Just down the road from Piccadilly train station in the new Piccadilly Place development, the Mint Hotel is a short walk away from Manchester’s Market Street and the trendy Northern Quarter. While the area around the train station is not the most inspiring, it is possible to walk to most of Manchester’s attractions from the hotel and transport links – bus, metro and train – are on the doorstep.
The minimally decorated bedrooms have splashes of colour from bright orange throws and cushions, and are crammed with thoughtful, complimentary extras. Touches such as a fold away mirror above the desk (apparently a reflection distracts business guests from their work), proper coat hangers and a moveable hairdryer show that this hotel pays attention to detail and the feedback from its guests. I enjoyed spotting Manchester buildings and sights in the framed pictures on the walls in each room, and people watching from the lounge area in the corner of a City Club room.
Despite all of the standard extras, there is the option to upgrade to a City Club room (from £30 a night extra) or a suite (from £100 a night extra). Unless you want to enjoy the people watching opportunities that upgraded rooms allow – the chairs and settees look straight out of the floor-to-ceiling windows – I, personally, wouldn’t upgrade and would be happy in a Standard room with £30 to spend on a night out in Manchester.
The art exhibition - by Opera North - displayed in the hotel’s public areas really grabbed my attention on my last visit to the hotel (the current exhibition is by Manchester based artist, David Gledhill). Photographs of performances were behind the mirrored reception desk and an imposing silver costume was proudly next to the entrance of the Piccadilly Lounge. Exhibitions change throughout the year.
Eating and drinking
The City Café is steadily building up its reputation as a restaurant for Manchester’s residents as well as hotel guests and the terrace area is popular during summer. The “Neighbours Card” is a useful tool for regular guests as it gives diners 10% off their bill every time they eat or drink in the hotel. The Piccadilly Lounge is less about the food and more about the drink – although there is a bar menu for hungry guests – and has a “whisky library” with 50+ varieties on offer. My favourite bar area is the stylish and more intimate Blue Bar where you can people watch through the curtains or enjoy a cocktail masterclass.
A reasonably-sized gym can be used by hotel guests only. I like the wall decorated with a huge black and white picture of a crowd watching a sporting event in the room.
The Mint Hotel Group (previously City Inn) pride themselves on having highly-trained staff and this shows. The reception desk can get busy at peak times though.
Who stays there
Business guests and leisure travellers enjoy all of the standard extras and thoughtful details, as well as the hotel’s central location.
Standard room rates are extremely reasonable during the quieter summer months – book early to guarantee the best price. There is a car park underneath the hotel costing £12 per day with spaces allocated on a first come, first served basis. If this is full, the Piccadilly Place car park offers the hotel’s guests a 15 per cent discount.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
Pros & Cons
- Interesting art exhibitions in public areas
- Great attention to detail
- Thoughtful complimentary extras
- Uninspiring views from rooms on lower floors
- Not the best location in the city centre