As an aparthotel, the Native is well set up for social distancing, but is Manchester’s wider Northern Quarter as welcoming?
Well this feels strange, doesn’t it? Leaving the house. With plans. Being able to sleep in a hotel room and sink a pint on Saturday night. But only, in my case, after sitting masked on an eerily empty tram as it trundles past the Nightingale Hospital North West, a reminder of how precarious England’s rush into the new normal might be.
If travelling into Manchester city centre from its suburbs feels unreal, imagine the leap of faith it would require to book a city-break right now. Yet, at the 166-room Native aparthotel, 60 rooms sold late last week to … someone. Its public ground floor – previously bar, restaurant, cinema and Cultureplex arts space, now Ducie Street Warehouse – is reasonably busy with a glammed-up and self-consciously hip Northern Quarter crowd. None older than 32. Does the world now belong to health-confident 20-somethings? Possibly.