Tried & Tested

Hotel review: The Municipal Hotel and Spa Liverpool – MGallery

1 Feb 2024 by BusinessTraveller
The Municipal Hotel and Spa Liverpool – MGallery (image supplied)

Background

Opened in May 2023, just in time for the Eurovision Song Contest, the new MGallery is Liverpool’s first and only five-star hotel. It is also the UK’s sole MGallery property, a collection by Accor renowned for its design-conscious approach.

The property is located in a Grade II* listed building, which formerly housed the offices of Liverpool City Council. It was purchased in 2017 by Singaporean developer Fragrance Group and has been refurbished with design by Falconer Chester Hall architects and Manchester’s Koncept ID doing the interiors.

Where is it?

Situated on Dale Street near the Liver Building, trendy Ropewalks district, Liverpool Waterfront and the Cavern Quarter. The closest underground station is Moorfields, which is a couple of minutes’ walk away, and it’s also less than ten minutes’ walk to Liverpool Lime Street.

What’s it like?

A stylish mix of heritage features and modern touches. The iconic quadrangular building, dating from 1868, embraces Italian and French Renaissance styles and features ornate Corinthian columns and a clock tower. Original features such as wooden panelling and parquet flooring co-exist alongside plenty of contemporary details, such as the vibrant orange, yellow and blue sofas and chairs in Palm Court Library.

Here you’ll also find portraits of prominent anti-slavery campaigners William Roscoe and Hannah Lightbody and tall cabinets filled with vintage tomes and artefacts like framed collars that reference the government employees who once worked here.

The Municipal Hotel and Spa Liverpool – MGallery (image supplied)

Rooms

The hotel has 179 rooms, including four suite types (Executive, Junior, Municipal and Presidential). I stayed in an Executive Suite, which, like all rooms, features a William Morris print on the headboard, vibrant prints of the building and clock tower by local artists, and a black rotary phone for a cool retro touch, as well as an original fireplace.

Rooms also showcase pieces from Irish furniture makers O’Donnell including side tables and a desk, both of which feature reading lights and USB ports. There were two brown leather armchairs and a table by the window, while the desk has a Nespresso machine for convenient caffeine pick-me-ups while you work. Above the desk is a Smart TV, and there’s a fridge in the living area with sparkling and still Cano water.

There was also coffee, tea, mini sachets of fresh milk and packets of Border biscuits. The sofa turns into a bed and there’s also an iron, ironing board and safe in the suite.

The grey marble bathroom features an attractive deep blue herringbone tiling feature on the top half of the wall, and large refillable Culti toiletries. The walk-in shower (there is no bath) has a rainforest and standard shower attachment, and there were MGallery-themed robes and slippers.

Food and drink

The hotel is home to Seaforth, where dishes include Liverpool Scouse stew (£26) and pan-fried duck breast (£24). Over in Palm Court, a casual menu includes spaghetti carbonara (£16) and local beer battered fish and chips (£18). Cocktails include the Mersey Paradise (£15), a decadent mix of Calvados, cassis, lemon and Taittinger. With its funky floral chairs and peach blossom tree, the Botanic Tearoom is a great setting for afternoon tea (£33 from Mon-Thur, £39 from Fri-Sun).

The Municipal Hotel and Spa Liverpool – MGallery (image supplied)

Meetings

There are six boardrooms and a large private function room. Featuring original wood panelling and striking light fixtures, the Weightman room can host 50 for dinner and is popular for drinks receptions, conferences and private dining.

Leisure

The hotel’s extensive spa facilities come at an additional cost of £50 at peak times (10am-6pm) or £30 off-peak (7am-10am, 6pm-8pm). This includes a 16-metre indoor swimming pool, Himalayan salt sauna, steam room, monsoon experience shower, ice experience and laconium plus four treatment rooms. Hotel guests can use the gym for free until 10am and from 6-8pm.

Verdict

This beautifully restored building offers an affordable stay in Liverpool’s first and only five-star hotel.

FACT BOX

  • Best for Travellers who love a mix of heritage and contemporary features
  • Don’t miss Cocktails or coffees in Palm Court, and a dip in the gorgeous indoor pool
  • Price Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in March start from £165 for the Executive Suite (£120 for entry-level)
  • Contact Municipal Building, Dale Street, Liverpool L2 2DH; 0151 332 3030; municipalhotelliverpool.com

Words: Helen Dalley

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