Hotel Review: The Hotel Gotham, King Street in Manchester
Nestled in Manchester’s old banking quarter is an art deco hotel, bar and restaurant that oozes 1920’s New York. The Hotel Gotham is lavish, slick and luxurious. Since opening in April 2015 it has already earned itself a 5 star status and an array of celebrity customers. The hotel was once a former bank, designed by the great British architect Edwin Lutyens. It sits at the top of King Street, across the road from designer stories, like Vivienne Westwood, and a whole host of cocktail bars and restaurants. I headed down to try out the hotel and restaurant in late March with my friend, Rhys.
From the moment you step into the hotel, you’re transported back into the last century and flown right across the Atlantic. A moustached bellboy, dressed in a top hat, greets you and sees you to the lift where you’re whisked up to the 6th floor. Upon arriving in reception, all guests are offered a cocktail before being shown to their room.
The hotel’s interior is opulent. Everything, from the black and gold-printed walls to the statement-print, monochrome carpets, is in keeping with the art-deco theme. Hotel Gotham embraces its banking past, featuring several quirks like money bag-themed laundry bags and wardrobes designed to look like brief cases.
We stayed in the ‘sanctum suite’ on the 3rd floor which was beyond stunning. The king-size bed was adorned with a faux fur rug and several plush, peacock-print cushions. The walls of the room were a dark-chocolate leather which contrasted with the zig-zag carpet. Hidden in the wardrobe was a mini-bar equipped with luxury nibbles, and two very tasty pig-shaped biscuits – don’t ask me why they were pig-shaped!
As the bedroom was part of the inner sanctum of the building, the room was dark, without natural light. However, to create light, one wall had been converted into a giant video wall, with historic footage of Manchester projected upon it – although, rest assured it can be altered to show regular TV programmes! If you’re a fan of natural light, don’t rule out The Hotel Gotham. There are 60 bedrooms, spread over the first five floors of the hotel which boast windows looking out over downtown Manchester.
As a pre-dinner treat, we opted to have a martini-making class in our room. A barman kindly brought us a drinks trolley and demonstrated how to make the perfect gin and vodka- based martinis. I have to say they were the finest I’ve ever tasted!
On the top floor of the building, you can find Club Brass, Hotel Gotham’s very own private members’ bar, which also opens to hotel residents. Named after the money once held in the building, the prohibition-style speakeasy boasts views of the Peak District on a clear day, and, on a grey day, you can enjoy tempting house cocktails which help you forget about the rain outside.
I highly recommend their champagne-based King Street cocktail, but, rumour has it, they serve the best espresso martini in Manchester. In addition to cocktails, Club Brass has a wide range of wines, beers and spirits. In order to maintain its exclusivity, the bar is rarely advertised to the outside world, thus giving it a distinct feeling of uniqueness.
On the fifth floor sits Honey Restaurant, a 68-cover dining space which serves a modern twist on brasserie classics. The menu is immensely exciting, combining flavours I’ve previously not tasted together.
The Mackerel, Beetroot and Cocoa dish is a prime example of this. The bold flavours of the seared fish worked beautifully with the sweet, earthy taste of the accompanying candied beetroot and crumbled cocoa.
We also tried the Stonebass, which was served with apple puree and walnut dukkah; both accompaniments really working to enhance the earthy flavours of the pan-fried fish.
If you try one dish, it has to be the Scallops, which were the best I’ve ever had. Served with candied pecan and sweet potato foam, they were melt-in-your-mouth; we were simply gutted when they had all gone!
If you’re trying to eat healthily, the Honey Restaurant is probably best visited on your cheat day; the menu is full of naughtiness, and we fully embraced this. As a side dish, we ordered a portion of their Skinny Fries topped with Smoked Cheese Fondue. The chips were gorgeously crisp, and the fondue packed with flavour.
Somehow we (Rhys) found room for pudding: we (Rhys) tried both the Blood Orange and Treacle Tart and the Dark Chocolate Fondant with Cookie Dough Ice Cream, which were recommended by our lovely waiter, Nicholas. Throughout the evening, he tries to get a feel for the customers’ taste buds, priding himself on recommending dishes they’ll enjoy – and he didn’t go wrong with us!
The tang of the blood-orange ice-cream was quite powerful, making it the perfect palette- cleanser to match the rich treacle tart. Equally as delicious, was the chocolate fondant which screamed pure indulgence, bursting with gooey, melted chocolate; it was divine! The perfect way to end an amazing meal.
If you’re seeking a luxury break in central Manchester, the Hotel Gotham is a must visit! There is attention to detail with every element of the establishment: it’s stylish, contemporary and worth every penny.
Address: 100 King St, Manchester M2
Phone: 0161 413 0000