The Radisson SAS Waterfront Hotel in St Helier in Jersey is one of the newest hotel developments in Jersey with excellent views over Elizabeth Marina, Elizabeth Castle and St Aubin’s Bay. The sought-after reclaimed site on the waterfront has been the subject of controversy over the last ten years since the site was also a target for the construction of social housing (Waterfront Enterprise Boards redevelopment zone).
However, even though there have been problems and delays the £22m six-storey Radisson opened in November 2007, after construction began in January 2006.
The climate for the construction of new hotels on the island is less than ideal with hotel room numbers diminishing from the 1980s high of 26,000 to a lowlier current figure of around 9,000. This is because tourists and visitors have gone elsewhere with more competitive holiday prices. The new hotel is being operated by Radisson SAS on a 20-year management contract.
The four-star hotel was designed by EPR Architects for Jersey Waterfront Hotel Development Limited. The main contractor was Camerons, a subsidiary of the Garenne Group and the glazing of the hotel was carried out by Contracting South. The engineer for the construction of the hotel was Peter Brett Associates.
The interior designer was Scott Brownrigg who has given the hotel a contemporary feel with simple colour schemes, a sea-themed carpet (ripples and seahorse design), an abundant use of natural light, a large aquarium (Martello Bar), highlighted colours in furniture and smoked glass sliding doors.
The bathrooms, precast concrete room panels and also much of the electrical and mechanical elements were assembled and tested in the UK before being shipped to Jersey. The prefabricated technology allowed the project to be completed nine months earlier than expected. It also meant that only 80 construction personnel were required on site each week instead of 120.
The concrete pod bathrooms in ensuite facilities were supplied by Directory Company E. J. Badekabiner. The hotel uses direct-gas-fired water heaters from Lochinvar. There are five Charger CE600 water heaters and five LST166 energy-saving cylinders to provide hot water for the 195 bedrooms, and also the health centre and swimming-pool facilities. NG Bailey provided the mechanical installation services at the hotel.
The hotel has 195 rooms and suites designed in three distinct styles – Chic, At Home and Fashion. The rooms have a range of luxury facilities such as flat screen LCD televisions, free high-speed internet access (E@sy Connect Service concept) and individual climate control. There is a smoke-free policy across the hotel.
Standard rooms come in beige and brown ‘At Home’ or red and grey ‘Chic’ decor. The Business Class rooms also include marina views, free movies and a Nespresso machine, with pods for coffee, tea and hot chocolate. There are 14 suites, which are decorated in ‘Fashion’ style. These have contemporary high-end furnishings and all the amenities in the Business Class rooms, and the decor is in vibrant reds, oranges and browns.
There are five large meeting rooms, the largest of which can cater for 400 in a theatre-style arrangement and 280 for a banquet. The boardroom on the fifth floor has excellent views of the marina and coastline with a large curved window running the full length. Rooms can also be divided for smaller meeting spaces (full business centre). The main conferencing area spans 350m² and can be divided into three separate meeting rooms while the pre-function area is 180m².
The hotel also has a 386m² signature health suite with swimming pool, spa (sauna, steam room and several private treatment rooms) and fitness equipment. There are also several restaurants, a coffee lounge and lobby lounge, and a jazz club.
Verres en Vers is a modern French Brasserie with all-day dining including the 120-dish breakfast super buffet, lunch and dinner aperitifs and a wide range of wines. The Martello Bar on the ground floor is the hotel’s signature bar with a floor-to-ceiling tropical aquarium. The bar serves light meals and a full range of drinks.
The glazing of the hotel was carried out by Contracting South and included curved curtain walling for the rotunda structure over the rear entrance of the hotel. This was put in place to give some of the suites a superior view over the marina.
In other areas of the hotel there are Technal Fxi windows installed into custom made horizontal and vertical aluminium pressings which have been anodised to resist corrosion from the harsh marine environment. The glazing specification throughout the hotel has been SGG PLANITHERM FUTUR N and SGG PARSOL green.