This weekend me and my best friend took a road trip to Manchester as I had a hotel stay to review so we thought we’d make a weekend of it! Upon arriving to ‘The Principal Hotel‘ I posted a few clips to my Instagram stories and I was overwhelmed with the response; everyone was so eager to find out where I was so if you were one of those humans, then everything you need to know about my trip will all be included in this post!
With its clock tower and striking Victorian architecture, The Principal Manchester is an unmistakable landmark in the city’s skyline. A magnificent, terracotta Grade II listed building, the hotel has a history dating back to 1890, when it first opened as The Refuge Assurance Company headquarters. – The Principal Hotel
Address: Oxford St, Manchester, M60 7HA
This hotel is in the ideal location for those who want everything right on their doorstep. It’s situated right in the city centre which is a 5/10 min Uber to bars, restaurants and shopping which means you won’t need to fork out loads for travel.
The hotel doesn’t actually have parking which isn’t exactly the worst thing in the world seeing as there is a car park 3mins down the road (£24 for one nights use) but if you’re due to spend longer than one night at the hotel then it could work out quite expensive.
Our check in time was 3pm and we had a late checking out time of 1pm.
280 which was a Deluxe room.
The outside of the hotel is so grand, I have never felt so small in my life, (not hard because I’m only 5″4) but seriously, it goes on for miles and miles.
The inside of the hotel is literally something out of a film, it’s absolutely massive and decorated so beautifully inside, an Instagrammers dream location for photos. I was in my element, my brain was literally going wild ‘I want a photo there, there, there and there, omg and there too’, I mean the hotel was that cute I even took a photo of the ceiling! I did see a wedding party staying here at the hotel too and I can see why they chose it, their photos are going to turn out amazing, just look how gorgeous it is.
Can you cope?!
The check in process was super quick and easy too, and a lovely gentleman carried our luggage for us and escorted us to our room.
I literally get so excited seeing hotel rooms for the first time, I always find it so difficult to find out what your exact rooms look like online but I actually prefer it because it makes it a lovely surprise when you enter, sorry for the spoiler!
I wasn’t expecting a flight of stairs leading us to our room but it was a nice touch as it created a few seconds more suspense until the room reveal. I was really surprised at how spacious our room was, lots of room for activities and all that jazz..
Isn’t it weird that nothing is ever as comfortable as your own bed? It’s something we all miss when we’re away and so making sure the bed is a dream is really important when choosing where to stay. I wasn’t entirely impressed with the comfortability of our bed, there wasn’t like springs coming out of it or anything but when my head hit the pillow I didn’t fall asleep for ages which is weird for me. Normally when your first alarm goes off in the morning you snooze it about 10 times but I jumped straight out, it’s like it didn’t have that whole, omg I do not want to get out kinda feeling. Maybe the fact you could hear doors opening and closing all throughout the night didn’t help as our sleep was very broken and interrupted but I guess it’s hard to control what the other guests are doing.
Inside the wardrobe
- Two super soft bath robes which were so comfortable, I think I even slept in mine! Only one pair of slippers though which was weird, (a pair each would have been cuter).
- A hairdryer: It’s funny because most hotels have the same basic hairdryer and this was no different. It’s not a bad thing because at least they came with one but I would say if you’re very particular with your hair then definitely pack your own as it took me around 30mins to dry it completely.
- An iron/ironing board.
- 10 hangers which is ideal as most hotels always give you like one hanger and you’re like wtf am I meant to do with that? Hang all 5 outfits on one hanger, I think not….
- A safe for all your valuables.
- A mini fridge which contained a fresh unopened bottle of green top milk for your tea which is perfect as some hotels give you those weird little sachet milks which I am totally not a fan of..
Honestly, who doesn’t love a snack? I’m instantly won over here, I am always hungry so a cute little tuck box full of snacks is my idea of a good time. Thanks so much for those, they went down a treaaaat!
The bathroom was exceptionally clean which is one of my main concerns when staying away from home but this passed the test, thank god. The bathroom provided you with all your necessities such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion which is great if your packing light. They didn’t provide toothpaste in your room however room service bring you a cute little dental kit if you call up. I know this is another strange thing to add but I was so happy with the amount of towels they provided us with, like could you imagine just having one towel, god knows what I do with them but I need about 5 I swear. In the bath/shower there are two shower heads, one is fixed and one is hand-held. I am 5″4 and I could just about stand under the fixed one so if you’re any taller then it’s the hand held one you’d be using.
I was really disappointed with the hotels food/breakfast which was such a shame because the overall experience was a pleasant one but the food just wasn’t cutting it for me. We ordered some room service at about 3am (it’s 24hr btw) which I was surprised as not all hotels provide food at these hours. Saying that, there were only three options to choose from; soup, mac and cheese and something chicken based. The mac and cheese sounded amazing so we opted for two of those. I was so disheartened when it came because it just tasted so cheap and not something I’d expect to pay £7 odd pound for. I phoned up and asked if the chef could make us something else like a cheese toastie or something, which he did; two tops of a burger bun with some cheese on it, again these were left uneaten and so I begrudgingly awaited the morning so I could indulge on the breakfast. To be honest, the breakfast to me wasn’t worth waking up for which is what I look forward to the most but I just thought the food was very cheap tasting and just not up to the standard I am used to. There was a huge choice for breakfast which we ordered pretty much everything off the menu and neither of us finished one thing we tried. Don’t get me wrong, the presentation was perfect, but the food was very basic in my eyes so I opted for the Kitkat from the Tuck Box instead (my fave). I would say that for the prices they charge for the food is just unjustifiable for the standard you get but that’s just my personal opinion.
PROS AND CONS
- Staff were super friendly/accommodating
- Spacious room
- Seating area as well as the bed to sit on
- Central location to bars, restaurants and shopping malls etc
- Huge full length selfie mirror
- Two mirrors in the bathroom
- Tea station/Tuckbox
- Perfect for Instagram photos
- No parking
- Uncomfortable bed
- Noisy at night time
Where we dined
I asked around for some recommendations at the Boohoo/Nastygal launch and literally every person from the area recommended Rosso Restaurant so we booked a table to see what the fuss was about. What can I say, the food was literally orgasmic and that’s not even an exaggeration. You know those dinners you have where every bite you have to give a running commentary about how amazing it was, yeah that’s exactly what happened. It was like a posh dinner but there was a DJ playing Drake, it was such a vibe, oh and the Pornstars were divineeeee. And if you’re wondering if the place looks Instagrammable, then yes, it’s completely white, bright and airy and the toilet lighting is where you’ll end up with your money shot. Tick tick tick.
After dinner we ended up in Menagerie which is a lively bar/restaurant for a few drinks, again, if you’re looking for that Instagram money shot then there’s a bath tub full of multicoloured balls in there and there are neon signs and a bird-cage. I would definitely love to dine at Menagerie next time I go to Manchester as the atmosphere in there is so much fun and then after that go onto a club. Club Liv was another club that was recommended to us, this is my second time of attending this club and it’s literally such a vibeeee, the music just pops the fuck off, I love it! I definitely recommend going to both of those when you’re down as we had such a ball, (and if you’re wondering, Liv closes at 4am). All of the clubs are about 2mins away from each other so it’s not like Essex where everything is a 20 min drive away: 5 second Uber or a 2 min walk and you’re good to go.
We checked out at about 1pm and drove to Selfridges (closes at 5pm), which is about a 3min drive up the road (parking £4.50). It’s not like London Selfridges where it’s all hustle and bustle, it’s strangely very calm and the decor is a dream location for the gram. After shopping we dined in a tapas restaurant just outside to cure our delayed hangover and to make up for our not so tasty breakfast.
PIT: The hotel breakfast
PEAK: Rosso Restaurant
So there you have it, my full guide to our stay in Manchester. We had the best time and we will definitely be going back very soon. All my outfits included in this post are linked straight to the website so if you click the link underneath the image it’ll take you there. There was so much still that we wanted to do when we were there so I’m sure there’ll be another post really soon so I’ll keep you updated.
Thanks so much to The Principal Hotel for having us, we really enjoyed our stay with you. And thank you for taking your time out to read this post, hope it was helpful.
LOVE DT XO