From the luxury of The Lowry to the grandeur of the The Palace, the fine fare at The Midland and the seductive sound of leather on willow at The Lodge, Manchester has some cracking hotels that don't just rely on comfortable beds for weary heads. And while some should certainly be saved solely for special occasions, we hope our pick of of the best hotels in Manchester is an accessible one. Sweet dreams.
Close to Piccadilly, Abode is housed inside a former Victorian cotton warehouse, its Grade II listed home brimming with character. The walnut staircase, exquisite tiles and wrought iron features hint at the quality of the rooms. And you won’t be disappointed with the four styles on offer, with 'fabulous on fifth' the pick of the bunch. Leading-chef Michael Caine puts his name to the restaurant, and there’s bar and grill space too, making this an Abode to savour.
You really can’t miss the Beetham Tower. Literally. No matter how you approach the city, there it is, seemingly at the end of every possible route into the centre. So dominating of the skyline is Manchester’s tallest building that it could be easy to dismiss it as something designed to impress through sheer size alone. But there’s more to the home of the Hilton than just that. The top half of the building is residential, the middle is the Cloud 23 bar, and the bottom is the Hilton.
As a relative newcomer, this welcome addition to the Manchester hotel family has taken a building which was interesting but ugly, and turned it into something quite tasty. The first thing you notice is the wonderful curve the structure has - like the flick of a hipster’s quiff - the green and blue glass bouncing colour across the surface. Welcoming staff should be standard in any hotel but here the service really impresses.
A stone’s throw from Piccadilly, the Malmaison brings with it all of the quality you’d expect from such a well respected chain. Built in an old warehouse from 1904, its rooms are ‘slinky’ and its suites ‘rock ‘n roll’, apparently. Certainly the hotel is a gorgeous experience in many ways and, if the Smoak Bar and Grill doesn’t take your fancy, just take a wander - you're right in the heart of town.
Cleverly designed to accommodate the protected façade of the former Free Trade Hall, the Radisson Blu Edwardian has somehow managed to retain the glory of the former concert hall – there are hints of it here and there within the building - whilst providing superb modern facilities. The company standards are high, their mission being to make people feel special (including staff) whilst offering luxury without pretension. On the strength of this city centre hotel, they’ve succeeded.
Apparently the parents of Rocco Forte loved the paintings of LS Lowry. So, what on earth do you call the first five star hotel in Manchester? The Lowry Hotel, of course. The hotel is luxurious and chic, and perfectly located right on the border of Salford and Manchester. Santiago Calatrava’s Trinity Bridge offers an elegant introduction to the waterside building, and the hotel itself, adorned with contemporary artworks and oozing style, offers indulgent comfort at the top end of the price scale.
Famed forever as the place where Mr Rolls met Mr Royce, (there’s a carving in the entrance to commemorate the fact), The Midland is the grand old dame of Manchester hotels.It first opened in 1903 but was recently refurbished and revamped for the twenty first century after decades in chintz hell. It’s not only the expansive shiny foyer and rooms that have had a facelift, the catering has too. The Midland has long been famed for its afternoon teas but now it boasts Simon Rogan's expertise at The French and Mr Cooper’s House and Garden, giving this grand old lady some new moves that would make much younger competition more than a little envious.
Outside the city centre, over by The Quays, lies Lancashire County Cricket Club. The Old Trafford Lodge offers views from its balconies overlooking the ground. It's perfect for match days but it's pretty otherwise, too - and there’s free parking and wifi included. The Lodge is comfortable but not luxurious (something that's reflected in the price), and there aren’t fancy restaurants in which to eat. But as a quiet, out of the centre place to rest your weary head, it’s affordable and a must for cricket fans.
Just a few minutes walk from Oxford Road train station, the iconic building of the Palace Hotel is one of the most impressive in Manchester. Catch it at sunset and watch the red brick of the clock tower glow. Step inside into one of the most beautiful reception areas of any hotel - its domed glass ceiling arching over stone pillars and intricate flooring, as staircases lead towards tiled corridors and rooms. The Tempus bar and restaurant is stunning, so if you’re after the wow factor in your hotel, the Palace wears its crown with well.
As boutique hotels go, Velvet on Canal Street is all you could wish for, taking the camp credentials of the already existing bar and restaurant and making this one of the campest hotels in the city. That’s not to say it isn’t stylish, but if it was any more over the top it would be shrieking sequins. Friendly staff feature prominently on review sites and there’s a basement restaurant and bordello-like cocktail bar stepping out on to Canal Street itself. Despite its busy location, the rooms are quiet and you can relax in comfort before and after a night on the tiles.