Britannia Adelphi Hotel
|Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool|
Front of hotel in 2011
|Location||Ranelagh Place, Liverpool, England|
|Design and construction|
|Number of rooms||402 Bedrooms|
|Number of restaurants||3|
The Britannia Adelphi Hotel is in Ranelagh Place, Liverpool city centre, Merseyside, England. The present building is the third hotel on the site, and is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II listed building. The building is owned and managed by Britannia Hotels. It contains 402 en-suite bedrooms, conference and dining facilities, and a gymnasium.
The first hotel on the site was built in 1826 for the hotelier James Radley by the conversion of two 18th Century town houses. It was built on the site of the former Ranelagh Gardens, the first open space for public recreation in Liverpool.
This hotel was replaced by another hotel in 1876, which was bought in 1892 by the Midland Railway, being renamed the Midland Adelphi. A feature was a basement set of heated tanks to keep live turtles for turtle soup which was not only served, but the basis of a significant business being sent to banquets etc around the country and beyond. The railway company replaced it between 1911 and 1914 with the present building, designed by Frank Atkinson. When opened, it was "regarded as the most luxurious hotel outside London".
Due to Liverpool being a major arrival and departure point for ocean liners during the early 20th century, the Adelphi served as the most popular hotel in the city for wealthy passengers before they embarked on their journey to North America. The RMS Titanic was registered in Liverpool (though it never visited the port) and the Sefton Suite is an exact replica of the ill fated liner's First Class Smoking Lounge.
Guests at the hotel have included world leaders, such as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Artistes appearing at the Empire Theatre, including Frank Sinatra, Laurel and Hardy, Judy Garland, Bob Dylan, Roy Rogers and his horse Trigger have also stayed at the hotel.
The Britannia Adelphi Liverpool is constructed in Portland stone. It has seven stories, and its entrance front contains eleven bays. The central three bays of the ground floor comprise the entrance, which is enhanced by columns. The windows on the first floor are round-headed; the rest of the windows are rectangular. In the central three bays of the fourth and fifth floors is a recessed balcony with Ionic columns. There are similar columns on these floors in the second and tenth bays. Above the sixth floor is a cornice with a balustrade.
The public rooms contain columns, marble panelling, and coffered arches. The Central Court is top-lit, and contains pink marble pilasters, glazed screens, and French doors opening into restaurants on its sides. Beyond this is the Hypostyle Hall, containing Empire-style decoration and four Ionic columns. Beyond this is the Fountain Court.
Adelphi Hotel in media
In Jules Verne's novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea Chapter 1.8, Professor Aronnax describes the interior of the submarine as similar to the Adelphi Hotel. The lounge was used in the 1981 TV series Brideshead Revisited as the interior of an ocean liner. In 1997, the hotel was the subject of an eight-part BBC documentary series, Hotel. This fly-on-the-wall documentary enabled viewers to look behind the scenes at the everyday running of the hotel. The series was voiced over by Andrew Sachs who played Manuel in Fawlty Towers.
In November 2010 the hotel received a very poor report following a hygiene inspection by Liverpool City Council and enforcement action was threatened if improvements were not made. This resulted in the hotel general manager being removed from his post. A subsequent inspection reported that things were "much improved".
The Adelphi Hotel features briefly in the Bob Dylan documentary Don't Look Back as Dylan appears on the balcony of his room to wave to his fans below.
- Historic England, "The Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool (1365828)", National Heritage List for England, retrieved 22 March 2015
- The Adelphi Hotel Liverpool City Centre, Britannia Hotels, retrieved 7 August 2011
- The Adelphi, BBC, retrieved 7 August 2011
- The Britannia Adelphi Hotel Liverpool: The story of a great undertaking (booklet available from the hotel, undated)
- Pye, Ken (2011), Discover Liverpool, Liverpool: Trinity Mirror Media, p. 28, ISBN 978-1-906802-90-5
- Layton-Jones, Katy; Lee, Robert (2008), Places of Health and Amusement, Swindon: English Heritage, pp. 4–6, ISBN 978-1-873592-91-5
- Ken Pye (2015) Merseyside Tales: Curious and Amazing True Stories from History History Press ISBN 0750964456
- Pollard, Richard; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2006), Lancashire: Liverpool and the South-West, The Buildings of England, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, p. 334, ISBN 0-300-10910-5
- A Brief History of the Adelphi Hotel, retrieved 28 August 2011
- "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea". Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- Hotel at the Internet Movie Database
- "Adelphi - the series". BBC. May 2002. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
- Zero star rating
- Manager Sacked following "ZERO STAR HYGIENE RATING"
- Hygiene Report - Caterer