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After booking tickets for a concert in Manchester recently, we were in need of somewhere to stay overnight and I turned to Premier Inn as I had already secured some fairly cheap deals with them this year thanks to their regular offers when booking in advance. I always book hotel rooms online and when looking on the Premier Inn website I noticed they had a number of hotels to choose from in Manchester. The concert we were attending was at the Phones 4u Arena (formerly the MEN Arena) and we were going to be driving over to Manchester from the North East, so we needed somewhere with a car park, but also didn't fancy having to drive right into the city centre. I am still haunted to this day by a memory of getting lost driving around Manchester a number of years ago and it wasn't something I fancied repeating anytime! I really was looking at the location, wanting somewhere not too far away from the venue but also out of the city centre, not too far from the motorway and at a decent price.
My requirements led me to Premier Inn, Manchester North, which seemed to tick all the boxes. Ideally located for easy access to M60, M62 and M66 motorways, this hotel is also advertised as being well positioned for many of Manchester's attractions including Manchester city centre. It has free car parking on site and is adjacent to The Wilton pub/restaurant. Better still, the date I wanted was available at just £29 saver rate (which means you must pay when booking and cannot amend or cancel) which I thought was a fantastic price for a Saturday night! The night before was also available at £29 too and so we thought we would book for two nights as it was so cheap and also it was my birthday weekend so it would be an extra treat.
Premier Inn Manchester North
Premier Inn Manchester North is situated on Manchester Old Road in Middleton. A quick look on Google maps showed this hotel to be very near to the M60 motorway and our journey would consist of crossing over to the west on the M62 and joining the M60 for a couple of minutes before exiting onto the A576 to Middleton. Go straight through some lights the directions stated and the hotel is behind the Wilton pub. It was indeed very straightforward which is exactly what we wanted and the only slight problem we had was when we
found ourselves accidentally in the wrong lane coming off the motorway, which was down to very poor ( and late!) road markings, but fortunately the road wasn't too busy at the time and we were able to get into the right lane. After this, the hotel was just a couple of minutes drive from the junction. We drove into the spacious car park, noticing it was well protected with a number of security cameras and found a space opposite the main entrance.
On first impressions, this hotel looked a little shabby from the outside, as did the pub/restaurant, but to be fair both buildings looked quite old, especially the pub and after all it is what is inside which counts and I had no doubt in my mind that the hotel would not be clean and comfortable, as I have came to expect a good standard from this chain based upon my experiences.
On walking into the Reception area, I thought it seemed a little dark and dingy, there is a lot of mahogany wood around on all the doors, skirting boards etc which makes the hotel reception areas and corridors appear dark too and overall the hotel has an 'old' feel to it as you step inside and not as airy, bright and modern as some hotels in the Premier Inn chain.
The woman on reception greeted us warmly and apologised admitting she didn't usually work on reception but she still managed to book us in without any problems and gave us a keycard to access our room up on the second floor. The keycard is also needed to gain access through a door from reception to the rooms, which is another good security measure I feel. Check-in time was 2pm, we had arrived just after this and our room was ready. I didn't notice a lift, nor did she mention there was one, but we were fine using the stairs. I would advise checking there is a lift at this hotel though if stairs are an issue as we had a couple of flights to walk up to our room.
Despite having a dark look and feel overall, this hotel was very clean and the same goes for our room. On opening the door, our room appeared quite dark which was not only due to the window not being very big but also because there were some large trees right outside which block the light. Apart from this, the room was very spacious with a large double bed and open and closed wardrobe space which you don't normally find in Premier Inns. There was the usual workspace, tv, hairdryer, kettle, cups, glasses and sachets of tea and coffee etc. There were bedside lamps and lights over the workspace which made the room look quite cosy when switched on.
The bathroom appeared a little dated compared to some but it was spotlessly clean with adequate lighting and fluffy white towels. There was one large bath towel and one hand towel per person and shower gel and soap were provided via dispensers on the wall, but I always prefer to take my own toiletries anyway. You can also buy kits from reception should you have forgotten some other toiletry item. There is a bath with an overhead shower and although we did not use the bath we found the shower to be very powerful and refreshing and there was always plenty of hot water. I did notice there wasn't much toilet roll in the bathroom and mentioned this to reception on our way out a little later. She apologised and when we returned we found two toilet rolls had been left in our room.
Overall, the room was very clean and comfortable and I must give special mention to beds at Premier Inn hotels as I always find them extremely comfortable and I love the selection of pillows you are given also.
After settling in, we went across to The Wilton pub for a drink and something to eat. I wasn't too impressed when walking in as it appears quite dark and dingy too and the only customers were some men propping up the bar. However, there is a separate restaurant area which I preferred to the main bar area and the meals which are typical 'pub grub' were ok and reasonably priced at two for £10. More customers arrived for meals whilst we were there and there seemed to be a lot of locals who regularly drink there too.
After returning to our room we settled down for the night and I can confirm the bed was just as comfortable as expected and looked forward to a good night's sleep. Just after 1am we heard a group of girls outside in the corridor and it seemed some of them were entering the room adjacent to us. We could hear them talking but once they had gone into their rooms it was only muffled voices we heard and not enough to keep us awake. However, some of them began going in and out of the room next door and across to another room knocking on the door. The knocking was ignored at first and they persisted knocking until some lads opened
The outside of the hotel
the door and they began having a conversation and laughing and giggling in the corridor. To the boys credit, I heard them saying to the girls to go back to their room as they were going to wake people up and that they weren't letting them in. The girls persisted however, knocking and shouting through the door and we just got the feeling that maybe we weren't going to have a good night's sleep after all. My partner got up to go and have a word with them to be quiet, but it appeared someone else just beat him to it as we heard a voice from further along the corridor asking them to be quiet. The girls went back to their rooms and it all fell quiet shortly after and we managed a good night's sleep after all. I thought maybe the next night would be similar as it was a Saturday night and there appeared to be a number of young people at the hotel, but it was surprsingly quiet. We returned to our hotel via taxi after the concert around 11pm and a number of people were just leaving, ready for a night out it seemed, but we were not disturbed at all despite expecting to be woken at whatever time they returned.We got a taxi direct to the arena from the hotel and this took around 10-15 mins costing around £10 each way which I felt wasn't bad at all. The guy on reception on the second night advised us about taxis and kindly booked us one. I found all the staff we encountered to be friendly and helpful. You can book to have breakfast at the adjacent Wilton pub, but we declined this. We did go in and have a coffee though before we left to drive home and I can confirm they serve a very nice latte!
Overall, in terms of the price we paid this hotel was excellent value for money and was clean and comfortable. I would stay here again if I ever need to be in Manchester and could get it at a low rate as it suited our needs, although you need to bear in mind it could be a little noisy at weekends. My only niggles were the dark feel to the hotel overall, it would benefit from having the dark wood removed or painted and also some of the rooms are quite dark with small windows and trees blocking light, however once it is dark and you have the curtains closed and lamps on, they are very cosy. New flat screen TV's would be nice too as they have these in most Premier Inns these days, but still have the old CRT tv's here.
I am happy to recommend Premier Inn Manchester North, especially if you can get a room as cheap as I did as then it really is a bargain.