Premier Inn Waterloo – official opening

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    Yesterday, 13th March 2013, marked the official opening of the Premier Inn Waterloo located on York Street, SE1 London. The 234 bedroom hotel is an interesting conversion as part of it contains a grade II listed building in the form of the old General Lying In Hospital dating from 1767. The adjacent building houses the main reception, restaurant and bar and is a conversion from an office block.

    The two buildings created some interesting challenges for AXIOM Architects and Senior Project & Programme Manager of Whitbread, Steve Hammond, as the buildings do not align on each floor. This meant the hotel could not utilise the impressive entrance to the old hospital as it was difficult to comply with access requirements for Disabled guests and remain sympathetic to the building’s interior.

    However, the overall effect is very impressive. The hotel is reflective of London’s architecture – a “bit of this and a bit of that” and it works beautifully. It’s only a shame more could not be made of the large public areas in the old hospital as they would be used as lounge areas in other brands such as CitizenM. Hammond commented: ‘To ensure the Premier Inn “Sleep Guarantee”, we couldn’t use sofas in these [public] areas as people would meet here and disturb guests… it’s something we considered very carefully”.

    Whitbread is highly experienced at converting vacant buildings into hotels which our review of the Premier Inn Leicester Square demonstrates. When asked if there had been any special steps taken at the Premier Inn Waterloo to reduce noise levels such as those at the Leicester Square hotel Hammond responded, “With the Leicester Square property, the vibrations and noise from the nightclub required us to do something special with the design of the rooms… it has not been a requirement to do that here [Waterloo] as the extra glazing on the windows was enough.”

    The greatest asset the hotel has is the view over Southbank. Lying in bed looking out over the London Eye and Big Ben has to be worth every penny of the budget hotel price you forget you’re paying.

    Written by Lorraine Hakes on a visit on the 13th March 2013.

    (More images on page two…)

    Daniel Fountain / 14.03.2013

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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