Thursday 9 March 2023

Hotel Indigo, Chester | Review

I was invited here as a press stay; all thoughts & opinions are my own.
UK travel can be just as exciting as going abroad, and when the Hotel Indigo in Chester invited me down to stay it was just what I needed - in the midst of house renovations and being busy with work, I was so looking forward to just taking a couple of days off to revisit my old university stomping ground with my girlfriend in tow. We jumped on the train, and made our way to the Hotel Indigo.

Hotel Indigo, Chester - the location

I'd say the Hotel Indigo in Chester is in the perfect location. It took us 10 minutes to walk there from the station, and the hotel is on the edge of Grosvenor Park. It's a 5 minute walk to the main high street of shops, pubs & bars too, so there's everything you need right on your doorstep. The view of the park is lovely, and it just felt like we were in the perfect place.

We arrived quite early, just after 11, and I asked if we could store our bags downstairs - the lovely Coralie on reception said if we signed up to the rewards programme for free we could check in early, so obviously we did that. Really handy to know!

Hotel Indigo, Chester - the room

After the smooth and easy check in process, we headed up to our room on the first floor. We were in room 107 which turned out to be a suite, and I was absolutely blown away. It was SO spacious, with multiple seats (including a chaise longue!) and a big comfy bed. The room also had plenty of plugs - always a bonus. There was a tea/coffee station, and a mini fridge with complimentary coke zero, milk, water etc. The bathroom was big too, with a massive shower that had excellent water pressure. I also loved the Zenology toiletries, which smelled delicious.

The room had a TV which you can control via your phone (magic!) including all the usual channels and radio stations as well as information about the Hotel Indigo, Chester and the city itself - and there's a speaker in the bathroom so you can still hear the TV in there. There's a little device on the wall to control the heating, which was definitely needed as the weather outside was so grim. The towels in the bathroom were actually big enough to wrap around your body (a rarity in hotels) and all the chairs as well as the bed were VERY comfortable.

I genuinely couldn't fault the room whatsoever; I loved the quirky decor too. From grey panelling to local artwork, funky prints, mustard yellow accents... just so chic. And did I mention the chaise longue?! Honestly just fantastic.

Our arrival actually coincided with a test of the fire alarm which we didn't know about & left us, as well as another woman on our floor, feeling quite confused as we darted out of our rooms. But it was just a test and we were allowed to go straight back up to the suite. Also, we only had one set of towels upon arrival but as we headed out to explore we let Coralie know and she made sure housekeeping popped some more in our room.

Hotel Indigo, Chester - food and drink

So the location and room were spot on - but what about the food and drink? The Hotel Indigo, Chester has a restaurant attached called The Forge, independently run and owned by restaurateur Mike Robinson, as well as a bar area. We had dinner included with our stay, and after looking at the menu we were very excited to sit down and eat.

Our booking was for 6.30, and we got down to the bar at around 6ish for a drink - two gins with lemonade came to around £15 which is a decent price for a gorgeous hotel bar. The bartender, Sean, was a delight and chatted away with us. We also got chatting to one of the chefs, who was actually my second year housemate (James) from my time at Chester University - small world! There's an open kitchen in The Forge, and it was amazing to watch the chefs work.

Dinner at The Forge

Zara, our hostess, took us over to one of the spacious and comfortable booths in the restaurant where we ordered another gin and sat down to peruse the menu again. This definitely isn't your average food, and I definitely felt like the guy in the 'Three' advert where he has to look online to see what gravalax is. But nevertheless we decided on what we wanted and ordered a starter, main and side each.

Firstly they brought out some complimentary malt loaf with two types of butter - a chicken stock butter and a chive butter. I have to say that I wasn't fussed on the chicken stock butter, but the chive version was quite literally one of the best things I've ever tasted.

My starter was leek & Jersey Royal veloute with burnt leek dressing and croutons - and it was so flavoursome. Kate ordered crispy whitebait with a chive aioli which she really enjoyed, and I tried them too and also really liked them. So we were definitely off to a strong start!

The mains came out and they were definitely what we call 'Masterchef portions': small but artfully plated up. I was glad we'd order sides too... I had the Bathurst Estate fallow deer pave which came with artichoke, broccoli & bordelaise - and Kate went for the Gloucester old spot pork, accompanied by confit belly, celeriac, chorizo jam and apricot. Both meals were delicious, full of a really rich flavour and you can tell a lot of love goes into the food here.
We were too full for pudding, but we headed back to the bar for cocktails to round off the night. It was absolutely perfect. 


Breakfast at the Hotel Indigo, Chester

The next morning we were booked in for breakfast at 9 - we had late check out, but we wanted to explore a bit more in the sunshine which had finally decided to turn up. There's a continental breakfast and then you can choose various hot food too; I'm actually not a breakfast lover, but Kate went for the full English and it looked really tasty. She definitely enjoyed it! I had a couple of mini croissants and some toast, tired some cheese and meat from the buffet, and then devoured a stunning lemon meringue muffin which came highly recommended from one of the waiters. And it did NOT disappoint!

We went off to explore and then had a really smooth check out process, and that was that. I would absolutely recommend a stay at the Hotel Indigo, Chester if you're looking for a little bit more luxury during your stay in this quaint but buzzing city...

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