I’ve stayed in ibis hotels on many occasions in various cities across Europe. Belfast, Milan, Bratislava and Bucharest to name a few, but on Wednesday evening I was able to add another place to that list – Manchester.
This wasn’t a stay as a tourist, and I wasn’t there for anything relating to university, but I had been invited by the hotel themselves to party, dance and mingle at the latest ibis’ ‘Lates on Tour’ event.
ibis Hotels’ Lates on Tour is a multi-date event in association with Roundhouse, transforming hotel spaces across the United Kingdom into concert venues, showcasing some of the country’s brightest and most talented young musicians and artists.
I was fortunate to be brought along to the gig at ibis Styles Manchester Portland Hotel. This isn’t your average hotel. The ibis Styles, which sports a fancy pair of sunglasses on its exterior, is a weather-themed extravaganza, with each room as unpredictable as the surrounding climate.
The newly-refurbished rooms are varied in their design, and we had summer, a nice change from the usually-rainy Manchester, with yellow walls, a giant ice cream decal, carpets that looks like daisy-covered grass and, yes, even more sunglasses! There was even a fantastic gift bag to greet us, with some great goodies from the good folks at ibis.
Downstairs, however, was where the main event was taking place, inside the hotel’s ‘Jamboree’ bar – a venue that’s a nice restaurant and bar by day, and at night an eclectic live music venue, with a great range of drinks, attractive decoration and bright lights.
There were some fantastic musicians playing, from the fantastically powerful Kenan Kián to homegrown band, and headliners, China Lane, it was a great concert – especially as proceeds from the Lates on Tour nights go to Teenage Cancer Trust, who provide expert treatment and support for people with cancer aged between the ages of 13 and 24 in the UK.
My favourite act of the night was Malunga, who is a singer/songwriter from London. Her voice was so soulful and she really connected with the audience. It’s only a shame that she didn’t do an encore!
There was also the green room where food was available and the bloggers, influencers and musicians could mix in a part of the hotel where the volume was at a more appropriate level for conversation. We met Becky from Girl Goes To and her boyfriend Chris, as well as Laura from Smile At Style and her partner, George. They were all a great laugh and another reason why the evening went so well.
Following the conclusion of the entertainment, we headed upstairs and enjoyed a fantastic night’s sleep, before waking up to a brilliantly stocked continental breakfast ahead of checking out.