The Municipal Hotel is set in an iconic building once the home of Liverpool City Council; honouring the city’s heritage whilst celebrating modern style and hospitality, it comes complete with impressive architectural features and a modern spa. Swim laps in the 16-metre pool, before toasting in the Himalayan salt sauna and steam room. Treatments are available from Grown Alchemist, Elemis and MII.
- XXL robes available
- 16m pool
- Himalayan salt sauna
- Steam room
- Plunge bucket
- Ice experience
- Monsoon shower experience
- Relax room
- Gym equipped with Matrix equipment with a panoramic view of the city
- Beauty Lounge with a manicure station & a pedicure station
- Grown Alchemist
- MII by Gerrard International
Our Spa Spy review
The Municipal is a newly-converted five-star hotel in the beating heart of Liverpool, a 10-minute walk from Lime Street Station. Once home to council offices, the 1806-built, caramel stone building weeps character, with original parquet flooring, sweeping staircases, Victorian wall tiles, corniced ceilings and tall oval windows.
As well as spacious rooms and suites, the hotel has a jaw-droppingly impressive bar with 20-ft ceiling (held up by pillars), two restaurants, a beautiful tea room, meeting rooms and a spa housed in a modern extension.
What's on offer?
Being old, the building is a bit of a maze; finding the correct lift to head down to the spa requires some avid sign-following. Once down, the putty walls, grey marble-effect floors and pale wood shelves – along with the huge plants – are shoulder-sinkingly serene.
We were warmly greeted in the open-plan reception area by spa staff sporting gorgeous fern-green dresses and shown around the spa. Shelves of tempting Grown Alchemist and Elemis products are attractively displayed behind the desk; the seats opposite are where you’ll wait for treatments.
The spa’s relaxation room is separated from reception by flowing curtains. Inside, four comfy beds, blankets and block candles ensure you unwind. Help yourself to fruit-infused water and magazines. Beyond reception, you’ll find an open-plan mani/pedi area for all things nails.
Changing rooms are petite with just 13 half-height lockers operated by four-digit code. Inside you’ll find branded flip-flops (so attractive we took ours home), a fluffy white robe, a towel, and, for all spa-goers, miniature products for facial cleansing, toning and moisturising.
Four dark wood doors push open to reveal three private changing cubicles with single benches on which to change, and a loo; your sink – with huge back-lit mirror – is opposite.
The vanity bar is around the corner from here with tub chair, another oversized mirror, Dyson hairdryer, a pair of straighteners and amenities such as cotton wool buds. This is a one-at-a-time affair but - as the spa facilities are limited to 20 people at a time - we are assured that post-spa preening isn’t a bum fight.
The spa’s three showers, with huge rain heads, are outside the changing rooms beside the pool; bottles of Cult Milano amenities are attached to the wall. If you would rather shower in private, nip into the accessible changing room.
The piece de resistancè at this spa is the attractive 16-metre pool which has full-height windows at the top end showing Liverpool off nicely. Our evening swim, mood-lit by the city at dusk, was a delight, particularly as we had the entire pool to ourselves.
Post-swim relaxation is afforded via 12 squishy loungers, each with its own white rolled up towel, and side table adorned with jugs of iced water, glasses and full bar menu to order drinks from passing staff. After 25 lengths, we treated ourselves to a glass of Gavi and sipped it whilst drinking in the city views.
The far side of the pool has two of the most powerful swan necks we have encountered (take that tight shoulders) and bubbly Jacuzzi jets, operated at the touch of a button. Want to see Liverpool up close? Take a seat on one of two grey rattan egg chairs and pin your nose to the glass.
The spacious, modern thermal facilities are tucked neatly away behind the pool. We began our heat journey in the gentle Laconium with its lavender scent, dark grey mosaic-tiled bench and foot stools for five. Can’t stand the heat? This is the room for you.
Heat-lovers should opt for the steam room next door - with its white seats accommodating four to six spa goers and heady amount of steam - or head into the salt room which has walls of orange salt bricks at either end, separated by dual-level wooden benches.
Too hot? Brave the ice bucket, grab handfuls of ice from the fountain or walk into the experience shower and select ‘cold mist’ or ‘Atlantic Ocean’,
Tell us about the treatments
We tried a Mii Gel Luxury Manicure (60 mins, £45) and an Eyelash tint (30 mins, £12).
Katie, my therapist for both treatments, met me in reception and led me to the mani/pedi area where she invited me to take a seat.
Selecting a dark wintry grey polish, Katie began the manicure by filing my nails and then dipping each hand in turn in a bowl of water. She then massaged my arms and hands with a serum and cream which was a welcome surprise. The manicure continued with a gel primer which set within seconds of me placing my pinkies - one hand at a time - inside an LED lamp. A base coat, two layers of my chosen hue, a top coat and a nourishing cuticle oil later, and my nails were party ready.
For the eyelash tint, Katie met me in the relaxation room and led me to one of four spacious treatment rooms. Lying face up, Katie placed arcs of moist cotton pad under my eyes and asked me to close them so that she could paint a blue-black dye (which is oddly darker than black itself) onto my lashes. While the dye took, Katie massaged my head using her hands and thumbs.
On lash inspection, we decided to go for another coat to make them look more dramatic; while the second layer set, Katie massaged my calves with a deliciously-scented Elemis cream. Bingo – lashes to flutter.
The spa at The Municipal offers a range of massages, facials, wraps and body polishes from Elemis and Grown Alchemist, as well as Mii manicures and pedicures and treatments for pregnant ladies
Before heading to the spa, we enjoyed afternoon tea at Botanica near to reception. We didn’t establish if the blossom tree in the centre was real, but it makes a gorgeous centrepiece either way. Curved red leather seating is cleverly wrapped around the base of the tree, there’s also navy velvet bank seating under huge windows or individual floral seats at round tables.
Our afternoon tea came on a gold three-tiered stand with plates of crustless sandwiches (coronation chicken, egg, ham, salmon and cucumber) on the bottom, pretty sweet treats (chocolate and orange cake, macaroons, white chocolate bomb) in the middle, and a scone with jam and clotted cream at the top. We complemented this with pot of English breakfast tea and a glass of Prosecco.
Before dinner, we took a seat at the Palm Court Bar and ordered a frosty beer which we drank whilst watching the evening take shape. The bar itself is a central square, making it a sociable space; seating around the perimeter is vast and varied. To the side is a cosy library filled with velvet armchairs and shelves heaving with books.
Seaforth is the hotel’s open-plan restaurant just off from the bar – check out the statement ceiling light and live hanging fauna. The menu of British classics includes fish dishes, lamb and steaks, as well as starters such as shredded duck and seared scallops.
Taking a cosy seat in the library, we began our dinner with a light dish of whipped goats’ cheese served with a toasted pine nut and pomegranate salad and raspberry dressing. We followed this with a cauliflower steak served with Babb ghanoush, lime yoghurt, caperberries, chill peanuts and a wedge of lime washed down with a crisp glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
To finish we went for the cheese board: three local cheeses served with crackers, celery, frozen grapes, chutney and a glass of smoky port. All three dishes were lip-smackingly good.
We loved / we didn't love
The staff: goodness they’re friendly up north; service with a Cheshire cat grin.
The hotel took five years to convert, and it’s easy to see why - it simply oozes character and style (a little birdie told us that even the original gold radiators throughout took a year to restore). A new Spa Spy favourite.
The food: from our afternoon tea to our three-course dinner, everything we tucked into was as attractive as it was tasty.
We didn’t love
The relaxation room could do with a door separating it from reception to prevent noise carrying through.
Having to head poolside to shower.
Who do you think would like it?
Tourists have a new hotel, restaurant, bar and spa to enjoy; pair a stay with a spot of shopping, a trip to the theatre or some culture. As locations go, it’s hard to beat.
Fans of Grown Alchemist: you won’t find treatments from this brand everywhere.
History-lovers: if buildings could talk,,,
Whilst there is not a designated spa restaurant, spa guests can enjoy the beautiful Botanic Tea Room which oozes luxury for afternoon tea.
SeaForth Restaurant is a beautiful British brasserie with a worldy exotic twist and touches of Liverpool historical trade past. Menus designed and inspired with global influences showcasing the colourful plates from Liverpool connections to land and sea.
With 179 bedrooms this city landmark is an opportunity to experience one of the most unique destinations in Liverpool, one which has retained features such as its clock tower and bells with their timeless melody.
Monday - Friday 7am-8pm
Saturday & Sunday 8am-8pm
Travel and Parking
No on-site parking
Discounted rate at NCP Car Park, Moorfields £13.50 for 24 hours
x2 complimentary disabled parking spaces
Local Train Stations:
Liverpool Lime Street & Moorfields Train Station