On a romantic break in Manchester, you can spend your days checking out some of the city's exciting cultural venues and exploring its vibrant central neighbourhoods, dipping in and out of shops, bars and cafés as you stroll. In the evening, watch an up-and-coming band in an intimate venue, enjoy a show in one of the city's theatres or book into one of its innovative restaurants to share seasonal small plates, pizza or Indian street food.
Manchester's hotels have everything you need for a romantic break too, whether you’d like to wow your partner with a boutique hideaway with an infinity spa pool, over dinner in the hotel restaurant where David Beckham wooed Victoria, or while sipping cocktails in a chic candlelit bar. And the hotels come in all shapes and sizes, from grand historic buildings and slick newbuilds to cool warehouses that ooze Manchester glamour. Here's our pick of the most romantic places to stay in Manchester.
How we review
Every hotel in this curated list has been visited by one of our expert reviewers, who are usually hosted on a complimentary basis. They stay for a minimum of one night, test at least one meal and trial other experiences that the hotel might have to offer.
At a glance, the most romantic hotels in Manchester
The best romantic hotel in Manchester overall – Stock Exchange Hotel
The best romantic hotel in Manchester with a spa – The Midland Hotel
The best romantic hotel in Manchester city centre – Stock Exchange Hotel
This charming 40-room boutique hotel impresses on many levels, from the spa’s infinity pool with knock-out views of the Town Hall clock to the classy public areas. Rooms come with ridiculously comfy beds and luxury bathrobes, and some categories have free-standing bathtubs. There’s a small cinema in the hotel’s vaulted cellars where, subject to availability, tickets are free of charge for hotel and restaurant (buzzy King Street Tavern) guests Sunday to Thursday. Yes, visiting King Street Townhouse is like staying with a rich friend who has extremely good taste.
First impressions of this hotel are undeniably grand – from the Grade II listed ornate red brick and terracotta exterior to the pillared, glass-ceilinged reception area, which often has a striking floral arrangement at its centre. Its claims to fame include being where Rolls decided to go into business with Royce, Becks wooed Posh, and the first tango in the UK was danced. There’s a good-sized spa (costs £10 extra) with a large relaxation area, treatment rooms, sauna, steam room, whirlpool tub and small relaxation pool.
Opulence and bling rule here, from the gold-tiled private members’ club on the top floor to the dark and decadent 60 rooms and suites, all grey walls, large comfy beds, leather bed heads and faux fur throws. The hotel aims to be “the sexiest hotel in Europe” with its five Inner Sanctum suites have leather-clad black walls, with no windows, and a huge “wonderwall” with a projection of the city skyline or a film about the hotel’s characters. The 60-cover restaurant, Honey, has a small menu with some interesting options and delicate portion sizes. Ask for a seat next to one of the arched windows for a great view of the city below.
Public areas at the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel positively drips with ornate original features, including glazed bricks, tiles and faience, stained glass and carved wooden staircases. Glossy contemporary fittings add sex appeal. Rooms may lack the glamour found elsewhere but minibars come stocked with complimentary mineral water and fresh milk, and there’s also a tuck-box of free treats including posh crisps and chocolate bars. Room service operates round-the-clock and includes naughty late-night indulgences such as a mug of Ovaltine and chocolate Hobnobs.
Tucked away on a quiet residential street in the south Manchester suburb of Didsbury, this hotel is a peaceful escape from city life, with bold gilt mirrors in the halls and tasteful knick-knacks. The walled garden is a lovely extra space with a range of seating options including a swing and loungers if it’s sunny, and a covered heated area if it’s not. Entry level Classic Rooms feel spacious, but for something different consider room 42, an eclectic villa with two roll-top baths – one in the room and one on a private terrace overlooking the garden outside.
It's right in the heart of the Northern Quarter action, so there are bars and restaurants galore on the hotel's doorstep, but you don’t really have to leave your room here. There's no food offering but the hotel has deals with local restaurants and will order takeaways to rooms. A light breakfast is included in the rate and is brought up to rooms in a bag. There's even a Whatsapp number to message with any requests from your room if picking up the phone is too much of an effort. If you do want to socialise, The Plantation Bar, is the place to go for free prosecco and nibbles (between 6pm and 8pm), cocktails and free coffee.
This city centre hotel, housed in Manchester’s former Stock Exchange, shows off its heritage with style. Original features such as marble columns, stained glass and fireplaces sparkle, while an excellent restaurant is in pride of place in the building’s magnificent dome, formerly the trading floor. Its setting alone is enough reason to dine, but food delivers too, with chef Tom Kerridge having designed a menu of small sharing plates with strong flavours that offer a twist on British classics. After dinner, sit at the bar to the left of the restaurant to people watch or tuck yourself around the corner for a more intimate drink.
Velvet is in the heart of the Canal Street action. The buzzy bar is a great place to start an evening out and, if you’re embracing the local nightlife, a discounted clubbing package is available including a bottle of fizz. As soon as you step into the hotel, the glamorous scene is set by a huge, gold gilt mirror and crystal chandelier. Every one of the 19 rooms has its own unique décor, but have chunky crystal glasses, robes, and striking beds. Bathrooms vary from having oversized square tubs designed for two or roll-tops to showers only. Hotel guests get 20 percent off food and drink in the Marco Pierre White-branded restaurant.
The fifth property in the Dakota Hotels repertoire oozes glamour, from its imposing black building to dark and moody interiors. Embrace this glitzy vibe while cocooned in a candlelit booth in the restaurant or relaxing in a tasteful bedroom where attention has been paid to detail. Steak is the speciality in the hotel’s Dakota Grill restaurant, but it also does other classic dishes well, such as an excellently flavoured line-caught stone bass. Allow time for a pre- or post-dinner drink in the plush bar with statement cylinder pendant lights and plenty of candles.
Contributions by Rhonda Carrier