It’s pretty clear from the moment you set foot in the place that the Great John Street Hotel isn’t your ordinary run-of-the-mill city crashpad. It’s elegant, quirky and cool and hints of its cheeky personality are on show at every turn. It started life as a Victorian schoolhouse and the hotel has been designed very much in keeping with its original use, from its separate boys' and girls' staircases to its sprawling rooftop playground.
There are 30 duplex bedrooms in the old schoolhouse, which start with the small-but-perfectly-formed Baby Grands. On the first and second floors, these little suites are all exposed steel beams, open brickwork and wooden floors. Each features a hand-made bed clad in goose feather quilts and the piece de resistance, the overhead, open-plan mezzanine floor with a cast-iron roll-top soaking bath for two. And that’s just for starters... The suites move up in size to the Boudoir Grand, the Classical Grand and the Eclectic Grand, with its enormous original windows, hand-carved bed and his and hers sinks. Finally there are two Opus Grands, each set over two floors, with crystal chandeliers, a huge duck egg-shaped free-standing bath and views out over the set of Coronation Street.
If you’re after more than just a free-standing tub, then you can head upstairs to the roof garden playground. The south-facing terrace has New York-style sweeping views of the city, a bubbling hot tub, sun loungers and the exciting addition of a couple of hammocks. Come nightfall it really is quite lovely, although if temperatures dip (this is Manchester after all) then the sleek rooftop lounge is a welcome place to warm up with a cappuccino or a cocktail.
Food-wise there’s the kitchen and mezzanine bar that dishes up breakfast, and the cosy gentleman’s club-style Oyster bar that’s perfect for a spot of champagne afternoon tea. For anything else you'll have to venture out, but you’re well placed, with some of the city's best dining to be found in the nearby regenerated Spinningfields or the Northern Quarter.
- The rooftop hot tub overlooking the twinkling lights of the city
- The champagne afternoon tea in the elegant Oyster bar
- The proximity to the recently regenerated Spinningfields and fashionable Northern Quarter
- The roll-top baths
- Given its location and the fact it’s a popular hen weekend destination, it can get pretty noisy at times
Need to Know: Great John Street Hotel
Number of rooms: 30 (including 16 suites)
Check-in/ check-out times: 3pm and 11am
Room service: Yes
Swimming pool: No
Dogs welcome: No
Eating and drinking: A hearty breakfast is dished up on the mezzanine level but you’ll need to venture out for anything else.
Near to? The Northern Quarter for its vintage shopping, quirky cocktail bars and huge range of places to eat.
Getting there: It’s ideally located in the city centre and is just a five-minute taxi ride away from Manchester’s Piccadilly and Victoria train stations.