Immediately after arriving at Piccadilly Station from London. We took the Metrolink to the hotel which the nearest stop is Shudehill. The AC Hotel by Marriott Manchester City Centre is located just out of the main shopping district of Manchester. The location is not too bad, given its price point. It is just 5 mins from Arndale Centre, the main and largest shopping centre in Manchester. In fact you can literally walk anywhere in Manchester. Although I won’t want to walk all the way from Piccadilly. Victoria is a short stroll away! This is one of the newest hotel in Manchester, only recently built in 2018, located right in the Northern Quarter. Surrounding the hotel are a couple of renovations site since I guess this is an upcoming area. I am alright with it. The hotel does have a super fresh exterior, heck, in fact everywhere in the hotel looks new, clean and fresh. It is a 4 star hotel under the Marriott group. This is also my first time staying in an AC Hotel, for the 4 nights that we were here, the rate was 223 SGD for a family room, although with Citi Prestige 4th night free, that brought it down to 176 SGD. It is one of the cheapest in town. I was actually considering the Crown Plaza as well given the similar price point, but the ability to earn Marriott Points as well made the decision.
Our stay didn’t get off to a bright start. There was a little wait to check in since a huge bunch of flight crew just arrive before us. But what’s next was literally even more impressive. There is a major issue at check in and I can say that after sleeping in countless hotels and I stay alot, it is my first time encountering this. There was an issue finding our reservation at the hotel and the staff told us that it was cancelled by the system. To the weirdest expression of my face, I had the booking reference, number and everything. But it just say that the booking is cancelled. Weird, because I even remember that I have fully paid for it because it is a non cancellable rate and I even got my 4th night free rebate it. There goes a good 30 mins of ball whacking between me and the front desk. Furthermore they were fully booked and there is no availability. I immediately exploded when I have literally have no place to sleep tonight! To cut the story short, after some investigation, in turn out that the credit card expiry date was wrong in the system. Thus either Marriott was at fault or Prestige. But I believe is the Marriott staff since usually the concierge call in to book. And since I receive the 4th night rebate there is no chance Prestige did it wrongly. I was firm and say they have to guarantee a room for me at the same rate. And another big issue, since my booking was cancelled like long ago, why wasn’t I emailed a notification but constantly receiving my booking confirmation in the weeks leading up, assuring me that everything is fine. The staff need extra training in handling customers since the guy just seems to be pushing away his responsibility and insist that it is not their issue.
Well! Back to the hotel, I actually had nothing but praise for it, the lobby area was beautiful and nice, super fresh and nice finishing. It has a classy look. There is also a small business area in the lobby with computers. On the other side of the reception you can find the lobby bar and restaurant. Restaurant staff were polite as well based on my experiences later.
In the end, suddenly they managed to get a room for us, saying that there was a last minute cancellation. Obviously no upgrade are available. We were given a room on one of the higher floors. I love that the room, public areas, lobby were in the same grey brown theme. It is a little dark though. But love the style.
Room size was alright. It kind of look rather small because of the bed being fold out of the sofa. There wasn’t much view to speak of since it doesn’t face anything literally. I love that the room is new and fresh with warm colors. While since there isn’t much view, you would close the curtains but without the natural light, the room was on the darker side.
The room is rectangular in size with the washroom near the entrance. Then you can find the minibar set up before the main room itself. While I appreciate the classy set up. I feel that some of the stuff are badly designed. For example the mini bar area, you get the whole tea and kettle set up which is fixed there. When using the kettle, the steam catch all over the overhead area and water will drip down the side of the furnishing. Isn’t this prone to damage soon?
Bed was comfortable and firm. I love the outlets near the bed. There is even a USB point. I love how never hotels have such charger nowadays. Wifi is also strong in the room. Bed was awesome although not so much for the pillows. No water is provided in the room.
The bed face a little tv and long ottoman setup. The Ottoman seems to be the only place for your luggages in the room. Thankful it is rather huge. Overall I would not say that it is a spacious room. There is also no proper working desk in the room. while it is beautiful, it is kind of badly designed. It also lack places for storage in the room.
The bathroom is gorgeous with lots of glass and white finishing. Looking modern. First up, I do not know why hotels are increasingly not installing locks in the bathroom. Perhaps this is fine for couples. But definitely not conducive for families. Another huge point of how the room is badly designed can be shown in the washroom. Water flow all over the place in the toilet due to it only having a half glass at the showering area. The gap is also not big enough to trap all the water before it flow out. This leads to the toilet frequently being “flooded”. Toiletries were of the hotel brand.
Overall service is alright. Certainly the check in situation affected the whole experience. The stay was alright given the price point. It is a solid 3 to 4 star hotel that you can still earn some points. Decor was good and property was new. Other than that, nothing memorable. Room was also badly design despite it being new. Sigh! I would recommend them to provide some coffee in the lobby and definitely do something about the washroom.