The Lowry Hotel is nothing short of an institution. It’s been the most stylish city centre hotel in Manchester for over a decade and one that continues to pull in every big name that comes to town, including David and Victoria Beckham, Kylie Minogue and Lady Gaga. Cruising into the lobby, it’s all very post-modern British design with a double-height chrome and glass entrance reflecting light onto stark white walls, and a glossy streamlined staircase. Named after L.S. Lowry, Manchester’s most prolific painter, art was always going to be high on the design agenda and blob-like sofas, George Nelson coconut chairs and a smattering of contemporary artworks, including three giant carved stone heads overseeing proceedings at reception, work to warm up the hotel’s industrial chic theme.
The Lowry-esque hues flow through to the rooms with charcoal, snowy whites, silvers and muted greens dominating the decor. The bedrooms themselves are pleasingly spacious, with even the standard option featuring sweeping high ceilings and a glorious wall of windows – for the prettiest views ask for a sixth-floor canal-side room. All are decked out with plenty of indulgent touches like wavy leather chaises, dark wood furnishings and walk-in wardrobes. Flat-screen TVs, iPod docks and one-touch blinds add to the luxe city apartment-style feel. The only slight disappointment may be the bathrooms - which are just a tad on the corporate side - but the fluffy bathrobes, REN amenities and availability of hair straighteners certainly help to make up for that.
Back downstairs, there’s the River Restaurant for the likes of Whitby Bay crab, Ribble Valley free-range chicken, and unusually a veranda for those rare occasions when the sun comes out. Another popular public area is the adjacent River Bar where trendy business-types come to seal the deal by day only to be replaced with hotel guests and other locals coming in for the far more stylish late shift.
- The lovely riverside location
- The seamless service
- It’s home to the best spa in Manchester
- The WiFi is not only not free, but is £15 for 24 hours. Ouch.
- There are no bedside sockets
Need to Know: The Lowry Hotel
Number of rooms: 165 guest rooms including six deluxe riverside suites and a presidential suite
Check-in/check-out times: 2pm and 12noon
Room service: Yes
Swimming pool: No
Spa: Yes. The light and airy spa overlooks the river and has six candle-lit treatment rooms and a mani-pedi station. The Carita facials are apparently a big hit with the North West WAGs.
Dogs welcome: Yes. But a £50 deep cleaning charge is applied on departure.
Eating and drinking: The menu at the River Restaurant is inspired by traditional British cuisine, with homely dishes and classic cuts given the gourmet treatment. The very reasonably priced seasonal market menu is a particular winner, as is the bountiful breakfast offering.
Near to? Just about everything. Manchester’s many theatres, galleries, restaurants, cafes and bars are all on the hotel’s doorstep. Shopping-wise, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and the main thoroughfare of Market Street are also within easy walking distance.
Getting there: The Lowry Hotel is around a 10-minute taxi ride from Manchester Piccadilly Railway Station, while the airport is around 20 minutes away by car. Parking is available at the hotel for a charge of £7 per day or £15 for an overnight stop.