* Prices may differ from that shown
During the half term week we were lucky enough to get away as a family for a few days thanks to our good old Tesco Clubcard vouchers. I shop (a lot!) using my Tesco credit card, collecting points as I go. We save these points to use for meals out and hotel stays. Luxuries we wouldn't usually be able to afford with five of us. So this holiday we visited Manchester. Why Manchester?! I hear you cry - the answer.... the kids saw the hotel on an episode of the Apprentice last year and thought it looked 'cool'!!
One thing we have discovered about Hilton hotels is their 'Executive' rooms. These are smart rooms designed for, you guessed it, executives! The bonus of these rooms is that they come with access to the executive lounge. This is a place where you can go to relax, use the computers, and eat and drink! All food and alcohol is complementary. Not all Hilton hotels have executive lounges and you do pay more for your stay, but only £10 or £20 per night. When staying with a family (particularly teenagers) this extra cost is more than worth it. It means you don't have to pay for coffee out and when you go for a meal you can just ask for a jug of water as they have already consumed copious quantities of coke at the hotel!!
So - my review of the Hilton Deansgate. Would it live up to our expectations? Some of you may have read my review earlier in the year about the Hilton in Southampton (Romantic Getaway? 26/08/09). We were very disappointed with the hotel and I was a little concerned about our choice this time too. However I needn't have been worried.
The Hilton, Deansgate, is a very impressive tower block. The tallest in Manchester, I believe. The hotel takes the first 23 floors of the 47 storey building. We stood looking up at the building for ages! The rooms have floor to ceiling windows with great views over the city. It is just a few minutes from Piccadilly and Victoria stations and 25 minutes from Manchester International Airport. It is within easy walking distance of the science museum, shops, cinemas, casinos, restaurants and bars.
The loby is a vast open space and you immediately have a sense that this is a smart, clean and modern hotel. (The kids were impressed!)
Our executive rooms were on the 17th floor. We had fantastic views, particularly at night, across the city. The hotel decor is very contemporary. The corridors and doors are all very sleek with high gloss wood panelling. All the doors are flush to the walls. The rooms were clean and well appointed. Our room had a huge bed with loads of cushions. The decor, as with everything else was sleek and minimalist. The usual hotel items could be found - chair and footstool, wardrobe, minibar, desk and chair. There was a flat screen plasma TV which fitted in with the decor. The kids room was the same as ours although it must have had more floor space as there was plenty of room for the rollaway bed that our daughter slept on.
The bathroom was the nicest I have had in a hotel in this country. Again, new and very modern. Large cream and beige tiles, with chrome accessories. The large sink was a freestanding bowl on a slate top. There was a bath, and best of all, a separate shower cubical. All the usual products were available - shampoo etc and lots of white towels. There was also two bathrobes. I noticed these had security tags on so they couldn't slip into your case at the end of your stay!
The Executive Lounge
This is on the 23rd floor where you can also find the Cloud 23 bar - this is a posh bar (we didn't go in!) where you can enjoy ever-changing views of the city by night from the full-length windows as you sip original and classic cocktails. They suggest you try an 'Ena Sparkles' as you look out on Coronation Street!
You get similar views from the executive lounge, but you don't have to pay for the drinks or canapés, coffee or afternoon tea. Alcoholic drinks are served from mid afternoon. We spent time as a family playing cards and chatting. My other half and I relaxed with books and the paper while the kids went off for a swim or watched TV. There are also computers with free internet access. We could have spent three days in Manchester just relaxing in the hotel. Sadly the under 18's wanted to see the sights!
Breakfast was served in the Podium restaurant. The Hilton breakfast is massive! There is a huge selection of cereal, fruit, cold meats, breads and pastries and of course the 'full English'. This is all washed down with fruit juice, tea or coffee. My only gripe is the fact that the coffee is mediocre. I have a great coffee machine at home and I miss it when we go away. Our kids asked for hot chocolate and this was served from the Costa Coffee bar at no extra charge. This is a breakfast not to be missed. If you have teenage boys you will know that we more than got our monies worth from this alone!!
The hotel is obviously a great place for conferences and meetings although I can't comment on these facilities. We did however use the swimming pool, sauna and Jacuzzi. This is located on the second floor, along with the gym. The pool is very long (20m) and narrow - it looks like an infinity pool because of the windows at one end. It was great for swimming due to its length. In the bottom of the pool are viewing panels to the street below! The changing rooms were adequate with plenty of lockers, showers and hairdryers.
A Hilton break is not cheap. Our room rate was £185 per night (B&B) for executive rooms and access to the executive lounge. Hilton family policy means that the children's room was half price - £92 per night. Our total stay for the five of us was £550 for two nights. However we paid with Tesco vouchers; £137.50 Tesco vouchers = £550 Hilton tokens. I also used vouchers to pay for a meal out, so we feel as though we had luxury for next to nothing.
Out and About
We went to the Trafford centre shopping, to the Museum of Science and industry, to Salford Quays and the Lowry Gallery (None of our three children had heard of LS Lowry which is shocking! They are now cultured!!). We also went to the Imperial War Museum North and we squeezed in a trip to the cinema to see 'UP'. It was a busy but fun couple of days made special by the comfort and facilities of the Deansgate Hilton. An 'otel I would make a return visit to!
This review previously published on Tripadvisor.com
Stayed here on business in Nov 06. Initial impressions were that the building is very smart - it's a huge landmark in Manchester, and in the modern glass and steel style. The main lobby reception area is nothing special really, the standard big open space with lots of marble and a few leather sofas / chairs etc, and things did get off to a ropey start during checkin - I was with a group of colleagues and we were mostly using company credit cards, and the reception staff kept needing to "check with the credit card owner" which meant locating someone in the office for them to speak to. They did rather act as though they'd never dealt with a corporate booking before, which seemed very odd given the type and location of this hotel!
This hotel is brilliantly located on central Deansgate, which i imagine would be great if you were there for fun (ie shopping) rather than work. On arriving in my room, things definitely started to look up - the rooms are really smart, decor and fixtures very high quality, and bed particularly fabulous - super comfy, feather (i think) duvets and pillows, and quality linen. Also reasonably quiet although you can hear a low drone from traffic below, even from the twelfth floor which i was on, and the odd siren etc.
The Pool / spa area also very lovely, you could tell it was all brand spanking new, and used at night has very soothing mood lighting - none of your municipal pool striplighting here! The pool is situated high enough up that you can see right out across the city, and the area is surrounded by floor to ceiling glass so you can window shop on deansgate from the jacuzzi. There was also nobody using the facilties most of the time, i had it all to myself. Great sauna and steam room also - both very spacious and smelt clean and fresh.
The included breakfast was probably the best i've ever had in a large hotel. Huge range of fruit and healthy stuff, juices, even a juicer with fresh ingredients including wheatgrass if you want to make your own. I didn't - i was much more focused on the cooked stuff, including for once mushrooms properly sauteed rather than boiled of all flavour, and made to order pancakes and omelettes.
The Cloud Bar on the 23rd floor is also a nice touch - fabulous views, and a quiet and elegant ambience. I believe that this place is somewhat of a cult location these days, with lots of Sleb watching at the weekends. Cocktails were silly money (£12 for a glass of wine, anyone?!) but then i guess that comes with the territory.
Only other tiny gripe - stupid charges for internet access. £15 is not OK, and it's time free wireless became standard anywhere which is accomodating business travellers.
I think we paid £135 room & breakfast - would highly recommend this one for business travellers or a romantic / shopping getaway, given the health facilities.
I stayed in the Hilton Manchester Deansgate at the end of October for two nights. There was a great deal in their newsletter offering half price rooms if you stayed for two nights which made the cheapest rooms about £90 which considering the useual price is nearly £200 this seemed like a bargain and as I had always wanted to stay here decided to book it as an early Christmas present for my partner.
Check in is from 3pm and when we arrived at 4pm there was no queue. The member of staff was very polite and welcoming and we were checked in within two minutes. We were allocated a room on the 14th floor which was south facing. The views were lovely, we could see old trafford and the peak district and at night the trafford centre.
The rooms themselves aren't that big and the bathroom is much smaller than I expected. We had a queen size bed which was very comfortable and the room was equipped with phone, alarm clock, internet facilities (you had to pay £15 for 24 hours) tea/coffe making facilities, mini-bar, hairdryer, iron & iron board, safe... There was a large desk with had a mirror in it and a nice flat screen TV. Had quite a few channels (BBC1,2,3,4,5 as well as TV5, a Dubai TV channel, sports channels, news channels, CBBC and E4). There were also view on demand facilities on the TV but we did not use these so I am unsure how much they cost.
The worst thing about the room was the fact that you could hear people talking outside as they were going to their room. To avoid this try and get a room which does not end in 01-06 as these are probably the most likely to suffer from this problem. The rooms at the end of the corridor are probably the best to go for if you can get them.
Whilst we were staying there, there was a fire alarm at 2am. The hotel was evacuated but this was handled well and some silver foil blankets were handed out as it was very cold and some people had come out in their night clothes. The staff handled the situation well and were polite and friendly despite all the unhappy and cold people!
The room rate included breakfast which at weekends could be had until 11am. The selection was good; fresh fruit, hot English breakfast, cereals, continental breakfast and pastries. Orange juice, tea and coffee were bought to the table. Some of the hot breakfast (scrambled eggs & hash browns in particular) didn't taste too good but the majority of it was lovely and filled us up until the evening.
The bar which this hotel is known for, Cloud 23, is located on the 23rd floor. The advantage of staying in the hotel is that you can skip the queue for the lift which takes you up to the bar, at the annoyance of the other people who are queuing. I was quite disspointed with the bar after all the hype I had heard about it. The views were good but not that much better than from our room and if all you want is a good view, just take the hotel lifts up to the 22nd floor and you will get the same view. The cocktails were expensive (£8 for the cheapest ones) and most of the tables are reserved so you have to wait around if you want to sit down. The bar staff were friendly but some of the other staff walking around were rather rude letting us know that 'that table is reserved so could we move' even though we were not sitting at the table or even planning on it, we were just standing around! However if you don't mind spending at bit on a drink it's a fairly nice place to go for one drink.
Overall the hotel was lovely and the staff were friendly and helpful. The rooms were nice and the hotel is in a good location, however I don't think I could justify paying full price for the rooms when there are hotels which do the job just as well for a cheaper rate.
The Hilton Deansgate (http://www.hilton.co.uk/manchesterdeansgate) hotel occupies the bottom 23 floors of what is easily the tallest building in Manchester. Located in the city centre, the 47 storey glass clad building is very impressive and can be seen from miles away: I lived in Leigh 14 miles away and could see (on a smog free day) the building towering over the city. I booked our one night stay through the Hilton's own website and found this to be quick and easy. Being 'budget conscious' (in other words stingy) I used their booking system to identify a cheap day and booked a Queen size with breakfast. If you are flexible on your dates you can make a real saving, and still make a really special evening.
We arrived as early as possible so we could take advantage of the hotel facilities, and parked in the NCP carpark that is adjacent to the Hilton (part of the AMC cinema). The hotel offers a discount for guests using this carpark. Unfortunately I cannot remember the price (sorry MALU) and it is not stated on the website. However, after some research it appears that a 40% discount is given making the overnight rate around £8.50. If you have heavy bags it is an inconvenience walking across the street to the hotel. But as we were only staying the one night we had small bags (despite still having to pack a hairdryer etc- can't use the one in the room, oh no). We were greeted upon arrival by a very friendly member of staff, who made us feel very welcome, the check-in was over very quickly and we made our way to our room on the 7th floor. We found the service to be on the whole very efficient and helpful throughout our stay (excluding the bar, more on that later).
Our room was spacious and well presented, but our attention was taken by the view out of the floor-to-ceiling window. A shame our room was south facing (and looked over Hulme and Moss Side) but it was an impressive view none-the-less. The room was very warm though as the air-con had not been switched on before our arrival. This was the first of two negative points about our stay. The bed was very comfortable, and the room was very clean as would be expected of a Hilton hotel. We left the room to cool down, and headed to the swimming pool on the second floor- a fantastic place with views over the surrounding streets and great place to unwind.
One of the attractions of the Hilton Deansgate is Cloud 23. With unparalleled views over Manchester (and Coronation Street) the bar on the 23rd floor is a must and considered a part of any stay. You are advised to reserve a table (although some rooms get priority access), but as it was a Sunday night the bar was not too busy. Cloud 23, despite its great views and a trendy (but relaxed) atmosphere, was the second of the negative experiences of our stay. The service was abysmal, bad enough that I actually complained (which, believe me, makes it pretty dire). We were moved from our table, having being told that it was reserved- although there was no sign to warn us. Despite being quick to shift us, the staff waited 30 minutes before asking us if we wanted to order anything. Subsequent orders also took 30+ minutes and I had to go to the bar to pay (meant to be table service). We are not alone in receiving poor service- I have heard many reports of long waits. But, on the plus side it saved us money as with no service we could not order the £10 cocktails. Still, the setting, music and atmosphere made it an enjoyable experience.
The next day we enjoyed a good buffet breakfast in the ground floor restaurant. It capped off what was a very relaxed and enjoyable stay. I would definitely go back for a special occasion or if I needed a hotel in the centre of Manchester. It is in a prime location for shopping and fine dining; many of the nearby restaurants have good reputations. Two train stations in close proximity, and the metrolink being right next door, make it convenient too. The hotel also offered good value for money- especially as we booked on a cheaper date. If you can be flexible you can get a great deal, at a great hotel, in the heart of a vibrant city. Highly recommended.