Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik redesigned by Goddard Littlefair
Goddard Littlefair has completed the restoration of Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, rejuvenating the glamour and beauty of this hotel located on the south coast of Croatia. A successful hotel during the early 20th century, it was used to house refugees during the Yugoslav War. It was brought back to active life in 2005.
The redesign, which includes the reception, lobby and all of the hotel’s 149 rooms and nine suites, was commissioned towards the end of 2016 with a refurbishment of the hotel’s existing restaurant, Porat, due in late 2019.
As guests enter the hotel through the metal revolving door they are met with a double-height reception with tall, arched windows and ceramic flooring in a distinct two-tone diamond pattern, inspired by the old stone streets of the city. From the ceiling hangs a spectacular central chandelier made up of 11, sculptural, globe-shaped and antiqued brass pendant lights, hanging from chains. The walls are clad with inset dove-grey panels at the upper level, with features of moulded timber at ground floor level. Natural light floods the space through the huge-scale arched windows. A three-person reception desk is to the left of entry and features a Carrara marble top and dark-stained timber panelling to the front. The lobby waiting area opposite includes a concierge desk and bespoke furniture, all designed by Goddard Littlefair.
Directly opposite the main entrance is a dramatic archway leading to the ground floor level. This arch is internally clad in panels of antiqued mirroring. The arch leads to a staircase, with a curving brass handrail. To the left, stairs lead to the lower-ground floor where a ballroom, suite of meeting rooms and the hotel’s existing restaurant, Porat, are located, all forming part of a 2019/2020 redesign by Goddard Littlefair. Signage directing the guests is in elegant brass lettering, whilst the corridors are hung with a mixture of contemporary photography of the Dalmation Coast, alongside prints by Croatian artist Raul Perčič.
The stunning public areas, The Lobby Lounge and The Imperial Bar, form a single, flowing space, and are open all day, serving refreshments and light lunches. A bespoke chandelier inspired by 1950s bathing caps features in The Lobby Lounge whilst The Imperial Bar has a bespoke six-armed chandelier in brass with spherical opal glass shades, also designed by Goddard Littlefair. The space features three separate seating arrangements, punctuated with individual rugs in blue and white. Each seating area features a marble-topped table and either fine brass legs or more substantial dark-timber pedestals. The room is lined by a number of high tables for dining. The Imperial Bar has a pronounced deco feel, with its shapes inspired by the arched windows. The bar itself is curved, with a Carrara marble top and a patterned, mosaic bar front, also in marble.
Linking corridors between the guestrooms are carpeted with timber-borders in light oak, with a bespoke design in a subtle blue/grey colour way. The rooms are light and fresh, with classical clean lines and an elegant colour palette of blues and silvers. Flooring is a natural light oak supplied by a local company in Dubrovnik. The beds feature full-height panelled headboards with a blue-painted fame and upholstered in soft gold-silk linen. The bed linen is all in white and the bedside tables alongside are oval-shaped. A range of elegant furniture pieces gives the room a stylish and warm atmosphere. The Imperial Suite contains a living room, dining room, bedroom and bathroom and has great views out from the front second storey of the hotel, overlooking the town’s famous old fort and the sea.
“When we were first commissioned,” commented Martin Goddard, Director and Co-founder of Goddard Littlefair, “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. 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.”
Lower ground floor renovations will be complete later next year.