Chester has to be one of my favourite cities in the UK – it seeps beauty, history and charm, and I love returning there every now and again. It had been two years since my last visit, so when I heard that the Chester DoubleTree by Hilton hotel had recently had a ‘makeover’ and a shiny new refurbishment, I was eager to try it out.
Myself and my boyfriend headed down for an overnight stay the other week, and was pretty impressed with it’s location. We didn’t want to be splat bang in the centre of Chester, but close enough to drive in at around 5-10 minutes.
Therefore this DoubleTree hotel, situated slightly out of the centre but just an 8 minutes drive to the Riverside of Chester, was perfect for us.
The hotel is set in it’s own luxurious grounds, with a stunning fountain, gardens and grasslands surrounding the hotel. It’s quite pleasing to the eye when you drive in, and I can certainly see why people chose this hotel as a wedding venue. It provides the perfect backdrop for those gorgeous outdoor photos.
The design inspiration stems from the hotel’s rich history as an 18th Century manor house, yet with a contemporary twist that exudes comfort and class. We parked up and entered the newly refurbished reception, which is light, airy and modern.
I have to add that the nicest touch was being handed a warm chocolate cookie as a welcome. What a cute little touch, right?
As you can see from the photos, our suite was fresh and smartly designed. A pretty light grey air balloon print backs onto the wall behind the bed, setting the scene for a tranquil, relaxing room.
The super king sized bed was huuuuge and super comfy, and I literally enveloped myself into it as soon as I got there and it basically swallowed me up. Sooooooo squishy! But we didn’t spend too long admiring the room as we had a day at the spa to attend to, so lets see how we found it…
We both spent the day enjoying the spa, pool area and heat experiences, which was such a nice way to let a few hours pass us by. We were really lucky that the weather was so warm on our visit, so it meant that the pool – which normally has a cover over the top – was all open aired and acted like an ‘outdoor pool’ . And the best bit was that it was heated. I literally can’t get enough of heated pools – I’m such a cold person that I really look forward to having a swim in a lovely heated pool.
You basically walk into a bubbling jacuzzi and warm indoor pool, which then leads to the square outside pool with a free flowing fountain, encased in large walls so you feel like you’re secluded inside. It was an amazing way to spend the freak hot weather!
After having a relaxing swim and rest in the pool and jacuzzi, we spent a bit of time in the sauna and steam rooms, before heading for our 30 minute Elemis facial treatments.
The spa also has a roof top terrace, filled with sun loungers and outdoor chairs and tables, so it was rude not to sit outside and wait for our therapist to call us through. It’s nice to see a spa hotel which caters for the fluke warm weather! We just had a nice bit of chilled time out, sipping orange infused water before having our facials.
The Elemis facial was wonderful – my skin was fresh and glowing when I was finished, in which we then headed to the Garden Room and Terrace to enjoy the last of the sun before getting ready for the evening.
The Garden Room and Terrace is a stylish and contemporary restaurant and bar area, where you can enjoy a menu created using some of the finest British ingredients around, overlooking the hotel’s walled gardens.
As we were booked into the Marco Pierre White restaurant, we didn’t get to experience the menu or food offerings, but we did enjoy a glass of prosecco and vodka diet coke outside, encased by the walls.
The Garden areas are beautiful – such a gorgeous area to enjoy food and drink al fresco. But also, the interior was so classy and fashionable that I can only assume it makes an ideal place for an evening meal and drinks. The onsite bar also offers an extensive gin menu, with its selection of botanicals from the finest English distilleries.
We were booked into the Marco Pierre White restaurant at 8pm, which I was really looking forward to as I hadn’t yet dined at a Marco Pierre White restaurant before. I did a little research into this Chester one before my arrival, and I’d mainly seen outstanding reviews…
In case you’re not too sure, Marco Pierre White is dubbed the godfather of modern cooking, and is a renowned chef known worldwide as the youngest British chef to win three Michelin stars. This particular Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill Chester boasts everything you would expect from a traditional steakhouse, with the superior quality of a Marco Pierre White restaurant.
The interior was smart and classic, and we were seated amongst the window with views of the gardens and front fountains. I could spy there was a room behind us reserved for a hen party, which was a lovely space for a large party gathering.
The menu was extensive and I was totally stuck what to order. You know when you break it down to like, 5 options? And you just can’t whittle them down?
Strangely enough, as much as my head was telling me to order something like a steak or an option from the specials, I really wanted to try the mushroom and tomato gnocchi – I just love a good bowl of carbs. I went for the prawn cocktail starter (because that’s always my favourite), and both were just as impressive as I expected.
Some may assume Gnocchi is a little boring, but this one was full of veggies and full of flavour – full of fresh tomatoes with a juicy kick. We got a side portion of creamed Pancetta and Cabbage, which was so rich and delicious. Probably really bad for us as it was of a thick, creamy consistency, but boy what a good way to consume your veg.
As much as I was drooling for a dessert, we went for the cheese and biscuits instead, which went really well with our red wine. I have to say that overall, the restaurant has a very well respected and premium reputation, and not one bit of our experience failed to meet this.
From the waiting on staff who were extremely attentive, smart and polite, to the presentation of the food, and more importantly, the taste, everything was spot on. I thoroughly enjoyed my dining experience at Marco Pierre White and would recommend it to anyone in the area.
We watched TV from the enormous TV screen in the hotel room to finish off the night, before getting some shut eye and leaving the next morning to explore Chester. Nothing beats a morning stroll down the riverside, watching the boats sail by.
A fantastic overnight stay at the Chester DoubleTree by Hilton – both luxurious and relaxed, without being a pretentious, OTT hotel, if that makes sense.
A huge thank you to the team for looking after us.