The shock retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson after 27 years in charge at Manchester United has seen an unexpected 30% surge in Manchester hotel bookings. Fans from across the country (there are apparently some who don’t live in Manchester.. who knew!) are flocking to the city to experience Fergie’s last home game in charge at Old Trafford on Sunday (May 12). Ticket prices for the game are being swapped for huge sums, however Red Devils fans hoping to catch sight of Sir Alex holding his last Premier League trophy can grab a glimpse of the most successful manager in history at the victory parade through the city’s streets on Monday evening.
“Our booking trends suggest that fans are seizing the last chance to see Sir Alex as Manchester United manager. Hotel booking values for the weekend of the 12th May also suggest loyal supporters are keen to honour Sir Alex’s managerial swan song with a memorable night’s stay.” – Mark Maddock, managing director at lastminute.com UK and Ireland
So for those fans in the red corner, looking for a last minute city break to celebrate with Rio, Rooney and RVP and say farewell to Fergie; here are our five favourite picks to to help you stay close to all the football action during this historic weekend. And don’t worry, you won’t have to travel to Old Trafford to experience the famous Fergie hair-dryer treatment – all the hotels provide the necessary equipment in the rooms!
Hotels within striking distance of the Theatre of Dreams
The Midland Hotel (4*) – This beautiful landmark building in Manchester has hosted many a celeb throughout the years, from Rolls & Royce – yep, the very same, in fact this is the place where the deal was signed to create the famous car company, to Posh n Becks, George Best, Mike Tyson and many politicians over the years. It has a fabulous eight sided bar in ‘Moorish’ style called the Octagon and the newly refurbished ‘The French’ restaurant hosted by Michelin-starred chef Simon Rogan. There’s also a basement leisure centre and spa treatments on offer too. The hotel is near to Chinatown, The Palace Theatre and Manchester Opera House if you are after a bit of culture. However if is all about the football, then there is a tramline to Old Trafford located in St Peter’s Square, just one minute from the hotel, with the journey taking about ten minutes.
Renaissance Manchester City Centre (4*) – Standing on Deansgate, one of Manchester city centre’s busiest thoroughfares for bars, restaurants and shopping, the Renaissance used to be the tallest hotel in the city centre. Close to Harvey Nichols and Selfridges for stylish city centre shopping as well as Urbis, where the National Football Museum is housed.
Hilton Manchester Deansgate (4*) – Part hotel, part apartments, Hilton Deansgate is located in Beetham Tower on the first 22 floors with the iconic Cloud Bar located on the 23rd floor with enviable views across Manchester. You can see the Peak District and Cheshire Plains to the south and west and the stunning Pennines and Moors to the north and east. The Executive rooms afford you a private lounge access with complimentary snacks & drinks throughout the day as well as somewhere peaceful to read or enjoy the view without having to stay in your room! There is a wellness centre with pool and spa and a gym for the adventurous. Close by to Castlefield and the Deansgate Locks with its bars and restaurants, this hotel is about a ten minute drive or tram ride from Old Trafford.
Mercure Manchester Piccadilly (3*) – Overlooking Piccadilly Gardens in the city centre Mercure has benefited from a massive renovation in the past year or so and is a 3 star hotel wearing 4 star clothes. Probably the only hotel in the city where you can see the Etihad Stadium on one side and Old Trafford on the other if you’re located on one of the higher floors. A great bar and restaurant with exclusive views across the comings and goings of Manchester Piccadilly and the city centre at night. You couldn’t be better placed for the bars and restaurants of Piccadilly and Chinatown, the trendy Northern Quarter or clubs in the Gay Village. A five minute walk from Manchester’s main Piccadilly train station, there are plenty of buses or trams out to Old Trafford, a journey that won’t be any more than 20 minutes in good traffic.
Blue Rainbow Aparthotel Manchester Central (5*) – Manchester’s Premium Aparthotels are located in a quiet area of the city centre but close to everything you’ll need. These fully equipped apartments have modern kitchens & bathrooms, stylish living areas complete with flat screen TVs, on demand movies and iPod docking stations and secure underground parking making them a true home from home experience for a night or several weeks. A two minute walk from Castlefield and the Deansgate Locks for bars, restaurants and the Comedy Store. Shopping along Deansgate is a 10 minute stroll and the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) is on the doorstep, great for kids and adults alike! Old Trafford is ten minutes away via tram or bus.