A new Radisson RED hotel is set to open this summer in a grand and historic Liverpool building dating back to 1871 – take a look inside. Tony McDonough reports
First images of the inside of the new £30m Radisson RED Liverpool hotel have been released ahead of the opening this summer.
A 19th century stained glass window, a rediscovered secret doorway and a grand staircase made of sandstone are among the pieces of history being restored as part of the launch of Radisson RED Liverpool.
It is being created in the Grade II-listed former North Western Hotel building facing St George’s Hall on Lime Street. The building has had a troubled recent past. It was built as a luxury hotel in 1871 but closed in the 1930s. In 1996 it was converted into student accommodation.
In 2019 a plan to turn the site back into a hotel was thrown into doubt when Lancashire-based Marcus Worthington and Company, the construction division of Marcus Worthington Group, collapsed into administration.
However, in summer 2021 Deansgate Contractors started converting the site into a four-star Radisson RED hotel, working alongside the Radisson Hotel Group and a leading independently-owned European fund manager.
It will mark Radisson RED’s fifth UK site, with other locations including London, Glasgow, Gatwick Airport and Heathrow Airport and, globally, Cape Town, Dubai and Brussels.
The development includes renovations stretching across the entire 10-storey building, creating 201 bedrooms, five meeting rooms and a new modern steak restaurant specialising in quality cuts, amazing wines and hand-crafted cocktails.
As part of the restoration work, construction workers have opened up a special doorway that leads from the hotel’s bar directly onto Lime Street station’s concourse, a feature that was created in the 1800s when the building was a traditional railway hotel.
Stained glass experts were also brought in to reproduce the original six metre-high stained glass window above the grand staircase, helping to fill the atrium with natural light and offering a real focal point as guests arrive through the main entrance.
And, in an effort to maintain the building’s grandeur, the grand staircase has been brought back to life thanks to workers spending 792 hours on its restoration, while world-renowned polishers have added the finishing touches to the 94-metre handrail.
Nathan Hooper, project manager for Deansgate Contractors, said: “This is a truly incredible building and it has been an absolute privilege to be part of the journey to return the hotel to its former grandeur.
“When we started work, it was clear the building had declined and needed some major TLC, which we have given it throughout the renovation process. Opening up the passage on to the station concourse and restoring the stained glass window are just some of the ways we have managed to retain the building’s history.”
It was designed by Aigburth-born Alfred Waterhouse and Radisson RED Liverpool has named its five meeting rooms after Waterhouse himself, and neighbouring buildings, such as Lime, Walker, Empire and St George.
Gary Waring, general manager at Radisson RED Liverpool, added: “By returning the building to a hotel, we are bringing it full circle. The construction and design teams have worked tirelessly to restore some of its most impressive features and help breathe new life into the hotel so that it’s fit for purpose in 2022.”