BHN speaks to Lina Zakzeckyte, general manager at Hart Shoreditch London, a Curio Collection by Hilton hotel, about supporting the local community.
• What makes Hart Shoreditch different from the other Curio Collection by Hilton properties in London?
Hart Shoreditch is part of the Curio Collection, where the DNA of each hotel in the portfolio are ‘one-of-a-kind hotels handpicked for their unique character’ and very much focused on their destination. Hart Shoreditch embodies this uniqueness and sets itself apart by being based in East London. The hotel has a strong interior design that pulls greatly upon the craftsmanship, history, and community of its area. The design and furnishings are all from local designers that have their own special stories and meanings behind them, making the hotel truly one of a kind.
• Some iconic hotels within the neighbourhood sadly closed as a result of the pandemic. Do you see opportunity to reinvent the local hospitality scene, and if so how?
Rather than reinventing, we see this as an opportunity to further develop the culture for local businesses within the neighbourhood, and as a hospitality business our aim is to make sure everybody feels welcome at the hotel. Given the nature of our brand and ethos, we want to make travellers that stay with us at Hart feel a part of the Shoreditch area and East London community. F&B outlets play a big part of this experience alongside the hotel’s space; people want to socialise and have these new experiences together in an area that has so much going on all the time.
• The hotel has coworking space and meeting rooms which are listed on remote working membership platforms such as Othership. What prompted the decision to partner with a third-party company? How is the hotel generating revenue from the partnership?
Again, our reasons to promote our remote working spaces was to develop and support the neighbourhood by welcoming local residents and encouraging them to work around our communal table or bar area. Shoreditch is so strong for creativity. It has lots of small businesses from creative marketing agencies to start-ups/SMEs, as well as Fintech with Silicon Roundabout in Old Street. As a result, we welcome a host of local talent. Supporting each other and other business within the community has always been at the core of what we do, which has held even more weight and importance since the pandemic.
• Do you think business travel has been fundamentally transformed, and what does this mean for independent lifestyle hotels?
I think it has highlighted the ‘work and play/play and work’ balance even more. Nowadays, people want to have a good balance of working as well as having fun, taking time to be mindful and move at a slower pace both physically, mentally and work wise. People want flexible, new and creative ways and spaces in which to work together. At Hart we are able to offer, and strive to offer, this mix to our clientele.
• How are you driving demand for the hotel’s on-site restaurant and bar versus local dining venues?
While our hotel dining outlets fit naturally within the Shoreditch area and the location’s laidback and relaxed atmosphere, they equally have their own unique and distinct identity. Whilst Barboun and Tavla both compliment the local offerings they tell their own story and offer something uniquely refreshing.
Barboun, our spacious Eastern Mediterranean restaurant is extremely popular for brunches and attracts people from all over London to the East, with the famous Shakshuka dish proving a firm favourite amongst visitors. The Tavla bar provides a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere where our guests can enjoy a light snack, a Turkish coffee cooked over hot sand, and some local music from emerging talent with carefully selected vinyl DJs setting the tone for the evening in a contemporary setting.