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Whitworth Locke, Manchester
One for those who avoid bland chain hotels, Whitworth Locke is a 160-room design-led aparthotel with a raft of social spaces. In a 19th-century former cotton mill close to Manchester's vibrant Canal Street, there's a glass-roofed cocktail bar in its atrium, a funky co-working space, a coffee shop run by local independent Foundation, pop-up restaurant space, and a small gym with regular classes. It's a hip place to stay with "house hosts" instead of reception staff, and stylish interiors by New York-based Grzywinski+Pons, who have complemented original features from the mill with splashes of zingy yellow (to represent the city's worker bee symbol), green from indoor plants, and pastel hues.
The central location and the fact it's a listed building mean there can be some noise at night, but it's a great spot if you're visiting for a night out - Canal Street is over the road and Oxford Road's music venues are nearby.
Manchester's trendy Northern Quarter, with its bars and restaurants, is a 10-minute walk away.
By car: around 1 hour 20 minutes from Leeds, 2 hours from Birmingham and 4 hours 15 minutes from London. There is some free parking available on nearby streets. There is parking available nearby at £30 per day.
By train: There are regular trains to Manchester Piccadilly from Birmingham New Street (1 hour 30 minutes) and London Euston (2 hours 10 minutes) as well as most other major cities. Manchester Piccadilly station is a 10-minute walk from the hotel. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Business travellers can mix with hip locals on beanbags and sofas in the co-working space, while leisure guests will love regular yoga and art classes. Exposed brick, a simple black and white colour scheme and statement lighting combine to create the aparthotel's trendy FDN Whitworth coffee shop.
Service & Facilities
A number of events are held in Whitworth Locke's public areas, from painting classes to cocktail masterclasses - so ask what's on.
- Free Wi-Fi
Whitworth Suites have larger living spaces and some have views of the Rochdale Canal, while others look out over the central glass atrium. Details in rooms, such as sparkling brass coat hangers and a cocktail shaker in the kitchen, show that they are a cut above average.
City Studio, Locke Studio, One Bedroom Suite, Two Bedroom Suite, Whitworth Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom with rainfall shower, kitchen with Smeg appliances, blackout curtains, smart TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
The different dining spaces are aimed at locals as well as hotel guests and all have distinct personalities. You can start your day healthily with the breakfast options in FDN Whitworth, from yoghurt and "rawnola" to "eggs your way".
The Foundation Coffee House: coffee and healthy brunch. Open daily 8am-4pm. Brunch dishes from £2.
Peru Perdu: relaxed, Peruvian inspired cuisine, vegan options. Open Mon-Thurs, 4-9.30pm, Fri 4-10pm, Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12-9pm. Large plates from £10.