What's it like? The Hotel Novotel Liverpool is the first property by the brand in the city, having opened in November last year. It's one of a number of new hotels to have recently opened in the regenerated city centre (see Liverpool Hotels round-up), and joins two other Accor hotels in the city – the Ibis Liverpool, and the adjacent ultra-budget Formule 1 Liverpool City Centre.
This new-build property has a bright, modern reception area, with images of the city on the ceiling and an Imac corner in the lobby, offering guests 20 minutes free internet access (although providing there is no-one waiting guests can then log on for a further 20 minutes so it is effectively unlimited access).
Where is it? On Hanover Street, at the edge of the Liverpool One development. The city's main Liverpool Lime Street station is around ten minutes' walk, and Paradise Street bus station is located at the end of Hanover St, with express services to the airport. There is a Q-Park facility next to the hotel, with preferential charges for guests (£3 overnight, £9 for 24 hours or £7 for delegates attending meetings at the hotel), and just further up is a Tesco Express.
Room facilities Novotel rolled out its Novation rooms several years ago now, so regular guest will be faniliar with facilities including flatscreen TVs with MP3 inputs, and desks which swivel round to enable guests to work and watch TV at the same time. My standard room was decorated in neutral colours, with a bright splash of pink for the desk chair. All rooms feature a sofa bed and can accommodate up to four people, with facilities including steam iron, minibar, tea and coffee, laptop safe and hairdryer. Bathrooms feature either a combined bath and shower, or a walk-in shower.
Wired and wifi internet access is charged at £7 for two hours, £14 for 24 hours or £40 for a seven-day pass, and the hotel’s entertainment package costs £12.99 for movies, music, and email access through the TV.
Executive rooms feature added extras including Bose radios / iPod docking stations, Nespresso machine, separate bath and shower, bathrobe and slippers, complimentary water, and free internet access and local calls. There is also one suite on the 6th floor, with a separate living area.
Restaurants and bars The brand's signature Elements restaurant is located on the ground floor, and features the now familiar concepts including the choice of dishes in starter or main portions, and the lone diner tables with flatscreen TVs and headphones. Breakfast is also served here, and offered a good selection of hot and cold buffet choices, with a laminated leaflet on the tables (in assocoiation with Kellogg's), informing guests of the calorific values of each of the breakfast elements.
Business and meeting facilities The property features a dedicated meeting floor, with a total of nine meeting rooms, the largest of which can accommodate 100 delegates theatre-style and can be divide in two, all with natural daylight and overhead LCD projectors.
The hotel is also one of three Novotel properties in the UK to feature the brand's new Eureka concept (along with those in London West and London Heathrow). The idea is to provide delegates with flexible space, which can be adapted quickly between boardroom, breakout and dining styles, and to this end each piece of furniture is light and on wheels, allowing delegates to move it around without waiting for assistance from staff. It's an innovative concept, and one which will appeal to companies looking to hire a one-space-fits-alls room to reduce costs. There is wifi internet access throughout the hotel.
Leisure facilities The hotel is one of few in the city to have a swimming pool, located in the basement and featuring underground Bose speakers, and a built-in spa bath. Other facilities include a gym and steam room.
Verdict The hotel's central location, good leisure facilities and well-equipped guest rooms should ensure the property will appeal to both business and leisure travellers.
How many rooms? 209, of which 127 are double rooms with a sofa bed, 33 are twins, 37 are executive standard rooms, and 11 are disabled accessible rooms. There is also one suite.
Hotel highlights The swimming pool, and the innovative Eureka meetings concept.
Price Fully flexible internet rates for a midweek stay in mid June start from £85 room only
Contact Hotel Novotel Liverpool, 40 Hanover Street, L1 4LY; tel +44 (0)151 702 5100; novotel.com