Newest Review: ... lots of warm dark wood, imposing portraits, murals and frescos. The large reception also has an impressive wooden staircase, make sure ... more
It's 'shriging' off the bad reviews!
Hotel Barceló Shrigley Hall (Cheshire)
Member Name: Emma1973
Hotel Barceló Shrigley Hall (Cheshire)
Advantages: Beautiful hotel, good staff, good food
Disadvantages: Some may find it old fashioned, not everything in the spa was available.
There's only one thing better than a lovely weekend away in a lovely hotel and that's a lovely weekend away that someone else has paid for!
The hotel is question is Barceló Shrigley Hall Hotel, Golf & Country Club a 19th century country house, very much in a 18th century style and décor to match. Its 20 miles south of Manchester but extremely peaceful and quiet. It's also a great place to explore the Peak District from, but also to check out the hustle and bustle as well as a good stop off point for Alton Towers.
It was a family members 90th birthday and to celebrate a family reunion took place here. As people were coming from Finland, Dublin, Scotland and even Dubai many decided to spend the whole weekend. Even though we only live 30 mins drive away in Manchester we decided to take advantage of spending time with the family.
Due to picking someone up from the airport we didn't actually arrive at Shrigley Hall till nearly 2am. Its easy enough to find from Manchester lying right between there and Macclesfield. Its also signposted from about 4 miles away. Its easy to find on a SatNav and Google Earth with the website also having easy to follow directions. If you're coming on public transport however it's a lot more difficult. People were being quoted £60 to get from there to Manchester on the Friday evening, although to be quite frank I think that's probably extortionate and unrealistic. Its probably easier to get the train to Macclesfield or the Metro to Heaton Grove and then get a taxi from there.
Even so you won't be able to see it at first with a long winding driveway that seems to go on and upwards. Then this rather imposing building appears before your eyes with very little sign of life. There was a sign pointing to the reception, upper car park, spa, golf shop, etc.
Except at 2am and it being rather dark it isn't immediately apparent where the reception was. We, after a trip round the car park decided to head right for the front where two large, seemingly closed, wooden doors announced they lead the way to the receptions. Sounds obvious now I know!
If you do arrive at night please just take a look behind you and look across the scenery. The whole of Manchester is displayed twinkling for miles across. A blot on the landscape it may seem to some, but it gave an idea of just how high up we actually were.
One thing I did notice was that disabled access wasn't immediately noticeable, it was only in the daytime we noticed the side entrance for disable users. I usually dislike these kind on entrances but Shrigley Hall is a listed building and unable to make changes to the exterior.
Stepping into the hotel was an extremely warm relief to the freezing winds outside. The décor is most definitely regency rather than Victorian in style. There's lots of warm dark wood, imposing portraits, murals and frescos. The large reception also has an impressive wooden staircase, make sure you crane your neck upwards as there is the most magnificent domed ceiling in blue, white and gold.
The receptionist was extremely professional and friendly and got us through the process in a few moments. It would have been nice if the reception had more seats as it got quite busy at checking out time (and presumably at some checking in times), as even with 2 receptionists working as fast as possible there could still be quite a queue, leading to several people sitting on the stairs.
The receptionist then gave us directions to our room. With which we promptly got lost! The hotel has an extension on the back of it based around a very large courtyard. There's 3 stories of identical corridors, doors and carpet. The signs aren't the easiest to read although there are plenty of them. We ended up walking in a near enough circle and managing to wake quite a few people up! We were right at the back of the hotel and it took a far few minutes to get to our room.
The place is a labyrinth, there are stairs that don't appear to lead anywhere, lifts that go up 2 floors, but lead to dead end corridors. Finding the corridor to the spa was an interesting trek as well!
If you have kids and they are bored, take them to the furthest corner and challenge them to find their way back!
We finally got inside our room and the first thing we noticed was the bed. It was huge! Even stretching my arms across it I couldn't touch either side and it was so comfortable. Not too soft, but not rock hard. Just firm enough for a good nights sleep!
The room is large enough not to be dominated by the bed and has lovely furnishing, a large wardrobe with iron and board in it. A chest of drawers which also contained a slide out shelf with tea and coffee on it. There was a desk, a table with wine glasses and an ice bucket and two upright chairs. Of course there is the rather large flat screen TV.
The furniture isn't modern but heavily built dark wood. This is entirely in keeping with the hotel and pleasant rather than just old fashioned.
The bathroom is large as well, but parts were horribly old fashioned. Yucky pinkish marble effect surround for the sink and a shower curtain which felt the need to attach itself to my shoulder. It does have a very modern sink, shower and heated towel rail. Oh and I did bring home the complimentary toiletries!
The hotel room and bathroom were absolutely spotless, not a stray hair or speck of dust anywhere, even on the inside of the lamps. It also has blackout curtains as well which meant we spent rather more time in bed than we should believing it to be quite early in the morning! Our room was rather well soundproofed and we heard nothing from the people either side.
There is also room service but I cant comment as we didnt use it, but it seemed to be usual hotel prices. Wired and Wi-fi internet was also available.
After a lovely nights sleep it was time for breakfast which is served between 8.30 and 10.30., thankfully we did find a quicker way to the restaurant. The restaurant is very large and bright, tables were cleared quickly and smartly re-laid. Tea, coffee, etc were brought direct to the table in pots big enough for 2 or 3 cups.
There was a wide range of food, a self serve cooked breakfast of sausage, eggs, bacon, fried potatoes, etc, all well cooked and hot.
There was a toasting machine with all the condiments, various cereals, pastries, muffins and fruit. There was also orange and apple juice. All spills and crumbs were cleared away immediately by the very helpful staff.
In a nice touch on the Sunday morning the hotel opened up the private dining room for the reunion guests so we could all sit together, and extended the time of breakfast slightly.
On the Saturday we ate in a private dining room expertly hosted by one of the managers. Again it was a hot buffet served by the hotel staff, the food was superb especially the chicken curry,pasta bake, fish pie, salads and lots of bread. and the only grumbles where when it was found that I'd had the last piece of salmon! The tables were laid properly, different and correct types of glass, jugs of iced water and lemon, technically we were supposed to return to the bar to get our drinks, but the waiters happily obliged so we didnt have to keep getting up.
When breakfast had been dealt with it was time for relaxing. Its very difficult to review the whole of the spa as we used only a small amount of what they offer. Its practically separate from the hotel although you can pay for extra facilities such as massages, therapies, etc. They also do various spa days, hen party, wedding days,etc.
For the hotel guests the gym, pool, jacuzzi, sauna and steam room are free. Well, not the steam room because that's been broken since March. The gym was avoided but it was possible to see it was full of up to date equipment. The jacuzzi was lovely and warm, and the pool just a tad cooler. The sauna was horrendous and way too hot, but I believe it's supposed to be that way!
There were plenty of loungers to rest on and like everywhere else was very clean. There were plenty of showers to rinse off in and 2 good hairdryers to use. Towels were also provided.
Please be aware that the spa is now closed for complete refurbishment until March and the pool area is completely closed. The therapies may still be available but best to call and check first.
Of course we retired to the bar afterwards. Contrary to many hotels this one is large with plenty of tables, chairs and squishy sofas. Drinks are of course hotel prices, a bottle of wine is going to set you back £12, a pink £3-4 and we didn't even go near the spirits! They also serve soft drinks and have an impressive coffee machine. They do offer a bar food menu which I am assured is rather slow. They even do afternoon tea with plates of little sandwiches and cake tiers.
Our only niggle was that they closed the bar an hour earlier on the Saturday night than on the Friday with the explanation that there was too many of us. Admittedly there were around 20 of us and we were a little loud. Oh, and I must apologise to anyone who was in the bar and subjected to a round of Porno Password!
People drunker and less easy going than us may have been upset when they were refused service but saw another group continue to be served (which was what was happening)
The party did continue but only with one warning about the noise!
The hotel was very understanding the next morning when the 11am checkout wasn't strictly adhered to. Certainly not everyone had checked out before 12, not blaming the drink of course!
Shrigley Hall offers a late checkout, but it will cost an extra £10 an hour. Only one of the group were feeling the effects of the night before bad enough to take advantage of this whilst the rest of us went to sweat it out in the sauna.
Remember I mentioned the view at night? Its really quite impressive in the day, it overlooks the gold course and the garden. In the distance you could see the impressive city of Manchester. It must have been an absolutely stunning view when it had snowed.
Shrigley Hall is an extremely impressive hotel, and thoroughly not deserving of some of the reviews on the net. The service is excellent and the staff unflappable, when one relative was offered 5 different rooms before finally being happy with one they helped with smiles and good grace. I should mention that this was not because there was anything wrong with the rooms but because they didn't like the lighting, but she is 90 and can have any room she wants!
Its old fashioned, but fits together perfectly. The food and drink were good and the prices comparable with other hotels. It's isolated enough to enjoy the peace and quiet, relax or enjoy a round of golf but close enough to Manchester to pop in and enjoy the sights.
The price is what I consider extremely reasonable for a Country Hall Hotel at £90 for a room with breakfast. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would gladly visit again.
I also havent mentioned the gold course because no one used it, but there were plenty of players out there in the morning and the green looked well kept, I believe the reception is able to arrange lessons.
And if you managed to read all that you thoroughly deserve a holiday!
Summary: Country house hotel in beautiful grounds.
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