I had a need to travel to Manchester and stay overnight prior to an all day meeting the following day in Oldham.
While I would normally stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, my client was pretty tight on expenses, and the ‘HIX’ is a fifteen minute walk from the station, so Travelodge it was to be.
I’d previously stayed at the Ancoats Travelodge, and found it to be simply awful. The new Travelodge in Piccadilly Gardens beckoned.
The hotel opened in March 2014; I remember watching its construction during my sojourn in Manchester from 2012-14, although I don’t recall if the façade is now or a sympathetic replica of the original building. On the ground floor where one was a seedy slot machine arcade there now stands a ‘Morrisons Local’ supermarket.
Access is gained from a lobby next door to the ‘Zizzi’ Italian restaurant, the automatic doors demand key card access after 8pm to deter the, literally dozens, of itinerants that inhabit Piccadilly Gardens.
Reception, the café and bar are all on the 1st floor. I checked in using a self check-in machine, using my surname and post-code, no problem, I received a slip of paper with my room number (533 almost ‘top of the shop’) and my key card.
My room was clean, and while it could hardly be described as spacious, it was large enough. The window overlooked a light-well rather than the bright lights of Piccadilly Gardens, but it would be churlish to complain.
The bed was large and comfortable, there were plenty of power sockets, tea and coffee making equipment, and a reasonably large TV on the wall.
The bathroom, likewise was compact, but clean, nothing to complain about.
I skipped breakfast, and didn’t try the bar.
This was a world away from my previous Travelodge experience, I was very pleasantly surprised.
I might even try another.