Hotel Gotham, Manchester – Hotel Review


By Helen Johnston, October 2023

As soon as I turned onto King Street and looked up from my phone map, I knew I was in the right place. Even though I was still too far away to see the name on the flag, instinct told me the white-grey building standing proudly at the top of the road had to be the Gotham Hotel.

Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1928 and completed in 1935, its imposing Art Deco style gives it a grandeur which makes it stand out even now – 88 years later – when it’s been dwarfed by some of the modern glass and steel office blocks clustered around it.

Entering its small lobby, I was greeted by a cheery concierge who nodded towards the stairs and said: “Reception’s on the sixth floor, go up six flights and then it’s another nine.” I laughed as he pressed the button for the lift and ushered me in, leaning across to press the number six for me. “I thought you were joking about it being on the sixth floor!” I said, as the door slid shut on his smiling face.

Aidan the smartly suited receptionist grinned when I remarked on reception being on the top floor. “We’re an upside-down hotel,” he said cheerily. It’s the first sign that this is a five-star hotel like no other, quirky and surprising in a way that makes you smile. The hotel brochure refers to its inhabitants as cast and crew, giving a theatrical flair to proceedings and making you feel like you’re part of a production. If you’re lucky you might spot socialite Connie Crumpsall or North West lothario Tony Trafford.


“Rather classy”

The décor continues the fun with a bowler-hatted butler statue next to the reception desk, one arm outstretched proffering a coffee pot on a tray, and stripey bags marked ‘swag’ piled up next to some faux suitcases on the floor. Then there was the novelty of going down a floor from reception to my room, instead of the usual (far too common) going up.

Lutyens designed 100 King Street for the Midland Bank and the décor gives a nod to the building’s history with bars of gleaming gold bullion dotted around the place, along with the swag bags which can be bought for £15. The colour scheme is browns and blacks interspersed with shiny silver, gold and brass, so it doesn’t feel gloomy but rather classy.

My fifth-floor room had floor-to-ceiling leaded windows in the corner, giving me fantastic views of Manchester city centre, across the rooftops of the ornately grand old buildings huddled round the Gotham to the skyscrapers beyond. It showed just how the city has continued to grow and prosper over the decades, a northern powerhouse of its own making.

Low-hanging grey skies on this weirdly warm October day provided a Gotham-city type pallor to the scene. It was easy to imagine the Batmobile swooping past. There was none of the infamous Manchester rain thankfully, although that prevented me from trying out the large pink wooden-handled umbrella standing to attention in my wardrobe (free to use and available to take home for £30).

The umbrella is patterned with images of the Gotham Bugle newspaper produced by the hotel, a neatly folded copy of which is found in every room providing essential information as well as the latest gossip. Who knew what Barry the Bell Boy had been getting up to?! The Bugle is the same size and shade of pink as the Financial Times, the bankers’ paper of choice no doubt.


“Treasure trove of quirky objects”

The cream and black zig zag-carpeted room was a treasure trove of quirky objects and had a bathroom bigger than my spare bedroom. It was enormous. The shower alone could have accommodated five people (not that I tested that out). The bathroom also had a massive window with a black venetian blind and the toiletries were laid out on a bar of gold. Very decadent.

My wooden wardrobe had leather handles, which gave it the appearance of a grand piece of luggage, the two doors swinging open to reveal hanging space on one side and the mini bar, kettle and coffee machine on the other. The inside was painted bright pink which brought a pop of colour to the scene. There were drawers containing everything needed to make a hot drink and also a glass jar containing two pink iced pig biscuits. There was also a £33 bottle of wine tucked on a shelf. Posh.

A slate tray of sweet treats laid out on the dresser with the iced message Welcome to Gotham was a lovely gesture. There was also a welcome message on a postcard featuring a photo of a bellboy (Barry?) sitting on luggage and holding a Bugle umbrella. The card was held between the fingers of a wooden hand ornament with moveable finger joints, it’s price tag of £150 testament to the amount of work needed to create it.

Other items on offer were the £125 brass and copper-coloured binoculars which I thought were ornamental until I tried them out, catching a closer view of nearby offices with their pot plants and brightly coloured chairs; and the luxuriously soft faux fur throw (£450) arranged artfully on the super king size bed.



I was joined for dinner in the Honey Restaurant, also on the sixth floor, by my student son who is at university in Manchester. We sat next to one of the many leaded windows and took in the now-dark city, twinkling with lights. My son hasn’t had many fine dining experiences in his young life (a deprived childhood, obvs) so he was a bit awestruck by this 2 AA Rosette Award restaurant where the charming waiter placed cloth napkins on our laps. You don’t get treatment like that in lesser establishments.

This was another quirky room with a series of typewriters hanging from one wall, perhaps in deference to the fine journalistic work on the Gotham Bugle, distinctive half semi-circular windows, and a piano.

Head Chef Rob Taylor has created a very tempting à la carte menu which features Nibbles, To Start, To Follow, Grill and Sauces, Accompanied By and To End (alongside Sweet Wine and Fortified). We decided to begin with nibbles of fried buttermilk chicken, and potato and sourdough bread, both delicious, followed by grilled hake fillet in a chilli and coconut sauce with spinach and courgette (me), and chicken breast with Paris brown mushrooms, pine nut, broad beans and potato puree (him). These were accompanied by skinny fries and the house salad with balsamic dressing. The fish was cooked to melt-in-the-mouth perfection and my son declared the chicken equally tasty.

We were both stuffed, but you know what it’s like when you’re asked if you want to see the dessert menu…so we ended up sharing a blueberry frangipane tart with a beautifully crisp pastry that would earn a Hollywood handshake any day of the week.


“Sense of fun”

Now properly stuffed, we managed to climb a short flight of stairs to the Club Brass roof terrace for a drink. We wandered between the open-air terraces on three sides of the building, taking in the views of night-time Manchester spread out before us, people still out and about and unaware of us looking down on them. I bet the bank tellers who used to toil on the floors below never imagined that one day people would be reclining at leisure on the roof of their workplace. Club Brass is also on the seventh floor, a VIP-only lounge open to guests and members to provide that extra air of exclusivity.

The hotel opened in 2015 and has all the luxuries you’d expect from a five-star establishment but none of the stuffiness. It has a great sense of fun while also managing to retain the style and charm of a more glamorous era when people dressed to impress. It has 60 individually designed rooms and suites, including two bank manager suites featuring freestanding roll top baths. Is that where they lay to count their cash?

There’s also a 24-hour pillow service, giving you a choice of goose feather and down, memory foam or buckwheat. How marvellous! I was tempted to test this out by requesting a new pillow at 2am but decided to sleep soundly instead. There were also some nice environmentally friendly touches, with wooden room key cards and water supplied in cans by a member of staff who knocked on the door soon after I arrived.


“Polite and charming”

All the staff at Hotel Gotham were polite and charming, from the cheeky chappie on the door to the breakfast waiter in his bowler hat the next morning. I’m not a big breakfast eater so I stuck to a crispy croissant, a delicious little Danish pastry, and some fruit. For heartier appetites, there was plenty to tuck into, including a Gotham full city cooked breakfast (vegetarian option available), grilled Arbroath kipper, Scottish oat porridge with whiskey and meadow honey, and toasted crumpets.

As I sipped my tea from a cup and saucer (so much more refined than a mug) I was looking out at the stirrings of a city coming to life for another working day, trams rumbling past down the road, people walking fast carrying the ubiquitous cardboard cup of branded coffee. Try drinking from fine china instead!

The Hotel Gotham is in the perfect location, in easy walking distance of the tram network, so you can explore all corners of the city and beyond, and of many of Manchester’s attractions. It’s a city of endless possibilities for visitors, whether you’re a culture vulture eager to get to the Art Gallery or Palace Theatre; or a shopper itching to get to Selfridges or Harvey Nicks, or perhaps to Afflecks in the Northern Quarter with its independent stores.

It’s a busy, bustling metropolis and makes you feel like you’re in a place where things happen. As a Manchester friend once said to me: “Manchester is like London but Northern – because people say sorry if they bump into you.”



It is known as the first modern industrial city and the wealth created here during the Industrial Revolution is evident in its magnificent Victorian Gothic town hall and the John Rylands Library. It’s not a city which broods on past glories though, it has a modern vibrant feel and many of its old warehouses have been converted for new purposes.

Manchester is easy to get to from Yorkshire, straight across the Pennines either by train or by car on the M62. Hotel Gotham has valet parking for £40 a night, and also a chauffeur service in a Bentley no less, if you need to arrive somewhere in style.

For those with a bit less brass in their pocket, Manchester has excellent public transport. The trams operate a simple tap-on-tap-off payment system like the London Tube, and the yellow Bee Network buses have just been taken back into public ownership after 36 years, thanks to Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and his team. For more information on Manchester attractions go to

I’ve always enjoyed visiting Manchester because there’s always something new to see or experience, and this time was made all the better for introducing me to the opulent Gotham.  Much like the hotel’s upper class character Lady Dolores Didsbury, I feel I’m obviously more suited to a life of decadence and sumptuousness. If only.

Helen stayed in a Club room, prices from £199. Breakfast is £19.50 pp and our dinner came to £115 inc drinks. 

Hotel Gotham
100 King Street, Manchester, M2 4WU
0161 413 0000

For more information on room rates and offers at the Hotel Gotham go to


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