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DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Spa Chester (formerly Hoole Hall) {GBR}

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Spa Chester (formerly Hoole Hall) {GBR}

Old Apr 20, 09, 6:27 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Arrow DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Spa Chester (formerly Hoole Hall) {GBR}

Last weekend I stayed at one of the latest additions to Doubletree's UK portfolio, the Doubletree by Hilton Chester, aka Hoole Hall. As I didn't see any other mention of this property on FT, I thought I'd post my impressions.

ARRIVAL: The hotel is located just under 10 minutes by car from the historic walled city of Chester. It's inside what looks like a grand old country house on large grounds. There is also what looks like converted stables at the rear of the hotel which will probably form part of the new spa that is under construction and due to be completed in autumn 2009.

The lobby is all done in white with a dark wood front desk. My check-in agent was very polite, knowledgable and friendly, if a bit overly formal. As a Diamond, no upgrade was offered (I am not sure there are upgradable rooms apart from suites), but full breakfast was provided. A warm cookie was also offered, but it was a bit on the over-done side.

ROOM: The room was a bit on the small side compared to other UK Hiltons, and very small compared to US Hiltons. However, my room had a proper king size bed with Sweet Dreams pillow (I'm not sure if the bed itself was a Sweet Dreams bed, but it was perfectly comfortable). The room is all in white - walls, linens, white flatscreen TV, and dark wood for the desk and bedside tables. The bathroom was brand new and the shower had good pressure and was very hot (a bit too hot).

BAR/RESTAURANT: The bar and restaurant followed the white / dark brown colour motif with dark wood tables and white leather chairs. On the first morning, a sparse continental breakfast was laid out on a buffet table and warm items, e.g. a full English, was available to order from a menu. Service was a bit on the slow side but staff were apologetic, explaining that a large wedding party had overstretched them. On the second morning, a full hot buffet was provided instead of a menu service. The selection and quality was good but the breakfast is by no means comparable to what you get at a UK Hilton.

DEPARTURE: Quick check-out was available but I opted to see the front desk since I was charged for the breakfast which was supposed to have been my Diamond benefit. The error was quickly corrected and I was asked if I enjoyed my stay otherwise.

By the way, I purchased a tin of 6 Doubletree cookies to take home, but was rather surprised to find that my tin had been filled with hot cookies when I expected to get them in their more "raw" state. By that evening when I got home, the cookies were already very hard from having effectively been cooked twice already. I'm pretty sure that this is not how cookie tins are sold in US Doubletrees.

All in all it was quite a positive experience with just a few glitches that will probably improve in time. From looking around Chester, this is probably the best hotel you will find, unless you're looking to be in walking distance of the walled city.
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Old Nov 4, 09, 6:27 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Cheshire
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My better half and I stayed here Oct 09. The hotel has recently had some serious money spent on renovation and it feels like a much more expensive property than it actually is.

Room was nice, spacious, modern and clean. Breakfast buffet (free for Diamonds due to lack of upgrade) was excellent with eggs cooked to order. While the grounds aren't really big enough for a wander, they do create a feeling of tranquility for a hotel so close to the city center. Speaking of which, our GPS recorded it as 1.5miles to the city center and even in heavy weekday traffic it was less than a 10 minute drive.

If I am in the surrounding area I would make a point of visiting this hotel and all that Chester has to offer. It's a great find.
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Old Nov 4, 09, 9:14 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Stayed in May

I stayed in this hotel in May. A lot of renovation was still going on, and a spa and pool were to be opened in Fall. I would return to this hotel. The rooms were rather small by U.S. standards, and the breakfast perhaps not as varied (or hot) as at some hotels (see tripadvisor for more on this), but I found the staff pleasant and the location very convenient. UK Hiltons, on the whole, are not very good when compared to the US, and this Doubletree was a pleasant surprise.
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Old Mar 27, 10, 10:55 am
  #4  
 
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One night stay last night.
Well kept grounds and the whole place seemed new and sparkly.
Warm welcome at check in (with cookies)politely told that there were no upgrades ever for diamonds as the next rooms up were suites so I had a choice of 1000 points or free breakfast.
Room was small but clean with a very comfortable bed , just a few scuffmarks on the white walls. No robes or slippers but tea, coffee and kettle, fridge and large tv.
Wine, chocs and water for us in room according to the welcome note ( though we had to ask for the water).
Lots of parking, and it was about 11 in total for taxis to and from the city centre.
The spa area was lovely except that the music inside the steam rooms etc was WWAAAYYY TTTOOOO LLLOOOUUUDDD ! Lovely outside bit to the jacuzzi.
The bar was quite busy in the evening 9.60 for a pint and a g 'n' t.Friendly staff We ate in the Marco Pierre White steakhouse which was very comfortable with well spaced tables and good service.
The food was good though WelshBoy prefers the steaks at the Gaucho Grill, his bearnaise sauce was excellent. We had a lager, one glass of house champagne, two mains and 1 starter as well as bread and the bill was 69 which is reasonable value.
Breakfast was ok, but only hot plates were available ( no good to put yoghurts/ pastries on) and the conservatory floor was very dusty from the previous night ( I think that the new carpets are still shedding ) , it needs to be vacuumed before each service I think.
Staff were all helpful and smiley.
Will definitely return , hopefully for Christmas shopping trip.
WelshGirl
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Old Apr 17, 12, 4:46 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 108
Just spent a night at the Doubletree Chester and have little to add to Karter's excellent April 2009 review.

Check-in. The check-in agent didn't mention my status and didn't offer an upgrade. The agent asked which newspaper I wanted to have delivered in the morning. (I was a bit surprised to find that I was charged for the newspaper at check-out; seemed a bit cheap to me.) The room as (as Karter points out) pretty small.

Dinner. I had dinner in the Brasserie: pretty good and not too expensive. (I got a 10% residents' discount voucher for the steak house which I didn't use.)

Breakfast. Breakfast in the Brasserie was OK, but nothing really special.

As Karter said, the hotel is about a 10 minute drive from the city centre (about 7 pounds taxi fare).
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Old Jul 2, 14, 2:41 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Anyone stayed here recently and can report on Gold treatment? Should I expect any upgrades, free drinks vouchers or other treats in my room?

The pool/spa looks great and having a Marco Pierre White restaurant onsite to eat at looks ideal!

Also, anyone have a view if the grounds/surrounding parkland are any good for jogging around?

Might try the Crowne Plaza in town but this place is first pick currently for my "home" for the next 6 months...
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Old Jul 2, 14, 3:10 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by ChrisH View Post
and having a Marco Pierre White restaurant onsite to eat at looks ideal!
You would only say that as long as you have not had the underwhelming experience I recently enjoyed at MPW Birmingham (which has a fab location with views across the city). Shortly after the papers reported this story about MPW - hygiene rating of 0!!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddr...ne-rating.html
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Old Jul 2, 14, 4:07 pm
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The MPW here is very nice, as is the one at the DT Bristol Cadbury House. I wouldn't worry at all about eating at the other MPWs as they are good, but I also am giving the Birmingham one a wide berth!

As for the hotel, it isn't the best at upgrades for Diamonds, so I wouldn't expect too much beyond a category upgrade as a Gold. They do get quite a lot of Diamonds there on weekend leisure breaks as the rates during the sales are usually pretty good. During the week there is a reasonable amount of Corporate business, so again quite a few guests with status. If you are due to be staying quite a bit, then make sure you get to know the management. If you are staying a lot, that should help you to get nicer rooms more than your Gold status as they do try to look after repeat guests.

On our last stays we got a welcome platter and a couple of bottles of wine, but that is as a Diamond and I don't know if they extend that to Golds too.

The grounds should be ok for a bit of jogging, but they are not huge, so you will end up doing a few laps.
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Old Jul 3, 14, 2:45 am
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Originally Posted by RAPC View Post
The MPW here is very nice, as is the one at the DT Bristol Cadbury House. I wouldn't worry at all about eating at the other MPWs as they are good, but I also am giving the Birmingham one a wide berth!

As for the hotel, it isn't the best at upgrades for Diamonds, so I wouldn't expect too much beyond a category upgrade as a Gold. They do get quite a lot of Diamonds there on weekend leisure breaks as the rates during the sales are usually pretty good. During the week there is a reasonable amount of Corporate business, so again quite a few guests with status. If you are due to be staying quite a bit, then make sure you get to know the management. If you are staying a lot, that should help you to get nicer rooms more than your Gold status as they do try to look after repeat guests.

On our last stays we got a welcome platter and a couple of bottles of wine, but that is as a Diamond and I don't know if they extend that to Golds too.

The grounds should be ok for a bit of jogging, but they are not huge, so you will end up doing a few laps.
Cheers for that, always make a point of letting the hotels I'll be with them for a few months if that's going to be the case (which it normally is!)

I don't get very far with jogging so might not be that many laps...
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Old Sep 15, 14, 1:50 pm
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Just a quick update as I finally made it to the hotel:

Checkin:
Proper sign, mat and roped off HHonors line at reception (not needed tonight) nice lobby, approach and plenty of car parking.

Agent very apologetic about not being able to upgrade me as a gold (and said he'd give me some extra points to say sorry!) but said I was on the HHonors floor with wine and water in the room. Usual cookie of course.

Room:
HHonors floor marked on the lift and on the doors makes you feel like you're getting something fancy, not sure if you are really! 2 bottles of water and a 1/2 bottle of wine (not a silly 187ml bottle like Hiltons).

Room isn't huge, big enough for a king bed, desk and 1 easy chair. TV big LG with latest smart TV software with apps and all sorts - personally I just prefer to be able to plug an HDMI in but Hilton seem stuck in the dark ages with that one!

Got slippers and robe on the bed. Bathroom also small but nice tiles, heated mirrors and working speaker connected to the TV in the bedroom - usual UK doubletree toiletries like the ones in London.

Fridge, Iron, tea/coffee making/etc all present and correct - fridge is always handy if you're staying for a few days I think.

Food:
Marcos is closed on a Monday Room service menu seems fine but 5 tray charge is a bit cheeky these days I think!

Spa/Pool:
Not yet tried, will update in a couple of weeks when I come back and give it a try!
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Old Mar 12, 15, 8:16 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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This really is an excellent property for a UK Hilton.

Loved the look of the property and the grounds, and every part of the hotel seemed fresh, well decorated, and clean. Very friendly and efficient check-in girl. No upgrade as a Diamond.

At online checkin I selected a room on the 2nd floor, which is denoted in the lift as the "HHonors floor". Not sure what that means, as I didnt see other rooms on other floors. But our rooms were well appointed, recently rennovated. Clean modern bathroom which was leaps and bounds above the usual dreary 90s styles that Hilton UK so loves. Shower pressure was excellent. Robes and slippers on the bed. We received 1/2 bottles of red which was very drinkable.

Breakfast was very good for us Brits; full english cooked breakfast, cereals, breads, cakes, juices, and fruit. Didnt have much on a European front though, as there was no cold delicatessen section with cheeses/meats etc.

Had a "speciality" from room-service on one night, and it was a bit poor - obviously microwaved/reheated, and the fish was a bit old looking and rubbery. 5 tray charge.

Had a meal at MPW Steakhouse. I wouldn't say its expensive, but its not great value either. The meal was excellent, but then I dont think steak and chips requires any gourmet skills. The dessert menu was very Little Chef - sticky toffee pudding, chocolat brownies and icecream etc. They were nice but very mainstream, and no artistic license. The service was good, and they attempt to make up for the elevated price, by an expensive feel to the decor, and the waiters wear white gloves. I would recommend a visit.

The Spa and Pool complex was excellent. There was a small pool with two lanes; one dedicated to adults. It was lovely and warm to lounge around in (perhaps too warm if you wanted to do some serious laps). There is then a very large "hydrotherapy pool", which basically meant the sides of the pool had seating with bubble-jets. Nothing especially hydrotherapy about it over other pools with bubbles. It is however nice and hot, and has a striking outdoor section which has two-story walls on all four sides, giving a sort of large well sort of effect. The sauna is large, and well appointed. The steam room was also very nice. My wife had a 45min(ish) facial which she liked, and to me seemed good value (55).

Negatives are that there are no interconnecting rooms - a bit weird I think as it meant that my wife and I had to split up in different rooms and have one kid with us each. Shame the pool wasnt a bit larger.
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Old Mar 12, 15, 4:12 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2013
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Originally Posted by kryten22uk View Post
This really is an excellent property for a UK Hilton.

Loved the look of the property and the grounds, and every part of the hotel seemed fresh, well decorated, and clean. Very friendly and efficient check-in girl. No upgrade as a Diamond.

At online checkin I selected a room on the 2nd floor, which is denoted in the lift as the "HHonors floor". Not sure what that means, as I didnt see other rooms on other floors. But our rooms were well appointed, recently rennovated. Clean modern bathroom which was leaps and bounds above the usual dreary 90s styles that Hilton UK so loves. Shower pressure was excellent. Robes and slippers on the bed. We received 1/2 bottles of red which was very drinkable.

Breakfast was very good for us Brits; full english cooked breakfast, cereals, breads, cakes, juices, and fruit. Didnt have much on a European front though, as there was no cold delicatessen section with cheeses/meats etc.

Had a "speciality" from room-service on one night, and it was a bit poor - obviously microwaved/reheated, and the fish was a bit old looking and rubbery. 5 tray charge.

Had a meal at MPW Steakhouse. I wouldn't say its expensive, but its not great value either. The meal was excellent, but then I dont think steak and chips requires any gourmet skills. The dessert menu was very Little Chef - sticky toffee pudding, chocolat brownies and icecream etc. They were nice but very mainstream, and no artistic license. The service was good, and they attempt to make up for the elevated price, by an expensive feel to the decor, and the waiters wear white gloves. I would recommend a visit.

The Spa and Pool complex was excellent. There was a small pool with two lanes; one dedicated to adults. It was lovely and warm to lounge around in (perhaps too warm if you wanted to do some serious laps). There is then a very large "hydrotherapy pool", which basically meant the sides of the pool had seating with bubble-jets. Nothing especially hydrotherapy about it over other pools with bubbles. It is however nice and hot, and has a striking outdoor section which has two-story walls on all four sides, giving a sort of large well sort of effect. The sauna is large, and well appointed. The steam room was also very nice. My wife had a 45min(ish) facial which she liked, and to me seemed good value (55).

Negatives are that there are no interconnecting rooms - a bit weird I think as it meant that my wife and I had to split up in different rooms and have one kid with us each. Shame the pool wasnt a bit larger.
I stayed here a couple of years ago, had a similar experience to you.......I took my girlfriend and mother......loved the spa.....chester a nice place too!
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Old Mar 14, 15, 2:15 am
  #13  
cjd
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
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Have stayed many times at this hotel over the last few years and always had good service. Occasionally been upgraded to a junior suite and those rooms are a good size, some having 2 bathrooms. Not sure what the point of the Hhonors floor is in a hotel only having 3 floors. On our last stay a few weeks ago, we were on the ground floor. Only problem with this hotel is that on weekends, they do tend to have a lot of weddings and stag/hen parties staying and it can be quite noisy in the hallways into the early hours of the morning. Restaurant is nice for breakfast and the pool and spa are very popular.
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Old Jun 30, 15, 7:53 am
  #14  
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Business stay

Stayed here on Sunday night. No suite upgrade available at checkin so offered small bottle of wine and 5,000 points. Allocated room on second floor. I don't think that the suites were actually in use and they prefer not to give them to Diamonds.

Room was OK but beware of the basin in the bathroom. Open the tap a little too far and you will get sprayed with water which may be very hot!

Booked table in restaurant but wasn't really that busy. Ordered flat breads which weren't - they were slices of bread. The mains took an hour to come My steak arrived but no chips, it was also overcooked and cold. After waiting a while had to go and ask for mustard and chips which took another 5 minutes. Average food and poor service.

Breakfast was pretty good.

Overall pretty good hotel but the restaurant needs to raise it's game.

UPDATE: The 5,000 points didn't post when the stay posted so will have to chase

Last edited by BAGoldBoy; Jul 1, 15 at 7:36 am
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Old Jun 30, 15, 5:03 pm
  #15  
cjd
 
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Originally Posted by BAGoldBoy View Post
Stayed here on Sunday night. No suite upgrade available at checkin so offered small bottle of wine and 5,000 points. Allocated room on second floor. I don't think that the suites were actually in use and they prefer not to give them to Diamonds.
Yes, suite upgrades here are a bit of a hit and miss. Think they only have junior suites, unless you can get the Presidential Suite! We were however upgraded to one of the junior suites last Thursday so they do occasionally happen. Had a very nice meal in the Marco Pierre White restaurant that night.
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