Mercure Box Hill Burford Bridge Hotel Dorking has undergone an extensive refurbishment programme.
The renovation has given the hotel a new lease of life after many of the ground floor facilities were ruined by severe flooding in December last year.
Premier Hospitality caught up with Frances Blackham, Design Director for Trevillion Interiors Ltd, to find out more about the project. Frances commented:
“The venue flooded in December 2013 and so the whole of the ground floor had to be stripped out, dried out and then refurbished. We had to fit new floors, new walls, new finishes and furniture, as well as deal with the flood damage.
“The planning and preparation for the interior schemes began in January 2014 closely consulting with our client to establish the brief. Works began on site almost immediately after the flood to clear out wet timbers and soiled hotel equipment and furniture.”
Main contractors Zenith then had to wait for 12 weeks allowing the building to dry out before works to reinstate the interiors could be started in earnest. The hotel being part of the Mercure portfolio requires elements of its design solutions to be influenced by brand guidelines.
During the project the onsite team have refurbished all of the ground floor public areas which include the reception, foyer, restaurant, bar and ground floor public areas and a revamp of the outdoor swimming pool environment entitled The Lido.
The refurbishment has also been influenced by the hotel’s location at the foot of Box Hill, it’s literary heritage, as well as making subtle reference to local culture; for example the Dorking Cockerill and the popularity of cycling following the London Olympic events in 2012.
Numerous literary greats have also stayed at the hotel in the past including John Keats who completed “Endymion” after returning from a walk on Box Hill. Jane Austen’s picnic in “Emma” is set on Box Hill as well as notable guests Lord Nelson who is said to have left four woven placemats with the general manager at the end of his stay. The venue therefore has a wealth of history embedded within its walls and this has been carefully woven into many elements of the interior design solutions throughout the hotel.
In the hotel’s lobby two oversized chairs have been placed which have been upholstered in bespokely made fabric featuring lines from Endymion. The entrance to the reception has been fitted out using a grey tinted engineered timber floor and the walls have been painted in colours chosen from a subtle colour palate of duck egg blues and neutrals. A feature panel constructed by a flint specialist is placed prominently in the reception and is one of the first things guests see on arrival. This is symbolic of the popular use of flint on much of the local architecture.
A host table rather than a conventional reception desk was commissioned and has been bespokely made from English Oak as well as with fully integrated IT equipment to deliver an efficient and welcoming check in experience. Another bespokely made signature table has been placed within a snug environment and is surrounded by open bookcases and six mismatched chairs individually chosen from a local antiques shop. The chairs encourage guests to sit and utilise the seamlessly integrated IT facilities that are hidden form view but easily accessed within the table top.
Carpet has been laid through the lounge, bar areas, restaurant and Tythe Barn complimenting the use of hard flooring.
A new sense of arrival to the restaurant has been created by relocating the entrance, making better use of the floor area and providing a more secluded dining experience. A new servery with granite top provides a splendid buffet facility together with a large sharing table for bigger groups to dine together, located in one of the lovely bay windows that overlook the very pretty garden.
Soft furnishing fabrics have been chosen for the illustrative nature of the pattern giving a “nod” to the Site of Significant Scientific Interest of the region. This combined with the carefully selected artwork, object, ambient lighting, porcelain and ceramic tiles all add a contemporary flavour to what is essentially a country house hotel.
“It has been great for us to work with clients we have worked with before and to have the opportunity to deliver public areas within a hotel that is completely cohesive. We have really enjoyed the process of researching and understanding the heritage behind the hotel and its location, allowing the history to influence our thinking and the resulting designed solutions.
“The refurbishment works have revived interest in the hotel, resulting in a lot of people visiting Burford Bridge having heard of its renovation. The project has rejuvenated local interest pressing emotional buttons and once again encouraging local people to choose Burford Bridge for their special occasions ad ce4lebrations. We hope that we have created something that has a wide appeal delivering a comfortable, cosy yet current place to visit.”
Bourne Furniture understands the needs of the hospitality market. The firm aims to provide our customers with a personal service turning their design concepts and ideas into a reality, in the most cost effective way.
Since their inception Bourne has established a large portfolio that displays a wide range of furniture that they can supply, while offering a bespoke design service incorporating the very latest in styles. From classic chairs to bespoke fitted banquette seating, to tables and bedroom furniture, the company work closely with designers and manufacturers to provide the best service possible. Whatever the brief, Bourne Furniture can offer a solution.
Lynn Fisher from Bourne Furniture said:
“We have worked closely with Trevillion on the Mercure Burford Bridge Hotel project. They understand the importance of quality, and combining their experience in design and project management, with ours in contract furniture design and supply, together we were able to provide Burford Bridge with an exceptional service. Judging by the end result the scheme has been a resounding success.
“Any project is important to us, no matter how large or small. We have worked on many of the Mercure Hotels owned by Moorfield so it was great to be back working on this very important hotel in their portfolio.”
Walker Greenbank Contracts
Walkergreenbank Plc owns the following brands: Zoffany, Sanderson, Morris & Co, Harlequin, Scion, and are distributors of FR-One in the UK. Each brand within the Group is a leader within its own market sector, offering design-led products that are respected and admired by international designers, specifiers and purchasers. As well as offering a wide spectrum of design styles across all of the brands, the five in-house design studios facilitate the undertaking of individual commissions for special designs, qualities and quantities including printing, dyeing and weaving to exclusive specifications.
Couple this with the fact that the group also own two of the leading manufacturing facilities for wallpapers and printed fabrics in the UK; we are well placed to support our hospitality customers as more value is placed on creating a more hospitable familiar environment.
Most recently the firm have worked with Trevillion on the Mercure Burford Bridge project. Carolyn Mitchell, Group Contracts Sales Director, from Walker Greenbank Contracts, said:
“We have worked with Trevillion for many years to provide fabrics, wallpapers and soft furnishings for contract interiors and we were delighted to be able to work with them on the Mercure Burford Bridge project.
“The reason that we believe Trevillion have come to us, is that through our brand portfolio at Walker Greenbank contracts, we can uniquely offer contract suitable product with a domestic feel to it. Thus hotels are able to create a ‘Home Away from Home’ for their guests.
The products selected for Mercure Burford Bridge came primarily from the Zoffany and Sanderson brand. Soft aquas and denimy blues were used to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere.
“It is really exciting to see that prints have been selected for the curtains. We are seeing as a key trend within hospitality interiors that prints both classic and contemporary are enjoying a revival as designers are experimenting more with pattern and colour and moving away from using commodity me-too products. This is good news for us as a business, as all of the prints that our in-house brand studios design are produced in our own factories in the UK. This is a fantastic story for British design and manufacturing.”