There’s been concern lately that Liverpool’s just got too many hotels. It’s a valid one. Though the city’s tourism economy is pretty buzzing, there seems to be plenty of available rooms knocking around. But still, permissions for new hotels keep coming. Can the city sustain all these? Only time will tell, but the latest one opened is a welcome addition to our hotel scene.

Say ‘Days Inn’ to anyone and they might think of service station bleakness: dotted up and down motorways, they cater primarily to business travellers in god-knows-where who need to get their head down. Stuck outside of Slough? Head to your nearest Days Inn. Feeling lost in Leicester? You know where to go. They’re known as hotels you’d pass through, a necessity, rather than somewhere you’d pro-actively choose to stay.

Its freshly opened Liverpool conversion – slap bang next to James Street station – is the company’s first step in changing that perception, and try and get into the lucrative mini-break market the likes of Premier Inn are coining it in with.

The hotel itself still smells new, and there’s a distinct buzz about the place. The rooms themselves are sleek, simple and functional, with a surprising amount of storage space. Our room also had what felt like a 2 mile long desk: basically amazing if you travel with loads of paperwork, gadgetry and pointless crap. Like we do. Beds were comfortable, and the bathroom simple and stylish. It’s pretty no frills, of course: you won’t find any gold-plated iPod docks or fishtanks knocking around, but it’s streamlined and incredibly comfortable.

The overall package is what really makes the Days Inn surprising, though. While nowadays we’re all squeezed with extra charges and hidden costs, Days Inn bundle everything up in its single price. So for the money you pay you get not just your room – all of a large size – you get a fast in-room WiFi connection and a massive buffet the next morning. No bullshit, no messing around: one price for everything. It’s not miserable lukewarm cornflakes and toast, either; pick from cereals, freshly made bacon and egg, watermelon and a bunch of brilliantly unhealthy pastries. Employees – from check-in staff to the cleaners – were all cheery, cheeky and chatty (the manager at breakfast so pleased to see us we figured she was a long-lost relative we didn’t recognise).

There’s very few criticisms we can make: the view was pretty non-existent from the room we were given, but when there’s a fantastic river view on your doorstep (the hotel’s pitched right next to the waterfront) it’s no big deal. Likewise, the sickly turquoise walls in the corridors are a design mis-step, but the relative tranquility of the rooms cancels it out.

Overall, it’s an impressive addition to the city, and Days Inn have clearly put effort in to making this a key hotel. Though the company might have trouble shaking off its mothballed image, a hotel of this standard – and of a similar price as the sad and tired Adelphi – should be a nice pull for tourists eyeing up the city.

Days Inn Liverpool
James Street, City Centre

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