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Chester's history is incredible. And visitors aren't limited to hearing stories or reading descriptions in a museum, you can see so much of Chester's history in its architecture. Elegant and graceful, Chester now has a reputation as a mini-break mecca, with lots see and lots to shop for, and all in a walkable area. For this reason there is plenty of accommodation to choose from and the best places to stay in Chester range from budget B&Bs to chic boutique hotels.
Chester's city walls are a prime example of this city's living history. They encircle a collection of beautiful Tudor and Victorian buildings, but they were originally built by the Romans. As a fortress. The Vikings tore them down but the Saxons and Normans rebuilt them. Only for them to be ruined again in the Civil War.
It's a two mile circuit around the ruins, passing Eastgate with its second most famous clock in Britain. At Bridgegate you'll see the Bear & Billet pub, an impressive timber framed building built in 1664.
Most of Chester's other attractions are within the walls. There's the cathedral, which Henry VIII famously spared dissolution, because he liked the architecture, and the 'Rows'. These are double storied, gallery arcades which fan off from the town centre, and where Chester gets its great reputation for Tudor and Victorian architecture. Some of it's real, but some of it is mock, and most of the Rows house shops and boutiques.
Is it worth popping outside the walls though, for The Groves, Chester's 'riverside promenade', and the Roman Amphitheatre. This seven thousand seat arena lay buried under the city until 1929, and it's been partly excavated. In its time it would have been the largest Roman amphitheatre in Britain - Chester was an important Roman stronghold, they needed a large number of troops here to keep an eye on the Welsh.
If you're interested in Chester's Roman history visit the Dewa Roman Experience, a reconstructed Roman street, just off modern Bridge St.. You may also appreciate the Grosvenor Museum, which has the UK's best collection of Roman tombstones.
If you're interested in Wales, you're only a short drive north away.
Chester Zoo has a reputation for being one of the best zoos in Europe and is just a short trip out of town.
If it doesn't quite have the right tone for your kind of break, how about The Spa Chester, a world class day spa?
- The Chester Grosvenor offers the ultimate traditional, luxury hotel experience. Firstly it looks the part, with a half timbered facade. Added to that you have twenty years of Michelin starred cooking, a comprehensive spa and modern, yet elegant interiors. It's also right in the centre of town, so it's one of the best places to stay in Chester if you're just here for a short break.
- Right next to Chester Racecourse, ABode Chester's modern, round, glass fronted building was originally the headquarters of Chester Constabulary. Crisp and smart, this hotel is also well known for Michael Caine's award winning restaurant, which is on the fifth floor, with great rooftop views.
Still not sure which to book? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Chester, or contact, one of our friendly gurus for advice. Alternatively check out all our recommendations in Cheshire.
Best Hotels in Chester
Oddfellows 16 rooms from $125Chester
A quirky hotel well positioned for sightseeing in Chester. An eclectic mix of decoration throughout cosy suites and apartments; round beds, boutique furnishings, mezzanine levels, and all the mod cons. Michelin star chef, Mediterranean fare, and a trendy rooftop bar in the garden. Pretty cool!Bar - Fabulous potting shed bar in the secret garden.Foodies - Michelin star chef.LuxuryCity StyleRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
Edgar House 4 rooms from $207Chester (Cheshire)
A lovely Georgian house overlooking the River Dee with clean, contemporary interiors and stylish bedrooms. Lovely feature baths and views of the river and garden. Boasts a mini cinema, library and sitting room. Enjoy English afternoon tea at this stylish guest house hotel.Sights nearby - See the City Wall, visit the Amphitheatre, the Racecourse, Castle and Roman GardensViews - Situated on top of the city walls overlooking the river DeeGreat walks - Walk along the River DeeFull of characterRecommended by - Sawdays
ABode Chester 84 rooms from 195Chester
Strikingly modern property with 84 well equipped bedrooms converted from Chester Constabulary's former HQ, right next to the racecourse. Various dining options including Michael Caines Restaurant and Champagne Bar which occupies the entire 5th floor and features a rooftop terrace with great views!Restaurant - Award winning Michael Caines Restaurant serving modern British cuisine.Sights nearby - Well located for major sights.
The Chester Grosvenor 80 rooms from $300Chester
Traditional luxury hotel in Chester town centre. Elegant modern interiors. Restaurant with 20 years of Michelin Stars, bars, spa and gym.SpaSights nearby - Well located for major sights.Recommended by - Good Hotel Guide, Kiwi Collection, Small Luxury Hotels