Namaste! Editor Hamish Kilburn here to wrap up your week (and month) with the only story you need to read this week in order to be fully aware of the latest movements on the hotel design and hospitality scene. This week’s round-up includes news from the likes of Marriott, The Set Collection and Ace Hotel Group…
Is it that time already? Fridays on the editorial desk at Hotel Designs always starts the same: with a piping-hot coffee followed by scroll of our analytics to see which of the headlines published over the last five days have been a hit with our readers.
As we prepare to bid farewell to what I am glad to call a stable month – a welcome novelty given the unpredictable times we were all working in over the last two years – the stories that have stood out this week as our most-read include interviews and features that all share a common denominator; they are all looking towards brighter, happier and healthier times – PMA to the rescue!
Channelling nothing by good vibes, here are our top stories from the week.
Inside The Set Collection’s iconic London hotel, Hotel Café Royal, Hotel Designs meets legendary hotelier and Executive Director Jean-Luc Naret to discuss hotel development, the definition of luxury and how (and why) the collection is expanding.
“A decade on from that spectacular opening party, I am back here, inside the Regent Suite that casts an unparalleled view over Piccadilly Circus, to meet Jean-Luc Naret, the Executive Director of The Set Collection, which is made up of a cluster of iconic hotels in spectacular locations.”
The Hilton Cologne is nestled in an amazing location in Cologne’s city heart, being a stone’s throw from the most visited attraction in the city, the Cologne Cathedral. The city is also known for its vibrant cultural scene, including numerous festivals such as Cologne Carnival, Cologne Lights, Cologne Pride, Art Cologne, IMM Cologne, Heinzels Winter Fairy-tale: Handbrotzeit and several food festivals, amongst many others. The hotel itself was once home to Cologne’s postal savings bank, a landmark building on the famous Marzellenstrasse. The building’s heritage is the inspiration behind the interior design of The Pigeon Post Bar & Eatery by the THDP design studio, which expresses this vintage vibe, while being considered and contemporary with some fun quirky details.
The opening of the 124-key Ace Hotel Toronto this June will mark the brand’s debut property in Canada. The modern hotel, which has been developed in partnership with Zinc Developments and Alterra Group and designed by Toronto-based design firm Shim-Sutcliffe Architects in collaboration with Atelier Ace’s interior design team, will be housed in a new building in Toronto’s Garment District designed. “Our intention with Ace Hotel Toronto was to make a positive contribution to our city, a welcoming civic space where life happens and memories are made, and where both locals and their guests feel equally at home, Brigitte Shim from Shim-Sutcliffe Architects told Hotel Designs.
It was one of the most ambitious architecture and hotel development projects that Leicester Square had ever seen. The plans for the world’s first ‘super boutique’ hotel, The Londoner, designed by Yabu Pushelberg, engineer experts at Arup Associates and artist Ian Monroe, reportedly cost £5 million and included 15-storeys of innovative design and architecture.
It’s not the first time celebrities have dipped their toe in the hospitality waters, with the likes of Hugh Jackman, Donatella Versace, Elizabeth Hurley and of course Robert De Niro among A-listers owning hotels. The recent addition to the list includes Pharrell Williams and David Grutman who in 2021 opened The Goodtime Hotel to rave reviews.
Less than a year later, the pair have tasked design and architecture studio Rockwell Group to bring to life their next hotel vision of a design-forward lifestyle hotel in The Bahamas.
Following the lows of the pandemic, 2021 was a surprisingly good year for Marriott International and there was plenty to celebrate about, including opening its 70th hotel in Japan, opening its 100th JW Marriott property worldwide and agreeing the signings of three new hotels in Saudi Arabia.
At the end of 2021, the hotel group’s worldwide system consisted of nearly 8,000 properties and roughly 1.48 million rooms in 139 countries and territories. At year-end, the company had the largest global development pipeline, with roughly 485,000 rooms.
I would like to address the greenwashing effects of buzzwords. The latest of which, surrounding the topic of sustainability, is ESG, which stands for Environmental, Social, Governance. The decision was made (by whom, I am still not entirely sure) to replace the over-used term of ‘sustainability’ with ‘ESG’ in the hope of encouraging people to think about the wider context. But in doing so, the problem has in fact escalated. I have waited until now, adhering to the unspoken rule of thinking before I speak, to put forward my views on this matter, but I’m afraid my frustration has boiled over.
Since you’re here…
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Main image credit: The Set Collection/The House Collective