Following a stunning renovation led by MKV Design, the newly designated Sheraton Grand London Park Lane has now been officially unveiled. The hotel's general manager, Kieran Quinn, is set to speak about 'Living with Design' as part of a panel discussion at Sleep 2016 this month, discussing what makes a "successful" and enduring design scheme in practical terms.
Ahead of the talk, Kieran has provided a sneak peak into his personal experience of the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane's recent refurbishment; the response from guests, and its advantages in terms of delivering better service and staff morale.
What has it been like to “live” with and operate the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane while its design was being refurbished, both from your perspective and that of guests?
The way that the hotel is designed in two wings meant that we were able to complete the renovation in stages without having to close the hotel at any point, which was important for both staff and guests.
It was important to us to involve some of our most loyal guests in the design process as, ultimately, we want to ensure that we’re offering a product that appeals to them to keep coming back time and time again.
Some of them have been staying with us for over 30 years so we valued their feedback regarding how they wanted the hotel to evolve from a design perspective. One way in which we did this was to invite a certain number of them to stay a night in one of the newly renovated rooms at the beginning of the design process and to give their feedback on the new design.
"At the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane we look to make travelling easier for our guests and design has an important part to play in this – particularly when it comes to modern necessities such as technology and connectivity"
How have guests’ comments about their experience changed since your hotel’s design was updated?
Feedback from hotel guests on the renovation has been resoundingly positive. The hotel has some of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in London and many guests have commented that with the addition of subtle Art Deco features by interior designer MKV Design, for example the metallic finishes on furniture, bevelled mirror panels above the bedheads and Art Deco-inspired wall lights, we have managed to revamp and restore this hotel to its former 1920s glory – maybe even better than before! Our interiors inject timeless glamour into the guest experience whilst also offering modern day luxury interiors, amenities and services.
"In addition, the positive reaction from our guests towards the renovation really has an impact on our team; creating a great talking point as well as making them feel proud to be a part of the hotel"
What are some examples of how proper design helps you and your team deliver better service, both in guestrooms and in public areas?
At the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane we look to make travelling easier for our guests and design has an important part to play in this – particularly when it comes to modern necessities such as technology and connectivity.
A good example of where we have integrated modern-day needs into our design is in our Palm Court Lounge. This space is the true heart of the hotel and continues to be the perfect setting for afternoon tea or pre-dinner drinks in Mayfair. What we have noticed, however, is the increasing use of laptops and mobile phones – whether that be for business meetings over coffee or posting social media snaps of afternoon tea! With this in mind we made sure to factor plug sockets and USB points into our design scheme so that guests can continue to enjoy the space in the way that works best for them.
In what ways does good design enhance your and your team’s morale, and conversely, how does poor design detract from it?
As with any workplace environment, it is important for our employees to feel connected to and comfortable in the space if they are to perform to their best. At Sheraton Grand London Park Lane, the new design evokes the true spirit and heritage of the hotel, which plays a big part in making it an inspiring place to work for our team.
In addition, the positive reaction from our guests towards the renovation really has an impact on our team; creating a great talking point as well as making them feel proud to be a part of the hotel.
Have you noticed an increase in guests wishing to source products they see in your hotel for their own homes so that they, too, can be “living with design” on a daily basis?
The new design very much reflects the hotel’s heritage and location and, in reference to our proximity to Green Park and its links to the 101 Dalmatians film, each bedroom has two ceramic Dalmatians.
These ornaments often spark conversation amongst guests and the hotel team and we are often asked whether they are available to purchase.
Another design feature that we are often asked about is our signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper beds. Guests always comment on the comfort of our beds and many ask if it’s possible to take one home with them!