Hilton London Paddington


Europe, United Kingdom, London

The Hilton London Paddington, formerly the Great Western Royal Hotel, is a hotel that forms part of the Paddington station complex in London, England. The hotel was built on Praed Street in 1851–54 to a design by architect Philip Charles Hardwick, and effectively forms the main facade of the station, closing off the end of the trainshed at the head of the terminal platforms. It was built by Cubitts, the building firm founded by Thomas Cubitt. At Paddington, Hardwick pioneered the Second Empire style for buildings of this type in England. In its original form, the hotel was extensively ornamented inside and outside, and there is a surviving allegorical sculpture in the pediment by John Thomas. The Great Western Railway originally leased the hotel to a subsidiary, the Great Western Royal Hotel Company, which was chaired by their engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel from 1855 until his death in 1859. The railway company took full control of its operation in the later nineteenth century, and in the 1930s extended and remodelled it within and without under the direction of their architect P. A. Culverhouse. In accordance with Government policies on privatization of British Rail, it was sold to the private sector in 1983. It was refurbished and reopened under its present name, as part of the Hilton Hotels chain, in 2001.