Kimpton Fitzroy reception lounge media

    Part 85: reusable materials in hotel lighting

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

    As part of Hotel Designs’ deep dive into all things sustainability we talked to Michael Mulhall from Dernier & Hamlyn who shared his experience of how its clients are working with them to develop innovative hotel lighting by reusing bespoke light fittings…

    It wasn’t long ago that the vast majority of interior designers operating in the luxury hospitality or residential space would have shunned the idea of reusing high-end bespoke chandeliers and pendants. But this is no longer the case and is driven by a range of imperatives and requirements.

    Undoubtedly, the importance of embracing sustainability and environmental stewardship in the business world is gaining increasing traction. Nowhere is this trend more apparent than in the fields of design and hospitality. As a result, designers are becoming more conscious of the sources of the products they acquire for their projects and are prioritising transparency and accountability when communicating with their clients. Furthermore, they are proactively seeking ways to diminish the carbon footprint generated by their projects from inception to completion. These positive actions collectively signify a significant stride in the right direction.

    However as Mark Tremlett of Naturalmat said in a recent article on Hotel Designs, the industry must be wary of greenwashing and instead must look at ways that can contribute to achieving the circular economy we aspire to, where wastage is kept to an absolute minimum.

    With bespoke lighting this can be a relatively easy endeavour. Whether it’s custom designed chandeliers, pendants, wall lights or table lamps they are invariably made from long lasting materials and manufactured in styles designed to stand the test of time. Usually, it is more than just about practical illumination and is at least decorative and quite often a piece of art. And very often it makes reference to a site’s history, geography, or environs. So, when it comes to updating its design story the lighting will frequently remain relevant.

    However, this doesn’t imply that designers won’t seek to imprint their own influence upon the unique lighting that already exists. They might introduce novel elements, install it in unconventional manners, simplify its design, or enhance it based on the overarching narrative.

    Reusing or repurposing bespoke lighting can also contribute significantly to carbon neutrality by removing the need to source new materials and cutting the miles that products need to travel to get them to site because they are already there.

    kimpton fitzroy lift lobby - close up of chandelier

    Image credit: IHG

    A great example of this approach is our work for Tara Bernerd & Partners at the Kimpton Fitzroy hotel in Bloomsbury. We were asked to update light fittings and give them a contemporary feel. We revisited chandeliers that our team had made almost forty years before and gave them a new identity. 12 large drape and bag crystal chandeliers that we had installed throughout the hotel’s public areas in the 1980s were updated both aesthetically and technically. To undertake this specialist work, the chandeliers were removed from the hotel and taken to our factory where the crystal was meticulously cleaned, the chandeliers’ metalwork restored and the wiring updated to meet regulatory requirements. The chandeliers were then rehung in clusters to give a more current and playful twist.

    In the case of the Standard Hotel London, Shawn Hausman Design (SHD) wanted to express individuality and sourced vintage fittings from around the world across a range of design eras using a variety of materials to accentuate the distinctiveness of the hotel’s public areas and bedrooms. Our team rewired and restored hundreds of floor and table lamps and pendant fittings, mostly from the 1970s, to ensure they met legal regulations and requirements.

    Although we have consistently provided a restoration service, the perception of designers towards it is beginning to shift. Historically, it was typically conservation architects or designers engaged in heritage projects who approached us for lighting restoration endeavours. However, there is a noticeable shift, as more individuals now recognise the value of engaging with us to repurpose a wide array of fixtures. This shift reflects a growing awareness that incorporating such discussions can significantly contribute to the advancement of a circular and ecologically sound economy.

    Dernier & Hamlyn 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: IHG

    Duravit main image - rimless toilet graphic and flowing water

    Part 82: tips on saving water in the bathroom

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

    With more than 200 years’ experience in bathroom design and technology, Duravit is more than qualified to give us some industry tips around saving water in the bathroom…

    Climate change means we need to alter our relationship with water: The UN estimates that the global demand for water will increase by 55 percent by 2050, while the reserves of available water will decline. Greater awareness of this vital resource for everyday body care, showering, bathing, and flushing the toilet can significantly reduce both consumption and costs.

    Everyday water-saving tips

    Do not leave the water running when washing your hands, cleaning your teeth or shaving is a particularly effective way of reducing daily water usage. Taking shorter showers reduces consumption by approx. 12 litres per minute with conventional attachments. Repairing dripping or leaking faucets and attachments promptly or even to replace them with new, water-saving variants.

    Faucets and showerheads to save water and energy

    Innovative and water-saving solutions are the logical choice – whether you’re planning a new bathroom or refurbishing an old one. They
    contribute to sustainable water use in the bathroom without reducing comfort. Washbasin faucets with AirPlus technology enrich the water with air for a full, gentle stream while reducing both water and energy costs.

    The MinusFlow technology decreases the water consumption of washbasin faucets and hand showers by up to 40 per cent, and up to 60 per cent for showerheads.

    Using less water in general leads to lower energy consumption as large amounts of water are often heated before use. The single-lever mixers in the energy-saving FreshStart variant mean that coldwater flows when the lever is in the middle position, hot water is only introduced when the user deliberately moves the handle to the left. The energy-intensive production of hot water is then limited to situations where it is needed.

    Image caption: With the single-lever mixers in the energy-savingFreshStart variant, only cold-water flows in the middle position. The water is only heated when the lever is actively turned to the left. | Image credit: Duravit AG

    Image caption: With the single-lever mixers in the energy-saving FreshStart variant, only cold-water flows in the middle position. The water is only heated when the lever is actively turned to the left. | Image credit: Duravit AG

    Water-saving toilet technologies

    Rimless toilets with a reduced flush volume of 4.5 litres are easy to clean using small amounts of water. This is in part due to the innovative, easy-clean surfaces such as the WonderGliss coating or the HygieneGlaze antibacterial ceramic glaze amplify this effect. The smaller button on the actuator plates with two-volume flushing technology offers a flushing option of just three litres. The larger water quantity should only be chosen when it is really needed.

    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 AG

    Miss match of furniture in lounge

    Part 79: redefining senior living with hospitality principles

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

    If design’s role in hospitality is to make spaces more user-friendly, experiential and answer to modern traveller demands, then breaking down the stigma around senior living using savvy design solutions is paramount. The Designers Group shares its approach to blurring the boundaries in this sector…

    At The Designers Group (TDG), our commitment to senior living design goes beyond aesthetics. Our vision is to seamlessly integrate the comforts and luxury of high-end hospitality with research-based concepts optimised for wellness.

    Our team understands the significance of creating welcoming environments and exceptional interior experiences. At TDG, we take a meticulous approach, conducting in-depth research to truly understand the needs and preferences of senior residents. Our design decisions are grounded in demographics, psycho-social factors, and trends in the senior living industry, ensuring we cater not just for today, but for the future evolution of the ageing population.

    Our research-driven approach shapes every aspect of our designs. Gone are the days of cold and institutional healthcare facilities. Our goal is to curate boutique-style communities where seniors can continue engaging with others, fostering connections with family, and finding purpose in their daily lives.

    In transforming dated and sterile spaces, we create the ambiance of a luxury resort. Calming neutral tones complement adjustable mood lighting, allowing us to create spaces that stimulate or relax based on the time of day. We bring the outside in through botanical prints, greenery, and garden views visible from room windows. Natural textures and materials provide organic warmth, but we customise our material palette based on each community’s unique vision. Our goal is harmonising with the local landscape while creating an oasis of comfort and renewal.

    A clean and minimalist living area

    Image credit: Unsplash

    In a recent skilled nursing facility redesign, we harnessed the power of hospitality to improve quality of life and change perceptions of the community. Outdated areas were reimagined with contemporary lounge areas for socialising, spa-like rooms, and neutral and muted tones for a sense of calm. Our lighting choices aligned with circadian rhythms, promoting better sleep and cognition. The transformation resulted in improved patient satisfaction, a 15 per cent increase in occupancy, and a significant revenue boost.

    However, beautiful design alone is not enough; it must also contribute to wellbeing. At TDG, we incorporate research-backed elements that support holistic health:

    •  Active noise-cancellation technology filters disruptive sounds, offering restful quiet without compromising community engagement.
    •  Expansive windows welcome abundant natural light and outdoor views, reducing anxiety and promoting connection with nature.
    •  Color palettes take into account how ageing eyes perceive contrast differently, using well-defined edges and warm hues to minimise visual confusion.
    • Community gardens provide opportunities for horticultural therapy and mindful movement to reduce stress and improve fine motor skills.
    A large bedroom with dome-like bed frame

    Image credit: Unsplash

    Additionally, we elevate our communities with hospitality-inspired amenities:

    •  Private dining rooms allow residents to host intimate gatherings for family and friends, complete with catering services. These spaces cultivate meaningful connections over shared meals.
    •  Cafes serve barista coffee and fresh pastries throughout the day for quick bites and socialisation in lounge areas.
    •  Fitness centres offer varied equipment adapted for seniors’ abilities to enable continued strength training and cardio.

    During the pandemic, social connection was compromised, and we responded with thoughtful design solutions. We created ample lounges and communal patios to promote safe socialisation through appropriate distancing, incorporating materials with antimicrobial properties for added safety. Cleanliness remains paramount, with discreet air purification systems and easily sanitised surfaces.

    Through surveys and focus groups, our team continually refines our approach based on feedback and evolving needs. We recognise that what enhances memory care, for example, may differ from the requirements of independent or assisted living. Our spaces are thoughtfully tailored to nurture the wellbeing of every resident.

    At TDG, our goal is to incorporate the comforts and luxury of high-end hospitality with meaningful design elements that support the holistic wellness of ageing populations. The result is communities crafted with care, where seniors can continue thriving and embracing the joys of life in their later years. Through our research-driven and purposeful approach, we redefine senior living, pioneering a future where comfort, care, and connection are at the heart of every community we design.

    Main image credit: Upsplash

    A cove-like desk in guestroom

    Part 78: how the WFHotel trend has evolved since 2020 in furniture

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn
    Part 78: how the WFHotel trend has evolved since 2020 in furniture

    Following the pandemic in 2020, the demand for WFHotel spaces in hotel design has soared. But are co-working spaces, in hotels at least, here to stay? The team at Ligne Roset Contract explore…

    A cove-like desk in guestroom

    As hotels continue to offer more than just a place to sleep, the move to providing a more work focussed environment demonstrates the resilience and innovative nature of the hospitality sector.

    The ability to work on the move or as an overnight guest is vital in the world of today and hotels are perfectly placed to cater for this ever-increasing demand for comfortable and engaging working environments.

    Marechiaro by Ligne Roset Contract - a contemporary shelving unit

    Image credit: Ligne Roset Contract

    Ligne Roset Contract have provided furniture for hotels across the world since 1950 and a key focus has often been the workspace within a hotel lobby or bedroom.

    Our range of desks, cabinetry, seating and lighting can suit a number of design styes and budgets, and our bespoke manufacturing widens our reach even further. Our factories are aligned for ‘sur-measure’ (custom-made) furniture with more than 160 years of manufacturing know-how behind us.

    Our bespoke manufactured Novotel bedroom designed by RF Studio. The top is made from natural oak and the base from cork, in-keeping with the sustainable credentials behind this bedroom concept.

    Novotel design scheme - modern suite

    Image credit: Novotel / Ligne Roset Contract

    Interior designers continue to look for ways to incorporate solo and group working spaces within the guestrooms, private and communal areas of their hotel designs.

    For an impromptu meeting we have our bespoke manufactured banquette seating and Soufllot chair, designed by Jean Philipe Nuel for the lobby of the beautiful Hotel Dieu in Lyon.

    Hotel Dieu furniture inside luxury hotel

    Image credit: Hotel Dieu / Ligne Roset Contract

    If you feel the need to block out the sights and sounds around you we have our Rewrite desk, a little jewel of modernity and softness designed by Italian and Danish design duo GamFratesi.

    For that quick email that needs sending, nothing suits better than our Nubo desk, also designed by GamFratesi and a winner of an Interior Innovation award, perfect for when space is tight.

    Few designers can match the impact on furniture design as Pierre Paulin. His Curule chair and Tanis desk offer the perfect place from which to sit and work in style and comfort. Seen here in New Hotel Le Quai in Marseille.

    A modern work desk with contemporary seat

    Image credit: YanAudic / Ligne Roset Contract

    Continually prevalent in the Ligne Roset collection is French designer Philippe Nigro. His Hemicycle chair and Marechiaro shelving system/room divider offer a tranquil space to sit and read, study and contemplate.

    The variety and depth of the Ligne Roset collection as well as the bespoke manufacturing capabilities mean any type of ‘Working From Hotel’ can be achieved and we welcome any conversation so please do get in contact about your hotel project.

    Linge Roset Contact 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: Ligne Roset Contract

    Spa Pool – Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square – Architect Joseph Caspari with Mio Shibuya

    Part 76: how to measure sustainability in surface design

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn
    Part 76: how to measure sustainability in surface design

    As Hotel Designs rolls into its largest feature around sustainability in the publication’s history, we asked Stone Federation to share its insight on sustainable surfaces. In part one of this three-part series, we learn how to measure conscious sourcing when it comes to surface design…

    Spa Pool – Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square – Architect Joseph Caspari with Mio Shibuya

    In this ‘material world‘, there is no avoiding it. Sustainability has never been as high on the agenda as it is now – and the delivery of sustainable interior projects is a must.

    The hotel sector, perhaps more than others, has an even greater drive to deliver as customers are looking to the items they consume and companies with whom they spend their money to be proving their own sustainability credentials. In an industry where everyone is looking for the factor of difference, their unique selling point, providing customers with truly sustainable spaces isn’t just good for the planet, but can also make a lot of business sense.

    Statuario Book-Matched Bathroom marble

    Image credit: Stone Federation

    It is no longer just enough to use carbon offsetting or sponsoring the planting of trees as a low-commitment route to demonstrating a sustainable approach to business. Companies must prove they understand the concepts of true sustainability and design their hotel in accordance with these.

    Before answering any question about sustainability, defining the term is important as there has been an unfortunate amount of greenwashing within the design sector.

    From Stone Federation’s viewpoint, when we talk about sustainability, we’re assessing the whole-life cycle of a project, which includes the raw material extraction, production, distribution, use and end of life. From our perspective, the fewer processes required to get from raw material to finished product the better for the environment and the more sustainable the material.

    Dramatic entrance into the lobby at Adare Manor

    Image caption: Dramatic entrance into the lobby at Adare Manor. | Image credit: Adare Manor

    For natural stone, the process is relatively simple: stone is quarried or mined from the ground, cut into slabs or tiles, transported to site and will often last for decades, and in many cases, centuries. Thanks to its durability, there is also the potential for the creative reuse of many stones delivering a truly circular project.

    What’s more, the quarries and mines themselves have a fantastic track record of reuse or repurposing. You only need to look at Honister Slate Mine in Cumbria which has been turned into a zip wire experience or the Tout Quarry on the island of Portland which has been restored as a sculpture park and nature reserve to see just how circular and sustainable the natural stone extraction process is.

    Albion Stone Quarry

    Image caption: Albion Stone Quarry. | Image credit: Stone Federation

    While some ‘stone alternative’ or ‘stone effect’ products require intense heat and pressure to bond the resins, pigments and other ingredients, natural stone comes out of the ground ready to be cut, finished and fixed.  While many of these alternative products are marketed as a ‘stone-effect’ option, they cannot emulate the natural beauty or sustainability credentials of natural stone. Natural stone is, by definition, a natural product, formed in the Earth over many millions of years, extracted, cut to size and transported to site without excessive human intervention and invention.

    So, in the first instance, measuring sustainability in surface design starts with assessing the number of processes that have gone into the creation of the materials being used.

    It’s not just the extraction process that makes natural stone such a sustainable choice for hotel designers, the durability of stone is also part of what gives it such impressive sustainability credentials.

    This dynamic of durability is another metric for assessing sustainability in surface design – how long will this material last?

    Close-up of stone on wall

    Image credit: Stone Federation

    So many of our nation’s historic hotels, churches and public buildings have natural stone floors that are hundreds of years old and still performing well. It is very rare to find the same with some of stone’s competitor materials. Much of this strength is thanks to the millions of years of compressive geological processes that go into the natural formation of stone. For a material that takes millions of years to form, providing a 100-year project lifespan is unsurprisingly commonplace for many stones.

    Another way to assess sustainability in surface design is to look at a material’s ability to be reused or recycled should there be renovations or change of use. Natural stone, thanks to its durability, can be reclaimed, reused or even repurposed as furniture or pieces of art.

    It’s not just these general principles of assessing extraction processes, material life span and reuse that help in measuring sustainability in surface design, there are also a number of detailed studies that have provided hotel designers with the facts to inform their material choices.

    A marble fireplace

    Image credit: Stone Federation

    When comparing natural stone with large-format ceramics, terrazzo, and other flooring products, stone’s global warming potential was found to be significantly lower. The GWP figures showed that, for example, large-format ceramic tiles have a 74 per cent higher Global Warming Potential than natural stone and terrazzo are 27 per cent higher.

    There are many other examples of studies that have demonstrated the sustainability credentials of natural stone. Moving slightly away from interiors, but still on the topic of sustainability there was also a project in London, 15 Clerkenwell Close, where the use of load-bearing natural stone instead of a concrete and steel structure reduced the whole-life carbon footprint of the building by 95 per cent and the cost by 75 per cent.

    Finally, the Green Guide to Specification, which is part of BREEAM, sets out an A+ to E ranking system for the environmental performance of materials. In a case study project by the BRE, almost half of the natural stone-related components achieved either A+ or A and the majority of the remainder scored a C or above.

    In summary, measuring sustainability in surface design boils down to first defining what makes a product sustainable and then comparing all materials against those same criteria. A low-impact material extraction or creation process, longevity of the material and ability to reuse, reclaim or recycle are all good first indicators, but when placed alongside the facts of comparative studies, it’s hard to ignore the fact that natural stone might just be the hotel designer’s ideal sustainable material.

    > Since you’re here, why not read about Stone Federation’s collaboration with Squire & Partners, Stone Tapestry?

    Main image caption: The pool in the spa at Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, designed by architect Joseph Caspari with Mio Shibuya. | Image credit: Four Seasons

    An accessible guestroom inside Hotel Brooklyn, with extendable hoist above bed

    Part 75: why stylish accessible accommodation in hotels pays

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

    Editor Hamish Kilburn identifies two innovative and human-centric hospitality initiatives when exploring the economical, social and design benefits from hotels investing in stylish accessible solutions for their guests…

    During my teens, in between ‘studying’ at university, I was given unprecedented access into the lives of the British Paralympic Sailing Team. Mainly during, but not always limited to, holidays from school and then university, I travelled down to the South Coast of England, to Portland, which became a second home.

    My role as tuning crew during training and shore crew during major regattas – a minor cog in a much larger machine of physios, coaches, nutritionists and psychologists – meant that I was living with, and more importantly travelling with, the performance team. And it was during this time when I first experienced accessible rooms through the eyes of a guest checking in. If you were lucky, these rooms would boast panoramic views that stretched across… the car park, or face a brick wall.

    Years later, in 2020, a few years into my editorship at Hotel Designs, little had changed. I would check in to some of the world’s most spectacular hotels and ask to see the accessible rooms. Each time, I would be met with expressions of confusion – followed by eyes glancing to see if all of my limbs were attached. Very rarely would these areas of the hotel share any cohesive design notes to the rest of the property.

    After few too many of these bleak experiences, I was asked to review Hotel Brooklyn, a hotel that prided itself on sheltering 18 fully accessible suites – my mind was blown not just for me, but also for potential readers who thought that the industry had given up on them.

    A street-like hotel lobby inside Hotel Brooklyn

    Image credit: Henry Woide

    Designed by Motionspot to help delicately balance style with functionality, the suites featured hidden ceiling track hoists, electric curtains and inviting, non-clinical-looking bathrooms complete with lever shower controls discreet matt black grab rails and bars. “In collaboration with Bespoke, we have been able to turn traditional hotel industry thinking on its head,” explained Ed Warner, CEO and Co-Founder of Motionspot. “Too often, accessible rooms feature second- rate design and are less desirable but, at Hotel Brooklyn we have proven that the beautifully designed accessible rooms can be the most popular in the hotel. Making accommodation more accessible is not just the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense.”

    A grey accessible bathroom - large shower unit with black shower and grab rails and bars

    Image credit: Henry Woide

    The group, led by pioneer Robin Sheppard, President of Bespoke Hotels, really understood the demands to ensure that the hotel would be for everyone. “Hotel Brooklyn has demonstrated how accessibility can be incorporated into a luxury hotel,” he said. “We acknowledge that we are on a journey to provide accessible experiences for all guests, and the feedback we receive from visitors is helping us to raise the bar even further at future Hotel Brooklyn sites. We hope the success of Hotel Brooklyn inspires others in the industry to look at how they can improve their accessible facilities to help make UK hospitality more accessible for all.”

    Three years since opening, the decision to stand out from the crowd can be measured in the perception guests have of the hotel as well as in revenue. In 2022, the hotel’s first full-trading year after the pandemic and Covid-19 restrictions lifted, its accessible suites brought the hotel an additional £132,000 over 12 months. This equates to £7,333 additional revenue per accessible room and just more than 100 extra bed nights every four weeks.

    A close-up of a white accessible bathroom showing accents of gold and black

    Image credit: Henry Woide

    The vision of embedded accessibility at Hotel Brooklyn extends throughout the whole hotel. The knock-on impact has made the hotel a sought-after event venue for groups that include guests with access needs. From charity events and award ceremonies to accessible weddings, Hotel Brooklyn attracts everything from large annual events to smaller, regular get-togethers, with many guests also booking overnight stays. Combined, such events contributed £85,000 additional income in 2022, bringing the total contribution from accessible facilities to £217,000 across the year.

    Central to the access vision at Hotel Brooklyn were the focus groups Motionspot conducted with people of different lived experiences of disability. While inclusive design innovation and thinking has moved on significantly since the studio first designed Hotel Brooklyn Manchester, feedback and insights continue to be gathered to improve the hotel’s accessibility. These include the addition of profiling beds; use of the WelcoMe app that allows guests to communicate their access needs to the customer service team ahead of check-in; and detailed online Access Galleries which show everything from the height of the key-card entry point from the street to the fact that two members of staff use British Sign Language (BSL). On a wider scale the intention is to continue to improve the access across Bespoke Hotels’ other properties and inspire the UK hospitality industry at large.

    Aside from Hotel Brooklyn, which effortlessly filled a gap in the market for stylish accessible rooms and generally just ensure that every guest’s experience is one that starts and ends with open communication – proving to other hoteliers that the right decision is often the smart choice, manufacturers are also at the forefront of change. Bathroom brand KEUCO recently came forward with a new range of design-led grab rails, accessories and bars. The design of KEUCO AXESS, designed by Porsche Design Studio F. A focuses on the essentials, combining aesthetics and barrier-free functionality in a stylish and innovative way, without making the special functions visually obvious. It is this aspect that will pleasantly surprise design lovers who want to see accessibility integrated into the bathroom and products with a minimalist appearance with design that inspires.

    black and chrome contemporary shower fittings with grab rail and stool by KEUCO and Studio Porsche

    Image credit: KEUCO

    “Our aim was to develop accessible bathroom products from a completely new perspective. Timeless, very clear, aesthetic forms, permanently perceived as beautiful, even after many years. Independent of the spirit of time and trends and at the same time, beyond anything known so far. Out ambition was to create something special, right down to the smallest detail, and making it technically possible. A combination of German engineering and top-quality implementation in every respect.”

    If a bathroom brand can pair up with a leading automotive design studio to create a better environment for guests in need of extra facilities, and hotels such as Hotel Brooklyn can centre its entire hospitality model around its smart, accessible facilities, then there is no excuse for other hoteliers, brands and manufacturers to follow suit. After all hospitality, a human-centric industry, is for everyone, right?

    Main image credit: Henry Woide


    Commercial desk in gold

    Part 72: 4 artistic ways to use glass panels in hospitality design

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

    Breaking down the barriers between art and surface design, Sally Coulden, Founder of Red Dog Glass Design, provides shares interesting ways to utilise glass panels in hospitality spaces…

    Surface design and emotional responses to art continue to be a topic of conversation amongst designers, particularly in the hospitality sector. Where hotel interiors may have once focused on functionality and mass appeal, we now have the opportunity to create something more interesting, crafting intimate spaces that speak to our guests’ hearts, not just their heads.

    It’s no secret that as we emerge from the pandemic, consumers are also increasingly looking for experiences and environments that nurture and nourish the soul. Here are four ways that Red Dog Glass Design will bring colour and personality to your hotel space through their decorative glass panels and splashbacks, featuring my original abstract art.

    1) Reception desk glass panel

    First impressions count! Set the scene and add immediate impact to your lobby area with a large installation across your reception desk. Using a piece of bespoke glass in this area creates an immediate sense of being somewhere special, subconsciously demonstrating to your guests that they are also something special. Depending on how you want your guests to feel, you can create a calming effect with monochrome tones and pastels or create energy with bold colours and forms.

    Black and white glass panel on the wall of restaurant

    Image credit: Red Dog Glass Design

    2) Restaurant glass wall panel

    Decorative glass art for walls can be used to great effect in a dining area, whether it’s your coffee shop or your fine dining restaurant. The presence of art in a restaurant is known to enrich the sensory experience of diners by adding visual stimuli to the taste sensation. A glass wall panel featuring original abstract art is visually stunning, but with the advantage of being highly durable and incredibly easy to clean.

    Pantone colour of the year surface in bathroom

    Image credit: Red Dog Glass Design

    3) Bathroom splashbacks

    Bathroom splashbacks serve many purposes, both practical and visual. Installing even a small piece of bespoke glass behind a sink can elevate a simple bathroom space into something luxurious. Red Dog Glass Design offer ready-to-install glass in a range of standard sizes and are a quick and easy way of updating a bathroom. If you’re looking to create lots of impact, consider a shower or bath splashback installation. Fully waterproof and without grout to get mouldy, a bespoke glass wall panel will make your space stand out from the competition.

    Red Dog Glass coasters

    Image credit: Red Dog Glass Design

    4. Original abstract art coasters

    The easiest way to add something a bit different to your public spaces and bedrooms is with a Red Dog Glass Design original art glass coaster. Available in 19 designs, the coasters are heatproof and washable.

    Red Dog Glass Design 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: Red Dog Glass Design

    Six Senses Ibiza Zennio control on the wall

    Part 71: how technology can enhance hotel sustainability

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

    Since the invention of electricity to now, the answer in creating more efficient spaces lies in technology. To understand how designers, architects and hotels can optimise energy and make operations run smoother, Vidar Thomassen, Director, Zennio, discusses how technology is enhancing sustainable hotel initiatives… 

    The last couple of years has been one of the most difficult periods, if not the hardest, for the hospitality industry worldwide. Lockdowns, staffing issues, war on the European Continent and unprecedented energy costs have all put pressure on the industry.

    When looking at reducing operating costs in a hotel, optimisation comes as a very handy word; optimise labour, optimise training, optimise energy, optimise maintenance, but we many times fail to address the way to achieve this ‘optimisation’.

    As in life, information is the starting point to approach the problems we aim to solve, so gathering information about what is going on in our building becomes essential to enhance the way the building – our hotel – works. Once we have the information, we need to control those variables to be able to change them, and this is where technology can really make a difference.

    Six Senses Ibiza control panel on the wall

    Image credit: Zennio / Six Senses Ibiza

    Starting with the rooms, sharing information between the hotel PMS (such as if the room is booked for that day or if the guest has already checked-in) and the HVAC control system (room occupancy for example) help reduce energy waste to a minimum as the AC will only turn On when the room is occupied and the guest is checked-in, but not if the hotel staff gets in the room before the guest has arrived to the hotel. This can be applied to all room controls (lighting, TV, sockets…) but also to common areas, and bearing in mind energy accounts for 3 to 6% of an average hotel running costs, eliminating energy waste can really make a difference.

    Following on to the hotel staff, housekeeping is many times overlooked with teams left to wonder through the hotel looking for rooms to clean. Monitoring ‘Make Up Room’ and ‘Do Not Disturb’ signals (MUR/DND) in a centralised system help increase the overall efficiency as teams can be assigned to those parts of the hotel that require more immediate attention. Combining this information with room occupancy and access controls enhance guest privacy and provide deeper knowledge of how our hotels work, for example giving information on how much time it takes to clean each room.

    Another big cost centre control systems help reduce drastically is Maintenance, as these solutions allow the use of predictive and preventive policies. Sorting issues before they become fatal or even before they appear decreases the amount spent in replacing broken units (for example AC units) but also minimises the risk of refunds to guest because things are not working or because there has been an AC leakage nobody noticed before.

    A robust long-lasting control system combined with a Building Management System (BMS) that integrates with our hotel’s PMS is vital to get to know how our building operates to optimise all those little things that end up costing several thousand every year.

    These are the type of solutions Zennio develops and delivers in more than 100 countries, helping hotels all around the world become more efficient and sustainable and supporting all projects locally and remotely to make sure everything works every day.

    Main image credit: Zennio / Six Senses Ibiza

    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

    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

    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