Things are chaotic at home and I’d been thinking of getting away this Easter break. Nothing too far away, not for too long: just one night in a basic hotel with my mind and the book. When I was asked to review the Hard Days Night Hotel in Liverpool, it was an obvious yes; it’s definitely not too far away and is far better than basic. But there was a flaw in my plan for a peaceful escape – how could I stay at the Beatles themed hotel without the biggest Beatles fan I know?
After weeks of anticipation, we cut through Mathew Street, passing The Cavern and the Wall of Fame.
“This is so exciting!” Tom said, dragging his robot wheely case behind him.
And even though I used to walk that same old route to work every day, I knew how magical it was to him.
When we arrived at the hotel, it lived up to Tom’s expectations and surpassed mine. Life -size statues of each of the Beatles perch above the grand entrance and the top-hatted doorman makes it all feel very posh. Thankfully, the atmosphere is relaxed and I didn’t feel out of place as we checked in in our pumps and relative scruffs.
The Beatles theme continues throughout the public areas; from sheet music hanging from the reception ceiling, to huge photographs in the corridors and on the stairs.
“Ooh, isn’t it lovely and light in here?” Tom said as we stepped into the glass lift – and I wondered who was actually reviewing the place.
We stayed in a Deluxe Room, which had a huge portrait of Lennon over the plush-looking bed and bright decor. Tom made himself at home in the bright yellow swivel chair, figuring out the remote for the wall-mounted telly.
We didn’t have dinner in Blake’s, the on site restaurant, because we were going to catch up with an old friend (which was brilliant – but this isn’t a review of her cooking and company.) It was past eleven by the time we got back and Tom went to sleep without a bedtime story. I’d forgotten my phone charger, so asked concierge if they had a spare and it was delivered minutes later. Unfortunately, it didn’t fit my phone – but that was a blessing because it saved me wasting hours online. After a hot bath, I put on my Mothers’ Day pyjamas and a hotel robe and climbed into the incredibly comfortable bed. I adjusted the air conditioning and pillows and got ready to write.
It was 9.41 when I woke, my blank notebook flopped open on the pillow next to me.
“Mum?” Tom said.
The bedside lamp was on, but the rest of the room was dark thanks to the kind of heavy blackout curtains you get in really good hotels. Outside, the city was in full swing: buses splashed through puddles and Mersey seagulls screeched, but both of us had slept through it all.
We arrived in Blakes for breakfast seven minutes before they stopped serving. I am a veteran at getting to hotel breakfast with seconds to spare – and used to the dirty looks and hurried service that go with it. There was none of that today; we were told to relax and enjoy – and we did. I needed the good coffee and Tom loved the choice of hot food, mini boxes of cereals and jam on croissants. After breakfast, it was back to the room to grab the robot suitcase and check out. We headed to the wonderful World Museum and Walker Art Gallery, but not before buying a Yellow Submarine colouring book from the Hard Days Night gift shop. And that proved to be the perfect entertainment on the not-too-long journey home.
Tom: “I liked the Beatles Hotel because the croissants were yummy and I could watch the Madagascar Penguins on the big telly and I liked the pictures of The Beatles and the big glass lift. I liked the Yellow Submarine record player but it wouldn’t play any songs.” (The juke box in reception is just for decoration.)
Me: Unpretentious, with excellent service and all the gloss you’d expect from a four star city hotel. The added quirk of the Beatles theme makes this a special place to stay. Right in the middle of town, so don’t expect silence, especially not at weekends (although if you haven’t slept properly for weeks, the comfy beds will probably compensate.)
The Hard Days Night Hotel, North John Street, Liverpool, L2 6RR, 0151 236 1964, http://www.harddaysnighthotel.com