My review of the new Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road

Links on Head for Points pay us an affiliate commission. A list of our partners is here.

This is our review of the new Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road hotel in, erm, Manchester.

Long-term readers will remember that we ran a competition in the Summer as part of a campaign to promote IHG’s various hotels in Manchester.  We were offered a review of the new Crowne Plaza in Manchester as part of that, but the opening date slipped back.  It is now open for business and I went up to take a look.

After Rob reviewed the new two-in-one Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express at Heathrow Terminal 4 I was able to see the brand new combined Crowne Plaza and Staybridge Suites hotels in Manchester.  It complements the existing Crowne Plaza in Manchester as well as the even newer Hotel Indigo that is situated more centrally by Victoria Station.

The Crowne Plaza is built on University of Manchester land, just south of the city centre. It’s a £5 cab from Piccadilly station, for trains from London, and perfectly situated for the universities and science park which surrounds it.

Crowne Plaza/Staybridge Suites Manchester Oxford Road review

The lobby, bar and restaurant are one open, connected space. However, the funky lighting does a good job of making it feel cozy rather than cavernous and fills the high ceilings. This is a view from the restaurant toward reception:

Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road lobby reception review

Here is the bar:

Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road bar review

…. which connects to a more casual seating area, seen here from the conference floor level:

Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road lounge review

The rooms

Since the building is shared with the Staybridge Suites, the Crowne Plaza only occupies floors 1-12 of the tower.  I was given a room on one of the club floors on the top level.  A club room is the same size as a standard room but comes with slippers, a Nespresso machine and premium toiletries (Noir by The White Company) as well as Executive Lounge access. I was given a King Club:

Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxcord Road Club King review

and

Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road tv

The room was in a corner of the building and comes with two windows which made it feel light and spacious – obviously most rooms only have one window.  As a new hotel it comes with all the usual modern touches – USB and plug sockets on each side of the bed, iron and ironing board, robe etc as well as an additional European standard plug socket at the desk – convenient for travellers who have forgotten their adapters.

Unlike the Crowne Plaza at Heathrow Terminal 4 this room didn’t come with fruit or chocolates.  There were two bottles of water, two biscuits and some hot chocolate sachets as well as the usual selection of teas and (Nespresso) coffees.

Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road coffee review

This is the bathroom, including the large shower which extends beyond the wall in the photo.

Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road shower review

….. and comes with heated mirrors to prevent them steaming up, which is a nice touch.

Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road bathroom review

The restaurant

The restaurant is called The Laureate (25 Nobel prize winners studied in Manchester) and serves fusion European and Asian food as well as a pizza menu. This is the restaurant during the day, set up for breakfast in this photo:

Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road breakfast review

A friend who lives locally joined me for dinner.  We had the crispy duck and beef tartare starters:

Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road crispy duck review

and

Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road beef tartare review

and the sirloin steak:

Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road sirloin review

and and pork belly:
Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road pork belly review

I was very impressed by the quality of the food. The dessert, however, was a slightly disappointing end to an otherwise excellent meal. The fondant was a little dry on the outside whilst the caramelised banana had some, erm, presentation issues. I’d love to know what those little vanilla-flavoured balls were, too…

Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road caramelised onion review

Inside the Club Lounge

If you stay in a Club room, you can access the Executive Lounge on the first floor. I had some problems getting in – you need your keycard – and ended up going back to reception twice before I got a key that would actually let me in.

In the evenings they serve a selection of wines, beers and spirits with waiter service as well as nibbles which included butterfly prawns and chicken drumsticks. The atmosphere was pleasant with a various groups and individuals making use of the lounge.

Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road club lounge review

The Executive Lounge also serves a continental breakfast, including a selection of pastries, muffins, yoghurts, cereals, fruit smoothies and meats/smoked salmon.  This is a small selection compared to the bigger breakfast downstairs in the restaurant, which includes a full hot and cold buffet.

The Executive Lounge also has a little quiet work area with two Macs and a printer:

Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road club lounge workstation review

Also on the first floor is the gym, which is lovely and light since it is not in the basement like at many hotels:

Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road gym review

Conclusion

The Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road is a lovely property, with all the amenities you’d expect of a newly-built hotel including excellent connectivity.

The hotel’s location makes it a very convenient base for people visiting the universities in Manchester and the building is physically connected to the business school’s conference centre.

The food and service was outstanding although, as I said above, the dessert did not match the high standard of the rest of the menu.

Tomorrow I will look at the Staybridge Suites which occupies the upper floors of the building and show you how the two brands compare, as I think there is often some confusion about how Staybridge Suites is positioned in the market.

Cash rates at the Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road are around £100 for a standard room for midweek dates in January. About £20 more gets you a Club room with access to the Executive Lounge which is worth paying in my view.  As a redemption, a standard room is 35,000 IHG Rewards Club points.  This is poor value unless cash rates are over £140, which is the minimum required to hit our target redemption value of 0.4p per point.

Thanks to IHG and the Crowne Plaza team for letting me stay and showing me around the hotel.

The Crowne Plaza Manchester Oxford Road website is here if you want to know 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.)

Bits: Good LNER Nectar rail redemption deal, Radisson Dream Deals are back, IHG adds a voco in Dubai
American Express Platinum Cashback Card (UK) - in-depth review
Click here to join the 13,000 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Amazon ad
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. The club price will creep up I expect but at the moment looks a great deal. The hotel in general looks great too. Ta.

  2. The little balls look like tapioca, but that ‘banana’ though… 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 💩💩

  3. And it’s in Shop Small this year. Presumably because it’s just opened and the revenue hasn’t been that high yet.

  4. Watched this being built as I had regular meetings in an overlooking building that involved an overnight stay … that all finished just before this opened, but mean I’ve bounced round most of the city centre hotels. The Radisson and Melia properties in Manc are both very good as well, with the Melia being particularly well located for the university. The Midland was a bit tired (I see it’s getting a refurb after a takeover), and the Deansgate Locks Premier Inn could be an amazing bargain as it included parking – and was sometimes cheaper than the cost of just parking a car in the carpark opposite for the same period!

  5. a9504477 says:

    Do Spire member get access to the club lounge?

    • Sididdly says:

      I stayed there a week or so after it opened. As a Spire member I enquired about club access (reward night). The response was that they had decided not to give complimentary access to Spire members but as they were quiet they would grant it as a one off. That stance seems to be common in new CPs (London Albert Embankment is the same).

    • I’ve not had lounge access at any CPs yet as Spire.

      • I had a good run. CP T4 told me that they hoped to give it to all Spire members when the lounge is finished, although the policy is not yet signed off.

        • Nice, any other successes? CP Auckland were a definite no and seem to have always been that way. TBH I’m not a big fan of CP as a brand, prefer Hotel Indigo.

      • a9504477 says:

        Heathrow (not the new one), City, Birmingham, Nottingham, Copenhagen, Geneva, Minsk, Santo Domingo, Kathmandu and Kowloon (although only for 1 person at this one) are the ones that spring to mind where it seems policy. Negatives for Battersea and seemingly all the ones in Japan

        • Thanks, both – good to hear some being more reasonable. Wish they’d lock in some sort of benefits for Spire (apart from 100% points bonus) to give more certainty!

      • We got upgraded to a Junior Suite and Club Lounge access at the CP in Helsinki recently. Hotel in need of updating. Met a few player from the Finland National Basketball team! We got continental breakfast – evening drinks and nibbles were poor but then again we had just been spoiled in Tallinn at the Hilton where we had a full spread of breakfast for being a Gold Member and access to the Club Lounge which had great food in evening so we didn’t need to eat out at night!

  6. Excellent style on the review, really well written and focussed I thought.

    And very tactfully put ref the banana unpleasantness!

    After a bad string of CP experiences (mostly in hindsight US properties) they’re back in favour for me now – there are some really good hotels in the UK at least under the CP banner and these new builds look very interesting indeed

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.