Although we don’t live MILES away from the airport we tend to travel from the most; we are close to being 2 hours away and with children in tow we much prefer to not have to wake the kids up in the middle of the night to travel down the M62 prior to a 9 hour flight to Florida!
This year though was the first year we have stayed anywhere but a Travelodge/Premier Inn style hotel prior to going on holiday.
We were lucky enough to take up Holiday Extras offer with their ‘Free if’ guarantee and managed to get one night stay at the Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport (formerly Bewleys) for FREE !!
I did do a blog post on the ‘free if’ guarantee last year but unfortunately Holiday Extras have now stopped that promotion so there is very little point in me explaining it too much to you guys right now but if you are interested in knowing a little bit more about it then you can check out my post here; you never know it might come back so its worth a check every now and then for sure!
We arrived mid afternoon (check in is relatively early for a hotel I felt at 2pm) and check in went smoothly. I asked if the room they had allocated us had a runway view and although the hotel is located close to the airport I don’t feel there would be very many rooms that could offer such a view. We were on the top floor of the lower block and could see the runway flight path but that was about it. There was a higher building that you would probably be able to see more but again i will be very surprised if in any room you can see the planes actually landing on the ground.
We were given a family room (room 354) that had two big double beds. I mentioned in our vlogs that I wasn’t sure about the beds as they initially felt hard to sit on but they were ok and although firm they were certainly ‘sleepable!’
The room was lovely and really spacious – excellent for a family of 4. The bathroom was an ideal size too with both a bath, shower and some complimentary hotel ‘smellies’ 🙂
The room also had a small but big enough wardrobe – I initially found this a little weird but the more i thought about it I thought how fantastic it was! Chances are you aren’t going to be in this hotel long enough to unpack pretty much anything but the things you do for the short time you are there will hang up nicely in their cute open plan wardrobe.
Not only did the kids love playing hide in seek in there but again when you think about it having a big bulky wardrobe in an airport hotel is just pointless and a waste – it also allowed for a floor to ceiling (ish!) mirror too which who doesn’t love in a hotel room!?
In one of the drawers was a stash of tea and coffee plus a kettle and in another the hairdryer (and a bible!)
I also loved that it had an ironing board and an iron!
Because the hotel is so close to the Airport there is very little (if anything!) around there as far as eateries are concerned however although we didn’t eat in either or them we noticed they had both a sit down informal restaurant and a more relaxed Lounge Bar. Again, because there isn’t much around there they were busy but that is to be expected. I’m not sure on the price (other than I know kids under 12 eat free with a paying adult!) and I cannot comment on the quality of the food as we had access to a vehicle and headed over to the Trafford Centre for our dinner 🙂 but the area was clean, stylish, modern and looked nice. The people we spoke to and interacted with were also very friendly and helpful.
They also offer room service (which again we didn’t experience) but looked reasonable for the service you were getting; a 12″ pizza was £14 and it had a full range of things on that menu too from burgers to sandwiches and again pizzas.
The Clayton also had a ‘business area’ which although sounds executive it wasn’t! There was a couple of computers, a printer and a television screen with the up and coming airport departures showing which was good.
The only negative thing I have to say about the Clayton is the lack of parking but I totally understand that the fact there isn’t much movement in the car park is probably the reason for this – cars aren’t really coming and going given that the majority parked there will be there for a while on a park and stay deal. There was a car park at the back of the hotel but that meant quite a walk to the entrance to be fair which was fine but isn’t the most ideal thing with kids and cases I imagine. It’s worth noting aswell that you do actually need to leave your keys with the hotel when you park too which I personally am not that overly keen on. I wouldn’t like to leave them with anyone to be fair and is one of the reasons we tend to choose to park ourselves in the multistory car park directly opposite departure and arrivals in the terminal.
We did have to pay for parking too but I know that goes with any hotel I imagine these days in a busy area like this but that’s something we aren’t used to having to do (£12 is quite steep in my opinion!).
The Clayton also offers complimentary transfers to the airport in their very snazzy mini buses which again is great – the gentleman thought we needed a lift to the airport so upon checking in his was asking us our flight details etc before I proceeded to tell him not to worry we are parking in the multi story. I imagine at that stage is when they will arrange the pick up time in accordance with your flight times – very good service in my opinion.
Overall we loved staying at the Clayton – the room was lovely oh and smelt amazing(!) my hubby would disagree with me though but I think that’s a man/woman thing 🙂
The location was again fantastic – it took us minutes to get to our terminal the following morning & there was no traffic to endure on the roads surrounding the airport so we didn’t have to bare than in mind either when setting the alarm the night before (not that we stuck to it in any event #excited!!!)
You know how much I love getting value for money and being able to use Holiday Extra‘s ‘free if’ guarantee allowed us to see whether or not we felt paying that little extra to normal was worth it.
Using the dates we have flown out of Manchester in the past and crunching some number i have found that Holiday Extras offer:
2 weeks and 1 day stay and park deal at the Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport during April comes to £140
2 weeks and 1 day stay at the Travelodge Trafford Centre and multi story parking during April comes to £145.99
What are you thinking?
Now I hate to say this as I did truly like the hotel but for us personally the saving is not enough. As i’ve already mentioned early in the post we travel 2 hours to catch a plane from Manchester and pass the Trafford Centre en route – we don’t have anything like that around where we are and it’s not somewhere we visit all the time so when we are in the area we do like to pop in.
Now although we did go from the Clayton Hotel to the Trafford Centre that evening it was a good 15/20 minutes away – the kids fell asleep in the car on the way back and typically woke up when we arrived back in the room! I couldn’t help thinking we could be less than 5 minutes away in a Travelodge and that wouldn’t have happened.
For us personally it is easier to stay close to the Trafford Centre, have a variety of food, restaurants and shops on hand particually with children in tow and also not have panic attacks whilst away thinking about who has been driving around your car and where on earth is it now because we have parked it ourselves in the multi story.
I really did like the Clayton – it was a beautiful hotel and if there was only myself and Alex then i would probably seriously consider staying here and making it a nice pre-holiday date night in the restaurant/lounge area but right now its not for us.
You can check out more of our reactions to the Clayton Hotel over on our YouTube channel within our travel day vlog.
I hope this helps & thanks for reading.