they have some very rare and special cars parked at times belonging to guests, and to being tempted to ask for signed photographs of guests albeit has always been shy and too polite to do so ! Rasa emphasised that guests can block book the hotel, and do, and use it as if they were at home. The hotel prides itself on creating a homely, relaxing and informal atmosphere, but with attention to detail in all that they do.
How about this as a special offer to our readers: Morgan Car clubs, or a group of Morgan enthusiasts looking for the most special few days, can block book the whole hotel (7 rooms) for two nights, bed and breakfast plus exclusive dinners at the hotel… all for £3,750. Phone Rasa or Kevin direct on 01451 831709 for all bookings / www.crestow.co.uk
In conclusion, and for your reference, to date we have covered the following establishments in this series:
Stanbrook Abbey; Chateau Impney; Colwall Park Hotel; The Abbey Hotel; Copper Beech House, Malvern; Cottage in the Wood; The Malvern Hills Hotel; The Court House, Shelsley Walsh; Hillside Hideaway, West Malvern; The Cotford Hotel, Malvern; Eckington Manor; Brockencote Hall, Chaddesley Corbett; The Feathers, Ledbury; The Elms at Abberley; Malvern Spa; and Crestow House in Stow on the Wold. Seventeen top class venues for all Morgan owners to stay when undertaking the essential pilgrimage to the Morgan factory in Malvern and wishing to stay in comfort, indeed outstanding luxury. All 17 venues have been visited, vetted and approved by us. Enjoy your stay, let us know how you get on with a letter to the Editor, and don’t forget to mention MOG when booking to get the best deals possible.