A stately Victorian office building dating back to 1890 is the setting for the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, a fine example of the American-born brand’s affinity for British heritage buildings. It’s an approach that strikes a balance between respectful preservation and playful irreverence — what’s meant to be preserved, like the ornate stone-clad lobby, remains as grand as ever, while the rooms and suites, necessarily updated from their tenure as offices, display a more colorful and borderline whimsical approach.
After all, this is the same Kimpton that’s famous for its complimentary social hours, serving wine and beer to all comers; and the same Kimpton that did so much to democratize the boutique-hotel experience, from something rarefied and exclusive to something accessible and welcoming. The rooms and suites carry on in this just-right vein, combining high Victorian style with contemporary colors and design, and providing high-end comforts without ostentation.
Given the Kimpton Clocktower’s central location there’s plenty of dining and drinking to be had nearby. The hotel’s own offerings, though few in number, are worthy ones: the Winter Garden is just what it sounds like, and is ideal for a cocktail or tea, while the Refuge is, aesthetically, Industrial Age Manchester at its most glamorous.