From £85
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OVERVIEW

Many come here for the luxurious spa or to enjoy a celebratory meal in the restaurant, but with facilities for families and dog-lovers, it also appeals to a broader audience. The location, on the Welsh border, means it's handy for exploring the North Wales coast as well as Chester and surrounding attractions.


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Rooms available from £85 per night

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OUR REVIEW

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Just in England by a hair's breadth (hop over the brook at the bottom of the garden, and you'd be in Wales), the hotel lies roughly midway between Chester to the north and Wrexham to the south. A bus service connects it to both, but there's plenty of on-site parking if you're travelling by car. Two miles away, Eaton Hall, on the Duke of Westminster's vast country estate, opens its gardens to the public for a few days each year.

By car: the hotel is 4 hours 30 mins drive from London and 1 hour from Manchester. Free parking.

By train: Crewe Station has direct links to London and is a 50-minute taxi ride away. Chester station is 15 minutes' drive away. Book trains to Cheshire.

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THE LOOK AND FEEL

Behind the traditional red brick façade lies a totally contemporary reception area, with a glass bauble chandelier, bold wallpaper and mirrored pillars. To one side of the desk is Nelson's Bar, a Victorian pub given a bright 21st-century makeover; to the other, the Palm Court, a retro glam indoor courtyard, with Deco-style chandeliers, plashing fountains and giant potted palms.

THE FACILITIES

As well as a dedicated spa, there's also an on-site leisure club, with a gym, tennis court, swimming pool, Jacuzzi and sauna. Live music and other special events take place now and then, and conference facilities cater for the many weddings and corporate events held here. Staff are friendly and service is attentive.

  • Two restaurants
  • Bar
  • Garden
  • Spa
  • Indoor pool
  • Dog-friendly
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi

BED AND BATH

This is a place where it definitely pays to upgrade. Compared to the glossiness of the public areas, economy rooms look a bit dated and run of the mill, but rooms a level or two up come with more interesting décor and added colour as well as extra space and better bathrooms.

Room types: Economy, Executive, Deluxe, Superior

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom, TV, tea and coffee facilities, telephone, iron, free Wi-Fi

FOOD AND DRINK

There are two in-house restaurants to choose from. The more informal option is Nelson's, with its extensive menu of pub favourites. Or you could go for the fine dining offering in Palm Court, where the modern British dishes might include the likes of pan-seared scallops or pepper-crusted venison.

Palm Court: all-day dining, contemporary dishes, afternoon tea, Sunday roasts. Open daily. Mains from £15.50.

Nelson's Bar: high quality pub classics, seasonal ingredients, local produce. Open for lunch and dinner. Mains from £13.50.

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