BD TRAVEL FEATURE….THE CHESTER RESIDENCE WORLD’S BEST NON HOTEL

BY TIM HEDGLEY, GROUP TRAVEL EDITOR

Edinburgh has been recognised as the capital of Scotland since the 15th century, not only does it sit in an iconic location, it provides the seat of power for Scotland as the Scottish Assembly, and the Supreme Court are located in this wonderful city.

This truly inspiring city also is home to the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery. The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582 and now one of four in the city.

The city is also famous for the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe, the latter being the world’s largest annual international arts festival. Historic sites in Edinburgh include Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyrood house, the churches of St. GilesGreyfriars and the Canongate, and the extensive Georgian New Town, built in the 18th century. Edinburgh’s Old Town and New Town together are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which has been managed by Edinburgh World Heritage since 1999.

So, you can see, this is truly a super place to visit. Add to this, excellent shopping, wonderful tourist attractions and really friendly people there is no better place.

Recently I visited a property that was voted one of the world’s best hotels that is not actually a hotel. I know it sounds odd but this is, like Edinburgh, one truly amazing space.

The Chester Residence is a jewel in the crown of luxury hotels in Edinburgh, the Residence is a number of chic designer townhouse apartments providing all the benefits of serviced apartments combined with the luxurious glamour of a five-star hotel. These breath-taking apartments are located in Edinburgh’s West End, just a short walk from Princes Street and close to the city’s main attractions.

As you would expect of any luxury hotel in Edinburgh, each apartment features the latest technology and security, fluffy robes and a range of tempting toiletries, combined with the freedom of staying in your own serviced apartment in Edinburgh. It’s a completely private apartment with its own front door, with everything a 5-star hotel has to offer and just a call away.

 

Each individually designed suite is decorated to exceptionally high standards and it’s more like staying in a designer penthouse suite in London, but with a concierge service to boot.

If you have time to tear yourself away from all the “tec” in the apartment there are a selection of DVDs are available for use during your stay and all suites have complimentary Wi-Fi.

 

Now this is where things differ from an apartment as the Chester Residence also offers full reception and concierge service with suites serviced daily. Depending on the apartment some can accommodate an extra bed (extra cost). The residence will also supply complimentary cots and highchairs.

 

In Edinburgh parking is very expensive so at the Chester Residence there is limited private car parking, which can be booked in advance and charged at reasonable £25 per night. On-street parking is also available which is chargeable by the hour.

 

As the Chester Residence is a listed building, there are no lifts, but the super fit staff will happily carry your luggage up and downstairs for you.

 

Since opening in 2006, The Chester Residence has racked up a number of industry awards and they have recently been awarded second place in the Luxury UK Hotel category, eleventh in Europe and 14th in the UK for Best Service in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2016.

This follows on from their success in 2015 when they were awarded ‘Certificate of Excellence 2015′. This award celebrates excellence in hospitality and has been awarded as a direct result of our glowing TripAdvisor reviews and for consistently being ranked No1 of 146 hotels in Edinburgh listed on TripAdvisor.

My Accommodation

I had a ground floor apartment at Rothsay Place, the large black gloss entrance door was adorned with two topiary trees either side of the door, a great idea as when you return to the street, all properties look the same and the trees single out your apartment.

A beautifully decorated entrance hall appears to have been painted by Farrow and Ball themselves. Then you arrive at your Suites/ Apartment door.  Luxurious carpets, electronic entrance systems door cameras, all set the scene for an executive pad of distinction.

My apartment had a fully appointed luxury kitchen, but as I was on a short break I just didn’t fancy making breakfast so I called reception and wow continental breakfast was delivered and what a treat it was. (anytime between 6.30am – 10am daily.)

If you feel the need to socialise then pop along to IX Lounge and Bar, located close to  reception this is the perfect place for a relaxed moment away from your five star apartment, with its warm and welcoming environment. Peruse through morning papers in front of the open fire and enjoy a complimentary Nespresso experience. In the evening, the Guest Lounge is transformed into an intimate bar with a selection of local beers, wines, spirits and cocktails served by the chatty and very friendly bar tender who will gladly make recommendations of what to see and do during your stay in Edinburgh. The former Royal Yacht Britannia was recommended to me and what a treat that turned out to be.

For more information 

See http://www.chester-residence.com Prices start from £225 per night

Travelling there.

As I was going to a 5-star location, I thought it only fitting to take a 5 star service to get me to Edinburgh with my car.

I travelled down to the docks at Belfast and boarded the Stena Line Ferry to Cairnryan. The Stena Superfast VII is the largest, most luxurious ferry to Scotland providing the best ferry experience on the Irish Sea! With a crossing time from only 2 hours 15 minutes and 12 sailings per day on the Belfast to Cairnryan route, there’s a sailing to suit everyone. Plus, whilst you’re onboard there’s lots to enjoy such as the Pure Nordic Spa, the POD Lounge, The Living Room and Taste restaurant. And of course, there’s free Wi-Fi, free movies and the exclusive Stena Plus Lounge. I was booked onto the 3-30pm ferry and yes, I had paid the small upgrade charge for Stena Plus. Why well its simple you can sit back and truly relax in the wonderful Stena Plus Lounge. The Lounge is included as part of Stena’s Premium fare, along with express boarding and disembarkation, or you may upgrade from only £16 per person*(Lounge access only and subject to availability).

One of the many great features of the lounge apart from:

– Complimentary drinks, snacks, newspapers & magazines
– Personal waiter service & dedicated menu (extra charge)
– Comfy seating
– Dedicated restrooms

To help maintain the relaxed ambience in Stena Plus, guests 8 years and over are welcome, a very clever feature introduced by Stena Line are their Superfast Suites which are suitable for families with younger children – The Superfast Suites are located on Deck 10, next to the Pure Nordic Spa.

From only £25, each suite accommodates up to 5 persons and features:

  • Double bed
  • Ensuite with shower and toilet
  • Towels and shower gel
  • TV
  • Tea/Coffee making facilities
  • Fridge with bottled water
  • Comfortable seating
  • Desk area
  • Free Wi-Fi access
  • High chairs available on request

Another very recent addition to the 5-star service of Stena is the hygge recline lounge.  This too is a great place to relax and unwind on one of the 36 large, comfy reclined seats. (over 8s only) Offering an even more peaceful environment, with large windows, soft tones and lighting and large (muted) TVs, this is the place to chill out from only £5 per person.

* Stena Plus lounge access is from £16pp when booked in advance and £18 pp if upgrading on day of departure.

Stena Line Factbox Belfast to Cairnryan

Stena Line sails from Belfast to Cairnryan offering a direct link from Northern Ireland to Scotland on the Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII from as little as £89 single for car and driver. The crossing time is approximately 2 hrs 15 mins with a choice of up to six sailings a day.

Experience the various lounges and Taste restaurant onboard the ships as well as a kids play area, Teen Town and a POD Lounge with the very latest in video game technology plus internet surf stations and with FREE Wi-Fi you can stay connected throughout your journey. Customers can upgrade to the luxurious Stena Plus lounge from £16 per person single and indulge in a wide selection of complimentary snacks and beverages or indulge in the Pure Nordic Spa where you can make the most of the only Jacuzzi and sauna on the Irish Sea from £10 per person.

Those looking to book a Superfast Suite for their crossing can do so from £35 single.

To make a booking, click on www.stenaline.co.uk call Stena Line on 08447 70 70 70, or visit your local travel agent.

 

 

 

 

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