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Architecture

TRENDS: Eco-friendly design ideas for the hotel bathroom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
TRENDS: Eco-friendly design ideas for the hotel bathroom

In the wake of protests in London, designers and architects have responded by becoming more conscious in their design decisions recently. Crosswater explains some of the benefits of an eco-friendly hotel bathroom…

Large or compact, traditional or modern, boutique or luxury, hotel bathroom design has become increasingly influenced by eco-conscious product innovations, in particular around the efficient output of water.

The hotel bathroom space is constantly evolving and guests and designers are looking for more than just basic fixtures and fittings. From rainfall showers, high-tech digital valves and multi-outlet systems that include the likes of body jets, dual-function shower flows and additional handsets, each of these products require hotel bathrooms to work harder than ever and use more energy to run.

In the current day and age, as energy is depleted at an increasingly alarming rate, it is more important than ever to find eco-friendly alternatives in hotel bathroom design that incorporate both water-saving and energy-saving features – designed to minimise the impact of the hotel industry on the environment. Although much of the waste is caused by bad habits, installing and maintaining water-saving bathroom fixtures is an enormously important step.

When it comes to specifying eco-friendly designs, Crosswater advises hotel designers to opt for products that are WRAS approved, as it is a calculable way to guarantee that bathroom suites will not only be saving water but also utilising it in the most efficient way possible.  These regulations require water fittings, such as valves and taps that do not cause waste, misuse, undue consumption or contamination of the water supply. Crosswater is dedicated to ensuring all of its products are as environmentally friendly as possible and over 200 of its products already proudly wear the WRAS badge of approval.

Designs such as the Neopearl shower flow regulators are the ideal option for hotels looking to make the next eco-friendly step. With amazing water-saving capacity, the functional regulator reduces water consumption to a maximum level whilst the unique flow regulator technology keeps the flow rate constant across the pressure and can be inserted directly into most fixed showerheads, handsets or basin monoblocs.

Eco-friendly toilets are also becoming an increasingly popular option as an easy and immediate way to save water in many hotels across the UK and globally. Installing eco-friendly   WCs   will   assist   in   conserving   natural resources as well as being environmentally friendly. The Crosswater Kai collection conforms to – and exceeds – required British and European quality, performance, sustainability and water saving regulations. The Kai WCs consume 33% less water by using the latest flush systems making them incredibly environmentally friendly.

The design of Crosswater’s Wild Rimless WC also makes for a fantastically economical option; the stunning collection of pure Italian designs are each expertly crafted with an innovative rimless bowl that is complemented alongside superior, tried-and-tested flush technology to ensure the very best in hygiene function, whilst reducing water consumption with an eco-friendly half or full flush. Featuring dual flush technology, it provides the option to regulate how much water is used, which helps to save even more water by simply adjusting the larger flush to the reduced water volume setting.

With hotel bathrooms continuously developing and improving their technology, it can be difficult to monitor the high volume of water used within bathrooms by guests. Installing rimless WC models can be a great way of avoiding water wastage and the rimless model is cleverly designed to get more flushing power out of less water. Additionally there are many other small ways to reduce environmental impact in hotel bathrooms.

Décor elements made of recycled material can assist in making bathroom spaces more eco-friendly as well as opting for taps and showers with aerators. The aerator is expertly designed to reduce the overall water flow by using pressure from air. It is also advised to swap bulbs with LED lights, this will help to save energy, and illuminated mirrors can also be used as a great alternative source of bathroom lighting. Crosswater’s Revive LED Illuminated Mirror is a highly innovative design that makes for a fantastic alternative to big lighting fixtures that consume far greater amounts of energy. In a hotel environment, this can be a great opportunity to create the option of mood lighting too.

In summary, there are many ways to transform hotel bathrooms to take a more eco-friendly approach. From recycling to using less energy, every little improvement adds up to change the world for the better.

Main image credit: Crosswater

INTERACTIVE REVIEW: Oddfellows On The Park

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INTERACTIVE REVIEW: Oddfellows On The Park

Located on the fringes of Manchester, Oddfellows On The Park is quirky, timeless and in its own admission ‘a little bit odd’. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes about the hotel that was designed to be disobedient…

By the looks of Manchester’s hotel development pipeline, creativity in British interior design and architecture is not limited to London. Despite Brexit uncertainty, this year alone, 835 new guestrooms will be introduced into the industrial city – with a further 11 more hotels slated to open between 2020 and 2021.

The booming hotel design scene in the northern metropolis has resulted in more interest around the outskirts of the city, and it is here – less than 10 miles from the Manchester’s Piccadilly – where Oddfellows Hotels’ latest property is situated.

A lamp shining from the head of a life-sized model of a horse and a chandelier made from bicycle chains hanging above the check-in desk is the first indication that Oddfellows On The Park doesn’t like to play by the rules. Tasked with the aim to stylishly go against the grain was design firm SpaceInvader, which is dedicated to creating spaces which fulfill their true potential, while unlocking the power to enhance human behaviour.

Opened in 2017, the hotel is sheltered within an 1861 traditional Victorian Gothic building, which was named Bruntwood Hall. The shell of the now 22-key boutique hotel was designed originally by an industrialist, John Douglas, who was inspired by a Scottish home; the original ceilings in The Stud Room Bar are testimony to this with subtle thistle design. Today, the iconic structure stands in plain sight, nestled within endless playing parks which feature archery, a golf course, and even a BMX cycling track – hence the cycling chain chandelier in the lobby.

In its history, Bruntwood Hall has served many purposes – from being a town hall during the war to becoming home to a film company and fashion designer. Now, though, for the first time in its winding narrative, the building has been redecorated, reconfigured and reborn to welcome guests into a luxury boutique hotel like no other.

Katie Edgar who heads up hospitality at SpaceInvaders led the design throughout the project. She and her design team conducted thorough research into the history of the building, the location and the inhabitants of Bruntwood Hall, in order to understand how to thoughtfully reference the building’s past. “The approach focused on respecting the character and beautiful features of Bruntwood Hall,” explains Edger. “We were inspired by them, and wanted to enhance them to design a romantic scheme that celebrates the history of the building and its unique position.”

Image credit: ACT Studios

In addition to sympathetically restoring the building’s original features, the design firm worked with architect Tim Groom, in order to incorporate elements of innovative and playful design that has become a signature of Oddfellows Hotels. “The aim was to create a space that allows guests to lose themselves in their surroundings and feel that the Hall is theirs for the weekend,” adds Edgar.

“Original 1860s encaustic floor tiles were uncovered in the reception area and revived to their former glory.”

The public areas arguably give the most significant nod to the building’s heritage. While Edgar and her team were restoring the building as part of its transformation, original 1860s encaustic floor tiles were uncovered in the reception area and revived to their former glory.

The Stud Bar, which is sheltered adjacent to the lobby area, is a small and intimate space dominated by the original statement ceiling complete with beautiful Jacobean-style decorative plasterwork. “The furniture here has been based around complementing, rather than competing with the overhead design,” said Edger. Comfortable high back chairs, and a soft approach to seating encourage guests to enjoy both the view out to the parkland and the historical building features.

Meanwhile, the corridors that are staggered over three levels feature an array of abstract art, creating fun and creative moments throughout guests’ journey to their rooms and suites. Just like the corridors, the guestrooms and suites are layered with texture and each have their own personality. The Tower Suite, for example, is a two-tiered design gem that adorns contemporary finishes such as playful wallcoverings and portraits hung with human bodies and animal heads.

The bathrooms in all 22 rooms and suites have been designed by Utopia Projects, which specified all of the sanitaryware for seven different room types and the spa facilities for the hotel. “Having worked with these designers before, and therefore having an idea of what they like, made this hotel a dream to spec,” said project consultant, Stuart Adamson. ” It’s truly genius how the designers have maintained the buildings country style but modernised it with complimentary elements like the hexagonal mirrors and tiles, although our favourite piece has to be the roll-topped, freestanding baths we supplied completely in white.”

Image credit: ACT Studio

On the top floor, the suites compliment the natural architecture of the building, featuring wooden beams and, with high ceilings, compliment natural arch shape of the roofing. The guestrooms feature over-scaled carpet designs, which are a stylish riff on the decorative plasterwork.

In a nod to the building’s Scottish heritage, the design team included thoughtful elements throughout, including new tartan upholstery, wools and tweeds, and original decorative thistles that are on display. “Heritage colours were specifically chosen to accent walls throughout the bedrooms and public spaces,” explains Edger. “Muted shades of greens, blues, purples and blacks were considered room by room and provide a back drop to conversational artwork and decorative lighting.”

The use of taxidermy would have been expected in the interior of the building’s previous iterations. And so to layer this sensitively within interior scheme was important, but as with everything in the hotel’s design, the use of taxidermy was anything by ordinary. “In a twist on this concept, we included elements such as bike handlebars mounted on elaborate wall plates,” explains Edger. “These have been utilised to provide another link to the activities that can be enjoyed within the building’s surrounding 100 acres of parkland.”

The Pigsty is the hotel’s premium spa that sits in a separate building adjacent to the rest of the hotel. Fittingly, the intimate salon features its own mudroom as well as two treatment rooms and has an engaging atmosphere within the social salon quarter.

Now managed by Bespoke Hotels, the UK’s largest independent hotel group that also owns Hotel Gotham, checking in to Oddfellows On The Park is a journey that celebrates oddities in spectacular fashion. With the combination of amplifying a unique style and through clever marketing to promote it, the Oddfellows Brand is taking its place in the northern hotel charts and it continues to push the boundaries of modern hotel design.

Main image credit: ACT Studios

DESIGN CONCEPT: Hotel of 2119 imagined by Hilton

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
DESIGN CONCEPT: Hotel of 2119 imagined by Hilton

To celebrate the hotel group’s 100th anniversary, Hilton has just unveiled what it believes will be the hotel in 100 years from now…

Intergalactic getaways, fast-food nutrient pills, two to three hour working days and adaptable, personalised rooms that can transport guests everywhere from jungles to mountain ranges; in celebration of its 100th anniversaryHilton predicts the future trends set to dominate the travel and hospitality industry in the next 100 years.

In a report supported by expert insight from the fields of sustainability, innovation, design, human relations and nutrition, findings reveal how the growing sophistication of technology and climate change will impact the hotel industry in the future.

Key predictions for the hotel of the future include:

Personalisation is King

  • Technology will allow every space, fitting and furnishing to continuously update to respond to an individual’s real-time needs – the Lobby will conjure up anything from a tranquil spa to a buzzy bar, giving every guest the perfect, personal welcome
  • From temperature and lighting, to entertainment and beyond, microchips under the skin will enable us to wirelessly control the setting around us based on what we need, whenever we need it

The Human Touch

  • In a world filled with Artificial Intelligence, human contact and the personal touch will be more critical and sought after than ever
  • Technology will free up time for hotel staff to focus on what matters most: helping guests to connect with one another and building memorable moments

‘Sustainable Everything’ – The Role of Responsibility

  • Only businesses that are inherently responsible will survive the next century
  • Sustainability will be baked into everything about a hotel’s design – from weather-proofed domes, to buildings made from ocean-dredged plastic
  • Hotels will act as the Town Hall of any community, managing local resources and contributing to the areas they serve with community-tended insect farms and vertical hydroponic crop gardens

Menu Surprises and Personalisation

  • Our diets will include more plant-based recipes and some suprising sources of protein – Beetle Bolognese, Plankton Pies and Seaweed Green Velvet Cake will be menu staples!
  • Decadent 3D-printed dinners and room service will provide unrivalled plate personalisation
  • Chefs will be provided with biometric data for each guest, automatically creating meals based on preferences and nutritional requirements

Futuristic Fitness and Digital Detoxes

  • Outswim a virtual sea turtle in the pool, or challenge yourself to climb the digital face of Mount Everest, your exercise routine will be as unique as you are. What’s more, exercise energy generated from workouts will be used to power the hotel, providing a zero-impact, circular system. Guests could even earn rewards based on reaching workout targets
  • Pick up where you left off with trackable workouts and holographic personal trainers
  • Offline will be the new luxury as we seek to find moments of tech-free time

“100 years from now hotels will have to create opportunities to converse, collaborate and connect, delivering moments that matter, individually, to each and every guest.” – Gerd Leonhard.

“Since its inception in 1919, Hilton has pioneered the hospitality industry, introducing first-to-market concepts such as air-conditioning and in-room televisions. Last year, Hilton also became the first hospitality company to set science-based targets to reduce its environmental impact,” commented Simon Vincent, EVP and President, EMEA, Hilton. “We enter our second century with the same commitment to innovation, harnessing the power of our people and technology to respond to guest demands. Our research paints an exciting future for the hospitality industry, highlighting the growing importance of human interaction in an increasingly tech-centric world.”

Futurologist Gerd Leonhard said: “In 2119 we will still be searching for unique experiences, but they will be more personalised than ever. As technology shapes our lives we will seek out moments of offline connection with others, including hotel team members who will help us truly get what we need from our stays. 100 years from now hotels will have to create opportunities to converse, collaborate and connect, delivering moments that matter, individually, to each and every guest.”

The report launches following major announcements regarding Hilton’s growth plans, including debuts among its lifestyle brands in destinations such as Africa, the Caribbean, Asia Pacific and France.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

SPOTLIGHT ON: Laura Ashley, from homes to hotels

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPOTLIGHT ON: Laura Ashley, from homes to hotels

One strategic acquisition at a time, Laura Ashley Hotels is injecting quintessentially British charm into the hospitality industry. As Hotel Designs continues to put Hotel Groups under the spotlight, editor Hamish Kilburn speaks to commercial designer Kay Cullen and head of brand Nimo Abdi about the company’s growing hotel portfolio…

The year was 1953 and celebration was in the air. Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in Westminster Abbey while Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing became the first climbers confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest.

In the same year, one lady and her husband launched a design and textiles company, Laura Ashley, in the Pimlico area of London. Using silk screens, the pair started printing placemats and scarves on their kitchen table. By 1984, the company that we all know and love today’s sales grossed $130 million.

In 2013, the company followed in the footsteps of many residential designers, by entering the commercial market. The British textiles company opened its first hotel and today, 66 years after the company was founded and having won the hearts of more than 300 million hearts around the world all searching for authentic quintessentially British designs, the brand has its sights on expanding its presence within the hospitality industry with a unique platform. “The fact that we already have a brand has been a significant advantage,” explains brand manager Nimo Abdi. “Our customers are brand loyal and that has encouraged us to invest further by acquiring hotels as well as launching the Laura Ashley Tearooms.”

As guests check in to a Laura Ashley Hotel, they are welcomed in a true-to-the-brand home-from-home setting – and location seems to be at the heart of every strategic acquisition. “Obviously we do want to create that ‘wow’ factor,” explains commercial designer Kay Cullen. “But our main ethos is in the heritage. I take a lot of inspiration from the original building and try to take that from an initial concept right into where you end up.”

Image credit: Laura Ashley Hotels

The Belsfield Hotel in The Lake District is an example of blending new with old. “It’s an amazing Victorian building,” says Cullen. “It’s set right out there on the lake, and while a lot of inspiration was taken from that, it also had beautiful Italian ornate architecture that we wanted to enhance throughout.”

The hotel’s timeless architecture has been accentuated with the addition of a conservatory-like structure adding natural light and making the public areas look and feel bright, open and modern. “When we got there, everything was faced inwards, which was ridiculous,” explains Cullen. “We used Laura Ashley products that felt authentic and replicated how the building’s interiors would have looked but with a touch of modernity.”

Due to the often-hefty demands of modern-day operators and developers, most guestrooms and suites within international hotel design are imagined with the aim for them to be timeless – or as timeless as possible. Upstairs in Laura Ashley Hotels, however the guestrooms and suites are decorated with the season’s latest products, creating a ‘living showroom’ concept. “We have a design department that comes up with the main six-monthly seasons of products that we have,” explains Cullen. “I then work with that palate to understand and decide what goes into the hotels.”

The most recently completed hotel within the Laura Ashley Hotel portfolio is the conversion of the 66-key The Chace Hotel in Coventry. “It’s a building that’s hard not to fall in love with,” adds Cullen. “It’s got amazing William windows, original fireplaces. For us, it’s about bringing it back to life, which is part of my job that I love.”

Image credit: Laura Ashley Hotels

Laura Ashley’s love of creating beautiful spaces within the home has been well and truly extended to the hotel environment. Its current portfolio includes just one hote, The Belsfield Hotel in the Lake District. The Chace in Coventry and Burnham Beeches are currently on the boards, slated to open this year, with more hotels yet to be announced.

The future for the group’s footprint in the hotel design scene is now very much secure in looking for new unique buildings that with the help of its design team, they can turn into truly unmatched, British-themed hotels.

Hotel Designs becomes media partner for designjunction

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs becomes media partner for designjunction

Hotel Designs has become a media partner for designjunction, which this year takes place in and around London’s King’s Cross between September 19 – 22… 

Hotel Designs has announced that it will continue its long-standing media partnership this year for designjunction. The four-day exhibition will present more than 200 international design brands across multiple King’s Cross locations surrounding the striking UAL Central Saint Martin’s building.

Presenting the latest in cutting-edge design each year during the London Design Festival, designjunction is described as London’s leading contemporary interior design show, facilitating connections between architects, interior designers, retailers and exhibitors. Encompassing the best in furniture, lighting, jewellery and home accessories, the event is a place for industry leaders to gather with the widest variety of influential and international designers.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be returning to this vibrant, connected part of London, and to once again be working closely with King’s Cross,” said designjunction’s Director, Mark Gordon in an earlier press release. “Coal Drops Yard has opened since we were last at this location, so there’s a whole new experience we can offer our visitors. This is an incredibly exciting year for designjunction and our return gives us the opportunity to continue working with the best designers in the industry to create fantastic installations.”

For eight years running, designjunction has attracted thousands of architects, interior designers, specifiers, retailers, buyers and consumers to its show doors. Each year its exhibitors make lasting connections with influential figures in the design industry, designed to create partnerships that are made to last.

Hotel Designs will be on the ground throughout London Design Festival with ‘LIVE FROM LDF’ capturing all the news from the exhibition as it happens.

Main image credit: designjunction

W London Leicester Square unveils tech-based renovation

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
W London Leicester Square unveils tech-based renovation

Sheltering the result of fashion designer Jack Irving’s debut interior design collaboration, W london Leicester Square has unveiled its new tech-savvy guestrooms and suites… 

W London – Leicester Square has unveiled a multi-million-pound transformation of all 192 guestrooms and suites. W’s quirky, glamourous and decadent look has been super-charged with the help of architecture firm Concrete, designer firm Krause Architects and fashion designer Jack Irving.

Furthermore, W London has partnered with fashion visionary and dynamic artist, Jack Irving, to create a one-of-a-kind ‘techorative’ pillow, along with a range of immersive in-room experiences.

“W Hotels has consistently been at the forefront of innovation – reinventing and rewriting the rules of hospitality wherever the W sign lands,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President of Luxury Brands – Europe, Marriott International. “The transformation of W London – Leicester Square merges the latest technologies in hospitality and the music industry with boundarybreaking design, offering our guests the ultimate experience in-room, in our newly renovated public spaces, as well as connecting them with what’s new/next in this dynamic city.”

“Upon entry, music and lighting greet the guest to offer a truly immersive and memorable stay.”

Much like its guests, every room at W London is unique. Ever the rebel, the hotel is the first in the UK to embrace the full DigiValet technology – one of the most advanced tablet-based systems in the industry which allows each guest to be in control of their stay right from check in. Upon entry, music and lighting greet the guest to offer a truly immersive and memorable stay. All settings are adjustable and customisable to the guest’s preference and mood, whether getting pumped up for the night ahead or beginning to unwind before the next day’s meeting.

A user-friendly tablet controls the in-room temperature, lighting and media, including personal streaming services, at the touch of a button, while also showcasing a taste of the freshest beats being made and played across the city. W London has teamed up with Kobalt, a music tech company, to curate playlists showcasing London’s coolest up-and-coming artists, including W London’s own Music Curator, DJ/producer Olivia Dawn. Global music-lovers can tune in to hear what’s playing in real time at any of the 55 W Hotels worldwide through advanced music technology by Soundtrackyourbrand. The tablet also gives guests insider access to what’s new and next in London with an ever-evolving calendar of happenings including the hotel’s music programming and the latest dining and entertainment suggestions across the city.

Each of the property’s 192 rooms, including 28 suites, has had a bold makeover. Designed by renowned architects, Concrete, and kitted out by Krause Design, the rooms have benefitted from structural upgrades along with daring new feature walls, refreshed avant-garde furniture and atmospheric lighting. Sleek white details, photo-friendly mirrored walls, and party-starting disco balls complete the provocative new look. This renovation completes the hotel’s full transformation, following the redesign of the hotel’s bar and lounge, The Perception at W London, in 2017 and makeover of the hotel’s luxurious oasis, the AWAY Spa, in 2018.

“Over the years, our guests have made it clear that they want innovation, as well as both fashion and function, from their hotel room,” said Martijn Mulder, General Manager of W London –
Leicester Square. “The new room design is just that- substance, as well as that inimitable W style. We offer the latest tech available today in the hospitality industry for guests to easily control and personalise their stay, from mood lighting to music, in-room dining and entertainment.”

“When set with the task, I took inspiration from Soho’s creative energy and W London’s irreverent attitude.”

To amplify the re-imagined guest experience, W London has teamed up with daring fashion fantasist, Jack Irving, to create a limited-edition pillow collection. Best known for his eyecatching designs injected with a shot of engineered technology, Irving has dressed the likes of global superstar Lady Gaga. Taking inspiration straight from the catwalk and remixing it with the bold attitude of W London, the spiked pillows, available in every guestroom, appear muted to the naked eye until they are brought to life through the click of a camera flash. Through the lens, the smart fabric transforms into an iridescent masterpiece.

Image caption/credit: The spiked pillows, designed by fashion designer to the stars, Jack Irving,  appears muted to the naked eye until they are brought to life through the click of a camera flash. Through the lens, the smart fabric transforms into an iridescent masterpiece making it truly instagrammable/W Hotels

“It’s amazing to be working with W London for my first interiors collaboration, as the hotel’s unmistakable bold identity is a perfect match for my avant-garde designs,” said Jack Irving. “When set with the task, I took inspiration from Soho’s creative energy and W London’s irreverent attitude, to create a unique statement piece that unites the hotel fabulous new room design and upgraded functionality.”

The limited-edition pillow by Jack Irving and new Mini Mega Bar will be available to experience in all 28 suites from mid-June and will be rolled out to all guestrooms later this summer.

Main image credit: W Hotels

Four Seasons Resort Nevis enters final phase of sustainable renovations

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Four Seasons Resort Nevis enters final phase of sustainable renovations

TAL Design Studios’ two-year reimagining of Caribbean luxury sheltered within Four Seasons Resort Nevis is slated to complete by Q4 of this year.. 

Situated on the undisturbed shores of a Caribbean island like no other, where regulations state that no building should be taller than a palm tree, Four Seasons Resort Nevis has officially commenced the final chapter of its multi-phase enhancement project.

The two-year enhancement plan, which has already seen the launch of re-envisioned guestrooms and suites, an updated look for the Great House lobby and the opening of new food and beverage outlets, EsQuilina and crowned monkey RUM BAR, is expected to be completed this autumn.

“We are excited to bring the entire resort enhancement full circle to fulfill our vision of a luxury Caribbean playground” – Gonzalo Güelman Ros, General Manager.

The latest chapter of renovations will include the redesign of the resort’s main signature pool, construction of a new restaurant concept – On the Dune – that extends out on to the sand and the unveiling of additional improved spaces around the property for guests to enjoy a variety of new experiences and amenities.

Raw luxurious dining experience in shack-like structure

Image credit: Four Seasons Resorts

“These new areas will continue to evoke the fresh take on a timeless Caribbean experience that we began rolling out in 2018,” says Gonzalo Güelman Ros, the Resort’s General Manager. “We are excited to bring the entire resort enhancement full circle to fulfill our vision of a luxury Caribbean playground, offering infinite perfect places in one perfect paradise.”

The resort’s signature pool will be completely reconstructed and raised to create one long sight line from the Great House lobby straight out to the Caribbean Sea horizon. Surrounded by lush new landscaping, the 3,300 square foot infinity edge pool will be the centerpiece of the resort, featuring 86 new loungers and four luxury pool cabanas fully-equipped with comfortable seating and furnishings, wi-fi connectivity and power. The pool’s 5,350 square foot hardwood deck will be made from fully-sustainable US grown resources, highlighted by a new feature fire pit that will be installed to the west of the pool, towards the beach.

Render of beach and pool

Image credit: Four Seasons Resorts

“The traditional Caribbean-style structure will utilise many natural materials”

Replacing the existing Cabana restaurant, On the Dune will be a 7,300 square-foot outdoor restaurant with 138 covers and additional capacity at the bar. The traditional Caribbean-style structure will utilise many natural materials, including heavy timber construction and, as much possible, sustainably-sourced resources.

The final stages of the redesign will sensitively enhance the island’s luxury offerings, while further rooting the destination as a place where love, harmony and its soulful spirit is ever-present. With 189 spacious rooms and suites and more than 50 luxurious villas, the resort has been delivering authentic Caribbean hospitality for more than 28 years.

The design chapter continues…

Main image credit: Four Seasons Resorts

Nature and citizenM’s typical design meet at in citizenM Kuala Lumpur

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Nature and citizenM’s typical design meet at in citizenM Kuala Lumpur

Design and architecture firm concrete has completed the design of citizenM Kuala Lumpur Bukit Bintang…

Design and architecture firm concrete, which joined editor Hamish Kilburn on stage in May at the Independent Hotel Show, has unveiled the design story of its latest completed project, citizenM Kuala Lumpur Bukit Bintang.

The architecture firm, which stands at the cradle of every citizenM, designed the interior of the hotel and redesigned the architecture in typical citizenM style while being inspired by local nature and art.

Located in Bukit Bintang, a lively area in the centre of Kuala Lumpur that is characterised by many restaurants, shops and Jalan Alor street just 100 metres away from the hotel, citizenM opens the door to the epicentre of Kuala Lumpur for food, fashion and entertainment. The car-free street, with open-air restaurants and terraces on both sides, is mainly visited by locals and known for their food and a great spot to get to know the local culture and atmosphere.

“Only the construction of the building has been preserved, both the façade and the entire interior have been newly designed and built.”

The existing building of the former Sky hotel has been stripped completely and has been rebuilt as a 210-key citizenM. Only the construction of the building has been preserved, both the façade and the entire interior have been newly designed and built. The first floor was removed to increase height, light and air in the lobby on the ground floor and the therefore created void now hosts societyM and meeting rooms.

The ground floor houses the disruptive check-in kiosks, iconic citizenM living rooms with a tribute to the city by local artists Azizi Latiff en Afiq Faris, canteenM for 24/7 food and beverages and collectionM, a one-of-a-kind retail shop. The internally located rooms have a view on the courtyard, which brings daylight in the rooms and the centre of the building. Just like in the lobby on the ground floor, structural beams characterize the space and protrude through the large space. Large planters and green hanging plants give the space atmosphere and create privacy for the guestrooms.

Dog accessory used as a bookstop

Image credit: CitizenM

Eye-catching moments within the hotel’s design include a colorful painted art ceiling in the lobby, which presents the colors and lush nature that Malaysia is known for. A colorful patchwork conceals the parking garage located in the façade and makes citizenM visible on street level.

CitizenM launched in 2008 at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The brand, which now welcomes guests in 10 different country’s “to a new kind of hotel” now has 13 properties around the globe within its growing portfolio, with plans to unveil a hotel in Zurich soon.

Main image credit: CitizenM

 

Meet Up North 2019: Less than 3 weeks to go, Manchester!

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Meet Up North 2019: Less than 3 weeks to go, Manchester!

Calling all designers, architects and hoteliers: There are less than three weeks until Hotel Designs’ premium northern networking event, Meet Up North 2019, comes to Manchester… 

With less than three weeks until Hotel Designs heads back up to Manchester for Meet Up North 2019, time to purchase your delegate tickets is running out. The event, which takes place on July 1 at Hotel Gotham’s Club Brass, will welcome the leading suppliers, designers, architects and hoteliers for the brand’s premium northern networking event.

Following the success of Meet Up London in March, Meet Up North is designed to further bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers will this year carrying the theme of ‘Creativity Outside the Capital’, following the recent headings highlighting Manchester’s unique position in the industry as a hotel design hotspot.

The highly anticipated event will include an insightful talk and presentation by Tom Lindblom, Principal and Hospitality Leader at Gensler (London), which will be entitled Hospitality is way more than hotels.’

Image credit: Hotel Gotham

The hand-chosen venue for the event, which in a few years will become the older and wiser sibling of the brand’s latest hotel that is on boards, The Brooklyn, has been an epicentre of the city’s action since it opened in 2015. The general manager of the hotel and brand, Mario Ovsenjak, and the owner, Robin Sheppard, were both listed in The Brit List 2018 as being among the top hoteliers in the country. Located on the rooftop, Club Brass will transform on July 1 from a private members’ bar  into a premium networking evening for designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers alike – and here’s how you can get your hands on a ticket.

Designer, architect and hotelier tickets: £20 + VAT
If you are a designer, architect or hoteliers to the industry and would like to attend Meet Up North 2019, click here.

Grecotel Group embarks on 42 million euro expansion plan

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Grecotel Group embarks on 42 million euro expansion plan

Grecotel Group’s expansion plans begin with the opening of  Casa Marron in the Peloponnese, and will include the renovation and expansion of five other luxury hotel complexes…

Greece’s largest luxury hotel chain, Grecotel Group, has implemented a 42 million euro business plan that begins with the unveiling of Casa Marron, which has been transformed into the ultimate destination, changing the game for summer holidays.

Grecotel’s renovated “third generation” hotel complex, combines modernity with the classic Mediterranean style, and takes inspiration from local architecture, both traditional and contemporary with exquisite exotic embellishment. The design displays the high aesthetics of the complex, whilst highlighting the beauty of Greek nature. Casa Marron borrows its name from the colour of the fertile Peloponnesian land contrasted against the blue waters of the Ionian Sea.

“We have invested in creating a special resort in one of the most enchanting places and favourite destinations throughout the Peloponnese,” said Mr. Vasilis Minadakis, Grecotel’s General Manager. “The radical renovation of the well-known Lakopetra Beach, brings together bohemian ambience and magical scenery.”

Image credit: Grecotel Hotels

On the golden beach of Lakopetra, in an area of ​​80,000 sq.m, set against a unique landscape surrounded by exotic palm trees, olive trees and colourful gardens complete with impressive swimming pools, Casa Marron is upgraded to a top tier choice for your summer holiday, harmoniously combining safety and freedom for the whole family.

The 172 guestrooms and suites in the main building and the 92 spacious bungalows with two bedrooms, terraces and private gardens with outdoor shower allow Grecotel guests to connect with nature and take in unobstructed views of the vibrant gardens. Here, indoors becomes one with the outdoors, creating a distinct zen aura.

After 45 years of dynamic presence in the country, Grecotel has grown to support 12 tourist destinations in Greece. Each of Grecotel’s 32 luxury hotels and resorts is a unique architectural experience and a paradise of opulent amenities, gourmet restaurants and elegant details embodying the essence of Greek hospitality.

Main image credit: Grecotel Hotels

Unbound Collection by Hyatt unveils fourth hotel in Europe

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Unbound Collection by Hyatt unveils fourth hotel in Europe

Parisi Udvar Hotel Budapest has officially joined the Unbound Collection by Hyatt, marking the brand’s fourth property in Europe…

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced the opening of Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest as part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, following major restoration and full-scale renovation. The hotel is managed by Mellow Mood Hotels. It features 110 guestrooms and is situated on Ferenciek Square, between the River Danube and the bustling city center.

Once home to Budapest’s most fashionable shops and cafés, building has continuously evolved; from the shopping destination inspired by the Parisian ‘Passages des Panoramas’ that gave the hotel its name, to Budapest’s Central Savings Bank in 1906. Today, it stands as a palatial hotel, offering a novel, story-worthy experience and sense of place in the heart of Budapest.

“The original façade, staircases and decorative tiles have been carefully preserved.”

The hotel incorporates elements from Arabic, Moorish and Gothic design, representing Hungary’s fascinating past. The original façade, staircases and decorative tiles have been carefully preserved and the guestrooms feature tailor-made, Hungarian-crafted furnishings. Entering from the street or the lobby, visitors to the hotel’s restaurants and cafes will see its original iconography, including the Central Savings Bank mascot, the honey bee. Popular points of interest near the property include the State Opera House, Chain Bridge and St. Stephen’s Basilica.

Image credit: Unbound Collection by Hyatt

“Párizs Property Kft and Mellow Mood Hotels are excited to work with The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand,” said Zuhair Awad and Sameer Hamdan, both Managing Directors at Mellow Mood Hotels. “We are very proud to open this renowned landmark building and to give it back to Budapest. We expect its rich history and stunning architecture will deliver memorable stays for the modern travelers.”

The hotel’s 110 upscale and spacious guestrooms will ensure guests have the ultimate stay. Each palatial Art Nouveau guestroom has been elegantly designed with decorations by Hungarian contemporary artist Agnes Toth, inspired by Gothic, Moorish and Oriental styles to guarantee that guests have an unconventional stay.

There are 18 luxurious suites and two Royal Residencies including the spacious Budapest Residence situated at the top of the hotel, which provides guests with stunning views of the city and a terrace to relax and watch the sunset.

Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest offers two unique dining options, each with their own style and space. The hotel’s main restaurant, the Párisi Passage Cafe & Brasserie, serves international cuisine but also local and international wines in a cosmopolitan dining area. It is made complete with an open kitchen, allowing guests to interact with the chefs in a relaxing yet lively atmosphere. The Patisserie & Café, best known for its signature dark chocolate dessert, Párisi kocka, will serve hand-crafted juices, artisan coffee and traditional Hungarian pastries. By evening it transforms into a stylish cocktail bar.

Elsewhere, four distinctive multi-functional meeting and event spaces spanning more than 3,229 square feet (300 square meters) which can accommodate up to 160 guests.  Each space is equipped with contemporary conference facilities and the latest audio-visual technology.

Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest is the fourth property to open in Europe as part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt. It joins Hôtel Martinez in Cannes, Nish Palas in Istanbul, Turkey, Hotel du Louvre in Paris and Hotel SOFIA Barcelona, in Spain.

Main image credit: Unbound Collection by Hyatt

Curio Collection by Hilton heats up the Costa del Sol

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Curio Collection by Hilton heats up the Costa del Sol

Higueron Hotel Malaga, Curio Collection by Hilton opens on the Costa del Sol following a €22 million extensive renovation…

Hotel Group Hilton has unveiled its latest Spanish property – Higueron Hotel Malaga, Curio Collection by Hilton. From the city that gave the world Picasso, the 177-key new hotel shelters Malaga’s only sustainable Michelin-starred restaurant and jaw-dropping views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Nestled behind the Montes de Malaga, the hotel is conveniently located near Malaga’s vibrant city centre. Famously known as the heart of the Costa del Sol, the city offers something for guests of all ages, with its unique art districts, pristine sandy beaches and lively nightlife.

“Malaga is one of Europe’s most popular destinations, with 12.5 million tourists flocking to its sunny shores last year,” said Simon Vincent, President, EMEA, Hilton. “With €1 in every €7 generated from travel and tourism in Spain, we are excited to expand our portfolio by 50 per cent in the next three to five years.”

Each of the hotel’s elegant guestrooms feature distinct Spanish touches, such as original lithography made with local materials. It features 24 panoramic suites which boast glass panel balconies and terraces overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, offering 360-degree views.

Boasting the largest conference centre in the region, spanning 2255m² with six intimate meeting rooms and holding up to 1,000 attendees, the hotel is the ideal backdrop for any event, from cocktail receptions to conferences and weddings.

To reflect the vibrant art scene of Malaga, the hotel features two art exhibits showcasing the best of local and international artists, including paintings from Lita Cabellut and sculptures from Francisco Leiro.

“Higueron Hotel Malaga is the latest hotspot in the beautiful Costa del Sol, offering a truly unique experience to wind down and explore everything this remarkable location has to offer,” said Mark Nogal, global head, Curio Collection by Hilton. “As we continue to expand our one-of-a-kind collection of hotels to new and exciting destinations, we are thrilled to have opened in the charming city of Malaga, offering guests and locals alike unrivalled dining, spa and meetings experiences.”

The hotel is set to add an additional 113 premium suites in 2020, bringing the total number of rooms available up to 290.

Main image credit: Curio Collection by Hilton

In Conversation With: Senior designer Kate Jarrett on Hard Rock Hotel London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Senior designer Kate Jarrett on Hard Rock Hotel London

Since becoming a Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30, Kate Jarrett, senior designer at Scott Brownrigg has completed the Hard Rock Hotel London. Sitting down with editor Hamish Kilburn, Jarrett talks job satisfaction, preferred materials and the challenges that come with being a young designer in 2019…

The early summer vibes are in full swing; the sun is out over the capital and its latest hotel, Hard Rock Hotel London, has arrived.

Upon entering, the hotel is humming with activity. Guests are soaking in the iconic memorabilia hanging on the walls, while locals gather around the bar enjoying a post-work refreshment or two.

The Lobby Bar feels like an apt place to meet Scott Brownrigg’s Kate Jarrett, the senior designer on the project, who earlier this year became a Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30. “This started with a passion for illustration, something I studied before moving to Brighton University to study Interior Architecture,” she says. “I then started as an interior designer and I haven’t looked back. I have worked across several sectors but my real passion is for hospitality design.”

“We have used drumsticks to create unique lighting over the concierge desk.” – Kate Jarrett

The completion of the new 900-key hotel, which is located a stone’s throw from Oxford Street, is the perfect stage for the designer to amplify what has become a milestone moment in her career. “We drew inspiration from the history of music and specifically instruments themselves, breaking them down in detail seeing how they have been made,” she says. “This was an unusual take on the obvious theme of ‘music’ and we never lost sight of this unique brief in our design. For example, we have used drumsticks to create unique lighting over the concierge desk.”

Drumsticks used as lighting in the hotel's lobby

Image credit: Philip Durrant

The hotel’s walls are plastered with memorabilia that reference the legacy of legends who stayed in Hard Rock Hotels in decades past, including Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross and Madonna. Balancing the history and heritage of the brand in a timeless style to avoid cliché moments was the first task for design firm Scott Brownrigg when confronting the motifs that will be sheltered in the new hotel. “We knew we had to represent the Hard Rock brand in an innovative way for the contemporary London market,” Jarrett explains. “The hotel scene here is competitive so we knew we had to create something that tied into London and Hard Rock’s music heritage, while still being completely contemporary.”

Contemporary bar

Image credit: Philip Durrant

The F&B structure at the Hard Rock Hotel London originally took its inspiration from the original art-deco style ceiling of the Lyons Corner House that original stood on the site in the early ‘90s. “Great F&B and bars are key to the success of a hotel as they offer a destination for non-hotel guests too,” explains Jarrett. “For that matter, the expectations of hotel customers on what they want from the hotel experience has also changed. They want it to feel like a home, workplace and a space to socialise; the brief is more open than it used to be.”

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

Hamish Kilburn: If budget was no object, what product would you include in a project you are currently working on?
Kate Jarrett: An incredible art collection

HK: Best thing about being a designer in London?
KJ: The constant source of inspiration

HK: Where is next on your travel bucket list?
KJ: Japan – it would be like an experiential mood board. I already have a list of places I want to visit

HK: Where was the last hotel you saw that took your breath away?
KJ: I recently visited the Beekman in New York, and it really impressed me. That central atrium is like something straight out of a 1920s novel.

HK: What does luxury mean to you?
KJ: For me it represents a space that I want to spend time in, a collection of pieces whether its furnishings, art etc. that make me feel like I can sit back and slow down.

HK: What’s the last item that will appear on your bank statement?
KJ: Most likely ASOS… or coffee, as I’m always running around at the moment!

Without a doubt, it’s her ability to let the project do the talking that has made Jarrett the designer she is today. But the challenges of being a young designer in 2019 are far deeper than simply securing projects, or belonging to a leading firm. “London has a lot to offer, however it also means that you have to shout louder, metaphorically, to get yourself heard and to stand out in the industry,” says Jarrett. “Platforms like the 30 Under 30 I find career-affirming as they enable us to get our names out there and really help to showcase the talents of young designers.”

With sustainability arguably as big a talking point as any other at the moment in interior design and trends, Jarrett is insistent, where possible, on using naturally sourced materials within her projects. “I really enjoy working with natural materials,” she says. “Specifically, I like working with the tactile qualities of natural timbers, stones and the effects achieves by a neutral palette.”

“Scott Brownrigg has been really supportive and encouraging with the projects I have worked on.” – Kate Jarrett

At the root of Jarret’s decisions and place in the market is a design firm that has incubated and supported the young designer’s creativity to ultimately develop better places to live, stay and work. “At Scott Brownrigg, we are all encouraged to enrich lives through the environments we design,” she explains. “Scott Brownrigg has been really supportive and encouraging with the projects I have worked on. As a young designer it can be hard to establish yourself in a company, but Scott Brownrigg has really been great at championing me every step of the way. We’re a friendly, social bunch so I have also make some great relationships with colleagues along the way which has really helped.”

Aside from the Hard Rock Hotel London, current projects that Jarrett is working on that on the boards are firm proof that she is anything but a one-trick pony in the race. “We are working on an exciting hotel project in Stratford,” she explains. “This area is having a surge at the moment with lots of new developments, particularly in the hospitality sector. There are also some further Hard Rock projects we are working on; it’s great to get repeat work as it means we are doing something right!”

The fresh and vibrant interiors that surround the new hotel that everyone seems to be talking about are a reflection of the designer that Jarrett is becoming, or arguably already become. Modest, calm-natured and enthusiastic, Jarrett is, in my opinion, a credit to the firm that has helped support her on her way.

Main image credit: Tash Busta Photography

Leading hoteliers and suppliers to attend Hotel Summit

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Leading hoteliers and suppliers to attend Hotel Summit

Hotel Summit, which returns this year in a new home in Heythrop Park on July 8 – 9, provides hoteliers with direct access to leading hotel suppliers… 

The latest suppliers to book on to this year’s Hotel Summit, which takes place on July 8 – 9 at Heythrop Park, include Elavon, Out of Eden, Ligne Roset, Tevalis, HCI, Phillip Jeffries and Castrads. These companies will join the likes of Mitre Linen, Airwave and Project Blinds among other leading suppliers that will benefit from the two-day premium networking event.

In addition, delegates confirmed to attend the event include the likes of Browns Hotel, Great Hotels of The World, The Gainsborough Bath Spa, The Beaumont and The Lanesborough among many others.*

The Summit, which this year celebrates its 21st anniversary, is specifically organised by Forum Events for senior professionals who are directly responsible for purchasing and procurement within their organisation, and those who provide the latest and greatest products and services within the sector.

Over just two days, the highly focused event consists of pre-arranged one-to-one business meetings, interactive seminars and valuable networking opportunities throughout.

Establishing shot of Heythrop Park

Image caption: Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire, the venue for Hotel Summit 2019

How to register 

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to meet top hotel professionals, contact Jennie Lane at j.lane@forumevents.co.uk– or click here to book your place.

If you are a hotelier and would like to attend the Summit for free, please contact Liam Cloona on l.cloona@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

*Please contact Liam Cloona for complete delegates list.

Canopy by Hilton to debut in Africa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Canopy by Hilton to debut in Africa

Hilton’s Lifestyle brand is expected to debut in Africa with an opening in Cape Town’s vibrant Longkloof precinct in 2021…

Hotel Group Hilton has announced the signing of a management agreement with Growthpoint Properties, South Africa’s largest REIT, to open a hotel under its lifestyle Canopy by Hilton brand. The 150-key Canopy by Hilton Cape Town Longkloof is expected to begin welcoming guests in 2021 and will be the brand’s debut property in Africa.

Canopy by Hilton launched in 2014 to appeal to travelers seeking locally inspired stays and wishing to immerse themselves in the culture and history of local neighbourhoods. It currently operates in nine destinations around the world with more than 35 properties in the pipeline, aiming to guarantee travelers unique and authentic experiences.

“Cape Town is one of the world’s most sought-after destinations, offering an array of attractions to suit every travel occasion,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President, Development, EMEA at Hilton. “Canopy by Hilton becomes our third brand to gain a presence in the city and we are eyeing further expansion. The decision to locate Africa’s first Canopy by Hilton here, is testament to not only the strength of the destination, but the quality of partners at Growthpoint as we seek to create a showcase interpretation of the brand to introduce to the African continent.”

Located a stone’s throw away from the city’s historical epicenter, the Company’s Garden, and will bring to life the heritage of a 112-year-old site, Longkloof Studios. The project forms part of a precinct redevelopment by Growthpoint, representing a R550m investment in the city. DHK architects will redevelop a building which began life as the premises of what was then the United Tobacco Company and subsequently served as the home of Cape Town’s Women’s Institute.

“Growthpoint is thrilled to partner with Canopy by Hilton to launch this phenomenal brand in Africa,” said Rudolf Pienaar, Chief Development and Investment Officer of Growthpoint Properties. “Our prime Longkloof redevelopment project is in a magnificent multi-faceted historic urban quarter of Cape Town and is the perfect setting for the first Canopy by Hilton branded property on the continent. Our investment in this property reflects our confidence in Cape Town as well as Hilton’s exceptional upscale lifestyle hotel brand. We believe Canopy by Hilton Cape Town Longkloof will become a South African landmark and will be supported by travellers from all over the country and the world.”

In keeping with its traditional place within the social fabric of the city, guests will be welcomed by friendly ‘Enthusiasts’ selected for their expert local knowledge and will be invited to partake in local food and drink tastings alongside the local community.

“Canopy by Hilton was created to redefine the lifestyle hotel space for travelers who want an upscale hotel to help introduce them to desirable neighborhoods around the world,” said Gary Steffen, Global Head at Canopy by Hilton. “Every detail in the design and facilities of these hotels is created with that ethos in mind and our Longkloof property will be no exception, capturing the dynamic vibe of the precinct and its reputation as a trendy hangout for Cape Town urbanites.”

Canopy by Hilton Cape Town Longkloof will be located at Long Kloof Studios, c/o Park Road and Kloof Street, Cape Town. The property will participate in the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 17 world-class brands. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, and free standard Wi-Fi.

Main image credit: Cape Town Tourism

Inside Hokkaido National Park’s latest luxury hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside Hokkaido National Park’s latest luxury hotel

Design firm Wilson Associates unveils luxury condominium-hotel in renowned Japanese ski resort…

Interior architecture and design firm Wilson Associates, which this year made it onto Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30, has unveiled the interiors of a modern hotel located in Japan’s Hokkaido National Park. The Skye Niseko ski resort shelters 100 apartments and five penthouses and is located on a picturesque mountainside with views of the surrounding landscape.

The firm was brought on board to complete the interior design of the five penthouses, lobby, corridors, spa, cafe deli and ski valet at the unique ski-in ski-out hotel.

The luxurious collection of condominiums, which officially opened earlier this year, is a blend of Alpine design and Japanese hospitality and culture. The design firm’s theme of minimalist, monochrome is filtered throughout the interior of the suites.

The privately-owned resort was designed by Australian-based Pike Withers and its shell has been conceived of as two interlocking L-shaped volumes, allowing each of the apartments and penthouses to benefit from both privacy and panoramic views.

Wilson Associates ensured the main lobby had plenty of WOW factor and guests are immediately greeted by a striking reception desk where a rough stone wall surface contrasts with the counter’s sharp and sleek metal immediately greets guests with a WOW factor.

The lighting strategy works in tandem with the bamboo lattices on the walls and slate paving on the floor to make everything in the lobby seem like it’s floating.

The penthouses are organised in arrangements of either three or four bedrooms and come complete with comfortable and cosy living and dining areas. They offer guests the ultimate in luxury and boast covered balconies and heated external spring pools overlooking the stunning landscape.

Modern spa area

Image credit: Skye Niseko Ski Resort

Meanwhile, the spa area has been sustainably designed so that its own onsen well draws mineral rich hot water from deep below the property.

The hotel describes itself on its website as: “More than just a place to stay, Skye Niseko has everything you need for your alpine getaway.”

Six Senses to arrive in Costa Rica and Iceland

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Six Senses to arrive in Costa Rica and Iceland

The hotel brand, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, that recently joined IHG has announced two significant opens in both Costa Rica (2021) and Iceland (2022)…

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has announce two of the latest projects in the group’s expanding portfolio with Six Senses Papagayo in Costa Rica – opening 2021 – and Six Senses Össurá Valley in Iceland – which will open in 2022.

Six Senses Papagayo, Costa Rica

Commonly referred to as the Switzerland of Latin America, Costa Rica boasts miles of exotic beaches, some of the most extensive rainforests in the world, majestic mountains, volcanoes, lakes and meandering topography. The Six Senses Papagayo, located on the stunning 2,300-acre Papayago Peninsula, will be a private and eco-conscious destination, offering a new adventure for discerning travellers. The hotel brand is working in partnership with the California based Canyon Group – which acquires and develops boutique ultra-luxury resorts in exciting destinations – and the Garnier Group, one of Costa Rica’s best known and most reputable development companies.

Overseeing the design of the resort is award-winning London based architect John Heah. The site stretches from the highest point on Papagayo down to the forested beachfront which will be home to 41 secluded pool villas. There will also be 31 residences available to buy, with owners benefitting from full access to the resort’s amenities

Six Senses Össurá Valley, Iceland

Surrounded by mountain range the vast Össurá Valley and Vatnajökull National Park, the 70-key Six Senses Össurá Valley is owned and is being developed by the Álfaland Hotel ehf alongside its partners; architect John Brevard, fashion entrepreneur, Áslaug Magnúsdóttir and cultural entrepreneur, Jakob Frímann Magnússon.

Built using renewable and locally-sourced materials, the hotel will adhere to high standards of energy and water efficiency the region is known for. The welcome lodge will be integrated into the surrounding environment and include a library, a cinema room, a water bar and an Earth Lab showcasing the project’s sustainability efforts.

Main image credit: IHG/Six Senses

InterContinental opens sixth hotel in France

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
InterContinental opens sixth hotel in France

The highly-anticipated opening of InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu marks the luxury brand’s sixth property in France…

Following an extensive four-year restoration, InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu has opened in one of the city’s most iconic buildings. The renovation of the Grand Hôtel-Dieu complex is, to date, the largest private transformation of a historic monument carried out in France.

Calling out for a visionary who could sensitively restore the building while blending in a sense of modernity, interior designer Jean-Philippe Nuel, who recently unveiled the design of Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese, was tasked to bring the property timelessly to life. Nuel focused on maintaining the original beauty and architecture of the building whilst offering a contemporary, understated luxury design which is rooted in the history of Lyon and the building itself.

Lyon was once the capital of the European silk industry, playing a central role in the Silk Road trade between east and west. This led to a booming local silk industry which is still an important part of the city’s culture today. The city is also famed for its floral art which was an early source of inspiration for the local silk industry – a key design theme of the hotel. Prestigious Lyonnais silk creator Verel de Belval, a subsidiary of the Hermès group, has designed custom silk prints which can be seen throughout the rooms and public areas in silk screen panels, cushions and soft furnishings.

Epona Restaurant full of gold

Image credit: InterContinental/Eric Cuvillier

These rich fabrics perfectly contrast with the original architectural features of the building, such as stone floors, plastered walls and timber ceilings. This ‘monastic yet sophisticated’ design was inspired by the historical use of the building – as the city’s hospital for more than 800 years – combined with the desire to create a destination for global travellers.

 

“InterContinental is known for transforming heritage buildings into stunning properties whilst maintaining their historic spirit, and InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu is a perfect example of that,” said Tom Rowntree, Vice President, Global Luxury Brands at IHG. “This new opening marks the sixth in the remarkable InterContinental portfolio in France which includes the likes of Carlton Cannes, Marseille – Hotel Dieu and Paris – Le Grand. Lyon is full of sophistication, culture and a rich history, making it a perfect fit for InterContinental as we pioneer in new luxury destinations worldwide.”

Executive Room River View

Image credit: InterContinental/Eric Cuviller

Le Dôme Bar is nestled in the heart of the hotel within the grand dome, one of the most breath-taking features of InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu. Originally housing a chapel, today the dome is a space where hotel guests and locals can come together under its 32m high ceiling. Originally designed by Jacques-Germain Soufflot, architect of the Pantheon in Paris, Soufflot was called away during the project and he never saw the dome finished. The dome has since been named in his honour as the ‘Soufflot Dome’.

Le Dôme bar is open for all-day drinks and light bites. Traditional, local products are a key focus for the signature cocktails and Le Dôme offers a fresh twist on the famous pink praline, a traditional Lyon confectionery, combining it with vodka, pink champagne and lemon for a unique cocktail. Club InterContinental guests will be able to enjoy views of the grand dome from the first-floor balcony of the private Club InterContinental Lounge above.

High ceilings in the authentic dining area

Image credit: InterContinental/Eric Cuviller

The hotel’s restaurant, Epona, extends along the hotel’s front façade and opens on to an interior courtyard and garden. Head Chef Mathieu Charrois will offer world-class Lyonnaise dishes with a modern twist. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the hotel’s main restaurant will be a destination in itself.

Of the 34 suites at the hotel, the 150 sqm Presidential suite is the largest suite in Lyon. It follows a similar modern luxury design, decorated in powder pink tones and elegant floral motifs. From the living room of the Presidential suite, guests can enjoy a unique view in to the grand dome, overlooking the stunning space from the suite’s own private balconies.

The most emblematic of the 144 guestrooms at the hotel are the 28 Duplex suites, which feature huge vertical windows with views on to the Rhône river, maintaining the grandeur and façade of the original building. What makes the Duplex suites unique is that guests enter from the mezzanine floor to take in the river view at first glance before heading down the stairs to the bathroom and bedroom.

InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu also boasts 1,500 m2 of flexible convention and reception halls; L’Académie. This is one of the largest conference centres in the Presqu’île (Peninsula) quarter and in Lyon city centre, offering 12 meeting rooms on four different levels, all with natural daylight.

For guests looking for relaxation, the Grand Hôtel Dieu complex is home to Le Tigre Spa, which includes a Hammam, 24-hour gym, sauna and steam room.

The opening joins the French family of InterContinental Paris – Le Grand, InterContinental Paris – Avenue Marceau, InterContinental Carlton Cannes, InterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu and InterContinental Bordeaux Le Grand Hotel.

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is the largest luxury hotel brand in the world with more than 204 InterContinental hotels open worldwide and 60 new hotels in the pipeline, set to expand the brand’s portfolio in the most sought-after destinations around the world. This year will see InterContinental Hotels & Resorts open stunning resorts in the Maldives, Hayman Island, Phuket and Beppu as well as the brand’s return to Edinburgh in the historic George Street.

Main image credit: InterContinental/Eric Cuviller

Tapestry Collection by Hilton to debut in the Caribbean

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Tapestry Collection by Hilton to debut in the Caribbean

Hilton’s latest signing of a 168-key hotel in Jamaica marks Tapestry Collection by Hilton’s debut in the Caribbean…

Hilton has announced the signing of ROK Hotel, Kingston, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, representing the brand’s debut in the Caribbean. Slated to open in 2020, the 168-key property, owned by PanJam Investment Limited, sits in a multi-purpose complex on the Kingston Waterfront and will include retail, on-site entertainment and commercial office spaces.

“Strategically focused on our expansion across the Caribbean and Latin America, we value the opportunity presented with Tapestry Collection by Hilton,” said Juan Corvinos, Vice President, development, Caribbean and Latin America, Hilton. “With Tapestry Collection, we open the door to owners with unique, upscale hotels, who seek to maintain their property’s distinctive character, but also seek the benefits of the Hilton engine and our award-winning Hilton Honors program.”

Under redevelopment to further revitalise the Kingston Waterfront, the 12-storey building originally opened in 1977 as the Oceana Hotel. Now, it is being transformed into ROK, Kingston, a contemporary hotel in Downtown Kingston, offering guests convenient access to the National Gallery of Jamaica and the historic landmark, Port Royal.

“Following a year of impressive growth since the brand’s launch, including the signing of our first two properties in Peru, we are energised by our expansion in the Caribbean and Latin America,” said Jenna Hackett, global head, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. “With its deep roots in the community, the ROK Hotel, Kingston will offer guests an authentically local experience coupled with the warm and welcoming hospitality of Jamaica.”

Enviably located on Ocean Boulevard overlooking the Kingston Harbour, the seventh largest natural harbour in the world, the property will feature an expansive pool deck on its first floor, as well as a fitness center, lounge area, restaurant, cafe and bar. ROK, Kingston will offer flexible space for meetings and events, and will also serve as an accommodation option for guests attending events at the Jamaica Conference Centre just across the street.

“The company continues to pursue additional growth opportunities in the region and currently has a robust pipeline of nearly 90 hotels throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.”

“As Hilton continues to expand its presence throughout the Caribbean, we are excited to have the opportunity to support their growth and debut the Tapestry Collection brand in the region,” said Stephen Facey, chairman and chief executive officer of PanJam. “We recognise the value in collaborating with a well-respected global hospitality company such as Hilton, particularly as we work together to introduce travelers to authentic Kingston experiences, while offering them the brand’s upscale accommodations.”

Hilton currently has a portfolio of nearly 150 hotels and resorts open to welcome travellers in the Caribbean and Latin America, including more than 20 hotels across the Caribbean. In its 100th year, the company continues to pursue additional growth opportunities in the region and currently has a robust pipeline of nearly 90 hotels throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, including two Tapestry Collection properties in Peru – Hotel Bel’Arte Lima and Hotel Museo de Osma slated to open in 2021.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

Starwood unveils new disobediently designed hotel brand

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Starwood unveils new disobediently designed hotel brand

Starwood Capital Group’s latest iconic brand, Treehouse Hotels, will debut in Q4 of 2019 with a 95-key luxury hotel in London…

Hotel visionary Barry Sternlicht, original founder of W Hotels, and Chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, has once again worked his magic to reinvent the hotel experience by launching Treehouse Hotels. Described by Sternlicht as “the little brother of the 1″, the Treehouse Hotels brand is less serious – think more torn jeans and t-shirts and infinitely accessible.

Treehouse Hotels are about freedom and each property will shelter sunny, homey, witty and fun spaces. The brand has been designed with the wondrous feeling we each had as kids climbing into a treehouse and making our own “clubhouse” rules. Inside, it’s about friendship, community and shared secrets. Inspiring, boho and nostalgic, guests will find surprisingly intimate spaces, simple toys, books, nooks, games and a bit of magic.

“Treehouse, with its truly sensational rooftop lounge and bar, will fill a void in the London marketplace which is missing a hotel that revels in the fun of it all.” – Barry Sternlicht

Like all hotels in Sternlicht’s portfolio, Treehouse will embrace sustainable protocols. “It’s all about getting back in touch with ourselves, with each other and remembering all the simple things that used to make us smile, giggle and embrace,” he explains.

Abstract art in the middle of a bare modern room

Image credit: 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Treehouse London will be the first of the brand’s portfolio to open in late 2019, with additional locations in the U.S. and beyond. “It’s really exciting to showcase our first property in one of the great travel markets in the world, London,” said Sternlicht. “I believe this Treehouse, with its truly sensational rooftop lounge and bar, will fill a void in the London marketplace which is missing a hotel that revels in the fun of it all and doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

Located directly across the street from the BBC Headquarters, Treehouse London will feature 95 guestrooms, including 15 suites, a penthouse restaurant, and the spectacular rooftop bar boasting 360-degree skyline views. The restaurant and bar will be operated by The Madera Group, an L.A.-based international hospitality group that owns and operates venues in Southern California and Arizona, including Tocaya Organica and Toca Madera.

“Partnering with industry pioneer Barry Sternlicht is an honor for us and aligns exceptionally well with our mindset of innovation and striving to raise the experience of our guests to new heights,”  said Aneil Handa, Director at Cairn Group. “Our landmark location on Regent Street will provide the perfect stage to spearhead a new type of hotel experience and we look forward to delivering the global showcase of the first Treehouse hotel in the world with our new partners Starwood Capital Group and SH Hotels & Resorts.”

Treehouse London will be open to all guests, from business and weekend travellers to locals seeking refuge from the busy streets of London. Located at 14-15 Langham Place, Marylebone, London W1B 2QS, UK, Treehouse London is scheduled to open in Late 2019.

Image credit: 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Injecting sense of place in Koh Samui beach hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Injecting sense of place in Koh Samui beach hotel

SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort, the luxury boutique beach resort on Koh Samui, briefed design firm Onion to divide the resort into two distinct parts in order to add architectural drama while creating an unforgettable sense of place.

The moon plays an integral role in Thai culture, with each phase of the lunar cycle holding deep significance. The presence of a full moon, half-moon or dark moon can dictate the timing of festivals, the schedule of planting and harvesting, and even the most auspicious dates in a person’s life.

More recently, they have provided the backdrop to the legendary full, half or dark moon beach parties of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.

SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort, the luxury boutique beach resort on Koh Samui, has divided the resort into two distinct parts – the Oceanfront/Beach Wing and Garden Wing – each of which has been exquisitely designed to reflect the changing phases of the moon.

“The Garden Wing will complete our resort, not only in terms of its rooms and facilities but through the story of its design,” said Erwin van der Veen, General Manager, SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort. “Just as the moon moves through cycles, SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort will allow guests to journey through a series of spaces which are designed to reflect the different characteristics of the full, half and dark moons. Charming, intimate and atmospheric, our new Garden Wing will provide the perfect contrast to the bright and spacious vibe of the Oceanfront/Beach Wing,”

Image caption/credit: Inside the Garden Wing/SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort

Conceived by Onion, the Thailand-based architecture and design studio, the hotel allows guests to channel the energy of the full, half or dark moons through innovative design shifts – from the openness and high energy of the full moon, through smaller half-moon spaces, and into the more intense shades of the dark moon.

Blue and white decor in treehouse-like bar and restaurant

Image caption/Credit: Treehouse restaurant and bar/SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort

While the Oceanfront / Beach Wing reflects the energy of a full moon with the circular shapes incorporated into various design elements, from the façade to the aptly named Moon Pool – the new Garden Wing offers a collection of private spaces with an ambience elevated by verdant trees and plants that add a touch of natural tranquillity. The family friendly area includes 82 rooms, pool villas & pool suites, ranging from 45 to 181 square meters in size, with state-of-the-art IPTV and audio systems, and glamourous full-size daybeds. Also included is a Tree House Restaurant and Bar, 25-metre swimming pool, the Garden Pool Bar, SALA Gym, SALA Spa with six private treatment rooms and steam room as well as SALA’s first kids’ club, which includes indoor and outdoor play areas.

Luce interiors with rustic villa furniture

Andronis Arcadia opens in Santorini

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Andronis Arcadia opens in Santorini

Offering “unrivalled luxury”, earthly Andronis Arcadia shelters 53 design-led pool suites on Santorini, Greece, all with striking vistas towards the Aegean Sea and the island’s unforgettable sunsets…

Andronis Arcadia is the latest addition to the Andronis Exclusive family of five-star hotels and villas. The hotel, which is named after the mythical home of Greek God Pan, is situated on the fringes of Oia, a place of natural harmony and pastoral enchantment.

Luce interiors with rustic villa furniture

Andronis Arcadia’s rustic and earthly-luxe interiors bring elements of nature indoors, from the succulents and plants, to local wood and materials. The Greek forged cement coating technique used throughout, has existed for centuries and creates a minimalistic look. Around 85 – 90 per cent of the furniture is handmade locally and has been constructed inside the hotel. The exterior heavily uses stones, drawing on the colours and textures of the volcano and its lava.

Close up of woven chair and a glass of white wine

Image credit: Carley Rudd Photography

The hotel has 53 suites of six categories including Eden Villa, the largest villa on the island complete with six bedrooms over three floors, plus its own spa, fitness centre, private chef and two pools. All suites have sunset and sea views plus a plunge pool, and guests additionally have access to the 450m2 infinity pool surrounded by cabanas. The suite interiors have geometrical-style design alongside square recesses on the walls, and natural fabrics throughout including linen to give the ultimate sense of light and space.

Evexia Spa is Andronis Arcadia’s Spa & Wellness Centre, developed in partnership with founder of luxury skincare brand ila, Denise Leicester, and Dr Zulia Frost, who pioneered the non-invasive hair profiling test. The largest spa on Santorini, Evexia Spa has five treatment rooms with the option for in-suite treatments.

Three restaurants and two bars occupy the space. Signature restaurant Opson spearheaded by Stefanos Kolimadis showcases dishes inspired by the tastes and ingredients of classical Greece through a several course tasting menu developed in consultation with a classical scholar. Contemporary cuisine and flavours of an ancient time are fused to bring together the best Greek food today with dishes known and loved by legendary forefathers including Aristotle, Plato and Omiros. Althea Restaurant features dazzling Mediterranean seafood as well as local dishes with ingredients grown in the Andronis gardens. Chef showcases the best flavours and produce of the Cycladic islands and wider Mediterranean. Oishii Sushi Bar uses the freshest ingredients fused with traditional Japanese techniques, serving exceptionally well presented and seasonally changing dishes.

View from the hotel terrace withColours of blue, orange, red and yellow in the sunset

Image credit: Andronis Arcadia

The sunset terrace, Senses Cocktail Bar, is a welcome return for island friends. Chic and convivial, it’s designed to be a premium Instagrammable setting. The hotel, which opens as the seventh property within the Andronis Exclusive portfolio, is said to be a game-changer on the island for style, gastronomy and understated luxury.

Canopy by Hilton arrives in Asia Pacific region

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Canopy by Hilton arrives in Asia Pacific region

Interior design firm CCD has completed the first Canopy by Hilton in Asia Pacific Region, which opens in Chengdu…

Following recent reports of there to be 500 new hotels to arrive in China by 2020, Canopy by Hilton has just debuted in Asia Pacific by opening Canopy by Hilton Chengdu City Centre, with dynamic interiors by Cheng Chung Design (CCD). The first Canopy hotel in Asia Pacific – the property is located in the city that emphasises on the experience of ‘body’, ‘heart’, ‘senses’ and ‘enlightenment’.

The concept of the hotel blends Chinese and Western charms, intertwined with old-fashioned feelings and vitality, elegant and unconventional design, bringing guests a lively Chengdu style and the comfort and warmth of home, with contemporary moments thrown in for good measure.

Art instalment depicting people having their photos taken.

Image credit: Canopy by Hilton

“The design revolves around the story of ‘the scholar goes to the city to take the imperial exam’,” explained designer Joe Cheng. “Traversing the memory corridor of the imperial city, capturing the auspicious details hidden in the green brick wall, on the street view of the market, in the peddler stall and the courtyard.” The history of the hotel has been reconstructed, while exploring and re-writing the new story of the Imperial City memory.

A row of green bamboos is in front of the drop-off area of the hotel, which forms a shadow that can different from the outside world, leaving the prosperous shackles behind, creating a leisurely temperament that calms and slows you down. The design of the door canopy derives from the elements of the arch, and the bags of the ancient scholars, using columns of the wooden strips, interspersed, and laminated to reproduce the beauty of Chinese classical architecture.

Inside, the first floor reception hall is designed as an art exhibition hall, creating a humanistic space under the artistic conception. Up to nine metres tall,  the lobby is an abstract reflection of the historical streetscape of the old imperial city. The streetscape of the past is vividly displayed in front of the guests, under the large art installation of the roof, to open a dialogue of time and space.The chair hanging in the elevator hall is a reproduction of ancient ‘Gongyuan’ scenes by modern artistic techniques. Guests are guided along the roadways (corridors), which are complete with with green bricks, grey tiles and wooden doors.

Large, open and very minimalist lobby with brings as wallcoverings.

Image credit: Canopy by Hilton

In the guestrooms and suites, Canopy’s unique brand colour, bright orange, has been applied throughout the design. The panda in front of each guestroom in different poses gives a further nod to the unique sense-of-location and injects an element of humour. Inside, each room is represented through the quaint texture and exquisite details, showing the calm and unpretentious attitude of life, build a balance in the selection, composition and colour.

Image credit: Canopy by Hilton

The design concept of the guestrooms originated from the idea of “Gong Yuan”and inspired by the film “A Chinese Ghost Story” to connect the whole design to the project. The Canopy brand classic L-shaped bedside, as well as the bedside table inspired by the actor in “A Chinese Ghost Story” Leslie Cheung’s backpack, the shower space of the rice paper laminated glass, also comes from the classic scene of the film – Leslie Cheung breaking through the doors and windows made of Xuan paper, the designer has used the modern techniques to interpret the ancient paper doors and windows, so that the whole design is closely related to the story in terms of form, image and material.

Living green wall inside the hotel - with integrated bookshelf

Image credit: Canopy by Hilton

The hotel also features a number of food and beverage options, including TC Café, the Canopy Lounge and the Leisure Bar, which features a striking floor-to-ceiling living wall with integrated bookshelf to add further to the laid-back luxury feel and tone the hotel sets.

The Canopy by Hilton brand was established in October 2014 as a lifestyle offering under Hilton hotel group. The concept of the brand is guided by ‘lifestyle’, which is dedicated in creating a localised-luxury boutique hotel, providing personalisation.

Main image credit: Canopy by Hilton

Leading designers, architects and hoteliers to attend Meet Up North 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Leading designers, architects and hoteliers to attend Meet Up North 2019

Meet Up North, which takes place on July 1 at Hotel Gotham’s Club Brass, will be attended by leading hoteliers, designers and architects…

Following the success of Meet Up London in March, Hotel Designs is weeks away from heading up to Manchester with Meet Up North. The event, which is designed to bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers will this year carrying the theme of ‘Creativity Outside the Capital’.

Directors and/or partners from the likes of Denton Corker Marshall, Gensler, AEW Architects, Fusion by Design, LDA Design Consultants, Utopia Projects and Abode Architecture are among the designers and architects that will be attending the evening networking event.

In addition, general managers from the likes of The Stock Exchange Hotel, Hotel Indigo Chester and Hotel Gotham will be among the hoteliers attending the event.

Meet Up North, which returns to Manchester for a second year following clear indications that the city continues to be a hotel development hotspot, will include an insightful talk and presentation by Tom Lindblom, Principal and Hospitality Leader at Gensler (London), which will be entitled Hospitality is way more than hotels.’

How to purchase your tickets to Meet Up North

If you are a supplier to the industry and would like to purchase your ticket to Meet Up North for £150 + VAT, click here.
If you are a designer, architect or hoteliers to the industry and would like to purchase your ticket to Meet Up North for £20 + VAT, click here.

In additionl, there are still various sponsorship opportunities and packages available for Meet Up North. If you would like to discuss these with our team then please contact Zoe Guerrier by either emailing z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk or calling 01992 374059.

The inaugural Meet Up North took place last year at King Street Townhouse and was attended by more than 200 designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

About the venue

Hotel Gotham is sheltered in what is arguably the city’s grandest properties and is an exclusive city-centre sanctuary, previously a bank that was designed in 1935 by none other than architect Edwin Lutyens.

The hotel, which opened in 2015, prides itself on offering a modern and comfortable experience in a unique and luxurious environment, with exquisite service all within a bespoke private club in the heart of Manchester.

H-Hotels Group to add 11 hotels by 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
H-Hotels Group to add 11 hotels by 2020

H-Hotels Group announces it will add 11 hotels in 2020 to its brand portfolio following sales in the group increasing to €436 million…

The H-Hotels Group has announced that it has seen strong growth for another year in a row. Revenues of €436 million for 2018 have marked a new all-time high in the company’s history. Occupancy figures have shown a similarly positive development, with an average of 73 per cent across the company’s 63 properties, and increased average room prices of €101 have paved the way for considerable profitability increases within the hotels themselves.

The continued growth of the brand can also be seen in both its operating locations and brand portfolio. Its newly opened H+ Hotel in Vienna not only marks a new regional presence on the H-Hotels map, but also demonstrates further expansion into other European countries. 2020 will see a new H2 Hotel opening in Budapest, as well as a Hyperion Hotel within the historic Palais Faber in Salzburg.

With the launch of its hostel brand H.ostels in the centre of Münster and the introduction of new serviced apartment brand H.omes, the H-Hotels Group’s portfolio has grown to incorporate six of its own brands. “With H.ostels and H.omes – Serviced Apartments, we have created a brand portfolio that covers the entire range of guest and location requirements,”  stated Alexander Fitz, CEO of H-Hotels AG.

All signs point to further expansion for H-Hotels in the years to come: with H4 Hotel Mönchengladbach in BORUSSIA-PARK, the Hyperion Hotel in Munich, the H2 Hotel in Olympia Park Munich and the Munich opening of H.ome Serviced Apartments, H-Hotels has already celebrated four new openings in 2019 so far. Autumn will also see the launch of its Hyperion Hotel and H2 Hotel double brand, which will open close to Leipzig central station. A total of 1572 new rooms will become available this year.

Further projects have already been signed for 2020, with a total of five new openings in the pipeline in Düsseldorf and Mainz, among others. 2024 will also mark the start of a double brand between H2 Hotel and H4 Hotel, with 501 new rooms set to become available in the terminals of Düsseldorf Airport. Discussions are now in the final stages for a number of short and medium-term acquisitions, as well as new projects such as H2 Hotels in Saarbrücken and Hamburg.

Main image credit: H-Hotels Group

In Conversation With: Jacu Strauss, designer & founder of Lore Studio

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Jacu Strauss, designer & founder of Lore Studio

An architect or a designer can become one of the most dynamic hoteliers, as editor Hamish Kilburn learns when sitting down with Jacu Strauss, the founder of Lore Studio and the mastermind behind some of the world’s most awe-inspiring hotels…

“Being a great storyteller is essential,” says designer Jacu Strauss as we start discussing what it takes to be a leader in design on the international hotel design scene.

It’s the first time we have caught up properly in a whirlwind three years. We catch up immediately where we left it in 2016, when the designer was putting the finishing touches onto The Pulitzer Amsterdam – an independent hotel project that allowed Strauss to break free with his creativity. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he says, “that through a cocktail of heavy research, team work and some brave risks turned out to be a tremendous success.”

Growing up in the diamond rich area of South Africa, Strauss moved to New Zealand to train as an architect at the University of Auckland before travelling to London to study at the Bartlett School of Architecture.

After graduating in 2008, Strauss worked as a senior designer at Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio, and started to add major hospitality projects to his growing portfolio. “My architectural training and education proved helpful and I was responsible for the project from concept development through to completion,” explains Strauss. “As we won larger projects, we were eventually given the green light to design Mondrian at Sea Containers on London’s South Bank. It was there where I completed my first hotel and, eventually, I was offered an exclusive role as Creative Director of what is now called Lore Group.

“Designing a successful hotel is so much more than just choosing colours and fabrics.” – Jacu Strauss

Following the completion of The Pulitzer Amsterdam in 2016, which continues to capture the attention of the world’s media on a mass scale with its timeless yet quirky interiors, Strauss went on to not only design hotels, but also own them by becoming the founder of Lore Studio. “I have not so much changed as become more attune to what does and doesn’t,” he adds. “I have tried to refine how guests and visitors experience our hotels, so it is more than just the visual. It involves a balance of senses that when you get it right means an enjoyable and memorable experience.”

Image of the designer flicking through a book on the floor

Image credit: Emily Andrews

Today, in between jetting around the world being inspired by life’s movement, Strauss and his team are working to complete a new independent hotel, RIGGS Washington DC, a hotel, slated to open in heart of the city at the end of this year, sheltered in what was the Riggs National Bank building. “Washington DC is a city with a particularly strong and quirky evolving hotel and F&B market,” he explains. “So much so, in fact, that there may be another hotel in DC to join the portfolio, but it will be completely different to RIGGS Washington DC.

QUICK-FIRE ROUND:

Hamish Kilburn: What would you like to be if you were not a designer/architect/hotelier?
Jacu Straus: A jeweller

HK: What’s the first rule to learn when designing a hotel?
JS: You can only open the hotel once, so make everything count!

HK: Where is the next hotel design hotspot?
JS: There is a great need for more hotels in urban centres that act as calm retreats for peace from the hustle and bustle of dense cities, but without being gimmicky.

HK: What one hotel would you have liked to have designed/or would like to redesign?
JS: I would have loved to be part of the design team of the Negresco Hotel in Nice. It’s so crazy and magical – I love it.

HK: What is the number one item you cannot travel without?
JS: Tabasco! I always have little sachets of Tabasco in my travel wallet. The little bottles are cute but the sachets are more convenient for travel. Tabasco makes everything taste better.

HK: What trend do you wish would emerge again soon?
JS: Decent table manners.

HK: What was the last hotel you stayed in?
JS: Downtown hotel in Mexico City.

HK: Explain London in three words…
JS: Quiet, polite, multicultural.

HK: What’s your favourite colour this season?
JS: Rust. Something nice about earthier and natural  tones as we move away from sterile palettes.

HK: What’s the last thing that shows up on your credit card statement?
JS: Uber. It is the first item that appears and most of what is inbetween!

As someone as visual as Strauss, the urge the design came as almost a natural instinct. “I think I was always a designer,” he narrates. “My mother says I was always observing my surroundings as a child and I think to this day it’s perhaps one of the reasons that I am doing what I am doing. What I really think makes you a professional designer is being able to process criticism. That you learn over time and does not come naturally.”

“F&B, I believe, is once again thriving in hotels.” – Jacu Strauss

As we converse over cocktails in a rooftop bar overlooking east London, it feels apt to discuss the rise of food and beverage facilities within hotel design. “I think hotels have historically been an important “pillar” in a city or town or community,” he explains. “But towards the end of the last century hotels became massive and exclusive only to its guests, and that meant it became inaccessible to their neighbours. Hotels are unique to their locations and I think guests have become more interested in feeling like they are part of a community even just for a night, than staying at a non-descript hotel that is removed from its surroundings. F&B is a tell-tale sign of how it was once the place to eat and drink, before it then became sterile. F&B, I believe, is once again thriving in hotels – as we’re proving this afternoon – because hotels are opening up to locals as well as guests making it feel less like a “hotel restaurant” and more like a restaurant that happens to be in a hotel.”

In reference to the quick-fire round above, Strauss is a man that believes in detail. “I have realised how important it is to research a new market thoroughly and avoid having a cookie cutter approach,” Strauss explains. “Designing a successful hotel is so much more than just choosing colours and fabrics. It is about the neighbourhoods, the greater contexts of the city and its people, and ensuring the longevity of a product. There are always things to improve on, but we believe you only open a hotel once.”

For the designer who has just as much in the pipeline as what’s already on his impressive portfolio, what makes him stand out his ability to be different. “At some stage,” he adds, “you need to ignore what others are doing and focus on your own task at hand and making decisions based our own hotel and not what others are doing.”

Another distinct characteristic that quite clearly sets Strauss aside from other hoteliers, designers and architects is his ability to effortlessly – on the surface at least – to balance work and life. Living his best life through both travel and work and sometimes a combination of both, Strauss is anything but a one-trick pony, constantly absorbing ideas, concepts and themes that time and time again capture the world’s attention each time the ribbon is cut. And for those wanting a snippet of the inspiration behind his designs, you have only to follow him on Instagram account.

Main image credit: Patrick Meis

Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam to return in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam to return in 2020

The Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam, which debuted last month for the first time outside London, has announced that it will return to the Amsterdam next year on March 17 – 18… 

The Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam, of which Hotel Designs was an official media partner for, has announced that it will return to ‘The Dam’ next year. More than 2,200 hoteliers designers and architects visited the inaugural edition of the the show in Amsterdam to be inspired and informed about the current trends in the hotel industry.

In addition showcasing the latest products and services through its 120 carefully curated exhibitors and providing ample networking opportunities, the innovative event at RAI Amsterdam on May 8 – 9, provided a hotbed of new ideas with the very latest trends presented and covered across multiple touchpoints at the show.

“As this was the first edition in continental Europe, we had no idea what to expect, but the experience the past two days has exceeded expectations,” said Portfolio Director, Miranda Martin. “It was a delight to meet such a great collection of progressive and enthusiastic hospitality professionals and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to the 2020 edition in March!”

A Vision of the Future

The Hotel Vision Stage, the central education stage at the show saw hoteliers, trend forecasters and CEOs share their visions for the future of the hotel industry.

During a well-attended session, Dutch trend-watcher Vincent van Dijk shared a glimpse into the Hotel Room of the Future and presented the 10 important hotel trends for 2019:

  • Never wait at a counter again – checking in online or via an app is the new thing. And you’ll open your room via the smart key on your phone too. Easy does it!
  • The automation of in-room service is only going to get more popular, whether it’s simply closing the curtains or requesting the coffee machine prepare a cappuccino, everything will be managed via tablets and technology.
  • Tailored service based on big data is what it’s all about as every guest is unique!
  • Despite all the technology, personal communication remains important. If this isn’t via face-to-face interaction, consider instead a chat program that allows the guest to communicate with the hotel from the room.
  • Due to a lack of space, furniture will become increasingly flexible. For example, a coffee table that quickly becomes a desk where you can work on, or a TV which automatically becomes a mirror as you get closer.
  • Introduction of voice-controlled equipment in hotel rooms. “Hey Google, set air conditioning to 19 degrees!”
  • Shower toilets, as we already see them a lot in Asia, will become the new hygienic standard.
  • Due to air pollution in large cities, there will be an increasing need for systems that can provide clean air.
  • Eco-friendly and health conscious housekeeping without the use of chemical agents – healthy for employees and guests.
  • Green is the new gold! Key words for the hoteliers to keep in mind for the future are sustainability, low waste and water reuse.

A number of significant panel discussions also took place on the stage. Lead by STR Global, ‘The Year in Review’ saw, Eric Toren  (Hotel TwentySeven, Amsterdam) and  Gabriella Esselbrugge (Hotel De Dames van Jonge, Giethoorn) explore the need to spread tourists who come to Amsterdam throughout the country – something that fellow panellist René van Schie, who works on tourism development for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, deals with on a daily basis.

Elsewhere, Hotel Designs, which was an official media partner for the show, was on stage for a live debate on how the rise in ‘bleisure’ is dictating how the industry builds and renovates hotels and cities.

Three men on the Hotel Vision stage

Image caption: Editor Hamish Kilburn leading panel discussion entitled ‘Designing for Bleisure’

During a panel discussion, Gladys Camphuijsen (The Pulitzer, Amsterdam), Annemoon Geurts (Kazerne, Eindhoven) and Veerle Donders (Zoku, Amsterdam) explained how they involve the local community in their hotels, be it by placing a large Christmas tree that the entire neighbourhood benefits from (The Pulitzer) or by organizing neighbourhood parties with beer and bitterballen (Zoku).

Christiaan Uittenbosch, founder of Smart Travel Lab, challenged visitors to think in terms of solutions instead of problems and even use them as a unique selling point within your company. When traveling, guests, especially millennials, are looking for positively-minded brands that are actively working on sustainability. QO Hotels, but also start-ups like Rotterzwam, were named as companies that have built their business by finding solutions to existing problems.

The Independent Hotel Show was concluded with a keynote speech by ex-Radisson CEO, Wolfgang M. Neumann (strategic hospitality consultant and chairman of Hotel School The Hague). In his speech, he emphasized responsibility to the planet and the generations after us. Concluding with the memorable words: “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you’ve never spent a night with a mosquito.”

The Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam will return for the second edition in the RAI on 17 and 18 March 2020.

Main image credit: Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam

The rise of tile trends in international hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The rise of tile trends in international hotel design

Celebrating art outside the frame, CTD Architectural Tiles identifies tile trends that are emerging for 2019 and beyond…

From texture and pattern to size and the increasing need for sustainable solutions, the hotel industry has become an exciting creative arena for tile and surface trend developments. The desire for creating spaces that stand out, delivering on both aesthetic and practical qualities, has driven the demand for tiles that make unique and memorable design statements.

From wood and marble-effect flooring to new generation mosaics and botanical-inspired patterns, architects and designers have never had so much choice when it comes to specifying ceramic and porcelain tiles in hotel projects.

Nature-inspired patterned tiles

A celebration and seamless marriage between rustic handmade influences and the trend for contemporary biophilic design, the new Amazonia collection from CTD Architectural Tiles is guaranteed to bring any hotel project to life.

Jungle-inspired interiors showcasing various tones of surfaces

Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

Versatile and unique, Amazonia combines botanical patterns with a pared-back, nature-inspired palette to enliven spaces of all sizes. Suitable for both walls and floors, the tiles are available in two shapes: a small square format (138 x 138mm) and a larger hexagon format (320 x 368mm), in five colourways and designs. Offering endless opportunities to combine and mix the distinctive tiles, designers are able to choose from the subtle geometric patterns of Ethnic or the delicate leaf prints of the Tropic designs to create a standout space. From the lobby and hotel bars and restaurants to even the swimming pool areas, Amazonia offers a truly versatile tiling proposition to designers, specifiers and architects for the hotel industry.

3D textured tiles

From bold patterns to structured 3D shapes and designs, tiles have become an increasingly popular format of creative expression within hotel interiors. Advances in tile manufacturing have led to reinventions of trends and tile styles such as bohemian, baroque and mosaics. An increasingly popular choice, mosaics are extremely versatile as they are able to be applied to flat or curved surfaces as well as being suitable for dry and wet areas on both walls and floors. Offering a variety of colours, sizes and materials, the return of mosaics has seen the introduction of new finishes such as metal or wood-effect designs as well as striking hexagon and geometric patterns, ideal for those designers or architects looking to make a true style statement.

Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

Colourful Marble-Effect Tiles

Combining an urban aesthetic with trend-led designs, the Diesel Living tile collection delivers truly eye-catching tile solutions for contemporary hotel spaces. The ideal range for designers wanting to achieve a truly statement scheme, the Diesel Cosmic Marble collection is an exquisite marriage between marble-effect tiles and a cosmic-inspired colour palette. Suitable for both walls and floors, the aptly named range is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. From the deep blue and gold hues of Venus to the radiant red swirls of Mars, Diesel Cosmic Marble is available in eight polished porcelain colourways and will work perfectly in lobbies and reception areas.

Wood-Effect Floor Tiles

 An effortlessly stylish addition to any space, wood flooring is renowned for its beautiful, natural finish. Although undeniably a popular choice, natural wood isn’t always practical in high footfall areas in hotels. With some ranges offering up to 40 per cent recycled content, wood-effect tile collections celebrate the unique beauty of the natural material and combine the importance of a realistic finish with the practical benefits of ceramic or porcelain tiles.

Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

An on-trend and practical solution for hotel spaces, a wood-effect tile allows you to evoke the natural character of timber, whilst promising a low maintenance and practical product that is ideal for modern environments. Complete with the distinctive knots and markings of organic wood, each and every tile is different to ensure an authentic look. Not just limited to floors, the wide range of glazed porcelain and ceramic tiles are suitable for a number of applications including walls, exteriors and wet areas, meaning that the design of a project is not restricted by the limitations of real wood.

By their very nature, hotels are stunning examples of unique design and luxury living. When it comes to product selection for a hotel project, designers want to be working with the very latest trends and innovative products to ensure that they’re able to achieve a statement scheme to remember.  From beautiful lobbies to carefully designed guest suites, CTD Architectural Tiles’ extensive product portfolio is guaranteed to provide the ideal surface solution no matter what the application. Offering unparalleled expertise and technical knowledge, the Specification Team at CTD Architectural Tiles works with industry leading, innovative manufacturers to offer a complete portfolio of ceramic and porcelain tile ranges to suit the boutique hotelier, architect, interior designer, developer and specification professional.

BISQUE launches competition for next generation of radiators

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BISQUE launches competition for next generation of radiators

CALLING ALL DESIGNERS: Recommended Supplier Bisque has launched a competition to find the next generation of stylish radiators…

Pioneering British design brand BISQUE has announced an exclusive competition to find the ‘next big thing’ in luxury radiators and celebrate its landmark 40th anniversary.

Budding designers and Bisque fans alike will be invited to join the movement and make their mark on the design industry by creating the brand’s newest model.

The competition was previewed at Clerkenwell Design Week, before officially launching at London’s New Designers show in July. The final deadline for entries will then be in October. All entrants will be judged by a panel of industry experts, including journalists, designers and Bisque officials, before the winning model is unveiled during an exclusive preview in November. The winning design will be awarded a cash prize; plus, provided the design works technically, it will go into production*.

“We are thrilled to be launching this competition to commemorate four decades of innovative radiators,” said brand leader at Bisque Ellie Sawdy. “Here at Bisque we have always maintained that radiators don’t need to be boring, and this philosophy remains a core part of our brand’s ethos. We are equally excited by the fresh, young design talent the UK has to offer, so are incredibly excited to see what the British public comes up with”.

Eagle-eyed Bisque fans may recall the last time Bisque invited the public to design a new model to join its repertoire. The prize model, the Archibald – designed by Italian Leo Salzedo – went on to win the 2006 designboom competition and is still one of the brand’s most iconic and instantly recognisable radiators today.

Named one of The Observer’s CoolBrands three years in a row, Bisque paved the way for a radiator revolution. Notable models include the Leaf and Cactus radiators, while partnerships with the likes of Paul Priestman have kept Bisque at the forefront of cutting-edge radiator design ever since.

Further information on entering can be found at www.bisque.co.uk/radical40 or by searching #Radical40 on social media.

*Terms and conditions apply.

Bisque is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image credit: Bisque

500 new hotels slated to arrive in China by 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
500 new hotels slated to arrive in China by 2020

TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION has reported that the hotel projects currently on the boards in China will welcome almost 150,000 new rooms for one of the world’s most dynamic hospitality markets…

Following the news that Hyatt Centric brand will debut in Greater China, new statistics from the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION‘s database paints a dynamic and exciting picture of the hotel development pipeline in China.

The new report highlights that there are currently 1,062 projects in the works in China, making it the most robust hospitality market on the planet.

Once completed, those projects will yield a grand total of 256,506 guestrooms. This drastic expansion means that some hotels groups and brands will be more than doubling their footprint in China in the coming years.

The TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database indicates that much of this grown is slated to take place in the very near future. Roughly 55 per cent of the projects currently in China’s pipeline are planned to open by the end of 2020 and will add more than 500 new hotel projects and nearly 150,000 rooms to the market.

For the following years, figures are still more approximate as some projects’ plans are not completely finalised and opening dates are not yet decided.

Leading the way is Hilton Hotels & Resorts, which has 40 projects and 11,272 rooms currently under development in China. Hot on its tail is Four Points by Sheraton with 38 projects and 10,016 rooms. The world’s largest hotel group, Marriott International, has 35 projects and 8,770 rooms coming to China soon.

The recent statistics come as the Asia Pacific market remains one of the most popular in the world and numbers of visitors travelling to this region, and China in particular, grow year on year.

Main image credit: Alila Yangshuo hotel in Guilin, China

Global awards launches to challenge industry standards around accessible design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Global awards launches to challenge industry standards around accessible design

The Blue Badge Access Awards launches and questions why accessible design is not as large a talking point as sustainability currently is. Editor Hamish Kilburn attended the launch event in London and writes…

Blue Badge Access Awards has launched raising some much-needed debates around the current industry standards around accessible design.

The launch of Blue Badge Access Awards – a combining of two major design competitions – the Bespoke Access Awards and the Blue Badge Style Awards – took place at Home Grown Club in Marylebone. The occasion explained the purpose of the new global competition, which is to celebrate thoughtful and stylish inclusive design worldwide. It aims to inspire designers, architects, operators and developers to work together in order to build exceptional business and venues that make everyone feel like a “first-class citizen.”

“No one would have dreamed that sustainability would be so high on the agenda as it is now and we want access to be high on the priority list.” – Robin Sheppard.

Speaking at the event was Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels, Hotel Sector Champion for Disabled People and in turn the winner of The Brit List 2018’s Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry. “It is important to make access a permanent addition to the agenda,” he said during a thought-provoking speech. “No one would have dreamed that sustainability would be so high on the agenda as it is now and we want access to be high on the priority list.”

With the support of charity Leonard Cheshire, the Blue Badge Access Awards aims to accelerate much-needed progress. This follows studies that show inclusive design gives businesses and venues access to a market of more than one billion people across the world, a group of more than 13 million people in the UK along with spending power of more than £250 billion.

Inclusive design has a history of inspiring great innovation, from the invention of the first typewriter, which was built to help a blind Italian countess write legibly, to the remote control, which was created to make life easier for people with limited mobility.

Categories include:

  • Arnold Fewell Award – The Most Inclusive Building/Interior Design
  • Best Hotel x 2 (Upmarket and Boutique, Bespoke Award)
  • Best Bar x 2 (Upmarket and Budget)
  • Best Restaurant x 2 (Upmarket – Conran award – and Budget)
  • Best Accessible Toilet
  • Ludicrous Loo
  • Above & Beyond (Includes Hospitality & Corporates)
  • Euan’s Guide Award
  • Best Venue in a Listed Building
  • Inclusive Employment Award (Leonard Cheshire)
  • Employee of the Year

“Nowhere can be 100 per cent accessible, but everyone can start somewhere,” said Fiona Jarvis, founder of Blue Badge Style. “There is a tremendous public interest in the area of accessible design, with a strong desire to honour and recognise businesses that go the extra mile for their customers.”

With categories ranging from Best Hotel and Best Bar, to the Leonard Cheshire Inclusive Employment Award, the Blue Badge Access Awards recognises the variety of ways that businesses can become more inclusive. The prize that nobody wants to win, ‘Ludicrous Loo’ demonstrates the challenges faced in a light-hearted manner, revealing bathrooms where accessibility is an afterthought.

Nominations of the Blue Badge Access Awards, which are open to anyone, anywhere in the world, are now open and close on June 30. Visit to website to cast your vote.

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on October 7.

Main image credit: Blue Badge Access Award/Bespoke Access Awards

Rockwell Group to design theatre-themed hotel in Broadway, New York

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Rockwell Group to design theatre-themed hotel in Broadway, New York

Leading design firm Rockwell Group has announced the design of Olio, a hotel opening May 2020 in the heart of Manhattan’s theatre district of Broadway…

US-based design firm Rockwell Group will design the interiors of Olio, New York City’s highly anticipated hotel that is slated to open in May of 2020. Located in the heart of theatre land, the new hotel concept will bring the behind-the-scenes of Broadway into the spotlight.

It will feature curated art from the district’s designers and photographers as well as a theatre-influenced design and a performance space for emerging artists. Co-curated by renowned theatre creatives, the program will contain permanent and temporary exhibits in the hotel’s public spaces that will rotate every six months.

For the inaugural opening exhibition, Rockwell Group has tapped scenic designer Christine Jones, costume designer Ann Roth, and lighting designer Jules Fisher to co-curate the inaugural exhibition. Costume designer William Ivey Long, scenic designer Robin Wagner, and costume designer Paul Tazewell will serve on the second curatorial committee in early 2021. Selected pieces from each exhibit will be available for purchase with proceeds benefiting both the Actors Fund and The American Theatre Wing.

Main image credit: Rockwell Group

PRODUCT WATCH: Industrial chic Roma from Chelsom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Industrial chic Roma from Chelsom

Industrial chic Roma from Chelsom is one of the signature ranges from the latest collection Edition 26…

Roma from Chelsom is a selection of contemporary urban fittings that would be an impressive addition to a wide variety of hotel interior genres. The industrial chic light, which is part of the Edition 26 collection launched last year, is a timeless fitting ideal for luxury guestooms and suites.

Inspired by industrial designs, the Roma table lamp by Chelsom fuses cutting edge design with the latest technology. Available as part of a wider collection of coordinated wall, floor and ceiling lighting, Roma features tapered perforated metal shades finished in Golden Bronze with internal PVC Opal diffusers to give a dramatic and softly diffused light effect.

For further information or to request a catalogue please contact 01253 831404 or email sales@chelsom.co.uk

Chelsom is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image credit: Chelsom

SPOTLIGHT ON: Inspirational design hotel bars and restaurants in London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPOTLIGHT ON: Inspirational design hotel bars and restaurants in London

To round off our Spotlight On topic of Bars & Restaurants, Hotel Designs headed into London to pick out the best F&B facilities that are serving up a treat on the international hotel design scene… Editor Hamish Kilburn edits…

Since hotels became much more than simply a bed for the night, the in-house food and beverage scene globally has taken off. Here are a few London bars and restaurants that have emerged to be statement F&B areas within hotel design.

GMT Bar –  Hard Rock Hotel London 

Image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

Incorporating the Hard Rock “mantra”, which includes the global brands’ range of memorabilia, artwork, installations and lyrics, design firm Scott Brownrigg was tasked to complete the 900-room Hard Rock Hotel London. As well as designing quirky and edgy guestrooms, the design team, led by Senior Designer and Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 Kate Jarrett, also created what is now London’s latest Instagrammable statement bar, which acts as an inviting cocoon from the rest of the city.

The Monkey Bar – Monkey Island Estate

Image credit: Monkey Island Estate

Monkey Island Estate is located in Bray-on-Thames. The island, with its intriguing history dating back 800 years, has been the haunt of monks, monarchs, aristocrats and writers alike. Visitors from London and beyond are transported to their own private countryside escape steeped in stylish yet laidback luxury. Designed by award-winning Champalimaud, complete with its beautiful garden terrace, The Monkey Bar is elegant, contemporary and relaxed – just like the rest of the hotel.

Sloane Place Hotel London 

Long dining table with hanging pendents above

Image credit: Sloane Place Hotel

The 50-seat café-bar in the hotel, designed by JSJ Design, required extensive structural works to open up the space, making it more accessible for guests and local clientele alike. The interior design scheme combines bold teals,timber panelling, glass and brass, maximising light and space.

45 Park Lane

modern quirky bar in 45 Park Lane

Image credit: 45 Park Lane

While the world is all too familiar of the iconic bar inside The Dorchester, its younger sibling, 45 Park Lane, located next door, is the contemporary answer to luxury in the city. The hotel’s modern-chic bar, which serves London’s finest negronis, is described as: “the vibrant beacon of contemporary culture in a luxury hotel.” It is an invigorating blend of art and landmark architecture in the middle of classical London.

InterContinental London Park Lane

Once more, RPW Design strikes again on London’s leafy iconic Park Lane. The design firm’s latest refurbishment of the guestrooms and The Capital Suite in the InterContinental Park Lane compliments the work of David Collins Studio in the hotel’s restaurant, Ella Canta.

Hotel Cafe Royal London

Image credit: Hotel Cafe Royal London

Designed by Piero Lissoni and Atelier 27, the new F&B areas sheltered in Hotel Cafe Royal London are contemporary yet timeless. The Green Bar’s cocktail list is an invitation to explore tastes throughout the ages, divided into four eras spanning over 100 years. The interiors masculine, with hues of emerald green creating a dark and moody atmosphere to compliment the cocktails served.

Main image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

Sloane Place Hotel in Chelsea unveils eclectic décor

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sloane Place Hotel in Chelsea unveils eclectic décor

The new 27-key Sloane Place Hotel opens in the heart of Chelsea and is complete with eclectic décor by JSJ Design…

Sloane Place has opened a 27-bedroom boutique hotel, café-bar and restaurant adjoining The Sloane Club in Chelsea, London. Hospitality interior design studio, JSJ Design were hired by Queensway, who acquired The Sloane Club in 2017 in order to convert the property into a hospitality hotspot in one of London’s most upmarket districts.

The large five-storey red-brick Victorian building has been remodelled and divided to create a separate venture, with work on project beginning in February 2018.

From the original building, around 30 bedrooms were allocated for the hotel, alongside smaller underutilised meeting rooms. Led by JSJ Design, the space was remodelled, renovated and refurbished, creating 15 bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, 13 luxury suites, a multi-functional café-bar-restaurant and lower ground floor bar.

The 50-seat café-bar required extensive structural works to open up the space, making it more accessible for guests and local clientele alike. The interior design scheme combines bold teals,timber panelling, glass and brass, maximising light and space.

View of the stairway from above

Image credit: Sloane Place Hotel

JSJ Designer, Simeon Thompson was required to maximise the space and create an inviting modern scheme that reflects the locality. “The concept for the café-bar evolved to become a venue in its own right, with short backed seats and clever use of colour, soft eclectic furniture to create an open, sociable space,” he said. “In the décor, we’ve combined hints of luxury, with elements of nature in a nod to Chelsea past and present.”

With the combination of informal décor and an all-day dining menu courtesy of Executive Chef Bernhard Mayer (formerly The Savoy, Four Seasons Park Lane Hotel), guests and patrons are encouraged to relax and extend their stay.

Long dining table with hanging pendents above

Image credit: Sloane Place Hotel

The interior décor and evolution of the Sloane Place brand work together harmoniously, with hand-drawn Broom bush designs featuring within the décor across the three main areas and in the new logo. This is a nod to the heritage of the area; for centuries the Broom bush grew in abundance on site and features at the top of the Kensington and Chelsea coat of arms.

The hotel bedrooms fall into three categories: Cosy (14-17 sqm), Classic (18 sqm) and Suite (38 sqm). All boast en-suite bathrooms, comfortable Hypnos beds, WiFi, mini kettles and Nespresso machines and a small writing desk.

Bedroom décor consists of warm grey timber panelling to evoke a sense of warmth and comfort, complimented by luxury statement blue and yellow fabrics. All furniture items are bespoke, with high gloss light-reflecting surfaces, designed to make the best use of space.

Overall the design, décor and concept promise a luxury venue for guests and the general public to feel welcome to enjoy from day to night.

Main image credit: Sloane Place Hotel

EDITOR CHECKS IN: Running on empty in Clerkenwell

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EDITOR CHECKS IN: Running on empty in Clerkenwell

Editor Hamish Kilburn explains some of the benefits that come with being a runner on the editorial desk – especially during Clerkenwell Design Week… 

I believe that nine problems out of 10 within this ever-evolving industry can be solved with a fresh perspective. Whether the issue is a lack of inspiration or perhaps you can’t decide which soft furnishings to purchase for a fussy client, there are times where you – and your project – could benefit from taking some time out so that your ideas and thoughts can authentically mature.

For most, the obvious ‘time out’ would follow booking 10 nights away in bare-foot luxury, and I must conquer that the undisturbed nature of this thought also appeals. However, if it’s simply a case of a blockage of traffic in the brain, then I suggest you hop onto the pavement. For me, it is often only after a gentle jog – at any time of day or night – where most of my editorial ideas for Hotel Designs stem from – or at least final decisions are made.

This month, I went one step further in my fitness therapy and signed myself up to complete what will be my third marathon. But while I have been there, done that and got the T-shirt twice before, one thing has changed – I am the busiest I have ever been. And so, like so many amateur runners who have or are pacing in my footsteps while balancing a career, finding the time to train is often the hardest challenge – a test that carries great unparalleled rewards, including being able to juggle time wisely.

“What’s running got to do with hotel development, design and architecture,” you may ask. Well it turns out, this month in particular, being able to confidently trot around town was an essential skill for those for those of us attending Clerkenwell Design Week as ‘Press’. Entering double digits, this year’s volume of celebrating of design, which witnessed hundreds of showrooms opening their doors to the public, was turned up to the max – and it was, undoubtably so, a fabulous festival to amplify to our readers. For the 10th year, it recognised the UK once more as an incubator for incredible design, architecture and ideas. Despite this, at times it was also like hitting the dreaded wall during a marathon, each showroom becoming more of a fuel station as we got further through the course. Passed the finish line, though, and we were able to reflect on the journey, which was like every long-distance race, full of unforgettable moments including witnessing art outside the frame at almost every turn.

Brick wall with loud and colourful mural of shapes bursting out

Image caption/credit: One of the many art installations at Clerkenwell Design Week 2019 | Sophie Mutevelian

In addition to clocking up the miles around the design hub that is Clerkenwell, my mini adventures on foot have allowed me to experience some pretty incredible places from an unmatched perspective; from the sandy beaches of Barbados to the cobbled streets of Amsterdam – and sprinting through New York’s Time Square at 5am. With the right pair of trainers – and the will power to get out whatever the weather, travelling to – and seeing – these places has been extraordinary.

“Each time I head out for a run in Manchester, usually between exhibitions or events, I notice a new building taking shape.”

Closer to home, Manchester is within my top five locations to go for a run in and around. Having spent a year living in the beehive, I fell in love with the ‘on the boards’ skyline and at times juvenile personality locked within its ever-expanding city walls. Given its striking façade, and spirited soul, it is no coincidence, therefore, that hotel development up north is booming. Each time I head out for a run in Manchester, usually between exhibitions or events, I notice a new building taking shape. Top Hotel Project recently reported that between 2020 and 2021, 11 new hotels will open – the majority of which will be for the luxury sector. In response to this, we’re taking our Meet Up North networking evening back to the city that everyone is talking about, this year taking over Hotel Gotham’s much-admired rooftop bar, Club Brass.

Today, my running shoes have taken me back to my hometown of Whitstable in Kent, a beautiful rustic and trendy town – think Shoreditch style but by the sea and with oysters. The gorgeous weather combined with a steady westerly breeze was all the motivation I needed to add a totally unplanned half marathon (13.1 miles) into this week’s training plan. It was all the motivation I needed to write and complete this column.

During June, Hotel Designs will be putting Hotel Groups and Software & Controls under the spotlight. If you would like to contribute to these topics, please do not hesitate to email me.

Editor, Hotel Designs

MINIVIEW: Hard Rock Hotel London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: Hard Rock Hotel London

In spectacular fashion, as expected, Hard Rock Hotel London has opened its doors, adding 900 stylish rooms to the Capital’s hotel scene. Hotel Designs took a peak inside…

Positioned on the corner of Oxford Street at Marble Arch, Hard Rock Hotel London has arrived, catering to the needs of both business and leisure travelers from around the world. Designed by award-winning design firm Scott Brownrigg, the concept for the interior design was inspired from the heritage of the existing building, which was built in the mid 1700’s.

Drawing on the legacy of legends who stayed here in decades past, including Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross and Madonna, the new venue pays homage to the site’s rich history through stylish interior design and carefully curated music memorabilia displays. It also is an inspiration to those who have yet to write their own story – Hard Rock Hotel London stands alone as a hotel haven for music lovers everywhere.

Image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

Hard Rock Hotel London accommodates two vibrant bars and a lively Hard Rock Cafe – the second Hard Rock Cafe to open in the Capital City. With 370 seats, the hotel’s Cafe is set to be the ultimate Central hang out. Combining elevated food and drink offerings with weekly live music performances that celebrate both local London and international talent, the Cafe offers an electric atmosphere, perfect for all occasions – from lunch meetings to after work drinks.

“As the original birthplace of Hard Rock, we are delighted to open a new hotel in London, the brand’s spiritual birthplace,” said Ian Fletcher, general manager of the hotel. “In true Hard Rock style, the property offers stylish and contemporary design, incredible in-room amenities, fantastic food and unparalleled service, with the thread that unites them all – music. We know all our guests have an unforgettable experience.”

Image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

Meanwhile, the 42-seat Lobby Bar takes its inspiration from the original art-deco style ceiling of the Lyons Corner House, which originally stood on the site in the early 1900’s. As well as celebrating the site’s unrivalled heritage, the bar embodies Hard Rock’s musical roots, with an abstract installation designed to reflect a master disc and record player. Memorabilia, in true Hard Rock fashion, is suspended in the bar from the walls through guitar strings to replicate a ‘larger than life’ fret board.

‘It has been a great experience working with two established brands, glh hotels and Hard Rock International,” said Kate Jarrett, Interior Designer at Scott Brownrigg who was also credited as a Hotel Designs 30 Under 30 earlier this year. “We have enjoyed collaborating with them to create a unique and sophisticated offer for the London market. Combining the history of the central London location with the iconic musical heritage of the Hard Rock brand.”

With venues in 73 countries including 184 cafes, 237 Rock Shops, 28 hotels and 11 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognised companies – and the hotel brand’s most recent opening fittingly returns to where it all began.

Main image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

Canopy by Hilton to make its debut in France in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Canopy by Hilton to make its debut in France in 2020

Canopy by Hilton is poised to make French debut with two hotels in Paris (2020) and Bordeaux (2021)…

Hotel giant Hilton has announced its intention to introduce its upper upscale lifestyle brand, Canopy by Hilton, to France. Two new hotels – Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero and Canopy by Hilton Bordeaux Chartrons –  are set to welcome their first guests before the end of 2021, following management and franchise agreements.

“Paris and Bordeaux are exceptional destinations, and these new hotels are meticulously designed to celebrate their respective neighbourhoods,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President, Development, EMEA, Hilton. “Hilton’s expansion in France is gaining further momentum, with plans to triple our portfolio in the next five years. The introduction of new brands including Canopy by Hilton is testament to the quality of partners we are working with to grow across the country.”

Canopy by Hilton hotels are thoughtfully curated to appeal to travellers seeking a locally inspired experience, with unique interiors that are influenced by the culture and history of the neighbourhood. Guests are welcomed by friendly Enthusiasts with expert local knowledge and recommendations and are invited to immerse themselves in the experience with local food and drink tastings and use of the complimentary Canopy by Hilton bicycles to explore the city.

“Travellers want a hotel to help them get the most out of travel and experience the best of a great neighbourhood – Canopy by Hilton allows our guests to do just that,” said Gary Steffen, Global Head, Canopy by Hilton, Hilton. “Designed with their immediate surroundings, local art, culture and cuisine in mind, Canopy hotels redefine the lifestyle hotel category.”

Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero

The 123-key Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero is scheduled to be the first Canopy by Hilton to open in France. Slated to open in mid-2020, the hotel is located in sight of the place du Trocadero and Palais de Chaillot in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, a cultural hotspot with several galleries and attractions such as the Palais Galliera and Palais de Tokyo museums.

Construction has already started on the property, which is being transformed into an open and inviting space in touch with Canopy’s local design influences.

The hotel is owned by a French institutional investor and will be operated by Hilton under a management agreement. The hotel is located at 16 Avenue d’ Eylau, Paris.

Canopy by Hilton Bordeaux Chartrons 

Canopy by Hilton Bordeaux Chartrons is expected to open in early 2021. The new-build property will be constructed in the Chartrons neighbourhood, overlooking the Garonne River. Chartrons is famous for its waterside bars and dining, antique shops and vintage boutiques.

The hotel will offer multiple dining options, including a spectacular rooftop restaurant, bar and pool overlooking the river and Bordeaux’s city centre. The hotel’s design will draw on the area’s history as an industrial hub, made famous by its eponymous wine, which is produced in vineyards around the city.

The hotel is owned by SAS RE Hotels, an affiliate of SAS Groupe Reaumur France, and will operate under franchise agreement. The hotel is located at 85 Quai des Chartrons, Bordeaux.

The introduction of Canopy by Hilton in France marks Hilton’s fourth brand entry in France in as many years, following the debut of Curio Collection by Hilton in 2017, Hilton Garden Inn in 2018 and Hampton by Hilton in 2019. The new Canopy hotels join spectacular European properties in Reykjavik and Zagreb, with a further hotel under construction in London.

Main image credit: Canopy by Hilton

Kimpton EPIC Hotel in Miami undergos major renovation

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Kimpton EPIC Hotel in Miami undergos major renovation

Kimpton EPIC Hotel in Miami is about to embark on an extensive renovation inclusive of its guestrooms and suites, lobby, and pool area…

Situated in the heart of Downtown Miami, with unparalleled views of Biscayne Bay, Kimpton EPIC will be fully reimagined with Miami-inspired elements, while maintaining its beloved sophistication and high-end feel. The finishes, furniture, and amenities will be acutely refined, and elegantly minimal with an organic sensibility.

High-impact artwork will evoke several elements including the natural components of the Earth while speaking to the Miami landscape and personality in a modern and abstract manner.

“Hues in wheat, gray and white, with a layer of soft harbor blue, offer a modern and high-end beach palette in the arrival and reception area.”

Upon arrival, guests will experience a different approach to minimal and sophisticated elegance in the hotel’s reimagined lobby area. Hues in wheat, gray and white, with a layer of soft harbor blue, offer a modern and high-end beach palette in the arrival and reception area. Black and bronze metals, woven linen, marble and custom hardware featured throughout will exhibit the luxurious feeling that Miami evokes within.

Close up of modern furniture above abstract blue art piece in white suite

Image credit: Kimpton Hotels

Featuring eco-friendly materials, travellers checking in will notice driftwood-inspired slatted headboards, wood-look tile flooring throughout the guestrooms, marble base table and chairs and private patios with custom furniture, all overlooking Biscayne Bay. Art featured within the guestrooms will be local sourced, with a specific focus on highlighting Miami’s flourishing art scene.

Two EPICally detailed suites – a Hospitality and a Presidential, will both reside on the corners of hotel’s 30th floor. Complete with wrap-around balconies and sweeping views of the city lights, the bay, and ocean – both will feature curated, one-of-a-kind furniture, collected art and various functional considerations for entertaining and hosting.

“As with all Kimpton properties, the approach is a bespoke design.”

The high-end sophisticated feel of the property will extend into the hotel’s expansive 16th-floor pool terrace, with new European furnishes and a clean and modern color palette that has playful touches for an energetic pool vibe.

As with all Kimpton properties, the approach is a bespoke design. Virtually all furniture, lighting and artwork are custom and proprietary to the hotel. The hotel’s redesign, expected to be completed by the end of September, is masterminded by the talented in-house Kimpton design team under the helm of Ave Bradley, Creative Director & Global SVP of Design, and Diana Martinez, Senior Design Director at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.

Main image credit: Kimpton Hotels

Aloft Hotels arrives in Ireland

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Aloft Hotels arrives in Ireland

Aloft Dublin City in Ireland has opened and is expected to shake up the hotel scene in one of Dublin’s most historic and vibrant quarters…

Marriott International has announced the opening of the design-led Aloft Dublin City, the first Aloft hotel to open in Ireland. The hotel is located in the Blackpitts area of Dublin’s Liberties, one of the capital’s most dynamic quarters.

The Liberties is rich with heritage, formerly a trading site of textiles; fast forward and this rejuvenated district is the thriving home to media and tech hubs as well as Dublin’s top visitor attractions.

As a brand for music lovers and music makers, we are so excited to debut Aloft Hotels in Dublin, the city that shares our passion for live music,” said John Licence, Vice President Premium and Select Brands, Europe at Marriott International. “From the buskers on Grafton Street to shows in the National Concert Hall, the live music experience in Dublin is a special one and we can’t wait to add to the city’s buzzing night-time scene by inviting emerging artists to take the stage at our Live At Aloft series,”

Vibrant blue carpets in large guestroom

Image credit: Marriott International/Aloft Hotels

With its vibrant design and always-on public spaces, Aloft Dublin City brings a new beat to the city and bold approach to the guest experience. The brand’s signature W XYZ® bar anchors the social scene on the seventh floor with striking panoramic views of the city – from sky-piercing mountains to famous hotspots including the Guinness Storehouse and St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Each of the 202 spacious guestrooms and suites feature Aloft’s ultra-comfortable plush beds, complete with headboards designed by local Dublin Artist, Sketchy; custom amenities by Bliss® Spa; fast & free Wi-Fi; and 49-inch televisions linked to a Plug & Play connectivity panel.

Aloft Dublin City features Mobile Key — the industry-first keyless entry system that enables guests to use their smartphone or Apple watch as a room key. Additional amenities include the Re:chargeSM fitness center, and meeting facilities equipped with state-of-the-art A/V equipment and fast and free WiFi.

With now more than 150 hotels now open in more than 20 countries and territories around the world, Aloft Hotels, which first launched in 2005, delivers a fresh approach to the traditional staid hotel landscape. For the ‘always on’ next generation of traveller, the Aloft brand offers a tech-forward, vibrant experience and a modern style that is different by design.

Main image credit: Aloft Hotels/Marriott International

Hyatt Centric brand to enter into Greater China

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hyatt Centric brand to enter into Greater China

Located on the eastern side of Hong Kong Island, the hotel will mark the Hyatt Centric brand’s entry into Greater China…

Following China being identified as a major international hotel design hotspot, Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into an agreement with an affiliate of Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited to rebrand the 665-key Hotel VIC on the Harbour to Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong by the third quarter of this year.

The newly branded property will be the first Hyatt Centric hotel in the Greater China region, joining the brand’s inaugural property in Asia, Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo which opened last year.

“We are delighted to grow our relationship with our anchor owner Sun Hung Kai Properties with this exciting project in Hong Kong after our successful collaborations with Park Hyatt Hangzhou and Hyatt Centric Minhang, Shanghai,” said Stephen Ho, president of Greater China, global operations, Hyatt. “We look forward to introducing the Hyatt Centric brand to Hong Kong and providing more distinctive experiences to our guests. With the hotel’s convenient waterfront location and proximity to cultural and leisure hotspots, Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong will be an ideal base for savvy, in-the-now guests to explore all that this dynamic gateway city has to offer.”

Tailored for socially connected guests seeking shareable moments, the hotel’s social areas and food and beverage concepts were designed by Hong Kong-based architect and interior designer, Andre Fu while the 665 harbor-view guestrooms feature designs from Hirsch Bedner Associates.

“We decided to work with Hyatt after careful consideration and are excited to debut the first Hyatt Centric hotel in Greater China,” said Tasos Kousloglou, chief executive officer of the Hotel Division of Sun Hung Kai Properties. “The Hyatt Centric brand’s young and dynamic profile will fit perfectly with the vibrant neighborhood. The hotel benefits readily from the landmark integrated development with the premium residential towers of Victoria Harbour and the retail complex of Harbour North, which, together with the hotel’s retail space has a total area of over 200,000 sq ft. Guests will also enjoy the new magnificent waterfront garden promenade and the lifestyle offerings within the hotel’s quintessential Hong Kong neighborhood. By joining hands with Hyatt, we will be able to leverage its world-class knowledge, excellence in food and beverage, wealth of hospitality experience, and global marketing and sales network to make Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong the preferred choice for socially-connected travelers and locals. We will also reach a broader audience of savvy travelers worldwide and elevate guest experience.”

Following the brand ethos to connect guests to the heart of the action so they never miss a moment of adventure, the hotel is located in the dynamic North Point district on the eastern side of the Hong Kong Island.

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Hotel Group IHG has signed a hotel in London’s Clerkenwell

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Group IHG has signed a hotel in London’s Clerkenwell

The 151-key Hotel Indigo property is slated to open in London’s most-talked-about design district, Clerkenwell, in 2021…

Following the opening of Hotel Indigo Stratford Upon Avon and ahead of the openings of both Hotel Indigo Bath and Hotel Indigo Chester later in the year, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed a Management Agreement with Omenport Developments Ltd for Hotel Indigo London – Clerkenwell.

The 151-room hotel will be the fifth Hotel Indigo in London and is expected to open in early 2021. Located in the heart of the city, Hotel Indigo London – Clerkenwell brings a brand defining property to IHG’s pipeline.

Established in 2004, the Hotel Indigo is IHG’s upscale boutique brand and has more than 100 hotels across more than 15 countries around the world. The brand is set to double its portfolio presence over the next three to five years and continue its growth as one of the largest boutique brands.

The decision to arrive in Clerkenwell comes as the neighbourhood, arguably most known for its annual Clerkenwell Design Week, has strong travel links with Farringdon station, Barbican and Old Street all within walking distance, making it an increasingly popular location for both business and leisure travellers.

Just like no two neighbourhoods are alike, no two Hotel Indigo properties are the same. At the Hotel Indigo London – Clerkenwell, the current historic listed building of the Hat & Feathers pub will be added to by two newly-built modern wings. When it opens in 2021, the hotel will feature well-appointed guestrooms, an all-day restaurant and five meeting rooms, as well as incorporating the existing pub into the hotel.

“We are excited to bring Hotel Indigo London – Clerkenwell into portfolio,” said Jon Colley, Head of Development, UK&I at IHG. “We are seeing strong growth in the boutique market in the UK and this hotel strengthens our position in the capital. This signing will join the newly opened Kimpton Fitzroy London and Hotel Indigo London – 1 Leicester Square to build out our boutique presence in the UK’s capital.”

IHG has 15 Hotel Indigo properties in the UK and a further seven in the pipeline*. There is a strong momentum behind the brand as part of IHG’s UK growth strategy.

In total, IHG currently has 349* hotels operating under eight brands in the UK, including: InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, voco™ Hotels, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express® and Staybridge Suites, with another 26 in the pipeline.

*Numbers as at 31 March 2019

Main image credit: Hotel Indigo

GROHE and Mosa partnership celebrates success at Clerkenwell

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GROHE and Mosa partnership celebrates success at Clerkenwell

GROHE enjoyed its second taste of Clerkenwell Design Week in partnership with tile manufacturer, Mosa…

Following a successful collaboration in 2018, GROHE and Mosa reunited once again to celebrate their common heritage around the topic of sustainability. “We are delighted to be able to share our passion for delivering sustainable solutions to the architect and design industry with a like-minded brand such as Mosa“, says Glenn Payne, Head of Projects UK at GROHE.

“Our partnership at Clerkenwell Design Week has highlighted our commitment to sustainability to key figures in the industry, whose influence could pave the way to more eco-aware specification in the future. We felt we offered a real point of difference to the customers and visitors who joined us across the three days, and are excited about the new prospects the event will bring“.

GROHE‘s dedicated projects team met with hundreds of visitors at the festival, from self builders and specifiers to architects and designers, generating some promising new business leads. The festival proved an excellent platform for the brand to leverage its already strong position in the A&D community, to reach new heights. As well as opening its showroom to the thousands of visitors who flocked to the festival last week, GROHE and Mosa also hosted several evening parties and events, including an exclusive dinner presented by GROHE’s partnering chef, Ed Baines.

The bathroom manufacturer has an ever-growing presence in Clerkenwell and thanks to the permanent displays newly revealed at Mosa’s showroom last week, the brand has now firmly cemented its place in the design-centric district.

Hotel Designs recently caught up with Grohe’s Vice President of Design, Michael Seum, following the company exhibiting at ISH 2019.

GROHE is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

100 Years of Hilton exhibition opens in London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
100 Years of Hilton exhibition opens in London

The London Hilton on Park Lane, which was the first Hilton hotel to open in the UK, has opened an exhibition today for guests and visitors alike to explore the brand’s 100-year history…

100 Years of Hilton exhibition has opened to showcase the iconic history of the the group’s first hotel in the UK, London Hilton Park Lane, since opening in 1963 and explores the history Hilton as a brand and the London Hilton on Park Lane as an institution across the hospitality and London landscape.

A hotel of many firsts, founder Conrad Hilton himself commissioned what was the biggest post-war hotel build in Europe, standing at a majestic 28 floors. Conrad Hilton was noted upon opening the London Hilton on Park Lane as saying:

The hotel is known to have had a significant financial impact on the London economy, cited at around £7 million upon opening in 1963 and the hotel is proud to have helped redefine the UK’s event industry; one valued at an estimated £18.1 billion today and recently overtook Marriott International to become as “world’s most valuable” hotel brand.

“In a city as globally significant and as popular as London,” said Michael Shepherd, the longest serving General Manager of the London Hilton on Park Lane. “Standing out isn’t easy or straightforward; for the Hilton to land here in the 1960’s and immediately set the standard was quite a feat. To still be going strong and remain one of this city’s great hospitality settings is fitting to the work of the hotel staff, and shows that the Hilton brand is still timeless and appealing to guests around the world today.

“As Hilton turns 100, the celebrations will look at the positive, world-altering impact Hilton continues to have on billions of lives and thousands of communities around the globe, pioneering new travel markets and bringing people and cultures together, while expanding new horizons and opportunities.”

The exhibition will be displayed in the lobby area, and is open for guests and visitors to enjoy from Tuesday 28th May to Sunday 2nd June.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

Social hotel brand to arrive in Malaysia

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Social hotel brand to arrive in Malaysia

Ormond Group’s new social hotel brand, MoMo’s, will debut in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in October of this year… 

MoMo’s, Ormond Group’s new playful hospitality concept, will launch its first property in central Kuala Lumpur within the eclectic Chow Kit neighborhood this October. Home to 99 guest rooms, MoMo’s KL will be a newly renovated, exciting hangout in the city, providing a fun and laid-back multi-dimensional space where visitors and locals can collide in harmony.

MoMo’s celebrates creative collaboration whilst offering a design-led lifestyle hotel at a value-for-money price point. Alongside micro rooms, MoMo’s KL will provide guests with a dynamic social space that engage with creative communities and urban nomads. The hotel has been designed to inspire memorable moments, through fun creative programming and a unique food and beverage offering.

MoMo’s hosts will ensure that guests have unrivalled access to Kuala Lumpur’s hidden gems, experiencing the city as a local would. Stepping away from the traditional notion of front-of-house staff, hosts are on hand to greet guests on arrival, make them a coffee or cocktail whilst checking them in for their stay. Embracing Asia’s open house culture, MoMo’s prides itself on its informal environment in which guests are encouraged to relax and have fun, feeling totally at home.

Render of minimalist lifestyle area

Image credit: MoMo

“MoMo’s is bringing a fresh personality to Kuala Lumpur, offering young, culturally driven travellers a design focused and value-concious experience,”  said Gareth Lim, CEO of Ormond Group. “Social interaction is central to MoMo’s ethos and look forward to being part of the regeneration of the Chow Kit neighbourhood.”

On the ground floor, MoMosita’s – a new casual concept from leading Malaysian F&B operators Christian Bauer and Eddie Chew of Troika Sky Dining, is a fun, gritty, self-serve dive bar serving tacos and snacks alongside draft beer and bottled cocktails. Open in the evenings throughout the week, with late night music programming on Fridays and Saturdays, MoMosita’s is the ultimate low-key hangout for guests and locals to let loose and mingle.

Reframing the hotel narrative from being a place to get a good night’s sleep to each hotel acting as a springboard to guests’ city experiences, MoMo’s KL encourages guests to live, play and stay. The traditional lobby is replaced by a social space that acts as the central hub of activity, The Playground. The Playground, located on the ground floor, is the hotel’s main events space which will host a series of weekly events from performance art, workshops and exhibitions to DJ sets and live gigs. The Playground was conceptualized to encourage the best creative minds from the city and abroad to mingle.

Render of minimalist dining area

Image credit: MoMo’s

The micro-rooms feature bespoke amenities, plush beds, smart TVs and a safe with a self-pick-up style room service facility. Inward facing rooms look out onto a large gallery lightwell which provides the rooms with a curated moving image space. The design palette throughout the rooms and the communal spaces are made up of simple, honest materials with raw concrete, laminated timber and combed plaster featuring throughout. Notes of dusty pinks, washed greens and aged brass are consistent throughout the furnishings, fabrics and ornaments that bring MoMo’s design focused, yet approachable, character to the fore.

Sydney based interiors and architecture studio, Akin Atelier, has led the design of MoMo’s Kuala Lumpur bringing founder, Kelvin Ho’s, renowned style to this unique property. The Australia based architect and interior designer has brought MoMo’s KL to life using the multi-faceted and playful character of Kuala Lumpur as the inspiration for the design. The public spaces have been conceptualised to feel like an experiential gallery where food, art and music are expressed in its rawest forms to elevate and juxtapose them from the simple rooms.

MoMo’s will open next door to The Chow Kit – An Ormond Hotel, another new launch from Ormond Group. A second MoMo’s hotel is slated for a 2022 opening in Melbourne, Australia.

Main image credit: MoMo

Hyatt Regency brand to arrive in Portugal

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hyatt Regency brand to arrive in Portugal

The opening of Hyatt Regency Lisbon in 2020 will mark continued growth for the Hyatt Regency brand in Portugal and Southern Europe…

Hyatt Hotels, which currently has more than 190 Hyatt Regency urban and resort locations in more than 30 countries around the world, has announced that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into a franchise and related agreements to develop the first Hyatt branded hotel in Portugal: Hyatt Regency Lisbon.

Expected to open in late 2020, the hotel will feature 200 guestrooms and apartments and will be located between Rua Guerra Junqueiro and Avenida da Índia, a stunning waterfront location facing Tejo River.

“The number of tourists visiting Portugal has increased for eight consecutive years, with 12.8 million travelers visiting in 2018 alone.”

The foray into Lisbon, Portugal’s coastal capital city, is an important milestone for Hyatt, signifying its growing brand presence in increasingly competitive markets across the continent. The decision comes after the number of tourists visiting Portugal has increased for eight consecutive years, with 12.8 million travelers visiting in 2018 alone.

“We are delighted by the announcement of plans for the first Hyatt hotel in Portugal as Lisbon is one of Europe’s leading cities in overnight stays and has quickly established itself as a prime destination not only for leisure travelers, but also for larger conventions and events.” said Nuno Galvão-Pinto, regional vice president development at Hyatt. “We look forward to working with United Investments Portugal on this exciting project in Lisbon. This is an important step for Hyatt as we look to expand our brand presence throughout Portugal.”

Hyatt Regency Lisbon will offer a wide range of intuitive facilities, including a luxurious spa, a swimming pool, a rooftop terrace bar with views over the river, as well as a beautiful courtyard and garden.

Hyatt Regency Lisbon will mark continued growth for the brand in Europe, joining Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée and soon-to-open Hyatt Regency Barcelona Fira and Hyatt Regency Hesperia Madrid.

Main image credit: Hyatt Regency Lisbon

How colour is making a comeback in the bathroom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
How colour is making a comeback in the bathroom

To conclude our time putting bathrooms under the spotlight, Crosswater explains why colour is making a comeback in the hotel bathroom… 

The interior design of a hotel guestroom is extremely important. After all, this is effectively a home-from-home – a place of security to rest after a busy day. Just as universal as the concept of resting and relaxation, is the concept of colour to evoke a particular atmosphere or create a particular environment.

Colour is also one of the most visible aspects of hotel interior design, which has the ability to create a fantastic first impression. The options to do so are seemingly endless – from wallpaper to paint to accessories.

While certain colours usually evoke certain reactions in most people, shade and saturation can also dramatically change the aesthetic of a room. Generally speaking, light colours can make rooms feel lighter and bigger, while dark colours can create a mood of sophistication and intimacy. Blues evoke calmness and serenity, while green creates a vibrant, natural space. Yellow creates a sense of energy, while red can be warm and comforting if used well.

“Consumers are now being drawn to a strong and striking bathroom design.”

The trend for colour isn’t limited to hotel bedrooms, either. Increasingly so, colour is making a comeback in the bathroom too. The all-white bathroom scheme has been a safe and popular option over the years but, after such a long phase of beige, neutral and earthy tones, consumers are now being drawn to a strong and striking bathroom design – one which is more bold, personal and attractive.

Sleek, chic and opulent, a hotel bathroom should be synonymous with modern glamour. A place to relax and unwind in style.

Gold, platinum, brass and copper are being included as metallic accents and design highlights, while black is being used on its own, but also to create a contrast to richer tones.

Close up of tap fitting

Image credit: Crosswater

The key to taking the bathroom to the next level lies in the small, often overlooked, details. Focusing on accessories, taps, showerheads and rails can often create a great impact with a minor amount of bold colour.

The MPRO collection from Crosswater delivers the very best in brassware engineering and is available in a Brushed Brass finish, along with Chrome, Stainless Steel and Matt Black options. Combining superb function and precision design, the result is a complete collection of bathroom mixers, valves and showerheads that meets the exacting standard of today’s modern bathroom.

Close up of marble and gold fittings

Image credit: Crosswater

Celebrating simple lines and an on-trend brushed gold surface, MPRO brings a stylish update to any contemporary bathroom scheme.

A developing theme is that several colours are being used in coordination with each other that might appear, at first glance, to contradict one another in a mixture of styles. In this way, all traditional rules towards interior design and aesthetics have been overruled.

“Crosswater’s new Italy collection is offered in 49 colour combinations and gives life to true customisation in the bathroom.”

People are getting more adventurous and mix-and-matching in their homes, creating individual and bespoke schemes. One of the great things about this approach to hotel design is that it is extremely flexible, providing guests with the luxury of a variation of finishes within one room – plus the idea of mixing materials adds a special interest, richness and depth to a design scheme.

Crosswater’s new Italy collection is offered in 49 colour combinations and gives life to true customisation in the bathroom. Modern forms of the 1920s inspire this brand new range, which combines metals, natural stone and marble – creating a unique character. Designers are able to choose from eight base finishes and seven handle options, and the collection is available in a range of deck, wall-mounted and floor-standing basin, bath and shower mixers.

In this way, when it comes to hotel bathroom décor, designers can combine colours, materials and patterns to create an effect that reflects the hotel’s personality and unique style. Using colour can still be applied to the fine finishes, elegant fittings and timeless accessories to create that luxurious hotel-feel that guests desire – think big and these fearless design choices will help your hotel achieve a unique designer bathroom look.

Crosswater is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image credit: Crosswater

MKV Design completes chic hotel design in Mykonos

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MKV Design completes chic hotel design in Mykonos

Design firm MKV Design has completed the interior design of Mykonos Riviera Hotel & Spa, a new 44-key boutique hotel that overlooks the Aegean Sea…

Described as the “perfect setting for rare moments of romance, luxury and personalised service,” Mykonos’ west coast has welcomed the arrival of a new boutique hotel,Mykonos Riviera Hotel & Spa, designed by MKV Design. Just as Hora tumbles down the centuries-old cliff face, so the white Cycladic buildings of Mykonos Riviera are also terraced down the rocky terrain.

With a stepped pathway running through the resort like its spine, and many spaces opening directly onto the pathway, the development resembles a series of little village houses, albeit revealing contemporary pared-back design and many luxurious features when the doors are opened.

“This has been a very special project for us, given our role over the years as interior designer at the Riviera’s sister resort, The Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort,” says Maria Vafiadis, Founder of MKV Design and finalist of The Brit List 2018. “In this new project, we have created a retreat just a stroll away from the main town in which guests can feel completely connected with the most beautiful and transformative aspects of Mykonos – its natural landscapes, centuries old architectural character and its sense of simple luxury”.

A sunken pathway is the start of the journey through the site, leading to the reception lobby which sits below the elevated infinity pool, only opening out at the far end with a seating area and windows looking over the sea. The genius of the design in this space is the deep, glazed “windows” punched through the ceiling under the pool which transform the lobby into an ethereal underwater experience. By day, the space is constantly alive, shimmering with reflections of water and sunlight and animated by swimmers above. In the evening, it is illuminated by fibre optic lights embedded into the walls which shine upwards through the windows and pierce the water like hundreds of stars twinkling in the night sky. All this life is reflected and amplified by a fully mirrored reception desk, while a suspended sculpture plays with the notion of a diver plunging through the ceiling and recurring design features are established, such as polished concrete finishes and decorative marine rope.

Minimalist check-in desk with colours of turquoise in ceiling and reflection on floor

Image credit: Niall Clutton

The library is also directly off the sunken pathway. A fresh, calm room in which to relax or work, it is one of the very few spaces that looks inwards rather than out to sea. Above, the Blu Room is a space for small private events and guest breakfasts with a stunning custom-designed buffet table above which a parade of lights like elegant sunhats forms an eye-catching display. The Blu Room’s reversal of the island’s usual colour palette of white with blue highlights into a room of dense ultramarine blue emphasises its unique role within the resort as a semi-private facility.

Most of the guestrooms and suites overlook the Aegean Sea. Their interiors are bright, spacious and designed with a sleek nautical touch. A rope motif strung across the ceiling suggests rigging on a boat and splashes of Mykonian blue enliven the otherwise all-white palette; all the rooms enjoy an outdoor terrace. The bathroom area is finished in the iconic white marble of Naxos together with weathered timber, and the free-standing vanities are within the bedroom area, together with, in some rooms, a bath tub.

Bright, airy and clean guestroom

Image credit: Niall Clutton

Among the many room types, there are a number of suites raising the luxury experience to a further level, including suites with a heated jacuzzi on their terrace, duplex spa suites in which the lower floor is dedicated to pampering and fitness and the 70 sq metre Pool Suites, each with a private pool. A three-bedroom maisonette crowns the guest offering with its own infinity pool and a huge, fully furnished terrace.

The rooftop Pool Club restaurant and bar is the hotel’s all-day dining venue. Located opposite the pool and directly looking towards the sea, it offers a panoply of gently changing vistas, from the Mykonian sunset to the yachts and pleasure boats making their way in and out of harbour. The range of seating options is varied to suit loungers and diners, secluded contemplation and lively socialising. Once again, the colour palette is simple and belongs to Mykonos; the white ceiling of the pergola is criss-crossed with white rope and the bar is dressed in rope that sways in the Mykonian breeze.

Lafs, the Greek speciality restaurant, only opens in the evenings and its simple interior is therefore designed to feel cosy and be seen by the light of its many glass pendants and loosely woven raffia shades which cast shadows across the room. From its outdoor terrace overlooking Hora, diners feel like they can touch the town.  Lafs has the air of the best Greek in town – unpretentious, convivial and authentic.

View overlooking the pool and the bar

Image credit: The Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort

The 500 sq metre spa includes six treatment rooms, a thalassotherapy pool with therapeutic showers, a hammam, sauna, relaxation room and hairdressing salon. The interiors are pure and simple with polished concrete finishes predominating embellished by pebble channels in the floor and a sculptural wall to one side of the pool; although the spa is sunken, natural light penetrates the space via a small outdoor courtyard.

Main image credit: Niall Clutton

5 examples of art outside the frame at Clerkenwell Design Week

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 examples of art outside the frame at Clerkenwell Design Week

Clerkenwell Design Week once again inspired designers, architects and Londoners alike to celebrate London as a creative design hub. Editor Hamish Kilburn identifies five installations that took art outside the frame…

In seven exhibitions across London’s much-loved design district, exhibitors at Clerkenwell Design Week displayed the latest products and emerging trends on the market.

But in between each tented venue, creepy crypt and a deserted nightclub were a number of artists, designers and architects reflecting their creativity on the city’s streets. CDW showcased commissioned site specific installations across Clerkenwell. For CDW’s 10 year anniversary, visitors were asked to expect the most exciting street spectacles yet, and here were just a handful of the main attractions.

Once Upon A Time

Main image credit: Sophie Mutevelian/Once Upon a Time

The installation took inspiration from the rich and sometimes dark historical tales of Clerkenwell. For the initiative, CDW collaborated with Chelsea College of Arts, BA Graphic Design Communication students to create a series of graphic installations inspired by the stories relating to the significant locations. The six winning entries were selected by a judging panel including; Max Fraser, CDW Content Editor; Priya Khanchandani, ICON Editor, and David Barnett, Chelsea College of Art Course Leader, BA Graphic Design Communication. In conjunction with the project, Lansdown’s London hosted a number of historical walking tours during CDW exploring its past as a centre of making, from clock-makers to gin distillers.

Decade

Man looking at the installation on the streets of Clerkenwell

Image credit: Hakwood Adam Dale/Decade

The piece was a dramatic trail of 10, three metre high candle like beacons designed by pioneers within the creative industry. The installations, symbolic of birthday candles also formed part of CDW’s wayfinding strategy to help guide visitors across the exhibition route. With a nod to the area as London’s creative heart, each installation showcased the designers’ individuality and imagination.

Reflect Us

Created by Beau Kerouac in collaboration with ‘The Big Issue’, the installation intended to bridge gaps in society by confronting visitors with 10 door-sized gateways to eyes that are sometimes hard to look into, telling the stories of vendors from our city streets. Using AR technology, Beau Kerouac invited visitors to question how an act of respect; simply making eye contact, can change someone’s day for the better through shared experience.

Scale Rule

The large installation, which was displayed at St John’s Gate arch, responded to the theme of history and heritage by proposing a new structure that subtly draws on the historic form whilst bringing in materials and geometries that reference the design culture of Clerkenwell today.

The concept played with the idea of space and enclosure, by inserting a densely built timber structure within the void of the archway.  This was then carved away to allow a route through and to frame the historic features of the site. The timber frame was filled with moments of colour that intensify towards the top of the arch, drawing visitors’ gaze upwards towards the historic architecture. The colour was created by using recycled materials and fabrics that reference the design identity of the area.

While on the site, the pavilion highlighted details of the archway and drew parallels to the 10 year anniversary of CDW.  When moved to a new location, the pavilion will take with it the geometry of the archway to act as a casting of the original site.

Pareidolia

Man walking past light-like installation

Image credit: Jestico + Whiles

For their second CDW collaboration, Jestico + Whiles and Porcelanosa Group teamed up with Studio Fractal and Architainment Lighting to display a new and experimental immersive experience, which was entitled Pareidolia.

The immersive installation explored concepts of movement, memory and pattern with an impressive large-scale digitally fabricated installation made of Krion, a Porcelanosa product derived from natural minerals.

Hotel Designs was a proud media partner for Clerkenwell Design Week 2019. To read the editor’s round up of the entire festival, including news of the major product launches during the three-day-show, click here.

Main image credit: Sophie Mutevelian

DesignLSM unveils 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton in London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
DesignLSM unveils 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton in London

Hospitality design firm DesignLSM has transformed the F&B and front-of-house areas of the newly launched 100 Queen’s Gate Hotel in Kensington, London…

100 Queen’s Gate Hotel in Kensington has reopened following Crimson Hotel’s ambition to convert the DoubleTree property into a Curio by Hilton hotel.

To achieve this, design firm DesignLSM was commissioned to curate a unique narrative for the property, forming a personality that creates a strong sense of place. From the outset of the project, DesignLSM strategy team collaborated closely with the client on the positioning of the hotel, undertaking a detailed reconnaissance visit of the Kensington Borough and examining among other areas the core demographics and competition. The study established the overarching design narrative as well as defining the F&B offers to suit the day part and clientele’s diverse desires.

“We immersed ourselves into the historical archives of the property and drew upon the distinctive persona of the original land owner – William Henry Alexander, who was well regarded within the 1800’s for being an avid collector of curiosities from his travels as well as a notable patron of the arts,” said DesignLSM’s strategy director, Holly Hallam. “We wanted to ensure that the interior alluded to its Victorian roots whilst conveying a strong balance of modernity. The narrative of the design pays homage to William Alexander, creating a sense of ‘his residence’ through the individually designed spaces; showcasing the collectables and celebrating his adventurous character.”

warm and spacious public areas with plush furniture

Image credit: Curio Collection by Hilton

The heterogeneous and contemporary palette of the hotel reception and lounge creates a warm and inviting ambience for guests introducing them into the luxury of the Curio brand. The two main lounge areas are divided by a beautifully lit cabinet of curiosities displaying an assortment of discoveries which reflect the origins of William Alexander’s travels. Reminiscent of a Victorian gentleman’s drawing room the space features a grand bookcase, writing desk and drinks trolley alongside plush furnishings and artwork.

The large, light and airy reception area creates a distinctive first impression with three bespoke timber reception desks taking centre stage. Further pockets of lounge seating are placed around the space leading out to a relaxed atrium terrace that takes guests down to the ESQ cocktail bar.

Deep, dark hues in the bar

Image credit: Curio Collection by Hilton

The design curation of the ESQ Bar was based around a traditional Victorian parlour room, where Alexander would bring his guests and business associates to discuss his latest confidential endeavours. Adorned in a rich, warm colour palette with bold decorative fabrics the space provides a refined and relaxed ambience perfect for pre and post dinner drinks. Ambient lighting seamlessly transitions from day till night in keeping with the sophisticated tone of the hotel.

The lower ground floor also offers access to two private meeting rooms decorated in a deep hues of blue and dark wood projecting a masculine undertone with curious collections of artwork and relics.

Taking inspiration from traditional Victorian Gymnasiums, the intimate basement gym is adorned in bold painted wall panelling with warm timber flooring complemented by a statement green colour palette.

Elsewhere, the ‘Botanica’ tea room is housed in an elegant double height atrium space with abundant arrays of luxurious greenery and planting. Evocative of a classic Victorian orangery, the space offers vast amounts of natural daylight making it the perfect place for relaxation over a spot of afternoon tea with friends.

A particular highlight of the design, according to the design firm, is the exquisite pendant lighting that imposingly suspends from the ceiling, highlighting the elegant marble finishes and statement floor tiles.

London Design Festival unveils sneak peek of its 2019 collaborations and events

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
London Design Festival unveils sneak peek of its 2019 collaborations and events

At an exclusive press conference at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the organisers and close partners of London Design Festival lifted the veil on just some of the collaborations, concepts and talent that will be displayed at the week-long festival between September 14 – 22. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

As Clerkenwell Design Week comes to a close, London Design Festival has been waiting impatiently in the wings to share what’s new for this year’s event. Sheltered within an apt setting inside the Victoria & Albert museum, which is the world’s leading museum for design and art, members of the press were given unprecedented access into some of the major collaborations, installations and talent that will be displayed during the week-long festival.

This year also marks 11 years with the V&A as a collaborating partner and the official Festival hub. During the Festival, the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance will once again play host to a series of specially-commissioned projects by internationally-renowned designers.

london street with installation and colour

Image credit: Walala Lounge, Camille Walala,

“The 17th edition of the festival, which launched in 2003, is all about collaboration and bringing people together,” said Sir John Sorrell CBE, Chairman of LDF. Sir Sorrell explained that LDF 2019 has teamed up to work with Benchmark Furniture. The festival has already identified and paired together 10 cultural leaders with 10 visionary designers in order to celebrate the potential and opportunities that can result from seamless collaborations. The concept, entitled Legacy, will involve each designer and organisation working together to craft something inspirational out of Red Oak with the aim to promote raw, intelligent and sustainable design. The sustainable wood species grows abundantly in the American hardwood forests, and will be fabricated at Benchmark Furniture in Berkshire. The pieces will be presented as a group exhibition at the V&A in September, after which they will relocate to the homes or institutes of each of the commissioners.

The 10 designers and commissioners are:

  • Dr Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A, will work with Jasper Morrison
  •  Sir Ian Blatchford, Director and Chief Executive, Science Museum Group, will work with Marlene Huissoud
  • Yana Peel, CEO, Serpentine Galleries, will work with Ed Barber and Jay Osgerby
  • Alex Beard CBE, Chief Executive, Royal Opera House, will work with Konstantin Grcic
  • Amanda Nevill CBE, CEO, British Film Institute, will work with Sebastian Cox
  • Tamara Rojo CBE, Artistic Director, English National Ballet, will work with Martino Gamper
  • Dr Maria Balshaw CBE, Director, Tate, will work with Max Lamb
  • Iwona Blazwick OBE, Director, Whitechapel Art Gallery, will work with Raw Edges
  • Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director, Young Vic, will work with Tomoko Azumi
  • Sir John Sorrell CBE will work with Juliet Quintero
image of designers and cultural leaders

Image credit: LDF Legacy

Among the other installations to look out for at the festival is Matthew McCormack’s Falling Sky. The Canadian designer will exhibit a multi-story design-art installation featuring countless deconstructed, frost-like formations, conspicuously positioned over the heads of its onlookers.

Meanwhile, British designer Paul Cocksedge is transforming Finsbury Avenue Square, Broadgate, with Landmark Project, Please Be Seated. Located in the heart of Broadgate – a diverse hub connecting innovation and finance – the project will be the most ambitious of British Land’s commissions to date.

led lights abstractly arranged with black backdrop

Image credit: Sony Design

Sony Design will translate innovation into perceptual experiences is the theme for the creation of this interactive robotic pendulum: Affinity in Autonomy, an immersive installation that will explore design, AI and robots.

Camille Walala will return to LDF in a characteristically colourful manner. The French-born designer has been commissioned by Grosvenor Britain & Ireland to energise and enliven South Molton Street, in the heart of London’s West End, with a bold and beautiful family of street furniture. Combining head-turning colour and geometric shapes in monumental proportions, the 11 unique benches of Walala Lounge will give visitors something unexpected to look at – and to sit on.

Director of the festival, Ben Evans, took to the stage to explain the value of the festival’s various different districts and destinations, including Focus19, Design, 100% Design, London Design Fair,  “Each exhibition and district during LDF has its own personality,” he praised. “London has the biggest creative economy in the world, and design is a key part of it. London Design Festival celebrates and promotes London’s design excellence in a period when showcasing creativity is even more important.”

Established in 2003 by Sir John Sorrell CBE and Ben Evans, LDF celebrates and promotes London as the design capital of the world. London Design Festival has since earned the reputation as a key calendar moment of London’s autumn creative season, alongside London Fashion Week, Frieze Art Fair and the London Film Festival, attracting the greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to the capital, in a citywide celebration.

Main image credit: Paul Cocksedge

Man walking in front of light installation

Editor’s round up of Clerkenwell Design Week 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor’s round up of Clerkenwell Design Week 2019

The streets of London’s Clerkenwell came alive once more for another three days of exhibitions, installations and product launches. Editor Hamish Kilburn rounds up Clerkenwell Design Week 2019 as the festival enters double digits…

There is no other design festival in the world that harnesses the natural swagger to be able to pull off taking over a much-loved iconic nightclub and a desolate crypt at the same time.

Man walking in front of light installation

But Clerkenwell Design Week is an anything but ordinary festival, taking over an entire district to celebrate London as a leading design hub that incubates ideas, creativity and talent. As a proud media partner for the festival as it turns 10 years old, Hotel Designs was in the centre of the action, and here are some of our many highlights.

Following on from last year’s incredible installation with Brinton’s Carpets on St Johns Square, Timorous Beasties’ iconic designs were this year in the Project tent. The design studio’s provocative textiles were woven into the fabrics of Knightsbridge’s stand. Celebrating 80 years of British manufacturing – which is a feat on its own – the furniture company’s design director, Jason Brown, designed a 60s inspired furniture set, combining rich mustard with Timorous Beasties jungle-like patterns. “Yesterday, today, tomorrow,” he said when asked to describe the timeless collection in three words.

From one iconic design brand to another, Zaha Hadid Design Gallery opened its doors to present ‘Shaping Reality Through Time’, an exploration of Fitz Hansen design evolution. As well as looking to the past, the exhibition also showcased a number of new products that were launched at Milan Design Week, including Plenum, which is Hansen’s first dedicated contract furniture piece.

Let there be more light

The feeling of celebration was in the air, which was arguably most felt in the Light exhibition that took over Fabric. The nightclub that famously closed its doors permanently a few years ago was taken over by striking light installations. Many of the new products on display were sustainably designed using materials such as cork and even cardboard in  both the base and shade.

Graypants’ latest flagship Scraplights, made from recycled cardboard and inspired by a collection of pebbles, are cut with a laser and are assembled by hand using non-toxic adhesive. In addition, each and every product is treated with a non-toxic fire retardant, making them ideal for hotel interiors.

Geometric light installation

Image credit: Black Edge Productions

Meanwhile, British lighting brand NOVE displayed its fresh approach on sustainability with pendants in the company’s Cork Collection. Also using the sustainable material was the stylish ARKKI SKIRT & DRUM lamps are lightweight and eco-frindly. The ingenious folding structure allows for a ”pearl necklace” to shine between the pieces, and the white inside of the shade makes it a good light source. There are several wood veneer finishes and a number of laminated paper colors to choose from, all applied on a folding structure of durable corrugated cardboard. The lamps are flat-packed for shipping and mount easily by joining the ends of the fan-like shade and adding a disk that completes the clever structure.

Living room with cardboard lightshades in different colours

Image credit: ARKKI Skirt and Drum

Another highlight from the exhibition – and no stranger to CDW – was Haberdashery. The lighting experts displayed the company’s personalised Dawn To Dusk lamps that evoke the memory of the rising and setting of the sun. As if you were lifting the sun from behind the horizon and placing it in the sky, the light transitions from off through deep red and warm white, to the bright light of midday.

Taking over what used to be the dance floor under the shadow of the main stage was a dynamic installation by LUUM, a company that prides itself on delivering spectacular light installations that stir a sense of wonder, excitement and energy – all of which was captured effortlessly this year with an interesting play on LED technology and geometric, abstract shapes.

Blending architecture with lighting, LEDS C4’s GROK exhibited in the walkway by showcasing its latest products that reacted perfectly with the nightclub’s rustic charm. Visitors were able to immerse themselves around the company’s latest collections such as Ely, the wall light designed by Luca Turrini, new pendants in the Voiles collection by Céline Wright and Circular, which was hung spectacularly over the stand.

Other brands in the Light exhibition included Optelma, atelje Lyktan, Bert Frank, EBB & FLOW, Syska, and XAL among many others.

Mood lighting

Elsewhere around the streets of Clerkenwell, the possibilities of lighting was a topic explored in full. For the duration of festival, artist Liz West took over Domus’ lower ground floor area with her latest work Live Colour. Working against a minimal backdrop of XL format Magnum slabs at Domus, West has imagined a space with blue, pink, green, red and yellow rotating washes of each colour, against white floor and walls, with ‘pure’ white light as part of the cycle to normalise the overall colour intensity.

Audience at seminar in showroom

Image credit: Sophie Mutevelian

The installation uses Rosco’s patented SL1 Mix LED technology to create accurate Rosco gel matches and intense, saturated colour. Through West’s multi-sensory art, visitors to Live Colour will experience pure colour in an immersive environment like never before.

“Live Colour’ plays with people’s individual perception of colour, challenging how they feel when immersed totally in one colour, then quickly drowned in another in deep contrast,” explained West. “Colour is a universal language that is understood by all, although we each bring to the work our individual memories and lived experiences of colour.”

Seamless bathroom style

CDW wasn’t the only birthday celebrated at the festival. Bathroom manufacturer Duravit marked one year in Clerkenwell by exhibiting its latest contemporary products, including the VIU range designed by Sieger Design as well as the masculine matt black furniture and basin options.

Meanwhile, hot off the heals from ISH 2019 and Hotel Designs’ exclusive with VP of Design Michael Seum, GROHE teamed up with tile experts at Mosa to display its latest collections.

Flexible and fresh working spaces

Following on from Hotel Designs’ panel discussion at the Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam entitled ‘Designing For Bleisure’, CDW opened the doors to practical workplaces and furniture that many hotels and hotel designers can draw inspiration from. The modern BOB by Bisley, for example, allows the user to detach and personalise the unit to each consumer’s preference. Also exploring this concept in the Platform exhibition was HEX from Intarc Design. The interactive furniture solutions transforms with every use and has the functional ability to store tables, shelves, drawers and even include power supplies. Another stand-out piece that further blurred the lines between workplace and hotel design was the NAAVA living walls, which were displayed in the Design Fields exhibition. The wall is the only smart and active green wall that revolutionises the air consumers breathe.

man in front of installations made of plastic bottles

Image credit: Sophie Mutevelian

Key elements

Nestled on St Johns Square, which won the award for best suntrap of the week, Elements at CDW brought together a leading selection of ironmongery, hardware, switch plates and architectural accessories. Stand-out pieces included contemporary and colourful radiators by BISQUE and personalised light switches, electrical wiring accessories, circuit protection, smart lighting controls and multi-room audio that was on display on the Hamilton Litestat stand.

Inspiration for all 

Among the many engaging talks and seminars that took place over the two days was Morgan Furniture, which opened its showroom to a flood of a designers, architects and students to hear Tom Raffield talk about his latest lighting collection – and the art of steam bending. “Biophilic design is so important,” Raffield said. “I am really inspired by the fact that there are no striaght lines in nature.” Other sessions that went beneith the surface of sustainable design included Jo Ruxton’s Plastic in the Ocean talk at Humanscale and Material Matters by Grant Gibson and Gareth Neal.

One of the many traditional highlights of the festival for many is the Platform exhibition, which takes shape in the House of Detention. The exhibition recognises some of the world’s most exciting up-and-coming design talent. Exploiting the venue’s atmospheric architecture, Platform creates a stunning backdrop for a curated collection of international and cutting-edge design. Among the stand-out stands this year was fabric brand Monkey Puzzle Tree, which launched a new colour of its Passion Flower wallpaper. “We worked with artist Alexis Snell, a printmaker who works with beautifully unique linocuts to create Passion Flower wallpaper,” explained the brand’s Charlotte Raffo. “Known for her strange, dark, angular illustrations that look as if they’ve just emerged from a fairytale, Alexis’s work can been seen illustrating many books and her designs have also been commissioned by the Victoria and Albert Museum.”

Other brands who exhibited underground and projected emerging talent included Spitfire Furniture that combines aviation engineering with design, Trouping Colour, STORE and Russel Bamber.

Something fun to take away

Robot pole dancing

Image credit: Giles Walker/FUTURE Designs

The designer and manufacturer of luminaires and bespoke lighting solutions FUTURE Designs displayed ‘Peep Show’, an installation by kinetic artist Giles Walker. The installation, which featured robotic sculptures that dance, was created as a comment on the perverseness of some advancing technologies and their surveillance capabilities. Peep Show went viral on social media shortly after being shown in its opening exhibition.“There are parallels with the themes that run through my work and the physical creative process,” said Walker about the display. “Over the past 27 years that I have been making moving sculptures there has been a direct correlation between the technological progression of my work and the technological progression in the recycled material available. A lot of the mechanics found in my sculptures still come from under the bonnet of scrapped cars. So not only do my sculptures allude to displaced, rejected and redundant themes surrounding society, but they are also made of this very thing”.

The robotic sculptures included parts from the FUTURE Designs factory that were recycled to help create these thought provoking moving figures.

The 10th edition of CDW has been a celebration of a decade spent in EC1. The three day festival continues to highlight and celebrate the extraordinary creativity housed across London’s historic Clerkenwell. Representing the area’s dynamic energy and creative diversity, CDW has become a show like no other – championing the local community, established and up-and-coming design brands. Hosting more than 200 exhibitors, including more than 100 showrooms, seven installations, seven exhibition venues and a series of workshops, talks and walking tours, CDW 2019 certainly delivered.

Main image credit: Sam Frost

New ‘super boutique hotel’ in London to become leader in sustainability

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New ‘super boutique hotel’ in London to become leader in sustainability

Edwardian Hotels London has secured a £175 million Green Loan from HSBC UK that will help make its new ‘super boutique hotel’, The Londoner, one of the most environmentally friendly in the UK, with sustainability at its core…

Edwardian Hotels London has secured a £175 million Green Loan from HSBC UK to ensure its new super boutique hotel, The Londoner, situated in Leicester Square will be one of the greenest hotels in the UK.

The deal with HSBC UK breaks new ground in sustainability for the hospitality industry. It is the first Green Loan in the sector that meets the Green Loan Principles, which were set out in March 2018 to encourage and facilitate environmentally-friendly economic activity. The funding will be used to ensure the new hotel doesn’t just meet but exceeds the BREEAM Excellent category in building environmental and sustainable performance.

Thanks to the Green Loan, The Londoner’s impressive green credentials will range from use of construction materials with a low environmental impact, to new technologies including an innovative liquid film which will reduce evaporation and energy loss from the hotel’s swimming pool.

The hotel is also aiming to contribute to the sustainability of its neighbours by including a heat network connection. Initially, this will be linked to the Edwardian Hotels London-owned hotel next door to The Londoner, The Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire, but could also be extended to the surrounding area in the future. In total, the hotel is set to use 30 per cent less carbon than regulations demand.

 “Since its inception we have always had bold ambitions for The Londoner to write itself into the very fabric of the city, said Jasminder Singh OBE, Chairman and Founder of Edwardian Hotels London. “We have been dedicated to delivering a high-quality, sustainable, integrated hotel and this Green Loan supports that vision. We are delighted that this new property, designed to celebrate the character of the capital, has become the first in the hospitality industry to secure this.”

Rob King, Head of Sustainable Finance at HSBC UK, said: “HSBC has made a commitment to provide US$100bn of Sustainable Finance by 2025 to help businesses transition to a lower carbon economy. We are very pleased to have supported Edwardian Hotels London with a Green Loan to support the construction of this high profile hotel with very strong sustainability credentials.  Green Loans are an exciting development in Sustainable Finance which will encourage the investment urgently required to meet our carbon emission reduction targets.”

The Londoner is in a new hotel category of one. Boutique in feel, yet staggering in scale, at 15 storeys, the property will offer a multifaceted experience through its 350 exquisite rooms and suites, signature restaurants and dining offerings and with the bespoke meetings and event spaces infused with London character. It is scheduled to open in Spring 2020.

Main image credit: Edwardian Hotels

True-to-life surfaces from your local distributor

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
True-to-life surfaces from your local distributor

UNILIN division panel surfaces, provide architects and specifiers with fast access to its UNILIN Evola decorative panels through a nationwide network of distributors…

Through UNILIN it’s easy to find your nearest knowledgeable distributor ready to help unlock the creativity of UNILIN Evola and its 168 decorative options, covering faithful recreations of natural materials to bold colours, concrete and brushed precious metals.

No matter what the look, all Evola panels share one thing in common; great performance. Offering a durable fade- and scratch-resistant surface and easy maintenance, Evola panels are a practical solution for any commercial interior. Available in HPL, melamine-faced chipboard and edging tape, Evola is a serious alternative to natural materials, offering a true-to-life look without any of the drawbacks.

Operating in the UK through a distribution network, UNILIN, division panels, provides its innovative, high-quality panels to interior architects, designers, fabricators and manufacturers. Also manufacturing read-to-paint panels, raw chipboard, doors, shelves and the innovative ClicWall MDF wall panelling system, the company produces more than 2.1million m3 of product annually at sites in Belgium and France.

Currently, the manufacturer’s chipboard is 100 per cent recycled, using 85 per cent recycled wood and the remaining 15 per cent from timber thinning and wood industry waste flows. UNILIN, division panels, also works with companies to take-back old fittings, minimising waste and re-purposing them with a new lease of life. This circular approach is gaining popularity with companies looking to make their sustainability actions more transparent.

With such positive environmental actions, as well as high-quality, innovative decorative panels that can be accessed quickly from distributors right across the country, UNILIN Evola is the ideal partner for interior projects of all shapes and sizes. A4 samples of all 168 UNILIN Evola decorative options can be ordered through the website.

UNILIN is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image credit: UNILIN

New destination bar opens at revamped Hilton Hotel Münich City

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New destination bar opens at revamped Hilton Hotel Münich City

While Hotel Designs continues its Spotlight On Bars & Restaurants, Hilton Hotel Münich City opens Juliet Rose, a new destination bar…

Interior design firm Goddard Littlefair has completed a striking new destination bar called Juliet Rose at the Hilton Hotel Münich City. The city’s new place-to-be bar was inspired by the F&B concept of unusual botanical extracts and the importance of process in the creation of its singular drinks.

The scheme was inspired by the F&B concept of unusual botanical extracts and the importance of process in the creation of its singular drinks, which includes a range of signature cocktails and what is said to be the best coffee in Munich. The result is an exciting and theatrical zoned space with an alchemical, laboratory feel; a perfect back-drop for outstanding drinks to be made and delivered. The scheme both stands out from and also works subtly in harmony with the overall hotel, which has also undergone a thorough revamp by the Goddard Littlefair team.

The bar’s name, Juliet Rose, is taken from one of the most elite roses in the world, developed over a 15-year period by renowned rose breeder David Austin. As well as lending the concept connotations of craftsmanship and the long-term pursuit of perfection, the ‘Rose’ reference will also be easily understood by a local audience as a nod to Rosenheimer Strasse, the street onto which the bar’s dedicated entrance faces, as well as the Rosenheimer Platz metro station, on top of which the hotel stands.

Modern restaurant and bar

Image credit: Gareth Gardner

The generously-apportioned, 90-seat, 180 sq m bar is located on the hotel’s ground floor, with easy access from both the hotel’s spacious new reception, as well as via its own dedicated Rosenheimer Strasse entrance, introduced to maximise passing trade. Customers can additionally access the hotel and bar directly from the metro station and an adjacent car park below, arriving via a special circulation route through the ground floor of the hotel, offering intriguing glimpses of the back of the bar through semi-opaque windows, so that the bar is referenced and announced from every possible angle.

Juliet Rose is made up of four different seating zones, each with different stand-out features, plus two bars. The main ‘ceremony bar’ is a stunning, monolithic U-shaped design that guests coming from the hotel entrance see as soon as they enter the space, at the far end of a central approach. A second, smaller-scale coffee bar is made of the same dramatic moss-green and highly-polished granite, with the choice of material referencing the earthiness of botanical ingredients. The granite for the main bar has been book-matched to ensure dramatic textural veining from the front. Above and behind the main bar, the gantry structure is made up of brass sections, with an industrial/lab feel, underscored by an apothecary-style bottle display. The barman prepares cocktails at its centre, making full use of dry ice, bell jars and a sense of reveal.

‘The overall design approach for the space was based on form and order, with drama, freedom and an opposing sense of randomness created by the furniture and accessorising’, architect David Lee Hood, Associate at Goddard Littlefair, explained. ‘When it came to structure, we added a number of new elements to the space to give a feeling of overall order and symmetry, whilst also ensuring playful visibility between zones via glazed screens offering varying privacy levels.’

As visitors arrive from the hotel down the entry circulation route for example, they pass between two large-scale, floor-to-ceiling screens (with added ‘peep holes’), where a brass-effect structure features ribbed glass OLED panels with a striking inset palm print. The screens were bespoke-manufactured for the project and are just one of many bespoke items that ensure design integrity and exclusivity for the project. A second highly striking screen-wall faces the hotel entrance lobby, passed by guests on their way to either the bar or front reception, and is made up of a brass shelving structure with glass backlit panels where a textured opaque manifestation gives the impression of a linen-style finish and plays with light. The structure is decorated on the inner side with judiciously-placed planting.

Image credit: Gareth Gardner

As the existing columns in the space are quite dominant, the design team made a feature of them by using new cladding and mirroring. An existing ceiling was removed so that the space’s full height could be used, with a dramatic new lighting structure that uses brass pipes and large, exposed lamps to add to the geometric, laboratory feel. Inset mirrors within the ceiling area reinforce the structure, as well as adding reflection and sparkle. Architectural lighting for the scheme was created together with DPA Lighting, whilst the stand-out decorative pieces were all bespoke-designed by Goddard Littlefair, with advice from DPA, and manufactured by Peters Design. As well as the overhead grid structure, these include a stand-out ‘test tube’ style pendant light located over the main bar and a number of vertical, glass-clad wall lights, which refer to the test-tube decorative light in style. A number of mid-wall lights throughout feature a circular fitting with a pole attachment to each side. These add layering and create a lower-level light source to bring light to the tables. Flooring throughout features stained oak timber surround and inset panels, made up of a geometric pattern of small white mosaic areas, plus larger slices set at interesting angles.

The four main seating zones include a casual drop-in area, directly to the left of the entrance, primarily for daytime use for coffee and cakes. Further casual seating is to the right, whilst the two sections further back and along both sides of the bar, for day or evening use, feature a mixture of seating types, as well as a communal high table, for groups, cocktails evenings and special events. Planting is used throughout, both for biophilic appeal and to underline the ‘botanical ingredients’ bar concept.

Furniture throughout includes sofas in bottle green leather and loose seating upholstered in pale oyster pink or else in deep orange leather with thin brass upstands and dark turquoise seat backs. Tables are either a marble-effect silestone, a brass-edged timber-topped design or, for the higher communal table, a series of easily-conjoined tables featuring a print taken from a magnified gold-veined leaf print, supplied by Fameed Khalique and manufactured by the lead contractor on the scheme, Engels.

luxurious bar with pendent lighting

Image credit: Gareth Gardner

Four windows which look directly out onto Rosenheimer Strasse, alongside the bar, feature a special chain-mail curtain with a clip detail, playing once again with light and screening, whilst effectively obscuring the busy street view and ensuring customers are enveloped by the bar’s atmosphere.

Located behind the street entrance to the bar, on the other side of a draft lobby area, are two stand-out pieces of bespoke-designed joinery: a waiter station and a moveable cocktail bar, both in high-gloss lacquer with blue-green tones to work well with the planting and moss-green granite bars. The cocktail bar has a removable top with ice and a sink inside so that it can be moved around to cater to guests anywhere in the space.

The hotel reception lobby that connects with the bar features a design treatment in keeping with the overall hotel design scheme, inspired by German Expressionism and particularly Der Blaue Reiter art movement, which had its origins in the city. Stand-out design features in the reception area include feature lighting loops, designed by Goddard Littlefair and manufactured by LED-C4; a high-gloss hexagonal mosaic-fronted reception desk with brass edging; a striking reception back-wall with a pale grey wallcovering and bronze effect vertical dividing strips; a marble fireplace area and artworks chosen by art consultants ARTIQ, taking a cue from the dynamism and strong colour of early 20th century German Expressionism, but updating that for today’s context, with new artworks commissioned for the hotel from contemporary artists. The artworks that lead towards Juliet Rose are partly-abstracted paintings which reference a more natural theme, in keeping with the F&B concept, with bold and interplaying curved lines.

Main image credit: Gareth Gardner

The Balmoral in Edinburgh reveals new suite

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Balmoral in Edinburgh reveals new suite

The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte hotel in Edinburgh, has revealed a new look for one of its signature suites, The Glamis…

One of Edinburgh’s most iconic hotels, The Balmoral, has unveiled the new design of one of its signiture suites, The Glamis. Designed by Olga Polizzi, Rocco Forte Hotels’ Director of Building & Design, the royal suite is set to become one of the city’s most impressive spaces thanks to an extensive refurbishment and the introduction of exclusive partnerships designed to elevate the guest experience.

The ultimate base for couples and families or an urban retreat for royalty, heads of state and VIPs, The Balmoral is now home to the finest suites in the city, setting the luxury standard of accommodation for Scotland. Named after one of the country’s most beautiful and historical royal abodes, Glamis Castle, childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, the newly launched Glamis Suite is full of period charm and regal references, its ambience and offerings giving a hint of its namesake’s legacy of style, intrigue, rebels and revolution.

Stretching over 100 square metres, with a prime position overlooking the entrance to the hotel on Princes Street, the new suite can be booked with one, two or three bedrooms, making it perfect for couples, families and VIPs.

“Authenticity is at the heart of Rocco Forte Hotels and here original features are celebrated with book cases.”

A new entrance to the Glamis Suite offers discrete, private check-ins. Entering the generous space, patinated bronze screens open onto a Scottish baronial table set for four in the dining room. In the sitting room – with its working fireplace and antique chandelier – a lush colour palette of emerald and amethyst sets the tone for a scheme in which rich fabrics meet antiques selected personally by Polizzi from her travels throughout Europe.  Authenticity is at the heart of Rocco Forte Hotels and here original features are celebrated with book cases – set within the original Edinburgh presses – and art featuring Scottish botanicals. The showpiece Shinola record player and vinyl collection is a nod to the Rock ‘n Roll greats who have frequented the hotel. Available for guests to enjoy, the record menu offers an ever-growing collection tailored to guests’ music tastes.

Taking centre stage in the Master Bedroom is a full-height half-tester bed with a tapestried canopy adding to the romance of a by-gone era. Lewis & Wood Bosky wallpaper by artist Alexander Hamilton adds a fairy-tale quality to the scene whilst two stone lions referencing The Royal Banner of the Royal Arms of Scotland stand guard. A spacious Arabascato marble-clad bathroom, with its oversized freestanding bath sitting underneath a lustrous vintage Czechoslovakian glass chandelier, completes the suite.

Providing a unique suite experience is at the heart of Rocco Forte Hotels’ ongoing dedication to its guests. As part of this, Glamis Suite guests will be offered exclusive turndowns from luxury cashmere brand Johnstons of Elgin and fragrance house, Kingdom Scotland, both aimed at bringing the essence of Scotland to the suite.

The value of considered materials in bathroom design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The value of considered materials in bathroom design

Bathroom specialists Utopia Projects explains why designers and architects should select materials that can be used for any and all surfaces…

It’s becoming increasingly popular among clients to create bathrooms which are fluid in design, using materials which can be utilised for any and all surfaces within the room. Cosentino, a parent company for many own brand materials, have introduced a Bathroom Collection using two of their brands.

The first, Silestone, is the world’s leading quartz surface manufacture. This is mainly due to how durable it is, making it perfect for high traffic areas such as Kitchens and Bathrooms. Dekton is a revolution in stone surfaces, defined as ultra-compact this man made material is highly resistant to stains, impact, heat, pretty much anything.

One of the key characteristics that makes the Silestone & Dekton Bathroom Collection concept unique is its large format. Both materials allow for the creation of a complete bathroom in one single material, giving the space better harmony with aesthetic lines. The nature of these stone materials is low porosity, this combined with minimal joints ensures each surface is extremely hygienic; perfect for a bathroom.

Its collection triumphs with exclusive and revolutionary design in the world of bathrooms, offering custom-made shower trays and basins that fit like a glove into any available space. The sandblasted or soft sandblasted finishes ensure the shower trays’ anti-slip properties, making them completely safe. Silestone and Dekton offer a wide range of colours, enabling your customers to choose a shade that fits in perfectly with their colour scheme and to match their wash-hand basin.

The possibilities of design are endless as most colours are also available in large format tiles for wall and floor cladding, as well as matching niche inserts, shelves, vanity tops, window sills, bath perimeters; pretty much any surface you can think of can be made to match.

Modern, sleek and clean lines in a contemporary white bathroom

Image credit: Utopia Projects

Whether it’s for a single suite bathroom or communal WC, they have the perfect product to transform any bathroom into a warm, welcoming space.

We recently specified one of Cosentino’s basins for our client Hartford Homes, property developers based in the Isle of Man. Its homes are prestigious and completed only using luxury products. As with all Cosentino basins, each is custom made to order, to fit the customers space and design. The company’s specification for Westham Court was nothing less than opulent. With double vanity and walk in spa shower, as well as a freestanding bath which took centre stage in the room, this bathroom was something you would expect in a hotel suite. The specially designed double Reflection basin vanity, produced in Silestone Lyra quartz is seamlessly stunning.

Silestone and Dekton offer a wide range of styles, allowing your customers to choose the colours and textures they love from the 100+ range, whilst enjoying the peace of mind of knowing that the materials fulfil all of their requirements for quality, durability, and hygiene; a minimal number of joints, anti-bacterial protection, and low porosity.

Utopia Projects is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

How one boutique hotel is attracting modern travellers to Africa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
How one boutique hotel is attracting modern travellers to Africa

Urbano Hotel is the modern design inspired boutique hotel located in the heart of Osu, Accra’s most vibrant neighbourhood designed by architect Hussein Fakhry…

With its landmark I LOVE ACCRA sign at the entrance, focus on design, attention to customer care, healthy food options and coveted location surrounded by international quality grocery stores, casinos, sports bars, African craft market, and thriving nightlife, Urbano is making waves on the African hotel design scene.

The hotel is part of the new hospitality trend in Ghana focused on affordable luxury and improved customer service that led the country to be named one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

“When we designed Urbano Hotel, we wanted to bring the concept of “New Africa” to life, an experience that fuses traditional African design and art with a cosmopolitan aesthetic and amenities that our guests are accustomed to when they travel to NY, London, or Paris or other top markets in the world. Urbano Hotel feels youthful and fresh yet a business traveller or family can still find comfort,” shares Fakhry, the Managing Director of Urbano’s parent company, Roots International and co-founder of Key Architectural Group who has more than 22 years experience on prestigious and diversified designs and construction projects throughout the Middle East and West Africa.

Team outside the sign 'I LOVE ACCRA' at hotel

Image credit: Urbano Hotel

It was the love and conception of urban neighbourhoods which promoted Fakhry’s team to revive and refurbish what was formerly the Penta Hotel into Urbano, a modern aesthetic piece, both internally and externally to enhance the facets of Oxford Street. Urbano Hotel features 43 rooms ranging from standard to the luxury bi-level suite and mini-apartment, a multi-functional hall with a capacity for 60, The Arabian, an indoor open courtyard, state of the art gym, The Terrace Bar, and Zaytoun Artisan Cafe featuring Middle Eastern specialities.

“Our utmost vision was to make Urbano Hotel a compelling, “must visit” destination within Accra and we complemented this objective with the mounting of the colourful “I LOVE ACCRA” installation which stretches across one side of the building to welcome every visitor to this culturally charming and vibrant neighbourhood. The millennial traveller is constantly documenting their travel experience on social media and Urbano’s facade lends itself to capturing iconic images of a visit to Ghana,” adds Fakhry.

Fakhry is passionate about the growth and development of Ghana’s tourism and hospitality industry and the possibility of the country emerging as a center of sustainable design in Africa.

“This year there has been a noted spike in travellers to Ghana due in part to Ghana Tourism Authority’s Year of Return initiative and several international conferences, music festivals and celebrity-driven tours scheduled to take place in the country. We are thrilled that discerning millennial travellers from around the world are travelling to Accra for both business and pleasure and finding Urbano’s eclectic style in alignment with their own sense of design, function and adventure and Osu serving as starting point to better understand the culture, dynamics and people of Ghana!”

Main image credit: Urbano Hotel

NH Hotel Group unveils fourth property in Amsterdam

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
NH Hotel Group unveils fourth property in Amsterdam

The new NH Collection Amsterdam Flower Market is a contemporary and elegant hotspot for visitors to the Dutch capital…

NH Hotel Group has unveiled its fifth NH Collection property in The Netherlands and fourth in Amsterdam with the opening of the new upper-upscale NH Collection Amsterdam Flower Market. With 233 room, the new four-star hotel is situated in a distinctive 1920s building in the historic city centre of the Dutch capital. 

After closing for six months to undergo a complete renovation, the former NH Carlton Amsterdam has now become part of the Company’s premium NH Collection brand.

Image credit: NH Collection

Commenting on the property, Maarten Markus, Managing Director Northern Europe of NH Hotel Group, said: “NH Carlton Amsterdam was a well-known hotel with a rich history dating back to the Olympic Games in 1928. We decided that this unique hotel would be the perfect addition to the NH Collection properties in Amsterdam after an extensive renovation”.

“NH Collection Amsterdam Flower Market is a fascinating building, located between canals and plazas, right next to the Flower Market. With its signature elegant yet contemporary touch it will continue to attract leisure guests as well as business travellers that look for the extraordinary NH Collection experience”, adds Markus.

Image credit: NH Collection

Designed by Spanish interior and architecture studio TBC Interiorismo, the hotel’s design is inspired by the industrial and cosmopolitan atmosphere of the city, its famous Bloemenmarkt flower market and the region’s colourful flower fields. Commenting on the concept, Mercedes Isasa from TBC Interiorismo said: “The design brings the city inside the hotel, starting off with the nearby floral atmosphere that invades all public areas. We used textures and materials with large-scale floral prints to magnify and create interesting design elements. Moreover, we made use of Moooi’s design, a Dutch landmark firm in contemporary design whose products are exhibited in every design forum worldwide. An example is the flowery mural behind the reception. The tapestry is a design of Marcel Wanders, cofounder of the firm with Casper Vissers, and has given a new twist on the traditional Dutch still life flower paintings”.

Currently, the Company operates 80 NH Collection hotels in 15 different countries, placed in strategic locations in key cities of Europe and Latin America. With the opening of this new NH Collection hotel, the Group consolidates its commitment to its upper-upscale brand in the city of Amsterdam. NH Collection Amsterdam Flower Market will be the fourth NH Collection property in Amsterdam, a great addition to an already impressive portfolio consisting of NH Collection Doelen right at the Amstel River, NH Collection Barbizon Palace next to the central train station and NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky on Dam Square overlooking the Royal Palace.

For NH Hotel Group’s Chief Marketing Officer, Isidoro Martínez de la Escalera, the newest NH Collection hotel in Benelux confirms the long-term strategy of investing in the upper-upscale segment: “With the NH Collection brand, we reinforce our leadership in strategic important destinations such as Amsterdam, Munich and New York. We recently signed an agreement for another property in Rome, NH Collection Fori Imperiali, which will be our 13th hotel under our premium brand in Italy. Our new NH Collection Amsterdam Flower Market highlights the unstoppable growth of the NH Collection brand further in the Netherlands and Europe, considering our upcoming openings in Germany and Belgium in Q 3 this year”.

In 2019, more destinations will be added to the portfolio: the first NH Collection hotel in Antwerp, Belgium, named NH Collection Antwerp Centre, the refurbished NH Collection München Bavaria in Southern Germany; and NH Collection Roma Fori Imperiali in the historical heart of the Eternal City.

SPOTLIGHT ON: 10 inspirational hotel bars and restaurants

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPOTLIGHT ON: 10 inspirational hotel bars and restaurants

To kickstart our Spotlight On topic of Bars & Restaurants, Hotel Designs has scoured the globe to highlight hotel F&B gems that deserve to be recognised. Editor Hamish Kilburn edits…

In 2018, according to Technomic, overall consumer spending for hotel food and beverage showed a solid 5.5 percent annual growth since 2011. In design, architecture and in service, there is a clear move to produce instagrammable F&B areas.

While the overall dining and drinking experience is becoming somewhat of a theatrical performance, we have identified 10 hotels going above and beyond – in both design and service – to ensure that they are entertaining their customers’ ever-evolving demands.

Joali – Mura Bar (Maldives)

Beach blue wallcovering with wooden roof

Image credit: Joali – Mura Bar

Overlooking a pearly beach and pool that meets the sea, The Mura Bar is designed to encourage guests to naturally relax and unwind. The hotel’s entire construction was designed to build around its natural landscape. As a result, 1,000 trees were preserved in the process, creating luscious green scenes in a natural paradise.

Gleneagles – The American Bar (Scotland)

close up of plush light blue seating

Image credit: Gleneagles

With the aim to bring back the glamour and decadence of fine dining experiences of the 1920s and ’30s and redesign a legend, Gleneagles will in May 2019 unveil the relaunch of its famous restaurant, The Strathearn following a design transformation by Ennismore Design Studio.

Conrad Malives Ranhgali Island – Ithaa Undersea Restaurant (The Maldives)

The awarding winning underwater Ithaa sits five metres below the surface, offering 180-degree panoramic views of the vibrant coral gardens surrounding it. Ithaa (meaning ‘mother of pearl’ in the Maldivian language of Dhivehi) serves contemporary European cuisine in a six-course set dinner menu.

Since its opening in 2015, the restaurant has become an Instagram sensation and its popularity led to the concept of opening the world’s first underwater hotel suite.

Hotel Gotham, Manchester – Club Brass (United Kingdom)

Image credit: Hotel Gotham

Poised to become the backdrop of Hotel Designs’ Meet Up North, Manchester’s Hotel Gotham, which opened in 2015 – read full review here, has been a major catalyst that has crowned the northern metropolis a major hot spot for hotel design and development. The jewel within the crown is located on the rooftop, at Club Brass.

Leading designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers are expected to gather at the hotel’s exclusive members-only rooftop bar, Club Brass, for drinks and canapés above the city on July 1 for Meet Up North. Click here to purchase your exclusive ticket

Peninsula Paris – The Rooftop Bar (France)

Paris rooftop bar with curved windows overlooking a model plane

Image credit: Peninsula Hotels

Located on the sixth floor of The Peninsula Paris – and offering unparalleled views over the city – sits L’Oiseau Blanc, one of the most elegant and singular restaurants in Paris. The aviation-themed interior celebrates flying aces Charles Nungesser and François Coli who attempted to cross the Atlantic in 1927 from Le Bourget.

The Moxy, Chelsea (USA)

Dark-lit, open-planned room with lavish bar

Image caption/credit: The Fleur Room | Moxy Hotels/ Marriott International

Located on the 35th floor, the intimate rooftop bar, The Fleur Room, is open to hotel guests and locals alike. The alluring glow of light and color birth a heightened space of intimacy and mystery. The sofa material is embedded with a floral design and the bronzed furniture surfaces are smooth and polished. “Sink back into the comfortable couches and let your eyes settle on an incredible view of one of New York’s most recognizable charms – the Empire State building,” suggests journalist Hannah Kaplan who checked in to review the the kid on the block for Hotel Designs last week. Read the full review of the hotel here.

Soho House Istanbul – Club Bar (Turkey)

Refined interiors in a modern bar that is sheltered in a heritage building with bold lighting

Image credit: Soho House Istanbul, Club Bar

Sheltered within a striking 19th century mansion, which was originally designed for a Genoese merchant before becoming the US embassy for most of the 20th century. The Club Bar  is an oasis of calm, featuring decadent wallcoverings that are balanced with plush bar seating and thoughfully designed break-out areas.

Zuri Zanzibar – The Upendo Restaurant (Tanzania)

Sustainable materials - including furniture and lighting - make up the raw and rustic restaurant

Image credit: Zuri Zanzibar

Designed by Jestico + Whiles, the eco hotel’s Upendo Restaurant overlooks the entire resort. The restaurant’s laid-back Zanzibari style and live cooking shows make it the ideal place for breakfast and dinner, whilst its separate deck is ideal for private events or larger dinner groups. Peponi bar in the Zuri Zanzibar offers comfortable benches and sofas for a peaceful and relaxing ambiance.

Raffles – The Long Bar (Singapore)

Exterior of the hotel

Image credit: Raffles

Redesigned by Alexandra Champalimaud, the earthy decor of the two-storey Long Bar which will reopen this summer is inspired by Malayan life in the 1920s. The deep, rich colours and lush greenery transport patrons to the edge of a tropical plantation. In keeping with the relaxed atmosphere, guests are invited to brush peanut shells off the table and bar counter to the floor. In addition, and arguably thus making the hotel one of the early innovators for encouraging bar theatre, The Long Bar is quite possibly the only place in Singapore where littering is encouraged.

The Morpheus (China)

The sky bar, with sophisticated gold barriers between tables

Image credit: Melco Resorts & Entertainment

Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, Yí on the 21st-floor Sky Bridge at The Morpheus takes fine dining to new heights with a unique blend of regional Chinese cuisine served in tasting menu format. Yí is the first Chinese restaurant in Macau offering daily multi-course tasting menus.

Main image credit: Moxy Chelsea, New York

CDW PREVIEW: Zaha Hadid Gallery to unveil exhibition with Fritz Hansen

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CDW PREVIEW: Zaha Hadid Gallery to unveil exhibition with Fritz Hansen

For Clerkenwell Design Week 2019, Fritz Hansen partners with Zaha Hadid Design to present ‘Shaping Reality Through Time’, an exploration of Fritz Hansen’s design evolution…

To celebrate a decade of Clerkenwell Design Week, design studio Zaha Hadid Gallery has partnered with Fitz Hansen to exhibit ‘Shaping Reality Through Time’, which will be held at the Zaha Hadid Gallery, 101 Goswell Road, London between May 21 – June 13.

On Tuesday May 21, to celebrate the opening of the exhibition, a talk will take place between Fritz Hansen head of design, Christian Andresen and Zaha Hadid Architects head of interiors, Kar-Hwa Ho.

The story of Fritz Hansen’s design evolution can best be told through the series of chairs produced since the cabinet maker Fritz Hansen obtained a trade license in 1872, before beginning his own furniture production company.

‘Shaping Reality Through Time’ will offer a rare glimpse at aspects of the Heritage Exhibition, brought to the UK for the first time from Alleroed, Copenhagen – home to the original factory plant and current Head Office.

This London exhibition will include anniversary pieces, early examples of the signature laminated technology still in use today, original prototypes and limited editions, alongside newer pieces launched at this year’s Milan Design Week.

Hansen has worked with Zaha Hadid Design to co-curate and edit the exhibition with a specific focus on chairs carrying a shared aesthetic and design DNA, typified by sculptural form and organic lines.

‘Shaping Reality Through Time’ will also see pieces revealed in the UK for the first time, following their launch at Milan’s Salone del Mobile, April 2019 including ‘Plenum’, Fritz Hansen’s 2018 first dedicated contract furniture piece. Arne Jacobsen’s ‘Little Giraffe’ was first produced in 2019 but created 60 years ago for the S.A.S Royal Hotel, Copenhagen; A new piece by Jaime Hayon will also mark ten years of Hayon’s ongoing collaboration with the brand and heritage pieces will include the limited edition PKO – Fritz Hansen’s first collaboration with Poul Kjaerholm as well as Henning Larsen’s ‘Kar’.

Much of Hansen’s furniture begins life as an imaginative sketch before being transformed into functioning reality through impeccable craftsmanship, precise technology and excellence of materials. Pieces such as the original Swan, Drop, Egg – as well as Nendo’s more recent N01 and Hayon’s earlier Ro – perfectly illustrate the continued evolution of sculptural and at times almost flamboyant expression. The exhibition will be further bought to life with original sketches and drawings as part of an illustrative timeline supporting the historical journey.

Hotel Designs are proud media partners for this year’s highly anticipated Clerkenwell Design Week

Main image credit: Zaha Hadid Gallery/Fritz Hansen

MANCHESTER: luxury hotel design scene shows no signs of slowing

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MANCHESTER: luxury hotel design scene shows no signs of slowing

Ahead of Meet Up North 2019 in Manchester, Hotel Designs takes a peak at the northern city’s hotel design scene to establish why it is considered as one of the most fast-growing design hubs in the UK. Editor Hamish Kilburn investigates… 

Manchester has a lot to be proud of. Not only is it home to two of the country’s most celebrated football teams (one of which is adjacent to a luxury football-themed hotel), the city’s property market has sky-rocketed in recent years.

With no signs of slowing, the market in Manchester for hotel development has recently been described by real estate experts JLL as being “in a league of its own”. With new hotels planning to pop up to join the hive of activity, Manchester has become a magnet for designers aiming to disrupt conventional hotels and make their mark on the city. Some of the most recent openings include Hotel Indigo Manchester and the highly anticipated arrival of Dakota Manchester – but there’s still more to come.

In 2019, according to research carried out by Top Hotel Projects, there will be six new hotel openings in Manchester, adding 835 guestrooms into the city. From the year 2020 to 2021, a further 11 more hotels are slated to open, which further indicates that Manchester is anything but at capacity for hotel development.

Hotel Designs is coming back to Manchester!

Following the success of Meet Up London, Hotel Designs will take its next Meet Up networking event to Manchester’s Hotel Gotham on July 1. The hotel, which in a few years will become the older and wiser sibling of the brand’s latest hotel that is on boards, The Brooklyn, has been an epicentre of the city’s action since it opened in 2015. The general manager of the hotel and brand, Mario Ovsenjak, and the owner, Robin Sheppard, were both listed in The Brit List 2018 as being among the top hoteliers in the country. Located on the rooftop, Club Brass will transform on July 1 from a private members’ bar  into a premium networking evening for designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers alike – and here’s how you can get your hands on a ticket.

Designer, architect and hotelier tickets: £20 + VAT
– 
If you are a designer, architect or hoteliers to the industry and would like to attend Meet Up North, click here.

Supplier tickets: £150 + VAT
– 
If you are a supplier to the industry and would like to attend Meet Up North, click here.

There are also various sponsorship opportunities and packages available for Meet Up North. If you would like to discuss these with our team then please contact Zoe Guerrier by either emailing z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk or calling 01992 374059.

Image credit: Hotel Gotham

The inaugural Meet Up North took place last year at King Street Townhouse and was attended by more than 200 designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

About Hotel Gotham

Hotel Gotham is sheltered in what is arguably the city’s grandest properties and is an exclusive city-centre sanctuary, previously a bank that was designed in 1935 by none other than architect Edwin Lutyens.

The hotel prides itself on offering a modern and comfortable experience in a unique and luxurious environment, with exquisite service all within a bespoke private club in the heart of Manchester.

Main image credit: 20 Stories Manchester

THE Park Hotels unveils THE Park Mumbai

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
THE Park Hotels unveils THE Park Mumbai

India’s contemporary hotel group, THE Park, has opened the 60-key THE Park Mumbai, which is strategically located opposite Asia’s first Soho House…

THE Park Hotels, pioneers of luxury boutique hotels in India, brings its renowned design vocabulary to the city of dreams, Mumbai, with the launch of its latest hotel. Situated on Juhu Tara Road, framing unmatched sea views, THE Park Mumbai is set to bring contemporary design, rejuvenating spaces, innovative dining and sensuous entertainment into this vibrant part of the city.

Located opposite Asia’s first Soho House, close to sprawling Juhu Beach, the hotel is an uber-cool retreat in this urban hub. A striking charcoal facade by top architect Sanjay Puri is punctuated by burnt orange and fuschia windows that perfectly reflect the spectacular sunsets. The hotel’s eclectic exteriors are completed by stunning interiors designed by Singapore-based firm Ong & Ong.

The 60-key design hotel has six categories of rooms; with spectacular views of either the Arabian Sea or city while some overlook the historic Juhu airfield. The rooms and studio suites have been designed with a monochromatic colour palette with world-class amenities.

Image credit: THE Park Hotels

 Meishi, an elegant space off the lobby is an Asian inspired all day dining fusion restaurant – Japanese, Thai, Chinese, and a hint of Indian; using fresh and organic ingredients and currently open to resident guests.

The Saffron Room, a 2500 sq. ft. banqueting space on the first floor is a perfect place for social events and corporate meetings. The hall has two different types of lighting to enhance and make events even more spectacular.

Contemporary hotel room, framing the sea and palm trees

Image credit: THE Park Hotels

“We are excited to add the new striking address to our collection of hotels, said Speaking about the launch, Priya Paul, Chairperson of Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels. “Mumbai is a city of interesting contrasts and THE Park Hotels will add to it by bringing immersive and Anything But Ordinary experiences. Our vision is to have a slice of THE Park in every city people travel to.”

Mr. Vijay Dewan, Managing Director, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels, added:, “We are happy to launch THE Park Mumbai today. It is our first managed hotel under THE Park Hotels portfolio. Mumbai is India’s key metropolitan cities and a business hub, and we are delighted to expand our footprint here. The hotel is not only targeted at the business travellers looking for a perfectly calm and rejuvenating experience, but this area is also for media, entertainment and other industries.”

Opening soon is a dramatic whisky bar with a cosy alfresco patio. as well as the addition of more rooms, a Presidential Suite, a spectacular poolside bar on the rooftop, a gym and a spa.

Main image credit: THE Park Hotels

Making a statement in the bathroom with luxe pieces and finishing touches

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Making a statement in the bathroom with luxe pieces and finishing touches

While Hotel Designs is putting the bathroom under the spotlight following ISH 2019, recommended supplier Heritage Bathrooms shares ways in which to make statement using luxe pieces and finishing touches… 

According to the latest hotels forecast from PwC, the number of UK hotel rooms has risen significantly, increasing competition within the industry and providing guests with much greater choice.

And when it comes to the bathroom, these guests are increasingly prioritising hotels which not only have a functional space, but also provide them with a luxury experience that will live long in the memory.

By following some simple steps, this careful balance between functionality and experience-led indulgence can be easily achieved – allowing your guests to enjoy a beautiful, high-end bathroom space made up of bold, statement pieces alongside striking luxe touches.

Modern, quirky bath in contemporary bathroom

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

Give the gift of spa-like indulgence

Spa-inspired bathrooms provide guests with a special place to retreat and recharge during their stay. Blurring the lines between vanity areas, bathing areas and the bedroom is key to creating a luxurious spa-like bathroom space.

A statement bath is the epitome of a boutique styling, and a popular choice among hoteliers for bathrooms of all types.

To elegantly combine traditional simplicity with on-trend opulence opt for a stunning freestanding bath such as Heritage’s Madeira. The cast-iron material is also paintable, allowing for designers to select a custom shade of their choice.

Alternatively, a bath with a metallic finish, such as the Hylton from Heritage, provides an instant style statement and is available in copper, gold and stainless-steel effect finishes. The bath is acrylic and a light-weight alternative to traditional cast iron.

For smaller spaces, opt for ‘baby’ versions of roll top baths, which are smaller than the standard size and provide spa style that fits the space without compromising on luxury. We recommend styling a freestanding bath in the centre of a bathroom alongside a display table with toiletries to hand.

Evoke boudoir glamour with a bold basin

Bathroom basins are often viewed as a basic essential and can be overlooked when considering statement styling. However, a bold, on-trend basin can provide a striking, but subtle, focal point for a washroom space. A period inspired basin is an easy way to add a traditional twist to a more contemporary space, creating a boutique styled finish.

Double console basins work well in guest bathrooms and are especially ideal for guests travelling as a couple, with dual sinks and taps helping to minimise stress and create a harmonious atmosphere. The Victoria double console basin from Heritage bathrooms is a beautiful example of this style. The design draws inspiration from the Victorian era with beautiful, curved sculpted legs which offer a striking upgrade to a standard pedestal, giving an on-trend twist to traditional styling.

Alternatively, for rooms where space is not an obstacle, two identical basins in a ‘his and hers’ formation can be used to create a Jack and Jill style arrangement.  Increasingly in demand, this design will not only aid busy morning routines, but each guest will also benefit from their own personal area and additional space for toiletries.

Single basins, such as the Blenheim Console Basin from Heritage, can also provide standout boutique bathroom styling. The Blenheim showcases a wider single basin with sleek, delicately tapered legs, combining sharp angles with sumptuous curves and is reminiscent of the Baroque era, evoking boudoir glamour.

A rainfall inspired shower is an invigorating addition to a bathroom space and a popular choice for those seeking to recreate a personal, daily spa-like experience. Choose a shower with a large eight-inch rose, such as the Avenbury exposed shower by Heritage Bathrooms, for a luxurious, drenching soak.

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

With wet-room styled showers becoming increasingly desirable, it’s worth considering replacing shower trays with simple tiling and a glass partition to create a stylish, open plan finish. This walk-in design has a number of benefits, providing guests of all ages with ease of access and plenty of space to bathe while also making a bold style statement.

While well-chosen sanitaryware is key to the styling of the room, the smaller accessories and finishes are also vital to achieving an overall feeling of high-end luxury.  It’s important to consider how the accessories will coordinate and add to the overall styling of the bathroom space.

Stylish brassware in unique finishes, such as Heritage’s Mother of Pearl inlayed Gracechurch taps, can play a key role in achieving a high-end look – transforming taps and showers from practical items into jewellery for the bathroom. Pairing these with soft pink hues and cooler colours like greys and mints is an ideal way to make your metallics shine.

Where possible, hoteliers should look to add practical items in on-trend colours to add interest and a more sumptuous feel to the space. Shelving, statement taps, toothbrush holders and mirrors are all small, but necessary accessories that can help to transform the ambience of a bathroom.

Using mirrors in the bathroom is not only practical, but also helps to bounce light around the room which is perfect for smaller bathrooms where there is no natural light. A plain mirror, white paint or white storage might seem like an obvious choice to keep a room feeling bright, but these will only add to the clinical feel. Instead, consider an oversized statement mirror which will add an element of boutique personality and charm to the space.

With a large mirror, it is important that it’s positioned to reflect and amplify your key statement piece. For example, if you have a statement freestanding bath like Heritage Bathrooms’ Penrose, then by placing a mirror behind it you create double the impact it would have on its own. They can also be used to showcase and accentuate statement wallpapers by reflecting the pattern back into the room.

Another way to turn a bathroom a place of luxury escapism for guests, is to create a blend of the bathroom and bedroom in the design. Complementing an opulent mirror with a gilded vintage upholstered chair, antique lanterns and warm metallic accessories can result in a stunning dressing room-come-boudoir space.

For more inspirational tips and Heritage Bathroom’s full range of gorgeous bathroom products visit www.heritagebathrooms.com

Checking in to Moxy Chelsea, New York

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in to Moxy Chelsea, New York

Tucked into the hustle and bustle of Manhattan’s historic Flower District, Moxy Chelsea is an urban design jungle. Journalist Hannah Kaplan checks in to check it out… 

There is nothing quite like the pulse of New York – its heart beat can be felt from miles away. The thump of excitement and possibilities draw the worldly and well-travelled from near and far in search of great opportunities and the prospect of their dreams becoming reality.

The steady stream of humanity to Manhattan brings with it an expectation of all things beautiful. Manhattan’s Chelsea is not only the entry point for floral beauty, but is now home to the 35-floor oasis that shelters Moxy Chelsea.

“It’s often true that many of New York’s best kept secrets are hidden in pockets sometimes so small one could easily walk right by.”

Part of the Marriott International group and designed by the studio Rockwell Group – and developed by Lightstone – this chic new spot opened its doors three months ago and dares its guests to aspire to all things beautiful in a refreshingly modern environment.

It’s often true that many of New York’s best kept secrets are hidden in pockets sometimes so small one could easily walk right by. However, this is one you won’t want to miss. Tightly nuzzled between dozens of flower shops, guests and locals alike enter through the Putnam & Putnam flower shop designed by Yabu Pushelberg. This charming first visual functions as a sort of a botanical library and homage to the Putnam & Putnam flower shop.

If the astonishing arrangement of freshly cut flowers first draws you through the front door, it’s the palpable smell of Moxy’s signature scent that keeps one floating through the interior space. The rose-like aroma creates a unique ambiance that wafts through the lobby and second floor, drawing guests upwards and on.

The lobby entrance where guests check in is very simple and inviting. There are two floating front desk pods that suspend from the ceiling – a subtle effect that creates more space, while simultaneously drawing your gaze up to the electronic display on the ceiling. The attempt here is to play with one’s senses, to have guests stop, pause and merge into the building’s sensory pulse. The digital ceiling boards were designed with a young millennial perspective in mind, with written messages like “You should Instagram This” flashing across the screen. You can even hashtag the #MoxyChelsea and have your image pop up in the lobby area.

Simple and clean check in area with the words 'meet' and 'greet' hanging on the walls in neon lights

Image caption/credit: Minimalist lobby area at the hotel | Moxy Hotels/Marriott International/Michael Kleinberg

The architectural design of the building is very much influenced by its surrounding flower district, but equally important are the playful touches of modernism and hints of Italian romance scattered throughout. The theme trickles out as far as the street-styled Italian Feroce Café and the Feroce Restaurant – both are an extension of the hotel and serve as a sort of love letter to Italy – an important tribute from Italian chef Francesco Panella.

This ode to Italy continues as guests migrate from the lobby area up a set of charming concrete stairs to the second-floor lounge. The floor’s dimly lit ambiance is matched by the sparse yet modern décor and creates a space that begs to be explored.

There are small spots for the solo traveler who need a space to work and cozy corners for groups who need a small couch and a table to place cocktails between whispered conversations. On the wall above, guests can gaze up at the incredible 20-foot-high life-like green wall, reinforcing the idea of an urban jungle – bringing the outside in.

Towards the back there are even private spaces available to rent for events, dinners, or just to lounge in. The idea is to bring guests out of their rooms – socialise, eat, have a drink – and to make sure the multitasking lifestyle is a communal and immersive experience for all.

Subdued meeting studios

Image credit: Moxy Hotels/Marriott International/Michael Kleinberg

For the guests who want to continue their socialising, The Fleur Room is the next destination. Located on the 35th floor, the intimate rooftop bar is open to hotel guests and locals alike, but for the latter you’ll need to make sure your name is on the list. The alluring glow of light and color birth a heightened space of intimacy and mystery. The sofa material is embedded with a floral design and the bronzed furniture surfaces are smooth and polished. Sink back into the comfortable couches and let your eyes settle on an incredible view of one of New York’s most recognisable charms – the Empire State building.

Dark-lit, open-planned room with lavish bar

Image caption/credit: The Fleur Room | Moxy Hotels/ Marriott International/Michael Kleinberg

As one drifts through the lush lounge space, a set of elevator doors appears midway through. Each elevator bank was strategically positioned to run through the center of the building, giving all bedrooms access to large windows and a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline.

The guestrooms are approximately 200-square-feet but equipped with floor to ceiling length windows that compensate for a new trend in hotel rooms – small and efficient living spaces. And for what it may lack in size, it makes up for in appearance. The urban sleekness of the room supports the space efficiency of modern travel. Clothes can be placed on the hooks that run alongside the wall, which conveniently are located next to collapsible furniture (e.g. a small table and chair) hung vertically on the wall to use at one’s leisure – a contemporary take on “glamping,” if you will.

Image credit: Moxy Hotels/ Marriott International/Michael Kleinberg

The compact tiled bathrooms offer quirky sets of phrases like “GET WILD,” giving the room a playful feel and reminding visitors that the pulse of New York City awaits them outside. And to remind guests of the ever-present and rejuvenating floral theme, each sink knob resembles a steel garden hose frame.

The bold and modern design of the Moxy has created a space that endeavors to reform the way we perceive the hospitality industry as a whole — in this case, through the small and efficient styled rooms offset by the thematic design that encourages guests to get out of their rooms. It is also the romantic sense of Italian Café life and the simple love of flowers that Putman and Putnam won’t let us forget; The Moxy Chelsea reminds us that beauty and efficiency can co-exist and serve as portal for everything in New York.

Main image credit: Moxy Hotels/Marriott International/Michael Kleinberg

Hotel Indigo stylishly arrives in Venice

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Indigo stylishly arrives in Venice

The new hotel, designed by the in-house design team at IHG, debuts in the undiscovered Venice neighbourhood of Sant’Elena…

Hotel group InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is has announced the opening of Hotel Indigo® Venice – Sant’Elena, which marks the brand’s debut in Venice, Italy. From palaces to piazzas, gondolas to gelato and canals to carnevale – there is no destination quite so magical as Venice. Filled with beauty and world-famous sights, the city that surrounds the new hotel made up of 55,000 residents attracts more than 30 million annual visitors.

Despite its immense popularity, there are still pockets of the city yet to be discovered, such as the Sant’Elena neighbourhood. Sant’Elena is a global hub for modern art and culture, close to the home of  the Venice International Film Festival and the Murano Glass Factory. The neighbourhood will introduce guests to a side of Venice that few tourists see.

Hotel Indigo® Venice – Sant’Elena is located in the heart of the iconic Italian city, next to the canal Rio Sant’Elena. Formally a 1930’s monastery, the 75 room Hotel Indigo® Venice – Sant’Elena is a peaceful sanctuary reflective of its former heritage that exudes an almost spiritual calm, the perfect place to retreat from the bustle of San Marco square. Composed of two wings joined in the centre by a former chapel, the hotel boasts an interior courtyard and large windows with high ceilings, which is evocative of the local neighbourhood and existing architecture. The hotel also has a private garden, a rarity in Venice, where guests can sit and enjoy a refreshing cocktail and relax after a day of exploring.

Plush guestroom with large bed, velvet headboards

Image credit: Hotel Indigo/IHG

The interior design brings to life the building’s original features with oriental influences inspired by Venice’s traditions and history, with touches of modern elements contrasting with the classic Venetian style. Plush velvet pillows layered on leather seating and brass lighting scattered throughout the hotel contrast the deep wood panelling on the walls in the lobby and the emerald green marble bar top. Ebru paintings are dotted in the public areas, bringing to life Venice’s history of introducing the marbleized papers into their famed repertory of woodblock prints, copperplate engraving and book leather binding.

“The hotel is the perfect example of how Hotel Indigo draws inspiration from the local neighbourhood, bringing to life the historical importance of the building through design while also providing the ideal getaway from the busyness of Venice,” said Marco Costa, Hotel Manager of Hotel Indigo Venice – Sant’Elena. “Just a 15-minute walk from all the main attractions, including St Mark’s Basilica, the Bridge of Sighs and the Doge’s Palace in San Marco, the hotel is the ideal choice for those coming to visit our beautiful town.”

Large leafy parks are a rarity in Venice, but a short walk to the north is the Giardini della Biennale, a park commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte when Venice was under French rule at the start of the nineteenth century. The park is a year-round hub for modern art and culture, although it really comes alive during the Venice Biennale, which, as its name suggests, takes place every other year.

Vienna House Wroclaw hotel to open following bleisure boom in Poland

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Vienna House Wroclaw hotel to open following bleisure boom in Poland

Vienna House plans to open a 240-room hotel in the centre of Wroclaw. The group’s seventh hotel in Poland is slated to open in Q1 of 2022 following a rise in the country’s bleisure market…

Following the acquisition of 17 city hotels from hotel brand arcona, Vienna House has announced plans to open its seventh hotel in Poland, further utilising on the destination’s booming business traveller market.

The new smart-casual city hotel is part of a redesigned building complex which surrounds a historically listed bakery. Vienna House Easy Wroclaw will be a base for business and leisure traveller alike, featuring a vibrant restaurant, lifestyle lobby and bar, modern fitness facilities and spacious conference area. Guests will receive a warm welcome from the famous Wroclaw dwarves’, an insight into the city’s history and unique culture. The complex in which the hotel sits also features a student apartment concept from the BaseCamp brand.

“Wroclaw is an exciting, growing market, and the location in the city centre, near the botanical garden, is ideal, ” said Rupert Simoner, CEO of Vienna House, in a press release. “The combination of the casual, service-oriented Vienna House Easy and the lively student concept fits very well together and will develop into a fresh, lively meeting place.” Vienna House Easy Wroclaw, the Austrian hotel group’s seventh hotel in Poland, underscores the enormous interest in the Polish market.

Rendering of modern guestroom with dark-green wallcoverings and twin beds

Image credit: Vienna House

The hotel will be operated by Vienna House under a lease agreement from ST Wroclaw Sienkiewicza Sp. z o.o., which offers student apartment solutions with BaseCamp in Poland, Denmark and Germany.

Vienna House Easy Wroclaw offers 236 double rooms along with four suites. The rooms come with extra-long, super comfortable beds, modern writing and seating solutions, and bathrooms with walk-in showers. The hotel also has a 360 m² meeting and conference area, ideal for working. The fitness area features state-of-the-art exercise equipment, in addition to a massage area.

Vienna House Easy stands for smart casual design, hospitality DNA within our employees, established analogue services and meaningful digital offerings. These include televisions with connectivity for guest devices, high-speed WiFi, mobile concierge, self-check-in/check-out and much more. The hotel lobby provides a cosy meeting place, inviting reception area, cool bar and lounge all rolled into one.

Main image credit: Vienna House

Concept to Completion: Nicky Dobree creating Plaza 18 (part three)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Concept to Completion: Nicky Dobree creating Plaza 18 (part three)

While Hotel Designs is exclusively following Plaza 18’s creation, editor Hamish Kilburn checks in on designer Nicky Dobree as the project is just weeks from completing…

With her sleeves rolled up, designer Nicky Dobree is on the home straight in the race to design her first hotel project. The finish line, which is getting closer and closer by the day, is nestled within Vejer, which is one of the many white towns of Andalucia.

The new six-key boutique hotel will shelter a home from home, adjacent to the palm-filled Plaza de Espana landmark. Inspired, in part, by Dobree’s travels, the authentic surrounding landscape and even the smell of orange blossom, the boutique jewel will shelter an unmatched luxury setting.

While the full details of the project are heavily under wraps (for now at least), part three of Plaza 18’s concept to completion feature focuses on the final preparations to create an unmatched home-from-home boutique hotel.

Hamish Kilburn: How does travel influence your interpretation on design? 
Nicky Dobree: Travel hugely influences my design and expands my creative perspective. I am fortunate to have travelled extensively and to have lived abroad for many years. I therefore find that I regularly draw on my love of travel to add to the layers of my design. Inspiration can come from anything and everything, be it the local smell of the orange blossom in Vejer to its moorish architectural roots.

HK: How far in the process are you with Plaza 18? 
ND: The end is in sight and we are receiving bookings for the summer.

HK: What can go wrong and what are the major challenges at this stage in the project?
ND: Hopefully not a lot can go wrong at this stage that we are not able to resolve. Timing is key. We’ve just had Easter, which the Spanish take very seriously so the team will break for a couple of weeks. On the positive, the team have returned with a fresh eye to complete the finishes ready for us to install and open.

HK:Do you ever find it difficult to leave a project behind once it’s completed? 
ND: I always find it difficult leaving a project behind and handing it over. It’s like giving birth and handing over your baby. With Plaza 18, I hope that many get to enjoy it and look after it as if were their own.

Various images of bedrooms, door fittings and art

Image caption: Moodboard for Plaza 18

HK: This is your first hotel that you have designed, will there be others? 
ND: I very much hope so. I have really enjoyed the new challenges this project has given me. I really love the art of creating a space and above all an atmosphere that will hopefully make people want to return.

Hotel Designs has been following Dobree on the completion of her first ever hotel. Click here to read part one. Click here to read part two.

Hilton’s brand portfolio overtakes Marriott’s as “world’s most valuable”

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hilton’s brand portfolio overtakes Marriott’s as “world’s most valuable”

Despite announcing earlier this year to open 30 new luxury hotels, Marriott’s portfolio drops to second place as the value of its brands in the Brand Finance Hotels 50 ranking decreases by 30 per cent, giving way to Hilton…

As luxury brands scramble over one another in the battle for being the best, there has been a change in the tables. Reporting a 17 per cent growth, Hilton now becomes the world’s most valuable brands in the Brand Finance Hotels 50 ranking.

The hotel group, which owns brands such as Homewood Suites, Double Tree, and Hampton, has extended its lead as the world’s most valuable hotel brand and, according to Brand Finance, has overtaken Marriott’s. Hilton’s brand value growth (up 17 per cent to US$7.4 billion) was largely driven by strong revenue increase over the last year, cementing the brand’s leadership position in the industry.

Meanwhile, Marriott suffered a reduction in brand value (down eight per cent to US$5.0 billion) and its brand strength dropped from AAA- to AA+. Marriott has faced several challenges in the North American market from hacking scandals to persistent problems with its loyalty schemes. At the same time, the combined value of Marriott’s brands within the Brand Finance Hotels 50 ranking decreased by 30 per cent, giving way to Hilton’s brand portfolio to claim the title of the world’s most valuable.

“Hilton’s strategic approach to brand growth has allowed it to extend its lead as the world’s most valuable hotel brand,” said Savio D’Souza, Valuation Director at Brand Finance. “At the same time, endorsement from the flagship brand has rendered benefits across the portfolio as Homewood Suites, Double Tree, and Hampton have seen their brand values sore. In its centennial year, Hilton is well-positioned for another hundred years of success.”

“Hilton’s brand value in the top 50 ranking is concentrated across six brands.”

Hilton Worldwide Holdings achieved overall brand value growth of 41 per cent. Hilton’s brand value in the top 50 ranking is concentrated across six brands, up from five in 2018, all strongly leveraging the valuable Hilton brand name and each recording solid growth this year. Hilton has continually committed to its relentless expansion programme and with thousands of new rooms and hotels in the pipeline, the company shows no signs of slowing down in the coming year.

Marriott has not fared so well, with four of its brands dropping out of the Brand Finance Hotel 50 ranking this year. With one new entrant, Marriott now has twelve brands in the ranking, many of which have nevertheless decreased in value. Marriott’s recent announcement of entering the home-rental market however, is a promising move to take back market share from Airbnb and could contribute to an uplift in brand value in the coming year.

The Hilton and Marriott portfolios remain well ahead of third-ranked Wyndham, which also suffered a drop of eight per cent in brand value to US$7.3 billion.

The three hotel brands to grow the fastest in value this year all come from Hilton’s portfolio, and each contributed to its overall growth. Its impressive performance was led by Homewood Suites (brand value up 99 per cent to US$0.8 billion), followed closely by Double Tree (up 79 per cent to US$2.1 billion) and Hampton (up 78 per cent to US$3.2 billion). This growth allowed the latter two brands to reshape the ranking’s top 10, with Double Tree jumping from 17th to 7th and Hampton rising from 10th to 5th place over the past year.

Aside from calculating overall brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Alongside revenue forecasts, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.

“Mercure has claimed the title of the world’s strongest hotel brand.”

According to these criteria and scoring high in Brand Finance market research, Mercure has claimed the title of the world’s strongest hotel brand, significantly improving its Brand Strength Index (BSI) score from 75.7 to 86.2 out of 100 and recording a brand rating upgrade from AA+ to AAA. Mercure is also the most valuable brand in Accor’s portfolio, with nearly 800 hotels. The brand has continued to make several acquisitions through its scheme of franchise growth.

Alongside analysing the world’s biggest hotel brands, Brand Finance also ranks the top 10 most valuable brands in the wider leisure and tourism industry.

Royal Caribbean International has narrowly retained its position as the world’s most valuable leisure and tourism brand, with its brand value remaining steady at US$3.8 billion. The brand reported strong financial results in 2018, and with demand high in the cruise industry, Royal Caribbean are on course for future growth.

Meanwhile, second-ranked TUI (brand value up four per cent to US$3.7 billion) substantially closed the gap to the ranking’s leader, only just falling short of overtaking Royal Caribbean.

The fast-growing China International Travel (up 70 per cent to US$3.7 billion) has come third this year, up from 5th in 2018. China International saw a significant increase in its valuation due to a surge in forecast revenue in coming years as the Chinese tourism market continues to develop with unprecedented speed and scale.

The fastest-growing brand in the ranking also comes from China. Happy Valley almost doubled its brand value in a single year (up 97 per cent to US$2.0 billion).

The brand portfolio analysis is based on the Brand Finance Hotels 50 ranking and does not take into account less valuable brands which have not been included in the ranking.

Brand value is understood as the net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market. Brand Strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors.

Additional insights, more information about the methodology, as well as definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance Hotels 50 2019 report.

Main image credit: Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Hotel Designs puts ‘Bleisure’ under the spotlight at IHS Amsterdam

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs puts ‘Bleisure’ under the spotlight at IHS Amsterdam

Hotel Designs’ editor Hamish Kilburn was joined on the Hotel Vision Stage at Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam by Zoku’s founder Hans Meyer and Concrete’s director Rob Wagemans to discuss whether designers and hoteliers should be designing for ‘bleisure’ in mind… 

Day one at the Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam concluded with an engaging panel discussion, entitled Designing For Bleisure’ that aimed to disrupt the conventional hotel experience.

“A recent survey carried out by Great Hotels of The World found that 75 per cent of business travellers had extended their trips for leisure purposes,” editor Hamish Kilburn shared with the audience over on the Hotel Vision stage to kick-start the discussion. “What’s more is that in 2017, 2.2 million bleisure trips took place – that’s 10 per cent of all business trips.”

Joining Kilburn for the live debate was Rob Wagemans, the founder and director of Concrete and Hans Meyer, the founder and director of Zoku. “I actually disagree slightly with he whole ‘leisure’ terminology,” said Wagemans. “I think our industry needs to be really cautious not to package trends in this way, because it can really strip the creative process. Instead, I believe that we should be designing spaces around people and their demands.”

One man who arguably understands more than anyone what his guests require when checking in is Meyer, who spent six months ‘living like his guests’ in order to identify exactly how he should design his first property, which was Zoku Amsterdam. “I do agree with Rob,” he said. “I can’t stress enough how important it is to understand your demographic before designing or creating anything. When we designed Zoku, I lived like my target audience for six months to not just understand from a top level what would engage our guests, but also to experience what our guests want from a hotel. The brand was formed around what was lacking in the industry.”

Wagemans, who was a visionary behind many of the CitizenMs and a handful of W Hotels around the world, believes it is the responsibility of innovators in order to create better working spaces in hotels that are designed to last. “There are many times – too many times to count – where I have received a brief from a client, thrown it in the bin and presented something different to them,” he said. “But everything I present to a client has been thoughtfully considered to help the overall guest experience. Of course, we work towards the client’s goals, but we are also delivering a service.”

The trio went on to discuss the idea and concept of opening up the guestrooms to be more than just a bed for the night. “Will there ever come the day when the guest room in urban hotels will be used for meetings,” kilburn asked. “We actually have this already in the guestrooms at Zoku,” explained Meyer. “All areas have been created with emphasis on living and working so that the guest rooms are what you want them to be to an extent.”Wagemans, who actually designed Zoku Amsterdam with Meyer, added: “It’s about creating areas that flow into other areas. It’s down to us, designers and architects, to work with hoteliers in order to challenge what is conventional – that’s very much how we work.”

The session went on to highlight some interesting solutions, encouraging the audience to work outside the box in order to come up with new ideas. It explored how designers, hoteliers and architects alike can innovate the industry and their hotels by presenting practical working spaces. “I don’t take inspiration from other hotels necessarily, but more from other industries entirely,” added Wagemans.

As bleisure trends continue to be on the rise, it is down to the industry to figure out how best to invent new spaces that are practical, flexible and built with people in mind.

The Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam continues…

Hotel Designs is a proud media partner of Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam. Continuing this topic further, Hotel Designs will be with Great Hotels of The World at Hotel Summit to further discuss how to increase revenue by utilising on blesiure trends.

Hotel Brand Dakota launches in Manchester

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Brand Dakota launches in Manchester

Slated to open later this month, Dakota Manchester is expected to bring a touch of Mayfair to Manchester when it officially opens this month, bringing with it the largest suite in Manchester, a Champagne Room and a Cigar Garden…

Situated on Ducie Street close to Piccadilly Station, Dakota Manchester will transform the city’s skyline, offering a first class service complete with atmospheric spaces, luxurious finishing touches and waterside views.

Following launches in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Leeds, the brand is expanding south of the UK with its latest announcement. Dakota Manchester will shelter 137 luxury guestrooms, including 20 plush suites – the most in Manchester. With the aim to establish a new level of service, the hotel focuses on providing an outstanding experience for guests, with features such as The Dakota Grill, a vibrant neighbourhood brasserie, complete with waterside views, which is expected to become the heart of the hotel.

Image credit: Dakota Manchester

Described by the brand as the “glistening jewel in Manchester’s crown” is the penthouse suite. Known as the Grand Deluxe Suite, the piece de resistance will be the largest and grandest suite in the city, the brand says. Offering the ultimate Dakota experience, the Grand Deluxe Suite is positioned on the top floor of the hotel. This standout, instagrammable suite offers both indoor and outdoor space; with a dedicated lounge, dining area, opulent bedrooms, walk-in wardrobe, modern fire place, ensuite bathrooms with steam showers and a sunken bath. Finished off with a private eighth-floor external terrace, with far-reaching views across the city.

Strategically placed to be within minutes of all the action in the city, the new hotel aims to create ripples within the hotel scene. With so much attention on Manchester at the moment, Hotel Designs is preparing to take its Meet Up concept into the core of the hive of activity for Meet Up Manchester, which takes place on July 1 at Hotel Gotham’s rooftop bar. Tickets are still available here.

Main image credit: Dakota Manchester

In Conversation With: Patricia Urquiola on Laufen’s latest bathroom collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Patricia Urquiola on Laufen’s latest bathroom collection

As Hotel Designs continues its month putting Bathrooms under the spotlight, editor Hamish Kilburn sits down with designer Patricia Urquiola to understand more about her latest collection reveal with Laufen…

Patricia Urquiola is no stranger to Laufen, as the Spanish designer celebrated at ISH 2019 the launch of her third – yes third – generation of SaphirKeramik, and by doing so has created the new collection, Sonar.

Rediscovering the formal scope of the bathroom – and designed to be insurmountable in bathroom aesthetics – the expressive Sonar collection has already gone on to win an iF Design Award. The material, SaphirKeramik, was first used by the designer for Laufen in 2013 in novel washbasin designs that were simply not possible using conventional bathroom ceramics. Six years later, the material has been used in the brand’s Sonar collection and now offers even greater variety thanks to the addition of more washbasins, WCs, a bidet, a new bathtub and a suite of bathroom furniture.

I recently sat down with the designer in order to understand the context of Sonar as well as what she thinks the future holds for international bathroom design.

Hamish Kilburn: Why do you think more attention is being payed to the design of the bathroom within international hotel design?
Patricia Urquiola: I think that more attention is being payed to all aspects of hospitality and not just bathrooms. Hotel design is now all about an experience that one wants to transmit to the unknown user, and bathrooms are no exception. The design of the bathroom in a hotel project is very important, it is part of the whole room space, of the experience that a certain room can offer in terms of relax and wellbeing.

modern bathroom with colour and slick design

Image credit: Laufen

HK: What are your thoughts on color in the bathroom?
PU: My approach to colour, for bathrooms and every aspect of a project, is not absolute; it very much depends on the project. At times, color is central and it is therefore given a lot of importance and space, it becomes essential for forms to come to life. Other times, palettes are a lot more intimate with very little color and more attention to textures or materials. For example, the bathrooms at Room Mate Hotel Giulia in Milano are extremely colorful, they reflect the language that we used throughout the whole project.  On the other hand, for a recent project in Mumbai in which we featured the Sonar collection, the focus isn’t on color but rather on materials and textures: marble and wood contrast beautifully with the ceramic of the collection.

HK: How has SONAR evolved? What’s changed, in regards to bathroom technology, since the first generation of SONAR?
PU: Sonar is manufactured using a high-tech ceramic material called SaphirKeramik, a material developed by Laufen that allows for the ceramic to be very thin for an industrial product. When I started my collaboration with the brand it had already been used for previous collections, what I wanted to do was to really exploit the material’s characteristics: strong yet light, it has a glow to it and a certain amount of detail can be incorporated. I wanted to work with all these positive aspects of SaphirKeramik and experiment with three-dimensional surfaces, to try and add spatial volumes to it.

“I think that in 30 years’ time things will be very different, from the houses we will live in, the cars we will drive, the hotels we will stay in…” – Patricia Urquiola

HK: The inspiration for your latest collection was ‘soundwaves that spread in water’…Was this a lightbulb moment, and if so – when and where were you at the time?
PU: Usually inspiration comes to me in waves of moments, images, trips, people… it is hard to pinpoint it to a specific time. The strictness of architectural minimalism was definitely on my mind, a sense of lines, purity and geometry. But also water, its energy and its dynamic movement that never stops. The meeting point of these two ideas is the inspiration behind the Sonar collection, sort of a game between such contrasting shapes, between softness and severity. The lines etched on the exterior of the pieces fade on one end, disappearing back into the material, just like the waves in the ocean.

HK: In your eyes, what does the bathroom of the future (say 30 years from now) look like?
PU: That is very hard to imagine! I think that in 30 years’ time things will be very different, from the houses we will live in, the cars we will drive, the hotels we will stay in… we are moving towards a smarter future, things will be more specialised, personalised, mobile. Frameworks and systems will become more complex and we all will learn to navigate them. We are already seeing a very big change in materials, in how we make them and reuse them and this will also affect architectural projects, the way in which bathrooms will be designed and built will change radically. Spaces and functions are becoming hybrid, they are being redefined because our focus is shifting towards functionality.

Laufen is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Hotel Designs takes the stage at Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs takes the stage at Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam

Editor Hamish Kilburn is preparing to join Concrete’s Rob Wagemans and Zoku’s Hans Meyer on stage at the first ever Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam…  

Hotel Designs, an official media partner for Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam, is preparing to go on stage this afternoon for a live debate on how the rise in ‘bleisure’ is dictating how the industry builds and renovates hotels and cities.

Whether travelling for business or leisure, guests are seeking great experiences from their hotel stay. Editor Hamish Kilburn will ask the panel – Concrete’s Rob Wagemans and Zoku’s Hans Meyer -how the hospitality and design community should be reacting to the need of flexible working and living spaces in international hotel design.

About the speakers: 

Hans Meyer, Founder & Owner at Zoku

Hans Meyer is co-founder and managing director of Zoku. Facilitating global living and working, Zoku has created a new category in the hotel industry – a home-office hybrid, with the services of a hotel and the social buzz of a thriving neighbourhood. He is responsible for innovation, culture, concept development, branding, operations and strategic partnerships for the Zoku brand. Zoku has been internationally recognized as being an innovator in the industry and was quoted by Forbes as one of the 25 coolest hotels in the world. A firm believer of value creation and innovation for the international hospitality industry, Hans previously was the initial creator and founding partner of the citizenM hotel concept and held senior corporate positions in Operations and Development for NH Hoteles and Golden Tulip, where he was responsible for projects throughout Europe, Africa, The Middle-East and Central America. Hans is also a jury member for the Accenture Innovation Awards and Ahead, the international Awards for Hospitality, Experience and Design. He was educated at Hotelschool The Hague and Cornell University in the United States.

Rob Wagemans, Founder & Director at Concrete 

Concrete develops concepts in architecture, interior design, urban development and brand development. Wagemans founded Concrete in 1997 and is the architectural visionary behind CitizenM and Zoku. The architectural firm was also behind the design of W Verbier and Ink Amsterdam.

Hotel Designs is attending Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam as a proud media partner of the show. If you would like to meet the team, head over to stand F64!

Statement solutions for the hotel bathroom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Statement solutions for the hotel bathroom

Continuing this month’s theme putting bathrooms under the spotlight, Bisque Radiator’s brand leader, Ellie Sawdy, explains how hotel designers can add statement and personality in the bathroom… 

A stylish bathroom is at the heart of every chic hotel room. There are a number of elements which have become so synonymous with hotel bathroom design – a freestanding tub, a waterfall shower, marble surfaces and, of course, a gorgeous bathroom towel rail. After all, where else do you plan to dry your towels after a long day in the spa?

Often overlooked in interior design, towel radiators are a key element of glamorous bathrooms. If you have the space, try placing two either side of the bath or basin to create an uber-luxurious effect. For smaller bathrooms, try a tall, slim towel rad that will save valuable wall space.

Here at Bisque we offer a wide selection of towel rails to suit all bathroom styles. There’s the Chime – always a crowd pleaser – which offers a modern take on the traditional towel rail. With a highly polished finish, it’s perfect for providing that extra-special finishing touch – while its chunky rails make it practical, too. For more traditional hotels, there’s the Classic or Tetro radiators, both available for bathrooms with an additional towel rail attached. We’ve recently introduced our first ever traditional collection, too, comprising three timeless designs – the Buckingham, Balmoral and Osborne – for use in these spaces. Finally there’s the Archibald too – a real design statement for contemporary hotels.

Image credit: Bique Radiators

Colour plays an important part, too. Chrome and brass finishes will never go out of style, but it may be worth considering something a little different, such as a sophisticated matt black, dove grey or anthracite. A monochrome scheme has long been favoured by designers and architects for its ability provide balance in a space – plus the opportunity to add a pop of colour through accessories and brighter accents.

Another consideration may be a bathroom-come-bedroom design. Fast becoming more and more popular, many of the most luxurious hotels are merging these two rooms to create one super open-plan suite. Finally, it’s always worth investing in luxe accessories. Whether it’s the finest Egyptian cotton bedding, gold brassware or miniature toiletries, it’s these little touches which make a big difference.

Ellie Sawdy recently sat down with Hotel Designs’ editor, Hamish Kilburn, to discuss key bathroom trends. Bisque Radiators is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image credit: Bisque Radiators

SB Architects unveils seven new hospitality projects in North America and Mexico

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SB Architects unveils seven new hospitality projects in North America and Mexico

Architecture firm SB Architects has announced seven new hospitality projects that are opening in North America and Mexico…

Full-service global architecture firm, SB Architects, has been breaking ground in hotel, residential and mixed-use design for almost 60 years, and is delighted to announce seven new hospitality projects that are opening, in progress or breaking ground this year.

“It’s been a very productive and prolific year for SB Architects with so many high-caliber projects in various stages of the pipeline,” said Scott Lee, President and Principal of SB Architects. “We’re thrilled for the opportunity to work on such diverse and inspiring projects and in so many interesting destinations. From a luxury destination resort in Los Cabos that seamlessly blends French and Mexican culture, to a sophisticated ski-in, lift-out destination in Utah, these projects showcase the scope of our capabilities and the breadth of our portfolio.”

Sofitel SO Los Cabos (San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico)
Slated to complete: 2021

Render of beqachside luxury hotel

Image credit: Sofitel Los Cabos

Set on a prominent five-acre beachfront site in premier tourist destination, Los Cabos, this five-star luxury resort cascades gently down to the white sandy beaches below, providing unobstructed Pacific Ocean views throughout. Inspired by the vibrant history of Mexican haciendas and the central role of family gathering spaces, the resort embraces bold, contemporary architectural features with vivid interior hues, paying homage to the authentic Zócalo (community spaces) experience. The SO brand is the epitome of sophisticated modern French aesthetic which, when combined with the beautifully rich Mexican culture, creates a unique and inviting experience. The destination resort boasts 210 keys, 40 branded residences, conference and meeting center, spa, specialty restaurant and ultra-lounge, and beach club. The residential resort has 87 units, ranging from 1,960 to 4,329 square feet, along with fitness and entertainment amenities.

The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Sarasota (Sarasota, Florida)
Slated to complete: 2020

Render of The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Sarasota

Image credit: The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Sarasota

The 18-story tower is an additional branded residential component to the existing Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Sarasota. Located on Sarasota Bay, the tower has been designed at a distinctive angle, providing both a visually interesting exterior along with unobstructed views of the water. The new tower links to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on level three and offers residents easy access to exclusive amenities. Level three and above houses three- and four-bedroom units with stunning views in two directions. Multiple elevator locations ensure that each residence will share a lobby with no more than one other unit. Wide cantilevered balconies will circle the building, providing each unit with private outdoor space. Additional amenities include a large rooftop pool and entertainment area. Images can be found here.

Pendry Residences Park City (Park City, Utah)
Slated to complete: 2021

Render of swimming pool on hotel

Image credit: Pendry Residences Park City

The luxury ski-in, lift-out destination will add a new level of sophistication to mountain living from its central location in the new Canyons Village. Luxury hospitality brand, Pendry, delivers polished comfort with a modern edge and prides itself on epitomizing the character of a neighborhood, whether that be through art, culture, design, or music. Ideally situated amidst thousands of acres of exceptional terrain, Pendry Residences Park City will transform the traditional alpine lodge into a modern, life-enriching base to call home, featuring 150 fully-serviced guestrooms and suites, ranging in size from studios to four-bedroom. The residences boast the services and amenities of a luxury resort, including a private ski valet, spa, a variety of restaurant and bar options, and the only rooftop bar and pool in the area. With four unique lounges, restaurant and bar experiences, Pendry Residences Park City will provide an exceptional venue for perfecting the art of Apres Ski with music, food and drinks, and good company.

Conrad Playa Mita (Punta de Mita, Mexico)
Slated to complete: 2019

Render of beachfront hotel

Image credit: Conrad Playa Mita

A tranquil respite from Mexico City’s energetic pace, the 154-key Conrad Playa Mita boasts serene natural landscapes, aquamarine waters and uninhabited isles. Designed to exist in harmony with the natural environment and luxurious locale, the rejuvenating Riviera Nayarit destination resort immerses guests in a tropical oasis. With modern expressions of architectural sophistication, Conrad Punta Mita dovetails with the dramatic natural scenery, providing every guestroom and suite with unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean. Drawing inspiration from Mexico’s rich history and unique culture, indigenous artwork integrates with luxurious amenities to create a sense of barefoot resort elegance. In each motif lies a story, a statement and a valued part of the local Mexican identity. Facilities include three dining venues, pool, spa and 45,000 square feet of combined function space; including 30,000 square feet outdoor event space, 10,000 square-foot ballroom, and 3,000 square feet of breakout rooms, each with ample pre-function terraces.

Saltaire Bayfront Towers (St. Petersburg, Florida)
Slated to complete: 2022

Render of towering hotel

Image credit: Saltaire Bayfront Towers

Continuing the ongoing collaboration with Kolter Urban, SB Architects have introduced a timeless luxury addition to the St. Petersburg skyline. Designed in a modernist language quintessential to Florida, the 35-story residential tower employs striking white architectural forms, punctuated by floor-to-ceiling windows, that boast unobstructed views across Tampa Bay. Spacious two-story lofts line 1st Street South and the internalized arrival court is activated with retail frontage. With an average of 361 days of sunshine each year, an elevated, Olympic-length pool has been designed to offer spectacular, unobstructed views over the glistening Bayboro Harbor.

Omni PGA Golf Resort and Spa (Frisco, Texas)
Slated to complete: 2022

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of America is moving its headquarters from Palm Beach County, Florida to Frisco, Texas, where it will anchor a 600-acre mixed-use development with an initial investment worth more than half a billion dollars. The PGA of America is teaming with Omni Stillwater Woods (OSW), a joint venture led by Omni Hotels & Resorts with Stillwater Capital and Woods Capital, the City of Frisco, its Economic and Community Development Corporations, and the Frisco Independent School District. The Omni brand is known for its elevated service and amenities, including golf. The PGA Golf Resort, alongside the headquarters of the PGA of America, promises to be a first-class destination attracting avid golfers from far and wide.

Park Hyatt Los Cabos Resort (Los Cabos, Mexico)
Slated to complete: 2021

Render of aerial perspective of hotel show of

Image credit: Park Hyatt Los Cabos Resort

Situated on a spectacular site overlooking the sea with unobstructed water views and two secluded beaches, Park Hyatt Los Cabos is a 162-room destination resort with 35 branded private residences. A modern design, influenced by the surrounding desert scape, the rugged coastline and the indigenous architecture of the region. Guests will enjoy amenities including restaurants, a luxury spa, outdoor terraces and private plunge pools.

With almost 60 years of continuous practice, SB Architects has established a world-wide reputation for excellence in the planning and design of large-scale hotels, resorts, destination resort communities, and all associated resort amenities, as well as large-scale multi-family residential and urban mixed-use projects.

Main image credit: Sofitel Los Cabos

Hotel Indigo to make its debut in Chester

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Indigo to make its debut in Chester

Hotel group IHG has unveiled a first glimpse of its much-anticipated new boutique hotel, Hotel Indigo Chester, which is slated to open later this year under a franchise agreement with Castlebridge Hospitality… 

Located at the heart of Chester, Hotel Indigo Chester combines the local character and charm with vibrant colours and textures to give the hotel a residential look and feel. Just as no two places are alike, no two Hotel Indigo properties are the same.

Each boutique hotel draws inspiration from the local neighbourhood, culture and popular trends in food, drink and design to create a warm and vibrant atmosphere.

The 75-key new build hotel has been designed by architects Franklin Ellis taking inspiration from three key elements of the city; the material layers of its architecture, the iconic 1897 Eastgate Clock and the world-famous Chester Racecourse. Guests can expect an eclectic combination of fabrics, wood panelling and references to historic people and dress from the city’s past.

The design of the 96-cover restaurant will nod to the chef’s, award winning 2015 MasterChef champion Simon Wood, signature style to create a relaxed natural environment in which to enjoy his unintimidating fine dining making it the perfect new outlet for locals to dine in.  At the heart of the restaurant will be the chef’s table and theatre kitchen providing the perfect vista for guests to watch Simon and his team as they work. The restaurant will also feature a private dining room that will accommodate up to ten people for a meeting or dinner. Guests will be able to enjoy Simon’s tasting menus as part of any event or occasion.

“At Hotel Indigo we believe in providing more than just a good night’s sleep, we want to create an experience as unique as the neighbourhood in which we are found,” said Bethan Johnston, General Manager, Hotel Indigo Chester. “It’s really important to us that we reflect the community around us and offer a personalised stay that is tailored both to the city and the guest.

“It’s a high end boutique experience but without ever being stuffy, we will offer top quality service that, like Simon’s food, is unintimidating, relaxed and welcoming. We believe we will offer something different to any other hotel in Chester.”

“We have added unique elements to the interiors that are relevant to the area, including artwork of local landmarks and items that are made locally.” – Ben Dudley, Franklin Ellis Architects

Partner at Franklin Ellis Architects, Ben Dudley, commented: “It’s been a real joy to be involved in this hotel and signature restaurant project. Like all Hotel Indigo properties, this one is inspired by the city it’s located in and seeks to reflect the surrounding architecture and character. We have added unique elements to the interiors that are relevant to the area, including artwork of local landmarks and items that are made locally.

“On a personal note, it’s fascinating to work with Chef Simon Wood and see how his attention to every detail ensures his guests have a wonderful dining experience. I’m certain this project will be a fabulous new venue for Chester and a delightful place to stay.”

Main image credit: Hotel Indigo

The designer shaping the future of water at GROHE

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The designer shaping the future of water at GROHE

Post-ISH, Grohe’s Vice President of Design, Michael Seum, sits down with Hotel Designs to explain how its latest innovations are vastly reshaping the bathroom industry. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

If one were to imagine the bathroom industry as a quiet, glass-like lake, surrounded by tranquil surroundings, then ISH 2019 was a competition between creatives on who could make the greatest and loudest splash with just one throw.

While some manufacturers opted to hurl large rocks at the water, GROHE on the other hand decided to make its impact in numbers, by launching more than 500 new innovations and arguably creating the largest ripple effect, which has ultimately disrupted conventional bathroom designs as we know them today.

Ensuring that each product that launched skimmed across the surface, GROHE had a strategic throw to avoid it become submerged in the noise of the show. Its latest collections were designed around five mega trends, ‘new living spaces’, ‘consumers become creators’, ‘simplicity seekers – the search for simplicity’, ‘taking control’, and ‘intelligent life management’. The man leading the innovation of each product is Michael Seum, the Vice President of Design at GROHE, who describes his role simply as “connecting the creative horsepower design team to a business need.”

Image credit: Grohe/ISH 2019

Seum, who is the bridge between the innovators and the board at the company, knows more than anyone that the bathroom products of today will help to shape the way in which all buildings and hotels that are conceived in the future. “We identified big shifts in society, technology and the rise in rejecting single-use objects,” he explains. “We wanted to understand the mindset of consumers and concluded that we should be giving consumers the ability to take better control over the environment and one large framework was built around looking at the consumer, identifying a problem or strain and coming up with a solution.”

Once the solution has been established and visualised, Seum can unleash his weapon; his world-class team of in-house designers to create a new direction in bathroom design. “We honestly go through about 100 prototypes before the end user sees the result of a finished product ready for market,” Seum explains. “Within these, we explore different means of technology and this really in the power of design at GROHE. In a low fidelity way, we can sketch and build a product that can help to get the industry flowing in a certain way.”

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

Hamish Kilburn: I now have in my head that your house is full of prototypes… Am I correct?
Michael Seum: That’s funny. Unfortunately not, my house is actually very minimalist – think Nordic and simple.

HK: What is your biggest bugbear in design?
MS: lack of originality. In our sector in particular, things are copied a lot

HK: Should designers strive to put more colour in the bathroom?
MS: Absolutely!

HK: What is the number-one travel item you cannot travel without?
MS: Books, my headphones and my sketchbook

HK: What is your favourite trend at the moment?
MS: Lightweight furniture!

HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
MS: Surfing in Portugal!

HK: In your opinion, what is the number-one tool for success in this industry?
MS: Learning and understanding the customer experience!

HK: Sustainability is a huge driving force in what you are doing. Is there a hotel that stands out in your mind as being built purely to be sustainable?
MS: Yes, actually. Zuri Zanzibar, which was designed by Jestico + Whiles, is really cool!

The bathroom industry is arguably the most congested sectors in interior design. Staying ahead in such a landscape takes true innovation and not being afraid to disrupt the current lay of the land – something that Seum does with ease. “Our products are not inspired by the bathroom industry,” he says. “Instead, I am more interested to look outside the boundaries of bathroom design and towards wider trends in, for example, lifestyle, fashion and lighting.

Image credit: Grohe

With bathroom manufacturers specifically, there has been a rise in the number of companies that are welcoming outside renowned designers and architects to inspire the look of new collections, but for Seum who is a former design consultant himself, the demand for this at GROHE is non-existent. “I’m not critiquing the designers when I say this, but I am yet to find a designer who has worked on a collection with a bathroom manufacturer that has done anything to conserve water and/or to eliminate single-use plastics,” he explains. “Therefore, its clear that these collaborations are aimed to purely add aesthetics to a product.”

The result of GROHE’s presence at ISH is that the company has defiantly launched products that are tailored to the needs of consumers as well as architects, interior designers and hotel investors. Creating intelligent water solutions to transform lives for the better, Seum and his team is succeeding in providing products that have the power to help designers build and create more intelligent and sustainable hotels around the world.

Main image credit: GROHE

BESPOKE DESIGN: Italian boutique hotel inspired by natural elements

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BESPOKE DESIGN: Italian boutique hotel inspired by natural elements

Design studio Boxx Creative has completed the interior design of Miramonti, a 21-key boutique hotel in the Italian mountains. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Inspired by its natural surroundings, Miramonti, meaning mountain view, draws its name and design from nature. A deep terracotta facade, which dates back to 1958, evokes the changing seasons and rich natural Italian colour palette.

When it first opened just over a decade after the second world war, the five-storey Albergo Miramonti was the first building in town to feature hot water in every room and it quickly gained in popularity among tourists as well as locals as a place for ultimate relaxation. The new guestrooms, which are divided into five categories over three storeys, feature – in true Miramonti spirit – calming green and blue colour schemes, punctuated with deeper accents.

Design firm Boxx Creative’s first step in its transformation was to maximise every square foot to increase guestroom numbers, providing flexibility of room use and creating defined room types for couples and families. The Deluxe Doubles provide an appealing space for couples to relax in comfort inside the room or outside on the balcony. The spacious Family Suites meanwhile have the option to connect through to en-suite bunk-bed rooms, which comfortably accommodate a family of six.

“Materials were selected for their authentic properties and link to the surrounding environment.”

The firm redesigned each floor of the hotel and created the interior schemes; drawing on the elements of: earth, fire, air, water, wood and metal. Materials were selected for their authentic properties and link to the surrounding environment and feature in the natural stone wash basins, carved wooden bedframes, solid trunk coffee tables, round metal bedside tables and soft natural fabrics.

“We always focus on quality and environmental impact in our work,” said Nicola Keenan, interior designer and Co-founder of Boxx Creative. “All design details have been fully considered across the hotel. Carpet made from recycled fibres line the corridors and is inlaid within the sustainable, hand-crafted wooden flooring. Locally sourced and sustainable materials were used wherever possible and the build contractor was chosen for his energy saving principles and employment of workers within the area.”

Understated living area of the guestroom

Image credit: Mariell Lind Hansen

The majority of the furnishings were made completely bespoke by a talented artisan in his local workshop. The bedrooms feature wooden headboard panelling, metal framed open cabinetry storage and sturdy desks, each thoughtfully hand-crafted. The unique hand-made wooden flooring with individually controlled underfloor heating system, adds warmth and grounding to each room. Beautiful reeded glass panelled doors with curved frame detailing provide privacy to each en-suite and rippled wooden under-sink cabinets hang beneath attractive natural stone basins.

“Lighting was incredibly important to the client,” added Nicola Lindsell, also an interior designer and Co-founder of Boxx Creative. “We chose Italian designed, Flos feature pendants in each of the en-suites and Scandinavian inspired adjustable wall lights to create an appealing focal point in the bedrooms.”

Soft, minalist lobby area. Natural materials, such a stone, used in the casegoods and furniture

Image credit: Mariell Lind Hansen

“When we decided to redesign the hotel we were conscious of finding a suitable partner that matched our values and design style,” said the owner of the hotel. “We loved working with Boxx Creative as they had a great knowledge of suppliers and longterm sustainable options. Throughout the redesign they presented options which reflected our sustainability goals as well as our overall artistic vision for the hotel.”

The hotel has always been within the family and today the management has passed on to the third generation, with strong hope to continue and build upon that original idea, creating an authentic escape for locals and travellers alike.

Main image credit: Mariell Lind Hansen

Bathroom specialist Utopia Projects rounds up ISH 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bathroom specialist Utopia Projects rounds up ISH 2019

To kick-start our month of putting bathrooms under the spotlight, Utopia Projects reviews ISH 2019 by sharing its highlights of the show… 

In March, the world’s largest bathroom and heating trade fair, ISH, took place in Frankfurt Germany. With the exhibition taking place every two years, ISH this year attracted around 190,000 visitors all in search for the latest innovations. We took a handful of our clients across for the event to see what some of the world’s leading bathroom manufacturers had on offer.

The most evident trend across many of the manufacturers was digital products with integrated home automation. As with many industries technology is becoming increasingly important, and it is clear that this will be a big feature in forthcoming bathrooms. It was great to see colour feature heavily in many of the displays, with several brands presenting various colour options within their ceramic ranges; Villeroy & Boch, Roca and Laufen ranges were all offering strong and subtle tones for sanitaryware.

Including colour into your bathroom is a fantastic way to put a twist on the monochromatic trend that has been sweeping the interior design world for the past few years. A popular colour choice was black; a bold way to create a sultry and high-end space. Colour accents didn’t stop there either, with many of the manufacturers beginning to increase their special finishes beyond just taps, to shower heads, wastes and accessories. Brands such as Gessi and Victoria & Albert have introduced strong metal finishes within their brassware collections, which will create some drama in public area specifications. Having a wide array of finishes to choose from allows every element of a bathroom to be personalised to specific taste. This is due to the Brassware ranges on offer being now being in such a wide variety of finishes.

“Using large format solid surfaces, such as quartz, is becoming quite popular.”

Seamless design was another trend which we saw beginning to come through, and using large format solid surfaces, such as quartz, is becoming quite popular. These bespoke solid surfaces offer infinite design possibilities allowing every bathroom surface to be manufactured from one material, with minimal joints, creating a visually stunning design.

From all the brands displayed at ISH, a stand that really stood out to us was Gessi. This was due to their fantastic designs, not only for their products. The stand was innovative and eye catching, helping you envision how you can push boundaries for design. Gessi’s themeing for its stand was seemingly avant garde, yet on trend, following the popular outdoor-indoor trend in terms of rain showers, deep basins and large plants to finish.

Dornbracht and Alape took a very different approach to their stand, but was nonetheless as enticing. Both of their approach was subtle in comparison, teasing you into wanting to see and know more about the products. A final stand we were inspired by was by Roca. The company displayed their products as complete rooms allowing us to see variation in products as well as visualise them from a designers prospective. The video demonstration we watched on the stand of one of the mirrors showed us how futuristic and advanced the technology of a simple product can be, which is very exciting from a design point of view. We also saw that Emco is offering a lighting system which can be fully customised, even down to the shaver mirror and mirror cabinet, by one switch, to create mood and ambiance for a totally unique bathroom experience.

A final point we found interesting whilst at ISH was something which is very prominent in society today. Taking the theme of sustainability in its stride was GROHE, which launched products following a close look at consumer behaviour. By launching no less than 500 new innovations, the company’s new collections challenges conventional design of bathroom products and offers sustainable solutions designed to give consumers the ability to take better control. Roca also talked about how it is appealing to make its showers more environmentally friendly. The company plans on integrating digital showers into hotels in order to offer an incentive for users to take shorter showers for discount on future hotel stays. Multiple companies, not just Roca, are interested in monitoring how we consume water in homes, hotels and businesses, resulting in a large impact on the environment.

In conclusion, ISH once again gave an impressive demonstration of its importance for German and international visitors and exhibitors. The next ISH will be held in Frankfurt am Main from March 22 to 26, 2021.

Utopia Projects is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image credit: Messe Frankfurt/ISH 2019

Leading designers and architects spoke at the inaugural IDAS

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Leading designers and architects spoke at the inaugural IDAS

Taking place yesterday at Hilton London Tower Bridge, the Interior Design & Architecture Summit sheltered some interesting debates for designers and architects – all of which looped back to the elephant-in-the-room topic, sustainability in our hotels and cities…

The sold-out inaugural Interior Design & Architecture Summit (IDAS) took place yesterday at the Hilton London Tower Bridge.

The event, which allowed visionary designers and architects the ability to meet face-to-face with key-industry suppliers, included a speakership programme curated with the aim to put relevant topics under the spotlight.

IDAS 2019 started with an engaging presentation by Constantina Tsoutsikou, the Creative Director at HBA London, who discussed ‘Playfullness & Personality in Hospitality Design’. In addition to referencing key projects to exemplify her points, Tsoutsikou made reference to creative boundaries of modern designers. “Many designers have forgotten how to sketch by hand,” she told the audience. “If we rely on computers then we have forgotten a skill that is very valuable.”

“The reality is that the brief from hotels, investors and operators is never – or very rarely – to build a sustainable hotel.” – Constantina Tsoutsikou, the Creative Director at HBA London

Joining the visionary on the sofa, editor Hamish Kilburn followed the presentation with a live Q&A and it became clear that sustainability was to be a dominating topic to be explored throughout the day. “The reality is that the brief from hotels, investors and operators is never – or very rarely – to build a sustainable hotel,” Tsoutsikou explained. “When consumers start choosing hotels on this credential then developers will follow, and this is happening slowly.”

The designer explained how an ‘open window’ approach during projects – ensuring that the hotels on the boards evolve with ideas and themes throughout from concept to completion – has allowed her and her team to really inject each property they touch with ample personality and, of course, apt sense of place. “Take Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, for example. It has a dutch soul,” she explained. We enriched the level of comfort in the atrium by creating ‘islands’, each providing a distinct experience within the Axis Lobby: reception, lounge library, tech lounge and cocktail bar. Each area is defined by a carpet with a design inspired by the sediment-laden islands and waterways between coastal dunes on the southern coast of the Netherlands.

From one inspirational creative to another, Yasmine Mahmoudieh was invited to take the second speaker session of the day, exploring Hotels of the Future. Following extensive research into the changing behavior of modern hotel guests, Mahmoudieh explained how she has seen – from both a design and an architecture point of view – a large demand in creating intelligent flexible spaces. Mahmoudieh explained that the hotels of the future will house all facilities – for working, living and socialising – under one roof. “New ways of living and working are being developed all over the world,” she said. “Therefore, the need for social interaction has never been as prevalent. It is partly due to social media and the alienation and the loneliness, especially young people feel.”

Returning back to the theme of responsible design, Mahmoudieh, when joined on the sofa by Kilburn, started to highlight the importance of sustainability in architecture and explained the value of finding new eco-friendly materials. “I-MESH, for example, is an innovative material invented to assume a leading position in the field of solar protection indoors/outdoors,” she said. “Its physical, technological, formal characteristics together with its high aesthetical potential makes it eligible as a proper architectural material. It outclasses metallic grids for its design versatility and sustainability; it’s an easily custom made mesh in line with the architectural thought, with the story of the commissioning client, with the brand.”

Following an afternoon of face-to-face meetings with suppliers from the likes of Marco Corona, Hamilton Litestat (recommended supplier), Mitre Linen (recommended supplier), Gessi (recommended supplier), Cole & Sons and many more, the audience gathered for the final session of the day. In the panel discussion entitled ‘The Rising Ceiling of Creativity’, Kilburn was joined on the sofa by Moritz Waldemeyer (lighting designer and recommended supplier), Charles Leon (architect and Past-President, BIID), Gilly Craft (interior designer and President, BIID), Yasmine Mahmoudieh (interior designer/architect) and Robin Sheppard (CEO of Bespoke Hotels). Looking at the creative boundaries faced currently by the industry as well as ‘futuregazing’ towards the hotel room of the future, the panel debated consumer behavior, sustainability in design and how to create authentic installations within hotel design.

Following the success of yesterday’s event, details around next year’s IDAS will be announced shortly.

Media Partner: Future Constructor & Architect

Media Partner: Treniq

Meet Up North: Early bird promotion expires today

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Meet Up North: Early bird promotion expires today

There are now just a few hours remaining for designers, hoteliers, architects, developers and suppliers to take advantage of Hotel Designs’ early bird promotion for Meet Up North, which takes place on July 1 at Hotel Gotham, Manchester…  

The early bird promotion for Meet Up North 2019 ends today!

On July 1, leading designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers are expected to gather at the hotel’s exclusive members-only rooftop bar, Club Brass, for drinks and canapés above the city.

The VIP lounge on the 7th floor of the hotel was chosen as the venue for Meet Up North after editor Hamish Kilburn described Hotel Gotham as Manchester’s decadent playground in his interactive hotel review that was published last year.

Suppliers: £99 + VAT (£150 + VAT after early bird offer expires after April 30).
Designers, architects and hoteliers: £10 + VAT (£20 + VAT after early bird offer expires after April 30).

If you are a supplier to the industry and would like to attend Meet Up North, click here.
If you are a designer, architect or hoteliers to the industry and would like to attend Meet Up North, click here.

There are various sponsorship opportunities and packages available for Meet Up North. If you would like to discuss these with our team then please contact Zoe Guerrier by either emailing z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk or calling 01992 374059.

Agenda for Meet Up North 2019

18.00:
Welcome drinks

18.15: 
Canapés are served

18.30:
Opening address by Editor, Hamish Kilburn

18.45:
Headline speaker: Tom Lindblom, Principal and Hospitality Leader at Gensler (London)
Title: Hospitality is way more than hotels

19.15 – 21.00:
Networking

The inaugural Meet Up North took place last year at King Street Townhouse and was attended by more than 200 designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

About Hotel Gotham

Hotel Gotham is sheltered in what is arguably the city’s grandest properties and is an exclusive city-centre sanctuary, previously a bank that was designed in 1935 by none other than architect Edwin Lutyens.

The hotel, which opened in 2015, prides itself on offering a modern and comfortable experience in a unique and luxurious environment, with exquisite service all within a bespoke private club in the heart of Manchester.

Main image credit: Hotel Gotham

PREVIEW: Creating flexible spaces inside Seattle Redmond Marriott

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PREVIEW: Creating flexible spaces inside Seattle Redmond Marriott

Paradigm Design Group has unveiled flexible designs for one of its latest hospitality projects, the Seattle Redmond Marriott…

Construction began in Q1 of this year to complete the Seattle Redmond Marriott, which is slated to open in Q4 of this year.

Responsible for the interior design/renovation of the hotel’s public spaces, including the MClub, lobby, great room and bar, as well as selecting new finishes for the pre-function/meeting space, was Paradigm Design Group.

The firm approached the project with the goal to cohesively integrate the hotel’s culture and surroundings into the overall design.

Achieving a modern, North West interior, Paradigm Design Group implemented clean lines, light wood, and modern lighting. The design even subtly nods to the Wild Salmon that are plentiful in the adjacent rivers, as well as the beautiful parks and forests in the area.

Located just minutes away from the Microsoft Main Campus, Paradigm Design Group was inspired to bring modern technology into the hotel’s design. The firm will implement a high-tech component to the Seattle Redmond Marriott, introducing modern Tech Pod chairs and various communal tables suitable for guest interaction, both social and work.

Former Metropolitan Police headquarters transformed into luxury hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Former Metropolitan Police headquarters transformed into luxury hotel

The historic landmark building, which was developed by Galliard Construction, has been transformed into The Great Scotland Yard Hotel, a 153-key luxury lifestyle hotel…

The former Metropolitan Police headquarters in London’s Whitehall has been converted into the 153-key The Great Scotland Yard Hotel, which is operated by Hyatt under the group’s Unbound Collection brand and was developed by Galliard Construction.

Working in association with Galliard’s in-house team along with HBA, and EPR Architects, The Deluxe Group was appointed to manufacture and fit all front of house areas, for the high-end hotel, including double height vestibule, grand entrance lounge, concierge, main cocktail bar, palm court style lounge, whiskey bar/clubroom, signature restaurant, library, gymnasium, 120-seater main conference room/ballroom, meeting rooms and function/private dining rooms. The firm also produced the luxury hotel’s sample bedroom, as part of the multi-million-pound development, which is expected to open later this year.

The bespoke joinery project, which was worth £5.5 million was completed in just six months, with all work completed on schedule and within budget.“We are delighted to have been part of the team which has sympathetically developed this building to give a classic period interpretation, reflecting the immense history of such a landmark site,” Commented Colm Connolly, Director of The Deluxe Group. “We used the highest quality, detailed joinery and luxury finishes throughout all front of house and public areas, with individually themed areas providing a stylish homage  to the crime and policing history of the building.”

“Our commitment to delivering the best in bespoke joinery with the greatest attention to detail and client servicing, ensured the finished project was a true reflection of the client’s vision.”

Luxury public area

Image credit: Great Scotland Yard Hotel

Constructed in 1910, the iconic Edwardian building served as the Royal Military Police headquarters and the British Army Recruitment Office. It later became the Ministry of Defence Library until 2004.

The famed landmark is known for its rich history, providing guests the opportunity to stay in the location where Metropolitan police pursued some of the country’s most notorious criminals, including Jack the Ripper and the 40 Elephants all-female crime syndicate. Reflecting on this, the distinct historical character of the building has been preserved throughout the renovation, including maintenance of its original façade.

Main image credit: The Great Scotland Yard Hotel

First integrated resort in the Maldives to open in June

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
First integrated resort in the Maldives to open in June

Crossroads project, which will span a 7km-long lagoon and nine islands in the Maldives, will open in June 2019 and will become the largest integrated resort in the Indian Ocean…

Crossroads Maldives has announced that it will be welcoming guests from June 2019, set to be the first integrated multi-island resort destination of the island nation.

Said to be one of the most comprehensive investment tourism projects to have been undertaken in the Maldives, the project will include the highly anticpated openings of Hard Rock Hotel Maldives and