There are some things that have made their way across the Atlantic of which I am not an enormous fan: Black Friday, Halloween mania and tipping anyone and everyone that you come into contact with, for example. However, there is one American tradition that I am more than happy to welcome: the babymoon. Now, I’m sure people have been having nights away while pregnant for many years, but it sounds a little bit more special when it has a title, doesn’t it?
One of our favourite locations for a night away is Manchester, so that was a natural selection for our final night away as a couple before the baby arrives. The plan was to set off early on Monday morning in order to get down there for around 11am, in time for a wander around the city before lunch. The reality was that we set off from the North East after 10am and didn’t make it down there until almost 1pm! There was only one moment of slight panic when, one hour into our journey, Laura announced that she hadn’t brought her pregnancy notes with her. I kept my fingers crossed that the baby wouldn’t make an unexpected appearance while we were away. Laura kept her legs crossed.
So where were we going in Manchester? Our hotel of choice was the Hilton Manchester Deansgate. We had stayed here once before and enjoyed it so much that we decided to pay another visit. Located in the Beetham Tower that soars into the Manchester skyline, this iconic hotel has fantastic rooms with great views across all of Manchester. And the best bit? With a bit of searching, you can see the former set of Coronation Street. I got some extra points for spotting Gail Platt’s house.
Check-in was easy and before long we were swept up to our room on the 21st floor. We had booked a King Executive room through the Hilton website, as signing up to the HiltonHonors loyalty scheme meant that we got a decent discount and free wifi throughout our stay.
In my experience, Hilton hotels are usually quite standard so that the same level of service can be expected around the world. However, the Hilton Manchester Deansgate is definitely a step above. When we walked into our room, the first thing that struck us was the light flooding the room from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Then, of course, we both noticed the spectacular view down Deansgate to the city centre.
A king-size bed, seating area, desk and bathroom with separate shower and bath completed the room. We knew we had made the right choice.
But there is one perk to having an Executive room that I haven’t mentioned yet: access to the Executive Lounge. Located on the 23rd floor, the lounge offers complimentary drinks and snacks. From 6pm until 8pm each evening, this includes alcoholic drinks and canapés. As Laura wasn’t able to avail of the unlimited wine, I felt obliged to drink enough for both of us. The staff were so courteous and appeared to be genuinely interested in Laura’s ever-growing bump, which is always so much nicer than a quick glance as they wonder to themselves whether she is pregnant or if she has just had a few too many pies.
As we made our way up to the Executive Lounge on Monday evening, I was slightly nervous. You see, the last time we went up there a few years ago, we bumped into footballing legend Bobby Charlton and Little Mo from Eastenders. I know that statements like this is how rumours start, so I feel that I should point out that they didn’t appear to be together. Anyway, after I explained to Laura who Bobby Charlton was, she took it upon herself to make some very random chit-chat with him. It was at this point that I banned her from speaking to famous people, in the hope of never again having to rescue a Famous from having awkward chats with my wife. And on the whole, she has been very good at sticking to this ban!
The next morning, after a long lie-in, I got myself a coffee from the complimentary Nespresso machine and when we were ready, we went back to the lounge for breakfast. Breakfast in the lounge is included with all Executive rooms and is definitely worth it. It is described as a continental breakfast, in contrast to the vast buffet that is available in the main restaurant, but it was definitely more than some croissants and a bit of cheese! There were cereals, cold meats, cheeses, fruit and yoghurts, all freely available to take as you please. Then there was also the option of ordering a full English breakfast from the kitchen, which was freshly made to order. Definitely more than a continental breakfast!
There was just enough time for a quick swim, sauna and steam in the health club on Level 2 before leaving this fantastic babymoon hotel.
All in all, I thoroughly recommend the Hilton Deansgate as a babymoon hotel in Manchester. It ticked all the boxes for us and we left feeling very relaxed, happy that our final night away before the baby arrives had gone brilliantly.
Manchester skyline photo credit: XAndreWx
Lift button photo credit: rueful