• 11Dec


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    This is one of those hotels that if you passed it in the car you would not stop, and that’s not because it is totally inaccessible from the main road it just looks dated and drab. However, don’t let the looks and method of getting into the hotel put you off. This place has something about it that is rather quirky and charming. Its never going to win any awards when it comes to any beauty contest but it is very well run and managed by people who clearly care about what they do.

    On arrival you enter the hotel round what looks to be the back entrance which is because you cannot park out the front on the busy main road. This was my first time here and my heart sank when I checked in at reception. It is very much a 1970’s style clunky reception desk and I was welcomed by a receptionist who was perfect for the style of hotel, she had character. On the off chance I asked if there was any broadband available and to my amazement there was. She then told me that in order to log on I needed a key and then proceeded to pull from behind the desk a huge pair of scissors and a piece of raggedy old paper. My jaw dropped as the receptionist was tiny and the scissors were jumbo size as she proceeded to delicately cut me out my log in details. Handing over the this tiny piece of paper she proudly said “We have all the mod cons here you know!” Marvellous!

    Now in possession of the all important broadband key this tiny lady started to tell me at great speed where my room was, which went something like this, “Go through that door, along the corridor, turn left up the stairs, turn left , along the corridor, turn left, along the corridor and your room is on the right, OK?” my jaw dropped and I just nodded, this was no ordinary hotel, and I approve!

    It was with trepidation that I went into the room and was stunned by how clean and well laid out it was, no problem with the room at all. It offered a good size and spotlessly clean bath room, crisp linen bedding, desk and power, well stocked tea, coffee, biscuits, thick quality curtains and flat screen TV – very happy with that.

    Then came dinner. The restaurant is in the basement and it continues the theme of swirly carpets, mock Corinthian columns off set with a large flat screen TV area. It sounds awful but this place has a charm and is a spotlessly clean hotel. The bar and restaurant staff look the part with white shirts and black aprons – these people take pride in what they do and it shows. I ordered a drink at the bar was asked to take a seat and the drink was brought to my table together with a menu. Only bad point was the glass was held round the rim and I don’t like that.

    From what I could see of the menu steaks are very much the thing here catering for both size and meals for one or two people. It just so happens I wanted a steak. I ordered soup to start and an 8oz fillet with pepper sauce for main. Interesting to note that in the back of the menu they bother to explain how they cook their steaks and from my experience my understanding of how to cook steak it is their understanding too.

    The waiter then came over to the table and told me that my food was ready and with that he picked up my glass and took it to the table, these people know how to wait on tables.

    As for the starter it was OK but it would not win any awards, however the steak was very good, although the pepper sauce was a bit weird. I do like to see whole or crushed pepper corns in the sauce and there was not much evidence of that.

    Because I was told the desserts were all home made I tried a chocolate cake base with what I think was a mascapone centre and a chocolate icing. If memory serves me right think they called it a ‘lump bumpy’ which is probably an accurate description as it was rather heavy, sweet cold and something that needs smoothing out. It would not be my first choice next time.

    If you are a coffee drinker then this will disappoint as its thin and weak.

    As for breakfast well this is your standard buffet cereals and a freshly cooked full English, it is very good with plenty of tea, coffees and toast.

    Improvement opportunities

    • Get a new coffee brand like Lavazzo
    • Hold the glasses at the base when serving
    • Have a rethink about the pepper sauce
    • Provide some vegetables with the steak dish
    • Get your email address to match that of your domain home page

    Conclusion

    Would I go back? Yes I would as this place offers something that has a quirky charm which is complimented by the staff that work there. It is an eclectic mish mash of the past 30 years of hideous interior design. However Chesters Hotel has a formula and the people who work there know what is expected of them, I like it.

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