malmaison-manchester

Review: The Malmaison Manchester - a weekend break in the city

We spend a weekend in Manchester - find out what we thought

Sophie Vokes-Dudgeon

The Malmaison Manchester could not be better situated – almost directly opposite Manchester Piccadilly train station meaning after a train journey from London there is no need to worry about transfers. In fact, train is definitely the best way to get to Manchester if you can, as city centre parking is both expensive and hard to find, and although the hotel does have an arrangement with a very nearby NCP carpark, it still about £20 for each 24-hour-period.

The Malmaison's comfiest beds guarantee a good night's sleep

But while its great location is a big plus point for this central Manchester hotel, it’s the Malmaison touches, which we’ve come to expect and were not disappointed by here, which really made our stay at this hotel a dream. The building has an old section (housing the brasserie) and a new modern block with plenty of rooms. But once inside you’re instantly removed from the busy bustling city and surrounded by chic interior design with a bit of a party atmosphere.

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The huge wall of sparkling sequins at the back of the bar as you walk in, shimmers all day and night, making you feel like it’s time for a celebration. And if you are celebrating something, whether a birthday, a nice break away from the kids, or an upmarket hen do with your friends, the hotel is the perfect backdrop. The rooms are attractive and spacious – the bathroom had both a bath and a corner shower complete with the bath and shower gel claiming (and possibly it is true) to be Better than You Have at Home.

But it was the beds that actually really stood out – nothing particularly unusual to look at but SO comfy to sleep in. If you’re hoping for a good night’s kip during your visit to Manchester, you’ll definitely get one here.

The other stand out hero during my trip to the Malmaison was the totally delicious food. Chez Mal has a reputation and deservedly so. My tempura prawns, calamari and courgette were totally delicious – the perfect combination of crispy yet tender and I’d definitely go back for more. The steaks were being cooked in the open oven at the back of the restaurant and looked great – I’m not a meat eater so opted for a soy and ginger Ahi tuna – it was perfectly cooked served with fresh veggies - a delicious and guilt-ree meal.

Cocktails at Chez Mal are the perfect pre dinner indulgence

On top of the great food, the service was also very attentive. We even had to refuse our wine top ups at one point, they were offered so frequently. And the entire service staff genuinely gave you a feeling that nothing was any trouble.

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Manchester’s a fun city for a weekend away, especially when the sun is shining, when its wide boulevards and impressive architecture make it feel like you’re in America. The city’s Northern Quarter has been used as a stand-in for New York in many a TV show and Hollywood movie and you can totally understand why. There’s a cool hipster vibe here, with a host of independent bars, cafes and boutiques to explore and while away an afternoon in if you choose. If you’re after the best coffee in the city, a vintage gem, a pint of locally brewed ale or some vegan food, this is the place to be.

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