Ask most people in Manchester about Sacha’s Hotel and they’ll know exactly where you’re talking about. Its central location just off of Piccadilly Gardens, behind Debenhams and Starbucks, means that most people have walked past it on the way to the main NQ drag from the tram, or spied it whilst shopping in town, but it’s very rare to find a brave soul who has actually passed through the doors. Cue The NQ Review.
Sister to the Wave Bar next door, the two are separated by a single long fire door which staff can pass through freely, but patrons must enter and exit at the official entrances for fear of being banned from both venues. We’re still not sure as to the reasoning of making patrons exit and walk along a dirty back alley to enter the neighbouring bar – maybe it’s to help distinguish between the two bars, as their drinks offerings and prices are exactly the same – they’re identical twin sister bars if you will. The only discernible difference was that this sister had put in the extra effort and served our drinks in actual glass glasses…classy.
The main pull for this place is the price of its drinks – at £1.85 per pint of Carlsberg, you won’t find many places cheaper right in the middle of Manchester. Sadly, that’s where the good points end.
On descending the steps from the main hotel entrance you’re met with a mix of restaurant and bar with an interior that looks worn, tired and ultimately confused. One wall is adorned with a portrait of a horse, a nearby pillar has an Ayers Rock sign hanging from it, and the main feature is the large 4-man rowing sculls affixed to the ceiling. Unless they’re celebrating the achievement of reaching Ayers Rock by only row boat and horse, this place is definitely lacking identity.
Just when we thought the decor couldn’t get any stranger, our eyes caught sight of an intriguing flashing green tunnel towards the back of the bar. Our hopes were raised that we’d found the entrance to the Crystal Maze, but unless there’s a new disappointing zone featuring psychedelic 70s wallpaper and views of a hotel pool and gym, that wasn’t the case.
They did have the rugby live on the TV in the corner, and they do advertise Sky Sports, but these enticements won’t be enough to get us through the doors again. It’s nice to have visited and to have experienced Sacha’s uniqueness, but one visit is definitely enough.
Sacha’s Hotel Bar
Drinks: Beers, Wines, Spirits
Related City Centre Establishments: Wave Bar @ Sacha’s Hotel
Bongo Rating: 3/10