Stratford Park Hotel & Golf Club forecasts back-to-back years of record turnover

Sean Farnell and Beverley Haynes

A Stratford-upon-Avon hotel is forecasting back-to-back years of record turnover despite challenges around staffing and recruitment.

Stratford Park Hotel & Golf Club is a 14th century country farmhouse hotel surrounded by its own 18-hole golf course and is forecasting turnover of around £2 million this year.

The independent 32-bed hotel has thrived over the last two years, with the growth fuelled by its golf course which proved increasingly popular as people sought outside activities to enjoy during the pandemic.

Success with corporate golf days has also been accompanied by a buoyant wedding trade, with short booking lead times giving another boost to the venue over the last 12 months.

Meadow Barn, the hotel’s onsite wedding venue, is set in 150 acres of Warwickshire countryside and has hosted more than 80 weddings over the last year.

These factors have led to increased occupancy rates, with a clear increase in midweek trade as a result of golf days, while the return of international tourism has heightened weekend trade for the hotel.

Stratford Park has started working with leading regional accountancy firm Burgis & Bullock to help facilitate the growth of the business.

Its growth has brought a need for additional staff across the venue’s operations, but staff shortages across the hospitality sector have meant that recruitment has been a significant challenge for Stratford Park.

The hotel even has empty rooms in its live-in accommodation, reflecting its capacity to take on more staff.

Beverley Haynes, General Manager at The Stratford Park Hotel & Golf Club, said: “We’ve had a really strong couple of years, record years in fact, but it’s now a case of the business trying to cope with that growth.

“We’re forecasting another record year and we’ll be looking to hit around £2 million turnover, which is excellent for a hotel of our size.

“During the pandemic, we were lucky to be able to open up our golf course early and that area of the business has boomed ever since, particularly in the corporate golf day market.

“This has led to us recently starting to work with Burgis & Bullock to support us with tax advice, accounts, pension advice and most importantly guidance on how to grow the business.

“Staffing has been a challenge when it comes to growth, particularly in roles such as housekeepers and kitchen porters. We have an excellent front-of-house team and we haven’t struggled too much with staffing in that area.

“One of the costs that has risen the most since the pandemic is our recruitment costs and job advertising. We are constantly looking for more staff, but it is increasingly difficult finding people to fill roles.”

Burgis & Bullock has offices in Leamington, Rugby, Stratford-upon-Avon and Nuneaton.

Sean Farnell, Partner at Burgis & Bullock, added: “Stratford Park Hotel & Golf Club has thrived in what has been a very difficult period for the tourism, leisure and hospitality sector.

“Staffing is a challenge across all industries at the moment, but none more so than in hotels and hospitality more widely.

“We are working closely with Beverley and her team to help to cultivate sustainable growth of the business and how best the hotel can use its resources to do that.”

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