Here’s our list of the best.
The Refuge @ The Kimpton Clocktower Hotel
I think there would be a riot in the streets if I didn’t include The Refuge in this list, because not only would it expose me as being clueless about the subject matter, it will upset a great many people who love the food, drinks and legendary parties that The Refuge does so well. The Winter Garden is a stunning space in which to chill with a Gin and Tonic, and the small plates that they offer are always top-notch. Their Sunday Roast Sharing Platter is a belter too. Basically, I’ve not got too many bad words to say about The Refuge, and you probably don’t either.
The Refuge, Oxford St, Manchester M60 7HA
0161 233 5151
Ducie Street Warehouse @ Native
Taking over such a massive warehouse in the Northern Quarter, Native transformed the Grade-II listed building into a contemporary and stunning hotel, and transformed the ground floor into Ducie Street Warehouse – offering everything you could ever desire under one roof. There’s a café, a bar, a cinema, meeting and event rooms, a massive terrace out back and even a proper restaurant, headed up by chef Andrew Green. There’s always something going on here, and their Bank Holiday parties are becoming legendary in themselves.
Ducie Street Warehouse, Ducie St, Manchester M1 2TP
BrewDog @ The DogHouse
A brand-new addition to the city centre, Scottish brewers BrewDog have transformed an old 60s office block into a beer ‘themed’ hotel, complete with taps in your room and stocked beer fridges in the shower! On the ground floor you’ll find a full-on BrewDog bar, with 30 beer taps and a proper food menu, whilst up on the roof you’ll find a covered terrace, complete with a taco hut for the ultimate beer time snackage.
DogHouse Hotel, 18-20 Fountain St, Manchester M2 2AR
Cow Hollow Hotel
Cow Hollow Hotel has been open for a couple of years now in the NQ, right next to the Police Museum, and it’s a beauty. They spent some serious bunce on doing up this once clapped-out building and it definitely shows. As you enter you’re immediately greeted by a lovely little bar area which is basically just an Instagrammer’s wet dream. It certainly looks the part, as do the drinks – which mostly revolve around the only two major food groups you should worry about – cocktails & bubbles.
The Cow Hollow Hotel, 57 Newton St, Manchester M1 1ET
0161 228 7277
The Bull & Bear @ The Stock Exchange Hotel
A building as opulent as the city’s old Stock Exchange needed something impressive in there when it was turned into a hotel, and thus Tom Kerridge’s Bull & Bear was born. Refined British comfort food is on the menu, with exemplary twists on the classics, including the Bull & Bear ‘Marlow Mix’ Burge, Tomahawk Pork Chops, Beef Rib Eye and a truly exceptional Sunday Roast. The wine selection in here is easily one of the best and most extensive in the city by far.
The Bull & Bear, 4 Norfolk St, Manchester M2 1DW
The River Bar @ The Lowry Hotel
The reason I’ve included the River Bar in this list isn’t because it’s a lovely space in which to relax and while you day away (it is), or because it’s got a good little selection of bar food (it has) but because it’s got some of the best Gin & Tonic action in the city including a massive range of tonics which manage to completely revolutionise your G&T world. Pair some Hendricks with a bottle of 1724 Tonic and you’ll never go back. Oh, and the outside terrace is truly wonderful, perfect for sipping that Gin whilst watching the world drift past on the Irwell.
The Lowry Hotel, 50 Dearmans Pl, Salford M3 5LH
The Dakota Bar @ Dakota Hotel
One of the newest and some would say the most stylish hotel on this list, Dakota popped up in the city at the beginning of 2019 and they quickly established themselves as an A-list destination. The bar area is certainly super-swanky with a great cocktail menu and a dark, brooding atmosphere that’s perfect for a bit of intimacy. In addition there’s their dedicated Champagne Room, a terrific Cigar Terrace and a large outdoor terrace that is perfect for sipping gins in while the sun goes down.
Dakota, 29 Ducie St, Manchester M1 2JL
0161 674 9180
The Rose and Monkey Hotel
Located sandwiched between Mackie Mayor and Band on the Wall, opposite the new Firehouse & Ramona extravaganza, you might be forgiven for having overlooked the Rose & Monkey Hotel, which is more of a proper good boozer with a few rooms upstairs that you can book for a quality nights’ sleep. I must admit that this is a truly fantastic traditional boozer, and has been quietly making a name for itself as a bit of a music hub. The beer garden out back is fantastic too – grab a blanket and some lagers and enjoy.
The Rose & Monkey Hotel, 31 Swan St, Manchester M4 5JZ
The Abel Heywood Pub & Boutique Hotel
That old traditional set up that’s been appealing to weary travellers for hundreds of years – a pub below with ales and great food, with rooms above to rest your tired head. The Abel Heywood is an excellent boozer, with all the drinks and pub classics that you ever desire, and regular themed quiz nights to get the old grey matter grafting. The rooms upstairs are very nicely decked out and make for a great spot right in the centre of the NQ.
The Abel Heywood Pub & Boutique Hotel, 38 Turner St, Manchester M4 1DZ
Mount Street Dining Room & Bar @ The Midland Hotel
The place where Mr Rolls & Mr Royce (allegedly) first met in 1904 and decided to knock together a few engines, the Midland Hotel is undoubtedly one of Manchester’s most impressive landmarks and has housed many a visitor over the years. It’s also reported that Hitler was a big fan of the architecture, and that he ordered the Luftwaffe to avoid bombing around the Town Hall so as to preserve the building. Inside, you’ll find Adam Reid at The French, as well as the newly renamed Mount Street Bar which is perfect for a few bevvies and some food. Their gin selection is outstanding and the food is very, very good.
Mount Street Dining Room & Bar, The Midland Hotel, Peter St, Manchester M60 2DS
0161 235 4781
Club Brass @ Hotel Gotham
Housed in one of the city’s best and most striking art deco buildings, Hotel Gotham is going for that exclusivity sort of vibe and it certainly seems to be working. Housed within its thick walls is Club Brass, which is exclusive to guests and to members – so you won’t get any random riff-raff in there asking you for change or trying to sell you DVD’s out of a Bag for Life. The venue would fit perfectly into a 1920’s period drama thing, what with all of the brass, top hats, pocket watches and polished brogues.
Hotel Gotham, 100 King St, Manchester M2 4WU
Cloud 23 @ The Hilton
Quite possibly the most famous hotel bar in the city, Cloud 23 has been the place to go for anyone wanting a spectacular view of the city from above, while slowly sipping cocktails and admiring the ambience. Sure, the views have been usurped by the higher vantagepoint of 20 Stories, but don’t let that put you off – looking out over the city is just as good here and you can even mess about with that bit of glass floor and really feel a bit of vertigo-induced adrenaline.
Cloud 23, Beetham Tower, 303 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LQ
King Street Tavern @ King Street Townhouse
You’ll probably have seen the stunning infinity pool at King Street Townhouse on your Instagram feed at some point and thought; “That’s looks bloody brilliant!” The pool isn’t the only part of King Street Townhouse worth a visit though, with ‘The Tavern’ offering up a menu of British classics using local, seasonal ingredients and signature cocktails in a distinctive townhouse aesthetic.
King Street Townhouse, 10 Booth St, Manchester M2 4AW
Peter Street Kitchen @ The Edwardian
The Radisson Edwardian is housed in the old Free Trade Hall on Peter Street, one of Manchester’s most iconic and important historical buildings, and now home to Peter Street Kitchen, a contemporary Japanese and Mexican restaurant and cocktail bar. Yes, you read that correctly – a Japanese AND Mexican restaurant, although this isn’t fusion food, more two separate menus to choose from. The food is complimented with a cracking wine list, loads of sake (naturally) and some pretty spectacular cocktails.
Peter Street Kitchen, Free Trade Hall, Peter St, Manchester M2 5GP