This Friday marks the opening of the Hard Days Night Hotel in Liverpool, a Beatles-themed retreat that is billing itself as the first hotel in the world to be based around the Fab Four. The hotel’s been ten years in the making–and developers have sunk about £20 million into the project over that time–but the Times Online isn’t all that impressed, despite Beatles sheet music hanging from the reception area’s ceiling, an on-site wedding chapel, and lots of “exclusive and unique artwork” that should warm the hearts of Velvet Elvis painters worldwide:
he marketing team describe the 110-room four-star hotel as “boutique” but it lacks the intimacy and truly original touches to be classified as such. In the rooms you can watch Beatles films piped directly on to a flat-screen TV while lounging beneath artwork by Beatles artist Shannon, whose work is mediocre at best. Other artworks, acquired from Lennon’s relatives and Mike McCartney (Paul’s brother), are scattered around the hotel.
“The key thing is the art work,” said Neil Sankey, the marketing manager, during a sneak preview. Hmm, perhaps they should concentrate on the music.
The hotel has some nice touches. It claims to be the only hotel in Liverpool where each of the three concierges hold the “key to the city”, meaning they are brimming with useful local knowledge. The sweeping ornate staircase has been restored and is punctuated by polished marble pillars. It encloses a half-moon underlit glass lift still in its original shaft. And maintenance is informed instantly by email when a bulb blows anywhere in the building.
Downstairs, though, is a bit of a write off. An underground conference room with swirling brown Seventies’ style carpet sits in a dead end beyond the token Buddha-themed Hari’s Bar, a bow to the Beatles trippy Indian spell, decked out with the sort of artefacts commonly found at kitsch spas and clad in hideously expensive £1,000-a-roll silk wallpaper.
Room rates currently start at £120/night, but there are also £650-a-night Lennon and McCartney suites that feature as their respective “themed pieces” a white baby grand and a suit of armor. Because Macca’s a knight, get it? Yeah, I think that room should get a bit of a discount, too, unless the armor is there to be worn.
Hard Days Night Hotel [Official site]
‘Liverpool’s Beatles hotel should stick to the music’ [Times Online]