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Hotel Review: Ducie Street Warehouse, Manchester

Ducie Street Warehouse

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“There’s nothing else like this in Manchester,” they claim.

While it’s always tempting to dismiss the propaganda generated by a new operator in town, on this occasion I think they might actually be onto something.

Native Manchester outside view

Occupying eight floors of an enormous Grade II-listed former Victorian goods warehouse on Ducie Street, Native Manchester is now the UK’s largest aparthotel – and according to the Sunday Times, the very best hotel in the North.

But to describe the reimagining of the former Place Aparthotel in Piccadilly Basin as simply a relaunch by a new owner would be doing it a distinct disservice.

Native Manchester - Atrium

Sitting below the 166 all-different apartments is a new social and cultural destination called Cultureplex. It’s like a kind of lifestyle village, with an all-day lounge, indie cinema, Klatch coffee counter, restaurant, private meeting and dining rooms, outdoor terraces, and three class-based fitness studios operated by Blok. 

Designed by the firm behind uber-cool London haunt Chiltern Firehouse, the building’s industrial heritage is prominent throughout.

Native Manchester Interior view

Indeed, much of the refurbishment project – designed by Archer Humphryes Architects with former Altrincham-based Styles & Wood behind the fit-out – has centred around removing modern interventions put in by an earlier owner, such as restoring the brick-vaulted ceilings.

The results are utterly magnificent. Although the outlook from our standard sixth-floor apartment was reliably Mancunian, the view as you emerge from the lifts and look down towards the central atrium is spectacular. Vast cast-iron columns that connect each floor allow a mesmerising Rear Window-esque peak into each one as residents and staff scuttle around in the distance.

Native Manchester - Interior

The apartment itself, like many to be found in former Victorian warehouses, is enormous. Ours had two huge bedrooms, one en-suite and one with neighbouring bathroom, and then a central living space with a fully equipped, beautifully finished kitchen. Bespoke Conran furniture abounds and there are comfy Gainsborough beds, thick curtains, and some lovely parquet flooring. With this immense apartment coming in at under £150 for the night, you do wonder why on earth you’d bother with a dingy hotel room again.

Tempting as it was to kick off our shoes and settle into the apartment for the night, we summoned the energy to head back down to the bustling Cultureplex area – and a visit to 80-seater restaurant Bistrotheque.


A sister for its East London namesake is a well-established favourite of the creative crowd, Bistrotheque is an elegant space mixing exposed brickwork and industrial pipes with black booths. 

We visited on a Sunday and so enjoyed the three-courses-for-£25 weekend menu. Service was impeccable – in fact almost over-attentive at times – and the food was deeply satisfying, notably the fried goat’s cheese with truffle and honey and garlic confit chicken. The fish and chips lived up to its ‘signature’ billing while the frangipane tart and sticky toffee pudding were winning closers.

Native Manchester - Interior view

Considered as a whole, the Ducie Street Warehouse is something remarkable. Abandon all prejudice you may have had about ‘serviced apartments’; this is a wonderful place to stay, eat or simply hang out, and a new feather in the cap for our rapidly evolving city centre.  

Another picture of Native Manchester - Interior

Ducie Street Warehouse, Manchester. More info:


Written by
David Prior

David Prior is an NCTJ-qualified journalist and the editor of Big Family Breaks. He is also a father of five and an experienced traveller, especially with kids.

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