Having never stayed in the centre of Liverpool before, I was thrilled when asked to review 30 James Street with my husband on Saturday night.

30 James Street

30 James Street

Although the hotel itself is easy to find- and stands out proudly from the others on the docks, the parking itself is a little tricky if you’re not familiar with Liverpool.

I called ahead and the reception staff told me to look out for the Q park which is only a couple of minutes from the hotel. As the hotel is on the left of the road, we concentrated our attention there and ended up in the John Lewis car park. However, once we exited with our bags we found the car park we were supposed to be in.

For anyone staying at this hotel, the car park is in the central reservation on the main road by the docks- not with the other buildings as you might expect. It takes you underground rather than up a multi-story- so be wary of this when arriving. This car park is the one associated with the hotel and costs only £11 for 24 hours. There is a huge difference in price compared to other car parks which can be upwards of £20  so it’s worth seeking it out.

Once we arrived we had a warm welcome at reception. It was very busy as this is a popular wedding venue so there were lots of guests milling around in their finest. Once we’d got our key card, we made our way up to the fourth floor in the lift.

The walls of the corridor leading to the rooms were cladded with velvet padding and each of the doors boasted a brass knocker. All of the pipes were left exposed above so it did feel like you were wandering around the halls of a ship.

We were assigned the Hershey Suite on The Fortune Floor for the night, which had a picture and back story behind its name on the wall as we entered which made the room individual and provided some interest when we arrived. The picture reads: 

The founders of Hershey’s Chocolate Company, Milton and Kitty Hershey were originally supposed to travel on the Titanic’s maiden voyage.

After spending $300 on the tickets, the Hershey’s cancelled their trip due to unknown reasons. The cheque from the Titanic transaction to the White Star Line is reportedly still in the Hershey Community archives.

The room itself was large and boasted two double beds, with bedside tables, a large ornate, silver wardrobe and a generous couch. It was clearly built for more people so there was more than enough room for two. The hotel staff kindly left us a bottle of bubbly and some fresh fruit too which added to the sense of occasion.

The bathroom was also roomy, and had a large hot tub built for two with a waterfall shower above. All the fixtures and fittings were appropriate for the era in appearance but mixed with the modern décor- the suite cleverly married both old and new.

When staying in the city centre, there is always the worry of noise. Luckily, the wooden windows had been reinforced another set of plastic windows so we weren’t disturbed by the usual sounds you’d expect to hear on a weekend in the heart of all the action.

We were lucky enough to have dinner booked on the seventh floor in the Carpathia, which offered sweeping views of the city, including The Wheel of Liverpool which was lit up against the night sky. Attention to detail is the best way I can describe the decor of this hotel as there are plenty of nods to the history in the way of pictures on the walls, ship’s wheels, portholes, suitcases and antique chests as well as other nautical references which successfully brings the theme together.  

We also caught a glimpse of a bride and her wedding party on the roof as they were having their last pictures taken.

Although there were only four options for each of the courses on the inclusive menu- all of the dishes were cooked well and were of a high quality.

My husband had the Potted pork shoulder, with black pudding butter, pear and fig salad, followed by the 7oz Rump steak with skinny fries, confit plum tomato and flat cap mushroom with watercress and pepper sauce.

I had the Soup of the day (pepper and courgette) with crusty bread and flavoured butters and the Sweet potato, courgette, spinach and chickpea curry and coconut and chilli jasmine rice- which I would heartily recommend.

The first two dishes arrived promptly, but we had a little time between our main course and dessert before working up an appetite for the final course.

For dessert, my partner had the Sticky toffee pudding with vanilla bean ice cream and almond brittle and I had the Chocolate brownie with pistachio ice cream, French meringue pieces and salted caramel sauce, which was recommended by our waiter.  

We were asked to choose all three of our dishes at once so be prepared to know which dessert you’ve having too when ordering!

We had a comfortable night’s sleep before we headed up to the Carpathia once again for breakfast. It was great to be able to see the city in the daytime as it looked so different from the evening.

The buffet had both continental and English options so there was plenty to choose from before we set off into the heart of the city.

In terms of location, the hotel is a mere five-minute walk from the shops and 15 minutes from the museum. We enjoyed the morning in the Liverpool museum, before taking in a film at the Odeon in the centre of Liverpool One and after a look around the shops we returned to spend a little time in the spa.

We were booked in for 4pm and given the size of the spa, it is clear to see why residents are given a specific time slot.

On the lower ground floor, the spa has a small pool, a seating area, bar and one steam room as well as some changing rooms. It is not somewhere you can spend a whole day as there is not enough to do. It is certainly a way to spend a couple of hours to unwind and treat yourself to a little pamper session after a long day of shopping, sightseeing or walking.

Although it’s small, it is decorated to a high standard and dimly lit- clearly a place for rest and recuperation.

We both had a back, neck and shoulder massage in one of the treatment rooms together. It was the perfect way to end the day and help us to avoid the Sunday blues.

The hotel seems to be the ideal hotspot for hen dos- listening to the conversations around me- there seemed to be a few parties of women who were bunking up in the same room before heading out into the town.

I think the parking situation could be more clearly marked on the website- perhaps a picture or a map to show the car park in relation to the hotel would help. This really did cause a lot of stress before we arrived.

The room catered for all our needs, however I think it could benefit from some sort of dressing table as I struggled to do my hair and make up the next day as there was no obvious place to do so.

I also slipped in the bathroom before taking a shower as there was no bathmat in the bath, so I think for the safety of its guests, there should be one to hand should anyone want a shower.

Overall, the staff were very pleasant and helpful. The hotel is very close to where all the action is in the city so you don’t have far to walk before you hit the main attractions and as the building has a rich history, it was interesting to learn about its background.

If you’re looking for a weekend away with your partner this ticks all the boxes- but I would suggest taking the train as the station is close by so avoid the stress of driving in the city and the risk of causing a domestic!  


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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