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Reasonable Chester hotel, acceptable for families
Ramada Hotel (Chester)
Member Name: patsysmith
Ramada Hotel (Chester)
Date: 13/02/08, updated on 13/02/08 (55 review reads)
Advantages: Pool, near to Chester, Near to Zoo, Good Prices Available
Disadvantages: Double rooms do not suit families! Decor is austere.
I booked a double room in the Chester Ramada for a family trip last year and had a fine time.
I paid about £250 for 4 nights, using an online deal (Lastminute.com), and selected the hotel for its excellent location next door to a park and ride scheme, meaning I could guarantee easy bus rides into Chester itself, without worrying about getting lost or harrassed by traffic/unfamiliar streets.
Additionally the hotel is a short ride from Chester Zoo (15 minutes), plus it has a nice leisure suite with a pretty swimming pool with a kids' pool of a decent size. Perfect for entertaining the little ones!
The hotel caters mainly to the business traveller, but I must say when I rang the hotel to check the room's suitability they would have offered me a family room if one was available. The double room I was given was barely big enough to take a fold-up bed as well, and the furniture could not be moved to make space (open plan, lots of surfaces, but no closet and few drawers).
I also found the decor quite dark, with blacks and reds - not to my taste, but I knew that when booking and decided to go with it as it was cheap considering the amenities.
The beds were perfectly comfortable, with nice bedding (the fold-up bed was suitable for little kids only - I would say no-one over 4 as the mattress was very thin - I used chair cushions to add padding!).
There was no air conditioning, and the room was stuffy in high summer, even with the window wide open. The TV had some irritating complex programming which meant you could do access Internet and see your bill, etc... not something I cared about, but of course the business traveller might. All it meant to me was I had to navigate through a menu system just to watch the news!
It would have been nice if the kids were allowed in the jacuzzi in the pool area, but for "H&S reasons" they were not permitted... the "warden" did allow kids to dangle legs in the jacuzzi however.
Breakfast was full, buffet style, and had plenty to choose from. For evening meals I used the bar menu, which offered a smallish range of simple filling meals, including a lovely fresh fruit plate. Not cheap, but there is a Sainsbury's about 5-10 mins drive away, and basic pub grub down the road.
The staff were fairly professional I'd say, and ready to advise on the local area (although when I got back I noticed a double charge for food and the front desk could not sort it out, and it took several tiresome phone calls before I was satisfactorily refunded by the finance rep).
The car park was often quite full, but there was spare parking to the rear that no-one seemed to use apart from the coaches bringing holiday maker groups.
To the rear of the hotel is a prettyish garden area with some nice trees, and beyond is a farmer's field - this offers some fun for kids, as it's good for hide and seek etc.
Not bad for a family short trip!
Summary: Reasonable for a short family trip.