Dakota, Manchester

THE HOTEL: This chic boutique addition to the Manchester hotel scene is fast becoming a favourite haunt of celebs and savvy business travellers. On Ducie Street in the heart of Manchester’s old mill district, it’s one of a clutch of trendy venues to open as the neighbourhood undergoes rapid regeneration. Interiors are dominated by dark slate tones, complemented by warm yellow lighting, fire places and candles. Studded leather chairs and tables, and vintage photos on the walls featuring stars such as Clarke Gable, are a nod to the 1930s New York influence. Tellingly, the brand is named after the pioneering US passenger aircraft that transformed travel in the 1930s by offering an affordable service in an age when flying was reserved for the elite. The building is perched beside a canal and is just a five-minute walk from Manchester Piccadilly train station.

THE CHECK-IN:My late afternoon check-in was smooth with a warm welcome from staff. I was given a quick tour and shown to my Classic King Room.

THE ROOM: The design scheme flows seamlessly throughout the hotel. My room featured muted grey tones with plush armchairs, framed vintage prints, floor-to-ceiling windows and a large flatscreen TV. The very comfortable king sized bed had an upholstered leather headboard and crisp white Egyptian cotton linen. Tucked inside an alcove, there was a nice leather desk area with USB charging ports and thoughtful touches like a magnifying mirror and slate board for heated appliances. The stylish tiled bathroom had a walk-in rainshower with Dakota toiletries.

THE FACILITIES: With dark marble, leather seating, framed photos from old Hollywood, low lighting, and cool bespoke cocktails, nowhere is the moody Manhattan influence more apparent than in the bar – it feels glamorous without being glitzy. The Dakota Grill’s classic gourmet dishes draw locals as well as guests, and the buffet breakfast offers a brilliant selection. An atmospheric lounge, cigar terrace and Champagne room are perfect for entertaining clients. Complimentary wifi was faultless.

THE VERDICT: It’s a clear contender for best boutique hotel in Manchester. Even though it’s a tad more pricey than other properties in the area, I would choose to stay here again.

THE DETAILS:29 Ducie Sreet, Manchester M1 2JL. Rates from £203 per night. see: dakotahotels.co.uk.

Reviewed by Sasha Wood (2019)