Top 50 Boutique Hotels

48 hours in Manchester

How can you best spend a weekend getaway in this Northern city?

By Charli Tomney | 14/02/2024



What it has to offer:

In 2024, make Manchester top of your must-visit list. The Northern city perfectly blends rich history, vibrant culture, and an unparalleled food and drink scene to create the perfect UK city break.

Explore world-class museums, immerse yourself in legendary music venues, and indulge in a culinary landscape bursting with creativity. As a hub of technological advancement and creative expression, Manchester promises an unforgettable experience for all. Whether you seek architectural marvels, sporting excitement, or simply the warmth of its people, Manchester in 2024 offers endless opportunities for exploration and discovery.

Where to stay:

Nestled in the heart of the city, you’ll find a luxurious Art Deco-inspired boutique hotel called Hotel Gotham. Renowned for its impeccable service and distinctive design, it offers 60 opulent rooms, a rooftop bar with panoramic views, and a sophisticated dining experience.

Experience ultimate decadence in this hotel which also boasts the two AA Rosette Honey Restaurant which is guaranteed to provide the perfect setting for a sumptuous feast with breathtaking views.

Manchester’s latest boutique hotel with lavish suites and bedrooms, Forty-Seven exudes contemporary elegance with its sleek design and personalised service. Located in the vibrant Northern Quarter, it offers stylish accommodations, a cosy lounge bar, and a trendy restaurant serving modern British cuisine.

Situated in the hub of the city’s best bars and restaurants its an ideal choice for travellers seeking sophistication and comfort in the heart of the city.

Another Northern Quarter gem, Cow Hollow offers a unique blend of industrial chic and contemporary comfort. A restored, turn-of-the-century textile mill is now home to an inspired 16-bed boutique hotel with stylish décor, cosy rooms, and relaxed atmosphere.

Their cocktail bar has one of the best spirits and wine lists in town. Complimentary "prosecco & antipasti" trays make an appearance each evening for guests too. Enjoy affordable luxury in the heart of the city.

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Where to eat:

The Edinburgh Castle is ahistoric pub in the Ancoats area of Manchester offers a small menu of traditional British dishes featuring locally-sourced ingredients and products from local suppliers, such as sourdough bread from Manchester’s Pollen Bakery.

You could be tucking into dishes such as Colchester oysters & rhubarb mignonette, Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese doughnuts and Red House farm cull ewe - saddle chop. Sunday lunch offers a set menu with two or three courses.

The Michelin Starred Mana is located in Manchester's Ancoats neighbourhood. This culinary gem offers an innovative dining experience. Helmed by Chef Simon Martin, it boasts two Michelin stars for its inventive Nordic-inspired cuisine.

With a focus on seasonal ingredients and meticulous attention to detail, each dish at Mana is a masterpiece, delighting diners with its bold flavours and stunning presentation. A true gastronomic experience for foodies travelling the UK’s food scene.

For a more relaxed dining experience, perhaps after a day of exploring and shopping, why not visit the city’s Mackie Mayor, a cosmopolitan food hall situated on the edge of the Northern Quarter.

Choose from an array of culinary vendors such as Honest Crust Pizza for sourdough pizzas, Tender Cow for rare breed steaks, Pico’s for tacos and margaritas, New Wave Ramen for ramen, snacks and sake, Mumma’s for fried chicken and burger, or Chilli B for traditional Thai. Wash it all down with a local craft beer or cider from Blackjack Brewery or a perfectly poured cocktail from Stray.

Where to drink:

Recently crowned the number one bar in the UK, SCHOFIELD’S offers a drink experience like no other. The menu consists of classic cocktails as well as crafted inhouse stylings created by the Schofield’s, along with beers, wines, Champagne and also some small bar snacks.

Sit in the moodily lit bar and enjoy the award-winning service and sip on a Clover Club made with Bombay Sapphire Gin, Schofield’s Dry Vermouth, raspberry, lemon and egg white, or why not try a Gin Fizz, made with Bombay Sapphire Gin, lemon, citrus oils and soda water.

Why stop your drinking journey there, Manchester boasts an array of exceedingly good watering holes such as Blinker. Influenced by British seasonality, the menu changes monthly and always focuses around four in-season flavours. With a dedicated Martini and Old Fashioned section, there’s a heavy focus on the classics, but the bar has something for everyone.

Feeling peckish? Why not indulge in some of the city’s best toasties including cacio e pepe with three types of cheese and black pepper or a sausage roll with mustard are all on the cards.

Top 50 Cocktail Bar’s One to Watch for 2023, Project Halcyon broke its way onto the list earlier this year with its excellent drinks offering and some of the best hospitality in the city.

The team are all well-trained and fully educated on the flavour profiles of the drinks. If you’re usure of what to choose, rest assured you’re in friendly and capable hands. The menu has been lovingly curated as a team effort with General Manager Adam utilising the menu design skills he’s developed over the last six years.

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Sights to visit:  

Manchester is a city made for exploring, walk along the streets and pop into the hundreds of independently owned bars, restaurants, cafes, shops and more and fully immerse yourself in the city’s culture. Walk around the Northern Quarter, explore Kampus or simply follow the wonderful smells to guide you to your next destination.

Of course, Manchester is synonymous with football so why not plan a visit to the National Football Museum or explore the grounds of Manchester United or Manchester City, perhaps even book in advance and catch a game.

For those who enjoy getting active, a short journey from the city centre provides access to beautiful walks within Greater Manchester, such as Hollingworth Lake, Heaton Park, Sale Water Park and Haigh Hall.