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Source: © Shot by me
My first encounter with Malmaison hotels was many years ago in Birmingham City Centre. I’d been to Nicky Clarke for a hair cut and thought I would celebrate my newly ‘coiffed do’, with a glass of fizz (ahem, as you do). So I’m strolling though the Mailbox shopping centre and I notice a sign advertising ‘Friday Cocktails @ Mal Bar’ (how come I didn’t know about Mal Bar?). For those of you who aren’t familiar with the location, The Birmingham Mal it’s nestled neatly below Harvey Nichols (double joy), and if you didn’t know it was there, you could easily miss it (think they like it that way, adds to the mystery). So, Friday afternoon, me and my newly coiffed do, stroll through the entrance and wham! - I felt like Lucy opening the door to Narnia, I had wandered into style Nirvana. Here was this seriously cool bar full of Birmingham’s finest, hanging out sipping cocktails (how did I miss this?). The atmosphere was moody and laid back so I thought I'd stay for a bit. I stayed 3 hours, drank 3 cocktails, had a 2 course dinner and wrote 5 pages in my journal. Seriously relaxing and cool location, it was (and still is) hard to fault. My love affair began.
There’s a lot to like about Malmaison, and given any opportunity, it is my (boutique) hotel chain of choice. So it was with much excitement, that last weekend I had the pleasure of staying at The Malmaison Hotel in Liverpool. While a lot of the Hotels are housed in quirky buildings (Oxford was a former goal, and Belfast a remodelled seed warehouse), the Liverpool hotel was one of the chains first purpose builds from scratch. Situated in the city’s stylish docklands, perched (excuse the pun), next to the Royal Liver Building, with spectacular views across The Mersey. But don’t get thinking that because it’s a new build it will be lacking in personality – far from it. The Manhattan style foyer, with its dramatic open fire pit, sets the tone for the contemporary and slightly gothic feel throughout.
After my swift, friendly and very early check in (thank you!), I was whisked to my gorgeous River View room with beautiful views of The Mersey (many hours where spent watching the River Barges and Cruise Liners, drift up and down). The room itself - where do I start? Huge, sumptuous, outrageously comfy bed? Check. Generously sized bathroom with just the right amount of lighting to make you feel like a movie star? Check. Drench showers for sharing (oh er)? Check. Bathtub big enough to fit an elephant? Check. Mini bar and snack bar full of adult treats you wish you didn’t have to pay for? Check. The list is endless………..Suffice to say the rooms are fab and cosy.
But it’s not just the rooms that Malmaison gets right. They pretty much get everything right. It’s the brand as a whole, it’s a passion that runs through all the hotels and ingrained in the staff. It’s about fun, it’s about style, and it’s about adventure. There’s an air of naughtiness that hangs in the air, you feel as if anything could happen. The laid back vibe of the hotel is seriously relaxing. I popped to the bistro for dinner and stopped for 3 hours (well, I was on holiday). Plenty of choice on the menu beautifully presented locally sourced cuisine, extensive wine list, and an indulgent and irresistible selection of desserts. Like the rest of the hotel the restaurant is contemporary. Exposed brick walls hung with specially commissioned Beatles artwork. Huge glass fronted walk-in wine cellar and comfy seating. And they have that dreamy, soulful lounge music playing in the background that helps you unwind (or maybe it was the fizz).
So it’s with a heavy heart I packed to leave, my stay as always, was wonderful. Malmaison is a haven of fashionable ambience and stylish simplicity. A great place to linger, perfect for a stylish city break, or a business stop over.
Seriously cool and laid back…….. That’s Mal Life.
But hey, just before I go, I can’t leave this blog without a special mention to ‘Lil’ - the cleaner - She’s a diamond. I met her on the first day when I needed some help taking a photo. We got chatting and she told me she loved her job; she’d been with the hotel a long time and loved being there (she didn’t have to tell me, I could tell). She loved her boss, she loved how she was treated, she loved looking after guests, loved, loved, loved – Everything, couldn’t do enough for you. But above all else, she was friendly, professional and warm and she deserves a special mention. Tell her I said hello.
Tel: 0871 943 0350
7 William Jessop Way, Liverpool, L3 1QZ
Opening Hours: 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm Saturday, 10am to 4pm Sunday and 9am to 5pm on Bank Holidays.