Miniview: The Sherlock Holmes Hotel

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    The Sherlock Holmes on Baker Street in London is housed in an imposing Georgian period terrace, with all the design difficulties and charm this brings with it. The hotel was formerly owned and run by Hilton, before becoming a Park Plaza a decade ago. Renamed and themed, the hotel plays on its proximity to the legendary location of Sherlock Holmes fictional home at 221b Baker Street.One of the first changes the new owners made was to move the bar from the back of the ground floor to the front. This is unusual in a hotel but for the Sherlock Holmes it has worked well. The new location for the bar allows guests to be enticed to come in for a drink off the street, generating more revenue for the hotel. Baker Street is the perfect location to do this, as it is busy, and with a terrace out the front being put to use in the summer it makes the option even more attractive. The terrace covered with tables and umbrellas also makes sure guests enter through the hotel’s main door.

    Upon entering the hotel there was a small porters desk used to direct guests to the large reception desk at the back of the room. The bar is to the right and considering that it was mid-afternoon on a weekday had a busy cocktail crowd creating a vibrant atmosphere in the room. Towards the back of the room was a contemporary gas-fuelled open fireplace. This provided both heating and a visual element to the room. It also stopped the middle section of the room from being turned into a corridor.

    The Sherlock’s Grill restaurant was towards the back of the room past the larger reception desk. Although the restaurant was small in size, it was nicely laid out with little nooks and crannies for guests to hide themselves in. This partitioning also helped to break up the noise that travelled around the restaurant. A wood fired pizza oven was built in behind the bistro’s counter. Beside the restaurant was a lounge, which was separated from the restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows. This created a sense of space and allowed guests to peer into adjoining rooms. Those in the lounge could see the food being served in the bistro, persuading them to go order a meal.

    The lounge was decorated in Sherlock Holmes’ memorabilia, or art objects from the Victorian era. The Sherlock Holmes’ decorations were a theme carried on throughout the hotel. Behind the bar there was a large bust of the man himself. Gracing the wall were many artworks related to the fictional character and there were also other semi-related artefacts such as a large wooden camera from Victorian times. Indeed, these pieces were an attractive feature within the building and pipes were even for sale in glass cabinets.

    Within the lounge there was another gas fire, where guests could congregate. The fire created a cosy atmosphere and sure enough there was a guest was snoozing in a lounge chair – evidence that the room was in fact comfortable.

    Daniel Fountain / 16.03.2010

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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