Aparthotels are seemingly everywhere these days, but few can rival the rather splendid CitySuites II in terms of what’s on offer. Ideally located in central Manchester just a few minutes away from Victoria station on foot, guests can choose from a range of luxurious apartments, super suites and no less than five exceptional blow-the-budget penthouses.
Add to this the stylish Embankment Restaurant, a gym and a sublime indoor pool and spa, it’s no wonder I barely left the complex during my stay. In a world where a basic hotel room with a tiny kitchen tacked onto it can be called an aparthotel, this place raises the game.
Check-in was fast, friendly and hassle free and within minutes I was marveling at my rather nifty apartment on the 8th floor.
The open-plan living space comes complete with sleek and modern fully-fitted kitchen, dining table, sofa and TV – care has been taken to ensure you’re not without your home comforts. There’s also a Nespresso coffee machine and full-sized fridge freezer to keep your drinks on ice.
The contemporary bathroom includes generously sized toiletries from The White Company to keep you smelling swish and plenty of fluffy white towels. The bedroom is wonderfully cosy, complete with super-comfy Mattison bed, desk, floor-to-ceiling windows and plenty of wardrobe space.
In short, it’s a brilliant space whether you’re having a romantic weekend or need a home away from home whilst on business. If you’re celebrating a special occasion or have money to burn, then you might want to upgrade to a more luxurious supersuite complete with panoramic views, or a jaw-dropping penthouse if you’re really showing off.
There’s also a trendy gym complete with moody lighting and all the equipment you need for a good workout (I’ll be honest – I didn’t use it). It’s also worth mentioning that CitySuites II offers brilliant value for money, with studio apartments for two starting at just £120.
If you can manage to tear yourself away from your apartment, then we recommend dinner in the aparthotel’s Embankment Kitchen Restaurant, located on the ground floor of the original CitySuites next door. Serving up a tempting selection of globally-inspired starters and mains and a grill menu, there’s something to suit all palates here.
The Salt and Pepper Squid with homemade garlic aioli was tender and flavoursome, and the Tempura King Prawns were deliciously crisp and moreish, served with sesame pickled cucumber and a cooling tandoori yoghurt.
We loved our mains too. The Slow Cooked Beef Short Rib melted like butter in my mouth and came in a red wine, baby onion, mushroom and pancetta sauce and rich and creamy mash.
The dish of the night, however, had to be the succulent and perfectly pink Pan-Fried Duck Breast, served with braised red cabbage, fondant potato, sauteed broccoli and red wine jus. Glorious. The duck went down well with the rather quaffable Rioja Crianza, Ramón Bilbao.
We ended the meal with an impressive round of Old Fashioned cocktails before heading out into the city to explore the bars. One thing I really like about Manchester is its constant reinvention, with something new to discover upon each and every visit.
After such a late night, we skipped breakfast, but it’s worth noting this is served in Embankment Kitchen and includes an array of cooked-to-order dishes. After a pick-me-up Nespresso, we headed down to the 18m pool and spa, which is an incredibly beautiful and serene space.
My only regret is that I didn’t spend enough time unwinding in the jacuzzi and steam room, which were just what the doctor ordered after overindulging the night before.
CitySuites II makes for an excellent base when staying in Manchester with a wealth of facilities that put it head and shoulders above rival aparthotels and similarly priced hotels. The excellent pool and spa area is a real treat, the apartments are faultless and the service is slick.
A one-night stay at CitySuites II costs from £120 for two sharing a Studio Apartment. To book, visit https://www.citysuites.com/en/citysuites-2/