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Hands across the water, more flights across the Atlantic

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Manchester is Britain’s third most visited city by foreign nationals, and its airport the UK’s fourth busiest. Naturally, we’re proud to do business here, and offer a unique blend of luxury hotel and serviced apartment to travellers while they’re in town. As such, Roomzzz is pretty much perfect for anyone looking for Manchester city centre hotels.

Ringway was a tiny passenger facility on the site of an old RAF base. Renamed Manchester Airport in 1972, it’s now the size of a small town. The two runways and three terminals welcome nearly 20 million passengers to the north of England’s foremost global gateway each year, meaning things have grown dramatically.

As of September 2010 the airport became one of only 17 in the world to handle the Airbus A380- the largest commercial aircraft in the sky. In 1995, Manchester, or MAN as is its abbreviated name, was voted the World’s Best Airport, and in 2008 it won a similar title, though this time competing domestically against other British destinations.

Now Virgin Atlantic has added a new, high profile route. Passengers will be jetting off directly to The Strip, with twice-weekly flights departing Manchester for Las Vegas from April 2011. OK, so most people will be heading out to America’s glitz and gambling capital. But still, we’re sure there will be a few yanks jumping on board, and taking a trip across the ocean for a spell in one of England’s cultural powerhouses.

What’s more, Las Vegas is not only Nevada’s premier city; it’s one of the biggest business centres in the US. Manchester boasts the Britain’s strongest economy outside of London, as such it makes sense this route has opened. We’re interested to see what movers and shakers it brings, so it’s anyone’s guess who might check into our hotel close to Manchester Airport once that first flight lands. And as for stop offs prior to departure, we can offer you the perfect home away from home for that essential pre-flight sleep.

The ‘finest’ in Leeds beats the tallest in the world

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We’ve all been rather astounded this week. On Monday it was announced that Broadcasting Place, part of Leeds Metropolitan University, had been named the World’s Best New Tall Building.

It’s surprising that this 20-storey high-rise has fended off the new, sleek Bank of America HQ in North Carolina. Furthermore, the fact that this educational site has managed to pip the Burj Khalifa to the post- currently the planet’s tallest building- was even more shocking.

The new structure on Leeds’ skyline certainly is different. Consisting of five core pieces, the angles do offer something new, while the rust coloured cladding should ensure the building ages well. But, despite the impressive accolade, and the obvious innovation at work here, we still say there’s better architecture afoot in Yorkshire’s largest conurbation.

Leeds Town Hall, Gallery and Henry Moore Institute
Actually three buildings, as they’re all on the same site we thought we’d put them together. The Town Hall is the city’s most impressive Victorian building, while the Gallery and Henry Moore are all about contemporary lines.

Kirkstall Abbey
Skyscrapers are like churches of commerce, so it makes sense to start here. Constructed in 1152 by Cistercian monks, one of England’s best-preserved abbeys is well located close to Roomzzz Leeds West.

Hyde Park Picture House
Bang in the middle of student-ville sits this early 20th Century treasure. Constructed in 1914, as Britain went to war in Europe, it’s pretty much unchanged from those days, making for a classic cinema experience.

Victoria Quarter
The most luxurious shopping in town in the most opulent surroundings the city has to offer. Think Ted Baker, Martinique and Yves Saint Laurent, punctuated with fountains and history in the north’s own Knightsbridge.

The Corn Exchange
It had to be in here really. If not Leeds’ best known, then certainly one of its most visited buildings. The breathtaking central room houses lovingly restored units, and a ceiling that’s worth the visit alone.

Winter Warmers

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There’s an autumnal atmosphere in the air, suggesting British Summer Time is about to end. Come 2am on Sunday October 24th the clocks go back, and winter kicks in. Bar crawlers can celebrate, as can club revellers, with 60 free drinking and dancing minutes.

Manchester’s musical extravaganza

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The red carpet is ready. The champagne is chilled. And now, ladies across the north are looking forward to the perfect pop party.

Thursday October 28th sees Manchester’s Tiger Tiger succumb to a tuneful takeover, as Your Choice- the lifestyle magazine for NHS staff- hosts a Charity Extravaganza. The Printworks venue will see former X Factor finalists Stacey Solomon, Ruth Lorenzo, and Jamie ‘Afro Archer performing live for fans and charitable supporters alike.

The party hopes to raise funds for six NHS Trusts based in the North West; including Europe’s leading cancer centre, The Christie, and Central Manchester University Hospitals, which incorporate the largest single-site children’s hospital in the UK. Matt Littler and Darren Jeffries will host the party, making it something of a reunion for the pair, best known for their time spent playing Hollyoaks‘ lovable likely lads, Max and OB.

Early-bird tickets are available for what promises to be a bright and beautiful bash, at the bargain price of £20, until October 19th. They then jump to £25, though it’s worth considering there’s a champagne reception and free use of the Lucky Voice karaoke booths. For more information and tickets, visit Event Elephant.

What’s more, with our Manchester City aparthotel just a short cab ride from the venue, there’s very little reason not to get all the girls involved, and make it an overnight stay to remember. So take Friday off work, and enjoy the shopping, salons, and sights all afternoon.

If you’re looking for hotels near Tiger Tiger, then look no further. As one of the finest boutique hotels in Manchester, Roomzzz offers luxury as standard, with memory foam beds, Apple Mac computers, and LCD TV’s in every room. So when you think Manchester city centre hotels, Manchester apartments, or serviced apartments in Manchester, think Roomzzz Aparthotel. For more information, or bookings, click here or contact Central Reservations on 0844 499 4888.

Manchester Carnival

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Manchester Carnival has brought Caribbean culture for over 30 years, and is the North West’s largest celebration of Caribbean music and carnival arts. A colourful exoplosion of the celebrations of Caribbean music, dance, theatre and costume. Enjoy the singing and dancing floats of bands, DJs and dancers.

The Carnival highlights will include the carnival parade with over 20 troupes, a main stage featuring the best of calypso, soca and reggae music, mouthwatering Caribbean food and much more.

Naples comes to Leeds

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Whether it’s a work trip to Manchester or a city break in Leeds, there’s no shortage of showbiz types for you to rub shoulders with in both cities. You just might not expect them to turn up with the intention of washing their underwear.

So it should have surprised a few people when one of the UK’s most innovative theatre companies, Flying Cloud, checked into their Leeds City Roomzzz, whites and all. But rather than searching for the perfect spin cycle, the thespians were in town preparing for their latest performance, Napoli, at The West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Set in an Italy torn apart by fascism and conflict, the story centres on World War Two era Naples, as British troops begin their occupation. Part love story and part social drama, the action unfolds on stage from behind the many washing lines that act as a meeting point for local gossips, not to mention star crossed lovers.

The play will be supported by traditional Neapolitan folk music, to truly transport the audience to the Mediterranean coast. Scheduled for a 2011 UK production, followed by an Italian tour, Flying Cloud hope to follow in the footsteps of past performances and take in theatres from Europe to the U.S.

Our aparthotel provides an ideal place for the board-treading visitors to stay. The perfect marriage of self-catering and serviced accommodation means there’s no better way to unwind after a hard day’s rehearsal than by putting your feet up, some food in the oven, and enjoying a film on our stunningly sharp LCD TVs, with your Roomzzz-mates.

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Whether it’s a work trip to Manchester or a city break in Leeds, there’s no shortage of showbiz types for you to rub shoulders with in both cities. You just might not expect them to turn up with the intention of washing their underwear, though.

So it should have surprised a few people when one of the UK’s most innovative theatre companies, Flying Cloud, checked into our Leeds City site, along with their whites. But rather than searching for the perfect spin cycle, the thespians were in town preparing for their latest performance, Napoli, at The West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Set in an Italy torn apart by fascism and conflict, the story centres on World War Two era Naples, as British troops begin their occupation. Part love story and part social drama, the action unfolds on stage from behind the many washing lines that act as a meeting point for local gossips, not to mention star crossed lovers.

The play will be supported by traditional Neapolitan folk music, to truly transport the audience to the Mediterranean coast. Scheduled for a 2011 UK production, followed by an Italian tour, Flying Cloud hope to follow in the footsteps of past performances and take in theatres from Europe to the U.S.

Our Aparthotel provides an ideal place for the board-treading visitors to stay. The perfect marriage of self-catering and serviced accommodation means there’s no better way to unwind after a hard day’s rehearsal than by putting your feet up, some food in the oven, and enjoying a film on our stunningly sharp LCD TVs, with your temporary roomzzz-mates.

X Factor… it’s Your Choice

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The red carpet is ready. The champagne is chilled. And now ladies across the north are looking forward to the perfect pop party.

Thursday October 28th sees Manchester’s Tiger Tiger succumb to a tuneful takeover as Your Choice, the lifestyle magazine for NHS staff, hosts a Charity Extravaganza. The Printworks venue will see former X Factor finalists Stacey Solomon, Ruth Lorenzo and Jamie ‘Afro’ Archer performing live for fans and charitable supporters alike.

The party hopes to raise funds for six NHS Trusts based in the North West; including Europe’s leading cancer centre, The Christie, and Central Manchester University Hospitals, which incorporates the largest single-site children’s hospital in the UK. Matt Littler and Darren Jeffries will host the party, making it something of a reunion for the pair, best known for their time as Hollyoaks’ loveable likely lads, Max and OB.

Early-bird tickets are available for what promises to be a bright and beautiful bash, at the bargain price of £20, until October 19th. They then jump to £25, though we’d still say it’s worth it to be part of this exclusive event. What’s more, with our Roomzzz Manchester City site just a short cab ride from the venue, there’s very little reason not to get all the girls involved and make it an overnight stay to remember. And with Friday off work, you can enjoy the shopping, salons and sights.

For more information and ticket bookings go to http://www.eventelephant.com/yourchoice

The Northern Championships: Manchester v Leeds II

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Blood, sweat and tears spilled last week as clubs and live venues in Leeds and Manchester went head to head. This time we’re looking for the best pubs and bars for you to visit while on your city break or business trip, and the competition is just as tight.

Round 2- Drink


Leeds

Dr Wu’s, 35 Call Lane, LS1 7BT

Hidden amongst the brash drinking haunts of Leeds’ busiest booze-street, Dr Wu’s is an intimate, relaxed and unpretentiously cool gem.

A Nation of Shopkeepers, 27 Cookridge St, LS2 3AG

A Nation marries traditional pub with contemporary bar, and offers a wonderful selection of ale and events- from live bands to film festival hosting.

Sela, 20 New Briggate, LS1 6NU

Small but beautiful, quality lagers and pizzas match sleek décor giving you very few reasons to leave before last orders are called.

Sandinista, 5/5a Cross Belgrave Street, LS2 8JP

Explore this South American canteen for mouth-watering cocktails, and then moderate the effects with a few bowls of delicious tapas.

Smokestack, 159a Lower Briggate, LS1 6LY

This speak-easy style bar smacks of sophisticated cool, while the upstairs music hall keeps things New Orleans with jazz and blues.

Manchester

Cloud 23, Beetham Tower, 303 Deansgate, M3 4LQ

Head up the highest point of living in Western Europe to enjoy stunning views from the Beetham Tower’s Hilton bar. Champagne, anyone?

Sinclair’s Oyster Bar, 2 Cathedral Gates, M3 1SW

The history behind this old public house in the heart of Exchange Square is worth the trip alone. Oh, and you can still get a pint for £2.50.

The Marble Arch, 73 Rochdale Road, M4 4HY

Escape the city centre to visit the Marble Brewery’s own, critically acclaimed beerhouse. Award winning ales and local food abound.

A Place Called Common, 39-41 Edge Street, M4 1HW

The bar of choice in the effortlessly cool, artsy Northern Quarter offers live electronic music, European lagers and stylish locals.

The Old Nags Head, 19 Jackson’s Row, M2 5WD

Used in the series Cold Feet, one of the busiest pubs in town dates back to 1880 and offers roaring fires, a rooftop patio and real beers.

It’s been a grueling test of endurance, and as they cross the line it’s looking distinctly like a photo-finish. Let us know your thoughts on which city has the best pedigree in pint pulling establishments, and then we might have a better idea which town should take the trophy.

The Northern Championships: Manchester v Leeds I

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50 miles, around a million people and a county border separate Manchester from Leeds. Perfect for short breaks or business trips, both offer the best in culture, sport and shopping. We’d advise a stay at luxury city centre accommodation in either. But if you can’t decide which to stay at first let us help.

Read on for the first of our series of city comparisons where we’ll be pitting them head to head in crucial areas such as sport, arts, food, nightlife etc. After all a little friendly competition never hurt…





Round 1- Nightlife

Leeds

Stinky’s Peephouse, 1 Brick Street, LS9 8AA

Taking its name from a 19th Century San Francisco burlesque club this prominent venue offers multi-tiered dancing and people watching from the balcony.

The Mint Club, 8a Harrison Street, LS1 6PA

This Polo-inspired venue hosts the cream of city centre clubbing, guarantees a great party and a forward thinking soundtrack.

The Elbow Room, 64 Call Lane, LS1 6DT

Part live venue, part bar and part American Pool Hall, there’s no better place to mingle with native scenesters and catch an intimate gig.

The Hi Fi Club, 2 Central Road, LS1 6DE

Winning “Best Nightclub” and “Best Live Music Venue” at the Leeds Bar & Club Awards between 2004 and 2006 speaks volumes. If you’re looking for the jewel in the crown, consider the search over.



Manchester

Sankey’s, Radium Street, M4 6AY

Former mill, winner of DJ Magazine’s 2010 ‘Best Club In the World’ award, huge soundsystem and groundbreaking lighting. Enough said.

Night & Day Café, 26 Oldham Street, M1 1JN

Legendary live music venue, not to mention favourite hangout of touring and local bands, catch tomorrow’s Mercury winners, today.

Matt & Phred’s, 64 Tib Street, M4 1LW

Late night pizza and jazz are perfect together, which is exactly why this backstreet cellar works so well in attracting the cool sophisticates.

The Deaf Institute, 135 Grosvenor Street, M1 7HE

The downstairs bar is decent enough, but the traditional music-hall style room in the attic- complete with smoker’s balcony and raised seating- has quickly established itself as the city’s trendiest live venue.

The bell rings, it’s looking tight and could go either way. As always in a tie-break situation, the judges decide. So if you’ve got any recommendations that can sway them, now would be a good time to speak up…