I'm one of these people that as soon as you leave for the airport, your holiday has started, which means lessening the leash on those purse strings and being a little more flush with your cash. That might mean something as simple as breakfast at the airport, a treat from duty free, or a night in a hotel near the airport to get that holiday feeling well and truly kick started.
On our way to Florida, back at the end of August, we knew we were driving there so months before I was looking for airport parking (something I prefer not to waste my money on!). I found a really good deal where I bagged a night in the 4.5* Radisson Blu hotel with airport parking for 2 weeks for just under £100! Just to give you an idea, the year prior I paid £60 for airport parking alone for 1 week! I was well chuffed with my deal!
I've visited The Radisson Blu in Manchester, just for afternoon tea before, and the small amount of the hotel I saw I could tell it was pretty plush and oozed a little luxury, but I'd never got round to staying in one before.
Wow. Just wow. The reception alone amazed me. Everywhere looked so clean and sparkly, there were really unique humongous lampshades that I couldn't stop staring at! There were a huge range of chairs to sit on, all dotted about. They all looked so luxurious and too good to sit on!
(Before I start, please excuse the quality of the photos - I wasn't planning on doing a review of this hotel so the photo's aren't great, and definitely don't do this hotel any justice!).
We arrived at our room with no qualms (We began setting a trend of having problems with our room card with every hotel we visited!). The first thing I noticed was the décor and how sleek everything looked, something you can tell a lot of thought had gone into. There was a feature wall behind the bedhead with some photographic wallpaper of a wintery nature scene and a cute little robin.. I'm not really into animal themed things but this just seemed to fit. So modern yet different. There were lights galore for every nook of the room and a huge comfy bed to sink into, ready for our early(ish) flight the next morning. I loved the uniqueness of the bedside table.
There was so much storage and a workstation for those on business.
The bathroom. Oh, the bathroom! I've come across this a few times before when looking at photos, but never experienced it myself. Now I'm not sure if every bathroom in this hotel is the same (although I hope it's not, especially for families!) but we had a window in the bathroom that overlooked into the bedroom. Yes, we're a couple, but I still don't like feeling like my privacy is being invaded. Even if its just to spend 10 minutes pampering myself with my make-up, I'd prefer to have some time out and do this without the possibility of oogling eyes! Its a great feature for those that like that kind of thing, but not for me. Luckily, the toilet was separate and was in a room all by itself, thank god! Because we were only there overnight I didn't see the point in moving rooms, so I just put up with it, however I think if we were there for a short break I would have asked to move rooms.
(Err, excuse the fingers from my boyfriend, like I said, I didn't think I'd be doing a review on this! *blush*). This photo shows the privacy aspect!
We ventured into the Runway Brasserie for tea which again, whose interior was quite unique to look at. I spotted one table that the chairs were designed around huge bird cages. So cool! Although the menu was slightly limited (and a little on the expensive side) I didn't expect much more for an airport hotel. I ordered the 4 cheese penne pasta which was lovely and creamy.. and there was plenty of it! My boyfriend had a crispy bacon and cheddar cheese burger which he said hit all the right taste buds as well. The waitress was super friendly but not over-bearing. Perfect.
The hotel also offers a spa and swimming pool which unfortunately I didn't get the chance to try out. We walked past the swimming pool when we first arrived and ahh.. I just wanted to jump in. It looked so tranquil and relaxing.
The free shuttle service to the airport couldn't have been smoother. We were asked what time we would like to leave the hotel, and the bus arrived on time the next morning and within 5 minutes of driving, we were there. On our return from our holiday, we were given paper instructions on where to find the phone to ring through to let them know we had arrived and would like the shuttle to collect us. Within minutes the shuttle was there and we were on our way back to collect our car.
Overall, I loved how smooth the whole airport parking was. I loved how close the hotel was to the airport, which enabled us to get some extra sleep, and the luxuriousness that this hotel oozed was just a perfect start to our holiday.
I've stayed in a huge handful of hotels over the past few years, but this has got to be up there with some of the best.
If I was to ever fly from EMA again, I'd definitely be back!