If you’re planning to visit Manchester, England and are looking for a place to stay with the kids, the Lowry Hotel is a great choice. Located on the banks of the River Irwell, in the center of town, right near the commercial shopping district and load of things to do, this five-star hotel has 165 bedrooms, six suites and is as child-friendly as a hotel can get.
Named after a famous Mancunian artist, DS Lowry, the hotel is part of the world’s exclusive Rocco Forte Hotels and is both modern and elegant. The inside is filled with interesting artwork, sculptures and stunning orchids. There are views of the river from every corner of the hotel and best of all, the hotel caters just as much to kids as it does to adults. As soon as our kids arrived, they were handed a very important invitation to get their own “Mocktail” at the bar. The thought of this thrilled them to no end, but we were eager to check out our room first.
When my kids realized that they were going to have their own room, they were jumping with joy. It was a first for us to have two joining rooms, and my son was elated to have his own key. We were provided with the Family Package, which comes with bed and breakfast. When we walked into their room with two twin-sized beds with teddy bears sitting on them, in Lowry Hotel robes, their own yellow chaise lounge and flat-screen TV, their own bathroom and walk-in closet and walk-in closets, my kids were in heaven. With the floor to ceiling windows and neutral colors, the rooms are both inviting and comfortable. My children chose their beds and we made our way to the bar for drinks and snacks.
The hotel certainly does know what children like. When we got to the bar, the kids were elated to read their special Mocktail menu with a choice of several juice cocktails. We were given some chips and they were happily sipping their drinks when the barman came out to put a TV up for us all to watch Manchester United play Blackburn. We were very content to sit and watch them win.
Bedtime was relatively easy, too. They were so excited to get into bed in their own rooms, my son happily locking up his computer in the personal locker in his walk-in closet, and they took their books, jumped into bed and read before drifting comfortably off to sleep.
The Lowry also has games and DVDs upon request, and older kids can get complimentary Wifi (for others, it’s 6 pounds an hour or 15 for the day). They have bath time accessories and can provide cots or highchairs as needed. Best of all, meals are free for kids under 3, and half-price for over 3.
After the kids were tucked away in bed, I sneaked off to the Lowry Spa for some relaxation. I used the fitness suite and sauna until they closed. It was a slice of heaven after a long trip to Great Britain and I was happy to have time to rest.
The kids literally jumped up the next day for breakfast. Well, that may not be true. We were all so comfortable that we woke up at 9:30 and had to call to make sure we could still get breakfast. When we found out we were okay on time, we slowly made our way down to the River Bar & Restaurant. The hotel offers a lovely Continental Breakfast with cereals, pastries, fruit, yogurt, fish, cheese, toast, tea and coffee and we all found something we like. The restaurant is cozy and decorated very much like the hotel, with beautiful art, orchids and painted in lovely neutrals.
From the hotel, you are a skip, hop and jump from some wonderful museums for children, and adults. We spent the afternoon at The Museum of Science and Industry where my kids explored science and learned more about Manchester’s Industrial Age. You can also get to The award-winning Imperial War Museum North, located at The Quays, where we ventured a few years ago and my kids were mesmerized by their exhibits of Britain in war times. There is also the Urbis, an exhibition centre of city life, Manchester Art Gallery Mosley Street, The Manchester Museum at the University of Manchester, Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester Chill Factor and Old Trafford, where Manchester United plays all their home games. We head to their shop to buy team memorabilia every year.
We had our city break at the Lowry Hotel, and it was one that we will all remember fondly for some time. It was a unique travel experience for all of us.
Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary lodging and breakfast, but all opinions expressed are my own.