Hilton unveils Liverpool property

1 Feb 2010 by BusinessTraveller

Hilton has officially opened its first core-brand property in Liverpool, a 215-room hotel located within the Liverpool One shopping and retail complex, and next to the city’s regenerated Albert Docks. The hotel joins the recently-opened Hampton by Hilton John Lennon Airport, with a second Hampton property due to open in the city centre this year.

The huge Liverpool One development has transformed the city centre since it opened in 2008, with major retail offerings including a flagship John Lewis department store and dozens of new bars and restaurants. The development has also bridged the gap between the city centre and the Albert Docks (where attractions such as the Tate Liverpool are housed), and the adjacent Museum of Liverpool, due to open next year. The Hilton Liverpool itself is located on the edge of the Liverpool One project, with rooms overlooking the development's Chivasse Park and the docks.

The hotel’s architecture has been designed “to represent the curvature and ebb and flow of the Mersey River”, with features including a walkway in the lobby made from timber taken from the docks, and a specially-comissioned piece of art representing the river and positioned above the reception.

Hotel features include 215 rooms with a total of twelve suites, a seventh-floor executive lounge, a business centre, gym, and wifi internet access throughout. For meetings there are eight function rooms plus the Grace Suite ballroom for up to 400 delegates theatre-style, while F&B options include Exchange restaurant and Pima bar. There are also plans to add a spa facility in the near future in an empty area of the property, along with a further “destination bar”.

The Hilton Rocks opening event was attended by celebrities including Liverpool legend Kenny Dalglish, Coleen Rooney and pop group the Sugababes, alongside Hilton’s Area President for Europe Simon Vincent, and the Ability Group’s chairman and founder Andreas Panayiotou.

Speaking at the event Vincent said that bringing the Hilton core brand to Liverpool has filled “a big gap” for the brand.

“It’s been a bit like buses – we’ve waited 46 years to have a Hilton property in the city, and then within the space of a few months we’ve opened a Hampton by Hilton at the airport, and we have another central Hampton hotel opening in April”.

The Hilton Liverpool is owned by the Ability Group, which owns two existing Doubletree by Hilton properties - the Doubletree by Hilton Cambridge Garden House, and the Doubletree by Hilton Dunblane. The group is also developing Luton’s second Garden Inn hotel, and later this year it will open a luxury Waldorf Astoria property located within the grounds of Syon House, around seven miles from Heathrow airport.

The group’s chairman Andreas Panayiotou revealed that the 140-room new-build hotel, due to open in September, will feature seven F&B concepts including a fine-dining restaurant, a martini bar, a “kosher kitchen” and an ice cream parlour.

There will also be a 10,000 square-foot spa, banqueting facilites for up to 600 guests, and even a butterfly enclosure in the lobby area (the London Butterfly House having previously been housed in the grounds of Syon House). Panayiotou said that the hotel would appeal to the luxury leisure and business traveller, being located halfway between Heathrow and central London.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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