A new series of podcasts has been launched that reveals the hidden stories behind five landmark hotels in Hilton Worldwide‘s European portfolio. The hotel group hopes they will encourage guests to see the buildings as more just than a place to lay their heads or have a nice meal.
Over the past five years, Hilton has significantly expanded its dedicated team of experts focused on the architecture and design of each property. Its philosophy is centred on creating a sense of place that reflects the hotel’s district, neighbourhood or even street.
Canopy by Hilton, Reykjavik, Iceland
Canopy by Hilton is a new hotel located in a district in Reykjavik that is renowned for its street art. Sigurður Ámundasonhe and various street artists have contributed work to the hotel as part of a collaboration with the Reykjavik Arts Festival. Music has also had a strong influence on the hotel with over 1000 records available for guests to play in its Canopy Central Café. There’s also a music box in the bedrooms to lull guests to sleep with an Icelandic lullaby.
Hilton London Bankside, England
Hilton London Bankside reflects the English South Bank’s industrial heritage and the neighbouring Tate Modern in London. The concrete effect tile flooring in the lobby evokes the famous Turbine Hall. The Penny Wall in the hotel’s Distillery Bar references the building’s previous life as a Bank of England warehouse and features a tribute to the Women’s Suffrage Movement.
Conrad Hotel, Dublin, Ireland
The Conrad Hotel took inspiration from the beautiful Iveagh Gardens, the Dublin park opposite the hotel that was designed by famed landscape gardener Ninian Niven. In the lobby, the bespoke rug based on the garden’s labyrinth, the floral colour palette and a handcrafted chandelier overhead evoke the feeling of walking through the rose garden in the sunshine.
Hilton Paris Opera, France
The Hilton Paris Opera opened in Paris in January 2015. It was originally built in 1889 for the Exposition Universalle to provide opulent accommodation for wealthy visitors, before becoming a safe hold for the resistance during World War II. It now features soft furnishings inspired by Christian Lacroix, Baccarat chandeliers, hand-painted frescoes and Corinthian colonnades.
Hotel Reichshof, Hamburg, Germany
The Hotel Reichshof in Hamburg underwent a renovation in 2015 to restore the art deco gem to its original glory. Designed by Heinrich Mandix in 1910, the building was inspired by the luxury transatlantic ocean liners of the time and later included a number of original features from the 1920s. Pride of place is a sepia-toned photograph on the wall above the bar to remind guests of the building’s original lobby.