Liverpool’s former Municipal Building was always grand. We should know, we used to work there. An architecturally significant and historic building that, after many years, had become the home of various Liverpool City Council teams, busy beavering away, in all honesty paying little attention to the opulent but often overlooked Grade II building structure around them.
True, it was always impressive, if you thought about it, but few did. It was a workplace. An office building, with a few ornate cornices and nice high ceilings, if you happened to look up. Nevertheless, there’s just something instantly unflattering about turning any building into council offices, complete with standard issue banks of desks, harsh strip lighting, uniform desk chairs and uninspired, yet perfectly functional interior design.
That’s why we still can’t believe the dazzlingly beautiful, total knock-out, elegant and invitingly glamorous building we see before us today. For Liverpool’s Municipal Building has completely cast off its public sector drabness and re-emerged into society as a luxurious high-end hotel of your dreams- a triumph of interior design, a return to true form and one of the best city centre hotel stays to have arrived in our city in years.
Municipal Hotel Liverpool’s Director of Sales, Gemma Gage shows us around the stunning new hotel and tells us what she believes makes this new addition to our city region’s visitor economy a real star attraction and yet another jewel in our hotel accommodation crown. .
“We are incredibly proud to be the only hotel in the UK that’s part of the MGallery Hotel Collection. Each MGallery tells a unique story inspired by its remarkable past or the destination it calls home. The Municipal Hotel Liverpool celebrates the concept of time. A Grade II listed building. A former home of Liverpool City Council. Now a luxury stay for Liverpool’s visitors. A place of industry and growth to a home from home for excited travellers. It’s quite a journey.
“To get here, we have transformed the property spanning across four floors with 179 luxurious rooms. The building is renowned in the city, it was essential that it was carefully restored to bring it back to full working order. There are lots of subtle reminders of the building’s past life from carvings of the Liver bird on the fireplaces in our suites and original features such as the round radiators in our Palm Court bar.
At the start of our tour, I note how everything complements each other perfectly, no matter when it was created or at what time it became part of the building’s story.
“That was always the plan,” explains Gemma, “For everything to harmonise. A seamless fusion of styles has always been part of the building history. Its original design was influenced by both French and Italian architecture. These unique and original architectural features help us attract not only guests of the hotel but visitors into the building who simply want to see the art deco design inspiration for themselves.
“In particular, our Palm Court Bar, where our central bar takes centre stage draws many admirers, along with our library, situated just to the side of the bar. Both feature lots of small details that celebrate the city of Liverpool and this kind of attention to detail and one-of-a-kind aspect to interior design is part of what gives the hotel its unique character.
Touchingly, Liverpool features prominently throughout the hotel, in ways that make it clear that MGallery Hotels are about as far from your usual chain identikit design as you can get. I ask Gemma to tell me more about this choice.
“Liverpool has been a rich source of inspiration to us and this hotel could only exist here in Liverpool. Within the hotel you can find portraits of some of Liverpool’s most influential and revered historical figures, one of Britain’s first abolitionists, William Roscoe.
“Meanwhile, in our Botanic Tea Room, guests can sit under the beautiful blossom tree that were sourced here in Liverpool as they enjoy their afternoon tea. But of course the hotel’s relationship to Liverpool isn’t confined to the interior alone.
“Following the opening of the hotel we’ve hosted a selection of stakeholder previews and a grand opening event for both the hotel and spa. It has been brilliant to see enquiries flooding in across the hotel as well as our dining experiences and spa.
“Given my role as Director of Sales, I’ve had the privilege of introducing the hotel to lots of local stakeholders. I’ve had the pleasure of taking former and current members of Liverpool City Council on a tour of the building, just like yourselves and they’ve become quite emotional when they’ve seen the transformation.”
This news doesn’t surprise me one bit. Looking around the hotel now, one is reminded of the potential and possibilities these historic old buildings have, once someone show’s them a little love and reawakens them with a bold new vision. It’s actually more than a little moving and instantly extols the virtues of respecting a place’s heritage whilst moving forward and developing economically.
It’s clear from our conversation that Gemma, who originates from Lincolnshire, is now a strong supporter of Liverpool and our status as a leading UK destination, having worked in a number of leading Liverpool hotels over the past seven years. I ask Gemma to tell me what she believes makes Liverpool and her hotel such a great place to visit.
“For us, the unique selling point of Liverpool is the sheer diversity of its visitor economy and heritage. Here we have the rich mercantile history and of course ‘The Beatles’ and this year alone the city has hosted monumental events including the Eurovision Song Contest and Liverpool Biennial and on the horizon, we have the 151st Golf Open at Royal Liverpool, to name just some recent examples.
“There is always something exciting going on here, something for everyone and something that seems to fit perfectly with what makes Liverpool city in the first place. Liverpool’s culture and heritage enriches so many events, lending them all a distinct Liverpool flair and character.
“Our location here is pretty special too. Being located on Dale Street means we’re right in the heart of the city, just a short walk from landmarks and attractions, including Tate Liverpool and the Royal Albert Dock. We’re also within walking distance of Liverpool’s multiple train stations making us easily accessible to leisure guests travelling from London or neighbouring cities as well as business travellers from across the UK.
“People also tell us that they love that Liverpool has everything but is also so compact and easy to get around. You have the city, you have the beaches, you have the green spaces and it’s all very easy to get to. A holiday in Liverpool offers a wealth of different experiences.
Municipal Hotel Liverpool MGallery joined the Marketing Liverpool’s Partnership back in May 2023, just in time for Liverpool’s hosting of Eurovision. I ask Gemma if the hotel has experienced any benefits as a direct result of partnering with us.
“Our drive to join the membership program was really to help us become part of the supportive team who are all about pushing Liverpool to the forefront of visitor’s minds. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for us to be part of industry events programme, including The Meetings Show and Confex.
“In addition to this, there are regular partner meetings which provide updates on activity and events taking place in the city, as well as increased exposure on the VisitLiverpool website, which has been fantastic for maximising room bookings, enabling us to reach customers who may not have previously been familiar with MGallery hotels and what we’re all about.
I go on to ask Gemma how the hotel has been working to further embed itself in the fabric of Liverpool’s business community, since opening. How has MGallery been welcomed to Liverpool?
“Through organisations like Marketing Liverpool, we’re able to easily connect with local stakeholders, developing our relations in the city. We’ve found people and businesses to be incredibly receptive and eager to help. The business community here is so open and supportive that it’s made making connections and friends of the hotel easy.
“The city’s staggering cultural and events programme continually gives us a huge boost and we’ve found it easy to stay informed, through VisitLiverpool, Marketing Liverpool and Culture Liverpool, about everything that is going on here and the things we can piggy-back on and talk to our customers about. This is gold dust to a hotel like ours which is all about making people feel welcome and showing them an amazing time in an amazing place.
As we go through the hotel’s public spaces I meet with some of their guests and talk to them about their stay. This prompts me to ask Gemma about The Municipal Hotel Liverpool’s clientele. Do they have a primary demographic? What type of customers have they attracted so far, since opening this May?
“One of the key values across all MGallery properties is that they welcome all guests and their unique specificities. Although, we do have an “Inspired by Her” programme specially dedicated to welcoming women with gestures and considerations that are dedicated to women’s wellbeing whilst travelling.
“We’ve also designed a dedicated Memorable Moment package which offers visitors to the hotel an overnight stay afternoon tea in our Botanic Tea Room followed by a guided tour of the Royal Liver Building where they’ll enjoy 360 views of the spectacular Liverpool skyline.
“The thing our customers have in common is that they want to stay somewhere special and they want to feel special during their stay. There’s huge variety in MGallery Hotel’s international offer and in our customer profiles but that’s one thing that tends to unify them all. We offer luxury with character, in special places that stand out from the crowd and offer unique experiences that nowhere else could. Liverpool exemplifies this wonderfully.
“That’s why we’re here. That’s why Liverpool was our very first choice to be our first and so far only UK hotel. We’re proud to be part of Liverpool and to have had the opportunity to bring this amazing place back to life once more.”
There’s nothing quite like a stunning transformation that makes you sit-up and take notice and completely re-evaluate a historic, old building and its remarkable potential with a fresh new pair of eyes. MGallery Liverpool is a true glow-up for the ages and an enviable stay in sumptuous luxury surroundings that are now finally in-keeping with its glorious Grade II status. The hotel is a great addition to our city and a perfect fit for Liverpool. We’re extremely proud to welcome MGallery to Liverpool. The Municipal Building’s transformation is complete and it’s a beauty.
For more information on The Municipal Hotel Liverpool MGallery click HERE.
If you are interested in learning more about our ever expanding partnership then please contact our Commercial Manager, Chris Adderley: firstname.lastname@example.org