As if the Grosvenor doesn’t have enough selling points, it is smack bang in the centre of things, with the famous Eastgate Clock right outside. I feel completely immersed in city centre life at this hotel, with shops, restaurants and bars within steps of the carpeted entrance – the most difficult bit is peeling yourself away from the comfort.
There are five different standards (from classic to the presidential suite) and no two rooms have been styled in the same way, though timeless and opulent décor reigns throughout. Features range from televisions that rise from the end of the bed to huge corner sofas. Standards include bathrobes and slippers, Molton Brown bath products, heated bathroom mirrors (such a blessing), a turn-down service, climate control, three telephone lines, marble bathroom floors and enormous beds. A truly comfortable and memorable stay is a given. There’s also a little bit of Chester in the rooms, with beautifully striking photography of the city’s best bits dotted around. Views from the often floor-to-ceiling windows range from Eastgate Street, with its famous clock, to a rather dull courtyard, which the hotel is hoping to spruce up a bit in the future. I’ve heard a couple of complaints about noise from the multi-storey car park at the rear of the hotel, but I’ve never heard a thing and I’m a fairly light sleeper. In fact, considering this is a city centre hotel, I am always pleasantly surprised by the tranquil nights. Other complaints also extend to the “missing” hospitality tray and, while this is a minor annoyance, trays are available on request – always make sure you ask for one before you go and pay £7.50 for two teas in La Brasserie (as, I confess, I did).
Look past the darkness of the lobby to see the lavish and intricate details of the rich interior. A large winding staircase wraps around a lovely drop chandelier. There are seating areas dotted around for guests, and there’s peace to be had in the drawing room, where there are board games, books and cosy seats exclusively for residents (you can also order room service to be delivered here).
Eating and drinking
La Brasserie is a Parisian-style all day affair; the Arkle Bar and Lounge is a more informal coffee/light lunch/Afternoon Tea kind of place; and then you’ve got the fabulous Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor, which has boasted a Michelin star for 20 years. La Brasserie is a cheaper choice for dinner and the Simon Radley restaurant is undoubtedly Chester’s finest dining experience (links to my restaurant reviews will follow soon). Breakfast is taken in La Brasserie. Some breakfast options are included in the bed and breakfast rate, though you’ll pay a supplement for a Full English (an extra £5) or an extra £7.50 for options such as crumpets with smoked salmon, grilled kippers and omelettes, which I think is a little steep considering the not inexpensive room rates.
There’s a small but functional gym and the Grosvenor Spa is a real treat. It’s not a massive space and there’s no pool, but it feels really personal and intimate. Sadly, it’s not complimentary for guests (£35 per room). I had a Darphin facial here recently, and the ladies made sure I left thoroughly chilled and refreshed.
Warm, welcoming and faultless. From the doorman in his top hat, to the suited and booted waiting staff, nothing is too much trouble. I always feel special thanks to the attentive staff.
Who stays there
Business guests during the week, plus couples sharing special occasions. Visitors from America and Japan also adore the charm of The Chester Grosvenor and Spa.
Parking costs £7.50 and you can drop your car with a valet at the doors.
- Culture vultures
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Individually styled rooms
- Located at the heart of the city
- Faultless service
- The finest dining in Chester
- The breakfast supplement
- Some of the views are uninspiring