Within the city walls and on the edge of what feels like the city centre. The hotel borders the busy ring road, but noise is kept to a minimum by efficient double glazing. An uninspiring concrete labyrinth greets you when you venture outdoors, but being two minutes from the beauty of historic Chester acts as compensation.
A quick glance reveals very little difference between the standard and club floor rooms. Both feature big comfortable beds; bathrobes as standard; huge mirrors; spotless and bright bathrooms (with another large and well-lit mirror); and nice complimentary extras such as mini aromatherapy sprays to help you get a good night’s sleep. The standard rooms are decked out in colours of the forest, and the clubs get a splash of fiery red. I think it’s worth shelling out another £20-30 to upgrade (or try your luck at asking really nicely for a free upgrade!) as you get access to the club lounge where free drinks and canapés are available between 5pm and 8pm, plus there’s free internet and a free Continental Breakfast – well worth it if you’re on a room only basis. All rooms are air-conditioned, which is a big plus as the windows will only open an inch or so (Crowne Plaza policy). Ask for a room with a view of the hills/racecourse, as the other side of the hotel doesn’t feature the most pleasing city centre skyline prospect.
Quite a grand entrance lies behind the doors, with chandeliers and sizeable pieces of art. The carpet is from the dizzying range of typical hotel carpets (think bright blue, pink and navy patterned squares) – there must be a giant shop where they all get them from, but there’s plenty of comfy seating.
Eating and drinking
A large breakfast selection includes omelettes made to order. The restaurant is a big, open plan space with aforementioned views of the Welsh Hills. Not really an intimate dinner restaurant so not popular with locals, but it’s a good option if you’re a resident.
A well-equipped gym, swimming pool, sauna and steam room are free, but also open to paying non-residents. Beauty treatments and exercise classes cost extra.
Friendly, helpful and cheery.
Who stays there
Lots of business visitors during the week, leisure guests at the weekend. Families are most welcome and kids get a welcome pack and gift in the room. If the staff know they are hosting a lot of little ones, they’ll set up a play room including a Nintendo Wii.
Some of the cheapest rates can be found on Fridays. If you do opt for room only, be aware breakfast costs a whopping £15.95pp. Check the booking tool below to find good rates including breakfast. Car parking spaces, costing £7.50 per 24 hours, are limited but the adjacent council car park offers spaces for the same rate.
- Culture vultures
- Families with teenagers
- Families with younger children
- Mature travellers
Pros & Cons
- Leisure facilities
- Spacious bedrooms
- Lack of character