An extraordinarily special experience.
Driving along the private, tree-lined boulevard, Crew Hall’s striking architecture gradually appears before you.
Taken aback by the impressive building towering above, the hauntingly beautiful Cheshire hotel is definitely one for history lovers and anyone looking for a bit of escapism - just an hour and a half away from Leicester.
Despite being just over two miles away from Crewe Station, the place felt hidden and exclusive, as though you were a million miles away from normality.
You could stay at Crewe Hall and not have to leave the grounds to feel like you’re far away from everyday life – and not just in distance. Built in the 1600s, Crewe Hall, part of the QHotels Group, transports you back in time. The building oozes history from its very walls, furniture, and labyrinth-like corridors.
A welcoming in reception carved above a monumental fireplace is a preview of the grandeur and intricate detail featured in every room that you’ll discover.
It's like a museum except nothing is off limits. You're free to explore the 17th century, Grade I listed, Jacobean hall and its grounds whenever you please.
The solid oak Grand Staircase is Spanish in style with carvings and heraldic beasts mounted on pillars all the way up. Feeding off to different parts of the house, one set of steps leads to a grand piano, which guests are free to play. And along the corridors are hundred-year-old books to be read and paintings to ponder over.
A late night exploration had us unexpectedly stumble across a magnificent, highly decorated chapel with 12 stained-glass lights in an oriel window depicting the 12 apostles. The heads of saints and prophets exquisitely carved in alabaster either side of the pews are mysterious and have you feeling privileged to sit in the quiet, sacred place, as do the religious and romantic carvings around the entire hotel.
You can also enter the chapel from the gallery above, where the Crewe family would sit while around 100 servants would pray on the ground floor. The chapel is exquisite and stays with you long after you leave.
Through another unsuspecting door, the Great Library is jaw-dropping. The room was set up for what appeared to be a wedding ceremony. Wall to wall with books, it was easily my favourite room in the manor.
The stunning Long Gallery on the third floor has a central bay window looking out onto the stunning grounds where King George V and Queen Mary would breakfast. Another decadent fireplace has the figure of Sir Ranulph Crewe, founder of Crewe Hall, carved artfully into it.
This fireplace is actually where ‘the great fire of 1866’ started. It initiated a refurbishment by Edward Barry in the 1800s, who is a Victorian architect famous for buildings such as Highclere Castle, Great Ormond Street Hospital, and some of the Houses of Parliament.
There are three Junior suites and two suites at Crewe Hall. All the suites have jaw-dropping period beauty, perfect for a special occasion… according to Crewe Hall’s website. We can confirm this is entirely true.
The Crewe Hall Suite, room 3101, sleeps three people and has a huge living space area with gorgeous views of the grounds, a marble bathroom, TV, coffee and tea maker, all you need to iron clothes and keep belongings safe, and even a secret door.
It was a comfortable night’s sleep despite slight comical fears of waking up to any ghosts that wandered the halls and into our room.
There are other beautiful suites available, as well as more contemporary rooms that are stylish and a good size.
THE WEST WING
Serenely quiet, Crewe Hall provides a uniquely comforting environment whilst stimulating all the senses with its antique opulence.
A swimming pool and delightful spa with experience shower, sauna and steam room in the more modern West Wing complete the experience.
The West Wing does have a more corporate feel to it with huge conference rooms and a more sleek finish. The brasserie restaurant can also be found in the West Wing.
Most of our interactions with the staff happened here in the West Wing restaurant. Every single team member was friendly and approachable, treating you not as a cover but as an old acquaintance. There was a fabulous wine selection they offered us and our waiter, Philip, was welcoming, professional, and great fun.
To start we chose the cheese soufflé from the Signature Menu, which was cooked to perfection and a rare treat. And the cherry tomato and basil focaccia with truffle oil and sweet balsamic was beautifully displayed but a bit too filling to eat all of it for myself!
The fillet steak that followed was melt-in-your-mouth and garlicy enough to ward off any vampires in the building. It came with the chunkiest of chips, a mushroom sauce, beer battered onion rings, and a refreshing salad. Meanwhile, the vegan Moving Mountains burger was substantially filling and exceptionally juicy. I’d go as far to say it was the best vegan burger I’ve come across yet. The burger was topped with vegan mature cheese, crispy onions, pickle and peppers, and it came with a side of very nice fries.
Dessert consisted of clementine tart with dark chocolate sauce which was light and zesty, and a cheese board to finish, which indeed finished off me!
Breakfast was a buffet affair with generalist servings to suit all, form cereals to berry bowls and full English breakfast. The staff were genuinely attentive and smiling on the morning.
WHILE YOU’RE THERE
If you’re visiting Crewe Hall you can also spend a day exploring beautiful Cheshire. Visit the stately homes and extensive parklands at Lyme Park, Tatton Park, and Arley Hall, as well as the Ness Botanic Gardens. Cheshire Falconry and Chester Zoo are also nearby. Families can enjoy a fun-filled day at Gulliver’s World or Legoland. Or, shop til you drop at Trafford Centre and Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet. Chester Cathedral is also a must-see.
Crewe Hall is deserving of consideration when planning a birthday, wedding, anniversary, or one night stay over.
The Crewe Hall experience is an extraordinarily special one that we most definitely will return to soon.
Written by Kerry Smith.
Kerry is editor of Leicester's bi-monthly publication Niche Magazine.