Last week, the Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre got glammed up for its official launch party. Staying true to its roots, the hotel’s celebration was centred around everything “Manchester”. From the best local food and drink to the fantastic playlist, which boasted big hits from the likes of Oasis, The Smiths and Take That, the hotel paid tribute to the city’s biggest culinary, creative and cultural achievements.
The party was hard to miss. As evening approached, the dimming sky provided the perfect backdrop for the hotel, which was illuminated in the traditional Holiday Inn colour- a bright and vibrant green. If you haven’t managed to visit yet, it’s worth a trip if only to see the hotel’s meticulously clean and fresh-looking building, brightly lit and standing out against the traditional background of red brick and office blocks.
The entrance was every bit as grand as the building itself. Guests were invited to walk down a black carpet, a nod to the famous Tony Wilson quote “This is Manchester, we do things differently here”, framed by bright lights and gold arches. A fire performer stood on the corner, greeting guests with tricks and twirls, a faint smell of fuel in the air conjured up images of Manchester’s industrial past and the city’s true grit.
The hotel is everything you would expect from a brand new building in a key location; fresh, quirky and contemporary. It’s open lobby concept felt exceptionally inclusive and welcoming compared to other hotel chains. A photographer stood on guard alongside the hotel team, who greeted guests with genuine warmth and good humour. After a quick snap, the formalities were out of the way and it was time to get the celebrations underway.
The event’s vibe was “understated cool”- guests of all ages, professions and postcodes came together to mingle and exchange cards. Business and pleasure met in a metropolitan mix while canapes were served off the hostesses Perspex skirts (this isn’t a joke). The entertainment was appropriate- a quartet covered Manchester hits throughout the first half of the evening, putting a sophisticated spin on modern classics and creating a relaxed and easy atmosphere. When they finished, a guitarist graced the stage to entertain the crowd with indie and pop chart toppers. To cement its theme, a video montage combining clips of famous music videos and landmark moments for the city was projected on the wall and displayed on multiple screens.
Food and drink was plentiful and varied so even the fussiest eater could find something they enjoyed. As well as hearty and homey Manchester dishes such as pies, hotpots and tarts, tastes from Rusholme and China town could be found in freshly cooked noodles, tandoori skewers and an array of exotic desserts. Local breweries and beverages were also represented, with the Thomas Dakin gin stand being a firm favourite among guests.
And when the night eventually ended, alcohol and food warming everyone’s stomach, it was impossible not to feel proud of Manchester and its distinctive character. The whole team deserves credit for creating a real space for real people, that reflects the city so authentically.