Seven of Manchester’s Coolest Boutique Hotels

Rooftop plunge pools, design-driven decor and world-class cocktails – if you weren’t already planning a Manchester city break, you will be by the end of our best boutique hotel shortlist.

Once upon a time, Manchester was a destination known for Coronation Street, its football culture and questionable haircuts. Fast forward to today, however, and the "capital of the North'' is one of the UK's best-loved-and-visited cities, and one that, following the arrival of a slew of boho bars and hip hotels, has seen a fresh breed of youthful creatives move in. Despite the city's thriving contemporary street culture, nods to its industrial roots are still evident in its traditional red-brick cotton factories and canalside warehouses.

As much as diving into a city's past (and collecting a bucketload of new trivia we can dish out at our next social event) is fantastic, there's also nothing better than holing up in a chic hotel room with all the home comforts - and then some - we could hope for. With that in mind, we've scoured every corner of this buzzy metropolis to bring you the best boutique hotels it has to offer.

Home from home: Manchester's best boutique hotels

ABode Manchester

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ABode

City centre, Manchester

Stylish and snug sums up ABode nicely. Situated across the road from Piccadilly station, and just a 10-minute stroll from Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, the elegant five-storey hotel sports a handsome 19th-century exterior. Interiors are just as characteristic - think alcove window seating and chequered floor tiling. There are 61 bedrooms split across four categories, each bursting with its own personality, with unifying touches including a dash of tartan and plump mustard-yellow cushions. The traditional brassiere on the fifth floor is a highlight, for both its modern British menu - crab bisque, anyone? - and far-ranging views. Breakfast, meanwhile, is worth lingering over. Expect a superb offering that includes the likes of oat and chia porridge, and smoked salmon and toasted sourdough.

Address

107 Piccadilly, M1 2DB

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Leven

Gay Village, Manchester

A playground for free spirits and co-working connoisseurs, this newbie opened its doors in 2021 and has rapidly become one of Manchester's hottest hangouts. Leven, which in old English means "to live", houses 42 unique rooms, each carefully crafted with design and comfort in mind. Red-brick walls and metal beams slot seamlessly alongside splashes of soft greys and rich green velvet furnishings. And we're not finished. Beds are big, mattresses are 100 per cent natural and minimalistic wet rooms feature anti-steam mirrors. Ready for a sundowner? Locals have made this their stomping ground for an evening tipple. Our order? A Bloom Jasmine and Rose gin, created by master distiller Joanne Moore.

Address

40 Chorlton St, M1 3HW

whitworth locke manchester

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Whitworth Locke

Civic Quarter, Manchester

That weekend away you're planning with your gang? Sorted. Housed in a converted 19th-century cotton factory, Whitworth Locke prides itself on being more than just a place in which to bed down. From finding your inner zen at the on-site yoga classes to scoffing toffee-flavoured popcorn at in-house film nights, the list of activities to choose from is sure to keep you entertained. For those whose inbox requires some TLC, there's a handful of co-working studios on the ground floor (which, FYI, are rumoured to have the best WiFi in town). Far from being your typical whitewashed, box-shaped cages, here, natural light floods in upon murals, blush salmons and mint-coloured ceramics - you'll find us there for the foreseeable future.

Address

74 Princess Street M1 6JD

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Hotel Gotham

City centre, Manchester

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Hotel Gotham is a jewel in Manchester's accommodation crown. Located on historical King Street, this plush pleasure palace pays tribute to the decadence of the 1920s. The atmosphere throughout is laid-back and sexy, while guestrooms are scattered with eye-pleasing furnishings such as travel trunks from the jazz age reimagined as wardrobes and brass roll-top baths. The biggest drawcard, however, is the VIP rooftop cocktail hangout, Club Brass. With access restricted to residents and members only, its sky-high position spells for some of Manchester's most dazzling views, served up alongside a tight list of craft cocktails.

Address

100 King Street M2 4WU

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The Cow Hollow Hotel

Northern Quarter, Manchester

In 2018, Muj and Amelia Rana swapped their careers in banking to open their industrial-chic hotel, The Cow Hollow. The restored textile mill offers 16 sumptuous, high-ceilinged bedrooms, each of which marries salvaged materials with original features - think beds made out of railway sleepers, framed by moody-lit pendant lights and copper furnishings. The bolthole's go-slow vibe makes it a dreamy base for a weekend getaway. Insider tip: the intimate ground-floor bar is the perfect date-night setting.

Address

57 Newton St, M1 1ET

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Kimpton Clock Tower Hotel

Northern Quarter, Manchester

Formerly known as The Principal Hotel, Kimpton's 1891-built clock tower has long reigned as one of Manchester's most iconic landmarks - hence the name change. The brainchild of legendary architect Alfred Waterhouse, the building was once the headquarters for the Refuge Assurance Company. Today, guests are greeted by a full-size horse sculpture designed by Sophie Dickens (great-great granddaughter of Charles Dickens), which marks where the original turning circle for horse and carts was. Hallways are decorated with heritage tiles, bathrooms decked out in forest-green glazed tiles and a dramatic marble staircase begs to be swept down in something flamboyant and floaty. Other highlights include a well-appointed fitness centre and a nightly social hour in the Post Room lounge, from 6-7pm.

Address

Oxford St, M60 7HA

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King Street Townhouse

City centre, Manchester

It's been seven years since King Street Townhouse floated Manchester's first rooftop pool, and we're still not over it. If you haven't yet had the pleasure of a dip, you'll find the inviting slate-grey installation gracing the hotel's seventh floor, where it practically kisses the spires of Manchester Town Hall's clock tower. After a paddle, make a beeline for the state-of-the-art steam room, before winding down in the relaxation area. Spa credits aside, the property's 40 rooms are light and airy, with floor-to-ceiling windows and powder-blue walls.

Address

10 Booth Street M2 4AW

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