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.)
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
the bathrooms are brand new with Acca Kappa toiletries
the beds are Super King and seem new
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)
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
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
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!
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.
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.
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