How luxury seaside hotel is now fully realising the dream of its creators
A testament to the time when a hotel was as much the destination as the place it was built; The Midland Hotel in Morecambe has achieved the remarkable feat of combining the fresh and modern with the classic and Modernist.
Once billed as the 'first really modern hotel in the country,' the latest incarnation of The Midland cherishes the Modernist vision of architect Oliver Hill, with original features and artwork specially commissioned for the hotel given pride of place.Yet the renovation by Urban Splash, completed in 2008, has seen the original purpose of the hotel as the lynchpin of tourism in Morecambe, fully realised for the 21st Century.The new rooms - including our rooftop suite - are cleverly laid out, the curved nature of the building is allowed to speak for itself, with the only straight lines coming from the streamlined furniture and fittings.Massive picture windows are the star of the show, offering spectacular panoramic views across Morecambe Bay to the blue and green Lakeland Fells beyond.With comfy chairs and an amazing view, it's easy to while away a couple of hours simply watching the ever-changing scenery and enjoying the comfort and luxury of The Midland.The hotel was built as part of a plan to turn a once tiny fishing village into a first class resort for the North of England.And a stroll along the promenade reveals why - golden sands, a beautiful view and the newly regenerated sea front hint at what a gem of a place Morecambe has been in the past - and showcases what it offers to British holidaymakers today.With a selection of interesting independent shops and seaside attractions on the front - including the tribute to the town's most famous son Eric - as well as a bustling town centre, Festival Market complex, multi-screen cinema and retail park, there's plenty to see and do within a short walk of The Midland, which remains a focal point of the shoreline in Morecambe.Once the haunt of the upper echelons of society - including Coco Chanel and Noel Coward - The Midland has retained an approach to service which combines attentiveness with humour and care - no overbearing obsequiousness or aloof snootiness here! Instead, it is obvious that every member of staff takes pride in their work - as though they want you, too, to fall a little bit in love with this imposing white beauty.And you can't quite help it. Dressing for dinner and walking down the glamorous spiral staircase gives a hint at what it must be like for those to whom a red carpet lifestyle is the norm.And dinner itself is another demonstration of a team that's at the top of its game. An inventive and delicious menu, enjoyed in the glass-fronted veranda overlooking the sea, the service was top notch and the food a showcase of fine dining without affectation.Architect Oliver Hill was renowned for his attention to detail, an insistence that everything from door handles to specially commissioned sculptures must work together within his building built in 1933. And that sense of someone somewhere sitting down and making sure everything has been thought of, everything has been considered for the comfort of guests is evident here and it's put into practice every day.While Morecambe is without doubt, a resort more of us should be considering, The Midland is in itself a destination for anyone looking to relax and enjoy a taste of the finer things in life.