Where to Stay in Chester Like a Local

Old Buildings in Chester, Cheshire, UK
Old Buildings in Chester, Cheshire, UK | © Ambling Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Alice Johnston
Food Editor18 December 2020

Charming, cultural and full of history, Chester is a winner whether you’re dropping by for a flying visit or planning to spend longer exploring the city. Developed as a major Roman fortress, it’s now served by a raft of historical hotels and unique boutiques. This is Culture Trip’s pick of where to stay in Chester to get a real flavour of local life.

The Townhouse

Boutique Hotel, Chain Hotel
Map View
The Townhouse
Courtesy of The Townhouse / Expedia.com

Located within Chester’s Roman walls, the architecture of this hotel makes it one of the most attractive in the city. With its mix of Tudor, Victorian and Georgian features, staying here is a real lesson in local history. After a long day of shopping and sightseeing, settle in by open fire in the lounge – the ideal spot to rest your feet and enjoy a postprandial nightcap before heading to bed. In the summer, the secluded secret garden is a perfect place to catch some rays.


Grosvernor Pulford Hotel & Spa

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Grosvenor Pulford Hotel & Spa
Courtesy of Grosvenor Pulford Hotel & Spa / Expedia.com | Courtesy of Grosvenor Pulford Hotel & Spa / Expedia.com
The Grosvenor Pulford combines old-school charm with wonderfully contemporary decor, making it a great base to explore the historic city. It’s minutes from Chester and close to the Welsh border. If you’re a food lover, arrive hungry: the Palm Court Restaurant serves delicious British and European cuisine, along with a refined afternoon tea for those days when you need some extra sustenance. What could be more British than that?

The MILL Hotel & Spa

Spa Hotel
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The Mill Hotel & Spa
Courtesy of The Mill Hotel & Spa / Expedia.com | Courtesy of The Mill Hotel & Spa / Expedia.com

Characterful yet modern, the Mill Hotel & Spa combines the historical appeal of Chester with every modern convenience you could desire. Family-run for generations, you’ll be welcomed like a long-lost relative. Expect all the amenities of a high-end hotel, including a gym, spa and sauna. But this place has real British charm: the restaurant serves bistro-style cuisine including favourites such as prawn cocktail and knickerbocker glories, while tasty real ales await you at the bar.


The Coach House Inn

Boutique Hotel
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The Coach House Inn
Courtesy of The Coach House Inn

If you’re in town to visit Chester’s cathedral, the Coach House Inn is ideally situated with great views of the famous building. Each room is individually designed, with thoughtful touches and unique tchotchkes. The on-site restaurant serves seasonal and locally sourced home-cooked food; be sure to wash down your meal with one of the cask ales behind the bar. The hotel has been open since 1840, so it’s a safe bet it really knows how to take care of its guests.


The Queen

Budget Hotel
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Hallmark Hotel Chester The Queen, Hallmark Hotel Chester The Queen
Courtesy of Hallmark Hotel Chester The Queen / Expedia.com

Join a roster of well-known guests who have graced the halls of the Queen over the years. Charles Dickens, Cecil Rhodes and Lillie Langtry are just some of its famous former visitors. One of the finest hotels in Chester, it’s been around since 1860 – but that doesn’t mean it skips on modern luxuries. Each of the 221 rooms has Tencel mattress toppers, roll top baths, Nespresso machines – and in a nod to tradition, some have four-poster beds. It’s just a 10-minute walk to the town centre.


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  • Maison Claire

    Bed and Breakfast
    Map View
    Maison Claire
    Courtesy of Maison Claire / Expedia.com

    The boutique Maison Claire is for the traveller who’s tired of chain hotels and wants to experience local character and charm. The hotel’s original Victorian building combines history with modern convenience. Just a two-minute walk from the city centre, all the rooms are decorated in an individual style, with different fabrics and colours, and have en suites and tea and coffee facilities. There’s a very pretty garden area, which is an ideal spot to indulge in a mid-afternoon ice cream on those warm summer days.

    Ba Ba Guest House

    Bed and Breakfast
    Map View
    Ba Ba Guest House Hotel
    Courtesy of Ba Ba Guest House Hotel / Expedia.com

    Ba Ba Guest House has an illustrious history ؘ– it was the birthplace of the highly decorated British World War II pilot Leonard Cheshire. Its cosy rooms have flat-screen TVs as well as hot drink facilities, but the breakfast is what really makes it stand out. Farm-fresh eggs, sausages and bacon from a local butcher, plus delicious mushrooms, tomatoes and toast make it the best meal of the day and offer guests a taste of local hospitality.


    Boathouse & Riverside Rooms

    Pubs with Rooms
    Map View
    The Boathouse Inn & Riverside Rooms
    Courtesy of The Boathouse Inn & Riverside Rooms / Expedia.com | Courtesy of The Boathouse Inn & Riverside Rooms / Expedia.com

    This hotel is the very picture of tranquility, a great spot to unwind after a busy day exploring Chester. The rooms have been decorated with a nautical theme, and the hotel’s location right on the River Dee means local character flows through the place. Expect to be very well taken care of here, with a calm atmosphere and rooms with Freeview TVs. Electric car? No problem: there are even Tesla charging points on site.

    These recommendations were updated on December 18, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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