If you are visiting the city to watch Manchester United play in the Theatre of Dreams, or are coming to spend a day at Old Trafford cricket ground, consider booking into a hotel in Trafford. Look for hotels that are within walking distance of your sporting venue and are close to a metro station so the attractions of the city centre are just a ten-minute journey away. If, however, you are coming to cheer Manchester City on (or the team's opponent), a hotel in Manchester city centre would be more suitable.
Trafford is also a good choice if you are planning a shopping spree in the Trafford Centre or are going to one of the many attractions in Trafford Park - including Chill Factore, the UK's longest indoor skiing slope and AirKix, an indoor skydiving centre. There are hotels within the confines of the Trafford Centre complex as well as in the surrounding areas.
However, if you want to enjoy some retail therapy in the city centre followed by dinner and drinks, you should take a look at central hotels in areas such as the Northern Quarter, around Deansgate and near Piccadilly Station.
The Northern Quarter is one of the city's most happening places to be: there are trendy bars, restaurants and clubs as well as quirky shops including the famous shopping emporium Affleck's Palace. Stay here and enjoy nights out without having to worry about transport. The Northern Quarter is also within walking distance of the city's big concert venue, the Manchester Arena (previously known as the Manchester Evening News Arena). Deansgate, on the other hand, is the perfect location to stay if you are in the city for business as Manchester Conference Centre is just behind it. Hotels just off Oxford Road are also within easy walking distance for business guests.
Lovers of culture will be spoilt for choice if they stay in the city centre as Manchester has five main theatres there - The Palace Theatre, The Opera House, the Royal Exchange, the Library Theatre (although the theatre group is currently moving to a new home) and the Contact Theatre. The Lowry, a major performing arts venue is outside the city centre in Salford. And there are plenty of museums such as the Museum of Science and Industry, art galleries such as Manchester Art Gallery and impressive buildings such as Manchester's Gothic Town Hall to look around in the city.
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city at night, there are numerous places to stay in Manchester's suburbs. South Manchester suburbs such as Chorlton and Didsbury have a good mixture of independent and big-name eateries and bars while if you head slightly further out of the city into Cheshire, you'll find grand hotels in impressive grounds.
Manchester's hotels are extremely busy when big football matches are on or if a big-name act is playing in a music venue, so book in advance to find the best hotel for you.