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Great John Street Hotel, Manchester 

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Great John Street
Tel: 44 0161 831 3211
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
Simultaneously cozy and edgy, this 30-room property is a clever conversion of an old redbrick schoolhouse. The Boy's Staircase and the Girl's Staircase have been retained, and both lead to a rooftop terrace and open-air whirlpool—on a balmy spring night, it's a swell spot from which to savor views over the surrounding Victorian mill buildings. All rooms are duplexes, with lime-washed armoires, glass bubble table lamps, and TVs in the lounge and bedroom areas; many also have big egg-shaped bathtubs. The bar draws a stylish crowd, and the room service menu runs to comfort food such as steak sandwiches and potato-and-bacon soup. Nice touch: the pitcher of milk in the minibar, to add to the tea you make with the in-room kettle. Bad idea: the cinnamon-on-steroids-scented electric room perfumer. —2006 Hot List

When to go: May and June, which are perfect for discovering the city's busy café/bar scene.

Which room to book: A Boudoir Grand room on a high floor (doubles, $192–$786).

Amenities: 24-hour Room Service, Bar/lounge, Gym

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