As part of our #VIB blogger collaboration, we sent Charl, of Ginger Girl Says, to review Malmaison Manchester. Here’s what she has to say about her stay. The good, the bad, and the revolving doors…
One of the things that you need to know about me is that I’m the kind of girl who pores over booking.com and Trip Advisor before I’ll commit my name to any kind of reservation, be it for one night in Blackpool or a week in Venice. In short, I’m fussy. When I first found out I would be staying at the Malmaison in Manchester I didn’t need to do that, purely because word of mouth and prior knowledge of the chain meant that the praises had already been well and truly sung.
The Malmaison chain currently has 12 hotels scattered around some of the UK’s biggest cities, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Belfast and of course, Manchester.
The brands premise is “hotels that dare to be different” and they certainly are. From the rich colour palettes of deep purple, red and black in luxurious textures to the rather risqué but fabulous décor throughout the floors of the hotel, the Malmaison certainly appeared to see no detail too small.
If you’re a little concerned about heading into a big city and getting lost trying to find your hotel through side streets whilst also trying to hang onto your luggage then this hotel is most definitely for you. The Malmaison is a short stroll from Manchester Piccadilly train station. When I say short, I mean “I didn’t even have time to finish my Starbucks to go” before we had arrived at the beautiful red brick building and my home away from home for the night. If you’re not arriving into Manchester through Piccadilly station, then the hotel is easily accessible from one of the main focal points of Manchester – Piccadilly gardens.
I always think that the reception of a hotel should set the standard for what you should expect for the rest of your stay. A revolving door on the front of the hotel made the inner six year old in me woop with excitement and the 26 year old in me appreciated the beautiful décor and the extremely friendly and helpful staff on the front desk. The whole check in process took no more than five minutes with the assistant manager of the hotel coming down to welcome us to the hotel and to offer any assistance during our stay.
Our corner suite, 538 *wink* was located on the 5th floor of the building and even the elevator of this hotel was chic, I half expected a sofa in there for two a la Pretty Woman. Actually, I had my own Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman moment when entering the suite. “Ooooh The Penthouse” I gasped as the door opened onto our sitting room where our massive LCD TV provided some atmospheric surround sound music (atmospheric = Beyonce). This suite was beautiful. Remember the “fussy” comment from earlier? Well, I was blown away. The entire room was decorated in deep and rich purples, luxurious floor to ceiling curtains, crocodile effect wardrobe doors, a TV in the bedroom as well as the suite and a switch which controlled the curtains. Could this BE any more luxurious? Even the smallest touches in the hotel rang true of its “dare to be different” premise with its quirky literature. From the complimentary toiletries, the breakfast cards to the room door hangers – the little details really added a touch of fun to our stay.
When I first clambered into the queen size bed, I felt like I was in the princess and the pea fairytale. The mattress was firm but comfortable, the pillows were plump and the sheets were crisp. Is there anything that beat a freshly made bed? Despite the hustle and bustle below of Manchester on a Friday night, I drifted sound asleep and woke to light streaming through the flowing drapes of the bedroom.
I’m a hot chocolate before bed time and tea in the morning kind of girl, and the selection of hot drinks, a kettle and “a proper mug” for my tea, as well as ginger biscuits (they must have known) included. A hairdryer, an iron and ironing board was provided which helped to save me from stepping out in my slightly crumpled suitcase dress – its the little touches like these which made this hotel a little like a home from home.
After checking in and taking a walk around Manchester, we decided that our dinner reservation was a little earlier than we would have liked (the bed looked so enticing and a disco nap was required). A call to reception resulted in a “no problem at all” rearrangement of our original booking which I always feel is important. Sometimes plans change and a little flexibility goes a long way.
I’m a little bit of a fussy bathroom person, I love my bathtime. With a large bath and a tiled slate shower at my disposal I was in my element. A soak in the tub before dinner allowed me the perfect place to relax and despite the glamour and the sumptuousness of the suite (I’d even call it, dare I say, sexy) I really was able to unwind.
Checkout the next day wasn’t until 12pm, which, as far as check outs go is pretty generous. It meant we had time to enjoy breakfast and spend some time in the suite before we had to check out rather than being turfed out by a disgruntled cleaning lady at 10am like some hotels. Luggage can be stored at reception on check out to enable you to enjoy a little more shopping or lunch within the city without having to drag the kitchen sink behind you.
I’ve two negative points which makes me feel like the fussiest person ever. Mirrors and lighting. During the daytime light streams in through the windows of this suite and at night time the luxurious lighting only adds to the glamour which is delivered in abundance from this suite. The negative point? The lack of full lighting in the suite made make up application in the evening difficult and I found myself having to angle myself under a spotlight to find the light (as Tyra Banks would say). If I was being even more picky it would be for a full length mirror (perhaps on the inside of one of the wardrobe doors) but that’s me and my vanity talking. The mirror in the bathroom and a small vanity mirror on the desk would probably be sufficient for most people.
All in all…
If you’re looking for a hotel with personality that you simply must stop by the Malmaison. The entire hotel oozes glamour and luxury and with the city centre only a hop, skip and a jump from your room, train links almost on your doorstep and a cocktail menu to please everybody, the Malmaison is most definitely the way to do Manchester in style.