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Regenerating Liverpool IV – The Hotel

March 6, 2007

We stayed in the Britannia Adelphi Hotel, close to Lime Street Station and the city centre. It is a hotel with a long history; apparently Churchill and Roosevelt met here during the war. I’m not a regular hotel visitor but when I stay in them it tends to be the usual multinational chains where everything is the same. Their chief benefit is familiarity. Wherever you stay, in whatever country or city, the service is the same. Fine.

The Adelphi is different. I reckon, being built near the railway station, it is a relic of the age of steam, when gloriously opulent hotels were built in major cities. The Slieve Donard Hotel is another example. The funny thing is, when Liverpool people heard we were staying there everyone of them apologised to us. Even those charged with responsibility for selling the city and its regeneration.

OK, compared to the chains this hotel is matronly—staff still polish the brass here.. The décor is waaaay over the top. The 400 rooms are accessed down long, wide corridors which reminded me of the hotel in ‘The Shining’. You could trundle down them on your tricycle all day! The walls are faux white marble, and the carpets are deep green. Walk around any blind corner and you are likely to walk into some brooding hulk of furniture squatting on the side.

The rooms are big, so big in fact that one of our number came down to the front desk to report that there was no TV in his room. There was. He just hadn’t noticed it. The baths are huge and in the mornings the shower was barely warm. Take a shower in the early evening and you risk a scalding.

All in all the hotel had great character. And Liverpudlians had no reason to apologise. I'd stay there again no problem.


From → Urban Reflection

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