What’s it like? This brand-new property only opened in May and is situated in the heart of Manchester’s rejuvenated Salford Quays area. Ask for an eighth-floor room with a view of Old Trafford – one of the world’s most impressive football stadiums. (Tours cost £12 including museum entrance.) The easiest way to access the hotel is from Piccadilly railway station by Metrolink tram (£1.90 single/£2 return). The property is functional rather than luxurious but is a decent alternative to city-centre accommodation, and excellent food is a real bonus in the airy restaurant.
Where is it? The hotel is accessible by road from east and west on the M62 at Junction 12. From Manchester city centre, follow the A56 signs for Chester and then onto Deansgate and the Chester Road. Then follow signs for Old Trafford cricket ground/Trafford Park/Salford A5063. Continue to Salford and across Iron Bridge – the hotel is on the right-hand side. If arriving at Piccadilly station, take any tram which has “Eccles” as its final destination. The hotel is opposite Salford Quays metro (travel time is about ten minutes).
How many rooms? 142 en suite bedrooms. (Rooms on the sixth floor are all non-smoking.)
Room facilities Rooms have either double beds with a convertible sofa or twin beds, and families can have inter-connecting rooms. The interiors are simply decorated and the beds comfortable. In-room TV internet costs £6.50 for 24 hours but free wifi is also available, and television is pay-per-view although Sky Sports is included. Rooms also feature a long case stand, iron and ironing board, tea and coffee-making facilities, an alarm clock, a safe, a free newspaper, a workdesk, air conditioning and Gilchrest and Soame products in the bathrooms.
Restaurants and bars A large restaurant on the ground floor serves as a breakfast area and is enlivened by panoramic windows, although it does overlook a busy main road. Cooked breakfasts are made to order and juice is of an average quality. However, evening meals are excellent and come in large portions – choices include asparagus to start and tender lamb shank for the main. (Breakfast is served 6.30-10.30am Mon-Fri, and 7.30-11.30am Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays. Dinner is available 12-10pm.)
Business and meeting facilities There are five meeting rooms available in a series of sizes and combinations for board meetings, annual conferences, training courses or cocktail parties. (Three of the rooms can combine to create the Oasis Suite with capacity for 200 delegates.)
Leisure facilities None, but the hotel is within walking distance of The Lowry theatre, the Imperial War Museum North and Old Trafford.
Price Internet rates for a Double room start from £99 for a midweek stay in September (£109 with breakfast).
Verdict A decent new hotel which will cater for Manchester’s burgeoning accommodation demand. It’s also handy if you’re accessing the city centre by rail, although parking is also available. Expect it to be particularly busy when Manchester United are playing at home. Well worth its nightly rate.
Contact Ramada Manchester Salford Quays, Trafford Road 17; tel +44 (0)161 876 5305; ramadasalfordquays.com.