This autumn Macdonald’s Hotel and Resorts will open a brand new deluxe hotel in the heart of Manchester
Spurred by the investment after the damage inflicted by the 1996 bomb, and aided by the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Manchester’s city centre has undergone extensive regeneration. With new hotels now springing up all over the city, particularly in Manchester’s booming Piccadilly, Macdonald Hotels and Resorts needed something a little different from their hotel. Opening October 1st 2007, Macdonald Hotel Manchester – a £50 million development – definitely delivers.
“A 338 bedroom hotel opposite Manchester Piccadilly train station, Macdonald Manchester Hotel is a luxury hotel situated in the city centre. This stunning modern and contemporary hotel blends sophisticated food and drink with stylish bedrooms, a fitness suite and spa,” explains general manager Garin Davies, who is relishing the opportunity of running this exciting new hotel.
Manchester’s newest and largest four star deluxe hotel, the state-of-theart Macdonald’s Manchester will boast a striking exterior, with glass frontage, and a wide range of exclusive facilities including extensive conference and event amenities, equipped with hightech AV equipment and capable of holding over 280 guests; and a sizeable restaurant on the hotel’s first floor offering creative cuisine.
One of the highlights of the hotel will be its spacious, contemporary bedroom design complete with airconditioning, satellite TV, panoramic city views, luxurious Italian marble en-suite bathrooms with separate shower and bath or contemporary wet room, free high-speed broadband internet access, a spacious and well lit desk area with desk level power sockets and each room offers a toprange iPod docking station.
“The hotel is a real landmark,” continues Garin. “It is located in the old Telecoms House, which was constructed in the 1970s, and is 200 metres of prime London Road frontage, adjacent to Piccadilly Railway Station and A57 ring road. The building, which is of great significance to the city of Manchester, sits on a podium supported on fluted columns to allow a road to run underneath.
“The original construction design, with its use of concrete reinforcements and pillars, has provided some challenges and restrictions, but it has meant much larger bedrooms could be built – rooms much bigger than you would expect from a city centre hotel.”
The overall build is 2940 square foot and extends over 11 floors. The project included the refurbishment of all old reinforcements and required the construction team to repair the structure where needed. It also required extensive internal re-design in order to incorporate the features expected of a modern hotel.
Although redeveloping was a much more difficult, lengthy process, the demolition of the old building would have had a major impact on the environment. A new build over 11 floors would have also taken longer than a refurbishment project, so Macdonald’s decision to renovate was one that was easily reached.
“It is far easier in construction terms to build from scratch because what you are trying to do by renovating is fit something into an existing shell, which on the face of it many not be the ideal,” says Garin. “We decided to incorporate the existing structure into our plans and one of the many advantages we had is that the building was originally designed as a hotel but was converted
into office space before it was finished; this meant some aspects of the original layout lent themselves perfectly to our design. The mechanical and electrical aspects of the build were perhaps the most troublesome. For instance, the change in air-conditioning since the 1970s has been vast and it was a challenge to fit a modern system into the hotel.”
He continues: “We have placed a huge emphasis on the quality of the fixtures and fittings to create the right environment and comfort within the bedrooms is paramount. We recognise that people use hotels for a good nights sleep and, above all, they want to be comfortable. All 338 bedrooms will be air-conditioned with queen-sized beds, mini bars, free broadband, satellite TV and a separate walk-in shower and bathroom. We also offer extensive leisure facilities, which include a gym, nail bar, beauty rooms and a thermal spa.
“Setting a new standard of luxury for business and leisure guests in the city, the first phase of the hotel will have 229 en-suite rooms over-looking views of the city. The second phase, which will be once we are settled, will incorporate a total of 338 en-suite bedrooms.”
Garin is excited by the challenge of running what will eventually be the largest hotel in the Macdonald Hotel and Resort portfolio and brings with him a wealth of industry experience as the former general manager of the St Paul’s Hotel in Sheffield. He explains: “Manchester is a thriving destination and we are excited to be opening the city’s newest four star hotel. I firmly believe we are developing a hotel team that can meet, and exceed, the needs of all our clients.
“The success of a hotel depends on its people and we have customerfocused team that can deliver firstclass services to match the facilities we have here. I am confident we can quickly establish a strong profile for this development ahead of opening and be a real success in the future,” concludes Garin.