I picked up the gin bottle and tipped it towards to my glass. A veritable waterfall of Bombay’s finest cascaded into my glass, splashing onto the bar. Ohhhh … At home our gin bottle has one of those plastic things that meters the amount that comes out (Spanish Duty Free special offer) and – this one didn’t. The extremely elegant lady beside me looked ever so slightly horrified, though I wasn’t sure if it was because I had committed a cardinal sin by spilling the gin, or wasting it.
Hurriedly grabbing a bottle of tonic and adding a slice of lime, I wandered over to the Snack Stand. Tempting little canapes called out to the hungry traveller. Smoked salmon crostini, crispy spring rolls, lilliputian cheese burgers, fluted flans, and tiny ham baguettes – hat to choose? One of each I think. I returned to my seat and caught up with a bit of work before relaxing properly.
I was on the 9th floor of the Radisson Blu Hotel Manchester Airport in their luxurious Business Class Lounge. The following morning I had an early flight to Malta, and I’d decided to stay overnight at this hotel, the only one actually within the airport. Instead of a really early start from Carnforth, I got an extra 90 minutes in bed but even more importantly, no worry about traffic jams, cars breaking down and oversleeping. Judging by the number of people that gradually filled up the Lounge during the evening, many others think the same.
A very helpful woman at the Business Class reception ensured that my wakeup call was scheduled correctly and advised me that if I wanted to check in first, I could then return to the hotel for my breakfast. Then it was bedtime. The large bedroom had a complimentary bowl of fresh fruit, a coffee maker as well as the usual tea-making facilities, classy toiletries and a heavenly rainforest shower. Big sound-proofed windows gave a great view out at the planes just outside the window. A huge bed and marshmallow soft pillows guaranteed a great night’s sleep and I woke up well-rested and ready to get my flight.
Unfortunately I didn’t have time to try the pool, health club, spa facilities or restaurants available to all guests, so next time I’ll have to arrive a bit earlier. My car was safely parked outside the hotel so all I had to do was check out, turn right and walk down the corridor straight into the terminal to get my flight. The hotel website advocates guests ‘Park, Dream and Fly’ to which I’d add ‘Eat, Drink and Sleep Really Well’. It may not be the cheapest option on site but without a shadow of a doubt, it’s the most luxurious and a great way to start your holiday or business trip in style.
Many thanks to Jens and everyone at Radisson Blu Hotel Manchester Airport for arranging this stay and ensuring I had such a relaxing time.
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