The Doubletree by Hilton Hull, opened in December 2017, has done everything to ensure that guests are not aware of its most unusual feature. The property, located on a corner in a very convenient central address, just 30 minutes from the airport, has 165 modern guestrooms and suites, all with complimentary Wi-Fi.
In line with the Doubletree philosophy of making guests immediately aware of traditional American hospitality, there is a bag of hot chocolate chip cookies handed to everyone on arrival. ‘And we continue that approach’, says Helen Symonds, ‘throughout a guest’s stay. The aim is to tailor all services to meet every requirement.’ Helen is the hotel’s Director of Sales and Marketing.
So what, we ask her, is the feature that has been hidden?
‘Well’, she explained when we met on the Hull & East Yorkshire stand at The Meetings Show at Olympia, ‘of the 165 rooms, 143 were built as complete units in China, shipped to Southampton, carried by road to Hull and then lifted into place by crane, as building blocks, to erect a complete hotel in record time. Each of those rooms was totally fitted out, decorated and provided with all services in China, ready just to be plugged in.’
This procedure saved months of construction on site and the joins are invisible. The only sign of it as far as guests are concerned is that it has meant that prices can be kept very competitive. This is good news for event organisers.
Helen says that the property is 100% aimed at MICE business. Its conference centre has a pillar-free Ballroom that seats up to 1,000 theatre style and it can be divided into four. There are three additional syndicate rooms.
It has a Steakhouse restaurant. There is a rooftop bar, lobby lounge and 24-hour room service. The fitness centre is open round the clock.
From the start, the Doubletree by Hilton Hull has shown what it can do for events. It has already hosted, for example, the Association of Towns & Cities Management.
Event organisers are recommended to look into the opportunities in Hull for a leisure programme. There is a much wider range than might be assumed. Hull was a UK City of Culture in 2017 and a period of heavy investment enhanced what it already had to offer.
Obviously, a visit here can be part of an itinerary for groups staying at the Doubletree, which is close by.
Present at our discussion at The Meetings Show was Liz Neal, Business Tourism Officer of Hull & East Yorkshire Conferences, a promotion organisation. She brought several other Hull attractions into focus. They can all be linked into topics for conferences.
‘Hull’, she said, ‘is a significant centre for renewable energy. Of course, we boast a long history connected with sea trade and our Museum of Maritime History now occupies what once was the Town Docks Offices. It houses paintings, artefacts and models relating to the history of whaling, fishing and trawling.
‘Our old Fruit Market has been converted into a Cultural Quarter. There is a fascinating Gin Distillery, which has been built with glass walls, so visitors can watch the whole production process from outside.’
Liz emphasises that Hull is a close community, with every organisation working to the common good, co-operating especially to attract conferences and exhibitions and pooling resources to make them enjoyable and successful for all the delegates.