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Industry News

Preliminary work is now underway for luxury new Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa

Daniel Fountain

Nicolas James Group is pleased to announce that preliminary work is now underway on the development of its new Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa at Ocean Village.The start of the development marks a major milestone for the city, introducing Southampton’s first luxury five star standard hotel.

Enabling works and setting out are now underway, with construction due to follow in the next few months. The anticipated works program will then run for approximately 18-24 months.

Joining the Harbour Hotels portfolio, which currently features five premium hotels across the south west, the hotel will become the brand’s flagship property. Mike Warren, Managing Director of Harbour Hotels, comments:

“We are delighted that preliminary work is now underway for this exciting project. We are very confident that the hotel and its facilities will prove a fabulous addition to Southampton, boosting tourism and becoming a destination of choice for city-dwellers and visitors alike.”

A crucial boost for Southampton, the hotel will include 85 bedrooms, an indulgent Harbour Spa, with gym and swimming pool, along with the group’s award-winning Jetty restaurant concept, featuring a luxurious rooftop Champagne Bar.

Dawn Baxendale, Chief Executive of Southampton City Council, said: “It is fantastic news to hear that this exciting, luxury development is now moving forward. It will further establish Southampton’s waterfront as a magnificent destination for visitors and residents alike. The project endorses our wider City Centre Master Plan aspirations for Southampton; creating jobs, leisure opportunities and homes, while extending the range of developments already taking place across the city that will support our future economic supremacy on the south coast.”

The ground floor is set to include a large open plan lounge, restaurant and bar, which will extend out onto a terrace at the end of the existing promontory. The hotel will also feature private moorings for its seafaring guests.

Dean Smith, Operations and Marketing Director at MDL Marinas, commented: ““We are delighted that construction work has begun on what promises to be an incredible new hotel. This exciting new luxury development is the city’s first luxury five star standard hotel and will generate considerable benefits for the area upon its completion.”

“Alongside our world-class marina and the new Admiral’s Quay development, the hotel will represent another major step towards establishing Ocean Village as Southampton’s premier waterfront destination.”

A renowned London design house has been appointed to create luxury, nautical inspired interior concepts, with yacht chic décor and a coastal colour palette.

Set to be a welcome addition to the city, the hotel will have a number of flexible function rooms and will become a popular attraction during the annual Southampton Boat Show, offering additional restaurants and facilities in a waterfront setting.

Alongside the hotel, the Nicolas James Group is developing 100 luxury residential apartments for sale, with water views and exclusive use of the hotel’s Harbour Spa.

Four Points by Sheraton Las Vegas East Opens

Daniel Fountain

Located just minutes from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) and the legendary “Las Vegas Strip,” Four Points by Sheraton Las Vegas East has recently opened with stylish and comfortable design for the smart traveller. “We are delighted to introduce our fast-growing Four Points brand to the lively city of Las Vegas,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Speciality Select Brands for Starwood.

“Four Points Las Vegas East Flamingo will resonate with global travelers seeking an honest value, great rates and genuine service while staying in ‘the Entertainment Capital of the World.’”

Owned and managed by JP Sethi Enterprises, Inc., the five-story hotel offers 129 spacious guest rooms, 1,625 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting space, full-service dining, an outdoor pool and fitness centre.

Guests will enjoy all of the brand’s popular amenities including fast and free WiFi, complimentary bottled water, and a wide selection of craft and imported beer as part of the signature Best Brews™ program.

New Holiday Inn Hotel for Huatulco, Mexico

Daniel Fountain

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) recently announced the opening of the first Holiday Inn® hotel in the resort town of Huatulco, following a $6 million investment by the ownership. The 83-room new-build Holiday Inn Huatulco hotel is located near one of the most beautiful beaches in the southwestern state of Oaxaca and offers unrestricted views of the Pacific Ocean. Family-friendly amenities at the Holiday Inn Huatulco hotel include a swimming pool, a fully-equipped fitness center, Kids’ Club for children from 4 to 11 years and meeting space with capacity for 25 people. Guests can also enjoy the hotel’s lobby and pool bars as well as the Jaguar restaurant which offers various local traditional dishes including mole con pollo, Tlayudas, Camarones al Mezcal and Tamal Oaxaqueño. Kids 12 and younger eat free when ordering from the kids’ menu in the hotel restaurant and accompanied by a dining adult.

The Holiday Inn Huatulco hotel, located at Blvd. Benito Juarez 6054 Sector “A”, Santa Maria Huatulco, is owned and managed by Inmobiliaria Balroy, S.A. de C.V.

New UK Management Team oversees smooth integration of two leading brands

Daniel Fountain

Following the acquisition of Sanitec by Geberit earlier this year, an integration of the two companies Geberit and Twyford Bathrooms in the UK and Ireland is now underway, building the foundation of a new Geberit company with an unrivalled breadth and strength of offering.Combining the in-front-of-the-wall design competence in ceramics and complementary bathroom products from Twyford with the market leading behind-the-wall sanitary technology of Geberit, the integration of the two businesses will be as seamless as possible with the aim to maintain the high quality service customers have come to expect from the two brands.

As part of the merger, a newly appointed UK Management Team is now in place, under the leadership of UK Managing Director Mark Larden. Andy Lever, previously Commercial Sales Director becomes Sales Director Non Residential, while Jo Edwards has been promoted to Residential Sales Director. Russell Wright, formerly Residential and AquaClean Sales Director isnow Sales Director Retail, while Raffaela De Vittorio is now Marketing and Brands Director. Christine Chitty remains Finance and Administration Director, while former Head of Twyford UK Brent Hudson becomes Products and Technical Director.

The Geberit UK management team will oversee the integration process with the aim to form a new Geberit organisation from January 2016, with single sales, marketing and ordering processes.

Geberit – 0800 077 8365 www.geberit.co.uk

Dernier & Hamlyn’s focus on quality workmanship showcased at Berkeley Homes development

Daniel Fountain

When Berkeley Homes built Ebury Square, a luxury development in Belgravia in central London, statement, high quality lighting was essential for the reception area that would be the first impression for residents and their guests. Working to interior designer Goddard Littlefair’s brief, Dernier & Hamlyn manufactured a number of chandeliers including one featuring hundreds of handmade glass lozenges, which were individually handpinned to a circular crystal fitting and mounted onto an antique brass framework. All of the elements of this stunning chandelier were then taken to the site where it was dressed and installed by Dernier & Hamlyn’s highly skilled team. Jo Littlefair, director and co-founder of Goddard Littlefair says: “From the outset we knew we wanted lighting in Ebury Square’s main entrance that was going to be a big focal piece. So whoever we chose to manufacture it had to be as passionate as us about attention to detail and exceeding our client’s requirements.”

Dernier & Hamlyn also manufactured other bespoke light fittings including chandeliers and lanterns for various public areas of Ebury Square that showcased a multitude of the unique skills of the Dernier & Hamlyn design, manufacturing and technical teams.

Jo Littlefair continues: “Dernier & Hamlyn worked hard to design and produce perfect lighting solutions to meet both our aesthetic and technical needs. We and our clients are delighted with the end result and I have the utmost respect for what the company does and for the way they worked with us. From helping us to source what was needed to fulfil what we had presented as CGI design proposals through to the high quality manufacture and very accommodating installation team, we were very impressed and will continue to use them for many other prestigious client projects.”

For more information, please visit www.dernier-hamlyn.com

Marriott Hotels Celebrates Newest Hotel Opening in Georgetown, Guyana

Daniel Fountain

Marriott Hotels, the flagship brand of Marriott International, Inc., celebrates the grand opening of Guyana Marriott Hotel Georgetown, the first Marriott International property for the country. Surrounded by the high-tech features and iconic glamour of the all-new Marriott Hotel, the 500 VIP guests, enjoyed the live music of the National Steel Orchestra, sipped on the Guyana Marriott Signature cocktail and dined from a specially curated menu by our executive chef of international and local Guyanese delights.The night of celebration offered the perfect opportunity to showcase the iconic brand’s belief that travel should be brilliant to attract the next generation of travellers. In attendance was the President of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Donald Ramotar along with Guyanese celebrities, local influencers and Marriott executives.

Guyana Marriott Ribbon Cutting Ceremony April 16th “This is a very exciting time for Marriott across Latin America – we plan to reach 150 hotels open and under development in the Caribbean and Latin America by end of 2017 and are thrilled to now be expanding into Guyana with our new partners,” said Rahul Vir, Area Vice President of South America at Marriott International. “With this project, not only are we bringing more hotel rooms to the Guyanese market, but also elevating the standards of hospitality in Georgetown which is experiencing a large growth in tourism.”

“We are confident that this beautiful hotel will be highly successful and open doors of opportunity for the local Guyanese workforce,” said Roberto Grisi, General Manager at the Guyana Marriott Hotel Georgetown. This hotel has over 200 wonderful Guyanese associates who have been through over 300 hours of Marriott’s world-class training to prepare them to receive our valued guests with open arms.”

TECHNOLOGY
The Guyana Marriott Hotel Georgetown débuts technology throughout the property starting with offering the fastest wireless internet available on the market making easier for travellers to stay connected through email, social media and video streaming. Recognizing that guests are dependent on their mobile devices, the hotel will offer the company’s innovative mobile check-in service for a seamless arrival process for guests. The property will also feature Red Coat Direct, a first-of-its-kind app that lets meeting planners input and adjust meeting requests with a swipe of a screen. Business travellers will appreciate the state-of-the-art fitness centre, complimentary for hotel guests only. Built for the athletic guest in mind, the fitness facility features the latest equipment and tech for cardio, strength and core training.

St. Regis Hotels & Resorts Unveils Highly Anticipated Flagship in Istanbul, Turkey

Daniel Fountain

St. Regis Hotels & Resorts is delighted to debut the highly anticipated St. Regis Istanbul. Owned by Nisantasi Konaklama ve Otel Hizmetleri A.S. (Demsa Group), The St. Regis Istanbul marks the debut of the luxury brand in Turkey. Nestled in the sophisticated Nişantaşı neighbourhood, The St. Regis Istanbul is surrounded by chic designer boutiques and boutique art galleries. The residential hotel sits atop Maçka Park and boasts breath-taking, floor-to-ceiling views of the Bosphorus from each of the 118 guestrooms and suites. Designed by Turkish architect Emre Arolat, The St. Regis Istanbul is a modern interpretation of Istanbul’s glamorous Art Deco era with a variety of contemporary art installations.

Wolfgang Puck’s Iconic Spago Restaurant
The St. Regis Istanbul is home to the first international outpost of Wolfgang Puck’s iconic Spago restaurant, which stars as the hotel’s signature culinary experience. Located on the hotel’s rooftop, the restaurant offers contemporary design and stunning views of the vibrant city. Poised to be the best address for celebrity spotting in Istanbul, the Spago lounge offers a seductive atmosphere above the busy streets of Istanbul all year round.

Exquisite Culinary Experiences
While the St. Regis Brasserie offers street-side action: an indoor show kitchen and bustling outdoor terrace, reminiscent of a Parisian café, the Petit “O” Bar follows the St. Regis tradition of creating a signature Bloody Mary cocktail with a local twist. Guests can enjoy the Misty Mary cocktail amidst the “Bosphorus Breeze” mural by Bedri Baykam, the Turkish artist commissioned to create a whimsical mural as the focal point for the bar. The mural is symbolic of the brand’s evolution: a modern iteration of the iconic King Cole Mural at The St. Regis New York, commissioned by St. Regis founder John Jacob Astor IV.

Impeccable Design
St. Regis’ commitment to art and design is brought to life at The St. Regis Istanbul, which showcases works by both internationally-acclaimed and emerging Turkish artists as part of the Demsa Collection of Art. This is complemented by custom pieces created for the hotel, including the spectacular Lasvit chandelier, which takes centre stage in the lobby.

The St. Regis Istanbul features an exquisitely designed Bentley Suite, second in the world only to the Bentley Suite at the brand’s flagship hotel in New York. Providing guests with the luxury, craftsmanship and style associated with both renowned international brands, the suite draws inspiration from the Bentley Continental GT model and features hand-crafted finishes and one-of-a-kind furnishings throughout.

Iridium Spa & Beyond Expectation Events
Born from the DNA of the timeless sophistication of the St. Regis brand, Iridium Spa offers a transformative spa journey that bestows the rarest luxury of all: time. With seven treatment rooms and two hammams, the spa offers bespoke treatments tailored to guests’ needs in an idyllic setting. The spa also features an indoor pool and fitness centre with the latest Technogym equipment designed by Antonio Citterio.

The St. Regis Istanbul is the perfect venue for special occasions, including exquisite weddings and intimate business gatherings. The hotel has seven meeting rooms, including the prestigious Astor Ballroom, setting an incomparable stage for a truly unforgettable event.

Suiran: first Luxury Collection Hotel in Japan

Daniel Fountain

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has announced the opening of Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto. Located in the Arashiyama district in the western part of Kyoto, Suiran is situated on the riverside with sweeping views of the Arashiyama hills, a National Historic Site, and Place of Scenic Beauty, which is home to the famed Bamboo Grove. The residential hotel occupies part of the grounds of Tenryuji Temple, a World Heritage site that formerly housed “Rantei,” a well-known traditional Japanese ryokan from the 1960s long used by the Japanese government to entertain honourable guests.

Suiran features 39 luxuriously-appointed guestrooms, inspired by traditional ryokan-style accommodations, ranging from 500 to 1,000 square feet. Each room is designed to feature traditional motifs and culturally significant hues, while offering unparalleled natural vistas each season: from the dramatic cherry blossoms in Spring and the lush verdure in Summer, to Autumn’s bright tapestry of leaves and silvery blankets of snow in Winter.

Suiran also offers two private treatment rooms equipped with a Japanese-style open-air bath as well as the option for in-room treatments. Guests can enjoy traditional Japanese-style treatments, including SEIRAN, a body massage with tea seed oil, scrub with green tea and facial treatment with jade stones and collagen mask.

Exquisite Culinary Experiences
Suiran has preserved elements of its esteemed past, including two original structures, “Enmei-kaku,” which was built in 1899, and “Hasshoken,” constructed in 1910, which have undergone extensive restoration and now house the hotel’s restaurant, Kyo Suiran, and café, Saryo Hassui. Kyo Suiran offers a traditional yet modern dining experience where guests can enjoy locally inspired flavours in an authentic atmosphere. With its exposed straw-thatched roof, pillars and moon-shaped windows, Saryo Hasui serves exquisite meals centred around Japanese green tea.

Suiran is owned by Mori Trust Co., Ltd., Suiran.

Mandalay Bay Convention Center (Las Vegas) Expansion on Schedule to Open Phase 1 in August

Daniel Fountain

Group business is booming and so is construction on the Mandalay Bay Convention Center expansion, adding 350,000 square feet of exhibit space, more carpeted ballroom space and 900 underground parking spaces for a total of more than 2 million square feet. The foundation has been laid and the underground garage, construction footings and columns all have been completed.The $66 million project is on schedule to welcome its first attendees in August, with the anticipated completion of the entire expansion and renovation in January 2016.

Construction began in October 2014 and since then 88,000 cubic yards of dirt have been excavated, 29,115 cubic yards of concrete poured and 200 construction jobs created. Forming the framework of the expansion’s Phase I is 335 tons of joists, 650 tons of trusses, 1,600 tons of structural steel and 548 tons of decking.

With the Mandalay Bay Convention Center expansion, Mandalay Bay can accommodate growing tradeshows as well as attract new shows with over 900,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space. The added carpeted space will allow for more corporate groups and associations. The project represents the continued commitment Mandalay Bay is making to the meetings and convention industry and to Las Vegas, the No. 1 trade show destination.

“With business volume increasing, this change provides us with more flexibility to host a wider variety of groups,” said Stephanie Glanzer, vice president of Sales for Mandalay Bay. “Whether hosting a small corporate group, mid-size association or large tradeshow, each group will have their own dedicated area within our convention center along with a dedicated team to assist in every detail.”

Hilton Worldwide to Welcome Guests at the Home of Lancashire County Cricket Club

Daniel Fountain

Hilton Worldwide is preparing to bring its Hilton Garden Inn brand to one of the UK’s top sporting venues, under a franchise agreement with Lancashire County Cricket Club (LCCC). Construction of Hilton Garden Inn Emirates Old Trafford is expected to begin later this year, before the hotel welcomes its first guests in early 2017. Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president, development, Europe & Africa, Hilton Worldwide, said, “Our presence at top UK sporting venues is growing, and Hilton Garden Inn Emirates Old Trafford will be another impressive addition to our portfolio, joining Hilton Wembley, Hilton at St George’s Park, DoubleTree by Hilton Milton Keynes, and Hilton at the Ageas Bowl, which is due to open this year. The hotel will play an important role in enhancing the growing mixed-use offer at Emirates Old Trafford, which has established itself as a thriving business and leisure hub.”

Chairman of Lancashire County Cricket Club, Michael Cairns OBE, said: “We are delighted to be working with Hilton Worldwide in this franchise agreement. The Old Trafford Lodge is now 16 years old and has been a great asset to Lancashire County Cricket Club. However, due to the growth in our conference and events business at Emirates Old Trafford the time has now come to capitalise on the value and suitability of our location and to construct a high quality branded 150-room hotel which will complement our stunning venue. This is another example of a global, world class brand partnering with Lancashire County Cricket Club following our naming rights agreement with Emirates – and we look forward to a hugely successful future together.”

Emirates Old Trafford has been home to Lancashire County Cricket Club for more than 150 years and has played host to a wide range of international sporting, business and entertainment events. Once construction is complete, the hotel will offer 150 guest rooms, spread over five floors, and 24 hour fitness centre.

Adrian Kurre, global head, Hilton Garden Inn, said, “Hilton Garden Inn is now present in more than 600 locations globally, and we are looking forward to bringing our upscale yet affordable brand to Emirates Old Trafford. The surrounding area benefits from robust demand for quality hotel accommodation, and Hilton Garden Inn Emirates Old Trafford will offer a new standard for guests visiting the LCCC and its many nearby attractions.”

Each Hilton Garden Inn offers guests complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, a 24 hour business centre, and a range of dining options. Hilton Garden Inn Emirates Old Trafford will include a restaurant, bar and The Pavilion Pantry® which will serve snacks throughout the day.

A Gallery of Glamour in the Glens; Muckrach Country House Hotel, Grantown on Spey

Daniel Fountain

On a cold and fresh day in February with several inches of snow on the ground GALLERY DIRECT delivered 12 rooms of furniture and mirrors to the completely refurbished boutique MUCKRACH COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL in the Scottish Highlands just north of Aviemore. The Victorian shooting lodge has been lovingly restored to its former glory, where contemporary meets Victoriana. Boutique luxury has been brought to the Cairngorm National Park. Muckrach Country House Hotel opens its doors to the public in May 2015. Since January 2014 the historic shooting lodge has been totally refurbished from the bare bones of a soulless granite building into an opulent and lively hotel with a warm Highland welcome with quirky twists to the glamorous luxury and the latest technology. Everyone will become part of the clan!

Frank Hudson SPIRE collection and the spectacular MAINE WING bed with bespoke VERMONT in the sumptuous suites.

Muckrach Country House Hotel is an 11 bedroom Victorian Shooting Lodge set in 10 acres, surrounded by pastureland and a Scottish castle. Once part of the Seafield estate, the lodge was a vibrant hub for shooting and skiing parties of the 1900’s. Locals talk affectionately about Muckrach in its heyday, their sadness during its demise, and their excitement about its detailed restoration.

Frank Hudson MAINE WING bed with VERMONT and MANHATTAN with VALOIS feature mirror creating a stir.

Phil and Ed Cowap, the new owners, said “We are investing in the Highlands because we recognize the quality of the visitor offering in the Cairngorm National Park and we wish to enhance visitor experience by adding a luxury hotel to this area.”

“It has been an absolute pleasure working with Keith from Gallery Direct. His attention to detail and vast knowledge of the industry has been invaluable in the refurbishment process. Keith has helped us to create stunning and fabulous bedroom sets which create an immediate impression of luxury and charm. ”

Frank Hudson ALEXANDRIA creates a more feminine look for one suite and COLLECTION D’ ARTICLES for the Laird of the manor.

Every room is different and guarantees the guest a WOW factor and the warmest of hospitality at its best. This could be a hotel that you never want to leave.

Click here to contact Gallery Direct: http://www.gallerydirect.co.uk

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts Adds New Jewel to Turkish Crown

Daniel Fountain

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts , will welcome its second JW Marriott Hotel in Turkey on 15 May 2015. The 107-room property is located in the picturesque Yalikavak town on the Bodrum Peninsula with panoramic views of the Aegean Sea, combining the alluring charm of the Turkish coast with JW Marriott’s contemporary design and intuitive service.With a sleek design that is simple yet considered, the hotel will offer visitors 107 tranquil and spacious guest rooms to choose from – including luxury suites and seven villas – overlooking the teal blue waters of the Aegean Sea. Family suites and two bedroom suites are ideal for groups or those travelling with children, whilst many of the villas offer a private pool for the ultimate retreat. The hotel sits on its own private beach and boasts a dock for guests arriving by boat or taking a day trip sailing.

JW Marriott Bodrum will offer exceptional dining experiences in an array of restaurants and bars, including: the Pool Grill, which offers all day dining but is ideal for breakfast as the gentle waves of the bay and slight breeze serve as nature’s best wake-up call; an a la carte restaurant which will serve signature dishes with an artistic flair as the sun sets, and a coffee lounge perfect for a decadent pastry or traditional Turkish coffee. Additionally, the hotel will present a vibrant beach bar serving indulgent cocktails, plus a lobby bar and chill-out bar.

In keeping with JW Marriott’s refined but informal ethos and personal service, JW Marriott Bodrum will offer guests the highest levels of relaxation and indulgence with a 2,000 square metre spa. Working with world renowned spa brands June Jacobs and Thalion, JW Marriott Bodrum’s spa will offer an extensive selection of 24 treatment rooms, a salt room and traditional Turkish baths. June Jacobs marries cutting-edge science with natural products for an efficacious and relaxing result and Thalion are marine cosmetics experts specialising in thalassotherapy. Together the brands will offer a spa experience that JW Marriott Bodrum guests are sure to adore.

Additional hotel facilities will include a kid’s club, two outdoor pools, one which is an infinity pool with views over the bay, and one indoor pool, a 420 square metre ballroom and five meeting rooms. JW Marriott Bodrum will also offer a unique space for al fresco events and weddings overlooking one of the peninsula’s most beautiful bays.

Just as the hotel provides a blend of traditional and contemporary Turkey, the location offers guests proximity to a number of cultural sights and adventure activities including the world-famous Yalikavak Marina, sailing across the Mediterranean, diving sites to explore fantastic reefs and the majestic Bodrum castle, once home to Herodotus, the Greek Historian. Furthermore, the hotel is conveniently located to the Bodrum Amphitheatre, an incredible structure accredited to the reign of King Mausolus, which offers a postcard-perfect view of Bodrum castle and the harbour.

JW Marriott Ankara was the brand’s first hotel in Turkey. JW Marriott Bodrum is the brand’s seventh property in Europe. Global openings planned include JW Marriott Cabo San Lucas Resort, Mexico (2015) and JW Marriott Vancouver Place Stadium, British Columbia, Canada (2016).

Kobe UK introduces Essente stand

Daniel Fountain

Specialist fabric manufacturer, Kobe UK, has introduced the stylish Essente floorstand to display its extensive collection of fabrics.The stands, which are made of a high quality, durable material, are beautifully embossed with the Essente brand, giving soft furnishing and retail customers a distinctive and freestanding brown and cream showcase for their fabrics. The stand has the capacity to hold between 50 – 55 hangers and is delivered fully assembled, direct to the stockist.

Essente offers a wide selection of chic, commercial and easy-care interior fabrics, reaching a broader clientele who enjoy the signature Kobe style – but at affordable prices (no more than £25 per metre at retail), giving value for money.

Said David Harris, md of Kobe UK: “The Essente collection benefits from Kobe quality and expertise while giving access to a wider customer base through its realistic price points. The new stand is the ideal platform on which customers can display their full range of Essente fabrics.”

Within Kobe’s sophisticated new automated warehouse and ERP system, the Essente collection – and its customers – benefit from the logistical excellence of Kobe.

Based in Crowthorne, Berkshire, Kobe UK is a specialist in luxury fabrics and has been supplying UK interior design and soft furnishing customers for 20 years, Kobe has a first class reputation for outstanding quality, innovative design and excellent customer service,

Kobe’s extensive collections create interiors that reflect the very latest trends for today, with a passion for fabrics and wall coverings Kobe considers the innovation and development of high-quality products of paramount importance.

Kobe’s contract sales hold a gold membership with Trevira CS and has a wide range of 100% Trevira CS fabrics – which are Oekoteks 100 certified and are regarded as the highest quality in FR inherent fabrics. Kobe’s vinyl wall coverings are also FR inherent, durable and demand minimal maintenance. They contain recycled materials and are printed using water based inks making them environmentally sound. Kobe wallcoverings can also contribute to a building achieving LEED credits.

Kobe will be showcasing Essente at The May Design Series, London ExCel 17-19 May 2015

Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center, Virginia, officially opens

Daniel Fountain

Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Macerich have recently announced the opening of Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center, the first new-build, full-service hotel in Tysons Corner to open in more than 20 years. The 18-story, 300-room Hyatt Regency hotel is designed to offer business and leisure travelers an upscale hotel experience, featuring rich design, modern guestrooms and state-of-the-art meeting space – all in the heart of the trendy downtown Tysons Corner.Situated in one of the most dynamic and visited communities is the metro area, Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center is part of Macerich’s breakthrough Tysons Corner Center mixed-use expansion, which includes the award-winning Tysons Tower trophy office building, VITA luxury apartments (expected to open later this year) and new restaurants, all built around The Plaza, an elevated, 1.5 acre public space with its own stop on the Washington Metro Silver Line. The center of this new vertical urban hub is the 2 million-square-foot Tysons Corner Center mall, drawing millions of visitors each year. The expanded Tysons Corner Center is quickly becoming a new downtown hub of Greater Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia.

Guestrooms
The vibrant and upbeat energy of Tysons Corner is captured in the style of the hotel’s upscale, urban accommodations. The hotel features 300 modern guestrooms, including 17 stylishly appointed suites and one Presidential Suite. Panoramic views from the guestrooms include sweeping views of downtown Tysons Corner and the bustling Plaza at Tysons Corner Center. The contemporary guestroom design evokes the atmosphere of a private apartment with 9-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and a separate seating area. Guestrooms are designed with a neutral color palette, set against warm wood tones and adorned with a collection of minimalistic and conceptual artwork. Distinct room features include marble bathrooms with rain shower heads, night-light foot sensors, 48-inch flat panel televisions with remote control, and the luxurious Hyatt Grand Bed®.

Social Spaces and Amenities
Social spaces take on a new meaning at Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center. The smartly configured lobby, complimentary Wi-Fi throughout guestrooms and public spaces, and convenient access to power outlets, meals and snacks are all designed to keep guests in sync with people and information.

Guests wishing to upgrade to the exclusive Regency Club® lounge will enjoy continental breakfast, midday snacks, and hors d’oeuvres and desserts in the evening. The hotel’s 24-hour StayFit® fitness center features state-of-the-art strength training machines and cardiovascular equipment, along with an indoor swimming pool. The hotel also provides guests with the convenience of an open workspace with computer stations and printing services, babysitting, currency exchange, and self-park or valet parking options.

Dining
Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center is home to Barrel & Bushel, a contemporary American-style restaurant and bar located on the Plaza level. The barrel-forward restaurant offers guests regionally-inspired food, the best local and craft beers available with 22 beer taps, more than 30 handpicked bourbons, and handcrafted cocktails. Barrel & Bushel’s menu will boasts fresh, handcrafted delicacies including house-made sausages, artisan desserts and handmade fudge. Private dining at Barrel & Bushel is also available for small parties.

The restaurant also offers Barrel & Bushel Express, a delivery service for guests who wish to eat-in. In addition to Barrel & Bushel, Tysons Corner Center offers a variety of dining options within a short walk from the hotel. Nearby restaurants include the upscale The Capital Grille, as well as more than 50 dining selections, from fast casual to food court options, located at Tysons Corner Center.

Special Events and Meetings Space
Located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s Tysons Corner business district, the hotel is close to the area’s technology and corporate centers, which are home to more than 400 leading companies and near the Pentagon and Defense community. Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center has more than 15,000 square feet of meeting space to accommodate a variety of groups or occasions. The beautiful 7,000-square-foot Regency Ballroom is able to host more than 600 guests with its modern 21-foot-high ceilings and elegant lighting for all occasions, and it can be separated into three small rooms if desired. In addition to the sophisticated ballroom, the hotel has 14 breakout rooms located on the second and fourth floors; the majority offer private terraces with natural light and city views.

Kempinski Al Othman Hotel – Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia to open Q4 2015

Daniel Fountain

Kempinski Al Othman Hotel in Al Khobar will have 218 rooms and suites. Guests will be able to choose from 141 rooms, 57 suites including two Presidential Suites and one Royal Suite spread over 250 square metres as well as 20 apartments with hotel service. Nine restaurants, cafés and bistros will serve culinary delights. The hotel will also have a fully-equipped fitness studio, a swimming pool and a luxurious Resense Spa. Located in the business centre of the city, just 20 minutes by car from Bahrain and 45 minutes from King Fahd International Airport, the hotel is the ideal location for business travellers.

The five-star hotel provides a variety of conference rooms for business meetings and event facilities, including two banquet halls each of 1,080 square metres and a well-equipped, state-of-the-art business centre that will satisfy the most demanding requirements.

Altfield Luxe; a couture range of wallcoverings and fabrics

Daniel Fountain

This year Altfield are proud to introduce Altfield Luxe, our new couture range of wallcoverings and fabrics. These items are made by hand in collaboration with some of the most unique and artisan design houses from around the world. Each piece meticulously crafted utilizing traditional methods but made for the contemporary market. The goal…. to provide a home for these exclusive boutique collections and keep these beautiful techniques alive.

Assemblage for Altfield Luxe is Assemblage’s first standardized collection of wallcoverings. Their collection of wallcoverings are a base of hand laid plaster applied with pigment, mica, metal leafing or carving, creating distinctive organic designs. The beauty of this range is the depth of colour and true flexibility in production.

Assemblage was founded by husband and wife team Christian and Heidi Batteau with the intention of crafting the most exquisite handmade wallpaper available. Heidi and Christian have combined their years of sourcing the finest materials and refining their application to produce what has been called “fine art applied directly to the wall”.

To view this exclusive range visit Altfield’s website or pop into their newly refurbished showroom.

Lighting up Las Vegas- Chelsom to exhibit at HD Expo 2015

Daniel Fountain

Chelsom are delighted to once again be exhibiting at HD Expo 2015 which takes place at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas on 13th-15th May. HD Expo is the USA’s premier trade show and conference for the international hospitality industry, remaining at the forefront by offering the newest and most innovative products and services, providing inspiration and connecting hospitality professionals from all facets of the business. This will be Chelsom’s 4th consecutive year exhibiting at the event and this year they will be showcasing a number of their brand new designs from the latest collection, Edition 24, with a large number of products on display being finished in the industrially inspired English Brass and Black Bronze combination which is a striking new addition to Chelsom’s range of finishes. Designed in-house by Robert and Will Chelsom, the collection has been created with the international hospitality marketplace at the core and is the company’s most distinctive to date both in terms of design and technology with nearly all pieces available with an LED option.

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

Chelsom has become one of the leading designers, manufacturers and suppliers of decorative contract lighting to the international hospitality sector working on a number of significant projects in 2014 including a trio of central London Morgans Hotel Group projects including Mondrian at Sea Containers, The Sanderson and St. Martin’s Lane, Sheraton Dubai Creek, New York Hilton Midtown, The Beaumont London and Four Seasons Bahrain. Supplying both standard and custom designed lighting products, Chelsom has the expertise to enhance any hotel interior, whether 2-star or 6-star, from cutting edge contemporary to period buildings, guestroom to corridor to public spaces.

Chelsom will be on Stand 1521. For more information on HD Expo and to register to attend please go to: http://registration.experientevent.com/showhde151/default.aspx?flowcode=attendee

Click here to visit Chelsom’s website: www.chelsom.co.uk

Protea Hotels Grows Its Spread in Mpumalanga

Daniel Fountain

Protea Hotels welcomes into its stable Malaga Hotel in Mpumalanga.

Protea Hotel Malaga recently underwent a refurbished which resulted in the hotel receiving an updated look inside and out. The classic Spanish design is complemented by the lush tropical gardens in which the hotel resides, a perfect backdrop for massages under the trees, offered by the hotel’s spa staff.
Mark Satterfield, Marriott International Business Leader in South Africa, said Protea Hotels was delighted to have a hotel with so much history join the group. Although the hotel was originally built as a stopover, it is, in fact, situated directly within a very famous tourism area and is the perfect stopover for travellers on their way to the Kruger National Park and Mozambique. Landmarks like the Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window and the Three Rondavels mountain range all within easy drives of the hotel.

The conference facilities, which can accommodate groups as small as ten and as large as 200, are popular particularly because of their proximity to popular tourist attractions in the area.

Satterfield said: “Protea Hotels is lucky to have such a wide range of hotels in its stable, from the hyper-modern urban Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! properties, to iconic hotels like Malaga. And what they all have in common is a warm and receptive STAFF and excellent service. That is why GUESTS return to hotels like Malaga year after year.”

Protea Hotel Malaga is an excellent destination not only for sightseers to this beautiful part of the country, but also for keen outdoorsy types. The area offers a wide range of adventure sports, from rock climbing and abseiling, to mountain biking and trail running. For those with a more pastoral bent, birding and fishing are popular activities in the area.

Mumbai Welcomes Its Second JW Marriott Property

Daniel Fountain

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts continues to grow its India presence with the opening of its second hotel in Mumbai– JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar. The brand new property promises a sophisticated retreat within the energetic city of Mumbai. Ideally located just one kilometre from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Mumbai, the hotel is an ideal destination for business and leisure travellers alike. Spanning more than 15 acres, the JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar is set to deliver an unparalleled experience, from its stunning design and signature service to a compelling restaurant scene celebrating local Indian cuisine. The hotel’s stylish lobby features open spaces and natural light anchored by a striking crystal chandelier descending down into an oversized marble bowl.

The luxury five-star property features 585 intimate rooms, which include 163 deluxe pool view rooms, 23 deluxe suites, 23 executive balcony rooms and one presidential suite. The property also boasts some of the most spacious guest rooms in its immediate vicinity.

Guests are invited to explore distinct dining options on property. The chic and contemporary JW Café isan all-day dining multi-cuisine restaurant with an alfresco seating area while Romano’s offers authentic, home-style Italian fare. The Romano’s bar also offers decadent cocktails and mocktails as well as a premier selection of revered Italian wines. Located at the heart of the property is the JW Lounge, which serves as a cafe by day and a stylish lounge by night. The JW Baking Company offers indulgent pastries, coffee and deli favourites.

To accommodate large-format events and social gatherings, the JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar boasts a pillar-less 10,000 square foot Grand Ballroom, indoor and outdoor convention spaces, and 11 well-appointed meeting rooms with state-of-the-art conferencing and business facilities. The property’s spacious JW Lawns and Dining Theatre are ideal venues to accommodate picturesque weddings and social gatherings.

The hotel houses JW Marriott’s new branded spa concept Spa by JW. The Mumbai Sahar location is the first Spa by JW in Asia Pacific and the second worldwide. The spa promises to impart an environment of harmony and wellness, offering bespoke treatments and a range of classic spa rituals. All treatments are tailor-made to guests’ exact needs and are focused on four distinct benefit states – Calm, Indulge, Invigorate and Renew.

Spa by JW features seven treatment rooms including one couples treatment room and one ayurvedic treatment room that offers ancient beauty rituals using fresh and natural ingredients. Other facilities include a private couples jacuzzi, a dressing and make-up room, two steam and sauna rooms and two separate jacuzzi for men and women. Spa by JW hopes to be a one-stop shop for ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation, whether travellers are on a tight schedule or have time to spare.

Additional facilities include, The JW Fitness Centre open 24-hours a day with the state-of-the-art equipment, catering to the needs of the fitness conscious. Poolside cabanas also make a perfect place to unwind and soak up the sun.

Hilton Hotels & Resorts Makes Rio Debut with Opening of Hilton Barra Hotel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Daniel Fountain

Hilton Worldwide has recently announced the opening of the new 298-room Hilton Barra hotel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With a privileged location on Avenida Abelardo Bueno in the heart of the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood, this newest hotel in Rio de Janeiro is set to be the first choice of fans visiting the city for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.Developed by Carvalho Hosken S/A, the nine-story Hilton Barra Rio de Janeiro displays a unique visual identity that blends a contemporary architecture and design, with the style and feel of the local Brazilian culture, all while contributing to the reduction of energy and water consumption. Top architects, interior designers and landscape artists played a pivotal role in creating a space where guests are embraced by their surroundings, including their entrance to a lobby of monumental scale with 37 meter height that when illuminated in the evening, acts as a gigantic glass box shining light throughout the property. Local artists contributed with exquisite works, and a key design element present throughout the property – a hollow form – creates a balance between light and the separation of space that allows a consistent flow through all ambiances. An outdoor garden rich in colours and textures completes the exclusive design.

Stay:
Ideal for both business and leisure travellers, the upscale Hilton Barra Rio de Janeiro features 298 guest rooms, including executive floor rooms and suites all outfitted with comfortable and luxurious bedding, smart LED TVs, radio clock with Bluetooth technology, wireless Internet access, Nespresso coffee makers with complimentary capsules and amenities found in no other hotel in the area. Rooms are also equipped with sensors providing an automated system that combines guest comfort with energy efficiency. Guests staying in an executive room or suite enjoy the added benefit of the hotel’s executive floor service and executive lounge, offering light snacks and beverages with spectacular views of the Barra lagoons. Hilton Barra Rio de Janeiro is the only hotel in Barra de Tijuca that offers this exclusive space and service.

A great base for events and business travellers, the Hilton hotel in Rio de Janeiro provides approximately 14,000 square feet of flexible meeting space including 10 meeting rooms and two ballrooms, with total capacity for up to 950 guests. All rooms feature modern audiovisual equipment, soundproof walls, wireless Internet access and all the amenities and services needed for productive and stress-free event planning, including access to Meetings Simplified – a bundled events program for smaller meetings. The space is completed by a business centre with cutting edge work spaces and seamlessly integrated technology for maximum efficiency.

Hilton Barra Rio de Janeiro offers a memorable dining experience with a signature restaurant for 140 guests, where the interior connects with the outdoor environment. A breakfast, lunch and dinner menu features culinary specialities and regional fare. The hotel’s rooftop is home to a charming Champagne House, welcoming guests to indulge in poolside beverages in an inviting ambiance. An outdoor rooftop swimming pool and fitness centre with cardio and strength training equipment complete the facilities.

Hypnos helps families sleep comfortably by donating 32 beds to Ronald McDonald House Oxford

Daniel Fountain

Award winning bed manufacturer Hypnos has donated beds for all 18 rooms at Ronald McDonald House Oxford – the free ‘home away from home’ accommodation for families who have children being treated at John Radcliffe Hospital.Hypnos’ exclusive full service project management solution enabled a smooth transition from old to new, removing and disposing of the old beds and replacing with brand new Hypnos models. This was achieved within a four hour time frame, in order to cause as little disruption to families staying there as possible.

Last year 635 families stayed free of charge and for as long as they needed to at the House, which is located on the top floor of the children’s hospital. A ‘home away from home’ is provided for families, with communal kitchens, lounges and playrooms, as well as 18 en-suite bedrooms which Hypnos has provided 32 new beds for to help them get a good night’s sleep. Many of these beds have specialist hidden pull out beds, increasing occupancy.

Chris Ward, marketing director at Hypnos comments: “The House obviously plays a major role in supporting families who have children staying in the hospital and we’re delighted to donate our specialist beds engineered for the hospitality market to provide maximum comfort, hygiene, safety and durability while at the same time helping guests sleep comfortably.

“A good night’s rest is important at all times, especially in periods of our lives where we may experience stress and upset. This makes it more important than ever for the rooms in Ronald McDonald House Oxford to be kitted out with comfy beds, making sure those that stay there don’t have to worry about sleeping comfortably.

“As people are constantly staying in the House, it was vital that the old beds were removed and replaced as quickly as possible, keeping disruption to a minimum. The beds also meet contract standards, making them fire retardant and durable.”

Michelle Francis, house manager at Ronald McDonald House Oxford comments: “We are very grateful to Hypnos for kindly donating such high-quality beds for our families. Sleeping as well as possible helps the families cope better as their children are being treated.”

Ronald McDonald House Oxford is run by Ronald McDonald House Charities – the independent charity that provides free accommodation in or near hospital grounds across the UK. It has operated in the UK since 1989.

For more information about Hypnos, or to view the full product range, please visit our website or call +44 (0) 1159 732180.

Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City Accra

Daniel Fountain

With this five-star hotel, offering more than 269 rooms and suites, Kempinski brings a hitherto unknown standard of luxury to Accra. Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City Accra is the luxury hotel group’s first hotel in Ghana and is scheduled to open in Q2 2015.Ideally located in the city centre, the new Kempinski hotel not only offers the most spacious rooms in Accra, but also two restaurants, a lobby with an open-air lounge, a cocktail bar and a pool lounge. 1,700 square metres of conference facilities, including the city’s largest ballroom, is available for conferences, meetings and other events. The hotel complex also includes boutiques spread over 7,000 square metres.

The hotel will also provide extensive spa and fitness facilities. The 3,000 square metre Resense Spa will be the largest and most luxurious spa in West Africa. Ten treatment rooms, relaxation areas, a hammam and a yoga studio will delight the hearts of guests in search of relaxation.

Hamilton’s MDV Roadshow Lights up the Emerald Isle

Daniel Fountain

Hamilton Litestat’s Mobile Demonstration Vehicle (MDV) is touring Ireland for the first time until the 24 April 2015. It started at Kellihers Electrical in Waterford and the MDV’s route will take in:

20th April 14:00 – 17:00 FLAHERTY MARKETS – Castlebar
21st April 14:00 – 17:00 CLIFFORD ELECTRICAL – Carraroe
22nd April 08:30 – 14:30 HARPERS – Belfast
23rd April 08:30 – 14:30 HARPERS – Belfast
24th April 08:30 – 14:30 RICHMOND ELECTRICAL – Dublin Gavin Williams, Marketing Manager for Hamilton says: “Since we unveiled our Mobile Demo Vehicle last year it has toured the length and breadth of UK. The MDV has given electrical wholesaler staff, customers and clients the opportunity to see and experience first-hand Hamilton’s comprehensive, intelligent, easy-to-use control solutions and our switch plate & socket collections. We’ve been keen to give our many Irish customers the opportunity to utilise the vehicle for sometime so are particularly delighted that our Irish roadshow is underway.”

Switch Distribution and Harpers have worked with Hamilton’s Group Product Development & Export Sales Executive, John Purnell, to plan and implement the country-wide tour. Christine Noonan, Marketing Manager at Switch says: “This is an excellent opportunity for us to raise awareness of the benefits of Hamilton’s lighting and audio control solutions. We are very pleased to have secured so many great locations for the tour and are expecting the MDV to attract a great deal of attention throughout!”

Hamilton’s MDV is designed to give customers the chance to judge for themselves just how easy Mercury® lighting control and multi-room audio systems are to install. Hamilton’s technical sales team will be on hand throughout the tour to talk MDV visitors through all aspects of installing Hamilton’s Mercury® systems and to answer any questions.

Gavin explains: “With Hamilton there is nothing stopping electrical contractors increasing business by suggesting their customers take the first steps to a ‘Smart Home’ by beginning with a ‘Smarter Home’. The reality is every electrical installer knows all they need to know about smart technology with the Hamilton system because each Mercury control pack is supplied pre-programmed for 4-channel circuits. All the installer needs to do is work out the number of channels he requires, say 8 channels, then simply wire two 4-channel Mercury control packs together, setting the dip switches in the wall plate to correspond to the matching channel terminal in the pack. Even remote control is simple to set-up with Hamilton’s iOS app – it requires NO PROGRAMMING whatsoever!

Visit Hamilton’s website for full details on the MDV Ireland tour 2015 www.hamilton-litestat.com/news-and-events/hamiltons-mercury-roadshow-lights-up-the-emerald-isle/

The first Kartell by Laufen monobrand store opens its doors in the heart of Milan’s Brera district

Daniel Fountain

Just over two years since its launch, having toured the project around the world and having opened more than 500 points of sale in more than 40 countries, Kartell by Laufen is launching its first monobrand store in the heart of Milan’s Brera district, at Via Pontaccio 10.

A signal to the international market that it is here to stay, the Kartell by Laufen catalogue comprises a full range of furnishings, accessories, sanitary ware and other bathroom fittings designed by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba. Its efforts were also recognised by some of the sector’s most eminent opinion leaders, including Wallpaper, which awarded it the prize for Best Wash at the Wallpaper Design Awards 2013, and Elle Decoration International, which named it the winner of the EDIDA 2014 prize in the Bathroom category. From 2013 to 2015, an intensive, far-reaching roadshow saw international events taking place in major cities (London, Brussels, Prague, Warsaw, New York, Miami, Paris and San Paolo) and took the project to some of the biggest design fairs in the world (Salone del Bagno 2014 and ISH Frankfurt 2015). These events gave the international public the chance to get up close and personal with the product and truly understand its value.

Since its début, more than 500 high-quality stores have been opened in more than 40 countries worldwide.

As proof of this commitment to retail, Kartell by Laufen is launching its first monobrand store in the heart of Brera, at Via Pontaccio 10: about 200 square metres, with four store windows opening onto the street. The setting of this first space is by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba, best interpreters of a new way of conceiving bathroom projects. The internationally famous architects and trend setters of this industry, as well as designers of the entire collection, feature the best of Kartell by Laufen in unexpected thematic and chromatic moods.

“Kartell by Laufen to us is an harmonic collection made of exciting icons representing the perfect balance between high-tech and pure beauty. And if Kartell by Laufen up to now has been synonymous with colour, feeing and transparency through ultrathin ceramics, innovative materials and new technology, now Kartell by Laufen becomes Architecture.

The first single-brand Kartell by Laufen showroom is conceived as architecture in the truest sense, where materials and space narrate the proportions and sensations of a place, the bathroom, now acknowledged as one of the most important in the home.

Walls become tactile and the curves integral part of a scenario that transforms the bathroom into an architectonic icon.

This is the aim of the Kartell by Laufen showroom, to reveal the DNA of these two companies, Kartell and Laufen, in an absolutely different way to how it has been seen up to now”
– Ludovica and Roberto Palomba

The space is articulated over two levels, and like the style of the brand, the ambient is exceptionally fresh, with the clean lines of the interiors playing on tactile combinations and architectonic volumes. On the other hand, the windows have much greater graphic impact: a luminous mesh of white backlit pedestals forming the base for Kartell by Laufen’s still life compositions on a backdrop of polychrome transparent plexiglas panels. The windows play a fundamental role in presenting the collections because the space is so different to the usual bathroom fitting showrooms, putting more emphasis on feelings, glamour and lifestyle.

The ground floor has five different settings, each corresponding to a different bathroom concept with the latest products: the 120 cm basin, the metallic basin units and the Boutique furnishings.

A long oblique wall at the entrance presents a working composition of one of Kartell by Laufen’s bathroom proposals.

The same wall displays the entire range of basins, and the taps too have a specifically dedicated technical area.

The lower level offers another seven installations, each very different in terms of dimensions and mood: some with strong colours, like the orange and total black bathrooms, others highly compact to show the great potential that even smaller, guest bathrooms have. And naturally there is a vast range of proposals for the hotels and contract sectors in general.

With this showroom and this layout Kartell by Laufen demonstrates the versatility of its collections, perfectly adaptable for installation with style and character into almost any context.

Milan is the ideal home for a retail project based on a monobrand concept and high-end distribution within the bathroom industry.

Kartell by Laufen
Via Pontaccio, 10
Milan
Until the 19 April, from 10am to 8pm
www.kartellbylaufen.com

Protea Hotels Welcomes the Renowned Hunters Rest Hotel to the Family

Daniel Fountain

Hunters Rest hotel, in its picturesque sub-tropical setting in the Magalies Mountains has been home to generations of holidaying families and has now joined the Protea Hotels portfolio of hotels.This Rustenburg hotel has prided itself on the kind of service that establishes relationships with guests. The hotel is family focussed in terms of the service delivery and facilities on offer.

“Hunters Rest encapsulates all the best of genuine warm hospitality in that GUESTS and STAFF get to know one another over the years. That sort of service –where relationships are built – is not as common as it once was, and Protea Hotels are delighted to welcome Hunters Rest into its service family,” said Mark Satterfield, Marriott International Business Leader in South Africa.

The hotel has undergone a refurbishment to the tune of R15 million to all the public areas and the owners have a lot more planned for the property’s refurbishment. Already, a chapel and an open-air boma give the ambience of the hotel an added dimension for people wanting to host weddings and big functions.

The hotel, which is only an hour‘s drive from Pretoria and an hour and a half’s drive from Johannesburg, has a strong focus on the outdoors, with its large swimming pool, nine-hole, 18-tee golf course and a nature reserve with a viewing deck. For the adventurous there is mountain biking and hiking, and there’s a newly renovated spa on site for those who want some pampering during their downtime.

At the same time, Protea Hotel Hunters Rest is perfectly geared for countryside conferencing, where corporates can bring their delegates from the cities to really break away and focus on their strategic or motivational sales conferences. It’s the perfect place also for special corporate and private events set in beautiful surroundings.

Protea Hotel Hunters Rest general manager Monique Kiefer, herself an outdoor enthusiast, said, “GUESTS generally want to experience something special and create their own memories. The STAFF at Hunters Rest are here to facilitate that special experience and they love what they do.”

With its strong focus on family, the hotel treats children as special GUESTS. There is a farmyard, horse riding, putt-putt and a heated pool.

Child minders and baby sitters are available on request for parents who wish to enjoy the fresh produce from surrounding farms at dinner in the contemporary George Wellington restaurant.

From Protea Hotel Hunters Rest it’s a short drive to Sun City and Hartebeespoort Dam.

Marsa Malaz Kempinski The Pearl Doha, now open

Daniel Fountain

Marsa Malaz Kempinski The Pearl sets a new benchmark in luxury; situated 330 meters off the east coast of Qatar on a 400 hectare artificial island, The Pearl, the hotel is in one of Doha’s most sought-after locations. Offering more than 281 opulent rooms and suites, the luxury resort may indeed be called a palace. It officially opened on the 7th January, 2015.A vast 1,100 square metre ballroom is the ideal setting for VIP delegations and wedding celebrations.

The luxury resort also offers an exclusive beach in a private bay as well as various outdoor pools, a range of water sports facilities, a tennis court and yacht moorings. Last but not least, a 3,000 square metre Spa by Clarins completes the offering.

One of the most impressive hotels in the area, Marsa Malaz Kempinski offers six restaurants, two cafés, al fresco beach dining, an elegant lounge and a unique open-air roof terrace.

More images on page two…

Brintons unveils schedule for Clerkenwell Design Week

Daniel Fountain

Royal Warranted carpet manufacturer Brintons will be at the centre of the creative hub during Clerkenwell Design Week, where it will be showcasing a range of new designs as well as hosting a range of talks at the London Design Centre.Brintons can now reveal its exciting schedule for the week, which is not one to be missed, and it is inviting design savvy visitors to visit them at their showroom on the 19th to 21st May.

19th May 2014 – 12pm – Designing for Woven Axminster Carpets – RIBA Accredited CPD Presentation

Visitors can explore the key aspects of designing for Axminster carpet production at the RIBA Accredited CPD Presentation, which will feature everything from the initial brief through the design process to installation, designing for Electronic Jacquard and how this can be used to produce complex multi-part, large-scale floorscapes in a variety of interiors. The history of Axminster and advances in technology will also be explored.

The talk will display how Brintons are continuing to challenge conventional design rules and promote a new way of thinking about how carpet is used in an interior space.

20th May – 12pm – “The Bespoke Interior” with the 2 Lovely Gays

Interior designers the 2 Lovely Gays discuss bespoke interiors as an expression of who you are and how it can be a place for growth and happiness. The talk will focus on how to give people confidence by bridging the gap between the consumer and the interiors industry through collaborating with Brintons, and giving a platform for rising talents to create spaces that truly inspire.

A question and answer session will follow with interiors stylist and editor Emilio Pimentel-Reid, placing a spotlight on design with the 2 Lovely Gays, discussing all that is current in the interiors and design world today. There will also be the opportunity for audience members to ask questions and be part of the discussion.

21st May – 6.30pm – Exploring the archives with Talib Choudhry and Yvonne Smith

Talib Choudhry, interiors editor of the Telegraph Magazine, talks to Brintons’ archivist Yvonne Smith about the relevance of historic archives in design, and how historical research helps to build fresh, new collections with layers of meaning and narrative. Following the talk on the 21st May at 6.30pm will be a drinks reception for a chance to unwind after the event.

Brintons Inspirations collection

Brintons is to launch its brand new ‘Brintons Inspirations’ collection, at a special showcase at Clerkenwell Design Week. The designs have been created based on three themes including tropical, geometric, and architectural, by a team of in-house designers.

The 12-piece collection has been inspired from the latest in colour and fashion from the catwalk, interior design and architecture. The collection will be available to view online as a digital PDF for clients to download and designs will also be uploaded to Brintons’ interactive Design Studio Online, which is a tool for designers and customers to instantly access and search designs.

Stacy Garcia collection

Finally, Brintons will be launching its brand new collection designed in collaboration with award winning American hospitality designer Stacy Garcia in the UK, during Clerkenwell Design Week. This is the seventh collection designed in collaboration with Stacy, and the Urban Nomad is a collective gathering of culturally inspired designs containing influences from around the globe.

If you would like to attend any of the events please email Sarah Draper, Commercial Marketing Manager, sldraper@brintons.co.uk.

Centara Pelican Bay Residence & Suites Krabi

Daniel Fountain

Centara Pelican Bay Residence & Suites Krabi takes full advantage of its stunning location, having been designed as a cluster of low-rise buildings surrounding a swimming pool, with the area’s characteristically lush green tropical forest rising up around it. The residence offers a choice of modern apartments and pool suites with one, two or three bedrooms. Many of the suites come complete with their own outdoor plunge pool featuring either an ocean or pool view, or a garden terrace. Every room style features spacious living areas ranging from 81 to 190 square metres, made up of both indoor and outdoor areas, and all suites come with a large furnished terrace or balcony. All rooms and suites have a kitchenette, along with a full suite of modern amenities including complimentary wireless internet access.Centara Pelican Bay Residence & Suites Krabi also ensures that guests will be fully provided for when they’re not relaxing in the privacy of their own rooms. The Resort is home to an expansive swimming pool, which includes a child-friendly shallow end; a fully-equipped fitness centre and a ‘chilling lounge’ complete with internet stations, plus water sports, snorkelling and PADI diving which can all be easily arranged. 


The Resort’s relaxed all-day Globe restaurant is located poolside, serving up Thai and international dishes, while ‘The Nest’ is a hideaway perched three stories up, where drinks and light meals look their best against a stunning Andaman Sea backdrop. Whether families choose to stay beachside or visit ‘The Nest’, the Resort has added touches to make sure that parents can have as much fun as their children, with lounge-y cushions on the beach, and evening movie showings for a full family entertainment interlude.

Krabi itself offers visitors a huge array of memorable sights and activities, with nature trails and limestone islands forming natural playgrounds for countless rambles and adventures, even though Krabi International Airport is just 35 minutes away by road. There is a pier near to the Resort where boat trips can be arranged for island hopping, diving and snorkelling.

Smoothly does it with new basin mixer solutions

Daniel Fountain

Responding to the needs of installers, Roca has extended four of its most popular brassware collections to include a smooth body basin mixer, with ½ inch flexible tails that complement UK pipework.L20, Targa, Monodin-N and Victoria (V2) are now all available as a smooth body basin mixer option. The clever design of these new deck-mounted mixers means there are no unsightly holes in the back of the tap where the pop up waste lever would usually be. The mixers also feature a flow straightener which improves the performance of the brassware in low pressure areas.

Installers looking to fulfil water and energy saving requirements can do so with these new smooth body basin mixers, all of which have a built-in eco-disc cartridge providing a level of resistance at 50 per cent of water flow. Using the same installation methods as a standard basin mixer, this gives the user control over how much water they use. In addition, L20 also features Roca’s ColdStart technology so the flow always starts with cold water and hot water systems are only activated when warm water is required, in order to save energy.

Each of the four new smooth body basin mixers are available in a chrome finish and feature Roca’s innovative EverShine, a special coating that repels stains and scratches and discourages lime scale build up. Each of the mixers is also fitted with a Roca cartridge, which boasts SofTurn technology, for smoothness, comfort and precision when choosing the desired water flow and temperature levels.

IHG Signs First Hotel Indigo® in Lively Downtown Denver

Daniel Fountain

InterContinental Hotels Group’s (IHG) Hotel Indigo® brand announces the signing of its first hotel in the state of Colorado, which will connect guests with Denver’s Lower Downtown neighbourhood (LoDo). The Hotel Indigo Denver location will be located within Union Tower West, a 200,000 square foot mixed-use development of office and retail space, co-developed by Portman Holdings and Hensel Phelps. Portman Holdings is also currently developing a portion of an existing 27-story office building to a 203-room Hotel Indigo in Downtown Atlanta. Jason Moskal, Vice President, Lifestyle Brands, The Americas, IHG said: “We are excited to expand the Hotel Indigo® brand into this incredible Downtown Denver neighbourhood. The local area around Union Station is home to many historical storefronts, warehouses and industrial buildings that help define the neighbourhood, creating the perfect location for our newest hotel. We’re looking forward to being part of this great community and opening our doors for guests to experience the area and be inspired by the service delivered by our Hotel Indigo team.”

The Hotel Indigo Denver hotel, expected to open in winter 2016, will be located at 1801 Wewatta Street adjacent to Denver Union Station. New additions to the station will soon include the historic station market where local vendors will offer a wide variety of produce, pastries and handmade items to take home or enjoy on their commute. The neighborhood already attracts residents and visitors with its dynamic mix of entertainment, shopping and cultural amenities, including art galleries, restaurants, specialty retail, nightclubs and jazz parlors all housed in preserved historic buildings. Popular LoDo attractions also include Wynkoop Brewing Company, Colorado’s first brewpub and Denver’s first craft brewery, 16th Street Mall, Commons Park, Cherry Creek bike path, and Coors Field. The 180-room property will have approximately 1,950 square feet of meeting space, a fitness centre, business centre, bar and restaurant.

Every Hotel Indigo® property is uniquely designed to reflect the culture, character and history of its surrounding neighbourhood. This Downtown Denver location will have a unique neighbourhood story that will be woven throughout the guest experience, from the seasonal and locally sourced food and drinks served in a stylish environment at the restaurant and bar, to the art, photography and architecture incorporated into the hotel’s design. Guestrooms will feature plush bedding, hard-surface flooring with area rugs, and spa-inspired bathrooms. The hotel will feature the brand’s Neighbourhood Guide, an innovative touchscreen display that connects guests to each other, to local neighbourhood mainstays, and to Hotel Indigo locations around the world. Hotel team members, many of whom are locals themselves, will share their favourite hidden gems with guests looking to explore and discover the neighbourhood.

The hotel is owned by CUOF IV LODO, LLC, and will be franchised by an affiliate of IHG.

Ambrish Baisiwala, Portman Holdings CEO said: “Portman is delighted to continue to partner with IHG in creating another distinct Hotel Indigo® hotel in such a prime location. We have a long history of developing unique hotels, and look forward to continuing this work in collaboration with IHG.”

In addition to this signing, the Hotel Indigo brand recently announced new properties signed in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Old Town Alexandria, Virginia and Frisco, Texas, as well as three new international openings, Hotel Indigo Paris – Opera, Hotel Indigo Helsinki – Boulevard and Hotel Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road.

Frank Hudson – A New Era

Daniel Fountain

GALLERY DIRECT relaunched Frank Hudson at the January Furniture Show to much acclaim. With a long history of fine furniture making dating back to the Second World War, Frank Hudson is renowned for superb traditional craftsmanship. Gallery have maintained this heritage whilst simplifying the offer, introducing updated designs and finishes to rejuvenate the brand. Lower price points, achievable through economies of scale, make the offer more commercial.Their new collection of bedroom, luxury dining and occasional furniture is designed and manufactured to the highest standards to offer beautifully constructed and meticulously hand finished quality furniture.

+44 (0) 17 95 43 91 59
Click here to contact Gallery Direct: http://www.gallerydirect.co.uk

Gleneagles unveils ambitious plans for new arena

Daniel Fountain

Hot on the heels of hosting a successful Ryder Cup, The Gleneagles® Hotel have announces plans for a new 2500 square metre event space – The Gleneagles Arena.Located within Gleneagles’ 850 acre estate, as part of its Activity School complex, the Gleneagles Arena will transform one of its current equestrian arenas into a modern and versatile event space which also doubles as a 4-court indoor tennis centre.

Due to launch in May 2015, the new space will be perfect for conferences, exhibitions, product launches, concerts and team-building events. With capacity for 500 – 2000 guests, the five star resort will now be able to accommodate much larger groups.

Its key features include:
– Floor space of 2500 square metres
– The creation of a new combined reception and retail area
– 650 viewing seats
– Loading bay access doors
– 63 integrated hanging points tested to 500kg
– 200A power supply with MCCB panel with a variety of sockets
– A dedicated access route from car park, with 500 spaces
– LED house lights and oil-fired heating

Stuart Smith, Gleneagles’ Director of Events & Leisure, said:
“After celebrating our 90th anniversary and hosting The Ryder Cup, this has been one of the most memorable years in Gleneagles history, and we are delighted that we’ll be able to keep the momentum going in 2015 with the launch of this fantastic new events space. It’s going to be an amazing blank canvas for all kinds of events – from car launches, to concerts, to foodie extravaganzas.

“With 232 luxury bedrooms, fourteen function rooms and a wide range of leisure activities, Gleneagles already attracts some really high-profile, exciting events. The Gleneagles Arena will simply take us to the next level, meaning we can handle larger groups, and hopefully stage many more world-class events in the coming years.”

The Gleneagles Arena project represents a £650,000 investment, the latest in a long line of recent upgrades. These have included a £5 million refurbishment of The Club earlier in 2014, a £3 million overhaul of the Dormy Clubhouse in 2011, the installation of The Blue Bar – a new outdoor whisky and cigar bar – in the same year, and a £1 million investment in its PGA Centenary Course in 2012. Earlier this month, Gleneagles also completed a £250,000 refurbishment of its flagship conference venue, The Gleneagles Suite.

Gleneagles’ existing equestrian offering at the Activity School will be retained, with coaching for all levels still being offered to leisure and corporate guests alike in its small arena and outdoor facilities.

A Look inside Europe’s Sexiest Hotel: Gotham – Manchester

Daniel Fountain

Style Matters’ latest project sees a whole collection of beautiful, bespoke furniture featured throughout the highly anticipated Hotel Gotham – opened on the 7th April.Working with Oliver Redfern, lead designer at Squid Inc, burnished metals teamed with dark polished woods are coupled with soft velvets in blue and raspberry to create ‘Europe’s sexiest hotel’.

Element Fargo now open

Daniel Fountain

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has recently announced the début of its Element brand in North Dakota. Owned and managed by StaySharpe Hotels, the new Element hotel offers smart, sustainable lodging for eco-conscious travellers with 130 light-filled rooms and an atmosphere designed to fuel a life in balance and on the move. Element Fargo is ideally situated across from the new $494 million Sanford Fargo Medical Centre and is just ten minutes from one of Microsoft Corporation’s largest campuses in North America. The newly constructed hotel is also close to historic downtown Fargo, West Acres Mall and the Fargodome – home of the North Dakota State University Bison. Located in the southeast corner of North Dakota, Fargo is part of the Fargo/Moorhead/West Fargo metropolitan area, which is experiencing rapid growth driven by its energy, technology and manufacturing sectors.

Element Hotels feature natural light, modern design, healthy options and eco-minded sensibilities. This re-imagined extended stay experience is perfect for the traveller who is visiting for a few days or a few weeks. Guests can fuel their day with the healthy Rise breakfast and wind down with the Relax evening wine reception – both complimentary. Spacious studios and one-bedroom suites at Element Fargo feature a fluid design of modular furniture, flat-screen LED televisions ranging from 40” to 65”, large desks with open shelving and custom-designed closets. Rooms will also include fully equipped kitchens and the signature Heavenly® Bed, and spa-inspired bathrooms will feature an invigorating rain shower and dual-flush toilet. Staying on the move is easy with complimentary bikes to borrow, a state-of-the-art 24-hour fitness centre and an indoor saline swimming pool and sauna. The hotel will offer fast and free wired and wireless high-speed internet and a 453 square-foot meeting room with modular furnishings, a flexible layout and cutting-edge technology that can be customized to meet any business or social need.

Element is the first major hotel brand to mandate that all properties pursue the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for high-performance buildings. It’s recognized as an industry leader in the eco-space and offers travellers a fresh, re-imagined interpretation of the extended stay hotel experience.

Element is experiencing incredible growth momentum. With 19 deals signed in 2014, the brand is on track to triple its portfolio by 2017. On the heels of opening its first hotel outside of North America in Frankfurt, Germany, Element will open its first hotel in China later this year followed by new hotels in London, Amsterdam, Boston and Philadelphia, signifying the global appeal of the brand.

Hamilton is the ‘Suite Choice’ at Luxury 5 Star Boutique Hotel and Spa

Daniel Fountain

Set within 120 acres of glorious Sussex countryside, Alexander House is a luxury manor house with beautiful vistas, a choice of restaurants, an award-winning Utopia Spa and rooms designed for absolute comfort. A further 18 suites and 1 master suite were recently added to this 5 Star Boutique Hotel and Spa. A new build construction presented the owners with a golden opportunity to incorporate state-of-the-art modern amenities and technology within the layout and design of the suites and public spaces within the structure. The Brief: Hamilton was approached to provide a total solution for both lighting control and bespoke complementary switch plates and sockets for the New ‘Cedar Lodge’ suites set within the Alexander House estate, comprising two floors of luxury 5 Star accommodation. Pre-set controlled lighting scenes to suit the time of day and create a homely warm ambiance were a priority as was ease of use for both staff and guests. Plus the design and quality of the control plates and accessories needed to meet the exacting and aspirational concepts and themes presented by the project’s interior design team.

The Solution: Working with Electrical Contractor, Mark Hooper, Hartland CFX®, in a Satin Stainless finish, was selected from Hamilton’s extensive range of designer and bespoke switch plate and sockets. Slim and elegant with soft rounded edges, the Hartland CFX® range perfectly complemented the vibrant and stylish design throughout the new accommodation. Essentially, the faceplates are firmly held in place to the back frame with a patented 4-point clipping system, concealing the fixings for a seamless finish.

Making light work: Hamilton ensured lighting control is at every guests’ fingertips by installing a Mercury® Lighting Control Pack (MDP4x600+VFR) in every suite. The entry-level lighting control solution is especially suited to this scenario where flexible lighting control on a small scale is required. Using this system, simple LED dimming to multiple scene-setting programmes can be set, stored and recalled at the touch of a button. Four control plates were installed per room and suite; a master control at the entrance door, one either side of the bed and one within the en-suite. The exception was the extremely spacious master suite, spread across two floors, where two Mercury® Lighting Control packs were installed. Here control was needed throughout the bedroom, generous en-suite, living area, stairs and bathroom. Within each suite the lighting scenes have been programmed exactly the same and set up for ease of use by guests. In the corridor and Lobby again there is a dimming system. Each being controlled by a time clock creating various scenes throughout the day.

The Result: Hamilton focused on meeting the specific needs of this luxurious hotel and spa. In doing so it created and delivered a bespoke solution drawing on its unique range of timeless and ‘on trend’ socket and switch plate designs and the company’s own Mercury® lighting control system. Control plates and system working together to create a stylish and efficient solution designed to withstand wear and tear and look good for longer – a prerequisite in a hotel and public environment.

Fresh online data shows connectivity trumps food among tomorrow’s travellers

Daniel Fountain

SACO, The Serviced Apartment Company, has released new online research commissioned through YouGov which reveals that travellers are not primarily swayed by luxuries such as food and comfort but almost two thirds (62%) that have travelled for business in the last 2 years, are hungry for a high-speed internet connection.In a survey of 2,000 British adults, the serviced apartment provider found that “Millennials*” are more likely to have travelled for business in the last 2 years than those 35+ (25% and 15% respectively), demonstrating how important it is that companies and travel suppliers need to understand what this cohort need, want, expect and set themselves up accordingly.

Results have shown that 51% of “Millennial” travellers, i.e. those have travelled for either business or leisure in the past 2 years, value a high-speed broadband connection, compared to 39% of older travellers, and that on the whole; 46% of younger people are more enthusiastic about future innovations, with appetite for access to tech in rooms being notably higher than older age brackets.

There is nothing more important for all business travellers than a good night’s sleep with the productivity it leads to the following day, and this is explained by the 89% choosing a comfortable bed as an important factor when staying away from home.

With “Millennials” twice as likely as older people, 11% compared to 5%, to associate serviced apartments with being sociable, it’s no wonder that serviced apartment providers are focusing less on purely leisure facilities and instead creating ‘blended’ spaces suitable for both socialising and networking.

For “Millennials”, the more authentic the networking and socialising opportunities are, the better, as results have shown that these younger travellers are more likely than others to want to be seen as ‘local’ when travelling for work (12% in comparison to those aged 35+ at 7%).

Ben Harper, Sales Director of SACO, said: “Our new research findings serve to underpin the travel behaviours of Millennials and consequently what we foresee for the future of business travel.

“SACO know that by 2020, Millennials will represent over half the workforce, and therefore their insight into technological innovations and what they want from a serviced apartment is gold dust.

“We’re considering these findings as we continue to expand and tailor our services to the modern traveller of today and tomorrow.”

SACO has recently announced new apartment locations and exciting news about their “Digital Revolution” – designed by customers for customers.

Apartment buildings are being developed in key global locations that will offer modern spaces to make staying away from home a more immersive, warm localised experience.

Dressed up Glamour from Morgan at Quaglino’s

Daniel Fountain

Distinguished by its polished Art Deco accents and large sweeping staircase, iconic London restaurant and late-night venue, Quaglino’s, has benefited from a dramatic facelift. The signature staircase, balcony bar, main restaurant and mezzanine private dining rooms have been elegantly restored. A large central cocktail bar has been added and the crustacean bar replaced by a stage for intimate live music performances.

With the new interior masterminded by Russell Sage Studio, every item of flooring, furniture and artwork have been replaced. Meeting the brief for dressed-up glamorous dining, distinctive Morgan furniture collections were specified in striking fabrics for the most exclusive areas of the restaurant.

Upstairs, visible through the glass balustrade, Seville winged-back chairs, Siena and Miami lounge chairs from Morgan entice diners up to the balcony bar, while Pastille bar stools provide a cool perch for a cocktail. Pimlico chairs with their curved profile and oval seat are a smooth option for private dining. Single pedestal tables from the Diva collection also feature as part of the fit-out which includes over 150 individual Morgan pieces.

St. Lucia’s Rendezvous Announces $12.5m renovation

Daniel Fountain

Rendezvous, an idyllic and intimate Caribbean hideaway designed exclusively for couples, announces a $12.5 million renovation that unveils significant interior design updates to its Seaside Suites and Verandah Suites, including brand new bathrooms, room layouts, furniture and colour schemes, as well as the addition of an á la carte beachside restaurant, Malabar. SEASIDE SUITES
Situated on the ground floor, Rendezvous’ popular Seaside Suites allow guests access to spacious decks with views of the beachside pool, the Caribbean Sea, and the property’s tropical gardens. Each suite has been fitted with new wardrobes, and new furniture, including fine hardwood pieces and a king-sized bed, in addition to a new open bathroom, featuring a spacious bathtub and his-and-her amenities. Additionally, the suites now feature large floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open to the outdoors, letting in the ocean breeze and maximising natural light in the space. The outdoor terraces feature new furniture, including a sofa and an outdoor cantilever umbrella. The suites are decorated in white, mint green and blue pastels, inspired by the Caribbean Sea’s soothing colours.

VERANDAH SUITES
The two-story Verandah Suites with views of the exotic on-property gardens also underwent a full refurbishment, including the addition of an open bathroom and new layouts to the room and veranda. Each bathroom now boasts porcelain tiles, a free-standing tranquillity soaking tub, a walk-in shower featuring frameless glass shower doors, and a new vanity, while the room refresh includes new Oak closets, a set of sliding doors in lieu of the former windows, a king-sized bed, and bedding and décor in rust, pearl and coral tones. The renovation refreshed the large 12-foot deep verandas overlooking the island with a love-seat and a coffee table to provide a more intimate setting. Both Seaside and Verandah Suites have amenities such as a mini refrigerator, tea and coffee appliances, and docking station.

MALABAR, A TOES–IN–THE–SAND EXPERIENCE
Expected to open in autumn 2015, Malabar continues Rendezvous’ commitment to enhancing their guests’ experiences, by expanding the resort’s current dining options to include an on-the-beach seaside á la carte restaurant that will be partially surrounded by St. Lucia’s exotic greenery. The dining room will rest under an open sail, exposing guests to a soothing ocean breeze and soundtrack, and its décor will include dining tables and chairs hand crafted from the local Samaan tree and drift wood making for a great indigenous eco-friendly restaurant. With a maximum capacity of 40, Malabar will be able to accommodate parties of two, four or eight, and reservations will be required. Guests will be able to enjoy light cuisine made from local island ingredients and daily hand-picked items from the market.

Old Town Chambers ASAP accredited

Daniel Fountain

Old Town Chambers, a collection of five star serviced apartments that forms part of a £46m redevelopment of three medieval closes off Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, has been accredited with the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) Quality Assessment Marque. The 50 apartments, including a 15th century townhouse and penthouse, blend state-of the-art facilities with centuries old architectural features, such as solid stone walls, original fireplaces and painted wall panels and beams, contrasting against double smoked French oak wooden flooring and Italian tiling, alongside the latest home entertainment system and a 24 hour concierge service.

Emerging from the 15th century Advocate’s, Roxburgh’s and Warriston’s Closes, the apartments capitalise on the historical character of the site as well as some of the most captivating views across the city’s Princes Street Gardens, to give tourist and business visitors a unique city centre experience.

Julie Grieve, CEO of Lateral City, operator of the Old Town Chambers, said:
“We are delighted to have been accredited by The Association of Serviced Apartment Providers. It is an important step in our growth that our standards are measured and we are delighted to have achieved the ASAP marque.

“Serviced apartments are growing in popularity as tourists and business visitors seek out a more independent stay. Our offering at Old Town Chambers is, above all, about style and amazing spaces – from 15th century vaulted rooms to suites with stunning views across Princes Street.”

ASAP Quality Assessment ensures members of the ASAP who have been accredited are compliant with core legal, health & safety practices and provides the industry with a means of measuring and comparing the quality of Serviced Apartments. Every member of the ASAP displaying the marque will have participated in the Quality Assessment Program and have successfully achieve accreditation.
James Foice, Managing Director of the ASAP commented:

“I’d like to congratulate Old Town Chambers for successfully achieving their ASAP quality accreditation.

“Their high quality product and the very high customer service standards achieved are a wonderful example of excellence in our sector.

“We’re delighted that our scheme is now beginning to gain recognition from the corporate travel sector and are now able to announce that we will be rolling it out internationally early next month.”

Roca approaches 100th anniversary

Daniel Fountain

Roca Corporación Empresarial, S.A. is the parent corporation of a group of companies dedicated to designing, manufacturing and selling bathroom products to architects and interior designers. A world leader in the bathroom industry Roca is active in over 135 markets. It also has an area dedicated to the production and sale of floor and wall tiles in the ceramic tile division.

Founded in 1917, Roca produces and sells everything required to fully equip the bathroom space and you can research their full range through the Directory listings. Over the last few decades Roca has developed an identity through design, characterised by the mesmeric Hadid-designed showroom at Imperial Wharf, next to London’s Chelsea Design centres. Excellence in design and constant adaptation to new market trends have become company hallmarks, accelerated by their acquisition of the Laufen brand.Inherent in this approach are strong environmental credentials, shown in the development of new technologies applied to devices which minimise the consumption of water and energy . The bathroom business claimed world leadership position in the early months of 2006.

At the cutting edge in design Roca’s extraordinary international expansion creates the need to offer versatile products that adapt to the cultures of the different markets in which it operates. For this reason, in 2005 the Roca Design Centre was redefined, centred on research into design trends on the basis of a multicultural, multidisciplinary approach, and the search for and coordination of first-class technological suppliers throughout the world.

The Roca Design Centre has enjoyed the collaboration of the most prestigious architecture studios (Chipperfield, Herzog & de Meuron, Moneo, Ferrater) and design firms (Giugiaro, Schmidt & Lackner, Benedito Design). This focus on design has been rewarded with several distinctions and awards at both national and international levels. The design emphasis really grew with the 2008 Roca Barcelona Gallery, the company’s flagship building and its centre for social, cultural and exhibition activities. A product of Carlos Ferrater’s OAB architecture studio this was the first of the design centres of which Hadid’s Chelsea landmark is one of the latest.

IHG Announces Opening of $14 Million Holiday Inn® Hotel in Indianapolis Airport Ameriplex

Daniel Fountain

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) has recently announced the opening of the 122-room Holiday Inn® Indianapolis Airport. The hotel is hiring 50 employees ranging from Food Server, Room Attendants, and Guest Services Representatives.The 82,000sq.-ft.Holiday Inn Indianapolis Airport was developed to be more efficient to build, operate and maintain. It features a contemporary, innovative design that provides accessible comfort and sets new standards for business travellers and families alike. There are currently more than 60 Holiday Inn hotels operating in the Americas in the “Next-Generation” prototype design.

The hotel has an on-site restaurant and bar, “Burger Theory.” This new offering from the Holiday Inn® Brand is rustic yet chic designed to be a lively, casual, eating and drinking experience with the bar as the central attraction. This is a new “Concept” for the Holiday Inn brand. The Holiday Inn Indianapolis Airport is only the third hotel to have “Burger Theory.” It features eight draft beers and 24 bottle options with regional and local craft brews, along with a great selection of wine and cocktails. The centralized bar adds a social aspect to the restaurant, with music infusing just the right amount of energy and TV’s that can be seen from virtually any seat. Our friendly and knowledgeable waiters and bartenders are excited to welcome guests to the area, recommend a refreshing beverage and suggest a delicious food item from the menu. The “Concept” is best known for its fresh house-made burgers, utilizing a proprietary grind of USDA Certified Angus Beef. Select from our variety of specialty burgers or customize your own with wide choice of proteins, tasty toppings and buns, freshly prepared with care by our chefs. There are plenty of other great culinary options including savoury starters, freshly crafted salads and our 1/4lb hot dog. You can complete your meal with a signature house-made mini-dessert, served in individual mason jars. And throughout the meal, our warm “guests-come-first”, professional staff takes pride in making all – families, business travellers and groups – feel welcome while serving their meals with a smile. This is a drinking and dining experience that’s tasty, social, relaxing – and fun! Room Service Right…On Time™, also a standard at all Holiday Inn hotels, ensures that guests’ room service orders are accurate and delivered on time, every time.

Continued on page two…

Finding the Middle Ground – The key to being a successful contract lighting supplier

Daniel Fountain

Just as designing good lighting for hotels is about more than creating stylish products that are on trend and look great, being a successful contract supplier is about much more than simply manufacturing mass quantities of product and shipping it on to the associated projects. It’s essential that we consider projects on an individual basis and from multiple perspectives to ensure we can demonstrate that we are meeting not only the requirements of the interior designers but also those of the hotel operators, purchasers and above all else the guests all of whom have differing needs from the same project. So what does each party want?The interior designer is pushing the boundaries more than ever before, always looking to create unique interior schemes for hotels that offer something different and inevitably lighting is an essential part of that. Designers need to feel confident that they are working in collaboration with a knowledgeable and capable lighting specialist, a forward thinking company they can trust to deliver accurate and prompt responses at every stage of a project whether that’s producing drawings and 3D renderings from early design concepts through to creating samples and prototypes and ultimately delivering stylish functional pieces that work and meet exacting contract requirements. It’s not just enough to come up with products that simply look the part, we pride ourselves on not only having a great product selection but also being able to fully cooperate with designers to create design solutions that demonstrate our technical capabilities and flexibility when it comes to manufacturing and design- you have to be able to offer the full package or someone else will.

Hoteliers expect stylish design and quality whilst working to what are often becoming increasingly tighter budgets so it should be a given that both are essential for contract use. Products need to be designed to withstand frequent and often forceful handling and as specialists we need to demonstrate that we can work with clients to recognise their requirements and provide them with well considered lighting solutions that offer long term functionality. Blending cutting edge style with the latest technological developments is becoming more important than ever but we constantly need to ask ourselves how we can make the lighting experience better for the hotelier by saving money on running and maintenance costs. LEDs are now an essential light source in many hospitality spaces as sustainability continues to become even more of a priority so it’s important that we recognise the need to go green as the wave of the future and integrate LED technology into our fittings for future energy saving and in doing so proving our commitment to taking sustainability seriously. The needs of the hotelier don’t just stop once the fittings have been installed, clients want and expect an after sales service so it’s important we are there to support them and help address any issues that may arise. Design, quality, efficiency and price are all important but without the level of service to match all are in danger of becoming secondary no matter how great the product may actually look.

The requirements of the purchaser are arguably the most practical out of the mix. Somewhat less concerned with the overall design and functionality of the products, the purchaser ultimately wants to know they are dealing with a trusted supplier who truly understands the contract market and the associated pressures that go with it. They want to work with a solution focussed company who can meet the varying logistical requirements of a project, one whom they can rely on to deliver on time and within budget. For us, reaching budget levels shouldn’t mean reducing quality, it’s about being flexible and clever in manufacturing to create a specific look that doesn’t compromise the overall design aesthetic yet is achievable on varying budgets especially where lower priced targets are concerned. Excellent service levels are vital and it’s our job as suppliers to be as responsive and agile as possible to ensure the whole process runs smoothly and to instil confidence at every stage of the process.

Lighting really does make or break the traveller’s experience. It’s much more than just about creating the ‘wow factor’ which naturally has to be the designer’s priority and instead needs to address the increasingly multifunctional requirements of the hotel environment and that of the guestroom in particular. One of the biggest complaints to front desks is that guestrooms are under-lit so it’s our job as lighting specialists to work with the designers and hoteliers to light guestrooms and public areas successfully. A hotel room is no longer just a room to sleep in, it has become multifunctional and guests want it to feel like a luxurious home away from home, a place to eat, sleep, work and relax and the lighting scheme needs to reflect the variety of uses. Generating the correct light levels to meet all these functions is critical as is designing lighting controls that guests can understand without having to call for help. For example most guests have dimming functionality at home and expect it in hotels, but they want it to be clearly visible on the product and most of all usable. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard stories of the concierge being called up to the room to explain how to dim the lights, illustrating there needs to be a distinct blend between design and functionality.

As a company we enjoy balancing all those demands and finding the middle ground to ensure all the different parties are satisfied and that the guest has a great hotel experience which makes them want to return.

UK Chain Hotels Market Review – February 2015

Daniel Fountain

February Highlights
• UK Provinces continue to overshadow
• RevPAR rises, profits drop in Heathrow hotels
• Manchester performs

IHG Signs New Crowne Plaza® Hotel in Midtown New York City

Daniel Fountain

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announces the signing of a 251-room Crowne Plaza® hotel in the heart of New York City. The property is scheduled to open in 2017, and IHG will manage on behalf of the owner, LRR Holdings, LLC. Lance Steinberg and Frank Chan are the majority shareholders of LRR Holdings, LLC. They also own two EVEN® Hotel properties – IHG’s new wellness-focused brand – that are currently under construction in New York with the first to open this year on 35th Street.

Joel Eisemann, Chief Development Officer, The Americas, IHG said: “We are enthused to be adding a new Crowne Plaza hotel to our New York City portfolio. This is a thriving market for hotel development and among the top destinations in the world for business and leisure travellers. We are pleased to expand our relationship with LRR Holdings, LLC, to grow the presence of our new and well-established brands in a priority market, creating even more opportunity for us to meet the needs of travellers now and into the future.”

Lance Steinberg, managing partner, LRR Holdings, LLC said: “Over the course of 20 years, our company has created a 500,000 square-foot collection of owned and managed multi-tenant commercial space, and we are excited to build our hotel portfolio with IHG.”

Opening of the Sortis Hotel, Spa & Casino in Panama City

Daniel Fountain

Autograph Collection Hotels has recently announced the addition of the new and stunning 391-room Sortis Hotel, Spa & Casino in Panama City, Panama. This marks the second hotel for Autograph Collection Hotels in Central America following the 2014 addition of Hotel Punta Islita in Costa Rica. The Sortis Hotel, Spa & Casino combines a striking, ultra-modern architecture with hand selected high-end amenities and vibrant experiences for travellers and Panamanians alike. Each of the 391 rooms and suites feature luxury bedding, sofa beds, aromatherapy amenities, Nespresso coffee machines, 46” Full HD LED Samsung TV and the fastest performing WiFi in the city.

Owned and operated by Hartin Trading S.A., this stunning new hotel includes 10 dining options from the ultra-chic, fine dining Manabi restaurant and rum bar to the bustling Score sports bar serving Panamanian and Asian favourites.

The Sortis Hotel, Spa & Casino is home to the largest and most modern Casino in Panama City with an exclusive VIP Player’s Club. The property also contains a private shopping area with 30 stores at the Mezzanine floor as well as exclusive gastronomy venues and a Play Centre.

The hotel’s luxurious 38 thousand square foot luxurious spa offers a full menu of indulging signature facials, holistic body treatments and a full service salon that brings indulgence to the next level, luminously tiled baths, sauna/steam room, tropical showers, vitality pool and relaxation room.

Casa de Campo accepted into membership of Preferred Hotels & Resorts Legend Collection

Daniel Fountain

Casa de Campo, the 7,000-acre luxury resort and golf destination in La Romana, Dominican Republic, has been accepted into membership of Preferred Hotels & Resorts Legend Collection.

This prestigious portfolio of exceptional properties in some of the world’s most remarkable destinations, are famed for their global sophistication and cultural finesse. The carefully selected properties feature exquisite accommodation, bespoke and intuitive personal service, renowned dining and exceptional spas, setting the stage for the most unforgettable experiences.An exclusive escape situated on the South Eastern coast of the Dominican Republic, Casa de Campo offers privacy and seclusion along with spacious hotel accommodation and luxurious villa homes. Guests will experience “The Sporting Life” with classic sports including five Pete Dye-designed golf courses (one of which is the famed Teeth of the Dog), 370-slip Marina & Yacht Club, Polo & Equestrian Club, La Terrazza Tennis Center and skeet/trap shooting at the 245-acre Shooting Club. Additional luxuries include The Casa de Campo Spa, Minitas Beach, Catalina Island, The Beach Club by Le Cirque dining and cultural immersion at Altos de Chavon – an artisan’s village modeled after a 16th-century Mediterranean town.

All guests of Casa de Campo are eligible to enroll in the iPrefer guest loyalty program, which extends points redeemable for cash-value Reward Certificates. Members will also enjoy elite status and special benefits such as complimentary Internet throughout every stay at more than 550 participating Preferred Hotels & Resorts locations worldwide.

Preferred Hotels & Resorts brings strategic advantage to hotel owners, operators, and management companies through brand prestige and global operating scale as well as supporting the goals of its member hotels. Preferred Hotels & Resorts also provide strategic group, corporate, and leisure sales, integrated marketing solutions, comprehensive revenue management, global connectivity through reservations services, progressive distribution technology, and individualised guest support. Every property within the portfolio is required to maintain the high quality standards and unparalleled service levels required by the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Integrated Quality Assurance Program. Through its five global collections – Legend, LVX, Lifestyle, Connect, and Preferred Residences – Preferred Hotels & Resorts connects discerning travellers to the singular luxury hospitality experience that meets their needs and lifestyle preferences for each occasion.

IHG Opens First Holiday Inn Express Hotel in Cartagena

Daniel Fountain

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announces the opening of the Holiday Inn Express® Cartagena Bocagrande hotel in Cartagena, Colombia. The new-build, 200-room hotel is the second IHG property in the city of Cartagena and the 12th property in Colombia. The Holiday Inn® Cartagena Morros hotel is currently open, and the InterContinental® Cartagena de Indias hotel will open later this year. The new Holiday Inn Express hotel is conveniently located in Bocagrande, the most modern area of Cartagena, which is home to numerous leisure attractions such as hotels, shops, restaurants, nightclubs and art galleries. The hotel is also near the city’s most famous tourist activities, which include the Old City, The Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, Rosario Islands and Cerro de La Popa.Spanning 14 floors, the property is proud to be an IHG Green Engage™ hotel. The hotel offers guests a comfortable, yet affordable stay with innovative, preferred guest upgrades to ensure a pleasurable experience with amenities that include a 24-hour fitness centre with views of the Old City, two outdoor swimming pools, complimentary high-speed Internet access, a business centre, meeting spaces and complimentary parking. The complimentary Express Start™ breakfast bar features a full range of breakfast items, including regional and local dishes, a rotation of egg and meat selections, breads, yogurt, juices, fruit, pastries, cereals and coffee.

Located on the northern coast of Colombia, Cartagena, one of the oldest cities in the Americas, was founded by the Spanish conquistador Pedro de Heredia in 1533. It is Colombia’s fifth-largest urban area with a population of more than 1.2 million, and a key financial hub and tourist destination. Cartagena’s old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site – a maze of cobbled alleys, balconies covered in bougainvillea and massive churches. Its unique old world charm and modern infrastructure centre has made Cartagena one of Colombia’s most successful cities.

The Holiday Inn Express Cartagena Bocagrande hotel is owned by Grupo Contempo S.A. and is IHG’s fifth project with the company in Colombia.

Fairfield Inn & Suites Continues to Strengthen its Footprint in Mexico with the Opening of Hotel in Saltillo

Daniel Fountain

Marriott International has recently announced the opening of the first stage of the 142-room Fairfield Inn & Suites Saltillo, expanding the brand’s roster of Mexico properties to three. A second tower of the hotel with an additional 41 rooms is currently under construction and slated to open in 2015. The stunning hotel in Saltillo, the largest city in the state of Coahuila, will be operated by Marriott International and is located conveniently close to the General Motors Factory and 2.5 miles from the Saltillo Plan de Guadalupe International Airport.“From the open business lobbies to our modern guest rooms, the Fairfield Inn & Suites Saltillo offer business and leisure guests excellent space and flexibility to optimize their stay,” said Tlaloc Monsivais, General Manager of the Fairfield Inn & Suites Saltillo.

The stunning hotel is entirely smoke-free and features a spacious, contemporary lobby concept that provides travellers with free Wi-Fi and spaces to work or relax with a variety of flexible seating options. The hotel offers modern, comfortable suites with contemporary workspaces, safe deposit boxes, LCD televisions and deluxe bedding. The hotel’s restaurant offers breakfast and other food and beverage services for the discerning traveller. Complimentary high-speed Internet is provided in all guest rooms, meeting rooms and business centres, and the property’s state-of-the-art fitness centres.

“Mexico’s growing middle class and booming economy have generated tremendous demand for mid-priced hotel properties,” said Kevin Schwab, Area Vice President of the Mexico at Marriott International. “We are fortunate to have such an excellent partnership in Mexico with FibraHotel, with whom we look forward to continue to grow many successful hotels within the country.”

“The Fairfield Inn & Suites Saltillo hotel represents our first full conversion with Marriott International, our second hotel in operation, and together with our pipeline, a total of 10 Marriott hotels announced. This opening represents our second hotel in Saltillo, an industrial city in northern Mexico with a very strong automotive industry” said Eduardo Lopez, Managing Director at FibraHotel.

Other Mexican Fairfield Inn & Suites properties include the 128-room Fairfield Inn Los Cabos and the 206-room Fairfield Inn Monterrey Airport. Additionally, FibraHotel is currently developing 3 Farifield Inn & Suites properties, in Villahermosa, Mexico City Vallejo and Juriquilla Queretaro.

Taking a stand with new cistern and WC combination

Daniel Fountain

The design-led Kartell by Laufen collection has been extended to increase its versatility even further, with the launch of a new floorstanding cistern and WC. Suitable for installation in virtually any bathroom setting thanks to its elegant design, the Kartell by Laufen floorstanding cistern creates a minimal, streamlined finish, Available in a choice of polished or matt white, the WC and cistern can also be treated with Laufen Clean Coat (LCC) to maximise on hygiene while making cleaning easier.

Simple to connect to existing or new plumbing work which is neatly hidden away, the cistern is dual-flush, enabling homeowners to reduce water wastage without compromising on performance. The Kartell by Laufen WC has an equally powerful flush whether at 6/3 litres of 4.5/3 litres.

Made from the highest quality vitreous china, the floorstanding WC features an elegant rounded shape, making it a stylish addition to the contemporary Kartell by Laufen collection.

The floorstanding cistern measures 400mm high x 140mm deep x 980mm high, while the floorstanding WC measures 370mm high x 560mm deep and 430mm high.

European Chain Hotels Market Review – February 2015

Daniel Fountain

February Highlights
• Budapest and Warsaw hotels soar
• Challenging month for Dusseldorf and Istanbul
• Baffling indicators in Frankfurt

Brintons Inspirations to be unveiled at Clerkenwell Design Week

Daniel Fountain

World-renowned carpet manufacturer Brintons is to launch its brand new collection ‘Brintons Inspirations’ available exclusively, which will be unveiled at a special showcase at Clerkenwell Design Week (19th – 21st May). The designs have been based on three themes, including tropical, geometric and architectural, and a team of global designers worked to develop a range of mood boards to help feed into the final 12 piece collection.

Sarah Draper, Commercial Marketing Manager, said: “Our new Brintons Inspirations collection has been inspired by the latest in colour and fashion from the catwalk, interior design and architecture. Our designers have created a range that showcases their creativity and identifies their inspirational design direction.

“The collection was put together by a team of in-house designers who are at the forefront of carpet design, so that makes Clerkenwell the ideal place to showcase the Brintons Inspirations range as the week marks the very best in design from the UK and across the world.”

The collection will be available to view online as a digital PDF for clients to download and designs will also be uploaded to Brintons’ interactive Design Studio Online, which is a tool for designers and customers to instantly access and search designs.

For more information on Brintons and its range of products and services for the commercial sector, visit www.brintons.net or call 01562 635665.

Roca unveils new brassware factory in Brazil

Daniel Fountain

As the leading bathroom brand in the Brazilian market, Roca has unveiled a new brassware factory in the north east of the country. Spanning 50,000 square metres, the plant includes production and warehousing facilities for Roca brassware which is manufactured specifically to meet the demands of the Brazilian people in terms of functionality and design. Located in the town of Vitória de Santo Antão, the facility is one of the industry’s most advanced factories in the world, both technically and in terms of the environment and sustainability. The new facility represents a £10million investment for Roca, and has the capacity to produce 1.5 million pieces per year.

Brassware sales in Brazil have increased from 50,000 to 400,000 in just four years, with Roca investing close to £50million in this market over the past five years, employing 3,800 people across its various factories.

With the opening of its new factory, Roca is looking to meet the increasing home demand in Brazil, where the country’s growing middle class has improved the standard of living, developed different preferences and become much more demanding in terms of the quality of the products they choose for their homes.

By locating the manufacturing plant close to the end user in the north east of the country, Roca is able to adapt its products in line with the population’s technical and cultural requirements. Not only is the brassware produced at the new facility designed to meet Brazilians’ styles and tastes, it also meets the country’s water pressure requirements in order to ensure a top performance.

Innside Manchester Set for May 2015 Opening – The Brand’s First UK Hotel

Daniel Fountain

INNSIDE by Meliá, a pioneer of the design-led business hotel movement, is moving to the UK with a Manchester launch this year. INNSIDE seeks to blur the boundaries between business and lifestyle hotels and is Meliá Hotels International’s most successful city brand. The 208 room hotel will be located in the heart of Manchester in the centre of the vibrant First Street development. It will overlook the city’s international centre for contemporary visual art, theatre and film, HOME, with its two theatres, five cinemas and art gallery.

Located minutes away from Manchester’s museum and shopping districts and with easy access to both Manchester’s train stations and Manchester Airport, the hotel is geared towards both business and leisure travellers.

General Manager, Adam Munday, comments: “We’re very much looking forward to the launch of INNSIDE Manchester later this year. The site is looking great and all is on track for its opening in early May. The First Street Development is the perfect location for the brand’s first UK hotel and we’re looking forward to working alongside HOME to create memorable experiences for our guests.”

INNSIDE Manchester’s 208 rooms, including eight studio suites, will continue to follow the INNSIDE brand’s inherent design ethos for stylish, functional and contemporary rooms, with sleek ensuite bathrooms.

The new hotel will also be home to “Street on First”, a restaurant and bar offering an international menu of both traditional and contemporary sharing dishes, inspired by street food around the world. The restaurant, whose aim will be to create ‘food for a social mood’ will be open to both hotel guests and the general public.

The property will also offer a selection of versatile meetings and events spaces with natural daylight spanning 300m² as well as a complete fitness suite, parking and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Meliá Hotels International’s chief executive and vice-chairman, Gabriel Escarrer, said: “The new cultural outlook for Manchester is an ideal framework for the growth of INNSIDE by Meliá, a brand which originated in Germany and which enjoys a fantastic reputation among our customers. We aim to bring INNSIDE to a number of key cities in Europe and across the world in the next few years.”

New Heathrow hotel opens to business and leisure travellers

Daniel Fountain

Located close to Heathrow International Airport, Mercure London Heathrow Hotel has flown to the rescue for guests looking to start their leisure and business travel the right way. The hotel is opening under a franchise agreement with Crimson Hotels Ltd.Contemporary, modern and smart, the new multi-million pound fully refurbished 184 room hotel continues to put the customer welcome at it’s heart by combining the front desk, restaurant, bar, lounge area and business centre. Staying true to its locally inspired roots, the hotel also displays a brand wall made of different leather from various luggage in order to pay homage to the hotel’s vicinity to Heathrow. Guests will be able to enjoy spotting other individualised local touches, which can be found in the design elements that decorate the hotels interior.

Starting from £60 a night, the Mercure London Heathrow Hotel is located less than two miles from London Heathrow Airport and provides easy access to Central London and the M4 / M25 motorways.

Guests can indulge in some fantastic amenities including Borders Restaurant and Bar, Costa coffee, dry gym, extensive meeting facilities and a Hoppa shuttle service (chargeable), that runs guests to the airport from 4am – 11pm. There is something for both leisure and business guests at Mercure London Heathrow Hotel. The hotel offers guests a range of accommodation including standard, superior, privilege rooms and suites. All rooms offer air-conditioning, flat screen television, hairdryer, ironing facilities, complimentary tea tray, mini fridge and laptop bedroom safes as standard. Secure parking and free WiFi is available throughout the hotel.

Jonathan Sheard, SVP Operations Luxury, Upscale & Midscale Hotels, Accor UK & Ireland said, “We are delighted at being able to welcome Mercure London Heathrow Hotel to the network of Mercure Hotels in the UK. Like all of our hotels, it offers fantastic services for both business and leisure guests. All of our hotels are designed to provide a quality experience for our guests from the moment they walk in and our newest hotel is no exception. The hotel’s new look reflects our commitment to providing excellent facilities in each hotel across the country.”

Hypnos wins The Furniture Makers Guild Sustainability Award

Daniel Fountain

Bed Manufacturer of the Year and Royal Warrant holder, Hypnos has been crowned winner of The Furniture Makers Guild Sustainability Award 2015. This prestigious accolade has been awarded to Hypnos by a panel of renowned experts in the field of furniture making including, Paul von der Heyde, the Master of the Furniture Makers Guild and Phil Reynolds of FIRA. This award is recognition for Hypnos’ dedicated commitment to manufacturing and sustainability and is a symbol of excellence in waste and energy management and signals Hypnos’ commitment to corporate and social responsibility and its continuing ethical development as leaders in the furniture industry.

It is Hypnos’ strong ethical & environmentally friendly values that have helped the business scoop the honour. Every bed is created from the finest, natural materials including FSC or PEFC certified timbers that have been sourced from managed forests which means that all beds are 100% recyclable at the end of their life. Hypnos’ wider responsible approach is emphasised by becoming the first carbon neutral bed maker in the country and by passing the Sedex Ethical Trading Audit.

With ethical bed production at the core of the company’s values, its sustainable credentials also extend to aftercare. The business offers retailers a full disposal service for old beds, with Hypnos’ sister company, The Furniture Recycling Company, deconstructing beds to create recycled raw materials for re-use in other industries. This responsible approach results in 100% landfill avoidance and offers a green and responsible way of disposing of old mattresses and bedding.

It is this responsible philosophy and focus on sustainable design that has enabled Hypnos to scoop this award.

Hypnos’ Group Managing Director, Stephen Ward explains: “We are absolutely delighted to win this award. The fact that it is judged by peers and experts from within the Furniture Industry makes it even more special.

“We are now the current holders of two prestigious Industry Awards, as this win follows the NBF Bed Manufacturer of the Year award in September, which shows that our strategy and performance is now being recognised by the Industry. This is all very encouraging for our team, and will keep us energised and dedicated to driving innovation and sustainability with in the industry for even more years to come.”

Paul Von Der Heyde, Master of the Furniture Makers Guild comments: “Hypnos is highly deserving of this distinction as it was impressive in every category. Highly commended in last year’s awards the company took on the challenge to raise its standards even further to succeed in 2015.”

Jumeirah Group to open second hotel in Turkey

Daniel Fountain

Jumeirah Group has signed a management agreement with Targets Investment Turizm Isletmeleri AS to operate a luxury hotel in Bodrum on Turkey’s Aegean coast.Following the signing of the agreement, the hotel formerly known as the Golden Savoy will be operated under the Jumeirah brand as Jumeirah Bodrum Palace Hotel, Turkey with an official opening scheduled for 1st May 2015.

The hotel is situated approximately 10 minutes from Bodrum city centre, nestled in the natural beauty of Zeytinlikahve Cove, and 20 minutes from Bodrum International Airport. It is an extravagantly designed luxury hotel consisting of 135 rooms made up of generous suites, luxuriously appointed villas and a six-bedroom Palace. The property covers 110,000m2 and includes a wide range of restaurants, lounges and bars, a Talise Spa with 12 treatment rooms, a number of high-end shops and 57 swimming pools with the majority assigned to the private villas. Every suite and villa offers commanding views over the Aegean Sea.

One of the highlights of Jumeirah Bodrum Palace Hotel is ‘The Palace’, a 2000 m2 palatial residence with uninterrupted sea views, consisting of six deluxe master bedrooms, each with an ensuite and Jacuzzi, a private indoor and outdoor pool with sea water facility, a finely crafted traditional Turkish hammam and sauna, its own exclusive pier and private beach with cabanas. The Palace also has a royal living room and dining room, an entertainment patio and sundeck. Guests have twenty-four hour access to a dedicated butler service.

Jumeirah Group has appointed Mete Atakuman as General Manager of the hotel. An Australian-Turkish citizen, Mete was previously General Manager of Jumeirah Bilgah Beach Hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan, before which he worked for a number of international brands including Hyatt, Starwood and Hilton.

Tourist arrivals in Turkey during 2014 exceeded 40 million, of which 4.3 million visited Bodrum. Jumeirah Group already has a presence in Turkey, having successfully operated the historic Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah in Istanbul since 2011.

Commenting on the management agreement, Targets Investment Turizm Isletmeleri AS Chairman , Mr. Vedat Dalkiran said: “Having opened as the Golden Savoy in 2014 and enjoyed a successful first season, we are delighted to welcome Jumeirah Group as the new operators. The company’s brand reputation, commercial prowess and understanding of luxury hospitality will lift the hotel to the next level of performance and bring a new wave of discerning luxury travelers to this magnificent hotel.”

Gerald Lawless, President and Group CEO of Jumeirah Group, said: “To have the opportunity of extending our brand presence in Turkey is a key strategic development for Jumeirah. To be doing so with such a magnificent hotel on the Turkish Riviera gives us every confidence that our loyal Jumeirah guests will find the same quality of experience that they have come to associate with our hotels around the world. We are grateful to Targets for giving us the opportunity to operate their beautiful hotel in this outstanding destination.”

MENA Chain Hotels Market Review – February 2015

Daniel Fountain

February Highlights
• Riyadh hotel performance grows but Jeddah witnesses a slow down
• Mixed results for Manama and Sharm El Sheikh hotels in February
• Average room rates surge in Abu Dhabi

Sarina Sofa from Gallery Direct

Daniel Fountain

The new chesterfield-style Sarina Sofa from GALLERY DIRECT offers a new twist on an old favourite. This sumptuous, dark grey velvet sofa, featuring elegant scroll arms and deep button detailing, is a real luxury statement piece for modern living. The Sarina is just one of the 350 new products launched by Gallery at the January Furniture Show.

+44 (0) 17 95 43 91 59
Click here to contact Gallery Direct: http://www.gallerydirect.co.uk

The Empire Hotel, Queenstown, Tasmania

Daniel Fountain

Editor’s Note: HotelDesigns has a peripatetic reporter in Australia at the moment. He is putting some years of experience designing hotels into practice as a critic, looking at Australian hotels for our magazine. Recently he took a brief trip for a family wedding to Queenstown in Tasmania the Aussie state almost 20% of which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. He writes:I was able to take my 4×4, a mandatory mode of transport around these parts, on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry. The ferry departs from the heart of Melbourne and arrives 9 hours later, in Devon Port.

After spending Christmas in the north of the island state, I travelled south to Strahan for New Year. On New Year’s Day I trundled into Queenstown, a mining town in Tasmania’s south-western wilderness. It is perhaps best known for the “moonscape” surrounding the town. Logging to supply the local smelters has allowed the topsoil to be washed away from the surrounding mountains. This has revealed the rock beneath and leaving a stark landscape vista into which trees are only slowly growing back.

My visit was meant to be brief, to look at the town and browse the gift shop at the heritage steam Wilderness Railway there. However, as I was leaving the town, travelling at no more than 15kph (less than 10mph), there was a loud bang and one of the front wheels fell off my vehicle. This resulted in my being stranded in Queenstown for a further week and becoming something of a celebrity in the town.

This also gave me the enforced opportunity to stay at the Empire Hotel, in the centre of town. This historic hotel, built in 1901, is directly across the road from the railway station. The railway is now a tourist attraction, with its steam locomotives converted to run on old engine oil, but it was once the only way to transport minerals from Queenstown to the harbour town of Strahan, to be exported by boat.

Wilton Carpets Commercial is star of the show at the Theatre Royal

Daniel Fountain

The Theatre Royal Drury Lane, a famous London landmark, has been entertaining the masses since the 17th Century. The current building dating from the 19th Century has recently been refurbished, with Wilton Carpets Commercial providing 750 square metres of high quality bespoke carpet.Restoring the theatre to its former glory, the entrance, landing, stairways and the Grand Saloon have been fitted with woven carpet that reflects the theatre’s period interior.

Working alongside interiors expert Edward Bulmer, David Bamford of D&S Bamford (Makers) Ltd was tasked with sourcing a manufacturer capable of producing a carpet that would be a fitting tribute to the venue’s heritage, reflecting the grandeur and magnificence expected of one of London’s most famous theatres. With Wilton Carpets Commercial’s renowned bespoke service, David commissioned the Wiltshire based company to produce an 11-row woven axminster construction to deliver the perfect solution with exceptional clarity in design and one that would retain its good looks despite heavy footfall.

Taking inspiration from a design by the theatre’s original architect, B D Wyatt, for Tatton Park in Cheshire, Edward used his wealth of experience to create bespoke designs using Wilton’s versatile selection of stock colours in perfect combination.

Edward was most enthused by the Grand Saloon, explaining, “The original plan was to install wood flooring in this most beautiful of rooms, as had been the case for many centuries before. However, we were always concerned about the acoustics of the room so sought an answer that would ensure the room remained in keeping with its history as well as meeting modern day concerns. Therefore, instead of choosing a wall-to-wall carpet, we opted for a carpet that left the wood floor exposed around the edges of the room. In effect, the timber floor acts as a frame to a beautiful piece of artwork; the design comprises blues, greens, reds and a striking gold that offset the recreated Wyatt colour scheme with green marble and architectural gilding.”

Along with the more subtle beige design used in the entrance, landing and stairway, the Grand Saloon carpet was installed by Bollin Valley Flooring of Macclesfield. The carpet has received acclaim from visitors and staff alike, who have marvelled at the stunning design created by Edward, the team at D&S Bamford, and Wilton Carpets Commercial, and the whole scheme has been awarded Best Restoration of a Georgian Interior by the Georgian Group.

“Working with Wilton Carpets Commercial was a smooth process, offering a service that was exactly as bespoke as we needed it to be,” explains Edward. “For instance, the stair runner was added at a late stage of the project, demonstrating the company’s flexibility as well as its impressive attention to detail.”

For further information contact Wilton Carpets Commercial on 01722 746000 or sales@wiltoncarpets.com

Création Baumann introduces, The Wool Collection

Daniel Fountain

From checks to herringbones, The Wool Collection from Création Baumann has it covered.The Wool Collection consists of 4 classic woven designs, one multi coloured print fabric and 2 cushions.

These quality upholstery fabrics woven from 80% Wool and 20% Nylon come in a colour palette inspired by nature: Soft powder tones, shades of stone to earthy masculine greys.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH) Welcomes Three Stunning Hotels to Its Curated Portfolio

Daniel Fountain

Having welcomed a new hotel to the brand in the very first week of the new year, SLH is not taking any breaks in 2015, which promises to be the best year yet. According to Paul Kerr, CEO for SLH “this is our 25 anniversary year and we hope to welcome many new hotels to the brand from across the globe, especially in cities and destinations we don’t currently have a presence. We are thrilled to welcome the following three new hotels who all joined at the end of 2014.”The Laslett Notting Hill, London – OPENING SUMMER 2015

The Laslett Notting Hill will host 51 well-appointed bedrooms and suites, spread across five listed Victorian townhouses on Pembridge Gardens, London. It is named after well-loved community activist, Rhaune Laslett, who organised the first Notting Hill Festival. Made famous by the film, Notting Hill is also known for Portobello Road Market, the world’s largest for antiques, as well as for its fashionable restaurants and bars. Inspired by this vibrant local scene, the look and feel of The Laslett will evoke the sense of walking into a friend’s stylish home. The interior design is the work of architects and designers from Waldo Works, who are widely known for their contemporary British flair. Pieces from British designers such as Simon Day, Pinch and Earnest Race complement this design, whilst art and photography from celebrated local names adorn the walls.

The public space downstairs is part coffee shop, part bar-kitchen, part gallery and part concept store, with regular art exhibitions and a locally sourced food and drink selection that will evolve throughout the day. Offering in-room spa treatments and pop-up dining opportunities, The Laslett promises to be a firm favourite for visitors and locals alike in the heart of Notting Hill.

Lijiang’s Patio, Lijiang, China – OPENED FEBRUARY 2015

Lijiang is one of China’s hidden gems – combined with beautiful natural sceneries such as Lugu Lake, Tiger Leaping Gorge and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the ancient UNESCO town – Dayan Town – it’s the perfect escape from everyday life. Lijiang’s Patio offers 22 private residences at an enviable address in the centre of the city. Guests arrive and take part in the hotel’s traditional tea ceremony before being shown to their private villa.

When guests leave the hotel, they will find themselves transported back in time with historic bridges and cobbled streets running alongside beautiful canals and all against the back drop of the epic Jade Dragon Snow mountain, which can been seen from both the town and privately from the individual villas. Guests can also enjoy the Qin Cambodian Spa after a long day of exploring. In the evenings, wine tasting events are often held at the Wyatt Wine Cellar, while for those who partake, the hotel offers guests the only Cigar Bar in town with some of the world’s finest luxury cigars.

Continued on page two…

Hamilton chosen to refurbish Anne Boleyn’s guest rooms

Daniel Fountain

Surrounded by glorious Kent countryside, Hever Castle offers luxury Bed and Breakfast accommodation in the Astor Wing of the Castle – an Edwardian annexe created by William Waldorf Astor, designed in Tudor style. This period property boasts a fine collection of 19 stunning ‘five-star gold’ graded suites – overlooking a private garden area. The magnificent accommodation has recently been extended to encompass a new wing. This ambitious project took place in what was once staff accommodation and storage areas, overlooking a historic orchard and the exterior of Hever Castle. Now known as the ‘Anne Boleyn Wing’ the space comprises a series of 9 new suites and a breakfast room, all taking full advantage of the views, with each suite being aptly named after different varieties of English apples.

The Brief: Interior designer Sarah Clark, of ‘Interiors at Nine to Eleven’, was commissioned to create an individual look and feel for each suite. All needed to encompass historical elements, modern comforts and contemporary style. In this new space Sarah was asked to retain the feel of the existing Astor Wing, which she had already refurbished, but this time was asked to ‘spread-her-wings’ and in doing so was given the freedom to introduce a unique personality to each suite. Lighting control and a relaxing and cosy ambiance within each space was a priority too. For Sarah elements of continuity and finishing touches were the point of difference – selecting a suitable lighting control system and the perfect switch plates and sockets were a must.

The Solution: The backdrop of the Castle, the angle of natural light, how the room sat within the space and the need to use some existing pieces of furniture provided Sarah with a unique starting point around which to evolve the design of each room. The theme chosen by Sarah that shone through across the project was rooted in Anne Boleyn’s Royal Court but with a significant Edwardian feel by way of a nod to the Astor family.

Every suite was individually designed with continuity and flow achieved via the bathrooms and fixtures and fittings. Sarah was drawn to the Hamilton Range initially through her research to identify the optimum lighting control system. Hamilton’s Mercury® Lighting Control system fitted the project needs perfectly – simple to install, cleverly designed and easy for hotel staff and guests to use. Once engaged with Hamilton Sarah was delighted to discover the stunning switch plate & socket designs and finishes. This together with the fact that Hamilton offers a bespoke and consultative design and production service along with complete integration of lighting control and traditional circuit lighting, provided the ideal solution. Hamilton delivered a personal service, assessing the project on site and drawing up a tailored specification for each area of the project working with Sarah and her electrical contractor to deliver support at every level. Sarah selected the Hartland CFX® collection in Richmond Bronze for its intensity and depth of colour. Essentially neutral with a deep tone to seamlessly blend with the colours and textures of the fabrics and surfaces in each individually styled room.

Ambiance was enhanced within the suites with lighting control. A bespoke 4 button control plate, featuring different settings – engraved with the words ‘Bright’, ‘Calm’, ‘Cosy’ and ‘Off’, were fitted at the entrance to each suite. The plates were made to Sarah’s exact specifications with input and advice from Hamilton to create a stylish end result. In addition to this the lighting levels were originally factory set but Hamilton walked Sarah and her team through the control settings and the 4 final light levels were adjusted by the client. This bespoke addition was just one of several special tailored solutions fulfilled by Hamilton at the request of the designer.

The Result: The elegance and rich heritage of this project were enhanced by the lighting control and switch plate & socket solution afforded by Hamilton. Essentially, Hamilton’s expertise in integrating smart technology sympathetically and seamlessly within a ‘Heritage’ environment proved to be invaluable throughout this project. An instant cosy ambiance was communicated and delivered via the bespoke engraved switch plates and pre-set lighting levels. Most importantly, from Sarah’s perspective, the Richmond Bronze finish of the plates added a coordinated flow through all the suites, which were otherwise individually styled.

Project interior designer Sarah Clark of Interiors at Nine to Eleven says: “I was initially drawn to Hamilton for its Mercury® Lighting Control system and range of stunning switch plates & sockets which perfectly suited the needs of this project. However I soon came to appreciate and value the fabulous personal service and consultative approach provided by the Hamilton Team. I know we achieved the best system we could for the space. Hamilton was outstanding and a pleasure to work with. Everyone I came in contact with gave huge attention to detail. The price was cost effective too and worked within our budget.”

In summary, it’s not hard to imagine Anne Boleyn, a previous Hever Castle resident, and of course the Astor family being delighted with the end result too! Sarah found and made contact with Hamilton initially at Interiors UK 2014 at the NEC – she says: “The Hamilton team on the exhibition stand were friendly, knowledgeable and in no way pushy. No hard sell just straightforward and informative communication!”

Viceroy Hotel Group Joins Global Hotel Alliance

Daniel Fountain

Global Hotel Alliance (“GHA”) recently announced Viceroy as its latest member brand, expanding the Alliance’s presence in North America, the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and the Middle East, with some of the hospitality brand’s most luxurious properties being incorporated into the Ultratravel Collection, in addition to Viceroy’s Urban Retreat properties in San Francisco and New York City also joining.Positioned as a full-service modern luxury hotel brand, Viceroy is the flagship brand of Viceroy Hotel Group, delivering an exciting array of 5 star hotels and resorts located across the world. With hotels in five locations globally: Mexico, US, Caribbean, Maldives and UAE and future properties located in the Middle East, Portugal and Colombia, Viceroy offers a stunning collection of hotels and resorts to choose from, further enhancing GHA’s current portfolio.

Chris Hartley, GHA’s CEO, is thrilled to welcome the contemporary lifestyle brand to the GHA family: “Viceroy Hotel Group joins us at an exciting time, not only as we continue to strengthen our presence in some of the world’s most sought-after destinations, but also just as we re-launch our DISCOVERY loyalty programme, with a stronger emphasis on the individuality of our member brands. We feel privileged to have Viceroy’s prestigious properties included within our portfolio, both under GHA as well as Ultratravel Collection; and we are now able to offer our 5.4 million DISCOVERY members an even larger variety of hotels to choose from.”

Bill Walshe, Viceroy Hotel Group CEO, is excited about the opportunity of the company’s properties joining both GHA and Ultratravel Collection: “GHA is a unique proposition, co- created with real travelers seeking timely and authentic recognition. As a leader in modern luxury hospitality, it is Viceroy’s privilege to join a movement that believes in the personal currency of ‘life long memories’ as the ultimate expression of loyalty. We are proud to join such an extraordinary collection of hotel brands, and we look forward to collaborating with them to deliver amazing experiences to guests from across the globe.”

The integration of Viceroy Hotels & Resorts into GHA and Ultratravel Collection will be completed by the beginning of April 2015, bringing GHA’s network to over 550 hotels and 31 independent brands.

Anassa Steps Into Spring with New Look Rooms and Boutique Launch

Daniel Fountain

This Spring, Thanos Hotels unveiled Anassa’s newly renovated rooms and launched the hotel’s standalone fashion store – Kult Boutique. Reopened on the 16th March for the season, Anassa revealed the refreshed suites including the upgraded garden studio suites, junior suites and villas, which unifies tradition and modernity and effortlessly enhances Anassa’s understated at-home design.With a combination of custom-made oak furniture and furnishings, luxurious silks and linens in nautical blues and understated taupes, Anassa’s new look exudes a refined and elegant, yet contemporary Mediterranean feel. These new suites offers guests a beach-chic apartment vibe and an atmosphere of cool comfort and welcoming warmth. The renovation was conceived by legendary Parisian interior designer Joelle Pleot and brought to life by local artisans, Andreas Charalambous Konteatis and brothers Costas and Aggelos Charalambous who, having worked with the owners for 20 and 30 years respectively understand and appreciate the ethos of Thanos Hotels.

Speaking about the renovation, Managing Director Thanos Michaelides said, “Anassa is an institution in her own right. We are blessed to have been working with the same artisans and designers since she opened, all of whom truly understand what she represents. The renovations really elevate Anassa’s elegant allure, while maintaining her distinctive character and uniqueness. The results are truly beautiful.”

The opening of Kult Boutique sets a new precedent. This 300 square-metre retail space has been envisioned by architectural and interior designer, Paolo Giachi – renowned for his work with luxury fashion houses from the Louis Vuitton and Fendi stores in Florence to the Smythson stores in New York and Los Angeles. Kult’s interiors, designed in Giachi’s typical style, feature local stone and hardwood floors paired with dramatic oak and bronze furnishings. Kult offers a shopping haven for men and women with ready-to-wear clothing and accessories from Prada, Miu Miu, Bottega Veneta, Stella McCartney, Saint Laurent, Jimmy Choo, and Aqua Di Parma.

Anassa’s sister property Annabelle also sees in the new season with renovated sea-view rooms. True to the hotel’s classic colonial style these new rooms feature updated wooden furnishings, a modern and fresh colour scheme and traditional shutter doors. This update sees the final phase of the property’s upgrade being complete.

Altfield welcomes Alcantara into the family

Daniel Fountain

With an unrivalled aesthetic and technical reputation, this unique material’s construction is still a highly guarded secret. This means Alcantara cannot be pigeon-holed into any product category, it is a category in its own right!Made by a sophisticated industrial process, Alcantara’s strength is that it is extraordinarily versatile. It can be moulded into endless possibilities and used to cover any shape or surface whilst still maintaining the highest industry standards.

In a nutshell, Alcantara is;
Beauty – elegant and sophisticated
Textural – soft and comfortable
Reliable – light, strong and durable
Eco-friendly – 100% Carbon Neutral
Colour – with a virtually limitless palette
Thickness – minimum 0.4 mm to maximum 1.2 mm
Technical properties – water repellent, cleanable, breathable and many more; passes IMO 652 & Crib 5
Surface options – printing, embossing, embroidery, electro-welding and many others

Alcantara’s S/S 2015 collection, Acqua, is an exploration into the endless design possibilities of this unique product, using numerous decorative techniques – plaiting and knitting, laser-cut motifs, beautiful laminas and prints combined with embroidery – to create articles which interpret the unfathomable transience of water, drawing inspiration from mythological figures or water related elements. The colour palette ranges from the soft tones of ivory and sand to blues and surprises us with unexpected touches of turquoise.

Altfield is proud to be the new home for this one of a kind product.

Chelsom at The Beaumont Hotel

Daniel Fountain

Working in collaboration with Richmond International, Chelsom created a series of custom designed pieces as part of the lighting scheme for the stunning 5* boutique hotel, The Beaumont, the first hotel by iconic restauranteurs Jeremy King and Chris Corbin which opened in the heart of London’s Mayfair in the autumn to international acclaim.Originally built as a car garage in 1926, the Grade-II Listed building by famed 20’s architects Wimperis & Simpson offers a pure Art Deco style, the interior of which has been impeccably designed by Richmond International to take the hotel back to its roots and in doing so encapsulating the classic glamour of pre-war Mayfair.

The interior combines a rich palette of colours and materials with elegant, timeless pieces selected to emphasise the exuberance of this visual and influential period.

Designed to enhance the exquisite interior scheme, all fittings created by Chelsom for the guestrooms and public areas were heavily influenced by the Art Deco era.

The timeless Hub Cap desk lamp with its elegant design featuring a beautifully curved shallow canopy and sweeping arm was chosen for all of the guestrooms and suites throughout the hotel, specified in a bespoke brass finish specially created for the project.

Chelsom also supplied a series of bespoke 1920’s inspired geometric wall and ceiling lights made from frosted glass with matt black steel metalwork for the public area spaces including corridors and lift lobby areas whilst decorative semi- circular wall lights with solid glass rods and Polished Chrome metalwork were chosen to add understated glamour to The Lotos Room private dining area.

Hotel Pulitzer to join Preferred Hotels & Resorts and undergo renovation

Daniel Fountain

Amsterdam’s famed Hotel Pulitzer, a historic hotel of 25 canal houses with over 400 years of heritage, is to join the Preferred Hotels & Resorts LVX Collection from 1st April 2015. In addition, the 230 room property is to undergo a phased renovation from late April, bringing back a quintessential Dutch elegance and style to the hotel. Blending modern and traditional influences, the design concept is inspired by a contemporary twist on the elegant gables of Amsterdam’s canal houses, which give the city its unique skyline and architecture.Preferred Hotels & Resorts represents the finest and most diverse global portfolio of independent hotels and independent hotel experiences. The brand’s LVX collection offers guests an exceptional and elegant collection of renowned properties in vibrant cities and resort destinations globally, featuring the finest accommodations accompanied by attentive, engaging, and exclusive personal service.

“We are delighted to welcome the beautiful Hotel Pulitzer as our newest European property. The hotel blends luxury service with a classically Dutch ambience, while evoking the city’s Golden Age of merchant-explorers to our discerning guests,” said Philipp Weghmann, Executive Vice President of Europe for Preferred Hotels & Resorts. “Hotel Pulitzer aligns perfectly with our brand standards of excellence and the distinct offerings required of the LVX collection. We look forward to a long and successful partnership.”

Located in the heart of the city, on the Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht, Hotel Pulitzer is the perfect location for visitors to discover the charm, culture and quirkiness Amsterdam has to offer. Guests stay in a collection of 25 connecting Golden Age canal houses with intimate rooms, a tranquil inner garden, meeting & events space, as well as a restaurant and bar that showcase local tastes and produce.

Alex Van Gastel, General Manager Hotel Pulitzer, said, ‘Working with Preferred Hotels & Resorts gives us a great platform and a professional partner to connect with our global audience, who have been coming to this hotel for over 45 years. The upcoming renovation will enable us to showcase a truly unique Amsterdam Hotel to our guests and to the city. The hotel is a maze of secrets and surprises, tucked away behind a beautiful, historic façade, which will be revealed in its full glory in 2016.’

The first phase of the renovation will commence from late April, with a complete refurbishment of the bar, restaurant and meeting rooms, as well as the renovation of 80 rooms in one wing (Keizersgracht side). In January 2016 the new look Hotel Pulitzer will be revealed. The second phase will then start, with the next wing (Prinsengracht side) of the hotel being renovated until the Autumn 2016. The hotel’s unique layout means that a phased renovation has minimal impact on the guest experience and the hotel can remain open while the work is carried out.

Guests staying at the Hotel Pulitzer will be eligible to enrol in the iPrefer guest loyalty programme, which extends points redeemable for cash-value Reward Certificates, elite status, and special benefits such as complimentary Internet to members at more than 550 participating Preferred Hotels & Resorts locations worldwide.

Crowne Plaza Kensington Set to Unveil Newly Refurbished Rooms

Daniel Fountain

Crowne Plaza Kensington, positioned in the heart of London SW7 has announced a significant refurbishment project working with London-based architects and interior design practice Jestico + Whiles. The Crowne Plaza’s boutique London outpost will unveil a complete refurbishment of all accommodation on the 1st May 2015, offering its guests a chic new look and feel.Kensington’s ultimate neighbourhood hotel housed behind a wonderfully imposing Victorian stucco façade offers an intimate oasis for its guests in a prime London location. The townhouse property has successfully established a home from home ethos, with exceptional and welcoming service, above and beyond the expected.

The hotel’s162 rooms, some of which are amongst the largest in London, include 20 split-level suites providing apartment style living with the luxuries of impeccable hotel service. Its facilities include a destination pan-Asian restaurant, Umami, cocktail bar and club Lounge plus exceptional meeting facilities featuring five high-tech rooms, giving the destination broad appeal. Unique to only a handful of London hotels, The Crowne Plaza is also home to a one-acre garden oasis overlooking the Victorian church of St Stephens.

With its ground floor lobby, bar and library areas refurbished in 2012 to offer a stylish townhouse meeting place for guests and local residents, 2015 will elevate the property’s accommodation to exceed expectations. With the appointment of Jestico + Whiles, its rooms and suites will offer a new design emulating a true London spirit.

In a contemporary twist with heritage London accents, the new look, executed in a clean and contemporary style, will lean heavily on London Regency and Georgian reference points. Incorporating geometric, period-style references throughout the rooms from furniture arrangements to floor patterns.

Significant upgrades to the hotel’s guest rooms will include brand new flooring, echoing references of the iconic black and white Victorian tiling of the borough and textured wall coverings. Brand new furniture, which is functional yet stylish, focuses on British craftsmanship from dense tweed ottomans and easy chairs to hand stitched leather dining chairs. New desks will feature glamorous pop-up vanity units and faux leather and fabric crafted headboards to flank the hotel’s signature Sleep Advantage beds.

The hotel’s 20 split-level suites will echo a similar design yet feature a dedicated lower ground living space complete with living and dining areas including sumptuous sofa beds, making these spaces perfect for families. Upper levels are accessed by fresh white painted wooden staircases to a haven of sumptuous design tailored for the ultimate sleep in the city.

All corridors will be re-styled with a nod to the property’s London townhouse heritage, featuring cool steely grey textured walls combining faux leather stitched panels, slick lighting design and graphic print carpets. Accents of ironmongery will dress guest bedroom doors and elevators also re-dressed to feature a combination of painted wood panels, silver mirrors and faux leather panel surrounds.

As part of the hotel’s next phase the property has recently completed a renovation of its meeting and events facilities. With a total area of 563 square metres, across five meeting rooms, function spaces offer flexible configurations and high tech facilities, supervised by a highly skilled events team. All spaces have been re-painted offering bright white space for guests and delegates, with the addition of magnetic, ‘write on’ movable walls, brand new concealed projector facilities, flat screen TVs staggered throughout the rooms and state of the art AV systems operated via an in-house iPad.

Ideally located within a few minute’s walk from Gloucester Road tube station, Crowne Plaza Kensington offers fast and efficient access to Heathrow, Central London and Earls Court and is within walking distance to some of London’s most coveted museums and shops including The Natural History Museum, V&A and Harrods.

Staybridge Suites® Hotel Opens in Albany, New York

Daniel Fountain

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announces the opening of the new-build 112-room Staybridge Suites® Albany Wolf Road-Colonie Centre hotel located near the Albany International Airport. The hotel is the ninth IHG property in Albany and the first Staybridge Suites in the Capital Region.Robert Radomski, Vice President, Brand Management, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites® Brands said:“The opening of this property marks our eighth Staybridge Suites hotel in New York state. We are thrilled that we are now able to offer the home-like and community living experience that the Staybridge Suites brand is known for to those who are visiting the Albany area.”

The new property offers well-designed spacious guestrooms which include a mix of studio and one-and two-bedroom/two-bathroom suites, along with more than 900 square feet of meeting space. Amenities such as a complimentary daily hot breakfast buffet and evening reception, daily housekeeping, guest laundry room, fitness centre, indoor pool, 24-hour business centre and outdoor living room with barbecue and fire pit are available for all guests.

Robert Huber, General Manager said: “We believe the unique offerings of the Staybridge Suites brand are a strong fit for this market. With our convenient location near the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, we anticipate many corporate travellers from the nano technology and computer chip manufacturing fields who will appreciate the home-like amenities that our hotel provides to these long-term guests.”

The hotel, located at 39 Wolf Road, is owned by Turf Colonie LLC and managed by Turf Hotels.

Onyria Palmares Beach & Golf Resort To Open Five-Star Hotel In 2016

Daniel Fountain

A new five-star boutique hotel is to be built alongside the multi-award-winning Onyria Palmares Beach & Golf Resort on Portugal’s Algarve coast. The Onyria Palmares Beach House Hotel – which features 18 rooms and two suites – will open in spring 2016 and will offer stunning 180-degrees views to the Bay of Lagos, with beds facing the windows so guests wake up looking towards the three-mile Meia-Praia beach. The new hotel will adopt the same service ethos as its sister property, the Onyria Marinha Edition Hotel, in Cascais, which was voted the number-one hotel in Europe and number three in the world by users of the award-winning review site TripAdvisor® in 2013. The hotel – the first in the resort – will overlook both the 18th green and the practice area, just a short distance from the beach, and will also provide hospitality services to villa owners at the destination, such as concierge, housekeeping and food and beverage. António Pinto Coelho, the resort’s operations general director, said: “We believe the new hotel will be the finest of its type in Lagos.

The description ‘beach house’ comes from the location and view, and the home comforts of the service level – whether guests are in the privacy of their rooms, in the bar, restaurant or in the swimming pool. “The quality of service will be second-to-none as we maintain the same standards in our hotel as on the golf course, standards which have seen us win a number of prestigious awards and be voted into the top 100 courses of Europe.

“The opening of the hotel will be the final part of the jigsaw at Palmares, after the redesign of the golf course and the real-estate launch, following the traditional Onyria method of development, which has proved so successful elsewhere. “It will be the perfect vacation spot for golfers as, not only does it afford simple, stress-free access to 27 holes of award-winning golf, it also overlooks some of the layout’s links-style holes, described by the course designer, Robert Trent Jones Jr, as a ‘warmer Scotland’.” The boutique hotel follows on the heels of a successful launch of a limited number of villa plots at the distinctive site, with each either overlooking the sea or with views of the renowned Ria de Alvor nature reserve, one of the most important coastal wetlands in southern Portugal.

Construction on the hotel is scheduled to begin in June 2015 with an opening anticipated for spring 2016. The planning license also allows for another 152 hotel rooms to be built in stages. Onyria Palmares Beach & Golf Resort reopened only in 2011 following an extensive, €10m redesign by Trent Jones Jnr, and has been inundated with accolades ever since. The readers of one of Europe’s best-selling golf magazines, Today’s Golfer, voted Palmares joint runner-up in the best Portuguese course category in the publication’s annual travel awards. Palmares became a new entry, at 26th, in Golf World’s poll of the Top 100 European Golf Courses, in 2011, and, last year, jumped a further three places to 23. It was also listed as the third best course in Portugal by Golf Digest, the number one distributed sports title in the USA – a little more than a year after opening – and won Portugal’s ‘national tourism Oscar’, at the Publituris Portugal Travel Awards, for best golf course, for three successive years, 2012-14. The three loops of nine holes – the Alvor, Lagos and Praia courses – enjoy expansive panoramic views across the Bay of Lagos, with each lay-out offering a different kind of golfing challenge in a glorious and natural environment. The multi-award-winning 27-hole set-up is following Onyria’s traditional business model, with a five-star hotel and a selection of plots for villas which have been released on to the property market.

Sheraton Samui Resort now open

Daniel Fountain

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has recently announced the opening of Sheraton® Samui Resort, underscoring the brand’s expansion in Thailand and building upon 2014’s global growth momentum. Owned by TCC Hotels Group, a member of the TCC Land Group, Sheraton Samui is a conversion hotel that features 141-rooms situated on the beautiful Chaweng Noi Beach on the island of Koh Samui. Sheraton Samui Resort is the newest addition to the area, joining three existing Starwood hotels in Koh Samui while also building upon the current Sheraton portfolio of five dynamic Thai-based properties—Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa, Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas, Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort, and Sheraton Pattaya Resort.

Koh Samui, a popular destination for both short and long-haul markets, is easily accessible from several major airline hubs and is a quick fifteen minute drive from Samui International Airport (USM). The property is also conveniently located near excellent nightlife, fashionable shopping districts and popular attractions ranging from the pristine Chaweng Beach to the temple of Wat Kunaram. Adventure seekers can take boat trips to the nearby Angthong National Park and islands of Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan for world class diving and snorkelling.

Sheraton Samui Resort boasts 141 well-appointed guest rooms and suites with a stylish blend of modern décor and light pastel colours. Each room features the signature Sheraton Sweet Sleeper™ Bed, a bathroom with separate shower and bathtub, high speed Internet access, 42″ LCD TV and a private balcony with garden or ocean views.

Upon arrival at the lobby lounge, guests are treated to breathtaking panoramic ocean views through a glass-encased balcony, alongside a lighthouse inspired water feature as part of the “oceanic wave” design concept of the resort. On-site recreational facilities include 24-hour access to Sheraton Fitness®, tennis facilities, and also two salt-water swimming pools. Guests can also pamper themselves at the Glow Spa with seven treatment rooms, offering a range of signature massage and wellness treatments.

Guests will be spoilt for food and beverage choices at the resort’s four bars and restaurants. Coco Spice serves a sumptuous buffet breakfast spread in a contemporary dining experience; and in the evening it serves a menu featuring a fusion of eastern and western cuisines. Long Talay is an all-day beachfront dining restaurant with an open kitchen concept, allowing guests front row views as boldly flavoured Thai and seafood dishes are prepared. Blue Monkey, with its distinctive wave-inspired bamboo roofing, is an open air beach club style bar that offers another social venue for guests on a stunning beach front location. In addition, guests can also visit the resorts’ lobby lounge bar for bite-sized international and Pan-Asian snacks.

Sheraton Samui Resort offers a relaxed and inspiring social venue for corporate events, meetings, weddings and functions. The resort features fully-equipped function and pre-function spaces totalling 156 square meters, including outdoor venues with panoramic ocean views.

All New Grand Hyatt Taipei Readies for April 23 Re-Launch

Daniel Fountain

Twenty-five years after opening as the first, true international luxury hotel in the capital, the Grand Hyatt Taipei is on the verge of yet another début as one of the most sophisticated, urban hotels in East Asia.The Grand Hyatt Taipei is celebrating its Re-Launch April 23 after a top-to-toe renovation that fleshed out the hotel from its concrete bones. Each of the property’s 853 rooms and suites was stripped to the fundamentals, redesigned and rebuilt.

“With this re-launch, in terms of rooms and restaurants, we’re now a brand new property,” said Kai Speth, the hotel’s general manager. “But with a 25 year history in this same location, we’re also the most seasoned hotel in the city. We’ve got the best of both worlds.”

Baths clad in half-square-meters of marble, sophisticated lighting, muted colours, goose down duvets, deep-soaking tubs, ample windows, textured walls, suites that feel like apartments, and rooms that elicit surprise and a wow from guests are hallmarks of the the Grand Hyatt’s brand new day in Taipei.

The hotel’s guest rooms range in size from 33 and 40 square meters at the grand deluxe level to more than 83 square meters in an executive suite. The new presidential suite commands more than 221 square meters and offers up storybook views of the iconic Taipei 101 Tower.

Beyond the rooms, the all new Grand Hyatt Taipei is trumpeting two completely new restaurants, a Chinese restaurant, Yun Jin, and a Western venue, The Steakhouse, each a completely new concept and a ground-up build. Yun Jin’s début was in February. Work on the Steakhouse begins later this year.

Likewise, the Club Lounge is an all new experience. High counters cultivate opportunities for convivial breakfasts with fellow travellers while window-side alcoves preserve a certain measure of privacy. A new, open show kitchen whets appetites for Eastern and Western comfort food all morning long.

As a complement to the hotel’s substantial changes in hardware, its software has undergone a similarly dramatic transformation as the property asserts itself as a happening hub. In recent months, the hotel has hosted a boxing event, a European Christmas fair and flash mob dance.

The new, less formal vibe at the hotel is evident at check-in. Where hotel staff once greeted guests from one side of a high, grandiose counter, staff and guests gather at any of five low slung desks for a less officious introduction.

“It’s much less of a ‘you and I’ experience,” said Speth, “and much more of a ‘we’re all here together.’ These are very subtle gestures, but a hotel relies on its mostly finely tuned details to create its most memorable effects.”

Beyond check-in, the lobby replaced its souvenir shop with Baguette, a bakery and gift shop designed to stimulate more social interaction as guests resort to a new seating area. Where a business centre catered to men and women at work, a new retail shop invites more casual interaction.

What hasn’t changed in the lobby is its grandeur. The elegant space remains the only grand lobby in Taipei. In front of the hotel, a dramatic pruning has pared back a certain cultivated guardedness and opened up the hotel to casual inspection and passive invitation.

“We’re a part of this community, and we want the design, the colours and the layout to say exactly that,” said Speth. “If the boost in local traffic is any indicator, and I think it is, we’ve done just that.”

Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg, elegance in the heart of Paris

Daniel Fountain

This Haute Couture address was inaugurated on March 5th at an exceptional evening reception, unveiling the breathtaking interior design by Didier Gomez and a new restaurant run by Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno.A couple of days into Paris Fashion Week, the rue du Faubourg St Honoré lit up to celebrate the inauguration of the Sofitel Paris le Faubourg. Guests included journalists and international bloggers as well as Paris celebrities such as Chantal Thomas, Vincent Darré and Jean-Claude Jitrois. This must-attend event delighted 600 guests who sampled Sofitel signature cocktails and the restaurant menu.

This brand new address is unquestionably a flagship establishment for Sofitel in France. The refurbishment, which started in 2014, has yielded a luxurious setting that is authentic and intimate. We give you a guided tour.

The tone is set as soon as you step into the hotel. The graded shades of white, beige, grey, black and gold are surprisingly modern and warm. Designer Didier Gomez has achieved his aim of injecting new life into the reception lobby, now transformed into a vibrant living space.

In the entrance, a superb photograph by Cathleen Naundorf for Christian Dior attracts your gaze. The classical and contemporary furnishings are reminiscent of Paris’ luxury hotels and fashion houses. The establishment boasts a strong and unique identity in tune with its epoch.

A vision for the eyes
The visit continued along the corridors, where connoisseurs will be delighted by the display of magnificent photos that are a tribute to femininity. The fashion muses have been immortalized by photography’s great names, Horst P. Horst, Chaloner Woods and Irving Penn. This fashion portfolio is a reminder of the hotel’s proximity to the famous fashion houses and of the history of this exclusive building, which was home to the editorial team of Marie-Claire magazine in the 90s.

We went on to visit some of the Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg’s 147 rooms and light-filled suites which offer guests a gentle, welcoming setting. Everything reflects the spirit of Parisian luxury, from the pale color schemes to the velvet and satin fabrics used for the bead covers. While we’re on the subject of bedding, the brand’s aficionados will recognize MyBed, the uniquely designed Sofitel bed that provides absolute comfort.

Protea Hotels Fire & Ice! Menlyn opens its doors to the public

Daniel Fountain

The 17m Chesterfield couch has been installed in the lounge. The trees are throwing their shade on the deck of the outdoor living room next to the Olympic-length lap pool. The stairwell graffiti shimmies up towards the rooms and the staff are ready and smiling. Welcome to chic central, aka Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Menlyn.

After three years of preparation and construction the people of Pretoria can now don their designer labels and start visiting this dramatic and extraordinary hotel which has made such a striking impression on Capetonians and Joburgers, who have embraced this sociable, forever-young brand with happy abandon.

“With every Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! property the Protea Hotels group opens, we have pushed the envelope on style and have set trends. Pretoria is no different. We think the people of Pretoria will welcome the opening of this new city hotspot with as much enthusiasm as we do,” said Mark Satterfield, Marriott International Business Leader in South Africa.

The hotel sets a new standard for stylish hospitality in Tshwane with its seamless indoor/outdoor social spaces and its on-trend interior tone. But the hotel’s real draw card will be the wide variety of event offerings, tailor-made for the Pretoria audience.

Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Menlyn’s General Manager Johan Cronje says the hotel is conveniently situated next to the Menlyn Park shopping mall and close to the N1, making it an obvious place for people to gather.

The residents of Pretoria will no longer have to wait for their Cape Town holiday or a trip to Jozi to enjoy the unique food and beverage concepts, which continue to create talkability due to the extensive milkshake flavours and gourmet burgers. This new hotel has taken the concept further to include gourmet pizzas which will have a Fire & Ice! twist to them in terms of flavour and presentation.

“But there’s so much more to the hotel than these popular food and beverage offerings. Wine, brandy and whiskey connoisseurs will be very happy with the selection available in the bar. Our Executive Chef, Genghis San has some delightful surprises up his sleeve for food lovers, and the list of events we have planned is very different to anything the people of Pretoria have come to know, ” said Cronje.

Satterfield said: “Pretoria is a young, exciting city that simply doesn’t get its dues. Protea Hotels recognised that there is a lively set of young-at-heart, ambitious movers and shakers in Pretoria whose choices for playing hard after working hard are pretty limited. Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Menlyn fills a gap we believe our GUESTS have been waiting for for years.”

HISPEC 2015

Daniel Fountain

HISPEC 2015, the annual face-to-face forum focused on Hotel Interior Design/ Hospitality Interiors will take place in the Grand Hotel Dino***** in Lago Maggiore, Italy from 23-26 June.This event will hold the top Hospitality Interiors Industry’s Executives: Buyers, Specifiers, Manufacturers and Suppliers from Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Every year, more than 50 decision-makers buyers and specifiers meet and network, during 3 days, with suppliers for the industry in a different venue in the Europe, Middle-East and Africa region.

The buyers and specifiers that attend are from the main hotel chains or the design firms in charge of the largest hospitality projects, they are all carefully selected and have confirmed projects.

HISPEC is limited to a maximum of 175 participants and takes place behind closed doors -only registered buyers and suppliers can attend the event.

How does it work?
– 3 days
– Pre-scheduled face-to-face meetings
– Product exhibition in the meeting room (no stand)
– Entirely organised from beginning to end
– Networking and teambuilding activities
– Maximum attendance: 175 delegates
– The whole event is held behind closed doors

The advantages?
– Only decision makers attend
– You know beforehand who attends
– You can select the meetings according to your interests
– Get 1 year worth of work done in 3 days
– 50 potential clients at your fingertips
– They all have short, medium and long-term projects
– Meet key people who don’t attend other events or tradeshows
– You don’t have to travel all around EMEA: meet everyone in one point
– You establish personal relationships with all possible clients

The disadvantages?
– It involves an attendance cost
– 72 intensive hours of work
– Follow up work after the event
– ROI depends on you and your product
– You can’t exhibit as much product as in traditional tradeshows

For more information about how the event works and what delegates normally attend, you can watch last year’s video here:

For more information you can visit our website www.hispec.es, or send an email to Claudia Cherigny: Claudia@madisonevents.com

New brochures and website for Crosswater

Daniel Fountain

The latest bathroom brochures from Crosswater, Simpsons & Bauhaus are available to download from www.crosswater.co.uk.Also, we have launched the NEW Crosswater Contracts website (www.crosswater-contracts.co.uk) where you can download the Specification catalogue, which contains mainly WRAS approved or pending taps & showers, together with bathroom furniture / shower doors and accessories chosen by fellow professionals for contracts.

Have you visited our amazing showroom in Dartford as yet? The showroom is not open to the public, but by appointment only. Please email or call to arrange a meeting.

David Balmer
Hospitality Senior Projects Consultant
+44 (0) 77 17 78 02 34
david.balmer@crosswater.co.uk

Manathai Khao Lak Opens its Doors to Welcome Guests

Daniel Fountain

Stylish new boutique beachfront resort Manathai Khao Lak promises a new take on Thai tourism.

With a focus on a more authentic local experience, (all guests are greeted with a traditional Thai water blessing), Manathai Khao Lak offers breath-taking natural beauty, including wide stretches of pristine beaches, elephant treks, waterfalls, canoeing in stunning Phang Nga Bay and world-renowned diving, it epitomises the very best of Thailand’s natural beauty and rich culture. Just a 90 mins drive north of Phuket Int’l Airport, on Bangsak Beach, Manathai Khao Lak sits on a perfect stretch of unspoiled coastline with uninterrupted views of the Andaman Sea. The hotel’s 158 chic and contemporary rooms are beachfront and surrounded by lovely and manicured gardens; it’s a delightful boutique alternative to the straining tourist resorts that take up much of the mainland.

Additionally, its beachfront restaurant, Pad Thai, celebrates one of Thailand’s most iconic and best-loved dishes, by offering traditional Thai dishes inspired by iconic Thai street food including 22 different and delectable variations on the traditional Pad Thai.

Like the other Manathai-managed properties, Manathai Khao Lak introduces guests to a visually captivating and culturally vibrant destination, as well as a stylish and charming resort inspired by the surrounds and flavours. Moreover, it’s affordable and accessible luxury; the property is offering special opening rates starting from just 99 pounds including daily breakfast for two people in a Deluxe Balcony room until 30 April 2015.

“Manathai Hotels & Resorts understands that individual travellers, families and couples want to engage with a destination on their own terms,” Manathai Hotels & Resorts Chief Operations Officer, Christoph Berger said. “They crave individuality, choice and authenticity – and that’s what we deliver.”

Manathai Kids offers activities for children and families to learn and have fun together and facilities include a swimming pool, a fitness centre, a 24-hour reception and concierge service, 24-hour security, complimentary Wi-Fi, room service, in-room dining, an on-call doctor, a private library, a private airport transport service, motorbike and car rental, a childcare service, and an activities and tour service. It also boasts a unique meeting space for up to 30 guests, while it has a team of expert event planners who can stage the perfect sunset beach wedding.

New bathroom solutions and innovations unveiled at ISH 2015

Daniel Fountain

Leading bathroom brand Roca presented a raft of new products and innovations at ISH 2015, with design and functionality combining throughout. With brassware playing a fundamental role in the bathroom both aesthetically and practically, much of the focus on the Roca stand in Frankfurt centred on a number of new taps and showers that combine the very latest technology with design-led appeal.

Three new brassware collections were unveiled, Atlas, L90C and Lanta, all of which will make a stylish addition to any washbasin. The mixers also have a wealth of technology concealed within their elegant design. Helping to reduce the amount of water used unnecessarily in the home, the mixers have a built-in flow limiter, whilst Roca’s Cold Start function also helps to save energy.

Another brassware highlight unveiled at ISH was a host of new showering solutions which combine comfort with ergonomics. With its extra-slim design, the Raindream showerhead garnered much attention throughout the show. Suitable for wall or ceiling installation, the sleek and minimal design of Raindream ensure this will be a statement piece in the contemporary wetroom or bathroom.

Visitors to ISH 2015 also enjoyed a preview of the new Inspira collection from Roca. Due to launch to the UK market in 2016, Inspira is an innovative range of sanitaryware available in three shapes which respond to modern bathroom trends – Round, Soft and Square – all of which can be combined in a number of ways to create an individual finish. Inspira also features washbasins made from FINECERAMIC®, Roca’s exclusive new ceramic material which allows more precision, sophisticated design details and shapes which were previously not possible.

This much-anticipated collection also includes a rimless toilet, with Roca now including this increasingly popular option on a number of its existing sanitaryware ranges too, including The Gap and Debba. This new generation of hygienic WCs are designed to provide a perfect flushing performance with low water consumption.

Technology is also having a huge effect on the future of the WC, as was highlighted with Roca’s Smart Toilets on show at ISH 2015. With intelligent and fully customisable features, this integrated shower toilet is designed to be an important part of the user’s daily hygiene routine.

New boutique hotel in Palma

Daniel Fountain

We are proud to announce the opening of Hotel Sant Francesc, in Palma de Mallorca. A former manor house belonging to a noble Mallorquin family is now a luxury boutique hotel. Behind the beautiful façade lies 42 rooms and signature suites where an illustrious team of architects and designers have created an oasis within the historic city centre. Dining options include Quadrat Restaurant and Garden or you may enjoy refreshments in the Lobby and Patio Bar, as well as 24-hour room service.

In addition, the Singular Rooftop Terrace is the perfect place to enjoy refreshments while lounging at the pool, or provides a place to sip a glass of cava watching the sunset over the city at the magic hour.

The wellbeing centre offers treatments that can help bring your mind, body and spirit back into balance.

Alternatively, the gym provides the latest equipment for the perfect workout.

Our board room can hold up to 20 for meetings, but can also be used for private dining.

Unpretentious yet elegant, the hotel offers the opportunity to enjoy luxurious accommodations and the best gastronomy in the centre of Palma.

Travelodge opens its second hotel in Wembley

Daniel Fountain

Travelodge has recently opened its second hotel in Wembley and 62nd hotel in the capital, Tuesday 31st March. The new 86-room hotel represents a £6.5 million investment and has been built above Wembley Central train station in partnership with St Modwen.An opening ceremony was held at London Wembley High Road Travelodge where Barry Gardiner Member of Parliament for Brent North for the 2010 to 2015 Parliament and the Mayor of Brent, Councillor Kana Naheerathan joined Travelodge’s Revenue Director, Tom Edwards to officially open the hotel.

London Wembley High Road Travelodge is part of a £90million mixed-use development programme by St Modwen which has involved transforming the area surrounding Wembley Central Station. This entailed part of the old station building being demolished and new residential apartments, retail units and the new Travelodge hotel being built.

This opening which is the Company’s 518th hotel has created 20 new jobs within the local community. The strong team of 20 have been employed via Travelodge’s long term relationship with The Job Centre – which helps the long term unemployed back into work.

London Wembley High Road Travelodge has been designed in the Company’s new contemporary brand look and design. All rooms feature the bespoke luxurious king-size Travelodge Dreamer Bed and family rooms include individual Truckle beds for the children. See notes to editors for full details of the new room)

Travelodge opened its first Wembley hotel in 2006 and as part of its ongoing commitment to grow its business within the area, the hotel chain has recently invested £1.1 million modernising this hotel as part of its £100 million UK hotel modernisation programme. To date, Travelodge has modernised 90% of its rooms in its new brand design across the UK. In addition all Travelodge beds throughout the country have been upgraded to the new Travelodge Dreamer Bed.

Tom Edwards, Travelodge’s Revenue Director said: “We have experienced growing demand for good value accommodation in Wembley for some time and we are delighted to being opening our second Wembley hotel in such a prestigious location. Being located at Wembley Central train station provides our customers with easy access to Wembley stadium and to central London.”

“By offering great quality rooms at unbeatable value we will help attract new visitors to the area. This will help to boost the local economy by £1.8million annually and cement our position as Britain’s favourite hotel brand for value.”
London Wembley High Road Travelodge is being managed by Jessica Jackson, who started her career as a receptionist at Uxbridge Travelodge in 2008 while she was studying for her degree in Business Management and Accounting at Brunel University. Once Jessica graduated she joined Travelodge full time and soon graduated from the company’s Gaining Entry into Management (GEM) programme, which fast tracks entry level staff into management. Jessica took over her first management post at Balham Travelodge.

Jessica Jackson, London Wembley High Road Travelodge Hotel Manager said: “I am thrilled to be managing this brand new Travelodge hotel in the centre of Wembley. The hotel has got off to a flying start and we are nearly full for the big events happening at Wembley Stadium over the coming months such as: the NFL & Rugby World Cup and music events like Foo Fighters, Ed Sheeran & AC/DC.”

KOBE UK collections at May Design Series

Daniel Fountain

Luxury fabric specialist, Kobe UK, will be showcasing its latest collections from Kobe and Essente at May Design Series on May 17-19. The Kobe collections include the contemporary and chic Aurora, inspired by urban Nordic lifestyles and suitable for window décor and upholstery. It is available in an extensive colour palette and comprises a range of high satins, sumptuous velvets, intricately patterned jacquards and laser cut fabrics.

City Chic, inspired by Hollywood’s Golden Age, reflects the lavish glitz and glamour reminiscent of this style period. The 11-design collection includes opulent velvets, fluid satins, woven jacquards and dobbies plus faux silk and leather, suitable for upholstery and soft furnishings. It also features plains in trendy colours, patterns ranging from traditional pied de poulé to fantasy animal skin and natural fabrics incorporating metallic yarns. The vivacious style lends itself to those who dare to set trends.

Paying homage to the French Napoleonic Empire style period, Brissac features sumptuous plain and fine powder printed metallic velvets in a range of intricate patterns including toile de jouy florals, medallions and Greek and Roman inspired ornaments. Available in seven distinct but complementary designs, the colour palette reflects the Empire period, ranging from ecru and beige to pastel tints and shades of gold and brown.

Having enjoyed a successful year after its introduction, Essente has launched its newest series of curtain fabrics. The collection comprises products in contemporary chic style and colours. The new additions are a mixture of patterns, textures and basics in natural and accent colours.

David Harris, managing director of Kobe UK, said: “The May Design Series provides an important platform for us to showcase our Kobe and Essente brands.

“The popular and very exclusive Fabric Pavilion offers a leisurely and comfortable environment for potential new clients to view textiles.

“Last year, we made a number of new contacts in the high end residential and contract markets and we are looking forward to extending our reach even further at this year’s show.”

London ExCel 17-19 May 2015
Stands: FAB 2, 3, 19 and 20

IHG Opens Second Crowne Plaza Hotel in Panama at Tocumen International Airport

Daniel Fountain

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announces the opening of the Crowne Plaza® Panama Airport hotel. Strategically located near Tocumen International Airport and with a US $20 million investment by owner and operator Bern Hotels & Resorts, the new-build 144-room hotel is the first brand property in Latin America to be built less than a mile away from an airport. Gerardo Murray, Regional Vice President, Distribution and Commercial Marketing, Mexico, Latin America and Caribbean, IHG said: “Bern Hotels & Resorts owns four existing IHG properties in Panama, including the InterContinental® Miramar Panama, InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort & Spa, Crowne Plaza Panama and Holiday Inn® Panama Canal hotels, and we are thrilled to open a fifth hotel with this long-standing franchisee. Bern has an outstanding reputation for delivering quality projects in stellar locations, and we believe that the Crowne Plaza Panama Airport property will be a great success.”

With an innovative and modern design, the Crowne Plaza Panama Airport hotel offers a variety of unique services and amenities to cater to the on-the-go business traveller, including airport shuttle service, outdoor swimming pool, and 24-hour fitness and business centres. It also features the brand’s new “Always On” enhancements that are focused on connectivity, wellness and productivity with new technology offering single Internet sign-on, free and reliable Wi-Fi, and easy access to power outlets and charging cords. An Energy Essentials Wellness Station with healthy snacks and drinks coupled with the brand’s Sleep Advantage® program will help guests stay energized and balanced to perform at their best. The comprehensive Crowne Plaza meetings program, which includes a two-hour response guarantee to request for proposals, a dedicated meetings director and a daily meeting debrief will also complement the multifunctional meeting spaces available at the hotel.

The hotel has a wide selection of dining options at its two on-site restaurants. The Jetstream, located at the main lobby of the hotel serves delicious dishes, ranging from breakfast and lunch buffets to à la carte dinners in a warm and relaxed atmosphere. The Hub Bar & Grill is the perfectplace to meet with colleagues and friends and enjoy cocktails and snacks after a long work day.

Bold start to New Year

Daniel Fountain

Following on from an exciting 2014, GALLERY DIRECT has made a bold start to the New Year with the launch of an impressive range of new products across their brands to offer an even better one-stop-shop for their clients. Carrying on Frank Hudson’s heritage of producing fine furniture, Gallery have simplified the offer, updating designs and finishes whilst maintaining the superb traditional craftsmanship for which Frank Hudson is renowned. The key product areas are bedroom, luxury dining and occasional furniture, all beautifully constructed and meticulously hand finished to give excellent quality. All items are now priced to hit compelling retail price points.

New additions to the Hudson Living brand, which was launched last year at the May Design Series Furniture Show, extend Gallery’s furniture offering. Combining Gallery’s design-led ethos with the Frank Hudson heritage of quality and attention to detail, this contemporary brand offers on-trend pieces that complement the rest of Gallery’s catalogue to make a comprehensive and cohesive offering.

Within the Gallery Home brand, new mirrors and soft furnishings for 2015 extend Gallery’s catalogue still further. As expected from Gallery, all these items are design-led quality products, introduced into the range to add more choice for customers.

In total over 350 new SKUs have been introduced to Gallery’s already extensive catalogue, to give over 1000 quality products in total. Coupled with impressive stock and delivery infrastructure, this offers a compelling proposition for clients.

+44 (0) 17 95 43 91 59
Click here to contact Gallery Direct: http://www.gallerydirect.co.uk

New look for Mercure Bradford, Bankfield Hotel

Daniel Fountain

Mercure Bradford, Bankfield Hotel has recently undergone an extensive quarter of a million pound ground floor refurbishment to transform the hotel. The renovation also includes the redesign of two of its largest event spaces, The Ballroom On The Park and The Park Suite, to provide the ideal setting for all occasions.Set in a 19th century mansion surrounded by landscaped gardens, Mercure Bradford, Bankfield Hotel’s recent renovation and redesign of the ground floor and two rooms includes new lighting, carpets and drapes plus a brand new sophisticated colour scheme. The hotel’s public areas have been transformed too including the restaurant, club bar, foyer, listed stairwell and reception area, presenting a brand new image for the historic hotel.

Interior designer Helen Hooper of HH Interiors, who has previously worked with Jupiter Hotels on renovation projects across the UK, comments on the project: “The new Ballroom On The Park and The Park Suite designs include muted colour schemes of soft taupe and grey, complimented with zesty lime accents. There are stunning silk striped drapes, twinkling chandeliers and crystal wall lights to create a sense of elegance and sophistication, providing the ideal backdrop for any function.”

The Ballroom On The Park provides the perfect location for weddings with its large windows and exquisite views overlooking the River Aire. The magnificent ballroom can accommodate from 60 – 350 guests for civil ceremonies and up to 200 guests for a wedding reception.

For a more intimate gathering, The Park Suite creates the perfect backdrop with private access to the gardens. The suite can accommodate 40 – 85 guests for civil ceremonies and up to 100 guests for a wedding reception.

Commenting on the refurbishment, hotel General Manager John Horvath said: “We are delighted with the transformation of the ground floor areas including The Ballroom On The Park and The Park Suite. We are very proud of the hotel’s heritage and the new design concept attributes to this, combining tradition with a contemporary edge. Our hotel offers everything guests need to create the perfect wedding or event setting and our expert team are on hand to provide a tailored service to all guests and help make their dreams become reality.”

Located in the heart of Yorkshire Bronte country, the hotel dates back to 1848 as a former home for the Lord Mayor of Bradford and creates the perfect romantic setting for a wedding. From an intimate gathering to an extraordinary affair, the hotel has experts on hand to create bespoke packages to suit every guest. Plus, there are tailored menu choices to choose from.

Shane Harris, CEO Jupiter Hotels, added: “The investment demonstrates our continued commitment to the growth and transformation of our portfolio in the UK. It’s an exciting time for the midscale hotel market and with the right investment, hotels like Mercure Bradford, Bankfield Hotel can be given a new lease of life.”

The Ballroom On The Park can also host up to 350 conference delegates and The Park Suite can accommodate up to 100 delegates – both offer complimentary high speed WiFi.

Mercure Bradford, Bankfield Hotel sits in the Aire Valley with stunning scenic views surrounding the entire hotel. The hotel is a stone’s throw away from Saltaire, the famous Victoria model village and there are great road networks to the whole of West Yorkshire. Local attractions also include the Bingley Railway Station and the Haworth & Bronte Parsonage Museum.

GROHE unveils revamped Essence tap range

Daniel Fountain

GROHE’s Essence tap range is now more simple and stylish than ever. By building the tap around the new 28 mm cartridge, GROHE has been able to slim down its appearance, enhancing the range’s cylindrical and sophisticated shape. Slim shape, stylish design
GROHE’s Essence range makes sophisticated purist design affordable. The range includes four wash basin taps sized from small (S) to extra-large (XL), with the small version being the slimmest of all GROHE taps currently on the market. All Essence products share a similar look, allowing consumers to co-ordinate an entire bathroom effortlessly. Essence mixers have been tested with numerous washbasin combinations, and the results can be found on the GROHE BestMatch™ website or app, pairing together perfect tap and basin combinations.

Balancing comfort and sustainability
The new range is a great choice for sustainability. All Essence single-lever mixers for washbasins incorporate cartridges equipped with integrated temperature limiters, and the range also features a GROHE EcoJoy® mousseur which reduces water flow volume without compromising on performance. For additional energy savings, the S-sized model is available with GROHE SilkMove® ES technology to prevent hot water being used when not needed. To ensure splash-free operation, the larger taps come with a swivel spout and an adjustable GROHE AquaGuide mousseur, which can be pitched at an angle to deliver water exactly where the user needs it. GROHE’s QuickFix® Plus system ensures straightforward and time-saving installation.

Rich choice of variants
Other variants for washbasins include 3-hole or 2-hole combinations and wall-mounted mixers with various sized spouts, to match an assortment of washbasins. The range also features concealed and exposed fixtures for tubs and showers, 3-hole and 4-hole tub combinations as well as a free-standing tub filler.

The GROHE Essence line: combining minimalist, stylish design with great performance, available from June 2015.

Alex; a diverse upholstery fabric from Création Baumann

Daniel Fountain

This upholstery fabric in Trevira CS is a heavy and hard-wearing upholstery fabric in a basket weave, available from Creation Baumann.The colour palette of 50 shades is diverse and ranges from classic to contemporary. Cross dying of a foundation weave which comes in three different colours ensures that the range encompasses rich tones alongside soft light and dark mottled tones.

JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa

Daniel Fountain

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, the distinctive sophisticated brand of Marriott International, has announced that its new hotel, JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa has soft opened ahead of its grand opening celebration on 24 June 2015. The 250-room property was designed in collaboration with award-winning Italian architectural firm Matteo Thun & Partners and combines the very best in contemporary hotel design with the heritage and elegance of its premiere location on its own private island, Isola delle Rose (Rose Island). The hotel buildings have been sensitively refurbished by Matteo Thun & Partners to incorporate sustainable, modern and elegant design, bringing the historic buildings and parklands of Isola delle Rose back to life as a world-class urban resort. A destination in itself, the hotel will offer an unparalleled resort experience with facilities that include an extensive spa, rooftop infinity pool and four restaurants including the fine dining Italian restaurant, Dop0lavoro Dining Room.

Guests can choose from five distinct accommodation experiences, each offering a unique ambience and view – The Hotel with its 191 guest rooms, most with wide glass walls and private balconies overlooking the extensive cultivated gardens beyond. La Residenza, (opening late April) with its 12 guest rooms designed in a fresh Mediterranean style, featuring parquet flooring in soft earthy tones that lead out to private gardens by the spa and lagoon. L’Uliveto (opening late April) presents a rural garden setting with its 26 guest rooms and views over the ancient olive groves. La Maisonette (opening late April) offers 20 split level suites all with private patios and gardens and some with pools overlooking the canal, olive groves and church. Lastly La Villa Rose, an exclusive private retreat with two bedrooms set in a private garden with a pool.

With over 40 acres (16 hectares) to explore, guests can discover numerous gardens and outdoor areas scattered with landscaped spots for quiet contemplation. Fruit arbours, olive groves and cultivated plots provide fresh ingredients for the property’s diverse food and drink offerings, including a cooking school and wine academy. Restored structures scattered around the island house a range of facilities including a picturesque events space in an original church.

In keeping with JW Marriott’s refined but informal ethos and commitment to personalised service, the 1,750-metre spa, operated by GOCO Hospitality will open by early May and will be the largest in Venice, offering both bespoke treatments and a range of classic spa rituals from product houses including !QMS Medicosmetics and Amala. It also has an indoor and outdoor aqua-tonic pool, a health club, eight treatment rooms, a hammam and luxury spa suite.

Additional hotel facilities include a kid’s club and dedicated family pool, water sports such as Venetian rowing and sailing and a sensational rooftop pool offering dramatic views across the lagoon to St. Mark’s Square, which can be reached by private boat in just fifteen minutes.

ibis Styles unveils the results of its survey on how design is viewed around the world

Daniel Fountain

In your opinion, is design for “bobos” (bohemian bourgeois) or intellectuals? Would you be prepared to forgo a restaurant outing or your next holidays so you could treat yourself to a designer item? The question is, are we all talking about the same thing when we talk about design? It’s such a subjective issue that it’s difficult to establish a universal definition for it. We associate it with the notions of “stylishness”, “graphic design” and of course “decorating” and “interior design”. As part of its drive to make the world of design accessible to as many people as possible, until May 13th 2015, ibis Styles is running a totally connected operation on instagram: #captureibisstyles. To mark its launch, the brand is providing unprecedented insight into how people view design in France and six other countries.

• Half the people surveyed believe that the principal aim of a designer object is to “surprise”.
• For over two-thirds of the French, the world of design is best represented in furniture items.
• 45% of the people surveyed associate design with a fashion or trendy concept.
• More than half of Brazilians hope and even dream of being able to treat themselves to a designer object one day.
• 53% of French refuse to pay more for a designer object.

ibis Styles or design for everyone
ibis Styles, the brand of economy hotels with unique personalities and multiple designs of Accor, has endeavoured to study and shed light on the way the notion of design is viewed and interpreted in seven countries.

To do so, the brand, which has over 270 hotels around with world, each with their own distinctive styles, surveyed groups of 300 people (half men and half women) representative of the populations in France, Germany, Brazil, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom and Poland, or a total of 2,100 individuals. Their views, desires, expectations, and more, were all analysed exhaustively in order to decipher and understand how they relate to the world of design.

And the timing is perfect because, in all the countries that were surveyed, design and economy hotels are two, perfectly compatible worlds! Topping the list were the Brazilians, with 90% of them approving the combination of these two worlds.

Design, a multi-faceted concept
Design is perceived as something emotional that is tied in with sentiment and pleasure. Half the people surveyed believe that the principal aim of a designer object is to “surprise”. In fact women are more receptive to designer objects, with 52.5% of them declaring so, compared with 45.9% of the men. 41% of the people surveyed, all countries included, agreed that design creates value through the aesthetic appeal it contributes to an object. 36% of the British also associate design with usefulness.

The survey reveals that design is materialized and represented in different ways from one culture and country to another. For over two-thirds of the French, the world of design is best represented in furniture items. 40% of the English see design through the prism of architecture. Spaniards see it more in terms of one’s look and 36% of them associate it with ready-to-wear fashion. Lastly, 53% of the Germans believe it is present in everyday objects.

45% of the people surveyed associate design with a fashion or trendy concept. For 94% of them, elegance is one of its key characteristics.

Continued on page two…

Aloft New Orleans Debut

Daniel Fountain

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.® has announced that its game-changing Aloft brand has arrived in New Orleans, following the completion of an adaptive re-use project that transformed a historic building in the city’s Central Business District. The hotel is controlled by 225 Baronne Complex Subtenant, LLC, an affiliate of HRI Properties, LLC, and managed by HRI Lodging, LLC, Aloft New Orleans Downtown features 188 spacious, loft-like rooms, an active social scene and innovative brand-led programming. Located at 225 Baronne Street, Aloft New Orleans Downtown anchors a new mixed-use complex within walking distance to New Orleans’ iconic Bourbon Street, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, numerous offices, and the many jazz clubs, bars, and boutiques in the famed French Quarter. The signature W XYZ® bar is the perfect place for guests to enjoy a refreshing cocktail and catch the latest up-and-coming music acts as part of the brand’s signature Live At Aloft Hotels music series. Additional hotel amenities include an outdoor Splash pool, 24-hour fitness center and 2,500 square feet of flexible meeting space, ideal for both business meetings and social gatherings. Fast and free Wi-Fi is available throughout the entire hotel.

The mixed-use building also includes residences on floors 18 through 30 with separate dedicated entrance and elevator, as well as separate amenities. The project is one of several successful adaptive re-use projects for the Aloft brand in cities across North America including Aloft Orlando Downtown, Aloft Tulsa Downtown, Aloft Dallas Downtown, Aloft Detroit at the David Whitney, and Aloft Tampa Downtown.

The Aloft brand’s innovative and exclusive initiatives set it apart. Aloft Hotels recently announced the launch of SPG Keyless—an evolution of Aloft’s Smart Check-in— the hospitality industry’s first mobile, keyless entry system allowing guests to use their smart phone as a key. The technology is available at select Aloft, Element and W Hotels worldwide. This forward-thinking initiative is part of the brand’s innovative DNA. Additionally, every Aloft Hotel around the world offers live, free access to local emerging artists as well as some of the hottest bands with Live at Aloft Hotels programming at the W XYZ® bars.

Hamilton launches new 4-channel wireless switching system to extend control outdoors

Daniel Fountain

Hamilton Litestat, the designer and manufacturer of lighting control and multi-room audio solutions and wiring accessories, has launched a new addition to its Mercury range: the ‘Mercury Air Wireless Switching System’ – a simple but effective solution for remote switching outdoors.This innovative 4 channel IP rated system is straightforward to install and ideally suited to controlling multiple lighting circuits, garden pumps and other devices such as automatic external property gates and garage doors. All circuits can then be controlled using multiple receivers from a variety of remote handsets and switches throughout a property.

Gavin Williams, Hamilton Litestat Marketing Manager says: “Innovation and new product development is important to us. We constantly talk to our customers and undertake product research to evolve our existing range and to develop new products and systems. The new Mercury Air Wireless Switching System is a great example of where we have made our customers needs a priority and delivered a reliable and effective solution.”

Hamilton’s cleverly designed Mercury Air Wireless Switching System is setting a new standard, offering lots of additional ingenious features. For example, unlike some other systems on the market the unit has a high water resistance level with an ‘Ingress Protection’ (IP) rating of IP56. In addition to this the unit doesn’t have to be wall mounted. It can be mounted virtually anywhere in or outside the home – from the shed ceiling to on or around decking, basically anywhere it can be securely fixed.

When it comes to taking control Hamilton has thought of that too. Also unlike many other systems on the market it has both an ‘on/off’ and ‘timed’ operating mode, the timed mode enabling lighting/ power to be set to come on after a short time delay of upto 4 minutes. This has significant security and convenience benefits particularly when using an IR remote to open property access gates. Further more, the system comes with red visual indication LED’s to confirm to the user the system is fully operational. Another advantage of the system is that it works with Mercury Air Switches allowing even more convenience and flexibility in the home.

“The launch of our Mercury Air Wireless Switching System is timely with the 2015 gardening season getting underway,” says Gavin. “This is the first of several new weatherproof accessories which we are adding to our range. The launch of these products will be announced in the coming months,” he adds.

Making Light Work – about the Mercury Air Wireless Switching System
The MWM-4CHPS is a mains powered radio receiver with four channels that will switch on and off devices:

• 4 Circuits each rated at 1.25KW
• Total Pack Load: 4KW
• Operating Range: 250 metres
• Bi-stable (on/off) & Mono-stable (timed) Operating Modes
• Externally Wall Mounted

Contact Hamilton Litestat via their website for more details.

Running a rule over Britannia

Daniel Fountain

Britannia is the new flagship of the P&O fleet with the distinctive red, white and blue of the Union Flag on her bow. Christened by HM Queen Elizabeth II in March 2015, the £473 million 141,000 tonne, 1,837 cabin ship is the largest ever purpose-built for the British market and is the largest vessel in the P&O fleet. With the ability to carry up to 3,647 passengers in considerable luxury at a cruising speed of 22 knots, the ship has an extremely ‘British vibe’, due to the input of Directory design company, Richmond International who coordinated the interior design. Our visit was made just prior to her maiden cruise around the Mediterranean.The First Impression
We started our tour in the Atrium – the centre of the ship – on Deck 3. The circular Atrium goes up three decks and is dominated by the impressive ‘Starburst’. Here the Starburst, an eight metre high sculpture made of 280 polished aluminium shards, reflects the light from its 320 coloured LEDs around the whole area to provide a special sparkle. There was ample comfortable seating including intimate areas for groups of friends if required. The Market Café delicatessen and the Blue bar (piano bar) could be pleasant areas to meet, eat and drink with friends during the cruise. Also here, a little more hidden away, was the ship’s reception area.

Décor in public areas included marble, chrome, glass, leather and wood grain finish with understated shades of nautical blue and cream along with soft grey, highlighted in gold and silver. All was very reminiscent of a boutique hotel lobby.

Restaurants
The Britannia has 13 restaurants and cafes, some of which are included in the price and some which require an additional charge. In the main restaurants (Meridian, Peninsular and Oriental) the five to six course menus include classic dishes and Marco Pierre White specials on gala nights. P&O has also retained its popular and flexible Freedom dining option, which provides for guests to turn up and dine informally. The alternative is of course Club Dining, which means traditional, fixed­time seating at 6:30 pm or 8:30 pm. Other inclusive dining options include the Lido Grill (steaks, burgers or classic fish and chips), The Pizzeria (fresh pizza all day), Grab & Go (near the main pools – a new concept allowing guests to choose a selection of pre­packed snacks, sandwiches or salads to eat informally). Last but not least of the inclusive options is Horizon, the main buffet restaurant that provides meals and snacks 24/7. Horizon has some new options on Britannia including a live cooking station for pancakes, omelettes and noodles, a coffee bar and a superb salad counter.

Other dining options
Fee paying dining is also available based around a range of speciality restaurants and ‘cafes’ from celebrity chefs and culinary experts. These include the Market Café, where master baker Eric Lanlard and renowned cheese expert Charlie Turnbull have chosen a selection of French patisserie, fine cheese, antipasto, charcuterie, tapas and artisan bread; Java, a Coffee shop selling Costa Coffee and overlooking the Atrium; Sindhu, an Asian style restaurant from Michelin starred chef Atul Kochhar; the Glass House, a wine and tapas bar by Wine guru Olly Smith, which includes a tasting room, a dining room and a bar area, all of which use decorative glass in different ways. Finally, The Epicurean is a fine dining restaurant which uses molecular gastronomy with precision temperature cooking to provide contemporary dishes and also provides the backdrop for Eric Lanlard’s special afternoon teas.

Service quality in hotels: United Kingdom comes last in Europe but Sheffield redeems some of the loss

Daniel Fountain

British politeness is renowned and recognised throughout the world. However even in the hotels the staff do not score highly in comparison with their European colleagues in respect of friendliness and willingness to be of help. This is demonstrated by an analysis conducted by the international booking portal HOTEL INFO of the reviews given by their more than six million customers. Some cities however are able to rescue the British reputation.In a Japanese hotel a new feature from July will be a robot who will welcome the guests at reception. It does remain questionable whether this automated concept will be widely accepted. Hoteliers have realised that a friendly smile is more effective than a thousand words – and often means that minor complaints are forgotten by the guests. Thus a friendly and competent staff has become one of the most important criteria in evaluating a hotel.

Finland is the European version of Japan, Germany and Austria also achieved top evaluations.

In Europe Finland is the land of smiles – at least in the hospitality industry. The Finnish staff are much appreciated by their hotel guests and came out top with 8.62 points out of a possible 10.0. German and Autrian hotels followed close behind with 8.59 points and 8.57 points respectively. Generally the friendliness and competence of hotel staff throughout Europe is evaluated as good and very good. Ralf Priemer, Managing Director at HOTEL INFO, is not surprised: “For many years now we have observed a considerable increase in positive evaluations in respect of the quality of service.” This satisfying increase is almost certainly due to the current high level of transparency in the tourism market. By using booking portals such as HOTEL INFO travellers can not only evaluate hotels themselves but can make use of the many previous evaluations made by guests.

At the bottom of the table for Europe are Denmark (7.98), Russia and the United Kingdom, both with a score of 7.92. Despite the fact that these countries are at the bottom of the table their hotels are nonetheless evaluated relatively positively by their guests. However if the traveller is expecting the legendary British politeness the actual result is less than satisfactory.

In keeping with this, London is in last place amongst the European capital cities with only 7.73 points. The leader by a big margin is Budapest (8.58 points).

Some cities are able to save the good reputation of British politeness. In a comparison of the largest cities in the United Kingdom particularly the hotel personnel in Sheffield (8.62) score well for friendliness and willingness to assist their guests. Leeds (8.41) was voted into second place by the customers. Up to the 7th place – Glasgow with 8.18 points – all the evaluations are very positive. However the two largest cities do not exactly shine in respect of the quality of their service. Coventry (7.38) was even worse than London (7.73) and Birmingham (7.66) in respect of friendliness. It is possible that some guests here would even welcome the first hotel run by robots.

Portugal welcomes InterContinental® Lisbon- Estoril

Daniel Fountain

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®) has announced the signing of InterContinental® Lisbon- Estoril in Portugal, evidence of further growth of this unrivalled luxury global brand. The hotel will operate under a management agreement with Margem Encantada, SA. The signing comes just a few months after the opening of InterContinental Lisbon and, once open, this hotel will join InterContinental Porto – Palacios Das Cardosas as the third InterContinental property in Portugal.

Located in one of the most elegant tourist destinations in the world, InterContinental Lisbon-Estoril stands proudly to the west of Lisbon’s city centre in the affluent town of Estoril. The hotel overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, boasting magnificent sea views and is just a two minute walk to the train station that connects the coastal towns, Lisbon city centre and Lisbon Airport. Nearby the town of Cascais, the popular Guincho beach, numerous golf courses and Sintra Mountain; the hotel is surrounded by an abundance of tourist hot spots.

Commonly called the “Coast of Kings” Estoril has been home to The Spanish Royal Family, Humberto II of Italy, King Carol II of Romania, and Admiral Nicholas Horthy de Nagybánya -Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary. The host of celebrities still flocking to Estoril to enjoy its beaches, casinos, historical buildings and gastronomy continues to be its trademark.

The hotel features an all-day dining restaurant and bar, meeting space and 59-rooms made up of superior rooms, club rooms with an ocean view, and six suites/family rooms. With an interior and exterior pool, fitness centre and an impressive spa complete with a sauna and steam room, the hotel is set to become a leisure destination in its own right.

London Hotel Rooms More Expensive than an Average London Flat

Daniel Fountain

London hotel property prices have reached a new high of £500,000 per room, which are more expensive than an average London apartment of £417,234* according to advisers Colliers International.Colliers analysed more than 2,500 two to five-star standard hotel rooms that transacted in Central London over the last two years**, at an aggregate price of over £1.5 billion, which showed the average transaction taking place at around half a million pounds per bedroom. More specifically, average prices per category per room showed:

• Two to Three-star hotels – £263,000
• Four-star hotels – £540,000
• Five-star hotels – £738,000

Record prices for prime hotels have also exceeded £1,000,000 per room. Colliers sold the 33-room Parkes Hotel in Knightsbridge, which achieved £1.015m per room. Five-star London hotel transactions conducted by Colliers recently included the Wyndham Grand Chelsea Harbour.

Colin Hall, Head of London Hotels Agency at Colliers International, commented that the recent price increases have been achieved both through continued improvements in trade and further yield compression.

He explained, “It is now virtually impossible to buy a freehold Central London hotel operation for under £200,000 per bedroom, irrespective of condition, trade or location. Two years ago a similar hotel would have sold for £150,000 per room, which shows how quickly the market is moving.

“Currently, there is the least availability of stock at any time during the last 25 years. It also means that hotels, especially in Central London, are challenging residential investment values. More particularly, we are seeing demand being driven by international appetite.

“Overseas buyers and some UK funds will now happily take a net initial yield of 4.5%, but even this is seldom available. Owners are just not incentivised to sell with interest rates continuing to run along the floor. They would rather leave their money where it is. London hotels are seen as a very safe long term bet both for running yields and capital appreciation.”

Colliers International also carried out analysis of the Central London branded budget hotel investment market over the same period, where more than 1,500 bedrooms changed hands at an average price per room of £177,000 and average net initial yield of 4.77%.

TA Hotel Collection continues expansion with new spa at The Swan at Lavenham

Daniel Fountain

TA Hotel Collection is continuing its dynamic development programme with the opening of its first spa on 30th March at the 15th century Swan Hotel in Lavenham. Described as an enchanting retreat for the senses, Weavers’ House Spa focuses on total relaxation, enjoyment and wellbeing. The TA Hotel Collection is a group of award winning, luxury hotels and businesses located across the beautiful county of Suffolk and one of East Anglia’s leading independent tourism businesses.

The development of Weavers’ House Spa represents a major investment for the TA Hotel Collection. Delighted to see the completed project Managing Director Grahame Tinnion said; “We have long had ambitions to enter the spa market and in Weavers’ I believe we have delivered a truly market leading take on a treatment based spa. Above all we wanted to bring the very highest standards of service and comfort to our spa guests and give them an experience that is second to none. I am thrilled with the end product and we can now look forward to welcoming our first guests through the door and know they will have a fantastic spa experience.”

Featuring the Temple Spa range of professional products, Weavers’ House Spa offers a stunning range of over 30 results-orientated treatments and features six treatment rooms, a steam room, hot stone sauna and an outdoor vitality pool, plus a retail boutique.

Located in the heart of the medieval wool town of Lavenham, The Swan Hotel is a very impressive listed building, and in adding the spa it was critical that it was sympathetic to its surroundings. Architect and designer Roger Balmer commented; “Our rational behind the build was to create a cool, calm environment that worked well with the beautiful older buildings.

“The building has excellent environmental credentials with heating provided by a deep ground source heat pump and most of the water coming from an onsite borehole.”

Interiors have been styled by the highly respected London based design firm, Todhunter Earle. Partner Kate Earle added, “We had a relaxed, country, contemporary vision for the new spa with a focus on natural finishes. We have used bleached oak, stone, plaster, reclaimed timber, Suffolk sourced naturally dyed linens and large panels of glass to bring the outside in”.

DoubleTree by Hilton Celebrates its 25th UK Hotel

Daniel Fountain

DoubleTree by Hilton began welcoming guests at its 25th hotel in the UK – DoubleTree by Hilton Nottingham – Gateway last week. The hotel is operated under a franchise with Exceptional Resorts and Hotels (UK) Ltd, which will manage the hotel. Renovations began in 2013 with an estimated investment of £5.5 million. DoubleTree by Hilton hotels offer an industry-recognized service culture built around the idea of CARE, which stands for Create a Rewarding Experience for guests, team members and the community. DoubleTree by Hilton Nottingham – Gateway embodies this culture, offering the brand’s signature warm chocolate chip cookie on arrival, welcoming guestrooms, and picturesque views across the moat which surrounds the hotel, all contributing to a peaceful stay.

The new hotel houses 105 guestrooms and suites, with 250 parking spaces. The guestrooms include a comfortable bed, modern en suite shower room, and complimentary in-room tea and coffee making facilities, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi and hardwired access. In the morning, guests are invited to a Wake Up DoubleTree BreakfastTM, which offers both healthy and hearty options to start the day.

Guests have the option to enjoy gourmet food at the hotel’s Blossoms restaurant, which offers picturesque views over the moat. Set in the heart of the building, the restaurant is bright and fresh with designs of natural wood, marble and foliage, and serves both a set menu and an a-la-carte option. Guests can unwind in the Topaz Bar, which serves drinks and snacks until late, or order from the in-room dining service. A further option, The Lobby, is designed in the style of a beautiful Victorian conservatory, and serves a charming afternoon tea.

In Nottingham, guests can visit the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest; or visit Newstead Abbey, the ancestral home of Lord Byron. The city is home to popular sports grounds Nottingham Forest Football Club and Trent Bridge cricket ground, as well as the National Watersports Centre, which has seen a boost in popularity since London hosted the Olympics in 2012, and it is now where a number of top Olympic athletes train.

Chelsom Product Watch: Saucer

Daniel Fountain

The retro-look Saucer Floor Lamp from Chelsom is an elegant fitting with contemporary appeal making the piece the perfect addition to any interior scheme. Available as part of a wider collection of ceiling, desk and wall lighting, the Saucer Floor Lamp features a heavy stepped base which supports an elegantly curved sweeping arm and 1960s inspired canopy with soft, white light emitted through an opal acrylic diffuser to allow optimum light spill whilst creating the ultimate in ambience.

Pictured here in Satin Black with Polished Chrome, the fitting is available in various finish options including Polished Chrome and the industrially inspired Black Bronze, one of the exciting new additions to Chelsom’s latest range of finishes.

Autograph Collection Hotels Welcomes Kameha Grand Zurich, Switzerland’s Hottest New Hotel Opening

Daniel Fountain

Autograph Collection, Marriott International’s distinctive portfolio of one-of-a-kind independent hotels, is proud to announce the launch of Kameha Grand Zurich. Set in the heart of one of Europe’s most stylish cities, the distinctively designed 245-room hotel showcases a sophisticated fusion of architecture, unique structure, mixed materials and color that is undeniably signature to Marcel Wanders. Download images.The innovative techniques and playful elements of Wanders’ design concept for the hotel pay homage to Swiss culture. Eleven individually-themed suites include an extravagant Poker Face Suite fitted with roulette tables and Kameha poker cards and a luxurious Serenity Suite appointed with yoga and wellness accessories to foster a sense of tranquillity and wellbeing.

In addition to the beautifully designed bedrooms and suites, Kameha Grand Zurich features two gourmet restaurants. L’Unico specializes in authentic Italian cuisine, while Yu Nijyo showcases generations of precision and Japanese culinary skill with sushi masters preparing quality dishes that can be tailored to suite guest preferences.

Puregold Bar takes its name from the Gold palettes adorning the walls and is a stunning location for daytime meetings and evening cocktails. In the Cigar Lounge, guests can enjoy a selection of Dominican and Cuban cigars, and the Arabian-themed Shisha Lounge features a comprehensive range of Arabic Shisha and tobacco.

The Kameha Spa offers a menu of treatments and therapies in a peaceful sanctuary setting, with facilities including saunas, a steam room and relaxation beds in both the spa lounge and on the rooftop terrace. Signature treatments are themed after the mountains surrounding the city including an indulgent Mountain Herb Full Body Experience that includes a foot scrub and bath, full body massage with mountain herb oil, and a warm sheet body wrap to encourage the absorption of the treatment’s mountain elixir.

Minutes from Zurich International Airport and Zurich Central Station, the hotel has six business suites for business meetings, conferences and celebrations. Conference facilities hold up to 960 people, and feature eight banqueting rooms and The Dome, an architecturally remarkable event area that stretches over 7,500 square feet.

Kameha Grand Zurich is surrounded by the Glattpark, which features forests, meadows and ponds covering more than 30 acres, Kameha jogging trails, beach volleyball, basketball, and the “Kameha Lake”, Zurich’s largest freshwater lake.