You could choose to stay in at former Victorian warehouse Hope Street Hotel, dining on modern British dishes at London Carriage Works or pastas and salads at trade route-inspired street-level eatery 1931; cocooning yourself in your room to enjoy the Bang & Olufsen TV and sound system from the comfort of your Egyptian-cotton-swathed bed, or unwinding in fairly spectacular fashion at the Hope Street spa. But that would be to miss all the action of Liverpool's cultural quarter, of which Hope Street is the epicentre. Sandwiched between two iconic cathedrals, it features the Everyman and Unity theatres, the Victoria Museum and Gallery, concert halls, indie restaurants and ale houses – all within minutes of each other.
Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of house wine, plus free late check-out (until 1pm on weekends and till noon on weekdays)
147, made up of Standards, Deluxes, Studios, Studio Suites, Corner Suites, Lounge Suites and Rooftop Suites
Weekdays, 11am; weekends, noon. Later check‑outs charged at £10 an hour, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £103.01, including tax at 5 per cent.
Rates exclude breakfast. A full English and Continental breakfast is available at 1931 restaurant for £15.50 when added at the time of booking.
At the hotel
Free WiFi, 24-hour gym. In rooms, wall‑mounted LCD TV, free broadband internet access, Nespresso coffee machine, raindance shower head, Ren toiletries, Pellegrino and Panna mineral waters, minifridge/champagne chiller in some rooms.
Our favourite rooms
Suite 406 is an open‑plan suite with a sloping ceiling, exposed beams and a mezzanine bathroom with a huge Italian wooden bathtub. All suites have oak flooring and Bang & Olufsen TVs and DVD players.
Added during downtime afforded by the 2020 pandemic, Hope Street Spa will soon transform the hotel into one of the north west's premier wellness destinations. There will be an extra charge to use the facilities (and pre-booking will be essential), but it's more than worth a splurge. You'll be able to immerse yourself in steam, heat, pools, fragrance and ice here, with an intriguing menu of treatments for face, body, feet and hands using REN Clean Skincare and Temple Spa face and body products, chosen for their ethical (and award-winning) qualities.
Binoculars or a zoom lens, for a close-up view of the Liver Birds atop the Liver Building.
Welcome: games available; under-5s eat free. Cots (free) and extra beds (£30) can be provided in Studio Suites, Corner Suites or Lounge Suites.
Games available; kitchen accommodating. Cots and extra beds for under‑14s can be provided in the studio rooms, at no extra cost. There are also DVDs and CDs for children.
Babies and up – children of all ages welcome.
Only King Deluxe categories and upwards fit an extra bed or cot. Studio rooms are the most suitable for families; they've got enough space for at least one extra bed or cot.
Reception staff are clued up on the city's family-friendly attractions, and have lots of leaflets available. We recommend visiting World Museum Liverpool and taking a waterfront tour.
Children are allowed in the restaurant at all times and there's a dedicated children's menu for them to choose from; the chefs will also make smaller portions of dishes on the regular menu. Staff are happy to heat up milk and baby food, and provide packed lunches. Milk can be stored in the kitchen's fridges.
The hotel doesn't provide a babysitting service.
No need to pack
High chairs are provided in the restaurant.
Just ask, and staff will provide children with age-appropriate toys, from colouring books to jigsaws. There's a DVD player in every room and children's DVDs to borrow.
Table 15 at The London Carriage Works, nestled between the restaurant’s decorative glass shards.
Relaxed and urbane.
The first of two restaurants, The London Carriage Works serves modern British dishes using regional and seasonal produce alongside a 200-strong wine list. Open from lunch to nightcaps, it's best to book in advance to avoid disappointment. Dishes such as poached cod and pan-seared hake are highlights of the à la carte and pre-theatre menu, as is the chateaubriand for two with tenderstem broccoli and vine tomatoes. Second is neighbourhood restaurant 1931. Situated in the heart of Hope Street, it takes inspiration from the trade routes that came through Liverpool in the early 30s, and serves pizza, pasta and meatballs, salads and sharing boards prepared by head chef Vijay.
Part of the restaurant, the London Carriage Works bar is open until midnight Mondays to Saturdays (10pm on Sundays). Settle in and order heady cocktails, smooth wines, sharing plates and snacks.
Lunch, 3pm; dinner, 10pm. Bar: midnight, Monday–Saturday; 10pm Sunday. The restaurant bar is open seven days a week.
24 hours: an all‑day menu including market specials, with a limited night menu available 10pm–7am.
The hotel is a 20-minute drive from Liverpool's John Lennon Airport.
The Lime Street and Central stations in Liverpool are both under five minutes away by car. Direct trains go from Lime Street to London Euston in two hours.
From London, driving time is just under four hours. Manchester is a more appealing 60 minutes away. The nearest motorway is the M62. You'll also need the A562.
Worth getting out of bed for
Visit the Everyman Liverpooland/or Liverpool Playhouse theatres, both of which are leading a resurgence of fine drama in the city; the hotel can check ticket availability for you. The beautiful 19th-century Albert Dock now houses Tate Liverpoolas well as the Merseyside Maritime Museum, the Beatles Story (which is a lot of fun) and a couple of decent cafés. It's changed a lot since its Merseybeat heyday, but stopping by the Cavern Club is a must for music-lovers. Croxteth Hall and Country Parkhas a walled garden and a Victorian farmyard (with some very sweet pigs) as well as various activities on offer, including horse riding.
For laid-back European eats and al fresco dining among Liverpool's cobbled Georgian streets, grab a spot at The Quarter.Book ahead to secure a table at intimate Japanese eatery Etsuor munch on Indian street food at Mowgli, where the chip butty gets an exotic makeover with roti-wrapped fenugreek and turmeric fries. The Shipping Forecast on Slater Street hails itself an alehouse and eatery and the spot to head for live music and great beers.
A smart, great‑value basement bistro beneath the theatre of the same name, Everyman Bistro has a daily changing menu of Francophile tarts, flans and quiches.
Frederiks pours out craft beers, gin-based cocktails and prosecco aplenty in their Brooklyn-style bar. Into jazz? Tuesdays and Sundays are the nights to go. Next door neighbour to the Everyman Theatre, the Pen Factory specialises in cask ales, seasonal cocktails and Continental lagers. Seasonal small plates and tapas-style dishes are served throughout the day and there’s an extensive wine list too. While Caribbean‑themed Alma De Cuba on Seel Street attracts the footballers’ wives and popstrels of Liverpool, it is also a great cocktail bar in a beautiful 18th‑century church building.
When pondering new minibreak options, I’ve never previously found myself saying, ‘Ooh, Liverpool’. But that was before we discovered the chic boutique treat of staying at the Hope Street Hotel. When we find out that it’s just a quick walk from Lime Street Station, it seems daft to do anything but travel from London by train. The journey from Euston is surprisingly swift, marred only slightly by a post-10-pints passenger who joins at the penultimate stop.
At the station, milliseconds pass before a guy drops everything to give us directions. ‘Go up this road until you see a bombed-out church,’ he begins, before mapping out the 15-minute route. Picturing bleak ruins, we wonder if our destination is quite right for Mr & Mrs Smith-style romance. But, when we get to our HQ for the weekend, we apologise to Merseyside and all who sail in her. Billed as Liverpool’s ‘first boutique hotel’, the Hope Street Hotel is within the city’s cultural quarter, where you’ll find many restaurants and theatres, as well as the art deco Philharmonic Hall. The hotel building dates from 1860, but it is all modern minimalism inside, with a softly lit reception and low sofas in the lounge.
Mercifully, the receptionist who shows us to our suite forgoes the typical fastidious room tour (‘That’s the phone – really? And that’s the door?’), leaving the fun exploration stuff to us. Mr Smith starts playing with the Bang & Olufsen TV and sound system. I manage to hold back from jumping on the Egyptian-cotton-sheeted bed, but admire the room’s USPs: huge wooden beams, touch-on light switches, open-plan X-factor bathroom on an upper level. ‘I want that bath,’ I announce. ‘Where can I get that bath?’ I’m transfixed by the huge, freestanding wooden tub, accessorised with fluffy towels and REN products. The thing is clearly big enough for two, but there’s a plush leather armchair opposite, so you can quibble over who soaks and who gets to watch. For soakaphobes, there’s a huge glass-fronted shower, and double basins, complete with mist-free mirrors.
We dine in the hotel’s renowned restaurant, the London Carriage Works. The atmosphere is nicely busy and buzzy, the wine list never-ending, and the food incredible: all delicious, fresh, local and organic produce. It doesn’t hurt that chef Paul Askew’s cosmopolitan flavours are served in a grand property built at the end of the 19th century in the style of a Venetian palazzo. A private party means the hotel bar is off-limits, but it isn’t exactly a hardship sloping off to our suite to enjoy a couple of brandies there.
The bed – big enough to lose yourself in for a week – is tough to leave the next morning, particularly when the smoked salmon and scrambled egg breakfast arrives. But we finally haul ourselves up and out for an explore. Shopping-wise, Liverpool’s city centre has all the usual high-street favourites and so on, as well as independent and designer boutiques: Cricket at the Cavern centre, and Flannels at the Met Quarter. You may not be a celeb mag reader, but you have to have been in media exile not to have seen them swinging in bag-form at some point from a Wag’s arms in the ubiquitous paparazzi shots. And the atmosphere in town is chirpy – 10 times friendlier than what we’re used to down in the capital. ‘That looks lovely,’ says one woman, as I step out of a changing room cubicle – and she is another shopper, not the retail assistant selling me Vivienne Westwood I can’t afford.
Tate Liverpool in the Albert Dock is a new Tate for us, and well worth our time. Sadly our visit wasn’t timed to catch the Turner Prize exhibition, held here as a curtain-raiser for Liverpool’s status as European Capital of Culture 2008. The area in general is an agreeable place to wander around; we even get to enjoy our first outdoor drink of the year. Then it’s back home – aka Bang & Olufsen plus bed, for an afternoon movie and a snooze – perfect.
Evening meanders its way down the Mersey and we’re pleased to learn that Hope Street is packed with restaurants, including the recommended 60 Hope Street and the Side Door – but, we stumble across Valparaiso, just around the corner on Hardman Street. Liverpool’s only Chilean restaurant, it does a mean steak, and their traditional corn and mince pie is delicious, too.
After dinner we check out the hotel bar, where a pianist bashes out requests – Coldplay, not show tunes – on her Steinway Grand. We’re seduced by its big squishy sofas and delicious champagne cocktails; the atmosphere is energised yet relaxed, with a clientele that we guess is a mixture of locals and Hope Street guests.
You can have breakfast in the hotel restaurant, but we’re now utterly addicted to our suite, which I have, by this point, decided I’ll be replicating as the ultimate one-bed back home. We summon a trayful of toasted bagels in bed. ‘Room 406? Is that… Ms X?’ I’m asked, on calling room service. No, I tell them. ‘I know that name,’ I say to Mr Smith. ‘Isn’t she a fashion designer?’ He looks puzzled, then it clicks. We’re sharing the Hope Street Hotel with a much-photographed British pop minx. I have to admit, I quite like being mistaken for a pop star. And looking around the suite, I feel a bit like one, too.