On the plus side, there is free parking and the hotel is beautifully situated next to the massive Sefton Park. Lark Lane with all its restaurants is a 5 minute walk away. Sadly the downside far outweighed the good points.
We arrived at 2.20pm to an empty reception desk. Booking isn't until 3pm so we sat in the 2 chairs. The only information on display was a large sign saying that you could only book in online. After a while a member of staff wandered through and told us we were too early to check in. He said we could leave the bags in the unmanned reception and go off somewhere of we wanted to. As we'd been travelling since 10am & the Reception was almost opposite the open door to the building, we declined. Eventually he agreed to find out if any of the rooms were ready.
We were shown to a very large and impressive looking room, "The Director's Suite" with a large, modern bathroom. It was only as we were settling in, we noticed that the linings of the rather grand curtains were literally in ribbons - we didn't dare pull them in case they disintegrated further. The room was clean - other than a stray hair grip on the floor. Outside the massive window was scaffolding. We were willing to accept the fact that the whole building is covered in scaffolding but thought it could have been mentioned, particularly as people were walking past the window immediately outside - a bit disconcerting when you're sitting on the bed at 9am.
We needed the wifi code but it wasn't displayed anywhere. We bumped into a member of staff on the way out and asked if there was a code on display that we could photograph for use later. He said there wasn't but that we'd have no problem remembering it - we had nothing to write on so had to remember it for the hours we were out.
The communal areas were poorly painted and some finishes were peeling off. This is a beautiful old building which used to be a well known and smart hotel. They have installed modern carpets with frenzied designs which seem to have no relevance to the rest of the building. None of the colours used seem to match and did nothing to enhance what could be a beautiful building. The grand staircase was presumably removed years ago, so guests use the back stairs. This area was grimy looking with a filthy floor at the bottom. We couldn't bring ourselves to touch the newel post at the bottom of the stairs it was so filthy.
The lifts have signs up saying only to use them if you have sanitised your hands, but there is no sanitiser to use. The room wasn't serviced in the 3 nights we were there, but that has been the same at other hotels we've stayed in since Covid. Other hotels have however told us to leave the hospitality tray outside our door for replenishment, or have left refreshments and toilet rolls outside the room. On the 3rd morning I managed to find a member of staff to ask that our coffee and milk be replenished - (there were no biscuits). We returned that evening to find it hadn't been done so I had to go in search of another member of staff.
The Reception was only staffed at night although my husband and I were stopped separately on the front steps by a smart looking man who appeared to be acting as a bouncer. He asked us whether we were going to check in. Only when we explained we'd done that the previous day, were we allowed to enter.
The breakfasts were OK. The layout of the breakfast table meant that only one person at a time could access the non-cooked items. If they were making toast this caused considerable delay. The lady on the next table had to take the two mugs that had been laid on her table, back because they were dirty. The young red-headed girl who served us was delightful - as was the head of maintenance. He'd even offered to make us a cup of coffee as we sat in the deserted reception on arrival.
We had thought of eating in the restaurant that features on their website but when we asked about it, we were told that they have no plans to reopen it in the foreseeable future. Again this wasn't mentioned to us when booking.
Booking.com did send us an email asking us to review the hotel, which I did, but I can't see that my review has been published.
At £95 a night midweek, we felt extremely let down and won't be returning. less