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. Lorraine Foster

    We love to visit Manchester, so this looks like a great place for us to stay on our next visit.

  2. Deborah Bentley

    Wow! Great prize! I would love to win. I haven’t been to Manchester for ages.

  3. Jade Hewlett

    It looks like a beautiful place to stay and i’d love a stay in Manchester as it’s my favourite city to visit!

  4. Kate Leather

    I would love to win so that me, my partner and 2 children could have a lovely weekend together away from home x

  5. Neha Chauhan

    It would be lovely to have a nice day trip along with the stay with family over Christmas holidays.

  6. Shelley Jessup

    I lived in Manchester in my early 20s & loved it. I would like to go back near Christmas as the shopping is fantastic & I also would like to visit the art museum as it my favourite.

  7. Sharon l Catterall

    hi Vicki,id love to treat my my mum for her 70th birthday and my two daughters (who have never stayed in a posh hotel),it would be a wonderful treat for us all and a fab chance to have some girlie time together

  8. abster

    My sister lives in Manchester so would be a great excuse to go visit her and have a nice break with the family.

  9. Nadine Holland

    Trying to visit fabulous places in the UK with my daughters rather than flying abroad on holidays, so Manchester would be perfect.

  10. Giuliana Britti

    My partner is from Manchester but lives in Nottingham now. This would be a great opportunity to go and see his mum and have the time to actually spend quality time with her. Great giveaway as always x

  11. Lynda Jones

    I would love to treat my Son to a fantastic break before he goes back to York Uni

  12. Amanda Trelfa

    I heart MCR! I have so many great memories of my time spent there. Manchester is the city where I got engaged and married.
    I have stayed in lots of Manchester hotels but would love to stay at the Staybridge Suites.

  13. Sandra Henderson

    I love visiting Manchester it’s such a great city and I’d love to treat my husband to a weekend away for his 40th birthday…a wee treat for him and a city I love visiting…double bonus! 😁

  14. Lindsay Davies

    I would be so thrilled to win as I would love to spend much needed time with my friends, to let’s go shopping and have a few cheeky cocktails.

  15. Becki Johnson

    I’d love to win and have a little stay away with my family! There’s so much to do in Manchester and it isn’t too far for us to travel with little ones either!

  16. Nicki Simpson

    My hubby and me would love to take our 6 year old daughter here, for some family time in such a great location

  17. Julia Linsley

    I would love to show my daughter Manchester as a Northerner I have never taken her there so much to see and do explore have quality time exploring and share a Northern adventure !

  18. Jennifer Toal

    Living in the sticks Manchester is one of our nearest cities and still a 2 hour drive. Would be great to stay over then see a show

  19. Alice O'Neill

    Because Manchester is such a vibrant city and I’d love to bring my daughter and friends to experience it..

  20. Jane Willis

    My 93 year old Mum lives just outside Manchester and we often visit her, but she can no longer handle the stress and disruption of having people to stay so we are constantly on the lookout for hotels nearby where we can stay. This looks perfect – the comfort of a hotel with far more flexibility
    Jane Willis recently posted…Aqua hummingbirdMy Profile

  21. Laura Norcop

    The suite looks amazing and I love Manchester. Before kids we went quite often but it feels like a military operation doing a day trip to a city now so an overnight would be ideal. Just gutted your uncle mikes isn’t included 😉 what an amazing family x

  22. Kellie Steed

    We absolutely love family trips to Manchester and try to go every year if possible. We haven’t actually been yet this year and this place looks AMAZING. Would be a great treat for the newxt half term break. Thanks for the great giveaway!!

  23. Caroline Tinsley

    It’s been a few years since I last visited Manchester, I’d love to look round the art gallery again.

    • Natalie Burgess

      Id love to treat my partner and two children. It would also be amazing to meet up with a very special friend from my childhood who lives in Manchester xx

  24. Susan Gray

    It would be a great treat for my hubby Iains Birthday and we could do with some time together

  25. Tracy Newton

    Although our schools only went back today, it would be great to spend some quality time together in the October half term holidays. Manchester is only a few hours drive away from us too, which is an added bonus.

  26. Louise Crocker

    I’ve never took the kids to Manchester before and the hotel is just a dream. I think we’d have a great time.

  27. Sarah Rowland

    I love staybridge suites! I stayed at the Liverpool staybridge in June and it was perfect!

  28. Angela Milnes

    Oh this looks amazing and is not too far from himeZ we’d love to stay here for a night in Manchester. Looks so lush!
    Angela Milnes recently posted…Sylvia’s Smiggle School CollectionMy Profile

  29. Emma Walters

    we have 3 birthdays in the space of a week so this could be the perfect way to celebrate together!


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