Staybridge Suites, Manchester
THE HOTEL: This 116-room property is in the Oxford Road Corridor business and academia hub of Manchester and is attached to an education centre that is part of the University of Manchester. It is a short walk to Manchester Oxford Road rail station; Manchester Piccadilly is about one mile away. The hotel is on the 16th to 18th storeys of the building, with a Crowne Plaza underneath.
THE CHECK-IN: Reception is on the 18th floor and fronts the lounge and breakfast area. Check-in was quick, friendly and efficient.
THE ROOM: I had a corner room (1801) with great views of Manchester, particularly attractive at night. The bedroom was generous with a large double bed, crisp sheets and a firm mattress, allowing an excellent night’s sleep, plus light controls both sides of the bed. There was a shower over the bath and the shower screen made access slightly tiresome but lights in the bathroom were bright, which was useful for putting on make-up. Lighting was thankfully more subtle in the sitting area, where a comfortable sofa and chairs faced a generous widescreen TV. The kitchenette had a Nespresso machine with four free capsules supplied and a detailed guide to the room left no stone unturned – hob, dishwasher and air conditioning were all clearly explained. Cards on the notice board explained how to order pizza from the ground floor kitchen and supplied further menu details.
THE FACILITIES: A large breakfast buffet caters to every requirement, with pancake maker, yogurt, nuts, seeds, several types of bread, salami, cheese, cooked breakfast and fruit. The lounge has a gas fire, floor to ceiling windows and a conservatory area. Free wifi, selfservice laundry room and The Pantry convenience store are complemented by guest access to Crowne Plaza facilities such as a 24-hour gym, meeting space, The Graduate Bar – which has a great cocktail list and a bar menu – and the excellent Laureate Restaurant.
THE VERDICT: Everything ticks over smoothly and staff were warm and welcoming; add excellent business facilities and it’s a good place to stay.
THE DETAILS: 30 Higher Chatham Street Manchester, M15 6ED. Rates from £75 per night +VAT for a 29-night stay or more (20% VAT for 28 nights, 4% thereafter), with breakfast and evening events. Tel: 0161 359 5556. ihg.com
Reviewed by Catherine Chetwynd (2019)