Working for Expotel has its perks, including staying at fantastic hotels like the Macdonald Townhouse in Manchester.
"Familiarity trips" are one of those win-win business relationships which just makes complete sense. Hotels find it is in their interest to invite the booking agencies or travel agents to their hotel, show them all the facilities and let them stay the night, all inclusive. We love it because it is a night out, free food, free drinks, no cleaning up and in my case, I was just curious to experience it.
Because I don't do bookings at Expotel, I thought the least I could do was to repay my lovely hosts at the hotel with a short-&-sweet review.
My first experience at a boutique hotel was in Seattle during the case study competition. The MacDonald Townhouse had a similar appeal, with a perfect blend of old and new, technology and life. Each room and all the corridors had enormous Aloe Vera plants and all the signs were uniquely wooden; attention to detail was clearly in the designer's brief. The rooms were large, well decorated and the bed was so enormous, I spent half the night sleeping side-ways. But being a foodie, the restaurant and bar impressed me most. We were welcomed with cocktails, and while I usually avoid mojitos on a night out (knowing that more often than not, the barman will dissapoint), this time the mojito had a perfect consistency and richness of flavour.
The bar also had, even more surprisingly, two of my favourite Dutch beers on tap. I couldn't resist and decided to endulge in a pint of Amstel with dinner (which was also incredible).
I spent the night out with some friends, and going home (to my room) took me all of a two minute walk. It was a fantastic night out and I am now looking forward to the three other FAM trips I've put myself down for.