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Native Manchester review: an aparthotel with entertainment on its doorstep


If you’re looking for the space and amenities afforded by an Airbnb, but with the ease and extra touches that come with a hotel, then an “aparthotel” might provide the most pleasing meeting of the two.

And while the term might be somewhat “uninspiring”, said The Telegraph, Native’s accommodations are highly likely to convert any sceptics to the recent travel trend. The company has quickly built an impressive footprint in London with 11 sites across the capital, as well as locations in Scottish cities Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Native’s Manchester residence, Ducie Street Warehouse, may be an outlier geographically, but its proximity to Picaddilly station – less than a five-minute walk away – makes it an obvious choice for a stay in the city. 

The Warehouse building has held court on its namesake road since 1867. Come 2022, and gone are the cotton bales it historically housed; Native has outfitted the Warehouse with 162 serviced apartments built around a staggering seven-storey glass atrium.

Why stay here?

I could imagine both business travellers and hen party attendees enjoying a stay at Ducie Street Warehouse (albeit for slightly different reasons), which is an unusual and impressive feat in the world of luxury hotels, and one which speaks to the range of accommodation options on offer. 

Both comfortable and stylish, Native provides flexible spaces for differing numbers of guests. One-bedroom studios come with a fully-equipped kitchen, bathroom and king-sized bed – and the rooms only get more expansive from there. 

I’d happily move in permanently to a one-bedroom suite, and given they come with an elegant lounge and dining area, I’m not sure there’s much else the movers would need to pack for me. Each apartment also comes with a dishwasher, washing machine and all the kitchen equipment you’d need to rustle up something delicious after a long day of city sightseeing, making a longer stay a hassle-free possibility.  

For groups of friends or family, the two-bedroom offerings would easily house four with space for entertaining guests in these not-so-humble abodes. The original red bricks and steel beams retain the building’s past life, while the modern design brings it up to date for today’s city-hoppers. And if you’re going all out, opt for the loft with a glass vaulted roof or the penthouse with private terraces providing an unspoilt view from the Warehouse rooftop. 

A bedroom and lounge at Native Manchester Ducie Street Warehouse

What to eat and drink

You won’t go hungry at Ducie Street Warehouse. Before you’re through the main doors you’ll reach Gooey, a cookie and doughnut bakery loved by Mancunians for its indulgent treats. If you do make it into the main building with room for more, you won’t need to look far for further sustenance.

Counter is an all-day deli serving coffees, snacks, takeaways and a host of soft and alcoholic ready-to-go drinks. Or stop by the shop to pick up the store cupboard essentials for your stay; milk, champagne, a high-end instant cook risotto, whatever might take your fancy.

Not all Native establishments have restaurants, given the apartments are kitted out for self-catering stays. But Ducie Street only benefits from its in-house kitchen. Its all-day menu features a range of moreish starters (don’t miss out on the Lancashire hotpot croquettes with lamb gravy), crowd-pleasing favourites like ribeye steak and beef sliders, and show-stopping sharing plates including locally-sourced Tomahawk steak, a harissa roasted whole chicken and an entire kilogram of baked camembert. Yes please.

The bar’s cocktail selection is nothing less than superb. All the classics are present, and the house mixes show a particularly talented mixologist has had their way with the menu. Even the most half-hearted of Dry January participants (cough cough) will be pleased by the non-alcoholic mixers too. These can be enjoyed in either the restaurant or the lounge bar, a relaxed open-plan space that frequently hosts DJs and events.  

Of course, no weekend away would be complete without Sunday brunch. The breakfast menu has all the star dishes, from a full English to eggs benedict and waffles, brioche French toast and anti-oxidant packed bowls. 

Native Manchester Ducie Street Warehouse atrium

What to do

If the weather is being true to form, then there’s little need to leave Ducie Street Warehouse during your stay. Treat yourself to a screening at the Mini Cini, a 36-seat cinema that plays cult classics and even welcomes dogs on Monday evenings. Fitness chain Blok is also housed in the building, if you fancy squeezing in a gym session. 

But if the weather allows, it would be remiss not to venture a little further afield. Spend the day exploring the Northern Quarter, stop by the Science and Industry Museum or venture a little further afield to The Whitworth gallery if you fancy heading out of the hustle and bustle.

Ancoats, Manchester’s foodie neighbourhood, is only a few minutes walk from Ducie Street. Rudy’s pizza and Sugo Pasta are favourites with locals, or try Canto and The Counter House for high quality small plates. The Northern Quarter’s Bondobust is also a must for vegetarians and offers delicious Indian fare.

Escape to Freight Island is a good place to start your evening, with food pop-ups and live music on offer. Band on The Wall is also a much-loved music venue, reopening its doors this spring. And The Warehouse Project needs little introduction. Get tickets to the legendary club nights that run between September to New Year’s Day. 

Native Manchester, Ducie Street Warehouse, Manchester M1 2TP; nativeplaces.com



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