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Brintons comes out on top to win Designer Collaboration of the Year

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Brintons and Timorous Beasties have won Designer Collaboration of the Year at the 2018 Wool Carpet & Rug Awards…

Premium carpet manufacturer Brintons has been awarded Designer Collaboration of the Year at the 2018 Wool Carpet & Rug Awards for its Craigend collection with Timorous Beasties.

The Craigend collection was launched in May at this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week and consists of nine designs that are inspired by textures and surfaces found naturally underfoot, all reimagined in the Brintons’ signature 80/20 blend of 80 per cent wool and 20 per cent nylon.

In designing Craigend, Timorous Beasties called upon their fascination with the often-brutal beauty of the natural world, as well as taking aesthetic inspiration from different crafting materials including paint, ink and fabric.

Sponsored by The Campaign for Wool, in association with British Wool, the Wool Carpet & Rug Awards celebrate excellence in wool carpet and rug manufacture. Now in its third year, the event helps to promote the many benefits of wool flooring to a wide and varied audience.

The awards attracted over one hundred entries across its twelve categories, with the ceremony held at the Harrogate Flooring Show. Brintons was also a finalist in the Commercial Woven Carpet of the Year category, for its renovation of the Victoria Palace Theatre in London.

Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas Hotel & Residences opens on iconic Las Vegas Strip

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The Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas Hotel & Residences re-brands ahead of an extensive redesign slated to take place in 2019…

Following its debut in South East Asia, Waldorf Astoria has opened a 389-guestroom hotel in Las Vegas. Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas Hotel & Residences brings a new spirit to The Strip, where graceful service meets modern luxury. Formerly Mandarin Oriental, the hotel is now operated by Hilton Management Services and in 2019 it will be redesigned with newly-styled rooms and public spaces.

“Las Vegas continues to be one of the most celebrated and exciting cities in the world, and a destination where visitors seek both extraordinary and remarkable moments,” said Martin Rinck, executive vice president and global head, Luxury & Lifestyle Group, Hilton. “The Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas – delivering on an unrelenting commitment to True Waldorf Service – will be the perfect environment for guests visiting Las Vegas who want to Live Unforgettable and create ever-lasting memories that will extend beyond their stay at the hotel.”

Located in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas is steps from world-class shopping and entertainment and neighbours the 20,000 seat T-Mobile Arena.

“Two remarkable personalities are being united as Waldorf Astoria arrives in the legendary city of Las Vegas,” says Donald Bowman, General Manager.


Boasting 389 guestrooms and 225 residences, including 55 suites and three expansive Presidential Suites, Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas is set in a luxurious, non-gaming, non-smoking environment. As new design plans and vision emerge, the hotel has embarked on an 18-month journey to reimagine the property’s guestrooms. The current accommodations boast a sleek, contemporary design with floor-to-ceiling windows that frame spectacular views of The Strip and the surrounding desert landscape. Surprise and delight design features include a discreet valet closet, allowing for deliveries without disruption.


With exhilarating views, inspired dishes and mesmerizing suspended wine loft, Chef Gagnaire’s award-winning restaurant, Twist, is the first-ever U.S. eatery to serve his legendary interpretation of classic French cuisine. The SkyBar on the 23rd floor brings a distinctive mix of treasured décor and sophisticated ambiance, the perfect accompaniments to the spirited cocktail collection handcrafted by master mixologists. The highly-coveted Tea Lounge offers three afternoon tea times serving the finest blends with sweet accompaniments and paired with unrivalled views overlooking The Strip.


Complementing its signature hospitality, the hotel features various spaces for guests looking to escape to a personal sanctuary. The 27,000-square-foot spa spans two entire guest floors, offering a deeply serene environment to pamper the body and re-engage the senses. At the Waldorf Astoria Spa, a new suite of services features a completely customised experience tailored to personal skin qualities, aesthetic expectations and a holistic analysis.

The 8th floor pool deck, a desert retreat tucked away from high-rise towers, offers a chic respite with stunning views, two exquisite pools, two whirlpools and a plunge pool. Redefining relaxation with unobtrusive service, guests can enjoy serenity in poolside cabanas.

Meetings and Events

The property offers 12,000-square feet of stylish, distraction-free function space, delivering perfection on a grand scale and features natural lighting within each meeting room. The glamorous Waldorf Ballroom, for instance, is situated three floors above Las Vegas Blvd and features a unique walk-out balcony and floor-to-ceiling windows featuring views of the Strip.

The opening of the hotel

Main image credit: Waldorf Astoria


The Indian Hotel Company Limited (IHCL) signs fourth Taj hotel in Dubai

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The opening of the new Taj hotel in 2022 will increase the company’s inventory to over 1000 keys in the city…

India’s largest and hospitality company, The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL),  hasannounced the signing of a new Taj hotel at the Deira Creek in Dubai in partnership with Ithra Dubai LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD). The new Taj hotel is a Greenfield project slated to open in early 2022 and will be part of Deira Waterfront Development – one of Dubai’s most significant rejuvenation projects. An urban oasis, the hotel will have approximately 200 spacious rooms and suites with a selection of rooms cantilevered over the water, with scenic waterfront views. The hotel will include all-day dining and specialty restaurants, a bar and lounge, banqueting facilities and a spa.

“The Middle East is a significant market for IHCL.,” said Mr. Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL). “We are honoured to partner with Ithra Dubai for this new hotel in Deira – the historical and cultural center of Dubai. IHCL has a long tradition of managing marquee hotels with rich heritage links   across the world.”

Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Issam Galadari, Chief Executive Director, Ithra Dubai LLC, said, “We are delighted to partner with The Indian Hotels Company Limited and look forward to working with them to bring the iconic Taj brand to the Deira Waterfront Development in Dubai.”

Deira is a culturally rich and vibrant part of Dubai which has been part of a major international trade route since time immemorial. Some of the popular attractions in Deira include the Spice Market, Gold Souk, Women’s Museum, Heritage House and the Dubai Dolphinarium.

IHCL also operates Taj Dubai in downtown Business Bay and has two new hotels, Taj Jumeirah Lake Towers and Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, The Palm, Dubai opening in late 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Main image credit: Taj Hotels

Live from LDF: Collaboration = innovation as Kartell by Laufen showcases new range at LDF

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Research and innovation were displayed at an exclusive press event to launch at London Design Festival in the new museum-like installation signed by L+R Palomba for Kartell by Laufen…

Kartell by Laufen is proud to take part in London Design Festival, which returns for the 16th year in 2018 with the aim of celebrating and promoting the City as the design capital of the world.

The unmissable gathering, attended by global members of the press, the brands showcased, for the first time in London, an artistic museum-like installation at the Kartell flagship store on Brompton Road, Chelsea.

“Without colour there is no design”

Signed by the delightful designers Ludovica + Roberto Palomba, it is an engaging, exploratory exercise on washbasins that combines innovation and research: a voyage of suggestions, in which East really does meets West in an atmosphere of forceful emotional impact.

The modern, cosy showroom features an innovative setting which includes two main display areas: a luminous raised platform hosts the concept inspired by the iconic Chinese “dim sum” tableware, objects with very free and playful forms utilized to “set” the large table. The pieces took shape through the use of Saphirkeramik, a revolutionary ceramic that permits the production of extremely thin walls, with very small radii and smooth surfaces. “The bathroom has in the past been a sad place and I wanted to be surrounded by colour,” explained Palomba when talking about the inspiration behind the collection. “Because without colour there is no design.”

Starting with the colors of food and the objects that encourage shared relations on the table, Ludovica + Roberto Palomba present a new concept study on shapes: iconic forms that range from rounded profiles to more rigorous, squared shapes, even futuristic at times, set apart by unexpected shades of red, green and brown, suggesting unique shadows and contrasts.

The space over the raised platform is separated by fabric panels in an orange hue from the palette of Le Corbusier – a tribute to the tone that best represents the birth of the whole Kartell by Laufen project.

A second area of the showroom offers visitors a full immersion in the Kartell by Laufen universe of the bathroom, by showcasing the decorated freestanding washbasin, the bathtub with oval shape and accessories in the latest shades of emerald green and powder pink. Also on display is a range of taps and fittings, available in different finishes in order to meet all taste requirements.

During London Design Festival, the Kartell flagship store takes on a noble atmosphere: the bathroom becomes a space of expression in which every detail has been carefully refined to offer diversified and personalised solutions. A new interpretation of the needs of modern everyday life, where the relationship among domestic environment and bathroom focuses on aspects linked not only to the functional dimension, but also to the emotional sphere. A rediscovery of personal wellbeing and care for the body, in perfect Kartell by Laufen style.


No stranger to collaboration, Kartell by Laufen has been working with a range of prominent architects and interior design studios to deliver worldwide bespoke projects of all shapes and sizes. Thanks to departments in the two companies specialising in the contract sector, the brand Kartell by Laufen is able to offer solutions that accommodate even the most complex requirements spanning space, comfort and exclusivity. Amongst high-end hotels and exclusive resorts, the portfolio of Kartell by Laufen comprises the bathroom furnishing of Hobo Hotel in Stockholm, the Spa at Pacai Hotel in Vilnius (Lithuania), 25hours Hotel The Circle in Cologne, Innside Hotel by Melià in New York, Kimpton Palomar Hotel in Washington DC, The Park Lane Hotel in Hong Kong or the Nobu in London, to mention but a few.

London Design Festival continues…



Live from LDF: New design furniture store arrives in London’s Shoreditch

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Premium designer furniture brand KENT & LONDON, which opened its London showroom this week, has launched #WellMadeLDF18, a design challenge for members of the public and designers during London Design Festival…

For the first time KENT & LONDON, a sharp designer furniture brand, has opened its doors during London Design Festival.

The official launch on Tuesday evening welcomed press, international designers and friends of the brand as the store announced its London presence following popular demand among London designers in both the residential and contract market.

Visitors of the store are now invited to explore high quality custom-made furniture and kitchens, alongside its showroom collaborations with FLOOR_STORY – East London’s friendliest rug dealer, Swedish encaustic tile company Marrakech Design, Studio Ore – handcrafted and hand finished brass taps and Caesarstone – which recently launched its Metropolitan collection, marking a new era in durable quartz surfaces. The Shoreditch showroom also features designed products from Vitamin Living, Kast Concrete basins and Armac Martin.

As part of the Shoreditch Design Triangle and throughout the duration of the Festival, KENT & LONDON hosts a unique design challenge titled #WellMadeLDF18. Both professionals and design savvy public are invited to book into a session to create their own piece of furniture using selected materials within the showroom. They will see their ideas come to life through a live design consultation with KENT & LONDON partners Luke Ellis (Creative Director) and George Couyas (Interior Designer).

#WellMadeLDF18 aims to engage with people from all backgrounds and skill level, inspiring creativity and providing an insight into the design process. KENT & LONDON will use their specialism of designing and making custom-made furniture to digitally sketch each design.

During each session the design development will be projected for showroom visitors to view. Each concept will be posted to Instagram for a public vote using the hashtag #WellMadeLDF18 and a shortlist will be judged by a panel of industry experts. The winning design will be refined and produced by KENT & LONDON and gifted to the winner.

Live from LDF: Zaha Hadid Design unveils new carpet collaboration

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British architecture and design giant Zaha Hadid Design unveils the new RE/Form carpet collection for Royal Thai during London Design Festival 2018..

RE/Form continues Royal Thai’s design-driven direction. The collection consists of 22 designs, inspired by four themes that feature prominently in Zaha Hadid’s work: striated lines, ribbonlike projections, pixelated landscapes and organic cellular shapes. Patterns within each grouping capture Hadid’s signature use of interweaving, layering and play with light and shadow. The designs introduce custom new colours for Royal Thai commercial carpets, with hues of turquoise, red and green in their colour palettes.

Translated into Axminster-loomed and hand-tufted designs, each design represents reconfiguration and transformation—the theme itself a reflection of Royal Thai’s recent reformation. RE/Form is a celebration of Hadid’s legacy and Royal Thai’s passion for inspiration.

The Zaha Hadid Gallery will also present the new 2018 Zaha Hadid Design Collection, together with Zaha Hadid Architects’ recent collaboration of 3D-printed furniture with Nagami as well as an exhibition by the studio’s Computation and Design research group (ZHCODE).


Editor of Hotel Designs to host ‘Power Hour’ at Independent Hotel Show

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Editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn will host ‘Power Hour’ at this year’s Independent Hotel Show next month on October 17 2018…

As a proud media partner for the Independent Hotel Show, the editor of Hotel Designs, Hamish Kilburn, will lead a unique panel discussion, exploring how hotels can help better brand their business.

The ‘power hour’ workshop named ‘Designs For Life’ will detail how to use design to create an authentic and individual hotel brand. From typefaces to toilets, cutlery to cocktail lists, and special events to chef’s specialities, here’s how you create an appealing and memorable hospitality environment.

On the panel, a number of leading industry figures will join Kilburn to discuss how hotels can create an appealing and memorable hospitality environment.

Also on the panel
Chris Hill – Hotels Operations Director, House of Daniel Thwaites
Anani Sharma – CEO, Matters of Form
Jonathon Slater – Owner, Oddfellows Management
Emma King – Head of Interior Design, IHG

“We are very proud media partners for the Independent Hotel Show, and this is such a fitting way for us to be involved with the show,” said Kilburn. “I am really looking forward to exploring this topic with such incredible names.”

Secure you place at the talk here.

100% Design opens colourful doors to this year’s show

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100% Design, of which Hotel Designs is a proud media partner of, has opened its very colourful doors to the public…

As part of the nine-day London Design Festival, 100% Design has opened its doors unveiling this year’s theme to the eyes of the design world.

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.”

Earlier this year, the show, which is located at Olympia London, announced some big changes for 2018 as it adopts a renewed vision to highlight its position as the unmissable show for design, innovation and emerging talent in London.

Featuring a number of new projects alongside inspiring collaborations and new product launches the show will also be at the heart of the newly launched West Kensington Design District – the most important destination during London Design Festival 2018.

100% Design is dedicated to showcasing a variety of brands from the UK and internationally, across each of the show areas. Brands to watch include Greek furniture brand, which sources unique and exquisite stones from around the world and crafts them into artful interior pieces. The brand has relationships with the world’s major quarries, enabling them to reserve pieces of stone that stand out.

Designed with the core principles of simplicity and finesse, Bulo is another brand to keep an eye on. Its pieces are understated with a timeless aesthetic. The Belgian brand creates quality furniture with collections that are recognisable for sleek lines and structured shapes. The fundamental idea behind the furniture from Thors Design, meanwhile, is that of upcycling, using rustic Azobé wood, sourced from decommissioned Danish wharves. The result is bespoke, hand-made, sustainable furniture with an original raw look and a natural Nordic feel that retains the integrity, history and natural character of the wood.

100% Talks: Thomas Heatherwick, Marcel Wanders and Marcus Fairs feature at this year’s Talks with 100% Design. 100% Brands: A stellar line-up of exhibitors include: Benchmark, Established & Sons, Dare Studio, Arper, B Sweden, Bulo, Antonio Lupi, Tesla, Riko with Starck, OnePlusEleven, Rubn, Casa Botelho, Missana and more. 100% Futures: A new exhibition that will shine a light on some of the most exciting designs under the theme ‘Designing for London’ across travel, technology, wellbeing, public spaces and sustainability.

100% Forward: The spotlight turns on eight emerging design talents across furniture, product, lighting and textile design. Each will be championed by an established designer who carved his or her career during the first decade of 100% Design. 100% Build: A new dedicated resourcing show for the construction and architectural industry. Within the exhibition Philippe Starck will present a prefabricated house with Riko, while Tesla will showcase Powerwall.

Continuing to be the show at London Design Festival that opens mid-week to breathe new life into the overall festival, 100% Design shelters leading brands, interesting panel discussions and all the up-coming trends.

Going green: How hotels can embrace eco-friendly principles

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Biodegradable packaging expert Elizabeth Raw from R+R Packaging explains how a hotel can adapt to be more eco-friendly…

With 65% of travellers looking to stay in an eco-friendly friendly hotel in 2017, consumers’ choices are becoming driven more and more by an increased environmental conscience. This means it’s important for your hotel, from both an environmental and business perspective, to act as a sustainable accommodation option.

Today, we’re breaking down how your hotel business can save money and stay competitive – all while doing its part to make the planet greener – through embracing a number of eco-friendly principles. From the laundry room to the penthouse suite, we’ll show you how making small changes can make a big difference.

Reduce water waste

It’s estimated that a hotel uses around 100-200 gallons of fresh water per occupied room each day, meaning water conservation is a fundamental practice of any hotel business’s sustainability initiative.

Small and simple installments around your hotel can play a significant role in reducing water waste day by day. Low-flush toilets installed in guest bathrooms will help to reduce water used per flush by more than 50%, while the addition of water butts offers the opportunity to reuse rainwater, subsequently reserving the source of fresh mains water.

Not only does the reduction of water waste preserve one of the planet’s most valuable resources, but it’s a great way to cut back on costs. With water consumption accounting for a significant percentage of a hotel’s fixed expenses, water waste reduction will benefit both your business and your planet – making it an unavoidable practice that hotel owners are becoming increasingly conscious of.

Reduce energy waste

Similarly, the conservation of energy will play a huge part in increasing sustainability and decreasing bills. The trick is to remember that the little things add up, evident by the fact 35% of a hotel’s electricity consumption consists of miscellaneous uses. Simple swaps such as switching to long lasting LED bulbs and energy-saving laundry and AC units is enough to make a big overall impact.

Take this one step further with the installation of skylights in common areas to make use of natural lighting throughout the day, completely removing the need for artificial lighting and thus saving significantly on electricity use.

Work together with your guests through implementing a linen reuse program that encourages them to reuse towels, sheets and bedding. The unnecessary practice of a daily washing service is a huge drain on both energy and water reserves through the consistent use of washing machines and dryers. The creation of an ‘opt-out’ reuse programme will ensure all your guests are happy and is a great way to advertise that your business is taking steps to becoming greener.

Reduce disposable waste

The avoidance of plastic has become the epitome of conscientious consumption in recent months. From cosmetic products to food packaging, hotels are amongst the biggest culprits for harmful disposable waste, leading to industry giants Hilton vowing to ban plastic completely by the end of 2018.

Switch to offering your guests complimentary organic toiletries, free of harmful toxins and chemicals during production, and supply them in bulk dispensers to cut back on unnecessary packaging.

If you offer a breakfast service, ensure you’re using eco-friendly packaging for your food that is made of reusable or renewable materials. From coffee cups to bags and containers, the strong, rigid and fully compostable eco-friendly packaging provides a great alternative to harmful polystyrene and plastic food packaging.

Embracing these eco-friendly principles will help turn your hotel green, cutting costs and promoting a more positive brand image – all while doing your bit for planet Earth.

Live from LDF: Behind the main entrance installation at Decorex 2018

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Four of the UK’s leading interior designers are behind this year’s main entrance concept for Decorex…

What can you do with a blank canvas. Well, it seems quite a lot as four of the UK’s leading designers were asked to create this year’s Decorex entrance using only the theme of ‘Blank Canvas’ as a guide.

Decorex this year invited its participants to explore how an empty space can celebrate a beautiful new beginning, and it is this idea of a new beginning that led Decorex to brief four acclaimed interior designers to design the main entrance.

Henry Prideaux, Simone Suss, Maddux Creative and Brian Woulfe created site-specific installations that tell the stories behind their development as designers. Each produced a vignette that represents their journeys, featuring items, colours and patterns that have influenced and inspired them along the way. These vignettes will be partially hidden to visitors entering the event, allowing them to be discovered as they move around the entrance space.

With installations from Maddux Creative and Brian Woulfe taking on the Jungle and ruby-red disco lights, Henry Prideaux Interior Design drew on its eponymous founder’s senior year at Harrow School, where he was given the opportunity to create his most decorated room. It was during this chapter in Henry’s maturing life that an inherent instinct to decorate began to evolve and a natural path towards a career in interior design began to reveal itself. The studio took inspiration from the materials and colours of his school, the uniform, the architecture and incredible aesthetic of his surroundings.

Studio Suss, meanwhile, drew on the past experiences of founder, Simone Suss, and how the varied decades have shaped her, incorporating the interests and passions that have inspired her including a diverse spectrum of music, art and fashion.

Decorex, of which Hotel Designs is a proud media partner of, returned this weekend, kick-starting London Design Festival for its 41st edition to the historic Syon Park. It is hosting more 400 exhibitors from established names to up-and-coming brands.

LIVE FROM LDF: Furniture designed around raw emotions

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Portuguese furniture company exhibits furniture at Decorex inspired by emotions as it attempts to challenge conventional hotel furniture…

A Portuguese furniture company has exhibited new furniture that is inspired by human emotion at this year’s Decorex during London Design Festival. There’s a thin line between a functional object and artwork. Emotional Objects aren’t just objects, they are almost art pieces. Unique and perfectly crafted by passionate Portuguese designers and artisans, in Portugal.

True to ensuring that each product is bespoke, all of its objects are handcrafted or handpainted with love. “We treat furniture as art and when they leave, a part of us goes with them,” said owner and architect Joao Faria on his stand at Decorex. Faria does not believe his product is in the category of a being a ‘luxury product. “Luxury brands spend a lot of time and money creating a sense of… Luxury. Selling a lifestyle instead of their products and making you believe that buying their product makes you hip,” he explained.

“The company tries to take its objects a little bit further than its function”

Emotional Objects are designed and manufactured with the sole purpose to make a connection with us as people. The company tries to take its objects a little bit further than its function, bushing the boundaries of design. “Our objects aren’t transparent; they make us smile every time we use them. That is an Emotional Object,” explained Faria. “An object that relates to us, with our life and taste.”

Roots Console and Mirror

“Roots” is a line of furniture inspired in the Sacred Ceiba tree in Havana. A line goes around the volume of the pieces and changes its expression just like a root. “After all nature is the mother of all forms,” said Faria. “It is only necessary to go a little bit further…” In 2016, the coffee table won an “A’ Design Award” in “Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design” category.

Emotional Objects is one of many Portuguese design companies exhibiting at Decorex, a show which Hotel Designs is a proud media partner of.


Four Seasons Hotel São Paulo At Nações Unidas prepares for grand opening

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The new Four Seasons hotel, which has been designed by HKS Architects in partnership with Aflalo e Gasperini Arquitetos, will open this October…

The clock is ticking ahead of the grand opening of Four Seasons Hotel São Paulo at Nações Unidas, as the hotel prepares to open on October 15, 2018.

The all-new hotel is the vision of HKS Architects in partnership with Aflalo e Gasperini Arquitetos, with principle interiors including guestrooms, lobby lounge and public areas by San Francisco-based BAMO. Describing their vision as “bold and evocative modern, an international luxury aesthetic rendered in Brazilian materials and infused with classic Paulistano flavour,” the result is an art-filled hotel with pieces from Burle Marx, Francisco Brennand, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, among others. The interiors are characterised by locally-sourced finishes that create a luxurious yet welcoming environment for both international travellers and local guests.

“As the first Four Seasons in Brazil, our team is especially excited to introduce the customised experiences and personalised service for which the company is known around the world,” says General Manager Michael Schmid.  “Although many Brazilians who travel internationally are very familiar with the Four Seasons experience, the opportunity to offer something uniquely tailored to this city and connect with its citizens is important for us.”

Meeting planners and wedding couples will find 1,409 square metres (15,160 square feet) of flexible event space, also designed by EDG including a grand ballroom that can be divided into smaller function spaces, as well as seven additional rooms of varying sizes and two outdoor terraces.

The vibrant urban space will include enclosed and beautifully landscaped grounds, a BAMO-designed spa and fitness centre, and an ultra-modern indoor-outdoor pool.

Located amid the leafy green spaces along the Pinheiros river in southern Sao Paulo, the all-new 29-storey tower will include the 258-room Hotel as well as 84 Four Seasons Private Residences designed by Studio Arthur Casas, along with restaurants, spa, meeting rooms and other facilities. The Hotel’s address on Avenida Nações Unidas (Avenue United Nations) places guests just steps from corporate offices, plus shopping, entertainment and South America’s best medical facilities. The domestic Congonhas-São Paulo Airport is just 20 minutes away, and São Paulo International Airport is about one hour by car. Four Seasons Hotel São Paulo at Nações Unidas is the first Four Seasons location in Brazil, joining sister properties in Bogota, Buenos Aires and Costa Rica as part of the company’s growing Central and South American portfolio.

DESIGN TALK: Instagrammable interiors with Kate Watson Smyth and Paul Craig

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Live from London Design Festival, interiors influencer Kate Watson Smyth and photographer Paul Craig explain how to make your designs insta-worthy…

To kick-start London Design Festival, bathroom specialist Victoria + Albert hosted a unique talk at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour about the secrets to styling and sharing interiors on social media.

Kate Watson Smyth, who is the proud owner of Mad About The House instagram account (@madaboutthehouse) started by explaining how she went from journalist to social media influencer. “I think you can start by finding other accounts that you like the look of,” she said. “Then, you will naturally find your niche and start to find a really consistent look.”

Another tip from Watson Smith was to post at consistent times. “I also find that it’s really important to set aside time after you have posted to like other Instagram posts from the same topic.”

Paul Craig is known in the industry for his dynamic styling and having the ability to make a shot work from behind the lens. Craig took the microphone to share his tips on how to make a social media post pop.

Paul’s tips to help your posts pop:

1) “The key to any good shot is in the styling. If you have to move that prop 2mm, then do it.”
2) “Declutter the shot. Get rid of anything unnecessarily, but don’t be afraid to add in props for the styling. You don’t want your photo to look like it was taken by an estate agent.”
3) “Line up the verticals and horizontals. Use the ‘grid’ feature on your phone for this.”
4) “Get down low. This is especially important in the bathroom in order to capture the detail.”
5) “Avoid reflections. You can use your effects to help soften these.”

The talk follows Hotel Designs’ rolling feature of Designing Instagrammable which, over four weeks, investigated how Instagram can help build your business.

The 16th edition of London Design Festival is nine days introducing the latest projects, installations, exhibitions, events and talks happening in the design industry. Hotel Designs is following the action as it happens.



LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL: What to look out for

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Visiting London Design Festival this week. Here’s what to look out for…

London Design Festival returns for the 16th year in 2018, celebrating 10 years at the V&A as the official Festival hub. London will be transformed with an inspiring programme of Landmark Projects, installations and events throughout the city from 15-23 September 2018.

(Hotel Designs is a proud media partner)

Decorex international is one of the UK’s leading design shows and the only one of its kind in the UK for the luxury interiors market. With more than 400 exhibitors, from leading names to emerging talents, it attracts nearly 14,000 visitors from across the globe.

The show’s theme, blank canvas, explores how an empty space can celebrate a new beginning, a chance to create something beautiful in the way that Decorex and its exhibitors do each year. Decorex celebrates luxury British craft and applied arts through Future Heritage, an exhibition of some of the best emerging talents in the UK who present new work created for the show. Curated by renowned critic and curator Corinne Julius, Future Heritage has come to be known as the showcase of craft to collect and commission. Highlights include: Brand Building through Creativity with Jeffrey Beers, Sebastian Cox, David Mottershead, Emilio Pimentel-Reid and Christiane Lemieux; From Project to Product: an Interior Designers take on Product Design with Staffan Tollgard, Letitia Fitzgibbon and Katharine Pooley; Putting Personality into New Build with Dan Hopwood; Bespoke: How to Guarantee Original Design for Every Project with Henry Prideaux, Natalia Miyar and Sophie Elborne.

Prolific designers Studio Suss, Maddux Creative, Brian Woulfe and Henry Prideaux will design this year’s main entrance installation. They will tell their own stories upon a blank canvas, creating vignettes based on what has inspired them on their journeys as designers.

(Hotel Designs is a proud media partner)

100% Design is synonymous with the biggest names in design and is a leading platform for launching some of the world’s most renowned brands. This year, as part of a refreshed programme, Thomas Heatherwick and marcel wanders talk with 100% Design. The show will also present new features, fresh design talents and emerging names alongside a roster of industry favourites, big name brands and innovators.

100% Talks: Thomas Heatherwick, Marcel Wanders and Marcus Fairs feature at this year’s Talks with 100% Design. 100% Brands: A stellar line-up of exhibitors include: Benchmark, Established & Sons, Dare Studio, Arper, B Sweden, Bulo, Antonio Lupi, Tesla, Riko with Starck, OnePlusEleven, Rubn, Casa Botelho, Missana and more. 100% Futures: A new exhibition that will shine a light on some of the most exciting designs under the theme ‘Designing for London’ across travel, technology, wellbeing, public spaces and sustainability.

100% Forward: The spotlight turns on eight emerging design talents across furniture, product, lighting and textile design. Each will be championed by an established designer who carved his or her career during the first decade of 100% Design. 100% Build: A new dedicated resourcing show for the construction and architectural industry. Within the exhibition Philippe Starck will present a prefabricated house with Riko, while Tesla will showcase Powerwall.

(Hotel Designs is a proud media partner)

Award-winning event designjunction transports to the cultural hub of London’s south bank and will showcase more than 200 of the world’s most iconic design brands. The show is presented across three unmissable areas which are owned and managed by Coin Street Community builders; the doon street site, OXO Tower Wharf and Riverside Walkway. Highlights this year include 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.

British designer Steuart Padwick will make a dramatic change to the London skyline during designjunction in support of mental health with his project Head Above Water. With its panoramic views of St Paul Cathedral and the iconic city skyline, Head Above Water is a 9 metre high sculpture on Queen’s Stone jetty (aka Gabriel’s pier) on London’s South Bank. The ‘Head’ is deliberately gender, ethnicity and age neutral and stands as a symbol of hope, bravery, compassion, positivity and change, for those who have come through or are still confronting mental health issues, and the people who support them. Steuart Padwick first sculpted a head in clay and then developed the concept into its current form using precision engineered, renewable and sustainable cross-laminated timber panels, provided by Stora Enso. To realise the structure Steuart Padwick worked with structural engineering expertise, Ramboll. It is a model of sustainable, smart design and build.


Located in the creative heart of East London, the London Design Fair is a four-day industry event that brings Together 550 exhibitors from 36 countries, including independent designers, established brands, international pavilions, features and exhibitions. More than 28,000 buyers, architects, interior designers, press, designers and design- savvy public attend to see and specify the very latest products, materials and conceptual installations from around the world.

After capturing everyone’s hearts back in 2014 with its Tokyo Imagine exhibition, the Fair welcomes back Japan as their Guest Country for 2018. Organiser Tokyo Design Week will transform a 200sqm gallery into a fully immersive and interactive experience.

The Fair casts a spotlight on this year’s most loathed material: Plastic. Beyond the Chipper is an exhibition showcasing four designers who are engaging with the material head on, challenging the damaging single-use culture as well as a presenting Swedish Design and British Craft pavilions.


Focus/18 returns with a packed programme for 2018. Get the inside track from the most talented names in the industry at talks, demonstrations, workshops and discovery tours; meet established makers, emerging innovators and skilled artisans; listen to star names sharing their knowledge. Highlights include ‘Journey of Colour’ By Moritz Waldemeyer, colour workshops, and conversations in design.

Sessions will explore how colour informs our design aesthetic, both consciously and subconsciously. Georgia Coleridge will discuss the healing power of colour, while a psychology of colour workshop in the Style Library showroom will discuss the transformative power that colour has on emotions.

Go behind the scenes of the latest collaborations and design directions in the showrooms. Kit Kemp and her Firmdale team will create a Caribbean bedroom suite for the Turnell & Gigon at Home popup showroom; Patrick Frey will discuss the design legacy of his grandfather Ren. Prou in the Pierre Frey showroom; Michelle Ogundehin and Arteriors’ founder Mark Moussa will talk about the Designer Interpretation series; Cole & Son’s head of design will reveal the evolution of the new collection, from concept to reality; plus many others.

At the conversations in design series; and connect with influencers and tastemakers from 120 showrooms and more than 600 international brands.


With a characteristic V&A mix of heritage, modernity and design ingenuity, the V&A Members’ Room, designed by architects Carmody Groarke, transforms a magnificent top-lit gallery on the top floor of Aston Webb’s Grade 1 listed 1909 wing into a beautiful dedicated space for Members, offering a different perspective at the heart of the Museum.

The Members’ Room opened in October 2017 so, this year will be its first London Design Festival. Celebrating 10 years with the V&A as the official London Design Festival hub, Pentagram will transform the space with the graphic identities created over the decade. The Members’ Room will be open for use by Festival visitors on Thursday 20 September. Visitors are invited to experience the space, while enjoying striking views of the Sackler Courtyard and Henry Cole building.


Tom Dixon will host ELECTROANALOGUE, a gathering of digital innovations in the Coal Office, the brand’s new HQ and flagship shop in King’s Cross. In collaboration with friends and partners Bill Amberg Studio, Teenage Engineering, sound artist Yuri Suzuki, sound lab and bar Spiritland and Ege, ELECTROANALOGUE will explore the realms of digital technology through a diverse range of events, installations and interventions.

Coal Drops Yard is the new shopping and lifestyle district in London’s King’s Cross. It will open its doors to the public on Friday 26 October 2018.


The Arch London unveils boutique guestroom refurbishment

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The boutique hotel unveils refurbishment with a major focus on adding personality in surface design and interesting headboard patterns…

To mark the 8th Anniversary of The Arch London, the luxury five-star boutique Georgian townhouse hotel has refurbished a third of its guestrooms as part of its ongoing refurbishment project…

The newly renovated guestrooms have the same style and characteristics that the hotel’s loyal guests have come to know and love.  Now with a bolder more colourful look, the spaces rival some of the best designed hotel rooms in the Capital.

The four new concepts have been developed around unique feature wallpapers by Thibaut.  Striking colour palettes encompass:

  • Medallion Paisley: Emerald green and indigo blue, with pops of violet and white, developed around a large, paisley style flower print.
  • Luzon:  A chic, navy and camel scheme, based around an oriental garden print, mixed up with navy Ikat-style and animal prints and an oriental style jungle cat print.
  • Imperial Dragon: Tangerine and brilliant blue, formed around a flamboyant Chinese Dragon print incorporating several shades of blue, orange and beige.
  • Sunburst: Bright fuchsia and Yves Klein blue, based around a blousy, daisy style flower print.

Within the Grade II listed building, pops of strong colour and alternative fabrics from a selection of British designers and companies – such as Nina Campbell, Matthew Williamson for Osborne & Little, Clarke & Clarke – have been added to mix and match across the guestrooms.  This gives each space its own unique style whilst creating a cohesive look.

The bathrooms feature walk-in showers, along with elegant bronze and white tiling.  Additional lighting has been placed around the mirrors to aid those getting ready for the evening – perhaps in the hotel’s award-winning restaurant Hunter 486.

To create an inviting space, furniture positioning is vital, so that the guestroom neither feels too cluttered or stark. The most important part of the room is the bed which has to be super-comfortable.  With this in mind new bespoke beds were installed, all of which have been fitted with Nestledown and Sleepezee mattresses that are 2000 Pocket Sprung, and are adorned with duck down duvets and pillows and high thread count linens.

Lighting is one of the most important aspects of any room, and the designers have taken advantage of new developments in lighting technology to enhance the rooms’ ambience.  Whilst some of the rooms have eye-catching curtains, other rooms use shutters to create a fresh, elegant, colonial style.

The lighting now also incorporates modern LED technology, enhancing the mood in the rooms and showcasing the designs. Rooms have been reconfigured with integrated pelmet lighting to highlight the curtains, as well as being fitted with LED strips on the headboards to up-light the feature walls.

In addition, the designers selected new wall lights for the bed-heads and bathrooms.  Paul Smith Anglepoise lamps were used in all the bedrooms for desk lighting as they fitted the schemes perfectly – colourful, a little quirky, but very functional.

A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ and Pride of Britain, the hotel boasts 82 bedrooms including eleven sumptuous suites spread over six floors. Spacious interconnecting rooms are on offer for families or larger groups.

The hotel offers a selection of complimentary treats for guests to enjoy.  These include soft drinks, water and juice from the mini bar, Jing teas, a Nespresso coffee machine, MALIN + GOETZ toiletries, WIFI and daily changing exotic flavoured drinks in the lobby.

A handpicked selection of classic novels can be found in the suites, while all rooms have a full Sky HD TV package, DVD Player and internet radio with over 19,000 channels for international guests. The bathrooms feature modern flourishes such as heated anti-steam mirrors and flat screen TVs built into the wall above baths.

The officially rated five star property is a regular resident amongst the top 20 Luxury hotels in the UK on TripAdvisor and has earned the 2017 Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Award. The hotel is tucked away on a quaint residential street in Marylebone, a stone’s throw from Bond Street, Hyde Park and the West End, and spans seven Grade II listed Georgian townhouses and two mews homes.

The hotel offers a gymnasium on the lower-ground floor for guests to use, with fitness equipment including a PowerPlate machine and multi-functional Kinesis station.


Top stories of the week: Brit List deadline approaches, interactive reviews and art outside the frame

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Hotel Designs editor Hamish Kilburn breaks down this week’s top stories…

Here we are again, just days away from London Design Festival and already the beady eyes of the design world are focusing their attention on Britain – as if their focus was ever elsewhere. In the week leading up to when London comes alive as it unveils more trends, products and fabulous discussions – all of which I will be following and sharing live updates on Hotel Designs – we have been at the centre of some major headlines. Our brand takes a leap in welcoming new interactive photography technology into our hotel reviews, and art outside the frames in the public areas was another hotly discussed topic. In addition, do not forget, the deadline to enter this year’s Hotel Designs Brit List is this Sunday, as is the cut-off date for purchasing early bird tickets. So, as I set my out of office ahead of London Design Festival – and advise people to tweet @hoteldesigns if you want to schedule a meeting with the team – here are the top five stories of the week.

1) BRIT LIST: Just three days left to secure your early bird tickets

There is just three days left in order to claim your early bird tickets to this year’s Brit List, which will take place on November 22 at BEAT London.

2) Art outside the frame in the hotel lobby

Earlier this month we discussed how the hotel lobby’s purpose in international hotel design has changed in recent years to cater to the increasing demands of modern travellers. What once was a place to sit and wait when checking in and out has now opened new possibilities to provide meeting areas, lounges, bars and even – in some extreme circumstances – nightclubs. At the forefront of this shift is the overall attention to detail when designing the lobby to create a lasting strong first impression – and much of this detail is focused on the walls.

3) New Amy Winehouse artwork revealed at Hard Rock Hotel London

Image credit: Hard Rock Hotel

Despite its opening not being unveiled until Spring next year, Hard Rock Hotel London is fast becoming London’s most anticipated opening in 2019 as it has now revealed a sneak peek of the specially commissioned that will be put on display in the hotel’s 1,000 guestrooms and suites.

4) Four statement features for your boutique hotel

The word ‘boutique’ is symbolic of something that extra bit special. Therefore, when looking to create memorable rooms, making sure each of them features a design, theme or piece of furniture that aids their originality is key to transforming your residence from a basic place to stay to a special boutique hotel.

5) Stepping in before checking in

Check in at Hotel Indigo York

Surprises, when it comes to the overall hotel look, feel and experience, are not often well received among modern travellers when checking in to a design hotel. A hotel, thats photographs online do not reflect the reality, are setting their guests – and their business for that matter – up for a loss. Instead, modern guests strive for a seamless experience led by the clever design of the building and its interiors. Reflect this in the marketing, and you are on to a winner, will allow your guests to check in to a familiar home.




New Amy Winehouse artwork revealed at Hard Rock Hotel London

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Hard Rock Hotel London, which is slated to open in Spring 2019, partners with photographer to the stars Terry O’Neill and commissions Amy Winehouse art…

Despite its opening not being unveiled until Spring next year, Hard Rock Hotel London is fast becoming London’s most anticipated opening in 2019 as it has now revealed a sneak peek of the specially commissioned that will be put on display in the hotel’s 1,000 guestrooms and suites.

Partnering with internationally renowned photographer, Terry O’Neill and legendary photography archive, Iconic Images, the series of artwork will bring to life the site’s rich musical history and immortalise the world’s biggest music and culture icons.

Cult photographer O’Neill has shot countless global music and screen icons, with his work hanging in national art galleries and private collections worldwide. The collaboration will see Hard Rock Hotel London guests discover unique images of iconic musicians including Amy Winehouse and David Bowie, embellished with bold brushstrokes of colour by the artists at Iconic Images.

“The inspiration for the Hard Rock Hotel collaboration really comes from the music, and the rich musical history the site of the new hotel holds,” said O’Neill. “It seems like anyone who was anyone went through the lobby, stood outside the doors, or played gigs across the road in Hyde Park. Some of my fondest memories are of taking the shots that will be showcased, and they have found a fantastic home at the new Hard Rock Hotel London.”

Exhibited across all of the hotel’s suites and bedrooms, the artwork will be a visual homage to the biggest names in the industry, many of whom have previously stayed at the property in years gone by. Joining Winehouse, Hendrix and Bowie on the hotel walls will be Elton John, Diana Ross, Madonna and Mick Jagger.

“Terry O’Neill is one of the world’s most iconic music photographers, so there was no other choice for us when we were selecting a partner to curate the art at the new Hard Rock Hotel London,” added Oliver Kahf, General Manager of Hard Rock Hotel London. “Music is at the heart of everything we do at the hotel and these immortalised legends will be celebrated by each guest who passes through our doors”

“Hard Rock Hotel’s arrival in London will further help define the hotel group as one of the most iconic and most recognisable companies in the world.”

Internationally recognised as a world-class entertainment and lifestyle brand, Hard Rock Hotels offer stylish, contemporary, design and unparalleled service with the continual thread of music running throughout. Hard Rock Hotels’ current portfolio is located in the world’s most enviable resort destinations, as well as urban gateways. Hard Rock Hotels cater to the evolving and distinctive needs of today’s cosmopolitan travellers who seek a reprieve from traditional, predictable experiences, whether for business or leisure travel.

Through music appreciation and an imaginative environment, Hard Rock Hotels deliver products for the varied aspects of life – work, play and personal sanctuary.

Hard Rock Hotel’s arrival in London will further help define the hotel group as one of the most iconic and most recognisable companies in the world, with venues in 74 countries, including 185 cafes, 25 hotels and 12 casinos. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Watch out London, Hard Rock has announced its grand, solo entrance.

BRIT LIST: Less than three days to claim your early bird tickets

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There is just three days left in order to claim your early bird tickets to this year’s Brit List, which will take place on November 22 at BEAT London.

The Brit List ceremony will welcome the leading interior designers, hoteliers, architects and key suppliers within the industry who will gather to witness the announcement of not only this year’s The Brit List 2018 (the top 75 British designers, hoteliers and architects) but also the winners of the six new awards up for grabs, which are:

  • 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

On the night itself, guests will be greeted by a exclusive drinks reception before the Brit List and the six award winners are announced. After several talks, designers, hoteliers, architects and key-industry suppliers will enjoy drinks, canapés and, thanks to the setup of the event, will be able to network with true leaders and visionaries in the industry. “Hotel Designs prides itself on delivering quality networking experiences for designers, hoteliers, architects and key-industry suppliers,” said Publisher of the brand Katy Phillips. “Our events put our guests’ needs first, so that they meet like-minded professionals. The Brit List, launched last year, is an extension of that.”

Early-bird tickets

Delegates and suppliers who purchase their tickets to the event before the nominations cut-off date of September 16 will take full advantage of the sizable discount on offer:

Delegates: £10 + VAT (£20 + VAT after September 16)
Suppliers: £150 + VAT (£175 + VAT after September 16)

In addition to the early bird ticket cut-off,the deadline to enter this year’s Brit List is also September 16.

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

For more information on how to nominate or apply, click here.

Four statement features for your boutique hotel

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Alex Jones, content creator for specialist antiques and collectibles auctioneer Featonbys explains how to bring character into your boutique hotel…

The word ‘boutique’ is symbolic of something that extra bit special. Therefore, when looking to create memorable rooms, making sure each of them features a design, theme or piece of furniture that aids their originality is key to transforming your residence from a basic place to stay to a special boutique hotel.

We’ve explore four different ways to incorporate statement features into your hotel guestrooms – no matter your style – in order to make the most of the space and experience your hotel has to offer.

1) Implement a theme for every room

When searching for a hotel on an online site such as or Trivago, one of the main criteria your guests look to before even considering your residence is how it appears within the first few images – and, in particular, the rooms they could expect to stay in. This makes it crucial to grab potential guests’ attention with an interior that surprises and intrigues them into clicking through to your hotel. A recent article in Hotel Designs explains just how technology is now allowing guests to ‘step in before check in’.

By having each room host a different style or colour scheme under a wider theme, your boutique hotel is highlighted as an interesting and unique place to stay – with character to match the city guests are visiting. Give your guests some context about the local area by making each room’s decor synonymous with different time periods of that area, city or even country.

Swap paintings with photographs dating back to your seaside town in the 1950s, or switch the flat screen TV hanging on the wall with a television set from the 80s – as giving your room a historical touch will not only interest your guests, but make them feel more comfortable in their surrounding area.

2) Upcycle for a modern twist

Upcycling old furniture and home features offers a cost-effective solution for creating a bespoke interior, while minimising waste. Instead of replacing old – and arguably unfashionable – furniture, utilise its frame to create something better suited to your hotel’s particular style.

Old shutters and window frames act as solid structures that can make impressive feature pieces to hang up on walls. Because of their size, this works well as a renovated and painted stand-alone feature – however, it can also be used as a frame to house paintings, photos and other pieces of quirky art as a replacement for the old panes of glass. Alternatively, inject their practical purpose back into them by replacing their old glass with a mirror that not only acts as a necessary addition for your guest’s experience, but allows the room to both look and feel bigger and brighter.

3) Incorporate an industrial feel to your cosy room

Surface experts have predicted a rise in industrial-chic in international hotel design trends for later year year and beyond.  A simple way to accentuate your hotel rooms’ comfortable qualities is to contrast them with more industrial features. Not only does this allow your guests to embrace the centrepiece of most rooms – the bed – but it gives your room a fresh and unique feel.

Image credit: Dekton by Cosentino

Strip your room back to its bare bones by exposing brickwork to create a strong statement wall that compliments cooler tones in your room. Don’t stop there: instead of neatly hiding away light fixtures and bathroom piping, expose it in a tasteful, safe way that works with your cosy interior to provide a perfect balance between a warm home and a quirky industrial setting. Don’t be afraid to alter it further if the brassy tones don’t coordinate with the rest of your interior. Paint your pipes in bold colours and decorate your hanging bulbs with vine leaves to add your own unique touch to this modern and much-loved technique.

4) Contrast old and new with antique gems

Provide your guests with a home-away-from-home by creating a glorious ‘lived in’ feel in their rooms. By making use of antique items as decorative ornaments, your room is lifted from somewhere associated with short stays, to a room that tells its own story.

Including antique furniture in your modern room can create an instant luxurious feeling in your hotel room, as guests appreciate the stark contrast between their velvet-covered chaise lounge and the minimalist lighting fixtures. Get creative with antique items and use old clocks to tell the time from destinations all over the world while using vintage signs to tell a story about the place your guests are visiting.

When it comes to tailoring a room for your boutique hotel, there is only one rule – there are no rules. The beauty of boutique means that the concept of symmetry can be abolished and, instead, each one of your rooms can feature obscure design elements and quirky colour schemes that highlight each room’s individuality – thus ensuring your guests fall in love with your hotel from the moment they walk through the door.

Image credits: Unsplash


Luxury brand Anantara prepares to open all-villa hotel in Vietnam

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The luxurious Anantara Quy Nhon comprises of 26 one- and two-bedroom villas…

Luxury hotel brand Anantara, with more than 35 properties around the world, has announced that it will open an all-villa resort that is said to redefine luxury in the area this November.

Located in a secluded bay in south central Vietnam, known for its impossibly wide beaches and emerald waters, Anantara Quy Nhon comprises 26 one- and two-bedroom ocean-facing villas ensconced amidst 7.2 hectares of landscaped tropical gardens. The resort is designed to seamlessly blend into the natural environment: locally-sourced materials, traditional craftsmanship and regional influences are discretely incorporated into its contemporary design. The spacious villas boast sleek timber and granite sundecks, oversized bathtubs, private lap pools and extended low overhanging roofs, giving them a fresh, contemporary feel. Vietnamese blue stone keeps the look of the common areas vernacular while granite and marble elements introduce a touch of modernity.

A destination in its own right, the dining outlets at Anantara Quy Nhon celebrates the abundant local seafood and regional flavours with a variety of dining restaruants, all of which boast striking views over the bay.

Perched high on the hillside overlooking a serene bay, Anantara Spa is a wellbeing paradise hidden amongst the lush tropical foliage. Nature-inspired treatment suites boast double massage beds and oversized bathtubs for nourishing coconut milk soaks, while breezy cliffside pavilions bring the art of relaxation to new heights.

The soft opening of the resort is scheduled for late November 2018 and fully opened by January 2019.


Navigating around Signbox’s headquarters

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Hotel Designs editor Hamish Kilburn popped in to Signbox’s HQ in Surrey, England, to investigate how quality navigating tools are made…

At first, I wasn’t sure whether I was in Signbox’s reception or whether I was in a luxury hotel lobby. Walking through the door, I immediately recognised some of the commercial signs on the walls that I had previously seen in a number of high-end international hotels. It was while sitting in the reception I realised – probably the for the first time if I’m to be honest – just how visual signage in public spaces has to be. What once was a two-dimensional instruction has now transformed into an extension of the interior design of a space itself – not the mention the accuracy in order to comply with the constantly evolving health and safety laws.

I say this because good-quality signs in hotels should not stand out as bulky objects dictating directions. Instead, they should seamlessly blend in to provide a user-friendly and natural navigation through the public spaces and beyond into the guestrooms and suites.

I deliberately targeted my visit to the headquarters of Signbox to be during the middle of their next big project. The brief was to design and produce all the signage for a new luxury five-star hotel in Cyprus. Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Limassol is planned to open next spring inside a 1960s exterior shell. In order to complete a modern look and feel, opening up the hotel was a must for the architects and interior designers. This required quality signs around the enlarged resort. All of a sudden, an opportunity opened itself up for Signbox to design, manufacture and install all the modern signs for the very modern hotel.

Public area signs at Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Limassol

Image caption: Public area signs at Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Limassol

The first task for the sign experts was to sign off the artwork and designs of a total of 70 external signs and 822 internal signs, just six months after being hired by the client. The inspiration behind the product in this hotel came from the ‘60s, the ‘70s and today. A group of talented graphic designers sit upstairs away from the heavy machinery designing and perfecting fonts (in both English and Greek), styles and icons.

“Signbox designed, manufactured and installed the most iconic sign in the UK.”

Once this was signed off in May, the company began the manufacturing process, which consists of cutting and printing the final designs onto glass signs made of as well as other materials. “Glass, in particular, is becoming a more popular choice for clients for a number of reasons,” explains managing director Mark Bartlett. “Firstly, it’s sustainable, which is a big draw. Glass is also easy to clean and looks modern. Finally, glass actually has the same consistency in thickness from end to end. Other materials, such as acrylic or timber is not as easy to work with during the printing process because its not the same consistency throughout.

Public area signs at Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Limassol

Image caption: Public area signs at Parklane, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Limassol

As well as fitting out large-scale projects like the hotel in Cyprus, Signbox also has an E-shop which sells standardised products such as funky toilet signs.

Black and white factory printing machine

The company doesn’t only work across hotels. In fact, Signbox designed, manufactured and installed the most iconic sign in the UK. The revolving tri-sided New Scotland Yard sign still stands today as one of the company’s biggest challenges. The sign that weighs more than a mini cooper was required to include LED illumination. “This was a challenge because we had to create a system that illuminated whilst revolving,” explains Mark. “We literally had the sign set up in the factory to work out a way around this.”  Another issue came with all the media attention that New Scotland Yard attracts. The sign had to revolve no more or no less than 7.9 rotations per minute. Any faster or slower would distort the TV cameras and create blurring on the TV screen. It also had to be silent.

From my short and sweet visit, Signbox has shown me that signs are an extension of design – and should be carefully considered and relevant to the overall aim of the design.

The project itself is now in full swing, and Hotel Designs will catch up with the team once the hotel has officially rut the ribbon.

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.

Sense the Spirit with Kinetic from Wilton Carpets

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Wilton Carpets has launched Kinetic, a wool-rich woven axminster carpet, available in just 14 days…

Fizzing with energy, Kinetic features striking modern patterns made for forward-thinking leisure and hospitality spaces. Using colourways drawn from the manufacturer’s new Creations colour palette, Kinetic is bursting with dynamic shades of grey, blue and green. Whether fine-line geometrics in Pulse, fractals in Gravity, Atomic and Radiate, or modern botanicals in Magnetic and Dynamic; Kinetic brings unwavering spirit to the floor.

A Ready to Go carpet with the ability to bring modern style to any venue, Kinetic is made up of 10 designs, each providing a strong and powerful base to a breath-taking interior scheme. Off the loom within just 14 days, it is a collection perfect for fast-paced projects, where its heavy contract rating and soil-hiding pattern can bring genuine longevity in the long opening hours of today’s hospitality and leisure spaces.

“The result is a modern-looking Ready to Go collection that can be used across a wide range of hospitality and leisure spaces with confidence.”

Damian Roscoe, head of creative, reveals the thinking behind Kinetic, the fourth in a slew of recent Ready to Go carpet launches for Wilton:“Modern hospitality and leisure spaces are very demanding spaces for carpet indeed, not only in terms of performance but also in the look. Carpets must feel modern, clean and welcoming at all times, while also considering the need to create a space that can encourage people to spend time there well into the future.

“With Kinetic, we’ve used our new Creations palette as the base because it offers the latest colours appearing in hospitality and leisure spaces, teaming it with gorgeous modern designs that have a feel full of positivity and movement. The result is a modern-looking Ready to Go collection that can be used across a wide range of hospitality and leisure spaces with confidence.”

Woven in Wiltshire from a tough blend of 80 per cent wool and 20 per cent nylon that provides the performance and appearance retention needed for busy establishments, Kinetic comes in a versatile 3.66m width and is suitable for setting a contemporary style in public areas, corridors, lounges, ballrooms, bars and restaurants. As part of Wilton’s Ready to Go collection, Kinetic is available with no minimum order quantity.

Wilton Carpets 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.

The EDITION brand to arrive in Shanghai next month

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East meets west as the new generation of luxury, The Edition Hotels brand, sets to launch in Shangahi…

Ian Schrager, the inventor and innovator of the boutique hotel concept, now brings the modern luxury of the EDITION Hotels brand to Shanghai as the hotel collection continues to expand into international waters.

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 is a new kind of hotel in China that the city of Shanghai didn’t know it needed.” says Schrager of the anticipated opening.

Schrager has married the best of the old world and the new. The result of an ambitious and imaginative development, combining two very distinct yet complementary buildings, The Shanghai EDITION will be 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 harmonize 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.

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.

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 guestrooms 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 the 27th floor of the skyscraper sits Jason Atherton’s HIYA a Japanese lzakaya-inspired restaurant, designed by Neri & Hu.”

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 5- 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 6 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 7 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 magnificent 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.

Check-in desk at Hotel Indigo York

Stepping in before checking in

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As technology continues to evolve hotel design, Hotel Designs go behind the lens to investigate how tech is helping hotels also evolve their visual marketing…

Surprises, when it comes to the overall hotel look, feel and experience, are not often well received among modern travellers when checking in to a design hotel. A hotel, thats photographs online do not reflect the reality, are setting their guests – and their business for that matter – up for a loss. Instead, modern guests strive for a seamless experience led by the clever design of the building and its interiors. Reflect this in the marketing, and you are on to a winner, will allow your guests to check in to a familiar home.

Cue the launch of ACT Studios, a photography specialist based in the UK that provides hotels with innovative, interactive photography that allows the user to ‘step in’ to the photo to view the hotel from the perspective of a guest checking in.

The ‘Step In’ offering is a clever blend of beautifully taken photography and digital walk-through technology. It’s a simple, powerful enhancement to any existing hospitality focused business website. In delivering ‘Step In’ photography, the company blends professionally taken and edited photography with innovative Matterport walk-throughs, which allows hospitality properties to entice visitors visually in the design of the property. It then allows users to smoothly step directly into every property image scene in your gallery to explore each detail, delight and deeply engage. We will bring all rooms and facilities to life beautifully and elegantly.

Act Studio will support Hotel Designs on its hotel reviews in the future. “Considering how visual our industry is, we are delighted to work with the forward-thinking tech experts at Act Studio in order to bring our readers an interactive experience when reading out in-depth hotel reviews,” said editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn. “Technology, especially in photography, is evolving at such a rapid pace and it’s important for us as well as hotels to react to the trends.”

The company, which started operating in the luxury holiday property market, is already working with leading hotel brands such as IHG Hotel Indigo, Goodwood Hotel and Classic British Hotels as well as other brands.

Act Studio, now looking to expand its portfolios of hotels it works with, has local photographers covering England and Wales and prides itself on reacting latest tech trends in order to reflect the best possible results.

Image credit: Hotel Indigo York/ACT Studios

citizenM opens US flagship hotel this week

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citizenM launches US flagship hotel, kicking off an ambitious rollout plan across America…

citizenM – the pioneer of affordable luxury hotels – is doing what they do best once again: launching a new hotel and causing further disruption in the traditional hotel industry. The award-winning brand is returning to New York City to throw open the doors of citizenM New York Bowery, a 300-room sister hotel to the citizenM New York Times Square open since 2014.

citizenM New York Bowery continues to build on the brand’s presence in New York, where it opened citizenM Times Square in 2014. Continuing the company’s ambitious rollout, by 2020, the brand will have around 40 properties either open or in development globally – more than doubling its current portfolio.  In North America alone, citizenM plans to open a dozen hotels, in major cities that include Seattle, Boston, Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami.

“Even the art we use will be drawn from the local art scene, as well as international contributors.”

Since its founding in 2008, citizenM has upended the rules of traditional hospitality by introducing the concept of ‘affordable luxury for the people’. This starts with selecting well-connected locations in the world’s most popular cities, so business and leisure guests spend the shortest possible time commuting. Each property offers a streamlined, luxury experience – including high-tech amenities, friendly and efficient service, luxury guest rooms, and spacious and inviting living areas filled with contemporary art and iconic 21st century furniture by the likes of Verner Panton, Hella Jongerius and Jasper Morrison from Swiss manufacturer Vitra – all at an affordable price.

“The hotel is designed by Amsterdam-based firm Concrete, a long-time partner of citizenM.”

“When we were looking for our next New York location, it became clear very quickly that Bowery is an exceptional destination,” said Rattan Chadha, the founder of citizenM. “We don’t want to be just another building; we want to become part of the neighbourhood’s fabric while showing New York’s visitors a different side of the city. Even the art we use will be drawn from the local art scene, as well as international contributors.”

The new location, which is now taking reservations from 12th September, will be the tallest building in the neighbourhood, standing 246 feet high on the oldest thoroughfare in Manhattan, with an expansive cloudM rooftop bar, outdoor terrace, and spectacular 360-degree views of New York. Occupying the entire 21st floor, cloudM features oak cabinets, Vitra chairs and couches, and chandeliers so large, they’ll catch the eye of pedestrians on the street.

The hotel is designed by Amsterdam-based firm Concrete, a long-time partner of citizenM. Their design for the Bowery is – as usual – unmistakably citizenM, without duplicating anything they’ve done before.

As guests enter the hotel through the plaza, they will meet citizenM’s ambassadors, and get their key in just one minute at the self check-in/check-out kiosk. A striking spiral staircase leads towards the living room on the lower ground floor, featuring double-height ceilings, bookshelves, and a 24/7 canteenM bar at the heart of it. Glass walls stream in plenty of daylight and open to a view of the park outside, mirrored inside with benches and picnic tables for the same fresh relaxed vibe as the public plaza.

citizenM’s philosophy of ‘affordable luxury’ is best experienced in the guestrooms. They are smartly furnished with everything modern travellers need, and nothing they don’t. Everything in the room is the very best: the bed is XL king-size wall-to-wall with a superb mattress and luxury bedding. An HD TV features a library of on-demand movies, plus streaming options via free superfast Wi-Fi. A powerful shower with full-size shower gel and shampoo (as well as giant fluffy towels) will soothe all long and short-haul travellers. The room ambiance is fully controlled by an iPad – the blinds, the TV, even the lights with changeable colours (and settings like ‘romance’ and ‘movie’).

The hotel draws inspiration from the local community for the hotel’s interior, which will be filled with an eclectic mix of contemporary art, photography, and objects by local artists. citizenM has commissioned the New Museum, and its incubator NEW INC, to supply art for the guest rooms. Known for its rich cultural heritage and vibrant art scene – anchored by the New Museum and emerging art galleries – the Bowery is an ideal home for the new citizenM hotel.

citizenM Bowery will be the company’s 13th property globally, and its second in the US. In addition to citizenM’s established pipeline in the US’s largest cities, the company is eyeing further afield, and will consider venturing into new markets such as Toronto, Chicago, Austin, Silicon Valley, Denver, etc.

Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam unveils stylish new interiors

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Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts’ flagship Amsterdam hotel has re-launched fresh interior design…

Following the announcement of the Independent Hotel Show marking its debut in Amsterdam next year, the vibrant city continues to prove its place as an international design hub as it witnesses the unveiling of Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts’ flagship Amsterdam property.

The upscale contemporary brand Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, which has over 40 hotels in worldwide city-centre locations, has unveiled  the re-launched flagship Amsterdam hotel, Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam, after a multi-million-euro investment. The 298-room hotel, located in the heart of the city, officially revealed its new stylish, contemporary look.

The interior design of Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam, led by Digital Space Designs, has been transformed to create a refreshed and sophisticated feel across the entire property, whilst respecting and retaining the historic architecture and long-standing charm the iconic listed building is known for. The guestrooms feature state-of-the-art technology, contemporary lighting incorporated in the headboards and large, luxurious bathrooms. In addition, all guestrooms have been furnished with Egyptian cotton bed linen and Elemis toiletries.

Image credit: Matthew Shaw.

“We are delighted to announce the official launch of our refurbished hotel and can’t wait for guests to enjoy the elegance and sophistication,” Lennart Maas, Hotel Manager at Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam comments. “Close to many of the attractions that Amsterdam is known for, and within walking distance of Central Station, it’s a very exciting time for us and we are thrilled to play a part in welcoming visitors to our wonderful city.”

“Since first opening its doors in 1890, the distinguished hotel has played host to famous guests including Louis Armstrong and Mata Hari.”

Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam’s public spaces have also been restyled, including its nine meeting rooms, which offer a sophisticated location for professional occasions and hold up to 130 people. In addition, a Brasserie and VIC’s BAR will join the hotel’s swimming pool, sauna and fitness suite as an ideal location for unwinding after a day exploring the city.

Since first opening its doors in 1890, the distinguished hotel has played host to famous guests including Louis Armstrong and Mata Hari, alongside glamourous international fashion shows by designers Pierre Balmain, Christian Dior, Elsa Schiaparelli, Nina Ricci, Rochas and Pierre Cardin. Looking to the future, the hotel will continue to welcome a close link with the fashion and creative industries.

Conveniently located in the centre of the city’s buzzing shopping district and a two-minute walk from Centraal Station, Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam makes a fantastic destination for short breaks. With many key museums and attractions also nearby, the hotel provides the perfect base for exploring enchanting Amsterdam as it continues to hold its position as one of Europe’s major design hub.

Main image credit: Matthew Shaw

Art outside the frame in the hotel lobby

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As Hotel Designs continues to focus the lens in and around the hotel lobby, editor Hamish Kilburn investigates the importance of art outside the frame in the public areas…

Earlier this month we discussed how the hotel lobby’s purpose in international hotel design has changed in recent years to cater to the increasing demands of modern travellers. What once was a place to sit and wait when checking in and out has now opened new possibilities to provide meeting areas, lounges, bars and even – in some extreme circumstances – nightclubs. At the forefront of this shift is the overall attention to detail when designing the lobby to create a lasting strong first impression – and much of this detail is focused on the walls.

As manufacturing technology improves, the gap between what is art and what is a wallcovering narrows. To challenge pre-existing design conventions, artists have begun painting outside the lines to reflect their inspiration onto the walls, and what a difference it makes.

Bespoke wallcoverings

As we prepare for London Design Festival, there seems to be a strong focus on bespoke structured – and colourful – wallcoverings. One company that seems to be owning this space is Colourgen, which will launch what it calls a ‘unique 3D technology for the production of bespoke, structured wallpaper’ at 100% Design.

Until now, designers needed to source specialist, pre-textured media to create 3D style effects on wallpaper or go through a complex printing process to create the effect using standard printers. These methods add cost and time to a project and limit the designer in terms of what they can do creatively. The Dimense printer from Colourgen simultaneously prints and creates the structure of the wallpaper in one pass and is ready to hang immediately, technology that simply hasn’t existed until now. With Dimense, the designer has 100 per cent flexibility to create the bespoke wall covering effects they desire.

Dimense offers output that won’t fade in direct light, can be cleaned without scratching or damage and is C1 fire rated, making it perfect for high traffic areas such as hotels, retail and corporate environments.  It can print at speeds of up to 20sqm/hour with a print width of 1.6m.  Dimense is an environmentally friendly technology based on latex eco-friendly inks and PVC-free structure-forming Ecodeco media.

Go big or go home

Artists are, too, seeing the walls of the public areas as a blank canvas for creativity. In addition to curating powerful art, the experts at Kalisher, led by David Winton and Helen Kalisher, use in-house state-of-the-art technology to create and print exceptionally designed wallcoverings, suited to each client and each hotel. The talented team and experience is unmatched in the industry and is the key to both creating and curating a comprehensive art collection that will inspire guests while working seamlessly with the interior design and architecture. Kalisher’s EMEA team create, curate, and commission meaningful art packages for international properties.  Recently completed and in progress projects include: Hotel Scribe Paris Opera by Sofitel, InterCon Sofia, Hard Rock Davos, Address Fashion Avenue Dubai, Sheraton Miramar Resort El Gouna and a 5* resort in Qatar. As quoted on the company’s website, “the end result is a stunning visual enhancement of the properties, encompassing work from our own Kalisher studio artists, along with commissioned pieces from locally-recognised artists around the globe.” Example work in its portfolio, such as the walls at the W Las Vegas, strongly suggest that Kalisher believes that art as we know and love it today does not have to be restricted to a frame.

W Las Vegas, Kalisher

Image credit: W Las Vegas, Kalisher

Creating a sense of place

With creating a sense of place being one of the most – if not the most – important roles of a hotel lobby, the appropriate use of art is synonymous in the overall design of the hotel lobby. One British artist, Beth Nicholas, was commissioned by the Address Downtime hotel in Dubai with the brief to revitalise the hotel lobby. Nicholas answer was a series of 8.5-metre which are now the centrepiece of the newly-refurbished 63-storey Address Downtown hotel in Dubai. “I’ve never had a commission that was 8.5 metres,” said Nicholas in a recent interview with myself. “Soho Myriad, the art consultants for the project, like to challenge their artists, but I don’t think they have ever commissioned anything on this scale before.” Beth, who believes that her work is best suited in public spaces like the hotel lobby, agrees that she has seen a big shift in the aesthetic of the hotel lobby. “They have changed massively. Hotel lobbies were always places people moved through and left, whereas now what we have is a multi-usable space,” she said. “And that is really fascinating as it’s obvious that hotel designers have realised that people need places to congregate.

art commission at Address Downtown

Image caption: Beth Nicholas art commission at Address Downtown, Dubai, June 2018 © Nicolas Dumont, courtesy of Address Downtown

As the two markets – art and wallcoverings – tie closer together, it seems as if the possibilities for hotel design in the lobby are written on the walls – and if the above image is anything to go by, those walls are almost endless.

Hotel Designs will be live from London next week at London Design Festival to further investigate key trends and discussions circling international hotel design today. 

Main image credit: Colourgen


Surface Design Awards returns for 2019 with a star panel of judges

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The Surface Design Awards recognise the best use of innovative surface materials in architecture and design internationally. Entries to the awards close on 28 September.

The awards ceremony takes place on the 7 February at the annual Surface Design Show, the UK’s only trade event dedicated to interior and exterior surface materials. Visitors from the architecture and design community discover thousands of surface solutions that range from traditional hand-made products to entirely new, smart materials and the best in sustainable surfaces.

Since its launch in 2013 the Surface Design Awards have grown in stature and are recognised as one of the most respected events in the design calendar. The awards generate more than 100 entries from countries including America, China, Italy, India and Portugal. There are 13 awards that recognise exterior and interior surfaces for different sectors of design, including commercial, housing, light and surface, public building, retail, sustainable, and temporary structure.

“It is a testament to the increasing profile of the Surface Designs Awards that we are able to call upon the expertise of such a prestigious line-up of judges,” said Christopher Newton, Director of Surface Design Show. “I’m very excited to see the entries for 2019.”

The judging panel of high-profile industry professionals including architects, interior designers and brand experts will take a view of each entry and award the winners based on the particular use of materials, the type and finish of surface and the overall look and feel of the aesthetic design.

The 2019 panel:

Christophe Egret, Studio Egret West

Paul Priestman, Priestman Goode

Paul Edwards, Airbus

Katie Greenyer, Pentland Group

Jeremy Offer, Arrival

James Soane, Project Orange

Cany Ash, Ash Sakula Architects

Roz Barr, Roz Barr Architects

In 2018 the awards generated a multitude of entries from dozens of countries. The winner of the Supreme Award was the Portuguese entry The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology in Lisbon, by AL_A. The project was praised for its use of traditional craft for the ceramic façade which is made up of almost 15,000 three-dimensional crackle glazed tiles.

Main image caption: 2018 Supreme Winner: Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) by AL_A

Modern interior of a large restaurant with black floors and large windows at evening

From floor-to-wall, fresh Bauhaus-inspired surface solutions

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Commercial interior surfaces specialist Altro has introduced new high-design surface ranges to its floors, doors and walls package…

Delivering premium aesthetics with outstanding durability, all backed by Altro’s sector-leading support and expertise, Altro Ensemble modular flooring system and Altro Whiterock wall designs wall sheet are ideal for hospitality environments.

New Altro Ensemble modular flooring system is said to be the next generation of luxury vinyl tiles. From colour blocking to geometric patterns, with a range of plank and tile sizes and textures, Altro Ensemble gives design freedom to create luxurious floors for commercial interior spaces. With 57 options to mix and match, the modular flooring system has natural wood and stone designs and bloc colours too. Altro Ensemble is 2.6mm thick with a 0.55mm wear layer, 15dB sound reduction qualities and added comfort underfoot, with minimal residual indentation and excellent durability. A truly exceptional material, it combines these features with unique flexibility and is lightweight, making it easy to transport, cut and handle for installation.

In developing the new Altro Ensemble collection, the design team has taken inspiration from the Bauhaus design school’s philosophy of bridging the gap between form and function to engineer products that meet the customers’ biggest challenges, such as the need for cleanability, sustainability and flexibility. The result is a premium modular flooring system that offers variety and design freedom to create sophisticated, contemporary and striking designs. It also has the benefits of local sustainably sourced raw materials made to Altro’s exacting manufacturing standards, which ensure high quality, excellent durability and high-performance characteristics.

Spa Room featuring Altro Ensemble

Spa Room featuring Altro Ensemble

Altro Ensemble is the perfect partner to Altro Whiterock wall designs – a new vision in wall decoration with natural wood, stone and linen options plus stunning metallic designs to give elegance to interior walls.

The new ranges are the natural progression of tried and tested products, each harnessing decades of research and expertise in the UK and in Germany, with extensive customer feedback integrated into the development process.

Although new to the UK, Altro Ensemble modular flooring system is the latest generation of a product which has been designed and manufactured in Germany, where it has enjoyed success for many years and is an excellent example of German engineering at its best. A tried and tested product, it has undergone an extensive redesign process which has benefited from the combination of existing technology and new expertise from several sources including the team in Germany, as well as the contribution of award-winning colour consultant Knut Völzke.

Altro Whiterock wall designs are the latest development from Altro’s UK design and development team, building upon decades of experience in wall sheets. The new range makes a show-stopping design statement and is perfect for general circulation areas, receptions and foyers, as well as wet environments such as bathrooms and spas, creating a design focal point. Matching sealants and co-ordinating and contrasting trims are available.

Render of the new Hilton Hotel

New Hilton Hotel to open overlooking Silverstone pits

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The 197-key hotel will offer an unparalleled view over the start/finish straight at Silverstone…

The announcement of a new Hilton-branded hotel to open at Silverstone, the home of the British Grand Prix, further solidifies the hotel design industries long-standing relationship with the automotive industry.

The 197-room Hilton Garden Inn Silverstone, which is slated to open in 2020, will feature balconies that will overlook the circuit from the hotel, allowing customers to watch the race from their rooms.

In addition, the hotel will also feature a rooftop terrace as well as connecting directly to the Silverstone Wing pit and paddock complex via a bridge over the straight.

Peter Prickett, CEO of Bricks Capital Ltd which has agreed a management deal with Hilton, said the site is “an outstanding location” for a hotel. “The Wing, which will have direct access to the hotel, has helped elevate Silverstone to more than just a racetrack,” he said. “Our partnership with Hilton and the opening of Hilton Garden Inn Silverstone will enhance the circuit’s appeal, offering quality hospitality year-round.”

Silverstone hosts Britain’s round of the Formula 1 world championship. The circuit’s managing director Stuart Pringle says it expects the number of annual visitors to increase from 1.5 million to more than two million by 2020 when the hotel is expected to open.

Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president, development, EMEA, Hilton Hotels said of the news: “Silverstone held the very first British Grand Prix 70 years ago and has continually hosted the event since 1987, drawing hundreds of thousands of spectators and millions of viewers around the world each year. Hilton embodies the venue’s racing legacy with a long-standing partnership with the McLaren Formula 1 Team. We are privileged to open a hotel in such a prominent location on the circuit and we cannot wait to begin welcoming guests to this iconic location.”

The home of British Grand Prix racing will be the latest sporting venue to house a Hilton branded hotel. In addition, the international hotel giant operates more than 30 stadium hotels globally.

BRIT LIST: Less than one week to go to claim your early bird tickets

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The deadline to claim your early bird tickets to the awards ceremony of this year’s Brit List is September 16, 2018…

There is less than a week left in order to claim your early bird tickets to this year’s Brit List, which will take place on November 22 at BEAT London.

The Brit List ceremony will welcome the leading interior designers, hoteliers, architects and key suppliers within the industry who will gather to witness the announcement of not only this year’s The Brit List 2018 (the top 75 British designers, hoteliers and architects) but also the winners of the six new awards up for grabs, which are:

  • 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

Early-bird tickets

Delegates and suppliers who purchase their tickets to the event before the nominations cut-off date of September 16 will take full advantage of the sizable discount on offer:

Delegates: £10 + VAT (£20 + VAT after September 16)
Suppliers: £150 + VAT (£175 + VAT after September 16)

In addition to the early bird ticket cut-off,the deadline to enter this year’s Brit List is also September 16.

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

For more information on how to nominate or apply, click here.

Industrial-chic kitchen

TREND ALERT: Daniel Germani predicts rise in industrial-chic surfaces

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The surface experts behind Dekton by Cosentino predict the industrial-chic surface trend to continue to boom in FW18 and beyond…

The ultra-compact surface, Dekton by Cosentino, is responding to popular demand with the development of four matte concrete inspired offerings to expand its Industrial Collection, which launched last year ahead of the curve. The four new colours have once again been designed in collaboration with the renowned Argentinian designer and architect, Daniel Germani, and are the result of careful innovation and research.

The four new colours, Laos, Soke, Kreta and Luna, will launch in the UK from October 2018, and offer a calm and considered aesthetic to suit a range of interiors – from those who wish to fully embrace the industrial look, to those who wish to add a hint of this aesthetic to their design scheme.

Laos – With a nod to industrial materials, Laos is a reinterpretation of cement. Dark in colour and with a weathered appearance, Laos has a matte finish with grey veining and golden tones.

Soke – Inspired by poured concrete, Soke is rich in detail, with realistic ‘cracks’ and grain adding to its aged appearance.  A soft blend of grey hues ensures its versatility in a range of settings, providing a true urban look.

Lunar – Ideally suited to contemporary décor, Lunar is a new take on conventional cement.  Its white base gives it a harmonious and balanced appeal, whilst attention to detail is present in the carefully considered yet seemingly random graining running across its surface.

Kreta – A soft and calming hue, Kreta is uniform in its design, with a sense of depth and an authentic concrete aesthetic.  Offering subtle sophistication, it is perfectly suited to minimalistic environments, from Scandi spaces through to industrial lofts.


Modern, sleek bathroom with focus on wood

Top 5 stories of the week: Spanish arrivals, setting trends and luxury on a cliff edge

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Hotel Designs editor Hamish Kilburn breaks down this week’s international hotel design headlines…

September has kicked-off with a number of exciting news stories that have, quite literally left the industry on a cliff hanger. Firstly, the iconic EDITION brand has expanded its empire with the hotel announcing its arrival in Barcelona. Elsewhere, Hotel Designs recommended supplier Duravit are setting trends in the bathroom, and a Six Senses opening sends ripples through the industry with its jaw-dropping – and totally unmatched – coastal views. Here are our top five stories of the week.

1) The Edition brand lands in Spain as the brand’s luxury empire expands

Ian Schrager’s rising global influence has arrived in Spain, adding another luxury property to the EDITION empire. The Barcelona EDITION combines the personal, intimate, individualised and unique hotel experience that Schrager is known for.

2) Inside Denmark’s first chemical-free hotel

Hotel lobby, dark and mysterious

Hotel Herman K, Denmark’s first chemical-free hotel, is a converted station situated in the heart of Copenhagen. We took a sneak peak at the raw architecture within the bespoke hotel…

3) TREND ALERT: Favourite shades of grey in the bathroom

Grey modern bathroom

Sharing the same opinion as that of the new Managing Director of WATG London, Martin Pease, bathroom specialist Duravit believes that grey is one of the best-loved colours in architecture and interior design. Evident in Duravit’s recent collection, the colour is used to further creates the clarity and sense of space to emphasise the impact of rooms, interiors, and therefore architecture.

4) Brit List: Less than two weeks in order to claim your early bird tickets

Calling all British interior designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers, early bird tickets for this year’s Brit List are only available until September 16.

5) Six Senses continues to rapidly expand with opening of Uluwatu luxury hotel

Our ‘most read’ story of the week is the opening of Six Senses’ 16th property. The opening marks an exciting time for the international hotel brand as it plans to triple its portfolio size in the next five years.

Kobe highlights extensive collection of contract-focused fabrics

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From fabric suitable for cruise liners through to international hotel chains, Kobe UK has an extensive collection of FR focused products for the contract sector…

Already established as a Go To supplier for interior designers, the Kobe portfolio features an unrivalled selection of fabrics for upholstery and curtain use. This includes its 30-strong collection of ‘room high’ fabric options, suitable for extra wide windows at 310cm, 315cm and 320cm high with patterns printed or woven horizontally to ensure a seamless décor.

“We pride ourselves on offering clients with a vast selection of products to meet the high demands within the contract sector,” said Kobe managing director, David Harris. “Easy-to-care-for properties and aesthetics are essential, ensuring products stand the test of time and offer paying guests the wow factor when entering a room.

“There’s a growing demand for wider-width fabrics that fit larger windows in both residential and commercial properties and our aim is to provide a design to suit each individual taste.”

“The company has been supplying UK interior design and soft furnishing customers for 20 years.”

With selections suitable for the contract sector comprising of curtain weight, voiles and sheers and upholstery fabrics in the latest interior trends, many of Kobe’s collections feature a wide range of 100 per cent Trevira CS fabrics, regarded as the highest quality in FR, along with a selection of price conscious 100 per cent FR polyester yarns.

Kobe’s UK operation is based in Crowthorne, Berkshire. The company has been supplying UK interior design and soft furnishing customers for 20 years and has a first class reputation for outstanding quality, innovative design and excellent customer service.

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.

Render of rooftop pool of boutique hotel

Zaha Hadid Architects unveils plans for boutique hotel in Malta’s Mercury Tower

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The hotel plans from Zaha Hadid Architects follow a recent 10 per cent boom in tourism in Malta…

Malta’s location at the midpoint of the Mediterranean has made the island a centre of trade and tourism. Welcoming almost 2.5 million international tourists last year with the number of visitors growing by almost 10 per cent annually, Malta’s hospitality industry employs 30 per cent of the country’s workforce and is anticipated to grow to 40 per cent of the island’s employment over the coming decade.

Located on Malta’s east coast, Paceville has developed over the past 50 years as the island’s tourist and entertainment centre, accommodating new projects that address this continued growth.

“Derelict for more than twenty years, the 9,405 sq.m. site includes the remaining façades of the old Mercury House that date from 1903.”

Established as a cluster of holiday homes in the early 20th Century and developed into a major tourist hub from the 1960’s, Paceville is at the heart of St Julian’s in Malta where many of the island’s restaurants, bars, nightclubs, casinos and marina are located, together with international hotels including the Hilton, Le Meridien, InterContinental and Westin.

The renovation and redevelopment of Mercury House, led by Zaha Hadid Architects, integrates residential apartments and boutique hotel within Malta’s most dynamic urban environment. Creating new public spaces and amenities for the island’s residents and visitors, the design responds to Paceville’s key urban challenges by investing in its civic realm and increasing its limited housing supply.

Derelict for more than twenty years, the 9,405 sq.m. site includes the remaining façades of the old Mercury House that date from 1903. Two underground vaults created during the Cold War are also within the site’s boundary.

Establishing shot of the iconic building

Working with Malta’s leading conservation architect, these heritage structures will be renovated as integral parts of the new development; restoring the old Mercury House façades and reinstating its remaining historic interiors as gathering spaces and entrance for the apartments and hotel.

Restoring the facades of the old Mercury House to their original height enables this heritage structure to be read as a whole. The new development lands behind these renovated façades, defining the original Mercury House as the focus of a new public piazza.

Including water features and fountains for children to play, as well as seating areas to relax, the new piazza will be the centre of its community by day, and one of Malta’s primary gathering places by night to suit the island’s al fresco lifestyle.

With the refurbished Mercury House at its base, the 24,500 sq.m. renovation and redevelopment incorporates civic amenities including cafes and shops surrounding the large piazza together with a new café pavilion of soft curves and a transparency that accentuates the solidity of the old Mercury House.

The 31-storey tower of residential apartments and hotel is aligned at street level to integrate with Paceville’s existing urban fabric and to reduce its footprint, maximizing civic space within the new piazza.

Conceived as two volumes stacked vertically, the tower incorporates a realignment that expresses the different functional programmes within.

The lower nine-storey volume houses apartments while the higher 19-storey volume is rotated to orientate guest rooms of the new hotel towards the Mediterranean, providing optimal views of Malta’s renowned azure sea.

Re-aligning the tower’s higher floors reduces solar gain and instils a sense of dynamism within its silhouette that changes when viewed from different directions around Paceville.

The transitioning floors (levels 10, 11 and 12) accommodate the tower’s realignment and house the dramatic public spaces of the hotel’s reception lobby as well as an outdoor pool with views to the sea.

The insulated façade, combined with limited glazing in areas of significant direct sunlight, is designed to provide shading and increase the tower’s overall thermal performance. The tower’s design also incorporates the results of local pedestrian comfort and wind climate assessments.

Marrying a variety of public, residential and commercial functions together with the creation of a vibrant new civic space, the redevelopment of Mercury House includes the renovation of derelict heritage structures and responds to the demands of the island’s future socio-economic development.

Image credit: All renders by VA

Luxurious spa at The Gainsborough

The Gainsborough Bath Spa voted UK’s second best spa

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The announcement came at the the Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards 2018…

YTL Hotels has announced that The Gainsborough Bath Spa has been awarded three prestigious placings in the 21st Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards. The five-star Bath hotel, YTL Hotels’ first to open in the UK, placed second in Top UK Hotel Spas, placed ninth in Top UK Holiday Hotels and included in The World’s Top 100.

The annual Readers’ Travel Awards ranks the best hotels, resorts, cities, islands, airlines and cruise lines in the world. The longest running of its kind, the Awards are one of the most prestigious recognitions of excellence in the travel industry and are commonly known as “the best of the best of travel”. With millions of reader submissions and tens of thousands of comments this year, The Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards allows travellers to submit hotel and resort ratings, which are subsequently compiled into a list of winners.

With interiors by Alexandra Champalimaud, the 99-key hotel is ideally located in the renowned city of Bath, which placed fourth in Top UK Cities. This delightful hotel is just minutes away from the city’s attractions, shopping and restaurant districts. As well as the award-winning Spa Village Bath, the hotel features Dan Moon at The Gainsborough Restaurant, which has received three AA Rosettes and featured in the Tatler Restaurant Guide in the past year.

The only member of The Leading Hotels of the World in the South West England, this holistic landmark is one of YTL Hotels’ most significant openings to date. Today, The Gainsborough Bath Spa stands as YTL Hotels’ first Classic Hotel in Europe, as well as the sole hotel in the UK to have exclusive access to Bath’s natural thermal mineral waters.

Editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn recently checked in to The Gainsborough to review its interiors. Review coming soon.

Render of public areas

Hampton by Hilton debuts in the Middle East

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Hampton by Hilton Dubai Airport opens as the brand’s largest hotel in Hampton by Hilton’s portfolio…

Hampton by Hilton has celebrated its Middle East debut with the opening of Hampton by Hilton Dubai Airport, marking the largest property in Hampton’s global portfolio. The opening of Hampton by Hilton Dubai Airport reinforces the brand’s commitment to international growth, driven by concerted efforts in China and Latin America, while deepening its reach in the U.S. and Europe.

“The opening bolsters Hampton’s international footprint of more than 2,380 hotels in 22 countries and territories.”

“Hampton continues to bring quality accommodations, strong value, and outstanding service everywhere travelers need and want to be,” said Shruti Gandhi Buckley, global head, Hampton by Hilton. “Hampton has a long legacy of delivering an incomparable guest experience, which will be led by General Manager Nayla Chowdhury at Hampton by Hilton Dubai Airport, whose appointment signifies Hilton’s growing international female leadership representation.”

The opening bolsters Hampton’s international footprint of more than 2,380 hotels in 22 countries and territories. With the largest pipeline in the brand’s history and in the Hilton enterprise with 620 planned hotels, Hampton is positioned for successful, rapid and steady growth in its target markets. Hampton recently opened its first hotel in Kazakhstan, and soon will enter into Argentina, Chile and France, with continued expansion in China, where it is the fastest growing international hospitality brand in the country.

The contemporary 420-key hotel is located near the Dubai International Airport and the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA). Hampton by Hilton Dubai Airport also features a state-of-the-art rooftop gym with panoramic views of the Dubai skyline, a large infinity pool and a fully licensed bar. Guests will immediately feel at home with the property’s warm and modern interiors, flowing with natural light and complemented by touches of lavender, gold, and locally inspired artwork that adorn the hotel walls and corridors.

The highly anticipated property brings Hampton’s signature value-added services and amenities for the first time to the region, offering free, hot breakfast with healthy options, spacious rooms, complimentary Wi-Fi, and a 24/7 business center. Hampton continues to be a category leader in terms of guest experience with its 100% Hampton Guarantee, making sure guests are 100% happy.

Globally recognised for its unmatched approach to hospitality and friendly, caring service culture known as ‘Hamptonality’, Hampton aims to serve the region’s growing demand for mid-market hotels – particularly among millennial travelers, who are increasingly prioritizing value in their search for accommodation. A recent survey of just over 1,000 respondents conducted by Hilton in partnership with YouGov found that when choosing between two destinations, almost half (44 per cent) of UAE travelers were likely to base their decision on overall travel cost.

“With Dubai’s vision of welcoming 20 million tourists annually to the emirate by 2020, diversifying its hospitality offering has become a major priority for the travel and tourism sector,” said Rudi Jagersbacher, Area President – Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. “Today’s travelers are increasingly looking for affordable hospitality without compromising on quality. They want a hotel in a well-connected location, with clean and modern rooms, free Wi-Fi, and friendly, reliable, quality service. This is precisely what the Hampton by Hilton brand offers.”


The Edition brand lands in Spain as the brand’s luxury empire expands

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The 100-key Barcelona Edition has arrived as the brand continues to rapidly expand its international portfolio…

Ian Schrager’s rising global influence has arrived in Spain, adding another luxury property to the EDITION empire. The Barcelona EDITION combines the personal, intimate, individualised and unique hotel experience that Schrager is known for. This delicate balancing act encompasses not only exceptional design and true innovation, but also personal, friendly, luxury service as well as outstanding, one-of-a-kind food, beverage and entertainment offerings ‘all under one roof’. The heightened experience, authenticity and originality that Ian Schrager brings, coupled with the global reach of Marriott International results in a truly distinct product that sets itself apart from anything else currently in the marketplace.  “I am proud to further the global expansion of the brand with this incredibly exciting project in Barcelona.” Schrager says, “The city represents a great, cultural epi-center of Europe, making it an ideal location for the region’s newest EDITION.”

Regarded as the avant-garde capital of Spain, Barcelona is the natural destination for EDITION’s latest hotel to set a pioneering cultural precedent in modern luxury travel, forming a vibrant new landmark for the self-confident city. Up until now, W Hotel’s signature property has dominated the city’s luxury hotel offerings, but the now-open Barcelona EDITION’s answer to luxury is the true personification of an urban resort: an intimate and sophisticated boutique-style environment, yet at the same time, a destination in itself for the city’s best entertainment, food and drink.

“What was once an outdated, underused property has been transformed into a contemporary, glass-fronted monument.”

Not only famed for its creative spirit and energy, Barcelona is the first city in the world to gain UNESCO Biosphere accreditation as a sustainable tourist destination. With EDITION’s Stay Plastic Free initiative to inspire and influence other hotels, brands and properties to ban the use of single-use plastic, The Barcelona EDITION will act as a thought leader and innovator in the city’s sustainable tourism action, promoting a new kind of travel that shares environmental responsibility between visitors and residents alike.

Exterior render of the hotelHaving undergone a complete metamorphosis by Carlos Ferrater Studio, what was once an outdated, underused property has been transformed into a contemporary, glass-fronted monument, acting as an urban mirror to reflect the city’s gothic architecture. Playing with geometric angles to emphasise light and shade, The Barcelona EDITION appears to harness the essence of its environment.

As with each of its predecessors, The Barcelona EDITION has all the trademarks of the EDITION brand: lasting comfort, extraordinary style and an exceptional level of service in a uniquely individual environment. Under the creative direction of Ian Schrager, alongside the famed Spanish interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán the hotel brings together, in a subtle synergy, the integrity and character of a historic environment with a simple, sophisticated design sensibility, creating a seamless blend of charisma and ease. With 100 rooms and suites, three restaurants, two bars, a roof terrace with plunge pool and a buzzing lobby, the hotel offers a dynamic social hub where guests and visitors can work, relax, socialise and dine all under one roof.

A new kind of lobby design

The Barcelona EDITION is a new kind of gathering place unlike anything that the city has experienced before. It is a testament to the modern lifestyle, welcoming a new generation of travellers that are more connected than ever and are hungry for community and social interaction in the physical world, not just online. They seek to surround themselves with likeminded individuals with common interests, views, aesthetics, tastes and desires. The hotel’s public spaces will be activated day and night, starting with the lobby which has been taken by Schrager and evolved into the centre of The Barcelona EDITION’s social activity, dedicated as much to work as it is to play. First impressions are the ones that last, which is why upon entering through the main doors, guests are greeted by a spectacular double-height lobby space dominated by a striking, sapphire blue Eric Schmitt chandelier and a selection of timeless furniture pieces originally designed by Catalan masters, Salvador Dalí and Antoni Gaudí.

To the right of the impressive entrance, a black marble and walnut wood reception desk reminiscent of an abstract sculpture piece dominates the reception and concierge area. To the left, an eclectic and sophisticated lobby lounge area invites guests to enjoy a more laid-back ambience set against the backdrop of the dynamic bar-restaurant. Composed of two generous spaces, the lobby lounge boasts a rich selection of furniture pieces with greatly varying styles. The first of the two spaces, aims to give the impression of a more traditional living room ambience with four Christian Liaigre chairs and a games table in the centre, as well as a pair of iconic Yves Klein blue armchairs designed by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld. The second space has been conceived as a more intimate lounge area with low ceilings and large sheepskin armchairs. An iconic illuminated blue art piece by Carlos Coronas is framed by the space to the rear and combines elegantly with dark wood wall finishes and off white fabrics.

Connecting to the lobby and boasting its own separate entrance to the corner of the building which overlooks the iconic Santa Caterina Market, Bar Veraz’s guests and visitors alike are captivated by an enormous central bar piece that occupies the double height space. Hanging from the high ceilings above the bar, this awe-inspiring aged brass element glows elegantly. The wall of backlit liquor bottles creates a warm crepuscular light reminiscent of a Mediterranean sunset. A selection of original art pieces by 4 famous Catalan artists Joana Biarnes, Colita, Xavier Miserachs and Oriol Maspons accompany the seating arrangements, helping to forge a strong connection between the city, culture and fine dining. A protected island of terrace seating at the front of the hotel offers guests an al fresco dining experience, looking out over the Santa Caterina Market and perfect for observing local life along this busy Barcelona thoroughfare.

“A black granite fireplace combined with sophisticated leather and green velvet furniture pieces adds further to the warmth of the space.”

A fresh incarnation of The London EDITION’s award-winning Punch Room occupies the mezzanine floor, adapted seamlessly to suit the Barcelona zeitgeist. Accessed by a feature spiral staircase of steel, marble and wood, this sophisticated space overlooks the main lobby and dining area and offers an extensive menu of long drinks, punches and sangrias served from vintage silver bowls as well as a highly curated menu of individual cocktails alongside a selection light bites to complement the drinks offering. For those with a sporting streak, an impressive Castilian style billiard table with golden cloth welcomes guests into a space enclosed by elegant oak panelled walls which are complimented by a rich dark oak checkerboard floor. A black granite fireplace combined with sophisticated leather and green velvet furniture pieces adds further to the warmth of the space, whilst a collection of photos by local artist Andrea Torres are framed along the walls, flanked by elegant wall sconces and antique free-standing lamps.

Clandestinely hidden in the basement floor of the hotel sits a new world altogether. Cabaret offers a new kind of dining concept, never seen before in Barcelona. Conceived with late-night revelry in mind with its low lighting and sumptuous materials, Cabaret is a restaurant for the darker hours with a sultry lounge area, cocktail bar and superior food experience based around a tasting menu concept. As guests come to the end of their main courses, the long, velvet curtains at the far end of the dining room will be drawn back to reveal the stage, dramatically framed by a large archway and ready to expose the night’s entertainment, from the hottest DJs and internationally renowned performers, playing out into the early hours of the morning. An impressive cocktail bar sits at one end of the space whilst the lounge area, with its low ceiling and black velvet walls glimmer in the low light and set the scene for a more intimate ambience away from the main club area, fated to become a cult venue in Barcelona’s ever-growing nightlife scene.

Unmatched views over the city

Destined to be the most desired of Barcelona’s daytime social gathering places, The Roof, located on the 10th floor of The Barcelona EDITION, offers an unparalleled panoramic view over the city and offers food and drinks served all day to residents and visitors alike. The kitchen offers small plates of light, flavourful Latin-American dishes with an Asian influence, designed to be shared and enjoyed amongst friends and families. The abundantly-planted lounge area, with colourful Bougainvillea and a profusion of plants, flowers and greenery giving the ambience of a garden in the sky. An Iroko wood decking spans across the terrace, further adding to the sensation of a private garden, equipped with lanterns and upholstered furniture in ivory, grey and blue tones. The travertine marble-fronted cocktail bar offers an innovative seasonal drinks menu as well as healthy juices and smoothies, surrounded by lounge seating and sunbeds situated around the unique plunge pool. For the cooler days and evenings, service continues come rain or shine as the glass sliding walls come to a close to offer guests one of the only year-round rooftops in Barcelona.

Guestrooms and suites

Settled in between the public areas on the first floor and The Roof lies the 100 rooms and suites, each with their own faultless city views over Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, Santa Caterina Market and the district of El Born. Bringing modern luxury to a new era, each room features the conveniences travellers and pleasure seekers have come to expect and rely on, as well as indulgent amenities waiting to be discovered. State-of-the-art beds are adorned with EDITION’s Signature imported luxury Anichini linens and unique, custom designed furniture with carefully selected fabrics such as the embossed Spanish leather headboards give a warm and sophisticated touch to each room.

The windows, all of which give breathtaking views of Barcelona’s skyline, add to the feeling of insulated calm within the rooms. The walls of the bedrooms are clad in walnut panelling, evocative of the shutters that dominate the old town’s narrow street facades and floors feature a fresh whitened oak herringbone parquet. Bathrooms are finished in white Sivec marble, detailed with contrasting brass hardware, for a modern bathing experience with custom-scented Le Labo amenities as standard. Two stunning penthouses set the standard for luxury in Barcelona, each a home-from-home concept with their own private terraces equipped with laid-back lounge areas and dining furniture for private al fresco meals and relaxation under the Catalan sun.

The gym, meanwhile, on level one, does away with the crowded 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 selected with no expenses spared by renowned fitness experts, are installed on a smoked oak skin that lines the floor and walls. The gym studio gives onto a wellness and meditation space where guests can rest and practice tai chi, yoga, and cardio against an urban backdrop.

In short, The Barcelona EDITION will deliver an innovative travel experience in Barcelona, bringing the new generation of luxury and lifestyle to the city centre with a strong focus on sustainability. It will commit to provide an unforgettable experience with genuine, personal, uncomplicated levels of service delivered by the most talented and impassioned employees. As with all EDITION hotels, it will offer the perfect marriage between accommodation, food, drinks, entertainment and design for visitors and locals alike.

Hotel Tech Live

Hotel Tech Live: 3 weeks to go

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The Hotel & Spa Tech Live is closer than ever! There’s only three little weeks left before the big show, and we can’t wait…

Returning to the London ExCeL on the September 25 & 26, this is the event dedicated to growing your business and providing you with the very latest technology to transform your hotel and spa into the venue of the future.

Join us and witness the industry’s latest trends as well as the products and services that are paving the future. Have a look at some of the highlights that you’ll be able to find at this year’s show:

Artificial Intelligence
Grow your business the smart way, with the abundance of artificial intelligence solutions that are taking the hotel and spa sectors by storm.

Cyber Security
Guarantee your customers a sound night’s sleep and a stress-free stay, by keeping your security watertight in an increasingly digital world.

Augmented Reality
Enhance that all-important guest experience with the latest and most immersive innovations from the world of augmented reality!

Customer Loyalty
Whether it’s group discounts or a loyalty card system, discover the hundreds of ways you can keep your guests coming back, time and time again.

Guestroom Technology
Ensure that your rooms meet soaring expectations, as customer experience continues to be influenced heavily by the digital revolution.

Internet of Things
The IoT may be in its infancy, but the future of hospitality most definitely lies in devices and data, and so does the future of your business!

That’s not all! You’ll be able to find 250 cutting-edge exhibitors, hear from 170 industry experts, witness groundbreaking panel debates, network with high profile professionals and much more!

So, if you are looking to be at the forefront of the industry and find out the latest trends that are going to transform the hotel and spa sectors, then join us at the Hotel & Spa Tech Live!

Don’t miss out! Get your free tickets at

Open lobby area

The rise in design-led airport hotel lobbies

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As the demand for travel increases, Hotel Designs editor Hamish Kilburn investigates why modern design-led airport hotels are seriously taking off…

LGH Hotels Management Ltd has just announced in a press release a multi-million pound refurbishment plan across its portfolio of Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotels throughout the UK, starting with the Holiday Inn Heathrow M4,Jct.4. The new design concept in the airport hotel is said to make the most of the hotel lobby by opening up the space in order to ‘revolutionise how guests eat, drink, work, meet, relax and socialise’.

Omar Nicholls, Development Director for LGH Hotels Management Ltd, has been tasked to oversee and execute the refurbishment plans for each hotel and has worked closely with external design agency Design Coalition to achieve the new Holiday Inn open lobby concept. “Our main goal with the new open lobby design is to create a space in each property that feels familiar, like an extension of home, and has a logical flow so guests can truly relax and utilise each corner in a way that makes sense to them and accommodates all of their work and relaxation needs,” he said.

Open space in Holiday Inn Heathrow

Considering that more and more people are spending their money on experiences over products, as evidenced in a previous interview with co-founder and CEO of Utopian Hotels, the look – and more importantly the feel – of a hotel is paramount, especially in airport hotels. The lobby as we used to knew it (as a check in desk and a place to wait for a taxi) is ‘old hat’. Replacing the functional first impressions, as previously discussed with Richmond International’s Principal Fiona Thompson, are funky and quirky interiors, designed to invite guests to mingle, work, relax and enjoy.

The press release announcing the new interiors of the Holiday Inn lobby concept suggests that the “open lobby concept is unique to the Holiday Inn brand and will be extended to properties across Europe,” but we have seen references to this concept before. Ever since there have been airports, there have been airport hotels. 2014, however, was an impressive year that really took airport hotels into a new era. HBA London unveiled the striking Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, which put airport design hotels were about to be firmly on the map. Following that was the launch of Naumi Auckland Airport, which has recently launched new rooms specifically for female guests.

Modern, public spaces

One thing is certain, the new open lobby concept in the Holiday Inn London Heathrow will provide one cohesive space to fit their individual lifestyles. The open area will merge the traditionally separate zones of a reception, lounge, bar and restaurant to create one relaxed and multi-faceted area with no barriers, so that guests can blend work and leisure instinctively.

The new public spaces will include a media lounge, replacing the traditional bar area, for guests to make themselves at home during their stay. Designed like a laid-back living room, guests will find comfy seating, games, TV and magazines to enjoy at their leisure. For those who need to prep for a meeting, work remotely or make a long-distance Skype call, the new E-Bar will offer a great space to plug in and get connected with lots of power points and a wireless printer – another growing demand for the modern traveller.

indoor outdoor theme at Istanbul hotel

New design hotel opens as tranquil retreat above bustling city of Istanbul

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Autograph Collection Hotels has welcomed Sofa Hotel Istanbul to its portfolio of boutique design-led hotels… 

Challenging the design of existing hotels in the area, the newly opened Sofa Hotel Istanbul is a chic retreat situated in the historical heart of Turkey. Boasting contemporary interiors and a private collection of thoughtfully curated artwork, the 82-key hotel evokes its enviable location in the heart of Istanbul’s chic shopping district, Nişantaşı. The boutique property joins Autograph Collection Hotels’ unique portfolio of one-of-a-kind hotels around the world that share the brand’s values of vision, design and craft.

“As Autograph Collection Hotels’ first property in Turkey, Sofa Hotel Istanbul proudly exemplifies our commitment to providing guests with exactly like nothing else experiences,” said John Licence, VP Premium & Select Brands Europe at Marriott International.” As the official sponsor of Istanbul’s Contemporary Art Fair, Sofa Hotel celebrates the city’s art scene, showcasing the works of local and international artists throughout the building for guests to enjoy.”

modern guestroom with dark interiors

Designed by renowned Turkish architect, Hakan Kiran, the hotel’s interiors are tranquil and relaxing, offering a contrast to the city’s bustling streets. Sleek lines, custom-designed furniture, bespoke artwork and modern light fittings complete the 82 guestrooms, which are decorated in grey tones with splashes of deep red, mustard and copper throughout. Five suites and a selection of terrace rooms with private balconies offer more space as well as stunning city views. Each guestroom offers a large marble bathroom with standing shower and luxurious separate bathtub.

Alongside bespoke pieces of artwork throughout the hotel reception rooms and guestrooms, Sofa Hotel hosts Turkey’s leading annual art fair, Contemporary Istanbul. Now in its 13th year, the prestigious art fair in September offers a platform for the city’s thriving art scene, as well as access to the best contemporary art from the wider region. As part of a permanent exhibition, the hotel also offers art-enthusiasts the opportunity to view exclusive works by celebrated Turkish artist, Ekrem Yalçındağ during their stay, truly showcasing Sofa hotels support of the art world and commitment to its ‘mark of craft’ celebrating the hotels individuality.

Located on the first floor, Sofie Restaurant is a 24/7 hotspot providing gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner. Highly acclaimed Frankie Istanbul, one of Istanbul’s hottest rooftop destinations, offers an elegant and energetic ambiance alongside a unique fusion menu of innovative Mediterranean dishes and local cuisine. Guests can also soak up spectacular views of the city at the stylish bar and lounge area, and enjoy the impressive wine list on offer.

For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, the Green Spa is an oasis of wellbeing and tranquility utilising the latest Asian and European wellness therapies. Spa-goers can chose from an array of body and beauty care, from Indian healing massages to hot stone therapy and traditional Turkish Hammams. The signature treatment – the ‘Sultans Special’ – is a traditional Turkish scrub that originates from the Ottoman era. As well as personalised treatments, guests can revive in the relaxation pool, Jacuzzi and luxurious Turkish bath.

Meetings and events are expertly catered for in the hotel’s two meeting rooms equipped with the latest technology. A flexible area for bespoke events, 300 people can be accommodated throughout the meeting space.

Brit List: Less than two weeks in order to claim your early bird tickets

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There are less than two weeks to go in order to claim your early bird tickets to this year’s Hotel Designs Brit List…

Calling all British interior designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers, early bird tickets for this year’s Brit List are only available until September 16.

The Brit List ceremony, which will take place on November 22 at BEAT London, will welcome the leading interior designers, hoteliers, architects and key suppliers within the industry who will gather to witness the announcement of not only this year’s The Brit List 2018 (the top 75 British designers, hoteliers and architects) but also the winners of the six new awards up for grabs.

Early-bird tickets

Delegates and suppliers who purchase their tickets to the event before the nominations cut-off date of September 16 will take full advantage of the sizable discount on offer:

Delegates: £10 + VAT (£20 + VAT after September 16)
Suppliers: £150 + VAT (£175 + VAT after September 16)

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

For more information on how to nominate or apply, click here.

Grey modern bathroom

TREND ALERT: Favourite shades of grey in the bathroom

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Hotel Designs editor Hamish Kilburn – with the help of bathroom specialists Duravit – investigates why grey continues to be the colour trend of choice for many designers and architects in the bathroom…

Sharing the same opinion as that of the new Managing Director of WATG London, Martin Pease, bathroom specialist Duravit believes that grey is one of the best-loved colours in architecture and interior design. Evident in Duravit’s recent collection, the colour is used to further creates the clarity and sense of space to emphasise the impact of rooms, interiors, and therefore architecture.

“Grey provides a perfect contrast in combination with wooden furniture.”

Referenced in a press release by the bathroom manufacturer, grey is also becoming more popular in the bathroom, as exposed concrete or tiles in a range of grey shades, soft grey wall paint through to dark anthracite tones and accessories are today’s trends. Grey provides a perfect contrast in combination with wooden furniture; in interaction with sober colours such as the new Duravit furniture colour matt concrete grey it underlines a uniform, timeless look.

The Stonetto shower tray, too, is setting the tone in colour terms: in addition to the stone shades white, sand, and anthracite, the successful collaboration between Duravit and the Viennese design group EOOS is now available in the colour concrete, which creates a new and fresh effect within the room.

The Stonetto features a stone-like yet uniform texture. The silky-soft surface is incomparable to the touch. It is matt and at the same time anti-slip and scratch-proof. Stonetto is made from Durasolid Q, a high-grade cast mineral material. Stonetto is also impressive in functional terms. Its high surface hardness and density mean that the shower tray is extraordinarily resistant to damage and dirt.

The barely visible slope of the tray enables water to drain away perfectly. Even large quantities of water flow quickly through the powerful drain. The homogenous covering enables ease of cleaning. Stonetto can be installed flush with the floor, recessed or floor-mounted. Duravit also supplies Stonetto in twelve sizes.

Duravit 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.

Six Senses continues to rapidly expand with opening of Uluwatu luxury hotel

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The hotel group’s 16th opening, Six Senses Uluwatu, is just the beginning, with plans to triple the brand in size over the next five years…

Sharing the same spectacular views over a rugged cliff edge as the island’s famed Uluatu Temple, Six Senses Uluwatu, Bali is now open, adding another exciting destination to the group’s portfolio. Drawing upon the renowned Six Senses commitment of providing top-tier facilities wedded to environmental responsibility, the resort and spa has been thoughtfully designed and, when combined with the innovative spirit of the owners, PT Cahaya Warna Prima, has resulted in a rare development.

True to Six Senses’ inimitable style, Six Senses Uluwatu, designed by PTI Architects and Blink Design Group is home to 28 Sky Suites, 62 one-­bedroom villas and seven two-bedroom villas that draw upon the local culture, embrace nature, and offer every creature comfort.  The ultimate in Six Senses accommodations is the expansive and beautifully-appointed Retreat Villa which sits on a prominent knoll with sweeping views of the ocean and resort beyond.  There are also two restaurants, a pool bar, a restaurant with a Chef’s Table and cooking school, and an extensive organic garden is also planned.

In this famed island environment so deeply rooted with wellness and personal care, the Six Senses Spa is right in its element, with the unmatched vistas providing a calming and tranquil setting.

Large swimming pool over sweeping coastal views

An event lawn enhances the facilities with a beautiful ballroom, two meeting rooms and a wedding pavilion. The resort’s own Balinese temple creates a tranquil setting and present the true essence of the island’s deep cultural beliefs.  Six Senses Uluwatu will include an Experiences Centre that can arrange visits to everything that this legendary island has to offer, from sightseeing excursions, to cultural events plus over and underwater activities.

The coastline is also one of the top places on the island to bear witness to spectacular sunsets with sweeping panoramas out to the Indian Ocean. Uluwatu is perhaps best known for Pura Luhur Uluwatu, one of the six key temples believed to be Bali’s spiritual pillars, renowned for its magnificent location perched on top of a steep cliff approximately 70 metres above the sea.  ‘Ulu’ means top or tip and ‘watu’ means stone or rock in Bahasa Indonesia.  Several archaeological remains found here prove the temple to be of megalithic origin, dating back to around the 10th century.

Modern, sleek bathroom with focus on wood

Six Senses properties share a leadership commitment to community, sustainability, wellness and design, infused with a touch of quirkiness. Whether an exquisite island resort, mountain retreat or urban hotel, the enduring purpose is to help people reconnect with themselves, others and the world around them.

SPOTLIGHT ON: Storytelling in the hotel lobby

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Hotel Designs editor Hamish Kilburn and Richmond International’s Fiona Thompson together investigate just how the hotel lobby has evolved in recent years and why, perhaps, the modern hotel lobby is having to work harder than it ever has done before…

I believe the best way to describe how a hotel’s design experience to a consumer or guest is to compare it to a novel. The front cover, or the façade of the building, is the first element that a reader or a guest will see. Despite having been taught throughout my childhood to never judge a book by its cover, my argument is why disrupt the inevitable? Guests are going to judge, consciously or subconsciously, what’s on show in- and outside the physical building. Once first impressions have been established, and readers and guests open the book, the real story can begin.

The first element of drama tends to be locked into the first chapter, or in our case, the hotel lobby. Fiona Thompson, the Principal of Richmond International knows all too well the importance of getting this narrative right to not only fit the theme but also slot nicely into the practical requirement in order for it to fulfil its job (and fulfil it well). “The lobby is key, it always has been. It’s the first thing people see so it sets the tone for the whole hotel,” Fiona explains. “The world has changed, as have peoples’ expectations. It [the lobby] is the most important part of the hotel, followed in my opinion by the guestrooms in terms of what the hotel is all about.”

Fiona makes a valid point, one that has become common knowledge in our industry and should not ever be forgotten: the world is changing, and design must continue to be prepared to deal with modern travellers in which ever form they check in as. “Beforehand, it was a lobby and a reception – a very functional space – whereas now it is anything but that really,” she says. “It can be a bar, a nightclub, a restaurant, a meeting space. It fulfils so many different functions. It’s also a valuable space when you consider that all areas of the hotel these days need to work a lot harder. If you think about it, it’s the only place that everyone goes to. Therefore, the lobby – the social hub, the heart, whatever you like to call it – has been designed in order for the hotel to utilise it in a commercial way.”

As someone who has passed through many hotel lobbies around the world, the ones that stand out are those that have a layer of subtle personality and charm to them. The Miami Beach Edition, for example, is a clever yet simple illustration of how to breath natural life into the communal area of the hotel – especially with sustainability being such a hot topic at the moment, with no indications of that changing any time soon. “I think it’s key that the lobby is referenced to its surroundings,” Fiona adds. “The environment and its location is absolutely integral to the design theme. People don’t want a big bland empty space anymore. Instead, it has to work for its location. I believe that W Hotels was the first major brand to really change things in the hotel lobby in terms of putting the bar and the community centre stage.”

Image caption: The Miami Beach Edition lobby/bar

If we were to further explore the metaphor of the hotel lobby being the first chapter in a novel, then, while there are great examples, there are also wrong way to engage your readers and guests. “It’s easy for boutique properties to create a lobby that has a great vibe and that is very interesting,” explains Fiona. “I think it’s much harder to create those vibes in a luxury hotel, because some guests still want the formality to be met by the concierge and having the privacy. The balance is to combine all of those elements, to give guests checking in the opportunity to have those facilities, keep the privacy but still making the lobby an energetic space. Otherwise you can risk alienating half of the people.”

As Fiona is talking, I can’t help but feel as if in my mind she is describing The Beaumont in London. The entrance is grand and for the likes of people like me, dashing into the hotel for a meeting, it naturally opens up to the bar and restaurant so that you never feel as if you are intruding into a guests’ personal area. However, guests checking in to the hotel can veer off to the right to be met by a private check-in desk and concierge. The design in the hotel is as seamless as the guest experience.

Let’s talk about themes of our novel, to explore a sci-fi motif of robots taking over, for example, which a few years ago the robotic arm started to turn the pages of the guest experience. “I think the first time robots were introduced into the hotel it was actually quite interesting because it’s different, I suppose,” confesses Fiona though I can’t help but notice a subtle grin, hinting there is a ‘but’ coming. “But I think that people want to interact with other people. I don’t really want a robot to escort me to my hotel room. The robot thing is impersonal and I don’t generally think that’s what the majority of guests really want.”

The once extensive novel of hotel design is probably best reflected as that of a picture book in the modern world. As we’ve explored recently in our Designing Instagrammable series, hotels that are ‘gems’ have carved out the opportunity for guests to experience striking moments. One way to do that is to bring the outdoors indoors. “If you’re in the right location then fantastic,” says Fiona. “Environmentally, an eco-friendly lobby will make guests feel fresher and cleaner and generally better for you. I will go further to say that the more you can open up the space the better. The natural environment is growing a lot, right through to air conditioning. Wellbeing is another big thing that is already coming through. The younger generation are much more conscious about that.”

As with any good story, we all have our favourites – ones that really connect with the reader and guests, usually as a result of challenging conventions. “For me, 1 Hotel Brooklyn and South Beach are really great examples of a hotel being location-specific,” says Fiona. “They are green, hotels designed with sustainability in mind, but they are very sophisticated. The lobbies are also hip, but not trendy and when you go there you see many different demographics of people and generations experiencing the hotel’s facilities alongside each other, which is a real sign of success in my books.”

And with that, I have my eye on the next book that I want to explore. Someone book me a last-minute flight to Brooklyn!

Richmond International are recognised as a Hotel Designs recommended suppliers. 

Main image credit: Nick Ingram
Main image caption: The lobby at The Beaumont Hotel, London designed by Richmond International

Hotel Designs enjoys record-breaking month for traffic in August

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Hotel Designs has enjoyed a record-breaking month, with visitors to the website in August topping 49,300…

The leading international hotel design website for interior designers, architects, hoteliers and industry suppliers has enjoyed its highest month of traffic, seeing a 14 per cent leap on traffic generated by the site over the previous month.

“This is a colossal step forward for the brand and, considering the last record was hit in only April of this year, it also indicates a really positive incline in loyal readers to the website this year,” said editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn. “With some really exciting new ventures on the horizon, it’s a really exciting time to be at the helm of the brand’s content.”

So far this year, Hotel Designs has continued to help build on that community by hosting a number of industry networking events including Meet Up London, Hotel Summit and the inaugural Meet Up North. In addition, it is also bringing back The Brit List, which is the publication’s aim to recognise and celebrate the most influential interior designers, hoteliers and architects in Britain today. To have your say, click here to nominate or apply before September 16.

Meanwhile, looking ahead into 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. This unique event matches hoteliers with suppliers for a series of pre-arranged, face-to-face meetings. Find out more here.

Green hotel courtyard

Top 5 stories of the week: Asian gems, new collections and Europe is booming

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Hotel Designs’ editor Hamish Kilburn reflects on the weeks headline stories…

The sun setting on August means only one thing in the international design world: London’s show season is in sight! As we prepare for Decorex, designjunction, 100% Design and the Hotel Tech & Spa Live, this week has lifted the lid on a number of milestone headlines. Here are my top five stories of the week.

Don’t forget, if you would like to be kept up to date with all the latest news, sign up to our free newsletter.

1) Waldorf Astoria debuts in South East Asia

The wait is over, following much anticipation around Waldorf Astoria Bangkok has announced the hotel’s official opening in the heart of Bangkok.

2) In Conversation With: Ronald Homsy, CEO and co-founder, Utopian Hotel Collection

Profile image of Ronald Homsy

Concluding our month of focusing the lens on Hotel Concepts, I put Ronald Homsy under the spotlight to learn more about how he plans to make the world see luxury hotels for the experiences they shelter…

3) Checking in to King Street Townhouse, Manchester

“Manchester is a shrinking violet,” said no designer, ever! With hotel design in the north enjoying a major moment, I checked in to the design-led King Street Townhouse, to marvel over Manchester from a totally unique perspective…

4) The benefits of designing an eco-hotel

Aerial image of a hotel

While only 6.8 per cent of hotel reviews mention sustainability, the ones that do are almost exclusively positive. This in turn leads to customers who frequently return to the hotel and advertise it to friends via word of mouth and social media. With shifting attitudes and a need for a socially conscious eco-hotel image, designing for sustainability is a smart business move. Lower running costs also mean potentially higher profits margins. It’s not all about the money though. A medium-sized hotel switching to renewable energy can expect to reduce its carbon footprint by 68,500kg per year. This is crucial to preventing catastrophic climate change. Therefore, many would argue that the focus in hotel design should be to create a hotel around customers’ needs and desires, by creating an eco-hotel that really stands out from the competition.

5) The director of the Independent Hotel Show’s take on Amsterdam as a design hub

Image of Miranda Martin

Earlier this month, the Independent Hotel Show (IHS) let the cat out of the bag that it will launch the inaugural IHS Amsterdam next year. Considering it’s the first time that the show has taken the concept abroad from London, we caught up with the show’s director Miranda Martin to find out why now is such an important time to recognise Amsterdam as well as London is a prominent design hub of the world.


Waldorf Astoria debuts in South East Asia

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Designed by André Fu, the new hotel from the iconic hotel brand, Waldorf Hotels, opens in the heart of Bangkok…

The wait is over, following much anticipation around Waldorf Astoria Bangkok has announced the hotel’s official opening in the heart of Bangkok. Located within the 60-storey Magnolias Ratchadamri Boulevard, Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is the latest addition to the portfolio of Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Hilton (NYSE: HLT)’s luxury brand of iconic hotels. The landmark hotel is owned by MQDC (Magnolia Quality Development Corporation Limited) and managed by Hilton.

“With Asia Pacific enjoying a golden age of travel, we are witnessing unprecedented demand for our brands and are creating some of the world’s greatest luxury hotels,” said Alan Watts, president, Hilton, Asia Pacific. “As the first Waldorf Astoria in South East Asia, the opening of Waldorf Astoria Bangkok adds a much-anticipated chapter to the brand’s story in Asia. It builds on our series of iconic Waldorf Astoria hotels in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu, while prefacing the arrival of additional unforgettable Waldorf Astoria hotels in the near future.”

“Award-winning architect André Fu and his design studio AFSO designed the main hotel”

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is located by the bustling Ratchaprasong intersection, within walking distance of renowned shopping precincts. Just a few minutes’ stroll to the Erawan Shrine, the luxurious Gaysorn Village mall and both lines of the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) Skytrain, the hotel is ideally positioned for guests to immerse themselves in the city’s colourful culture.

“From Waldorf Astoria New York to Waldorf Astoria Chengdu, the Waldorf Astoria brand has a long-standing legacy of defining the hospitality experience for the modern-day traveller,” said Martin Rinck, executive vice president and global head, Luxury & Lifestyle Group, Hilton. “We truly believe that the opening of the new, landmark Waldorf Astoria Bangkok will not only redefine the luxury hospitality landscape throughout South East Asia, it will create unforgettable experiences for our guests that will last a lifetime.”

Award-winning architect André Fu and his design studio AFSO designed the main hotel. Globally recognised for their work, which range from modern hospitality projects and art spaces to high-profile fashion collaborations, AFSO has artistically curated a holistic Waldorf Astoria Bangkok hotel experience that unites the building’s contemporary architecture with Thai artisanal tradition. Conceptualised to embrace the gracious Thai spirit in an elegant setting, the 171 residential-style, spacious and luxuriously appointed guest rooms and suites feature spa-inspired bathrooms and marble bathtubs.

The hotel’s crown jewel spans the top three floors from levels 55 to 57, comprising three distinctive, artistically curated dining outlets by world-renowned design and concept firm AvroKO. Exuding glamour and luxury, the opulent interiors of Bull & Bear, The Loft and Champagne Bar showcase a nod towards the Waldorf Astoria legacy, all accompanied by sweeping views of the city.

“We are thrilled to be adding Waldorf Astoria Bangkok to our rapidly expanding luxury portfolio here in Asia Pacific,” said Dino Michael, global head, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. “As we continue to debut contemporary and iconic hotels in landmark destinations all over the world, we consider it a true honour to introduce our brand to a city as vibrant as Bangkok. We look forward to showcasing our signature True Waldorf Service, the personalised, graceful service that has become synonymous with our brand.”

In line with Waldorf Astoria’s legacy of culinary expertise, Waldorf Astoria Bangkok is primed to be a dining destination in itself. The property features three unique restaurant concepts, a lounge and two bars.

Arguably the most striking feature of the property is the 730-square-meter Magnolia Ballroom on level 10, which offers a stunning and sophisticated setting for weddings and social events. A statement sweeping staircase provides an unforgettable photography backdrop and an impactful arrival experience. With an impressive 8-meter-high ceiling, the ballroom accommodates up to 700 guests standing or 330 guests seated, and it is set to be one of Bangkok’s most sought-after event venues.

Hyatt announces beach resort debut in Japan

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Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa opens as the brand’s first beach resort in Japan…

With the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo approaching, hotel design in Japan, with its tech-savy attitude, is enjoying somewhat of a moment. The latest hotel brand to debut in the country is Hyatt Beach Resort, which has just announced the opening of Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa.

Located on the private Seragaki Island and linked by a bridge to the main island of Okinawa, the hotel offers a stunning view of the East China Sea from all 344 guestrooms. An immersive destination hotel, Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa blends local culture, warm hospitality and thoughtful service, enabling guests to feel refreshed and reconnected to who and what matters to them most.

“We are delighted to celebrate the opening of Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa, the first Japanese beach resort in Hyatt’s portfolio and we are grateful for the continuous support from Tokyu Land, NTT Urban Development Corporation and Milial Resort Hotels Co. Ltd.,” said David Udell, group president, Asia-Pacific, Hyatt Hotels Corporation. “With the debut of Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa, our 12th Hyatt property in Japan, we are excited to offer guests an energizing seaside retreat in the country’s sunshine isles.”

Image caption: Hyatt Hotels

The breezy, light-filled interiors by Tokyo-based, Hashimoto Yukio Design Studio draw from the hotel’s idyllic waterfront surroundings and the rich traditions of Okinawan culture to create intuitive spaces where guests can connect and recharge. All guestrooms feature mesmerising views sf the crystal clear waters. There are 320 guestrooms housed in a seven-floor building on Seragaki Island, including 71 Regency Club rooms and 16 suites which come with unique privileges such as dedicated check-in and check-out and use of a private lounge.

Suited for families or longer stays, an additional 24 Beach House rooms are located in a three-story building across from the main hotel. These accommodations range from 592 to 807 square feet, and are equipped with full kitchens or pantry-style kitchenettes.

Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa is home to six dining outlets, offering delicious comfort food alongside breathtaking scenery.

The resort has six banquet venues with ocean views and outdoor terraces that can be configured to range in size from 968 to 1614 square feet to host business retreats and social gatherings. Featuring a glass rooftop and a 32-foot aisle leading toward the ocean, the luminous Seragaki Island Chapel offers an elegant setting for an unforgettable and intimate beachfront wedding for up to 40 guests.

The Hyatt Regency brand than 180 conveniently located Hyatt Regency urban and resort locations in over 30 countries around the world, which serve as the go-to gathering space for every occasion – from efficient business meetings to memorable family vacations.

Image of Miranda Martin

The director of the Independent Hotel Show’s take on Amsterdam as a design hub

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Following the Independent Hotel Show’s major announcement to take the unique exhibition overseas to Amsterdam, Hotel Designs editor Hamish Kilburn caught up with the show’s director, Miranda Martin, to find out more…

Earlier this month, the Independent Hotel Show (IHS) let the cat out of the bag that it will launch the inaugural IHS Amsterdam next year. Considering it’s the first time that the show has taken the concept abroad from London, we caught up with the show’s director Miranda Martin to find out why now is such an important time to recognise Amsterdam as well as London is a prominent design hub of the world.

Hamish Kilburn: What would you say is the most challenging part of your role?

Miranda Martin: The most challenging part of my role is translating blue sky thinking into real, tangible, transformational experiences for the communities my events serve. I’m lucky that I’m surrounded by a team of creative thinkers with big ideas. The challenge is harnessing the key components of those ideas, on schedule, in budget and then delivering them in a compelling and relevant way in a live event scenario.

“Social media presents an unrivalled brand building opportunity.”

HK: We are putting huge emphasis on social media at the moment and its place in our industry. How has social media had an impact on trade events?

MM: Social media presents an unrivalled brand building opportunity. Users belong to a digital tribe and behave in a different way digitally than they do in real life. By positioning yourself in a certain way on social platforms, you engage an audience that value a common vision and you’re able to build aspiration for your brand. Instagram is my favourite platform for the Independent Hotel Show because it allows us to share pictures that paint a thousand words and easily enables us to illustrate our brand to our community.

Image caption: Pulitzer Amsterdam

HK: What does Holland have that London does not?

MM: I don’t think it’s about what Holland has that London doesn’t but rather about broadening our support of our hotelier community to a new destination in continental Europe. We’ve had an amazing response to our event in the UK over the years and are proud to be able to serve the industry in a creative, thoughtful live event environment (not just another boring trade show!). As the world becomes smaller and more connected our ultimate goal is to take our support of the hotelier community global, connecting, sharing knowledge and creating opportunities for the global industry.

“Its unique culture and it being a European centre for innovation will be mirrored at the Independent Hotel Show.”

HK: Why expand IHS to Amsterdam now?

MM: I’ve experienced an infectious enthusiasm amongst the Dutch people with whom I’ve shared the vision of the show and it’s so exciting to be able to create a new event, when nothing like it currently exists, for such an enthusiastic audience. There’s a close community of hoteliers and hospitality professionals in Amsterdam particularly and I’m looking forward to seeing the show spread through the community in an authentic, organic way.

Aside from my excitement at being able to serve this sector, Amsterdam is an incredible destination with beautiful architecture, design and an open minded culture. It is a forward-thinking, attractive and accessible destination. It was last year’s most attractive European city for investment and celebrates a vigorous tourism industry. According to PWC, occupancy is forecast at 82 per cent in 2018, the highest level in western Europe. The industry in Amsterdam is informal, open-minded, tech savvy and driven by ideas. Its unique culture and it being a European centre for innovation will be mirrored at the Independent Hotel Show.

Image caption: Amsterdam’s iconic riverside

HK: How does IHS support collaboration in hotel design?

The show is thoughtfully curated to present the highest quality exhibitors and partners to our hotelier audience. It’s no surprise that it has a strong focus on design. I generalise here but our audience of ‘boutique’ hoteliers are very design led, with design being an easy way to differentiate from competitors in the market, creating a unique guest experience and identity. More than this, we want to build an amazing event experience for all of our customers – visitors and exhibitors alike – so the aesthetics of the show and the environment we create are important to us.

We’re essentially building an environment to inspire our hotelier community to use design to create better guest experiences, so we have to deliver exceptionally designed communal working and networking spaces at the show in line with what our discerning hotelier audience would want and expect. As such we invite amazing design brands to come on board as partners to work with us to design and deliver beautifully designed, stimulating spaces at the show. We are totally in support of collaboration in hotel design. If there are any companies out there who want to work with us, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

HK: What will be the layout of the show, how will it flow and why? 

Without giving too much away, we plan to have a dramatic entrance experience to set the scene as our guests walk through the doors. When in the show, they’ll experience a high quality curated exhibition of market-leading suppliers from across the hotel supply chain. We’ll also have a strong focus on companies and individuals with products never-seen-at-events-before to ensure we deliver true innovation.

The Lobby will be our main communal space at the heart of the show embodying qualities that the modern hotel lobby emulates such as a an inspirational work space, transitioning seamlessly to a social sharing space and bar.

The Suite is our VIP space for special events we’re hosting in collaboration with key industry partners. Our aim: to deliver great hospitality for the best minds in the business. Expect flowing champagne, speed networking and the possibility of making connections you never imagined you’d make.

“Think The Hoxton, Soho House, The Pig, Artist Residence etc. We’ve loved watching them grow.”

HK: What will the key show themes be and why? 

Design, technology, sustainability, from one to many – expanding your portfolio, recruitment and retention… these are just some of the big themes we’ll build into the show’s content. Design, because of the reasons stated above and we want the show to look beautiful and to inspire. Technology, because there’s a huge opportunity for hoteliers to grow in the tech space in line with consumer demand and we want to give them the tools to enable them to be successful in this sphere. Sustainability, because we care about the future of our planet. Because we know this is a huge topic in The Netherlands and because consumer shifts indicate deep feelings of responsibility in this area and we want to help our hoteliers capitalise on this. From one to many… we’ve seen some epic hotel brands on their journey, growing from one to many over the years as our little show has served them. Think The Hoxton, Soho House, The Pig, Artist Residence etc. We’ve loved watching them grow and despite their huge expansion plans they’ve managed to retain that special feeling that makes each and every one feel like an independent, unique, special place to stay. We love this about these hotels and we want to champion all hoteliers out there with big aspirations, but particularly those where they don’t lose sight of those things that make them so special. Recruitment and retention – because we know the hospitality industry is an amazing place to work and we want to support the industry in creating remarkable career opportunities in a challenging recruitment landscape.

HK: Will this show pave the way for a succession of other Europe based events for Fresh Montgomery? And if so, where do you have your sights on next and why? 

MM: That’s certainly the plan! But our next move will remain secret for now. Lets get the Amsterdam show to an amazing place then we can talk about how we can continue our support for this amazing industry… and where.

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



A new boutique-lodge hotel’s Asian nod in Cumbria

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The Black Bull is a family owned boutique hotel in Cumbria in the Yorkshire Dales with a Japanese twist. Talk about an unmatched hotel concept…

Hospitality runs through the blood of James Ratcliffe and Nina Matsunaga who as well as owning The Black Bull in addition to the successful Three Hares in Sedbergh. The property has been renovated with the task to build on the inn’s storied history and connection to the local landscapes by using local materials and crafts to create a hotel, a restaurant and a bar. Somewhat of a USP for the hotel competing with others in the Dales, Nina’s Japanese background was an integral component of the project. As a result, Patrick Thomas, the founder of Up North Architects, used the five elements, clean lines and neutral tones to link everything back to Japan’s strong design and culture.

modern stylish room

The hotel has 18 elegant guestrooms, none of which are the same in regards to their size sizes and their décor, each named after a local fell. The luxe bathrooms come complete with large rain showers, large standalone baths and even Japanese tubs as well as bespoke furniture using local materials, hand-woven blankets made with Howgill Fells wool.

The restaurant has been designed so that guests can find a cosy and warm environment thanks to the wooden panels created with the reclaimed wooden floors from the old bedrooms, the stunning landscapes pictures by Rob Withrow and a great triptych hand screen printed mirror by Phil Constable. Japanese elements also appear with the use of slate and suspended plants.

The Black Bull’s bar is the appropriate social hub. The actual bar is bespoke and sits at the entrance to welcome guests. A warm stylish bar with fireplaces, cosy booth sitting with comfortable red leather seats is the perfect setting for locals and guests alike to enjoy pints of local craft beers from the Cumbrian Fells’ brewery or wines from the hand selected list made by James and eat simple and hearty dishes such as pork scratchings or Venison with chocolate pie with red cabbage and chips.

All image credits: Rob Whitrow

Large modern guestroom

W Hotels debuts in Malaysia

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The hotel brand has brought its vibrant style to Malaysia with the opening of the 150-key W Kuala Lumper… 

In the shadow of the iconic buildings, the Petronas Towers, W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International, Inc., has announced the opening of W Kuala Lumpur, marking the iconic brand’s first-ever hotel in Malaysia. Owned by Tropicana Corporation Berhad, W Kuala Lumpur opens its doors in the heart of the capital, steps from the world-famous Petronas Twin Towers. Through bold, innovative design, W Kuala Lumpur immerses guests in the city’s wildly lush greenery, globally renowned cuisine, centuries-old history and growing appetite for playful luxury.

Known locally as the Southeast Asian jungle city, the new modern luxury hotel is nestled between the Klang and Gombak Rivers. Kuala Lumpur itself boasts a sunny tropical climate, flourishing jungle, soaring buildings and traditional Malaysian architecture – a meeting of old and new, nature and humankind, on every street. Even within the city centre, nature is juxtaposed against architecture with towering skyscrapers emerging from the canopy of green. Beyond the city’s juxtapositions, Kuala Lumpur is home to a multicultural mix of world-class cuisine and creativity, the perfect spot for the brand’s debut in Malaysia.

“W Kuala Lumpur welcomes guests to the jungle.”

“Kuala Lumpur is one of the most modern cities in Asia. Skyrocketing from its humble heritage as a mining town to a skyline punctuated by skyscrapers, it’s clear that, like W, the city has a passion for embracing what’s new and next in the world – a natural fit for the W Hotels brand,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “We are blown away by how the city is moving towards the future while still maintaining its traditional and cultural roots. It’s a precise balancing act that we have brought to the intricate, vibrant design of W Kuala Lumpur to show guests from across the globe all the magic this city has to offer.”

Exterior render of the hotel

Image credit: Marriott International Hotel

W Kuala Lumpur welcomes guests to the jungle and combines an inexhaustible mix of old and new colours, aromas and sounds that blend effortlessly together in a cultural festival for the senses. A distinct design feature at W Kuala Lumpur is the pixel – or dot. It is cleverly integrated throughout the hotel and is used to create a bigger picture inspired by a broader multicultural Malaysia made up of many ethnicities. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed by larger-than-life traditional batik motifs, a nod to ancient artwork of the region, blended with sleek metal accents. The city’s abundant plant life is pulled into the space via bamboo-inspired chandeliers set against an ever-changing wall of lights, a representation of the new technology that is enhancing the cityscape. At the Welcome area, guests check in among modern nods to the jungle. Streaming LED lights hang from above, playfully mimicking waterfalls, spotlights alternate along the floor like a flowing river while the ceiling patterns depict an artistic interpretation of Kuala Lumpur’s topography, and chandeliers show off the shapes of spinning Malay toys known throughout the country.

Extending from the Living Room, the hotel’s grand staircase plays with light and space in a towering geometric cascade of steel-mirrored panels. Reflecting the vibrant colours and native designs found throughout the room and floors above, the staircase shifts each guests’ view of both colour and spacial dynamics as they move through the creatively extroverted mirroring.

W Kuala Lumpur features 150 stylish guest rooms and suites, including two WOW suites and the lavish Extreme WOW Suite (the brand’s take on the traditional presidential suite). With a living space of over 520 square metres, the Extreme WOW Suite brings a new level of eclectic luxury to the city. All W Kuala Lumpur rooms and suites embody both the traditional and modern elements of the Jungle City, teaming W essentials like signature W beds with traditional accents like indigenous “Wau” tassels commonly featured on Malaysian kites and pixelated versions of batik designs.

Main image credit: Marriott International Hotel


Profile image of Ronald Homsy

In Conversation With: Ronald Homsy, CEO and co-founder, Utopian Hotel Collection

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Concluding our month of focusing the lens on Hotel Concepts, editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn puts Ronald Homsy under the spotlight to learn more about how he plans to make the world see luxury hotels for the experiences they shelter…

In a quiet café just off London’s Sloane Square, which is a pleasant experience itself, something amazing is happening: I am about to meet one of the men behind a new hotel collection that inspires through one-off experiences. The sharp-looking businessman approaches my table and takes off his tailored blazer and rolls up his sleeves to shake my hand, which breaks down all formal barriers. The CEO and co-founder of Utopian Hotel Collection, Ronald Homsy, sits down comfortably and starts to share what I can tell has been a driving passion of his for years.

We start talking about locations as we constantly refer to them as playgrounds that need exploring. It becomes clear that finding the hotels for Ronald’s newly launched collection is half the fun – or battle depending on how to you look at it. “We find our hotels on the basis of five principles. They are story of everything, unexpected adventure, people-to-people service, technology and the playful character,” he explains. “In addition to that, though, we want to find hotels that have unique characteristics, which of course can come from the design.”

“It doesn’t take a genius to realise that Ronald’s looking for unexpected gems.”

Ronald assures me that a hotel cannot be a member of Utopian Hotel Collection if there isn’t something exquisite about the design. Having previously read how he has worked in the restaurant and club scene before, it strikes me that Ronald is not unfamiliar of good design that works, or luxury for that matter. “Sometimes design works best when there is no design,” he says drawing me in as I am a sucker for minimalism. “A lot of our hotels within our brand are actually old buildings and they have something authentic about the interiors. To disrupt that would be wrong, so instead we aim to elevate it.” It doesn’t take a genius to realise that Ronald is looking for unexpected gems. Portugal’s São Lourenço Do Barrocal is a great example of this as it combines understated luxury with the simplicity of farm life and is one of the 25 hotels that the brand has securely under its umbrella.

Clean, fresh interiors

Image caption: Sleek interiors at São Lourenço Do Barrocal

Ronald and his business partner Paul Cordier became friends 25 years ago at school where they both studied hotel management together. When working as hoteliers, they saw an opportunity in the bustling international hotel market. In 2014, the entrepreneurial spirit in them led them to spot the interesting gap for the need for a brand to be built around hotel experiences in 2014. “Travellers have changed,” Ronald says. “We realised that, all of a sudden, there was a huge desire to spend more money on experiences rather than physical products. On the hotel side, independent hotels needed solutions and advice.”

Helping hotels do better on all levels, the collection to me feels like an older, wiser and perhaps more knowledgeable brother who will help guide its siblings through life spotting and taking advantage of opportunities.

Green hotel courtyard

Image caption: Marbella Club

Ronald strikes me as a man who listens in business, which is fresh, as he asks me my thoughts on whether I have come across any areas or hotels that slot in line with Utopian Collection. “Have you heard of Nevis,” I spill, almost interrupting his question. I explain how on the untouched Caribbean island, with no building is taller than a palm tree, is somewhere that has to be experienced to believe. The island has not one fast-food restaurant, which naturally fits in with the huge wellness wave that everyone is riding at the moment – and most importantly, the hotels are naturally stunning with the location itself doing most of the talking. I imagine that Ronald gets this a lot, but his general interest makes me feel as if he’s one for researching new places that have a unique core.

Quick-fire round

Hamish Kilburn: What’s your favourite colour?
RH: Black.
HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
RH: Nevis now that you’ve mentioned it!
HK: What’s your number one travel essential?
RH: My iPhone.
HK: Biggest inspiration in business?
RH: Steve Jobs.
HK: Biggest inspiration in life?
RH: My stepdad.

At first, luxury simply equalled opulence. Today, it is just as much about attitude. 72 per cent of people would rather spend money on experiences than things; with travellers now seeking more than just exceptional service, fittings and furnishings. There’s an appetite for the intangible and a desire for truly authentic adventures which enrich and surprise. This same zest flows through every Utopian hotel which bears a luxury no longer defined by the old school; but by exceptional service, a richness of experience, one-off authenticity and the verve of youth.

Despite the hotel collection focusing its sights on the amazing unique properties in Europe, it seems to me that Ronald’s interest in my one suggestion of a tiny island with a huge personality is an almost firm indication that his sights are firmly on the world and all the opportunities that it holds. Given the gap in the market, I’m sure this is just the start of what is going to be an amazing experience for the hotel collection.

Grand Hyatt Bogota opens in the capital of Colombia

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372-key luxury hotel marks the first Hyatt hotel in Bogota and first Grand Hyatt hotel in Colombia…

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced the opening of Grand Hyatt Bogota, marking the first Hyatt hotel in the Colombian capital and the first Grand Hyatt branded hotel in Colombia. The 372-room luxury property is located in the heart of Ciudad Empresarial Sarmiento Angulo commercial district, up the road from the Corferias and Ágora Bogotá convention centers, and minutes from the ultramodern Gran Estación Mall, El Dorado International Airport, and Bolívar Square.

“We are thrilled to announce the opening of the first Grand Hyatt hotel in the country and are confident that Grand Hyatt Bogota will exceed expectations of all who visit the hotel,” said Myles McGourty, senior vice president, Latin America & Caribbean, Hyatt. “The hotel offers an iconic experience for worldly guests who seek first-class hospitality, best-in-class food and beverage and a luxurious stay.”

Grand Hyatt Bogota reflects and celebrates what makes Bogota a vibrant capital city rich in history, iconic sites and countless attractions for all types of visitors, while also being the governmental and financial center of Colombia. In addition to offering first-class accommodations and luxury amenities and services, the hotel brings to life Colombian culture through its innovative architecture, distinctive interior design and multicultural culinary offering.

Designed with bold and vibrant features, the hotel has 372 beautifully decorated guestrooms, including 50 suites, that invite guests to wake up in open, airy rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lush inner atrium garden, multicolored lights of the metropolis, or the cloud-topped majesty of the Andes Mountains. Additionally, suites and club room guests have exclusive access to the Grand Club Lounge, which provides an elegantly designed space with personal concierge services and culinary highlights throughout the day.


The hotel invites guests to schedule time for themselves at Zaitania Spa, one of the largest urban spas in Latin America, where experienced aestheticians and massage therapists work to refresh and soothe guests in 11 spacious treatment rooms. Guests have access to the relaxation area, which is complete with three hydrotherapy pools, steam room, or dry sauna to extend their spa experience. With over 32,000 square feet (3,000 square meters), Zaitania Spa is located on the third floor also featuring a beauty salon, an indoor pool acclimatized to 82°F (28°C) and a fully equipped fitness centre.

Nestled in striking architecture, Grand Hyatt Bogota sets the perfect scene for incredible meetings, events, conferences, galas or wedding festivities illuminated by natural daylight and modern light fixtures. Expert planners create bespoke events in 24,434 square feet (2,270 square meters) of meeting and event space ranging in scale from the opulent Grand Ballroom, which can hold up to 1,000 people approximately, to 269 square foot (25 square-meter) conference rooms where small teams can work efficiently.

Hotel construction pipeline in Europe continues to accelerate forward

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Statistics from Lodging Econometrics show impressive double-digit growth year-over-year in hotel development in Europe…

Lodging Econometrics’ (LE) analysts report another year of accelerating growth for Europe’s hotel construction pipeline which is at the highest level since LE began recording in 2007. The total pipeline stands at 1,388 projects/219,251 rooms for the second quarter of 2018. It is an impressive 18 per cent increase year-over-year (YOY).

Europe had significant growth in new hotel openings in the first half of 2018 with 198 hotels/26,164 rooms, up 38 per cent over the first half of 2017

There are 693 projects/112,580 rooms currently under construction, 403 projects/62,538 rooms planning to start construction in the next 12 months, and 292 projects/44,133 rooms in the early planning stage. Projects currently under construction and those in early planning are also at their highest since 2007.

Europe had significant growth in new hotel openings in the first half of 2018 with 198 hotels/26,164 rooms, up 38 per cent over the first half of 2017 when 144 hotels/21,288 rooms opened. The LE forecast for new hotel openings shows continued growth for the next several years with a total of 367 new hotels/49,295 rooms opening by the end of 2018, followed by 383 hotels/53,030 rooms expected in 2019, and 392 hotels/60,740 rooms in 2020.  Metrics for new hotel openings are also at their highest since 2007.

London skyline

The top countries in Europe’s construction pipeline are Germany with 247 projects/47,155 rooms, the United Kingdom with 247 projects/36,487 rooms, France with 130 projects/15,198 rooms, Portugal with 83 projects/8,531 rooms, and Poland with 80 projects/12,221 rooms. All of these countries reached their highest levels since 2007 in either the first or second quarter of 2018.

The top hotel companies in Europe’s construction pipeline are AccorHotels with 220 projects/28,281 rooms, Marriott International with 178 projects/29,740 rooms, Hilton Worldwide with 166 projects/26,114 rooms, and InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) with 138 projects/23,044 rooms. These four companies comprise 51 per cent of the total hotel construction pipeline in Europe.

The largest brands for each of these top companies are AccorHotel’s Ibis brands with 125 projects/15,391 rooms, Mercure Hotel with 24 projects/2,371 rooms, and Adagio City Aparthotel with 21 projects/2,844 rooms; Marriott International’s Moxy with 54 projects/9,615 rooms, Courtyard by Marriott with 32 projects/5,797 rooms, and the Autograph Collection with 14 projects/1,926 rooms. In addition, Hilton Worldwide has Hampton Inn with 69 projects/ 10,438 rooms, Hilton Garden Inn with 43 projects/6,644 rooms, DoubleTree by Hilton with 21 projects/3,042 rooms; and IHG’s Holiday Inn Express with 65 projects/9,873 rooms, Holiday Inn with 33 projects/7,116 rooms, and Hotel Indigo with 15 projects/1,897 rooms.

Brit List early bird offer: Less than three weeks to go

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The early bird ticket offer to attend this year’s Brit List ends on the September 16…

There’s less than three weeks to go in order to secure your early bird tickets to this year’s Brit List ceremony, which will take place at BEAT London on November 22.

The Brit List ceremony will welcome the leading interior designers, hoteliers, architects and key suppliers within the industry who will gather to witness the announcement of not only this year’s The Brit List 2018 (the top 25 British designers, hoteliers and architects) but also the winners of the six new awards up for grabs.

Early-bird tickets

Delegates and suppliers who purchase their tickets to the event before the nominations cut-off date of September 16 will take full advantage of the sizable discount on offer:

Delegates: £10 + VAT (£20 + VAT after September 16)
Suppliers: £150 + VAT (£175 + VAT after September 16)

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

For more information on how to nominate, click here.


Modern and quirky lobby

How the fastest brand to launch in the industry opened 13 hotels in three months

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Tru by Hilton continues to heat up this summer with the openings of 13 new hotels from June through August that span 11 states in America…

Tru by Hilton’s growth and success follows an aggressive development, with more than 35 open properties and more than 300 hotels in the pipeline. The latest Tru by Hilton properties have expanded the options for both leisure and business travelers seeking a quality stay at an affordable price point in these 13 markets.

“Tru by Hilton continues to disrupt the midscale segment as demonstrated by the growth we’ve seen this summer with 13 new open properties as well as the groundbreaking of our largest property to-date, located in Orlando,” said Alexandra Jaritz, global head, Tru by Hilton. “During an especially busy travel season for our guests, we’re offering what matters most to travelers, which are minimal yet meaningful features and amenities in a fresh, consistent and surprisingly affordable way.”

The newly opened properties represent the first Tru by Hilton hotels in Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, South Carolina and South Dakota. With the wellness travel trend soaring, outdoor adventurers will enjoy Tru by Hilton Deadwood in South Dakota, located near Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Black Hills National Forest, and Tru by Hilton Pigeon Forge in Tennessee, close to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Image credit: Tru by Hilton

Tru by Hilton continues to expand in college towns, with Tru by Hilton Syracuse North Airport Area and Tru by Hilton Syracuse-Camillus, both near Syracuse University in New York, Tru by Hilton Harbison Columbia, near the University of South Carolina, and Tru by Hilton Bowling Green, near Western Kentucky University.

In addition to these 13 property openings, Tru by Hilton continued its momentum this summer by breaking ground on its largest property to-date, located in Orlando, Florida. Developed by Epelboim Development Group, the eight-storey, 259-room Tru by Hilton Orlando Convention Center Area will be situated just south of the Orlando Convention Center and a short drive from Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld, making it an easy choice for business and leisure travelers alike. The property is expected to open the fall of 2019.

Tru by Hilton properties feature the amenities and experiences that matter most to guests, including comfortable beds, smaller, more efficiently designed rooms with a mobile desk, large bathrooms with premium Not Soap, Radio bath amenities, top-rate in-room entertainment, a complimentary build-your-own “Top It” breakfast bar with hot items, a 2,880-square-foot lobby offering 24/7 complimentary LavAzza coffee with areas for guests to work, play games, eat and lounge, and a 24/7 “Eat. & Sip.” market with gourmet snacks and drinks, including single-serve wine and beer. The tech-savvy hotels feature mobile check-in, Digital Key, free fast Wi-Fi, free wireless printing, lobby tablets and accessibility to outlets everywhere. Additionally, Tru by Hilton properties offer fitness centers that leverage the latest fitness trends including barre, TRX bands, free weights, cardio and flexibility gear.

Main image credit: Tru by Hilton


Australian architect Kerry Hill has died

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The multi-award-winning architect has died at the age of 75 years old…

Australian architect Kerry Hill, who was the creative designer behind some of Asia’s most iconic hotels, has died aged 75.

After graduating as one of the first architecture students from the University of Western Australia in 1968, Hill’s first position in architecture was at Howlett and Bailey in Perth between 1969 to 1971 before founding his eponymous studio a decade later in Singapore. Working extensively throughout tropical Asia and Austrailia over four decades on infamous projects such as Como The Treasury, Perth, Datai Langkawi in Malaysia and Aman Tokyo, Hill’s designs combined abstract statements with locally-influenced accents and themes.

Pioneering context-sensitive structures, an approach that drew from indigenous building techniques and a distinctive thread of modernist aesthetics, Hill’s work formed a key milestone in the development of the region’s current hotel development.

Hill’s death was confirmed by a director at the company’s Perth office, Mr Justin Hill, who is not related to the late Mr Hill and was not prepared to issue a statement on the news.

Hotel Designs would like to extend its deepest sympathy to Hill’s family and close friends as the publication remembers his legacy thst lives on through his dynamic work across the globe.

Main image credit: Nick Cubbin

Suite in the hotel

New luxury hotel brand to open first hotel in December

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BLESS Collection Hotels will open first luxury property in Madrid, designed by Lázaro Rosa-Violan…

A new luxury hotel brand from Palladium Hotel Group will open its first property this December 2018.

BLESS Hotel Madrid will be located on Calle de Velázquez in the heart of the city’s Salamanca district, offering 111 guestrooms, a rooftop pool, bowling alley, spa and gym, gourmet destination restaurant, three bars as well as conference spaces.

The BLESS Collection Hotels brand is built around the concept of Hedonistic Luxury

The property’s distinctly Mediterranean-styled interiors have been designed by renowned Spanish designer and architect Lázaro Rosa-Violan, whose vision is to create a quintessentially Madrilenian character with a contemporary slant. Key design features will include ‘sensory architecture’ that will define the hotel ambiance, collaborative work spaces and the all-important social areas.

The BLESS Collection Hotels brand is built around the concept of Hedonistic Luxury, a unique proposition designed for citizens of the world – modern travellers, sybarites and pleasure-seekers. In its own words “BLESS Collection Hotels worships the pursuit of happiness and the good life”. The brand will offer original and innovative services and features created to feed the spirit and allow guests to experience “the best of living”.  A personal butler will help guests prepare their perfect ‘BLESS’ bath experience each day, with a range of bath salts, soaps and essences, depending on skin type, mood and other factors.  And guests will be able to customise their “resting experience” through various features such as choosing their bed linen, pillow type and sleep scents.

The hotel will also present a non-stop programme of inspirational entertainment drawing on the destination’s cultural agenda – from art and culture to fashion and gastronomy.  These “happenings” will include from live music, fashion shows, pop-ups, performance & visual art and photography exhibitions.

Following opening of BLESS Hotel Madrid, the hotel brand is also slated to open BLESS Hotel Ibiza next year, with further hotels to be announced shortly.

Aerial image of a hotel

The benefits of designing a modern eco-hotel

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As the spotlight this month continues to shine on Hotel Concepts, Ali Howe explores the benefits of an eco-hotel in the congested arena of international hotel design…

While only 6.8 per cent of hotel reviews mention sustainability, the ones that do are almost exclusively positive. This in turn leads to customers who frequently return to the hotel and advertise it to friends via word of mouth and social media. With shifting attitudes and a need for a socially conscious eco-hotel image, designing for sustainability is a smart business move. Lower running costs also mean potentially higher profits margins. It’s not all about the money though. A medium-sized hotel switching to renewable energy can expect to reduce its carbon footprint by 68,500kg per year. This is crucial to preventing catastrophic climate change. Therefore, many would argue that the focus in hotel design should be to create a hotel around customers’ needs and desires, by creating an eco-hotel that really stands out from the competition.

Shifting customer attitudes
Depending on where your hotel is located, will depend on the type of guests that will be arriving. However, there is a general trend towards a focus on the environment. The amount of customers craving an eco-friendly option is expected to increase by 36 per cent between 2016 and 2018. Making observable eco-conscious upgrades to your hotel will help you maintain this customer base.

By putting sustainability first, you remove the corporate atmosphere and create a space which is interesting, forward thinking and welcoming

Travellers to more rural and natural beauty spots are particularly keen to limit their environmental impact. They expect a hotel designed with nature conservation in mind. By taking a plane and other transport, they are already conscious of their carbon footprint. If they can balance this with an eco-friendly hotel, they will end their vacation feeling positive.


Image credit: Unsplash/Sara Dubler

Build a friendly image and loyal customers
62 per cent of people distrust large corporations. They are seriously concerned that profit is at the heart of almost every business. Showing, through your hotel design, that you are willing to go the extra mile to create a socially conscious business highlights that you are about more than just money. Hotels should have a homely feel, where guests feel comfortable and welcome. By putting sustainability first, you remove the corporate atmosphere and create a space which is interesting, forward thinking and welcoming. Solar panels and bamboo toothbrushes are small design features that easily identify your hotel as being environmentally conscious.

Enjoy lower running costs
A luxury, unique and comfortable hotel can be expensive to run. From hiring staff to keeping the place running to ensuring you use the highest quality mattresses, fixed costs are high. Why would you increase costs further by using outdated, inefficient and non-renewable fuel sources? For one megawatt-hour of solar power, you will spend around £40. That’s compared to the £80 needed for the same amount of coal. Switching to solar makes far more financial sense, offering long-term savings. You can then use the extra money to increase the quality of your hotel’s design or simply lower prices for guests.

Making ecological design improvements to your hotel is arguably a no-brainer. You’ll keep up with shifting public attitudes, making you a leader in your area. A sustainable design will not only save you money on running costs, but create an atmosphere that keeps guests returning and always leaving positive reviews.

Main image credit: Unsplash/JoshG

Cowshed Spa Babington Hotel

Top 5 stories of the week: Big data, Britain’s best spas and it’s almost show time

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Editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn breaks down the major happenings in this week’s headlines…

Lights, camera and action. That’s right, here at Hotel Designs we are counting down the days before the curtain rises on yet another full and fabulous London Design Week. As the drumroll roars ahead of designjunction, Decorex and 100% Design, here are the top five stories of the week.

1) Hotel Designs announces the judges of this year’s Brit List 

It’s a busy time in the Hotel Designs HQ – when is it not? With less than a month for designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers to get their free entries in, we have announced this year’s esteemed judging panel.

2) Top design hotel spa concepts in Britain

Following on with this month’s ‘Spotlight On’ theme focusing on Hotel Concepts – and with this year’s Brit List fast approaching – Hotel Designs investigates Britain’s best spa concepts…

3) Designing Instagrammable: Big data = big opportunities for hospitality design

Animation of woman looking out a skyline

In part four of Designing Instagrammable, Scott Valentine, the Managing Director of Valé Architects, explains the benefits and potential of analysing big data…

4) Spotlight On: The hotel lobby and furniture

Hotel lobby

Throughout September, Hotel Designs will be shining the spotlight on two areas that together help the other evolve. Namely: the hotel lobby and furniture…

5) It’s showtime, almost! 

Decorex International 2018_Blue Trend Colours_Federico bed from Gillmore Space

Blue is in this season, according the Decorex. In addition to the bold statement that blue will be bold during this year’s London Design Festival, the BIID has also announced its plans around all three of the major shows, of which Hotel Designs is a media partner for all….

BIID announces plans for London Design Festival 2018

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The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID), which has been named the industry partner of this year’s Hotel Designs’ Brit List, has announced its plans for the three major events during the anticipated London Design Festival…

The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) will be celebrating London Design Festival 2018 with a number of talks and events across the city. Taking place between 16-23 September, the 16th edition of the festival will feature a programme of world-class design exhibitions with an exciting mix of designers, products, talks, installations and innovations, positioning London as the design capital of the world.

“On behalf of the BIID, we’re delighted to be involved in London Design Festival this year and supporting the creative community in the capital,” BIID President Gilly Craft. “I’m looking forward to what is set to be a fantastic celebration of the quality and diversity of design and hosting some lively, informative discussions alongside our members this September.”

Decorex International 2018 at Syon Park

16-19 September 2018

Decorex has established itself as Europe’s leading interior design event, providing an unparalleled opportunity for interior design professionals to discover the finest in furniture, lighting, textiles, craft and accessories, with over 400 international exhibitors.

On Tuesday 18th September at 11am, BIID President Gilly Craft will be chairing a BIID panel discussion as part of the expert talks programme at Decorex this year. Entitled ‘Deconstructing the brief: the importance of form, function and understanding your client’s vision,’ Gilly will be joined by BIID registered interior designers Henry Prideaux and Beata Heuman, and bespoke furniture maker Neil Stevenson.

Together, the panellists will discuss the essential job of establishing and truly understanding a client brief, exploring the importance of finding out exactly what the client requires at the earliest stage in the design process, and interrogating the brief so that expectations match the results of the finished project.

BIID member Sue Timney will also be taking part in a panel discussion at 11am on Sunday 16th September. Sue will be joining John Allsopp, Reda Amalou and Rodrigo Moreno Masey for a talk on ‘The relationship between the architect and designer,’ exploring how designers and architects can successfully work together. The panellists will be discussing the challenges they have faced and will share invaluable tips and advice to ensure the best working relationships.

Focus/18 at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour

16-21 September

Bringing together the worlds of interior design, architecture and style, Focus/18 will take place at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour this year with more than 100 experiential sessions on offer.

On Monday 17th September at 5pm, BIID members Audrey Carden and Eleanora Cunietti of Carden Cunietti will be taking part in a panel discussion with Philip Bershad, president of Phillip Jeffries and The World of Interiors’ social media & network editor, Sophia Salaman. They will be speaking on the importance of creating a design identify while being able to adapt to today’s changing trends.

darc room, Shoreditch, London

19-20 September 2018

Returning for its second year in a new venue, darc room is a curated, creative lighting exhibition for specifiers and designers taking place at the Nicholls & Clarke Building on Shoreditch High Street.

BIID member Cinzia Moretti of Moretti Interior Design Ltd will be speaking as part of the darc room: live programme on Thursday 20th September, which features over 38 speakers talking on a range of lighting related topics. In her 15-minute talk at 1:20pm, Cinzia will be discussing how to improve the perceived value of the interior with good lighting and how this can affect human psychology.

100% Design at Olympia London

19-22 September 2018

This year, 100% Design returns to Olympia with a renewed vision to highlight its position as the unmissable show for design, innovation and emerging talent in London. With a number of new projects and collaborations, the event will also feature at the newly launched West Kensington Design District, attracting architects, specifiers and designers from across the globe.

As part of 100% Design’s highly coveted seminar programme, Talks with 100% Design, BIID President Elect Harriet Forde will be chairing a panel discussion on ‘Starting Your Own Design Business.’ Taking place on Saturday 22nd September from 3.30pm to 4.15pm on the main stage, Harriet will be joined by BIID registered interior designers Emma Hooton and Daniel Hopwood.

The discussion will see panellists explore the necessary steps to building your own design business, using their own personal experience. They will discuss the essential skills and support needed to manage your business as a professional interior designer, how to market yourself in the industry, and the challenges and rewards of starting a business.

designjunction at London’s South Bank

20-23 September 2018

Designjunction returns to London Design Festival this year, moving to the cultural hub of London’s South Bank. The event will take place across three different venues, covering 200 international brands and boutique shops, product launches, outdoor installations, and interactive talks.

On Friday 21st September, BIID President Gilly Craft will be hosting a BIID members’ breakfast and venue tour at designjunction from 8:30 – 10:30am. Providing members with an informal tour and preview of the venue, exhibitors will also be on-hand to discuss their furniture, lighting and retail designs with BIID members in more detail.

BIID member and founder of Zulufish Interiors, Caroline Milns will be taking part in a panel discussion as part of the designjunction seminar programme. Taking place on Friday 21st of September at 1pm, the panel will be chaired by Ben Spriggs, editor of Elle Decoration magazine, with designers Sebastian Cox, Ini Archibong and Magnus Wastberg of Skandium joining the speaker panel. The talk is entitled ‘Craft 2.0 – Fighting For Material Authenticity’, and will see panellists discuss how craftsmanship remains at the core of creativity, whether that’s championing local design or working internationally across cultures to celebrate age-old arts and crafts.


Modern room

Bed bugs, begone: one company’s aim to eliminate the nasty bites for good

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Valpas brings understated contemporary luxury to hotel guests – a peace of mind from bed bugs – with innovative design…

Finnish startup Valpas has developed an autonomous bed bug prevention system that lets people travel carefree from bed bug anxiety at exciting hotels. The Valpas system is designed to respond to bed bugs’ natural behavior, and integrated with latest IoT (Internet of Things) technology. The innovative and patented design brings unprecedented comfort to hotels that want to connect more strongly with today’s wary guests.

 The design blends in naturally into any hotel room while preventing bed bug incidents

Valpas’ aims to solve a real global problem: the increasing amount of blood-sucking bed bugs that are rapidly increasing around the world and causing anxiety and health issues. All hotels are involuntarily exposed to bed bugs because it is impossible to detect an introduction early enough, before they turn into an infestation, harm guests, and hitchhike their way to the next guests’ belongings. The five founders of the company had an urge to create a solution that serves humans on both sides of this messy problem – hotels and travelers. By integrating bug prevention features into a sleek bed leg, the design blends in naturally into any hotel room while preventing bed bug incidents. By capturing bed bugs before they do harm, guests travel with a peace of mind connecting with the hotel on a more emotional level than usually.

“Our goal was to create a product that fits seamlessly in the hotel’s day-to-day operations, yet simultaneously evokes trust between the hotel and guests with its cool and recognisable design. Valpas is a result of out-of-the-box design thinking paired up with deep industry know-how and latest technology”, comments Valpas’ designer, Vertti Sarimaa.

Thanks to its universal attachment mechanism, any hotel around the world can get the Valpas system. By replacing their existing bed legs with Valpas’ smart bed legs, hotels can instantly turn their operations immune to bed bugs by monitoring the rooms in realtime and receiving notifications of eliminated bed bug incidents caught inside the legs.

Jurys Inn guestroom

Understanding guest behaviour: Quality time set to rule as solo travel trend takes off

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Jurys Inn has concluded that one in three weekend visitors to Jurys Inn are solo travellers…

Understanding the behaviour of guests is a fundemental in order to design a hotel equipped for the modern traveller. Therefore, it is signifanct that for the first time, solo travel has tipped the balance of hotel bookings with one in three weekend visitors to Jurys Inn being a single traveller.

The desire to have ‘me’ time, see new places, and get away from everyday life are the top reasons Brits have been taking more solo trips for pleasure this year.

The hotel group, which Scottish locations are in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen, reported over half (54 per cent) of 18-24 year olds look for quality time alone on holiday, whilst those approaching retirement (55+) are eager to take a solo trip to visit new places (37 per cent).

Hotel group Jurys Inn has seen a six per cent rise in solo travellers in the last 12 months, as the trend to pack a bag and go it alone has continued to grow.

With 30 per cent of Brits believing nothing would stop them booking a solo trip by themselves, one in five are still being turned off the idea, because they assume solo travel is more expensive than holidaying within a couple or group.

Women are twice as likely to be scared of travelling solo, however a quarter of the nation believe locals in Edinburgh (25 per cent) would give them the warmest welcome, followed by Scousers (19 per cent) and Geordies (15 per cent).

Jurys Inn Head of Marketing, Suzanne Cannon, said: “Many hotels add a singles tax to rooms, but we’d never solo-shame our guests.

“Exploring a new city or holiday destination can be eye-opening, and with 41 per cent of Brits wanting to visit news places, now’s the time to join the thousands booking a Jurys Inn stay alone.”

Render of overwater facilities

The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort to open in Q4

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Milan-based design firm PEIA Associati is expected to complete the project in the Maldives in October 2018…

Marriott International has announced the forthcoming debut of Westin Hotels & Resorts in the Republic of Maldives with the opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort in October 2018. Developed by Belluna Co. Ltd, Japan and Asia Capital PLC, Sri Lanka, The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort is set to herald the Westin brand’s wellness positioning in the Maldivian oasis.

Nestled on a beautiful coral island in the Baa Atoll, a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site, The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort will feature 70 villas and suites, 41 on island and 29 overwaters. Poised over the sea on stilts and with an area of almost 200 square meters each, the overwater suites are amongst the largest a resort has to offer in the Baa Atoll region. Assembled by award-winning Milan-based architects PEIA Associati, the resort’s design takes inspiration from the ocean with a visionary approach towards environmental sustainability.

The idyllic resort also features Westin’s signature branded spa concept, the Heavenly Spa by Westin as well as the 24-hour WestinWORKOUT fitness centre.

RPW Design completes the Budapest Marriott Hotel

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RPW Design, which was on last year’s prestigious Brit List, has completed the first phase of the renovation of the 363-key hotel in Budapest…

Design firm RPW Design has completed its first phase of renovation works at the Budapest Marriott Hotel, refurbishing 363 rooms, with the final renovation of the presidential suite scheduled for next year. The new rooms were opened to the public on 28th May, unveiling outstanding, spacious guestrooms that have been transformed by RPW Design into the seminal destination for Budapest visitors and business travellers, redefining the guest experience.

The work involved replacement of the entire interior of the rooms, including lavish wall coverings, new wooden flooring, all new lighting and luxurious Italian furniture. The pièce de resistance in the rooms is a chic window bench with breath-taking, availing the unobstructed overlooks to Buda Castle, Gellért Hill and the Danube below from all rooms; views unmatched in neighbouring waterfront properties.

“We are delighted to have undertaken this exciting refurbishment project which has already received such a positive response from hotel guests,” said Ariane Steinbeck, Managing Director at RPW Design. “The renovated rooms and suites reflect RPW Design’s thorough understanding of the modern traveller and our own, sophisticated, chic style – highlighting the views of the wonderful city of Budapest.”

RPW Design have introduced open wardrobes, clean hardwood floors, a handy ledge (optimized for laptops and doubling as a desk) and new beds that invite guests to linger. Bed runners have been omitted opting for a more ‘minimalist’ style, choosing soft bedlinen decorated with elegant cushions. A sleek blackout window shade in lieu of curtains can be operated from the bedside, thereby optimising the views and natural light.

Harmony has been created in each room through the beautiful blend of pastel shades on the walls and sheers, paired with the vibrant colours of the decorations. The design story was inspired by the building’s Bauhaus-influenced architecture conceived by noted Hungarian Architect, József Finta, and the grandfather of the Op-Art movement, French-Hungarian artist Victor Vasarely. The increased natural light in every room brings the entire setting alive, purposefully illuminating the background of the spectacular city view.

Taking into account the importance of environmental matters, recycling bins have been placed into each guestroom as a crucial step towards ‘green’ operation of the hotel. New technical devices, IPTVs and phones have been installed, and soon smartphones will be used to control the bedroom doors in line with RPW’s new modern interior design.

Despite the current state of the Hungarian construction industry, this prestigious refurbishment project was carried out continuously without disruption to hotel operations and was implemented within a very tight time frame. RPW Design was aided by The Meran Team, based in Spain, under the leadership of the efficient Sara Tolnai-a local Hungarian who adeptly managed the FFE procurement process and the general contractor, KÉSZ Építő és Szerelő Inc. The total room refurbishment of all 364 rooms and suites was completed in less than 4 months, following 18 months of intricate planning. Next to open will be the Executive Lounge – in September of this year. The final phase of renewal works by RPW Design will be complete in 2019, when the Presidential Suite will be open for guests to coincide with the property’s 50th Anniversary.

Porter24 leads hotel industry’s digital transformation

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The hotel brand’s digital concierge network expands to 100 hotels across the U.S…

Porter24, an interactive digital concierge and advertising provider, has announced an expansion plan which will allow guests with unprecedented on demand experiences at more than 100 premier hotels, including Hilton and Marriott properties, in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Boston, Chicago and most recently New York City.

As guests increasingly expect digital options to elevate their travel experiences, hotels are turning to Porter24’s turnkey solution featuring state-of-the-art touchscreen technology with an easy-to-use content management system in order to meet this demand. The interactive screens provide tourists access to all their tourism needs – from discovering local business deals and eateries to finding the hottest nightlife and greatest attractions – at their fingertips.

“Our digital concierge network addresses the needs of both the consumer and advertiser by targeting travelers upon check-in at their hotel and throughout their stay with curated content that the visitors view as a seamless extension of their hotel’s service,” said Daniel Ramirez, Vice President of Porter24. “Porter24’s unique experience and targeted content provides marketers with a unique opportunity to provide a value-add that consumers want to interact with.”

The screens come in various sizes, between 50 and 65 inches, with custom builds to ensure every display perfectly aligns with each hotels unique personality. Users can also check the weather, track flights, learn more about what’s happening at their hotel and even take a selfie that can be sent directly to social media channels- for those who’d like to boast about their amazing trip to friends.


Animation of online marketing

INSIGHT: How is the hotel market performing online?

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The Hotel Sector Report has published a brief look into who is winning and who is losing the battle in the hotel sector online…

The Hotel Sector Report, produced by digital marketing specialists Inside Online, ranks 46 of the leading websites within this competitive market according to their online performance.

The annual study reveals the successes and shortcomings of each website, highlighting where there is room for improvement.

Other stand-out results from visibility include:

  • Accor Hotels [117 per cent] recorded the most significant increase among the top 10
  • The top 10 saw a majority (nine) see a rise in their visibility year-on-year
  • Marriott saw a reduction on its previous years’ visibility as Q Hotels dropped out due to a 21 per cent reduction, and was replaced by Radisson Blu after its 23 per cent increase

“It’s been a fantastic year for the hotel sector with nine of the top ten seeing improvements in their visibility,” commented Gemma Curtis, Inbound Content Marketer, at Inside Online. “It looks like paid media is the way forward when it comes to getting your Hotel site to the top of the SERPs.

“Overall, there is a big difference between the number of the brand searches and owned social score across the board. Content was on-brand, frequently posted and mostly varied but we weren’t wowed by any hotel company in particular.

“With an estimated 85 per cent of millennials using their phones to make purchases now, social is a huge asset to your business. Brands should focus on making engaging content which invites interaction to boost their owned social scores.”

Five-star social

Following Hotel Designs’ recent focus on social media, it seems as if UK company Premier Inn leads the overall social charts, coming in first place for brand searches per month but outside of the top five for owned social scores, led by Marriott.

The top five social scorers:

  • Premier Inn is the top performer with 1,500,000 monthly searches
  • Travelodge, Village Hotels, Marriott and Radisson Blu rounded out the top five for searches per month
  • Marriott leads owned social scores with Hilton, Accor, Melia and Intercontinental making up the top five

The social score considers followers and engaged conversations on all major social platforms.

Despite leading the overall charts, Premier Inn has a high brand search with 1,500,000; however, this hasn’t translated to their owned social score [659]. Likewise, Travelodge recorded a brand search score of 1,000,000 against an owned score of 202

Similarly, however, Hotel Duvin [40,500] had a high brand search but recorded an owned score of 86, while Britannia Hotels scored 27,100 against 13. Easy Hotels has a brand search score of 22,200 but owned social of 26 while Corinthia and Warner Leisure both score 12,100 for brand search against owned scores of 73 and 61.

Conversely, Marriott leads the owned search scores with 5,214 but only recorded a brand search score of 60,500.

Lodges to links

Links have always been an important ranking factor and can make all the difference to how far up a brand appears on Google. Consistently gaining new high-quality links can be great for business; however, high-link volumes without the quality could spell trouble ahead.

Hilton has the highest average number of links per month of high quality, which is likely because they are an international brand with many different subdomains and franchises. Most of their links are going to the various hotel sites, and they don’t appear to have any creative content outlet.

IHG, on the other hand, has a blog gaining many links, covering topics such as the best places to shop, eat, stay or things to do in various cities – which puts them in second place.

There are several sites with ‘high-quality, low-volume’ links; these include Radisson Collection, Star Hotel Collezione, Apex Hotels, CP London City and Point-A Hotels.

Conversely, there are also sites with ‘low-quality, high-volume’ links, such as Corinthia, Best Western, Q Hotels, Campanile and W London. Consistently gaining a high quantity of low-authority links highlights an urgent need to address your off-site reputation.


How can hotel design help achieve a great night’s sleep?

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Health expert Ali Howe awakens how thoughtful hotel design can lead to a better night sleep for both your business as well as your guests…

Around 60 million Americans are affected by sleeping disorders every year, a fact which affects physical and mental wellbeing to varying degrees. Sleep deprivation is linked to daytime drowsiness and fatigue, but also to serious long-term illnesses such as heart disease, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes.

At the same time, the travel industry is continuing to grow exponentially. The Global Business Travel Association pegs the number of business trips taken annually in the US at 488 million, and that means that many people on the move are sleeping away from home. New environments are known to be added stressors when it comes to sleep. So, how can good design help clients enjoy a great night’s sleep, even when they are sleeping in a hotel for the first time?

Quality sleep is key

We know that the majority of people aren’t getting the recommended seven hours of sleep a night, yet research shows that we shouldn’t just be worrying about quantity, but also about quality. In order to feel truly refreshed when they wake up, people need to enjoy between 1.5 and 1.8 hours of deep sleep (or delta sleep) per night. Achieving good quality deep sleep depends on a number of factors, which the National Sleep Foundation lists as follows: sleeping at least 85 per cent of the time in a bed, falling asleep in half an hour or less, waking up no more than once a night, and spending no more than 20 minutes in wakefulness after initially falling asleep.

In contemporary hotels, gradient panel systems can work well to create total darkness

Let in the darkness

To improve delta sleep, complete darkness and quiet are key for most people. Hotel interior designers should therefore design rooms in such a way that natural light is allowed during the day but blocked out at night. In traditional or classical rooms, this can be achieved through blackout curtains. In contemporary hotels, gradient panel systems can work well to create total darkness. Gradient panel systems are motorised, with individual panels moving independently of each other thanks to a central axis pivot. They can be fully closed (to completely block light out) during the night, but they can rotate during the day to either let in direct sun or to provide interiors with indirect light. This savvy system works well in high-end hotels, since discerning clients can program the system themselves to adjust the amount of light entering to their desired preference.

Soundproofing guestrooms

One only needs to consult popular travellers’ forums to see one of the most frequent guest complaints is noise. When designing rooms, allow for the space reduction necessitated by soundproofing. The use of soundproofing boards (or laminated glass to dampen sound vibration of windows) can reduce external noise by around 95 per cent, which is great news for early sleepers – and those who are jet lagged – who are easily bothered by the sound of people talking in halls and in adjacent rooms.

When deciding on color schemes, avoid loud contrasts between walls, furniture and flooring

Calming hues

Shades of grey, blue, or green are known to create a calming effect. Studies have shown that these colors can reduce stress and anxiety, as well as make a room seem more expansive. When deciding on color schemes, avoid loud contrasts between walls, furniture and flooring, opting for complementary rather than contrasting color schemes. You don’t need to forego artistry. Hand-painted wallpapers or paint effects can still be used to add touches of creativity; just opt for muted rather than primary shades and consider the use of natural elements such as wood, which help instill a sense of tranquility.

For many people who already struggle to get a good night’s sleep, spending one or more nights at a hotel can be challenging, especially if light and noise are an issue. To balance the room’s interiors with human circadian rhythms, create spaces that are completely dark at night and ensure guests enjoy complete silence. Finally, create soothing ambiences and consider installation of sound systems that play ambient music, white noise, or sounds of nature, which many people find to be effective at reducing stress and anxiety.

Main image credit: Bruno van der Kraan | Unsplash

Decorex International 2018_Blue Trend Colours_Federico bed from Gillmore Space

TREND ALERT: Blue tones said to dominate London Design Festival

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Decorex International 2018 predicts the colour blue being a major design trend at this year’s London Design Festival in curtains, furniture and fabrics…

In addition to showcasing the Best of Portugal and rugs taking centre stage, Decorex International 2018 believes that blue is in this year as it is set to be a popular colour trend at the show.

From bold and bright tones to more soothing shades, the colour will be found on new rug, wall coverings, furniture and fabric designs.

Decorex International is an internationally renowned showcase for the high-end interiors industry and the only one of its kind in the UK. Decorex expects more than 400 exhibitors – from established names through to up and coming makers – who will launch their latest collections over the course of the four days. The show returns for its 41st edition to the historic location of Syon Park on the 16th to the 19th September 2018, it is one of the London Design Festival’s top five key design destinations.

Image caption: Sofa from Decca

Image caption: Sofa from Decca

Decorex has established itself as Europe’s leading interior design event, offering the finest furniture, lighting, textiles, craft and accessories from emerging and established names alike. Said to be the centrepiece of London Design Festival, Decorex provides an unparalleled opportunity for interior design professionals to discover exquisite creations from more than 400 international exhibitors.

Hotel Designs is a recognised media partner for Decorex International 2018. To register for the show, click here

Main image credit: Federico bed from Gillmore Space and


The Mandrake welcomes Hollywood charm, but not as you know it

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The Legendary Mark Mahoney Takes Centre Stage at The Mandrake Artist-in-Residence between September 20 – 30…

Known for its wildly mysterious bohemiam-gothic design, The Mandrake in London’s Fitzrovia district has announced that the high priest of Hollywood tattoo artists, Mark Mahoney, will be the artist-in-residence between September 20 – 30.

From September 20, Mahoney – whose roster boasts A-listers including David Beckham, Lady Gaga, Adele and Johnny Depp – will bring his Shamrock Social Club tattoo parlour to The Mandrake for ten days only, where he will live-ink his VIP guests. In-house guests at The Mandrake can skip the 18-month waiting list and request to be inked by the legend himself. In addition to the West Hollywood Shamrock Social Club inspired pop-up, The Mandrake will offer 15 lucky fans an opportunity to have an immersive private charity dinner with Mahoney.

During Mark’s residency, his main activities will include:

  • Shamrock tattoo parlour pop-up, 20th – 30th September: Guests can see Mahoney in action from the hotel lobby and courtyard in a space inspired by his West Hollywood studio. In-house guests of The Mandrake will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be tattooed by Mark himself, jumping the epic 18-month-long waiting list. To be in with a chance of this, guests of The Mandrake should request a tattoo by emailing
  • Wine and dine with the legend himself, Wednesday 26th September: The Mandrake is offering 15 lucky guests the rare opportunity to meet Mahoney at an exclusive charity dinner where the strong-browed, pompadoured Mahoney will share his celebrity tales of the last 40 years and possibly inspire guests to immortalise the night in ink on their next trip to Hollywood. Tickets will be priced at £500 with some of the proceeds going to a cancer charity. Contact to be in with the chance of attending this five course dining experience, equipped with Mahoney-inspired cocktails and goodie bags.

Johnny Depp calls him brother. Lana Del Rey cast him as her muse. Beckham is head to toe in his work. Mark Mahoney is revered by fellow tattoo artists, and the younger generation look to him as an inspiration and mentor in the craft of tattooing. His work has revolutionised tattoo inking globally and The Mandrake will once again welcome the legend as part of the hotel’s Artist-in-Residence series for September.

An immense tropical lagoon pool anchors Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc overlooking the Gulf of Thailand.

Radisson Blu debuts in Vietnam

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The 514-key hotel, Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc, opens as the brand’s first Vietnamese property and heralds a new era for the Radisson Hotel Group…

Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc, a 514-room property overlooking the northern stretch of Vietnam’s most compelling beach, Bai Dai, has opened as part of an unprecedented integrated resort on the nation’s biggest island.

The resort’s design sets a contemporary tone with neutral palettes of marble, refreshing high ceilings and vast floor-to-roof glass panels

“Phu Quoc is fast developing a reputation as Vietnam’s answer to Thailand’s Phuket and the beach experience here is one of a kind,” said Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc’s General Manager Peter Feran. “This is a tropical island setting that comes right out of a storybook and is all the more spectacular every day at dusk when the sun goes down over the Gulf of Thailand.”

The resort’s design sets a contemporary tone with neutral palettes of marble, refreshing high ceilings and vast floor-to-roof glass panels that take advantage of the stunning natural surrounds and abundance of sunshine.

In a captivating fusion of Eastern and Western aesthetics, striking artwork adorns the resort including abstract sculptures crafted out of Vietnamese marble and vertical pressed panels referencing the lotus flower, palm fronds and more native Vietnamese flora. Spectacular lighting installations that pay homage to the Gulf of Thailand, such as a melange of glass seaweed and schools of countless glass fish that appear to swim swiftly past smooth eggshell white columns, greet guests in the capacious foyer and lobby areas.

To go above and beyond using only locally made bamboo straws, Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc has ambitions to become the first international hotel in Vietnam to have its own bamboo straw farm from which to harvest its own straws.

The resort is as paperless as possible with all menus available on screens and digital signage located throughout the resort.  All magazines and newspapers are only available online.

Located 30 kilometres from Phu Quoc International Airport, the resort is easily accessible from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and beyond thanks to numerous arrivals and departure flights daily.

Guestrooms, villas and suites

Ranging in size from an ample 45 sqm to a tremendous 635 sqm, the resort’s array of rooms, suites and villas afford unencumbered views of the sea, gardens, lagoon swimming pool and mountains.

The 10 Beachfront Pool Villas, the most lavish of the accommodations, boast two, three or six bedrooms totaling 165 sqm, 255 sqm and 635 sqm respectively. Strategically dispersed across the resort’s most inspiring ground, these incredible villas each come with a private pool with sunken lounge and sun deck, huge separate living area, fully-equipped kitchen, dining room, luxurious bathroom, private outdoor rain shower and spacious garden.

Hues of gunmetal blue complemented by urban grey and soft gold throughout the resort and rooms nod to Radisson Blu as a brand

Inland from the villas the property’s hotel building looms, offering up sweeping views of the ocean from many of its rooms and suites.  Spanning up to 145 sqm each, 17 Sky Suites are situated on the building’s eighth floor.

The villas, along with the Executive Rooms, Executive Suites, One Bedroom Suites and Two Bedroom Suite, offer exclusive access to the ALUMI executive lounge.

Hues of gunmetal blue complemented by urban grey and soft gold throughout the resort and rooms nod to Radisson Blu as a brand.

With venues ranging from a poolside bar to a VIP lounge, Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc’s diverse culinary landscape lures casual and sophisticated diners alike.

Strategically dispersed across the resort’s most inspiring ground, the stunning Beachfront Pool Villas each come with a private pool with sunken lounge and sun deck, private outdoor rain shower and spacious garden.

Anchored by a large show kitchen, all-day dining establishment Avenue’s vibrant marketplace setting seats more than 300 indoors and a further 100 on its poolside terrace.

An elegant space, the exclusive ALUMI executive lounge offers patrons personalized concierge service and complimentary drinks and snacks including high tea.

Located by the resort’s picture-perfect pool, Azure offers classic cocktails, freshly squeezed juices, healthy smoothies and snacks to guests lounging in the sun.

The opening comes as the group prepares to launch Radisson Blu Resort Cam Ranh Bay and Radisson Phu Quoc Resort, a separate 218-room four-star resort on Truong beach, in addition to pursuing development opportunities in other Vietnamese destinations.


Lobby of St Ermin's Hotel

Spotlight On: The hotel lobby and Furniture

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Throughout September, Hotel Designs will be shining the spotlight on two areas that together help the other evolve. Namely: the hotel lobby and furniture…

Next month, Hotel Designs will be examining first impressions in the hotel lobby and how what is constantly referred to as the ‘beating heart of the hotel, home of the energetic pulse, has evolved over the years to cater towards modern travellers. In addition to this, the publication will also stitch together the best furniture pieces and evolving trends in international hotel design.

The hotel lobby 

Hotel lobby

Image credit: Hotel ICON, Hong Kong

The lobby can make or break a hotel concept. The challenge for international interior designers continues to be merging functionality with personality. With hotels being more than just a bed for the night, the hotel lobby as we know it is now transforming into community spaces as opposed to a seating area pre or post check in. The editorial team will take a look at the best examples and suggest where the future of the lobby will sit.


Image credit: Corinthia London

Luxury with an edge is the theme of 2018 when it comes to furniture. In May, Milan saw the first glimpse of this year’s major trends. These showed a definite move towards comfort and a nod to 1950s design. How are designers incorporating this into their work? As show seasons begins, the editorial team take a deeper look at this sector.

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 Phoebe Kasapi on 01992 374059 or

Main image credit: St Ermin’s Hotel, London

Caesarstone UK collaborates with designjunction for innovative restaurant installation

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Following its launch of Metropolitan Collection earlier this year, surface specialist Caesarstone has announced STILL BY FORM, a unique collaboration with designjunction

Surface specialist Caesarstone UK has collaborated with designjunction for a restaurant installation called STILL BY FORM. Curated by design consultancy and procurement specialists, BY FORM, the space is designed with harmonious layers of colour and texture to provide a setting for quiet contemplation within the bustle of the show. The pop-up restaurant serves as a backdrop for exciting interior pieces that are yet to be showcased in the UK.

STILL utilises the newly launched Topus Concrete surface design for the restaurant’s main bar

STILL is influenced by simple Danish design and organic Japanese aesthetics and is a celebration of collaborations with a number of hand-picked brands and designers. The pop-up restaurant installation features a refined collection of design across lighting, textiles, surfaces and furniture, and new materials, including brands like Anour, &tradition, KABE Copenhagen, Zilenzio and Atkinson & Kirby. The menu will be provided by 26 Grains, from Neil’s Yard London.

Caesarstone have been an integral part of the STILL restaurant project from the beginning. STILL utilises the newly launched Topus Concrete surface design for the restaurant’s main bar. Developed as part of the Caesarstone design team’s wider exploration of industrial finishes and weathered patinas, Topus Concrete’s gentle linier pattern is reminiscent of Jupiter’s rotating cloud bands, while its warm blush pink colours sit harmoniously within the calming palette used across STILL.

It has been a wonderful experience working with the team at designjunction

“STILL is one of the most interesting projects within designjunction and the broader London Design Festival for 2018, so we are delighted to have played an active role in its realisation,” said Jon Stanley, VP Marketing, Caesarstone UK. “It has been a wonderful experience working with the team at designjunction, as well as BY FORM and the other partner brands.”

Stanley continued: “Caesarstone places huge value on design, creative thinking and innovation, things we see as fundamentals of our brand. London Design Festival is an essential and vibrant forum for an industry that the UK excels in, helping to promote and nurture those working in the sector, established or otherwise. We believe that it’s critical that brands support it.

“We consider the atmosphere in spaces and rooms to be particularly important and, therefore, we have designed the space with a palette of honest materials and harmonious layers of colours and texture, so you can disconnect for a moment of observation and reflection away from the show.”

In addition to designjunction’s STILL project, Caesarstone UK is supporting numerous other activities with partners across London Design Festival, across K&B studios, lighting and paint brands.


Top design hotel spa concepts in Britain

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Following on with this month’s ‘Spotlight On’ theme focusing on Hotel Concepts – and with this year’s Brit List fast approaching – Hotel Designs investigates Britain’s best spa concepts…

Between the years of 2013 and 2015, Global Wellness Institute (GWI) concluded that the wellness travel market grew by a whopping 10.6 per cent to be worth an estimated US$563.2 billion. With that trajectory expected to rise even further, as GWI predicts that the wellness tourism will grow to be more than a US$800 billion industry by 2020, spa concepts and the core designs around spas are arguably the windows to new clientele.

As a result, spa design within the hotels to reach that ambitious five-star status is hot on the mind of designers, architects and hoteliers – and rightly so. As the spa becomes the spirit of the hotel, here are some awe-inspiring hotel spa concepts that have the ability to transform guests into another world whilst checked in.

Gleneagles, Scotland 

ESPA at Gleneagles, Scotland

In its majestic position underneath Scotland’s Ochil Hills, Glenagles’ escape doesn’t get much better than its spa. Designed by the great Sue Harmsworth, ESPA at Gleneageles was named last year as Britian’s best spa by The Good Spa GuideAs Scotland’s pre-eminent destination spa, it has been designed symmetrically to keep male and female areas separate.

Visitors to the spa can de-stress in the soothing surroundings of the central courtyard, enjoy indulgent heat and thermal experiences before or after their treatment, or enjoy a snack at The Spa’s café. Considering the majestic settings and the grand 1920s main building, the hotel is surprisingly modern with all the right levels of luxury.

The Gainsborough Spa, Bath 

Image credit: The Gainsborough Spa, Bath

As Bath’s only hotel that taps into the city’s natural thermal springs, The Gainsborough is in a league on its own in the South West.

The spa’s design fuses modern elements with traditional architecture typical to surviving examples of Roman Baths. At its heart are three healing pools of warm thermal water beneath a contemporary glass atrium. The spa is spread over two levels. On the lower level there are treatment rooms, an ice room, infra-red sauna, traditional sauna, steam room, luxurious men’s and ladies changing rooms and the thermal pools. Respecting the historic Roman tradition, each pool is a few degrees warmer or cooler than the next and are to be experienced – as they were in Roman time – in sequence.

Between the columns of the Romanesque colonnade and feature wall surrounding the largest of the pools of the Bath House, are niches clad in custom glass mosaics in blue and grey. Designed to reflect the thermal water and the Bath sky beneath the glass roof above, bathers will sit amongst the columns enjoying massaging jets of therapeutic water. Above, three contemporary interpretations of Georgian lanterns illuminate the Bath House, adding another contemporary edge to the spa’s design. Elsewhere, a Roman mosaic floor, uncovered during 19th century archaeological works and sealed beneath the surface, has been replicated above.

On the second level, linking the Gainsborough to its sister YTL property, Green Leaf Niseko Village, in Japan, a Tatami and a VIP room complete with an Ofuru-style tub (a wooden Japanese soaking tub accented with river rocks) is a feature element honouring the Asian hydrotherapy tradition. Ensconced further within is a cloistered space called the Fountain Room where guests are invited to taste the mineral-laden thermal water – a practice known to Roman bathers in Bath – and to meditate on a waterfall in contemplative solitude.

ESPA at Corinthia, London 

Spa at Corinthia London

Image credit: ESPA at The Corinthia London

Another Harmsworth-inspired retreat, the ESPA at The Corinthia London is the largest hotel spa in London and is, bizarrely enough, located just metres away from one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, Trafalgar Square. Arguably, that’s what makes the experience that much more special and surreal.

The spa which spans across four floors (reception and spa lounge, thermal floor, treatment floor, gym) is the perfect escape from the city above. The gateway to luxury starts at the reception area. Deliberately narrow corridors leading towards the thermal floor evoke the feeling of escaping into an underground world. Seamless ceramic doors camouflaged in the walls make every turn feel like an exclusive experience. Meanwhile, the roaring fires placed around the venue compliment the dark hues of blues and blacks. As well as creating drama, the concept of fire also cleverly breaks up the space without using walls.

Located underneath the hotel, and the busy streets of the capital, the spa includes a swimming pool – which sits below a large glass amphitheatre sauna, an ice fountain, a vitality pool, heated marble sun loungers and private sleep pods.

Lime Wood Hotel

Herb House Spa

Image credit: Lime Wood Hotel

Located on an original medieval hunting grounds, Lime Wood Hotel shelters a three-floor spa, Herb House Spa.

Dedicated to natural wellness and inspired by its forest surroundings, Herb House instils a sense of calm, well-being and serenity – it’s the perfect chilling retreat.

Herb House has a largeSauna and indoor Hydro Pool with stunning forest views, a mud house, a steaming outdoor hot pool, eight spacious single treatment rooms and two magnificent double treatment rooms – the perfect place in rural England to escape from the world in the heart of the New Forest.

Cowshed Spa Babington House

Cowshed Spa Babington Hotel

Image credit: Babington House

Set in the heart of Somerset, Babington House was designed with the stressed-out city goers in mind. The relaxed and typical ‘Soho House’ colour scheme of green and white stripes marries nicely with the honey-coloured facade of the main building that sits behind. The ‘rustic-chic’ Cowshed spa is surrounded by stunning vistas of the Somerset countryside. Facilities include two heated pools (one inside and one outside), sauna and steam room.

To celebrate the best of British in the hotel design industry, Hotel Designs has now opened up nominations for this year’s Brit List. The Brit List will amplify Britain’s top interior designers, hoteliers and architects. Click here for more information

Main image credit: ESPA at The Corinthia, London

Hotel Designs Brit List announces judging panel

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The Brit List, which celebrates Britain’s top 25 influential interior designers, hoteliers and architects, has announced the judging panel for this year’s awards taking place on November 22 at BEAT London…

Ahead of this year’s anticipated Brit List, which launched last year with the aim to raise the profile of British creatives in the industry, Hotel Designs has confirmed the five judges who together will agree on which designers, hoteliers and architects deserve to be recognised in the 2018 Brit List.

In addition to The Brit List, Hotel Designs has also launched six new awards that will also be presented to the winners on the night The Brit List 2018 is unveiled. These awards are:

  • 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

To apply for free to this year’s Brit List, please click here and click the ‘nominations’ tab to apply.
Nominations close on September 16

The Brit List 2018 judges are:

Gilly Craft, President of the British Institute of Interior Design 

As well as the BIID becoming the event’s industry partner, Gilly Craft brings with her a wealth of interior design experience as well as a deep understanding for trends and recognising potential in creatives. “I am very excited to be one of the judges for the Brit List this year,” said Craft on accepting the role as a judge. “It is important that designers have the opportunity to be recognised by their peers in this way.”

Charles Leon, founder of Leon Black Architectural

In 1994, Charles Leon established his own design practice, CLA which specialised in hospitality and residential design. In2010 he was joined by Nicholas Black and in 2014 they formed the partnership Leon Black.

Leon Black specialises in Residential and Hospitality Design and Interior Architecture. Charles, the former president of the BIID, also lectures on design theory, innovation, emotion and the workings of the designer’s mind. He is a guest lecturer at Middlesex University and The Interior Design School.

“I am very honoured to take part as a judge for the Hotel Designs Brit List this year and to have the opportunity to celebrate the breadth and depth of UK designers and hoteliers,” said Leon.

Gerri Gallagher, former associate editor, Tatler

Drawing on 25 years of editorial experience at Tatler with specific emphasis on luxury travel, an extensive global knowledge of five-star hotels and spas and a unique US/UK perspective, Gerri Gallagher is a highly-respected professional who combines a strong creative vision with an astute understanding of what discerning international clients expect.

“I was honoured to be asked to participate in the Hotel Designs Brit List 2018. In my professional capacity as a hotel/spa consultant I work with some of the finest hoteliers and designers in the world,” said Gallagher. “To sit on the panel of judges for this prestigious event is an exciting opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the industry’s British superstars.”

Lysbeth Fox, founder and director of Fox PR

Lysbeth Fox is the Managing Director of luxury travel, wellness and gourmet agency Fox PR, whose portfolio of clients includes some of the most prestigious in the world. Lysbeth is currently in India building a school with her daughter so was unable to supply a quote for this announcement. I am honoured to be amongst such a prestigious panel of judges –  and for such an important award,” said Fox. “As a longtime advisor and strategist for luxury hotels – it has been my privilege to work with some of the most innovative and stylish destinations in the world.  I am looking forward to reviewing this year’s best of British nominees.”

Hamish Kilburn, editor, Hotel Designs

Overseeing the panel is Hamish Kilburn, the editor of Hotel Designs. Kilburn has reviewed some of the most spectacular hotels around the world and has his finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest happenings in the world of international hotel design.

Together with the strong team behind the brand, he is helping to strengthen Hotel Designs’ events offering including The Brit List, Hotel Summit, Meet Up and the launch of a new event for interior designers and architects that will launch in 2019.

If you, or an individual you know of, deserves to be recognised in this year’s Brit List, please click here and click the ‘nominations’ tab to apply for free.

Once all nominations have been received by the closing date of September 16, the judging panel will select the final 75 most inspirational and influential people in British design, hotels and architecture.

On November 22, designers, hoteliers, architects and key suppliers to the industry will gather at BEAT London where The Brit List 2018 will be unveiled.

Industry suppliers and delegates will be able purchase tickets to attend the awards ceremony, and there are a limited number of sponsorship opportunities available for this prestigious and influential event. For more details contact Phoebe Kasapi by emailing, or calling 01992 374059.

Grohe Smart Shower

Perfect precise performance: Euphoria SmartControl from GROHE

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The minimalist design of GROHE SmartControl introduces three times the control in the shower…

The experience of “Push, Turn, Shower” has now become even more multifaceted as the smart technology is integrated into another successful GROHE design line – GROHE Euphoria SmartControl. The new surface-mounted installation features a significantly slimmer form of the SmartControl interface as well as fast-acting temperature regulation that prevents the risk of scalding thanks to the GROHTHERM thermostat.

Three times the control GROHE Euphoria SmartControl is brimming with “Made in Germany” technology and design quality which is displayed in the multi-jet shower heads. The smart shower system’s centrepiece is the front-mounted push and turn control unit. Unique pictograms called GROHE EasyLogic provide intuitive operation. The turn of a button can regulate the water pressure , ranging from a gentle shower to a more vigorous awakening, depending on each individual’s mood.

With the push of a button, the spray types can be selected. The first button, for example, activates the Euphoria handshower or the Euphoria Cube stick, offering complete flexibility so that the water can be directed exactly where it is needed. The button in the middle provides full SmartControl power. Thanks to the new ActiveRain jet control, one can choose between a powerful jet spray perfect for rinsing out shampoo, or a concentrated jet spray that massages away the stresses of everyday life. The third button, with its gentle PureRain spray, has been designed to offer ultimate relaxation from your shower experience. After switching off the water, the system automatically saves the selected flow rate until it is next used. In addition to the Rainshower 310 SmartActive shower head, the GROHE Euphoria SmartControl shower system is also available with the multi-jet Euphoria 260 head shower. Three types of spray can be selected manually by turning the innovative control in the middle of the shower head’s plate: a powerful jet spray, the invigorating SmartRain jet spray and a full rain jet spray that brings the tranquil sensation of a gentle summer rain.

The new GROHE Euphoria SmartControl control interface features a very slim, minimalist design with compact dimensions

Meanwhile, thanks to GROHE QuickFix, individual adjustments can be made to the upper bracket of both models which makes the drilling of additional holes unnecessary, meaning it also serves as an ideal retrofit solution It is also possible to swing the arm of the head shower 180 degrees. In addition, the system features GROHE CoolTouch technology which ensures the chrome surface of the control unit does not get too hot whilst the GROHTERM SmartControl thermostat with GROHE TurboStat technology delivers the highest precision in temperature regulation.

Minimalist design – clean and convenient

The new GROHE Euphoria SmartControl control interface features a very slim, minimalist design with compact dimensions. Especially in smaller bathrooms, these elements offer additional comfort whilst giving homeowners the opportunity to own a high-performance shower that can function efficiently in small spaces. The GROHE EasyReach shower shelf also provides a convenient storage solution for toiletries. Compared to the existing surface-mounted SmartControl solutions this is an even slimmer version. This minimalist form is beautifully contrasted with the generously sized 310mm shower head which is available in a round or square design. With a three choice of a high-gloss and durable GROHE StarLight chrome finish or the elegant MoonWhite acrylic glass, the design can be perfectly matched into any modern bathroom.

GROHE has been developing new product categories since its inception. This includes the GROHE Blue and Red water systems and the recently-introduced GROHE Sense water security system, which is an innovative component in the growth market of smart home technology. Innovation, design and development are closely aligned with one another and are enshrined in the German site as an integrated process. As a result, GROHE products carry the seal of quality “Made in Germany”.


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Designing Instagrammable: Big data = big opportunities for hospitality design

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In part four of Designing Instagrammable, Scott Valentine, the Managing Director of Valé Architects, explains the benefits and potential of analysing big data…

There’s a funny internet meme doing the rounds of a little boy asking Mark Zuckerberg if it’s true what his dad says that Facebook is spying on people, to which Zuckerberg simply responds ‘he’s not your dad’.

But while the Cambridge Analytica saga may have done some serious PR damage in the short term, big data’s here to stay. Not in the least because it’s quite literally unstoppable.

Advertising companies, insurers and supermarkets have been using big data for quite some time now because it allows them to better tailor their products to their users. In design, however, it’s still very much in its infancy.

At Valé, we predict a huge shift over the next ten years in hospitality design. It’s a shift where predictive behavioural analysis will gradually replace the industry’s traditional reliance on intuition and guesswork – hopefully putting an end to wasteful design once and for all.

Big data and personalising hospitality

Big data involves extremely large data sets which can be analysed by computers to reveal patterns and trends about how we behave and interact with each other. It’s closely linked with Artificial Intelligence (AI) which allows machines to evolve and improve their own learning by consistently updating their data sets.

It’s a pretty common misconception among designers that big data bears no real relevance to hospitality design. We disagree. At Valé we see huge potential in big data helping us to further personalise guest experiences in the hotels, restaurants and bars we design.

The shocking misuse of personal data by companies such as Cambridge Analytica and indeed Facebook itself has given big data a bad rep. Unfortunate as it is, this isn’t likely to be more than a temporary blip while society tries to wrap its head around some of the ethical boundaries.

Personalising guest experiences has probably been one of the biggest trends in hospitality over the past ten years

From a design perspective, we can’t foresee many ethical issues. After all, we’re not seeking to influence a guest’s thinking or political views. We’re only seeking to understand their needs better so we can predict their behaviour and movement on site, which will then allow us to design our building around that.

Predicting guest behaviour

Personalising guest experiences has probably been one of the biggest trends in hospitality over the past ten years. It’s a scary concept for many business owners and operators. After all, how do you personalise your services without losing your economies of scale? But it’s a big issue for us as designers too, because how do you design a building that caters to so many different people’s unique taste and needs?

Luckily, and no matter how wonderfully weird and unpredictable we like to think of ourselves, we’re also creatures of habit. Whether we like it or not, our behaviour follows patterns. Big data allows us to uncover those patterns.

With the right information and of course the right tools to interpret it, you can predict most types of behaviour ranging from a person’s spending habits and their family set up, to their living situation back home and how influential they are on social media.

As designers this then allows us to predict how a particular type of guest is likely to make use of a building, for example where they’ll prefer to sit, how much they’ll spend and the kind of pictures they’re likely to post on Instagram.

From a business owner’s perspective, it allows you to increase your bottom line by allocating your design budget and resources in those areas of your building where you’re future guests are likely to spend most of their time and money.

Guest profiling and big data

Speaking of personalisation, many operators and designers rarely get any further than the generational ‘millennial’ tag when it comes to identifying their target customers. But those elusive millennials love everything from a cheap bamboo beach shack in Bali to the Hemingway Bar in the Paris Ritz.

It simply doesn’t make any business sense to cater for such a big niche. And as the quote goes, ‘if you try and be everything to everyone, you’ll end being nothing to no-one.’ You really need to understand the world of the customers and guests who are likely to be coming through your doors.

We’ve previously written about the design approach which brings together User Centric Design (UCD) and guest profiling. As we continue to fine tune our own guest profiling for the hospitality industry, we’re particularly excited about the work that’s also being done elsewhere by a number of startups and others. They provide the backbone data for the type of behavioural analysis that makes it possible to more or less accurately predict how your building is likely to be used.

Companies such as Helix Personas, Defin’d, Experian and Ipsos make use of data sets built through either tracking apps, websites, surveys, local statistics providers, or a combination of those. They build very specific user profiles and behaviours by merging their own data with additional datasets such as hotel bookings, surveys and tracking apps.

Other startups such as Neighbourlytics and Picodash go even further by pairing their data with information that’s public on social media accounts, or with certain government data sets which give them a better understanding of public behaviour in a particular local economy.

No escape

With the growth of consumer networks like fitness tracking, food delivery apps, shopping services and social media, the volume of consumer data is growing at an extremely rapid rate. These datasets provide massive opportunities for us as designers to better understand the behaviour of our future guests and to put an end to wasteful design.

Big data is already big business for most banks, insurance companies and advertisers. Very slowly we’re starting to see a shift in attitude closer to home, with a number of large-scale developers dipping their toes in the water. Some are already in the early stages of user profiling as a way to help them build homes that are better suited to their target buyers.

At Valé, it’s our core mission to be at the forefront of innovation when it comes to guiding our design process. We’ve no doubt that big data analytics and behavioural analysis will be the bread and butter for hospitality design in the next ten years. Trust us, you won’t want to be left behind on this one.

This article is part four of a series of five. See below links to previous articles:

Part one
Part two 
Part three

Top 5 stories of the week: Furniture in the fast lane, VR insights and flawless flooring trends

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As Hotel Designs continues to focus on Hotel Concepts and Flooring & Carpets, Editor Hamish Kilburn breaks down this week’s top news stories…

Throughout this week, we have had a bit of everything – from flooring trends to Lamborghini sofas, from VR insights to hotels inspired by nature. This is somewhat not surprising considering the two vast topics that we’re shining the spotlight on this month. Here are this week’s top five stories.

1) Virtual Reality is changing the game in hospitality

Hotel Tech Spa & Live

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Hotel Spa Tech Live describes how Virtual Reality is changing the face of international hotel design and service…

2) 7 flooring trends that are leaving clear footprints in 2018

This month, as we focus our lens on hotel flooring, Hotel Designs is going all out to give you an accurate take on how the flooring trends are shaping up for the back end of this year. From what our editorial team can see, rules have been broken – and rightly so. Here are a few top trends to keep an eye on for the rest of the year.

3) Nature-inspired villa suites open at Son Brull, Mallorca

With a noticeable nod to nature, Son Brull in Mallorca has completed the design of two brand-new villa suites. The two-bedroom villa suites are situated in the hotel’s idyllic gardens and offer the ideal combination of space and privacy while remaining fully serviced. Located in the northern Mallorca near Pollensa, the family owned and managed hotel is housed in a former monastery that dates back to the 12th century, in a peaceful rural setting for guests looking to disconnect and spend some quality time surrounded by nature.

4) Chic bungalow-style, luxury-chic hotel to open in the City of Angels

Home-from-home cosy guestroom

Image credit: 850

A new chic 23-key boutique hotel created by Jeff Klein’s JK Hotel Group and designed by Rita Konig is slated to open Autumn 2018…

5) SPOTLIGHT ON: Bentley Hotel rooms and Lamborghini furniture in the fast lane

With this month’s focus being on weird and wonderful Hotel Concepts around the globe, Hotel Designs stitched the lining of these very quirky – and slightly ‘out there’ automotive designs and Lamborghini sofas…

Nature-inspired villa suites open at Son Brull, Mallorca

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The design hotel that’s property dates back to the 12th Century opens new modern and fresh villa suites…

With a noticeable nod to nature, Son Brull in Mallorca has completed the design of two brand-new villa suites. The two-bedroom villa suites are situated in the hotel’s idyllic gardens and offer the ideal combination of space and privacy while remaining fully serviced. Located in the northern Mallorca near Pollensa, the family owned and managed hotel is housed in a former monastery that dates back to the 12th century, in a peaceful rural setting for guests looking to disconnect and spend some quality time surrounded by nature.

The design follows Son Brull’s signature sophisticated style#

Each villa suite is spacious, spanning 100sqm inside, with over 130sqm of surrounding private terrace and gardens in which to relax. The design follows Son Brull’s signature sophisticated style, with exterior stone walls that seem to grow out of the natural landscape, furnishings of natural wood and textiles in soft colours and textures, as well as local artwork adorning the walls throughout. Each villa proudly features a piece of artwork from a young member of the hotel’s family, an accomplished artist herself, adding a special touch of the family’s personality.

Overall, there is a feeling of light and elegance, of flowing spaces

Each suite offers two en-suite bedrooms, with the master bedroom featuring a king-sized bed, double bath and rain shower, and the second bedroom offering twin beds, which can also be re-arranged into a second king-sized bed, as well as a rain shower. Overall, there is a feeling of light and elegance, of flowing spaces and connection to the outdoors.

A spacious and open living room complete with a cosy fireplace, B&O television, Google Chromecast, Nespresso coffee machine, fully-stocked minibar fridge and Wi-Fi makes the ideal place to unwind in privacy. In typical Son Brull style, the villas pay homage to the beautiful nature of Mallorca, featuring living roofs and surrounded by vineyards and private gardens. Son Brull’s villa suites each have their own private outdoor lap pool, heated to 24 degrees Celsius and measuring 5×2 metres in size and 1.5 metres in depth.

Morgan Furniture’s growing footprints

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Recommended Supplier Morgan Furniture has further expanded its lobbyesque Pimlico collection…

Morgan’s Pimlico collection began as a side chair with a small footprint, and has since developed to include a variety of size options and high-backs. With smooth curved lines and a unique oval seat pad, the expanded collection offers further possibilities and interior solutions; creating a cohesive collection suited to both workplace and hospitality interiors.

 The dramatic high back booth sofa and lounge chairs act as a statement piece

Morgan Pimlico 142 High-back Lounge Chairs. Fully upholstered for maximum comport, Pimlico succeeds in offering a look, which is youthful as well as being timeless and elegant. The dramatic high back booth sofa and lounge chairs act as a statement piece, whilst also offering a practical acoustic solution for private working and relaxation.

Alongside these products, the collection includes a number of low back options including a luxuriously deep sofa, a higher sit banquette sofa, lounge chairs and dining/meeting chairs.

To view these new collections please visit the Morgan showroom at 1 Dallington Street, ECV1 0BH.

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.

Living area

Hotel group unveils new social hotel concept in Aparthotels

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Hospitality is one of the fastest-changing businesses in the world and companies involved need to react quickly to changing tastes and demands. In that environment Adagio reveals “The Circle” in Aparthotels…

After months of research, “The Circle” is now being launched throughout Aparthotels Adagio. The objective of the new concept is to redefine the aparthotel spaces based on customer desire and usage, bringing a modern and flexible style available at different times of the day.

The Circle ensures that all guests can enjoy both shared and private space at their own convenience and as they desire.

A unique concept based on three dimensions

Deliberately called “The Circle” to symbolise the spirit of community it creates, the new generation of the friendly spirit of Aparthotels Adagio generates an open and welcoming feeling of togetherness based on three pillars:

  • Redesigned spaces that create new functions (a library of objects to borrow, shared kitchen, grocery store, etc) original or simply useful.
  • Events such as weekly aperitifs or Dinner@Adagio, which all guests can enjoy.
  • Shared guest experiences led by the Adagio team, designed to generate “moments to remember” when strangers meet to enjoy the events and each other.
  • A public space totally redesigned to encourage meetings and friendship.

The public areas have been completely redesigned by the Adagio team putting clients and employees at the centre of their planning. The original Circle concept has been guest-tested and developed further at the Adagio Paris Bercy Village where guests and visiting neighbours were invited to enjoy the premises and give feedback which was used for further improvements.

LOBBY/RECEPTION Adagio Paris Bercy Village

Lobby/reception Adagio Paris Bercy Village

With The Circle, each Aparthotel Adagio now offers many complimentary services to encourage interaction between guests but also between those guests and our hotel staff. From leisure to cooking, these are all activities that allow travellers to discover a new way to create their individual stay.

  • Shared kitchen. A true multi-function meeting place, a large shared kitchen allows guests to cook throughout the day in a friendly atmosphere and benefit from all the equipment to prepare a meal that they will then have the freedom to share with other guests. This kitchen can also be booked to employ a chef to prepare something for that special occasion.
  • Library of objects. To personalise their apartment and help create “their own space” guests have access to a free library with three types of objects:
    • Iconic, local trinkets and memorabilia which allow guests to bring their own focus and design taste to their space.
    • Emotional, which allows guests to personalise their apartment with unique decoration items and sentiment – plants, picture frames, books, home-from-home items.
    • Functional, which can be practical in everyday life – a chair of choice, a cushion of colour, kitchen equipment of preference and loved brands.

The Circle library serves as a place to exchange books: everyone can deposit and take the book of their choice and can therefore help to develop the shared experience and growing repository of fictional fun and no-fictional enjoyment.

  • Fun and practical services. To offer a complete experience The Circle ideal offers additional services in public areas such as a grocery store where everyone can find practical or gourmet products
  • Reception. A new reception style makes the guest welcome warmer, informal and personalised thanks to a large table d’hôtes. Employees wear a new more relaxed outfit and guests have the option to check in at different places in the lobby.
  • Entertainment. The public areas have been completely re-designed so that guests can enjoy relaxing moments
  • Co-working. Some Aparthotels benefit from co-working spaces, allowing business travellers to benefit from a friendly and functional working environment

“Our primary goal was to put the benefit sand opportunities of each unique location at the heart of the customer experience,” said Karim Malak, Adagio’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer.

“The process undertaken to create ‘The Circle’ was above everything listening to our customer, in order to offer them a service and a living environment more attuned to their expectations as they arrive and throughout their stay.

“Thanks to this new concept, we now offer our guests a complete and unique experience with an apartment that remains their own personal space but with public areas. Guess can now dip in or out according to their own needs. They can now enjoy a unique and customisable hosting experience in a more user-friendly living space, allowing them to meet new travellers should they desire.”

This new concept will be deployed with several interior design agencies. Already six Adagio Aparthotels are now fully in operation and 23 establishments will have been re-designed by the end of 2018.

InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland to open in Q4

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The 336-key InterContinental hotel, which will shelter futuristic look and feel, will open in Q4 this year…

Said to transform hotel design to new levels, InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland has confirmed it will open its doors in the fourth quarter of 2018. Developed by Shimao Group and managed by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), the luxury hotel, mostly below ground, is poised to welcome guests with an amazing landscape in a deep pit of a former quarry in southwestern Shanghai.

The hotel reshapes the relationship between city and nature

The 18-storey hotel has two floors above ground, and 16 below ground, including two floors underwater. With a construction area of more than 61,000 square metres, the hotel features 336 rooms and suites that all boast balconies where guests can enjoy a spectacular view of waterfalls from the surrounding cliffs.

In contrast to the traditional architectural concept of building high-rises, InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland adopts an unconventional design of extending space beneath ground by truly reflecting the natural landscape of the quarry.

Reaching down to 88 metres below ground, the hotel reshapes the relationship between city and nature, turning an abandoned quarry into a treasure of wonder and beauty. The opening of InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland will prove to create unique and tremendous value to the city, standing out as a must-visit destination itself to welcome its growing guests.

SPOTLIGHT ON: Bentley Hotel rooms and Lamborghini furniture in the fast lane

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With this month’s focus being on weird and wonderful Hotel Concepts around the globe, Hotel Designs stitched the lining of these very quirky – and slightly ‘out there’ automotive designs and Lamborghini sofas…

Fast cars and flash hotel rooms are nothing new. In 2014, St Regis Istanbul famously unveiled the Bentley Suite, which played on the concept of automotive luxury design. A sofa lounge, with signature Bentley diamond upholstery in Bentley linen leather, brought Bentley’s distinctive motoring luxury to life. From the curved veneered walls, in Bentley smoked fiddleback eucalyptus, to the elegant upholstery, the suite’s shapely architecture skillfully reflected the Continental GT’s seductive lines.

Bentley Suite, Istanbul

St Regis Istanbul

In June this year, Hotel Designs reported on the hotel bathroom that was inspired by the design of a supercar. Working predominately in carbon fibre and taking design cues from the world of the supercar, award-winning designer Charles Wan was developing a number of unique automotive bathroom styles.

Now, with much hype around creating moments within a hotel experience, the Lamborghini sofa could be coming to a hotel guestroom near you.

The racing sofas, designed and manufactured by Design Epicentrum,  are a unique combination of realistic sport cars and comfortable seats with elegant leather upholstery. Next to such furniture is not a way to pass indifferently – they are created to play a main role in the space arrangement.

With Lamborghini sofas now on the market – albeit limited edition – the question over how far hotel concepts can go continues to be asked.


Map and illustration of boutique hotel

Heritage Bathrooms launches nationwide search for Stylish Stays in Britain

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Luxury bathroom brand – and Hotel Designs Recommended Supplier Heritage Bathrooms – has launched a nationwide search for boutique bathrooms that wow…

Heritage Bathrooms has launched a search for Britain’s best boutique bathroom spaces and is s calling on boutique hotels and luxury rental properties to submit their guest bathrooms for a chance to win a spot on its online Stylish Stays hub.

Featuring a hand-drawn map and a water colour illustration of each hotel, designed by British designer and illustrator Eleanore Longhurst, the hub will feature on Heritage’s website, as well as being included in PR and social media campaigns – encouraging consumers to visit the gorgeous properties and experience a Heritage Bathroom during their stay.

Properties wanting to be included in Heritage’s Stylish Stays hub will be in great company, with hotels including The Raeburn in Edinburgh, Alrewas Hayes in Staffs, and Harbour Lights in Cornwall just some of the locations already set to be included.

The only requirement to secure a spot is for the property to feature Heritage products in their guest bathrooms.

“We know that Heritage Bathrooms products are specified in many boutique hotel bathroom spaces, so we thought the creation of the dedicated ‘Stylish Stays’ hub was an ideal way to share the gorgeous interior spaces that guests can experience, as well as help hotel owners showcase their properties,” Commented Sophie Taylor, national specification manager for Heritage Bathrooms. “We know many homeowners take inspiration from hotel interior design too, so by encouraging guests to visit and see how Heritage products have been used, we hope that we can help inspire their own designs and showcase the quality of our products in an exciting new way.”

With 30 years of experience in bathroom product design, Heritage Bathrooms’ newly launched initiative will further celebrate striking hotel bathroom designs within the boutique hotel market.

Heritage Bathrooms 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.

Exterior of the hotel

Award-winning Trump hotel unveils renovation plans

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Design firm Total Resource Associates Inc. have released plans to renovate the hotel’s guestrooms, suites and public areas by September 2018…

Trump International Hotel & Tower New York, which overlooks Manhattan’s famous Central Park, has announced the renovation of its guestrooms, suites and public areas.

“We are very proud of what the hotel has achieved and provided for travelers around the world since its opening 20 years ago. This renovation further affirms our commitment to maintain our status as one of the elite luxury hotels in the city and around the world,” says Prince A. Sanders, general manager of the hotel. “The renovation is underway and we anticipate completion by September.”

Trump International Hotel & Tower New York has held its place among the top five-star luxury hotels in the city that never sleeps since its opening, delivering the highest levels of service, style, and exclusivity.  Earlier this year, the hotel received its 10th Forbes Five-Star designation. Since 2011, the hotel has been lauded each year with AAA Five Diamond Award. Other accolades the hotel has received include Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best Hotels,” Conde Nast Traveler’s “Top Hotels in New York City” and “Best in the World,” and U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hotels in the USA.”

A collaboration among Trump Hotels, Eric Trump, Trump Construction and New York-based design firm, Total Resource Associates Inc., the renovation creates a first class, ultra-sophisticated ambiance reflecting the hotel’s vibrant New York City location.

Leading the project forward, Total Resource Associates Inc. found inspiration in the hotel’s stunning Central Park views and its proximity to Manhattan’s famed Columbus Circle. The renovation includes a total transformation of the hallways, including carpeting, a new colour palette and lighting; guestrooms and suites, including sparkling LED crystal chandeliers and custom wall sconces, deep wood crown molding and base, carpeting, fixtures and fittings, upholstery and bedding; and guest room and suite bathrooms, featuring polished chrome Kohler fixtures, glass-enclosed shower partitions, new comfort height toilets and custom wood vanities with marble tops. The new finishes and materials have been designed to infuse every aspect of the guest experience with the refined aesthetic that envelops guests when they arrive at the luxury hotel in Manhattan.

Kaldewei steel enamel: material for an eternal bathroom

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Bathroom specialist and Hotel Designs Recommended Supplier Kaldewei explains the benefits of Kaldewei steel enamel…

Designers around the world have always been fascinated by the unique symbiosis produced by two natural materials. Bathroom specialist Kaldewei fuses robust steel and exquisite glass together to create superior Kaldewei steel enamel. Bringing 100 years of experience to bear, the company today produces premium bathroom solutions made of a single material to a consistently high standard of quality that are appreciated all over the world.

Kaldewei controls the entire value chain for its shower surfaces, washbasins and bathtubs – from selecting the raw materials, manufacturing the enamel and forming the steel to finishing with superior Kaldewei enamel. Today Kaldewei is still the only bathroom manufacturer to produce enamel in its own furnace. The formula was developed at Kaldewei’s laboratory and has been consistently refined over the decades. Raw materials from six continents are used and the result is a compelling compound that even after years of use looks just as good as when it was first made.

 The properties of steel enamel can be individually enhanced with surface treatments such as an optional anti-slip finish

Kaldewei steel enamel: fascinating, persuasive and long-lasting

What is it that makes Kaldewei steel enamel so unique? One reason is the secret formula that has been developed by Kaldewei over generations. A high-tech material that is perfect for modern bathroom design has been created over the course of the decades. The distinctive properties of steel and enamel – combined in superior Kaldewei steel enamel – have proved compelling for partners and clients all over the world. Thanks to the glass-hard surface, bathroom solutions made of Kaldewei steel enamel are ultra hygienic and easy to clean. This surface cannot be harmed by mechanical or chemical impact such as that caused by cosmetics and detergents. The exceptionally long warranty period of 30 years clearly demonstrates the robustness and longevity of Kaldewei bathroom solutions and underlines their special quality. The properties of steel enamel can be individually enhanced with surface treatments such as an optional anti-slip finish. It is not only builders and customers who rely on Kaldewei bathroom solutions: architects and hoteliers too greatly appreciate the properties and advantages of Kaldewei steel enamel.

Committed to sustainability

With growing environmental awareness, sustainability is becoming an increasingly topical issue. Kaldewei bathroom solutions made of steel enamel are winners in this area too because they can be fully recycled. This allows builders and architects to plan in an ecologically oriented way. Kaldewei steel enamel was recognised with a “Green Good Design Award” in 2017 – one of the most prestigious sustainability accolades in the world.

The responsible use of resources, environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes and bathroom solutions that can be recycled at the end of their lives have all been part of Kaldewei’s corporate philosophy for generations. The company is further demonstrating its commitment in this area by partnering with the environmental conservation organisation, the WWF.

Kaldewei 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.

Hotel Tech Spa & Live

Virtual Reality is changing the game in hospitality

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Hotel Spa Tech Live describes how Virtual Reality is changing the face of international hotel design and service…

Virtual Reality (VR) was once the realm of extreme gamers, but in recent years it has made some big promises about bringing disruption that will span industries. In hospitality virtual reality solutions are already being exploited to bring new and exciting customer experiences.

One key use of VR technology is to enhance the relationship between hotel and visitor. VR ad company Advrtas are exploiting VR in the hotel industry to elevate the consumer-brand relationship, with top of the range immersive experience used to promote luxury hotels.

In hospitality, being ahead of the curve with the latest technology can be the difference which sets you apart from your competitors.

Others, like 36 Zero VR, are using this high-end tech to offer virtual tours, engaging their visitors with the lure of information hot spots.

While offering VR services to your customer base may still feel very sci-fi for now, anyone working in hospitality needs to be aware of the waves it’s already making in the industry. In hospitality, where customers are always looking to be wowed, being ahead of the curve with the latest technology can be the difference which sets you apart from your competitors.

If you want to find out more about innovative technology for hotels, or meet the key players changing the game in hospitality, you need to be at Hotel & Spa Tech live – the UK’s most exciting event for the technology, systems, products, and services that are breaking new ground in the hotel and spa sector.

As technology becomes more critical to the hospitality industries, Hotel & Spa Tech Live provides you with an unprecedented opportunity to find the very latest cutting-edge supplies designed to create a truly unforgettable experience for your customers, from the innovators behind these industry-transforming solutions.

Hotel & Spa Tech Live takes place at the London ExCel on the 25th – 26th September 2018, and tickets for this amazing event are FREE! Find out more about the future of hotel tech and register for your ticket on their website.

Modern bar with mustard yellow bar stalls and clean lighting

Room Mate Hotels opens first design hotel in the Spanish Basque Country

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The 33-key Room Mate Gorka, designed by acclaimed interior design studio Cuarto Interior, opens as the brand’s 24th hotel…

International hotel chain Room Mate Hotels continues with its ambitious expansion plans and opens Room Mate Gorka; its first hotel in the Basque Country. This is the chain’s second opening in less than a month, after opening Room Mate Bruno in Rotterdam. What’s more, the chain aims to open another 11 hotels before the end of 2019. With Gorka, the chain now operates 24 hotels, consolidating its leadership in the urban centres of the world’s main cities.

Room Mate Gorka, which intends on being one of the chain’s and the city’s landmarks, being located in the emblematic Plaza de Gipuzkoa in the heart of Donostia-San Sebastián, operates 33 rooms split into three categories: double, executive and duplex; many of which have large terraces. Its protected façade is one of the symbols of the famous square, as such its aesthetics have been kept the same.

 The project surprises, with a thoughtful, elegant, fresh, harmonious decoration with a classic touch

“I am particularly happy with this opening. San Sebastián is one of my favourite cities in the world and Room Mate Hotels couldn’t not be here,” said Kike Sarasola, President and Founder of the Room Mate Group. “My father was from Donostia-San Sebastián, my memories in the city are wonderful and it brings me great joy that Room Mate Gorka is now a another member of the great family made up of 24 hotels located around the world. As with all new projects, at Room Mate Gorka we have taken care of the finest details. We are sure that Gorka is going to become a new landmark in the city. It is the work of my friends German Álvarez and José Manuel Fernández, from the studio Cuarto Interior, and working together has been a real pleasure.”

Large guestroom with grey hues and warm lighting

Design continues to be one of the underlying foundations of the hotel chain, as well as the concept of travelling visiting friends. In this case, Gorka’s personality is what set the tone for the decoration. Gorka is an extrovert, he’s creative and he loves travelling, and that’s exactly what the space portrays.

“We loved designing the new Room Mate Gorka because from the very beginning Kike Sarasola had a very clear idea of the hotel that he wanted for his guests. Kike gave us complete freedom to create the interior concept of the hotel. It was an absolute pleasure working for Room Mate Hotels”, stated Germán Álvarez and José Manuel Fernández, the project designers.

Room Mate Gorka is a classic contemporary design full of contrasts. The project surprises, with a thoughtful, elegant, fresh, harmonious decoration with a classic touch. The details that make reference to the La Concha beach front promenade are a clear example of this, as are the glass panes that separate the reception and the bar. Thanks to a careful use of transparent elements, some spaces are able to intertwine with each other. Moreover, this twist on the classic gives way to a modern, fresh elegance that has contemporary purposes whilst being reminiscent of timeless classics both in terms of the furnishings and the finishes and decorations. Cuarto Interior has given Gorka homely touches that create unique spaces in order to present a welcoming hotel with personality.

The building’s architecture and its location in San Sebastián have been taken into account in order to create a space that is in tune with the city. Simplicity and elegance merge together at Room Mate Gorka in order to create an intimate environment that combines contemporary decoration with neoclassic touches.

The whole design of the hotel is thought out to surprise and provide comfort in a sophisticated yet homely environment where guests will feel at home.

PRODUCT WATCH: Chelsom’s answer to balancing warmth and drama in lighting

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Halo from Chelsom is one of the signature ranges from the brand-new collection Edition 26, presenting true statement lighting fittings that create impressive additions to a wide variety of interior genres…

Decorative LED filament lamps reflect a warm glow off the interiors of Brushed Brass rings. The rings on the four and eight light chandeliers can rotate at the end of the arms to give a random and unique lighting appearance. The 10 light has rings suspended on black silk- covered cable to look similarly random and create a striking impact.

Halo in a chandelier lighting configuration

Both ceiling and wall variations are available with the latter able to be installed with the ring mounted vertically or horizontally. The range is priced with and comes complete with lamps as shown.

For further information or to request a catalogue please contact 01253 831404 or email

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

Home-from-home cosy guestroom

Chic bungalow-style, luxury-chic hotel to open in the City of Angels

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A new chic 23-key boutique hotel created by Jeff Klein’s JK Hotel Group and designed by Rita Konig is slated to open Autumn 2018…

Hot on the heels of the relaunch of LA’s most iconic hotel – Sunset Tower – celebrated hotelier Jeff Klein will open 850, a new boutique hotel situated in the heart of West Hollywood. Fashioned after Klein’s passion for residential-style hotels, the hotel will offer a home-from-home in the heart of the city by British designer Rita Konig with 23 guestrooms rooms, a communal living room, large rooftop terrace and a modern pantry where guests can enjoy meals by Chefs from across the city.

It’s big sister in the city of Angels, Sunset Tower, is one of West Hollywood’s most iconic hotels

850 is in the cultural and geographical heart of West Hollywood. The hotel’s façade is in the style of a historical bungalow, tucked away in a residential neighbourhood surrounded by must-see hotspots – including Sunset Boulevard, Melrose Avenue and Runyon Canyon – coffee shops and restaurants. This chic home offers a sanctuary from the hectic city.

Inspired by his travels around Sicily, Klein’s aim is to create an intimate space in a great Hollywood location. 850 feels more like a chic European hotel and features interiors by British designer Rita Konig – including 23 beautifully appointed rooms – who will bring her bold and collective style to West Hollywood. Interiors will feature distinct layers of pretty pastel colours and textures which will be used to create a relaxed patchwork of old and new and will introduce an elegant, lived-in timelessness to the LA hotel scene. All spaces will be for hotel guests only, allowing them to connect on a more personal level while enjoying a communal experience.

850 will be the newest addition to hotelier and restaurateur Jeff Klein’s JK Hotel Group. It’s big sister in the city of Angels, Sunset Tower, is one of West Hollywood’s most iconic hotels which has recently completed a major multi-million pound transformation.

Wooden flooring in contemporary interiors

SPOTLIGHT ON: Flooring that’s not slippery when wet

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Osmo UK Polyx®-Oil Anti-Slip eliminates the possibility of any slips, trips and falls without compromising on the flooring appearance… 

Wooden flooring is a highly attractive material for commercial and residential environments, but like any hard flooring material, it can become slippery when wet, resulting in a slip hazard where accidents are all too easy in these situations. Osmo UK Polyx®-Oil Anti-Slip is an easy to apply finish which helps eliminate these risks while not disrupting the room’s appearance.

Applying a coat of Polyx®-Oil Anti-Slip increases the slip resistance of frequently maintained flooring areas.  The surface retains its natural appearance while the fine structure particles in the finish prevent it from becoming slippery.

Alongside the makeover and anti-slip properties, the finish will also provide added durability to the flooring. Protecting the floor from everyday elements, including scuffs, stains and water damage, Polyx®-Oil Anti-Slip also allows the woods surface to remain breathable, reducing the chance of warping and cracking.  Made from natural ingredients, the product provides perfectly complements the natural elements of the wood, nourishing the surface, and will not crack, flake, peel or blister.

Polyx®-Oil Anti-Slip is available directly from Osmo UK and from its nationwide network of stockists. For more information, please call Osmo on 01296 481220 or visit

Strand Hotel Stockholm completes renovation and lights up as Radisson Collection

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The completed renovation marks an exciting chapter for Radisson Collection as Swedish architectural studio Wingårdhs’ design vision comes to life

The Radisson Collection Hotel, Strand Stockholm has completed its high-considered, two-year-long renovation. Marking an exciting, new chapter for one of Stockholm’s most historic buildings – Strand Stockholm’s latest incarnation blends effortless Scandinavian design with an artistic richness, befitting its storied history.

Designed by internationally acclaimed Swedish architectural studio, Wingårdhs, Strand Stockholm joins a unique portfolio of local icons and one-of-a-kinds, as part of Radisson Collection. This new premium lifestyle collection of exceptional hotels have unique locations all over the world.

Originally launched in 1912 for the Olympics, Strand Stockholm quickly established a reputation as a local hotspot beloved of the stars, such as Swedish actors Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman. A particular popular part of the hotel was the Sea Salon, today the Sea Salon Suite, which boasts remarkable views of the Royal Dramatic Theatre.

In what has been a project of ambitious vision, the hotel’s 170 guestrooms and suites, meeting spaces, lobby, restaurant and bars have all been refreshed. The result is a striking ode to effortless modern living, inviting both locals and hotel guests to enjoy atmospheric spaces that celebrate Stockholm’s vibrant social scene. The top floor Tower Suite, has access to a personal roof terrace with panoramic views of the city.

Modern and contemporary Deluxe Suite

Image caption: Deluxe suite

Wingårdhs’ careful selection of furniture from design legends Fritz Hansen, GUBI and Flos channels Scandinavian design at its most elegant – perfectly complementing the historical façade of the building.

“We believe in creating a dynamic experience by amplifying the building’s own character. We wanted the new elements to be a distinctive addition to the original appearance,” says Leila Atlassi, architect at Wingårdhs in Stockholm, explaining how “to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, the interior tonality has been set from natural materials like stone, wood, leather, metal, and concrete in their natural colors. A specific tone of grey is noticed on the walls – Strand Grey and constitutes the base in the interior concept.”

Modern, white and clean bathroom

Image caption: Light and bright modern bathroom

With an illustrious reputation as a fine dining destination, an exciting new food and bar concept has been crafted, blending local and international influences alike. The hotel’s all-day brasserie, ‘The Strand’, serves distinctly Swedish cuisine and, with stunning views of Nybrokajen Bay, is a striking space sure to enliven Blasieholmen. Meanwhile, the bar is a relaxed, stylish space, the perfect location to enjoy a refreshing cocktail or two, and a buzzing go-to for meeting friends or simply taking-in the local atmosphere.

modern and open F&B area of the hotel

Image caption: All-day brasserie, The Strand

Located in the city centre, The Strand Stockholm is an ideal base for a stay in the capital. The hotel is just a short walk from Stockholm’s Old Town, Gamla Stan, which features an eclectic mix of shopping destinations, bars and restaurants. Some of the city’s most iconic attractions, such as The Modern Museum, Nordiska Kompaniet Department Store and the ABBA museum, are all located a few minutes from the hotel. The Stockholm Arlanda Airport is a quick 20-minute ride away on the Arlanda Express Train.

Lounge by Pool - Hotel La Vida - PGA Catalunya Resort - Girona - Spain

Bryan O’Sullivan Studio unveils its latest hotel design project: LAVIDA Hotel

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The Bryan O’Sullivan Studio announces its latest hotel design project, LAVIDA Hotel in Girona, Spain, situated within the world-leading PGA Catalunya Resort

LAVIDA Hotel is an expertly designed, contemporary and convenient gateway for golf and activity enthusiasts alike. Aimed at those looking to discover the natural beauty of the local area through wide-ranging activity options, from golf, cycling and hiking to trekking, horse-riding, boat trips or exploring nearby Girona, the design Studio has created a distinctive contemporary aesthetic without compromising on a design-led space in which to relax. The result is a fresh and modern hotel that provides all the comforts needed for weekend getaways and trips for groups of friends.

Set over three floors, LAVIDA Hotel has fifty standard double rooms that can be configured as twins, each featuring sweeping golf course views from private balconies, Bella’s – a bar and restaurant area, plus a large covered outdoor terrace with swimming pool. The curved design of the building ensures that each bedroom has an uninterrupted birds-eye view over the golf course.

Working closely with Barcelona-based architects GCA, the team at Bryan O’Sullivan Studio has ensured that all the spaces provide guests with everything they need to enjoy a seamless experience. Throughout the hotel, there are nods to the local vernacular to keep a sense of place, interwoven in the contemporary design framework.

The project has been fun to deliver, and we’ve kept the outdoors experience front of mind

Room 39 - Hotel La Vida - PGA Catalunya Resort - Girona - Spain

Room 39 at Hotel La Vida – PGA Catalunya Resort – Girona – Spain

The hub of LAVIDA Hotel is the main bar and restaurant, Bella’s, which creates a laid-back atmosphere for socialising. With a pared back material palette of concrete, warm woods and bright furniture, the decoration is immediately both modern and welcoming. Bespoke laser-cut metal screens divide the main seating areas, whilst an open pizza kitchen adds to the vibrant, busy atmosphere, serving classic dishes for dinner including pizza and antipasti made with the freshest ingredients.

The focal central bar is beautifully finished with local marble and monochrome cement tiles.

“We’ve absolutely loved designing the interiors of the public spaces and guest rooms here at LAVIDA Hotel,” said Bryan O’Sullivan. “The project has been fun to deliver, and we’ve kept the outdoors experience front of mind. We hope this comes through in our designs for the visitor experience. It’s important for us at the Studio to combine our highly aesthetic approach with exceptional functionality. We believe we’ve created a hotel that will be vibrant for years to come.”

Bella´s Bar at Hotel La Vida - PGA Catalunya Resort - Girona - Spain

Bella´s Bar at Hotel La Vida – PGA Catalunya Resort – Girona – Spain

Beyond the bar is a covered outdoor lounge space, with a stylish outdoor pool and sunbathing decks, all of which overlook the golf course. Guests will find plenty of relaxed seating areas, in a bright colour palette of yellow mixed with relaxed grey, and comfortable cushions overlooking the beautiful countryside surroundings.

The bright and stylish aesthetics continue in the bedrooms, with a fresh palette of aquamarines and sea greens, inspired by the Mediterranean Sea, and bespoke hexagonal floor tiles reflecting the traditional coloured cement tiles local to the Girona region in Spain. All the bedrooms are carefully designed including details such as specially designed golf storage, making the rooms highly functional as well as stylish. The full-length glass windows echo PGA Catalunya Resort’s overall design aesthetic of connecting the interiors with exteriors and bringing guests closer to nature.

Swimming Pool at Sunset at Hotel La Vida - PGA Catalunya Resort - Girona - Spain

Swimming Pool at Sunset at Hotel La Vida – PGA Catalunya Resort – Girona – Spain

Original artwork brings the room to life with an abstract aerial view of the golf course, designed by the Bryan O’Sullivan Studio. Guests have full control of music and audio entertainment within the bedrooms via Bluetooth, adding to the personal feel.

David Plana, CEO of PGA Catalunya Resort said, “We are delighted to have worked with the Bryan O’Sullivan Studio to bring to life the concept of LAVIDA Hotel. Contemporary, stylish design is key to the Hotel. The Bryan O’Sullivan Studio has delivered smart and precisely designed rooms and interiors, which, coupled with the stunning natural surroundings and extensive activity options at PGA Catalunya Resort, provide an ideal home away from home for the adventure-hungry activity enthusiast.”

The resort, which last week announced new luxe villas is on track to becoming Catalunya’s the finest luxury offering.

Bedroom looking out over Shanghai

7 flooring trends that are leaving clear footprints in 2018

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With this month’s ‘Spotlight On’ focusing on Flooring & Carpets, Hotel Designs lays out the fabulous flooring trends the industry is witnessing in 2018 and beyond…

This month, as we focus our lens on hotel flooring, Hotel Designs is going all out to give you an accurate take on how the flooring trends are shaping up for the back end of this year. From what our editorial team can see, rules have been broken – and rightly so. Here are a few top trends to keep an eye on for the rest of the year.

1) Zig zagging all over the place

Image credit: Havwoods

The days of blending into your surroundings are long gone. As tech improves, designers becoming braver and the designs become bolder. Skandi design has, in the past, dictated crisp, clean lines and minimalist surfaces, and adding a bit of personality into these interiors can be a task. Could the answer be asymmetric, random zig zags? Some designers believe so. Havwoods’ Chevron Collection adds flair and fun back into the modern floor.

2) Going Greige with age

Last year, grey was all the rage. It was everywhere; in the walls, in the fabrics and in the flooring. Evolving drastically from the ‘grey days’, beige is creeping back in – mainly due to its versatility and practicality as a colour.

3) Layering up

Image credit: Amtico

Creating what it says to be endless possibilities in international hotel design, Amtico’s Signiture Collection of vinyl flooring products is the result of sophisticated manufacturing. This creates another dimension and can help to set your hotel apart from others competing in the same space.

4) Clashing chords

Piano by Mutina

Piano by Mutina

Clashing in the most spectacular fashion, Piano by Domus launched at Clerkenwell Design Week as a striking, colourful partially glazed porcelain tile collection available exclusively from Domus in the UK.

With the Piano collection, Mutina re-discovered the technology of double charged clay, enabling them to obtain different textural effects in a wide range of colours. The slight variation in size and specific use of glaze creates a ‘vibrating’ effect, similar to the shimmering image of reflections on the water, creating an optical illusion of a non-geometrical figure.

5) Blonde bombshell 

image credit: Elivi Skiathos

Making a room look and feel bigger without physically knocking down walls is a challenge for even the most established designers. Blonde could be the answer. Adding accents of lighter shades in the flooring will automatically lift the interior space, and modernised the hotel guestroom without taking away from the character.

6) Handscraped flooring

Wooden flooring in contemporary interiors

Steering away from gloss, the days of achieving ‘perfect’ interiors are behind us. Now, it’s all about bringing the outdoors indoors, and welcoming imperfection, to reflect the natural, authentic beauty of the wood grain, while also making the surface look worn in.

7) Go big or go home

2018 has been said to be the year of loud and in-your-face ceilings. But as the curve is predicted, the adventurous designers rebel and have this time responded with the statement being amplified from the floor, creating the same quirky result. So, if this trend is anything to go by, be bold – go big or go home.

Modern guestroom

Foster + Partners completes final element of Central Park Precinct, Sydney

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Four Points by Sheraton, a new four-star 297-key hotel that is strategically located as part of DUO Central Park, has just opened in Sydney…

Architectural Design & Engineering Firm Foster + Partners has completed final stages of work in Sydney on DUO, a multicomplex which comprises of a hotel, apartments, offices and a creche. The new property is part of a major masterplan for the city that has injected new life with an unprecedented mixture of uses. Located on Broadway, the masterplan developed for Frasers Property Australia and Sekisui House, extends the historic area of Chippendale by reinstating the original grid to re-integrate the formerly closed-off land to the north with its surroundings.

The development is permeable at ground level, encouraging people to walk through the site with its proximity to the central station. At its heart is a new urban park, a popular lunchtime spot for students of the neighbouring University of Technology, residents and locals alike. The buildings step down from high-rise blocks to the west of the site to smaller apartment buildings, negotiating the transition from Broadway to the lower-rise residential area to the south.

“The masterplan regenerates the site at the heart of Sydney through a combination of new public spaces and a balance of residential hotel and commercial property,” said Gerard Evenden, Head of Studio at Foster + Partners. “This new piece of city is anchored by the retention of a number of existing heritage red brick buildings and historic features, alongside sensitive contemporary buildings whose dimensions and materials are in keeping with the surrounding structures to visually unify old and new – as they rise, the material palette becomes more contemporary and the distinction clearer. The project reverses the dominance of vehicles to create a welcoming, pedestrian-friendly community.”

Image credit: Ethan Rohloff Photography. Image caption: Aerial photography of Central Park Duo whole
masterplan (masterplan by Foster + Partners)

DUO Central Park is a mixed-use development that forms a key part of the masterplan. An ensemble of two adjacent buildings at the intersection of Broadway and Abercrombie Street along the northern edge of the precinct, DUO features new public spaces with retail lining the ground plane. A ‘neck’ level creates a break between the podium and towers above, giving the impression that they hover above the streetscape reinforcing the sense of scale at street level along Broadway. The different uses are expressed in the massing and design of the elevations.

The overall proportions and materials have been chosen in keeping with the surrounding structures to visually unify old and the new, drawing inspiration from the early 20th century Art Deco style of the Australian Hotel building located on the north-western corner of the site.

Image credit: Tom Evangelidis

The two DUO buildings are bisected by a new pedestrian promenade lined with cafes and shops, reversing the dominance of vehicles in the area to create a welcoming, pedestrian-friendly community. The development is arranged as two separate buildings, the easternmost building comprises the 297-room Four Points by Sheraton hotel, a development that offers excellent connections and a bustling location for visitors and Sydney staycationers in this multi award-winning destination, a downtown urban village which is one of the best-connected locations in Sydney. The furnishings and fit out have been designed by interior architect Andrea D’Cruz in collaboration with Foster + Partners. Alongside it on the corner above the heritage Australian Hotel is the branded DUO Limited apartments on five floors as well as a 6,200 square metre office and a childcare facility for up to 90 children.

Spectacular unobstructed views are afforded from the DUO development reaching from the airport in the south, across verdant Western Sydney to the iconic Anzac bridge in the North. At its heart is a tranquil planted atrium, featuring full grown palm trees and vines, which acts as the residents’ lift lobby from where they can access their apartments via elevated bridge links.

Kitchen and eating area in the one bedroom apartment

Image credit: Tom Evangelidis. Image caption: Kitchen and eating area in the one bedroom apartment

Mick Caddey, Project Director – Central Park, Frasers Property Australia said: “The completion of DUO is another important step for Sydney’s Central Park. The concept of design excellence we had for DUO has now manifested itself and its physical presence is very powerful.  The beauty of its architecture is now immediately apparent and there for all to see.’’

The adjacent building is a 17-storey residential block with stunning views over Chippendale Green and the CBD. Internally, the apartments have flexible layouts that take advantage of Sydney’s wonderful climate, maximising natural light and ventilation throughout. The residents can enjoy the facilities of the DUO Club which includes a pool and state-of-the-art fitness centre, a library and entertaining spaces with kitchen and lounge as well as a large roof terrace with BBQ facilities overlooking Chippendale Green and the Brewery Yard.

Evenden added: “With the completion of DUO this multi-award winning Central Park Precinct is Sydney’s new must-visit destination. The new development is truly mixed use, its name emphasising the duality of activities within the cluster of buildings. We are delighted to have been part of this pivotal project that embraces the way Sydneysiders live their lives with sustainability and community at its heart.”

Central Park is an exemplar of a sustainable, dense masterplan in the heart of Sydney. Significant sustainability initiatives have been introduced, with several buildings reaching 5 star Green Star ratings. Central to this aspiration is the district-wide energy and water strategy which reduces plant spatial requirements. The tri-generation plant provides heating, cooling, and low-carbon electricity to the whole masterplan reducing carbon emissions by almost 200 kilotons over its lifetime while the onsite water recycling plant meets 100% of the precinct’s non-potable water demand. Green roofs throughout capture rainwater, and the massing and orientation of the buildings additionally aid their green credentials.

Main image credit: Tom Evangelidis

Scotland doubles hotel investment in 2018

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Criton’s CEO & founder comments on how hoteliers must continue this momentum in Scotland…

Real estate advisor, Savills, has announced that in the first six months of 2018, hotel investment in Scotland reached £389.67 million, doubling the total investment volumes recorded in 2017 at £195 million. It indicated that UK buyers were the biggest buying group, accounting for 41 per cent of activity, while the rest were overseas investors. This news comes after Scotland invested in better overseas links, such as Hainan Airlines running direct return flights between Edinburgh and China from June 2018.  

“It’s fantastic that Scotland’s hotel investment in the last six months has already surpassed the annual investment figures for 2017 – it shows the strength of the visitor economy in Scotland which is currently worth around £6BN of GDP to the Scottish economy, five per cent of the total,” said Julie Grieve, CEO & founder of Criton. “Investors are clearly seeing the future potential in Scotland and what it has to offer the tourism industry, as well as the wider economy – and I am particularly delighted that Edinburgh, where my own company is based, is becoming a priority for investors in the UK and across the globe.

Put simply, it is the responsibility of Scotland’s hoteliers to welcome visitors with open arms

“While hotel investment in Scotland is strong, the impact of Brexit is already being felt as it becomes harder to recruit and retain good staff. Scottish hoteliers can counter this by investing in technology, allowing them to continue to deliver with less staff and therefore grow profits. Of course, improving the guest experience will be critical, and as we move forward in the digital era, it will be the hoteliers that offer guests hospitality how and where they want it using technology that will succeed. Put simply, it is the responsibility of Scotland’s hoteliers to welcome visitors with open arms – and those that are ahead of the game will be able to capitalise on the recent investment boost.”

Designing Instagrammable: Does my art look big on this?

800 450 Hamish Kilburn

In the third instalment of Designing Instagrammable, Valé Architects explores how public art can be used as a not-so-secret weapon to create an authentic sense of place…

Pablo Picasso once said that art’s purpose is to wash daily life’s dust off our souls. If that’s true, then we owe a great debt to the many public and street artists for keeping our spirits clean and the art authentic.

Public art has been around since we were still hanging out in caves painting mammoths. When done well it can make us think, act and feel in ways we didn’t do before. Done badly and it’ll be laughed at or worse – ignored entirely.

As part of Valé’s ongoing investigation into what makes hospitality design remarkable, we’ll focus on the role of public art in putting otherwise unremarkable places on the map. We’ll also look at why this is relevant to your own business.

Art versus design

As designers we’re usually more than happy to be called artists. Yet, many artists would shudder at the idea of being called designers. So what’s the deal here?

Artists and designers both create visual compositions, but their motives are different. The artist wants to create an emotional bond with their audience, while the designer wants to motivate that audience towards taking a particular action – like buying a product.

Looking at it differently, artists are often the experimenters, while designers are the implementers whose role it is to merge creativity with wider commercial goals.

But more interesting than the definition of art is the general public’s response to it. Public art always intends to connect with a far larger audience than fine art. Historically that audience was mostly limited to locals and visitors, along with perhaps a small circle of unfortunate souls back home sitting through the holiday snaps.

But with a high-quality camera in everybody’s pocket, 2.2bn active Facebook users and more than 1 billion active Instagrammers each month, the potential audience for a public art or design piece is now limitless.

Over the past ten years, literally everybody has become a photographer, art critic and influencer all at once. They’ll share what they feel is remarkable with their tribe, regardless of whether it constitutes art or not.

Regenerating small communities

A great example of how public art and social media go hand in hand can be found in the small outback town of Coonaplyn in South Australia.

Once a bustling rural town, Coonaplyn had been down the dumps following the centralisation of its local businesses to other nearby towns. The local Coorong District Council felt something big needed to happen to put the town back on the map. It commissioned Brisbane based artist Guido Van Helten to turn five large grain silos in the centre of town into one large piece of public art.

Famous for his large-scale portraits, Van Helten created a series of murals each immortalising a particular local resident. The response from the town was overwhelmingly positive. As local business owner Debbie Thompson put it: “you can’t make people stop, but you can create a reason for them to stop”.

Coorong District Council’s bet paid off because the art led to a significant increase in the number of cars stopping on their way through town. Local officials estimated that the stopping rate went up by around 40 cars per hour, which eventually led to the opening of a new cafe and grocery store.

That may not sound like a lot, but in a town where the main street was littered with boarded up shops, every little bit counts – not to mention the less tangible social benefits such a huge shift in local civic pride.

Public art in urban spaces

It’s not just struggling small towns who benefit from a cleverly injected shot of well executed public art.

We spoke to David Don, a visual artist and the organiser of the Brisbane Street Arts Festival, who’s been at the forefront of the explosion in mural art internationally for many years. Don has produced street art for a number of projects commissioned by Brisbane City Council, as well as major property developers in the area.

Their strategy is to turn public spaces into a type of ‘experiential immersion’ for local people and visitors.

According to Don a growing number of developers now see quality street art as a must-have in both new and existing projects. “Art brings an authenticity to a location. It creates moments of surprise, narrative and activity. But equally, it has the potential to bring serious economic benefits.” he adds.

Brisbane gallerist and curator John Stafford agrees. He feels the city is an example of how local councils increasingly see public art not only as a tool for creating safer communities but also for producing a sense of reassurance that a public space and the people in it are being cared for. According to Safford and as far as the city is concerned: “This approach not only benefits local community members but has the effect to boost tourism and the city’s brand and identity as a New World City”.

Aware of how social media can make art a much more sustainable career choice, younger artists are increasingly blurring the lines between art and design.

Local Brisbane property developers like Aria have been integrating public art into their projects for a very long time. Their strategy is to turn public spaces into a type of ‘experiential immersion’ for local people and visitors.

It benefits the community, the local economy, and of course the developers themselves. After all, greater footfall and community affinity is more than likely to be reflected in higher property values.

Art and design come together

Aware of how social media can make art a much more sustainable career choice, younger artists are increasingly blurring the lines between art and design.

Take Red Hong Yi for example, internationally renowned artists famous for creating portraits using everyday materials.

Known as Red, her work is particularly interesting because it seeks a strong emotional connection, while also encouraging the viewer to take a particular course of action. She therefore effortlessly brings art and design together, with some of her art pieces lending themselves particularly well for commercial brands.

She created an art piece for the Facebook Singapore office which was made entirely out of chopsticks. Her purpose was to inject some fun and creativity into the building. “The engineers housed in the building are coding all day so it balances the right brain thinking”.

According to Red, most of the companies she works for see ‘public’ art inside their buildings as critical not only for conveying their brand, but on a more subconscious level also for encouraging their staff’s own creative process.

In the future, she sees many more artists collaborating with big brands. It’s a win-win situation for both, with artists able to support themselves better financially, while helping big brands show off in a creative way.

What does this have to do with you?

So what does all this have to do with your hospitality business? Everything.

If a town of two hundred people in the Australian outback can put itself on the map to the point that you are reading about it right now, then think of the value which a beautifully designed space or carefully curated art piece can bring to your own business.

It’s a mantra we’ve repeated many times as part of this series – remarkability is key.

Provide your guests with a sense of amazement, creativity and fun the moment they step into your space

Inside the hotel, understanding the customer and client’s needs is paramount. If travellers have made the effort to travel to a destination because of its certain vibe, then reflecting and balancing this in the interiors, and in the artwork inside the hotel, is paramount, as the creatives at British design firm Goddard Littlefair know all too well. We spoke to them to get their insight as industry leaders. “Interpreting our client’s brief correctly and effectively is paramount and we conduct in-depth research into market and lifestyle trends to pinpoint exactly what a target market demands,” said Richard McCready-Hughes, the creative director. “We also find that some of our best work is delivered when there is a clear resonance between the aspirations and wants of our client’s target customer and the design team themselves. This is something we consider very carefully when assembling project teams.

“Working on the Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square, we were briefed to focus on a traveller tribe that wanted all the reassurance of luxury service, but was also looking for as sense of authenticity, belonging and assimilation with the city they were visiting. We wanted the hotel to speak immediately to these guests and evoke the sense that they were instinctively ‘understood’ and being welcomed into the home of a much loved, slightly eccentric, family member. Carefully-selected artwork and vintage pieces provide a sense of place, familiarity and nostalgia, but the overall effect is one of warmth and modernity.”

So, get clear on what your brand stands for and who your future guests are. Then dazzle with quality design and art. Provide your guests with a sense of amazement, creativity and fun the moment they step into your space.

But whatever art or design you choose, make sure it reflects your brand, and make sure it creates the right emotional response among your future guests. Most importantly, be original. Doing an exact copy of someone else’s great design is neither creative nor fun. A poorly executed version will only be remarkable on Instagram for the wrong reasons.

Then sit back and watch your guests do your PR for you on social media. And just like Coonaplyn, maybe your business will make into one of our future articles.

Learn more about designing for niche guests in the Niche Hotel Design Guide by Valé.

Missed the last two articles on Designing Instagrammable? It’s okay, catch up on part one here and part two here.

Top 5 stories of the week: a new take on luxury, lighting up the walls and designing for niche hotel guests

800 533 Hamish Kilburn

As Hotel Designs continues to focus its attention of Hotel Concepts and Flooring, Editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn breaks down a fairly luxurious week of top stories…

The overarching theme of this week’s news has been, without any doubt, designing luxury – and how to stretch the endless possibilities of a truly luxe hotel in paradise. This week we have witnessed The EDITION brand expand its portfolio with the opening of The EDITION Bodrum. On the same theme of redefining luxe, we also peeked our head through the door of a new  hotel in Greece which is the result of a perfectly polished father-and-daughter partnership.

In addition to this, Valé Architects continued to put Designing Instagrammable into perspective. As part of a series of five articles this month, the firm’s second installment focuses on how to design a hotel for niché guests – an concept that can often seem like an impossible task.

Writing about iconic design hotels around the world is one thing, but celebrating those at the core of design decisions is an entirely different matter. That’s right, The Brit List is back! Hotel Designs has just announced its industry partner as nominations flood in and our industry in Britain gears up for another spectacular evening celebrating Britain’s best designers, hoteliers and architects.

Do you – or someone you know – deserve to be on the list? To nominate or apply for this year’s Brit List, click here

Here are the top five stories of the week:

1) Inside Elivi Skiathos, Greece’s new take on luxury design

Birds eye view of the pool

Earlier this year, we took a sneak peak into what the next luxury hotel in Greece was going to look like and how it would fit in to the laid-back luxury scene. Well, Elivi Skiathos is now open and Hotel Designs popped its head through the door to see if the design vision became a reality.

2) Could this be the most innovative wallpaper in the industry at the moment?

LED wallpaper - black and white patterns

Wallpaper specialist Meystyle is about to launch the Conductivity collection with the mission to rescue walls from the background. The company has done this by integrating bold patterns with LED lights and crystals to create deep visual experiences that totally transform walls and wallpaper into works of art.

3. The Bodrum EDITION opens to lay down a new kind of luxury on the Turkish coast

From the next chapter in the growing EDITION legacy comes Ian Schrager’s visionary concept: The Bodrum EDITION. Schrager, in partnership with Marriott International, redefines the contemporary luxury hotel experience with his expanding global influence.

4) Designing Instagrammable: Guest-driven brand stories and how to better understand the mindset of niche guests?

In the second instalment of Designing Instagrammable, Valé Architects explores the routes as to why design has to evolve to cater to the modern traveller and how to understand the mindset of niche guests…

Design – and hotel design specifically – is centred around the end user. Therefore, as designers, we should be looking for avenues to better understand the people we are designing for.

5) Hotel Designs Brit List 2018 welcomes BIID as industry partner

The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) has been named as the industry partner for this year’s Brit List.

Announced days after the news that nominations for the Brit List had opened, the event, which launched last year, acts as a platform in order to help amplify Britain’s most influential people in hotel design.