This Friendly Hotel Offers Casual Comfort In England’s Gateway to the North.
When Simon, Otto and I travel, we make a conscious effort to avoid chain hotels whenever possible. The reason is the moderately priced establishments tend to be stuffy, uninteresting and pretentious. That’s why our two-night stay at Innside Manchester was such a delightful departure from the norm.
The Inside Manchester Hotel
In May, 2015, Innside Manchester, the first INNSIDE by Meliá hotel in the UK, opened its doors. This event followed closely on the heals of the inauguration of First Street Development; a contemporary cultural and arts center, in the neighborhood where Innside Manchester is located.
The hotel offers an atmosphere that is casual, and at the same time sophisticated, for both business and leisure travelers. An abundance of natural light, upbeat music and a subtle fragrance that is pleasant, but difficult to identify, combine to create a positive experience for the senses.
From its eye-catching red facade to the bright, open lobby, Everything about Innside Manchester says, “Welcome.” You feel right at home before you even reach your room.
Each of Innside Manchester’s 208, rooms is bright and spacious. Decorated with furnishings that combine modern design, functionality and comfort, The beds beckon your tired body with wickedly luxurious linens, and the headboards depict large scenes of the Manchester landscape. You can work, relax or do both in your own private space.
Innside Manchester encourages socialization. Inviting seating areas in the lobby, a popular bar and the Street on First restaurant all provide areas for guests to congregate.
Melia is a Spanish company that owns several hotel chains, including Innside. The company has been around for over 60 years, and has over 400 hotels internationally.
From the friendly, helpful staff to our king size room, we lost count of the obvious and more subtle aspects of the hotel that made our stay a joy. Whether we had a question, needed directions or wanted restaurant recommendations, everyone with whom we spoke seemed genuinely happy to help. This is a far cry from having to deal with hotel employees who either hated their jobs, or were bored out of their minds.
Our room was a quiet refuge from our hectic days of sightseeing. Shades of black and white with splashes of plum greeted us. The simple, sleek leather furniture was a calming shade of gray. And the bed lacked ornate woodwork and frilly little throw pillows scattered on its surface. When we enter a hotel room, and see those pesky space-wasters, the first thing we do is exile them to the closet shelf. Our Innside Manchester room enabled us to begin enjoying its benefits immediately upon closing the door behind us.
The bathroom was an open-plan design we had never seen before. It was horseshoe-shaped with one wall completely open to the room. The rain shower cubicle comprised the left wall, and insured complete privacy via a frosted glass door. The shower produced a warm, wet experience that made me want to stand under the spray until I couldn’t stay on my feet any more.
Straight ahead was the door to the toilet room, and along the right wall was the vanity area. What made this wall so unique was the glassless window that made this already open plan seem even more spacious.
We slept in complete comfort, and the wifi was fast and reliable. We also enjoyed complimentary bottled water and soft drinks from the mini-fridge. It was a treat not to carefully avoid the mini-bar for fear of sticker shock upon check-out.
This, as well as other thoughtful touches, made our stay extraordinary.
Our stay at Innside Manchester caused us to rethink our negative approach to hotel chains. Although many offer same-old, same-old rooms and common areas, there are those that break the mold without breaking the bank. Those are the ones that deserve a chance. We had no regrets regarding Innside Manchester, and wouldn’t hesitate to let this hotel welcome us again.
If You Go
1 First Street
Manchester M15 4RP
Telephone:(+44)0161 200 2500
Innside Manchester is conveniently located in the City center, within 5 minutes’ walk from the train stations at Deansgate and Oxford Road. It offers easy access to museums, shopping and business districts as well as Manchester Airport.
Innside Manchester has 10 accessible rooms located next to elevators for guests with disabilities.
Check-in: 3:00 PM
Check-out: 12:00 PM
- Complimentary wifi
- Laptop safe in room
- Mini-fridge with complimentary soft drinks and bottled water
- Coffee and tea making supplies
- Rain shower
- Steam room
- Business center
More information and room rates can be found on Innside Manchester’s website.
Disclaimer: Although we received a generous media discount from Innside Manchester, all opinions, as always are entirely my own.