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Macdonald Craxton Wood Hotel & Spa

4.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

We have stayed here quite a few times but was slightly disappointed this visit. Room lovely & spacious but bit dusty in parts & corridors to room had bits of paper/litter along there for most of our stay. Breakfast nice but had to have a hot buffet one morning as the hotel was quite full which obviously wasn't as fresh. Meal in bar was good although bar staff were hard to pin down at times. Had a couple of treatments in the Spa, very nice. Glad to say experience hasn't put me off & will visit again & hope it's back to normal next time.

We are a family of 4 and all of us really enjoyed our stay. The Hotel is set in its own grounds with beautiful gardens. The staff were all very helpful and pleasant. The rooms were spacious and clean. We used the facilities, pool, segways and air riffles which the children really enjoyed. The instructor 'Dave' was great and really engaged with us. The Breakfast had everything and more, again the staff were great. Looking at other reviews i feel they are being unfair as our stay was just as it should be.

I love the Macdonald group of hotels and when we drove up the drive we were delighted. The grounds were beautiful and the hotel looked stunning. The welcome on arrival from Leigh was great but things soon turned to being disapointing. Our room was large and spacious and overlooked the beautiful grounds but our bathroom needed to be updated and the toiltet was filthy! The toilet inside was stained black and needed a good bleach (a toilet would take quite a while to become like that). The room had a large damp patch on the wall albeit it was dry. The room also would have been noisy as it was above the bar and banqueting facilities. We raised our concerns with Leigh and he was wonderful and organised for us to move to another room (we were wanting to leave). The new rooms we were given were cleaner, but they could have been cleaner e.g dusty and for instance the hairdryer had someones old hair all attached to it. The rooms are in desperate need of a revamp. The carpets in the hall way were great but in the bedrooms we stayed in the carpets were stained, becoming thread bare in places and felt like there was no underlay. The chairs were stained/grubby and could do with being replaced or at the very least cleaned. If the carpets and chairs were replaced and the rooms were given a good clean, this would immediately make such a difference, and I wouldnt feel as though I am staying in a 2* bedroom. The bedding was spotless and crisp and the beds were really comfy. The dressing gowns in the room were a little old and could do with being replaced. The breakfast/dinner is not great. The food is edible but not what I expect from a 4* hotel. My Mum and I couldnt believe the size of our dinners as they were small. It turned out we were given childrens dinners! And despite the hotel giving us a free pudding each - this really spoilt our evening as we were hungry. The pavolva pudding was not pleasant; and it only had 3 little pieces of meringue in it. We asked for hot chocolate with cream on top and we were given hot chocolates with the cream mixed in; also the 'hot chocolate' was actually 'hot cocoa' which is bitter and strong! The breakfasts were not great. The service at breakfast and at dinner needs to be improved. Some staff are great and some need training. For instance, forgetting to bring items asked for, tables not being cleared etc. Some staff (not all) seem to lack 'morale' and seem 'not bothered'. The fire alarm went off when we were there. This was early morning and frightened my son as it woke him up. This of course is not anyones fault - these things happen - but we went down the fire escape staircase and a number of us stood outside wandering if it was okay to re-enter the building. A person who was dressed went to find out. We were left outside for 10 minutes - staff should have come out and told us we could go in. The reception staff are great. Alison, Leigh and Ellie are all very pleasant and efficient (Alison went above and beyond with her service in assisting me to send some urgent paperwork). I feel that they give a professional service and must get the brunt of the moans as a result of many comedy of errors that seem to be happening to me and my family and to others caused by the other departments in the hotel. The only way I can describe the hotel is 'Fawlty Towers'. My son did an experience session of shooting and archery with Dave. He had a great time. Highly recommend this for other children and adults. My so is 9 and it was the highlight of his holiday! This hotel has the makings to be wonderful. A great location and the Spa is stunning - definitely deserves 4*. The dated and worn decoration/furnishings, the standard of cleaning and some poor and shambolic service makes the whole experience upsetting. The most annoying thing about the whole thing is that the Manager of the hotel is like a ghost. She is there but not to be seen. And when I did see her walking down a staircase - she ignored me and my mother. I would have at least expected a 'hello'! She needs to be 'out there' and 'overseeing' the hotel staff and saying hello to guests. If she is not seeing first hand what is happening - how can she manage? I went to Macdonald Blossoms Hotel and the Manager there was to be seen and leading by example and was very welcoming to us and ensuring we were being cared for. Sadly, this hotel lets the Macdonald group of hotels down. It definitely isn't a Windsor experience - and it could be so much nicer due to the SPA, the grounds and the activities being organised such as Archery and Shooting!

I think we must have stayed at a different Craxton Wood than some of the other reviewers. We stayed for one night this week and we were so impressed that today on our return I have immediately booked a return visit for my wife's birthday in December. Very briefly, I was very impressed by all the staff members we dealt with inclusive of room service, bar , dining room and breakfast staff. The menu is very comprehensive and competively priced. The staff were friendly and helpful and on reception I have was really impressed by Alison who initially dealt with us. Bubbly and friendly she is a tremendous ambassador for the chain. The grounds are superb and the hotel laid out in such an attractive manner. We are local to the hotel and it is a splendid jumping off post for Chester, Liverpool, Cheshire Oaks and North Wales. I have no doubt we will visit again after December.

This hotel could be so good, but it is let down in so many areas by very poor staff attitude. The hotel is well located, less than 15 min drive into Chester, handy for the Zoo and Cheshire Oakes outlet. The grounds are superb, well maintained and expansive. The rooms are spacious and well-equipped. The corridor areas were tidy, with what looked like new carpeting throughout. Guests are able to use the 18m swimming pool (with steam room and sauna) along with the gym, free of charge. Luxurious towels provided by helpful and smiley spa receptionists. The check-in procedure is unnecessarily lengthy but Adam, a Macdonald Apprentice, was friendly and made us feel very welcome. So what's wrong? The service, particularly in the bar and restaurant area, could not be further removed from 'customer focused' - we requested the bread (which had been pre-ordered) with our starters, the waiter was at best surly. Bread arrived as starters were finished. - wine had also been pre-booked but the restaurant appeared to have no record of this. The waiter again was rude to the party leader "well what did you order then?" - we attempted 3 times to order coffee, before one of us went to the waiter's station to ask again to overhear staff complaining about "that table". - someone ordered wine in the bar, was given the bottle and no glass. They asked for a glass and were told there weren't any cos there was a wedding on. This is supposed to be a 4 star hotel! - I ordered a round of drinks at the bar which included 3 vodkas. Bar staff "I haven't got enough for that". No offer of a different brand, no suggestion that they'd bring drinks over in a few minutes. When I asked if it was really true that a hotel (4 star remember!) had no vodka, the answer was "well I would have to go and fetch it from the cellar " - on the 2nd night, we requested 3 times, to have additional water for the table, it never arrived - we reported broken glass on the patio outside the conservatory, 3 hours later it was still there. - you expect to pay a bit over the odds for hotel drinks but prices were extortionate. There are exceptions, but basically this attitude of 'everything is too much trouble' is endemic throughout the bar / restaurant staff. This hotel has so much going for it, but would I recommend it? Sadly not.

I have quite mixed views of this hotel. 1. Reception staff not very helpful and had to check our room was ready even though we checked in after 4pm. 2. Staff at breakfast were not engaging and we had to wait for our tea and toast for 20 minutes. 3. Hannah who works in the bar area was excellent at her job and friendly. She worked her socks off as she was on her own until 6pm. 4. Restaurant staff in the evening were very good and gave us a glass of complimentary prosecco each as it was our anniversary. Food was excellent with good selection to choose from. 5. Spa staff quite abrupt. We had booked a package with use if the thermal suite. Never told that we had to book this in advance! When we did get in to use 2 of the rooms were not working. No robes or slippers available either!

This hotel is set in a beautiful location not too far from the motorway, very easy to find. Checking in was very slow as we had a copious amount of questions which seemed irrelevant to our stay, although check in was empty when we arrived the queue soon began to build up. Rooms were very nice and spacious, plenty of light and nice view over looking the garden, bathroom was clean and well presented. There was a good selection of tea's and coffees, however the room service for the fresh milk and ice was lacking. As we were a large party it was thoughtful of the hotel to place us close to each other which made it easier for us to communicate and arrange meeting times without disturbing other guests. The communal areas were very nice and well decorated and plenty big enough for a large party such as a ours and the other guests. Once seated for our evening meal the lead booker of the weekend stay questioned where the bread was, which was pre-ordered before our stay, and the head waiter became argumentative and defensive over what would have a reasonable explanation of miscommunication. As a witness to this I found his attitude appalling towards the rest of the guests for the remainder of the evening. Food service and clearance was slow, spending an hour for each course. Food was nice and of good quality, however we were given a restricted menu which we were to submit our choices 3 weeks before arriving, when other could chose from a range of meals. Several members of our party then had to hunt down waiting staff just to order a round black coffees, waiters came out unenthusiastically and miserable to deliver the coffee. After the meal some of us moved into the lounge to have a drink with family and we found that a round of drinks for 3 of us came to £20 which I find to be overpriced for what you get. Breakfast was nice and we were able to chose from a wide range of buffet foods, both continental and english breakfasts, however hot drinks and toast were taken by the waiter and came to our table once we had finished breakfast which is very slow. The hotel is in close proximity to Cheshire Oaks and Chester Zoo which is great for day out. The spa section of the hotel is very nice, included a gym and pool, good changing areas and a very relaxing experience all round for the swimming pool. For our second evening meal we had a drink before being seated at the table, in we ordered a bottle of wine but were told there's no wine glasses because they have all been used for the wedding which was also taking place, we weren't offered any other alternative and had to ask them for a tumbler glass so we could at least drink it. Bread was on the table this time, and the service and attitude from the waiting staff was much improved. Food again was nice but still a restricted menu but overall the second was a pleasant atmosphere and we didn't feel as though were doing anything wrong, which we did the first night. Checking out was very quick and efficient, complete opposite of checking in.

We came here for a couples overnight spa break. It cost £339 for an overnight stay in an executive room with a 55 minute massage each and up to £50 per couple to spend on evening meal and breakfast included. The email I received said one of us was booked in for massage at 1530 and one at 1600 as there was no availability for a joint massage. The receptionist said we need to head over 30 mins early. When we got to the spa they said this isn't the case they only have to arrive 5 mins earlier and that our bookings were wrong one was at 1600 and one at 1700 so we spent most of the afternoon apart from each other. When I was chatting to two ladies in the cafe they said they had to go in the joint room for their massage when they didn't want to so we could have had a joint massage after all if they would have swapped our booking with theirs. Then In the spa cafe I went to order a drink to my room they said I hadn't opened a tab so I would have to pay cash. I said to them I will get dressed walk back up to my room and get my card then. When I returned they informed me the card machine hadn't been working all day. At this point I was getting annoyed so had to walk back round to the hotel and open a tab very disappointing so far. The massage was amazing it was probably the best massage I have had and my partner had his first massage from the same lady and loved it. Later on the night we had the evening meal which you can pick 3 courses from a set menu or up to £25 per head from the a la carte menu. I had the pressed ham hock to start and my partner had the chicken and leek terrine both were very nice. For main I had the haddock and chips with mushy peas and tartare sauce and my partner had the rare sirloin steak (£8 supplement) that came medium but was still nice. For dessert we both had sticky toffee pudding. When we came to get in bed we noticed there were blood stains on the fitted sheet on the bed which was disgusting. We rang reception and they came and sorted it straight away. We paid £5 to have the free breakfast in bed which arrived about 30 mins after the time we had requested but was still pretty nice. The massage was amazing and very relaxing. But with the slip ups with the card reader and the blood stains I wouldn't rush back anytime soon.

Lots of good & bad reviews on here sadly but my wife and I decided to give it a go anyway on Wednesday 9th August and it was lovely. Busy reception but dealt with promptly, nice clean room and a fab spa. We were the only ones in there and had a 25 minute back massage which was well worth it. We had a little issue with drinks at dinner and a slightly over cooked burger but all corrected in a courteous manor so we left happy. Breakfast was great, good choice of hot buffet and nice coffee. All in all a great stay and all the staff we dealt with were brilliant. I think some times things don't always go right but you will get that everywhere. I would certainly come here again.

We booked a secret escapes package to include spa access, dinner, bed and breakfast. On arrival we were told we could have dinner at 6 or 9pm. I had no idea that we had to book or received a reminder. We then tried the spa- this was pretty much all out of order, so there was no value in paying the extra. We had only been there for 2 hours So explained our issue to the receptionist who said that they would look after us at dinner. We had dinner which was ok, but our drinks arrived when we were finishing our main course so we headed back to our room. It was clear the hotel was understaffed- again at breakfast a 15 minute wait for toast and coffee. All in all not the experience we expected and cannot recommend. Rooms are clean and ok but very tired and a bit musty

Parkgate Road Ellesmere Port England

Hotel highlights

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

Located in Ledsham, Macdonald Craxton Wood Hotel & Spa is 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. Start each morning with full breakfast, available for a fee 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.

Room options

Family Room

Full 1 | Full 1 | Sleeps 4

Classic Double Room

Full 1 | Sleeps 2

Deluxe Suite (Feature Suite)

Full 1 | Sleeps 2

Deluxe Double Room (Feature King)

King 1 | Sleeps 2

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

73% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 1859 reviews