“Who would have thought, 20 years ago, that Liverpool would be a tourist destination?” Paddy Smith
I’m a fan of boutique hotels and even though it’s part of the IHG chain, Hotel Indigo has perfected the concept of converting old city buildings into modern hotels. Each establishment is unique embracing the history and culture of its neighbourhood in its interior design, accessories and menus. Having previously visited both the York and Edinburgh locations, Hotel Indigo Liverpool seemed like the perfect choice for our recent mini break with friends in Merseyside (read about that here).
So the concept may be the same but each property has its own distinctive characteristics dictated by the style of building and its location, in short no hotels are ever the same. In Liverpool it’s all about the bygone cotton era and the trading that took place on Chapel Street where the hotel is situated (cotton merchants and brokers met in Exchange Flags opposite the hotel to trade) and of course the city’s long time and famous association with music. A recent ground floor makeover has transformed the public areas into chic and inviting spaces with these two primary influences, cotton and music, most prominent.
The exterior of the hotel is unmissable with its primary coloured glass facade rising above the street level terrace. The extensive refurbishment has stylishly transformed the Cotton Lounge, Reception Lobby and Marco Pierre White (MPW) Steakhouse, Bar & Grill using contemporary decor, textiles and accessories. Gone are the white walls with their rainbow of cotton threads that still feature on the upper floors replaced instead with a palette of muted blue/green tones mixed with dark woods, rich brown leather and plenty of exposed brick to complete the urban design.
Tonal cotton spools are dotted about in a nod to the city’s textile rich past as well as trendy music related pop art in mustard hues and vintage record players, homage to The Beatles and Liverpool’s eclectic musical legacy. Statement chairs in different designs make up other areas along with one off pieces of furniture. The restaurant has a distinctive patterned floor and large photos of MPW himself cover the blinds that section off the kitchen, as part of the new design the menu has also had a makeover with many new dishes.
The hotel has 151 rooms advertised as spacious with oversized beds and spa-inspired bathrooms but in my experience both the previous Hotel Indigo’s I have stayed in had more sizable rooms, larger and more comfortable beds and much nicer roomier bathrooms. We seemed to be a bit unlucky as our first room had a horrendous smell that we attributed to either a mold paint or adhesive and our second smelled strongly of cigarette smoke. Our room was not cleaned on day two even though we requested the service twice which meant no clean towels or fridge replenishment which was disappointing but not the end of the world. Inline with Hotel Indigo’s policy the contents of the fridge is always complimentary and usually the products reflect the city but in Liverpool it was a lone kitkat and a bag of crisps, again disappointing. The wifi was free but the service was intermittent.
The rooms are decorated in bright colours embracing the textile trade theme with murals of eye-popping cotton spools murals to threads with tonal accessories to match. Our room on the second floor had a green wool theme that was continued into the bathroom and in the wall art and accessories. The bathroom had a rainfall shower and was stocked with Aveda products.
We really liked the outdoor terrace, lobby and bar which had a great atmosphere whether it was day or night. Buckets of Liverpool gin served with watermelon, pre-dinner appetite wetters and many nightcaps were enjoyed in these areas throughout our stay.
Breakfast was served buffet style in the MPW Restaurant and was distinctly average. A combination of mainly serve yourself with some waiter service the whole experience was underwhelming especially on the second morning. We opted to order poached eggs instead of the scrambled and fried varieties festering under the hot lights and the service was so slow to the point of almost non-existent. In fact we so unimpressive that we went elsewhere outside the hotel on our last morning.
For me this hotel’s major selling point is its favourable location which is particularly important in a short stay. Lime Street Station is only a ten minute walk and the city centre and dock areas are also easily accessible on foot. The staff were friendly and efficient overall, I loved the new refurbed areas and the overall vibe. My experience of the restaurant was disappointing (only breakfast as we didn’t try dinner there so I reserve judgement on that) and I was particularly underwhelmed with our room, would I stay there again based on this visit? Yes, but I would request a different and bigger room but to be honest with a city as vibrant as Liverpool to explore you are not in the room much anyway.
The Nitty Gritty
Hotel Indigo Liverpool, 10 Chapel Street, Liverpool. L3 9AG
Telephone: 0151 559 0111
Hotel Indigo Edinburgh offers complimentary wi-fi, complimentary fridge, 24-hour room service and fitness studio.
Check In: 3:00pm
Check Out: 11:00am
Excellent location to explore city centre and historic docks on foot
Nice bar, lounge and outside terrace
Friendly bar staff
The Not so Good….
Breakfast was disappointing both in quality and slow service
Our first room had an unpleasant damp smell so we had to move
Bed was small and pretty uncomfortable
Room was not cleaned one of the days
Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2016. All rights reserved.