Britannia Country House Hotel
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Britannia Country House Hotel Manchester Reviews
Small benefits, big prices Aug 17, 2013
We were booked in here for one night and the reason I chose it was because they provided airport transfers and I've always wanted to try a country house. Well that's certainly what it was...on paper.
When we arrived at the airport, we were told to dial a number and they would arrange the transfer for us. We tried one or two different numbers, because the first one wouldn't work. The second one linked us to a taxi company who didn't have the first clue what I was talking about when I mentioned the Britannia Hotel. So we gave up and forked out over twice the price the return transfer SHOULD have cost us for a one-way trip. When we got there, we found out that the taxi company was in fact the ones we were always going to get through to so that we could arrange the transfer. That is NOT what it said on the confirmation. When I explained that the man on the other end of the telephone was really confused when I mentioned Britannia, I was met with a blank look. She apologised and seemed genuinely confused but we weren't offered any concessions for our trouble. Oh, and when I asked if we could use their airport transfer the next morning and pay half the cost (as we would now only need a one-way transfer) we were told that wasn't possible and that we'd have to pay the full price. (We didn't use their transfer in the end).
We got to our room after agreeing I would walk up the stairs because their 'two people with luggage lift' was just about big enough for stick insects with tiny luggage. We got in there to be greeted by a very comfortable-looking bed with pretty much no space to manoeuvre around it. The curtains were drawn - we soon saw why, as we were greeted by the refreshing sight of fresh dumpster material and the hotel's dirty laundry trolleys.
The room was clean and came with the basic amenities of telly and tea/coffee etc, plus towels for the bathroom. Of course, we ended up using them to mop the floor when our shower turned into a foot bath due to very poor drainage. It was also very small, too small to comfortably shower with the door closed.
I have to hand it to the pizzeria though. Lovely, delicious pizzas for a good price, and the waitress was kind enough to let us have our dessert for free. We wouldn't have minded paying, we didn't even ask, but it just never made it onto our bill. 5 stars for the restaurant service we received. I don't fault the staff, as they seemed genuinely confused about the taxi mix-up and it was clearly the taxi company's fault, but I still was very unimpressed with the fact they couldn't even let us take their transfer one-way... Overall, no I would not recommend this hotel. I just thank our lucky stars it was a one night job.
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Dreadful! Absolutely do not use if you are disabled and need a wheelchair! May 14, 2010
I have often used hotels in the Britannia group when I have stayed as an able-bodied person on my own or with my daughters. In fact, I believe I have been on this website previously and defended to the hilt the Britannia North Stafford Hotel in Stoke when I have thought that peoples' expectations and comments have been unrealistic and unduly negative about their stay.
However, traveling with my disabled husband who is a wheelchair user has been a whole new experience for us at this particular hotel in the Britannia chain.
We needed a hotel close to Manchester as a stopover for a comedy gig at the MEN arena and were tempted by one of the frequent e-mail offers that had been sent and the fact that the hotel looked lovely and was something different to the rather "sterile" but perfectly decent and adequate rooms we have booked at Travelodge or Holiday Inn Express etc. Basically, since we were traveling so far from home, we wanted to make more of a weekend of it, and chose this hotel as we thought it would make a nice change.
When I booked our room, I was not able to take advantage of the offer that I had been sent after all - never mind. My husband drives a specially adapted people carrier from his wheelchair (I do not drive) which requires 8' clearance to the side to allow the ramp to come out and access into/out of the car. I asked if there were spaces in the car park - not necessarily near the front of the hotel but a place that would allow this necessity. I was assured by the person who made the booking that, not only was this fine, that they would reserve one and a half spaces somewhere especially for us and made notes on the booking to this effect.
When we arrived and as we pulled into the long drive, the grounds looked beautiful, but we began to feel concerned as there were cars parked literally everywhere and there was no indication as to where the disabled parking might be.
My husband dropped me off so that I could check-in and find our parking space, but the girl who checked me in, even though she was very pleasant, was completely uninterested in the parking issue and merely indicated to the area designated for disabled drivers and said that "it was a good job we had arrived early as it was going to get busier later". When I remarked that we needed a space reserved as we wouldn't be able to get in or out of the car, she just smiled sweetly and got on with something else.
The area that this hotel has put aside for disabled drivers was just that - an area that did not have properly marked out parking spaces and on very uneven ground. Consequently, all of the area was filled with blue badge holding cars - but presumably none that needed extra wide access to accommodate getting wheelchairs in and out.
We eventually found somewhere in an unmade up parking area a long way from the hotel which was neither conducive to our car's lowered suspension - nor for a wheelchair user if they needed to be pushed.
When we left in the evening for our trip to the MEN, we had to use our own bollards/cones to keep the space we had vacated - which had disappeared when we had got back so the whole process of finding another suitable space had to start again - this time it was even further away from the hotel and late at night when we were both tired and irritated.
The hotel is large - but there is only one small lift which was not big enough for me to accompany my husband inside. This lift had a life of its own and seemed to go up and down of its own volition, but it was because it kept being called by people and we had to wait for over 5 minutes for it to arrive at one point. On another occasion, a member of the cleaning staff was inside with her trolley when the door opened and did not have the courtesy to get out and allow us as guests - and a wheelchair user at that, priority. The staff have to use the lift because of the equipment they need, so why not install a service lift?
Why not have the rooms for disabled people on the ground floor? There was a huge notice saying that in the event of a fire that the lift should not be used - which basically means that anyone with mobility problems is toast if fire broke out!
The room we stayed in was clean ad pleasant enough, but the furniture was set out so that my husband could not get about in his chair so I had to move chairs etc about.
There was only a bath in the en suite with only 2 grab rails fitted in not very helpful or sensible places. I myself, fell quite heavily and bruised my arm very badly trying to get out as there was nothing at the side to hold onto.
Why not have wetrooms in the disabled rooms with either wetchairs or pull-down plastic seats? Surely this would be much more sensible with very little extra costs?
We had a very disturbed night as the other guests were noisy too - not the fault of the hotel but just something else to consider.
One last comment about the room was that there was no remote control for the TV. The duty manager at the time did try and find one that was compatible for the TV in our room and was very apologetic when he couldn't sort it out for us, but really, no remote control in a disabled person's room?!!!
Finally, our last bone of contention was the hotel bar. This was set in a recessed "dip" in the floor which you had to go down a few stairs to get to. There was no ramp so my husband was unable to order drinks for us - being an old-fashioned type of guy, this is still something he likes to be able to do for me!
The hotel is very plush looking and is a very interesting building, but it is very large and busy. There was a wedding taking place on the Saturday which we stayed which may have made it even more packed. I may have enjoyed staying there under different circumstances.
I think the hotel has probably evolved as an airport hotel - a cheap way to stay overnight and leave your car for free whilst you are away instead of paying for high parking charges at the airport - certainly the cars that had parked in the disabled area did not move all the time that we were there.
My advice generally if you have mobility problems is not to bother going to this hotel - don't even think about going on your own even if you are a very independent wheelchair user.
I have written to the hotel about our experience, and the Britannia head office. I have received a letter back and the hotel manager regrets that we did not enjoy our stay, but the tone of the letter more or less states that that is the way things are at this hotel and that car parking spaces cannot be reserved.
Well, thank you very much Britannia Country House Hotel Manchester! We won't bother to stay with you again and we are now reluctant to try any others in the chain!
Sorry, Inn Keeper's Lodge, Travelodge, Premier Inn and Holiday Inn Express - we deserted you when we should have known better! We will never stray from your welcoming arms again
Britannia Country House Hotel Overview
A traditional Country House with distinctive architecture, set in its own landscaped grounds. The hotel is in a prime location for easy access to all motorway networks. All 255 en-suite bedrooms are pleasantly decorated with wood furnishings; facilities including TV, Telephone, Trouser Press and Tea and Coffee Making facilities. There are two restaurants, of which include Jenny's serving the hearty breakfast or a lighter continental style, light lunches or snacks and dinner a traditional Carvery, English meals or one of the Chefs specials. Alternatively try the Overstuffed Pizzeria with pizzas, steaks and hot sandwiches. The main residents bar and Jenny's bar offer a tranquil atmosphere, great for a quiet drink. The Leisure facilities here include a swimming pool, gym, Sauna and Steam room. The eight Conference rooms can offer first class facilities for any occasion catering for up to 360 people. WIFI is free to all guests and is available in all public areas of the hotel. The hotel offers a 24 hour coach transfer to the airport, this service is charged at £4.00 per adult, £1.00 per child return trip.
Britannia Country House Hotel Amenities