Britannia Hotel Manchester

35 Portland Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 3LA, United Kingdom
(3 star hotel)
#39 of 259 hotels in Manchester
Good (3.0 out of 5.0) 11 reviews
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SallyM's Profile Photo

Cheap hotel with city centre location

Good (3.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on April 14, 2014

This Hotel is similar to others in the chain, such as the Adelphi in Liverpool. A once-grand building, with imposing public areas and large chandeliers, that is now looking a bit shabby and downmarket. There is a vague smell of pub, and the reception area is papered with dire warnings about what you can and can’t do. Debit cards can only be used if you provide other ID, such as a credit card etc. (but they charge a surcharge if you use your credit card actually to pay).

My room (a single) was small, but looked quite pleasant. The bathroom had a proper bath and a full set of mini toiletries (bath foam, shampoo and body lotion, not just a bottle of liquid soap screwed to the wall) which was a surprise.

However, the hospitality tray was a bit stingy, with a single teabag and coffee sachet. One of the two lamps didn’t work, and neither did the TV, but the hairdryer was fine.

All in all, not bad as somewhere to sleep for £40 excluding breakfast. (Breakfast is £10.95, or £7 if you book and pay for it the night before. As I prefer a light breakfast, I went for a coffee and croissant at one of the many coffee shops in the area for £3.50.

Unique Quality: I was surprised to see that room actually has an ashtray in it. I haven’t seen one in a UK hotel room for ages. It explained the hotel's pub smell.

Directions: In Portland Street, a short walk from Piccadilly Gardens

slothtraveller's Profile Photo

Not the place for a good night's sleep

Bad (2.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on November 28, 2013

My stay at the Britannia Hotel was a memorable one but not for the best reasons. I ordered the hotel pretty much as a last resort as other accommodations had been snapped up and I had left booking quite late. On arriving at the hotel, I was impressed by its size and the palatial lobby area. Then things started to go downhill. Check-in was conducted by an unforthcoming receptionist who I could barely get two words out of. I found the lift and took it to the second floor, although I think I could have walked upstairs quicker as it was so slow. The corridors of this hotel smell quite strongly of cigarettes which left me wondering about the cleanliness of the rooms. Thankfully my room was cleaned to a good standard on arrival, although I stayed for two nights and the room was not serviced during this time. Odd.
The room itself was quite poorly designed. The TV was on a small stand which meant it was barely above floor level and you could not see the screen from in bed. I would have tried moving the TV but it was a huge, hefty thing which reminded me of the TVs that were around when colour television was first broadcast. The windows were not double glazed so all of the street noise from below could be heard. The taps in the sink were moving around in your hand when you used them. It was a relief that I would only be using the place to sleep and not be stuck inside the room all day. At least that was until I attempted to sleep. My first night (a Thursday) was not too bad and I got to sleep with only minimal disturbance from the street noise. Friday night, however, was a nightmare. Not only could I hear all the sirens and street noise that seemed close enough to be whizzing past my feet, I became acutely aware of the nightclub that shares the building with the hotel. It was blaring out music till 2 am sending shockwaves of bass through the floors and walls! When I did finally get to sleep, a fire alarm sounded for about five seconds before it abruptly stopped. It seems someone accidentally set it off and supposedly it happens regularly in this hotel at the weekend!
Checking out was also very strange. They advise you to leave your keycard in a box and you don't have to deal with a human being at all. All very impersonal and it left me with the impression that the management and staff didn't really care about my stay at all.
After two nights at the Britannia, I was pleased to leave and get back to my own bed. I will not be staying at this hotel again in a hurry and I am sure there are much better 3 star hotels in Manchester. There are probably better 1 star hotels!

Unique Quality: The hotel is set in a wonderful Victorian building in the city centre. The location is absolutely fantastic for visiting nearby areas such as Albert Square, Chinatown, Piccadilly Gardens and Canal Street, all of which are only a few minutes away on foot.
The hotel interior is also really impressive, especially the chandelier-adorned staircase which gives the impression that the hotel is much better than a 3-star property. It's just a shame that the rooms do not have the same impressive qualities and are a big letdown in comparison.

Directions: Near to the Piccadilly Gardens tram stop.

suvanki's Profile Photo

Historic Building with original features

Great (4.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on February 5, 2011

I booked my single room for 1 night through and paid £44. I stayed here due to its location (I needed to be near to Piccadilly Station -5 minutes walk away, as I had to catch an early morning train to Manchester Airport), reasonable price, plus, I'd seen this impressive building from the outside a few times and as it was the same price as Piccadilly Gardens, where I'd stayed before (and liked), It was a good opportunity. I didn't book breakfast as my departure was before breakfast was served.

Well the inside is quite impressive too - with its stunning balconied staircase, glass chandelier and dark wood panels.

Check in took quite a while- there was 1 person on duty, and there was a small queue. The actual check in was done quite efficiently though, and I was soon heading to the elevator and my room on the 6th floor. I was a bit confused that the lift only went to the 5th floor, but after wandering around a bit, found the room indicators. Another moment of bewilderment came when I could only find indicators as far as Room 649- The written number on my Key card was 676! Well I finally decided that it should read 646! After a walk down a long corridor, I saw a sign to the turret rooms! - up a wooden staircase-I was pleased that I only had a small case. Phew, I'd reached the right room, and was quite amazed to see that the window was behind one of the Gothic wheel windows, and had a view straight to the street below - probably not a good room for anyone who has a poor head for heights!

I was pleasantly surprised with my room (especially after reading some less than favorable reviews) It was warm and comfortable -

Single bed, Wardrobe space, dressing table, arm chair. TV, kettle (and tea/coffee/biscuits) trouser press, hairdryer. Room service menu, Manchester tourist info.
Bathroom- Bath and powerful shower, WC, basin, towels, loo roll.
Complimentary shower gel, shampoo, soap, shower cap and tissues.

I was surprised to find an ash tray in my room - there was no No Smoking sign on my door or anywhere else in the room-Well it is a long walk to the hotel entrances smoking area!

I decided to wander down to the bar - I'd eaten on the train, so wasn't hungry. The hotel has 2 restaurants - Jenny's Restaurant and Bar (with a 3-course carvery Lunch and Dinner) and The Overstuffed Pizzeria (Italian cuisine).

Cromptons Bar is open daily, and serves until late for residents

Sunday - Thursday - 17.00 - finish and Friday - Saturday - 11.00 - finish

- Waves bar opens 'til late for residents and non-residents, and there is a Night Club - Bar Rogue.

I headed to Cromptons bar, which was quite a comfortable place to relax. There is a TV lounge area, and comfy old settees to relax somewhere quieter. Dark wood bar and fittings, with Art Deco? glass. Old prints and a piano!

I ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio, which they didn't have, so made do with a Chardonnay instead £4.70!(streuth!)-
Back to my room for a pampering session, and an 'early' night.

There was some traffic noise, but nothing too disturbing.

Yes, I'd stay here again, particularly if I got this room again - It was quite suitable for me.

I think if I'd stayed in the rooms on the long corridor I'd have been disturbed by people moving to/from their rooms. I understand some of the internal rooms don't have windows, just sky-lights or no natural light.

Although the 363 rooms have been renovated and modernised, they are quite basic in comparison to the Public Areas, which many reviews have reflected on.

My stay was on a Wednesday night, so I'm not sure if it is a different atmosphere at the weekend.

I read in some reviews that this is a cheaper alternative to getting a taxi home to the outskirts of Manchester, after enjoying the cities night-life, as the hotel offers bargain prices (Super Pre-paid Room only for £20 - limited availability) and some residents had complained of 'drunken antics'

Check in - From 14.00
Check Out- By 11.00

High Speed Wi-Fi in all Public areas.

Car Parking
Valet parking available at a daily charge of £16.
Parking available at Chorlton Street NCP car park with 20% discount.

Disabled Facillities

Unique Quality: Built between 1851-1856, by Travis and Mangnall, at a cost of £100,000, this Grade 2 Building was formerly Watts Warehouse - founded by James Watts, a prominent Mancunian Industrialist and entrepreneur. At the time, this was the largest single-occupancy textile warehouse in Manchester.

The ornate fittings reflect the extravagance of the time. It was designed in the style of a Venetian Palazzo. Each of the 5 stories are decorated in a different style;
Italian Renaissance, Elizabethan, French Renaissance and Flemish.

The iron cantilever staircase with balconied is quite impressive, especially from the 5th storey (pic 4)
Mahogony counters would have been used for displaying the textiles.

The entrance to the hotel has some war memorials to commemorate the many staff of S&J Watts who died in the 1914-18 world war.

Directions: Directions to The Hotel

St_Vincent's Profile Photo

Good location near train station

Good (3.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on May 25, 2009

I'd previously stayed at the Britannia Sachas Hotel but not at the Britannia until March 2009. I had a couple of days there with a mate while visiting friends. We were told we were in 'attic rooms' on the 6th floor, then found that the lift only went up to the 5th floor. We soon found some rickety stairs up to the attic rooms which were just that, the round windows being visible at the very top of the hotel from outside. The rooms were fairly small but OK for a couple of nights and at £48 a night for a single room in a centrally located hotel it was reasonable value for money.

Directions: Close to Piccadilly Gardens and within walking distance of the train station

johngayton's Profile Photo

City Centre Elegance at Affordable Prices

Great (4.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on August 26, 2008

This certainly is, architecturally, a good-looking hotel occupying a huge former cotton warehouse, dating back to 1858, here in Manchester's city center. Internally too the building is pretty impressive with its characterful, yet traditional, decor and its magnificent central balconied stairway ascending from the chandeliered lobby the five or so floors to the top story.

We had a minor hiccup at check-in when the reception's computer decided to go down but that wasn't a problem as we'd arrived early anyway and had intended just to drop our bags off and have a wander round the nearby City Art Gallery. The porter was on hand to take our bags and store them for us when we returned later and service throughout our overnight stay was spot-on and friendly.

Room was fine, a little atypical of this standard of hotel, but had everything required including free Wi-Fi and was scrupulously clean and well-maintained. The shower in the en-suite took a little bit of working out how to turn on but once mastered provided a decent pressure and the complimentary toiletries were of a reasonable standard.

The hotel offers a choice of bars and restaurants ranging from formal dining in its Cromptons French Restaurant to the totally informal and trendy Wave Bar. Having had a long day and with an early start the following morning we just opted for a room-service pizza which arrived promptly and was excellent - the accompanying bottle of wine though turned out to be white rather than the red I'd ordered but it was drinkable and not really worth complaining about in what was otherwise an ideal stay.

Unique Quality: This certainly is a good standard hotel in an attractive building and the biggest plus is that it is pretty much slap-bang in the middle of the city centre, minutes from Picadilly Station, just down the road from Chinatown and Canal Street, and minutes walk from pretty much everything else that the city centre has to offer including easy access to the Metrolink tram network.

It is also very good value for money.

Directions: Portland Street is the main street that runs from Piccadilly to Oxford Street and The Britannia is about on the left from Piccadilly Gardens.

Great hotel - but no window!

Good (3.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on August 29, 2006

We paid 85GBP a night for the room because it was Mardi Gras but we did get breakfast included. The hotel itself was great - polite reception staff, clean and a great choice of reasonably priced bars and places to eat.

Even the room was fine - clean and tidy and reasonably spacious with a TV, power shower and bath and tea/coffee facilities... However, there was NO WINDOW in the room. We weren't told about this beforehand (and it's something we've certainly never come across before) but it made the whole stay feel like the middle of the night!

Overall a great experience but I would refuse to stay in a room without a window again - we should've been warned (especially at that price) so make sure you check this out before you book this hotel!

Unique Quality: Fantastic range of places to eat and drink within the hotel that were not too overpriced.

Directions: City centre... great for shopping, train station and gay quarter.

gabriellefox's Profile Photo

Convenient & Historic

Good (3.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on February 11, 2005

The Britannia is one of Manchester's premier architectural buildings and is Grade II listed with outstanding details including a balconied stairway throughout the building. The Hotel is a famous landmark and meeting place throughout Manchester and was once the cotton industry's most famous warehouse. The building dates back to 1858 when it opened as the world's original 'Cash and Carry'.

Unique Quality: The Britannia Hotel boasts the WAVE bar and bar-rogue, two of Manchester’s most popular meeting places. The bars offer food all day long at affordable prices with great music and the best DJ’s. Add to this Jenny's Carvery, the restyled Pizzeria or the traditional comfort of Crompton's French Restaurant and bar and you are truly spoilt for choice.

In a prime location, the hotel is close to Manchester’s financial sector, shopping, theatres and the G-Mex Exhibition centre. The famous Chinatown and The Village, with their myriad of bars and restaurants are only a few minutes walk. Excellent transport links offer easy access to most of Manchester’s most famous attractions. Manchester Airport is only 8 miles away and Piccadilly Station, directly linked to the airport, is a five-minute walk. Victoria Station is also a short stroll away. Manchester’s Metro tram system is on the doorstep, linking to Altrincham, Bury, Old Trafford and Salford Quays. The main coach station is adjacent to the hotel. Valet parking can be arranged on arrival and there is a multi storey car park close by.

Portland Street, Manchester M1 3LA

allouc's Profile Photo

Manchester City hotel

Good (3.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on April 26, 2003

Nice establishment with beautiful common areas. Food is OK, as is the restaurant service. Rooms are a bit small and the service could be better. Price is fair.

Unique Quality: Central location is the greatest asset. Walking distance to downtown shopping area, lots of pubs and China Town.

Directions: City center.

MDH's Profile Photo

Manchester's Best Central Inexpensive Hotel

Best (5.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on March 31, 2003

This hotel located right in the heart of Manchester was a pleasant surprise to someone who had stayed in an uncomfortable hostel in London where German girls puked in the toilet constantly....anyways, this hotel was excellent as a starting base. Rooms are relatively inexpensive, very clean and comfortable. The hotel is a local landmark, and while I was there, was used by many flight crews spending nights there on their layovers. The staff are also friendly and helpful.

Unique Quality: The lobby to the Britannia Hotel is decorated in late Victorian/Edwardian style, complete with large chandelers and a grand staircase that goes up four flights. A room with a single bed is relatively small, but are comfortable and exceptionally well-kept, with en-suite facilities too. A free complimentary breakfast is provided for by the hotel down below the lobby.

Directions: Located in the heart of the financial and city center, and a short strool away from the main square, shopping district, Metrolink, and the National Express bus station

steventilly's Profile Photo

A Little More Elegant

by written on November 9, 2002

Quite luxurious but in a slightly faded way (and it's anumber of years since I stayed here). The reception area is a marvel, with a wonderful chandelier hanging from a huge chain in the central atrium. It has restaurants

Unique Quality: Prices are from about 40 pounds for a single, through 65 for a double/twin to 85 for a suite. Breakfats is extra in all cases.

The Britannia is an...

Bad (2.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on September 8, 2002

The Britannia is an old-fashioned hotel with big chandeliers but I found it had a slightly run-down feel. My room suffered a lot from road noise. Not being particularly used to sleeping in a city-centre, I was amazed at how many emergency vehicle sirens there were throughout the night - they all seemed to be driving right outside my window. I would go for the Gardens Hotel instead next time.

Nearby Britannia Hotel Manchester

Britannia Hotel Manchester

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Address: 35 Portland Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 3LA, United Kingdom

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Amenities at Britannia Hotel Manchester

  • Restaurant
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Room Service
  • Business Services
  • Pets Allowed
  • Bar / Lounge

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