Opposite the neo-classical Central Reference Library and St Peter’s Square metro station, and round the corner from the Bridgewater Hall, the Midland Hotel has an extremely central location. Manchester’s main shopping areas are within easy walking distance from the hotel and there are bars, restaurants and cafés aplenty in the surrounding streets.
The age and style of the Grade II listed building gives each bedroom lovely high ceilings, unique shapes and cornicing while Q Hotels has added modern touches such as boldly upholstered chairs (think purple with green stripes), funky headboards and burnt orange throws. I am a fan of the purple-lined dressing tables that turn into desks, and the freestanding wardrobes with full length mirrors and purple coat hangers. There are also some nice reminders that this was once Manchester’s premier station hotel – such as minibars in the shape of pieces of luggage.
Some of the Midland’s rooms enjoy views of Central Library and Peter Street while others look into a white tiled central light well. If a view is essential for you, ask for a room at the front of the hotel – suites are at the front as standard.
The lobby and reception area really has the wow factor and details such as bunches of sunflowers on the reception desk make it a welcoming space. The wide corridors are equally impressive as the marble walls are complemented by sage green flock wallpaper and matching carpets. The sixth floor corridors, previously servants’ quarters, are narrower though.
Eating and drinking
Guests are spoilt for choice in the Midland Hotel with three dining options – The French restaurant, The Wyvern Restaurant and Bar and the Octagon Lounge, as well as the Colony restaurant where breakfast is served. The real treat for guests and Manchester residents alike is The French restaurant – open under the same name since 1903, The French serves fine food at fine prices. The Wyvern Restaurant and Bar is a recent addition and is easier on the wallet.
A large gym with separate squash courts, studio area and weights area can be used by hotel guests as well as external members. There is also a small pool with Jacuzzi. For relaxation and pampering, the externally-run hairdressers and beauty centre, Joseph Elliot, has two treatment rooms.
The staff are warm and friendly and go out of their way to help guests.
Who stays there
Business people enjoy being just round the corner from the Manchester Central Conference Centre while leisure guests like the hotel’s central location. There is a push to promote the Midland as being family friendly at the moment and one of the conference rooms has been turned into a playroom.
Breakfast is usually included in the room price but, if not, it costs £15.95. Parking is a pricey extra with valet parking costing £20 for 24 hours and no option of a reduced rate at a local car park (the closest car park is Manchester Central NCP charging £17 for 24 hours).
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Business travellers
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Good range of leisure facilities
- Beautiful building and public areas
- Great choice of dining options
- Expensive parking with no discounted rates for hotel guests
- Some rooms look into internal light well