THIS is the first glimpse inside the new hotel being created in one of Liverpool’s finest historical buildings.
DoubleTree by Hilton will formally open an 87-bedroom hotel in the Grade II-listed former Municipal Annexe at the corner of Dale Street and Sir Thomas Street in mid-September.
But from April tours of its spectacular function rooms will be available to couples looking to book for their wedding reception.
The manager of Chapel Street-based Hotel Indigo David Hughes has been appointed to oversee the new hotel.
Recruitment of other senior management will start in May with the remainder of the 75 staff needed to run the hotel recruited from July onwards.
Mr Hughes said: “It’s really exciting to be involved in bring back to life such a wonderful building.
“We are hoping to be open in mid-September but we will start running tours of the function rooms in April.”
He said the fitting out of the function rooms would start in the next month and that progress is continuing on the bedrooms, which are designed to be “architecturally significant”.
The presidential suite will be housed in a former family court room with a breathtaking vaulted ceiling and huge stained glass windows.
The hotel will also offer a restaurant, residents’ lounge, an opulent spa and swimming pool as well as conference and events facilities.
Mr Hughes said previous plans for a gym had been abandoned in favour of concentrating on the spa.
He said: “We will be selling beauty memberships for the spa. The details will come out at a later date, we will be limiting the number of people we invite to join.”
He said a celebrity chef had been signed up for the restaurant but Mr Hughes said the name was being kept a secret at present.
DoubleTree is known for its signature welcome of handing a chocolate chip cookie to guests on arrival.
The restoration of the Municipal Annex is the brainchild of Kuwaiti racehorse owner Dr Marwan Koukash but has been long delayed by a number of set-backs.
It was originally intended to be the city’s first five-star hotel and started as a joint venture with Liverpool-based developers Illiad, who last year sold their share in the project.
Dr Koukash had wanted it to be “one of the top five hotels in Europe” but Hilton said it will seek a four star rating once the 1865 building comes back into use.
The building was originally built as a gentleman’s club and features 50 detailed stained glass windows that have been expertly restored.