Qbic - Manchester’s New Quirky Hotel
If the number of cranes you see when approaching a city is an indication of how prosperous the place is then Manchester must be in the top tier as new builds are springing up all over the city.
Whilst the new Qbic hotel is not in a new build (the block was former office accommodation) the young European chain has chosen Manchester as its second hotel location in the UK.
The philosophy behind the new hotel is, I'm told, to believe in something better than what’s currently out there; a place that celebrates life rather than sucks life out of it; a hotel that’s built on creativity and a belief that you don’t have to accept the conventional; somewhere that sends you away with fun stories and ideas, and is easy on your pocket. These are grand aspirations. Let's see if they have been achieved.
I still can’t work out why hotels have gone down the route of automated check-ins, like the automatic tills at the supermarket they always seem to need a staff member to be on hand, which is much the case here. Mind you entering Qbic on a busy early evening Saturday night felt like I had entered a trendy bar rather than a hotel, thankfully though a staff member was on hand to help with check in.
Lounge and breakfast area
The pink neon signs and green foliage in the bar area might not be to everyone’s tastes but like the rest of the hotel it gave a youthful, individual and trendy vibe that gives Qbic a unique atmosphere.
The rooms come in various configurations from the windowless Smart Room (a fellow guest I met in the lift said he had swapped from a Smart Room as even a prison cell had a window) to the biggest rooms - the Fancy Suite.
The Cosy Room I stayed in was part industrial chic - think bare concrete roof, storage space made out of steel piping and part cool funkiness.
Cosy Twin room Cosy Double room
Making the best use of the space, the large TV is at the end of the large bed which came with an 'organic handmade superking Naturalmat mattress'. Add to that a bathroom with a rain shower, which includes a steam free mirror, safe, hairdryer, plenty of USB and power sockets, mood lighting, very powerful air conditioning and a bottle of water in your room too.
The Faith in Nature toiletries were a nice touch but I can see the very large free standing bottles being taken home by guests.
If you are staying for more than one night you might have to live out of your suitcase as there are no drawers or wardrobe to store your clothes - only a few hangers on the piping by the writing desk.
Lounge area Lounge area
At the end of the corridor you can help yourself to complimentary tea and coffee from the self service galley which also houses an iron and ironing board.
Dining is in the Motley restaurant on the ground floor. The menu has all the favourites such as fish and chips, salads, lamb chops and steaks. The dry aged burger was very succulent and meaty. Priced at £14.00 it was in line with what you would pay elsewhere.
Breakfast at the moment is Continental, though a hot breakfast is planned for the future as is the opening of the on-site gym to burn off all those calories.
A private dining room
All the staff I met were very friendly and could not do enough to help you.
With its central location the shops, bars and theatres are all within easy walking distance.
Fortunately checking out was easier than checking in. “Hope to see you again” offered the enthusiastic man on duty. I am sure they will.
Qbic, 2 John Dalton Street, Manchester M3 2NW