Family days out don’t come much better than a day at Chester Zoo. Set over 128 acres (52ha) of gardens and with more than 20,000 different species to spot, you’ll want to make the most of a trip to the zoo with an overnight stay. Here’s our pick of the best hotels in the area, all bookable on Culture Trip.
Smack dab in the middle of Chester, Oddfellows is a design-led boutique hotel brimming with class and character. The Georgian building hides a trove of secrets behind its walls – a mish-mash of mezzanine duplexes and loft rooms with roll-top baths make up the accommodation. The restaurant, with its living moss walls, pays homage to locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, and the Secret Garden dotted with wild flora and cheeky garden gnomes is the perfect spot for a cocktail from the Potting Shed Bar.
Within the Roman walls that enclose Chester’s centre, this independent hotel is just a short stroll from the boutiques and restaurants at the heart of the city. Doubles, king and family rooms are contemporary in design, and large groups can opt for one of the apartments that can sleep up to 10 people. The afternoon tea here is a lavish affair, and the secret garden provides an ideal spot for an end-of-day cocktail or Aperol spritz.
Embracing the city’s past of Roman, Norman and Tudor architecture, Hotel Indigo is in the centre of Chester. Rooms come in three different themes reflecting its history – the racecourse, Eastgate Clock and local architecture. The Forge restaurant is a popular spot for dinner, where wild venison and dry-aged beef are on the menu.
Boasting an impressive list of famous guests, the Queen at Chester has seen the likes of Charles Dickens, Cecil Rhodes and Lillie Langtry through its doors since it opened in 1860. These days, it keeps in touch with its historical roots with floors themed around a different country and rooms named after monarchs of that country. Think gilded mirrors, oil paintings and claw-footed baths. The sweeping four-storey staircase is an attraction in itself, and there are several Victorian lounges to enjoy a tipple of an evening.
A half-hour drive from Chester Zoo, Thornton Hall is a luxurious country escape. Each room has been designed with its own character – moody black and gold, turquoise and white with a sparkling chandelier, and navy silk and copper to name a few. The spa attracts day users with an extensive offering of treatments, outdoor hot tub and Roman bath-style pool. In the evening, you can enjoy live music on the terrace with a cocktail in hand.
Perched on the river in the heart of Chester, this family-run pub with rooms is a cosy bolthole. Spend sunny days in the floating beer garden, or snuggle up with a cask ale by the crackling fire when the temperature drops in the evening. The menu is seasonal hearty pub grub, with ingredients sourced locally. Rooms have stylish nautical themes and overlook the River Dee from big windows.
Four-poster beds in the superior rooms and jacuzzi tubs as standard in every ensuite, the Brook Hall Country Hotel offers a little slice of luxury. It’s blissfully secluded in the countryside, yet only a 15-minute drive to Chester Zoo and all the historical sights of Chester town. Sheldrakes Restaurant offers fine dining with a menu that changes seasonally, to make the most of the local produce around.
Looking for somewhere different? Book into one of the best hotels in Chester, or find out where to stay in the city to experience it like a local. Inspire your itinerary with the top National Trust properties nearby, or head out and spend a weekend in Liverpool.
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