A portrait of Paul McCartney hangs on the wall of a suite at the newly opened Hard Days Night Hotel, Friday, Feb. 1, 2008, in Liverpool, England. [Agencies]
What could be better after a hard day's sightseeing?
Visitors to Liverpool, birthplace of the Beatles, can rest their heads in the Lennon or McCartney suites at the Fab Four-themed Hard Days Night Hotel that opened Friday.
More than 45 years after John, Paul, George and Ringo emerged from Liverpool's tiny, sweaty clubs to conquer the world, the Beatles industry is key to this battered-but-proud city's attempt to transform itself from fading commercial hub to thriving cultural hotbed.
The 110-room Hard Days Night Hotel hopes to be its newest attraction.
"It's stunning, spectacular," said Julia Baird, John Lennon's half-sister, after being shown around the $1,300-a-night penthouse suite named for her brother. "It's like Liverpool. Outside it hasn't changed, but inside there's rocketing change."
A smart, four-star establishment housed within a 19th century mercantile building, the hotel aims to provide everything a Beatles fan could desire — from the Yellow Submarine jukebox in the lobby to the rare photographs on the walls — while also catering to corporate travelers and tourists on a weekend break.
"That was a very important part of the whole concept, to get the balance," said Jonathan Davies, director of the developer that stepped in three years ago to revive stalled plans for the hotel. "People who don't particularly like the Beatles — we want them to come to the hotel. And we're sure they will come."
The overall impression is more classy than kitsch. In many ways it's a typical upmarket hotel, decorated in cream, black and chocolate brown. There's a stylish bar, and a "modern European" restaurant serving organic salmon, free-range chicken and English lamb.
Downstairs are Hari's basement bar, decorated with pictures of the bearded Beatles in their Maharishi-following days, and "The Two of Us," a wedding chapel adorned with pictures of the Fab Four and their spouses.