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Macdonald Craxton Wood Hotel & Spa

4.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

Myself and my friend booked in for the 2 night ultimate spa break. First impression were really great, the spa area was lovely , clean and relaxing . The ladies offering the treatments very friendly and professional. The only thing I can fault is the cleanliness of the toilets in the spa. However, the hotel it’s self was very out dated and the service was a little slow and disorderly. Our room was not what we expected from the promotional materials displayed. Firstly we booked a twin room but arrived to a double. From a distance things looked clean but after a closer inspection things such as the ice holder, tea tray, chairs and mirrors had obviously not been properly cleaned. We did have to chase up most of the thing included in out offer such as the Prosecco and afternoon tea. The food at the restaurant was also not as expected, many of the things on my menu that we ordered did not arrive as they were described, for example I order stem broccoli, green beans and sun roasted tomatoes, what was brought to me was ordinary broccoli and carrots. No one mentioned it would be different when I ordered this. When I did question the member of staff they were not sure what was actually on the menu it’s self, this also applied when we were querying the ice cream selection. To add the the poor restaurant service most of the glasses were dirty and had to as for clean glasses on many occasions. Many of the photos that have been displayed for advertising are a false reflection of the hotel and the food. Overall our spa break was lovely and we would return for this, however we would not say in the hotel or eat in restaurant again, as it was over priced for what was actually offered.

Booked this hotel thru Secret Escapes, which I have used several times before and Secret Escapes always delivered. But not with this hotel ! Firstly, this will never be a 4 star quality , debatable to be a 3 star even. The decor is dated and tired but I guess it goes with the vintage feel. Cleanliness is questionable. There is still a lip mark on one of the glasses in the room. The drain not working properly in the shower/bath. But the biggest fail is the food and service . As we booked the full package- bed, breakfast and dinner, so it will be as stress free as possible because we just had a bereavement and we took my mother in law with us to have some time to relax and rest. She is a diabetic 86 year old so we even booked the dinner to 7pm upon checking in so she didn t have to eat so late. But it took nearly 12 midnight when we finally had our 3 course meal. We were seated at 1945 hrs and we didn’t get our starter until after 2110 and we only ordered the chicken liver pate and soup which was cold. We had to ask and follow it up. They told us that the order didn’t reach the kitchen so we presumed the problem will end there but long and behold when we didn’t get our mains until 2210! Even it took only few minutes to eat our starters as we were all hungry , We still also have to chase it up ! And when it did arrive , I’m not joking, the pork belly was as tough and chewy as leather boots so it was not edible at all ! and the hake is served with floating few sweet corns and no chips as arranged ! When they did serve the chips , a good 30 minutes later, my mum in law already finished her fish ! The only saving grace are the afters but perhaps it’s because the first 2 courses were just a disaster! The waitress even said she was embarrassed for what was happening as we were not the only table with long waits and substandard food! Never again with this hotel. And now, makes me think before booking via Secret Escapes again . The idea is to relax and momentarily forget about the loss of my father in law but we didn’t get that . It was the very reason why we book it as it promised a relaxing break but sadly false advertisement ! Stay away from here if no improvement in the kitchen !

My friend and I visited Craxton Wood on a Friday afternoon for a Spa day. We arrived and were greeted by a lady on reception who provided a tour of the spa before we began. We were given a robe but you have to ask for a towel. They have a wide range of thermal facilities which all were varying in temperatures. I personally felt the ones by the pool were warmer than the thermal suite. Only one of the foot spas were working when we went, which was a shame as my friend and I couldn’t use both at the same time. The pool was medium sized and most importantly was very clean. There aren’t many chairs next to the pool and the same people were on the beds from when we arrive at 12 to when we left at 3, which meant we couldn’t sit by the pool at all, which was a shame. There is no jacuzzi or hydro pools at this venue and in my opinion not enough drinking facilities. In comparison to other spas I have visited (usually there are drinking fountains or cups available around the pool to keep hydrated). However, they do have a garden relaxation lounge which provides water and herbal teas. Our treatment was a 25 minute back, neck and shoulder massage which was lovely and perfect for what we wanted. Both therapists were polite and very talented. We had a late lunch in the cafe facilities, we only had a sandwich, which was a little over priced, it was roughly £12.50 for a sandwich and pot of tea. Which, in comparison to other spas is a little pricey. I’ve had a buffet lunch Spa day for £15.00 including drinks before now at top end spas, so we were a little surprised by the prices. I will say the afternoon tea looked amazing though. In my opinion I would give this spa the following: Service - 5* Thermal suite facilities - 4* (would give 5* if all facilities were working) Pool facilities - 3* Cafe - 3* Changing facilities - 4* Treatments - 5* Overall the staff standout as excellent and overall was a lovely relaxing day.

My wife and I spent a fabulous weekend at this hotel and although we didn’t use any of the additional features such as the spa etc it was enough for what we had planned. The location is excellent for exploring the local area with Cheshire Oaks and Chester Zoo being about 10-12 minutes drive and the City centre being no more than 15 minutes with its historic buildings and quaint shops etc. Back to the hotel... we arrived at circa 5pm on the Friday and were greeted by a helpful receptionist who pointed us in the direction of our room (we had booked through an online portal as a deal so we were only expecting a fairly basic small room) which was on the ground floor and we were delighted when we opened the door as it was more like a mini suite overlooking the car park and wood at the front where the squirrels were just meters away. The deal allowed us a 3 course dinner and breakfast and although the choices were limited we both enjoyed them (please be aware that the portion sizes are not massive but the three courses is more than sufficient). Breakfast was as you would expect, buffet style with the option of ordering alternates from the menus on the table. Definitely can’t complain about the selection. We have already said that if we want to explore this area again we would have no hesitation in booking to come back. You may think why haven’t I put 5*, well it was the little things. We didn’t put a notice on our door to ask for it to be serviced so it wasn’t (not really a major issue for us), we had steak on the first night and apart from one mushroom and half a tomato you get no veg with it. Like I said, it’s the little things that stop the final star.

I stayed here with my husband for our wedding anniversary celebrations. Whilst we travel several times throughout the year, our wedding anniversary is the only 'child free' break we have throughout the year and so we always pick a spa hotel so that we can really relax. Unfortunately that did not happen here. To be honest, our stay did not get off to a great start before we even arrived. I had booked a dinner bed and breakfast package and prior to arriving attempted to book a table. I telephoned on a few occasions, there was no answer. I left a voicemail message to which I received no courtesy of a return call. I therefore had no other alternative to book online and in the notes I expressed my disappointed. I would have expected at least a telephone call with an apology at that point. I then received an email offering an extra night stay for £50. I thought for £50 I would give the hotel the benefit of the doubt and go ahead with that offer. I made various attempts to contact the hotel and can only imagine by now that no staff are made available to answer the phone! At this point I sent a private social media message requesting that someone calls me as I could not get through. Unsurprisingly I received no phone call. I eventually managed to get through to a human being on the telephone who then advised that there was now no availability. To be honest, looking back, this could have been a blessing in disguise. By this point I was now rather frustrated at the lack of service received from a so called 4* hotel and fired off a rather curt private message via social media expressing my disappointment. The manager did call me and offer her apologies and a bottle of wine for our dinner table for our trouble. She provided me with her direct email address and told me to contact her if we required anything else. I realised I forgot to ask her if we needed to pre-book entry to the spa and emailed her to ask ..........low and behold no response was received! Astounding........ We arrived on Friday for our stay at the hotel and I would summarise as follows: - Check In There were several people ahead of us in the queue to check in and so the wait was longer than I would expect. At hotels I usually visit, an additional member of staff would assist to reduce the backlog. This did not happen. We were checked in by a young gentleman who I think in attempt to behave in a professional manner actually ended up coming across as rather unfriendly. Classic Room We were given room 228 I think. Along the journey to our room there were various dirty glasses/plates left out in the corridor. I have to point our our dismay that those exact same plates and glasses were still there all evening and were still there when we retired to our room at just before 9pm. They became something of a source of amusement in the end! Our room was very dated and tired and in a hotel claiming to be 4* were of a inferior quality. The telephone and hairdryer were prehistoric and should be retired to a museum! There was however a lovely view and we could see the squirrels playing in the grounds from our window. Dinner Dinner was okay. We ate of the set 3 course meal. The soup was bland but okay, main meal was average and the dessert was quite pleasant. A fairly enjoyable evening in all. It has to be said that the waitress who served us was great. Spa/Pool As confirmed above, I had emailed ahead to ask if the spa entry needed to be pre-booked (I noted from the website that there was an entry fee of £20pp and therefore wanted to know whether this was a pre-book facility). No response was received. After our meal, we went to the spa only to be told that the spa was closed and only the pool, sauna and steam room was open!! I was disapointed but, not surprised by this point. The pool area were very clean and modern, in contrast to the rest of the hotel. Breakfast Breakfast was the best part of our stay - the black pudding was especially tasty. Check Out Again, a lengthy wait with no relief staff assisting the reception area. I wouldn't have minded but the people in front were not checking out but actually dealing with the final preparation and payments for their wedding. Surely this should have been dealt with by a staff member dedicated to wedding planning rather than the reception area which gets busy during check out times? Normally we stay at Rookery Hall in Cheshire but given this hotel's close proximity to Cheshire Oaks we thought we would give it a try. A valuable lesson learned .......stick to what you know. Unless I see an improvement in the reviews on here, I won't be returning to this hotel. I expected far more from the Macdonald chain of hotels.

We spent a lovely evening at MacDonalds Craxton Wood, from arrival to departure the staff were excellent and attentive, the location was beautiful, the hotel offered everything we could want, it was clean, the food was excellent and the drink was as you would expect. My wife & Mum had SPA treatments and couldn’t fault the staff or the content of the massage or facial. All in all it was a lovely way to spend an evening, thank you

I am not normally one to leave bad reviews but I wouldn’t want anyone to experience what we experienced. I booked a spa weekend as a surprise to my partner, being a macdonald hotel and 4* I was expecting a lovely weekend. we arrive earlier then check in time and as we expected our room wasn’t ready yet which was fine as we grabbed a drink at the bar in the lovely conservatory as the weather was nice. Down side was 8£ a drink! Quite pricey.. also a bit rediculous that the bar lady has to walk you to pay at reception desk if you are paying by card.. Half an hour past check in time we went up to our room as we had already been given out key card to find that the room had not yet been serviced. So we went back to get another drink, at 4:15 we went to reception to check if the room was ready and no one was on reception again. We waited 15 minutes for a memeber of staff to appear to be told they will go and check in 10 minutes, not on , so we went and checked ourselves, still not ready. We had spa treatments booked at 5pm so we staid we would head over to the spa even though we wanted to get changed and relax before the spa treatment. Being told there are changing facilities in the spa is not the point... The spa was lovely and probably to only part that made our stay bearable. Lovely facilities and lovely staff. Back to the hotel, again no receptionist to be seen so we took ourselves up to our room to get changed to go out for dinner. When we went back down, AGAIN no front of house to order us a taxi, after 15 minutes of waiting with a few other guests, and restaurant staff saying they had no idea where the reception staff was, we decided to drive. Breakfast wasn’t great, plates were hotter than the sun with no warning signs, enough to burn my fingers. Staff should realise there is a real difference between a fake smile and a genuine one and it makes all the difference. It seemed that it wasn’t uncommon on the weekend we visited that a lot of other guests were having problems, bookings couldn’t be found to be told they had no room for them, waiting around, rude staff... It just wasn’t a 4* experience and was really disappointing and put a downer on our weekend away. Surly the point of front of house is to be on the front of house...

A warm welcome, friendly smiling staff, more than enough choice on the restaurant menu, (but run out of smoked salmon), good bar area and a great room, looking out over the garden with squirrels under the window in the morning, and dead comfy pillows, (very important when you want a good night's sleep). Pity they didn't have a label in so I could see where to get them from. I suspect an hotel would prefer to be remembered by a better title, but the MacLeod and MacLeod Stornoway black pudding at breakfast, topped with exceptional poached eggs, was a real winner, (sad, aren't I), and you can buy it online too. A smashing hotel, reasonably priced, and one of the best I have stopped in when on business. Would make a great weekend retreat if visiting Chester, as only about 15 mins away.

Had a spa weekend at this resort, wonderful hotel staff very pleasant Best was having breakfast in room looking out to a snow covered garden Black pudding best ever. Thank you for a wonderful weekend.

Arrived early and went to reception, No problem, we were advised that our room was ready by a pleasant receptionist... Good Start Down to the Bar for a relaxing drink and Oh Dear... No I mean How Dear..Ouch!.Not so good.. Room was spacious and comfortable Nice and warm and a large comfortable bed with nice views from the windows.. Very Good.. Bathroom was Large Clean a bit dated but it was ok No Problem Good Restaurant for Dinner a la carte menu but we were placed too close to other diners not enough room for me but I should have requested to sit somewhere else but went along with it My Fault not good.. The Food however was really nice and we soon forgot about our new close friends and tucked in with gusto... Wine was expensive but decided to buy a Nice Red Ouch! So to sum up Yes we did enjoy our stay here but dont think we will be coming back. We are not tight but have had equally good wine and meals for a lot cheaper. Plus point was the Staff They were Very Good Indeed...

Parkgate Road Ellesmere Port England

Hotel highlights

  • Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
  • Free parking
  • Onsite dining
  • Spa

Macdonald Craxton Wood Hotel & Spa places you within a 15-minute drive of Heswall Golf Club and Blue Planet Aquarium. This 72-room, 4-star hotel has a restaurant along with conveniences like a full-service spa and an indoor pool. In the historical district, the hotel is also within a 20-minute drive of Chester Zoo and Chester Cathedral.


This hotel serves as home to a bar, along with a restaurant that specializes in British cuisine. Savor a meal from the privacy of your room with room service, or get a pick-me-up at the coffee shop/café. Full breakfast is offered for a fee each morning from 7 AM to 10 AM.


Macdonald Craxton Wood Hotel & Spa's 72 rooms provide coffee makers, free bottled water, and phones. Guests can expect to find free WiFi and flat-screen TVs with digital channels. Bathrooms offer hair dryers and free toiletries. Ironing boards and desks are also standard.

Property features

Guests of Macdonald Craxton Wood Hotel & Spa enjoy a full-service spa, an indoor pool, and a health club. Free parking is available if you drive. The 24-hour front desk has staff standing by to help with dry cleaning/laundry and luggage storage. Other amenities at this spa hotel include a sauna, free WiFi in public areas, and 7 meeting rooms.

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

73.0% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 1972 reviews