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Hotel Designs

NEWS AND ANALYSIS FOR HOTELIERS, DESIGNERS AND INDUSTRY SUPPLIERS
Six Senses Ibiza

Six Senses Ibiza opening 2020

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Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has announced the latest addition to their portfolio, Six Senses Ibiza. Set to open in 2020, the resort will be tucked away on the peaceful northern tip of Ibiza in the crystalline Cala Xarraca Bay.

With its unobstructed westerly sunset views, dramatic rocky beach and picturesque seafront with yacht access, this full-service resort, spa and residential community dances to the beat of a new mantra: transformative wellness to nourish the body, mind and soul.

Chief Executive Officer Neil Jacobs of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas said: “We”re very excited to open our first resort, spa and residential project in Ibiza, a project that celebrates wellness, sustainability and community spirit. This third European property complements our sister resort in Portugal”s Douro Valley, residential project in Courchevel, France and seven fabulous spas in France, Greece, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.

Six Senses has signed a management agreement with Beach Box Ibiza to open the resort in 2020 as a benchmark in innovative design, unique entertainment concepts and eclectic dining experiences. “We could not be more pleased to work with Beach Box Ibiza on this truly creative project,” said Jacobs

Six Senses Ibiza will offer 134 guest accommodations across a 25-acre site including fully appointed Townhouse Suites, Deluxe Pool Suites with private decks, Beach Cave Suites and two extraordinary six-bedroom Mansions. Available for a handful of residential buyers are nine captivating private villas located above the resort with expansive sunset views. Every aspect of the property”s physical design will facilitate the feeling of community and the activities and amenities offered to guests will focus on learning and experience.

Ibiza Axel Beach Hotel

Axel Beach Ibiza – How to turn a bland hotel hallway into a virtual surround gallery

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The Axel Beach Hotel Ibiza has obtained a degree of modernity and distinction with Tubbo – an attractive transparent gallery of 60m that receives the guests in the entrance and accompanies them through the lobby and main hall.

Open on the 15th of May, the hotel Axel Beach has focused on latest trends in interior design for its 89 rooms – but was missing a touch of innovation in its lobby and common areas.

It has obtained an original and trendy look with the installation of this gallery, that creates a translucid tunnel decorated with multiple led lights that accompanies the guest in their journey through the lobby and main hall. The result is what the owners call the ‘Axel experience’.

Ibiza Axel Beach HotelTubbo is an innovative product of the Spanish company Capotex. It is a structure with metal arches covered by transparent and resistant polycarbonate sheets that creates a gallery of modern and elegant design. The structure creates both resistant indoor and outdoor spaces with a diameter per module of 3.6m that can extend in length from 2m ad infinitum.

Ibiza Axel Beach HotelThe trendy Tubbo structure is strengthened with its customization such as led lighting, screen-printed impressions and projections, as it is predicted to do in the Axel Beach Ibiza. Another of its great advantages is that it can be installed without anchoring to the ground, therefore the installation process is clean and quick.

Ibiza Axel Beach HotelWith Tubbo, Axel hotel has been able to reform, in a record time, an expressionless hallway into a visual experience that captivates guests from the moment they enter the hotel.

Tubbo galleries are used in more than 12 countries in terraces as restaurants, bars and spas, garden shelters or outdoor sport tracks, smoking areas, pop up store, even cruise port and building connections.

Ibiza Axel Beach HotelAxel Hotels is an international hotel chain focused towards the LGTBI community, with a heterofriendly philosophy, such as, spaces that are conceived, developed and thought for the LGTBI community but open to everyone.

Hotel Designs partners with Decorex International for second consecutive year

HD partners with Decorex International for second consecutive year

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Hotel Designs is delighted to announce, once again, its media partnership for the 2017 edition of Decorex International, being held at Syon Park, London on 17-20 September.

As Hotel Designs continues to grow its name within the interior design and hotel industry, partnering with shows of the pedigree of Decorex is the perfect way to reach key influencers and figures from across the industry.

With a rich heritage of 40 years, Decorex is internationally renowned for being the destination where interior design professionals discover the finest and most coveted luxury products from new, emerging and established talent.

Decorex LogoDaniel Fountain, Hotel Designs editor, said of the partnership: “We thoroughly enjoyed partnering with Decorex last year, and I am delighted we will have a presence at one of most well-known shows in the sector once again.

“For four decades, Decorex has more than earned its reputation as one of the key places for interior design professionals to discover the very latest trends, luxury products and innovative design. I am truly excited that Hotel Designs can be part of one of the most coveted shows in the business,” he added.

decorex.com

Historic Manchester fire station to be reimagined as boutique hotel

Historic Manchester fire station to be reimagined as boutique hotel

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Manchester’s historic London Road Fire Station has sat largely vacant in recent years, but after a collaboration between an award-winning property development firm and an architectural firm, that might be changing soon.

Allied London and Levitt Bernstein have submitted a design proposal that stands as a full-scale reimagining of the unique and storied property. This plan, if put into action, seeks to reinvigorate more than the just the fire station — it seeks to overhaul and vitalise the surrounding neighbourhood as well.

Allied London has owned the building, which is a Grade II* listed Edwardian Baroque-style structure, since 2015. At the time of purchase, the property had fallen into wide-spread disrepair. Levitt Bernstein’s submission, however, is aimed at refurbishing and expanding the property to include a boutique hotel, bars, restaurants, communal workspaces and private residence apartments.

For those concerned about the history of the classic building, there is cause to celebrate, as the submitted plan goes to careful lengths to preserve the building fabric wherever possible. It seeks to accomplish this while still having the new hotel wing of the structure seated in front of the existing London Road courtyard elevation.

The original façade of the building will become a side of a corridor that will connect the new hotel wing. The designers at Levitt have conceived of the structure’s new extension as a metal tableau, able to simultaneously reference the heritage of the site while creating a harmonious composition that is housed within the confines of the courtyard.

Another key component of this design is the Fairfield Street wing. In this section of the property, the old firemen’s flats where the men once lived will be adapted to something more modern: a series of communal workspaces and private residency apartments. These properties will also response to the building’s overarching layout, striving to maintain many of the interior details that were inherent to the original.

At the core of this reimagined building, however, are the modern trimmings that mark world-class global hospitality properties. There will be a spa, several themed bars, and restaurants for all manner of dining.

In the central courtyard, this design features a new pavilion, where visitors can access other bars as well as an event space, which has a proposed glass prism installation that creates a grand sweeping staircase that descends upon a subterranean area. This section will be festooned with semi-reflective glass, which means that during the day it will reflect the architecture surrounding it, blending it into the background. At night, however, it will be illuminated within, creating a truly stunning effect.

Currently in the planning stage, the London Road Fire Station will begin the renovation and construction process in late 2017.

NH Collection Grand Sablon

NH Collection Grand Sablon opens in Brussels

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NH Hotel Group has celebrated the opening of another hotel under its NH Collection brand, the NH Collection Grand Sablon in Brussels. This is the second of the Company’s upper-upscale brand in the Belgian capital, adding to its 67 existing hotels around the world.

Located in the very heart of the city, the NH Collection Grand Sablon is in the Sablon district renowned for its many antique shops and art galleries. The hotel comprises 192 fully refurbished rooms, as well as 11 function rooms which can host 250 people.

The commitment of the Company’s upper-upscale brand to haute cuisine is once again present in its second NH Collection hotel in the city. Those staying at NH Collection Grand Sablon, or those who wish simply to enjoy the finest quality cuisine in Brussels, can do so at Hispania Brasserie and at Hispania Gastronomique, the restaurant headed up by renowned chef, Marcos Morán (1 Michelin star).

With the opening of the Company’s second hotel in Brussels under its upper-upscale brand, NH Hotel Group is continuing to consolidate a brand which only last year appeared in countries like the Netherlands and Germany.

The Company also launched new locations throughout Europe, as was the case in the Americas, and also reopened flagship hotels in Rome, Madrid and Barcelona.

Patrick Landman, CEO and Founder of Xotels

Guest Blog: Xotels’ Patrick Landman – Starting your own hotel

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For many people starting their own hotel or bed and breakfast is like a dream. Most are drawn by the charm of hospitality and see it as a chance to start fresh. However opening a hotel, just like any new business, is more difficult than it might seem at first sight.

Especially if you have never worked in the hotel industry you will be faced with many unexpected situations and complications you might not have imagined. The international hotel business is highly competitive and achieving good financial results is not as easy as it seems.

In my experience in dealing with entrepreneurs and investors I have found that there is no shortage of creative ideas for innovative boutique hotel concepts. The challenge however lies more in the strategic and organizational areas of the business.

Where to get started if you want to open your own independent hotel? What kind of hotel should it be? How does location influence my business? How to attract guests? How to control operational costs and run a profitable business? These are all important questions that should be dealt with prior to getting into the business.

It will be extremely important you prepare yourself well, do a lot of research and develop a detailed business plan to ensure success. Unfortunately I still see too many startup hotels fail due to little planning. In my previous articles I already pointed out some common mistakes made in the pre-opening phase of hotels.

In the series of articles, I will be covering various important aspects and steps of how to open your own hotel. Topics I will be covering include:
Innovative Hotel Concepts
Hotel Business Plan
Hotel Market Research
Hotel Feasibility Study

I hope these tips will help fellow entrepreneurs start successful new hotel businesses!

Patrick Landman is the CEO & Founder at Xotels

Two new tree houses of Skamania Lodge

Skamania Lodge to debut two new tree houses this autumn

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Skamania Lodge, the Columbia River Gorge’s awarding-winning destination, recently broke ground on two new tree houses, set to open in September of 2017. This is the second pair of tree houses, the first opened in the summer of 2016.

“We’re thrilled at the way our first two tree houses turned out,” said Skamania Lodge General Manager Ken Daugherty. “They became so popular, we wanted to be able to provide our guests with additional options to truly have that quintessential Columbia River Gorge experience.”

Like the first two tree houses, these are nestled in the tall Douglas Firs of the Columbia River Gorge, and a simple yet stunning aesthetic connects guests with the beauty of the Gorge; the new tree houses are also elevated 15-20 feet above the ground. The biggest difference between the new tree houses is they will boast two beds, meaning couples and families alike can experience the luxury of nature.

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READ MORE: Sneak Peek – Tree houses of Skamania Lodge
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A bit of whimsy, a bit refined-rustic and a dash of nostalgia, the new tree houses will also have a large outdoor deck with stunning views of the Gorge, a fireplace for cozy nights, a spectacular bathroom, a lavish king bed and a cozy “nook” double bed with a curtain that can separate the two.

In line with the first two tree houses, design elements were once again inspired from the idea of a creative childhood, with carefree days and playing outdoors.
Tree house guests are a short walk from all the lodge’s offerings, like the Waterleaf Spa, hiking trails, Skamania Lodge Golf Course, and dining facilities, while still experiencing the peace and quiet of sleeping among the trees.

Seattle-based architectural design firm MG2 designed the tree houses; Portland-based Ankrom Moisan created the interior design.

 

Cristallo

Luxury Collection to add Italian Cristallo Resort & Spa

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The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts has announced that Cristallo, a historic hotel located in the renowned Italian town of Cortina d’Ampezzo, will join The Luxury Collection this June.

Owned and managed by the Gualandi family, Cristallo, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, marks the brand’s first hotel in Cortina, and first ski resort worldwide.

Located in Northeastern Italy and nestled within the spectacular Dolomites mountain range, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the dual-season property will reopen after a redesign of the hotel’s rooms and suites, as well as the hotel’s lobby.

A second phase of renovation will be complete by December when the property will celebrate its first ski season as part of The Luxury Collection. With this reopening, The Luxury Collection expands to eight hotels in Italy, reinforcing the brand’s commitment to growing its European portfolio.

Boasting majestic views across Cortina and the monumental Dolomites, the hotel’s 74 guestrooms, including 20 suites and two Presidential suites, have been distinctively furnished to complement the property’s Italian heritage. Pale wood panels are offset by intricate wild flower detailing and delicate cornicing, full of local character. Each room has been well-appointed with the signature Luxury Collection bed, en-suite Carrara marble bathroom with heated floors, and modern technology.

The iconic property, which first opened in 1901, has a storied history that includes hosting The Winter Olympics, Hollywood film crews such as The Pink Panther, and celebrities such as Frank Sinatra. Cortina is one of Italy’s most sought after destinations for skiing, summer activities such as hiking and mountain biking, as well as one of the region’s top epicurean destinations. As the newest member of The Luxury Collection, Cristallo will continue to surround its guests in extraordinary period details like pendant chandeliers and hand-painted wall ‘frescos’, while expanding on its modern-day amenities to provide a truly luxurious guest experience.

Raffles to open hotel in London’s Old War Office

Raffles to open hotel in London’s Old War Office

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The Hinduja group has signed a deal with Europe’s largest hotel chain – Accor Hotels Group – to turn the UK’s iconic Old War Office building, once the office of Britain’s war-time prime minister Winston Churchill, into a luxury hotel.

Raffles Hotels and Resorts, the luxury brand that is part of France’s Accor Hotels Group, has announced the signing of an agreement with the Hinduja Group and Spanish firm Obrascon Huarte Lain Desarrollos (OHLD) to transform the building in Whitehall into the most unique hotel and deluxe residences in London.

“The Raffles Hotel in London will be the heart and soul of this exciting landmark destination”, a statement said. “Raffles Hotels and Resorts is delighted to complete its already stunning portfolio with such an exclusive asset in such strategic city and location, the group said in the statement.”

Steeped in history, the first Raffles Hotel was opened in 1887 in Singapore, named after the British statesman and founder of Singapore, Thomas Stamford Raffles.

The Old War Office, with its 1,100 rooms across seven-floors, and two miles of corridors, was completed in 1906.

It was the office to many of the UK’s most important and influential political and military leaders of the twentieth century, notably Churchill, David Lloyd George, Lord Kitchener, Herbert Asquith and T E Lawrence. It was also the offices of the British Secret Service.

Close to 10 Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, the Old War Office was bought by Hinduja Group and OHLD in December 2014 following a public bid.

Manchester - Staying Cool

Staying Cool signs deal for a new aparthotel in Manchester

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Staying Cool, the award-winning boutique serviced apartment operator, has announced plans for a new 41 unit apartment hotel in Manchester to open next year.

The hotel on Chorlton Street, within the Whitworth Street / Princess Street Conservation Area, will see the regeneration of a strategic city centre building – a former cotton warehouse – that has lain empty for several years.

Once home to Oliver Peyton’s Mash & Air in the 1990s, the building was acquired by the Cringle Corporation. In January, Staying Cool won a competitive tender, led by CBRE, to find the right hotel or serviced apartment operator.

The two parties have signed heads of terms and submitted a joint planning application, which includes the addition of a new roof top extension. If approved, redevelopment works will commence this Autumn and Staying Cool will welcome its first guests in late 2018.

“Given the location of the building, and its particular loft style features and appeal, interest in leasing the site was significant, with strong bids received from a range of regional, national and international operators. We selected Staying Cool for their forward-thinking business style, attention to detail, quality and award-winning brand,” said Cringle Director, Joshua Senior.

“The building is a real gem, a classic Manchester warehouse, with tonnes of character,” said Paul Taylor, co-founder of Staying Cool. “We believe that the significant redevelopment schemes in the immediate neighbourhood, including Kampus across the road, make this a perfect location for a design-led apartment hotel by Staying Cool.”

This is the first joint partnership scheme with Bespoke Hotels, announced last year, which will see the Staying Cool brand brand roll out across the UK. Staying Cool already has a 45 bed apartment hotel on the top floors of Birmingham’s iconic Rotunda. “We’re delighted to be able to announce this new scheme – one of a number over the next few years as we move ahead with our ambitious expansion plans. We are especially pleased to be opening in Manchester as it is the city where our story began,” continued Paul Taylor.

The architects on the scheme are Halliday Meecham and Euan Kelly Property Solutions the planning consultants. Staying Cool was advised by Tony Bray of Pure Real Estate Solutions. Nick Huddleston of CBRE managed the tender process on behalf of the Cringle Corporation.

www.stayingcool.com

Leonardo Hotels - Edinburgh

Leonardo Hotels opens first ‘Royal Hotel’ in Edinburgh

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Euro-cool specialists Leonardo Hotels has chosen Edinburgh as the location for its first property opening in Scotland.

The Berlin-based company, one of Europe’s fastest growing hotel groups, has invested more than €7 million (£6.1 million) in the complete refurbishment of the former Premier Inn in Edinburgh’s Haymarket district.

Guests can look forward to bedrooms with iconic panorama images of the Edinburgh skyline, bathrooms with a giant mural of sheep as well as stylish Scottish-themed furnishings, while the lobby and bar/restaurant areas offer sophisticated and boutique-style glamour.

The design of the new hotel – which offers 4-star superior accommodation across its 282 renovated bedrooms – was created by acclaimed interior designer Andreas Neudahm and continues the Leonardo Hotels’ philosophy of developing non-standardised hotels that have their own distinct regional character.

Operations Manager Lucy Basnett said the decision to create the hotel under the premium Leonardo Royal brand underlines the group’s positioning of Edinburgh as a prime new location in its continued European expansion plans.

Leonardo Hotels - EdinburghShe said: “Our opening brings a new destination in stylish hotel living to Edinburgh. While we are a chain hotel, we are as far removed from a chain hotel as possible.

“Each hotel is designed to be individual, like our guests, and to reflect the surrounding area, using special local touches and features such as a breakfast range distinct to the region. So if you are staying at a Leonardo Hotel in Edinburgh, you will know for sure that you are in Edinburgh. We are very excited to be Edinburgh’s newest hotel and we are confident that our future guests will not be disappointed.”

Leonardo Hotels - EdinburghThe Leonardo Royal Hotel Edinburgh takes the Leonardo Hotels’ portfolio to more than 80 hotels in 40+ locations.

Leonardo Hotels - EdinburghThe hotel is aiming to appeal to both leisure guests, given its location near to tram and train stops, as well as Edinburgh’s ever-growing corporate and business tourism market – fuelled by its proximity to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre and the under-construction tHe Haymarket development. The hotel also offers more than 90 parking spaces.

www.leonardo-hotels.com

De Vere Tortworth Court to complete £5 million renovation in July

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This summer De Vere Tortworth Court will complete a £5 million refurbishment that will position the mansion house back at the heart of the estate. One of Gloucestershire’s hidden countryside retreats, the Grade II listed Victorian mansion is part of the De Vere portfolio of country estate hotels and modern, market-leading event spaces and, following the refurbishment, will boast some of the largest suites in the county.

With a history dating back to 1343, today’s Victorian mansion was designed by esteemed gothic revival architect Samuel Sanders Teulon for the 2nd Earl of Ducie in 1853. The family continued to develop the estate with the introduction of hundreds of trees, including many rare specimens, to create an arboretum that is regarded as one of the finest in the British Isles.

The focus of the renovation is occurring in the mansion house with the transformation of meeting rooms into 11 new spacious suites, to bring the total number of guestrooms and suites in the main house to 55. The sensitive refurbishment is preserving many of the original features, whilst adding new touches of modern countryside charm to the grand gothic mansion, including the hotel’s grand staircase and galleries above the newly refurbished reception and public areas. The largest suite, The Kipling, will offer a stand-alone in-room dining table for six guests and lounge within 78 square metres that can also be connected to The Paxton, to form a family suite that spans 129 square metres, overlooking the formal gardens.

De Vere Tortworth CourtAll 201 guestrooms, in the mansion house and courtyard wing, feature up to 1GB of superfast free Wi-Fi and flat screen TVs, whilst suites and deluxe rooms come complete with king size beds, fluffy robes and slippers as well as luxury bathroom toiletries.

Soon to be launched, 1853 Restaurant will welcome guests and residents once again from August 2017. The original gothic wooden panelling and ornate painted ceiling will be enhanced by fresh dove grey walls and emerald coloured soft furnishings. Originally a church within the mansion house, the refreshed restaurant will serve locally sourced, seasonal British dishes.

De Vere Tortworth CourtMark Payne, General Manager at De Vere Tortworth Court commented: “The mansion house and the grounds provided us with a stunning base in which to enhance an existing beautiful product. The new-look hotel is one that I am very proud to welcome guests into and the introduction of large suites allows guests to indulge and live some of the grandeur that the original Earls would have enjoyed.”

“It was important to us to blend modern comfort with the hotel’s history and I believe we have done this successfully both internally and externally across the estate.”

The completion of De Vere Tortworth Court’s refurbishment marks another important milestone in De Vere’s wider multi-million-pound country estate hotel renovation project, which places the mansion house at the epi-centre of the group’s country estate portfolio. The investment in the gardens ensures that the great outdoors becomes an extension of the hotel itself.

www.phcompany.com/de-vere/tortworth-court

Hansgrohe confirmed as VIP guests of Brit List 2017

Brit List 2017: Hansgrohe confirmed as VIP guests

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We’re just one month away from the Hotel Designs Brit List event, which will be taking in some of the biggest names in the UK industry.

For the past few months, Hotel Designs has been taking soundings and nominations to create the Brit List – a celebration of the most influential and inspirational hoteliers and interior designers.

The full Hotel Designs Brit List will be revealed via a glossy print publication this summer, with a party to celebrate the List taking place at Urban Coterie, London on Wednesday July 12th.

And we’re delighted to announce that representatives from Hansgrohe are booked on as VIP guests at the event = if you are interested in taking advantage of a VIP guest package, contact Jennie Lane on 01992 374098 or email j.lane@forumevents.co.uk.

Announcing the House and Garden Festival at Olympia

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Coming to Olympia London this summer, for the very first time, is the House & Garden Festival. The four-day event will bring together three leading lifestyle events: Spirit of Summer Fair, The HOUSE Fair and GROW London, to create the ultimate celebration of summer and stylish living.

The House & Garden Festival is offering an eclectic mix of interior and lifestyle brands to explore and shop, all hand-selected by an expert team, including the editorial team powering House & Garden. Style-seekers will have everything they need at this ultimate destination for summer living inspiration and shopping. GROW London is bursting with ideas on how to transform your outside space, from garden design to furniture, sculptures, plants, gadgets, pots and tools. The Spirit of Summer Fair offers an extensive mix of independent boutiques and lifestyle products, accompanied by a collection of the country’s finest artisan producers including Great Taste Award winners. The HOUSE Fair adds design inspiration and interior products to suit any style; including furniture, fabrics, cushions, bespoke lampshades, rugs, lighting and accessories.

House and Garden Festival
The House & Garden Festival will play host to over 550 exhibitors from Wednesday 21st to Saturday 24th June. Showcasing a hand-selected treasure trove of interior, garden and lifestyle brands to buy or be inspired by, the Festival will welcome over 23,000 visitors.

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HEADING TO THE EVENT? WHY NOT MEET HOTEL DESIGNS CLIENTS JALU WHILE AT THE SHOW? FIND OUT MORE HERE
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‘Style Rooms’ and ‘Decorated Spaces’, will be designed by stylists using their favourite pieces from the huge array of products available at the Festival, the event will also offer inspiration alongside beautiful feature gardens jam-packed with ideas for visitors to steal for their own gardens, including a garden installation by Richard Miers in association with Quintessentially Travel. Guests will also be able to enjoy a Mosimann’s pop-up restaurant and two Louis Roederer champagne bars.

House and Garden Festival
Show Manager, Thi Dinh of the House & Garden Festival says: “The House & Garden Festival is the perfect marriage of three great brands. We’re very excited to be launching this summer and bringing unrivalled inspiration and professional advice to our visitors. We have everything you need for stylish summer living. Gardening lovers will enjoy the relaxed and fun atmosphere with GROW London. Shoppers will be tantalized by the Spirit of Summer’s array of accessories, fashion, jewellery and children’s clothing. While The HOUSE Fair is the perfect place for design inspiration and beautiful interior products. Our experts top it all off with great guidance on how to bring it all together for all round ultimate summer style.”

House and Garden Festival
The Festival will be offering a whole host of free seminars, talks and interactive workshops. The timetable boasts leading interior, garden and lifestyle experts offering all-round interior and design inspiration with specialist insight, key design tips and practical advice.

Tickets are on sale for £16 in advance (£20 on the door) at www.houseandgardenfestival.com.
The House & Garden Festival takes place from Wednesday 21st – Saturday 24th June 2017, open from 10am-5pm daily, 10am-6pm on Saturday at Olympia London, W14.

Edinburgh St James aerial shot

Roomzzz aparthotel £1 billion expansion into Scotland

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Luxury aparthotel brand, Roomzzz, is set to expand into Scotland with a brand-new aparthotel confirmed within the £1bn Edinburgh St James development, scheduled to open in 2021.

The new Roomzzz Edinburgh aparthotel will take prime position within the 1.7 million-sq-ft Edinburgh St James development in the heart of the city. With 73 luxury apartments planned, from smart studios to luxury penthouses, Roomzzz Edinburgh will give guests the luxury of a boutique hotel with the convenience and home comforts of a serviced apartment.

The development will become Edinburgh’s most popular retail hub, with a line-up of 86 new shops over four floors, 20 restaurants and a flagship Everyman Cinema, guests to Roomzzz Edinburgh will benefit from unrivalled local amenities. The new aparthotel will be ideally situated within a close proximity of tram and bus transport links and just a short, three-minute walk from Waverley Station.

Featuring a rooftop terrace and balconies to every apartment, guests will appreciate breath-taking views of the city’s historical landscape, including Edinburgh’s highest peak, Arthur’s Seat. Each apartment is individually designed to create a comfortable and spacious living area to give a home-from-home experience. Catering for everyday living, Roomzzz’ apartments feature fitted kitchens, widescreen TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, free UK nationwide calls, ultimate comfort bed, 24-hour concierge, around the clock fresh coffee and grab and go breakfast.

Edinburgh St James aerial shotMark Walton, Chief Operating Officer of Roomzzz, adds: “We were the first in the UK to launch the aparthotel concept back in 2006 in Leeds and the Roomzzz Aparthotel brand has experienced phenomenal growth ever since. We have aspirations to expand our offering throughout the UK and internationally, developing our existing aparthotel brand. In addition to our expansion into Scotland, we look forward to opening our first aparthotel in London later this year, as well as three additional sites planned for Liverpool, Manchester Corn Exchange and York.”

Roomzzz Aparthotels are conveniently located in the UKʼs most vibrant city centres, including Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Chester, and appeal to both corporate and leisure travellers alike with guests staying for one night to a year.

Roomzzz Aparthotels has appointed Christie & Co to spearhead their expansion plans and grow their portfolio of Aparthotels across the UK, with national law firm, Shoosmiths, handling legal proceedings.

www.roomzzz.com

Steigenberger Alcazar-Sharm El Sheikh opened its doors

Steigenberger Alcazar-Sharm El Sheikh opened its doors

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The Steigenberger Alcazar-Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt, a new built five-star resort located in the Nabq Bay directly on the Red Sea coast, opened for business this week.

Each of the 610 luxurious rooms is at least 46 square metres in size, 99 of them are swim up rooms with direct access to the pool. Twelve Junior Suites and two villas equipped with private pools offer even more generously proportioned accommodation.

Expansive gardens provide plenty of green spaces as well as containing three public pools and two for kids. Guests will also enjoy exclusive use of a 3000 square metre private beach to soak up the sun and the sea. The diverse underwater world surrounding the Sinai Peninsula is an ideal place to go diving and snorkelling.

The hotel offers numerous additional sporting facilities, both water and land based, as well as housing a spa and a gym. Five à la carte restaurants offer Asian, Lebanese and Italian specialities as well as grill- and seafood and several bars cater to all the guests’ culinary needs: An Ultra all-inclusive package is also available. A modern conferencing area is able to stage meetings and events of every kind.

One particularly attractive feature of the resort is its close proximity to Sharm El Sheikh Airport, which can, for example, be accessed in only ten minutes via the hotel’s dedicated shuttle bus service. The Steigenberger Alcazar-Sharm el Sheikh Resort is already the eleventh hotel which Deutsche Hospitality has launched in Egypt, and CEO Puneet Chhatwal is delighted with this new addition to the company’s portfolio: “The Steigenberger Alcazar-Sharm El Sheikh is a beautifully appointed and highly modern resort in an extremely desirable holiday region. Sharm El Sheikh represents a considerable enrichment of our hotel portfolio and is a facility which is bound to fire the enthusiasm of our guests.”

St James Suite - DUKES LONDON

DUKES LONDON launches new St James Suite

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Situated in the heart of London’s St. James, just a short walk from Green Park and Piccadilly, DUKES LONDON provides a sophisticated and elegant venue for meetings and events.


This summer, DUKES is proud to unveil the St. James Suite, a beautifully refurbished space which can accommodate up to 90 people. With a dedicated events team on hand to ensure no detail is left to chance and catering masterminded by Executive Head Chef, Nigel Mendham, a meeting or event at DUKES is in exceptionally safe hands.


Blending quintessential British charm and cosmopolitan luxury, DUKES LONDON offers timeless hospitality and a home away from home ambience. Its central location, enthusiastic and talented team, elegant décor and outstanding cuisine, make it an ideal choice for exclusive meetings and events.


The new St. James Suite, the hotel’s largest event room, has been elegantly re-decorated to create a chic, city venue for events of up to 90 guests (reception) or 60 guests (dining). The perfect space for a meeting, private dining or cocktail reception, the layout provides an ideal area for break-out sessions or pre-dinner drinks. The St. James Suite is fully air-conditioned with wireless broadband Internet access.


Those with further to travel may choose to stay overnight in one of DUKES’ classic style bedrooms or deluxe suites, and, after a day of meetings, a drink in the legendary DUKES Bar is the ideal way to unwind. DUKES Bar is internationally renowned for its famous martinis – an experience not to be missed!

Pangea Pod Hotel - Whistler, Canada

Sneak Peek: Canada’s first pod accommodation concept to open in 2018

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In April 2018, Whistler will welcome the opening of the Pangea Pod Hotel – a visionary property situated in the centre of the city’s pedestrian village. Designed for the discerning solo traveller seeking a boutique hotel feel, impressive design and a prime location at an affordable price-point, Pangea is set to fill Whistler’s void between hostels and hotels.

“Pangea is unlike anything else offered in Canada, and we are thrilled to launch this concept in Whistler. Our unique pod hotel experience will speak to sophisticated, value-conscious guests unwilling to compromise on location, function, and aesthetics,” says co-founder Russell Kling. “Currently we are working obsessively to perfect the industrial design of the pods and suites, as well as the interior design of the communal spaces. We are also relentlessly focused on the significant gut renovation to the interior and a complete update to the exterior to bring this prime property into the 21st century.”

Pangea will feature a series of custom suites housing a total of 88 private sleeping pods. Each boutique pod will be luxuriously lined in wood and comfortably outfitted with a memory foam double mattress and high-end linens. They’ll also be equipped with individually controlled LED lights, multiple charging points (including USB ports) and an integrated fan for ventilation and white noise. There’s a place for everything, with a lockable cabinet for valuables, hangers and hooks for clothes, and a storage area for luggage. Mirrors and artwork lend a personal touch, while curtains provide a fundamental level of privacy.

Pangea Pod Hotel - Whistler, CanadaPerhaps one of the most ground-breaking design aspects of Pangea is its modular bathroom concept. Unconventional thinking led to the conventional bathroom being separated into four individually accessed components: spa-like shower cubicles, washrooms, vanities, and changing rooms. More than 60 of these bathroom components are spread among Pangea’s suites.

Pangea Pod Hotel - Whistler, Canada“After travelling the world extensively with my husband, Russell, we knew we had to approach the ‘bathroom situation’ differently to excite the kinds of travellers we want to attract,” says Jelena Kling, Pangea’s co-founder. “By creating these four-piece bathrooms and locating them all within the suites themselves, we add a level of privacy and convenience not commonly found in hostels or other capsule hotels.”

Pangea Pod Hotel - Whistler, Canada
While the pod suites encourage a tranquil and restful ambiance, Pangea’s guests will relish the lively atmosphere and connection to Whistler in The Living Room, Pangea’s stylish communal space. As the property’s hub on the second floor, The Living Room’s large drop-down glass panels overlooking the Village Stroll will create the feel of an outdoor patio, with long shared tables in the café for socialising and cozy sitting areas in the bar and lounge for relaxing. The Patio, Pangea’s rooftop bar on the third floor, will offer a unique outdoor experience and sensational views down to the Village Square.

www.pangeapod.com

Sir Nikolai - Hamburg

Canal Cosmopolitan – Sir Nikolai opens in Hamburg

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Hamburg has long remained just under the radar, playing second fiddle to the gritty glamour of Berlin, and yet the eagerly-awaited opening of the iconic Elbphilharmonie has cemented Hamburg’s position as Germany’s most exciting cultural hub, befitting of an equally thrilling new residence.

On the Nikolaifleet waterfront, Sir Nikolai is sandwiched between the Altstadt (Old Town)—the city’s historical and cultural nucleus—and the regenerating, super-modern HafenCity district to the south. The luxury boutique hotel—with curated art, vintage rugs, and polished marble throughout—is a showcase for artisanal quality and tradition, seamlessly blending local heritage and international sophistication in the shadow of one of Hamburg’s oldest churches, Sankt Katharinen.

Sir Nikolai - HamburgDesign agency FG Stijl has directed their award-winning nous into artfully converting a former warehouse to create the 94-room Sir Nikolai. Extending into the glass-covered courtyard, The Patio is the beating heart of the hotel with its fluid interior/exterior setup playing host to both cozy fireside soirées and the eternal cocktail hours of summer thanks to a fully retractable ceiling. Two canal-side terraces further blur the lines between inside and out.

Sir Nikolai - HamburgOpening late 2017, the 300-square-metre subterranean SPA will take on an elegant yet casual vibe, with a pool and sauna overlooking the canal, as well as having three treatment rooms, a steam room, and a gym. While the SPA takes care of spiritual nourishment, more immediate sustenance comes courtesy of THE ENTOURAGE GROUP’s destination restaurant IZAKAYA Asian kitchen & bar. Incorporating the entire ground floor and patio, the innovative Japanese-Peruvian dining experience pushes the boundaries of Nikkei cuisine in urban-chic surroundings.

White CitySpanning between 20 and 56-square-metres, Sir Nikolai’s 94 rooms and suites afford views over The Patio, the Nikolaifleet canal, or the Altstadt, where boutique shops and cafés wind along the waterways. Each is luxuriously outfitted with custom-made furniture and lighting, while vintage carpets, contemporary artworks, and a carefully curated selection of design books and novels ensure a unique touch.

Sir Nikolai - Hamburg A goody box of decadent treats sourced from around the city replace the staid hotel mini-bar and queen or king-size beds are made up with the Sir Hotels’ bespoke signature bedding collection. The luxurious marble bathrooms feature oversized rainfall showers, and signature DEAD CLEAN spa body amenities.

Leeds Hotel Plans Redesigned For Hilton - LSH

LSH appointed to sell hotel development site in Leeds

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Commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (‘LSH’) has been appointed by Duff & Phelps to sell the freehold interest in the part-complete hotel at Portland Crescent near the Leeds Arena. The city centre development site has an existing planning consent and is on the market for offers in excess of £6 million.

The 206-bedroom hotel is currently part complete to nine storeys with it eventually being 14 storeys once completed. The site is located in close proximity to many of Leeds bars and late night venues, including Leeds Arena, O2 Academy Leeds, Grand Theatre and Opera House and Carriageworks Theatre. Given the strength of the location, the scheme also has the potential to attract interest for alternate uses such as student accommodation or the Private Rented Sector – subject to planning permission.

Despite a 13 per cent increase in average daily room rates in Leeds since 2013 and strong occupancy, the city has only seen three significant new hotel openings since 2013. Buoyed by an increasingly robust market performance, hotel development activity is returning with two new developments having recently been announced: Singaporean Heeton Holdings and idé real estate – this increased development will add 332 new hotel rooms in the city.

Hugh Anderson, Director – Hotels at Lambert Smith Hampton, commented: “Over the past few years, strong occupancy levels in the city have resulted in a number of new developments coming to fruition to meet the demand. Growth in the sector is on the up, both locally and regionally, and this site will give investors the chance to own one of the best, strategically located development opportunities in the city, with potential for strong returns on completion.

“Due to the location of the site, which is a short walk from cultural and transport hubs and Leeds Beckett University, we expect the asset will be in high demand and as such, we anticipate a high volume of interested parties.”

Capri by Fraser Berlin

Archaeological site to ‘engage guests’ at Capri by Fraser Berlin

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In line with the plan to meet the rising demand from millennial travellers, Frasers Hospitality, a division of Frasers Centrepoint Limited, is expanding its Capri by Fraser brand footprint with the opening of Capri by Fraser Berlin.

Capri by Fraser Berlin marks Frasers Hospitality”s seventh operating Capri-branded property globally and the second in Germany. Frasers Hospitality is on track to expand the brand to a total of 16 cities over the next four years. These cities include Leipzig, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Jakarta, Johor Bahru, Balikpapan, Kalkara and Gurgaon.

Capri by Fraser BerlinWithin the unique property is an archaeological excavation site that was discovered by chance during construction, which is now carefully preserved and showcased through a glass floor. Swings are installed above the excavation site to offer guests a playful and novel way of engaging with this historical landmark. In addition, the apartment decor adopts the same approach by juxtaposing symbols of modernity, such as current city maps, with historical graphics of iconic buildings. Furthermore, the ceiling structure of Capri by Fraser Berlin takes cues from classic architectural styles, and is accented by rich gold and warm colours that create a relaxed, convivial ambience.

Capri by Fraser BerlinThe Capri by Fraser brand caters to the needs of the e-generation, evident by its offerings at all hotel residences. The Spin & Play concept, resisting the usual expensive hotel laundry model, provides laundrettes with the latest games consoles, kickboxing and other activities for the millennial traveller. Guests have further options to de-stress at the 24-hour gymnasium or at the all-day dining restaurant, bar and deli. Meeting and conference facilities are also equipped with the latest audio-visual capabilities including interactive touch-screen panels and integrated whiteboard-projector features. Furthermore, local activities can be customised for guests seeking an authentic and unique experience.

Core to millennials and Capri by Fraser DNA is technology. Apart from state-of-the-art meeting and conference facilities, Capri by Fraser is developing a suite of technological initiatives to offer guests an unforgettable stay, where cutting-edge technology is seamlessly integrated into the travel experience at every possible touchpoint.

Conveniently situated in the heart of the vibrant German capital, Capri by Fraser Berlin offers easy access to international organisations, cultural attractions and popular tourist destinations. Numerous public transportation links are also available in the vicinity, with the closest underground station being 4 minutes away, while the Ostbahnhof train station is 10 minutes away.

Frasers Hospitality”s global portfolio, including those in the pipeline, stands at 148 properties in more than 80 cities with over 23,600 keys worldwide.

berlin.capribyfraser.com

Pestana announces a new Pousadas de Portugal for the Algarve

Pestana announces new Pousadas de Portugal for the Algarve

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Pestana Hotel Group will build a new Pousada de Portugal located in the historic centre of Vila Real de Santo António, in the most eastern area of the Algarve, thus continuing its investment in the Portuguese region.

This investment will provide the historic heritage building with 57 rooms, 114 beds and create 30 new jobs. The official opening is scheduled for summer 2018.

Luís Castanheira Lopes highlighted the historic nature of the new Pousada, saying: “The Pestana Hotel Group will restore the buildings in full harmony with its architectural relevance allowing visitors to experience its very rich cultural legacy, a core characteristic at the heart of the Pousadas de Portugal brand DNA that celebrates 75 years in 2017.”

This will the be the fourth Pousada de Portugal in the Algarve and the 17th Pestana unit in the region. There are currently 16 Pestana units in the Algarve, 13 Pestana Hotels & Resorts and 3 Pousadas de Portugal (Palácio de Estói in Faro, Fortaleza de Sagres and Convento de Tavira).

On The Level - Tile-In

Product Spotlight: On The Level wet room Tile-In system

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The new Tile-In system from On The Level (OTL) is the perfect solution for customers wanting to see more tile and less drain when they stand in the shower.

Available in linear and square options, the new drain covers have a minimalist stainless steel finish on one side or can be flipped and completely tiled in to create a seamless wet room shower floor.

Linear Tile-In
OTL’s linear channel products are among the company’s best sellers, with a five star modern look and the ability to work well with large slab tiles. The new Tile-In linear channel is available in a variety of standard sizes from 600mm to 1200mm lengths and is available for bespoke projects on request.

On The Level - Tile-InSquare Tile-In
The 15x15cm square grating option provides a versatile and more traditional look for the shower floor. It is compatible with most tiling styles but is particularly suited to mosaic. Both linear and square tile-in options are available in brushed or polished finish, giving them a timeless look for any bathroom floor, and have a lower price tag than the classic linear and square patterned and detailed alternatives.

On The Level - Tile-InThey provide two stunning options to choose from making them versatile as well as affordable: tile in or flip it for a simple, yet sophisticated steel look. This can even be done once the system is fitted – if you get bored of one look, simply turn it over.

Tile-in is made from stainless steel, and with a flow rate of up to 50 litres per minute, can be used in conjunction with most showers. The system is easy to install and comes with full instructions, plus OTL’s dedicated team of advisers are on hand during working hours to help you if you have questions.

onthelevel.co.uk
Info@OnTheLevel.co.uk
0843 6349 157

Brexit is impacting the hospitality industry, so says HBAA

Brexit A Year On: UKinbound demands ‘tourism priority’ in EU negotiations

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A UK trade association has called for the new government to review its approach and consider the importance of tourism to the country in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.

UKinbound says the general election results show that the electorate has rejected Theresa May and the Conservative’s vision of a ‘hard Brexit’.

The travel group is calling on any potential government formed by the Conservatives and Northern Ireland’s DUP to implement a strong sector deal and visa reforms, after 75% of its members stated these as the most important issues in one of its surveys.

UKinbound’s chief executive officer Deirdre Wells, said: “The general election result clearly shows that the electorate is against a hard Brexit, and so is the UK inbound tourism industry. Our members are calling for a continued strong relationship with the EU and the implementation of a sector deal that addresses issues such as the Customs Union, Open Skies Agreement and residency rights for EU workers. For inbound tourism to prosper long-term we need the Conservatives and DUP to champion our industry.”

With negotiations scheduled to begin next week, UKinbound wants to remind the government that the UK’s tourism industry employs more than three million people across the country and in 2016 was responsible for contributing over £22 billion annually to the UK economy.

UKinbound wants the Government to address the following points during Brexit negotiations:
• An immigration system flexible to business needs – residency rights for EU workers
• Continued access to the Open Skies Agreement
• Visa-free travel between the UK and the EU
• A strong narrative promoting the UK as a welcoming destination

The Fontenay - Hamburg

‘Architectural spectacle’ The Fontenay to open in Hamburg

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Hamburg will soon gain a new architectural spectacle with the 15 October opening of The Fontenay, a 131-key property designed by Jan Störmer of Störmer Murphy and Partners.

Located directly on the banks of Lake Alster, the hotel features a sculptural form resembling three interlocking circles that frame views of the lake and downtown cityscape.

Occupying a substantial 14,000m² plot of prime waterfront real estate, the hotel has been designed as a luxury urban resort covered in thousands of white porcelain tiles that mirror the fluid lines of surrounding parkland and water.

The circular, flowing shape of the building’s architecture repeats itself throughout the hotel, and, aside from the partitions dividing each guest room, there are no straight walls and no wall is parallel to another.

Brit List

HD Brit List 2017: Attendee list keeps on growing…

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We’re just one month away from the Hotel Designs Brit List event, which will be taking in some of the biggest names in the UK industry. For the past few months, Hotel Designs has been taking soundings and nominations to create the Brit List – a celebration of the most influential and inspirational hoteliers and interior designers.

The attendee list keeps on growing, with some fantastic representatives from across the hotelier and interior design industry already confirmed to be at the event; including Fairview Hotels, RPW Design, Hotel Gotham, Goddard Littlefair, Hypnos, Crosswater, the Dorchester Hotel, InterContinental Hotel Group, Rethink Interiors and GLH Hotels to name but a few.

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FIND OUT HOW TO ATTEND HERE
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With such a fantastic array of industry figures all in one room, you don’t want to miss an opportunity to get your company name on show – a limited number sponsorship opportunities are still available for the Hotel Designs Brit List. To find out more contact Jennie Lane on 01992 374098 or email j.lane@forumevents.co.uk.

Viu Milan

Milanese mastery, Italian style on show at Viu Milan

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Taking centre stage in Milan”s hip Porta Volta neighborhood with its stunning glass façade framed with lush vertical gardens, Hotel Viu Milan is rewriting the rule book on how to make an entrance in Italy’s capital of cool.

The newly built 124-room property boasts the only hotel rooftop in Milan with an outdoor swimming pool and stunning 360-degree views of the city skyline—perfectly located for aperitivos set to an intoxicating soundtrack of bossa nova. Throw in a Michelin-starred chef and exquisite Milanese design and you have summer in the city wrapped up.

 

Residence Inn London - London Bridge bedroom suite

A look behind the scenes at Residence Inn London Bridge

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Marriott International recently announced the expansion of its extended-stay brand, Residence Inn by Marriott, with the signing of two new properties in London. With additional openings in Amsterdam and Aberdeen this year, Residence Inn expects to more than double its European portfolio in 2017.

The opening of Residence Inn London – London Bridge in Q2 2017 will mark the debut of the company’s industry-leading extended-stay brand in the capital, and the opening of Residence Inn London – Kensington will follow in Q4. Both properties, owned by a controlled affiliate of Starwood Capital Group, will be operated under a franchise agreement with hotel management company and specialists in the extended-stay market, Cycas Hospitality – London’s second largest operator of serviced apartment and aparthotels.

Editor’s Opinion: The extended-stay market has definitely been on an upward trajectory in this country for a few years now, catching up with our continental cousins at a rate of knots. I have been invited to (and visited) several of these sites around the UK in the last couple of years, and I can only see this market expanding in the coming decade. With Marriott having been a major player in this sector for four decades, with its Residence Inn brand, it is certainly exciting to see their expertise being brought to these two London properties, and further afield in the near future.

Located on Long Lane in Southwark, Residence Inn London – London Bridge will offer 87 generous suites. Well-connected with good transport links, and a short walk from some of the city’s main historic attractions such as Tower Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral, it is ideally situated for leisure and business travellers alike.

Residence Inn London – Kensington will be situated on Warwick Road in Earls Court, with 307 suites. The Kensington Olympia Exhibition Centre is a 10-minute walk away, while cultural attractions such as The Victoria and Albert museum, the Science Museum, Royal Albert Hall, and the Natural History museum can be reached within 10 minutes by car. Both properties will cater to guests looking for longer stays with spacious suites and separate living, working and sleeping areas featuring upscale design and amenities.

Editor’s Opinion: Speaking to Diane Mayer, Residence Inn VP and global brand manager, during a hard-hat tour around the soon-to-open site, she tells me the brand ethos of Residence Inn – a slightly upmarket home-away-from-home – fits in perfectly with the London neighbourhoods selected to host the new developments. Becoming part of the locale is an important factor in Residence Inn properties, and the London Bridge property will be no different. Considering the length of a guest’s stay at the property, allowing them to feel part of the community is a unique selling point for the brand. There is no doubt the ‘public areas’ of this property will go a long way to achieving that goal.

The interiors have a very clean feel, with studio apartment-esque finishes and muted colour schemes, of varying greens, browns and blues. The separation of living and sleeping spaces has been well done in both the smaller and larger offerings. I have no doubt, that these two properties certainly will mark a very good debut for the brand in the UK capital.

Fully functional kitchens; grocery delivery service; fitness facilities; 24-hour markets; complimentary breakfasts and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel help guests maximise their time and thrive on long stays. Staying fit is made easier at Residence Inn properties courtesy of custom running routes that guests can access via MapMyFitness, thanks to the brand’s global partnership with Under Armour Connected Fitness.

Carlton Ervin, Chief Development Officer Europe, Marriott International said: “Residence Inn is already the global leader in the extended-stay lodging segment, and we’re excited that 2017 is set to be a pivotal year for the brand in Europe. We see these latest signings as a fantastic opportunity to grow the brand in such a strategic global destination, and we’re excited to be working with Cycas Hospitality, which has a strong history of hospitality expertise.”

Residence Inn London - London Bridge receptionJohn Wagner, Founding Partner of Cycas Hospitality said: “We are thrilled to welcome the world class Residence Inn brand to the extended-stay sector in London and to our own expanding hotel portfolio. We look forward to creating memorable moments for all our guests visiting these two new Residence Inn properties. Delivering a first-rate guest experience is in the DNA of all our Cycas Hospitality staff and we have an excellent track record to prove it.”

The two London properties will be joined by new openings in Aberdeen and Amsterdam this year, growing the European portfolio from three to seven hotels. The four additions planned for 2017 will see almost 600 rooms added to the Residence Inn portfolio, and there are a further eight properties anticipated by the end of 2019.

www.residenceinn.marriott.com

Leeu Collection adds Florence property to European portfolio

Guest Blog – TOPHOTELS: ‘Italy, a sure thing for hotel developers’

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Italy has an ever-appealing charm – the food, the passion, the beautiful coastline and incredibly historic cities, the architecture and of course, the landscapes. For centuries, Italy has attracted holidaymakers, and continues to do so today, making it almost a sure thing for hotel developers.

One of the more recent hotel projects to open was the La Bagnaia Golf & Spa Resort Siena, a luxury 5-star development branded under Curio by Hilton and situated close to the picturesque town of Siena, known for its medieval brick architecture. The 101-key hotel, resort and golf course allows visitors to take advantage of the serene setting while playing golf or indulging in the swimming pool set within the idyllic grounds of the hotel. The resort is also equipped to handle large events and conferences.

The ultra-modern La Lama in Rome is currently under construction and set to open in the second quarter of 2018. Nicknamed “The Cloud” because of a nebulous structure in the interior of the hotel, the 409-key luxury new build complex will house a 5-star hotel as well as an 1,800 seater auditorium for conferences and events. The complex will be built with sustainability in mind and incorporate modern technologies in its construction and design.

IHG is in the process of building their first hotel in Venice, the InterContinental Venice – Palazzo Nani. Under construction at the moment, the new 51 room luxury hotel will be house in a converted 16th century palace, which will be refurbished to the highest standard, keeping the palace’s stunning ceiling frescoes and hand-carved wooden beams. Set to open at the beginning of next year, the hotel will also have wellness facilities and corporate spaces.

More information on hotel construction in Italy can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS.

citizenM Paris

citizenM says ‘Hello’ to Paris La Défense

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The trail-blazing Dutch hotel group citizenM will open two exciting new hotels in Paris this summer including a hotel in the heart of Paris”s business district, La Défense and a flagship property opening in August in central Gare du Lyon. With its existing hotel at Charles de Gaulle airport, citizenM will now have three hotels in Paris all offering affordable luxury, smart technology and clever design.

citizenM La Défense is now open within the bustling business district of Paris, located to the west of the city. La Défense, best known for its iconic arch-shaped building, the Grande Arche, is currently undergoing a major revamp, complete with sprawling terraces and gardens, new avenues and towers, organic restaurants and fashionable bars.

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REVIEW: citizenM Tower Bridge, London
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At the ground level entrance guests are greeted by coffeeM, citizenM’s own coffee bar concept which was first introduced at the Tower of London flagship last year. This vibrant space has been adorned with a ceiling fresco featuring a repeat-pattern of Andy Warhol photo-booth selfies. societyM meeting rooms are located next to coffeeM and provide wonderfully creative environments which are perfect for hosting meetings and workshops. The breakout space features a playful Parisian kiosk.

citizenM Paris La DefenseFrom here, two escalators, a new design element for citizenM take guests up to the Check In and Living Room. Alongside each escalator is citizenM”s signature shelving, featuring a range of colourful and quirky objects, from Eames birds to artworks, books and curiosities.

citizenM Paris La DefenseThe elevator up to the Check In is cladded from ground to first floor with a bespoke mural by Paris and NY based AVAF, an artists” collective who have previously created pieces for citizenM Bankside and Shoreditch.

citizenM Paris La DefenseThe Living Room is the heart of citizenM, providing space to work, eat and socialise. At citizenM La Défense, the Living Room is on the first floor and enclosed by a glass façade with a large terrace. The Living Room also features collectionM, citizenM”s retail component offering easy travel accessories, inspiring gifts and books. Here another piece of bespoke fresco adorns the ceiling, created by local artist Romain Froquet.

canteenM forms the lively heart of the public area. Together with intimate booths and communal tables this is the place to drink, eat and meet. With a design nod to French cuisine and its reliance on traditional copper pans, the walls here are clad with copper.

nl.citizenm.com

3-10 June: Top 10 stories of the week

Daniel Fountain

From hotel openings to product spotlights to everything in between, we collate the top 10 most read stories on Hotel Designs this week…

1. GUEST BLOG: ROB SYKES ON THE FUTURE OF HOTEL DESIGN
As the global hospitality marketplace evolves and travelers’ preferences shift, what are the future trends that hotel designers need to anticipate? And how can we be visionary in our approach to each and every assignment? Rob Skyes, senior associate WATG shares his thoughts.

2. BREXIT A YEAR ON – OPINION: ‘PERFECT STORM’ ON THE WAY FOR UK HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY
Heidrick & Struggles , a premier provider of executive search, leadership consulting and culture shaping worldwide, spoke to Chairmen and Chief Executives from some of the biggest organisations in the industry, representing businesses with revenues of over £40 billion and employing more than a million people across the UK

3. HOTEL DESIGNS BRIT LIST: THE LONG LIST
The finalists in the Hotel Designs Brit List have been named, taking in some of the biggest names in the UK industry.

4. TREND REPORT: STYLE LIBRARY CONTRACT – ‘THE POWER OF COLOUR’
At the beginning of this year Style Library Contract shared 4 design trends they see as having the greatest influence in hospitality design during 2017.

5. GUEST BLOG: JEREMY QUANTRILL – THE BENEFITS OF BESPOKE LIGHTING…
Jeremy Quantrill, managing director of Dernier & Hamlyn explains how beautiful, bespoke lighting does not have to be as expensive as you may think…

6. CASE STUDY: ZANDER K IN BERGEN, NORWAY
Zander K – the newly opened addition to the De Bergenske family of five hotels in central Bergen.

7. PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: NO-ROCK – SELF-STABILISING EVEN TABLE BASES FROM CONTRACT FURNITURE STORE
One of their latest creations, No-Rock, provides an unrivalled Even-solution to table instability. Meeting the everyday needs of cafes and restaurants, No-Rock Even table bases self-stabilise on uneven indoor and al fresco surfaces, while exhibiting an innovative and contemporary design aesthetic.

8. BRIT LIST 2017: STYLO ANNOUNCED AS EVENT PARTNER
Hotel Designs is delighted to welcome Stylo as an event partner for the Hotel Designs Brit List, which is taking place on July 12 at Urban Coterie at the vibrant Urban Coterie sky bar and restaurant in London, from 6pm until 11pm.

9. FOUR SEASONS MALDIVES AT KUDA HURAA UNVEILS NEW WATER SUITES
Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa has unveiled their much-anticipated water villas; two-bedroom suites, three-bedroom suites and the family water villas. The new accommodations are now open for booking.

10. WALDORF ASTORIA BEVERLY HILLS WELCOMES FIRST GUESTS
Developers of the £25m DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Hull have announced that they have just passed the halfway point of the build.

Hilton’s Curio brand debuts in Asia Pacific

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Hilton has announced the opening of Sanya Yazhou Bay Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton, the first Curio Collection property in Greater China and Asia Pacific to join the exclusive, upper upscale collection brand of more than 35 distinctive hotels and resorts around the world.

Located on the West Coast of Hainan Island’s southernmost city, Sanya Yazhou Bay Resort is only a short drive from renowned attractions to discover such as Dongtian Park, Nanshan Temple and the unique Tianya Haijiao. Sanya Yazhou Bay Resort’s 267 rooms and suites include large soaking tubs and boast panoramic views of the sea, pool or tropical gardens.

Curio by Hilton, Greater ChinaOther amenities include a 2,000 square meter swimming pool beach access, as well as a kids’ club and game room for adults.

Curio by Hilton, Greater ChinaSanya Yazhou Bay Resort, which is a 25-minute drive from the Sanya Phoenix International Airport and 35 km away from the Sanya city centre, offers full support for meetings and events.

Curio by Hilton, Greater ChinaMeeting and outdoor banquet spaces, which can be configured for events of any size, make up a total of 2,000 square metres. Equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual technology, these flexible spaces include a main 1,200 square metre meeting area and nine meeting rooms.

pentahotels

pentahotels opening Bangkok property in 2020

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pentahotels, the design-led and neighbourhood lifestyle brand, today announced a new management agreement with The Nest Property Company a subsidiary of PM Group, to open the first pentahotel in Bangkok, Thailand in 2020.

pentahotel Bangkok, Ploenchit, will be located in Lumpini in the central business area of Bangkok. The announcement marks the first official step in pentahotels’ expansion in Southeast Asia, building on the brand’s plans to open its second Hong Kong property in Summer 2017.

pentahotelsAs a new build property, tailored to pentahotels’ design standards, it will feature the brand’s hallmark design-led environment, including the signature pentalounge, a new-concept reception area that combines function with entertainment, welcoming guests to relax and socialise around a stylish bar.

The hotel will also feature 157 guestrooms, a swimming pool and gym. Located close to many large shopping outlets, high-rise offices and the Lumpini park, pentahotel Bangkok will offer business guests and leisure travellers alike the perfect window into the capital’s modern, vibrant and tropical lifestyle.

Spanish Court Hotel

$12.5 million redevelopment for Spanish Court Hotel Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica

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MKDA, a Miami-based architecture and interior design firm, has announced that its distinguished hospitality studio is the lead architect on the $12.5 million redevelopment of Jamaica”s long-shuttered Breezes Montego Bay Hotel into the 120,000-square-foot The Spanish Court Hotel Montego Bay.

Located on the beachfront along Gloucester Avenue in St. James, popularly called the Hip Strip, the resort hotel is an expansion of The Spanish Court brand in Kingston, and also a departure for the brand, whose popular Kingston location established in 2010 is primarily a destination for business travelers.

By introducing to the Caribbean a minimal architectural style similar to that found in Miami”s famed South Beach neighborhood, MKDA hopes The Spanish Court Hotel Montego Bay will redefine and elevate the concept of a Jamaican resort.

To achieve this architectural elegance, the exterior was stripped of its Mediterranean-inspired decorative elements in favor of clean, contemporary lines. A beautiful porte-cochere at the entrance features a large grey granite slab that creates a contrast to the stark white lines of structural elements, such as columns, slabs and walls, all of which frame full-height glazing walls. The architectural team is also reinforcing the structure in order to add two floors.

Most of the beautifully appointed 120 guest rooms will have views of Doctors Cave Beach, renowned in Jamaica for its clear turquoise waters, white sand and calm waters. Each will feature plush beds and spa-like bathrooms with roman tubs and sauna showers. Some will also comprise exterior balconies, and on the ground level, private plunge pools.

One of the most exciting details of the resort is the open-air lobby that frames—in beautiful wooden slats—the resort”s crystal blue infinity pool that melds flawlessly into the ocean. MKDA also designed a world-class restaurant and spa on either side of the lobby, as well as a pool and rooftop bar, café and gym.

MKDA is a corporate planning and interior design firm that was established in New York, NY in 1959. The firm also has a Stamford, CT studio that provides corporate interior design services, and a Miami, FL studio that provides architecture and interior design services. MKDA has been named one of Interior Design magazine”s Top 100 Interior Design Giants, has been an Interior Design Best of the Year Honoree, and has received numerous other accolades and recognition. Client brands have included Snapchat, SoundCloud, Guggenheim Partners, Design Within Reach and Heineken USA, as well as leading building owners Silverstein Properties, George Comfort & Sons, Vornado Realty Trust, Blackstone, ClearRock Properties and Boston Properties.

Rome welcomes back Le Méridien Brand

Rome welcomes back Le Méridien Brand

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Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, has marked a milestone: reintroducing the brand to Italy and reimagining an iconic palace to debut Le Méridien Visconti Rome.

Rome welcomes back Le Méridien BrandFollowing its meticulous renovation and conversion, Le Méridien Visconti Rome, owned and managed by the Toti Group, now boasts custom-designed guestrooms, suites and a transformation of the hotel”s public spaces, including the brand”s signature lobby concept: Le Méridien Hub.

Rome welcomes back Le Méridien BrandLocated in the charming Prati district, ideally situated between the Spanish Steps and the Vatican, Le Méridien Visconti Rome is deceivingly residential with 240 guestrooms and suites – ideal for business, leisure and group travel.

Rome welcomes back Le Méridien BrandLed by ara Design International, the hotel”s redesign is rooted in a classic Italian style with understated, geometrical references to Rome”s fabled treasures, including the Pantheon.

hansgrohe Metropol

hansgrohe Metropol: A distinctive style for premium bathroom design

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Following its UK debut at The Water Studio during CDW 2017, the new hansgrohe Metropol range of mixers makes a striking appearance with its consistently geometric design language.

In collaboration with its partner of many years, Phoenix Design, the brand hansgrohe has developed its most comprehensive range of mixers to date; it not only features a choice of three types of handles, but it is also the first range to include a floor-standing washbasin mixer for use with free-standing washbasins.

hansgrohe MetropolThe basin mixers come in four different tap heights, providing space for individual needs, whether for washing hands, shaving or filling receptacles. The hansgrohe Metropol 100 basin mixer is available in two versions; with either a 160 or 190 millimetre spout length for a variety of uses at the washbasin.

Striking design is the distinctive and defining feature of the new Metropol mixers: precise geometric contours, spheres and rectangles blend with expansive surfaces, casting delicate reflections of light. The cubic shape of the base conveys an elegant modernist aesthetic. Handle and spout harmoniously complement each other thanks to their parallel alignment. The rectangular shape of the escutcheon is consistent in keeping with the overall design.

Versital Metallic Marbles

Product Spotlight: Introducing the Metallic Marbles collection by Versital

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Versital is delighted to announce the launch of its ‘Metallic Marbles’ collection, a range comprising of three brand new metallic and marble-inspired finishes. The stunning collection is the first of its kind launched June 2017. The trio of designs will be available to the hospitality and contract industry followed by a roll out into kbb retailers.

Metallic Marble VersitalThe collection features three stunning colours: Copper Stratos blends a backdrop of white marble with statement metallic copper veining; Gold Stratos incorporates high quality gold veining for an opulent finish; whilst Silver Stratos completes this on-trend trio with a modern and contemporary look.

Gemma Stockberger, Sales, Marketing and Development at Versital explains the company’s inspiration behind the collection: “In the past year the trend for rose golds, coppers and precious metals in the home has been at the forefront of interior design in both residential and commercial sectors. We are excited to have developed a stunning formula that incorporates these colours in a beautifully subtle way. By blending luxurious Mica pigments with our signature cultured marble we have created ‘faux’ veining that represents the beautiful complexity of marble and takes the metallic look one step further.”

Versital is delighted to announce the launch of its ‘Metallic Marbles’ collection, a range comprising of three brand new metallic and marble-inspired finishesThe range, which has been manufactured by hand, offers the fantastic properties unique to Versital’s bespoke, made to measure, stone-resin material such as its 100% non-porous, waterproof surface, stain resistance and anti-slip coating on its bespoke shower trays. It is the ideal surface solution for bathrooms and hospitality settings and has many applications including:
– Bar surfaces, work tops and table tops
– Shower trays
– Shower panels and shower enclosures
– Washroom Vanities

Launching in June 2017, prices start from £380 for shower panels per square metre, and £990 for bespoke shower trays…

www.versital.co.uk
sales@versital.co.uk

Wilton Carpets

Signature style from Wilton at London Luton Airport

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The opening of a prestige passenger facility for Signature Flight Support, at London Luton Airport, marks a European flagship for the company, the world’s largest network of Fixed Base Operations.

Within the stunning 3DReid designed building, bespoke woven carpet from Wilton Carpets, inspired by the building’s modernist architecture, provides a luxurious floor to welcome flight crew and passengers.

Boasting the latest in technologies for entertainment, communications, passenger and crew amenities, and onward travel solutions; the building’s interior was designed by Hi Design, involved in a long-running consultancy since the plans for the facility were first conceptualised back in 2011.
Hi Design conceived a linear design that would respect the language of the space, while simultaneously offsetting the sinuous curves of the interior.

Susan Whittle, managing director, Hi Design, explained: “We focused on Signature Flight Support’s clients and asked ourselves what kind of hotels they stay in, what are their homes like, what cars they drive and ultimately, what experience and level of finish they would expect in such a facility. We then concentrated on exceeding expectations.”

Hi Design turned to the quality and luxury of bespoke wool-rich woven axminster from Wilton Carpets, creating a series of three coordinated stripe designs. At times, the carpet incorporates a border of corporate blue, to reflect the colour’s use on high-gloss ceilings and walls, or is juxtaposed with hard flooring to create zones of luxurious relaxation. Featuring in meeting rooms, VIP lounge, bar and crew facilities; each area has been given a bespoke variant on the stripe sequencing and colour selection, creating subtle distinction between areas, while providing a notable link to the next.

The clean simplicity of the carpet took time and patience to achieve, with multiple CADs and hand trials needed to make sure the finished carpet reflected the identity of Signature Flight Support and provided a luxurious and welcoming atmosphere demanded by the operator’s high-wealth clients.
Woven axminster was selected in a nine-row construction to deliver appearance retention and a quality expected by the international clientele, while still falling within a commercially viable budget. Susan Whittle, noted:

“Finding the right calibre of suppliers was key to the project’s success as we needed to specify high-quality, luxury products that would reflect the tastes and expectations of Signature Flight Support’s discerning clients. We worked closely with trusted suppliers, including Wilton Carpets, to design bespoke one-off pieces for the interior and we are delighted with the finished result.”

Featuring 80% British wool and 20% nylon, the carpets were woven in Wiltshire, bringing the quality and attention-to-detail of British manufacturing that makes Wilton Carpets one of the country’s most highly-regarded names in carpet for the hospitality sector.

For further information contact Wilton Carpets Commercial on 01722 746000 or sales@wiltoncarpets.com

Zander K in Bergen, Norway

Case Study: Zander K in Bergen, Norway

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Paris is for lovers, New York never sleeps, and in Bergen it rains. Every city has its stereotypes – some less flattering than others.

The citizens of Bergen, on Norway’s west coast, are saddled with a reputation for enduring 266 days of rainfall a year – the price they pay for their spectacular mountain backdrop, verdant woodland surrounds, and picture-perfect ocean horizon. But the Bergensers don’t mind. When it rains, they grab an umbrella and make the most of it.

That’s certainly the case at Zander K – the newly opened addition to the De Bergenske family of five hotels in central Bergen. Here, rain is an integral part of the hotel’s design scheme, wittily featured in playful storm-cloud artworks by Swedish illustrator Jesper Waldersten and postcards featuring nuggets of watery wisdom such as: ‘Some people walk in the rain. Others just get wet.’ Even the curtains in the bedrooms are wittily patterned with raindrops so that, even when the sun’s out (which happens much more frequently than people think), you can pull across the semi-transparent curtain and make it rain again.

Zander K in Bergen, NorwayWe wanted the hotel to feel like Bergen: friendly, modern and somewhat modest in scale. The hotel is located in three visually different but, in reality, fully connected buildings. More or less only the façades of the old buildings were kept, with two new extra floors discreetly added on top; most of the interior is newly built. But instead of making it look like one big building, we opted for visually downscaling it into three smaller volumes to suit the Bergen streetscape. We really like the fact that the hotel appears much smaller than it actually is. It’s the opposite of most new hotels.’ – Eero Koivisto, Architect, Claesson Koivisto Rune

Zander K in Bergen, NorwayLobby
The hub of the hotel is the lobby area – separated from the street by a green glass windcatcher (a distinctive feature of many Scandinavian hotels). This expansive, airy and fluidly multifunctional space leads into a congenial lounge and reception area on one side, and the easygoing Matbar restaurant on the other, with a zinc-topped bar in between. With an abundance of tactile raw materials – solid wood, concrete, polished marble and velvet – irregularly positioned pillars, a dark green ceiling and a leaf pattern spread across the tiled floor, the experience is rather like entering a modernist vision of a forest – appropriate, given Bergen’s lush woodland surroundings. The hotel’s connection to the natural world and the Norwegian landscape also comes across in Zander K’s wider interior palette – a soothing canvas of blues, whites and greys set alongside locally sourced wood and stone, creating both a feeling of calm and an authentic sense of place.

Restaurant
The Matbar (which translates, simply enough, as ’food bar’) is another aspect of Zander K that makes the most of the Bergen rain. Being so well watered, natural produce thrives in these parts, so the menu provides a seasonal showcase of the region’s finest. Chairs and tables – like most of the hotel’s furniture – have been custom-designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune. Their two-tone tabletops present uneven contrasts of light and dark woods – as do the Thonet chairs, cross-assembled from different batches to create playful juxtapositions of natural materials.

Bedrooms
The five floors above the lobby house the 249 bedrooms, linked by dark blue corridors that reference the colour of the hotel’s façade. Fresh, functional and bright, thanks to large windows and intelligently positioned mirrors, each room is a masterclass in contemporary comfort, with a touch industrial chic, courtesy of Claesson Koivisto Run’s bespoke features and furniture, including mirror-finished stainless steel desks, softened with rounded edges; gridlined wallpaper; pebble-grey and ‘Bergen blue’ upholstery textiles; and two-tone bedside tables (a design affectionately named ‘The Zander’) that echo the tables in the restaurant.

Stylo announced as event partner for Hotel Designs Brit List

Brit List 2017: Stylo announced as event partner

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Hotel Designs is delighted to welcome Stylo as an event partner for the Hotel Designs Brit List, which is taking place on July 12 at Urban Coterie at the vibrant Urban Coterie sky bar and restaurant in London, from 6pm until 11pm.

Stylo are specialists in large format print and display, offering bespoke tailored solutions for retail, hospitality interiors, exhibitions, museums and 3D installations.

One of the pioneering companies has been Stylo, the Hertfordshire-based print firm, which is now at the forefront of some incredibly exciting possibilities in three-dimensional printing.

Daniel Fountain, editor of Hotel Designs, said: “We have worked with Stylo before at some of our previous events and their 3D-printed items are always a talking point for all the attendees. It’s great to have such an innovative, cutting-edge company on board for what will be a great evening of networking and a celebration of the very best of design and the hospitality industries.”

A few sponsorship opportunities are still available for the Hotel Designs Brit List. To find out more contact Jennie Lane on 01992 374098 or email j.lane@forumevents.co.uk

W Barcelona

Iconic W Barcelona completes multi-million euro room renovation

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W Barcelona, an iconic flagship of W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International, has unveiled a multi-million euro transformation of all 473 guest rooms and suites, along with the addition of Europe”s first W Sound Suite (a music studio and writers room, now available at four W Hotels around the world).

The award-winning in-house design team at W Hotels partnered with London-based design studio Bowler James Brindley to reimagine the hotel, inspired by the 24/7 energy and privileged location on the shores of the buzzing Barceloneta.

Combining the personality and cutting-edge style of a boutique hotel with distinct positioning, W Hotels has created an entirely new segment in the hotel industry. W hotels provides the insider access to what’s new and next, offering a unique mix of cutting-edge design and passions around design, fashion, music and fuel.

w-barcelona.com

Power Of Colour

Trend Report: Style Library Contract – ‘The Power of Colour’

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At the beginning of this year Style Library Contract shared 4 design trends they see as having the greatest influence in hospitality design during 2017.

After Clerkenwell Design Week, the home of leading British brands Zoffany, Harlequin, Sanderson, Scion, Morris & Co., Anthology and FROne share four colour trends for Summer 2017 – ZEN, NOMAD, BLISS, and Pantone’s GREENERY…

NOMAD
The word Harlequin means ‘varied in colour or decoration’, which sums the in-house studio’s eclectic design ethos perfectly. Driven by their love of colour, collections are inspired from around the world. The intensity of colour found in nature is evident in Fauvisimo’s powerful colour palette which ranges from cobalt blues and deep magentas to moody greys, on trend mustards, highlights of muted greens, blush pinks and honey shades.

Nomad - Style Library ContractZEN
Moody metropolitan tones in subtle textures and combinations of matt and shine capture the essence of Anthology, a new generation of contract specification fabrics and wallcoverings. Sophisticated complexity that interior designers and hotel groups worldwide can easily access.

Zen - Style Library ContractBLISS
Harlequin’s Poetica range is an enchanting homage to the natural beauty and intrinsic charm of England’s spectacular countryside and delightful cottage gardens. Drawn with a refreshing lightness of hand and tinted in watery hues, it creates a shabby-chic contemporary look for a romantic escape.

GREENERY
As part of their Alchemy of Colour research, the Zoffany studio identified their own unique colour palette, which includes a dazzling malachite green. During this process Peter Gomez, Head of Design for the Zoffany Studio, experimented with a number of green shades and advises, ‘Be bold and use this colour in its purest form in a plain fabric, a great way to introduce a contemporary look is to champion green in a lustre effect against natural linens. Green really sits well off shades of sunstone and russets.

Style Library Contract - Greenery

Gleneagles lighting by Dernier & Hamlyn

Guest Blog: Jeremy Quantrill – The benefits of bespoke lighting…

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Jeremy Quantrill, managing director of Dernier & Hamlyn explains how beautiful, bespoke lighting does not have to be as expensive as you may think…

Having products specially commissioned to make the hotel interiors you design unique is usually highly desirable but often considered impractical within budgetary constraints. Whether you are talking furniture, carpets, artwork or lighting, bringing your personal touch makes the setting exclusive in every sense of the world.

Dernier & HamlynIt is often assumed that a high price tag always comes with individually specified items. However, with lighting, bespoke doesn’t have to blow the budget. We spend a lot of our time working with designers to produce lighting that meets their aesthetic and practical requirements cost-effectively whether it’s a one-off statement fitting or hundreds of table lamps or wall lights.

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RELATED CONTENT: Company Profile: Dernier & Hamlyn
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We have worked on hundreds of projects around the world where the interior designers’ initial ideas cannot be achieved with the money they have to spend. So, we talk with them about what’s important and, based on our experience built up over many years in lighting manufacture, we come up with solutions that meet their requirements but are less expensive. We can accomplish this in all sorts of ways.

Dernier & Hamlyn
Often it’s by adapting the manufacturing methods and techniques that are employed, so that products can be created more quickly resulting in reduced costs. Maybe modifications can be made to the design which do not change the overall look and feel, but, for example, reduce the amount of materials needed or reduce the number of processes involved resulting in significant price reductions, especially where this is replicated for an order of hundreds of products.

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RELATED CONTENT: Project Spotlight: Dernier & Hamlyn lighting for The Gleneagles is ‘above par’
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Or by looking at the lamps used we can often cut how many fittings are needed to provide the required light levels and quality. Frequently we can replace an especially costly material with something that looks similar but is much less expensive by using finishing techniques that give it the effect of, say, solid brass or copper, when in fact it is much cheaper, and easier to install, lightweight aluminium.

Dernier & Hamlyn
Time after time the highly skilled team in our London factory look at ways in which a light fitting can fulfil several purposes. So a chandelier may look as if it’s just hanging in a hotel lobby as a thing of beauty, but could also conceal emergency lighting so that there is no need to produce two separate fittings which can help to cut costs too.

So, next time you are thinking about lighting, whether it’s for the next must go to restaurant in London, a five star hotel in Dubai, a boutique set up in the Midlands or anywhere else for that matter, don’t discount the idea of commissioning bespoke lighting as out of hand. Consider carefully what you’re aiming to accomplish and whether there are ways to get there that are outside of usual thinking. And if you need help give us a call, we relish a challenge and will be delighted to talk through your aspirations and how we might be able to help you achieve them.

dernier-hamlyn.com
020 8760 0900
info@dernier-hamlyn.com

No Rock Even-stable table technology from Contract Furniture Store

Product Spotlight: No-Rock – self-stabilising even table bases from Contract Furniture Store

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Contract Furniture StoreContract Furniture Store, a leading online specialist supplier of luxury hotel, office and restaurant furniture. With more than 100 different European brands and more than 4,000 products they are dedicated to delivering the highest quality modern affordable furniture for their clients.

Their team of dedicated designers ensure that their modern furniture is unique, bespoke and highly comfortable. Their meticulous attention to detail and experienced craftsmanship combined with the latest cutting edge technology makes them an industry-leading provider of modern and affordable commercial furniture.

One of their latest creations, No-Rock, provides an unrivalled Even-solution to table instability. Meeting the everyday needs of cafes and restaurants, No-Rock Even table bases self-stabilise on uneven indoor and al fresco surfaces, while exhibiting an innovative and contemporary design aesthetic.

No wedges, no wobbles, no worries. Explore our No-Rock Even range available for quick shipment now

T: +44 (0)1785 594378
E: sales@contractfurniturestore.co.uk
W: www.contractfurniturestore.co.uk

Sekers Milan and Quasar collections

Product Spotlight: Sekers announce Milan, Quasar collections

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Sekers announces the launch of Milan (pictured above, right), a luxurious viscose cut velvet collection. Taking inspiration from Miki Sekers and utilizing archive pieces from the 1960s, Milan is a versatile collection of three elegant, contemporary designs suitable for contract upholstery and cushions.

Milan is available in a versatile palette of refined shades ranging from cool metallic tones and sophisticated neutrals to saturated jewel tones. With a plush hand and subtle lustre, Milan is a handsome addition to any interior and is an ideal choice for the designer specifying for the hospitality, leisure and marine markets.

With a high abrasion performance of a minimum of 45,000 Martindale and supplied with crib 5 backing, Milan is ideal for the contract market, meeting all relevant UK, American standards and IMO standards for upholstery.

Meanwhile, Sekers proudly launches Quasar (pictured above, left), a new upholstery collection of six textural designs, available in a palette of 30 colours, ranging from earthy neutrals to radiant jewel tones. Quasar is a versatile collection of woven textures incorporating a variety of yarns including twists, chenilles and bouclés.
Supplied with a Crib 5 flame retardant backing and with a minimum Martindale abrasion performance as high as 140,000 rubs, Quasar is perfect for the most demanding upholstery application and the ideal choice for the commercial hospitality, leisure and marine markets.

Sekers Fabrics Limited
7a Nobel Road, Wester Gourdie Industrial Estate
Dundee, DD2 4UH
Sales Tel: +44 (0) 1946 517501 Sales Fax: +44 (0) 1946 517502
UK & Ireland Email: sales@sekers.co.uk Export Email: export@sekers.co.uk
www.sekersfabrics.co.uk

Hyatt Regency Seattle Exterior - LMN Architects

Hyatt Regency Seattle by LMN Architects set to be largest hotel in Pacific Northwest

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LMN Architects, a multidisciplinary design firm with a reputation for distinctive, community-focused projects, announces the topping out of the building podium for the new Hyatt Regency in downtown Seattle.

Hyatt Regency Seattle Exterior_LMN ArchitectsPositioned at the nexus of Seattle’s downtown commercial, convention, and high-rise residential neighborhoods, the 1,400,000-square-foot Hyatt Regency Seattle synthesizes a diverse mix of urban influences into a skyline-scaled, mixed-use building. The tower’s monolithic composition will provide a bold, yet quiet, counterpoint to the highly articulated neighboring towers; its ethereal exterior conceived to dissolve and merge into the silvery sky as it rises above surrounding buildings.

The 45-storey, 500-foot-tall building is composed of two primary volumes: one, a semi-detached, eight-story podium bisected at street level by a mid-block connector; the other, a 37-story tower. The podium will provide 105,000-square-feet of meeting and ballroom space integrated with a two-story glazed base featuring a restaurant and hotel lobby functions. The tower above will host a 1,260-room hotel. The tower will rise above the podium’s rooftop terrace atop a glass-enclosed fitness center and club lounge.

The building will activate the city at street level through a series of highly transparent spaces including the lobby, porte-cochere, restaurants, bars, and shops. Ground level spaces are designed to spill out onto the wide, landscaped sidewalks—a visual merger of inside and outside. The second level will feature additional retail, including a grab-and-go market, a large bar and restaurant, and expanded lobby lounge space for hotel and meeting guests.

The tower’s placement on the southwest corner of the block will allow it to knit together with the dense commercial high-rises of downtown and the convention center expansion. The overall massing strategy will minimize shadows cast over adjacent blocks to the north where the lower height of the podium aligns with the residential and mixed-use neighborhood. A new mid-block connector will interface with an existing alley for pedestrian, garage, and back-of-house access within the interior of the block, leaving the street perimeter free for continuous public space with wide sidewalks, street furnishings, and generous plantings. A vertical window wall rising above the mid-block connector will divide the podium into two smaller volumes. The northern portion will be devoted to ballrooms, and feature a pre-function hallway and event space that will open to views of Stewart Street via a deep-set window wall. The southern portion will contain meeting rooms. Paintings and sculpture, located throughout the building’s public spaces, will animate the building’s refined aesthetic.

The hotel, which will be operated by Hyatt Regency, is expected to be completed in 2018. LEED Gold Certification is anticipated.

Project team:
LMN (architecture, interiors, urban design)
R. C. Hedreen Co. (developer)
Zena Design Group (hotel room, tower lobby interior design)
Sellen Construction (contractor)
Hyatt Regency (hotel brand)
Berger Partnership (landscape architecture)
CPL (civil engineering)
MKA (structural engineering)
Arup (MEP engineering)

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa unveils new water suites

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Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa has unveiled their much-anticipated water villas; two-bedroom suites, three-bedroom suites and the family water villas. The new accommodations are now open for booking.

Each of the new water villas offers luxurious indoor and outdoor living and dining areas, vast wooden decks with shaded loungers, overwater hammock nets, infinity pools, direct lagoon access and lightly air-conditioned interiors featuring designs inspired by the vibrant colours of Kuda Huraa.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda HuraaThe Two-Bedroom Water Suite give guests the choice to choose their layout; swim towards the horizon or float adjacent to it with two different pool and deck orientations; parallel and perpendicular to the sea. The Three-Bedroom Water Suite is designed to let guests live their fantasy escape through private spa treatments and yoga in the comfort of their own ocean-view deck.

Finally, the new Family Water Villa is designed to keep everyone in the family delighted, said the resort. Guests can keep a close eye on their little ones in the gorgeous sunken children”s room located a step down from the lounge with a wall of windows framing the endless turquoise lagoon beyond.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda HuraaThe enchanting garden island of Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa lies a half-hour speedboat ride from Velana International Airport, offering 96 thatched beach and water villas. In addition to the Island Spa sanctuary located on its own private island, Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa has four restaurants and two bars that are complemented by private dining options, including sandbank barbeques and private over-water gazebos.

Brexit is impacting the hospitality industry

Brexit A Year On – Opinion: ‘Perfect storm’ on the way for UK hospitality industry

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Heidrick & Struggles , a premier provider of executive search, leadership consulting and culture shaping worldwide, spoke to Chairmen and Chief Executives from some of the biggest organisations in the industry, representing businesses with revenues of over £40 billion and employing more than a million people across the UK. While views on their specific business or sector could vary, the overarching theme was one of significant concern.

The report by Heidrick & Struggles, in partnership with the British Hospitality Association, found a range of issues worrying industry leaders. Most notably, rising costs are high up the agenda, with the fall in the pound following Britain’s decision to leave the EU having a huge impact on the cost of key imports that is yet to be felt by consumers. One CEO complained about the cost of butter, with an increased cost to her business of 46%, while another was seeing meat costs rise by 29%. This will mean higher bills for diners and holidaymakers, but according the majority of CEOs, consumers are yet to react negatively to price rises because the majority of these costs are yet to hit them.

Businesses in the sector are anticipating a recruitment gap of over a million jobs by 2029, according to a report by the BHA and KPMG earlier this year, which would mean the industry would need to recruit 60,000 UK workers in addition to sustained recruitment of 200,000 more per annum to meet the demands of growth. Filling these openings would likely be impossible without hiring migrant workers. Firms are heavily reliant on European workers, with half of CEOs reporting their workforce as 25-50%European, with more than a third of those businesses hiring EU citizens to fill 50-75% of their workforce.

According to the report, post-Brexit the hospitality industry pay bill will increase by £1.4 billion in the first year, and could rise by just over £1 billion a year over three years, amounting to a total cost of £3.2 billion. Wider economic changes are also adding to the pressure for the hospitality and leisure sector as business rates rise, and the apprenticeship levy and pensions auto-enrolment begin.

Ben Twynam, Partner at Heidrick & Struggles, said: “We have seen real concern from the most senior people across the hospitality industry, not only about talent and other Brexit-related concerns, but due to a number of headwinds facing the industry. With the cost of imports continuing to rise, increasing prices for customers and an expectation of decreasing consumer confidence in 2018 and 2019, there are a number of challengers facing businesses across the sector. While industry leaders are relatively confident about the remainder of 2017, they are far more pessimistic about the two years thereafter, when the real impact of Brexit will come to fruition.”

Ufi Ibrahim, the chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said: “It is no exaggeration to say that hospitality and tourism face a perfect storm which is well articulated by our industry’s top executives in this report – a looming recruitment crisis caused by cuts to come in EU immigration, rising costs on both materials and labour, increased business rates and a tax regime that favours our European competitors. We have been urgently discussing these matters with the last government and will do so with the next. Our 10-year strategy to encourage more UK workers into the industry has been well received and we have confidence that with government support we can continue to grow what is the fourth largest industry in the UK.”

The hospitality and leisure industry is the fourth-largest employer in the UK, with 4.5 million people working in more than 180,000 businesses across the country.

Guest Blog: Rob Sykes on the future of hotel design

Guest Blog

As the global hospitality marketplace evolves and travelers’ preferences shift, what are the future trends that hotel designers need to anticipate? And how can we be visionary in our approach to each and every assignment? Rob Skyes, senior associate WATG shares his thoughts…

Our industry constantly yearns for innovation, with each hotel brand and independent operator seeking ways in which they can differentiate themselves to gain their own unique space in a very crowded marketplace. However, ‘out of the box’ thinking must always be balanced with economic pragmatism. Ultimately, hotels, as a real estate asset class, are challenging. Any investment risk must be justified by the requisite financial rewards.

Hospitality industry experts first started talking about brand proliferation in the mid-1990s. Over the years, we have seen a torrent on independent innovators and brand extensions from the major operators. Indeed, today, the big six hotel companies hold an incredible 90 brands between them. With such saturation in the marketplace, our clients are asking us one key question: How can we differentiate to get ahead?

Future of hotel designTrends of the last five years include themes such as the rise of ‘localised’ design, trendy independent ‘lifestyle’ hotels and animated public areas. But what concepts are currently on our drawing boards at integrated hospitality design firm, WATG, that will be entering the market in the next few years?

Hospitality trends and influences: A healthy obsession Across the generations we have become preoccupied with our personal wellbeing – boomers strive to hold back the ravages of time, millennials aim to optimise their personal fitness. Our lives are jam-packed with wearables, apps, healthy-eating blogs, fitness mash-ups and endless pop-ups to lure us into the belief that if we become disciples we can live forever.

Rob SykesYet, the hotel sector, with a few notable exceptions, lags behind such innovations. Hotel fitness facilities remain largely traditional in nature. This has to change. That said, we do have some interesting brand combos and extensions happening. Equinox, the high end fitness operator is moving boldly into the hotel arena with its first property opening in New York in 2018. Likewise, 1 Hotel Miami Beach has teamed up with Soul Cycle to offer popular spin classes’ at the hotel.

But as consumers demand more bespoke fitness and wellness routines and a more experiential approach to the tedium of exercise, hotels and resorts will need to become more experimental and absorb some of the entrepreneurial ideas spinning around the fitness and beauty market.

We do not see a future of robot services and virtual reality experiences. Technology is expensive and quickly becomes dated. First-class hospitality will always require the ‘human touch’. Particularly true of resorts, consumers will increasingly seek to reconnect with nature, spend quality time with loved ones and return to ‘the simple life’. These principles are driving our designs of late; a return to analogue rather than digital. That said, there will of course be ways to utilize technology to enhance the guest experience. But we see these as subtle touches, rather than drastic interventions.

Future of hotel designWe experience ever-growing pressure, from both developers and consumers, for environmentally responsible and ‘resilient’ hotels and resorts. Many land owners we work with have a genuine commitment to stewardship, and we see this as integral to the enduring success of a project. Therefore, we must stay ahead of the curve regarding new construction techniques, the create reuse or ‘up-cycling’ of materials, and landscape design innovations that will help us deliver low-impact, yet beautiful hotels. In essence, we see our role as a master-craftsman of destinations, rather than ‘just another design firm’.

The trend away from the cookie-cutter hotel experience will gather pace. Developers will progressively ask us to define niche hospitality concepts. These will be bespoke to the demands of very specific and evolving target markets. Design concepts will focus increasingly on generational consumer and technology trends and the nuances in habits of specific geographic source markets. Unique, tailored hotel concepts tend to gain industrywide attention and despite their targeted strategy, often end up as part of the mainstream.

Rob Sykes is a Senior Associate on the global strategy team with WATG.  This article consolidates the thinking of WATG’s design teams in London and Singapore, covering architecture, interior design and landscape. WATG designers Tony Menezes, Kevin Scholl, Nicole Hammond, John Paul Pederson, John Goldwyn, Edouard Gillon, Christine McGinnis, and Tom Williams took part in the two cross-functional working groups, along with Rob Sykes.

About WATG
WATG is a leading integrated design firm, ranked second in the world among hotel architectural firms. WATG’s interior design firm, Wimberly Interiors, was ranked 10th by Interior Design Magazine in their 2016 Hospitality Giants survey.

Ritz-Carlton Astana

The Ritz-Carlton, Astana opens to mark company’s first Kazakh property

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The Ritz-Carlton, the legendary luxury hotel brand, opened the doors of its first hotel in the capital of Kazakhstan. With the capital city an emerging destination for business and leisure travelers, The Ritz-Carlton, Astana elevates the local hospitality landscape with exceptional service, elegant accommodations, and commitment to creating memorable experiences.

Located in the Talan Towers, The Ritz-Carlton, Astana, owned by Verny Capital Group, joins an elite business center and luxury shopping gallery to create the city’s first high-end, mixed-use complex, creating a new type of lifestyle and luxury experience in the region. With a unique yet graceful design, The Ritz-Carlton, Astana is also a natural extension of the square around the nearby Bayterek Tower, a monument and symbol of modern Astana.

The Ritz-Carlton, Astana features 157 guest rooms, including 32 suites, and 27 residences, all of which offer panoramic city views, thoughtful design that celebrates the beauty of the capital city, and spacious layouts. A Club Lounge on the 14th floor provides guests with an additional sanctuary, private check-in, dedicated Club Concierge, and culinary presentations throughout the day.

Three new restaurants showcase gastronomic excellence from around the world and will delight guests and local residents alike. Adjacent to the main entrance, Өzen offers the finest selection of organic produce, while Mökki, an all-day dining restaurant, offers guests a sense of comfort. The selection is completed with Selfie Astana, the newest creation of the Russian-based restaurant group White Rabbit Family, which will offer masterful cuisine to accompany the stunning city view from the 18th floor.

Ritz-Carlton AstanaA peaceful spa retreat will also offer an array of treatments and spa packages that include seasonal offerings and signature treatments, all of which are chosen for their holistic qualities. Spa amenities include a dry and steam sauna and swimming pool, with a fitness studio adjacent to the spa. Additionally, The Ritz-Carlton, Astana will help create unforgettable meetings and events by offering luxurious settings paired with exceptional cuisine and personalized service. The hotel’s 1000 square meter ballroom, well-appointed meetings rooms, and modern business and banquet amenities are well suited to accommodate a diverse range of meetings and events.

Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills welcomes first guests

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Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills has opened its doors, adding a much-anticipated, soon-to-be-iconic hotel to the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards – the gateway to Beverly Hills.

Adjacent to The Beverly Hilton, the 12-story hotel is the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts” first new build on the West Coast and second California property, joining the legendary Waldorf Astoria portfolio of now 26 hotels and resorts worldwide.

Waldorf Astoria Beverly HillsOwned by Alagem Capital Group and clients of Guggenheim Partners, the hotel”s 119 deluxe rooms and 51 suites are part of a world-class, Art Deco-influenced design created by renowned interior design firm Pierre-Yves Rochon.

Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills
The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills is located at 9850 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Jerone Werdmolder serves as the general manager and Luc Delafosse is the managing director.

Brit List ticket price

HOTEL DESIGNS BRIT LIST: The Long List

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Who are the most inspirational and influential names in the UK hotel business?

The finalists in the Hotel Designs Brit List have been named, taking in some of the biggest names in the UK industry. For the past few months, Hotel Designs has been taking soundings and nominations to create the Brit List – a celebration of the most influential and inspirational hoteliers and interior designers.

The final list will be unveiled on the evening of Wednesday July 12th at the vibrant Urban Coterie sky bar and restaurant. It’s free to attend if you work in the sector – to find out more click here.

The shortlist is now being studied by our panel of judges, who will decide the 25 top hoteliers and 25 top interior designers. The panel includes Dr Vanessa Brady OBE, President of the Society of British & International Design; Glyn Adams, Academic at the Edge Hotel School; Patrick Goff, Founder of Goff Associates; Daniel Fountain, Editor of Hotel Designs.

The finalists are:

Hoteliers
Andrew Wildsmith – Owner, Wildsmith Hotles
Louise & Andrew Macbeth – Owners, Beck Hall
Mailo Power – Director, Athenaeum House
Bharat Rai – General Manager, Grange Tower Bridge Hotel
Marwan Hemchaoui – Manager, The Vineyard
Patrick Burke – Owner/Manager, The Atlantic Hotel
Paul Brackley – Manager, Shangri-La, The Shard
Peter McCarthy – Chairman, Clevedon Hall
Robin Sheppard – Chairman, Bespoke Hotels
Aidan Flanagan – Manager, Muckrach Country House Hotel
Tony Troy – CEO, Principal Hotels
Michael Obray – General Manager, Lords of the Manor Hotel
Lynn Brutman – General Manager, Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire
Charles Lowther – Owner, Askham Hall
Chris Hurst – General Manager, Hambleton Hall
Andrew Thomason – Managing Director, Gravetye Manor
Jennifer McCabe – General Manager, Charlotte Street Hotel
Tom Ross – General Manager, The Pig Near Bath
Mario Ovsenjak – General Manager, Hotel Gotham
Adolf Schauer – General Manager, The Landmark London
Mark Bevan – General Manager, Chewton Glen
Olivia Immesi – Manager, Ace Hotel Shoreditch
Jan-Paul Kroese – General Manager, Belmond Le Manoir aux Qaut’Saisons
Sue Williams – General Manager, Whatley Manor

Designers
Conrad Smith – (Posthumous award) – Reardonsmith Architects
Ariane Steinbeck – Interior Designer, RPW Design
Emma King – Head of Interior Design Europe, IHG
Geraldine Milsom – Milsom Hotels & Restaurants Group
Sarah Ramsbottom – Managing Director, Elle R Leisure
Deema Sahyoun – IND Creations
Andrew Linwood – Areen Hospitality
Dennis Irvine – Dennis Irvine Studio
Dexter Moren – Director, Dexter Moren Associates
Malgosia Hendzel – Architect, Alex Kravetz Design
Henry Chebaane – Designer, Blue Sky Hospitality Space
Graeme Banks – Design Director, Barr + Wray
Michelle Holland – Associate, Goddard Littlefair
Alesia Sirokina – Senior Designer, Project Orange
John Lewis – Associate Director, Richmond International
Bee Osborn – Director, Osborn Interiors
David Richard Mellor – Principal/Head of Design, David Richard Mellor
Yasmine Mahmoudieh – Yasmine Mahmoudieh Architecture & Design
Patrick Tyberghein – Director, Carter Tyberghein
Helen Fewster – Director, Suna Interior Design
Robert Angell – Principal/Director, Robert Angell Design
Michael Simmons – Founder/Designer, Space ID
Nicholas Hollinshead – Senior Designer, NH Interiors
Lucy Goddard – Creative Director, NoChintz
Michael Squire – Senior Partner, Squire & Partners
Susie Atkinson – Founder, Susie Atkinson Design
Andy Cooper – Head of Design, Oulsnam Design
Esra Kumbasar – Senior Designer, Wrothams
Elizabeth Warden – Principal, Elizabeth Designs
David Carter – Designer, A La Carte R

A limited number of sponsorship opportunities are available for the Hotel Designs Brit List. To find out more contact Jennie Lane on 01992 374098 or email j.lane@forumevents.co.uk

Hotel Designs Brit List

26 May-2 June: Top 10 Stories of the Week

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From hotel openings to product spotlights to everything in between, we collate the top 10 most read stories on Hotel Designs this week…

1. PRINCIPAL HOTELS ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR THE GRAND HOTEL IN BIRMINGHAM
The hotel at The Grand, one of Birmingham’s most iconic buildings, is to be redeveloped into a luxury, 180-room hotel through a partnership announced between Hortons’ Estate.

2. DE VERE LATIMER ESTATE UNVEILS £7 MILLION RENOVATION
Nicknamed The Spy House because of its connections with WWII, Grade I listed De Vere Latimer Estate has this week unveiled a £7 million renovation.

3. HYPNOS LAUNCHES NEW RANGE OF SOFA BEDS FOR HOSPITALITY SECTOR
Award-winning British bed manufacturer and Royal Warrant holder Hypnos is celebrating the launch of its new range of sofa beds specifically designed to meet the demands and rigours of the hospitality sector.

4. INVESTMENT, REFURBISHMENT AT MERCURE GLOUCESTER BOWDEN HALL

The General Manager of the 4* Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall hotel, Gavin Jones, has today announced plans for a comprehensive refurbishment of the hotel’s 72 bedrooms.

5. BREXIT A YEAR ON: TRIVAGO REVEALS UK TRAVELLER TRENDS THIS SUMMER

trivago data shows that London is the most popular destination for international visitors, beach locations are popular with locals, travellers from Ireland, Italy and France are searching for the longest stays.

6. Q&A: INTERVIEW WITH TAYLOR WIMPEY SPAIN’S ANA GARCIA MALDONADO

Ana Garcia Maldonado is leading Spanish developer Taylor Wimpey España’s highly experienced head of interior design who has worked independently with developers for almost 15 years.

7. FOUR SEASONS HOTEL LONDON CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING

Coming together to mark the final stages of this spectacular seven-year project, the attendees gathered on the grand steps of Ten Trinity Square, the former Port of London Authority Headquarters.

8.SUSTAINABILITY FOCUS: GOING GREEN WITH GERMAN HOTEL GROUP MARITIM

Germany’s largest owner-managed hotel group has increased its conference and incentives offer by upgrading more than a quarter of its German portfolio and introducing green initiatives.

9.SPOTLIGHT: DURAVIT’S NEW MATERIALS COMBINE PERFORMANCE AND AESTHETICS
Duravit is continuously breaking new ground when it comes to introducing innovative products derived from new materials – combining performance with aesthetics whilst being sensuous and inviting

10.HULL’S £25M HOTEL DEVELOPMENT REACHES HALF WAY POINT

Developers of the £25m DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Hull have announced that they have just passed the halfway point of the build.

Clerkenwell Design Week 2017

Clerkenwell Design Week 2017 in review…

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Over 34,000 design professionals from 73 countries at London’s most important commercial design festival.

The eighth edition of Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW), sponsored by Renault, delivered huge benefit to London’s creative hub with over 57,000 new business leads generated during the three-day festival. With more than 200 brands exhibiting across the 7 venues and 92 showrooms, CDW brought life to the area from 23-25 May and further cemented the festival as a key event on the international design calendar.

Clerkenwell Design Week 2017This year’s festival focussed on refining the visitor experience and access to the extensive combination of exhibitions, installations and over 300 live events. The eye-catching way-finding, designed by Space Agency and sponsored by URW++ was a vital aspect of this and guided visitors easily through the Clerkenwell Exhibition Trail, along which visitors experienced immersive installations including the ambitious 8m tall Beacon at Design Fields and The Bolt: A Celebration of Craft, an impressive structure created by Giles Miller and Shinola.

CDW 2017 Facts and figures…
• 34,128 total visitors
• 64% visitors were architects or designers
• 57563 business leads captured at the show
• Visitors from 73 countries
• 300+ events
• 92 showrooms
• 209 exhibitors

The Conversations at Clerkenwell series, sponsored by eporta, staged in a specially designed talks space located within Design Fields, included a host of design thinkers and influencers including Doshi Levien, Sebastian Cox and many more. The eighth edition also welcomed 25 fringe partners, including the Museum of London, who organised themed walks on the past, present and future of making in Clerkenwell and Craft Central who presented a collaboration with TfL, celebrating TfL’s unique heritage of design with a specially commissioned collection of thirteen brand new Underground-inspired brooches.

Clerkenwell Design Week 2017Daren Newton, Managing Director of Clerkenwell Design Week, commented “The eighth edition of Clerkenwell Design Week was hugely successful and has proven that the festival is a substantial player in the global design scene. The festival saw some of the best global design brands occupy the unique setting of medieval and victorian Clerkenwell and we have had brilliant responses from exhibitors and visitors alike. The new layout for the festival was cemented this year through enhanced wayfinding, making the festival a much more complete experience – aided significantly by the great weather! We are now very much looking forward to next year.”

Max Fraser, specialist in contemporary design was announced as Content Editor last month and going forward, will advise on the content curation, strategy and programming for Clerkenwell Design Week. He will also take on the same position on 100% Design (20-23 September), the cornerstone event of the London Design Festival.

Clerkenwell Design Week 2018 will take place Tuesday 22- Thursday 24 May.

De Vere Latimer Estate

De Vere Latimer Estate unveils £7 million renovation

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Nicknamed The Spy House because of its connections with WWII, Grade I listed De Vere Latimer Estate has this week unveiled a £7 million renovation that places the mansion house back at the heart of the estate. Situated in Latimer, among Buckinghamshire’s rolling Chiltern Hills just five miles from the M25, the refurbishment uncovered and restored many original features, as well as subtly celebrating the hotel’s connection to a secret history.

De Vere Latimer Estate boasts a rich history that dates back to the 16th Century when the original house held Charles I during his imprisonment. The red brick Tudor-style mansion standing today was completed in 1838 and became the temporary host of captured German U-boat submarine crews and Luftwaffe pilots during the Second World War before becoming the National Defence College until 2006.

De Vere Latimer Estate’s biggest transformation occurred in the mansion house, where no stone was left unturned. The refurbished original sweeping staircase with stained glass windows leads guests to 31 new deluxe rooms and suites that were previously meeting rooms and offices, bringing the total number of guestrooms to 205.

All guestrooms feature free Wi-fi and flat screen TVs, whilst suites and deluxe rooms come complete with king size beds, fluffy robes and slippers as well as luxury bathroom toiletries.

The new 1838 Restaurant & Bar, which is open to members of the public as well as hotel guests, is located in the mansion house and features an open kitchen cooking up locally sourced, seasonal British dishes. Guests can choose to dine in the modern, wooden-floored restaurant, with soft green touches and indoor trees, or head outside to the courtyard and dine under the trees by candle light. The new Huntley Bar features stunning views across the Chess Valley and offers both guests and locals a relaxing, stylish environment in which to enjoy a drink whilst taking in the surroundings.

De Vere Latimer EstateFor those booking a wedding or event at De Vere Latimer Estate, the mansion house provides four new look spaces; including a traditional grand drawing room, The Cheyne, with original features that can host intimate celebrations for up to 30 guests, to The Cavendish Suite for weddings and events up to 200 guests. Respectively added to the mansion during the refurbishment, the Cavendish suite offers state-of-the-art facilities that can double in size by the opening of bi-folding doors on to a new terrace that offers views across the countryside. Couples who like to mix the tradition of a church wedding with a country house reception can have both at De Vere Latimer Estate, as the estate’s church is short walk from the stately home.

Antonio Campanile, General Manager at De Vere Latimer Estate, commented: “We’re very proud to have restored this remarkable mansion house back to glory; a lot of time and work has gone in to this project, to ensure homage is paid to its important history. The newly refurbished bedrooms are looking fantastic and we’re already receiving excellent feedback from guests.

He continued: “As a popular venue for the meetings, conferences and private events market, the renovation was planned and designed to appeal to all our customers, whilst providing a stylish standout venue in stunning surroundings.”

De Vere Latimer Estate, nestled in 30 acres of formal gardens and grounds, boasts free superfast outdoor Wi-fi, a restored Victorian Pond, as well as specially commissioned sculptures by artist Emma Stothard. Guests of the hotel also have access to a gym, indoor pool, sauna, steam room, as well as a boot room which provides complimentary Hunter wellies in which to explore the stunning grounds.

The property also boasts 28 flexible meeting and events spaces, some of which are located in the Cormorant and Mews buildings, which sit adjacent to the mansion house. The refurbishment has also seen the introduction of De Vere’s first Burr & Co. coffee shop concept, where guests can enjoy high quality ethically sourced coffee, tea, juices and soft drinks, artisan cakes and pastries to take away or eat in.

The completion of De Vere Latimer Estate’s refurbishment marks another important milestone in De Vere’s wider multi-million-pound country estate hotel renovation project, which places the Mansion House at the epi-centre of the group’s country estate portfolio. The gardens will also receive investment with the addition of outdoor dining patios and sculptures, making the great outdoors an extension of the hotel itself.

Litchfield Sofabed - Hypnos

Hypnos launches new range of sofa beds for hospitality sector

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Award-winning British bed manufacturer and Royal Warrant holder Hypnos is celebrating the launch of its new range of sofa beds specifically designed to meet the demands and rigours of the hospitality sector.

Made for practicality, sofa beds offer a comfortable seat as well as the option of converting a double or single occupancy room into a family or multi-occupancy one in just a few moments.

The new range from Hypnos comprises six different models, all of which have been stylishly designed to create a series of traditional and contemporary sofa beds. Available in a range of sizes, from a single seater chair bed to a corner unit, the range offers hoteliers a versatile working and lounging area in their guest rooms. Furthermore, each sofa bed can be tailored to suit the aesthetic and tone of the suites in which they will sit, using Hypnos’ specialist hospitality fabric collection, or the client’s own choice of fabric, thereby allowing them to take control of the design and offer their guests a unique sleep experience that is not only practical, but also highly stylish.

Litchfield Sofabed - HypnosCustomers can pick their perfect sofa bed inspired by some of the most iconic and desirable places in the world which share their name with the products in the range, including London, Paris, Milan and Manhattan. Paying homage to two of the UK’s most stunning cities, Lichfield and York complete the collection, which has been designed for Hypnos’ customers worldwide.

As experts in creating beds for the hospitality industry, Hypnos has made its new sofa beds with handy, in-built storage features. Designed to be a multi-use product, these new sofa beds offer a wide range of benefits to hoteliers and the housekeeping teams who can keep key items within them.

Clare Taylor, Hypnos Contract Beds Marketing Manager, said: “Our latest range of sofa beds offers an all-round solution to our customers, providing them with the comfort their guests seek, alongside the quality and design hoteliers need for a stylish looking guest suite or room.

“All of our sofa beds are highly durable and backed by a 5 year guarantee. They are also protected by our state of the art hygiene treatments as well as being 100% recyclable at the end of their life,” she added.

For more information on the full Hypnos range, or to download the Sofa bed brochure, please visit www.hypnoscontractbeds.com

Mercure Gloucester

Investment, refurbishment at Mercure Gloucester Bowden Hall

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The General Manager of the 4* Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall hotel, Gavin Jones, has today announced plans for a comprehensive refurbishment of the hotel’s 72 bedrooms.

The announcement follows just weeks after the launch of the hotel’s new Bar & Brasserie Restaurant. The hotel’s stunning ballroom was redesigned two years ago, followed by the reception and public areas in 2016.

The bedroom renovation will take place gradually over the coming months whilst the hotel maintains normal business with minimal guest disruption. The new bedroom design, created by Jupiter Hotels’ interior designer, Helen Hooper of HH Interiors, will be unveiled on 19th August when the refurbishment is completed.

Commenting on the developments at the hotel, Gavin Jones, General Manager of the Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall, said: “It is such as exciting time at the hotel. We have seen major transformations over the last two years starting with the redesign of the Lakeside Suite and the renovation of the historic hotel’s reception area. To now be undergoing an extensive refurbishment of all our 72 bedrooms is fantastic. Once complete the hotel truly will be one of the finest hotels in the Cotswolds – I am very proud.

“Last month we celebrated the opening of our new Bar & Brasserie restaurant and are already welcoming locals and guests from across the county and further afield. We have already built strong local connections such as Cotswolds Distillery and the new gin list is proving particularly popular,” he added.

Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel is a beautiful Georgian country house hotel set in 12 acres of sweeping parkland.

Deluxe Room Conrad Guangzhou

Conrad Guangzhou opens to the world

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Conrad Hotels & Resorts is SET to welcome guests to the new Conrad Guangzhou, the seventh Conrad property to debut in China.

Created as a stylish urban oasis in the heart of CBD Zhujiang New Town, Conrad Guangzhou boasts panoramic river views from its rooms and restaurants while offering intuitive amenities and flawless service. The hotel is ideal for leisure and business travelers alike who want to explore, do business and stay inspired.

Conrad Guangzhou offers 309 spacious guest rooms and suites in a modern 27-storey tower overlooking the Pearl River. The hotel enjoys a prime location in the midst of a new, multi-use complex, where guests can easily walk to premium shopping, entertainment and public art, or attend to business at the nearby corporate offices. Popular landmarks like the Guangdong Museum, Guangzhou Opera House and Canton Tower are minutes away, as are the subway system and bus stations.

Conrad Guangzhou opens to the worldConrad Guangzhou features a variety of modern and spacious rooms and suites with panoramic river views and best-in-class amenities. Starting at a generous 48 square meters, rooms feature walk-in closets, large flat screen TVs, WiFi and wired internet access, Nespresso coffee machine, and a shoe dryer, a thoughtful amenity unique to Conrad Guangzhou to keep your shoes dry and toasty.

Conrad Guangzhou guests can stay healthy, fit and inspired while traveling with a stunning fitness center located on the sixth floor with state-of-the-art equipment, a 25-metre indoor pool and sweeping views of the city. The onsite spa offers relaxing and rejuvenating treatments.

Ideal proximity, convenience and unique services make Conrad Guangzhou the preferred choice for business travelers and conferences as well as corporate events or weddings.

Luv Oval above counter - Duravit

Spotlight: Duravit’s new materials combine performance and aesthetics

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Duravit is continuously breaking new ground when it comes to introducing innovative products derived from new materials – combining performance with aesthetics whilst being sensuous and inviting. The latest Duravit new materials include; DuraCeram® and DuraSolid® which play an essential role in their latest Luv designs.

The Danish designer Cecilie Manz has encapsulated all of these vital characteristics in the Luv collection, combining Nordic purism and timeless emotional elegance with soft shapes that follow a stringent geometry.

DuraCeram®
Conventional bathroom ceramic material requires a thickness of 12 to 14 mm to ensure the necessary strength after firing. For finer forms Duravit has developed a new, innovative material called DuraCeram®, which is thinner and notable for its extreme accuracy, high strength and elegant finish. In this way, a new dimension in design diversity is achieved: maximum elegance without any sacrifices in terms of quality, robustness and ease of cleaning.

This material is for example used for the Luv oval above-counter basins with subtle lines, generous inner basins, and clean edges.

Cecilie Manz’s refined sense of materials and colour is known all over the world. The optionally glazed exterior of the wash bowls is available in satin matte White, Grey or Sand. The colour palate of matt lacquers and glazes in soft shades was developed exclusively for Duravit and emphasizes the fresh character of Luv.

DuraSolid®
With DuraSolid®, the Duravit AG research team developed a new and unusual mineral material. The interaction of selected raw materials creates a high-tech material that is particularly suitable for the production of baths and shower trays. It stands for durability, high stability and slip-resistance.

In addition, thanks to the special material quality, it can be used to create new shapes.The free standing Luv bath tub made from DuraSolid® is as unique as it is inviting and a matt surface provides a premium, velvety finish. The material is warm and pleasant to the touch, and the result is a success in both look and feel as well as being easy to clean.

trivago UK traveller trends this summer

Brexit A Year On: trivago reveals UK traveller trends this summer

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trivago data shows that London is the most popular destination for international visitors, beach locations are popular with locals, travellers from Ireland, Italy and France are searching for the longest stays, and hotel guests from USA and Australia search for the highest prices-per-night on average.

These are just some of the insights from an analysis of summer travel trends in the United Kingdom, which reveals where international travellers are visiting from, and compares their search behaviour and destinations-of-choice with those of domestic travellers.

The top ten destinations in the UK account for more than 87% of searches from international travellers, to UK destinations. The most searches from off-shore countries to UK destinations are from Germany, USA, Italy, Spain, Australia, France, Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands and Sweden, are the top countries based on searches for UK hotels.
The most popular destinations for domestic and inbound travellers is London, followed by Edinburgh and Glasgow. Glasgow ranks much lower for UK residents, who prefer Blackpool, Bournemouth, other seaside locations and other cities.

The most popular destinations for domestic and inbound travellers is London, followed by Edinburgh and Glasgow. Glasgow ranks much lower for UK residents, who prefer Blackpool, Bournemouth, other seaside locations and other cities.

Traveller behaviour from the key markets, for searches to destinations around the globe, show that travellers from Australia are the biggest spenders, with an average clicked price per night of £161, followed by USA with £152 and the UK with £151.

Visitors from Ireland, Italy, and France are likely to stay the longest, searching for stays of eight nights on average, to destinations worldwide.

The most popular week to travel varies for each visiting country, but in terms of search volume from all markets the biggest influx of travellers is set to arrive in the UK in the week beginning 31 July.

For more detailed insights into popular destinations and traveller behaviour for the UK this summer, visit the trivago Hotel Manager blog.

CGI of Hull DoubleTree by Hilton

Hull’s £25m hotel development reaches half way point

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Developers of the £25m DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Hull have announced that they have just passed the halfway point of the build.

The hotel, located in Ferensway, is being delivered by Lincolnshire-based developer Manorcrest Group who began work on the site in October 2016. With a 14-month construction period the eagerly awaited hotel, which will boast 165 bedrooms and a 1000 sq m ballroom for events and conferences, is due for completion in November this year.

Over the last eight months, the concrete lift shaft was constructed and the floor slab and structure to the conference centre has been finished. Over the course of the next few months and until completion, works on site will include the development of a restaurant space and rooftop bar, and the internal fit out of the conference centre and communal areas and the installation of its bedroom pods, which are being delivered from China.

Director of Manorcrest Group, Dean Wann, said: “The construction of the hotel is on track and now we are past the half way point you can really see the building being brought to life.

“This hotel will bring much-needed beds to Hull and the support we have had from the local community has been great. We are building a luxurious facility that the city can be proud of and it will accommodate Hull’s busy visitor economy and increasing business travellers. We have another busy seven months ahead of us but things are progressing well,” he added.

View from the 4th floor sky bar in the hotelOnsite works are continuing to the roof of the build which is 80% complete, whilst the decking and concrete floors are being put in place. General manager of the hotel, Sarah Whitfield, said: “The hotel construction is progressing quickly and as we move into the second half we are starting to look ahead to the opening at the end of the year. I’m particularly excited about the ballroom which will bring large scale events and exhibitions to Hull. The hotel will also allow us to introduce over 100 new jobs to the local community once complete, great news for the local community.”

Other suppliers on the build of the hotel include London-based architects Aros, Hull-based P&D Engineering, Jamie Millar from Bridlington who is delivering the specialised concrete flooring, White Star Security based in Hull which is providing electronic security services, and Nottinghamshire-based David Ashley Construction which is delivering the concrete structure.

Maritim Hotels - Green Focus

Sustainability Focus: Going green with German hotel group Maritim

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Germany’s largest owner-managed hotel group has increased its conference and incentives offer by upgrading more than a quarter of its German portfolio and introducing green initiatives.

Expanding on the company motto ‘Conference and living under one roof’, more than 3,000 rooms, bathrooms, public areas, meetings and events spaces have been refurbished as part of a comprehensive redevelopment programme.

These new features can be found in rooms at some of the 33 Maritim hotels across Germany including in Königswinter, Ulm, Munich, Hannover, Stuttgart, Darmstadt, Bad Homburg, Cologne and Würzburg and its adjacent Congress Centrum. Maritim’s hotel in Bonn is set to be upgraded this year.

The largest hotel in the city, Maritim Hotel Stuttgart has recently completed an 18-month renovation. The property features 13 conference rooms, including the historic 750 capacity, 19th century riding hall, ‘‘Alten Stuttgarter Reithalle’’. For larger events, the hotel offers direct access to the renowned “Liederhalle” convention centre.

Maritim’s flagship hotel in Hannover has recently revamped 15 event rooms and ten conference suites which can host groups of all sizes from 3 to 1,500, as well as new sound systems. Reaffirming their commitment to environmental matters, all Maritim hotels across the region are taking proactive steps to support the landmark German Sustainability Codex, which measures the sustainable performance of organisations.

LeRoy Sheppard, Maritim Director of Sales UK & Ireland, explains: “Sustainability is now an essential part of the meetings and events industry, with an ever greater number of delegates and organisers requesting their venue provide a socially responsible package. Mindful of this trend, we’ve incorporated these environmentally conscious demands to deliver a dedicated meetings and events offer. With a wide range of city centre hotels and conveniently located airport hotels, we have something for everyone.’’

Four Seasons Trinity Square

Four Seasons Hotel London celebrates grand opening

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In celebration of the grand opening of Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, Isadore Sharp, Founder and Chairman, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Dr Chanchai, Chairman of Reignwood Group and Andrew Parmley, the Lord Mayor of the City of London gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the hotel last week.

Coming together to mark the final stages of this spectacular seven-year project, the attendees gathered on the grand steps of Ten Trinity Square, the former Port of London Authority Headquarters, in a ceremony reminiscent of the original building opening in 1922.

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, guests enjoyed an exclusive concert in Seething Lane Gardens by Placido Domingo and a section of the London Symphony Orchestra, followed by a dinner reception in the hotel’s UN Ballroom, the setting for the inaugural reception of the United Nations General Assembly in 1946.

“The grand opening ceremony marks an important milestone,” comments J. Allen Smith, President and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square is a testament to our strong partnership with Reignwood and our shared vision for this magnificent property.” Continues Smith, “It demonstrates our long-term commitment to London, a city that continues to be the destination of choice for the world’s most discerning leisure and business travellers. As we extend our presence in this critically important market, the Hotel is the perfect complement to our existing property on Park Lane.”

Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square opened its doors in January 2017 and the project has continued to evolve. The next stage includes the launch of Asian restaurant, Mei Ume (opening in June) to complement the existing restaurants La Dame de Pic London, by acclaimed French Chef Anne-Sophie Pic, and the Rotunda. The hotel will also be introducing nine Heritage Suites and a Presidential Suite to follow in summer 2017.

Charlie Parker, General Manager of the hotel comments, “I’m proud to have been involved in the restoration of this landmark building. Ten Trinity Square holds such a strong place in the history of the City of London and this grand opening event celebrates all that this building will continue to offer for both locals and visitors to the capital.”

In addition to the hotel, Ten Trinity Square incorporates 41 Private Residences and the Ten Trinity Square Private Club.

Ana Garcia Maldonado

Q&A: Interview with Taylor Wimpey Spain’s Ana Garcia Maldonado

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It’s not a property’s location or indeed what it looks like from the outside, interior design is just as vital when choosing a perfect holiday home abroad to relax in style.

Ana Garcia Maldonado is leading Spanish developer Taylor Wimpey España’s highly experienced head of interior design who has worked independently with developers for almost 15 years.

Forget dated wicker furniture and terracotta colour palettes, the design of Taylor Wimpey España’s abodes are very much on trend and well thought out. Ana frequently attends all furniture and decoration fairs to maintain a creative flow of ideas and to keep up to date with Spanish design. Working alongside Taylor Wimpey España’s head architect, Pablo Live Sanchez and also her husband, Ana shares her trade secrets and what is it about interior design that she enjoys so much…

Q. What is your vision for the interior design of Taylor Wimpey España homes?
In all Taylor Wimpey España homes the first premise is quality, comfort, and an aesthetic mix of modernity and elegance that pleases a wide range of buyers. Our goal through decorating is to offer not a house, but a home.

Ana Garcia Maldonado - Taylor Wimpey SpainQ. What influences you in your design choices?
I try to follow and respect the line drawn by the Architecture Studio, which since the landmark Avalon development on the Costa del Sol, has been modern lines without leaving aside comfort and warmth of a home. When choosing colours and furniture, we usually take into account factors such as the name, location and even logo of the development, as each of them have their own identity.

Q. What are the key materials / pieces of furniture / brands / colour palettes that you are using for Taylor Wimpey España interiors at the moment?
We always look for functional furniture with light lines that does not detract from the spacious feel of each property. We like wood or matte finishes, natural tones and textures such as linen and cotton. For the walls we prefer a large canvases or mirrors, wallpapers with personality but still discreet, and playing around with the same colour tones in a single environment. We use an endless number of national and international brands in furniture, fabrics, papers, carpets, lighting, and choose brand depending on the budget we are allocated.

Q. What should owners avoid interiors wise when furnishing their holiday homes?
From experience I know that many clients give much more importance to furnishing the terrace than to the rest of the house, without taking into account the inclement weather. So my only advice is to equip the house with the same degree of comfort on the inside as the outside.

Q. Finally, how do you find working so closely with your husband on the architectural side?
It is a true privilege. We help and complement each other whilst enjoying our work. Can you ask for more?!

Visit taylorwimpeyspain.com for more information.

The Grand Hotel in Birmingham

Principal Hotels announces plans for the Grand Hotel in Birmingham

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The hotel at The Grand, one of Birmingham’s most iconic buildings, is to be redeveloped into a luxury, 180-room hotel through a partnership announced between Hortons’ Estate – which owns the Grade II-listed property – and Principal Hotel Company. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

The Grand was developed by the Horton family between 1879 and 1895 and contained shops, offices and the Grand Hotel, which the family ran until 1969. The hotel was subsequently managed by a number of operators until it closed in 2002.

“The Grand is a magnificent building in a great location. We have no doubt that it can once again become the finest hotel in the city,” said Cody Bradshaw, Managing Director and Head of European Hotels at Starwood Capital Group. “By adding Birmingham to our portfolio of Principal hotels, we further strengthen what we believe is already the finest collection of UK hotels ever to be assembled in a single portfolio, which includes our flagship London hotel, due to open on Russell Square this autumn following a stunning, £75 million restoration.”

Starwood Capital Group in November 2016 launched Principal, a collection of city-centre hotels based in landmark buildings in exceptional locations across the United Kingdom. The creation of Principal is a part of Starwood Capital Group’s rebranding of its portfolio of UK hotels under the new name of Principal Hotel Company, which also comprises De Vere – modern, country estate hotels, with mansion houses at their heart, mixing leisure with market-leading conference facilities. Principal Hotel Company is currently in the midst of a £250 million investment programme across the portfolio.

The Grand represents Principal’s first investment in Birmingham – the UK’s second-largest city by population, with a rapidly growing tourism market and an established conference centre offering, located just one hour from London. In addition to 180 bedrooms and suites, the refurbished asset will include extensive conference and banquet spaces, a restaurant and bar, a spa and a rooftop infinity pool. Interiors will be designed by Robert Angell Design under the direction of Starwood Capital’s Head of Design, Kemper Hyers, and the in-house Principal design team.

Since 2009, Hortons’ Estate has invested £25 million in the award-winning restoration of the building, resulting in the creation of 10 new shops and 1,000 sq. m (11,000 sq. ft) of offices fronting Colmore Row, together with significant re-modelling of the interior of the former hotel. The work has been supported by grants from Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, Birmingham City Council and Historic England.

The hotel is scheduled to open in early 2019.

Hotel Designs Brit List

19-26 May: Top 10 stories of the week…

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From hotel openings to product spotlights to everything in between, we collate the top 10 most read stories on Hotel Designs this week…

1. ARTWORK FOCUS: RENOWNED ‘ART’ HOTELS
No more bland landscape paintings for hotel rooms – artwork is a serious aspect of interior design. We look at some of the hotels around the world renowned for their artwork…

2. GUEST BLOG: WHY TREETOP HOTELS ARE GROWING IN POPULARITY…
Loved by guests awards and the millions of genuine guest reviews they’re based on, ten amazing hotels have been crowned winners in the brand new Best for Treehouse category.

3. HILTON PIPS MEGAGROUPS, HOSPITALITY TRENDS TO BE NAMED ‘MOST VALUABLE’ HOTEL BRAND
The brand is AAA rated, putting it among the top names in the hotel industry, along with Marriott, Sheraton and the Holiday Inn.

4. HOTEL LIGHTING Q&A: GANESH PRASAD – CHELSOM HEAD OF TECHNICAL
Ganesh Prasad recently joined international lighting specialists Chelsom as Head of Technical. Having worked in India, the Middle East and the UK he brings a wealth of experience in all aspects of technical lighting with a speciality in LED light sources, their design and function.

5. BELFAST’S TITANIC-THEMED HOTEL NEARING COMPLETION
Harland and Wolff has been transforming their Belfast headquarters into a Titanic-themed luxury hotel, aptly names the Titanic Hotel Belfast

6. OPINION: HBAA PROFILES THE GROWING SERVICED APARTMENT SECTOR
The Alternative Accommodation Committee held its first educational event last week at the Park Regis, Birmingham. The event was well attended by 30 agents and 10 suppliers.

7. CHIA LAGUNA OPENS THE NEW HOTEL BAIA, SARDINIA
The prestigious Chia Laguna resort, Sardinia, part of the hotel brand Italian Hospitality Collection, is delighted to announce that its fully refurbished Hotel Baia is now open for the summer season.

8. LOWRY HOTEL MANCHESTER WINS ‘BEST BEDROOM AWARD’ AT CHS AWARDS
The Lowry Hotel has scooped the Best Bedroom Award in the CHS Awards 2017 – held at the Royal Armouries, Leeds earlier this month.

9. KIMPTON DE WITT OPENS IN AMSTERDAM
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has opened the doors to the highly anticipated Kimpton De Witt in Amsterdam. The unveiling of the hotel in the heart of the city, marks the first Kimpton in Europe and outside of the Americas.

10. POLI HOUSE – EXPERIMENTAL LUXURY MEETS TEL AVIV DESIGN
The Poli House is a 40-room “experimental luxury” property harnessing the essence of Tel Aviv’s past, present and future and dressed with interior designs by world renowned industrial designer Karim Rashid.

Rome Cavalieri celebrates launch of enhanced Petronius Suite

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Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts is delighted to announce the re-launch of its iconic Petronius Suite following significant investment and enhancements, allowing guests to experience heightened levels of luxury in the Eternal City.

Combining Rome’s sense of history and traditions with Waldorf Astoria’s signature style and service, the newly enhanced Petronius Suite at Rome Cavalieri provides an unforgettable experience that reflects its namesake, the arbiter of elegance and fine taste. Located on Rome Cavalieri’s top floor, commanding spectacular views of the city below, the Petronius Suite’s ornate bedroom, marble bathroom, kitchen, wine cellar, dining room for up to 8 guests and living space are adorned with antique furniture, precious brass, wooden parquet and rare seventeenth century paintings depicting Santa Caterina and Santa Cecilia. From mosaic tables to a sofa designed by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, this is a suite that doubles as an exhibition and museum in its own right.

Classic meets contemporary with the Petronius Suite’s subtle yet slick technology system, allowing guests to control audio, visual and lighting at the touch of a button and Rome Cavalieri to provide modern luxuries without losing its long-standing traditions and charm. This extends to the state-of-the-art Valcucine kitchen from the ‘Artematica’ line, fully equipped to cater for a decadent private dinner and allowing guests to treat the Suite as a luxurious home from home.

Petronius Suite at Rome CavalieriRome Cavalieri has paid attention to the demand for space, privacy and flexibility from high-net-worth travellers and the Petronius Suite is therefore adaptable to comprise three additional Imperial Rooms with an adjacent Vista Suite, creating a unique apartment concept with the benefit of access to the resort’s extraordinary facilities.

These include Rome Cavalieri’s Imperial Club, which has also benefitted from recent enhancements, and offers a selection of drinks and light bites best enjoyed with views from the terrace, from morning through to night. Guests are also able to discover 15 acres of manicured parkland, Europe’s largest private art collection adorning the walls, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, the Cavalieri Grand Spa Club with treatments by La Prairie and Rome’s only three Michelin starred restaurant La Pergola. Whilst unforgettable experiences include gladiator training for children, taking a super-car for a spin on the winding roads of the ‘Gran Turismo’ or pampering a Very Important Pet with a choice of nutritious meals, spa grooming and dog sitting.

In addition to the re-launch of the Petronius Suite, enhancements to the Corner and Vista Suites has also reached completion, providing a Suite to suit all tastes at Rome Cavalieri.

Ritz London named best hotel in Europe

The Ritz London named ‘best hotel in Europe’ for a second time

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The Ritz London has been named the best hotel in Europe for a second time at the annual Ultimate Luxury Travel Related Awards (ULTRAs).

It is the second consecutive year that the property has received the accolade, which is voted for by the readers of the Daily Telegraph’s Ultratravel magazine. The luxury hotel was just pipped to the ‘best hotel in the world’ title, losing to the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah in Dubai.

Princess Eugenie of York presented the award to the Ritz.

Sal Gowili, General Manager, said: “We are extremely proud and honoured to have been awarded the highest of accolades by Ultratravel’s discerning, experienced and well-travelled readers. This award is recognition of the team’s continued commitment to offering the very best levels of service and luxury to every Ritz guest.”

What do you think – a justified winner?

Please note that image within this story was supplied courtesy of Marco Verch

Decorex 2017 exhibitors announced

Decorex 2017: Exhibitor list now live

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Decorex International, the UK’s only show for high-end interior design, has announced its initial list of exhibitors for 2017.

Taking place this September [17-20] as part of the London Design Festival, the highly anticipated event will see more than 400 established and emerging designers descend to the historical grounds of Syon Park, to launch new collections – from furniture, lighting and decorative accessories to fabrics, wallpapers, tiles and architectural elements – over the course of four days. Expect something special in 2017, as Decorex celebrates its 40th anniversary and will be exploring 40 years of design collaborations, both past and present.

A loyal community of established exhibitors return to Decorex each year and 2017 is no exception; A Rum Fellow, Benchmark, Cox London, Julian Chichester, Nicholas Haslam, Original House, Royal Crown Derby, Sebastian Cox, Tom Faulkner and Vispring to name a few. Renowned for always supporting and celebrating rising talent, Decorex will also host a selection of exciting, new industry names, both from the UK and overseas.

Hunt & Hope, a design duo based in London, are creators of modern, vibrant, hand-stitched needlepoint designs using traditional techniques, but with a fresh and modern approach. Look out for their debut collection of bold and colourful patterns. Larusi will also be exhibiting for the first time
this year. The company has built up a large collection of crafted and weaved textiles from all over the world, some of which will be on display at the show. Artist, Margit Wittig, will offer seven striking, A Rum Fellow Ptolemy Mann sculptural lamps, while Jonathan Rogers will present his range of contemporary hand-blown glass designs. Ceramicist Fenella Elms will showcase her intricate, nature-inspired porcelain panels, and Sotis Studio will also be presenting his ceramic pieces, inspired by his childhood spent by the sea in Greece.

Dutch company, Beck & Kinch will showcase an array of design items, taking visitors on an emotional journey through all sensual inputs. Italian firm, Turini & Werich, born out of Carlotta Turini’s and John Werich’s mutual love for Italian furniture and design, will showcase their line of high quality furniture.

While Layered, a new Swedish fashion interior brand, will present its latest collection of woven rugs. Other new exhibitors to look out for this year include Boho 1325, Charlotte Jade, Materiko, SkinFlint, Susi Bellamy, Zoe Glengross and Witch & Watchman.

To view the full list, visit the Decorex website: www.decorex.com/uk/exhibitors

Hilton crowned most valuable hotel brand

Hilton pips megagroups, hospitality trends to be named ‘most valuable’ hotel brand

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Global hospitality giant Hilton has been crowned the world’s most valuable hotel brand. The 2017 annual report Brand Finance Hotels 50 has ranked the Hilton group as leaders in the hospitality field in terms of their net worth, which is valued at $8.4 billion (£6.4 billion).

The brand is AAA rated, putting it among the top names in the hotel industry, along with Marriott, Sheraton and the Holiday Inn. North American brands are placed in the top four spots of the leader board by the report carried out by the valuation and strategic consultancy firm Brand Finance, cementing North America’s position as a commercial heavyweight in an increasingly competitive industry, with alternative markets such as China and Asia Pacific growing steadily.

The news will be welcomed by Hilton, whose worth up 7% on 2016. The hotel brand has staved off competition from new trends in hospitality in the form of temporary accommodation such as AirBnB, poshtels and boutique hotels, who appeal more to a younger demographic such as millennials. Hilton has built a loyal client base since its foundation nearly 100 years ago, surely a contributing factor to its sustained popularity. The power of the Hilton brand has been bolstered by new initiatives in sustainability and recycling, and also by new brand partnerships and acquisitions.

Premier Inn was listed at the top of the report as the world’s most powerful hotel brand. The UK group’s draw lies in the sheer quantity of hotels it operates, and the reliability of the brand in terms of economy and service it provides. Holiday Inn and Days Inn follow suit in the power brand category, pointing to a steady demand for mid-range accommodation that serves a wide range of customers.

Titanic - themed hotel in Belfast

Belfast’s Titanic-themed hotel nearing completion

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Harland and Wolff has been transforming their Belfast headquarters into a Titanic-themed luxury hotel, aptly names the Titanic Hotel Belfast.

The building, some of which dates from the 1880s and where plans for incredible steamships, including the doomed Titanic, were drawn up, is to be given a new lease of life as a 4-star hotel with amazing period details. These Drawing Offices were also where the idea of the “floating hotel”, the model for many of today’s modern cruise ships, was conceived.

The new boutique hotel will offer 84 prestigious new rooms and suites, such as the Superior King Titanic View, which affords the visitor impressive views of the Belfast Titanic building through industrial-style windows, the Penthouse Suite and Corner Suites, which give panoramic views over the entire Titanic Quarter. The rooms are a mixture of industrial chic, the original character of the building, Art Deco inspiration and modern refinement. Exposed brick walls and Herringbone-tiled floors give the rooms a warmth, Egyptian cotton bedlinen and plush carpets lend a sense of comfort and minimal decoration give the room a contemporary edge.

The new hotel will also provide a host of corporate and entertainment spaces for events and conferences. The grand architectural studio of the Drawing Offices will now be available for use, with a capacity of 250 people for a variety of events. Smaller events can be held in the Heritage Rooms, which also have the possibility of being catered. A team of award winning chefs use locally sourced ingredients to create their delicious plates, and the dining rooms looks out onto the buildings that make up this historic Belfast neighbourhood.

Treetop Hotels - Keemala – Phuket, Thailand

Guest Blog: Why treetop hotels are growing in popularity…

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Travellers can now live the luxury treetop dream with a little help from the Hotels.com. Loved by guests awards and the millions of genuine guest reviews they’re based on, ten amazing hotels have been crowned winners in the brand new Best for Treehouse category, and they’ll be climbing straight to the top of your wish list.

Today’s travellers are aiming high and dreaming of a vacation in the sky, as the travel experts at Hotels.com saw almost a 30% increase in demand for treehouse hotels last year. With treetop luxury (33%) proving more popular than sleeping in a spaceship (28%), checking into a hotel made of gold (24%) or bedding down in an ice hotel (23%), Hotels.com reveals the best-of-the-best Loved by Guests award winners…

Arkansas Adventure
Eureka Springs Treehouses—Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Review Rating: 4.8 out of 5 on Hotels.comIf you’re looking for a secluded romantic getaway, this is the place to be. This resort is a hidden gem with quirky features and fun at every turn. The treehouses are held on cedar logs, surrounded by beautiful greenery and destination themed, so guests can stay in Venice, New York, Santa Fe and Paris. If treetop life isn’t for you then fear not, as Eureka Springs also offers stays in fairytale castles, with hidden passages and Jacuzzi towers, and guests can even check in to enchanting hobbit caves that are like magical cocoons. Rate Available upon request.


Beachside Bungalows Among the Trees

Azulik – Adults Eco-Resort & Maya Spa – Tulum, Mexico
Bring out your inner child and swing above the turquoise sea of Tulum, all from the privacy of your own villa at this luxurious beach hideaway. Azulik is a celeb spotting hotspot, but its biggest draw is the stunning villas. These wooden-crafted abodes feature spectacular water views, outdoor mosaic bathtubs and a deck with a swing and hanging Balinese bed. Guests can enjoy fine dining and entertainment with a 12 course tasting menu at the Kin Toh restaurant that’s built 12 meters above the Mayan jungle, all while watching artistic performances.

Treetop hotelsFloat Among the Clouds
Keemala – Phuket, Thailand (main picture)
Fancy taking a dip on the edge of a cliff in your own 30-meter infinity pool? You can do just that at these gorgeous Bird’s Nest treehouses on stilts, located just 40 minutes from Phuket. Keemala is an enchanting evergreen wonderland, and these unique villas feature giant monsoon showers and freestanding bathtubs that have amazing views over the rainforest. Beach luxury, spa treatments, sunset cocktails and champagne picnics are also all on the menu at Keemala.

Style in the Sky
Tree Hotel – Harads, Sweden
The Tree Hotel has upped the style stakes with its quirky, custom designed eco-treehouses. Imagine sleeping amongst the tall pine trees in a Mirror Cube, a Bird’s Nest or a UFO! Treehouses come complete with their own private giant hammock, so you can stargaze and seek out the Northern Lights. Guests can relax in the tree sauna, enjoy some authentic homemade Swedish food or zip line over Swedish Lapland and the Lule River for some exclusive and spectacular views.

Treetop hotels

Breath-Taking African views
Tsala Treetop Lodge – Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
High in the treetops, this hotel hideaway is set in the wilds of South Africa, in the heart of the Garden Route. With breath-taking views and a mystical charm, the treetop suites are pure luxury. They come complete with their own private spa bathrooms, fireplaces and even infinity pools. The hotel also offers a unique dining experience from a special dining deck suspended above the forest floor, where you can enjoy a sumptuous breakfast or a lazy lunch.

Treetop hotelsTreetop Tranquillity
Silky Oaks Lodge – Mossman, Australia
Imagine a rejuvenating spa experience in one of the world’s most ancient rainforests. Located along the Mossman River, Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef – there are rainforest walks, crystal waterholes and a billabong beach, all at your disposal at this hotel. The luxury treehouses have large verandas and hammocks, perfect for unwinding in the heart of the rainforest canopy. Guests can also enjoy dinner in their open-sided treehouse restaurant.

Treetop hotels

www.hotels.com

Brit List ticket price

Brit List 2017: Ticket, sponsorship prices

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Hotel Designs is producing the Brit List 2017, a celebration of the country’s most inspirational and influential hoteliers and designers.

The full Hotel Designs Brit List will be revealed via a glossy print publication this summer, with a party to celebrate the List taking place at Urban Coterie, London on Wednesday July 12th.

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CLICK HERE TO BOOK
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Via the Hotel Designs website and weekly newsletter, we have been asking our readers to nominate those people who inspire and influence them. The individuals nominated can work in sectors across the broad spectrum of the industry.

For those wishing to attend the event in July, ticket prices are £150. Sponsorship packages start from £1,000 plus there are a limited number of advertising opportunities available for this prestigious and influential publication.

For more details contact Jennie Lane on j.lane@forumevents.co.uk, or call 01992 374098.

Artwork in hotels

Artwork Focus: Renowned ‘art’ hotels

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No more bland landscape paintings for hotel rooms – artwork is a serious aspect of interior design. We look at some of the hotels around the world renowned for their artwork…

Hotel Arts, Barcelona
“Designed by the distinguished architect Bruce Graham of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, the Hotel Arts is part of Barcelona’s recent cultural renaissance, and as modern as the city itself. Built to coincide with the Olympic Games in 1992, this Barcelona luxury hotel is a landmark on the Barceloneta boardwalk: 44 storeys of blue glass and exposed steel soaring high above the seafront. Inside, hard edges and materials give way to an environment of elegance and refinement, filled with luxurious spaces to explore and discover at your leisure.”

45 Park Lane, London
“With its landmark architecture, dynamic interiors, contemporary art collection and with contemporary boutique hotel interiors designed by New York-based designer Thierry Despont, each of the spacious guest rooms and suites enjoys captivating views of leafy Hyde Park. The Penthouse Suite is the ultimate experience with its Art Deco design and wrap-around balcony featuring panoramic London cityscape views.”

Le Royal Monceau Raffles, Paris
“The in-house Art Gallery is the hub of the artistic and cultural life of the hotel. A new venture into the world of contemporary art in Paris, Art District welcomes artists, art connoisseurs and collectors, patrons and art professionals.”

Artwork in hotelsBlumen Haus Lech, Austria
“This hotel in Austria leans heavily on traditional Alpine architecture for its style, albeit with a modern take. Vienna’s Contemporary Art Advisors have chosen works by the likes of Roy Lichtenstein to adorn the hotel’s walls, alongside emerging artists, which will change with the seasons.”

Blumenhaus Lech lounge21c Museum Hotels, Louisville, USA
“Founded by Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, contemporary art collectors and preservationists who believe in the power of contemporary art, each of their hotels exhibits its own collections of 21st century art works by up-and-coming and well-established talents. The line-up in Louisville, for example, includes Yinka Shonibare, Andres Serrano, Kara Walker and Bill Viola. Each hotel additionally puts on a feast of cultural events, from films and music to artist talks and poetry readings.”

Artwork in hotels

Culloden Estate

Culloden Estate and Spa completes £4.8m renovation programme

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The Culloden Estate & Spa has announced the completion of a renovation programme which has seen Hastings Hotels invest £4.8m in their leading 5 star property over the last three years.

This week, the Estate’s General Manager Eoin O’Sullivan was joined by the group’s Managing Director, Howard Hastings, to unveil the complete redevelopment of two floors of bedrooms which has seen a selection of the smaller bedrooms remodelled to be augmented in size, bringing the hotel stock to 98.

Also included in the renovation programme has been the extensive redevelopment of the Mitre Restaurant, the Stuart Suite and the Spa which has ensured that the Culloden remains one of the top hotels in Ireland.

Eoin O’Sullivan, General Manager of the Culloden Estate & Spa said: “We are thrilled to have completed a three year renovation programme which has seen almost £5m spent on Northern Ireland’s premier 5-star hotel. As part of this programme we now have a brand new facade to a wing of the hotel with larger rooms and magnificent bathrooms overlooking landscaped gardens, all with the aim of providing our guests with an even more enjoyable experience when they stay at the Culloden.

Culloden Estate“As well as the bedroom project, we undertook a complete redesign of the Mitre restaurant together with new menus created by Chef McKnight, and an upgraded spa with new quiet room, exclusive nail bar and remodelled gym facilities as well as a beautiful refurbishment of the Stuart Suite for our weddings, conferences, and banquets to enjoy. In addition we have installed a brand new lift allowing easier access to the new rooms and to the spa.

“It is continual investment like this that has enabled us to pick up prestigious awards throughout Ireland. Most recently, this year we were delighted to have been named Luxury Hotel of the Year at the Irish Hotel Awards and highly commended at the first ever Georgina Campbell Breakfast Awards in the Best 5-Star Hotel category,” Eoin added.

Ophir PR will be taking a group press trip to visit the Culloden Estate and Spa to celebrate the renovations and 50 years of The Culloden from 3rd-5th June 2017.

www.hastingshotels.com/culloden-estate-and-spa

Lowry Hotel Manchester wins ‘Best Bedroom Award’ at CHS Awards

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The Lowry Hotel has scooped the Best Bedroom Award in the CHS Awards 2017 – held at the Royal Armouries, Leeds earlier this month.

The CHS Awards provide hotels and venues with a unique opportunity to showcase their facilities. The Awards are judged by an independent panel of over 50 event professionals from leading agencies throughout the UK. The Lowry Hotel fought off tough competition from the likes of the Seaham Hall in Durham and the Principal York Hotel to prove to the judges that its suites offer something special.

In 2016 the Lowry Hotel underwent a £5.25m refurbishment of six of its suites inspired by artworks of the internationally acclaimed, Oldham-born Alan Rankle – helping to further cement the Lowry Hotel’s standing as the art hotel of the North of England.

Riverside Suite, Lowry Hotel ManchesterThe project was delivered by boutique global architecture and interior design practice Arney Fender Katsalidis (AFK), in collaboration with the renowned artist. AFK designed all six bespoke suites, each of which correspond to unique abstract artworks by Rankle. The six abstract artworks are reflected within the space through the selected colour schemes of the textiles and furnishings.

Each suite contains an extraordinary over-scaled headboard, curved slightly around the bed, depicting an image of the original artwork. The art has been printed onto the 4m x 2.5m upholstered headboard, which is reflected into two mirrored doors opposite, allowing guests to view the piece from multiple vantage points in the room.

With floor-to-ceiling windows and views of the River Irwell, Salford’s Calatrava Bridge and Manchester beyond, the suites enjoy some of the best views of the city.

On the 4 May 2017, the Lowry Hotel was acquired by Singapore-Based CDL Hospitality Trusts for £52m.

Adrian Ellis, General Manager at the Lowry Hotel said: “We are delighted to win such a prestigious award. The collaborative restoration project proved to be a great success and the feedback from our customers has been outstanding. However, to win this award really reinforces this and helps to strengthen our standing as one of the country’s most established art hotels.”

Hotel Baia

Chia Laguna opens the new Hotel Baia, Sardinia

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The prestigious Chia Laguna resort, Sardinia, part of the hotel brand Italian Hospitality Collection, is delighted to announce that its fully refurbished Hotel Baia is now open for the summer season complete with two new restaurants, a new bar, a semi-Olympic pool and 77 new rooms.

The renovations are the next stage of Italian Hospitality Collection’s €50 million (£43 million) investment plan for Chia Laguna resort that began in 2011 and resulted in a 60% rise in UK guests in 2016.

Hotel Baia’s 77 new, light and airy rooms come in four categories with the majority sleeping up to three guests, a cot can also be provided. Most rooms are also interconnecting making them a great choice for families. The spacious new Junior Suites with sea views offer two rooms – bedroom and living room – and can sleep up to four guests plus a cot for babies.

A spacious new 140sqm, two-bedroom Suite Incanto with a large garden boasts two double-rooms with sitting areas and en-suite bathrooms, a spacious living room with a sofa-bed and a separate bathroom, creating room for up to six guests. A new semi-Olympic 25 metre infinity pool with a separate children’s area takes pride of place in the hotel’s gardens.

The resort has opened two ultra-stylish new restaurants at Hotel Baia. The new La Pergola restaurant, reserved for guest of Hotel Baia, offers the finest in Sardinian and Mediterranean show cooking. Whiteluna, open to all resort guests, has a lively atmosphere with an open-air garden bar where live DJ sets take place before and after dinner.

Chia Laguna is a collection of four hotels set amongst the turquoise waters and unspoilt countryside of Chia Bay in enchanting Southern Sardinia. Guests are spoilt with a mini club and babysitting services, land and sea sports, a Natural Spa and no less than nine restaurants which serve a vast range of gastronomic choices from local Mediterranean flavours to the best in international à la carte cuisine.

chialagunaresort.com

HBAA serviced apartments industry spotlight

Opinion: HBAA profiles the growing Serviced Apartment sector

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The Alternative Accommodation Committee held its first educational event last week at the Park Regis, Birmingham. The event was well attended by 30 agents and 10 suppliers.

Erica Livermore, Alternative Accommodation Chair said: “This was an important event for us, it served to highlight the importance of a growing sector in hospitality and hopefully enlighten both agents and venues on the various buying behaviours and requirements by our corporate clients.”

The event took the form of a panel discussion, included in the panel were; Alex Neale, Head Account Manager for SilverDoor, Gavin Bailey, Operations Director for City Suits and Amy Chapman who is a Senior buyer for Siemens.

Chapman began buy detailing the main benefits for choosing this type of accommodation: “It has the comforts of home but with Hotel touches and flexibility on tenancy.” She went to explain that for long projects their teams need a ‘Home from Home’ base; “guests need a freedom to have a normal life while they are away from home, the ability to cook and relax in a home environment but with services available if needed, like a gym or laundry service.”

Neale explained for SilverDoor their typical users are those relocating, theatre workers, construction, IT, with an average stay of 2 months, he said: “Corporates are really starting to think about wellbeing much more and where there is a stay that is deemed too long to be comfortable in a Hotel and where there is a benefit to looking after yourself the Serviced Apartment is a clear choice”.

Bailey also highlighted the mix of clients, from pure leisure to those on very short projects. City Suites consciously put a minimum 4 night stay into their apartments and Bailey said: “The serviced apartment is a good all round product offering flexibility, short lead bookings, ease of use and transparency of billing”.

As a senior buying Chapman explained: “With serviced apartments we see quality and added value with a high level of service and better rates, we have seen up to 50% savings over hotel stays”. The panel inevitably was questioned over the Airbnb effect and what if any competition this brings to the sector, Chapman responded: “Health and Safety aspects and a record of where and how people are is key to us, we are asking ourselves the question about Airbnb but it’s how we make this work with these fundamental issues.”

Neal responded by saying: “You have on one hand the rigid fully-serviced Hotel product, then on the other someone’s house on Airbnb and sitting in the middle you have the Serviced Apartment with all the home comforts, services, quality assured and Health and Safety checked.”

Top Tips from the panellists were:
– Communication across all parties to ensure the briefs and needs are fully understood.
– Flexibility from both suppliers and agents, appreciating that corporates can’t always be tied into onerous contracts and that ‘one solution fits all’ is no longer viable.
– Choice and understanding the client’s needs, they are forever changing and any type of facility needs to be explored and presented back, the agent support in this area is vital.

Livermore concluded the lively discussion by thanking the panel and taking questions from the floor. She said “The HBAA is really delighted to be having these kind of educational discussions that certainly help us all understand our changing market place much better and in the end helps us give a better service to our clients”.

www.hbaa.org.uk

Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel unveils new look; opens Pacific Hideaway

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Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel has announced the completion of a major hotel update, refreshing outdoor spaces, lobby, all 157 guestrooms, and the opening of a new restaurant. The updated rooms and public spaces now showcase a fresh take on Southern California style, incorporating modern graphics, moody ocean tones and windswept ripples paired with retro inspired prints and furnishings.

The refresh comes on the heels of the new fitness centre launch, better known as ‘The Gym.’ The stylish 1,600-square-foot space includes the latest equipment and new workout tools, such as treadmills, truck tires, squat rack, kettlebells, medicine balls, resistance bands, power racks and more. In addition, the hotel installed a 40-foot wide outdoor bouldering wall, adjacent to ‘The Gym.’ Coastal design elements include rustic and tropical alternating wood planks and marine colors, and a multi-panel mural of the Huntington Beach Pier. In total, over $3 million (£2.3 million) was dedicated to the updates since fall 2016.

Shorebreak HotelOne of the goals of the revamp was to capture the essence of the local surf culture and truly wrap elements of the coast into all areas of the property. Drawing inspiration from the nearby historic Huntington Beach pier, as well as a bustling neighbourhood, Designer Theresa Fatino blended more sophisticated colors with lively patterns and retro furnishings that portray California fun.

Shorebreak HotelHotel design elements include striped and solid vinyl headboards, fresh carpet and beautifully detailed furnishings, including retro surf lamps and patterned love seats. The color palette captures Southern California’s playfulness and relaxed energy and includes a range of blues, yellows, greens, among others. The upscale Southern California vibe continues externally, with an entirely repainted exterior in marine colors, including shades of blue and green.

“Our goal with this refresh was to update the entire property and bring a more quintessential Southern California look, reminiscent of Huntington Beach,” said Justin Simpson, general manager at Shorebreak Hotel. “With tourism booming in the area and summer right around the corner, we are looking forward to sharing our fresh new look, added amenities and incredible food with guests and locals alike.”

In addition, the Shorebreak announced the opening of Pacific Hideaway, a modern American restaurant, featuring a fusion of flavors from Southern California, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Japan. The menu, curated by Executive Chef JT Walker, highlights small, colorful plates—from sushi rice cakes with ahi tuna poke, to fried avocado tacos with tamarind and chiles—and larger plates, such whole Mexican-beer-can chicken, served with salsas, tortillas, and other accoutrements.

Designed as a casual, yet polished and global restaurant, Pacific Hideaway’s signature statement pieces include roll-up garage doors, a large hand-carved bar depicting ocean waves, an expansive patio and lounge and incredible views of Huntington Beach Pier and the Pacific Ocean. Fatino also incorporated vibrant colors, textures, and decor, including unique, hand-crafted finds from Mexico, Indonesia and Japan, with a Southern California vibe present throughout.

www.shorebreakhotel.com

Ganesh Prasad Chelsom

Hotel Lighting Q&A: Ganesh Prasad – Chelsom Head of Technical

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Ganesh Prasad recently joined international lighting specialists Chelsom as Head of Technical. Having worked in India, the Middle East and the UK he brings a wealth of experience in all aspects of technical lighting with a speciality in LED light sources, their design and function.

Since he joined the company, Ganesh has noticed an interesting difference in the type and direction of technical questioning that comes from the interior design industry as against those from an architectural background. Questions tend to relate to creating ambience rather than the hard technical facts covering industry standards, detailed light output measurement etc.

Q: Are there any specific light level requirements for hotel guestrooms?
GP: To answer simply there is no specific legislation or standards relating to light levels in hotel guestrooms. However associations like CIBSE and SLL in the UK or IESNA in North America do set down guidelines rather than mandatory requirements. They would cover a suggested light level for task areas such as desk or reading areas like bedside or armchair. In essence though, the correct light levels for guestrooms are defined by guest satisfaction. The biggest single complaint registered by hotel visitors is the lack of sufficient lighting in guestrooms. Such spaces are multifunctional and designers should therefore build in sufficient light points with optimum light output to ensure guests can work, read, relax and live. There is one part of guestroom lighting which does however follow stringent regulations and that is emergency lighting for use during a power failure, fire or other emergency. Such requirements can be found in building regulations or codes which may vary according to region or type of property.

Q. If so how do we measure the light output of a decorative light fitting?
GP: The output from decorative light fittings is measured in lumens and it’s a numerical scale starting from zero which is complete darkness and going upwards. Photometric test equipment would be required in laboratory conditions to give an absolutely accurate lumen output reading but for example a 10W LED lamp will give an output of around 1000 lumens. Of course once that lamp is shrouded by a diffuser or fabric shade, lumen level will drop significantly.

Lighting Q&A with GaneshQ. Is there any difference between types of switch?
GP: Operationally there is no difference and when the switch is open, then the power is off and when the switch is closed the power reaches the light source. For aesthetic reasons, designers may choose a push button switch, a rocker switch, a toggle switch or a cord switch. Touch switches are another alternative but are often misunderstood in hotel guestrooms when the visitor looks frantically for a switch that isn’t there. Dimmer switches are of course another option and are usually of the rotary type or slide type.

I am often asked about two-way switching, in other words a light fitting that can be switched from the unit itself or from the entry point to the room. Technically it is entirely possible providing we are made aware of the requirement before manufacture so that a four core cable can be installed giving 2 separate lives.

Q. Dimming always seems complicated why is that?
GP: Dimming itself is not at all complicated. However there are many types of dimming systems and technologies in the marketplace just as there are many different types of dimmable lamps or light sources. Where confusion can arise is in the compatibility of the systems, the intermediate switching and the lamps themselves. This confusion arises particularly with LED light sources whose compatibility needs more care. The simple answer is ask a specialist such as Chelsom who can advise on the best lamp and dimming technology combinations which will ensure a full range of smooth dimming without flicker or noise.

Q. LED lamps seem to be the only way forward is this right?
GP: Yes! Legislation over recent years has banned the manufacture of higher wattage less efficient lamp types; LED’s consume far less energy than other lamp options; they last up to ten times longer than a compact fluorescent equivalent; they are dimmable; they now give out a wide range of colour temperatures including the same warm light as incandescent; they contain no toxic substance such as mercury nor give out any UV glare; they are instant start with no flicker and most importantly costs continue to come down through mass production.

Q. Can you explain IP?
GP: IP stands for Ingress Protection and ratings consist of 2 numerical digits on a scale of 0-9, the first digit covering solids such as dust or insects and the second liquids. Most interior hospitality lighting products should have an IP20 rating which basically means it is not possible to access internal electrics and live parts. Bathroom lighting would require, in certain cases, an IP44 rating meaning luminaires are fairly well protected against solid ingress and water ingress. What is important in bathrooms are the zones which are described in the attached diagram and which cover areas created by the bath or shower and areas within 600mm of the bath or shower. For zone 1 only low voltage fittings with a minimum rating IPX5 are allowed. For zone 2 fittings with a minimum rating of IPX4 are required. Outside zone 2 any luminaires can be used providing they are protected by an RCD.

Lighting Q&A with GaneshQ. What is colour temperature?
GP: The colour temperature of a lamp relates to how the human eye sees the colour emitted from a light source once it’s illuminated. The range is from a ‘cold light’ to a ‘warm light’ and the colder the temperature, the more blue is involved and the warmer the temperature, the more red is involved. The colour temperature itself is measured in Kelvins and the higher numbers are colder say 6000 Kelvins with the lower numbers being warmer say 2000 Kelvins. Recent scientific research has shown that a colder blue light makes you more alert as it gives the feeling of bright light in the middle of the day. Warmer red light is more relaxing as it replicates dusk at the end of the day. There are no legal or guideline requirements for colour temperature in hotel guestrooms but once again guest satisfaction is the driving force. The general consensus is that 2700 Kelvin gives the right ambience as it is the closest to incandescent light which we have all been used to for a hundred years.

Q. Is it easy to fit USB ports and will the same port charge all devices?
GP: A USB port requires sufficient space including a depth of about 30mm. As long as a table lamp base or wall light backplate has that space it is relatively easy to fit the ports. There are 3 different types of ports relating to the 3 different types of connector in the marketplace. We usually work with Type A which is widely used with most smartphones and tablets. The voltage required for all devices is 5V but the amperage varies from device to device. For example an iPad will take 2.1A and an iPhone will take 0.5A. You need to be sure therefore that the USB connectors are compatible with the higher load capacity in order to charge all devices.

Ganesh adds “I joined Chelsom at a very exciting time for guestroom lighting. Not only is LED technology developing extremely fast but dimming systems and guestroom lighting management systems are playing a large part. Lighting management can create huge savings in running costs whilst giving the guests a more satisfying stay at the hotel. The crucial thing is to talk to the experts and talk to them early in the project.”

marketing@chelsom.co.uk
01253 831401

chelsom.co.uk

AVANI Hotels & Resorts has announced the acquisition of the Metro Suites business in Auckland, New Zealand in a deal worth over NZ$ 11 million (£5.8 million)

AVANI Hotels & Resorts set to launch in New Zealand

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AVANI Hotels & Resorts has announced the acquisition of the Metro Suites business in Auckland, New Zealand.

In a deal worth over NZ$ 11 million (£5.8 million), the Metro Suites business currently operates in the luxury 40-storey tower and will be transformed through a major room refurbishment programme. Upon completion in October 2017, the property will be rebranded as Metropolis AVANI Residences, signalling the AVANI brand’s debut in New Zealand.

Alejandro Bernabe, Group Director AVANI Hotels & Resorts, said, “We are delighted to reach agreement with the Metropolis body corporate to secure this hotel business in the very strong Auckland hotel market, as well as launch our AVANI brand into New Zealand.

“Metro Suites presented itself as a compelling acquisition opportunity to expand our foothold within the Asia Pacific region, and we look forward to introducing the AVANI brand into this market later this year following a significant refurbishment programme.”

Located in Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island, the 370-key property was built in 1999 at a reported NZD 180 million and occupies a prime CBD position in the ‘City of Sales’ – the country’s largest and most populated city.

Launched in 2011, AVANI offers all the details that matter, blending genuine hospitality and modern lifestyle features with a passion for design. Each of the property’s one and two bedroom apartments will be transformed as part of the revitalisation programme. Rooms will feature spacious living and dining areas, well-equipped kitchens and laundry facilities, and will offer stunning views over the city skyline, harbour and beyond. Leisure facilities include a 22-metre heated swimming pool, indoor and outdoor spas, a sauna, gymnasium with male and female facilities, and steam room.

AVANI Hotels & Resorts is part of Minor Hotels which already has a presence in New Zealand through the Oaks Hotels & Resorts brand where it currently operates two resorts in Queenstown.

Cachet Dewa Phuket

Cachet Hospitality boosts portfolio with Cachet Resort Dewa Phuket

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Cachet Hospitality Group has announced the signing of a management agreement for Cachet Resort Dewa Phuket, a conversion property owned by R&B Partners.

Located on Thailand’s largest island, the hotel marks the company’s second resort property and adds to Cachet’s expanding portfolio in Southeast Asia, following on the heels of the recently announced SAVANT Vela Hotel – Bangkok. Operations as a CHG managed property will begin May 2017, with interior renovations to be completed November 2017, helmed by Cachet Interior Design (CID).

The sprawling property will feature CHG’s signature offerings, including a premium sleep experience, rejuvenating bath amenities, a grandiose arrival area, and global culinary experiences. On-site facilities will include two distinctive dining venues, approximately 1,000 square meters of meeting and event spaces, a luxurious spa, a fully equipped fitness center, a yoga-focused wellness center, a Kids Club, and two picturesque swimming pools.

Reinterpreted by CID, Cachet Resort Dewa Phuket’s standard rooms, villas and residential suites will feature sleek, contemporary interiors with polished concrete floors, deep mahogany, black marble, coconut shell finishes, and exposed ceilings. The modern effect is balanced by incorporating classic Thai blue silk on the pillows, chairs, and beds and adorning the guestrooms with authentic Thai sculptures and artwork.

Cachet Resort Dewa Phuket will be distributed on CHG’s revolutionary technology platform and participate in the platform’s loyalty program Cachet World. The technology platform is a lifestyle community that features a search and booking engine for boutique and lifestyle hotels and high-end residences worldwide. Through the platform, guests of Cachet Resort will enjoy interactive mobility, exclusive member rates, and personalized food and beverage experiences.

Cachet Hospitality Group’s global portfolio, including properties in the pipeline, extends across China, Thailand, Mexico and the United States. With unprecedented opportunity for international growth, CHG is establishing itself as an international hospitality leader.

Kimpton De Witt opens in Amsterdam

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InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has opened the doors to the highly anticipated Kimpton De Witt in Amsterdam. The unveiling of the hotel in the heart of the city, marks the first Kimpton in Europe and outside of the Americas.

The hotel has been fully transformed with Kimpton’s bold and playful design. Inspired by Dutch heritage with Kimpton’s signature wit, its spirited edge is immediately evident from the striking ‘living wall’ of vibrant florals and botanicals trailing the entrance. It marries the old and the new – a late 20th century building with architecture from the Dutch Golden Age – interlocking modern luxury and historical elegance.

Kimpton DeWitt Amsterdam Hotel. Interior Design. Photography. Laure Joliet

Kimpton DeWitt Amsterdam Hotel. Interior Design. Photography. Laure Joliet

The hotel’s 274 rooms, which include 9 signature suites in the original Golden Age buildings, are inspired by Dutch design, from a modern take on classic Dutch art in the bedrooms to the blue Delft-inspired tiles paving the bathroom floors. Within the property stands a three-storey ‘Little House,’ which dates back to the 1600s and was once the childhood home of the Dutch playwright, P.C. Hooft. Little House can be rented for groups looking for the luxury of a private abode; it offers two king-sized rooms and a first floor living room. Kimpton De Witt’s signature suite, Penthouse De Witt, is split over two storeys and its 30-square metre roof terrace offers spectacular views of the city and the iconic canal house rooftops.

Kimpton DeWitt Amsterdam Hotel. Interior Design. Photography. Laure Joliet

Kimpton DeWitt Amsterdam Hotel. Interior Design. Photography. Laure Joliet

Kimpton’s much-loved perks and thoughtful touches can be experienced throughout the hotel. Guests have access to a modern fitness centre, Gaiam yoga mats in every room and a complimentary all-day tea station in the lobby. True to Kimpton form, extra special perks take on a local slant. Guests can pedal away and explore the city on complimentary VanMoof bikes, luxurious in-room toiletries are supplied by Amsterdam-based natural skin care brand, Marie-Stella-Maris, and a hosted social hour every evening gives guests the chance to socialise and enjoy the hotel like a local.

Kimpton DeWitt Amsterdam Hotel. Interior Design. Photography. Laure Joliet

Kimpton DeWitt Amsterdam Hotel. Interior Design. Photography. Laure Joliet

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is famous for its award-winning restaurants and bars and Kimpton De Witt is no exception. Next to the hotel, Wyers Bar & Restaurant, run by Executive Chef Sam DeMarco aka SammyD, offers American staples with Dutch influences, whilst House Bar provides guests and locals with a luxurious resting post where bartenders craft creative cocktails using unexpected ingredients as well as serve an extensive menu of local gins and genevers. Local passers-by can grab a hot cup of strong coffee, made with coffee beans roasted locally especially for the café and fresh sugar-dusted beignets, at Miss Louisa Coffee & Beignets. The walk-up window is open for early morning, afternoon and evening snacks.

Kimpton DeWitt Amsterdam Hotel. Interior Design. Photography. Laure Joliet

Kimpton DeWitt Amsterdam Hotel. Interior Design. Photography. Laure Joliet

The hotel, which is in the heart of Amsterdam’s vibrant city centre and near the city’s Centraal Station, marks a milestone for IHG as it brings the Kimpton brand to Europe for the first time. “Europe was the original inspiration behind Bill Kimpton founding the brand and now we’re bringing the brand home again. Opening in Amsterdam, gives us the perfect opportunity to indulge in the playful, creative and innovative approach to luxury that the city inspires in Kimpton’s unique and special way,” comments Angela Brav, IHG’s CEO, Europe. “Amsterdam as a city is effortless in design, highly diverse and a hotbed of creativity, making it the perfect match for our first Kimpton hotel in Europe. We’ll be bringing Kimpton to Paris next and have big plans for other cities across the continent.”

Kimpton DeWitt Amsterdam Hotel. Interior Design. Photography. Laure Joliet

Kimpton DeWitt Amsterdam Hotel. Interior Design. Photography. Laure Joliet

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants was acquired by IHG in 2015. IHG announced the further expansion of the brand across Europe with its second Kimpton hotel set to open in Paris in 2020. There are currently over 60 Kimpton hotels and more than 70 Kimpton restaurants, bars and lounges in 33 cities across Europe and the Americas. This is IHG’s 20th hotel in The Netherlands and is an exciting addition to the 675 IHG hotels across Europe.

www.kimptondewitthotel.com

EasyLink by Hypnos

Product Spotlight: Hypnos launches EasyLink for hospitality industry

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Award-winning British bed manufacturer and Royal Warrant holder, Hypnos, has launched its new linking bar innovation, EasyLink specifically for the hospitality sector.

Following consultation, Hypnos has developed its latest innovation in response to the increasing demand from housekeepers for Zip and Link beds that are easier and safer to use, and quicker to transform room function.

EasyLink by HypnosWith EasyLink, linking bars are placed on top of the bed base instead of the bottom, meaning housekeepers no longer have to lift the bed to access the linking bar underneath the bed base, or have an unsightly linking bar on the front. Housekeepers will be able to operate the new linking bar by standing up, rather than kneeling to operate external and under linked options, making the job more comfortable and safe to do.

Clare Taylor, Hypnos Contract Beds Marketing Manager, said: “As a trusted supplier to some of the largest independent hotels, groups, spas and resorts in the world, Hypnos holds a reputation for innovating products that meet the requirements of our customers in this sector. Our latest innovation, EasyLink, offers a discreet solution of linking that doesn’t take away from the aesthetics of a bed base, and has been developed specifically with housekeepers in mind. What’s more, we’re delighted to offer this new product as our standard linking option, available to hoteliers at no additional cost.”

For more information on the full Hypnos range, please visit www.hypnoscontractbeds.com

Poli House – experimental luxury meets Tel Aviv design

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The Poli House is a 40-room “experimental luxury” property harnessing the essence of Tel Aviv’s past, present and future and dressed with interior designs by world renowned industrial designer Karim Rashid, located in the epicentre of Tel Aviv’s cultural core.

Housed in a Bauhaus architecture-style building meticulously restored over a three-year-period by Nitza Szmuk, recipient of the prestigious Emet Prize for her extensive work on preserving and restoring buildings in Tel Aviv, was called upon to spearhead the restoration, conservation as well as execute the new design plans for this stunning architectural marvel.

The Poli House boasts warm and clean yellow, blue, green and white interiors created exclusively by world-renowned industrial designer/architect Karim Rashid. The Poli House’s homage to 1930’s Tel Aviv, tech-savvy design elements, health and style-conscious amenities and proximity to the Carmel Market and Mediterranean promenade combine for an unwavering leisure-soaked property unlike any other in the White City.

Rashid explains the rationale behind his signature motif, a fantastic melange of whimsical, futuristic interior design embodied by The Poli House as follows: “We usually only look to the past for inspiration, but the mentality of Tel Aviv is very contemporary, focusing less on the past and looking forward to the future. The Poli House embodies just that. I tried to embrace that Tel Aviv spirit, energy and love of life into the function of the hotel, turning an emotion into a tangible form through colors and graphics.

“My design for Poli House has a great duality about it. The hotel is a marriage of Bauhaus & Digital Age, form & function, crafts & fine arts, digital & organic. The simplicity of the architecture is juxtaposed with digitally-driven ornamentation and form. I imagined the Bauhaus in the 21st. Century, having a universal language that crosses borders and connects all of us. Tel Aviv is that kind of city, with every culture integrated. This pristine White City building is juxtaposed with a digipop aura, the day in which we live,” he adds.

The Galle Face Hotel will cut the ribbon on a new L’Occitane spa

Sri Lanka’s Grand Dame to unveil new luxury L’Occitane spa

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More than 153 years after first opening its doors, one of the oldest hotels east of the Suez, The Galle Face Hotel, will cut the ribbon on a new L’Occitane spa that pays tribute to the property’s glamorous association with Hollywood over the decades.

Adorned in a romantic palette of soft textures, alpine and iced teal hues, the spa’s clean and crisp interior will be accented by natural, dark ash-stained wooden floorboards, doors and window frames, recessed Oriental-style rugs, silk screens and exquisite upholstered furniture.

The Galle Face Hotel’s general manager Deni A. Dukic said the spa would stay true to L’Occitane’s traditions, including its essential oils, natural ingredients and traditional massage techniques, yet be distinct in character, inspired by the grandeur of the hotel’s historical association with some of Hollywood’s most recognizable icons.

“This is a spa that strives to transport you to an early Hollywood era, a gentler, more luxurious time when glamour reigned and time moved slower,” said Dukic. “We want to ensure that the services offered at the spa are equal to the standards guests from around the world have come to expect of The Galle Face Hotel.”

Spanning a palatial 1,115 square metres, ‘Spa L’Occitane En Provence’ will feature eight therapy rooms, including couples and Ayurveda rooms, as well as a nail spa, lavish indoor and outdoor relaxation areas, gym, steam rooms, dry saunas and Jacuzzis.

Situated adjacent to the hotel’s Pool Bar and Terrace overlooking the Indian Ocean, the spa’s lush outdoor area, replete with daybeds and tropical plants including fuchsia of rich pink bougainvillea designed to attract pockets of butterflies, will serve up a spa menu ranging from healthy snacks to specially created cocktails.

The spa will offer an ample choice of massages, facials and other treatments based on natural ingredients such as lavender from Provence in the south of France and shea butter from Burkina Faso in west Africa. First opened in 2001 in Brazil and Vietnam, L’Occitane spas are committed to socially responsible best practices, limiting water and energy use where possible as well as carefully selecting natural materials.

Both as a backdrop and as a place of respite post-filming, The Galle Face Hotel has hosted a number of stars over the last century and a half, including Laurence Olivier, David Lean, Gregory Peck, Carol Reed, Peter Finch, William Holden and Alec Guinness.

Bo Derek checked in for the shooting of Tarzan, the Ape Man in the ‘80s. In the same decade Harrison Ford was a guest when Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was filmed on the island. Steven Spielberg, Roger Moore, Carrie Fisher, Jean Simmons and Scarlett Johansson also figure on a guest list that reads like a who’s who of Hollywood royalty.

Due to open mid-2017, the spa’s emergence follows a 30-month restoration completed in late 2015 that brought the hotel’s rooms and suites, restaurants and bars, and lobby and ballrooms of the North Wing back to their original grandeur.

Perfect Hotel Room

IHS 2017: ‘Perfect Hotel Bedroom’ survey launches

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The luxury and boutique hotel sector’s most comprehensive and inspirational business event, the Independent Hotel Show has launched a survey to reveal the consumer’s perfect hotel bedroom in partnership with Chic Retreats, an online marketplace to book independent boutique villas and hotels from round the globe.

The Perfect Hotel Bedroom will be featured at the Independent Hotel Show, 17-18 October, Olympia, in a dedicated space on the show floor. Show exhibitors’ products will furnish the room and visiting hoteliers, journalists and industry thought-leaders will be invited to get “in bed” to share opinions about the room.

Designed to provide independent hoteliers with an understanding of the modern consumer’s wants and needs for a UK luxury hotel stay, the survey will capture lighting system preferences, soft furnishings desires, technology needs, storage requirements and much more. Additional research and industry comment will be included in a final report to be available for hoteliers to take away at the show.

Independent Hotel Show Event Director Miranda Martin says: “We are excited to be presenting such an insightful and potentially controversial feature at this year’s Independent Hotel Show. The Perfect Hotel Bedroom is a collaborative venture that will provide the UK’s best hoteliers with invaluable observations. It will also encourage conversation about design and functionality and bring together our visitors and exhibitors. We are delighted to be partnering with Chic Retreats whose expertise in boutique hotel stays for the discerning traveller will be integral to the success of the project and another successful Independent Hotel Show.”

Amanda Dyjecinski, Chic Retreats, CMO, says: “We are always on the look out for beautiful charming independent boutique hotels to add to our growing marketplace. The Perfect Hotel Bedroom survey results will highlight the features and little details that our ever evolving, modern discerning guests love, so we ensure we partner with hotels that deliver on this.”

On completing the survey, consumers will be entered into a prize draw to win an incredible two-night stay shopping package at boutique The Portobello Hotel, London. Follow @IndHotelShow for up-to-date information on the show and the exhibitors.

Mandarin Oriental Bali

Mandarin Oriental real estate project taking shape in Bali

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Construction is underway on the first 22 units sold at The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Bali, a remarkable real estate offering taking shape on a naturally accommodating clifftop where the group’s inaugural hotel in Bali is also in development.

Set within the confines of budding Bukit Pandawa Resort & Golf on Bali’s southernmost tip, The Residences will eventually comprise 91 standalone villas conceptualized by acclaimed international architect Jean-Michel Gathy, who took inspiration from a traditional Balinese farming technique in imagining the layout.

“The topography lends itself beautifully to a series of tiers that is really reminiscent of the terraced rice paddies you see all around Bali,” said the lead designer at Kuala Lumpur-based Denniston Architects, which has conceived many of the world’s most exclusive resorts built in the past 25 years. “So even from the villas at the very back of the complex, you have these unobstructed, 180-degree views of the ocean.”

To enhance the views for all residents and their guests, each villa will possess a flat roof dressed with an array of exotic grasses, shrubs and palm trees, a design flourish that also serves to create a seamless connection with the surrounding environment. Homage has been paid as well to the spirit of Balinese architecture, in that no villa will exceed the height of a typical coconut tree, no matter how many rooms it has.

Mandarin Oriental Bali“This is not London or Singapore or anywhere else,” said Gathy, a Belgian who has spent 35 years in Asia. “It’s Bali. We took that into account every step of the way. But we didn’t go overboard. And that’s an important distinction to make. Because sometimes designers go too far in that respect.

“I like to use the analogy of chocolate. When I have my coffee, I have it with one piece of chocolate. I don’t have it with 100 pieces. That would make me sick. It’s too much.”

Restraint has also been applied indoors, where Gathy and Indonesian interior design guru Jasin Tedjasukmana of Kiat Architects have collaborated on a style they describe as “simple elegance.”

Tasteful amounts of understated local artwork, comfortable pieces of furniture, discreet water features and low-profile, high-tech features are blended in harmonious fashion. Even the line between inside and outside is deftly blurred, thanks largely to windows that extend from floor to ceiling and glass doors that retract, such as the one between the living room and the infinity pool.

Mandarin Oriental Bali“These homes are the ultimate expression of luxury living,” said Djie Tjian An, president/director of PT Bali Ragawisata, Bukit Pandawa Resort & Golf’s developer. “I’ve been here for more than three decades, and I can tell you Bali has never had anything like this.”

In addition to being part of an elite club, owners at The Residences will have access to a 2-kilometre stretch of private white sand beach and all the facilities and services associated with Mandarin Oriental, Bali. When finished in mid-2018, the 88-room hotel will include an 88-metre-long swimming pool along the edge of the clifftop, a private beach club steps from the ocean, a cantilevered gourmet restaurant, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and a 1,725-square-metre spa with eight treatment rooms.

Together, the Mandarin Oriental hotel and residences will occupy approximately 5 percent of the 150-hectare piece of property that makes up Bukit Pandawa Resort & Golf, which Gathy masterplanned and that will eventually include another super-luxury hotel designed by him, a Waldorf Astoria and a Swissotel.

The link between them all is Bukit Pandawa Golf & Country Club, an 18-hole, par-3 championship-calibre golf course that opened in October 2016 as the first course of its kind in Southeast Asia.

“The routing is magnificent and the concept is brilliant,” said Gathy. “You don’t need four or five hours. You just need two.”

Blueprints also call for a 2.2-kilometre “eco trail” that runs across the cliffside and leads to three sacred Hindu temples and a new amphitheatre where traditional cultural performances are conducted on a nightly basis. Villas at The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Bali mostly range from one to five bedrooms, but floorplans for the four largest residences could be altered to allow for more bedrooms.

moresidencesbali.com

La Siesta Resort & Spa - Hoi An

La Siesta Resort & Spa Hoi An debuts new five-star wing

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A major expansion, refurbishment and rebrand has propelled La Siesta Resort and Spa Hoi An into the elite category of hotels in Hoi An – a UNESCO-listed ancient port famous as one of the most Vietnam’s premier tourist destinations.

The property, which is owned and operated by leading Vietnamese boutique hotel brand Elegance Hospitality Group (EHG), recently unveiled a name change – it was formerly the Essence Hoi An Hotel and Spa — and its brand-new East Wing, a luxurious 37-room annexe that also encompasses a spa, saltwater pool and fine-dining venue.

Currently in its soft-opening phase, the new wing features an array of luxurious room types. Poolside suites come with deep wooden bathtubs and private Swedish saunas. Duplex suites benefit from clawfoot bathtubs and expansive balconies overlooking the pool. The Premium Terrace Suites, meanwhile, span a generous 76-sqm and are kitted out with private Jacuzzis.

La Siesta Resort & Spa - Hoi AnAttention to detail is at the fore throughout the new wing. Specially commissioned teak furniture was handcrafted by artisans, while flooring that combines polished wood and patterned tiling evokes an old-world charm in-keeping with the timeless aura of Hoi An itself.

“That was a real priority for us when it came to conceptualising and realising our vision for the new wing – making it as harmonious to the atmosphere in the destination as we could,” said Nguyen Cao Son, EHG Chief Operation Officer. “Not only did we want to create something that would elevate the boutique resort experience in Hoi An, we were aware of our architectural responsibility to stay true to the spirit of the place.”

La Siesta Resort & Spa - Hoi AnAs such, guest rooms are aligned around an extensive saltwater swimming pool in three-storey buildings, carefully designed to maintain harmony with the traditional architecture that characterises Hoi An’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town. Other call outs to the destination’s incredible heritage include an on-site Confucian temple dating back to the 15th Century, which will be used in future for special event dinners and traditional lantern festivals. The resort is located in Thanh Ha village – a peaceful area famous for its ceramics – and is just a short 5-10-minute walk from the shophouses, temples, colonial buildings and iconic Vietnamese tube houses that characterise central Hoi An.

Yet while sympathy to local tradition is very much in evidence throughout the new wing, trimmings and service standards are in keeping with those of the very best modern five-stars. Inviting extras include access to a personal butler (for suites and villas), handmade toiletries from La Siesta’s own line of spa products and state of the art in-room technology such as Samsung sound-bars and espresso coffee makers.

La Siesta Resort & Spa - Hoi AnOther highlights of the new wing include a luxurious spa lounge and the Temple restaurant, which serves international buffet breakfast and elevated European-influenced fare for lunch and dinner in an attractive poolside setting. The new wing blends seamlessly with the existing west section of the property, acclaimed by guests for its charming colonial-style low-rise architecture and the highly-rated Asian cuisine served at its Red Bean restaurant.

“Our mission with the new wing was to position La Siesta Hoi An at the pinnacle of the hotel offerings in Hoi An, alongside established international brand names,” said Cao Son. “However, we also wanted to maintain the Vietnamese character and warmth of service that EHG has been widely commended for. We think we’ve managed to achieve something very special.”

Dominvs Group - Marriott by Courtyard, Oxford

Dominvs Group secures planning permission for Courtyard by Marriott, Oxford

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Dominvs Group has secured planning permission from Oxford County Council for a new 140-room hotel scheme at Paradise Street in central Oxford, close to the site of Oxford Castle.

Dominvs will develop and operate the hotel under the Courtyard by Marriott brand. Offering high quality guest accommodation arranged over six storeys, the hotel will replace the existing Cooper Callas building, a disused industrial site. The scheme will include food and beverage facilities accessible by both hotel guests and the local community, while its stand-out feature will be a roof garden and terrace with views of Oxford Castle.

The site had been identified by Oxford City Council for re-development within the West End Area Action Plan, as part of which the old Westgate Shopping Centre is also being overhauled and is due to re-open later this year.

Oxford City Council welcomed the proposal from Dominvs, which responds to the high volume of local tourism and creates 70 new jobs in a variety of roles. The designs for the building mirror the brickwork and fenestration in the surrounding streets, and received approval from Historic England.

Dominvs Group is experienced in developing hotel sites at landmark locations that are sensitive to their historic surroundings. This will be the group’s second development alongside Marriott with work already underway on the conversion of the former Tower Bridge Magistrates Court into a luxury 200-bedroom hotel. The hotel will be part of Autograph Collection Hotels, Marriott International’s growing portfolio of one-of-a-kind independent hotels. Additionally, the group recently secured planning permission from the City of London Corporation to develop a hotel at Ludgate Hill, in the St Paul’s Cathedral conservation area.

Jayne Alexander - Brit List 2017 Judge

Brit List 2017: Judge Profile – Jayne Alexander

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Here at Hotel Designs, we’ve been asking our readers to select who they think should be included in the UK’s top 25 hoteliers and 25 leading design professionals – to nominate those they think are deserving of recognition in both fields.

The selections then go to our advisory board of judges, representatives from across the hotel and design industry.

Here we’re profiling our next judge, The Dovetail Agency MD Jayne Alexander…

Jayne’s career extends across the entire sphere of luxury travel and lifestyle, having worked for Inter-Continental Hotels and The Virgin Group before launching The Dovetail Agency 20 years ago.

The Dovetail Agency is a brand communications agency specialising in luxury travel and lifestyle. The team develop unique strategic plans for each client, integrating key elements including media relations, branding, creative consulting, event marketing, strategic partnerships, advertising and traditional public relations. Founded on the idea that great  service, strong relationships, strategic thinking and flawless execution should be the foundation of an agency’s work, The Dovetail Agency has grown and prospered to become one of the UK’s most respected travel and lifestyle brand agencies.

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Formerly sales and marketing director within Virgin, Jayne has successfully built up an excellent industry profile. With a proven track record, achieving all targets set in previous job roles, both in PR and marketing management, Jayne is results-driven and promises effective implementation of a new project or strategy with outstanding results. Jayne’s experience includes a launch project for The Virgin Group. Virgin Ultimate was developed as a luxury collection of UK and international properties. Each hotel or resort was required to meet a high standard in order to be aligned and promoted alongside Necker Island and La Residencia. Virgin Gift Cards were developed from Jayne’s own initial business idea, working closely with Richard Branson and all companies within the Group.

Jayne works with each client to develop an all-encompassing business strategy and tactically to counteract need periods and weaker areas of a client’s business. As Marketing Director with Virgin and in-house Sales Director at Inter-Continental Hotels, clients involve Jayne in the planning and implementation of the overall sales, marketing, product and PR planning process.

 

Crosswater - Dynamic Dial

Product Spotlight: Dynamic Dial – new shower kits from Crosswater

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New for 2017, the intelligent technology and sleek design of the Dial collection from Crosswater has been combined into a selection of handy shower kits, simplifying the experience when it comes to choosing the ideal showering solution.

The Dial range sets a new benchmark in bathroom brassware with the very latest in push-button technology offering complete showering control at the touch of a button. Smart on the inside, Dial allows the user to precisely control the flow of water and temperature simultaneously, bringing function and luxury into everyday bathing routines.

The cutting-edge on/off operation offers complete water control for multifunctional showering and bathing, whereby outlets can be used both independently and in-sync with a superior effect to that of standard diverters. Featuring 11 separate water flow positions, Dial offers the perfect flexibility between eco-friendly showering and luxurious high-pressure power, even working on low-pressure systems if installed with a flow activated shower pump.

Crosswater’s specialist team of experts have carefully curated a selection of shower kits to choose from that combine the valve technology of Dial with elegantly designed showerhead and handset combinations. Each kit includes the brass valve and trim set as well as any necessary wall outlets, shower arms or rails for ease of installation.

With the option to choose from a wall outlet shower, a classic showerhead or combine the two in your shower enclosure, the Dial Shower Kits enable you to decide on a set that perfectly caters to your needs. Available in four of Crosswater’s signature ranges – Central, Belgravia, Kai Lever and Pier – there’s an option to suit any bathroom scheme, from the sleek and contemporary to the more traditional.

www.crosswater-holdings.co.uk

Hotel Excelsior - Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik icon Hotel Excelsior reopens after extensive renovation

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This month, Dubrovnik’s historical waterfront sees the much-awaited re-opening of its celebrated property, Hotel Excelsior, following the completion of an extensive refurbishment.

Overseen by a team of talented Croatian architects and designers, the iconic property has finally unveiled its outstanding transformation just in time for summer and is welcoming back guests to Croatia’s Adriatic pearl.

The look
Adriatic Luxury Hotels’ flagship property has been meticulously revamped with fresh, modern and elegant design that embodies Hotel Excelsior’s sophisticated yet welcoming feel. Local architectural studio BF, and interiors by Franić-Šekoranja’s design studio have reimagined the new spaces that include the hotel’s rooms, lobby, restaurants and terrace bar. Earthy tones of grey and walnut have been flawlessly combined with shades of blue and green – colours inspired by the hotel’s magnificent surroundings and spectacular vistas; the verdant peninsula, vibrant sea and the warm stone of the medieval Old Town offset by the sun.

Hotel Excelsior Executive SuiteThe rooms
With its reopening for the season, Hotel Excelsior unveils 158 beautifully redecorated rooms and suites featuring wooden floors, custom-made furniture, and a collection of carefully curated details in neutral hues alongside colourful dashes of Excelsior’s signature shades of vivid yellow, blue and touches of subtle metallics. These rooms – spread across both the original 1913 residential part ‘Villa Odak’ and the hotel’s more recent extension ‘The Tower’ – have been completely transformed to offer guests a luxurious, stylish and comfortable hideaway in this picturesque and historic location.

ALH_Hotel Excelsior BathroomThe lobby
Impressive floor-to-ceiling windows flood the newly-refurbished lobby with natural daylight, where warm wooden floors and bespoke furniture will welcome its guests daily. New works of art and sculpture, created especially for Hotel Excelsior, are the finishing touch to the new lobby and public areas.

The restaurants
The re-opening includes an exciting new addition to the property’s incredible gourmet offering – fine-dining restaurant Sensus – run by executive Chef Petar Obad. With a focus on seafood, Petar creates innovative dishes and elevates traditional Mediterranean cuisine with the freshest local produce and delicacies, paired with the finest Croatian wines. His signature dishes are guaranteed to delight with a choice of three mouth-watering white fish filets and delicious garden vegetables, or a succulent truffle ravioli main. Boasting a superb outdoor space, guest can dine under the patio’s charming cobbled archways looking out onto the crystal blue sea.

The hotel’s centrepiece, the Abakus Piano Bar, has also been given a lift and is set to be the city’s summer hotspot. As the heart and soul of Hotel Excelsior with an expansive outdoor lounge terrace that takes in the unparalleled views, the Abakus Piano Bar is the perfect hangout place for refreshing beverages throughout the day and sundowners as the late afternoon light ignites the Old Town’s distinctive fortifications.

Hotel Excelsior Pool

adriaticluxuryhotels.com

Skye Hotel Suites

Skye Hotel Suites set to debut in Sydney this August

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Skye Hotel Suites in Parramatta is set to open its doors in August 2017. Developed by Sydney-based Crown Group Australia, Skye Hotel Suites will offer unrivaled urban luxury for discerning guests.

The hotel brings together the best elements of hospitality: the warmth and personalised service of a boutique hotel; the grandeur and amenities of a luxury hotel; the spaciousness and familiarity of a local apartment; and the relaxing escape of a resort.

The hotel is located within V by Crown Group, a distinctive new Sydney landmark designed by Allen Jack + Cottier and Koichi Takada Architects. Skye Hotel Suites features just 72 luxury studio, one- and two-bedroom suites overlooking Sydney. Guests will enjoy access to V by Crown Group’s resort-style pool and sauna, state-of-the-art fitness centre, business centre and conference room facilities, along with an alfresco dining and retail piazza.

The stylish bar on level 26 is Parramatta’s highest bar, offering a spacious open-air terrace and spectacular 270-degree views of Sydney’s skyline, the Harbour Bridge and the Blue Mountains. In addition, famed chef Neil Perry has opened one of his popular Burger Project restaurants in the tower

New hotels join Small Luxury Hotels Of The World

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This May Small Luxury Hotels of the World is welcoming five new luxury properties to its portfolio. Introducing a brand new eco-certified hotel in Cap Corsica, a newly opened palazzo turned boutique retreat in Rome, a serene forest dwelling in Izu, Japan and a sophisticated retreat wrapped up in bright botanic gardens in Puerto Vallarta.

Le Domaine Misincu: Corsica

Opening June 2017
Due to open in June 2017, set in 35 hectares of natural parks and gardens, Le Domaine Misincu will be the only five-star rated environmentally friendly and eco-certified luxury boutique hotel in the region of Cap Corsica. Highly protected, savage and unspoilt in natural beauty, Cap Corse is the last remaining “wild” part of the island and therefore nicknamed as “the island on the island” which sets its history apart from the rest of the island. Aiming for Corsican modern luxury living at its best, Le Domaine Misincu is an epitomised “barefoot casual luxury” experience with a holistic approach. Contemporary yet traditional in style, the hotel pays homage to Corsican heritage and the outstanding beauty of its natural surroundings coupled with 21st century amenities for today’s luxury leisure travellers. Whether it is the vast range of local products in the F&B outlets, Corsican fabrics, materials and woods to be used for anything interior design or the fleet of Tesla cars available for guests, any stay here is to reflect an authentic Cap Corse experience.

Casa Velas: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Found amidst blooming grounds of tropical flora, the adult-only hotel and ocean club, Casa Velas, sets the scene for a perfect romantic seaside escape. The 80 suites offer guests a private piece of luxury in the botanic gardens and the wooden beams and furniture and earthy tones are inspired by traditional Mexican designs. The hotel is just minutes from the beach, an 18-hole golf course and the buzzing boardwalk of Puerto Vallarta. The treatments at Casa Velas Spa draw on ancient wisdom and local ingredients, with treatment rooms for couples and singles, a hydrotherapy area and beauty salon. The on-site restaurant, Emiliano, is an AAA Four Diamond rated a la carte fine dining restaurant, headed up by one of the area’s leading chefs, serving Mexican and international cuisine. Alternatively guests can opt to take a short stroll to the Ocean Club for Asian-inspired cuisine and cocktails on the beachfront.

Margutta 19: Rome, Italy

Opening July 2017
This brand new Roman boutique hotel will open its doors on July 1 2017. Tucked away on Via Margutta – known locally as ‘the artist’s street’ thanks to famous prior residents such as Picasso and Stravinsky, this elegant palazzo has been given a modern make over. Despite its city location Margutta 19 provides a chic and restful escape, away from the buzz of Rome. The 16 rooms have been styled in gentle shades of sage and ivory, with parquet floors, travertine marble bathrooms, king size beds and Frette linens. Classic and deluxe suites overlook the cobbled Via Margutta and its terracotta buildings, while the Garden Suite comes with its own 43 square metre terrace. Restaurant Assaggia is courtesy of angelo Troiani who serves his own inventive spin on Roman classics, including recipes handed down through generations of the hotel owner’s family.

ABBA Resorts Izu: Izu, Japan

Situated on the stunning Jogasaki coast, ABBA resorts Izu is an intimate, 30 room retreat, featuring an indulgent Neen-spa and three world-class restaurants serving French and Japanese fare. Built in the ryokan style of a traditional inn, the luxurious Abba Resorts Izu, blends seamlessly into its ancient forest backdrop. The resort’s natural garden was created from diverse lava formations and the villas come with their own open-air bath, filled with warm, soothing mineral waters flowing in from the Ukiyama Hot Springs that Izu is known for. The rooms are designed to calm and soothe, with woven tatami straw mats and other natural touches in abundance.

São Lourenço do Barrocal: Monsaraz, Portugal

This 200 year old family run, fully working farm-come-luxury boutique retreat (main picture) seamlessly blends contemporary scandi-style décor with vintage homestead touches. Every element of the hotel celebrates its Alentejo surroundings. Guests can wander the grounds, take a seat in the wooden deck chairs amongst the orange grove, stroll through the wine and vegetable garden, take a dip in the pool or pack up a picnic and cycle to the estates lake. At night guests are invited to enjoy farm-to-table dining at the onsite restaurant, where classic Alentejo flavours are served up using home grown and locally sourced produce alongside the winemakers selection from the onsite vineyard. The 40 rooms, suites and cottages are a tasteful mix of old and new, with white fabrics, wool blankets, carefully selected vintage features and farm views. Certain suites and cottages also come with a private terrace, perfect for star-gazing. A spa by organic Austrian brand Susanne Kaufmann, features an oak wood hot tub and an outdoor pool, as well as a variety of treatments.

Meliá to boost tourism in Cuba by adding 8 hotels under its brands

Meliá to boost tourism in Cuba by adding 8 hotels under its brands

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Meliá Hotels International announced during the International Tourism Fair in Cuba that it will extend its presence in the centre of the island with the addition of 8 hotels, while also assisting in promoting multi-destination vacations.

The agreement between Meliá Hotels International and the Cuban hotel groups, Gran Caribe, Cubanacan and Islazul, aims to promote organized multi-destination vacations that already include several towns and cities on the island, while at the same time adding new destinations, one of the objectives of a Cuban tourism strategy which seeks to enhance the visibility of a number of cities and regions with huge potential for quality tourism.

In the city of Cienfuegos, Meliá will manage the 56-room San Carlos Hotel and the 49-room Union Hotel, both located in the historic centre of Cienfuegos, declared a World Heritage Site in 2005. The company will also manage the Jagua Hotel in the same city, operating 173 rooms under the INNSIDE by Meliá brand, Meliá’s most avant-garde urban brand, and one of its most highly-rated brands worldwide.

Meliá to boost tourism in Cuba by adding 8 hotels under itsIn Trinidad, the company will renovate and manage the 279-room Ancon Hotel under the innovative and youthful Sol House brand, as well as a new 102-room hotel to be built at the end of the Ancon Peninsula and operated under the Meliá brand.

Lastly, in Camagüey, the firm will begin to work with the Islazul hotel group to manage three hotels, two of them in the historic centre of the city: the 72-room Gran Hotel and the 58-room Hotel Colón. INNSIDE by Meliá will also be the brand applied to the 142-room Hotel Camagüey after an investment in renovation.

In 2015, the firm celebrated the 25th anniversary of its operations in Cuba, and continues to announce that it maintains the same enthusiasm as ever for continuing to increase its quality and service in a destination it has always described as “privileged”. The company will assume responsibility for the hotels on November 1 of this year, starting a transitional process in their management which will be completed by January 1, 2018.

www.melia.com

Best Western Malaysia

Best Western opens upscale hotel in Malaysia’s Genting Highlands

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Best Western Hotels & Resorts has unveiled a stunning new upscale hotel in Malaysia’s popular and scenic Genting Highlands.

The brand new Best Western Premier Ion Delemen opened on April 26 and is nestled in the lush jungle-clad hills of Pahang state, the centre of the Malay Peninsula. In addition to providing the perfect natural retreat for both Malaysian and international visitors, the new hotel is on the doorstep of Genting’s Resorts World, which features a large theme park, casino and Malaysia’s longest cable car ride. The world’s first 20th Century Fox World theme park is also a nearby attraction and is scheduled to welcome visitors later this year.

Best Western Premier Ion Delemen is operated by Ion Delemen Hospitality Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of the NCT Group of Companies. It forms part of the Ion Delemen development, which is expected to fully open in 2018 and will include an international wellness centre.

Best Western Premier Ion Delemen offers a collection of 246 rooms, ranging from studios to one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, featuring separate living areas, bedrooms and kitchenettes. All rooms will offer modern amenities including flat-screen TVs, international power outlets and complimentary Wi-Fi, spacious bathrooms and large windows that overlook the lush mountains.

This brand new hotel also incorporates a vast array of amenities, including multiple restaurants and bars, many of which offer floor-to-ceiling windows and al fresco seating areas that merge seamlessly with the natural surroundings. There is also a sky garden, a heated infinity-edged swimming pool, luxurious spa, fully-equipped fitness centre, children’s play area, and extensive space for conferences and events.

Following the launch of the new hotel, Best Western Hotels & Resorts now operates three properties in Malaysia, located in Shah Alam, Petaling Jaya and the Genting Highlands. This exciting new hotel also marks the return of the upscale Best Western Premier hotel brand to Malaysia.

Travelodge 'SuperRoom' concept

Project Spotlight: Travelodge launches ‘SuperRooms’ concept

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This year London was crowned the world’s leading financial centre, holding on to its top spot for another year. By doing this, the English capital beat business-centred cities like New York, Tokyo and Singapore. As the worlds professional hotspot there were 3.3 million overseas business visitors to London between 2014 and 2015, spending a collective of £2.9 billion.

Whilst one of the key trends in the UK is the rapid expansion of the budget hotel sector offering competitive rates for business and leisure travellers in a recessionary climate. Overall, the UK hotels sector has seen room supply increase at record levels in many cities, especially London. Travelodge, the UK’s first budget hotel brand reports that it has generated more sales from business customers than those on holiday and that today they have more customers staying for travel than ever before.

In a bid to grow this customer base, Travelodge has just launched its new ‘SuperRooms’, bringing the ‘premium economy’ concept familiar to airline users to the UK budget hotel market.

Travelodge 'SuperRoom' conceptThis new class of room, the first of its kind in the UK budget hotel market, dials up the comfort factor with a concept designed especially for business and leisure customers who want the extra choice of a more premium room.

The stylish SuperRoom has everything that you would expect from Travelodge but with lots of new additional creature comforts. It has been styled in a modern residential décor scheme, creating a home from home feel. It features a new dream-light colour scheme which includes tones of calming blue, warm beige and tranquil taupe, as well as blackout curtains, creating a relaxing atmosphere for a restful night’s sleep.

The signature creature comforts in the SuperRoom include:
• Lavazza ‘A Modo Mio’ fresh capsule coffee machine
• Hansgrohe Raindance 3-jet adjustable shower
• Multiple power and USB charging points at arm’s length throughout
• Ambient LED mood lighting
• Larger desk area with a swivel chair
• King-size Travelodge Dreamer™ bed
• Choice of firm and soft hypo-allergenic pillows
• Dressing stand with a powerful hairdryer
• In-room iron and ironing board
• Samsung Slimline wall-mounted flat screen TV

Peter Gowers, Travelodge Chief Executive said: “For British business, the days of extravagance on expenses are long behind us. More and more business travellers are opting for a budget hotel and last year we generated more sales from business customers than those on holiday.”

“We are all used to airlines offering a premium economy cabin that bridges the gap between traditional economy class and an expensive business class offer. We wanted to bring that same choice to budget hotel guests. With premium products like Lavazza coffee machines and Hansgrohe showers, the functional things you’d expect from Travelodge like our Dreamer™ Bed and USB ports throughout, as well as little touches like hot chocolate and a free KitKat, we are pleased to be offering even greater choice for our customers in some of the best locations in the UK.”

New SuperRooms are currently available at Travelodge London Waterloo, London Farringdon, London Euston and London City Road.

During 2017 the company expects to invest approximately £5m in the initial launch of 1,000 SuperRooms, including further central London locations, London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports and Bath.

Travelodge 'SuperRoom' conceptRooms will be available to book via Travelodge.co.uk. They are expected to attract a typical premium of approximately £10-20 per night above the company’s classic rooms, which were recently upgraded nationwide as part of a £100m modernisation programme.

The new SuperRooms were designed based on extensive customer research and in partnership with the designers at Honour, a renowned luxury travel design agency that has previously worked with British Airways and Etihad Airlines on their first class lounges and first class cabins.

Travelodge has also worked with colour consultant, Suzy Chiazzari to help create the dream-light colour scheme.

Suzy Chiazzari, Colour Consultant said: “From the first moment you step into the SuperRoom you sense a feeling of lightness and calm. This is created by the mood-enhancing qualities of the colours used in the room, which includes: calming blue, warm beige and tranquil taupe. The blue shade is reminiscent of the night sky night and transports you into a quiet space where you can relax and unwind. Whilst the beige and tranquil colours are earthy grounding tones which create an inviting space that cocoons you while you recharge your batteries, leaving your refreshed and invigorated the next day.”

Highbullen Hotel

Planning approval for extension at Highbullen Hotel Golf & Country Club

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It’s been a successful week for the staff and owners of Highbullen Hotel Golf & Country Club after their plans for 58 holiday lodges and a 16 bedroom extension to the hotel were approved by North Devon Council planning committee.

David Tearle, General Manager of the Hotel said: “Highbullen has benefitted from significant investment under the new ownership since 2012 which has resulted in a string of regional and international awards. This decision will help Highbullen take its place as a destination hotel and somewhere North Devon can be proud of.”

To date over £8.8million has been invested in the estate by the owner Mr Frank Chapman. As well as the complete refurbishment of all the existing facilities, a new state of the art wedding venue and conference centre has been created. This is already attracting prestigious events to the hotel from far and wide.

The planning approval will allow additional investment to be made to further improve the quality of accommodation and range of facilities on offer. This will include a luxurious spa, comparable to anything available in the south west of the UK. That will help attract visitors to North Devon who might otherwise look elsewhere.

Peregrine Mears Architects based in Barnstaple and Exeter are agents for the application. Practice Director Peregrine Mears, added: “Farming and tourism have long been the mainstays of the North Devon economy. Highbullen is a special place and we are really excited to be able to help the hotel take its place as the jewel in North Devon’s tourism crown.”

Crucially the decision will safeguard the jobs of the hotel’s existing employees, many of who live locally and some of whom are second generation. The planned development is anticipated to generate a further 25 jobs on site in future.