We spent a night in the Grade II listed hotel - here's what we thought
Product: www.hallmarkhotels.co.uk/hotels/Chester-The-Queen Price: £109.00 Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)
What they say:
The marvelous Grade II listed Hallmark Hotel Chester The Queen (a grand dame for over 150 years) has moved on with the times. Its stunning Victorian features including a glorious curling four-storey open-well staircase with cast iron balustrade, a marble-floored lobby and huge fireplaces enhanced by superb, often quirky contemporary design, full of rich colours, intriguing historic photographs and striking light installations.
A multi-million pound refurbishment added 87 suites in 2008, and we’ve just opened the Virgins’ Row, a new series of wonderfully romantic rooms in the eaves of our famous historic building. We’re now the largest hotel in Chester with 218 bedrooms and suites – all boasting super-fast fibre optic WiFi – guaranteeing accommodation for every taste and budget.
Along with a seriously good night’s sleep, we offer award-winning food. Kings' Grill Chef, And while we like to be modest, we really must mention our renowned 103-item breakfast. Like our cocktail list, it’s the largest in the city. In time it will no doubt become a local institution, just like the delightful afternoon tea served in the Albert Lounge for over a century and a half.
What our tester thought:
Situated just opposite the station and only a 10 minute walk away from the city centre of Chester, Hallmark’s The Queen will hit the spot for any day trippers keen to explore the little Roman city. With a front entrance adorned with red pillars and a marble floored reception area lit up by twinkling gold lights, the lobby area of the hotel is impressive. Having travelled by train from Milton Keynes Central (a swift one hour 30 minutes from Chester) we check into the hotel at three o’clock following a short wait at reception.
Assisted by The Queen’s attentive receptionists, we’re given our directions to the separate wing of the hotel, aptly named The King's Suite, to find our Twin Executive Room. Without having cause to visit The King's Suite, or the adjoining King's Grill and Cocktail Bar, you problay wouldn’t know that this part of the hotel exists. It feels separated from the lively bustle of the rest of the hotel – perfect for anyone looking for a secluded stay.
As we walk along the carpeted corridor to the King’s Suite, we look to our right and notice that on the opposite side of the glass walkway sits a vast garden at the back of the building full of statues, vibrant plants, and neatly arranged courtyard furniture. This is the Queen’s Secret Garden and in the rare moments of sunshine during our stay it becomes clear that, much like the rest of The Queen, the garden has that classical Victorian feel.
Opposite the lift is the King’s Grill which serves dinner in the evenings. The room itself is small, but beautifully decorated. There is a unmistakable attention to detail when it comes to décor at The Queen. Sporting gold framed pictures, glossy wooden furniture and a feather soft bed, the room reflects the luxurious feel of the rest of the hotel. With plenty of wardrobe space and all of the necessary amenities, the Twin Executive Room is comfortably large enough for two people. Its crowning feature is the bathroom; with a large tub, spacious shower and humongous mirror – perfect for relaxing in before dinner.
We arrive at The King's Grill at seven o’clock. The restaurant has a formal, but tranquil atmosphere and dinner is accompanied by live music - the soft and melodic sort - an ideal romantic setting for couples. The staff are attentive and offer their recommendations from the wine list. I order the braised belly pork off the menu and wait a short while for the food to be prepared. The King's Grill boasts award-winning food, and the belly pork dish doesn’t disappoint.
The following morning we get another chance to sample the food. We head to the waiting room where breakfast is served and are overwhelmed by the amount of choice available on offer. From full English to fresh fruit and croissants, there is a huge selection available and an additional menu offering specials such as peanut butter and banana pancakes and smoked kippers. Spoilt for choice, it’s easy to see why The Queen’s breakfast menu is renowned in Chester and the wide variety on offer is brilliant for anyone with a fussy eater in tow.
The Hallmark’s Queen’s Hotel in Chester is a decadent stay without the decadent price tag. Wondrously decorated and beautifully maintained by an attentive and thorough team of staff, who are always on hand if you need any assistance, it’s the perfect pit stop for exploring the wonders of Chester, or a luxurious romantic getaway for two.
Hallmark Hotel The Queen Chester is one of 20 Hallmark Hotels ideally located around the UK from contemporary city centre properties to historic country houses.
Prices start at £129 per night for a Twin Executive Room, or £149 per night for a Double Executive Room. For a standard double room, prices start from £109 per night.
For more information go to www.hallmarkhotels.co.uk/hotels/Chester-The-Queen or call 0330 028 3402.