A Christmas Getaway at Crabwall Manor Hotel

Ultimate Romantic Getaway Location | A festive break just for grown ups, what did we think of Crabwall Manor Hotel and what it had to offer for a child-free weekend away. We tried out the restaurant and spa and made the best of a date weekend www.fivelittledoves.com

Whilst I have always been a huge fan of Christmas Day, my favourite part is actually the build up and the fun and exciting things we do as a family in the weeks leading up to the big day. From festive grotto’s to Christmas parties, we try to make the whole of December as magical as possible and yet, for Gaz and I, we also enjoy taking a moment for ourselves with our annual visit to the Christmas Markets.

This year, when we were invited to stay at Crabwall Manor Hotel, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to incorporate a visit to Chester Christmas markets. Both Gaz and I love Chester, and we have had some fantastic days out there, but we have never stayed over before and couldn’t wait to make a real weekend of it.

Crabwall Manor is the most beautiful hotel, founded in 1600, just 4km away from the city centre. Set in private grounds, it is a peaceful haven of calm with 48 luxurious rooms with fantastic facilities and full access to the Spa.

Crabwall Manor is very grand and yet extremely welcoming, and we were met by a friendly face at reception who checked us, confirmed our dinner reservation, and showed us to our room.

Our room was absolutely gorgeous with a stylish modern decor but still in keeping with the historical feel of the hotel. It was lovely and spacious with plenty room to sit back and relax, something which, on a child free break, we are always keen to do!

I thought it was a lovely touch to have a bottle of Prosecco waiting for us in the room which, of course, we made good use of! Those little touches make such a big difference, giving a lasting impression of a hotel and their attention to detail.

The bathroom was equally lovely and so spacious with a calm and neutral decor. It was also immaculately clean, beautifully lit and later, when I had a long hot soak in the bath, it was utterly bliss!

Having left our luggage in the room we explored a little more of the hotel which was already dressed for Christmas. It was great to talk to members of staff at Crabwall who filled us in on the history of the Manor, including the renovations in 2000. It is clear that a lot of work has gone into Crabwall Manor and lovely to hear the staff speak so highly of their workplace.

As a guest staying at Crabwall Manor I loved that there are so many places to relax and enjoy a drink in one of the many seating areas, lounges and bars. Despite being just a short drive from the city centre, looking out of the window at the beautiful gardens, you would never know as such.

Keen to see the Christmas markets we drove just ten minutes down the road to Chester city centre where, luckily for us, the markets had just opened that same day.

Chester is one of my favourite places to visit, just oozing in character, and, particularly at this time of year, there is something to see on every corner. We had heard great things about the Chester Christmas markets, situated outside the town hall along Towngate, and as we approached it was lovely to feel that first flurry of festivities.

We had such a lovely few hours wandering around the markets, taking in all of the Christmas decorations and gifts, and buying a few little things for the children.

The markets also had a huge selection of food stalls including a hog roast, hot dogs, fresh pancakes, cheeses and fudge, as well as several bars selling mulled wine, German beers and hot chocolates. As you can imagine, we took full advantage of that!

To walk off some of our indulgence, we took a walk down by the River Dee which is one of our favourite places in Chester. During the Spring/Summer months the river is bustling with activity and music, and yet the river is very quiet at this time of year making it the perfect spot for a peaceful moment.

Just by the river is the most gorgeous park, Grosvenor Park, which is well worth a visit. Covering 20 acres of land, it is regarded as one of the finest and most complete examples of Victorian parks in the North west of England, if not nationally.

You can then take a walk back along the city walls, passing by various information points to tell you more about the history of Chester. It’s a great way to see the city and particularly lovely in the colder months with all of the pretty colours and the smell of Christmas in the air.

After an amazing day together in Chester we headed back to Crabwall Manor ready for dinner. We had heard great reviews about the food at Crabwall and couldn’t wait to try it for ourselves. The restaurant itself was beautiful and our waitress could not have been any more helpful, or friendlier. When I explained about my recently diagnosed nut allergy, alongside being gluten free, she brought me a special allergen menu and really took the time to help me with my choices so I could enjoy my meal without any worries.

For our starters Gaz chose butternut squash soup whilst I had asparagus wrapped in parma ham and, when it arrived, I was so impressed with the presentation. Both dishes were utterly delicious and it was so lovely to enjoy a meal together without the children trying to steal every mouthful!

For his main Gaz, as always, chose rib eye steak and chips where as I went for chicken which was hands down, the best chicken dish I have ever eaten. Gaz’s steak literally melted in the mouth and, given he is quite a tough critic, I knew that it really must have been cooked to perfection.

It’s safe to say that we were both very full after two courses and yet when we saw the dessert menu we couldn’t resist forcing one down. I went for Creme Brûlée and Gaz, on the waitress’s suggestion, went for dark chocolate mousse cake. Both desserts were absolutely delicious although afterwards we were both in need of an elasticated waist band and a lie down!

The next morning we woke early for breakfast and, given the standard of our evening meal the night before, I had high expectations for breakfast! With a choice of continental and cooked breakfast we both went for a full English and it certainly didn’t disappoint. I have to say that the sausages at Crabwall were to die for, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I went back for seconds!

After breakfast we had a walk around the grounds and took in the views from the rear of Crabwall. With it’s castle-like structure, the Manor would make the perfect backdrop for a wedding and it was interesting to see the bandstand where Crabwall now have a license for outdoor ceremonies.

Before going home we decided to enjoy the peace and quiet for a little while longer at the Spa, which is free to use for all paying guests. With a fully equipped gym, aerobics hall, swimming pool, and spa treatments, the Spa has everything you need for a much needed pamper. Although we did have treatments included in our package the Spa was fully booked until later that afternoon which unfortunately was too late, but we did manage to make full use of the pool facilities.

Alongside the swimming pool Crabwall Manor has a jacuzzi, a steam room and sauna, all of which were exactly what we needed to top off a relaxing weekend. We were fortunate to be the only people using the facilities at that time which was definitely an added bonus!

I would definitely recommend the hotel to anyone wanting a luxury stay in close proximity to Chester and all it has to offer. We had the best time and left feeling refreshed and relaxed and ready to face the madness of Christmas. Thank you Crabwall!!

** We were gifted a complimentary stay at Crabwall Manor Hotel in exchange for an honest review. All words and opinions are my own **



  1. November 26, 2018 / 2:50 pm

    The two of you look so happy and relaxed! I could do with this little spa in my life right now 🙂 I’ve never been to Chester but it looks lovely. Grosvenor park looks right up my street. I agree with you: the build up to Christmas is sometimes even better than the C-day itself 🙂

  2. November 26, 2018 / 4:57 pm

    Crabwell Manor house looks beautiful. I agree with you about the little touches, these can take a hotel from being good to being great. The spa looks great and the food scrumptious, Creme Brulee is a favourite of mine. I would definitely stay here if I was ever in Chester!

  3. November 26, 2018 / 4:58 pm

    I’ve never been to Chester but it looks so pretty and what a lovely place to stay. What time were you at the Christmas market? They are always mobbed when I try to visit one! 🙂

  4. Ann F. Snook-Moreau
    November 26, 2018 / 7:32 pm

    I love Christmas markets so this looks like my kind of getaway! I really judge hotels by their food and this place looks like it has some of the best. I need that chocolate mousse cake in my life!

  5. November 26, 2018 / 8:48 pm

    The hotel looks lovely and sounds like the perfect place to stay if visiting the Christmas market. I’d love to do at least one Christmas market this year they are so much fun and great for gifts.

  6. November 26, 2018 / 8:54 pm

    I’ve never been to Chester but that does look like a good Christmas market! Sounds like a lovely trip x

  7. November 26, 2018 / 10:26 pm

    It seems like you had a lovely break!
    I have never been to Chester, but your pictures and descriptions might help change that.

  8. November 27, 2018 / 8:12 am

    The hotel and the spa area look gorgeous, the rooms are beautiful! I love to visit Xmas markets too, Chester looks fab!

  9. November 27, 2018 / 8:13 am

    Oh wow! That bathroom looks spectacular! As does the hotel in general and the food too. I love the look of Chester as well. I’ll be adding it to my bucket list.

  10. November 27, 2018 / 9:26 am

    I love Christmas vacations!!!!! And I love being in small, cute, traditional, family friendly places for Christmas time. Your selection is wonderfull, both the accomodation and the city! This Christmas market is soo fantastic!

  11. November 27, 2018 / 9:28 am

    Wow the bedroom looks huge and really comfy, I love the fact that it has a spa too. Love the pic of you with the angel wings behind, really cute and when you are throwing leaves in the air.


  12. November 27, 2018 / 11:45 am

    Crabwell Manor Hotel looks like such a stunning place to stay, especially at Christmas time. The luxurious touches really make it somewhere special 🙂

  13. Jenny - TraveLynn Family
    November 27, 2018 / 1:32 pm

    What a fantastic christmassy getaway. Chester’s markets look lovely, and the manor divine!

  14. Melanie williams
    November 27, 2018 / 1:45 pm

    Looks like you had a fab stay at the hotel. I am deffo feeling that lovely large pool and Jacuzzi too xx

  15. November 27, 2018 / 1:49 pm

    The hotel is beautiful! And I love your room. All that purple! I just love purple! It looks like a great weekend getaway treat for both of you.

  16. November 27, 2018 / 3:42 pm

    That looks like a beautiful place to relax. The swimming pool and jacuzzi look super. Chester is one of my favourite cities but I have never been there for the Christmas market. I hope you bought the little doves some stocking fillers.

  17. November 27, 2018 / 7:01 pm

    Sounds and looks like the perfect stay! It’s great that they understood your allergies, my boyfriend is gluten free so we have to explain this whenever we stay somewhere.

  18. Ann F. Snook-Moreau
    November 27, 2018 / 7:46 pm

    I can’t get over the luxurious decor of this place! Having a nice big bathroom is one of my favorite parts of staying in a nicer hotel so I’d love it there.

  19. November 27, 2018 / 7:57 pm

    It looks like the perfect place for a relaxing break without the kids. Cheshire is somewhere I would love to vsiit one day

  20. November 27, 2018 / 8:49 pm

    Such fantastic photos! I love the run up to Christmas too, one of my favourite time of years. Your room looked just gorgeous and the Christmas market to fab and festive. I’ve never actually been to Cheshire before.

  21. November 27, 2018 / 9:09 pm

    What a lovely hotel. I live in Cheshire so will check this hotel out. The room looks amazing.

  22. November 27, 2018 / 9:48 pm

    I’ve never been to Chester before, it looks a lovely place to visit. Especially at this time of year with the Christmas Market. The manor hotel looks beautiful, I love the look of the swimming pool and the food looks delicious x

  23. November 27, 2018 / 9:59 pm

    You get to go to some amazing place and this looks like the perfect getaway! The food also looks delish.

  24. November 27, 2018 / 10:03 pm

    Wow! Everything here is just so beautiful! I thought I couldn’t be more impressed when I was looking at your room, and then I got to the food section and proved myself wrong.

  25. November 28, 2018 / 6:22 am

    What a luxurious stay! Both of you are glowing on the last picture. It looks like you really enjoyed the stay, the food, and the spa!

  26. November 28, 2018 / 7:13 pm

    What a beautiful place to stay! I love the deep purple accents in the bedroom. The tub looked perfect for a soak too! I’ve never been to Chester, but it definitely looks like a place to visit. The dinner looks like perfection, and I would order the steak too! Lovely!

  27. November 28, 2018 / 8:28 pm

    Oh lovely, it looks so damn charming I need to make a trip there right now!

  28. November 28, 2018 / 8:56 pm

    What an absolutely stunning hotel and location! I’ve never thought about getting away for a bit at this time of year, but maybe I should!!

    Louise x

  29. November 28, 2018 / 9:39 pm

    Ooh loving the Christmas market … and I really want to know what camera lens you use to take your hotel room photos!

  30. November 29, 2018 / 9:58 am

    Oh my! It is so warm in the hotel..just the perfect atmosphere for Christmas.Your stay was just great and I cant wait for Christmas to be here!

  31. November 29, 2018 / 1:11 pm

    Looks like you had such a lovely time – I’d love to squeeze a getaway in before Christmas in serious need of some down time and could do with a soak in that jacuzzi. Chester looks so pretty we’ve never been before but would love to.

  32. November 29, 2018 / 6:07 pm

    This looks like such a lovely getaway. You two look like you really enjoyed yourselves. The hotel is gorgeous! The food you all had on your getaway looks so delicious. I love that clock that you took a picture of. I absolutely love clocks so that is why that picture is a favorite from this post.

  33. November 30, 2018 / 11:23 am

    This looks so pretty and festive. Glad you had such a wonderful time.

  34. December 1, 2018 / 12:56 am

    Oh wow you look so chilled out and relaxed on your break away together, does the mind and body the world of good doesnt it. This sounds like an ideal place to stay and the spa looks fabulous! xxx

  35. December 1, 2018 / 4:39 pm

    Crabwell Manor looks perfect!!! It lloks liek it was right out of the scene from a movie..I love the spacious suites.

  36. December 2, 2018 / 10:58 pm

    Wow – this hotel looks wonderful. Great that it has a spa too, I just went for a spa with my sister yesterday and think am hooked on them now! I’ve never been to Chester, but it looks lovely. Christmas time sounds like a wonderful time to visit – I do love a Christmas market! x

  37. Jennifer Prince
    December 12, 2018 / 3:36 pm

    What a great place to go! I love the Christmas markets, and that natural airplane sculpture is pretty cool, too. So fun!

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