A STYLISH independent hotel in Chester has reopened ahead of its official relaunch next month, following a £200,000 plus refurbishment.

The Chester Townhouse, located on Lower Bridge Street, is set to host its Townhouse and Terrace re-launch party on May 25, after undergoing a significant investment which has seen the entire hotel refurbished.

The Townhouse is looking to reestablish itself as a bed and breakfast hotel and the ‘place to be’ for quintessential afternoon teas in the city.

Its owner, Steven Hesketh, has more than 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industry – spanning hotels, resorts, hostels, leisure clubs and retail outlets. Mr Hesketh said he was “delighted” to reopen the venue to the public.

He said: “As many know, the hospitality industry is facing unprecedented changes and this meant that in 2022, we sadly had to close the doors to the public at The Townhouse, due to a combination of; large cost increases, a sudden and swift decrease in general consumer demand and tough staff recruitment and retention realities. So, as responsible and experienced business owners, we made the tough decision to temporarily close the doors to the public and make relevant changes to protect the business for the longer term… and now, we are delighted to announce we are reopening and looking forward to welcoming customers back to our fresh and refurbished new space.”

Chester and District Standard: Steven Hesketh on the terrace at Chester Townhouse.Steven Hesketh on the terrace at Chester Townhouse. (Image: Chocolate PR)

During Covid, The Chester Townhouse’s terrace became a rather popular spot, with people from across the region gathering to socialise outside and Steven is excited to share that: “a new look outside terrace will also be opening this month - just in time for summer soirees.”

Steven, who owns multiple hotels, is also the Chair of Chester Hospitality Association and Vice-Chair of Liverpool Hospitality (Association) and Committee Member for UK Hospitality (Northern Region) and regularly champions the North West’s hospitality industry.

His new ‘Hospitality Hero’ training programmes have been designed to help those who are passionate about a career in the industry to reach their full potential. Mr Hesketh announced that he will be collaborating with Downtown in Business (DIB) to support the visitor economy and hospitality venues across the DIB network over the next two years.

Chief Executive and Group Chairman of DIB, Frank McKenna said: “We are delighted to have teamed up with one of the most dynamic and passionate supporters of the hugely important hospitality sector, Steven Hesketh. His ‘Hospitality Hero’ brand will add genuine value to the sector, and when he approached us to support his efforts, we were delighted to get involved.”

Downtown will be helping Steven and his team promote the Hospitality Hero conferences, many based in the North West, and the new Hospitality Hero online training courses. Together they will also be hosting a series of Roundtable events and forums across the country, focussing on what can be done to support, protect, and grow the visitor economy. 

Taking on his role as a champion for the industry, Steven is passionate about using his local venue, The Chester Townhouse, to train younger generations and also promote successful careers in hospitality.

He added: “Leaving school with very few qualifications, I always struggled academically and believe I had (and still have) dyslexia. Embracing the hospitality industry I built my career working in customer facing roles, hosting and welcoming guests, and organising social events and activities for them, as Activities Co-ordinator. This gave me so much knowledge and experience. Five years after my first job in hospitality, I decided to return to England from Australia with three of my mates and I found myself working in corporate hospitality in Chester — I loved the atmosphere and buzz of things like Chester Races that brought people together from far and wide and was hooked.

“I went on to work across Industry for the next 17 years. I took on management training programmes to work up to the role of GM, whilst also experiencing hands-on roles in the restaurants and bar areas too and I was also developed to upskill on the sales side of the industry, something I highly valued.

“My first job was as a window cleaner at a timeshare on the Gold Coast and I am now an award-winning hospitality expert – I am a passionate advocate for the industry and will shout from the rooftops that hospitality is a great industry to work in.”