Last Updated on August 25, 2020 by Fiona Maclean
A Perfect Choice for a City Staycation.
Wanting to take a staycation, but seeking inspiration on where to go? Help is at hand! Indigo Hotels promise you’ll find them “At the heart of vibrant neighbourhoods”, and from the list of the UK destinations they cover, including Hotel Indigo Chester, you can look forward to a stimulating trip and a very comfortable stay.
Hotel Indigo Chester opened in June 2019 and offers 75 guest rooms in a contemporary boutique setting in the heart of the city. Indigo is a brand that celebrates its location in the fixtures, fittings and fabrics of the hotel and here in Chester, the themes chosen reflect the town’s layered history, its stunning architecture and its horse-racing heritage.
Quirky artworks and artefacts add character and distinguish Indigo Hotels from your average city centre establishment. Bedrooms are fun: here animal print wallpaper and chairs reference Chester Zoo; sliding doors mimick Tudor walls or stable doors; racing imagery and leather tack features; colour schemes match the rich Victorian paintwork of the Eastgate Clock – the symbol of Chester. But the rooms are never frivolous: you’ll find good quality bed-linen and furniture; a pristine spa-style bathroom; excellent online connectivity and great quality tea and coffee. All presented in a very stylish setting.
The Indigo Chester is following the current official COVID guidelines and public health advice relating to safety and social distancing. “High-touch items” such as in-room furnishings (e.g. cushions, bed runners) have been reduced; house-keeping has been tailored to avoid personal contact; hand-sanitiser is ubiquitous and a one-way system (lifts up, stairs down) established. Guests and staff wear masks at all times in public areas (except when eating and drinking in the restaurant, of course!).
Covers in the restaurant have been reduced, but the table spacing does not impact the ambience and the quality of the food has certainly not diminished. Cooked in the open kitchen, the menu is imaginative and offers well prepared and attractively presented dishes at reasonable prices. With meat-eaters, vegetarians and vegans catered for, of the seven main courses listed on our menu, five were gluten-free.
On a warm summer’s evening, I opted for a Mediterranean vibe, choosing a small mountain of goats cheese to start (with ratatouille and black olive) followed by a truly delicious bouillabaisse (and a glass of chilled rosé) with (why not?) a bowl of chips on the side (we were in England after all).
Nick’s very smart mackerel with artichoke, capers and micro leaves and his plump lamb rump (with pommes anna, peas, beans, anchovy) hit the spot and allowed room for the best Bakewell tart (with clotted cream and gooseberry duo) you will eat outside of Bakewell. A veritable feast for £56 (without wine).
Breakfast is essential when one is about to embark on a day’s sightseeing and Indigo Chester doesn’t disappoint. Good coffee, fresh pastries, huge fruit salad, enormous trad cooked breakfast, perfectly spiced smashed avocado and eggs every way.
Two hours from London by rail Chester, a historic northern city, has welcomed visitors since the Romans crossed its River Dee, established Castra Deva and stayed for the next 300 years. You can still see their footprint, in the layout of the city’s streets and the actual remains of buildings bang in the city centre.
Chester has born witness to all the major events that shaped this country: the Castle was built by William the Conqueror; the magnificent Cathedral (housing a superb collection of Romanesque monastic buildings) survived the storm of Henry VIII’s Reformation; Charles I stood on its strong walls and watched his troops routed during the English Civil War and its location on the river Dee guaranteed Chester’s place in industrial Britain, and the corresponding civic wealth and investment that bestowed.
So well preserved and restored is Chester’s Roman, Norman, Tudor and Victorian architecture, the city centre appears a cross between an archaeological site and a Hollywood-imagined movie set of Olde England. You’ll find centuries of history boxed up within the only complete set of ancient city walls in the UK, and Hotel Indigo provides an extremely comfortable base from which to discover them.
The striking galleried shopping arcades, the Rows, some dating from 13th century, now housing contemporary brands, independent retail, cafes and restaurants; the iconic Eastgate Clock (commemorating Queen Victoria) sitting astride the city wall walk, a 3km path offering great views of the city and the surrounding countryside; the pleasant parks and riverside (boats for hire) are all a short walk from the hotel.
Chester is a remarkable city. Whatever the weather or the time of year, this vibrant and thriving city with shopping, culture, heritage and sport on offer makes a great place for a break away, and the masked-yet-friendly staff at the Indigo will make sure it’s a happy one.
Jenny was a guest of Hotel Indigo Chester, Grosvenor Park Road, Chester, CH11QQ, United Kingdom
Visit Chester’s website is has all the information you need for making the most of your stay in Chester and great ideas for exploring the beautiful surrounding Cheshire countryside.
We are big fans of the Hotel Indigo group of boutique hotels and have reviewed two other properties, each with their own special attractions. The Hotel Indigo in Stratford-upon-Avon has the Woodsman, a fabulous restaurant from the team that brought us the Ledbury and the Harwood Arms while Hotel Indigo in Kensington offers a home from home with Theo Randall’s inimitable Italian style dining.