The trade off for being surrounded by 12 acres of lush gardens is the out-of-centre location. It's only a 10-minute drive to the city centre and public transport is regular, so this isn't a big issue (the X31 and 20 services run twice an hour from right outside). The entrance is off a main road, but the hotel is set back so you won't hear traffic noise.
Done out in neutral earthy tones, the bedrooms' only splash of colour comes from the bright cushions on the bed. The bedrooms are a decent size, with a whopping (and soft) king bed dominating the space (or twin beds of course). There's a large desk, with a cable for free internet access, and a fridge. A well thought-out nod to lady vistors – as well as the Neutrogena bath goodies – are the generous and well-lit mirrors. There's nothing worse than trying to get made up for a night out in Chester in a dark mirror the size of a ship's porthole. You might want to get familiar with the fan controls – the rooms can get rather warm.
Inside, the bright and comfortable public areas boast plenty of seating (check out the white limousine-length sofa in the lobby) and there is modern art dotted around the walls. Outside, the walled gardens are lovely and there are a number of terraces and patios with seating if the sun makes an appearance.
Eating and drinking
Breakfast starts at 6.30am, a bonus if you’re checking out early. The hotel bar is small but open-plan, comfortable and buzzy. The lounge bar in the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse is a real treat. Chandeliers hang over black velvet sofas and leather poofs prop up your feet. This is the best place to find me with a passionfruit cosmopolitan in hand (recommended by the sociable hostess, it’s a new favourite) watching the live TV feed from the kitchen. The steakhouse itself is deliciously dark and serves up tasty, hearty and simple food. You’ll find cheaper restaurants in the city centre, but for the hotel setting, it represents decent value.
Free use of the spa’s pool, gym, hydrotherapy and sauna; treatments cost extra.
A friendly welcome is made friendlier by a warm, freshly baked cookie on arrival. Table service at the bar is instant, though can be a little unknowledgable at times.
Who stays there
Business visitors mingle with leisure visitors during the week, at the weekend you’ll mainly find guests visiting the city and making use of the spa. American visitors tend to like the Hilton hotel chain.
Breakfast costs £13 if not included in the rate (if you can wait, get breakfast in the city). Check the booking tool below to find good rates including breakfast. Parking is free.
- Culture vultures
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Free spa
- Set in a delightful walled garden
- Not in the city centre