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ABode Chester, Cheshire
Most ABode hotels are character conversions of period properties but the Chester outpost is the exception. In complete contrast to the historic sights the city is famous for, this four-star property is housed within a landmark building that's little more than a decade old, and it's as modern inside as out, with smart contemporary rooms, an attractive fifth-floor brasserie and the choice of two bars, both with outside space. Although slightly out of the thick of things, beside the racecourse, it's still within the city walls and you can easily walk from here to all the central sights and shops or follow the walls east along the river to board a boat for a trip along the Dee.
The city walls run right by the hotel so it's easy to set out on the classic circuit of the city.
ABode is a 15-minute walk from the historic city centre, with its cathedral, shops and nightlife.
By car: Chester is a 4 hour drive from London or 1 hour from Manchester. Paid parking is available at the hotel.
By train: Chester Station is 1.5 miles from the hotel, with connections to Manchester and Liverpool. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
The clientele is a mixture of business guests during the week and tourists at the weekend and it's buzzing with racegoers on fixture days. Artworks on the walls include moody shots of Chester buildings and architectural details plus Brian Aris's photographic portraits of 80s celebs.
Service & Facilities
The bar offers bespoke cocktail masterclasses for small groups (minimum six people), including three or four cocktails plus nibbles.
- Free Wi-Fi
Ormonde, one of three sixth-floor suites, has loads of space and a private balcony with a great view across the racecourse to the Welsh hills. We love that the rooms have plenty of natural light, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows that run all round the building.
Comfortable, Desirable, Enviable, Most Enviable, Fabulous
Facilities include: handsprung bed, luxury toiletries, ensuite shower room, premium teas, coffee and biscuits, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
The balcony is a great spot for pre-dinner cocktails - nab the table at the far end for the best view. If you have a sweet tooth, the chocolate liégeois pudding is sure to please - and they don't stint on the portion size.
The Brasserie: comforting European and British classics, sandwiches, snacks, cocktails. Open for breakfast and dinner. Mains from £13.50.