Hotel Gotham, Manchester

Manchester has a new, and most swanky boutique hotel, on the top floors of a former bank building offering guests commanding height over the city.

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The bespoke Hotel Gotham has installed itself, with care and consideration, in the premises and retains the stoutness and honesty of the solid fittings and fixtures of yesteryear while adding a touch of character which reflects the chosen name. Living up to such an uptown name of sky scraping thrust is a tall order and the Gotham makes a more than decent pass, creating uptown in Manchester City Centre.

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To this end the design brief dares to be quirky but keeps it quality. This starts with the swank entrance that welcomes guests on a discreet street corner. From there the journey is by a swank lift of bronze retro tones to the equally swank sixth floor reception. So far so Manhattan, or in this case, « Manchesterhattan ».

The quirk of the props to be found across the main spaces runs from briefcase lampshades to typewriters on the walls in the restaurant. Much in evidence is a tabloid rag, the Gotham Bugle,  which is a nod to the heady days of read all about it scoops and the flashbulbs of the paparazzi. You half expect an ensemble from Bugsy Malone to burst through a door unexpectedly !

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The Honey restaurant is on the last but one floor and makes fine use of the view retaining the original arch windows. Many of the tables for two offer window seats, perfect for romantic nights with their views across the city skyline. In keeping with the solid values of this fashion forward hotel the chairs are solid wood and the tables sturdy metal construction.

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Accessible to all hotel guests is the Brass private members club on the roof, already establishing itself as a very smart city centre destination for the hip Manchester crowd. The white bow-tie bartenders do a fine job at their palace bar which harks back to the glory Gotham days of dry martinis and bellinis,  but the hotel is not afraid to offer a twist. Arriving in this very swank space the recommendation was a Lady Didsbury, a white rum based cocktail served in a retro glass crowded with a dried blood orange slice. Embracing local place names and personalizing the offering gives Brass its identity and shows an intention to forge its own path as a purveyor of potent potions.

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The first of three terraces was open on my visit and even before six o clock was chock full. The decor is old school sober. Dark woods and leather with serious metal fittings and added to this the stylish use of modish floral displays. Stylish arrangements are used to great effect throughout the hotel but are really  standout in the old school atmosphere of this rooftop club room.

Rooms are plush affairs that are Gotham with a touch of Gatsby while retaining the monochrome colour scheme of the overall hotel decor. Thrown across the bed is a sumptuous fake grey fur blanket and and the pillows are teamed with a pair of colourful bolsters – a rare effective splash of patterned colour. The mini bar is found inside a dark postmodern tall closet which adds atmosphere. The bathroom is a spacious affair with a wonderful shower operated by taps, which would not be out of place in another mythic hotel of recent big screen note, the Grand Budapest. Nice touches include the Manchester Gotham moniker on the washbasin and the mini bottles of unguents on a gold ingot.

It might be swank but Hotel Gotham is not stuffy.This is a well conceived retro newcomer to the Manchester hotel scene – part Gatsby, part Grand Budapest, all Gotham.

Images courtesy of Mark Leeming

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