Next to the city’s largest train station, Manchester Piccadilly, and straight onto the Mancunian Way, this hotel is well served by transport links. The central location means that most of the city’s major attractions are within walking distance and, although looking onto a main road may seem uninspiring, if you choose your room wisely, you can get some fabulous views of the city’s skyline.
Rooms are done out in warm golds, yellows, red and browns, and full length mirrors, a separate bath and shower in every large bathroom and full-size hairdryers were touches I appreciated as I got ready for dinner. I stayed in a City View room the last time I visited and enjoyed watching the sun go down over the Manchester skyline. If you want a view, choose your room carefully – some rooms look out over the student halls at the back of the hotel. I, personally, would pay the £15 supplement for a City View room every time as you are guaranteed a room on the fifth floor or above.
Light floods into the reception area of the Manchester Macdonald from the floor-to-ceiling windows and red settees allow guests to sit and read a complimentary newspaper. If work is on your mind, there is a small one-computer business centre to the right of the reception desk with unlimited printing for guests; if you are in Manchester purely to play, the bar area is to the right of the desk.
Eating and drinking
Stairs from the bar lead to the hotel’s restaurant, Signatures. I enjoy watching the chefs cooking my meal in the “open theatre” kitchen when I eat here. Classic dishes and imaginative vegetarian options are served by friendly and knowledgeable staff. You will find cheaper food and wine if you venture out of the hotel but it is a decent option for ease, or if you are on a DBB rate. Breakfast is also served in the restaurant and there is an excellent choice.
Use of a small gym and an impressive thermal suite - with features such as a rock sauna, an ice shower and a sensation shower - are free to hotel guests. There is also a serene spa with treatments costing extra.
The staff – both at reception and in the restaurant – are professional and helpful. If you want advice on what to do in Manchester, there is a 24 hour concierge desk and a 24 hour guest relations desk.
Who stays there
Business visitors make the most of the central location and free extras during the week and couples and hen dos enjoy the spa at the weekend. Guests going to shows at the Manchester Apollo love the hotel’s close proximity to the venue.
Rack rates are high but regular offers allow guests to enjoy the hotel at less than half of the advertised price. Summer can be quiet so the cheapest rates can be found in July and August. Limited parking is available in a secure car park behind the hotel and is charged at £12 for 24 hours.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
Pros & Cons
- All rooms are spacious
- Central location, good for transport links
- Thoughtful extras as standard
- Some uninspiring views from rooms at the back of the hotel
- Lack of lifts considering the hotel’s size – plus one is often broken