Review: easyHotel Manchester

I love my comforts. By comforts, I mean I like to over-spend on things that sometimes don't really matter in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes you need to come out of your comfort zone, and for someone as sheltered as me, this is a troublesome task. By the by, I was forced bribed convinced to book a cheap hotel so that we could splurge on eating and drinking out at the higher priced places. How could I not approve of that?

I went to the darkside and looked on booking.com (I used to work in hotels, OTA's are the devil now don't you know) to see what range of hotels were out there. Bearing in mind, it would have been premium pricing in the city as Jamiroquai was playing the first kick-off gig of his tour at Manchester Arena, which we went to. Low and behold, the cheapest option (apart from a hostel) was the easyHotel Manchester. It was priced at over £30 on booking.com, but so many hotels now offer cheaper rates for booking direct with them, so I checked their website and it was only £24.95. TWENTY FOUR POUNDS AND NINETY FIVE PENCE. I mean howay, I pay more than that for my foundation.


I'm going to start with the good bits - it's far too easy to slate anything 'easy'. It's a fact. I've always been a fan of easyJet, and never had any major problems with flights I've taken, so why should it be any different for the hotels? Anyway, good bits...

Bit of a lame one to start with, but the light in the bathroom next to the mirror was the best light I've ever had in a hotel to apply my make up. There are so many hotels out there that have horrific fluorescent lights in the bathroom that are above you on the ceiling, right above the mirror. I know I'm not a looker, but when I see myself in the morning sans-makeup, I often wonder whats the point in even trying. Any make-up you do put on your face is translated in the mirror as caked-on plaster, highlighted by the sheer force of the beam of light on your forehead. However when I woke up in the easyHotel and started the regime, it was the absolute best light for makeup application. Soft, placed very well and not jeopardised by horrific spotlights. Good job there.


It had a very handy bedside station. I say station - it's minimal, so therefore big, space-thieving furniture is a no go at an easyHotel. It had a little cubby hole to put your phone, and easy accessible electrical points - also with USB connections - so you can plug your devices in next to the bed. Why hotels bypass this key travel essential is beyond me. Whenever you're travelling, business or pleasure, you always need to plug your phone in at least. The last thing you want to be doing is heaving big bedside cabinets out the way, unplugging a lamp to rob the power - why don't they just put an extra socket there?! Anyway, not a problem here - there are two plug sockets plus two USB points, so you can power up to your hearts content. Plus, the light switches are all there for everything in the room. Uncomplicated and practical. That's all you need sometimes.


Because it was so cheap (did I mention it was only £24.95?) I got to eat and drink a LOT. Highlights were some fab wines at Hanging Ditch Drinks (very cosy hole in the wall place that sell a great selection of exclusive wines, perfect for people watching), cocktails at Harvey Nichols (because why not?), breakfast at Alabama's (all-American eatery, fabulous eggs btw) and a very long lunch at El Gato Negro eating our way through the menu (a must visit for trips to Manchester, pricey but oh so worth it). If I ended up paying £100+ for a hotel for the night, I would have maybe considered going for cheap eats and drinks, so only paying £24.95 (!) meant that I could spend more on the things I love.

Cocktail hour at Harvey Nichols
A decent pour of red at Hanging Ditch Drinks
A restoring breakfast at Alabama's
Ok, so the bad. Not that bad actually, but not great points...

I read so many reviews of the hotel before booking. The main point that put me right off was the fact that the bathroom isn't private. Sure, it's in your room - we're not talking a #throwback moment to where floors of guesthouses had shared bathrooms - but it's a glass door. THE HORROR. For 95% of the population this won't be a problem, and it's an extremely first-world-problem to have, but if I'm going to the toilet I at least want a bit of privacy, no matter how well I know the person I'm staying with. It has a 'frosted panel' going across the middle of the glass, but you can still see over the top which put me very much on edge whenever I was using the facilities.


That aside, the other issue I read prior to my stay was the fact that noise from room to room is loud. When checking in, the ceilings are exposed in the hallways, and the 'walls' are just a plaster divider between each room. The finish on this makes it feel a little cheap, but when you're paying £20odd a night, what do you expect? I have heard they hand out ear plugs on the front desk, however there weren't any when we checked in. Now I don't know if this was because they have stopped providing them, or if they only hand them out on busy weekends (we stayed on a Thursday). Who knows, but to be honest there was very little noise, until someone blasted Feels at full pelt at about 9am, more than likely for their morning shower. You can hear conversations outside your door, and the telly on in the next room, but again, TWENTY QUID.

If you're getting the train down and need to leave your overnight bag, it'll cost you £5 per day. There are a few other extras that you don't expect that are sold as 'upgrades'. £5 for the remote to use the TV in your room, £5 for wifi - both things which I would expect to get for free. Check-out is an un-godly 10am, but to be honest, when you haven't splurged £10 for the remote or wifi, and given that there is no where to sit in the room other than your bed, you really just want to be showered and get out and get breakfast. If you really want a lie-in, it'll cost you an additional £10 for an extra couple of hours kip.

For what we needed, literally a bed for the night after a long night out, it was super value that did the job, and I would actually stay again if I needed to. I wouldn't rush back the same as I would rush back to stay in a spa hotel, but you would book the two opposites for very different reasons. They still have a 24hr reception like every other hotel (although service was very militant and swift) that are there for anything you need and it's super clean.

So, if you're in a pickle and need a bed for the night, you can rely on easyHotel for a cheaper alternative to expensive city centre hotels. Plus with the money you save, you can treat yourself to something lush in Selfridges!

K x

Oh by the way, Jamiroquai was MINT.




Comments

  1. I want MUCH more for MY 20 quid !
    Like a suite in the Savoy !
    That's why I don't travel anymore !
    There's no denying that right at the bottom
    of the heap EZY does exactly what it says
    on the tin but I no longer want to have to convince
    myself that it's OK down there when it really isn't
    and I simply won't pay the real price for a decent hotel !
    And so I no longer travel !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You do make me chuckle David! You're missing out on so much not travelling, although you're saving a FORTUNE!

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete

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