Location is everything for the majority of people who visit Manchester, and that's exactly what AC Hotel Manchester City Centre has to offer, sitting on Mason Street and right on the border of Ancoats and the Northern Quarter.
The gorgeous and modern exterior leaves you hoping for more upon entry, and that's exactly what you're given. Neutral colours including deep greys and inviting creams ensure you feel at home right away, whilst the friendly staff on reception help to elevate that. It took just minutes for keys to be handed over and before long, I was soaring up in the elevator to a standard double room on the seventh floor.
A fantastic view of the city was offered up which is an important part of wherever anybody stays; you don't want to spend your stop in Manchester looking at the back of construction sites and even though there's a lot of that going on in the centre right now, it's not something you're confronted with.
Colours in the room echo that of the palette used throughout the entire hotel, encouraging visitors to kickback and relax, making it perfect for those returning from a hard day's work. The double bed on offer is one of the comfiest I've had the pleasure of enjoying in a hotel visit, with fresh and plush bedding you can easily sink into.
When it comes to the rest of the furnishings in the main room, there's a small but functional desk and chair for any emails you need to check on your laptop; an alarm clock for those of us who still haven't figured out how to set an alarm on our phones; and a safe to store any valuables. There's also an iron and ironing board to make sure your clothes are looking in top shape for any nights out on the tiles, or early morning boardroom meetings; and a hairdryer so you can up the pace on your drying off.
The space granted in the main room is something you pay for a little with the bathroom. There's a powerful shower to freshen up in, but no moveable glass door or shower curtain which meant the jet did actually end up dampening the floor just outside of the shower area. I'm also not completely sold on the frosted glass full-length doors that hotels seem to be adapting for their bathroom areas; it feels less private and a little voyeuristic which isn't perfect for non-couples. The placement of a mirror on the wall opposite the frosted glass door only added to this. Moving that mirror to a different part of the room would have served to dismiss this issue.
These are small niggles however. Let's face it: it's probably highly unlikely that a non-couple would share a standard double room in an AC Hotel!
Complimentary bottled water is within the room's mini-fridge, as well as tea and coffee and a kettle to boil your water, but I do think that if room service isn't going to be on offer, there should be a mini-bar. Not everybody is going to want to spend their evenings in the bar, or going to the shops to stock up on snacks and drinks, so this would make a great addition in the hotel's future and would probably be a good little money-maker for them, to be blunt!
Going back downstairs for the evening, I opted to try out a selection of the tapas on offer which is showcased as being part of the brand's Spanish roots. The food arrived swiftly, but left a lot to be desired with the prices on the menu; most of it was lukewarm which makes me think it was being held back whilst the rest of the dishes were being prepared. There also weren't any Patatas Bravas available, which was a little disappointing when there was only two other customers in the expansive dining and drinking area. I was instead offered chips, which I expected would come in the same sauce as the Patatas Bravas, but was given a simple pot of fries and some mayonnaise.
Drinks-wise, I'm not a big lover of leaving prices off of drinks menus; I like to know how much cash I'll be spending ahead of receiving the bill. Fortunately, the staff working the bar and serving on my visit were incredibly friendly, doing their best to solve any problems I had, and answer any of my questions.
The Signature Gin and Tonic serve is a great one; staff blended Manchester Raspberry Gin with Mediterranean Fever Tree Tonic and garnished with fresh raspberries. A happy hour (actually two hours) offers two-for-one on cocktails, but there wasn't a cocktail menu in sight.
Please understand that these are just small problems, however. Nobody's forcing you to eat or drink in the bar during your stay, and the biggest part of a hotel's review should (in my opinion) be about customer service, your bedroom and how you slept. All of those things were on par with the best, and so the AC Hotel Manchester City Centre would be a perfect spot for workers who want to rest their heads. There's also the brilliant little plug-in-and-work spot next to a small library of books in the reception area, which I thought was a fantastic touch.
I'd absolutely recommend a stay.
To find out more information and book online, you can visit http://achotels.marriott.com