Adagio is the "apart-hotel" brand of Accor, a hybrid of serviced apartment and hotel room which Accor runs in a joint venture with French leisure tour operator Pierre et Vacances. The Adagio is the first of the brand in the UK, though more are planned, including one in Birmingham.
WHAT'S IT LIKE?
The Adagio is in a famous old department store building – Lewis’s. A little history: David Lewis moved to Liverpool at the age of 16 and established his outfitter's shop in 1856, developing it into a large store which was then taken to even greater heights by Louis Cohen from 1886.
Adagio Liverpool: A two-person studio room
Both of these families were considerable benefactors to the city in general, with Lewis leaving funds to build a hospital and a hotel and club for working class men, and Cohen's son presenting Liverpool University with a £100,000 library. Above the main entrance is a statue of a nude man by Sir Jacob Epstein.
Its official title is "Liverpool Resurgent" but is nicknamed locally "Dickie Lewis".
The refurbishment of the building is impressive, but at the moment the majority of the building is awaiting completion, with the intention for it to be part of a larger rejuvenation of the area into a Central Village with a Plaza (you can see signs to the "Plaza entrance" in the hotel, but it is not in use). To find the hotel, follow the signs and arrows identifying the entrance on Fairclough Street. You ring the buzzer, and take the lift up to the second floor reception.
WHERE IS IT?
On Hanover Street, in the centre of Liverpool, a few minutes walk from all the major attractions including the Albert Dock and Liverpool One shopping centre. Liverpool Lime Street railway station is a five-minute walk away.
The hotel has 126 studio and one-bedroom apartments. The two-person studio (25 sqm) has a lounge with a double bed, fully-equipped kitchen, bathroom with bathtub or shower and WC, television and air conditioning.
The one-bedroom apartment (40 sqm) can sleep up to four people and has a double sofa-bed bedroom with a double bed or twin beds, kitchen, bathroom with bathtub or shower and WC, TV telephone, personal safe, air-cooling system and wifi.
Our two-person studio was a good size, though we found that when you sat up in bed reading, the beds moved away from the wall, so we had to jam paper under the wheels. The small kitchen area with a dishwasher, sink, microwave, good-size fridge with freezer, and a selection of cutlery, plates and dishes allowed us to prepare our own food.
Also in the room was an ironing board and iron, ipod charging iHome device with a radio, a flat screen TV with Freeview, and a small work table with an additional table which can pull out below allowing you to eat at it.
The decoration was simple, with a polished wooden floor and marble effect in the bathroom. There was free wifi, but this was only for one device and so once the laptop had been connected nothing else could be.
Our bathroom had a sink, toilet and power shower. The combined soap and shampoo was fine, and there was a heated towel rail which cut be put on a timer – a good idea since it dries the towel but does not lead to the room being overheated. The air conditioning was a little slow to cool the room. We were visiting in summer and it was quite warm, but we opened a window and had no problems after that.
It's all well thought through. However, we had two criticisms - the first is that while the room key needs to be inserted to have power in the room, if you remove this it also removes power from the plugs by the desk, meaning your laptop will fail to charge while you are away. Secondly, although there are two plugs by the desk, both of these are already taken - one by the clock radio and combined iPod charger, and the other by a lamp, so you have to unplug one of these to have your laptop charging while working on it.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
Breakfast in the hotel's third-floor restaurant
The hotel sells alcoholic beverages from reception, and these can be consumed either in your room or in the third-floor restaurant where breakfast is also served (£12.95 per person). The room is large, airy, and contains a huge mural dating from the 1950s from the original canteen as well as modern sculpture – there are also some wooden panels from the store visible in the corridor on the way to the toilets. A large Apple computer is available for those wanting to surf the internet.
There are meeting rooms on the third floor adjacent to the main dining hall.
There is a small gym at the hotel.
A wonderfully central location, good value, great sound proofing and the addition of a kitchen gives you options for every budget with supermarkets being close by, though there are also dozens of restaurants within a few minutes walk. The staff are excellent – and European. We spoke with Italian and Spanish staff while staying, and all were friendly and eager to help.
- HOW MANY ROOMS? 126 ranging from studios to two-room apartments. Room sizes are either 25 sqm or 40 sqm, although with the hotel being a refurbishment of the existing Lewis building, there are many variations in sizes.
- HIGHLIGHTS The canteen restaurant for breakfast with its marvellous 1950s murals.
- PRICE Fully-flexible internet rates for a midweek stay in mid-September started from £65 per room per night.
- CONTACT Adagio Aparthotel Liverpool City, 1 Fairclough Street, Liverpool +44 0151 703 7400, accor.com.