Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik – a 158-key hotel set within a heritage structure dating back to the 1890s and overlooking the southern Croatian city’s Old Town – has undergone a restoration process with the aim of reinstating the property’s golden age glamour.
Overseen by London-based studio Goddard Littlefair, the redesign touches the reception, lobby, lobby lounge, Imperial Bar, Executive Lounge, guestrooms, corridors and suites, with a refurbishment of the hotel’s Porat restaurant due in late 2019.
“When we were first commissioned the hotel was already very well established and incredibly popular, with a wonderful location overlooking the old fort and the Adriatic, right on the edges of Dubrovnik’s historic old centre,” comments Martin Goddard, Director and Co-founder of Goddard Littlefair. “Whilst it had been majorly refurbished in 2005, costly building works meant that the interiors weren’t the main priority at that time and were primed therefore for a completely new treatment.”
The studio’s work is visible immediately, with the entrance lobby featuring tall arched windows and a two-tone, diamond-patterned ceramic floor created in-house and inspired by the city’s old stone streets. Elsewhere, a central chandelier designed by Goddard Littlefair designer Jana Novakovic, comprising eleven sculptural globe-shaped antique pendant lights, hangs above, whilst reception ceilings see the introduction of decorative mouldings and walls clad with dove grey panels. A bespoke 3-person reception desk ties the space together with a Carrara marble top and dark-stained timber panelling.
The new look Lobby Lounge and Imperial Bar feature entrances clad in antiqued glass mirroring, whilst brass-framed shelving units hold a selection of intriguing accessories and trinkets. Another bespoke lighting fixture – a chandelier inspired by 1950s bathing caps and featuring porcelain petal shapes alongside brass framework – contributes to the Lobby Lounge’s classical aesthetic, whilst guests are welcomed to The Imperial Bar by a brass surround screen and a commissioned triptych art piece by Croatian artist Antonia Čačić sitting at the core. A deco-inspired look includes shapes influenced by the building’s arched windows and a rear bar with backlit ribbed glass.
Above, guestrooms now incorporate clean lines and a palette of blues and silvers, as well as pops of pale pink for contrast. Flooring is made up of locally sourced light oak, and each rooms features a bespoke Axminster carpet by Brintons. Meanwhile, the property’s Imperial Suite – comprising living, dining, bathroom and bedroom spaces – includes a marble-print fabric for wall lights, as well as sofas upholstered in off-white linen with arms that splay outwards.
Goddard concludes: “Our inspiration lay in bringing back the romance of the hotel’s former glories and layering glamour into each individual space by means of a Riviera palette, soft detailing, a 1920s yachting influence and a subtle evocation of the hotel’s original elegance, whilst at the same time balancing that with clean and contemporary lines.”