When I decided to visit the prestigious Lowry Hotel during a trip to Manchester where Morten Harket was performing at the city’s sparkling new Bridgewater Hall, my heart skipped a beat when I spotted the A-ha front-man sitting across the room from me in the Lowry’s Riverfront Restaurant, tucking into his breakfast.
I’d heard consistently good reports about Rocco Forte’s Lowry hotel in Manchester so it seemed only natural to check out the five-star property as soon as the opportunity presented itself.
Located in the very heart of the city just minutes away from the city shopping centre, the luxurious 165 room property has gained a reputation for being Manchester’s most glamorous hotel, regularly playing host to celebrities, sport icons and politicians when they come to town.
Overlooking the River Irwell in the recently-developed Chapel Wharf area, the chic hotel – which is the first five property star to grace Greater Manchester - has certainly made its mark.
The Lowry is a bold architectural statement with a dramatic curved glass-fronted façade. On walking through the doors it is strikingly contemporary, slick and glamorous, whilst being comfortable, laid back, and unpretentious.
Despite its minimalist design and feel, with friendly staff, interesting sculptures, and quirky, colourful sofas dotted around, complete with an inviting selection of coffee-top magazines, the lobby is an ideal spot to chill out, relax and enjoy the calm atmosphere in this interesting and unique space.
The guest rooms are comfortable, spacious and welcoming, with an elegant combination of neutral tones, clean lines of dark woods and sleek furnishings.
Equipped with the latest facilities, business and leisure guests can enjoy two phone lines, voice messaging, high-speed Internet access, interactive satellite TV, IPod Docking stations, CD players which are available upon request, fax connection, a minibar and safe.
River views, walk-in wardrobes with full length mirrors, comfortable beds and beautiful marble en suite bathrooms with big fluffy white towels complete the experience.
The Terrace, a light airy bar on the first floor is a perfect hang-out for before or after an evening out on the town. While the River Restaurant provides a relaxed and atmospheric dining experience.
I sampled the Lowry Spa during my visit and was not disappointed. A vast selection of treatments are available, each designed to restore mind and body. I opted for a skin specific facial, which was soothing and relaxing. My therapist was professional and friendly and after a brief chat about what my skin could benefit from, she got to work, taking me through each stage of the treatment.
This included a skin preparation with a rehydrating cleanser and gentle exfoliator, followed by a lovely massage and a lavender repair mask. Then followed a skin supplement and day cream – all of which were from the Elemis skincare rang, which left my skin radiant and glowing for days.
A small but functional gym, sauna, health suite and relaxation rooms are also available for guests to enjoy as part of the Spa experience.
The city centre is just a walk across the bridge, making it an ideal location for business travellers on a flying visit, complete with fully equipped meeting and event spaces including the Grand Ballroom.
It is hardly surprising this property has been named England’s Leading Business Hotel and England’s Leading Conference Hotel by the World Travel Awards in 2011.
Or that it was the choice hotel for Morten Harket and so many other celebrities who venture to the popular destination.
Although the sun may not always shine in Manchester, after two nights at this gem of a hotel, I felt pampered, refreshed and ready for action.
For more information visit www.thelowryhotel.com