Back in April, my partner and had tickets to see P!nk in concert at Manchester arena. Wanting to make a weekend out of it, we decided to book a nice hotel. We used lastminute.com to book three nights at this four star hotel. We were only going to stay for two nights, but it offered a 3rd night for free! In total it came to £200 for three nights. One of the reasons I chose this hotel was that it was noted for being gay-friendly, and although there are anti-discrimination laws and even though it's 2009, I have faced hostility/extreme surprise from hotel staff before, and we wanted to have a relaxing weekend without any bother.
**Finding the hotel and checking in**
The hotel is located a short taxi ride from Manchester Picadilly Station. It cost us around £5 to get there. It is straight opposite Granada Television studios. We went to the desk to check in and the staff were friendly, polite and helpful. They gave us a map of the city and offered to help with our bags, which we declined as we didn't have much.
As mentioned - Opposite the TV studio, always a few celebrities around this area. (And scary people from the Jeremy Kyle show! haha) It is about ten minutes to walk into the city centre and a short taxi from the Manchester Arena, though we walked back after the concert.It is next to the canal so depending on what side of the hotel your room is situated it is possible to have a view other than the main road.
We had a standard guest room which had a huge king sized bed, the softest pillows, huge cushions, and was basically the most comfortable bed i've ever slept in. There was a large plasma screen TV in the room, mini bar, phone, wireless internet connection, and a lovely view over the canal. The bathroom had a bath with a power shower attachment. There were a selection of toiletries in the bathroom and everything was lovely and clean.
The staff we encountered were the reception staff who were always really happy to help with directions, maps and ordering taxis for us. We had an issue with our pay TV (it's not what you think!!) at one point which was swiftly resolved by them. On the last morning we ordered room service breakfast, mm :) The staff then were very courteous and professional, despite the young man obviously aware that he'd just walked into a room with two ladies in bed together hahahaha. We also ate in the restaurant one night, which I will write about next.
**The Restaurant + Other facilities **
The hotel restaurant has some lovely booths to sit in which have large windows out onto the canal, we felt like we were on a lovely boat cruising down the river. We opted for a few small dishes from the bar 'snack menu' to share rather than a main. My partner had crabcakes, and I had a veggie quesadillias, and we also had salad and some homecut chips. She also had rasberry sorbet for afterwards. I can't remember if we had anything else. The food was of a really high standard although a little pricey, I felt it was reasonable for a four star hotel. The service was fast and friendly. There are business rooms etc and function rooms available to hire but as we were here for pleasure purposes only we didn't see what they were like. Guests can also use the basic faclilities at the Bannatyne Spa which is a few minutes walk down the road included in their stay, and can get offers on other treatments. We didn't use that during our stay though.
I would recommend this hotel to anybody who wants a nice weekend away in Manchester, it is not in a loud neighbourhood, but is walking distance to the city. Try and get a deal from a website such as lastminute.com , you do not have to book last minute as the name suggests, we booked probably over a month in advance. Everything about our stay was fantastic, the staff, the room and the location.
No longer a Le Meridian hotel (as previously listed) but now a Marriott.
Situated just outside the centre on Manchester-a ten miniute stroll and right opposite the TV studios this is an ideal hotel for the star struck as there's usually a celebrity or two in residence. Coronation Street and Jeremy Kyle are filmed at the studios as well as a host of other shows. The Science Museum is just around the corner and is definitely worth a visit.
It's in many ways a typical Marriott-well appointed rooms, lovely bed linen but has a lot more character than most Marriotts as the original building is a converted warehouse complete with exposed brick and pillars which rathen than been concealed are made a feature of in many of the guest bedrooms as well as the public areas.
The bar area is very nice, comfortable with good bar snacks and friendly, helpful staff (and the odd famous face enjoying a quiet drink after a busy day filming).
The resturant is very nice-overlooks the canal and for breakfast the choice was good although expensive compared with some of the offerings available in the city centre-but no-one expects a four star hotel breakfast to be a bargain anyway. Can't comment on any other meals as we ate in the city centre otherwise where the choice was huge-and mostly very reasonable.
I'd definitely stay there again.