In February 2020 the doors will open to Manchester’s newest design-led hotel, Hotel Brooklyn, right in the heart of Portland Street.
Designed by Squid Inc, the team behind renowned Hotel Gotham, the name Brooklyn was inspired by the New York Borough and chosen for its resonating similarities to Manchester, in terms of its buzzing industrial growth, as well as its strength of identity and culture. The 189-room hotel will pay homage to Brooklyn’s history from early 20th century to the present day, with the inclusive design of the hotel being overseen by Motionspot, the UK’s leading accessible design company. Positioning itself as Manchester’s most accessible hotel, Hotel Brooklyn will be a trailblazer in championing accessible, striking and modern design for all.
Squid Inc’s starting point was to create a distinctly Mancunian destination that resonated with the characteristics of its counterpart, Brooklyn – the sense of neighbourhood, the grittiness of its culture and edginess of its people. Brooklyn residents, from Mel Brooks to the Beastie Boys, have helped inspire this vibe.
Beautiful Victorian brownstone buildings have become icons of both Brooklyn and Manchester and Squid Inc has been driven by the ambition that the architects of Brooklyn showed when repurposing an area which had fallen out of favour, transforming it into one of the most exciting parts of town.
The brownstone idea is explored from the moment guests enter the hotel, with the industrial feel of the architecture softened by the lobby interior and designed to recreate the sense of journeying down a Brooklyn avenue, with brick stone and trees lining the walls.
Beyond the lobby is a flight of wide-paced steps, designed to provide a communal space to hang out, paying homage to the iconic stoops of Brooklyn, and the sense of community these have inspired in film and art. Guests are encouraged to grab a coffee or a cocktail and use this space for interacting, whether as a social catch up or a creatively informal business meeting.
Harking back to historic Victorian brownstone buildings and their expansive drawing rooms, The Snug is designed to be a playful, contemporary twist on the traditional. This space is cosy and intimate – a sanctuary from the hubbub – with an open fireplace and a record player spinning vintage records from the Manchester music scene.
The aesthetic of the 189 bedrooms has been inspired by Brooklyn’s loft spaces, peppered with immaculate features that favour quality and high-spec finishes. Beds have brass adornments, while Turkish rugs have been designed to contrast with the concrete floors. Bathrooms have been cleverly angled to allow their back walls and semi opaque windows to look out across the bedroom, while street art wall features finish off the bold design direction.
Bathroom amenities include organic bamboo toothbrushes and ethically sourced toothpaste, green soap and lotion dispensers with minimum waste.
In addition, the hotel features 18 beautifully-designed accessible bedrooms, each of which has been stylishly designed to complement the aesthetics of the hotel. “Accessible accommodation at Hotel Brooklyn features subtle details like basins with integrated hand grips, removable matt black grab rails, accessible bedroom storage and a hidden ceiling track hoist”, says Ed Warner, Founder & CEO of Motionspot. “We hope this high level of attention paid to inclusivity will make Hotel Brooklyn one of the most sought-after venues for guests of all abilities.”
Hotel Brooklyn’s bar and restaurant, named Runyon’s after Damon Runyon, an American writer renowned for his depictions of Brooklyn characters, will present a diverse menu showcasing European and American influences, starting from £22 per main dish. Featuring dishes such as Crab Flake A La Newberg, Billy’s Bacon Fried Rice, ‘Oscar’s’ B.L.T Wedge and Hash Browns, alongside vegetarian and vegan options. Paying respect to the remarkable industrial craftsmanship of the Brooklyn Bridge, Squid Inc has taken the bridge’s tension lines as inspiration, giving Runyon’s a flavour of downtown Brooklyn – a mix of gangster and quality, purposeful engineering – adding a desirable irregularity to proceedings.
On the top floor of the hotel, Salvation is the hotel’s dedicated events bar, featuring exposed brick work, pop art and neon lights to create a lively destination bar for the UK’s preeminent Northern city.
Throughout the hotel, regional suppliers have been selected wherever possible. Deanhouse Interiors were commissioned to fabricate the entire fit-out package, including cased goods from wardrobe and bedroom fittings, to the reception pods and 9th floor bar counter. Alongside this, PS Interiors sourced several key furniture pieces throughout, including the retro-styled bedroom chairs, while sourcing New York street art was overseen by Elegant ClutterArtwork. In addition, Manchester-based The Knot Collective were commissioned to design two bespoke rugs for the hotel’s public spaces.
Olly Redfern, Lead Interior Designer of Squid Inc, says: “It was an honour to work with Bespoke Hotels again on creating another iconic Manchester hotel with a strong identity and character. Weaving the lines between Manchester and Brooklyn is a bold and inspirational project that draws many parallels and it was incredibly fun to do, partnering with some of the best local suppliers to create the finished look.”
“I am delighted to be leading the team at Hotel Brooklyn, as we look to make an immediate impact across Manchester and the North West”, added Paul Bayliss, recently-appointed General Manager of Hotel Brooklyn. “I have kept a close eye on the success of Hotel Gotham in recent years, and have a deep affinity for the city, so I’m excited by the challenge of making a similarly positive impact here.”
“We are thrilled to have secured this fantastic site in the heart of Manchester’s historic industrial thoroughfare of Portland Street”, commented Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels. “We believe Hotel Brooklyn is a perfect fit for Manchester, not solely in terms of the architectural grandeur and convenience of its location, but the abundant character and feistiness of the city. Portland Street is experiencing a regeneration as the hotel strip of the city”.