Chrissy's Collection: Rookery Hall Hotel and Spa, Nantwich, England
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What is Chrissy’s Collection?With her lengthy travel background, Chrissy has years of experience assessing accommodation with quality and customer satisfaction firmly in mind. She was also a hands-on Director of an upmarket Kensington apartment-hotel for five years.
As our own Silver Travel Advisor we are delighted that Chrissy brings her experience and eye for stylish detail when she reviews Boutique and Country house hotels. Chrissy’s Collection are her personal recommendations of hotels with something extra that makes them stand out from the rest: discreet and exceptional levels of personal service; stylish, contemporary and comfortable interiors where relaxation is key; smaller, quirky or character properties; luxury hotels with super spa facilities, exquisite dining or amazing locations. In short, very special places.
If it’s good enough for Posh’n’Becks it’s good enough for me...
Each July another wedding anniversary is upon us so my husband and I take it in turns to organise the celebration. This involves a short trip, usually in the UK though sometimes overseas, and the criteria has to be; somewhere that neither of us has been before; a total surprise; and, ideally, somewhere/something that reflects the traditional motif of the anniversary year. We have had some fantastic trips as well as some disasters and the tales to be told linger long in the memory! I feel a coffee table book coming on at some point in the future.
Of course it’s always difficult to pack when you’re going away but don’t know where you are going. Will I need a long dress, smart/casual, bathing costume, passport etc.? To get round this I usually lay out a selection of clothes on the bed before packing and get the nod to whatever is deemed appropriate attire. My husband just packs the usual stuff - nothing new there then. The passport has often disappeared a few days before, just to add to the air of mystery of the trip, whether going to the Cote d’Azur or Bognor Regis.
So this year it was our 9th wedding anniversary and his turn to organise the trip. As I alluded to earlier there have been some disasters so each trip is approached with a certain amount of trepidation and as we headed up the M6, unless flying from Birmingham or Manchester, it was clear our trip was to be in the UK. All the way from London I studied the map desperately trying to anticipate where we would be going and then it dawned on me. The 9th anniversary motif is ‘china’ - my gift was a £5 ‘Help for Heroes’ mug, so no expense spared - and he was taking me to the potteries, in fact to the largest china museum in the world at Stoke-on-Trent. This was very well thought out, as I love ceramics. But where would we stay in the area? Again, full marks to the husband on this trip, he had done his research and we stayed at the hotel where Posh’n’Becks did all their courting away from the gaze of publicity at the Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa, in Worleston, just outside Nantwich in Cheshire, approximately half an hour’s drive from Stoke.
The hotel is a lovely old Georgian sandstone building in wonderful grounds and has been extended to include a new wing of rooms with a fantastic spa and fitness centre, but more of that later. The bedroom was comfortable with modern decor and the main reception and dining rooms were a tad old fashioned, but not without a certain charm. However, what stood out for me more than anything else at the hotel was the quality of both the service and the food.
From the moment we arrived at the hotel the genuinely warm and friendly service provided by everyone from the reception staff to the dining staff was superb. Not the obsequious, disingenuous service provided by some upmarket hotels where you are constantly interrupted every five minutes to be asked if everything is alright when, in fact, they really couldn’t care less. The fact is, the staff at Rookery Hall did care and discreetly went out of their way to make sure that the service they provided was of a very high standard. Genuine, northern, friendly hospitality.
The food was surprisingly delicious. I say surprisingly because the food in many hotels can sometimes be a tad disappointing and the unpretentious, slightly dated, decor of the dining room did not lead me to expect such a gastronomic delight and excellent wine list. Similarly breakfast was a fantastic spread and the eggs poached to perfection. So 10 out of 10 for the food too.
The husband had excelled himself by booking us both massages in the hotel’s excellent spa facility. Again, the spa staff and the massage were both top quality. The gymnasium and pool complex is relatively new and although it is open to non-resident members feels large enough to absorb the extra numbers. Treatment prices were not outrageously expensive and if we hadn’t had to go to the Potteries Museum to view the china I would happily have stayed in the pool and spa complex all day.
The Potteries Museum is well worth a visit and if you want somewhere to stay within striking distance I cannot recommend Rookery Hall Hotel highly enough. In fact, I was so impressed that I am thinking about organising a family get-together there as I know everyone will be well looked after. Although we were unaffected by any events which may have been going on at the time of our stay, like many larger hotels Rookery Hall also offers conference and wedding facilities, so worth checking at the time of enquiry if you want to avoid such function dates.
Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa
Nantwich, Cheshire, England
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