My review of Kimpton Clocktower, Manchester

(08/2022 Update – just had a second stay here)

I was visiting Manchester again, and although I didn’t intend to stay at the Kimpton again, it’s very cheap using the Ambassador BOGOF voucher (£125 for two nights) so I decided to give it another try.

The current social password Stay Cool surprises with me a postcard, oh well…

The room I’ve got this time is on the 3rd floor. Although not as big as last time, it feels so much better – refreshed furniture, bright daylight from the massive windows, and very high ceiling.

Social Hour is hosted 6-7pm on weekdays and 5-6pm on weekends. There’s a nice selection of drinks.

Diamond members can choose breakfast as their welcome amenity, which is served in the Refuge bar.

It’s mainly buffet, but with a few cook-to-order options too.


(Originally posted 07/2021)

I’ve stayed at both Kimptons at Edinburgh and Glasgow, and I like them both. Therefore I’ve chosen to try out the Kimpton Clocktower hotel at Manchester to use my Ambassador BOGOF voucher. The Clocktower is significantly cheaper than the other three Kimptons – I paid only £158 for both nights.

The hotel is located off the Oxford road. Despite its proximity to the road and train station I barely heard any noises in my room. It’s not central, but Canal street, the Piccadilly station and city centre are just a short walk away.

The highlight of the hotel is, no doubt the lobby, which is hugely impressive:

Built at 1895 it was originally an office building, and converted to a hotel nearly one hundred years later. If you are a history fan remember to request a free brochure when you check in.

The secret password gives me a Manchester Bee and a box of cream fudge.

Having booked the very basic Urban Double, I’m then upgraded to Deluxe room for which category-wise is quite generous. Upon opening the door you see a small vestibule:

And the actual room is actually on the higher floor. The whole setting is kind of a duplex.

However, the room looks nothing like the stock photos, in a sad way. Sorry for the bad photos, but it brings up the first point I want to make: because of the positioning most rooms are very lacking in natural light, which is worsened by the fact that windows are very small.

Furnishing is tired and dysfunctional. Bed is ok, but I have no idea why anyone would think that 18th-century desk and stool are by any means comfortable enough for anyone to sit. Instead of properly installing the mirror they just leave a standalone one against the wall which feels quite strange.

The bathroom actually looks much better. Maybe they are in the middle of refurbishing all rooms?

I have to stay that I have never felt as depressed in a hotel room like this before. It just doesn’t give you the cosy feel that a luxury hotel should aim for at all.

Breakfast is charged at £18.50pp and there’s no discount if you order upfront. After realising that it doesn’t even include the cooked-to-order items it is a definite no from me. However, a £10 drinks voucher is provided to IHG members, and you could spend it at the famous Refuge Bar.

Although I was really amazed by the glorious hall at first sight, the room unfortunately is a big disappointment and is nowhere near a five-star hotel’s standard. The hotel and its Refuge Bar is still worth a visit, but in my opinion there are many better accommodation choices in Manchester, e.g. the new Indigo near Victoria station.

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