A hotel with a twist. It is themed around a cruise liner. Now it is hard to get this feeling on land but they have done well. A lot of money has been spent on this since it was the Gladstone Hotel. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in the Liner. Don't be put off by the outside of the building the inside is the total opposite. A few things for you to know: 1. Breakfast is amazing, one of the best Ive tasted in a hotel and ive stayed in a lot. 2. Bar prices are reasonable for a city centre hotel. 3. Restaurant is ok, but if your staying a few nights definitely worth venturing out to the city. 4. Ask for a street side room if you can, otherwise you may hear trains from the station behind. 5. Free wireless internet! 6. Free Car parking (hard to find in a city centre!) 7. Close to all attractions furthest away is the Albert docks which is only about 15 mins away. 8. I paid £69 a night which was cheaper than I got the Adelphi hotel the previous year and it is ten times better. 9. This is a 3* rated hotel but I believe with the service and quality received I put it in the same quality as some of the 4* hotels ive stayed in! and finally 10. Great staff, you don't always find this in every department but everything from the reception to the bar was great. Definately worth looking into if your planning a visit to Liverpool.
Introduction I've had to go up to Liverpool for work on a couple of occasions this year. The first time, back in February, I stayed in the Premier Travel in on Vernon Street in the city centre, which was perfectly adequate for its three star rating, although the room was a little shabby. This time, our administrator at work couldn't get me in to the same hotel, but managed to find a booking at the Albert Dock Premier Travel Inn, which is still not too far from the city centre - I have walked it in about 15 minutes and taxi drivers seem to know it well. I was expecting an adequate stay, but was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the hotel and services for the money that I was charged. Booking I didn't personally book it, but our administrator found it quick and easy to book by email and received fax confirmation almost immediately. This was only three days before travel. To book, call 0870 990 6432. The surroundings The hotel is part of a block of converted warehouses/factories that include something called The Beatles Story, which I didn't investigate, but I gather was some kind of Beatles museum/entertainment centre, a Holiday Inn Hotel and numerous bars and restaurants. The block looks out over the docks and is surprisingly clean and modern-looking, Liverpool authorities having made a huge effort to regenerate the dock area. Arrival I got the train up from London to Liverpool Lime Street, hopped into a taxi and was driven to the hotel with very little difficulty. On arrival at the front desk, I was greeted politely, my booking was found very quickly and the basic functions of the hotel were explained well, albeit in a very strong Liverpool accent - I can imagine that non-English speakers might struggle. The reception area was neat and tidy. The rooms The hotel is clearly converted from old warehouses, so the rooms are big and the ceilings are high. My room was fantastic. It was at the end of a long corridor, and so was a bit bigger than others along the corridor that I caught sight of. There were two large windows, one down to the ground and overlooking the docks. The room looked hardly used, the furniture pristine and the bedding was fresh. The bathroom was large, again with a barely used bathroom suite. Shower gel and shampoo was provided. In the room, basic facilities were available, including hairdryer, kettle, coffee and biscuits and a television. There was also a phone, which was operated by a card from the reception desk. The room was a little cold when I walked it, but this soon warmed up because I was able to adjust the radiators to the temperature that I wanted. The shower was fabulously warm and pumped out the water at such high pressure it massaged my neck muscles brilliantly. Most importantly of all, the hotel was very quiet. During my stay at the Premier Travel Inn on Vernon Street earlier in the year, my colleague and I were kept awake by the other guests - at this hotel, I could hear other guests but not to the extent that I was kept awake. The food There is a restaurant and bar on the first floor, which I decided to try rather than go out, although there were a number of nearby restaurants that I could have chosen. As room service is not available at this hotel, I went down to the restaurant to eat. Service was quick and friendly - the staff are clearly used to coping with guests on their own and there were plenty of single tables. I chose a steak cooked with red wine and stilton and asked for mashed potatoes and a tomato and onion salad to accompany it. Unfortunately, my waitress, friendly though she was, did not speak very good English, so I ended up with chips instead of mashed potato and had to ask again for the salad, which literally was chopped tomato and onions and nothing else, no dressing or anything. However, the meal was eatable, if a little plain, and not bad value for just over £18 including a large glass of wine. Breakfast the next morning was a different story. There are two choices - £5.95 for a continental breakfast; £6.95 for an English. The service was very good - as I walked in, somebody met me and escorted me to my table, after showing me where the buffet was. The choice of food was great, with a variety of cooked food, bread, yoghurt, fruit, cereals and best of all, mugs of tea, not stupid little cups. Everything was immaculately clean. The price This was the best bit - not including breakfast and dinner, I (or rather my company) paid just £52.95, which is the price from Monday to Thursday. Over the weekend, it goes up to £55.95. Checking out This was very quick - just a matter of handing the keys in. As the hotel is a little way (just a few hundred metres) from the main road, there is a phone at reception from which guests can call a taxi if you have a lot of luggage. Otherwise, it is easy to walk to the main road and flag down a taxi. Conclusion Although the dinner was nothing special, there was nothing else I could find to complain about - the service and quality of rooms deserved a higher star rating than the three stars it had been given. I hope that they maintain the quality. The surroundings were also fabulous and there are plenty of places to eat right next door to the hotel. Highly recommended to anyone who has to spend time in Liverpool, be it for business or pleasure.
Right, so youve read my review of Liverpool and have decided to spend a few days in this fantastic city but where are you going to stay? Care to have a little advice from someone who regularly visits the place? Clearly I must be in an increasingly painful financial situation because the price bracket of the hotels I have stayed in during my three most recent visits to Merseyside has dropped each time. What that does say about Liverpool, though, is that there is accommodation in the city to suit all budgets. While I like to stay somewhere nice, I firmly believe that the more economic you are with your accommodation expenses the more you can spend on enjoying yourself. The following are examples from three different price ranges. TOP RANGE THE CROWNE PLAZA Where is it? Situated at the Pierhead, the Crowne Plaza is ideally located for business or leisure visitors. Its a minute from the Albert Dock with all of its attractions and five minutes on foot from the main shopping and entertainment area in the city centre. Although some rooms overlook the Mersey, its a pretty urban setting and is next to a busy road the Strand. This is fine when your windows are closed but stay there in July as we did and its a different matter. Whats good about it? Well, this four star hotel is very clean, comfortable and has excellent facilities. It can boast a cocktail bar, a restaurant, an indoor swimming pool, a sauna and whirlpool and plush rooms. Our double room had a small lounge area as well as a comfortable bed and a spotlessly clean bathroom. There was a minibar that was a bit on the steep side, as youd expect, but there were complimentary bottles of still and sparkling spring water, cartons of juice and biscuits as well as the usual tea and coffee-making business. The pool was a bit bigger than in many hotels and the sauna was great. We used them twice and they were never crowded. We only ate breakfast at the hotel preferring to eat at restaurants in town in the evenings. The breakfast was superb with a full English or a Continental breakfast on offer even a combination if you wanted. The Continental breakfast was a buffet affair, cooked breakfast orders were taken at table. The food was delicious and the service excellent. Victoria Wood at the next table seemed to like the hash browns. Whats not so good about it? After an evening on the town we headed back to the hotel for a nightcap to find that the guests from a wedding party had spilled over from their function room into the bar. This meant that there were no seats and there was a not inconsiderable queue at the bar. From our dress (jeans) the barman decided that not only we were not wedding guests but neither we were hotel guests. Instead of asking whether we were guests he assumed we werent and said non-guests could not drink there first, thats not true, second how insulting!!! A hastily produced room key resolved the situation. I have already mentioned the traffic noise when the windows are open but there was also noise from the other guests in the early hours. This was actually from young children possibly the younger bridesmaids from the afore-mentioned wedding, cavorting along the corridors outside the rooms most of the night. OVERALL With rooms currently coming in around £100 a bit of difference either way depending on how early you book in advance, choice of king-sized bed, whether you have breakfast, etc this hotel is pretty good value for money in terms of the extra comfort and the facilities available. The location is great if a bit too close to the road though its proximity to the centre makes it a good choice. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx THE IBIS Where is it? The IBIS is almost directly opposite the Albert Dock and about a seven minute walk from the city centre. While it is on the same busy road as the Crowne Plaza it set back a way, with the hotel car park in front of it, acting as a barrier. It shares grounds with the Formule 1 hotel and the two are set in grounds which have railing all the way round. It even has lawns the Crowne Plaza does not. Whats good about it? Clearly the IBIS is not in the same league as the Crowne Plaza. It is not nearly so plush but it is still comfortable and clean and all rooms have en suite bathrooms. Currently prices fluctuate around £52-55 for a double room dependent on the day of the week If you do not expect to be spending much time in your hotel room this would be a much better option than the Crowne Plaza. When you check in you get a voucher for breakfast. If you choose not to eat breakfast at the hotel, you present your voucher on checking out and the price of breakfast (about £5.00) is deducted from your bill. There is a small bar/lounge area next to reception. We bought drinks there and took them to our room to have whilst getting ready to go out. The prices were reasonable for a hotel bar. Whats not so good about this place? Most of the staff are from overseas and dont speak very good English you try ordering an ouzo from someone who barely speaks English .(in England I mean!) It was practically impossible to get any directions to the event we were attending. The restaurant forms part of the foyer and is a little too open. We didnt eat there but I can imaging that its not that great to have people filing past with their luggage while youre having your Caesar Salad. OVERALL At these prices you cant go wrong. Clean, comfortable rooms for £50, secure parking, limited but adequate facilities for short stays youd be a meanie to grumble. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx THE FORMULE 1 HOTEL Where is it? As mentioned earlier, the Formule 1 shares its grounds with the Ibis hotel; both are part of the French-owned Accord group. The two are joined together but have separate entrances though from the exterior you would not know they were different hotels. The F1 wears it heart on its sleeve, though, and boldly announces on a banner that its rooms are £29.95 all year round, no matter whether its a weekday or a weekend. What is good about it? Seriously? You need to ask? At under £30 for a single, double or triple room this has got to be the best value in town (unless you want to sleep in a dormitory with eleven stinky, snoring backpackers). Yes, the price is for the room and all rooms sleep up to three people. Not that you can sneak an extra one in youll not get away with that. If you book for two, only two can stay. The rooms are clean and comfortable. They even have a TV, though you should really be living it up in Liverpool not watching TV. Whats not so good about it? With a price like this there has to be a compromise and here its that none of the rooms are en suite they al have shared shower rooms and toilets. These are situated at the end of each corridor in a little cluster. If like us, your room is the one at that end of the corridor its pretty noisy as everyone troops to and from their ablutions. On a more positive note, the showers and toilets manage to stay clean because they are self-cleaning. When you finish in the shower you close the door behind you and a red light comes on and locks the door. The room is then unusable for 4 minutes while some secretive magical cleaning goes on dont ask exactly what I dont know. But it clearly works because the toilets and showers were always clean not matter what time we used them. The other snag was that we were not told, when we booked by telephone, that we could not check in until 5.00pm. The reception area is unmanned between 10.00am and 5.00pm so you must turn up on time, or go and sit in the pub as we did. No one offered to stash our bags until we could check in. However the cleaner told us 9in broken English) that the receptionist might be back at three and might let us in the room then. Reader he did. Breakfast isnt included but for a couple of pounds you can order breakfast from reception the evening before it arrives in a box a carton of juice, a bit of fruit, a pre-packed cereal not inspiring really. I suppose you could go over to the Ibis if you wanted and the F1 receptionist will give you a 10% discount voucher off meals at the Ibis if you ask. OVERALL Well, its not plush not in the slightest but it is clean and the bed was surprisingly comfortable but given the skinful Id had I could probably have slept standing up. Dont want to share a bathroom? Well there is a washbasin in the room if youre desperate but trust me, they are clean and have plenty of hot water no matter what time of day. I would certainly stay there again given the amount of time we spent in the room. Why pay more when youre not using the room? My top choice. www.crowneplaza.co.uk www.hotelformule1.com www.ibishotel.com
I'm fresh back from a week in Liverpool and have found that my scales have broken. Eight pounds on in a week - c'est impossible! In truth a week at the Holiday Inn and expenses are to blame. The hotel we stayed at couldn't be better placed or easier to find. If you arrive at the city's main railway station, Lime Street, the hotel is the first thing you see. Of course this is handy but it also means that the denizens who hang around the station at night are your neighbours. At first glance the hotel looks dated. The building is a chocolate and cream affair that screams 1970's. This however belies the interior, which is very swish having undergone an expensive refurbishment last year. Check in was easy although I did get the work experience boy (as usual!) who typed away merrily for five minutes whilst my colleague who was served by the manager tapped his watch. Whilst we waited a couple of ropey characters wandered in and asked for matches and clearly a door man would be a good idea. Unusually they didn't ask for a credit card imprint but as there was no mini bar we had little chance of running up a bill. The familiar key card system is used. Similar to my Brussels Hilton review an early moan related to the lifts. Despite having ten floors and 130 rooms they have only two lifts and when we stayed one of these was out of order. It didn't work the whole week, which seems strange considering the recent refit. At busy times such as breakfast you could wait five minutes which seems like a lifetime when you are worried about someone finishing off all the muffins before you get there! The lift's voice is very bossy and often it ordered the last person out for making the lift too heavy! I was on the fourth floor and had a nice room. My work mate bemoaned his lack of sofa but hey you've got to treat the executives right! The room had a living area and a flow through to the bedroom. The fittings were all as new and it was cleaned to a high standard each day. Teasingly they are running a '£1000 pillow' promotion, which leaves an envelope on your bed each day. It could have £1000 in it but each of my four were invites to join their points scheme.No surprise there! The television was 21" and had a good selection of TV and radio. Sky 1 and Sky sports 1 & 2 were free but movies cost £7.95 a go. The selection wasn't tempting with 'The Last Castle' being Thursday's offer. Happily there was no free view on the blue movie channel. No matter how often you try! Tea and coffee was free - are you listening Hilton Hotels?!- as were the two free, yet dull, digestive biscuits. No freebies in the bathroom though with the shower gel/shampoo in a wall mounted dispenser. It was good quality Dove stuff and the endless supply meant you could splash it all over! The bath and shower were operated from the same bath high fitting and I found it tricky to get the shower on. To change the temperature required fancy footwork but the heat and pressure were good. The hotel does have a mini gym but this wasn't up to much. It only had five machines and no pool or sauna. It was free to use but I didn't get round to it, spending as I did too long in the bar. The bar and restaurant are both called 'Signals' and were pretty good. We never took diner there opting to spend our £15.50 allowance in a proper establishment who would disguise the beer content of the bill. We did imbibe in the bar and the staff were pretty friendly. Despite being residents they improvised a bell out of an ice bucket to shoo us away at the early hour of one am! The breakfasts which are also served in Signals were excellent. The room is on the second floor and offers a great panoramic view of the city. There is a lot of beech wood in the room and the lack of piped music gives it a nice relaxing atmosphere. The food was great. They boast the best se lection and I can believe them. The fruit bar was best with acres of figs, prunes, melons and red berries. I piled this high at an effort to de-tox and although it failed I had fun trying. Cereals were also in abundance with Sugar Puffs and fruit and fibre being the order on alternate days. The fries weren't as extensive but I was keeping away anyway. A lady is standing by to cook eggs to order and kippers and porridge are also available on request. Service was good with my only gripe being over the pale toast. The spread costs £13.95 a head but it was a good start to the day. Overall the hotel was good. Early worries about the area were unfounded although single ladies may not feel comfortable after dark. The location is good in other respects with pubs and shops galore just outside the door. I had no problems with the noise and the alarm calls all came through on time. The company paid around £80 a night, which is on the high side, but I'm sure they'd haggle for a drop in traveller. Well worth a look.
Advantages: close to town and university Disadvantages: small The Aachen Hotel which is located at 89-91 Mount Pleasant in Liverpool is a small hotel with a rather strange name. It is the most unpleasant sounding hotel, I don't know why they don't change the name. However, its location is fairly central and it is only a five minute walk to town and the train station. it is especially close to the University if that is your purpose of visiting Liverpool. Although I am not up to date on current prices, it used to be priced around 25 - 30 pounds a night which included breakfast. It only has 17 rooms of which 10 have attached bathrooms. It is also handy if you are driving as it has a car park of its own although it is small and located in a busy area. It suits the business traveller looking to stay just the one night and is not really a family hotel. Its plus points are its central location, the good breakfasts, and being fairly small,it is easy to find your wayaround. The staff are friendly too.