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The Commercial Bar & Hotel
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Reviews (403)
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All reviewsbyron suitekeats roomtwo sinksunderfloor heatingsunday lunchearly hourscocktail barfull bodynight liferoast potatoessmall hotelon arrivalbe visiting againmember of staffgreat showerfunction roomfull english
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Reviewed 2 May 2011

I stayed one night (Friday 29th April), having booked based solely on the reviews on LateRooms.

The whole experience was a pleasure - the staff were relaxed, informal, extremely welcoming and helpful and the building is beautiful. It's a listed building with architectural quirks like sloping walls and doorways and faltering staircases all of which add to the character of the place. It's not at all difficult to navigate - both staircases lead to the ground floor (where else?!) into rooms which open out to the main passageway out of the building. If you like sterile conformity, stay with one of the chains, but if you enjoy pleasant little deviations from "the norm" this is the place for you.

The rooms are well-furnished, with plenty of storage and lots of space, and an extremely comfortable double bed topped with quality linen, pudgy marshmallow pillows, quilt and cushions. The bathroom was equipped with a bath and separate full-body shower, two sinks and easily big enough for two people to get ready without getting in each other's way.

I ate in the restaurant (do it, the food is traditional English and gastro with imaginitive twists in all the right places) and was offered a ticket to the hotel's other venture, the Laugh Inn by the rail station inclusive. The value for money was great - both the food and the comedy top class. If it's a long-standing feature of the menu I thoroughly recommend the crispy belly of pork with vanilla mash.

There were also little extras so many hotels now seem to have turned their noses up at providing - toiletries in the bathroom, including cotton wool and buds, European power sockets, bottles of water in the room and biscuits to nibble on not to mention a wide array of teas, coffee and hot chocolate.

There are a couple of points mentioned in other reviews I'd like to chip in on:
- "There is no lift." No, and one shouldn't be expected in a listed building - the point is to preserve the original features wherever possible. I was, however, met on the ground floor on arrival by a member of staff who very kindly carried my case up to the room.
- "It's difficult to find." The hotel is located off Northgate, one of the main shopping streets in the city. It's true that it lies down a narrowish paved alley, but the front is visible from the street and is recognisable from the pictures on LateRooms. When you get to Hotel Chocolat, turn down the passageway opposite and you're there. It may be very different when driving to the place, though, given how many of Chester's main streets are pedestrian access only.
- "It's noisy at night." Yes, it is noisy. The bar below runs a lot of events and different nights, though I'm lead to believe that it's usually quiet during the week with Friday & Saturday nights being the loud partying ones. The music on the night I stayed was loud enough to overrule my little mp3 player dock, but I had read about this in the reviews and was informed again on arrival. True to their word the music was off by 2am, after which I had no problems sleeping, even with the windows open.

The Commercial is definitely doing everything right down to the last detail, and I'll certainly be booking there next time I visit Chester. It may not be one for the more conservative, reserved types looking for a quiet night in with the TV but no matter who showed up to check in they would feel very welcome there.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank pixelfixx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2011

As soon as we arrived in Chester town, we called the hotel and asked about parking as they had already assured us that the hotel had allocated parking spaces (for £5 a day) but it would be easier for a member of staff to direct us to them. The manager and bar staff couldn't help us enough! We were firstly checked into our room, and then the manager himself explained he would take us to our car, and drive around with us when we were ready to go to the allocated parking space.

As it was a special occassion, we took along a bottle of champagne, as soon as they saw we had taken some along, the bar man asked us if we would like an ice bucket and champagne glasses, which was very kind, as some places would frown upon you taking your own alcohol into their establishment.

The manager then introduced himself properly and told us the history of the hotel and asked if we would like them to book us a table in a nearby restaurant , and also told us all about the different bars and clubs in the area, he also explained if we were stuck for somewhere to go, then to return to the Commercial and he would point us in the right direction and also could get us VIP tickets into a nearby club.

Overall the staff were welcoming, and we were treated like royalty...the hospitality was amazing and the attention we were given was great. Upon the manager leaving, we were also informed that we could have a lie in and not to worry about being out by 11am, as he would not need the room so early.

The room was beautiful, clean and spacious. I highly reccommend this hotel and congratulate the staff for the effort and attention they give to their residents.

I have informed friends and relatives of the service and will hopefully be returning soon to beautiful Chester. 10/10!!!

Room Tip: Excellent live music in bar downstairs
  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank SLkat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2011

We picked this hotel after reading reviews from Trip Advisor and we were not disappointed!!
The hotel was a little difficult to find however a member of the staff accompanied us to our car and took us to the car park which was very close to the hotel.
We stayed in the Byron Suite and it was amazing!! The bathroom was immaculate and the bedroom was beautifully decorated.
The hotel staff couldn't do enough for you and there customer service was top class. We forgot toothpaste and the manageress bought us some from her flat!!
If you are looking to stay in Chester this is definitely the hotel to stay in, it has a central location and the staff make your stay even more memorable!!
This is definitely somewhere we'll be staying again.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank look2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2011

Found this hotel thanks to Tripadvisor and stayed on a Sat night for a treat. This popular bar is as central as you could possibly get (tucked behind a church near the central crossroads of the pedestrianised shopping district). The Byron suite looks just as good as the publicity photos, with a massive bathroom kitted out with large stand-alone bath, his & her sinks and big shower. The rooms are amazing value for what they offer. We enjoyed an evening meal in the hotel restaurant & sunday roast in the bar. Both were great. The hotel has a late licence & is clearly a popular late night drinking venue. The only down side to this is that the courtyard outside the bedroom window remained noisy well into the early hours. This didn't bother us too much as were expecting it & were up late ourselves. The hotel - to their credit - make these things clear. Staff were all very friendly and accommodated us at short notice. I'm glad we chose this hotel over one of the larger places in the city.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank John_in_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2011

Stayed for 3 nights at the Commercial, based on some of the excellent reviews on Tripadvisor. We were not disappointed!

The hotel's central location is hard to beat, right on the Cross but tucked away in its own courtyard. As noted in other reviews this means no on site parking, but there is parking only a minutes walk away and on our arrival the very helpful staff accompanied us to the parking so it was no fuss or bother at all.

The hotel itself has been done out in an imaginative contemporary style (no brown in sight unlike almost every other "contemporary" hotel decor we've stayed in over the last few years!!), much to our taste yet in keeping with the historic building. We felt very at home and when we were discovered photographing the light fittings for future reference Rebecca directed us to the shop in town where we could get them! The staff at the Commercial were without exception great, very friendly and helpful but genuine with it, and even one of the off duty bar staff who was having a pint with his mates helped us out when the on duty staff were busy.

Our room was immaculate and the bathroom great, loved the bodyjets in the shower.
Bed was comfy with a good light duvet. Cant comment on the TV as we never turned it on, but it was big and flat!

The breakfasts were great, had the full english (with awesome pork sausages with black pudding in) first morning and didnt need to eat till 4PM!! Next morning we both went for a lighter choice (to give ourselves some chance of having lunch out) of scrambled and poached eggs with some bacon, again perfectly cooked and of great quality, service was brilliant.

On our last night (Tuesday) we had our evening meal at the hotel as they had a comedy night on we didn't want to miss. My partner went all misty eyed with the decor in the dining room, kind of gothic french chateau, wow! The food was superb, really really good (and I am quite hard to please with restaurant food). Every course was great, special mention to the pheasant with rum and raisins and the Pigeon breasts, and the smoked salmon starter. Was expecting good, but this was much better than expected! The wine was a really very nice bottle and very reasonably priced for the year. An exceptional meal in an exceptional room, a real pleasure. A nice touch was finishing our meal and finding a table already reserved for us at the comedy night, didnt have to ask.

I noted the only recent poor review made note of confusing staircases and showers, Neither of us had any confusion here (and my partner freely admits to a terrible sense of direction) even after "some" drink had been taken, so I wouldn't worry, its not a maze and the shower controls are standard. Some previous reviews comment on the noise, but this was not an issue for us as it was a midweek stay, but no one could say that it is not made very clear on the website that this is a lively spot at a weekend, and we hope to return and join in the fun one weekend.

To conclude one of the nicest stays away we have had in a long time (my partner says its the nicest city break we've ever been on and wants to redecorate our house a la mode "Hotel Commercial") so thanks to all staff, cleaners, James and Rebecca, chef, Cara, Lucy and the unknown hero who stepped in when the bar was busy. Will definitely be back.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Nick_Cymru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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