“Striking central building reinvented with theatrical decor, decadent rooms, swish restaurant and cool bar”
There's a deliberate air of exclusivity in the 60 pristine rooms and suites spread across the five floors below Reception. The original central atrium has been filled with dark and decadent Inner Sanctum Suites named after notable Mancunians; in lieu of exterior windows, recline on an emperor bed to watch a 'wonderwall' 60" TV screen.
Sizes and shapes of other rooms vary (the building tapers skyward), but all share a golden age of travel scheme, with faux fur throws, leather headboards, retro steamer trunks and a hotel directory in newspaper form (the Gotham Bugle). Your desk has a swag bag for acquiring loot from pink umbrellas to Batman door tags (charged on check-out), the mini-bar contains a treasure hoard of champagne, posh nibbles and crystal glassware.
Sleek grey marble bathrooms have big monsoon showers, toiletries rest on a gold bullion bar. Only Bank Managers Suites have baths (in-room and roll-top); these and Gotham Suites have seating areas. Our Club room had all we could want in comfort, including a hangover kit, and space enough to swing a cool cat.
All meals are served in 6th-floor Honey restaurant, noted for its super city views, wall of typewriters, and bowler hats above the central breakfast bar. Luckily the food matches the setting. Breakfast is both bountiful buffet (tropical fruit, daily muffins, croissants, cereals) and a la carte (we scoffed crushed avocado with chilli, lemon and poached egg, and porridge with syrup and ice cream).
Other meals are chosen from a straightforward menu of British modern classics with a nod to the Northern setting. We savoured pretty beetroot gravadlax, deconstructed coq au vin, and curried monkfish, so were too full for the signature baked chocolate soup. Afternoon tea, bar snacks and sandwiches in Club Brass and room service keep the wolf from the door all other times.
No visit would be complete without plunging into cocktail heaven. You are greeted with a 'dark and stormy' for booking through i-escape (or another concoction of your choice), there's the on-call Martini trolley available early evening daily, and we began dinner with bellinis in beautiful Club Brass - also where we sipped peppermint tea before retiring.
Children of all ages are welcome and Manchester makes a great family city break at any time of year. However, the hotel is aimed squarely at adults and there's not much for children to do at the hotel, you'll be out and about during the day. Teenagers will enjoy the city's energy and excitements. And although in the centre, the streets around the hotel are pretty quiet
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
The Suites can all take extra beds and complimentary baby cots. All rooms bar Club Rooms can take a baby cot. There are 4 sets of interconnecting rooms throughout the hotel, including a pair of Club Rooms and a Club connecting with a Gotham Suite, which provide flexibility for differing budgets and family sizes. Families with teens will need to take connecting or adjacent rooms
Make sure the kids look out for trams on nearby roads. The lifts are small so be prepared for a tight squeeze if you're wrangling stroller, suitcases and children