Melia’s Hotel Innside Manchester is at the forefront of one of the most vibrant districts in Manchester. A short walk from Deansgate and you’ll find yourself in the First Street development home to HOME cinema and gallery, junkyard golf, restaurants and event space as well as a thriving community. I spent a night at Innside to enjoy the views, the cocktails and the lovely food at First Street Bar & Kitchen with Gino D’Acampo. Its privileged location allows easy access to Manchester’s many transport links (only a couple of hours from London on the train, you can be in the second city in a few short hours). Located minutes from Manchester’s museums and shopping districts such as Northern Quarter and Exchange Square, INNSIDE Manchester offers the perfect place for both business and leisure travellers.
I’d invited my sister to visit me in the city and so we were given a studio room perfect for travelers on the hunt for a bit more space. Here you’ll find a huge vanity or work area, king-bed,32-inch TV and high speed Wi-Fi. All Premium Rooms have the luxury of walk-in rain showers with exclusive INNSIDE eco-friendly amenities by Lande. There are also plenty of small touches that made the room that bit more comfortable such as air conditioning, hair dryer, full length mirrors, mini fridge and an espresso machine. What really makes the room feel special is the spectacular view from the floor to ceiling windows. Looking out over the city and its skyscrapers in the early morning was a real treat.
If the weather is not on your side (and this is Manchester so do be prepared!) then there is plenty to do in the immediate area as well as the hotel. A 24 hour fitness suite as well as a sauna and steam room is available for guests of the hotel with the option of spa treatments to make your stay even more relaxing. There is a business centre and services should you need to catch up on any work during your stay and also an event space for any type of social or business gatherings.
But by far the best thing you can do in the hotel (apart from get a good night’s sleep!) is to enjoy cocktails and dinner at First Street Bar & Kitchen. Spread throughout the whole bottom floor of the hotel, there are many space in which to enjoy all the food and drinks on offer such as the fabulous outdoor terrace, circular bar, and a large open plan restaurant and bar area. We begin with a cocktail in the bar area, adorned with hanging foliage and flowers, fairy lights and gorgeous upholstery, there’s a mixture of couples, family and friends and business guests, all enjoying the space and the cocktail menu. I went for a ‘Felt cute, might delete later’ and yes I chose it just for the name.
Moving into the dining area and into comfy, teal, velour booths we scoured the menu for a very long time, not being able to decide which we fancied most. I started with Fried calamari, courgette, red pepper, garlic mayonnaise and lemon which was crispy, tasty and light. For my main I chose Lamb cutlets and grilled pancetta with a honey, lemon and rosemary sauce which was cooked to my liking perfectly (medium rare of course) and the meat was beautifully soft and tender.
My sister had the Swordfish steak with sautéed potatoes and salsa which I was actually quite jealous of when she allowed me a bite. For dessert it had to be a classic Tiramisú for my sister and for me, I couldn’t resist the Bailey’s Panna Cotta with caramel sauce and a hazelnut and pistachio cartuchinni biscuit. I regretted eating my full starter and main because I simply could not finish this decadent dessert despite the fact that I adored every single mouthful. A lovely meal all washed down with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc Camillona, Piedmont, Italy which we had brought up to the room to finish whilst watching a film and looking out over the night sky from the huge bed.
In the morning we enjoyed a very full and varied continental breakfast before checking out during storm Eunice (it was a shame we couldn’t have stayed to watch the storm from that view!). I have to say the staff we encountered were all wonderful and so attentive, we really felt welcome and valued in this hotel.
If you’ve ever fancied a trip to Manchester and want to explore a different part of town, check into Innside by Melia, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
1 First Street