The Midland Hotel Occupies a Full City Block in Manchester.
Dominating an entire city block in central Manchester, the Midland exudes elegance and history. Built in 1903, the 312-room hotel was known for decades as the place where Rolls met Royce. It has recently been promoting itself as the spot where Posh and Becks had their first date, hoping soccer star David Beckham and rock star Posh Spice might strike a more resonant chord with younger guests. Its French restaurant boasts two rosettes from the British Automobile Association.
Wows and Woes
The stunning lobby leads to great expectations for the rooms, which were more than met. While we loved the comfortable bed and terrific views over Manchester, we were positively seduced by the towel warming rack in the bath.
Such luxury comes at a price. But if your travel plans are flexible, the Midland offers lots of packages that can make it more affordable.
Get out of your room. Spared from the devastation of World War II bombings (perhaps because Hitler is said to have considered setting up camp here), the hotel is a feast of architectural delights, from the turrets, towers and minarets that adorn the exterior to the expansive glass ceiling in the lobby to the intricate original rosette moldings in the Trafford Room, now used for social functions.
Author's Most Memorable Moment
The Central Library from the Entrance of the Midland Hotel.
The arched entrance to the hotel frames the stunning, round Central Library across the street. As I stood there listening to the clang and clatter of modern Manchester, it was sobering to realize that after the World War II bombing, only the hotel and the library were still standing.
Midland guests experience a living history lesson, made much more palatable by a recent $20 million refurbishment and grand dining options.
Ellen Albanese is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers. She has published news, columns and travel reviews in "The Boston Globe," "Metrowest Daily News," and several weekly newspapers. Albanese earned a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University and a Master of Science from Boston University.