The Best Boutique Hotels in Manchester

From historic conversions to the purpose-built, Manchester has something special to suit your stay
From historic conversions to the purpose-built, Manchester has something special to suit your stay | © Electric Egg / Alamy Stock Photo
Suzanne King

The thriving boutique hotel scene in Manchester shows no sign of slowing, much like the city itself. Whether you’re after Victorian-era grandeur or velvet-clad fun palaces, we check in to the most characterful stays in the city.

1. The Lowry Hotel

Boutique Hotel

Seating and bar stools at the stylish bar in the Lowry Hotel, with potted plants in the corners
Courtesy of the Lowry Hotel / Expedia

A long-standing favourite of visiting VIPs, the five-star Lowry sits on the Salford side of the River Irwell, linked to central Manchester by a curvy white footbridge. Rooms are sleek and spacious, with light flooding in through floor-to-ceiling windows, and the on-site perks include a spa offering Elemis and Aromatherapy Associates treatments. There is also a revamped restaurant, where the modern British menu features veg from Cheshire farms, Lancashire meat and fish, and gins and beers from local Salford producers.

2. Stock Exchange Hotel

Boutique Hotel

Dining area with couches in an s formation and ornate walls at the Stock Exchange Hotel
Courtesy of Stock Exchange Hotel / Expedia

One of the finest Manchester hotels, Stock Exchange is a little beauty, its Edwardian baroque interiors awash with marble columns, gleaming brasswork and stained glass. They haven’t cut any corners here: bowler-hatted doormen usher you in; celebrity chef Tom Kerridge is behind the refined menu of British comfort food; and the bedrooms feel grown-up and glamorous, with swish white marble bathrooms and soft furnishings in soothing shades of coffee and cream.

3. Hotel Football

Hotel

Bar stools and seating in the bar area at Hotel Football
Courtesy of Hotel Football / Expedia
For dedicated Manchester United fans, this is the dream place to stay. It’s a ball’s throw from Old Trafford (some rooms have a view of the stadium), and there’s Reds memorabilia displayed throughout, especially in the Class of ’92 rooms, adorned with signed shirts, Champions League medals and photos of key match moments. Even non-footie fans will find lots to love: from the king-size Hypnos beds, the rainforest showers and free retro sweets, stocked in Smeg minibars.

4. Hotel Gotham

Hotel

A couch and bright pink chair next to a trunk in a seating area at Hotel Gotham with views over city
Courtesy of Hotel Gotham / Expedia
King Street was once Manchester’s financial hub and remains stocked with suitably imposing buildings, among them the Lutyens-designed former bank that now houses Hotel Gotham. Inside, the design highlights original Art Deco features and runs with a playful Deco-meets-dividends theme: rooms have geometric carpets, dark woods and burnished metal lamps; there are copies of The Great Gatsby by the bed; bathroom toiletries sit on mock-gold ingots; and the hotel newsletter comes in the form of the retro-styled Gotham Bugle.

5. The Midland

Hotel

Seating around railings in the stylish and ornate lobby area at the Midland, with a large potted tree and marble columns
Courtesy of the Midland / Expedia

Built in 1903 to house well-heeled rail travellers, this red-brick landmark is a grande dame of the Manchester hotel scene and looking better than ever thanks to a £14 million top-to-toe refurbishment. The revamped bedrooms have been elegantly made over in cool neutral shades, and the lovely basement spa offers thermal experiences, a relaxation pool and Caudalie treatments. Eating options include Adam Reid at the French, winner of many awards for its modern British fine dining.

6. The Oxnoble

Boutique Hotel

Tables and seating in the dining area at the Oxnoble, with a TV in one corner
Courtesy of the Oxnoble / Expedia

Named after a variety of potato (yes, really), the Oxnoble is known for its food. An early arrival on the gastropub scene, it still packs in the punters for a menu that features the likes of brioche bacon butties, steak and ale pie and vegan burgers. It also has 10 simply furnished but cosy bedrooms that make a great base for visiting the surrounding area, with Castlefield on one side and the Science and Industry Museum on the other.

7. Velvet Hotel and Bar

Hotel

Bar stools along the stylish bar at Velvet Hotel & Bar, with orchids in large pots at either end
Courtesy of Velvet Hotel and Bar / Expedia
You don’t go to Velvet for a good night’s sleep… you go to be right in the thick of the Canal Street action, to drink excellent cocktails in the glamorous, low-lit bar, enjoy the crowd-pleasing menu in the brasserie and eventually retire to some of the most lavish hotel rooms in town. Think theatrical and you won’t be disappointed. It’s all about gilded mirrors and crystal chandeliers, bold wall coverings, plush drapes and huge, dramatic beds.

8. Malmaison Manchester

Boutique Hotel

A bed and light fixture in a modern hotel room at Malmaison in Manchester
Courtesy of Malmaison / Expedia

The Mal was one of the first boutique hotels to open in Manchester and, despite increased competition, it’s still going strong. The easy-to-reach location close to Piccadilly station certainly helps, as does the fact that it has continued to refresh and update over the years. The look in the rooms, split between a 1904 cotton warehouse and a modern extension, is mostly moody and monochrome, and facilities include a small basement spa and gym and a popular brasserie and bar.

9. Kimpton Clocktower Hotel

Boutique Hotel

A double bed, grey armchairs and a partly tiled wall in a hotel room at Kimpton Clocktower
Courtesy of Kimpton Clocktower / Expedia

Victorian grandeur meets 21st-century buzz in this Oxford Road hotel, created from the old Refuge Assurance Company HQ. At its heart is a vast, high-ceilinged space replete with original arches and ceramics, all cleverly subdivided into different zones: bar, games den, foliage-filled Winter Garden and a restaurant serving small plates and sharing dishes (the slow-cooked lamb shoulder is a perennial favourite). Bedrooms impress, too: no two are alike, but all have grand proportions and a cool modern look.

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