With a name like Hotel Gotham, you’d obviously be forgiven for thinking about a certain Caped Crusader first and foremost. But banish the Bat from your mind. A look inside Manchester’s brand new, five-star venture made it clear that this place is about one thing: money.
‘drenched in flirty extravagance
The stunning King Street, Art Deco building that Edward Lutyens designed in 1928 has its heritage in banking, and the radical facelift that has transformed it into what is being billed as ‘Europe’s sexiest hotel’ pays constant homage to its, quite literally, rich past. There are playful nods of acknowledgement in every corner of the hotel, from the bowler hats and briefcases, to the typewriters that line the walls, the filing cabinet service drawers and the ‘Gotham Bugle’ – Hotel Gotham’s very own fictional newspaper that is clearly modelled on the Financial Times. The bedrooms all feature moneybag-style laundry bags and gold ingot toiletry displays. It is drenched in flirty extravagance and suavity.
The public bar and restaurant ‘Honey’ and regular boutique Gotham suites – starting at £150 per night – are gloriously sleek and lavish affairs on their own, but to get the premium Hotel Gotham experience you’ll need to become a member of the exclusive Club Brass, and reserve a night in one of the five ‘Inner Sanctum’ suites. The former, a seventh-floor VIP lounge that you access from the illuminated, metal staircase not remotely dissimilar to a banking vault, will only take 400 members – a list that is rumoured of already courted a number of high-profile celebrities.
The first thing you see upon walking through the thick, steel doors, is the gleaming rainbow of glassware and shiny, high-end wine and spirit bottles that pack the bar. The tables, both industrial high and recycled timber coffee in style, are surrounded by brooding, brown leather seats and tiled walls. There are more subtle banking references peppered around the room, and outside is a windowed balcony area, complete with a golden telescope that gazes upon the Manchester skyline. Annual membership to Club Brass will set you back £750, allowing members – as well as any hotel guests, who also have access – to mix with the celebs, eccentric creatives and big-time businessmen that are bound to frequent the lounge. But places are severely limited. In the establishment’s own words: “If Hotel Gotham is the King of King Street then Brass is the jewel in the crown.”
There are 60 bedrooms in the hotel, and each floor features one Inner Sanctum, costing £1000. These rooms, leather-clad with jagged-striped carpets, faux fur throws and dark marbled bathrooms are Hotel Gotham’s sexiest reservations. With no natural light at all, they’re both decadent, and the epitome of the Art Deco sensibilities of the hotel. And star of the show is the all-encompassing ‘Wonderwall’, a cinema-screen designed to look like a window that will display a sequence of dramatic Manchester vistas. Corporate parties can customise the Wonderwall to play whatever views or footage fits their occasion. It’s part Fifty Shades, part Gatsby, all Hotel Gotham.
On a street decorated with architecturally wonderful buildings and internationally recognised occupants, it is probably not as surprising as it should be that Hotel Gotham already stands out as one of its icons. It’s got a sense of humour, it’s brash without being offensive, nostalgic without being gimmicky and, if you want it, offers a luxurious bar and bedroom combination that is likely already the envy of every city in Europe. 1930’s New York City has arrived on Manchester’s most glamourous street, and it’s making quite an impression.