Manchester is a city we have visited so many times for gigs and this trip was no different. This time we were booked into the Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre hotel and as this was our first stay at this particular hotel we were really looking forward to it. Having stayed in a few Holiday Inn hotels in the past I had high hopes especially being such a new hotel. I’m now happy to share my thoughts on the accessible features of our room and my overall experience staying at this hotel.
My Wheelchair Accessible Stay At Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre
Location & Parking
I don’t know about you, but I always worry about parking when I’m looking to book a city centre hotel. Sometimes city centre hotels don’t have their own car parks, so you are likely going to have to find on-street parking or an NCP. The location of Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre is in the great area of Piccadilly, meaning it has great public transport links including the metro which goes directly past the hotel and Manchester Piccadilly Train Station a 2-minute walk away.
However, if like us, you have your car, don’t worry there is a Euro Car Parks across the street and Piccadilly Gardens NCP car park is only a 2-minute walk away. If you choose to use Piccadilly Gardens NCP car park you will get a discounted rate of £19.50 for overnight parking if you validate your ticket at the hotel’s reception. Luckily we found a parking bay on the street and with our blue badge didn’t have to pay anything. Where we parked was brilliant. This was only a 1-minute walk to the hotel. You can see in the image below the distance from our car to the hotel on the right. We could actually see our car from our hotel room.
Being located in Piccadilly you are in a brilliant area for lots of different reasons. If you are visiting Manchester to attend a football match then you are close to Old Trafford and the Etihad Stadium. If shopping is more your thing then you have Manchester Arndale shopping centre, King Street and the Northern Quarters packed with shops, cafes and restaurants. Personally, not only did we love the look and sound of Holiday Inn, another reason for choosing to stay here was how close it was to the O2 Apollo. We were going to see Ray Lamontagne that night so wanted a hotel that was close and didn’t require much driving. Turns out it was only a 5-minute drive away. Ideal!
Entrance & Reception
We left our car on the street and headed in the direction of the hotel. Couldn’t help but notice how nice and new it looked. We were excited to get inside and see more. The sun was also shining, which made the start of the trip even more enjoyable.
We entered through the side door next to the outdoor terrace. This area is lovely at night with the twinkling lights. Approaching reception we noticed how open, bright and stylish it was. We loved the style of the furniture, the muted splash of colours and funky lighting. The lovely Lukas checked us in and his super friendly welcome and laid back attitude were refreshing. Lukas also took care of our check out and was equally as charming.
The reception desk had a lowered section which would allow wheelchair users access to roll underneath and to complete any paperwork.
The main entrance is also wheelchair accessible via automatic doors. To the left of the entrance you’ll find the lounge/restaurant and to the right is the reception as well as the lifts up to the rooms. The lifts are around the corner from the reception desk so there isn’t far to go. Once inside the lift, you will have to use your room key to operate the lift. I like this safety feature as it means people who aren’t staying at the hotel can’t access this part of the hotel.
Wheelchair Accessible Suite #605
Our wheelchair accessible room was a suite on the sixth floor. Opening the door and seeing so much space made me smile. I couldn’t wait to go inside for a look around.
We arrived at the hotel at 4:30pm after a four and a half hour drive. Since we were going out to the gig in a few hours we were keen to settle into our room and enjoy the time we had in it. It was lovely to have the suite with the bedroom and lounge area separate. It made our stay so much more relaxing by giving us extra space for relaxing, eating, getting ready etc. After a look around the room the only thing on our minds was….room service! I’ll come back to this in a little bit, but first, let me describe each room.
Lounge & Dining
There is a spacious lounge area as you enter the room. This is the room we spent most of our time in during our stay. It was ideal for what we wanted to do and needed. It had a round dining table and a sofa which turns into a sofa bed so perfect for kids or a carer. There was also a flatscreen TV, tea/coffee making facilities, large storage unit with a safe, ironing board, hairdryer and wardrobe. The floor-length window provided lots of lovely light to stream through the room as well.
Next up is the bedroom with a lovely big bed and lots of space for manoeuvring around in a wheelchair. The king size bed had a huge statement headboard, which complimented the wallpaper nicely. Bedside tables were built into the headboard with lamps, telephone, light switches, plug sockets and USB ports. The duvet was super cosy and there was plenty of room in the bed.
The height of hotel beds can be very important to wheelchair users especially when self-transferring. I personally didn’t find the bed to be too high and as you can see from the photo, the bed wasn’t much higher than my wheelchair. There was some space underneath the bed, but I’m not 100% sure if a portable hoist would fit under.
Another important factor for wheelchair users is having enough space on the side of the bed for transferring to and from their bed and wheelchair. I was thrilled to see that there was plenty of space on both sides of the bed. Although there were a nice chair and footstool on one side of the bed this could easily be removed from the room if you required extra space. I choose to sleep on the side closest to the bathroom for ease.
Even though I personally didn’t sit on it, the lovely chair and footstool were positioned next to the window. Perfect for gazing out the window and watching the people on street level come and go.
Who doesn’t enjoy relaxing in bed watching TV? This is one of the things I enjoy about staying in a hotel especially because we don’t have a TV in our bedroom at home. So it was good to get cosy in bed after the gig and watch some TV. We ended up watching Jools Holland and a movie.
Across from the bed was the desk area where I was able to do my hair and makeup in the morning. The desk was the perfect height to support my arms and for my wheelchair to roll underneath. There was also a mirror above the desk with two framed photographs for Manchester, which were urban and artistic. I really liked the photography displayed in the suite.
Spoiler: I loved the bathroom!
I instantly fell in love with the bathroom as soon as I saw it. I loved the look of it and how much space there was. This bathroom is bigger than my bedroom at home! If you are familiar with my hotel reviews then you will know that I often find bathroom sinks difficult or impossible to use because they are usually so small that I’m unable to roll underneath and stretch to reach the water properly.
However, I was so happy to see that Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre had got it spot on with the sink in the bathroom of the accessible suite. The sink was a great size and depth to allow my wheelchair to roll under fully without banging my toes or knees on any obstructions.
Next to the sink was the toilet and my only negative about it is that it was a little too close to the sink. It made being lifted on and off the toilet trickier due to how close they are positioned. The toilet itself was absolutely fine and had grab rails and everything else within easy reach.
The roll-in shower was lovely. The wall-mounted folding shower seat was shaped like legs which I think would help with comfort. The shower controls were within easy reach and grab rails surrounded the shower area as well as an emergency pull cord. A little ledge with the toiletries on display was a nice feature, but possibly a little too far to reach once sitting on the shower seat so might be a good idea to have everything to hand before showering.
If a bath is more your thing then you’ll be pleased to see that there is one too. One end of the bath had a ledge where the bath and hand towels were displayed. It was large enough that it could be used to sit on and lower yourself in and out of the bath if you are able. An emergency pull cord was positioned at the bath which is reassuring in case of an emergency.
Amenities & Features
In The Room
- Free WiFi
- Satellite TV with TVCatchup
- Bedside power sockets and USB ports
- Bathrobe and slippers
- Room service
- Mini Bar, complimentary coffee/tea supplies and complimentary bottled water
In The Hotel
- 24-hour Lounge
- Cocktail Lounge
- Games area
Food – Room Service
Feeling a little tired and wanting to spend time in our room, we decided to get dinner as soon as possible. Initially, we were thinking of ordering something from Deliveroo, but after looking at the room service menu we decided to order that instead.
There are lots of options on the menu and we were really pleased to see a vegan option as well. So we both ordered the lentil dhal and it was delicious. It came with poppadoms and naan bread. I recommend you give it a try!
We weren’t sure if we’d make it down for breakfast in time by the time it takes to get ready so we opted for room service again. I called down to room service to ask what the vegan options were and the person I spoke to was so helpful. He explained that the chef would be able to make us something special in the morning. I must admit I was really excited to see what he would make for us. We weren’t disappointed. What arrived was something special indeed. It was colourful, healthy and super tasty. Ok, I’ll stop going on and on and explain what it actually was.
So the chef made us couscous with chopped vegetables and pomegranates as well as a chopped avocado and vegetable salad on the side all with a delicious dressing. There was also a fruit platter including melon slices, apple and tangerines. I could eat that every single morning and never tire of it.
Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre was exactly what we wanted from a hotel. It was in an excellent location, welcoming and friendly staff, comfortable and accessible hotel room, delicious food and beautiful decor. It also has 17 accessible rooms, which I think is fantastic compared to a lot of other chain hotels. Whether you are travelling with friends, family, or as a couple and for whatever reason, Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre is where you should consider staying for your next trip to Manchester. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and will definitely be returning again, but hopefully for a tad longer to explore a little more.
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Thank you so much to Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre for hosting my stay. My opinions, as always, are entirely my own.
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Main image courtesy of Expedia.