In our humble opinion, one trip to Chester is never enough. There’s just a bewitching beauty to this city brimming with history and culture. You’ll likely stumble upon ‘new’ evidence of its fascinating past each time you return. But it’s important to have a comfortable abode to do so. So, when Luxurious Magazine’s Sabi Phagura was offered the chance to discover Hotel Indigo Chester, it was a no-brainer.
Hotel Indigo Chester has an unenviable position in the heart of the city, just a spring and a hop from its famous Rows, extensive shopping district, award-winning Storyhouse Theatre, and the 2,000-year-old city walls.
But take one look at the facade of the building, and you may not think much of it. However, just like a book shouldn’t be judged by its cover, nor should buildings. Guests will have a pleasant surprise.
Opened just months before the global Covid pandemic hit, Hotel Indigo Chester still retains the feel of a fresh new hotel.
As with all Hotel Indigos, a lot has gone into the design and concept of this one. But they are all unique to their surroundings, and this one draws inspiration from the city’s architecture, the oldest racecourse and the largest Roman Amphitheatre in Britain.
After an arduous four-hour car journey, the swift check-in process was greatly appreciated. What made it even more so was being greeted with an oversized luxury Hypnos bed, complete with Egyptian cotton linen, when we entered the John Douglas suite. The famous Eastgate Clock by the designer hung elegantly above the headboard.
The boutique hotel has 75 guest rooms decorated in three individual themes. All rooms are equipped with comfy Hypnos beds, spa-inspired bathrooms, Nespresso coffee machines, and a fridge full of complimentary drinks. While there were a variety of channels to watch on the flat-screen TV, my friend and I preferred watching the world go by from our private front-facing balcony.
While it would have been easy to luxuriate within the surroundings of my suite, food lured us to The Forge, the 70-seater restaurant, cocktail bar and private dining room. Like the rest of the hotel, the dining space and casual seating areas are artfully decorated in a modern design with hues of autumnal colours – think forest greens, burnt oranges, and deep blues.
Decorative foliage hanging from the ceiling and plants in oversized vases give the space an intimate cosy ambience.
However, the only ‘fire’ can be found here is in the open kitchen where talented chefs cook under the guidance of Head Chef Dan Regan. Guests can see them preparing food over wood and charcoal in a seamless symphony. It was mesmerising to watch the team, and it is hands down better than any culinary TV programme.
Helen, our waitress, was immensely helpful in guiding us through the menu, offering her expert guidance on the dishes. The Forge has a passion for food, using only British ingredients, with an emphasis on wild, locally reared meat that is aged on the premises.
Guests can choose their meat from the glass maturation cabinets and watch as it is grilled and roasted over the said oak and beech logs.
Finally settling for an array of sharing dishes, starters and two mains with a couple of sides, Nita and I were able to sample quite a feast. The portions were just right, and the flavours running through them could be differentiated from each other suitably.
The duck was cooked to our liking and the cod was perfectly paired with butter roasted leak. Sadly, we left no room for pudding, but I’ve made a mental note to return to sample the sticky date sponge.
Breakfast is served in the same room, and it was a delight to begin our day with a choice of offerings from the buffet tables as well as an a la carte menu. After all, with so much to see and do in Chester, we needed to fuel our bellies for the rest of the day.
What makes Hotel Indigo Chester stand out from the others is good old-fashioned service. In a day and age where the hospitality industry is embracing the dreaded QR Code for guest’s entire experience, it’s good to know that human interaction is still alive and kicking. And Chester, with all its history, is a testament that it works.
Hotel Indigo Chester – Where and How?
Hotel Indigo Chester is located in Grosvenor Park Road, Chester, CH1 1QQ. The hotel has an affiliation with NCP Pepper Street, which costs £12.00 for 24 hours instead of £20.00. Room rates start from £119. For more information about the hotel or to make a reservation, visit www.chester.hotelindigo.com.
Photograph of the exterior of the property by It’s Me Louis Photography.