Manchester has welcomed a new design-led hotel, bar and restaurant, The Alan.
Taking residence within an impressive Grade II-listed building on Princess Street, The Alan is a unique six-storey hotel featuring 137 rooms, an open-plan kitchen, bar and pop-up event space.
Designed by Red Deer with an emphasis on championing local makers, the property celebrates the spirit of Manchester throughout its design, produce and culture.
The industrial-chic interiors pay homage to the building’s rich heritage with many of the building’s existing materials and features having been carefully refreshed to create new focal points, from the floor lobby made from a collage of fragmented and discarded marble pieces to the exposed brick walls and double height ceilings found throughout.
Aiming to counter-act the wastefulness of the construction industry, the hotel creates intriguing touchpoints that celebrate the inherent value found in old materials that may be classed by some as ‘defective’ or ‘broken’. When viewed individually, these materials seem to be useless, but make sense in the space when they flow together as one.
The building’s original guest rooms were large but lacking in many of their original proportions due to having lowered ceilings, large amounts of boxing in and cluttered with furniture. These have since been opened up to expose their original history, with a particular focus on heritage features such as historic brickwork, pitted stonework and the true tall proportions of the room. Today, the 137 guestrooms range from The Standard, generously sized yet intimate rooms featuring high ceilings and warm textures; The Midi, bigger spaces ideal for both work and play; The Master, larger rooms with lounging areas perfect for longer stays; and the inimitable Alan Suite – impressive corner suites offering city views and an abundance of natural light throughout the day.
All accommodation features Emperor-sized beds dressed in 200-thread-count Egyptian cotton, 50” Samsung Smart TVs with Google Chromecast and pay-per-view movies, superfast Wi-Fi and Audio Pro Bluetooth speakers. The tech-forward hotel is also one of only four in the UK to offer Google Nest smart concierge in all its rooms. From the comfort of their rooms, guests can enjoy locally-roasted coffee from Ancoats Coffee Co, specially selected tea by Bohea Teas, magazines by Yuck! and Aesthetica, rainfall showers with 100% organic Haeckel’s natural skincare products and bathrobes and slippers on request.
The opening of The Alan also brings a new restaurant and bar to the area, featuring an all-day, seasonal menu of dishes and drinks designed to share, created using local suppliers. While in guestrooms place emphasis on creating a sense of zen and calm, the restaurant and bar spaces retain the fun and energy for which this part of Manchester is so well known.
Heading up the kitchen is Iain Thomas, whose previous experience includes stints at Northern Quarter’s Edinburgh Castle and Establishment in Manchester, where he trained under renowned chef David Aspin. Thomas brings with him a love of seasonal cooking and a passion for locally grown produce, with items from his very own allotment even making guest appearances on the menu. The provenance of ingredients is hugely important to Thomas and the menu at The Alan reflects this, with dishes made from the highest quality ingredients from local producers and suppliers.
Over in the bar, suppliers include Manchester craft breweries Pomona Island and Cloudwater Brew Co, as well as a selection of independent winemakers and distilleries such as local gin purveyors, Ancoats Distillery. The bar aims to offer up new takes on classic serves with a regularly changing menu of innovative and balanced drinks, whilst stocking all the essentials for any classic cocktail.
Later this year, The Alan will introduce Situ, a pop-up events space housed on the lower ground floor with a full calendar of events and collaborations to be announced in due course.
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