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Carden Park Hotel, Tilston, Cheshire
Deep in the south Cheshire countryside, but just 13 miles from the more urban attractions of Chester, Carden Park isn't so much a country hotel as a full-on resort. Drive through the entrance gates, flags fluttering either side, and a one-mile, winding drive takes you through parkland and a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course to the main building. A vast, modern-day affair, first opened in 1997, it's surrounded by a 1,000-acre estate that offers plenty of scope for all kinds of outdoor activities. Even if you've been before, there's bound to be something new on offer next time - they always seem to be dreaming up extra ways to keep the guests entertained, whether it's a state-of-the-art new spa or an adrenaline-pumping aerial obstacle course.
Sandstone Ridge nearby is beautiful - a dramatic slope with a couple of castles, great walking and far-reaching views over the plain.
The hotel is on its own 1000-acre estate within easy reach of the M6. It is half an hour from Chester's shops and restaurants.
By car: The hotel is 4 hours 30 mins from London and 90 mins from Manchester. Parking is available on-site.
By train: Crewe Station has direct links to London and Manchester and is 30 mins away in a taxi. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
The hotel's broad appeal means it attracts a wide range of guests, including couples, families, groups of friends and corporate colleagues. The Carden Library is a cosy little corner, designed in period style with wood panelled walls, antler chandelier and an open fire.
Services & Facilities
If all those activities wreak havoc with your hair, it's no problem - just book an appointment at the in-house hair salon.
- Golf course
- Tennis courts
- Bike hire
- Indoor and outdoor pools
- Coffee house
- Free Wi-Fi
The Luxury Suites in the main building enjoy views across golf course and lake, and come with Sonos sound system, Nespresso machines and starlight ceilings over bed and bath. No worries about getting a poky room - they're all a decent size, and standard twin rooms come with two double beds rather than two singles.
Twin/Double, Twin/King Estate view, Courtyard Suites, Luxury Suites
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom or wet room, 39" TV with Sky, luxury toiletries, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
The three-acre on-site vineyard produces its own sparkling wine; you can order a glass in the bar or buy a bottle to take home. The spa restaurant, Elements, is a light, airy space with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the garden.
Redmonds: AA Rosette, relaxed brasserie-style dining. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Mains from £15.
The Vines: gourmet fine dining, contemporary cuisine. Open for dinner Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Two courses from £55 per person.
Elements: spa dining, healthy dishes, afternoon tea, light lunch. Mains from £15.
Jacks Bar: golf course restaurant. Open daily for breakfast and lunch. Mains from £9.