How Hideout hotel offers a window into some of Hull's most creative companies
Georgia Allenby outside the new Hideout hotel in Hull city centre
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 9 Aug 2017
From locally-produced paper and coffee coasters to handmade-in-Hull sofas and bedside tables, Hideout Hotel offers a window into some of Hull’s most creative companies.
The boutique hotel, which is now open in North Church Side, features 15 one and two bedroom apartments and is such a showcase of Hull’s brilliance that during my visit I almost forgot Hideout was a real, live operation.
Until the cleaning team popped their heads around the door, reminding me the venue is very much open for business.
The project has been developed by Hull-based family firm Allenby Commercial.
Manager Georgia Allenby, who has been responsible for the design and interior of the apartments, said: “I knew from day one I wanted to source as many products as possible from the local area, but even I was surprised at how much ended up being made in and around the city.
“It made me cringe to think I might be giving money to a massive manufacturing firm in Spain that I had never spoken to before when they are so many great companies in Hull.
“Hull businesses don’t tend to shout about their achievements, so tracking firms down was the hardest part.
“Once I had found them, however, they made it easy, and the quality has been fantastic – we are delighted with the results.”
Hideout follows the theme of ‘home from home’ – with a Hull twist.
As I stepped through the front door into one of the apartments, I was greeted by a kitchen complete with all mod cons.
There are framed pictures and photographs on the wall – all from Hull, of course, and available for guests to buy – as well as a lounging area, featuring a sofa and coffee tables with chairs.
This then led into the bedroom area with bespoke beds, handmade tables and an ensuite bathroom featuring handmade organic toiletries and bathroom mirrors made by Picture Frames and Art in Cleveland Street.
Ms Allenby, who has a background in graphic design, said: “Pretty much everything has been sourced locally – I ended up getting a bit carried away.
“The sofas were made less than 2 miles away by the Chais Longue Company, who were brilliant. They sat with me and sketched the design and worked with me right through the finished product.
“The bedside tables and coasters were also made locally, by Blok CNC in Hedon Road, and the kitchen work tops and carcasses were made in Barton.
“We source coffee from The Blending Room in Hull, and guests can order hampers, which include fresh food and chocolates from Trinity Market, whereas the retro furniture is from Hull charity Emmaus or local charity shops.”
GF Smith – the Hull company that provided paper for features like the hotel’s welcome notes – also shares an interesting link with the premises.
The site is where Thomas James Smith founded what was to become Smith and Nephew, and there is a blue plaque outside to commemorate this.
Thomas shared the offices with his brother, George Frederick Smith, who founded GF Smith.
Ms Allenby said: “GF Smith have been fantastic. As part of City of Culture, GF Smith did Paper City and brought their London staff to Hull. They all stayed here for two weeks, and saw the blue plaque outside, so it was a really nice link.”
Ms Allenby said the idea behind a boutique hotel had been on the cards for about five years, however Hull being named as City of Culture gave the company the added push to drive forward the plans.
“We bought the building with a an apartment hotel in mind,” she said. “It is just a fantastic location, with each room overlooking the minister. Had we not gone ahead with these plans, we felt it would be successful as offices, however we felt it was something Hull wanted and needed.
“People like to have their own space, their own part of a city which is a ‘home from home’ from which they can explore their surroundings.
“Our research showed us all other cities had this type of offering, and yet Hull didn’t.
“Because more people are visiting Hull for City of Culture, we have seen weekend bookings grow quite organically, and we are seeing corporate bookings grow too.”
Though City of Culture is bringing a boost to Hideout’s occupancy rates, Ms Allenby said that like the culture celebrations themselves,
Hideout is designed to be part of Hull’s landscape for the long haul.
“The City of Culture may only last a year but the effects will carry on as a result of all the positive changes being made to the city, and local businesses have a huge part to play in this,” she said. “The city needs businesses to show their confidence in Hull and invest in new things.
“As a business, we are passionate about Hull and like to invest here.
“About 90 per cent of our portfolio is in the city.
“Hideout is completely new for us; we have never done a hotel before, so this is a first, but hopefully it will not be the last.”