The Hard Days Night Hotel is a Beatles-lover’s must-see, located right in the heart of Liverpool’s city center, just around the corner from the famous Cavern Club. I recently had the opportunity to visit said hotel, which Scott Carmichael told you about back in May (Liverpool Hard Days Night Hotel offers the real Beatles experience).
It’s easy to walk right by the hotel if you don’t know where it is (I did several times), so watch for the sandwich boards for Blake’s, the adjoined cafe. The anonymity of the exterior isn’t necessarily a negative thing; it keeps the onslaught of tourists from entering the hotel (and wandering the guest floors — each of which is locked by keycard for safety), and helps maintain an air of exclusivity for their glamorous Bar Four.
The hotel itself is a four-star luxury property overseen by General Manager Mike Dewey, with whom I had a brief chat and a tour. “We’re a luxury hotel first and foremost,” he said, “but it’s important for an independent hotel to have stuff that’s a little different. To be different is more difficult than you’d think.” I believe part of the struggle he’s referring to is how to keep your hotel in the “luxury” realm while fully expressing a theme like The Beatles. One expects tons of kitsch the moment they walk in the door — but that’s not really what you get. The theme work is surprisingly tasteful, from the enormous murals of John Lennon and Paul McCartney in their respective namesake suites to the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” montage in Blake’s, where breakfast is served.
Sir Peter Blake himself has actually visited the hotel and the restaurant which bears his name. “He loved it,” said Dewey. “He was very accommodating, willing to sign anything.”
Beatles photos and memorabilia appear all over the hotel. Many rooms feature unique Beatles artwork by Shannon, and even the staircases are lined with photos of the Beatles’ glory days. What I found most impressive were the details, like the scores of … scores (sheet music) hanging from the lighting fixtures in the lobby and a “Rupert the Bear” emblazoned rug in the Paul McCartney suite — McCartney featured the bear in his 1984 music video for “We All Stand Together” and also created him a cartoon vehicle called “Rupert and the Frog Song.”
Two things you’re certain to find at The Hard Days Night Hotel are bullshit-free service (Dewey said his only rules are “wear your uniform and be nice to people”) and like-minded Beatles fans. “In most hotels,” said Dewey, “Sunday through Thursday you look after business people, and Friday and Saturday you look after leisure people. Here, we do leisure seven days per week.”
What, not eight?