2016 has certainly been a fantastic year for all the team at Signature Living, as we have enjoyed many landmark moments over the past 12 months. Our hard-working team have come together to not only welcome the many wonderful guests through our doors, but to create and celebrate some amazing events and achievements.
1. 30 James Street Features in a Fiction Book
30 James Street has played a significant role in Liverpool’s maritime history, as the building served as RMS Titanic’s port of registry. However, it’s not just history our wonderful building has influenced, but works of fiction, too.
In January 2016, we were delighted to welcome author Bev Dulson to 30 James Street, after she requested a tour of our beautiful Liverpool hotel, where her grandfather once worked. Our hotel proved to be the ideal location to feature in her book, which she also referenced in her acknowledgements.
2. Liverpool’s First Autism Friendly Hotel
Autism is believed to affect 70,000 people in the UK alone, touching the lives of 2.8 million people nationwide. With so many people across the country living with the lifelong condition, it seemed only right we offer the city’s first autism-friendly hotel.
We teamed up with Autism Adventures and Autism Together in April to provide our team at The Shankly Hotel and The Bastion Bar & Restaurant with the right training. Our goal is to provide a welcoming environment to autistic adults and children visiting our hotel and restaurant, so they can have an enjoyable experience from start to finish with us.
3. The Shankly Hotel wins ‘Simply the Guest’ Award
Seven months after opening The Shankly Hotel on Victoria Street, we were delighted to win Laterooms.com’s ‘Simply the Guest’ award in the luxury hotels category. It was an honour to win the prestigious award, which is a testament to our team’s hard work and the guest experience. What’s even more remarkable is the award was voted solely by guest reviews, and was therefore chosen by our previous guests.
4. Signature Living Sponsor RBS British LGBT Awards
We had the privilege of sponsoring this year’s RBS British LGBT Awards, which were held in London on Friday 13th May 2016 and hosted by Mel B and Duncan James. The event was held to show support to the LGBT+ community, celebrating businesses, celebrities and pioneers of the LGBT+ community’s core message. Signature Living is dedicated to encouraging both equality and diversity throughout our venues, and our support of this fantastic event has only strengthened that commitment.
5. The Shankly Hotel Wins the LEP Best Newcomer Award
Soon after we won the ‘Simply the Guest’ award, The Shankly Hotel received another superb award in the form of the LEP Best Newcomer Award. Lawrence & Katie Kenwright, along with Chris “Shankly” Carline, were more than happy to accept the award, which rewards the outstanding achievements of the hotel, following a few months of its official opening.
6. Echo Investment of the Year Nomination
Signature Living was honoured to be nominated for the Echo of the Year Nomination at the Liverpool Echo Regional Business Awards, and we were delighted to be nominated alongside some ground-breaking companies such as Peel Ports, Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Agent Marketing.
This award recognised out investment into the city of Liverpool, since the beginning of the year and the exciting development plans we have for the city in the near future.
7. Signature Living Sponsor Open House Event
Signature Living was more than happy to provide financial support for an open house event, organised by the City of Liverpool College. The volunteer-based support event took place on 2nd June 2016, with the college opening its doors to those in need or requesting help.
Our Executive Chef, Matt Cox, helped prepare breakfast and lunch services, as people could enter the college for a warming meal and an opportunity to learn more about the vital services on offer, which could provide an individual with a chance to improve their circumstances.
The city’s most vulnerable individuals had an opportunity to discuss their health, housing and emotions, and could also receive free food, toiletries and haircuts. They also could learn more about courses and counselling for self-development.
8. Signature Living’s Undercover Angel
Lawrence and Katie Kenwright, the husband and wife team behind Signature Living, have consistently supported a number of charities and organisations over the years, with the aim of giving back to the community whenever possible.
After losing everything to building one of the fastest growing hotel companies in the UK, Lawrence knows more than anyone that a little support is sometimes all that is needed to turn a person’s life around – which is why he endeavours to help as many people as possible to improve their circumstances. For this reason, he recently appeared on National Geographic’s Undercover Angel. After helping to build a playground for disabled children through the charity KIDS, he later revealed his identity and pledged £20,000 to The Adventure Playground and KIDS Hackney to ensure the charity remains open.
9. The Opening of Arthouse Bar & Pizzeria
We were absolutely thrilled to open Arthouse Bar & Pizzeria this July, which offers the perfect blend of Hollywood glamour and fantastic food and drink. Located on Seel Street, Arthouse Bar & Pizzeria allows you to immerse yourself into the world of film, whilst enjoying great music and atmosphere. With a scrumptious USA inspired food menu, impressive cocktails and a stunning interior, it’s the perfect place to grab a bite to eat, have a dance or enjoy a relaxing drink.
10. First Residents Move into Daniel House
We were delighted to welcome our first residents into Daniel House on 26th July 2016, who can enjoy a luxurious apartment that offer premium onsite amenities, such as Sky TV, Wi-Fi and a gym membership, with utilities included in their weekly fee.
11. The Shankly Virtual Experience
Back in August, The Bastion Bar & Restaurant was delighted to introduce the Shankly Virtual Experience, as our guests have an opportunity to share a table with the late, great football manager, Bill Shankly. All guests have to do is take a seat and look at a screen in front of them, and it will appear they are sitting right next to the footballing legend.
12. The Shankly Hotel Named One of the World’s Best Football Themed Hotels
Not only have we had the pleasure of being named the LEP Best Newcomer and being hailed ‘Simply the Guest’, but we were also named one of the world’s best football-themed hotels by The Mirror. We aim to provide the ultimate hotel experience for football and non-football fans, which is why we are delighted to be recognised by the popular newspaper.
13. The Opening of Noctua
Located underneath the atmospheric Bar Signature is the city’s most intimate and exclusive bar, Noctua. The invite-only members club is one of the safest bars in the city, thanks to the strict vetting process, and opened in August 2016. Become a member today to enjoy a VIP bar with delicious cocktails, champagnes and spirits, and will change the way you come together in the city.
14. The Introduction of the Shankly Loyalty Card
We were delighted to launch the Shankly Loyalty Card in August 2016, which will allow our guests to enjoy fantastic discounts at The Shankly Hotel and The Bastion Bar & Restaurant. For example, Shankly Loyalty Card members can enjoy 20% off stays from Sunday to Thursday and 10% off stays on a Friday & Saturday (for a minimum two-night stay). Loyalty card holders can also enjoy 20% off food and drink from Monday to Thursday at The Bastion Bar & Restaurant, and 10% off food and drink from Friday to Sunday.
15. Shankly’s Greatest XI
Bill Shankly was known as being one of the greatest football managers of all time. Shankly’s grandson, Chris Carline asked fans who would have been in Shankly’s Greatest XI, from players who used to play at his former clubs. On Wednesday 8th December, we welcome nine former players to one of the biggest dining experiences at The Garden of Eden.
Players such as Kevin Keegan were in attendance as well as 330 fans, who travelled from all over the world to enjoy a special dinner service and talks from the ex-players. This was one of our biggest events at The Garden of Eden and we hope it will be the first of many.
16. The Bastion’s Pastry Chef Wins Apprentice of the Year
Signature Living is passionate about providing young people with hospitality skills and experience, so they can embark on an exciting career in the sector. It was, therefore, a proud day when Amy Wilson, an apprentice pastry chef at The Bastion Bar & Restaurant, was awarded Apprentice of the Year at this year’s Switch Onto Business Awards.
Head Chef, Matt Cox, highlighted the great steps Amy has taken in her early pastry career in just twelve months, stating: “Amy went from being very timid in the kitchen to running the veg, pastry and larder sections, sometimes all three at once when the kitchen needed it. Amy is innovative, will try anything, experiments and has lots of great ideas… I would put her up there with one of the best apprentices I have ever worked with in 20 years of catering.”
17. Created Nearly 100 Apprenticeships
Signature Living has proudly partnered with the City of Liverpool College to create nearly 100 apprenticeships to the young people of Liverpool. As we expand and develop new hotels and sites, 2016 has allowed us to increase the amount of apprenticeships we offer.
Apprenticeships with Signature Living range from construction and financial roles to hospitality and head office opportunity’s which include digital, sales and events.
We’re committed to creating exciting and educational opportunities to students in a fast-paced and dynamic environment. As Signature Living continues to grow, we will continue to offer these apprenticeships across all sectors of the business.
18. Launch of the Shankly Tours
Bill Shankly loved Liverpool and we want to take you on a tour of the city like no other.
As well as the Shankly Museum within The Bastion Bar & Restaurant which is home to never before seen memorbilia, we recently launched The Shankly Tours.
These tours are hugely exciting and unlike any other city tours, from match day tours which include access to the grounds to the Fab 4 and Shankly Tour, we’re taking guests on a trip like no other.
The four tours are hugely interactive and we’re excited to be adding more options in the next year.
19. The Exchange Hotel’s Open Day
After many months of planning and preparation, The Exchange Hotel held an open day to the public on 5th November 2016. The people of Cardiff could step inside our recently restored Grand Bassey Hotel to experience the beautiful architecture and our stunning refurbishment.
We are proud to have provided this exquisite building with a brand new lease of life, as the building has fallen into disrepair and dereliction. We will, therefore, showcase the story of Cardiff and the Coal Exchange to our guests from across the world, who will stay at our 200 bedroom hotel, which features a spa, restaurant and wedding and conference venue.
Our team were more than happy to listen to the public’s many wonderful stories about the building and the local history, proving just how much this historic property means to the people of Cardiff, and we will endeavour to embody this passion throughout the hotel.
20. Wedding Fayre at The Exchange Hotel
Just fifteen days after our open day at The Exchange Hotel, we were delighted to host our first wedding fayre to help a happy couple plan their dream day in Cardiff. We brought together the finest wedding suppliers in the city, who can help create the wedding day you have been dreaming of, and there was also a fabulous catwalk show, highlighting the latest wedding trends. You could also take a look at our breath-taking Grand Bassey Hall to imagine what your ceremony and reception could look like at The Exchange Hotel.
21. Eden Launch
The magical Eden Launch was a celebration of the Garden of Eden, which is The Shankly Hotel’s new rooftop destination that is ideal for weddings, conferences and various events. A number of VIP guests were in attendance at the venue’s official launch party, including the cast of Hollyoaks, TOWIE’s Chloe Lewis, Emmerdale’s Gillian Kearney, and LFC football legend John Barnes, to name a few.
With performances by Rachel McFarlane and Nazelle Danielle School of Dance, an incredible set from DJ Mark Armstrong and the event hosted by none other than local radio legend Pete Price, guests had an amazing night of whimsy and wonder, with fantastical characters, magical food and an Eden vodka luge.
22. Signature’s Grotto at The Garden of Eden
Signature Living has proudly partnered with One Magical City to provide the city’s first rooftop grotto at the Garden of Eden.
The little ones can be transported to the magical Lapland, where Santa Claus is hiding out before he packs up his presents all ready for Christmas Eve. However, he has managed to take some gifts with him to the grotto, which he will be handing out to children who drop by to pay him a visit.
23. The First Wedding Show at Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden is the newest addition to The Shankly Hotel, offering unrestricted views across the city, as well as a flexible space and exquisite interior. It, therefore, seemed only right to host our very first wedding show at the venue this November, offering our guests an opportunity to meet the best wedding suppliers in Liverpool, enjoy a catwalk show and there was even a rather fantastic Mannequin Challenge, which was participated by both our guests and dedicated wedding team.
24. Hosted Over 250 Events
We’re extremely proud to be home to some of the most incredible event venues in Liverpool, including The White Star Grand Hall at 30 James Street, Little Eden and The Garden of Eden which are both within The Shankly Hotel.
From memorable weddings, which are nothing short of spectacular to baby showers and magical birthday celebrations, Signature Living has hosted over 250 breathtaking events.
Our dedicated events team endeavour to put on events which you will remember forever and will ensure your special day is one of a kind.
25. TOWIE at The Shankly Hotel
The Only Way is Essex cast recently joined The Shankly Hotel during filming for their upcoming show, The Only Way is Essexmas. Just some of the Towie guests joining us included Chloe Sims, Danielle Armstrong, John Clark, Tommy Mallet, Georgia Kousoulou and couple Megan McKenna and Pete Wicks. The cast looked right at home at The Bastion Bar & Restaurant, as they sipped chilled champagne and scrumptious afternoon tea.
26. Christmas Party for Kids
Each and every year we host a special Christmas party for kids in care.
Signature Living is a family business and at this time of year, we want to help those who may not have families, have a wonderful Christmas. Our annual party for kids is a really special occasion, held in the White Star Grand Hall, local children can enjoy a festive feast, Christmas disco, presents and a visit from Father Christmas himself & friends. Celebrities from the local area come out to show their support and have a dance with the children as well as posing for photographs.
Signature Living 2016 has undeniably been a fantastic year, and we cannot wait to see what 2017 brings. We would like to thank our hard-working team and lovely guests for making the past 12 months an absolute joy, and we will continue to exceed expectation at every opportunity to provide our guests with an unforgettable hotel experience.