Sleepover: De Vere Mottram Hall

A bed for the night in Cheshire

The location

This grand country pile is 17 miles south of Manchester city centre in the Cheshire countryside, near the village of Mottram St Andrew, home turf of many Premiership footballers.

The USP

Sporting heaven. Full-sized football and rugby pitches, an 18-hole, 72-par championship golf course (the De Vere chain also owns The Belfry, a legendary golfing site), snooker tables, grass tennis courts and all the usual leisure centre trimmings - gym, pool, sauna and steam. The superb facilities attract the likes of 2003 Champions League winners AC Milan, numerous Premiership teams and Sir Alex Ferguson, a member of Mottram Hall's golf club. For something less strenuous, stroll through the 270 acres of parkland, including woods and lakes.

The comfort factor

Mottram Hall has no pretensions to be other than what it is - a very good country hotel. The main building, a family home dating from the early-18th century, was converted into a hotel in 1971. The style is traditional - large well-sprung beds, leather armchairs and panelling.

The bathroom

Every room comes with en-suite bathroom/shower and a collection of Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy products.

The food and drink

Start the day with chubby sausages and thick smoky bacon or, for the health conscious, fresh fruit, yoghurt and muesli. In the restaurant, Nathaniel's, the sole fillets with wild mushrooms and nutty butter melted in the mouth. Booking for dinner is recommended.

The people

A family orientated, down-to-earth crowd, golfers and the occasional footballer. Very popular with wedding parties though the hotel insists everything finishes at midnight. Service is efficient and friendly, without undue bowing and scraping.

The area

Manchester's City and United grounds aren't far. Or shop at the Trafford Centre, visit historic Chester, or take a walk in the Peak District.

The access

The original part of the house does not have a lift (it is a listed building). However there is lift access to 72 of the 132 bedrooms. Six rooms are being remodelled with state of the art facilities for visitors with disabilities. Children are welcome.

The damage

Doubles start at £170 per night, including English breakfast. Children sharing with parents are charged £20 per bed and £10 per cot per night, including breakfast.

The address

Wilmslow Road, Mottram St Andrew, Prestbury, Cheshire SK10 4QT (01625 828135; www.DeVereOnline.co.uk).

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