Knutsford is one of those quintessentially lovely English towns in Cheshire that is well worth a visit.

It's only a short drive away from Manchester and is easy enough to get to from places like Stockport, Warrington and Chester.

While I don’t know the town that well, I’d heard great things about Cottons Hotel and Spa from friends who live in Knutsford.

So I jumped at the chance when asked to review the four-star hotel a few weeks ago to find out whether it lived up to the hype.

I headed to Cottons on a rainy afternoon for a mid-week stay, with the hope of being able to get some work done in a nice setting and also take some time to relax.

When I arrived, I noticed the car park was already very full, which surprised me given it was a Wednesday.

Check-in was a smooth process and I was in my room within five minutes of arriving. The first thing that struck me when I entered the spacious bedroom was the lovely decor, including a very grand bed.

Messenger Newspapers: The spacious bedroom with a very grand bedThe spacious bedroom with a very grand bed (Image: Daniel Thwaites)

One thing I loved about the Daniel Thwaites-owned hotel was the complimentary espresso machine - made even better by the fact there was a machine which distributed fresh milk just down the corridor.

Each room comes with complimentary slippers you can take home, as well as fluffy robes and extra pillows.

After unpacking, I had a bit of work to do; there was plenty of desk space for me to spread my things out and I had an enjoyable afternoon aided by the free, strong WiFi connection - it was a nice change of scenery.

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My room had a small balcony attached with some seating - which is ideal for a smoker like myself. The only downside to this was it wasn’t the most attractive view as I overlooked the car park.

One thing I did notice when outside was the noise from the planes landing at nearby Manchester Airport, but once I was in the bedroom I couldn’t hear them at all.

As a treat I booked myself in for two treatments; a Caudalie back massage and Caudalie express facial. I changed into my swimwear and donned my robe before heading down to the spa. 

Messenger Newspapers: Talk about ambience Talk about ambience (Image: Daniel Thwaites)

The environment was relaxing and beautifully decorated; my therapist talked me through each of the treatments beforehand so I knew exactly what to expect.

By the time it was over I felt thoroughly relaxed - the therapist applied just the right amount of pressure during the massage and my skin was glowing following the facial. The treatments are not cheap but are well worth it if you’re looking for a real pamper session - you can find out more about prices and other treatments on offer here.

Feeling thoroughly chilled out, I headed back to my room and grabbed a quick shower - which was extremely powerful. Then I headed down to the restaurant for my evening meal (which had to be booked in advance).

Messenger Newspapers: The mouth-watering coursesThe mouth-watering courses (Image: Newsquest)

Even though it was mid-week there were quite a few diners. I showed up about 10 minutes earlier than my original booking but was shown to a table straight away. There was plenty to choose from; I opted for a club sandwich with a portion of chips, followed by a sticky toffee pudding. The main was very filling and tasty, while the dessert was absolutely decadent. Both courses were served quickly and the staff were pleasant.

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As I had an early morning meeting, I decided to get an early night and not partake in any wine. The bed was very comfortable and I woke up feeling rested - I didn't hear a peep from any other guests or noise from the road outside or planes overhead.

I headed down to breakfast in the main restaurant area - which again needs to be pre-booked - for 8.30am and once again, there was plenty to choose from. I opted for my favourite eggs Benedict, accompanied by a pot of English breakfast tea and orange juice. As with dinner, the food was lovely and the service speedy.

Messenger Newspapers: Breakfast is servedBreakfast is served (Image: Newsquest)

I then spent most of the day working in my room before making my way down to the spa area again, this time to try out the stunning swimming pool. 

It's worth noting that this wasn't the most relaxing experience as there were lots of very boisterous children having a great time - so if you want a quiet atmosphere then take advantage of the adult-only swimming times between 11am and 4pm daily.

After getting a few lengths in, I went back to my room to enjoy a soak in the bath - the best bit about this was the TV in the bathroom, something I'd only seen in films. I then popped out to see some family who live down the road in Altrincham for a bite to eat.

Messenger Newspapers: The bathroom even came with a TVThe bathroom even came with a TV (Image: Newsquest)

Having spent an enjoyable evening out, I decided I'd have a chilled-out time watching some TV and having a glass of wine. This was the only downside of the stay; there was a very large, noisy wedding party on Thursday night which slowed service down considerably. Around 45 minutes after ordering a glass of wine via the room service app on the bedroom TV I rang reception to ask if it'd be much longer and was assured it wouldn't be. 

When another 15 minutes had passed, I went down to reception and it was clear the wedding party was taking up much of the staff's time. However, when I explained about the delay the man at reception couldn't be more apologetic and I was given half a bottle of wine to apologise - the main thing was, the wine was secured.

It's worth noting that even mid-week there can be big events. The staff weren't to blame at all and it was just one of those things. After another decent night's sleep, I packed up my things, headed down to reception and had a speedy checkout. 

Messenger Newspapers: The exterior of Cottons Hotel and Spa in KnutsfordThe exterior of Cottons Hotel and Spa in Knutsford (Image: Daniel Thwaites)

My overall thoughts?

Despite a slightly disappointing second night, I had a really great stay overall. It's a really lovely hotel in an excellent location with fantastic amenities, ideal for a bit of pampering or as a base for a weekend away.

More about the venue

Address: Cottons Hotel and Spa, Manchester Road, Knutsford, WA16 0SU


Telephone: 01565 650333

Check-in: 3pm 

Check-out: 11am

There are 138 rooms, including doubles, family rooms and suites. Food is served throughout the day but booking for breaking and dinner is essential. For the best rates, book direct. Contact the hotel for enquiries regarding early check-in or late check-out.

There are three dog-friendly rooms with a cosy bed for your four-legged friend to sleep on. Dogs aren’t permitted in the restaurant but are welcome in the bar and lounge area, as well as the outdoor dining area. There is also a dedicated pooch paddock for you to take your dog to. To book a dog-friendly room, call 01565 650333.