2020 – the year travel writers will remember forever as possibly the worst year of all time. From travelling on a monthly or even weekly basis, to fabulous places and faraway shores, to being stuck at home in a cycle of fridge to couch and back again.
Of course it has been the same for everybody, with all of our travel plans on hold for the most part of the year, so when restrictions began to ease and the world began to re awaken, so did our desire to escape our comfortable cells and head for a break from the rut we have fallen into.
With that said, I was more than delighted to escape to Manchester city centre for a city break with a difference. Cue Native Manchester, a stunning Grade II listed building on Ducie Street, in the heart of this vibrant city.
I have stayed in various aparthotels, and none resemble anything like Native. For a start, on arrival, I trundled past a bakery/doughnut store – in all honestly, after the last six months, the last thing I need is a doughnut, but for those of us who haven’t enjoyed such a close relationship with the fridge over the lockdown period, these bad boys looked mighty inviting.
The accommodation at Native Manchester is very well appointed and there are various offerings depending on requirements, from a studio to one or two bedroom apartments, loft suites and of course a luxurious penthouse – all tastefully contemporary with a peppering of industrial. Our Premium one bedroom apartment comprised of an opulent bedroom, sumptuous bathroom with a power shower sent straight from the Gods and an open plan kitchen/dining/lounge with city views. The attention to detail at Native makes for a more luxury hotel feel than an aparthotel, with the added benefit of having extra space and on hand facilities if you fancy being self sufficient.
Speaking of which, and I can’t believe I’m saying this – we neglected to pack the wine! What a relief to find that the newest addition to Native’s food and drink offering is a beautiful, bluette tiled deli counter serving hot and cold food, takeaway coffees and a wide selection of drinks including beers, wines and canned cocktails. This really does set the place apart from the depressing selection of vending and vile coffee machines on offer in competitor locations. I’m impressed. Scooting upstairs with my bag of goodies, my guest was similarly impressed as we cranked up MTV on our large flatscreen and wallowed in the enjoyment of just not being at home.
The Lounge at Native is a huge central space offering an informal food and drink service, another luxury many other apart hotels fail to offer and which adds to the whole casual luxury hotel feel – I love it. If I want to cook a pizza and slob around my fabulous room in a onesie with a Pornstar Martini, I can, alternatively, get my glad rags on and hit the bar before heading out to enjoy one of my favourite cities. I’ll leave you to guess what my guest and I actually ended up doing….
After a cracking night’s sleep, we were treated to breakfast in the Lounge, choosing from rather New York style menu – I opted for steak and eggs with a Chimichurri dressing, well when in Rome, across the table my pal went more traditional with a full English. Both dishes were very well presented and tasted delicious – the perfect end to a pretty good break, I couldn’t have broken lockdown with a more stylish weekender……pack your bags, don’t worry about the wine, and get yourself to Ducie Street, tell them I sent you….
Oh sorry – I neglected to let you know, there is also a fully equipped gym – You might have already guessed that I never made it there….so I’ll pop the info below 😉
Offering a range of 25 classes across three beautifully designed studios, BLOK delivers a world class fitness experience. Taking a multi-disciplined approach to cross training, classes are available for those looking to improve fitness levels, find their passion for something new, or develop their skills to the next level. Take part in motivational classes from Manchester’s finest fitness instructors; from Barre and Yoga to Boxing and Circuit Training.