The hospitality industry has seen some significant changes recently. Hotels are recognising that they must build their brand experience around a solution-selling strategy. Brand confidence means being a trusted advisor making customers feel relaxed with every interaction.
The Hilton Birmingham Metropole is the largest hotel in England outside London – with 790 rooms and suites, and approximately 6,000 m2 (65,000 sq ft) of conference halls. First opening in 1976 the current hotel is a combination of two adjacent hotels connected by a glazed tunnel and merged under the Metropole brand.
This week marks the first anniversary since the re-opening of the Hilton Birmingham Metropole following a massive refurbishment.
Earlier this year I was commissioned to photograph the new reception lobby, Guild Lounge, Brightsmith Bar & Restaurant, Executive lounge, and the Arbour breakfast room.
When working with an established brand like the Hilton there is the heritage to be considered, as well as the future of the brand. Sometimes innovative design is not about reinventing the wheel but setting it on a new course.
In my photography brief I was asked to capture the spirit of the design that defined it as the Hilton Metropole Birmingham. I was also made aware that the refurbishment had already been photographed by a number of other photographers. I chose not to look at these.
As I spent time in the space, I began to realise that the most amazing aspect of the new design was not represented in any one particular feature, or area. It was that the soul of the building had been ‘restored’ through the refurbishment, resulting in the brand being elevated through the design of the overall space.
Throughout the hotel, the new decor celebrates Birmingham’s rich heritage and embraces its culture. Nods to industrialism combine with a celebration of local craftsmanship to mark the city’s prolific history. Harrison was appointed by Hilton to completely transform this iconic destination hotel. The Hilton Birmingham Metropole hosts over 2,000 events per year and has already welcomed both new and returning clients.