on April 1, 2013
For the past couple of years we have been rather spoilt for our Manchester Airport Hotel as lastminute.com’s secret deal for £50-£60 has always been the rather nice airport Hilton. Alas the arrangement between the two organisations appears to have ended and so for our most recent trip to Spain we had to snag an alternative deal. The Manchester Airport Crowne Plaza at £69 for the room seemed about the best on offer. Unfortunately the comparison between the Crowne Plaza and the Hilton Hotel is stark although they are both about equally convenient for the airport. We found our room to be much smaller although the bed and TV were fine (heh what more do you want from an airport hotel?). The older bathroom facilities were standard and a little disappointing grotty with black moulded floor tile grouting and a good layer of lint on the air con outlet left uncleaned. We did however appreciate the Ritual brand bath toiletries and the This Works lavender spray that was available in the room.Although comfortable and modern the overarching theme of the room was a rather bland beige, but in contrast to the monochrome bar and corridor at least the sleeping quarters didn't remind us of being in a submarine. As we arrived after dinner but before bedtime, we had opportunity to sample the delights of the bar. At £4.30, a pint of premium lager was expensive but not as offensively daft as the £6 glass of wine my beloved had. The service from the older man in the bar was the wrong side of sycophantic so hard was his attempt to be servile. I do so hate greasy wait staff but I managed to wait for the spikier younger lad to be available for my second trip to the bar. He seemed to have a bit of inspiring individuality about him while remaining polite and attentive. One plus point for our room was that we liked the free water, walkers ginger biscuits and good quality tea, coffee etc and freebies. Overall we had no real complaints but our £69 "bargain" room actually felt about rightly priced. The Crowne Plaza hotel also offers a free bus to pick guests up. As we arrived to the airport by train we rang from the train station and found the service quite quick. However, we were a little embarrassed as there was some confusion about the numbers wanting a lift at the same time. We had given our name but the driver didn't seem to know which guests had rung first (actually I know we had) and had to decide which 2 weren't going to be picked up on that trip. As the other party were in one large group they were a little miffed that a couple were left behind and we ended up feeling that they thought we had pushed in front of the queue. To sum up the Crowne Plaza is a perfectly acceptable and presentable place for an overnight stay to catch a flight but if the Hilton is available and within £5-£10 of the price then I'd choose it over the Crowne Plaza every time.
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