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Hotels arrive at the Station

Jonathan Schofield looks at the ever-growing hotel scene in Piccadilly

Written by . Published on March 28th 2007.


Hotels arrive at the Station

More news of a potentially exciting brace of Piccadilly hotels has reached the Confidential office. First up is City Inn Manchester, just over Auburn Street from the Malmaison. This opens on 15 May. It has 285 bedrooms including a penthouse duplex suite. There will another rooftop bar for the city with the Sky Lounge. For the gastronomes amongst the Confidential readership there will be new lounge bar, the Piccadilly Lounge, which sounds a little like an unusual yoga position, “Can you do the Piccadilly Lounge, madam?” “No, but I can do the Urban Sprawl.”

There will also be a City Café with a summer terrace for those hot four days of the year. Foot passengers arriving at Piccadilly Station will have direct access to the hotel via the new footbridge over London Road, the so-called Manchester Curve. To start life off with a bang, City Inn Manchester will be the host hotel for the Manchester International Festival in June.

Meanwhile over the next months the fast failing Rossetti hotel up the road will morph into Abode. Describing itself a lifestyle hotel this will be the fifth property for the partnership of Andrew Brownsword and Michael Caines. The latter is an immensely talented two-starred Michelin chef from Gidleigh Park in Dartmoor and possibly the only one-armed chef around – one arm and two stars that's what you call impressive. There will be 61 bedrooms including five suites which in the press release are described in inverted commas as ‘fabulous’. Bless.

Caines will oversee a fine dining restaurant. This should be an exciting addition to food and drink in the city. With Caines’ pedigree it will have a head start although the Piccadilly area remains a challenge for fine dining, as Cotton House have found. Abode will complete its transformation by September this year.

The splendid building which hosts the hotel dates from the 1890s and was built as a head office of textile firm Horrocks Crewdson and Co. Women should give the building an appreciative nod: Horrocks’ gave the world the first ready to wear collection of printed dresses and beachwear. The architect was Charles Heathcote who built lots of Manchester buildings including Lloyds Bank on King Street and the re-fit ripe Athenaeum bar on Spring Gardens.

In the immediate area both hotels will be competing with the new Macdonald hotel opening in September this year, plus the existing Place apartment hotel, the excellent Malmaison and the homely International Hotel.

If nothing else, at least we’ll be fine if we miss the last train home.

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