Conference Planning Executive, Abbie Paginton tells us about her weekend of discovery in Liverpool.
Our first stop was the beautiful Titanic Hotel Liverpool.
You know you are in for something special when you see the huge turrets emerging into eyesight. The Titanic Hotel has been beautifully and carefully renovated to capture some of the historic features such as the old metal trellis work shutters, alongside the modern day features you would expect in a high-end venue. The event spaces all have the industrial feel mixed with the modern amenities you would expect, along with a beautiful Titanic-inspired staircase. The bedrooms were the biggest shock, they’re huge! Due to the listed building status, they were unable to move the windows so it was a choice between bedrooms without windows and massive rooms – they opted for the latter! We stopped here for lunch following our journey and it was delicious.
We then headed to Hard Days Night Hotel, part of the Millennium portfolio.
Inspired by The Beatles, from the street it looks like a typical period property however when you enter, you are immersed in the sixties, from the jukebox next to reception, to the receptionist’s gorgeous dresses and the glass elevator surrounded by the circular staircase. In the ground floor bar, artwork of The Beatles adorned the walls and in front of the actual bar were four stools with names engraved onto the back (bet you can’t guess which four names!). In the event space, the corridor has a huge wall-of-fame tribute to many famous artists. The event spaces were very sixties themed, again with many references to the Fab Four. The biggest surprise was the last room we saw – the Two of Us Suite. A beautiful cream and mirrored room (a far removal from the rest of the brightly coloured rooms) and contained only four pictures – each one of a Beatle and his wife. A beautiful room for a private dinner.
The Hard Day’s Night hotel is right next door to the world-famous Cavern Club, so we couldn’t come to Liverpool and not descend those famous steps.
It really didn’t disappoint! Seeing all the pictures of people who had been there, the musical instruments, the bricks which were covered in peoples handwritten messages and signatures – amazing! We could have stayed there longer, but on to our next location.
We were hosted for the weekend by ACC Liverpool and they had booked us into Jury’s Inn which was right next door. As we drove to the dock, we couldn’t stop looking around at the historic architecture, and the masses of infrastructure being built around it. Liverpool is growing fast! After checking into Jury’s Inn, we walked across the plaza to ACC Liverpool.
The ACC is a huge complex and has an impressive profile in the dock. As soon as you walk into the reception, which is a massive floor to ceiling room, with escalators in the centre, you start to realise how vast the building is. We headed up to the mezzanine and had a drinks and canape reception. On a nice, bright day, I’m sure the view from there, and its balcony, would be amazing. The canapes were delicious and the staff very attentive. We were unable to see the arena due to a convention; however we did see many of their other spaces – including the Mickey-Mouse shaped auditorium – what a great idea! The spaces were all extremely functionally and easy to brand if required. Despite being such a large venue, it was very easy to see how you could just have one part of the venue for smaller events, rather than feeling lost in a larger area. We also saw the attached convention centre which is an amazing space, again with views over the docks, and a blank canvas for you to create your own event. The ACC has been designed in such a clever way and the event capabilities are endless.
The Pullman Liverpool is in the building attached to the ACC. They even have a door which, on request, can be manned so you have direct access to the hotel/ACC.
The Pullman is a modern hotel, with contemporary design and all the mod-cons you would expect. We were shown a suite which overlooked the Liverpool wheel, also located on the dock, and when lit up at night was a beautiful view. We had dinner here in their Marco Pierre White restaurant – a fusion of steak and fish dining which was lovely.
Next morning, we went on the Liverpool Wheel. Each pod seats up to 6 (some had a glass floor – no thank you!) and you get fantastic views over the docks and the main Strand area. Well worth a trip.
We then headed for the short walk to the neighbouring Albert Dock for the Beatles Experience. With headphones on, we made our way around the museum of artefacts and brushed up on our knowledge of the Fab Four. You don’t have to do the headphone tour, as the museum can be walked around without, so you can spend anything from half an hour to half a day in there!
We then went on a driven tour of Liverpool ending up at the cathedral which really was something else! As soon as you walk through the doors you’re wowed by the vast expanse of space. The more you look at the architecture the more you see, and the more beautiful it becomes. From the stories about how a bomb bounced off the wall during the war (you can still see the scorch marks), the magical whispering arch, the pink neon sign and the yummy scouse which we had in the restaurant – this is definitely a venue worth visiting.
We then took a short walk to Hope Street Hotel.
Again, from the outside this looked like a period property but it was quite different inside. When you push the heavy door, it looks like a relaxing spa as you enter – clean, white walls, wooden furnishings and smells amazing. Although this venue has a 4 star rating, it could easily be a 5 star – hence why they describe it as 4 star with 5 star touches! The hotel is mid renovation due to adding on a spa, executive lounge and a 40 person cinema as well as more bedrooms. However, it doesn’t feel like it is mid renovation – it is so quiet! The bedrooms were stunning – we saw one’s with Jacuzzi’s on the balconies, huge stone baths, and a huge bath tub. The event spaces were beautiful – in particular the two rooms on the fifth floor which had balconies with stunning views over the city and they had a kitchen on this floor to make catering easier. The Afternoon Tea we enjoyed here was superb.
We then made our way to our last stop – The Royal Liver Building.
This comprised of two elements. The first was the 360 tour. As a person nervous of heights and enclosed spaces, I was a little apprehensive! We went in a lift up to the 10th floor which sits just below the clock face and were able to go out and see the amazing views. Then we walked up some more spiralling stairs to go inside the clocktower for a ‘show’ explaining the history of the Liver Building. Then the group headed up to the final climb to the top of the tower – they came back beaming with experiences of what they could see, and how close they were to the Liver Birds. Then we went down to The Venue on the first floor. A stunning white marbled space which was multi-functional and absolutely stunning. It has a beautiful balcony overlooking the Mersey.
On the drive home we all agreed that Liverpool has captured a part of our hearts and has so much to offer. With all the changes the city is going through, it may need more than one repeat visit. I definitely think I left a little piece of my heart in the beauty that is Liverpool.