What a truly magical year we’ve had at Signature Living! Over the past 12 months, we’ve introduced a whole host of new and exciting ventures. From brand new hotels in Liverpool, to exciting venues across the UK, a unique homeless initiative and a very big birthday, we’ve had lots to celebrate.
Thanks to the hard work of the entire Signature Living team, we are pleased to have been recognised by awarding bodies for various achievements throughout 2018. Looking back on the huge success of Signature Living this year, we can embrace the start of a new year and look forward to what the next 12 months will bring!
But first, lets take a look back at some of our very best moments from 2018.
The Story of Kingsway House and The Cotton Street Project
Over the last couple of years, Liverpool has seen a sharp incline in the number of homeless people. According to statistics released by Shelter homeless charity, more than 300,000 people in Britain are officially recorded as homeless. This growing and worrying crisis was something Chairman Lawrence Kenwright felt needed to change and so, he opened Kingsway House in 2017. During this time, The Guardian filmed a documentary on the shelter telling the unlikely tale of Our House. In the film, the world was given an inside look at what life was like at Kingsway and the amazing relationships homeless people, Signature staff and the community formed.
Sadly, due to pressures from the council, Kingsway House was forced to close in February 2018 and some of its most vulnerable residents ended up back on the street. However, Lawrence didn’t stop after Kingsway closed its doors. He set out on a new mission to open The Cotton Street Project, a new homeless shelter designed with a difference. With a vision to bring the city and its homeless a warm, safe and bright place to call home, Lawrence embarked on a long and tough task to make this vision a reality.
On the 10th October, World Homeless Day, Cotton Street officially opened with a little help from LFC legend Jamie Carragher. He was very supportive of Cotton Street:
“What Lawrence is doing is fantastic. I am proud to give him and the Cotton Street Project my support. I’ll be keeping in regular contact with those using the shelter and hopefully helping them to turn their lives around for the better.”
This was a completely new initiative in Liverpool which has brought the city an alternative approach to the homeless epidemic.
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) October 10, 2018
The shelter is set within a spacious converted warehouse and aims to feed around 200 people by day and sleep up to 50 at night. There is also a joinery and upholstery workshop, to help the guests learn valuable skills to boost their job prospects and fun activities like pool tables, tennis tables and chess boards.
The shelter also offers support for some of the deep-rooted problems guests at Cotton Street battle with every day. From drug and alcohol addiction, to mental health issues, we have an on-site professional medical team and on-call drug and alcohol councillor. Each of our homeless friends has a story to tell, so we have given them a platform to do so. Learn a bit more about the current guests at Cotton Street.
The homeless epidemic is a problem not just for Local Authorities, which have had millions slashed from their budgets in recent years, it is an issue for us all. If the public and private sector work better together, we believe we can help end the plight of homelessness in Liverpool. The spirit of Liverpool is one of generosity and through opening the homeless shelter, Lawrence is doing what any Scouser in his position would do.
We Announced Plans for the World’s First Football Quarter
The first of its kind in the world, we plan to pedestrianise the road, line it with trees and showcase beautiful statues that commemorate Dixie, Shankly and more footballing greats.
Liverpool has long called for an area of the city where Evertonians and Liverpudlians can celebrate their combined success in football, and what better place than between two iconic hotels that pay tribute to two sporting legends!
New Signature Suites are Unveiled
The past year has also been a very busy year in the world of Signature Suites. At Signature Living, we specialise in creating and providing the most unique and exciting group accommodation in Liverpool.
We also added Creation to our already popular Garden of Eden floor and more recently, we’ve welcomed a new collection of Jungle Rooms to our portfolio.
There are no limits to our imaginations or abilities and when it comes to Signature Living accommodation, things will only get bigger and crazier in 2019.
The Shankly Hotel Branches Out To Preston
We always had dreams of expanding the Shankly brand, but could never decide which city to branch out to. So, when Chairman Lawrence Kenwright saved the stunning Old Post building in the heart of Preston, we knew it was perfect. Bill Shankly has always been connected with the city of Preston, from his time as a player for Preston North End, to the way he was remembered by the people.
The 15 million project will transform the stunning building into a luxurious hotel, with a bar and restaurant, a weddings and events venue and a permanent football exhibition, featuring memorabilia kindly donated by the Shankly and Sir Tom Finney families. We can’t wait to see this hotel offer something completely new to Preston.
Signature Living Weddings Launches & We Host 159 Weddings
2018 was a huge year for weddings! We officially launched Signature Living Weddings and hosted an amazing 159 ceremonies across our venues.
Each and every wedding was extra special, but a few really stood out for us. From surprise performances from stars like X Factor’s Wagner and DJ Lee Butler, to a bride who had 3 dress changes, Samba dancers taking to the stage during the first dance and a group of storm troopers gate crashing a ceremony, there was plenty of highlights from the past year.
The biggest wedding we hosted was Vicki and David’s, they invited 210 guests to the daytime ceremony and over 300 in the evening! The celebration included stilt walkers, tap dancers and ladies in champagne dresses, we loved it. We also planned weddings that included couples’ dogs on the centre stage, a bride and groom wearing customised swim wear to pose for photos in our rooftop Jacuzzi’s and a wedding cake that was a staggering 11 tiers tall! Plus, our very own Katie Kenwright, planned and hosted her brother’s Gatsby themed wedding in the Garden of Eden and it was a roaring success.
At Signature Living Weddings, we pride ourselves on offering couples the chance to plan the ultimate wedding, that will be unforgettable. Our coordinators never say no, so the sky really is the limit!
As well as our current venues such as 30 James Street, The Shankly, Alma de Cuba and The Exchange Hotel, we also announced our plans to add even more opulent wedding venues to our portfolio. These included the woodland wonderland, Rainhill Hall, The Shankly Hotel in Preston and the glamorous George Best Hotel in Belfast.
We are so proud with how far Signature Living Weddings has come in such a short time. We offer something truly unique and can’ wait to expand our profile even further!
30 James Street Named Best Hotel in the UK
April was a fabulous month for Signature as 30 James Street was named as the best hotel in the UK! Months of blood, sweat and tears went into the resurrection of this luxurious hotel, so it will go down in history as one of our proudest achievements.
The Travel Republic Hotel Awards honour the best vacation accommodations in the world, based on customer reviews and ratings from people who have stayed. Our amazing award is down to not only the beauty of the hotel, but also our amazing staff who make each and every person’s stay truly unforgettable.
We strongly believe that we are a customer service business before an accommodation provider and we work tirelessly to ensure that everyone who comes through our doors leaves with a smile on their face.
The Exchange Hotel Turns 1 and R.P Culley’s Opens its Doors
Way back in May, we celebrated the first birthday of The Exchange Hotel! One of our most ambitious and beautiful projects to date, we are so proud of how far the hotel has come. Since opening our doors, the former Coal Exchange has become a firm favourite for luxury stays and decadent dining in Cardiff Bay. From hosting exquisite weddings to welcoming Welsh legend Tom Jones, it’s been quite the journey so far.
This year, we also celebrated the official opening of R.P Culley’s luxury bar and restaurant.
Named after local philanthropist Richard Palethorpe Culley, R.P Culley & Co Bar and Restaurant is the newest addition to our luxury hotel. The stylish space embraces the industrial history of the former Coal Exchange building and Cardiff community.
We invited local representatives and businesses along to join us for our grand opening evening. During the evening, guests enjoyed delicious canapes and stylish champagne cocktails.
Featured Twice in OK! Magazine
Another highlight for May, we had the honour of being featured in OK! Magazine twice! Both The Shankly Hotel and 30 James Street made an appearance in the glossy favourite. The Shankly received a glowing review from the best-selling publication, praising us for our fantastic location and unique style.
“It’s the perfect base for a girlie weekend away and boasts an eccentric but stylish interior.”
It was then time for 30 James Street to take the limelight. We were lucky enough to host the exclusive hen party of Hollyoaks star Sarah Jayne Dunn. OK! Magazine ran a fabulous feature on the actress’ party, revealing everything you can expect from one of our party stays. Sarah and her hens had a truly fun filled evening in the dazzling Morgan’s Vault pool party venue, describing it as “really magical.”
Signature Sponsor the LGBT Awards Again and Host the Gay Times Honours
For the second year running, we are proud to have sponsored the NatWest British LGBT Awards. As one of the UK’s most diverse LGBT friendly companies, we are very vocal and passionate supporters of the LGBT+ community. Lawrence Kenwright has always been very vocal in his support:
“From the boardroom down to the shop floor Signature Living is all about diversity. We embrace all people and proudly celebrate the vibrant and diverse nature of our employees and hotel guests. I am pleased to reaffirm our commitment to the LGBT+ community by backing this important event again.”
We were also proud to sponsor the first Gay Times Honours in Liverpool. LGBT+ equality is something that Signature Living are hugely passionate about, so this was a real highlight of our year. Speaking of Signature’s involvement Katie Kenwright stated:
“We are proud that some of our most senior members of staff are part of the LGBT community and embrace the variety of individuals and characters that are part of the Signature Living workforce. We believe in tolerance and acceptance at Signature Living.”
Summer Football on Garden of Eden Rooftop
Last summer we were treated to some nail-biting and exhilarating football! The Reds battled their way to the Champions League final in spectacular fashion and England did the nation proud in one of the best World Cup’s for a while.
Every tense game during these two huge contests was shown live on the rooftop of The Garden of Eden and the atmosphere was truly unforgettable! During the hottest summer we have been treated to for a while, we set up a huge marque on the roof of The Shankly and hosted one of our most incredible sporting events yet.
Signature Live Sessions: Liverpool’s Most Unique Live Music Event
With a vision to bring something completely new to the Liverpool music scene, last year we launched Signature Live Sessions. Curated and presented by The Farm’s Keith Mullin, we bring together Liverpool’s most influential musicians alongside our brightest new stars. The first gig took place on 18th July, on the rooftop of The Shankly Hotel and featured the outstanding Red Rum Club and The Sums. The evening was a roaring success, filling the Garden of Eden Rooftop with avid music lovers and those eager to check out this new performance venue.
Following this amazing first gig, we then made it our mission to host monthly gigs on the rooftop, inviting the latest and greatest artists to perform. We never dreamed the event would take off as much as it has! So far, we have welcomed The Farm, Sub Blue, The Tea Street Band, Space and many more to our stage.
Each of our gigs are filmed by our talented film team, so they tell a story. We also conducted unique interviews before each performance, making it really special for music lovers and the artists themselves. We can’t wait to see what artists Keith chooses for our next live music event!
Celebrating 10 years of Signature Living
Of course, one of the biggest highlights of the past year was celebrating our wonderful 10th birthday! If you’ve been following Signature Living over the years, you’ll know by now that we don’t do anything by halves! When it comes to celebrations, we like to go all out. So to mark our big birthday, Lawrence and Katie Kenwright are launched their #BiggestEverGiveaway!
Each month, we have been announcing a brand new competition on social media, each one even better than the last. Seeing Signature Living grow from offering four serviced apartments for Liverpool’s most dedicated party lovers, into a nationwide hospitality provider, has been a dream come true for founders Katie and Lawrence. And on the 10th anniversary of the company, the generous pair wanted to make other hopes and dreams a reality too.
Katie and Lawrence want to give back to you, our Signature followers, with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and spectacular experiences, worth over £150k!
From a once in a lifetime trip to Cuba for four people, to a magical family holiday to Lapland, the best ever New Year’s Eve and the amazing IVF treatment giveaway, the sky really is the limit when it comes to our prizes. To keep up to date with all of our amazing prizes during the Biggest Ever Giveaway, follow our Facebook page.
The George Best Hotel Welcome #TeamGB!
As the opening of The George Best Hotel draws ever closer, we were excited to welcome some new team members into the Signature family. George Best always said he wanted “more, more of everything” and that is just what we were looking for when it came to who would manage this new hotel. So, we were over the moon when we found our perfect General Manager, Damian, amazing Head of Sales, Gareth and our star Front of House Manager, Andrew.
They have already been very busy, recruiting more members of their team, promoting and enthusing about The George Best Hotel and hosting some amazing parties. We can’t wait to see how #Team GB grow and develop in the future!
Signature Sailors Sail on the Tall Ships
In the summer, five lucky Signature Living employees embarked on an unforgettable Tall Ships adventure. We sponsored them to join 9 other trainees and 6 skilled crew members to travel from Dublin to Scotland aboard TS Maybe.
While on board, our team and the rest of the crew ensured that Maybe sailed smoothly 24 hours a day. It was safe to say, our Signature Sailors had an amazing time sailing the seven seas!
Lawrence and Katie Kenwright are Featured in Hello! Magazine
As part of Signature Living’s Biggest Ever Giveaway, the Kenwrights decided to give away one of the most life changing prizes of all, IVF. Joining in partnership with a clinic, the company were proud to announce that they would be giving the gift to someone who is unable to conceive naturally and has taken all alternative routes offered by the NHS.
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Speaking about the competition to Hello! Magazine, Katie shared:
“Trying for children was one of the hardest things we have ever been through, so when it came to celebrating our ten-year anniversary I didn’t want a big extravagant party. I wanted to give the gift of life and give someone else a chance to go through IVF and have their own family. It’s the best present I could think of giving anyone.”
Thanks to IVF treatment, Lawrence and Katie found out they were having twins. Arabella and Junior celebrated their 3rd birthday this year!
Plans for Rainhill Hall Approved
In 2018, our big plans for Loyola Hall in Rainhill were approved! After purchasing the beautiful Grade II listed building in 2017, we submitted our vision to restore the venue to its former glory and bring the area a luxurious hotel and woodland retreat.
With our hotel proposal accepted, the future of Rainhill Hall certainly looks bright. This magical venue will provide luxurious accommodation in the main country house, with an opulent weddings and events space. There will also be a bar and restaurant, a spa and stunning outdoor venue, complete with woodland cabins and unique treehouse bridal suite. We can’t wait to bring a touch of the Signature sparkle to Rainhill Hall!
Sponsors of the Chester Races
Almost 32,000 racegoers enjoyed a fantastic two days of racing at Chester and Signature Living were the proud Title Sponsor of Saturday’s fun!
During the event, Lawrence and Katie presented the award for the third race of Signature Living Plate Day, Signature branding was showcased across the racecourse with flags, banners and the winning horse wore our logo.
We also gave attendees the chance to win a free trip to Marbella, on us! We all had a fabulous time at the races and can’t wait to see what next year holds!
Planning Permission Granted for The Crum
We also saw planning permission granted for the renovation of the beautiful Crumlin Road Courthouse into the luxurious Crum Hotel. This was a huge step forward in our plans for Belfast, we hope to transform this historic building into an opulent 71-bedroom venue, with a stunning bar and restaurant, a wedding and events space and a luxurious spa. The famous number one court room will be saved and developed into a tourist attraction, which we are sure will delight both the locals and new visitors to the city.
Here are some visuals of what @thecrumhotel ‘s reception will look like when we open next year
Situated across the road from the infamous Crumlin Road Gaol, this huge transformation will see this iconic derelict building, renovated into a luxury hotel and events venue. pic.twitter.com/ENn2hudDVY
— Lawrence Kenwright (@LawKenwright) November 8, 2018
This is a hugely challenging project, given the building’s listed status and current disrepair, however we have a wealth of experience in this sector and can’t wait to begin the transformation!
Provided Accommodation for 267, 832 guests & sold 3,970 bottles of prosecco
We have made a name for ourselves across the UK for providing one of a kind hotel experiences for our guests. We specialise in group accommodation that excites and amazes.
In 2018 Signature Living hotels and apartments welcomed a collective 267,832 guests through their doors. We also sold a staggering 3,970 bottles of prosecco, proving our guests really know how to party!
Our guest experience and reviews help us to learn, grow and develop to ensure we always provide the very best hotel accommodation. It’s thanks to our guests and our team that we have seen such a resounding success in 2018.
Here’s to the next 12 months!
Introducing Mulholland Singing Diner
2018 was also a very big year for Mulholland. In October, we gave it a little sprinkle of Broadway sparkle and reopened the venue as the UK’s first singing diner! The ultimate musical experience in the heart of Liverpool, our talented singing waiters serve up a delicious selection of American diner inspired food, alongside million-dollar shakes and tasty cocktails.
From famous movie soundtracks, to the very best 80s power ballads, Disney hits and marvellous musical numbers, our amazing performers bring a slice of stardust to the city. We also host themed evenings such as Disney Sundays and Kids Time, when children can dine for half price from 12pm to 5pm, Wednesday and Thursdays.
Recently, to mark the start of the festive season Santa Claus and our amazing team of singing waiters went along to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. Bringing some musical Christmas cheer and a big helping of festive magic, they certainly put a smile on a lot of faces!
Signature Buys the Cavern Walks
Another huge highlight of 2018 was the purchase of the Cavern Walks! We announced plans to transform and redevelop this iconic shopping centre into an amazing hotel, retail and events space.
Located in between Mathew Street and Lord Street, Cavern Walks was once the hottest spot for grabbing designer clothing in Liverpool way before the likes of Liverpool ONE or the Metquarter. The shopping centre now contains only a handful of shops after struggling to keep up with larger competition in the city.
Best known for houses stores like Vivienne Westwood, Weavers Door, Boudoir Boutique and Cricket, these shops will remain but will be accompanied by new neighbours in the form of other retailers, a luxury hotel, restaurants, events space and other exciting developments.
We hope to help the area thrive once again, whilst driving footfall back into an area of Liverpool city centre which is in need of a new lease of life!
Give in to Sin at The Vestry
One of our most recent highlights was the official opening of the new floor within the city’s favourite bar and restaurant, Alma de Cuba.
After purchasing the venue last year, we felt it was time to expand the space and make the most of such an impressive building. Once St Peter’s Catholic Church, the venue offers the chance to wine, dine and party surrounded by spectacular original features.
At the beginning of December 2018, we threw a magnificent star-studded launch party, welcoming our new floor, The Vestry. This fabulous new level to the already hugely popular venue will be ideal for hosting wedding celebrations, private events and parties. The venue proved to be a hit with our guests as they enjoyed spectacular views across the venue and an array of live entertainment and exciting cocktails.
Prepare to Sail the Seas, Signature Style
One of our latest and greatest highlights from 2018 is, of course, our purchase of an impressive cruise ship. With plans to transform it into a the first ever party boat hotel, we will be giving the guests the chance to embark on a one-of-a-kind journey from the shores of the Mersey, to the warm sandy beaches of Ibiza, Marbella and Majorca.
Sleek bars stocked with only the finest tipples and exotic, chic décor throughout all 400 cabins. There will also be a fabulous on deck experience that will mirror the carnival spirit of Alma de Cuba and echo the yacht hopping lives of the rich and famous.
Just when you thought you’d seen it all at Signature Living, we take to the seas, and now the world is our oyster.
As you can see, 2018 was an incredibly busy year for Signature Living and full of so many amazing memories. We can’t wait to see what 2019 holds for the company!