As some of you guys might already know, I live not too far from Manchester which means it’s always my first choice for a little weekend break. It’s less than an hour on the train and is one of my favourite cities to visit because it not only has a great shopping scene but as a city, it boasts some of the highest quality bars and restaurants outside of London.
A couple of months ago, we went up to Manchester for a weekend and decided to stay in the brand new Dakota Hotel. I’ve stayed in some incredible hotels before, including the Gotham (also in Manchester) which you can read about here and now the Dakota is also well and truly up there with some of my favourites.
I initially saw that the hotel was opening via their Instagram page and then learnt a lot more during a pre-opening campaign they ran with a set of influencers. From just a couple of photographs and videos, I instantly knew it would be my kind of place and booked us a room for a few months time, all this before it had officially opened to the general public.
Location wise, the hotel is in a great position 5 minutes walk (if that) from Manchester’s Piccadilly Train Station. Situated in between the Northern Quarter and Ancoats, there’s plenty of things to keep you entertained especially if indie music and contemporary art is your thing. The Northern Quarter is one of my favourite places to go in Manchester City Centre, not only for the culture but also the food as you’ll find an abundance of independent little cafes and upbeat restaurants to choose from.
The hotel is also not far from the Arndale Shopping Centre, King Street and Spinningfields so you can pop for a day at the shops and then for a cocktail or two to finish the afternoon.
The hotel definitely stands out in the neighbourhood with its black brick, huge windows, and suited concierge manning both the car park and front doors. You get an instant sense of luxury and a feeling that the hotel should almost be part of a members-only club, in the centre of Gotham (for all your DC comic fans).
The lobby is extremely inviting; high end but homely with dim lighting, a huge fire and huge, sumptuous, wingback grandfather chairs – it truly feels like stepping into another world, where the hustle and bustle of the city outside can be forgotten in a second.
I don’t think we had both feet in through the doors before concierge came up to take our bags and offer us a welcome drink. The entire check-in process was smooth and quick and all of the staff couldn’t be more willing and helpful in any way.
We stayed in a classic king room, which is the 2nd room category up and I think it was on the fourth floor so we had a good view of the surrounding area. Upon stepping into the room, the first thing that strikes you is the decor which is quite dark and masculine, but still opulent. The room itself was very calming and perfect for an evening relaxing after a busy day in the city – we even contemplated cancelling our dinner reservations and ordering room service, that’s how much we loved it!
Other little touches like Dakota branded toiletries, a rainfall shower, separate bath, blackout curtains and slippers are the things that make a stay extra special for me and the Dakota had it all.
The Restaurant and Bar
We didn’t eat in the hotel due to having reservations elsewhere (although I wished we had), but we did stop for drinks in the bar downstairs which is not dissimilar to the rest of the hotel. Everything is very high end with a luxury feel, including the drinks. We sat and talked to the barman who was lovely and recommended us the perfect drinks before we headed out to the outside garden terrace which is like a secret haven at the side of the hotel – a lovely place for early evening pre-dinner drinks.
There is also a champagne room and cigar terrace for those looking for an extra special experience.
Having stayed in Manchester a lot of times in the past, in some absolutely stunning hotels nonetheless, I was slightly sceptical of whether the Dakota would match those standards and I ended our stay holding it in very high regards, as one of my number 1 hotels in the city. The price that we paid was an absolute fraction of some prices you can pay in Manchester, but the quality and standards were up there with the best of them. The rooms, the staff and overall experience were outstanding throughout and we’ll definitely be back soon.
We usually do a Christmas market trip to Manchester and this is the PERFECT place to spend those cosy, winter nights so if you’re looking for somewhere to stay this Winter I can’t recommend the Dakota enough.
To book or find out more about the hotel, click on the link below;