On the canal just outside the Ring Road, though you’ll still feel as if you’re in the city centre and it’s a matter of minutes on foot until you actually are. Views from all public areas and bedrooms are fairly lacklustre (lots of buildings, roads and a canal) but with free parking and the proximity to the city centre, I can forgive the lack of anything pretty to look at.
Spread across the older part of the hotel and the newer wing across the bridge, choices range from standard, through business, premier and club. The standard rooms are a little uninspired, though clean, comfortable and big, so I’d splash out on an upgrade. The recently-renovated premier rooms, with Jacuzzi baths, seating areas, balconies and altogether upgraded décor, offer good value as the hotel hasn’t put the prices up yet to reflect the renovation. Bag one if you can, there are only six. The Champagne Room, with bubbles and strawberries included, is a reasonable special occasion bet in the city.
Though it’s small I really like the reception area, it reminds me of a grand ship’s interior, all white steel posts and white furniture, dark wood flooring and beams, and gold detailing. The residents’ lounge bar is dark and cosy.
Eating and drinking
The real ale bar is always popular and buzzing and the Peppermill Trattoria is more a café venue serving pizzas, sandwiches and snacks. There’s the canal cruiser and the Canaletto Restaurant, where dinner dances are held every Friday and Saturday.
A large pool sits at the bottom of the building, underneath an unusually large and well-equipped gym (unusual for a city centre hotel). Strangely the beauty area and hair salon are nowhere near the pool and gym, though they’re nicely decked out.
With a smile, young and efficient.
Who stays there
Family groups, business visitors mid-week, leisure visitors throughout the week and race-goers.
Many rates include breakfast and parking. I’d opt for the premier for £20 or so more than the basic rate. Dinner and spa packages are available.
- Families with teenagers
- Families with younger children
- Mature travellers
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Great for families
- Free parking near the centre of Chester
- Big pool
- It’s a maze of a hotel
- Lacks character
- Drab standard rooms