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Now open: Seychelles eco camp comprised of recycled shipping containers

Hamish Kilburn

The new Cosmoledo Eco Camp in the Seychelles has been designed to minimise impact on the environment while maximising guest comfort… 

Part of the exceptional and adventurous, brand-new Blue Safari Seychelles concept, Cosmoledo Atoll has opened. The resort is comprised of just eight sympathetically restored shipping containers which adhere to the ecological ethos of Blue Safari Seychelles and have been repurposed and intelligently redesigned to form luxury accommodations in the untouched atolls in the Seychelles.

Cosmoledo Eco Camp is the only accommodation available in the wild Cosmoledo Atoll, a cluster of 21 islands located 1,030km (560 nautical miles) from the Seychelles main island of Mahé. It is one of the most remote groups of outer islands in the Seychelles, its perimeter covered with vast, sand flats dotted with islands of various shapes and sizes. A nature lover’s paradise, the ecosystem is pristine and unspoilt.

“Interiors use local woods and a palette of soft neutrals to ensure each pod blends in seamlessly with the sand, surrounding palm trees and dune shrubs.”

Cosmoledo Eco Camp forms part of the new Blue Safari Seychelles concept, which aims to promote conservation of the outer atolls through low-impact eco-tourism projects. It is committed to the preservation and protection of the natural resources of the Seychelles outer islands.

Each of the eight Eco Pods has been beautifully designed to minimise environmental impact while maximising guest comfort. Interiors use local woods and a palette of soft neutrals to ensure each pod blends in seamlessly with the sand, surrounding palm trees and dune shrubs.

A fully retractable front wall means guests can look right out onto the ocean from every aspect and enjoy sea breezes – although air-conditioning is available – and the covered terrace makes a blissful spot to share a drink as the waves lap nearby. Old tree trunks have been repurposed as tables and fishing nets as hanging lamps.

“The camp is completely eco-friendly with the eco-pods sitting on precast plinths rather than cement slabs. All the amenities are eco-friendly, and all cleaning products are fully biodegradable,” explains owner Keith Rose-Innes. “The entire eco-camp can be completely removed without any footprint. It is temporary, and we have chosen the best possible position where there are no nesting birds.”

The Cosmoledo Atoll is famous for its blue waters and fly fishing, with many Giant Trevally, Milkfish, Bonefish and Barracudas in the waters. The undiscovered section of coast is full of raw coral reefs.

Each Eco Pod in Cosmoledo Eco Camp sleeps two adults, has 38 square meters of space.

Roca puts the spotlight on the mirrors, mirrors on the wall

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Bathroom specialist Roca puts strong focus on mirrors and cabinets ahead of SLEEP + EAT on November 20 – 21

Mirrors are a vital addition to the bathroom space – it’s incredible how a seemingly simple accessory can reflect light, create a stylish design feature and bring functionality to the room.

Hotel Designs Recommended Supplier Roca has a range of mirrored cabinets in a variety of shapes and styles, offering hoteliers additional benefits, such as LED lighting and clever storage solutions to suit all bathroom sizes. Every design detail is covered, from easy fittings down to integrated demisters to prevent condensation collecting on the mirror.

Iridia mirrors provide a luxurious addition to any bathroom setting, with integrated LED lights creating an illuminated ambiance, perfect for those daily rituals. They are available in several sizes, in rectangular or round shapes and can be hung horizontally or vertically on a wall, offering a flexible design solution. The full range comes with perimetral LED lighting as well as a demister device.

The new Sol mirrored cabinets are the ideal solution to create extra storage and maximise the wall area available. Sol is a range of aluminium mirrored cabinets available in two variants, Sol and Sol Premium. Sol mirrored cabinets feature external lighting, shaver socket and adjustable shelves. Sol Premium cabinets feature all of the same functions as the standard cabinets with the addition of an internal light and integrated demister pads.

Roca will exhibit at Sleep + Eat on stand J11 where it will unveil its new bathroom collection. Roca are one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Westin Brisbane: rewriting the approach to luxe hotels

Hamish Kilburn
With its evolution of the hotel check-in, and grounded in a deep sense of place, Woods Bagot has designed a new, luxe prototype with Brisbane’s latest luxury hotel…

At the newly opened The Westin Brisbane guests are welcomed in the luxe lobby on the ground floor, which flows into the hotel’s street side jazz bar.

Woods Bagot principal and hotel sector leader (Australia) Bronwyn McColl explained that the ground floor hospitality is deliberately designed to merge with the street, encouraging local use, and to feel more like a part of the public realm than a traditional hotel.

“With hotel guests co-mingling across the entire ground level with neighbourhood locals and residents from the apartments above [1], Westin is rewriting the hyper-local approach to hotel operation,” said McColl.

Making the most of Brisbane’s sub-tropical climate, the port cochere has been moved to the side to allow the food and beverage venues to take centre stage and spill out directly onto the street for outdoor dining all year round.

Cascading landscape protects the edge, enlivens the street frontage and screens diners and guests from the bustle of Mary Street. From the street to the interior and through to the hotel lobby, the transition from café/ bar through to check-in is seamless.

“Guests will feel the authenticity of a truly local experience. They are having coffee, a drink or dining in the same place as the locals, creating opportunity for chance encounters and incidental conversations, which can spark business opportunities and friendships,” McColl said.

Nestled in the heart of the city, The Westin Brisbane offers a unique, urban retreat for leisure and business travellers who put their health and wellness first. The resort facilities are designed for guests to live Westin’s wellness mantra, ensuring they leave feeling restored and better than when they arrived.

“Any time spent in the gym will uplift you. Bathed in Brisbane’s beautiful sunshine there are views to the pool, the lush landscape and to the terrace spaces designed for yoga, stretching and personal training sessions,” said McColl.

The day spa is a place of sanctuary, for indulgence, escape and rejuvenation. Hand crafted elements speak of luxury, with a materials palette of natural and textured materials. Curved timber walls and polished plaster are draped with fabric which cocoons guests as it draws them through the space. The design is sophisticated, evoking a sense of refuge and ritual.

The opening of The Westin Brisbane, marks the brand’s debut in Queensland, Australia. . It also marks the unveiling of Australia’s first Heavenly Spa by Westin™, WestinWORKOUT® Fitness Studio and large resort style swimming pool overlooking the city skyline.

“It’s a great feeling to bring the Westin brand and its empowering commitment to health and wellness to Brisbane – a city which is equally passionate about healthy living,” said Brad Mercer, general manager of The Westin Brisbane. “We will lead the wellness revolution in Brisbane, bringing new stylish accommodation and a range of well-being experiences and amenities to the city.”

Designed to capture the laid-back sophistication of the city, the hotel offers 299 guest rooms and suites with floor to ceiling windows, bathing the rooms in natural light.

“Working across both the architecture and interior design has enormous value for the integrated design quality and overall sustainability. With elements like sun shading, orientation of the building and facades, ventilation, balconies and overhangs, we could be quite deliberate in the decisions to optimise the passive sustainability,” said McColl. “Being a new building gave us scope early in the design process to marry sustainability with the values of health and wellness.”

References available upon request

Row of derelict Liverpool townhouses transformed into boutique hotel

Hamish Kilburn
After a two-year renovation, Lock & Key, a 14-key hotel, has breathed new life into listed Georgian buildings in Liverpool’s Ropewalks neighbourhood…

Ropewalks is an area in central Liverpool known for its long, straight cobbled streets that run in parallel lines, which allowed rope manufacturers to lay ropes out lengthways during production. Today, the area is well known for its creative businesses and independent shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. Most recently, though, a row of townhouses that have been converted into a boutique hotel is helping the area thrive.

Time has preserved its excellent location — now a strategic position for a hotel – on the main thoroughfare of Duke Street between Liverpool One shopping district, the bars and restaurants of Bold Street, and the cathedrals and theatres of the city’s Georgian Quarter.

The building was purchased by local developers Andrew Spencer, Tom Bower and Michael Connolly in 2015. They opened Lock & Key bar in Autumn 2017, and the hotel is due to open a year later in early December 2018.

“We fell in love with the character and history of the property,” explains Spencer, whose previous projects have been for the residential market; “and have worked hard to retain as many of the original period features as possible. The central location is ideal for tourists and business travellers”.

It has taken hard work and dedication to preserve the building’s character – not to mention a lot of cash. The Georgian shop windows have been faithfully restored, along with the original staircase, and, for as much as is possible, the layout. Fourteen bedrooms are spread across three floors, with petite wet rooms cleverly tucked into the eaves and wardrobes occupying cubby holes and dead spaces.

The decor is somewhat of a departure from the city’s current hotel offering of dockland-chic; minimalist apart-hotel; and hen-night-glam styles. With deep skirting painted in deep Farrow and Ball shades, peacock coloured velvets and brass hardware, the interiors evoke a sense of contemporary heritage that Liverpool has been long missing. It’s fair to say that what the hotel lacks in facilities (guests will find no guest lounge, pool nor gym here), it makes up in aesthetics.

The front entrance is rather modest – it’s completely separate from Lock & Key Bar, whose entrance is more prominent on the corner of the block. From the reception area, a staircase – enrobed in a thick-pile, chevron-patterned carpet – leads to eight bedrooms above, while a further six are to be found along the ground floor corridor and up the rear staircase. The rooms vary in size from little to large. All feature bespoke velvet headboards; some are clad in wallpaper sourced from the likes of House of Hackney and NLXL; and most offer a brass cocktail trolley loaded with local spirits and cut crystal glasses. Bathrooms are concealed behind pocket doors, and feature rainfall showers and full-size toiletries.

Breakfast is taken in the bar next door. Already established, the bar – which operates under the same name – is another small-but-perfectly-formed space that attracts locals and passing visitors with a bistro-type menu, good cocktail list and calendar of events that includes jazz nights and whiskey tastings. As in the rest of the hotel, its staff are friendly, attentive and confident.

Behind the design are local interiors duo House of Sloane. Gemma Tate and Lea Sloane are based between Liverpool and Manchester, and have worked on a number of residential and commercial projects across the UK. They are also accomplished furniture designers, with a small range of bespoke-made sofas and chairs under their belts. Their signature velvet cocktail chairs can be found in each guest room, and their unique approach and thoughtful touches are evident throughout the hotel.

“We were immediately struck by Lea and Gemma’s true passion for design. They were different to other interior designers, and have gone the extra mile in every aspect of their work,” says Spencer, who is delighted with the aesthetic outcome of the project; “they have realised our original vision and enhanced it far beyond what we thought was possible given the nature of the building, as well as budget and time restraints.”

To achieve all this, the owners have invested some half a million pounds. That is a lot of money to spend on a hotel in a regional city — but Liverpool is no ordinary place. The Albert Dock has recently been awarded royal status and is home to a Tate gallery, the independent scene is thriving, and the city is consistently named as one of the top ten best places to live in the UK. While tourists flock to visit the Beatles museum, Cavern Club, and haunts of the fab four, creatives are pulled in by affordable work spaces, world-class exhibitions and a vibrant digital economy.




SPOTLIGHT ON: Reaching new creative heights with artist Beth Nicholas

768 513 Hamish Kilburn

Having created striking artwork for some of the world’s most stylish interiors, was The Address Downtown artist Beth Nicholas’ most challenging project to date? Editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn sits down with the artist to find out more…

Known artist Beth Nicholas is used to seeing her masterpieces on the walls of some of the world’s finest examples of hotel design. Among working with clients such as Christian Louboutin, Langham Hotels and Waldorf Astoria, one of the most challenging briefs came recently when she was asked to create a large art installation for The Address Downtown Dubai‘s lobby area. I was fortunate enough to catch up with Nicholas after the hotel had reopened and she could finally take a sigh of relief now that her art is the first impression for guests checking in.

Hamish Kilburn: What was the design brief?

Beth Nicholas: Essentially, I was just asked to paint big, really big. I have never had a commission that was 8.5 metres before – and it was gob-smacking figuring out how to do that. I don’t tend to get design briefs from clients that often. What I get instead is people asking me about specific colours. With The Address Downtown we developed a colourway that had both silver and gold in it, as well as my iconic blue.

Soho Myriad, who were the art consultants for that, really like to challenge their artists. Quite often, they ask you to produce something larger than what you would usually go, but this particular project took that to new heights, literally. I don’t think they have ever commissioned anything quite that large.

“Honestly, I have never seen marble like it; it’s utterly beautiful!”


HK: In regards to this particular project, what inspired you? 

BN: Honestly, I have never seen marble like it; it’s utterly beautiful! There is some marble in that entrance lobby that is purple and they have split the marble down the middle and turned it. The result is like a mirror image, a bit like when you were a child and folded paper over paint. My work resembles that material in a lot of ways with a lot of natural formations that are very similar to some of the lines and shapes within marble. I had been given a lot of information about the space and the rest of the colours that were used in the hotel. That inspired the work.

“To be honest, everything that could go wrong did go wrong.”

HK: How long did it take?

The brief came about a year and half before I produced the work. The production of the pieces took three months, and my normal technique did not work. To be honest, everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I had to hire a warehouse outside Newport. It was an old, former carpet warehouse and there were holes in the ceiling. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was Autumn, so the rain had started. I would come into the space in the morning to find raindrops on my work. On top of this, I had to essentially create a new technique because my usual technique did not work at that scale. That was terrifying.

On top of all of that, my work takes a while to dry. As the weather was getting worse, my pieces would take longer to dry and I was running out of time. As a solution, I hired massive turbo air dryers – it looked like a scene out of Singing In The Rain – and eventually I figured it out, but it was certainly a challenge.

“I often think of my work in relation to that beautiful Japanese pottery, where they fill the gaps with gold.”

HK: Tell me more about how Wabi-Sabi has influenced your technique

BN: I have been in love with the aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi for a long time. Every time I describe what it means, it’s different. Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese concept that is very difficult to translate into English. Part of Wabi-Sabi is to appreciate the concept of transients that move and shape over time. I often think of my work in relation to that beautiful Japanese pottery, where they fill the gaps with gold. If you look at my work, you see similar cracks as you do in ceramics. I can’t produce a painting that is exactly the same as the last one, and so my work is very detailed. So Wabi-Sabi, for me, is the exploration of how things have changed and developed, which is why there is so my synergy between my work and the environment.

Nicholas’ work is evocative of oceans and the minerals beneath the earth as well as aerial photographs. The paintings are rendered in ink and applied to sheets of paper which are illuminated from behind, further enhancing their impact.

Since launching her eponymously-named company, Beth Nicholas Studios, in 2009, Nicholas’s paintings have won plaudits for their beauty and originality, are created through a unique method which she constantly evolves through trial and experimentation.

Image Credits: Portrait of Beth Nicholas © Mae Maciver; Beth Nicholas art commission at Address Downtown, Dubai, June 2018 © Nicolas Dumont, courtesy of Address Downtown ”



THE BRIT LIST 2018: Just two weeks to go

Hamish Kilburn
In just two weeks, the leading interior designers, hoteliers, architects and key-industry suppliers will gather at The Brit List 2018…

There are still limited tickets available to attend The Brit List 2018 on November 2018 at BEAT London. The evening will welcome Britain’s leading interior designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers to celebrate Britain as an international design hub in hotel design. As well as unveiling the 75 most influential designers, hoteliers and architects who deserve their place in The Brit List 2018Hotel Designs will also announce the winners of the six newly launched awards. These include:

  • Inspiration in Design – Innovative use of Technology (Sponsored by DLAppTap)
  • Inspiration in Design – Hotelier of the Year
  • Inspiration in Design – Interior Designer of the Year (Sponsored by Tarkett)
  • Inspiration in Design – Architect of the Year
  • The Eco Award
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hotel Industry

Managing Director of RPW Design Ariane Steinbeck, Managing Director of WATG (London) Martin Peace, Director of Goddard Littlefair Jo Littlefair and Chairman of Bespoke Hotels Robin Sheppard are all among the names confirmed to attend The Brit List 2018.

How to attend

To register you’re interested in purchasing tickets, would like to talk about sponsorship opportunities, or to request the latest attendee list, please contact Katy Phillips on 01992 374050 or via email by clicking here.

If you are an interior designer, hotelier or architect you can book tickets for £20+vat per person here

If you are a supplier to the hotel industry you can book tickets for £175+vat per person here

Event timings: 6.30 p.m. – 10.30 p.m.

6.30 p.m. Welcome drinks are served
7.00 p.m. Welcome speech from Hotel Designs Editor, Hamish Kilburn, to include unveiling of The Brit List 2018 winners
7.15 p.m. Canapés are served
7.15 p.m. Headline speaker, Charles Leon, Leon Black Interior Architecture addresses the Brit List 2018 – Britain’s position in international hotel design and hospitality post-Brexit
7.30 p.m. Awards presentation commences
8.00 p.m. Headline speaker, Moritz Waldemeyer, Studio Moritz Waldemeyer addresses The Brit List 2018 – Hotel lighting; how it has changed in recent times and how is lighting technology allowing for more creative interiors
8.15 p.m. Celebrations and networking

BRIT LIST 2018 Industry Partner: British Institute of Interior Design

BRIT LIST 2018 Event Sponsor: Hamilton Litestat

BRIT LIST 2018 Supporting Partner: Studio Moritz Waldemeyer

BRIT LIST 2018 Award Sponsor: Inspiration in Design – Interior Designer of the Year: Tarkett

Tarkett Logo

The Brit List 2018 Innovation In Technology Award sponsor: DLAppTap


DLAppTap confirmed as sponsor of The Brit List 2018 Innovation In Technology Award

Hamish Kilburn
The newly launched app, which has been confirmed as the official sponsor of The Brit List 2018 Innovation In Technology Award, helps improve and revolutionise revenue streams for hospitality retail…

Following its official launch at the Independent Hotel Show last month, DLAppTap has been confirmed as the official Sponsor of the Innovation In Technology Award at the The Brit List 2018.

Taking place at BEAT London on November 22, The Brit List 2018 will welcome the industry’s leaders and visionaries and will unveil the top 75 influential interior designers, hoteliers and architects as well as unveiling the winners of the newly launched six new awards.

The award of which the company will sponsor, Inspiration in Design – Innovative use of Technology, has been launched at The Brit List 2018 in order to amplify the finest example of technology within hotel design and was judged by a leading panel of hotel design experts, including the President and Past President of the British Institute of Interior Design.

The innovative iPhone and iPad app allows hotels to easily sell their products to guests in their properties without the need for in-house retail operations. With DLAppTap, hotels can capitalise on new revenue streams, achieve ROI from refurbishments and improve and provide higher levels of guest-centric services.

“Having seen the impressive guest list for The Brit List 2018, we are proud to support Hotel Designs recognising and celebrating the industry’s most influential interior designers, hoteliers and architects working in Britain today,” said Justin Kandiah, Director of DLAppTap. “With technology evolving at such a rapid pace within international hotel design, we are proud to sponsor this year’s Tech Award and look forward to my partner, Jane Moriarty, and I handing out the trophy to the winner on the evening.”

How to attend this year’s Brit List and join the elite!

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to meet the top hoteliers, interior designers and architects at The Brit List, click here to book your place.

If you are a buyer to the hospitality industry (architect, designer or hotelier) and would like to attend The Brit List 2018, click here to book your place.

To discuss the various sponsorship packages still available, please contact Katy Phillips on +44(0)1992 374050

The Brit List 2018 Innovation In Technology Award sponsor: DLAppTap

Trump Hotels’ prices down as much as 65 per cent

640 400 Hamish Kilburn
The cheapest room rate found at Trump Doral in Florida is just £254 for two nights in November 2018, that’s 35 per cent cheaper than last year and 65 per cent cheaper than January 2017 at Donald Trump’s inauguration…

Travel currency expert FairFX, has revealed the cost of a stay in Trump hotels around the world has dramatically dropped since Trump’s inauguration, as American voters hit the polls again for the USA’s mid-term elections – showing it doesn’t necessarily pay to be president.

Two years on from Donald Trump’s shock election victory, the outcome of these votes could affect how the rest of Trump’s presidency turns out and are considered a test of the President’s time in office so far.

Outside of his political performance, FairFX has investigated the success of the President’s hotel empire, revealing the price of a luxury room at his hotels have dropped by as much as 65 per cent since his inauguration in January 2017 and are down by 35 per cent since this time last year. This research suggests that the success of the Trump brand could be being impacted by Trump’s time at the White House.

“Even the most expensive room at a Trump hotel – the Trump Townhouse – is down £8,813 for a 2-night stay in November 2018.”

Of the 22 room prices tracked since Trump’s inauguration, 17 of them have slumped by between 10 per cent and 65 per cent with an average price slump of £865.

The dramatic slump in hotel prices could go some way to explaining how the president – who became the first billionaire president in U.S. history when he took office – was knocked 138 places lower on this year’s Forbes 400 list where his net worth was listed as $3.1billion, down $1.4billion compared to the end of 2015.1

Even the most expensive room at a Trump hotel – the Trump Townhouse – is down £8,813 for a 2-night stay in November 2018 at £38,687 compared to the £47,501 price tag it boasted in January 2017.

Meanwhile, a stay in the Presidential Suite in the Trump Doral in Florida comes in at £4,936 less than January 2017 – a difference of 35 per cent. And compared to this time last year, the price tag is 19 per cent less.

But it’s not just the premium suites that have taken a price hit, superior and deluxe rooms are also being sold at much cheaper rates compared to the start of Trump’s presidency.

A two-night stay in a ‘Superior Room’ at both Trump Las Vegas and Trump Vancouver is now £342 and £314 respectively cheaper than it would have been back in January 2017.

And it seems that some room prices are slumping around the world, as the price of a Deluxe Room at either Trump Waikiki in Hawaii or Trump Turnberry in Scotland is now two per cent less than January 2017, with a price drop of £251 and £140 respectively.

Top Trumps

But it’s not all bad news for Trump’s Hotel empire as five of the hotel room prices have been bumped up, with an Ocean View Suite in Trump Turnberry up 44 per cent (£400) compared to January 2017 and 35 per cent compared to this time last year.


References available on request

Architecture meets fashion: Zaha Hadid Design’s latest collaboration weaves a new direction in sportswear technology

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Design giant Zaha Hadid Design unveils collaboration with a Swiss performance sportswear brand, suggesting that inspiration for designers and architects is not limited to one – or even two – industries. Hamish Kilburn investigates…

A designer recently told me that that it’s imperative to be at the edge of curve in design, to always think ahead of the present – sometimes as much as fives years ahead. But, in an industry that is forever forward-thinking, can we, as creatives, benefit from taking inspiration from other those far removed from the front line of design and architecture. One of the most well-known brands in the design sphere, Zaha Hadid Design, believes so. The firm has found common ground with a Swiss performance sportswear brand, Odlo, and through a thoroughly researched two-year collaboration, the two companies have recently unveiled Odlo Futureskin to the world, a new baselayer for winter performance sports that has been created with design and architecture at its core.

The idea that sportswear isn’t always sexy is what sparked the opportunity for Odlo to reach out to the design and architecture arena for some inspiration when creating the next chapter for next-to-skin sportswear. Inspired by its seamless design qualities, the company approached Zaha Hadid Design with the brief in December 2016. The true collaboration between both brands – in knowledge, research and resources – resulted in the birth of Odlo Futureskin, a baselayer that is arguably the most technically advanced on the market. The garmet is smart. So smart that it controls the flow of air and adapts to breathing and even movement. The ‘body mapping’ technology allows the garment to act like a second skin – and in full  Zaha Hadid Design spirit, it’s also seamless.

The engineered baselayer tops for men and women formed in the same manner as most of the Zaha Hadid Archtiects projects come together; with the combination of visual ideas, extensive research and the desire to push boundaries and challenge conventional design.

Two years after first putting pen to paper, following much planning – and even more prototypes – the companies gathered at the Zaha Hadid Gallery in London on a late October evening for the global launch of Odlo Futureskin.

Through this unique collaboration, which has no sign of ending as Zaha Hadid Design unveils that it will continue to work with Odlo for the sportswear brand’s SS19 female line, both companies have opened up new avenues for inspiration among designers, architects and sportswear brands, further proving that great ideas comes from thinking outside the box.

Meanwhile, Zaha Hadid Architects continues to show that it’s at the top of the architectural food chain, as it has recently completed the Morpheus in Macau and it presses ahead to complete Malta’s Murcury Tower, which will shelter a new boutique hotel.

If you have looked to other industries for inspiration when designing a product or project, our editorial team want to hear from you. Tweet us @HotelDesigns 

Hotel Designs enjoys another record-breaking month of traffic

Katy Phillips
Hotel Designs experienced its highest ever month of traffic in October with 56,674 visitors to the website…

The leading international hotel design website for interior designers, architects, hoteliers and industry suppliers has enjoyed its highest month of traffic ever recorded, with 56,674 visitors to the site throughout October.

Some of the leading stories of the month included British independent hotels taking international hotel design to new heights, New-look Hilton Imperial DubrovnikTimothy Oulton confirming that blue is the new black as well as Hotel Designs publishing the industry’s very first interactive hotel review.

“This is the third record we have broken this year in regards to website traffic, and therefore stands as further evidence that our website is the go-to website for interior designers, architects and hoteliers for news, reviews and wider features,” said editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn.” Furthermore, this news breaks as we lead up to the highly anticipated Brit List 2018, which takes place on November 22 at BEAT London.”

This month, the focus for the website is art and photography and The Brit List 2018 as the publication prepares to welcome the nation’s leading interior designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers to the award ceremony where the list of 75 influencers and the six award winners will be announced.

Meanwhile, looking ahead to the future, next year’s Hotel Summit is set to take place on June 3 and 4 at its new home, Heytrop Park in Oxfordshire, and the publication has recently announced the launch the Interior Design and Architecture Summit, taking place on April 29 at Hilton Tower Bridge Hotel, London.


Bahia Principe celebrates the opening of its 25th Hotel

Hamish Kilburn
With a £70 million investment, Fantasia Bahia Principe Tenerife celebrates the opening of its 25th hotel…

Bahia Principe, the leading all-inclusive resort brand with properties in Spain, Mexico and the Caribbean, has officially opened its 25th hotel, a five-star Fantasia-brand resort in the island of Tenerife, Spain. Fantasia Bahia Principe Tenerife in San Miguel de Abona represents a £70 million investment that will position the brand as the benchmark in high-end family tourism.

The brand’s first newly constructed property in Spain since 2003 is an extensive complex that features eight buildings spread throughout more than 480,000 square-feet of space. The resort offers 372 rooms, seven swimming pools, five restaurants, six bars, a water park, the brand’s signature Bahia Spa and wellness centre, among others.

The theme of the hotel is based around the ancient legend of the Garden of the Hesperides which is long associated with the island of Tenerife.  The most striking structures of the property are the beautiful white castle and replica “Dragon Tree,” known as the Drago Milenario de Icod de los Vinos, a dracaena tree that is an icon of Tenerife.  Both are located by the pool area in the centre of the hotel and will feature spectacular light shows at night.

Fantasia Bahia Principe Tenerife is Bahia Principe’s first Fantasia-brand property in Europe, debuting nearly two years after the debut of Fantasia Bahia Principe Punta Cana. Fantasia is the brand’s family-friendly concept that offers thematic hotels and guarantees an enchanting vacation experience with the highest standards in quality and service. The other Bahia Principe brands in Spain are Sunlight, Luxury and Grand.

“The opening of Fantasia Bahia Principe Tenerife marks several milestones for our company,” said Isabel Piñero, vice president of marketing and communications for Grupo Piñero, Bahia Principe’s parent company. “On one hand, it consolidates and reaffirms our commitment to Spain, where seven of our 25 hotels are located. On the other hand, it allows us to present a new brand to the market: Fantasia, which we believe will put us at the forefront of entertainment innovation in the all-inclusive segment for families worldwide.”

In addition to reinforcing Tenerife’s hotel offer, the new property will generate 300 jobs on the island, 30 percent of which will be directed toward people who were previously unemployed and registered with the Canary employment service, following an agreement between the company and HECANSA (Hotel Schools of the Canary Islands).

Top 5 stories of the week: Artistic graduates, wall-mural opportunities and the Brit List clock is ticking

Hamish Kilburn
With just three weeks to go until The Brit List 2018 is revealed, Hamish Kilburn breaks down the major headlines from the past five days…

After much anticipation, I’m excited to announce our ‘Spotlight On’ feature this month focusing on art and photography is well and truly underway. The topic, as well as releasing some serious creativity on the editorial desk, is a significant one for Hotel Designs. It arrives as rumours emerge that too many hotel owners around the world are cutting art budgets and are, therefore, refusing to see the value in art in international hotel design. Starting with a whistle-stop tour around seven of the world’s finest art hotels, we would like to share our admiration for those who do see the value, and I promise to, over the next 28 days, recognise and amplify those hotels from around the globe that are using art and photography to stand out from the crowd.

Here are the top five stories of the week:

1) SPOTLIGHT ON: 7 inspiring art and photography hotels from around the world 

Image credit: 21C Museum Hotel Nashville

To kickstart this month’s spotlight focus on Art and Photography, Hotel Designs has scoured the globe – from Africa to London – for interior design made inspirational by the use of thoughtful art and photography…

2) THE BRIT LIST 2018: Just three weeks to go

With just three weeks to go until The Brit List 2018, time is running out to book your tickets to Britain’s leading networking evening for interior designers, hoteliers, architects and key-industry suppliers.

The latest leading names and firms to be added onto the guest list include Minotti LondonThe NedMartin Brudnizki Design StudioProject OrangeWyndham Hotels & ResortsTara Bernerd & Partners and Yasmine Mahmoudieh.

3) Wall murals in hotel design; the possibilities are endless

As Hotel Designs continues to shine the spotlight on art and photography, we caught up with wall murals artist and interior designer Lawrence Hosannah Myse to discuss how personality and character can literally be written on the walls…#

4) First look at Liverpool’s latest design hotel 

New design renders have been released showcasing Liverpool’s latest design hotel, Seel Street Hotel by EPIC, which is scheduled to open to the public in early December 2018.

The exclusive visuals of the 128-key hotel, developed by Elliot Group and designed by Liverpool-based Falconer Chester Hall, throw the spotlight on the property’s flagship ‘WOW! Suite’ – a striking corner suite with external space providing sensational city views and set to raise the bar in the city’s expanding hotel sector. With scaled-back interiors, completed with industrial-like exposed wardrobes and a palette of warm blues and browns, the rooms are cosy, inviting and modern.

Also revealed is the hotel’s spacious Super Luxe suites with outside terraces and skyline vistas, and the ultra-contemporary Cinema Room, offering what is said to be the ultimate guest experience without having to leave the room.

5) Winner and runner-up of Graduate Art Prize 2018 are crowned

As Hotel Designs continues to focus this month’s spotlight on art and photography, Hotel Deisgns joined the 23 talented shortlisted BA & MA students of  The Graduate Art Prize 2018, who gathered at the London offices of Herbert Smith Freehills on November 1, to find out which one of them would take the crown of being the winner of…

Concluding this year’s nationwide search to find Britain’s top young artists, 23 shortlisted students -from Brighton to Newcastle – were invited to last night’s final of the Graduate Art Prize 2018. Launched in 2012 by art consultants ARTIQ, the awards ceremony, which this year was sponsored by Herbert Smith Freehills and Atlantis Art Supplies, is recognised as a major platform for young artists to amplify their work to leading designers and hoteliers in Britain and beyond.



Wall murals in hotel design; the possibilities are endless

Hamish Kilburn
As Hotel Designs continues to shine the spotlight on art and photography, editor Hamish Kilburn caught up with wall murals artist and interior designer Lawrence Hosannah Myse to discuss how personality and character can literally be written on the walls…

It was at a restaurant launch in Kent, England, where I first met the talented Lawrence Hosannah Myse, a New York-based artist who specialises in large, statement-like wall murals. His work, which was unveiled on the facade and interiors of the property, echoed the good vibes of that authentic Caribbean restaurant creates and pictured a rural Jamaican scene perfectly. Following this was the realisation of how this warmth and character that had been sprayed onto the walls of Jerk Shack could very well help to define a hotel’s sense of place within a city or town and general theme. As mentioned in a recent popular Hotel Designs article, art is not limited to frame. Soon – in between the artist jet-setting from London to LA – Hosannah and I were sitting down for coffee to explore the endless possibilities of wall murals in hotel interior and exterior design.

“Our aim is to bring nature into urban environments – or areas that are typically more architectural and man-made,” said Hosannah. “My brother and I like to create experiences where consumers get sucked in.” A pair of true creatives, I get the feeling that the Hosannah brothers see beyond a hotel or a restaurant and look into the narrative of a theme that will help the owner of the property put it on the map. “It’s almost like a dance,” he said when describing how he and his brother work with his clients. “We start by first understanding the vibe, the essence of the place and the people using it. We will then draw up some sketches before solidify them into developed drawings. For Jerk Shack, for example, we had some images of Jamaican rainforests, animals and flowers and with those clear visuals, we were able to almost freestyle the walls.” The result was a scene of the real Jamaica, from the outside in. The exterior, a deep-green jungle creates a statement among the other buildings. Upon entering, the interiors of the restaurant open up to reveal pristine-white beaches fused with deep-blue ocean coasts and tropical plants.

The benefits of blending nature with architecture, art and interior spaces goes further than the general pleasing aesthetics. For the Hosannah brothers, this is a way of creating a place that is the antenna to amplify wellbeing and wellness in urban areas. “With a lack of the connection to nature, people get stressed and detached and more robotic,” Hosannah explained. “Look at the major cities. New York has central pack, London has Hyde Park. For the inner-city busy-body to enter a natural space kind of grounds them and allows them to relax – and also enhances creativity and inspiration.”

For the artist who uses vibrant colours to promote a healthier, happier environment, I was intrigued to understand whether or not Hosannah reacted to – or was inspired by – the various colour trends that are being magnified at the moment. “Of course, I look at trends but we are open to all colours and inspirations,” he said. “I actually believe that, through great work, you can actually push a trend and put it in front of the curve. I tend to find more inspiration from travelling though. When you travel to different places, the colour of the environment changes. That allows me not to get lost in robotic thinking.”

“Art, and being an artist, is a world for the for the brave and courageous where you create and you go, which can be scary but it can also be invigorating.”

In regards to how art can help to eliminate the boundary between indoor-outdoor, Hosannah believes he may have an answer. “Interiors are usually divided by clean-cut lines that are perhaps divided by plants,” he explained. “These places can work really well, but large murals that pull the eye along a wall space can completely erase that border between indoor-outdoor. Going even further, you can even include music to compliment the art and further capture the consumers’ imagination.”


Hamish Kilburn: What’s your favourite colour at the moment?
Lawrence Hosannah Myse: Green.
HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
LH: Space.
HK: What’s your number-one tool for success?
LH: Intelligent artwork.
HK: What’s your biggest bugbear when it comes to your industry?
LH: The amount of people that do not understand the true vale of art and it’s importance.
HK: Who has inspired your dreams as an artist?
LH: So many people, from a variety of art teachers to graffiti artists, such as Andy Trate, Seen, Murakami and Diego Rivera… There are too many to list.

“Art is weird,” concluded Hosannah. “It’s not like being a doctor or a lawyer where you have a clear career path. Art, and being an artist, is a world for the for the brave and courageous where you create and you go, which can be scary but it can also be invigorating.” My time with Hosannah ends with mixed emotions. It seems as if there is not currently enough awareness – within our industry and beyond – on the possibilities of art. To counter-balance this, I feel as if many hotels around the globe, regardless of the theme, could benefit from the life and soul that wall murals can give to a property.

This hotel aims to redefine the Greek luxury hotel resort

Hamish Kilburn
Elegant, relaxed and future-proofed, Gennadi Grand Resort is a fresh breath of Greek Aegean air and is a shining example in the sun of positive environmental and social impact…

Gennadi Grand Resort on the Greek island of Rhodes opened earlier this year as a place of pure inspiration where exceptional design, beauty and architecture blend together seamlessly. Lovingly landscaped by eco-minded architects, Dimitris Melenos & Partners, the resort echoes the relaxed feel of this less-explored corner of the largest Dodecanese island. Connected to nature, the resort lies within a small fishing village off the tourist trail on Rhodes’ longest and most beautiful beach, set snugly between mountain and sea.

A synthesis of form, function and perfectly scaled structures in a nature-showcasing landscape, the resort operates under a BMS (Building Management System) comprising of leading innovative energy management technology. Slanted roofs simultaneously minimise sunlight reflection and optimise the microclimate conditions whilst forward-thinking recycling practices are in place throughout the resort.

Blending the exterior and interior spaces, the hotel features a natural choices for every type of guest: floor-to-ceiling windows letting the natural light flood in, and sleek custom-made furnishings. The 288 rooms include spacious suites, two-bedroom suites and junior suites with private pools.

Guestrooms and suites

Modern elegance and comfort meet in the various guestrooms and suites. The Gennadi Grand Suites with Sea View comprise of two separate stylish rooms, complete with a bedroom and a sitting area and a modern open plan bathroom.

Elevating the luxury-resort experience, Gennadi Grand Resort is a rare blend of considered contemporary architecture, combined with old-fashioned heartfelt hospitality. It’s story is the sum of all its parts — the passion of the chefs, the independent farm workers who proudly bring their organic produce, the gardeners and of course the management team who have nurtured the feeling of everyone being a part of its extended family.


Winner and runner-up of Graduate Art Prize 2018 are crowned

Hamish Kilburn
As Hotel Designs continues to focus this month’s spotlight on art and photography, editor Hamish Kilburn joined the 23 talented shortlisted BA & MA students of  The Graduate Art Prize 2018, who gathered at the London offices of Herbert Smith Freehills on November 1, to find out which one of them would take the crown of being the winner of…

Concluding this year’s nationwide search to find Britain’s top young artists, 23 shortlisted students -from Brighton to Newcastle – were invited to last night’s final of the Graduate Art Prize 2018. Launched in 2012 by art consultants ARTIQ, the awards ceremony, which this year was sponsored by Herbert Smith Freehills and Atlantis Art Supplies, is recognised as a major platform for young artists to amplify their work to leading designers and hoteliers in Britain and beyond.

The evening showcased the variety of different art styles, motifs and concepts from each of the 23 finalists before the crowd gathered to hear the announcement to reveal who this year’s publicly voted for runner-up and cash-prize winner was.

Runner-up, and claiming a £500 voucher for supplies from Atlantis Art Supplies, was Felicity Meachem from University of Brighton for her oil on canvas piece entitled ‘Im alright, hiding tonight’. “I’m delighted and overwhelmed to be the first person to receive the runners up prize,” said Meachem on the night. “As well as the voucher, the chance to sign with ARTIQ will be an invaluable experience. These kind of opportunities such as The Graduate Art Prize are so important in order for artists to have viable careers. I feel that this is such a crucial time for artists, where I am right now, still fresh out of Art School. Therefore, I have no doubt that this platform will help elevate me into the art world.”

The winner of The Graduate Art Prize 2018, who wins £2,000 and a £500 voucher for supplies from Atlantis Art Supplies, was Theo Bargiotas from University of Oxford who flew in from New Orleans for the event. His oil on canvas entitled ‘Untitled’ was inspired by an abstract dream. Speaking ahead of the evening , Bargiotas said: “I try to capture that dream moment that most people suspect exists, but are not sure how to immortalize and portray. This is a crucial mission for the painter today; trying to detect the sublime and spiritual in everyday gestures and circumstances, probing the dark side of the moon, and showing it to humanity in the form of a picture, a painting.”

Commenting on his win, Bargiotas said: “It is truly a pleasure to be a part of the Artiq Graduate Art Prize. Winning the prize has functioned as a vehicle to communicate my cosmology to an audience outside of the strictly academic world, which is a necessary process for artist and audience. Organisations like Artiq provide this bridge between the introverted word of image-making and the hungry eyes of image appreciators and for this I am grateful.

“There is an extra degree of satisfaction for me, when I think about my work being showcased in corporate environments, providing a much needed optical refreshment for many pairs of eyes every day.

“All in all, winning a prize is of course enjoyable but the most significant aspect is that the work gets seen. The bigger the prize, the greater the audience, and this is what pleases me.”

Image caption: Theo Bargiotas' Untitled

Image caption: Theo Bargiotas’ Untitled

Among the artists Hotel Designs recognised as relevant for the contract market was Demi Bromfield from Lancaster University. Her piece entitled ‘Handmade Persi’. Describing her work, Bromfield said: “Manipulating the notion of haptic criticism, the paintings create an ambivalent illusion of texture and façade, sometimes harnessing elements of raised surfaces whilst in others remaining entirely flat.”

Image caption: Demi Bromfield entitled Handmade Persi

Image caption: Demi Bromfield entitled Handmade Persi

The shortlisted finalists, who each have been invited as ARTIQ artists, were:

Ahae Kim (Slade School of Fine Art)
Alexander Fox-Robinson (Carmarthen School of Art)
Amir Behbahani (University of West London)
Andrei Costahe (Slade School of Fine Art)
Andrew Loggie (City of Guilds of London Art School)
Camila Quintero (Camerwell College of Arts)
Demi Bromfield (Lancaster University)
Felicity MeachEm (University of Brighton)
Hannah Regal (Slade School of Fine Art)
Isabel Mills (Newcastle University)
Jiarui Li (Royal College of Art)
Judy McKenzie (Royal College of Art)
Kaethe Butcher (Camberwell College of Arts)
Liqing Tan (Slade School of Fine Art)
Maximilian Wasinski (Slade School of Fine Art)
Min Zhao (Slade School of Fine Art)
Oliver Hoffmeister (Newcastle University)
Phillip Reeves (Goldsmiths)
Qiujun Chen (Camberwell College of Arts)
Radek Husak (Royal College of Arts)
Samson Edward Tudor (Loughborough University)
Sooyoung Chung (Royal College of Art)
Theadoros Barigiotas (University of Oxford)
William Stockwell (Newcastle University)

Hotel Designs is proud to support ARTIQ as it continues to recognise and celebrate fresh artistic talent. The Graduate Art Prize comes ahead of this year’s highly anticipated Brit List 2018, taking place on November 22 at BEAT London, which will name the top 75 most influential designers, hoteliers and architects in Britain.

Main image credit: Felicity Meachem, I’m alright, hiding tonight. 

Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour prepares for Asia Week

727 524 Hamish Kilburn
As Hotel Designs continues to focus the Spotlight On Art and Photography, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour launches exhibition from November 5 – 9, celebrating the influence, culture and creativity of Asia…

East meets west as Asia Week arrives at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. The exhibition, in association with Asian Art in London, is a multi-dimensional exhibition that will run from 5 until 9 November 2018. Attracting top designers, architects, international collectors, art-lovers and style-seekers, it will celebrate the influence of Asian art, culture and creativity from across the region.

Featuring seven galleries showcasing the work of artists from China, Korea, Japan, The Philippines and Nepal, Asia Week at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour will explore the enduring appeal of the Asian aesthetic and why it resonates today. Artistic interpretations of the history, philosophy and culture of individual countries will offer a unique perspective to the work on show.

Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour’s famous architecture will provide a dazzling space for an impressive rollcall of emerging and established names. Work by Japanese artists will be represented by Kamal Bakhshi. These include those by the grande dame of Japanese printmaking Toko Shinoda; painter, printmaker and multi-media artist Daniel Kelly (his work can be found in permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum) and renowned printmakers Morimura Rei and Yoshitoshi Mori who specialized in ‘kappazuri’ stencil prints.

ArtChina, which represents Chinese printmakers and contemporary artists, will show a selection of artworks, prints and ceramics that combine traditional techniques with a modern aesthetic. They include woodblock prints by Wang Chao, screenprints by emerging artist, actor and producer Kelly Mi and lithographic prints by Wei Jia, a representative of artists born in the 1970s. From Korea will be ceramic pieces from The Han Collection including those by pottery painter Oh Man-Chu.

The selling exhibition will include work by South East Asian artists, represented by Singapore Art Garret Gallery (SAGG), such as those by Singaporean watercolourists Ng Woon Lam and Don Low, renowned glass sculptor Ramon Orlina from The Philippines and Indonesian painters Indra Dodi and Hari Gita. The October Gallery will showcase contemporary work by Nepalese artist Govinda Sah, Chinese artist Tian Wei and celebrated Japanese artist Kenji Yoshida. Genrokuart will explore female beauty and the history of pre-modern Japan.

Previously unseen in the UK, visitors can also view the Hugentobler Collection of Modern Vietnamese Art, featuring paintings and drawings by two Vietnamese modernist masters, Bùi Xuân Phái and Nguyễn Tư Nghiêm. It belongs to a private collector who discovered Hanoi’s hidden art scene when he travelled to Vietnam in the early 1990s as the country was opening up. The work is not for sale but has come from its current home in Switzerland, especially for the exhibition.

The inclusion of the NIO EP9 supercar will quicken the pulse of design lovers and automotive collectors alike. The fastest electric car in the world, carbon fibre is coupled with advanced technology in the design of this high-performance vehicle from China-founded EV company NIO. With its futuristic aesthetic, the EP9 has the looks to match its performance.

Generating a deeper understanding of design from both cultures is at the heart of the events programme, bringing a connection in an increasingly cosmopolitan world. From talks, workshops ad masterclasses and discovery tours, they will explore the crossover between East and West.


First look at Liverpool’s latest design hotel

Hamish Kilburn
Seel Street Hotel by EPIC is slated to open its dynamic interiors and design in December 2018…

New design renders have been released showcasing Liverpool’s latest design hotel, Seel Street Hotel by EPIC, which is scheduled to open to the public in early December 2018.

The exclusive visuals of the 128-key hotel, developed by Elliot Group and designed by Liverpool-based Falconer Chester Hall, throw the spotlight on the property’s flagship ‘WOW! Suite’ – a striking corner suite with external space providing sensational city views and set to raise the bar in the city’s expanding hotel sector. With scaled-back interiors, completed with industrial-like exposed wardrobes and a palette of warm blues and browns, the rooms are cosy, inviting and modern.

Also revealed is the hotel’s spacious Super Luxe suites with outside terraces and skyline vistas, and the ultra-contemporary Cinema Room, offering what is said to be the ultimate guest experience without having to leave the room.

“We are thrilled to be able to give this first look of our new Seel Street Hotel by EPIC. We are very proud of what we have envisioned for the property, and we are confident our guests will fall in love with it from the moment they step inside,” said Managing Director of EPIC Simon Beer. “This is a game-changer in the city and offers a high-end hotel experience befitting of Liverpool’s status as a world-class place to visit. It’s a first-class hotel for a first-class city.”

EPIC have been setting the standard in the apart-hotel sector over a number of years, with successful properties already on Liverpool’s Duke Street, Seel Street and Campbell Street.

Seel Street Hotel by EPIC, which opens as part of its wider transformation of Wolstenholme Square, is said to bring a dynamic character to the guest experience that matches its vibrant, urban setting.

All image credits: EPIC Hotels

THE BRIT LIST 2018: Just three weeks to go

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Hotel Designs unveils the latest leading figures who will be attending The Brit List 2018 as time is running out for designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers to secure their place…

With just three weeks to go until The Brit List 2018, time is running out to book your tickets to Britain’s leading networking evening for interior designers, hoteliers, architects and key-industry suppliers.

The latest leading names and firms to be added onto the guest list include Minotti London, The Ned, Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, Project Orange, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Tara Bernerd & Partners and Yasmine Mahmoudieh.

On November 22 at BEAT London, as well as unveiling the 75 most influential designers, hoteliers and architects who deserve their place in The Brit List 2018, Hotel Designs will also announce the winners of the six newly launched awards. These include:

  • Inspiration in Design – Innovative use of Technology
  • Inspiration in Design – Hotelier of the Year
  • Inspiration in Design – Interior Designer of the Year
  • Inspiration in Design – Architect of the Year
  • The Eco Award
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hotel Industry

How to attend

To register your interest, purchase tickets or talk about sponsorship opportunities please contact Katy Phillips on 01992 374050 or via email by clicking here.

If you are an interior designer, hotelier or architect you can book tickets for £20+vat per person here

If you are a supplier to the hotel industry you can book tickets for £175+vat per person here

Event timings: 6.30 p.m. – 10.30 p.m.

6.30 p.m. Welcome drinks are served
7.00 p.m. Welcome speech from Hotel Designs Editor, Hamish Kilburn, to include unveiling of The Brit List 2018 winners
7.15 p.m. Canapés are served
7.15 p.m. Headline speaker, Charles Leon, Leon Black Interior Architecture addresses the Brit List 2018 – Britain’s position in international hotel design and hospitality post-Brexit
7.30 p.m. Awards presentation commences
8.00 p.m. Headline speaker, Moritz Waldemeyer, Studio Moritz Waldemeyer addresses The Brit List 2018 – Hotel lighting; how it has changed in recent times and how is lighting technology allowing for more creative interiors
8.15 p.m. Celebrations and networking

BRIT LIST 2018 Industry Partner: British Institute of Interior Design

BRIT LIST 2018 Event Sponsor: Hamilton Litestat

BRIT LIST 2018 Supporting Partner: Studio Moritz Waldemeyer

BRIT LIST 2018 Award Sponsor: Inspiration in Design – Interior Designer of the Year: Tarkett

Tarkett Logo



SPOTLIGHT ON: 7 inspiring art and photography hotels from around the world

1024 577 Hamish Kilburn
To kickstart this month’s spotlight focus on Art and Photography, Hotel Designs editor Hamish Kilburn has scoured the globe – from Africa to London – for interior design made inspirational by the use of thoughtful art and photography…

As interior designers, hoteliers and architects prepare to attend this year’s highly anticipated Hotel Designs Brit List 2018, the editorial team at HD have been hard at work to pinpoint key interior design stories that are worthy of a place in this year’s list. One key area that has been a ‘make or break’ element in the applications we and our judges have read has been the clever use of art and photography. It seems, while many hotels from around the world are cutting their art budget, Britain’s best new hotels have a carefully curated selection of fine pieces that further layer a sophisticated sense of place into the property. Therefore, in order to give credit where it is due, here are seven sensational hotels who, unlike others, are using art and photography to stand out in order to claim their title as a leading art and design hotel.

1) Matetsi Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Our art and design journey starts in Zimbabwe, at the sumptuous and striking Matetsi Victoria Falls. Approximately 40km from the ultra colonial Victoria Falls Hotel, Matetsi is the premium way to experience Safari in the area. Creating an inspiring interior design story in a place where nature very much rules is a challenge for even the most experienced design houses. It is therefore a credit to the owner, John Gardiner, who put his faith in a local designer instead. Kerry van Leenhoff was tasked to create the dramatic interiors that are also comfortable within the luxury lodges. Answering this question with style and a well-proportioned sense of place, Leenhoff decided to include an abstract piece of art with yellow accents in each of the 18 suites. Part of a wider story – of course – put all of these pieces together and there forms a map of the 123,000 acre reserve. The Telegraph reported that Leenhoff designed the spaces “to be a nature retreat, with every comfort and diversion one might dream of,” and I have to agree that the local designer that the owner believed in has done just that.

2) The Silo Hotel, Cape Town 

Image credit: The Silo Hotel, Cape Town

Heading slightly south, to the vibrant landscape of Cape Town, South Africa, we check in to the Silo Hotel. The owner, and avid art enthusiast, Liz Biden, has carefully curated a Royal Portfolio of art, of which each piece is inspired from her travels around Africa. In a press release, Biden explains: “I have always included wonderful art at each of The Royal Portfolio properties. Art brings a space to life, it creates warmth and tells stories. But moreover, art takes you on a journey which evolves as we evolve. Our guests love to enjoy the art collection at our properties. The Silo will take that art experience to a whole new level with a focus on contemporary African art…”

3) The New Majestic, Singapore

Image credit: New Majestic Hotel

Each of the the 30 rooms at New Majestic Hotel have been decorated in an individual style in collaboration with different artists and designers. The hotel collaborated with art consultancy firm Asian Art Options, which selected nine Singaporean artists to create and integrate an element of local art around the hotel.

In Room 201, guests will find the work of pop artist Justin Lee, who juxtaposes Asian and western motifs with Oriental Girls Go West. Lee explored commentaries on women’s standing in society. Elsewhere, Heleston Chew produced anamorphic messages that can be decoded only by viewing them from particular vantage points around the room. Safaruddin Abdul Hamid (aka Dyn) produced a mural depicting the façade of Hotel 1929 on the eight-metre wall of the gym. Miguel Chew integrated laser cut figures in polished aluminium, depicting sensual and romantic silhouettes that reflect the plays of light and darkness of the room. Other artists featured are Lee Meiling, Tay Bee Aye, Kng Mian Tze and Sandra Lee.

4) Henry Jones Art Hotel, Australia

Image credit: Henry Jones Art Hotel, Australia

Further east still, the Henry Jones Art Hotel in Tasmania doesn’t lack character as it is situated on Hobart’s waterfront in a converted row of former warehouses that date back to the 1820s. The hotel, which gives industrial-chic a more meaningful definition, shelters an ever-changing exhibition. It asks a diverse range of Tasmanian artists to present pieces. The result is more than 400 pieces of art and photography scattered around the property and a constant stream of creative individuals checking in to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.

5) Dolce Hotels & Resorts, The Alexander, Indianapolis 

Image credit: Dolce Hotels & Resorts, The Alexander, Indianapolis

A few weeks ago, we explored the concept: art outside the frame in the hotel.  The Alexander redefines the art of hospitality by transforming every area of the hotel into a riveting space for commissioned works of art. The lobby, for example, features a 3D wall installation of birds flying out of a record player.

6) 21C Museum Hotel Nashville

Image credit: 21C Museum Hotel Nashville

Founded by two contemporary art collectors, the Nashville-located hotel is, like the other seven hotels in the collection, centered around a multi-venue contemporary art museum — with exhibition space free of charge to the public. The hotel is woven into the fabric of downtown, welcoming both visitors and locals to enjoy the curated exhibitions, cultural programming, and culinary offerings at Gray & Dudley. Just a few blocks from Nissan Stadium, Bridgestone Arena, and the entertainment along Broadway, 21c is an art-filled escape from it all.

7) The Langham, London 

Image credit: The Langham, London

Completing our tour of the globe to find inspiring art and photography hotels, we arrive in London, one of the major design hubs of the world – and for good reason. The Langham, London – and more specifically, the Sterling Suite and the Club Lounge, feature the perfect blend of quintessentially British art. Curated by Susan Walsh and Robin Greene, with the overall design overseen by Richmond International, the team worked hard to sensitively and effortlessly inject life into the interiors of these area with an abstract take on British culture.

Main image credit: The Silo Hotel, Cape Town




Canopy by Hilton arrives in Zagreb, Croatia

Hamish Kilburn
Canopy by Hilton, Hilton’s lifestyle hotel brand, has officially opened its first hotel in continental Europe, Canopy by Hilton Zagreb...

The hotel, which joins Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik in the brand’s European portfolio, is situated in the heart of Croatia’s capital, near the city’s main rail station and the upcoming Branimir Centar shopping mall.

Guests can grab a complimentary Canopy Bike and explore the many nearby attractions, where there are shops, restaurants, and nightlife in every direction. With more museums per capita than any city in the world, and with a vibrant art and theatre scene, Zagreb is a city of great culture with much to explore.

“We are thrilled to introduce Canopy by Hilton Zagreb as our first property in continental Europe. Known for its rich history, vibrant culture and community-focused neighborhood, Zagreb is a natural fit to welcome the next Canopy by Hilton property,” said Gary Steffen, global head of Canopy by Hilton. “We are delighted to bring our locally-inspired lifestyle brand to this cosmopolitan city and look forward to sharing the Canopy by Hilton experience with our guests and neighbours in the heart of Croatia’s bustling capital city.”

“With nearly 600,000 tourists visiting Zagreb between January and June 20182, the city is quickly becoming a must-see destination in Europe,” said Simon Vincent, executive vice president and president Europe, Middle East and Africa, Hilton. “With Croatia’s pristine beaches and vibrant cultural scene, we are pleased to be opening Hilton’s third hotel in the country following the DoubleTree by Hilton Zagreb and Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik.”

Locally Inspired Design

Canopy by Hilton Zagreb is home to 151 Just-Right rooms, including eight spacious suites. The interiors of the rooms are inspired by the long industrial history of the local neighbourhood, with local textiles and artwork featured throughout. This includes the brand’s signature canopy bedframe, inspired by Croatia’s national emblem and carpets inspired by traditional folk costumes. The hallways also highlight the neighbourhoods’ rich history, lined with posters of the famous Croatian investor Nikola Tesla.

Just-Right Meeting Space

For meetings and events, Zagreb is an ideal choice as it is superbly connected by its recently expanded airport, located just 20km away from Canopy by Hilton Zagreb. The hotel has two meeting rooms, offering smaller meetings capabilities and a unique venue for social events such as cocktail receptions. The hotel also has a spacious 24-hour fitness centre.

At Canopy by Hilton, every guest will experience an energetic, thoughtfully local stay.

Image credit: Hilton Hotels 

Is this hotel group changing the face of tourism?

Hamish Kilburn
Family-run hotel group Zafiro Hotels believes that its fresh look and ‘freedom of choice’ is changing the face of tourism…

A new hotel brand set in the heart of the Balearics has re-invented itself with a fresh look and a new ‘freedom of choice’ approach. Representing the concept of authenticity and broad range of accommodation, opportunities and experiences, the family-run Zafiro Hotels believes that real luxury means something different to everyone – therefore an ideal holiday should include an offering for every one of its guests.

Junior Suite at Zafiro Palace Palmanova

Image caption: Junior Suite at Zafiro Palace Palmanova

Run by families, for families, Zafiro Hotels is based on three generations of an extraordinary Spanish family, who are the foundation and heart of the hotels. Comprising of two five-star hotels, the Zafiro Palace Palmanova and Zafiro Palace Alcúdia. Both of the properties were designed by local Mallorcan designer Marga Rotger, blending seamlessly with outstanding service and a warm welcome.

Spanish for Sapphire, Zafiro Hotels is much like the sparkling gemstone – its hotels are multi-faceted and special, surrounded by awe-inspiring shades of blue. Embracing a modern vision and a new outlook drawn from the determination and insight of the two sisters at the helm, Zafiro Hotels offers creativity and thoughtful touches in its design.

Zafiro Palace Palmanova

Image credit: F&B interiors at Zafiro Palace Palmanova

“As a new brand to the Balearic Islands, our goal is to develop the hospitality offering across the four and five-star sector of the industry,” said director of marketing, Tobias Neumann. “With a modern approach that looks to the future whilst engaging with locality, our hotels adapt themselves to welcome a variety of guests from multi-generational families to romantic couples with innovative design and dynamic experience to satisfy all.”

Suites and rooms boast private pools, swim up pools, and several boast rooftop Jacuzzis, overlooking lush, well-kept gardens, natural landscapes and a turquoise blue sea. Suites are stylish and modern, contemporary, warm and light-filled, steeped in Mediterranean elegance.

UK Trade associations react to the Autumn Budget Statement 2018

Hamish Kilburn
UKinbound, Hotel Booking Agents Association and the British Property Federation comment on The Budget 2018…

Following Philip Hammond’s delivery of his third Budget as chancellor, UKinbound, Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) and the British Property Federation have commented on the key points that will affect building infrastructure and tourism in the UK.


UKinbound – the trade association that represents nearly 400 of the UK’s top tourism businesses – has cautiously welcomed some of the new policies and initiatives outlined in the chancellor’s 2018 Budget but urges the Government to re-consider its decision not to change VAT or APD regimes, particularly in Northern Ireland.

New policies that will have a positive effect on the UK’s tourism industry include:

  • The opening of e-passport gates to citizens from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan which will help to reduce queues and waiting times for these visitors.
  • Funding to help restore historic high streets and for Coventry to help it prepare for hosting the UK City of Culture in 2021.
  • The roll out of full fibre broadband for rural areas, which will help tourism businesses to connect and market their businesses more effectively to visitors.
  • Funding to repair and improve roads and extension of the Transforming Cities Fund, which will help to improve connectivity and transport links in cities.  This will help to encourage tourists to visit and further explore the UK’s cities, likely resulting in increased economic benefit across the whole of the UK from enhanced visitor spend.

“We are pleased that the Budget includes several policies that will have a positive impact on the UK’s tourism industry,” said Chairman Mark McVay. “These include the welcome introduction of e-gates for more of our international visitors, improvement of  transport links in our cities and digital connectivity in rural areas and funding to help restore and sustain our historic high streets.

“However, it is disappointing that there will be no change to APD and VAT regimes at this point, even though there is strong evidence that cutting these taxes will in fact generate more revenue for the Government in the long term.”


Louise Goalen, HBAA Chair, comments on on the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget Statement: “While we welcome many of the Chancellor’s initiatives and the benefits they will bring to the UK hospitality and events industry, there is not enough to address the major talent gap we are facing.

“On a more positive note, it’s good to see a reduction in business rates for smaller companies.”

“The changes in the apprenticeship levy are good news and we hope that venues and agencies whose levy has been reduced to 5% will take advantage of this, and take on more trainees under this scheme.”

“UK business events will ultimately benefit from the £30 billion spend on roads and the freeze on fuel duty. However, when it comes to overseas events, a rise in long haul APD is definitely unwelcome, as this will impact the incentive market. On a more positive note, it’s good to see a reduction in business rates for smaller companies as this will help reduce the overheads of some HBAA agency members.

“Let’s hope there is good news in the Chancellor’s ‘red books’ – the important small print that goes with these headline statements.”

The British Property Federation

Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, British Property Federation comments:

Business Rates

It is good to see the Chancellor acknowledge that many small retailers are struggling against powerful headwinds and provide additional relief from business rates. However, Monday’s announcement does not change the fact that at almost 50 per cent, the rate of business rates is simply too high for occupiers of all sorts. It is time to recognise that business rates are unsustainable in their current form and causing untold damage to our economy; time for a fundamental review.

Digital Tax

As the UK economy evolves, so must the tax system – and we welcome that the Government is taking steps to respond to this. However, this is not an alternative to much-needed support for our high streets, which still require urgent support in the form of fundamental business rates reform. They will also require local plans that can drive adaptation, incentives to encourage town centre investment and more flexibility around change of use and we are pleased that the Chancellor recognised this.

“A new tax relief for commercial property owners is a real surprise.”


Structures and Buildings Allowance:

A new tax relief for commercial property owners is a real surprise. This move brings the UK more closely in line with the many other countries that already provide tax relief for the cost of building commercial property, making the UK more attractive to invest in. It makes investing in new and refurbished buildings cheaper from a tax perspective, and is a welcome move.

Town centres and high streets

The announcement of additional investment into a Future High Streets Fund is welcome, and when combining with the proposed planning reform and a High Streets Task Force has real potential to be a game changer for urban centres facing a change in the way that people shop, how they spend their leisure time, and where they want to live.

However, it’s crucial not to forget some of the other knotty issues that property owners have to grapple with. We support the proper use of CVAs to help businesses in genuine distress and are keen that CVAs continue to achieve these objectives. There is, however, increasing frustration about the practice of some recent CVAs. The BPF has called on Government to conduct an independent urgent review of CVAs.

Land value uplift

We welcome the Government’s sensible, measured approach to land value uplift. In a noisy environment with multiple views on land value capture being aired, it is pleasing to see such a considered response providing more certainty for developers and local authorities, and enabling more infrastructure provision for local communities.

The Letwin Review

We welcome Sir Oliver Letwin’s recommendations, and in particular, his focus on the need for a more diverse, multi-tenure approach to large sites. The benefits will be three-fold, both helping to address market absorption rates and deliver properties quicker and help to create more sustainable places home to different demographics, socio-economic backgrounds, fostering a greater sense of community. In addition, adding a tenure such as build to rent to a development site brings with it an investor with a long term interest.

The Review also recognised the skills crisis in which we find ourselves. Time is of the essence, and whilst we applaud the Government’s intention to take a few months to consider the response to the wider Review, this is an area in which we need urgent action to sure that we can hit the 300,000 target.

Main image credit: Pixabay

Design, print, launch: Morgan’s Rio 2 collection unveiled

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Hotel Designs Recommended Supplier Morgan Furniture will showcase new design, Rio 2 collection, at SLEEP +EAT…

Contract furniture designer and manufacturer Morgan Furniture will launch its new Rio 2 collection, created in collaboration with studio Integrate, at Sleep + Eat 2018 (November 20-21, Olympia London) on stand C60.

Through its Clerkenwell showroom art installations and furniture designs, Morgan is always seeking out new ways to celebrate the art of collaboration – and the Rio 2 table collection will be its most recent collaborative project.

Combining skills and expertise with architect Mehran Gharleghi of studio INTEGRATE, Morgan will introduce a new collection of tables for the contract market that include 3D printed components. The first of its kind within the sector to include this cutting edge technology with a commercially viable price point, the sophisticated and luxurious collection is not to be missed.

“Rio 1 was a new collection to be exposed to the mass market, and contract furniture industry. We experimented a lot and learnt so much from it. We listened to our customers and took their feedback into account,” said Gharleghi. “We ultimately decided to add new variation to the existing collections which was a super exciting journey. In Rio 2 we carefully designed a collection that maintains the iconic look and the unique experience that we aimed to provide to our audience, and yet add a distinctly different look and materials to our existing collection. One of the Rio 02 variations is still on its way and we cant wait to show it to people. Overall we believe we have been successful in maintaining the original ethos of the Rio 01 collection and move one step forward in almost every aspect of design.”

The first Rio collection was launched in 2016, combining the skills and expertise of the Morgan team with Mehran Gharleghi’s knowledge of new technologies to explore the relationship between the craft of yesterday and the craft of tomorrow.

The second generation sees two new table designs. With this version, a greater understanding of the technology provided the designers with increased creative scope, resulting in a more geometric and regular aesthetic, as opposed to the organic feel of the first generation. The use of materials was also reduced and refined, adding further options to the entirety of the collection. On the edge of design and technology, the tables are an iconic piece at an affordable price.

The collection uses a polyamide 3D printed component as the main structure with which to attach a glass or timber top and timber turned legs. This joining element was designed using a mathematical algorithm to create a unique framework that could not have been made via any other process. The technique is an additive process and therefore not only offers design freedom, but also a sustainable manufacturing solution.

Both Mehran and Katerina Zachariades, Morgan’s design director, approach design in different ways; Katerina sketches and draws to scale with a pen, whilst Mehran designs digitally through modelling. Initially this resulted in a series of miniature 3D printed resin prototypes from Mehran and then full-scale models from Morgan. These two processes allowed the team to review the design both aesthetically and in terms of scale and proportions giving an immediate sense of reality.

Q&A with the architect

Hamish Kilburn: What’s your favourite colour?

Mehran Gharleghi: My favourite colour from the existing collection is walnut with the black basket. I personally prefer the higher tables as I find them more elegant. However, a lot of our customers have preferred shorter versions. We are currently in the process of creating a back table with black legs, with clear glass. We haven’t done this before and I haven’t seen the outcome yet. But I think it’ll look very sharp and I can’t wait to see it.

HK: Where do you find your inspiration?

MG: I find inspirations in nature, history and culture. Seemingly they are very different, however they all have one thing in common. They all evolve gradually, over a long and extended period of time in a step by step manner. I believe we have followed the same principal in designing the Rio Collection. We haven’t looked at emerging technologies, such as 3D printing as an element that disrupt traditional craftsmanship. We considered it as an addition to the existing methods of making. We have maintained the traditional and careful craftmanship of Morgan furniture and added a new dimension and experience to it. Using the new technologies enabled us to go one step further and provide a new experience for our audience.

HK: What’s the key to a successful collaboration?

MG: Understanding and respecting different skill set, vision and expertise that collaborators are able to bring on the table is the most important element to a successful collaboration. Establishing a design method where all contributors are able to freely share their input in an iterative process leads to very successful outcomes.  My relationship with Morgan team began very positively few years ago. It got better and better over time and now we consider each other as one extended team and have established a seamless collaboration method. Our working process is very enjoyable which I believe is crucial in creating ambitious and high risk projects and products.

HK: What’s the most interesting trend you are seeing for 2019?

MG: I can’t follow trends. I know what I’m interested and am focused on getting better at my own passion every day. I have a fascination with design and technology. I believe both of these areas can significantly improve our quality of lives and have dedicated my life and practice to it.

Through the design process, Morgan and Mehran managed to bring down the production cost significantly and increase the factor of strength three fold. This was done by introducing geometric differentiation in various parts of the table according to the structural analysis conducted by Morgan Studio. Digital analyses were informed by previous Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA) testing and guidelines. By establishing an iterative feedback loop between design and analysis, the team perfectly balanced the cost, strength and aesthetic of the collection.

Morgan Furniture are one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Independent Hotel Show 2018 exceeds expectations

Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs was proud to be a media partner of Independent Hotel Show 2018, which proved to be a huge success ahead of the show’s arrival in Amsterdam next year…

Flawlessly bringing together the UK’s best independent hoteliers with premium and innovative suppliers, delivering insightful seminars and creating a myriad of opportunities to network, the seventh Independent Hotel Show, presented by James Hallam Insurance Brokers, has been heralded a great success.

“We were delighted to see the first-class and visionary quality of the show exceeding all expectations once again,” said Event Director Miranda Martin. “The UK’s most talented hoteliers, industry stalwarts, innovative entrepreneurs and influential media attended in droves, whilst an impressive number of exhibitors rebooked for next year (15 &16 October) on the spot. The feedback about the design features has been amazing and comments from visitors about their experience are evidence of yet another great show for the sector.”

Inspiring new features were found in every corner of the show at Olympia London on 16 and 17 October, including live installation ‘The Hotel Room of the Future’ created by Two’s Company Interiors.

Providing a glimpse into the near future, the Hotel Room of the Future buzzed with excitement and conversation over the two days. The room offered intuitive tech to enhance the guest experience, rather than to taint it with confusing switches and screens, the bed incorporated tech, scent and science for a night of deep sleep, while the futuristic design of the bathroom provided the essential instagrammable feature.

Many hoteliers headed for The Dyson Meeting Space designed by Galapagos to take part in facilitated speed networking sessions. Offering a ‘conversational menu’ as a prompt for peers to share views and experiences on various themes and topics such as ‘The Future is Female’, ‘Multiple Site Operators’ and ‘Future Leaders’, this new feature at the show was a success for encouraging interaction and making new contacts.

Conducive to further networking was The Lobby, designed by Capellini. Located at the heart of the show with a range of seating options and tables, warm lighting and vibrant green foliage, it provided a calm space for conversation.

Over the two days, thought leaders from across the industry discussed a range of hot topics – from service and staffing to technology, design, loyalty, marketing and wellness – in front of packed audiences at the Business Theatre, in partnership with Sky and designed by and the Innovation Stage, in partnership with eviivo, designed by Elli Popp.

Over in the Business Theatre, Hotel Designs’ editor Hamish Kilburn moderating an engaging panel with leading figures such as Emma King (Head of interior design at IHG, europe), Chris Hill (Hotels Operations Director, House of Daniel Thwaites), Anant Sharma (CEO, Matters of Form) and Jonathon Slater (Owner, Oddfellows Management).

Panelists in The Great Service Debate 2018, led by EP Business in Hospitality and Penshee, delved deep into the subject of service – attributing good service to five key pillars – low effort (installing systems to allow staff to attend to guests), personality, adaptability, empathy and authenticity.

Recruitment was hot topic at the Business Theatre with HR consultant Claire Elston joined by Adam Rowledge of Georgian House, Sarah Powell of Soho Farmhouse and Babington House and Dee Smith of Springboard, who gave invaluable advice on how to inspire and engage the workforce.

On the Innovation Stage, ‘The Hotel Room of the Future’ was discussed by Gilly Craft, BIID President and Partner & Designer at Two’s Company Interior Design and Rodney Hoinkes, Chief Insight and Innovation Officer, Fresh Montgomery, who talked through the journey of the room, from research to reveal.

“The talks, panel discussion and power breakfast gave us lots to think about and actions to put in place back at our hotel” – Hoteliers Julia and Nick Davies, Owners of The Cottage in the Wood.

UK Hospitality’s CEO Kate Nicholls gave an overview of UK Hospitality and talked about strategies to address the industry’s labour shortage by making it an appealing place to work. Nicholls said work was underway to convince the Government that the sector is not a low-skilled one, but a semi and soft-skilled one and to promote the sector as an attractive and viable place to build a career.

Other events at the show included a rare chance to hear former Waterside Inn Maître D’ Diego Masciaga reveal what it was like to front the three Michelin-starred restaurant for 30 years. Diego shared his service tips in a keynote interview with Peter Hancock, Chief Executive of Pride of Britain Hotels.

Throughout the show, esteemed speakers, VIP hoteliers, show partners and their guests were invited to visit The Suite designed by Valdivian. Bold colours, striking patterns and beautiful furniture set the scene for networking, meetings or simply catching up.

Consistent with every year of the Independent Hotel Show, hoteliers, returning and new exhibitors alike were impressed with the high standards and calibre of opportunities and leads.

“We loved the Independent Hotel Show,” said hoteliers Julia and Nick Davies, Owners of The Cottage in the Wood. “The talks, panel discussion and power breakfast gave us lots to think about and actions to put in place back at our hotel. We met with key suppliers that we were looking for as well as new ones too. The Hotel Room of the Future was fascinating and gave us lots of ideas for our upcoming rooms refurbishment.

Barry Stuart, UK Sales Director Key Accounts, ADA International, whose company also fragranced the show, said: “The Independent Hotel Show 2018 has been one of the best exhibitions I’ve been to in a decade. Our stand was at its best and the footfall has been brilliant with the quality of attendees high.”

Thibault Gence, Co-Founder of tech provider Hotelhero: “This year was our first time exhibiting at the Independent Hotel Show and I have been impressed by the design of the Show and quality of stands. It’s more personal and on-point than other trade shows I’ve been to and is the best one for independent hotels – it’s not just about business, or branding, but about everything relevant to hoteliers.”

Nina Tarnowski, Director and Designer, Woodchip & Magnolia, the Show’s wallpaper partner, said: “Our business has only been going for 18 months, so being at the Show has been about brand recognition as well as connecting with hoteliers. Previously, we’ve only exhibited at design shows. The response we had to our mural in the foyer was amazing, so we’re thrilled to have been able to show our work in key places as well as have a stand.”

The Independent Hotel Show Awards for Independent Hotelier and Outstanding New Hotel were given to Adam Rowledge, general manager of Georgian House, and Another Place, The Lake.

The Independent Hotel Show will be back for its eighth year on 15 & 16 October 2019.


SPOTLIGHT ON: Photography/Artwork & Show Season Recap

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Throughout November, Hotel Designs will be shining the spotlight on the importance of photography and artwork while also reflected on what was a busy and successful show season, which is not quite over yet…

Next month, Hotel Designs will investigate how photography and artwork is used within international hotel design in order to create personality and a strong sense of place. In addition, it will reflect on Show Season’s London Design Festival and Independent Hotel Show and will highlight what the industry can expect ahead of this year’s highly anticipated SLEEP + EAT.

Photography, artwork and wallcoverings

This month, ARTIQ will conclude its nationwide search to find the best young artists trying to make a name for themselves. Now in its sixth year, The Graduate Art Prize 2018, established by ARTIQ and global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills in 2012, is open to all final year students on BA and MA degree courses at British art colleges or universities. In addition, the Hotel Designs editorial team will catch up with the artist behind the sensational newly designed lobby at Address Downtown, Dubai in order to understand the challenges of creating the 8.5-metre-high paintings that now frame the luxurious first impressions upon arrival.

Show Season Recap 

Image caption (left to right): Hamish Kilburn (Editor, Hotel Designs), Emma King (Head of Interior Design, Europe), Chris Hill (Director of Operations, Daniel Thwaites) and Anant Sharma (CEO, Matters of Form)

As we hit the halfway point in regards to Show Season as the industry prepares for SLEEP + EAT, Hotel Designs will reflect on the highlights from both London Design Festival and Independent Hotel Show in order to pinpoint the main events and what the trends look like for 2019 and beyond.

If you’re a supplier in either of these categories and want your products to reach more than 41,000 hoteliers, interior designers and architects per month, there are plenty of ways you can get involved with these features next month, from supplying an opinion piece to working with us on a targeted mini-series.

If you wish to find out more, please contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or

Image credit: ©-Nicolas-Dumont-courtesy-of-Address-Downtown




The Peninsula Hong Kong takes to the seas by launching luxury yacht

Hamish Kilburn
Taking hotel arrivals to a new level, The Peninsula Hong Kong has launched a luxury yacht, adding to its impressive collection of luxury vehicles…

As it prepares to celebrate its 90th Birthday, The Peninsula Hong Kong heralds the arrival of a new Peninsula Yacht for guests’ enjoyment. The introduction of the yacht results in The Peninsula being the first luxury hotel in Hong Kong to offer a trio of deluxe transportation options, complementing the existing fleet of Rolls-Royce Phantoms and a customised helicopter.

The Sunseeker Manhattan 60 is an iconic, 19 metre cruiser that will welcome up to 15 passengers each evening to enjoy a two-hour cruise featuring the ‘Symphony of Lights’ on the mesmerising Victoria Harbour during the “Harbour Sunset Cruise”. The package includes canapés and unlimited house Champagne, wine and other beverages, available from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm nightly, priced at HKD 1,400 nett for adults and HKD 600 nett for children.

The Peninsula Yacht will also provide an alluring new venue for exclusive events, managed by the hotel. A personalised chartered tour will be available for guests to charter for private functions, family celebrations, cocktail receptions, elegant pre-wedding photoshoots or onboard massage therapy by The Peninsula Spa. For a fully personalised experience, the entire yacht can be chartered for HKD 15,000 nett per hour with a minimum engagement of four hours. Furthermore, the Events team can customise any event by adding the guest’s choice of signature Peninsula experiences, each of which is priced separately.

The launch comes as more and more hotel interior designers are stepping on board to now help to design the future of cruise ships.


Four Seasons Hotel Singapore unveils luxury themed suites

Hamish Kilburn
Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, which first opened in 1994, has unveiled new themes in its luxury suites…

Four Seasons Hotel Singapore has completed its recent room renewal program with the revelation of its crowning jewels – The Suite Collection.

Together with the rest of the guestrooms and suites, the renovation began in early July 2018, led by the interior designers Hirsch Bedner Associates, who led the renovations of the Jiang-Nan Chun restaurant in 2016 and the opening of the Hotel in 1994.

Comprising four distinctive residential-style suites – the Royal Suite, Governor Suite, Ambassador Suite and the Presidential Suite – the suites artfully unfurl Singapore’s legacy through thoughtful use of key motifs, textures and colour palettes to create intentional, ambient design that portrays and acknowledges Singapore as a dynamic, cosmopolitan nation with a storied history.

Located on the 18th floor, the Royal Suite is inspired by the tropical splendour of nearby Singapore Botanic Gardens, a lush UNESCO World Heritage Site. The newly added chic open pantry and unique sofa seating unites living and dining space and is ideal for casual entertaining. Cloaked in neutrals, black and verdant green, and dressed in cane and linen textures, with local palm, fruit and animal motifs in artworks and accessories, the new décor reflects a relaxed and vibrant ambience.

In the surrounds of hand-picked, book lined walls of the privileged, agreements were oft sealed with a simple gentlemen’s handshake and a toast of brandy and a glass of whiskey. Ensconced in exclusivity on the top guest room floor of Four Seasons Hotel Singapore and generously sized, the Governor Suite features pear wood millwork offset with stylish contemporary furnishings in smoky light grey, dark wood detailing and amber tones for a smart, stately ambience with a panoramic boulevard view.

As colourful and rich as the intricate designs of the kamchen pottery featured in-suite, the Peranakan culture is a unique heritage that blossomed since the 15th century as a result of inter-marriages between the local Straits community with non-Straits descendants, when Singapore was a major trading port. This cultivated a beautiful cross-cultural appreciation in Singapore, evident through distinctive art styles, fashion, language and recipes. Accented with existing Straits Chinese elements through chic modern furniture in a turquoise, grey and dusty rose scheme, the Ambassador Suite is located on the 19th floor and exudes a unique grace and charm.

Evoking the journey of Singapore from colonial outpost to a modern nation, the largest suite at Four Seasons Hotel Singapore – the Presidential Suite – is eloquently showcased through contrasts of black and white, symbolic of old news footage and photos, with accents of gold, symbolic of its hopes and prosperity. Inspired by the grand colonial houses that are today still standing proud on the island, the suite located on the 19th floor offers a breath-taking view of the city skyline and is appointed with sleek contemporary furniture in a black, white and persimmon scheme that complements the existing pear wood millwork and black marble floor.

With a total of 255 guestrooms inclusive of these four themed suites, the wide range of accommodation options are crafted to welcome the Hotel’s clientele. From families to business travellers, guests will be immersed in sophisticated comfort and plush interiors. All rooms and suites also boast large floor-to-ceiling windows providing sweeping views of the city and surrounding greenery, brightening up the rooms with plenty of natural light. Just steps from the city’s shopping and commercial heart, the Hotel provides convenient access to the Central Business District and main tourist attractions.

Design-led sign and display specialist, Signbox, launches new eshop

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Recommended Supplier Signbox launches new eshop with a large range of stocked sign products available for hotels…

Offering intelligently designed, off-the-shelf sign and display solutions, from Fire Exit signs, to NFC Smart Stickers to LED-illuminated restroom signs and everything in between, Signbox’s new eshop is easy to browse and offers rapid delivery on a huge range of stocked products.

UK-based Signbox is a leading signage specialist with over 33 years’ industry experience. With intelligent design and application, the company consistently delivers award-winning visual communication strategies via traditional and pioneering signage methods across a number of market sectors, including corporate, education, healthcare, retail, hotel and leisure.

“We’re known for our bespoke, high-end graphic interior and external signage solutions,” says Managing Director Mark Bartlett. “But we also supply simple off-the-shelf signage for a variety of business sectors and we have been working for some time on a solution to streamline that offering and make it as accessible and efficient as possible. Our new eshop is SEO friendly, easy to navigate and we’re confident that the significant investment we’ve made in getting it up and running will be well worth it.”

“With a proven formula based on contemporary design, technical innovation and engineering excellence, Signbox’s holistic approach continues to put the company at the forefront of architectural signage.”

As any business owner knows – the two great challenges with getting a project like this off the ground are time and money. Finding the time to put into it amid all the day-to-day pressures and deadlines is never easy, and getting a project like this right requires a substantial financial investment as well. Key to finding the finances for the project was an R&D tax credit incentive scheme that we were made aware of through our association with FESPA. There is an explicit regulation within UK company tax law designed to ease the tax burden on businesses who are investing heavily in R&D, and two years ago we decided to explore this as an avenue to find the necessary funds to grow and adapt our business. Like any tax regulation it is a highly complex process, so we were grateful for the assistance of Kene Partners whose services we employed to walk us through this regulatory minefield and help us to maximise our business growth opportunities.

“With Adam Kene and his teams’ help, over the course of the last two years, we’ve managed to save a six-figure sum off our corporation tax bill which we have been able to invest back into the business: training and up-skilling staff, purchasing a new Zund precision cutting device to automate production, a new Trotec laser and of course investing in the digital infrastructure which has made our attractive fresh, user-friendly eshop a reality. We’d encourage any business looking for growth opportunities to explore this as an option,” Bartlett concludes. “As investing in the future benefits consumers and the wider economy as well as helping individual companies to grow.”

With a proven formula based on contemporary design, technical innovation and engineering excellence, Signbox’s holistic approach continues to put the company at the forefront of architectural signage. Sourcing and implementing cutting edge technologies and high quality sustainable materials, the company is renowned for delivering powerful interior and exterior signage projects for a diverse range of global brands in the UK, Europe, the Americas and the Far East – all of which are compliant, future-proof and visually arresting.

To view the Signbox eshop and take advantage of opening month special offers, please visit:

Click here to read Navigating around Signbox’s HQ to understand more about how the leading company manufacturers its bespoke products.

Signbox are one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.


Victoria & Albert Museum opens in Scotland

Hamish Kilburn
The new Victoria & Albert museum in Dundee, Scotland, has been designed by Kengo Kuma to replicate the bow of a ship…

The Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), in London, has opened a branch in Dundee, Scotland, in a spectacular new building – designed by Kengo Kuma on the banks of the Firth of Tay. The V&A Dundee will feature both historical and contemporary design. The futuristic building, designed by Kuma, was inspired by the cliffs on the Scottish coast and is the centerpiece at Dundee’s Tayside development.

Kuma, who also designed the stadium for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, is regarded as a master at connecting buildings with their natural surroundings. His first project in the UK will connect people “like a living room” with their city and history.

The V&A Dundee appears to rise out of the water like the bow of a huge ship. Grey in grey, like the cliffs on the nearby North Sea coast, it is made from thousands of wave-like stone slabs. The two building sections in the form of inverted pyramids provide free access to the River Tay on the ground and are joined on the first floor. The overhang is almost 20 meters at the longest point. Kuma and his team decided to specify Duravit’s classic rectangular Vero washbasins in the washrooms are fully in keeping with the museum’s timelessly modern design.

The analogy continues in the huge oak-paneled atrium. The light-flooded hall, says Kuma, is intended to make visitors feel as if they are entering a Japanese temple. The 1100 square meter exhibition floor is reached via a wide staircase, glass elevator and dark limestone floor with fossil imprints.

Everywhere, circular passages, seating areas and cafés provide unexpected views of the water, cranes and the Tay bridge.

Duravit, which recently unveiled its new showroom on 36 – 42 Clerkenwell Road, London, are one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.



Rixos Hotels opens first hotel in Abu Dhabi

Hamish Kilburn
The hotel group opens a 378-key luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi, the brand’s fourth hotel in UAE…

Turkish-grown hospitality brand Rixos Hotels has opened its first resort in Abu Dhabi. Rixos Saadiyat Island prides itself on offering ‘pure luxury’ in an opulent setting, inspired by the palaces of the Ottoman Empire, with dazzling interiors reflecting gemstone shades of green, blue and turquoise throughout. Situated on Saadiyat Island, the resort is expected to become the most successful, fully integrated resort in the Emirates.

“We are thrilled to be expanding Rixos Hotels into Abu Dhabi, showcasing our first all-inclusive, all-exclusive resort in the capital,” said Fettah Tamince, Founder and Chairman of Rixos Hotels. We hope to show visitors from around the world how to create a fully integrated resort that delivers ultra-luxury, innovation in cuisine and the highest standards of service. We are extremely proud of our new resort and of the team, we can’t wait to mark a new chapter in our expansion and welcome guests to Rixos Saadiyat Island.”

Image caption: Rixos Saadiyat Island Abu Dhabi

Image caption: Rixos Saadiyat Island Abu Dhabi

With panoramic views overlooking a sprawling private beach and across the Arabian Gulf, the 378-key resort comprises of 366 rooms and suites, plus 12 three and four-bedroom villas, each boasting either shared or private pools, direct access to the beach and the dedicated services of a butler. Conveniently located less than 30 minutes away from all of Abu Dhabi’s most thrilling attractions, guests can indulge in the feeling of hiding away in an exclusive island enclave while still benefiting from proximity to city highlights including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, and Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Rixos Saadiyat Island boasts a water park complete with wave pool for all ages and a children’s Aqua Park to keep the little ones happy. Nestled away within the resort’s verdant gardens, Rixos Saadiyat’s Spa is inspired by the age-old wellness customs of Turkey. The dramatic design reflects traditional Ottoman architecture to create a truly luxurious indoor and outdoor sanctuary where guests enjoy complimentary use of the facilities, which includes a steam room, sauna, a private outdoor pool, and an ice room. A collection of luxury treatment rooms and a traditional Turkish Hammam await those who wish to book a pampering spa treatment, with expert therapists on hand to restore balance for mind, body and soul.

Following the opening of Rixos Saadiyat Island, Rixos Hotels will operate four hotels in the United Arab Emirates –Rixos Premium Dubai, Rixos The Palm Dubai, Rixos Bab Al Bahr and Rixos Saadiyat Island.

Brintons lays new bespoke carpet designs for Kimpton Fitzroy London

Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier Brintons created bespoke carpet design for The Principal London, which has recently become Kimpton Fitzroy London…

Brintons supplied carpets for key public areas within Kimpton’s first London hotel, formally known as The Principal London. Sheltered within a Grade II listed landmark building, which now dominates the area as a five-star hotel on the eastern flank of Russell Square in Bloomsbury, the now Kimpton Fitzroy London, which re-opened as The Principal London in April 2018 after undergoing a multi-million pound renovation and only recently rebranded as an IHG hotel, features a bespoke, contemporary carpet design in the key public areas within. The pattern features a strong linear border, bringing a modern element that harmonises with the period of the building.

The interior design renovation was led by Tara Bernerd & Partners and Russell Sage studio. The designers chose to use cream drapery with light and feathery fabrics and featured artwork that responds to the Bloomsbury neighbourhood’s artistic and literary heritage. Working in harmony with the design brief, Brintons created 4,600 sqm of bespoke carpets for the hotel’s corridors from floors one to eight, including the main staircase and the gallery. The carpet features a steel grey and neutral colour palette, which complements the sophisticated and contemporary interiors.

The three-year renovation, overseen by the Principal Hotel Group, has successfully maintained many stylistic elements of the hotel’s exciting past through the interior décor. The hotel features more than 300 rooms and suites and is close to many central London destinations, including the British Museum and Lamb’s Conduit Street.

The newly unveiled Kimpton Fitzroy London is named after the original architect of the building, Charles Fitzroy Doll, a significant figure of British architecture in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Next year will see even further growth of the Kimpton brand, with additional openings in tier-two cities including Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester. The brand also recently announced its debut in Bangkok, which is slated to open in 2020.

Brintons are one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Top five stories of the week: New sponsors, a fresh motto and social media success

Hamish Kilburn
Following the Independent Hotel Show, and with less than four weeks until the industry gather at The Brit List 2018Hamish Kilburn reviews the week’s headlines live from Africa…

As weeks go, this one has been rather sensational, unforgettable in fact. Following an insightful Independent Hotel Show, I have spent the majority of the last seven days checked in to one of Zimbabwe’s finest hotels, Matetsi Victoria Falls (review on Hotel Designs coming soon), to really understand the design journey – from the birth of a concept to completion – of creating a luxury hotel.

While being ‘in the bush’ – and understanding the challenges faced when creating luxury in 132,000 acres of safari reserve – I have been corresponding back home with the editorial team in order to report on this week’s top headlines. At the top of the news chain is unsurprisingly Hilton Hotels, as this week it unveiled a new ‘affordable lifestyle’ brand to the world. Meanwhile WATG, of whom its UK Managing Director, Martin Peace, is shortlisted for The Brit List 2018, announced its completion on yet another five-start hotel in Asia. Hotel Designs passed the four-weeks-to-go mark before the highly anticipated Brit List 2018 by announced yet another sponsor. And laying down some serious style, Recommended Supplier Kobe had a message to deliver to the industry: “Go bold or go home.” Here is our top five stories of the week.

1) Hilton announces innovative new hotel brand

Motto by Hilton

Hilton has unveiled the launch of Motto by Hilton, its newest affordable lifestyle brand that will empower guests by giving them the freedom to create their own experiences in the world’s most sought-after cities…

Motto by Hilton takes a fresh approach to modern travel culture. It is a micro-hotel with an urban vibe in prime global locations.

2) Hotel Designs reveals a new event sponsor for The Brit List 2018

As the industry prepares to celebrate the leading British influencers in hotels, interior design and architecture, Hotel Designs is proud to welcome the flooring experts Tarkett, which will sponsor the Inspiration in Design – Interior Designer of the Year award.

3) WATG unveils five-star Ayana Komodo Resort in Asia

Set across a 1.4-hectare site, the hotel is surrounded by a lagoon and its marine life, where guests can soak up the 180-degree views of the Flores Sea…

Design firm WATG has opened the doors to its brand-new contemporary hotel in Indonesia, The Ayana Komodo Resort, Waecicu Beach, marking the third Ayana property across Asia.

4) 7 ways to promote your hotel on social media 

The world of social media is constantly evolving, making it crutial for hotels to stay ahead in the market. Serena Dorf, a content writer from Los Angeles, shares her top tops to help hotels remain competitive in the digital sphere.

5) Kobe brings back the retro trend of colour blocking 

Hotel Designs  recommended supplier Kobe has gone crazy for bold accents. Influenced by the catwalk, colour blocking is making a comeback…

If you are interested in attending this year’s Brit List, there are still limited tickets available. Click here to secure your place


One Devonshire Gardens unveils refurbed guestrooms and suites

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The hotel’s renovation, led by Anita Rosato Interior Design, results in 49 newly designed guestrooms and suites…

One Devonshire Gardens by Hotel du Vin has recently completed a transformational refurbishment, cementing its status as one of Glasgow’s most iconic and best-loved hotels.

The refurbishment encompasses the hotel’s 49 rooms, including its six luxurious suites, and the result is spectacular. Inspired by the flora and fauna of the nearby botanical gardens, as well as Hotel du Vin’s long-standing association with excellent wines and champagnes, the guest rooms boast fresh colour schemes, accented by rich, seasonal colour features to add brightness and vibrancy.

“One Devonshire Gardens is a truly unique hotel which brings centuries of heritage together with today’s modern life, and I’m delighted that the guestrooms reflect this,” said Guus Bakker, CEO EMEA Frasers Hospitality. “The final result is 49 beautiful spaces which marry together the old and the new, creating a warm space which is not only steeped in history but is also functional for today’s traveller. We’re delighted with the result and can’t wait for Hotel du Vin’s guests to relax and enjoy these lovely spaces.”

Image credit: Hotel du Vin

With the hotel’s heritage in mind, the original fireplaces, original ornate cornices and mouldings, along with the magnificent windows, have all been preserved and worked into the overall design. The beautiful style is elevated by sculptural lighting and curated mid-century and re-invented antique furniture, which come together to create an eclectic, original style.

Anita Rosato, Owner at Anita Rosato Interior Design, added: “One Devonshire Gardens is such a special place and it has been a real privilege to work with the team to take this part of the hotel forward into the next chapter. Inspiration for the concept of the guestrooms came from the Hotel du Vin brand and its close association with great wines and champagnes as well as from the beautiful Botanical Gardens nearby, where boldly coloured flora and fauna have really informed the move to a more vibrant colour palette. We’re so pleased with the result and are really excited that the rooms are now available for guests to experience.”

Image credit: Hotel du Vin

Following the refurbishment, the hotel now boasts two Luxury Townhouse Suites – Krug and Toques & Clochers. The Krug Suite has been completely reconfigured and now features a dining area (which can also serve as a meeting room) and a luxury bathroom which comprises a free standing roll top bath and large shower. Toques & Clochers has been elevated to a sumptuous Luxury Townhouse Suite, and now has the potential to be either a one or two bedroom suite.

The project was spearheaded by Hotel du Vin’s Group Development Director Jonathan Livesey, supported by well-known interior design business Anita Rosato Interior Design.

Located in the Glasgow West-end district, the stunning One Devonshire Gardens by Hotel du Vin is made up of five grand 19th century Grade B listed houses connected on the ground floor and first floors, and boasts 49 guestrooms each with its own distinctive architectural character.

Chelsom to exhibit at BDNY 2018

Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier Chelsom will be exhibiting at Boutique Design New York on Booth 139…

Lighting manufacturer Chelsom will once again be exhibiting at Boutique Design New York (BDNY) 2018 which takes place at Jacob K. Javits Center New York on 11th-12th November. Now in its ninth year, BDNY is one of the leading trade fairs and conferences for the international hospitality design sector. Having been ranked among the fastest-growing trade shows in the U.S. for the past five years, BDNY successfully inspires and connects hospitality professionals from all facets of the business.

This will be Chelsom’s 3rd consecutive year at the event where the company will be exhibiting a selection of products from their exciting new lighting collections, Edition 26. Designed by Robert and Will Chelsom, the collections harness and refine the latest trends in finishes and materials and have been created with the requirements of the international hospitality marketplace at their core. The Edition 26 collections are the company’s most distinctive to date both in terms of design and technology with nearly all pieces having an integral LED light source or available with a LED option.

“BDNY is the number one show in terms of interior design for the hospitality market in the USA and we are very pleased to be exhibiting again. As part of our expanding export division we have focussed our efforts on the US market over recent years and BDNY is a key date in the diaries of many leading hospitality professionals so it’s incredibly exciting to be showcasing our most different and design-led collection yet.” Commented Philip Macaulay, Sales Director.

Chelsom has become one of the leading designers, manufacturers and suppliers of decorative contract lighting to the international hospitality sector working on a number of significant projects in the last 18months including Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, The Ned in London, The Beekman New York, Ritz Carlton Central Park New York and Four Seasons Seattle. Supplying both standard and custom designed lighting products, Chelsom has the expertise to enhance any hotel interior, whether 2-star or 6-star, from cutting edge contemporary to period buildings, guestroom to corridor to public spaces.

Chelsom, which is a Hotel Designs Recommdend Supplier will be on Booth 139. For more information on BDNY and to register to attend please go to:

Richmond Hill Hotel to create one of Greater London’s foremost boutique hotels

Hamish Kilburn
The London outpost of the Grand Brighton Hotel is undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment will model 69 Georgian bedrooms in the independent hotel so that they reflect the character and history of the Richmond area…

The independent hotel is undergoing a £5.6 million refurbishment bringing the hotel to 144 bedrooms. Each of the 69 Georgian bedrooms are being individually designed with a nod to the local character and history of Richmond and will complement the contemporary ‘Hill Collection’ rooms completed in 2016.

The room interiors will draw upon Georgian characteristics whilst incorporating the standards associated with international hotel design. A Georgian colour palate has been used throughout and local artist Joshua de Lisle has been commissioned to create bespoke detailing in both the bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms.

The refurbishment programme has been devised by K&H Design who is recognised for unrivalled attention to detail and will use local and British artisans and cabinet-makers. Each bedroom features Heal’s king-size beds and the furniture has been commissioned to fit within each of the individual room styles. Bathrooms will either feature deep freestanding baths or spacious walk-in showers.

Richmond Hill Hotel will also undertake a major remodelling of its food and beverage outlet to create a hub at the top of Richmond Hill. Designed by award-winning Russell Sage Studio the space has been devised as an all-day dining destination.

Diane Tapner-Evans, general manager at Richmond Hill Hotel, says: “I’m so excited that the project is underway and cannot wait for it to be completed in early 2019. The team have worked tirelessly to create an unrivalled reputation and now it’s time to give the town a new focus at the top of the hill.”

Sleep + Eat announce show exhibitors

Hamish Kilburn
This year’s Sleep + Eat event has announced new exhibitors to the show, as well as some you will already know. With over 150 suppliers attending the event, many of whom will be launching new collections, this year’s event being held in late November has the potential to be the best yet…


Sekers: Contract furnishing fabrics supplier who will showcase a selection of hospitality fabric ranges. New to the Sleep + Eat event will be the Copernicus collection, a versatile collection of two woven velvets.


Chelsom’s products. Left to right: Icicle, Radar, and Roma.

Chelsom: Will show products from their latest collection ‘Edition 26’, a collection that promises to be a truly eclectic lighting experience. Dominating this collections design is an array of brass tones, textured Venetian coloured glass and varying marble finishes. All available with LED light sources to accommodate the latest developments in technology and energy efficiency.

Bang & Olufsen

Bang & Olufsen

Bang & Olufsen: The second time the Danish company have exhibited at the event. They will bring along a range of ultra HD Tv’s for the hospitality sector, public area audio solutions and guest room Bluetooth speakers.

Ligne Roset

Ligne Roset Contract

Ligne Roset: The brand will be presenting their signature sofa range, each created by a different designer. With these sofas being described with such whimsicle imagination such as ‘a tube of toothpaste folded over on itself like a stovepipe and closed at both ends’, the collection promises to ignight the imagination.

Other brands at the Sleep + Eat event that we are excited to see include:

Dekton by Cosentino showcases Stonika surface line

Hamish Kilburn

The Cosentino Group has bolstered its product offering, following the launch of the new Stonika collection for its Dekton surface brand.

Comprised of four different designs, the collection features looks inspired by natural marbles: bergen, arga, taga and korso.

Each offers a brilliant shine and durability, plus the new surfaces represent the latest manufacturing developments from Cosentino’s R&D team.

“Dekton Stonika is an exciting launch for us at Cosentino, representing the very best of what our R&D team can achieve,” said Paul Gidley, area director for Cosentino UK.

“These four new colours showcase the next generation of surfacing developments, and we’re proud to continue pushing the boundaries of what is possible to create designs that inspire.”

The new range offers all of the benefits of standard Dekton items, including a high resistance to heat, scratches, staining and UV rays, plus each product is suitable for indoors and outdoors.

Customers will be able to use the Dekton Stonika designs on a variety of projects, such as kitchen and bathroom worktops and wall cladding.

Available in various thicknesses (8mm, 12mm and 20mm) and large format slabs up to 320cm x 144cm, numerous design possibilities can be achieved.

Nature and travel inspire Banbayu’s new eco-friendly wallpapers

Hamish Kilburn
Made from FSC Grade wallpaper substrate from sustainable, managed forest, each design boasts odourless inks…

Banbayu has taken inspiration from travel, nature and history to design its latest eco-friendly and sustainable wallpaper range.

Designed and produced in Transylvania, Romania, the new designs can update any room thanks to its bold patterns and quirky designs.

Plus, each wallpaper has been made with premium non-woven quality substrate that’s surface printed with eco-friendly inks.

Made from FSC Grade wallpaper substrate from sustainable, managed forest, each design boasts odourless inks.

Each ink has a very high durability and is certified to comply with the Nordic Swan Environmental Standard, which is an eco-labelling system that determines a product’s impact on the environment throughout its lifecycle, meaning no dangerous elements within them can affect the environment or a person’s health.

New award sponsor announced for The Brit List 2018

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Hotel Designs welcomes flooring manufacturer Tarkett as an award sponsor to the Brit List 2018, which takes place on November 22 at BEAT London…

As the industry prepares to celebrate the leading British influencers in hotels, interior design and architecture, Hotel Designs is proud to welcome the flooring experts Tarkett, which will sponsor the Inspiration in Design – Interior Designer of the Year award.

“Tarkett has over 130 years of experience in the flooring industry – with an impressive range of multi-purpose flooring options to suit any hospitality space. In the hospitality sector, it’s all about designing for a memorable experience. Tarkett believes that floors are the ideal playground on which to deliver this, by creating a truly experiential space for visitors. Designers can personalise both Tarkett’s LVT and DESSO carpet flooring ranges, to strengthen brand positioning and enhance customer experience, ultimately attracting and retaining guests and customers. We are delighted to partner with Hotel Designs at this prestigious event,” said Mark Burton, National Sales Manager for Retail and Hospitality at Tarkett.”

The Brit List itself is gathering momentum and tickets are selling fast – so far, attendees include the likes of EPR Architects, InterContinental Hotels Group, RPW Design, Richmond International, Rosewood Hotels, Hotel Gotham, Gensler, Gleneagles, Bespoke Hotels, Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, Tate Harmer, Dexter Moren Associates, Principal Hotels and Hirsch Bedner Associates plus many, many more.

How to attend this year’s Brit List and join the elite!

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to meet the top hoteliers, interior designers and architects at The Brit List, click here to book your place.

If you are a buyer to the hospitality industry (architect, designer or hotelier) and would like to attend The Brit List 2018, click here to book your place.

To discuss the various sponsorship packages available, please contact Katy Phillips on +44(0)1992 374050

Charles Darwin inspires Fusion

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An innovative hospitality force in Vietnam, known for its upscale all-spa-inclusive resorts and chic city hotels, will add a third brand to its portfolio with the opening of the first Fusion Originals hotel in Ho Chi Minh City next year.

A room rendering of Darwin – A Fusion Original

Each Originals hotel will bear the name of a pioneering artist, inventor, scientist, or social leader. For the inaugural member of the collection, they’ve selected Charles Darwin a British botanist, scientist, and naturalist who redefined mankind’s place in the universe.

Remco de Hoog, Fusion’s chief architect, said: “Charles Darwin is the perfect person to launch this exciting, slightly rebellious all-new brand.”

Darwin – a Fusion Original’ is currently under construction in the heart of Saigon’s District 1, less than 200 meters from the city’s iconic opera house and close to shops, restaurants, cafés, bars, and tourist hotspots.

The 88-room hotel will pay homage to its namesake by creating an air of 19th-century discovery and adventure. Fusion’s designers have focussed on Darwin’s tireless studies of plants, animals, and people from all over the globe and will honour this by featuring botanical motifs, super-sized extracts of Darwin’s manuscripts, and a palette of all-natural tones and textures in the interiors. There will even be a copy of Darwin’s most famous publication, On the Origin of Species, inside every bedside unit.

A room rendering of Darwin - A Fusion Original

A room rendering of Darwin – A Fusion Original

In the ground-floor lobby, the aptly named Beagle Bar will host regular live music and spoken-word events lubricated by old-school rum cocktails and local craft ales. Meanwhile, Origins Restaurant, home to a re-imagined breakfast concept known as T.O.A.S.T. (The Original Answer to Snooze Time), will serve dishes inspired by Charles Darwin’s global journeys.

“With Darwin and every Fusion Original that comes after it, you’ll never quite know what to expect,” added de Hoog. “We love shaking things up, and we think our guests will really enjoy the feeling of entering the unknown each time… in a good way, of course.”


Hilton announces innovative new hotel brand; ‘Motto by Hilton’

Hamish Kilburn
Hilton announces the launch of Motto by Hilton, its newest affordable lifestyle brand that will empower guests by giving them the freedom to create their own experiences in the world’s most sought-after cities…

Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO, Hilton, said: “Hilton prides itself on being a leader in the hospitality industry and evolving with the needs of our guests. Innovation is in our DNA, and as we embark on our 100th year as a company, we are innovating more than ever before. With Motto by Hilton, we are bringing to market something the industry has never experienced with its flexible and affordable room product, desirable locations and guest-empowered service.”

The Making of Motto

Motto by Hilton takes a fresh approach to modern travel culture. It is a micro-hotel with an urban vibe in prime global locations.

Evaluated the emerging lifestyle hostel model globally to understand the opportunity to enhance the shared room concept. But, extensive research showed that travellers who stay in hostels, in fact, do not like rooming with strangers and often book just with their friends or family. They want more from their hostel experience but are limited by current options in the market.

As it evaluated the existing market, Hilton quickly understood that what these travellers wanted was an affordable urban lifestyle brand – one that combined comfort and accessibility with travel and lifestyle trends that centred around:

  • Prime Locations: It’s about giving travellers access to the best location – being in the heart of the city and in the most popular neighbourhoods. Right neighbourhoods make a difference.
  • Authenticity: What does it mean to be “here”? Locality breeds identity, community, and ultimately, a sense of place.
  • Affordability: Competitive rates that open the doors to cities and locations that travellers didn’t think they could afford.
  • Flexibility: One size doesn’t fit all — choice is paramount. Multi-purpose spaces are growing in popularity because of the flexibility they afford.

“Following extensive market research that focused on consumers’ needs and wants, we discovered the opportunity for a brand that offers travellers a trifecta of centrally located, reasonably priced and less traditional lodging that provides a one-of-a-kind experience,” said Jon Witter, chief customer officer, Hilton. “These findings led us to create Motto by Hilton, a flexible environment that allows guests to design their stay, their way.”

Motto by Hilton – Brand Essence from Hilton Newsroom on Vimeo.

The Motto Way

  • Guest Rooms: With an average footprint of 163 square feet or 14 square meters, the highly efficient rooms will include space-saving features such as wall-beds, lofted beds, segmented shower and toilet stalls, and multi-functional furniture that can be discreetly stowed when not in use.
  • Linking Rooms: Eliminating the hassle of coordinating travel for larger groups, Motto by Hilton hotels will have the option for guests to book multiple connecting rooms in advance.
  • Split-payments: Motto by Hilton hotels will allow guests to split payments between more than one person at the time of booking, avoiding the sometimes-complicated math exercise during checkout.
  • Connected Room: All Motto by Hilton rooms will be outfitted with Hilton’s Connected Room technology – the first mobile-centric hotel offering that allows guests to control features in their room (i.e., temperature, lighting, TV, window coverings, etc.) from their Hilton Honors mobile app.
  • Curated Sleep Experience: Motto by Hilton hotels will put an emphasis on a premium sleep experience. Whether it is a premium mattress; a Sleep Kit with eye masks, essential oils or vitamin bars; a white noise app; blackout window shades; or sound absorbing materials throughout the room, Motto by Hilton is sleep-obsessed and prioritizes quality sleep for every traveller

“The launch of Motto by Hilton emphasizes our relentless commitment to creating innovative brands that meet what today’s travellers want,” said Phil Cordell, global head of new brand development, Hilton. “The unmatched flexibility of Motto offers tremendous value by empowering travellers to tailor every stay to their specific needs.”

While Motto by Hilton prices will vary by market, each property will offer competitive rates that will make it a viable option for travellers who typically stay with friends or family or seek out temporary housing options when travelling to urban markets.

Motto on the Move

This global brand will be made up of a carefully curated portfolio of hotels in the most desirable urban destinations throughout Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Motto by Hilton hotels will be located in prime neighbourhoods, such as the 100-bed Motto by Hilton in Marylebone, London, which is being developed with the UK-based developer, Dominvs Group. Demolition on the site has commenced and construction will start in January 2019, targeting a 2020 opening as one of the first Motto by Hilton properties.

“We’ve deconstructed the traditional hospitality experience to create something truly fresh and exciting,” said Tripp McLaughlin, global head, Motto by Hilton. “This will be a global brand, heavily targeting the destinations where our connected and confident travelers want to travel to the most.”

Motto by Hilton – Virtual Flythrough from Hilton Newsroom on Vimeo.

Room Mate Hotels personalises the user experience with Amazon Pay

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By implementing this service, Room Mate believes guests will be able to enjoy a more unique, personalised experience before and after their stay…

Room Mate Hotels has improved its user experience and reinforced its position as a Visionary Brand with the introduction of Amazon Pay inside all of its hotels.

From today, guests will be able to quickly and easily book their stay in any of the hotels the international hotel chain operates around the world by using their Amazon log in information.

By implementing this service, Room Mate believes guests will be able to enjoy a more unique, personalised experience before and after their stay.

“At Room Mate we love breaking the mould, being different and surprising. We always rethink everything and this has made us a Visionary Brand,” said Victor Fernández, CEO of Room Mate Hotels.

“The introduction of Amazon Pay is a natural step in Room Mate Hotels’ growth, a fusion of technology and innovation created to make the experience of everyone that chooses us easier and adapted and so that we continue being visionary within the sector. We are very happy to be working with Amazon.”

This latest news adds to Room Mate Hotels’ ambitious expansion plans, with new destinations to be reached including Rome, Paris, Naples, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Mallorca and Lisbon.

At present the chain boasts 24 hotels and the new locations will see the size of the company double, going from having 1,522 rooms to having a total of more than 3,052 rooms in its portfolio.

Edouard Chabrol, head of Amazon Pay for France, Spain and Italy, added: “Amazon and Room Mate share a customer focus, management based on data and the capacity to innovate. We work to improve customers’ experience from the moment they make a booking.

“By integrating Amazon Pay, Room Mate enables its customers to make bookings in a more agile, convenient way, improving the conversion of its online channel.”

WATG unveils five-star Ayana Komodo Resort in Asia

Hamish Kilburn
Set across a 1.4-hectare site, the hotel resort is surrounded by a lagoon and its marine life, where guests can soak up the 180-degree views of the Flores Sea…

Design firm WATG has opened the doors to its brand-new contemporary hotel in Indonesia, The Ayana Komodo Resort, Waecicu Beach, marking the third Ayana property across Asia. Located in Labuan Bajo, on Flores Island, the hotel is the latest five-star offering in the Indonesian Archipelago, boasting 192 rooms and 13 suites.

Set across a 1.4-hectare site, the hotel is surrounded by a lagoon and its marine life, where guests can soak up the 180-degree views of the Flores Sea. “The site’s amazing location on the edge of the sea forms a destination and gateway to the Sunda Islands archipelago,” said Bill Reed, Vice President of architecture at WATG. “This is the first world-class destination in the area and it will serve as a benchmark for future development. We designed the Ayana Komodo Resort to reflect the relaxed aesthetic of the Komodo Islands, with a feeling of spontaneity and subtle sophistication.”

The area’s cultural and ecological landscape has shaped WATG’s design for the resort; named after the Komodo dragon the resort’s guest wing has a curving shape and rough textured roof that emulates the form of the reptile.


Meanwhile, the architecture also draws inspiration from the Manggarai Mountain range, and a collection of local materials and traditional Batik patterns to create an informed identity for the hotel.

On site, guests can also take advantage of the two large pools, six restaurants and bars, and a 420 square-meter spa.

Tropical prints on fabrics create boutique feeling

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Classic trellis designs tumble of exotic flowers and waving palm trees give a clue to the relaxing far-away feel of the new collection launching this autumn by Skopos…

Seven new designs, printed on a choice of base-cloths, offer an uplifting boutique feel to contract interiors. Inspired by the relaxing pace of Hawaiian life, Mau Loa (meaning ‘forever’) conveys a tranquil, exotic paradise through exquisite illustration, hand painting and mixed media. The collection will be launched on a new FR soft panama weave fabric, with FR options for waterproof upholstery, multi-use velvet and qualities for blackout, dim-out and bedding end uses.

Mau Loa will add to the Skopos print portfolio and be seen on exhibition stands in Autumn and Winter, with samples available from October.

Skopos supply fabric on the roll for contract projects or offer a full-service option with site measure, furnishings make-up and installation.

Skopos is an ISO9001 accredited company and has over 45 years’ specialist experience in the design and manufacture of high-performance FR contract fabrics for the hospitality, cruise, care and leisure sectors.

Arora group opens new dual-brand hotel at London Heathrow

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Arora Group has marked the official opening of its new Heathrow Terminal 4 hotels, Crowne Plaza London and Holiday Inn Express, with a launch event at the new Crowne Plaza. This dual-branded property is the largest hotel opening in the UK in 2018 and the largest hotel complex directly connected to a British airport terminal…
Surinder Arora, Founder & Chairman of Arora Group, Sir Cliff Richard OBE

Surinder Arora, Founder & Chairman of Arora Group, Sir Cliff Richard OBE

Surinder Arora, founder and chairman of the Arora Group, was joined by special guests Kenneth MacPherson, CEO Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa, IHG; Karin Sheppard, managing director, Europe, IHG; Tony Yeung, LJ Partnership; Nick Pattie, managing director, Whitebridge Hospitality; Kwasi Kwarteng, MP for Spelthorne; and Sir Cliff Richard OBE at the event attended by local partners, clients and stakeholders.

Arora, said: “We are delighted to officially open the doors on our two eagerly-awaited state-of-the-art London Heathrow airport hotels. We have two fantastic brands and an enviable location, superbly positioned to cater to the leisure and business travel market. We have enjoyed a fruitful working relationship with IHG over many years, a company which shares our passion for the market in which we operate, and our commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences. We are delighted to announce the completion of our latest joint partnership with Tony Yeung of LJ Partnership, Sir Cliff Richard and Lord Fink.”

Crowne Plaza London ‒ Heathrow T4 is a 456,000-sq ft development with 304 comfortable and modern bedrooms. For event organisers and meeting planners the hotel offers a range of business and meeting facilities including five meeting rooms accommodating up to 100 people and the very latest technology. In addition, a 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness centre allows delegates to keep their health and fitness goals while away from home.

The hotel features three food and beverage outlets, including the classically-styled Urban Brasserie restaurant serving modern British cuisine, the fashionable Destinations Bar, serving street food and sharing platters as well as innovative and classic cocktails and Tea 4, the elegant lounge setting in the lobby.

This upscale hotel also boasts enhanced facilities such as dedicated quiet zones, a Sleep Advantage Programme, including premium bedding and guaranteed wake up calls, Club Lounge and luxurious bedrooms.

Holiday Inn Express London ‒ Heathrow T4 is a ‘next generation’ Holiday Inn Express hotel. Its 457-room bedrooms have blackout blinds, pillow menus, flat screen smart TVs and the brand’s new larger, cosier beds. For dining, the Holiday Inn Express Bar and Café will serve simple, honest food all day, including the Express breakfast buffet of hot and continental options. Over 100 guest parking spaces are available at the hotels.

The hotels are conveniently located within walking distance of Heathrow’s terminals via a covered link-bridge and with direct access to the London Underground, Heathrow Express train service and nearby motorways.

The two hotels will operate under a franchise agreement with IHG and will be managed by Arora Hotels, a division of the Arora Group. The construction of the hotels has been managed by Grove Developments, the construction division of the Arora Group.

Kobe brings back the retro trend of colour blocking

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Hotel Designs  recommended supplier Kobe has gone crazy for bold. Influenced by the catwalk, colour blocking is making a comeback…

Whether it’s a bold scheme to grab attention, or a subtle approach creating an element of calm, luxury fabric specialist Kobe has a host of curtain and upholstery fabrics that work the look.

David Harris, Kobe‘s managing director, said: “The colour blocking trend was first apparent in the 60s, followed by the 80s and has returned for modern day. Each era has its own element and we love the idea of transforming a plain room with simple additions such as curtains or soft furnishings in a vibrant colour.”

Perfect for creating a statement is Kobe’s multi-purpose matte-velvet look Volterra collection, which is suitable for both contract and domestic use. The range features an extensive selection of 54 shades, including stand-out-from-the-crowd fuschia, rich blues and vibrant greens.

Harris continued: “Velvets are perfect for creating a really opulent scheme but can be played down by keeping the rest of the interior fairly simple.”

Kobe’s Shantung collection is a polyester and linen mix curtain fabric with an extensive colour palette of 50 shades. It includes the latest jewel tones such as deep purples, aqua greens and sapphire reds – ideal for creating a pop of colour.

In addition, Kobe’s Scala collection includes 205 colours of the spectrum, from neutral to black and every colour in between. While room-high range, Rome has 32 shades and Argento has 47 statement tones.

Kobe’s impressive selection of upholstery fabrics include the very latest designs and textures available in a vibrant colour selection. They include Pechemelba in a choice of 53 colours, Popping CS with a handful of zesty yellows, greens and berry tones. Real has the benefit of an extensive 64 range colour palette and is suitable for severe contract use, achieving 60,000 rubs on the Martindale Rub Test.

Kobe are one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Wilton Carpets’ Ethereal collection heads to The Imperial Banqueting Suite

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Wilton Carpets has expanded into the wedding venue Preston’s Imperial Banqueting Suite…

The Ethereal collection of wool-rich woven axminster by Wilton Carpets has inspired a new floor for the mezzanine at Preston’s Imperial Banqueting Suite, a new wedding venue inspired by Dubai’s luxury hotels.

The space, which is capable of accommodating up to 950 guests, boasts fascinating interiors that includes geometric Islamic art throughout in bespoke fret work, brass lanterns and gilded brass reception area bars, which was designed by Petal Interiors.

“As soon as I saw the Ethereal collection from Wilton Carpets, I was adamant that it would take a role in one of my projects,” said Nita Patel, creative designer.

“The mezzanine level at the Imperial proved the perfect canvas, capturing the beauty of design in full. Fortunately, as soon as I presented it on mood boards for the scheme, the client loved it too.”

Having decided on Ethereal, Patel worked with Wilton’s design team, led by the creator of Ethereal, Damian Roscoe, to recolour her chosen design. “The right colours were crucial in ensuring we could get the correct balance and capture every detail of the stunning pattern. Wilton’s designers were amazing in helping me to achieve this, while also working within the confines of the interior scheme,” added Patel.

Once the colourway had been chosen, the next stage saw the development of the bespoke carpets that was used on the stairs, landing areas and rooms. Since the stairs required safety treads, clarity was a clear requirement for the company.

Patel continued: “A heavy pattern would have made stair treads hard to see, so this design was more about texture and colour. Using the same palette created for the main carpet helped to create flow, yet also allowed me to define specific tasks – blue for the stairs and landings, and a taupe for the immediate adjoining rooms.”

Woven by Wilton Carpets from British wool in a performance 80/20 blend, the carpets provide the ideal combination for wear-resistance, ease of maintenance and value.

7 ways to promote your hotel on social media

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The world of social media is constantly evolving, making it crutial for hotels to stay ahead in the market. Serena Dorf, a content writer from Los Angeles, shares her top tops to help htoels remain competitive in the digital sphere…

In today’s digital era, every business is forced to survive and adapt to the ever-changing marketplace shifts. If ten years ago traditional marketing was king, nowadays, the digital marketing medium seems to be the most pronounced. As a hotel owner, you’ll have to adapt to the current effective marketing practices that can bring you exposure and eventually more bookings.

Social media networks are currently the trendiest way to promote a business online, mostly because it allows brands and customers to communicate directly and to build purposeful relationships that’ll serve both parties for an undefined period of time.

It’s the 21st century – most people regularly use a phone with internet on it and with at least one social media network installed. Some phones even have social networks installed by default, so it’s quite probable that your target audience is present on at least one big social media network.

Doing the simple math, we come to realise that social networks are the best platforms that can be used for hotel promotion. For that reason, we’ll discuss seven simple tips and guidelines that’ll help you effectively promote your hotel on social media.

1. Keep your brand’s voice consistent on social media
Every brand needs to differentiate itself from the rest in one way or another, in fact, that’s what branding means. By developing social media profiles and sharing consistent quality content, you’ll begin shaping your brand’s voice.

For example, Nike is using a motivational voice to inspire athletes, while Dove uses an inspirational approach to help women improve self-esteem. They use social networks to implement this strategy, and they reap amazing benefits in terms of engagement and customers’ loyalty.

As a hotel, you can develop a brand voice (cozy, luxury, affordable, etc) and keep it consistent throughout time. When you share new updates, make sure your visual content and the description of the post are consistent with your hotel’s culture.

2. Arrange contests on various social platforms
You can gain a lot of new customers by encouraging them to enrol in different contests. You can start a user-generated campaign and offer prizes to the most creative submissions. For example, as a hotel, you can encourage all your hosts to take pictures and list the three biggest benefits of staying at your hotel. The best three reviews can win a free week during the holiday season.

Share this contest on your social channels and track your engagement. Learn from the results and replicate the process once you find it suited.

“Hotels can emphasise visual components (beautiful surroundings), their food specialties (a video of a super delicious dish, served professionally at your hotel), or perhaps something else, something original that is worth sharing.”

3. Create viral and shareable content on Facebook and Twitter
When brands go viral, their entire fate changes overnight. Hundreds of thousands if not millions of people will become aware of their existence, so they’ll be reaping traffic benefits for a long time.

Becoming viral is an art. You need to get into the mind of your audience, dig deep and seek their inner desires, and test different approaches until the results are satisfying.

When people share a social media post, they do it because they found it remarkable (worth-of-remark/share). Hotels can emphasise visual components (beautiful surroundings), their food specialties (a video of a super delicious dish, served professionally at your hotel), or perhaps something else, something original that is worth sharing.

The biggest social media networks (and the ones that encourage virality the most) are Facebook and Twitter. Therefore, if you ever were to use paid advertising to increase your odds of getting viral, these should be your first two choices.

4. Offer exclusive content and deals to followers and email subscribers
If your social media followers engage with your page or subscribe to your email list, you can offer exclusive content and discounts to reward the loyalty. By taking this approach, your prospects will be eager to choose your hotel instead of the competitors’ because they’re reaping additional benefits besides the normal booking option.

5. Manage and optimise your social pages consistently
“Social media marketing isn’t a quick result that must be achieved. In fact, it is a journey that keeps going until social networks stop being used (never) or until you have so many bookings that you absolutely need to close your social pages (never). Therefore, your social image remains a constant responsibility,” said the marketing manager at EssayOnTime.

You’ll need to share new updates, answer prospects’ inquiries, respond to positive/negative reviews, and so on. All in all, you’ll need to give the impression that your hotel is active, committed and easily reachable.

6. Leverage Pinterest and Instagram’s benefits by sharing visual content
Hotel marketing is always better if visual content is present. Before a person books, he or she will want to ‘get a feel’ of the place. The best way to help your potential client choose you instead of your competitors is to offer high-quality visual content.

Pinterest and Instagram are two of the biggest ‘visual’ social networks; places that people use mostly for their visual benefits. Great pictures, funny gifs, and short videos are some of the most popular formats that hotels frequently use to improve their reach and followers’ base.

7. Use influencers to spread awareness
Social media influencers are not TV stars; they’re not famous celebrities that offer incredibly pricey advertising options. In fact, an 18-year-old teenager with 10.000 engaged fans on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or any other social network becomes a micro-influencer that can potentially boost your hotel’s bookings.

Reach the people that have a target audience that is very close to yours – establish your standards (big influencers obviously cost more) and start negotiating a price for their promotion services.

Promoting your hotel on social media is not rocket science. By using our insightful guidelines, you can tap into the power of social media networks, the same power that’s leveraged by the biggest hotels in the world. Some of them reached the peak by mastering the art of social media marketing, while others have enhanced their reputation and brand image over time.

Regardless of your purposes, social media networks are the most suited tools for every hotel owner who doesn’t simply expect clients to randomly drop off at their door. Take our tips into consideration and start promoting your hotel the right way.

Main image credit: Upsplash

Hamilton Litestat to switch on The Brit List 2018

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Hotel Designs has confirmed that Recommended Supplier Hamilton Litestat will switch on this year’s Brit List 2018 as the company becomes an event sponsor…

A month from today, Hotel Designs will bring together Britain’s best interior designers, hoteliers and architects at BEAT London for The Brit List 2018 and Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier, Hamilton Litestat has become an event sponsor and will ‘switch on’ the awards celebration.

Gavin Williams, Head of Marketing at Hamilton Litestat commented:

“At Hamilton, we’re delighted to be able to support Hotel Designs and the industry further as a sponsor of The Brit List 2018. The hotel industry is extremely important to us. For 50 years, Hamilton has been a valued supplier to the sector, providing quality wiring accessories and smart lighting control to elevate the guest room experience, within both major multi-national hotel firms and smaller boutique hotels. Hotel Designs provides a well-respected platform for us to further engage with interior designers, architects and hoteliers, and we’re looking forward to celebrating the talent and efforts of key players at The Brit List in November.”

Hamilton Litestat, which produces smart lighting controls and multi-room audio systems designed to enhance the hotel guest experience, will sponsor The Brit List, which will award 6 leading industry figures or companies as well as unveiling the top 75 influencers in British hotel design.

How to attend this year’s Brit List

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to meet the top hoteliers, interior designers and hoteliers at The Brit List, click here to book your place.

If you are a buyer to the hospitality industry (architect, designer or hotelier) and would like to attend The Brit List 2018, click here to book your place.

To discuss the various sponsorship packages available, please contact Katy Phillips on +44(0)1992 374050

BRIT LIST 2018 Industry Partner: British Institute of Interior Design

BRIT LIST Event Sponsor: Hamilton Litestat

BRIT LIST Supporting Partner: Studio Moritz Waldemeyer

EquipHotel outlines 2018 show

Hamish Kilburn
The event will showcase multiple trends based around five sectors: restauration, design, well-being, technology and services…

The landmark French event, EquipHotel 2018 returns this November, where more than 105,000 professionals, 1,600 exhibitors and 133 countries will be represented.

Taking place from November 11 to 15, 2018 inside the exhibition space Porte de Versailles, Paris, guests will get to witness some of the latest developments and innovations in the hotel and restaurant sector.

The event will showcase multiple trends based around five sectors: restauration, design, well-being, technology and services.

From furniture and interiors, kitchen equipment and food products, to spas, bathrooms and tech innovations, visitors will have access to a wide-range of items all making an impact on the sector.

Over 1,600 French and international exhibitors will fill the show floor, meanwhile the upcoming edition will take the form of multi-faceted inspiration laboratory, to provide a greater experiential experience, with a focus on a stronger than ever Design Hub.

Bringing together hotel and restaurant professionals, Equip Hotel aims to offer a 100 per cent immersive design experience through the profusion of styled ‘labs’ created by architects, interior designers, atmospherists and other stylists.

Plus, the show will also give chefs the opportunity to show off their skills at the cordon bleu restaurant and during cookery contests.

Other highlights expected at the event include Casa de Luz, a motionless journey imagined by Sandrine Alouf & Thierry Virvaire; the Signature Space, with its set design signed by Alnoor & Eric Lentulo of Etendart Studio; the Wellness Centre and its design by Didier Knoll & Elodie Goddard; the Cozy Lazy and its rule-breaking room designed by Fabrice Knoll.

Brintons and Studio Elke join forces for new Composite Collection

Hamish Kilburn
The range is a selection of wall-to-wall carpet designs that pay homage to Studio Elke’s decade-long archive of jewellery collections…

Global carpet manufacturer Brintons has outlined its new Composite Collection created in collaboration with Studio Elke.

Recognised for its unique jewellery and accessories, Studio Elke and Brintons have both joined forces to showcase the studio’s aesthetic into a collection of customisable carpet designs.

The range consists of a selection of wall-to-wall carpet designs that pay homage to Studio Elke’s decade-long archive of jewellery collections, which translate the company’s founder and creative director Elke Kramer’s artistic and cutting-edge designs into large-scale interior surfaces.

“I had written down a list of dream collaborations on a blank piece of paper many years ago, and a carpet collaboration was at the top of that list,” said Kramer.

“When I was approached by Brintons, and invited to partake in their first Australian collaboration, I was thrilled at the opportunity.”

The collection boasts ten designs including: Sorceress and Sorcerer, Ceremonial, Keep Watch, Tassels, Existence, Arches, Musk and Jasper Nucleus, The Thunder Below, Charcoal and Concrete Brutalist, and Power of Symmetry.

Using the influence of materials such as terrazzo, concrete, marble and mother of pearl, the range pairs Studio Elke’s striking textures with Brintons’ woven Axminster carpet.

Jo Woolley, field designer at Brintons, added: “We began by looking at the structure and geometry of each piece – it was a process of abstracting the shapes and elements, sketching and painting, and trying to capture the essence of the jewellery into large scale repeating patterns.

“Recreating Studio Elke’s unique use of materials was integral to the collection – translating glittering metallic shine, stone terrazzo and natural marble into carpet was a highlight.”

Carpets from the Composite Collection can be seen in a selection of rooms at the Collectionist Hotel in Sydney, as seen in the lead image.

Hospitality businesses are risking GDPR penalties by not wiping the memory from old IT equipment

Hamish Kilburn
In the two months following the introduction of GDPR, 45 per cent of hospitality businesses have failed to wipe the memory off redundant IT equipment before disposal.

Despite GDPR legislation having come into effect over four months ago, the majority of UK hospitality businesses are now risking penalties by failing to adhere to some of the rules.

According to a survey of 1,002 UK workers in full or part-time employment, carried out by, a large proportion (45 per cent) of businesses in the hospitality industry failed to wipe the data from IT equipment they disposed of in the two months following GDPR.

This news is perhaps less surprising given the research also found that 97 per cent of hospitality businesses surveyed did not have an official process or protocol for disposing of obsolete IT equipment. What’s more, 97 per cent of hospitality workers admit they wouldn’t even know who to approach within their company in order to correctly dispose of old or unusable equipment.

Worryingly, according to the data, hospitality businesses are one of the industries most likely not to wipe existing data off old IT equipment.

Matt Royle, marketing director at said: “Given the amount of publicity around GDPR it is arguably impossible to be unaware or misunderstand the basics of what is required for compliance. So, it is startling to discover just how many businesses are failing to both implement and follow some of the simplest data protection practices.

“This is especially startling to see from businesses within the hospitality sector, where sensitive customer information including address details and card numbers are handled all the time. The fines involved in a GDPR breach can potentially run into the millions – and what appear to be less tangible impactors, like reputational damage, customer trust and loyalty, will ultimately become financially significant.”

Main image credit: Pixabay

RMJM RED-designed St. Regis Zhuhai opens its doors

Hamish Kilburn
Following overwhelmingly positive attention for becoming one of the tallest skyscrapers to be completed in 2017, St. Regis Zhuhai is finally being unveiled to the public.

After being commissioned by the Huafa Group, RMJM RED drew inspiration from Zhuhai’s unique rock formations, taking advantage of the surrounding southern and eastern views. The structure’s slender build is already a standout sight of the Shizimen development which is undergoing work along with the rest of the Zhuhai CBD, allowing it to grow not only economically, but also culturally.

Occupying a coastal site of 26.96 hectares, the St. Regis hotel and office tower has already been recognised by the Zhuhai Government as the tallest building in the city, with the tip towering 328.8 metres above the ground. Local government figures have hailed it as “China’s new architectural landmark”, largely down to its size, environmentally-friendly credentials and plush exterior design, along with the building’s scenic connotations.

Staying true to the structure’s green credentials, the heart of the site occupied by the building is a vehicular-free zone. Capitalising on this, the immediate surrounding area has been made into a selection of verdant, pedestrian-friendly plazas. The Zhuhai Tower itself is also built on environmentally-friendly design principles, such as shading and orientation. All functional spaces, including the car parks, are geared towards maximising natural daylight and ventilation.

The St. Regis Zhuhai hotel & office tower (or the Zhuhai Tower) isn’t RMJM’s first project in the city, with other key projects including the spiralling Zhuhai Observation Tower and the multi-use Heart of Zhuhai development. RMJM’s long history and experience in China has, since the start of the millennium, given rise to projects such as China’s Merchant Bank, the Gate to the East, Zhuhai Shizimen, Shenzhen’s University Town Library and the China National Convention Centre in Beijing.

Continuing to further RMJM’s impressive presence in East Asia, RMJM RED is currently busy working on the Ningbo Agricultural Bank and the Suning Plaza Mixed-Use Development.

54 Queen’s Gate reopens in October 2018

Hamish Kilburn
Set in the heart of one of London’s most desirable postcodes, 54 Queen’s Gate unveils its extensive refurbishment at the end of this month, transforming it into an outstanding London townhouse hotel in the midst of South Kensington…

A Grade II Edwardian property, the hotel features 24 stunningly-redesigned bedrooms, each taking inspiration and celebrating some of the area’s famed former residents, from Sylvia Pankhurst to Alfred Hitchcock, from Howard Carter to Oscar Wilde, 54 Queen’s Gate pays homage to a diverse array of iconic Londoners. The charming hotel will also house a cosy bar and private terrace, offering a secluded, quintessentially elegant, sophisticated base for exploring one of the capital’s most historic and culturally rich neighbourhoods.

A notable enhancement
Retaining its grand staircase, lofty ceilings, vast windows and public spaces flooded with light, 54 Queen’s Gate tonal palette is soothing while the new furniture and materials have been selected by designers A & J D’alton for their tactile and aesthetic qualities.

A & J D’alton have worked alongside hotel properties for over 35 years, including recently overseeing the refurbishment and enhancement of the award-winning Cotswold House Hotel & Spa in 2016. With 54 Queen’s Gate they have produced a stylish home-away-from home for South Kensington visitors. All rooms feature best-quality Egyptian cotton bedlinens, goose-down duvets and pillows, Nespresso coffee machines, super-fast broadband and chromecast-enabled TVs as well as Orla Kiely amenities.

Location, location, location
54 Queen’s Gate is just a minute’s walk from South Kensington’s famous Science and Natural History Museums as well as the V&A, The Albert Hall, Royal Geographic Society, Hyde Park and Kensington Palace. It is surrounded by fashionable cafes, bars and restaurants and close to the designer shopping of Knightsbridge including world-famous Harrods. A brand-new kitchen will serve significantly expanded dining options including full breakfasts and all-day sharing plates, and a richly-planted open terrace to the rear of the building providing a relaxing space for afternoon tea or aperitifs, weather permitting.

54 Queen’s Gate marries modern convenience and a time-honoured location with the most modern of luxuries, outstanding customer service and attention to detail, all within an exclusive, boutique environment.

History and class
Located in the heart of the Royal London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Queen’s Gate was built on land purchased by the Royal Commissioners for The Great Exhibition of 1851, under an agreement with the family who owned the land through which the road was to pass. Originally known as Albert’s Road, its name was officially changed to Queen’s Gate in 1859.

Today the road is a boulevard stretching around one kilometer along the western side of ‘Albertopolis’, with architectural designs varying along its length. The northern stretch features grand terraced homes on the west side and independently designed attached buildings to the east.

A unique home away from home 
“Our objective with this project was to bring a sense of Kensington’s rich history to the guest, while maintaining the privacy and intimate service with which 54 Queen’s Gate has become known”, said Tony D’Alton, of A & J D’Alton designers.

“We are delighted to have been able to both enhance our offering, as well as usher in a bold and exciting new look for the property”, added General Manager James Mehinick. “The aim is to provide something different for those visiting Kensington, an attractive and unique option for guests who want seclusion, while maintaining a host of London’s foremost sights on their doorstep.”

Image credit: 54 Queen’s Gate

Royal Lancaster London Wins Silver at the London Venue Awards 2018

Hamish Kilburn
The London Venue Awards reward and recognise the capital’s buoyant venue landscape and have gone from strength to strength over the four years they have been held. This year saw more entries than ever before and a ceremony packed with over 420 event and venue professionals…

The 2017 Awards honoured several runners-up with Royal Lancaster London being amongst other prestigious venues such as The National Gallery and Alexandra Palace.

Founded in 2014, the awards are the acknowledged accolade to recognise and reward first-class attainment in service and facilities in the London Venue scene. With an illustrious panel of over 25 superbly qualified judges who hail from the supply and buyer-side, winning a London Venue Award is a true mark of distinction.

When commenting on the success of Royal Lancaster London, the judging panel said: “This has been a serious upgrade in terms of offering, not only in aesthetics but also philosophy. This venue has thought about what it can offer and goes the extra mile for its clients. Its customer services plans, loyalty of its staff and retention of big brands highlight how serious they are on providing a world-class venue.

“I enjoyed the full story around the refurbishment and especially enjoyed seeing that they also took into account the kitchens and back of house areas.

“The emphasis on the team is excellent and it was good to see the initiatives in place along with the outcomes following the investment.”

Royal Lancaster London has recently unveiled its brand new design following a £85 million renovation by London based designers, Studio Proof. The prestigious hotel overlooking Hyde Park has been completely transformed both internally and externally in this universal restructure.

As one of the largest meeting venues in Europe, the hotel is renowned for its grand banqueting spaces which encompass the magnificent Nine Kings Suite and the Westbourne Suite. With a total of 16 meeting spaces and state-of-the-art banqueting kitchens, Royal Lancaster London’s conference rooms can cater for events of all sizes, from boardroom meetings and conferences to exhibitions and gala dinners. The distinguished Nine Kings and Westbourne Suites can hold 2,000 guests collectively for a seated dinner.

The hotel can also host over 800 guests in-house, as the 411 guestrooms and suites all feature zip-and-link king and super king beds. The redesign of the towering 18-storey hotel encompasses the complete refurbishment of all rooms and suites. Every guestroom has a far-reaching view across London, and the modern design emphasises these premium vistas.

Westin Hotels & Resorts heads to the Maldives

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The opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort signals a new wave of well-being in the heart of the Maldives…

Westin Hotels & Resorts has expanded into the Republic of Maldives with the opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort.

Developed by Belluna Co. Ltd, Japan and Asia Capital PLC, Sri Lanka, the hotel signals the brand’s wellness positioning in the Maldivian oasis.

The resort has taken inspiration from the ocean, as award-winning Milan-based architects PEIA Association has created a visionary approach towards environmental sustainability.

An aerial view of the new resort also reveals an outline in the shape of a fish, reinforcing its approach to sustain the environment.

“We are thrilled to introduce the Westin brand to the Maldives, strengthening our presence in Asia Pacific,” said Mike Fulkerson, VP of brand and marketing at Marriott International Asia Pacific.

Inside, the resort boasts 70 villas and suites, 41 on island and 29 overwater, which all feature an eco-friendly double roofing to create a natural ventilation system.

On-site, the hotel also offers its guests three unique dining experiences; The Pearl, which specialises in Japanese cuisine and Island Kitchen which stays true to the Westin brand’s Eat Well brand pillar through a balanced menu combining Chinese, Indian and Maldivian fare. Lastly, guests can sample authentic Asian street food with a live kitchen inside the Hawker.

Fulkerson added: “The opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort is a significant addition to our portfolio underscoring a transformative and meaningful wellness proposition for travellers, who are increasingly prioritising well-being even while on the road.”

The resort also comes equipped with Westin’s signature branded spa concept, the Heavenly Spa by Westin with the latest in beauty treatments for guests to indulge in.

New supporting partner announced for The Brit List 2018

Hamish Kilburn

Hotel Designs welcomes Studio Moritz Waldemeyer as a supporting partner to The Brit List 2018 which takes place on November 22 at BEAT London…

As the industry prepares to celebrate the leading British influencers in hotel design, Hotel Designs is proud to welcome the creative lighting experts Studio Moritz Waldemeyer as a supporting partner of The Brit List 2018.

The company, which is owned by internationally renowned lighting artist Moritz Waldemeyer who recently exhibited an immersive installation at this year’s London Design Festival, occupies a diverse range of creative spaces, from art and product design through to fashion and entertainment. Supporting Hotel Designs’ nationwide search to unveil the best of British interior designers, hoteliers and architects, Waldemeyer himself will speak at the event on hotel lighting and how it has changed in recent times, making room for more creative interiors.

“We are thrilled to be involved in The Brit List 2018 and believe the concept of the event – finding the best designers, hoteliers and architects in Britain today – aligns itself very nicely with our creativity,” he said on becoming a supporting partner. “We set out to define a completely new category of LED lighting that is playful, emotional, atmospheric and elegant, always innovative and always low power and low impact on the environment. We create the perfect balance of beautifully crafted objects with a sprinkling of tech and use inspiration from the past to re-invent the future.”

The news of Studio Moritz Waldemeyer becoming a supporting partner follows the news that the British Institute of Interior Design is this year’s industry partner for the event.

How to attend this year’s Brit List

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to meet the top hoteliers, interior designers and hoteliers at The Brit List, click here to book your place.

If you are a delegate to the hospitality industry (architect, designer or hotelier) and would like to attend The Brit List 2018, click here to book your place.

To discuss the various sponsorship packages available, please contact Katy Phillips on +44(0)1992 374050


BRIT LIST 2018: Charles Leon confirmed as headline speaker

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Hotel Designs has confirmed that architect and Past President of the British Institute of Interior Design, Charles Leon, will be a headline speaker at The Brit List 2018…

Architect and Past President of the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) Charles Leon has been confirmed as a headline speaker for this year’s Brit List 2018, taking place on November 22 at BEAT London.

Image caption: Charles Leon

Leon, who will join editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn as one of the speakers on the evening, will speak to the audience about Britain’s position in international hotel design and hospitality post-Brexit. “I am delighted to have been asked to speak at The Brit List 2018. Two of the UK’s major contributions to why Britain holds its place as a major international hub has always been its quirky education system and its ability to send out into the world innovative thinkers, not just in design and the arts, but in science, technology and research too,” Leon said. “If we don’t teach people how to think, rather than what to think, our future is doomed – and I am excited to speak about this and the future of British hotel design and architecture on the night.”

In addition to being a guest speaker, Leon is also one of this year’s judges for the Brit List 2018. “With his ability to wear both an architecture an interior design hat, Charles is the perfect person to put this somewhat sensitive topic in the spotlight,” said editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn. “It is arguably now more important than ever to celebrate Britain’s influencers in international hotel design and we look forward to welcoming the industries leaders and visionaries on November 22 to celebrate Britain as a major international design hub.”

The announcement of Leon being confirmed as a guest speaker follows Rosewood London, HBA London, RPW Design, WATG, Wimberly Interiors, Gleneagles, EPR Architects, Bespoke Hotels and The Mandrake being among the brands that have confirmed their attendance to the event.

Event timings: 6.30 p.m. – 10.30 p.m.

6.30 p.m. Welcome drinks are served
7.00 p.m. Welcome speech from Hotel Designs Editor, Hamish Kilburn, to include unveiling of The Brit List 2018 winners
7.15 p.m. Canapés are served
7.15 p.m. Headline speaker Charles Leon addresses The Brit List 2018
7.30 p.m. Awards presentation commences
8.00 p.m. Headline speaker addresses The Brit List 2018
8.15 p.m. Celebrations and networking

In order to secure your place, click here to purchase tickets. 

To discuss the various sponsorship packages available, and to enquire for the full attendee list, please contact Katy Phillips on +44(0)1992 374050.

BRIT LIST 2018 Industry partner: British Institute of Interior Design

Blue is the new black confirms Timothy Oulton

Hamish Kilburn
Timothy Oulton Launches Three Exclusive Designs to Commemorate the Opening of its Flagship at Bluebird…

British furniture and interiors company Timothy Oulton has marked the opening of its flagship at Bluebird in unique fashion, by launching three special edition designs in celebration of the colour of Bluebird, and of Chelsea, available exclusively at the new gallery.

With 40 galleries across the globe, Timothy Oulton launched its global flagship and largest ever showroom at the historic Bluebird building last month. Known for its creative designs and authentic handcraftsmanship, the brand is particularly renowned for its signature hand-finished leather collection. New Ronin Indigo leather is its latest innovation, launched specially for Bluebird, and features on the limited edition Westminster Button Sofa, complete with a commemorative plaque of the opening, as well as a special edition Union Jack Flag Cushion and Thomas Sleeve personal accessory.

The distinctive blue finish is achieved using indigo, a natural dye extracted from plant leaves that has been used for thousands of years. The complex dyeing process takes a staggering 30 days to complete; the hide is first tanned with bark and nut shells, with natural oils and waxes applied for a slightly aged look, and the indigo is then applied. Once the leather has been upholstered onto the finished piece, it is hand- finished for a second time using wet sandpaper to achieve a stonewashed look, and finally polished with lamb’s wool.

Exclusively available at the Bluebird gallery:

Westminster Button Sofa (Limited Edition)

Embodying the heart and soul of the Timothy Oulton brand, the Westminster Button brings together timeless design in the shape of a hand-tufted Chesterfield with 100 per cent natural indigo-dyed leather. A limited edition of 50 pieces, each sofa is emblazoned with a special plaque commemorating the Bluebird opening, and features shiny steel legs and 1550 hand-applied silver studs for a more contemporary take on the classic Chesterfield silhouette.

Union Jack Flag Cushion

A vibrant Union Jack graphic fashioned from Ronin Indigo, Vintage Bianco and Vagabond Red leathers gives this beautiful cushion a playful feel, complete with a smart silver zipper and car zip pull inspired by the Aston Martin DBR1. Bold, British, and a little James Bond-esque.

Thomas Sleeve

This simple leather pouch coordinates with any personal or business bag, creating a sophisticated and polished look. Large enough to hold a laptop, tablet or documents. Hand-finished in Ronin Indigo blue leather, complemented by a striking silver zipper and car zip pull, and a small embossed bowler hat in the bottom corner.

Launching tomorrow: DLAppTap

Hamish Kilburn
DLAppTap launches tomorrow at Independent Hotel Show to help improve and revolutionise revenue streams for hospitality retail…

Making its debut at London’s Independent Hotel Show on 16-17 October 2018 is DLAppTap. This is an innovative iPhone and iPad app that allows hotels to easily sell their beautiful products to guests in their properties without the need for in-house retail operations. With DLAppTap, hotels can capitalise on new revenue streams, achieve ROI from refurbishments and improve and provide higher levels of guest-centric services.

The new hospitality-focused tool is an extension of the soon-to-be-launched DesignLife App, which, as the video below demonstrates, was developed to showcase residential products. The iOS app becomes a platform for individual hospitality venues thanks to encoded Near-field Communication (NFC) labels, which are discreetly attached to items available for purchase. After downloading DLAppTap, guests can view the specifications, measurements, costs, lead times, shipping and payment options for any labelled item they “tap” with their mobile devices. Purchases can even be added to their guestroom bills. Orders are automatically sent to manufacturers, with the hotel receiving 25 per cent commission.

“Hotels are the shopping centres of the future,” says Jane Moriarty, founder of DesignLife Associates, Ltd. and marketing director of DLAppTap, “and this technology is set to revolutionise the retail aspect of hospitality.”

Visitors to the Independent Hotel Show can test the app for themselves at the Hotel Room of the Future exhibit conceived by Two’s Company Interior Design. To demonstrate that the labels will not distract from aesthetics, nearly every item in the concept stand will be discreetly tagged with nano-thin, film-like NFC stickers that store data and draw energy from mobile devices. Pieces to be encoded include the Nexus Armchair and two-seater sofa from Knightsbridge Furniture, with JAB Anstoetz’s Hideaway textile collection used for upholstery, curtains and accessories. Various items are crafted by Splinter Works, MRF Design and Langstaff-Ellis, the company building the room’s wardrobes. Minibar facilities are from A3 Solutions, and lighting from Heathfield & Co. Accessories from Cocoon Interiors and Buwier will be tagged, and even toiletries and bed linens from The Fine Cotton Co. These can all be scanned by visitors wishing to test the technology on their own devices.

Not only does this solution help guests get “the look” of their favourite hotel for their own homes, it also offers numerous benefits to hoteliers, designers and product suppliers:


  • Financial: eliminates the huge investment required to launch and maintain online retail and procurement departments, as well as warehouses
  • ROI: opportunity to, at the very least, partially recoup expenses from new-build or refurbished hotels and restaurants
  • Brand extension: guests have daily reminders of a hotel’s lifestyle ethos in their homes
  • Organic advertising: purchasers will show their friends their hotel furniture “finds”
  • Loyalty: guests can earn hotel brand loyalty credits that can be exchanged for products
  • Maintain market-lead by keeping ahead of the curve: declining product sales may indicate interiors are perceived as tired, and therefore the hotel requires a design refresh
  • Exclusivity: a “white label” app can be created to provide consistency with a brand’s own corporate identity


  • Portfolio: a platform to showcase a design studio’s range of products across a variety of projects
  • Awareness: acknowledgement of a studio’s creative talents and contributions
  • Increased innovation: developers willing to pay more for bespoke designs that will increase a hotel’s cachet


  • Authenticity: encourages developers to use genuine items that can be ordered from original factories
  • Marketing tool: a gateway for purchasers to learn about the other products suppliers sell
  • Market research: products purchased (or not) reveal insights to manufacturers about consumer preferences

The DLAppTap team manages the retail process: establishing supplier trade accounts; uploading all product specifications to the app; determining if products require minimum quantities in order to be sold; and managing the guest experience when using the app.

Justin Kandiah, managing director of DLAppTap, says, “Not only does DLAppTap have the potential to turn hospitality retail on its head, it is also a win-win solution where guests’ homes have reminders of their treasured holidays, and the hospitality industry has a streamlined way to give guests what they want, increase revenue and build their brand awareness.”

The Independent Hotel Show with the Hotel Room of the Future takes place at Olympia London 16-17 October 2108.

Hotel Designs is a proud media partner of the Independent Hotel Show. 

Brit List 2018: Leading designers, hoteliers and architects confirmed to attend

1024 566 Hamish Kilburn
With The Brit List 2018 fast approaching, leading industry names have confirmed their attendance to help Hotel Designs celebrate the top 75 influencers British in international hotel design and hospitality…

Rosewood London, HBA London, RPW Design, WATG, Wimberly Interiors, Gleneagles, EPR Architects, Bespoke Hotels and The Mandrake are among the brands that have confirmed their attendance The Brit List 2018.

Taking place on November 22 at BEAT London, The Brit List 2018 provides a platform for the leading influencers in British design, hotel and architecture. Launched last year, the Brit List 2018 awards will not only unveil the top 75, but will also, for the first time, announce the winners of six newly launched awards.

The long list, which was officially announced last week, is available to view here.

Event timings: 6.30 p.m. – 10.30 p.m.

6.30 p.m. Welcome drinks are served
7.00 p.m. Welcome speech from Hotel Designs Editor, Hamish Kilburn, to include unveiling of The Brit List 2018 winners
7.15 p.m. Canapés are served
7.15 p.m. Headline speaker addresses The Brit List 2018
7.30 p.m. Awards presentation commences
8.00 p.m. Headline speaker addresses The Brit List 2018
8.15 p.m. Celebrations and networking

In order to secure your place, click here to purchase tickets. 

To discuss the various sponsorship packages available, and to enquire for the full attendee list, please contact Katy Phillips on +44(0)1992 374050.

BRIT LIST 2018 Industry partner: British Institute of Interior Design

Top five stories of the week: Sleep talking, Shanghai arrivals and peeking into the future

Hamish Kilburn
With the Independent Hotel Show just around the corner, editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn breaks down the stories of the week…

It’s official, show season is well and truly underway and don’t we all know it. As media partners, we are highly anticipating Independent Hotel Show opening its 2018 doors and I look forward to hosting Power Hour on October 17. In the week we were in Manchester at the AHC, EDITION yet again added to its empire with the opening of EDITION Shanghai, SLEEP + EAT launched its speaker programme and we’re all staring into the future eagerly awaiting for Gilly Craft and Nick Sunderland’s answer to the future of hotel design to be unveiled at IHS.

1) EDITION Hotels arrives in Shanghai

Celebrated designer Ian Schrager brings the celebrated EDITION brand to the metropolis of Shanghai, with an unprecedented blend of leisure and entertainment within one luxury hotel.

Times change, people change, cultures change. Few cities move as fast or adapt as quickly as the city of Shanghai. Ian Schrager, the inventor and innovator of the boutique hotel concept, now brings the modern luxury of the EDITION Hotels brand to Shanghai.

2) Sleep conference programme announced

Taking place on 20 – 21 November at London Olympia, Sleep + Eat promises once again to be packed with foremost influencers shaping the industry today. The free-to-attend two-day Sleep Conference at Sleep + Eat 2018 show will be joined by a new Eat Conference.

3) Independent Hotel Show: Peeking into the future of hotel design 

Looking ahead to new possibilities, the founders of Two’s Company, Nick Sunderland and the President of the BIID* Gilly Craft have combined thoughts to design what they believe could very well be the hotel room of the future. With hidden technology and a ‘WOW’ bathroom, the conceptional representation will be unveiled on The Future stand at the Independent Hotel Show on October 16 – 17 at London’s Olympia.

4) Brown Hotels’ The Lighthouse opens in Tel Aviv

Image credit: Assaf Pinchuk/Max Morron

Brown Hotels, the design-savvy boutique hotel brand born out of Tel Aviv, opens doors today to The Lighthouse, the group’s eighth property in Israel and its largest and most amenity-rich hotel to date…

5) 10 innovative hotel design trends to watch for in 2019 

Today hotel guests have higher expectations than ever. They appreciate exotic textures and personalised experiences and have developed a taste for exquisite materials, even if it’s just an overnight stay – all while feeling at home. With more focus on guest experience than ever before, here are 10 interesting creative trends we expect to be emerging in 2019 and beyond.

AHC: Best Western shakes hands with Peel Hotels

60 60 Hamish Kilburn
The deal will bring all nine Robert Peel’s hotels into the Best Western GB brand…

More than 950 delegates gathered in Manchester for the 15th Annual Hotel Conference (AHC). The positive mood allowed for conversations to flow with ease and the diverse range of speakers and topics created a fantastic opportunity to learn, network and be inspired.

Best Western GB has agreed a group deal with Robert Peel to bring all nine of his hotels into brand.

The deal, which will see all nine properties activated into Best Western’s soft brands over the next 12 months, follows news that Best Western is on track for a record recruitment year.

Robert Peel, chief executive of Peel Hotels Plc, said: “I was looking for a brand that would allow the hotels flexibility to maximise their independence but at the same time support us with distribution, access a global loyalty scheme and benefit from new sales, marketing and revenue technologies. Best Western GB’s range of soft brands and strategy for the future made it the perfect fit for a profitable partnership.”

Rob Paterson, chief executive of Best Western Great Britain, said: “This deal is a great endorsement of our strategy for the future.

“We recognise that owners and operators want to retain control and leverage the independence and heritage of their properties in Great Britain. We work in partnership to provide support, strategies and resources to help them do that driving total revenue and optimising costs

“Over the next 18 months we are investing significantly in new technology which we think will lead the market in sales, marketing and revenue to make our membership more attractive and give owners and operators more compelling reasons to join us.


EDITION Hotels arrives in Shanghai

Hamish Kilburn
Celebrated designer Ian Schrager brings the celebrated EDITION brand to the metropolis of Shanghai, with an unprecedented blend of leisure and entertainment within one luxury hotel…

Times change, people change, cultures change. Few cities move as fast or adapt as quickly as the city of Shanghai. Ian Schrager, the inventor and innovator of the boutique hotel concept, now brings the modern luxury of the EDITION Hotels brand to Shanghai.

“The Shanghai EDITION is housed in one of the city’s finest buildings.”

Following the success of the EDITION Hotels in London, New York, Sanya, China and Miami Beach, The Shanghai EDITION represents a new kind of innovation and authenticity in luxury travel; a modern oasis of comfort at the heart of one of the world’s most populous cities. By understanding that a hotel is more than just a place to sleep—it’s a hub, a meeting place, a culture of commerce, work, life and play—Schrager creates not just a hotel but a seamlessly integrated experience, a small city within a city. It’s an international ethos with a local product: World-renowned architects, designers, chefs, mixologists, fabricators and artisans have come together at the meeting point of unmistakable Shanghai culture. This one-of-a-kind modern meeting point innovates and extends the very concept of hotel: dining, recreation, entertainment, work, relaxation, meeting point and landmark in one.

Combining two very distinct yet complementary buildings, The Shanghai EDITION is housed in one of the city’s finest buildings; the former headquarters of Shanghai Power Company on Nanjing Road, along the tree-lined Huang Pu River port on the Bund. This Art Deco monument houses the public area of the hotel, comprising a magnificent lobby, Michelin starred Chef Jason Atherton’s new restaurant, Shanghai Tavern, and a world class spa as well as multiple bars, night club, rooftop and meeting and event areas. As well as being updated and renovated, the heritage-protected historical building now flows into the state-of-the-art skyscraper development, designed to coexist and harmonise with the historical structure, while bringing it into the present day. This multi-dimensional space creates a synergy, designed for movement and flow. In the new tower, 145 rooms and suites, many with unrivalled views of the Bund, will be accompanied by an array of wining and dining spaces, including HIYA, a new Japanese restaurant by Jason Atherton on the 27th floor and Shanghai’s stylish incarnation of Punch Room, the sophisticated cocktail lounge first made famous at The London EDITION and ROOF, a garden rooftop bar with 360 degree views of Shanghai.

“Yet, it was essential that the hotel’s spaces and interiors were infused with a contemporary, sophisticated design vernacular.”

The historical pedigree of the development and renovation are rich. As well as the local heritage of the Shanghai Power building, the public spaces were created with an eye to an old-world sensibility; the likes of a traditional, English country estate or the quintessential London private gentleman’s club.

Lobby area of The Shanghai EDITION

Yet, it was essential that the hotel’s spaces and interiors were infused with a contemporary, sophisticated design vernacular. In Schrager’s signature style, The Shanghai EDITION possesses a dynamic fusion of old and new, embodied by the dual nature of the buildings’ development. The striking Lobby and main entrance to The Shanghai EDITION features a centerpiece light custom designed by the French architectural and decorative designer Eric Schmitt. The glowing sphere, held delicately in the grasp of gently curved metal prongs, hangs elegantly like a piece of jewelry in the center of the lobby. The atmospherically designed space includes a programmable LED feature on the underside of a cantilevered canopy, which welcomes guests in from the cobblestone driveway. The 9.5 meter high Grey stone walls establish sense of grandeur and solidity in contrast with rich walnut fittings which provide a sense of intimacy and warmth. This dichotomy is a signature of the EDITION brand. In keeping with Ian Schrager’s philosophy of the hotel lobby as ‘a new kind of gathering place’, the Lobby Bar, one of nine in The Shanghai EDITION is inset with a bespoke plaster relief artwork inspired by carvings typically observed on Shikumen (stone-gated) housing, which is unique to the fast-disappearing, traditional Shanghai urban typology.

The 145 guest rooms and suites at The Shanghai EDITION bring laid-back modern luxury to a new era. Every room features the conveniences travelers and revelers have come to expect and rely on. State-of-the-art beds are adorned with imported luxury Anichini linens and unique and custom designed furniture with carefully selected textiles. The bathrooms are finished in white marble, detailed in contrasting black metal, with custom-scented Le Labo amenities as standard. The slanted windows, all of which give breathtaking views of Shanghai and The Bund, add to the feeling of insulated calm within the rooms. The walls and floor of the bedroom and living areas are clad in light oak, creating a sense of warmth and domesticity.

Beyond the home-away-from-home accommodation, guest amenities raise the stakes of contemporary hotel offerings. On level 5, the swimming pool has been modelled as though carved from a solid mass of Pietra Serena from an ancient Roman mountainside, and overlooking the urban landscape. The gym, meanwhile, on level 7, does away with the crowded utilitarian standard of contemporary gyms, and combines wellness and holistic design into the need for physical exertion, open 24 hours. The state-of-the-art gym equipment was selected, no expenses spared, by renowned fitness experts, and installed on a smoked oak skin that lines the floor and walls. The indoor gym gives onto a large outdoor terrace, where guest can rest, meditate and practice tai chi, yoga, and cardio against an urban backdrop.

On the 27th floor of the skyscraper sits Jason Atherton’s HIYA a Japanese lzakaya-inspired restaurant, designed by Neri & Hu. Meaning ‘Clouds in the Sky’ HIYA is slick, sophisticated and glamorous, taking cues from Atherton’s London restaurant, Sosharu, to become a nighttime destination for Shanghai’s elite. Rising up the grand spiral staircase from the Shanghai incarnation of The London EDITION’s award- winning Punch Room, a modern reincarnation of London’s 19th-century private clubs, and on the Mezzanine is the ROOF. As guests enter the Roof they behold one of the most spectacular panoramic views of Pudong from the Bund. The main bar and high seating is enclosed within a wooden trellis intertwined with climbing ivy, where an open-air lounge area offers guests a comfortable and intimate setting for casual drinks with a view. From here, a range of EDITION’s classic and innovative libations will be served, focusing on champagne and champagne-based cocktails.

The threshold that connects the heritage building and the postmodern tower is the Urban Lobby. Acting as a portal between the accommodation section and the public entertainment sections of The Shanghai EDITION, this magnificent space is home to a hanging garden, its lush greenery suspended from the ceiling. The back wall is covered by an awe-inspiring 7-story antique mirror, sourced and refurbished specially for this space, heightening the spatial illusion that one is walking beneath a floating, indoor forest. As a spectacular centerpiece to the contemporary space, the bronze spiral staircase winds continuously down three floors from the rooftop garden, giving access to a spectacular 3-level eating and drinking area with commanding views of the Bund.

The heritage building accessed through the hotel’s Urban Lobby and through a separate public entrance plays host to multi-level experience for dining, drinking, dancing and amenities starting with Shanghai Tavern, Jason Atherton’s all-day dining, brasserie style restaurant located on the first level. Drawing on Elliot Hazzard’s period architecture and magnificent coffered ceiling, the design seeks to reference the layers of history behind the Shanghai Power Company Building; a communal space that has been interior designed for pocketed intimacy. One floor above hosts Canton Disco, a traditional Cantonese restaurant concept by the celebrated Black Sheep Group, with a contemporary update at its fore. The high energy atmosphere, addictive cuisine and unpretentious service paints a perfect picture of modern Shanghai throughout the main dining room as well as the five exclusive private rooms. The next level provides a dedicated multi-purpose space for meetings and events for up to 200 guests  followed by the Club Room on level five – a gentleman’s club-inspired lounge area that exudes a sense of warmth and exclusivity. The sophisticated Club Room features two indulgent lounge areas, with a nine-seat bar as well as a screening room and a KTV karaoke room.

The Spa at The Shanghai EDITION on level 6 reflects a sophisticated approach to beauty, wellness and wellbeing with an inspired blend of luxury and comfort. The Spa features a total of six treatment rooms and suites, manicure and pedicure services, sauna, an expansive relaxation area with fully equipped bar and a retail boutique. Showcasing the best wellness and beauty practices, The Spa delivers authentic Asian treatment inspired by western rituals featuring top-shelf products by Amala and Intraceuticals – designed exclusively for EDITION’s well-travelled and elegant guests.

Level seven plays host to the brand new nightspot: Electric Circus, a fresh kind of club and VIP lounge for Shanghai. Conceived in the Studio 54 tradition, with its dramatic lighting, otherworldly interior and signature EDITION cocktail mixology, Electric Circus will play host to some of the world’s top DJs and performers, destined to become an unmissable venue in the Shanghai nightlife scene. For discerning guests requiring the utmost in discretion, Electric Circus houses the city’s ultimate private room with its own dual-access private entrances to maintain privacy.

On the rooftop, situated on the 8th level   of the modern building, sits a fully landscaped Roof Garden, a perfect oasis, and one of few urban green spaces in Shanghai. Composed of a patchwork of brick and lawn terraces of differing heights, the roof garden mixes Chinese greenery with luscious, tropical horticulture. The richly planted rooftop features an under-the-stars movie theatre, a games area for lawn bowls and croquet, daybed seating, as well as the service of a full bar with, food and snacks on the roof.

The Shanghai EDITION distills the most central and desired services with precision, doing away with the obsolete, dated baggage of the prim, regulated hotel environment. This highly stylised hotel functions as a “home away from home,” catering to the modern-day traveler by providing comfort and ease with refinement: now a signature that defines the EDITION brand.

Sleep conference programme announced

Hamish Kilburn
The organisers of Sleep + Eat have just announced the line-up for this year’s Sleep Conference…

Taking place on November 20-21 at London Olympia, Sleep + Eat promises once again to be packed with foremost influencers shaping the industry today. The free-to-attend two-day Sleep Conference at Sleep + Eat 2018 show will be joined by a new Eat Conference.

Image caption: Andrew Zobler

The Man behind The Ned

The Conference will open with a guest speaker from the USA – Andrew Zobler, hospitality pioneer and founder and CEO of the Sydell Group. Named one of the 50 Most Influential People in global business by Bloomberg Businessweek, Zobler has recently received the AHEAD Americas 2018 Award for Outstanding Contribution. His company’s diverse portfolio of properties includes The Ned (London), NoMad (New York and Los Angeles) and The LINE (LA, DC, and Austin), and, appropriately for a man with such stellar achievements to his name, he will be considering the state of the industry today.

Local and International

The excitement around London’s hotel scene remains palpable with top-billing hotels opening virtually every month. On Day One, the Sleep Conference will delve into the rise-and-rise of hotels in the UK capital from the perspective of operations, architecture and design.  This diverse panel will include Bruce Robertson, managing director of the Standard London, and Mark Bruce, director EPR Architects whose portfolio of London projects includes Great Scotland Yard, The Old War Office, and the Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel, among many others.

Designing from the global perspective will be discussed in a panel that will bring together Russian, Belgian and American talent. Geraldine Dohogne of Zannier Hotels, whose latest project includes 1898 The Post in Ghent – a historic post office building converted into an eclectic boutique hotel – will be joined by Therese Virserius, co-founder of the award-winning Virserius Studio, and Moscow-based Sundokovy sisters.

Sleep Talking – Design Duos

In the annual Design Duos series, it will be the turn of Muza Lab’s co-founders, Inge Moore and Nathan Hutchins, to share their thoughts on luxury hospitality design and what guests today want out of their travel experience. From Shanghai to Botswana, the range of work by this award-winning pair includes trains, luxury boats, and yachts and lodges as well as hotels, all completed or nearing completion in just the two years since they established their studio.

“I believe in quiet luxury with its sustainable and ageless quality, authentic values and power of discovery which stimulate, comfort and engage,” says Nathan Hutchins.

Image caption: Muza Lab’s Inge Moore and Nathan Hutchins


Jamie Chappell, Global Business Director at Horwath HTL, will unpick the experience and knowledge of owners and investors in a panel session diving into the hotel turnaround game. Going full circle, this panel will focus on identifying opportunities, the elements of a successful turnaround (including design) and how an exit is achieved – the timing of when to hold and when to let go. This will be followed by the development Round Tables, offering visitors the chance for conversations with leading industry names including Samantha Sugarman, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts’ director of development; Harry Harris, founder of SUSD; Felicity Black-Roberts, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts’ vice president; and Philip Camble, director of Whitebridge Hospitality.

Sleep and Dream

Day Two will start with a keynote presentation from leading neuroscientist, Dr. Alanna Hare, who will explore the science of sleep and its power to awaken creativity, increase our happiness, improve relationships and support our health and wellbeing.

The Sleep Sets, in which design firms are challenged to create a concept guestroom will be coming back this year as a quartet of installations looking at designing for a non-hotel brand, and in what has proved to be one of the most popular conference sessions over the years, each design team will reveal the thinking behind their set. Yasmine Mahmoudieh will present her Penguin Books concept, AB Concept will share their ideas behind their Maison Pierre Hermé Paris set, Denton Corker Marshall will talk about their West Ham United Football Club concept, and HBA London will present their Natural History Museum’s vision.

See and Hear

Other sessions will include a discussion about the contribution of lighting and sound to the guest experience, which will include Sally Storey of Lighting Design International, Tom Middleton of Sonux, and Tom Hupe of Perkins+Will, and a look at the rapidly changing world of hospitality transport design.

Priya Paul, the chairperson of the Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels (The Park Hotels), who recently celebrated the brand being 50 years young, will be sharing her approach to creativity and innovation.

In addition to the Sleep Conference, Sleep + Eat 2018 will comprise an international exhibition packed with innovative products, the Eat Conference, Eat Sets and the Sleeper Bar. The show will be open from 10am-8.30pm on Tuesday 20th November and from 10am-6pm on Wednesday 21st November. For more information and to register for a complimentary pass, please

Main image caption: Speaker Panel – Sleep Conference 2018. Above left to right: Sally Storey, Tom Middleton, Mark Bruce. Below left to right: Dr. Alanna Hare, Tom Hupe, Therese Virserius.



10 innovative hotel design trends to watch for in 2019

Hamish Kilburn
As Hotel Designs continues to focus the spotlight this month on independent hotels, Alyssa Johnson explores possible 2019 trends in international hotel design…

Today hotel guests have higher expectations than ever. They appreciate exotic textures and personalised experiences and have developed a taste for exquisite materials, even if it’s just an overnight stay – all while feeling at home. With more focus on guest experience than ever before, here are 10 interesting creative trends we expect to be emerging in 2019 and beyond.

Trend 1: Even more personalised experiences

Hotels will have to focus on creating memorable experiences for their guests rather than simply offering amenities and services. They will learn to be creative in tailoring their experiences to guest preferences, driving their inspiration from boutique hotels. Guests can expect personalized greetings and rooms set to their preferences, as well as unique products curated by the hotel. The boutique approach to the hotel design helps create truly genuine and captivating experiences that modern guests, especially millennials, expect these days.

Trend 2: Home from home

Taking a hint from high-end Airbnb lodgings, hotels are adding coffee machines and even home-style kitchenettes to serve their long-term guests. Charging stations are making way into every room, not to mention wifi connectivity, which is even better than the broadband in their home.

 Trend 3: Eclectic style

Gone are the days where every room in the hotel looked exactly the same, leveraging the popular neutral color trend of the last decade. Hotels are now styling their rooms in a more natural, hospitable way combining eclectic elements, contrasting colours, and vivid combinations around the rooms. In fact, hotels are enjoying a renaissance of color. Hotel News Now says: “People not being afraid to be bold and be colourful.” Visitors will find more local handmade decor, unexpected texture combinations, and even vintage fabrics — something that frequent travellers will appreciate.

Trend 4: Smart-room technology

Travellers already enjoy mobile bookings and mobile payments, but the future is for mobile keys, text messages to the reception instead of calling, and saving in-room preferences such as temperature, lighting, or even the type of toiletries preferred. This trend in hotel design will call for even greater room decor simplicity accentuated by recycled wood and organic materials.

Trend 5: Personalised entertainment

 In 2019, guests will be seeing TVs broadcasting their own subscribed content from Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, and other platforms. This innovative hotel design will make the guest experience more streamlined and effortless at the same time, notes the contributor who travels a lot while working for the popular in the UK dissertation writing service. At the same time, guests will still enjoy the feeling of personalized and friendly hospitality.

Trend 6: Indoor meets outdoor

One of the most interesting hotel design trends to watch is the move to bring the outdoor experience to hotel lobbies and corridors. In 2019 hotels will be seeing more indoor waterfalls, all-season terraces, rugged outdoor-style furnishings, gorgeous plants and panoramic views. This trend in hotel design will help guests to enjoy nature while staying inside, creating a completely unique and memorable experience.

Trend 7: Multi-function spaces

Meeting spaces will become more flexible, accommodating various types of functions, from family gatherings to large conferences, thanks to the clever use of roll-up walls, doors, and power outlets built into the floorings. Hotels will be offering more collaborative workspaces that will be available both for guests and visitors.

Trend 8: Eco-friendliness

In 2019, hotels will be more focused on the use of environmentally sustainable practices, from using natural and recycled/recyclable building materials, to solar panels and linen recycling. We will see more initiatives to measure and reduce carbon footprints and LED lightning in a bid to reduce energy consumption. Speaking of design, this trend calls hotels to incorporate more live greenery and natural light into their designs.

Trend 9: Evolution of the lobby

Hotels are transforming the lobby area into an expanded living room — a common area with lots of cosy enclosures where guests will be able to find some privacy without feeling lonely. Lobbies will becoming eco-friendlier, too, with large potted plants being used to break up the space into more intimate areas, says Hotel Propeller. The lobby of 2019 is becoming a central clubhouse where people can explore various activities. This important hotel design trend has already caused hotel chains to completely update their lobbies into unique, personalized environments.

Trend 10: Integration of all things local

In 2019, hotels will be integrating the guest experience with the local culture. The hotel of the future will become a focal point for locals, as hoteliers embrace local retail and outsource more services to local businesses, such as dry cleaning or deliveries. Hotels are also becoming cultural hubs where guests can enjoy exercise classes, massages, concerts, arts, and more alongside the locals. This trend calls for adding local touches to the hotel design, as well as involving local designers and artists to create a unique ambiance.

The hospitality industry will be rapidly evolving in 2019. Hotels will have to find creative ways to meet the high expectations of modern travellers, especially millennials who today comprise the majority of frequent travellers who also like to stay on budget. If you are travelling on a budget, here’s how you can avoid paying extra for your hotel room. Keeping up with the changes in consumer tastes and the rise of technology will bring a lot of much-needed innovation in the hotel design.

Main image credit: The Arch London

The new Serra Cafema opens in Namibia

Hamish Kilburn
The newly reopened hotel in Namibia takes specific design inspiration from the surrounding, remote landscape…

After an environmentally-sensitive and inspiring rebuild, Wilderness Safaris’ Serra Cafema Camp, in Namibia’s extreme north-west, has reopened. Located in one of the most remote regions in southern Africa, on the banks of the Kunene River in the Hartmann’s Valley, Serra Cafema takes design hotels to new unexplored regions and offers life-changing journeys to this extraordinary desert location, ensuring the ongoing biodiversity protection of this pristine area and positively impacting the local community members of the Marienfluss Conservancy.

As part of a joint venture between Wilderness Safaris and the 300 000-hectare Marienfluss Conservancy –  owned primarily by the Himba people who are amongst the last semi-nomadic peoples on the planet – Serra Cafema is strongly rooted in a core Purpose or reason for being.

“It’s not just about luxurious accommodation and superlative local hospitality – that’s a given; it’s about exploring and conserving the vast, wild space of the Kunene area, gaining insight into the ancient, yet evolving culture of the Himba people, and looking inward, where guests are given the chance to reconnect with the earth and themselves. These elements define the luxury of space and the value of unique experiences”, said Alexandra Margull, Wilderness Safaris Namibia Managing Director.

“It is also 100 per cent solar powered, in line with Wilderness Safaris’ commitment to operating with as light an eco-footprint as possible.”

Each incarnation of Serra Cafema has explored and enhanced its relationship with the spectacular natural world around it. The new Serra Cafema takes this to the next level, where the concept for the camp is done with reverence and respect for the Himba community. The camp is comfortable, updated and modern, incorporating fresh elements, while retaining the heart and soul of Serra Cafema. It is also 100 per cent solar powered, in line with Wilderness Safaris’ commitment to operating with as light an eco-footprint as possible.

Natural materials that reflect the surrounding landscape have been used throughout the camp, with stone sourced from the adjacent valley used for feature walls and prominent defining structures. Each of the eight luxuriously-spacious guest rooms overlook the Kunene River and mountains of Angola beyond, and include a sunken seating area, an extra-large bed with a canopy and netting, indoor and outdoor showers, and a large private deck for private dining, and from which guests can enjoy the surreal sight of a river in the midst of a desert.

The main central area also overlooks the river and has a lower-level oval seated area that is ideal for night-time star gazing. Further celebrating local culture, the conceptual organisation of the main area emulates the structure of a Himba village. The buildings are arranged to connect to each other via different outdoor spaces, ensuring pockets of privacy within a larger cohesive whole. This arrangement allowed for the existing ana trees to be preserved and utilised as necessary shade.

The details within the camp are also uniquely Namibian. The servers and tables for the dining area were built by young craftsmen and women at TABLED, a social enterprise that gives orphans a future by involving them in crafting design furniture. In keeping with the Himba tradition of wearing and using leather, Wilderness commissioned Myeisha, a Windhoek-based company that provides training and employment for previously-unskilled local labourers, to produce rich, ochre-coloured leather menu, wine and room folders. Another local company, Mbiri, has, in partnership with a group of Himba women, developed a range of products based on the tradition of sustainably harvesting the resin from the Omumbiri tree (Commiphora wildii) and using it as perfume. From their harvester-owned processing facility in north-western Namibia, Mbiri has developed its first bathroom range which will be launched and used exclusively at Serra Cafema.

“These are just a few examples of our commitment to growing local talent and changing lives by providing support and encouragement to local suppliers, local artists and local culture”, Margull added. On the camp’s completion, all unused building materials were donated to the Marienfluss Conservancy to build a shelter at the local school.

Is the hospitality sector doing enough for eco travellers?

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The ethical consumer is on the rise, with two thirds of travellers wanting to stay in green hotels. Clare Taylor, Marketing Manager at Hypnos Contract Beds, explains how hotels can boost their eco credentials so that they and their guests can sleep comfortably… 

The hospitality industry is under pressure to respond to changing customer preferences, embrace initiatives such as recycling and move towards a more sustainable future. Earlier this year, research by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) highlighted eco-tourism as a key trend for 2018. Its annual Travel Trends, report stated that popular TV programmes like Blue Planet II have put sustainability issues firmly in the spotlight, informing people’s choices about where and how they holiday.

Various studies also show evolving consumer preferences for sustainable and eco-travel. A recent global survey, found that as many as 87 per cent of global travellers state that they want to travel sustainably and nearly four in 10 (39 per cent) say they often or always manage to do so.

So what exactly is ‘sustainable tourism’?

Sustainable tourism is a way of traveling and exploring a destination while respecting its culture, environment, and people. Unfortunately, the era of mass travel that has dominated recent decades – with its hotel tour packages and giant beach parties – has meant that most people do not travel this way.

“Sustainable tourism is a trend that is only going to grow over time.”

However, the world is changing, with rising numbers of conscious consumers that value green and ethical products and services. In the travel sector, ABTA anticipates that sustainable tourism will lead to more initiatives such as social enterprises contributing to communities, carbon-neutral group tours and the banning of plastics from beaches.

Sustainable tourism is a trend that is only going to grow over time. That is why hotels need to ensure that they are prepared to meet customer expectations in this area, for now and the future. Fortunately, there some relatively simple steps hotel managers can take to boost their eco credentials.

Energy efficiency

From central heating systems to lighting systems, kitchen equipment, and automated energy management systems, hotels globally are working to reduce energy use while sustaining – and whenever possible enhancing – the guest experience.

Last year, the International Tourism Partnership (ITP), a grouping of hotel industry leaders, released the Hotel Global Decarbonisation Report, which outlines the hotel sector’s target for carbon reduction in order to meet the two-degree Celsius cap set out in the Paris Climate Agreement. The report highlighted that hotels need to reduce their absolute carbon emissions by 66 per cent by 2030 and by 90 per cent by 2050 to fully play their part in mitigating global warming.

“Many of the leading bed manufacturers aim to help hotels to eradicate the waste associated with old beds.”

Smarter on waste

As well as energy efficiency, more and more hotels throughout Europe are working towards the goal of zero waste, which is about developing strategies and tools to manage waste from various areas of the business more effectively. In hotels, waste can be targeted from housekeeping, back-office, catering and maintenance. The most significant impact will be achieved by reducing the amount of waste hotels send to landfill, with the ultimate goal to have none left.

Look out for services from external suppliers that can help managers to boost initiatives such as recycling. Many of the leading bed manufacturers aim to help hotels to eradicate the waste associated with old beds, for example, with a hassle-free disposal and recycling service, deconstructing them to create recycled raw materials for re-use in other industries. This responsible approach results in 100 per cent landfill avoidance and offers a green way of disposing old mattresses, beds and bedding.

Sourcing responsible suppliers

Another way hotel managers can boost their green profile is to ensure that they source products from suppliers that hold ethical production values. This can be achieved on everything from food to furniture, and sustainability doesn’t have to come at the expense of quality or comfort.

As the number of green conscious consumers continues to grow, hotels have an opportunity to grow their business by providing services that meets the aims and ambitions of sustainable tourism. Calls for an international standard for identifying eco-friendly accommodations are getting louder and those hotels that take the initiative in attracting travellers with action on waste, efficiency and recycling will be best placed for the future.

Main image credit: Pixabay

Independent Hotel Show: Peeking into the future of hotel design

Hamish Kilburn
With the Independent Hotel Show around the corner, Hotel Designs took a sneak peek of one of the most anticipated unveilings of this year’s show. The hotel room of the future, conceived by Two’s Company Interior Design Ltd., has been designed around the concept that anything is possible…

Looking ahead to new possibilities, the founders of Two’s Company, Nick Sunderland and the President of the BIID* Gilly Craft have combined thoughts to design what they believe could very well be the hotel room of the future. With hidden technology and a ‘WOW’ bathroom, the conceptional representation will be unveiled on The Future stand at the Independent Hotel Show on October 16 – 17 at London’s Olympia.

The room will have a lounge area, bedroom and bathroom with all three spaces interconnected with clever tech elements throughout for a seamless, stress-free stay. Guests will be surrounded by intuitive design, multi-channel connectivity, sensor-led sleep support and in-room systems. From checking in to their sumptuous super- luxe room using thumb recognition or their phone, to being able to order room service via simple touch pads, or buy any item they like in the room with a quick tap on a nearby screen, the features bring to life what the future could look like in hotel design.

“Creating a room with 21st century technology, luxury, comfort and outstanding service for the guest are the challenges of today’s hotelier,” says Sunderland. “Research shows that technology is important on both sides but should not be invasive or difficult to use. It should be intelligent and responsive, integrated into the room. Seamless use of technology, in automatically updating housekeeping with individual requirements, for example, and a front of house that responds without intrusion or delay, is the aim. In addition, the guest requires comfort, elegance and style that is unique and individual.”

Subtle tech in the guestroom

Leading integrated technology experts Crestron and Smartcomm have developed the innovative features for the state-of-the-art hotel room. Expect no dials or knobs on walls, just discreet one-touch keypads for simple operations or the central touch screen to make bespoke adjustments for guests to control heating, lighting, air conditioning and much more.

“The bed’s pre-settings include ‘zero gravity mode’ where the guest’s legs are raised above the level of the heart for improved circulation and to relieve pressure on the lower back.”

The ultimate night’s sleep is a given with tech, scent and science incorporated into the design. The Simba bed has a six-axis motion base, amber lights in its footing that encourage the ‘alpha brainwave’ state preceding sleep, plus inbuilt lavender scent diffusers and air purifiers. The bed’s pre-settings include ‘zero gravity mode’ where the guest’s legs are raised above the level of the heart for improved circulation and to relieve pressure on the lower back. The integrated headboard by MRF incorporates two Corian side panels which feature wireless Corian Charging Surface technology that enables smart devices to be powered up directly through the table top.

Entertainment within hotel rooms is ever evolving. IP TV content is now standard across global hotels delivering content based upon geographic location, plus other popular global channels. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is now the norm, so the Hotel Room of The Future is set up so that content can be displayed on the TV and audio system via two screens.

A media wall built by Simon Waites from Waites Furniture faces the bed with a Samsung 49inch TV and Sonos bar linking to individual devices and enabling access to all services in the hotel with a single tap. The media wall reverse creates a private seating area and again houses a 49 inch Samsung TV and Sonos sound bar. A minibar, and safe from A3 Solutions and a Nespresso coffee system is hidden in the unit and a pull-out desk creates a flush system. Built into the side is another control panel accessing all room and hotel services. It overrides the TV to integrate the room with front of house and housekeeping and gives access direct to the concierge for any guest requests. The whole process linking services has been set up by Crestron and Smartcomm on three levels of programming. Luxe lighting by Heathfield in elegant brushed antique brass and satin black, is pre-programmed but can be adjusted by the guest.

The whole concept for the technology within the room enables guests to have as little or as much interaction with the room as they wish. The aim is to create a calming, no-hassle room that a guest can feel right at home in and truly relax for the ultimate hotel experience with the most efficient yet discreet hotel service.

The room tech could provide:

  • Welcome/Good morning with one touch to control lights, TV, audio
  • Good night – all media can be turned off, primed for next day – alarms set
  • Entertainment mode – dim lights, all audio off, curtain closed
  • Good bye – all off and primed for return
  • Or Standard mode as above with no requirement from the guest to make changes
  • Preference settings / pre-stored for regular guests, room profile already set up on check in
  • Turn down/ yes or no option, and also what time
  • Room health check and re-set within hidden menu
  • Check in / out via touch screen or iPad
  • Air con / heating control and scheduling for personal preferences
  • Beside controls, curtain control
  • Water temperature control, Smart glass control/ walk in bathroom glass dims
  • Television custom displays
  • Wall panel device same as guest iPad
  • Concierge contact, room service, do not disturb
  • Cleaning request service, over and above the standard cleaning schedule

The smart hotel app from DL APP TAP

A great opportunity for hoteliers to offer guests add-on experiences, the DL APP TAP (Design Life App) is a new concept. Guests often want to buy luxury interior products they see and use whilst staying at a hotel. This clever App will make that a possibility, with sales handled via the App.  By using near field communication (NFC) newly available to iOS devices, hotels can now brand their own App and start selling luxury items to their guests straight away. Guests can simply use their iPhone to tap the items they want and place them in their basket to checkout in-app or pay upon checking out. Plus, this App can be white labelled to the hotel’s own name and corporate identity.

WOW factor bathroom

The state-of-the-art bathroom with its Splinterworks Hammock bath and eco Axor Philippe Starck taps has its own subtle tech incorporated too for a totally luxe effect. A stylish, Switchable Privacy Glass panel from Smart Glass International can be adjusted by the guest from transparent to opaque in less than 0.01 seconds. They can appreciate the sheer beauty of the cool bathing area from their room, then switch to the privacy setting when they want to step in for a peaceful dip. The entire space is enhanced with translucent bathroom panels from CD UK- Corian®. Leading LED lighting technology specialists, ALL LED worked its magic by backlighting the panels to create a luminous glow throughout the space.

With facilities it’s all about speed and efficiency; the quicker a room can be turned around the faster it can be occupied again. Management want and need to understand their guests more; what they’re doing whilst at the hotel, what they’re using and why, and, of course, what they’re spending their money on. With the use of this seamless, inspiring technology all these things can be achieved in hotel rooms of the future.

Hotel Designs’ editor Hamish Kilburn will be moderating the panel discussion ‘Power Hour’ on October 17 at the Independent Hotel Show. In addition, Kilburn is currently working with tech genius and the former presenter of The Gadget Show, Jason Bradbury, in order future-gaze further into the hotel room of the future.

* The BIID are industry sponsors of The Brit List 2018

In Conversation With: Katja Behre from Elli Popp

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Katja Behre, creative director of interior design company Elli Popp, talks about what’s hot in hotel design, where she finds inspiration, and shares tips for hoteliers looking to freshen up their interiors ahead of the Independent Hotel Show 2018

Ahead of this year’s Independent Hotel Show 2018, Hotel Designs went behind the scenes to catch up with Katja Behre of Elli Popp, the design partner to the Innovation Stage at IHS 2018.

Image credit: Twitter Katja Behre @ElliPoppDesigns

Hamish Kilburn: What are your clients currently looking for in hotel design?

Katja Behre: Storytelling is big. We’ve worked on a lot of customised designs over the past year and our clients love how we can incorporate and merge personal photos and drawings into our existing designs to create unique pieces.

We also add a lot of ‘hide and seek’ images to the murals and can change the layouts of patterns so they complement the client’s architectural features and shapes. We have also created exclusive murals from scratch based on a client’s brief.

HK: What are the key trends you’re noticing in hotel design?

KB: That’s a difficult question to answer as I don’t follow trends, nor do I look out for them.

I do what feels right and as trends come and go, I always try and create timeless designs, which from time-to-time happen to be in trend. Most of our best-selling designs are between one and six-years-old and still don’t seem to fade out.

HK: If a hotelier is looking to improve the design of their property, what top tips would you give them to ensure they do it right?

KB: I come from a colour design background and think it’s important to work with someone who can advise on colour schemes as every colour can have a different meaning. The same colour can even have a different impact depending on the surface and product it’s on as well as carrying different messages and meanings, both psychological and emotionally.

My advice is to look into the importance of colour and check that those you like will work within the hotel environment. What might work well in fashion, might not work in interiors. Colours and patterns can also have different meanings depending on where you are in the world.

I also think that people always feel comfortable with designs that connect them to nature – whether that’s plants, flowers, insects or animals. Any design with a connection to nature will be popular.

HK: Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

KB: Everywhere. I approach the world and life with open eyes and curiosity to find beauty in everything.  We are so conditioned in so many ways that we forget that everything carries beauty and inspiration.

Our surroundings are full of inspiring and special moments, appearances and shapes. Everything can be turned into something special with the right approach.

HK: Tell us about who you are collaborating with at the Independent Hotel Show:

KB: We will have a total of seven creative companies present on stage. Our own Elli Popp wallpapers will be supported by Tektura who we have worked with in the past.

We have furniture in collaboration with Jonathan Charles Fine Furniture and will have two vintage chairs on stage re-upholstered with one of our latest mural patterns which has been created by local upholsterer Polly Chetwynd Stapylton.

You’ll also see decorative lights by Emerald Faerie, small decorative pieces by Jimmie Martin and flower and plant arrangements by Aude de Liedekerke.

HK: What key tip would you give to a designer just starting out?

KB: Be true to yourself and your own style.

Be open and friendly to anyone and everyone, help others as others will help you.

Don’t end up copying fellow designers or larger companies – and if you do, than change it as much as you can making it your own individual version.

Take inspiration from the past in art, design, fashion and culture, but create something new. I love Art Nouveau and Art Deco, but make designs my own by adding my own modern twist.

Ellie Popp is the Design Partner for the Innovation Stage at the Independent Hotel Show, which will host an exciting programme of seminars on 16th and 17th October.  To register visit

Brown Hotels’ The Lighthouse opens in Tel Aviv

Hamish Kilburn

Brown Hotels, the design-savvy boutique hotel brand born out of Tel Aviv, opens doors today to The Lighthouse, the group’s eighth property in Israel and its largest and most amenity-rich hotel to date…

Brown Hotels, the rapidly expanding boutique hotel brand from Tel Aviv, has opened its largest property to date, The Lighthouse. The 100-room hotel is situated within an iconic Brutalist architectural-style property and located in the heart of central Tel Aviv. The Lighthouse honors its ethos of “work hard, play harder” with sleek design details and amenities for savvy business travelers and tourists alike. The high-style rooms pair well with a lively lobby, two vibing cocktail bars, a 360° panoramic rooftop lounge (Haiku), two upcoming pools and terrace rooms with private decks and jacuzzis. True to its name, The Lighthouse is named for its desired effect as a source of energy and light in a revitalizing corner of Tel Aviv, just steps away from the Mediterranean Sea and beach promenade.

Image credit: Assaf Pinchuk

“We are entering new territory with The Lighthouse; it is a high energy hotel with a big, thumping heartbeat.”

Brown Hotels is a rapidly-expanding global boutique hotel brand with roots in Tel Aviv. Conceived by native Israelis, Leon Avigad & Nitzan Perry with partner Nir Waizman, the collection includes four hotels in Tel Aviv, two in Jerusalem and one in Trogir, Croatia. Each boutique property packs big design punch with a unique vibe of their own, yet true to the Brown Hotels’ spirit. As its largest property, The Lighthouse boldly explores a new sense of scale for the brand. The hotel’s building is an iconic Brutalist office tower built in the 1970s and fully restored. Its sheer size offers sweeping views of the White City and Mediterranean Sea from each vantage point in the hotel, from the private rooms to its communal spaces.

Image credit: Max Morron

“We are entering new territory with The Lighthouse; it is a high energy hotel with a big, thumping heartbeat,” says Brown Hotels founder Leon Avigad. “We are creating a bit of a wonderland within its walls, where a certain young and fun-seeking guest with a fine palate for design can find everything they’re looking for. If they still want more, they’re in luck: The Lighthouse is two minutes from the Mediterranean promenade, five minutes from the Carmel Market and ten minutes from Rothschild Boulevard.”

The Lighthouse takes Brown Hotels high-design sensibility to the next level through the collaborative vision of Leon Avigad and Argentinian-Israeli architect, Nestor Sandbank. The spatial layout of the property thinks big with two high-energy cocktail bars, two pools, a full-service gym/spa, a sprawling eighteenth-floor rooftop lounge and lower-level conference/banqueting center. The lobby of the hotel features Brown Hotels’ iconic library wall, complemented by new textures, rich tones of navy and emerald and décor. Never taking itself too seriously, the lobby lightens up with playful accents from its birdcage swing, gold-plated sections, antlers mounted to the wall and colorful contemporary furnishings. Guests are treated to a range of accommodations ranging in size from twenty-two to twenty-seven square-meters, making them much more spacious than the average city room.

Image credit: Assaf Pinchuk

Twelve exclusive terrace rooms offer private balconies with outdoor jacuzzis, stunning views and ensured privacy by a natural fence of lush greenery. Twelve Junior and Executive Suites feature separate seating areas and a slew of in-room amenities. Other room categories provide obstruction-free vistas of the Mediterranean Sea coastline, while city-facing rooms feature the best panoramic views of Tel Aviv. Each room is adorned with bright wooden-clad walls that punctuate light through their innovatively designed-crevices. Bright carpets rest upon hardwood flooring accented by contemporary furnishings and lighting accents. The sumptuous queen and king-size beds feature 800-thread count Egyptian Cotton and full-tub showers are filled with Molton Brown amenities. Phase two of The Lighthouse will open an additional two floors with sixty guest rooms, bringing the total room count to 160.

The hotel will house Haiku, a much-anticipated addition to the city’s nightlife offerings on the hotel’s panoramic rooftop. Mood-setting music, dim lighting and rich color-schemes amplify the dramatics at the stylish sky lounge. Guests and party-goers can enjoy bottle service and local cuisine at the luxurious and spacious banquet seating. A range of food and beverage offerings will also be made available in the hotel’s banquet and conference complex that accommodates up to 400 people in its well-appointed and stylishly-designed meeting rooms.

Founded in 2003 by Avigad, Brown Hotels evolved out of the desire to introduce a collection of truly boutique hotels to Israel. The Brown properties are all rooted in a devotion to service, design, innovation, style and authenticity.

Main image credit: Assaf Pinchuk


Meliá Hotels International to launch luxury hotel in Mexico

Hamish Kilburn

The luxury hotel will be Mexico’s fourth Paradisus branded property…

Leading Spanish hotel group, Meliá Hotels International, has announced its latest addition in Mexico with the launch of Paradisus Playa Mujeres Mid-2019.

Nestled just off the coast of Cancun with sugary soft white-sand beaches and sweeping coastlines, Playa Mujeres is the new popular destination for travellers and locals alike. Paradisus Playa Mujeres is situated on the seafront, offering a tranquil and relaxing setting. It is within close proximity of Isla Mujeres, with thriving bars, restaurants and shops, as well as a golf course, designed by Australian professional golfer, Greg Norman. For guests looking to discover the area further, Paradisus Playa Mujeres will provide access to a private marina, where they can sail the Caribbean Sea and take in the breath-taking views. Playa Mujeres is the ultimate spot for laid-back luxury in a natural, untouched landscape.

Inspired by Mexican design and architecture, the luxury all-inclusive resort will boast 498 rooms, each providing stunning views of the tropical gardens and beautiful beaches that highlight the natural beauty of the destination. All guest rooms will be contemporary and unique, providing a mini-bar, LCD TV, high speed internet connection and private balcony. Amenities will include Royal Service with private butlers and Family Concierge that offers a tailored family vacation experience. In addition, Paradisus Playa Mujeres will showcase four swimming pools, six bars and seven restaurants serving a variety of international cuisines.

Paradisus Playa Mujeres is expected to be suited to all tastes, offering a lobby bar, beach club, sunset bar, pool bar , Red Lounge, Sports Bar & Café, showcasing spectacular views of the gardens, marina and the glittering Caribbean Sea.

Celebrating the region’s cultural heritage, Paradisus Playa Mujeres will feature a sculpture in the lobby curated by local artists, a garden wall and mirrored water feature, as well as retail space. Upon arrival to the hotel, guests will be invited to the Welcome Lounge, where they will be able to enjoy drinks and appetisers, while admiring the outdoor waterfall.

The resort will feature a spectacular motor lobby, arcade room, covered theatre, outdoor plaza for shows, coffee bar, juice bar, kids club and luxurious changing room facilities.

Paradisus Playa Mujeres will provide four business centre stations, a convention centre (ballroom) with a capacity for up to 1,500 people. It will offer video mapping technology and a state-of-the-art audiovisual system.

Paradisus Playa Mujeres will join other key properties in Mexico, including Paradisus Los Cabos, Paradisus Cancun, Paradisus Del Carmen La Esmeralda, and Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla

HD Brit List

Colour trend: Are neon and avocado bathrooms the future?

621 163 Hamish Kilburn

Throwbacking it back to the ’70s, one design firm believes that neon and avocado bathrooms are coming back…

Following this year’s London Design Festival (LDF), which saw a rise in bathroom colour with the launch of a new collection by Laufen, architecture and interior design firm Boundary Space has gone further to propose neon and avocado may soon be colour trends in the modern hotel bathroom.

Throwing it back to the ’70s, the suggestion comes as clients are moving away from the ‘Scandi’ monochrome and bleached timber look that has dominated the last few years. In it’s place, colour, which is a way for people to express themselves, will be used to create personality and character into the bathroom. “There has been a move away from seeing a bathroom as just a utilitarian ‘living’ machine to a bathroom that is a space of luxury and peace,” states a press release from the brand. “Bathrooms are becoming closer to boudoirs, with clients wanting the space to be the same pretty standard as their beauty products. We feel the trend for spaces is becoming more maximalism and our avocado and neon pink bathrooms reflect this.”

Boundary Space is an innovative architecture and luxury interior design practice based in London and working internationally. The company creates dynamic residences, bespoke retail and boutique retreats with a sense of place and modern flair.

The same colourful inclination was unveiled during LDF when designer Roberto Palomba unveiled his latest collection for the bathroom manufacturer which was inspired by colour of dim sum dishes, creating an interesting east-meets-west bathroom collection.

Have your say by tweeting us @hoteldesigns 


Hotel’s renovation postitions it Edinburgh’s largest independent hotel

Hamish Kilburn

Following record occupancy numbers, an Edinburgh hotel has significantly expanded to become the largest independent hotel in the city.

Ten Hill Place Hotel, BW Premier Collection, in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, has increased its number of rooms by nearly 70 per cent to take its total offering to 129 rooms, making it now the city’s largest independent hotel.

The hotel is adjacent to buildings owned by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and these neighbouring properties were carefully renovated as part of the development.

The expansion continues the ongoing relationship between the hotel and the college, with all profits made from the venue going back into the training of surgeons. The hotel has grown in popularity year on year and with an 88 per cent occupancy rate, with more people than ever helping to fund the education and assessment of medical students in Scotland.

As part of the expansion, the onsite restaurant and wine bar has also seen an increase in capacity, with 150 diners now able to enjoy the freshly cooked meals. The kitchen was designed and kitted out by former Hotel Chef of the Year Alan Dickson, meaning that both hotel guests and Edinburgh residents are provided with the best possible culinary experience.

The hotel is run by the college’s commercial arm, Surgeons Quarter, and Scott Mitchell, its Commercial Director, said: “Work of this nature is always hugely exciting but it can be equally stressful too, especially in hospitality.

“But credit to our team and our contractors who have helped make it a smooth process, with guests, delegates and visitors benefiting as a result.

“In turn, our expansion will give us a greater platform to generate the profits that go directly towards improving lives for surgical patients all around the world – including those in areas of conflict and extreme poverty.

“We are hopeful that the expansion will enable the hotel to deliver its full potential, furthering what we already currently provide, our food and drinks offering, assisting our charitable aims and boosting tourism and hospitality jobs in Edinburgh.”

Rob Paterson, CEO at Best Western Great Britain, said: “It’s fantastic to see Ten Hill Place, BW Premier Collection build on its years of continued success to become Edinburgh’s largest independent hotel. The hotel has long provided the Scottish capital with a quality, cosy and convenient place to stay and these new developments mean they’ll be able to provide their excellent service to even more visitors going forward.

“Best Western members are investing for the future and changing for the better and the renovations at Ten Hill Place, BW Premier Collection are an example of how we are delivering more to our guests.”

Best Western Great Britain’s members have invested over £210m since 2015 improving properties and guest experiences.

To find out more about Ten Hill Place, BW Premier Collection, or to book a room, visit:

Hilton perpares to more than double its footprint in Africa

770 420 Hamish Kilburn

The announcement comes as Hilton Hotels opens ‘legend hotel’ Lagos Airport, Curio Collection by Hilton…

As it continues to grow its presence in Africa by introducing new brands and entering new countries, Hilton has announced it is on track to more than double in size in the next five years with the opening of Legend Hotel Lagos Airport, Curio Collection by Hilton – the company’s first Curio Collection by Hilton hotel in Africa.

Legend Hotel Lagos Airport is located at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, which serves more than eight million passengers each year. The stylish hotel is adjacent to the airport’s private jet terminal and has an exclusive immigrations and customs desk in the hotel for private jet passengers. Handpicked to be part of the exclusive collection of one-of-a-kind hotels and resorts celebrated for their individuality, the hotel joins more than 60 Curio Collection hotels around the world. This is Hilton’s first hotel in Lagos and its second in Nigeria, with an additional seven hotels in its development pipeline for the country.

Speaking ahead of the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) in Nairobi, Hilton’s President and CEO, Chris Nassetta, said: “We continue to innovate in Africa with new brands and products, and we are pleased to introduce our Curio Collection brand here with the opening of Legend Hotel Lagos Airport. As the continent continues to undergo rapid urbanization, with the UN forecasting that the world’s 10 fastest-growing cities will all be in Africa by 2035, this hotel is a part of our strategy to connect guests to key cities and airport locations across the region.”

Hilton is seeing strong demand for its brands across the continent and expects to open eight hotels in total across Africa this year, three of which will fly under the Hilton Garden Inn flag. This brand appeals to the rising tide of middle class travelers into and across Africa and the company expects to open at least 16 Hilton Garden Inn hotels in the coming five years, including brand entries in Kampala, Ghana, Malawi, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) and many other strategic locations across sub-Saharan Africa.

Last year, Hilton launched the Hilton Africa Growth Initiative, which will support the conversion of existing hotels to Hilton brands with an investment of US$50 million over five years. During that period, Hilton expects to secure 100 conversion opportunities with some 15-20,000 rooms added to its portfolio to meet the growing need for quality branded hotels across the continent.

Hilton is committed to growth and opportunity across Africa and has been a continuous presence on the continent since 1959. With 41 open hotels and 53 in its development pipeline in Africa, Hilton expects to double its footprint across the continent in the next five years. This includes market entries in 13 countries where it does not currently operate including Botswana, Ghana, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), Uganda, Malawi and Rwanda.

Mapped: The UK’s future hotel supply 2018-2021

Hamish Kilburn

Commercial property specialists Savoy Stewart predicts the rise in UK hotel development between now and 2021…

As the industry gears up to this year’s Brit List, which will recognise and celebrate Britain’s best interior designs, hoteliers and architects, a report by commercial property specialist Savoy Stewart suggests that the UK will remain an international hotel design hub as figures suggest major growth in tier two cities in particular.

Last year, the proportion of new build hotels in the UK rose by 37 per cent, which reflects 2.4 per cent growth in the UK hotel supply.

In 2018, new build hotel growth in Britain has continued its upward trajectory. Per Knight Frank’s report UK Hotel Development Opportunities 2018, projected forecasts proclaim the UK hotel market will grow by 3.3 per cent this year, eclipsing 2017 and equating to over 21,000 new hotel rooms. In fact, more than 5,200 new hotel rooms opened during the first six months of 2018 and a further 15,000 hotel rooms have been in the works since then.

“Belfast has experienced the largest increase in new hotel supply.”

Such extensive growth in new build hotels is, after all, fuelling the pace of hotel development across the UK. To achieve this, Savoy Stewart analysed Knight Frank’s Hotel Development Opportunities report in depth, to pull the facts together and present a picture of what the future hotel supply will look like in the next three years (2018 to 2021.)

Belfast has experienced the largest increase in new hotel supply and hotels under construction (as a % of supply) in 2018 – at 34 per cent. Meanwhile, Glasgow (18 per cent) and Manchester (17 per cent) have experienced healthy growth in new hotel supply and hotels under construction in 2018 too.

“London aside, Manchester holds the next highest total of new rooms in the pipeline.”

Comparatively, Hull has experienced the smallest increase in new hotel supply and hotels under construction (as a % of supply) in 2018 – at 2 per cent. Meanwhile, Newcastle (7 per cent) and Leeds (8 per cent) have experienced similar, slow levels of growth in new hotel supply and hotels under construction in 2018.

Future Hotel Supply 2018-2021

In terms of rooms in the pipeline/under construction (2018-2021), it may come as no surprise that London will see the highest number of new rooms developing in the future – at 14,699. The capital accounts for 40 per cent of the development pipeline of hotels under construction in the UK.

London aside, Manchester holds the next highest total of new rooms in the pipeline, with an impressive 2,895 expected, followed closely by Edinburgh with 2,122. With the successful regeneration, transformation and reshaping of several UK cities, largely through joint public/private initiatives and institutional investment; targeted hotel development in key UK cities has been the driving force behind such growth. Manchester is a prime example.

Tier two cities such as Glasgow (1,431), Birmingham (1,371) and Liverpool (1,161) will follow suit, with considerable numbers of new rooms in the pipeline over the next few years.

At the other end of the scale, with far fewer new rooms forecast 2018-2021 is Bath (225), Southampton (209) and Gloucester with 128. East Yorkshire’s port city, Hull, lands last in the list with just 35 new rooms in the pipeline.

With the aim to celebrate the best British designers, architects and hoteliers, this year’s Brit List will take place on November 22 at BEAT London. Please click here in order to purchase your ticket.

Main image credit: Titanic Hotel, Belfast


Exhibition of contemporary British bespoke furniture to launch in London

Hamish Kilburn

The new exhibition will take place at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour from October 2 – 5, 2018…

Ahead of The Brit List 2018, a new exhibition of contemporary bespoke furniture, designed by some of the UK’s most distinguished craftspeople, will launch this autumn at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour from 2 until 5 October 2018.

The ‘Evolution of Tradition’ represents an exciting collaboration between The Furniture Makers’ Company, a City of London livery company and Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, the world’s premier design destination. These two design bastions will come together for the first time to host a selling exhibition of luxury furniture designed and made purely by Bespoke Guild Mark holders.

The Bespoke Guild Mark, awarded by The Furniture Makers’ Company, is the ultimate accolade for designer-makers, recognising excellence in design, materials, craftsmanship and function for exquisite pieces of furniture.

“Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour believes in the importance of investing in future talent and specialist skills,” said Claire German, managing director, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. “We support creative expression across the design agenda and we’re delighted to host ‘Evolution of Tradition’ showcasing the work of bespoke British furniture makers, in association with The Furniture Makers’ Company.”

Transforming an idea into reality takes passion, invention and vision; from seeing the potential of materials and respect for artisan processes to an openness to innovation. This curated exhibition will present a range of work of astonishing breadth, scope and artistic merit; with simple forms and strong silhouettes, many have a more modern pulse.

Chelsea-Harbour Ethereal desk Marc Fish

Image caption: Chelsea-Harbour Design Centre Ethereal desk Marc Fish

Richard Williams, Bespoke Guild Mark chairman, The Furniture Makers’ Company, said: “With its strong roster of designer-makers, all brilliant, renowned names, ‘Evolution of Tradition’ will undoubtedly be an unmissable event for buyers that demonstrates the world-class mastery of Bespoke Guild Mark holders.

“Every piece put forward for a Bespoke Guild Mark is stringently vetted and examined to ensure every aspect of the piece is well considered and represents the absolute pinnacle of British craftsmanship. Buyers will be hard-pushed to find another exhibition of designs from a collective of so many accomplished designer-makers.”

An impressive rollcall of established designer-makers and new talent from the vibrant British craft scene include Matthew Burt, Byron & Gómez, Jonathan Field, Marc Fish, Tim Gosling, Alun Heslop, Edward Johnson, John Makepeace OBE, Rupert McBain, Laurent Peacock, Jake Phipps, Angus Ross, Rupert Senior, Katie Walker and Waywood.

Attracting top designers, architects, international collectors and style-seekers, the ‘Evolution of Tradition’ curated exhibition will be an opportunity for visitors to gain a greater understanding of how one-of-a-kind designs are conceived and made, as well as acquire unique work. In an increasingly fast-paced world, experience the beauty and creativity of time-honoured skills from masters of their craft.

Generating a deeper understanding of design is at the heart of a specially curated events programme, from talks to workshops, demonstrations and discovery tours.

Main image credit: DCCH


SLEEP + EAT PREVIEW: Roca prepares to launch new bathroom collection

640 461 Hamish Kilburn

Global bathroom manufacturer Roca will be exhibiting at Sleep + Eat, taking place at Olympia London on 20-21 November – stand J11…

Hotel Designs Recommeded supplier Roca, which designs and manufactures sustainable bathroom solutions, will be taking visitors on a journey around the bathroom at the new Sleep + Eat 2018 event. From the past to future, sanitaryware to brassware, Roca has announced that its stand will bring together all elements of the bathroom into one effortless space.

Taking place from 20-21 November 2018 at the Olympia in London, Sleep + Eat, which has recently unveiled further details around this year’s Sleep Sets, will bring together hoteliers, restauranteurs and the designers behind Europe’s leading hospitality projects.

“It’s an exciting year as the show evolves and we’re looking forward to being back at Sleep + Eat to exhibit a range of standout Roca solutions,” comments Mark Poulain, International Specification Manager at Roca. “We’ll be displaying a selection of our most popular ranges such as Inspira, Beyond and Carmen, along with a wall of sleek brassware to complement a variety of bathroom spaces. We are also delighted to be showing our Bespoke Solid Surface capability with a selection of customised solutions, and we look forwarding to welcoming visitors to the stand and making great connections.”


Roca has created Beyond with the future in mind, its smooth and sleek lines exude contemporary design whilst its rounded bath and WC provide a sense of the space-age. Beyond epitomises urban living with sophisticated basins shaped by Roca’s new material, FINECERAMIC®, and seamless integration of the latest technologies.


On the other side of the timeline is Carmen, which pays tribute to the past with the redesign of an iconic model from Roca’s history. The classical Carmen washbasin has been recreated and a complete bathroom collection introduced for customers looking for a vintage style. It may take its inspiration from the past, but Carmen also has modern features including rimless WCs.

Image caption: Roca’s Carmen


The Inspira range is based around modular design, using the three most essential geometric shapes – Round, Soft (with soft angles) and Square – creating a universal appeal. This range marries a minimal design with modern style, allowing the user to mix and match their basins, bath’s and WC’s to create a unique feel. Made from FINECERAMIC®, each piece is streamline and precise, with the added benefits of being 40 per cent lighter and 30 per cent more resistant to abrasives than conventional sanitaryware. Inspira also has its own range of dedicated furniture, including space saving wall-hung units.


A wall of brassware will be on display to allow visitors to get up close and personal with new ranges Insignia, Naia, Atlas and Lanta. Brassware is an important feature of any bathroom, with technology taking leaps and bounds in terms of water saving and eco-friendly features.

Bespoke projects

Lastly, Roca will have some project basins on display from case studies with Bloc Hotels and Yotel. These bespoke basins exemplify Roca’s bespoke service and would be of interest to those visitors in hospitality or commercial markets to see in person.

Visitors will find Roca on stand J11, located upstairs next another of the Roca Group’s brands, Laufen.

Roca are one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main Image: Roca’s Inspira

Brit List 2018 long list announced

1024 566 Hamish Kilburn
This year’s Brit List has officially announced the 2018 long list as it heads towards the final straight to finding Britain’s top interior designers, hoteliers and architects…

Hotel Designs has announced the long-listed interior designers, hoteliers and architects that are all in with a chance of making it into The Brit List 2018.

The long-listed finalists will be invited to BEAT London on November 22 when The Brit List 2018 will be unveiled to highlight the top 25 interior designers, top 25 hoteliers and the top 25 architects in Britain today.

The nationwide search began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations to readers of the publication in order to enter whom they believed deserved to be recognised as British leaders and influencers in international hotel design.

There are limited spaces available to attend this year’s highly anticipated event. In order to purchase your tickets and to secure your place, click here.

Below are the long-listed candidates for this year’s Brit List.

Contantina Tsoutsikou HBA London
Andrew Linwood Areen Hospitality
Ariane Steinbeck RPW Design
Bee Osborn Osborn Interiors
Emma King InterContinental Group
Dexter Moren Associates Dexter Moren Associates
Tim Murray Helen Green Design
Alex Kravetz Alex Kravetz Design
Fiona Thompson Richmond International
Martin Brudnizki MBDS
Rachel Johnson Wimberly Interiors
Terry McGinnity GA Design London
Jo Littlefair Goddard Littlefair
Kelly Hoppen Kelly Hoppen Design Interiors Ltd
Maria Vafiadis MKV Design
Christopher Ash Project Orange
Katherine Neathercoat Scott Brownrigg
Tara Bernerd Tara Bernerd & Partners
Robert Angell Robert Angell Design International
Helen Fewster Suna Interior Design
Rebecca Hunt Suna Interior Design
Frances Blackham Trevillion Interiors
Harry Harris SUSD
Stephanie Dennett Brakspear
Nicholas Stoupas Twenty2Degrees
Joesph Stella Twenty2Degrees
Tom Bartlett Waldo Works
Harry Gregory Ara Design
Rock Galpin Rock Galpin Ltd
Kathleen Hockney Cole & Son
Nicholas Sunderland NSI Design Ltd
Kim Partridge Kim Partridge Interiors
Rami Fustok The Mandrake
Conor O’Leary Gleneagles, Scotland
Jenny Oh King Street Townhouse
Johnson Joseph LALIT, London
Brian Benson The Gainsborough
Mario Ovsenjak Hotel Gotham
Jasdeep Sodhi Hotel Indigo, 1 Leicester Square
Robin Sheppard Bespoke Hotels
Jennifer McCabe Charlotte Street Hotel
Fiona Moores The Pig at Combe
Faye Stone The Pig in the Wall
Sarah Holden The Pig near Bath
Peter Kienast The Principle, Manchester
Michael Achenbaum The Curtain, London
Gareth Banner The Ned, London
Thomas Kochs The Corinthia, London
Michael Bonsor The Rosewood, London
David Morgan-Hewitt The Goring, London
Kevin Brooke Cliveden House
Nick Hanson Idle Rocks Hotel, St Mawes
Will Ashworth Watergate Hotel
Marco Novella The Lanesborough
Nathan White Seaham Hall
Paul Walsh Hotel Football
Mark Sainsbury Zetter Hotels
Michael Helling The Grove, Hertfordshire
Barney Cunliffe The Gilpin
Sergio Leandro Mondrian London
Chris Weaver High Road House
Debrah Dhugga Dukes Hotel
James Twomey Reardon Smith
Gordon Ferrier 3D Reid Architecture
Richard Morton Richard Morton Architects
James Dilley Jestico + Whiles
Julian Dickens Jestico + Whiles
Liz Pickard Consarc Architects
Martin Pease WATG
David Richard Mellor David Richard Mellor
John Simpson John Simpson Architects
Maha Kutay Zaha Hadid Architects
Woody Yao Zaha Hadid Architects
Tommy Lee PLP Architecture
Phil Jaffa Scape Design Associates
Georgia Stevenson SHH Architects and Interior Designers
Tom Lindblom Gensler
Richard Hywel Evans Studio RHE
Caroline Smith Wish London
Yasmin Mahmoudieh Yasmine Mahmoudieh
Jonathan Manser The Manser Practice
Nathalie Rozencwajg Rare Architecture
Mark Bruce EPR Architects
Geoff Hull EPR Architects
David Archer Archer Humphreys Architects
Howard Jones Archer Humphreys Architects
Abinitio Architects & Planners Abinitio Architects & Planners

This year, as well as celebrating The Brit List 2018, the awards will launch six coveted awards. These include:

  • Inspiration in Design – Innovative use of Technology
  • Inspiration in Design – Boutique Hotelier
  • Inspiration in Design – Interior Designer of the Year
  • Inspiration in Design – Architect of the Year
  • The Eco Award
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hotel Industry

Shortlist finalists: Inspiration in Design – Innovative use of Technology

  • Meystyle – Product: LED wallpaper and fabric
  • Moritz Waldemeyer – Product: LDF18 Lighting installation
  • Aquavision
  • Criton
  • Hotel Room Chooser

Shortlist finalists: The Eco Award

  • Tate Harmer – Project: Eden Hotel
  • Deadgood – Project: Hug Chair
  • Interface  – Product: All products
  •  Ecolight
  • Zetter Hotels

Event timings: 6.30 p.m. – 10.30 p.m.

6.30 p.m. Welcome drinks are served
7.00 p.m. Welcome speech from Hotel Designs Editor, Hamish Kilburn, to include unveiling of The Brit List 2018 winners
7.15 p.m. Canapés are served
7.15 p.m. Headline speaker addresses The Brit List 2018
7.30 p.m. Awards presentation commences
8.00 p.m. Headline speaker addresses The Brit List 2018
8.15 p.m. Celebrations and networking

In order to secure you place, click here to purchase tickets. 

To discuss the various sponsorship packages available, please contact Katy Phillips on +44(0)1992 374050

BRIT LIST 2018 Industry partner: British Institute of Interior Design

GROHE reveals its first shower tray collection

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Shower expert and Hotel Designs Recommended Supplier GROHE unveils its first ever shower tray collection…

Whether it’s a new build or a bathroom renovation project, the demand for luxurious, ergonomic and modern spa bathrooms continues to increase. Therefore, contemporary solutions not only provide comfort and excellent performance that lasts for decades, but in many cases a visual enhancement too. With the introduction of GROHE’s brand new extra-low profile shower trays, design accents that ultimately increase the value of a property can now be specified and implemented in the home. In particular, a bathroom free from substantial edges and steps makes for a timeless and accessible design.

With its unique and high-quality shower trays, GROHE, the world’s leading supplier of sanitary fittings, is setting new standards, creating the ideal combination of form and functionality in the modern bathroom. GROHE shower trays are designed to be a PerfectMatch: they not only match with any of the three sanitaryware design lines – GROHE Bau, GROHE Euro and GROHE Cube – but can also be optimally combined with other GROHE bathroom accessories too. Specialist retailers can benefit from GROHE’s versatility as a full-service supplier, with its complete bathroom solutions making it simple to implement individual customer wishes in a unique GROHE design from a single source, drawing on LIXIL’s decades of know-how in this category.

“All the shower tray models are made of high-quality sanitary acrylic in an Alpine White finish.”

The high-quality GROHE shower trays are particularly low profile and, with their depth of only three centimetres, are a design object of every bathroom. This makes the installation particularly sustainable, as accessibility is guaranteed for all users and therefore future-proofed for years to come. The choice of rectangular or square models work to adapt seamlessly to all designs and with sizes from 80 x 80cm up to 90 x 140cm, a selection of seven different dimensions ensures there is a model suitable for every bathroom space.

All the shower tray models are made of high-quality sanitary acrylic in an Alpine White finish which feels pleasantly warm even at the first touch. The tray’s solid, full-surface base provides stability and longevity whilst the non-porous and smooth surface ensures increased slip resistance during showering.

GROHE are one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Shortlist for Graduate Art Prize 2018 announced

Hamish Kilburn

Art consultancy company ARTIQ has announced this year’s shortlist for Graduate Art Prize, announcing the largest ever prize for the winner…

The shortlist for The Graduate Art Prize 2018 has just been announced and public voting is now open. ARTIQ is delighted to announce that this year The Graduate Art Prize features its largest-ever prize for the winner, thanks to the generosity of both new and existing sponsors, with a £2000 cash prize offered by global law firm and long-term sponsor Herbert Smith Freehills and an additional art materials voucher to the value of £500 offered for the first time this year by new sponsor Atlantis Art Supplies, with the £500 voucher also offered – and also for the first time – to a runner-up. Art consultancy ARTIQ, whose brainchild the event is, will also sign both the winner and runner-up to its roster of new and established artists, with possible representation also available for the other shortlisted artists. The increasingly influential award, now in its sixth year, is open to all final-year students on BA and MA degree courses at British art colleges or universities.

“Voting on the shortlist is now open to the public, with the final prize-winner selected exclusively from the 23 finalists as a result of this vote.”

The shortlisted entries were selected by ARTIQ, together with Herbert Smith Freehills and the winner and runner-up will be announced this year at a Private View on November 1st at the London offices of Herbert Smith Freehills by John Corrie, Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills, together with ARTIQ CEO Patrick McCrae. Voting on the shortlist is now open to the public, with the final prize-winner selected exclusively from the 23 finalists as a result of this vote.

People are encouraged to vote for as many artists and works as they wish via clicking here.

‘We received submissions this year from 35 different colleges and universities, including Leeds, Lancaster and London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Ulster, Falmouth and Newcastle, so we are delighted with the geographical spread of entries,” said ARTIQ’s Arts Manager Helen Buckley. “Newcastle was one of the most successful universities in the final selection, with three students making the shortlist, the same as for Camberwell, only beaten by the Royal College of Art, which has four 2018 finalists and the Slade, with the highest number of all, with six graduating artists represented.’

Art consultancy ARTIQ works with interior designers and architects, as well as directly with corporate, hospitality and developer clients to promote the use of art in the workplace and in hospitality and residential environments, through carefully-curated art collections on a sale, rental, exhibition or bespoke commission basis. The consultancy and its young, connected team, believes passionately in investing in and supporting new talent and in helping young artists get a foothold in the industry and being able to make a living from their work.

Patrick McCrae, CEO of ARTIQ, commented on this year’s shortlisted works: “It’s great this year to see such a variety of artworks making the shortlist. There are paintings, illustrated works, sculptures, collages and textile art, presented on or in canvas, wood, paper, aluminium and porcelain. It never gets any less exciting to view the submissions and the range and quality seem to be consistently getting better, with a great number of colleges getting involved and helping their graduates get the possibility of a real head start in their careers. We’re very proud to be able to offer that.”

The winner of The Graduate Art Prize 2017 was Charlotte Aiken for her work ‘Untitled Triptych’. Charlotte, who had then just completed her BA at The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design at London Metropolitan University, was shortlisted for a large-scale, three-part abstract painting, created using acrylic paints on canvas, with each one of the three paintings measuring 2.22m x 1.4m. Charlotte commented on what the prize meant to her: “The Graduate Art Prize gave me a really positive introduction into the world of art after finishing university and the confidence to move forward as an artist.  Since the prize I have had lots of exciting projects opportunities and, with the support of the team at ARTIQ, my work is getting out there quicker than I could possibly have imagined a year ago!”

Image caption: Charlotte Aiken claiming last year’s top prize with United Triptych

The Graduate Art Prize was first set up by ARTIQ together with Herbert Smith Freehills in 2013 and grew out of a pre-existing working relationship, after ARTIQ was commissioned to build an arts strategy for the law firm’s London office. John Corrie of Herbert Smith Freehills commented: “Always a highlight of our year at HSF, it is a real privilege to shortlist the submissions for the Graduate Art Prize. Every summer we are bowled over by the incredible variety and standard of the students’ work. This year has been no exception, in particular with so many pieces that challenge convention and are truly thought-provoking.  I feel sure that you will enjoy viewing this exhibition as much as we did.”

Hotel Designs will be following all the action from the awards closely, and Art and Photography will become a major theme that will run throughout the month of November.

Main image credit: ARTIQ

SPOTLIGHT ON: Configurable luminaire system wins Architectural SSL Product Innovation Lighting Award

Hamish Kilburn

The now award-winning product is a configurable luminaire system which unites timeless styling and classic form with state-of-the-art LED function…

Stormbell by LAMP has been named the winner of the Decorative/Pendant category in Architectural SSL’s eighth annual Product Innovation Awards (PIA).

The judges noted Stormbell presents a “simple and elegant design for a pendant-mounted downlight” when making their selection. Each product entry was evaluated on its merit by a seasoned panel of lighting professionals representing lighting design, sales, distribution, manufacturing, architecture, and publishing.

Stormbell is a configurable luminaire system which unites timeless styling and classic form with state-of-the-art LED function. The luminaire features an extruded aluminium housing with a white or black finish and polycarbonate shades in a choice of white, black, or opal finishes. Optional accessories include a honeycomb louver, clear tempered glass lens, or an opal glass lens for diffusion and added light control. The companion Stormbell Deco model includes an illuminated band between the housing and shade to create visual interest and ambience.

The product is available in lumen packages of 3000 or 5000 delivered lumens in 3000K or 4000K colour temperatures with a colour rendering index of 80CRI.

The Architectural SSL Product Innovation Awards (PIA) determine and honour the most innovative LED/solid-state luminaires and fixtures on the market, while also recognizing the companies behind the components that make up these light sources. Award winners represent a peer-recognized selection of quality products that the architectural and lighting design community can feel comfortable specifying.

We’re also very proud of Hess and Griven from the Nordeon Group, who also have been selected a winner for their products PORTAL Illuminating Column and EKLIPSE in their product categories.

Outdoor terrace looks down onto a palm courtyard

SPOTLIGHT ON: British independents taking international hotel design to new heights

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All this month we are shining the spotlight on independent hotels. As we prepare for this year’s much-anticipated Independent Hotel Show, editor Hamish Kilburn investigates inspiring hotels that are independently leading the way in international hotel design…

Last week, we announced which handful of the industry’s best will join my panel discussion entitled ‘Power Hour’ at this year’s Independent Hotel Show. As we gear up for one of the top hotel exhibitions in Britain, in addition to this year’s highly anticipated Brit List, our editorial team have searched high and low to bring you some inspirational independent hotels in Britain that are creating ripples in international hotel design. With this year’s Brit List fast-approaching, the independents are turning up the volume…

The Mandrake, London

Image credit: The Mandrake, London

Five years in the making, and a first for the Fustok family, The Mandrake Hotel, which we reviewed earlier this year, sits in a former Victorian office block and has been artfully converted into the cool, urban boutique hotel that it is today.

During fashion week last year, when The Mandrake opened, its unique Bohemian-Gothic style led to it becoming the venue of choice for British Vogue’s editor Edward Enninful and a stream of A-listers who followed. The most recent neighbour to move in and name the hotel its premium local hangout spot is Facebook’s new swanky London headquarters in Rathbone Square.

Oddfellows On The Park

Image credit: Oddfellows Hotels

Today’s Oddfellows takes inspiration from a society for the ODD fellows, those who can’t be categorised. The second independent Oddfellows hotel to operate, the interiors were inspired by those people, the ones who aren’t afraid to stand out from the crowd or take the road less travelled – who live a life full of character and charm.

The hotel group proves that when it comes to authentic hotel design, strength is not necessarily in numbers, but in quality instead. With only two hotels under the brand’s umbrella, Oddfellows believes that design is important, service is crucial and playfulness is a requirement.

The owner of Oddfellows will join me on my panel on October 17 to discuss hotel branding and how important strong, consistent branding is in today’s arena of independent hotel design. 

The Goring, London

Image credit: The Goring, London

As one of London’s finest luxury hotels – and one of The Queen’s favourites – The Goring stands out from the crowd as the Capital’s last family-owned luxury hotel, with more than a hundred years of passion for hospitality and commitment to service. Its staff are trained to the highest standards of hospitality – always retaining a timely touch of fun. Indulgence is at the forefront of the experience in order to make guests feel at home, and after 108 years, we still continue to surprise and delight even the most frequent of guests.

Idle Rocks Hotel, St Mawes

St Mawes Hotel and Idle Rocks Hotel, St Mawes, England. June 2015. Image credit: Drew Gibson

With a south facing aspect over the River Fal, St Mawes is a historic fishing village all centred around the harbour and waterside. With an abundance of water activities including sailing, kayaking, powerboating, SUP and much more, it’s a perfect destination if you enjoy a little bit of activity & adventure with your beach-side Cornish holiday.

When arriving at the St Mawes Hotel, it’s immediately clear that this location is a place to escape to, a quiet corner of the world that you can make your own. The hotel sits on the seafront, as does almost everything in St Mawes, and most of your needs can be met within the hotel itself. Inside there is a bar and restaurant available, meanwhile The Courtyard Room can also be hired out for private dining events, where guests can host a formal three-course meal. St Mawes is recognised for its sustainability ethos, from sourcing local produce to respecting the Cornish environment, so you can be confident in the fact that you’re supporting all things local when working with the hotel.

The Royal Crescent Hotel

The Royal Crescent Hotel

The Royal Crescent Hotel is not just a hotel, it’s a destination filled with heritage that is perfectly combines with modern, elegant service and attention to detail along with a passion for making precious memories to last a lifetime. Nestled in between the infamous Royal Crescent Road is a unique 45-key hotel, spa and restaurant that has plenty of charm and character and vibrant interiors to match.

With the independent hotels firmly in the spotlight this month, in addition to Hotel Designs hosting a panel discussion, the leading online website for international hotel design will also be exhibiting at Independent Hotel Show on stand 628.



Talking furniture trends with Rock Galpin

Hamish Kilburn

From designing celeb hot spots in London to creating award-winning contract furniture collections, Rock Galpin is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to cutting-edge product design, interiors and understanding the trends as editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn learns after meeting the designer at London Design Festival…

It was at the beginning of London Design Festival (LDF), at an after-party in The Curtain to be precise, when and where I first had the pleasure of meeting the award-winning furniture designer Rock Galpin. Having just flown in that evening following a trip to the sun-trapped island of Rhodes, Galpin was in London to assess the trends while also using the week as a fine opportunity to catch up with old and new clients and friends, two categories are separated only by what I can describe as a faint line in the sand. Among them was Galpin with a friendly and approachable demeanour that draws me in to want to understand the man behind the designer.

One week later, as the dust starts to settle on the Capital, Galpin and I are meeting for coffee to discuss trends, industry success and innovation in design. “So this is what I’m working on at the moment and what I wanted to show you,” he says as he opens the laptop to reveal his ‘top secret’ design renders and plans, which, without giving too much away, inspire me to realise that the future of contract furniture is turning a page to an exciting chapter. “As a designer that is working in the commercial sector, I’m often looking up to 10 years ahead of the now,” he explains. Galpin’s logic is that you have to allow two-to-four years before your design, once commissioned, will even enter the production phase. “In addition, you want to design a product that has a minimum shelf life of at least five years,” he explains. For Galpin, who to my eyes has the patience of a saint being able to sit on designs for that long, the contract furniture product of the future will operate in a tech-driven scene, allowing for a seamless experience. He explains: “I want to ideally create an environment whereby technology is completely invisible.” His vision comes as, somehow, despite the growing demand in tech-driven experiences, certain technologies have not evolved and personalisation continues to be a really interesting topic. “Maybe the chair will physically mold to fit the user, or maybe the table will organically allow the user to be sat in the best state physically as mentally,” he adds. “I have a few ideas on how we can do this.”

Image caption: Render of Matrix 6 collection by Rock Galpin

Working so far ahead is a challenge for any creative, and getting the balance right between being creative and being commercially appealing is key, as Galpin explains: “I have come to realise that people will accept incremental changes in design and not large leaps. Of course, there are exceptions to that, just take the Google’s offices as an example. However, I do believe that clients and consumers prefer to see a more gradual progression in product design as we move forward.”

“I have noticed that colour seems to come in when we are experiencing a repressed or depressing economic time.”

With this year’s Brit List around the corner, and LDF continuing to prove that it is at the centre of the design world, Galpin is quite obviously proud to be a British designer. “Britain always seems to have this breath and eclectic, inventive population that, I suppose, being an island as well, can incubate ideas. Other countries can’t do that as well,” says Galpin as we start discussing London as a major international design hub. “We’re going softer and softer as an aesthetic when it comes to shapes and forms. Interestingly, though, colours have become really powerful this season,” he says. “We’re seeing a lot of vibrant colours and citrus accents; blues and pinks are very much around. I have noticed that bold colours seem to creep in and actually the integrity of design evolves when we are experiencing a repressed or depressing economic period because designers need to work harder in order to tick certain boxes. I have noticed that in the most demanding times come some of the best designs. The ’80s were a great example of this. But immediately after, of course, we experience the complete opposite. They called it ‘green’ design which was a way of becoming more sustainable, raw and eco-friendly.”

Galpin’s ability to work the room at any event was evident at LDF and is the direct result of years of hard work in order to establish himself in the industry as a rightful leader. His first major break, though, came when he was asked to design a furniture line for ARAM, which, along with Terence Conran, was one of the most significant – and most important – furniture brands at the time. “It was a really nice journey, and allowed me to work closely with Zeev Aram,” he says smiling. “I did a sofa and table collection for them right at the beginning of my career. It took two and half years, and it was a truly lovely process.” The modular sofa system and range of tables made fame in 1993. Aimed at the design savvy contract market, the Kama sofas and Sutra Tables also appealed to the clean-living domestic market.

“As a result of the collaboration, in 2005, Galpin won the Laurent-Perrier Design Award.”

Image caption: Sketch sofa by Designers Guild, designed by Rock Galpin

Other milestones in Galpin’s full career include designing The Bombay Sapphire Experience and London’s Punk Nightclub, which became a favourite for the likes of Kate Moss and her entourage. However, one of the most impressive moments, from where I am sitting at least, is Galpin’s collaboration with Designers Guild. Applying for a competition in order to collaborate with the brand, he pitched his designs along with 30 other designers and won. The project enabled him to work with Tricia Guild OBE and the manufacturers B-Design in southern Italy, which produces furniture for the likes of Minotti, Cappellini and Thonet. As a result of the collaboration, in 2005, Galpin won the Laurent-Perrier Design Award for the Sketch Sofa and Easy Lounger. “The whole journey was fantastic from drawing and designing right through to production,” Galpin adds. One year later, Galpin continued to be at the forefront of the international design scene by unveiling the Mark 1, which was awarded runner up for the same award.

Quick-fire round:

Hamish Kilburn: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
Rock Galpin: I haven’t been abroad to anywhere really different from the UK for a while now. Anywhere with a relaxing beach. I’m in the mood for Thailand or Cambodia!
HK: What’s your number-one item you cannot travel without?
RG: Music!
HK: What’s your favourite colour?
RG: At the moment, black, green (I particularly like a colour I call ‘drab green’, which has a tinge of black in it – but it’s quite lively). Other than that I like mustard and orange, but it has to be the right shade. Instead of a washed orange, I love the more rusty tone.
HK: What inspires you?
RG: My inspiration comes from things as well as people. The automotive world and nature is a great example. I love sci-fi and the styling of what futuristic objects can be. In regards to people, Ross Lovegrove, Mark Newson, Ron Arad were all people that inspire me when I was developing my career.
HK: What’s your biggest bugbear?
RG: The biggest frustration is the amount of ideas I have and how many of them I can’t find the people to get them realised. If there’s one thing that we need to develop in this industry are intermediaries who can find that talent and make ideas a reality.

“It was by far the largest sofa I have ever designed.”

As well as designing much of his work for the commercial sector, there are the occasional exception, and when record producer Nellee Hooper approached Galpin to ask him to design a sofa for his studio, he could not refuse. “It was four metres long and made from six different parts,” Galpin explains. “It was by far the largest sofa I have ever designed.” I can’t help but ask what Galpin’s house is like. “The furniture in my house is by no means something I have put together from a blank canvas,” he says chuckling. “A large number of pieces in my place are my own prototypes. It really is a collection of products that don’t necessarily sit well together, but they do represent my journey that I’ve been on. I also have collected a number of Charles & Ray Eames furniture pieces and I am a big fan of the artists Alan Fletcher and Ewan Eason among others. You will also find a lot of Artemide lighting around my place. Other than that, there are a few Habitiat items lying around too.”

As designers go, Galpin strikes me as someone who I believe is keeping the hotel design industry fresh with innovative ideas and the ability to always look ahead. His success has certainly not gone to his head, nor has he reached the peek in his career. I am impressed that a designer can leave such an impression in such a short space of time. But here I am feeling as if I have met another friendly face who I look forward to following as his latest ideas become reality.

Top five stories of the week: Sleep set dreams, Roman spa experience and reflecting on London Design Festival

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Following a busy London Design Festival, editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn breaks down this week’s major conversations…

A storm was brewing last week as more than 450,000 designers, architects and creatives from around the world descended onto the Capital to learn about the latest products, trends and discussions. As UK continues to be seen as a major international design hub, and with our Brit List fast approaching to further prove that point, here are the latest and biggest news from this week.

1) Editor’s round-up of London Design Festival

Image credit: designjunction

Ten design districts, nine days, eight talks, seven parties, six after parties, five exhibitions, four hours sleep between each day, three fabulous media partners, two tired legs and ONE city. This year, an estimated number of more than 450,000 designers, architects and creatives from more than 75 countries visited the 16th edition of London Design Festival – and what a way to remind the world of London’s position as one of the best design hubs in the world than with the installation of a fifth lion protecting the city’s landmark Neslon’s Column in Trafalgar Square. We were ready to hear London Design Festival roar, and with two days still remaining, that roar can still be heard echoing in an around the city.

2) Checking in to The Gainsborough Bath and Spa

The spa

Image caption: The Gainsborough

“First and foremost, the location is what really sets this project apart,” says Alexandra Champalimaud who, to me, looks far too composed and relaxed for two reasons as we meet for breakfast. For starters, although her soft English accent would suggest otherwise, Champalimaud is actually based in the loud, sleepless city of New York. And secondly, we are catching up at the same time of London Design Festival, when more than 450,000 designers, architects and creatives from around the globe descend onto the capital to catch the latest trends, discussions and product launches. Never before has the analogy of a duck above water been so apt than in this situation right now, and it’s inspiring to watch. “Bath is an actual treasure, a world UNESCO World Heritage Site, and frankly I think it’s one of the most magical places in the UK,” she says passionately as we begin to talk about The Gainsborough Bath and Spa, the five-star hotel that stole both of our hearts.

3) SLEEP + EAT reveals sneak peek of this year’s Sleep Sets

Sleep + Eat, which takes place at London’s Olympia on November 20 – 21, has unveiled a glimpse of this year’s highly anticipated Sleep Sets. Reflecting recognition of the role Sleep Set plays in moving the design conversation on, the participants are all leaders in their field: luxury hotel and residential designers AB Concept from Asia, international design polymath Yasmine Mahmoudieh, the London studio of the global design firm, HBA, and the UK office of Australian born architects, Denton Corker Marshall. Each team has been brought together in a unique pairing with a much-loved but most definitely non-hotel brand, to create a hotel bedroom. Enter Penguin Books with Yasmine Mahmoudieh, Maison Pierre Hermé Paris and AB Concept, West Ham United Football Club tackled by Denton Corker Marshall, and the Natural History Museum to be explored by HBA London.

4) Designers, hoteliers and architects reflect on what Brit List means to them

As the 2018 Brit List award ceremony fast approaches, Hotel Designs caught up with last year’s winners in order to investigate just how important it is to recognise Britain’s best interior designers, hoteliers and architects…

Last year, Hotel Designs brought you the inaugural Brit List, a nationwide search for the top 25 interior designers and top 25 hoteliers in Britain. The task to find Britain’s best took our editorial team and judges on a journey to find hidden gems in somewhat unexpected corners of the UK while also allowed the team to meet the world-class talent that is keeping Britain’s hotel design industry alive and ahead of the curve.

5) Conran and Partners unveils flagship hotel for Puro Hotels

PURO’s new flagship hotel in Kraków has been designed by the award-winning studio Conran and Partners with a strong ‘Bohemian Modern’ theme…

Hotel group Puro Hotels has opened its new flagship hotel in Kraków, which is where the brand launched in 2011 with the aim to change the landscape of hotel design in Europe.



Two new fabric collections inspired by heaven and nature

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Sekers announces the launch of two new collections for AW18…

Copernicus is a versatile collection of two woven velvets taking inspiration from the heavens. Deneb, a viscose cut pile velvet in a contemporary pebble design and Vega, a polyester velvet woven with a combination of matte and lustrous yarns to create an intriguing and unusual textural pattern. Copernicus is suitable for contract upholstery and cushions and is available in a palette of refined shades ranging from cool metallic tones and sophisticated neutrals to saturated jewel tones. With a plush hand and subtle lustre, Copernicus is a handsome addition to any interior and is an ideal choice for the designer specifying for the hospitality, leisure and marine markets.

With an abrasion performance of 45,000 Martindale and supplied with crib five backing, Copernicus is ideal for the contract market, meeting all relevant UK, American standards and IMO standards for upholstery.

Also launched recently, ABISKO is the combination of two subtle, shimmering fabrics suitable for contract curtains, bedding and accessories. Dalarna is a woven effect and Falun is an elegant satin, available in a palette of 38 complimentary colours ranging from cool metallic tones and sophisticated neutrals to rich rust and opulent greens and reds. Abisko is a versatile addition to any interior and is an ideal choice for the designer specifying for the hospitality and leisure markets.

Woven in 100 per cent FR polyester, the Abisko collection is suitable for all aspects of the contract market from hotels to cruise ships. Meeting all relevant UK, USA & IMO standards for curtains, accessories and bedding, this washable collection is the perfect selection for any contract application.

Sekers are one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.




Conran and Partners unveils flagship hotel for Puro Hotels

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PURO’s new flagship hotel in Kraków has been designed by the award-winning studio Conran and Partners with a strong ‘Bohemian Modern’ theme…

Hotel group Puro Hotels has opened its new flagship hotel in Kraków, which is where the brand launched in 2011 with the aim to change the landscape of hotel design in Europe.

The 228-key hotel – which occupies a corner site in Halicka Street, Kazimierz, the city’s former Jewish quarter – provides a destination and curated experiences for local residents as much as for tourist and business guests. Design firm Conran and Partners’ design concept for the Kraków Kazimierz Hotel is ‘Bohemian Modern’. This approach represents a fusion between the energy, history, authenticity and art culture of the location (‘Bohemian’) and the dynamic, progressive brand principles of PURO, demonstrating the brand’s passion for contemporary art, design-led furniture and forward-looking hospitality (‘Modern’). This conceptual narrative has provided a rich source of inspiration for the creation of a unique PURO hotel which is firmly grounded in its location.

The design of the hotel deliberately references elements of the area’s history, including its once-bustling industrial heritage, while still achieving a strong residential feel. This has resulted in a welcoming hotel, designed to encourage guests to inhabit the ground floor spaces, morning, noon and night. The café, restaurant and bar incorporate indoor and outdoor areas with private ‘pockets’ of space where guests can enjoy PURO’s hospitality.

On entering PURO Kraków Kazimierz, guests are welcomed by a bespoke reception desk, with the lobby floor showing an etched outline of Kazimierz quarter street pattern. The wall behind the reception area features a bold graffiti art installation by Polish artist ‘Nawer’ and is a taster of the wider artwork collection which is to be found throughout the hotel. PURO Kraków Kazimierz incorporates the MAK bakery and café at ground floor level which connects directly with the street frontage. MAK offers freshly-baked bread, pastries and cakes, including traditional cheesecake and poppy seed bread. The space has a sunken lounge, open fire and sharing table. The hotel also incorporates the Halicka restaurant, offering diners a menu of dishes using locally- sourced ingredients, and an independently-run, destination cocktail bar.

The overall palette mixes natural, raw materials such as terracotta, faded bronze and reclaimed timber with bold splashes of colour balanced with the black-and-white layered tones of the PURO brand. A base palette runs throughout the hotel which has been adapted to give a defined personality and character to each of the key spaces.

The approach seeks to draw upon the various historic and cultural layers of Kazimierz – including the area’s former warehouses and workshops as well as its more recently-acquired galleries and street art – which have combined to bring a ‘decayed charm’ to one of city’s most attractive quarters to live and work in.

Guestrooms are flooded with natural light via full-height windows, each incorporating a generous shower area. An etched, grooved, fluted glass screen physically separates the shower from the bedroom while allowing light and abstracted views through. The beds are backed by bespoke, woven headboards and covered by specially-designed throws referencing one of Conran and Partners’ early concept sketches for the hotel.

PURO Hotels plans to open two new hotels in Warsaw and Łódź in 2019. The brand anticipates the establishment of further PURO cities in the near future. In Poland, PURO Hotels is actively pursuing new opportunities in both Katowice and Warsaw.


All image credits: Anna Stathaki

Mitre Linen announces shortlist for Room Attendant of the Year

Hamish Kilburn

Recommended Supplier Mitre Linen aims to celebrate the key role room attendants play in any hotel experience…

The shortlist for the UK’s inaugural Room Attendant of the Year Awards was announced today, with six exceptional finalists selected based upon their impeccable room standards and outstanding dedication to work.

“Mitre Linen decided to launch and sponsor the Room Attendant of the Year Awards to give well-deserved recognition to the key role room attendants play in the smooth running and guests’ experience of a hotel,” said Mitre Linen’s general manager Kate Gough. “We received dozens of entries from all over the UK and it was extremely difficult to whittle the list down to just six as there were so many excellent potential finalists. On behalf of the team at Mitre Linen, I’d like to congratulate all of those room attendants who made the shortlist and thank everyone who entered.  We now have the very tough task of selecting a winner and runner-up, who will be announced in October.  Luckily, we have Mark Lewis, CEO of Hospitality Action on the panel to help and we look forward to reviewing the entries of these amazing six room attendants.”

The Room Attendant of the Year 2018 shortlist:

Anna Lupton – Carr House Farm B&B, York
Erten Azis – Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, Hampshire
Tadeusz Janeczek – Chilston Park Hotel, Kent
Maureen Chapman – Kettering Park Hotel & Spa, Northamptonshire
Carole Kidd – The Woburn Hotel, Bedfordshire
Rhiannon Stephens – Fields Lodge Bed & Breakfast, Pembrokeshire

Established in 1946, Mitre Linen is based in Merthyr Tydfil in beautiful Wales.  Having provided the hospitality, leisure, education, healthcare and laundry industries with the best quality bed linen, bedding, towelling and soft furnishings for over 70 years, Mitre Linen is proud to have held HM The Queen’s Royal Warrant since 1955.

Grohe is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with its news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.


Designers, hoteliers and architects reflect on what Brit List means to them

Hamish Kilburn

As the 2018 Brit List award ceremony fast approaches, Hotel Designs caught up with last year’s winners in order to investigate just how important it is to recognise Britain’s best interior designers, hoteliers and architects…

Last year, Hotel Designs brought you the inaugural Brit List, a nationwide search for the top 25 interior designers and top 25 hoteliers in Britain. The task to find Britain’s best took our editorial team and judges on a journey to find hidden gems in somewhat unexpected corners of the UK while also allowed the team to meet the world-class talent that is keeping Britain’s hotel design industry alive and ahead of the curve.

“Firstly, this year’s list will be 25 names longer, as the team behind The Brit List have included architects in the mix in order to complete the triangle.”

Taking place on November 22 at BEAT London, this year, the Brit List, which this year welcomes the British Institute of Interior Design as an industry partner, is back with a bang with added sparkle. Firstly, this year’s list will be 25 names longer to bring the total to 75 leaders and visionaries, as the team behind The Brit List have included architects in the mix in order to complete the triangle. With the aim to recognise the most exceptional designs that have helped to keep Britain the international design hub it is today, The Brit List this year will also award six individual awards, which are as follows:

  • Inspiration in Design – Innovative use of Technology
  • Inspiration in Design – Boutique Hotelier
  • Inspiration in Design – Interior Designer of the Year
  • Inspiration in Design – Architect of the Year
  • The Eco Award
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hotel Industry

With Britain being known as a congested island full of hotel designs talent, we went behind the scenes to find out what the Brit List means for some of our previous winners:

“Inclusion on the 2017 Brit List was a tremendous honour for myself, as well as a powerful recognition of the hard work of my colleagues, and each of the teams at Bespoke properties across the country,” said Robin Sheppard who is the Chairman of Bespoke Hotels. “It is an accolade that recognises not only commercial influence, but the wider design-led and holistic impact an individual has made within our industry.” Sheppard, who in the last few years launched the Bespoke Access Awards in order to support design catering for all guests, was a worthy winner for his dedication to the hotel industry as a whole.

“Being nominated for the Brit List is the highest accolade.”

Since winning in last year’s Interior Designer category, Dexter Moren from Dexter Moren Associates has unveiled a number of cutting-edge new hotel projects. “Dexter Moren Associates finds that the high level to which British Design is revered internationally is a great marketing tool for our practice, both in the UK and abroad, and being nominated for the Brit List is the highest accolade.”

RPW Design’s Managing Director, Ariane Steinbeck was also included in last year’s list for . “As a leading hospitality interior design practice, we are always thrilled to be associated with The Brit List, which provides British designers, hoteliers and architects with a fantastic opportunity to be recognised as exceptional within their field,” said Steinbeck. “This year marks our 30th anniversary as a creative and unique tour de force on the London design scene and our passion for quality, chic and function continues to be at the forefront of our identity and throughout our portfolio of global projects. This year, we completed the creation of The Capital Suite at the InterContinental London Park Lane, are under construction with projects in Hungary, Bulgaria, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Malta and soon, Bahrain and hopefully a floating project very soon.  We look forward to seeing the nominations this year and wish all practices the best of luck.”

How to attend this year’s Brit List

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to meet the top hoteliers, interior designers and hoteliers at The Brit List, click here to book your place.

If you are a delegate to the hospitality industry (architect, designer or hotelier) and would like to attend The Brit List 2018, click here to book your place.

To discuss the various sponsorship packages available, please contact Phoebe Kasapi on +44(0)1992 374059

BRIT LIST 2018 Industry partner: British Institute of Interior Design


Grohe expands research lab for product development

Hamish Kilburn

Bathroom specialist Grohe invests EUR 1.1 million to expand its research laboratory in Hemer, Germany…

With the aim to expand its product development, bathroom specialist and Hotel Designs recommended supplier Grohe has opened a new research laboratory in Hemer Germany.

Investing EUR 1.1 million, the new site will create an even closer connection between the central areas of research and development. The laboratory space has expanded from 590 square metres to 1,510 square metres in order to create the necessary infrastructure for more efficient development processes and new testing procedures.

Following this announcement, more and more high-tech items are finding their way into Grohe’s expanding portfolio. These include the digital water security system: Grohe Sense Guard and the Grohe Blue and Red water systems.

The laboratory will also see Grohe work with 3D printing processes, starting with the initial idea and culminating in the first prototypes.

“For us in the field of development, 3D printing offers much better opportunities for managing our innovation process in a more dynamic way,” said Torsten Meier, VP of research and development at Grohe AG.

“The laboratory expansion means we can now support the development process even more closely and intensively and manage it in a meaningful way using test analyses.

“This means that we are faster and can carry out experiments at a greater volume with lower costs, leading to an increase in the degree of innovation, which is measured by the number of innovative projects we carry out.”

Grohe is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with its news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Grohe’s new research laboratory

The Reverie Saigon opens new luxury apartments

Hamish Kilburn

Following popular demand for residence-style accommodation, the luxury hotel in Vietnam, which originally opened in 2014, has now unveiled 89 apartments…

The Reverie Saigon, which opened in late 2014 as Vietnam’s answer to luxury with its lavish interiors, has recently unveiled new apartments that are now sheltered within the five-star hotel.

As demand surges for residential-style accommodations that come with the comforts of home but the service of a five-star hotel, The Reverie Saigon, Vietnam, is opening-up eight floors of The Reverie Residence’s luxury serviced apartments to hotel guests as alternatives for leisure and business travellers.

Like the hotel itself, the home-style suites of The Reverie Residence are a culmination of a collaboration with several renowned Italian design houses. Interiors vary from contemporary to the classic, with elegant design touches such as exquisite, handmade porcelain chandeliers by the 70-year-old, Florentine company Le Procellane as well as fine furnishings by the likes of Cassina, Medea and Grifoni.

In addition, each apartment’s sleek, modern and fully equipped kitchens are designed by the cutting-edge Italian kitchen manufacturer Snaidero, perhaps most recognised for its collaboration with Pininfarina on the design of a Ferrari-inspired kitchen.

Guests of The Reverie Residence also enjoy a separate entrance, lobby and lifts, 24-hour guest service, use of the Residence Lounge – which is furnished by Giorgetti and includes a private gym – and access to the hotel’s swimming pool as well as all of its restaurants & bars.

SLEEP + EAT reveals sneak peek of this year’s Sleep Sets

Hamish Kilburn

The first glimpse of this year’s Sleep Sets for Sleep + Eat have been revealed…

Sleep + Eat, which takes place at London’s Olympia on November 20 – 21, has unveiled a glimpse of this year’s highly anticipated Sleep Sets. Reflecting recognition of the role Sleep Set plays in moving the design conversation on, the participants are all leaders in their field: luxury hotel and residential designers AB Concept from Asia, international design polymath Yasmine Mahmoudieh, the London studio of the global design firm, HBA, and the UK office of Australian born architects, Denton Corker Marshall. Each team has been brought together in a unique pairing with a much-loved but most definitely non-hotel brand, to create a hotel bedroom. Enter Penguin Books with Yasmine Mahmoudieh, Maison Pierre Hermé Paris and AB Concept, West Ham United Football Club tackled by Denton Corker Marshall, and the Natural History Museum to be explored by HBA London.

While the final designs are strictly under wraps until the show opens, the teams have now released a taster of what to expect…

AB Concept x Maison Pierre Hermé Paris

Ed Ng and Terence Ngan are taking inspiration from FETISH, one of the celebrated French patissier-chocolatier Pierre Hermé’s seasonal collections, to develop the sensual and provocative Fetish Suite – a safe haven for guests to indulge in their guilty pleasures. A space of coquettish hide and reveal, and a sense of voyeurism, will be created through the use of frosted and reflective mirrors and secretive spaces, adding to a tantalising experience as visitors journey through the room.

“Inspired by lust, seduction and indulgence without inhibitions, our set is a multi-sensory, indulging experience that invites you to come in and find out more”say Ed Ng and Terence Ngan of AB Concept.

HBA London x Natural History Museum

Awakening the curious explorer in us all, HBA London will be inviting Sleep + Eat’s visitors to discover the unexpected in the most immediate of surroundings. Stimulated by the beauty of the natural world and the importance of our connection with it through design, the set will encourage the uncovering of treasures, the examination of exciting specimens and the drive to learn.

“We will be inviting visitors to awaken their inner explorer and discover new meanings in the world that is around us. Ours will be a room for today’s explorers, a space for wandering minds and new insights. We all respond to nature emotionally, intellectually and physically and now, more than ever before, hotel guests are seeking experiences that rejuvenate, inform and remind them of natural wonders,” says Constantina Tsoutsikou, Creative Director of HBA London.

Denton Corker Marshall x West Ham United Football Club

Denton Corker Marshall will explore the transition between collective and individual space, while reflecting upon the layers of history and ritual of the club. The concept room will offer both moments to engage and to reflect, creating new personal experiences for each guest.

Angela Dapper of Denton Corker Marshall says: “To belong to West Ham United is to belong to a community deeply entrenched in history and ritual; a group of unique individuals unified in a collective by moments in time. Whether creating new experiences amongst a crowd or alone at a personal level, each is dependent on the individual”.

Yasmine Mahmoudieh x Penguin Books

Inspired by literary themes of happiness, love and wisdom that transcend space and time, Yasmine Mahmoudieh has created a narrative for her Sleep Set based on three different Penguin Books from diverse authors from varying points in history: Plato’s The Symposium, Selected Poems of Rumi, and Elizabeth and Her German Garden by Elizabeth Von Arnim. Each area within the room set will take its cue from a book, bringing leitmotifs to life and giving thoughtful visual expression to canonical written material.

“The Sleep Sets are the ultimate in giving design firms free license to be innovative and thoughtful, to reflect an aspect of the world in a hotel room and to nudge the design conversation forward” says Sleep + Eat Brand Director, Mark Gordon. “This year will undoubtedly be exciting – four international practices, each matched with a much-loved non-hotel brand and challenged to translate the essence of their brand into a guestroom. Once again, I’m sure, the Sleep Sets will be a must-see for all our visitors.”

As part of its evolution this year from Sleep into Sleep + Eat, the event is expanding its immersive offering to include three Eat Sets – a restaurant designed by ECHO Architecture, a café from 3Stories and a nightclub by Shalini Misra.

Main Image caption: AB Concept teaser landscape

Room full of people networking

Interior Design & Architecture Summit launches

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Interior Design and Architecture Summit launches with the aim to bridge the gap between interior designers, architects and key-industry suppliers…

Following popular demand, Forum Events Ltd, which owns, among others, Hotel Designs, The Brit List, Hotel Summit and Meet Up, has launched a concise networking event designed to connect senior executives working within the sector of interior design and architecture with product and key-industry service suppliers for face-to-face meetings and business networking.

The Interior Design and Architecture Summit (IDAS), which takes place on April 29, 2019 at Hilton Tower Bridge Hotel, is a one-day event that aims to support the design and architecture sector with a unique platform, to aid forward-thinking ideas through everlasting relationships and business connections.


“IDAS has been specifically launched because we recognise the need for a tailored one-to-one event within the interior design and architecture sector,” said Carly Walker, Head of Sales at Forum Events Ltd.. “With its vast amount of knowledge in the industry and years of experience in the market as well as providing tailored and bespoke events for buyers to meet suppliers, Hotel Designs is the perfect platform to host and support this event.”

The benefits of attending IDAS

  • Pre-arranged, face-to-face meetings based on mutual interest
  • Selected and ‘matched’ meetings
  • Unlimited networking opportunities
  • No time wasters
  • No hidden costs
  • Lunch and refreshments provided throughout the day

With the aim to support worthy networking with decision makers, the team at Forum Events Ltd will organise for delegates and suppliers a personalised appointment schedule, arranging 20-minute meetings in a dedicated booth in order to support real business desicions.

How to register your interest in attending

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to meet the top architects and interior designers, contact Victoria Petch on – or click here to book your place.

If you are an architect or interior designer and would like to attend the Summit, please contact Kerry Naumburger on – or click here to book your place.


VitrA launches new textured tile collections

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VitrA’s new tile collection has launched at Ceraie in Bologna, Italy…

Known for its innovative ceramic surface solutions, VitrA has unveiled a series of new designs at specialist ceramic fair Cersaie in Bologna, Italy. Since exhibiting at London Design Festival’s designjunction, the company has Introduced two new colour schemes – ColorCode and Natural Stone – with the aim to strengthen VitrA’s ongoing research in textures and materials to life.

ColorCode combines a striking colour palette, boasting a vast array of materials and finishes, providing hotels with endless design possibilities.

Its simplicity draws inspiration from monochromatic minimalism enhanced by the diversity of materials. “With ColorCode, VitrA has fused the urban character of concrete, the natural delicacy of wood grains, the organic element of pebbles and the radiance of metal with the timelessness of ceramic,” the company said in a statement.

Various finishes and materials include Urbancrete, Ceppostone, Scale, Urbanwood and Metalcrete.

Meanwhile, with the new Natural Stone colour scheme, VitrA has introduced new surfaces that allow the user to create a range of combinations, which include Stonelevel and Cardostone.

SPOTLIGHT ON: Handmade British furniture range launches to add statement

Hamish Kilburn


Following the recent feature on how to add statement to your boutique hotel, furniture brand Sofas & Stuff has recently launched a new handmade British range of furniture called Occasional Chairs.

Known as the Thistle and Port Isaac Chairs, each have been handmade in Britain and are available in any fabric to complement existing seating, or to create an occasional statement piece in any room.

The classic design of the Port Isaac features elegant button back detailing with a wide plump base, meanwhile the Thistle is more contemporary in its design, making it ideal for accenting an interior scheme.

Both the Thistle and Port Isaac are available in any fabric, and can be fully tailored to any requirements with a choice of sizes, cushion fillings and legs.

The chairs are available to purchase in 12 nationwide and London stores, with a designated team of design experts all on hand to help.


Natural designs, timeless quality and flexibility for modern guests are the top trends to follow in hotel design, reports The Independent Hotel Show 2018

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Just as nit is in hotels itself, design plays an integral part in this year’s Independent Hotel Show. Ahead of the show, we have identified three design trends as highlighted by design partners, exhibitors and speakers at #IHS2018…

As the Independent Hotel Show creeps nearer, we have identified three major themes that visitors should expect to see at this year’s event.

Back to nature
Over the years nature has played an important part in inspiring interior designers and as we move into the future, this will continue, particularly in the independent, boutique and luxury hotel sector where guests seek calm environments to relax in.

“Any design with a connection to nature will be popular,” says Katja Behre, creative director of Elli Popp, design partner to The Innovation Stage which will feature a pink tropical leaves mural and floral displays from a designer at Kew Gardens.

“People always feel comfortable with designs that connect them to nature – whether that’s plants, flowers, insects or animals,” adds Behre.

Elli Popp-Dusk-The sound of water-Light Blue

Nina Tarnowski, of Woodchip & Magnolia, Wallpaper Partner to the Show says there is a growing trend towards murals and wallpapers which ‘evoke beautiful scenes.’

The exhibitor’s Land of Milk & Honey collection of wall murals and wallpapers is inspired by English Victorian glass houses and is a fresh interpretation of the continuing trend in botanical prints.

“The growing trend towards murals and papers which evoke beautiful scenes, evoke a narrative or transport you to a magical place, lends itself perfectly to hotel interiors,” she says. “After all – what are we after when we stay in a hotel? Escapism!”

VIP hoteliers, speakers, partners at this year’s Show will be able to see the natural escapism look portrayed at The Suite where contract furniture manufacturers Valdivian promise to transport attendees to somewhere ‘between reality and imagination’ with deep purple and green walls accented with floral murals.

Timeless quality
While the pressure may be on to champion the latest interior design trends, conversely, it is the hoteliers who shun the hottest design trends and opt for classic, well-made furnishings who are truly the trend-setters.

“Invest in quality. Guests may not see it, but they will feel it,” says Rebecca at Cappellini, design partner to central networking space The Lobby at the Independent Hotel Show.

“I always try and create timeless designs, which from time to time happen to be in trend,” says Katja Behre of Elli Popp. “Most of our best-selling designs are between one to six years old and still don’t seem to fade out.”

For inspiration, look to companies such as flooring specialist Tarkett – exhibiting at this year’s Independent Hotel Show – with its Desso Carpet Collections. Its Axminster, Desso&Ex and made-to-measure rug collections are perfect for independent hoteliers and designers looking for quality, durability and design.

“The future of hotel interior design will continue to have the luxe factor with opulent fabrics taking centre stage,” says Nick Sunderland of Two’s Company Interior Design, the interior design company responsible for putting together exciting new live installation ‘The Hotel Room of The Future’ at this year’s Show.

“Customers are wanting to experience 6* comfort. Hoteliers tell us that it’s all about the detail for their guests, be it stunning sofas and chairs, beautiful curtains, baby soft towels or sumptuous linen, all these aspects have to be considered.”

Corian® used for hotel room desk

The rise of leisure travel, mobile working and more flexible working patterns means that guests will be using hotels in more diverse ways in the future.

Daniel Corney, director at Compact Workspace, an exhibitor at the Independent Hotel Show 2018, says to improve the design of their property a ‘hotelier needs to consider different guests’ wants and needs’ so advocates the selection of flexible furniture so that space can easily be adapted for use at any event – from a conference to a wedding.

For hotels without conference and event space, the same notion of flexibility applies.

“This year we think the mobile working trend will have a big influence on hotel design,” he says. “Business travellers need appropriate places to work. So, rather than letting guests working off their lap or a coffee table in the hotel lobby, hotels should provide furniture that is both practical and comfortable to work from.”

The same flexible approach can also be applied to interior design, says Woodchip & Magnolia’s Nina Tarnowski who sees a big movement towards utilizing the fourth wall – the ceiling.

“It’s been popular for several years in interior decorating, but mostly confined to the use of paint. We’re being asked to create wall murals and papers specifically for high impact statement ceilings from interior designers, and it’s an exciting trend,” she says.

Hotel Designs is a media partner for the Independent Hotel Show 2018. To meet the Hotel Designs teams at the show please visit stand 628. Editor Hamish Kilburn will be hosting a panel discussion entitled ‘Power Hour: Designs For Life’ at the show, for more details please click here.

Establishing shot of Budapest

Hotel Development: Budapest is on the up

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HVS has released a new report on the hotel sector in the Hungarian city of Budapest, which highlights the strong recovery the city’s hotels have seen on the back of increased visitor numbers…

A report published by HVS suggests that Budapest, with big name hotel groups planning to open over the next three years, is on the rise when it comes to hotel development.

The capital city of Hungary and the ninth-largest city in the EU, with close to 1.7 million inhabitants in 2018, Budapest traditionally had a strong industrial focus, but has since shifted to the service industries including banking, finance and real estate. The city is also a cultural and historic centre, with several renowned monuments including UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Buda Castle district and the banks of the Danube. The city is also filled with various museums, parks, squares and a variety of restaurants and bars, making it the perfect weekend destination.

Hotel performance

During the economic crisis (2008-10), hotels experienced drops in visitation. To remain competitive they reduced rates, resulting in price wars. However, the market has recovered strongly, with hotel performance continuously improving, making Budapest one of the fastest-growing hotel markets in Central Europe. The increased arrivals to the city provide a positive outlook for average rate and occupancy growth, already evident in 2016 and 2017, with above-average RevPAR growth in the market.

Hotel Supply

The report mentioned that Hungary has seen continued growth in hotel supply since 2010. As of December 2017, the country had 1,094 hotels providing some 151,000 beds, approximately 35 per cent of which are in Budapest.

Owing to the positive trend in visitor arrivals and the strong trading performance of hotels, there has been increased interest in the city from developers and operators. Several of the world’s leading hotel brands, including Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Kempinski, InterContinental, Hilton, Marriott and Sofitel, are already represented in Budapest. Within the next three years, Hyatt, as well as Marriott’s W and Luxury Collection brands, are also due to open, which will further boost the draw of the Budapest market. Several other proposed new hotels are also in the pipeline; however, we would also note that construction costs have risen sharply and hence some of these projects might not materialise.


The outlook for visitation to Budapest remains positive, with an expected continued increase in arrivals to the city. The recent boost in hotel performance is one of the main reasons behind the growing interest from investors, developers and operators in the market. Although RevPAR levels remain somewhat lower compared to other European cities, the development and increased offer of five-star properties is expected to help increase average rates in the market.

Spotlight On: Furniture line made from forgotten traditional material

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As combining materials seemed to be a major theme of this year’s London Design Festival, editor Hamish Kilburn went beyond the show to investigate how one furniture company decided to use an often forgotten material from the 20th century for its latest collection of contract seating…

British design brand Deadgood launched a brand new collection of furniture at this year’s designjunction at London Design Festival 2018.

‘Hug Chair’ utilises Lloyd Loom, a traditional yet somewhat forgotten 20th century material, manipulated over a plywood shell and sat atop a recycled steel frame. The new dining and lounge chair version of the ‘Hug Chair’ was on the stand along with a number of other new designs in Oak and Upholstered finishes.

“After much experimentation we were able to manipulate the shape of this well loved material by applying it directly to a plywood shell,” said Vicki Leach, Deadgood Design Director. “By contrasting Lloyd Loom with a powder coated steel frame the aesthetic is somewhat refreshed for a modern interior, hopefully giving this tried and tested material a new lease of life.

Machine-woven Lloyd Loom is manufactured out of Kraft paper twisted round fine aluminium wire. The material is smooth to the touch, impervious and remarkably strong and durable. Deadgood adopted to use Lloyd Loom in order to create a thoroughly modern range of products with a distinctive yet altogether familiar aesthetic. “The result is subtle and not overwhelming, lending itself to gently merging in with the current workplace and hospitality trends,” concluded Leach.

As all this month Hotel Designs is focusing the spotlight on furniture, we are on the hunt for interesting furniture pieces that have recently launched. Tweet our editorial team on Twitter @hoteldesigns.






Editor’s round-up of London Design Festival 2018

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As the 16th edition of London Design Festival comes to a close, Hamish Kilburn shares the interior design moments, trends and discussions that made London’s design scene roar once more…

Ten design districts, nine days, eight talks, seven parties, six after parties, five exhibitions, four hours sleep between each day, three fabulous media partners, two tired legs and ONE city. This year, an estimated number of more than 450,000 designers, architects and creatives from more than 75 countries visited the 16th edition of London Design Festival – and what a way to remind the world of London’s position as one of the best design hubs in the world than with the installation of a fifth lion protecting the city’s landmark Neslon’s Column in Trafalgar Square. We were ready to hear London Design Festival roar, and with two days still remaining, that roar can still be heard echoing in an around the city.

Image credit: designjunction


Positioned in the one-stop interior design haven of Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, with more than 120 showrooms, Focus18 began with a topical discussion about how to use Instagram effectively for business.

Among the showrooms, Vaughan showcased a new collection with a strong focus on table lamps. Demonstrating that interior design inspiration can come from anywhere, its new Tribal collection is based on travels around the globe that Lucy Vaughan, the creative director of the brand, has experienced. The result is an array of vibrant lampshades, embroidered cushions and unusual upholstered chairs which aim to celebrate the craftsmanship and culture of fabrics Vaughan and her daughter have sourced. Each unique in their own right, the collection is ideal for boutique hotels looking to create a statement, an editorial story we brought you only last week.

Image caption: Vaughan’s new Tribal collection

Elsewhere, the award-winning Alexandra Champalimaud celebrated her love of fabrics by unveiling Framework. With its durable features, the collection for Holland & Sherry is perfect for hotels. Champalimaud herself chose the materials, textures and colours that she would use when designing hotels, such as the recently completed The Academy and the highly anticipated Monkey Island, which is about to be unveiled.

“Tackling the topic of ‘Interiors in two great cities’, interior designer and owner of PSW Interior Design Paul Williams and architect and designer Emmanuelle Sirven.”

Collecting Best Wallpaper Collection of the show was Anna French’s Palampore collection. The highly detailed collection takes strong inspiration by the strong visual and graphic arts and design moment that occurred at the turn of the 20th century – with purple being a dominating colour story within the collection.

Another wallpaper that captured the attention of the crowd was Cole & Son’s new hand-painted Botanical range. The collection, which is inspired by a seasonal exploration of the English landscape, was showcased in the company’s new Chelsea showroom home. Strong references of lilac, wisteria, thistle, bluebells, roses, allium, fern and maidenhair are featured in the wallcoverings and designer Kathleen Hockey was at the showroom with a live painting demonstration to help further explain the range.

Showcasing something different, edgy brand House of Hackney unveiled a spectacular collection of wallpaper, fabrics and accessories created in partnership with the renowned and historical French wallpaper house, Zuber. But what really stood out was the eye-catching furniture, with the Saber becoming the statement piece of the showroom.

This year, Focus/18 celebrated its positive power with ‘Journey of Colour’, a specially commissioned installation by international artist Moritz Waldemeyer which offers an unforgettable immersive experience of light, colour and movement.

Image credit: House of Hackney

Tackling the topic of ‘Interiors in two great cities’, interior designer and owner of PSW Interior Design Paul Williams and architect and designer Emmanuelle Sirven, discussed how each destination’s distinctive voice have made them the interior design hubs they are known for being today. In addition to this, tickets to this year’s Brit List, which on November 22 will celebrate the best designers, hoteliers and architects in Britain today, are available online.

Image credit: Focus18

There was an overarching theme of ‘The Colour of Light’ happening among Chelsea, with two designers, Rebecca Weir and Sophie Robinson, taking on the topical talk on how to inject light and personality into your interiors. Robinson’s talk focused around the psychology of colour and how it can be used to invigorate the design process. Meanwhile, Weir’s panel focused the topic on lighting technology, a trend that was predicated by Richmond’s Fiona Thompson not so long ago.

Wrapping up the show was Arte International with a fabulous, in-depth trend report on the rise in powerful, positive and exuberant palattes. The Design Centre Chelsea Harbour‘s Becky Metcalfe took the microphone to give audience members a round-up of AW18’s most defining interior trends.

(Hotel Designs is a proud media partner)

Hidden in London’s leafy neighbourhood in south west London – in between Richmond and Kew – Syon Park, for the last time, became a hub of design, welcoming the world to experience the latest products, trends and hot discussions.

The theme given to the designers who created this year’s main entrance was Blank Canvas, which opened the floodgates to let in innovative, bold and lavish designs from four visionary creatives. Henry Prideaux took the theme and unveiled a classic British set which was inspired by his school days. The set took materials and colours of his school, the uniform, the architecture and incredible aesthetic of his surroundings. Simone Suss went geometric and quirky, incorporating the interests and passions that have inspired her including a diverse spectrum of music, art and fashion. Meanwhile, Brian Woulfe went into the jungle with bold, botanical design and Jo Legleud and Scott Maddux went ruby red with a strong disco theme.

Where lighting has becoming such a major focus as technology improves, Le Deun Luminaire were certainly ahead of the curve resulting in them winning Best New Product Launch by the Decorex awards, and its clear to see why. With a strong focus on dynamic, statement lighting, the company has succeeded in its mission to allow function to generate the shape, and to create lighting that is effective, not only decorative.

Image credit: Le Deun Luminaire

This year, the show’s 400 exhibitors included the likes of Knot Rugs, Ian Sanderson and Dedar to Little Green, Timorous Beasties and Robert Langford. Decorex also welcomed around 50 first-time exhibitors – Officine Gullo, Sahrai, Meisterwerke, Another Country, Sharon Marston and Benott among them.

Another interesting addition to this year’s show was ‘In The Making’, an area of the hall which shed light on how products are made, finished and decorated, using artisans and craftspeople to showcase materials and design processes.

The first participant was Shalini Misra Ltd, a London-based interior designer with an impressive portfolio of award-winning projects. The studio partnered with iconic British luxury brand Asprey to create an interactive ‘dining-scape’.

Image credit: Decorex

Next was Lancashire-based wallcovering brand Lincrusta. Crafting exceptional wallpapers since it was founded in 1877, the brand’s production remains entirely in the UK. It showcased its unparalleled expertise with paint effect demonstrations that revealed how they can be applied to wallcoverings.

“The space featured four different makers a day for the duration of the show.”

Pigmentti offered insight into the technique of bas-relief Marmorino and gold leaf, bringing the ancient material of Marmorino into contemporary architectural design. Live demonstrations were staged while an accompanying wall installation showed the intricacy of a completed design.

The final participant to be announced was Artisan Collective. Its area hosted a group of designers that showed a range of skills, such as furniture making, upholstering and wood-carving. The space featured four different makers a day for the duration of the show, each recreated  ‘a day in the making’ to reveal what a normal day in a workshop or design studio is like.

Beosound Edge is roughly the size and shape of a car wheel and is designed to blend in to its interiors.”

There seemed to be a strong sense of indoor-outdoor among many of the new products exhibited at the show. Photographer Benjamin Rice showcased his large, at-one-with-nature photography in what can only be described as his own private gallery. Fenella Elms, meanwhile, unveiled tactile art/wallcoverings made from porcelain. Innovative mirror-tech company Overmantels displayed its latest collection of TV mirrors, following large demand for hidden technology.  Technology giants Bang Olufsen displayed a minimalist stand as they prepared to launch what was being billed as its ‘coolest speakers yet’, a coin shaped speaker that’s volume controls via tilt. The bold yet minimal and ironically titled Beosound Edge is roughly the size and shape of a car wheel and is designed to blend in to its interiors.

100% Design
(Hotel Designs is a proud media partner)

Colour and looking ahead to the future was this year’s theme as the show took some serious moves to up its game on the design scene. The highlight of the show, in addition to welcoming leading brands into the exhibition hall, was the quality of the 100% talks. Highlights included Thomas Heatherwick, Marcel Wanders, Kelly Hoppen and Marcus Fairs who all took the stage throughout the week at the show’s home in London’s Olympia.

“Down the vibrant carpets, 100% Futures was also an interesting add-on.”

Speaking at the exclusive press launch, Max Fraser, the content editor for the show officially launched the show to the international press. “2018 is a bright and cheerful year, we have gone for colour,” he said. “Another feature we have focused on this year is the future, and where design is heading.”

Image credit: 100% Design

In regards to the exhibitors, the focus for many was corporate furniture with several companies displaying colourful and quirky options. Of those companies was The Meeting Pod Company, which impressed with its fully customisable meeting pods. Made in high quality composite external surfaces, the pods can be installed inside or outside and come in a range of sizes to fit and suit any space. With the promise that it can create virtually any internal or external colour combination, material or specific branding, the company has recently just completed a piece for a client which requested its pods to look like a rocket.

Image credit: The Meeting Pod Company / Rocketmakers

Down the vibrant carpets, 100% Futures was also an interesting add-on, following much hype in the industry on how technology will further shape the look and feel of the hotel of the future. The new exhibition shone light on some of the most exciting designs under the theme ‘Designing for London’ across travel, technology, wellbeing, public spaces and sustainability.

(Hotel Designs is a proud media partner)

Turning up fashionably late, as ever, opening on the Thursday, designjunction, in my opinion, had the sharp edge over London Design Festival with quality brands and sheltering a real, unmatched designer buzz on the quirky riverside of the Southbank.

The award-winning event – and rightly so – showcased more than 200 of the world’s most iconic design brands. The show was presented across three areas which are owned and managed by Coin Street Community builders; the Doon Street site, OXO Tower Wharf and Riverside Walkway. Highlights this year included the second edition of the Rado Star Prize UK, The Mud Shell Project by Stphanie Chaltiel as well as talks programme curated by Justyna Sowa.

On the exhibition floor, LSA International displayed a dymamic sneak peek of its SS19 collection of glasses in-between a strong focus on furniture. New Zealand-based brand Revology was at one with nature with a eco-friendly and striking product which combines dark wood and is made from 100% recyclable, sustainably sourced composite linen fibres, bio-based resin and recycled brass. Another brand that stood out with bold and unique designs included Norr11‘s simple and clean collection, Galvin Brothers‘ quirky hand-made furniture, Johanson‘s eye-catching bar stools and James Burleigh‘s contemporary chairs, tables and stools. Furniture specialist Vitra showcased the new Belleville collection by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. Launching in the UK for the first time, the Belleville family consists of hybrid chairs and versatile tables, characterised by its varied materials and muted colours. Leading British furniture brand Deadgood, on the other hand, put the spotlight on its new Hug Armchair, which utilises Lloyd Loom, a traditional yet somewhat forgotten 20th century material, manipulated over a plywood shell and sat atop a recycled steel frame.

Image caption: Deadgood’s Hug Armchair

Downstairs, lighting up ‘lightjunction’ with so much focus on technology in lighting at the moment, there was a clear indication that manufacturers are exploring with the elements, combining materials to create stunning effects.

London Design Fair

Venturing outside zone 1 to the creative heart of East London, London Design Fair was a four-day industry event that brought together 550 exhibitors from more than 36 countries.

Image credit: London Design Festival

For 2018, the show hosted 10 country pavilions, from all corners of the world including the return of the Swedish Design Pavilion alongside the Balearic Islands, Italy, Finland, Korea and Japan.

Other highlights of the week included a fabulous party at Shoreditch’s The Curtain to celebrate 10 years of Design Triangle, the exclusive opening of Kent + London and Kartell by Laufen unveiling its East-meets-West collection in collaboration with celebrated designer Ludovica + Roberto Palomba.

It’s fair to say that London Design Festival has delivered once more in showcasing to the world that Britain remains a strong design hub for inspiration, ideas and savvy innovation. London leaves a lasting impression on the hundreds and thousands of visitors who can now return back to their studios full of creative ideas and vast inspiration.

Main image credit: London Design Festival