The ideal transport in which to arrive at The Lowry is a Ferrari or a glossy black 4x4. The ideal guest is, or is accompanied by, a 19-year old girl with very long blonde hair, a microscopic black dress and skyscraper heels. You should have a taste for that ultra-modern style of furniture that always looks a size larger than strictly necessary and specialises in chairs designed not to be sat on but looked at. It is the kind of hotel you imagine that footballers might head for, planning their next News-of-the-World-style three-in-a-bed cocaine-fuelled sex romp. If they do, however, they may be put off their stroke to discover, on their enormous and inviting bed, a free copy of The Catholic Herald and an unctuous letter from the hotel proprietor, Sir Rocco Forte, urging them to take out a cut-price subscription to the newspaper – a must-read for any passing Cardinal - and spicing the deal with the offer of a free book by the Pope. I am not making this up.
However, underneath the many wonderful absurdities of The Lowry is a very well run hotel. The staff are helpful, friendly and well-trained. My wife, arriving tired and harassed to check in after a business trip, found her bags whisked away from her taxi and delivered magically to our room. We ate in the café/bar and, having explained that we were running late for a theatre-date, were served with exemplary speed (and the food was fine too – and the wine excellent). Room service was speedy and thoughtful. Our fifth-floor room was spacious, perfectly prepared, very well-equipped (even a spare computer keyboard should we have needed it) and quiet. The bathroom was spot on. The location is great too – within easy walking distance of the main Manchester downtown shopping area – across a rather beautiful new footbridge spanning the River Irwell. Our only complaints were a loose support arm for the shaving mirror – and the third-rate pastiches of paintings by L S Lowry (a second rate artist at the best of times) that infest the hotel. But really, those are quite trivial moans.
None of this comes cheap. Our room was £180 (and that was an offer price). Breakfast (excellent) was a minimum of £27 extra for the two of us. Our quick bar snack cost well over £40. You scatter quite a lot of money in tips.
But if you want the full-on, high-gloss, new-money, uber-smart Manchester experience, then The Lowry is the place.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Manchester's most fashionable hotel, the award-winning Lowry Hotel is ideally situated on the banks of the River Irwell in the recently-developed Chapel Wharf area on the Salford-Manchester boundary. The first five-star hotel in Greater Manchester, The Lowry Hotel makes a bold contemporary architectural statement with its dramatic, curved, glass-fronted façade that creates a light and airy feel within the hotel interior. ... more less
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