In Pictures: Historic Warwick Arms Hotel getting a new look thanks to new owners

A historic hotel in Warwick has been getting a new look thanks to its new owners.

The Warwick Arms Hotel in High Street in Warwick, is being refurbished, by it's new owners who took over in June 2022. Photo by Mike Baker
The Warwick Arms Hotel in High Street in Warwick, is being refurbished, by it's new owners who took over in June 2022. Photo by Mike Baker

Guy and Tracey Middlebrook took over the Warwick Arms Hotel in High Street in June 2022.

The couple have lived in the town for more than 20 years as a family, and their daughters – and now granddaughters, have also continued to live in the town.

The hotel caught the interest of Guy, which led to them buying the site.

Tracey and Guy Middlebrook (back row), with their daughter Daisy Middlebrook-Vause (left) with her daughter Sylvie, and their daughter Teddy Runcorn with her daughter Cleo. Photo by Mike Baker

Daisy Middlebrook-Vause, one of Guy and Tracey’s daughters, said: “My dad is an Architect by trade and over his career has specialised in the restoration and sympathetic redevelopment of historic and listed buildings including a Victorian cravat factory, St Matthew’s Georgian Gothic Sunday School both in Altrincham and the Georgian HSBC bank High Street in Warwick, which is now two family homes.

“He initially enquired about the hotel as he was interested in some land at the back, which is adjacent to our homes, and came to learn the whole business was for sale, and it went from there.

“They purchased the hotel and I joined as the marketing manager in January at the end of my maternity leave instead of returning to my previous job.”

Since taking over, the family have been working to redecorate and renovate the building.

The ground floor of the Warwick Arms Hotel has been completely renovated and the owners are working on the rooms one by one. Photo by Mike Baker

Daisy said: “We have renovated the ground floor completely and are working on the rooms one by one, but with 40 to get through it will take some time.

"We reopened the Lounge Bar, which is open to both residents and non-residents, and we now serve food daily 12pm to 3pm and 5pm to 9pm including afternoon teas.

"We want the hotel to be a key part of the bustling heart of Warwick town and a place where tourists and locals will happily pop in for a drink.

"The hotel has been and will remain fully open during the renovations, which are done in small zones to avoid disruption.

The ground floor of the Warwick Arms Hotel has been completely renovated and the owners are working on the rooms one by one. Photo by Mike Baker

Speaking about the hotel, Guy and Tracey said: “We want to restore the hotel to its former glory as a key part of the heart of Warwick town, where tourists and residents feel welcome to stop by.”

History of the site and the hotel:

There has been a coaching inn on the site dating to before the Tudors, but the original building was largely destroyed in the Great Fire of Warwick in 1694.

A section of the original wall remains, and is visible in the glazed corridor towards the rear entrance. The Hotel was rebuilt in 1717.

The ground floor of the Warwick Arms Hotel has been completely renovated and the owners are working on the rooms one by one. Photo by Mike Baker

The ‘Bunch of Grapes’ inn sign, which hangs over the main entrance is said to be the oldest inn sign in the country.

The current stone frontage of the building was added around 1815. By 1834, the Warwick Arms was calling itself a ‘hotel’ from the French word used to describe more upmarket inns.

Since 1717, apart from during the Second World War, The Warwick Arms Hotel has been providing accommodation and hospitality to more than three million guests (about one million each century).

The hotel has also had several famous visitors, including Admiral Horatio Nelson and his infamous mistress Lady Hamilton, the American Writer Mark Twain and in more modern times Ivor Novello and Frank Sinatra.

The ground floor of the Warwick Arms Hotel has been completely renovated and the owners are working on the rooms one by one. Photo by Mike Baker
The ground floor of the Warwick Arms Hotel has been completely renovated and the owners are working on the rooms one by one. Photo by Mike Baker
The ground floor of the Warwick Arms Hotel has been completely renovated and the owners are working on the rooms one by one. Photo by Mike Baker
One of the renovated bedrooms. Photo by Mike Baker
One of the refurbished bathrooms. Photo by Mike Baker