The Radisson is right in the heart of the Manchester action with bars and restaurants within steps of its entrance and some of the city’s best shops just a few minutes’ walk away. The hotel is in an area known as the “Conference Quarter” as the Manchester Central Convention Complex is just behind it.
There are three standards of room on offer: Deluxe, Al Fresco Suites and Luxury Suites (also known as Pennine Suites). Rooms are decorated in neutral colours with rich chocolate and cappuccino fabrics, and all have standard extras such as Bang & Olufsen televisions and walk-in showers. I like the ice-green glass surfaces and splashbacks in the bathrooms, and the black and white pictures of Manchester on the walls. To remind guests of the building’s rich history, all suites are named after performers who appeared at the Free Trade Hall and contain framed pictures of their namesakes. If you aren’t bothered by views and are after a slightly different room, I would go for an Al Fresco Suite as they have a lounge area with sofabed (perfect for families) and an “urban garden” – your own covered patio area with seating. If you do want a view of the city try to stay on as high a floor as possible, and request a city view at check-in as some rooms overlook the hotel’s atrium.
The impressive reception area feels rather grand and has the original display of coats of arms from the Free Trade Hall above the reception desk, an elaborate chandelier and intricate cornicing. As you walk through the all-glass atrium to the new section of the building, the feel is rather different and modern with light flooding in. Look out for the statues commissioned for the Free Trade Hall in 1951 and the framed signatures of artists who performed in the building.
Eating and drinking
The hotel has two restaurants that are popular with the city’s residents as well as hotel guests. Breakfast is served in the more informal of the two choices, ALTO, and costs £17 if you are not on a b&b rate. The other, Opus One, is decadently done out in blacks and reds with dramatic oversized lights and is a great place to treat yourself to a cocktail. I love the “collonade” seating area, a covered terrace that looks out onto the street through the listed building’s arches. Afternoon Tea and modern British food are served.
For me, the Radisson’s leisure facilities are the best hotel offering in the city centre. There is a decent sized gym, a 12x9m swimming pool, a sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and spa offering a range of treatments. A new nail salon, Finishing Touches, has also just opened in the hotel.
The staff are friendly, efficient and enthusiastic.
Who stays there
Celebrities including Simon Cowell, Sven-Goran Eriksson (who lived in one of the Luxury Suites for six months) and Gordon Brown have stayed in the hotel. Business guests like its location in the Conference Quarter and leisure guests enjoy being in the heart of the Manchester action.
If booked at least 10 days in advance on one of the Radisson’s Pay, Save and Stay deals, Deluxe Rooms are really reasonably priced – take a look for this deal using our booking widget. The hotel doesn’t have its own car park so parking costs extra - the closest option is in the Great Northern Warehouse a short walk from the hotel.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Culture vultures
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- The central location
- The leisure facilities
- The hotel’s unique setting in a historic building
- The great dining options
- Some rooms don’t have views
- Expensive breakfast