In our stay in Manchester the other week we booked to stay in the Premier Inn Printworks MEN Arena. Usually we stay in the Travelodge behind it as the Premier Inn is often full when we need it but I am so glad we got a chance to stay there this time.
The Premier Inn is conveniently close to town and when you stand outside the hotel you can see the Arndale Centre from the side entrance which is perfect as that is where we are always heading. When we first arrived we checked in and the staff were more than happy to put our suitcases and a few shopping bags we had safe for us until they had cleaned our rooms which was great as we could head straight off without our suitcases getting in the way.
We had two rooms booked a twin and a single which they very kindly made sure were two next door to each other for us. When we first entered our rooms we were pleasantly surprised that it was not the typical premier inn room covered in purple but more subtle. The room was mostly a nice grey with bits of purple and dark wood and it made the room look very expensive and lovely (and less purple). The room was also massive and you could probably have fit two or three double beds in.
Inside the room there was a double bed (the twin room had one double bed and one sofa bed although we were offered two single beds), a massive flat screen television, a desk and chair, cupboard, armchair (with a great view out the window), mirrors and a kettle and cups. There were a few mirrors but the one to do make up and hair at was particularly handy as it was lit around the outside with a very bright light and although it was on the wall had a little shelf and plug which was perfect. I also liked that the armchair had a bed sheet on saying that if the duvet on the bed was too hot in the summer months you could use the sheet instead which I think is a nice touch.
The bathroom was very nice and like the room was really clean and nicely laid out. It was a typical bathroom and had a shower/bath, toilet and sink.
Overall I really enjoyed my three days staying at the premier inn. To be honest after staying in that very nicely decorated room my bedroom looked a mess when I got back!
A couple of weeks ago me and my now husband James went to Manchester to go to an A-ha concert at the MEN arena. I've never been to Manchester before but James has been a couple of times to meetings at BT so he knew that this hotel was in the centre of the city and close to the arena.
Arriving in Manchester we knew there was a NCP car park next to the hotel where we would park our car and you get half price parking if you stay at the Premier Inn. We thought it would still be expensive but for us the petrol and parking to get to Manchester would still be cheaper than flying down from Inverness.
Once we arrived though we noticed that Premier Inn also had their own car park and we phoned the hotel who advised there were spaces available so we went round the block (which took us 25 minutes at rush hour.) Finally we got to the car park and waited for a member of staff to open the door to get through to the parking area.
So we parked up and went into the side door to the reception of the hotel. The reception area was nice and bright with a seating area and a couple of vending machines. Including one to buy ben and jerry's ice creams!
Checking in was nice and easy they took our details and we paid which only took a couple of minutes. The staff were friendly and gave us all the information we needed. We were given our key card and told we were on the third floor. We went up the small escalators to the lifts which were also on the same floor as the restaurant and bar. This floor was really nice and very welcoming, we hadn't opted for diner or breakfast here as we didn't really have the time so I am unable to tell you how the meals were but the bar looked busy so I'm assuming the prices weren't too bad.
To use the lifts you have to swipe your key card before you can get access to them. I thought this was a great security feature as it meant people that shouldn't be in the hotel can't get access to any of the floors with the rooms on it.
Up to our room we were happy to see that we right at the end of the corridor which I always think is quieter than other rooms. We accessed our room by using the key card and once in the room switched on the lights. Some hotels have lights that you put your key card in to save electricity but these were just standard light switches.
The room was a nice size but it smelt very strongly of smoke. There were some no smoking signs in the room and I thought the hotel was a non smoking hotel now but I was positive someone had been smoking in the room.
I thought there was no point in saying anything as we would just have to move rooms and to be honest it was only for the one night. So about half an hour before we had to head out for the concert I sat down and decided to watch t.v. Unfortunately there was no signal so we decided to phone reception. Looking for the number in the room for reception we were a bit miffed that there was no way to contact the reception desk unless we went down to the desk. A bit of a pain, would make life so much easier if we could just have called them.
James went down to reception where they advised him that there were problems with the t.v's for the whole hotel. This was no fault of the hotel so it's nothing I can say was an issue with my stay here.
Last problem we had (well they do say things happen in three's.) It wasn't a very warm night in Manchester and the room was very cold due to the windows being left open before we arrived. We tried to put the heating on and there was a control panel next to the bathroom to switch heating or air con on but somehow this wasn't working either. The room stayed cold throughout the night and even for me who is used to freezing weather from living in the Highlands I found this pretty unbearable.
Off we went out to the arena and we were happy to find it was a couple of minutes walk away so we really didn't have a big walk. I expected the arena to be quite a bit away but the hotel is more central than I thought.
Back at the hotel we relaxed after our night out and I have to say the bed was huge! I have a king size bed at home but this bed was bigger than that. The bed was quite high up and really comfy. Sometimes I find the beds in hotels woo hard but this bed was better than my bed at home.
There was only one pillow each but like many hotels they have a couple extra pillows stored in the room. Which I needed because I can never sleep with one pillow. If the room was warmer the nights sleep would've been absolutely perfect.
In the morning we had a cup of tea before setting off again. There is a kettle with tea and coffee in the room. Again this is standard for most budget hotels and it would be a let down if the hotel hadn't actually supplied this as you do take it for granted.
This was so simple, we handed in our key card and the staff asked if everything was ok with the stay, We did mention the couple of problems we had and they apologised which was really nice of them and we went to get our car.
I did notice in other car windows they had permits for parking in the hotel car park and seemingly it was something we should've got when we checked in but no one mentioned this too us so now I don't know if the car park was free of charge or you are meant to pay this when you check in. For us though it was free :)
A few bits I missed out from my review.
The bathroom - This was actually quite small compared to other similar hotels. It had a bath and shower in the room but not a great amount of floor space once you got out of the shower which meant it was easier to go back into the room to dry myself off and get dressed. It was a nice modern bathroom though just a shame it was so small.
The view from my room - We weren't too high up with only being on the third floor but there is over 20 floors and I was glad I wasn't right at the top for two reasons, I'm awful with heights and I hate being in a lift for too long.
The view showed the NCP car park and a couple of other buildings but nothing exceptional. I didn't expect an oil painting though as we were in the middle of a city.
The price for a room only is £67 which is very reasonable for two people in the City Centre so I was very impressed. As I previously stated you can add breakfast or dinner to you reservation for an extra charge.
My stay here was pretty good for the price. I actually wanted to take the bed home with me. James said it wouldn't fit in the car which is a shame! :)
There was a couple of problems but nothing that really made my night here a bad experience and if I decide to go back to Manchester for shopping or just a getaway I would definitely choose this hotel again.