Why did you decide to refurbish the hotel?
We decided to refurbish the hotel as we wanted to maintain the hotels high standards, keep up to date with the latest trends and technological innovations and course provide our guests with a modern and welcoming environment.
Jurys Inn Liverpool opened its doors 10 years ago and we felt It was time to give the hotel a fresh new look. Refurbishing the hotel is also an opportunity for us to attract new business in both the leisure and corporate markets.
Did the hotel remain open during that time?
Yes, the hotel remained open while the refurbishment was taking place. We’re always careful to cause minimal disruption to guests whilst improvements are carried out. The extensive refurbishment to the hotel occurred in a number of stages over a number of months to ensure that all guests could enjoy the facilities to their fullest during this time.
Was there a main theme or design that you chose as the basis of the redesign?
The refurbishment has completely transformed Jurys Inn Liverpool’s bedrooms and public spaces. The vision was to create a haven of soft and warm furnishings, giving a really comfortable feel, whilst keeping the surroundings sophisticated. Within the lobby, we have opted for stylish upholstery in blue and tan which creates a chic but relaxed effect offering guests beautiful and spacious break-out areas.
Did you have a hand in any of the design choices for the renovation?
I became general manager of Jurys Inn Liverpool in October 2017 and the design had already been agreed at that point.
Were there any substantial changes to the property? Significant additions or the destruction of outdated rooms, for example?
The entire hotel is completely unrecognisable from before. All of the bedrooms received brand new fixtures, fittings, furniture and a new colour scheme with the addition of the Dream bed by Jurys Inn, designed exclusive for us by King Koil with ultimate comfort in mind. We also introduced new executive bedrooms and three suites as part of the bedroom refurbishment. These all feature super king beds, a mini fridge with refreshments and snacks, full Sky TV package and wonderful views of the city including the adjacent Echo Arena, Liverpool Wheel and Albert Dock.
What were the challenges the team had to overcome to manage guests during the construction?
Our customer service is paramount at all times, and managing a refurbishment process whilst delivering on guest expectations can be tricky. It was all about finding a balance. We had to ensure that we had food and beverage and our front desk open and available to guests while work was ongoing. In the lobby area, we tried to ensure that elements were completed in stages as opposed to all at once.
It was also pertinent to ensure we communicated the refurbishment details with our guests. We displayed imagery of the new look hotel in the lobby area and bedrooms so guests could envision the end results.
Can you give me a detailed overview of what exactly has been refurbished in the property?
We’ve unveiled a stunning new look at Jurys Inn Liverpool, with all areas of the hotel being completely refurbished including all 310 bedrooms, bar and restaurant and 10 meeting rooms as a result of the £3.7m investment. Most excitingly, the refurbishment also included the addition of an exciting new dining experience – Oddsocks Bar & Kitchen Liverpool, following in the footsteps of our Manchester, Cardiff and Brighton Oddsocks restaurants.
Have there been any technological additions to the property? Smart Tvs, AI?
All 310 bedrooms including our executive bedrooms and three suites feature flat screen TVs with Freeview, an ergonomic work area, as well as complimentary high-speed WiFi. We have introduced a new connectivity area to our lobby that gives our guests a place to plug in their laptops and phones and work remotely.
How long did the process take? Was there a lengthy planning and design phase as well?
The refurbishment took place in a number of phases; the bedrooms were completed In February 2016 and the public area refurbishment was completed December 2017.
Who handled the construction?
Edgewater Contracts were commissioned to lead the refurbishment project.
What has the reaction to the refurbishment been like so far?
We’ve had a fantastic reaction from locals and guests alike. It’s been an exciting year for us as it marks 10 years since our opening and also 10 years since Liverpool was crowned European Capital of Culture.
Our guests, especially those who visit regularly, have been hugely impressed with the major changes to the hotel. The hotel boasts a fantastic location at the Kings Waterfront in the iconic Liverpool docks, and the new interior finishes have enhanced its already impressive credentials.
How has the refurbishment improved the setting for your guests?
It has opened up the ground floor completely, bringing a much more airy feel, and allowing our guests to see the fantastic views over Liverpool and towards the Royal Albert Dock. We have also been able to include a movable screen in our restaurant, allowing us the flexibility to offer a much more atmospheric area for diners.
Can tell me more about the Oddsocks Bar & Kitchen Liverpool?
Oddsocks Bar & Kitchen Liverpool is the latest unique dining concept from Jurys Inn, with a modern and charming atmosphere. It offers an extensive and exciting menu, including a wide range of delicious dishes.
The menu also features a wider selection of vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan options as we’ve seen a rise in these dietary requirements. We have expanded our ‘healthy’ options, featuring dishes and salads all under 600 calories.
If you’re after a sweet treat, then our dessert selection is to die for – we’re particularly proud of our Oddsocks Sundaes that come in banofee, chocolate brownie s’mores or fresh fruit and sorbet flavors.
Can you tell me about the refurbished meeting rooms? How have they been improved for attendees?
Jurys Inn Liverpool’s 10 newly refurbished meeting rooms are perfect for local businesses and events. Our rooms can accommodate up to 100 delegates suitable for small to medium sized meetings, training, interviews and focus groups. All of our meeting rooms are now equipped with LCD projectors and screens, adaptable modular furniture, air conditioning, natural daylight and high speed WiFi. We also have a dedicated spacious breakout area with fantastic city views that delegates can utilise for coffee breaks and lunches.
Has any work been done on the bathrooms? If so tell me about what has been refreshed?
Each of our spacious bathrooms includes newly refurbished fixtures and fittings, designed with our guests comfort in mind. Complete with complimentary toiletries, each bright bathroom has been fitted with a new bath and shower, washbasin and large side-lit mirror.
What is your favourite aspect of the project?
Definitely the new Oddsocks Bar & Kitchen because it’s fresh and completely different to our previous food and beverage offering.
Can you tell me about any difficulties you faced while redesigned the property?
The extent of existing floor to ceiling glazing created challenges with acoustics, solar heat gain and restricted options for locating USB charging points in otherwise ideal locations. This was all taken in to account when the work began and is no longer an issue.
What are your plans for future refurbishment work?
We’re very happy with the look and feel of the hotel following our major refurbishment so there are no plans at present to carry out any further work.
What would you like to see implemented into to the hotel if money was no question?
We’re lucky enough to be in a super location beside the Echo Arena, the Royal Albert Dock, and the River Mersey. If money were no object I’d maximise the fantastic views we have by offering a rooftop bar.
Tell me about how the budget was used?
The budget for the public area refurbishment was set a value which allowed for the delivery of a modern design that was functional, durable and classic. The budget was also used for brand specific elements including an ‘Off the Shelf’ convenience lobby shop stocking snacks, drinks and travel necessities, and a connectivity area which is a communal space for guests to work remotely. The budget also allowed for the fireplace feature in the lobby and the feature lighting throughout the public spaces.
Is there anything you prefer from the old design?
No not at all, guests and team are all delighted with the new design concept and it has brought a breath of fresh air to Jurys Inn Liverpool.
This article first appeared in the October 2018 issue of Hotel Owner