Real Life

Grazia Escapes: The Principal Manchester

Overview

Set in the heart of Manchester (opposite Oxford Road Station and a 10-minute stroll from Manchester Piccadilly) The Principal is the perfect base from which to explore the vibrant surroundings. Dating back from 1890, the Grade II listed red brick building has benefitted from a recent £25m refurb. This combination of striking Victorian architecture and modern interiors by Michaelis Boyd makes it one of the city’s best-loved landmarks.

The Room

Our expansive bedroom (complete with spacious dressing area and huge, ultra-comfy bed) was the perfect place to relax when we weren’t exploring the city’s many delights. Heavy wooden furniture, brass fittings and plush pillows created a cosy, welcoming vibe, while double height windows added a sense of grandeur. On arrival, we were greeted with the ingredients for a gin and tonic, as well as a well-stocked tuck box including Tyrrell crisps and Drumstick lollies (joy!) which magically replenished overnight. Elsewhere, every possible need had been met, from hairdryers and plug sockets by the bed to a handy umbrella in the wardrobe.

Eating And Drinking

The Principle’s award winning dining room-cum-bar is the beating heart of the hotel. Curated by the team from Volta in West Didsbury, it is a favourite of both guests and locals, several of whom recommended it during our visit. From cocktails to globally inspired small plates and sharing dishes, there really is something for every occasion.

When To Go

We were in town during Manchester’s bank holiday pride weekend. The location, minutes away from the gay village and parade, made it the perfect pit stop between bar-hopping down Canal Street. In fact, we didn’t even have to leave the hotel to have a good time, thanks to The Refuge’s packed-schedule of DJs (including Don Letts and Homoelectric’s Jamie Bull) and parties. Did we have a sore-head when we checked out? Maybe.

The Lowdown

Prices start from £120, including breakfast. The Principal Manchester, Oxford Street, Manchester, M60 7HA (0161 288 1111) theprincipalhotel.com/manchester

MORE TRAVEL

Grazia Escapes: Bicester Village And Soho Farmhouse, Oxfordshire

Grazia Escapes: 11 Howard Hotel, New York

Grazia magazine cover