This Saturday, my best friend & I headed to Manchester city to go to the Busted concert at the MEN/Phones 4 U Arena. It was an absolutely amazing experience! We had been waiting for 10 years to see them and live out one of our teenage dreams! Back when we were 13 years old, we were huge fans of Busted and we have them to thank for the start of our friendship! The first conversation that we ever had was about our love for the band and how much we both adored Matt Willis! It's been almost 11 years since that day and we've been best friends all this time. I don't know how she's managed to put up with me! She means the world to me and going to see Busted together was sort of symbolic for our friendship, so nostalgic too! Today, I wanted to share a review with you all of the hotel that we stayed in, Premier Inn (the Arena/Printworks hotel). Enjoy!
The Arena/Printworks Premier Inn in Manchester City Centre was in a fantastic location! It's just a short walk from the Victoria Station (where the MEN Arena is), a 5 minute walk from Urbis/The Printworks. It's also less than 10 minutes walk from the Arndale Shopping Centre. The hotel is situated in the perfect place close to several restaurants; the Printworks has a Hard Rock Cafe, a Frankie & Bennys and much more, and there's a food court in the shopping centre. It was really easy to find because you can see the tall building with the Premier Inn logo from outside the Arndale shopping centre. It was fantastic being so close to the arena where our concert was.
When we were checking in, we had to wait around for 10 minutes in a queue because there was a large group of people booking in for a Hen Party and a couple in front of us, and there was only one member of staff at the check-in desk. There were some self check-in machines at the desk which we actually couldn't see until the queue finally went down so that was a little annoying. It would be better if they were situated in another area of the lobby in plain sight. Eventually another member of a staff appeared and we didn't have to wait too much longer. She was really friendly and welcoming which put me at ease and was great as I really don't enjoy checking-in because of my social anxiety.
The rest of the hotel was great and I was really happy with it. After checking-in at the front desk, we had a look around to find out what facilities they had and where our breakfast would be served in the morning. There were several vending machines located just by the front desk with both drinks and snacks available. There were then two small escalators up to the main area were there was a restaurant, a bar (which served Costa too), a sitting area with two sofas and some public toilets. It was really convenient to have access to toilet facilities downstairs and it was also wonderful to be able to go to the bar for a drink when we arrived back from the concert.
We booked online and the hotel was pretty full because of the concert and the Great Manchester Run so the only room left available was a disabled room. I had always been curious about how the room would be designed to make it accessible for wheelchairs and what other features they would have in the room. It was nice to see that the room was wide with enough space for a wheelchair and there was a lot of space next to the right side of the bed for wheelchair accessibility. The desk and the area where the mirror and hairdryer were located was at a good height for wheelchair access, too. We were told by the staff at the check-in desk that the bed was lower too. Our room cost £135 for the night because it's a lot more expensive on a Saturday night and in a big city.
All the usual hotel hot drink making facilities were provided, although I always wish that they would provide more than two teabags and two sachets of coffee because if you both want a hot drink at night and in the morning too, you have to go downstairs to the desk to ask for more and I would have a difficult time doing this due to my anxiety. Here are some more photographs of the bedroom:
Our first impressions of the bed were great, and we loved the addition of the cute little Premier Inn cushion! We were provided with two extra cushions located in the bottom of our wardrobe which I was very happy about because I can't sleep well without two pillows. The bed was comfy and I had a good nights sleep. In fact, I didn't want to get out of bed in the morning! haha Located on the back wall of our room above the desk was a TV, which we didn't actually use. The wardrobe was a simple design, a wonderful full length mirror at the front and open sides with no doors. There was another mirror on the wall next to the wardrobe with a little shelf underneath and the hairdryer was situated in a holder on the wall. Our bedroom was nice and warm throughout the night, too.
Our bathroom had a huge sliding door. This was the first time either of us had stayed at a Premier Inn hotel so I'm unsure whether this style of door is a feature in all the bedrooms or whether it was to make the bathroom more accessible. The bathroom was large and the sink was low enough for wheelchair access. There were lots of rails throughout the bathroom to aid access to the toilet and the bath (which had a shower too). Here are some more photos of the bathroom:
The flush for the toilet was a type that I've never seen before, it wasn't a typical handle or a button but a handle that you have to pull back and then forth again to flush the toilet. Maybe I've just not stayed in enough hotels, but it took both me and my friend a while to figure this flush out! :) Both the bathroom and the bedroom were both very neat and clean and I would definitely be happy to stay here again.
Above, you can see the random assortment of food on a plate belonging to a fussy eater :) This is why I much prefer when hotels have a self-service style breakfast. We paid for our breakfast when we booked our room online and it was £8.99 each for an all-you-can-eat option, which included both the full English breakfast and the lighter options. There was a menu provided in our room which was nice, so we could check out what food would be available beforehand. This just made us even more excited! If you follow me on instagram, you will have seen my delight when I saw that they served American-style pancakes!
At the weekend, breakfast was served until 11:30am and we went down at around 9:30. When we entered the restaurant, we were greeted by a member of staff who booked us in and lead us to a table. I personally don't like when they do this as I prefer to choose where I want to sit especially in the morning when my health conditions are worse and my anxiety is high as a consequence. I was brave enough for once to ask if we could sit in a specific place, which made me a lot more comfortable. The full English breakfast area had baked beans, grilled mushrooms and tomatoes, hash browns, scrambled and fried eggs, sausages (as well as a vegetarian version too) and bacon. The pancakes were here too and the only thing I didn't like about them was that they were cold. I wish they'd have been on a hot plate or something to keep them warm. There were a selection of toppings to put on the pancakes, such as maple syrup, jam and nutella. Additionally, there were toast-making facilities, mini blueberry muffins, flapjacks, fruit, yogurts and a selection of cereals.
The drinks on offer were juices and water, and there was a coffee machine and tea-making facilities. I was sad that you couldn't get hot chocolate! I really enjoyed the breakfast; I prefer self-service buffet style food as I am a fussy eater and it makes it less stressful for me to just get the food I like and plate it myself. I don't like certain foods touching my other food... is anyone else the same?
The Busted concert was incredible! Matt, Charlie & James were fabulous performers with an amazing stage presence and they were everything I imagined and more. One thing I can say is that they have definitely got more attractive with age, and Matt Willis is as gorgeous as ever! Fellow Busted fans, who was your favourite band member? The stage looked awesome with fantastic lighting and they played a mixture of their old songs and new ones. It was so fun to sing along and dance to all my favourite songs surrounded by loads of other fans, most of them around our age too. They sang 'Year 3000', my absolute favourite song last and the photo above is of the stage during that song. What a truely amazing way to end the concert! My best friend & I bought ourselves a band tee of course, too.
On Sunday, we had to check out of the hotel by 12pm so we decided to spend some time in Manchester before heading back to the train station to go home. It was lovely and sunny, perfect weather to relax on the grass near Urbis. We popped into WHSmith to get some drinks (and I got over excited when I spotted postcards and obviously bought lots!). After enjoying the sun and chatting for almost 2 hours, we wandered into the Arndale so that I could go to Lush and the Disney store. We had a lovely time at the hotel, the concert and in the city. I can't wait for our next trip to Manchester! I hope you enjoyed reading my Premier Inn review. It was a lovely hotel, a great bedroom and I will definitely be staying there again.
Thankyou for reading!
Have you ever stayed at Premier Inn? What did you think?
Also, who else has been to a Busted gig this year?
Like reading Hotel Reviews? Check out my Travelodge Review