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Friday 9 September 2011

Sluttery Travels, The Malmaison and Smoak Bar & Grill, Manchester

I was very excited, to say the least, at the prospect of having a nice relaxing night away reviewing a lovely hotel, especially as I had to forego any form of holiday this summer due to moving house. Although I must confess that my excitement did slightly wane when I discovered that my mystery location was slap bang in Manchester city centre, little more than a hop, skip or jump from the train station, as I couldn't help but ponder how peaceful and relaxing my stay.

I really couldn't have been more wrong. The Malmaison Manchester was a haven of peace and luxury amid the chaos of a busy, vibrant city centre. The hotel has recently been refurbished and is also now the proud home to the Smoak Bar and Grill, more of which later. I was staying in one of the executive rooms in the new part of the hotel building, which despite overlooking the busy streets of Manchester was completely and perfectly quiet. The room was extremely spacious and came with all the mod cons, including a flat screen television, an ipod dock, wifi connection and a range of positively delicious toiletries, that guests are actively encouraged to take home, in the most amazing bathroom I have ever seen.

I also got to have a peek a couple of the rather stunning suites. If you or your fella are footie fan then, depending on allegiances, you may fancy a night in one of the two Manchester Suites, the True Blue or The Best, which pay homage to the city's two football teams. And all you film fans out there will no doubt jump at the chance to spend a night in one of the Cinema Suites which come complete with a luxury lounge area equipped with a huge projection screen.

If I was returning the ultimate night of luxury would have to be in the Moulin Rouge Suite. In large part so I could take a dip in its wonderful bath tub, which is so deep that it takes 45 minutes to fill and comes with its very own life raft ring, but also so I could tell people I have shared a bed with Kylie Minogue who was the first ever guest to stay in it.

Having settled in our room we headed down to the Smoak Bar and Grill, which is open to everyone and not just hotel guests, to indulge in a few cocktails. We got to chat to the infamous Mister East, mixologist extraordinaire, who has created a rather impressive and tasty cocktail menu. We tried the signature Smoak Stack, a delicious blend of bourbon pear juice and caramel liqeur infused with smoke from apple wood chips and served in a mason jar. Even my travel companion who is known for their dislike of bourbon was massively impressed.

We decided to move into the restaurant to eat, although it is possible to eat at the bar, in fact it has been specially designed to be the perfect height to eat comfortable. To say we were just as impressed with our dinner would be an understatement. The jumbo shrimp cocktail was delicious and the steak was just divine. We managed to sneak some dessert in, the cheesecake was particularly enjoyable, but only just. You can take a look at the full menu online if you want to plan you meal in advance, but be warned, there will be drooling.

The hotel also boasts a wonderful little spa in the basement, which really is a little haven of peace and solitude. Guests can make full use of the gym and sauna completely free of charge, as well as booking a whole range of treatments. If you are in desperate need of a pampering be sure to take full advantage of this hidden gem.

All in all, if you fancy a city break in a fun and vibrant city, I would heartily recommend the Manchester Mal. What are you waiting for? Manchester is ace!

Room rates start at £160 for a standard double. Full details and special offers are available from the Manchester Mal website.


  1. It does look nice, but, is it wrong that when I browsed their website I came across "Truly indugle yourself with Love Suite Love" and couldn't stop giggling? I'm now wondering how I could indugle myself, and if it's a necessary part of the Love Suite experience.

  2. All the incredibly sexist imagery and hints at people having affairs that they have everywhere in the rooms puts me right off.
    Shame as the hotels are pretty nice but seriously, they need to cut back on all the 'nudge, nudge, wink, wink' puns and naff 'wordplay'.


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