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Velvet Hotel

Lynda Moyo on a city centre hotel like no other

Written by . Published on November 5th 2008.

Velvet Hotel

We've got the Hilton, the Lowry Hotel, the Mal, the Macdonald, the Midland, Ramada and Renaissance. Varying in stars and sizes, Manchester's mix for hotel accommodation is of varied sorts. But what is perhaps missing is a smaller hotel with masses of character.

As we reported back in July, Mark Cain of Velvet on Canal Street has proposed this very idea above his successful bar/restaurant under the name, Velvet Hotel. Despite a petition from Essential and Queer to stop the hotel due to it 'destroying the party atmosphere' Cain was given the go-ahead and now work is well underway for the 19 room hotel.

Confidential spoke to owner, Cain, and Velvet general manager, Sunni Syal, about Manchester's most exciting hotel proposal.

There's a checklist of interior specifications we seemingly expect from hotels. Velvet is going above and beyond this list. Gone is the predictable idea of four walls with generic framed pictures of landscapes, a trouser press and a kettle. Velvet is thinking murals, handwoven rugs, sumptuous fabrics, eight ft wide beds, Italian drapes, bare brick sandblasted walls and homemade biscuits.

Cain said: “The idea for the hotel is something we've been working on for a couple of years now. The bar is already designed very Rococo/Moulin Rouge-like. We've used the same architect again and think the décor is very reflective of the bar/restaurant. The entrance for the hotel is separate from the bar. Bedrooms are boudoirs with individual prints and textiles. There will be specially commissioned wallpaper covered in voiles to give that subliminal look. We've got king-size and super-king-size beds and we've got special two-person baths in some rooms.”

So what can we expect from these 'wow' rooms? Well here's a list of themes some of them will be following: Gargoyle, Italian, Architecture, Punch and Judy, Victorian. From looking at the plans, this place is going to ooze decadence. You will never have the same stay, twice.

No expense has been spared on the small finishings such as the mini-bar either. Cain and his team are working on a bespoke mini-bar idea where any type of alcohol will be available in miniature form. On top of this, guests will also be able to customise their own, for example Velvet will be able to create a healthy mini-bar, although I'm not sure how popular that will be on Manchester's busiest party street.

Moving onto cosmetics, yes we've all taken those little shampoos and shower caps from hotel bathrooms at some point or another. Problem is, you normally get home and wonder why you bothered. Velvet, however, has taken the hotel toiletries up a notch by sourcing natural, personal care products from Burts Bees. They are the only hotel in the country to acquire this fantastic range and the kit won't just have the bog-standard shampoo, conditioner and shower gel trio. Guests will be treated to foot lotion, cuticle cream, lip balm and other facial products. Inner Sanctuary Spa in the Northern Quarter are also going to be on hand to offer in-room treatments, tailored packages and special offers. As Cain said: “We're trying to cover everything. We're even going as far as sourcing the best jams and teas. It's something Manchester needs. It's all about providing a small bespoke service.”

Rooms will start at £150 including breakfast and go up to £295 for the bigger duplex suites. He said: “The duplexes are designed for more people and therefore include more than one bathroom along with a huge seating area which can be used as an entertaining space should the guest want to have a private party. Drinks and food can be ordered up to the room and served in the duplex.”

For more information on Velvet please click here

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