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“Great location but not 4 star hotel”

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Macdonald New Blossoms Hotel
Ranked #25 of 44 Hotels in Chester
Reviewed 2 May 2014

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.

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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank JOHGlasgow_Scotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,340 - 1,346 of 1,872 reviews

Reviewed 27 April 2014

We booked this hotel based on location and price, through Laterooms. Don't pay the full price for the rooms here it's not worth that much. We had a double room which although small was comfortable and worth the £91 we paid with breakfast included. When we saw the price for breakfast £17.50 when bought separately, we could not believe it, not worth that at all, standard breakfast all cooked perfectly. The staff were very friendly and helpful. The hotel looked a little tired in areas and would benefit from a touch of paint. We would stay here again as long as we get our good deal again, with breakfast included.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank JAC2423
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2014

We booked this hotel to take advantage of their Chester Zoo special offer, and we're very glad we did! The offer was two nights, with zoo tickets for two adults, plus a three-course meal on the first night and £10 to spend at the bar. When we did a few calculations, it was actually cheaper to take this offer and upgrade to an executive suite than it was to stay in a standard room and pay for food and zoo entry separately.

The executive suite is a very nice room - two rooms knocked through into one. The lounge area has a comfy sofa and flatscreen TV, as does the bedroom. The TV has all freeview channels, and sound is piped through to the bathroom too so you can listen to the radio whilst in the shower. Comfortable bed, American style four-poster.

Service at the hotel is fantastic. Everyone from the receptionists to the waiters are very friendly and accommodating. The front desk staff seem to remember all their guests, and it feels like there's a very personal service, probably because the hotel is fairly small.

Our only complaints really are that the rooms were very hot, and the bar prices are very high indeed (we've stayed in MacDonald hotels before and this seems to be the norm). At almost £5 a pint and £7 for a single scotch, it's unsurprising that the bar was almost empty on both nights. This is a town centre hotel and there are lots of great pubs nearby.

Speaking of the location - couldn't be better. Very near the clock bridge in the heart of town, and right behind the Grosvenor centre. Ideal base for a day's shopping. Finally, the hotel staff knew it was our anniversary, and we came back to our room on the second day to find a complimentary bottle of wine and a plate of chocolates. What lovely staff!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank TheLathe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2014

Great service with a smile from everyone we bumped into. The room was comfortable and a great price through hotel.com.

The breakfast could have been better is my only complaint. I had a poached egg that was made to perfection, and the sausage was top notch, but the plate seemed empty with no potatoes offered and since I turned down the baked beans and black pudding I was presented with 1 poached egg, 1 sausage, 1 mushroom, and 1 tomato. It just seemed a little stingy.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank silli_julian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2014

Stayed here for 2 nights while on a business trip.

I phoned the hotel ahead a few days before hand as I wanted to get booked into some local fitness classes before & after work. The reception was very helpful & gave me a list of places I could contact.

I arrived earlier than check in allowed so concierge took my bags which allowed me to head straight to the office for a days work.

My room was on a corner which made it a funny shape but quite spacious. The bed was very comfortable & I slept great both nights.

The hotel location is right in the town centre with all the local shops, bars, restaurants & banks etc on your door step.

It took me about 10mins to walk from the station to the hotel.

The only draw back was the price of rooms service. I had a bowl of pasta with a side & once tray service was added it came to about £22- not including a drink!
i would recommend walking round the corner & going to waitrose or M&S.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled on business
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Thank Alan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2014

My girlfriend and I stayed at the Macdonald hotel for one night. The staff were all helpful and friendly. We had breakfast in the morning which was included in our booking, fantastic food!
It is in a great location just off the main street, although there isn't any parking there is a car park round the corner which was cheap, secure and close to the hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank mrjorzuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2014

Having just moved from one hotel of the Fawlty variety, this made a welcoming difference. And we arrived at Happy Hour for half-price cocktails. Just the start we needed for an evening of wall walking. This hotel, one of the oldest in town but full of 21st century comforts, is just a few yards from the clock tower entrance to the wall and just a short stroll to the river. Good-sized room and bathroom and a good breakfast, immaculately served.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank bryanedwin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Macdonald New Blossoms Hotel

Address: St. John Street, Chester CH1 1HL, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cheshire > Chester
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#12 Luxury Hotel in Chester
Price Range: £75 - £200 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Macdonald New Blossoms Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 67
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

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