(Play the SoundCloud track above while reading this post – it adds something to the hotel that I can’t capture in words or pictures.)
At World Travel Market in November I was invited to stay at The Midland Hotel and wholeheartedly agreed based on the Art Deco style and architecture of the property as it was something I hadn’t seen in a hotel before. Standard hotels to me are so boring and pointless and serve no purpose other than offering a place to sleep which is such a shame as they can be really creative and fun places, so in that regard The Midland was a breath of fresh air.
Built in 1933 the iconic four star Midland Hotel sits on Morecambe Bay and was renovated in 2006 to bring the Art Deco glamour of its heyday into the 21st century. If it was possible to time travel I’d spend my days the 1920s with the glitzy flapper dresses, headbands and well dressed men, and one of the great things about this hotel is that it draws you back to a different time, one full of style, history and character.
Without going too overboard the Art Deco touches are scattered throughout the hotel from the stone seahorses above the entrance to the wall sculpture at reception. Two of my favourite examples of it are the Rotunda Bar’s outdoor geometric seating and the angular, symmetrical stools in the main bar.
The Rotunda Bar is centred around a huge hanging purple light installation with a circular bar looking out to the bay. Time seems to have moved slightly forward here to another of my favourite decades and the high red stools and glass façade made it feel like an old school American ice cream parlour. While there having cocktails a group of girls dressed in 40s and 50s prints and structured dresses with set curls in their hair came in which made it feel even more like we’d gone back 60-70 years. I couldn’t stop staring; the whole vibe and scene were right up my street and the only thing missing was Richie Cunningham and his 1953 red Ford drop top.
To pay extra homage to the era in which the hotel is styled a couple of 1920s/30s inspired cocktails would be an interesting addition to the hotel like the ones available at The Luggage Room at Marriott Grosvenor Square. Although having said that the cocktails we did have were original and really delicious.
Finding a happy medium between those looking for a seaside hotel and the others wanting a design led artsy property is a fine line and one that you wouldn’t think even exists. But it does. And me being more on the creative side leans towards the geometric shapes and eclectic style more so than the appeal of a coastal town but The Midland manages to appeal to the two offering the right amount of English seaside mixed with enough historic character and modern touches to satisfy everyone who walks through the door.
(I was a guest of The Midland Hotel)