I sometimes throw a curveball at IHG, and this stay was no exception! I booked my room just before midnight on the night that I wanted to stay, knowing that I had a one hundred and eighty mile drive
from home to the hotel - I had a morning Airport pick up at Manchester Airport, and this property suited my needs perfectly.
I arrived just after two in the morning, and encountered the night porter cleaning the lobby. He was very welcoming and, somewhat surprised, asked if I wanted to check in. I said I did, and he called through the back of reception to get the Night Manager (who was busy cleaning beer lines in the bar) to check me in. I was greeted with a smile, and had a very pleasant chat about my late arrival, and my plans for the morning. I was asked if I wanted welcome amenity points given that my arrival was so late, and that the bar was closed. Happily I accepted them.
Arriving at two in the morning did not phase this hotel. I was welcomed as efficiently and graciously as had it been two in the afternoon.
My status was recognised, as a Spire Elite Royal Ambassador, and I was asked if I wanted to pay in the morning, rather than at check in. My profile holds all my personal / payment information so it was wonderful to see this being used properly. This is a wonderful perk of loyalty - and one that only the exceptional hotels still practice. I really appreciate being handed my room key on arrival with just a signature required negating the need for paperwork and digging around for my wallet in the bottom of a bag!
I was assigned a room on the 5th Floor looking over the railway station - I wonder if my profile said anything about me being a Railway Operations Manager! It was a great view whether you enjoy trains or not. I promise.
My room was what I would call showroom standard. It was immaculate. Well appointed. The lovely red hints, throws etc that are appearing in HIEx properties across the UK. The bathroom was gleaming, sparkling and spacious. Gone is the traditional bi-directional door between bathroom and toilet, and in the place a very spacious glass screened power shower. HIEx blue liquid soap provided in dispensers in both the shower and by the hand wash basin. Fluffy large bath sheet and hand towels.
Hot Chocolate on the amenity tray as well as Tea & Coffee. HIEx Pen and Pad by the bed. Hair dryer, Iron and Ironing board located discreetly in a small open closet behind the full length mirror. Excellent.
I slept well, not even hearing the start up of train service only two hundred yards away - my ears are well attuned to train noise, so I was expecting to hear it around sunrise! But the windows did their jobs, and I slept soundly. Blackout blinds too - excellent given the room is South Facing.
Breakfast was a pure delight. Well laid out, a variety of cold treats and a noticeable good hot holding of sausage, bacon, scrambled egg and baked beans. A variety of bread, croissant and muffins. Tasty fresh coffee too.
The nicest thing was that the tables were spaciously laid out, with complimentary newspapers, and electric sockets fitted with USB too. There was an option to eat outside in the sunshine too, as well as notices around the breakfast area suggesting that if you didn't have time to eat at the hotel, that ALL breakfast items could be taken away. There were insulated cups with lids, as well as small paper bags for food.
Even better... soft white baps so that you could make a breakfast bap!! Not seen that before. Excellent thinking.
One thing I would like to see here, and indeed across the HIEx UK estate is the Signature Cinnamon Rolls at breakfast. Come on... I'm almost sure you will get on the case!!
Car Parking was very easy. The Postcode of the car park is on the IHG hotel website. It takes you straight to the NCP car park. I was provided with a discount coupon at check in, and it all worked really well. Whilst I do grudge paying car parking at hotels, it is a sign of the times that we are starting to live in.
Well done. I cannot wait to return. Stockport HIEx is now firmly in my list of favourites. [Less]