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The Grand Hotels of Manchester (Secrets of the Midland)

Next tour: Wednesday 17 July 2019, 2pm.
Meet by the Britannia Hotel, Portland Street.
Forget lastminute.com, please press here to book with eventbrite.
End 
with cream tea at the Radisson or Midland or Great John Street…optional.
This tour is ideal for private groups!

“It’s candlelight and chandelier/It’s silver plate and crystal clear/The nights we stay at hotel grand.”

Next tour: Wednesday 17 July 2019, 2pm.
Meet by the Britannia Hotel, Portland Street.
Forget lastminute.com, please press here to book with eventbrite.
End 
with cream tea at the Radisson or Midland or Great John Street…optional.
This tour is ideal for private groups!

**STOP PRESS**

Rolls and Royce did NOT meet at the Midland Hotel. If any tour guide tells you they did, they’ve not done their research properly. The cliched claim, visible on two plaques at the front of the hotel, comes from a throwaway remark that has been handed down through the generations till by wishful thinking it became “fact”.

No one challenged this canard until New Manchester Walks’s Ed Glinert (the tour guide and author who, incidentally, solved the Jack the Ripper mystery) did a bit of simple research, at which point the whole edifice tumbled down. for some reason the Midland Hotel aren’t happy to hear this. Tough! They’re going to have to comply some time, as transport groups, historical societies and even Rolls Royce themselves come to accept our findings.

Yes, we at New Manchester Walks like to tell you the accurate story, not the easy one. But don’t let that put you off your tea. Book onto our tour and then book afternoon tea at the Midland or Radisson.

Now, back to the tour. We go to most of these:
* The Midland where Rolls didn’t meet Royce!
* There’s the Britannia, once the city’s plushest cotton showroom.
* The Portland with its gorgeous Italianate architecture.
* The Mercure, which many still call by its original name, the Piccadilly, setting for that infamous Kray twins meeting.
* The long-gone Queen’s where the suffragettes met the prime minister, who refused to bow to their requests to give women the vote.
* The weirdly-named Doubletree by Hilton, so smart that it was okay for a few nights for Nick Clegg (who?)
* The Grand, of course, where in 1904 the FA quizzed players and officials from Manchester City about making illegal payments.
* The sumptuous Principal (the Palace in English) with its sublime terracotta effects.
and, of course,
* The 5-star Radisson built out of Manchester’s greatest building, the Free Trade Hall.

• We better hurry before we get stung for room service at each!

Midland Hotel

More hotely stuff
Once there was only the Midland. There was nowhere else grand to stay in Manchester; well apart from the Grand. Now there’s the Britannia, the Palace, the Great John Street Boutique Hotel, the Radisson, the Hilton and the Lowry. Five star and four star; penthouse and pavement; suites laden with stars, express lifts, chic restaurants, banqueting rooms and conference centres. Afternoon tea perhaps a necessary extra.

Some of the grand hotels of Manchester have had an earlier use or even a later use. The Grand itself was a cotton warehouse. It is now an apartment block. The Britannia was the grandest Victorian cotton showroom. The Palace was the Refuge Assurance building, the most exquisite office block in the city.

The Great John Street Boutique Hotel used to be a drinking den for the stars of Coronation  Street. The Radisson was the Free Trade Hall, the most important building in Manchester history, erected to commemorate how the city became rich. The Hilton and Lowry are those rarities, new builds created as grand hotels.

We will stop for a nod at the concierge at each, hear a tale or two of fine living and VIP visitations, and then move quickly to the next before we get charged for room service. Should you ever been in need of laying down your head for the night in Manchester in the finest surroundings at least you’ll be spoilt for choice.