How would you like a hotel so deep inside Manchester’s Gay Village that you could literally climb out of the window and be in a bar? That’s LEVEN. During Manchester Pride last year, we actually had a bird’s-eye view of turns from the Big Breakfast, who were filming a drag race where drag queens had to drag sofas. We might even have been in shot! That’s how in the thick of it LEVEN actually is.
And we are going to go so far as to say that this is the first actually lovely hotel within your actual Gay Village since… well, ever. There are very nice ones around – The Gotham, Brooklyn, The Alan, Locke – but actually walk-out-the-front-door-able? No, this is the first one. And what a first one it is!
Based in one of those huge red brick warehouses that Manchester does so well, it has used that masculine energy to stunning effect. Step up into reception and you’re greeted with not only trademark Manchester friendliness (ALL hotel staff worldwide should come from Manchester, it should be in the United Nations handbook or something), but with stripped parquet flooring (we want that in our front rooms!), bottle-green fan-shaped tiling (for our kitchen!), bare brick and hanging plants (throughout!)
The space is comfy and cosy and ‘at home’ – as is the whole hotel – with quirky pictures, coffee table books strewn around and very cool curated music. Have a couple of cocktails or a coffee or grab a snack while you hang, you won’t be the only one. It’s where you can partake of your free breakfast smoothie and it’s open into the wee small hours, so maybe on your way back from the bars before you hit the sack. Well, you can’t rely on McTuckie’s every night!
And speaking of sacks, they do quite a nice room at LEVEN. We were lucky enough to snag one of the first-floor suites, which opens into a mini kitchen (there’s even a washing machine!) with a gem-coloured velvet settee just beyond, perfect for pre-out-there cocktails or having friends back (even ones you’ve just met: we’re not here to judge your morals). The big warehouse windows somehow don’t seem to let in much of the hullaballoo down on Canal Street. But that’s science for you.
Expect, variously, high ceilings, stand-alone bathtubs, parquet or timber floors, Grown Alchemist bathroom loveliness… or go the whole hog and treat yourself to a penthouse, either one- or two-bedroomed, in the sleek extension that has been grafted onto the roof of the original warehouse building. And we’ve not even mentioned Maya, LEVEN’s superstar restaurant that’s this close to opening we can taste it. Which is totally us asking for an invite.
Sometimes, when a hotel wangles a location as stellar as this, they think they don’t have to try. And they’re probably right. What makes LEVEN such an exciting discovery is that it’s right where you want it to be – town is just over there, the Northern Quarter ten minutes, Piccadilly Station even closer – AND it’s gorgeous! It’s what’s known in the business as a win/win.