Manchester is a city swimming in creativity.
Professionals with an eye for design, stop-in-your-tracks architecture and a beyond fashionable social scene, to say the least.
New openings are popping up left, right and centre; and it’s a place we just can’t get enough of – particularly as the twinkling lights add a new dimension and the festive season is upon us.
There’s no doubt about it, Manchester is one of the best cities in the world when it comes to the Christmas experience. The magical markets, craft fairs, ice-skating, a Winter Funland, and some of the best shopping in the UK.
It’s always a must-visit for us when it comes to the holiday season, and this time, we’re checking in at the Dakota – the newest hotel in the luxury property portfolio.
It’s a big, contemporary building, standing in all its bold, black glory on the corner of Ducie Street. Just a short stroll from Piccadilly Station, and a 25-minute drive from Manchester Airport, it’s easily accessible and a perfect base for exploring the city.
This place is oh-so stylish.
Named after the 1930s Dakota airliner that made its maiden flight from New York to Chicago, the glamorous golden age of aviation is the theme running throughout.
The key values are elegant style, impeccable service and affordable prices.
The Dakota brings a touch of Mayfair to Manchester. It’s sleek, it’s stylish and as soon as you step inside the dark and mysterious building, you feel like you’ve been whisked away to a cosmopolitan condo, where ritzy meets romance.
Combining moody decor with subdued lighting and masculine touches, this urban retreat is a cocoon of comfort, and the perfect place to escape the winter chill.
HOTEL HIGHLIGHTS >>
If it’s not Dakota’s sophisticated spot, close to the hubbub of Manchester’s shopping, foodie and nightlife scenes that ticks all the boxes, the unique style will.
Its low lightning and flickering candles make for a romantic mini break, while the unique artworks nod to the city’s creative and cultural charm.
The cocktail list is also a real highlight – make your way through a menu of classics including the Old Fashioned and Mai Tai, or sip something stylish such as the Would I Lychee You Baby? and the Hemmingways Retreat.
Sip away in the bar with nibbles or enjoy a great Cuban in the comfort of the hotel’s cigar garden.
LAY YOUR HEAD >>
The rooms are perfectly plush – think crisp linen, sumptuously soft bedding, cloud-like pillows, dressing gowns, slippers, dark, minimalist decor and rainfall showers you’ll struggle to escape.
Each room, suite or penthouse is kitted out with all the mod-cons you’d expect from a Bond-like bachelor pad – making your stay as relaxing and as carefree as possible.
FOOD AND DRINK >>
The Dakota Grill is a date night must.
Go here for quality, seasonal produce, and grilled goodies aplenty.
Start supper with stylish sips and popcorn snacks in the bar, before heading into the low-lit dining room, where you’ll be able to tuck into a la carte favourites such as king scallops, lamb rump, monkfish curry, duck breast and chateaubriand to share – among many more meaty and veggie options.
If you’re in town for the weekend and fancy venturing out into the city, make sure you add Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza to your post-shopping food-fix list. Be transported to Naples and whisked away into a doughy dream.
Head over to the Ancoats site (an uber cool inner-city suburb known as Little Italy), where you’ll be able to tuck into a beautiful base of cheesy deliciousness. Spice things up with the Calabrese or try one of Rudy’s white pizza specials – the Portobello, packed with mushroom, basil, oregano, sea salt, parmesan and garlic oil.
Seasoned sippers should head over to Science + Industry in Manchester’s Northern Quarter – a speakeasy hidden within Crane & Grain on Thomas Street. The secret’s out… go here for lab creations worth drooling over. Expect ‘massive flavours, plenty of liquor and complexity that rewards contemplation’.
DO THIS >>
Manchester really comes into its own at Christmas time. Whether it’s a trip to the Ice Village, family fun at Winter Funland or soaking up the festive vibe at the iconic Manchester Christmas Markets. Everywhere you go you’ll find twinkling lights, a proper seasonal soundtrack and plenty of opportunities to shop, shop, shop!
Don’t miss out on the chance to see Kate Rusby live at The Lowry, Salford; or take the kids to see the city’s panto spectacular starring Craig Revel Horwood at Manchester Opera House.