With its unrivalled musical heritage and the largest collection of museums and galleries anywhere outside of London, Liverpool has always been one place to guarantee something different to do each time I have visited. Recently opened, we stayed at the first ibis Styles hotel in the North West – Liverpool Dale Street Hotel. Located in the centre of the commercial district and just a few minutes walk from key attractions that include Albert Dock, Liverpool ONE and the Liverpool Echo Arena, it makes the hotel a great base for anyone wanting to explore this friendly city. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a warm and cheery welcome from all staff, which made check-in to the boutiquestyled hotel a hassle-free and pleasant experience. The hotel has 123 rooms, all designed with their own unique feature, representative of Liverpool itself. We found our own rooms to be modern, bright and quirky, which summed up the personality of the hotel perfectly. The Ibis brand also boasts a new generation of beds, designed by doctors and researchers, which I have to say contributed to a really comfortable stay. Every room also has free WiFi and a flat screen TV.
A well-priced, well positioned venue full of personality and staff who are more than happy to help, the Liverpool Dale Street Hotel is a great addition to the city. Room rates start from £38 for a standard double,which also includes an all-you-can-eat buffet-style continental breakfast. Whether you’re a fan of the Red side of town or a supporter of another club entirely, Liverpool football club’s Anfield ground is a ‘must see’ experience for any visitor to the region. In the morning we joined one of the award-winning tours that thousands of visitors flock to experience every year, giving us exclusive access to this fabulous Victorian stadium. Steeped in history, we listened to stories from behind the scenes told by two members of the tour team, as we were shown around the ground, taking in the press room which used to be home to the old ‘Boot Room.’ We also visited the home team changing rooms, taking full advantage of the photo opportunity to sit next to a player’s shirt.
One of the highlights of the tour was jumping to touch the famous ‘This is Anfield’ sign before we walked through the players’ tunnel and out to face the pitch where you can appreciate just what the atmosphere must be like on match days. Soaking up the view and more of the tour guides’ stories, we took a seat in the manager’s dug out before ending our tour in the iconic ‘Kop End’ of the stadium. Our guides then directed us to the interactive LFC Museum, where state-ofthe- art technology allows you to explore the Liverpool FC story at your own pace with your own multimedia handset. This includes a personalised commentary by former fan, player, captain, assistant manager and manager Phil Thompson. For the kids (big and small alike) there are interactive games and activities including the chance to take a penalty at the European Cup Final!After taking in so much history we decided to take advantage of a well-earned tea break in the centenary club before heading over to the Albert Dock. The legendary ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey’ is one visitor attraction I have yet to hear anyone say they have never heard of, just as people associate London with its black cabs or famous architecture. Thousands of people take the opportunity to hop on the ferry so they are able to see the iconic waterfront from each side of the water. Running every hour this 50-minute experience is something for all ages.nwww.ibis.com/ibis_styles 0151 243 1720 www.liverpoolfc.com 0151 260 6677 www.merseyferries.co.uk 0151 330 1444