Choosing a hotel comes down to something extremely simple. All you have to do is ask yourself what you want from your stay.
Do I want a base? Somewhere to rest my head after a heavy night on the town? Or perhaps you are looking for somewhere to treat yourself entirely…
If the latter is what you are looking for, then you should look no further than Dakota. Sure, it might be a bit of a strange experience forking out for a hotel in the place you call home, but let me tell you, it is certainly a treat and a fantastic way to see Manchester from a completely different angle.
Dakota doesn’t feel like Manchester – and I mean that in the most positive way possible. Strolling up to the beautiful, purpose-built hotel it feels like something that would perhaps be more at home in New York City which is certainly novel when you are used to red brick factory buildings and grey skies.
The dark, cosy and effortlessly chic interior extends this further. Dakota Manchester is low lit and full of comfortable corners where you can hide away flanked by a large restaurant, impressive bar, private Champagne room and Cigar Garden which wouldn’t be out of place in some elegant villa in Cannes.
Still don’t believe me? Well head out onto their other beautiful terrace for a margarita before dinner overlooking the canal which somehow seems the most peaceful and serene it has ever looked. If you’re lucky you’ll get a splash of sunshine while you are there, and that will really make you feel like you are somewhere much chicer than rainy old Manchester.
I’ve got to say I was equally impressed with the hotel room itself. A vision in multiple shades of grey with an enormous king size bed, smart TV, impressive selection of mirrors (which made my makeup application one of the most enjoyable aspects of my evening) and large bathroom complete with bath and incredible rain shower that was rather difficult to get out of in the morning.
I feel like a discussion about the bed in its own right is certainly viable. First off it was gargantuan and just the right size for two people to sleep comfortably without touching so much as a toe.
The sheets were fresh and crisp whilst providing the soft comfort one needs to start a journey into the deepest of sleeps. If you take one thing away from this review it would be that the beds at Dakota are like clouds made from cotton wool and kitten fluff – and you will sleep like a baby guaranteed.
That NYC vibe certainly continued into the bedrooms with the stylish black slated blinds which teased a fantastic view overlooking Manchester. Again, it felt somehow new and exciting as Ducie Street is a fantastic spot close to Piccadilly train station and the buzzing NQ with its wonderful array of bars, restaurants and late night venues.
Nonetheless, staying onsite isn’t a bad idea either. With a stunning bar stocked with every bottle any mixologist could possibly dream of and a wonderful on-site grill* offering steaks and brasserie-style classics a night a Dakota is a one-stop shop that satisfies your every want and whim.
After a glorious night’s sleep and a long, steamy stint in that terrific rain shower of theirs, I went down for a bit of breakfast. From their impressive array of continental delights, my bleary eyes were quickly wiped away by fresh coffee, pastries and fruit which was a display only slightly less attractive than the fish bar at their launch party last month.
There was also a menu of slightly more substantial starts to your morning including Kedgeree (a favourite of mine) as well as scrambled duck eggs with delightful smoked salmon. The service was attentive, as it was my entire stay, and it rounded off my little 12 hour holiday with Dakota nicely.
All in all, a night at Dakota is a real luxury, but it is one every Mancunian should consider at least once. It would make a wonderful gift to get away from it all and every aspect of the experience from check in, to laying your head down for the night to tucking into that fantastic breakfast was nothing less than sublime.
From start to finish, my stay at Dakota was comfortable, sophisticated and supported by a terrific team of staff and I strongly recommend a stay when you next have something to celebrate (or even when you don’t!)
*Originally I was going to write about my experience in the Dakota Grill within the same review, but I enjoyed it so much that I thought it deserved a dedicated review. Watch this space.
Dakota, 29 Ducie St, Manchester M1 2JL
0161 674 9180