The good and the bad of Holiday Inn Express ~ Manchester Airport
Despite some of the negative reviews, this place isn't as bad as indicated... however they're a few things that need to be worked out. We recently booked an overnight stay there and truly wasn't a bad option for being close to the airport. First issue was their airport transfer.
If arriving there's no way to reserve this before hand and there's no courtesy phone at the airport. The blue phones in the arrivals area after immigration do have the hotel names on them however only connect you to a taxi company. The taxi rates for this company are £9 for two passenger vs the quoted rate of £6 for two from Holiday Inn Express. Only way to reach the hotel directly is via your phone, so be prepared if you have to pay roaming charges. PickUp Point: Outside the Jet2 at Terminal 1 Three days before our arrival (Christmas Day) I emailed the hotel for info on the transfers and rate... was quoted £6 for two persons (the arrival date was clearly stated in the email). However after being collected and getting to the hotel, I was told it's £9, overhearing that it was because it's Christmas. However the driver was understanding and accepted the £6. Not sure why this was A) not stated before or B) changed from the original. Other point to mention, they also provide no form of currency exchange or accept any currency other than GBP... so no USD or EUR. There's also no ATM so later that night we walked to Premier Inn (about 2 min away) to use their ATM.
OK to the positives about this place. The room was spacious and immaculately clean! The only thing that looked old was the remote, everything else was in excellent condition. Double bed, small chair, work desk & chair, hair dryer, spacious shower and ample outlets if you have any electronic devices. View outside wasn't too much to see but expected from an airport hotel. Side note: There was a fan in the room and no AC unit so if it's hot in Manchester during summer be prepared.
A great plus also with this hotel is they have a separate room leading to the elevators vs being directly on the corridor. This helps cut down on any external noise for rooms nearby.
Restaurant & Food: The dinner options were on par with the other hotels in the area, unfortunately they're probably the only hotel that didn't have an online menu but prices were comparable. Burger with chips & salad approximately £12. Good size portions, good quality and fast service. Breakfast options were traditional English breakfasts... scrambled eggs, sausages, baked beans, bread, juices, cereals etc. No complaints on food quality and options were replenished often so no chance of you missing out on something as this happens at some hotels.
One other positive for the restaurant, the staff are quite attentive, friendly and helpful. They're two brothers that work there (possibly twins) ...best assistance by far.
They're many other hotel options in the immediate area including one or two with free airport transfers but if you're looking for a basic overnight hotel with clean spacious rooms then this one is a great option.