travel

INNSiDE Liverpool hotel review: 'Views that are hard to beat'

Liverpool’s new high raise hotel gives staggering views of the cityscape and TV chef Gino D’Acampo provides a cool restaurant

2022-04-26

Words: Markus Bidaux, Images: Markus Bidaux, supplied

My boyfriend and I are travelling north to visit Liverpool for the first time and along for the journey is Freddie, our two-year-old pomchi, so we decided to find a dog-friendly hotel.

One of the city’s newest hotels is the INNSiDE Liverpool by Meliá, which only opened in September last year, and thankfully they welcome four-legged guests.

Leigh and Markus in Liverpool's Baltic quarter

The 207-room property is located a short walk from the iconic Liver Building and practically a hop, skip and leap to the city’s congregation of gay pubs, bars and clubs.

The INNSiDE Liverpool's Gino DAcampo Old Hall Street restaurant

Inside we are greeted by cheerful staff at the reception desk opposite which is the Gino D’Acampo Old Hall Street restaurant, which offers a menu packed with Italian favourites from one of the UK’s favourite TV chefs along with the UK’s biggest selection of Franciacorta, Italy’s take on champagne.

It is a huge open space with a cocktail bar against one wall, while another wall is covered in framed black and white photos of Gio with various celebrities. While the ceiling is black below is a calming palette of creams, timber and eggshell blue chair cushions.

Our Studio room at INNSiDE Liverpool

We take the lift to our room on the 15th floor and as the door sweeps open we are amazed by the floor to ceiling windows offering views of River Mersey and cityscape. We are in a Studio, which is open plan with only the toilet behind a closed door. While there is a glass shower cubical and sink basin in the room, there is also space for a sofa, another space for a small table and chairs for our morning coffee, an open wardrobe, and a TV across from the bed.

The designers did an excellent job of utilising the space available and who doesn’t love watching their partner shower while laid out on the bed?

Freddie enjoying the view from our Studio at INNSiDE Liverpool

For Freddie, they have prepped the room with food and water dishes and a fluffy dog bed.

For those wanting to practice their downward dog there is a yoga mat in the room and on the first floor of the building is a 24-hour small fitness space equipped with Technogym equipment.

On the 18th floor is the 360 Skybar, which offers unrivalled views of the city. If we didn’t have our clingy dog Freddie (who is not allowed in the Skybar or restaurant at night) with us we would have spent the night up there watching the sunset. So, with our pooch in tow we head out to explore the city.

INNSiDE Liverpool's 360 Sky Bar

We walk along the River Mersey and pass the Tate Liverpool on Albert Dock before making a turn for the city’s massive shopping district and then down Ropewalks, which is where we discover a row of independent shops and restaurants.

Albert Dock with the Liver Building in the distance

At the end of Ropewalks, we come to the arches of the first Chinatown established in Europe. But we find all the restaurants but one closed, just Bagelry, the “king of the rings” is open. The façade of the eatery has big windows with a painted mural of a cartoon bagel and donut wrestling in a boxing ring.

We head in to find a wall of bagels on pegs to pick from and have toasted and filled as well as a glass cabinet of frosting-covered diet-destroying donuts. We grab a couple of bagels filled with cheese and fried eggs and just one donut to share – which was clearly a massive miscalculation after an argument over who should have the final bite.   

The Bagelry

We head further south to The Baltic district, a former industrial area, which has been become a creative quarter, with young artists and entrepreneurs creating their businesses there.

We visit the Red Brick Market first and discover a bazaar of vintage clothes, nick-nacks and even a little gay sex shop. Then we turn a corner and discover the Yellow Submarine Bar, which pays homage to the city’s most famous former residents, The Beatles. And the rainbow painted top is a nice touch.

The Yellow Submarine Bar in The Baltic quarter

After a couple cocktails we head to the Baltic Market for dinner. Inside the big warehouse building are long tables and benches packed with people, two cocktail bars to one side, street food restaurant stands to the other side and a DJ both in the middle pumping out the jams.

We find a spot to sit, scan a QR code on the table and order some cocktails and a mix of Italian, Thai and Vietnamese dishes to our table via an app.

The Baltic Market

There are plenty of other venues to check out in the area, but with the dog it’s a bit tricky, so after dinner we head back to the INNSiDE to find the restaurant buzzing, but we head up to our room, get comfy on the bed and stream some telly on our rooms 43-inch television.

Our bed at the INNSiDE Liverppol is Freddie approved

In the morning, we head to Gino D’Acampo's restaurant for the well-stocked breakfast buffet – it even had two jars of cookies, something I don’t usually have before noon, but when on holiday... While dogs are barred from the restaurant in the evening, Freddie was welcomed by the waiters who even brought him water and treats.

After breakfast, we take one last glimpse of Liverpool from our room and leave happy we got a taste of the city.

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