Review: Hotel Football, Manchester

Hotel Football, Salford, Manchester United

It’s been more than 30 years since I last cheered on my football team at their home ground. After growing up as a regular visitor to Old Trafford in Salford, life then just got in the way and I now support them from afar (as many a Manchester United fan is besmirched for doing!)

Hotel Football, Salford, Manchester United
Room with a view!

Unless you’re in possession of a season ticket – or a very large bank account(!) – having the opportunity to see them once again play on the hallowed turf of the Theatre of Dreams – is a rarity for most of us these days. So how lucky was I that my long-awaited return fixture of choice turned out to be the match of the season – the FA Cup Quarter Final leg against United’s age-old footballing rivals Liverpool! (I’m still recovering… but at least I got my money’s worth.)

My match tickets were a birthday treat and the 4-3 result of this edge-of-the-seat occasion was a treat indeed, advancing us to the next round of this famous sporting competition. There was only one way this unforgettable fan experience could be bettered – so I was quick to accept a kind invitation to join the Matchday Hospitality on offer by Hotel Football.

Having travelled the world with their sporting careers and sampled the best hotels along their journey, Manchester United legends Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs, alongside their Class of ’92 teammates Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville, opened Hotel Football in 2015 to bring something different to the city.

Hotel Football, Salford, Manchester United

The perfect base from which to enjoy your footballing experience, it is strategically positioned to offer you the best views of the Theatre of Dreams. Our room, called Stadium View, certainly wasn’t under-delivering on that front. Waking up in the shadow of the country’s largest capacity football ground – if you’re a fan – is pretty darn magical.

And, as it proved, watching from your window was a great way to soak up the pre-match atmosphere and feel the excitement build as fans gather for the game.

Hotel Football, Salford, Manchester United

Before that though, there was time to indulge in some special pre-match atmosphere of our own, in the Matchday Experience lounge. Here we were treated to a delectable three-course menu and frequently replenished refreshments and matchday programme – and all in the company of like-minded lovers of the beautiful game, as we shared our score predictions and built up an appetite for what’s to come.

Hotel Football, Salford, Manchester United
Former Manchester United footballer Wes Brown took part in a Q&A
Hotel Football, Salford, Manchester United
A roving magician wowed us with his card tricks

Before dessert was brought out we enjoyed a private audience with the hotel’s special guest of the day, Wes Brown.

Brown began his career with Manchester United, joining the club’s academy at the age of 12 in 1992 and made his senior debut in 1998 and becoming a semi-regular first team player during the celebrated 1998-99 Treble season.

There was also plenty of opportunity to grab a photo with Wes as well as take part in a Man Utd live quiz and be wowed by a magician moving between tables and those who wanted to could even bid on some signed merch for charity – before heading off to take our seats for the big game. (No one yet appreciated quite how ‘big’ it was to be at this point!)

And, with the hotel just yards away, it was easy to take full advantage of the hospitality on offer before making the short walk to our stadium seats just half an hour before kick-off.

The return to post-match hospitality three hours later was a wonderful way of extending the celebrations with fellow fans, whilst also enjoying some more culinary delights before the final whistle blew on our fabulous experience.

Hotel Football, Salford, Manchester United

It’s not only the close proximity to the ground that so aptly sets the scene for this five-star Man Utd indulgence. From the mini bar packed with complimentary retro goodies, to the cute football shirt-themed toiletries in the bathroom, these little touches all helped make the stay something extra special – and in-keeping with the theme of the weekend.

The room itself was comfortable and super spacious, features including a kingside Hypnos bed, rain shower, 40-inch smart TV with (of course) Sky Sports and BT Sports channels.

Hotel Football, Salford, Manchester United

And the breakfast, in hotel’s Café Football the next morning was hearty and delicious, providing a good blend of continental buffet and choice of freshly cooked hot dishes. All enjoyed, once again, in view of the Old Trafford backdrop.

The hotel’s café and its bars – are also popular among non-residents, particularly for pre- and post-match socialising.

Football is the heartbeat of this multi-award-winning hotel. The football focus is continued throughout with memorabilia, cool artwork of legendary players and, on the top floor, their very own indoor pitch, which doubles as an events suite.

Hotel Football is a quirky, vibrant and lively base from which to fully immerse yourself into the atmosphere of the beautiful game, especially if, like me, you’re not a local supporter.

The owners’ mission statement is to ‘provide a world class setting for football fans of all ages to enjoy a unique atmosphere, first-class food and drink, stand-out accommodation and, ultimately, unforgettable experiences.’ I’d say they’ve definitely achieved their ‘goal.’


Hotel Football, Salford, Manchester United

While you’re there. . .

What better way to immerse yourself into the Club’s history than by signing up for The Old Trafford Stadium Tour, which includes museum entrance.

Hotel Football, Salford, Manchester United

At just over an hour, we are given a fascinating behind-the-scenes view of some the key areas of the ground, including pitch side, dugout, player’s dressing room and press briefing room. Highlight though for many is the reenactment of walking down the tunnel onto the pitch – with (piped in) cheers and applause ringing in our ears. Aimed largely at the kids – but of course enjoyed by all!

Hotel Football, Salford, Manchester United
The players’ changing room

As you walk in the footsteps of some of your favourite footballing legends, whatever your team of choice, it’s hard not to be captivated by, maybe not the most contemporary, but certainly this most iconic of stadiums.

The museum, which forms part of the tour package, is stuffed to the rafters with a dizzying amount of silverware and memorabilia. United fans will be particularly drawn to the exhibition which celebrates their glorious Treble-winning season of ’99.

Hotel Football, Salford, Manchester United

Come on your Reds. . .

Prices start at £28 for adults and £15 for Juniors/Concessions. Visit here

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