Football heaven

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.

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Manchester United transport/Seán Kearney

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.

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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.

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