A boho inspired interior design scheme

    Part 86: how to monetise hotel interior design

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn
    Part 86: how to monetise hotel interior design

    Lee Chamberlain, Co-Founder of Reevela, explains how hotel interior design can become its own revenue channel…

    A boho inspired interior design scheme

    In a world where convenience reigns supreme, the hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet the ever-changing demands of modern travellers.

    In this GTHD article, we explore an innovative approach that not only enhances the guest experience but also opens up new avenues for monetising interior design in hotels, restaurants and common workspaces. It’s called, Reevela.

    Reevela’s mission is clear; to transform the way people experience and interact with the world of interior design. Imagine you’re staying at a hotel, and you spot a beautifully designed lamp in your room, appreciate the comfort of your bed, or find the candle holders in the breakfast restaurant charming. With Reevela, which was ‘Highly Commended’ in the Best in Tech category at The Brit List Awards 2023, you can turn these moments of curiosity into opportunities for discovery and purchase.

    The brand’s vision is to redefine hospitality venues, such as hotels, restaurants, and common workspaces, as more than just places to stay, dine, or work. We aim to turn them into vibrant design showrooms and retail storefronts.

    A minimalist living room with floor to ceiling window overlooking greenery

    Image credit: Unsplash

    Here’s how it works. Guests use their mobile devices to scan objects that pique their interest. Our innovative visual lookup technology and machine learning algorithms ensure instant and accurate results. With the identity of an object unveiled, guests can take various paths—click to buy, browse to learn more, or delve deeper into the local culture associated with the venue. This approach supports craftspeople, designers, and artists linked to the property, fostering a sense of connection with the local community.

    At Reevela, we empower guests to rediscover the importance of tactile exploration—touch, feel, and use—before making purchasing decisions. Our solution allows your guests to uncover, learn about, and purchase everything they love about your venue, from furniture and decorations to textiles, accessories, art, fashion, lighting, and more.

    A revenue model that benefits all

    What sets Reevela apart is that it’s free to use for guests, and there are no sign-up fees or subscription charges for venues. We take care of the setup, and maintenance is minimal. In return, we offer a split revenue model that enables you to earn a share of the profits from any item sold as a result of a scan at your property.

    Unleash the value of your design inventory

    Consider this: How often do your fixed assets and design inventory appreciate in value and generate ancillary revenue? Reevela offers an exciting opportunity for hospitality venues to not only showcase their design choices but also monetise them.

    Monetising interior design in hospitality is not just a financial endeavour; it’s a transformative approach that enhances every aspect of the guest experience. By integrating Reevela into your venue, you’re not merely offering a place to stay, dine, or work; you’re creating an immersive journey into the world of design.

    A cluster of interior design elements in a bare room

    Image credit: Unsplash

    Reevela is designed with the guest experience in mind. It’s a seamless process that enhances the overall stay. When a guest spots a captivating item in their room, the process of exploration and potential purchase is intuitive. They can simply use their mobile device to scan the item and instantly revealing details, options, and even the story behind it.

    One of the remarkable aspects of Reevela is its ability to empower local artisans, craftsmen, designers, and artists. When guests explore and purchase locally sourced and crafted items, they’re not just acquiring beautiful objects; they’re also contributing to the livelihood of talented individuals in the community. This creates a sense of connection and authenticity that resonates with today’s conscious travellers.

    For hospitality venues, Reevela offers a unique revenue stream that complements traditional income sources. While room bookings, dining, and events are essential, the ability to monetize your interior design choices opens up new possibilities. It’s a way to leverage the aesthetic appeal of your venue and turn it into a profit centre.

    Your venue’s interior design is a reflection of your brand identity. Reevela allows you to not only showcase your design choices but also reinforce your brand narrative. Guests can explore the unique aspects of your design philosophy, and each item they purchase becomes a tangible reminder of their experience at your venue.

    Reevela’s impact extends beyond the duration of a guest’s stay. When guests take home a piece of your venue—a distinctive lamp, a piece of artwork, or a stylish accessory—they’re also taking with them a lasting memory. These items become cherished souvenirs that keep your venue in their hearts long after they’ve checked out. This emotional connection translates into loyalty and the potential for repeat visits or recommendations to friends and family.

    A large bedroom with dome-like bed frame

    Image credit: Unsplash

    Creating a win-win-win Scenario

    The beauty of Reevela’s approach to monetizing interior design is that it’s a win-win-win scenario. Guests win by discovering and acquiring unique items that enhance their lives and memories. Local artisans and designers win by gaining visibility and support. Hospitality venues win by diversifying their revenue streams, enhancing the guest experience, and reinforcing their brand identity.

    In conclusion, Reevela represents a groundbreaking approach to interior design monetization in the hospitality industry. It goes beyond aesthetics; it’s about enriching the guest experience, supporting local creativity, and generating sustainable revenue streams. By integrating Reevela into your venue, you’re not just offering a place to stay or dine; you’re creating an immersive journey that allows guests to connect with design on a profound level. It’s a transformation that aligns seamlessly with the evolving demands of modern travellers and unleashes the full potential of interior design in hospitality.

    The era of interior design as a passive element is over. With Reevela, it becomes an active, revenue-generating, and memory-making part of the guest experience. Embrace the future of interior design monetization and join us in revolutionizing the way guests interact with and cherish the spaces they visit.

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

    Main image credit: Reevela

    Kimpton Fitzroy reception lounge media

    Part 85: reusable materials in hotel lighting

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    kimpton fitzroy lift lobby - close up of chandelier

    Image credit: IHG

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

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

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

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

    Main image credit: IHG

    swimming pool at Regent Phu Quoc with architectural poles and shade cloth installation by BLINK

    Part 84: conversion to placemaking – a designer’s road to Damascus

    1024 640 Pauline Brettell

    Clint Nagata is the Founder and Creative Partner behind BLINK Design Group, a studio which has made its mark on the luxury hospitality realm by focussing on creating a sense of place – a layered process which results in a depth of design that makes it stand out from the crowd. In this series of a Guide to Hotel Design, Nagata talks us through his process of placemaking when confronted with conversion…

    The tabula rasa is a beautiful thing. For the designer, nothing excites more than the terrifying thrill of the blank page, the clean slate that awaits your dreams and inspiration, creating something where nothing existed before, willing what you’ve seen in your mind’s eye to life. However, where the rubber often meets the road for today’s designer is a far more practical challenge: the conversion or reimagining of an existing property, bar or restaurant while managing owners’ expectations and working within the constraints of time, space, budgets and what already stands.

    Clint Nagata - Blink Design Group

    Image credit: BLINK Design Group

    For the perfectionist, the purist and the prima donna who brooks no compromise and demands to stamp their will on the landscape, it’s not ideal. But for the pragmatist of good heart and clear vision, who can take what has gone before and embrace what could be, the conversion is a field of design that can be every bit as rewarding as the utopia of the green field.

    “Understanding what is said in luxury hotel design is akin to listening to a beautifully composed piece of music, where the pauses between notes are as essential as the melody itself. It is as a silent dialogue that envelopes guests in a world of comfort, elegance and refinement, leaving an indelible impression that words alone could never convey” – Clint Nagata, Founder and Creative Partner, BLINK Design Group.

    The move towards conversion, refurbishment and re-envisioning has been growing over the past decade. City-dwellers often prefer seeing their neighbourhoods reimagined and reinvigorated rather than demolished and totally transformed. However, there can be cost implications and practical challenges in retrofitting 21st-century demands into 19th and 20th-century structures.

    central table and seating area in beamed wooden building at Roku Kyoto

    Image credit: Blink / Ben Richards

    Everything has its place – the more I travel the world, the more convinced I am that a sense of place is everything. A deep dive into the culture, people, customs and architectural and design vernacular of a place is pivotal to what we do at BLINK. We have a name for it: Placemaking.

    Just as with the conversion, you are working within the strictures of what already exists, so with placemaking we work within the ambit of what has gone before. The challenges with conversions are myriad but they always boil down, above all, to time and money. Clients want a Rolls-Royce, on a Hyundai budget.

    central wooden bar with asian design references in Regent Phu Quoc

    Image credit: BLINK Design Group

    There are also inherent pitfalls in Placemaking; there’s a fine line between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation. What may appear as the harmless dressing of a space could very easily offend locals, staff and guests; something well-intentioned but uninformed could be seen as trivialising and objectifying home-grown culture or, worse, come across as some kind of crass, condescending neo-colonialism.

    Research, knowledge and local connections are everything; it can’t be rushed or bought off a shelf. At BLINK, we invest in time and people, in Indigenous artisans and craftspeople, to make sure we get the details right; it pays dividends, fosters goodwill and feeds the local economy.

    seating and tea in Roku Kyoto designed by BLINK

    Image credit: BLINK Design Studio / Ben Richards

    Understanding the Unspoken Insight – when taking on a brief, it’s often what’s written between the lines that informs us of a client’s real requirements. Our job is to forensically interpret the unspoken wants and needs, the physical cues and the passing comments that can open a whole new field of discussion. We must never forget the power of the question mark; to always pursue lateral thinking, new ways of being and doing, presenting at all times as as a curious, prescient and empathic practice.

    colonnaded swimming pool at Regent Phu Quoc by Blink Design

    Image credit: BLINK Design Goup

    And we must not ignore the inexorable march of demographics; those born between 1981 and 2012, otherwise known as Millennials and Gen Z, will command 80 per cent of the global personal luxury goods market by 2030 (Bain & Company, 2023). The good news is that they value meaningful luxury experiences over the possession of luxury goods.

    double volume dining space with statement architectural lighting and trees for indoor planting

    Image credit: BLINK Design Group

    It starts with thinking of hotels and resorts not as places to sleep, but as environments that create memories; the wellsprings of experience. My journey as a designer began with the belief that the best buildings are designed from the inside out, which is a powerful concept when approaching a conversion. If your visions are powerful enough, the entire hotel or resort can live anew.

    Examples? Huvafen Fushi Maldives springs to mind. We’re breathing new life into an ageing resort in an incredible location with a minimalistic modern aesthetic that draws inspiration from the pristine natural surroundings. I’m very bullish on upcycling; recycling with a creative twist. Small details can make a big difference: when we converted Jumeirah Meradhoo into Raffles we made a critical decision to paint the mismatched stained millwork to a pale warm gray colour which helped to transform the resort into a colonial tropical resort aligned with the Raffles design DNA.

    louvred terrace with blue shutters under a wicker ceiling with fans at Raffles Maldives Meradhoo

    Image credit: BLINK Design Group / Raffles Hotels & Resorts

    We don’t shy away from being creative with making budgets stretch further and doing more with less, as budgets seem to shrink as each year goes by. And sustainability is so important, yet has become such an overused and abused buzzword that it pains me. We’ve seen small changes such as furniture suppliers who have invested in recycled materials in their furniture. This needs to become the norm and not the exception.

    I see a shift towards what I’d call purposeful travel. It’s the journey as much as the destination. People want to experience things rather than just stay at a particular resort or hotel. This has only fueled the need for hotels in and of themselves to become unique destinations deeply rooted in the environment that they exist in.

    view from above of thatched roof and bathing platfrom over the water at Raffles Maldives Meradhoo

    Image credit: BLINK Design Group / Raffles Hotels & Resorts

    But can the centre hold as things become more fragmented? A recent article by Travel Daily resonated in defining some of the diverse groups of people we must cater to in tomorrow’s hotels and resorts. They include the Walter Mitty-ish (Alter) Ego Enthusiasts, who feel compelled to elaborate on their lives and present an inflated and polished version of themself while travelling; Cool-cationers who seek relief from scorched urban heat islands; So-called Surrender Seekers, who want to be surprised and go with the flow, letting someone else’s fingers do the planning; Culinary Excavators, the modern day food archeologists who want to eat authentically and with a sense of history and place; Reboot Retreaters seeking relief and a restart from their frazzled and frenetic life; Mindful Aesthetes, for whom wellness is not just an occasional treat but a way of life, and A La Carte Affluencers, who will employ life hacks to save costs at home but are willing to splurge on their dream holidays.

    exterior view of evening lights lighting up the interior of Roku Kyoto

    Image credit: BLINK Design Group / Ben Richards

    When I graduated from college, the western architectural community frowned upon firms that did not design new and ‘modern’ buildings and instead created buildings that embodied their environments. Similarly, all the large international hotel chains practised uniformity across the globe and wanted their hotels in Asia to look like it was in America. I’m glad all of this has changed.

    Uniformity is dead and individuality is king. More than ever, designers must not be afraid to take risks and to fail, as it’s only in testing limits that you change and grow. Dive deep, immerse yourself, ask questions, push boundaries. Live by design.

    Main image credit: BLINK Design Group

    Chunky Upholstery Studio furniture

    Part 83: meeting upholstery fire regulations

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

    Hotel Designs and Edmund Bell discuss how hotel interior designers can meet the global challenges around fire regulations without sacrificing on style…

    In hotel interior design, choosing the right upholstery fabrics is nothing short of an art. Upholstery fabrics not only determine the overall style and comfort of a space but also need to adhere to fire regulations that vary across the globe. Edmund Bell, a venerable name in the textile industry for more than 150 years, stands out as a champion in this field, offering a diverse range of fabrics that combine aesthetic excellence with stringent safety standards.

    The company’s legacy of textile manufacturing spans more than a century and a half, and it’s this wealth of experience that underpins their commitment to quality and innovation. Edmund Bell has consistently been at the forefront of fabric design, and their range of upholstery fabrics covers an impressive spectrum of styles, textures, and colours. These fabrics are not just beautiful; they’re built to withstand the rigours of daily use, making them an ideal choice for the demanding hospitality industry.

    A render of a large luxury bed in grey, concrete room

    Image credit: Edmund Bell

    Meeting the global challenge of fire regulations

    Hotel interior design is a realm where safety can never be compromised. Yet, navigating the labyrinth of fire regulations, which differ from country to country and sometimes from region to region, can be perplexing for hoteliers. Fire-resistant fabrics are crucial to ensuring guest safety in the event of a fire, but the standards governing these fabrics are far from uniform around the world.

    Edmund Bell recognised the pressing need for a consistent, reliable, and globally applicable solution. In response, it has invested substantially in the development of an extensive line of fire-resistant upholstery fabrics and finishes. These fabrics have been meticulously crafted to meet, and often exceed, the strictest fire regulations worldwide.

    The company has its own fabric finishing mill dedicated to applying fire-resistant (FR) coatings to their upholstery fabrics. This in-house capability gives the team unparalleled control over the entire manufacturing process, from the selection of base fabrics to the final application of fire-resistant finishes.

    Inside the Edmund Bell factory

    Image credit: Edmund Bell

    This vertical integration not only allows for a high degree of quality assurance but also enables the company to maintain competitive pricing. It ensures that every yard of fabric leaving their mill is crafted to meet its rigorous safety and aesthetic standards.

    Edmund Bell’s upholstery fabrics are rigorously tested to ensure compliance with various international standards, such as the British Standard (BS), European Norm (EN), and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). These fabrics are designed to inhibit the spread of flames and the release of harmful smoke and toxic gases, a pivotal feature in upholding guest safety.

    Hotels that operate across borders and regions face a formidable challenge: adhering to different fire regulations in different locations. This is where Edmund Bell’s fire-resistant fabrics shine. Its products and fabric FR finishes are designed to be globally applicable, offering the peace of mind that comes from a consistent, high quality solution regardless of where your hotel is located.

    Edmund Bell’s fire-resistant upholstery fabrics have found their place in hotels across the globe, from the UK and Europe to North America, the Middle East, and Asia. This global presence is a testament to the brand’s dedication to providing a product that consistently meets the diverse regulatory requirements encountered in the hospitality industry.

    Bounce Upholstery sofa in calm room

    Image credit: Edmund Bell

    Customisation and aesthetics

    Edmund Bell understands that while safety is paramount, aesthetics remain central in hotel interior design. Its fire-resistant fabrics come in an array of colours, patterns, and textures, giving interior designers the creative freedom to align with the hotel’s unique style and ambiance without compromising safety.

    Moreover, the brand’s offers a high degree of customisation. Its team work closely with interior designers to craft solutions that seamlessly blend with the hotel’s design concept. This flexibility ensures that the fire-resistant upholstery fabrics do not just meet safety standards but also become an integral part of the overall design narrative.

    In the world of hotel design, choosing the right upholstery fabrics is no longer a matter of compromise. With Edmund Bell’s fire-resistant upholstery fabrics, safety and style harmoniously coexist, ensuring that hoteliers can prioritise guest safety while maintaining the individuality and creativity that defines their interior spaces.

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

    Main image credit: Edmund Bell

    Duravit main image - rimless toilet graphic and flowing water

    Part 82: tips on saving water in the bathroom

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

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

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

    Everyday water-saving tips

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

    Faucets and showerheads to save water and energy

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

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

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

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

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

    Water-saving toilet technologies

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

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

    Main image credit: Duravit AG

    A luxury, freestanding bath with half marble stone wall surface covered

    Part 81: 6 pitfalls to avoid when specifying stone

    1000 690 Hamish Kilburn
    Part 81: 6 pitfalls to avoid when specifying stone

    In part two of Hotel Designs’ exclusive editorial series with Stone Federation, we share some of the common mishaps designers and architects encounter when specifying stone… 

    A luxury, freestanding bath with half marble stone wall surface covered

    Natural stone is a truly versatile material with a rich history of being used to create memorable, durable and sustainable hotels, both inside and out. It is a material that delivers uniqueness by the bucket load as no two pieces of stone are ever exactly the same, thus enabling hotel designers to create truly one-of-a-kind spaces.

    As with any material, the necessary know-how around selection, design and maintenance is key to delivering a successful project. One of the advantages of using natural stone is that it is a material that has been used in hotels for centuries and is supported by a vast wealth of technical research as well as British & European Standards.

    The following pointers are designed to be steps on the journey to you delivering a beautiful, durable and sustainable natural stone project.

    1) Specifying the wrong type of stone

    There is a commonly used adage in the natural stone industry that there is no such thing as a bad stone, just a badly used one, and this holds true project after project. Natural stone is, as the name suggests, a natural material and, just like any other natural product, it will react and respond better in certain situations and less well in others. For example, some stones will work perfectly well as wall linings in lobbies or other dry areas, but would prove to be unsuitable if used in wet areas like shower enclosures.

    Engaging with a stone consultant early in the project, pulling on their material expertise, and matching your design vision with the right materials for that application, will help ensure that you specify the correct stone for that specific project.

    Spa – Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square – Arch

    Image credit: Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square

    2) Forgetting it’s a natural product

    This might seem obvious, but with the ever-increasing number of man-made, stone-effect products being pushed into the market, it could be easy to forget that natural stone is just that, a naturally occurring material that has not been ground up, mixed with resins and other ingredients and coloured with dyes.

    The unique and natural veining, tones and textures found in stone are what make it such a special material. No two blocks of stone will ever be exactly alike, and embracing this as opposed to specifying out any variation or difference in tone and vein pattern is the best way to work with, and not against the natural dynamic of stone. It is vitally important that the stone is viewed under appropriate lighting conditions that imitate the in-service conditions, and that a full range of the stone’s visual characteristics are captured in a range report used as part of the stone supply contract.

    Make every specification decision about natural stone through the lens of its natural characteristics, embrace its uniqueness and you will end up with a project that takes full advantage of the organic nature of the material.

    3) Trying to move away from movement joints

    Like all building materials, natural stone will be impacted by changes in environmental conditions (heat, impact and traffic), which is why it’s important to provide stress-relieving movement joints.

    When designing a natural stone floor, there a several questions that will help deliver a durable scheme and avoid failures in the floor.

    The first step is to ascertain whether you need a movement joint.  Simply put, where the distance between restraining surfaces including perimeter walls exceeds two metres, a perimeter movement joint must be installed. Intermediate movement joints are required where the distance exceeds 10 metres. With underfloor heating, the natural stone flooring should be divided into bays of up to 40 metres squared, with a maximum bay length of eight metres.

    It’s also important to consider whether the floor will be subject to light or heavy loading, and whether there’ll be underfloor heating. If the floor will be exposed to low loading, or in a low traffic and impact area, a sealant would provide a suitable movement joint. If the floor is in a higher traffic environment a pre-formed movement joint, typically comprising metal side plates with a flexible synthetic rubber core may be more suitable. If there is an underfloor heating system, the pipes or cables should be located to ensure that the system is contained within the pattern of the movement joints.

    Hotel interior designers should also take drying shrinkage into account because stone, like all finishing materials, reflects movements arising from supporting substrates. In the early period of a floor’s life cycle, movement occurs primarily from the drying shrinkage of the slab and screed. As a rule of thumb, a typical 10 metre span slab will experience drying shrinkage of three millimetres irrespective of design, depth or amount of reinforcement used.

    Close-up of stone on wall

    Image credit: Stone Federation

    4) Forgetting that slip resistance can affect material appearance

    When discussing slip resistance within hotel design, it’s important to have a basic understanding of a few of the fundamental points relating to the equipment used to establish slip resistance and the means of assessment of results generated.

    Most of the guidance and specified in-service performance criteria will quote values in Slip Resistance Value (SRV) or Pendulum Test Value (PTV) – these are the same.

    A material’s slip resistance is determined by several factors. The choice of stone, choice of finish and choice of sealant or impregnator will all have an effect on the slip resistance properties of the finished floor.

    When deciding on which material to specify it’s important to understand how the material’s appearance might change when the texture that enables that material to achieve the required slip resistance rating is applied. For example, a polished marble will look very different to a honed marble, as the polish will reflect light whereas a honed finish will absorb it, making the colours of the stone appear more muted.  Considering these factors early in the project will help avoid challenges further down the line.

    “This comes back to the point about there being no such thing as a bad stone, just a badly used one.”

    5) Aftercare treated as an afterthought

    Natural stone, like any other material, requires maintenance to keep it looking and performing at its best. Understanding the geology of the material specified, its porosity and absorption is important as different stone types will require differing levels of care and maintenance. It’s also worth noting that heavily trafficked areas will require more maintenance than those that are seldom used.

    One of the most common pitfalls made in the maintenance of natural stone is the use of incorrect products that damage the material. The use of acidic products should be avoided as they can remove any surface sealant or in extreme cases damage stone. It is best to use carefully considered ‘proprietary’ stone cleaning products that will typically be of neutral pH or mildly alkaline.

    Working with your stone supplier to develop an ongoing maintenance plan before project completion will help manage client expectations from the outset.

    A large, luxurious arrival experience inside the plush Adare Manor

    Image credit: Adare Manor

    6) Unexpected interactions

    Considering the environment in which the stone will be used is key to avoiding one of the most common pitfalls in the use of stone in hotels: staining or marking caused by products like wine, make-up or other acidic substances or staining caused by a repeatedly wetted stone without the required drainage. This comes back to the point about there being no such thing as a bad stone, just a badly used one.

    Taking into account the substances that the stone will interact with will help you specify the right stone for that environment.

    Natural stone is a truly unique material providing hotel designers with a whole host of unique tones and textures and the ability to deliver sustainable, long-lasting projects. By considering the points raised above, you can help avoid some of the most common pitfalls. Stone Federation also always recommends working with a stone consultant as early in the project as possible, and make sure that you choose a Stone Federation company at each stage of the process to ensure that you are working with the best companies and materials.

    > Since you’re here, why not read the first article in this series about ‘measuring sustainability in surface design‘, or Stone Federation’s collaboration with Squire & Partners, Stone Tapestry?

    Main image credit: The Wellesley Knightsbridge

    An unmade bed in front of window and countryside

    Part 80: avoiding the perils of greenwashing in hotel design

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn
    Part 80: avoiding the perils of greenwashing in hotel design

    Marking Hotel Designs’ 80th article in its Guide To Hotel Design series, Mark Tremlett, Founder of Naturalmat, a company which has recently achieved B-corp status, delves into how the industry can work harder to avoid greenwashing…

    An unmade bed in front of window and countryside

    When we started the company Naturalmat more than 20 years ago, the word sustainability was not really used within the industry. People cared about how many pocket springs their mattresses had or the thread count of their sheets, but no one was talking about the importance of using natural, organic fibres, or the type of raw materials being used.

    We spend around a third of our life in bed, either sleeping or at least trying to, and we are increasingly realising that sleep is essential to our existence. It has now joined exercise and nutrition as the third pillar of health and wellness. It powers the mind, restores the body and fortifies virtually every system we have. While the National Sleep Foundation recommends an average of seven to nine hours of sleep for adults, per night, only recently are we considering the relationship between what we sleep on and the impact it can have on our health and wellbeing.

    close up image of scissors cutting through Naturalmat product

    Image credit: Naturalmat

    Sadly, what we are seeing is that as people become increasingly eco-conscious and concerned about the environment, businesses are jumping on this with marketing campaigns littered with empty claims and buzzwords. In reality, they’re actually doing very little to adopt a greener approach or make a positive and impactful change. Unnecessary virtue signalling and greenwashing fill our TVs, newspapers, magazines, social media and the internet; but the real question is how can we change this and what is actually being done to make a change for good?

    The good news is there are companies genuinely tackling big problems and, ‘doing sustainability right‘. They are approaching the market from all sides and thinking about the negative impact of current industry challenges while working hard to create positive impact. We count ourselves in this cohort, which was recognised earlier this year when we because the first bed and mattress bed company in the UK to achieve B Corp status – an organisation committed to the companies that use business as a force for good by caring about their employees, the environment and their impact on the planet. It is Naturalmat’s long-standing commitment to transparency, trust and consideration when it comes to sustainable production that earned us this global recognition.

    Naturalmat founders Mark Tremlett (l) and Peter Tindall (r) in the company’s Devon workshop.

    Image credit: Naturalmat

    Naturalmat founders Mark Tremlett (l) and Peter Tindall (r) in field

    Image caption: Naturalmat founders Mark Tremlett (l) and Peter Tindall (r). | Image credit: Naturalmat

    For companies to avoid the perils of greenwashing, it is imperative that, at their very core, they uphold the values that we associate with conscious business. For instance, we talk about circular economy – but how is this monitored? At Naturalmat, we discovered the heartbreaking statistic that, on average, the UK throws 5,000,000 mattresses a year straight into landfill. We’ve addressed this by launching our Mattress for Life Initiative™, which allows our customers to refurbish, recycle or donate their mattress to charity when the time comes to replace it. This is our way of ensuring that absolutely zero Naturalmat mattresses end up in landfill.

    Another waste-reducing initiative is our partnership with The Haines Collection, which reuses surplus fabrics from the textile industry. As a result, we have contributed to the overall figure of 22,058m of fabric which they have saved from landfill to date.

    A worker in Naturalmat factory

    Image credit: Naturalmat

    Within our workshop, we have dedicated waste streams for each of our raw materials and we also repurpose our organic wool offcuts, saving 1,200 KG of wool from going to waste in the last year. It’s these initiatives that are putting us on track to create a closed manufacturing loop, with zero waste, by 2025. Our Devon-based workshop has been powered by solar panels for over a decade and our carbon reduction roadmap means we are committed to achieving absolute zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions (without the use of offsets) by 2025, and net zero Scope 3 by 2030.

    Another area where we see companies embellishing sustainability claims, especially in the interiors industry, is the use of natural fibres. Shipping tonnes of wool from far flung parts of the world does not make you green and certainly not eco-conscious. Here in the UK, there are over 30 million sheep that graze our fields and provide over 150,000 jobs. At Naturalmat, we’ve always taken the time to work with local suppliers and support the local economy. We work hard to source certified, renewable materials, including organic wool directly from local farmers based within a 70-mile radius of our Topsham workshop, as well as natural latex, recycled denim and organic coir. All these raw ingredients hold third-party verified sustainability certifications, which we investigate and which we trust.

    At Naturalmat, we are passionate about farming and know that agriculture claims 50 per cent of all habitable land and is responsible for just under 25 per cent of all human-created carbon emissions. This means it plays a key role in helping us create a safe and healthy future, one where we can sustain our global community by working with nature, not against it. By supporting regenerative farming methods for the production of our natural fibres, we are going beyond ‘organic’. Regenerative farming gives back to the natural systems that traditional farming has destroyed over time, mutually benefitting the plants, animals, farmers and all of us.

    A luxury bed in heritage building

    Image credit: Naturalmat

    Our mission at Naturalmat is to make healthy and sustainable sleep accessible to all so we have partnered with a number of impactful organisations, including the Lullaby Trust, FRC, and Cotton Lives On to provide a better night’s sleep to those in need. By 2025, we aim to allocate five per cent of our production to tackling bed poverty.

    As businesses, we have the power to create positive, impactful change. Instead of getting caught up in the corporate jargon, we have the option to choose sustainable suppliers or manufacturers and build a brand that connects with customers on a subject that truly matters. According to a 2021 study by Simon-Kucher & Partners, the market is at a real tipping point, with increasing interest in who is really on the green side of the eco-conversation. Brand messaging and hollow advertising simply is not going to cut it.

    Exceeding the expectations of the consumer, having sustainability at the core of a business’s ethos and being led by passionate founders that are building their businesses around a mission for good is what takes companies higher, resulting in recognition and, ultimately, success.

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

    Main image credit: Naturalmat


    Miss match of furniture in lounge

    Part 79: redefining senior living with hospitality principles

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

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

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

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

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

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

    A clean and minimalist living area

    Image credit: Unsplash

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

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

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

    Image credit: Unsplash

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

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

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

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

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

    Main image credit: Upsplash

    A cove-like desk in guestroom

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

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

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

    A cove-like desk in guestroom

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

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

    Marechiaro by Ligne Roset Contract - a contemporary shelving unit

    Image credit: Ligne Roset Contract

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

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

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

    Novotel design scheme - modern suite

    Image credit: Novotel / Ligne Roset Contract

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

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

    Hotel Dieu furniture inside luxury hotel

    Image credit: Hotel Dieu / Ligne Roset Contract

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

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

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

    A modern work desk with contemporary seat

    Image credit: YanAudic / Ligne Roset Contract

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

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

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

    Main image credit: Ligne Roset Contract

    Contemporary room with arty walls and industrial tones

    Part 77: harnessing adaptive design to craft hotel narrative

    1024 640 Guest Author

    James Huntly, Founder of AboundStudio, explores how hotels, through introducing adaptive design, can create an impactful experience that reflects true brand identity…

    In the ever-evolving landscape of the hospitality industry, successful hotel brands understand the importance of creating a cohesive and authentic experience for their guests. Expanding from a singular brand with one hotel to a series of properties in different locations can be a major step-change. Maintaining the brand’s identity and a meaningful connection to place and culture is crucial.

    As a multidisciplinary design studio for the hospitality sector, at AboundStudio we develop complete blueprints to tell each brand’s unique story. We work closely with our clients on brand blueprints that are part creative direction, part brand strategy and which harness adaptive design to meet every new chapter with authenticity.

    At its core, adaptive design is about understanding the unique narrative of a brand and translating it into a visual and experiential language that resonates with guests. In anticipation of its aspirations and future plans, blueprints provide hospitality and hotel brands a tailored framework which goes beyond aesthetics and embraces its fundamental values and ethos. This essential set of tools ensures seamless transition into new locations and effective and efficient expansion at pace.

    Image caption: Bermondsey Larder. | Image Credit: AboundStudio / Daniel Corbett

    Image caption: Bermondsey Larder. | Image Credit: AboundStudio / Daniel Corbett

    Distill your brand essence into specific minutiae

    What does the brand look, feel, or move like? How should it interact with a specific place?

    We are all defined by the little things. From our clothing choices, the food we consume, the social media we subscribe to: each decision, no matter how trivial it may seem, meaningfully presents our inner selves to the outside world.

    Likewise, brands should be distilled into a series of specific minutiae, motifs, and markers, as a way to imbue the guest experience with a signature touch. Core values embodied by the business could show up as site-specific activations, relationships with local vendors, or immersive digital platforms. These real-world interactions leave a lasting impression, which resonates with guests on a deeper level.

    men and woman sitting down working from coffee shop in hotel

    Image caption: Bermonds Locke, Living Spaces (Lobby). | Image Credit: AboundStudio / Daniel Corbett

    Embrace contextual flexibility to maintain authenticity

    It is essential to embrace contextual flexibility. By understanding the unique characteristics of each location, hotel brands can adapt their design language to harmonise with the surroundings while staying true to their core identity. This provides both structure and freedom for each new iteration to connect to its context, while responding directly to the cultural and commercial opportunities of its location.

    Using adaptive design, brands should identify what fundamental aspects remain consistent, and which might flex to express a more local flavour. This enables brands to scale authentically across different sites, building recognition by effectively leveraging its existing public persona.

    Brands are able to move confidently into the future while remaining rooted in their story by pinpointing signature elements that appear within each property, and looking beyond these to suggest how it might interact with, and welcome in local culture. By developing a blueprint that balances consistency and flexibility, hotels are equipped with the tools to guide decision-making across different properties. This framework allows the fundamental aspects to remain consistent throughout, while also providing room for localisation and customisation.

    Room in hotel overlooking Brisbane cityscape

    Image caption: Voco Brisbane City Centre, guestroom. | Image Credit: IHG Hotels & Resorts

    Craft a cohesive guest experience

    A hotel brand is more than just a logo or a slogan; it is an experience that should leave an impression long after a guest’s stay to ensure it remains memorable, sharable and drives longer term loyalty. To achieve this, hotel brands must create a cohesive guest experience that reflects their unique identity by seamlessly integrating this across various touch points.

    From the moment guests enter a hotel, every detail should contribute to a unified narrative. This can be achieved through consistent design elements, carefully curated materials, and a deliberate focus on enhancing guest interactions. By outlining the desired guest experience, hotels can ensure that their values and vision permeate every aspect of the properties. This also serves as a guide for architects, interior designers, and staff, ensuring a cohesive and memorable experience across multiple locations.

    Two men looking at art on wall in gallery

    Image caption: Locke Broken Wharf, Locally Led Art Activation. | Image Credit: Locke Hotels

    Emphasise flexibility and evolution 

    The hospitality industry is dynamic, constantly evolving to meet changing guest preferences and market trends. Therefore, it is essential for hotel brands to emphasise flexibility and evolution. An adaptive design language allows brands to remain agile, responding to emerging opportunities and adapting to new challenges that might present revenue driving opportunities.

    Rather than a static document, a brand blueprint should be an evolving guide that reflects the brand’s growth trajectory. It should provide a framework for continuous innovation and improvement while maintaining the brand’s core essence. This requires an open and collaborative approach, inviting input from local and global stakeholders and fostering a culture of exploration. By embracing the fluidity of the blueprint, hotel brands can adapt to market demands, integrate new technologies, and engage with evolving guest expectations.

    As hospitality brands embark on the path of expansion, using adaptive design language to create a hotel brand blueprint is essential. By distilling brand essence, developing a tailored framework, and fostering authenticity and meaningful experiences, brands can successfully scale without becoming repetitive and while maintaining their unique identity. The blueprints serve as invaluable tools, providing clarity and long-term trajectories for businesses.

    Main image credit: IHG Hotels & Resorts / Voco Osaka Japan

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

    Part 76: how to measure sustainability in surface design

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

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

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

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

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

    Statuario Book-Matched Bathroom marble

    Image credit: Stone Federation

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

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

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

    Dramatic entrance into the lobby at Adare Manor

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

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

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

    Albion Stone Quarry

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

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

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

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

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

    Close-up of stone on wall

    Image credit: Stone Federation

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

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

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

    A marble fireplace

    Image credit: Stone Federation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Part 75: why stylish accessible accommodation in hotels pays

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

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

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

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

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

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

    A street-like hotel lobby inside Hotel Brooklyn

    Image credit: Henry Woide

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

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

    Image credit: Henry Woide

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

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

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

    Image credit: Henry Woide

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

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

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

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

    Image credit: KEUCO

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

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

    Main image credit: Henry Woide


    A large hotel suite, designed with exposed stone walls and modern interiors - low bed.

    Part 74: How technology trends are improving guest experience

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

    William Graham-Park, Hospitality Lead at ALE, and Hamish Kilburn, Editor of Hotel Designs, recently sat down to explore how technology trends are shaping the hotel and hospitality industries…

    Technology trends have gone a bit Black Mirror in recent, with AI and the Metaverse emerging as both disruptors and opportunities for brands operating in the hotel design and hospitality arenas.

    Driving these innovations and drastic tech-forward transformations is an increasingly impatient on-demand society that expects simple interfaces to react at lightning speed. Cue the arrival of Alcatel Lucent Enterprise (ALE), which will attend Tech in Hospitality Summit on September 18 – 19 in London. ALE claims that it is ‘reinventing’ how hospitality guests and staff communicate in safe and meaningful ways. This is done, simply, through the launch of efficient communication solutions.

    Pretty Asian female business executive calling from hotel room

    Image credit: ALE

    Driving the technology that ALE has launched is extensive research into consumer behaviour. To understand more about the emerging tech trends that are evolving the digital age in hospitality, we caught up with William Graham-Park, Hospitality Lead at ALE.

    Hamish Kilburn: So, William, what trends are you currently seeing in the hospitality sector?

    William Graham-Park: Well, there’s a lot going on, so for ease and clarity, let me distinguish between general trends we’re seeing, versus disruptive technology trends that are affecting the industry.

    In terms of the general trends in the hospitality industry currently: Environmental, Social and Governance – ESG – goals are a major driver now, with demand coming from the top down and the bottom up, and there are two major categories under this term that are particularly buzzing right now in the conversations I am having.

    First is sustainability, with hotels and restaurants increasingly adopting sustainable practices, such as reducing waste, using eco-friendly products, and sourcing local and organic ingredients. Hotels are increasingly incorporating sustainable technologies, such as energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems, into their operations. Technology that’s based in the cloud is another way to be more sustainable, as hardware is reduced, and the cloud services provider typically will run their systems as efficiently as possible. This not only helps to reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint but can also save on energy costs. Carbon footprint and energy cost saving can be tracked too. Also, diversity and inclusion is a growing focus, with hotels and restaurants working to create more welcoming environments for all guests and employees.

    The next trend I’d mention is wellness. This trend has gained momentum in recent years, with operators offering guests more health and wellness options. These might include in-room fitness equipment, yoga classes, and healthy menu options.

    Another one is Experiential Travel, which means going beyond offering just a place to stay or eat, with hotels and restaurants creating unique experiences for their guests. Examples could be curated local tours, cooking classes, or cultural experiences.

    The term ‘bleisure‘ describes the travel trend where individuals extend their business trips to include leisure activities, resulting in a new term combining ‘business’ and ‘leisure’.

    Overall, the key trends in hospitality are focused on creating personalised experiences, promoting sustainability, and embracing technology to improve operations and guest satisfaction.

    relaxed and happy young couple in modern hotel room

    Image credit: ALE

    HK: What exactly do you mean that ESG goals are being demanded top-down and bottom-up?

    WGP: In the sense that this is not just a corporate directive from the Boardroom. ESG goals are very important to today’s consumers as well, with many willing to pay more to make their travels more sustainable. So bottom-up in the sense that demand is coming from the customers, who are willing to use their towels for more than one day, as well as offset, and welcome other similar measures.

    HK: And what technology trends are affecting the industry?

    WGP: Right, I’ll mention several that we’re seeing, some of which many hospitality users may already be used to. As these are adopted, and when they are delivered well, the optimal guest experience becomes a possibility.

    Starting more generally, digital transformation means embracing technology to improve the guest experience and streamline operations, with automation being a major component of this, aiming to achieve greater efficiency. This could include mobile check-in, digital room keys, and online ordering systems. With staffing an ongoing challenge, it is essential to secure automation wins, both to do more with the resources available and to make the provide staff with the right tools to make their job easier and ultimately improve the guest experience.

    With the help of technology, greater levels of personalisation are possible. Hotels and restaurants can collect data about their guests, which can be used to offer personalised experiences. This includes personalised recommendations, customised menus, and tailored room amenities.

    Contactless Technology is obviously already widespread, but in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, contactless technology has become increasingly important. Many hotels are now offering mobile check-in and check-out, as well as contactless payment options to minimise physical interactions.

    Mobile Applications and mobile centricity are also widespread already, and that will continue. Hotel chains are developing mobile applications to offer guests more control over their stays. With the help of mobile apps, guests can book rooms, make reservations at restaurants, request services, and even control room temperature and lighting. There’s nothing worse than waiting to pay your restaurant bill, but with the provision of excellent Wi-Fi and an APP/QR Code, a guest can pay their bill when they are ready, giving a waiter/waitress one less job to do.

    Closely connected to this is Smart Room Technology. We’re all used to smart home apps and network-connected devices, from speakers to heating control, and this kind of technology will increasingly creep into various hospitality settings. In hotels, guests will be able to control various room features, such as lighting, temperature, and entertainment systems, using their mobile devices.

    We’ve heard a lot about AI recently, but in fact, it has been established in hospitality for quite some time already. This will grow over time, and expect to see AI-powered chatbots providing 24/7 customer service and support, answering frequently asked questions, providing recommendations, and even making reservations.

    Some innovative hotels are using virtual reality (VR) to create immersive experiences for their guests. VR can be used to showcase hotel amenities, allow guests to explore the local area, and even provide virtual tours of hotel rooms.

    HK: It seems like there are a lot of aspects to address to achieve a technology-enabled guest experience nirvana. Any tips on how to get there?

    WGP: First off, a solid infrastructure, with an internet of things-ready network, to facilitate all of the features of a great guest experience. This includes easily-accessed, robust Wi-Fi for visitors, so they can actually access all these services. And this is really where ALE comes into the equation, with wired and wireless networks, and telephony and unified communications with automation and workflow features included.

    Together with specialist hospitality technology partners, we’ve delivered so many projects in the hospitality and hotel arenas that we really have seen some of the best deployments in the field, and know how to deliver an outstanding project. ALE technology is in hospitality locations all across the UK and Ireland and beyond. Global customers include Okada Manila Hotels, Sanabel Al Khair Hotel 5 start in Mecca, Emirates-Palace Abu Dhabi, Le Palladia in Toulouse, to name but a few.

    I would invite any readers to connect with me on Linkedin. I can help them find demonstrations, proven system specialist, and help them consider their options to digitally transform and use technology to enhance their guest experience.

    ALE will be attending Tech in Hospitality Summit on September 18 – 19 in London, which is brought to you by Forum Events and supported by Hotel Designs. If you are an innovative and competitive solution provider and would like to attend, please contact Jennie Lane. If you are an industry professional searching for tech solutions and would like to attend as a delegate, please speak to Hayley Purrell to establish whether you qualify as a delegate.

    Main image credit: Unsplash / Roberto Nickson

    A dark lit restaurant sheltered in brick-walled building

    Part 73: Specifying lighting for luxury restaurants

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn
    Part 73: Specifying lighting for luxury restaurants

    For our next guide, the team at lighting manufacturer Northern Lights talk us through what’s on the menu when it comes to lighting design in luxury restaurants…

    A dark lit restaurant sheltered in brick-walled building

    When it comes to bar and restaurant design, lighting plays a critical role in influencing everything from operations and food preparation, through to guest satisfaction, length of stay and overall experience. In high-end restaurants a key goal of owner-operators is to encourage their clientele to extend their stay; to order the dessert or indulge in an extra glass of wine, which ultimately increases their spend per visit.

    Who better to converse with on the subject than the team at Northern Lights, who have been designing and manufacturing luxury lighting for the hospitality market – including award-winning bar and restaurants – for more than 35 years.

    Close-up of wall lighting that looks like an icicle on the walls

    Image credit: Michael Franke

    “All senses must be correctly stimulated to achieve an extraordinary dining experience,” explains Donna Gridley, Head of Creative. “In upscale establishments that use lower, warmer lighting conditions, people perceive a more intimate dining experience.  They’re relaxed and comfortable, tending to eat at a slower pace, and are more content with the food and their overall visit.

    Fine-dining restaurants often opt for several different lighting types to create the right balance of lighting in different areas. Layering allows for both functionality and drama. When correctly used it also highlights important design and architectural details to further add to the sensory appeal.

    There are three core types of illumination for restaurants: task, ambient and accent lighting. Each has a specific purpose and the placement of these across the spaces is equally important. Task lighting provides the functionality, allowing for specific tasks like food prep or reading of specials menus to be completed with ease. Ambient lighting is the core source of light that creates the atmosphere, usually achieved with overhead & wall fixtures, and natural light sources. Finally, accent lighting is used to create drama, tell the design narrative, and create focal points to highlight design details.  It’s usually more decorative in nature – from statement chandeliers, through to archway and table lighting.”

    Northern Lights has an impressive restaurant lighting portfolio, with several new projects launched at the end of last year. We caught up with some of the interior designers behind these latest projects, to uncover why they agree lighting plays such a vital role.

    The Libertine – Studio Found

    Restaurant in heritage building with lots of drama

    Image credit: Billy Bolton

    The historic Grade-I listed underground vaults of The Royal Exchange has been transformed over the last three years into The Libertine – a 650-square-metre F&B destination in the heart of London, brought to life by design practice Studio Found. Extensive research into the history of the building and its surroundings was required to enhance and complement this incredible space and all its curiosities. Studio Found commissioned Northern Lights to bring bespoke illumination to the intriguing interior.

    “You should never underestimate the impact of thoughtfully designed and quality-made lighting fixtures as part of the overall design concept of any hospitality space, Ed Plumb, Founder and Design Director, Studio Found, said. “Lighting is one way to create and enhance a desired ambiance and tone within a venue, be it a luxurious, intimate, or a more homely mood you want to create. Lighting also accentuates design details, adds texture and layering to complement the overall design.

    “This is evident at the newly opened The Libertine in the City of London, where we designed a lighting concept to illuminate and enhance the magnificent, historic, Grade-I listed underground vaults of The Royal Exchange in a subtle yet considered way. We achieved this by collaborating with Northern Lights whose manufacturing expertise and attention to detail helped us to deliver exceptional, high quality lighting fixtures throughout.

    “For any hospitality design project, we always recommend working from the outset with an expert lighting manufacturer who really gets your design concepts and can produce beautiful, quality lighting products to add that extra dimension to your venue.”

    Cut & Craft – Studio Two

    Cut & Craft - Studio Two ©Stevie Campbell & Studio Two

    Image credit: Stevie Campbell / Studio Two

    The iconic Leeds site that Cut & Craft sits on is dripping with history and opulence, taking over what once was the former Collinson’s Cafe, where Wallace Hartley had played in the orchestra shortly before boarding the Titanic as Band Master. Jewelled tones instantly welcome you to decadent dining, with a show-stopping central bar plus a unique champagne bar on the first floor, while the overall design manages to effortlessly maintain the character and history of the building.

    Zoe Wheatley, Director at Studio Two, agrees that lighting is integral to the total design concept. “Without key lighting design our efforts for the overall design concept wouldn’t come to life. Carefully specified lighting not only adds layers and depth, it also helps a space transition from day to night ensuring the story of the space is being told. In luxury restaurants, the design is more than just furniture and new joinery. The building itself needs to be highlighted and often we opt for discrete lighting to celebrate architecture or key building details. The high-impact decorative fittings are our opportunity to embellish the space with quality finishes, for example we used antique brass and bronzes at The Cut & Craft Leeds.”

    There are important considerations when it comes to sourcing the right lighting supplier for your project. “High-end products and quality finishes were absolutely key, as was the need for good communication and seamless delivery,” explained Wheatley. “We chose Northern Lights due to their ability to be bespoke and creative, offer innovative solutions, and also alternative suggestions on what would work best to enhance the space.”

    Furna – Elemental Architecture Design

    Sophisticated private dining room with lavish chandelier

    Image credit: Paul Winch Furness

    Furna welcomes guests to enjoy renowned chef Dave Mothersill’s unique take on classic dining, informed by memories from his childhood, travels and extensive culinary career.  Situated on Brighton’s New Road, it offers a multi-course tasting menu that celebrates high-quality, British-grown ingredients served with creativity and consideration.  A warm and intimate fine dining restaurant, the design like the food is both classic and modern, with a welcoming atmosphere provided by the warm lighting.

    “Lighting in restaurants is one of the most important aspects in design, it can be used to highlight materiality, change the mood, add interest and drama – it’s also vital to the functionality of a space,” commented Jeremy Diaper, Founder and Director, Elemental Architecture Design. “With feature lighting, you get the source of light adding warmth or interest, but also it can elevate the design and compliment the environment.  Northern Lights came highly recommended, and we thought they would be a great fit for the Furna project. They offered us lots of options following our brief and we also had some bespoke items made to match the scheme. Working with them was a good experience, smooth design consultation through to order, the lights came when we expected and additional requests for details and specifications were answered quickly and efficiently.”

    Koyn – Fabled Studio

    Blue bench and wood walls in restaurant

    Image credit: Michael Franke

    Situated amongst the elegant location of Grosvenor Street sits KOYN, a new high-end Japanese restaurant from the name behind some of Mayfair’s top restaurants, Samyukta Nair.  It’s a magnet for interior lovers, with the design spearheaded by Samyukta and Fabled Studio’s Tom Strother.

    The restaurant is split into two distinct areas: Midori and Magma, inspired by the dual nature of Mount Fuji in Japan, both its calm slopes and its fiery centre.

    Diners enter on the ground floor at Midori, a horticultural haven channelling Japanese zen gardens – think light green leather banquette seating and iridescent oyster shell walls, with a marble sushi bar in the middle. Downstairs, meanwhile, you’ll find Magma, a subterranean space featuring black oak ceilings, focused around a charcoal-fuelled timber robata grill with burnt orange stools – a nod to the heat of the volcano.

    Award-winning international interior design practice Fabled Studio wanted to ensure the unique design principles and dining experience were carefully reflected in the lighting. Northern Lights were tasked with developing bespoke lighting for both inside and outside the venue. The most iconic fixtures are the wall sconces with tapered textured glass cones. The glass-blown cones resemble icicles, held in place using laser-cut brass support bars, and beautifully expand on the design narrative whilst adding soft illumination.

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

    Main image credit: Billy Bolton

    Commercial desk in gold

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

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

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

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

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

    1) Reception desk glass panel

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

    Black and white glass panel on the wall of restaurant

    Image credit: Red Dog Glass Design

    2) Restaurant glass wall panel

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

    Pantone colour of the year surface in bathroom

    Image credit: Red Dog Glass Design

    3) Bathroom splashbacks

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

    Red Dog Glass coasters

    Image credit: Red Dog Glass Design

    4. Original abstract art coasters

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

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

    Main image credit: Red Dog Glass Design

    Six Senses Ibiza Zennio control on the wall

    Part 71: how technology can enhance hotel sustainability

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

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

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

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

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

    Six Senses Ibiza control panel on the wall

    Image credit: Zennio / Six Senses Ibiza

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

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

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

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

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

    Main image credit: Zennio / Six Senses Ibiza