Ibis Styles, Portland Place, Manchester – Hotel Review
Ibis Styles, Portland Place, Manchester
by Roger Crow
Bank holidays in Blighty are synonymous with two things: rain and traffic. So the thought of driving to Manchester to try out the Ibis Styles hotel seems like a recipe for disaster. But after a rain-lashed April, it seems May is going to be far more kind as we pass the nightmarish slip road queues for retail parks and entertainment centres.
With alarming ease, we sail into a sun-kissed Manchester; find a 24-hour car park just round the corner from our hotel; pay £10.30 via an app, and then with a little help from another, we’re at the Ibis Styles.
From the cowboy boots door handles, giant deck chair and huge sun shades in the lobby, the weather-themed hotel lifts our already high spirits. There’s none of those imposing dark wood counters check-in staff hide behind. Just a simple desk and a couple of smiling staff ready to take our details. I like the place already.
Cheap and cheerful sounds derogatory but it isn’t the case here.
“Redefining cheap and cheerful”
“I think it’s redefining cheap and cheerful,” remarks my partner Rachel as she gleefully takes photos of the quirky weather-themed decor in our room. It’s small but doesn’t feel it because the look and feel is so fun. The umbrella apparently holding up a table is as inspired as the cloud-shaped bedside table.
I love the lighting in the headboard, and the soundproofed windows ensure street noise is kept to a minimum. For a city break in the heart of one of the world’s most vibrant and characterful metropolises, the Ibis Styles has already won me over. (We once stayed in a beautiful Miami hotel miles from any convenience store let alone restaurant so I never overlook the benefits of having decent shops and eateries on our doorstep).
The corridors are also a ray of sunshine with bright yellow doors. It feels like we’re staying in a Mouse-themed Parisian resort for a fraction of the cost.
The posh kettle is a bonus. None of those cheap plastic ones you get in some hotels. There’s enough tea and coffee to keep us going, and the TV is an HD joy. While an iron, ironing board and hair drier is perfect to prep for that night on the town.
“So many great eateries on the doorstep”
It helps that we’re a few minutes’ walk from the art gallery, and around 20 minutes from the Arndale Centre. There’s so many great eateries on the doorstep that we’re spoilt for choice, but the in-house restaurant looks great value for money.
Following an evening of culture, dinner and an IMAX movie at the Printworks, we enjoy a great night’s sleep. The spotless bathroom is a delight, and the shower doesn’t take an age to figure out, which is always a bonus unless you like recreating Bill Murray’s shower-hopping antics from Groundhog Day.
After a great continental breakfast of ham, cheese, croissants, cappuccino and sweet pastries, we bid a reluctant farewell and return home.
The key question with any hotel: would I stay there again as a paying customer? Considering the quality of the room, facilities (including free Wifi) and great staff at a price which won’t break the bank? Absolutely.
Overnight stays start from just £71 for a double room, bed and breakfast. Find out more at ibis.com