“ Clippers Quay, Salford Quays, Manchester, M5 2XP. Tel: +44 (0)161 873 7321. Fax: +44 (0)161 873 7318. „
Copthorne Manchester on Salford Quays is possibly one of the worst budget hotels I have stayed in. Thankfully my trip was for work purposes, so I didn't spend a penny, however, if I had I would have made a huge complaint to them for my experience.
I arrived in Manchester at 8am on the Monday morning, I called the hotel from the train station and asked them if I could check in early as I did not need to be at my meeting until 10am. They said that it was fine, which was the most positive comment I can make about the hotel. That, and the ample secure car parking, although I took the train!
The check in took a while, the receptionist could not speak very good English, and did not understand that my room was being paid for by work, she asked to take my credit card, which I did not have, so it took around 20 minutes to check in. When I checked out this was again a problem, as I had charged my meals to my room, she said she didn't know how much our company allowed for meals and had to go and ask which took some time. Perhaps she was inexperienced, but in my opinion reception staff in a hotel should have clear and concise communication skills as well as knowledge of the different types of guests who may come through the door, including those on business trips.
I went up to my room and the windows were wide open which had sent the brochures / papers etc flying over the floor, and the curtains were hanging out the window - this meant they were slightly damp as it had been raining. I noticed the bathroom light wasn't working, so on my way out I reported this to reception. I was out of the hotel from 9.45am to 5.45pm. I returned to my room to freshen up and my bathroom light had not been repaired or replaced. So I went back downstairs, queued behind 4 people who were checking in (taking at least 10 minutes a piece, fortunately there were 2 receptionists on now). I asked at reception and they sai dthey had no record of me asking for it to be done. So I had to sit in my room and wait, because the bathroom was pitch black and I needed to use it prior to going for my evening meal. After an hour, the handyman came and changed the bulb.
I had shut the windows as it was quite windy and raining on and off, and the room heated up very quickly. By the time I had got washed and changed for dinner, I was sweating in the heat. I looked for the Air Con, and there is none apparently, so I asked for a fan from reception when I went for my tea.
In Clippers Bar and Brasserie the menu was ok, not much variety, and pretty much nothing nice if you didn't like fish or steak. On the first night I had a Minute Steak Sandwich - nice, but not overly tasty and just average, at £11.95 I feel it was highly over priced. The second night I ordered room service, ham and wholegrain mustard sandwiches and a cheeseboard for dessert. It was quite nice, but the bread was quite stale, and this cost about £25 in total with a glass of juice. Again I think this was very expensive for what you got. You waited a long time just to be served in the restaurant, and then even longer for your meal to come. I think my evening meal took around an hour on the first night, hence the room service on the second night.
On returning to my room there was no fan, so I just decided to have a relaxing cool bath, catch up on my emails and get an early night.
The bathroom was nice and clean, but the towels were really small, thin and frayed. The toilettries were nice, but I only had a quarter of a cheap roll of toilet roll, and I couldn't be pestered to ring down and ask for more, given the amount of time everything else seemed to be taking. After my bath, I attempted to use the TV internet access, this was not user friendly, and I would recommend if you need internet access to take a wireless dongle, because the Wi-Fi connection was down for the 2 days I was there, and was very expensive anyway. It specifies it is free, but it only is in the reception between certain times (I think you get 15 minutes).
I got into bed (with a hole in my sheet) at about 11pm and as I was drifting off to sleep there was a knock at my door. I went and answered it, to be greeted by the receptionist holding a fan. I wasn't happy at all, I had a long day and had been travelling since 6am.
The breakfast wasn't too bad, the usual buffet style English / Continental breakfast, with fry-up, toast, preserves, coffee, tea, juice, cereal, yoghurts, as well as kippers, mackerel, choice of eggs, and so on. Quite tasty, but very cold, the bacon was salty and the scrambled egg had a milky coating to it as it had been out a while. And we had to ask for coffee because no one came to fill us up.
Really, the slowness, shabbiness of the rooms / towels / bed linen, difficulty in obtaining understanding from the receptionists, overpriced poor quality food all contributed to my dismal experience at this hotel. It was also a bit disappointing that there were no leisure facilities near by for guests' use.
Some other colleagues stayed in the nearby Holiday Inn, and apparently it was beautiful. I wouldn't recommend the Copthorne at all.
The hotel is showing some signs of needing a bit of a refit - the furniture is a bit shabby. The staff are nice enought, though and the room service is good. The complimentary nonsense tray comes with real coffee filters rather than Nescafe, an excellent touch. My room was very good - big windows overlooking the quay. The major downside is that it is a drive from the town centre and that it's a wee bit close to the Lowry for its own good. The other downside is that the salt on the chips otherwise fist class room service tray tasted rather funny - a bit like that low sodium salt stuff.