CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Lancashire Life today CLICK HERE

The Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool is shrugging off it's old image

PUBLISHED: 13:04 03 February 2012 | UPDATED: 21:00 20 February 2013

The Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool is shrugging off it's old image

The Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool is shrugging off it's old image

Fifteen years ago a BBC documentary gave Liverpool's Adelphi Hotel celebrity status – for all the wrong reasons. What's it like today? Mark Gilligan finds out



The print version of this article appeared in the February 2012 issue of Lancashire Life

We can deliver a copy direct to your door order online here

My first visit to The Adelphi Hotel in 1965 was an unforgettable experience. As a football mad eight-year-old, family connections allowed me the enviable privilege of enjoying a lunch there with all the West Ham United players prior to their game with Liverpool at Anfield.

As I sat eating next to Messrs Hurst, Peters and Moore, little did I know just how important they would be the following year as the World Cup approached. And how affable and kind they were to me and my father as we joined them on the team coach en route to the game.

I went back some 47 years later, walking through the same revolving door, this time to be met by general manager, Joe Reilly, who welcomes me in his soft Dublin accent.

As a child, I looked around in wonderment at its grandeur, the decor and size of the Hotel. I am not disappointed today as walking through the lobby, its evident this remarkable, iconic old girl is still shining, due to a huge outlay by owners Britannia Hotels.

This is a Grade II listed building and a significant, multi-million pound investment has meant the Edwardian style is maintained to the high standards you would expect, says Joe.

Its a rolling programme and, with over 400 en suite rooms for guests, we want them to speak of us with a warmth and affection. When I took up the position as general manager it was an honour and challenge. However, with a hotel of this magnitude it comes with history.

There have been issues and problems, which we constantly strive to be on top of but considering that approx 1.5 million customers passed through our doors over the past 12 months, its inevitable that sometimes we dont always get it right. But we do listen and always do our utmost to put things right.

I appreciate his honesty and you do feel that he is a genuine and passionate man who wants nothing but the best for the Adelphi. But recent history is against Joe and his team. The Adelphi shot to fame in 1997 when it became a figure of fun as star of the BBCs first docu-soap.

The eight-part series laid bare the trials and traumas of a struggling hotel from the indoor barbecue which smoked out the banqueting hall to on-screen verbal battles in the kitchens between chefs and managers.

Staff became overnight stars for all the wrong reasons and, after being branded the real-life Fawlty Towers, the series attracted 11 million viewers. Ironically, hotel bookings went up 20 per cent.

Today, they prefert to focus on the future as well as the origins of this iconic Liverpool hotel.
There were two 18th century town houses on this site which were converted by William and Joseph Ewart to form the first Adelphi Hotel in 1827, says Joe. Then, an experienced London hotelier, James Radley, enlarged it further and its fame spread across Europe.

Radley put The Adelphi on the map with one commentator declaring: The premises were run as efficiently as a Swiss watch. No hurry or bustle was observed in the building; it had about it the calmful atmosphere of a private home.

Joe and I embark upon a tour of the hotel and that nautical term for a journey is significant as several rooms are replicas from the ill-fated Titanic. The magnificent Sefton Suite is a copy of the first class smoking room found on the ship but today it is regularly and sumptuously dressed for wedding breakfasts.

Weve all gone back to places we visited as a child and been disappointed in later life at how diminutive it now seems but this is not the case here. The main Hypostyle Hall is good example of this.

It used to be an open courtyard with first class rooms situated around it. Guests could take tea on balconies and watch the comings and goings. Today, there are many people doing just that. Its busy but nicely relaxed.
We have our own pastry chefs on site and our afternoon teas are very popular, as they were all those years ago, adds Joe. This hotel was also famous for its French cuisine and we want to bring that back too.

As well as the rooms, there are some 22 banqueting and conference suites that are serviced by over 300 staff, some of which have been working here for over 45 years.

Since I arrived, Ive been struck by the loyalty of the team and their dedication to this Hotel. My youngest serving manager has been here for over ten years.

Over the years, the Adelphi has made more than its fair share of notable guests from royalty to film stars. Roy Rogers famously rode his horse Trigger into the hotel in 1954. It was even rumoured he was so ill with flu that the horse was led into the bedroom to present him with flowers!

Politics have played their part in its history as well with the Labour Party regularly holding conferences here and Harold Wilson having a suite named after him. Sir Winston Churchill was another regular.

As we complete our tour, Joe turns and says: I am very proud that I was given the opportunity to take over this iconic hotel. Very proud indeed. You can see he really means it. He and the team hope the Adelphi can be famous for all the right reasons.

0 comments

More from People

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Millennium Care believe in independence and ‘Why not’ when it comes to what helping their residents fulfil dreams.

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

Actor and broadcaster Sushil Chudasama explains why a Blackburn park is so special to him

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Lancashire actor Louis Emerick is preparing to make his third stage appearance as Captain Hook. He talks about childhood, Christmas and his new pantomime

Read more
Monday, October 29, 2018

As Lancashire prepares to join in the commemoration of the end of the First Wold War, we look at some unique projects inspiring our communities

Read more
Monday, October 29, 2018

Don Warrington is back at Manchester’s Royal Exchange in Arthur Miller’s Death of A Salesman

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

From Lancashire horse thief to one of the New World’s most respected businesswomen – John Wright examines the remarkable life of Molly Haydock.

Read more
Bury
Monday, October 22, 2018

Justin Moorhouse shares his love of Old Trafford

Read more

Cushions that go slump in the night, spirits that make your leg go cold and hooded figures passing through closed doors are just some of the mysterious happenings at Lytham Hall

Read more
Friday, October 12, 2018

Lancashire actor and presenter Lisa Riley has gone from fat and happy to slim and ecstatic. She tells Roger Borrell how she changed her life

Read more
Thursday, October 11, 2018

Poulton people came together to give an historic church hall a major overhaul, as Stephen Spencer reports.

Read more
Friday, October 5, 2018

Marketing Lancashire chief executive Rachel McQueen shares some of her best loved tastes of the county

Read more
Thursday, October 4, 2018

Many youngsters their age are content to play with their toys, but a Bowness brother and sister are happiest in their walking boots.

Read more

Enthusiastic amateur musicians from Lancaster are celebrating a special anniversary with a series of concerts.

Read more
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

A 12-year-old from St Helens has gone the extra mile to say thank you to hospital staff for saving his baby brother’s life.

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Property Search