Tranquil it isn’t. Right on Canal Street, the spine of Manchester’s Gay Village — now a very inclusive, very mixed nightlife district — is the Velvet Bar and Restaurant, a longtime fixture on Manchester’s party scene. The latest addition to the Velvet family is the Velvet Hotel, occupying the floors above the restaurant and bar; if it’s not exactly the perfect recipe for sleeping the sleep of the just, it is absolutely ideal as a place to retire at the end (or, really, in the middle) of the night’s activities.
There are a lot of ways a nightclub hotel could go very stylistically wrong, but the Velvet falls prey to none of them. The look is bohemian, industrial, Edwardian, and yes, more than a little bit velvety, all at the same time. If it’s not quite seven-stars-in-Dubai luxurious it’s certainly more than comfortable enough, with luxe robes and slippers and a full complement of electronic gadgets.
Anyway it’s not about basking in solitary opulence so much as it is about stylishly shacking up, with a measure of fantasy thrown in as seasoning. This is usually the part where we enumerate the hotel’s dining and drinking options, but in this case they’re more or less self-evident. Suffice it to say that in this part of town you’ll be hard pressed to think of Manchester as England’s second city.