The 15th HSJ Summit will take place at the Principal Hotel in Manchester:
Oxford Street, Manchester
+44 (0)161 288 1111
The Principal Manchester, formerly The Palace Hotel, opened to guests on 1st November 2016 following an extensive £25 million renovation. The existing hotel has been sensitively transformed into one of the north of England’s most striking hotels.
Just across the road from Manchester’s Oxford Road station and ten minutes from Manchester Piccadilly (the city’s main train station), the listed Gothic Victorian Revival building was originally designed in 1891 by Alfred Waterhouse, the architect behind London’s Natural History Museum, as the headquarters for The Refuge Assurance Company Ltd; an extension by Alfred’s son, Paul, in 1912 included the addition of the distinctive clock tower.
At the hotel’s heart is The Refuge by Volta, a dining room and public bar. With the scale of a grand café yet the informality of a local drinking den, the 10,000 square foot space is partitioned by a 40ft granite bar serving craft beers and cocktails and an interior glasshouse, The Winter Garden, where the mood is more refined than in the bustling Public Bar.
Many of the 270 guestrooms contain listed period details, from wood panelling and fireplaces to tiled brickwork. A variety of designs has been applied to the bedrooms and suites, all of them referencing the building’s original purpose, and making use of the double-height windows on the lower floors.
Notable architectural design features include the original marble and bronze Directors’ staircase and the vast, neoclassical lobby where guests arrive under a domed stained-glass cupola, greeted by Sophie Dickens’ specially commissioned sculpture of a horse, which occupies the former turning circle for horse-and-carriage.
The transformation of all 17 conference, meeting and private dining rooms sees the spaces fully restored and upgraded to seamlessly combine modern technology with contemporary décor, highlighting the classic Edwardian features evident in the majority of the venue’s characterful function spaces. Housing the largest hotel ballroom in the north-west of England, which can accommodate up to 1,000 seated guests, the hotel’s largest event space features an ornate design that has been lovingly protected throughout its upgrade.