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Dating back to 1865, this five-star property has become a landmark for the North of England and has become a strong brand within the North-west. It was only one of four hotels outside London to be awarded the RAC Gold Ribbon award last year.
The Chester Grosvenor hotel has 66 individually designed rooms and 14 stylish suites as well as its luxury spa, which offers traditional and holistic treatments, a steam room, herb sauna and relaxation room.
Judges were very impressed by the longevity and calibre of the product, remarking: "It's a consistent performer and the owners keep investing back in the property."
It was felt to be almost an unsung hero among properties in the luxury hotel and spa market.
However, its management's insistence on reinvestment was cited as a fantastic example of how to keep a property fresh and at the top of its field. One judge said: "It is a strong business with high standards, with furniture and amenities. They keep investing in the property and it remains the very best of the five-star bracket."
About the property itself, the comments ranged from praising the ambience to the general decor.
"It's a wonderful house restored in very fine style. It's unashamedly modern but not at all chintzy," said one member of the panel.
Another added: "The bedrooms are world class," while yet another said simply, "I was just blown away by it all."
Of course, the Chester Grosvenor's Arkle restaurant, which has held a Michelin star for an almost unprecedented 16 years also came in for commendation. "It is truly remarkable to have held a Michelin star for 16 years."
La Brasserie, the hotel's other restaurant, which has also won numerous awards was also praised for its consistency and high standards.
The staff were also praised for being attentive, yet not pretentious: "The staff are well trained and attentive and always hugely professional," said one judge.
The hotel's spa facilities were recognised as top notch and were commended by the panel for the range and quality of treatments and facilities on offer.
On a wider scale, the judges
felt that general manager Jonathan Slater should specifically be recognised for the huge work he does in promoting not only the Chester Grosvenor, but also the North of England abroad.
"He does an excellent job of promoting itself internationally and flies the flag for the North of England."
One judge summed up the panel's feelings for the property: "It's simply a very, very stylish product and they have maintained an incredible consistency. Everyone always speaks very highly of it."
- The Chester Grosvenor and Spa
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- Boath House Hotel, Nairn
- Jon Brown, managing director, Virgin Hotels
- Jill Crawshaw, travel writer
- Albert Hampson, business manager, AA
- Nicholas Rettie
- Amanda Scott, general manager, the Waldorf Hilton, London
- Ian Taylor, owner, Cotswold House Hotel, Chipping Campden
- David Young, owner, the Cross at Kingussie