Manchester, United Kingdom
May 9, 2005
Arriving at the hotel:
As you enter the hotel, the lobby is sumptuous and well-kept, and there are always plenty of bellhops to help with your bags. Check-in is always smooth and painless, and there is a good selection of local interest attraction leaflets and maps at the concierge station. Check-in is from 3pm, and check-out is by 12pm (I have often arrived early and asked to check out late, and the hotel has always been very accommodating where possible).
The hotel rooms:
The hotel rooms are large and spacious and have recently been upgraded to the Marriott promise of the ‘hotel room that works’ indicating that the hotel rooms are designed to meet both the needs of the business and leisure traveller. All rooms feature two double or one king sized bed, comfortable resting chair and occasional table as well as work desk which includes light and internet access (payable locally). The bathrooms are large and specious with a good selection of fluffy towels, amenity kits and hair dryer. The bathrooms also feature a heat lamp (although as hotels are always so warm I can’t imagine when you would ever need to use it!). One advantage (for me) me over the Renaissance is that the rooms here feature an in room safe
Eating and dining:
The hotel offers a small lounge area in reception which can be used to take tea as well as afternoon cakes in a relaxed setting and is often used by business guests for more informal meetings. The hotel bar is always lovely in the evenings often with live music and serves a wide range of local beers and even a few cocktails are on offer, a la Tom Cruise. The bar also offers a good range of snack food and the restaurant serves a range of food that is more American based (themed to the international traveller me thinks) but is nevertheless good fare for a hotel of this size and reasonably priced. If the weather is nice, then head outside to one of the tables on ABC Strasse, which affords a great people-watching position to watch the world.
The hotel has a smallish (but perfectly acceptable) pool, as well as a good gym featuring all the usual exercise machines and you can also pay for massages, as well as visiting the hairdressers!
Book using the Marriott website (www.marriott.com), and then you are guaranteed the cheapest room rate, and you can then also register for Marriott Reward points, which can be collected and used for free-night stays at Marriott hotels worldwide, or they can be converted into a number of other collector schemes (e.g. frequent-flyer schemes).
From journal Historic Hamburg!