The History of Hotel Indigo London Paddington Hyde Park
If you are looking for a hotel that combines stylish design with historic prestige, you might want to consider Hotel Indigo London Paddington Hyde Park. This boutique hotel is located opposite a leafy garden square near Paddington Station. But did you know that this hotel has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to the 19th century?
The Building's Origins
The hotel occupies a Victorian townhouse that was first built in 1857 as part of a row of elegant residences. The townhouse was designed by John Johnson, a prominent architect who also worked on the Royal Albert Hall and Alexandra Palace. The townhouse was originally intended for affluent families who wanted to enjoy the fashionable West End of London.
The building has many features that reflect the Victorian style and taste, such as high ceilings, large windows, ornate cornices and fireplaces. Some of these features have been preserved and restored in the hotel's rooms and suites, giving them a warm and elegant feel.
The People Who Lived There
One of the most notable residents of the building was Sir John Fowler, a famous engineer who designed and built many railways, bridges and tunnels around the world. He lived at number 16 London Street from 1865 to 1898, and was involved in many projects, such as the Metropolitan Railway, the Forth Bridge and the Victoria Falls Bridge. He also hosted many distinguished guests, such as Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
Another interesting resident was Sir Henry Irving, a renowned actor and theatre manager who was the first actor to be knighted. He lived at number 15 London Street from 1872 to 1877, and performed at many theatres in London, such as the Lyceum Theatre and Drury Lane Theatre. He was also a close friend of Bram Stoker, who wrote Dracula partly inspired by Irving's stage persona.
The Building's Transformation
The building underwent several changes over the years, as it adapted to different needs and demands. In 1899, it was converted into a hotel called The Norfolk Hotel, which catered to travellers and tourists who wanted to stay near Hyde Park and Paddington Station. In 1914, it became a hospital for wounded soldiers during World War I. In 1939, it was requisitioned by the government for military use during World War II.
In 1945, it was returned to civilian use and became a hotel again. In 2009, it was fully refurbished into a boutique hotel and rebranded as Hotel Indigo London Paddington Hyde Park.
The Hotel's Features
Today, the hotel offers 64 stylish guest rooms and suites that blend contemporary design with historic charm. Each room has a voice-controlled AI concierge that provides entertainment, property services and room service. Guests can also enjoy an on-site restaurant, bar and fitness centre.
The hotel is also committed to sustainability and social responsibility. It has taken significant steps to reduce its environmental impact, such as using LED lighting, recycling waste and providing eco-friendly toiletries. It is also a proud certified property by Travel Proud, which means it welcomes all guests regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Area's History
The hotel is not only surrounded by history within its walls, but also outside in its neighbourhood. The area where the hotel is located has a long and diverse history that spans centuries and cultures.
One of the most prominent landmarks near the hotel is Hyde Park, one of the largest and most famous parks in London. Hyde Park was established by Henry VIII in 1536 as a hunting ground for deer and wild boar. It later became a popular place for public events and demonstrations, such as fairs, concerts, protests and speeches.
One of the most famous spots in Hyde Park is Speakers' Corner, where anyone can speak freely on any topic they choose. Speakers' Corner was inaugurated in 1872 by an act of parliament that set aside a small part of Hyde Park explicitly for the use of public speaking. Since then, it has attracted many famous speakers, such as Karl Marx, George Orwell, Mahatma Gandhi and Malcolm X.
Another interesting aspect of the area's history is its connection to the birth of the movie industry and the first films. In 1896, the Lumière brothers, who are considered the inventors of cinema, held their first public screening of moving pictures in London at the Regent Street Polytechnic, which is now part of the University of Westminster. The screening was attended by about 50 people, who were amazed by the images of workers leaving a factory, a train arriving at a station and a baby being fed.
The following year, Robert W. Paul, a British pioneer of film, opened his Animatograph Works in Hatton Garden, near the hotel. He produced and exhibited many films, such as The Derby (1896), which was the first film to show a sporting event, and The Haunted Curiosity Shop (1901), which was one of the first horror films. He also invented many devices and techniques that improved film production and projection, such as the kinetoscope, the projector and the reverse motion.
Hotel Indigo London Paddington Hyde Park is more than just a place to stay. It is a place to experience design and culture, both inside and outside its doors. Whether you are interested in engineering, theatre, art or entertainment, you will find something to inspire you in this hotel and its neighbourhood. Book your stay today and discover the history of Hotel Indigo London Paddington Hyde Park for yourself.Book Now