Sydney Paulden finds Hilton London Paddington a most convenient London baseMost corporate events require guests to travel in from some distance. Before selecting the venue, organisers take into account whether the attendees are likely to arrive by road, rail or air.
Obviously it is also important to gauge how important leisure activities are to the event and if delegates’ partners require easy access to visitor attractions, shopping and excursions. All these boxes are immediately ticked when one venue is on the shortlist: Hilton London Paddington.
It is an integral part of London’s mainline railway terminus, Paddington Station, where the tube train arrives direct from London Heathrow Airport. An escalator and lifts allow passengers and luggage to gain immediate access to the hotel from the station platforms.
The hotel is close to a spur of the motorways that link London with the rest of the UK and is just a few steps from tube stations served by five of London’s underground train lines. All London’s attractions and amenities are, therefore, within easy reach.
There are facilities galore for every kind of event include 419 rooms, of which 56 are in the modern 2015 GWR Tower. The name harks back to the time in 1854 when the hotel first opened as the Great Western Royal.
The hotel has an Executive Lounge for one set of rooms, but the GWR Tower rooms have their own dedicated Lounge with continuous refreshments and separate breakfast facilities. The Executive Lounge also offers small private rooms for private networking or for conducting interviews. There is a shower available if someone requires the lounge as a convenient place to hold a meeting after stepping off the train, but is not staying in London overnight.
As many as 18 meeting rooms cater for all sizes and configurations, from boardrooms to the two ballrooms, GW1 and 2, which can be used separately or together and can seat 350 theatre style.
Hilton London Paddington gains about 16%of its business from corporate events. It is categorised as 4-star deluxe and, being part of a railway station, is considered very suitable for pharmaceutical gatherings, as it is not classified as a resort hotel. IT is another market sector that has grown considerably.
The pattern of business through the year has also been changing. ‘August has not been a low month for business visitors and events recently’, says Jenny Vieira, the Cluster Director of Sales. She shares herself between Paddington and a sister hotel at another mainline terminus, Hilton London Euston.
There is a Day Delegate Rate of £69 and a range of 24-hour rates, with guestroom rack rates of around £200.
A variety of dining options offer high quality cuisine without being fussy and can be as formal or as casual as guests choose. The two main f&b outlets are The Brasserie and the Steam Bar, with, of course, a range of banqueting rooms for groups.
Hilton Fitness by Precor is designed to offer a personal approach to suit each individual guest’s needs.