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Best hotels in Manchester 2023: Where to stay in style for all budgets

Mancunian Cathy Toogood selects the best hotels in this happening city, for budgets big and small 

Cathy Toogood
Monday 03 April 2023 15:32 BST
<p>The city’s booming hotel scene means visitors have more choice than ever – from cool and quirky boutiques to luxury pads with pizzazz</p>

The city’s booming hotel scene means visitors have more choice than ever – from cool and quirky boutiques to luxury pads with pizzazz

Enter any one of Manchester’s exciting cultural institutions, hip bars, or world-famous sporting and music venues, and you’ll be greeted by friendly locals who are fiercely proud of the northern city they call home. The largest metropolitan area of north England, Manchester is an intoxicating place to visit.

Once named the “wildest city” in the world, if you’re after a vibrant club scene, you won’t be disappointed. That said, Manchester has grown into so much more, and is now a go-to destination for those looking for an eclectic nightlife, yes, but also heritage architecture alongside cutting-edge design, museums and theatres, and a plethora of eateries to suit every taste (and budget). It’s also teeming with independent shops and bars.

Understandably, I’m one such fiercely proud Mancunian and have enjoyed watching my city develop, alongside a booming hotel scene, which means visitors now have more choice than ever. From independent boutique hotels and budget options to chains with pizzazz, here are 10 of the best spots to lay your head.

Best hotel for luxury: King Street Townhouse

Neighbourhood: City centre

King Street Townhouse boasts an infinity pool on the seventh floor, plus relaxation rooms

With an infinity spa pool on its seventh floor, overlooking Town Hall’s clock tower, this 40-room hotel is a special retreat in Manchester’s city centre.

Rooms and public areas have been painstakingly put together by owner Sally O’Loughlin – expect locally commissioned artwork, statement lights and wallpaper, and a classic muted colour scheme. Each bedroom is unique, with freestanding baths in all but the entry-level Snug rooms.

Other treats here include spa treatments, a steam room and a dedicated afternoon tea lounge.

Best hotel for history: The Edwardian Manchester

Neighbourhood: Petersfield

Fantastic city views from The Edwardian Manchester

Built in 1853 on the site of the Peterloo Massacre, the grand Grade II-listed Free Trade Hall, home of The Edwardian, is steeped in Mancunian history. Winston Churchill delivered a speech here, while stars such as Bob Dylan and the Sex Pistols performed inside when it was a concert venue. Enjoy afternoon tea in the restaurant’s colonnaded area, to appreciate the building’s glory.

Bedrooms are in a modern building attached to the hall, have neutral colour schemes, and some come with great views of the city skyline. The basement spa also has a swimming pool.

Best hotel for budget: Motel One Manchester-Piccadilly

Neighbourhood: Piccadilly

This modern hotel is just a couple of minutes’ walk from Piccadilly railway station and offers simple rooms with all essentials included – free wifi, coffee and tea-making facilities, and TVs. Kids up to the age of 12 stay for free with parents, but those aged seven to 12 pay for breakfast.

The stylish bar serves a good selection of cocktails and is themed around Manchester’s legendary music scene, with disco balls hanging from the ceiling and guitars dotted on shelves. The breakfast area is adorned with golden worker bees – the city’s best-known emblem.

Best hotel for shopping: Roomzzz Manchester Victoria

Neighbourhood: City centre

The Guinea Suite at Roomzzz

In Exchange Square – home to high-end shops, the busy Arndale shopping centre, and around the corner from the Northern Quarter’s independent boutiques – this aparthotel's central location is perfect if you’re visiting for some retail therapy.

The 114 rooms come in different layouts and sizes due to the shape of the quirky triangular building – a former corn exchange – and all have kitchens. Expect to get lost in the long corridors while admiring original features such as grand stairways and tiles.

Best hotel for nightlife: The Cow Hollow Hotel

Neighbourhood: Northern Quarter

Enjoy complimentary milk and cookies before getting some shut-eye at The Cow Hollow Hotel

This stylish boutique hotel is located in Manchester’s hip Northern Quarter and is surrounded by bars and restaurants. Free prosecco and antipasti is served early evening to put you in the mood for a night out, and there’s complimentary milk and cookies before bed.

The 16 rooms aren’t enormous but are as cool as their surroundings, with high-end bronze rainfall showers, king-size Hypnos beds and marble fireplaces. Ren toiletries and a hair-styling kit are thoughtful in-room touches, and it offers free Netflix, too.

Neighbourhood: Old Trafford

Best seats in the house? The King Family Room comes with a pitch view of Old Trafford

Imagine flinging open your curtains to look out over Old Trafford cricket pitch. Well, that’s the view from 85 of the rooms in this hotel in Emirates Old Trafford. On match days, you’ll have one of the best seats, thanks to the room’s balcony, and overnight packages are available when a concert is held at the stadium.

The hotel itself is light, bright and modern ( it only opened in August 2017), while rooms have a calming, neutral colour scheme.

Best hotel for fun: Hotel Gotham

Neighbourhood: City centre

Enjoy superb views of the city from the roof terrace at Hotel Gotham

Everything about this five-star luxury hotel on central King Street is unashamedly grand, from its striking, white, Art Deco building to the gold-tiled private members’ club on the seventh floor.

Stepping inside, you escape to a luxurious world with staff in character – think doormen in bowler hats and “bank managers” in pin-striped suits (the building was formerly a branch of Midland Bank). Rooms are equally decadent, with marble bathrooms, dark decor and toiletries on gold bars.

Best hotel for sport fans: Hotel Football

Neighbourhood: Old Trafford

Football fanatics will be in their element at Football Hotel

Manchester United fan or not, staying next to the world-famous Old Trafford stadium, in a hotel owned by five former players, is a memorable way to visit the city.

The modern rooms have lots of extras that non-sport fans will appreciate too, such as a complimentary mini bar packed with retro sweets, and comfy Hypnos beds. If you’re travelling with kids, there are special family-friendly “squad rooms”, as well as a sweet shop in the restaurant.

Best hotel for people-watching: The Lowry Hotel

Neighbourhood: Salford

You never know who you may spot at The Lowry’s elegant restaurant

Big-name celebrities have stayed in this plush five-star hotel, and it’s a regular haunt for football players. But every guest can enjoy five-star service, and even the entry-level deluxe rooms are spacious.

You can watch the world go by from your room’s floor-to-ceiling windows while loafing on a leather chaise longue, or people-watch with a drink on the large sun terrace. Want to get away from it all? Take time out to admire the hotel’s diverse art collection or treat yourself to a spa treatment.

Best hotel for indulgence: The Midland

Neighbourhood: Petersfield

With two excellent restaurants, which are destinations in their own right, this hotel is a treat for foodies. Book Adam Reid at The French for special-occasion, fine food from one of the winning chefs from the BBC’s Great British Menu.

The grand building packs a punch, with an elaborate red-brick facade; enormous, pillared reception area; and corridors that were built large enough for two ladies in full gowns to walk down side-by-side.

The 312 rooms have a regal colour scheme and some look out over Central Library. The hotel is also home to a lovely spa.

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