Curio 100 Queens Gate Hotel

100, Queens Gate, South Kensington, London

  • Client: Hilton
  • Year Completed: 2019
  • Approx Value: £12m

CONCEPT

The multimillion-pound refurbishment and restoration of the Hotel’s 1870s architecture to upgrade a former DoubleTree by Hilton hotel to a Curio Collection by Hilton boutique-style hotel

Formerly the home of Victorian aristocrat and lawyer William Henry Alexander well known for his collection of jewels and curios collected on his travels to the Far East.  Close proximity to the Natural History Museum informed the design narrative for the project.

The Hotel was relaunched on 1 April 2019 and renamed 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel London, Curio Collection by Hilton.

DESIGN BRIEF

The property is one of several hotels owned by Crimson Hotels. The design brief was to renovate and rebrand the hotel to Curio brand standard whilst also retaining its legacy as a Victorian period mansion. In doing so, the objective was to maximise guest rooms and provide additional revenue generating opportunities befitting of a hotel that will attract high net worth tourists visiting London.

The Curio Collection by Hilton is a soft brand featuring “upper upscale hotels with character” and is one of Hilton’s 15 brands.

RESPONSE TO DESIGN BRIEF

This project involved a major space planning exercise to create the ambiance required of a Curio brand hotel.

Initially the architectural design team completed a mapping exercise of all key areas within the Hotel to understand how each had to interconnect. Drawing the connections between back of house, reception, kitchens, guest rooms and dining areas, helped to identify unused areas that could be turned into revenue earning spaces and areas that would benefit from improved architectural design.

This process highlighted the need to re-position the guest entrance to create an airy and welcoming reception. There was also an unused central courtyard that was turned into an atrium and an orangery to create new and exciting internal spaces. The space for 25 new guest rooms was created by improved space planning and converting under-utilised meeting rooms. New lifts were installed to better connect kitchens and back of house with dining and reception areas and provide disabled access.

The impact of this space planning exercise has transformed the function of many areas, improved the overall guest experience, the efficiency of hotel operations and enhanced the speed of customer service.

As Design Team Leaders, it was also our brief to project manage the entire programme of works.  This involved co-ordinating the input of other professional Client Team members including interior designers as well as the structural, mechanical and electrical services engineers

We also programmed the work sequence via a series of complex phases and managed communications with the Hotel Management to ensure the Hotel continued to operate throughout the entire project period with minimal disruption to guests.

OUTCOME

As a Victorian building, the Hotel had many potential entrances. Creation of a double door main entrance point created a grander entrance to ensure guests enjoyed a positive first impression on arrival.

As well as the addition of 25 new guest rooms, the Hotel now features three new food and beverage venues: W/A Kensington, an all-day brasserie and bar offering British-French fusion cuisine in the newly created Atrium; Botanica, which is housed in the new botanical Orangery and perfect for afternoon teas and cocktails; and ESQ bar, which was inspired by Alexander’s parlour bar and his exotic travels.

In keeping with its heritage, 11 suites were named after famous historic residents of Kensington including Alfred Hitchcock, Dame Agatha Christie and Captain Robert Scott.

The overarching consequence of the space planning exercise and formation of the additional guestrooms within the existing building envelope is a significant increase in both the asset value of the property and revenue earning stream which can be offset against the Client’s investment in the project.

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