On the banks of the River Irwell, and technically (but only just) in Salford, not Manchester, the location is central but quiet. Some of Manchester’s most stylish shops and restaurants are just five minutes’ walk away.
All of the bedrooms are spacious and have bags of natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows. If you like a room with a view, make sure that you avoid the Deluxe City View Bedrooms as you run the risk of overlooking the car park. Each bedroom is tastefully decorated in shades of grey with duck egg blue, vibrant orange or red accessories, and every bedroom has “the Olga” chaise longue named after Olga Polizzi, the designer sister of Sir Rocco Forte. The Charles Forte Presidential Suite – with a baby grand piano, and the option of a “Bath Butler” service - has the wow factor and is one of the hottest (and priciest) places to stay in the city.
The contemporary feel of the hotel is mirrored by the modern artwork in the public areas. Three marble heads greet you in reception and a glass balustrade staircase leads you to the bar.
Eating and drinking
The River Bar and Restaurant is frequented by non hotel guests as well as residents and offers an imaginative British menu. The Snickers brulee comes highly recommended and the Manchester tart with Boddingtons ice cream is a quirky local touch. Prices can be high but keep an eye out for special offers such as three courses for £15. I love the atmosphere in the bar as screens between seating areas give an intimate feel, and sitting sipping a cocktail on the terrace is a real treat – especially the Lotus martini...don’t be put off by its bright purple colour. Breakfast is served from 7am weekdays and 7.30am at the weekend and costs £18.50.
A spa with treatment rooms and a small but well-equipped gym is used by guests as well as external members. There are saunas but no steam room or pool.
The service is attentive and friendly – especially in the River Bar and Restaurant – and staff go out of their way to help guests.
Who stays there
Celebrities (although I couldn’t get any names of recent guests from the discreet staff), Premier League footballers, girls hoping to meet their heartthrobs and visitors after a luxurious break. The hotel is also popular with German and Italian guests who know and trust the Rocco Forte brand.
The rack rates at the Lowry are some of the most expensive in the city but prices dip during the quieter summer months.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Pets Allowed
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Culture vultures
- Seasoned travellers
- Celebrity spotting
- People watching
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- The terrace is one of the best places to have a cocktail in the city
- The attentive service
- Celeb-spotting opportunities
- The uninspiring views from some of the Deluxe City View Bedrooms
- The high prices