With most large hotels these days you are guaranteed a decent room and a shower that works. What determines a good or bad hotel is the little things. Sadly, the Crowne Plaza Chester did not really live up to it's price tag...
Following his cancer treatment my husband had his last consultant's appointment scheduled for a Monday, so we decided to take advantage of the racing at Chester and turn the trip into a celebratory weekend break. We had stayed at the Crowne Plaza in Cambridge when my husband was there on business and it had been absolutely faultless, so had no hesitation in paying the rather hefty charge to stay at it's sister hotel in Chester.
When we arrived the hotel car park barrier wasn't working and no one was answering the call button, so we had to pay to park in the public car park until we had checked in and sorted the problem out. We had arrived before lunch so didn't mind that our rooms weren't available but asked for somewhere where we could change our clothes and get ready to go the race course. We were directed to the changing rooms at the spa - perhaps a reasonable enough solution on the face of it, but my husband said the male room was full of people showering, the floor was soaked and everywhere was steamy and wet; he ended up going back along the corridor and changing in the toilet.
When we got back from the races we went to our room, kicked off our shoes and opened the minibar - it contained just two bottles of water. Thinking that it might just be an error due to being busy, we said nothing and expected it to be replenished next day. It wasn't - nor were the bottles of water that we drank replaced. On check out we were told that management is phasing out the minibar system.
The breakfast in Cambridge was the best hotel cooked breakfast I had ever eaten and their waffles were absolutely scrummy, so I was looking forward to a delicious Sunday morning breakfast. Unfortunately I was to be disappointed - less choice, less well prepared. The fruit salad was sat in so much water it was virtually tasteless and the grapefruit didn't appear to have a single unbroken segment in it. The hot buffet looked as though it had been sat there for hours - dry bacon, crusty beans, chewy hash browns, very dark and wrinkly sausages, solid fried eggs and the most dry looking scrambled egg I have ever seen (someone put a dollop of butter over it to try and improve the look, but it didn't work!). On the other side of the buffet I was shocked to see preserves still in their supermarket jars - one doesn't expect jars of Tesco Lime Marmalade in a hotel of this rating! The few Danish pastries on offer also had a sad supermarket look to them. Trying to be generous I thought again that perhaps it was due to being busy and would improve the next day, but it didn't and in fact was worse - when I asked for tea I was given a pot of hot water and with the tea bag delivered separately a full five minutes later...
My husband needed to access the hotel's Wi-Fi to keep up with work e-mails but we had to pay £15 per day for this (most hotels are free these days). Sadly the connection was so bad that we ended up walking down the street and standing outside another establishment!
In fairness to the reception staff, they were all friendly, helpful and polite and were a pleasure to deal with. Our room was a reasonable size and clean. But at Crown Plaza rates, this wasn't enough to make up for the lack of attention to detail elsewhere and we left feeling rather ripped-off and disappointed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to Crowne Plaza Chester, perfectly located on the edge of the city with panoramic views of the city and Welsh hills. The hotel is perfectly located for visiting all the historic sites of Chester, including the Roman walls, amphitheatre and Chester Cathedral. Renowned not only for its Roman heritage but also for its beautiful architecture, the shopping rows' many restaurants and inns are all just minutes from the hotel. With 160 bedrooms featuring stylish decor and amenities, with an option of upgrading to our club rooms, some with stunning views overlooking the famous Chester Racecourse and the Welsh hills. All bedrooms are fully air conditioned with elegant fabrics and furnishings creating a calm yet fresh environment. Crowne Plaza Chester is the number one choice in Chester whether you are here for business or pleasure. The hotel has a varied selection of conference and meeting rooms (11 in total) many with natural daylight, which can accommodate from 600 to as few as 4 guests. The Kings Suite interlinks to the Chester and Malpas Suite to give an ideal venue for exhibitions or large social events. Our dedicated conference team will ensure events run smoothly from the start. Our Club Moativation Health & Fitness Club including indoor heated pool, 24hr room service, onsite car parking and all areas of the hotel fully equipped with wireless internet makes us the perfect place to stay when visiting Chester. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Crowne Plaza Chester Hotel Chester
- Chester Crowne Plaza