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Our little sister

Since its opening, I’ve spent a lot of time at School Lane Hotel, Hope Street Hotel’s ‘little sister’ that is based in Liverpool One. I have worked at Hope Street Hotel for almost eight years, and something that draws me back to my early days is its distinctive scent. The wooden floors mixed with the fig room spray we use always make me think of early morning training sessions and learning our room layouts. Recently, I was walking around School Lane’s rooms spritzing them with that same fig spray, and I was transported back to Hope Street. It was an odd feeling; I was in a new setting but had the sense that I was in a much more familiar place. We affectionately refer to our new hotel as the ‘little sister’, and this got me thinking about the nature of being a younger sibling.


Being a little sister can be hard. When I was much younger,my older sister used to point to a book that we had in our shared possession called My Naughty Little Sister by Dorothy Edwards, and she’d say “that’s you.” This was incredibly annoying to me because I wasn’t particularly naughty, but I did look almost scarily like the illustration by Shirley Hughes. The naughty little sister of the book had reddish brown hair tied into bunches and had a round face, just like me. So in a way, my sister was right, but it was the implication that it was not well-behaved that really wound me up.


My older sister would also accuse me of copying her, whether it be having the same favourite Spice Girl (Sporty Spice) or wanting to wear the same colour outfit. My sister, Sam, is five years older than me, so unfortunately for her, I often was copying her because there is nothing cooler to a six year old than an eleven year old, and so on. Like the accusation that I was the naughty little sister, being charged with identity theft was infuriating to me, but we’re far enough into the future for me to admit that,yes, I was copying her.


I’m fine with saying that because we’re very different now. We dress differently, we watch different things on TV, we read different things, and we’re in completely different professions. But we’re alike in the ways that matter; we have the same sense of humour, we’re both creative, we love to travel and we have the same priorities in life (family, friends and getting an early night). We don’t wear matching outfits anymore, but if you were to overhear a conversation between the two of us, you’d know there was a deeper connection there.


When we say that School Lane Hotel is Hope Street Hotel’s little sister, this is what we mean. School Lane very much stands on its own.It has a different location, nestled in the shops of Liverpool’s city centre, as opposed to Hope Street’s position between the city’s two Cathedrals. Hope Street has two restaurants, whereas School Lane is a room only hotel that has wonderful self-serve options and a plethora of eatery choices nearby. Hope Street has almost 150 bedrooms, whereas School Lane has a more conservative 55.However, you can tell it is part of the same family because of its city-chic style,the same lovely white sheets, similar furniture choices and our signature warm welcome at reception. Just like me and Sam, we’re two sides of the same coin --but without the teasing.