Affordable luxury: an indulgent yet inexpensive break in Manchester

For those unfamiliar with the Northern Powerhouse that is Manchester, a getaway staying in one of its many affordable luxury hotels will no doubt reveal that there’s far more to the city than simply football and 90s Britpop.

Once you look below the surface, you’ll also find show-stopping theatre venues, innovative museums and a warren of picturesque streets littered with trendy cafés and boutique shops.

There’s plenty of history to soak up, too, with John Rylands Library, Victoria Baths and Tudor-era Ordsall Hall counting as just three of the city’s prime heritage spots. When it comes to hospitality, Manchester’s definitely started to give London a run for its money thanks to dozens of great wining and dining venues and some amazing — and astoundingly affordable — hotels.

Fancy a weekend in the heart of the North without paying capital prices? There are plenty of luxury affordable hotels in Manchester to bed down for the night, from former banks turned boutique havens to purpose built hotels with myriad modern amenities.

Luxurious heritage touches at affordable Hotel Indigo


If you’re keen to check out the Manhattan-esque streets of the Northern Quarter or catch a gig at Manchester Arena, check yourself into the brand new Hotel Indigo. Just minutes from Victoria station and housed in the grade II listed City Buildings, its effortlessly cool décor subtly hints at the city’s industrial past.

Hotel Indigo’s impressive reception has been incorporated into the building’s old courtyard. If you look up as you check in, you’ll not only glimpse the sky through a glass roof but a handful of artfully arranged hanging basket lamps that are a nod to the building’s former use as a tea warehouse.

Other fun historic twists can be found in Hotel Indigo’s comfortable rooms, which take inspiration from Manchester’s cotton, tea and printing industries. Think lamps with stacks of books for stands, porcelain tea sets displayed in frames on the walls, and the finest quality linen on the plush beds.

Hotel Indigo Manchester - Victoria Station - an IHG hotel

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (2071 reviews)

Boutique hospitality at the luxurious King Street Townhouse


This small yet exquisitely designed hotel only opened its doors a few years ago but it’s already one of the most talked about in the city. Part of the Eclectic Hotel Group, King Street Townhouse is nestled in another former bank building and it’s every bit as boutique and beautiful as the photos make out.

Describing itself as a “baby grand hotel”, its 40-something rooms are all uniquely decorated at varying levels of luxury. Top end suites feature free-standing bathtubs, glorious city views and private living rooms. For those on a tighter budget, though, you’ll find the smaller snug rooms are just as delightful thanks to plush extras like fluffy bathrobes, goose down pillows and monsoon showers.

King Street Townhouse’s pride and joy has to be its infinity rooftop spa pool which overlooks Manchester Town Hall. It’s part of the hotel’s relaxation area — that also includes a steam room — and it’s completely free for guests to use. You do have to pay extra for the Saving Grace spa treatments, though, which start at £15 and go up to £150 for an indulgent head to toe massage.

King Street Townhouse

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (679 reviews)

Over the top glamour and luxury at Hotel Gotham


This is really one for grown-ups looking to splurge for a unique — and rather glam — experience as it’s definitely one of Manchester’s most luxurious hotels. Tucked up the top end of King Street (Manchester’s answer to Chelsea’s fashionable Kings Road) in an exquisite Art Deco building, five-star Hotel Gotham takes themed décor to new heights with its decadent, Gatsby-inspired interiors that playfully hint at the building’s former history as a bank during the 20s and 30s.

Expect to be greeted by bell boys dressed in tails and only be admitted entrance if you’ve got a reservation. Hotel Gotham’s exclusivity has helped make it a firm favourite of those after a touch of opulence. There’s even several suites at the heart of the hotel alluringly described as ‘Inner Sanctums’, plus you’ll find the aura of intrigue extends to Gotham’s communal facilities, too, with the top floor — the original bank vault — hosting a private members club.

Pretentions aside, it’s Hotel Gotham’s attention to detail that really makes it shine. Look out for the banking-themed ornamentation throughout, whether it’s the copious amounts of gold and silver touches in the bespokely designed rooms or the genuine filing cabinets posing as serving tables in the 2AA rosette Honey Restaurant

Hotel Gotham

9.4 Excellent (2080 reviews)

Luxury fine dining and affordable pampering at The Midland


Another Victorian venue with oodles of original detailing is The Midland. Located a stone’s throw from Manchester Central Convention Centre and opposite the stunning Manchester Central Library, it’s the ideal option for those in town for an event, festival or simply to sightsee.

While The Midland’s décor may be a little more understated than some of our other picks, it more than makes up for it with its character and excellent amenities. The Spa at The Midland is one of the top venues for pampering in the city. If you’re a guest at the Midland, you can make the most of its indoor pool and relaxation suite, the highlight of which are the hanging pods that are wonderful places to curl up with a book for an hour.

The Midland

8.4 Very good (2957 reviews)

Classic yet affordable grandeur at the Principal Manchester


Sitting majestically on bustling Oxford Road, The Principal’s Victorian façade opens invitingly to a similarly grand reception area. This may trick you into thinking it’s beyond your budget, however, for a four-star hotel, you can nab a standard room for a surprisingly brilliant price.

Just like The Principal’s larger suites, more affordable luxury rooms come similarly kitted out with classic yet rich furnishings — think Chesterfield armchairs, chic grey tonal colour schemes and ample Elemis toiletries.

Originally constructed in 1890 as the headquarters of The Refuge Assurance Company, the building has had many uses over the years in addition to multiple extensions (including the iconic clock tower). This means there’s period features galore in most of the rooms, plus some great photography of the city as it once was lining the walls.

Kimpton Clocktower, An Ihg Hotel

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (3087 reviews)

Sky-high views for an affordable price at the luxury Hilton Manchester Deansgate

While skyscrapers currently seem to be going up left, right and centre in Manchester, the Hilton Deansgate inside Beetham Tower still lays claim to being the highest hotel in the city. As you’d expect from a branch of this globally renowned hotel chain, outstanding service and spacious rooms decorated with minimalist yet inviting furnishings come as standard.

Due to the hotel’s elevated position, you’ll be able to open up your curtains each morning to amazing panoramas of the city centre and beyond — some say you can even glimpse Liverpool on a clear day. You’ll find the Hilton Deansgate is ideally located for a variety of jaunts, too, whether that’s a roast at a canal-side pub in Castlefield, a lesson in locomotives at the Manchester Science and Industry Museum or some retail therapy at the Arndale Centre.

Hilton Manchester Deansgate

8.2 Very good (2623 reviews)

Contemporary affordable luxury at the cool Innside by Melia


First Street, on the southern fringes of Manchester’s heart, is fast becoming a hotspot for easy evenings out in the city thanks to its wide choice of bars and restaurants (and, not to mention, Junkyard Golf venue). If you fancy staying right near the action, Innside by Melia is your best bet.

The interiors here are the epitome of cool, with an enchanting tree installation in the lobby contrasting with a chic cocktail bar that boasts live DJ sets and an outdoor terrace for warmer evenings. Head up in the lift to your room and you’ll find equally as slick décor and modern design features like open bathrooms — which are, admittedly, a tad intimate if you’re travelling with a friend rather than your partner.

INNSiDE by Meliá Manchester

Top rated
9.4 Excellent (2070 reviews)