On Friday we had our first night away from our three little boys in two and a half years. We were as excited as kids before Christmas at the thought of spending 26 whole hours child free and we’d been counting down the days for weeks. We needed this night away, we needed time to be husband and wife and not just mummy and daddy and we needed it to be a break to remember.
We had spent ages searching for a hotel in Manchester that had the right mix of modern style, period charm and wow factor in a central location and we finally settled on the The Principal Manchester, formerly The Palace Hotel on Oxford Road. We booked about seven weeks in advance with Expedia via Quidco netting 12% cashback on our £185.00 room only rate. Our expectations were high and our hopes even higher for a perfect night away in a luxurious and romantic setting.
The day finally arrived and like two excited teenagers we set off for the break we had been dreaming of. We arrived at the hotel way before the 3pm check in time at 11am where we were greeted with a warm welcome from the reception staff, our bags were checked in and the lady on reception gave us directions to the Christmas market. We spent the day casually perusing the Christmas stalls walking at a slow ambling pace I don’t think we have done since having our first son four and a half years ago. We held hands, chatted and laughed and then had a boozy lunch followed by some retail therapy.
At around 4pm we arrived back at the hotel, the entrance doors were opened by the doorman who greeted us with a large smile and although the lobby was now far busier with guests arriving to check in we were seen quickly and welcomed in person by Tim the Guest Relations Manager. Tim asked “how are the twins” and after a split second of confusion I realised I had written in the comments section of the Expedia booking form that it was our first night away since having our twins, I was amazed that the hotel had taken the time to read the comments let alone remember and take the time to ask.
As we were being checked in Tim explained that he had upgraded our room and included a couple of extras, we were both so impressed and now stupidly excited to see the room. Our bag was carried up to the room for us by a very polite young man who gave us some history on the building and pointed out the bar and restaurant. At this point we pretty much felt like royalty, I mean seriously our days are spent at work and then picking up after, feeding and trying to entertain a four year old and two toddlers, this was heaven.
When we arrived at the room the young man showed us the complimentary snacks, tea and coffee facilities etc and left us. Tim, the Guest Relations Manager had left the most beautiful bouquet of flowers in our room and a chilled bottle of Prosecco. I actually jumped in the air and squealed with excitement, not only was the room stunning but these thoughtful touches were just the complete and unexpected icing on the cake.
The room itself was stylish and modern and the period features including the massive window were beautiful. The bathroom was well styled and the well considered design features like the black metal frame and glass door were all in keeping with the period of the building which was a pleasant surprise for a recently renovated hotel. The large shower had underfloor heating and the shower itself was to die for, I think I was actually in there for twenty plus minutes which is a far cry from the four minute showers I usually take with an audience of three snotty little boys.
The bed was huge and seriously comfortable and the robes were actually super soft unlike many hotels were they are coarse from over washing. The tea and coffee facilities were great and there were really nice contemporary mugs and a small carton of fresh milk, amazing compared to the usual UHT. The hotel also provided you with free still and sparkling water in the mini fridge which I have never had as a ‘freebie’ before. We had even popped to the Sainsbury’s across the road beforehand to stock up on water and nibbles, we needn’t have bothered though as snacks including Tyrell’s crisps and Mini Cheddars were also included.
There was more than enough space in the room with a comfortable and clearly new sofa and plenty of mood lighting. The main overhead light was stylish and a focal point of the room which cast shadows across the entire ceiling and wall of mirrors which sat behind the bed. If I had to find a downside it would only be that there was no mirror in the dressing table unit so I had to do my make up and hair in front of the large mirror in the entrance hall using a chair as a table and the light in this area was not as good so it was a challenge. Other than that though I really could not fault the room.
We had booked room only so didn’t sample the breakfast which in hindsight was a mistake as it looked delicious from photographs I saw in the hotel. We did however have cocktails in the rather cool Refuge bar which continued the stunning attention to period design detailing. I had a Cosmopolitan and my husband has a G&T and the drinks were very good, there was a DJ playing and the setting and atmosphere was great.
I absolutely loved the age and period features which were around every corner in the The Principal Manchester, from stunning tiles to detailed architraving and spiralling staircases to exquisite wood paneling, ever inch of this hotel is beautiful and immaculate.
We had a fantastic stay at The Principal Manchester and will definitely be visiting again the moment we can persuade the grandparents to have all three kids over night again. I wouldn’t think of staying anywhere else in the city again and I would happily recommend the hotel to all of my friends and family. A much needed and perfect stay which was topped off by the faultless staff and thoughtful attention to detail. A special thank you to Tim, the Guest Relations Manager for making our stay even more special.