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DoubleTree by Hilton York Bedroom

DoubleTree by Hilton opens in historic city of York

850 566 Daniel Fountain

York has welcomed one of Hilton’s 14 market-leading brands, DoubleTree by Hilton. Conveniently located in the centre of York and opposite the city’s historic walls, DoubleTree by Hilton York joins Hilton York and Hampton by Hilton York – paving the way as the first DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in the city.

Hotel features and amenities include:

DINING
Guests can dine at the hotel’s charming on-site Yorkshire Bar and Grill restaurant, which celebrates the very best of the region’s produce. Guests can enjoy an array of local home-comforts, light bites and delicious seasonal dishes served in the courtyard garden or in the beautifully designed restaurant. Guests can unwind after dinner at the hotel bar or, for those who want to stay in, there is an in-room dining service.

AMENITIES
The hotel has 143 stylish, full-refurbished guest rooms – many of which have views of the City Walls. All guests are greeted with a warm welcome and signature DoubleTree Cookie upon arrival. To help burn off those delicious Cookie calories, there is a 24-hour gym at the hotel, with state-of-the-art equipment.

MEETINGS & EVENTS
The hotel also boasts York’s newest purpose built meeting space with integrated audio visual equipment, wide screen projection and HDMI connectivity, capable of hosting up to 250 guests. There is a stunning courtyard garden for delegates to enjoy throughout the day.

“We are delighted to be welcoming guests to the latest destination in York, which has the most recently refurbished accommodation in the city,” said Graham Usher, general manager, DoubleTree by Hilton York. “The hotel is perfectly located, near to key landmarks in this historic city, which attracts a vast number of travellers each year. From those wanting to explore or wishing to host conferences in our versatile meeting spaces, we cater for every type of traveller.”

Principal York

The Principal York awarded ‘best hotel interiors’ in the UK

999 559 Daniel Fountain

The Principal York, formerly The Royal York Hotel, has been awarded ‘Best Hotel Interiors’ in the UK, according to a national accommodation ranking.

York’s historic grand lady, which reopened on 1st November 2016 following a sensitive £20 million refurbishment, has been crowned at Lateroom.com’s 2017 Simply The Guest Awards.

The Principal York joins 24 other hotels across the country to be recognised as one of the UK’s best hotels thanks to the magnificent restoration of the historic railway hotel. The Principal York’s lobby, reception, Garden Room, entrances and corridor spaces, as well as all 159 bedrooms and suites, were revived by interior architects Goddard Littlefair as a paean to Victorian grandeur.

Principal York

Now in its fifth year, Lateroom.com’s Simply The Guest Awards are the only hotel industry awards based exclusively on genuine guest reviews and feedback from customers who have stayed at the property.

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RELATED: The Principal York becomes triple award winner
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A modern and softer interpretation of a country house, The Principal York combines historic architectural detail with all the comforts of the modern day. Interesting antiques and unique artworks of bye gone York Races or images from royal historic society gatherings in York feature at the hotel giving a strong sense of local character. Once a stopover for Queen Victoria en route to Balmoral, the first-class hotel can be reached from London’s Kings Cross Station in less than two hours.

The Principal York’s new accolade follows a series of award wins since its regeneration including a Gold Award at Hospitality Interior Design at the London Design Awards 2016. The hotel recently enjoyed double success at the Visit York Tourism Awards, where it won both Conference Venue of the Year and the overall Hotel of the Year crown. The Principal York was also shortlisted twice over for the refurbishment of its public spaces at the EHDAs (European Hotel Design Awards) at the end of 2016.

The Bonham in Edinburgh, part of The ‘PRINCIPAL’ family – a collection of historic landmark hotels in UK city centres to which The Principal York belongs, was also awarded by Laterooms.com as the UK’s Best Boutique Hotel. Richard Mansell, General Manager at The Principal York said: “We’re beyond delighted to be named as having the UK’s Best Hotel Interiors – not only is it a win for the hotel but also for the city of York and tourism in the region.”

Goddard Littlefair Director and Co-Founder Jo Littlefair added: “Our overall ambition was to breathe life back into every artery of the hotel’s interior. Giving a nod to tradition and heritage, but also creating a tremendously warm, light and welcoming contemporary environment for guests.

“We were briefed to reinstate the hotel’s essential character and to pay respect to its original architecture, whilst at the same time ensuring a feeling of comfort, restfulness, so that The Principal York was once again a true destination hotel.”

Principal Hotels launches

Originally opened in 1878 as The Station Hotel, The Principal York is a magnificent Grade-II-listed hotel situated just outside the Roman walls of one of Britain’s most notable cities. One of Britain’s greatest examples of Victorian railway hotels, The Principal York features an impressive Italianate façade of Scarborough brick and Tadcaster stone designed by architect William Peachey.

The Principal York is also home to The Refectory Kitchen & Terrace, the hotel’s restaurant, housed in a conservatory-style dining and adjacent to the restaurant, the lively Chapter House Bar that serves local craft beers, spirits and cocktails. The hotel’s elegant Garden Room, next to the main lobby and its sweeping grand staircase, is where guests can enjoy traditional British afternoon tea whilst looking out across manicured lawns to York Minster in the distance.

With a purpose-built events centre, The Principal York offers ten meeting and event spaces as well as a gym and indoor pool.

phcompany.com/principal/york-hotel

The Principal York - Lobby Lounge

The Principal York becomes triple award winner

1024 683 Daniel Fountain

It was confirmed last month that The Principal York (designed by Goddard Littlefair and one of the launch hotels for PRINCIPAL, a collection of landmark hotels in UK city centres) has won the Gold Award for Hospitality Interior Design at the London Design Awards 2016, to be presented at a ceremony in March of this year.

The new award is in addition to the hotel’s double success at the Visit York Tourism Awards, where it won both Conference Venue of the Year and the overall Hotel of the Year crown. The Principal York was also shortlisted twice over for the refurbishment of its public spaces at the EHDAs (European Hotel Design Awards) at the end of 2016.

The magnificent, Grade-II-listed hotel, boasting beautiful gardens and views over York Minster, was originally one of Britain’s greatest Victorian railway hotels, housed in a purpose-built building in yellow Scarborough brick by architect William Peachey and first opening its doors in 1878. After the hotel was acquired by Starwood Capital, Goddard Littlefair was commissioned to redesign its public spaces, including the lobby, reception, Garden Room, entrances and corridor spaces, as well as all 159 bedrooms and suites. The full design team on the project also included Michaelis Boyd (who redesigned the bar and restaurant at the hotel), whilst architects 3D Reid oversaw the structural works on the project.

The Principal York - Lobby Lounge

“Our overall ambition was to breathe life back into every artery of the hotel’s interior,” Goddard Littlefair Director and Co-Founder Jo Littlefair explained. “Giving a nod to tradition and heritage, but also creating a tremendously warm, light and welcoming contemporary environment for guests. We were briefed to reinstate the hotel’s essential character and to pay respect to its original architecture, whilst at the same time ensuring a feeling of comfort, restfulness, so that The Principal York was once again a true destination hotel.”

The Principal York - Lobby

Space-planning and Structure
The hotel originally had two entrances, with the first on the garden side of the hotel for guests arriving by coach or car and a rather secondary entrance on the other side for guests arriving by rail. One of the first key elements of Goddard Littlefair’s new plan was to ensure both entrances were of equal importance so that all guests had a real sense of arrival, with both routes quickly joining one of two main public space circulation axes – the Promenade or the Colonnade. The ‘business’ of arrival is now contained within a relocated reception area, located off the Promenade, so the overall public space feels less transient and suitcases can disappear quickly into this dedicated and spacious contained room.

The Principal York

Opening up views throughout was key and two brand new entrances were cut into the Garden Room, alongside three more into the relocated reception area, so that the ground floor is flooded with light and there are tempting glimpses of spaces beyond, whichever way guests traverse the building. The new public and lounge spaces are bright and generously-proportioned and offer food and beverages throughout the day, from teas and coffees to afternoon tea or an evening menu, maximising revenue possibilities from the fabulously light and welcoming space.

Interior Design Concept
The central design concept was to create a modern and softer interpretation of a country house, featuring over-scaled furniture, such as large wing chairs, to ensure an instant feeling of welcome, combined with a light and soothing colour palette, featuring a gentle and fairly neutral base with softer highlights in shades such as eau de nil and lavender. Similarly, the furniture is in colours such as tan, buff and charcoal, with small amounts of texture and pattern for added interest.

Interesting and unique art and antiques give the interiors a sense of heritage and character, whilst traditional, high-quality materials, including linen, leather, wool and linen velvet express both comfort and authenticity. A sense of place is incorporated through, for example, artworks referencing York Races or images from historic society gatherings in York, particularly involving the Duke and Duchess of York. The design team also integrated architectural drawings of Castle Howard and other local stately homes, as well as antique maps.

The Principal York - The Garden Room
The whole scheme features a series of antique objects, hand-picked by Goddard Littlefair from antique markets around the country, including old trunks, for example, and beautiful stone dogs. The furniture throughout is also bespoke. This ensures a unique environment and is part of the Goddard Littlefair design approach, looking to create as many bespoke items as possible, so that they are always designed with the exact location, function and end-user in mind – and also embody a certain location-specific exclusivity.

Interiors Walk-through
The Colonnade, which proceeds from a glass-roofed original hexagonal arrival space, now gives a real sense of arrival for guests arriving via the railway station, stretching out towards the main public spaces beyond. Ten custom-made mirrors, some full-height and some sitting above doors, line the space and give it a rhythm, whilst glass and brass pendant lanterns add yet more light and warmth via a specialist, subtly-sparkling antiqued finish. The mirrors feature antiqued glass set within carved, frames with a moon gold finish and are a great way of indulging visitors’ desires for subtle people-watching, as well as increasing a sense of space. Because of their immense proportions, the glass had to be manufactured in separate pieces and then assembled on site. Curtains hang alongside the mirrors in a soft brown colour with a darker trim near the bottom.

The Colonnade has also been made warmer through the addition of bespoke, comfortable, high-backed wing chairs in mink brown leather along with tables with lamps. Cushions are in a green silk velvet with an oyster silk band, echoing the band on the curtains. The carpet is a bespoke design for the project, by Goddard Littlefair in conjunction with Hotel Design partners Brintons – as with the carpets throughout the project. A discreet concierge station awaits guests at the top of the Colonnade, so that guests arriving this way can be accompanied to the reception room.

The Principal York
The Promenade, which meets the Colonnade at a T-junction at its top end, runs the full width of the ground floor area and is punctured along its length by entrances. At its centre, it becomes a seamless part of the Lobby Lounge. The design treatment for the Promenade features the same pendant lights as the Colonnade, artworks that are top-lit by a brass light fitting and a grey carpet from Brintons with a darker border.

The new reception is located next to the garden entrance and is a spacious and light and dressed with furniture that has a pronounced residential flavour, including two large desks designed to ressemble giant trunks; two tall bookcases behind the reception and a central display of framed vintage keys, as well as large and small-scale artwork (selected with art consultants Visto) and a separate seating area, with wingback chairs arranged around a newly-installed fireplace. Lighting is in the form of two French chandeliers suspended on heavy-duty dark metal chains, with desk lamps on the reception and in the seating area.

The Principal York
The heart of the new scheme is made up of two wonderful, large and light-filled open spaces, punctuated by handsome original columns with ornate capitals, all of which have been refurbished. These are the Lobby Lounge, which contains the hotel’s wonderful, dramatic staircase and the Garden Room beyond, which looks out, as its name suggests, onto the hotel’s extensive gardens. There are clear views through from one to the other, to ensure they interact, via the existing central and the two new entrances. Both spaces – as well as the reception room – feature oiled oak flooring from Havwoods with a special ‘sawn’ surface and laid in a herringbone pattern. The timber was deliberately chosen for its informal, not overly-polished look. Inset rugs are by Brintons.

Beautiful, bespoke chandeliers, made up of faceted, cut crystal baguettes set within in bronze frames, which Goddard Littlefair developed together with Heathfield, punctuate the two spaces. There are three chandeliers in the Garden Room and three more in the Lobby Lounge, one of which, which hangs down through the stairwell, is triple-tiered.

At the left-hand side of the Lobby Lounge is the staircase, which has been refurbished and re-carpeted with a bordered goose eye patterned carpet. New wall mouldings and panels have been added as guests go up the stair, acting as a background to the stair’s dramatic new decorative feature – a five-storey-high eclectic collection of mirrors with picture lights above, all in different shapes, sizes and frames, which allow views down, through and across the hotel and which also maximise light and reflectiveness.

The Principal York
For the furniture within the Lobby Lounge and Garden Rooms, every aspect was carefully considered, so that the heights of the seats correspond perfectly with the table heights, for example, ensuring guests can eat and drink in the public and lounge spaces with ease. The Garden Room is a particular highlight of the final design and is a beautiful, long, light and elegant space, complete with Chesterfield sofas, wing chairs and marble-topped tables, making it the perfect location to relax and enjoy afternoon tea – and more. The sofas here are upholstered in an Evitavonni fabric with bespoke, highly-detailed cushions featuring trimmings by Samuel & Sons and fabrics including Primavera by Rubelli and Plaza by Casamance. Tall plan chests around the edges of the room conceal waiter stations, as well as refrigerated drawers and storage space for point-of-sale materials.

Set dressing here includes an array of antique objects, hand-picked by Goddard Littlefair from antique markets around the country for this project, such as antique books, old trunks and beautiful stone dogs. These suggest heritage and reflect the hotel’s long-standing and established reputation and also ensure that the environment is unique and not filled with things guests might see in other places. The hotel’s own archives were thoroughly investigated too in the search for treasure from the past, revealing such gems as a collection of old thank-you letters from the 1930s through to the 1950s, which have been used for display in the corridor approaching the restaurant.

The Principal York
Upstairs, the suites boast great proportions, plenty of natural light and have a natural, high-ceilinged elegance. Each one is comprised of a sitting area with sofa, bedroom and bathroom. The design accent here was on relaxation, answering a brief to be residential in feel and scale, so that guests feel at ease the moment their suitcases are out of their hands. A dado rail and wooden panelling add layers of interest, with added warmth from the wood. Fabric headboards add softness with an unusual concertina design adding interest and creating a sense of movement. Picture lights and room art create added visual interest via country-inspired imagery of wild flowers, horses, dogs and period cartography.

For the suites and bedrooms, all bed divans and mattresses are by Moonraker, whilst the throws, in a beautiful soft wool, were bespoke-designed for the project and supplied by Bute Fabrics. The sofas are bespoke, as is all the furniture throughout. The wood panelling in the rooms is carried on through to the bathrooms, which feature a roll-top standalone bath, marble flooring and bespoke washstand and mirror in pre-aged timber.

Jo Littlefair concluded on the overall scheme: “This project has been a great experience for us. It has been incredibly rewarding and we feel privileged to have been involved. We love restoration projects and challenges – particularly, as here, when we can address the whole space, be creative and successfully breathe new life into a property.”

Photos: Gareth Gardner, PRINCIPAL and Daniel Fountain
Hotel Designs also visited The Principal York in September 2016

phcompany.com/principal/york-hotel

Starwood to launch Principal brand

Starwood Capital announces launch of Principal brand

916 515 Daniel Fountain

Starwood Capital Group, a leading global private investment firm, announced last week that it will launch PRINCIPAL, a new urban lifestyle hotel group, on 1st November 2016, following a capital investment in the portfolio of approximately £150 million.

Principal is a collection of city-centre hotels based in landmark buildings in exceptional locations across the United Kingdom. The distinctive heritage and resulting relationship between the properties and their surroundings are the cornerstones of the Principal brand. Each of the hotels has a story to tell — of its history, its design and architecture, its quirks and characters, and its role in shaping the city and forging relationships with local partners, whether corporate or creative. From the elegant Georgian townhouses that form the core of The Principal Edinburgh George Street (formerly The George Hotel) to the clock tower that’s synonymous with The Principal Manchester (formerly The Palace Hotel) and its history as the headquarters for the Refuge Assurance Company— Principal Hotels define their cities and neighbourhoods.

“At the heart of a great business is a unique and authentic story. Our people and our buildings have great stories to tell, and these stories differentiate you from the competition, giving your guests and your staff something to cheer about,” said Barry Sternlicht, Chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group. “Reviving these historic, grande-dame hotels is a truly great story— they are spectacular buildings in which we can create dynamic scenes. The story of each hotel, its amazing history and architecture is the opposite of the mass-produced chain hotel, and provides us with a canvas on which to curate a unique sense of place.”

The Principal Manchester
The Principal Manchester, on the corner of Oxford Street and Whitworth Street, occupies three adjoining buildings dating to between 1895 and 1932. Designed by Alfred Waterhouse, his son Paul, and Stanley Birkett, all three buildings were commissioned by The Refuge Assurance Company as its company headquarters, and they include the iconic, 66m (217ft) clock tower, which has become a symbol of the city and its status as a centre of industry and commerce.

Following an investment of more than £25 million, The Principal Manchester has been remodelled from top to toe to create 270 loft-style bedrooms and suites designed by Michaelis Boyd Architects; 17 meeting and event spaces, including the largest hotel ballroom in the northwest of England; The Refuge Dining Room and Public Bar, curated by DJs-turned-restaurateurs Luke Cowdrey and Justin Crawford; and a double-height lobby in which stands a specially commissioned, 600kg (1300lb), 3m (10ft) high bronze horse sculpted by Sophie Dickens, a reference to the turning circle for horse-and-carriage that once occupied the centre of the space.

Starwood to launch Principal brand

The Principal York
The Principal York (formerly The Royal York Hotel) dates from 1878, and was built to complement and serve the significant expansion of York Railway Station, with landscaped, private gardens running to three acres. Local Tadcaster stone gives the exterior a honeyed glow, and the imposing façade suggests a grand country home more than a Victorian railway hotel. The sensitive architectural restoration, by 3D Reid and Goddard Littlefair, places an elegant Garden Room at the hub of the hotel, next to the main lobby and the sweeping grand staircase, where guests can enjoy afternoon tea whilst looking out across manicured lawns to York Minster in the distance. In addition to 155 guest rooms and suites, The Principal York offers an Events Centre and 10 additional meeting and event spaces; a gym and indoor pool; the Chapter House bar, serving local craft ales alongside wines, spirits and cocktails; and The Refectory Kitchen & Terrace, whose cooking champions fresh, seasonal, local produce and the abundant larder of “God’s own country.”

Starwood to launch Principal brand

The Principal Edinburgh
Completing the trio of hotels at launch, The Principal Edinburgh on George Street has been welcoming hotel guests since 1881. At its heart are five listed Georgian townhouses, built in 1775 as homes for Edinburgh’s most prosperous citizens—among them James Ferrier, a lawyer, who bought No. 25 and whose daughter, Susan, was considered by Sir Walter Scott to be the equal of Jane Austen. Their former home is now The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen, where local Head Chef Colin Fleming champions modern Scottish cooking, and the bar team oversees an impressive collection of local spirits, from single malts to Edinburgh gin and Scottish vodka.

The Principal portfolio also includes Principal Partners—iconic hotels that will join the brand over the course of 2017, among them The Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow; The Hotel Russell in London, which is currently closed and is due to reopen next summer as The Principal London; and the former Martins Bank, which will open as The Principal Liverpool in early 2018.

Grand Hotel York

York luxury boutique Grand Hotel to get 100 new rooms, restaurant by 2017

700 394 Daniel Fountain

One of York’s top hotels – the Grand Hotel and Spa – has started to undergo an extensive £15 million development project, which will see it double its guestroom offering and add a new restaurant; all to be completed by the end of 2017.

Plans for the work were submitted by the hotel’s owner Splendid Hospitality Group and approved by the city of York council at the end of last year.

Grand Hotel York
The Grade-II listed building will now have 100 new bedrooms, adding to the current 107, and a new restaurant will be created on what was formerly a terrace area. Existing guest rooms will all be refurbished and the spa will be enlarged with additional treatment rooms built.

The new restaurant is scheduled to open by early 2017 and the new bedrooms completed shortly after.

Maria Florou, The Grand Hotel & Spa’s general manager, said: “The Grand has a reputation for its first class service in an exceptional setting, so it is fantastic that we are going to be able to offer that to many more guests – both those from outside of the area and also the residents of York. We have never taken our five-star status for granted and are always looking at ways to improve what we offer our guests, so it is wonderful that The Grand is set to become even grander through this major investment and expansion.”

Grand Hotel, York
Splendid Hospitality Group also has two other hotels in the city of York, with Holiday Inn Express and Hotel Indigo.

Stuart Bailey, CEO of Splendid Hospitality Group, said: “The Grand Hotel & Spa, York is one of the jewels in the crown of the Splendid Hospitality Group and we are proud to have such a landmark building within our portfolio. York is a stunning city and deserves the very best in its leading luxury hotel. This exciting project marks our intention to push the quality of the guest experience at The Grand even higher, positioning it as one of the UK’s very best hotels.”