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Travelodge Manchester Central Hotel
Member Name: rosebud2001
Travelodge Manchester Central Hotel
Date: 30/12/09, updated on 02/01/10 (149 review reads)
Advantages: Location, decent sized family rooms, pleasant staff
Disadvantages: Hard to get a space in the car park, soft beds
Earlier this year I found myself in need of a hotel in central Manchester, as my daughter's 2009 Christmas present was a trip the Manchester Evening News Arena to see Miley Cyrus in concert.
A friend in the US sent me the presale code but much to my dismay many hotels around the arena were already full on the date of the concert despite tickets going on sale a good six months before.
I really wanted a hotel within a short walking distance from the Arena which wasn't going to break the bank so once again I found myself on the Travelodge website, and managed to secure a booking at the Manchester Central hotel for £32 per night. Had I not had the presale code for tickets and had to wait for the tickets to go on general sale I would have been looking at prices of at least double what I paid.
The hotel is centrally located on Blackfriars Street in the Deansgate area of the city. It was easy to find coming in from the M60 off the A56 and is also close to the M602 motorway. The Arndale Centre is just a five minute walk away, and Manchester Victoria station is about a ten minute walk. Piccadilly station is about 20 minutes walk.
I booked a family room for this trip because my sister was travelling with us, although due to a friend's bereavement she ended up only staying one night of our booked two night stay.
The Travelodge website states the hotel has a car park which costs £7.50 for 24 hours stay which is reasonable for the city centre, but when I arrived at the hotel the car park was full. There is an NCP car park next door so I had to use that instead - and at £15.30 for 24 hours this stuck in my craw a little.
We arrived at reception around 2.45 pm to be met by a huge queue of people checking in - clearly I was not the only person to consider this hotel after securing concert tickets for Miley Cyrus. As a result there were a lot of young children, the vast majority of them girls, staying at the hotel.
Check in was quick and efficient and using the room key card to access the lift area we headed up to our room.
I have stayed in a lot of Travelodges and one thing you learn quickly about them is they are not all created equal, with some being far better than others. I am pleased to say this was one of the better ones.
Our family room was particularly spacious - I have been in some which have been a bit of a tight squeeze so I do worry sometimes but there was plenty of room in this one.
The sofa bed was unmade and there were only three pillows in the room, but at least there were towels for all three guests in the room when we arrived. There was a sheet and duvet for the sofa bed available in the exposed wardrobe area so beloved of the Travelodge chain.
The bed was a typical Travelodge bed - just about bearable but not a patch on anything you will get from any other hotel chain. I've said it before and I'll say it again - these cheap beds the Travelodge use are pretty uncomfortable and not good enough to guarantee a good night's sleep. I know the rooms can be had for a cheap price but for full price you don't really get value for money due to these poor beds.
The bathroom was pleasant and the shower was particularly good - it was powerful and the hot water came on immediately. My daughter had a bath and this wasn't quite as successful as the bath is only a three quarter size tub meaning it's too short to luxuriate much in.
A downside about having a large room was the fact it was quite cold and the bog standard electric wall heater you find in Travelodges was as inefficient at heating the room as ever. I ended up having to leave the heater on for the entire duration of my stay which seemed wasteful - but we were staying in the midst of the cold snap and needed it.
There was an LCD TV on the desk along with a kettle and some instant coffee and teabags. The TV only had the five terrestial channels and a handful of Freeview ones. There was one chair and that was that.
Maid service was perfunctory - we had had a drink in the bar area after the concert on our first night and my sister and I took our drinks up to our room to finish them before bed. The glasses were not removed when the maid cleaned our room the next day which I found disappointing.
We ended up running out of toilet paper in the room because an empty roll wasn't replaced with a full one - instead a half used one was put up.
There was also a leak from the toilet which I discovered the morning of our departure - it was only minor but it led to a puddle on the bathroom floor.
I also struggled to get spare pillows - I headed down to get some about an hour after checking in (my fault I suppose for not requesting them at check-in!) and could only get two.
My biggest gripe about this hotel is the car park however. Despite it being a hotel car park, it is open to the public - meaning the canny visitor to the city can quite legally park there so long as they pay and display. In light of the fact it is less than half the price to use this small car park as opposed to the NCP one next door, you can and will struggle to park here.
I was able to move my car to the hotel park on my second day of our stay but if you are driving to this hotel be prepared to have to use the NCP car park and pay the much higher tariff there.
As I have been disappointed so often with the food in Travelodges I didn't sample either breakfast or dinner here so I cannot comment on it, but bar service was rather slow in the evening after we got back from the concert with large queues forming and only one member of staff serving guests.
If I ever find myself back in Manchester for a concert at the MEN Arena I would consider this hotel but only because of the fact it's only a short walk to and from there. I would also be loathe to pay the rack rate of £75 per night for such an uncomfortable bed so it would have to be on offer.
All in all however it's worth considering if you are staying in Manchester on a budget and need to have a city centre location.
Summary: Budget accommodation in central Manchester
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