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Chester Grosvenor and Spa Hotel
Former names Golden Talbot, Royal Hotel, Grosvenor Hotel
Architectural style Tudor Revival
Location Eastgate Street, Chester, Cheshire, England
Client Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster
Owner Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster
Coordinates 53°11′27.11″N 2°53′18.31″W / 53.1908639°N 2.8884194°W / 53.1908639; -2.8884194
Started 1863
Completed 1866
Design team
Architect Thomas Mainwaring Penson
R. K. Penson & Ritchie

Chester Grosvenor and Spa is an hotel in Chester, England. The Grade II listed building was built between 1863 and 1866 and is owned by the Duke of Westminster. The long-standing establishment features an on-site restaurant that has been awarded a Michelin star for 19 consecutive years.



Chester Grosvenor and Spa occupies an historic location on Eastgate, in the centre of Chester. It is next to the landmark Eastgate Clock and in close proximity to other notable features of the town, including Grosvenor Park, The Mall Chester, Chester Cathedral, and the ancient city walls.[1]


Before the present building was constructed in 1863–66,[2] the site was occupied first by the pub The Golden Talbot and later by The Royal Hotel. The Golden Talbot was recorded as being "ancient" in its 1751 mention in one of the local weekly newspapers and had been in operation during the reign of Elizabeth I. In 1784, the pub was demolished to make way for The Royal Hotel, built by the politician John Crewe.[3] It became the headquarters of the Independent Party, who were the party opposed to the Grosvenor family (later to become the Dukes of Westminster). In 1815 it was purchased by Robert Grosvenor, who was at that time Earl Grosvenor (and who later became the 1st Marquess of Westminster). It was then renamed the Grosvenor Hotel, and it became the city's "premier place to stay".[4] While it was in possession of the 1st Marquess' son, Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster in 1863, this building was demolished.[4]

The building now present on the site, again originally called the Grosvenor Hotel, was built.[4] It was designed by the Chester architect Thomas Mainwaring Penson and was Penson's last major work. It was completed after his death by his son's firm R. K. Penson & Ritchie.[2] The hotel passed into the estate of the Duke of Westminster when Richard's son, Hugh Grosvenor, was advanced to 1st Duke of Westminster in 1874.[5] On 10 January 1972, the building was registered as a Grade II listed building.[6]

Hotel and restaurant

The upper façade of the building is distinctive half-timbered black-and-white, in the Tudor revival style that is typical of Chester architecture. As a hotel, it is recognised as offering five-star, luxury accommodation and service.[7] The hotel has 68 guest bedrooms and 12 suites, a fitness centre, a spa, a lounge and bar, boardrooms, and a highly-acclaimed restaurant, Simon Radley at the Chester Grosvenor.[8] Formerly known as The Arkle, the name of the restaurant changed in 2008 to reflect the success and expertise of its head chef, Simon Radley, who first joined the hotel in 1986.[9] In 2009, the restaurant was awarded its 19th consecutive Michelin star.[10][11] One of only five restaurants in the UK to have retained a star for that length of time, it is also the only restaurant in the north of England to have done so.[12]

Notable guests include Princess Diana and several Princes of Wales. Queen Elizabeth II visited the hotel when it hosted wedding festivities for a daughter of the Grosvenor family.[13]


  1. ^ Google Maps. Chester Grosvenor and Spa [map]. Retrieved on 2009-07-03.
  2. ^ a b Pevsner, Nikolaus; Edward Hubbard (2003) [1971]. The Buildings of England: Cheshire. New Haven & London: Yale University Press. p. 163. ISBN 0 300 09588 0.  
  3. ^ Howe, Steve (2009). "The Eastgate part II". Chester: A Virtual Stroll Around the Walls. Steve Howe. Retrieved 2009-07-03.  
  4. ^ a b c Ward, Simon (2009). Chester: A History. Chichester: Phillimore & Co Ltd. p. 88. ISBN 978 1 86077 499 7.  
  5. ^ "The Duke of Westminster". The Dukes of the Peerage of the United Kingdom. 2007. Retrieved 7 July 2009.  
  6. ^ "Images of England". National Monuments Record. English Heritage. 2007. Retrieved 2009-07-04.  
  7. ^ Schultz, Patricia (2003). 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. New York: Workman Publishing. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-7611-0484-1.  
  8. ^ "Restaurant and Bar". Chester Grosvenor and Spa. Grosvenor Property Partnership. Retrieved 2009-07-07.  
  9. ^ Sturgess, Emma Jean (16 September 2008). "Simon Radley At The Chester Grosvenor". Metro. Associated Newspapers Limited. Retrieved 2009-07-03.  
  10. ^ "Michelin Stars 2009" (pdf). Observer. The Guardian. 17 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-03.  
  11. ^ Bellis, Rob (27 January 2009). "Chef's drive for quality keeps city restaurant at the top table". Evening Leader. North Wales Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 2009-07-03.  
  12. ^ Holmes, David (6 February 2009). "Michelin chef’s Star 19". Chester Chronicle. Trinity Mirror North West & North Wales Limited. Retrieved 2009-07-03.  
  13. ^ Neisser, Pat (January 1985). Wales and Chester: On Holiday in the UK. 11 (1 ed.). Orange Coast Magazine. pp. 72–73.  

External links

Coordinates: 53°11′27.11″N 2°53′18.31″W / 53.1908639°N 2.8884194°W / 53.1908639; -2.8884194



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