When traveling, the place you stay sets the tone, at least in part, for your visit to that city or town. Liverpool, being known as a music scene city, attracts many young people and older party people who are into the music scene. That’s great and I partook a bit too, but as I travel to enjoy an entire experience and get to know the city and its people, I didn’t want to stay in a party hostel and the drunkenness that comes along with that.
- I wanted a respectable, respectful hostel that would provide me with good sleep at night with odds against people coming in at 3 a.m. while others get up at 7 to leave.
- I wanted a clean hostel where I could sit comfortably, enjoy a meal whether it’s a sandwich I purchase from the local market or a refrigerated meal I cook or heat in a microwave.
- I wanted a comfortable, clean bed in a peaceful surrounding and places to sit and work or to meet fellow guests.
- This is what I always want when I travel.
- I also love a nearby well-priced restaurant when possible for more relaxing days.
Sleep Eat Love is a hostel well suited to grown-ups. When you travel to Liverpool, I expect you’ll love staying here as much as I did.
To borrow my own words as I wrote on TripAdvisor: “Sleep Eat Love is more than a hostel. Its many single rooms and other private rooms, provide guests a hotel-stay experience but with lower prices than a “regular” hotel in Liverpool. It has achieved a sweet spot between hotel and hostel.”
With about 99 rooms, most not being dorms, the manager, Josh, has set up a very nice experience for travelers. He has created a cultured hostel environment and mood with the quality of a hotel and a great social opportunity for those who wish to meet fellow travelers. (Of course you don’t have to mingle with others if you prefer not to.)
When I saw the Sleep Eat Love website, I loved the photos. It looked like the place I wanted to be, a place I belonged. (The site didn’t do justice to what the hostel/hotel offers so I emailed, spoke to the manager, and booked it.) Happily, the photos and the feel of the website were spot-on and this hostel was everything I hoped for. My initial booking for 3 nights became a 10-night stay and when I left I felt I was leaving friends.
The decor which starts in the lobby carries through to the restaurant, self-service kitchen, game room, and every sleeping room is calm, clean, and inviting. Simple, unpainted but sanded wood. Some calm walls and color. Custom built. Simple graphics adding to the feel. The directional signage is another part of the great, clean design.
The front desk and restaurant staff are all friendly and caring. Whatever a guest requested, they immediately did their best to help. 18-year-old travelers are well taken care of as are folks in their 80s, and parents with children.
This hostel/hotel is owned by a hotel group. The management and staff come from a hotel background. The professionalism shows. That said, they’re all learning about hostels and the needs we have when we stay in hostels so they love hearing what we want and things such as shelves and hooks are being added for us.
I initially booked in for 3 nights, Monday-Thursday, but extended my stay a night or two at a time, extending several times. As the hostel was fully booked for the weekend, I needed to move. After the weekend, most rooms opened up so I was able to move again. This gave me true insight into the various room styles.
Most rooms, be it an ensuite dorm or a private room for a single, double or family, have their own bathroom/shower. A few dorms (which are lower-price) share hallway showers that are not for ensuite guests to use. Regardless of location, each shower provides a fantastic high-power water-flow and beautiful hot water. Each shower is hotel-quality clean.
Some rooms, such as the 4-bed women’s dorms have bunk beds. I’m very impressed with how solid they are. I don’t expect you’ll ever hear a creak when someone in your bed sits, climbs up or down, or rolls over. Other rooms, including a 4-bed mixed dorm and the single rooms, don’t have top bunks. Either way, each bed is brand new and actually very comfortable! You will notice that they’re narrow single-size but you’ll also welcome the mattress. Especially if you’ve been staying in a lot of hostels as you travel.
Every bed has its own bright light and which is really nice. Even in my single room with no roommates to deal with, I liked that I had a light right by my head so I could shut the room light, read, then sleep.
Speaking of light, each room has a nice large window or windows — that actually open and let fresh air and light in! However, while bright is great during the day, most of us want a dark room when it’s time for sleeping so each window has a light-blocking window shade that rolls down. It’s not in this photo. (There’s only one room, a mixed dorm, that lacks a window. It’s also not an ensuite and it’s the lowest-priced bed space.)
For our electronics charging needs, each bed has not one, but two power points to plug in to and a USB outlet as well. There are always more power outlets in each sleeping room as well. (I don’t recall any hotel room including my rooms at the Ritz Carlton or Omni hotels having so many available outlets.)
Each guest has a wardrobe closet. There’s space inside to lay your suitcase or to lay or stand your backpack. Each has a rod and hangars. In the dorms, these wardrobes have latches for a lock. The front desk sells locks in case you haven’t brought one and wish to lock your belongings.
Back to the bunks, the en-suite dorms all contain bunk beds. Some doubles and maybe the triples also have bunks. I loved that a person 5’8” can sit fully up in the bottom bunk. In my photos, you’ll see there’s no safety rail on the top bunks. Reacting to the concern from some top-bunk guests, the construction team is putting a higher side on each top bunk as I write this. I’ve seen the prototype and it’s nice. It’ll be comfortable for guests and even act as a snore-barrier but it won’t make it any more difficult to get up or down or speak with other guests when desired.
Some hostel dorms appear to be a good price but put 12 and even 21 beds into a room. The dorms at Sleep Eat Love in Liverpool have 4 beds, one has 5 and they may add a 6 or 8-bed dorm. But 4 is the norm and you won’t find yourself with 11 others in the room.
In case you’re wondering, I’ve stayed in a 4-bed women’s ensuite (3 nights with 3 beds and all beds occupied), a 4-bed mixed dorm using the hall toilets and shower (2 nights with 3 beds and all beds occupied), and a single private ensuite (5 nights).
I love that the self-serve eating room called the Picnic Area. It has green grass for carpet. You sit at picnic tables painted with a whitewash look for sorts. There are 2 refrigerators, 2 freezers, 2 microwaves, a coffee machine that provides coffee for a fee and free hot water. As I was there, free tea bags abounded. There are full sets of dishes and cutlery.
A nook with bean bag seats provides a more casual and private picnic area. There’s also a large TV on the wall. Only one person turned it during my 10-day stay though.
The Picnic Area was popular to sit and work at your own computer or to talk with others as you ate, or to eat alone. There are six power outlets for the three tables, plus outlets by the bean bags.
Upstairs there’s a large game room with lots of bench seating and a pool table that’s actually in great condition. There are games as well. (Sorry, I didn’t take a photo of that nice room.)
On the 2nd floor, above the game room (not above any sleeping rooms), they’re setting up a simple gym. I glimpsed a treadmill and I believe a weight machine is there as well.
It’s very easy to enjoy a proper well-prepared restaurant meal during your stay at the Eat Sleep Love or simply as a drop-in restaurant/bar customer. There’s a restaurant attached. Enjoy a healthy meal or have a cup/pot of tea or a drink from the bar. Sit with others or solo, socialize or work. It’s a relaxed place. I have yet to see anyone rushed out of there.
Frankly, I cringe at the words “pet-friendly” when I see them on any hotel website or receive any press release stating this so-called feature. So I wasn’t thrilled when I heard this hotel/hostel accepts pets. I’ve always wondered if I’ll unwittingly sleep where a dog or cat has slept and will wake up ill, so I asked the manager how he is handling this.
I think he’s doing this well. Two rooms have been designated to accommodate pets. Should all other rooms fill, a guest will have the option of taking one of these rooms but will be made aware that a pet has occupied the room, in case the guest is allergic or is bothered that a pet has been there. (So far, no one has requested this in the three months it’s been open.)
When I seek a hostel, I look for lockers that I can easily access and have repeat access to throughout the day or night. Of the two other hostels in Liverpool, one, Hatters, lacks lockers. EuroHostel says it has “secure storage”in every room.
Sleep Eat Love is easily one of the best hostels I’ve stayed in — and I’ve stayed in a LOT of hostels. It has created a sweet spot between hotel and hostel.
A side note about weekend accommodations in the UK:
In some counties or hostels, a hostel is for travelers only, not for locals to use as a low-cost hotel as a party night. However, in the UK, it’s common for a hostel to allow UK residents from both far and near to come and use it as a base for a weekend night out.
Because of this, on a Friday or Saturday, you may find a different experience than I describe here. The staff will still be excellent but the guests may not be as courteous and participatory as a traveler. I saw that on my one weekend at Sleep Eat Love, but I saw that once the Sunday check-out comes at 11:00 a.m., this place goes back to being fantastic.
The other downside of this UK practice is that we who are legitimately traveling the UK and need places to sleep/live, are out of luck in many places, and/or prices go way up — even those you’d least expect. This is an issue every place I’ve been: Bath, Liverpool, and York in England; Conwy, Cardiff, and the entire west coast of Wales. The official YHA is like this as well. So I can’t fault this hostel/hotel. I’m simply warning you that prices are higher (maybe much highter) and beds are fewer so you may need to book far ahead or be ready to move to a less desirable room or to a new town. If you’re traveling with a friend or two, a hotel may be the solution. (When this happened to me in Italy, I was fortunate to be traveling with a woman I’d met along the way so we were able to find places on a Saturday night.
History of the building
I never got to take great photos of Sleep Eat Love from the outside. I only grabbed this shot quickly from a moving car at 7:30 a.m as I was given a ride to the Stena Ferry to Belfast. (When I found out it was only £20 or even less to get to Belfast, I couldn’t resist.)
You can see the great blackout window shades are down in many of the rooms.
Notice the doors to the restaurant (left) and hostel (right). This used to be Fire Station. Ironically, the station burned inside (and subsequently moved nearby) so when this hostel started to be built out, much was pretty much nothing. Josh and his team conceived it and did an amazing job.
On floor two, you can see some of the great old wood. For example, in the photo of room 215, above.
If you’re wanting to bring food in to cook/heat, you have two great options.
There’s a Tesco Express just .2 miles away. It’s a safe, easy walk. As I was there, this shop offered great 2 for £4 refrigerated meals that were perfect for the microwave.
There’s also an Iceland Supermarket .4 miles by the bus station at Williamson Square. While I was there, Iceland’s £1 frozen Lasagna was popular. I also purchased a kilo of frozen Brussels Sprouts for £1 and there were other such frozen vegetables and meals.
Of course, there are plenty of other eateries around.
This favorite hostel-hotel of mine is only .6 miles from Pier Head, where you can take a Mersey Ferry — the Ferry Cross the Mersey. (If you recall the song of that name by Gerry and the Pacemakers, you’ll want to do this, via Commuter Ferry or the 3-stop ferry that provides a 50-minute ferry trip and narrative an opportunity to explore Birkenside, the other side of the Mersey.
Right by Pier Head is the new Beatles statue so you can get that fab shot of you with that Fab Four.
At Albert Dock, just .9 miles away, you’ll enjoy the history of the waterfront as well as several museums. It’s right next to the ferry.
It’s also only .3 miles from the Moorfields train station making an outing to beautiful nearby Chester quite easy.
Oh, and there’s the Cavern Club — that bar everyone likes to go to because the Beatles packed 300 people into it at times. You’ll be there after only a .4 mile walk.
There’s actually much more as well.
My favorite is Liverpool’s Royal Court Theater where you can see a great Liverpool-oriented show in a beautiful newly refurbished theater. (I did.)
Location & Reception
Sleep Eat Love is part of a block of beautiful old buildings. It’s only .4 miles from the Liverpool Lime Street Train Station and, as I mentioned, just .3 miles from the Moorfields Train Station. And I am thrilled to add that it has survived Covid and is still in business.
5 Hatton Garden
Liverpool Merseyside L3 2FE
+44 (0)151 305 2510
Check-in begins at 3:00 p.m.
If you arrive earlier, they will store your luggage for you so you can enjoy Liverpool.
The reception desk is always open, 24-hours a day, so late arrival isn’t a problem.
Check-out is by 11:00 a.m. Again, they’ll store your luggage for the afternoon so you can enjoy your last day in Liverpool.