Travel Review: Hotel Indigo, Chester

Hotel Indigo, Chester

Hotel Indigo is an attractive and contemporary boutique hotel located in the heart of the beautiful and historic city of Chester that offers something rather different to the norm.

Just as no two neighbourhoods are alike, no two Hotel Indigo properties are alike and this hotel stands out for its unique character, designed to reflect the city’s famous architecture and the oldest racecourse in the UK – a theme which runs throughout, including the rooms.

It is a just short walk from most of what the city has to offer, including its shopping district and the 2,000-year-old city walls – the most complete circuit of Roman and medieval city walls in the UK.

Hotel Indigo, Chester
The reception area

This hotel is perfect for staycationers who value convenience and easy access to most of what the city offers, but, with its beautiful romantic suites and top-notch restaurant, it’s probably most suited to couples and foodies.

And it offers the best of both worlds in terms of accommodation with its modern look and retro vibe and a reassuring ‘wow factor’ the moment you first enter from the street. Chic, smart, whilst cosy and comfortable – and with in-keeping horse racing and equestrian art on the walls and a decorative eye for detail in every corner, even down to the welcoming aroma in the lobby!

Staff are friendly and helpful and seem to genuinely care about your quality of stay, enquiring about our plans and offering some helpful suggestions.

Hotel Indigo, Chester
One of the spacious King rooms

The 75 themed guest rooms are all equipped with comfy Hypnos beds, spa-inspired bathrooms, high-speed Wi-Fi and even 40-inch flatscreen Smart TV that you could control for your own mobile phone! The ultimate in luxury – and a new on me.

This hotel goes in for quality rather than quantity and is not not fussed with leisure and gym facilities. Here the watchwords are more rest, relaxation and convenience, with a modern, cosy bar area in reception, adjacent to the restaurant. This seemed a popular resting area and good space in which to kick back and enjoy the laid back ambience this hotel offers in abundance. Also the perfect spot for a pre-dinner aperitif – and lots of people watching.

The hotel does not have a car park but parking is available at a subsidised rate for guests at an NCP five minutes’ walk away. (Note, this is not ideal if you’re laden with luggage – and/or with small children in tow – in which case plan ahead.) There is one accessible parking space available on site and is convenient for Chester Train Station, which is less than 10 minutes’ walk away.

Hotel Indigo, Chester
A Premium Deluxe room with balcony

Food and Drink

The Forge restaurant is the jewel in the hotel’s crown and consistently listed in the top five percent according to the city’s Tripadvisor restaurant reviewers.

Chef and restaurateur Mike Robinson opened his new 70-seater restaurant, cocktail bar and private dining room last year, in which time it has already established a strong reputation among the city’s foodies for excellent casual dining based on its much lauded local, ethical and sustainable ingredients and practices. The open kitchen affords us the opportunity to take a privileged peak into the chefs’ methods, cooking over wood and charcoal using wild and locally reared meat, that is all aged on the premises.

No surprise then that this smart brasserie with its emphasis on British produce features in the Michelin Guide.

Despite starving myself most of the day in anticipation of the feast ahead, I did shy away from the contents of the impressive glass-fronted beef-ageing fridge on display in the dining area. (The dry-aged steaks are served in portions ranging between 650-250g.) It was worth the sacrifice to allow room for my mouth watering Slow Cooked Pork Belly followed by Amaretto Pannacotta.

I was not in the least surprised to learn that The Forge is regularly fully booked and does seem to be a mecca for those locals in the know. How lucky then to have this as our on-site dinner destination for the evening. A fantastic experience and highlight of our stay.

Hotel Indigo, Chester
The Forge Restaurant

Room rates at Hotel Indigo Chester start from £119 per night. Check availability here

What’s Nearby?

Chester’s 11th-century cathedral is tourist staple and a great way to do a quick circuit of some of the main sights.

Further along, the walls overlook Chester Racecourse, aka The Roodee, the oldest working racecourse in Britain set in the former Roman harbour. Fun fact – this is allegedly the place where the term ‘gee-gees’ was first coined, after Sir Henry Gee, who first allowed racing to take place here in the 16th Century.


It’s a shoppers’ paradise with The Rows, the city’s unique medieval network of open galleries at first floor level that line the main streets in the centre. Or check out, as we did, McArthurGlen Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet just outside the city, near Ellesmere Port. The UK’s first designer outlet opened in 1995 and remains its largest. You’ll need your comfy shoes for this one!

Other highlights include The Grosvenor Museum with its fascinating collection of Roman gravestones and stories of gladiators in pictures and words; Chester Zoo – one of the top most-visited paid attractions in the UK; Grosvenor Park and its open-air theatre; Chester Basin or take a stroll along The River Dee.

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