Boutique hotels in Manchester for a chic weekend city break

Blogger Laura (LauLauLand) is here to share with us her favourite boutique hotels in Manchester for a city break with a twist.

Shamefully, I think it took me watching the latest seasons of Cold Feet to realise how cool Manchester was. With each episode, I saw these amazing city buildings, slick bars, plush restaurants… and I realised there was more to city life in the UK than London. I grew up in Oxford, but have long been a biased faux Londoner after moving there 15 years ago. They say you need to spend ten years in a city before you can call yourself a local, and to be honest, after visiting Manchester, I wouldn’t mind putting in the time to swap my Londoner tag for a Mancunian one…

Perfect for a city break, Manchester has all the style without the London attitude. Culture comes with museums like the Manchester Museum and the Manchester Art Gallery, retail therapy is on tap with endless high street shops, boutiques and the designer names of King Street, lunching and nightlife is abundant with stylish bars, brasseries, restaurants and cafes, while stellar stays come thanks to some of the most interesting boutique hotels in the UK.

A boutique hotel in Manchester in a stately building


Remember those grand buildings I was talking about? Well here’s one of the finest examples, the King Street Townhouse. This Manchester boutique hotel lives in a stately Italian renaissance building, but despite its swish setting it still offers that homely, easy going feel that you want from a boutique hotel (the Townhouse actually calls itself the baby grand hotel).

First and foremost, it’s all about the views. With a rooftop pool and a sixth-floor terrace, this is where you’ll see Manchester in all its glory. You’re right in the heart of town here, yet inside is a cosy, quiet setting to escape to in between exploring. But back to that pool… it’s an infinity design, with a steam room and sun loungers just in case the water isn’t enough to really relax you. You can see the town hall from here, and there’s lemony iced water by the jug-load.

Inside, rooms are individually decorated and all have a stylish but homely feel. When I came back after dinner the bed was turned down and Classic FM was playing on the radio – now that’s my kind of nighttime vibe.

King Street Townhouse

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (679 reviews)

A boutique hotel in Manchester with chic nods to musical icons


Manchester is a music loving city, and you’ll find echoes of the obsession at the stylish ABode. Found in an old textile factory just moments from Piccadilly train station, ABode will charm you with its wall hangings of David Bowie and Blondie, and with suites named after greats such as Johnny Cash. It’s all stylishly done, managing to sidestep the themed hotel feel.

This Manchester boutique hotel is teeming with design highlights. Every room is different, but each has an industrial edge in features such as wooden floors and steel beams, with a softer side in leather chairs and feature walls.

If you fancy eating here, the brasserie is instantly cool. It has fine food to fill up on such as oysters and steak frites served with Malbec, while comfort food comes in desserts such as trifle doused in sherry. Head downstairs and you can enjoy food and drinks in the basement, which serves up late night music and drinks until the early hours.

ABode Manchester

Top rated
8.9 Excellent (2314 reviews)

A boutique hotel in Manchester with a roaring-20s New York air


Who would’ve thought 1920s New York lived in Manchester. But it does, and it goes by the name of Hotel Gotham. One of the most interesting boutique hotels in Manchester, it’s marketed as modern, but is definitely inspired by its art deco heritage. The former bank building also capitalises on its rich surrounds with a glamorous and ritzy setting.

This place is all about the opulence. On the top floor, there’s a members club tiled in gold, in-room toiletries sit on gold bullions, welcome packs include piggy bank biscuits (made from shortbread, just scrumptious), and those usually bland ‘do not disturb’ signs are printed on money bags.

Although it’s heavily themed and unashamedly extravagant, it’s not, dare I say it, over the top. Most of it is executed with elegant restraint, with original features such as bank doors and glossy floors helping them pull it off. The staff in costumes tend to divide opinion, I think they’re bordering on Wes Anderson awesome, if only they were pale pink like at the Hotel Budapest…

Rooms fit with the theme, think deep hued colours, lots of leather and faux fur, and lovely touches such as opera style binoculars for close ups of the skyline.

The restaurant is great for views across the city if you ask for a table beside one of the wide semicircle windows. The member’s club (which is open to residents) also boasts skyline views with three terraces, one of which I imagine was where the bank boss used to survey his kingdom…

Hotel Gotham

9.4 Excellent (2080 reviews)

A boutique hotel in Manchester with a quintessentially British colour palette


I’m a huge fan of the Malmaison in Oxford, so it felt only right to check out their boutique hotel in Manchester. Although this one is set in a normal building (the one in Oxford is in an old prison), you can still expect the Malmaison blend of quirky style, with a strong colour scheme and unique touches such as neon signs.

Inside, the hotel has a plush feel, with a chequered floor, a grand staircase, glistening silver on the walls and alluring red banquettes. The rooms continue the mood, all are decorated differently, but most with the hotel’s typical shades of grey pepped up by splashes of red and purple, and houndstooth carpets.

Chez Mal Brasserie serves strong flavours such as smoked steaks that are cooked on an artisan charcoal barbecue – you can watch yours being sizzled from a seat beside the grill. This space is a haven of red and neon, and the cocktails are pretty good both in here and at the bar – try the Manchester Bee Have, when in Rome…

Malmaison Manchester

Top rated
8.6 Excellent (2146 reviews)

A boutique hotel in Manchester that's super affordable


Don’t let the word motel fool you, Motel One is not your average motel. This is a gem of a find when it comes to Manchester’s boutique hotels – it’s reasonably priced, stylish and just a short walk from the train station, Canal Street and the Northern Quarter.

Although a German-born hotel group, Motel One tips its hat nicely to its Mancunian home, with metal bees on the walls of the breakfast area, splashes of mellow yellow throughout the space, and a Britpop bar that pays homage to some of the city’s most famed residents. This area is a great place to relax, with deep chairs and leather sofas, a bar and plenty of hot drinks. In true Mancunian style, they’ve got some cheerful signature cocktails, the Manc-Hattan being a personal fave.

Bedrooms are compact but comfortable, floor to ceiling windows provide lots of light, while a subtle white, grey and turquoise colour scheme keeps it calming.

Motel One Manchester-Piccadilly

9.1 Excellent (2398 reviews)

A boutique hotel in Manchester with a countryside vibe


If you want to explore Manchester but stay somewhere less ‘cityfied’, Eleven Didsbury Park is the place to head for. Found in the suburb of Didsbury, this boutique hotel gives you the best of both worlds – a plush, countryside stay with the city break culture and sights nearby.

This place really is a home from home, well, that’s if your home is a fancy Victorian villa; the building is beautiful. Eleven Didsbury Park is refined, relaxed and welcoming, and there’s a homely feel to the design too, with floral wallpaper, muted colours, vintage style furniture and some interesting knick-knacks.

Rooms keep up the homelike feel, they’re decorated in soft tones and they range from classic rooms that are spacious and stylish, to suites with verandahs and lounge areas. One boasts a bathtub outside, so you can enjoy bathing on the terrace while overlooking the garden. Talking of which, it’s a beautiful walled garden with loungers, hammocks and plenty of other seats. There’s also a conservatory with wicker chairs, a further lounge area inside and a bar. Afternoon tea is a treat of pastries and of course, scones, and there’s even a gentleman’s version with mini burgers and bourbon… it’s perfectly acceptable for ladies to enjoy too.

Eleven Didsbury Park Hotel

Top rated
9.3 Excellent (370 reviews)


A writer living in London, Laura is currently working on her debut novel – a fictional tale inspired by her travels across America. When she’s not checking out the ideal hotel bed thread-count, she’s penning short stories, writing for various publications & brands, and sharing fashion tales on her blog, LauLauLand.