Before leaving home for the hotel, we knew that the room would not be available till 1400 but this was only gleaned from a review site. This information does not appear on the Mecure website and the 0845 number I used from the website took me to central reservations who just told me to ring the hotel after 0900!! A direct dial national number to the Hotel Reception desk would be a more than useful addition to the website. We arrived at the hotel at 1100 on a Saturday morning. First impressions were not good, the foyer/reception area was a veritable sea of people, some lounging on the floor. The floor itself was not clean and tidy. The reception desk was manned by one young lady who, although efficient enough, did not offer what I consider to be a "warm" welcome. We then left the hotel to visit Chester which we did using the park and ride bus service which operates from a site just a few minutes walk away. We returned at 1700 to complete check in and receive our card key. The room 239 overlooked the "courtyard" and therefore not subject to any road noise. There is no air conditioning but a small electric fan is provided and the windows can be opened fully. Parents with children might want to use the restricted opening facility for safety. The room may get uncomfortably warm in hotter weather than we experienced. The room was clean (apart from some cobwebs) and tidy with some signs of wear and tear and squeaky floorboards but everything worked OK. Toiletries and tea/coffee were provided. It was unfortunate that a ladies hair clip had been dropped on the floor and not removed when the room was prepared. Our biggest disappointment with the room was that an internet connection was only available as part of a very expensive entertainment package (£19.99 I seem to recall) although there was free wifi in the bar area. We decided to use the spa facilities. We did not try the heat rooms/sauna or whirlpool. The swimming pool is rather small and shallow but appeared to be clean. Towels are provided. As we had eaten in the city we did not use the restaurant that evening. We did go to the bar basically to use the free internet connection. The bar area was fairly busy and the one member of staff on duty could not prevent a quite lengthy wait to be served. It was disappointing to note that there was no effort being made to keep the tables in the bar area clean. We had to ask a member of staff to wipe our table down as we were afraid the laptop would not be released by the sticky mess! We were a little bit worried that there may have been some early morning noise as the hotel was hosting a hen party or two. In fact it was not a problem and no worse that other hotels of our experience. Sunday breakfast was said to be available from 0730. However, although cereals, juices, toast and other cold fare was available from that time the hot food did not start appearing until approximately 0740 and was not all in place until 0800. This is not acceptable. Breakfast in its advertised entirety must be available from the beginning of the service. The quality of the food however was BRILLIANT and is as good as any UK hotel breakfast of our experience. We ate dinner in the hotel in the evening. One of our selections was served with a choice of sauces however the waitress forgot to ask which sauce was required. She reappeared a few minutes later to ascertain the choice which was a "blue cheese sauce". When the dish appeared it was obvious that a sauce had not been included. Rather, some simple grated cheddar cheese had been added! When questioned as to why the correct sauce had not been provided the waitress responded with "didnt x come and tell you that we have run out". Well, no actually. Not good enough!! The same timing issue with breakfast occurred again the next morning although the full complement of food was available within 15 minutes of the start time and again it was very good. Checkout was slow as we had to wait for the one member of staff to reappear from some mission which left the desk unmanned. As I said, some good points, some bad points and therefore completely average. The hotel seems to be understaffed in critical areas such as reception and bar/restaurant which impacts on customer experience. Overall, reasonable room, super breakfast but based on our experience, the Mercure Chester East does not rate 4 stars in its current form.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Modern Hotel in spacious grounds located in quiet suburb overlooking famous Abbots Well. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ramada Chester
- Chester Ramada
- Mercure Chester Abbots Well Hotel Cheshire