My wife and I stayed here for 1 night on 2 April 2010 as a base for a concert event at the MEN Arena and a shopping trip the next day. The location couldn't be bettered for the arena - literally a 90 second walk across the road junction outside the hotel door.
While on the theme of location, one or two reviews have suggested the hotel isn't central - I beg to differ. Leaving the hotel, simply walk over the road/rail bridge adjacent to the MEN Arena car park and turn right past the entrance to Victoria Station...that's it. You are then in the large area of the more upper-crust shops that are on the perimeter of the Arndale Centre. You may find the hotel to be too far from the city centre if you have mobility difficulties or an aversion to walking for even 5 minutes, but otherwise it's no problem at all.
Check in was speedy and friendly. Our 4th floor room was clean and comfortable with a large walk-in shower rather than a bath (no issue for us on this trip, but something you may wish to note). It wasn't especially warm when we arrived in it but a quick tweak of the aircon sorted that.
As it was mid-afternoon, and we didn't want to eat too close to the concert start, or afterwards, we decided on a meal there and then in the hotel brasserie called "rbg". We had no difficulty in obtaining a table and the service was competent rather than especially warm, from a slightly severe young lady. We had no rush to be anywhere or do anything, so the 20/25 minute wait for a cheese burger and a chicken ceasar salad in a near-deserted restaurant was no big issue, but slightly surprising and an echo of the difficulty other reviewers have experienced in the restaurant. Having said that, the food was good - my wife was enthusiastic about the salad, which had clearly been prepared from fresh rather than whipped out of the fridge. However, the suspicion of lurking food service issues was confirmed at what could only be described as the undiluted chaos of breakfast the following day.
We took breakfast at the neither early nor late time of around 08:45. The restaurant and adjacent bar area were being used for diners. A major football match was also being played that day, it was Easter weekend and so we need to recognise that the hotel was clearly busy. Queues for the breakfast buffet were very considerable and at the exact moment we arrived at the buffet, everything cooked, and I mean everything, ran out. Kitchen and waiting on staff tried bravely to replenish but the odds (i.e. huge numbers of diners and pitiful numbers of staff) were against them. We did eventually manage to obtain some breakfast but by this time the queues at the buffet and at the restaurant entrance desk were biblical in proportion. The guy who should have been at the entrance desk was too busy clearing tables, but this was possibly also a deliberate crowd-control measure - had the entrance queues been allowed in and joined the buffet queue, I suspect there would have been a fairly good representation of Bolshevik food riots. The mood was becoming ugly enough.
The reasons seemed glaringly obvious to me; primarily too few staff - there were manifestly insufficient restaurant staff and I'm sure the same must have applied in the kitchen. Secondly, the restaurant area was too small for the numbers of diners. Obviously, designers work on average numbers not extreme numbers, but this time matters were seriously out of kilter.
So, would I use the hotel again? Yes, definitely, if I was attending another MEN Arena event and probably if I simply wanted a comfortable, reasonably priced, city centre hotel. Would I risk planning to have my dinner there? No chance...and I'd be up for breakfast at 6:00 a.m!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Guest staying at this vibrant Manchester hotel enjoy the comfort of one of our 252 rooms and suites amid the bustle of the city centre. Across the street from the Arena, our convenient location puts leisure and corporate travellers in walking distance of premier attractions and business holdings. On-site dining and fitness facilities complete the comforts of the Park Inn by Radisson Manchester City Centre. Round out your stay with a workout or spa treatment at the hotel's health club and a tasty meal in the hotel's RBG restaurant. Guests can find parking at the National Car Park (NCP) directly opposite the hotel, which offers a discount for hotel guests ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Park Inn By Radisson Manchester Victoria Hotel Manchester
- Park Inn Manchester