Hilton Rotterdam has recently undergone an extensive renovation project in order to give the hotel’s interiors a new lease of life.
The hotel property was originally built in 1963, by architect Hugh Maaskant, and its 254 guestrooms and suites, meeting spaces and public areas have recently been revamped as part of the €36 million two-phase refurbishment project.
Interior design practice RPW Design worked alongside Hilton Hotels & Resorts during the refurbishment project in order to update the 50-year-old interiors of the venue. Premier Hospitality caught up with Jan Wilson from RPW Design to find out more about the project:
“Our aim was to create a seamless and sophisticated language of style that subtly reinforces the location and period, although with a contemporary touch in every detail and material. We approached the design with a fresh eye, simplified the interiors and brought back the styling of post-war modernism to remind everyone about all the good things of that particularly optimistic period. While staying true to the architecture, our priority was to create an interior with comfort in mind and in line with today’s luxury expectations.”
The refurbishment project involved the relocation of the hotel’s main entrance; the entrance was moved from one side of the building to the other for practical reasons as well as to create a greater sense of arrival. The new entrance features a five-metre-wide canopy and new carriage porch. The old entrance facing the main square has been retained for pedestrians.
The lobby has been made into a more spacious area which is located around the hotel’s original grand sculptural staircase. The lobby comprises a new, stylish coffee and tea lounge with furniture pieces arranged in small seating groups. The new furniture is enhanced by bespoke rugs, a feature fireplace and a calming palette evocative of Rotterdam’s light colours and patterns.
The lobby’s sculptural staircase has also been restored and complimented with new timber and bronze finishes. An impressive fluorescent light feature has been installed in the lobby and descends alongside the staircase adding a sense of drama and luxury to the space.
Part of the hotel’s design identity has been inspired by Rotterdam’s port, which is evoked throughout the venue. Jan Wilson from RPW Design added:
“We looked at the colours, shapes, textures, and the scale and proportions of the environment, and applied them to the interiors. The scale and pattern of the Flemish brickwork formed the basis of the design of a striking mirrored wall in the hotel’s new restaurant, while decorative lace features echo the surroundings and help to achieve a homely feel in the guestrooms.”
The hotel’s new Stadshal Bar & Restaurant formed part of the renovation process. The eatery has a separate street entrance from the hotel and the refurbishment has seen the venue gain increased covers. The venue has also been transformed to offer an all-day dining venue for both visitors and locals. RPW Design was given a brief to create a vibrant and lively space that would feel identifiably different from the main hotel lobby.
The restaurant’s menu offers brasserie- style European dishes which have been inspired by the timeless authenticity of the hotel. Decorative screens and different sources of light divide the space up to create intimate seating areas, some of which have been furnished with sofa chairs for a more informal experience. The restaurant is brimming with natural light which is enhanced by an eye-catching contemporary lighting scheme and mirror features.
Jan from RPW Design added:
“Hilton Rotterdam has managed to break the mould of the standard Hilton hotel through a unique design intrinsic to its location, while retaining the high quality its customers have come to expect.
“It was a great pleasure to work with Hilton’s Director of Projects, Chris Webb, who is extremely passionate about design and who has supported us from day one to produce a design that breaks many boundaries so radically, albeit within the constraints of a global brand.”
Chris Webb, Senior Director at Interior Design, Hilton Worldwide, has commented:
“As a Landmark Project for Hilton Worldwide, the hotel has set new standards for the brand with a forward-thinking design reflective of its location and respectful of the architectural heritage of the property, which we hope will not only enhance the guest experience, but also make Rotterdam proud.”