The Radisson Edwardian combines the history of the Old Free Trade Hall with modern cutting edge design of any world class five star hotel.
We arrived as a large wedding party was in the process of having photographs taken in the main entrance, as we tried to get our way past giddy wedding guests and oversized hats, a very helpful concerge stepped in and quickly showed us to reception.
Check-in was friendly, quick and professional, with the dinner reservation confirmed and information on the Spa given.
Stepping out of the lift on the 14th floor, the whole of Manchester welcomes you. The view of the Town Hall, Library, and Manchester wheel still manage to delight even on a wet and cold grey day.
As you cross onto the corridor you sink in to the thickness of the carpet, walking down to the Dillon Suite is like walking on clouds.
Our suite is at the very end of the corridor. As we enter the sitting room, the huge window brings in the Manchester skyline and provides an inspiring backdrop to the masculine and understated luxury of the room.
The greys, blues and wooden floor provide a subtle canvas for the huge brilliant pink orchid that sits proudly on the large wooden table. A plate of freshly prepared pineapple, gala melon, watermelon and strawberries is wrapped in cellophane and ribbon next to a welcome card from Collette Lynch the Guest Relations Manager. The half a bottle of red Rioja was perfect for warming us up whilst we took in the magnificent views of the city.
There is a quality two seater sofa with large glass coffee table on which sits the Daily Telegraph and FT, along with copies of Homes and Gardens, Wallpaper and Harpers Bizarre magazine. A book on the history of the Free Trade Hall is very interesting and is one of the many links to the intriguing history of the building.
A large cabinet houses a Bang and Olsen television, DVD player and music system with large speakers hanging from the ceiling around the room.
Through the door into the bedroom the view is continued with floor to ceiling windows. The glass headboard on the large bed is striking and warms the room with a feminine touch of elegance. Another Bang and Olsen television seems to know that we have entered this room as it magically switches itself onto the same channel as the sitting room.
A walk through the wardrobe area takes you to an oversized sink and to the bathroom. There is a separate door onto the corridor which is a little off-putting. Any over eager cleaner would be in the room seeing you in your birthday suit, along with any passing guests, before you have any chance to hide!
Molton Brown must be doing very well out of the Radisson. The large wall dispensers two over the bath, two next to the sink and two in the shower are overshadowed by the two sets of gift box style packs of travel essentials, dental and shaving kits.
Continuing the masculine theme, the bathroom is deep wood panelled with dark marble – a frosted glass door finishes this small but perfectly formed room. The large shower with six jets and a large rain style overhead shower is both invigorating and surprisingly simple to operate.
The Serenna spa is an oasis of calm in the industrial powerhouse that is Manchester. The relaxed and well designed reception made way to a small functional gym and the changing rooms. The pool area is simple and well designed, quality again being the byword.
Alto – Afternoon tea
After an exhausting sit in the Jacuzzi and visit to the steam room, we had worked up an appetite and with four hours until dinner thought we could just manage a spot of afternoon tea.
Alto is a light, airy well designed space which creates an ideal multi purpose room for breakfast service, lunch, snacks, just a coffee, a place to read a paper, or for VIP drinks receptions in the evening.
After a bit of a battle to get a menu, we ordered the works for two. A selection of triple decker sandwiches included; beef with red onion, tuna & mayonnaise, egg & rocket, smoked salmon, cheese & tomato and chicken. All exceptionally good, on fresh bread that didn’t taste like they had been made by the breakfast chef eight hours previously.
The scones were good with fantastic clotted cream – the jam slightly disappointed. A selection of cup cakes, fruit tartlets and cream horns finished off the feast.
Opus One – Bar
Opus bar is sexy, dark and sophisticated. It manages to have kept its unique mode since opening, the music works well in the bar creating a unique atmosphere enjoyed by both professional corporate customers and leisure guests. Whether this provides for a relaxed, formal or intimate dining experience in the restaurant is questionable.
An expert gin martini was produced by the barman and chilled glass of dry white wine. We sat in the colonnade area overlooking Peter Street whilst running an eye over the menu.
Dinner was like everything else we had experienced so far, high levels of menu knowledge, friendly waiting staff and professional service, supported by the high quality of the food.
The seasonal menu was coming to the very end of its season and was about to be changed. The produce was regional and used the best ingredients to produce both simple and complex dishes.
I enjoyed Cheshire cheese & asparagus soufflé, fillet of beef and warm bakewell tart with Amaretto ice cream, whilst my partner enjoyed the lobster and smoked cod ravioli, crispy skinned seabass and to finish a cheese board that Peter Papprill would be proud of.
Breakfast service is in Alto. We were quickly greeted and shown to our table near a window. Ben swiftly appeared with tea, toast and a smile as we went to the buffet.
If there is a hotel in Manchester that’s got breakfast nailed it is the Radisson Edwardian. A full buffet of both hot and cold is good quality, hot, constantly being toped up and managed by the kitchen. The fact that you can get in, get your food, enjoy it and out again quickly seems to keep the service moving.
All in all
Radisson Edwardian Manchester is a hotel with the tradition of the Free Trade Hall and the modern facilities of any five star hotel. The high level of training and staff pride in the hotel is evident in every department.
Located in the heart of the city centre, the hotel is both perfect for business travellers, shopping and theatre breaks. The Palace, Opera House and Bridgewater Hall are all only a couple of minutes walk away.
Who stays here?
Celebrities, footballers, business people and discerning leisure guests
Rack rates for deluxe bedrooms are £205 ex vat and breakfast with the four Penthouse suites available at £1,500 ex vat and breakfast.
Need to know:
Radisson Edwardian Hotel
Free Trade Hall, Peter Street, Manchester, M2 5GP
www.radissonedwardian.com/manchester Tel.0161 835 9929