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Best family-friendly hotels in Manchester, as recommended by parents

Home to cool museums, a revamped waterfront and two of the world’s best football stadiums, Manchester makes for a fun-filled family city break.

By Kim Gregory | Last updated Apr 17, 2023

Skyline view of Salford Quays in Manchester

Choose Manchester for a cool city break with the kids and you'll be rewarded with fun (and free!) family attractions including the Science and Industry Museum, the brilliant People’s History Museum and Manchester Art Gallery, as well as indie shops and restaurants in the Northern Quarter and waterfront strolls around Salford Quays. Sporty kids will love stadium tours at the Etihad and Old Trafford, and hitting the slopes at the Chill Factore, the UK’s longest indoor ski slope.

City breaks can leave the best of us tired so it's important to find a decent base for your family that’ll ensure you’ll awake rested and recharged for a new day of exploring. We hope these Mumsnetter-recommended best family-friendly hotels in Manchester - from budget-friendly aparthotels to swanky stays with luxury amenities - will inspire a fun and memorable city break with children.

What are the best family hotels in Manchester?

1. Best overall: Hilton Manchester Deansgate

Hilton Deansgate and Manchester at night

Hilton Manchester Deansgate | Check availability

"I've stayed at the Hilton on Deansgate and it's a great hotel especially if you get a room quite high up" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Brummiegirl15 

"Afternoon tea at the Hilton is lovely. 23rd floor with a great view - and a walk of faith glass panel on the floor" - recommended by Mumsnet user, iklboo

Watch Manchester sparkle from the highest bar in the city at this Hilton hotel within the city's iconic Beetham Tower. It’s a glamorous hotel but kids aren’t left out of the fun. The skyline-view Cloud 23 bar serves mocktails, as well as cocktails, and there’s an indoor pool that you can all enjoy (kids must be supervised). Plus, children under 18 stay free when sharing a room with a paying adult on a room only rate; and kids five and under get complimentary breakfast from the buffet (some T&Cs apply). Rooms have impressive floor-to-ceiling windows and connecting rooms are available.

Nearest train station: Manchester Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly (both 0.9 miles)

2. Best budget hotel: Travelodge Manchester Ancoats

Beds, desk and a chair in a Travelodge room

Travelodge Manchester Ancoats | Check availability

"The Travelodge in Ancoats (on the edge of the Northern Quarter which you'll want to visit) is cheaper than some other budget hotels and in an area that's being developed with new restaurants etc. Just a short walk into the city" - recommended by Mumsnet user, highlandcoo

If you just want a place to rest your heads after a busy day, pick a simple stay like the Travelodge in Ancoats and use the savings for food and attractions. This chain hotel has family rooms that sleep three or four, friendly staff (according to recent reviews) and a bar and restaurant serving unfussy food to suit the whole gang.

There are tram stops, train stations and public car parks nearby (for an extra fee). Perhaps request a quiet room as the Northern Quarter can be buzzing at night - best avoided after hours with kids but a great place to discover exciting eateries, shops and cafes together in the daytime.

Nearest train station: Manchester Victoria (0.5 miles); Manchester Piccadilly (0.6 miles)

3. Best for sporty kids: Hotel Football

Beds in a room in Hotel Football with a window overlooking the stadium

Hotel Football | Check availability

"Hotel Football is really good, it’s close to the cricket ground or near the tram if you have to get to the Etihad" - recommended by Mumsnet user, MadisonAvenue

Football mad kids? You can’t miss this stay opposite Old Trafford football stadium (home of Manchester United). It’s owned by former players and features rooms that overlook the stadium and football-themed decor throughout. Rooms have TVs with access to Sky Sports and complimentary retro sweets. There are more treats in Cafe Football which features a kids’ menu they’ll love (think burgers, pizzas and shakes) and an ice cream and sweet shop.

Extra beds, cots and interconnecting rooms are available on request - just check the hotel’s age policy first. Fans will go mad for the ‘stay and tour package’ including a Manchester United Museum & Stadium Tour experience.

Nearest train station: Manchester Victoria (2.9 miles)

4. Best luxury hotel: King Street Townhouse

Relaxing chairs overlooking Manchester from King Street Townhouse

King Street Townhouse | Check availability

"We stayed at Kings Street Townhouse a few years ago. It was lovely" - recommended by Mumsnet user, thirstyformore

If you’re travelling with other adults who can keep an eye on the kids, check into King Street Townhouse and take advantage of the adults-only luxury offerings like the spa with rooftop heated infinity spa pool (squeal!), steam room, salt cave and treatments like massages. There’s even sunset yoga classes on the terrace.

Make family memories by catching a film in the hotel’s own cinema - which you can hire out for private screenings, if you’ve the budget - then dine together in the restaurant and lounge where there’s brunch, afternoon tea, a children’s menu and more. Be sure to check all the amenities’ opening schedules before you book. Rooms are lovely and characterful, with free cots and charged extra beds on request.

Nearest train station: Manchester Victoria, 0.5 miles

5. Best apartment: Staycity Aparthotels Manchester Piccadilly

Living space with sofa, tables, kitchen and big windows at Staycity Aparthotels Manchester

Staycity Aparthotels Manchester Piccadilly | Check availability

"Could try Staycity, Aparthotel just above Piccadilly Station especially if it would be good to have separate rooms, lounge and a basic kitchen. It's really nice and modern" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Epictantrum

Stylish apartments sleep up to eight at the centrally-located Staycity complex, making it perfect for big families or multi-gen getaways. Apartments come with fully-equipped kitchens and dining spaces (your budget will thank you); as well as living spaces to chill out together after busy days. You can request complimentary cots and highchairs too.

Teens will love the high-speed WiFi and there are spaces to work if you need to. You can have fun pretending you live in the city but won’t miss that holiday feeling thanks to the 24-hour reception, charged private parking, gym and cafe that’s always open (and serves alcohol for if you’re family-holidayed-out). Piccadilly Gardens is a little grim in parts but the location is very handy for transport, shops and most of the city’s major attractions.

Nearest train station: Manchester Piccadilly (next to the station!)

6. Best for teenagers: Crowne Plaza Manchester City Centre, An Ihg Hotel

The glass doors entrance to Crowne Plaza

Crowne Plaza Manchester City Centre| Check availability

"Have a look at the Lowry and Crowne Plaza hotels which are both close to lots of good restaurants. Restaurants that are very family friendly are Wahaca, Solita, Dough and San Carlos Cicchetti. For cheap lunches try Northern Soul Grilled Cheese or the food court in the Arndale" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Gattabianca

"Crowne Plaza is lovely plus they have two large double beds in one room. Ask for it when booking. It’s just round the corner from Arndale too" - recommended by Mumsnet user, AimUnder

Give teens bragging rights by checking into this luxurious, four-star hotel in the city’s hip Northern Quarter. It offers city views and has an on-site Starbucks. Enjoy a treat together with afternoon tea in the hotel's Glasshouse restaurant and bar. Some twin rooms come with two double beds and the concierge team is on hand to store your luggage if you arrive early or leave late, so you can make the most of your break.

Nearest train station: Manchester Victoria (0.2 miles)

7. Best spa hotel: Macdonald Manchester Hotel

A big bed facing a window in a room at Macdonald Manchester hotel

Macdonald Manchester Hotel | Check availability

"The Radisson is lovely as is aBode and the Macdonald hotel. The Macdonald hotel is adjacent to the Piccadilly train station" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Favouriteworstnightmare

A weekend away is about family bonding - but also getting some well-earned R&R. Leave the kids with your significant other and squeeze in some me-time at the hotel’s fitness centre and spa where you’ll find treatments, a relaxation room and a thermal suite. Afterwards, indulge together at the on-site steakhouse or family-friendly lounge and bar.

Standard Double Rooms sleep up to two adults and two kids. Don’t worry about in-the-night wake-ups as there’s 24-hour room service and triple-glazed windows so it stays quiet. You’ll also benefit from private, on-site parking (for an extra fee).

Nearest train station: Manchester Piccadilly (100 metres)

8. Best Salford Quays hotel: Holiday Inn Express, Salford Quays

Holiday Inn Express beside Salford Quays water

Holiday Inn Express, Salford Quays| Check availability

"We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Salford Quays with two dds. It was a lovely trendy hotel with a good breakfast included. Great access to the city on the tram which was a fun ride. We spent the day in the museums which both dd loved (12 and 2 years old) - all free which was nice for our pockets. Love, love, love Manchester" - recommended by Mumsnet user, kiwibella

Salford Quays is an exciting alternative to the city centre. And it’s especially good for older kids thanks to watersports like SUP, kid-friendly shows at The Lowry and the MediaCityUK studios where The Voice, Blue Peter and Match of the Day are filmed. Emirates Old Trafford cricket ground is nearby and central Manchester is a 15-minute tram ride away.

Pizzas are served at the waterfront terrace bar and the hotel offers handy amenities like a complimentary buffet breakfast, a private car park (charged) and a 24-hour reception. It allows pets too (charged) for a full family trip. Simple family rooms come with sofa beds that might be better for younger kids, though you can book connecting rooms.

Nearest train station: Manchester Piccadilly (3 miles)

9. Best value: Ibis Princess Street

Room in Ibis hotel with bed, hanging lamps and wall decor

Ibis Princess Street | Check availability

"We stayed at Ibis Princess Street when we went in 2019. Pretty basic but was perfectly acceptable for a city break, would definitely recommend" - recommended by Mumsnet user, MinglingFlamingo

Expect amenities galore to make your stay an easy one at Ibis Princess Street: think buffet breakfast, a 24-hour cafe, a bar and a restaurant, nearby parking (charged), free WiFi, pets on request (charged), a 24-hour front desk and luggage storage.

It seems pretty good value for money but be aware that rooms only sleep two adults and one child at most. Still, it’s a great central location (though it could get noisy at night) and kids will like the bright, fun room designs. Just don’t expect a luxury stay.

Nearest train station: Manchester Piccadilly (0.4 miles)

10. Best Manchester Airport hotel: Radisson Blu Hotel, Manchester Airport

Bed and big window in Raddison Blu Manchester Airport hotel

Radisson Blu Hotel, Manchester Airport | Check availability

"We stayed at Radisson Blu when we went to Florida. It was lovely and you didn't even need to go outside to walk to the airport" - recommended by Mumsnet user, IsaacCox

"Another vote for Radisson Blu - they have a tunnel/walkway straight through to the airport" - recommended by Mumsnet user, TeaDr1nker

Ah, a family flight. Nothing like it, eh? Thankfully, this convenient hotel will make things easier if you’re travelling to or from Manchester airport, as it’s connected via the Skylink walkway so you’ll reach any terminal within 15 minutes without needing a shuttle or taxi.

Get kids excited about a trip by booking a room with a runway view. Family rooms, cots, 24-hour room service and luggage storage are available and the on-site eateries serve British classics and pizza for the kids (though you’ll pay for the location). They also have well-reviewed cocktails and a spa with treatments - if you get a minute’s peace.

Nearest train station: Manchester Airport train station (100 metres)

Is Manchester good to visit with kids?

If you want a buzzing, modern city to explore then yes! There are plenty of cool shops, cafes and restaurants, as well as family-friendly activities (like sports at Chill Factore snow centre and SUPing on Salford Quays) and culture like museums, theatres, events and festivals. Bear in mind that, like any big city, it can be expensive and busy in parts - especially after dark as it’s known for its nightlife, particularly in the Northern Quarter, Printworks and Gay Village.

What are the most popular family attractions in Manchester?

There are tons of options so plan according to your family’s tastes. Popular attractions include Manchester Art Gallery, the Museum of Science and Industry, People’s History Museum, Old Trafford and Etihad Stadium tours, shows at The Lowry, skiing at the Chill Factore and shopping at the Trafford Centre.

What’s the best family-friendly hotel in Manchester?

It depends what you want. On a budget? Travelodge Ancoats. Aparthotel for a big group? Staycity. Holiday Inn Express at Salford Quays has an interesting location; while sporty kids will love Hotel Football. We chose the Hilton, Deansgate as the best overall hotel for its views, child-friendly policies and swimming pool, available to kids.

How we chose our recommendations

First, we consulted the Mumsnet forums to find user recommendations for hotels in Manchester. We then researched each property, looking at family-friendly amenities and recent reviews, taking into account positive and negative aspects, to ensure that most previous visitors were satisfied with their stay. By doing this, we chose a selection of hotels that we think offer something for everybody.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.