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Pullman Opens London Hotel, Gears Up To Double In Size

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  Site Where: 100-110 Euston Road, London, United Kingdom, NW1 2AJ
June 10, 2013 at 9:34 AM | by | ()

With the ink barely dry on our list of new London hotels, did an invite drop in our inbox from Accor Hotels for the opening of yet another new property: the Pullman London St. Pancras. You know Accor most likely for its Sofitel luxury brand (including collaborations with Kaiser Karl), or its single state-side Novotel in New York, but the French group has nearly half a million hotel rooms across the globe, making it the number 1 hotel group on all continents except North America. Take that, Marriott.

And by no means is Accor done yet. Having been introduced in 2007, the opening of the first UK Pullman hotel coincided with a refresh of the upscale brand, set to double in size to 150 hotels by 2020, with a long-term view of 500 hotels worldwide. We had a chance to listen to Accor’s CEO explain the direction, browse mood boards, and of course, see a real-life example in the rooms and public spaces of the hotel. Read on to find out what we learned.

With its name derived from the luxury trains of the past, St. Pancras is a particularly apropos setting for the first UK Pullman hotel. Euston, St. Pancras, and King’s Cross stations are on its doorstep, so whether it’s Edinburgh, Paris, Brussels, or beyond you are in the mood for, you can go wherever your whim takes you.

Inside you’ll find 312 rooms dressed in one of three main color themes that reappear throughout the hotel: saffron (yellow), blaze (red), and teal (blue). The 12th floor Deluxe Room we saw had a comfy king size bed, a corner sofa, a desk with flat screen TV, the ubiquitous Nespresso equipment, and a wardrobe with laptop-size safe. We liked the super spacious rain shower, especially with the sensible placement of the taps on the opposite wall, which meant you could first adjust the temperature before stepping in. Why is that not done more often?

Downstairs is Golden Arrow, named after the all-first-class Pullman train service between Paris and Calais from the 1920’s, which intentionally blurs the boundaries between restaurant, lounge, and bar. This kind of blending of spaces and concepts is what Pullman aims for: business & leisure (labelled bleisure, which is a little cutesy for us), work & play, formal & informal, art & design, food & drink, and so on. A range of high-profile designers is involved in everything from rooms to staff uniforms.

Mood boards!

Walking into a Pullman you won’t find a standard reception desk; instead, you’ll be greeted by a Welcomer, who will usher you over to a check-in area where formalities are taken care of using tablets (something that reminds us of what Andaz does), in the comfort of a signature Pullman arm chair if you wish. Each lobby features the ‘Pullman globe’, signifying the universe of travel, and alcoves and seating nooks allow for working on the go or quick meetings. If you’re in the mood for a glass of wine (this is a French hotel after all), a wine library dubbed ‘Vinoteca’ is available with a wide range of bottles by the glass. Luckily, all of that comes together with free WiFi, with connectivity being called ‘a basic need’. Hallelujah.

Looking out towards St. Pancras station

The Pullman St. Pancras is in the final stages of its transformation; just last week the brand new Pullman Brussels opened its doors as well. By April next year, the overhaul of no less than five Paris hotels (La Défense, Montparnasse, Bercy, Charles de Gaulle airport, and Tour Eiffel) will be completed, and new hotels range from Sao Paulo (Brazil) to Sanya (China) and Jakarta (Indonesia). Rates at the Pullman St. Pancras vary over the busy London summer months, but expect to pay from £200 ($308) and up for a Superior Room.

[Photos: JasonD for HotelChatter]

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