Last word

Robert Henke

By moving the main entrance and carrying out a multi million pound redesign, the PPHE Hotel Group has created a boutique hotel with a new Marylebone address. We find out more


While the Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes London was performing well, according to PPHE’s vice president of commercial and corporate affairs Robert Henke, the group knew that it could do better. Moving the main entrance from Baker Street to Chiltern Street – giving direct access to Marylebone's boutiques, galleries, bars and restaurants and a swanky new address – was part of the plan to take it upmarket and attract a new clientele.

At 118 bedrooms, the hotel was PPHE's smallest London property; the £9m investment has seen it repositioned as the company’s first premium boutique hotel.

The four-storey hotel is housed in four Georgian buildings, and features a restaurant and bar, meeting spaces and a gym. The interior design was carried out by Digital Space, and European design agency Zopsigog; described as 'modern classic' it was inspired by the Georgian architecture of the building and features 'subtle nods' to Baker Street and Sherlock Holmes.

Why did you decide to reposition the Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes London?
We've run this hotel very successfully through the years, but we recognised an opportunity to drive a step change in performance, invest and relaunch it as a completely different proposition.

It's taken a year to transform it into a boutique, lifestyle property which really capitalises on the location.

Why did you move the front entrance from Baker Street to Chiltern Street?
Baker Street is a very busy street within the West End, meanwhile the popularity of Marylebone and Chiltern Street has really increased over the past few years.

We wanted to create a more intimate, townhouse feel, and we thought an entrance on Chiltern Street would be more suitable for the new hotel.

Can you tell us about the design?
It's in a beautiful, character-filled building that's comprised of a number of Georgian properties. That enabled us to maintain a unified design throughout.

The references to Sherlock Holmes are very subtle and can be seen in some of the artworks. The rooms also feature antique typewriters, puzzles and magnifying glasses, as well as rich fabrics and materials.

This is PPHE's first boutique hotel. Are there more planned?
Our Park Plaza Vondelpark in Amsterdam is going through a similar process. Again we focused on creating an individual theme for a boutique property – it’s about to launch.

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Company profile: Alliance Leisure
The company’s core business is the provision of facility development and support for local authorities, educational establishments and leisure trusts that want to improve or expand the leisure products and services they offer.
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