For those who don’t know, although I have been labelled as a ‘Manchester Blogger’ for the past 10 years, I moved 45 minutes south of Manchester around 2 years ago. So whereas you’ll still find me rushing around Manchester with a laptop and phone in hand around 3-4 days of the week, I always have to leave the city, and spend a lot of time travelling.
In one way, it’s made me smarten up the way I see hotels, and assess the hospitality industry in the city of Manchester. I rely on quality, comfortable and practical hotels for my visits, with location in mind.
Not only is the location key, I desperately need a hotel close to a safe overnight car park (where I can get parking discount from the hotel), a stylish interior for any content I’m sharing over on my instagram, and of course, a decent help yourself breakfast.
Step forward Innside by Melia, situated at the HOME area of Manchester -close to Deansgate Locks.
Myself and my partner stayed here over the Chinese New Year weekend in January, where the hotel walkway was decorated with a sprinkling of red and gold hanging lanterns, paving the pathway to this tall, window led hotel.
We were staying in one of the Premium King Suites, styled a little like a studio room, where you have your lounge area with a sofa, TV and coffee table situated towards the end of the bed. Upon entrance, I loved walking into this remarkably spacious suite, which was clutter-free, modern and stylish. The room contained everything I could think of that I might need, from complimentary soft drinks and lager in the fridge, to the magazines on display and Sampar bathroom products.
As you can tell from the photos above, the entrance, reception and corridor spaces around the INNSIDE hotel are super contemporary and chic. But more so, my welcome was incredibly warm and friendly, making me feel so comfortable to stay here as soon as I checked in. I don’t know if it’s due to the hustle and bustle of the area and the cheerful ambiance, or the clean, chic interior, but I just felt really happy to be staying here for the weekend!
Equally, from exploring the suite we were staying in, I was content and settled straight away, and knew immediately that I was going to start wishing I was staying for longer than just two days in this lovely room. I mean, I love minimalism and things being hidden away. Moreover, the suite prides itself on having everything stowed in such a way that it looks quite bare, yet you have everything available when you just open up a door!
The bed is huuuuuuge – literally an incredibly large, squishy, comfortable bed that allows you to snuggle down and look out onto views of the city. We were staying on one of the top floors, which means extra privacy too. We could look out at the world, without anyone really being able to see us peering out!
I do always think that if you’re staying in Manchester, a room with a view is a must. Manchester city center isn’t home to pretty views of countryside or idyllic backdrops, but it does boast a skyline of tall, sleek looking buildings, lights, logos and iconic landmarks scattering the landscape. If you want to be reminded of just how much Manchester has developed and rapidly grown into the sophisticated city it is today, nothing tells the story more than the view from a high rise hotel room at the foot of the city.
It didn’t take me long to hide myself away in the cosy grey dressing gown and slippers, and settle down in the grey, white and lilac lit suite with a bit of TV. The size of this suite was perfectly suited for us, however if you’re looking at one night in the hotel for 1/2 people and need something smaller or to a lower budget, the standard rooms also do the job. These are more compact, still in-keeping with the studio apartment style theme, with the walk in bathroom and glass door shower to save as much space as possible.
As this hotel is a creation by hotel giant Meliá, you’ll find that everywhere you turn, it gives a nod to a contemporary slice of Madrid, with minimalism and unique design at the heart of it’s interior theme.
The bathroom is super elegant with it’s stark grey tiles, huge lit mirror and elegant, slimline sink and tucked away toilet. Yet the impactful design continues right through to the dark monochrome corridors, leading into the fuss-free dining area for breakfast.
If you love open spaces, inspired by modern style and sculptures and a futuristic feel, INNSIDE ticks the boxes.
I can be guilty of being a ‘messy’ customer when I stay in hotels. And by that, I don’t mean that I wreck the rooms (gosh no, imagine, especially when travel reviews are part of my job!). But more so that I leave my suitcase on the floor spilling open with clothes rather than hanging them up, and will have my vanity case, coat and shoes just spread out on the floors or side tables. This is where the huge open door cupboard area hiding the fridge and coffee making facilities came in great use for me.
Here, I could hide my bottle of wine, make up bag and paperwork, shutting it out of sight. Only to be seen again when I was ready for my next session with the kettle!
The reason I was so eager to get writing this review on here is because I genuinely feel like INNSIDE Manchester is in the perfect location. I’ve stayed all around Manchester and every corner of the city, trying to work out which area makes the best ‘home’ for a weekend. Staying near The Corn Exchange is an area I highly recommend, mainly for being close to the shops, tram lines and countless restaurants and bars.
On par with that area is the bottom end of Deansgate, close to the ring road for making a swift exit when leaving, and close to the newer, safer car parks where you can park up for the weekend. This area is called HOME, which is slightly away from the crazy busy part of Manchester, but is within walking distance to Deansgate, Spinningfields and St Peters Square.
We were booked in at Australasia that evening, which is around a 12 minute walk away nestled in the heart of Spinningfields. However, if you wanted to stay closer to the hotel, you have everything from the Indian Tiffin Room, Pizza Express and Bunny Jacksons situated around the newer HOME area on your doorstep, to GORILLA and the more glamorous The Refuge further up the road.
We had pretty much everything we needed to hand throughout our weekend stay. Couldn’t grumble about a thing. The breakfast area in the morning was incredibly busy and a little too crowded, but I guess that’s what we get for choosing to head down there at 9.30am – potentially the busiest time on a Sunday morning!
Upon checkout, the stamped car park ticket giving us 25% off the Q car park behind the hotel was also a much appreciated goodbye touch. A brilliant stay – highly recommended for locals and travellers, work trips and date nights alike.
*Accommodation was provided to me for this review by Innside, situated at 1 First Street, Manchester. You can contact them on 0161-200 2500. Rooms start from £99 B&B (I would highly recommend the Premium King Suite!).