Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Everything Perfect, Everything Pleasing for that “I don’t Want to Leave Feeling

What a wonderful experience staying at New Hampshire’s Manchester Downtown Hotel. The hotel embodies class with just the right amount of excitement and peace. 

Unassuming from the outside, its welcoming interior is enriched with cherry-wood panelling, cathedral high walls awash in calming neutral colours. 

These favourable features are heightened by lots of stunning space, ultra-comfort high-end amenities and facilities that appeal to every type of guest: convention goers, athletes, bridal couples and their party (no matter the size) rocks stars, including Ozzy Osborne, moguls, dignitaries, and normal folk (like me). Media people covering the US primaries stayed here, as have presidents. 

The Downtown Manchester Hotel is the accommodation hub for those coming from all corners of North America and beyond.
The amply staffed reception never keeps you waiting. Despite my many queries or favours asked, they delivered every time. It seems nothing is beyond their reach. They're up to the challenge; they make it all happen for you. They did for me. And I had some doozy demands.

Despite all the action, there’s a notable lack of noise no matter where you are in this airy hotel, and  best of all, there are no line-ups at the friendly front desk. That’s part of the subtle magic here, helped along by the best organizers, event planners and managers in the business, such as Kim Roy, General Manager of the hotel since 2004. Formerly the Radisson, the hotel’s name changed to the Downtown Manchester Hotel in February of 2017. But that’s not all that changed.

Kim told me about all the new spaces being made will finish in October of this year – when it will be a Doubletree by Hilton. They’ve already completed the room renos. “We’re making a Hilton Honours Lounge along with a state-of-the-art midsized video space just opposite the Club. I saw these two new ingenious spaces materializing midway before me on the main floor past the elevators. Even a new restaurant is in the works. I ate at the present one; the buffet breakfast was a delicious, totally fresh feast. The fruit variety was outstanding, and the sausages were sensational.

A Welcoming Winner
Despite new beginnings, Manchester Downtown Hotel will always maintain its signature qualities: extraordinary space that doesn’t overwhelm; warmth, friendliness and extraordinary service. To me, its four-star rating seems misguided; this favourite hotel surpasses many of the highest ranking American and European hotels I’ve set my suitcase in.  A hotel can be elegant and dazzling, but Manchester Downtown Hotel avoids pretension. Authentic, it needs no $15,000 vases and kitschy statues standing in the lobby to win you over, yet art is certainly evident here. It begins right at your feet!

A Remarkable Rug that Reflects a City Wonder
You need only walk on the stunning exclusively-made massive blue and golden rug in front of the ballroom which also continues down the corridor whose walls are laden with paintings created by local artists.

 Interesting to know that the rug’s design reflects the colours and flow of the Merrimack River. Its gentle waters amble past Manchester’s historical millyard district. 

Now used for businesses, these red brick buildings once housed textiles factories. The Millyard Museum nearby details this history. 

                                                              Shall We Dance?
I began to grasp the immensity of the hotel upon entering the Four Rivers Ballroom. It's over 3000 square feet. Behind it, another 11,800 square feet announce the centuries-old armoury with its back brick wall.

                                     A stunning nuptial paradise

 Magnificently Multi-functional

Not only used for weddings, the Four Rivers Ballroom was the site for the New Hampshire Antique Show – the largest of its kind in New England.  People began lining up early in the morning. 

 Every Guest Room Gorgeously Creates Your Personal At-Home Haven
Twelve floors accommodate 248 rooms, including six suites: the Presidential, three Executives and two Junior Executives.

My room  was big and unbelievably comfy. It was classified as a standard. WOW! 

Partial view of my room

There was not only a gorgeous comfy love seat, but a huge TV was set into the wall over a long table that stretched at least 12 feet. All executive suites come with either king or queen size beds, but doubles can be had.
Countless pillows offered pampering comfort. Best of all, my bathroom was rich and sleek. Again the Zen feeling continues achieving total tranquility, not only because of the lovely layout and furnishings, but also because of sound-proof walls and ceiling. How nice is that!?

                                  Visit the website at end of article to get more visuals of rooms

Brilliant Bathroom Beauty
A gleaming black marble counter top framed my sink and the shower walls were done in a rich chocolate brown marble.  Finally, this hotel makes a built-in shelf in the shower to put the complimentary toiletries on, and there's a metal grasp handle on the inner wall of the bathroom for safety. The sensible and the sensual combination harmonize in this lovely private space.

Pool and Terrace Perfection.
Step in the indoor cozy Jacuzzi – big enough for three people, max. I like that; no one is hitting your feet. Its clean very warm turquoise water is silky soft and the jets are pressured just right. 

The big pool right in front of this Jacuzzi is heated too. I would come here every day to relax.  I was always alone; it was so peaceful. I have to say this seems to be a key asset to the hotel. Maybe I got lucky, but this has been designed to enhance and respect the need for people to have space and down-time. The peaceful area always beckoned me; it's was relaxing to swim in at any time of day.

Opening the glass doors to rest and read on one of the cushioned lounge chairs, I could admire the  panorama in front of me  of rooftops, steeples – all backed by the rolling White Mountains. The view was so captivating, I stopped brining up my book to read, so I could simply savour the almost 360-degree view. The magic is undeniable. You feel on top of the world, with open unobstructed sky, but reality is, this very expansive terrace and pool is only on the hotel’s third floor – as is the adjacent work-out gym and spa. Another brilliant design at the hotel.

Around Town

The Manchester Downtown Hotel’s location is convenience at its finest.  Step outside and you land on Elm Street – the hip place for restaurants to display not only their menu but their sense of humour as well.

Funky bars and one-of-a-kind cafes line the street. I was only in town for six days, and I hadn’t begun to bite into all the stuff here. Strolling along the side streets I admired the old New England architecture, buildings of character housing a myriad of artsy shops. 

Out of the City and Into Nature
Time for immersing myself in nature. Driving out of the super clean, huge indoor parking lot, I headed for Uncanoonuc Mountains. Twenty minutes later, I arrived at a lush forest with a warren of trails. I chose the 1,325 foot-high "white dot” trail – a difficult hike, but well worth it. 

Summit Silence with a view. 

The next day, I walked to Derryfield Park to follow the two kilometre-ascent up to the historical Observatory, and then beyond to the ski hill.

A Museum, A Loon Photographer and Fun Filling the Belly

There 's so much to enjoy in Manchester, including outdoor concerts during Summer Fest. This happens across the street from the hotel. 

I attended the Wizard of Oz live performance at the Palace Theatre only a ten- minute walk away. With art in mind, I visited the astonishing Currier Museum

Further afield, Kayaking on Lake Massabesic with the world-renowned loon photographer, John Rockwood and his wife, Sue was another highlight.

Click to read about restaurants:
Stimulation and outdoor activity builds up an appetite.
The Manchester Downtown Hotel’s website is: manchesterdowntownhotel.com
The address is:700 Elm Street, Manchester, New Hampshire

Call: (+1 603- 625-1000)