Booked in to Belle Epoque when in the area on business - the website looked fab - sumptuous rooms and a boutique feel. Not cheap at £95 a night though. It's on one of the little high streets in Knutsford - very old building and lovely from outside.
I arrived in the afternoon to a locked door - probably because the Brasserie isn't open during the day. Checked in and was shown to room. The hotel is on lots of split levels with little staircases as i'm guessing it was converted to be a hotel.
Lovely old world feel to it. I stayed in room 3 at the front of the building - had a little veranda but couldn't use it due to H & S reasons. This was obviously the room for single travellers as the double bed looked quite small. Nothing like the photo on the website which featured a huge bed adorned with cushions and lovely soft furnishings. Decorated and furnished in keeping with the building - chests and leather bedsides, but had a tiny desk. Cobwebs on the roof too. Lack of plug sockets was an issue - no sockets near the desk so had a put kettle on a bedside table which wasn't very safe as quite low down. Probably ideal for a leisure break, but not suited for a business traveller who wants more work space. Bathroom was lovely, a few cobwebs again, nice and clean though with Arran Aromatic toiletries.
The room was really cold - 1 old big radiator and old original windows were the probable cause and it was just above freezing outside. The chamber maid had rolled up a towel and put it under the veranda door to stop the draught and kept the curtains closed.
Breakfast on the first day was a disaster. I was just leaving my room when the fire alarm went off - the cause was too many logs on the open fire in the breakfast room! Told to stay indoors, I sat at breakfast whilst the alarm carried on ringing. There was 1 other table of 4 men waiting patiently. I was sat for 25 minutes before I was even acknowledged or offered a menu. The server was obviously flustered as they couldn't get in touch with the maintenance man to switch off the fire alarm, so it was ringing shrilly! The other table managed to eat and also pay their bill whilst I wasn't even nodded to. They found this most surprising as did I! Especially when the server had to keep walking past me!
When I was eventually given a menu, I had 4 minutes left before my scheduled taxi arrived, so I said "i'll just have whatever you can get me and I can eat in that time!". "Cereal, toast?" was the answer and I said yes....cereal never arrived and the toast was out seconds later. It was cold which told me it hadn't been made for me. All in all very unhappy at having to wolf down some cold toast when I'd had to prebook the time I'd be down for breakfast.
Didn't eat in the hotel the second evening as put off by the breakfast disaster - went to Gusto over the road - great Italian cuisine.
Breakfast on the second day was much better and the server redeemed himself! I was able to enjoy a leisurely breakfast. Beware - when booking B & B this doesn't not include a full cooked breakfast. The hot food is bacon or sausage sandwich or eggs on toast, boiled eggs etc. The full cooked offering is £4.95 extra.
Walked past one of the private dining rooms which had the table laid and fresh flowers and fairy lights - looked lovely, although a little dimly lit.
The hotel is also on the flight path for Manchester airport - I saw planes taking off, and also coming in to land (right over the hotel!) When coming in to land you could almost touch them! I loved this - however if you want absolute quiet probably not the best choice of hotel.
All in all it was OK - if I was to return it would be for leisure, not business, when time is not a factor in your day. Expected more from looking at the website. OK too if you fancy a quirky hotel as opposed to a large standard brand.
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- Also Known As:
- Belle Epoque Brasserie Knutsford