I wrote about Melia’s new INNSIDE hotel in Manchester a few weeks ago. This is the first UK opening for this expanding four-star business brand – which allows you to earn Avios on your stays via Iberia Plus – and they have gone with an architecturally striking piece of design.
After the article ran, Melia got in touch and offered me a free night if I was passing. I have a few friends in Manchester so I thought it would be a good opportunity.
Whilst Melia did settle my bill, it is worth noting that INNSIDE is excellent value at the moment – rooms are as low as £75 for weekdays in July and that includes a £15 food and drink credit if you book via melia.com. You also get free wi-fi and a free (soft) minibar.
INNSIDE is part of the new First Street development which includes the new HOME arts centre next door. It is about a ten minute walk from Manchester Piccadilly. Oxford Road and Deansgate stations are very close. The hotel home page is here.
This is the hotel from the outside – it is certainly striking. If you look at the windows you can see that they are ‘floor to ceiling’ and let in a huge amount of light to the bedrooms.
I was given a Premium King room. This first picture is an ‘official’ Melia publicity shot because it uses a wider angle lens and shows the room more effectively than my photos:
and (the following photos are all mine):
with ‘open’ bathrooms. My room did not have a bath but I know that some rooms do, should you specifically want one. You receive a full range of free toiletries (razor, toothbrush etc) which is rare at the four-star level.
The beds have a nice touch – in-built plugs. This allows you to use your smartphone as a clock or alarm clock on the bedside table whilst still being able to charge it overnight.
As it is surrounded by relatively low buildings, I had a decent view from the window:
Whilst I didn’t take a picture, the mini bar is free. It only contains soft drinks but, again, this is something that you rarely see at the four star level. There are also tea and coffee making facilities. Wi-Fi is also free and was fast enough for video streaming.
I was genuinely impressed by the restaurant which feels like it is designed to pick up traffic from visitors to the adjacent HOME arts centre. It has an outside terrace into the pedestrian square outside the hotel and is all glass walled, which accounts for the glare on the photographs. Here is a hotel publicity photograph of the terrace from the outside:
The menu is ambitious and – compared to the current price of the rooms – pricey, with appetisers running from £8 to £12.50 and mains from £21 to £30:
and some pork belly:
Breakfast is served in the same area with a wide ranging buffet:
In terms of leisure facilities, the hotel has no pool – that is probably the only criticism I have if I am being picky. It does have a gym, a sauna and a steam room, all of which are free to guests. There is also a spa suite with one treatment room.
If you are looking for a meeting venue, the hotel is well appointed with a number of different options on a dedicated floor, including a spacious break-out area overlooking reception.
Overall, I was very impressed by INNSIDE Manchester. It is certainly worth considering for your next trip to Manchester, especially given the current highly competitive rates as it attempts to build occupancy. The staff were very friendly (or perhaps I have just spent too much time in London and this was normal Manchester behaviour!) and there were no signs at all of ‘teething problems’ which you often find with a new property.
How does the loyalty scheme work?
I wrote about the relaunch of Melia Rewards a couple of weeks ago. You will earn 10 Melia Rewards points per €1 spent at an INNSIDE or any other Melia property.
If you choose to convert these into Avios points, the rate is 100 Melia Rewards points = 15 Avios points, converted into Iberia Plus. You can move them from Iberia Plus to British Airways Executive Club via the ‘Combine my Avios’ function online.
Melia Rewards has various other airline partners (log-in required) although, as is usual with hotel schemes, you will get a better deal if you use the points for free nights instead. Melia often offers discounted cash rates at its hotels when you redeem as few as 2,000 points.
In terms of status, you only need to have two stays to move up to Melia Rewards Silver. This gets you free wi-fi (although INNSIDE Manchester has free wi-fi for everyone), a 10% points bonus and a 2-4-1 deal on breakfast whenever you stay with your partner.
Further INNSIDE hotels are coming to Glasgow and Birmingham in 2017 so the opportunities to earn Melia Rewards points in the UK will continue to increase.
You can find our more about INNSIDE Manchester, and book, on this page of the Melia website.
(Want to earn more hotel points? To see our complete list of promotions from the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)