Beatles hotel – I loved it – yeah, yeah, yeah

The new hotel in Liverpool is making quite the splash.  People are loving it for different reasons. Is it a bit upscale?  Yes.  It combines bits of elegance and modern clean design with our favorite musical heroes.  It is filled with original artwork that pay tribute to the Fab Four without feeling amateurish.  It is all done tastefully, and in a wonderful way.

With some of the reviews we’ve read about the hotel, it is a treasure trove of Beatle-dom.  When my wife and I finally make the leap across the pond, we wouldn’t imagine staying anywhere else.  It just seems fitting.  Elegance, music, and art–of course all themed in the Fabs.  What else could you ask for.

The reception of Hard Days Night

Here’s what we’ve read.

‘If there’s anything that you want…” How can you not like a hotel with background music like this? “…if there’s anything I can do. Just call on me…”

Would that be the concierge or the 24-hour room service? “…and I’ll send it along, with love from me to you.” As the music segues into Hey Jude, I feel a tingle of pure pleasure – not an emotion one often experiences in the commercial district of Liverpool.

The extraordinary thing about Hard Days Night, a new Beatles-themed boutique hotel in the heart of the city, is that it has taken so long to materialise.

The idea has been knocking around for more than 20 years. At least the fact that it has come to fruition in the year that Liverpool is Europe’s Capital of Culture has a pleasing synchronicity.

And at least it is a first-class modern boutique hotel in a city with a dearth of them. Only the Malmaison offers serious competition.

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As a shrine to the Fab Four, Liverpool disappoints some visitors. The famous Cavern Club is no more and has been replaced by an unconvincing replica. There are too many cheap souvenir shops.

But here, finally, is a Beatles-themed venue that oozes class and sophistication. Like Malmaison properties, it offers gracious 21st-century urban living – high ceilings, clean surfaces, all the mod cons and gizmos you could ask for – at a price that is some way short of exorbitant. Enthusiastic staff, mostly with ripe Liverpudlian accents, are a bonus.

The location, in a chunky old commercial building in the Cavern Quarter, is uninspiring: the skyline is dominated by builders’ cranes and the backs of office blocks. But as soon you walk inside, you are in a stylish, self-confident space, decorated with panache.

The Yellow Submarine jukebox may be a touch brash, but everything else is in the best possible taste, from huge black-and-white photographs of the Beatles on tour to paintings by Shannon, the doyen of Beatles artists. The minimalist and the psychedelic are balanced to perfection.

Wacky grace notes, such as the sheet music fluttering from the foyer ceiling, take their place within an architecturally harmonious framework. And if there is unity of theme in the design, there is also an admirable lack of obtrusiveness. A Rolling Stones fan, even a lover of Schubert, could stay here and not feel he was being bullied.

I had hoped (having a mental age of three) to find a plastic yellow submarine in my bath. But they cater for adults here. The only Beatles touch in my room is a louche portrait of a bearded John Lennon.

Money can’t buy you love, but £650 will buy a night in the Lennon Suite, complete with a white grand piano, or, less appealingly, in the McCartney Suite, which comes with a suit of armour. “Sir Paul is a knight” runs the logic. Er, well, yes, up to a point.

For hardcore Beatles romantics there is a wedding chapel – The Two of Us – lined with photographs of the superstars and their spouses.

Beatles music, as you would expect, occupies a near-permanent place in the hotel ether. But full marks to the management for not overdoing it. The music is neither unrelenting nor too loud. It creates a feel-good atmosphere, an echo of past pleasures.

Dinner in the Blake’s restaurant is good rather than exceptional. The food is modern English with twists (with items such as Knickerbocker Glory, you wonder whether it needed a few more twists).

It is another delightfully furnished space, with pride of place occupied by photographs of the celebrities who featured on the iconic Sergeant Pepper cover designed by Sir Peter Blake. What an odd, eclectic assortment they were – from Jesus to Oscar Wilde, from Jung to Marlon Brando, from Mae West to Aldous Huxley.

But when you see them displayed like this, properly contextualised, you realise the richness of the cultural roots the Beatles were tapping. They were far, far more than just a group of likely lads from Liverpool.

In a nutshell, the hotel scores 10 out of 10 for décor, 10 out of 10 for service and seven out of 10 for food.Oh yes, and 11 out of 10 for background music. When you get bored of these tracks, you are bored of life. How much better my breakfast tastes with the ghost of Eleanor Rigby whispering offstage.

It is early days, but the hotel looks set fair to be the first port of call for the sophisticated visitor to Liverpool.

Just one quibble: couldn’t a hotel calling itself Hard Days Night run to an apostrophe? Or did the Beatles rewrite English grammar as well as English music?

  • A double room at the Hard Days Night Hotel (http://www.harddaysnighthotel.com/, 0151 236 1964) costs from £160, excluding breakfast. For details of Beatles-related and other events in Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture, see www.enjoyengland.com/culture.
  • Source: UK Telegraph

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    4 Responses

    1. £160 a night?! Unless Paul sings you to sleep and Ringo delivers your breakfast they must be joking! You can buy the entire Beatles oeuvre on cd for less than it costs to spend the night there. Its just a load of rooms with a few posters on the wall and some Beatles bedspreads. No way. Why is it that all Beatle-themed things are trashy? Have you seen the UK Beatles museum? Awful!

    2. I agree. Can anyone say “tourist trap”?

    3. Just wanted to say that the Beatle’s hotel is wicked and that if you get the chance you should go there, check out my Beatles hotel blogif you want to know more about it.

    4. Check out this review in the Sunday Times:
      http://travel.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/travel/news/article3333497.ece

      It closes: And there’s the problem: the owners want to pull in the hardcore fans, but they need the general public, too, so they didn’t want to ram the Mop Tops down our throats. What they’ve ended up with is some dodgy art and some decent photos in a nice, Malmaisonish hotel. It’s fine, but not worth paying a premium for.

      Here, here!

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