International hotel design was celebrated in London on the 22nd November, when nine of Europe’s notable hotels claimed top honours at the prestigious European Hotel Design Awards.This international celebration acknowledges the passion and vision of the architects, designers and developers of Europe’s most recently completed and outstanding hotel projects.
BBC World News’ presenter, Mishal Husain hosted the ceremony which took place at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge London. Winning hotels included The Corinthia Hotel, The Mirror Hotel and Hotel Valentinerhof, with Superbude St Pauli in Hamburg stealing the show with three acclaimed awards.
The high-level judging panel included Chair of the judges Simon Ford of InterContinental Hotels Group, Jeremy Blake of Purcell Miller Tritton, Christoph Hoffman of 25Hours Hotel Group and Celia Geyer of Hilton Worldwide.
Categories included Newbuild; Bedrooms & Bathrooms; Café, Bar, Nightclub & Lounge; Conversion of an Existing Building to Hotel Use and Spa, Health & Leisure Facilities. The shortlisted entries hailed from all over Europe including Italy, Spain, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and Croatia.
Conversion And/Or Extension Of An Existing Hotel Building: Sponsored by Ardmore Construction
Winner: Hotel Valentinerhof, St Valentin, Italy – entered by noa
Valentinerhof is a substantial extension to an existing traditional hotel in the South Tyrol alpine region of Italy. This building combines a respect for place and local materials with a true desire to bring a sense of joy and celebration of the rural setting whilst delivering everything that is expected of a contemporary hotel experience. The space planning, use of glass and authentic materials that echo the surrounding farm buildings make this a special place to stay and relax. The simple but beautifully executed design particularly impressed the judges.
Conversion Of An Existing Non-Hotel Building To Hotel Use: Sponsored by McAleer & Rushe
Winner: The Mirror Hotel, Barcelona, Spain – entered by GCA Architects
Whilst the overall look and feel of this conversion of an old office block in Barcelona is very accomplished it was the spatial planning of such a narrow space that stood out for the judges. The clever room plans that gave all the front rooms a street view, the dramatic use of the central lift shaft to provide an intriguing vertical link through the whole building, the thoughtful approach to lighting, decoration and artwork and the witty and literal references to mirrors and reflections made this a clear winner in this category.
Winner: Hotel Lone, Rovinj, Croatia – entered by Maistra
Hotel Lone is a stunning piece of architecture on the Istrian coastline in Croatia that not only makes the most of its location but enhances it also. The judges felt this was a bold statement that worked well with the landscape, created many interesting and thoughtful spaces and played with the numerous interactions of plane, light and volume notably in the public areas. For a relatively young team of designers and architects inexperienced in hospitality design this was a stand-out winner for the judging panel.
Lobby & Public Areas: Sponsored by Mivan
Winner: Superbude St Pauli, Hamburg, Germany – entered by Dreimeta
Superbude 2 develops its hostel theme in the public areas with the provocative use of commonplace materials to provide a multi-functional space that caters for eating, meeting, socialising and celebrating. The design is well thought through and has strong appeal to its target market who are the future generation of travellers. More seasoned hotel guests can also find something different and more relaxed, in a place that challenges the preconceptions of what a hotel space can be.
Cafe, Bar Or All Day Dining:
Winner: Beau-Rivage Palace, BaR, Lausanne, Switzerland – entered by Wilsdon Design Associates
An elegant and sensitive design that instantly blends in to its grand setting of the original hotel lobby. This significant remodelling of a well known and loved hotel has not only shown respect for the institution that is the Beau Rivage but has enhanced its reputation with exceptional attention to detail reflecting the atmosphere and history of the building and location. The integration of antique tapestries with modern design and furnishings combine effectively to create a memorable space.
Winner: Sur Mesure Par Thierry Marx , Mandarin Oriental, Paris, France – entered by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
A truly beautiful space that challenges the food itself for the attention of the guest. The décor evokes the haute couture district of Paris with the same level detail and use of fabrics applied in the very best fashion houses. The whole experience has been thought through – the overall space, the finishes, the place settings and furnishings. The restaurant exudes a sense of calm exclusivity whilst being innovative and elegant.
Bedrooms & Bathrooms: Sponsored by Twyford Bathrooms
Winner: Superbude St Pauli, Hamburg, Germany – entered by Dreimeta
Superbude 2 bedrooms impressed the judges with its innovative attention to detail both in the concept and in the execution. The rooms have a real sense of fun and excitement whilst retaining all the basic features expected of a hotel experience. Embracing a hostel style the rooms challenge our preconceptions of what a guestroom should be and bring a smile to the face with an eclectic mix or reused materials and objects.
Suite: Sponsored by Laufen
Winner: The Whitehall Penthouse Suite, Corinthia Hotel, London, England – entered by GA Design International
Amongst a number of shortlisted suites from this hotel completed last year, the Whitehall suite emerged the winner in a closely fought category. The judges felt this one exemplified the best use of quality finishes with a design that reflected an old English charm with a contemporary interpretation. It has the feel of an exclusive private space in Central London with a dynamic double height space, delicate balcony detail and breathtaking terrace.
Spa, Health & Leisure Facilities:
Winner: The Spa, Mandarin Oriental, Paris, France – entered by SM Design and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
An understated design of exceptional quality. This spa uses very simple materials and combines them with a number of unique features such as the poolside butterfly animation to great effect. The treatment rooms are spacious and have all the latest technology and equipment. The guest journey from arrival through to treatment and relaxation afterwards has been fully considered and planned for.
Sustainable Design Award:
Winner: Starhotels E.c.h.o, Milan, Italy – entered by Andrea Auletta Interior Design
Whilst all this year’s entries were technically competent, the Starhotel E.C.ho had the judges vote for being the most holistic solution, not only delivering a sustainable performance but also making this a sustainable guest experience. The energy saving figures were impressive, as were the ways the guest experience was influenced by a desire to reuse materials, source locally and bring nature into the public areas. Sustainability is clearly a part of the whole guest experience and not just kept to the back of house.
The European Hotel Design Of The Year Award: Best Of The Best: Sponsored by Grohe
Winner: Superbude St Pauli, Hamburg, Germany
The Superbude 2 hotel has built on the previous success of hotels like CitizenM and developed its own personality and design language. Delivered as a complete package, Superbude 2 exudes clever use of materials – old and new, and spaces that appeal to the next generation of travellers, all delivered on a relatively tight budget. The standard of design, use and re-use of everyday materials and creativity that is to be found throughout the hotel made this the winner for 2012. During the animated discussion when voting for this award the general feeling was that this hotel will prove to be influential for hotel design in this category in the future
The Outstanding Contribution Award: Sponsored by Arup
Winner: Claus Sendlinger, Founder & CEO, design Hotels
In the two decades since he founded his company, Sendlinger has championed the cause for original and contemporary design in hotels and worked tirelessly for the industry as an incubator for new ideas. Following a degree in public relations, Sendlinger embarked on a career in event planning and PR for hotels and clubs. This opened doors to the lifestyle market and at the age of 23 he founded Co0ordinates GmbH, an incentives and events agency. In 1991 Sendlinger laid the foundation for Design Hotels with Travel Trends, a label providing high-end lifestyle vacations. In 1993, he co-founded Design Hotels Inc. in Sausilito, California, which began as a marketing agency for hotels and later incorporated a reservations system. The company continued to expand, tapping into new markets across the globe as lifestyle tourism picked up momentum. The creative network and services generated through Design Hotels then formed the basis for the foundation of Lebensart Global Networks AG, which was renamed Design Hotels Ag in 20004. Sendlinger recently relocated to Mexico to work on his latest project, Papaya Playa, a pop-up resort located on Tulum’s Caribbean resort.