Situated at 265 Rotherhithe Street, London – just a two-minute walk from the ferry to the Canary Wharf business district – DoubleTree by Hilton Docklands Riverside is a beautiful hotel ideal for guests looking to maximise their stay in the nation’s capital.
The hotel is housed within a 17th Century wharf building and boasts a range of meeting and events facilities as well as a collection of stunning bedrooms.
In 2014, the hotel initiated an extensive project designed to refresh, refurbish and rebrand the offering, taking the hotel from a Hilton to a DoubleTree by Hilton. During the course of the project 378 rooms, three bars, two restaurants and the hotel’s reception was given a makeover, along with all public areas and conference facilities. A new ‘grab and go’ coffee shop, a grand ballroom and a selection of meeting rooms were also incorporated into the building.
Architecture and interior design studio, ICA, was responsible for the design work on the project, which took its influences from the hotel’s surroundings. Established in 2003, ICA is a 50-strong architecture and interior design studio, operating throughout the UK and Europe.
Speaking to Premier Hospitality about their involvement, Allison Bell of ICA, said:
“We became involved with this project after we were recommended to the client by Hilton. We have a strong relationship with Hilton which has been achieved over the years, working with them on many of their brands.
“The design narrative was based on the location of this hotel and its links to the past. Rotherhithe was a centre for trade back in the 1800s, with ships setting sail in search of spices, tea, coffee and plants – it was an area of innovation with ship building and the creation of the Brunel tunnel.
“Our design focussed on these elements, however we were keen not to ‘theme’ the design. If you look closely at the finished design you can see the distortion of the compass, the botanical references on the carpets – which were individually designed with Kathryn Quinn at Ulster Carpets – and the pops of colour which are seen on a modern-day spice rack. We tried to make sure we were sympathetic but at the same time we wanted to bring the hotel in line with current expectations.”
Initial discussion and design work began on the project in March 2014, with work on the first phase of bedrooms taking place between October and November the same year. Refurbishment work on the hotel’s Mills and Knight block commenced in January 2015, with work on the public areas, meeting rooms and conference facilities taking place shortly afterwards. All work was completed by the end of June 2015.
Fileturn was the main contractor on the Mills and Knight bedroom blocks, the main public areas and reception, whilst S2 Contracts Ltd was responsible for the conference areas. The main contractor on the hotel’s Wharf Bedrooms was Thomas Johnstone.
Astro Lighting Limited specialise in the supply of bathroom, decorative and outdoor lighting for use in high-end domestic and hospitality projects. Astro Lighting Limited supplies lighting to more than 70 countries and is renowned for its British design.
Working on DoubleTree by Hilton Docklands Riverside, Astro Lighting Limited supplied the hotel with the majority of its decorative lighting, including Lago Bronze wall lights with shades for the bedrooms, as well Bronze Ravello table lamps with shades. For the public areas, Astro Lighting Limited supplied ICA specified Ravello floor lamps, Rafina pendants and Chou wall lights.
John Fearon, Chairman of Astro Lighting Limited, said:
“Prestigious hotel projects are a very important part of Astro’s business internationally. To be associated with DoubleTree by Hilton and ICA is a great affirmation of Astro’s quality and design credentials.”
Throughout the phased project, ICA was keen to keep the DoubleTree branding an intrinsic part of the design – something which is very important to the Hilton portfolio.
“Hilton has a very precise set of brand standards that must be maintained so the guest expectation is always met. A major part of our role is making sure that we incorporate those standards within the design, whilst we make sure we are pushing the design to offer something different.”
Although the project was completed over phases whilst the hotel remained in operation, the project ran smoothly, with the team encountering no major problems.
“You are always thrown a curveball here and there on a project, which you must deal with, but this is nothing out of the ordinary. The scale of this project and the trades and professionals involved were fantastic.
“There was a real team effort, which was imperative in making this job a success.”
“It was very important for ICA to be involved with Hilton on this project. We have worked hard to be given the opportunity to work with such a great partner and we must strive to maintain this by keeping up with industry awareness and by being on point with design developments and trends.”
With more than 400 hotels in 33 different countries, DoubleTree by Hilton is a trusted hotelier offering guests a comfortable stay, with friendly attentive staff that are dedicated to providing a personalised service. From the moment guests arrive, until the moment they check-out, DoubleTree by Hilton ensures an enjoyable experience, with all the comforts of home.
For more information about DoubleTree by Hilton, please visit: www.doubletree3.hilton.com/en/index.html.