Work or play? The stunning new £45m Clayton Hotel has it all
Emma Chadwick | 3rd March 2022
From just £80 a night, the beautiful Clayton Hotel Manchester City Centre, is a new £45m four-star hotel offering a luxury and ambience way above its pay grade and opened its door in time to herald in 2022.
On Portland Street, it’s the perfect location for both business and pleasure and has been designed to serve both in equal measure.
Just a skip and a hop away from Piccadilly train station and nestling next to Chinatown and The Village with shopping, the Northern Quarter hipster bars and the glamour of Spinningfields, all within easy walking distance.
Think boutique hotel touches with chromes, velvet, burnt orange flourishes, a sweeping bar and bustling vibe. The first thing to note is that everyone is welcome, whether you have a room or just want to grab a coffee, have a work meet or indulge in some of Nathanial (known as Tan) Farrell’s, wonderful food.
All at standard prices and not with that extra added pound or more you get marked up in other hotels. And it’s brand spanking new.
The Clayton is owned by Dalata, Ireland’s largest hotel group and as well as creating a new landmark hotel in the heart of the city has created over 87 new jobs too. A sign that visitors are coming back to the city in post-pandemic flocks.
That’s the idea behind it, to provide a vibrant new offering for visitors to Manchester, as well as a stunning staycation destination for locals or you can just pop in and indulge in some delicious food and drink, in a fantastic landscape.
The 18-storey Clayton Hotel Manchester City Centre is on Portland Street which if you don’t know, is just a five-minute walk from Piccadilly Gardens and an eight-minute walk from Piccadilly train station.
What’s more this prime location means hotel guests have easy access to Manchester’s iconic bars, restaurants, art galleries and museums. For football fans, Old Trafford is just 15 minutes away while the Etihad Stadium is a 10-minute drive.
The new hotel is Dalata Group’s second hotel in the area alongside Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport. Next month Dalata, which also owns Maldron Hotels, will open the Maldron Hotel Manchester City Centre just a short distance from the Clayton Hotel. So, watch this space.
Food for thought -Tan’s your man
The hotel, which features spacious rooms, beautiful modern interiors with a mezzanine overlooking the bustling bar area and a stunning feature staircase, is also set to become a foodie destination thanks to its excellent restaurant, No. 55 Restaurant & Bar.
Executive Head Chef, Nathaniel ‘Tan’ Farrell has assembled an exciting team who are all passionate about championing local produce to create mouth-watering British cuisine. We caught up with Tan during our stay and were blown away with his approach to the food offering, of which there are many in the hotel.
Given free rein to create the hotel’s menus, he operates on a ‘free from’ basis having seen for himself the effects of severe allergic reactions for himself when his father-in-law had one due to a sesame seed reaction.
This means that dishes are available for everyone. For example, a totally gorgeous baked Alaska is vegan, using chickpeas to make the meringue, and you really wouldn’t know. This makes dining here inclusive and the same attention to detail is in all the dishes VIVA tasted.
It starts with a coffee bar where you’re welcome to bring a laptop or a mate and hang out, watching the world go by through its floor to ceiling windows on Manchester. Opened up by the huge mezzanine which gives the room tons of light and space, it’s dotted with gorgeous vibrant velvet chairs and tables ideal to hang out and even has its own coffee beans.
This tuns into a sweeping bar with servers happily shaking cocktails and pouring pints, all at bar rather than hotel prices. Tan is working on a bar menu which will serve small dishes, sushi and having worked in the foodie capital Denmark for four years, a Scandi brunch that sounds amazing, bearing all his hallmarks of fermentation and smoking, is on the cards. As is afternoon tea.
Next level dining at No. 55 Restaurant & Bar
The next level in all senses of the word is the No 55 Restaurant & Bar with imposing views of the hustle below and the streets outside. Like a reverse mullet, unusual for many hotel restaurants it’s all party at the front with gorgeous blue velvet booths shielding the business at the back of breakfast service.
It means you can dine in style and enjoy a restaurant vibe as No. 55 which is currently open Fridays to Sunday to the public. The food is simply fantastic and inspired by the bustling hotel’s location. Tan told us the delicious wafts from nearby Chinatown inspired many of the dishes as did Manchester’s curry mile.
We dived in (starters from £6) and weren’t disappointed. My bisque was a fishy, wonderful delight with gorgeous crab croquets that released a fabulous flavour on the tongue, whilst my veggie companion raved about her crispy tofu, a blend of oriental flavours, subtle and delightful.
Service is excellent and the attention to detail fantastic, artisan bread and flavoured butter for example fabulous. And the portions, well they’re northern portions, so by that I mean huge. There’s a great wine list, again starting from a very reasonable and quaffable £22 for house wines.
Onto mains (from £14) and the choice is tremendous whatever your food group. I opted for sirloin (there’s a grill section with beautiful cuts, including burgers, vegan ones too) and thick cut chips so good we kept the dish at the table to enjoy with our drinks. A shared side of Tenderstem broccoli also hit the spot. The whole dish, just juicy and delicious with a garlic and herb sauce joining the mix to create a wonderful taste sensation.
I was jealous of my companion’s choice though. A charred sumac cauliflower dish with a gentle curry base that she raved about and there is a duck breast hoisin dish I’ll be back to try on Tan’s recommendation.
Onto puddings and again the hearty portions almost defeated us. Almost. From £7, a miso, caramel and chocolate tart was heavenly with a nostalgic flavour of treacle tart. Melting pastry and a sweet core that is just the ticket for any sweet toothed fan. Whilst a cheese platter was a perfect plate with blues, soft chesses and classics, just perfect.
This guy certainly knows his stuff and has a team that cooks with confidence. Great if you’re staying there but also perfect as a go to dinner destination.
Accommodating all tastes
The rooms at the Clayton, are also fantastic with huge comfy beds, many offering a double with a single instead of traditional twins. Perfect if you’re looking for a bargain stay for three or just want your own space.
Our double was romantic and like so much in the hotel, just way above what you would expect for this price point. They look good, with a fresh modern palate with pops of colour but are also very comfortable and the higher you go the better the views over the city.
It has everything you need with a spacious bathroom, air con, WiFi, TV and space to chill or work. The hotel also has a fitness centre, a 24-hour front desk and room service.