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2021

UrCove Hotels brand arrives in China

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
UrCove Hotels brand arrives in China

The five new openings reinforce Hyatt’s commitment to ‘reach China’s underserved upper-midscale segment’ and ‘strategically grow the Hyatt brand in China’…

Hyatt has announced that UrCove, the new hospitality brand developed under a joint venture between Hyatt and BTG Homeinns Hotel Group affiliates, has opened its first five properties.

These new additions to Hyatt’s portfolio in these popular destination cities in China aim to better serve the highly mobile travellers in the upper-mid segment, which will contribute to Hyatt’s commitment to further expand its brand footprint and achieve meaningful growth in the region. Further, these properties increase the World of Hyatt loyalty program’s presence in China, providing World of Hyatt members more unique stay options to choose from and more opportunities to earn and redeem points on hotel stays along with exclusive in-hotel benefits.

A modern guestroom

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

“China remains a priority market for Hyatt’s growth, and we are committed to unlocking the huge potential of the country’s emerging middle class and growing domestic travel trends,” said Stephen Ho, president of growth and operations, Asia Pacific, Hyatt. “UrCove hotels cater to the underserved premium upper-midscale segment and with five UrCove hotels open in the major gateway cities of Shanghai, Chengdu and Nanjing, the brand is more accessible for this large, attractive and growing customer base. This also marks a tremendous business opportunity for Hyatt and BTG Homeinns Hotel Group, as we continue enriching guests’ and World of Hyatt members’ experiences with more unique stay options, now including the UrCove brand.”

Each hotel features an all-day dining restaurant, a 24-hour gym, a self-service laundry room and meeting rooms. New smart service facilities support self-service check-in and checkout and all hotels feature the signature “UrCove Space,” which offers guests a multi-functional space for business and social gatherings.

“All UrCove hotels are equipped with advanced technology, thoughtful & social communal spaces to provide guests with a seamless, comfortable and refined living environment,” said Elton Sun, chief executive officer and managing director of the joint venture. “With more hotels expected to open doors in gateway cities in China in the coming years, we aim to cater to more frequent business travellers, providing them with a reliable shelter and cozy sanctuary.”

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

7 innovative hotel hygiene solutions

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
7 innovative hotel hygiene solutions

To kickstart Hotel Designs’ mission to put ‘Safe Design’ under the editorial spotlight – and following a lot of confusion when it comes to which hotel hygiene solutions are most appropriate for the hospitality industry – here are a handful of innovations that will help hospitality back on its feet. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Despite modern hotels generally being clean and safe spaces, there is no doubt that hygiene will become of the many new demands from modern travellers in a post-pandemic world. In a recent panel discussion, hoteliers from around the world gathered to discuss how to reassure the post-corona consumer. One of the major conclusions was that the hospitality industry has become more interested in learning about new hotel hygiene solutions; methods and innovations when it comes to cleaning surfaces and killing bad bacteria that is airborne.

Covid-19 was the cruel catalyst that forced all industries to confront hygiene. With the pandemic forcing much of hospitality’s doors shut once more – and at the very least keeping guests at a distance – it was only ever going to be a matter of time before new products to emerge, all of which launched with claims of being  ‘unlike any other’ on the market.

To cut through the noise, here are seven effective hygiene products and services on the market that have caught our editorial attention in recent months.

Room To Breathe – for peace of mind

Man using hygiene friendly way to steam clean curtains

Image credit: Room To Breathe

What’s unique about Room To Breathe, aside from the technology, is the brand’s narrative. Before Covid-19 was even a headline, the team at Room To Breathe were planning on launching a service that would ‘transform indoor environments into hypoallergenic spaces’. The seven step process, which includes purging, deep cleaning, fogging, UV technology, protext, sanifying and testing, works to continuously maintain clean air and surfaces removing up to 99.999 per cent of coronoviruses including influenzas, bacteria, allergens, mould, germs & VOC’s.

KEUCO sanitisers – for the design-savvy

One of major concerns hotels will have when introducing new hygiene protocols – especially when this shift in attitude confronts guests’ behaviour – will be finding solutions that do not interfere with the design of the space. KEUCO’s sleek sanitiser dispensers are suitable for an extensive variety of areas, locations and situations: homes, hotels, supermarkets, shopping malls, offices and airports. These new dispensers meet the highest hygiene requirements, whilst combining functionality with a distinguished design.

Infra-red touchless taps – for the tech-savvy

GROHE Bau Cosmo infra-red hygiene tap – close up lifestyle shot

Image credit: GROHE

With hygiene being a ‘top priority’ for the brand, so much so that it is launching its first CPD module on the topic this February, The GROHE Bau Cosmo E, a strong robust design made using composite polymer, uses motion sensors to detect movement, which then activates the water flow. A mixing valve on the side of the spout can be used to adjust the temperature if required and a temperature limiter can also be installed if desired. Once the user removes their hands from the basin, the sensors will detect this and stop the water flow.

Blueair Blue Pure 411 – for the boutique guestroom

Compact, energy-efficient and decorated with awards, the Blueair Blue Pure 411 is an ideal air purifier for guestrooms and office spaces. The Simple ‘plug in and go’ product breathes clean air indoors. The Blue Pure 411, which was recently specified in all rooms at Page8 Hotel in London, uses Blueair’s proprietary HEPASlient™ technology to remove at least 99.97 per cent of airborne particles as small as 0.1 microns in size such as viruses, pollen, dust, pet dander, mould spores, smoke, and allergens.

Rimless DirectFlush WC – for seamless cleaning

The rimless DirectFlush toilet with the innovative CeramicPlus and AntiBac surface is a hygiene solution that has been launched by Villeroy & Boch. The brand’s new generation of rimless WCs offers particularly quick and thorough cleaning. A precise, splash-free water flow ensures the entire interior of the bowl is rinsed thoroughly to ensure cleanliness. The easy-to-clean DirectFlush WCs is ideal for both private households and commercial projects.

UNILIN Evola Collection – for robust surfaces

A grey stone like surface that is hygienic

Image credit: UNILIN

The need for a hygiene friendly finishes doesn’t mean that interior projects have to compromise on design, at least not when it comes to laminated boards and HPL materials from UNILIN panels. These surfaces can be cleaned several times a day by 70 per cent alcohol solutions without fear of damage, helping in the ongoing maintenance and daily hygiene of commercial environments.

With the UNILIN Evola Collection, specifiers can bring the feel and look of natural materials, brushed metals and terrazzo, explore the crisp ‘clean’ colours of pure white and bright fresh green, or embrace the soft-touch effect of Super Matt Black; creating surfaces that are at once beautiful and hygienic. What’s more, with more than 190 options, there’s really no limit to creativity.

Robot service… too soon? 

An image of a robot looking up

Image credit: Alex Knight/Unsplash

Ever since I have written about hotel design, I have had to confront rumours that robots will replace front-of-house hospitality. Despite the human touch being is irreplaceable when it comes to service, we cannot deny that Covid-19 has created new challenges for designers and hoteliers when creating public areas. In a recent debate, it was suggested that, to feed an on-demand society’s expectations, the hotel lobby will become more theatrical in the post-pandemic world, as practical elements like ‘check in’ will take place online prior to stepping inside the building. Therefore, there is a strong argument that the role of front-of-house staff will also change following this demand and, suddenly, the idea of robot butlers suddenly doesn’t sound so radical.

As I write this, we have a journalist on the ground in Las Vegas to explore all the latest tech trends emerging in hospitality at the annual CES. We cannot yet conclusively answer as to whether or not we predict robots having a new role in a post-pandemic world, but we can certainly suggest that, considering all of the solutions above have developed from research and development, technology will very much be front and centre of all hygiene solutions in 2021 and beyond.

If you have a hygiene products that you would like to put on the radar of our editorial team, please email press releases and images directly to our editor. The HD Edit on ‘Safe Design’ will go live on February 20. Between on and then, you can re-watch our latest HD Live session on Reassuring the Post Corona Consumer.

Main image credit: Jean Philippe/Unsplash

A render of an organic guestroom inside the Hilton hotel in Crete

Crete to welcome island’s first ever Hilton hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Crete to welcome island’s first ever Hilton hotel

This summer, Crete is set to welcome Royal Senses Resort Crete, Curio Collection by Hilton, one of the island’s few internationally branded properties…

Crete is about to welcome its first Hilton hotel. The 179-key Royal Senses Resort Crete, Curio Collection will boast some of the best views on the island – Hilton is describing its style as ‘timelessness of Cretan hospitality in a contemporary way’.

A render of an organic guestroom inside the Hilton hotel in Crete

“Crete is one of Greece’s most popular islands, thanks to its warm climate, rich history and picturesque villages,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President, Development for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Hilton. “Royal Senses Resort Crete will make a stunning addition to our rapidly growing Curio Collection of unique hotels, which includes upcoming properties in destinations including Lisbon, London and Reykjavik.”

The island’s unique landscape and rich cultural heritage make it ideal for curious travellers and anyone wanting to experience everything Greece has to offer by visiting one, very diverse, destination. The hotel will be located in the picturesque Rethymno region on the northern part of the island, which has the best weather and attractions that Crete has to offer, including the Melidoni Cave and Knossos Palace.

Eleni Troulis, President of Troulis Royal Collection added: “We are delighted that the Royal Senses Resort Crete, Curio Collection by Hilton will be the first in Greece to join this stunning selection of handpicked properties. Having successfully operated its sister property, the Royal Blue Resort, since 2009, we are now excited to be expanding our portfolio and partnering with Hilton. It’s the perfect collaboration for us, as it combines the resort’s contemporary appreciation of Crete’s multifaceted culture and our family’s hospitality values with Hilton’s strong international customer appeal.”

Since you’re here, why not read our feature that explores ‘Crete’s most stylish hotel’?

The Royal Senses Resort Crete, Curio Collection by Hilton will be a contemporary new build that connects seamlessly with the island’s rugged natural beauty. The hotel will feature state of the art facilities including a spa, indoor and outdoor pool, water park, tennis courts as well as a private beach and marina.

A render of private pool terrace overlooking sea

Image credit: Hilton Hotels

Last year Hilton announced that it had more than 100 hotels in the pipeline. Curio Collection by Hilton currently has more than 90 hotels and resorts worldwide, that have been handpicked for their distinct character and personality. Each hotel is a true reflection of its surroundings, meaning that every hotel is different, with a different story to tell. The Royal Senses Resort Crete will join the portfolio of unique Curio Collection by Hilton properties, including The Trafalgar St James London, Aleph Rome Hotel, The Britannique Naples and Grand Hotel des Sablettes Plage.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

KEUCO hygiene Disinfectant_Buzzer_B+W_5

Hygiene watch: KEUCO introduces new colours & patterns

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hygiene watch: KEUCO introduces new colours & patterns

Hygiene continues to be of high importance and hand sanitisers are a key priority. As far as we can see, KEUCO is leading the way to produce stylish products for the hospitality industry…

KEUCO hygiene Disinfectant_Buzzer_B+W_5

KEUCO’s sanitiser dispensers go above expectations, bold and bright or subtle chic, suitable for an extensive variety of areas, locations and situations: homes, hotels, supermarkets, shopping malls, offices and airports. These new dispensers meet the highest hygiene requirements, whilst combining functionality with a distinguished design.

Since the middle of 2020 hand sanitiser have become a must for every property. KEUCO’S dispenser has an elegant yet straightforward, linear design, along with superior technical features that have been invisibly integrated in the design. The KEUCO dispensers make a stylish addition in any location where hand sanitisers are required.

Simple to operate: just press the big buzzer to dispense the sanitiser. The storage container is discreetly hidden inside the column and can be easily refilled with a liquid or gel sanitiser of your choice. KEUCO offer an extensive variety of colours and colour-combinations including plain coloured, multi-coloured, black and white or elegant metallic; for multi-site requirements there are bespoke options with specific branding.

There are size options too: the free-standing sanitiser dispenser variant is slim and stable the round head provides an elegant finishing touch whilst ensuring ease of use. The top is simple to remove, just pull upwards and the supply bottle is revealed ready to be refilled. The large base plate ensures stability and catches stray drops of sanitiser during use. A smaller variant is available for table, desk and counter tops or for use in cars, boats or bicycles. A third option that can be attached to wall is also available.

KEUCO 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: KEUCO

Two lights insight Hilton Hotel Airport

Case study: making style a priority in Hilton at Gatwick

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: making style a priority in Hilton at Gatwick

Putting the spotlight for a moment on style, lighting brand Franklite reveals how its products were used to created timeless design inside Hilton London Gatwick Airport…

Two lights insight Hilton Hotel Airport

What factors do you consider when making a hotel reservation? Location? Route accessibility? Price? Whilst these are all important factors, equally important ones to consider are comfort, style and luxury. There is nothing more satisfying for a lighting brand to see their products being used in a creative way especially when it adds luxury and style to a space, such as this project from the Hilton London Gatwick Airport.

A subtle yet impactful light is the Aura wall light range. Designed to be inconspicuous until lit, this modern matt black cast aluminium LED fitting lines the hotel’s corridors. The foyer showcases multiple versions of this range as well each reflecting different light patterns onto the walls. When these beautiful patterns are cast it creates a piece of art.

The single-drop Cordelia is ideal for above a bar area within a restaurant. These beautiful satin brushed pendants with textured glass bases are available in gold and silver with some accents of chrome and matt black. The multi-drop versions will make a statement in a larger space such as a reception area or staircase.

The dining area has been divided into two distinct spaces by using different lighting families, the Eros and Spirit ranges. An additional feature of the Eros ceiling lights is the emergency reserve battery hidden within the fitting, combining style and functionality.

The dining area with our Eros and Spirit ceiling lights

Image credit: Franklite

Another exquisite feature in this area is the Eros wall light which has been installed within a frame-like moulding with decorative wall paper which accentuates the architecture of the space.

Franklite has been manufacturing and distributing lighting products for more than 45 years. The experts in its customer service and projects teams understand the importance of keeping up to date with changes in regulation, the development of efficient light sources, and changing interior design trends.

Franklite 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.

Image credit: Franklite

01_Casa Studio_Passivhouse_© Daniele Domenicali

Efficient design epitomised inside The Casa/Studio Passive House

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Efficient design epitomised inside The Casa/Studio Passive House

The award-winning design inside Casa/Studio Passive House is the brainchild of Margherita Potente and Stefano Piraccini. The project is regarded as the first of its kind anywhere in the world. Editor Hamish Kilburn explores…

01_Casa Studio_Passivhouse_© Daniele Domenicali

The Casa/Studio Passive House has taken residential design and technology into a new era – and an international jury has agreed to award the design studio behind this masterpiece, Piraccini + Potente Sustainable Architecture, with a The Plan Award 2020 in the category “Home Efficiency & Technology”.

06_Casa Studio_Passivhouse_© Daniele Domenicali

Image credit: Daniele Domenicali

“Passive House” is the name given to buildings that significantly reduce ventilation-induced heat losses and do not require a conventional heating system. Energy-efficient buildings of this type are certified by the Passivhaus Institute Darmstadt – an internationally renowned institute for the research and development of building concepts, building components and planning tools. Certification is awarded when specific requirements regarding architecture, technology and ecology are satisfied.

The project demonstrates that the energy performance of a Passive House can be achieved not only in new, insulated buildings, but also in conversions and renovation projects. Using the Passive House guidelines, buildings in need of renovation are upgraded and made more energy-efficient and earthquake-proof.

The building features a mix of building elements – wood (laminated and XLAM), steel, reinforced concrete masonry, and armed concrete. Attention was paid to the natural properties of each material to ensure optimum interaction between them. This enabled the building’s construction costs to be kept at a market-compatible level without neglecting qualitative aspects.

Most of the heating needs are drawn from passive sources such as solar radiation and the heat given off by people and technical devices. The Casa/Studio Passive House is not connected to the gas network and simply has a mechanically controlled ventilation system, which enables clean and filtered air fed in from outside to be enriched with heat from the extracted used air. By foregoing any combustible energy sources, the building does not contribute any emissions to the atmosphere.

This extraordinary building includes, amongst other things, the Duravit lines ME by Starck, Starck 1, L- Cube, Happy D.2, Luv, and Sensowash® Slim. A highlight is the DuraSquare washbasin with metal console in Black Matt, which stands out with its clear, pared-down design. For Stefano Piraccini it is not just an architects’ studio, but also his home. The architect had the washbasin installed on the bedroom terrace so he can enjoy the view of the Savio river during his morning routine.

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: Daniele Domenicali

An aerial view of Fari Islands in Maldives

Weekly briefing: insane hotel concepts, sustainability answers & Ace arrivals

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: insane hotel concepts, sustainability answers & Ace arrivals

Good afternoon and welcome to this Friday’s briefing, with me, editor Hamish Kilburn. In this round-up we take a look at the hottest hotel design stories that have been published over the last five days…

An aerial view of Fari Islands in Maldives

It hasn’t been the easiest of starts to the year – today the UK hospitality industry remains closed and new travel sanctions have been enforced to prevent the spread of a new Covid-19 variant – but we are determined as ever to keep the mood lifted as we pick out the headlines that are influencing positive change throughout the international hotel design scene.

Here are the top stories of this week:

The Hot List – hottest hotel openings arriving in 2021 (Q3 & Q4)

An arial view of the cutting edge swimming pools

Image credit: CAYO Exclusive Resort and Spa

Dubbed ‘The Hot List’ by our readers, we start every year as mean to go on; with a positive mindset to get ahead of the curve to reveal what we believe will be the hottest hotel openings of 2021. Following on from part one, which was published last week, here are our Q3 & Q4 VIP arrivals.

Read more.

Virtual roundtable: ‘sustainable does not mean natural’ in surface design

With ‘greenwashing’ still an all-too-common term in the global ‘sustainable’ hotel design and hospitality arena, we gather a cluster of designers and architects to attend a virtual roundtable, sponsored by Architextural, to discuss sustainability solutions in surface design.

Read more.

Hotel concept: designing a sustainable floating resort

Render of floating hotel in Dubai

Image credit: AMA Design

With the aim to design a hotel resort that offers guests an unparalleled at-one-with-nature experience, AMA Design has developed a hospitality concept called GAIA, a floating eco hotel that pushes boundaries to re-connect people with nature.

Read more.

Looking ahead: inside Ace Hotel Brooklyn

Exterior of hotel

Image credit: Ace Hotels

Located on the cusp of Downtown Brooklyn and Boerum Hill, Ace Hotel Brooklyn will be the brand’s second property in New York City. The design of the 287-key hotel – one of the largest in the Ace portfolio – has been inspired by the “geographical and cultural history of Brooklyn” and is intended to harmonise with the borough’s ideals.

Read more.

Miniview: Hotel Carmichael, Autograph Collection strikes a chord

Image caption: The elegant lobby balances grandeur design and decadent decoration sensitively. | Image credit: Coury Hospitality

Timeless, neoclassical interiors and intricate details, designed by HBA, salute America’s rich musical legacy inside the recently completed Hotel Carmichael, Autograph Collection.

Read more.

Rosewood Hotels to arrive in Rome in 2023

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, a global leader in luxury travel and lifestyle experiences, has been appointed by real estate firm Antirion SGR to manage Rosewood Rome, which will open in 2023 in the heart of the capital city.

Read more.

To keep up to date with all the news at Hotel Designs, sign up to receive our weekly newsletter and bi-monthly HD Edit.

Main image credit: Ritz Carlton Maldives Fari Islands

3_Standard King Guest Room_Hotel Carmichael_credit-Coury Hospitality

Miniview: Hotel Carmichael, Autograph Collection strikes a chord

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Miniview: Hotel Carmichael, Autograph Collection strikes a chord

Timeless, neoclassical interiors and intricate details, designed by HBA, salute America’s rich musical legacy inside the recently completed Hotel Carmichael, Autograph Collection. Editor Hamish Kilburn explores…

3_Standard King Guest Room_Hotel Carmichael_credit-Coury Hospitality

Hospitality interior design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) has completed the design of Hotel Carmichael, Autograph Collection. Created to inspire an enduring journey through history and provoke continued revival, the 122-key, six-story hotel is an architectural masterpiece located adjacent to The Palladium—one of the greatest music halls of its time—which houses the Great American Songbook in downtown Carmel, Ind. along the Monon Trail.

Guided by the melody, harmony, rhythm and soul from the Golden Age of American Song, along with the neoclassical style of the great Scottish architect and interior designer Robert Adam, HBA Atlanta designers instilled the interiors of Hotel Carmichael with timeless furnishings, simplicity of form and thoughtful detailing that come together as a symphony of classic elegance with marked personality for a defining experience unlike any other.   

“By using a storyline-based approach, we sought to create a cohesive design concept with a level of attention to detail that invokes the spirited feeling of a time in history where grandeur, scaling, and decadent decoration were celebrated.” – Catherine Josey, Designer, HBA.

“We started with a neoclassical design and brought it forward in time. We integrated historic elements into each of the spaces to give guests a sense of nostalgia as they were transformed into the present,” said HBA Atlanta Senior Designer Catherine Josey. “By using a storyline-based approach, we sought to create a cohesive design concept with a level of attention to detail that invokes the spirited feeling of a time in history where grandeur, scaling, and decadent decoration were celebrated to encourage guests to be fully present and appreciate the moment they enter the lobby.”

Image caption: The elegant lobby balances grandeur design and decadent decoration sensitively. | Image credit: Coury Hospitality

Through the oversized black metal doors adorned with bronze hardware, guests walk into a stately lobby with black and white checkered flooring and Doric columns inspired by magnificent Great Hall designed by Adam at London’s Syon House. An oversized art piece flanked by theatrical drapes on each side sets a dramatic backdrop for a grand reception desk composed of white and black stone with gold gilded medallions. The lobby lounge library exudes the familiarity of an English pub with high wainscoting coated in a dark rich paint, coffered ceiling and comfortable seating. A dual-sided, wood-burning fireplace allows guests to relax with a book in the library or enjoy lively drinks with friends on the lobby side.

“Each space has its purpose in function and form, whether to ignite the imagination, engage or elevate, yet all fit together so perfectly to leave guests with memories they won’t soon forget,” continued Josey. “With purposeful design, Hotel Carmichael is a place where guests can write their own story and return time and again to fill the pages of their book.”

Moving into the meeting and event venues, Baroque-style mirrors line the hallway of the prefunction space outside the elegant Cole Porter Ballroom where patterned carpeting and a ceiling detailed with medallions, crowns and hanging crystal chandeliers create a light, airy space. HBA Atlanta designers created contrasting atmospheres for the two boardrooms, one with dark millwork walls and wood floors for a classic feel and the other, more playful with blue lacquered walls.

5_Cole Porter Ballroom_Hotel Carmichael_credit-Coury Hospitality

Image caption: The elegant Cole Porter Ballroom is where patterned carpeting and a ceiling detailed with medallions, crowns and hanging crystal chandeliers create a light, airy space. | Image credit: Coury Hospitality`

Teal lacquered doors open to Vivante, a culinary experience reminiscent of a French bistro where walls washed in white serve as a canvas for dark wood furniture to make a statement and a built-in dark wood wine cabinet to act as a focal point. Ceilings are simple while the details are thoughtful and impactful. Developed in partnership with legendary musician Michael Feinstein, a frequent performer at The Palladium, Feinstein’s is Hotel Carmichael’s signature cabaret dressed in dark carpeting and furniture with an elaborate bar formed of a mix of metals and mirrors. The refined ambiance encapsulates the music and magic of Carmel City Center.

Journey through the guest corridors and discover a softer palette of blues and greens for a serene moment, punctuated by art in reference to the Great American Songbook with a distinct experience on each floor.

4_Suite Bathroom_Hotel Carmichael_credit-Coury Hospitality

Image caption: Grand bathrooms filter through from the luxurious and comfortable guestrooms and suites. | Image credit: Coury Hospitality

HBA Atlanta designers outfitted guestrooms with blue leather headboards, oversized sectionals for lounging and chandeliers in every room. Bathrooms feature walk-in showers, freestanding tubs and back-lit mirrored vanities that provide ample lighting. In the suites, hardwood flooring upon entry leads to a small powder room, a dining room with hints of teal accents through the rug and dining chairs, and a bright living room with blue drapes and multicolored side chairs. Gilded touches and chandeliers are carried through the property into the suites. 

Main image credit: Coury Hospitality

Virtual roundtable: ‘sustainable does not mean natural’ in surface design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Virtual roundtable: ‘sustainable does not mean natural’ in surface design

With ‘greenwashing’ still an all-too-common term in the global ‘sustainable’ hotel design and hospitality arena, we gather a cluster of designers and architects to attend a virtual roundtable, sponsored by Architextural, to discuss sustainability solutions in surface design. Editor Hamish Kilburn leads the discussion… 

With rapid population growth, urbanisation and the ability to purchase goods at our fingertips, we in the western world have become overall a wasteful on-demand society that on the whole is unfortunately not sustainable in our thinking.

More specifically in hospitality, while initiatives such as putting a curb on single-use plastics have been celebrated, ‘greenwashing’ has become a commonly used term in order to expose those whose veneer of a sustainable establishment is actually doing more harm than good. In order to grasp sustainability’s role in the future of hotel design, and to put forward viable alternatives, we must look beyond the semi-sustainable methods of yesterday and instead research consciously with aim to find new methods that are not just kinder to the environment, but will also enhance local relationships and improve aesthetic qualities.

As ever, it falls upon the design community to put forward innovative methods that make sense for the future projects that will emerge on the international hotel design scene. In this exclusive virtual roundtable, sponsored by Architextural, we handpicked designers and architects in order to question sustainability in surface design, and learned that ‘sustainable does not always mean natural’.

On the panel:

Before we delve into materials and far-fetched, eco-driven initiatives in surface design, in order to establish misconceptions, we should look at architectural wrapping has become increasingly popular in recent years. On the surface of the debate, using PVC is contentious and, despite it being the world’s third-most widely produced synthetic plastic polymer, it is not particularly sustainable. However, used in the right way, surface manufacturer Architextural believes the process of wrapping can significantly help designers and their clients achieve a sustainable outcome when it comes to upcycling goods.

Hamish Kilburn: Lindsay, you’re the marketing manager for Architextural. Can you tell us a bit more about the brand’s sustainability credentials?

Lindsay Appleton: Architextural, is a new brand, part of William Smith Group, which was established back in 1832.  The concept of wrapping existing surfaces, instead of sending them to landfill, is contributing to a more sustainable future. In 2021, we have more than 1,000 patterns on the shelf, so as well as offering an environmentally friendly process, we also have a lot of variety in our ranges to suit most design applications in so many sectors – our products are incredibly versatile.

HK: Jack, you work for 3M, which manufactures Architextural’s product. Can you tell us more about this process?

Although the product is PVC it’s optimised to withstand wear and tear, UV, impact and it’s exceptionally conformable. Therefore, it can prolong the lifespan of products and eradicate the need for excess waste. 3M Architectural Finishes range is designed to meet aesthetic demand, while delivering functional benefits which can improve the sustainability of projects.

HK: What makes this process sustainable?

LA: The concept of wrapping using a PVC product, makes it a durable refurbishment solution. Rather than ripping out existing fixtures and fittings to be sent to landfill, upcycling what’s already there qualifies for all the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) credits around reusing existing furniture and reusing existing materials. The process is therefore much more sustainable, and there is less disruptive over having a traditional refurbishment. By upcycling what was already there, it is a sustainable way to reduce cost.

image of sustainable wooden headboard in bedroom

Image credit: Architextural

“Anything that allows you to reinvent without throwing out has got to be a good thing.” – Harriet Forde, Founder, Hariet Forde Design

HK: What is driving the rise in upcycling surfaces – is this ‘trend’ purely linked to sustainability?

Harriet Forde: I think we are trying to address the natural desire of humans to evolve and change. We are always looking forward to the next thing that is happening. We are a visual animal and looking forward to see what is trending. However, we cannot expect revolutionise all the time. We have to be able to manage that in a way that is sustainable. Anything that allows you to reinvent without throwing out has got to be a good thing.

Una Barac: When I started in the industry some two decades ago, Wenge was a popular veneer. We, as designers, allowing for it to become so popular came very close to exterminating that entire species of a tree. This is why we will now use blackened oak as an alternative– so we will find sustainably sourced oak and we will treat to achieve that dark effect without having to travel the world to find exotic species of wood, cutting it down and flying it half way across the globe.

So, for me, there are sustainable ways to being true and authentic – and we are learning more all the time. We should be designing with location in mind.

HK: Before the pandemic, I believe clients were really starting to understand the value of sustainably sourced goods beyond them just being eco-friendly. How this attitude changed since the pandemic with hygiene creeping up on the agenda?

Ben Webb: It’s definitely come up in conversations, but it isn’t the driving factor behind us putting these spaces together. Clients, and in fact people in general, are so much more aware now than they were five years ago when it was just used to sound good. The awareness now – and the fact that it is written in a lot of these briefs from day one – is very important. You need to talk about it from the beginning of a project rather than at the end.

“The greenest, most sustainable products are the ones that already exist.” – Ben Webb, Co-Founder, 3 Stories.

It doesn’t have to be some crazy new material, but it could just be the fact that you reuse the furniture. The greenest, most sustainable products are the ones that already exist. Let’s not forget that there are a lot of products and materials that already exist. In the past, we have had that shift with warehouse-like interiors, but actually the larger discussion point is the products that have been produced and we could actually reuse them. Wrapping these products, for certain brands, is extremely important.

Hygiene is coming up in conversation but our lead times are around two years – sometime longer. Therefore, there is a bigger picture and we always have to look ahead.

HF: As a designer, you should set the parameter right at the beginning of the project with how much your intention is to be sustainable, because it ultimately impacts the budget, and clients often see you reusing as a way to save money.

Geoff Hull: A lot of reused materials such as plastics can achieve ergonomic and geometric forms in a slender and elegant way. Polymer products can also carry other non-porous and hygiene friendly surfaces particularly relevant in our current Covid conscious World.

Henry Reeve: One of the ways we try to be sustainable is to ensure that our designs stand the test of time, so that we are not ripping stuff out after a couple of year, because then by definition you are not creating waste.

“In the QO Hotel Amsterdam, for example, all the carpets are made from recycled fishing nets.” – Henry Reeve, Head of Interior Design, IHG (Kimpton/Hotel Indigo).

We have introduced some interesting initiatives in some of our hotels. In the QO Hotel Amsterdam, for example, all the carpets are made from recycled fishing nets. Plastic is obviously a very durable material so this works perfectly. Also, in our Voco hotels, all the duvets are made from recycled bottles – and we have received really positive feedback from our guests regarding how comfortable they are.

One of the initiatives with furniture, is when they come to end of life with the hotel, but still in good conditions, we have donated our FF&E to housing projects and youth facilities.

When it comes to wrapping, we did implement this with the case goods inside some of the meeting rooms in InterContinental Park Lane. This was a time-saving a cost-effective process that really worked.

HK: And Henry, how do you sensitively communicate these initiatives this to guests?

HR: You have to be careful when shouting about renewables. There’s information there should the guests want to read more.

“We have to, if we are creating new products, ensure they don’t end up in landfill 10, 20 even 100 years down the line.” – Jeremy Grove, founder, Sibley Grove.

Jeremy Grove: The way in which we try to work is that we see the problem being more of a design problem and not a material one. We need to understand what happens afterwards. Wrapping and giving a product a new lease of life. A product is only desirable when we are using it and once we throw it away it is then no desirable at all. So, we have to, if we are creating new products, ensure they don’t end up in landfill 10, 20 even 100 years down the line.

The Fox & Goose is a good example, because it was designed to be dissembled, using materials that could be taken back to source and regenerated into a better quality.

For us, it’s about doing what’s sustainable and what makes good business sense. It’s really important for us to work with clients who don’t always share our ethos so that we can teach them as the project develops. Working with owners, operators and developers, if we can help to change their mindset on sustainable even by just a little bit then we are contributing to our industry as a whole thinking more consciously.

Image caption: The sustainable Fox & Goose, designed by Sibley Grove, was created to be dissembled | Image credit: Fox & Goose

Image caption: The Fox & Goose, designed by Sibley Grove, was created to be dissembled | Image credit: Fox & Goose

“We found a company that will pick up all the materials that we’re stripping on the site.” – Maria Gutierrez, Project Architect at Holland Harvey Architects.

Maria Gutierrez: I find that we also develop as designers when we are able to work on two projects under the same brand. We are currently working on designing the second Inhabit in London and we have taken so many learnings from the first, which was a fully sustainable hotel sheltered inside a Grade II listed building. We found a company that will pick up all the materials that we’re stripping on the site. All the marbles, all the tiles. When you recycle, and upcycle, them they become beautiful statements of sustainability. We are upcycling all these materials and repurposing them to be the worktops in the new hotel. Learning from the first hotel, we are able to go even further with the next project.

And then we get to the process of Value Engineering (VE), in which sustainable initiatives always suffer.

Image caption: Inhabit London is grade II listed, designed by Holland Harvey Architects, is a fully sustainable hotel that confronts the ideology that heritage buildings cannot shelter sustainable spaces. | Image credit: Inhabit Hotels

Image caption: Inhabit London is grade II listed, designed by Holland Harvey Architects, is a fully sustainable hotel that confronts the ideology that heritage buildings cannot shelter sustainable spaces. | Image credit: Inhabit Hotels

BW: A lot of VE comes down to longevity. It may be a sharp cost now, but if something stands the test of time then its value increases.

 “I have recently seen recycled terrazzo with chunks of plastic in.” – Henry Reeve, Head of Interior Design, IHG (Kimpton/Hotel Indigo).

HK: What has caused the rise in demand for exposed concrete surfaces?

GH: We have had a few projects including Ace Hotel and Village Hotels where concrete was seen as an honest and robust material. Techniques with formwork and ingredients has enabled a menu of different textures, finishes and colours for new build projects (where re used concrete can be crushed and used as aggregate) or existing retained superstructure can also add character and historic reference to any project.

HK: How can using upcycled materials in surfaces add new layers to a design of a hotel?

HR: There’s definitely interesting materials that have caught our eye, especially around recycled plastic. Technology has moved on leaps and bounds and I have recently seen recycled terrazzo with chunks of plastic in. Chunks of marble and/or wood in a terrazzo material looks stunning and create a very luxurious feel. I am expecting to see more of that in the future.

“Even the largest brands can be very excited by ideas around upcycling and recycling.” – Una Barac, Founder and Executive Director of Atellior

UB: Everyone seems to have a broader awareness. Even the largest brands can be very excited by ideas around upcycling and recycling. Here are a few examples. Park Plaza purchased an existing property which had almost 400 chairs that were made from cherry wood and upholstered with paisley patterns. We literally stripped them down with a local workshop that sanded the wood, painted each chair and then reupholstered them with a modern fabric.

Another example is a Hilton property in Bournemouth. The owner had procured antique furniture. In the spa, we decided to use one of these items – a desk – and we upcycled it which we then encased in glass because there were concerns with splinters. This piece of furniture became a beautiful focal point within the hotel.

BW: We have found that materials can have a dual purpose, when they have a very practical use but also very aesthetically pleasing.

“Just because it is natural does not mean it is sustainable” – Jeremy Grove, founder, Sibley Grove.

HK: During R&D, what far-fetched materials have your teams discovered in new surfaces?

JG: For me, a lot of what we focus on is not really the far-fetched stuff at all! Our work we did with Selfridges is a great example, which allowed us to look at a material that is upcycled fishing nets and ropes.

However, just because it is natural does not mean it is sustainable. Take oak, for example. It takes between 75 – 150 years to mature. If we were using this in a shop fit-out intended to be used for just six months then it really isn’t sustainable at all. When designing, we as an industry sometimes neglect that a lot ecosystems rely on these natural materials. We have lost vast amounts of our oak and its solutions around these problems that I am interested in.

GH: Nothing ‘far-fetched’ comes to mind but quite often we get to use many recycled materials either through manufacturing and specification choices or through the use of existing on site materials. We have many listed building examples where we have dismantled (rather than demolish) parts of a building for re-use in its altered form (stone , timber flooring , mosaics , cornicework etc).

HF: Sometimes the product that does not have the best sustainably credentials, like PVC for example, can in fact be the most sustainable if it is long-lasting and by not changing it you are actually being more sustainable.

BW: We all have a collective responsibility and awareness when we are designing a new hotel because we are making a massive impact. As designers, we have to meet the brief and make these spaces look stunning, but we there is no harm to think a little deeper to try and design in a clever way to try and source the best, most sustainable products and materials.

MG: The world and customer is starting to become more interested in sustainability and is able to make informed decisions around travel, design and fashion. This widespread knowledge is making it easier for designers to discuss this with clients. It’s also a great opportunity for hotels to tell their narrative in a unique way.

UB: It’s about designers taking developers on a journey to set the brief and parameters and educating the client as you move forward.

HK: How has this movement change the way in which design and architecture is taught?

JG: In terms of how it’s taught academically, it has always been part of academia. The largest challenge is how we translate that into the commercial world and there is a disconnect between them. It takes real resolve to challenge some of these conventions. Design has to lead that journey.

GH: I believe the use of conventional and traditional materials and methods have developed and altered considerably over the last 25 years and there is a greater choice of materials which address form ,and  function as well as embrace recycling/upcycling credentials.

HF: At the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID), we run an annual student challenge. When I was on the judging panel two years ago, the students were very focused on sustainability. In a student scenario, it is very idealislised and in the line of work there are a lot trip hazards along the way. CPD, though, is a really positive way to continually educate yourself in what is a continually evolving industry anyway.

Architextural 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.

BetteStarlet Oval Sihouette in matt black colour

Drama in the bathroom: Bette introduces matt black baths

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Drama in the bathroom: Bette introduces matt black baths

The year was 2021. A deadly virus had broken out – now a pandemic – which forced hotel doors to shut while designers and architects sketched a new hotel design landscape. I’m not suggesting we need more drama, but it’s exciting nonetheless to see Bette add a new layer in the bathroom with its new matt black baths, writes editor Hamish Kilburn… 

BetteStarlet Oval Sihouette in matt black colour

The bathroom is becoming more dramatic, with black and inky tones on furniture, tiles and painted surfaces helping to create contemporary and stylish spaces.

Eighteen Bette freestanding baths are now available in Ebony, a matt black colour to complement the use of darker tones in the bathroom. The baths, from the BetteLux, BetteStarlet and BetteArt collections, also include some which are perfect for smaller bathrooms, as they are designed to be positioned against a wall or into a corner.

Like all Bette baths, it is made from glazed titanium-steel, comes with a 30 year warranty and is 100 per cent recyclable. It is durable and easy to clean because the glass-hard surface makes it difficult for dirt and bacteria to adhere. It is also not affected by chemicals or even the naked flame or hot wax of a candle, which means that Bette’s baths in matt black are easy to keep looking their best. The surface is also UV-resistant, so the elegance of the matt black colour remains unaltered over the years.

Bette 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.

Image caption: BetteStarlet Oval Silhouette, which is available in five sizes from 1500 x 800mm to 1950 x 950mm. | Image credit: Bette

Contrasting green and light brown tiles

Colour & pattern trends for 2021 and beyond

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Colour & pattern trends for 2021 and beyond

In order to establish some positivity in what is otherwise a rather bleak hospitality landscape at the moment, we’re leaning on Parkside to lift the lid – and the mood – on colour and pattern trends that are shaping interiors over the next two years…

Contrasting green and light brown tiles

“There’s got to be more to colour in 2021 than PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating,” we hear you say. There’s nothing wrong with these two contrasting hues, but thanks to our relationship with tile specification brand Parkside, we can go beyond the surface to discover some rather exciting trends that are emerging.

With the Covid-19 pandemic causing the biggest disruption to modern life in many generations, our response looks to shield us from the economic uncertainty, social isolation and endangered health. A desire for interiors that can accommodate agility as well as provide retreat to make us feel calm and safe, will shape the colours, surfaces and patterns we see.

Encouraging a positive emotional response that helps to relieve feelings of anxiety and uncertainty, colour is playing a more influential role, with palettes that offer depth and richness. From saturated, digital tones to rich and authentic natural colours such as moss and deep forest green, colours are bolder and help users connect to the space in meaningful ways.

These colours can be grouped into clear themes that bring cohesion to a colour, texture and surface palette. Parkside has identified two key themes for 2021/2022 in Nature’s Purity and Retro Pop.

Nature’s Purity explores the positivity of nature’s influence on our interiors. As we seek a deeper connection to the natural world, it looks towards colours, surfaces and patterns that respond to this. Warmer, earthy ones are paired with natural materials that evoke a sense of purity and perfection. Lending itself well to creating an immersive hospitality experience through new neutrals and natural textures such as marble and wood, Nature’s Purity fosters a link to the outdoor world that helps to instil calmness and serenity in any commercial interior.

Selection of Parkside tiles

Image credit: Parkside

Retro Pop sees a return to nostalgia, with the bold, geometric patterns of the 70s resurging, this time with a sunnier palette rooted in citrus yellow. Sweet pastels add energy and help to build playful spaces that encourage wellness, collaboration, connection and socialisation. Bringing fun and joy to workplaces and retail, Retro Pop sees ceramics, satin finishes and terrazzo clash for fun combinations that retain a feeling of positiveness.

Through more than 1,500 tile designs, Parkside can provide designers with wall and floor tiles to bring these trends to commercial projects. Whether the faithful colours of the Matrix collection or marble, wood and textile effects; Parkside supports its solutions with a range of services including waterjet cutting, colour matching and bespoke digital print.

Parkside 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: Parkside

GROHE Bau Cosmo E taps in commercial washroom

Hygiene, there’s a RIBA approved CPD module for that!

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hygiene, there’s a RIBA approved CPD module for that!

GROHE has launched its third RIBA approved CPD module, Hygiene Optimisation for Sanitary Facilities, which will be hosted by editor Hamish Kilburn and presented by GROHE’s Karl Lennon, on February 9, 2021…

GROHE Bau Cosmo E taps in commercial washroom

In response to the increasing demand for hygiene-optimised solutions since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, GROHE has launched a RIBA approved CPD module for the architecture and design community. Its aim is to facilitate greater awareness and provide inspiration to multiple stakeholders and industries working within the built environment, from architects and designers to house builders, retailers, and plumbers.

Click here to register for the CPD module, entitled: Hygiene Optimisation for Sanitary Facilities.

The latest seminar-based training module is the first on RIBA’s CPD database to look at hygiene in both the kitchen and bathroom, allowing architects and designers an in-depth look at residential design under a hygiene lens, alongside its increasing importance in commercial settings. As a provider of complete bathroom solutions, GROHE is able to offer its expertise holistically when it comes to bathroom applications. The CPD session encourages architects to consider how all touchpoints in the bathroom can be optimised with hygiene in mind, across brassware and ceramics. Meanwhile in kitchen settings, GROHE looks at the emerging importance tapware can play in maintaining hygiene levels.

GROHE Bau Cosmo infra-red tap close up lifestyle

Image credit: GROHE

GROHE first identified a seismic shift in the demand for hygiene-optimised products at the beginning of 2020, which reached new heights once the first wave of the pandemic hit the UK.

“Whilst in the UK commercial market the transition to more hygiene-focussed public spaces and business environments has been in motion for some time, there has been increasing demand in the consumer markets, in such a way that has never been seen before“, says Karl Lennon, Leader Projects Channel – A&D, LIXIL EMENA. “Ongoing conversations with our partners and clients over the last year has signified to us that there is a real demand for more knowledge around hygiene and what solutions are available. The pandemic is likely to impact both the short- and long-term implications of the way our buildings are designed and how we live and work in them. The design community are eager to expand their horizons in order to be able to adapt.”

By designing our surroundings with hygiene front of mind, Hygiene Optimisation for Sanitary Facilities highlights other positive implications to consider too. For example, boosting sustainability credentials with products such as infra-red taps and flush plates which reduce water and energy consumption. Improving the accessibility of our private and public spaces is also a viable outcome, as more autonomous solutions will be favoured over traditional products that rely on manual operation.

To mark the release of its new CPD module, GROHE has partnered with leading hospitality design platform, Hotel Designs, to host a virtual launch event for architects and designers on Tuesday 9th February 2021. Hosted by Hotel Designs‘ editor, Hamish Kilburn, and presented by Karl Lennon, Leader Projects Channel – A&D, LIXIL EMENA, the launch event will give attendees a first look at the new CPD session. GROHE will also be hosting a prize draw for all those who register, with twenty of its brand-new Rainshower SmartActive 130 handshowers to give away. Winners will be announced and contacted shortly after the event.

For those interested in attending the launch event, registrations can be made here. To express interest in booking a private CPD training session, emails should be directed to cpdtraining-uk@grohe.com.

Since you’re here, why not read more about GROHE’s recently achieved sustainability accolades?

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

Main image credit: GROHE

A cork surface from Granorte

Cork is turning Japanese with Granorte

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Cork is turning Japanese with Granorte

Harnessing the natural beauty of cork while bringing new meaning to its aesthetic, Tatami is a wall covering from Granorte, inspired by traditional Japanese tatami rice straw mats…

A cork surface from Granorte

Designed by Marco Carini for Granorte, Tatami creates its effect through contrasting 3D lines that can be installed in horizontal or vertical arrangements. Bringing subtle depth and texture, the cork tile blends the positive influence of nature with uncomplicated aesthetics to deliver a comfortable and calming wall finish.

Available in three colours that reference traditional colours of the mats in the deep brown of Tatami Midnight, wheat of Tatami Natural and sand-like Tatami Light; the wall tile is made entirely from lightweight agglomerated cork. Made from waste of the wine stopper industry, it retains all the properties of cork bark. Durable and with excellent acoustic and thermal insulative properties, agglomerated cork is a natural and renewable material highly suitable for interior finishes.

As the link between the wellbeing of occupants and the design of interiors is increasingly acknowledged and explored, cork is enjoying new relevance as an adaptable finish for walls and floors. Capturing the positive emotional influence of nature in a finish that offers superb levels of physical comfort and which can be shaped and coloured in many ways, cork could well be the interior finish of the future.

Tatami uses a water-based Corkguard finish that aids maintenance and enhances durability. The lightweight tiles are suitable for commercial use and supplied in a large 600 x 300mm format ready for glue-on installation.

Since you’re here, why not read about how sustainable surfaces can be a playful way to connect with nature?

Granorte is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Granorte

Rosewood Hotels to arrive in Rome in 2023

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Rosewood Hotels to arrive in Rome in 2023

Rosewood Hotels has announced that it will open a 157-key luxury hotel in Rome in 2023, which will become the brand’s 11th property in Europe. Here’s what we know… 

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, a global leader in luxury travel and lifestyle experiences, has been appointed by real estate firm Antirion SGR to manage Rosewood Rome, which will open in 2023 in the heart of the capital city.

The latest news follows previous announcements referencing the brand’s expansion in Europe, including properties in Amsterdam, Sardinia and Madrid.

Located in the former headquarters of Italy’s Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) overlooking the iconic Via Venet, the new hotel will Extend an entire block and will encompass three historic buildings, each of which were originally built in the early 1900s.  The crown jewel of the project will be the reimagination of the former BNL headquarters, the main unit of the development that was initially designed by renowned Italian architect and urban planner Marcello Piacentini.

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

“The design will take influence from the hotel’s location overlooking Via Veneto.”

The property’s transformation will be managed by Colliers International, led by global architecture and engineering firm, Jacobs, and Australian interior design firm, BAR Studio, to build upon Piacentini’s legacy and pay homage to the property’s roots as an exemplar of modernist Italian architecture. The design will take influence from the hotel’s location overlooking Via Veneto, one of Rome’s most elegant streets and a symbol of the celebrated Federico Fellini film, La Dolce Vita, with elegant interiors that blend timeless style with contemporary comforts. In keeping with Rosewood’s guiding A Sense of Place philosophy, Rome’s relaxed ambiance and devotion to dolce far niente, or the art of “doing nothing”, will influence the hotel’s design concept, which will mix traditional architectural elements with modern décor and detailing to create a sophisticated environment for the ultimate life of leisure.

“Over the last several years, we have been searching for the right opportunities to evolve our European footprint and bring the Rosewood brand to new corners of the continent,” said Sonia Cheng, chief executive officer of Rosewood Hotel Group. “As one of Italy’s most vibrant cities with an undoubtedly rich legacy and charming character, Rome has long been at the top of the list of priority destinations in which to set the Rosewood flag, and we’re thrilled to be working with our partners at Antirion SGR on this project that will surely set a new standard for luxury lifestyle experiences in Rome.”

Upon completion, Rosewood Rome will offer 157 accommodations, including 44 suites. Home to three dining outlets, including a contemporary Italian bistro, a lobby bar and café and a rooftop bar with a terrace with sweeping views of the city, the hotel will serve as a luxurious escape for locals and visitors alike. Additional amenities include a subterrain experience within the bank’s original vault featuring a modern Roman Bathhouse and Sense, A Rosewood Spa, located on the rooftop which will feature four dedicated treatment rooms and a wellness terrace with a reflecting pool and dynamic fitness centre. Dedicated event spaces will encompass three meeting rooms and a grand ballroom.

“We are honored to embark on this exciting project with Rosewood Hotels & Resorts,” said Ofer Arbib, CEO of Antirion SGR. “We could not think of more suited partner to create a new world-renowned destination that celebrates the heritage and rich offerings of Rome while simultaneously extending a sophisticated interpretation of ultra-luxury hospitality.”

Rosewood Rome will be the brand’s fourth Italian property, joining Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco in Tuscany and the upcoming Rosewood Porto Cervo and Rosewood Venice, set to open in 2022 and 2023, respectively. Rosewood’s existing European properties also include Rosewood London and Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel in Paris.

Main image credit: Unsplash/Caleb Miller

Image of guestroom inside Ace Hotel Brooklyn

Looking ahead: inside Ace Hotel Brooklyn

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Looking ahead: inside Ace Hotel Brooklyn

Ace Hotel’s latest property will arrive in Downtown Brooklyn this Spring, designed from the ground up by renowned design firm Roman and Williams

Located on the cusp of Downtown Brooklyn and Boerum Hill, Ace Hotel Brooklyn will be the brand’s second property in New York City. The design of the 287-key hotel – one of the largest in the Ace portfolio – has been inspired by the “geographical and cultural history of Brooklyn” and is intended to harmonise with the borough’s ideals.

Image of guestroom inside Ace Hotel Brooklyn

“We’ve been building toward Ace Brooklyn for years; the entire city has reimagined itself several times over since we started,” said Brad Wilson, President, Ace Hotel Group. “That’s exactly the spirit we’ve worked to mirror in every corner of our new home — the inexhaustible ingenuity that stands as the borough’s only constant. We’re lucky enough to have landed at the junction of so many rich and inspiring neighbourhoods, and hope to provide a new and inviting sense of place for our guests and neighbours to call home.” 

Image caption: An early sketch of Ace Hotel Brooklyn, designed by Roman and Williams.

Image caption: An early sketch of Ace Hotel Brooklyn, designed by Roman and Williams.

Open, spacious and welcoming, the hotel’s design, led by Roman and Williams, gives more than a nod to Brooklyn’s complex fabric of communal and creative spaces, with an animated public lobby and indoor-outdoor portals that ease into the city’s edges. The guestrooms pair floor-to-ceiling windows with original artwork by local fibre and textile artists — with some higher floors offering a 360º panorama of Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island and the Statue of Liberty.

Ace Hotel Brooklyn is the third design collaboration between Atelier Ace and Roman and Williams, following Ace Hotel New York and Ace Hotel New Orleans. Ace’s second-only ground-up build, the hotel’s facade and interiors are inspired by the sprawling egalitarian promise of the borough — from the industrial grit of its shipyards to the neo-expressionist complexity of Basquiat. Roman and Williams looked to traditions of studios and workspaces, embracing the purity of handcrafted expressions in every area — from massive timbers in the lobby, to the custom tile murals in the lavatories, the poured in place concrete structure of the building, plus a collection of furnishings created uniquely for this project.

“For our third collaboration with Ace Hotel, Roman and Williams created both the building and the interiors for Ace Brooklyn,” added Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, Roman and Williams. We chose to embrace a governing principle of purity and artistic spirit in our architecture and the spaces within. We employed a philosophy of primitive modernism holistically across the project. This highly artistic approach drove us to use construction methods and materials with honesty. This is evident in everything you touch and see. This undecorated and tactile spirit expresses a radical transparency in its approach to the design of Ace Brooklyn.”

With current locations in Seattle, Portland, New York, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Chicago and Kyoto, Ace is expanding its portfolio. As well as another arrival in New York City, the brand as has plans to open properties in Toronto and Sydney this year.

Main image credit: Ace Hotels

Room set featuring the Crosswater Crossbox Push

“It’s groundbreaking”, UK Bathrooms puts the Crossbox Push to the test

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
“It’s groundbreaking”, UK Bathrooms puts the Crossbox Push to the test

We’ve heard a lot of noise about the Crossbox Push shower unit in recent months, with its sharp design and innovative technology making it an ideal product to specify for the hospitality industry. But just how effective is it? We asked the experts at UK Bathrooms to put Crosswater’s new shower unit to the test…

Room set featuring the Crosswater Crossbox Push

While certain pieces of brassware in the bathroom are ever-evolving, others have remained fundamentally unchanged over the decades. While brassware as a whole has taken on the different colour finishes in vogue at various times – from gleaming gold brass to the matt black and white finishes trending today – some bathroom brassware seems to get more aesthetic attention than others. Notably, taps have undergone the most dramatic of developments, with handle shapes and spouts in a constant state of flux both design-wise – varying considerably from pieces based on historic precedent to those more akin to modern sculpture – to their positioning by the basin or bath, from classic mixer taps to wall mounted or freestanding.

Within the shower, shower heads have undergone bold changes over recent years, with forward thinking designs not only looking the part, offer different styles of water flow, or being integrated with lighting or elements of technology. More practical shower controls have been largely overlooked aesthetically, water and temperature typically regulated with the twisting of a valve and left at that. Until now. Cue the arrival of Crossbox Push by Crosswater, a module which radically modernises the design of shower controls and adds a revolutionary new functionality to the shower experience.

‘The Crossbox Push introduces a push control to the shower in a groundbreaking, design-focused way,” explains Graeme Borchard, Managing Director at ukBathrooms. ‘The instant water flow Crossbox Push offers at the touch of a button merges efficiency and precision control with an utterly sleek contemporary aesthetic, forever altering the look of within the shower.”

Streamlined functionality

The push button operation of Crossbox Push brings a fresh perspective to shower control design. Why twist and adjust when you can simply press? Rotary heat control means that the desired temperature can be pre-set and conjured in a tap of the Neoperl ABS push button. Water can be summoned from up to three different water outlets – be it a rainfall, wall mounted or hand-held shower head – in one easy touch.

Image of modern bathroom

Image credit: Crosswater/UK Bathrooms

Looking good

The two key elements of the Crossbox Push are the bold circular button, which is also integrated with a textured dial to alter water flow, and the smaller temperature control knob. Combined, the pair make a modern design statement, boldly protruding from the all metal backplate in a minimal, clean style, while the lines splitting the button into two or three add easy usability with low visual impact.

The finishing touch

Available in an array of on-trend and timeless finishes, the Crossbox Push can be specified to suit any colour scheme, style or existing brassware – all bases are covered with the Crosswater MPRO palette. Got a Scandi-style pale space? Blend in with Matt White, or contrast with Matt Black. Feeling glamourous? Brushed Brass is your friend. Need some texture? Try the Brushed Stainless Steel Effect. Something classic? Chrome is here for you.

Style and substance in the touch of a button, the Crossbox Push is ushering in a new era to water control, and a total refresh of design within the shower space.

UK Bathrooms is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package, while Crosswater is a Recommended Supplier. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Crosswater/UK Bathrooms

A modern and contemporary design in suite of hotel

Dominvs Group secures £68.5m for two flagship UK hotels

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Dominvs Group secures £68.5m for two flagship UK hotels

Dominvs Group has secured almost £70 million of fresh-bank funding from Coutts and Clydesdale Bank Plc for two new flagship hotels in London and Oxford…

A modern and contemporary design in suite of hotel

Dominvs Group, a London real estate development and investment group, has successfully secured £68.5 million of fresh funding, facilitated by Coutts and Clydesdale Bank Plc in two separate facilities; with £48 million from Coutts allowing for the development of a new Hampton by Hilton hotel in London’s Aldgate, and a £20.5 million investment loan from Clydesdale Bank Plc for the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Oxford.  

The group highlights that the successful raising of funding for both projects reflects the firm’s good banking relationships and confidence in the group’s development and operational capabilities, alongside rising optimism in the UK hotel industry after the start of COVID-19 vaccination programme in the UK.

The hotel at 12-20 Osborn Street in Aldgate, formerly the Arbor City Hotel, was purchased by Dominvs Group in October 2018 and planning was granted for a new larger hotel scheme on the site during Q4 2018. The new £48 million of funding from Coutts covers the refinance of the original acquisition loan for the site and allows for the development of the new 118,000 sqft 278-key Hampton by Hilton London City hotel, with practical build completion scheduled for June 2023.

The new five storey Hampton by Hilton London City hotel will comprise the refurbishment of the existing hotel plus a new-build extension, with the construction undertaken by leading contractor McAleer and Rushe. Alongside 278 guestrooms and suites, the new hotel will provide meeting, dining and events space including a cinema room and large function room. The hotel is located in the heart of East London by Brick Lane, an area undergoing significant investment from Tower Hamlets Council, and just five minutes from the City of London. 

Located in the historic centre of Oxford, close to the world famous Oxford University buildings and libraries, the Courtyard by Marriott Oxford City Centre hotel is situated at 15 Paradise Street overlooking the Castle Mill Stream canal on both sides. The hotel was completed in July 2019, with an 11-room extension opened in January 2020.  

Yello and blue furniture inside public areas of hotel

Image credit: Dominvs Group Hotels

Despite the pandemic, the 151-key hotel achieved more than 50 per cent occupancy rates during the summer of 2020. The new investment of £20.5 million from Clydesdale Bank Plc refinances an incumbent loan that funded the development of the building and ensured that construction was on schedule.  

“It is excellent to see confidence in the hotel industry returning.” – Preeptal Ahluwalia, Director at Dominvs Group.

The site at Paradise Street was purchased by Dominvs Group in October 2014 and was formerly the HQ of Cooper Callas, a kitchen and bathroom distributor. Dominvs Group obtained planning for a 140-key hotel in 2017 with the construction undertaken by McAleer and Rushe. 

The six-storey hotel has a red-brick and glass façade with rooms and suites overlooking the canal and the ruins of Oxford Castle’s St George’s Tower. Alongside the Kitchen and Bar Restaurant and lounge areas the hotel has a spectacular rooftop cocktail bar and rooftop garden/terrace offering panoramic 360 degree views over Oxford’s stunning spires, domes and landmarks.  

By May 2021 the UK Government forecast that a third of the UK’s 66 million population will have been vaccinated against COVID-19. By summer 2021 around 50% of the population should be immunised, and international flights and tourism should start to recover. The vaccination of the entire UK population is estimated to take up to 12 months, with ‘normality’ returning by November 2021. 

Preeptal Ahluwalia, Director at Dominvs Group, says: “Dominvs Group is delighted to have successfully secured £68.5 million of fresh bank funding which allows for the development of our new Hampton by Hilton branded hotel in London’s Aldgate and has refinanced our Courtyard by Marriott branded hotel in Oxford. The successful funding reflects our good banking relationships and confidence in the group’s development and operational capabilities, alongside rising optimism in the UK hotel industry following the start of the Covid-19 vaccination programme in the UK. It is excellent to see confidence in the hotel industry returning and these two hotels are well-placed to benefit from the gradual return of both domestic and overseas visitors to London and Oxford, two of the UK’s most popular tourist and business trip hotspots and destinations of increasing hotel need.”

Main image credit: Dominvs Group

Main image for Hotel Designs LIVE

5 reasons to attend Hotel Designs LIVE in February

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 reasons to attend Hotel Designs LIVE in February

Hotel Designs LIVE returns on February 23 to keep the industry connected and to serve our readers with relevant and engaging conversations that are unlike any other. With just over a month before the virtual event, editor Hamish Kilburn is here to explain to you why you should attend…

Main image for Hotel Designs LIVE

Back by popular demand, Hotel Designs LIVE launched in the chaotic realms of the Covid-19 outbreak last year. The one-day virtual conference is designed to keep the industry connected and the conversation flowing during and beyond the disruptive time we are currently in.

Following two successful events, the concept will return on February 23, 2021 with the aim to define the point on international hotel design’s most relevant topics with the help of leading figures from the world of design, architecture and hospitality as well as identifying the latest product innovations on the market.

So, here are five reasons why you do not want to miss out on attending our first Hotel Designs LIVE of the season:

1) It’s free to attend! 

If you qualify as a designer, architect, hotelier or developer, then attending Hotel Designs LIVE is completely free of charge. The reason for this is that we, on the editorial desk, believe it is simply our duty to provide our readers with engaging and relevant content that will help steer us all in the right direction for the post-pandemic world.

Click here to participate in Hotel Designs LIVE (booking form takes less than 2 minutes to complete).

2) The speaker line-up is insane!

We have gone above and beyond to secure yet another stellar line-up of speakers who can appropriately define the point on the topics we have chosen to put under this event’s spotlight. Speakers for Hotel Designs LIVE include:

3) Conversations unlike any other

With our aim to be as relevant as possible and to serve up new ideas that will influence meaningful change in hotel design and hospitality worldwide, we have decided centre the conversations around sustainability, sound in design, wellness and what the future of the industry looks like. Our speakers (see above) will identify and discuss the challenges that are attached to each topic and offer purposeful solutions that will help enhance the arena in which we all operate in.

4) A dynamic look at this season’s product launches

In addition to four seminar sessions – and to ensure Hotel Designs continues to bridge the gap between hospitality suppliers and buyers – the virtual conference will include structured ‘PRODUCT WATCH’ pitches around each session (Technology, Sustainability, Public Areas, Wellness & Wellbeing), allowing the audience the hear and see the latest products that have been launched. 

5) We’re supporting the industry while live events are on hold

There is nothing quite like a live event – we miss them too! But while we are unable to meet in person, Hotel Designs LIVE is a dynamic way to be part of conversations and debates that are happening now and which will, ultimately, shape the future. Each session will allow the audience to ask questions and engage in our ‘chat’ to ensure that we are not missing anything during our debates and conversations.

If you are a designer, architect, hotelier  or developer and would like to secure your complimentary seats in the audience, click here.

If you are a supplier to the hotel design industry and would like to promote your latest product or services to the Hotel Designs LIVE audience, please contact Katy Phillips via email or call +44 (0)1992 374050.

A render of a floating hotel in the sea

Hotel concept: designing a sustainable floating resort

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel concept: designing a sustainable floating resort

With the aim to design a hotel resort that offers guests an unparalleled at-one-with-nature experience, AMA Design has developed a hospitality concept called GAIA, a floating eco hotel that pushes boundaries to re-connect people with nature. Editor Hamish Kilburn explores…

A render of a floating hotel in the sea

Focusing on the positive possibilities of the future, boutique design studio AMA has proposed a new concept for hospitality experiences in the region. Floating on top the water with a lightweight prefabricated structure, the concept of GAIA takes sustainable architecture and design to new depths by using active and passive means to limited the hotel’s energy needs.

Render of floating hotel in Dubai

Image credit: AMA Design

The concept has been designed to fit into its context. Respecting its natural environment in a light and positive way whilst considering sustainable design and circular economy principles, the hotel fits into an emerging contemporary ‘Eco-Gothic’ style.

“We wanted to create a new type of hospitality experience, testing the potential of emerging construction technologies to make a sustainable and innovative building,” explained Andy Shaw, Managing Partner of AMA. “Our proposal aims to allow people to re-connect with nature whilst making a building with the minimal impact on nature itself. “Most resorts struggle to give true peace and connection to nature due to their location and scale. We designed ‘GAIA’ to be as natural and isolated as possible, whilst giving a calming, immersive experience for guests between the waters, sky and wildlife amongst them.”

Built from pre-fabricated lightweight composites from boat technology, finishes will be all natural such as bamboo and timber so that visitors are immersed in a natural environment framed with the sky and sea.

At the base of the building, in the water, the emerging technology of 3D printed coral will be used and act as a support structure for marine life to feed and flourish underneath. This would encourage diving and snorkelling off the building and encourage an interaction with nature whilst supporting biodiversity.

Sustainability features include:

  • The prefabricated modular design and construction system reduces wasted material and energy.
  • Marine grade durable lightweight materials used extends the lifespan.
  • Carbon is sunk in timber and bamboo materials uses above water, and In the 3D printed coral material (Calcium Carbonate).
  • Renewable clean energy is generated on site through solar panels on skin and water movement underneath.
  • Passive design measures in the shape and orientation of the pods allows for airflow cooling.
  • Marine life is stimulated on 3d printed coral underneath.
Render of the floating hotel at sunset

Image credit: AMA Design

The timely hotel concept, which was developed for the ‘Shape of Things to Come’ exhibition at Dubai Design Week, has helped to shape future possibilities in international hotel design. Shaw explains: “It was developed as a concept for the exhibition, but all the technology needed to build it is available now and in use. They just need to be scaled up and made more accessible. We are hoping an ambitious developer takes it forward, or an established resort adds it to an existing offering as extra rooms and features.”

Main image credit: AMA Design

Hottest hotel openings arriving in 2021 (Q3 & Q4)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hottest hotel openings arriving in 2021 (Q3 & Q4)

Dubbed ‘The Hot List’ by our readers, we start every year as mean to go on; with a positive mindset to get ahead of the curve to reveal what we believe will be the hottest hotel openings of 2021. Following on from part one, which was published last week, here are our Q3 & Q4 VIP arrivals. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

The hospitality industry continues to be tested to its limits as the UK, a major design and travel hotspot, has once again been plunged into a national lockdown. Despite the cause for concern among already established hotel businesses, the hotel construction industry continues to develop what will be the future hotels. To keep spirits high as the demand for travel will return in 2021, it is time to pick up from where we left off in the first article of this series that referenced the VIP hotel openings of Q1 and Q2. Going beneath the surface to unveil some true gems, here’s your guided tour of the hotels that will open in Q3 and Q4 that we expect will cause the most disruption on the international hotel design scene this year.

Rosewood São Paulo – opening Q3, 2021

Image of the exterior of Rosewood Sao Paulo hotel

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

2020 was a pivotal year for the Rosewood Hotels brand, with announcements of new properties in the Caribbean, Sardinia, Spain and Amsterdam. 2021 will see little change of momentum as the brand prepares to open what is arguably it’s most interesting architectural project to date.

Mirroring the energy and heritage of Brazil, Rosewood São Paulo is said to be an “urban oasis” situated in Cidade Matarazzo, a complex of elegantly preserved buildings from the early 20th century. The 180-key luxury hotel – with rooms designed by none other than Philippe Starck – will anchor this stylish, mixed-use cultural destination, occupying one of the area’s few remaining historical landmarks and a striking new vertical garden tower designed by Jean Nouvel.

Reykjavik EDITION – opening Q3, 2021

Rendering of the EDITION hotel in Iceland

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

Narrowly missing its previously scheduled arrival date in 2020, the EDITION brand – which is the brainchild of designer Ian Schrager – is preparing to touch down in Reykjavik this summer! The hotel, which will become the brand’s fourth property in Europe is expected to shelter Schrager’s signature home-from-home luxury style with a curated taste of the locale, reflecting the best of the area’s cultural and social miliieu.

Cayo Exclusive Resort & Spa – opening Q3, 2021

With sustainability on the radar despite the pandemic’s best efforts, Cayo Exclusive Resort & Spa, which softly opened in 2020, will open fully this year as a modern, ecologically sensitive, luxurious resort born out of passionate love in the art of traveling. Cayo’s vibe and feel are the results of thoughtful consideration of the spiritual, cultural, and natural environment.

The accommodation’s striking architectural design uses Greece’s ample sunlight to heighten the beauty of the surrounding hills and the famous islet of Spinalonga, a candidate for the UNESCO List of World Heritage Site.

Known locally as ‘Crete’s most stylish hotel’, its eco-friendly design and bioclimatic architecture highlight the local climate’s beneficial features. The ground slope was put in use to achieve optimal air and light exposure to the resort’s indoors and outdoors areas.

Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Island – opening Q3, 2021

Arial view of Ritz Carlton hotel in Maldives

Image credit: Ritz-Carlton

Set within an integrated development that cleverly bridges together three islands, Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands takes a minimalist approach to luxury. Modern design highlights sea views and pristine beaches; simple ingredients are transformed by skilled chefs and mixologists; healing is guided by directional energy and nature is explored with respect and wonder.

Bvlgari Hotel Paris – opening Q3, 2021

Render of Bvlgari Hotel Paris

Image credit: Bvlgari Hotels

The seventh property to join the collection, Bvlgari Hotel Paris will offer 76 rooms, most of them suites, while the hotel will feature a full range of luxury facilities, including a spa with 25m pool, a Bvlgari restaurant and a bar looking out onto a charming courtyard garden. The new luxury hotel, which is positioned on Avenue George V (between the Champs Elysees and the Avenue Montaigne), is a collaboration between the Italian architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, and the renowned Parisian architects Valode & Pistre. The design of the building has been conceived as a transition to modernity – in keeping with Parisian style with traditional limestone and honouring the building’s 19th century history, while also creating a contemporary look with a renewed façade. 

The Paris property is the next hotel opening for the brand with Rome, Miami, Moscow and Tokyo also on the horizon in the coming years.

Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo – opening Q4, 2021

A render of the eco architecturally structured hotel overlooking the ocean

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Following last year’s development demand in Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit, further south is a hidden gem that is about to become the stage for the arrival of Four Seasons’ next luxury property. The hidden eco reserve on Mexico’s Costa Alegre – the pristine coastline between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo – is where dense jungle rainforest meets the Pacific Ocean. Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo will feature modern, organic architecture that defines three distinct enclaves: a protected beachfront for families, a panoramic clifftop for adults, and a private hideaway immersed in greenery.

Nobu Hotel Marrakech – opening Q4, 2021

Image of Marrakech mosque

Image credit: Nobu Hotel Marrakech

Becoming the brand’s debut property in Africa, Nobu Hotel Marrakech will be situated in the Hivernage district, steps from the historic heart of the city, souks and vibrant Djemaa el-Fna. The 71-key hotel will house contemporary guestrooms and suites, a selection of dynamic dining venues and rooftop spaces, a 2,000 sq. ft luxurious spa and fitness centre, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and meeting and event space.

LXR Hotels & Resorts, Roku Kyoto – opening Q4, 2021

Render of LXR Hotels & Resorts, Roku Kyoto hotel in Tokyo

Image credit: LXR Hotels & Resorts

With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics rescheduled for this year and Kyoto sitting just two hours by bullet train from the capital, the cultural heart of Japan is gearing up to welcome international visitors. Situated in an area home to some of the region’s most idyllic Japanese gardens, historic architecture and authentic tea houses, Roku Kyoto will be the first property in Asia under Hilton’s luxury LXR brand. Opening in the second half of 2021, the resort is expected to offer “a luxurious and refreshing stay” with fine dining restaurants and spa treatments paired with natural hot springs.

Langham Gold Coast – Opening Q4, 2021

Sheltered inside the central and tallest of the three landmark towers of the Jewel development, which first and largest development with direct beach access to be built in the coastal city within the last 30 years, The Langham, Gold Coast will become the brand’s third luxury address in Australia.

The grand structure and shimmering exterior of the Jewel are reminiscent of three colossal quartz crystals, visible for miles from the Nerang River to the Gold Coast hinterland. The crystalline forms of the towers are inspired by the gemstone shards discovered in the region which dates back thousands of years.

“Combining the cosmopolitan vibrancy and relaxed lifestyle for which the Gold Coast is renowned will certainly position The Langham as the quintessential luxury urban resort,” explained Stefan Leser, Chief Executive Officer of Langham Hospitality Group. “We are very much looking forward to complementing our legendary service standards with the warmth of this beautiful city to make our all guests’ experiences celebratory and memorable.”

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Weekly briefing: international hotel arrivals – we have ‘lift-off’!

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: international hotel arrivals – we have ‘lift-off’!

Editor Hamish Kilburn here to deliver your first weekly briefing of the year, featuring all the hottest hotel stories of the week. This round-up includes a look at this year’s VIP international arrivals, a rather ‘dandy’ hotel review and even a pre-flight check into what a hotel in space will look like…

If, by any chance, you needed reassuring about the state of the international hotel scene, then all you have to do is take a glance at the below; stories that we have published this week in order to inject some positivity into the industry we love the serve. From London’s latest hotel opening in Mayfair to Q1 and Q2’s hottest arrivals, we have started 2021 by looking into the future to capture how the international hotel design arena is preparing to welcome back modern travellers.

With even more juicy stories and exclusive features waiting in the wings (to be published next week), here are your top stories from the last few days…

The Hot list: most anticipated hotel for 2021 (Q1 & Q2)

Render of infinity pool in Maldives

Image credit: LXR

Concussed from 2020, we are kicking off the year with positivity; shining its editorial spotlight on the hotel openings that will take hospitality worldwide to new heights. In our first of two series we take a look at Q1 & Q2’s VIP arrivals.

Read more.

Sneak peek: inside SLS Cancun, a “barefoot-chic tropical” hotel

Lounge inside SLS Hotels

Image credit: SLS Hotels

Having designed a myriad of hotels around the world, Piero Lissoni brought his iconic design magic to Cancun to bring to life sbe’s vision of a “barefoot-chic tropical” hotel. SLS Cancun, which opens in early February, is a perfectly timed arrival as the SLS brand is one at the centre of the Ennismore and Accor merge to become the largest and fastest growing global player.

Read more.

Checking in to The Mayfair Townhouse, London’s ‘dandiest’ hotel

Mayfair Townhouse hotel peacock entrance

Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

Following what must have been the most dramatic build-up to any opening in 2020, The Mayfair Townhouse, which is made up of 15 Georgian townhouses (seven of which are Grade II listed buildings), has officially arrived in London.

Read more. 

Project watch: the ‘shimmering’ Dorsett Gold Coast takes shape

Render of sophisticated guestroom inside hotel

Credit: Destination Gold Coast Consortium

Currently on the boards, but preparing to take the Gold Coast to new heights of luxury, the golden-glazed windows of what will be Dorsett Gold Coast at The Star Gold Coast are being installed. And as construction of the building that will shelter the 313-key hotel has reached the 24th storey out of a total of 53 storeys, the new development is beginning to make a statement.

Read more.

“Ground control to Major Tom” – plans for a hotel in space on track for a 2024 launch

Collage of Axiom space station - hotel in space

250 miles above the earth in the wilderness of space, with cabins designed by the world-renowned Philippe Starck – think ‘nest-like comfort’ – the Axiom space station is the brainchild of former NASA chiefs.

Read more.

IHG to launch a landmark duel-branded hotel in Nottingham

Render of Hotel Indigo Nottingham

Hotel Indigo Nottingham/IHG

IHG has signed terms with development group Conygar to bring two of its world-renowned brands, Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites, to Nottingham. With both architecture and design led by Jestico + Whiles, we’re being told to expect something stunning as the building that will shelter the two brands becomes the city’s first of its size in nearly two decades.

Read more.

Main image credit: W Hotels/Marriott International

Presidential Suite at Marriott Malta

Inside Marriott’s new presidential suite in Malta

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside Marriott’s new presidential suite in Malta

The suite in Malta ‘epitomises splendour and elegance’, writes Molly Cleland as she hears from  RPW Design to understand how the design firm created Malta’s latest statement presidential suite…

RPW Design has just unveiled the new Presidential Suite of Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa, which, following an investment of more than €30M, epitomises the splendour and elegance of the recently renovated five-star St Julian’s property.

Presidential Suite at Marriott Malta

Not only has RPW Design created a harmonious atmosphere but functionality was also at the forefront of the design process to form a space that is adaptable to modern travellers’ transition from daytime business meetings to leisurely evenings.

Situated on the 12th floor of the hotel, guests can enjoy unique panoramic views of Balluta Bay, which are visible from the entire 170 sqm suite. These vistas can be enjoyed on the expansive terrace, balconies and windows which run the whole length of the spacious room.

As well as this statement suite’s interiors, RPW Design were responsible for refurbishing the rest of the hotel. Design notes draw inspiration from the Mediterranean island and immediate surroundings. Encompassing the warmth of the Maltese stone and the shades of the sea, the soothing sound of which instils a sense of calm in its guests. With ample space for dining and a comfortable lounge area, the closed terrace works as an extension of the interior, allowing the outdoors to be enjoyed year-round, being shaded in the warmer months and an intimate sofa setting in winter.

Close up of bed - Marriott Malta

Image credit: Marriott International

Built on clean, contemporary lines to meet the demand of modern bleisure travellers, the suite reflects the brand’s signature design aesthetic. There is a strong feeling of authenticity throughout the hotel which is echoed in the suite by traditional Maltese crafts and heritage.

Paying attention to detail, the hallmark of the rest of the renovation project can be seen in the leather touches on handles, plush seating, statement light fittings and skilful bespoke joinery. The first-class feel of Malta Marriott’s Presidential Suite is also experienced through the use of warm timber, cane and raffia for a contemporary twist on the island’s heritage.

The airy entrance hall, immediately sets the lavish tone that characterises the rest of the suite, with its marble mosaic floor and discreet closets. This leads onto an open living area, flanked by dining and office space. This adaptable layout creates a seamless transition between quiet concentration and social entertainment feeling connected and cut off at the same time, it accommodates both business and leisure needs.

Complete with a well-stocked bar and a decorative 65-inch mirror TV, the dining area benefits from the functionality of a concealed, connecting kitchenette and pantry that can be accessed through a secondary entrance to ensure guests are not disturbed when being served.

Marble bathroom inside the presidential suite of the Marriott Malta

Image credit: Marriott International

High-end comforts and amenities, synonymous with the five-star hotel, include a pop-up and swivel TV for both the sitting and the office areas, a Bose sound system, intelligent lighting, electronic curtains and a generous dressing room. The walk-in wardrobe leads onto a deluxe en-suite bathroom, with its book-matched marble finish, multi-jet rain shower, high-tech Japanese washlet toilet and double vanity, promising the pinnacle of pampering and relaxation. Guests can also opt to treat themselves to a separate, spa-style, stress-relieving whirlpool bath, hovering over the bay and leading off from the elegant and inviting master bedroom.

Bedroom inside presidential suite of the Marriott Malta hotel

Image credit: Marriott International

Moving through to the bedroom which, its own views, every element of the rooms design – from the lush bedding to the soft furnishings, smart upholstery, rich textures and restful colours – spells out indulgence and the height of luxury.

Expressing his pride in the new Presidential Suite, the peak of refinement, Malta Marriott General Manager Alexander Incorvaja said it has been “thoughtfully designed around business and leisure travellers alike, as is the rest of the hotel, re-positioning itself as one of the leading five-star hotels on the Islands”.

Main image credit: Marriott International

Gold structure of Main image credit: Destination Gold Coast Consortium

Project watch: the ‘shimmering’ Dorsett Gold Coast takes shape

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Project watch: the ‘shimmering’ Dorsett Gold Coast takes shape

As the project surpasses its two-year mark, construction on Dorsett Gold Coast at The Star Gold Coast, a 313-key hotel, is on the home straight for a 2022 opening. Editor Hamish Kilburn takes a look at what we can expect…

Gold structure of Main image credit: Destination Gold Coast Consortium

Currently on the boards, but preparing to take the Gold Coast to new heights of luxury, the golden-glazed windows of what will be Dorsett Gold Coast at The Star Gold Coast are being installed. And as construction of the building that will shelter the 313-key hotel has reached the 24th storey out of a total of 53 storeys, the new development is beginning to make a statement.

Developed by Destination Gold Coast Consortium (a joint venture between The Star Entertainment Group, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and Far East Consortium), and designed by award-winning design firm HBA, the hotel is expected to add a sprinkle of drama onto the city’s skyline.

Inspired by the coastline views of Broadbeach Island – the lush vegetation of the hinterland and the calming ocean waves – the designers at HBA sought to achieve harmony between the hotel’s interiors and its surrounding environment through a fresh, sophisticated, and relaxing overall design aesthetic.

render of guestroom showing botanical carpets and luxury tones

Image credit: Destination Gold Coast Consortium

Expect soft nods to botanicals to be incorporated through custom carpet designs while subtle references to lapping ocean waves and abstracted underwater scenes will be woven into the design narrative of the lobby, guestroom artwork, and custom wallcoverings to establish a true sense of place. 

With wellness taking centre stage in modern traveller demands, the bathrooms will feature simple design – think marble surfaces with accents of gold.

Image credit: Destination Gold Coast Consortium

A custom chandelier installation composed of kinetic lighting and reflective materials will serve as a focal point in the main lobby, enhancing the concept of soothing tranquility and light dancing on the ocean’s surface. Guestrooms will be well-appointed with fully custom-designed furnishings and decorative lighting elements to provide guests with a one-of-a-kind, memorable stay. 

Dorsett Gold Coast is part of a wider, $2 billion+ approved masterplan for Broadbeach Island, which will feature four additional towers and associated resort facilities. The Star Gold Coast will continue to transform into a world-class integrated resort that brings a new level of sophistication, service and style to the Gold Coast.  

Main image credit: Destination Gold Coast Consortium

A render of a stylish bar

Hyatt Regency makes debut in Cambodia’s captital

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hyatt Regency makes debut in Cambodia’s captital

Sheltering 247 rooms, the opening marks the largest hotel by an international brand in the city and Hyatt’s debut in the Cambodian capital…

Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh, the first Hyatt hotel in the Cambodian capital and the second Hyatt hotel operating in Cambodia, has opened.

A render of a stylish bar

The 247-key property is the largest hotel from a global brand in the city and is located in the heart of the cultural and business district of Doun Penh.

Conceived by award-winning Singapore-based SCDA Architects and leading Thailand-based PIA Interior, the hotel’s stylish interiors reflect Cambodia’s unique history, seamlessly blending Khmer architectural accents with French colonial influences alongside specially commissioned artworks by contemporary Cambodian artist, FONKi.

As guests pull into the hotel’s driveway, they are greeted with a welcoming centerpiece, a beautiful French heritage building flanked by frangipani trees. Originally built as a Colonial villa in the early 20th century, the carefully restored lemon-coloured Colonial House with wooden shutters, arched doorways and terracotta-tiled roof now serves as the hotel’s entrance, providing guests with a nostalgic arrival experience.

Behind the Colonial House stands the newly-constructed, 14-storey main building, featuring 247 guestrooms, including 43 residential-style suites, all with hardwood floors and marble bathrooms. Starting at 30.5 square metres, the guestrooms offer modern comforts, including complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, 65” TVs, a walk-in rain shower, Staycast systems, and Hyatt Mobile Entry technology for keyless entry.

A render of a modern guestroom in the Hyatt Hotel

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Distinct Khmer touches are found throughout the rooms, including an intricately carved headboard depicting Bayon Temple, one of the most celebrated temples at Angkor. The 1,087-square-foot (101-square-meter) Royal Suite features two ensuite bedrooms, a walk-in closet, separate living and dining areas and floor-to-ceiling views of the city.

Guests staying on the 10th floor can access the Regency Club Lounge where they can enjoy dedicated check-in and check-out services, daily breakfast, evening hors d’oeuvres, and complimentary drinks alongside panoramic city views with indoor or outdoor seating.\

The hotel is home to four dining venues, including Market Café Restaurant & Lounge, an all-day dining venue inside a light-filled atrium serving breakfast, afternoon tea and à-la-carte options, Metropole Underground, an early 20th century metro-themed bar offering live music and local beers and an old-world speakeasy-style bar tucked away in the Colonial House called The Attic, which specialises in handcrafted cocktails and grand cru wines. Spanning the rooftop, FiveFive Rooftop Restaurant & Bar is set to become the city’s social hotspot where guests will be treated to locally sourced meats and sustainable seafood, an array of signature cocktails.

In addition, a wide range of recreational facilities are located on the third floor, including the 22-metre outdoor infinity pool surrounded by lush greenery, a poolside bar, a Himalayan salt room and a steam room. The 24-hour gym is equipped with a cardio zone, strength zone, and free weights. Personal trainers are on hand to offer one-on-one sessions for guests.

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Headshot of Daniel Fryer and image of a lobby

Is it really ‘in with the new’ for the hospitality industry?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Is it really ‘in with the new’ for the hospitality industry?

“Out with the old and in with the new,” but what do you do in hospitality, when what’s about to come looks exactly the same as what’s just gone? Luckily, we have hear from psychotherapist, expert speaker and author Daniel Fryer to help hospitality through…

Headshot of Daniel Fryer and image of a lobby

It’s that time of year where we all wish one another ‘Happy New Year’ and we keep on wishing it until we can safely say we’ve wished it to everyone we wanted and needed to wish it to. This usually ends around late February, or early March at the latest.

This year, however, many people are expressing their new year greetings tinged with concern and trepidation as the pandemic tosses up the cards! Some people even wince when they say it. And with good reason. Covid-19 has not gone away. In fact it’s mutated. In many places it’s spiralling out of control again. Vaccines are here but are being rolled out too slowly. Local restrictions are being updated weekly and, in some cases, even daily. Advice changes regularly. England has just gone into another full lockdown. All this uncertainty is hard to swallow and makes life difficult to deal with. That goes double for the hospitality industry and 2021, just like it its predecessor, is keeping both individuals, businesses and brands on the back foot.

This is not nice and it’s not good for anyone’s bottom line. It can even adversely affect your mental health. But only if you let it. Life is how it is; and things are how they are.

You can blow those things out of proportion and make them worse than they are or keep a sense of perspective and see them exactly as they are. You can take 2021 on the chin, or you can crumble and fall apart in the face of it.

After all, we’ve had worse years, right? I mean, historically speaking. And we survived those.

As with most things in life, history teaches us a lot. Ancient wisdom tells us a lot about how to live today. Mindfulness and mindfulness-based therapies, for instance, turned to Buddhism for content. Whilst cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and rational emotive behaviour therapy (REBT) turned to Stoic philosophy.

REBT says that it’s not the events in life that disturb you, but what you tell yourselves about those events that disturbs you and it based that nugget of wisdom on the teachings of a specific Greek Stoic philosopher called Epictetus.

Stoic philosophy was born out of a challenging period in history, where pillaging and plundering were rife. It was perfectly normal to go to sleep easy, only to wake with your house on fire, and your family sold into slavery.

And so the Stoics asked a very important question: “What can we tell ourselves that will keep us reasonably sane as we deal with these daily challenges?”

As a famous saying goes, “pain is inevitable, but suffering is not.” Trying to function normally during a pandemic is a pain. Wearing a facemask is a pain. Lockdowns are a pain. Trying to keep your business afloat is a massive pain. But it does not mean you have to suffer these pains. It does not mean you have to fall victim to what Shakespeare called the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

The Stoics believed that all human beings suffered because they were always trying to control the uncontrollable. And yet, very little in our lives is under our control. Realising this is a good thing. No, really, it is.

What if you just gave up your notions of control? I don’t mean completely. I don’t mean everything. That would be chaos! But, we can contain some of our concerns and let others go completely. We could create two circles within our minds (or on paper), one within the other. We can call the outer circle a circle of concern. And, in it we can place all the things that worry us, but that we have no influence over whatsoever. And then we can resolve to worry about them no more. This will free up some very valuable mind space. Space for us to focus on the inner circle, which we can call the circle of influence. In this we can place all the things that worry us, but which we can exert an influence over. Things we can control to some degree or other. And then we can resolve to focus our attentions there.

I didn’t make these circles up by the way. This exercise is a valuable psychotherapy and coaching tool. It features in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven R Covey.

Just think of it. Everything inside those circles is important to you but, you free up some very valuable mental real estate but focusing only on those things you have control over. All of your reasonable worries, all your plans, and all your resolutions can be targeted solely on the circle of influence, rather than the wider, unwieldy and unmanageable circle of concern.

How helpful would that be?

This brings to mind (or to my mind at least) The Serenity Prayer, which was written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr in 1932. It typically goes like this: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Wise words indeed

The prayer spread rapidly and was even adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step programmes. You can use words and concepts such as life, the universe, or the inner self if there are no gods that you worship.

It’s a great mantra for modern living; it echoes what those Stoics were on about all those years ago and, more importantly, as we move further into 2021, it’s an excellent maxim not only for peace of mind but also for strategic planning.

And so, for this new year, on a personal and professional level, instead of wishing you every health and happiness, I wish to mitigate your suffering. I wish you the serenity to accept those life conditions that you cannot currently or ever change, I wish you the strength and courage to focus your energies on only those things you can change and, above all else, I wish you the wisdom to know the difference.

Main image credit: Unsplash/Katarzyna Urbanek/Daniel Fryer

A Grohe logo

GROHE celebrates trio of international sustainability success

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GROHE celebrates trio of international sustainability success

Bathroom brand GROHE has been named one of the “50 Sustainability & Climate Leaders” and has also become double winner at the German Sustainability Awards 2021 as sustainability continues to fuel the brand’s growth…

A Grohe logo

As part of its global initiative, bathroom brand GROHE is driving sustainability based on the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. ”We at GROHE have a doer mentality: We don’t talk too much, we basically implement,” is how Thomas Fuhr, Leader Fittings LIXIL International and Co-CEO Grohe AG, describes how sustainability is implemented and translated into concrete action at GROHE in a documentary.

The short film is part of the global sustainability and climate protection initiative “50 Sustainability & Climate Leaders”, for which GROHE was elected along with 49 other international companies. As pioneers in their respective industries, the companies portrayed demonstrate how they are actively committed to a sustainable future grounded in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)1 of the United Nations and, in doing so, inspire others to follow their example.

The GROHE brand also uses milestones from its 20-year commitment to sustainability to illustrate the innovative approaches to making sustainability the core of its business activities and how it views this transformation as an economic opportunity. GROHE’s considerable and effective contributions to sustainability along the entire value chain and its product offerings that allow consumers to live sustainably were also recently acknowledged by the jury of the German Sustainability Award, by honouring the brand in the transformation field “Resources” as well as its water system GROHE Blue in the category “Design”.

SAVE THE DATE: On February 9, Hotel Designs will join GROHE to host the brand’s next CPD session.

“Showing appreciation for our efforts by awarding us one of the most important sustainability prizes in Europe honours us to a high degree,” says Fuhr. “At GROHE, everything revolves around the most valuable and, simultaneously, scarcest resource: water. Acting in a way that saves resources and minimises our ecological footprint therefore has to be a matter of course for us.”

Behind the scenes of GROHE’s sustainability management

GROHE implements sustainability across all aspects of its business; it starts with product development, in which it combines an ecological approach with enjoyment through technologies such as EcoJoy. With GROHE’s EcoJoy technology, water consumption is reduced by up to half without any compromise on performance. Meanwhile, the development centre at the Hemer site with its 160 employees continuously researches and develops new innovations and approaches in order to create even more environmentally friendly products and solutions in the future. This will enable consumers to make their everyday lives more sustainable as easily as possible. However, the focus is not only on the use of water and energy-saving products as GROHE’s manufacturing processes are also optimised with sustainability in mind too.

Since April 2020, GROHE has been one of the first leading manufacturers in the sanitary industry to produce CO2-neutral products. With recycling rates of more than 90%, the brand is approaching a circular economy. Its latest initiatives such as “Less Plastic” particularly contribute to the conservation of resources and an avoidance of waste. As many as 23.5 million plastic packaging materials have already been saved as part of this initiative – a first milestone on the way to the goal of ultimately banning all plastic materials from product packaging by March 2021. The fight against the global problem of plastic waste is also complemented by GROHE Blue. The water system, which won the German Sustainability Award Design 2021 in the category “Icons”, offers chilled, filtered and, if desired, carbonated water straight from the kitchen tap – making plastic bottles redundant.

“Even though we have achieved a great deal in recent years, we are aware that we must continue to strengthen our commitment in order to shape the future of water in a sustainable manner,” adds Thomas Fuhr. “For us, sustainability is a continuous journey that we must continue with courage. I am proud that we are doing this as a team and that each individual at GROHE is making their contribution. Only like this can we pave the way to a sustainable economy, meet global challenges and improve people’s quality of life.”

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

Main image credit: GROHE

Sneak peek: inside SLS Cancun, a “barefoot-chic tropical” hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sneak peek: inside SLS Cancun, a “barefoot-chic tropical” hotel

The new beachfront sanctuary in Cancun, which officially opens on February 1, features 45 suites, ocean views and world class design led by famed architect and designer Piero Lissoni. Hotel Designs takes a look inside…

Having designed a myriad of hotels around the world, Piero Lissoni brought his iconic design magic to Cancun to bring to life sbe’s vision of a “barefoot-chic tropical” hotel. SLS Cancun, which opens in early February, is a perfectly timed arrival as the SLS brand is one at the centre of the Ennismore and Accor merge to become the largest and fastest growing global player.

Complete with bright contemporary spaces intertwined with Italian décor, reminiscent of his hometown in Italy, the hotel shelters just 45 striking suites. From oceanside floor-to-ceiling windows with unobstructed views of the ocean and tones of deep ocean blue and vibrant turquoise to an open-floor concept lobby featuring soft, white-washed wood and light stones, Lissoni’s latest property evokes a feeling of calmness as the space connects the interior and exterior as one. 

“This hotel is like a cocktail,” Lissoni explains. “We’ve incorporated a few different ingredients: the local culture together with that of America and Europe. And we’ve bound the style of the latter to that of Mexico. So the light and the presence of art works, antiques and local craftsmanship dialogue with those of other worlds. And I think we’ve come up with a cocktail that’s particularly interesting.”

SLS Cancun guestroom render in Cancun hotel

Image credit: SLS Hotels

Guestrooms and suites are described by the hotel brand as “sparkling and shining” that promise to “take your breath away”. Each area is modern with sleek lines to compliment azure waters of the ocean that are effortlessly framed.

Meanwhile, the public areas feature a contemporary lobby bar, and to further stretch the theme of barefoot luxury, the hotel experience focus is steered towards a luxurious poolside scene, sandy beach and  the state-of-the-art fitness centre and spa.

Complimenting the overall design of the hotel, LEYNIA is an Argentinian grill, led by chef Jose Icardi, which is inspired by flavours from Japan, melding the rustic allure of open flame cooking.

The opening of SLS Cancun becomes the brand’s fifth property in North America, as the brand enters into an exciting era that will no-doubt promise thoughtful growth to further enhance the “new kind of luxury” that the brand has created.

Main image credit: SLS Hotels

A clean and luxury hotel room in Cairo

St. Regis arrives in Cairo, Egypt

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
St. Regis arrives in Cairo, Egypt

An epitome of modern Egyptian glamour, and heralded as a new beacon of luxury on the Nile, the new St Regis hotel brings exquisite design and signature service to the bustling metropolis and tourist hotspot…

A clean and luxury hotel room in Cairo

With Marriott International expected to meet its 2020 aims this year to to open 30 new luxury hotels in 2021, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts has announced the highly-anticipated opening of The St. Regis Cairo. Rising tall on the banks of the River Nile, The St. Regis Cairo is an illustrious icon weaving a powerful story of luxury in the region. Located at the North end of the Corniche, in the heart of Egypt’s bustling metropolis, the 39-story hotel offers easy access to the magnificent monuments of a city steeped in history.

“Egypt has historically been one of our key markets and strategically significant to our growth in the region,” said Satya Anand, President for Europe, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “Cairo is a storied destination that has long mesmerised the global traveller with its incredible energy offering a vibrant mix of history, culture, tradition and glamour. The St. Regis Cairo is an exciting addition to our fast-growing brand portfolio and is set to elevate Cairo’s luxury hospitality landscape with its remarkable design, uncompromising service, and exceptional culinary venues.”

Eng. Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah, CEO of Qatari Diar commented: “We are delighted to strengthen our global portfolio of hospitality developments with the opening The St. Regis Cairo. This luxury landmark will introduce higher standards of hospitality to this beautiful destination with its unparalleled levels of luxury and exceptional service – both of which the iconic St. Regis brand is renowned for.”

With its striking architecture, created by renowned architect Michael Graves, The St. Regis Cairo firmly establishes itself as a pivotal landmark in the city and beyond, carefully balancing opulence with refinement and elegance to evoke a profound sense of grandeur. Uncompromising in its decadence, the hotel is an exquisite reflection of a passionate vision that conscientiously draws on the city’s influential and storied past while confidently introducing its vibrant future.

Graceful geometric lines flow throughout the interiors, creating a repeated structural motif that quietly references the heritage of the region. Dark wood and rich textures combine with intricate embroidery, bejewelled paneling, bronze and wood carvings embellished with flashes of shimmering gold, mother of pearl inlays and imposing crystal chandeliers creating a dramatic Egyptian aesthetic with modern execution. A striking mural entitled “The Pink Sun” graces The St. Regis Bar. Staunchly modern in its execution, the mural references ancient Egypt and the birth of a modern civilisation.

The hotel’s approach to design pays particular homage to the hundreds of craftspeople who dedicated their time and handiwork to perfecting each and every detail offering a distinctly modern vision that immerses guests in moments that are simply awe-inspiring.

Main image credit: Marriott International/St Regis

The Mayfair Townhouse - Garden Suite

Checking in to The Mayfair Townhouse, London’s ‘dandiest’ hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in to The Mayfair Townhouse, London’s ‘dandiest’ hotel

“If only these walls could talk, my job would have been so much easier,” admits art curator Minda Dowling to editor Hamish Kilburn as he checks in to explore the design narrative, drawn up by Goddard Littlefair, that spectacularly and effortlessly unfolds inside The Mayfair Townhouse

The Mayfair Townhouse - Garden Suite

Following what must have been the most dramatic build-up to any hotel opening in 2020, The Mayfair Townhouse, which is made up of 15 Georgian townhouses (seven of which are Grade II listed buildings), has officially arrived in London.

Having myself teased our readers to expect a 172-key luxury lifestyle hotel unlike any other in the W1 postcode – think Oscar Wilde meets Alice in Wonderland – I was intrigued to explore how award-winning design firm Goddard Littlefair and the design team at Iconic Luxury Hotels had masterfully layered the flirtatious motif of being completely ‘dandy’ throughout the latest luxury lair to appear in Mayfair.

“One of the challenges with getting the tone of the styling right was to not overplay the themes.” – Jo Littlefair, co-founder, Goddard Littlefair.

“Determining the direction for the concept took some time as it was clear that the design could have developed into a couple of distinctly different routes,” Jo Littlefair, co-founder of Goddard Littlefair tells Hotel Designs. “We eventually reached the conclusion that we would pursue a contemporary rendering of the style of the ‘Dandy’ to befit the Georgian architecture while feeling bedded in present-day Mayfair. One of the challenges with getting the tone of the styling right was to not overplay the themes so that while the fabric of the design all serve to allude to extravagant dress sense and rich textures and colours we strove to do so in a way that the interior is still comfortable to be in, subtle in it’s story-telling and essentially doesn’t labour a concept to the extent that its charm is lost.”

Soon after walking through the main entrance to what will no-doubt be the warmest of welcomes from the front-of-house team, you have entered a different world; an adventure into the unknown where a 67-inches-tall peacock made out of no less than 25,000 Swarovski is the first indication that this hotel is going to anything but ordinary – and foot trails of a friendly fox will follow your experience from here on in, because why not?

Mayfair Townhouse peacock entrance

Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

Past the tasteful walkway towards the lift, where a delicate installation depicting gold leaves effortlessly grows on the ceiling, up five floors and along the rabbit-warren corridor, you will come to suite 519 – otherwise known as The Skyline Suite.

“The glass ceiling gives the suite a contemporary, almost James Bond moment.”

In true Goddard Littlefair style, the design and layout of the suite perfectly complements the original architecture of the rooms – it automatically feels like a home-from-home in Mayfair. “We wanted to bring an extra level to this suite,” explains Littlefair. “Put simply, we wanted to bring as much day or moonlight into the suite as possible.” 

To achieve this, the design team have installed a partially glass ceiling that sets it aside from others in the hotel. This gives the suite a contemporary, almost James Bond moment that Littlefair describes as “complementing the opulence of the suite.” This eye-catching feature encourages guests to do what few people in London are able to master: to look up! By night, to avoid distraction, the large window into the above sky can be covered by a ceiling blind, which is conveniently controlled remotely from the wall switches.

On closer inspection, one can’t help but notice the finer details: the leather handles on the drawers, sophisticated paneling throughout and brushed brass light switches, which together create a timeless and balanced feel – not pushing the themes to the point of exploitation, but instead caressing their true meanings.

In the bedroom, which is arguably the most important element within any hotel, the bed is gargantuan! Two chunky, marble-top bedside units sit beside an emperor king size, navy-blue, bed which commands the room and is complete with a plush, oversized headboard. Sleeping on a comfortable Harrison Spinks mattress, there is no compromise on luxury and guests are guaranteed a pleasant night’s sleep.

Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

Around the room, a juxtaposition is apparent in the art, which traditionally frames modern and fashionable prints of glamourous women with vibrant birds cleverly interrupting the mise en scené to present something unapologetically different. This seamless reference of nature is complimented also in the soft furnishings and, in my opinion, is further evidence of a meaningful working relationship between art curator and interior design team.

On the other side of the suite  – past the corridor which features a relaxing workstation and dressing area – is a large marble-tiled bathroom, which naturally evokes a sense of calm and features a deep freestanding bath and a separate shower enclosure. “The layout we could achieve meant we had a fabulous bathing experience with the roll top bath, double vanity and huge walk in shower,” adds Littlefair. With demands elevated around how wellness is offered within hospitality, it is reassuring to see that the design team specified high quality products, such as hansgrohe showers, AXOR fittings, Roca toilets, Geberit flush plates and Kohler his-and-hers vanity sinks.

Although the guestrooms and suites are impressive, in order to capture the full narrative of the hotel, guests need to spend time downstairs in the F&B areas. And nothing is what it first seems.

First of all, the Dandy Bar has all the ingredients to become an iconic destination bar – think Soho House but without the members’ fee (and friendlier staff). With a cocktail menu that amplifies the hotel’s brand, the area when full with guests and locals alike will very much become an extension of the design itself.

Behind the concierge desk in the lobby is a staircase that leads down to the basement, which weaves itself to more F&B areas, event spaces and the gym. Acting as a fitting backdrop for this staircase is large mural entitled: “Peacock Mural”. It displays two peacocks, feathers erect walking towards each other to embrace. The style of this piece, which is acrylic painted with faux gold leaf and varnished on canvas, embraces the Aesthetic Movement. This era, which lasted from 1860 – 1900, aimed to escape the ugliness and materialism of the Industrial Age, by focusing instead on producing art that was beautiful rather than having a deeper meaning – ‘Art for Art’s sake’.

In the basement, the Club Room is where breakfast is served. Impressively, despite being located on the lower ground, the design team have masterfully made this space light and bright with subtle nods to the hotel’s sense of place, such as a mural in the function room entitled ‘Green Park’, which through wedgewood, three-dimensional style reflects an idealised image of Green Park and includes characters from the hotel. It is here where the hotel’s art narrative really comes into its own.

With an endless stream of inspiration from all centuries that the design team could have captured, in a bid to challenge convention in a meaningful way, the decision was made to create their own narrative.“Usually the brief for hotel artwork is to appeal to as many people as possible, to be inoffensive as well as relating to relate to the location and the design concept,” adds Littlefair. “Luckily the developers and Iconic Luxury Hotels, as a hotel brand, were much more open to interesting suggestions and, through working with art consultant Minda Dowling, had the courage of their conviction to pursue a significant amount of portraiture.”

Meet the fictious Renard/Reynolds family, who were cloth and silk merchants in La Rochelle, France, and fled to London in 1688; they were amongst the wealthier Huguenot refugees as Jean Renard had sold all his stock for gold, prior to embarking for England.

In the Club Room, the complex characters of the family are referenced around the walls, such as the ‘Butterfly Hunter’ and ‘Twins’, among others.

Littlefair explains: “For me, I think the art demonstrates that the Mayfair Townhouse accepts that, as human beings, we’re all capable of being imperfect sometimes and this hotel celebrates those fabulous moments that transpire because of that very spirit of adventure.”

Quick-fire Q&A with the designer

Hamish Kilburn: If you could go for dinner with one of the Fictious Renard/Reynolds Family, who would it be with?

Jo Littlefair: I’d have to say the mother, Mum’s know everything don’t they?

HK: What is your favourite cocktail on the menu?

JL: Earl of Mayfair

HK: What will you remember most about this project?

JL: Guarding the Swarovski peacock from builders as we were deciding it’s final positioning in the hotel lobby.

HK: Describe the hotel in a sentence or less?

JL: This is a hotel brimming with personality and stories to tell, it has a glamorous beating heart in the Dandy bar with sumptuous, residential bedrooms that are a real sanctuary in the heart of Mayfair

HK: Favourite piece of art in the hotel?

JL: I love the hand painted mural of the gold peacock, it’s just exquisite.

Images of foxes in The Den at The Mayfair Townhouse

Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

Also in the basement are several break-off meeting and private dining booths, one of which is named the Oscar Wilde, Oscar’s Study, in which the design cleverly blends together two prominent themes of the hotel: the true definition of dandy and the fox. On the wall, an interpretation of a fragment of a well-known painting of Oscar Wilde reclined on a sofa, which focuses on his jacket, reflects luxury and the laid-back attitude of the smart dandy. Meanwhile, a chandelier by Moooi is (whether it is intentional or not, I do not know) references fox-proof, mesh fencing.

A mesh-like chandelier inside The Mayfair Townhouse

Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

It’s one thing for a hotel to open in Oscar Wilde’s pre-Soho territory, but it is another thing entirely to focus a hotel’s theme, In Wilde’s old scandalous stomping ground, around Mayfair’s perhaps forgotten characters.

Checking out feeling, well, quite rather dandy, with a spring in my step, I feel as if I have discovered a completely unique London jewel – one that nods to all eras of this iconic neighbourhood. With its own quirky and bushy-tailed attitude, please join me in welcoming The Mayfair Townhouse to its new bachelor quarters.

Main image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

A thermal room in a cave-like environment

Industry inside: bespoke thermal cabin design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Industry inside: bespoke thermal cabin design

When designing a hotel spa, the benefits of a thermal suite go beyond providing guests with a great pre- and post-treatment relaxation, explains Beverley Bayes, director, Sparcstudio

As well as providing a relaxation touchpoint in the guest experience, a thermal suite also provides great health benefits for the spa user (particularly for the lungs in the case of a salt steam room).

A thermal room in a cave-like environment

Hotels around the world are renowned for their thermal suites. Gone are the days when they are positioned at the end of a corridor, in a subterranean enclosed space, hidden behind a door.

In the past few years, the team at Sparcstudio have quietly revolutionised thermal cabin design in the UK by offering a bespoke, tailored and individual approach for each project, resulting in some stunning designs.

A part of the studio’s design of The Spa at South Lodge, the organic panoramic sauna cabin is a much photographed little ‘jewel in the crown’ of the spa. The walls and ceiling were crafted from timber with a wave like design, to evoke the rolling hills of the South Downs. The floor to ceiling glass provides views out onto those downs and the surrounding spa garden and Sussex countryside .

The team took this one step further, designing two large panoramic saunas looking across the Hertfordshire countryside at the Spa at Cottonmill at Sopwell House.

Spa at Cottonmill at Sopwell House

Image credit: Spa at Cottonmill at Sopwell House

These offer panoramic views to the rest of the spa and landscape beyond. The intention is to connect the guest with nature and create a true sense of place, for example, the team developed a sauna on stilts high above the forest at Aqua Sana Spa, Sherwood Forest.

Beverley Bayes, Director, Sparcstudio says: “When designing a thermal suite, we think it’s vital to create bespoke cabin designs that are unique to the spa, we also place deliberate focus on bringing the outside in with slot windows, or large heatproof floor to ceiling glass walls providing views onto gardens or onto the pool, creating a unique sense of space.”

More recently Sparcstudio developed the Forest Cavern Steam Room at Aqua Sana Spa Longleat Forest, replicating a cave hidden deep within a forest, (the region around the site is known for its caves). Neil Fairplay, Director, Sparcstudio says: “From the outset, we imagined a double-height cave environment where part of the ceiling had collapsed, allowing natural light, trailing foliage and rain water to flood in, it’s hard not to be wowed by this experience”

From the initial client brief, Sparcstudio is mindful of the importance of the thermal suite and the team works to maximise the area designated for the spa, with clever use of space planning. The team develops the concept and design (including lighting, bespoke materials, ceiling profile and special features). They work closely with suppliers such as Halo, Dale Sauna and Rigo to create the perfect thermal area for the client. This non-standard approach pushes the boundaries in terms of materials used and final result.

Sparcstudio is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image caption: Forest Cavern Steam Room at Aqua Sana Spa Longleat Forest

Render of Hotel Indigo Nottingham

IHG to launch a landmark duel-branded hotel in Nottingham

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IHG to launch a landmark duel-branded hotel in Nottingham

Hotel operator IHG has signed terms with development group Conygar to bring two of its world-renowned brands, Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites, to Nottingham…

In December of 2020, a planning application for phase 1B proposing a 17-storey landmark hotel in Nottingham was submitted.

Render of Hotel Indigo Nottingham

It is now confirmed that the multi-million-pound scheme will include a new hotel, which will be managed by IHG and developed local development group Conygar, in order to create new home for both the Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites brands.

The duel-branded hotel, with architecture and interior design led by Jestico + Whiles, will comprise 223 guestrooms and suites – 155 located within Hotel Indigo and a further 68 aimed at multi-night business and leisure travellers in the Staybridge Suites, which will include a range of amenities such as a full kitchen and dedicated shared outdoor space exclusively for Staybridge Suites guests.

They form part of the latest stage of the development, which will include a further 247 residential rental apartments and an extensive food and beverage area featuring a stunning bar and busy 100-metre long forum for people to meet. There will also be 3,000 sqm of flexible serviced office space, with some 400 desks.

Image caption: An example lounge area from a Staybridge Suites in Dundee | Image credit: IHG

The hotel is the city’s first of its size in nearly two decades, forming part of a landmark tall building.

Karan Khanna, Managing Director, UK & Ireland at IHG said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Conygar to bring the leading global brands of Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites to Nottingham as an important part of the regeneration of the Island Quarter. These new properties will add to IHG’s presence in the city, sitting alongside our existing Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels. As we begin 2021 these new hotel signings show the confidence that owners and investors have in IHG and our potential for continued growth for when travel can finally resume.”

The brand has said that guests will experience the “same quality of design” as in IHG’s recently opened Hotel Indigo in Bath and dual-branded Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites in Dundee, as well as the mixed-use elements of its recent IHG dual-branded Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express in Warsaw, Poland.

Inspired by ‘the neighbourhood story’ of the city, Hotel Indigo will take design cues from the local area and its bar and restaurant will offer locally sourced ingredients to customers. Meanwhile, the Staybridge Suites will feature a 24-hour fitness room, storage lockers for guests wishing to store items between stays and a communal ‘outdoor living room’ complete with firepit, grilling areas and covered seating. All the suites allow people to enjoy a flexible space to relax, play and work.

“The Island Quarter is one of the most significant city centre regeneration schemes in the UK at the moment, and it was vital that the hotel brand which we brought to the development was reflective of that,” said Richard Watson of Conygar. “We are absolutely delighted to have agreed terms with the team at IHG to bring its Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites brands to Nottingham.

“This is a very important step for us as we move this development forwards and securing a hugely successful global operator in IHG shows real confidence in the flagship element of the scheme as a whole. These two brands are world-renowned as upscale and quality hotels, which really play a part in the communities in which they are based.

“The hotel forms a key element of this latest phase, which is truly cohesive, creating a range and fluidity of uses that will spread across the whole site. The Island Quarter is a development that Nottingham can be proud of and bringing brands of this calibre to the city plays an important part in that.”

Main image credit: IHG

A modern bathroom that is half tiled in green

Surface trend: chevron-shaped tiles add new design layer

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Surface trend: chevron-shaped tiles add new design layer

As the editorial team at Hotel Designs takes a peek at CTD Architectural Tiles’ newly launched Lloyd Collection of tiles, they notice a new trend emerging, which is transforming walls to create a deeper texture in interior design…

A modern bathroom that is half tiled in green

Bringing walls and tiles to life through colour and pattern, the new Lloyd collection from CTD Architectural Tiles is guaranteed to add a statement to residential, commercial and hospitality projects. Providing a decorative ornate finish, the chevron shape and pattern of the tiles provides specifiers and designers with the freedom to be creative and invigorate spaces in a sophisticated and elegant manner. A versatile product, the flared reliefs and fluted profiles provide an additional standout feature, setting it apart from other chevron ranges.

A leather sofa in front of a zig-zag wall tiles in blue, grey and white.

While you’re here, why not read about the Niza Collection by CTD Architectural Tiles?

Available in a 55 x 195 x 8mm format, Lloyd is a glazed ceramic collection that comes in seven on-trend colourways – from deep navy to refreshing greige. Presented in a glazed gloss finish, the White colourway is also available in a matte finish. Whether acting as the backdrop to merchandise in a retail setting, or creating a feature wall in a hotel lobby, this visually striking collection will inject personality and character to the interiors of a wide range of projects.

Part of the Saint-Gobain family, CTD Architectural Tiles specialises in the supply of high quality ceramic tile finishes and tiling solutions across all sectors in the UK commercial specification market. With clients in a variety of sectors including the leisure, retail, hospitality industries, CTD Architectural Tiles is committed to bringing customers the latest innovations in product and in service. With unparalleled expertise and technical knowledge, the team works with industry leading, innovative manufacturers to offer a complete portfolio of ceramic and porcelain tile ranges to suit the architect, interior designer, developer and specification professional.

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

Main image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

Hypnos issues a message of reassurance for hospitality

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hypnos issues a message of reassurance for hospitality

Bed manufacturer Hypnos puts planning and communication front and centre with its hospitality partners…

Hospitality businesses are currently operating in a new landscape, as they adapt to overcome the unique set of challenges that the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have thrown at them, coupled with more cautious guests.

However, one thing that remains universal is the need for high-quality and environmentally friendly products and trusted brands with hassle-free service experiences, either as part of a refurbishment project or the opening of a brand-new property.

Barry Owen-Smith, Area Sales Manager at Hypnos Contract Beds (HCB) outlines the benefits of the historic British bed manufacturer and its specialist hospitality team working closely with and supporting the industry as many of its partners, big and small, face a difficult landscape.

“2020 was extremely challenging for all our hospitality partners, whether international hotel chains, independent boutique hotels or serviced apartments – not only in the UK but across Europe and the rest of the world. However, we’re continuing to work even closer than ever before with these brands and their interior design and procurement teams to understand their challenges and help them move forwards.

“There can be no hiding from the fact that both the practical needs of the hospitality guest and the mindset which they have at the point of purchase has significantly changed from where it was this time last year. Guests are looking for even more reassurance from their hospitality accommodation provider but the core need at the heart of the industry is providing supreme comfort and a memorable night’s sleep. Indeed, it’s one of the few things that has remained consistent when it comes to guest satisfaction.

“Hospitality accommodation providers, whether operating a boutique hotel with 40 bed rooms or an up-scale international branded hotel with 400 bed rooms, all need to manage refurbishments and new bed installations in a seamless and efficient way – both in terms of cost, safety, timings and logistics.

“We know that there are a range of issues facing every hospitality business when they tackle large scale renovations or refurbishments and need to kit out bed rooms and suites. Lots of these centres around: cost, design specifications, staggered delivery, health & safety during installation & disposal and keeping disruption to guests to an absolute minimum – all of which can be managed with prior planning and detailed preparation.

“Providing a bespoke yet structured project plan and solution is key to ensuring that any of our hospitality partners is able to receive exactly what they’re looking for and with complete satisfaction. At the heart of this is two-way communication, regardless of the size or complexity of the product and service solution. Hypnos has a step-by-step process to manage this and seeks to be part of their team – from initial enquiry right through to product aftercare.”

Hypnos’ eight step sleep plan:

  • An individual project manager is allocated, who then works with the brand to pull together a detailed set of requirements for the job including products, sizing, design influences. This is used to create a timeline and schedule of delivery with a programme of all costs
  • HCB then produces a bespoke design specification encompassing the likes of headboards, mattresses, divans with hidden underbeds, zip and link beds, sofa beds and whatever else is required
  • Importantly, as cashflow can be an issue for hospitality businesses at this time, an alternative finance agreement such as leasing over the life of the bedroom can be made available, enabling HCB to provide relief to its partners
  • HCB works with the partner brand to agree a sleep system covering a choice of comfort, with all products conforming to Crib 5 Fire Retardancy Standards. All of this is then backed up with a five-year quality guarantee to ensure absolute peace of mind
  • The project manager works in partnership with the site personnel to create a meticulously planned logistics and delivery plan for the provision, taking into account all safety and efficiency elements to ensure installation and old bed disposal with minimal disruption to guests
  • Providing an end of life solution for old beds is crucial for the sustainability of the industry and HCB takes old products away to secure waste transfer sites, so 100% can avoid landfill and be recycled back into materials that add value and benefits to other industries
  • Hypnos does not stop at product delivery, as there are a range of essential extras that can provide an added layer of sustainable sleep comfort, such as pillows, mattress protector’s and toppers. HCB works with the partner on any additional provisions needed to enhance the sleep experience of guests
  • Finally, HCB works in partnership with clients once the provision is completed in order to constantly provide sleep support – whether that’s with the addition of sofa beds, new bedding, upgrades for superior suites or from a marketing perspective in terms of sharing their brand and sustainability story with guests

Owen-Smith said: “Whether it’s with smaller boutique hotels or large hotel chains, we’ve seen similar trends emerge across our partner portfolio.  There is an increased level of consideration going into the configuration of rooms and how these are set out in terms of social distance, with people often staying in these rooms with family or friends within their ‘bubble’. Therefore, hospitality accommodation providers are needing to manage higher occupancy with space saving pull out underbeds and sofa beds.”

As restoring confidence in the hygiene and safety of their properties is of the utmost importance, hospitality providers should be actively involving their suppliers and installers in the process, creating proactive and robust new measures to meet and go above and beyond both government and industry guidelines for health and safety.

Owen-Smith continues: “We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from clients who appreciate the lengths we’ve gone to, particularly in terms of provision of Personal Protective Equipment for delivery teams. For instance, our team will arrive wearing face and shoe coverings as well as protective outerwear, which has been very well received by our hospitality partners. As well as this, our team has received training in social distancing and contactless interaction and this is something which could be a long-term impact of the pandemic on our practices moving forwards.”

“Whilst our processes have of course been adapted slightly due to the pandemic with further risk assessments needed for example, the foundations of our process – communication and co-operation – have become even more pertinent.

“As we look to the future and the evolving landscape of the hospitality industry, we look forward to continuing to adapt to be able to support our partners in the most sustainable and long-lasting way.”

Hypnos 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: Hypnos

Render of Infinity Pool at Mango House in The Seychelles

Hottest hotel openings anticipated for 2021 (Q1 & Q2)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hottest hotel openings anticipated for 2021 (Q1 & Q2)

Concussed from 2020, Hotel Designs is kicking off the year with positivity; shining its editorial spotlight on the hotel openings that will take hospitality worldwide to new heights. In our first of two series we take a look at Q1 & Q2’s VIP arrivals. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Render of Infinity Pool at Mango House in The Seychelles

Despite the pandemic, which temporarily brought hospitality to its knees last year, hotel construction remained strong following the prediction that the demand to travel will return in 2021. So, with that sprinkle of positivity, it’s time for us to address which hotels our editorial team believe will cause the most disruption on the international hotel design scene this year.

Moxy Austin – opening January, 2021

A clean modern guestroom

Image credit: Moxy Hotels

Following an announcement that referenced Moxy’s arrival in the Middle East, the Marriott International’s contemporary brand is slated to open a 158-key hotel in Austin, Texas, which has been designed by HKS.

The hotel is situated on the western edge of the University of Texas campus. Sited prominently on an abandoned corner lot along Guadalupe Street, referred to as “The Drag” by locals, the project is an important part of the area’s revitalisation. The massing takes its cues from the external arrival sequence – both vehicular and pedestrian – and echoes the efficient internal programming. Materials are selected based on the local Hill Country vernacular with a base of masonry and reclaimed wood at the ground floor dress the public zones, while metal panels of weathering steel wrap the guest room levels above. The masonry and wood provide a tactile experience down low, resist the abrasion and abuse expected with heavy traffic, and are representative of the community use at the ground level. The metal panels above provide a natural, ever-evolving quality. The weathering steel changes over time, symbolic of the travellers who come and go at the hotel, evolving in how they experience the building from the start of stay until the end.

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Curio Collection by Hilton  – opening January 2021

A render of a hotel room inside the Virgin Hotels property with views of The Strip of Las Vegas

Image credit: Virgin Hotels

With casinos slowly reopening in the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas is about to become the home of Virgin Hotels’ latest hotel under the Hilton by Curio Collection brand. Sheltering a staggering 1,500 rooms with no less than 12 dining venues and a 60,000 square-foot casino, the hotel is is preparing to arrive in style to ‘sin city’.

There are whispers that the Virgin Hotels, which currently operates four hotels in the USA with a further 10 properties in the pipeline, is gearing up to enter new destinations with a purpose to expand with an international portfolio – watch this space!

Nobu Residences Toronto – opening January, 2021

Conceived by award-winning architect Stephen Teeple, Nobu Residences Toronto will embody the Nobu spirit in both design and attitude.

Designated as a heritage site, the base of Nobu Residences Toronto will retain the classic brick façade of the original Pilkington Glass Factory and Art Deco elements from the early 1900s. Rising above it will be two striking towers: distinctive, modern, unforgettable. Both towers will be home to exclusive residences anchored by Toronto’s flagship Nobu Restaurant, with a signature Nobu Hotel at the top of the West Tower.

NoMad London – opening February, 2021

Located metres from Covent Garden, NoMad London will take residence inside the historic, grade II-listed building famously known as The Bow Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station. Designed by New York-based interior design studio Roman and Williams, the transformation of the storied 19th century building draws inspiration from its history and location in Covent Garden, as well as exploring the artistic and cultural connection between London and New York.

AC Hotel Maui Wailea (Hawaii) – opening February, 2021

AC Hotel in Maui render of pool bar

Image credit: AC Hotels/Marriott International

Perfectly placed and featuring two white sand beaches, AC by Marriott Maui Wailea offers scenic views of South Maui. 110-key hotel will shelter a ‘stylish comfort’ and will be complete with an infinity pool and a restaurant serving European cuisine, among other amenities.

W Nashville – opening in February, 2021

In true W style, ready to cause disruption to conventional hotel design and hospitality, W Nashville is set to take the stage in the heart of The Gulch. “Striking the music city chord,” the hotel is expected to open with curated local tunes, garden-to-glass cocktails and welcoming communal spaces. “Expect the unexpected” is how the brand is teasing this special 346-key arrival, with a high-energy urban experience paired with our Whatever / Whenever® approach to hospitality and Southern comfort you can expect in downtown Nashville.

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley – opening in March, 2021

Located in the charming community of Calistoga, the next addition to the diverse Four Seasons California Collection will include wine country’s first Four Seasons resort with an on-site winery and vineyard, in partnership with Thomas Rivers Brown. Featuring 85 luxurious accommodations designed by Erin Martin, two outdoor pools, and a distinctive wellness-focused spa concept, Spa Talisa, the property will also introduce the highly anticipated TRUSS Restaurant and Bar led by Michelin starred Chef Erik Anderson.

NoCo London – opening Q1, 2021

The wait is over! Three years since plans were unveiled for the new budget lifestyle hotel arriving in London, NoCo London is about to makes it debut. NoCo hotels, established by Enismore, is described as “a collection created with clued up travellers and inquisitive locals in mind.” Promised to be “never overpriced, never underwhelming,” NoCo arrives in the capital to prove that budget doesn’t have to be boring. We can’t wait to check in!

Mango House, Seychelles, LXR Hotels and Resorts – opening in Q1, 2021

Render of infinity pool in LXR hotel in the Seychelles

Image credit: LXR

As travellers seek solitude in remote places away from the crowds, Indian Ocean destinations will remain firmly at the top of travel bucket-lists. Originally built as a family dwelling, Mango House Seychelles features 41 immaculately designed guest rooms in a remote and private location. Set to open early 2021, the exclusive resort will give guests breath-taking views of the Indian Ocean and is the perfect spot to explore Mahé’s white sandy beaches and kaleidoscope of flora and fauna. With sustainable travel now topping the agenda for large numbers of guests, the Seychelles offers a year-round holiday sanctuary for the world’s most discerning travellers.

NoCo hotels is a collection created with clued up travellers and inquisitive locals in mind. Never overpriced, never underwhelming, NoCo sets out to prove that budget doesn’t have to be boring.

Since you’re here, why not read more about how astronauts and designers are working to create a hotel in space?

Six Senses Ibiza – opening Q2, 2021

The Six Senses hotel Pool in Ibiza

Image credit: Six Senses

With the aim to “dance to the beat of a new mantra,” Six Senses Ibiza will shelter a transformative wellness experience designed to nourish the body, mind and soul. The tranquil northern tip of Ibiza on crystalline Cala Xarraca Bay, with unobstructed westerly sunset views, is the inspiring setting for the new hotel, which will feature. The 134 guest accommodations include townhouses, pool suites and beach cave units set on a 25-acre (10-hectare).

St. Regis Bermuda Resort & Residences – opening Q2, 2021

Establishing image of the St Regis hotel in Bermuda

Image credit: St. Regis

An exquisite Atlantic debut, the St. Regis brand is about the arrive in Bermuda. Once completed, St Regis Bermuda Resort, with has been developed by Hotelco and designed by OBMI Design, is said to become the most exclusive and luxurious development on the island.

Main image credit: LXR

A collage of interior design shots inside The Bull Inn in Totnes

Case study: designing the bathrooms in the UK’s ‘most sustainable hotel’

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: designing the bathrooms in the UK’s ‘most sustainable hotel’

Award-winning sustainable hotel, The Bull Inn, Totnes, which Hotel Designs reviewed recently, specified Bette shower trays and baths…

The Times and The Sunday Times’ Eco Hotel of the Year 2020, The Bull Inn, Totnes, selected Bette to provide shower trays and baths that fit with its focus on sustainability.

A collage of interior design shots inside The Bull Inn in Totnes

The hotel is the fourth brainchild of Geetie Singh-Watson, who opened the world’s first certified organic pub in 1998. She worked with Devon-based architect, Jackie Gillespie of Gillespie Yunnie Architects, to ensure that every aspect of the hotel is sustainable. This includes the pastel-coloured plaster walls, organic linens, innovative heating system and bathrooms.

“I particularly like the low profile and solid feel of the BetteSupra shower trays, and the fact that they come with adjustable frames.” – Jackie Gillespie, founder of Gillespie Yunnie Architects.

The stylish bathrooms feature white brick tiles with accents of muted gold. Each has either a shower, with Bette glazed titanium-steel BetteSupra shower tray or a comfortable double ended BetteStarlet bath, perfect for a relaxing soak. All the shower trays and the baths feature Bette’s almost invisible anti-slip surface, Anti-Slip Pro.

“We used Bette shower trays and baths because they combine high quality and lasting looks with sustainability, as they are made from natural materials and are recyclable,” commented architect Jackie Gillespie. “I particularly like the low profile and solid feel of the BetteSupra shower trays, and the fact that they come with adjustable frames. I have used the shower trays and baths on many projects and like the double-ended symmetry and comfort of the BetteStarlet bath, with central waste. It’s also extremely useful that both the shower trays and baths come in such a wide range of sizes, so we were able to select the right sizes for the rooms, including 1200 x 900mm shower trays in the majority of the bathrooms.”

Owner, Geetie Singh-Watson added: “We are committed to a philosophy of Doing Business Better, which drives us to really examine the best way to do things; to scrutinise our habits and our ways of being and buying. It was really important to me that we didn’t have plastic baths or shower trays and I believe that, if we always looked at the end of life of a product when we buy it, we would change the impact on the planet. The Bette products are not only 100% recyclable but will last for many years.”

Bette baths, shower trays and basins come with a thirty year warranty, are easy to clean and available in over 400 colours, including gloss and matt finishes. Made from natural raw materials, they are completely recyclable and verified to the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) as per ISO 14025 and to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

Since you’re here, why not read our review of The Bull Inn, Totnes?

Bette 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: The Bull Inn, Totnes

A close up of the Azzero Collection by Heathfield & Co

Heathfield & Co collaborates with Harris & Harris to create Azzero Collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Heathfield & Co collaborates with Harris & Harris to create Azzero Collection

Heathfield & Co’s lighting range with conscious design studio Harris & Harris centres on innovative use of materials, crafted with expertise and precision…

The Azzero Collection by Heathfield & Co in collaboration with Harris & Harris range’s aesthetic is underpinned by the prominent use of terrazzo stone; a material with a rich design heritage.

A close up of the Azzero Collection by Heathfield & Co

Presented in a black and white speckled finish, the terrazzo is paired with Rich Gold metalwork in a minimal form, and Opal white glass capsules, which provide a soft ambient glow.

With a minimal and sophisticated form, the Azzero table lamp (right) features a two-tone cylindrical base. The vertical stem leads to a deeply ribbed centre body which holds two delicately lit outward facing opal glass capsules. An extension of the table lamp design, the Azzero floor lamp (bottom) features a large rounded base in speckled black and white terrazzo stone. The Azzero desk lamp (left) is defined by its angular stem and intersecting ribbed metal cowl, making it an elegant addition to any home office or working space.

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Image credit: Heathfield & Co

Heathfield & Co is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Heathfield & Co