New Kid on the Block: The Halyard, Vignette Collection, Liverpool

City Break, Liverpool, UK / Thursday, June 13th, 2024

This newly built hotel marks the UK debut for IHG Hotels & Resorts’ Vignette Collection

Liverpool is in my blood. My mum was born nearby, and her side of the family still lives around the area. During my school holidays, I would visit my grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins, and we would always take a trip to the Albert Dock. I have very fond memories of soaking up the maritime history, the views of the Mersey, The Beatles statues and the Liver Building. Coming to Liverpool was always like coming home. So it was with great joy that I was able to revisit the city this April after attending a family party, and check out the newly opened Halyard Hotel.

The Halyard, a brand-new property located in the Ropewalks area, marks the UK inauguration of IHG’s latest luxury and lifestyle brand, Vignette Collection, with another 12 properties around the world slated to join in 2024. Paying homage to its historical roots, the hotel is named after a type of knot and occupies the site of an 18th-century ropemaking warehouse.

Every detail reflects the area’s industrial heritage and its strong sense of local identity, including its association with the Mersey and Meccano, pioneered by Frank Hornby in 1908, and achieving nationwide fame in the following decades as the UK’s leading toy manufacturer.

The Memorable Ritual

The Halyard’s lobby exudes warmth and elegance with its light-filled space adorned with lush green plants and rope-themed artwork. As part of the Vignette Collection’s ethos of responsibility, community and locality, guests are treated to a ‘Memorable Ritual’ on arrival – something to welcome them and give them a taste of the area’s history.

In the case of The Halyard I received a shot of delicious “Champurrado” – a silky hot chocolate drink infused with chilli and cinnamon, and finished with a dash of Liverpool Lost Dock rum – the quintessential sailor’s tipple, and another nod to the city’s maritime past. Today, 90% of the UK’s total cocoa bean imports still arrive through the Port of Liverpool.

What to see in the neighbourhood

A short walk from the hotel are some of Liverpool’s main sites – the Baltic Triangle, the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool Lime Street station, Liverpool Cathedral, and the Royal Albert Dock – the most-visited free tourist destination in North West England. Highly recommended is the Museum of Liverpool, which is currently holding a Ken Dodd exhibition. But there are plenty of galleries, restaurants, bars and shops to enjoy, or you can just soak up the history, and watch the sunset over the Mersey. The nearby Baltic Triangle is the up-and-coming area of the city, with craft beer bars, shops and a food market.

Voyagers restaurant

The hotel’s restaurant, Voyagers, is named after English poet Felicia Dorothea Hemans, who was born a few doors down from the hotel on Duke Street. Its small plates menu is inspired by the city’s plethora of cultural influences – char-grilled tiger prawns, Thai fish cakes and tandoori monkfish cheeks to nduja Scotch eggs and Lebanese fattoush salad.

The Liverpool tart is sublime – made from a recipe that dates back to 1897 – and the choux bun is truly epic. Order that and thank me later. Coffee is from local roasters Crosby Coffee, and tea from BrewTea in Manchester. The wine selection is varied, and includes Gerard Bertrand organic wines from Corbières (served by the glass).

The rooms

Rooms come in three different sizes and configurations – all with super-comfy double beds, rain showers and Temple Spa products. The modular design means that each one has been soundproofed properly so you don’t hear any traffic noise or music from the surrounding bars.

Many have artworks depicting the themes of rope-making, Meccano and the pop artist Peter Blake, and the colour scheme blends teal, mustard yellow, gold and soft pink. There are wheelchair accessible rooms, as well as penthouse suites with balconies and city views – something also experienced from the 7th-floor fitness suite, which also has state-of-the-art Peloton machines.

But what really makes the hotel stand out is the staff. Everyone I met was warm and friendly, which made the whole experience feel like coming home. Who can resist a friendly Scouse welcome? Not me, that’s for sure. I’m already planning my return.

Details: The Halyard Liverpool, 23 Duke Street Liverpool L1 4JR. Doubles from £149 per night, including breakfast. BOOK HERE.

Meccano-inspired decor at The Halyard

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