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By Laura Turner

Heading to Manchester for the weekend, but want more than a hotel experience? Check into CitySuites II Aparthotel instead.

These luxury serviced apartments are ideally located in the heart of Manchester city centre. Perfect for shopping, you’ll find Harvey Nichols and Selfridges on the doorstep, as well as Manchester’s Arndale centre and the designer stores of New Cathedral Street, all within a five-minute walk.

As Manchester’s first ever luxury aparthotel, CitySuites is made up of two contemporary buildings – the newest being CitySuites II, where we stayed. Both have secret steam rooms, jacuzzis and swimming pools on the ground floors exclusively for guests to use any time they like.

There is also a state-of-the-art gym – and rumour has it the CitySuites apartments are popular with Manchester City football team, who no doubt book the penthouse SuperSuites on the top floors with panoramic views of the city, balconies, the biggest sofas we’ve ever seen and freestanding bathtubs for indulgent dips.

Perfect for staying the night, a weekend, or months at a time, these self-catering apartments cater for solo travellers, couples, groups of friends and families. If you don’t fancy cooking, eat at the restaurant or cafe downstairs, or grab a drink in the bar. Here’s what happened when The Boutique Handbook checked in for the night…

CitySuites manchester two bed luxury apartment
A two-bed luxury apartment. Credit: CitySuites

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

CitySuites II are in a slick building in Manchester city centre, just across the bridge from Deansgate in the up-and-coming Embankment West area. They are also ideally located for a night out in Spinningfields, are off to a gig at Manchester’s AO Arena or working in Media City or Salford Quays.

If you’re travelling by train, Manchester Victoria station is few minutes’ walk from the apartments or hop in a cab from Manchester Piccadilly, as the walk from there is around 20-minutes. Those coming by car can get discounted parking at Q-Park Deansgate North priced at £18 for 24 hours. After a swift check-in by the friendly reception staff, we were given key cards to our room and booked a breakfast slot for the next morning by scanning a QR code.

Super Suites at CitySuites Manchester living room
The living area in a SuperSuite penthouse apartment. Credit: CitySuites

THE ROOMS

The apartments at CitySuites II range from studios to one, two and three bed. While some are perfect for friends or couples, others have been designed with families in mind. All come with floor-to-ceiling windows offering stunning views of Manchester, White Company toiletries, Nespresso machines, fully-equipped kitchens, super fast Wi-Fi and GHD hairdryers as standard.

We stayed in one of the Premium Two-Bed Apartments on the 10th floor, which looked out over Manchester Cathedral. Both bedrooms were doubles, but we opted to sleep in the one with the rainfall shower en-suite. There is a separate bathroom with a bath/shower too.

Super Suites bathrooms at CitySuites Manchester
A bathroom in a Super Suite. Credit: CitySuites

Though we stayed as a two, the living space is perfect for socialising or meeting with friends before a night out. Sinking into one of the sofas, we enjoyed the bottle of Prosecco kindly left for us before getting ready for dinner. One thing we found especially helpful was the QR code on the coffee table, which tells you how to use all the appliances in the apartment.

For extra special stays, book one of the lavish ‘SuperSuites’ on the top floors. Offering panoramic views of the city from the windows and your own private balcony, huge rooms, super-sized sofas, premium technology, freestanding baths and shower rooms, private lift access and a freshly stocked fridge by Embankment Kitchen (the restaurant downstairs), these penthouse apartments will make you feel like a celebrity – if you can afford the £1,800 a night price tag, with a minimum 7-night booking.

Embankment Kitchen restaurant at CitySuites Manchester
Embankment Kitchen restaurant. Credit: CitySuites

FOOD AND DRINK

Though CitySuites II are self-catering apartments, there is a restaurant, bar and cafe on site and guests can come downstairs to enjoy breakfast.

Embankment Kitchen is the all-day restaurant headed up by chef Josh Singleton. The team source premium ingredients from around the North West and prepare everything in-house, from scratch. This is where breakfast is served from 7am to 12pm. Later on, choose from small plates, hearty mains or steaks and burgers from the grill. There is also the EK Bar if you just want to pop in for a drink.

To start, we’d recommend the Salt and Pepper Tempura King Prawns (£10.50), Pan Fried Squid and Chorizo (£8) and Shredded Lamb Mini Flatbreads (£8). If you just want a selection of small plates, you can get three for £19 or five for £30. Large sharing boards are also on offer in the form of meat, fish and charcuterie from £35.

Restaurant at CitySuites Manchester
Booth seating in the restaurant. Credit: CitySuites

For mains we tucked into the Pan Fried Duck Breast (£24) and 10oz Ribeye (£35) with Chimichurri. The duck arrived perfectly pink with roasted heritage beetroot and spiced sauce. We’d have personally preferred a thicker cut of steak, but it was still delicious and the hand-cut chips it came with were moreish and well seasoned. Upgrade to parmesan fries if you prefer.

Other dishes that caught our eye were the Pulled Pork Ragu Rigatoni (£19), Brisket and Ale Pie (£18) and the Paprika and Garlic Monkfish Tail (£25). Quite full, but always able to find room for dessert, we ordered the Blood Orange and Passionfruit Cheesecake to share and sipped on an Amaretto Sour (£11) and some Talisker Whisky (£7).

Back for breakfast the next morning, we couldn’t resist an early morning tipple. We sipped on a Peach Bellini (£9) and EK Brunch cocktail (£9), which felt a bit cheeky before midday, but it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right? The breakfast options here are great, from classics like the EK Full Breakfast, available for both carnivores and vegans, Eggs and style on Sourdough, Shakshuka and Chorizo and Sweet Potato Hash.

There is also an entire ‘Benedicts’ section or a Continental option of toast, pastries and yoghurts. Drinks are are unlimited during breakfast – choose from coffee, tea and juices, plus decaf or plant-based milk on request. Elsewhere in the building, find artisan coffees, freshly made sandwiches and cakes at Embankment Cafe Co. This friendly neighbourhood cafe is the perfect place to bring your friends, laptop or even your dog.

Swimming pool at CitySuites Manchester
The secret pool area is open 24/7. Credit: CitySuites

EXTRAS

As well as having serviced apartments with a 24-hour concierge on hand, guests at CitySuites II get exclusive access to the 18-metre swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam room and state-of-the-art gym on the ground floor, which are both open 24 hours.

OVERALL VERDICT

If five-star living in Manchester city centre is what you’re after, CitySuites II have considered everything to make sure guests get a real home from home experience. With all the amenities you’d want, plus the added luxuries of a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and sauna, this is one aparthotel we’d definitely return to. Keep an eye out on their website, as they often have offers available.

Rooms start from £120 a night

Book a stay at Manchester’s CitySuites II ApartHotel here

Read more: A stay at Manchester’s newest hotel

Read more: Inside the highest restaurant in Manchester

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