Hilton hotel honours Sunderland's shipbuilding heritage

The Laing meeting room
The Laing meeting room
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The manager at Sunderland's newest hotel has spoken of how the venue doffs its cap to the city's industrial history.

Built on the site of Wearmouth Colliery, the Hilton Garden Inn is the first of its kind to open between Birmingham and Glasgow and one of only a handful currently operating across the UK.

One of the industry-named suites

One of the industry-named suites

While adhering to the global brand’s exacting standards, the property also incorporates a number of personalised references honouring Sunderland’s proud industrial past.

This includes four large bedroom suites, as well as three meeting rooms and a destination restaurant, all named with a nod to the city’s former prominence in mining and shipbuilding.

The hotel’s largest meeting room is named after Wearside’s most famous shipyard, The Laing, which traded for more than 300 years.

Its smaller counterparts, The Menville and The Doxford, were named after the first recorded ship builder in Sunderland, Thomas Menville, and one of the city’s most successful ship builders, William Doxford, who won the blue ribbon for the world’s highest production rate in both 1904 and 1907.

Upstairs, the shipbuilding theme continues in two of the bedroom suites.

This includes the Andhorina Suite, named after the largest sailing ship ever built on the nearby River Wear and the Marguerita Suite, named after the last tall ship to be built in the region in 1893.

The two remaining suites, which are among 141 bedrooms in the hotel overall, pay homage to Sunderland’s coal mining heritage, with tributes to the original colliery on which the hotel is built, Pemberton, which later became Wearmouth. Meanwhile, Lambton is named after the family who owned mines on the land.

The site's restaurant, Karbon, is also a play on carbon, in reference to the coal mining industry.

Kim Kelso, general manager for the Hilton Garden Inn, Sunderland, said: “Sunderland has a long and proud industrial heritage and we wanted to pay tribute to that within the new Hilton Garden Inn.

“Not only have we named several suites and our restaurant after key figures in shipbuilding and coal mining, but we’ve also commissioned specialist artwork from National Glass Centre as a tribute to the city’s expertise in glass manufacturing.

“We hope that visitors from around the world will make the most of their visit to this very modern, state-of-the-art hotel and enjoy learning a little more about the city’s history at the same time.”