What’s it like? If you haven’t visited Liverpool for a few years, prepare for some big changes. The
£1 billion Liverpool One development has transformed the city, housing endless shops, restaurants, bars and hotels, and bridging the gap between the “old” centre and the regenerated Albert Dock.
The Hilton Liverpool is one of the last phases of the project, in a prime location overlooking the docks and Chavasse Park, and only a short walk to many of the new restaurants. The hotel is housed in a curved seven-storey building, with the exterior and interior architecture designed “to represent the curvature and ebb and flow of the Mersey River”. Features include a walkway in the lobby made from timber taken from the docks.
Where is it? In the Liverpool One complex, next to the Paradise Street Interchange bus station, from where the Airlink 500 express bus service goes directly to Liverpool John Lennon airport (taking about 20 minutes). Lime Street, the city’s main train station, is about 15 minutes’ walk, and the attractions of Albert Dock, including the Tate Liverpool gallery, are a few minutes’ stroll away.
Room facilities This is the latest of several new-generation Hiltons in the UK, following the London Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf and Manchester Deansgate properties, and there is a certain familiarity to the modern in-room facilities. The colour scheme is neutral greys and browns, with splashes of turquoise from prints on the walls. Views from the rooms vary between the docks and the park, or both if you are lucky.
Features of my standard Guest room included wifi internet access (charged at £15 for 24 hours), a chair, footrest and coffee table by the window, a workdesk and comfortable chair with a swivel lamp, plus two plug sockets at desk height, a Samsung flatscreen TV, a radio/alarm clock with MP3 input, tea and coffee-making facilities, a minibar, a safe and a collapsible luggage rack. Bathrooms have a combined bath and shower (with handheld and monsoon showerheads), Crabtree and Evelyn La Source toiletries and a heated mirror.
Executive rooms are on floors six and seven and are slightly larger with a different colour scheme and added amenities such as a robe and slippers and free water. Guests in these rooms also have access to the seventh-floor lounge, with great views of the city. The facility is open from 7am to 11pm and serves free breakfast, afternoon tea and evening canapes. There is also a PC with free internet access.
Restaurants and bars Exchange restaurant on the ground floor is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7am to 10pm. The ground-floor Pima bar (named after a type of cotton, highlighting Liverpool’s historical links with the industry) is open 8am-2am and was buzzing when I visited. Booths are designed to look like cotton reels, while the lights resemble cotton buds. There are also plans to open a “destination bar” in an empty area of the hotel, although these have not yet been finalised.
Business and meeting facilities There are eight meeting rooms, all located on the first floor, and most have natural daylight. The Grace suite is the largest event space, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Liverpool One and capacity for 246 delegates for banquets or 430 theatre-style. The 24-hour business centre is on the same floor.
Leisure facilities The hotel’s gym is on the mezzanine floor and is open 24 hours (accessible via keycard). It features Hilton’s standard Fitness by Precor offering. There are plans to add a spa in the near future, although there were no details at the time of going to press.
Verdict A great location close to both Albert Dock and the city centre, and modern facilities that regular guests of any new-generation UK Hilton hotel will now be familiar with.
How many rooms? There are 215 rooms.
Room highlights The comfy armchair and footrest, and great views from virtually all rooms.
Price Internet rates for a midweek stay in April started from £124 for a Guest room.
Contact Hilton Liverpool, 3 Thomas Steers Way; tel +44 (0)151 708 4200; hilton.co.uk/liverpool