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Whitworth Locke, Manchester

This design hotel on a budget is perfect for extended stays.

Since we stayed here, the Locke Living group have opened nearly a dozen more properties. Manchester’s Whitworth Locke was their third apart-hotel, after Eden Locke in Edinburgh and Leman Locke in London. There are now six Lockes in London alone, and the group have expanded into Germany.

Their success is surely to be attributed to the combination of excellent value and incredibly millennial aesthetic. It’s like walking into a Pinterest board, and I’m not sure if this is a compliment. Admittedly, the interiors make for a good Instagram photo. But will they age as quickly as a scheme from Changing Rooms?

There are no bedrooms here but ‘city studios’ and ‘one-bedroom suites’, both with kitchenettes. Staff are ‘House Hosts’. Of course, there’s a co-working space and lots of lounge seating, all very MacBooky. But they do have the fastest hotel Wi-Fi in Manchester, apparently. There’s also an excellent coffee shop run by local favourite Foundation, a pop up restaurant (Peruvian when we stayed, rotates regularly) and a good cocktail bar. You can get a room from £60 per night, and for stylish, clean hotel with a gym right by Oxford Road station, you can’t go far wrong.

Rooms are spacious with a fully-equipped kitchenette and seating area ideal for guests staying more than a couple of nights. You could say the rooms nod to the building’s industrial past, or that there’s a lot of exposed brick and none of the wiring has been chased in. I don’t mind that, though.

Furniture is all very Hay, with a colour palette limited to blush pink and forest green. The beds are incredibly comfortable. King-sized with a a baby blue velvet headboard and a locally made throw, available to buy downstairs – wait, did I write this before? Which came first, Casa Bonay or Whitworth Locke?!

As is often the case in Manchester, the building is a former cotton mill. New York-based architects Grzywinski+Pons have embraced the industrial features – original pillars, exposed bricks, cobbled floor – and created intimate spaces within the cavernous shell.

Upon arrival, guests are met by a long, mustard-framed bar that runs the length of the glass atrium. Lush ferns hang overhead, and the reception desk sits to one side. It’s an ideal stop-off for a drink before heading out for the evening.

Aforementioned Foundation Coffee has the perfect breakfast menu to start a drizzly Manchester day – porridge, full English ‘breakfast bowls’. The B&B rate includes a £10 voucher for breakfast here, which seems like unnecessary admin and the guests that book it might still be looking for the buffet.

The bottom line

It’s not a luxury stay but its good-looking and good value. I’m keen to stay in some of the newer, sleeker options from the brand.

74 Princess St, Manchester M1 6JD, England
lockeliving.com
From £60