Investment of £13.5m renews Edwardian eleganceThe flair and excitement of the 1920s and the comfort and technology of the 21st Century are now ready to make something special of every event to be held at London’s Waldorf Hilton.
The result of nearly a year’s steady work and an investment of £13.5m was displayed at a reception to show just what this iconic property now has to offer.
Guests were full of admiration when they saw the unique spacious balconied Palm Court, where tea dances have been held for over 100 years. We were entranced by the verve of an energetic Charleston and then we even surprised ourselves by joining in and flinging arms and legs around to dance to the stimulating music.
And how did everyone then cool down? Well, we took turns to view the newly created Astor Suite where there was a magic button in a gold plaque on the wall. A notice said: ‘Press for champagne’ and, sure enough, after each press a waiter appeared at the door with a tray of bubbly.
Costumes, canapés and collation all added to the spirit of the days when the hotel was first built and named after its generous financial sponsor, William Waldorf Astor. It made a very big hit even then, not least because it astonished Edwardian high society with a phone in every guestroom and switches by the bed that controlled the lights.
The hotel has 298 guestrooms, seven meeting rooms and event spaces, including the iconic Palm Court, Good Godfrey’s Bar, Adelphi Suite and Executive Boardroom, with refreshed interiors complementing the grandeur and grace of the hotel’s striking architecture. The interiors gain elegance and charm from antique brass metalwork, silver-leaf and mirrors. The style of the ‘flapper’ era is evoked by pastel colours, brass studs, chaises longues and classic fabrics.
If location is important, then the Waldorf Hilton ticks most boxes. It is in Central London, in sight of the City’s banking district and virtually only walking distance from the capital’s Theatreland and even Houses of Parliament.
It has to be on any shortlist when planning a conference with a leisure programme or a full-bloodied incentive trip to London.
Alison Palin, General Manager, The Waldorf Hilton, London, explained to ITCM how careful the planning had to be for the total refurbishment : ‘We did not close the hotel, but we worked on small areas at a time and gradually completed the total refurbishment over a period of about three years.
‘Every element has been taken into careful consideration with attention to detail to ensure that the feel and grandeur of the 1920s remain instilled. It first opened its doors in 1908 and, although times have changed, the style and elegance of thos days gone by have remained for guests to enjoy. The Waldorf Hilton has been a stalwart fixture of the West End, providing guests with superb service and elegance, for 107 years. This renovation will ensure that it continues to do so, in true Edwardian style, for many years to come.’