Holiday Inn Manchester Airport
2 Miles from Manchester airport, easy access to the M62, M60 and M56 motorways. Low rise hotel with 126 rooms. Large fitness center with indoor pool. Accomodations for families and kids eat free in the restaurant. It's a Holiday Inn and you get what you would expect. I've stayed at Holiday Inns at airports and they are usually very well fitted out to accomodate all types of travelers. Various rates with or without breakfast. We got a standard rate but breakfast added for two people was only an extra 4 pounds total. 2 pounds per person for a breakfast in a hotel is unheard of if you were paying for it separately. Price is average for a Holiday Inn in a major city on a weekday. There may be weekend or off season specials too. We paid 99 pounds with breakfast for a double room midweek at the end of May (which is pretty near high season)
Breakfast was adequate. Buffet set out. The hot items were not that hot but good enough, also available were cereals, toast, fruit, yogurt and pastries. We had a meal in the bar as well and though the service was slow, the food was fine. Basic double room was clean though bathroom was very small. They provide a free shuttle to and from the airport which is very convenient. Just ring from a courtesy phone in the airport. On site long term parking with Park and Fly rates. We had an unfortunate problem in the morning because the bus wasn't working properly and the private minibus the hotel hired was late but that probably isn't something that happens routinely.
We got a great weekend deal at the Copthorne Manchester. We paid 69 pounds per night (about $100) for a nice room with a queen bed and a view of the canal. It's a business hotel, so weekend rates are cheaper. Plus, we were there in March. Location is outside of downtown Manchester, but it is very convenient to a tram station. From the hotel, you can walk to Old Trafford, Salford Quays, and the Lowry.
SALFORD QUAYS and THE LOWRY
SALFORD QUAYS and THE LOWRY present some interesting object of contemporary architecture. The Lowry houses two theatres and numerous galleries. How to go there: from the city center take a metrolink (Eccles direction).
Very Nice Hotel
I stayed in this hotel last week for one night as I was working in Salford the next day.
The hotel is in the middle of Salford Quays which is quite new and trendy. This hotel has a car park which is great given its location. The rooms are nicely furnished and clean. No restaurant in the hotel but there are menu's from local restaurants who will deliver.
If there is a down side to this hotel it would be the lights outside. My room faced a Canoe Club which was lit up all night. This makes it quite bright and there are no black out blinds. Other than this small gripe I had no complaints.
Ideal location for a few nights stay and free wifi
I stayed here for a few nights at the end of August 2007, while in Manchester on business.
Upon arrival at the hotel it was nice to find that there were plenty of parking spaces in the car park, and check in was simple. The girls at the reception were well mannered and efficient.
Next to the check in desk is the bar, and small lounge area where breakfast is served. You can purchase snacks, like sandwiches, crisps and chocolate from a vending area and pay for them at the check in or bar.
My room was on the third floor and had a great view of the marina. The room was big enough for a few nights, the bed was a little too soft for my liking but the sheets were clean, as were the carpets and furnishings. As with all Holiday Inn Express hotels there are no frills or fancies.
The hanging space is just that - a space with 8 hangers, and a few shelves underneath.
The bathroom toiletries are non-existent, unless you call soap dispensers attached to the wall a treat!
But little negatives aside it is well worth the money (£55.95 per night).
I could watch the boats on the marina, closely followed by the ducks and swans. There is a lovely walk along the water side and a great restaurant across the quay. Also within a few minutes walk is the Lowry Outlet Centre, great for picking up some shopping, having somehting to eat or even going to see a show.
Overall I would say that this would be a great place for business travellers and families alike. It is in a modern clean area that is close enough to the city centre and in walking distance to public tansport.
Good for MUFC
My husband, daughter (15 yrs) and I stayed here at the beginning of Sept 07 for a long weekend. We were attending a football match and shopping and picked the hotel because of the convenience to the football stadium (approx 10 mins walk).
The staff were friendly and accomodating. Unfortunately we had to change rooms after the first night due to some noisy neighbours waking us at 4am and proceeding to watch a porn film! However the staff offered to change our room with no hesitation and we were moved to a quieter room on the same floor (Top floor - overlooking the canal). We were in a family room with a double bed and a camp bed.
The complimentary breakfast was good and self service.
The rooms were clean, air conditioned but not too big. But hey, we didn't spend too much time there anyway.
I would recommend the hotel to anyone looking for somewhere basic, clean, comfortable and close to MUFC. But beware of noisy groups at the weekends who are probably there for the football too!
We stay at this hotel usually 2-3 times yearly for either 2 or 3 nights - usually for football and shopping. The location,cost,staff service and cleanliness of the property are excellent as is the ample car parking. Granted it may not be in the centre of Manchester but, 10 min in a tram or a short in-expensive taxi fare and you are in Piccadilly Garden. Breakfast is included and is of continental standard with plenty of fruits, cereals and breads, cheeses and yogurt.
There are a few restaurants in the area and in the Lowry Outlet Mall across from the hotel. The hotel allow meals to be brought in and eaten in the breakfast area in the evening using the hotel cutlery and plates.There are excellent indian, Italian and chinese services available and the standard of food is first class.
The hotel is ideally located for MUFC approx 10-15 min walk, and is a 10 minute taxi journey to the Trafford Centre, one of the largest shopping centres in the country.
Generally the cost is £49-£100 per room per night depending on offers available and obviously the further ahead you book.
[--] is best.
Overall an excellent choice for location and cost.
Small but overall a good experience
This hotel is typical of most Holiday Inn's, quite small but clean and comfortable. I got a cheaper than average rate as a travel agent but their prices are fair as I did stay on a match day. The hotel has a very good location for the football stadium, lovely views of the Quays and close to the tram to get the centre of Manchester. My only complaint would be that the breakfast was not topped up enough and by the time I was ready to eat there was only cereal left and the bar had run out of vodka the night before (how can a bar run out of vodka!) Also, I was under the impression from other reviews that the Wi Fi was free IT WAS NOT! I paid £10.00 for 24 hours, not bad but beware: If you don't write down your password and log in you will have to pay again! Parking was free and overall a good hotel experience.
Manchester & Salford Quays
We stayed in a business-class hotel on Clippers Quay (see my accomodation tip), which made walking along the old ship canals easy. The area has been spruced up and it's an interesting stroll. We were there in mid-March and the weather was decent. There wasn't a lot of sun, but there was no rain and a jacket was enough to be comfortable. When the sun did come out, it was warm enough to take off your jacket, but with the clouds and a breeze, you were glad to have the extra layer.
This is the view from across the canal. As you can see, there are many modern buildings. This picture also proves that we did see a bit of sun while we were there.
This is a pedestrian bridge over one of the canals. It is next to the Lowry art museum and a new "outlet" shopping mall. They are still building luxury apartments adjacent to the mall--they are going to have wonderful views!
This is The Lowry--a spectacular-looking museum dedicated to the work of a local artist. Given our limited time, we chose to explore the city of Manchester rather than visit this museum. It is on our list for the next trip . . .
Well, you know it was never far from our minds (and hearts!) during our visit--here is a view of Old Trafford from the far side of the canal.
Continue on for a look at other Manchester attractions.
We started our one-day tour of the city in Castlefield, the oldest section of the city. There is still evidence of Roman settlements and an attempt has been made to restore some of these areas. We took the Metrolink tram to the GMEX station and came upon some displays right outside the platform area. My impression (someone living there will surely know better) is that what started as a wonderful idea ran out of steam (or money) somewhere along the line. Some of the signs are quite worn and things aren't kept up as nicely as one would expect. It's still an interesting area and this is a picture of one of the old canals.
And, before the Romans . . .
Actually, this is a special exhibit at the Museum of Science & Industry. We kept seeing adverts for it "Dinosaurs are Back!" so we figured we'd better cough up the 3 pounds each and see it. We should have known when the museum guy asked us if we had any children with us . . . the "exhibit" was a room full of animatronic dinosaurs. While the 6-and-under set seemed to love it, we were a bit underwhelmed. However, there were a couple of excellent gore scenes like this one.
Given Manchester's rich industrial history, it makes sense that they would have a wonderful Museum of Science and Industry. Spread out over several buildings (including one that housed the very first passenger railway station in the world) and organized into different sections (electricity, textiles, technology, etc.), the museum is free and worth a visit. You can also check your email and play on the museum's website in a special computer area. This photo is of a mural painted on the outside of one of the buildings in the complex.
While full of old, historic buildings and remnants of an industrial age gone by, Manchester is also steaming ahead into the 21st century. In this picture you can see a new AMC movie complex among the older buildings on the block.
Naturally that dinosaur exhibit made us hungry, so we ducked into a pub up the road from the museum for sustenance. The White Lion served up a hot lunch, a cold ale, and the Arsenal match. It seemed a cozy neighborhood kind of place.
After properly fueling ourselves with the optimal mix of beef and ale, we headed up to the cathedral via the old town hall. As we walked, we passed all sorts of beautiful buildings--this one is now a Crowne Plaza hotel. I only wish the light were better for the photos . . .
The Town Hall is truly a remarkable, huge building fronting onto a lovely open square. It was getting on in the afternoon (quarter past 3 if you look closely) and it was a cloudy day, so the pictures lack the contrast to do justice to the architecture.
This is a detail of the Town Hall.
Here is more construction going on, up near the cathedral and near the area destroyed in 1996 by an IRA bomb. Old buildings and new construction are nestled side-by-side.
This area is a mix of old and new. In addition to the 1996 IRA bomb, this area suffered a great deal of damage during World War II as well. There are now posh shops cuddled up to the oldest building (a pub, of course) in Manchester, as well as the outdoor sculptures you can see in the foreground here that celebrate the city's industrial heritage.
Are you thirsty yet? Here is the oldest building in Manchester--the Old Wellington Inn (at the back). The taller half-timbered building in front is another pub. Stop in and have a pint and imagine that people have been doing just that, right where you're standing, for hundreds and hundreds of years.
Here is the Printworks--a sort of indoor-but-outdoor restaurant and club arcade. The old newspaper printing building has been turned into a hub of nightlife. The place was hopping with activity, and you can find all sorts of food from Indonesian to Cajun. It reminded me a little of a science fiction movie set! The ceiling is extraordinarily high and they shine light patterns on it. Just stroll along and duck into whatever club or restaurant strikes your fancy.
Saving the best for last . . .
The last two pictures are of Manchester Cathedral. As I've said, it was getting late on an already grey day, so these photos aren't the best. But the Cathedral was simply beautiful. We walked through the inside, as well, and the stained glass and wood carving craftsmanship is stunning. It was Holy Week when we were there and we were lucky enough to catch the choir and organist rehearsing. When the organ hits those big, deeeeeep notes the floor of the Cathedral vibrates. Given that my husband and I had each lost a parent in the previous three months, and it was nearly Easter, visiting the Cathedral was a moving experience. Don't miss it.
a choice to make
In 2 weeks time i will have a couple of hours to spend in Manchester - 10-12 on the Sunday morning.
I'm thinking of either visiting the Lowry gallery, or the city one.
I'll be staying in the Salford Quays area, so the Lowry will be handy but looks like the tram would get me to the centre very easily if I want.
Which would you choose and why?
Other suggestions welcome!
Re: a choice to make
It depends how much you like Lowry, if you’re at Salford Quays you could do the Lowry and the Imperial War Museum North if you’re not a fan then like you say you can hop on a tram. If it was me I’d go to the Museum of Science and Industry
Re: a choice to make
If you are at Salford Quays and only have a couple of hours I’d say go to the Lowry. Think it opens at 11am on a Sunday but the Imperial War Museum over the canal opens earlier. I’ve stayed at the Quays before, at the Holiday Inn Express, and it’s a nice area to have a walk around, if you get some decent weather. Manchester City Centre is about 10-15 minutes away by tram.
Have a good trip
Re: a choice to make
It all depends on what type of art you like. However, the Lowry only opens at 11am on a Sunday, whereas the Manchester City Art Gallery opens at 10am on a Sunday.