Due to open on March 2, the Hotel Football overlooking Old Trafford is a brave new concept in soccer-themed accommodation.
While clubs as disparate as Reading, Leverkusen and Norwich have hotels as part of their stadium complex, Hotel Football, created by ex-United stars Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville, has been conceived with match day in mind. Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Philip Neville are also rumoured to have invested – hence the toiletries in the standard and executive guestrooms branded as the Class of ’92.
At an estimated cost of £20 million and built over four years – the original opening date was December 8 – Hotel Football dedicates a whole floor to the Old Trafford Supporters Club on match days, when room rates rise to more than twice the weekday one of £90.
Old Trafford station is a ten-minute walk, Exchange Quay tram stop five minutes and match-special buses stop literally yards away.
Keeping weekday occupancy buoyant – particularly with no European football on the horizon for United until 2015-16 – will be the trick. To this end, a five-a-side pitch has been installed on the roof, aka Heaven, with a retractable roof for panoramic receptions.
Football fans of all stripes are encouraged to patronise the themed restaurant downstairs.
Under the marketing motto of ‘Eat. Drink. Sleep. Football’, Hotel Football follows in the footsteps of sister venue and equally themed Café Football in Stratford, London.
If successful – and the ex-United entrepreneurs were skippered by Stuart Procter, formerly of The Stafford London, an exclusive lodging by St James’ Palace – then the team will be looking at a series of similar hotels around the world. Watch this space.