I’ve slept everywhere from a tent in the back garden to a luxury hotel, but I must admit that serviced apartments such as the Laystall Apartments by StayManchester.com were a new experience for me.
Once the industrial powerhouse of the north of England, Manchester is full of old warehouses that once manufactured the goods that were sent all over Britain’s colonial empire. With Britain’s industrial decline, the old mills and warehouses have fallen silent silent but many have been renovated and converted into modern apartment buildings.
Although the Laystall Street Apartments are in a modern rather than old building, the conversion of old warehouses seems to make Manchester an ideal city for serviced apartments as an alternative to hotel accommodation. Of course many groups of friends come to Manchester for the football, concerts, shopping or nightlife and are looking for somewhere they can stay together that will also be good value, so serviced apartments fit the bill perfectly.
At the Laystall Apartments I found our 10th floor apartment was a cross between a hotel with 24 hour reception and a show home with two double bedrooms, one with en suite shower room and a second bathroom.
The decor was the latest look with a colour scheme of cappuccino with a twist of lime. My en suite double bedroom had a comfortable bed with crisp white bed-linen, a brown leather headboard and dark wood furniture.
Beside the bed was an elegant silver string lampshade and a radio alarm clock, useful if you’re in Manchester on business although I can’t see the party crowd would be wanting an early morning wake up call.
There was a proper wardrobe with extra quilts and pillows and a normal hairdryer (as opposed to those horrid wall mounted ones) for getting ready for those nights out on the town. The pictures in both the bedroom and the living area were night-time cityscape pictures of Manchester. I must admit that the city looks a lot prettier at night with all those twinkling light that it does in the daytime with a view of the retail park opposite and the surrounding industrial landscape.
The bathroom was also ultra modern with white tiles and black polished surfaces, modern chrome fittings and a pale aqua glass bath surround, and there was some hotel style miniature shampoo and soap. The living and dining area was large enough to throw a party with a chocolate leather sofa and chair that turned into a sofa bed and a Samsung flat screen TV.
The glass dining room table seated six people with a bowl of fruit and some bottled water to keep us going and wrap around windows with a great view over the city warehouses. The red kitchen with grey surfaces was an impressive size with all the fittings and equipment that you’d expect in your kitchen at home. For those who are staying a few days, the washing machine in the apartment was also a bonus and there is also free wifi in the apartment.
It seemed rather a shame that as I was out for most of the time at the Travel Bloggers Unite conference, I didn’t get the chance to have a few friends round for dinner or throw a wild party. I was sharing with fellow blogger Abi King, who was coming down with a nasty cold, so we were rather the party poopers and used the apartment as a convenient base, rather than making the most of all the space.
If there were any downsides it might only be that the location is down a quiet side street and I felt a little nervous walking back to late at night, although on the plus side it’s only a 10 minute walk from the Picadilliy train station and 10 minutes the other way into the Northern Quarter. There is an Aldi supermarket close by where you can stock up on necessities, but otherwise you’ll have to walk at least 10 minutes to get to any coffee shops or restaurants.
The other thing to be aware of is that Manchester is known for its nightlife, so if you’re not a party animal I’d suggest you request a quieter apartment on a higher floor or facing away from the street as groups of clubbers coming back late (or early depending on how you look at it) can be noisy.
Now I’ve tried the serviced apartment experience I’ll be seeking it out more regularly, especially when travelling with friends, and I’d definitely recommend the Laystall Apartments from StayManchester.com as a stylish and comfortable alternative to a hotel. I received a discounted rate from StayManchester.com but the normal rate for our 2 bed apartment was around £159 per night, which is excellent value if shared between 2 couples and certainly cheaper than a hotel of a similar standard.
Read what my flatmate Abi King had to say –StayManchester.com – An Independent Review
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