Manchester is a great night out. I missed pride there this year, and with one of my friends moving out of the city, and another moving up there, figured I was well overdue a visit.
I just bought an off-peak flexible ticket for the train at the station, as the advanced purchase tickets weren’t that much cheaper when I looked a couple of days before-hand, and then spent an extra £20 to upgrade to weekend first. Virgin Trains don’t serve free alcohol at the weekends, however you do get a snack box, plus a load more snacks if you want them. Plus the wi-fi is free and the carriage is generally a lot quieter.
We arrived more or less on time (for Virgin Trains) at Piccadilly station, where upon it was around a fifteen minute walk to the Crowne Plaza, at the edge of the Northern Quarter. My preferred choices of the Hilton on Deansgate or the Doubletree were both asking silly money for the night due to a U2 concert.
At the time that I’d booked, they only had twin rooms left, so asked at check-in if they had any king or queen rooms left.
Checking me in, was the fantastic Aman, who couldn’t have been either more friendly, or more helpful. He explained that they could have done with the twin earlier that day, but the only queen room he was was an accessible room on the second floor. Given I wasn’t going to be spending too long there, I very gratefully accepted the offer.
It was a decent size. There was all the standard stuff that you’d expect from a hotel like this. The bathroom was huge as it was an accessible one, however I was surprised that it was still a traditional tub, as opposed to a walk in shower.
The bathroom products were the global Crowne Plaza brand standard.
However the single most annoying thing about the room was the complete lack of plug sockets next to the bed. On either side.
Apart from that it was pretty good; there were a couple of bottles of free water in the mini bar fridge (which was empty save for them), tea and coffee making facilities and a work desk. There was also a small arm chair in the room.
The night out didn’t disappoint, and whilst I wasn’t out super-late, it was great to catch up. I shall get one of my friends to write a proper post about some of the bars in clubs in Manchester, as there’s no way I’ll be able to do it justice here.
Breakfast the next morning was pretty busy – I got down there around 10.00 and there was a short wait. It was pretty standard mass catering, although there were a few items that could be ordered. I opted for coffee, a couple of pastries and a cooked breakfast. It wasn’t included in my rate, however was a £10 surcharge when booked at check-in.
I checked out around 11.30 and the very helpful Aman was there again. With a couple of taps, he wished me on my way.
I had a good stay. The hotel was absolutely fine and exactly what I’d expect a Crowne Plaza to be, nothing too fancy, but not too shabby either. There was a little bit of wear and tear in the room, but all the staff were lovely and friendly. The only minus is the location which is a bit of a walk from the gay village and from Piccadilly station, but handy for Victoria station. In short, for a decent rate, I’d have no hesitation in coming back.