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Monday, February 5, 2018

Chester, England: Too Bad The "Pied" Piper Could Not Lead The Drunk And Noisy Students Out Of Chester

The Pied Bull
57 Northgate Street
Chester CH1 2HQ
United Kingdom
Phone number +44 1244 325829
Website: piedbull.co.uk
Prices: ££££

Just 483 years old, The Pied Bull has been a Chester landmark for centuries and expectations were high for this historic inn in the center of one of England's most beautiful cities.

I could have sworn that parking was available and included when I made the reservation on Booking.com, but reading the fine print on the morning of arrival, the reservation stated: "we no longer have on-site parking", indicating to me that they did include parking recently, but do not any more. I called and was told that we would have to park a few blocks away in the shopping centre garage at the rate of £10 per day, bringing the total price for two nights to £144 ($204/$102 per night).



The place has tons of potential with a prime location in the center (centre) of town, nearly 500 years of history, their own on-site brewery  and beer garden, a restaurant and decent accommodations. A few of the male front desk staff (Tom and Richard) were friendly and helpful, but unfortunately the woman who apparently "manages" the inn, and I use that term loosely, is neither a people person nor presented a professional image and would likely be better off working in the back office. A man and a woman sat in the restaurant on both of the days we stayed there who were obviously involved in management (owners, managers, or management support staff) who were chatting, drinking coffee, crunching numbers on their computers and accessing staff and the POS system, but they seemed to care less about the guests who were complaining about the noise on the street the night before or the problems with breakfast I will elaborate on later. They heard, obviously, everything that was said, but seemed, like the apparent manager, to care less. No wonder this place is a mess.


Room prices are not exactly cheap and food and bar prices are also too high with burgers and pies running in the £12 ($17) range, so we decided to eat elsewhere on both of the nights we stayed at The Pied Bull. The inn is sandwiched between a French restaurant with reasonable prices and good food and a modern gastro pub that was offering 50% all food during January and February. You lose Pied Bull. If prices were cheaper and/or if inn guests were to receive a 20% discount on food, maybe someone would actually eat there, something I failed to observe (someone actually eating lunch or dinner) during our two-day stay.




When I saw the "penthouse suite" we were given, I have to say I was impressed. It was a very nicely appointed two-bedroom suite with large rooms and massive bathroom overlooking one of the main streets of Chester. We were quite pleased and it seemed like a good value until 3:00 AM.















At 3:00 AM on Thursday, January 25th, 2018, Chester University students started leaving the bars drunk and extremely loud, singing, screaming, crying and puking on their way past our hotel, the Pied Bull, back to their dorms. This was a Wednesday night by the way and the ruckus went on for almost two hours, keeping me awake the rest of the night/morning. It is no wonder students behave like this, considering their student housing online advert:
"Snuggled just outside of Chester’s Roman wall, Fontessa House is a fab choice if you want Chester University accommodation. You’ll find each campus just a short walk away. And you’ll never get stuck for things to do here. When student life gets to you ... Get friendly at The Bouverie or The George & Dragon, both less than a minute walk away. Or head over to Telford’s Warehouse, an independent bar, to check out the local talent."
Apparently, drinking and sex are two top priorities when selecting student housing in Chester, not studying, graduating, or respecting their Chester neighbors and visiting tourists.
The Pied Bull - 4AM Noise Video #1


The Pied Bull - 4AM Noise Video #2
We asked to change rooms the next morning, something we were hoping to avoid because this was one of only two hotels where we would be spending more than one night on this road trip. We were given a much smaller room and bathroom down the adjacent side street and away from the main thoroughfare. The hotel staff apologized (once), saying that they would report the incident to the university police, but I got the feeling this was just lip service because we were told by other guests (the noise was the topic of conversation among numerous guests at breakfast that morning - while the execs sat there) that the same exact problem had also occurred the night before.

We were not offered any compensation whatsoever for our sleeplessness or trouble, having wasted more than an hour of our day repacking, lugging the suitcases down two winding flights of stairs, and unpacking once moved to our new, less than ideal room, all after barely getting any sleep.





Breakfast was also a huge disappointment with guests queueing for the single toaster (six slice, but only one person able to use it at a time) and coffee, sugar, cups and plates quickly disappearing and not being replenished. The "full English breakfast" on the first morning consisted of a single egg, one tiny triangular, processed, deep-fried "hash brown", some English bacon (ham), two small sausages, and one lonely sauteed mushroom (we took a pass on the baked beans and tomato as well as the black pudding - aka "blood sausage"). One employee taking and delivering orders and replenishing the breakfast buffet (coffee, yogurt, bread, butter, and jam) was obviously not enough.
Chester's downtown businesses and residents need to do something about this problem and the university needs to squash it ASAP. Chester is such a lovely, historic city, but our trip there was ruined by the disrespectful antics of students who were obviously not raised properly by their parents and not held accountable for their disgraceful behavior by Chester University administration. I have a feeling that this is not a new problem and the The Pied Bull will suffer (in this review and elsewhere) as a result of their own inaction as well as that of Chester Police, the town council, and Chester University security and administrators.

Had the noise not been a problem and if we could have stayed on our original, very nice suite (or had been compensated for our troubles), I would have probably awarded an additional 3-4 Bombs. However, that NOT being the case ...

CombatCritic Gives The Pied Bull 4 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!

Four Bombs Equates To:
Translation for Civilians: "Bend Over, Here It Comes Again"

Read More Reviews By CombatCritic:



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Title: Chester, England: Too Bad The "Pied" Piper Cannot Lead These Noisy Students Out Of Chester

Key Words: Chester, England, The Pied Bull, Pied Bull, pied, bull, piper, inn, noisy, students, Chester University, university, CombatCritic, travel, value, hotel, review, Yelp, Google, Facebook


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