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Bewleys Hotel Manchester Airport (Manchester)
Member Name: zoe_page_1
Bewleys Hotel Manchester Airport (Manchester)
Advantages: On the hospital site, comfy rooms, modern decor, helpful staff
Disadvantages: Some corridor noise
With an early morning flight and no Manchester residence at the moment, I booked into Bewleys Hotel to get my latest adventure off to a good start. Like the Crown Plaza I reviewed a few months ago prior to my last, somewhat abortive expedition, it is located on the airport site. In fact, it is right next door to the Crown Plaza, close to the interconnected Terminals 1 and 3, and not far at all from Terminal 2. The website and confirmation email both had clear directions from the M56, and helpfully indicated that the final bit required a sharp left hand turn. There is a decent sized car park once you pass through the barrier, but it's not immediately obvious where to pull in for drop off.
I entered through the automatic doors and was immediately greeted by one of the two free receptionists, the third already helping another guest. My reservation was found immediately, and I only had to sign rather than complete a registration form as they're prepared it for me. I was asked if I wanted to leave a credit card for incidentals, but not pressured to do so. I was offered a dinner reservation, and an airport transfer for the morning. Nice, easy, swift, pleasant. I was on my way to my room within 5 minutes of entering.
The lifts are slightly further round the corner than I was expecting, but a ping alerted me to their location just as I was having a nosy at the leaflet rack. The hotel has 3 floors and my room was on the first. The key card opened the door first time, and I wheeled my case through. First impressions were of a compact but well equipped room.
I had booked a room for 2 as they don't do single person rates. This gave me a double bed though the sofa in the room would also convert into an extra single from the look of it. The sofa was certainly comfortable, as was the matching armchair. The two had a table between them, which meant it would be easy to play a card game or have a picnic or room service tea for two. There's also a less comfy desk chair you could move over.
The room was modern with a nice finish - slightly more upmarket than a Travelodge. The carpets were a plush burgundy, the warms a warm cream and the furniture all a pleasant beech. The massive mirror opposite the bed (ooh err) was especially attractive. There was a small slightly concealed wardrobe - the sort that's open enough that you're unlikely to forget things, but sufficiently covered so you don't have to stare at your clothes all night. The drawers, on the other hand, were all complete ones but they'd put little plaques on key ones so you knew where to find the tea and coffee, extra towels and so on. The drinks tray wasn't quite as good as it could have been - no hot chocolate, artificial sweeteners or biscuits - but there were plentiful supplies of tea, coffee and milk.
The room seemed surprisingly dark and cold, or rather dim and cool. There was only one window - I thought there were two initially, but the thick curtain on the right was simply covering wall. I didn't have a view at all but I also didn't have any airline noise, which was more important to me. I shut the curtains as it was a wintery January night, but there isn't an overhead light in the room which contributed to the odd lighting. There are various lamps - two by the mirror, one on each side of the bed, a wall thing in the entrance bit and a free standing one in one corner - but none that bright. There is a slim radiator on one wall but though it was on and turned up, it wasn't emitting as much heat as I'd have expected, and I had to keep my thick jumper on.
Although I had no airport noise, I could hear other guests moving about - the muffled sounds of my neighbours having a shower, getting up early, leaving the room. It wasn't too disturbing, and I couldn't hear voices or TV, but I did notice it on a few occasions.
The room boasted a large 'multi channel' TV which made me smile when I saw it in the description - when did you last find a mono-channel TV in a hotel? This one had the regular 5, plus Nickelodeon and Sky News, and was a healthy size so I could see it easily from the bed without my glasses on. Though I would have preferred it to be on one of the bedside tables, the digital radio alarm on the main desk was helpful for providing peace of mind that I'd be up in time for check in.
The bed was a simple double (i.e. not queen), and came with just two pillows though with extras in one cupboard. It was rather bouncy and squishy, so nice to lie on but not too soft for a good night's sleep. The quilt was quite light and I found it moved around in the night - perhaps because it was a double one for a double bed, whereas I'm used to a Queen one on a double bed. I also discovered the sheets didn't quite fit the bed, the way they'd made it up. There was a thin line of mattress exposed under the pillows. Now the mattress looked nice and new, so it wasn't disgusting, and I suppose it makes it quicker for them to change the sheets having these rather than properly tucked in things (important in a hotel where almost none of the guests will be staying another night, so almost all sheets will need a daily change) but I hadn't expected it.
The bathroom, carved out of one corner, was large enough for a bath with overhead shower, but not one you'd easily be able to get changed in. I though the towel supply was a bit short for a 2-person booking, but others were available in the cupboard. As part of their commitment to be green (they claim) or cheap (you could assume) toiletries are in wall mounted dispensers - a simple liquid soap by the sink and another in the shower. The bathroom was immaculately clean and looked brand new - not a single chip or dent or crack or manky grout, so full marks for that.
I slept as well as can be expected with the excitement of a shopping trip in New York (or, fine, Newark airport) looming. Check out was simple, and the complimentary shuttle was already waiting. I think it might have been an earlier one (it was 6.15am, I'd booked for 6.30am) but they let me on, and off we went, over to my least favourite terminal picking up arrivals on the way. Unlike the Crown Plaza, Bewleys operate their own shuttle bus which should make them more flexible - there was a second parked up that I imagine they'd call into action at peak times.
The hotel has a gym on site, and a restaurant serving breakfast from 5am which is a good bet since most people choose to stay here before an early flight. I thought about it but there wasn't enough info in the room literature to convince me to part with the required £9.50. For that sort of money I want something a little more vegetarian than a full Irish (their offering). Though a room service breakfast is available, there are no details of this on the room service menu so I had no clue what they would have on offer for that. Their evening menu is fancy but with prices to match, so I decided to eat in my room rather than head down to the Brasserie.
If you're travelling on business, the hotel has a fax service and computers available in a mini business centre. I tried out their free wifi and it was fast and reliable. The hotel car park costs £1 an hour, up to a maximum charge of £6 per day. You can pay this at a machine, or have it added to your bill, useful if someone else is paying.
I don't think there's much to choose between this and the Crown Plaza next door and I'd happily stay at either. For me it would come down to price, because for a pre-departure stay you just want somewhere close, safe and comfortable which both of these are. Recommended if it's the cheaper of the two when you're travelling.
Their advertised rate is "rooms from £69". I booked directly with them and paid £50 for a room, and I think sometimes they go cheaper still. So Travelodge prices, but helpfully on an airport site, and a nice, clean, comfortable hotel to boot.
Summary: As decent a choice as any for a stay overnight at Ringway
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