My wife and I were en route home to Glasgow, having been visiting friends in North Wales for a few days. We know Chester well, as I had lived and worked in the area for 2-3 years some years ago.
We booked 1 night in the New Blossoms for its central location, through Booked.com, for £124 including breakfast. We had stayed 1 night on our way to Wales in another Macdonald's hotel, Craxton Wood, a few miles outside Chester. Craxton Wood was considerably cheaper and, as it turned out, a far better hotel in every respect.
Our list of issues with New Blossoms included the following:
- the arrangements for car parking are poor; of course the hotel can't do anything about not having a car park, and state that space is available in a nearby multi-storey car park in the Grosvenor Centre; I had to park on double yellow lines in St. John's Street (not sure whether you would avoid getting a ticket if a parking attendant were to appear), and unload our luggage; there was no one at the hotel entrance to assist with carrying the luggage into the foyer;
- when we arrived at 12 noon (check in is from 2pm), I went to the reception desk to arrange to drop off our luggage; there was no one at the desk, and no bell or other means to summon anyone; after a 5 minute wait, I called out, and the manager (duty manager?) appeared; I said that we had a reservation for that night and before I could ask about leaving our luggage, he said, "You're too soon to check in"; only when I explained that we did not require access to our room, only to leave luggage, he said to leave it in the reception (no offer of assistance), which I duly did; not a very welcoming start;
- we returned at 2pm to check in, we were informed that our room was not ready; we had to wait in the foyer until 230pm before we were given the key to our room; not the sort of service you expect from a 4 star hotel and considering that the manager was aware that we had been in earlier and were therefore going to appear at 2pm;
- our room (310) was on the top floor, overlooking the hotel entrance; the room was spacious, but felt stuffy; I opened the window as much as I could but this was only a couple of inches; the secondary glazing limits the extent you can open the window; I have to say that the window itself was in distinctly poor condition, peeling paint, dirty between the outer and secondary glazing, and the wooden window ledge was crumbling with rot; the room remained stuffy throughout the night, and we didn't sleep well;
- my wife and I both showered shortly after our arrival (the day had been sunny and warm), before going out for the evening; the shower produced only very hot water, and I wanted to have a cool shower; even at its extreme setting of cold, the water remained very hot; this was subsequently explained to the duty manager who said he would have it looked into; later that evening, when we returned, he said that it had been checked out, and that he himself had tested it and it had seemed fine; when I tried it, it was the same (I suspect that he ran the shower for a short time, insufficient to empty the water in the pipes which would of course have cooled); my morning shower was equally too hot and uncomfortable;
- on 2 further occasions that day, when we went to reception we found it to be unattended; as before, we had to make our presence known by calling out; when I explained this issue to the manager (when we were checking out), he was unsympathetic; instead of saying that my issue was noted and the he would look at how the situation could be improved, he implied that it was an unreasonable expectation to find the reception manned at all times (bear in mind that this happened on 3 separate occasions in one afternoon); he also didn't seem to think that the provision of a bell or other device to get attention was necessary; in short, he did not exhibit an attitude to customer service that you would expect from hotel management or staff;
- breakfast was not a great experience; when we entered the breakfast room at about 845am, there were no tables cleared; guests who had already had their breakfast said they had had to wait for 30-45 minutes for their main courses; when we eventually got a table, we were served quite promptly, so perhaps we had avoided an early rush; the breakfast itself was not great; when compared with other we had had elsewhere that week, the portions were small ( a single small bacon rasher, a single egg when I asked for 2, etc.);
- on departure, we elected to carry our luggage from the hotel to the multi-storey, rather than go for the car, bring it back to the hotel, and load it there; it is a considerable walk (for 60 plus year olds anyway) whilst carrying heavy bags; the cost of overnight parking was £10, reduced to £9 (!!) by the hotel; so in fact the cost of B&B was effectively £133, not cheap.
The bottom line for us is that we would not stay at New Blossoms again; there are plenty of other hotels in the Chester area, better and cheaper. This hotel is not a good advert for Macdonalds, and is a stark contrast with Craxton Wood hotel, which we will use again in the future.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Macdonald New Blossoms Hotel, part of the AA Hotel Group of the Year 2013/14 is a classical boutique hotel in the heart of the historic City of Chester, situated on the famous City Walls and near the Eastgate Clock Tower, said to be the second most photographed clock in England. First opened in 1650, you won't find another more historical hotel in Chester but you will find our hotel's period charm blends perfectly with modern luxury, creating the perfect environment to relax and unwind. Our elegant stylish and flexible function suites teamed with a city centre location, provide the perfect environment for a wedding, conference or event with free, unlimited WiFi powered by The Cloud for every delegate. Our Meeting and event promise will make sure you get the environment and dedicated team to meet all of your needs. When the business day is done, there's no better place for you to retire to than the new 1650 St Johns Restaurant where you'll dine on sensational food using fresh, quality ingredients, topped off with an excellent wine selection and friendly, personal service. Aiming to be one of the coolest new restaurants in Chester, enjoy our personally crafted 2-4-1 cocktails every evening between 5pm-7pm. The hotel has the perfect location to sample all the delights that Chester has to offer including shopping, Chester nightlife, Dee River cruises, the famous Chester Racecourse along with historical attractions such as The Rows and City Walls. A 15 minute trip will take you to the Chester Oaks Designer Outlet or Chester Zoo. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Macdonald New Blossoms Chester
- Hotel Macdonald New Blossoms
- Macdonald New Blossoms Hotel Chester, Cheshire