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A brief review of the refurbished Marriott Manchester Airport hotel

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This is my review of the refurbished Marriott Manchester Airport hotel.

I have written before on HFP that it is almost always – in my opinion – worth paying the premium to stay in a hotel connected to an airport.  Messing about with unreliable shuttle buses late at night or early in the morning isn’t worth the trouble in my view.

However, the ability to rack up the 9th and final stay for my Marriott Rewards Platinum Challenge meant that I ignored my own advice, ignored the in-terminal Radisson Blu hotel at Manchester Airport and booked into the Marriott Manchester Airport.

(For anyone interested, my Marriott account was upgraded to Platinum as soon as this 9th stay posted to my account.  Cleverly, my linked Starwood account was also upgraded to Platinum without any input from me.)

Marriott Manchester Airport hotel review

Amazingly, this hotel has no shuttle bus.  I was able to get an Uber quickly – even at 8am on a Sunday morning – for £6.09 to Terminal 2, but the lack of a dedicated shuttle bus is just weird. That said, the hotel was still 100% full when I was there, as a couple found out to their cost when they turned up without a booking at the same time as I did. (Full credit to the night manager, who was happily to ring around other hotels on their behalf trying to find a room. They had been stranded by Flybe.)

The Marriott Manchester Airport has just been refurbished.  All that remains to be done is the new Brasserie Blanc restaurant, to complement the existing Italian.  The rooms and public areas are finished and look good.

Let’s start with the positives:

the rooms are huge

Marriott Manchester Airport hotel review

the bathrooms are brand new with Acca Kappa toiletries

the beds are Super King and seem new

Marriott Manchester Airport hotel review

the wi-fi is excellent

there are new TVs which can stream music from your device (and it worked)

there is a leisure club and a swimming pool although I didn’t have time to see it (library picture below)

Marriott Manchester Airport hotel review

there is a brand new Executive Lounge (picture below) – it reopened two weeks before I stayed – which any Marriott Rewards Gold member will get access to, although from August 2018 you will need to be Platinum in the new combined Marriott / SPG scheme to get access unless you book a club room

Marriott Manchester Airport hotel review

Even on a short overnight stay, though, the downsides were obvious:

the hotel has no lifts.  OK, it is only two stories high – with a basement level health club – but this seems a weird oversight in a hotel where almost all guests will be carrying a holiday-load of luggage. (EDIT: comments suggest there is one tucked away but not near reception)

the layout is ludicrous.  You know you’re in trouble when the reception insists – insists – you take a map when you check-in, and I regretted leaving it in the room when I set off to find the lounge and turned left instead of right when I walked into the corridor.  I’ve no idea what the architects were smoking when they designed this.  It is a bit like a figure of ‘8’ with a couple of appendages randomly sticking out.

the air conditioning system is noisy.  Even when it was turned off, you hear a lot of noise through the huge vents in the room. 

there was also a lot of noise in my room when the guests next door took a shower

there are no separate showers, only ‘in tub’ ones

Marriott Manchester Airport hotel review

With the restaurant still closed until the Autumn, breakfast seems to be served in a conference room.  As I had lounge access, I ate in there.  Whilst the lounge looks, and is, brand new, it was a frustrating experience.  The food choice was limited, as were the quantities – I made myself a fruit plate and used 75% of what was there, despite being only the 2nd guest of the day!

Marriott Manchester Airport hotel review

More importantly, I felt pretty sure that none of the hotel management had actually tried eating in there.  There can be no other explanation for the fact that the bowls are nowhere near the cereal, that there are no spoons near the jam etc.

Conclusion

Despite my caveats, I would recommend the Marriott Manchester Airport especially if you Marriott status and can access the lounge for free breakfast.  Once Brasserie Blanc is open, you should be able to make a decent afternoon from a visit to the leisure club, a meal and then a night in your spacious refurbished room.

The shortcomings will annoy you, without a doubt, but I would be willing to gamble that the other options around the airport are worse.

The hotel website is here if you want to find out more.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. BrightonReader says:

    What’s the plug socket provision like – do they take US or EU plugs or do,people need an adaptor? Are there USB charging points?Do the curtains give complete blackout? Is there any plane takeoff noise? Is there a kettle in the room? Free bottled water?

    • These are the missing pieces that would add a lot to every hotel review. I’d also find it useful to know do they have power/usb next to the bed so I can charge my phone and still have it close to me. Coffee provisions are also good to know.

    • Curtains were fine. Was only there for a few hours (was awake for 2 hours there) so did not fully check it out.

  2. Bit of a strange review.

    I’ve been there twice & frankly it’s a hole.admittedly pre-renno but can’t say it does much to inspire confidence to return.

    The Hilton within walking distance of the terminal (or free shuttle) is a much better bet.

  3. Seat54 says:

    I’m confused, I’m sure I’ve been here and there were elevators and a shuttle bus.
    Surely they would not remove them

    The lounge in the evenings was so full it was standing room only, but I also remember there was a lack of available drinks too.

    I need to book somewhere for August so this review is useful but is making me look elsewhere

    • Seat54 says:

      Perhaps I should have looked at the map first, doh, as I was actually at the crowne plaza.

    • If there is a lift I never saw it and was directed to the stairs.

      • Mark C says:

        There is a lift but its not signposted and not where you would expect one to be. Go past reception, your first door on your right there is a lift in there on the right hand side.

        Agree with the review in general but I was disappointed with the lounge personally.

  4. Roger1* says:

    Thanks, Rob. Interesting review.

    So that’s one off the list of possibles for my QR trip to/from Auckland in (our) Autumn. 😀 (Will need bookended reservations.)

  5. M Todd says:

    A hotel that I have stayed at a few times and was recently there after the lounge opened! THe lack of shuttle bus is frustrating and wish they would get one but apart fromthen generally for the rates you can get it at it is a very good deal!

    The Spa is very good and understand why you only glossed over it in your review as you didn’t visit but it is certainly better than most. A very godo size pool, hot tub, sauna and steam room.

    THe new lounge is certainly a big improvement over the old one and they open 7 days a week as of start of this year which is an improvement. Fully agree the breakfast selection in the lounge is poor, hopefully when the restuarant reopens Plats will be able to go there like they used to as the offering at the old restuarant was always very good and consistent.
    Evening food and drinks is reasonable, the drinks a little limited with just wine and beer but some good hot food options when I was there!

  6. I have stayed here quite a bit but admittedly pre-refurb

    It is a solid property following a fairly standard Marriott UK model. There are lifts which I am sure have not been removed tucked away in a corner behind reception and not that far from the club lounge.

    Parking is fairly reasonably priced and it’s easy to take an uber to and from the terminal. This property is normally considerably cheaper than the Criwne Plaza or Hilton. The former has tiny rooms and the latter competes strongly with otther older UK Hiltons for the title of worst Hilton in the UK.

    Even allowing for uber to and from the terminals close by, this is a good value property especially for Marriott Plats and above.

  7. Slightly OT, anyone stayed at Hilton Manchester Airport, got a booking there later this year…

    • Oh Matron! says:

      Many times. Shuttle bus good, breakfast good and seems a lively place. always have a good nights sleep when there

    • Jovanna says:

      Stayed there quite a few times but not in recent years. As a Diamond member, I always asked for (and received) a drinks voucher for the bar in lieu of no Executive lounge.

    • Peter K says:

      I like the Hilton at Man Airport. I found the concierge a bit poor but otherwise the hotel fine. The breakfast very enjoyable and the food in the evenings in the restaurant tastes good (avoid room service).
      It blocks out the airport noise well and the beds are comfortable.
      Is choose it over the crowne plaza any day (dark, dingy and we could clearly hear the occupants in the next room).

    • RussellH says:

      Stayed a few times, though not for a couple of years. Always on points+cash. 50% of food in restaurant or bar with a Tastecard. Good shuttle service. It is not in the first flush of youth (I seem to remember booking it for clients years ago when it was a Holiday Inn Garden Court??), but the rooms are significantly better than the Crowne Plaza, which does indeed have HIE sized rooms. But Crowne Plaza Gatwick has even smaller ones.)
      Last stayed at the CP MAN a year ago (fewer points than Hilton) and we were very pleasantly surprised by the restaurant there, as were were at CP Gatwick a month later.

    • Premier01 says:

      Yes several times- interesting how others have described as one of the worst UK Hiltons- not thr best but we find it well located with regular free shuttle service. The train station hub is 5 mins walk where you can connect to all 3 terminals via the sky link.

      Good Diamond recognition including free drinks vouchers- bar has a great vibe and great breakfasts.

      CP less impressive but had full bar in Club Lounge with self-pour spirits when last there a few years back…anyone confirm still the case?

      Radisson Blu amazing location and airport views of planes if staying on the right side but imho overpriced- especially business class rooms which confer access to executive lounge which is supposed to be good.

  8. Russell Gowers says:

    Sounds like the layout of the one at Waltham Abbey. That one doesn’t make any sense either…

  9. Nigel the pensioner says:

    I have points in my RC gold tier account. Can i use these points 1:1 to book a Marriott?

  10. Mark Richardson says:

    I think the Marriott at Manchester Airport still has the San Carlo Italian attached to it. That’s a decent restaurant. Although if you travelling for the first time from Manchester airport the Radisson has got to be the favourite with the overhead walkway into the terminals.

    • RussellH says:

      I have only once used the Radisson at MAN, because it is usually significantly more expensive than the others. Pleasant place to stay and extremely convenient, but I cannot justify paying an additional £40 odd for that convenience.

  11. tetly1967 says:

    Spent the best part of four years staying at the hotel (clearly pre-refurb) and whilst it is by the airport many of the guests used to be working close by (some very big firms in the vicinity.

    Others have noted there is a lift somewhere but not where you expect it to be and the layout is ludicrous (I must have directed someone every time I stayed).

    The really good part about the hotel was the leisure club/gym which is big, well stocked and well used by non-residents.

    The exec lounge was always rammed when the beers were out then empty afterwards (nothing unusual there) but a very sad room off reception – any improvement there would be great.

    Great staff team there when I stayed which is what kept me going back, much preferred it over the Hilton (agree with another poster that in my experience it was one of the worst in the country) or the Radisson – but then I was not staying to then fly so lack of shuttle or proximity were not important factors for me.

    Will find an excuse to go and stay again to see what they have done with the place,..

  12. I stayed Thursday night.

    You have to pay for parking and it has one of those parkingeye nunberplate registration systems. Don’t forget!

    The exec lounge air con is always turned up to the max, and it was Thursday. I never saw more than about 4 people in the lounge.

    The Italian restaurant is still there, Carlos or something. You can’t room charge but it’s well priced and nice. Gets busy however

    Plenty of plug and usb sockets. I think there was both UK and USA . The bedside lamp had USB ports.

    Internet was rubbish in my room. About 1mb up and 100kb down.

    For those with kids, there is a Pokemon stop in the middle of the hotel. No, I don’t know what this is either ????

  13. RussellH says:

    I have stayed a couple of times at this Marriott, but not recently; last time maybe 7 years ago. They certainly used to run a shuttle service and I was very surprised when I recently checked it out again to discover that there was no longer a shuttle! I can only think that they have discovered that many of their guests are, like tetly1967, not actually using the airport.

    But for me, no shuttle is a complete deal breaker; arriving by train and taking a taxi is not my idea of fun.

  14. where2travel says:

    I stayed here a year or so back and liked it for a change to the other hotels closer to the airport terminals. The lounge was closed (maybe it used to be closed on the weekend), but a few minutes after we arrived at the room, one of the hotel staff came to the room with a bottle of wine and an ice bucket, which was unexpected but nice.

    If I am in the area for the evening and don’t want to go into central Manchester, it’s relative proximity to Hale Barns and Hale makes for a nice evening out. We had a car, but it must be the cheapskate in me that made us park just round the corner from the hotel where there is plenty of available free parking!

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