Delayed Hilton London Paddington opening soon

30 January 2002 by
Delayed Hilton London Paddington opening soon

The long-awaited opening of the Hilton London Paddington hotel is finally scheduled to take place on 25 February - at least 15 months later than originally planned.

An official opening ceremony, attended by the Duke of Edinburgh, is planned for 27 March

Hilton said the opening had been repeatedly delayed because of building problems, but did not wish to go into further details.

It is understood the company carrying out the renovation works changed at least once.

Neil Mathieson, former general manager of the Hilton Heathrow, was appointed general manager of the Paddington hotel in May last year.

He said: "We cannot wait for the opening. We are just waiting for the final repair works to be finished. It has been frustrating."

Mathieson said he had lost only one member of his 230-strong staff as a result of the delays. Most of the management team were seconded to other Hilton hotels.

People who booked rooms were relocated to other Hilton hotels in the capital.

When the hotel does open it will have 355 bedrooms, including 20 suites. Room rates will start from £120.

Hilton has spent £60m on restoring the building, in an art deco style. It will have 15 meeting rooms, a ballroom, a 160-seat brasserie and a 120-seat bar, called Steam.

Hilton has a contract to manage it for 20 years. The building is owned by property company Muirgold.

The hotel will be geared towards the needs of business travellers, particularly international visitors arriving from Heathrow airport.

It has a travel desk, giving flight details from Heathrow airport and the Heathrow Express trains travel to and from Paddington Station.

Mathieson said: "We want to exploit our location and take away the bottlenecks associated with travel."

Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 31 January - 6 February 2002

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