Bliss Hotel, Southport
Opened at the end of summer 2019, Southport’s Bliss Hotel occupies a stunning location within the seaside town’s Waterfront development and is set to be a game changer for the area.
Following a renovation and refurbishment of the Ramada Plaza Hotel, this is the first property in the Bliss Hotels brand. The guest rooms have been transformed, as have the lounge and restaurant areas to form new relaxed areas and the new ‘Bliss Kitchen’. The Penthouse and The Other Penthouse are the stars of the show; fantastic top floor 60m2 suites with panoramic coastal views.
Then there is the new 3,000 sq ft Roof Garden of experience, which includes an outdoor bar, eclectic seating and direct South Westerly sunny views over The Marine Lake. Ultimately, Bliss is hoping to create an experience with a happy and cheerful vibe. The interiors reflect the local landscape of Southport, paying tribute and creating a unique destination.
Still to come are the new ‘Funkshun’ meeting and event spaces (Big and Small) and The Blissstores which can be delivered to rooms by the ‘Blissbot’ (the first robot butler in the UK).
Head of Design, Lisa Lipscomb, leads the design team with Architect, Jez Marvin of UJP. Lisa said:
“It’s taken years and many projects to assemble our unique design team with suppliers from the UK and Europe. The question I posed was, ‘how do we create Bliss’? We’re still working out what the answer is but we’re ‘feeling’ our way through and its evolving nicely in front of our eyes.
“Some highlights are its lighting; caged lampshades all clustered together in different sizes, ensuring beauty at night and bringing drama in the day, eclectic seating and cool finishing touches. The design is meant to play second fiddle to the experience- acting as a support to a relaxed and easy feeling for our guests; and I think we’re getting that balance right.”
“The roof garden is really great; previously it was completely unutilised; now it’s the best space on the coast and a massive win for our guests. It has been transformed, with a DJ booth, an outdoor bar, fire pits and lots of light, creating a whole new vibe from what it once was.”
Jez Marvin, the architect working on Bliss Hotel told us about the phases of works taking place from an architectural point of view. He said:
“The project divides up into three elements. The restaurant and lounge space, (now known as Bliss Space), the new roof garden and the two penthouse suites. We started on site in late June and the roof garden and Bliss Space were completed towards the end of July and the penthouses have just been completed.
“The hotel was in pretty good condition when we came to it. The restaurant area was a refit of an already existing space. However, we’ve put new electrics in and new data, so it’s been an internal refit in general. The roof garden was an existing bleak terrace that wasn’t used so we completely transformed that.
“The main challenge has been the speed we’ve done it at. We had to be a bit adaptable, but it was fine all in all. Another challenge is we’re doing it whilst the hotel is still open; so phasing works are always a challenge.
“From our point of view, this project is incredibly important to us as this is the first phase of the hotel, and it’s a brand new client. They’ve got bigger plans for the hotel and wider area which we’re involved in so we’re excited about those, and they’re going to add additional hotels to the Bliss brand. We see working on this as a massive opportunity for our practice, and they’re a great team to work with too. It’s been creative and fast paced and also a bit of a rollercoaster, which is appropriate for the seaside, but not an unpleasant rollercoaster.”
The Bliss Store, a concept unlike any other, ensures that if a guest sees a piece of interior design they like during their stay, such as a throw, or cushion or lamp, then they will be able to buy it in the store from the reception area. This is set to be completed by the end of the year.
“Bliss really is a feeling for us; and being true to that feeling is what we’re driven by, and hopefully it comes across in the finished product for the guests. We live and breathe it, and I’m really proud of every single person from the Directors to the Night Porters who are just all driven by this incredible collective energy to do and be part of something great. It’s infectious and it’s the energy that myself and the design team draw on.”
A Q&A with owner of Bliss Hotel, Daniel Broch
What is the Bliss Hotel brand about?
“Initially opportunity led; when the old Ramada hotel was up for sale, we decided we’d buy it. We knew and liked the building and we’d been playing around with the idea of Bliss Hotel for a while.
“In simple terms, we feel that we can provide a branded hotel experience that sits in between the single owner operators and the multi-site branded hotels. We thought; could something be more meaningful if it had a proper creative and community led approach?
“We think in regional locations throughout the UK, there may well be an opportunity to deliver a community connected business that celebrates and integrates with its immediate locality and sells the best of that to attract incoming leisure and business guests; we’ll convey this message through our preferred communication channels of Music, Film, Fashion and Art which will be led by our new Creative Channel, Blissonik.com.
“We’re trying to be creative, fun, inventive and exciting and we constantly ask ourselves; ‘why should our business be in this hospitality landscape?’, ‘does it deserve to be here? ‘ what do we mean to our customers and our community?’ In truth, we’re still fully trying to work that out, but that creative process is exciting.”
What are your favourite things about the design?
“One of our highlights is the location itself. There is something magical about Southport, the views out to the Marine Lake are exceptional, I think we have the best location on the North West Coast, and the design throughout the Hotel just compliments it beautifully.”
You’ve talked about community; do you think Bliss Hotel can be a community resource that people are proud of?
“I hope so! We’re prepared to be brave in that pursuit. We’re swinging the Southport pendulum the other way completely.
“We have the courage of our convictions and we’re energised by the supporters whilst ignoring the naysayers. The scale of the challenge is big, and we don’t control all the elements but we think with collective energy this could be the beginnings of a new future for Southport; a fitting outcome for all those passionate people who want and deserve better for their beautiful coastal town. Ultimately, we hope we can make people proud.”
How is Bliss going to connect creativity with the community?
“We’re designing a fluid, dynamic and ongoing set of creative content which will cover music, fashion and art and it will be channelled through our platform ‘Blissonik.com’ – it hasn’t launched yet, so watch this space!”
What does Bliss Hotel mean to you?
“At the moment, a lot of work! However, in time I hope that it fulfils all the desires of the fantastic team who are giving everything to make it happen. It’s a tough journey for all of us and when I’m feeling a bit down about it, I just talk to some of the team members (Tomasz our Bliss Maker, Janice our Head of Guest Relations, Pam, Erika, Marco, Lizzie, Emma and so on ). They inspire me to demand better of myself and all of us; my team and that feeling are Bliss.”
To discover more about Bliss’ story please visit: www.blisshotels.co.uk.
Southport Carpet Centre
Southport Carpet Centre specialises in all kinds of carpet and floor coverings. From carpets and vinyl flooring to solid hardwood flooring, parquet flooring and laminate, the company boasts expert teams of individual installers, each one specific to their own product specialisation.
Southport Carpet Centre first opened in November 1988 and has remained true to its Eastbank Street roots, albeit in a larger premises and with an increased number of staff. Over the last 31 years the company has worked on some amazing projects for high-end hotels, golf clubs and private residences across the UK.
Recently, Southport Carpet Centre was involved with the creation of the Bliss Hotel, Southport. Over the last 12 months, the company has installed bespoke Axminster carpets throughout five communal floors and staircases with a specialised fitting method, including bedrooms and the Bliss Waterfront dining area and Lounge. The dining area and lounge were particularly significant, where 200 square metres of grey herringbone parquet Design Luxury Vinyl Tile Blocks from a Karndean were installed at night. In total, 10752 individual blocks were installed by hand after levelling the floors.
Steve Hanlon, Managing Director, said:
“We are delighted to have been selected by the new owners and team at Bliss Hotel to undertake their flooring works. We are delighted to have been involved in the project which is a fantastic showcase not only for the Bliss team and owners but also ourselves and the other local trades and companies involved.
“It has been nothing but a pleasure to work with the Bliss team throughout the refurbishment and we see it as ‘a feather in our cap’ that we were invited to undertake the works there.
“Since first opening our doors back in 1988, one thing has not changed – every single client is valued as an individual, no matter how large or small.”
Alex Scott Ltd
Alex Scott Ltd specialises in all aspects of plumbing, heating and gas installation for projects ranging from small domestic installations to large scale repair and renovation work.
Alex Scott Ltd has been in operation for 7 years but boasts a highly-skilled team with over 20 years of industry experience. The company has recently moved over to smoke and flame free installation, using only the highest quality press fit pipe solutions specifically to reduce risk of fire hazard and the release of obnoxious gasses related to the shouldering process.
Alex Scott Ltd has been heavily involved with the creation of the Bliss Hotel. Work included decommissioning all plumbing works, removing partition walls and ceilings enabling every other trade clear access to carry out their work. This was followed by the installation of new plumbing works and tiling for the bathroom and wet rooms.
Alex Scott, Owner, said:
“We were proud to be asked to work at Bliss hotel on this project. Living locally it is a well-known hotel within the town and I am happy to see new investment being brought into Southport.
“At Alex Scott Ltd we pride ourselves on quality professional workmanship and being able to deliver what the client has asked for with minimal fuss at a reasonable cost.
“I’d like to thank everyone at Bliss for making the time we have spent working there very enjoyable.”
For more information please call 01704 627527.
The Orangery Collection
The Orangery Collection houses three exceptional European design houses, PTMD Collection, Cozy Living Copenhagen and Paper Collective, which all exhibit a vast array of distinctive interior creations. The Orangery Collection works in partnership with brands and clients to create statement, bespoke interior spaces.
In operation for three years, the company recently worked in collaboration with the Bliss Hotel design team to curate the Bliss interior aesthetic in the Bliss Space, Floor 5 and the upcoming Floor 4. The Orangery Collection worked closely with Lisa Broch to create bold colour schemes that were accentuated by cosy room settings, statement accessories and faux botanical.
A spokesperson for The Orangery Collection said:
“Bliss is an amazing project to be involved with as Lisa has such a fun approach to interior design, so the creation of the Bliss aesthetic has been playful, bold and daring. It has been very enjoyable transforming a tired and uninspiring space into a bustling social destination spot for both the visitors and local community alike.
“We are proud to work with leading European design houses that consider social responsibility as integral to the structure of their brand. We look forward to continuing to triumph daring design, sustainability in industry and creating strong creative partnerships.”
To find out more, please visit www.theorangery.org.