A bite of the big apple, in Manchester

August Bank Holiday is usually about festivals, be it Leeds Fest, Reading or Creamfields. It’s also time for one of the UK’s biggest Pride celebrations, a 3 day LGBT+ bonanza that takes over the streets of Manchester. Not this year though, for the obvious COVID-19 reasons.

Not to be outdone and have all of our plans for 2020 ruined, we decided to still take a trip to Manchester and I was particularly excited to check out the newly (re)opened Hotel Brooklyn.

Located on Portland Street, the hotel is steps from the bars of Manchester’s famous gay village and less than 10 minutes walk from Piccadilly Station and main shopping areas.

After opening earlier in 2020, the hotel had only reopened from lockdown a week before our visit. The staff were obviously thrilled and excited to have guests through the doors and everyone was welcoming, friendly and went out of their way to make you feel at home.

I really loved this hotel. From the 1920’s uniforms of the staff, the dark and moody decor to delicious food and cocktails, a stay at Hotel Brooklyn was just what we needed to remind us of real life.

The hotel have nailed the New York vibe, particularly with the red lights of the hotel’s name along the outside of the building, invoking memories or Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan. I really liked the nod to the hotel’s sister property, Hotel Gotham too.

Our room was upgraded and we were allowed to check-in early, which was great as I wanted to meet my brother, who lives outside Manchester, for lunch. The room was designed for disabled access so was very spacious, with plenty of space around the bed. I loved the dark wood furniture and retro finishes. The wet room bathroom was gorgeous with huge walk-in shower, Matt black fixtures and white tiles with black grout. All really well designed and functional. The electric curtains were great fun, controlled from a panel next to the bed.

Our stay was a bargain reopening special offer which included bed & breakfast with a £40 food & beverage credit thrown in. Because of lockdown restrictions in some boroughs of Greater Manchester, most bars & restaurants would only sit members of the same household together so I met my brother for lunch at the hotel. I had a fish finger butty with fries which was delicious, clearly made in-house and just the right amount of salt on the fries. The other half had a small salad and fries.

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We stopped by the bar for some pre-dinner cocktails and I liked how they blocked tables to sanitise between guests. The cocktails were perfect although I wish I’d tried the 59 Christopher Street cocktail, another clever link between New York’s gay village (53 Christopher Street is the address of the famous Stonewall Inn, where the gay rights movement was born) and the neighbouring Manchester village. There was a great atmosphere, people were relaxed and the live DJ lifted the mood with some funky disco tunes. Even when we got back to the hotel at around 10pm, the bar was still buzzing.

At breakfast, because of the virus, there was table service for drinks and a buffet for hot items. The buffet items were served by the chef to reduce contact with utensils. There was also a choice of made to order items such as smoked salmon with scrambled eggs or fluffy blueberry pancakes.

I ordered the vegetarian breakfast with a side of bacon and the other half had the pancakes. Both were very good although I didn’t get my side of bacon. I actually think breakfast would work better as full table service as there’s not much space for distancing when queuing for the buffet and I felt like I was in the way of staff trying to make drinks for other guests. There was a noticeable lack of croissants on the menu but some jam on toast satisfied my sugar craving.

Bacon or not, that doesn’t detract from what a great hotel this is. I’ve already checked the rate for the same weekend next year and it’s £450 per night, but I’ll keep an eye out for offers. I feel lucky to have got to experience the hotel so close to its (re)opening and hope to stay again in the future.

 

Date of trip: August 2020

Price paid: £99.00 booked direct..  

Points earned: Nine, but earned 0.5% cash back via the MBNA cash back credit card.

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