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Working my way through the hotels & still haven't seen the sights!
Portland Thistle Hotel (Manchester)
Member Name: sue.51
Portland Thistle Hotel (Manchester)
Date: 22/10/01, updated on 05/02/02 (258 review reads)
Advantages: Excellent location, Good food
Disadvantages: Expensive bar, No parking facilities, Very small rooms
Our venue on this occasion was The Thistle Hotel in Manchester, opposite what was once, as I understand Piccadilly Gardens (now under redevelopment pending the Commonwealth games next year) and about 5 minutes walk from Manchester Piccadilly train station and the Arndale Centre.
The hotel has 205 bedrooms, a minute reception area, a newly refurbished bar and restaurant area, bland and small with a wide screen for those all important footie matches, and prices that would have all but the most hardened wallets running for the sanctity of the amazingly cheaper Jarvis Piccadilly on the opposite side of the road.
Check-in was not smooth; a party of 5 arriving at 2.30pm after a long and arduous train journey found not all the rooms were ready, and that pub and wide screen were beckoning (yes England did just have a small game on!!) - so all the gear was dumped and off to locate the TV, but believe me that is a different story.
Manchester city centre was most certainly NOT over-run with friendly inviting pubs in which we could watch the game (no jeans/trainers on a Saturday afternoon??) and we ended up in the old faithful (& cheap) Portland Bar, which certainly livened up as the tensions and the match progressed. People were really friendly and the atmosphere was wicked.
BACK TO THE HOTEL
Our price for a double room was £70 (including breakfast). The 205 rooms are spread out over 7 floors and boy are they small? - the words 'cat' and 'swing' would definitely not go together in this place - plainly furnished - we were on this occasion blessed with a window (which is more than I can say
about the Britannia) although the view was concrete and more hotel rooms.
The room consisted of a double bed (sheets & feather pillows - no quilts in site), trouser press, kettle, hairdryer, radio, remote control colour TV with teletext and ALL 3 Sky Sports Channels, and for an extra £6.99 you could buy a 'mucky' film that you could watch as much as you wanted over 24 hours.
The bathroom was even smaller than the room and housed toilet, bath & very effective shower and hand basin - the towel rail was strategically placed over the bath and being a bit of a shortie, it managed to hit me over the head about three times whilst taking a shower.
The Hotel also sported a leisure pool and Gym, but time was precious and we didn't have chance to have a nose.
Like most of the hotels in this area, there is no car-parking, although I do believe the hotel negotiates a special rate with one of more of the many NCP car-parks close by (£10 per 24 hours as opposed to the standard £14.50).
There are two small lifts and the hotel claims disabled people in wheelchairs can comfortably stay unaccompanied - although how a wheelchair would have got through out bedroom door is anyone's guess.
A WORD OF WARNING:
This hotel supplies Feather Pillows (to which I am allergic) and were quite taken aback when I asked for new pillows - so if you do have a problem with them, take your own or ask early on.
MY FAVOURITE BIT
If I was disappointed with the hotel, I certainly cannot say the same about the breakfast which consisted of:
* A range of cereals
* Fresh Fruit in Juice
* A variety of fruit juices
* Scrambled and Fried Eggs
* Black Pudding
* Baked Beans
* Fried Bread
* Happy smiling potato faces
* Sausages (the tastiest I have had for a long time)
White/Wholemeal toast with conserve
* Bread rolls of all types (included the lovely crusty seeded ones)
As I said earlier, there is a restaurant at the hotel, but the word pricey springs to mind - £2.50 for a portion of chips - £3.00 for carrots - needless to say, we elected to sample the delights of China Town but thats a different story.
THE ALL IMPORTANT QUESTION
Good question - I did ask as I quite often travel to Manchester on business - (The breakfast really was that good) - but reception would not give me a rate, advising me that they change daily according to demand
In the Thistle breaks brochure - a one night stay costs £68 per person B&B (ouch) and £41 per person B&B low season on a Thistle Savers break which requires a minimum two night stay (not cheap and certainly better deals around this area which really is hotel city - as long as you are not staying when England/Man U are playing at Old Trafford).
Best bet if you fancy this hotel is contact them at:
Telephone: 0870 333 9139
Not bad, the food made up for lack of space, but with so many to chose from around here - this hotel would not necessarily be my first choice.