Honest Mum and sons at Staybridge Suites

Manchester has a special place in my heart as so much of my Big Fat Greek family live there and I love the Mancunians madly: friendly, charismatic, football-mad, entrepreneurial, creative and big-hearted, you’ll struggle to find a more brilliant population.

Manchester is a diverse melting pot of social cohesion, home to a top university and some of the best bars and restaurants you’ll find in the UK (shout out to my Auntie Lou and her award-winning Kosmos Taverna you must visit)!


The city makes up for all the rain it gets (don’t forget your brolly) with outstanding food, theatre, art, music and the best shopping from vintage to designer fare so if you haven’t been, get booking pronto.

My ab fab pal, PR, Esther Bell kindly invited my family and I to spend a long weekend in the city at the stunning Staybridge Suites near the city centre and we had an absolute ball.

Staybridge Suites, Manchester

With a luxe hotel interior, you’ll be amazed at how reasonable these penthouse suite apartments are with rooms fitting 4 for under £100! reasonably priced to stay in with suites fitting a family of 4 for under £100 plus ( I know)! And it doesn’t end there: breakfast with a view, a high tech gym, and laundry room to boot, makes this an absolute no-brainer if you’re spending time in Manchester.

Come take a tour!

Honest Mum and kids

child walks through the corridor at The Laureate, Crown Plaza, Manchester

Staybridge Suites, Manchester The Laureate, Crown Plaza, Manchester Staybridge Suites, Manchester Staybridge Suites, Manchester

view from the gym state of the art gym hotel gym

brothers take in the view The Laureate, Crown Plaza, Manchester brothers portrait breakfast chilling laundry room The Laureate, Crown Plaza, Manchester

Footballers, actors, families and even students book anything from one night to one year, making the Crowne Plaza/Lume Complex (which houses the suites) home.

The Laureate, Crown Plaza, Manchester

The Staybridge Suites are located several floors above The Crown Plaza rooms making them a hotel within a hotel, with The Crown Plaza serving single occupants best. We had a tour of the entire site, and the conference room and private chill-out areas were fab but for families, the spacious suites which come with a lounge, two tvs, en suite and a kitchen so you cook easily in, make sense.


Crown Plaza

(a Crown Plaza room above we visited on a tour)

conference room hotel pretty interiors modern hotel

There’s no need to cook of course if you’d rather not! We plumped for a sumptuous dinner (with my close pal, Dr Juliet McGrattan and her kids who came to visit us) at industrial-chic restaurant on the ground floor, The Laureate. It’s pleasingly located next to the art deco Graduate Bar which also provides a tasty bar menu if you’d rather perch than sit (sans kids obvs, who want to take all the room).

The food is excellent in both.

Dr Juliet McGrattan and Vicki of Honest Mum The Laureate, Crown Plaza, Manchester

The Laureate

mocktails mocktail

Alexander and I gobbled the vegetarian options and the others ate the rest of the menu, pretty much, all in the name of an honest review aka greed ;)!

The run-down went something like this: tomato soup, calamari and white bait, prosciutto and pepperoni pizza, Edamame beans, prawn and chicken skewers, vegan sashimi, Caesar salad bowls, a cheese burger in a rainbow bagel that looked like it was created by unicorns, veggie bolognese, stick toffee pudding and a cheese board to end all cheeseboards, even Christmas cheeseboards (I told you we ate EVERYTHING).

We said our goodbyes to Juliet and fam and LITERALLY rolled out of the restaurant and up a squillion floors in seconds by lift, flopping into our HUGE bed for the night, falling asleep in minutes.


bread and dips, The Laureate, Crown Plaza, Manchester tapas, The Laureate, Crown Plaza, Manchester whitebait edamame beans prawn skewers prawns calamari tomato soup

pizza at The Laureate, Crown Plaza, Manchester bolognese sashimi bowl salad rainbow bagel cheeseburger vegetarian bolognese Caesar salad

sticky toffee pudding cheese boardCheers.

Vicki of Honest Mum and Dr Juliet McGrattan

FYI, you can also order room service if you don’t want to EVER roll OUT of your bed in the first place.

suite at The Laureate, Crown Plaza, Manchester

If that wasn’t enough munching, we were kindly gifted an exotic fruit hamper and my favourite ever basket in the history of Red Riding Hood esque baskets: a chocolate basket (come to Mama), plus kitchen essentials of milk, bread, cookies and crisps, during our stay: perfect for growing kids who are hungry every 2 milliseconds.

There’s also a shop on site, where you can buy aforementioned snacks and more, which are priced the same as if you popped to the corner shop. There’s no additional fees or sneaky price hikes when it comes to anything at Staybridge Suites.


Staybridge Suite Manchester  exotic fruit bowl

exotic fruit bowlEpic.

Now, a visit to Manchester wouldn’t have been complete without seeing my fabulous family so reuniting with everyone at my Uncle Mike’s house (including my Mum and Dad who drove from Leeds to be there), saw us catch up with our faves.

Everyone brought a dish or two with them and we happily continued the holiday theme that was ‘EATING EVERYTHING WE COULD FIND WHILE IN MANCHESTER’, this time dining on Greek cuisine.

You can see my Auntie Loulla’s recipes for delicious Stuffed Tomatoes, Sweetcorn Fritters on the blog by clicking those links, Spinach pie, and Mum shared her recipe for Tabbouleh a while back. There were also Greek beans amongst meat and fish dishes for the non-vegetarians, and my favourite Greek custard tart of all time (check out Auntie Loulla’s recipe) for good measure.

stuffed tomatoes Sweetcorn fritters Greek beans spinach pie tabbouleh salad Greek custard tart

Highlights, aside from eating, were putting the world to rights and discovering a hidden, brilliant playground the boys adored in Cheadle close to where my Uncle and Aunt live.


Precious times.

If you’re visiting Manchester and aren’t sure where to go, or what to see, jump on a sightseeing bus to hit the landmarks: The Lowry, The Town Hall, John Rylands Library, the National Football Museum, the Royal Exchange Theatre and the Cathedral to name but a few.

You can take a walking tour too if you prefer and there’s a music based one too where you can legendary music studios, clubs and venues spanning the Free Trade Hall, The Palace Theatre, Factory Records HQ, the Ritz Ballroom, The Hacienda and more.

You can listen to stories of local bands the Hollies, Joy Division, New Order, Buzzcocks, The Smiths and Oasis.

The Northern Quarter is the boho district bursting with markets, rag traders, public art and curry cafes you need to see too.

There’s more inspo here from our collab a few years ago with TPE.

A huge thank you to Staybridge Suites for the complimentary stay, breakfast and dinner.

As always, this is an honest review.

Now excitingly, you could win a stay for yourself (up to 4 people) plus breakfast and use of the gym (adults only in the gym) by entering via Rafflecopter below!

Good luck.



The prize is one night stay in a one bedroom Staybridge Suite for up to four people which includes breakfast and access to the gym.

No transfers to or from the hotel are offered, there is no cash alternative.

Open worldwide but you must make your own arrangements/cover costs to be in the UK for dates of stay.

Subject to availability.

Competition ends Oct 3rd 2019.

Offer expires 30th June 2020.

Winner needs to reply within 7 days of the notification being sent.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Promoted on Prize finderLoquaxSuper Lucky UK Wins and Competition Database.


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134 Responses

  1. Michelle Clayton

    This looks fab – my husband and I met when we were 17 – 20 years ago at freshers week at Manchester uni so this would be an amazing treat to celebrate our official 20 years on 25th October 😍🤩🤞


    I would like a change to put the spring back to my life after a challenging year of heart ache!!

  3. Alenah

    It would be the most amazing thing to be able to be able to treat my girls (daughter and stepdaughter) to a lovely break away, especially before their little brother or sister arrives. Good luck everyone. 🙂

  4. Natasha Douglas

    Would love to explore England better with my boys rather than just day trips.

  5. Caroline Cordery

    I would love to take my kids as I normally just go away with my boyfriend and they feel left out!

  6. Maureen Quinnell

    love a wee trip to Manchester and great to be able to spread out rather than be squished in a hotel room

  7. Natalie Gillham

    I would love to win this for my two daughters and I, as we could do with a break away together. Thanks for the chance to win x

  8. Su Brett

    I’d love to visit some of the Museums and art galleries in Manchester and
    especially Rylands Library

  9. Adrian Bold

    This looks like a fantastic place and I’d love to treat my partner.

  10. Gemma Holland

    I stayed in Manchester with friends to celebrate my 40th this year, I’d love to take my sons to visit. It’s a great city

  11. Joanne

    Beautiful photos! Would be nice to treat my eldest daughters, one of them will be 18 tomorrow! My birthday’s next month!

  12. Emma Powdrill

    I would love to win as I havent been away for a very long time as with children it is very hard!! Plus its my anniversary!! xx

  13. Lia Burns

    I would like to win because my son keeps asking if we can visit Manchester

  14. Claudia Carroll

    This would be fantastic for my whole family as a post Christmas treat!

  15. Sue Carter

    We managed a very brief, one night stay, in Manchester this summer – my first ever visit. There is still so much of this vibrant city I didn’t have time to see.

  16. Janet Clegg

    I would love to stay in Manchester in this lovely place. I love to shop and love fine food an ideal break

  17. Deborah Hambleton

    Got my birthday in January and I’ve never been to Manchester. Would be fab to try it out.

  18. Carolynn Woodland

    Incredibly enough, I have never been to Manchester and The Staybridge Suites look like a brilliant place to stay for a first visit.

  19. Susan Willshee

    I would love to win because hubby has a very special birthday coming up in November and it would be lovely to whisk him away for a night in Manchester. The last time we visited Manchester was when I used to travel there for work meetings and he would tag along just because he enjoyed the place so much. He would really love a surprise night away there.

  20. Renna Creighton

    This looks incredible!! Lovely spacious rooms. Beautiful photos too.

  21. Qasim muhammad hanif dar

    I would love to stay at this facility as i am absolutely in love with it 😍 and plan to visit manchester soon.

  22. jules eley

    I would love to treat my girls to a nice break away as we haven’t had a holiday for a long time.


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