Work on the conversion of the former Liverpool City Council headquarters into a £40m hotel is almost complete with the opening just weeks away. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool’s newest hotel will open its doors in May in the Grade-II Listed former headquarters of Liverpool City Council.
Originally opened in 1868, the 183,000 sq ft Municipal Buildings in Dale Street has undergone a “painstaking” conservation programme. Influenced by French and Italian architecture it is constructed of sandstone with a rock-faced granite plinth.
Singapore hotel specialist Fragrance Group acquired the Grade II-listed building from the council in 2017. It tasked construction firm Russell WBHO into converting it into a 179-room boutique hotel. Liverpool architects Falconer Chester Hall were also part of the project team.
In September 2022, LBN revealed pictures of the restored façade of the Victorian building. It features ornate Corinthian columns, miles of intricate carved stone cornice, soffits and window surrounds, and a series of seven-foot-tall figures.
They represent different aspects of the city’s culture, arts, sciences and industries. They also highlight the four major trading continents of the time, Europe, America, Asia and Africa.
When the hotel, called The Municipal Liverpool, opens next month it will also offer a restaurant, bar, and spa. It joins MGallery, Accor Group’s luxury boutique-hotel brand. It will be managed by hotel management company, RBH Hospitality.
Reinventing a landmark of Liverpool’s heritage, the high point of the hotel is the building’s clock tower, visible from across the city. It has also been carefully restored to bring it back to full working order.
The hotel’s rooms range from “generously sized” doubles to suites with views of the Liverpool cityscape. Each room will feature King or Queen size beds.
Its central Palm Court bar and lounge will sit in the heart of the hotel, with the bar taking centre stage and live music on selected days. During the day, The Botanic Tea Room will serve drinks, patisseries and afternoon tea.
Other notable features include wellness areas incorporating a swimming pool, sauna and steam room, fitness area, treatment rooms and Laconicum, salon and spa.
There will also be six large boardrooms, each available for hire and named after Liverpool’s ‘quarters’ – Ropewalks, Baltic, Cavern, Waterfront and Georgian Quarter.
Deirdre Billing, general manager of The Municipal Liverpool – MGallery, said, “I am delighted to write a new story for the Municipal building, bringing back its local heritage into a hotel and introducing the luxury brand MGallery to Liverpool.
“It has been a joy to see this iconic building brought back to life and we can’t wait to welcome guests into the space and experience its charm for themselves. The hotel is an invitation to change the pace, take time and have a real break.”