Citysuites is a serviced apartment brand based in Manchester which opened its first new-build property in the city’s Embankment West area in 2017 – see our review here. The brand is targeted at both business and leisure travellers, and includes luxury facilities and amenities. Citysuites Two is located adjacent to the provider’s existing property, and the two share a similar design and feel.
Where is it?
On New Kings Head Yard in the newly developed Embankment West district, just across the River Irwell from the city centre. It’s a five-minute walk from Manchester Arndale shopping centre and a few minutes’ walk to Manchester Victoria station, which offers direct 30-minute trains to Manchester airport. Guest can also take a free city bus to Manchester Piccadilly station.
For those wanting to cook their own meals, there’s a Sainsbury’s opposite one of the exits, and guests can also have takeaways delivered to reception.
What's it like?
Citysuites II, like its original property, is located in a triangular high-rise new-build, with narrow floor-to-ceiling windows on each floor creating an interesting façade.
The design is contemporary, with a grey and white colour palette and everything feels very new. A key card is required for entry into the building, or you can call reception (or a flat number) on your first visit.
The split-level ground-floor features a communal open-plan area known as The Lounge, which was decked out in festive decorations during my visit in December. It’s a comfortable room, with several plush sofas and armchairs and a high-top bar. There’s a self-service coffee machine, but this is reserved for those who have booked meetings in the adjacent enclosed room – other residents are advised to enjoy coffee at the Embankment Café (more on this later).
The reception is manned 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and the staff are lovely. I had a flight the following morning to New York and had to fill out several forms for immigration. While these were saved on my phone, I asked whether it would be possible to have one of the documents printed out (just in case technology failed me at JFK). They were more than happy to help, and all I had to do was email the reception and wait a couple of minutes for the printed documents.
Check-in is from 1600 and it was quick and easy, and I had to provide my credit card and a form of ID. Check-out by 1100 was equally simple.
Two lifts are located opposite reception, and the wellness facilities are just around the corner and require key card access.
I was really interested to read about the brand’s social responsibility initiatives on the website, and think these should be promoted in the rooms or common spaces. For instance, the aparthotel collects items left by guests that are not identified or claimed, and donates them to the charity Mustard Tree to help vulnerable local people of Greater Manchester. It also works with Charity Escapes to offer free night stays to charities hosting fundraising events.
The building comprises 142 apartments across 17 floors which range from studios at 33.5 sqm to three-bedroom apartments at 105.8 sqm, along with five ‘Super Suite’ penthouses featuring skyline views of the city on the top three floors.
All apartments include king-size beds (there are no twin beds), fully fitted kitchens, a TV with a Sky Premium package, high-speed wifi, a Nespresso coffee maker, a dishwasher, washer/dryer, and GHD Air hairdryer. The studio and one-bed apartments can sleep two adults, while two-bed apartments can sleep four, and family apartments can cater to two adults and two children up to the age of 12.
The aparthotel offers weekly cleans for stays over seven nights, while guests staying for less time will not receive housekeeping (unless requested for a fee) – though towels will be changed once during the week. Guests can also request dry cleaning for a fee.
My one-bed apartment was located on the 11th floor and had a sign on the door stating that it had met the Citysuites ‘cleanliness and hygiene stamp of approval’, which I’m glad to say was evident once I stepped through the door.
The apartment was spacious, with the kitchen opening onto the living room, a sleek bathroom with an overhead shower and bathtub and White Company toiletries, and a separate bedroom. The design is minimalist, with shades of grey and atmospheric artwork depicting the seaside.
Much like the rest of the building, everything is obviously new. The kitchen includes plenty of shiny appliances such as an induction hob, Morphy Richards toaster, an oven and microwave, a large fridge and freezer, and all the crockery and saucepans you might need during your stay.
The living room area is very comfortable and straddles the leisure and business demands well, with an L-shaped sofa facing the TV (there’s another TV in the bedroom), and a table in the corner of the room that has a socket just above it so that you can charge your laptop while working.
The TV screen asks guests to scan the QR code to view the channel guide – this brings up a webpage detailing the Sky channels available which include Sky Atlantic and Sky Sports.
While the living room has wide floor-to-ceiling windows, the bedroom instead has a narrow version – perhaps to give guests a little more privacy, or simply to suit the design of the façade. Other apartments might have the opposite, with larger windows in the bedroom.
My apartment offered views over the railway track to the right (occasionally you hear a train pass by) and cranes in the midst of construction – a marker of the developing nature of the area. If you look down to the left, you can see the plaza at the centre of the apartment buildings.
The bedroom echoes the design of the living room, but is shaped a little differently with a narrow section to the right of the bed which is home to ample wardrobe space. There’s plenty of space for belongings, which shows that the apartments are well-suited to long-stay travellers, and you’ll also find a safe, slippers, a hairdryer, iron and ironing board.
Meanwhile, there are USB ports and sockets on either side of the comfy bed.
Food and drink
The brasserie-style Embankment Café lies on the ground floor of the building facing City Suites II, just across the shared courtyard. It opened in December 2021 and features contemporary interior design with plenty of natural light thanks to the street-facing floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
The restaurant is only open for evening service from Thursday to Saturday. Breakfast is served daily from 0700-1100 on weekdays, and 0800-1230 on weekends, plus there’s a Sunday lunch service from 1330-1830.
I stayed on a Tuesday night, so only experienced breakfast here, which I enjoyed as it was simple and there was prompt friendly service. It’s an à la carte menu which is split into three sections: Classics (dishes such as eggs benedict, avocado toast, and vegan breakfast); Full English (plus a vegetarian alternative); and Continental (fresh seasonal fruit, greek/soya yoghurt, pastries, meats and cheese, cereals and toasts). All are priced at £15.95 and served with a choice of coffees, teas and fruit juices.
There’s a small meeting room on the ground floor in The Lounge area.
The luxurious wellness facilities are a key USP of the aparthotel. The 18-metre swimming pool is peaceful and ideal for a few morning or evening laps, plus there’s a spa pool and steam room. There’s also a residents-only 24-hour gym which features Matrix Fitness programmable machines.
My stay at Citysuites II made for a stress-free stopover before setting off for a transatlantic flight, thanks to its ideal location close to the city centre, excellent staff and comfortable and quiet apartments. It manages to cater to both business and leisure travellers, which is smart considering the rise of bleisure following the pandemic. The luxury element is obvious in its 24-hour concierge, appliances and beautiful wellness facilities, and the on-site restaurant is a great addition to the development – though it’s a shame it isn’t open for dinner daily.
Comfortable apartments with a luxury touch in an ideal location
A dip in the serene pool before heading to work
Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in March started from £115 for a Studio Apartment
1 New Kings Head Yard, Manchester M3 7NH; +44 161 302 02 02; citysuites.com