Philip Watts redesigns rooms at Portland Hotel in Manchester
In 2015 it was announced that leading operator AccorHotels overtook management of the hotel and turn it into ibis Styles Manchester Portland Street hotel.
Overlooking Piccadilly Gardens, the 204 room Victorian hotel underwent an extensive £3m investment funded by Amaris Hospitality to transform it into an ibis Styles.
Philip Watts Design was hired to design guestrooms and the lobby. He was inspired by Manchester’s unpredictable and changeable weather and was allowed to be creative, in line with the brand’s theme.
The lobby is sheltered under several suspended umbrellas and also feature a gigantic beach chair in a classic striped pattern, plus a pair of supersized sunglassed. This is a reference between the contrasting weather Britain can see where your face is covered in warm sun at one moment, and in the next, rain is chugging down.
The rooms carry the design theme of three different weather conditions – rain, sun and breeze. The rooms at the ibis Styles Portland Hotel have been designed to capture the very best of each season in myriad imaginative ways. The Sunshine Room evokes warm, sunny days with its bright yellow door and light blue walls; the Raindrop Room features teardrop lights and raindrop hangers; the Breezy Room, with its earthy prints and leaf pattern floors, brings to mind autumn walks in the woods. Guests can take a selfie under the giant umbrella in the lift, check the latest forecast on the staircase and even see their face in the cloud mirror in the bathroom.
From the moment you’re greeted by the giant pair of sunglasses on the front of the hotel, you’ll know you’re in for a special stay in Manchester. Once inside, giant umbrellas hanging from the ceiling of the lobby will shield you from the elements as you grab your room key. Our central location makes us an ideal base for exploring the sights and sounds of Manchester.
Philip Watts said: “I think there is coming a shift in thinking in terms what can be called a design hotel, time was when such a term meant poe-faced luxury – now increasingly I think within hotel design you will see an emphasis on design but without the pretension. Designed rather than Designer particularly in the budget and mid scale brands. The great news for designers and customers alike as this presents a real opportunity for creativity and a new consideration for creating experiences.”