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Online Exclusive - Hilton London Metropole

May 22, 2013


“The one word that the owner [Avner On] repeatedly emphasized throughout the design process was timeless, and that’s what we recognized with our overall design aesthetic,” says Colin Hobart, director of London-based Aukett Fitzroy Robinson, of the Hilton London Metropole’s lobby and whiskey lounge renovations. “A guest’s arrival experience is the most important element to a stay. It sets the scene for what they can expect from a hotel, so our goal was to create a space that met consumer expectations.”

As the first UK hotel to incorporate Hilton’s new lobby concept, the space contains distinct zones with clean lines and a locally inspired aesthetic. “[The design] encapsulates the brand’s approach to creating engaging guest experiences⎯⎯those that are worldly, generous, refreshing, and competent,” explains Hobart.

                          

The once sunken lobby lounge was raised to create EDG Bar and Lounge’s two levels⎯⎯which are divided by feature shelves adorned with books, trinkets, and lamps. “We’ve created a timeless space through subtle pastels and natural materials, offset by striking centerpieces,” says Hobart.

Projecting color-changing light, a feature wall behind the 20-foot-long bar forms a central part of EDG. “This generates a sense of light theater and helps create a more intimate atmosphere for hotel guests,” says Hobart. “In many spaces a focal point is created to draw attention to one spot. In a home this tends to be a fireplace, so in essence the wall sculpture acts as the hotel’s fireplace.”

                          

Light sheets installed behind the black granite and etched glass bar do double duty: “There’s a wide spectrum of color to choose from, allowing [the hotel] to set the mood and ambiance of the lobby,” says Hobart. “It’s the eye-catching element of the lounge and acts as the focal point when you arrive⎯⎯the bar is now very much the dramatic ‘hearth’ of the lounge.”

For the centerpiece of the nearby Whiskey lounge, glass decanter lights suspended from the ceiling provide a chandelier effect, while oak herringbone parquet floors reference whiskey oak barrels. “[The lounge] still has that homey, residential feel that ties back to the whiskey,” says Hobart. “We introduced plaid and tartan to the furnishings to tilt our hat to Scottish whiskey.”

                          

Teal leather cushions and Emperador stone tables make the room more intimate and elegant than the main lounge. “It was a great opportunity for us to add a new texture the floor and joinery fittings are all oak, and we didn’t want oak to dominate the room,” adds Hobart.

                          





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hdtalks: the interviews

During HD Expo 2014, Hospitality Design’s Michael Adams sat down with HBA’s Michael Bedner to talk about his half-century in the hospitality design industry. View the video.

 

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