We’ve been a bit tentative about trying a hotel stay with out two spirited (feral) kids but when we were invited to try out the Staybridge Suites in Manchester we jumped at the chance!
Unlike a traditional hotel room where you’re all in together (and you have to sit silently in the dark when your kids have gone to sleep!), our luxury one bedroom apartment meant the children were on the sofa bed in the open plan living/kitchen area, while we had a bedroom all to ourselves for all the essential parent stuff like watching the Line of Duty finale. Plus the bonus of a fully equipped kitchen and of course an en-suite bathroom. The rooms start at just over £100 per night, and with such lovely facilities I think it’s amazing value for a family stay – especially when the little details are all there. A pantry for essentials by reception (including fancy ready meals if you want to eat in), beautiful decor, a new high-tech gym, and laundry facilities, not to mention the gorgeous communal kitchen and lounge hub areas, and incredible views over Manchester.
You also get a complimentary daily breakfast for everyone and there’s everything you could hope for – from cereals and build your own museli, to pastries and pancakes, and of course a cooked breakfast. Coffee and tea is also available all day in the hub, where you’ll find Diana Henry cookbooks for browsing and a mini table football which our kids became slightly obsessed with!
The hotel is part of The Lume Manchester – a Crowne Plaza with The Laureate restaurant and bar on the ground floor, then hotel rooms, then the Staybridge Suites at the top – all on Oxford Road just minutes from the city centre. The Laureate is a gorgeous place to eat (our review coming soon!) and if the kids get restless you can always finish things in your room like we did – the staff could not have been more lovely! If you want to venture a little further then just 2 minutes away is a row of great restaurant options including Mowgli which was fully booked but which will be trying next time for sure! There’s also a Navarro Lounge and a Five Guys so you have all bases covered!
There’s so much to do in Manchester it’s a brilliant option for a family city break. We were kindly gifted tickets to both the Sea Life Centre and Legoland Discovery Centre (if you have Merlin Annual passes these are included!) – both of which are based just out of town at the Trafford Centre. It’s a 15 minute drive or the 250 bus goes from basically outside the hotel. We learnt about turtles, built Lego and went on rides – a properly fun family day out! Back to the hotel and I’d remembered to bring some microwave popcorn to have with a movie snuggled up in the comfy bed – the benefits of having kitchen facilities are brilliant, even if you only use the microwave and the corkscrew!
The next day we tried some free activities. First stop was the Manchester Museum which is literally a 5 minute walk from the apartments. Some exhibitions are shut for refurbishment but there’s still plenty to see – including a T-rex skeleton, a Vivarium with frogs and lizards, and lots more stuffed creatures! For any Londoners out there who love the Horniman Museum then you’ll like this one too. On we went to the Science and Industry Museum which is rich with Manchester’s industrial history including family talks, a warehouse full of old planes and cars, and a floor of fun experiments to keep the kids busy! It’s a really vibrant city so there’s plenty more on offer – have a look at Visit Manchester for more activity ideas.
Since we came back I’ve literally been recommending the apartments to everyone! We thought they were incredibly good value, with excellent facilities and a real luxury feel. I hope we will find an excuse to go back soon! You can have a look for yourself on their website – https://www.ihg.com/staybridge/hotels/us/en/manchester/manox/hoteldetail
We were kindly gifted our stay at Staybridge Suites for the purpose of this review, but all words and opinions are our own.
Christina Pickworth, This Mama Does