If Diane Tapner-Evans was broken in two like a piece of seaside rock, you’d see three words. Richmond Hill Hotel! Speaking with such passion and pride following the successful re-launch, Diane’s eyes sparkle with excitement as she shares details of the near £7m refurbishment programme.
Hospitality and hotels are in her blood and except for a couple of years “sabbatical” at a Windsor Hotel, Diane has been living and breathing her “lovely old lady” for over 25 years as Operations, Food & Beverage, Restaurant and latterly General Manager. A BSC in Catering Administration and Management from Bournemouth University was a great academic start to Tapner-Evan’s career. But interestingly it was the world of insurance and the bright lights of central London that initially beckoned, before a year later her first love of hotels was too strong to ignore. Rising quickly through the operational ranks at the Richmond Hill to GM, Diane has seen some real changes during the past two decades, but perhaps none more so than the recent exciting major investment in the restaurant and bedrooms.
A BIT ABOUT Richmond Hill Hotel:
A rural retreat on London’s leafy doorstep, Richmond Hill Hotel’s £6.7m capital investment programme, re-asserts the hotel as a go to destination for conferences and events in the Greater London area. Devised by award-winning K&H Design, the refurbishment has drawn on Richmond’s wider influences that have inspired artists and writers for hundreds of years. The independent 144-bedroom Georgian townhouse (‘sister hotel’ to the Grand in Brighton) has seen 69 bedrooms individually designed. Bedrooms feature Heal’s king-size beds with furniture commissioned to fit each individual room style and deep free-standing baths or spacious walk in showers. As part of its environmental commitment Richmond Hill has implemented a series of sustainability initiatives including energy saving key systems, dimmers and low energy lighting and the Grade II listed windows have been sympathetically restored and repurposed to retain heat.
Comments General Manager Diana Tapner-Evans: “It was important that the designers sympathetically considered the Georgian history of the building and the local surroundings. Richmond has a been a source of inspiration for world famous artists and writers over the years and these influences have been incorporated throughout the design process. Even the bedroom hanging hooks have been designed by local blacksmith Joshua de Lisle to create bespoke detailing linked to the nearby Richmond Gate.”
The Georgian townhouse has clearly been re-designed for both business and leisure guests, an oasis of space providing solace and escape for those that want it whilst remaining close to central London and Heathrow Airport for organisers looking for a stylish boutique venue to hold a conference or meeting.
The emphasis on service delivery has not changed, something close to Diane’s heart as a former Operations Manager. “We can offer a total bespoke service for any event. And as an independent hotel we don’t have to conform to certain chain brand standards enabling us to tailor our service each time to our delegates and guests.”