An exciting new hotel has opened up in Manchester and it’s been done slightly under the radar. Relying on word of mouth and a beautiful Instagram feed, Locke hotels have opened their flagship in the heart of Manchester to sit alongside the already successful Edinburgh and London sites.
Designed by Grzywinski+Pons, this 160 room apart-hotel is completely reinventing the notion of what a hotel should be. Focusing on design at the forefront with the city as the backdrop, Whitworth Locke is entered through the bar. You are immediately greeted with a social space rather than a reception desk, allowing you to feel more relaxed and at home instantly. There are co working spaces, a Foundation coffee shop and plans for a nightclub in the future to mix city and hotel residents together.
Manchester is at the heart of this design, from the nods to the red brick buildings in the terracotta tiles to the yellow bar which is a subtle tribute to the worker bee.
Each room has been designed around the building which as an Interior Architecture alumni really appealed to me. The space fits round the existing bricks and mortar so if a column has to run through the middle of the room, so be it.
Unlike most hotels, Whitworth Locke is focused around apart-hotel living with every room having a kitchen and living space, appealing to people who work away all week and would like some home comforts instead of a naff hotel restaurant serving microwave curries and burgers. What I wouldn’t have given for a place like this in my days as an Area Visual Merchandiser and all those store openings I worked on. After one week of living in a hotel, all you want is some home cooked food and a salad!
The muted colour palettes run throughout the hotel, highlighting calmness and peacefulness which is also important in the hotel world - a good nights sleep is essential.
I love the soft pinks used on all the walls and ceilings. By painting everything one colour you really start to notice the imperfections which is exactly what Grzywinski+Pons want you to do. They want you to look at the wonky beams, the odd nail and the uneven textures as it all lends itself to the Manchester “theme”. You can feel the history and the stories, something else existed before and that, to me, is fabulously romantic!
A sign of a good design is where everything has been thought about, from the level of the curtains framing the windows to the placement of the remote control when you walk through the door. Every inch of this hotel appeals to me and it is so fresh to see this open up in Manchester competing with the design hub cities such as London, Paris and Amsterdam.
The sense of community is also at the heart of Whitworth Locke and every part of the hotel is open to the public. They actively encourage local residents to use the co working spaces, pop in for a coffee or a bottomless prosecco night in the Conservatory, or come join a yoga class in the gym.
If you haven’t already visited Whitworth Locke then I highly recommend it, even if it’s only for the Ecuadorian hot chocolate from Foundation which is my all time favourite drink (after espresso martinis of course!)
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