“ Address: Chester Service Area / J14 M56 / Elton / Chester CH2 4QZ / United Kingdom / Tel: 08701 977059 „
Upon returning from a weekend break in Chester I am now full of places and things to review from my break there and the place we stayed, a Premier Inn is well worthy of a review and of 4 whole stars from me!
Firstly when booking this hotel I did a fair bit of research. I looked into hotels in the Chester area and other chains of well known travel inn's such as Travel Lodge and found that the Premier Inn looked to be a better quality yet not that different in terms of price. I booked online and the website was fairly easy to use.
There is the usual kind of search form on the site where you type in the dates you are looking for and the area in which you would like to stay. Several hotels came up in the Chester area including two in CH2 but this one was slightly cheaper and didn't look all that different so we went for this one.
Booking it was very straight forward, you weren't bombarded with options. You didn't need to register to book you could just book right away. Then a confirmation email was sent immediately.
A few days before we left I decided to print out our booking information just in case there were any problems when we arrived, I however couldn't find the e-mail so I rang the hotel directly and they were very accommodating and happy to send out another right away which was really helpful.
In terms of booking this was really very simply and straight forward.
When we first arrived at this hotel I was a little skeptical if I'm honest seeing as it was set on a junction of a motorway, however, the slip road was quite long and bent round quite a lot which made the hotel not be too close to the busy motorway. The building itself looked rather modern, was nothing fancy but didn't look at all off putting or anything. There was ample amounts of parking with several disabled spaces close to the door. The are around the hotel looked very clean, there was no rubbish anywhere and the lawns around it were well maintained, so in all, first impressions were pretty good.
The reception area was quite small but seemed rather light. The theme of this hotel is purple so there was plenty of reminders of this around with two purple settees to sit on and a purple desk! It wasn't the kind of reception area you'd expect from a large hotel but for a Premier Inn it was fine.
The staff were very friendly and helpful they were more than accommodating and provided us with information when we asked about where was good to go for a meal, what time the shopping outlet was open on a Sunday etc. They made conversation with us whilst we paid about where we'd travelled from, how old our baby was etc which was nice. They were more than welcoming, the sort of people you would like to greet you at the beginning of your stay.
The room it opened by a key. This sounds rather basic but it was so refreshing to have a good old fashioned key and not a fancy key card! There have been so many occasions in other hotels when we've had a key card that doesn't work or one of us leaves the room with it which then plunges the other into darkness! Having a key is what I like to see!
My first thoughts when walking into the room was "Wow! It's massive!" we had booked a family room, we had said there would be two adults and a baby so I was just expecting a normal-sized room but with a cot, I wasn't expecting a room as large as we got! There was TWO double beds. The cot was a travel cot that had been erected at the far end of the room but there was ample place to move it between the two beds if we wished. There was also an arm chair, a long desk/dresser with an upright chair, a wardrobe, ample place to put your suitcases and bedside tables. The ensuite bathroom was quite small but still had a bath, an over the bath shower, sink, toilet and plenty of surface space for your wash things. There were no little shampoo bottles or soap although shower gel was provided. You could buy a 'wash kit' from reception for an extra charge should you wish. Inside the room there was a flat screen television, hair dryer, desk top fan and kettle.
The room was very clean and there were plenty of towels provided in the wardrobe. What was nice was that there were duvets on the bed! I don't like sleeping under just a sheet or a sheet and blanket, I do like a good duvet! This was a thin one, I assume a summer weight one, so it was ideal and made the night much more comfortable.
In terms of sleeping in this room it was rather comfortable especially with having a duvet and not a blanket which itches! It was, however, very warm the first night, there was no ability to change the heating temperature in our room and our baby room thermometer showed that even with the window open it was still 24 degrees so not a very comfortable sleep in terms of warmth. The next morning, however, we mentioned the heating and they turned it down, so our second night was much more comfortable.
One thing which was concerning us was the close proximity to the motorway. Would the sound of traffic reach us and disturb us? It didn't, even though we had the window open too. The way the hotel is set back from the motorway made it so that the noise of traffic didn't reach us. Yes you could hear the odd rumble of traffic but it wasn't at all an issue.
Breakfast is served in the service station next to the hotel. If you are staying you get a breakfast voucher which entitles you for £10 of food for £7.50 and children under 16 get £10 of food for free which was good! The breakfast choice includes anything from the Road Chef or from Costa Coffee. In terms of road chef there was full cooked breakfasts where the eggs are cooked fresh on request, cereals, cakes, toast, sandwiches, fruit and free baby food.
The cooked breakfasts on the first day were cold by the time we managed to sit down due to the staff member being extremely slow and unhelpful. He seemed incapable to understand that we wanted two rounds of toast on one plate and one round of toast on another, he then messed up us paying with vouchers and charged us for the food which our 1 year old was going to eat. By the time we had sorted it out it was virtually cold so rather irritating. On our second morning, however, we had a completely different story, a staff member who was extremely friendly and efficient!
The atmosphere was alright, nothing amazing, but you wouldn't really expect for anything amazing from a service station canteen! The staff clearing the tables again were very polite and made lots of nice noises about the baby!
location location location
An obvious importart part to booking a hotel is it's location. This hotel is about 8 miles out from Chester and it is very easy to get to Chester seeing as it's on the m56. It is aproximately 20 minutes away and well sign posted to the main attractions of the city centre. It is about a 10 minute drive from Ellesmere Port where there is the shopping outlet Cheshire Oaks, The Blue Planet Aquarium and The Collosium food outlet. Just down the road from the hotel, if you exit the hotel roundabout towards Frodsham is a road which has several pubs which serve food and are family friendly.
We found this actually a very good location. It meant that when we wanted to go somewhere we didn't have to sit in traffic jams trying to get out of the city, instead we could just go straight to where we wanted within no time at all. I definitely was pleased that we chose to stay outside of the centre as when we did venture into the city the traffic was not too great!
The staff were extremely helpful and polite. Every time we saw a house keeper or a receptionist they would say hello, would smile and also ask us questions about the babies and things. They were more than friendly. It was very nice to see that they looked happy in their jobs too and have people who look like they have actually been on a customer care course and taken on board what they have learnt!
This hotel cost us £90 for two nights. This didn't include breakfast so does sound quite expensive but with the breakfast voucher it came to £110 for two nights. The Travel lodge in the centre was about £70 but it had several bad reviews online and the pictures of it looked rather run down. This hotel may have been more expensive than that but compared to other hotels in the area it is actually quite resonable and compariable as Chester is not the cheapest of places to visit.
This hotel may not be a glamorous one or in a beautiful location with it being on junction 14 of the m56, it is, however, a very comfortable one to stay in where the staff make you feel very welcome and are more than happy to help in anyway.
I really enjoyed my stay here, I really didn't want to leave and I found the room far more comfortable than many hotels i have stayed in. If I was going to be staying in the area again I would definitely consider this place.
In terms of stars I'm giving it 4. I have knocked one off for the fact that the breakfast situation wasn't really ideal and the rooms were pretty warm. In all, a great place to stay which we were very happy with.