FROM the football pitch to a hotel where guests can eat, drink and sleep the beautiful game, Bury's Philip Neville has been on "a massive learning curve".

Former Manchester United team-mates Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville opened the world’s first Hotel Football in March, with Philip, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt on board as investors.

Located opposite Manchester United’s OId Trafford stadium, the four star hotel is home to Café Football Manchester, has nods to footie running through its décor and boasts a rooftop football pitch.

Philip said: "We’ve been really pleased with how the whole project has taken off and the interest we’ve received from football fans all over the world has been fantastic.

"As I’m sure you can imagine, it’s very different from anything any of us have done before.

"The five of us have played football all of our lives so we’ve all been on a massive learning curve.

"We’ve all been very hands on from the planning stages through to design so it’s been great to see the final result and fans enjoying what we’ve created."

Born into a sporty family, his dad Neville Neville was a former professional cricketer, mother Jill is general manager and club secretary at Bury FC and sister Tracey is a netball coach with Manchester Thunder and former England international in the sport.

Former Manchester United, Everton and England defender Philip ended his 18-year playing career in summer 2013 with six Premier League titles, three FA Cups and a Champions League trophy to his name.

Since retiring from football, Philip has embarked on a career as a pundit for the BBC and, along with billionaire Peter Lim, the Hotel Football fivesome own semi-professional club Salford City FC.

Speaking of quitting playing football, Philip said: "I think every player will tell you that they miss playing.

"It’s a cliché, but we really didn’t realise how lucky we were to be doing something we loved every day, and the banter with the lads is probably one of the things you miss the most. Having said that, I’m really enjoying punditry."

He added: "I spend more time with the family, particularly on weekends, but I’m still very busy."

As this year's football season draws to a close, fans can still visit the hotel over the summer to try out the food and facilities on offer.

Father-of-two Phil said: "This is the first hotel of its kind where football is the main concept. The location is unbelievable; you can wake up in the morning and look out onto one of the most iconic stadiums in the world.

"The hotel’s Old Trafford Supporter’s Club is a completely unique experience for visiting fans, while the meeting and events facilities offer something totally different to other Manchester venues.

"Café Football, on the ground floor of the hotel, offers a range of popular dishes with a unique twist, crafted by Michelin star chef Michael Wignall and executive chef Brendan Fyldes.

"The highlight for me though has to be Heaven — a rooftop five-a-side football pitch showcasing some of the best views in Manchester and Old Trafford."

Speaking of what qualities he looks for in a hotel, Philip said: "Great service, cleanliness and good food are key. You need to get these right before the unique elements of our hotel really come into their own.

"Hotel Football is our focus at the moment, so we’re very excited to see how this goes and we’ll go from there."