Black matte tap in modern bathroom

    Part 70: bathroom taps – things to consider when specifying

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

    Beyond aesthetic qualities, there’s a lot to consider when specifying bathroom taps – more than you perhaps realise. To help us make sense of bathroom tap specification, the team at Duravit is here to give us a breakdown of what to prioritise – from water consumption to colour and texture…

    Various decisions need to be taken before buying bathroom taps as the variety of ranges is wide. They differ mainly in terms of design, function, and price, however, aspects such as durability and the economical usage of water and energy are becoming increasingly important.

    Timeless modern versatility of design

    Decisions on the installation of a new bathroom are primarily based on aesthetics, but it is worth noting that a bathroom tends to remain for around 15 years. Modern design is deeply rooted in Duravit’s DNA – product management, the internal development team, an international supplier network as well as external designers such as Philippe Starck, Kurt Merki Jr., Matteo Thun & Antonio Rodriguez and Bertrand Lejoly collaborate to develop taps and shower sprays. Duravit offers a wide range of design variants for differing styles and holistic bathroom design. There is something for every budget, at a consistently high design quality, and with the durable, easy-to-clean surface options Chrome and Black Matt.

    White Tulip by Phillip Starck tap

    Image credit: Duravit

    Tap applications for the whole bathroom

    Duravit offers single-lever mixers in a range of sizes (S–XL) with an optimum height for all washbasins, from handrinse basins through washbowls. As a complete bathroom supplier, Duravit aspires to offer something for every part of the bathroom: from the washbasin through the shower and bathtub, as surface-mounted and flush-mounted versions.

    The Duravit BlueBox®, a universal installation system for a range of tap designs (lever mixers or thermostats), is used for concealed installation. This allows the design decision to be taken even after the basic set has been installed. 

    Matching range of shower sprays

    Shower sprays are the perfect addition in every area – whether in the shower or on the bathtub.Duravit’s optimized range of shower sprays offers something for everyone. Hand showers and showerheads are available from a range of price points and feature different spray modes and surfaces. Functions such as EasyClean for ease of cleaning or the Click! technology for changing spray mode at the push of a button enhance convenience and comfort. A range of designs, from the classic, wide-diameter hand shower through the minimalistic hand shower wand with a cylindrical or square design also guarantee that the optics will be just perfect.

    As practical all-in-one-solutions, the shower systems work as a single-lever or thermostat variant and are ideal for renovation work as they do not require complex in-wall work.

    Duravit showers against grey backdrop

    Image credit: Duravit

    Comfortable operation

    Ergonomically designed handles that feel pleasant in the hand are a key feature in designing faucets that are comfortable and easy to use. This enables water quantity and temperature to be set exactly. Thermostat faucets for the shower and bathtub are available as an alternative to single-lever mixers: the advantage of these is that they can be set to the desired temperature, which ensures constant water temperature and irons out fluctuations in pressure.

    Sustainable economy functions

    The Duravit taps and shower sprays use intelligent technologies to offer concrete economic benefits. In the centre position, energy-saving washbasin faucets with a FreshStart function only produce cold water to start with. Hot water is only added when the handle is deliberately moved to the left. This reduces energy requirements and lowers energy costs and CO2 emissions as hot water is only used in situations where it is needed. Cold water is perfectly adequate for washing hands, cleaning teeth, and watering plants. 

    With a flow rate of 5.5 l/minute, all Duravit washbasin taps are sparing in their consumption of hot water and energy. The MinusFlow taps are more sparing still, with a flow rate limited to 3.5 l/minute. The AirPlus technology additionally adds air to the water jet, creating a gentle, voluminous stream. 

    There are also enormous potential savings for water and energy especially when it comes to showering: Compared to standard showers, Duravit MinusFlow hand showers have a reduced flow rate of up to 40 per cent, rising to as much as 60 per cent on the showerheads (MinusFlow showerheads = 9 L/minute, standard hand showers 15 l/minute, standard showerheads 25 l/minute).

    Quality and guarantee

    Duravit uses high-quality materials for all taps and reliable ceramic cartridges for a long service life. Before launch, the taps are subjected to stringent tests such as washing comfort and splashing behaviour. This guarantees the Duravit Best Match: A configurator developed in-house by Duravit that helps users find the best combination of taps and ceramics for any washing area. Duravit offers a voluntary five-year guarantee on all taps and shower sprays. Spare parts are kept available for a whole 15 years after each product line is discontinued.

    Duravit is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

    Main image credit: Duravit 

    Main image credit: Duravit

    Decimo The Standard - dark-lit restaurant inside the hotel

    Part 69: the future of food and beverage design in hotels

    1024 640 Guest Author

    We have come so far from the time when the choice is hotels was Italian or steakhouse. Today, destination restaurants and Michelin star chefs are sheltered inside some of the world’s most premium luxury hotels. But what’s next on the menu for Food and Beverage design in hotels? Alexandre Santamaria, Founder, Aware Hospitality, has a few thoughts…

    If we take a look back a few decades, the travelling experience was centered more on the destination rather than any experience you would have in a hotel, including the food and beverage offerings. With the wants and needs of consumer preferences changing, largely due to the pandemic, the future of food and beverage design in hotels is now championing locality, sustainability and on-property culinary experiences.

    In the past, hotels were almost complacent in the area of food and beverage, but we’re now seeing a steady rise in hotels partnering with local F&B operators to ensure higher levels of quality. For instance, Me London outsources all food and beverage to The ONE Group (a global hospitality company that develops and operates upscale and polished casual, high-energy restaurants and lounges), and The Hoxton Hotel outsources to Soho House, a brand which undeniably shares the same aesthetic and style. Soon-to-be-open Raffles London at The OWO will feature three signature dining experiences from Michelin-star Chef Mauro Colagreco alongside three destination bars.

    The lobby inside Hoxton Southwark

    Image credit: Hoxton Southwark

    Meanwhile, over in Dubai, newly open Hilton Dubai Palm Jumeirah, an expansive beachfront property, has outsourced several of its drinking and dining experiences to London-based bar, Trader Vic’s. The London institution, which first opened in the capital in 1963, has brought its tiki brand to the Middle East, while Irish pub McGettigan’s is also housed within the hotel. Under this model, the hotel pays for fit-outs and equipment and partners with a passionate and hard-working restaurateur with all the tools to realise their vision.

    As well as being financial savvy for hotels, it’s also in the company’s interests to completely outsource food and beverage outlets to independent restauranteurs as the market is becoming more and more competitive when it comes to dining options, and brings a uniqueness to the menu as well as offering guests a reliable food service from a brand they resonate with.

    A successful restaurant concept is based on building a family of regular customers; from frequent business travellers to members of the local community. Often, a hotel houses one all-day, middle-of-the-road concept for the hotel clientele to use for breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, when you have several F&B outlets all under one roof, as well as involving local ‘homegrown’ chefs, this goes a long way towards creating the buzz and excitement that restaurants need early on in their lifecycles to stay operational. Hotels are starting to put effort into developing a strong F&B offering where locals can work, relax, eat, and enjoy their city any time of year – making it a destination not just for tourists.

    Hotels have long been synonymous with the beloved buffet found in large-scale restaurants. While the treasured self-serve travel perk hasn’t received the same love since its decline due to Covid-19, hotels now understand that large, charmless restaurants with very little atmosphere don’t work. Instead, hotels are ripping up the rulebook and turning their lobbies into vibrant community workspaces aimed both at travellers and locals.

    London hotels in particular are becoming the new destinations for remote workers. With the pandemic changing the way businesses operate, remote working has seen a steady increase with no signs of stopping. Earlier this year, the Office of National Statistics revealed the proportion of workers utilising a hybrid model has risen from 13% in early February 2022 to 24 per cent in May 2022, while the percentage working exclusively from home has fallen from 22 per cent to 14 per cent in the same period.

    While co-working spaces such as WeWork have seen a decline (arguably due to high costs), hotels in the capital have transformed into accessible remote working spaces, offering special packages as well as access to fast wi-fi, tea and coffee on tap, meals, and amenities. In today’s digitally driven and globalised world, work is no longer confined to the cubicle or restricted to the hours between nine and five, and now, hotel lobbies are fast becoming ad hoc meeting rooms, full-time offices or just somewhere to quickly bash out an email.

    Vibrant interiors inside WeWork lounge

    Image credit: WeWork

    The Standard in King’s Cross boasts a meeting and events space on the eighth and ninth floors while the ground-floor lobby lounge offers a stylish co-working vibe. Over in Holborn, the Rosewood London hotel has a ‘Work From Hotel’ package where guests can book into suites that have been meticulously renovated into luxury office spaces. Mid-market hotels have also got in on the action, venues such as citizenM, which has four outposts in the capital, boasting super-fast free Wi-Fi, a contemporary living room, and iMacs for guests to use. And there’s no upfront cost to work there.

    the statement wavy red couch connects spaces in citizenM victoria, along with feature red bottles in the bar

    Image credit: citizenM

    With guests having higher standards than ever, efficiency is now preferred over the personal touch. One of the main reasons the human factor is being removed is largely due to staff shortages following the Brexit fallout. Recently Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures said the hospitality sector currently has a record 174,000 jobs available. The joint survey revealed that the highest shortages are for front-of-house roles, with 81 per cent of operators looking to fill vacancies. Chefs are the next most sought after, with 76 per cent of operators with recruitment issues, followed by kitchen porters (67 per cent), and assistant managers (53 per cent).

    If one thing is apparent, it’s that hotels are having to keep abreast of wider trends to stay ahead of the game. Adapting to the needs of the people – both locals and tourists – is vital, and is what keeps the best hotels at the top of their game. This naturally also extends into a hotel’s food and drink offerings, with pop-ups and regularly adapting kitchens taking away the stuffiness and clinical vibe and keeping things fresh and exciting. With so many changes happening in the last year alone, I’m excited to see what the future holds.

    Main image credit: Unsplash

    room2 Chiswick - lobby

    Part 68: maximising the social & economic impact of the hotel sector

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

    Reminding the industry how the hotel sector can maximise its social and economic impact, Andy Jansons, Managing Director of Jansons Properties, writes about the direct, indirect and social affects of good hospitality and hotel design…

    Hotels provide far more than just a bed to sleep in when you are away from home. They are hubs of activity that bring people from all walks of life together, offering restaurants, bars, leisure facilities, event rooms, and providing a meeting space for those staying. However, the multi-faceted nature of a hotel is often undervalued along with the economic and social benefits they bring. From the inception of a hotel development right up to the day-to-day running of a fully operational service, hotels produce enormous economic and social benefit to their surrounding areas- both directly and indirectly.

    Direct Benefits

    Though it may seem obvious, the most direct benefit of hotel development is that it enables an encourages people to visit an area that they may not have otherwise visited. The nature of the hotel will determine which type of traveller will visit, however, the existence of a hotel in an otherwise unremarkable area can make it a destination for those planning a holiday or business trip. Hotels located in a city centre will cater to both tourist travel and business travel whereas employment orientated hotels may be located near business estates or motorways for practicality. Business tourism is a huge industry with millions of people travelling to and within the UK each year for conferences and short stay work trips. Hotels are often central to corporate travel, catering to all the needs of the group including providing meeting rooms or events spaces for larger groups.

    Hotel developments are therefore also excellent for employment and not just for those employed as hotel staff at the end of the process. Before any building has begun and planning permission has been granted, consultants must be brought in to prepare structural plans and put in planning applications for the project. This initial stage involves a huge number of professionals, including contractors, architects, planning consultants, quantitative surveyors, and even conservation experts, all of which contribute to the planned proposal of the hotel. Typically, hotel developers will employ local experts, bringing employment opportunities directly to the area. Once planning consent is granted, the next stage is to begin construction which involves the employment of regional contractors and a work force of anywhere between 50-100 people on site, though this is dependent on the size of the project. Construction can last anywhere between a few months to two years during which time local construction workers have stable employment and income. Finally, once the hotel is opened for business, local jobs are generated and local people are employed at varying different levels, from reception to the kitchens.


    Image Caption: Birch, which opened in 2020, transformed the hospitality landscape in Hertfordshire. | Image credit: Birch/Red Deer/Adam Firman

    Another direct benefit that hotels generate is stimulating economic growth for the region, as hotels often source produce from local vendors. Locally sourcing food goods to supply their restaurants generates great business for local food supplier companies and provides them with a steady revenue. While hotel restaurants are typically solely reserved for hotel guests, some commission independent restaurants and take external bookings. These partnerships give great publicity to local food suppliers and result in strong community engagement between the hotel and local businesses.

    Bath in suite inside suite inside Soho Farmhouse

    Image caption: Soho Farmhouse was the first ‘house’ in the portfolio to open in the UK outside of a major city. | Image credit: Soho House

    Furthermore, local business directly benefits from hotels as strong advocates of innovation and front runners of the ESG agenda. As many hotels are now diversifying their offering by inviting businesses to use their facilities as hybrid workspaces, this further increases traffic and exposure to those local businesses surrounding the hotel. The growth of companies such as WeWork, is changing how we approach work with many companies no longer seeing the benefit of renting out large offices. New hotel developments provide space for these hybrid environments which in turn benefits businesses looking for new and innovative space. Indirectly, this type of innovative development elevates the ESG status of those businesses who collaborate with the development, meaning that all bodies involved are functioning in a more socially and environmentally efficient way.

    arts and crafts inspired bedroom design at room2 Chiswick

    Image credit: room2 Chiswick opened this year as the first truly net-zero hotel, and set a new standard in ESG for the hospitality industry.

    Indirect Benefits

    In addition to the direct benefits hotels bring to their area, there are subsequent indirect benefits which bring growth and improvement to the region. One particular benefit is the promotion of local business that happens indirectly as a result of hotel visitors. Travellers looking for activities to entertain themselves during their stay might ask for recommendations or pick up local leaflets from the lobby advertising local events and offerings. These can often include cinema, theatre, restaurants, festivals, art exhibitions and local commerce offerings which then benefit from the patronage of outside visitors. This promotion of the local vicinity can have an impact not only in the short term but also in the long term, as visitors participate positively in local life, they are more likely to return if future trips are necessary. An increase in local engagement will lead to economic growth and social diversification for the region as a whole.

    Another notable benefit of a new hotel is the regeneration focus it brings to the local area. The development of a hotel is often a steppingstone to gentrification as it shifts the socio-economic dynamic of an area and encourages investment from other groups. Furthermore, a hotel development can often include more than just the construction of a hotel, with developments growing to encompass business centres and retail space. The SoCo development in Edinburgh is an excellent example of regeneration in practice. The scheme involved the re-development of a UNESCO World Heritage Site which had been destroyed by a fire in 2002. The final product left the area not only with an Ibis Hotel, but a Sainsbury Local Store, Costa Coffee and the reinstatement of an old nightclub. The regeneration of this area resulted in the further creation of new public realm spaces.

    Rates are an additional indirect economic benefit, bringing more money into the local authority through taxation. This added source of income can be funnelled back into the local area for regeneration and refurbishment. A refurbished town hall, shopping centre, better roads, larger car parks and more green spaces. This has a particular impact on hight street regeneration and will be recognised by the local population; as vacant buildings are used and repurposed, hotels encourage money to be spent which results in better quality commerce and retail offerings.

    Finally, the impact of a hotel development on the civic pride of a region should not be underestimated. A new hotel is a major brand renewal for an area and gives locals the opportunity to showcase their town and cultural offerings. New buildings will give the whole area a facelift and will show that money is being spent on investment in the future of the region. While becoming a destination clearly benefits the economic growth of an area, the social impact is equally significant in boosting local moral and how people feel about the area they live in.

    Main image credit: room2 Chiswick

    Packed back of luggage

    Part 67: why the ‘workation’ trend is booming right now

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn
    Part 67: why the ‘workation’ trend is booming right now

    The latest trend to soar in travel and hospitality is the ‘workation’. A study carried out by Anywork Anywhere reveals that searches for the term have increased by 445 per cent, and here’s why…

    Packed back of luggage

    As remote working becomes the new norm, and the hotel design arena adapts to new travel demands, a growing number of countries are opening their doors to workers offering a ‘digital nomad’ or ‘remote work’ visa. In fact, in the last seven days, according to Anywork Anywhere, Google searches for the term ‘workation’ have increased by 455 per cent globally.

    There are currently more than 30 countries offering a ‘digital nomad visa’, and as that list continues to grow, along with Google searches. Overseas job specialists at Anywork Anywhere also found that in the last 12 months, there’s been a 209 per cent increase in global searches for this specific term.

    The term ‘remote work visa’ has also increased by 122 per cent globally in the last 12 months, while more specifically in the UK, searches for ‘digital nomad jobs’ have increased by 120 per cent in the last 30 days.

    A spokesperson from Anywork Anywhere told Hotel Designs: “It’s no surprise to see so many people searching for workations and remote work visas right now, as the importance of work-life balance continues to be amplified globally.

    “While the term ‘workation’ is relatively new, these findings indicate that they could soon become the new norm, as more countries around the world offer remote work visas and popularity increases.”

    What is a workation? 

    Perhaps more relevant for interior designers, architects and developers, workations are on the rise. For those still unsure about what that trend actually is, there’s not yet an official definition. However, essentially a workation involves taking a long or short-term trip away from home, while still working remotely – hence the evolution of hotel public areas in recent years. 

    An empty hotel lobby

    Image credit: Unsplash

    What is a ‘Digital Nomad Visa’? 

    A digital nomad visa is a document or program that gives someone the legal right to work remotely while living in another country. It’s often called a remote work visa, and by no means just applies to digital nomads.  

    As the demand for work-life balance continues to grow, these visas are a great option for those who want to earn while they travel as they allow remote workers to stay for longer than they could with an ordinary tourist visa, without the commitment of applying for permanent residency.  

    From Iceland to Costa Rica, currently there are over 30 countries offering these documents, each with different entry requirements and entry fees. Before choosing a destination it’s worth doing your research, ensuring you meet the requirements. 

    Main image credit: Unsplash

    Sign saying 'we are open' in shop window

    Part 66: top tips to thrive post-pandemic on the hospitality scene

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

    For years the hospitality industry enjoyed an era of ease, with new developments and travel trends leading to spikes in travel demand. Since the Covid-19 crisis, though, how does the industry re-patch itself and even ‘thrive’ post-pandemic? We asked Edward Hooper, Group CEO of LQA, to provide us with some easy-to-enforce tips…

    Although each and every industry was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the global hospitality sector was among the hardest hit. While recovery has started, the industry as a whole is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels for some time, primarily due to continuing reluctance among business travellers. As hotels aim to drive recovery and revive demand, and as the Covid crisis recedes, we’re starting to see the industry move towards a more promising position.

    With high vaccination rates and the relaxing of strict restrictions – notably in the US in recent weeks – uninhibited travel tourism is slowly returning and the ‘revenge travel’ trend that started in 2021 continues to be prevalent. As this trend slowly spreads throughout the Asian market (with China now the clear exception to the rule) and as global tour operators get busier, the world’s travel backdrop continues to go from strength to strength after two turbulent years.

    Empty hotel room with white linen and blue walls

    Image credit: Unsplash

    LQA is the global leader in benchmarking and assessments, partnering with the world’s top luxury hotels, as well as government entities, in more than 130 countries to inspire exceptional service standards. As an authority in the hospitality space, below are some of our top tips for hotels to thrive post-pandemic:

    Elevate guest experience

    With room rates at record levels (especially in resort properties) luxury hospitality in particular has an opportunity to invest in further driving the guest experience to new heights. Whilst there is an understandable desire to recoup lost revenue from pandemic enforced shut downs, it’s essential this is balanced with an increase in overall service level to ensure the elevated expectation levels, inevitably associated with higher prices, are met.

    The downside reputational risk from increased prices and reduced service levels will only increase over time, with guests’ patience for ‘Covid excuses’ waning rapidly. The short-term benefits of increased profits could turn into a long-term loss as expectation levels rise to match pricing and poor service is punished with bad reviews and general customer dissatisfaction.

    Bed on a cliff edge

    Image credit: Unsplash

    Managing staff challenges

    By far the biggest issue affecting the hotel industry is staffing, with this disproportionately impacting higher-end properties due to the amount of experienced, longstanding team members leaving the industry altogether – often for reasons due to the Covid pandemic. Therefore, hotel establishments are facing long lead times for training new staff members to the requisite level, impacting the overall staffing issues within the industry.

    LQA has seen a material increase in training requests, with training levels in the past six months double that of the same period in 2019. High quality, pre-emptive training remains absolutely key to meeting the challenges of new levels of service demand, and those who have already engaged in training will reap the rewards.

    Include holistic hospitality, health and wellbeing

    The pandemic has put health and wellness firmly front and centre in most peoples’ thinking and this trend has opened up valuable service areas for the hospitality industry to connect with guests in more meaningful ways post-pandemic. Hotels who anticipate and exceed guest health and wellness needs, not only with impeccable hygiene but also in terms of psychological and physical wellbeing, will be the big winners.

    Woman doing yoga in large building with panelled windows

    Image credit: Unsplash

    Programmes such as digital detox, stress and emotional recovery and personalised fitness regimes are becoming essential elements to a vacation. Wellness offerings, for example, are showing up more and more as guests seek out a more rounded experience.

    To truly be impactful, the complete guest experience should be considered, for example partnering spa treatment programmes with a greater range of healthy culinary options in restaurants extends the positive impact to the guest beyond a basic programme, turning the single opportunity into a holistic experience.

    Digitalisation and technology are key

    Covid-19 is estimated to have accelerated digitalisation by seven years and the pace of change shows no signs of slowing. As with other sectors, the hospitality industry had to adjust accordingly to the rapid rate of tech-adoption to facilitate a return to business. This technological evolution (or perhaps revolution), however, has now rapidly become a welcome addition to the overall guest journey within the hotel industry.

    ‘Smart capabilities’ have continued to improve in quality, with automated AI messaging now accepted as commonplace, and technology is now capable of being used to create a more personal experience, rather than the historically ‘generic’ feeling. During the pandemic, we also saw more hotels feature digital tours of their rooms and facilities, use virtual concierge services and even curate specialised online experiences, such as livestream safaris and beach-front webcams, to inspire and maintain wanderlust. While some of these will inevitably fall by the wayside, many are certainly here to stay.

    One consequence of this is that high-speed WiFi is now integral for all establishments to have, not only to ensure guests can be contactable but also to support the rise of ‘working from abroad’ as individuals increasingly combine holidays with flexible working. Guests are also expecting this to be included for free, with WiFi charges now driving high negative sentiment.

    Focus on sustainability

    Sustainability has been a global concern for many years, but the pandemic set that back somewhat with the requirement for single use/sterile items ultimately outweighing the environmental impact.

    Now, however, the trend has reversed, with increased media scrutiny of global warming and sustainability filling the news gap left by COVID. The shock factor for guests of the visible increase in single-use plastics during the pandemic has further underlined the issue and expectations have now rebounded to a higher level, with all aspects of sustainability, as well as corporate social responsibility, being high on the agenda.

    As hotels move from ‘post-pandemic’ to ‘new normal’, they will also need to re-imagine what sustainable operations look like, with energy saving and waste minimising processes very soon to be pre-requisites rather than differentiators. Locally sourced produce and seasonal menus are becoming more prevalent, with consumers looking to hotels to reduce their impact on the environment. Other socially responsible aspects, such as the employment of staff from nearby communities and the use of freely available local materials within the hotel, are fast becoming part and parcel of hotel guests’ expectations.

    After two tumultuous years, the future of hospitality is shining brightly and this resilient industry is responding, preparing and looking ahead positively to what’s next.

    Main image credit: Unsplash

    CTD Architectural tiles collage

    Part 65: don’t slip up on floor safety standards

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

    Going beyond style, Craig Boyd, specification manager at CTD Architectural Tiles, helps us understand the various floor safety standards in commercial and hotel design – including floor tile requirements and the pendulum test…

    When it comes to choosing flooring for a hotel design scheme, there are a number of important considerations: budget, lead times, durability and, of course, style and aesthetics.

    But it’s also vital to consider the slip resistance of flooring to ensure the safety of guests and staff. There are now a huge variety of floor tiles available on the market which offer a Pendulum Test Value (PTV) of 36 or higher – but what does this mean, and why is it relevant to hotel design?

    The pendulum test is the standard measure for the slip resistance of flooring in the UK

    Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

    While it’s always best to discuss a tile’s slip resistance with your chosen supplier, in this article, I will explain the what, why and how of the pendulum test for slip resistance.

    What is it?

    The pendulum test is the standard measure for the slip resistance of flooring in the UK. It is recognised by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) as the most reliable and accurate measure of slip resistance, which is suitable to test slip resistance in both wet and dry conditions through replicating a human heel.

    This recommendation by the HSE is particularly important for hotel design schemes as it means the pendulum test is the only accepted test used in legal and insurance matters related to proving flooring is safe. Because of this, it’s vital to ensure your chosen flooring – particularly in any areas used by the public – has undergone this method of testing.

    As this is only the recommended measure in the UK, tiles manufactured in other countries may have been tested using another method according to different requirements. A range of floor tiles available through CTD Architectural Tiles – including Delight, Inclusioni Classico and Cementum, all of which are popular choices for hotels – have already undergone pendulum testing, but where this isn’t the case, some suppliers are able to carry out the test in-house.

    Floor tiles are tested under a variety of conditions including wet and dry

    Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

    How does it work?

    To measure a tile’s slip resistance using the pendulum test method, a rubber sole is used to replicate a human heel, which swings over the tile in question.

    Two types of rubber sole – known as sliders – are used during the test. Slider 96 replicates someone wearing shoes while Slider 55 replicates a barefoot sole, with both sliders tested under wet and dry conditions. This ensures the tile has been tested under several conditions, so designers can be confident they are providing a safe environment for hotel guests.

    Each of these conditions are tested several times to gain an average PTV. This average number is based on the level of friction produced as the pendulum swings over the tile: the higher the friction, the fewer times the pendulum will swing – ultimately providing the anti-slip rating.

    What do the results mean?

    The PTV of each tile is split into three categories, based on the average figure from the test: PTV0-24 indicates high slip potential, PTV25-35 means medium slip potential, while PTV36 or higher relates to a low slip potential.

    A PTV rating of 36 or higher is now a requirement for any new or refurbished commercial or public building, as this is the equivalent to approximately one in every one million users slipping – by contrast, a PTV rating of 19 equates to a one in two slip accident risk.

    These statistics show the importance of choosing floor tiles with a PTV of at least 36, and it’s no surprise that commercial tile suppliers are seeing more and more requests for tiles which offer PTV40 in the hotel sector. Fortunately, there is now a wide variety of anti-slip porcelain floor tiles available on the market, so there’s something for every project, budget and style – all without compromising on safety.

    > Since you’re here, why not read how CTD Architectural Tiles created a modern classic in Cardiff?

    CTD Architectural Tiles is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

    Main image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

    Modern bedroom with cork walls

    Part 64: making walls a design feature in cork

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn
    Part 64: making walls a design feature in cork

    With the sustainable and acoustic qualities of cork far outweighing many other surface materials, we explored how a new collection from Granorte can allow designers and architects to make artistic wall displays using cork…

    Modern bedroom with cork walls

    With the beautiful natural texture of cork, WALLTrend  from Granorte comes in 16 designs ready to transform interiors. From the classic look of Grain to the vibrant Twist, rustic Country and organic Primus, the collection is full of unique looks that will lift interiors out of the ordinary and bring the magic touch of cork to walls.

    No matter what the design, every WALLTrend panel also brings cork’s unique qualities. Tactile and warm to the touch, the panels also absorb sound to make rooms quieter and more comfortable. Added to a natural construction that’s easy to look after, recyclable, PVC-free and which retains air quality; WALLTrend not only looks and performs beautifully but also rises to the demand for more sustainable finishes in the home.

    “The time for cork is now and as a new generation begins to appreciate the material for its sustainable characteristics, we’re delighted to able to introduce WALLTrend to the market,” says Paulo Rocha, Granorte. The collection gives consumers a new way to explore the natural and renewable material and experience its unmistakable look. Combined with floors from our TRENDCollection, there’s now a chance to bring the unique qualities of cork from floor to ceiling.”

    Each WALLTrend panel is constructed from an agglomerated cork backing to which a decorative cork veneer is added and then finished with Granorte’s unique PARAWAX matt finish for easy maintenance. The finished panel is exceptionally lightweight and can be glued directly onto walls using a suitable adhesive. Measuring 600 x 300mm, the panels are ready for residential and commercial use, meeting all relevant standards.

    > Since you’re here, why not read about Granorte’s 50-year-young story? 

    Granorte is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

    Main image credit: Granorte

    Hyperion Tiles Avenue Porcelain Rivoli garden tiles

    Part 63: designing garden tiles in luxury hotels

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

    As Hotel Designs discusses outdoor design solutions for wellbeing and wellness, this month Hyperion Tiles reveals why porcelain garden tiles could provide the best flooring solution underfoot…

    Hotel outdoor space should no longer be seen as an afterthought. In fact, these days, this area is ripe for development. Creating a garden retreat in which guests can relax and unwind to enhance their wellbeing, is now huge in hospitality. Often, the hotel exterior can be the first point of contact a guest has with a hotel. So, the surrounding environment needs to be aesthetically pleasing for every visitor.

    Hyperion Tiles Pierre Porcelain Textured in Gris

    Image credit: Hyperion Tiles

    Whether you’re considering a welcoming front entrance or striking outdoor pool area, porcelain garden tiles can instantly help to enhance these key areas with a stylish solution underfoot. So, consider the design of your outdoor spaces carefully and don’t forget to plan in your paving from the start. Then your guests can enjoy an indoor-outdoor sanctuary featuring plenty of style.

    Garden tiles for wellbeing

    Hyperion Tiles Blenheim Porcelain Textured Beige tiles

    Image credit: Hyperion Tiles

    Alfresco entertaining has become more popular than ever and there are key benefits for spending time in the great outdoors. This has already been proven to be a mental health and mood booster. In fact, being outside can help to lower stress levels, blood pressure and heart rate, too. So, the more creativity and personal touches you add to your hotel outdoor space for guests, the better. After all, visitors will be more likely to enjoy their stay and return for more. And, as a result, this will put you one step ahead of your competitors.

    Porcelain perfection

    Porcelain is not only ultra-durable and slip-resistant, but it looks good and will be easy to maintain, too. You’ll also find these garden tiles will accommodate all weathers. So, they can be used for a variety of outdoor design ideas, from a practical path and patio to a stylish balcony or pool area.

    If you’re considering high-performance poolside perfection, porcelain tiles are highly resistant to water and pool additives and chemicals. These garden tiles also don’t need to be sealed like stone. Other key benefits include their resistance to colour-change. Sunlight, for example, will not affect their original colour and they can easily withstand frost. As a result, your outdoor space will not only look welcoming but it will stand the test of time.

    Patterned over plain 


    Hyperion Tiles Solar Porcelain Star Blue garden tiles

    Image credit: Hyperion Tiles

    Patterned tiles can form some of the most exquisite flooring designs for exterior commercial projects. After all, this look has been inspired by luxury outdoor living. Patterned garden tiles also tend to be available in more colourful finishes, which will look good for years to come.

    Whether you’re looking for a more contemporary or rustic look, patterned tiles can also define a particular area, when it comes to garden landscaping. You can create instant patio appeal with an innovative patterned tile, for example. Or why not distinguish your walking areas with a particular tile style?

    If you’re looking for a more toned-down aesthetic poolside, a plain stone-effect paving tile could be ideal. These garden tiles still feature all the benefits you can expect from porcelain with a more natural effect. You can use them to create a classic or contemporary touch to your outdoor space. Think rooftop bars to terraces, with all the practicalities and aesthetics you can expect from a porcelain stone-effect tile.

    Indoor/outdoor garden tiles

    Hyperion Tiles Provence Porcelain Textured Cenere

    Image credit: Hyperion Tiles

    Another key trend in hotel design is to expand your indoor space outside with the same tiles. This will instantly create a more cohesive finish and look suitably stylish, whether you run your porcelain garden tiles from the entrance to the lobby or from the restaurant to the pool. Simply choose from a variety of sizes and colours, to create a bespoke, luxurious space that will last a lifetime.

    Hyperion Tiles is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

    Main image credit: Hyperion Tiles

    Two sunbeds overlooking mountains

    Part 62: the value of local in hospitality & design

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn
    Part 62: the value of local in hospitality & design

    Even before the pandemic and Brexit, hotels were looking at new and innovative ways to source local food, hospitality amenities and design materials. In 2022, the demand for local has amplified, as Andrea Brown, Design Director, Mucca, explains…

    Two sunbeds overlooking mountains

    Luxury hospitality brands have weathered the storm since March 2020, and those fortunate enough to stay above water could use the past few years as a catalyst to rethink their approach. With new consumer patterns and desires emerging during the pandemic, the rules of hospitality have evolved to place more weight on authentic experiences that treat customers like individuals. Options like home-sharing platforms, vacation rentals and glamping all offer an experience that feels unique, private and more memorable than a kitted-out room and valet service.

    A small group of ‘superfans’ is more important to a brand’s success than a crowd of fickle followers, and one way to gain those fans is to become a local destination – an authority on one thing that can’t be found anywhere else. To connect with an elusive audience, luxury hospitality needs to look beyond the physical space to create experiences that feel personal and speak to their setting. This could involve collaborating with the cultural community – the artists, artisans and performers who make their city hum – or engaging a new niche audience with ultra-specific offerings.

    A boho interior design scheme, with orange armchair, textured rugs and plants

    Image credit: Unsplash

    Curate cool

    Not everyone has time to research and plan before a trip, so help guests out by making them feel like an insider in a world they’ve just discovered. With a captive audience, hotels have a unique opportunity to celebrate the rising stars of their city, while elevating the neighbourhood along with the guest experience.

    For example, Daxton Hotel in Michigan has an artsy, edgy vibe that involves its community at every turn. In-room libraries are curated by nearby Cranbrook Art Museum, Michigan-based fitness gurus lead a running club for guests, and the hotel’s restaurant Madame serves up beers exclusively from nearby brewery Griffin Claw. Meanwhile, Viceroy Hotel’s “A Canvas for Discovery” series offers site-specific works created by innovative local artists—from painters to musicians and photographers–that simultaneously support local artists and give the chain some indie credibility.

    Sign of Daxton Hotel

    Image credit: Daxton Hotel

    Make local memorable

    We’ve all stayed in a hotel room that we couldn’t describe after we left, and not because of all the champagne from the minibar. Building a hotel brand around its locality can differentiate it from “bland-lux” and create emotional connections that resonate beyond check-out. That’s the approach of The Chicago Athletic Club hotel, which leverages its former life as an elite men’s club while turning its history on its head with a tongue-in-cheek attitude. References to its sporting past are found everywhere from bathrobes to keycards, while the hotel maintains a modern relevance with local-friendly events like roller skating nights and high-fashion clothing swaps.

    Back of bath robe for Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

    Image credit: Chicago Athletic Association Hotel

    And when luxury means escaping too many air-breathing people to wander a remote island, the experience can still be one of local connection. The exclusive Thanda Island resort rejuvenates not only guests but its sea-dwelling community, offering a chance to participate in marine conservation efforts and support endangered whale sharks.

    Engage personal passions

    Establishing a tribe of true fans means speaking to them in their language. The rise of niche hotels shows that the experience is king (or queen), and travelers will go out of their way to pursue a passion. Those guests will become virtual brand ambassadors, doing the work for you by spreading the word to their like-minded friends.

    A great example of this is W Hotels, which are targeting musicians and music lovers by offering professional-level music studios for guests looking to eat, sleep and make sweet music. Other hotels might wince at the thought of rock bands rolling up, but W has embraced the idea of becoming a music industry haunt that caters to a dedicated fanbase.

    No one wants to make predictions these days, and staycations may be here to stay,  but luxury hospitality brands can retool their approach and adapt their identities to the new needs of travellers. Whether the guest experience is one of discovering a local gem or finding new like-minded mates, the focus should be on creating a lasting connection. Who knows, maybe sometime in the distant future, a hotel stay will make us feel like visitors to a galaxy far, far away.

    Main image credit: Unsplash

    A interior swing with rustic wall

    Part 61: 7 interior design rules to break

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

    Think of this element of the Guide to Hotel Design as the troublesome classmate – you know the one – who finds pleasure in going against the lecturer’s every word. In this smug and creative feature, Charlie Svensson explores the loopholes that allow designers and architects to break the rules…

    Interior design, just like any art, is part intuitive and part rational. This means that half of the work of an interior designer is studying the geometry of the space. The designer keeps some conventional rules that help achieve an aesthetic room in mind. So, measuring the space and choosing furniture that’s proportional to it is a first step, along with choosing a colour palette. But the interior expert also avoids certain textures, methods, and furniture based on those underlying rules.

    Nevertheless, some designs don’t look right even if they tick all the interior design laws. The eye and our taste aren’t always perfectly in line with geometry’s strict policies. Therefore, the other half of the designer’s work should be breaking some rules in favour of an ‘unexplainable’ visual pleasure. The transgression of these rules can offer character to a room and make it feel more ‘at home’.

    Here are seven interior design rules that you can strategically break to elevate your space.

    1) Symmetry

    One of the essentials of interior design is symmetry. While most of the time symmetry can make a space seem clearly structured and organised, it can also make it dull, flat, and generic. Experts will often suggest two identical bedside tables, two identical picture frames centered above the bed, and so on. But the last thing anyone wants is something that seems like a furniture showroom.

    Moreover, symmetry isn’t always a wise choice for rooms with asymmetry. Maybe the room isn’t a square, and it has a protruding wall or some other peculiar feature. In these cases, symmetry doesn’t suit the geometry well. So, when you choose your furniture or decor, think twice before choosing plain symmetry. Try to play with different elements and see how it looks. Remember that a healthy dose of asymmetry can break the monotony of the room, making it tridimensional and dynamic.

    2) Matching decor

    Along with symmetry, many designers keep it safe and pick matching decor: if the wall is beige, all the decor is beige. The result is a two-dimensional space that feels sterile and monotonous. Hence, you should try and mix patterns, textures, and colours, not just shades of the same grey.

    the water is part of the design at the Sumei Skyline Coast Boutique Hotel

    Image credit: GS Design

    For instance, you can choose an eclectic style that mixes modern furniture with bold and detailed antiques. Sure, it’s challenging to find an equilibrium between radically different styles. Nonetheless, the result can be stunningly chic.

    The key to success is choosing the decor pieces that have a different style but tie in with the colour palette you chose. Otherwise, you can select a similar style in a different texture. The elements should relate to each other somehow while bringing some visual interest to the table.

    The perfect example is mixing old with new: the sofa, the walls, and modern decor. Meanwhile, the artwork, the drawer, the lamp can interest and a sense of industrial vintage. Lastly, everything can be tied together by a selection of warm colours.

    3) Matching metals

    When it comes to bathrooms and kitchens, matching metals is common. But this obsession with making everything identical turns spaces into cold-feeling rooms. If your bathroom has a spa aesthetic, you might add golden accents to spice up the space with bamboo furniture and a wooden floor. Play with options and find what looks appropriate.

    art deco bathroom inspiration

    Image credit: Gessi

    4) Small furniture for small rooms

    A common misconception in interior design is that furniture needs to be perfectly proportional to the room. This way of thinking often leads to having a room that looks heavy, cluttered or both. The key is to remember the importance of the room’s ‘weight’, not the size. So, pick three main items that take up volume.

    One Hundred Shoreditch suite, with red chair and calming interior design

    Image credit: Lore Group/One Hundred Shoreditch

    The furniture should be moderate: a queen-size bed for a small room, a four-person sofa for a medium-size living room. Or you could make one of these main items more dominant. For instance, a small living room can become a sofa room with two big sofas that take up a lot of space. To balance it out, designers may want to try to reduce the number of other elements in the room.

    5) Bold colours only the accents

    One of the most famous interior design fact is ‘light colours widen the space’. So, many people are often scared of bold and/or non-conforming colour schemes, even in large rooms. Sure, painting the walls in navy blue might not be the best for a living room, but it can add layers (and personality) in the bathroom.

    A colourful residential project designed by Bill Bensley

    Image credit: Bill Bensley

    The winning card is picking your style. Maybe you’re trying to achieve formal, or industrial, or urban jungle. Establish the furniture and decor that works. Then, figure out if a wall could bring out those elements. For instance, if you’re going for Parisian chic decor, you might use a lot of white furniture. In this case, a dark grey wall can bring out the decor and tie everything beautifully without making the room feel small, heavy and cluttered.

    6) Avoid faux plants

    Green elements, such as plants and flowers can elevate any space. They can add a bit of colour and make the room lively. But real plants can become a burden when it comes to upkeep (especially in hotels) to take care of plants – and there are some great faux plants that are also sustainable.

    Planters and contemporary starcase in lobby of Pan Pacific

    Image credit: Pan Pacific London

    Sure, they’re not the real deal, but they can come in handy when you travel a lot, for example. Also, you can use them in combination with real ones. This way, you get the same effect without more work.

    They’re also great for outdoors because they can stay green all year round. Just make sure that you pick the ones that look real and preferably made from recycled materials.

    7) Walls should never match the floor or ceiling

    Previously, we mentioned that symmetry and matching everything isn’t always the best choice. This time, matching the floor or ceiling to the walls can give off a luxurious look to any room. Again, this needs to be planned carefully beforehand, but your room will seem tailored if you decide to go with it.

    A contemporary building made from Boost Stone from Atlas Concorde

    Image credit: Atlas Concorde S.p.A

    Generally, eclectic rooms with many decor and textures benefit from matching walls and ceilings because they add a sense of continuity within the room. Nonetheless, keep your style in mind before making a decision.

    > Since you’re here, why not read about creating a cohesive design language between bedroom and bathroom?

    Main image Unsplash

    Part 60: Maximising the value of tiles for hotel lighting

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn

    Leading tile supplier CTD Architectural Tiles’ sales director – architectural, Andrew Sadler, discusses the three key considerations for choosing the right tile to complement hotel lighting…

    The use of tiles in interior design for hotels has long been a popular choice for floors and walls alike. As well as providing a relatively easy-to-clean surface, design possibilities are almost endless thanks to the huge variety of tiles now available – with a variety of choice for any style, requirement and budget.

    But one thing that can be easily overlooked when it comes to choosing the right tile for a hotel interior project is the impact of lighting beyond its potential to alter the perceived colour of tiles. Lighting can vary not only from hotel to hotel but also from room to room within a hotel, so it’s important to approach each project from a bespoke perspective, and to utilise your tile supplier’s knowledge of each product range.

    As a starting point, we recommend considering shapes and textures, materials and even inclusivity alongside colour when it comes to choosing tiles that will perfectly complement the existing lighting.

    Considering shape and texture

    Not only will different lighting conditions affect the perceived colour of tiling, but it can also impact the perceived texture. This particularly applies to timber-effect and stone-effect tiles, where softer lighting is more likely to make the tiles appear flat while harsher lighting can highlight the texture of these tiles – so it’s important to choose the right tile texture for different areas of the hotel, depending on the lighting.

    While the appearance of a tile’s texture can be impacted by lighting, tile texture and shapes can also be used with lighting to create an attractive design through the use of shadows.

    Some tile designs work perfectly with lights to create a striking effect which is unique to the combination of the two. Collections such as the Three-D range we supply at CTD Architectural Tiles have been designed with various decorative shapes, with each creating shadow effects for a striking finish. Inspired by three-dimensional art and geometry, this type of tile interacts with lighting to create shadows, altering perspective and creating unique wall patterns.

    The Three-D tile range has been designed to create shadow effects for a striking finish

    Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

    Considering materials

    A common consideration when it comes to choosing tiles is gloss versus matt – with each offering its own unique benefits to a project. Matt tiles not only have a reputation for being non-slip and requiring minimal cleaning, but they are also a popular choice for creating a rustic effect.

    But while matt tiles are ideally suited to some projects, the right gloss tiles will interact well with lighting to alter the perception of the space. Light reflecting on the surface of gloss tiles can make the space appear wider, and therefore make the room feel larger than it is, making it the ideal choice for smaller areas of the hotel such as bathrooms. The interaction between gloss tiles and light can also make a room appear brighter – another benefit for areas of the hotel which receive little or no natural light.

    Considering inclusivity

    Not only is careful consideration of materials useful in creating a stunning design, but it’s also vital for creating inclusive spaces within hotels, particularly hotel bathrooms which, under the Equality Act 2010, must be accessible to those with complex needs.

    One of the key ways to do this is to consider the Light Reflectance Values (LRVs) of the tiles in the design of a project – ultimately this is the amount of light reflected from objects, in this case tiles. LRVs measure the visual contrast between different elements of the space such as between the floors and walls, and it’s therefore vital to consider the LRVs of tiles when designing a hotel’s interior.

    CTD Architectural Tiles is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Black Friday package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

    Main image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

    Exterior lighting in urban jungle

    Part 59: 5 creative ways to incorporate solar lighting

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn

    With the race to Net Zero well and truly underway – and with the industry continuing to innovate new ways to design consciously – interior designers, architects and hoteliers are finding new ways to save energy. Here, Zach Edwards explores creative ways we can introduce solar lighting in landscape design… 

    Effective outdoor lighting is essential for hotels, especially those that offer space for outdoor activities and outside F&B.

    The number-one reason for installing outdoor lighting is safety and security. No operator wants a guest or staff member to trip and take a fall in the shadows. Likewise, no one wants someone to fall victim to crime in a dark corner.

    But outdoor lighting comes at a cost. Lighting a large establishment takes a lot of electricity – and money. This is where solar lights come into play. Here are five inexpensive ways to incorporate solar lighting into your exterior design.

    1) Along pathways

    Lighting in Kings Cross, London

    Image credit: Tom Parkes/Unsplash

    Dark walkways are a lawsuit waiting to happen. Installing electric lights can involve stringing wires or trenching. Solar lights are more versatile when it comes to placement. They’ll work anywhere they can get a minimal amount of light.

    Stick lights will work, but taller post lamps spread more light along the walkway. They’ll also be able to absorb more of the sun’s rays during the daylight hours. Let’s face it: Evening strolls become much more romantic with the gentle ambiance of soft lights. Moonlight adds a little, too, of course.

    2) In gardens 

    A contemporary glass building with garden solar lighting

    Image credit: Zero Take/Unsplash

    You’ve worked hard to provide your guests with an elegant and beautiful landscape. Whether you’ve surrounded the grounds with topiaries, colourful blooms, or lots of greenery, the beauty of your landscape scheme can be lost at nightfall. But carefully placed solar lights can subtly highlight both hardscape and softscape elements naturally without harsh intrusion. Consider solar sculpture lights to add a soft glow to your plant life once the sun goes down.

    3) In doorways

    A creative lighting installation inside a doorway

    Image credit: Alberico Bartoccini/Unsplash

    Adequate lighting is crucial at entrances. This is where most people stop to find their room key or card that lets them into the building. The chief advantage of solar lights here is money savings. Mounted outdoors, they pull their juice from the sun, not a meter.

    4) In entertainment spaces

    Even if guests don’t use the pool at night, they like to gather outdoors around it on a cool summer night. Lights inside the pool aren’t enough to illuminate the entire area. Today’s solar lights come in a variety of fixtures ranging from post and table lamps to coachman and Japanese lanterns. They can work well on terraces, patios, and decks and can nestle into the corners and niches where electrical lights (and cords) are cumbersome.

    5) In parking areas

    Commercial solar post lights have been available for several years and are becoming widely used as streetlights. They can provide security and safety to guests as they come and go.

    Another benefit is guest appreciation. Studies show Americans are becoming more eco-friendly and energy conscious. The minute your guests drive up, they’ll see that your establishment is doing its part to be sustainable. A hotel that displays that spirit may encourage more return visits and referrals.

    Main image credit: Unsplash

    Part 58: Creating a cohesive design language between bedroom & bathroom

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn

    With wellness and wellbeing creeping up on the agenda in modern hotels, more emphasis is being put on bathroom design to ensure these areas, within the context of the overall hotel experience, become more than practical spaces. When designing the bathroom, designers should consider creating a cohesive design narrative that compliments other areas of the hotel, especially the bedroom. Nick Brown, Leader, Hospitality UK, LIXIL EMENA, who is responsible for overseeing hospitality projects for the GROHE brand in the UK, writes…

    In recent years, the bathroom has shifted from a purely functional space designed for hygiene and cleanliness to one that now also embodies wellness and relaxation. Much like the bedroom provides a sanctuary for sleep, rest and recuperation, the bathroom now also has a similar role to play in providing the space for us to take care of not only our personal needs on a physical level but on an emotional level too.

    Therefore, as the purpose of the bathroom has shifted towards more of a living space, there has been an increasing synergy between bedroom and bathroom design. The harsh boundaries that once separated individual spaces have now been broken down and we are seeing the merging of bedroom and bathroom coming into one shared space more and more.

    Other factors such as urbanisation have played into this shift also. The increasing demand for more housing and living spaces in busy urban areas has created the need for micro-living environments that use clever innovations and solutions to optimise on available space. This trend is not only being seen in the residential market but in hotels too, particularly those in busy city centres where space is also at a premium.

    Similarly, space is often at a premium for hotels in urban areas and particularly those in busy city centres. Designers and suppliers are recognising this need for a more cohesive language between bedroom and bathroom and not only adapting the layout of these spaces but also reconsidering product designs, shapes and colour finishes too. Meanwhile, designers also face the challenge of creating a layer of privacy and the option for the guest to shut off and create a divide if they wish to and typically look to more streamlined, discreet or integrated solutions to provide the best of both worlds.

    As designers begin to open up these spaces and physically bring the bathtub or basin into the bedroom, manufacturers are also re-imagining product forms and providing design options that align with the softer aesthetics of a bedroom.

    For example, ceramics in soft curves and organic forms are usually far more suited to a cohesive bedroom/bathroom space than harsh geometric shapes or patterns. The sight lines in a bedroom should be soft on the eye, favouring more minimalist design in order to instil a sense of quiet and calmness that can help guests unwind and drift off.

    GROHE bathroom lifestyle shot featuring Grandera shower, tap and bath filler

    Image credit: GROHE

    Bathroom design has shifted away from being merely functional, sterile and clinical to embrace colour and personalisation, allowing for a greater sense of character and an enhanced home-from-home appeal. With the need for design language between bedroom and bathroom to be more in sync than ever before, the psychology of colour will play an increasing important role in how designers bring hotel spaces to life. Rich metallic finishes bring warmth into a space and create cohesion across bedroom and bathroom touchpoints, from light switches and furniture to brassware and accessories. Alternatively, muted metal finishes like nickel can offer a more understated look that creates harmony within the two zones whilst still being sophisticated and minimalist.

    Designers can also play with contrasting or complementing textures to create both similarity and difference within the space simultaneously.

    > Since you’re here, why not read our roundtable on stylish sustainability in wellness?

    GROHE is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

    Main image credit: GROHE

    Guestroom inside Burgh Island Hotel

    Part 57: Refurbishing hotels with authenticity

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn

    In the next article within the editorial series, Editor Hamish Kilburn and Giles Fuchs, Owner of Burgh Island Hotel, explain how designers and hoteliers can revamp their look and feel while also being sensitive to their building’s history and heritage…

    For many hotels, their individuality and charm is rooted in deep historical connections. In the wake of the pandemic, the vintage ambience and sense of escapism this creates has perhaps never been more important for guests’ experience.

    As a result, there is a risk that, when these classic and unique hotels need to undergo refurbishment, it creates a clash between the desire to preserve history and need to cater for 21st century guests. However, the two are not mutually exclusive. The recent revamp of bedrooms in Devon’s iconic Burgh Island Hotel, following the renovation of the hotel’s public areas, perfectly demonstrates how refurbishments don’t have to mean compromising their unique character or impressive history. In fact, the co-existence of old and new might just be the perfect combination for today’s guests.

    Burgh Island Hotel

    Image credit: Burgh Island Hotel

    Consult the experts

    Maintaining a rich history throughout a revamp can be challenging- there is a fine line between something appearing simply ‘old’ instead of ‘historic’. To tread this line carefully and ensure that history is not lost, consulting and engaging with experts is essential.

    For example, at the Burgh Hotel, experts including Art Historians, Art Deco experts and experienced interior designed have been crucial to ensuring the authenticity of the hotel is preserved during renovation works – whether that’s restoring the iconic domed Crittal skylight in the Palm Court Bar or refreshing the design of the bedrooms. For instance, bold geometrics influenced by Cubism adorn some of the bedrooms, whilst the vibrant colours and lavish materials transport the guests right back to the roaring 20s.

    Palm Court at Burgh Island

    Image caption/credit: Palm Court at Burgh Island Hotel

    Beyond the aesthetic, the names of rooms also pay homage to the hotel’s history, putting its famous past front and centre. Whether it’s Agatha’s Beach House, where Agatha Christie wrote the infamous ‘And Then There Were None’, or The Jessie Matthews Room, named after the designer of the hotel’s corridors in the early 20th century, the hotel’s Art Deco style is unmistakeable.

    Understanding your audience

    While drawing on expertise is crucial to maintaining authenticity, equally key to a successful refurbishment is understanding your target audience.

    For example, keeping the guests’ values in mind throughout any renovation can be key to future-proofing your offering, with latest research by booking.com revealing that more than 50 per cent of global travellers develop feelings of annoyance if their accommodation is not engaging in sustainable practices, something they prioritise in their stay.

    Moreover, a staggering 80 per cent believe sustainable travel is vital. So, for historic buildings, refurbishment offers a clear opportunity to adopt more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices, whilst simultaneously appealing to the growing environmental consciousness of modern guests. At Burgh Island, for instance, solar panels have been installed over the hotel’s disused tennis court, repurposing existing space to enhance its renewable energy commitments without compromising on the traditional Art Deco style of the architecture.

    Another hotel brand that is pathing the way for other brands to follow when it comes to meaningful sustainability is Inhabit Hotels, which is committed to focus on green initiatives and green policies by monitoring and reducing consumption levels, converting environmental efforts into cost-reduction and revenue generating opportunities whilst promoting the corporate and social responsibilities mandate contained below.

    A 1920s design bedroom

    Image credit: Burgh Island Hotel

    Balancing expectations

    Guests who seek to gain a sense of escapism or of ‘stepping back in time’ through their holiday accommodation should not have to compromise by giving up technology and detaching from society. The two can, and should, easily co-exist to create the perfect balance between authenticity and modern luxury. In fact, modern amenities such as contactless check-ins and motion-censored lighting can contribute to a far smoother guest journey and movement through the hotel, without detracting from a historical setting.

    While lockdown restrictions have eased, hybrid working culture remains the ‘new normal’. According to FlexJobs’ latest remote working statistics, 97 per cent of workers still desire some form of remote working moving forward. This cultural shift has paved the way for a new form of vacation – the ‘workation’. In September this year holiday giant TUI even launched a range of specialised ‘workation’ packages, kitted out with reliable wi-fi, ample desk space and natural lighting.

    Drawing on the history of its location should not preclude hotels from taking part in this trend. Indeed, on Burgh Island, Agatha’s Beach House is now a sophisticated, modern, and connected beach retreat, which would make the perfect location for a working holiday. First built in the 1930s as a writer’s retreat for Agatha Christie herself, the room still maintains a certain historic charm and connection to its history, despite offering the creature comforts of modern luxury.

    Elsewhere, Grantley Hall has been in the headlines recently following its personality-packed revamp. Inside the building that dates back to 1680 is a modern hotel. The owners were determined the property would retain the sumptuous extravagance of its past during its conversion to a five-star luxury destination. One of its successful approaches to this brief was to inject character into the carpet design. Damasks were fused with herringbones with subtle, luxurious grounds and bold accent pops. Grand florals were used to bring the flora from the surrounding gardens into the property.

    Outside image of Grantley Hall

    Image credit: Grantley Hall

    Authenticity meets luxury

    So, classic, and traditional hotels need not shy away from refurbishment due to fears to losing their unique authenticity. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Through consultation with the right expert and understanding the expectations of your guests, refurbishment is a great opportunity to align with 21st Century standards of modernity and luxury, without compromising on that original charm.

    > Since you’re here, why not read our guide on how hotels can meaningfully design for social distancing?

    All references are available upon request.

    Main image credit: Burgh Island Hotel

    Part 56: Enhancing exterior spaces with outdoor tiles

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn

    As the desire for alfresco dining and booking hotel city breaks increases, many hospitality venues are looking at new ways to enhance their exterior. We speak to CTD Architectural Tiles to learn more about the way outdoor tiles can uplift public spaces…

    As the temperature starts to increase, many more people will be spending time outdoors, which could include alfresco dining, rooftop drinks or lying by the pool in the sunshine. With this increased demand to get outdoors, business owners will need to re-think the way they approach their exterior spaces in order to entice guests and provide an aesthetic yet accommodating experience.

    From large slabs to textured tiles, CTD Architectural Tiles has a stunning array of outdoor tile solutions to allow business owners, designers, architects and specifiers to create exterior spaces with instant wow-factor whilst also conforming to the highest technical standards for optimum performance and durability.

    Achieve stylish cohesion with Lavaredo

    Lavaredo will bring nature, harmony and a calming ambience to commercial applications. This premium tile takes inspiration from the elegant Luserna stone and will add an elegant finishing touch to any space.

    Available in a contemporary colour palette of White, Beige, Grey and Anthracite and the option of three surface finishes – the neutral hues of Lavaredo will complement a wide range of styles and décors.

    From clean, minimalist hotel environments to bustling outdoor patio areas serving drinks; the new tile collection is extremely versatile. For added character, designers can specify Lavaredo in Matt (Natural), this unique slab benefits from crests and troughs, which will add texture and interest to the surface covering whilst contributing to the overall aesthetic appeal.

    Furthermore, a seamless flow can be easily achieved as you transition from inside to out. One added benefit to this new exterior tile range is the unusual 10mm and 20mm sizing, this allows for a cohesive yet stylish floor covering. Perfect for hotels or alfresco restaurants, by opting for the same tile both inside and out, the risk of hazards due to uneven surface is reduced.

    Raw, industrial-inspired exteriors with Opera

    Opera merges cement with concrete textures to create an avant-garde inspired collection that exudes effortless modern-industrial style.

    Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

    Available for specification in large format, this popular tile collection is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Similarly to Lavaredo, this tile allows for a smooth transition between spaces, which works especially well in hotel environments where the facilities are often spread across a large surface area.

    Architects can select from four muted colourways; Ivory, Light, Iron and Silver – these minimalist, raw shades will add an element of industrial-inspired luxury. With its raw yet alluring appearance, this sophisticated slab allows for experimentation within tile design, to create truly unique exterior spaces that guests want to spend time in.

    A comprehensive solution for both leisure and hospitality venues, the Opera collection includes specialist pieces for stairs or pools; this is ideal for spaces that require a consistent yet large-scale floor covering that delivers both visually and functionally.

    Now is the perfect time to consider re-designing exterior spaces and with so many versatile, stylish tile options available, CTD Architectural Tiles has everything you need to update your commercial tiles.

    CTD Architectural Tiles is one of our recommended suppliers and regularly feature in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

    Main image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles