I was booked into the Britannia by the lastminute.com hotel booking wicket at the Manchester International Airport. Now I know why the lady at the reservation outlet claimed everywhere else was fully booked and full. No one would voluntarily or knowingly choose Britannia Country House Hotel Manchester.
The hotel is unstrategically located on an off road somewhere between the city and the airport. The facade indicates that it was cobbled together from several adjacent buildings.
Problem number one was highlighted immediately upon arrival. While a parking lot is sold as one of the hotel's features finding an available spot is improbable. Having circled the place several times and grabbed a tight rare spot the sight of many signs warning against theft and vandalism was the first of many worries. Having booked the room an hour earlier at the airport I was rebuked by the girl at the reception for... asking to check in. I apparently had two problems. One was how I had the nerve to check in at noon! Apparently, the lastminute.com employee had forgotten to warn me I cannot enter my room for another three hours having just flown in from across the Atlantic Ocean. The further rude receptionist had more to offer though. She explained to me that my reservation is not in the system and dished further attitude by incredibly noting that reservations take longer than an hour to enter their systems. She apparently is unaware of the speed of electronic transactions or e-mail or computer systems or networks or how the airport lady had telephoned in my reservation! Hilarious. Ignoring her surly attitude I shuffled my suitcase to my room (the lift was out of order) after much waiting.
It was immediately obvious that the carpeting's age matches the building. I could practically see the biscuit crumbs left over by the original Victorian residents. At least, the bathroom seemed renovated. Did that make up for the grimy room? Somehow.
The room needed to be heated, this being November, but that was not the case. The faded carpet, lack of parking spots and snarly receptionist dissuaded me against calling downstairs to complain. Not that there would have been a point. When hours later I called the reception to enquire about the "all rooms have access to Satellite TV channels" advertisement in the room booklet I was met by silence. That is, the reception/office would not answer the telephone. Not kidding folks. Safe to say, that one is restricted to the standard over-the-air channels, which is not a big deal in itself were it not noted otherwise in the room.
The buffet breakfast was a delight after all the other and assorted disappointments, but hardly enough to hide my glee from departing first thing in the morning. £69.95 (+ 10% for the reservation wicket's service) later and a disappointing stay I was off and happier.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Britannia Country House Hotel & Spa has a wide range of facilities including two restaurants, free parking for up to 600 spaces, free WI-Fi and also has a gym and spa. All rooms have tea and coffee making facilities, in addition to a TV, telephone, suit press and a hairdryer. All bathrooms include both a shower and bath. It is perfectly located for any visit to Manchester, being within a 10 minute drive of Manchester Airport, as well as only 20 minutes' drive away from Manchester City Centre, Manchester United Football Club and the second largest shopping centre in the UK - the Trafford Centre. Getting to the hotel couldn't be much easier, as it is only a 2 minute drive to the M60 motorway. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Britannia Country Manchester
- Britannia Country Hotel