Friday, 13 May 2016

HOTEL REVIEW: THE BIRCH, HEYWOOD, MANCHESTER // MAY 2016

So, the start of something a little different from my normal blog posts! I'm actively travelling and staying in hotels whether that be a long holiday, short breaks or business trips and as a lover of TripAdvisor (and a top 4% reviewer in my area) I thought that I should extend my blog in that direction too.

Where better place to start than an independent hotel, bar, lounge and restaurant just off the M62 in Heywood. 

I found THE BIRCH online the day I was due to travel. I was looking for room which was close enough to my commute and close enough to the venue of my marketing conference in Manchester without being completely out of my budget. A lot of Manchester hotels were £75 up, this beauty (which was only 13 miles away from the centre of Manchester) was only £48 which included parking, wifi and most importantly breakfast (we'll get on to that later!).

I didn't arrive to the hotel until 8:30pm after a tiring gym class and a trip to the local supermarket for tea (evening meal if you're not from Hull). I was looking for a quick and simple check in which is what I received from the lovely girl on reception! I was given my key and told where my room was as well as getting good manners (something that can be limited with some hotels). Upon arrival to my room I noticed that the door was partially open but I went in and the room was clean and empty. I then went to close the door, something that I couldn't do as the lock and door seemed to be stuck. With a quick call to reception the same member of staff came to my room and helped with the issue before stating that she was going to put it forward to maintenance and apologising for the inconvenience - not an issue at all, quick and friendly help.

The room was perfect just for me, spacious and clean. The bed was comfortable and the bathroom didn't have a speck of dirt. My only fault with the bathroom was that the shower cubicle was pretty small leaving it a struggle to shave my legs (maybe too much info? I'm not sure) and no towel rack or bath mat. Other than that the shower worked to a good and powerful standard with a great temperature of water. Another facility that we all like to use was the wifi. I've been to plenty of hotels where wifi is an extra cost or isn't available at all, this one was free and in my opinion it wasn't fantastic. It connected easily on my laptop and iPad however my iPhone kept disconnecting and in the end I switched it off and stuck to 4G. I was in the first room of the hotel so maybe the signal would have been a bit better further down the corridor however it worked on my laptop so I can't really complain.

After a shower and a good nights sleep I was up nice and early ready for my day. Breakfast was served between 7am and 9am so I headed down at about 8:30am not expecting much to be left - how wrong was I?!

This was a completely different type of breakfast service that I'm used to when staying in hotels. The continental section of juices, cereals, fruit and yogurt were all in a table in a neat looking restaurant which overlooked the gardens of the hotel. I grabbed myself a juice and sat down in front of the window where I was greeted by a different girl who offered me a tea or coffee, I chose tea of course. After pouring my tea she headed back to my table and pointed out the menu, asking what I would like for breakfast, and the selection was fantastic. Not only was I able to choose out of a variety of choices, it was also freshly made in the kitchens instead of being left on a buffet table for a number of hours prior to my arrival. I went for the safe option, a full grilled English Breakfast - without mushroom and tomato but added black pudding. I wasn't waiting long before I was brought toast where a selection of butters and jams were already on each table followed by my gorgeous breakfast which was brought to me by another very polite and friendly male. As I ate, the time passed 9am and the breakfast staff began to clear away but they were doing it so quietly that I barely noticed them there. Before clearing away the continental options I was asked whether I wanted anything else from that selection - I was stuffed from the rest of the breakfast but it was good of them to ask at the same time!

Yummy breakfast!
Once breakfast was done I headed back to the room and swiftly checked out with the whole process being quick and simple.

Overall I would 100% recommend THE BIRCH to anyone that is commuting to or from Manchester (3 minutes from the M62) or anyone that just wants a break away for a night or two. They offer everything from a hotel stay to weddings and afternoon tea so cater for a mixed bunch and it was certainly worth the price which was cheap anyway!

Cleanliness *****
Facilities ***
Food *****
Service *****
Value ****

Make sure you check out their website here.



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