on July 2, 2010
I have very clear memories of staying at the V&A and I could tell the precise date I was there - despite it being more than 12 years ago. Why? This is the hotel where my husband and I stayed on our wedding day. We cut a lot of costs on other aspects of the wedding because didn't have an expensive reception in a hotel so we were willing to spend a bit more on finding a nice place to run away to when all the fuss was over. We visited a large number of hotels in the Manchester area before we got to the V&A but as soon as we saw it, I knew this was the one.At that time it wasn't part of the Marriott chain - I think it was actually owned by the Granada television company who had their studios nearby. Each of the rooms was themed according to one of their television shows or films and I believe this is still the case. We chose a room called 'First Among Equals' which - if memory serves me right - was a series based on a novel by Jeffrey Archer though I shudder at the connection. We visited the V&A to look at rooms about a month before the wedding which might sound a bit 'last minute' by most people's terms but we arranged the whole wedding in only two and a half months total. The staff showed us a range of standard and superior rooms and I instantly loved this one. So much so that when my husband and I bought our first home together later in the year, one of the things that I loved was that the place we bought reminded me of this hotel room. The V&A was converted from a block of old warehouses. Our room had a lot of exposed brickwork and views out over the canal. I have a weakness for canals and industrial architecture so this place represented something very typical of the city that I'd made my adopted home. The entrance hall has lots of big old beams from the original building and these have been sympathetically incorporated into the much more modern design. The lobby has a high wow-factor with a large wooden reception desk where we checked in, still dressed up in all our wedding gear. We had a 'superior' room on a large corner plot with a giant bed, wooden bedside cabinets and a ludicrous padded bedhead that wasn't properly fixed to the wall and made a racket if you moved. There was a sofa and arm chairs and lots of exposed wooden beams. The bathroom was large and there were lots of nice toiletries and plenty of fluffy towels. We ordered champagne on room service and it arrived very quickly in an ice bucket with glasses. I don't think we'd actually told them it was our honeymoon as we're not the sort of people who like a lot of fuss so this was not 'special' treatment. We skipped breakfast the next morning and then headed home to prepare for leaving to the airport. Check out was very friendly and nice - by that point I think they'd worked out that we'd just got married - and then we were ready to leave.The V&A has its own car parking which is important if you have a car because there's not a lot of parking in that part of town. The location is not so central as some of the better known hotels but is quieter for that and still only a few minutes walk from the centre.
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