Having undergone a breath taking metamorphosis from its former life as a bank, the stunning luxury 5 star Hotel Gotham, located on Manchester’s King Street, has finally opened its doors following a comprehensive restoration and conversion project.
Edwin Lutyens designed the city landmark building in 1928, with engineers Whinney, Son and Austen Hall finishing construction in 1935. The neoclassical style building features ingenious calculations from Lutyens, with the top stage being two-thirds the size of the middle stage, which is in turn two-thirds the size of the base section.
By the time he designed the bank, Lutyens was in his fifties and already ‘The Grand Old Man man of British architecture.’
Referenced in Pevsner’s Architectural Guide, the property features a brilliant white, fossil festooned, Portland Stone facade. In terms of majesty allied with grace, it is one of the top five commercial buildings ever built in Manchester.
The building features carvings by local sculptor John Ashton Floyd, and was dubbed the ‘King of King Street’ due to its grandeur, size and castle-like design.
The Grade II-listed building operated as a bank after it opened in 1935, until HSBC vacated it in 2008. The ground and basement are now home to a Jamie Oliver Italian restaurant, with the hotel occupying the seven floors above.
With its name inspired by the district of Manhattan, within the great city of New York, the spectacular hotel opened on 7th April 2015 as part of the Bespoke Hotels group, who promised to make it ‘a fun and witty destination, as well as a little bit naughty.’
As befits its seriously stylish status, the hotel is surrounded by Manchester’s most upmarket shopping district, with boutiques such as Hermès, Whistles, Emporio Armani, Agent Provocateur, Mulberry, Thomas Pink, Reiss and Crombie all just a stone’s throw away.
The hotel incorporates 60 bedrooms, a restaurant, a roof-top bar and private member’s club.
The architecture of the building provided natural inspiration for the nostalgic yet decadent design by Oliver Redfern of Squid-Inc, who states that: “We wanted to pay tribute to a major building designed by one of the greatest British architects, whilst injecting a distinct fresh personality. We hope our guests will have as much fun at Hotel Gotham as we have had in creating it.”
The project was developed in collaboration with Marshall CDP, who also own the building. It was completed on schedule and within budget ahead of its formal opening.
The layout of the bedrooms themselves features wonderful travel trunk-style cocktail cabinets and wardrobes. Burnished metals teamed with dark polished woods and luxurious leather are coupled with feminine notes of plum and raspberry; while soft velvet and faux fur is used liberally. Subtle nods are made to the banking past with moneybag style laundry bags and ingot toiletry displays.
Each of the hotel’s seven floors boasts wonderful views across Manchester, with the reception and restaurant on the 6th floor, below the striking club bar on the 7th.
The hotel includes four inner sanctum suites to be found at the core of each floor and featuring leather clad walls. These suites, priced at £1,000, have no natural light and instead have a dramatic “wonderwall” – a giant video screen which will have a video of Manchester re-imagined as a 1930s Manhattan-esque cityscape playing on guests’ arrival.
Each room has luxurious details, such as classic crystal goblets for drinks, and the option to buy a “hangover kit” or for those feeling a little cheeky, an “intimacy kit!”
The suites will also have private ‘indoor gardens’ which are based on a separate, exotic theme.
Internal restoration of the building includes the reincarnation of the main staircase, complete with brass handrail and balustrades, as well as mouldings and terrazzo flooring. While the original windows are fantastic features in the bedrooms, as well as the restaurant and bar.
The Art Deco influence can be seen in the striking bespoke geometric carpets running throughout the corridors and bedrooms. Beautifully rich wall finishes of metal, wood, leather and ceramics are used extensively and provide a richness and decadence that evoke emotions and moods of the past.
Upon arrival, guests are invited to book a time for the Martini trolley to visit their room for a pre-dinner cocktail, before proceeding upstairs to the Honey Restaurant, which serves a modern twist on brasserie classics. Menus and cocktails reflect the art deco heritage, featuring local suppliers and tastes such as Beetroot Gravadlax, Lamb Hotpot, Coq au Vin, Manchester Tart, Warm Rhubarb and Pistachio Bakewell, Gotham Kirsch cake, Lancashire cheese and Cheshire ham.
The restaurant’s unique serving counters are based on period filing cabinets consisting of zinc, wood and marble and finished with beautifully crafted brass bank vault mesh. The half-moon windows provide fascinating views across Manchester and the reflection on the building’s past is continued with Bowler hat displays, green glass wall lamps and 1900’s banker-style chairs.
Club Brass, another nod to the building’s financial servicing past, is an exclusive rooftop retreat for VIPS and has three outdoor terraces where guests will be able to sip their cocktails while watching the sunset.
Beautifully clad geometric tin tiled walls provide the perfect backdrop to the sleek leather booths and cut-glass decanter lights, while bespoke recycled timber coffee tables and industrial style high tables continue the richness of both materials and showcase the skill of the British craftsman who made them.
Reached via an illuminated steel and brass staircase inspired by bank vaults of old, and accessed through ‘safe’ style doors, the club sits within the original lightwell space – still with its original glazed tiles and feature antique-leather satchel pendant lights.
The menu offers all day dining and includes ‘Lady Connie Crumpsall’s favourite,’ British Exmoor, Cornish salted caviar, Oyster Po Boy and a ‘Brass’ seafood platter. Cocktails, liqueurs and spirits are created exclusively by Sipsmith Independent Spirits.
Jeff Ward, General Manager and Managing Director of the hotel said: “After two years of anticipation for Hotel Gotham, we are excited to open. The hotel heralds a new beginning for this fabulous building, where the service and special attention to detail will make your stay a memorable experience.”
Bespoke Hotels chairman Robin Sheppard described the operation of the hotel, saying that after being greeted by bellboys and entering a lift off the street, guests go directly to the top floor reception, bar and open terrace area with panoramic views of the city. To access the bedrooms they’ll go back down to other levels of the building.
He explained that the company has aimed to create a high-end boutique hotel, which matches The Lowry Hotel, for example, in terms of luxury, with lots of colour, belying an easy-going and accessible glamour. The restaurant, for instance, serves high quality food, yet strikes a careful balance as neither too cold nor too formal.
He believes the combination of the property and the stylised interior are ideal concepts to attract high levels of custom.
He says: “We think there is definitely a gap in the market for an upmarket hotel and venue and this wonderful Lutyens building provides the perfect backdrop.
“We have chosen to call it Gotham because it is such a magnificent building which very much reminds us of New York and the sweeping architectural style.”
“It is exactly 80 years since the building first started life as a bank at the top of King Street.”
Only guests with a reservation at the hotel, restaurant or bar will be allowed inside, as part of the hotel’s ethos is to provide a discrete and private experience for all of its clients, including both the city’s resident and visiting VIPs and celebrity crowds.
Simon Marshall, of Marshall CDP, said: “Hotel Gotham is a unique scheme that has caused a stir on an international level. As the owner as well as the contractor for the Lutyens designed building, we worked closely with Bespoke Hotels as well as Manchester council and English Heritage to create a dramatic yet functional space for the hotel whilst sensitively considering the unique attributes of this iconic building.
“The hotel is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the neighbouring designer retailers and high end restaurants and with further investment planned and more new occupiers set to move in to the area in the coming months, King Street is one of Manchester’s most vibrant destinations.
“Coupled with the region’s boom in tourism and last year’s record levels of hotel occupancy, this is perfect time for Bespoke Hotels to expand its presence in the market with its stylish and novel offering.”
Hotel Gotham describes itself as follows: “Everything at Gotham, from the magnificent architecture to timeless décor, is designed to take the breath away. Many of the points of reference come from the rich history of the building. It was once a bank, so the ornate detailing, polished wooden counters and period architectural flourishes have been retained and enhanced. There are deep velvets, furs, leather and traditional metals.
“There is inspiration also, from the golden age of travel, for details such as vintage suitcases, buckled belts and hat boxes. The in-room leather-bound hospitality unit takes its cues from a classic 1930s travel trunk with finely stitched detailing and antique brass finishes. One side is a wardrobe, with hanging rail, shoe storage and a full length mirror, while the other side offers a series of compartments housing a minibar, coffee maker, glasses, and cocktail set.”
And with the emphasis on fun, the hotel adds: “Having ‘set the scene’ it was only natural to add a few characters. You’ll notice several around the building playing a part and adding to the personality of the place and the charm of the experience.
“So get to know the cast!
“Lord Salford – heir to the title, earldom, estate and fortune of Manchesterford. A dapper gentleman, Lord Cecil Salford can often be found entertaining in the Gotham bar of an evening. Whilst Lady Didsbury has him in mind as a potential suitor for her niece Lady Elsie Eccles, he puts fun and frivolity at the top of the list as he charms and entertains the ladies from the local dancehall.
“Lady Didsbury – Delores was brought to the North for her first season to find suitable nobility. The true extent of Delores Didsbury’s history is unknown except for her much-publicised marriage to her late husband Lord Donald Didsbury. Since his untimely demise in a Stockport Speakeasy, she has been linked to Mr Chorlton, the Hotel Gotham general manager.
“Lady Connie Crumpsall – Connie arrived in town and was immediately linked to ruinous scandal. Connie is the epitome of the roaring twenties. She catches the attention of young male aristocrats as she often emerges from the vaults at Hotel Gotham with bags of coins to spend on caviar and bubbles.
“Bellboy Barry – Barry left his native Bolton for the excitement of Hotel Gotham. Bellboy Barry dreams of a promotion to Concierge. This is when he isn’t travelling the world, drinking cocktails and looking for a nice young lady to settle down with.
“Mr Chorlton – Charlie Chorlton, the GM at Hotel Gotham. A dapper gentleman, Charlie Chorlton is a bit of a mystery. Rumour has it he is a descendant of the Duke of Middleton but ran away from boarding school to join the circus. He can often be seen dining with Lady Didsbury in Honey at Hotel Gotham.
“Tony Trafford – A waiter and ballroom dancer known for the ‘Trafford Tango’. Tony is Swiss-trained and has held the North West Waiter of the Year Award for three consecutive years. A keen ballroom dancer, he can often be seen in the corridors of Hotel Gotham combining short and long steps in various sequences whilst carrying a tray of tea.”
The new hotel has resulted in the creation of 100 new jobs, both full and part time.
Previously, Manchester had only one five star hotel, the Radisson Edwardian on Peter Street, while Salford also has one five star hotel with The Lowry Hotel on the banks of the River Irwell.
Located nationwide and internationally, the Bespoke Hotels portfolio includes business and conference hotels; family hotels; country hotels; luxury and romantic hotels; boutique hotels; golf hotels; spa hotels; hip and trendy hotels and wedding and honeymoon hotels.
In the UK, Bespoke Hotels can be found in the north east, north west, east midlands, west midlands, south east, south west, London, Wales and Scotland.
Some of the hotels feature destination bars, such as Rick’s and Tigerlily in Edinburgh, The Craigellachie Hotel on Speyside, The New Ellington in Leeds and Bermondsey Square in London, as well as several under the names of Hallmark and Staying Cool.
Worldwide, Bespoke Hotels can be found in: Thailand; Spain; Grenada; Switzerland; Jamaica; France; Italy; Australia; Denmark; Italy; Barbados; India: United States; Netherlands and Hungary.
Construction firm Marshalls was founded in 1901 when Christopher Hemmingway Marshall set up a thriving building company in Elland, West Yorkshire.
Now over a 100 years on and still based in Elland, the company is one of the most successful family owned companies in the North of England with a wide range of expertise in property and construction.
The group’s principal activities are commercial development and construction and they employ around 220 people working on everything from major urban regeneration schemes to fit-outs and refurbishments. They build operational facilities, distribution warehouses, retail parks, offices both in city centres and on business parks, residential property, city centre retail developments, hotels and leisure uses such as cinemas, bars and restaurants.
The group employs two full time health and safety managers, responsible for ensuring that the group standards either meet or are above the industry standard.
The group recognises the importance of its environmental responsibilities. The construction companies operate an ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. The group promotes an ethos of commitment to sustainability and promotes energy efficiency, recycles office waste and operates an environment friendly vehicle policy.
The St James Collection by Marflow
Established in 1968, Marflow Engineering Ltd is one of the UK’s leading designers and manufacturers of luxury bathroom brassware. The company’s products are specifically designed and presented for UK hotels and high end residential developments, with a selection of special finishes, distinctive handle styles and aesthetic options, including personalisation of all pottery and brassware.
Working on Hotel Gotham, Marflow Engineering Ltd supplied a range of brassware and pottery from its St James Collection, including wall mounted toilet pans with soft-closing seat, inset wash basins, a range of complementary accessories, and basin mixer taps with fine English porcelain levers. In addition, the company provided the hotel with concealed shower valves with overhead shower kit, including a luxurious 12″ shower head for a rainfall showering experience.
Paul Lowe, Commercial Manager of Marflow Engineering Ltd, said:
“British designed and engineered by Marflow Engineering, The St James Collection allows the creation of a co-ordinated and tailor-made traditional bathrooms right down to the finishing touches. The St James Collection is the most comprehensive range of handcrafted traditional bathroom taps, showers and accessories currently available.”
All the porcelain levers, basins and showers used at Hotel Gotham were supplied with bespoke Corporate branding depicting the Gotham Hotel livery. This is a service which Marflow Engineering can provide to all customers, to personalise pottery and brassware to suit clients’ requirements thus creating a theme throughout.
“The design elements of Hotel Gotham immediately lent themselves towards the St James Heligan pottery range. With its tight angles and open spaces, the design was easily complemented by the choice of basin mixers and showers finished with fine English porcelain lever handles, maintaining the angular theme throughout.
“It is important for the St James Collection to be associated with such a prestigious development, further showcasing the exuberance and quality of traditional style brassware in both a period and contemporary setting.”
A family owned and operated company, the Bell Group is the largest dedicated painting contractors in the country. The company operates from 26 different branches throughout the UK, which ensures the group has the resources in place to tackle a range of high profile projects, including Hotel Gotham.
Working on the prestigious hotel, Bell Group was responsible for delivering highly decorative finishes, with a particular focus on the provision of wide-vinyl and digital image wallpapers.
Discussing his involvement on Gotham Hotel, Bell Group Project Manager, Andy Bell, said:
“As project manager for Bell Group on this development I was responsible for attending weekly review meetings, managing our labour provision, the quality of finish and our interaction with other trades. In addition, I co-ordinated the production, delivery and application of many varied wall coverings and generally ensured the project was delivered on time.”
Bedrock Tiles specialise in supplying porcelain, ceramic, mosaic and natural stone tiles to both commercial and residential clients. Since their inception three and a half years ago Bedrock have worked for a plethora of high profile clients working on a number of well known projects.
Previous projects include National Football Museum in Manchester, Imagine Luxury Spa in Cambridge, Beorma Hotel in Birmingham, London’s County Marriott, as well as carrying out projects on behalf of Network Rail in Leeds and Rugby. The firm have also supplied to numerous commercial offices, universities and premises across the UK.
Bedrock Tiles have recently supplied Hotel Gotham with bathroom wall tiles, as well as products for the main restaurants walls and toilet facilities throughout the hotel. Peter Brown from Bedrock Tiles commented:
“I think this hotel is going to set a new standard in hospitality, it’s bringing the design that is current and also importantly will remain current in the future years. We’re proud to be a part of it and thank Oliver Redfern Design and Marshalls for the inclusion.
“We pride ourselves in being a market leader in sustainable tiles.”
Helen Moore Ltd
Helen Moore is a brand specialising in the production of top quality faux fur soft furnishing and accessories. Since the firm’s inception in 1982 the organisation has changed considerably and has focused on faux fur since 2006.
For many years Helen Moore has supplied high end stores, including Harrods, Liberty and Fortnum & Mason. In addition Helen Moore has worked in partnership with several designers on hotel projects including Hard Rock Café in Barcelona, The Nadler Soho Hotel, Base 2 Stay, Eccleston Square Hotel and D&D Hotels.
We caught up with Jane Vigurs, Executive Manager at Helen Moore, to find out more. She commented:
“Oliver Redfern was our link to working on the Hotel Gotham project where we supplied the faux fur throws to dress the beds. Working on this project has been significant, as designers are getting to know our brand and it shows we can be relied upon to deliver on time and manufacture high quality bespoke items. Projects like this underline our professionalism and hopefully will help to promote us in the industry.”
“We pride ourselves on our attention to detail, superb quality fabric and customer service. It’s important that we make everything ourselves here in the UK as it means we can offer flexibility and have proper control over the consistent quality of our products and service. All our products are cut by hand to avoid any chopped look on the fur, and hand finished with seams brushed out so that they are more or less invisible. It is this that sets us apart in the market.”
Silentnight Beds are the number one bed manufacturers in the UK with more people sleeping on a Silentnight mattress than any other brand. Silentnight produce exceptional products supported by unequalled customer service within the retail and hospitality industries.
The firm have been manufacturing mattresses since 1946, initially trading as a small mattress repair business before evolving into one of the most recognised bed brand in the UK.
The firm supply mattresses to a plethora of high profile clients including Hilton brands such as Double Tree and Waldorf, as well as being the preferred suppliers to Topland and Bespoke hotel groups.
Silentnight have supplied the mattresses and bed bases for Hotel Gotham and have built the mattresses to meet the standards of the luxury Gotham brand. Graham Carberry from Silentnight commented:
“We have worked closely with the design and project teams to create the perfect bed, as well as delivering these results to the exacting timescales required.
“When clients look for suppliers they need to be confident that they will deliver not only on the product and cost requirements, but also provide the service and flexibility to meet the changing needs of the developers as and when required. More importantly the involvement of the supplier should not stop when the project ends as future support is just as important as the initial contact. This is a why millions of customers turn to us.”
“We are very proud of the fact that when people sleep on a Silentnight bed they get a great night’s sleep and are reassured to know that we are here for them when needed.”
To see more – Please Click here – http://www.silentnight.co.uk/
Art In Offices
Art In Offices specialises in the provision of contemporary, affordable art, to the corporate and hospitality industry. Art In Offices provides a flexible service which allows companies to buy art (pre-existing or commissioned) for long term projects, as well as rent on a short-term, rotational basis.
Art In Offices have been in operation since February 2012 and within this time has worked with many leading companies, from Allianz Insurance Plc to Eskmuir and Deloitte. The company has previously commissioned a series of international landmark photographs for Aventicum Asset Management and has provided paintings for Tanfield’s law chambers in Holborn.
Working on Hotel Gotham, Art In Offices provided the hotel with some key sculptures. In the ground floor entrance lobby the company commissioned an artist-blacksmith to make an umbrella stand sculpture which reflects the internal workings of an old fashioned vault door, whilst upstairs on the 5th floor lobby Art In Offices commissioned a cardboard artist to make a lifelike version of a Barry the bell boy (overloaded with luggage). Meanwhile, on the hotel’s 6th floor Art In Offices created Gotham’s butler Tony Trafford, completely out of cardboard.
Discussing the important of the project, Art In Offices Director, Katie Henry, said:
“Providing sculpture for such a unique hotel has been exciting, as we have sourced and commissioned more unusual artworks than our normal repertoire. We usually source large paintings and photographs, often abstract or landscape, so it is great to have the opportunity to show off what Art In Offices can source – we can fulfil any brief through our extended family of artists and galleries.”
“Art In Offices prides itself on its customer service and the trusting relationships we build between us and our clients. We are committed to each client; working very closely to find an artwork and payment plan to suit exactly what they want.
“Clients aren’t obliged to pay for anything until we have found them exactly what they want. That is how sure we are that we can always find what our clients want.”
Style Matters are leading edge British furniture designers and manufacturers with experience in the high quality hospitality sector. Since their inception two decades ago the firm are proud to have worked with a range of renowned interior designers including Alexander Waterworth, Russell Sage Studio and Candy & Candy.
Recent projects they have worked on include Quaglino’s, M Restaurant and The South Kensington Club. Style Matters latest project at Hotel Gotham has seen a collection of bespoke furniture featured throughout the highly anticipated hotel including dark polished woods and soft velvets in the lobby and roof top bar.
Claire Fox from Style Matters commented:
“The project at Hotel Gotham was important for the team as the historical building is iconic with a high level of style and class – something which Style Matters pride themselves on. As we brought locally manufactured furniture to the project having our showroom and workshop situated in Cheshire was key.
“The high end boutique feel to the hotel exudes luxury and glamour which is reflected in the eclectic mix of furniture.”
“Whilst adjusting to current trends, Style Matters work alongside clients at every stage to ensure unique visions are met – form initial enquiry to final delivery or installation. Over the years we have grown the business by staying pure to these values.”