Plans to replace Royal Docks floating hotel with eco-friendly boat

PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 October 2020

Artist's impression of the proposed new hotel. Picture: Sunborn International

Artist's impression of the proposed new hotel. Picture: Sunborn International

Sunborn International

A floating hotel in the Royal Docks could be replaced with an eco-friendly boat with an increased capacity.

The Sunborn London Yacht Hotel. Picture: Sunborn InternationalThe Sunborn London Yacht Hotel. Picture: Sunborn International

The Sunborn London Yacht Hotel, which is currently moored close to the ExCeL, hopes to replace its current vessel with a specially-designed alternative.

Planning documents submitted to Newham Council indicate that the new hotel could cater for up to 446 guests at a time, up from the 272-visitor capacity the current boat has.

The purpose-built replacement would be 133m long - a slight increase on the 119m boat currently moored - but would remain the same width and height.

It would see the number of decks increase from six to seven, allowing the number of cabins to also rise from 138 rooms to as many as 223.

Of these, 23 would be designated as accessible, an increase on the current 10.

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Hans Niemi, the executive director of Sunborn, said that the company was “super excited” about the new boat, which is intended to replace the existing one at some point in 2022.

He said: “We want to create something at the forefront of what a hotel in 2020 should be.

“We want to make it more accessible, and we have redesigned the room layouts to create more cabins.”

He added that a purpose-built boat had been part of the company’s long-term plans for some time, and had been made feasable after operating at around 85 per cent capacity for the last couple of years.

Planning documents state: “The replacement yacht is a high quality, modern, stylish, purpose-built and highly sustainable floating hotel for the London market that would contribute to the continued regeneration of the area and would fit comfortably within the dockyard and maritime environment, adjacent to modern high-rise buildings and the large modern ExCeL Centre and footbridge.”

Among the sustainable features are a thermal energy storage centre, a water source heat pump and solar panels.

The current hotel opened in 2014 and has as well as restaurants, bars and a spa - all of which would continue to exist in the new boat.

The new hotel would also be angled away from the dock edge in order to improve public visibility and space around it.

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