Hard Day’s Night Hotel – Liverpool
The Beatles played The Cavern Club in Liverpool a total of 292 times between 1961-63. Their final performance was in August of 1963. Flash forward 55 years to July 2018 to when Sir Paul McCartney returned to Liverpool to play a secret gig at The Cavern Club to about 100 lucky fans, close to one of the city’s finest Hotels, the Hard Day’s Night Hotel on North John Street.
The four -star Hotel is the only Beatles themed hotel in the world, opening its doors ten years before in February 2008, during Liverpool’s hugely successful tenure as European Capital of Culture.
If you are visiting Liverpool for a Beatles experience, taking in key sites linked to the band, the location of your accommodation is crucially important. Just a few paces from the steps of the Hard Days Night Hotel, guests staying at the Hotel will find the Cavern Club on Mathew Street.
The Cavern Club is an integral part of Beatles history. Although the club has seen many changes it is still the place most Beatles fans target when arriving in Liverpool. Having The Cavern Club at such proximity with a short walk back to your bedroom after dancing the night away in The Cavern Club, ticks a lot of boxes.
The hotel obviously takes its name from The Beatles third studio album `A Hard Day`s Night` which was released in July 1964 with songs from the soundtrack of their debut film of the same title. Incidentally, the title track, with its distinct opening chord was the inspiration behind the Hotels smart logo designed by American artist Shannon MacDonald, which can be seen all around the Hotel on napkins, menus and all other branding.
The four dots represent where a guitarists four fingers should be placed to play the opening G7 suspended chord. The four dots also represented band members John, Paul, George and Ringo. It also had 20 squares just like the A Hard Day‘s Night album cover and The Beatles’ early on-stage line up with Paul & George on the left, John on the right with Ringo at the back. Classic!
The HDNH offers luxurious accommodation within a ‘Grade II’ listed building dating back to 1884. Designed by Thomas C Clarke in what was known as the Central Buildings, it was constructed in a classic design with imposing marble columns a feature of the front elevation and the iconic internal staircase. Situated within what was the original business district of the city, the building will have housed several merchant interests at a time when Liverpool, as one of the world’s major seaports, had a prominent international trading role.
When I arrived at the HDNH I was met at the foot of the steps by a smart uniformed porter named Peter and my luggage taken from me up to reception in a small lift. The reception staff were all very friendly and welcoming and our check in was smooth and efficient. Whilst we waited for our room to be made ready, we were kindly offered tea or coffee in the comfortable lounge & bar area.
This is home to many of the Hotels most impressive pieces of original Beatles artwork, sculpture, posters and photographs, which cloak the walls and cabinets. There is a stunning bust of John Lennon complete with aviator sunshades & iconic New York Tee shirt and a fun Yellow Submarine Jukebox.
It was a delightful place in which to sit & relax after a long journey taking in the artwork and photographs. I was told a great place in which to sit and enjoy the Hotels famous afternoon tea! Maybe on my next visit?
The familiar tunes of the Beatles filled the room and within a few minutes we were told our room was ready and that our luggage had been taken up to our room.
I loved the small semi – circular glass lifts which enabled us to view the huge Beatles photographs covering the wide circular carpeted staircase as the lift passed up through the floors. I walked the stairwell on another occasion so that I could take a much closer look at the photographs which were all usefully labelled with details about where the photograph had been taken and the year it was snapped. For a Beatles fan, like myself, all very important information.
All 110 bedrooms are individually designed, each one furnished with specially commissioned artwork by American artist Shannon McDonald and rare photographs. The Lennon and McCartney suites are decorated with original artefacts such as Sir Paul’s Freedom of the City of Liverpool certificate and a white baby grand piano in the Lennon Suite and both have a pretty impressive roof top view of the City too!
My room was a Deluxe Room with a balcony providing me with a fine view across the city of Liverpool. The small balcony was wide enough for guests to stand outside with a drink looking out across the Liverpudlian rooftops taking in the sights & sounds of the city. From here I could see the iconic Liver Birds and had a glimpse of the `Big Wheel` at the Royal Albert Docks. The stylish room was spacious and clean with a huge king size `Hypnos` bed dominated by an original artwork by Shannon called `Lost Weekend` of John Lennon, May Pang & Julian Lennon above the headboard.
The room also included a Nespresso Coffee machine, Complimentary Bottled Water, a much appreciated In Room safe and clean, spacious bathroom with bath & shower unit and a range of luxury toiletries. Complementary Wi-Fi was available throughout the Hotel for all guests.
Blakes Restaurant is used for breakfasts and as an evening & day restaurant for guests and passing non – residents. Blakes is also covered wall to wall in original Beatles artwork including a huge centrepiece board showing sixty photographs and factual detail on each of the figures featured on the cover of the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely-Hearts Club Band album sleeve cover.
The restaurant is named after the godfather of British Pop, Sir Peter Blake, who created the iconic and Grammy Award winning album cover for the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely-Hearts Club Band album.
The chef & kitchen staff at the HDNH produces a menu and service style that celebrates the best of traditional English and International cuisine. Dishes are created using fresh, seasonal, locally sourced produce for genuine intensity of flavour and a sustainable and trusted way of working. The food and table service were excellent, everything you would expect at an up market four-star city hotel restaurant.
Pan Fried Scallops with Pea Puree & Black Pudding
Grilled Asparagus, Poached Egg & Hollandaise Sauce
Slow Braised Feather blade of Beef with Potato Stack, Honey Roast Carrots, Cauliflower Cheese & Red Wine Jus
Marinated Lamb Shank with Creamed Potato & Red Wine Sauce
British & Local Cheese Board with Onion Chutney
After our evening meal we had coffee in the Bar Four which we found to be a smart comfortable bar, with its walls covered in unique and interesting paintings and wall coverings. It is an inspired bar with stylish and chic decor, with wood panelled walls, luxury leather armchairs and Italian marble. Bar Four is also where you will find original never seen artworks by artist Paul Ygartua, who I was reliably informed attended Liverpool Art College with John Lennon and his first wife Cynthia Powell. The oil paintings on canvas show each of The Beatles with their favourite instruments. You can also enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday with their very popular Live Lounge sessions.
At the foot of the internal staircase I came across a `Wall of Fame` where celebrity guests such as the late great guitarist Gary Moore and Gerry Marsden of Gerry & The Pacemakers are shown holding a photograph of their favourite Beatles album. Nearby is Hari’s Basement Bar which is decorated with pictures of the bearded Beatles in their Maharishi days. You can also get married at “The Two of Us” a wedding chapel adorned with pictures of the Fab Four and their spouses.
If you are not on a musical pilgrimage to The Beatles, the HDNH is also a great location for a little retail therapy too with the Liverpool One shopping centre just a short walk away and many other independent stores in nearby streets
There are numerous pubs, restaurants and pubs of every persuasion in the area for food & drink. The Pier Head with the famous walking Beatles Statue is not too far a walk. The Royal Albert Dock is one of Liverpool’s most important tourist attractions. Amongst the many attractions at the Albert Dock are the Merseyside Maritime Museum, the Beatles Story and the Tate Liverpool.
Not only does Hard Day’s Night Hotel offer stunning views of the city, but it is also one the best hotels to stay in Liverpool for sightseeing. You could catch one of the city bus or taxi tours and explore Mathew Street, The Magical Beatles Museum, the Liver Buildings, the Royal Albert Dock, the Museum of Liverpool or the British Musical Experience to name but a few!
Mathew Street is just around the corner, home to the world-famous Cavern Club. Why not walk down this historic street and listen to the cacophony of sounds blaring out of every doorway. Go and get a selfie with the John Lennon sculpture, as I did and read the hundreds of names on the musical ‘Wall of Fame’ of artists who have played The Cavern Club including Queen, The Who, Chuck Berry, Adele, in fact just about the whole history of Rock & Pop music, but Elvis!
There are many other hits on Mathew Street for Beatle fans including the Magical Beatles Museum, the refurbished Grapes Public House, Cilla Black statue, the original entrance to The Cavern Club and a sculpture to, `Four Lads who shook the world`. Look up!
The Hard Day’s Night Hotel is perfect for anyone wanting to stay in Liverpool, close to The Cavern Quarter and other Beatles sights.
It will help will make your visit a truly unique and magical experience.
I simply loved it and cannot wait until I return – why don’t you check it out?
I simply loved it and cannot wait until I return – why don’t you check it out?
There are places I’ll remember
All my life
North John Street,
t: +44 (0)151 668 0487
f: +44 (0) 151 255 1263
© The Travel Locker
Disclosure: My visit to The Hard Days Night Hotel was courtesy of Millennium Hotels. The views and comments expressed, are as usual my own.