Castle Hotel Windsor Refurbished
Originally a Mercure property, Castle Hotel Windsor has been marvellously refurbished and rebranded to AccorHotel’s upscale and design-led brand, MGallery. The historic hotel has seen an extensive overhaul of the total 101 bedrooms and other areas.
Premier Hospitality caught up with Frances Blackham, Design Director at Trevillion Interiors Ltd to discuss the project that took place. Frances said:
“The initial design process began well over a year ago and the works on site started early 2015. The project was completed at the end of the summer this year, and during the works the hotel has continued to operate as normal.”
“The feedback has been really good since the refurbishment and guests seem to be very pleased with the new look, but it is an entirely different brand so they are repositioning their client profile now that it is part of MGallery.”
MGallery has a number of different criteria that the property needed to deliver, with the design reflecting the heritage of the building. Originally known as The Mermaid Inn, The Castle Windsor boasts a wealth of history behind it, and all of the various historical facts that the castle owns are emphasised through elements that have been delivered through the design.
“The MGallery brand team itself have to come up with a promotional description for each of their properties and the description that was put to the Castle Hotel Windsor is ‘making its mark on history’. This took place in a creative storm process during the design development period of the project, where a whole gathering of different disciplines were round the table all day discussing the heritage and service of how to deliver a holistic approach to the brand.
“During that day ‘making its mark on history’ was established as the front line, and subsequently a signature dish in the restaurant was also suggested. There is also a memorable trip that can be bought by only those staying in this particular hotel; all the individual identity elements were born out of this storm process. We wanted to make sure that from day one the MGallery philosophy was delivered across the hotel.”
Several fabrics featuring embossed patterns have also been incorporated to fulfil the ‘making a mark’ philosophy with the design concept, complemented by chalky colours , textured linens and chic velvets pressed with an embossing plate to create the desired look. Despite the neutral palette, the embellishments of the artwork, lighting and dressing items complete the look, presenting a sophisticated interior.
Acting as a peaceful lounge where guests can pause and relax, the hotel foyer also offers an extensive display of books relating to the Royal Heritage of The Castle Windsor if guests wish to read up on this. Similarly, a range of more up-to-date books on other topics are available to read. Whilst maintaining its history, the hotel emanates a younger and more playful sense to the building with penny press machines for example.
When asked what it means to be involved in a project like this, Frances replied:
“It’s wonderful, it has been a great opportunity to deliver design with a real sense of heritage and the storyline that we were able to utilise in terms of inspiring us is fantastic. We’re huge believers in allowing heritage to inspire our thinking rather than to deliver something that is heavily themed.
“Allowing the heritage to influence your thinking delivers a new refreshing approach to design but at the same time it still has significance to the building that is being put into – and that is very important with an MGallery property.”