“ Byley Lane, Cranage, Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, CW4 8EW. Tel:+44 (0) 1477 536 666 „
We stayed at Cranage Hall as part of a Travelzoo deal last week and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Cranage Hall is part of the Principal Hayley chain and has lots of facilities that make it a great place to stay. It also has a heavy focus on offering conference facilities and a place for weddings.
The hotel is in a converted mansion in Cranage, near Holmes Chapel in Cheshire. It is very easily accessible as it is just a few minutes drive from the M6 motorway. There is plenty of free parking on site so arriving by car is probably the best way. The hotel is a convenient place to stay if you are visiting Jodrell Bank (5 minutes drive away), Tatton Park (20 minutes drive away) and Chester Zoo (35 minutes drive away).
The drive up to the hotel impresses upon you what a lovely building it is and I would imagine it makes for some lovely wedding day photographs. There is a new build extension to the right of the hotel which is where the accommodations are all located. This building is attached to the old building so that you can walk all the way through without going outside, but most of the main facilities are located in the old part.
The staff are very friendly, especially the ones at the front desk. They are knowledgeable and are happy to help you with bookings and questions about both the hotel and the surrounding area. We found that all of the staff were excellent, including those in the restaurant and the leisure centre.
The rooms are very nice. we stayed in a standard room that had a double bed. It was comfortable and had everything we needed during our stay. The bed was nice and comfortable. i have read other reviews that said the beds were too hard, but we didn't find this to be the case at all. The bathrooms are well maintained and clean and there are lots of little toiletry bottles in there in case you have forgotten anything. One of my bugbears about hotel rooms is when they don't have a plug socket by the bed, but I am pleased to report that this wasn't a problem here as there was a socket at either side of the bed!
The restaurant offers a selection of meals including burgers and more traditional dishes and is very enjoyable. The prices aren't too bad either with starters and desserts costing around five pounds each and main courses between twelve and twenty pounds. There was a set menu in the restaurant when we arrived and the waitress told us it was because there was a big group of people in and they tend to use this instead, but we were offered the option of the normal menu when we asked. It would have been nice to have been offered the full menu without having to ask, since we weren't part of the big group.
Breakfast was excellent and included a wide selection of the usual things you would expect to see - hot buffet, fresh fruit, pastries, juices and coffee. The hot stuff was hot and the cold stuff was cold. i'd have been happy to pay for the breakfast if it hadn't have been included.
There is a full leisure club there which you can become a member of separately and full use of which is included in the price of your stay. We used the swimming pool, hot tub and sauna whilst we were there, all of which were well maintained and in good working order. The swimming pool isn't very big. You can do lengths comfortably, but if there is any more that five people in there, it becomes a bit claustrophobic. There is no life guard on duty.
There are lots of little areas for sitting and enjoying a drink during your stay, with big open fires surrounded by comfy arm chairs. There is also a bar area. The drinks aren't cheap, but no more expensive than you would expect in a hotel.
As i said, we got it as part of a deal which included dinner, bed and breakfast as well as a bottle of wine and tickets to Tatton Park for £99 for two of us for one night. We thought this was exceptional value for money and were very pleased with our stay. we actually upgraded our Tatton Park tickets to chester Zoo ones for £5 each. The extras alone are worth more than the price of the stay. If you can't get the Travelzoo deal, they have lots of deals available directly that can include dinner, bed and breakfast and / or tickets to a local attraction for about £20 more. still good value.
Last week, my husband and I celebrated Christmas with his work colleagues at Cranage Hall in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire. As this was some distance from home, we treated ourselves to a night away in the hotel without the kids, making a good night even better! Cranage Hall is part of the Principal Hayley group of conference venues and hotels but for us it was the setting of our Christmas 'do' and a well-deserved night away.
Our party had taken advantage of one of the festive Christmas events offered by Cranage Hall. We paid £32 per person for a three course Christmas evening meal and an additional £49 for our double room including breakfast. This seemed like a very good deal considering standard room charges are around £85 for a standard double room with breakfast. As we were taking advantage of a party booking, we made our reservation a few months ago by telephone and had been looking forward to a pleasant night away ever since.
I was very pleasantly surprised when we pulled up outside Cranage Hall. The exterior is very grand and imposing and it was much bigger than I expected. Our sat nav managed to direct us to the hotel without any problems as the hotel is just a couple of miles out of Holmes Chapel, in the village of Cranage. There was more than adequate car parking available, despite the hotel being packed with other Christmas revellers, although it did mean a short walk over to the main entrance as all of the closest spaces were taken.
The hotel reception was very welcoming and we were asked to pay for the room in full on arrival, having left credit card details over the phone when we booked the room but not actually paid a deposit as such. Staff on arrival were friendly and professional and we were directed to our room without any problems. One couple in our party did have a problem on arrival and had to wait half an hour for their room to become available. To give the hotel their due, they were given complimentary bathrobes, a bottle of wine and chocolates to apologise for the delay so this certainly seems like a hotel that cares about the guests.
The bedooms were clearly sign-posted, in spite of the seemingly never-ending corridors we had to walk through. Our double room was surprisingly spacious with all of the requisite facilities, including an en-suite bathroom with bath as well as shower. Everything was fresh, clean and well cared-for with sufficient bedding and tea/coffee making facilities as you'd expect. Our room even included an iron, hairdryer and trouser press so were able to make sure our Christmas party wear was looking at its best! The TV was a decent size although the reception was terrible. Luckily, we had no intention of sitting in our room watching TV when there was a party to go to!
For the Christmas party night, we met up initially in the hotel bar downstairs where we were greeted with our complimentary drink (some unidentifiable concoction including cranberry juice.) We were called up to the Stevenson Suite just before 8pm and seated. There were a large number of seperate parties seated within the suite but each party was clearly marked and there was plenty of space between tables so it didn't feel as though we'd all been shoe-horned into one space. Christmas meals can be a bit chaotic, with everybody forgetting which items they've ordered and so on but Cranage Hall had cleverly dealt with this issue by listing everybody's individual menu choices on the table, so there was no chance of trying to swap to a more appetising looking meal on the sly! The food itself was pleasant enough festive fare. I had the vegetarian option which was Goat's Cheese Roulade, followed by a Mushroom and Chestnut Bouginonne and a Chocolate Orange Torte. My other half enjoyed his Roasted Pepper and Tomato Soup although both of us felt that the pepper couldn't be tasted at all and the soup could easily have been passed off as tomato and basil. It was pleasant enough, nonetheless. The traditional turkey dinner also seemed to go down well with everybody and I could certainly see lots of empty plates and heard no complaints about the quality of the food.
The only slight disappointment during the evening itself was the attitude of some of the waiting staff. They were clearly busy, seeing to the needs of around 200+ guests, all needing their meals at the same time. Nonetheless, a little courtesy and good manners goes a long way. I was surprised to hear one of the waiters snapping 'I'm busy!' over his shoulder at one of the members in my party! I wouldn't expect that sort of response to a simple request in McDonalds, let alone in a high quality hotel. Likewise, my request for tea at the end of the evening, rather than the coffee on offer, was met with a rather curt response, rather than the courteous reply I had anticipated. Thankfully, the ambience of the evening, an excellent DJ with a great set list and wonderful company, meant the evening wasn't spoiled in any way.
The only other issue that had the potential to put a dampener on the festivities was the cost of the drinks. A glass of lemonade cost a mighty £3.30 (!) with two glasses of Rose coming to £13! To add insult to injury, one member of our party paid for his two glasses of wine with a £20 note and was initially only offered £3 in change, until he pointed out the mistake. That could have been an even more expensive round! Luckily for me, the compliimentary half-bottle of wine included in the cost of the meal was more than enough alcohol to keep me happy. I'm a bit of a lightweight when it comes to alcohol nowadays. We still ended up staying up until the upstairs bar closed and then the fun continued downstairs in the Residents' Bar which was still going strong when we finally crawled to bed at 2am!
Thankfully, breakfast was served between 7-10am, the following morning so we managed to get ourselves up in time. The breakfast was a self-service hot and continental buffet affair with a very impressive selection of hot and cold items on offer, all regularly replenished throughout the morning. I was particularly pleased about the variety of items available that were suitable for vegetarians and enjoyed a generous helping of fluffy scrambled eggs, mushrooms, hash browns, tomatoes (both tinned and fresh) and baked beans. Very nice it was too!
We needed to check out by 11am but left shortly beforehand, ready to go back home and regain control of our offspring and step back into reality! If we had the time or the desire, we could have made use of the hotel's leisure club and pool and I would love to go back and sample these at some point! I would jump at the chance to go back to the hotel for another night away, especially as part of this sort of Christmas package as it worked out at really good value overall.
Cranage Hall, Byley Lane, Cranage, Holmes Chapel, Cheshire
England, CW4 8EW
Tel: 01477 536 666