Scotland on Sunday Travel
Central and contemporary, an abode that breaks the budget hotel mode.
When you think of a business hotel, what usually comes to mind is a clinical, safely-decorated space without a lot of style, but which is clean and comfortable. This brand of abode is usually found near airports or financial centres and, while perfectly fine, aren’t something you’d rush to book for a weekend or night away without the laptop.
But a business-esque hotel that breaks this mould is the Maldron brand. Recently opened in locations across the UK, including Glasgow, the chain originated in Ireland and offers stylish spaces in bustling city centres.
During a recent overnight trip to Manchester, I visited the Maldron Hotel on Charles Street and was pleasantly surprised.
Budget or boutique
This is very much a budget option, with double rooms from £75 per night. The 4-star Maldron has a playful, contemporary design which has been chosen to appeal to visitors to the city and groups of friends or stag and hen dos - and the central location close to Manchester Oxford Road is ideal for tourists.
I stayed in an executive king room on the seventh floor, which was spacious with a large double bed, smart TV, small table and chairs and large bathroom with a huge walk-in shower. The colour theme here matches the rest of the hotel, with tones of grey punctuated by yellow.
The hotel’s interior is very modern, which can be seen on arrival to the snazzy reception desk which is set in a double height room and just off the hotel’s bar, red roastery cafe and Grain and Grill restaurant. Gold wire pendant lights feature throughout, including in the light and airy bar/restaurant and the lift lobby.
Wining or dining
Breakfast and dinner are served in the bar and restaurant area. When the hotel opened general manager Carl Davies said: "Here on Charles Street we are the first coffee shop so there's been a lot of interest in local residents popping in for their coffee fix, or for a drink in the evening,” and the small groups of people at the bar suggest it is a good spot to meet up.
The dinner menu from the Grill and Grain has a range of different types of cuisine, from gyoza to pizzas, sandwiches, hanging skewers and vegan and veggies options. As I was off out that night, I chose some classic pub grub, with a starter of crispy salt and pepper calamari served with a chilli and lime mayonnaise. For the main I went for the classic Maldron burger which was served in a brioche bun with red onion, tomato, lettuce and a dill pickle along with a side of fries. Dessert was recommended by the waitress, and another classic - a serving of sticky toffee pudding,
Breakfast was a huge spread of continental fare along with cooked options. I had to get an early train home, so I ordered a grab and go bag, which included yoghurt, a massive blueberry muffin, orange juice and a cereal bar. I sadly never got to try the coffee, but for those that have to run, there’s a Costa at the station.
Worth getting out of bed for
The central location is perfect for exploring Manchester, whether you’re shopping, attending a gig or theatre show or just hitting the town for a night out.
Football fans can visit Manchester City’s stadium or Old Trafford, and there’s the Manchester Football Museum.
Guests to the hotel can take in the city sites from hop on hop off bus tours, with stops close to the hotel. History buffs will enjoy the Science and Industry Museum, which is about a 20 minute walk away from the Maldron, and there visitors can learn about 250 years of innovation and ideas born in the city. Another stop for those interested in history is the Imperial War Museum, which is about half an hour on the train.
Shopaholics will love Market Street, which is 15 minutes from the hotel while the Manchester Arndale shopping centre is an 18-minute walk.
Fluffy robes, slippers, full-sized aromatherapy toiletries and an espresso machine with pods of coffee and hot chocolate add a touch of luxury to the hotel. Plus all the staff were very friendly and helpful - a nice touch for the solo traveller.
Guest book comments
The 17-story hotel provides a vibrant new offering for visitors looking to experience the cultural hotspot, with the famous gay district, the Etihad and Old Trafford football stadiums and thriving entertainment venues all just a stone’s throw from the Maldron Hotel.
Maldron Manchester City Centre, 60 Charles Street, Manchester M1 7DF, (0161 398 0230, www.maldronhotelmanchestercitycentre.com)