on July 29, 2008
The Atrium was destined to be different experience and one which works out cheaper if you’re staying for more than one night. With two days to go before my trip I checked out laterooms.com and the price for this serviced apartment accommodation was real cheap. On the off chance of a better deal I rang the Atrium direct and surprisingly was offered a studio apartment for one night for £62. That sounded a bargain so I agreed the deal and confirmed my details with a very helpful receptionist. He happily gave me directions to the Atrium and sent me an email confirming the arrangementsAlthough I couldn’t place the building I knew exactly where it was situated and it was real convenient for the City Centre and China Town. If it was decent weather I’d be well placed to find a restaurant with outside seats and I looked forward to spending a pleasant night in Manchester City Centre.There’s a hotel style reception and I was checked in with all the usual efficiency and given with a swipe card which would gain me access to the apartments and then my individual studio. After 10.00 the apartments are no longer supervised and my card would give me access to the main foyer. My studio apartment was on the first floor and had a limited view across the wrought iron work of the atrium to the building towards Canal Street. Although I could not even catch a glimpse of the canal and indeed the small window gave limited natural light and made the apartment a little bit claustrophobic. Entering the apartment from the corridor I was straight into the bedroom zone of the L-shaped room. A desk area near the narrow window gave a perfect work area and for a fee (£6 an hour, £12 a day or £28 a week) you could make an internet connection. A pleasant sitting area with a coffee table, a comfortable settee, a TV and DVD player was perfect for relaxing and this in turn led into a compact and well fitted out kitchen. I was pleasantly surprised that there was an ample supply of coffee and tea and in the fridge was half-a-dozen small milks. A modern bathroom completed the picture and with decent soaps and shower gels. Not that it bothered me, but there wasn’t a hairdryer and I know that this will be a down side for many people. Certainly my wife would have been less than happy. The room was equipped with an iron and there was a free safe available, although the previous occupants had not followed the instructions and had left the safe firmly locked. As I was only here for one night I didn’t bother to get this sorted with reception.The Atrium doesn’t "do breakfast" and although I originally planned to eat out I decided that I’d prefer not to walk the streets looking for a suitable breakfast venue. The Breakfast Box was not brilliant but for £7 I got a reasonable ‘continental’ including cereal, yoghurt, fruit, croissant, jam, cheese, plenty of milk and tea and coffee. I put it in the fridge overnight and settled down to watch a bit of TV before retiring to the comfort of the Atrium’s firm double bed.I was pleasantly surprised that the room was quite quiet and I real pleased that I had taken the option of the Breakfast Box that had been delivered to my room. The Atrium gave me a comfortable base and although I wouldn’t rush back (I decided that I like the availability of a good hotel buffet breakfast) it would certainly give a visitor to Manchester a decent room in a central position in town. The walls had a variety of modern pictures hung on them and fresh modern furnishings gave it an upmarket feel. If you can get a good rate then it might be worth a try.
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