We stayed at the Palace for 3 nights over the May Day bank holiday weekend. A friend invited us up north for an impromptu visit; I booked through lastminute.com and had to check the price several times as it was coming in at just over £59 a night which I couldn't quite believe for an unplanned stay on a bank holiday weekend in Manchester (let alone a 4* one...budget hotels were well over double this nightly rate).
The hotel is ideally located for the Palace Theatre and less than 5-minutes' walk from the end of Canal Street and its pubs, bars and restaurants. The city centre is about 10 minutes further on with easy access to the Arndale Centre for shopping and the Printworks for eating and/or drinking. We also took a 20-minute ride on the 250 bus from right outside the hotel to the intu Trafford Centre which has pretty much all the shops, restaurants and cinemas you could ever need. This cost just £4 return and if (unlike me!) you happen to be a United fan it also goes to Old Trafford. We didn't use the car at all so in some respects we could have left it at one of the many park & ride facilities but the hotel has a deal with a Euro Car Parks site a short walk away giving you 15% off the daily rate of £10.
The hotel is really striking from the exterior and when you walk in the reception area is just incredible - you really feel like you're walking into somewhere special. The receptionist gave us a very warm, friendly welcome and all the staff I encountered throughout the stay were very professional, even the poor night receptionist who had to remind me what room I was in as I'd left my card behind.
After such a good review you may be wondering why I've rated the hotel 4 and not 5/5...on their own these maybe don't sound like much but altogether they raised a couple of questions for me as this is a 4* property (I'm also basing the review on the fact that the majority of guests will be paying a lot more than I did). My main concern was the empty, lipstick-stained plastic champagne glass sticking out from under the bed when we checked in; this really shouldn't have been missed when the room was cleaned. There was also an unusual stain on the curtains. The sanitary disposal bag holder was stuck to the wall in the bathroom with double-sided tape. Well, I say stuck but the reason I know it was taped on is because it kept falling off. The plug in the sink wouldn't stay open, and the cold water wouldn't run cooler than lukewarm even after several minutes; a glass of warm water isn't that refreshing. There is a safe in the room but it wasn't available to be used as it was broken and as other reviewers have commented the windows don't close properly so there's a draught and some minimal traffic noise (although the draught was welcome on a hot night with no air-conditioning in the room).
At the time I'd have felt churlish mentioning these things as I noticed them across the 3-day stay, but I'd started this review giving 5/5 and I unfortunately think the issues experienced (which I would class as pretty basic musts) mean this isn't a fair rating. I wouldn't hesitate to stay in the hotel again, but I might just make a cheeky request for one of the newly refurbished rooms that other reviewers are raving about!
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- Also Known As:
- Palace Hotel Manchester