Hotel review

Review of The Alan Hotel, Manchester: ‘This revamped warehouse will be a hit with the cool crowd’ | Travel

What is the story?

Take a beautiful six-story Grade II listed warehouse in the city center, convert the upper ground floor into a huge lobby, restaurant, bar and coworking space, then add 137 hotel rooms. Lo and behold, the Alan Manchester has landed – an independent hub for visitors and locals alike.

What do we like?

The Alan – so named because it looks like an unpretentious companion – is welcoming, modern and stylish. The open-plan upper ground floor gives the impression of an indoor plaza. They’ve removed a reception desk, using the space for DJ decks with Bose speakers, so look for a roving receptionist with an iPad when checking in. It is intended to be a creative place – a large ‘maker’s table’ in the lobby will be used for watercolor, macrame, creative writing and DJing workshops.

One of the common areas of the hotel

Upstairs, there are four categories of rooms, from standard to suite. All are quirky, with bare plaster walls, exposed overhead ducts painted celadon green (the same color as the exterior hallways), gorgeous emperor beds, and pink sinks in the bathrooms. The seven Alan suites are even more eccentric; the double shower and gold island vanity sits in the open plan bedroom with you. Most of the suites are in the curved corners of the building, with plenty of natural light as well.

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The kitchen serves light snacks and you can eat in the restaurant, bar or in the lobby. Everything comes in individual bowls, so the experience is more about a bite to eat than dinner. Small plates such as halibut ceviche and truffle mac and cheese were simple, while meat dishes included a pleasantly pink, locally sourced Barnsley lamb chop.

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery


What’s nearby?

The city center is easily accessible on foot, and the Alan is right in the heart of it, directly opposite the Manchester Art Gallery, with its Lowrys room (free entry). A two-hour guided walk with Gareth Smith of Si Manchester is also free, providing a great introduction to the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. This month marks the 40th anniversary of the opening of the Hacienda nightclub; stroll along the Rochdale Canal towpath, where the history of this infamous place is etched into the steel walls of the apartments that now stand on the site.

Laura Ivill was a guest at the Alan, which has double rooms from £99; small plates from £6. Accessible; restaurant

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