“ Address: Charles Street / Princess Street / Lancashire / M1 7DG „
-Location- Not far from the city centre but it is right at the bottom of princess street and as we arrived on a Friday night meant we had to walk past a lot of not so nice looking bars and drunkards to get there. I wouldn't want to be alone outside the hotel on a dark night put it that way. Then you see the hotel and it is a shiny modern beacon in a dismal area looking like paradise haha! -Check in- Quick and friendly, always willing to help -The Room- Much bigger than expected, the bed was so big and comfy. 2012 stay - The shower was a little cold, but at reception they told us the boiler man was already on the way to fix, and by the next evening the shower was scorching hot. 2013 stay - the shower was fine, but the hose pipe part had a little leak in it so splurted some water in random directions - lol TV was not freeview but had about 10 channels including some in other languages it also had internet connection points, we did not use these or look into them or the cost but there if you need it. Hairdryer in the closet with some extra cushions and plenty of plug sockets. There was a dusty looking aircon machine but we did not try to use it as the window opened and it was quiet enough outside, plus it doesn't get that warm in Manchester in October! -Service- I wanted some larger towels as the ones provided were a little small and only 1 each, and I wanted one for my hair and one for body, they did not have any bigger ones but gave us 2 extra of the ones they did have free of charge. They have posters everywhere advising if they don't fix something reasonable within 15minutes then you get the effected service for free - seems a good deal to me although no need to use it. The guy at the front desk printed us a map of Manchester and helped us find which bus to get on to go to our destination, the poor guy had just been screamed at by another customer about the showers being a little cold but he did not let that effect his good mood at all. They had a secure left luggage room for us to use it was free in 2012 but charged on our second stay here the left luggage room now charges, I think it was £2 an item. However the people behind us got it for free, so maybe you only pay after checkout :S -Cleanliness- I only found one spec of dirt in the entire room or hotel, and that was a single hair on the bathroom floor and it might even have been mine or my boyfriends (lol). -Food- The menu for food to room service and in the bar was well priced and looked delicious (burgers, pizza, and paninis and stuff, nothing to fancy!) but we did not have chance to eat in hotel. Breakfast was adequate for the price, the cooked stuff was just self serve in hot plates and not the best, but plenty of toast, breakfast breads, actimel drinks, activia yoghurts, kelloggs cereals, jams, juice etc. Watch out if you have late breakfast as the yoghurts get left out by the hot plates and the foil on them was popped up, so I think probably growing some nasty bacteria. Also the lids on the hot plates are wonky and for us the lid fell off and dropped a pin into the food! -Overall- Good hotel GREAT for a budget hotel, will be using again soon if the price stays right :) Stayed October 2012 and again in October 2013 :)
This review is with regards to the Ibis on Charles St Manchester, not the more central one; just to clarify. Myself and a friend were to be in Manchester for a couple of days this summer and, although I am within travelling distance, we decided to treat ourselves to a Saturday night out in the city. This meant we needed accommodation. I trawled the internet looking for a cheap Saturday night, I found quite a few bargains but we decided to go with the Ibis for 3 reasons. Firstly, it was a name we were both familiar with and had both used before. Secondly, it was situated near Oxford Rd where we would be throughout the day time. Thirdly, it was very cheap. £48 per room, per night. That worked out at £24 each, no breakfast. Well since we were planning on being stinking drunk we didn't fancy the prospect of breakfast much anyway. I booked online, received email confirmation; all was dandy in that department. So, what did I think? The very first thing to mention is the location. Being from the Greater Manchester area I have a scant idea of the city but still had to Google Charles St. Since we were at the RNCM on Oxford Rd all day anyway it was pretty easy to walk to. The hotel is situated on a corner of a crossroads. It is within walking distance of Canal St and Oxford Rd for a night out and Piccadilly an Oxford Rd stations for travel. You are a little bit of a walk out for shopping but literally, 10-15 mins. If you're that lazy get a tram from Piccadilly to Market St, again very easy. Personally I feel the hotel has a great city centre location. Arriving at the hotel you enter through revolving doors into a reception area that is open plan with the bar/dining area. We didn't use the bar services so I can't comment but it all looked clean and pleasant enough. The lady on reception was very friendly and helpful, even gave us a little map of the area and asked if we needed anything etc. The only complaint was that we had to wait a good ten minutes to be seen. I appreciate the nice lady was seeing to other customers but she looked a little stretched there and could have done with some help. Anyway once she did get to us she was very prompt and polite, excellent customer service. So the big one; the room. Well having stayed in an Ibis before I knew them to be clean and comfortably serviced but at the ridiculously cheap price we had I still had reservations. I need not have worried. The room wasn't spacious nor was it cramped. There was space provided to hang clothes and a neat little desk, bedside units and lamps on either side. The window didn't really look out onto anything spectacular but it was big enough to let plenty of light it. It also blocked out the sounds of the city and had black out curtains. Perfect. My friend and I shared a double bed which was very comfortable and the sheets were clean and soft. I personally prefer two pillows so was delighted to find spares in the wardrobe. The room had a full length mirror in which was great but unfortunately there were no sockets near to it, making drying hair a bit difficult. The biggest down side to the room was the lighting and I think this is typical of most hotels. The light cast an ambiance and was subtle and calming. Lovely for a cosy night in but rubbish for putting make up on. The bathroom. I loved the shower, it was a walk-in affair and you could have fit three (skinny) people in there. The shower was powerful and hot and frankly I could have spent ages in there, a real treat. The rest of the bathroom however seemed to suffer for this. Although it was bright and clean with a massive mirror it did feel cramped. I didn't mind this so much but if I had to give a negative to the room that would be it. All in all, I loved this place. It served its purpose for the night and felt comfortable with a relaxed atmosphere. I will certainly use the Ibis again.
This review is for the Ibis hotel in Manchester on Charles Street, not the one city center on Portland Street (but I imagine they are very similar!) The hotel was only a short, approx 7min, walk from Manchester Piccadilly train station; using the Fairfield Street entrance (signposted for taxis and metrolink) is a much easier and quicker way to get to the hotel then the main Piccadilly entrance. We then cut through the old UMIST campus to get to the hotel, the hotel is very easy to find. In the lobby of the hotel is the reception, the staff were all very friendly and we had no problems checking in or out. There is also a café/bar area where they serve breakfast and other food. Breakfast was £6.95 each (we avoided this and went to a coffee shop) Main meals like a chicken Korma were £6-8, but I can't tell you if they were any good or not, we did buy a bottle of rose to take up to the room with us (£15.99) the staff had no problems with us taking the wine and glasses up to the room (although there was no fridge to keep it in). The hotel had a feeling a bit like a hostel with lots of people sitting around in the café/reception chatting and drinking and a huge store of rucksacks in the corner. At the base of the hotel is also an Indian restaurant East is East, which I was repeatedly told was one of the best in Manchester, I can't verify that myself since they had no tables available for the weekend we were up there- which I guess speaks for itself! The hotel has 126 rooms which as far as I can tell are all the same, our room was very reminiscent of university halls (the hotel also looks just like the surrounding university halls so it wouldn't surprise me if they were all built at the same time) with a double bed, small desk and a pod bathroom (curved corner room with everything crammed in-just like at university!). Not much room around the bed, but then we didn't need to spend anytime in the hotel room. The room was cleaned to an ok standard; it was much cleaner on the second day then the first. It only had 3 pillows, which was a bit annoying and no hairdryer. In the bathroom there is soap by the sink and something of no description in a dispenser in the shower, which did a rubbish job of washing my hair. But the shower was mighty powerful and was a delight! Our room was on the first floor, and on the way up we couldn't find any stairs (I hate getting lifts for only 1 floor), we found them on the way down and came out behind reception and had to get around loads of left luggage, there were no signs for stairs anywhere. We paid £59 for the Friday night and £79 for the Saturday, 3 weeks before Christmas. The location of this hotel makes it really easy to get into the town center (15mins) to the BBC (5mins) or most parts of the university. Having said that it is right next to some halls of residence and we did get woken up at several times on the Friday night with screaming and shouting students on the way home. The had an entertainment package for £9.99 giving 24 hour of internet and film access which seemed worth getting if you would use it since films were £3-5 each and internet was charged by the hour. Overall this is a very cheap and easy to get to place located close to everything we wanted to be close to, not plush, but then we didn't need it to be. We would stay there again, but never with children the rooms were far too small (child policy is that age 0-11 can stay free, but only 1 child).
Its a sad indictment of Britain that our hotels have such a poor reputation amongst the visitors to our shores. Now, I know thats something of a generalisation and I accept that there are exceptions. However, as a rule, British hotels are poor value for money and far from up to International standards of quality. Its all the more ga[u]lling (sorry about that) that we have the French to thank for showing us how it should be done. If there is one nation on Earth that knows how to do hotels (other than the Yanks), its the French. Anywhere you go in France you find chains of hotels that offer great value for money. Many of these are over here as well. I have often stayed at Campanile motels both in France and in Britain. Basic but clean and warm and always with a great little restaurant. In France we have relied on the various associations of independent hotels such as Relais du Silence and Logis de France and never been disappointed. The occasion was a visit to Manchester for a family get-together. Thats where my son lives these days and Mum and Dad-in-Law live in Southport so Manchester was an obvious choice for location. As we were planning an evening out at a local restaurant, Manchester would also provide a wealth of choice. But where to stay? I have my own little favourite just south of Altrincham that I always use when visiting our Manchester office but that is a little too far out of town. We have also stayed at the Victoria & Albert, very close to the Granada Studios (and reviewed here by me) when it was a Le Meridien chain hotel. However, it has now been sold to Marriott and they dont seem to offer any good deals. If you have read my review of the Ibis in Chesterfield you will know that it was a very good experience so, to see if this was a standard maintained throughout the group, I looked for one in Manchester. The Ibis chain of hotels is one of the brands of Accor Hotels. Accor is a French hotel chain. They have a whole range of hotels of different standards, from the VERY basic Formule 1 right up to the top-of-the-range Sofitel. In Britain, Novotel is probably one of their better-known brands. In Manchester they have two Novotels and two Ibises (?!). I checked the one on Portland Street first but they couldnt accommodate us on the dates we wanted. I tried the the one on the corner of Charles and Princess Streets and they had rooms available, at £49.95 per night, thats per room, not per person!!!!! That works out at £25 each. Outstanding!!!!! It does have to be said that this is not the side of Manchester that shows its best face. Here you are squeezed between the Mancunian Way and the Metrolink line. It is very close to UMIST and so is a favourite of students. Its also not easy to reach by car as this area is haunted by one-way streets. You have to follow the instructions on the Ibis website to the letter. Here you are about ten to fifteen minutes walk from the centre of Manchester and all of the delights it has to offer. You may raise an eye at the suggestion of a walk, given what I have suggested as being the character of the area. However, we did walk, back from our meal out at the Tai Wu Chinese restaurant and never at any time felt uncomfortable. One other thing, whilst we are talking about travel, the Ibis here has no car parking facilities. There is, however, a multi-story NCL car park just across the road. Of course, you take a risk when you park on an open public car park over night but we had no problems. There is a lay-by outside the entrance to the hotel so that you can set down and pick up but it is not for long-term parking. The entrance is on the corner of the building and shares the space with the hotels bar and restaurant. There are lifts to all floors. The hotel has 126 rooms and so would not be considered small. The hotel clearly doesnt expect guests to eat in much as there is no way that the restaurant could accommodate the 200 or so guests that it could accommodate, not even spread over a whole evening. We were eating out anyway although we did have breakfast (included in the price) in the morning. The hotel is clearly fairly new. The décor is fresh and clean as is the whole hotel. Everywhere you got the impression that the management are proud of their hotel and rightly so. Our room overlooked the rear of the hotel. The relatively small window didnt really give any memorable views but then again, we werent here to stay in our room. Al of the furniture was in very good condition and the bed was comfortable. There was adequate hanging space for clothes in the corner of the room by the window, next to a dressing table. The en-suite bathroom was an eye-opener. It had the appearance of being a pre-constructed unit, which had simply been slotted into place by the door. You stepped up to enter it and everything inside appeared to be part of one single moulding. The shower was huge. You enter by double glass doors, it is so big. You could have held a party in there. There was certainly enough room for a twosome. Breakfast is a buffet affair. The choice is Continental in influence although the traditional English cereals are available as well. Included in the price, what was on offer was more than adequate. So, if you are visiting Manchester on a budget, I couldnt recommend anywhere better to stay than this Ibis hotel, other than maybe the other Ibis, but then, I havent stayed there so I cant judge. However, having now stayed at two and experienced the same high standard at both, I would expect it to be just as good. Five stars from me, whatever the official rating is.