Short stay: Stock Exchange Hotel, Manchester, UK


Designed by Bolton-based Bradshaw, Gass and Hope, construction of the Manchester Stock Exchange took place from 1904 to 1906. This exquisite example of Edwardian Baroque architecture was a symbol of the optimism for Manchester’s future growth prospects at a time when the city’s cotton industry was thriving.  It’s difficult to imagine nowadays but back then Manchester was the ninth most populous city in the world (with London, New York and Paris taking the top three spots).

The Northern Stock Exchange, as it was also known, continued to trade until as recently as the year 2000. The Grade II Listed dbuilding then served as a restaurant and offices before being purchased by former Manchester United players Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville in 2013. Two years later, they were granted permission to transform it into the luxury hotel we see today; it opened to the public in November 2019 and was selected by Luxury Travel Intelligence as one of the World’s Best New Luxury Hotels for 2020.

The welcome

We were given the warmest of welcomes at The Stock Exchange Hotel reception by Eric and Sam, who led us through to the Traders Lounge for a welcome glass of Champagne, whilst our bags were taken to our room.

Shortly afterwards, we were accompanied to our room by Deepak and enjoyed chatting to him about the history of the building as we passed photographs, some partially colorised, of a bygone era of trading.

The room

There are 40 rooms at the hotel. We stayed in room 1906 (the room number denoting the year of the building’s completion) on the newly-built fourth floor – also known as the Goldstone Suite, covering 106 square metres, and one of two signature suites in the hotel. A framed plan in the corridor shows you what this floor once looked like: it housed all the utilities for the Stock Exchange, in addition to allowing access for repairs to the grand dome of The House trading floor, before being re-designed by JM Architects to house 5 executive suites.

The suite has two separate entrances that lead into an open plan living space, kitchenette and dining area. A rich green corner sofa provides comfortable viewing for the 60″ Smart TV which comes with a Sky Sports Package, as well as access to BT Sports.

The kitchenette is equipped with an oven and Nespresso machine, and all the amenities you might need. But don’t forget… there’s an excellent restaurant downstairs (read on) as well as the option for room service.

Leading off from this area are en suite bedrooms on both sides. Both offer ample space and are tastefully furnished with neutral tones and parquet-effect vinyl flooring. Each has a super-comfortable king size bed, marble-topped dressing table and full-length mirror.

The bathroom

The contemporary bathrooms are clean-cut and bright, with double-vanity basins and spacious, walk-in rain showers.

Dessing gowns and slippers are provided, along with Noble Isle toiletries. This range of fine toiletries is created with natural extracts, sourced from around the British Isles: Perry Pear Shampoo and Conditioner from Gloucestershire Orchards, Summer Rising Bath and Shower Gel from Cornish Hedgerows, and Fireside Body Lotion from Mynwy Valley.

The facilities

The main facility of note at the Stock Exchange Hotel is the Bull & Bear Restaurant, named after stock market terms, which occupies what was once the trading floor of the stock exchange.

Marble pillars and an incredible domed ceiling make this a rather grand dining room, but it is popular with hotel guests and locals alike, so had a buzzing atmoshphere.

The menu offers an appealing mix of British brasserie classics, brought to you by celebrity chef Tom Kerridge and his team.

We bypassed the tempting table snacks that included ‘Salt Pig Chorizo and Fennel Beer Sticks’, instead opting for starters of ‘Roasted Hand Dived Scallop with Pickled Crown Prince Pumpkin and Smoked Butter Sauce’, ‘Nettlebed Creamery Cheese Soufflé with Candied Walnuts and Grape Salad’ (both pictured), ‘Salt Cod Scotch Egg with Coconut and Coriander Sauce, Pickled Mango’ and ‘Duck Liver Parfait with Fig and Cherry Chutney and Toasted Brioche’, all of which were as excellent as they sound.

Our mains included ‘Belly of Blythburgh Pork with Marmite Glazed Hasselback Artichoke, Smoked Hazelnuts and Pear Ketchup’…

…’Dry Aged Yorkshire Duck Breast with Confit Leg Hashbrown, Red Currants, Hoisin and Purple Sprouting Broccoli’…

…whilst I had the ‘Fillet of Hereford 28-Day Dry Aged Beef, B&B Chips, Onion Rings, Tarragon and Green Peppercorn Sauce’, cooked rare, which was to die for.

Most of us passed on desserts (for no other reason than we were already content with what we’d had) but I have it on good authority from my son that the ‘Garriguette Strawberry Baba with Vanilla Ice Cream and Basil’ is to be recommended!


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The same room is used for an a la carte breakfast each morning, offering everything from overnight oats with cinnamon and apple to waffles with Vermont maple syrup. Eggs Benedict, Royale or Florentine are usually my first port of call, and are all on the menu…

..as is The B&B Full English, which consists of Honey Glazed Bacon, Bury Black Pudding, Hash Brown, Cumberland Sausage, Grilled Tomato, Field Mushroom and Egg (Fried, Poached or Scrambled).

Other places of note within the hotel include The Bank – used for exclusive private dining experiences for up to 14 people – and The Vault, a meeting space where wine tasting experiences take place on the third Wednesday of every month.

Location

Situated on Norfolk Street in the centre of Manchester, the Stock Exchange Hotel is only 100 metres from the Royal Exchange Theatre (also designed by Bradshaw, Gass and Hope) and just around the corner from the city’s Arndale Centre which perhaps most famously houses Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Primark, but is also home to around 200 other shops, including the likes of Apple and Burberry. Whitworth Art Gallery is also just a 5-minute walk away.

Other nice touches

In addition a welcome glass of Champagne on arrival, the hotel serves a ‘cake of the day’ in the Traders Lounge. In our room we were also greeted with a personal welcome note, some flapjack and a signed postcard from Tom Kerridge.

Cost

The John Gass Collection Room (20-25 sq m / 215-269 sq ft) starts from £162 per night.
The Goldstone Suite (106 sq m / 1,141 sq ft) – featured here – starts from £850 per night.

The best bit

Whilst our room was absolutely beautiful and we enjoyed a superb dinner at the restaurant, the one thing that really stood out was the exceptional personal attention from the staff and their consistently charming nature. Be it the warm welcome we received, the General Manager personally visiting us at dinner to introduce herself, chatting to the sommelier about wine regions in Spain, our request for a late check-out being accommodated, or the attentiveness and humour of staff at breakfast, everyone we encountered was faultless in their professionalism and attention to detail.

The final verdict

The unique history of this iconic Manchester city building has been preserved in a contemporary way, fitting for a city that has continued to thrive in recent decades. And, on the face of our visit, the hotel’s recent rise to the number #1 spot on Tripadvisor, in a list of 138 hotels in Manchester, is richly deserved.

Disclosure: Our stay was sponsored by The Stock Exchange Hotel.


Comments (19)

  1. Charlie Watkins says:

    What a lovely boutique hotel. I just love how they have retained the building’s original history and character, but still given the place a fresh and modern look.

  2. Tim says:

    It’s good how hotels have saved some old buildings and have given them a new life. Much the same has happened in Coventry with the old newspaper building.

    • Paul Johnson says:

      Yes, Tim… I can think of other examples around the UK, too, such as Spitbank Fort (a converted sea fort, now a luxury boutique hotel) and one or two converted jails (eg. Bodmin Jail Hotel and Malmaison Oxford).

    • Pete says:

      That’s a coincidence. Only yesterday someone was telling me how good Bodmin Gaol Hotel is and how they are desperate to go back and book the next stay.

  3. Elizabeth Knowling says:

    I think that 40 rooms is probably about right. Some of the “boutique” hotels I’ve stayed at don’t really have the clout to do what they are supposed to, the service becomes a bit sketchy, then at the other end of the scale the big corporate rectangles start to get queues and are far too impersonal.

  4. Judy says:

    I like it that you and your other writers stick to the same format for these short stay reviews it’s good that you have the same headings each time.

    • Paul Johnson says:

      Thanks, Judy… it just means there’s some consistency between all our reviews, I suppose… and breaking it down makes it a little easier for people who skim-read to ‘home in’ on the bits that are most important to them.

  5. Giles says:

    Given a choice I will always opt for a place that has got some history to it and has put down roots in its location. I can see that this hotel would give a real feel for Manchester and its past.

  6. Jeff G says:

    You could have a second career as a photographer!

    Sometimes when I look at hotel websites they aren’t showing the right things. As I’ve stayed in too many rooms with minuscule en-suite bathrooms I like to see a picture of the bathroom.

    Also I’d like to see some food pics, mainly for the portion size. I’m not in to nouveau cuisine small or giant industrial portions, I like medium size.

    • Paul Johnson says:

      Hi Jeff – thank you. The photographs are a combination of mine and some of the hotel’s own. There are a number food pictures included in the piece… did you miss those, perhaps?

  7. Gaynor says:

    A few friends have come back from their staycations raving about Manchester. And they didn’t stay anywhere near as chic as the Stock Exchange Hotel. From what I can see in these pictures it looks like a very classy base for seeing the best of Manchester.

    • Paul Johnson says:

      It’s a great base and in an excellent location within the city. I have been back to Manchester since this review and must say it feels like it is really thriving at the moment…

  8. Ferne says:

    Very comprehensive and what luxury. It looks like the kind of room that sports stars and WAGs must stay in. I do wonder though about the lifestyles of designers who put a toilet next to a double vanity.

    • Paul Johnson says:

      I’m not sure I follow you. Just because they are there doesn’t mean to say they have to be used at the same time!

    • Ferne Arfin says:

      My point is that the existence of a double vanity means that someone makes the assumption that two people will be using that bathroom at the same time, at least some of the time. It reminds me of some newer hotel rooms (luxury, not Cat A prisons) that put the toilet in the guestroom, separated only by a half wall (made of very luxurious marble). It’s very trendy now in some architectural circles to which I say Ew!

    • Paul Johnson says:

      I still don’t really follow your original point, Ferne. I thought that it was that someone might be brushing their teeth while someone else was on the lavatory (a concern that I would understand, but addressed with my first response), but it sounds like your issue is with the double vanity, period. We have a double vanity in our home – it means that we can both do things like brush our teeth at the same time, and not have to wait to use the bathroom. Is that so strange? Maybe it’s a difference in cultures, I’m not sure, but it’s relatively commonplace in the UK.

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