The Park is the latest in a chain which is branching out nationally. Think a notionally up-market Travelodge and you’re just about there.
This one opened in June. Its best asset is its location, bang opposite the Arena stadium, and just a short walk to the city centre, — Selfridges and Harvey Nicks. The night I stayed, Boyzone were playing, so there were quite a few podgy mums chaperoning their tattooed kids.
Anyone planning to stay for more than a night should beware: there is no parking at the hotel and guests are encouraged to leave their cars at the NCP Arena park across the road. If there is a concert on, charges triple; otherwise it’s a reasonable £3 for up to 24 hours.
Rooms have been designed with businessmen in mind rather than businesswomen: there are no drawers, just shelves, and a hanging rail with space only for suits. Bedroom doors are firedoors, so heavy to shift; the phone, oddly, is not by the bed, but on the central table, where, usefully, there is a kettle and good tea and coffee on offer, and a nice flat-screen tv. Rooms have safes, but no fridges or mini-bars. If you get the munchies in the night there are snack vending machines on every floor. There’s also a spa with fairly hefty treatment prices.
Buffet breakfast is generous. But there is very little on the evening menu for non-meat eaters; if you opt for local fish and chips, you’re in for £12.
Overall, the impression is of a hotel which has been decorated on the cheap: brand new, it looked good. Six months down the line may be a different story.
Rates: from £59
Tel: 0800 2665 7275