The Trafalgar hotel in London, Hilton's first unbranded property, is relaunching as the Trafalgar St. James hotel, and re-branding under Hilton's Curio Collection.
The 131-bedroom property hotel, owned by L+R, is set to relaunch late summer 2017 following an extensive refurbishment which is already well underway, The Caterer can exclusively reveal.
Curio Collection by Hilton was launched in 2014 and includes upscale hotels with a unique character. The hotel is expected to be the first Curio in the UK, as the opening of the 129-bedroom Lincoln Plaza London hotel, expected to open in late 2016, has been delayed.
The hotel's current ground floor bar is being overhauled and will be replaced by an all-day dining grill restaurant, 1805, the year of the Battle of Trafalgar.
The new restaurant, being overseen by the hotel's new executive chef Greg Olejarka and designed by AvroKo, will be an informal restaurant serving British cuisine with a twist.
Shh Design is overseeing the new look of the bedrooms and rooftop, taking inspiration from the building's history (it once housed the Cunard Steamship Company) and its location.
As well as a new design, the bedroom desks have been replaced by tables and a chaise lounge. The baths have been removed from two-thirds of the rooms to make way for better showers. Make-up desks have been added in, along with more plug and USB points, and the rooms will all display artwork featuring British icons and recognisable London and Trafalgar Square symbols.
Biblio, the downstairs private lounge, will have a club-like atmosphere, and for the majority of the year will be available exclusively for hotel guests. It will also host live music performances and talks.
Formally known as Vista, the Rooftop will feature a much larger, accessible space with a lounge and dining areas serving a continually changing menu of small plates. A private, 14-cover glasshouse will also be a central feature.
The hotel's general manager, Joanne Taylor-Stagg, said: "What's great about Curio is it's not really a brand, it's a collection of hotels. So we can be an independent hotel but still with the loyalty and the kinship of a big brand. It is for us the best of both worlds."
Regarding the new bedroom design, she added: "We wanted rooms that didn't feel like hotel rooms. Shh have done a really great job of making it feel like your bedroom at home. It has a real sense of homely warmth."
The hotel will continue to operate throughout the refurbishment.
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