Detailed review by Helencbradshaw
East Bridgford, United Kingdom
It was part business, part leisure that took me to De Vere Carden Park Hotel and Golf club this weekend for an overnight stay. I was looking forward to some rest and relaxation, having made several trips to the NW over recent weeks. I have stayed at this hotel before and I am also quite fond of the Cheshire countryside where the hotel is situated, close to the historic city of Chester and the Welsh Border.
The hotel itself is in fact a large hotel on a 17th century estate (with vineyard) and encompassing a fantastic Espa Health and beauty Spa and leisure facilities. There are 45 holes of golf on three courses - including a Nicklaus course, a driving range, outdoor activities such as quad biking and archery, all within its 750 acres. To get an idea of how large that is, the curving driveway from the main gate must be well over a mile long.
Initial impressions for my husband and I were certainly most favourable. This modern hotel has had a significant amount of money spent on it in recently, and as soon as you step into the lobby, you cannot fail to be impressed by the brightness and ambience of it all. I checked in on a Friday night at 5pm, and there was a fantastic buzz in the lobby area, absolutely full of weekend visitors, many of whom were attending weddings at the hotel.
I particularly liked the library area as you walk in the hotel, this was extremely light and airy and open sided, with loads of comfy sofas etc the perfect place for reading morning papers etc.
The hotel itself has rooms within the main building and also villas at the back of the hotel. Depending on what room you are in, it might be easier to get the valet to park your car for you, so it is most convenient. We were checked in very efficiently and were in fact in a Junior Suite in one of the villas just off the rear courtyard, but you will be given a little map of the hotel should you need it.
On to the room ours was downstairs with a shared front door to two other rooms, with presumably the same arrangement upstairs. The villas are finished with that red Cheshire brick that dominates the county, and their presence certainly gives a little village feel to the whole resort. Inside the suite, the living area was fantastic, with a decent sized living room, with separate TV and playstation, leading into the bedroom with its massive king bed that could easily sleep 4, and another TV.
We also had a balcony with two chairs and a table, and a good sized dressing area. The bedrooms were all refurbished last year, and the colours are fantastic, with reds, gold and greens adding to the warmth of the room. It was certainly a place where you will arrive and dont want to leave (we tried but they were fully booked for the Saturday night!)
Work done, we decided to order a bottle of wine for room service for dinner it was a lovely summers night and the balcony was just too inviting for words...we ordered a lovely Pinot Grigio which was with us within a few minutes.
There are a number of restaurant/dining options within the hotel. At the front of the hotel is the Garden Restaurant, which is the fine dining option, and also where breakfast is served. We wanted something more casual/lighter so we opted for the Brasserie restaurant, located just off the main reception. I didnt get to see the clubhouse, where guests and golfers can also eat, and there is also the Peacock bar, which is a large bar in the rotunda at the end of the building serving cocktails as well as the usual beers and wines.
On Saturday, I had some Espa treatments booked and so it was to be a relaxing day at the hotel for us. We had full English breakfast in the Brasserie (both restaurants were open for breakfast) and there was complimentary coffee on the go in the lobby all morning. We did take a wander onto the front lawned areas, to read the papers and even had a game of Giant Connect 4!
The Carden Spa
I made my way to the Spa mid morning. As my appointments were not until noon, I had an hour to enjoy the pool and sauna/steam room etc. The locker rooms are well appointed and I was given a nice Carden robe and slippers to wear for the rest of the afternoon. After bagging myself a deckchair, I enjoyed many lengths of the 20m pool, which was not overcrowded at that time of day.
I always find the aroma of Espa products at their spas to be absolutely heavenly and walking through to the ladies relaxation room that familiar aroma came back. The spa is a peaceful haven, and the music, lighting, décor and smells create that ambience. The relaxation room is well appointed, with a slight touch of Asia feeling, and it was never overcrowded. There was teas/coffee/water/fruit and fruit juice available to customers.
My hubby had booked me two treatments I had dropped him rather large hints about how this might be a good idea given we have now been together 21 years this weekend and how I love Espa etc! My first treatment was an Espa Mud Envelopment with a fantastic consultant called Gwyneth who was an absolute pleasure to chat with as she covered me in all kinds of wonderful products and finally a layer of mud, before wrapping me in foil...This treatment uses a spearmint beaded exfoliator to start with, which is extremely refreshing, and also includes a head and scalp massage with their pink hear and scalp mud, which is one of my favourite products, as the smell lingers for ages and is wonderful.
After a five minute rest in the relaxation room, I met my second consultant who was to do my facial. An Espa facial is always a delight, when I had my first one about five years ago, I couldnt believe what I had been missing out on all these years. No less than about ten Espa products are used in the treatment, and again the scent is wonderful for the senses and great for relieving tension and stress.
We both thoroughly enjoyed our 24 hours at Carden Hotel and Spa, and I cannot wait to go back again. The hotel has plenty to offer everyone, whether on business, or for leisure guests, then golf, spa and other activities including childrens activities are second to none.
Prices are not unreasonable for bedrooms either. It is possible to book a Junior Suite like the one I had for around £130 including breakfast for two people next week. The sofa in these rooms can be used for a sofa bed if you have children. There are even better rates available if you take a standard room (which are all either two double beds or a king bed) and if you can stay more than one night e.g. from around £80. Plus the hotel is a great location for exploring Chester and North Wales if you can drag yourself away from that fantastic Spa that is!
http://www.devere.co.uk/d eluxe/Carden-Park/ for more information
Tel 01829 731000
Carden Park Resort & Spa