Pullman St. Pancras, Euston Road London

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    “Our competition is” said one of the party, “the 800 bedrooms that Premier Inn have in the vicinity”. I made the point in my article on the Upward March of the Budget Hotel that “the position of the disparate mid-market hotels becomes more uncomfortable” under pressure from the burgeoning and increasingly design led budget sector, and this was another confirmation of how competition is felt further up market. Pullman is positioned by Accor above the Premier Inn competitor in the market place. An unabashed four star like many, especially in a recession it is feeling the effect of guests becoming more price conscious and is competing with services and stylish facilities.Here the hotel company is competing with design. Its ground floor public spaces being attractively and functionally designed and as a result, busy. It benefits from being next to, and highly visible from, the British Library and from sharing premises with the Shaw Theatre, whose bars and breakout zone the hotel becomes. On my visit, in the relative quiet time of a late mid-morning, the lobby was busy with a mix of tourists, families and business people.

    The emphasis on design is not confined by Accor to the Pullman brand, and you will see evidence of it in the rolling refurbishment programme in their Mercure Hotels (see London Bridge, Milton Keynes and Burford Bridge for instance) but also in their M Gallery. Accor certainly seems to have grasped what I previously identified as the need “For the four and five star market, it is the definition of the experience that counts and how they differentiate themselves through this experience, relating to their local environment, reinforcing the sense of space, sense of place, quality of service, and defining their own differentiating concept of luxury that will determine their survival.” (the Upward march of the Budget Hotels)

    Daniel Fountain / 16.02.2015

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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