PLANS have been unveiled to convert empty offices by The Cross in Chester into a boutique hotel and spa – complete with a roof-top pool.

The Wildes Hotel Group has submitted planning application to convert the vacant offices at the top of Bridge Street and will be acquiring a long lease on the prominent and historic property in the heart of Chester city centre.

Wildes Chester will, subject to obtaining planning consent, open in spring 2021. It will feature 16 unique bedrooms, a bar and restaurant with outdoor seating, set within the historical Rows of Chester with views on to Eastgate Street.

The Grade II-listed building was developed in 1892 by architect Thomas M Lockwood.

It features huge fireplaces, stone windows and original beams. It will be sensitively refurbished to retain the period features while introducing an interior design that takes influence from key venues in London and around the world.

Paul Wildes, CEO of The Wildes Hotel Group which has a successful portfolio of hotels in the North of England, said: “We believe that there’s an opportunity in the city to create a go-to destination that offers exceptional accommodation for business and leisure travellers, the ultimate dining spot or somewhere to enjoy evening cocktails whatever the occasion.

"Our focus is to delight our guests’ senses through innovative food and service with a real aim to redefine hospitality within the city.

“We hope that Chester’s growing population of residents and tourists will enjoy this little corner of luxury that we will bring to the historic city centre.”

The ground floor will be home to Benedict’s, a contemporary restaurant and centerpiece bar serving all-day food, drinks and cocktails. In addition, guests will be able to enjoy food and drinks outdoors on the Rows from fully heated banquettes.

The 16 bedrooms will all be unique with free-standing furnishings to allow the original building and its features to ‘breathe’.

Each will house quirky elements such as a free-standing bathtub with skylight for guests to enjoy the night sky in style.

One of the rooms will even feature its own four-seater cinema.

The first floor will see a state-of-the-art spa featuring a relaxation area, nail bar and multiple treatment rooms.

The roof of the hotel will be home to the much-anticipated rooftop pool and terrace where guests can enjoy views across the city.

Annabel Farbon of the Grosvenor Estate, which will retain the freehold of the property, said: “We believe that the proposed use will provide a lasting economic and social benefit in the heart of the city.

"As well as generating significant employment and boosting the economy, the development will support the city’s High Street Heritage Action Zone project to renovate and reinvigorate the rows.”