I spend half the year travelling and like cool, interesting, trendy, but efficient hotels. The Arora wasn't for me. In many ways it's fine; for me it would be 2.5 stars, but for the friendliness of some staff that just bumps the review up to three.
I wanted to begin this review with the good news that they've clearly been reading Tripadvisor and started giving free Wifi. I had to phone the front desk but they did actually give me a code for free access. Sadly, it stopped working pretty quickly, saying I now had to pay. Oh well...
After a long journey from eastern Europe, I reached this "modern" hotel to find there's no step-free access. I had to lug a very heavy suitcase up lots of steps. I was given my room key: guard this with your life - you can't move throughout this hotel without it. You need the key for the lift, the gym (that they didn't tell me about), the bar (that they didn't tell me about, though it's keyless access from the street) and so on. In the UK there are some supermarkets (Sainbsbury/Tesco) where you need to pay for a trolley and others that are higher class (Waitrose) where you don't. Somehow the aura of Waitrose must stop people stealing trolleys. Likewise, there are good hotels where you don't need keys to wander around because the ambience of the hotel (and watchful staff) keep it that way. Others need (apparently lots of) keys to just get down a corridor.
In my room I noticed several things. The first was the dominating alarm cord beside the bed, as though I was an infirm octaginarian about to cop it any minute. I've never seen this in a hotel. The first thing you notice in the bathroom is another alarm cord for the old and infirm. You start to think this is a little odd. Perhaps people do come here to expire? That looked the case given the blood-style stain on the carpet in front of my door. Perhaps someone had a heart attack, desperate to escape, and it ended there (badly)?
After a long journey to Manchester, I decided to have a shower but the hot water knob wasn't actually attached. I should have asked to move room, but starving and tired after 24 hours travelling I wasn't thinking straight so I went out for dinner, telling reception on the way out that the knob in the shower wasn't attached and needed fixing.
Two hours later I returned. Some wag had simply placed the broken knob back over the shower tap, without doing anything whatsoever to repair it. Down six floors to reception to tell them and ask to change room for a shower that worked. Reluctantly they moved me. The new room still had stains on the carpet, but they weren't as bad. The next morning I discovered that the shower control in the new room didn't work either, but I couldn't be bothered to move rooms again having already unpacked. Cold showers for three days...
In some ways the place was adequate. The room was decent size, there was a TV and a safe (though the display didn't work so you had to hope you started out with the right number). But there was nothing whatsoever that was cool, trendy, interesting or fun about it. The Arora appeared purely functional, and I resented every minute in the room. If you like a Jury's Inn, then this is for you. I write this review because I like boutique, arty, interesting (but still business-like and efficient) hotels and use Tripadvisor to try to find them. This was a rare occasion it let me down.
The location was pretty good. If you want to be in the heart of Manchester and don't much care where you're staying, this place might be fine. A year earlier I found myself in Manchester and stayed in The Midland. If I return, I'd go there again.
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- Also Known As:
- Arora International Hotel Manchester
- Manchester Arora International Hotel
- Arora Hotel