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Review: the new Municipal Hotel Liverpool, part of Accor’s MGallery brand

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This is our review of the new Municipal Hotel Liverpool.

After staying at the new Radisson Red Liverpool by Liverpool Lime Street station (review here) I switched to the Municipal Hotel for my second night.

In some senses, the hotels are both very similar. Both are conversions of historic buildings with impressive stone facades. Both have opened in the past six months.

In other ways they differ. Whilst the Radisson Red is more of a select service hotel (self-check in, no room service, no ‘real’ wardrobe in the room etc) the Municipal is the opposite and offers all the modcons you’d expect from a five star hotel, including an impressive spa.

The Municipal Hotel also makes much better use of its historic features. Whilst the Radisson Red has a beautiful lobby staircase, the rooms could just as well be from a new build hotel.

This is not the case at the Municipal, where rooms and public spaces reflect the history of the building. Pride of place is the stunning Palm Court at the centre of the hotel, which is home to the hotel’s bar and lounge as well as restaurant.

The hotel website is here.

Review Municipal Hotel Liverpool

Accor provided us with a complimentary room for review purposes. HfP paid all of its other expenses including travel to Liverpool. HfP also paid for the informal reader drinks party I hosted in the bar in the evening.

Where is the Municipal Hotel in Liverpool?

Whilst it’s not quite attached to the the train station itself, it’s very close – about 0.4 miles / 7 minutes due west. Moorfields Station is closer.

This is an area dominated by hotels, with the DoubleTree and Aloft just round the corner. It also seems to be home to a fair number of restaurants including the Hawksmoor, Alchemist and others. Mowgli, a popular local Indian street-food outlet is also round the corner, although unfortunately I didn’t rate it.

Walk down the road and you’re also straight out onto the Mersey, with its beautiful historic buildings reminding me of Whitehall in London. This is where the Museum of Liverpool is based as well as the Titanic Memorial.

Inside the Municipal Hotel Liverpool

As mentioned above, this is a conversion of a historic building – in this case, the former Liverpool City Council offices, which occupied the property from its opening in 1868 until 2016, when it was sold. It’s an impressive structure with a big clock tower, although the entrance is almost discreet.

Inside is a small room with reception desk and about five staff. The hotel has literally just opened and room occupancy is still so low that there are probably more staff than guests at the moment.

I arrived early – around 12pm – and informed that check-in is at 3pm but that I could pay £30 to check-in early, or use the Palm Court whilst I waited. I thought this was on the stingy side for a hotel that has just opened and has literally a handful of guests – there’s no reason why they couldn’t have earned a little goodwill and checked me in early – but I opted for the latter and whipped out my laptop to do some work.

That said, there are worse places than the Palm Court to wait:

Review Municipal Hotel Liverpool


Review Municipal Hotel Liverpool

It gets minus points for the artificial palms. On the right hand side is a deep alcove that forms a sort of library area:

Review Municipal Hotel Liverpool

It looks even more stunning at dusk.

Rooms at the Municipal Hotel Liverpool

At around 2:30pm I headed back to the reception and they happily checked me in. I was given a classic room (I believe), which at 20 square metres was still well proportioned. Most if not all the rooms benefit from huge ceiling heights. I think mine must have been 4m at its highest, and reminded me of the Andaz Liverpool Street (review here) in London.

You enter into a generously sized corridor area, with a wardrobe and minibar on the left:

Review Municipal Hotel Liverpool

Oddly, there’s a kettle but no coffee machine – an oversight in a hotel of this calibre, I think, especially as the cheaper Radisson RED had them on my stay the night before.

Review Municipal Hotel Liverpool

To the right is the bathroom which is fairly small. It would be a squeeze to have two people in here at once, unless one of you is showering:

Review Municipal Hotel Liverpool

That said it is nicely done, with (faux) marble tiling and blue subway bricks. The lighting was excellent although, once again, there was no soap dish or hand towel rail.

Toiletries are Aramara by Culti – I’m not sure if this is an MGallery brand standard but it is an Italian brand I am unfamiliar with but which smelled pleasant.

Review Municipal Hotel Liverpool

The style and decor feels appropriate for the building, with wood panelling and even an original fireplace.

A small coffee table and chair was available on one side, with a desk and TV on the other. The TV was weirdly located, lower than the desk and in the corner, which was a bit odd.

Review Municipal Hotel Liverpool

The bed itself was comfortable, with a headboard in padded William Morris motif:

Review Municipal Hotel Liverpool

Connectivity was good, with two mains and two USB-A sockets on both sides, although the bedside lamps occupy one of the slots.

Review Municipal Hotel Liverpool

Here was the view across the street from my window:

Review Municipal Hotel Liverpool

One thing I did find odd was the colour temperature of the lighting in my room, which was a little on the cold side. It’s almost as if they ordered the wrong bulbs.

Spa and gym at the Municipal Hotel Liverpool

One of the key features of the hotel will be the spa. Whilst this wasn’t open when I was there – it is due to open this week – I did get a tour around from the concierge.

The pool and spa are located in a new-build extension at the back of the hotel – although, on the inside, the transition is seamless.

There is a large pool. You have to imagine loungers along the left-hand side:

Review Municipal Hotel Liverpool

…. plus a steam room, sauna and salt sauna:

Review Municipal Hotel Liverpool

You will likely need to pre-book a slot, with the hotel yet to confirm how it will work.

Whilst the spa and pool is impressive, the gym is less so, being on the smaller side. It does at least have lots of natural light:

Review Municipal Hotel Liverpool

Breakfast at the Municipal Hotel Liverpool

Breakfast is served at the back of the Palm Court in the Seaforth restaurant. The hotel was so quiet that, when I arrived at 8am, I was the first guest there!

Review Municipal Hotel Liverpool

Normally there is a hot buffet of full English items on one side, supplemented by an a la carte menu (included in the price) and a cold buffet to help yourself . However, due to low occupancy rates, the hot items are currently all a la carte whilst you can help yourself to the cold.

The cold buffet is in a separate room to the right, and features a range of cereals:

Review Municipal Hotel Liverpool

…. cold cuts of ham and cheese (but no smoked salmon) and yoghurt:

Review Municipal Hotel Liverpool

…. plus pastries, bread and fruit juice. I went for my typical eggs royale:

Review Municipal Hotel Liverpool


It was, if I’m honest, slightly bizarre staying in a hotel where it felt like you were one of the only guests. This is particularly true at a hotel like this with such an impressive bar and conservatory, which feels like it has yet to be discovered by the locals. During my little evening gathering with 10 Head for Points readers we were the only guests there – on a Thursday night.

Service throughout was great, particularly from the bar and restaurant staff who were extremely attentive and friendly. Hopefully this holds up as the hotel gets busier.

Taken together, the Municipal has got to be one of the best (if not the best) hotels in Liverpool. It is stylish and historic, with a stunning Palm Court, pool and spa. My only nitpicks are the lighting in the room and the fake plants in the Palm Court.

Rates at the Municipal Hotel Liverpool currently start at around £130, which feels like great value for what you are getting. With breakfast it’s an extra £15-20. You can find out more, and book, on the hotel website here.

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Comments (26)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • tony says:

    Yep, I can only assume words will be had when the PR team get their eyes on this review re the early check in farce.

    I had something similar at the Sandton Towers in Jo’burg last month. Used to be the IC. Arrived about 10am and they wanted an extra 50% of the room rate to get me checked in. I paid it, but it leaves a nasty impression of the hotel. The theory about stinging business travellers for this when a leisure pax would be OK does add up I guess…

  • BP says:

    I really like the MGallery brand and have had some excellent stays in them. Unfortunately since Accor stopped offering free Platinum status with certain charge cards, I’ve moved my stays elsewhere.

    The room here reminds me of Kimpton Edinburgh.

  • The Savage Squirrel says:

    I’m one of those strange people who really like empty hotels. Had one in Liverpool during Covid restrictions. It was about £40 a night and for that the Pullman gave me a panoramic corner suite with views all along the river and docks, so that may have helped colour my judgement…

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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