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Featured image: Doubletree by Hilton Chester Facebook page
The DoubleTree by Hilton in Chester is something of a welcome surprise. Having lived in the city centre, my local DoubleTree hotel in Manchester (and the one I am used to seeing most often) is a more corporate affair of glass and steel – elegant, yes, but very much of the metropolis. Chester’s DoubleTree, located a few miles from the city centre, however, is nothing at all like this. The hotel is a restored 18th century manor house with a glorious English heritage-listed conservatory. It is surrounded by its own well kept grounds (12 acres of landscaped gardens, to be precise), and as you pull up the drive you begin to anticipate the luxury in store.
Check in was very friendly and efficient. We were each given a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie, warm and toasty, and smelling of delight. We declined the offer of a bell-boy to help with bags – we only had one overnight bag each. The process only took a couple of minutes and there were no queues on the reception when we arrived, despite it being a Friday evening.
The room was a decent size and looked great. Professional, rather than boutique, but stylish and with all the mod cons. Standard rooms include a super king size bed, air-con, a large LCD flatscreen TV and a safe. The bathroom was gorgeous, and well stocked with Crabtree and Evelyn products. We discovered more cookies (these ones not freshly baked, but still delicious) by the kettle. Those who want to do a spot of work will be pleased with the large tables in each room too, and the number of plug sockets available for laptops, hair-straighteners and chargers. Room rates include free wi-fi, and there’s no need to be tempted by minibars – there’s a fridge for your own booze, and not an overpriced packet of crisps in sight. Suites are also available for an additional price.
The DoubleTree by Hilton offers three different options for lunch: the upstairs lounge, the downstairs brasserie, and the fabulous adjoining Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill (review goes up tomorrow). The MPW Steakhouse Bar & Grill was absolutely fantastic and heartily recommended. We took breakfast in the brasserie’s conservatory, which afforded a nice view of the sunrise. The brasserie was also where we took afternoon tea, with glasses of sparkling wine, and a rather clement day outside – given the tempestuous winter weather. The afternoon tea was perfect either for a couple to share a romantic moment or for friends to catch up with a decadent treat.
Service at the hotel can only be described as impeccable. Hotels often judge their staff on ‘going the extra mile’ for the customers. If that were the case here, the DoubleTree by Hilton will most likely be giving all their staff golden stars this month. We can’t fault the service we received at all.
Checkout is at the rather sensible time of 12pm, with check-in anytime from 3pm. There is free parking available on-site and valet parking on request at an additional fee. We arrived by taxi from the train station, which was very cheap indeed (less than £5 with a local minicab number and a couple of quid more in a Hackney carriage). These factors all make staying at the DoubleTree a rather practical option.
The DoubleTree by Hilton in Chester also has its own on-site spa. The spa has ten treatment rooms, a couple’s treatment room, a pool, sauna and steam room facilities, as well as the very relaxing ‘Dreamwave Room’. We came into the Dreamwave Room after a thoroughly enjoyable shoulder, back and neck massage each, with the intention of drifting on the shores of bliss for half an hour or so before taking a dip, using the sauna and steam room, and then heading for afternoon tea. The sound of slowly breathing waves and the rippling of water reflected onto the ceiling from the water feature in the centre of the room was enough to chill us out so much we lay there for two hours before we even noticed. This made for the perfect retreat from a busy urban life, and we left the hotel feeling so relaxed we could’ve stayed for another week at least.
With its top-notch restaurant, very well maintained spa and enthusiastic service, the DoubleTree by Hilton makes a great place to stay, whether for business or pleasure.