The property company behind Kensington hotel Base2Stay has opened the doors on its second property under the "luxury budget" brand, in Liverpool.
The £14m hotel development, which is situated 100 metres from the Liverpool One retail complex, received grant funding from the Townscape Heritage Initiative aimed at saving historical buildings from dereliction or demolition. THI funding was matched by contributions from Liverpool City Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, North West Development Agency, City Focus and English Heritage.
The 106-bedroom hotel's historic building, dating from the 1850s, has been redeveloped to incorporate many of its heritage features - including original timbers and brickwork - combined with modern fittings and cool contemporary lines.
Base2Stay's business model is based on taking different elements and "giving people what they want in a hotel", rather than making them pay for facilities that they're not likely to use, according to chief executive Robert Nadler.
Nadler said the group was "instinctively drawn" to Liverpool when deciding where to open its second site. "We looked across the UK but it became clear very quickly that Liverpool is the coolest destination by a long way," he told local news website Click Liverpool. "It has undergone such a dramatic renaissance in recent years and offers a cultural and artistic mix which is unique."
Better than expected trading at Base2Stay Kensington helped parent company, the property investment firm Mactaggart Heritable, achieve pre-tax losses of £628,000 for the 2009 calendar year - compared with a £6.4m loss the year before.
Plans to open a third Base2Stay, in London's Soho, have been delayed by the Crossrail project.
By Daniel Thomas
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