Sir Rocco Forte is one of the most famous names in the business, and he is still offering memorable and luxurious experiences for guests at his collection of 13 hotels, 12 city based and one golf and spa resort in Sicily.
The Lowry Hotel in Manchester is an award winning five star Rocco Forte hotel on the banks of the River Irwell, located in the recently developed Chapel Wharf, a buzzing area on the boundary of Salford and Manchester. A short walk across Trinity Bridge takes you into the main shopping and entertainment centre of Manchester, so the location cannot be faulted.
The hotel itself delivers what Forte calls ‘The Art of Simple Luxury, a definition based on comfort elegance and practicality’. The reception is large and airy, the staff friendly. Check in was simple enough and we were soon on our way to the 4th floor. Our bedroom was large and well appointed, with a flat screen TV, iPod dock, walk in wardrobe and floor to ceiling views of the city. Being so close to the action it was difficult to know where to start, so we decided to get something to eat. The hotel’s River Bar and Restaurant looked appealing, and with a 3 course Sunday lunch being served between noon and 3pm we were just in time. At a not unreasonable £19.50 per person for 3 courses, the Sunday lunch was proving popular so the atmosphere was quite lively – and the food is fantastic.
After we had been offered bread and the wine list, we chose our starter and main course from the seasonal menu. I had the ham hock terrine with piccalilli and sour dough. Faye had smoked salmon with egg mayonnaise, and dill rolled and cured salmon. There was also a wild mushroom risotto and a soup available to choose from. To follow I went for the slow roasted belly of pork with black pudding, Faye the roast rib of Cheshire beef with Yorkshire pudding and horseradish cream. There was also monkfish available or vegetable pave’.
The food was all fresh and well presented, and went down well with a lovely bottle of rose which was recommended by our friendly waiter, who ensured that our glasses were topped up throughout the meal. To finish Faye had the tiramisu and I had creme brulee. Again there was a choice of four, the other two options being baked brie with amaretto, or apple beignets.
Once full up it was time to check out the spa facilities. There is a comprehensive list of treatments available, all which include use of the gym, relaxation rooms, sauna and complimentary refreshments. I decided to have a massage which was an hour of pure bliss. I felt like I was floating on air for the next hour or so, but there was no time to waste, we hit the town to sample the delights of Manchester. All too soon it was time to retire and wallow in the luxury of our room until morning.
So if you are thinking of hitting the sales or after an unforgettable New Year break, check out the Lowry Hotel, you will not be disappointed.
Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
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