Manchester’s global reputation for nightlife and sports means that weekends are crowded with visitors all seeking accommodation. As a result, the city’s wealth of options for accommodations run the gamut from being worthy of international sports stars to places that won’t mind if you roll in drunk and dirty from a music festival. Whatever your reason for visiting, there will certainly be something to suit your taste and your budget. Here are the best places to stay in Manchester, no matter your price range.
The Cow Hollow — A former textile warehouse in the Northern Quarter, the Cow Hollow maximizes its characterful industrial shell with some very forward-thinking design touches. Each of its 16 rooms are a plush combination of exposed brickwork and bespoke pieces of furniture that give the place a chic atmosphere. They’re honest that they don’t specialize in food (that’s left to local spots like Elnecot), but their reasonably priced hotel bar is particularly strong for cocktail lovers.
The Abel Heywood — One great joy of visiting the UK is enjoying its classic country pubs — think roaring fires, battered couches, and shaggy dogs. Rarely do our cities do these experiences quite so well, though, which is why the Abel Heywood pub-hotel is a welcome change. As you’d expect from a very old pub in the middle of a town, the rooms aren’t huge, but they’ve been renovated carefully and are now smart and bright with attractive en suites. Downstairs in the bar, they serve homely, comforting pub food, and you can fuel a busy day with a filling English breakfast.
Velvet Hotel — It bills itself as a place of indulgence, but the Velvet Hotel still comes at a reasonable rate. The 19 individually designed rooms, including some airy penthouses, are spread across the four floors of an elegant brick building on Canal Street, the heart of Manchester’s Gay Village. If you came to party but still need some nightly respite, then the Velvet Hotel is a good choice. In conjunction with renowned chef Marco Pierre White, they’ve also recently opened a basement restaurant serving classic British food.
Abode Manchester — A two-minute suitcase roll away from the main railway station at Piccadilly, Abode is a contemporary hotel that gives you access to the center of the city. The rooms shoot for a loft-style feel with high ceilings and wooden floors. There may not be any spa or gym facilities for keeping fit, but there’s a brasserie downstairs with a pleasantly indulgent menu, and, if you can afford to splash out on a suite, there’s also a complimentary tuck box of chocolates and other treats.
King Street Townhouse — In the winding streets next to Manchester’s grand, neo-gothic town hall, luxury lurks. The King Street Townhouse has turned a former bank into the kind of hotel that everyone wants to stay in. They have a range of rooms from the comfortable Snug all the way up to two luxurious suites, which have floor-to-ceiling windows and citywide views. Especially notable, is the rooftop infinity pool, which has to be one of the most unique features of any hotel in a town known for rain — don’t worry, it’s covered and heated.
Radisson Blu Edwardian — The Radisson has that rare advantage for travelers of being both a place to stay and one of the must-see sights in a city. Originally built to commemorate the Peterloo Massacre, the Free Trade Hall is one of the most important buildings in Manchester, having welcomed prime ministers, suffragettes, and even Bob Dylan. Nowadays, the past has been tempered with modern flourishes, and the rooms and large social spaces all feel smart and sleek.
Gotham — It may be more Manc than Manhattan, but the staggering Art Deco facade of this hotel will make you feel a little transatlantic. The interior is a very sophisticated take on the classic hotels of the early 20th century, with a mix of dark leather, stark black-and-white chevrons, and cheeky bellhops with shiny brass buttons. If Gotham puts you in a New York state of mind, then try nearby Moose Coffee for Manchester’s own tribute to the delis and diners of the Big Apple.
The Midland — Adam Reid at the French is arguably the best fine-dining restaurant in the city, which means that The Midland is not just a hotel for those seeking luxury rooms but also the prime destination for visiting gourmands. The Midland itself has been a hotel since 1903, and it carries the weight of that prestige with an unfussy elegance. The rooms are comfortably simple, and the service is composed and efficient.
YHA Manchester — YHA properties set the standard in the UK for good quality hostels, and their Manchester venue is a good example of this. Bright, clean communal areas and spacious rooms allow for a comfortable stay within a few minutes walk of the city center. They have car parking available too, which is rare for many hotels, let alone hostels.
Hatters Hilton Chambers — You have two choices of Hatters hostels in Manchester: The one on Hilton Street is a little more expensive but worth the extra as the location is stellar. Bang in the middle of the Northern Quarter, you’re never more than a few steps away from lively bars, shops, and restaurants. It’s certainly not one for people who came for maximum relaxation, but assuming you’re the sociable type, then you’ll dig the friendly staff, the shared outdoor terrace, and the easygoing atmosphere.
Hatters Newton Street — The other property in the Hatters stable offers simple digs in a former bowler hat factory. The location is just slightly further from the center but still within walking distance of everything. As you might expect from a budget accommodation in an old building, it’s not without its flaws, but the popularity of the place is testament both to the excellent situation and the crazy low prices. If you fancy some sociability then nip round the corner to Stevenson Square where you’ll find crowd-pleasing cocktails at the Fitzgerald speakeasy.
Boutique Penthouse — This two-bed penthouse offers an incredibly roomy, open-plan living area and kitchen with tons of natural light, a small balcony area to enjoy your morning coffee, and a Jacuzzi bath. The location is superb, just minutes from Piccadilly railway station and the Northern Quarter. Even the building here is charming, with fully restored fixtures and fittings throughout.
Detached Lock Keeper’s Cottage — It’s unlikely that there’s another house in central Manchester that rivals this one for making a statement. It’s believed to be the only remaining detached house in the city center. The accommodation is a beautifully renovated, three-bedroom lock keeper’s cottage on the side of the Rochdale Canal in buzzing Castlefield. There are plenty of places to eat and drink al fresco, and the house is stuffed with tastefully redone original features, along with a walled garden for those moments you might need a little oasis.
Stylish Ancoats Duplex — One of the great benefits of staying in Ancoats is that you’re close to all the central amenities but with some peace and quiet. This stylish two-bedroom apartment takes full advantage of that by offering a large outside terrace overlooking one of Manchester’s coolest locations. Inside there are good size bedrooms, sleek bathrooms, a large open-plan kitchen-diner with attractive wooden floors, and building-wide conveniences that even stretch to an elevator (a rarity in this location).