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Kit Miles Studio partners with Minotti London to launch textile collections

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Kit Miles Studio partners with Minotti London to launch textile collections

Minotti London hosted a spectacular evening, allowing designer Kit Miles to launch his new textile collections by injecting the showroom with colour… 

On December 5, Minotti London welcomed designers and special guests to the launch of designer Kit Miles’ latest textile collections. The seamless collaboration between the Italian luxury furniture brand and the British textiles studio was born from the shared values for quality, innovation and creativity.

The designer, who launched his London-based studio in 2013, unveiled his latest work on the walls of the Fitzrovia showroom. Minotti London displayed the vivid details of Miles’ the new Kubrick range by reupholstering one of its iconic armchairs chairs in the vibrant colours and vivid patterns.

Image caption: Kit Miles standing next to the Minotti armchair that was reupholstered in the Kit Miles Studio Kubrick collection to celebrate the occasion.

“In our partnership with Minotti, the concept of pattern has become the conceptual heart of a project coming to life,” Miles told Hotel Designs. “Our potent and dynamic collections sing across and around the Minotti furniture, both brands representing a design universe steeped in quality and of pushing at design frontiers, here we do so vividly, passionately and unapologetically.”

“It is testament to imagination that, when we commit wholehearted to authenticity, we can forge identity – and in doing so, create memories that live in people forever. I see no greater vehicle through which to do that with than design.”

people sitting on sofas and standing, networking in the Minotti London showroom

Image caption: Designers and friends of both Minotti and Kit Miles Studio gathered at Minotti London’s showroom

The new collections include Birds in Chains, Corinthian Check, Cylinders, Diagonal Gradient, Ecclesiastical Botanic, Emperor Damask, Fretwork, Kubrick, Phases des Camelias and Ultraviolet Garden.

“We love Kit’s work and like to promote young British talent like Kit Miles,” added Co-Founder and Director of Minotti London, Anke Summerhill. “We have used his beautiful wallpapers and fabrics to show how versatile our furniture is and how beautifully it fits in with any look.”
Main image credit: Minotti London/Kit Miles Studio

In Conversation With: The founders of design studio BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: The founders of design studio BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG

With W Ibiza about to open, Hotel Designs gets a backstage pass to exclusively interview the design and architecture heroes behind the project. The founders of BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG, Irene Kronenberg and Alon Baranowitz, have led the completion of some of Europe’s most iconic hotels. Editor Hamish Kilburn joins the pair to understand how to effortlessly confront convention in the ever-evolving hotel design arena…

A few miles away from where the spotlight is being cast on the designers and architects who are attending Sleep & Eat 2019, The Standard London’s playful interior design scheme provides an apt and backdrop for my next interview to take place. I don’t know it yet, but I am about to experience a pivotal moment in my career as I prepare to meet face-to-face with the designers behind one of my very first ever hotel reviews, which took place almost half a decade ago.

Irene Kronenberg and Alon Baranowitz are the founders of BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG, and have – for some time now –  led an exciting movement on the hotel design scene in Europe and in the Middle East. Their two studios in Amsterdam and Tel Aviv consist of a group of talented designers and architects, all of whom have graduated from institutions around the globe.

Among a sea of residential projects within the studio’s portfolio, there are also a number of hotels that have marvellously opened to disrupt the tide of the pre-existing hospitality spaces. These include the likes of Sir Albert Hotel, Mendeli Street Hotel, Wyndham Grand Frankfurt, as well as a handful of W Hotels for good measure in pockets of Europe that have become major travel hotspots.

“I like to think it’s the building talking back when we face challenges.” – Alon Baranowitz, Co-founder, BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG.

It’s a daunting prospect to reconfigure a respected building that has formed part of history and a community for centuries, and sensitivity from concept through to completion is called for for such briefs. “We have a beautiful dialogue with buildings that allows us to converse and work with them,” explains Baranowitz. “I like to think it’s the building talking back when we face challenges. It really is a journey. When you start from scratch, anything is possible. And then you start confronting elements that affect the original ideas and plans. The trick then is to work around constraints and not against them. Often, these end up being the most exciting and rewarding projects.”

“In that moment, we moved from being functional designers and became narrative creatives.” – Irene Kronenburg, Co-founder, BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG.

1998 was a defining year for the studio. The two designers were approached by a client to create a new restaurant and dining experience. “We remember the birth of Zo Zo Bra’s design concept like it was yesterday, and it was a turning point for us,” says Kronenburg. “I even remember what the lady was drinking on the table adjacent to us during our meeting. We sat there for hours trying to understand the concept of ying and yang. We went in completely open-minded, and only after we had succeeded in defining the energy of the concept and space did we start designing. “In that moment,” reflects Kronenburg, “we moved from being functional designers and became narrative creatives.”

projector above tables and open front windows, the studio's design take on ying and yang

Image caption: The ying and yang concept executed in Zo Zo Bra in Tel Aviv

A few decades later, having perfected their innovative design method with a string of hotels and residential projects, the studio was awarded the opportunity to design W Amsterdam, which I first reviewed in 2014 during its soft opening. It was another one of those projects – a ‘labour of love’ hotel, which I’m assuming received more labour than love during key moments. “It was an incredible project to work on,” beams Kronenberg. “It felt like our role was to stitch all the elements together. Before we made any decisions, we had to understand the buildings as well as the city of Amsterdam. The biggest challenge was to breathe new life into the building while remaining sensitive throughout.”

The hotel, which takes shelter in the pre-existing 1920s telephone exchange building as well as the former KAS Bank down the road, challenges design and behavioural conventions in many ways. For starters, the check-in area is positioned on the top floor of the exchange building, which flows seamlessly into the rooftop bar and restaurant and heated outdoor pool, allowing visitors to feel part of the W’s energy immediately upon checking in. “It’s a party place, but Amsterdam does not the same night life you have here in London,” explains Kronenberg, and I can only assume the designer is referencing the city’s open-minded attitudes as well as an underground party, design and fashion scene. “It was important for us to create a venue that the locals would accept as a new destination that breaks boundaries. Without the locals using the hotel’s facilities as we intended, the design would not have worked as a concept.”

Hotel designers are moving – or have already shifted – into a new era, where their design projects on the boards being influenced as much by quality materials as they are aesthetics. Having led the industry as innovators for so long, I am intrigued to understand how this greater awareness has impacted the studio. “It’s a really exciting time to be operating in the industry at the moment,” explains Baranowitz. “Perspectives on sustainability are definitely changing. Before knocking down a building, for example, we should be investigating what we can restore in order to create a continuation of urban fabric that would otherwise be forgotten. Thinking in this way has become more of a reflex.”

“It really is as simple as adjusting the way we live in order to design more thoughtful spaces.” – Irene Kronenburg, Co-founder, BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG.

For the studio, while consumers checking in and out of hotels become more savvy to consciously designed properties, it is less about designing purposely, and more about living sensibly and within ones means so that an eco-approach becomes second nature. “There shouldn’t need to be someone telling us to design responsibly, just like there shouldn’t be someone telling us to recycle,” adds Kronenberg. “It really is as simple as adjusting the way we live in order to design more thoughtful spaces.”

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

Hamish Kilburn (HK): Where’s next on your travel bucket list? 
Elon Baranowitz (EB): Japan
Irene Knonenberg (IK): The Azores

HK: What is the secret to good design? 
IK: Good design is about what you don’t see.

HK: Why should people visit your hometown of Tel Aviv? 
EB: We live each day like there is no tomorrow. No, really, the energy on the streets is electric!

HK: What would you say has been the most significant change on the international hotel design scene recently?
IK: Respect for specialists and sourcing inspiration outside of design territory.

Not understanding the 360-degree relationship between the designer, architect and operator is a pitfall I try to avoid when reviewing hotels. When researching into the studio’s latest project it is about to complete, W Ibiza, I find it uncommon and interesting that BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG was commissioned to work on the architecture as well as the interior design scheme.

W Hotels has a habit of doing things differently – and considering the studio’s wealth of architecture experience as well as interior design – the renders of W Ibiza say rather a lot about the buildings need for a strong relationship between both elements. The colourful renders depict a vision that is the result of a seamless and understood relationship between the shell of the building, its practical properties catering to the modern traveller and and evolution of the W-style within the vibrant interiors sheltered inside. “When we first entered the building, which is positioned on the beach front, we couldn’t even see the sea. There had been no thought as to how guests would and should use these public spaces,” explains Kronenberg. “As a result of us opening up the structure of the building sensitively, guests now capture the sea from the outside of the property.”

Render of a colourful green and blue architecture of W Ibiza

Image credit: W Ibiza/Baranowitz + Kronenberg

W Ibiza is slated to open in April, ahead of the 2020 Summer season. Located off the beaten track, the 167-key hotel will strike a pose on the palm-fringed beachfront of Santa Eulalia. As the only global brand on the island, the design brief was to marry the parallel realities of Ibiza with a magnetic pull that turns up the sass.

By opening up the public spaces to become a flexible social hub, the hotel becomes a place that nurtures human connections, and through the use of subtle levels creates touchable distance between each functional area. “The idea is that the energy descends into the unconventional pool area,” adds Baranowitz. “As you move up levels, the lobby/lounge area becomes more reclined, but the open architecture scheme allows for a clever connection between all spaces.”

 

60 minutes in the company of Kronenberg and Baranowitz has allowed me to find a fresh perspective on the industry, as well as the possibilities that can emerge from taking the time to listen before acting. As the pair rush to catch their flight back to Tel Aviv, their boundless energy has awakened my senses. Nearly five years after checking in to W Amsterdam, it is as if fate has finally brought this moment together. My barely touched coffee has gone cold, which I now believe is the sign of a great conversation that will continue soon.

Main image credit: BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG

Hospitality Tech & Innovation Forum unveils the hospitality professionals attending

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hospitality Tech & Innovation Forum unveils the hospitality professionals attending

Hospitality Tech & Innovation Forum, which falls under the Forum Events hospitality portfolio, takes place on January 27 at Hilton London Canary Wharf…

Forum Events, the parent company of Hotel Designs, is beginning the new year with the opportunity to start conversations like no other by hosting the Hospitality Tech & Innovation Forum, a highly focused meet-the-buyer event that brings together hospitality professionals and suppliers.

The Forum consists of one-to-one business meetings, interactive seminars and valuable networking opportunities throughout – all to enable attendees to create lasting business relationships.

With a combined annual budget of more than £200 million among the hospitality professionals attending, Hospitality Tech & Innovation Forum, which takes place on 27 January at Hilton London Canary Wharf, is regarded as the go-to event for suppliers to extend their contacts in the ever-changing landscape of technology in the hospitality market.

audienceThe premium meet-the-buyer event will be attended by hospitality professionals from the following companies:

  • Accor
  • Atlas Hotels
  • Hotel Café Royal
  • Hilton
  • Apex Hotels
  • Best Western
  • Crowne Plaza London Docklands
  • DoubleTree by Hilton London Excel
  • Sloane Square Hotel
  • Grayshot Hotel
  • The Goodenough on Mecklenburgh Square
  • MARC Ltd
  • Old Thorns Hotel
  • Reset Hotels & Resorts
  • InterContinental The 02
  • Millennium Hotels and Resorts
  • Valor Hospitality
  • JKS Restaurants
  • The Arora Group
  • Trivelles Hotels
  • Ashley Hotels
  • Roseacre Pub Company
  • Your Space Apartments
  • Lester Hotels
  • Mils Hotels & Resorts
  • Circadian Trust
  • Knights Care
  • Hillbrook Hotels
  • Blue Orchid Hotels
  • Make Venue
  • Belmont Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
  • Sara Management Company
  • The Deckers Group
  • Cave Hotel & Golf Resort
  • Bills
  • MSC Cruises
  • Champneys
  • YOTEL
  • Wagamamas
  • Dorsett Hotels
  • Bulgari Hotel
  • Whitbread
  • Marstons
  • Pizza Express
  • Fullers
  • G1 Group Plc
  • Rank Group
  • McDonalds
  • Rileys
  • Fulham Football Club
  • Lucky Voice Karaoke
  • STAY Worldwide
  • Ambassadors Bloomsbury
  • Centennial Hotel
  • Canary Wharf Riverside Park Plaza
  • Costa
  • The Lodge Duxford
  • The Lodge Hotel
  • The Wesley Hotel
  • Waterfront Seaport
  • Zebrano

How to attend

If you are a supplier and would like to attend, please email Toby Ward or call 07930 402303.
If you are a delegate and would like to attend the event, please email either Emily Gallagher or Lucia Guilesano or call 01992 37485/94.

Render of large hotel with pool on upper level and people eating below

Marriott International to open 30 luxury hotels in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Marriott International to open 30 luxury hotels in 2020

Marriott International’s 2020 strategy will see the unveil of luxury hotels in design and travel hotspots, including Tokyo, Mexico City, Reykjavik and Melbourne…

Matching the group’s 2019 aims, Marriott International has announced its projection to open more than 30 luxury properties in 2020. The hotel group’s 30 new openings will evolve from the more than 185 luxury properties, targetting 15 new countries and territories, in its signed development pipeline.

Render of large hotel with pool on upper level and people eating below

With the world-renowned hospitality hallmarks of The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, W Hotels, The Luxury Collection, EDITION, JW Marriott and Bvlgari, Marriott International uses the global perspective gained from its boundless network of more than 420 landmark hotels and resorts in nearly 65 countries and territories to provide an unmatched variety of luxury experiences.

“Our plan to open more than 30 luxury properties in 2020 – an average of about three exciting new hotels per month – speaks to the remarkable momentum that brands such as St. Regis, The Ritz-Carlton and Edition have with affluent travelers, our Marriott Bonvoy members and hotel developers around the world,” said Tony Capuano, EVP and Global Chief Development Officer, Marriott International. “Each year, our luxury portfolio continues to grow in both quality and quantity in strategic destinations around the world.”

The Ritz-Carlton 

The iconic luxury brand recently celebrated the opening of its 100th property with the debut of The Ritz-Carlton, Perth and expanded the Ritz-Carlton Reserve portfolio to four exceptional properties with the opening of Zadún, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Los Cabos, Mexico.

In the coming year, the brand is expected to bring its legendary service to Morocco for the first time, with the planned opening of The Ritz-Carlton Rabat, Dar es Salam in the country’s dynamic capital. The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko is slated to expand the brand’s footprint in Japan, while a highly anticipated property in Mexico City is expected to give guests a unique way to experience the Mexican capital. Overlooking Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona, The Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley is slated to grow the brand’s resort portfolio, while the brand also anticipates an opening in Nanjing, China, expects to see the completion of a major renovation of The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, and continues to work towards the inaugural voyage of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection expected in June 2020.

St. Regis

Offering modern glamour and sophisticated design, the St. Regis brand recently grew its footprint in Europe with the opening of The St. Regis Venice, boasting a magnificent outdoor garden and one of the most coveted locations along the city’s famed Grand Canal. Currently offering 45 hotels in more than 20 countries and territories, the brand in the year ahead expects to introduce St. Regis to Cairo, a destination that has long allured travelers with its enthralling history, and which is quickly reclaiming its place as a global hot spot.

Additionally, St. Regis expects to expand its resort portfolio with the anticipated opening of The St. Regis Kanai Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. The St. Regis Dubai, The Palm is also slated to open in 2020, bringing highly bespoke service and beloved signature rituals to the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates.

Lux Rebel W Hotels

This year, W Hotels brought its boundary-breaking approach, bold design and innovative programming to destinations including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Ibiza and Aspen, the brand’s first alpine destination in the United States.

Multi-million-dollar renovations by owners are underway or completed at more than half the brand’s properties in North America, including W Washington D. C. and W San Francisco.

In addition, the company recently announced plans to transform W New York – Union Square into a cutting-edge W Hotels showcase, advancing a larger strategy to redefine and reinvigorate the W portfolio in North America. Also underway is the exciting addition of W Nashville to the brand’s growing portfolio. The brand continues to trailblaze its way around the globe with 2020 expected openings in Philadelphia, Toronto, Chengdu, and Melbourne. Offering the insider track wherever the iconic W sign lands, the brand is also slated to debut in Italy with the planned openings of W Milan and W Rome, giving locals and visitors alike a distinctly W take on “la dolce vita.”

EDITION

In 2019, the EDITION brand made global news with the debuts of The Times Square EDITION in New York and The West Hollywood EDITION in Los Angeles, proving sustained high demand for its curated mix of modern design and service. Created through a collaboration between boutique hotel creator and innovator Ian Schrager and Marriott International, the lifestyle brand is slated to bring its distinct point of view to the in-demand destination of Reykjavik in 2020. Additionally, with 10 hotels in six countries and territories, the rapidly growing EDITION brand is expected to bring its sophisticated style to the global hotspots of Tokyo and Dubai.

Image credit: Matild Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Budapest

The Luxury Collection

With a rapidly growing ensemble of 114 hotels in more than 30 countries and territories around the world, The Luxury Collection takes guests on journeys to the world’s most captivating places. In 2019, the brand celebrated the opening of North Island, Seychelles, the portfolio’s first private island destination, and welcomed properties in Cyprus, Nanning, Buckinghamshire, Kolkata and Çeşme. Looking to the year ahead, The Luxury Collection anticipates openings in coveted locations spanning the globe, including Nashville and Budapest, Hungary, as well as Hobart, Australia – a destination that signals the future of luxury travel.

JW Marriott

JW Marriott offers warm and intentional luxury experiences at nearly 90 properties around the world, including the recent, highly anticipated debut of JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa. Inspired by the principles of mindfulness, JW Marriott is a haven designed to let guests focus on feeling whole – present in mind, nourished in body and revitalized in spirit. Expected to reach more than 115 hotels by 2022, the year 2020 is slated to be a period of rapid growth for the brand, with planned U.S. openings in Savannah, Orlando and Anaheim, in addition to global destinations ranging from Istanbul and Danang, Vietnam, to Nara, Japan, Muscat, Oman and Monterrey, Mexico.

“Celebrating the distinct nature and individuality of our luxury brands, Marriott International offers a diverse variety of nuanced brand experiences that speak to the needs of the modern luxury traveler,” said Tina Edmundson, Global Brand Officer and Luxury Portfolio Leader, Marriott International. “Across our luxury brands portfolio, we will continue to incubate innovation and apply fresh thinking, both at the brand level and across our individual hotels, as we seek to be future forward, push boundaries, and continue to raise the bar by creating new, unexpected, and enriching guest experiences.”

Marriott International encompasses a portfolio of more than 7,200 properties under 30 leading brands spanning 134 countries and territories.

Main image credit: W Nashville 

Interior design trends to look out for in 2020 and beyond

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Interior design trends to look out for in 2020 and beyond

In order to keep an eye on what the industry experts predict will be popular trends for 2020 and beyond, Hotel Designs’ editorial team have identified colours, shapes and concepts that they expect will make an appearance on the international hotel design scene next year (edited by Hamish Kilburn)…

For many designers, architects and hoteliers, ‘trends’ is a dirty word. For too long, the monosyllabic noun has been misused in sentences to create a barrier for creativity, opinions and personable design to flourish.

Nonetheless, the editorial team at Hotel Designs are of the strong opinion that, while trends in the generic sense have become obsolete and replaced by meaningful design to suit a particular design brief or concept, it’s still important to look ahead at expert predictions to understand the value and relevance of certain colours, shapes and forms. With the aim to inform in order to spark new conversations within the industry, here are some interesting trends that we expect to emerge and evolve in 2020.

Neutral colour palettes 

simple orange and red wall covering with chair

Image credit: Arte Wallcoverings’ Les Nuances collection

This year, more and more suppliers have launched ‘essential ranges’ among their collection. By doing so, the focus has been on quality of material and not primarily bold colours or patterns. It’s also no coincidence that Pantone has recently chosen its Colour of the Year to be Classic Blue; a simple tone, which cannot be confused, that symbolises calm, confidence and connection.

As modern travellers continue to demand more home-from-home comforts from their hotel experience – and while hotel design briefs continue to include reference of creating timeless settings, we expect the personality of the property to speak through accessories and soft furnishings, which are inexpensive objects that can be changed easily with little fuss (especially in the boutique hotel market).

Meaningful and sustainable design

Clean and modern guest room

Image credit: Heckfield Place

Less of a trend, and more of a movement, designing meaningful spaces with purpose has been a key drive for many designers and design briefs for hotel projects that have completed this year – and we expect this to evolve further in 2020 with more emphasis on alternative materials.

What sets the leading hotel designers aside from others is their ability to challenge convention in many hotel areas. The lobby, for example, has traditionally, in many regions, been seen as a grand welcome to reflect the wealth of the hotel owner. Recent hotel openings – and hotels that are currently on the boards – suggest that designers are managing to persuade developers and owners to focus on creating sense of place with the use of local craft and materials. One example of a hotel using natural materials in its design is Heckfield Place, which won the Eco Award at The Brit List Awards 2019 for its core aims, which included sourcing design materials and concepts locally.

Textured surfaces

Colourful textures on the wall in front of a soft coral low-level sofa

Image credit: Kubrick collection by Kit Miles Studio

The use of strong gold within the interiors of modern hotels has largely been replaced for warmer metals and and surfaces in order to create more comfortable spaces. As manufacturing technology improves, surfaces are becoming more textured and layered with different materials in order to create interesting patterns and shapes. Kit Miles Studio’s latest collections, Kubrick and Corinthian Check, bring energy back into the walls.

Bold designed rug with colours of blue, orange and black

Image credit: Floor Story/Camille Walala

Meanwhile, manufacturers are injecting energy through meaningful collaborations. Partnering with the likes of 2LG Studio and Camille Walala among others, Floor Story – sheltering its innovative designs at Kent + London – has been able to unveil a number of different bold and boundless rug designs.

Extended patterns

Room filled with one pattern

Image credit: Merge Interiors

There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that in order to create statement areas within the hotel, bold designers will use a single motif that they can reflect in the furniture, soft furnishings and the walls. Replacing feature walls, which we at Hotel Designs believe have had their day, meaningful patterns will be used to create powerful interiors. If MEGRE Interiors’ VIP room at Sleep & Eat 2019 is anything to go by, there are no boundaries as to how far this fabulous concept can go (if injected into the right interior scheme).

Season of contrasts and abstract energy

Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

In the fashion, we are currently in the season of contrasts, where one catwalk is being filled with the lavishness of the ’70s French bourgeoisie, while another is paying homage to the spirit of punk. Somewhat diluted, but still on the same page,  designers on the interior scene are striving for abstract energy in order to create fun free-spirited, flexible spaces to cater to the needs of all travellers.

Striking living basket and industrial interiors below

Image credit: Stephan Lemke/25hours Hotel Altes Hafenamt

In regards to how this could affect the international hotel design industry, there has been a rise in independent and quirky lifestyle brands, such as 25hours Hotels and Riggs Washington D.C., that shelter quirky and trend-setting moments. that are giving the hotel design scene a fresh perspective. With the aim to create abstract moments for guests checking in, designers are being given more space to let their creativity flow – arguably giving less emphasis on ‘trends’ and more focus on designing with purpose.

Have your say. If you have identified a trend or design concept that you believe we should be talking about, tweet us @HotelDesigns.

Main image credit: Kit Miles Studio

Four Seasons opens Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois, Megève

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Four Seasons opens Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois, Megève

The new hospitality addition will become a sister property to existing Four Seasons Hotel Megève, which opened in 2017…

After meticulous renovations and more than EUR 10 million of investment, Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois, Megève, A Four Seasons Hotel has opened its doors. Beautifully complementing the existing Four Seasons Hotel Megève, which opened in December 2017, the historic five-star hotel of the Edmond de Rothschild family will extend the exceptional luxury offerings in Megève.

“When we opened Four Seasons Hotel Megève, we knew we were creating something truly exceptional in a very special destination,” said Christian Clerc, President, Worldwide Hotel Operations, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “With the addition of Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois, the guest experience will be enhanced even more with expansive, beautifully-appointed chalets as well as a Michelin-starred dining experience at Prima, now officially under the Four Seasons brand. Together with the Baroness Ariane de Rothschild, we have elevated the history, elegance and charm of Megève to extraordinary new heights.”

Along with 25 rooms and suites, Chalet Eve also features the recently awarded Prima Restaurant by Chef Nicolas Hensinger, which now boasts one Michelin Star, adding to the exceptional dining experiences in Megève. Chalet Eve also features a spa with a beautiful indoor/outdoor pool for guests to enjoy the natural surroundings from indoors or outside.

Bathroom with wooden walls and modern shower

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

“It has been wonderful to partner with Four Seasons, an iconic luxury brand, on a project that has been part of my family’s history for many years. We have brought to life a vision for Megève that extends many generations, and created a hotel experience like none other in the region,” said Ariane de Rothschild, Chairwoman of the Board of Edmond de Rothschild Group.“I look forward to offering new and returning guests of Megève a new experience within this wonderful destination with Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois.”

Ideally located at the foot of the ski slopes of Mont d’Arbois in the upper region of Megève, and only two kilometres from the existing hotel, Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois are named after Benjamin and Ariane de Rothschild’s first three daughters. The main chalet, renamed Chalet Eve, was bought by Edmond de Rothschild in 1960 to host a celebration to inaugurate the renovation of the family’s very first hotel, Le Palace des Neiges.

Modern and traditional interiors in chalet

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Chalet Noémie was built in 1927 for Baroness Noémie de Rothschild by French architect Henry Jacques Le Même, and was initially the family’s private chalet. Its location offers the ultimate in privacy, yet features large windows from which to enjoy the idyllic surrounding scenery. The chalet combines the charm of an old farmhouse with a modern twist.

Baroness Ariane de Rothschild, deeply involved in the project and the destination, commissioned the renovation from Thierry Curty, under the artistic direction of Pierre-Yves Rochon, who was also the designer in each of the Four Seasons hotels in France. Through successive renovation phases encompassing all the chalets and suites, Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois have been successfully modernised while conserving the charm of bygone eras.

Each chalet features its own personality; Chalet Eve has kept itstraditional style, Chalet Noémie featuresclassic luxury décor and refined elegance and Chalet Alice offers a bohemian chic atmosphere. The character and décor of each chalet has been curated to offer distinct yet complementary experiences for guests.

Traditional chalet looking interiors with deep red furniture and wooden ceilings

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

The timeless decoration of alpine chalets remains throughout, with wood-framed windows, exposed ancient beams, aged pine wood, rough stone and traditional alpine fabrics. The interior materials combine in a playful mix of textures, the tactile fabrics creating an eye-catching look and feel. The Rothschild family has left its mark throughout, with the distinct style of each chalet reflecting Benjamin and Ariane de Rothschild’s daughters’ personalities.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

COMO Cocoa Island reopens in the Maldives

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
COMO Cocoa Island reopens in the Maldives

The iconic resort in the Maldives makes a powerful statement about luxury to enhance simplicity, wellness and balance…

COMO Cocoa Island will reopen to guests after a substantial renovation on January 9 2020. The resort’s 2019 renovation emphasises the island’s natural elegance, while giving guests even more space and time to focus on their wellbeing. “The moment I first encountered Cocoa, something about its spirit snagged me,” says Christina Ong, owner of COMO Hotels and Resorts.

 “When I walked to the end of the island, and looked back along its sandbank, it felt so graceful and healing — an effect I wanted to amplify for every guest when I first created the resort in 2002.”

The island had previously belonged to a German photographer called Eric Klemm. Since the 1970s, Klemm had let the palms grow. The wild hibiscus was thriving. The lagoon was so healthy, its waters were favoured as a breeding nursery by the islands’ marine life.

A new Pilates studio has been added. The yoga studio, which sits in an elevated position to take in the 360-degree lagoon views, is open-sided to allow for the natural flow of sea breezes. The hydrotherapy pool is now among the most significant such facilities in The Maldives, and is used for specialised water-based treatments, including joint-mobilising massage and injury- free exercise.

Image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts

The Retreat’s spa manager, with the company since 2002, will continue to design every guest program from the moment of arrival. This is made possible by the intimate size of the resort: just 34 overwater villas, all of which have been recast top-to-bottom with clean-lined, contemporary interiors by Singapore-based Lekker Architects.

“Natural materials have been used throughout: kajan thatch roofing, Maldivian coral-rock walls, and wood.”

Clean villa that uses natural materials in its design

Image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts

Natural materials have been used throughout: kajan thatch roofing, Maldivian coral-rock walls, and wood. The clean-lined, light-soaked aesthetic makes for meditative spaces to relax, sleep and recover. Some rooms have pools; all have platforms from which guests can step directly into the lagoon.

To complement the wellness experience, COMO Shambhala Cuisine is available on all menus, allowing guests to pursue vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, nutritionally-rich and additive-free wellness diets during their stay.

“The Maldives have become a highly competitive market,” says Olivier Jolivet, CEO of the COMO Group. “Luxury hotel companies keep raising the ante, from building ‘reclaimed islands’, to tunnelling out underwater wine cellars. Sometimes we forget that nature is powerful, and simplicity has a very important role to play in modern luxury. COMO Cocoa Island is like a jewel in the COMO Group portfolio: it has a unique soul, which we strive to match with the grace and passion of our staff.”

When it opened in 2002, Cocoa Island became COMO’s first private island in the Maldives. In 2014, the company expanded into Thaa Atoll with the opening of COMO Maalifushi. This is a much larger, family-oriented resort, and the first five-star property in this more remote area, which is a 60-minute seaplane flight from Malé.

Main image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts

25Hours Hotel Paper Island in Denmark to open in 2024

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
25Hours Hotel Paper Island in Denmark to open in 2024

The hotel will become 25hours’ second property in Copenhagen, following the brand’s announcement to debut the brand into the region earlier this year…

Following the first 25hours hotel in Copenhagen was announced in February 2019, the hotel brand has announced a second hotel to debut in Copenhagen. The 128-key Hotel Paper Island, which is slated to open in early 2024, will be located in the centre of Copenhagen on an island called Christiansholm.

Florian Kollenz, Chief Development Officer, is particularly thrilled about the group’s success in Denmark. “The only thing better than one hotel opening in a new city is two openings,” he said in a press statement. “We’re very proud to be working on the new hotel project with CØ P/S, a consortium consisting of pension fund Danica and project developers Nordkranen and Union Kul.”

The island of Christiansholm is also known as Paper Island, because of the giant rolls of paper that were stored there for Danish newspapers. In recent years, the island has developed into an urban destination at the heart of Copenhagen’s harbour district. The Opera House and theatre are located nearby and the area will continue to develop with a new public park and promenade encircling the entire island to open next to the hotel. A new waterfront culture centre is also planned, which will highlight the great importance of water in Copenhagen’s history.

“We look forward to the collaboration with 25hours Hotels on Paper Island. The team around Christoph Hoffmann has a very professional, and at the same time has an untraditional approach, which we fell in love with at our first encounter. We are confident that 25hours will be welcomed not only by future guests, but also by all the inhabitants of Paper Island,” says Klaus Kastberg, CEO in Unionkul Ejendome, on behalf of Udviklingsselskabet CØ P/S.

COBE, Danish architecture experts, will spearhead the 128-room hotel project and 25hours will once again be turning to Stylt Trampoli from Gothenburg for the interior design. The award-winning 25hours Hotel Das Tour in Düsseldorf was also designed alongside the Swedish team in 2018.

Michael End, Managing Director, is excited about the details in store: “At 25hours, food and drink should and must play a central roll. We’ll be working on Paper Island with both brand new and proven partners. As well as a restaurant and cafe on the ground floor, a rooftop bar is also planned. At the moment, my favorite part is the two house boats in front of the hotel for which we are currently evaluating various concepts, including a sauna and bar.”

Main image credit: 25hours Hotels

The Brit List Designers of 2019 (Part 2)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Brit List Designers of 2019 (Part 2)

In the coming weeks, Hotel Designs will be profiling the individuals who made it into The Brit List 2019. We continue by profiling The Brit List Designers of 2019 (in alphabetical order)…

The Brit List 2019 is Hotel Designs’ annual nationwide search to identify the top 25 designers, top 25 architects and top 25 hoteliers who are operating in Britain. The Judges, which are made up of experts in all pockets of the industry, gathered to decided who was eligible to make this year’s list.

The industry’s leading figures then gathered on November 21 at Patch East London, where The Brit List 2019 was unveiled and the individual winners were announced. 

Following on from the first 10 designers we profiled the other day, here are The Brit List Designers of 2019…

Marcus Barwell, Managing Director – Soho House Design

Leading the interior design team to create timeless interiors with personality, Marcus Barwell has been the managing director of Soho House Design for seven years and counting. His most recent projects include Soho House West Hollywood, Soho House Greek Street, Babbington House, Soho House Mumbai and Soho House Paris. In addition, Barwell has led his team to unveil a new concept of motel-diner experiences called Mollies.

Maria Vafiadis, Managing Director – MKV Design

The founder and managing director of MKV Design, Maria Vafiadis is an established thought-leader within the interior design sphere. With her body of work totalling more than two decades, Vafiadis’ ‘every project is one-off’ approach reflects her constant quest for new ideas andinnovation on the international hotel design scene.

One of the studio’s recent projects is situated on Mykonos’ west coast, which has been described as the “perfect setting for rare moments of romance, luxury and personalised service.” Mykonos Riviera Hotel & Spa is a new 44-key boutique hotel that overlooks the Aegean Sea and adorns sharp, dynamic design moments throughout.

Nicky Dobree, Design Director – Nicky Dobree Interior Design

Award-winning, globally published designer Nicky Dobree completed her first hotel design project in July of 2019 in Vejer de laFrontera, Andalucia.

Plaza 18, which is serviced and managed by adjacent The Califa hotel, opened as a new home house hotel. Its effortless design is made to feel like a luxurious home-from-home with furnishings by Ralph Lauren, Eichlotz, De la Couna & Nicky Dobree Collection among others.

Philip Watts, Design Director – Philip Watts Design

25 years of commercial interiors delivered with wit and wisdom have seen Philip Watts transform the look of many iconic high street favourites. From Greggs to Ibis, and Yo!sushi to Mercure, all have been part of the designer’s vision to inject personality everywhere possible.

Rachel Johnson, Senior Vice President – Wimberly Interiors

With a diverse design career spanning more than 20 years, Rachel Johnson is a stalwart of the British interior design industry. As studio director and senior vice president of WATG’s Wimberly Interiors in London, her contribution to the discipline can be felt not only throughout the firm, but from much farther afield.

Her acute eye for detail and authentic approach can be witnessed throughout an array of projects, which include St. Regis Astana in Kazakhstan, Abu Dhabi EDITION and Belmond Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

Russell Sage, Director – Russell Sage Studio

Under Russell Sage’s direction, each member of the team at the studio is passionately committed to the creation and delivery of truly authentic, compelling interior schemes, which aim to engage and surprise all who experience them. Hotels that have completed this year in Sage’s portfolio include The Fife Arms and Belmond Cadogan Hotel, and last year he completed the design of Fitz Bar at Kimpton Fitzroy London.

Shawn Hausman, Director – Shawn Hausman Studio

The newest collaboration between SHD and the Standard Hotel is the international debut of the Standard brand. Located in King’s Cross, the Brutalist building once served as Camden Council government offices. In contrast to its origins (and the notorious grey skies of London above), the newest Standard features a bright and bold colour scheme throughout the interior. Drawing inspiration from the early 1970s, Shawn Hausman described the team’s concept: “We tried to take over in a friendly way –keeping the essence, but almost as if California rebels had taken over a government building and made it more free-spirited.”

Simon Rawlings, Creative Director – David Collins Studio

As creative director of David Collins Studio, Simon Rawlings has overseen the realisation of some of the world’s most iconic hospitality, residential and retail spaces. A passionate believer in “creating luxury through quality”, Rawlings has always been a committed advocate of craft, supporting artisanship while encouraging design innovation. Functionality remains a cornerstone of his design philosophy. This, combined with a profound understanding of brands, and an acute sense of the way people live, enables him to design spaces they can use and inhabit in total harmony. This year, the studio completed the third phase of The Delaire Graff Estate, which incorporates bespoke materials and soft furnishings, whilst the walls are adorned with original art by both contemporary and modern African artists – each piece shared from the collection of Laurence Graff.

Terry McGillicuddy, Director – Richmond International

Terry McGillicuddy is an invaluable asset to Richmond International. In addition to working on a number hotel projects, McGillicuddy leads the studio’s work in the luxury cruise ship space. Several years ago, Richmond were asked to design a Lotus spa on Princess Cruises Royal Princess. The design revolutionised spa concepts on board cruise ships and has won many accolades and awards.

McGillicuddy embraced the challenge of delivering the entire interior for the magnificent behemoth that is P&O’s Britannia. This achievement, delivered in 2015, set the designer and consequently Richmond up as a market leader delivering more subtle and refined cruise ship interiors. Richmond has carved a new, growing niche in luxury cruising interiors and is constantly working with brands such as Cunard, P&O and Princess.

Terry McGinnity, Executive Design Director – GA Design (London)

Originally trained as an architect in Australia, Terry McGinnity moved to London to continue his career. After assuming the role of managing director of G.A Design in 1998, he has turned it into one of the most dynamic and interesting interior design firms working out of the UK. He has recently moved into the position of global executive design director where he oversees the creative output for all G.A projects.

To read The Brit List 2019, click here.

New study reveals luxury travellers want to ‘ditch the gram’ when discovering a new city

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New study reveals luxury travellers want to ‘ditch the gram’ when discovering a new city

A study conducted by InterContinental Hotels & Resorts asked more than 7,000 luxury travellers in major cities around the globe how they would like to explore new destinations… 

An independent study, which surveyed more than 7,000 luxury travellers in London, New York City, Mexico City, Dubai, Sydney, Paris and Shanghai, has revealed that travellers are seeking authentic, multi-sensory experiences outside of the ‘insta-lense’.

The study is published as InterContinental Hotels & Resorts launches InterContinental ICons, offering travellers a fresh look at some of the world’s most exhilarating cities. The group is inviting the public to take part in a global conversation on what makes destinations around the world truly iconic.

The brand’s independent study, carried out in Paris, London, New York, Shanghai, Dubai, Sydney and Mexico City, revealed travellers often feel they only scratch the surface of a city. The study revealed that most locals (59 per cent) feel visitors are missing out on the true spirit of the place, while 75 per cent of luxury travellers want to experience cities as a well-informed local. Meanwhile, social media analysis exposes ‘sea of sameness’ with three-quarters (77 per cent) of travellers feeling obliged to walk down the same traditional tourist trail.

Additional analysis of Instagram posts revealed that the Eiffel Tower in Paris is the most posted tourist site, representing 10 per cent of all posts worldwide. Buckingham Palace is the most-tagged site in London (21 per cent) and Central Park is the most-tagged in New York City (20 per cent), highlighting that tourists are often focused on visiting the same “must-see” sites.

These findings were confirmed by locals, with more than half (59 per cent) feeling that tourists miss out on the best their city has to offer.

InterContinental’s new campaign aims to inspire adventurous travellers by rediscovering what makes each city truly fascinating. An online vote, launched today, asks the public to select the most symbolic sights, sounds, tastes, smells and feelings in these cities, that will connect travellers more deeply when they visit.

Some of the multi-sensorial experiences identified by luxury travellers around the world include:

  • Paris – The scent of oven-fresh bread on the boulangeries of Oberkampf, Paris 11e
  • London – The warmth from a roaring fire in an old London pub on a chilly day
  • New York – Smell of roasting chestnuts from a vendor cart on Broadway
  • Shanghai – The warm aroma of Xiaolongbao at the Temple of the City Gods
  • Dubai – Sound of water lapping an abra (traditional wooden boat) as it glides along Dubai Creek
  • Sydney – The feel of the cool breeze on your face on the Manly to Circular Quay ferry
  • Mexico City – The sounds of Mariachi music in Garibaldi plaza

The full list of nominated ICons in London include:

  • The sight of the landmarks lit up as you cross the Thames at night
  • The warmth from a roaring fire in an old London pub on a chilly day
  • The contrasting old and new architecture as you walk through the City
  • The calls of a market trader on Portobello Road
  • The smell of mulled wine at Greenwich market during Christmas
  • Freshly baked sourdough from an artisan baker in East London
  • British strawberries from Broadway Market
  • The smell of thousands of roses in bloom at Queen Mary’s Gardens at Regent’s Park
  • The sound of applause at the open air theatre in Regent’s Park
  • The swoosh of air standing on the platform as a Tube pulls in
  • The cold wind during a morning jog or dog walk on Primrose Hill
  • Spotting the stags at Richmond Park on a misty, autumn morning
  • The botanical notes of gin and tonic made with a South London craft gin
  • The warming smell of coffee roasting at Maltby Street Market
  • The musky smell of old furniture at an antiques market

As a pioneer in luxury travel, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has always been the gateway to fascinating places and local cultural wisdom, so we understand that travellers are craving a deeper connection to the places they visit,” said Ginger Taggart, Vice President of Global Marketing, IHG Luxury Portfolio. “ With our latest campaign, InterContinental ICons, we’ve set out to discover and celebrate authentic places and moments that might be overlooked by visitors but are truly part of what makes a city special.  Whether it’s the feel of salt air while riding New York’s Hudson River ferry, the melodious bells of the clock tower on the Bund in Shanghai, or the feel of cobblestones underfoot on old Parisian streets, these ICons might include under-the-radar experiences, or well-known tourist hotspots viewed in new and unexpected ways. We want to reignite a sense of fascination for these much-visited cities and encourage discussion around what makes them truly iconic.”

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has pioneered luxury travel for more than 70 years and now has 208 hotels in 66 countries worldwide. With this heritage and insight, the brand understands that modern luxury travellers are looking for a deeper connection with the iconic places they travel to.

Through social media analysis, the insights of key opinion leaders and independent research, InterContinental has established a long-list of multi-sensory experiences that are representative of each city. Beginning today, InterContinental invites the public to select the experiences they truly feel demonstrate the city or cities they know best at life.intercontinental.com/icons and engage in a conversation across social media using the hashtag #intercontinentalicons

Voting closes on December 31 2019. A global panel of judges, featuring acclaimed National Geographic Photographer Charlie Hamilton James, local influencers and well-travelled members of the InterContinental Ambassador loyalty programme will lend their expertise to curating the top five InterContinental ICons in each city, with the final reveal and celebration in early 2020.

Main image credit: Pixabay

Pantone reveals Colour of the Year 2020

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Pantone reveals Colour of the Year 2020

Pantone Colour of the Year 2020 is Classic Blue, a reassuring presence instilling calm, confidence, and connection…

Following 2019’s refreshing Living Coral, Pantone has announced Classic Blue as the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2020; a timeless and enduring hue elegant in its simplicity. Suggestive of the sky at dusk, the reassuring qualities of the thought-provoking. PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue highlight our desire for a dependable and stable foundation from which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.

“We are living in a time that requires trust and faith. It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute. “Imbued with a deep resonance, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue provides an anchoring foundation. A boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue encourages us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking; challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication.”

Imprinted in our psyches as a restful colour, PANTONE 19-4052, Classic Blue brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit, offering refuge. Aiding concentration and bringing laser-like clarity, PANTONE 19-4052, Classic Blue re-centers our thoughts. A reflective blue tone, Classic Blue fosters resilience.

As technology continues to race ahead of the human ability to process it all, it is easy to understand why we gravitate to colours that are honest and offer the promise of protection. Non-aggressive and easily relatable, the trusted PANTONE 19-4052, Classic Blue lends itself to relaxed interaction. Associated with the return of another day, this universal favorite is comfortably embraced.

“The Pantone Colour of the Year highlights the relationship between trends in colour and what is taking place in our global culture at a moment in time, a colour that reflects what individuals feel they need that colour can hope to answer.” added Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Colour Institute. “As society continues to recognise colour as a critical form of communication, and a way to express and affect ideas and emotions, designers and brands should feel inspired to use colour to engage and connect. The Pantone Colour of the Year selection provides strategic direction for the world of trend and design, reflecting the Pantone Colour Institute’s year-round work doing the same for designers and brands.”

“As we all head into a new era, we wanted to challenge ourselves to find inspiration from new sources that not only evolve our Colour of the Year platform.” – Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Colour Institute.

To fully bring to life the true meaning of PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, Pantone has translated PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue into a multi-sensory experience. By extending the sensory reach of PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, Pantone is hoping to reach a greater diversity of people to provide everyone with an opportunity to engage with the Colour of the Year 2020 in their own unique way.

“As we all head into a new era, we wanted to challenge ourselves to find inspiration from new sources that not only evolve our Colour of the Year platform, but also help our global audiences achieve richer and more rewarding colour experiences,” added Pressman. “This desire, combined with the emotional properties of PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, motivated us to expand beyond the visual, to bring the 2020 Pantone Colour of the Year to life through a multi-sensory experience.”

For 21 years, Pantone’s Colour of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design. Past selections for Colour of the Year include:

  • PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral (2019)
  • PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet (2018)
  • PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery (2017)
  • PANTONE 15-3919 Serenity and PANTONE 13-1520 Rose Quartz (2016)
  • PANTONE 18-1438 Marsala (2015)
  • PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid (2014)
  • PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald (2013)
  • PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango (2012)
  • PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle (2011)
  • PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise (2010)
  • PANTONE 14-0848 Mimosa (2009)
  • PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris (2008)
  • PANTONE 19-1557 Chili Pepper (2007)
  • PANTONE 13-1106 Sand Dollar (2006)
  • PANTONE 15-5217 Blue Turquoise (2005)
  • PANTONE 17-1456 Tigerlily (2004)
  • PANTONE 14-4811 Aqua Sky (2003)
  • PANTONE 19-1664 True Red (2002)
  • PANTONE 17-2031 Fuchsia Rose (2001)
  • PANTONE 15-4020 Cerulean (2000)

Main image credit: Pantone

The Brit List designers of 2019 (Part 1)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Brit List designers of 2019 (Part 1)

In the coming weeks, Hotel Designs will be profiling the individuals who made it into The Brit List 2019. We start by profiling The Brit List Designers of 2019 (in alphabetical order)…

The Brit List 2019 is Hotel Designs’ annual nationwide search to identify the top 25 designers, top 25 architects and top 25 hoteliers who are operating in Britain. The Judges, which are made up of experts in all pockets of the industry, gathered to decided who was eligible to make this year’s list.

The industry’s leading figures then gathered on November 21 at Patch East London, where The Brit List 2019 was unveiled and the individual winners were announced. 

Here are The Brit List Designers of 2019…

Akram Fahmi, Design Director – 1508 London

Following seven years at ReardonSmith Architects (four years as an associate project architect), Akram Fahmi joined 1508 London earlier this year as the London-based studio’s design director, bringing with him his expertise in high-end hospitality and residential projects.

Fahmi is predominantly focused on luxury hotel design, space planning, brand standards, feasibility and viability consulting, technical design and delivery in the UK and abroad.

Amanda Rosa, Director – Amanda Rosa Interiors

Having created award-winning design concepts for hotels including One Devonshire Gardens, Malmaison, Gleneagles, Columbus Monaco and Aviator, Amanda Rosa has recently completed Dakota Manchester, a 137-key luxury hotel in the heart of the city. With sophisticated interiors,and the city’s largest and boldest penthouse suite, the hotel has injected a subdued atmosphere inbetween the Nortern Quater’s ever-evolving hotel scene.

Ariane Steinbeck, Managing Director – RPW Design

With an award-winning career that has spanned throughout the United States, Asia and Europe, Ariane Steinbeck, managing director of RPWDesign, has built on the studio’s considerable worldwide recognition since her appointment in 2015. Steinbeck is an active contributor to the hospitality and interior design industry, serving as a frequent elquent speaker and mentor to many.

Completed projects in 2019 include Lincoln Plaza London and Mezemiso, London, and ongoing projects include: the guestroom refurbishment at InterContinental London Park Lane, Four Seasons Hampshire, the Marriott Tbilisi, Les Ambassadeurs Casino, London and Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa, all under construction at the time The Brit List 2019 went to print.

Caroline Smith, Founder/Head of Creative – WISH London

Overlooking The Strand in a restored Edwardian building, the 57-key The Nadler Covent Garden has opened as the hotel group’s fourth luxury boutique hotel in London.

Architecture rm PJMA designed the hotel over six floors. Meanwhile,its stylish and thoughtfully designed guestrooms were imagined by The Brit List 2018 winner Caroline Smith of WISH London. Each guest room and suite offers chic accommodation that, as per the company’s ethos, delivers on comfort, convenience and features aesthetically dynamic spaces throughout.

Charlie North, Design Director – Ennismore

Charlie North is the design director of Ennismore. His position involves leading the efforts of the interior design studio at the premium developer/operator firm. His portfolio includes working with the likes of David Collins Studio and Alexander Waterworth Interiors, among others.

The multifaceted approach to his design style has led to the completion of recent projects such as Gleneagles Strathearn (following the unveiling of Ochil House) and Hoxton Portland.

Christopher Ash, Director – Project Orange

Christopher Ash is currently designing new residential projects in the UK and Russia, as well as working to complete nhow’s first hotel in London.

Ash chairs the RIBA Premises Committee, was a member of the RIBA Finance and Operations Committee and has organised and contributed to the annual RIBA Guerrilla Tactics Conference promoting small practice.

Constantina Tsoutsikou, Creative Director – HBA London

Constantina Tsoutsikou joined HBA London 14 years ago and has since led many prestigious and internationally acclaimed hotel projects from concept to completion.

As well as completing an awe-inspiring set at Sleep & Eat 2018 in collaboration with the Natural History Museum. One of her recently completed hotels is situated in Zagreb, Croatia. Amadria Park, which previously served as a bank, features bespoke interiors that combine the original and the new with a deft touch, embracing the building’s historiccharacter as a signi cant example of Secessionist architecture.

David Mason, Director of Hospitality – Scott Brownrigg

Just three years after joining the studio, last year David Mason was promoted to director of hospitality at Scott Brownrigg.

Among other hotels that have launched this year, Scott Brownrigg completed the interior design of Hard Rock Hotel London in Marble Arch, which provided London with its latest destination venue. Mason and his team designed all the public spaces for the hotel and worked closely with both Hard Rock International and glh Hotels in order to create a unique concept tailored for the UK hospitality market.

Edward Davies, Managing Director (London) – G.A Group

Working as the managing director at G.A Group (London), EdwardDavies is a dynamic and energetic individual who runs the day-to- day management of the 100-strong London-based studio, whilst also acting as Principal across a number of high-profile interior design andarchitecture projects worldwide.

Current projects overseen by Davies include a 184-key hotel in Mayfair, which will have a distinct focus on laid-back luxury and sustainability, with all materials and suppliers being sourced from the UK. In addition, he is also working on a number of new designs for Corinthia Hotels, following a long-standing relationship with the group that started when the rm designed its flagship hotel in London.

Henry Reeve, Director of Interior Design – IHG (Highly Commended: Interior Designer of the Year 2019)

The sharp and charismatic Henry Reeve has reshaped and redefined the upper upscale boutique Hotel Indigo brand for IHG, taking it to anenvious position as a brand with multi-award winning hotels that define and go on to lead in the local market in which they sit.

Working collaboratively with numerous design agencies across the European region, Reeve creates a partnership between interior designagency, operator and owner to create brand-defining and truly uniquehotels. In addition to work on Hotel Indigo, the designer has successfully launched Kimpton in Europe with iconic openings, such as Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam, Fitzroy London, Charlotte Square Edinburgh, Blythswood Square Glasgow, and more to come in Manchester, Paris, Rotterdam and Frankfurt.

James Soane, Director – Project Orange

As well as being a director at Project Orange alongside Christopher Ash, James Soane is also the director of Critical Practice at the LondonSchool of Architecture. Soane’s projects include the €60m fit-out of the new Raddisson Farnham House Hotel in Ireland and the Park Hotel in Navi Mumbai, India. Recently, he completed the dining rooms for the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London and a concept room for the Hoxton Hotels. Busy as ever, Soane is currently working on an exciting new concept hotel in India, a new-build house in Moscow and a large housing project in London.

Jeremy Grove, Director – Sibley Grove

Rather than perpetuating the waste problem, Jeremy Grove strongly believes that designers need to rethink their role and be a vehicle for positive change.

The Fox & Goose is an excellent example of an eco-hotel, which was completed by Sibley Graven November 2018. Sheltering 73 rooms, the hotel features environmental and social benefits without compromising cost, style and guest experience. All products and materials used in the project were assessed on five fundamental principles: aesthetic quality, build quality, value, environmental impact and social impact.

Jo Littlefair, Director and Co-Founder – Goddard Littlefair (WINNER: Interior Designer of the Year 2019)

Layering inspiration from her travels into the studio and sharing her passion for new and exciting dining, dwelling and hospitality experiences, Jo Littlefair is a naturally born design leader with an effortlessly focused eye. Leading from within the pack, her curious and observant nature quickly recognises coming evolutions in consumer, industry and design trends, which is evident in the stuido’s impressive portfolio.

Recent completed projects include the Presidential Suite at The Lowry Hotel Manchester and Juliet Rose, a new striking destination bar sheltered inside Hilton Hotel Munich.

Kate Jarrett, Senior Designer – Scott Brownrigg*

Kate Jarrett, who was named in Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 this year, is a young creative designer who thrives in all elements of the design process, from initial concept to project management and site installation. Having joined Scott Brownrigg in 2016, she has excelled in winning the respect of every client she works with. Jarrett has worked closely with glh Hotels and Hard Rock in delivering the public areas for the exciting new hotel located in London’s Marble Arch. She has also been intrinsic in creating afun, young and Instagramable hotspot and destination 10th- oor bar onthe edge of Leicester Square. A key strength is Jarrett’s all-round ability to communicate extremely well with clients, design team, consultants and contractors, with an end goal to produce an exceptional and innovativenal product.

*Kate Jarrett has recently joined David Collins Studio.

Katie Edgar, Designer – SpaceInvader Design**

This year, Katie Edgar has been an invaluable member of the SpaceInvader team and a key designer within the hospitality, leisure andresidential sectors. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Edgar headed up the hospitality division, working on projects that include the development of a new hotel brand in the UK, development of new scheme for hotels in Europe, as well as several F&B projects across the UK. The fresh-thinking designer has worked with most of the major hotel brands nationally and internationally and has a deep understanding of these sectors.

**Egdar has recently joined Qbic Hotels.

To read The Brit List 2019, click here.

MINIVIEW: The Biltmore Mayfair, London

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MINIVIEW: The Biltmore Mayfair, London

In the heart of London’s leafy neighbourhood, The Biltmore Mayfair, London has had a £60 million renovation – and it is unrecognisable…

The red-brick facade of The Biltmore Mayfair reopened its doors in September of this year as Europe’s first LXR Hotels & Resorts property. The 307-key hotel’s recent renovation has resulted in the building – and its interiors sheltered inside – becoming a new jewel in the prestigious neighbourhood, uniting 20th century grandeur with modern architectural details throughout.

The hotel combines exquisite contemporary accommodation, stunning views across the gardens of Grosvenor Square, and innovative culinary concepts by Michelin Star restaurateur, Jason Atherton, creating the ultimate urban sanctuary in the heart of Mayfair.

Red-bricked exterior of the hotel

Image credit: The Biltmore Mayfair

Guests looking for an elegant escape can book into one of the 57 quintessentially British suites. Designed to reflect the iconic area, each suite’s panelled walls and distressed mirrored headboards feature references of leafs and nature. As well as referencing a timeless location, the hotel guestrooms also feature modern touches, such as Ruark audio systems that sit on the bedside tables. The dark furniture of red and blue creates a deep luxe scene, while accents of colour in the soft furnishings adds a sensitive layer. The layout of each room has been sensitively designed so that guests can take in the vistas of Grosvenor Square.

Quintessentially British suite

Image credit: The Biltmore Mayfair

The bathrooms, specified by Utopia Projects, continue the luxury theme with marble surfaces complimenting muted gold towel rails. Clever spot lighting has been added either side of the twin vanity basins to create meaningful statement as guests demand for wellness evolves.

Luxe bathroom with marble and large bath tub

Image credit: The Biltmore Mayfair

The Biltmore Mayfair is also home to the capital’s most sought-after new restaurant concepts from world-renowned restaurateur Jason Atherton:

  • The Betterment features a seasonally driven menu, from locally-sourced fish and meats that are wood-fired, to signature salads and plant-based dishes.
  • The Pine Bar operates as a sophisticated bar with classic cocktails, exceptional wines and delicious bar snacks, including home-cured charcuterie.
  • The Tea Lounge, located within the hotel lobby, is ideal to enjoy one of London’s finest afternoon teas, and indulge in a selection of homemade sandwiches.  Guests can also enjoy sweet delicacies including a Dorset spice apple cake and lemon and lavender macarons, in the Writer’s Corner.
  • Finally, within the heart of the hotel is The Terrace. Open all year round, the relaxed, alfresco area is surrounded by stunning floral arrangements, sweeping greenery and glimmering fairy lights, making it the perfect spot to drink and dine under the stars.

“We are delighted to be opening The Biltmore Mayfair, Europe’s first LXR Hotels & Resorts property, on London’s prestigious Grosvenor Square,” said Simon Vincent, President, EMEA, Hilton when the hotel opened in September. “Bringing contemporary luxury to Mayfair, guests will experience outstanding hospitality, including dining by Chef Jason Atherton, in remarkable surroundings that truly capture the spirit of London and British luxury.”

With a host of iconic landmarks and neighbourhoods on its doorstep, including the home of bespoke tailoring, Savile Row, and exclusive retailers on Bond Street – the hotel is a decadent retreat to experience the best that London has to offer.

Main image credit: The Biltmore Mayfair

W Hotels Arrives In Abu Dhabi

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
W Hotels Arrives In Abu Dhabi

Rev up your engines, W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island is the only hotel in the world to be located on a Grand Prix racetrack…

Buckle up… W Hotels Worldwide has announced the highly anticipated debut of the W brand in the UAE capital with the opening of W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island. Located in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s bustling entertainment epicentre, the hotel is the brand’s second W Hotel to open this year in the United Arab Emirates after W Dubai – The Palm, and has the bragging rights to be the only hotel in the world located atop a Grand Prix racetrack.

W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island is surrounded by iconic landmarks, located just 15-minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport at the doorstep of the famed Yas Marina Circuit and Yas Marina. The hotel is also in close proximity to Ferrari World, Warner Brothers Studios and Abu Dhabi’s biggest shopping center, the Yas Mall. W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island is set to provide front row seats to the glitz and glamour of the vibrant metropolis, be it on or off the track.

YAS Island's iconic building and racetrack

Image credit: W Hotels

“W Hotels seeks dynamic destinations that are multi-dimensional and ever-evolving, and Abu Dhabi, with its cultural DNA that honors a millennium of tradition while boldly embracing what’s new and next, is an ideal fit for the brand,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “The arrival of W in Abu Dhabi marks a new chapter for both the brand and the capital. While paying tribute to the essence and spirit of the city, the hotel creates a modern, energetic and stylish escape unlike anything else.”

“The design draws inspiration from traditional and artistic surroundings complementing the natural landscape of the Emirate.”

W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island reveals the best of the destination’s history, heritage and culture while infusing elements of its modern future. From the barren desert to the burgeoning concrete metropolis, Abu Dhabi boasts one of the most unique and diverse landscapes, all celebrated by the hotel’s tone-setting vibe. The design draws inspiration from traditional and artistic surroundings complementing the natural landscape of the Emirate. All architectural elements are influenced by symmetry, intricate detail, parallel beams and optical illusions, creating silhouettes and shades inspired by the region’s natural lakes, wetlands, salt flats and fossilized sands and dunes – the hidden natural gems of the UAE.

Guests are greeted by Bedouin-inspired tents, large columns and seating inspired by local mangroves. Custom-designed Welcome Desks mimic the form of oil droplets and jewel tone furnishings, depicting the colors of liquid gold, a distinctive historic trade in Abu Dhabi. Show-stopping Whatever/Whenever desks are canoe-shaped, a visual reference to the Abu Dhabi waterways and once the mode of movement across the city.

The hotel’s vibrant 499 guestrooms and suites offer plush amenities and floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular views of the Grand Prix racetrack or the Yas Marina. The EWOW Suite (the brand’s over-the-top take on the traditional Presidential Suite), boasts 409 square meters (about 1,342 square feet) of ultimate luxury spread over two floors. Guests can soak it up in the suite’s private lap pool, sauna and enjoy jaw-dropping, 180-degree views of Yas Island.

Image credit: W Hotels

The W brand’s iconic poolside experience features the stunning scenery of the Yas Marina Circuit as guests swim, sun and enjoy signature beverages while listening to live DJ performances. WET is sure to become the hottest place to cool off, take a dip and make a splash in the city. W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island will embody the brand’s signature work hard, play hard philosophy, with FUEL-focused activities (fitness and wellness programming) including weekly workouts, healthy cuisine and amazing adventures.

Main image credit: W Hotels

Year In Review: Hotel Designs’ top products of 2019 (Part 1)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Year In Review: Hotel Designs’ top products of 2019 (Part 1)

Hotel Designs starts December as it means to go on; looking back to reflect on some of the major statement products of 2019 (edited by Hamish Kilburn)… 

It has finally happened. ‘Trends’ is now a ‘dirty word’ on the international hotel design scene. In its place, meaningful design is allowing creativity to run freely through the unclogged veins of design studios, which is resulting in each project to have its own personality. Designers and architects are able to choose their tools carefully in order to create the hotels and cities of the future.

As a result, there’s a greater desire to cut through the noise in order to identify the game-changing products that have recently launched.

Since January, Hotel Designs has put a a different topic under the spotlight each month in order to identify the most innovative products and services. 11 months later, here’s what we found…

  1. The Cleanet Navia shower toilet by Laufen
Orange set with WC toilet in the middle

Image credit: Laufen

The new Cleanet Navia by Laufen is an upgrade in comfort compared with a classic designer WC. It impresses with a compact design, simple functions and with a gratifying price.

“My aim with the Cleanet Navia was to create a classic designer WC with a minimalistic, timeless look, that has another ace up its sleeve when you take a closer look,” explains Swiss designer Peter Wirz, who created the shower WC for Laufen. The technology is fully integrated into the compact all-ceramic body and reduced to the essentials. Thus, Keramik Laufen has succeeded in developing a shower toilet with an excellent price-performance ratio, which is also suitable for use in commercial buildings.

2) The Balmoral collection by Bisque

Soft pink radiator and amenities

Image credit: Bisque

Pioneering designer radiator brand Bisque has, for the last four decades, represented the pinnacle of cutting-edge, contemporary design; however, for the first time, the luxury firm has announced its inaugural range of traditional towel radiators for use in classic bathroom designs for 2019.

The collection – comprising the Buckingham, Osbourne and Balmoral – was designed with a timeless appeal, without compromising on performance or output.

In particular, the Balmoral radiator. Its centre section, conventionally a timeless white, can now be ordered in Bisque’s selection of stock finishes or, for when only an exact shade will do, can be colour-matched to popular paint brands such as Farrow & Ball, Mylands or Little Greene. This makes it a fantastic option for those who prefer to add a pop of personality to an otherwise fairly neutral scheme, and complements many bathroom brands’ latest offerings of colourful baths, basins and brassware.

Bisque’s Balmoral Radiator colour-matched to RAL 6005.

The addition of a colour finish further adds to the Balmoral’s flexibility. Traditionally a radiator for period homes or vintage-inspired bathrooms, this sleek update means it sits right at home in contemporary settings, too.

3) GROHE Plus Single-Lever Mixer M-Size with LED temperature display

Tap with digital display on faucet

Image credit: GROHE

Take your bathroom to a place as technologically sophisticated as the rest of your life with the GROHE Plus basin mixer with LED temperature display. Its slim, D-shaped form, designed to complement both traditional and contemporary bathrooms, contains a range of user-friendly technology. The upper surface of the spout in chic white acrylic hosts an LED temperature display, which shows the exact water temperature as it flows. The tap also employs infra-red sensors to switch smoothly between a sustainable standard spray (5.7l/min) and even greater water-saving with the Spray function (4l/min). Just wave your hand in front of the lit icon on the spout to activate. The large size of this tap offers the space for a more user-friendly, comfortable experience. It features a GROHE SilkMove ceramic cartridge, offering smooth, precise control via the tactile solid metal lever handle. The swivel spout with easy docking system turns through 90° for added ease of use, while an integrated GROHE AquaGuide lets you adjust the spray angle of the spout with ease and precision. The SpeedClean aerator can be wiped free of limescale with just your finger.

4) Timeless lighting pieces in the Edition 26 collection by Chelsom

Image desk and lamp shade

Image credit: Mr C Coconut Grove/James McDonald

For nearly two years, Chelsom’s Edition 26 collection has been inspiring designers and architects to add statement in lighting. This year, Hotel Designs has identified the design potential of some of its products in the collection, such as Orb, Criterion, Icicle, and one of the editorial team’s favourite, Roma, which is an industrial-chic masterpiece.

Creativity is in the cooker as the lighting experts at Chelsom prepare for a busy 2020 with the launch of its next collection.

5) Morgan’s award-winning Rakino

One chair on top of the other behind white background

Image credit: Morgan

The family of lounge chairs and tables, which feature crisp timber detailing that is emphasised by a clean linear structure, has just won Product of the Year at the FX Awards 2019.

Interviewed by Hotel Designs shortly after the collection dropped, Tim Rundle said about the collection: “The Rakino collection stands out due to its striking timber architectural frame, with a strong, square, clean aesthetic, combined with a soft sculpted and slim line upholstered shell that is held within the frame. The frame is very open and honest and is a reflection of Tim’s eye for detail and our passion for precision CNC manufacturing and a hand-crafted finish.”

7) Luxe bathrooms inside Stock Exchange Manchester by Utopia Projects

Luxe marble bathroom overlooking Manchester

Image credit: Stock Exchange Hotel Manchester

In a recent study it was revealed that more than 70 per cent of designers and architects fear the bathroom most when designing a hotel. For those professionals, there’s Utopia Projects that has unrivalled relationships with suppliers and an acute eye for detail when it comes to designing meaningful bathroom spaces. The bathrooms inside Stock Exchange Hotel Manchester are an excellent example of this. Hotel Designs’ got the concept-to-completetion exclusive of the challenges and triumphs for this hotel, which opened recently.

If you know of a product you believe should be involved in PART 2 of Hotel Designs’ ultimate throwback, please email h.kilburn@forumevents.co.uk

Main image credit:

Is this the most luxurious hotel suite in New York City?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Is this the most luxurious hotel suite in New York City?

Capturing unparalleled views of the city below, Park Hyatt New York’s ultra-luxury Manhattan Sky Suite has been unveiled as one of New York’s finest. Hotel Designs got early check-in to take a peek inside…

Park Hyatt New York has unveiled the ultra-luxury Manhattan Sky Suite. Located on the 59th floor of the iconic One57 luxury residential tower above the hotel, the expansive 4,200 square-foot three-bedroom suite literally takes Park Hyatt New York’s renowned suite collection to new heights with the highest Central Park-facing suite on the city’s luxury hotel market.

The hotel suite features 11-foot ceilings with floor-to-ceiling windows, a full chef’s kitchen, and its crown jewel: The Grand Salon, a light-filled living and dining space designed with neutral hues and elegant furnishings, placing the unobstructed views of Central Park centre stage.

Designed by Jeffrey Beers International, the Manhattan Sky Suite offers guests a front-row seat to Central Park’s seasonal foliage changes. The suite’s sophisticated and residential approach unlocks a rare, enriching experience for guests with contemporary furnishings, an exclusive Assouline-curated library, and a collection selected by the hotel’s art curator, Erica Samuels of Samuels Creative & Co. Accessed via private elevator from the hotel lobby, the suite draws inspiration from the Upper East Side’s chicly appointed penthouses and is truly a remarkable suite in the sky for one-of-a-kind stays.

The refined comforts of a home-away-from-home include a spacious living area divided between seating and dining sections by a glass-enclosed three-piece gas fireplace, a full chef’s kitchen with professional-grade Miele appliances, three stylishly appointed bedrooms with Frette linens and breathtaking views and 3.5 bathrooms each arrayed in marble with walk-in rain showers, soaking tubs and Le Labo bath amenities. In collaboration with Nordstrom, the master bedroom’s walk-in closet is personally styled upon arrival for guests, with seasonal clothing and accessories available for purchase from the retailer’s new NYC flagship.

“We’re excited to welcome the most discerning global travelers to the Manhattan Sky Suite. In collaboration with One57, Park Hyatt New York’s new Manhattan Sky Suite serves as a brand extension of the hotel and is an ultimate expression of the exceptional Park Hyatt brand,” said Peter Roth, Area Vice President and General Manager, Park Hyatt New York. “New York City hotels are renowned for their specialty suites, but nothing in the city measures up to this new suite’s overwhelming sense of luxury and unparalleled views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline.”

With its award-winning service as a foundation of every stay, the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond Park Hyatt New York stands tall among the leading ultra-luxury hotels in New York City. The debut of its Manhattan Sky Suite secures Park Hyatt New York’s reputation as the destination of choice for the city’s finest suite accommodations.

Main image credit: Park Hyatt New York

Editor’s round-up of Sleep & Eat 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor’s round-up of Sleep & Eat 2019

Rounding off this year’s show season, editor Hamish Kilburn attends Sleep & Eat 2019 on the search for new product launches, sensational design concepts and more brands under one roof than in any other hotel design trade show in Europe…

It is often said that the sequel is never as impactful as the prequel. And although that may well be the case in the film industry, design is different. For the second year running, Sleep & Eat 2019 went west to found shelter at Olympia London, a hotly debated venue but a popular one no doubt during show season.

The show opened its doors on November 19 to offer designers, architects, operators and owners a unique chance to learn from the game-changers, while discovering new products and expand their thinking.

On the surface Sleep & Eat’s success from last year was matched with many of the same exhibitors taking the same positions as in 2018. The most significant statement from the 2019 show, however, took place in the lecture theatre, where a mix of interesting and colourful insights and debates became the highlight for many.

Amar Lalvani, CEO of Standard International, opened day one by sharing his experience oftransforming an ‘ugly’ and unloved building in London into a hotel that is now headline news around the world. Christoph Hoffman, CEO of 25Hours Hotels, opened day two and, in conversation with Conference Moderator, Heleri Rande, talked about the importance of “soul”. While his group has so notably charted its own course, hedeclared himself inspired by the great luxury hotels of the world. “It’s about keeping the stories alive,” he said. Josh Wyatt, CEO of NeueHouse, also delivered a captivating keynote. “More than ever before,design is essential to survive as the world becomes more crowded. Design is a defensive necessity,” he told the audience. “In NeueHouse, we are forging places where commerce and creativity collide, where new enterprises that will shape our futures will be conceived by our users.”

Image credit: Rob Jones

Panel topics were diverse and layered, from hotel F&B trends to managing and designing flexible public spaces and the meaning of eco in the luxury hotel experience, but all with an eye not just to the hospitality scene today but in the future. Architect, Richard Coutts, and engineer, Ben Fitzgerald, took the audience to the under- and above-water frontiers of their work, presenting a project destined for Hobart Harbour – an underwater hotel with public park on top – and the Under restaurant off the Norwegian coast. The knowledge, skills, vision and technology exist to harness our lakes, rivers and oceans for greater hospitality experiences, claimed the duo Design maverick and disrupter, Johannes Torpe, considered the future of hospitality in space but, despite his collaborations with NASA and his passion for space movies, he argued that there was still much work to do before space could be accessible for most of us. Instead, he called on the audience to create unearthly places on Earth, citing his Red Mountain resort project in Iceland, a spa and wellness retreat that will offer complete escape into Icelandic nature.

Sleep, Eat and Party in this year’s Room Sets

This year’s event theme of “Social FlexAbility” explored the power of hospitality to stimulate human interaction in our age of digital isolation. It proved to be just the challenge that six international architectural and design firms needed to create concept guestrooms, a bar and a restaurant which were inspiring in vision, intriguing in detail and astonishing in execution.

Yuna Merge, unveiled the VIP Area entitled ‘Gather’. The designer transformed Olympia Club Room into a whimsical flora and fauna-inspired space.

London-based hotel design practice twenty2degrees designed a concept guestroom to explore hospitality’s power to stimulate human interaction in our age of digital dislocation. Complete with a fully retractable bed and a tap that poured chilled negroni, the set utilised space, senses and colour.

“The process of designing the concept guestroom has been fascinating,” says Joe Stella, Creative Director and Partner of twenty2degrees. “Essentially, we were our own client freed from the usual constraints of commercial hotel design. We followed certain paths of thought, then found new sources of inspiration and were able to flip the aesthetic. We hope that the result of this creative license will be ideas that operators, owners and other visitors to our pop-up will want to take away with them and adapt for real-life projects.”

Other Set designers were HAT Design (guestroom), SpaceInvader (bar) and NAME Architecture (restaurant).

In the exhibition hall

Image credit: Rob Jones

More than 160 design-led suppliers – established and up-and-coming manufacturers, artisans and fit-out companies – chose Sleep & Eat 2019 to showcase their products and launch new collections. Some highlights included:

GROHE returned to Sleep & Eat for the 14th year and presented its most eclectic and diverse product offering yet, including its ground-breaking Icon 3D metal-printed taps on their first official UK outing.

Image credit: Rob Jones

Following Hotel Designs’ interview with designer Marcel Wanders one day prior, the team from Laufen unveiled the curtain on its latest collection, The New Classic.

Ammique, the world’s most technologically advanced bed, was at Sleep & Eat for the first time. The company launched its Platinum limited edition bed with a choice of three sensual fabrics created in collaboration with textile designer, Hannah White. Marlene Greenhalgh, Co-Founder of Ammique,says: “Having thought long and hard about taking space, we are utterly delighted that we decided to. We would unequivocally recommend anyone in the industry to consider investing in a stand at Sleep & Eat. It really is a show that delivers.”

Hansgrohe, which was an Event Partner at The Brit List Awards 2019 later in the week, launched its Rainfinity range and Sunbury Design launched Perception Collection in collaboration with renowned print designer, Amelia Graham. Meanwhile, both Bette and Kaldewei gave visitors the opportunity to test their materials themselves, with wire brushes, hammers, nail varnish and naked flames.

Morgan, which has just won Product of the Year at the FX Awards, unveiled a new stripped-back sustainable furniture collection, Kaya, which finds its roots in the openness, honesty and purity of trees.

Showing the design world it’s place as a premium shower supplier was Aqualisa, which was also an Event Partner at The Brit List Awards 2019. The company, which was the first to launch the digital shower to the hospitality market, was making noise with a range of new high-tech products.

There were cause of celebrations on the Knightsbridge stand as the British furniture company announced its 80th anniversary. In apt fashion, the brand displayed its design-led Caravelle collection, which was redeveloped to celebrate theanniversary and its rich history, taking influence from a past mid-century piece of furniture.

Also new to Sleep & Eat, Marie Martin, the range of exclusive lighting by the Dutch company Lumière, presented its lush and extravagant lighting fixtures. Stemming from a passion for interiors, this collection arose from the desire to unite a love for antiques, Paris, colour and fully decorated spaces.

Bette’s new Red Dot award-winning basin and luxurious circular bath made their UK debut at the show.

Image credit: Rob Jones

Other familiar brands at the show included: Astro Lighting, Roca, Interna UK, Chelsom, Grok, Northern Lights and Perrin & Rowe. Newcomers included Eichholtz, ILIV Contract Textiles and Absolute Lifestyle.

As tradition, Sleep & Eat presented two awards for best-designed stands, this year judged by designers, Constantina Tsoutsikou, Yasmine Mahmoudieh and Ben Webb together with architect, Angela Dapper and event director, Mark Gordon. Hospitality artwork suppliers, Verdigris Art, with artist in residence, Marcus Aitken, was awarded Best Stand, and luxury wallcoverings manufacturer, Arte, was the recipient of the Best Space-Only Stand Award.

Following the two-day event, industry experts gathered for an after-party style awards ceremony, The Brit List Awards 2019, which is where this year’s winners of seven individual awards were crowned, as well as where The Brit List 2019 was unveiled.

With rumours circulating, it is down to interpretation whether or not Sleep & Eat’s second year at Olympia London was as or more successful than its first year. Whether or not the show ‘hit the mark’ in your opinion, there was no denying that it was a engaging two-days of talks, networking opportunities and interesting product launches.

Have your say by tweeting us as @HotelDesigns. What was your highlight of Sleep & Eat 2019?

Main image credit: Rob Jones

Hotel Designs’ premium events to bookmark for Q1 of 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs’ premium events to bookmark for Q1 of 2020

As the industry reflects on a busy year, Hotel Designs breaks down some of its key events to attend in Q1 of 2020…

For years, Hotel Designs has been part of a bigger show. Working with its parent company, Forum Events, the media outlet has worked to create and manage authentic, relevant and meaningful networking and meet-the-buyer events for the hotel design and hospitality industry. Before we wrap up 2019, here are some events to bookmark in Q1 next year.

Hospitality Tech & Innovation
Date: January 27, 2020
Venue: Hilton London Canary Wharf

Hospitality Tech & Innovation is a highly focused event that brings together hospitality professionals and suppliers. The Forum consists of one-to-one business meetings, interactive seminars and valuable networking opportunities throughout – all to enable attendees to create lasting business relationships.

Supplier contact: Toby Ward (Email: t.ward@forumevents.co.uk | Phone: 07930 402303)
Delegate contacts: Email: e.gallagher@forumevents.co.uk or l.gulisano@forumevnets.co.uk (Phone: 01992 37485/94

Catering Equipment & Services Forum
Date: March 30 – 31, 2020
Venue: Whittlebury Park, Northampton

In response to the drastic evolution of F&B areas in hotels and hospitality, Catering Equipment & Services Forum is designed to bridge the gap between hospitality catering professionals and key -industry suppliers. The two-day events includes pre-arranged business meetings, interactive seminars and valuable networking opportunities throughout.

Delegate & Supplier contacts: Toby Ward (Email: t.ward@forumevents.co.uk | Phone: 07930 402303) and Haydn Boxall (Email: h.boxhall@forumevents.co.uk | Phone: 01992374084)

Hotel Summit
Date: April 27 – 28, 2020
Venue: Five Lakes Resort, Colchester

For two decades, Hotel Summit has been bringing together senior hospitality professionals with suppliers. The two-day event consists of pre-arranged face-to-face meetings, seminar sessions and is complete with a gala dinner.

Supplier contact: Jennie Lane (Email: j.lane@forumevents.co.uk | Phone: 01992 374098)
Delegate contact: Victoria Petch (Email: v.petch@forumevents.co.uk | Phone: 01992 374082)

Meet Up London
Date: May, 2019 (day TBC)
Venue: Minotti London Showroom

The hotel design industry will gather once more at Minotti London in May for Meet Up London, Hotel Designs’ first networking event of 2019.The capital city will be at the centre of the design world  as hundreds of designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and key-industry suppliers descend on city’s Fitzrovia district.

Tickets will open shortly. To sponsor the event, please contact Katy Phillips (Email: k.phillips@forumevents.co.uk | Phone: 01992 374050)

Interior Design & Architecture Summit
Date: June 29, 2020
Venue: Hilton London Canary Wharf

The Interior Design & Architecture Summit (IDAS) is Hotel Designs’ premium meet-the-buyer event for designers, architects and suppliers. The one-day event is designed to connect senior designers and architects with key suppliers. The Summit includes pre-arranged face-to-face meetings, seminar sessions and a networking lunch.

Supplier contact: Jennie Lane (Email: j.lane@forumevents.co.uk | Phone: 01992 374098)
Delegate contact: Kerry Naumburger on 01992 374099 or email k.naumburger@forumevents.co.uk.

Designer Anna Busta unveils newly refurbished Oceana in Santa Monica

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Designer Anna Busta unveils newly refurbished Oceana in Santa Monica

Following a nearly $30 million transformation, the newly reopened all-suite Oceana now delivers a rare private residential experience in Santa Monica’s most coveted neighbourhood…

Interior designer Anna Busta, of Busta Studio in NYC, has completed a project to renovated Oceana to become a peaceful and private luxury escape in Santa Monica, LA.

The new Oceana is a 70-suite seaside retreat that combines the impeccable service of a world class hotel with authentic personal connections, making the boutique property feel like a fully staffed beach house.

Oceana provides a rare opportunity to experience Santa Monica like a local resident of the coveted beach district. Driving along Ocean Avenue, the first vision of Oceana is the hotel’s stately, ivy-clad facade, quietly at home among the neighbourhood’s other beautiful residences. Upon entering the stunning two-story living room-inspired lobby, guests are personally greeted by the hotel’s thoughtful staff and welcomed to their home-away from home without having to undergo the traditional hotel check-in process.

Each room features a secluded entry nook adorned with fragrant dried lavender and a playful tufted leather porch swing. Inside, the suites are outfitted with one-of-a-kind furnishings to evoke a true sense of warmth and comfort. From rich, deep velvet sofas and sleek suede lounges to a four-poster bed outfitted with sumptuous Loro Piana bedding and Frette linens, each suite feels like a private guest house at an impeccably designed home. The luxurious experience is completed by extravagant spa-inspired bathrooms with Bottega Veneta bath amenities and state-of-the-art technology, including personal iPads that control everything from temperature to light settings and allow guests to order room service with the swipe of their finger.

“This new phase of Oceana is a unique, standalone offering unlike any other found in Santa Monica,” said Alex Landy, Senior Vice President of JRK Property Holdings, Inc. “We combined all the comforts of a private beach home with the convenience of a five-star hotel to curate an unmatched experience with truly unforgettable service. Guests will arrive and immediately feel relieved as they escape the hustle and bustle of downtown Santa Monica, and the private experience will follow throughout their stay. It’s inviting, comfortable and staying true to the lifestyle we’ve come to love from the neighbourhood.”

Image credit: Lisa Romerein.

Designer Busta oversaw the hotel’s design, ensuring no detail was overlooked. Her modern design captivates the senses across every inch of the coastal home-away-from-home, and includes soothing colour palettes, gold metal accents, bold geometric patterns and extensive wood finishes. The design is punctuated by a beautiful collection of original works by local L.A. artists and international photographers.

Throughout their stay, guests are invited to enjoy a bespoke culinary experience curated by Santa Monica restaurateur Raphael Lunetta. Open exclusively for hotel guests, the dining spaces feature Lunetta’s signature take on seasonal Californian cuisine rooted in hyper-local ingredients from the world-famous Santa Monica Farmers Market. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are prepared to guest specifications and can be served in the beautifully designed Dining Room or at the poolside veranda.

Surrounded by lush greenery and blooms from landscape architecture firm Perry Guillot of the Hamptons, the extraordinary veranda offers a comforting yet stylish daytime lounge for sunbathing, and a posh evening escape for al fresco dining. The expansive, freeform pool, situated at the heart of the property, is lined with rich olive trees and oversized daybeds. Guests who want to truly take in their seaside surroundings, can head upstairs to the picturesque third floor terrace for a sunset cocktail by the outdoor fireplace.

Beyond the courtyard, is the all-new fitness studio equipped with state-of-the-art machines from Peloton and Technogym. The adjacent spa treatment room offers a full-service spa menu.

Oceana provides guests their own private sanctuary; secluded from the outside world yet still within close proximity to the liveliness of Santa Monica, Malibu, Beverly Hills and Venice Beach. Residents are granted the solitude they desire, but also given a sense of belonging where true refined elegance and brilliantly executed designs embody a whole new level of intimacy. The tranquility and peace make it feel not like a hotel at all, but a home that caters to a guest’s every need. The calm is found at every turn, offering virtual silence throughout – aside for maybe the sounds of crashing waves in the distance.

Main image credit: Lisa Romerein

Morgan’s Rakino wins Product of the Year at FX Awards 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Morgan’s Rakino wins Product of the Year at FX Awards 2019

The award-winning furniture collection by Morgan was designed by Tim Rundle and was launched earlier this year at Clerkenwell Design Week…

Contract furniture brand Morgan has won Product of the Year at the 2019 FX Awards, which took place on November 27. Prior to Sleep & Eat where Morgan unveiled the Kaya collection, the British furniture brand launched Rakino, which juxtaposes soft sculpted upholstery with a strong, low line frame.

The family of lounge chairs and tables feature crisp timber detailing, emphasised by a clean linear structure.

Interviewed by Hotel Designs shortly after the collection dropped, Tim Rundle said about the collection: “The Rakino collection stands out due to its striking timber architectural frame, with a strong, square, clean aesthetic, combined with a soft sculpted and slim line upholstered shell that is held within the frame. The frame is very open and honest and is a reflection of Tim’s eye for detail and our passion for precision CNC manufacturing and a hand-crafted finish.”

“It’s been a pleasure working with Tim, who brings an international perspective to Rakino,” said Katerina Zachariades, design director at Morgan back in May. “His experience in furniture, lighting and interior design enables him to develop new product ideas with an understanding of commercial demands. We have enjoyed developing this chair and refining our production methods to achieve the light, simple structure that defines it.”

Morgan is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Checking in: Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain, Saint Lucia

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in: Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain, Saint Lucia

With his aim fixed on understanding how one jaw-dropping location can harbour two very different – but no doubt both luxury escapes – editor Hamish Kilburn travelled to Saint Lucia to review the wonders of Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain…

On the western stretch of Saint Lucia, an island that last year welcomed more than 1.2 million visitors, two incredible design gem stones can be found. While the two hotels are very different in style, the experience of Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain comes as one.

Not only are the hotels two of the region’s most sought-after places to check in to, but they also stand as a permanent reminder of an unforgettable journey, which is full of discovery, challenges and sustainable solutions that is still ongoing for husband-and-wife team Nick and Karolin Troubetzkoy.

“I’m a man that looks for logic,” says the critically acclaimed architect Nick Troubetzkoy as he peers over the evening’s dinner menu to take in the sweeping views of the sun disappearing over the edge of the horizon. The last of the day’s light reflects off the luscious jade-green mountains, which are commonly referred to as The Pitons. Jade Club literally takes the concept of fine-dining to new heights, as it is perched majestically on the hotel’s top floor. It doesn’t matter where you sit, you somehow always manage to catch the postcard perfect perspective of the twin mountains. Nothing here has been designed by coincidence, which is refreshing. “Designing a hotel requires logical and thoughtful steps throughout the entire process,” Troubetzkoy smirks as he leaves a pause in the air for effect. “The game rugby on the hand is not a logical game – you pass the ball backwards for starters” And just like, as England prepares to execute its World Cup campaign, I catch my first glimpse of the legendary architect’s sense of humour, and his dislike for design without purpose.

Image credit: Jade Mountain

For guests checking in, the adventure of both Anse Chasanet and Jade Mountain starts shortly after the plane touches down on the island’s soil. For the Troubetzkoys, though, the adventure started in the ‘70s, when the couple visited the tropical destination and fell in love with the island’s pristine, Caribbean Sea-facing, west coast.

Drivers in Saint Lucia don’t lie. When warned that you’re going to endure a bumpy ride, that’s a cue to buckle up. The exact location of both hotels is the first indication that these magnificent properties have been designed meaningfully, from concept through to completion, in order shelter ultimate and unquestionable privacy and luxury. That kind of treasure comes at a cost, which in this case is an uneven road and a toe-curling drive over a cliff-edge. It’s the only road that has access to the hotels and it’s a thread that connects them from the heart of Soure Friee, a charming and friendly town, which is home to many of the staff – and prevents trespassers.

Anse Chastanet

Anse Chastanet sits at the foot of the mountain and is, in part, hidden within the surrounding forest that covers a staggering 77 per cent of the island. The hotel’s open-air design in both the public and private areas invites nature in at every opportunity. This is where the Troubetzkoy’s quest began, to create and develop the luxury hotel experience. Purchased in the ‘70s, the 49-key hotel was the Troubetzkoy’s debut luxury resort. Their plans to redevelop the hotel was in order make room for a new level of premium accommodation in Saint Lucia, the Caribbean, and indeed the world.

Image credit: Anse Chastanet

B.T. (Before Troubetzkoys), the Anse Chastanet was a collection of a few huts scattered along the beach, reflecting a conventional and arguably unmemorable Caribbean hotel. Years later, the Troubetzkoy family transformed it into a thriving multi-award-winning resort that operates as one of the Caribbean’s most premium destinations – and for good reason. “As far back as when we first opened, I remember asking our guests why we didn’t see very much of them outside their one-with-nature rooms,” says the architect. “I was told by them, that they were simply relaxing, breathing in the air, basking in the surroundings and enjoying a wonderful sense of calm and peace. When you compare that experience to being boxed into a traditional glass enclosed hotel room, breathing recirculated, machine-processed air, the difference is enormous.”

There is no doubt about it, the resort is of its time, but that’s also its charm; a space that feels lived-in with a warming home-from-home character that is amplified further by the caring and considerate staff. A home that has no boundaries between interiors and exterior, designed to reflect the topography of the land. A home that celebrates literally the very definition of nature in design. Anse Chastanet is a wonderful, colourful, playful and unpretentiously luxurious hotel – and it was here where the idea for Troubetzkoy’s next project, Jade Mountain, was born.

Image credit: Anse Chastanet

There are references of the same design ethos in the foundations of both Anse Chasanet and Jade Mountain. The Royal Palm, Anse Chasanet’s most premium suite, is an excellent example of this, and is located half way up the mountain where the two hotels almost meet. The open-air concept carves out an understated premium scene, very much opening up the space to allow for the 260-degree views to do the hard work, while the Caribbean-infused interiors frame nature and sense of place in all its majesty. Famous art pieces by both local and international artists add personality into the space. The walls in the are covered with vibrant paintings by postmodernist German painter, Elvira Bach. But what is most impressive, in my opinion, is how the structure of the suite, including the bathroom, has been carved out in such a way, with a logical eye, so that, just like Jade Club, guests can almost always see The Pitons from each and every corner, which adds scrutiny and challenges to the standard cookie-cutter approach when it comes to designing luxury suites.

“One day, while the plans for the hotel were still in early development, he looked at his collection, turned towards me and commented that ‘Jade Mountain’ had a nice ring to it.” – Karolin Troubetzkoy

Jade Mountain

“Do you know why we called it Jade Mountain?” asks Karolin Troubetzkoy who, as well as being the co-owner of the resort and is very much the brains behind its incredible initiatives, is also the current President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism. “Everyone always gets it wrong. They think it was simply the views of The Pitons. But actually, for years my husband created and collected these amazing miniature mountains, which were a luscious shade of jade. One day, while the plans for the hotel were still in early development, he looked at his collection, turned towards me and commented that ‘Jade Mountain’ had a nice ring to it.”

Image credit: Jade Mountain

What makes the hotel unique to any other design story – or any other hotel around the world for that matter – is how decisions were made, and quickly changed. “I wanted to create individualised spatial environments that would enable guests to forget about the furniture or the fact that they’re in a hotel room,” explains Nick Troubetzkoy. “In essence, I want our guests to forget about everything but experiencing the psychology of the space on an emotional almost spiritual level.”

Image credit: Jade Mountain

The term ‘jewel of the crown’ feels appropriate when describing its position on site. The magnificent structure of rough concrete imbued with locally quarried stoneappears once guests make it up the stairway to heaven by either foot or complimentary shuttle bus, and walk across the long, suspended private bridges that lead to what the hotel describes as ‘sanctuaries’.

Editor Hamish Kilburn soaking in the views from JD1 Galaxy Suite at Jade Mountain

All 29 sanctuaries frame the unparalleled vistas of The Pitons. While each area has been individually designed, they all share a few common themes. The lack of right angles in the design, for example, removing the fourth wall and creating an open-air concept helps keep the relationship between guest and nature together, while the interior walls are finished in a crushed blush toned coral plaster quarried in Barbados. Because of these indoor and outdoor moments working in harmony, there is a natural rhythm to guests’ stay without the need for clocks or televisions. Almost all sanctuaries feature infinity pools – and, by far, the most impressive spaces are the Galaxy Sanctuaries. JD1, which became my luxe home-from-home (and my handstand hangout) felt like an oversized luxurious penhouse apartment. Following my move up the mountain from Anse Chasenet, it’s the first time during my trip where I recognised luxury manufacturers and suppliers, such as Duravit W/Cs and premium seating by Janus et Cie and Dedon.

And that’s not all. At Jade Mountain, unlike many other luxury hotels that claim to be eco-friendly, sustainability is a core value and not greenwashed simply as a marketing tool. While Anse Chasanet shares the same ethos, the living areas of each sanctuary in Jade Mountain are finished with more than 20 different species of tropical hardwood flooring and trims harvested in an environmentally meaningful way. The resort’s technicians actually visited the Rain Forest of Guyana and personally chose which trees to be used. A multitude of hardwoods have been used including Purpleheart, Greenheart, Locust, Kabukali, Snakewood, Bloodwood, Etikburabali, Futukbali, Taurino, Mora and Cabbage Wood.

The consciousness of the resorts stretches beyond the design. 30 per cent of all produce at both Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain is grown on site, just a few miles away from the hotels. It’s also here where the resort grows its own coco beans, so that both properties can make their own mouth-watering chocolate for guests to enjoy.

While hotel designers continue striving to cater to the heavy demands of the modern traveller, perhaps there is something to be said in stripping away unnecessary technology and opening up interiors to nature to ultimately allow the natural experience of a pocket of paradise to stand the test of time.. After all, luxury will never go out of style.

Main image credit: Jade Mountain/Anse Chastanet

The Kixby Hotel opens in New York

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Kixby Hotel opens in New York

Rockwell Group completes The Kixby Hotel, which is located in a storied Beaux-arts building in Herald Square, New York…

Rich in history, pulsing with life, and constantly changing, Herald Square feels like the true crossroads of Manhattan — a neighborhood whose often-overlooked architectural splendor reflects its Gilded Age roots.

Now, with the rebirth of one of its storied buildings, Herald Square is about to get the hotel it deserves.

Kixby reclaims the stunning 1901 building that housed a legendary luxury hotel, the Collingwood, a century ago. With public spaces designed by Rockwell Group, Kixby will bring sophistication, history, and wit to Herald Square — along with a sense of intimacy, warmth, and the personal attention of a true boutique hotel.

“Herald Square has always been the heart of New York, and, at this time of resurgence, Kixby will give guests a prime place to experience it,” said co-owner and managing partner Justin Arest, whose family has operated a hotel on the site since 1995. “The area, known to many as being home to the Macy’s flagship and once to the New York Herald, has been reinventing itself over the past two decades.” It has become the ideal mix of history, energy and personality, drawing the best traits from neighboring NoMad and Times Square. Kixby will reintroduce many to the neighborhood that, in the early 1900s, was a stone’s throw to the flagships of Tiffany & Co., B. Altman & Co., and Gimbels.” Today, Kixby’s location puts the Empire State Building, shopping, Broadway theaters, the High Line, Grand Central Station, Bryant Park, Hudson Yards and many other attractions within a walk or easy commute.

Black Tap, whose prize-winning burgers and CrazyShake milkshakes have earned raves worldwide, opened the brand’s first flagship location inside Kixby, with their signature NYC-inspired dining room where graffiti and neon meet black and white tiles and exposed brick. Like Kixby, Black Tap offers a smart spin on tradition with inspiration from classic burger joints and an old-school New York vibe. Designed by Rockwell Group, the restaurant features a stand-alone CrazyShake Bar, an installation made of 4,000 custom-designed cassette tapes, and an oversized neon boombox.

On the hotel’s roof with the Empire State Building as its backyard Julie Mulligan and Chris Barish from the Black Tap team partnered with Kixby on The Lookup, a rooftop bar with smart bar bites and cocktails curated by mixologist Pamela Wiznitzer, formerly of the Seamstress and the Dead Rabbit. Both the restaurant and the rooftop lounge mix a playful edge with sophisticated, old-world style that syncs perfectly with Kixby’s spirit.

A green wall with a neon sign greets guests in The Lookup. The three-season space has a summery, crisp, and clean aesthetic, with black and white elements that draw the spirit of Black Tap up to the roof. Tabletops and furniture in bright colors give the space a playful feeling.

Image credit: The Kixby Hotel

In its previous life as the Hotel Metro, the hotel earned a loyal repeat clientele from around the world. Many on the hotel’s team, including its general manager, head of housekeeping and director of sales, have been with the property for 25 years and will stay to welcome guests at Kixby. Arest’s partners in Kixby are Ira Drukier and Richard Born of the renowned BD Hotels, which owns some of New York’s most stylish lodgings.

A namesake character will also animate Kixby. Mr. Kixby is a compilation of the known and imagined characters that have lent themselves to Kixby’s history. He was a resident of the original Collingwood and tended bar there in the early 20th Century. Local lore paints English-born Mr. Kixby as a fabulous raconteur, pioneering artist, and inventive mixologist — a dapper, whimsical, slightly rakish presence.

Kixby takes inspiration from his name and his spirit; its understated luxury blends Beaux-Arts splendor with clean, modern style that embraces and energizes guests from the minute they enter.

Kixby’s fresh, forward-looking spin on history starts in its lobby. Working with Arest, Rockwell Group crafted an atmosphere that has a modernised members-only club feel, with a mix of classic elements, such as rich hardwood floors and fluted dark wood paneling. Modern takes on traditional furniture in plush fabrics like velvet and leather nod to the hotel’s past. A feature wall comprised of bronze screens a latticed work of art inspired by New York’s classic metal elevator gates illuminates the room.

“Rockwell Group had an amazing opportunity to create a collection of spaces that brings a new social experience to the hotel,” says Shawn Sullivan, Partner, Rockwell Group. “Juxtaposing modern and traditional, our design concept embraces the building’s history while adding a contemporary layer that feels vibrant and relevant today.”

Image credit: The Kixby Hotel

Guests are greeted at a front reception desk crafted with warm woods and reflective slatted metal. Kixby associates will be ready with iPads to offer swift check-ins and answer any guest questions. Walking through the lobby, past a curated “book cabinet featuring New York-themed books, leads to the hotel’s cocktail lounge, Lot 15, which is also operated by the Black Tap team, and offers guests and locals a destination to experience old-New York mixed with elegant yet approachable cocktails and delicious fare. Executive Chef Stephen Parker curated a menu that evokes nostalgia through classic dishes with modern-day twists, such as a bite-sized Hot Honey Crispy Chicken Skins and Wagyu Steak Sandwich, as well as a Sweet Tooth section. The cocktail menu by Mixologist Cameron Shaw showcases familiar yet elevated options like a vegan Whiskey Sour with bonded bourbon and aquafaba, and the Airmail, a Daiquiri and French 75 lovechild with honey.

Lot 15 has a gritty, sophisticated feeling, with a dark palette that features gold accents, exposed brick and charred black wood walls in a chevron pattern. With black leather banquettes, high-top seating, custom drapery, art installations by contemporary muralist Fumero, and even its own DJ booth, the space is a destination in itself unlike anything else in the neighborhood.

Guestrooms feature a stylish palette of periwinkle blue and charcoal gray. For the hotel’s clean-lined furniture, Arest sought out a unique source: Amish and Mennonite craftspeople in Ohio, who worked with him to customize the Kixby’s solid oak furniture. The cleverly designed dressers conceal a hotel safe and a mini-fridge. Side tables, next to the hotel’s plush beds outfitted in MATOUK linens, feature two electrical outlets and two USB ports each — a thoughtful detail that’s often overlooked in some hotels. Even the numbers on each room have been hand-selected by Arest; crafted in solid brass, they also capture the hotel’s fusion of classic and modern. Bright, elegant marbled bathrooms feature Brizo fixtures with rain shower heads and hand showers, as well as lighted mirrors, bath amenities by New York-based apothecary MALIN + GOETZ and luxurious bathrobes made by Frette.

Main image credit: The Kixby Hotel

IN PICTURES: Inside Hotel Designs’ The Brit List Awards 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IN PICTURES: Inside Hotel Designs’ The Brit List Awards 2019

Now in its hat trick year, The Brit List Awards 2019 took place on November 21 to shelter the industry’s finest at Patch East London. Hotel Designs’ annual awards ceremony, hosted by editor Hamish Kilburn, welcomed leading interior designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers to celebrate Britain’s unique position on the international hotel design and hospitality scene.

Here are the official images of the night, capturing the buzz inside the sold-out awards ceremony.

Official video interviews with the winners of The Brit List Awards 2019 will be available shortly, courtesy of SYS Visual.

Partners include:

Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

Event Partner: Hansgrohe

Event Partner: Aqualisa

2019 Industry Partner: BIID

Videography Partner: SYS Visual

New hotel opens to put Germany’s answer to the Hamptons firmly on the map

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New hotel opens to put Germany’s answer to the Hamptons firmly on the map

Holistic architect and designer Yasmine Mahmoudieh has injected new life into a building in Usedom, Germany, by completing the restored Strandhotel Atlantic & Villa Meeresstrand. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Germany is not known for its islands, nor is it famous for its sugar-white sandy beaches.

However, on the northern tip of the country sits the island of Usedom. The coastal escape is blessed with untouched coastline, a royal history and recently a new boutique design-led all-suite hotel.

As the modern traveller seeks adventure to untapped new locations, the island’s secret has been unveiled, drawing in more crowds than ever before. The increase in visitors has been the driving influence to restore a building on the Bansin stretch to become a luxury boutique hotel, known today as Villa Meeresstrand.

Barely adrift on the Baltic Sea, where Germany meets Poland, Usedom stretches about 30 miles from end to end and has been a popular summer resort since the late 19th century. Nicknamed Berlin’s Bathtub, its connection with Germany’s capital is as legendary as that of Brighton to London, and the Hamptons to New York City.

Yasmine Mahmoudieh, a well known designer on the international hotel design scene, was tasked to work on the project that became a labour of love following extensive research. The designer and architect delved into the lives of people of its past to add just the right amount of sense of place, while merge the impressive history between the current and modern time. “I took portraits of famous writers such as Maxim Gorky and Leo Tolstoi and imprinted them in a pixel like fashion on wallpaper in the rooms and their positive quotes are printed on suspended ceilings above the hotel beds.” The result of this adds a deeper nod to the building – and island’s – past becoming, which has become the motif of the overall design concept.

In order to mindfully design areas to retain the location’s charm, while also blending in one-off experiences, Mahmoudieh has played on more than just the sense of two-dimensional sight to explain the building’s past. “Once you enter the hotel there is a projection of a video artist,” she says, “commissioned to tell the story about the rich past and this is projected against a three dimensional entrance wall, that distorts the viewing and melts past and present once more.”

Subtle hints of bringing nature indoors run throughout the hotel. For example, the lighting above the bar is imitating the seagulls seen all over outside which are part of the natural landscape to be found everywhere on the island.

Meanwhile, a three dimensional wall of bottles from the French company Elitis defines the fine dining area and seating benches are diving the restaurant between the a la caret and general restaurant.

The lounge area, which also includes a magnitude of books from other celebrated Russian writers, also picks up on the spectacular sunsets outside, by a touch of violet to be found in fabrics, melted with the rather natural colour scheme that depicts all hues directly from nature.

Going forward, the hotel owner, which currently owns 16 hotels on this island, in reaction to the crisp design scheme. “We are going to redesign three more hotel buildings for the same owner and like to give this area a sense of a new identity that will attract once more an international crowd of hotel guests,” explains Mahmoudieh.

Villa Meeresstrand is located on the beach promenade, and is regarded among those who stay there as ‘a real gem on the Baltic Sea’.

Main image credit: Strandhotel Atlantic & Villa Meeresstrand/Yasmine Mahmoudieh

Winners of The Brit List Awards 2019 announced

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Winners of The Brit List Awards 2019 announced

Guests flooded into Patch East London last night where the winners of The Brit List Awards 2019 were announced in spectacular fashion…

For three years now, Hotel Designs has invited the industry’s finest together in November, after Sleep & Eat, to celebrate the climax of its year-long  nationwide search to find the leading designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers operating in Britain today.

Last night, The Brit List Awards 2019 took a monumental leap forward to welcome more leaders and visionaries in the venue at the sold-out event than any other year before.

Returning as the evening’s host for a second year was editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn, who opened the night with a heart-felt message to the audience and the industry the media platform serves. “I am totally overwhelmed and equally incredibly proud to have the responsibility of hosting such an occasion in front of so many legends in both design and hospitality.” he said. “Editing Hotel Designs – and organising the judging panel of The Brit List – would not be the same without the injection of flair, personality and character that each designer, architect, hotelier and supplier who we are celebrating this evening puts into their roles. After reading The Brit List 2019, I hope more than anything that our colourful industry – made up of so many people here tonight – will not primarily remember this year as perminantly stained in politics, but also see it as I do: a complex yet completed puzzle that is made up of many awe-inspiring projects and people.”

This year’s handpicked judging panel were selected because of what they can each bring to panel from different areas of the market, and were able to therefore see each candidate through different lenses. The judges were:

 

The evening was divided into two sections. First came the formal unveiling of The Brit List 2019, which is the award’s official printed publication that references this year’s top 75 designers, architects and hoteliers who have proven themselves to be the industry’s most creative and innovative individuals operating in Britain today. “From the hundreds of quality free applications and nominations that we received, the judges have gone above and beyond to agree on the final 25 individuals within each category (designers, architects and hoteliers) who should be included on The List,” added Kilburn. “Each person referenced within these pages is keeping Britain a leading hotel design and hospitality hub.”

You can read this year’s edition of The Brit List 2019 by clicking here.

The event then continued to announce the seven individual award winners. Sponsors, partners and judges of The Brit List Awards 2019 took it in turns to open the envelopes and reveal the names of this year’s winners, who are:

Interior Designer of the Year

Highly Commended: Henry Reeve, Head of Interior Design (Hotel Indigo/Kimpton), IHG
Winner: Jo Littlefair, Goddard Littlefair

Architect of the Year

Highly Commended: Geoff Hull, EPR Architects
Winner: Simon Whittaker, Orms

Hotelier of the Year 

Highly Commended: Stephen and Jose Baker, Carbis Bay Hotel & Estate
Winner: Thomas Kochs, Corinthia London

Best in Tech 

Highly Commended: FUTURE Designs
Winner: Eccleston Square Hotel

The Eco Award 

Highly Commended: Harris & Harris
Winner: Heckfield Place

Best in British Product Design 

Highly Commended: Bisque
Winner: Naturalmat

Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry Award
Winner: Kit Kemp, Firmdale Hotels

The Brit List Awards 2019 concluded with an unparalleled ‘after party’ style networking scene that further bridged the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers, developers, owners and suppliers.

Please share your social media posts on Twitter and Instagram, @hoteldesigns, by using the hashtag #TheBritListAwards2019. More official images of inside The Brit List Awards 2019 will follow shortly… 

Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

Event Partner: Hansgrohe

Event Partner: Aqualisa

2019 Industry Partner: BIID

Videography Partner: SYS Visual

Behind Crosswater’s colourful AW/19 message

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Behind Crosswater’s colourful AW/19 message

As the headline partner for The Brit List Awards 2019, Crosswater has a pretty UNIQUE message when it comes to colour in the bathroom…

Bathroom manufacturer Crosswater’s high-quality signature finishes and textures enable hotels to express their own brand through their bathroom designs. Combined with lighting and interior design elements, each bathroom can be created to perfectly suit the personality of the hotel, often without the need to change existing sanitaryware.

I am. Indulgent

Combining exceptional manufacturing with contemporary design, Crosswater’s collection of high-quality signature finishes and textures presents an extensive range that can be used to design an indulgent, luxurious bathroom.

Bringing together a collection of products that is both raw and refined, Crosswater provides hotels with the opportunity to create a luxury, personal spa environment, with exquisite detailing, finishes and feature lighting. This opulent bathroom space offers guests a place to escape and unwind; a place to feel rejuvenated and inspired.

Utilising a combination of darker tones and industrial details, the final scheme is edgy and versatile, on-trend and desirable. Black marble floors are paired with wood surfaces, and dark tones are complemented by natural accents throughout the bathroom. Pops of colours are brought in with plants and brass accessories.

Paying homage to the materials, colour schemes and accents used in older industrial interior designs also bring a taste of indulgence into the bathroom. Clean lines, metallic shades and eye-catching pieces are the finishing touches to create a minimal feel that has maximum impact.

Crosswater offers a range of darker, more industrial style products to complete an indulgent bathroom scheme.

I am. Divine

Bringing together a collection of products that integrates the traditional with the modern, Crosswater’s range of high-quality signature finishes and textures presents an extensive range that can be used to create a divine, romantic bathroom scheme.

Using an enchanting combination of subtle pastel shades, neutral white and bold signature brassware, a romantic bathroom is expressed through soft colour, textures and patterns, along with tasteful accessorising – bringing to mind light evenings, pink flowers in bloom and sunshine through the windows.

Gold, rose and blush are used in harmony with distinctive terrazzo, herringbone and marble-effect surfaces, which complements metallic finishes and pops of pink and white. Soft furnishings, upholstered in materials such as green velvet with gold detailing, are used to bring additional colour into the room and accentuate natural elements such as leafy houseplants.

Make use of neutral white furniture for extra storage space, as well as creating a truly eye-catching finish when paired with gorgeous brushed brass or matt black brassware. Calming, elegant and surprisingly versatile, this overall finish will bring warmth, glamour and elegance to the hotel – a statement bathroom that has maximum impact.

I am. Brave

Dare to be brave with the ultimate in contemporary, bold bathroom design from Crosswater. Utilising a mixture of deep colours, bright patterns and retro styling with daring brassware finishes, a bold bathroom expresses personality through colour, texture and pattern.

The bathroom scheme is brought to life with a bold botanical print and monochrome pattern tiled floor. The brushed nickel brassware stands out against the dark wallpaper and complements the stylish marble gallery basin. The grey furniture provides practical storage while also being a neutral, subtle grounding feature within this bathroom, as is the white wall hung WC. The entire style is finished with a stunning illuminated mirror and dramatic pendant lighting to make a real style statement.

Other ways of introducing this bold aesthetic into a bathroom design can include featuring eye-catching accessories, such as towel warmers and green plants.

By also incorporating a statement patterned wallpaper, bold colours and darker tones, any hotek is able to achieve a bold bathroom scheme. The overall finish is one that is creative, unique and playful – a statement room that has maximum impact.

I Am. Mindful

Bringing together a collection of products that creates a natural, ethical and organic environment, we offer products for a hotel bathroom that replicates a bright, light spa, with a neutral colour palette and natural wood tones. This relaxing bathroom is a place to breathe, meditate and let the day’s worries go.

Utilising clean, simple lines, the mindful hotel’s bathroom is an uncluttered space in which to think clearly and promote wellbeing. Neutral tiled floors are paired with wood surfaces, statement pendant lighting and brass overtones. Pops of greenery are brought into the scheme with plants, wall art and botanical touches.

Crosswater offers a range of light, modern products and furniture to complete a mindful bathroom scheme for hotels.

A developer’s glance at why Edinburgh is the city of investment

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
A developer’s glance at why Edinburgh is the city of investment

Just hours ahead of The Brit List Awards 2019, Edward Webb, Director of Development Management, Edinburgh St James, UK – and judge for this year’s awards, tells Hotel Designs why Edinburgh is the most investible city in the UK… 

As 2019 draws to a close we reflect on another successful year for the tourism and hotel industry in the Scottish capital.

Last year, Edinburgh by Numbers, a document produced by the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC), concluded that the Scottish capital draws in over 15 million visitors per year. Combine this statistic with a hotel occupancy rate of 83.7 per cent, and it paints an impressive picture of the tourism and hospitality scene in Edinburgh.

Things have not slowed down, and this year has been another exciting one for the city. There’s a wealth of hotel development underway in some of the capital’s most iconic areas and major schemes like Edinburgh St James are set to be a game-changer for the city’s retail, leisure and hotel scene. The 1.7 million sq ft development will open its retail phase in a year’s time – the largest retail-led development in Scotland and one of the most significant regeneration projects currently underway in the UK.

Offering a wide-range of new shops and leisure facilities, Edinburgh St James will be home to a flagship John Lewis, Next, Zara, a five-screen Everyman Cinema, W Edinburgh – the city’s first W Hotel – 152 unique apartments, 30 restaurants, and a 75-room Roomzzz aparthotel. In addition, the development is set to deliver brand new public squares and event spaces.

We started on site three years ago, with a vision to create a destination which is integrated into the wider city – physically, socially and culturally. With this vision, we discovered new and exciting opportunities.

The W Edinburgh will be the centrepiece of the whole development – providing the most luxurious and fun hotel accommodation in Edinburgh and reinforcing the city’s reputation as a cosmopolitan European capital. As a hotelier, the team at W shares our vision for the future of Edinburgh and sees promise in how much the city has to offer – through fashion, design and music. It is three buildings with a centrepiece featuring a unique façade crafted from a winding steel ‘ribbon’ – all designed by Jestico + Whiles. Visitors will be able to make the most of the city’s views too, as the vision for the interior includes a lofty bar, lounge and restaurant space boasting 360-degree panoramic views over Edinburgh.

Traditional hoteliers are not the only ones to join us either. Roomzzz, the aparthotel which already offers accommodation in London, Chester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Manchester, will add 75 rooms, and will open alongside W Edinburgh in 2021.

Both hotels are a fantastic addition to the line-up of brands setting up shop at Edinburgh St James. With us, they are building a development fit for the future. Edinburgh St James will incorporate a vibrant blend of retail, entertainment, leisure and residential apartments, contributing to the city’s reputation as a booming cosmopolitan capital.

Edinburgh’s economy is expected to benefit too. The development is predicted to increase the city’s catchment area by 13 per cent when it opens, reaching 1.9m people with £4.5bn of available spend.  It will also benefit from the city’s £1bn visitor economy, where tourists spend an average of £236 per visit, compared to £162 in European benchmark cities such as Stockholm and Amsterdam. The development will offer consumers something different and enhance their experience of Edinburgh.

I am excited for what’s to come and to open the doors of Edinburgh St James next year. It is time we showed the world what a great, pan-European, opportunity city Edinburgh is.

Main image credit: Nuveen Real Estate

In Conversation With: Marcel Wanders – “bathroom design can be poetry”

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Marcel Wanders – “bathroom design can be poetry”

Ahead of Sleep & Eat 2019, editor Hamish Kilburn speaks to acclaimed designer Marcel Wanders to understand how he hopes his new collection and collaboration with bathroom manufacturer Laufen will create long-lasting poetry in the modern bathroom…

Designing interiors and designing an interior design product are two very distant things that should not be confused with the other. They both require two separate methods, and most of the time, two separate designers.

For an individual to be able to effortlessly switch between the two disciplines shows great versatility, creativity and passion. Combine these three elements together and you have something close to Marcel Wanders’ drive, determination and dedication when it comes to creating timeless interiors. “Designing a product is much like creating a new word in an empty sentence,” Wanders explains. “Depending on how the words are curated will determine the dynamics of the sentence, and in effect, the quality of the poem it becomes. I love seeing what sentences and poems designers will create with my empty words.”

“I wanted The New Classic to break into a new territory, which I think makes it interesting.” – Marcel Wanders.

If Wanders’ latest collection was to be described in one word only, he would use simply the adjective of ‘contemporary’, which balances both sides of the coin when it comes to sensitively depicting the delicate, classic lines with modern architectural details that seems to be the DNA strand within all the pieces in Lauren’s The New Classic collection, which first previewed in Milan earlier this year. “I wanted The New Classic to break into a new territory, which I think makes it interesting,” Wanders explains.

The collection, which makes its UK debut at Sleep & Eat 2019, is complete with washstands, countertop and vanity washbasins, WCs, faucets, bathtubs, showers and furniture to match, and arrives on UK soil after a healthy amount of anticipation in the build-up to the event, making it one of the most exciting product launches of this year’s two-day show.

“The idea is not about throwing away the past,” adds Wanders. “Instead, it is about trying to blend the past into the now and the future. I started with the concept of a table you would find in your Grandma’s home, for example, and used that as a strong metaphor to create the structure of the range,” explains Wanders. “I then added some soft, elegant shaping and the whole collection started to take form.

“Like all architectural fittings, The New Classic had to feel timeless and designed with purpose. I kept imagining these pieces in a house that’s just been sold. I wanted the new owners to feel as if they didn’t need to change the fittings, because they become the foundation of its design. Bathrooms are not meant to feel disposable or stuck in the past. The durability of the materials, therefore, was paramount.”

Originally, Wanders had designed this collection to be made from ceramic, but Laufen’s unique SaphirKeramik gave the design – and its creative process – unmatched strength. “SaphirKeramik is differnet because it allows you as a designer to create thinner products that don’t loose their strength,” says the designer. “Considering the design concept was to create elegant pieces, it was the perfect material.”

The major challenge when designing the new iconic statements was to ensure that the idea and design approach was also functional. “We are talking about minuscule changes that can totally change the way in which the product performs,” adds Wanders. “For me, this area of product design is interesting as well as complicated – and it takes time to perfect.”

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

Hamish Kilburn: If The New Classic was a music artist, who would it be?
Marcel Wanders: Puccini, because I think opera can also be contemporary.

HK: What item can you not design with?
MW: Honestly, I can design without anything. It is all in my mind.

HK: What would you say has been the most bizzare collaboration you have worked on?
MW: Antiques Capellini, because I don’t think anyone was expecting something so bold.

HK: Which bathroom trend to you hope will never return?
MW: Trends in general!

HK: What is the secret to a successful collaboration?
MW: Mutual respect.

For a designer who is well-known for entering meaningful collaborations, I am intrigued to know more about what makes this particular project special and memorable among the more than 1,500 other projects to his name. “I love to work,” Wanders projects. “It’s been the first time we have done a serious project of scale in the bathroom. I am so excited to see my designs injected into projects around the world.”

In regards to the humble designer behind Lauren’s The New Classic, I believe this collection has the narrative and strength to win the hearts of designers and specifiers and to become the great bathroom love story sheltered in many hotel projects in all corners of the globe, that we, as industry, will reflect on decades from now as a significant moment in bathroom design.

Laufen, which will be showcasing The New Classic collection on stand L10 at Sleep & Eat, is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Marcel Wanders

CASE STUDY: How YOTEL utilised space in design and hospitality

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CASE STUDY: How YOTEL utilised space in design and hospitality

In the wake of a plethora of announcements regarding hotel openings to expand the YOTEL portfolio, editor Hamish Kilburn sat down with the hotel brand’s CEO, Hurbert Viriot, to understand more about the company’s ethos and methods to grow… 

It’s safe to say that the international hotel design and hospitality scene transformed dramatically in 2007 and 2008 – the exact cause of this is still up for discussion.

Undeniably, though, it was influenced by the financial crisis and driven largely by a change in behavior among frequent travellers, which resulted in the industry having to rethink its foundations.

One hotel group to react to this was YOTEL, which opened its debut property strategically within Gatwick Airport, the UK’s second busiest airport which last year recorded 46.1 million passengers pass through its terminal doors. “The original concept of YOTEL Air Gatwick was quickly followed by hotel openings in Heathrow and Amsterdam Schiphol,” said Hubert Viriot, CEO of YOTEL. “Essentially, it was in these three hotels where the business DNA was set.”

“Hotels that were built 10 years ago and beyond, they are very inefficient pieces of real estate.” – Hurbert Viriot, CEO, YOTEL.

Today, YOTEL is known globally for its comfortable and affordable hospitality offering; a modern hotel experience, it calls it, that shelters smart thinking, smart design and smart prices. The design concept is compact, and functional without changing lanes to look or feel budget. This design ethos of what the brand calls its cabins was led by the unique demand of a guest checking in to an airport or urban hotel. “Most people travel several times per year, and the average length of stay in our hotels is very short,” Viriot added. “They travel looking for an experience, and they are very well informed with access to smart phones etc. Their budget accommodation has reduced because people travel more often, and the structure of a ‘budget hotel’ is different. Formally, the bulk of your travel costs was transport and accommodation – and consumers would save a proportion of money left over for pleasure. That has changed, which is driving the industry to change with it.”

Image credit: YOTEL NYC

The launch of a fresh design hotel concept to cater for short-stay travellers looking a low-price point flipped the current hotel model on its head. “Hotels that were built 10 years ago and beyond, they are very inefficient pieces of real estate,” explains Viriot who is talking about large guestrooms and non-essential, low-income-generating retail and F&B areas. “Once we remove those areas and make the room or cabin design more compact without taking away the quality, then we are able to keep our room rates low.”

When it comes to the design details of any short-term hotel experience, the most important element to get right is bed. Inspired the lay-flat beds inside modern planes, YOTEL believed that including an adjustable smart bed, complete with cool action gel memory foam mattresses, was something its guests would appreciate.  “The beds and mattress meet our customer requirements,” said Viriot. “You can recline and adapt the bed to your liking, so we had to find a mattress that also adapted in this way, as well as regulating the temperature of the body to ensure for a good night’s sleep. Ultimately it [YOTEL] is about providing those essential luxuries.”

Image credit: YOTEL

Since the success of the modern airport hotels, the group has expanded into the hearts of cities, taking with it the compact design of guestrooms to ensure the room rates remain lower than competitors. But what is arguably more impressive is the group’s ability to design sustainable spaces, which is none more so apparent as it is inside the newly opened YOTEL Amsterdam Noord.

The brand’s first hotel in mainland Europe, YOTEL Amsterdam Noord is at the epicentre of the up-and-coming Buiksloterham neighbourhood, built on the sunny bank of the Tolhuis Canal. Home to start-ups and creative businesses, the area is also brimming with hip bars, experimental festivals and modern architecture, making it an ideal base for modern travellers.

As well as featuring the space-saving adjustable beds, the cabins are also equipped with refreshing amenities from Urban Skincare, rejuvenating rain showers, adjustable mood lighting, free super-fast WiFi, HD SMART TVs with Chromecast and much more.

At the centre of the action, guests will find KOMYUNITI, which is something new for the brand. The hotel’s relaxed all-day social space spills out on to an alfresco waterside deck. The light and airy restaurant and bar will offer a menu of small and large plates, sharing platters and snacks with ingredients sourced from local partners and coffee seasonally selected by speciality roaster, Workshop Coffee. An inviting place for guests and locals to both work and play, KOMYUNITI will also run a programme of neighbourhood events such as yoga and running clubs along with film screenings under the stars at its cosy outdoor cinema.

Developed by Being Development,and designed by Studioninedots, also based in Amsterdam Noord, the hotel also boasts top notch sustainability credentials. Benefitting from a unique water system which collects, stores, filters and recycles water, the hotel also utilises energy saving LED lighting and sensors to ensure nothing is kept running when not in use. Guests who arrive by electric car will also be able to charge their vehicles at one of the hotel’s 10 charging points.

Image credit: YOTEL

So, what’s next for the outward-looking brand? Well, there seems to be no end to YOTEL’s vision. Considering that aparthotel growth is currently outpacing hotel expansion, the hotel group has launched YOTEL PAD, it’s answer to combine the best of serviced appartments with the hotel experience, again limiting unnecessary cost for both operator and guest. It has taken its deisgn DNA to expand the process, injecting compact design, while utilising space.

The new concept has already been rolled out across North America and soon to enter on the European scene in Lake Geneva. “The Lake Geneva region is a natural location to introduce YOTELPAD into Europe,” explains Viriot. “Centrally located and concentrating an unusually high proportion of global organisations, the region is home to an exceptionally mobile, dynamic workforce and welcomes frequent international business travellers, visiting their headquarters or attending conferences at the UN or elsewhere.”

YOTEL currently operates seven airport hotels in London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris, Charles de Gaulle, Istanbul Airport (2), Singapore Changi and seven city centre hotels in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Singapore, Edinburgh and Amsterdam. YOTEL is expanding rapidly with new projects under development globally, including Porto, Glasgow, London, Dubai, Geneva, Long Island City, Miami, Park City, Mammoth, Atlanta and Melbourne.

Main image credit: YOTEL

Sneak peek into The Brit List Awards 2019

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Sneak peek into The Brit List Awards 2019

With hours until the industry gathers at Patch East London for The Brit List Awards 2019, Hotel Designs takes a look inside the venue that will shelter this year’s awards ceremony. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes… 

For those of you who are unfamiliar of Hotel Designs, we like to do things differently. With enough traditional sit-down-dinner award ceremonies already thriving on the hotel design scene, The Brit List Awards is something different, something fresh and not what anyone is expecting.

For starters, the dress code is set for cocktail attire – think smart and glitzy but no need for a black tie or ball gown. The Brit List Awards 2019 is a party with no sit-down dinner or table plan in sight so that guests attending can speak to whom ever they wish.

Seeing as it has accidentally become a tradition for The Brit List Awards to take place in unfamiliar venue (last year taking that to a new level at BEAT London), the arena chosen for 2019’s award ceremony is located underground in Aldgate, at Patch East London. Complete with palm trees on the walls and disco balls on the ceiling, the underground bar is an ideal playground for the evening’s celebrations.

CLICK HERE to take a virtual tour down the stairway and around the venue.

The purpose of  The Brit List Awards 2019 is not only to celebrate the individual winners, but also to unveil The Brit List 2019, the official printed publication that references this year’s top 75 designers, top 25 architects and top 25 hoteliers who have proven themselves to be the industry’s most creative and innovative individuals operating in Britain today.

The nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations and applications to readers.

Since then, an independent panel of expert judges have gathered to select this year’s individual award winners and also to confirm the 75 individuals who have made it into The Brit List 2019.

Regarding the individual awards which will be announced on the evening. The categories are as follows:

  • Interior Designer of the Year
  • Architect of the Year
  • Hotelier of the Year
  • Best in Tech
  • The Eco Award 
  • Best in British Product Design – NEW CATEGORY FOR 2019
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry

The Shortlist for The Brit List Awards 2019 can be viewed here.

Due to popular demand, The Brit List Awards 2019 has now sold out. Among those attending the event are designers, architects, hoteliers and developers from the likes of David Collins Studio, Goddard Littlefair, Orms, Jestico + Whiles, Holland Harvey Architects, Scott Brownrigg, Project Orange, EPR Architects, Firmdale Hotels, Corinthia London, Bespoke Hotels Rosewood London, Nuveen Real Estate, and many more.

So, select your dresses, iron your shirts and polish your shoes, because Hotel Designs is adding the finishing touches on – and waiting in the wings for – what I can best describe as Sleep & Eat 2019’s ultimate after party!

#TheBritListAwards2019

Headline Partner: Crosswater

Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

Event Partner: Aqualisa

Event Partner: Hansgrohe

2019 Industry Partner: BIID

Videography Partner: SYS Visual

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island debuts redesigned villas

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Conrad Maldives Rangali Island debuts redesigned villas

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, the luxury destination resort located on the picturesque setting of Rangali Island in the Maldives, is redesigning a unique set of villas available on the property…

Just more than year after Hotel Designs interviewed the designers and architects behind the world’s first underwater hotel suite, the same hotel, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has unveiled the design details of its new mix of villas.

By next month, the resort will introduce five new room types including the Two-Bedroom Deluxe Beach Villa, Grand Water Villa with Pool, Grand Water Villa, Two-Bedroom Grand Water Villa with Pool and Two-Bedroom Grand Water Villa, encouraging all travellers – groups, families and couples alike – to find the room best suited to fit their every need and desire.

Yuji Yamazaki, principal of Yuji Yamazaki Architecture PLLC, NYC and design collaborator on the underwater THE MURAKA residence will apply his signature style of simple paired back luxury to the updated accommodations. The design of the villas will feature a clean and minimalist aesthetic, giving the space a natural, bright and airy feel intended to focus on the beauty just outside of the villa. The new design will promote a sense of harmony with the surrounding environment, awakening but not overwhelming the senses and providing absolute privacy and exclusivity.

“Our pioneering innovative hospitality to cater to the passion points and needs of our guests is the cornerstone of this resort,” said Stefano Ruzza, General Manager of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.“We are thrilled to debut new villa categories to discerning travellers, marking the beginning of the next chapter of Rangali history and our commitment to driving the evolution of travel to the Maldives.”

The Deluxe Beach Villas were refurbished throughout 2018 and 2019. A selection of villas have recently been converted into new luxury Two-Bedroom Deluxe Beach Villas to offer the ideal space for any Maldivian holiday. The Two-Bedroom Deluxe Beach Villas will feature a new design with a private garden and pool, indoor state of art bathroom, a private outdoor rain-shower and floor-to-ceiling glass windows that illuminate the villa with natural light. Set amongst the tropical greenery, the standout feature of the newly designed villa is the addition of the second bedroom adjacent to the main villa, which has been purposely designed to accommodate a twin bedroom with luxurious floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

Image credit: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

In addition to the Two-Bedroom Deluxe Beach Villas, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is reinventing the Retreat Water Villas into two villa types – Grand Water Villa and Grand Water Villa with a pool. A popular room category, the Water Villas are set on stilts above the gentle ocean waves where guests can discover the true meaning of indoor-outdoor living. The redesigned villa will greet guests with a large living room, which can be converted into a second bedroom, along with views of the outdoor deck complete with a Jacuzzi or pool. Featuring clean lines and muted natural tones, the villas are located in the Spa Retreat, 100 meters off of the tip of the main island Rangali Finolhu, with vistas across the Indian Ocean to the resort’s second island, Rangali.

The in-demand Family Water Villa will also be transformed into two villa types and renamed Two- Bedroom Grand Water Villa and Two-Bedroom Grand Water Villa with pool. The design of the Two- Bedroom accommodation will be similar to the Grand Water Villas, but will offer two bedrooms, instead of one and can host any group of guests. Set on stilts over the Indian Ocean, the villas offer views of either the lagoon or ocean and a sunset or sunrise view and can sleep a maximum of four persons – two adults and two children, or four adults.

Set across two islands connected by an open-air overwater path, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island plans to announce additional enhancements in 2020 offering guests a Maldivian playground full of possibilities.

Main image credit: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

New report reveals impact of washroom design of wellbeing

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New report reveals impact of washroom design of wellbeing

A new study, commissioned by Armitage Shanks and led by chartered architect and academic at the Belfast School of Architecture, Dr Saul Golden, has looked into the wellbeing impact commercial washroom design can have on user experience…

Bathroom manufacturer Armitage Shanks has published a new report that has concluded that wellbeing is the number one social factor that designers think will impact washroom design over the next five years.

The report, ‘Creating better washrooms’, found that nine in 10 office washroom designers believe this space can have an impact on end users’ wellbeing – a view that is shared by three quarters of office workers themselves. Sixty-four per cent of office workers surveyed even said that workplace washrooms affect their general job satisfaction.

The findings of the report demonstrate a strong link between commercial washrooms and employee health and wellbeing – an increasingly vital asset for organisations looking to attract and retain the best employees and improve their brand image.

“In the UK, around 73 per cent of designers agreed that washrooms are the most difficult rooms to design and plan in commercial projects.”

As one of the leading manufacturers of private and public bathroom solutions, Armitage Shanks commissioned ‘Creating better washrooms’ as part of its commitment to working across urban development, architecture and residential design to provide washroom solutions that shape the future of modern living. In the UK, around 73 per cent of designers agreed that washrooms are the most difficult rooms to design and plan in commercial projects.

The report was launched in front of media and customers during the company’s ‘Washroom Week’ – a series of insight-led events aimed at the architecture and design communities. The launch event featured an expert panel talk examining the findings and their implications on the world of washrooms. The panel comprised Dr. Saul Golden, renowned ceramics designer, Robin Levien, leading architectural consultant, Hsi Sung Thomas and design historian, Libby Sellers. The group, chaired by London Design Guide editor, Max Fraser, discussed the conclusions and focused on changes around sustainability, gender, social media and technology within the washroom space.

The unique study surveyed 2,000 office workers and 400 commercial washroom designers from across Europe on a range of topics, including wellbeing, gender, sustainability, technology and social media. This data was then compared with global studies to outline how designers can deliver more effective and impactful spaces that meet the needs of end users – now and in the future – in light of changing work-life patterns, demographics and technological innovation.

Uses of workplace washrooms

The study highlights that the global trend towards urbanisation and flexible working patterns means people are using workplace washrooms for a wider range of reasons, with them spending an increasing amount of time in these so-called ‘backstage microspaces’ to prepare for their ‘front stage appearance’.

When comparing designers’ and end users’ priorities, the study found that, while there are broad similarities, end users rate aspects such as privacy and space more highly than designers think.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Golden said: “With commercial washroom quality increasingly acknowledged as an important contributor to people’s workplace satisfaction and consumer choice, this research provides timely insights for washroom designers to better adapt their projects from short-term trends to longer-term shifts in user demand.

“The findings offer new insights into people’s views on washroom hygiene, health and comfort, as well as a holistic view of the environmental, economic and technological aspects of washroom design. They therefore aim to help designers deliver value-added washrooms that not only act as more competitive comfort-driven, accessible and inclusive spaces, but also contribute to company brand image and potential ROI.”

“The way people use commercial washrooms is undoubtedly changing as society becomes increasingly centred on city-based living, working and leisure activities,” said Stephen Ewer, Managing Director of Ideal Standard UK (Armitage Shanks’ parent company). “Given the evidence linking washrooms to improved job satisfaction and productivity, it’s also clear that there must be a move away from design that focuses solely on hygiene and utilitarian features, and towards design that considers personal comfort and other factors that affect wellbeing.

“This study forms part of our wider commitment to positively impact the future of modern living through evidence-based design and provides a clear demonstration that there needs to be a greater focus on washroom quality in line with end user expectations. The key to achieving this is through sustained collaboration; only by working closely with architects, designers and construction companies, as well as end users, will we be able to deliver impactful washrooms that go beyond mere function and rightfully play a central role in improving wellbeing and enhancing the lives of those who use these vital everyday spaces.”

Main image credit: Armitage Shanks

PREVIEW: Surface Design Show 2020

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PREVIEW: Surface Design Show 2020

The show, of which Hotel Designs is a proud media partner for, is celebrating 15 years of bringing the best in innovative surface design, manufacturing and development to the UK…

Surface Design Show will once again be bringing the best in surface material innovation to London’s Business Design Centre from February 11- 13 2020, with a focus on the trending topic of ‘Close to Home.’

Now in its fifteenth year, the show is a must-visit for architects, designers and specifiers looking for material inspiration from the UK and around the world. As well as over 170 exhibitors, visitors can also enjoy a packed programme of talks, plus the ever-popular Opening Night Debate supported this year by the RIBA and the lively PechaKucha evening, which will be hosted by Chris Dyson of Chris Dyson Architects, with speakers including: Daniel Campbell, director at Stiff + Trevillion Architects; Luke Tozer, director at Pitman Tozer Architects; Joe Morris, founding director of Morris+Company; Richard Wilson RA, a renowned sculptor Burrell Foley Fischer; and Stella Ioannou, director of Lacuna.

The ‘Close to Home’ theme will look beyond aesthetics and into manufacturers’ impact on theenvironment, from the processes used in mining or manufacture, through to the carbon footprint sustained during sales and distribution. Designing with a conscience will also be examined, fromreusing waste materials to looking at what happens at the end of a product’s life cycle.

Returning exhibitors to the 2020 Surface Design Show include market-leading finishes specialist Armourcoat, family-run tile firm BluePrint Ceramics, Innerspace Cheshire, which connects designers with a wide range of design-led materials, James Latham, distributor of timber and wood-based panel products in the UK and Tile of Spain, a Spanish tile company encompassing more than 100 tile manufacturers.

Among the new exhibitors joining this edition of the show are British art studio Aster Muro, which produces stunning contemporary frescoes, solid surface supplier KULA and Croatian decorative glass producer Bokart, reflecting the global appeal of the exhibition.

Surface Spotlight Live is a section of the show which is wholly focused on the ‘Close to Home’theme. Curated by trend expert Sally Angharad and forecasters Colour Hive the exhibit will take a look at what the future holds for materials. Stone Gallery also returns for 2020 accompanied by the Stone Knowledge Hub, supported by the leading industry body Stone Federation GB, which will form a focal point for the event where architects and designers can interact with, and learn more about, specifying natural stone.

In addition to materials for indoor and outdoor use, Light School is key component of the show,reflecting the fact that London is the world’s capital for lighting design specification. Here, leading manufacturers will demonstrate the relationship between light and surfaces, as well as showcasing the latest architectural lighting products and innovations in lighting technology. Light Talks, a series of sessions supported by the Institution of Lighting Professionals and collated by Rebecca Weir from Lightbout. IQ will underpin this knowledge sharing.

Surface Design Show 2020 will host approximately 30 presentations from 50 speakers across the purpose-built stages: Light Talks, Stone Knowledge Hub and Main Stage. One of the highlights of the show is expected to be Biophilic Materials in Surface Design, which will be hosted by editor Hamish Kilburn and will hear from Jeremy Grove (head of design and director, Sibley Grove), Richard Holland (director, Holland Harvey Architects) and Fraser Lockley (architectural consultancy manager, Parkside).

As well as established brands, Surface Design Show is dedicated to supporting promoting up-and- coming designers in the materials sector with its New Talent section appearing once again, curated by internationally acclaimed speaker and forward-thinking chief creative director at Trendease International Jennifer Castoldi. The New Talent area allows designers, who have been in the industry five years or less, to have a devoted exhibition area, giving them the opportunity to showcase to and engage face-to-face with a hard-to-reach and targeted audience. The 45 exhibitors here includeThat’s Caffeine, a start-up that creates products from waste coffee grounds and knitted textile specialist Charlotte Clayton. Appearing for the first time is New Talent Plus, a section of the show that bridges the gap between emerging material talent and existing manufacturers.

The Surface Design Awards, now in their sixth year, are an intrinsic part of the show, with this year’sedition attracting 107 entries from over 21 countries. The judging panel is co-chaired by Paul Priestman, designer, co-founder and chairman of global design consultancy PriestmanGoode, and Amin Taha, chairman of Groupwork and director of Amin Taha Architects. The remaining judges are Nikki Barton, head of digital design at British Airways; Sean Griffiths, artist, architect and academic practicing at Modern Architect; Charles Holland, principal at Charles Holland Architects; Glenn Johnson, director of design at the Advanced Design Group of Collins Aerospace; Daniel Mota Veiga, global head of product design for KEF / GP Acoustics; and Steve Webb, co-founder of Webb Yates Engineers. The winners will be revealed during a breakfast reception on 13 February at Surface Design Show.

For all things innovative in surfaces and materials, Surface Design Show provides the perfect platform for architects, designers and specifiers to explore.

Tickets are free to professional and trade visitors, and registration is now open.

Main image credit: Surface Design Show

Urban development completes to welcome Hoxton Southwark

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Urban development completes to welcome Hoxton Southwark

Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands completes a new kind of hotel in London, the Hoxton Southwark

Architecture firm Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands has completed work on an ambitious mixed-use development in Southwark, which shelters Hoxton Hotel’s third property in London, Hoxton Southwark.

Complete with 192 rooms as well as restaurants, bars and function rooms and 4,000 m2 of flexible co-working office space, the facilities that are stacked within are shelters in a slender 17-storey building.

Owned by Ennismore, the hotel, which is clad in precast brick panels, is situated on the busy Blackfriars Road, nicknamed ‘Blackfriars Boulevard’ because of the way in which it has gradually become a destination in its own right over the past few years. The narrow site sits just to the south of a Grade-II listed, 1950s church and charming church gardens. The Colombo Centre – a small community sports hub lies to the west.

The basement contains logistics and kitchens with the ground and first storeys given over topublic areas that include restaurants and bars, banqueting and conference rooms plus a terrace that looks over the churchyard. Six floors of hotel rooms provide rooms of different sizes – ‘Shoebox, Snug, Cosy, Roomy and Biggy’ – ranging from 16-25m2. A further six floors of flexible office space provide new offices for start-ups and sole traders with the taller ceilinged 13th floor and winter garden breakout/crossover space for co-workers to mingle. HVAC and other plant is on the interstitial 14th floor and the top (15th) floor features a high-quality seafood restaurant and sky-barwith spectacular views over London.

Image credit: Lidschutz Davidson Sandilands

“The Hoxton has always set out to do things differently, and we are continually evolving as a brand in response to guest demands and the trends we’re seeing among travellers,” said Chief marketing officer of Ennismore, Martina Luger. “We’re quite unique as a hotel as we set out to position ourselves as a destination for both guests and locals, with everything from our open-door lobby culture to our events programme, Hox Friends initiative and destination restaurants being designed with both in mind. Working From_ will bring a whole new experience to the space and enhance our offering, helping us to continue to evolve.”

The building has a very permeable, active and attractive ground and mezzanine floor on the street with abundant planting and sitting out spaces that are sheltered by awnings and heaters for all season use. Chiming with Hoxton’s open-door policy, visitors are welcome to enter the building without having to check in and go up to the mezzanine function rooms and bar, the co-working suites or the sky bar and restaurant.

Alex Lifschutz, Director of LIfschutz Davidson Sandilands commented: “The hospitality sector is transforming in an interesting way and companies like Hoxton are at the forefront of an evolution. They are providing great places to stay, in a buzzy ecosystem, which makes them appealing environments to hang out and work, cleverly extending the concept of co- working.

“As architects we had to create internal layouts that enabled this, incorporating workspaces with lots of amenity space – relaxed lounge areas as you walk in…bars, restaurants, even a gallery. Combining all these elements to create an exciting new urban community that works for the people inside the building and for members of the local community to come in and exchange ideas and inspiration.

“We delivered a raw, warehouse aesthetic both externally and internally, presenting a facade that is in sympathy with the conservation area that the building stands in and also in keeping with the Hoxton brand.”

Following the building’s completion, LIfschutz Davidson Sandilands’ Catarina Pina-Bartrum and Ennismore’s Charlie North have been shortlisted for The Brit List Awards 2019, which takes place next week.

Main image credit: Hoxton/Ennismore

 

EXCLUSIVE ROUNDTABLE: Meaningfully differentiating luxury in hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EXCLUSIVE ROUNDTABLE: Meaningfully differentiating luxury in hotel design

To continue Hotel Designs’ series of articles to put sustainability under the spotlight, editor Hamish Kilburn chairs an exclusive editorial roundtable, in collaboration with Minotti London, to understand how today’s leading designers are sensitively working to create a more meaningful luxury hotel design landscape. Joining us on the Minotti sofa to discuss this topic:

With the aim to conceive and design meaningful luxury hotels, there is undoubtedly a question mark on how designers and architects can differentiate their projects to stand out as timeless jewels. With the rise in technology and social media, competition for hotel operators and developers is no longer limited to a single neighbourhood; we have very much entered a global arena. But how are today’s leading designers confronting the evolving hospitality landscape, and just how significant is sense of place when approaching sensitive luxury projects? We invited a handful of the industry’s most distinguished innovators to Minotti London‘s alluring showroom in Fitzrovia to find out more.

Hamish Kilburn: What are the largest misconceptions when it comes to designing luxury?

Jo Littlefair, Director and Co-Founder, Goddard Littlefair: Travelling globally, and understanding global attitudes towards luxury is so important. We have clients that have huge misconceptions to whatever project they are developing. We still struggle when clients associate harsh golds and marbles with luxury, for example. I find it really disheartening, because for me, a non-material object like ‘time’ is a luxury. When approaching the design of any luxury hotel, it’s really important to keep in mind the attitude you are trying to create.

Hamish Brown, Partner, 1508 London: There are a few buzzwords that keep coming up in the studio. We don’t have a ‘house style’ as such, therefore we are really trying capture and create sense of place within each projects. It’s not about fashion but about style. If you look at the great Hollywood movie stars now and compare them to images of themselves 30 to 40 years ago, quite often they will look as relevant now as they did then. That is certainly to do with style over fashion. We look at ways in which classical details and proportions can manifest themselves within a design.

David Mason, Head of Hospitality, Scott Brownrigg: The definition of luxury is not the same for everyone. Some may see luxury in technology, while others believe it is in the foundations of a hotel. In our studio, we don’t necessarily design the ultra six-star luxury hotel, but many of our clients are interested in ‘luxury’, which can come from anything from the service down to the attention to detail. What is luxurious to one person is different to another.

Constantina Tsoutsikou, Creative Director, HBA London: I think luxury is also about being generous as a designer. You always give more than what is expected and make sure that the spaces are comfortable and also have longevity. Where I can, I try to avoid anything too shiny. It’s becoming more apparent that the days of clients wanting to the interiors to show off wealth are behind us. Instead, well-designed luxury interiors are more honest and truthful. That in itself is a luxury mindset.

“We have realised that clients want luxury but almost on a shoestring budget.” – Constantina Tsoutsikou, Creative Director, HBA London

Image caption: (centre) Hamish Brown, (right) Jo Littlefair

HK: When did your clients start accepting a shift in consumer demands when it comes to luxury?

HB: I think it massively goes back to what that hotel means within its location as well as the characteristics of the building. There is certainly more of an acceptance from both sides. Some clients believe that what they want is a grand, sweeping entrance, whereas to really differentiate themselves and to make their hotel work within its location and to be relevant to the building, we suggest to park pre-conceived ideas and think about what would work for that particular hotel.

CT: We have realised that clients want luxury but almost on a shoestring budget. If you compare it to a good few years ago, budget expectations are certainly getting lower. Perhaps it is a sign of the times. At the same time, palettes are becoming more concise, that’s a good thing because designs are cleaner. There’s still a layering there, but the money that was being spilled into a hotel project before the 2008 crisis is not there anymore. However, the expectation certainly is. So, as designers, we have to work out how to manage that.

JL: Also, you cannot ignore the noise and influence of social media – it has a lot to answer for. That inaccurately convinces clients and developers that design is easy and disposable, and that it doesn’t take five minutes to produce a moodboard. But in reality, especially when considering sense of place, you’re thinking about a building and a brand. Putting these elements together requires a real curation of things. Otherwise, I have seen it when people go off on tangents and throw details into the canvas. Nothing ends up gelling and it becomes a messy clash of ideas.

“Trying to get the balance between the soft, the elegant while making these spaces feel comfortable places to work, sit and socialise is a challenge.” – David Mason, Head of Hospitality, Scott Brownrigg

HK: One of the most obvious changes in hotel design, and in the demand from guests, is in the public areas. How has this changed the way in which you specify furniture?

CT: Everybody is working from everywhere. We have a beautiful resort project, which is currently on the boards. As a result of the direct demand from modern travels, we are thinking about putting USB charging sockets on the day beds next to the pool. Generally, I think this is a positive step forward for hotels, which have a life on their own. I think it’s wonderful – and a real stamp of approval from the community – when the neighbourhood becomes part of the life inside a hotel. After all, nobody likes a dead public space.

“All of our furniture is designed at a deliberate height so that each piece can gel with other elements. As opposed to creating one iconic piece, we wanted to create a design DNA.” Digby Summerhill, Director, Minotti London

DM: It’s a hard balance to strike. When our commercial interior designers get asked create these multifunctional spaces, the way in which they design is very task oriented. Trying to get the balance between the soft, the elegant while making these spaces feel comfortable places to work, sit and socialise is a challenge.

Digby Summerhill, Director, Minotti London: We’ve always had modular systems that are flexible. All of our furniture is designed at a deliberate height so that each piece can gel with other elements. As opposed to creating one iconic piece, we wanted to create a design DNA; something that runs through an interior design scene. It’s not a coincidence that no individual item stands out in our collections. One thing I think is interesting is that we didn’t design any of these pieces with hospitality necessarily in mind. Instead we very looked at consumer behaviour and understood the demands of consumers within public areas.

HB: We are often trying to design public spaces to not look like public areas. The idea of a lobby/lounge going against what people would expect in a conventional hotel, to shelter intimate spaces, private nooks where people can work, is very appealing to me. I agree that idea of the community coming in and using the hotel is huge, but perhaps this is something that London has not got right in the past. In other cities there is much more fluidity and it works beautifully. Allowing furniture to adapt to how people are using is a big part of this, and an idea that is really exciting.

Image caption: (Left) David Mason, (Right) Jo Littlefair

HK: Let’s talk about sustainability. A study recently showed that 76 per cent of guests believe that hotels could be greener. Is consciousness the new luxury, as I suggested in my recent editor’s letter?

JL: We’ve been really encouraged recently to have had two projects come to us with sustainability at their hearts. Absolutely every decision has to have a sustainability angle. What we hope is that it continues through to the final touch points, because there will be financial implications along the way. Having filter taps in the room so that hotel guests can refill water bottles is a fresh approach that I love. The design utilities recycled parts of the existing building, giving a whole new meaning of injecting life back into a hotel. We are really thinking about those elements, including timelessness. I agree that it is about style. For us, it’s not about having a hemp interiors, it’s about creating luxury that has a slight assured sense of elegance and quality that has a higher purpose.

DM: The best way to differentiate luxury when it comes to sustainability is to be clever. Having a brief like this is rare, let alone working on two. So, designers, it is our responsibility to educate our clients and specify materials and items that don’t harm the environment or the end user. Behind this, it’s therefore so important that we understand the products and materials and what sets them apart from others in the market.

“Luxury is not just about design, it is about service as well and so many other things that are intrinsically layered on top.” – Hamish Brown, Director, 1508 London

HK: To me it’s very transparent when hotels use words without actions when it comes to sustainability. Is it the designer’s responsibility to ensure clients avoid greenwashing?

CT: You have to remember, we are designing spaces that will open in three years time. It’s a long time, and things change very quickly. You have to be ahead of the game and lead in that way so that the hotel is relevant when it opens. You have to ensure that the strategy you have in place is looking ahead and avoids the need for significant last-minute changes. On the other hand, as designers, we have a responsibility to influence the clients. But I think soon, it will become a necessity across the entire industry. I predict this will happen faster than we think, and it’s already started with wider conversations with local suppliers.

HK: What are you all doing at the moment to try and differentiate your luxury projects from others?

CT: I am always asking myself, how do I position this hotel in the current market, or in a wider sense, how do I position this hotel for an international clientale? This is because the competition is no longer just the hotel’s neighbour, it’s a global arena.

DM: I suppose it is now about experience. People desire luxury experiences. A hotel group has just bought the Fort of India. How incredible would that be; to stay and experience something totally unmatched like that. Travellers want authenticity and they consider that to be luxury.

HB: Sense of place cannot be underestimated. The definition of luxury differs from place to place and demographic to demographic, and you have to respond, beneath the surface, to understand what is happening in those locations. Luxury is not just about design, it is about service as well and so many other things that are intrinsically layered on top. When those elements and concepts interlock, that’s when you have a seamless luxury experience when service and design sit side by side and are harmoniously linked.

HK: Consumer demands of public areas have spilled out into outdoor spaces. Has this changed the way in which you design these areas together?

JL: We love integrating the outdoor areas so that they becomes a seamless flow where we can. I would say this is especially the case in food and beverage sector. We have recruited designers that only specialise in those areas so that we can get the operational flow right. That connection to the outdoor is integral to our overall wellbeing. Humanity is an element of luxury that we have not touched upon, because our disassociation with human relationships is becoming more enforced by our use of technology. I feel that human touch – it can be as simple as eye contact, and/or just being understood in a different country – is really important that we deliver with hospitality. And first and foremost, design and architecture should enable this.

“Usually I will use the sustainability angle as an added value and not the primary reason why we are specifying, unless the brief has an eco-friendly thread in its core.” – Jo Littlefair, Director and Co-Founder, Goddard Littlefair.

HK: Sustainability is becoming a buzzword that some would argue is losing its meaning. What makes a piece of furniture sustainable for you?

JL: At the end of the day we, as designers, have to ensure that the furniture looks fantastic – and it meets all the needs and demands from our clients as well as regulations. But it really does come down to how we communicate this with the client. We do have to choose our words carefully, but that’s the same as when pitching any idea to the client. Usually I will use the sustainability angle as an added value and not the primary reason why we are specifying, unless the brief has an eco-friendly thread in its core.

DM: Different cultures are going to be more interested than others, that is for sure. It is all about baby steps, and we do as much as we can.

Technology and manufacturing has been a massive help. Sustainable products and materials are now at a price point that works for a client and a luxury brief. To then specify a product that is eco-friendly and longer lasting than another becomes a no-brainer. I really believe it is changing. Clients are more aware of the value of reclaimed or reupholstered furniture. Having said this, it is also a balancing act. I am working on a hotel at the moment with the aim to reupholster the casegoods and the beds, and sadly it is actually almost as expensive as buying new pieces.

“I think if you can justifiably explain how a decision adds value, then cost can sometimes be reconsidered.” – Hamish Brown, Director, 1508 London.

HK: In regards to luxury, do you believe value outweighs cost?

HB: It’s a lovely idea, and my view is that value does outweigh cost. If you look at today’s market and the economy, there is a huge sense of getting value. It’s not always about cost. I think if you can justifiably explain how a decision adds value, then cost can sometimes be reconsidered.

JL: We get closer to understanding the deal that the developer has struck and the budget that has driven the deal, which underpins the whole project. Basically, our client has a figure that they cannot deviate from. So yes, it is common sense, and I do value beautiful furniture, and we do have to be ambassadors that push for quality so that these pieces don’t end up in landfill, but there is a bottom line figure discussion. As a designer, you are the piece of magic in the middle having to constantly and consistently value engineer the project.

HB: The most successful projects that we work on are the ones where everyone involved is upfront and honest with cost and there is a real transparency there.

HK: Has the weight on where the budget is spent in the hotel changed?

DM: It’s always in the ceiling!

CT: I have seen that generally, not enough budget is left for the finishing touches.

JL: For me, it’s artwork.

Following the exclusive panel discussion, the leading designers and architects were able to browse the showroom, which showcased, in an apt setting, Minotti’s 2019 collection of timeless indoor and outdoor furniture.

Minotti London will be the venue of Hotel Designs’ Meet Up London, which will take place in Spring 2020. More details will follow.

If you are interested in hosting our next editorial roundtable, please email Katy Phillips or call +44 (0)1992 374050. 

Hansgrohe announced as Event Partner for The Brit List 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hansgrohe announced as Event Partner for The Brit List 2019

With one week until Hotel Designs takes the stage to host its annual awards ceremony, The Brit list Awards 2019, Hansgrohe has become an Event Partner… 

As more than 300 of the industry’s leading designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers gear up for what is guaranteed to be a night to remember at The Brit List Awards 2019, Hansgrohe has been confirmed as an Event Partner for the event.

The bathroom manufacturer, which will also exhibit at Sleep & Eat 2019 in the days leading up to the event, has bookmarked The Brit List 2019 as a significant awards concept that recognises and champions the leading designers and operators in hotel design and hospitality in Britain and beyond.

“We identify the UK market of design and hospitality as a significant influence on the global industry.” – James Murray, Director of Sales  for global projects for Hansgrohe.

“Hansgrohe is delighted to become an Event Partner for The Brit List 2019, and is proud to support the award’s concept,” said James Murray, Director of Sales  for global products for Hansgrohe. “We are especially excited to help amplify The Brit List, as we identify the UK market of design and hospitality as a significant influence on the global industry. We look forward to meeting the leading designers, architects and hoteliers at the event.”

The nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations and applications to readers.

Since then, an independent panel of expert judges have gathered to select this year’s individual award winners and also to confirm the 75 individuals who have made it into The Brit List 2019.

At Sleep & Eat, of which Hotel Designs is a proud media partner for, Hansgrohe will be exhibiting new products, such as new finishes to its My Edition range, which is said to be “a new dimension of personalisation”, as well as showcasing the highly popular AXOR Edge collection and the trend-setting Rainfinity showers.

#TheBritListAwards2019

Headline Partner: Crosswater

Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

Event Partner: Aqualisa

Event Partner: Hansgrohe

2019 Industry Partner: BIID

Videography Partner: SYS Visual

The Brit List Awards 2019 is now sold out! The only way now to attend The Brit List Awards 2019 is to become the event’s last remaining partner, which can be secured by contacting Katy Phillips by email or by calling +44(0)1992 374050.

Main image credit: Hansgrohe/AXOR Edge

Checking in to Inhabit Hotel, sheltering a new level of eco design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in to Inhabit Hotel, sheltering a new level of eco design

During the London hotel’s soft launch period, editor Hamish Kilburn checks in to discover Inhabit’s debut property, which in the process earns his eco stamp of approval…

Last year, an insightful study revealed that the city of London had the eighth highest level of pollution in the world, making the sky 67 times brighter than it would be without the contribution of humans. In the same study, it was highlighted that a staggering 84 per cent of Brits spend less than 10 minutes a day enjoying peace and quiet.

Armed with these statistics, it came with great delight reading about a new hospitality concept of a fresh urban hotel perspective, where wellbeing and sustainable design was at the core of everything. Where the aim is for guests to leave feeling lighter, more free and inspired by taking the pace of life down a gear or two. Where time is luxury. Where Inhabit Hotel becomes a home-from-home.

After a chaotic experience navigating the London Underground, which I politely consider to be ‘the pits’ of all public transport with it being the most polluted place in the city, I arrived at Paddington’s new boutique hotel in the same state of mind as I imagine most guests do; slightly stressed showing early symptoms of rush-hour rage. Juxtaposing the hustle and bustle of the city’s zone 1, the hotel’s understated is guests’ first indication of a new kind of hotel.

The sixth-floor urban sanctuary is the brainchild of Nadira and Rihim Lalji, and is the cousins’ first hotel within the portfolio. Created by architecture firm Holland Harvey Architects and Caitlin Henderson Design, the 90-key hotel is designed with busy travellers in mind. My arrival experience feels more as if I am staying with warm hosts rather than a hotel. The lobby sits in perfect harmony between the F&B area, named Yeotown, and book-filled library.

The check-in desk is down-played, and marries nicely into the laid-back luxury design concept. While checking in, my eyes are drawn to a timetable that I am not familiar with; a yoga and mediation schedule, which I am told launched only this week but was very much part of the core plan for the hotel. “Wellness is at the heart of our brand,” says Nadira Lalji. “Every aspect of our hotel is aligned with what being well means to us. We think of wellness as more than a physical state, but a way of being. Our brand pillars, which stand for social connectedness, intellectual expansion and environmental responsibility, reinforce this belief.”

The ground-floor library is Inhabit’s answer to the rise in demand for public areas designed with bleisure in mind. The space encourages residents and members of the public to unwind, work and be inspired. The noise-free corner is complete with LED bulbs, which are 80 per cent more efficient in terms of energy used than traditional lighting. Occupancy sensors ensure that no energy is lost and guests are seen in their best light when they require it.

Image credit: Inhabit Hotel

Yeotown, is an innovative and thoughtful F&B area, perfect for guests on the move or as a venue for casual meetings. By partnering with food-wastage apps Karma and Too Good to Go, the area allows non-guests to pick up perfectly edible bargains which would otherwise be put into waste. The tables and chairs, made also by Holland and Harvey, have been created using materials honestly and in their natural state. “At Inhabit, we have specified oak flooring and joinery, all finished with a natural sealant to show off their natural colouring and tones,” said architect Richard Holland. “The floor is a natural stone from Fired Earth, which has beautiful variations and tonal differences.”

Upstairs, the sustainability story continues, which is most impressive when considering that the hotel is sheltered within a Grade II listed building. From Casper eco-friendly mattresses to the REN amenities that are made from recycled plastic – even the soft toilet paper is 100 per cent recycled – the guestrooms and bathrooms are quite obviously designed with conscious guests in mind. But on close inspection, it becomes apparent just how high up on the agenda sustainability is for the hotel. Taking the concept of ‘escapism’, one step further, each room comes complete with Studio ND phone charge and stowaway boxes, made from scrap materials, so that guests can break away from their devices.

Perhaps it was my perfectly timed stay to sit in-between speaking about this very topic on stage at the Independent Hotel Show – more likely it’s simply the sheer statement of an urban hotel having such an eco-focused message – that has put on a smile on my face when checking out following one of the best night’s sleep I have had in London for a while. I can’t help but feel totally relaxed and reassured that the bottom line of profit is not the only value when it comes to successfully operating a hotel. And it was this that inspired my latest Editor Checks In online column, where I argue that consciousness could very well become the new luxury.

Main image credit: InHabit London

Morgan to unveil a stripped-back sustainable furniture at Sleep & Eat 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Morgan to unveil a stripped-back sustainable furniture at Sleep & Eat 2019

Morgan will unveil the Kaya lounge furniture collection next week at Sleep & Eat on stand C60…

Taking its name from sacred forests spread along 200 km of the Kenyan coast, Morgan’s new Kaya lounge collection finds its roots in the openness, honesty and purity of trees. The crafted timber frames, gentle curve and soft upholstery are designed to provide relaxed luxury.

Simplicity is further embodied in the upholstery, which features only the most essential elements, sculpted and fitted to provide enveloping comfort. Juxtaposing soft informality with timber’s clean geometry required a precise balancing act.

With an emphasis on space and light, the collection evokes an atmosphere of ‘komorebi’, the Japanese word for the sunshine filtering through leaves. As with a lush woodland, Kaya’s serene frame finds strength in numbers. Individual timber sections have been kept small with multiple lightweight supports in place of a single, larger component.

While Kaya draws inspiration from nature, technology played a crucial role in its production. The frame’s smooth, curving lines were made possible with Computer Numerical Control (CNC). Morgan uses any timber which is removed to help heat its manufacturing facility with a biomass boiler.

“Relying on trends in the design world means whatever you produce will be bound by the tastes of a certain point in time,” Katerina Zachariades, Morgan’s design director, commented. “At Morgan, we like to look to things which have stood the test of time, from artwork of various styles to elements of the natural world.

“With Kaya, we wanted to look beyond the heavy materials and density of the built environment, peeling back the surface to reveal the pure form within.”

The Kaya collection is versatile, intended for interiors from hospitality through to the workplace. While the smaller lounge chair caters to projects requiring a smaller footprint, the larger lounge and high back chairs maintain a greater presence and impact within spacious environments such as lobbies, breakout areas and gallery spaces.

Main image credit: Morgan

Aqualisa confirmed as Event Partner for The Brit List 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Aqualisa confirmed as Event Partner for The Brit List 2019

With just days until the leading designers, architects and hoteliers will gather for Hotel Designs’ annual award ceremony, The Brit List Awards 2019, Aqualisa is announced as an Event Partner… 

The Brit List 2019, which is Hotel Designs’ nationwide search to find the top designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain on the international hotel design scene, has secured Aqualisa as an Event Partner.

The bathroom manufacturer, which will also exhibit its latest products at Sleep & Eat in the days leading up to The Brit List Awards, will attend Hotel Designs’ sold-out premium awards ceremony along with 300 other industry professionals.

The nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations and applications to readers.

Since then, an independent panel of expert judges have gathered to select this year’s individual award winners and also to confirm the 75 individuals who have made it into The Brit List 2019.

“We are delighted to be involved as an Event Partner for The Brit List 2019,” commented Jerry Gorman, Head of Specification at Aqualisa. “In particular, this unique event concept combining an awards ceremony with a superb networking opportunity is really attractive to Aqualisa  as our brand continues to build a strong position in this sector.  We very much look forward to meeting and connecting with the leading designers, architects and hoteliers that the awards demonstrably attract.”

At Sleep & Eat, of which Hotel Designs is a proud media partner for, Aqualisa will be exhibiting new products, such as double, triple outlet mixer showers in the Mian range, as well as tech-driven digital showers, such as Rise, Q Edition, Hiqu.

#TheBritListAwards2019

Headline Partner: Crosswater

Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

Event Partner: Aqualisa

2019 Industry Partner: BIID

Videography Partner: SYS Visual

The Brit List Awards 2019 is now sold out! The only way now to attend The Brit List Awards 2019 is to become the event’s last remaining partner, which can be secured by contacting Katy Phillips by email or by calling +44(0)1992 374050.

Main image credit: Aqualisa

MINIVIEW: Balancing heritage and playful design inside Maximilian Hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: Balancing heritage and playful design inside Maximilian Hotel

Known locally as one of Prague’s most established boutique hotels, redesigning the 71-key Maximilian Hotel called upon experienced minds and skilful to sensitively reimagine and redesign the hotel’s interiors. Editor Hamish Kilburn checks in for a sneak peek…

Situated on Haštalská Street facing the Haštal Church – close to Prague’s Old Town Square, Maximilian Hotel was first opened in 1995, and was last last renovated by Czech architect Eva Jiřičná in 2005.

Since then, an evolving demand among international savvy travellers has called for a new kind of F&B areas. Combine this with the rise of the urban ‘hometel’ hotel, the hotel was in drastic need of tender, love and meaningful care.

Commissioned by the owners, Christian and Rudolf Ploberger, Conran and Partners was given the task to sensitively restore the hotel to its former glory, adding a modern mix of personality and character without diluting its charm – something that, considering the architectural shells of the hotel, was easier said than done.  “Maximilian presented us with interesting challenges,” says Tina Norden, Partner, Conran and Partners. “It consists of two different buildings with different architectural styles, which are connected on the ground floor by a linear series of previously underutilised public areas. Our challenge was to open up and unify these spaces to create a coherent and engaging journey for guests and visitors.”

Previously, only a limited food and beverage offer existed in the front-of-house areas. The design team have added a café and bar at the main entrance, which animates the building’s façade and engages with the adjacent streetscape, including a small tree-lined paved area directly in front of the church opposite.

In addition, the ground floor spaces were re-worked to include a brasserie within the new living room hub at the heart of the hotel, providing social spaces for guests and visitors. The Plobergers have teamed up with innovative Austrian restauranteur Marco Simonis to create the F&B concepts for the hotel.

Martina Honcikova, Maximilian’s Creative Director, adds: “The new brasserie is a wonderful additon to the Prague gourmet scene and the reconfigured spaces within the hotel will allow us to host a range of private and public events. The design approach is highly creative – yet practical – and has helped to confirm Maximilian’s position as one of Prague’s leading hotels.”

Conran and Partners’ design approach for the 71-key hotel reflects the cultural and architectural heritage of its urban context, referencing Czech modernism and the progressive art movement influenced by famous avant-garde artist and architectural writer, Karel Teige. Teige developed a version of the modernist principle that was based on much softer elements than many of his peers; his poetic modernism embraced elements such as texture and colour as well as more playful elements also represented in his many surreal collage works.

The design team wanted to retain a strong element of Teige’s poetic modernism while creating sense of place rooted in the city and the neighbourhood. This involved drawing upon the iconic pastel colour palette of Prague’s architecture and local crafts – including weaving and glass-making – for the materiality of the design.

“By respecting the heritage of the original building and through an inspiring collaboration with Conran and Partners, we have created a chic, contemporary urban dwelling that brings together the best of Czech tradition, culture and design with brasserie-style food,” says Rudolf Ploberger, co-owner of Maximilian. “The new design will allow us to focus on the needs of our guests to ensure that they experience a truly memorable time while in Prague.”

“Each area of the hotel is highlighted in a different pastel tone.”

Bold use of colour is the defining element of the design approach. Each area of the hotel is highlighted in a different pastel tone, referencing the colourful architecture of Prague’s inner city. This ranges from light green tones on entry, to pinks in the historic stairwells and a deep blue for the guestrooms. Overlaid on this are elements of local craft, made bespoke for the hotel, and a carefully curated selection of contemporary and classic furniture pieces in similar soft and colourful shades.

Bespoke lighting elements designed by Conran and Partners, and made by Czech manufacturer Sans Souci, feature throughout the public areas and a contemporary chandelier crafted from handmade Czech glass was created for the living room and library spaces. The popular basement spa has been optimised and refreshed throughout using gentle pastel paint colours, bespoke artwork murals by local design company Lavmi and warm ambient lighting to promote relaxation.

“The bespoke headboards reference the local craft of basket weaving.” Tina Norden, Partner, Conran and Partners

“We have created an approach which is playful, provocative but also functional,” says Norden. “Colour features very strongly in the rooms as well, combining a deep blue with softer highlights and warm oak joinery, textured glass, mirror and brass details. The bespoke headboards reference the local craft of basket weaving, while the artwork celebrates the Czech avant-garde movement, including photomontages by Karel Teige. The terrazzo in the bathroom areas is both decorative and functional. Each room has a window bench seat – some looking out onto the church opposite – to offer guests a direct connection with the city and outside. Our aim was to redefine Maximilian with a clear and compelling personality which is grounded in the local context and re-establish it as a prime design destination hotel for the city.”

Image credit: Matthias Aschauer

Artwork plays a key part in the design, based on pieces the owners had already, combined with prints of iconic Teige collages and contemporary works inspired by his playful, surreal and intriguing works. The Teige pieces were sourced through the Czech archives with the new pieces curated with Dais Contemporary in London.

Conran and Partners’ design approach for the rooms has sought to optimise the spaces across various guestroom layouts, which include quirky rooms with curved ceilings within the roof space, and give them a contemporary yet warm and residential feel.

Main image credit: Matthias Aschauer

Design studio twenty2degrees creates social flexible pop-up for Sleep & Eat 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Design studio twenty2degrees creates social flexible pop-up for Sleep & Eat 2019

twenty2degrees is one of six studios creating a concept guestroom pop-up ‘Sleep Set’ for this year’s Sleep & Eat 2019…

London-based hotel design practice twenty2degrees has designed a concept guestroom in a response to Sleep & Eat 2019′s theme of “Social FlexAbility”, which explores hospitality’s power to stimulate human interaction in our age of digital dislocation.

“We are not suggesting that human beings should return to a world without digital devices – far from it – but it’s a question of balance and making non-digital elements more fun so they can compete with smart phone obsession,” says Nick Stoupas, Founder and Partner of twenty2degrees. “We’ll be incorporating a music playlist and dynamic lighting as well as using a lot of bold colour, and materiality will be important. Then we are shaking it all up. Think neon illumination and timber, an industrial style black floor with a richly designed rug depicting fantastical flying creatures.”

“We followed certain paths of thought, then found new sources of inspiration and were able to flip the aesthetic.” – Joe Stella, Creative Director and Partner of twenty2degrees

twenty2degrees has worked closely with Ulster Carpets in the creation of the rug. Other supplier partners are: Hansgrohe (Brassware), Contardi Lighting, Tarkett (flooring), Solus Ceramics (stone marble), Hamilton (sockets & switches) and Altrock Surfaces (vanity unit). Peter Millard and Partners is supplying artwork, Bang & Olufsen the sound system and the build partner is Viriato Hotel Concept.

“The process of designing the concept guestroom has been fascinating,” says Joe Stella, Creative Director and Partner of twenty2degrees. “Essentially, we were our own client freed from the usual constraints of commercial hotel design. We followed certain paths of thought, then found new sources of inspiration and were able to flip the aesthetic. We hope that the result of this creative license will be ideas that operators, owners and other visitors to our pop-up will want to take away with them and adapt for real-life projects.”

twenty2degrees’ concept room, one of six Sleep & Eat Sets, will be located on the gallery level of Olympia London’s Main Hall.

Main image credit: twenty2degrees/Sleep & Eat 2019

Chelsom to exclusively preview Edition 27 at Sleep & Eat 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Chelsom to exclusively preview Edition 27 at Sleep & Eat 2019

Chelsom will once again be exhibiting at the annual Sleep & Eat event, which takes place at Olympia London on November 19 -20, 2019…

Lighting manufacturer Chelsom will be at Sleep & Eat 2019, Europe’s leading trade events for interior hospitality products providing an annual meeting for those at the forefront of hotel design, development and architecture.

This will be Chelsom’s2ndconsecutive year at the eventand this year they will be exhibiting a selection of stunning products from the latest collections, Edition 26, created specifically for the international hospitality and marine sectors.

In addition, Chelsom will also be providing an exclusive preview of brand-new pieces from the upcoming collection, Edition 27, as designed entirely in-house by Robert and Will Chelsom and will be available from May 2020 onwards.

“Sleep & Eat is the numberone UK show in terms of interior design for the hospitality market and we are very pleased to be back again,” said Will Chelsom, Managing Director of Chelsom. “Being able to see what the wider market is up to is really inspirational and it’s a great environment for companies to showcase their latest product designs and innovations. The show has become a key date in the diaries of many leading hospitality professionals so it’s exciting for us to be promoting a selection of new pieces from what is undoubtedly set to be our most eclectic collection to date.”

Chelsom is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

GROHE pledges to have carbon-neutral production by 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GROHE pledges to have carbon-neutral production by 2020

With the aim of becoming the first manufacturer of the sanitary industry to achieve carbon-neutral production by 2020, GROHE has once again stepped up its pledge…

Less than a month after editor Hamish Kilburn unveiled Independent Hotel Show’s Conscious Bedroom Report to highlight that a whopping 76 per cent of guests believe hotels could do more to be greener – and while Hotel Designs continues to put sustainability in the spotlight this month – GROHE has laid out its carbon-neutral plans.

Sustainability has been an essential element of GROHE’s corporate strategy for almost 20 years now. As early as 2000, the global brand for complete bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings committed itself in its “principles and guidelines for sustainability” to continuously improving all products, processes and services in terms of protecting the environment and conserving resources.

“In July, as part of the “GROHE goes ZERO” initiative, all five production plants worldwide as well as the logistics centres in Germany were converted to run on green electricity.”

Since then, the bathroom manufacturer has set new industry standards, applying its 360- degree sustainability approach that incorporates employees, suppliers, customers, processes, products and thecompany’s social contribution alike. With the aim of becoming the first leading manufacturer of the sanitary industry to achieve carbon-neutral production by 2020, GROHE has once again stepped up its pledge. In July, as part of the “GROHE goes ZERO” initiative, all five production plants worldwide as well as the logistics centres in Germany were converted to run on green electricity. With the start of the new fiscal year in April 2020, the sanitary manufacturer will offset unavoidable CO2 emissions through two compensation projects.

“For years now, we have been investing not only in research and development in order to produce intelligent, sustainable solutions, but also to a large degree in a resource- saving value chain.” – Thomas Fuhr, CEO Grohe AG

“More than ever, manufacturers like GROHE are in demand to take on responsibility and strive towards more sustainability,” said Thomas Fuhr, CEO Grohe AG. “For years now, we have been investing not only in research and development in order to produce intelligent, sustainable solutions, but also to a large degree in a resource- saving value chain. With GROHE goes ZERO, we are now setting an example for the entire industry: We are actively addressing the CO2 challenge by increasingly avoiding emissions and, if this is not possible, compensating for them.”

The sustainability initiative is seamlessly linked to numerous measures that are taking place at the GROHE plants, promoting the long-term reduction of the carbon footprint and conserving resources: The brand has invested in block heat and power plants, was awarded the silver certificate by the German Sustainable Building Council for the plant extension in Klaeng, Thailand, and built a state-of-the-art test laboratory in Hemer, Germany. GROHE also uses advanced technologies that increase sustainability, such as the material-saving 3D metal-printing process which has been launched this year.

As a result, GROHE has been able to increase its energy efficiency by 24 per cent and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by around 40 per cent since the introduction of its sustainability programme in 2014. This means that the global brand has already far exceeded its 2021 targets of 20 per cent respectively.

GROHE Supports Two Water Projects in India and Malawi

Supporting two offsetting projects is another logical step for GROHE to compensate for so far unavoidable CO2emissions: In the north of India, the operation of a hydroelectric power plant replaces electricity that mainly comes from coal-fired power plants. In the African non-coastal state of Malawi, a project repairs and maintains boreholes that are used to produce drinking water. With the help of selected offset projects, GROHE will support activities based on extremely stringent criteria, such as the Gold Standard, developed under the aegis of the WWF. In addition to avoiding CO2, the measures also contribute to a more sustainable, ecological and socialdevelopment within the projects’ environments.

“With GROHE goes ZERO, we are further expanding our leading position as one of the most sustainable brands in the sanitary industry,” says Thomas Fuhr. “But at the same time, we have by no means reached all of our sustainability goals; we can and must get even better.”

GROHE has received numerous awards for its commitment. Currently, the brand is one of three major companies that have been nominated for the German Sustainability Award. GROHE CEO Thomas Fuhr was recently awarded for his commitment to sustainability by the corporate network B.A.U.M., the German Environmental Management Association.

GROHE is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: GROHE

Manchester’s Hotel Brooklyn to open in February 2020

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Manchester’s Hotel Brooklyn to open in February 2020

The doors to Manchester’s highly anticipated Hotel Brooklyn will open in February 2020…

Designed by Squid Inc – the team behind renowned Hotel Gotham – the long-awaited Hotel Brooklyn is scheduled to open in February 2020. The 189-key hotel is inspired by the New York Borough and chosen for its resonating similarities to Manchester, in terms of its buzzing industrial growth, as well as its strength of identity and culture.

The hotel will pay homage to Brooklyn’s history from early 20th century to the present day, with the inclusive design of the hotel being overseen by Motionspot, the UK’s leading accessible design company. Positioning itself as Manchester’s most accessible hotel, Hotel Brooklyn will be a trailblazer in championing accessible, sexy and modern design for all.

“We believe Hotel Brooklyn is a perfect fit for Manchester” – Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels

Squid Inc’s starting point was to create a distinctly Mancunian destination that resonated with the characteristics of its counterpart, Brooklyn: the sense of neighbourhood, the grittiness of its culture and edginess of its people. Brooklyn residents, from Mel Brooks to the Beastie Boys, have helped inspire this vibe.

“It was an honour to work with Bespoke Hotels again on creating another iconic Manchester hotel with a strong identity and character,” said Olly Redfern, Lead Interior Designer of Squid Inc. “Weaving the lines between Manchester and Brooklyn is a bold and inspirational project that draws many parallels and it was incredibly fun to do, partnering with some of the best local suppliers to create the finished look.”

Beautiful Victorian brownstone buildings have become icons of both Brooklyn and Manchester and Squid Inc have been driven by the ambition that the architects of Brooklyn showed when repurposing an area which had fallen out of favour, transforming it into one of the most exciting parts of town.

The brownstone idea is explored from the moment guests enter the hotel, with the industrial feel of the architecture softened by the lobby interior and designed to recreate the sense of journeying down a Brooklyn avenue, with brick stone and trees lining the walls.

Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

Beyond the lobby is a flight of wide-paced steps, designed to provide a communal space to hang-out – paying homage to the iconic stoops of Brooklyn, and the sense of community these have inspired in film and art.  

The Snug is designed to be a playful, contemporary twist on the traditional.

Harking back to historic Victorian brownstone buildings and their expansive drawing rooms, The Snug is designed to be a playful, contemporary twist on the traditional.  This space is cosy and intimate – a sanctuary from the hubbub – with an open fireplace and a record player spinning vintage records from the Manchester music scene.

“Bathrooms have been cleverly-angled to allow their back walls and semi opaque windows to look out across the guestroom.”

The aesthetic of the 189 guestrooms has been inspired by Brooklyn’s loft spaces, peppered with immaculate features that favour quality and high-spec finishes. Beds have brass adornments, while Turkish rugs have been designed to contrast with the concrete floors. Bathrooms have been cleverly-angled to allow their back walls and semi opaque windows to look out across the guestroom, while street art wall features finish off the bold design direction.

Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

Bathroom amenities include organic bamboo toothbrushes and ethically sourced toothpaste, green soap and lotion dispensers with minimum waste.

In addition, the hotel features 18 dynamically designed accessible bedrooms, each of which has been stylishly designed to complement the aesthetics of the hotel. “Accessible accommodation at Hotel Brooklyn features subtle details like basins with integrated hand grips, removable matt black grab rails, accessible bedroom storage and a hidden ceiling track hoist”, said Ed Warner, Founder & CEO of Motionspot. “We hope this high level of attention paid to inclusivity will make Hotel Brooklyn one of the most sought-after venues for guests of all abilities.”

Hotel Brooklyn’s bar and restaurant, named Runyon’s after Damon Runyon, an American writer renowned for his depictions of Brooklyn characters, will present a diverse menu showcasing European and American influences. Paying respect to the remarkable industrial craftsmanship of the Brooklyn Bridge (immortalised in many iconic images), Squid Inc have taken the bridge’s tension lines as inspiration, giving Runyon’s a flavour of downtown Brooklyn – a mix of gangster and quality, purposeful engineering – adding a desirable irregularity to proceedings.

On the top floor of the hotel, Salvation is the hotel’s dedicated events bar, featuring exposed brick work, pop art and neon lights to create a lively destination bar for the UK’s preeminent Northern city.

“We are thrilled to have secured this fantastic site in the heart of Manchester’s historic industrial thoroughfare of Portland Street”, commented Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels. “We believe Hotel Brooklyn is a perfect fit for Manchester, not solely in terms of the architectural grandeur and convenience of its location, but the abundant character and feistiness of the city. Portland Street is experiencing a regeneration as the hotel strip of the city”.

Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

Throughout the hotel, regional suppliers have been selected wherever possible. Deanhouse Interiorswere commissioned to fabricate the entire fit-out package, including cased goods from wardrobe and bedroom fittings, to the reception pods and 9th floor bar counter. Alongside this, PS Interiors sourced several key furniture pieces throughout, including the retro styled bedroom chairs, while sourcing New York street art was overseen by Elegant Clutter Artwork. In addition, Manchester-based The Knot Collective were commissioned to design two bespoke rugs for the hotel’s public spaces.

Main image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

FIRST LOOK: Inside Riggs Washington D.C., a new level of unrivalled luxury

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FIRST LOOK: Inside Riggs Washington D.C., a new level of unrivalled luxury

Ahead of the highly anticipated opening of the 181-key luxury hotel in Washington D.C., Hotel Designs takes a closer look inside…

Lore Group, the international hospitality company behind renowned hotels, such as Sea Containers London and Pulitzer Amsterdam, has released model images of Riggs Washington D.C.. The new luxury hotel is the latest hotel development to hit the headlines, and is the brainchild of The Brit List 2019 judge Jacu Strauss, designer, architect and Lore Group’s creative director.

In concepting and designing the property, Strauss, invoked the spirit of the former bank while preserving and restoring much of the property’s original design features to reimagine the storied building for the modern traveller. The 181-room property features playful nods to the building’s rich past, drawing on the parallels between the activities that take place in banks and at hotels to offer something personal and serendipitous around every corner.

The hotel’s development, which was first explored by Hotel Designs in a exclusive interview Strauss when he described the Washington D.C. as: “a city with a particularly strong and quirky evolving hotel and F&B market.” As such, the design of Riggs has paid particular attention to the public areas of the hotel, with the aim to add sensitive statement on the hotel design scene in the US capital. In the original barrel-valuted lobby and cafe, restored expansive ceilings, corinthian columns, classic stonework and custom furniture set the scene for an eye-catching arrival experience. A medallion of Juno Moneta, the Goddess of Money, presides over the room, while original features have been given a new lease of life and the grandeur of the building embraced to create a welcoming and inspired hotel that is deeply rooted in D.C. and its impressive history.

Image credit: Lore Group/Riggs Washington DC

Upstairs, the 181 guestrooms – including 15 bespoke-designed suites are full with flair and personality. The marble-patterned headboards and wall coverings by Vousta blend together to create a thoughtful motif in each room. The interiors, balanced to create a romantic, sophisticated and calming oasis, have been inspired no doubt by Strauss’ love for travel.

Image credit: Lore Group/Riggs Washington DC

Catering to Washington DC’s ever-evolving social scene, the hotel’s 2,500 soft rooftop will offer panoramic views over the capital, and also feature a number of meeting, dining and events space.

“Lore Group continues to explore ways to deliver inspired and approachable hospitality concepts to interesting places around the world,” said Billy Skelli-Cohen, group CEO. “With Riggs Washington D.C., we have created a hotel and F&B concepts that celebrate both the legacy of the building – and the history of the city – through unexpected details and a thoughtful approach to guest experience.”

The arrival of Riggs comes an interesting time for Penn Quarter, which has been rejuvenated over the last two years. The new hotel is expected to further raise the level of luxury, creativity and innovative hospitality in the area – and Hotel Designs is keen to follow its progress.

Main image credit: Lore Group/Riggs Washington DC

GREEN WELLNESS CONCEPT: The eco-friendly luxury spa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GREEN WELLNESS CONCEPT: The eco-friendly luxury spa

To continue the editorial team’s efforts to position sustainability firmly under the spotlight this month, Hotel Designs dives in to understand Recommended Supplier Starpool’s eco credentials in its wellness products…

While recent statistics have highlighted that consumers are demanding for hotels to do more to become greener, luxury spa manufacturer Starpool believes that hospitality businesses could benefit from the brand’s various products and wellness solutions, all of which are sustainable in their concept and design.

Biocompatibility

All of Starpool’s products are designed with eco-sustainability in mind. For example, the sauna wood is 100 per cent natural and untreated. The special working of the slats and the construction system employed limits the use of adhesives in the installation phase, thus optimising the healthiness of the surroundings.

Sustainable Production

Starpool’s products are manufactured with a low environmental impact with limited energy consumption from clean and renewable sources, recyclable raw materials and external emissions equal to zero.

Renewable materials

The company is proud that more than 75 per cent of its materials that goes into each product are made from recyclable materials. In addition, the simple system for dismantling the components makes it easy to recover the raw materials at the end of a product’s life cycle.

Natural, reusable packaging

All products under the Starpool brand are dispatched in fir wood boxes from the Fiemme Valley that can be collected and reused many times over, thus reducing the use of new packaging materials.

Image caption/credit: Sweet Sauna Vision/Starpool

Green Technology

The company uses software and hardware that adjusts and keep the temperature consistent. Its Green Pack includes self-closing doors and remote diagnostics, which enable approximately 20 per cent energy saving during standard operation and optimisation of energy loads. Controlling the power distribution allows you to avoid the overrun of the kW and obtain long- term savings.

Making a difference

Starpool sorts waste materials and, where technically possible, it regenerates the components of products that have been withdrawn and are no longer in use.

The company’s products are manufactured to the highest standard, using only the top-quality materials to deliver exceptional eco-friendly spa and wellness facilities that represent true luxury.

Main image credit: Starpool

SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana opens in Cuba

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SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana opens in Cuba

Accor’s fastest growing luxury hotel brand, SO/I arrives in Cuba just in time to honor Havana’s 500thanniversary…

Designed by the renowned French architect, Michel Regembal, SO/I Paseo del Prado La Habana has opened in Cuba. The 250-key hotel will showcase the brand’s ‘have-it-all’ lifestyle of rebellious luxury at its new residence in one of the most emblematic neighborhoods of the country’s capital city.

“SO/ is one of the most high-energy, fashionable and edgy brands within Accor’s luxury portfolio, combining the vibrant energy of the locale, energizing entertainment and creative food and beverage experiences with modern luxury service,” said Heather McCrory, CEO, Accor North & Central America. “Avant-garde design and fashion are also at the heart of the SO/ brand, and the new hotel in Havana will be a welcomed and exciting addition to our fast-growing network.”

Image credit: Accor

SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana is a masterpiece of luxury and style, designed by the renowned French architect, Michel Regembal. With design at the core of the SO/ brand, the hotel in Havana will unfold as a glamorous yet playful masterpiece featuring the creative signature of celebrated Spanish fashion designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada – from the hotel’s emblem to the staff’s stylish uniforms. With 250 guestrooms on nine floors, including eight suites, the décor of each room is infused with the spirit of one of three dance styles – Classical Ballet, Salsa or Son Cubano – balanced with spectacular floor-to-ceiling views of the sea, the neighboring Malecón, Paseo del Prado and the hotel’s sweeping patio.

“The life of SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana begins in this special year, the 500th anniversary of Havana itself,” said Jean Philippe Hubau, General Manager, SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana. “We feel this is a bright and exhilarating way to start, as our goal is to become the most sought-after lifestyle address in Havana – a city that captures the imagination like no other place on earth. The hotel provides a fascinating mix of social spaces, audacious experiences and distinct ‘Just Say SO’ services to celebrate the Cuban culture, surprise and amuse even the most sophisticated jet-setters, and captivate the hearts of Habaneros as well.”

SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana is located at the intersection of Paseo del Prado and Malecón, just a one minute walk from Habana Vieja (Old Havana), a World Heritage Site filled with ancient monuments, forts, churches and palaces. A seven-minute walk takes guests to Central Park and the Gran Teatro de la Habana, while a stroll along the Malecón boardwalk to the El Vedado district provides a glimpse into the city’s wide avenues, aristocratic villas and ubiquitous 1950s American-series cars.

At the idyllic Cosecha Restaurant, guests of SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana are invited to begin the day with organic and wholesome breakfast fare. The SO/ SPA, SO/ FIT gym and the infinity pool with a signature pool bar provide daily rejuvenation and wellbeing experiences. In the evening, the HI-SO bar brings the glamour to stylish guests who mingle to the DJ beats while taking in fashion shows, art events and glittering, celebrity-filled SO/ parties on a spectacular rooftop terrace with exclusive palapas from which to enjoy an artisanal sunset cocktail. If that’s not enough, the hotel’s Chocolate Shop, Origen, is a charming spot where guests and locals pop in for savory European-inspired pastries, artisanal chocolates and Cuban coffees; while the lobby bar, MIXO, attracts stylish Habaneros and international guests to enjoy a lively atmosphere set amongst great views.

SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana is the ninth property in the SO/ portfolio, which includes the recent additions of SO/ Auckland, SO/ Berlin Das Stue, SO/ Vienna and SO/ St. Petersburg. With an ambitious plan to expand its global footprint over the next few years, SO/ is one of the fastest growing brands in the luxury portfolio of Accor.  New SO/ properties in Kuala Lumpur, Koh Samui, Dubai, Paris, Melbourne and Los Cabos are scheduled to open over the coming years.

Main image credit: Accor

Swissotel aquires Hotel Allegro in Bern, to reopen property in Autumn 2020

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Swissotel aquires Hotel Allegro in Bern, to reopen property in Autumn 2020

As part of this exciting next chapter for the property, Kongress + Kursaal Bern AG will invest approximately 16 million Swiss Francs on remodeling the property’s 171 guestrooms and public areas. 

More than 20 years after opening, the Kursaal Bern enters a new chapter in its history. Kongress + Kursaal Bern AG entered into an agreement with Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts whereby, effective in autumn 2020, Hotel Allegro will then be operated as Swissôtel Kursaal Bern.

Renovations inside the 171-key hotel will commence next January and are due to be completed by autumn 2020, and the hotel will remain open during the refurbishment process. Once complete, guests can look forward to clever design solutions, high-quality furnishings and a carefully thought-out sustainability concept, but also to traditional Swiss hospitality in the midst of one of the country’s most historic cities.

“Our search for a strong international brand partner led us to Swissôtel. It combines genuine Swiss hospitality with intelligent design and a stimulating atmosphere. This makes us a perfect match,” said Kevin Kunz, CEO Kongress + Kursaal Bern AG. “Regardless of the change in brand, we will of course keep the proven management team in place and will continue offering traditional Bernese hospitality.”

modern and contemporary guest room in a hotel

Image credit: Swissotel

Operating more than 30 hotels in 18 countries, Swissôtel, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2020, has been part of the Accor group since 2016.

The partnership agreement between the brand and Kursaal Bern is a landmark moment for the tourism sector in the city. Both Kursaal and the hotel will benefit from Accor’s global reservations system, the company’s worldwide sales teams, direct booking channels, and access to new, innovative technologies. Guests at Swissôtel Kursaal Bern will also have the opportunity to become a member in the ALL loyalty program that puts all Accor brands and businesses worldwide under one umbrella.

“We offer a genuine expression of Swiss values and a steadfast commitment which is deeply rooted in quality, efficiency and reliability,” said Lilian Roten, Vice President Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts. “We are excited to add a third property in the brand’s birthplace. Our contemporary Swiss style combined with local characteristics creates a balanced environment for guests to relax and feel at home.”

The renovation is led by architects Marazzi + Paul together with interior designer Nina Mair. “She uses high-quality, natural materials and has managed to win us over with well-conceived and confidently stylish functionality,” added Kunz.

Roten adds: “Our alpine heritage has its roots in craftsmanship, sustainable design and a conscious, active way of life. This is exactly what Nina Mair’s design brings to the new Swissôtel Kursaal Bern. It’s through these approaches that we offer our guests a sense of well-being, energy and joy of life, which is perfectly in-tune with our brand promise ‘Life is a journey. Live it well.’”

Main image credit: Swissotel

Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort wins prestigious sustainability award

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Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort wins prestigious sustainability award

Continuing our theme this month to put sustainability under the spotlight, Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort has been recognised for its commitment to the environment, winning Best Sustainable Residential Development, Portugal at the European Property Awards… 

Luxury real estate development Ombria Resort in the heart of the Algarve, which is slated to open in 2021, has been honoured at the 2019-2020 European Property Awards.

Announced at the awards ceremony in London, the destination won the coveted new category recognising excellence in sustainability, the Best Sustainable Residential Development, Portugal, with the Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort project.

“We have definitely seen a shift across the last decade in the requirements of prospective buyers – they are much more focused on sustainability.” – Julio Delgado, CEO, Ombria Resort.

The European Property Awards is considered one of the most prestigious and recognised programme celebrating the highest levels of achievement across the real estate industry. The Sustainable Residential Development category, introduced this year for the first time to reflect the importance of sustainability in real estate, judged developments on their economic, environmental and social responsibility with Ombria Resort demonstrating strong practices in each area.

Reflecting the resort’s overall ethos Carved by Nature, Ombria Resort has a deep commitment to pioneering sustainable tourism; incorporating environmental, economic and socio-cultural values into innovative, everyday actions that will ensure the natural and cultural surroundings live on for future generations.

“We are thrilled to win this prestigious achievement and be leading the way in sustainable residential developments,” said Julio Delgado, CEO, Ombria Resort. “We have definitely seen a shift across the last decade in the requirements of prospective buyers – they are much more focused on sustainability, the natural environment and supporting local ecosystems. Our commitment to sustainability and a respect for nature is at the heart of everything we do, so to have such an accolade to recognise our efforts is truly an honour.”

The Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort is a collection of 65 one- and two-bedroom freehold apartments serviced by Viceroy Hotels & Resorts, set within the Viceroy at Ombria Resort 5-star hotel, located in the heart of the development which spreads over 150 hectares in the inner Algarve. Ranging in size from 70 to 173 sq.m of gross internal area, the apartments are fully furnished and equipped to exacting five-star standards.

Designed as an elegant Portuguese village with all the charm and character of a long-established settlement and blending seamlessly into the hills, the resort eature a unique, sustainable vision of NZEBs (Nearly Zero Energy Buildings), which will lead the way for the Portuguese market – including creating a national case study for the use of geothermal energy.

Its pioneering shallow geothermal system will use water to transfer heat energy found just below the ground surface for climate control, hot water supply and swimming pool heating. Reverse heat pumps utilize the stable temperature of the ground as the main source of energy to produce heating in the winter, cooling in the summer and hot water throughout the year, safely and responsibly. The strategy for a sustainable, efficient Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system is based upon achieving high levels of user-friendly comfort while ensuring low energy consumption and maintenance costs.

Bioclimatic architecture, both innovative and traditional, allows for energy to be conserved wherever possible, with heat gained or lost through materials with low heat transference coefficients and age-old design tricks to protect from the sun.

Other innovative sustainable programmes at Ombria Resort include a comprehensive recycling programme, electric vehicle charging points and the conservation and cultivation of the local flora and fauna.

Adopting and implementing sustainable trade practices and supporting local suppliers with many building materials such as stones, tiles, plasters and insulation materials sourced regionally and nationally, vastly reduces Ombria Resort’s carbon footprint. The overall aim is to become a member of the community and actively contribute to the preservation of local traditions, generating new jobs and business opportunities. Activities at Ombria Resort will include an area for organic farming, honey harvesting facilities, astronomical observatory, paths for nature walks, mountain biking, and other sports facilities.

Main image credit: Ombria Resort

The Brit List Awards 2019 becomes sold-out event

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The Brit List Awards 2019 becomes sold-out event

With less than three weeks to go until Hotel Designs’ premium annual award ceremony, The Brit List Awards 2019 becomes a sold-out event… 

Following unprecedented demand, The Brit List Awards 2019, which takes place on November 21 at Patch East London, is now sold out. The event, which is Hotel Designs’ annual award ceremony, will be attended by the industry’s leading designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers.

The only way now to attend The Brit List Awards 2019 is to become the event’s last remaining partner, which can be secured by contacting Katy Phillips by email or by calling +44(0)1992 374050.

“The overwhelming demand to attend The Brit List Awards 2019 is a clear indication that Britain remains a strong creative capital on the international design and hospitality scene,” commented editor Hamish Kilburn. “We very much see the event as the after party of show season, and the whole team at Hotel Designs is looking forward to welcoming and celebrating the creative genius’ who are keeping Britain’s design hub an innovative and exciting place to operate – and write about!”

The event, which is sponsored by Crosswater, Hamilton Litestat, the British Institute of Interior Design and SYS Visual, will be attended by more than 300 of the industry’s finest. These include individuals from the likes of David Collins Studio, Goddard Littlefair, Dexter Moran Associates, Jack Irving Design, Jestico + Whiles, 3D Reid, EPR Architects, Richmond International, ReardonSmith Architects, IHG, Eccleston Square Hotel, Great Scotland Yard Hotel, Inhabit Hotels and Rosewood London, among many others.

 

The nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations and applications to readers.

Since then, an independent panel of expert judges have gathered to select this year’s individual award winners and also to confirm the 75 individuals who have made it into The Brit List 2019.

Individual award categories:

  • Interior Designer of the Year
  • Architect of the Year
  • Hotelier of the Year
  • Best in Tech
  • The Eco Award 
  • Best in British Product Design – NEW CATEGORY FOR 2019
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry

The Shortlist for The Brit List 2019 can be viewed here.

#TheBritListAwards2019

Headline Partner: Crosswater

Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

2019 Industry Partner: BIID

Videography Partner: SYS Visual

Eco gem: The Tongsai Bay, Koh Samui

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Eco gem: The Tongsai Bay, Koh Samui

In search of eco gems, as we continue putting sustainability under the spotlight this month, journalist Sara Darling has committed to long haul, and Asia is firmly on her agenda. Removed from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, Koh Samui is Darling’s next adventure as it is home to one of the world’s few fully sustainable boutique hotels, The Tongsai Bay…

Koh Samui, just east of mainland Thailand, is a relaxed island, famous for its giant temple of the Big Buddha- a 39ft golden Buddha erected in 1792 at Wat Phra Yai. It is also the home of what I have found to be one of the world’s most sustainable boutique hotels.

The Tongsai Bay, on the north east tip of the beautiful island, is a family run business which has been welcoming visitors since 1987, and is the ideal  tranquil break that is full of many sustainable and thoughtful moments thanks to its design, architecture and day-to-day operations.

Nestled amongst 28 and a half acres of greenery, the secluded property consisting of low rise apartments, bungalows and cottages are spread in the valley of a private cove. Only 15 minutes from the airport, it is a short hop north of the popular Choeng Mon beach, and a ten minute transfer to the buzzy restaurants, bars and shopping in Fisherman’s Village.

Paying attention to all the small details, the hotel has a modern rustic feel, which blends Eastern and Western philosophies with science and spirituality; However the subtle decor is more homely than pretentious and enhances the brand’s ethical stance. For example, the art throughout the property, which has been created by the hotel’s resident artist Mook, uses recycled materials – and paints my first indication of a sustainable and eco-friendly picture.

Meanwhile, the elegant, airy villas have private pathways and pools which are interspersed amongst the greenery. Along with cottages, villas and suites, there are low rise blocks, all which maximise the uninterrupted sea views, and are designed to utilise the natural sun and shade within their open spaces.

With a low-key, back-to-nature environment, the 83 chalets and villas that cascade down to a private beach on the Gulf of Thailand, have also been designed to enhance their natural surroundings, so guests can enjoy the birdsong, crashing waves and sound of crickets on their terrace. The terrace cottages all offer an outside “bath with a view”, four poster gazebo, bar, dining area and sun loungers, along with a freshwater plunge pool for ultimate luxury while feeling at one with the elements.

“Dedicated to improving its carbon footprint, Tongsai Bay has abolished the use of all plastic – providing re-fillable glass drinking bottles and lemongrass straws for guests.”

Great care has been taken to integrate the buildings into nature. They are furnished in contemporary Thai style – dark wood tables and beds, hardwood floors, along with modern showers, hairdryer and walk-in wardrobe.

Dedicated to improving its carbon footprint, The Tongsai Bay has abolished the use of all plastic – providing re-fillable glass drinking bottles and lemongrass straws for guests. It also applies energy-saving measures throughout, stocks guestrooms with environmentally-friendly toiletries made by local supplier, and only changes bedding when requested.

Other eco-conscious details include washing-up liquid and cleaning products produced from leftover peelings, and mosquito deterrent created with natural citronella and lemongrass. Staff are trained to be environmentally aware and the hotel prides itself on upcycling and composting everything it can- including the waste of the compost toilets for fertiliser, and recycling cooking oil.

These simple approaches go a long way in making a difference to the future of the planet, and the ethos is subtly carried out across the site. From a bay that is free from mechanical water sports, to avoid pollution, to the two fresh water pools.

Image credit: Tongsai Bay

In regards to food, as much produce as possible is home grown for the Tongsai, at an impressive, off-site organic garden which provides ingredients for the bar, kitchen and spa, and is open to guests by arrangement. Packed with edibles including exotic fruits, herbs and vegetables, they are cared for using sustainable agricultural practices, and knowledgeable gardners.  The breakfast “Happy Juice” prepared by larger than life Khun Pu is an essential kick start to your day.

A visit to Thailand is not complete without a massage, and the onsite Prana Spa provides a wide range of luxury, innovative treatments for a traditional  taste of Thailand. The scents and oils are provided by the same organic company as the bathroom products, and you can get transported to another world either in one of the cosy spa cottages or shady daybeds on the beach.

For a deluxe stay in a hotel that really puts the environment first, along with friendly staff, The Tongsai Bay is a great place to escape from the rat race where guests can feel at one with nature and themselves.

Main image credit: Tongsai Bay

Parkside unveils “most sustainable tile material on the market”

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Parkside unveils “most sustainable tile material on the market”

To kickstart Hotel Designs’ month with ‘Sustainability’ under the spotlight, we investigate Parkside’s Sequel Vibe, a material from yesterday made for tomorrow…

While the company settles in to its new design studio in the Cotswolds, Parkside has launched Sequel Vibe, the most waste-efficient and sustainable tile readily available to designers and architects to date.

Answering a demand for sustainable and stylish tile solutions without compromise on design and aesthetics, Parkside was keen to include a collection that lived up to sustainable credentials while appealing to the creative spirit of designers and architects.

Sequel Vibe is the work of the team at Alusid, a creator of eco-friendly surfaces. Alusid started its life as a research project at the University of Central Lancashire by Dr Alasdair Bremner and Professor David Binns that aimed to explore the ways waste and low value materials could be reused rather than ending up as landfill. It was also important that the process used to manufacture would use less energy and added chemicals than conventional tile manufacturing.

This research led to Sequel Vibe, created using 98 per cent recycled materials from post-consumer glass and pre-consumer vitrified ceramic carefully bound during a low-impact, ingenious manufacturing process. The glass element is sourced from bottles, windows and car windscreens that have reached the end of their useful life cycle, while the porcelain is sourced from sanitaryware and fine china tableware manufacturers.

Since its launch at Clerkenwell Design Week 2019, the range has continued to endear the design community it was aimed at. With its unique subtle nuances in colour and texture, the finished tile is a perfect companion for designers and architects wanting a modern, contemporary twist for interiors. During the manufacturing process, tiles take on a unique shade and patina making each one an individual work of ceramic art.

There are three glossy organic shades available; Greenwich Green, Paddington Pink and Shoreditch Blue, each bringing a contemporary twist to design schemes. Three size options are available: square (100x100mm), metro (200x100mm) and large metro (300x75mm). The colours chosen are a step ahead of palette trends predicted for the design market for 2020 and work as a great companion for multiple design schemes and styles. If designers are looking at alternative colour options, then these will be considered for large scale orders.

“Sequel Vibe was a great addition to our tile offering, with sustainability and aesthetics at its core,” comments Sarah Holey, the marketing manager for Parkside. “The collection would be a great option for feature walls in reception areas or would look stunning as a bar front but its adaptability as a wall tile is enormous, and ready to take on the most creative of architects and designers on commercial and hospitality focused projects.

“As well as being sustainable products themselves, when Sequel Vibe tiles come to the end of their useful life they themselves can be recycled within the very same process used to create them.”

The Sequel Vibe collection can be seen at all four Parkside design studios in Chelsea, Clerkenwell, Leicester and the recently opened Cotswolds location, where the Parkside team will be able to provide help and advice.

Main image credit: Parkside

JW Marriott Maldives officially opens

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
JW Marriott Maldives officially opens

The Maldives is booming as JW Marriott Maldives officially opens with what is being called the region’s most impressive culinary facilities, complete with a treetop restaurant, former Nobu chef and ultra-private supersize villas…

Situated on the island of Vagary, Shaviyani Atoll, JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa has officially opened featuring 60 expansive beach and overwater villas all with private pools. Headed up by food and wine expert, general manager Marc Gussing, the resort has one of the most impressive culinary offerings in the Maldives.

There are five restaurants as well as three fully-serviced bars, and a chef’s garden – an exceptional offering for a remote private island with only 60 villas.

Guests can feast on a wide range of cuisine that includes and goes beyond classic Maldivian dishes. Highlights include vibrant Thai dishes created by a former Nobu Chef in a treetop restaurant, authentic Japanese Teppanyaki, poolside Woodfired pizzas made in a traditional pizza oven, and freshly caught seafood in a fine-dining, overwater restaurant. Meals are complemented with a choice of sake, Japanese whisky, rum cocktails, smoked cocktails, and both new and old-world wines.

Image credit: Marriott International Hotel

The villas start at 234sqm – larger than the average London flat. The resort places a strong emphasis on privacy with private decks and pools designed so they can’t be seen from the outside.

“Each room draws inspiration from the natural surroundings and local Maldivian culture.”

There are four ultra-expansive villa types, all with private pools. The two-bedroom, three-bathroom Duplex Beach Pool Villas sleep up to five guests and have upstairs living areas and direct beach access ideal for families, whilst the Duplex Overwater Pool Villas with upstairs living areas have unsurpassed views of the Laccadive Sea. Beautiful One-bedroom Beach Pool Villas and sunrise and sunset Overwater Pool Villas are also available.

Each room draws inspiration from the natural surroundings and local Maldivian culture, incorporating colours and materials that highlight the island destination. Thatched roofs on villas are reminiscent of inverted Dhoni boats, the traditional Maldivian wooden fishing vessels, and slanted roof tips recall white herons dipping their heads into the water.

Image credit: Marriott International Hotel

Situated in the untouched Northern atoll of Shaviyani, the resort is a 55-minute seaplane flight to the north of Male. The island’s surrounding natural reef benefits from the island being far from Male and civilisation and is teeming with sea life. An on-site marine biologist ensures the pristine reef remains untouched and in perfect health whilst overseeing aquatic expeditions including diving and snorkelling.

An iconic Spa by JW, overwater gym and an open-air yoga pavilion offers cutting-edge and indulgent spa treatments and a daily schedule of yoga and fitness activities.

Main image credit: Marriott International Hotel

Five emerging AW/19 interior trends to keep an eye on

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Five emerging AW/19 interior trends to keep an eye on

Now that autumn has arrived, and winter is fast approaching, all eyes of the international hotel design world are focused on trends and new products as we gear up towards awards season and prepare to wind down for another year. Recommended Supplier Bisque has taken this opportunity to shine the spotlight on emerging AW trends to bookmark… 

Leading radiator supplier Bisque has taken note of a few key A/W interiors trends on the rise.

Trend: Tranquil Dawn

Dulux’s Colour of the Year has been revealed for 2020 as Tranquil Dawn. A cool and calming tone selected by a panel of experts from around the world, this lusciously soft green works for all rooms in the house, no matter how big or small.

Trend: Brown is the new black

Image credit: Bisque

Step aside black, brown is back! A versatile shade that ranges from beige to copper these brown hues – this doesn’t make sense? – it is time to bring these earthy tones back into your home to create a warm and welcoming feel.

Trend: Dusky pastels

Image credit: Bisque

Adding pops of colour into your home, not only is a great way to put a stamp of your personality on a room but adds a statement piece to the room.

Trend: Soft minimalism

Keep it simple with soft neutral colours, creating a calming tone throughout your space. Also perfect for those renting out their homes, as it’s a theme that everyone can complement with accessories and soft furnishings.

Trend: Maximalism  

Image credit: Bisque

Electric glamour and indulgent dual tones gives off a sense of power and strong personality. These bold schemes will fit in both traditional and modern homes and great for those also wanted a transitional look.

Main image credit: Bisque

The integral design element inside the Spa of the Year

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The integral design element inside the Spa of the Year

Following Marienlyst Strandhotel recently winning Danish Beauty Award’s ‘Spa of the Year’ category, Hotel Designs dives in to explore the design elements that set this hotel spa aside from others…

In 2018 the doors opened to the 1,600 square foot, luxurious beach spa in the 150 year old Marienlyst Strandhotel. This lavish spa has recently gained recognition for its luxury facilities winning a Danish Beauty Award in the ‘Spa of the Year’ category.

Located on the edge of the Sound and overlooking Helsingborg, the spa was designed specifically to bring guests closer to nature, with both indoor and outdoor facilities.

“The design goal of the spa is to blend both the indoor and outdoor experience for the guests. As we are dealing with a spa, wet room installations such as drains play a key role in the overall appearance”, says Jan Mortensen, owner of Heating Business, who was employed by Marienlyst Strandhotel to cover the technical aspects of the development.

Image credit: Marienlyst Strandhotel

Specific materials for a unique spa

He explains that the spa’s natural surroundings have played a crucial role in the choice of materials for both drains and fixtures; this has resulted in an elegant combination of warm shades and tones.

“We are building a beach spa, not a traditional spa and this is reflected in our choice ofdrains and fixtures,” explains Jan Mortensen. “We have tried to reflect the surrounding beach and coastline, and area where the sunlight reflects on the water. Because of this reflective aspect we deliberately selected Unidrain’s line drain in brass for the spa entrance and changing rooms; the guests expect the best quality and the exclusive line drains help give the spa its luxurious look.

“We have received a really good response from the guests. They are enthusiastic about theaesthetics and choice of materials and think it contributes to an exclusive aura. There is no doubt this feedback is important to us, as it is precisely Marienlyst Strandhotel’s goal toprovide an exclusive wellness experience for the guests at all times.”

“In addition to the aesthetics, the functional aspect is resolved as the line drains are easy to maintain and in terms of both safety and prevention of damage to the wet room, Unidrain is an obviouschoice for busy hotels.” – Dennis Bagge, architectural adviser for Unidrain

Image credit: Unidrain/Marienlyst Strandhotel

Line drainage in both spa and hotel

It is not only in the spa that the hotel has selected to feature Unidrain’s line drain. The hotelhas recently undergone a programme of renovations; as part of this the rooms which have been renovated also feature ClassicLine column drains.

“The Marienlyst Strandhotel and its spa are the epitome of luxury and wellness and we are delighted they have chosen Unidrain products as part of the experience,” said Dennis Bagge, architectural adviser for Unidrain. “In addition to the aesthetics, the functional aspect is resolved as the line drains are easy to maintain and in terms of both safety and prevention of damage to the wet room, Unidrain is an obviouschoice for busy hotels.”

HighLine Colour

Unidrain’s HighLine Collection has received a number of design awards including the prestigious Red Dot Award for design. What makes the HighLine so innovative is that the traditional grating has been replaced by a panel.

There are four different versions of the HighLine which include: Panel available in brushed stainless steel or frosted glass; Customised – which can be matched to floor tiles; Cassette – with edges on all sides this allows the drain to be used with any material and is especially suited for terrazzo floor and the most recent addition to the HighLine Collection – HighLine Colour.

HighLine Colour is created in PVD-treated brushed stainless steel, brass, copper, black and hand polished stainless steel with a high gloss finish. The design aesthetic of the colour panel is further enhanced by the matching stainless steel frame. Each frame is 10mm high with a 4mm solid top to ensure a snug fit inside the drain unit.

Unidrain is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Marienlyst Strandhotel

‘Must see’ brands at Sleep & Eat 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
‘Must see’ brands at Sleep & Eat 2019

With less than three weeks until Sleep & Eat 2019, here are just a few brands and products to look out for… 

More 160 design-led suppliers are now confirmed to be exhibiting at Sleep & Eat 2019, which takes place on November 19 – 20 at Olympia London. For many years now, the exhibition has been the place where both established and up-and-coming manufacturers not only choose to launch their collections, but where business is done and opportunities to network and socialise are numerous.

Reflecting the growing convergence between hotel, restaurant and bar design, the exhibitor line-up includes many international companies which supply all three sectors, as well as cruise ships and spas.

Following our sneak peek inside the doors of the company’s new UK headquarters, Laufen will launch The New Classic collection by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders. Utilising Laufen’s innovative SaphirKeramikmaterial, the designer created a collection combining gentle, feminine curves with angular, masculine elements. “For the first time, the ultra-modern SaphirKeramik has been moulded into a classic and iconic form,” commented Wanders. “This lightweight yet resilient material gave us the unique opportunity to celebrate the beauty of ceramics with our elegant, soft lines.”

Dramatic view of the full The New Classic collection

Image credit: Laufen/Marcel Wanders

Morgan, the British designer and manufacturer of contemporary furniture, will be introducing its new Kaya lounge collection. Taking its name from sacred forests spread along the Kenyan coast, Kaya finds its roots in the openness, honesty and purity of trees. Morgan will also exhibit The Rakino collection of lounge chairs and tables designed by Tim Rundle, and The Goodwood collection designed by Katerina Zachariades in collaboration with artist Mark CcClure.

A Sleep & Eat newcomer, Prestigious Textiles, will be debuting with a range of prints, jacquards and velvets alongside a rich diversity of plains, semi-plains and sheers. The company will also present its new bespoke service, giving customers the freedom to take their design of choice and translate it onto any print ground using the latest digital printing technology.

Also new to Sleep & Eat, Marie Martin, the range of exclusive lighting by the Dutch company Lumière, will present its most popular lighting fixtures. Stemming from a passion for interiors, this collection arose from the desire to unite the love for antiques, for Paris, for colour and fully decorated spaces. Marie Martin’s range will feature lush materials – bronze, silk, brocade, and velvet – as well as abundant attention to detail and extravagant colour schemes.

Spanish architectural and design surfaces producer and distributor Cosentino will be showing a range of its brands. These include Dekton ultra-compact surfaces, Silestonequartz and Sensa by Cosentino natural protected stone.

German bathroom manufacturer, Bette, will exhibit its award-winning glazed titanium-steel baths, shower floors and washbasins, all of which come with a 30 year warranty. Available in an extensive range of sizes and colours, they are finished in BetteGlaze;  a durable, non-porous, scratch-resistant and easy to clean surface.

Muted coloured washbasins

Image credit: Bette

AHK, the Turkish supplier of joinery and fit-out contractor, will feature its indoor and outdoor loose furniture range and latest case goods collection. AHK will also reveal the AW Simulator – the game-changing meeting room pod that immerses users in a unique experience. Its advanced technologies include a panoramic digital view, exclusively designed expanding table, state-of-the-art AV system, and unparalleled acoustics and soundproofing.

Chelsom will showcase some of the dynamic and trend-driven designs within its extensive Edition 26 collection. Among the products are The Orb, The Icicle and Roma.

GROHE will be returning to Sleep & Eat for its 14th year. This year, the brand will showcase its most eclectic and diverse product offering yet. This will include its ground-breaking Icon 3D metal-printed taps, taking pride of place on the stand for its first official showcasing in the UK. “Sleep & Eat is a key event for us, one which has helped us to build very strong industry contacts over the years and where we continue to push the boundaries of innovation,” said Raj Mistry, Marketing Director of GROHE UK.

Image credit: Grohe

Terratinta – manufacturer of high-end Italian porcelain stoneware, inspired by Scandinavian design enriched with fresh and unusual aesthetic effects – will display its newest ranges of ceramic tiles, including Sartoria Artigiana, Sartoria Romanza, Hexa Mosaics, and Ceppo.

The Exhibition will also see the event debut of family-owned Irish manufacturer and fit-out specialist, Abbey Upholsterers, which works with numerous luxury hospitality brands as well as in luxury residential. At Sleep & Eat, the brand will be highlighting its hotel guestroom furniture collections.

Omexco – the Belgian manufacturer of high-end wallcoverings, specializing in sophisticated printing and embossing techniques – will feature its latest designs, Arubaand Portfolio. Aruba collection, inspired by the exotic Caribbean isle, recognises craftsmen who respect natural materials such as weaves of waterlily and raffia with a range of linen yarns and ecological non-woven wallcoverings, whereas Portfolio collection pays tribute to Omexco’s heritage and features a variety of natural yarns including pure linen, multi-coloured silky cotton and viscose.

Other familiar names exhibiting at Sleep & Eat will include Astro Lighting, Arte, Camira, Knightsbridge Furniture, Quasar, Roca and VitrA. An array of newcomers this year will include Absolute Lifestyle, Article London, Eichholtz, ELG Solutions, Iconic Images, ILIV Contract Textiles, Kaufmann Ceramics, Sahrai, Tarkett, and VICALVI Contract.

The event also encompasses a complimentary Conference, Development Roundtables and nine specially designed pop-ups including concept guestrooms, restaurant and bar Sets, The Hub – a co-working space, the VIP Lounge and the Sleeper Bar.

Sleep & Eat, November 19 – 20 in the National Hall, Olympia London. The show will be open from 10am on Tuesday 19 with an evening drinks reception until 8.30 pm, and from 10am-6pm on Wednesday 20. Click here to register.

Main image credit/caption: Sleep & Eat/Abstract forms, texture and objects study

The Brit List 2019 secures Videography Partner for ceremony

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Brit List 2019 secures Videography Partner for ceremony

Just weeks ahead of Hotel Designs’ annual award ceremony, The Brit List Awards 2019 secures SYS Visuals as its official Videography Partner… 

Known for its exceptional 360-degrees video interviews, SYS Visuals has teamed up with The Brit List 2019 to shoot the winners’ interviews at the award ceremony, which takes place on November 21 at Patch East London.

“SYS Visual drives transformation,” said Fardi Mohamed, Managing Director of SYS Visual. “Our agency around the world help clients to harness the power of visual communication. Our work combines strategy with content creation and execution. Our solution to the Luxury Hotel Industry is to use immersive technology, such as 360° Video Experience, to help hotels transform the way they sell, market and engage with their audience. We use 360° Video Experience to help your potential clients visualise being in your Luxury Hotel so they can book it.”

Working with companies such as Microsoft, DHL and the Independent Hotel Show this year, SYS Visual is a leading marketing agency that specialises in in visual communication strategies and immersive media.

“Considering everyone attending The Brit List Awards 2019 operates in a live and visual arena that feeds on innovation, we are delighted to have the support of such a forward-thinking service,” said editor Hamish Kilburn. “Having the 360-degree interviews will be such a quirky element to this year’s event, and will really show off our stunning venue.”

Among the leading designers who have already confirmed are design directors and principals from Richmond International, Project Orange, Sibley Grove, Harriet Forde Design, Harris + Harris, RPW Design, Scott Brownrigg, David Collins Studio and IHG.

In regards to architects attending The Brit List Awards 2019, Hotel Designs will welcome associates and directors from the likes of Zaha Hadid Architects, WATG, Jestico + Whiles, Holland Harvey Architects, EPR Architects and Dexter Moren Associates.

Hoteliers confirmed to attend the annual awards ceremony include, among others, Heckfield Place, Good Hotel London, Limewood Group and Homegrown Hotels, Rosewood London, Cliveden House, The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences London, The Dixon, Bespoke Hotels, Great Scotland Yard Hotel, Eccleston Square, Inhabit London and Hotel Gotham.

The nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations and applications to readers.

Since then, an independent panel of expert judges have gathered to select this year’s individual award winners and also to confirm the 75 individuals who have made it into The Brit List 2019.

How to attend

Suppliers:
Click here if you are a supplier to the industry to secure your ticket for £150 + VAT.

Designers, architects, hoteliers and developers:
Click here if you are either a designer, hotelier, developer or architect to secure your ticket for £20 + VAT.

#TheBritListAwards2019

Headline Partner: Crosswater

Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

2019 Industry Partner: BIID

Videography Partner: SYS Visual

MINIVIEW: Austin Proper to open in December 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: Austin Proper to open in December 2019

Austin Proper Hotel and Residences offers an artful immersion in lifestyle and well-being. Ahead of its official opening in December, editor Hamish Kilburn took a sneak peek inside..

Following the opening of Santa Monica Proper in July, Proper Hotels has extended its portfolio with the launch of Austin Proper Hotel and Residences.

Also designed by the acclaimed Kelly Wearstler, the hotel shelters 244 rooms and suites; 99 branded residences; four unique settings for dining and drink; a focus on wellness with a dedicated spa and fitness centre; plus a variety of atmospheric spaces for events. And it wouldn’t be Proper without a 5th floor pool deck offering small-batch tequilas and majestic lake views.

This sculptural new construction also integrates the work of award-winning Handel Architects in a progression of atmospheres including two pools, 9,500 square feet of event spaces, and multiple dining concepts by McGuire Moorman Hospitality. In step with Austin’s natural lifestyle, LEED Gold certification minimizes footprint and maximizes sustainability. To promote wellness for those who stay and work with Proper, these rigorous environmental standards extend from water use (reclaimed irrigation systems, in-building chilled water loops, centralized boilers) to low-VOC paints, energy-efficient LED lights, and insulated dual-pane windows that save energy and block UV.

Render of a private pool

Image credit: Proper Hotels

Wearstler’s creative direction for the site-specific design of Austin Proper has unfolded over three years. The layered, individualistic look mines a tradition of artistry and craftsmanship distinct to Austin. The historical influence of Austin’s most stately homes inspires eye-catching details, from a sculptural staircase installation of 60 patch worked vintage rugs, to the lobby’s monolithic wood-and-ceramic grandfather clock. Local artists and materials feature prominently throughout, with every surface adding textural interest: pots, trays and cabinet inlay tiles by ceramicist Rick Van Dyke; locally quarried travertine on the pool deck; Delta wood panelling; native elmwoods; and antique mirror finishes.

With Austin as muse, each of the 244 rooms and suites has been carefully detailed by Kelly Wearstler for refined living and restful evenings. The design is deeply influenced by local craft and material, from raw travertine sourced at nearby quarries, to trays by Rick Van Dyke to original fibre artworks by Magda Sayeg. Well-considered appointments include Aesop bath amenities, Kelly Wearstler x Parachute Home robes and signature Proper beds layering Simmons Providence Mattresses, Fili D’oro and Bellino Fine Linens.

Stylish and chic restaurant with glass barriers

Image credit: Proper Hotels

Leading Austin Proper’s dining front is McGuire Moorman Hospitality, the award-winning team behind many of Austin’s best dining and entertainment spots. At the landmark eatery, guests can savour Mediterranean–inspired foods and flavours. Mezze plates and wood-grilled fare are colourful, healthy and wholesome, paired with house-made pita from the wood-burning oven. On the rooftop pool deck, a coastal Mexican restaurant with raw bar offers wood-fired seafood and fajita offerings. Morning, noon or night, a ground floor Mediterranean coffee shop serves savoury items to-go and tempting treats like soft-serve Greek frozen yogurt, while the sunken bar is an elegant hideaway.

In step with Proper’s commitment to wellness, this urban getaway begins with a private reception to discuss a client’s needs. The facility includes a soothing lounge, five spa treatment rooms, men’s and women’s locker rooms with steam showers, and wellness experts on call. A 2,000-square-foot fitness centre is also on property.

An array of high-end amenities aim to refresh, whether with a challenging workout in the 2,000-square-foot fitness centre, borrowing a bicycle for a lakeside trail ride, or a dip into world-class wellness at the spa. Guests are encouraged to linger on property, perhaps set up your office for the day by the 5th-floor pool. Dining options satisfy a variety of moods, whether cafe grab-and-go, garden cocktails overlooking Shoal Creek; poolside suppers, or a full feast at the landmark restaurant.

From well-appointed ballrooms to music gardens, Austin Proper offers more than 9,500 square feet of thoughtfully designed spaces for indoor and outdoor meetings, weddings and special events, and private dining. Adding distinction to the creative design, the Proper team and McGuire Moorman Hospitality specially curate menus and styles of service to match any occasion.

Austin Proper rises above the waterfront of a 2nd Street District booming with creative offices, world-class design, conveniences and culture. Add in an easy-going lifestyle, and you’ve got a style forward epicentre of pedestrian activity.

Main image credit: Proper Hotels

The Mandrake welcomes new artist in residence

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Mandrake welcomes new artist in residence

London’s Mandrake Hotel will welcome celebrated photographer Haris Nukem from November 2 – 11 as he takes up residency in Studio 5 as part of the hotel’s Artist in Residence programme…

The Mandrake, known for its exquisitely designed spaces, provocative and thought invoking art, designed the Artist in Residence programme to celebrate both emerging and established artists and performers.

The hotel extends guests’ artistic interaction from merely viewing the artwork by providing a unique opportunity to interact with artists and witness the creative process. Guest are often part of the work itself, whether that be paintings, photography, tattoo or mural. By involving guests in this unique process, the hotel truly honours its ‘stay beyond yourself’ philosophy.

The programme, designed to allow guests and visitors an up close and personal account of the creative process of creating art, has hosted big names including Mark Mahoney, Azzi Glasser, Danny Minnick, Peter John De Villiers, Zoobs and Thomas Hooper.

Image caption/credit: Dopamine and Leadership Qualities by Haris Nukem

During his residency, Nukem will be creating one photoshoot per day within The Mandrake, where guests are able to interact and engage with Nukem and the creative process. The hotel’s dedicated art space, Studio 5, will showcase a selection of Nukem’s art for guests to view.

For an insight into Nukem’s residency, follow @mandrake_air to get behind the scenes access.

Main image caption/credit: We Need Heroes by Haris Nukem

MEININGER Hotels signs for second hotel in the UK

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MEININGER Hotels signs for second hotel in the UK

The hotel group, MEININGER Hotels, will open 87-key hotel in Liverpool in 2021…

MEININGER Hotels, which currently operates 29 hybrid hotels in Europe, has signed a contract for a new hotel in Liverpool, reinforcing its aim for further growth in the UK. “Our new hotel property in Liverpool is an existing building that will be converted into a typical MEININGER Hotel according by spring 2021,” says Thomas Hagemann, COO of MEININGER Hotels.

“On a gross floor area of 36,049 sq ft (3,349 sq m), the result will be a state-of-the-art accommodation with 87 rooms and 277 beds spread over six floors, a lobby, reception, guest kitchen, bar, lounge, game zone as well as a breakfast area and luggage room.

“Our guests can also look forward to sufficient social spaces for shared community experiences as well as to our flexible room concept, which is unique in the industry. The MEININGER Hotel Liverpool will appeal to individual, group and business travellers with its room structure consisting of two, three and four-bed rooms.”

The MEININGER Hotel Liverpool will be located on Union Court, right in the heart of the city. Most of the main cultural, architectural and gastronomic attractions of the city are within walking distance of the hotel: from the UNESCO world heritage buildings around the Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool One, the Tate Gallery or the Cavern Club. Thanks to the excellent public transport links via the nearby train and bus stations, both Anfield and Goodison Park are also within easy reach for football fans.

This will be the MEININGER Group’s second hotel in the UK after the opening of the MEININGER Hotel London Hyde Park in 2006. A MEININGER Hotel Manchester is also underway and expected to open at the end of 2021.

Hannes Spanring, CEO of MEININGER Hotels commented: “Together with openings planned for this year in Paris and Lyon as well as next year in Washington D.C., which will mark the respective market entries in France and the U.S., Liverpool is an important milestone in MEININGER Hotels’ goal to operate approximately 34,000 beds internationally by 2024.”

“There is no doubt that the UK capital is very popular with visitors, and we had a 94% occupancy rate last year at our Hyde Park hotel,” he added. “But the UK is very rich in attractive destinations with enormous development potential elsewhere too. We are therefore delighted to have signed the contract for a new MEININGER Hotel in Liverpool.

“In Liverpool, the figures for overnight stays and hotel offerings have shown a sustained upward trend in recent years, and the forecasts are also very positive,” Spanring continues. “The current range of rooms consists mainly of four-star and budget hotels, hostels account for only one percent of all accommodation in Liverpool to date. Our goal is to become the UK market leader in this segment with our unique hybrid hotel concept, which combines the service and comfort of international budget hotels with the exceptional amenities and flexible room structure of hostels.”

Main image credit: Xtravagant

Exploring Roca, Armani/Roca, Laufen and Cosmic’s new UK headquarters

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Exploring Roca, Armani/Roca, Laufen and Cosmic’s new UK headquarters

Editor Hamish Kilburn is invited up to Leicester where he is able to discover the treasures that lie within Roca Group’s new and improved UK headquarters…

Some businesses would argue that, when reading that the country’s construction has fallen by 2.5 per cent from August to September, which is largely influenced by the unstable political landscape in the UK at the moment, now is not a wise time to invest in expanding UK assets.

And then there are companies like Roca Group that would disagree entirely to the above statement. Claiming the title of market-leading bathroom manufacturer for more than 20 years, with more than 24,000 employees globally, Roca Group has recently opened a new and gleaming UK headquarters. Based on the outskirts of Leicester, the 145,000 sq-ft base, which also features one of the country’s largest bathroom showrooms, was the subject of my latest warehouse/factory tour.

“Roca Group is all about the long-term goals,” Alan Dodds, the Managing Director of Roca Group UK, tells Hotel Designs. “Our products are inspired by materials. Therefore, research and design is paramount.”

Peering over the interior balcony was the first time I grasped the sheer scale of Roca Group’s UK presence. The warehouse is colossal, complete with 12 dock level loading doors, two level access loading doors and 150 per cent more pallet locations than it sheltered in its previous UK base. “We had been at maximum capacity [in our old headquarters] for years,” adds Dodds. “And it’s refreshing, and it feels like the right time, to be able to bring all brands together under one roof.”

Although the brands under Roca Group may capture a different segment of the market, the research and development team behind each product launched work in-house and operate across both Roca, Roca/Armani, Laufen and Cosmic equally. “It can take anything from six months to two years for a product to be developed and ready for the market,” explains Dodds. “We may not always be the first to launch new concepts, but we ensure that when we do, we are adding something different. Something that the consumers have demanded.”

The latest shower toilets from Laufen are a solid example of this. Despite these W/Cs first being introduced in the ‘80s, the group has only recently launched them to the market, after investing time in careful and sensitive R&D. “We realised that consumers did not appreciate the chunkiness of this style of product originally, nor did they speak highly of the complicated and often unnecessary software when it comes to operating them,” said Richard Court, Laufen’s UK training manager. “Therefore, we launched our W/Cs to look discreet – like any other high-end toilet – and offer a one-button solution for operation that can, if preferred, also be adjusted by the remote.”

In regards to showcasing the latest products on the market across all brands, the new showroom is one of the largest – and most impressive – bathroom showrooms in the UK. In true Roca Group fashion, the space has been dynamically designed to enhance each product’s value and unique selling points. It superbly compliments the group’s ethos to form ideas responsibly and with purpose.

Often on the battlefield of bathroom manufacturers, one of the main challenges faced by bathroom manufacturers is differentiation. For Roca Group, each brand has its own position, aims and target market. However, all innovations are inspired by materials, form and function.

Some of these materials used for sanitaryware from other manufacturers include china ceramic, titanium steel, and even cast-iron. However, in 2013, after half a decade of research and in true Swiss design style, Laufen launched a new material that became known as the world’s thinnest ceramic. “Sourcing SaphirKeramik was Laufen’s dining out card for some time,” explains Court. “It allows us to manufacture thin material without sacrificing on strength. It is still to this day the only material that can do so – and we are the only company that uses it.”

The advantages of SaphirKeramik affect the availability of space. Put simply, less material is required without affecting the durability of the product. This could quite possible inspire future collections from Laufen that include smaller basins, for example, that would be impossible to recreate using any other material.

In addition to the vast innovation, the brand’s bread and butter has always been valuable collaboration. In 1989/1990, Laufen introduced the first design collection developed with the Porsche Design Group with a press release headed “The bathroom that’s a PORSCHE”. Since then, the brand has partnered with renowned designers such as Patricia Urquiola, Roberto Palomba and Marcel Wanders to take the aesthetics of bathroom design to new heights.

Next month at Sleep & Eat 2019 (stand L10), Laufen will unveil the result of its latest collaboration with Wanders. The New Classic collection interprets classical styles using Laufen’s SaphirKeramik to create soft, gentle feminine curves, alongside angular, masculine elements.

Over in the Roca division of the showroom, while the brand is less focused on collaborations, there is one exceptional partnership that has been repositioned and readjusted under the spotlight recently following the brand announcing its second collection with fashion house Armani.

Image credit: Roca/Armani

Armani/Roca, as Giorgio Armani explains, “combines all the functional aspects of the bathroom space with elegance and subtly, providing an area that simultaneously provides comfort and wellbeing.” And the way in which the set has been curated within the new showroom with ‘that bath’ being taking centrestage, certainly does that bold statement justice. The latest products within the collection will also be showcased at Sleep & Eat on stand L20.

“Each brand that is under the Roca Group umbrella is equally dedicated to stay within the confines of its own design lane.

Adjacent to the Roca section within the showroom, the company displays yet another unique bathroom brand and style. Cosmic was created in 1985 and started by uniquely producing abstract bathroom accessories, such as the free-standing Saku collection. Designed by Ricard Ferrior, the products’ designs were inspired by plant forms which grow and evolve.

The brand has recently expanded its offering, taking its inspiration from the rise in demand for industrial bathrooms, and included furniture, basins and a new range of lighting and mirrors. The Grid, also designed by Ferrer, is an excellent example of something different to launch in the bathroom furniture market. The parallel lines which frame the objects have been specifically designed for an architecturally engineered bathroom, something that neither Laufen nor Roca would compete to achieve.

Image credit: Cosmic

Considering how heavily congested the bathroom manufacturing market is, Roca Group seems to be able to jockey for position and noise within the market place effortlessly. “Roca keeps life very simple, allowing the products’ innovative qualities do the talking,” Dodds concludes. “But if you launch good products, present them in the right way, and have a good team, you will be heard regardless how busy the market place is.”

Following my insightful trip to the group’s new UK Headquarters, one thing has become more apparent: each brand that is under the Roca Group umbrella is equally dedicated to stay within the confines of its own design lane. While all brands are inspired by outside influences and research, each and every decision is carefully considered to keep all brands at the forefront of the bathroom manufacturing market. Operating in 170 markets in all corners of the world, Roca Group’s long-term thinking has resulted in the launch of unconventional bathroom solutions for all designers.

Roca and Laufen are both recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Roca Group