Liverpool kickstarted its Christmas celebrations over the weekend but some of the top hotels are also spreading some festive cheer.
INNSiDE hotel, located on Old Hall Street, directly opposite the street's towering golden Christmas tree, has transformed one of its rooms into a Christmas condo. Guests are invited to stay the night in a fully decked-out room that includes everything from its own tree, wreaths, garlands and unique additions dotted around the apartment for your viewing pleasure.
Although my own decorations will remain firmly under wraps for the meantime, I decided to ease myself into the spirit of things and stay the night. My partner and I made a night of it, visiting the Christmas markets and Bar Hutte beforehand, so it was a perfect way to end the evening.
With a swipe of the keycard, you enter the condo's hallway with two expansive rooms greeting you on either side. To the left sat an open floor living room area with a corner couch drawing your immediate attention. With enough cushions to fit an entire family, it sits snugly not far from the column wall-mounted television positioned directly opposite that boxes off the sitting area. Just above the sofa, on the window, was a full Christmas wreath decorated with pale blues, champagne and baby pink baubles, ribbons and festive items.
The dining table, seating six, had a similarly designed garland running through its centre from end to end. Massive baubles were placed onto candle holders for dimension, enough that you could decorate an entire tree with just the tabletop alone. It wasn't your standard garland, it was massive. Placed on the coffee tables were even more baubles stacked and presented in a glass casing, a neat addition to keep the theme going around the condo.
The pièce de résistance of the room was the gorgeous tree glowing faintly in the corner. Bright enough to show off its design, sparkle and aesthetic but dim enough to keep the mood in the room cosy and atmospheric. It could easily have been plucked from a showroom - but it was a shame there was no star placed on top. Baubles of varying sizes dotted the tree and overall it was a stunning sight despite my anxiety to see Christmas decorations up in November.
A similar garland was found atop the bed's headboard, continuing the theme from room to room. The bedroom was also generous - so much so it begs the question of who needs a room of this size in the first place. Further questions could be raised as to why there's a dining table for six but only a bed for two. No matter, it was stunning to explore.
As a city boy all my life, it was magical to open the curtains and see the West Tower looming over our room, hundreds of little lights glistening near and far, especially across the water, and the night sky. If you're a sucker for a good view like I am then you'll be thrilled to hear the condo boasts probably one of the best in the city.
The apartment came with all the bells and whistles you'd expect - dressing gowns, coffee machine, refreshments, slippers. Nothing you could ask for that wasn't already provided. It was amazing to simply rest in, whether it was on the couch or wrapped up in bed. The bed was a little firm for my liking and needs to be a little more lived in but being a king made up for it.
The condo is exactly what you'd expect it to be. My only gripe is the hotel can go bigger with the decorations. I thought I would be walking into a sickeningly sweet grotto of sorts and while I wasn't disappointed by any means, it just wasn't what I was expecting. I was pleasantly surprised though as I much prefer the stylised approach to Christmas over the garish red and green aesthetic. It was a fantastic stay and I kind of wish I lived there permanently.
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