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Rosewood brand to arrive in Amsterdam in 2023

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Rosewood brand to arrive in Amsterdam in 2023

Rosewood Amsterdam will open in 2023 as the ‘ultra-luxury’ group’s 11th property in Europe and first soiree in the Netherlands…

Following several development growth announcements, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has announced that it will open a property in 2023.

The hotel group, which has recently announced entrance strategies in destinations such as St Barths, Madrid and Venice, has been appointed by CTF Amsterdam B.V. to manage Rosewood Amsterdam.

Sheltered in the former Palace of Justice, a building of great architectural, historical and social significance that overlooks the Prinsengracht (the Prince’s Canal), one of the city’s most beautiful waterways, in the UNESCO World Heritage listed Amsterdam Canal District.  The hotel will be ideally situated near many of Amsterdam’s finest attractions including the museum district, the high-end shopping district on P.C. Hooftstraat and the hip De Pijp neighborhood. With its central location and befitting design carefully conceived to offer an inviting and amiable atmosphere, the property is poised to serve as an unparalleled gathering place for visiting guests and the local community alike.

Originally constructed in 1665 and later expanded in 1836 by Dutch architect Jan de Greef, the Palace of Justice was Amsterdam’s main courthouse for over 175 years and one of the finest examples of de Greef’s classic, multi-cultural style influenced by his travels to Paris and Rome. Working closely with the Bureau Monumenten en Archeologie (BMA) and The City of Amsterdam to preserve the rich heritage and quintessential character of this iconic building, Netherlands-based architectural firm Kentie & Partners has been selected to spearhead the property’s evolution into an ultra-luxury hotel. Leading the property’s interior design is acclaimed Dutch designer Piet Boon, of Amsterdam-based Studio Piet Boon. Known for his ability to balance functionality, aesthetics and individuality, Boon will honour the property’s original elements and distinctive Dutch identity while incorporating a contemporary sense of style that captures the energetic and exciting Amsterdam of today’s times. 

Given its esteemed reputation for being one of the leading architecture firms in the Amsterdam, it is unsurprising that Studio Concrete will have a major role in the design of the hotel. The firm has been appointed to design the hotel’s main restaurant, which will become a fresh and vibrant interior in the heart of the building, flanked by two courtyards with outdoor seating. London-based interior design firm Sagrada, led by David D’Almada, has been appointed to design an intimate bar in rich colours and high-end finishes, with stunning views overlooking the canal.

Rosewood Amsterdam will offer 134 guestrooms and suites, with many boasting spectacular views across the two adjoining canals, quiet internal courtyards and iconic townhouse rooftops. Amenities will include three restaurants, one of which will be an Indian restaurant, and bars; Sense, A Rosewood Spa offering ayurvedic treatments; a state-of-the-art wellness and fitness centreand an indoor swimming pool. 

In addition, multiple event spaces and meeting rooms, including a 3,000 square-foot ballroom, will offer advanced audio and visual services and natural daylight.

Decorative details throughout the hotel’s public spaces will pay homage to the signature spirit of both the building and city while creating a selection of differentiated yet unified spaces through subtle albeit impactful means, such as contrasting colour schemes that seamlessly separate one setting from another. Notably, the lobby lounge will feature a library adorned with beautiful legal books doubling as art pieces, photographs and artifacts, as well as comfortable and stylish seating, to create an enticing enclave that will invite visitors to linger and laze.

The library will also host an Indian Business Club which will stimulate high-level business and networking in an exclusive setting. All public spaces will overlook the three distinct, internal landscaped courtyards of the building, imagined by renowned landscape designer, Piet Oudolf. Internationally renowned for his work on the High Line and The Battery, both celebrated New York City attractions, Piet Oudolf will use his extraordinary expertise to artfully varnish the property with lush gardens and outdoor communal spaces.  

“Through design, décor and service, Rosewood’s properties worldwide mirror their surroundings and the souls of the destinations, and Rosewood Amsterdam will be no different,” says Sonia Cheng, chief executive officer of Rosewood Hotel Group. “With a unique character and culture, Amsterdam is a fitting locale for which to bring Rosewood’s guiding A Sense of Place philosophy. We’re looking forward to combining the city’s quintessential charm with a modern sense of style to meet and exceed the latest standards of luxury hospitality.”

As the latest demonstration of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts’ thoughtful growth strategy, Rosewood Amsterdam joins three existing European properties – Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel, Rosewood London and Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco. Additional European locations with Rosewood developments in the pipeline include Edinburgh, London, Madrid, Munich, Porto Cervo, Vienna and Venice.

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Virtual Roundtable: health & wellbeing in hospitality and hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Virtual Roundtable: health & wellbeing in hospitality and hotel design

With a question mark on what the future of health and wellbeing will look like in tomorrow’s hotel, editor Hamish Kilburn, in collaboration with HDR | Hurley Palmer Flatt, asks industry’s experts to decipher what’s fact and what’s myth when predicting tomorrow’s wellness scene…

One of the major challenges that hotel designers and architects are facing globally at the moment is how much emphasis to put on Covid-19 when making decisions that will impact the future look and feel of hospitality. The pandemic has no doubt changed the demands of modern travellers, no more so arguably than in what will be expected in the wellbeing and wellness areas of tomorrow’s hotels.

In an attempt to define realistic solutions, we speak to leading designers, architects and developers from around the world – and ask about the future of health and wellbeing in hospitality and design.

On the panel: 

Hamish Kilburn: We have never seen this before; every single hotel around the world putting together a reopening strategy. How has the pandemic, and the reopening of these hotels, changed the mindset of operators when it comes to health and wellbeing?

Chris Lee: Any operator will say that guest safety is their first priority. Obviously with Covid-19, that’s paramount. In times like these, the majority of travellers are leaning towards brands they can trust.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts set up a working party back in March. We looked across the whole spectrum of the business, including all brands and hotels, to identify what we needed to do to get ahead of this pandemic, all the time with the aim to keep our guests in a place where they trust us, whilst feeling safe and comfortable.

As a result, we launched an initiative called ‘Count on Us’, which is a long-term initiative with the emphasis being on additional cleanliness to address the characteristics of Covid-19 . We have had to adapt certain procedures, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing and it has allowed us to enter into partnerships with new suppliers. For example, Ecolab is supplying the EPR-approved cleaning chemicals and products for our hotels across the region. As part of that deal, they have offered product training to our staff. These team members are, bit by bit, becoming ‘Covid safety officers’.

HK: How will Covid-19 impact how hotels are designed?

Mark Bruce: The truthful answer to that is that our clients are all trying to figure that out themselves, which is why this discussion is very timely.

Six Senses arriving in London is a good example, with its core focus being wellness. What I will say, strictly architecturally, is that there is a wider emphasis on indoor/outdoor spaces, which I think makes sense to us. On the luxury end, customers want things to be the same but with more space. On the more lifestyle and budget end of the scale, travellers want confidence.

Image caption: Rendering of Six Senses London, slated to open in 2023

Working closely with our mechanical and engineering suppliers to understand the practical aspects, such as air conditioning systems and finding ways to bring in natural air, has been fundamental in order to understand our limits as architects.

Matthew Voaden: We are finding that working more closely with architects from early stages of design is beneficial in not only addressing the concerns of enhanced ventilation to the space, but also to the architecture/interior design as integrating the services from outset does not later compromise the initial concept.

Tom Bishop: From a project management perspective, we usually get operator and design feedback far too late (usually during stage three or four). Do you reckon that this support system will bring forward when we are able to have these discussions?

MB: Yes, I think it’s a good point. 50 per cent of our clients are owner/operators, developers, which means from day one you can have good conversations about it. This is a huge challenge for operators – and you’re right, these conversations do not currently happen early enough.

HK: Covid-19 has amplified the need for service and design to work in harmony, something that the lifestyle sector was already very good at. What are the new challenges in lifestyle hotels? 

TB: Ruby Hotels is a great example of a lifestyle hotel that shelters design working with service. Typically, guests checking in to a Ruby hotel are looking for a bed for the night. You check in to ‘lean luxury’ ­– it’s clean and well designed and you are not spending that much time in your room. The public area space is minimal, cool and trendy while the F&B offering is limited – so they are almost already designed for the post-pandemic world and naturally cater to new demands from travellers. It will be interesting to see what the hotel group does next. I know the brand is looking for sites still, and it’s an exciting time for them.

Image caption: A playful interior design scheme inside Ruby Lucy, London

There is definitely a difference in demand from guests checking in to a five-star hotel than travellers checking in to a three-star hotel. On the luxury end, the question is now how to create the same atmosphere pre-pandemic in a space that now limits how many people are in that area.

“We are trying too hard at the moment and, dare I say it, over reacting.” – Ivalyo Lefterov, Hotel Development Director, Miris.

HK: Ivaylo, talk to us about SVART. How is this project challenging conventional methods of wellbeing and wellness?

Ivaylo Lefterv: That’s a very wide question, I have to say. I’m addressing this situation having worked on both the design and operational side. From my perspective at least, we are trying too hard at the moment and, dare I say it, over reacting.

First of all, we have no idea how things will evolve six months from now, so making any assumptions or drastic changes could be quite damaging. But equally, with SVART in particular, sustainability and wellness were already key pillars of that project. So, Covid-19 has somewhat brought attention to what we were already trying to achieve, which is a positive.

Image caption: SVART, which is slated to open in 2022 as the world’s first ‘energy-positive’ hotel

The building itself, sheltering a new F&B concept, is part of the wellness journey. We have been discussing how we activate the building, and our conclusion is that we want the guest to be in control. We are talking about touchless without losing human interaction. That is an important balance. We are trying to allow the customer to be guided intuitively but also using technology as a tool to allow us to measure the condition of their stay and be able to adjust their experience accordingly. I do believe that lighting will become much more of a focus in the post-pandemic world.

 MV: I agree, having worked recently with a number of clients on integrating smart technologies into new and existing buildings, we are trying to strike a balance between introducing technology that benefits the development and not just an innovation that is an immediate reaction to the current Covid-19 situation, which ultimately might not be required.

HK: It’s a given that hygiene is creeping – no, leaping – up on the agenda for hoteliers. When it comes to Value Engineering though, what will fall off in its place?

Dan Curtis: We have seen a move towards less cluttered space. When you walk into a hotel room there is now more clean space with natural materials, focusing on the light and scenery.

“Value Engineering should not be a factor when considering safety” – Kobi Karp, Founder, Kobi Karp Architecture and Design.

Kobi Karp: I agree. Value Engineering should not be a factor when considering safety. Traditionally we have used copper pipes in buildings before we discovered the properties in PVC. I now see a movement that is drawing designers and architects back to raw materials, such as copper. In my firm we design a lot of restoration projects, and it’s very easy to convert those hotels into sustainable hubs as a result of Covid-19.

Over the last few months the focus has also switched to technology – it is evolving rapidly! To date, we have not felt the need to implement this. Now, we are taking another look at it technology’s role in a post-pandemic world.

HK: We can have all the best will in the world, but let’s realistic and talk about scalability – change is very expensive for global hotel brands that need to maintain branding across all hotels. Chris, how are you making these decisions?

CL: It’s such a difficult call! If I was in a developer’s position, and it was my money, I still wouldn’t know what to do.

We’ve had numerous discussions internally about reviewing our design standards. At the moment, we have to stay where we are because no one has the answers on timing. Like Tom said, if you double the size of your lobby then you are doubling the size of your real estate, which naturally reduces your ROI. I don’t think we are yet in a position to fix these financial and design issues.

Image caption: Wyndham Introduces new hybrid meeting concept at Dolce Hotels in Europe

TB: Let me explain this from a refurbishment approach. An owner has an asset. It was worth X in January 2020 and it’s now worth Y. If they are trying to loan against the asset, that value has reduced. This means your refurbishment budget has reduced along with occupancy levels (for example, from 85 per cent to 65 per cent) and a lower room rate. Ultimately, you are going to see, I believe, more QS-led design in the four-star and below market because ultimately there is more of a budget constraint that has to be adhered to. There is a delicate balance between health, design (to ensure that the hotel is competitive within its market), increasing room rates and overall yield.

Image caption: Minimalist design-led guestrooms inside Ruby Hotels’ properties

Veronica Givone: In the last six months, I have been talking with a lot with investors. My conclusion is that the last decade has already seen a shift in what brands wanted to provide. 10 years ago they were designing for their brands. Now they are designing for the people checking in to the hotel.

“We now need to avoid designing hotels that look like hospitals.” Veronica Givone, Managing Director, IA Interior Architects.

I believe that the pandemic will just amplify this. People are more aware when it comes to wellness and wellbeing. We now need to avoid designing hotels that look like hospitals. It’s the balance the find when applying tech and keeping service fresh. We need to understand how to make our staff feel confident and comfortable to use the space. We need to make short-term solutions, and I hope that social distancing will not be a long-term hurdle. In 15 years from now, who will be the guest? That’s what we now need to think about.

HK: Matthew, HDR | Hurley Palmer Flatt Group has its ear to the ground when it comes to identifying and utilising new innovations that will improve building quality. What have you seen emerge recently?

MV: When cultural changes happen, it always results in a lot of discussions around new innovations and products.

UVC Lighting, and air purification systems are really interesting, but would be better and easier to cost, if they were disguised in the foundations of a new build. Upgrading filters in maintenance, CO2 monitoring, modification to the Building management system to extend fan runtimes etc and other factors are constantly being analysing as part of our teams initial response to the pandemic.

I would say, it is easier to integrate new innovations into budget hotels. It’s more challenging for luxury properties and brands in order to not disrupt the familiar luxury guest experience and journey.

IL: I can see the industry moving forward towards the guest designing their experience before check in. That will allow the actual hotel stay – take the arrival experience for example – to be more like a performance, a theatre if you like. The guestroom itself would become your butler to make it more personal without removing the human factor. Your reception becomes your living room, as opposed to being purely a practical and frankly unenjoyable element.  

“Gen Z want to be in control – they like choices.” – Chris Lee, Director of Architecture, Design & Construction, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

CL:Hotels have changed in the last decade. Lifestyle didn’t really exist much 10 years ago. Gen Z want to be in control – they like choices. What better way to make a choice: on your phone, you have everything you need. But, regardless of the evolution of tech, hospitality is about people and you can get that interaction in all hotels. I just hope the pandemic doesn’t adjust the people factor in our industry, because that is so important.

VG: The key is balance all possible demands and offer flexibility, allowing the guest to decide.

HK: Can sound offer solutions in the post-pandemic world?

MB: I was really pleased that this came up as a topic. I have never really spoken about sound in a roundtable discussion, but it’s important to consider. Like many of the sub topics we have explored in this session, we were analysing sound in hospitality before Covid-19 was a thing. The pandemic has allowed us to refocus on new ways to create atmosphere, and one of the most impactful ways to subconsciously evoke a mood in pursuit of wellness is to consider sound.

A great example is Six Senses, and it is an absolute joy working with the brand. They talk about anti spaces, the moments in between moments. I believe that the spaces in between create the emotion and memories. We have been helping Six Senses to transfer their look and feel and their renowned focus on wellness into an urban environment, and sound has been a massive part of that.

The minute you walk in, sound from the outside is­ muted –  the perception of the city gets left behind and the focus turned to the naturally aerated lobby. As you move further towards the spa, the way sound is treated is going to be a very exciting part of the project. To see a leading brand like Six Senses embrace sound to elevate the experience is very exciting! I think it will add a lot of value to hospitality in the future.

Thanks to HDR | Hurley Palmer Flatt and all of our international experts, we have started the conversation around health and wellbeing in hospitality in hotel design. Now it’s over to you. Have your stay by tweeting us @HotelDesigns.

Less than 1 week until Hotel Designs LIVE

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Less than 1 week until Hotel Designs LIVE

Calling all designers, architects, hoteliers and developers: Hotel Designs LIVE is a free one-day conference that takes place on October 13…

On October 13, designers, architects, hoteliers and developers will virtually gather to attend Hotel Designs LIVE, sponsored by Technological Innovations Group in association with Crestron.

Whether you are in need of a guide to hotel design or you simply want to keep up to date with the latest conversations that are happening in the industry, Hotel Designs LIVE promises to keep the conversation flowing throughout and beyond the Covid-19 crisis.

As well as broadcasting thought-provoking interviews and panel discussions, the one-day virtual conference will also frame a number of dynamic PRODUCT WATCH segments throughout the day in order to identify the latest product launches and innovations within each of the four topics areas that will be explored.

“When we first launched Hotel Designs LIVE in June, we made a pledge that the event will cut through the noise in order to broadcast what we believe are the most relevant conversations happening in the industry right now,” explains editor Hamish Kilburn who will host the event. “We have worked incredibly hard over the last few months to ensure that our next broadcast of Hotel Designs LIVE does the concept justice. This has included filming a segment with our new videography partner CUBE Video, working closely with our sponsors and suppliers and inviting relevant leaders and visionaries from around the world to sit on the virtual sofa in order to add value to the conversations we are airing.”

Here’s what’s coming up:

09:20 – 09:30: EDITOR’S WELCOME

Editor Hamish Kilburn will open by acknowledging the success and highlights from the inaugural virtual conference, which took place on June 23. In addition, he will discuss the rationale behind the four sessions that Hotel Designs LIVE will position under the spotlight for the second edition of Hotel Designs LIVE.

09:30 – 10:30: Discussing sustainability with Bill Bensley
(Sponsored by Silentnight Group)

In order to definitively understand sustainability in international hotel design, while also highlighting new, unconventional methodology in the process, Hotel Designs LIVE will welcome Bill Bensley as the event’s headline speaker.

Affectionately known as the “Willy Wonka of Design”, Bensley is a dedicated eco-warrior and a highly qualified jack of all trades – gardener, fisherman, architect, interior designer, lover of all things natural, and most of all, a wide-ranging explorer of as many corners of the earth as he can.

The award-winning designer, who never fails to deliver innovative solutions when designing sustainable spaces, will join Kilburn to discuss how design, architecture and hospitality can coincide with nature.

Click here to participate.

11:00 – 12:00: Adding personality in public areas
(Sponsored by Falcon Contract Flooring)

Following on from the inaugural Hotel Designs LIVE, where the panel questioned the very existence of lobbies in the wake of Covid-19, this session will move away from pure sterile solutions and instead inject design back into the public areas. Kilburn will ask a handful of leading designers and architects how we, as an industry, can authentically create purposeful areas that evoke interesting first impressions.

Click here to participate.

12:30 – 13:30: Reassuring the post-corona consumer
(Sponsored by Room To Breathe UK

The industry may well be re-opening its doors, but recent studies suggest that the post-corona consumer is hesitant to re-explore the hospitality scene. In an engaging panel discussion, Kilburn will ask a number of leading hoteliers from all corners of the globe how tomorrow’s hospitality arenas can effectively and sensitively reassure modern travellers that hotels are safe spaces.

Click here to participate.

14:00 – 15:00 BST: The revival of smart tech post-pandemic
(Sponsored by GROHE)

To kickstart the debut Hotel Designs LIVE, tech-influencer Jason Bradbury, the former presenter of The Gadget Show, took us on a wild journey to understand the boundless possibilities when it comes to technology in hospitality. One of the main takeaways from the session was the importance of making technology invisible for the modern consumer.

Ahead of putting the spotlight back on technology, Kilburn checked in to a completely contactless hotel experience to understand tech’s role in tomorrow’s hotel. The full feature will be broadcasted to the audience attending ‘The revival of smart tech post-pandemic’. Here’s a teaser filmed and edited by CUBE Video.

Continuing this quest, but also grounding it in the context of hotel design in the wake of Covid-19, Kilburn will invite a number of expert designers to discuss, in detail, whether or not the hotel experience will ever be truly contactless, as well as asking how to authentically and meaningfully inject smart technology into a modern hotel.

Click here to participate.

Confessions of a lighting designer – what is lighting design?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Confessions of a lighting designer – what is lighting design?

Throughout October we are, for the second time this year, putting the spotlight on lighting. To kickstart this series, we reach out to Gary Thornton, senior project designer at neolight global, to understand lighting design from the inside.

The profession of architectural lighting design is a relatively young industry, even though the practise of what we do in determining where there is light and where there isn’t has been around for centuries.

Of course back then this was simply people deciding where to put candles or, as far back as the 9th century, where to locate oil lamps.  But architectural lighting design as a more formal profession really only goes back to around the 1950s with the likes of Richard Kelly pioneering the practice, followed by people like Derek Phillips and Jonathan Speirs.

So what is lighting design and what is it that lighting designers actually do?  I’ve lost count of the times I’ve tried to explain this to my friends who think we “choose where to put light bulbs”!

It can be easily forgiven that it is not a widely known profession.  There is no formal educational pathway and many people stumble into the profession from a semi-related field of design and find themselves “doing lighting design” before they even realise what it is (myself included!).

As an example, our office comprises lighting designers with backgrounds in product design, interior design, electrical engineering, film and television, photography, sculpture and architecture.  There are indeed well-established Masters degrees, or undergraduate courses in Theatrical Lighting Design, but this is not the case for Architectural Lighting Design.  Something that has been brought up again recently in our industry.

Lighting

Lighting concerns itself with how people perceive their environment, yet because light is intangible it has an intrinsic, and often underestimated, role in all aspects of visual design.

Working in a medium which remains invisible until it strikes a physical surface means that we lighting designers must be as concerned with the nature of the surface and the biology behind the human eye as with the light which strikes it.

Ambient illumination, direct light, reflected light, the use of colour, areas of relative darkness and contrast all contribute to how a space looks and how it feels, resulting in designs made up of layers of light.  The better lighting schemes consider what should be left unlit as much as what should be lit, so maybe we are just as much “darkness designers” as we are lighting designers.

Because of the immateriality, great lighting is rarely lauded.  If you walk through a space and it looks and feels great then chances are it is because of the lighting. Not to take away from the interior designer, architect, or landscape designer that has typically designed more of the physical environment, but certainly in how the colours appear, how the material textures catch your eye, whatever the mood it prompts or the visual aesthetic it provides, it is because of the lighting.

Poor lighting on the other hand gets no end of complaints.  Lighting that is overly bright or dark, too much glare, or feels cold and uninviting can make spaces feel uncomfortable so people don’t want to visit and spend time there.  Even the best interior design schemes can be marred by bad lighting, and at the extreme bad lighting can even be bad for your health depending on the time of day or the tasks required of the people using it.

Lighting for hospitality

At the core of neolight’s work is the hospitality sector, and one of my favourite spaces to illuminate is the All Day Dining restaurant within a hotel.  This is largely because it’s such a transformative space and great way to demonstrate the power of lighting.  An All Day Dining restaurant needs to be able to provide a bright and fresh environment for breakfast, right through to the warmth and relaxing ambience of an evening meal.

When you get this right, the space will look and feel like a different restaurant to the guests from morning to night.

Lighting experiences

Architectural lighting design really started an accelerated upward curve with the mainstream adoption of LED.  Since then light sources have been getting smaller and more efficient, and the fixtures themselves are increasingly packed full of technology.

Alongside this evolution of lighting technology has been an evolving expectation of the role of the lighting designer.  No longer are we providing simple scene-setting schemes with smooth dimming to meet the client expectations, now clients are looking for more engaging and dynamic schemes concealed within the fabric of the building, with light that entrains and supports your circadian rhythm, they want an experience.

Yes the experience is framed by the architecture, or informed by the interior design, or the service that you receive, but transcending across all of those to make it a good experience is good lighting design.

Lighting design = experience design.  And if that helps become popular on social media, then all the better.

To this end we are not just designers anymore.  We have to be artists and scientists, knowledgeable in Bluetooth and LiFi, experts in daylight and green building codes, understanding biology of the human eye, of the physics of light, and all manner of material properties.

And this is all before we even mention the Internet of Things, where we are suddenly being asked about the limitations of LoRaWAN as a protocol to control light fixtures with.

Lighting is digital

There is an underlying expectation to all of this that we are digitally savvy.  Lots of industries are going through change and digitisation, but lighting is changing right up there with them.  In order to keep meeting the expectations of a modern day lighting design, we have to be able to understand and design with all these evolving elements.

One particular attribute that I’ve taken on is learning to code due to the increasing overlap with disciplines that do require this, and at the very least we need to be able to coordinate with them. For example, this is a prototype app written in Python that communicates with light fixtures in a hotel room to automatically adjust the colour temperature and brightness based on personal circumstances, such as jet lag.

Internet of Things

We have gone through the exponential growth of LED and now we have even further miniaturisation of technology so there is virtually nowhere that LEDs cannot be integrated, and conversely almost anything, like a sensor or a camera, that can’t be put back into light sources.

Lighting is a prime choice for the IoT to piggy back onto as it has an already existing ubiquitous infrastructure of power and data.  This means that light fixtures can be used for monitoring space occupancy, improving shopping experiences, reporting crimes, and more.

But in order to be able to implement this we have to understand it, and that means lighting designers becoming experts in something else that isn’t traditionally “lighting”.  It’s becoming experts in data, cloud servers, and Bluetooth meshes as part of the whole IoT network.

And this isn’t a trend that’s going away. At a macro level Smart Cities are well underway around the world (we are working on a Smarty City strategy for a brand new city in KSA at the moment), and on a micro level it’s using your voice to control the lighting in your own home. Lighting is a key part of the future of connected services.

Covid-19 will undoubtedly accelerate the demand for contact-free environments. Why carry a physical ID or ticket and have to touch door handles, when AI could verify you and open the door automatically?  Why touch any number of surfaces and interfaces to check-in to a hotel, when facial recognition could automate this as you walk through the lobby and give you a “key” on your mobile phone?

In assessing these expected trends we see that lighting is well placed to provide this as part of the IoT. Retrofitting sensor-embedded light fixtures becomes much easier than ripping out ceilings, pulling cables, and installing new networks.

As part of this learning curve affecting lighting, designers are no longer just visiting project sites, but also visiting data centres that test these sensor embedded light fixtures and the data points that they capture to understand it first hand in order to be able to implement it as part of a lighting scheme.

Misunderstandings

As lighting becomes more understood it’s great to now be reading comments like this, highlighting the importance of lighting to a space.

But for every moment of understanding, we still work with wider design teams who still misunderstand what we do. Consultants that have heard of ZigBee or BLE, and so that’s how they want their lighting controlled – when in reality all they really need is a simple control plate.

Part of our role is taking a step back from the technology and really understanding the project needs. We won’t use technology for the sake of it, especially if it’s not needed and likely to end up not being used.  How often have you struggled with a fancy lighting control system in a hotel guestroom when a simple rotary dimmer switch would have been just perfect?

As lighting design finds its way into mainstream vocabulary, more buzzwords like “human centric lighting” have come to the fore, which is another misconception to overcome.

Human centric design is human focussed design. At the heart of this notion is what we have been doing for many years now.  Designing for humans.  Lighting for humans.  Lighting for, and with, people at the centre.

The future

Who knows what the limits are to where lighting will reach – even a few years ago we were barely imagining what we have today of subscription models offering Lighting as a Service, secure wireless data through light in LiFi, and even highly secretive LED spectrum recipes used in horticulture to maximise crop yield!

Of what I have no doubt is that as lighting design continues to advance and evolve, so will the humble lighting designer along with it.

Main image credit: neolight

Checking in to Villa Copenhagen, a new brand of conscious luxury

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in to Villa Copenhagen, a new brand of conscious luxury

A much-anticipated addition to the Danish capital city, Copenhagen, transforms an iconic architectural landmark into a modern oasis of cool. Writer Collette Swindells explores…

It is not often that a space of more than 25,600 square metres becomes available in the centre of a European capital – least of all in a city like Copenhagen, where it is often considered something of a luxury to have a separate shower and toilet in your downtown apartment.

Instantly recognising the tremendous potential of the site, Nordic Hotels & Resort, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, sought to transform the imposing old-world grandeur of the five-floor, Neo-Baroque former headquarters of the Danish Post and Telegraph into a fresh expression of what it means to be Scandinavian.

Combining an impressive roll-call of talents including award-winning London architecture and interiors firm Universal, award-winning design studio Goddard Littlefair, specialist F&B design studio Epicurean, Danish architect Eva Harlou and Nordic jewellery designers Shamballa Jewels, the reconstruction weaves together three key themes of contrast, conscious luxury and happiness.

The arrival experience

Entering the somewhat unassuming frontage, adjacent to the Copenhagen Central Station, guests are immediately greeted with an expansive, light-filled, glass-roofed atrium lobby – appropriately named The Square – centrally adorned by a tongue-in-cheek ‘Whispering’ sculpture from Spanish artist Jaume Plensa.

A large lobby with glass ceiling and modern furniture

Image credit: Stine Christiansen

Cleverly designed to be a multi-functional space that welcomes both locals and foreigners, it artfully mixes classic Danish design elements with contemporary flourishes and finishes that unite the functions of the hotel boutique, lounge area, bar, self-service check-in and reception. It is a space that comes alive at night too, with live music and DJs cementing its vibrant personality, and other day-time pop-ups including a mobile piercing station from jeweller Maria Black.

Direct access to most of the hotel’s F&B and public areas is available from The Courtyard, ensuring it is continually an animated, lively thoroughfare and meeting point for all.

Relaxed public areas for all occasions

To the city side of this, The Playroom acts as a further extension of the lobby lounge space, with even more intimate spaces and cosy pockets that encourage visitors to have fun with friends while playing board games, foosball and other table games on custom-made tops. Part grand parlour part secluded den, the space is also perfect for hosting large groups, with Epicurean ensuring a relaxed, cultivated atmosphere with its Carl Hansen furniture, vintage tiling, antique-style woodwork and panelling and patina mirrored walls.

Image caption: The Playroom | Image credit: Villa Copenhagen

On the alternate side of The Courtyard, Kontrast, a contemporary brasserie, offers an equally smart take on mid-century styling, with subtle tributes to its former tenant. Replica carvings and window details from the original posthouse inspire wood panelling details, with reused and recycled materials cleverly woven in where possible.

A diner style F&B area with tiled floors and globe like chandeliers

Image caption: Kontrast | Image credit: Stine Christiansen

Curved booth seats in warm brown leather tones are complimented with custom high chairs in striking hues that fill out the main dining area inside, allowing guests the chance to gaze into the large, open kitchen and bar. Bespoke tables are inlaid with brass, showcasing the level of craftsmanship and attention Epicurean brings to each fit-out, while also adding something new and fun to the traditional Scandinavian styling visitors might come to expect elsewhere in town.

On the terrace, overlooking the main station, more contemporary woven textile furniture sits outside, alongside Tore Gustafsson’s menu of fresh, local and seasonal produce. Taking inspiration from the south of Europe and North Africa, Gustafsson – known for previously steering the helm of Copenhagen Meatpacking favourite Paté Paté – has built an impressive sustainable food profile across all the F&B outlets, with a focus on providing a ‘carbon-free’ experience.

Sustainable hospitality solutions

Part of the overall commitment by the hotel to four of the UN Sustainable Development Goals – Decent Work and Economic Growth; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption; and Production and Partnerships for the Goals – meat consumption at each outlet has been reduced, alongside overall food waste, with an innovative technology converting this into green energy. Fresh herbs and spices are also handpicked from the hidden rooftop garden, which sits next to a beehive from Bybi and the famed lapping pool.

F&B areas

Designed by Goddard Littlefair to reflect the local community’s relationship with food, drink and socialising, there are a plethora of options when it comes to F&B in the hotel. Breakfast is served daily in the former postage sorting room, Public, located on the lower floor which is accessed via a neon light-filled stairwell off The Courtyard. Descending into what feels like the belly of the grand building, you can hear the hum of the nearby train station, which provides a steady memory of its previous life.

Image caption: Public | Image credit: Stine Christiansen

Indeed Epicurean drew heavily from archival photos of the space in its former glory, invoking its archways, lighting, brickwork and paneling in their redesign. The expansive area, filled with rows of bespoke banquette seating and commanding repurposed copper arches, can also host larger functions and groups and extends onto the sunken garden, containing the entrance to the almost completed Rug Bakery.

The original arrival point for the mail, the impressive terrace space is somewhat of a hidden gem for the hotel – exposed when the roof was removed from the loading dock – and a perfect place to enjoy the freshly baked local pastries Denmark is known for.

The guestrooms and suites

In contrast to the lively public and F&B areas, Universal took their starting point for the design of the guestrooms and suites from the art of Danish master painter Vilhelm Hammershøi – known for his understated composition, elegant lighting, muted palette and study of secluded moments and spaces.

Mapping out the building’s original interior, the studio restored and reinstalled many of the key period features like the impressive windows, herringbone flooring, cornices, architraves and wood paneling. Each room and suite has been treated like a grand Danish residence, housing a sophisticated collection of custom-designed classic and contemporary furniture, alongside original pieces from known Danish designers Hans Wegner, Finn Juhl, Nanna Ditzel, Niels Otto Møller, Ole Wanscher and Borge Morgensen. Warmth and softness is key, with bespoke textiles, lighting and ceramics amplifying the comfort to create a calm refuge with more than a few touches of brilliance. Materials are locally and sustainably sourced where possible, with Kvadrat’s Sahco brand providing natural wool textiles that sit next to other highlights including biodegradable and recyclable linen headboards produced by Scandinavian interior textile studio Astrid.

Image caption: Delux guestroom | Image credit: Villa Copenhagen

Image caption: Delux guestroom | Image credit: Villa Copenhagen

Each of the rooms has its own typography – there are 50 in total – with sprawling four metre-high ceilings on the lower levels and near floor-to-ceiling windows that give you various views of the city surrounds. The converted attic, with its exposed timber beams, differs only because of its unique character and obvious height limitations – but its roof-lit views of the city more than compensate for this.

Of course all the usual five-star modern conveniences apply, with keyless entry, remote check-in, virtual check-out, and an optional white glove service available in each of the 381 rooms. In-room facilities are on-point too, with a considered range of local favourites that includes Mikkeller beer and chocolate, Great Dane Rum, Nordic winegums, Harahorn Norwegian gin, and ELG vodka.

Image caption: Guestroom | Image credit: Villa Copenhagen

Sustainability stays top of mind, with custom in-room guest amenities provided by Skandinavisk in a signature range that pays homage to the smell of wood-laden northern forests. Gone are the plastic-wrapped pairs of slippers, replaced instead by slides that can be bought in the hotel’s boutique store, together with a collection of other local, sustainable and notable designers.

But if you really want to experience something different, then check-in to the ‘Universal Penthouse Suite’ which was designed across two floors with a central walnut and steel spiral staircase connecting the upper master bedroom with the lounge space on the lower floor.

Added to this next-level option is the completely sustainable suite, the Earth Suite, designed by Eva Harlou using eco-friendly furniture and recycled materials and textiles. Denmark’s most expensive suite, the Shamballa Master Suite was designed by Shamballa Jewels and takes in 110sqm that includes the former Postmaster’s office and the best view of the adjoining main station.

Sitting in a collection of seven other Shamballa suites, these exclusive retreats are due to be completed by the end of 2020 – a small casualty of the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Luckily though, if you can’t afford the additional extravagance of the Shamballa suites, the lapping pool, with its centralised cooling system using excess heat from the hotel to keep it at a steady 34 degree, provides a welcome space to relax and unwind. Adjacent to the 24-hour fitness centre, sauna and wellness area, it is a colourful, secluded spot that sits beside the rooftops of Copenhagen and offers a cabana service from its Pool Bar.

a rooftop pool overlooking Copenhagen

Image credit: Stine Christiansen

You might also like to take a walk through the five floors to check out the private collection of artwork – valued at more than US$2 million – that includes local and international artists like Per Kirkeby, Ian McKeever and Bent Stokke. Norwegian Stokke produced 383 unique charcoal artworks to be featured in each room, as well as along the many hallways and restored stairways.

But perhaps the real jewel of the hotel is the Old Boardroom, available to be hired as a private function space for intimate dinners and gatherings, and still proudly displaying the plaque bestowed to the building by both Kings Frederick III and Christian X who both ruled the year it was inaugurated. Its restored tapestry-and-chandelier adorned space, with adjoining bar, sits in stark, refined contrast to the other over 2,000sqm of meeting and event room spaces that are decorated with more than 850 conference chairs produced using 2.75kg of upcycled plastic ocean waste and fishing nets. It is just another example of how the hotel holds dual respect and reverence for the past and the future – carefully balancing respect for each in the present.

And like a home that becomes more of itself every day new memories are created within it, Villa Copenhagen, in all its imposing glory, is sure to become a welcomed part of the city’s new landscape: a reinvigorated icon that stands even taller than its predecessor.

Main image credit: Villa Copenhagen

Weekly briefing: A sensational shortlist & the secret to a good night’s sleep

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: A sensational shortlist & the secret to a good night’s sleep

Only got a minute? Our editorial team have compiled the top design stories that they have published this week, including the shortlist of The Brit List Awards 2020 and an exclusive interview with designer Lisa Haude about tomorrow’s design challenges…

With the industry re-strategising following further constrictions to social distancing, we appreciate that you may not have time to read all the content that Hotel Designs has published this week. Therefore, here is our ‘editor’s pick’ of the juiciest stories that have been covered this week.

EXCLUSIVE: Shortlist unveiled for The Brit List 2020 

This year, more than 120 individuals and projects were selected across eight categories. The winners will be announced at the virtual award ceremony on November 12. Now in its fourth year, The Brit List Awards is Hotel Designs’ the nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers operating in Britain.

Click here to read the story | Click here to secure your seats in the audience at the virtual awards ceremony.

1 in 3 Brits want to replace shower with modern system, survey reveals

A survey carried out by GROHE has revealed British showering behaviours and consumer attitudes towards their bathroom. As indicated in the debut broadcast of Hotel Designs LIVE, bathroom and wellness demands have shifted as we look ahead towards a post-pandemic world.

Read more.

In Conversation With: interior designer Lisa Haude

A storyteller in her own right, designer Lisa Haude creates one-of-a-kind spaces that breathe a new level of authenticity into the projects she touches. Working predominantly with the larger brands, such Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and Marriott International, Haude’s style is to celebrate the history of each hotel’s destination, which is channeled through an meaningful design narrative that is sheltered inside each project. 

Read more.

Bathroom goals: when sustainability meets design

Sustainability meets design in Austria’s Winzendorf-Muthmannsdorf municipality. Surrounded by grapevines, and set on a sloping plot of around 1,600 square metres, is a detached house in harmony with nature. The distinctive and nature-loving architecture is in evidence outside, in the form of the charred larch cladding used on the façade. The client requested elegance and eco-conscious design everywhere, including the bathroom.

Read more.

New speakers announced for Hotel Designs LIVE

Calling all designers, architects, hoteliers and developers: you can secure your complimentary seats in the audience for Hotel Designs LIVE, which takes place on October 13, by clicking here

Industry insight: a special sleep experience during Covid

Chris Ward, Group Marketing Director at Hypnos Contract Beds, looks at how in addition to having Covid-compliant practices, hotels can offer a more discernible experience to guests by providing premium experiences that have sustainability at their heart.

Read more.

Miniview: Inside WILDES Chester, a northern boutique jewel

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Miniview: Inside WILDES Chester, a northern boutique jewel

Northern design studio Spaceinvader, with architecture by EDGE Architect, has created a rich, layered and luxurious interiors scheme for the new WILDES Chester boutique hotel…

With interiors by hospitality and workplace designers Spaceinvader and architecture by EDGE Architects, WILDES Chester will be housed in a Grade-II listed building in The Rows, Chester’s famous historical centre.

The hotel property, on the corner of Bridge and Watergate Streets, was originally developed in 1892 by architect Thomas M Lockwood and is made up of three townhouses.

Today, it shelters a hotel that aims to become a go-to destination for business and leisure travellers.”Our focus is to delight our guests’ senses through innovative food and service with a real aim to redefine hospitality within the city’, said Paul Wildes, CEO of the hotel group. ‘Original features include huge fireplaces, stone windows and original beams and the hotel will be sensitively refurbished to retain these period features while introducing an interior design that takes influence from key venues in London and around the world.”

Liverpool-based Edge Architects have been commissioned to extend the building to the rear, as well as creating a new roof terrace with plunge pool, with the proposals currently awaiting planning permission. The new layout of the black-and-white-fronted building, where the existing fabric is partly redbrick Victorian and partly Jacobean, will encompass 16 en suite bedrooms, each featuring a unique design. Free-standing furnishings in the bedrooms allow the original building to breathe, whilst quirky elements, from free-standing bathtubs and skylights for guests to enjoy the night sky to the four-seater cinema in one of the rooms, add character.

“The new hotel will become a fantastic luxury destination for visitors to Chester,” SpaceInvader Senior Interior Designer Izzy Eling said, “embodying a rich, sensual and flamboyantly-decorated immersion in the heart of the city, with a design scheme inspired by a number of historical threads, coupled with contemporary services and styling.”

The interiors concept takes its initial influence from the site’s history, having originally been built for the Duke of Westminster as a base for his country pursuits, including horse racing and deerstalking. References to horse racing saddlery, from leather straps to diamond stitching details, are incorporated throughout, whilst the logo for Benedict’s and the feature layered bulkhead over the bar are inspired by the racecourse tracks, making it the perfect place to visit before or after a trip to Chester races. The new identity work on the scheme is by Natural Selection Creative Studio.

A second inspirational source was Chester’s medieval market heritage, with Bridge Street having played host to a market trading in leather, cotton and wine and the site itself said to have been used as a corvisor (leather works), producing leather harnesses, gloves and riding boots.

The third thread of the concept is the architecture’s mostly Victorian origins, which finds form in opulent styling in the interiors scheme, from the use of decorative tiling and floral patterns to deep rich jewel tones and exaggerated details. The Victorian era also saw a rise in trade with the East and the importation of new exotic materials from India and China, including luxurious, hand-painted silk wallpapers, woven rattan furniture and highly-decorated porcelain. This aspect of the era’s eclectic tastes forms the final styling inspiration, in the form of large, patterned rugs and the jewel tones used for the bedroom design palette, whilst silk wallpapers and patterns influenced by India and China line the corridors.

‘Playful, hidden quirks and memorable styling will feature throughout,” Eling added. “This will definitely be an Instagramm-able venue when it completes and opens, with any number of details visitors will notice over multiple visits!”

The lobby

Upon arrival, the lobby’s bespoke new Victorian-style mosaic floor tiles feature the new hotel branding inset at their centre. The concierge area features horse-racing details to the timber reception desk design, including leather straps and branded leather tabs for the room keys. The main stair at the rear has been finished in a bespoke carpet, with dark edging detail and an ornate banister. A seating arrangement, with velvet chairs immediately suggesting the scheme’s opulence, sits directly beneath the stair, whilst a door leading away from reception takes visitors directly into Benedict’s bar and restaurant.

F&B

The 45-person-capacity Benedict’s bar features a rich colour scheme of golds and deep tones, with a design influence taken from horse racing. An opulent gold-coloured bulkhead over the bar, for example, is structured to imitate the form of racetracks, whilst feature tiling wraps around the bar itself, which is edged with gold detailing before it cedes to the main dark timber floor.

The bar has a dark marble front and a lighter marble top with WILDES branding etched into its front face. A bespoke wallpaper, developed with a specialist designer, includes subtle horse-riding illustrations. Furniture is rich and luxurious, upholstered in velvet and leather, with quilted detailing throughout.

Image credit: The WILDES Hotel Group

Two adjacent snug areas are dark and cosy with feature jewel tones of emerald green and ruby pink. The wallpaper here is detailed with wildlife images, including rabbits and deer, with set dressing including faux taxidermy in a nod to the Duke of Westminster’s love of country pursuits. The connecting spaces feature artwork referencing horse-racing and country life, with a quirky, full-sized horse lamp greeting visitors en route to the toilets.

The 30-cover indoor section of Benedict’s restaurant showcases a more feminine, romantic feel, inspired by the Victorian love of floral patterns and motifs and including bright velvet fabrics, patterned wallpaper and petal-shaped lamps. The external terracing has both a 12-person bar area overspill and a 26-cover restaurant seating area, dressed in striking black-and-white-striped wicker furniture, referencing the building’s Jacobean architectural elements, with gold cushion highlights and upholstery.

Private Dining Room

The first floor Benedict’s private dining room is an opulent space, perfect for entertaining, and inspired by traditional Victorian drawing rooms.

Image credit: The WILDES Hotel Group

A bespoke timber table for 16 guests is its central focal point, with design features including striking chandeliers, opulent velvet drapes and a floral ceiling finish.

Restrooms

Taking inspiration from Victorian powder rooms, the ladies’ toilets feature pink Victorian metro tiles and gold swan taps, whilst the men’s are in darker tones, with green tiling and black swan taps. Both are tied together through the use of wallpaper featuring giant fern leaves, referencing a plant that was particularly popular in Victorian times, along with metal-plated cisterns embellished with the Benedict’s logo.

Spa

The Spa area boasts a super-feminine, indulgent scheme. Predominantly pink, its motifs include a feature raised peacock motif against the dove-grey wall panelling and faux cherry blossom dressing, nodding to the Orient and the Victorian taste for Chinoiserie. Plush pink velvet banquette seating sits below pink wall panelling, with neon ‘Blooming Fabulous’ wall signage adding to the space’s indulgent feel.

Guestrooms

Although each room is unique in terms of proportion, layout and views, design treatments broadly follow two paths. The first is fresh, elegant and airy with a British country pursuits influence.  Parquet timber floors and light wall panelling provide a backdrop to green velvet window dressing, large-scale foliage rugs and rattan-style furniture and headboards. Leather detailing, quilted stitching embellishment and gold lighting elements tie the scheme together.

Image credit: The WILDES Hotel Group

The second treatment features a richer and moodier colourway, with dark wall panelling and black rattan headboards. The windows and grand double beds are in ruby velvets, whilst the parquet flooring is layered with a large-scale floral rug.

Both bedroom types have connecting details, such as bespoke bedside tables, which are inspired by horse-racing and particularly The Champion’s Chest, where cups and medals are held, whilst also featuring WILDES branding. Each room type also has a feature coloured sink, marble wall panels and timber panelling as well as freestanding baths engraved with the hotel’s branding.

The upper floor features a number of skylighted ‘Stargazing Rooms’, allowing guests to gaze up into the night sky, whilst one additionally features a mezzanine level, which is accessed by a spiral stair and leads up to a private cinema and bar. This space features green velvet reclining armchairs, gold lighting and burnt orange velvet curtains framing the screen, combining to deliver a cosy-but-luxurious cinematic experience.

Main image credit: The WILDES Hotel Group 

In Conversation With: Mark Kelly, Partner at PLP Architecture

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In Conversation With: Mark Kelly, Partner at PLP Architecture

Looking ahead, past the pandemic, editor Hamish Kilburn sits down with Mark Kelly, Partner at PLP Architecture, to understand how to build a meaningful hotel landscape…

With the world the way it is at the moment, the conversation in the industry has steered sharply towards how architecture and design will be affected in the post-pandemic world.

PLP Architecture is a firm behind some of the world’s smartest and most sustainable buildings, which will soon include Pan Pacific London. Expected to be completed in 2021 – and already being described as an ‘architectural marvel’ – the project’s vision is to balance a design that is sensitive to the Asian heritage of the brand whilst creating an ultra-modern, timeless hotel and complex that challenges conventional architecture.

As a result of the firms sustainable mission, the building will shelter mix of 42 native wildflower and some sedum species populate levels 34 and 42 – 44, protruding above the structure’s rooftop, seeking to create a sense of continuity between the tower and the outdoor public spaces and gardens on the ground floor. 

Representing a number of firsts for London, such as being the first tower development in the City of London to harmoniously fuse private apartments with a luxury hotel, PLP Architecture’s collaborative approach with Yabu Pushelberg and developers UOL and Stanhope ensures the delivery of an integrated and seamless design at every level of building, helping to bring to life a bold, emblematic and creative new embodiment of urban expression for the capital. Most importantly, though, it has been built with tomorrow’s consumers and travellers in mind.

So how are architects evolving to meet the hefty demands of modern travellers and budget conscious clients in the post-pandemic world? I spoke to Mark Kelly, Partner at PLP Architecture, to find out.

Hamish Kilburn: How will coronavirus reshape architecture?

Mark Kelly: Architecture is an inherently flexible process – always evolving while constantly questioning and reinventing itself. As such, it is well placed to respond to the current and seemingly ever-changing Covid crisis and, for that matter, other current and future global concerns such as the climate emergency. Covid has specifically put extra focus on the health of the architectural spaces we inhabit – not just in the way they operate, but in the way they make occupants behave and feel.

We are already seeing a shift towards greater implementation of technology to reduce levels of contact. There is also now a greater recognition of the benefits of architecture enhancing a state of health and wellbeing – achieved through more natural lighting and ventilation, improved climate control, larger areas of personal space more robust and cleanable surfaces, increased sizes and more options for circulation, clearer signage and better management of wayfinding – as well as more pragmatic inclusions like well-designed and integrated places for washing / sanitising hands and select use of screens and shields where required in areas of frequent interaction.

“The current environment is a perfect opportunity for hotels to think creatively about ways to not just reconsider and reactivate their existing spaces.” – Mark Kelly, Partner, PLP Architecture.

HK: How should the hospitality industry prepare for post-pandemic work in terms of architecture and design?

MK: Though we are in very challenging times at the moment, we see opportunities for an exciting future across the industry – one that addresses the requirements of a post-pandemic world and also reinvents itself into a more dynamic, safe and inclusive environment for people to use and enjoy. Ultimately hospitality, as a service-based industry, has the goal of accommodating and providing comfort – not just for guests, although they are a clear priority – but for staff as well. Everyone involved has a right to feel safe and protected at all times.

Image caption: Final mock-up room inside Pan Pacific London

During the pandemic, we have seen some creative uses for hotels being implemented – including people using them as remote offices, exercise studios and other support for a newly mobile workforce. This has not only helped to counteract the problems associated with lower occupancy levels but started to address other issues that were present before the pandemic. The current environment is a perfect opportunity for hotels to think creatively about ways to not just reconsider and reactivate their existing spaces, but transform their business models to help further diversify and futureproof their assets.

We see a real need to shift towards the inclusion of more local target groups, with a new and expanded reliance on the local population to add authenticity and ensure year-round activation and use of hotels. The pandemic has provided, and in some cases necessitated, an opportunity for the industry to expand from a more straightforward offering of overnight accommodation with perhaps a restaurant and gymnasium, into a truly community-minded hub where locals, tourists and business men and women alike interact and intermingle in an environment that entices each.

Premium hospitality can remain a core function in hotels, but it will need to be flexible enough to adapt to take advantage of this exciting and beneficial adaptation into a Hospitality Integrated Business that brings together the workplace, wellness and placemaking.

HK: What kinds of spaces will we be willing to live, travel and work in now?

MK: Everyone’s goal is and will be to avoid contamination with the virus. As a whole, many of the types of spaces we will be willing to live, travel and work in already exist in limited quantities and going forward their designs will become more widespread through the adaptation and retrofitting of existing spaces and the creation of new ones.

Image caption: Render of the hotel entrance at Pan Pacific London

Density control is easier than ever now, and in hotels we believe that good design for the management of arrivals and departures in a reception space, for instance, can be easily integrated with new goals for sustainability to achieve environments that actively help prevent the spread of the virus and, ultimately, are healthier and more invigorating for everyone.

The inclusion of more natural light, better ventilation, clearer wayfinding, more generous sizing, and adaptable personal spaces – all things we as a practice have been incorporating into our designs for many years – have become crucial visual indicators of safety that allow us to feel comfortable and protected at our homes, in our places of work, and while moving around outside of both.

“No longer a futuristic dream, loop circulation systems with horizontal movement will help optimise people movement across levels.” – Mark Kelly, Partner, PLP Architecture.

HK: How can architecture mitigate pathogenic risks in an interconnected world?

MK: Architecture will play a crucial role in supporting our control of pathogenic risks in our increasingly globalised world. Natural ventilation and better air management, including the use of HEPA filters, for instance, are already recognised for their ability to reduce infection rates and virus spread. Easy-to-clean materials, such as high-pressure laminates and other smooth, anti-microbial surfaces, enabling efficient management of contagion mitigation measures.

Spatial use and organisation are also important, including the ways in which shared spaces (corridors, lounges, lobbies, dining areas) are activated. New developments in vertical circulation are poised to be a game-changer for taller structures in our cities. No longer a futuristic dream, loop circulation systems with horizontal movement will help optimise people movement across levels, spaces, and even buildings and reduce risk associated with unnecessary interaction.

Crucially, we believe that changes in architecture can be carried out subtly and effectively, preserving a sense of design identity and uniqueness, accommodating luxury and comfort, while embracing risk reduction and contagion prevention to ensure we can get back to close to what we define as our normal lives as possible.

Main image credit: PLP Architecture/Pan Pacific London

Product watch: Facet lighting by Studio Waldemeyer

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Facet lighting by Studio Waldemeyer

Hotel Designs learns how lighting designer Moritz Waldemeyer bent glass to its will in order to create FACET…

In all its beauty and variety, glass is essentially an amorphous material with no regular crystalline structure.

Yet through a design vision and mastery in glassmaking craft, the material can come to mimic its opposite, creating highly organised and consistent structures.

As if trying to systematise the chandelier-making tradition, Moritz took the geometrical shape of the Classic chandelier outline and turned it into a diamond-like hexagonal glass building block. On its own, with just single pendant, or in combination of multiple items into a large chandelier, the FACET modules stand out as clear, disciplined and geometrical.

The light source included inside every block allows the FACET system to be universal and almost unlimitedly extendable.

Moritz Waldemeyer is an internationally renowned London based designer who’s work occupies a diverse range of creative spaces. 2004 saw his debut into the design world with an interactive chandelier for Swarovski. With a forward thinking approach and a philosophy of playful experimentation Studio Moritz Waldemeyer is forging links between technology, art, fashion and design.

Led by Waldemeyer, the studio has taken on projects for Audi, Intercontinental Hotels, Rinacente and Wallpaper Magazines 2014 Handmade issue. Studio Moritz Waldemeyer has also created bespoke light studded costumes for Will.I.AM, Rihanna, Take That and the 2012 London Olympics handover Ceremony performers. Under Moritz’s direction the studio strive to create innovative concepts incorporating his signature aesthetic into each piece.

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

Main image credit: Studio Waldemeyer

“Fit is the new sexy,” and it’s here to stay in hospitality!

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
“Fit is the new sexy,” and it’s here to stay in hospitality!

In an exclusive editorial to celebrate the upcoming ‘WELLNESS’ concept coming to ‘ACCOR by Bergman Interiors, Hotel Designs takes a look at the future of wellness in hospitality…

A few years back, gyms were a place where you trained, lost weight or gained muscle. Today, gyms are part of our lifestyles. And with that lifestyle comes community. Whether the gym has a nightclub style with beaming lights, or is an industrial shell, we all seek a gym with the lifestyle and community that speak to us.

This lifestyle is getting us stronger, not just physically but also mentally – such an awakening calls for mind, body and soul.

Within the luxury market, wellness is not an expectation; it’s a dominant consumer value that is essential to the future hotel experience. This demand has inspired the collaboration between ACCOR and Bergman Interiors, in order to design wellness for tomorrow’s consumers.

Image credit: ACCOR

How hotels are changing regarding fitness in general?

Within the exercise world, fitness methods and training techniques have changed however these methods and concepts have been slow to be embraced within the hospitality industry.

What was once seen as an amenity for guests is being recognised as a key facility within luxury hospitality. 66 per cent of Gen X’ers say they actively participate in self-care to improve their physical wellbeing. What’s more, 76 per cent of millennials exercise at least once per week – exercise has become a vital part of our hotel customers lifestyle and our concepts need to meet this heightened expectation.

With this key demand in mind ACCOR has brought the fitness concept centre stage for the Pullman brand with our newly created Pullman Power Fit concept. Working with Bergman Interiors was a natural choice with their strong experience in creating innovative exercise and fitness concepts coupled with a depth of experience within luxury hospitality.

Image credit: ACCOR

Pullman Power Fitness replaces the stale one-size-fits-all hotel gym environment with a bold, artful, social approach to contemporary fitness. Pullman Power Fitness defines and explores our ambition to energise bodies and inspire minds. In-touch with today’s traveller and their fitness goals, we offer much more than a gym. We provide a community where guests can have fun while challenging themselves to take their performance to the next level within a stylised interior design, energetic branding and the latest on Video on Demand exercise technology.

A collaborative partnership with Bergman, the Pullman brand, Wellbeing and ACCOR design departments the concept was developed over 12 months and the result is a vibrant fitness space that makes a statement, beckons interaction, and energises the body while inspiring our guests. Our spaces and programming tap into an exciting new era of training diversity, integrated technology, and embracing the spirit of friendly competition.

Wellness mentally and physically?

“When it comes to wellness consumer research confirms a fundamental societal shift underway, feeling healthier as a lifestyle goal has well and truly entered the mainstream,” Albin Berglund, co-founder and managing director of Bergman Interiors, told Hotel Designs. “Because the modern luxury travellers of now- and the future- is on a journey: to find purposeful new travel experiences that speak to their inner self and to personal fulfilment. And they’re willing to pay a premium for it.”

Image credit: Engine Room

Broadly, we have defined five areas – nutrition, holistic design, movement, spa, and mindfulness – that we view as essential to the overall wellness experience within hospitality. We then customise the delivery and tactics in these areas to suit each brand and its unique guest preferences, demographics, psychographics, brand positioning, culture and locations.

Changes to wellness within the hotel industry after Covid-19

It is important to separate the temporary impact such as heightened sanitation measures, social distancing and impact on travel versus the longer term impact on consumer attitudes and behaviour.

Image credit: BXR

These push factors are the relentless pressures on our health, such as less physically active work, the prevalence of processed food, air quality concerns, light and noise pollution – all of which create malaise, illness and stress. Covid-19 has been a “super-accelerator” to these “push factors” globally, with a cross generational embrace of the need to invest in ones well being and a clear reminder of the benefit of leading a “preventative” lifestyle.

Then we have the pull factors. Wellness is a highly appealing touch point among consumers, a desirable draw that promises unique, enriching, relaxing experiences that help us define and express ourselves. Wellness helps us move away from the push factors and embrace the highly attractive lifestyle that is so integral to luxury hospitality and again this desire to combine wellness with travel will blossom.

In conclusion, we are expected to see an increase in the demand for healthy food within our restaurants, for outdoor exercise and access to nature, exercise will move from inside the gym to outside or a greater demand for in room or video driven options.

Main image credit: Bergman Interiors

DESIGN CONCEPT// A vision for a new New York City

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
DESIGN CONCEPT// A vision for a new New York City

Design and architecture firm WATG has shared its urban planning solution that shapes a new vision for a greener New York City – one that underscores the unforeseen positives revealed during the pandemic…

While the Covid-19 crisis and lockdown took force of major metropolises, an unusual thing happened across the world’s best cities: the sounds of taxi horns hushed, the skies cleared and the gloomy haze of pollution lifted – there were even reports of city dwellers waking up to the song of birds, rain pouncing on windows, and the rustling of leaves.

As New York City begins to emerge from its forced hibernation – unlocking bodega doors, flipping open blinds, and turning around its “Open for Business” signs – there are obvious unintended positives that almost instantaneously took hold of the city that never sleeps. New Yorkers should not forget what a cleaner city looks like, and fight to find a way to adopt new ways of living that contribute to a healthier, safer, more breathable way of life.

It is that spirit that fueled WATG, the multidisciplinary global design firm, to “roll out” a new vision for New York City’s streets. The concept, titled Green Block, led by John Goldwyn, WATG’s London-based master planner and landscape architect, was an internal innovation competition focused on how its team of leading urban planners, landscape architects and designers could use their skills, and lessons learned from the pandemic, to transform urban spaces in a post-pandemic world for the better. The concept at once allows for a green, carless, alfresco-hopping, streetscape vision for New York’s streets.

“Our cities have long been overdue for transformation and, as some people flee for greener landscapes in the wake of COVID-19, Green Block proves that you don’t need to sacrifice one for the other – we actually can, in fact, have both the urban and the green lifestyle,” said Goldwyn.

Focusing on the intersection of Manhattan’s Flatiron Building, an iconic symbol for the city itself, Green Block claws back space from the roads and reclaims it for the people and environment.

Green Block is built using a modular program that transforms city streets into green spaces using a kit-of-parts system that is maintenance-free and created from 100 per cent recyclable materials. Green Block not only adds greenery to existing cafes and shop fronts but it creates untapped revenue opportunities for retail, commerce, and restaurants, and helps clean and filter city air while beautifying streetscapes.

Green Block brings limitless value to cities and destinations – serving as a living, breathing solution to air filtration; reducing car noise, impact and pollution; providing homes for the world’s decreasing bee population; and increasing the amount of space for people to exercise and leisure. The solution provides greater opportunity for cyclists and walkers, replacing paved footpaths with lush plants; and increasing street appeal for restaurants and retail – providing untapped opportunities for outdoor dining and shopping. Restaurant operators can also use the new outdoor space to grow vegetables, herbs or fruits to serve on their menus.

“People who are all too often disconnected from nature should be allowed respite on their streets. The pandemic tapped into an underrepresented desire in urban dwellers to connect with nature. That desire is a human right, and the city needs to address it. Green Block is in the best interest of New Yorkers and New York City’s standing in the world,” finished Goldwyn.

“As planners and designers, we have to help communities become more self-reliant. We have to make sure we’re creating systems that help ourselves and future generations thrive,” continues Goldwyn. “Communities that are resilient with strong, built-in systems of support become even stronger during times of crisis.”

WATG is currently working with confidential land owners in the United Kingdom to deploy Green Block on select streets of London, and the concept has been recognised by Urban Design Forum, based in New York, as a solution for their “City Life After Coronavirus”call for entries, which focuses on organisations advancing a just and equitable recovery for communities most impacted by the crisis.

Main image credit: WATG

Inside Hart Shoreditch, London’s latest lifestyle hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside Hart Shoreditch, London’s latest lifestyle hotel

The 126-key hotel, which is in the heart of Shoreditch, has been designed by Fabled Studio and draws inspiration from East London’s past as a centre of craftspeople and makers. Hotel Designs takes a peek inside…

East London lifestyle hotel, Hart Shoreditch Hotel London from Curio Collection by Hilton, which has recently opened, was designed in collaboration with London-based interior design consultancy Fabled Studio. The 126-key property seamlessly blends the vibrant heritage and modern-day creativity of East London, through its thoughtfully designed spaces.

“Gone is the tired aesthetic of exposed graffitied brick walls, filament lightbulbs and mis-matched furniture to create a bright, fresh and life-affirming space.” – Steven Saunders, co-founder and director of Fabled Studio.

Image credit: Hart Shoreditch/Gary Edwards

Drawing inspiration from East London’s past as a centre for craftspeople and makers, the hotel’s design narrative is deeply rooted in showcasing the industries that thrived there including furniture makers, metal workers and silk weavers. In keeping with the Curio Collection by Hilton portfolio, the hotel will give visitors to London the chance to experience one of the city’s most sought-after neighbourhoods and discover its unique history.

Image caption: The lobby | Image credit: Hart Shoreditch/Gary Edwards

“We set out to create a brand-new identity for a Shoreditch hotel and restaurant/ bar by delving deeper into the stories and history that the East End has to tell,” said Steven Saunders, co-founder and director of Fabled Studio. “Gone is the tired aesthetic of exposed graffitied brick walls, filament lightbulbs and mis-matched furniture to create a bright, fresh and life-affirming space. Natural textures and a muted architectural colour palette create a crisp canvas which we have dressed with soft sage velvets, woven linens and Kilim patterns to offer an elegant and mature space to enjoy.”

Luxe guestroom

Image credit: Hart Shoreditch/Gary Edwards

Hart Shoreditch takes its name from one of the building’s previous occupants, The Harts, who were cabinetmakers in the 1800’s. The distinctive space encapsulates East London’s rich industrial and artisan past. Design details including a steel re-bar and copper staircase, and contemporary, bespoke mahogany lights have been designed to replicate cabinetmaker’s boxes and pay homage to the building’s earlier artisan life.

Soft textures, furnishings and warm lighting will guide guests through to Tavla, the hotel’s bar where guests and locals alike will be encouraged to relax and spend time throughout the day and into the evening. Here, textured woven stools are mixed in with lounge chairs in muted tones and softened textures giving the space a modern, residential feel. The restaurant BARBOUN, boasts an industrial-luxe aesthetic with rattan and Thonet-style chairs and partitions inspired by the Victorian furniture makers workshops of Great Eastern Street. Warmth and softness is brought into the space through natural linen café curtains, drapery in deep oxblood and upholstery in nude leather; as well as the asymmetric architecture of the vast timber ceiling replicating the beamed structure of a factory warehouse. A striking steel re-bar and copper staircase sits towards the back of the space along with a central cascade of moon chandeliers.

Guests can choose from nine room and suite categories, all of which feature a soft and elegant colour palette of white and grey with striking burnt orange and deep green accents. Predominantly contemporary in style with copper mirror detailing and simplistic modern furnishings, the guestrooms are warm and inviting with subtle design details throughout such as saddle-stitched leather strapping and copper rendered marmorino textures. Copper leafed bedside mirrors are embossed with woven lace etchings in a nod to the deep-rooted Huguenot history of nearby Spitalfields. Bathrooms feature a combination of materials which come together to create a sophisticated, urban space. Luxurious marble showers and rolltop baths with impressive views across Shoreditch are complimented by contrasting concrete vanities, herringbone flooring, bold geometric tiling and paired back brass detailing.

Hart Shoreditch is also home to two unique meeting spaces which have been designed to emulate the look and feel of 18th century Huguenot townhouses synonymous with East London and its silk weaving past. A classic London aesthetic intertwined with modern textures and details set against soft green walls.

Image credit: Hart Shoreditch

Located in the heart of Shoreditch on Great Eastern Street, the hotel is conveniently situated just a moment’s walk from Shoreditch High Street underground station and within walking distance of the neighbourhood’s independent boutiques, vibrant bars, restaurants and famous markets such as Brick Lane and Spitalfields.

Main image credit: Hart Shoreditch

Editor Checks In: the price tag eliminating diversity in design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor Checks In: the price tag eliminating diversity in design

An independent investigation on diversity in design, carried out by Hotel Designs, has highlighted the potentially ‘unethical’ lengths that studios are willing to go to in order to win projects on the international hotel design scene. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Traditionally – as well as recently – in the international hotel design and hospitality arena, the word ‘unethical’ and the phrase ‘dirty money’ was targeted largely towards the abusers of power; a handful of hotel owners, for example, have used money laundering to fund ostentatious and, quite frankly, outrageous development projects in luxury addresses.

However, it turns out that even some design firms have also been sheltering their fair share of unethical methods when it comes to business development, and I believe it is having a dramatic impact on equality within the industry – something that I was once proud of, but as I scratch beneath the surface, I am beginning to realise that we are at risk of this being nothing but a façade.

In new supporting evidence, there have been an increased number of design firms that have been exposed of deliberately undervaluing the proposed cost of a project in what has been described as “a desperate bid” to win the client’s commission. And especially in these challenging times that lie ahead, it is apparent that the scales are no longer level and the playing field is no longer fair.

“These allegations could drastically disrupt the design industry’s performance, as well as put several question marks on how ethical and diverse the industry is becoming.” – Hamish Kilburn, editor, Hotel Designs.

It is understood that for some design firms, certain prestigious projects – or more accurately all projects won during these unstable economic times – are considered more valuable within a portfolio now that we are are heading into a recession. As a result, firms are strategically pitching to clients with a significantly lower cost on the table – eliminating any possibility to make a profit – in order to drastically further the chances of winning the account.

One anonymous business development manager from a design studio, who Hotel Designs spoke to, described how he/she lost a commission for a recent project after a competitor allegedly undervalued the development by roughly 80 per cent to what he/she believed the project should achieve in design fees.

Furthermore, another anonymous leading designer reached out to Hotel Designs with a claim that he/she has witnessed projects being won by competitors at up to 75 per cent lower than what he/she believed was a reasonable professional fee to complete the hotel project.

In addition, other designers have come forward and claimed that they have witnessed situations whereby even suppliers have agreed to pay the design studio separately in order to be specified in a particular project, again this is with the understanding that being specified in the project’s design will generate positive PR around the brand as a result – effectively out-valuing the fee to the design studio.

Although not directly linked, these drastic methods of securing new business have circled back towards further inquiries regarding how design firms are actually funding their existence in the already competitive market.

If proven correct, these allegations could drastically disrupt the design industry’s performance, as well as put several question marks on how ethical and diverse the industry is becoming, especially, for example, if mystery backers are then funding the project on behalf of the design firm.

What’s more, the risk design studios are willing to take in order to secure these projects rings deafening alarm bells in my head, because it will inevitably be the talented individuals – often juniors on low-pay packages – who will be working on the project and who will ultimately suffer the most.

“Fees have seriously been trending lower after every recession when clients demand from firms.” – Anonymous designer.

There are also concerns among the industry that Covid-19 – and the pressures that are attached to the pandemic regarding a lack of new business opportunities on the horizon – will create further desperation between design studios that are responding to client briefs.

We have heard from a number of design studios regarding this, and many have decided to reduce project costs in ratio with the cuts they have made to staffing. One firm, again which would wish to remain anonymous, has confirmed that it has made a 20 per cent cut to all current project costs, and the studio has taken this decision in full knowledge that when or if the industry ever returns to what we recognised as normal, then the studio will work at full capacity but will only receive 80 per cent of the original fee. “We have seen this continuously,” said another anonymous designer. “Fees have seriously been trending lower after every recession when clients demand from firms.”

So, you tell me, will greed take its toll, and will meaningful and creative hospitality solutions be overshadowed by a tempting lower project cost? I certainly hope not, as I believe the industry is still made up of solution-driven individuals who understand and respect the need for thinking long-term, despite living and working in what feel like desperate times.

This is the first article within the series of this investigation. If you would like to speak to Hotel Designs – on or off the record – about diversity in design, please email the editorial desk

Editor, Hotel Designs

Discussing luxury furniture design with Oki Sato, founder of Nendo

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Discussing luxury furniture design with Oki Sato, founder of Nendo

Following our official ‘first look’ of the 2020 Minotti Collection – and to mark putting furniture under the editorial spotlight this month – editor Hamish Kilburn speaks to one of the designers behind the collection; Oki Sato, founder of Nendo

Airy with constructive details linked to Japanese tradition, the Torii modular furniture, designed by Nendo for Minotti’s 2020 Collection, plays with round-edged volumes, thin profiles and the apparent formal simplicity of an extremely detailed design.

With an interlocking game, the horizontal elements within the furniture are laid on the vertical supports, ensuring a sophisticated visual lightness that accommodates the padded volume, characterised by couture craftsmanship.

The Torii family includes sofas, armchairs, dining and lounge little armchairs, ottomans, coffee tables and console tables. To understand more about these pieces within the context of the timeless collection, I spoke to the visionary behind Torii’s creation; Oki Sato, the founder of designs studio Nendo.

Luxury interiors with Minotti furniture

Image credit: The Torii range of the 2020 Minotti Collection

Hamish Kilburn: Can you describe the Torii range in three words?

Oki Sato: Traditional, lightness, and secureness.

HK: How does your design within this collection challenge conventional furniture design?

OS: Generally, furniture legs are reinforced by connecting vertical members to horizontal members. On the contrary, the leg structure resembles a “torii,” a traditional gate of a Shinto shrine, with a horizontal member sitting on the two vertical timbers.

Moreover, the ends of the horizontal member are designed to look like they are biting into the seat, reminding us of traditional “wood joinery” often seen in vernacular Japanese wooden architecture. The design goal was to maintain the visual lightness while expressing a sense of secureness with each component firmly locked together in unity.

HK: In your own words, what were the major challenges when designing these pieces?

OS: We had received a presentation from Minotti family for this project. This was our very first time to receive a presentation from the brand, despite having presented many times before. I think it was a challenge to design Nendo-like details to evolve Minotti family’s first rough concept and to exceed their expectations. 

HK: Can you describe how the design evolved from initial sketches to the finished product?

OS: After we received first presentation by Minotti, the initial sketch was drawn by Minotti. It was 100 per cent Minotti design at the very first moment. And then, the essence of Nendo was gradually added to the sketch through meetings and prototypes with the Minotti family.

Minotti shared a specific image at the very beginning, which helped us to proceed prototype making faster than ever and we could devote more time to considering the details.

HK: How long did this process take?

OS: I believe this process took about nine months.

HK: Can you explain more about the material you used in the upholstery?

OS: Minotti’s high technology and extensive experience coordinated our idea to concrete shape. The brand arranged everything, including a selection of materials and the softness of the cushion.

HK: What is it about Japanese design that attracts so many luxury brands?

OS: I believe it is about light and shadow. Let’s say for Italians, when one says red, Italian designers can see a lot of different reds. They have hundreds of colours of reds, but not just red.

On the other hand, I think the Japanese perceive more tones of light and shadow. I guess light and shadows are about minimalism, poetry which is one of  the values of Japanese design.

Minotti London, which is exclusive style partner at MEET UP London, 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, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Minotti

The Brit List Awards 2020: entries close this week

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Brit List Awards 2020: entries close this week

Designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers have until August 27 (this Thursday) to submit your free entry for The Brit List Awards 2020

The Brit List Awards 2020 is Hotel Designs annual nationwide search to find the top designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers who are operating in Britain.

CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR FREE ENTRY/NOMINATION

As well as selecting the the top 25 designers, architects and hoteliers who will be profiled in The Brit List 2020, the campaign also selects individual winners of the following categories:

  • Interior Designer of the Year
  • Architect of the Year
  • Hotelier of the Year
  • Best in Tech
  • The Eco Award
  • Best in British Product Design
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry

What’s more, the application process to enter or nominate somebody deserving is completely free – simply click here to apply/nominate.

Unlike previous years, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, The Brit List Awards 2020 will take place as a virtual event on November 12, with a live winners party scheduled for January 28 2021 at Minotti London. Katy Phillips, publisher at Hotel Designs, explains: “While we would prefer to physically bridge the gap between all of our shortlisted finalists by hosting a live awards ceremony, we have made the sensible decision to carry out this year’s awards ceremony virtually,” she explains. “However, in order to ensure that we are offering the valuable networking element of our event, we look forward to welcoming the shortlisted finalists, the winners and key-industry suppliers to our live winners’ party celebration as part of MEET UP London in January 2021 at Minotti London.”

Over the last three years, The Brit List Awards has becoming a significant event in the design, architecture and hospitality calendar, as Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs, explains: “The Brit List Awards was born out of the concept to celebrate Britain as a major design and hospitality hub,” he says. “Arguably, it is more important this year than any other year before to mark that success while celebrating the talented individuals who are continuing to design innovative spaces on the international design scene. It is therefore my pleasure to host this year’s event, albeit virtually, and I cannot wait to personally congratulate the winners when we all meet again in January 2021 for the winners’ party.”

If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050. Tickets to both the virtual event and the winners party will be available to secure soon. 

Sponsors of The Brit List Awards 2020:

 

IN PICTURES: W Ibiza sheltering some serious summer vibes

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IN PICTURES: W Ibiza sheltering some serious summer vibes

New images have been released of the recently opened W Ibiza, which was designed by Tel Aviv design and architecture studio BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG. The result: a very different approach to W on an island full of soul… 

The opening of W Ibiza, following months of teasing, has been one of the most anticipated arrivals of 2020.

Previously a beach front Balearic structure from the 1980s, BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG (B+K) has completely transformed the existing building into a social hub that connects with guests, sets an apt ‘W’ scene and sparks imagination, while incorporating the bold and playful theme characteristic of W Hotels. The practice has set out to design a hotel to match the relaxed pace and cosmopolitan attitude of Santa Eulalia; the result is an idyllically escape injected with the playful charm of Ibiza.

Alon Baranowitz and Irene Kronenberg, Co-Founders of Baranowitz + Kronenberg said: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work with W once again. It was important to us to capture the spirit of Ibiza within this project. ‘Flower Power’ lead our design strategy; laid back, colourful, simple, transparent, engaging and letting the sun shine in are notions which flow throughout the public and private spaces of the hotel.”

Setting foot at the W Ibiza esplanade, a field of masts welcomes the guests with a captivating sense of arrival. One cannot escape their magnetising energy, which pulls guests inside and towards the Azul water of the Mediterranean on the horizon.

Image caption: An original sketch of the hotel's public area

Image caption: An original sketch of the hotel’s public area | Image credit: B+K

Inside, B+K has meticulously modified the existing structure to introduce a dramatic ascending section of the entire ground floor that follows from the main entrance esplanade to the outdoor pool and sea; a tour de force of ascending amphitheatre platforms that entice to connect and engage, celebrate life or just exist alone together. This spatial arrangement is set between a concrete floor and steel-wired hand-woven laced ceiling; two dominating features which define an inspiring stage for self-expression. Amongst these two dominating surfaces, colours and textures inspired by the Balearics and Ibiza’s culture appear and define the different platforms to connect, relax and play.

Image credit: Marriott International/W Ibiza

The bohemian theme which is synonymous with the island, is handled with a refined sophistication, amplified through the spatial arrangement and choice of materials and finishes. The overall impression is of a refreshing engaging simplicity expressed by a minimum of means: colour, sun and shade.

Consisting of 162 guestrooms and suites, the hotel boasts a jaw-dropping rooftop swimming pool and picturesque sunset bar boasting spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea, as well as a 4,000 square foot spa and gym.

The food and beverage offerings are naturally infused as anchoring bays rather than destinations.

A light and airy F&B area that boasts stunning sea views

Image credit: Marriott International/W Ibiza

The pool and rooftop bars, La LLama restaurant, Ve Café and Chiringuito Blue set on the white sands of the beach, make for cutting-edge individual F&B concepts that spark hearts and minds and bring people together. Each with its own character and mind-set, the venues cater for any mood from sunrise to sunrise.

A red neon mix of colours inside the gym area

Image credit: Marriott International/W Ibiza

Through bold and innovative design, the practice has paid homage to the island’s heritage and captured the free spirit of Ibiza whilst elevating the five-star hotel experience to a new level. The state-of-the-art furnishings, expertly curated street art and spectacular lighting, combined with the subtle references to the past makes for a truly unique experience for the first International hotel brand in Ibiza.

Main image credit: Marriott International/W Ibiza

IN RENDERS: Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IN RENDERS: Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi

Legendary designer Jean-Michel Gathy infused a contemporary and traditional aesthetic in Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi, which is sheltered inside the city’s latest landmark building…

Soaring above Tokyo with panoramic views of the Imperial Palace, Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi is poised to reach a new height of luxury in its design statement with Japanese traditions melded seamlessly with a modern European aesthetic.

The 193-key luxury hotel is the design brainchild of Jean-Michel Gathy, legendary principal designer at the award-winning hospitality and design consultancy firm Denniston.

On the top six floors of the new 39-storey tower plus two additional floors (Ground Floor and 3rd Floor) adjacent to the Imperial Palace–the capital’s literal and figurative heart, Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi will be a restful haven for travellers delivering a new level of luxury experiences at the city’s latest sky-high social scene. The hotel will feature 193 well-appointed guestrooms and suites, a prestigious spa sanctuary and a 20-metre pool on the highest floor as well as four distinct F&B concepts.

“The cultural diversity of the country has drawn me to create a contemporary expression of the traditional values for this project.” – Jean-Michel Gathy

Orange entrance to the hotel

Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

Gathy skillfully presents authentic Japanese elements throughout the design in respecting Japan’s culture, traditions and heritage, while incorporating the finest elements and absolute DNA of Four Seasons. “The cultural diversity of the country has drawn me to create a contemporary expression of the traditional values for this project without arrogance or a sense of overbearing,” the designer commented. We aim to ignite the feeling of a home away from home with an inviting, warm and welcoming atmosphere in the most dynamic city.”

Reflecting the vibrancy of Tokyo, a traditional Japanese red-orange lacquer box featuring solid timber panels acts as the frame to the hotel entrance at the busiest district of Tokyo. Gathy has created an experience of sensory excitement from which travellers will discover the city’s intriguing blend of ancient and hypermodern.

To replicate the Japanese aesthetic, Gathy has personally curated a defining art collection to celebrate the distinctive craftsmanship and artistry, which embodies the traditional foundations of the country. Distinct examples can be found in the combination of the Japanese floral art Ikebana, hanging natural fibre/fabric artwork and the timber panel featured at the entrance to awaken the overriding strength of connection between east and west.

Board the lift to the reception lobby on the 39th-floor where an extraordinary view is revealed through a glass curtain wall fronted by a rock installation on a shallow pond. “To truly respect the tradition and interpret the tranquility of Japan, the water feature serves as a buffer area to deflect guests’ eyeballs as it may be considered as discourteous to look straight down into the Imperial Palace.” shares Gathy who leads his team to plan scrupulously and strike a balance between the pursuit of aesthetics and the preservation of culture and respect for traditions. The six-metre high ceiling and cosy nooks and crannies provide capacious space for the reception, while the colour theme of gold and black delivers a subtle and warm welcoming atmosphere to Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi.

Render of minimalist reception overlooking city of Tokyo

Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

The links between contemporary West and the traditions of Japan have contributed to the reception area where guests can discover the hidden details before experiencing the dynamism of Tokyo. In response to the Four Seasons’ core value of “East meets West”, the Japanese calligraphy with the meaning of “season” is harmoniously blended in a typical European pendant chandelier and ingeniously displayed on the bottom part of the dome. The Japanese Zen garden subtly sculpted and reflected on a 3-dimensional wall by the artist Pongsatat Uaiklan (Dong) sits behind an elegant Italian cat-leg cabinet decorated with Japanese blocks.

Distinct Japanese touches immerse guests in the local landscape, the flowing and multidimensional design can be found throughout the 193 guestrooms at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi. Blending the art to the room flawlessly, Gathy appointed the Japanese award-winning photographer Namiko Kitaura to capture the bespoke fabric artwork displayed as the backdrop in each guestroom.

A very minimalist guestroom

Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

All rooms and suites are tailored for intimacy with an innovative open-plan layout. The sophisticated Japanese aesthetic flows through the interiors which are illuminated by natural light during the day and with bespoke modern light fixtures to reflect the after-dark glamour of Tokyo.

a modern suite overlooking Tokyo

Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

Celebrating an authentic wedding in the heart of Tokyo at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi, the ballroom and the function rooms adjacent to the chapel promise magical settings for every moment of celebrations. 

Natural light and elegant décor at the chapel invoke an ambience of romance and peace with distinctive European touches. Incorporating private rooms for the bride and officiant, and offering seamless connectivity to the Ballroom Foyer, Grand Ballroom and each of the smaller function rooms, the Chapel can host not only the ceremony but all other types of wedding events, from intimate family brunches to gala receptions.

Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

The Grand Ballroom’s windows draw natural light into the spacious interior. The chandeliers and cascading lights without concrete shapes echo the beauty of nature and evoke the contemporary transition of Japanese culture. Gathy shares his vision for the project: “Inspired by the hotel name, Four Seasons, we are trying to reflect the essence of traditional literature and poetry – flow of the Seasons.”

Gathy applies his deft touch to create a serene sanctuary for THE SPA at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi with the selection of a gentle and relaxing colour tone. The massive 3D natural fibre or fabric art installations in the spa lobby and pool area billow and sweep outward as if caught in a gust of wind, which offer a sanctuary of tranquility amidst bustling Tokyo for a journey of rejuvenation, relaxation and the pursuit of wellbeing.

A minimalist spa inside the hotel

Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

Gathy proudly leads his team to interpret the luxury brand DNA of Four Seasons with great respect to the culture and tradition of the country while celebrating the cutting-edge creativity and contemporary design ethos of Tokyo as a dynamic city. Gathy continues his innovative design inspiration which draws upon aspects of the country’s rich culture to the brand and his previous completion – Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River will also open on October 1 2020.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

Inside Selina Brighton, a new rough-edged boutique jewel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside Selina Brighton, a new rough-edged boutique jewel

Selina Brighton is a 31-key boutique hotel that is about to open its doors to an experience-led hospitality adventure on the South Coast. Ahead of its opening, editor Hamish Kilburn takes a peek inside…

Selina, the experience-led hospitality group for the modern nomadic traveller, has opened its third property this summer with the launch of Selina Brighton in the heart of the vibrant, boho city centre.

The timely arrival of Selina Brighton offers what is describes as the ‘ultimate staycation in 2020 and beyond’, and boasts unparalleled sea views from each of its 31 uniquely designed private rooms, suites and shared rooms. 

Playful, colourful and just a little bit cheeky is what we seem to be gathering from the hotel’s style – we’ve also been told to expect the unconventional.

Image credit: Selina

“We’re thrilled to bring our unique Selina concept to one of the most exciting cities in the UK, and in such a thriving and bohemian neighbourhood full of culture, individuality and a place to cultivate hedonism and escape social restrictions,” said General Manager, Hugo Carvalho. “We can’t wait to open our doors and provide a new hub for the Brighton community; a fairground for daring and unadulterated fun.” 

Selina sign above the entrance

Image credit: Selina

Designed to reflect Brighton’s ocean-front location and the city’s creative spirit, interior designer Tola Ojuolape collaborated closely with Selina’s workshop team, using materials that represent and embrace the community. As a result, each of the rooms has been given a quirky and whimsical twist, offering something new and unique to the accommodation sector in the city.

31 rooms range of categories including lofts, suites, family rooms that accommodate up to four, standard and micro-sized double rooms, with a further 19 opening in 2021 including shared community rooms which fit up to six guests. 

Social spaces are inherent in each of Seina’s properties, and the brand will be hosting specially curated programming, engaging workshops and unique pop-ups throughout the year in its Brighton property that are in-line with new social distancing guidelines.

The aptly named restaurant, The Old Pier, is set to become a Brighton favourite, serving a range of delicious dishes with a side of sea views, including sourdough focaccia with whipped burrata and fermented honey, Mexican style cactus salad and mac’n’cheese croquettes with truffle mayo. 

The understated lobby area will also be utilised as a social space for guests and locals alike, offering a grab and go coffee shop for your morning pick-me-up, as well as a sizable retail space selling products from local brands.

In addition, and to answer modern demands, a co-working space will also be launching for locals to use as a community hub with artwork created and curated by local artist Amy Isles Freeman, whose work themes around female sexuality, freedom and joy.

Selina currently operates +70 urban, beach, jungle and mountain-side locations across 20 countries worldwide and is developing a global infrastructure for nomads and remote workers who want to make the world their classroom, office, and playground.

Main image credit: Selina

Case study: Bentley & Studio Waldemeyer’s fresh approach to lighting design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: Bentley & Studio Waldemeyer’s fresh approach to lighting design

To celebrate its 100 year anniversary, Bentley Motors approached Studio Waldemeyer to help the brand create all aspects of illumination on the most sophisticated concept car in the company’s history…

The vehicle Bentley Motors showcased to mark its 100 anniversary displays the future of luxury craftsmanship with seamless fusion of materials and intelligent curation of technology, whilst introducing light as a new luxury material – all highly relevant when centering the focus back to lighting solutions for tomorrow’s hotels.

Bentley, which is a brand that has flirted with hotel design for many years with a handful of luxury hotel brands sheltering ‘Bentley Suites’, approached Studio Waldemeyer to join their design team and help design and engineer all aspects of illumination on the show car.

The car manufacturer’s challenging design brief required a completely new approach to light design and engineering. Studio Waldemeyer created an innovative tool chain, seamlessly merging the latest in parametric design tools from the world of computational architecture with electronic circuit design software. This approach not only allowed the perfect 3D integration of light in the complex surfaces of the car, but also the turnaround of the project in record time.

Close up of the centre console of the Bentley car

Image credit: Bentley Motors

The Bentley EXP 100 GT is by far the most complex and challenging project for Studio Waldemeyer up to date and represents the perfect combination of artistic expression and technical innovation the studio is know for.  Entering a new creative discipline the studio has yet again helped to raise the bar of innovation, in this case producing the most sophisticated illumination in the history of vehicle design.

Starting at the very prominent front grill, the illumination continues along the central spine into the interior space and finishes off with the sophisticated treatment of the rear horseshoe panel and 3D rear light clusters. While the approach to the project was that of a holistic 3D body of light, each area had its own challenges – be it the exotic materials, complex curvatures and the interaction with specialist design teams and craftspeople.

Attention to detail was paramount – the flying B logo required a weeks worth of hand polishing before receiving the tiny bespoke LED component that illuminates its wings. Different approaches were taken for every material – be it the hand woven silk or the 5000 year old river wood. The interior contains two hand blown crystal pieces that visualise the inner workings of the car’s AI. Collaborating closely with Cumbria Crystal, Studio Waldemeyer worked on the 3D design, implementation and illumination of this central feature.

The champagne cream interior with led lighting of the car

Image credit: Bentley Motors

The biggest research effort went into the external illumination. Starting from the sculpted surfaces of the car’s exterior, thousands of LEDs had to be placed at precise locations, requiring large numbers of different bespoke circuit board designs. This is a unique problem for an industry that is normally geared to make large numbers of a single design. Since no design tools existed for this task, the studio created their own: merging parametric 3D software with PCB design programmes. The manufacture of these unique pieces of electronics was done in Italy – a country famous for its long tradition in fine craftsmanship.

The concept car created a splash far beyond the automotive world and continues to receive praise in the press – garnering coverage in publications such as Wallpaper and Forbes – whilst collecting some of the most prestigious design awards in the process.

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

Main image credit: Studio Waldemeyer

Product watch: Mutina by Parkside – monochrome with meaning

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Mutina by Parkside – monochrome with meaning

Chymia, a collaboration between Mutina and Laboratorio Avallone is the latest monochrome porcelain tile collection available in full exclusively at Parkside. Hotel Designs explores…

Chymia fluctuates between the discipline of graphic design, expressive gestures of mark making and the two extremes of black and white, where symbols and textures are combined to create patterns of light and shadow on the surface.

Black forms the basis, in a distinctive tone created by designer Gennaro Avallone, with the patterns taking on various shades of black all the way through to white. Throughout the collection, black and white are never separate but co-exist, with each pattern also available in white, taking on various shades all the way through to black in a reversal of role.

A hotel room door with monochrome tiles on the corridor floor

Image credit: Parkside

Each of the 22 (11 black, 11 white) designs in Chymia is obtained by combining the principle black and white structures with 11 patterned textures, achieving a tile that can be used randomly in monochrome compositions. The collection involved research on glazes and raw materials, along with the combination of traditional applications and modern technology to achieve the absolute colours used.

Chymia came to life in a collaborative project between ceramics manufacturer Mutina and Laboratorio Avallone, a Milan-based studio whose research reaches in to painting and sculpture to create unique objects of contemporary furnishing. The collection was developed with the aim of making a break with traditional styles, restoring an original quality to ceramics with unexpected outcomes.

monochrome walls and floors in modern bathroom

Image credit: Parkside

“Chymia is a collection that’s full of surprises,” said Sarah Holey, marketing manager, Parkside. “Taking the apparent simplicity of monochromatic pattern, it reveals that careful experimentation and attention to the creation of pure colours can bring depth and new-found results to a seemingly traditional black and white palette. Infusing new meaning into checkerboard or bringing more depth and nuance to all-over black or white, it offers some hugely exciting opportunities for designers and we’re delighted to welcome it to the Parkside portfolio.”

Chymia is available in 30 x 30cm porcelain tiles for wall or floor use, supplied in individual patterns in black or white.

Parkside Architectural Tiles 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, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Parkside Architectural Tiles

Feature: specifying the hotel bed – sleep on it

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Feature: specifying the hotel bed – sleep on it

To kickstart putting ‘beds’ under this month’s editorial spotlight, Rosie Littler from Design Equals takes her grandma’s advice when specifying the bed in hotel design…

My Grandma always me some wise words that resonate: “Spend your money on your bed or your boots,” she said, “because if you are not in one, you are in the other.”

But when it comes to hotels, how important is the bed you choose and how do you make such a subjective comfort item desirable to all?

For hotels the bed is often the showstopper of the room that attracts attention and boosts bookings. But so many components frame the perfect bedroom setting. Design Equals offer design services – both commercial and residential – with a specific focus on boutique hotels.

Here are our top tips to consider when planning your next ‘Pinterest perfect’ guestroom.

From the top:

Headboard

Shape. Size. Texture. Fabric choice. It ALL matters. And it can really set the tone of your overall look. Make it a real feature to reflect the emotion you want to create within the room. It is a good opportunity to experiment with luxurious fabrics and compliment with cushions.

Bedding

Image credit: THE PIG in Brockenhurst

Image credit: THE PIG in Brockenhurst

Now this is a personal passion project of ours. We love love love beautiful bedding. But it comes at a cost. And we believe you do get what you pay for. Contemporary cottons, laid back linens and sumptuous satins make your guests experience memorable. So many of our residential clients ask us to create that hotel bedroom feeling and so often it will be the linen subconsciously they are referring to. But it needs to be fit for purpose. Durable, easy to launder and look new time after time. Work with wonderful suppliers to ensure you are getting the best value for the products you need.

Bed base

Image credit: Nimb Hotel - Deluxe Balcony Room

Image credit: Nimb Hotel – Deluxe Balcony Room

This is where you can up-sell your rooms if you have the space. Kings, Queens and more allow you to put a premium on your room rate. But in a bed base there is also the opportunity for flexibility. There are hundreds of bed frames to choose from and we are always really thorough with our clients when selecting bases as there are a couple of key things to consider. Height, durability, functionality and sustainability all need to be thought through consciously.

Mattress

It does not matter what grade, star or rating your property has, every establishment that rents out a room for the night is fundamentally selling a good night’s sleep on a clean mattress. Quantifying the cost of your mattress to the price per night principle will help you realise why buying a quality mattress is best for your clients and your business. We have a range of quality suppliers with an extensive choice. By working with a quality manufacturer, you are also gaining invaluable insight into what your guests really want as these companies are champions at customer research. Take the time to try different mattresses and think about the best mattress in your budget that reflects the quality of your stay.

Side tables

This is the opportunity to introduce unique features and give your guests an opportunity to place a morning coffee, bedtime book or dare we say it mobile phone on. The functionality of these pieces of furniture is not to be overlooked and can irritate paying customers if they are not fit for purpose.

Lighting

Image credit: The Hoxton Hotel, Paris

Image credit: The Hoxton Hotel, Paris

Set the mood and the style with beautifully procured lighting and make sure the switches are in a convenient place. That feeling of having to get out of bed to turn the light off is annoying. Make your hotel an escape from the mundane. Whether you are refurbishing rooms or starting from scratch it’s always a good idea to bring in a quality electrician from the get-go.

Final touches

Cushions, throws, accessories, aroma. Small things, big impact. This is an opportunity to bring your brands personality through into your hotel rooms. And make it really special. Draw on the senses by using aromatherapy diffusers and carefully chosen bathroom products to elevate your offering. It is also an opportunity to up-sell products to your guests. The addition of beautiful throws and plumped feature cushions can add the finishing touches to your hotel room that makes your customers want to photograph, post on social media and recreate in their own home.

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

Image credit: Design Equals

Luxury outdoor terrace

The Luxury Collection debuts in Abu Dhabi

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Luxury Collection debuts in Abu Dhabi

Luxury in the desert, Al Wathba, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa’s Arabian-style resort celebrates Emirati culture through design, cuisine and memorable desert experiences…

The Luxury Collection, part of Marriott International, has welcomed Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa to its unique ensemble of iconic hotels, marking the debut of the portfolio in the UAE capital.

Luxury outdoor terrace

Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa is located deep within the expansive landscape of Abu Dhabi. With a design reminiscent of a historic desert village, it is an intimate retreat suffused with natural beauty, unique tranquillity, and rare experiences.

Pool overlooking the desert

Image credit: Marriott International

“We are delighted to welcome Al Wathba, Desert Resort & Spa to our ensemble of hotels that define the destination and offer our global explorers an authentic desert experience alongside warm Arabian hospitality,” said Guido De Wilde, Chief Operating Officer, Middle East, Marriott International. “Abu Dhabi’s legacy as an international cultural destination with a rich history and heritage, together with the diversity of its dramatic landscapes, offers a unique opportunity for us to guide our guests on transformative journeys that touch their spirits and enrich their lives.”

Inspired by native architecture and the destination’s rich history, the resort’s 103 guestrooms and villas feature traditional Arabesque flourishes, mashrabiya detailing, and Bedouin accessories. Understated interiors and neutral tones sit in harmony with the desert landscape that wraps around this extraordinary hideaway. The villas come with spacious indulgence, private plunge pools and a patio that boasts unlimited views of the surrounding Arabian Desert.

Luxury Arabian-style suite

Image credit: Marriott International

Six dining venues and bars lend themselves to a range of unique epicurean experiences. Bait Al Hanine offers a generous menu, including a wide selection of Lebanese classics, for all-day dining. Al Mabeet features authentic Emirati cuisine in an understated desert setting. Hayaakom, a Bedouin inspired lounge serves afternoon tea and sandwiches. Terra Secca is a trattoria-style, classic Italian restaurant that offers guests a theatrical view of the kitchen and chefs. Al Mesayan, an intimate rooftop bar serves as an ideal spot for stargazing or dune watching, while Panache offers a relaxed pool respite.

Arabian style F&B area

Image credit: Marriott International

Nestled within a picturesque garden, the hotel’s spa is seen as the pinnacle of the entire hotel experience. Guests at Al Wathba can enjoy a range of health and wellness rituals in a contemporary setting, whilst harnessing age-old techniques. With 11 treatment rooms, the spa also boasts relaxation areas including a healing crystal salt sauna, traditional Turkish hammam, unique cryo experience, an open-air yoga pavilion, invigorating ice shower as well as steam rooms, plunge pools, and snow caves.

Luxury pool with palm trees in the desert

Image credit: Marriott International

Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa joins The Luxury Collection brand’s rapidly growing portfolio in the UAE which includes iconic hotels such as Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Dubai and Ajman Saray, a Luxury Collection Resort, Ajman.

Main image credit: Marriott International

Behind the scenes: designing the ‘hottest boutique hotel’ in Dublin

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Behind the scenes: designing the ‘hottest boutique hotel’ in Dublin

The Mayson is said to be Dublin’s ‘hottest new boutique hotel’ and one of the most modern and architecturally striking hotels added to the Dublin skyline. Editor Hamish Kilburn checks it out…

Located in the heart of Dublin Docklands, The Mayson is an exciting restoration project by ODOS of 45,000 square feet.

It now shelters a 94-key hotel, as well as destination bars, restaurants, a gym, ample event space and an outdoor courtyard.

a modern penthouse with copper bath

Image credit: The Mayson Dublin

The Mayson is a redevelopment of two protected structures – one formerly a town house built in 1860 and the other an industrial warehouse dating back to 1870. Architects ODOS have kept the original features and fixtures such as the fireplaces and the restoration of the old Valence & McGrath pub including its shop front and worked in collaboration with ODON on interiors.

Image credit: The Mayson Dublin

“This exciting restoration project is a redevelopment of No.81 and No.82 North Wall Quay,” said David O’Shea, founder of ODOS. “ Both buildings were in a dilapidated condition and had not been used in over two decades. The concept was to redevelop these strikingly unique buildings by drawing on their existing, inherent characters. The ambition for No.81 was to retain a public house on the ground floor, resulting in intervention to the existing structure and restoring the original features. No.82 is one of the few remaining warehouse structures on the north quays and presented a rare to establish this forgotten building.”

Image credit: The Mayson Dublin

The hotel also features an unusual ‘living’ wall where plants grow up through an internal courtyard, adding to the unconventional off-beat ethos of The Mayson. Offering a rooftop restaurant with views of all over Dublin, Ryleigh’s restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and The Mayson Bar, which serves food all day long, there is a wide variety of food available.

Main image credit: The Mayson

citizenM has arrived on the USA’s west coast

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
citizenM has arrived on the USA’s west coast

Designed by architecture and design firms concrete and Gensler, citizenM Seattle has opened its doors, marking the brand’s arrival on the west coast of the USA…

Inspired by the neighbourhood and the boundaries between analogue and digital blur, citizenM Seattle has opened its quirky doors.

The seven-storey building is positioned on the corner of John Street facing Denny park and Westlake avenue that runs all the way towards lake Union. The area is home to the headquarters of Microsoft and Amazon and characterised by the iconic Space needle.

Image credit: Richard Powers for concrete

The concept design of the architecture and interior was led by Rob Wagemans from concrete, the firm behind other citizenM properties in areas such as Amsterdam, Munich, Shanghai and Copenhagen. The project work was executed by the Seattle team of architecture and design firm Gensler.

All 264 rooms are prefabricated modular units stacked on top of each other, creating a building with a series of large bedroom windows which are typical for the architecture of citizenM.

The ground floor public areas are spacious with lots of daylight coming from the large store front windows facing the street.

Image credit: Richard Powers for concrete

The bar with a large bottle rack and skylight above it, together with the elevator core wrapped in a bespoke art piece by local artist Jeffrey Veregge make this a remarkable citizenM.

Main image credit: Richard Powers for concrete

Inside the latest luxury lifestyle hotel in Mayfair, London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside the latest luxury lifestyle hotel in Mayfair, London

From the people who brought us the renowned Cliveden House and Chewton Glen comes The Mayfair Townhouse, which is slated to open this Autumn…

Curious, engaging and witty, The Mayfair Townhouse is said to deliver the unexpected and redefines what it means to be a London hotel – think  Oscar Wilde meets Alice in Wonderland.

Part of Iconic Luxury Hotels, this will be the fifth property in the portfolio, but promises to offer a new unexpected personality from what the brand is traditionally known for. Bringing a new lifestyle product into one of London’s most distinguished neighbourhoods – The Mayfair Townhouse is the new charismatic ‘kid on the block’ – a product that has never been experienced in Mayfair.

“We’ve created a product – a personality – that’s exceptionally unique to our collection at Iconic Luxury Hotels.” – Andrew Stembridge, Executive Director of Iconic Luxury Hotels.

“There is nothing like The Mayfair Townhouse,” said Andrew Stembridge, Executive Director of Iconic Luxury Hotels, who has been instrumental in developing this outstanding lifestyle hotel for London’s Mayfair. “When the property debuts in Autumn 2020, you will see something that has not yet been done. We’ve created a product – a personality – that’s exceptionally unique to our collection at Iconic Luxury Hotels. We’re looking to give London and travellers from all over the world, something fresh, something totally different and something totally unexpected. This is a new and exciting chapter for Iconic Luxury Hotels, and as we welcome our second property in London, we look forward to creating remarkable memories in the heart of Mayfair.”

Render of the entrance to the bar

Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

A carefully stylish, imaginative home for the modern traveller – the essence of the new Townhouse invites discerning travellers who appreciate an intuitive, perceptive level of service and a guest who above all, has a refined palette for curiosity. Without the traditions of a regular hotel, there is no room at the Townhouse that has not been thoughtfully curated. The hotel bridges the gap between ritzy high-end lavish hotels and the corporate enterprise properties that currently stand in Mayfair.

When guests walk through the doors of this new Townhouse, expect the unexpected. Moments of surprise await around every corner of the fifteen connected Georgian buildings that line Half Moon Street, which was once the setting for Oscar Wilde’s most famous play, The Importance of Being Earnest. Built from 1730, Half Moon Street was a colourful haunt for bachelors, bohemians and artistic types in Victorian London. During this time many of Half Moon Street’s townhouses were split into residential apartments for the elite to live before marriage. Iconic fictional characters, Oscar Wilde’s Algernon Moncreiff and Bertie Wooster in P. G. Wodehouse’s comedies resided here. Moments of this history and culture are immersed throughout The Mayfair Townhouse’s discreet address, and quickly become the central pillars of design and personality of the eclectic house.

A refined Mayfair restaurant inside the hotel

Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

Dandy is the cornerstone theme and design language of The Mayfair Townhouse – building on the historic connections with Oscar Wilde, Half Moon Street and the dandy lifestyle associated with Mayfair. Capturing this playful spirit to create a new era of the Dandy, Goddard Littlefair has helmed an authentic, quick-witted design of the Townhouse. Telling the tale of Oscar Wilde’s world through an imaginative design, Goddard Littlefair has revived the interiors of the townhouses of which seven are Grade-II listed, bringing to life the Georgian spirit and blending this with a contemporary rhythm. The fox, the hotel’s mischievous motif, is woven throughout the hotel, from the art collection showcasing a series of fox images, to intricate design elements throughout the property.

The design delves into the personalities of the original inhabitants of the area, taking inspiration from characters like Wilde and his contemporary aesthetes, and also the flamboyant aesthetic movement of that period. The result? A contemporary Georgian style interwoven with English eccentricities, capturing the adventurous mischief of the dandy. Twists of the unexpected, curiosities, and a humorous, playful design tone resonate throughout the hotel through various fabrics and colour palettes, to create a flamboyant dressing on the residential townhouse.

Luxe dining area

Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

If the walls could talk. Art plays a pivotal part of the hotel, with Minda Dowling, a leading art specialist, curating unique and unusual pieces for The Mayfair Townhouse to further bring each space to life. The hand-picked collection includes both known names and emerging artists, to celebrate different creators of our time all with their own wow factor. Take Clarita Brinkerhoff’s peacock sculpture for instance – the piece sits at 67 inches high and is made out of 25,000 Swarovski crystals. Guests are invited to learn about the art through special QR codes that have been developed – so guests can scan and absorb details.

The aptly named Dandy Bar is the heart and soul of the Townhouse. This is where you’ll find refuge from the bustling streets of Mayfair. A theatrical, dimly lit atmosphere that creates a place to see and be seen. Dandy Bar epitomises bespoke cocktails. Take The Mayfair Dandy for example – an avant-garde take on the classic Dandy cocktail once enjoyed by hedonists of the area, or AR Lenoble Brut Champagne, Oscar Wilde’s favourite. Of course, the design evokes the dandy spirit. Lampshades have silk pleated shades, seating is covered in printed velvets and leathers with marble, brass and high gloss timbers adorn the room. The flamboyance of feathers in flapper outfits and the traditional gentleman’s pocket inspires the design of the Dandy Bar.

A London hotspot bar

Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

Flavours of whimsy yet practicality make its way through the Townhouse’s individually designed guest rooms and suites. From the functional Classic Rooms, to the indoor-outdoor living themed Garden Suites, to the Dandy muse ‘Penthouse Suites’ – every corner of each room is thoughtfully designed and appeals to what the discerning modern traveller is seeking today.

Super luxurious guestroom/suite

Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

Expect to find the highest quality linens and robes, superb bathrooms, luxury mattresses, his-or-her toiletries, good lighting and intelligent use of space. Little touches reflecting the hotel’s quick-witted personality include minibar contents from local artisans, flamboyant spare socks, takeaway mints and in-room cocktail kits using the dandy’s ingredient of absinthe.

A very plush yet minimalist bathroom

Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

With no traditional restaurant at The Mayfair Townhouse, you’re invited to the Lower Ground floor – a vibrant space located downstairs off the entrance lobby. Appealing to the modern nomad traveller, this is a place to work, explore and connect with the personalities of the time, and enjoy breakfast. Take in the whimsical characters on the walls as you enjoy this convivial Library-esque space. Beyond the walls lies a further dining room, which instils a feeling that it belongs to the residence’s owner. Your own private versatile oasis which can be used for private dining, or a ‘meeting of the minds’ gathering place.

From Autumn onwards, The Mayfair Townhouse is where you’ll find both luxury and the joy of the unexpected. Guests come for the exceptional service and inspiring atmosphere and leave with a renewed confidence that choosing personality over conformity is always worth it.

Main image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

Is this the most isolated hotel in Sweden?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Is this the most isolated hotel in Sweden?

Pater Noster, described as a ‘home on the horizon’, is an unedited destination in Sweden where no hotel designer has dared to design – until now, that is. Editor Hamish Kilburn explores how a team of entrepreneurs, hoteliers, restaurateurs, designers and professional sailors have given this island a new purpose…

In the outpost of the archipelago that form the Pater Noster islands – one of Sweden’s most windblown, barren and exposed places – you will find an unlikely hotel experience that rises from the point where two straits (The Skagerack and Kattegatt) meet.

It is marked by a lighthouse; a masterpiece that gave hope and guided seafarers safely for more than a century. Adjacent to it, the keepers and their families built their home, a small-scale community on an island dictated by the elements that had always been perceived as uninhabitable. Until now, that is.

A dramatic view capturing the lighthouse and houses surrounding them

Image credit: Pater Noster

A team of Swedish entrepreneurs, hoteliers, restaurateurs, designers and professional sailors have breathed new life into the lighthouse master’s old home, creating nine design-led guestrooms, accommodating up to 18 guests.

Entrance to the building

Image credit: Pater Noster

Award-winning design agency Stylt, which has completed projects such as Stora Hotellet and HUUS Hotel, in Gstaad, was responsible for the concept and interior design. “During my 30 years within the hospitality business, I have rarely come across such a unique destination”, says Stylt’s founder and partner in the lighthouse project Erik Nissen Johansen. “It’s all there – the remote location, the fantastic nature, the extreme weather conditions, the thrilling history – and soon, great hospitality with a dash of roughness and low-key luxury.”

With the project being so isolated in the middle of the sea, logistics were perhaps the main challenge. “The extra layer of freight combined with heavy winds made things interesting,” Nissen explains. “We had an incident when our new DUX beds arrived at the dock. It was a rough sea and we lost a large box in the water. It quickly disappeared, and all the legs to 24 beds were drifting towardsDenmark. Luckily, we managed to catch all of them with our smaller boats, but they will probably rust faster than normal.”

The interior design has completely been inspired by the destination, even down to the fruit bowl that is a repurposed piece of driftwood that washed up on the shores as the work was being completed. “When we were completing building the large dining table, a piece of driftwood just floated ashore,” Nissen tells Hotel Designs. “It was as if the island wanted to help.” The washed-up item was upcycled into a fruit bowl that now rests on a large dining table that was so large it had to be manufactured inside the property.

Image credit: Pater Noster

The artwork in the dining hall, shot by underwater photographer Christy Lee Rogers, hangs in a respectful bow to the hundreds of shipwrecks that surround the island. The photographic works together push the possibilities of movement, colour and light.

“This is a home, not a hotel, filled with history.” – Mirja Lilja Hagsjö, Chief of Operations at Pater Noster.

Ship and artwork in hallway

Image credit: Pater Noster

The entire site, which is only about 250 metres long and 120 metres wide, includes a restaurant, a bar and outdoor café. “The spirit of the old lighthouse master is all over the place” explains chief of operations Mirja Lilja Hagsjö. “This is a home, not a hotel, filled with history.”

Pater Noster is an apt example how to meet the new demands within the world of hospitality, offering genuine guest experiences with a strong cultural heritage. Depending on the weather, the island is reached by boat or helicopter. It’s perfect for smaller groups looking for a one-off experience, hosting meetings and private parties as well as a range of activities such as deep-sea fishing, sailing, kayaking, scuba diving and visiting the legendary lighthouse itself.

The property is the result of like-minded people, all of whom have different crafts and skills, coming together with a common aim: to put the island on the travel bucket list of all modern travellers and explorers. These individuals behind the project are entrepreneur Olle Langenius, Mirja Lilja Hagsjö (Chief of Operations), Zana ”Sassa” Usorac – (F&B), Frida Langenius och Carl Sylvan – transportation and sea adventures and Erik and Elisabeth Nissen Johansen (design and concept).

Throughout August, Hotel Designs is exploring inspirational hotel concepts from around the world. If you would like to be included in this editorial series, please tweet @HotelDesigns.

Main image credit: Pater Noster

RPW Design unveils next stage of Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
RPW Design unveils next stage of Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire

As well as being responsible for designing the guestrooms inside Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, which we are expecting to get a mock-up at the end of August, RPW Design has revealed the renovation of the hotel’s conference and banqueting space…

The refreshed interiors of the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire’s meeting and event spaces seamlessly breathe fresh life into the historical Georgian property.

In order to appeal to both the social and business clientele at the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, RPW Design has artistically designed different identities for each of the conference and banqueting rooms. These offer guests a more varied collection of options to fulfil their individual requirements.  To ensure the hotel remains quintessentially British, RPW Design chose to specifically work with British manufacturers and suppliers.

“We are delighted to unveil the results of the collaboration between The Four Seasons Hampshire team and RPW Design,” says Elizabeth Lane, Partner at RPW Design. True to our convictions as a firm, the results are testament to our ability delivering designs that will stand the test of time.”

Image credit: RPW Design/Four Seasons Hampshire

Four Seasons Ballroom 

Intended to be both adaptable and flexible the Four Seasons Ballroom, the largest room in the renovation, focuses on neutral colours to complement the natural light that brightens the room. In order to create a stylish aesthetic and reconnect with the property’s magnificent architecture and picturesque countryside location, RPW Design has chosen sophisticated furnishings and light fittings to complement the soft tonal colour scheme of the overall refurbishment. By choosing neutral tones the design lends itself to personalisation of the space for a variety of clients’ needs.

Image credit: RPW Design/Four Seasons Hampshire

Circulation Area 

The design of the circulation area showcases RPW Design’s distinctive flair with a marvellous ceiling installation by Haberdashery, composed of 1,100 floating bone china leaves in natural white with 14 carat gold finishes. This spectacular yet organic display emphasises the central visual axis and circulation, welcoming guests into the Mandeville Ballroom.

Image credit: RPW Design/Four Seasons Hampshire

Mandeville Ballroom, Beckington Room and Bathurst Room

In order to create a sense of intrigue whilst maintaining a very classic design throughout, RPW Design has carefully chosen contemporary crystal chandeliers for the Mandeville Ballroom, Beckington Room and Bathurst Room by Vaughan and Dernier & Hamlyn. Within these rooms, classic soft blues and greys complement the neutral shades, providing an elegant contrast and breathing fresh life into the space.

Shrewsbury Room 

RPW Design has not only modernised the hotel’s spaces but reconnected it with the area’s rich history. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding Dogmersfield Park, RPW Designs has collaborated with Scottish fabric artisans Timorous Beasties to develop a beautiful bespoke chocolate-coloured velvet with gold printed bird motif upholstery for all four walls of the Shrewsbury room. This gives the room warmth and a luxurious feel, coupled with the unique carpet design which incorporates oak leaf canopies. Styled in this way, the Shrewsbury Room can now act as a multi-functional space lending itself to be a ‘mini cinema’, a meeting room or simply a lounge.

Main image credit: RPW Design/Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Inside Bermonds Locke – an alternative hotel experience

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside Bermonds Locke – an alternative hotel experience

Ahead of speaking at Hotel Designs LIVE in October, Lifestyle hospitality brand Locke will open its third London property this September. Before then, Hotel Designs has managed to get a behind-the-scenes glance at the interiors inside Bermonds Locke

Designed to be lived in, and offering an alternative to traditional hotels in the post-pandemic world, each individual studio apartment inside Bermonds Locke is equipped with fully fitted kitchens and modern living space.

Combined with activated public spaces and a locally-led cultural programme, Bermonds Locke will simultaneously allow guests to enjoy the benefits of a lifestyle hotel. The flexibility of the home-meets-hotel format appeals to a broad range of travellers across the leisure and business markets, for both extended and short stays. As the demands of contemporary travellers rapidly change, Locke’s burgeoning success and European expansion plans put it at the centre of the future of travel.

“We are delighted to open our third property in London with Bermonds Locke,” said Stephen McCall, CEO of edyn. “Locke aims to liberate guests from the confines of a typical hotel room by creating beautiful apartments that are designed to be lived in. The type of guest we’re accommodating wants to explore life as a local, and so the Bermondsey neighbourhood has played a significant role in defining the aesthetic, partners and programming.”

“Concrete testing cubes destined for landfill find new purpose serving as a plinth for a six-metre long terrazzo tables in the ground floor workspaces.”

Image credit: Locke

Bermonds Locke marks the first collaboration for the brand with London-based interior architecture studio Holloway Li. Paying homage to nature’s wonder in both aesthetic and eco-responsibility, Holloway Li have created a living experience out of re-purposed construction materials in both the public areas and private apartments. Concrete testing cubes destined for landfill find new purpose serving as a plinth for a six-metre long terrazzo tables in the ground floor workspaces; whilst in the rooms bespoke bed frames woven out of blackened rebar are accented with linen canopies to infuse old ideas of the concrete jungle with a new sense of sanctuary.

“We are really excited to be partnering with Locke to pave a new design direction for the brand’s home-meets-hotel concept,” explained Alex Holloway and Na Li, Co-Founders Holloway Li. “By challenging the purpose of materials, we hope to highlight how a circular material economy can generate an incredibly unique aesthetic and a new kind of living experience – doing more, with less.”

Image credit: Locke

Bringing the changing gradient of the desert sunset to south London, Locke’s signature studios on the upper floors will be dipped in blue, beige and grey hues and saturated vibrant pinks on the lower floors. Responding to a narrative and concept developed by Heather Tierney from Wanderlust (the visionary behind cult US restaurant The Butcher’s Daughter), Bermonds Locke evokes the Southern California cool of Joshua Tree, the Mojave Dessert and Abbott Kinney – a culture and food destination comparable to Bermondsey Street.

Rendering of bar with lots of plants around it

Image credit: Locke

Situated within walking distance of some of London’s favourite spots, guests can enjoy the energetic Bermondsey Street – home to some of the best bars, restaurants and art galleries in London. To the north of the property, guests can meander through the cobbled streets of Shad Thames and Maltby Street Market– the smaller, slightly more charming younger sister of Borough Market. As with all Locke properties, Bermonds Locke comes fully staffed by a team of House Hosts, offering excellent insight to ensure both long and short-term visitors have access to the best local knowledge and insider tips.

The opening of Bermonds Locke comes as the brand continues to expand both within the UK and internationally. With further openings planned in Dublin, Berlin, Lisbon, Munich and Copenhagen, Locke is also slated to open its fourth London outpost in Dalston in late 2020.

Main image credit: Locke/Nicholas Worley

TREND ALERT: 2020 outdoor/interior design styles

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
TREND ALERT: 2020 outdoor/interior design styles

Whether you are designing for a small patio, a city-sized rooftop area or a large piece of land, each outdoor living trend can be adapted to suit any interior/exterior style, writes Paisley Hansen…

Following on from predicting 2020 interior trends at the backend of last year, here are some ideas that will help designers and architects maximise their outdoor space in style.

Biophilic design

For years, the biophilic design ‘trend’ or ‘movement’ has been gaining in popularity. It began as a concept for commercial properties to bring nature indoors and has been expressed in the form of living walls and communal green spaces.

According to Stephen R. Kellert at Metropolis Magazine: “Biophilic design focuses on those aspects of the natural world that have contributed to human health and productivity in the age-old struggle to be fit and survive.” It is not enough to simply be outdoors; a purposeful design for an outdoor living space should complement and connect you to your outdoor space.

Hardscaping

The man-made features used in outdoor spaces are the basis for landscape design and generally are installed first. These include paths, walls, and patios. If you are not working with a professional landscape designer, it is wise to sketch your intended design and play with ideas on paper before you rent a bobcat.

Currently geometric designs for garden beds and patios are popular, however a curvilinear design is timeless. The style of your home will help you determine the design for your outdoor spaces.

Plant materials

It is wise to plan your garden on paper also, rather than plant, dig up and plant again. Make use of your public library, horticulture sites and the agriculture department of universities in your plant zone to compile lists of trees, shrubs and flowers that will grow in your area. Merely loving tulips will not make them grow well if you live in southern Texas. The biggest trend in plantings over the last decade is the installation of plants that are native to a climate instead of fighting to keep a plant alive in an inappropriate zone. Not only does this end up saving money it also discourages nuisance plants–especially those that become invasive.

More plant trends

Choosing a type of garden previously meant flowers or vegetables, but this has changed significantly in the last decade. Combination gardens are easy to grow and the variety of flowers, herbs and veggies that are available to home gardeners will help you create a beautiful garden for all your needs. Match plants according to the amount of sunlight and water for companion planting.

Furnishing outdoor space

The current trend in outdoor furniture is the use of natural materials like rattan, wood, or wood-like, along with wicker elements – just look at Minotti’s new 2020 collection.

Lifestyle shot featuring Minotti sofas outside

Image credit: Minotti

Styles range from mid-century modern and classic coastal to contemporary. The perennial favourite in outdoor furniture is the porch swing. The nostalgia associated with a big porch, a wooden swing and a warm summer night is classically American. With fewer front porches these days many people are finding alternatives to the hanging porch swing.

Furniture designs

Adirondack chairs have been fashionable for centuries and the style is popular even today, though many current pieces are brightly painted for a fresh new look. Egg chairs and barrel chairs are trending right now as is flexible outdoor seating. Furniture that can be moved around the yard for various occasions allows you to invest in a few quality pieces rather than buying furniture for every spot in the garden. When creating a fashionable outdoor area, choose what appeals to you. If an all-white garden gives you a sense of peace and harmony that should be your goal to create. For others, a riotous mix of colours may be your happy place.

Additional trends

The trends in lighting are currently focused on overhead string lights hung in outdoor-café style. Lights can also be strung on the perimeter of your space to give more definition to the area. Up-lighting beneath a specimen tree or shrub will highlight the structure of the special plant or vignette of plants. Fire features run the gamut from huge stone fire pits to small, gas-fuelled tabletop models. Water features are also available in a multitude of sizes and shapes.s

Current trends in outdoor design can be specific to a style or be an eclectic mix of styles. The most important part of outdoor design is making it fit your lifestyle.

Main image credit: Taylor Simpson/Unsplash

The Brit List Awards 2020: entries close soon!

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Brit List Awards 2020: entries close soon!

Calling all designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers: the deadline to submit your free entry for The Brit List Awards 2020 closes on August 27 (two weeks from today)…

Free to enter, The Brit List Awards 2020 is Hotel Designs’ nationwide search to find the top designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers who are operating in Britain.

As well as selecting the the top 25 designers, architects and hoteliers who will be profiled in The Brit List 2020, the campaign also selects individual winners of the following categories:

  • Interior Designer of the Year
  • Architect of the Year
  • Hotelier of the Year
  • Best in Tech
  • The Eco Award
  • Best in British Product Design
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry

What’s more, the application process to enter or nominate somebody deserving is completely free – simply click here to apply/nominate.

Unlike previous years, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, The Brit List Awards 2020 will take place as a virtual event on November 12, with a live winners party scheduled for January 28 2021 at Minotti London. Katy Phillips, publisher at Hotel Designs, explains: “While we would prefer to physically bridge the gap between all of our shortlisted finalists by hosting a live awards ceremony, we have made the sensible decision to carry out this year’s awards ceremony virtually,” she explains. “However, in order to ensure that we are offering the valuable networking element of our event, we look forward to welcoming the shortlisted finalists, the winners and key-industry suppliers to our live winners’ party celebration as part of MEET UP London in January 2021 at Minotti London.”

Over the last three years, The Brit List Awards has becoming a significant event in the design, architecture and hospitality calendar, as Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs, explains: “The Brit List Awards was born out of the concept to celebrate Britain as a major design and hospitality hub,” he says. “Arguably, it is more important this year than any other year before to mark that success while celebrating the talented individuals who are continuing to design innovative spaces on the international design scene. It is therefore my pleasure to host this year’s event, albeit virtually, and I cannot wait to personally congratulate the winners when we all meet again in January 2021 for the winners’ party.”

If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050. Tickets to both the virtual event and the winners party will be available to secure soon. 

Sponsors of The Brit List Awards 2020:

Insane hotel concepts for the post-pandemic world

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Insane hotel concepts for the post-pandemic world

To celebrate Hotel Concepts being this month’s ‘Spotlight On’ feature, here are some insane hotel renderings that offer drastic solutions for hospitality and hotel design in the post-pandemic world…

Let’s face it, it’s going to be a while before the industry reflects the same buzz and energy as it did before the Covid-19 outbreak. Protocols around cleaning and social distancing are inevitably changing the way in which hotels are used and perceived. With this month’s Spotlight On feature being on Hotel Concepts, we have decided to look past incredible architecture and have instead identified three new perceptions on how hospitality and hotel design can adapt post-pandemic.

A pre-warning: they are a little ‘out there’, but how else is the industry expected to develop, evolve and challenge conventional theories?

The human zoo hotel, conceived by Bill Bensley

Image credit: Bill Bensley

Earlier this year, the eco warrior Bill Bensley – who is confirmed as our headline speaker at Hotel Designs LIVE – responded to a hotel brief by designing a hotel where guests are caged while wild, exotic animals roam free. The ‘human zoo’ hotel concept, which will be targeted to luxury travellers who are seeking for unparalleled experiences, will shelter 2,400 ‘human cages’ that will actually look more like high-end, design-led guestrooms that frame an uninterrupted and uncorrupted view on natural the wildlife below.

The site where the hotel is being conceived is situated on a 2,000-hectare plot, which will reinstate wetlands to encourage biodiversity. With the concrete aim being firm to free wildlife from captivity, Bensley’s concept has recently reached a milestone, gaining approval from Southern China’s Communist Party to relocate abused animals from zoos in the country, to be released onto the roughly 2,000-hectare piece of land where the ‘human zoo’ will be located.

Although the concept was drawn up before the pandemic, it is an interesting idea nonetheless to flip the luxury consumer journey upside-down. By doing so, the Bensley has yet again put the emphasis on wildlife, nature and sustainability, all of which have experienced neglect amongst the chaos of Covid-19.

The hotel of the future according to Gettys Group

The (potential) future of hotel sleep, as imagined by Gettys Group

Image credit: RC Aradio of Blue Core Creative/Getty Groups

Since June of this year, Getty Group has been developing concepts that aim to address the significant industry-wide challenges posed by Covid-19. 325 hotel owners, designers, architects, and hospitality educators are participating in the research, including brands such as citizenM, Four Seasons, Hilton, IHG and Marriott.

Technology and personalisation (two topics we will explore in Hotel Designs LIVE) continue to play important roles. ‘BedXYZ’, which is described by Gettys Group as an “optimised and gamified sleep platform,” involves temperature-regulating engineered fabrics in the guestroom. Meanwhile, touchless technology will allow guests to control the room’s lighting, scent, sound, temperature and even the firmness of the bed via their smartphone.

Al fresco guestrooms

a room in the middle of nowhere

Image credit: Zero Real Estate/Appenzellerland

This isn’t anything new; Jade Mountain in Saint Lucia, for example, is an architectural marvel with its innovative concept to remove the fourth wall in order to open up the interiors to the natural elements. However, new hotel concepts have emerged recently that are showing completely open-air rooms in the middle of nowhere. One of the developers that is leading the way is the aptly named Zero Real Estate. The theory behind the layout, with the bed being perched on a wooden platform, is that the natural landscape becomes the backdrop. Removing surfaces altogether to eliminate boundaries is a drastic strategy in the post-pandemic world, which will not work for everyone, but it certainly works to deepen one-off experiences for luxury modern travellers.

If you have a hotel concept that you would like us to explore, please tweet us @HotelDesigns. If you would like to participate in Hotel Designs LIVE, where many of the above topics will be explored, click here.

Main image credit: Zero Real Estate

Office Blueprint brings Naava Green Walls to London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Office Blueprint brings Naava Green Walls to London

Office Blueprint, a London-based furniture company, has launched Naava’s revolutionary green walls in the UK…

Naava, the Finnish health technology company, and Office Blueprint have partnered to introduce Naava Green Walls to the UK to transform indoor air and positively impact wellbeing.

Forward-thinking companies are looking for new solutions to create healthier environments for their employees. Wellbeing is at the forefront of workplace thinking in 2019 and almost every aspect of the workplace environment is under scrutiny. Ergonomic furniture helps stave off injury caused by sedentary work, varied types of workstations to accommodate different types of work and human-centric smart lighting systems. But air-quality is often left at the bottom of the list of elements to improve, despite the fact that most central business districts suffer from poor air quality.

Naava is a unique piece of smart furniture which combines nature and technology to naturalise indoor air, reducing harmful chemicals and optimising humidity. Following a series of tests and studies, the proven effect of working in the vicinity of a Naava Green Wall include a reduction in illness, less fatigue and improved cognitive performance.

Naava has designed an effective and stylish indoor vertical planter that houses beautiful green leaved plants specified for their non-allergen properties and their high performance biophilic air purification.

Living wall in a winter setting

Image caption: Made in Norway, Naava was founded in 2012

However, Naava is not just another living wall it is an intelligent piece of furniture: its functions are driven by technology. A remote system monitors Naava around the clock, utilising AI to analyse the environment and directing the Green Wall’s functions accordingly and communicating the precise condition of the plants with a service team who intermittently visit to manage any needs. The in-built lighting system replicates natural daylight, providing the plants with a steady supply of light and fading out each evening to allow the plants to ‘sleep’ overnight.

“One Naava vertical planter can purify up to 60sq metres of indoor air.”

The product works by absorbing indoor air through the plants’ roots and a natural soil-less growth medium, developed to avoid pests and mould. The microbes of the roots then purify the air of harmful chemicals, and small, quiet and unseen fans return the pure and naturalised air back into the room. One Naava vertical planter can purify up to 60sq metres of indoor air and would be the equivalent of having approximately 6,000 potted plants in the same space.

Image credit: Naava

Naava’s versatility and mobility enables its use across a number of sectors including offices, hospitality, retail and educational premises. Naava can also be a mobile system, enabling versatility and the option to be used to delineate space.

Neil Jenkins, Managing Director of Office Blueprint said: “With the average person spending 22 hours a day indoors it is of the upmost importance that toxic air quality is reduced. We are committed to healthy, inspiring and stress-free office environments which contributes to enhanced wellbeing and Naava fits perfectly with this mission and our existing product portfolio.”

Several peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown that the patented and award-winning Naava is an efficient air purifier. In a Naava space people are happier and less stressed, make less mistakes and suffer less from indoor air symptoms (fatigue, headaches, eye irritation, respiratory problems). There is no other green wall that functions like Naava and Office Blueprint is delighted to be introducing Naava to the UK.

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

Main image credit: WellTek/Naava

Cork wall in a guestroom

Product watch: wall tiles by Granorte bring new meaning to natural aesthetic

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: wall tiles by Granorte bring new meaning to natural aesthetic

With the natural aesthetic of cork, Decodalle wall tiles from Granorte offer something new for high-end interiors. Hotel Designs explores…

Delivering a rich collection of decorative cork veneers, Decodalle presents the depth and variety of finishes achievable in this natural and sustainable material, proving its association with retro finishes of the 1960s is dead.

Cork wall in a guestroom

Presenting a finish that’s not only intrinsically beautiful and diverse, but also warm, quiet and durable; Decodalle allows interiors a powerful natural aesthetic without compromising function. In fact, with its Parawax matt coating for resilience and lightweight agglomerated cork backing for easy fitting, Decodalle is a wall tile with impressive features all round. Greenguard certified, 100 per cent ortho-phthalate free and with no added formaldehyde, Decodalle also has the sustainable credentials to match its natural origins.

“When developing products, we appreciate the single biggest influence in choosing cork: its status as a natural and renewable material,” said Paulo Rocha, product and R&D manager at Granorte. “We look for ways to preserve as much of this reasoning within the development of the product, so if there’s an option for a more sustainable or less polluting material we’ll take it, even if it means more development.”

Decodalle is available in 14 cork looks in a 600mm x 300mm x 3mm format for vertical or horizontal application. From the natural forms of Expression and geometric blocks of Elements Rustic Black to the colours of Twist and conventional granulated looks like Forest and Grain, it’s a rounded collection that offers designers real opportunity to create a visual treat.

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

Main image credit: Granorte

Inside the first ‘luxe lifestyle wellness resort’ in Grenada

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside the first ‘luxe lifestyle wellness resort’ in Grenada

Opening on October 1 2020, The Point at Petite Calvigny will be the first dedicated luxury lifestyle and wellness resort on the island of Grenada in the Caribbean. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

With just three design-led villas and 12 suites nestled on an 11-acre estate on the south coast of Grenada, The Point at Petite Calvigny is the island’s new ultra-luxury resort.

The resort, which slopes down to Benji Bay, features a privately accessed secluded beach, a state of the art gym and wellness centre including The Petite Spa, five swimming pools, a beach bar and restaurant and a private marina.

Chris Ashby, the property’s owner who, in collaboration with Adriana Hoyos Hospitality, took it upon himself to design the interiors following his extensive travel experience, fell in love with the raw, natural beauty of this part of Grenada and its stunning views. This ultimately inspired him to create the luxury ‘cloistered sanctuary’ where the outside world is left at the ‘entrance/gate’. “The Point is the first luxury resort in Grenada that is totally focussed on wellness,” Ashby explains. “We offer discerning travellers the perfect combination of luxury accommodation in a peaceful setting with the ability to design their stay exactly as they wish. I am proud to say that The Point is owned by a Grenadian, was built by Grenadians and is staffed by Grenadians.”

No effort was spared in creating the perfect ambiance, which included changing the orientation of the buildings following recommendations from a Feng Shui consultant who advised that they be aligned ‘with water in front and mountains in the background’. As a result, all the buildings stand in an optimum location in order to capture uninterrupted views of the waters of Benji Bay, the unspoilt marine sanctuary of Woburn Bay and the private resort of Calvigny Island.

Image caption: The hotel has been configured to capture uninterrupted views of the waters of Benji Bay, Woburn Bay and the private resort of Calvigny Island. | Image credit: The Point at Petite Calvigny

The Point at Petite Calvigny, which was developed by C.A.C Partners Ltd., has been built to the highest eco standards without compromising on comfort or luxury. There are many hidden eco-friendly elements such as environmentally compliant building materials; super insulated walls, UV filters on windows and doors to minimise energy consumption; rainwater harvesting to provide drinking water and a wastewater treatment system that produces water to irrigate the gardens.  All toiletries are vegan friendly and free from parabens, sulphates and phosphates while the spa incorporates local products such as scrubs made using natural, local ingredients.

“Designed in a contemporary West Indian style with warm wood finishes, all the rooms are spacious and bathed in natural light.”

Reflecting the wellness focus of the resort and Grenada, all accommodation has been named after crystals such as Citrine and Blue Lace. Designed in a contemporary West Indian style with warm wood finishes, all the rooms are spacious and bathed in natural light from floor to ceiling windows that allow for magnificent, unobstructed views of the bay and nearby islands. Inside the rooms, nautical artwork further reflects the property’s unique sense of location, as does the lighting and sensitively designed furnishings.

Image caption: The clean design of the interiors feature interesting lighting, natural materials and a large nautical map of the region. | Image credit: The Point

Image caption: The clean design of the interiors feature interesting lighting, natural materials and a large nautical map of the region. | Image credit: The Point at Petite Calvigny

Each of the three split level villas have three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a private infinity pool and deck with a grilling station. The 12 single-floor suites have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, private balconies and share two large free form swimming pools, a swim up bar and outdoor grilling station.  A selection of fresh herbs are available for guests wishing to add a little extra flavour to their barbecue.

Image caption: Exterior image of one of three villas available at the resort. | Image credit: The Point.

Image caption: Exterior image of one of three villas available at the resort. | Image credit: The Point at Petite Calvigny

Both the villas and suites have fully custom kitchens, dining and living rooms and internet-based TV. Extra touches such as oil diffusers, mood lighting, high quality hypo allergenic bedding, insulation to reduce sound and black out curtains help to enhance sleep performance.

The Point is specially designed to promote rest and rejuvenation. To take this up a level, and in order for the service to match Ashby’s aim, a complimentary consultation with the hotel’s ‘Vibe Director’ is available to each guest in order to create a stay that is perfectly attuned to their specific needs.

Places like this sanctuary within the Caribbean are highly coveted. The Point Private Residence Club is the first and only luxury residence club on the island of Grenada.

In conclusion, every detail of The Point has been specially designed and curated for the discerning eye – from the location and architecture of the residences to the carefully manicured tropical gardens and exceptional experiences – it is a paradise that is naturally self-isolating in its own unique corner of the world.

Main image credit: The Point at Petite Calvigny

Byblos Hotel on Spain’s Costa Del Sol to join The Unbound Collection by Hyatt

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Byblos Hotel on Spain’s Costa Del Sol to join The Unbound Collection by Hyatt

Following extensive renovations, the iconic Andalusian resort will join The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand and mark the first Hyatt-branded hotel in Southern Spain…

The former iconic Byblos Hotel in Mijas on the Costa del sol, which has been closed since 2010, will be redeveloped to join The Unbound Collection by Hyatt.

The news was announced after a Hyatt affiliate entered into a franchise agreement with a wholly owned subsidiary of Intriva Capital European Principal Investment Fund I LP (“Intriva”), a European private equity fund.

Expected to open in early 2022 (the same year as Conrad Hotels & Resorts is slated to debut in the Costa del Sol) in one of the country’s most visited regions, Andalusia, the luxury 200-key resort will mark the first Hyatt-branded hotel in Southern Spain.

“The illustrious past and distinctive architecture of the hotel make it a perfect fit for the brand.” – Nuno Galvao Pinto, regional vice president of development Europe, Hyatt.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Intriva to redevelop and rediscover the splendour of this famous building and welcome it into The Unbound Collection by Hyatt portfolio,” said Nuno Galvao Pinto, regional vice president of development Europe, Hyatt. “The illustrious past and distinctive architecture of the hotel make it a perfect fit for the brand and we expect it to be a truly exceptional addition this collection of storied hotels. We look forward to further growing this exciting independent brand across Europe, inviting guests to create story-worthy experiences at unforgettable properties.”

Traditional Spanish interiors inside guestroom

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Since its original opening in 1986, the hotel has been known as a hideaway for jet setters and royalty alike. The iconic blue and white building will be restored as a luxury resort reflecting memories from a golden age of travel, attracting independent-minded guests seeking a sophisticated yet unscripted experience. Behind its new Andalusian latticework, the Byblos Hotel will offer moments that inspire visitors to create their own stories and enjoy Southern Spain’s distinctive lifestyle with its lush gardens, pools, bright spaces, and unique interiors. The hotel will offer an abundance of luxury amenities including a health club and spa, indoor and outdoor pools, a cinema, and a night club, family facilities including a kid’s club, and exceptional conference spaces for private events and business meetings.

The food and beverage venues at the hotel will incorporate and reflect Andalusian culture with a rooftop bar offering guests stunning views of the Sierra de Mijas mountain range. It will be located adjacent to two 18-hole golf courses, originally designed by Robert Trent Jones, making the resort an excellent base for guests looking for a golfing retreat.

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

“We are thrilled to team-up with Hyatt on this exciting project, restoring the iconic hotel to its former grandeur on the Andalusian coast,” said Tom Saunders, head of post-acquisition, Intriva. “We look forward to working with the local community to bring a new luxury resort to the area, underlining our commitment to the European leisure and hospitality sector at this challenging time. The hotel has a rich and exciting past that we intend to bring it to life once again supported by Hyatt.”

The announcement signifies a major addition to The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand in Europe and marks the first Hyatt-branded hotel in Southern Spain. As the third most visited region in Spain in 2019[1], Andalusia represents a key opportunity to expand the Hyatt brand’s footprint in Southern Europe and to tap into the growing popularity of the region with tourists.

The resort will join other Hyatt-branded hotels in Spain, including Hyatt Centric Grand Vía MadridHyatt Regency Hesperia MadridHyatt Regency Barcelona Tower, and Hotel SOFIA Barcelona, which is part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand.

The Unbound Collection by Hyatt gives guests the freedom to create their own story-worthy experiences at unique properties around the world, whether it’s a historic gem tucked in the heart of Paris, like Hôtel du Louvre, or a spectacular architectural monument such as Parisi Udvar Hotel Budapest. Additional properties within The Unbound Collection by Hyatt in Europe include Hôtel Martinez in Cannes, Hôtel du Palais Biarritz, Nish Palas in Istanbul and Great Scotland Yard Hotel in London.

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Industry insight: 4 reasons why hotels need more mirrors

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Industry insight: 4 reasons why hotels need more mirrors

Looking beyond pure aesthetics, Mirror Mania explores why all hotels of all styles and sizes need more reflective surfaces… 

As interior styles change and evolve, there are few interior features that stand the test of time like mirrors. Sure, the frames may change – but what never ceases is our love affair with the looking glass.

There is something captivating about mirrors. Bespoke mirrors in particular have that certain charm. A mirror that is designed for a specific space cannot fail to impress. But in case you need persuading, here are 4 reasons why your hotel or hospitality setting needs to make more use of mirrors.

All eyes on you

Let’s not forget how effective mirrors are at improving your ability to see all around an area. Mirrors reflecting busier areas, in receptions or hallways, can make it easier for crime detection – especially in areas where security cameras can’t cover. If you do have a physical security presence, they’ll be able to use mirrors to improve surveillance.

Image credit: Mirror Mania

You look fabulous

Let’s face it: our always-on culture (cameras, that is) means we always want to look our best. That means being able to check our reflection several times before we go out – in the room, hotel bar and before we head out of the door.

To make a lasting impression, shine

We can’t help but associate a beautiful mirror with opulence. To leave a lasting impression on our guests, we need to do exactly that – impress them. A bright mirror draws us in while amplifying the atmosphere of the room. A cosy snug, slick living room or minimalist bathroom – any space can be illuminated with the right mirror.

Light + spacious = clean

Light and bright modern interior space

Image credit: Mirror Mania

Light, spacious areas naturally feel cleaner. A well-placed mirror can go a long way to opening up a room, without risking the vast feel of an empty space. Reflections can be used to accentuate features, adding more grandeur to a reception area by reflecting ornamental pieces or even fresh flowers.

You may be looking around your space now and wondering how you can incorporate a mirror into the layout, or design. Integrating a mirror into the perfect surroundings isn’t always easy – so let the specialists at Mirror Mania do it for you!

In addition to our stock of beautiful mirrors, we can also handcraft mirrors and glass to your specific specifications. Made in our British workshop, our glass craft is shipped all over the world. We are proud to adorn the walls of some incredibly luxurious homes and hotels. Let us brighten up your space too.

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

Main image credit: Mirror Mania

Lighting & furniture: raw materials in extraordinary essentials

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Lighting & furniture: raw materials in extraordinary essentials

Buster + Punch’s love for working with rare, solid metals in lighting and furniture has led the brand to transform everyday functional fittings into extraordinary essentials…

From the light bulb, the dimmer switch and the pendant lamp, to the door handle and the cupboard knob, Buster + Punch has created an innovative collection of unexpected design details.

All of its hardware, lighting and accessories are made from solid metal and feature a signature diamond cut knurling. This ensures all our products can be paired within the space, creating a visual, and unified design throughout any space.

The lighting ranges are designed to work in harmony to create a smooth transition between spaces.

CAGED lighting takes a simple design and transforms it into a series of extraordinary building blocks. This light can be mounted as a wall or ceiling light and can work on its own in various rooms and spaces or in a linear procession for maximum impact, such as adding caged lights in a hotel hallway.

This all-time favourite classic Heavy Metal light features a single light pendant made from 450g solid metal and finished with a matt black rubber cord. A light that adds a refined touch in any room. Accent a single Heavy Metal light over a coffee table in a hotel room, or several Heavy Metal lights over a lounge.

Buster + Punch introduced the world to the beauty of cross-knurling and changed the way people felt about their forgotten home fittings. And in 2020 Buster + Punch launched LINEAR – a range of elegant, small-scale, cabinet handles inspired by fashion accessory hardware.

Diamond-milled from rare solid metals, the range features our new signature linear knurl pattern and machined torx screws.  LINEAR features new products such as the L-Bar and Precious Bar,  and new finishes Gun Metal and Burnt Steel. The hardware range can be fitted to a bedside table for a unique finish, on a dresser, or even a bathroom vanity.

Buster + Punch also launched a new door stop range featuring wall-mounted and floor-mounted door stops. The perfect final detail when entering and exiting a room. The signature diamond knurling can also be found, and comes in a range of finishes- brass, steel, smoked bronze, and brass.

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

Main image credit: Buster + Punch

Sleep & Eat 2020 Introduces ‘hotel guestroom 2035’

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sleep & Eat 2020 Introduces ‘hotel guestroom 2035’

International hotel groups, students, architects and designers are collaborating to create concept guestrooms of the future, which will be unveiled at Sleep & Eat 2020

Sleep & Eat, which recently announced the plans around this year’s virtual event, has unveiled the hotel brand partners that will be working with award-winning architecture and design firms in the creation of this year’s ‘guestroom sets’.

The firms are: Accor, partnering with Perkins and Will; IHG, working with AD Associates; and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, collaborating with Chalk Architecture, Hotel Hussy and students from University of West London. In addition, ReardonSmith Architects is creating a guestroom for a hotel group yet to be launched in collaboration with students from Glion Institute of Higher Education and Hotelschool The Hague led by the directors of hotel creative consultancy, HoCoSo, and branded by Delight Lifestyle Brand Agency.

The designers and Hotel Brand Partners have been tasked with not only showcasing the best of innovative hotel design today but also, in this 15th anniversary year of the event, giving us a glimpse into what to expect from our hotel guestrooms over the next 15 years. Each Hotel Brand Partner has selected one of its brands for this forward-looking adventure into design innovation: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts – Wyndham; IHG – Voco; and Accor – Mővenpick Hotels & Resorts.

Since this year Sleep & Eat will be a virtual event, the design projects will culminate in simulated digital walk-throughs allowing visitors to explore the concept in detail, navigate around the room and enjoy an interactive three-dimensional experience.

For the hotel groups, this is a unique opportunity to work with design firms that are new to them and to imagine the future for their brands.

“This year’s theme captured our imagination and enticed us to participate in Sleep & Eat 2020,” explained Chris Lee, Director of Architecture, Design & Construction for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “We have been given the opportunity to approach guestroom design with a truly open mind and to bring our vision to life. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to work with our extended team including the inspiring designer Paul Nicholson at Chalk Architecture; Katie Brinsmead-Stockham for Hotel Hussy; and Professor Layton Reid and his students at the University of West London.”

Emma King, Head of Design at IHG, said: “We have built many concept rooms in the past but this is different – the opportunity to conceptualise a room so far into the future,” she said. “Sleep & Eat is a great chance to showcase new design and we’re really pleased to be working with AD Associates on this.”

Accor’s Vice President design for Lux and Premium brands, Federico Toresi, added: “This is a great opportunity for Accor to continue imagining the future of hospitality through design. Today, more than ever before, it is vital to create hotels that are aligned with expectations of our guests whilst fully reflecting brands’ ambitions and their promise.”

Ever since their introduction, the Sets in all their iterations have proved a perennial favourite among visitors as a thought-provoking take on the hotel experience, cultural values and human desires. They have also been a rare opportunity for architects and designers to explore conceptual thought and interrogate societal and environmental issues.

Neil Andrew, Head of Hospitality at Perkins and Will, says: “For us, innovative sustainable design is pivotal to our industry, now more than ever, so our Set will be exploring the role the sector can play in meeting the environmental targets we so urgently need to reach.”

Jonny Sin, Director of ReardonSmith Architects, echoed this sentiment: “We are living through a time of re-calibration when some existing trends will accelerate and others will be re-thought. This makes it particularly meaningful to be working with students who will be the managers and owners, as well as influential guests, of hotels in 15 years’ time.”

Katharine Le Quesne, MD of HoCoSo, added: “Engagement with tomorrow’s stakeholders has been key. Based on our relationships, we handpicked a team of students from two of the best hospitality schools in Europe, to inspire the creative process.”

The four guestroom Sets will be joined by immersive wining and dining experiences as well as by a virtual lounge bar and hotel lobby, and the new on-line platform will enable all event participants and registered attendees around the globe to pre-arrange meetings at the event.

Sleep & Eat Virtual will take place on 17-19 November. For more information and to register, visit the website.

Main image credit: Pixabay/Sleep & Eat Virtual

Feature: a new era of luxury hospitality has begun

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Feature: a new era of luxury hospitality has begun

To coincide with the opening of Birch, which has been described as a ‘next-generation escape’ hotel just outside London, editor Hamish Kilburn considers how Covid-19 has challenged the luxury hotel market by hearing from international architecture and interior design firm Red Deer on the luxury hotel’s design story…

Even after lockdown, Covid-19 has created a distance between us, which is predicted to last for a while. Although we will meet again as we did before, architecture firm Red Deer believes that a new shift in the luxury market will emerge from our time apart.

“For Red Deer, luxury comes from the creation of a meaningful emotional connection between the hotel guest and the space they inhabit.”

Red Deer considers the term ‘luxury’ as degraded through overuse, and the parameters of what constitutes a ‘luxury hotel’ can be difficult to define. The concept can be specific to each individual guest, based on their own expectation, habits and culture. For Red Deer, luxury comes from the creation of a meaningful emotional connection between the hotel guest and the space they inhabit.

Image credit: Birch/Red Deer/Adam Firman

“Millennials represent only about 32 per cent of spending in the personal luxury market, but by 2025 they are expected to make up 50 per cent of the total market,” writes Forbes contributor Pamela N. Danziger. “Some 130 per cent of market growth in the next seven years will be attributed to the Millennial generation.”

Rejecting traditional wealth values

The luxury industry has often been aligned with indulgence and excess rather than sustainability and connections. Quality craftsmanship and experiences may continue to command a premium price tag, however, Millennials are creating a new focus towards sustainability. Both Millennial and Gen Z groups’ expectations from luxury brands are very different from those of Gen X and Baby Boomers who favour traditional wealth values. Social connections and insider knowledge are of more importance to these younger consumers who are more likely to make value-based acquisitions and purchases. Luxury weaves its way through their experiences, free time, travel, community, self-growth and security.

For the Birch hotel project, a 140-key hotel that is set within 55 acres of nature just outside of London, Red Deer deconstructed the meaning of a hotel and pieced it back together to ensure that no element was intrinsic without careful consideration. The obvious need for a bed and bathroom are present, however, more attention was given to the contemporary ‘luxuries’ such as a TV, telephone and smart lighting systems to ascertain their place in a luxury hotel for an increasingly younger generation of guests.

“With Birch, the firm felt it crucial to collaborate with local artists and makers to create some unique pieces in the rooms.”

Image credit: Birch/Red Deer/Adam Firman

As the landscape for luxury hospitality has evolved, the onus is now focused on creating a unique and personalised one-to-one experience for guests. This bespoke experience is a key driver throughout the design of Red Deer’s projects. With Birch, the firm felt it crucial to collaborate with local artists and makers to create some unique pieces in the rooms and challenge the idea that uniformity was essential for large batch furniture specification.

The most prominent of these pieces is a bespoke valet stand constructed by Jan Hendzel Studio, utilising recycled plastic orbs by sustainable material designer Charlotte Kidger, textured vases by ceramicist Emma Louise Payne and hand-beaten copper bowls by metalsmith Lucie Naujalis. It’s a piece that is intimate and personal, telling a story of three different elements brought together in a single form that is simultaneously light and robust, whilst able to be easily taken apart when required and updated over time. It’s a piece designed to stimulate the guest’s senses and spark their curiosity.

Before the pandemic, the global luxury market was predicted to reach €1.3 trillion by 2025. As the hospitality industry enters a challenging period in Q2/3 2020 it is ever-important for the designers and hotel investors to consider the changing market needs and place social connections and insider knowledge alongside premium experiences at the forefront of their business models. Hotels aren’t just bedrooms with smart technology, but memory-making experiences that create value and loyalty.

Image credit: Birch/Red Deer/Adam Firman

Red Deer believes Birch to be an example of how hospitality projects should be approached, considering a long-term commitment to sustainability within a renovation or new build as a crucial component of architectural design.

Main image credit: Birch/Red Deer/Adam Firman

7 years of innovation: The Lychee Garden by Timothy Oulton Studio

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
7 years of innovation: The Lychee Garden by Timothy Oulton Studio

To celebrate Lychee Garden by Timothy Oulton Studio turning seven, Hotel Designs explores the garden that inspired so many of the studio’s innovative products…

The saying goes that we live in seven-year cycles, and as Timothy Oulton Studio’s innovative Lychee Garden turns seven, founders Tim Oulton and Simon Laws have taken time to reflect on what continues to be a transformative project.

Originally conceived as accommodation and communal living spaces for staff of furniture business Halo, the practice was briefed to make use of an established lychee orchard and vegetable garden adjacent to one of the company’s workshops in southern China.

What began as a brief to meet straightforward living needs has evolved into so much more. The Lychee Garden has afforded Timothy Oulton Studio a rare opportunity to test ideas and understand design learnings over the course of time. It has become a test of materials and techniques but, perhaps most importantly, it has shown that the understanding of how people use spaces is a lifelong observation. For an interior design studio that exists to deliver engaging commercial interiors, access to such a study presents both a personal privilege and a distinct business advantage. 

Minimising impact on the garden and its vegetation was a crucial aim for the studio from the outset and thus the curvilinear spiral plan of seven buildings that house 14 rooms was scaled and carefully positioned amongst the mature lychee trees, meaning only three trees needed to be relocated. These round houses use reclaimed local bricks and timbers for their exterior shells, combining local construction techniques and vernacular design elements with newer ideas and materials to create high quality retreats sensitive to their surroundings.

The interiors were envisaged as cocoons, with curved walls intended to ‘hug’ occupants after long work days far from home. The warmly hued 60m2 spaces are paved in natural stone with raw off-form concrete finishes, reclaimed bricks and salvaged timber cabinetry. Windows have been positioned differently in each building to take in seasonal conditions and private vantages of the dappled greenery, which over the years has increasingly become a sanctuary for birdlife away from an ever-expanding industrial neighbourhood.

Image credit: Timothy Oulton Studio

At the heart of the garden sits the Halodome – a large communal lounge, dining room and kitchen contained in an arching 12-meter diameter timber dome certified to German Passivhaus standard. The kitchen is supplied with an abundance of fruit and vegetables fresh from the garden, which itself is fed by reused waste water filtered by a reed system that features a long shallow gravel bed densely planted with Ginger Lilies, whose roots filter water over the seven days it takes to flow through the pond. 

Image credit: Timothy Oulton Studio

Those have spent time at the Lychee Garden understand it as a place of refuge – a sanctuary that steps gently, working with, not against, its surroundings. As the project’s first seven years come to a close it finds its self-sufficiency, ecological-efficiency and bubble-like nature more relevant than ever. For now, both Tim Oulton and Simon Laws are based full-time at the project, working remotely with clients to understand how the Lychee Garden concept can enable businesses to pivot their hospitality offering in a post-Covid world while developing a smaller, panoramic version of the Halodome designed to take the challenges the industry now faces head on.  

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

Main image credit: Timothy Oulton Studio

 

Gessi on ‘dreaming big’ in bathroom aesthetics

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Gessi on ‘dreaming big’ in bathroom aesthetics

Success in design is based on pleasure, beauty and imagination. Innovative bathroom brand Gessi dictates the recipe to create a happier present: to revert to dream big…

Forward-thinking bathroom brand Gessi has always worked in tandem with the excellences of Italian fashion, food and furniture.

This includes collaborations and exchanges of ideas from which products and concepts transversal to the different disciplines are born, intended to interpret the present, improve life and plan the future.

Image credit: GESSI

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,” wrote Eleanor Roosvelt; this time full of uncertainties filled the man with anxiety, leading him to give priority to negative information and feelings, so it became more difficult to focus on good things, to imagine the future, especially an attractive future.

Stress and anxiety prevent us from being able to dream. By drawing on imagination and dreams, it is possible to model the future with hope and optimism, such as the launch of a holistic Architectural Wellness program.

2 modern showers in ceilings with marble walls

Image credit: GESSI

Have we stopped dreaming?

“When my daughter was seven, one day she asked me what I was doing at work. I told her I was working in college – my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared at me in disbelief and then said: “do you mean that they forgot hot to draw?” – Howard Ikemoto (artist and art professor).

There is something wonderfully simple in the way children see life. it’s a way of seeing where everything is possible and this means that they don’t see any reason why they can’t grow up to become an astronaut, a cowboy or a princess.

For some reason, we stopped dreaming. We actually stopped believing that dreams were possible.

“All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream at night In the dusty recesses of their minds wake up during the day to discover that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, because they can carry out their daydreams, to make it possible.” – T. E. Lawrence

The founder of Gessi talks about the horizon line that goes away every time you try to reach it. “The real meaning of life” says the entrepreneur, “is in that path that brings you closer to the goal, not the goal itself and the values that accompany this path are as fundamental as the people who get on the boat with you.”

Modern bathroom

Image credit: GESSI

In a few words is expressed all the philosophy of Gessi: a continuous trend towards improvement, positivity, courage and a success based on people, humanity and feelings. In a nutshell, the ability  to dream big.

“The important thing is to start dreaming again,” says Mr. Gessi, “we need to imagine big, almost unthinkable things; new Eiffel towers, new pyramids, we need to go back to the moon”.

That’s true, a pragmatic  need for tangible things, bridges, road, seems to be prevalent but we also need a new access to the poetry of things, to return to see butterflies in the city, to recreate an access to the imagination of beauty, of the magnificent.

Why is it important to dream?

Gessi recalls, according to scientific researchers, that once we project ourselves into a dream, changes begin to occur in our brain, we establish neurological traces that literally change our brain to make it look like the brain of the future. In other words, the brain begins to make us feel that the future we want to create has already happened.

When we feel the emotions of our future- whether it’s gratitude, joy, freedom, abundance, enthusiasm, love and so on – creative thoughts in the mind can become real experience: the body receives the chemical signals of these emotions, essentially the body receives the signal that the event has already occurred.

The greatest projects, the greatest entrepreneurial stories always arise from imagination. This is more true than ever for food, fashion and design industries.

Gessi has always thought of the bathroom as “private spaces” of the living, where personal needs, exceeding the functional aspect, are satisfied at an higher level and in a high and “other” dimension by the everyday and the usual, therefore places that go beyond the reality of their hygienic function, they draw on the dream, the emotional sphere, the psychophysical pleasure.

The bathroom brand believes that innovating means fulfilling dreams and anticipating needs. Its projects are born from creative freedom and from an always original trait, with a passion for objects that free themselves from codified and prescribed function to reinvent themselves to new uses: empathetic, friendly, enjoyable objects. Objects that improve people’s lives.

Gessi 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, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Gessi

Conrad Hotels & Resorts to debut in Spain

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Conrad Hotels & Resorts to debut in Spain

Conrad Costa del Sol, Spain’s first Conrad Hotels & Resorts property, is slated to open in early 2022…

Hilton has announced the signing of an agreement to open the Conrad Costa del Sol – a 194-key luxury resort set to bring ‘a new level of contemporary luxury’ to the Andalusian coast.

Owned by Markway Inversiones S.L., a company of the Platinum Estates Group, the property will be managed by Hilton and is set to open at the beginning of 2022, and will mark the Conrad brand’s arrival in Spain.

“The Costa del Sol is an incredibly popular destination with holidaymakers from all over Europe and beyond, thanks to its year-round good weather, expansive beaches and stunning scenery,” said Carlos Miró, Hilton’s Managing Director of Development for Spain and Portugal.” This property – our first Conrad Hotels & Resorts property in Spain – represents an important step for Hilton, as we look to expand our footprint of luxury properties across Europe. We look forward to welcoming guests to this stunning hotel.”

Roshni Mohinani, President of Platinum Estates ltd. added: “We are delighted to announce our agreement with Hilton to operate this hotel under the prestigious Conrad brand, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with our valued partners in the local community to bring this project to life. The beautiful Costa del Sol continues to attract domestic and international tourists alike, and we see great potential for investment in this area.”

The new hotel will join a collection of award-winning Conrad Hotels and Resorts spanning five continents. Each property features contemporary luxury experience, intuitive service and infinite connections with local culture, powered by the latest innovation.

The new hotel will join a collection of award-winning Conrad Hotels and Resorts spanning five continents. Each property features contemporary luxury experience, intuitive service and infinite connections with local culture, powered by the latest innovation.

Conrad Costa del Sol will be no exception, boasting stunning sea views from its vantage point in the Andalusian hills, with spacious contemporary guestrooms and expansive luxurious facilities including a large spa with indoor pool, multiple outdoor pools, two bars and a high-end restaurant. The Costa del Sol’s vast coastline, which is home to more beaches than any other area of the Andalucía region, is a five-minute drive away.

“This property, which exemplifies the contemporary design, beautiful facilities and connection to local culture with personalised experiences which guests expect from the Conrad brand, is a fitting first entry into Spain.” – Nils-Arne Schroeder, Global Head for Conrad Hotels & Resorts.

“From Bora Bora, Koh Samui and The Maldives in Asia to the Algarve and Istanbul in Europe, the Conrad brand is renowned for its award-winning hotels and resorts,” explained Nils-Arne Schroeder, Global Head for Conrad Hotels & Resorts. “This property, which exemplifies the contemporary design, beautiful facilities and connection to local culture with personalised experiences which guests expect from the Conrad brand, is a fitting first entry into Spain. We aim to bring the sophistication of the Conrad brand to key locations all over the world and we are looking forward to introducing our unique luxury to the Costa del Sol.”

The Costa del Sol attracts millions of international and domestic tourists each year, with visitors drawn to its sandy coastline, glamourous harbours and charming remote villages. The area benefits from excellent rail and air connections to the rest of Spain, Continental Europe and the UK from Malaga, which is located just over an hour from the resort.

The Conrad Costa del Sol will join a portfolio of exquisite luxury hotels across the world, including Conrad Algarve – home to Gusto by Heinz Beck, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island and Conrad BaliConrad Bora Bora and Conrad Koh Samui.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

Building which will be the rosewood hotel in Shanghai

Rosewood announces new hotel in Shanghai

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Rosewood announces new hotel in Shanghai

Shanghai is a strategic addition to the Rosewood Hotels & Resorts brand, expanding its footprint in Asia. Rosewood Shanghai will join nine properties in operation and six in development across the continent…

Following recent announcements from the luxury brand to open hotels in St Barths, Madrid and Sardinia, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has been appointed by Shanghai-based property development company, Lonsen Land Group, to manage Rosewood Shanghai.

Building which will be the rosewood hotel in Shanghai

The new 200-key hotel in mainland China, which will join nine properties in operation in the continent, is set to break ground in 2022, with an expected opening in 2028.

Ideally situated in the heart of Shanghai’s Jing’An District and Suhewan area, an emerging business and cultural hub, Rosewood Shanghai will offer travellers unparalleled access to the city. The announcement of Rosewood Shanghai underscores the brand’s careful, selective growth strategy in Asia and across the globe, as well as the strength of its impressive property pipeline, which is now the most robust in Rosewood’s history.

Occupying prime real estate within a mixed-use project designed by renowned international studio Foster + Partners, Rosewood Shanghai is set to transform the city skyline. Occupying the top floors of the site’s landmark building, which will be one of the tallest complexes in the city’s Puxi district at 320 meters, the hotel will deliver unique design conceived to showcase its expansive views of the metropolis. In keeping with the brand’s guiding A Sense of Place® philosophy, the destination’s storied history, rich culture and dynamic spirit will serve as additional inspiration for the property’s design ethos and bespoke programming.

“The country’s largest city and economic hub, Shanghai embodies several of our key brand values – innovation, creativity and originality.” – Sonia Cheng, chief executive officer of Rosewood Hotel Group.

“As we continue to grow the brand throughout Asia and specifically mainland China, Shanghai has long been a priority destination in which to plant the Rosewood flag,” said Sonia Cheng, chief executive officer of Rosewood Hotel Group. “The country’s largest city and economic hub, Shanghai embodies several of our key brand values – innovation, creativity and originality. We are thrilled to bring a new standard of luxury to the region and thank our partners at Lonsen Land Group for the opportunity they’ve given us to do so.”

Rosewood Shanghai will offer 200 guestrooms and suites, five food and beverage establishments and Asaya, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts’ revolutionary wellness concept.

“For many, Shanghai is known as “Mo Du”, the Magic City; cherished for its rich cultural heritage, modern lifestyle offerings and captivating social scenes,” says Mr Ruan Xingxiang, chairman of Lonsen Land Group. “With the brand’s A Sense of Place® philosophy and referencing to the success story of its trophy property in Hong Kong, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts makes an ideal partner of us to reinvent Shanghai’s charm as a destination to the affluential explorers from around the world.”

Rosewood Shanghai will join Rosewood’s collection of distinguished city and resort properties in Greater China, which currently includes Rosewood Hong Kong, Rosewood Beijing, Rosewood Sanya and Rosewood Guangzhou. Additional projects in development in the region include Rosewood Chengdu and Rosewood Ningbo, both set to open in 2023, along with Rosewood Shenzhen and Rosewood Taipei, which are planned to open in 2024.

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Sneak peek: inside “the most stylish hotel in Crete”

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sneak peek: inside “the most stylish hotel in Crete”

CAYO Exclusive Resort and Spa – one of Greece’s most hotly-anticipated new hotel in 2021 – is expected to open in Crete on August 1. Ahead of the doors opening this weekend, Hotel Designs got a sneak peek inside…

It must come as a compliment to the Italian designer Gian Paolo Venier that his latest hotel project, CAYO Exclusive Resort and Spa, which opens this weekend, is already being hailed ‘Crete’s most stylish hotel’.

Taking luxury, gastronomy and design to a new level on the island, the property will open with a mind-body balancing spa, four gastronomic restaurants, stylish rooms, suites and villas with private plunge pools and unrivalled vistas of Spinalonga Island.

A stone’s throw from sought-after Elounda, CAYO is situated in peaceful Plaka, a quaint village lined with boutiques, traditional tavernas and a sun-soaked beach.

Image credit: CAYO

“CAYO was created with the environment in mind – alongside its innovative reusable energy sources, guests are greeted with a seedling, which they can plant anywhere around the resort.”

Drawing from a calming and neutral palette, Venier has blended cool greys, soft blues and greens with brushed marble, chic glass and stone in a nod toward the historical locale and architecture of nearby ancient city of Olous.

Image credit: CAYO

Awash with natural daylight, guestrooms and suites offer uninterrupted views of the ocean, complete with private terrace and heated plunge pool. CAYO was created with the environment in mind – alongside its innovative reusable energy sources, guests are greeted with a seedling, which they can plant anywhere around the resort. 

Image credit: CAYO

With a farm to fork ethos, the menus at CAYO’s four restaurants use the freshest seasonal produce, locally-sourced from selected eco-friendly farms and the resort’s own organic garden. Curated by Chef Lefteris Lazarou, the first Greek chef to be awarded with one Michelin Star, dishes range from authentic Greek to modern Mediterranean fare. In the spa, ancient rituals are combined with cutting-edge treatment techniques, based around the concept of the spiritual, cultural and natural environment.

Image credit: CAYO

Promising to promote inner-peace and restore wellness, CAYO Spa houses three spacious treatment rooms, steam, sauna and relaxation pool. From Yoga and Pilates to detox therapies and mental wellbeing, the fitness centre takes guests on a personalised journey, and the expert team are on hand to curate a 360’ programme. 

While you cannot question the thoughtful design scheme and meaningful hospitality initiatives that the hotel shelters, the jury is out as to whether this is the most stylish hotel in Crete. Feel free to let us know your thoughts over on Twitter. Whether or not it deserves that bold status, there is no denying that its opening will take the destination’s luxury and gastronomy status up a rank or two. 

Image credit: CAYO

Hotel Designs LIVE: ‘eco warrior’ Bill Bensley confirmed as headline speaker

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs LIVE: ‘eco warrior’ Bill Bensley confirmed as headline speaker

Back by popular demand, following last months debut event, Hotel Designs LIVE, which will take place on October 13, has  announced the renowned ‘eco warrior’ Bill Bensley as its headline speaker…

Last month, the industry gathered for Hotel Designs’ debut virtual conference, which broadcasted a series of debates and discussions.

Following the positive response, highlighting how well the virtual event was received, Hotel Designs LIVE (part two) will welcome yet more internationally renowned designers, architects and hoteliers in order to start relevant conversations like no other.

If you are designer, architect, hotelier or developer, click here to secure your complimentary virtual seat in the audience for Hotel Designs LIVE on October 13.

The next edition of Hotel Designs LIVE, which takes place on October 13, will focus on sustainability, adding personality in public areas, reassuring the post-corona consumer and the revival of smart technology post-pandemic.

Editor Hamish Kilburn, who will host the event, explains: “When we launched Hotel Designs LIVE as a meaningful way to keep the industry connected throughout lockdown, it was our mission to select engaging and thought-provoking topics that would resonate with our audience. The next Hotel Designs LIVE will look past the short-term issues and solutions that emerged during the pandemic, and will instead focus the editorial lens on wider topics, with sustainability expecting to dominate the general tone of the event. It is important to for us to continue discussing new ways to challenge conventional ideas in order to find sustainable, alternative methods when it comes to design and service – and who better to discuss this than the eco-warrior himself, Bill Bensley?”

Affectionately known as the ‘Willy Wonka of Design’, Bensley is a dedicated eco-warrior and a highly qualified jack of all trades – gardener, fisherman, architect, interior designer, lover of all things natural, and most of all, a wide-ranging explorer of as many corners of the earth as he can. Most recently, he made headlines for unveiling his plans to design a human zoo after publishing his white-paper on sensible sustainable solutions.

Sustainability is at the core of everything I create as a designer.” – Bill Bensley.

When interviewed by Hotel Designs in 2018, the award-winning designer described himself in three words as: “serious, inquisitive and wacky”. Bringing all that energy to discuss innovative and sustainable solutions, Bensley will join Kilburn on the virtual stage to explore how design, architecture and hospitality can coincide with nature. “Sustainability is at the core of everything I create as a designer,” Bensley told Hotel Designs. “I am simply ecstatic to join Hamish Kilburn for Hotel Designs LIVE where we will talk about how, as an industry, it is essential for us to work together to design hotels with meaning, and rework conventional ideas and methods in the process – all to create a more profound and considerate international hotel design landscape that puts nature first.”

Hotel Designs LIVE takes place virtually on October 13. Bensley is first speaker of the event who has been announced, with the full panel being unveiled next week.

If you are a designer, architect, hotelier  or developer and would like to find out more about Hotel Designs LIVE, or book on to any or all of the above sessions, you can do so by visiting the event page.

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

Hyatt announces plans for its debut hotel in Cyprus

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hyatt announces plans for its debut hotel in Cyprus

Grand Hyatt Limassol, set to open in Cyprus in 2025, will mark a significant milestone for Hyatt’s growth in Europe…

Weeks after IHG announced its arrival on the island, Hyatt has also announced that the group has entered into a management agreement to open the first Hyatt hotel in Cyprus.

With a design and architecture team yet to be assembled, the 300-room luxury resort is expected to open in 2025 and signifies Hyatt’s continued growth into Europe’s leading travel destinations.

The new-build beachfront resort will be situated at a Blue Flag beach east of Limassol, one of the island’s most cosmopolitan cities. With a prime beachfront location on the southern coast of the island and 300 bold, light-filled rooms offering sea views, Grand Hyatt Limassol will be a captivating destination within a destination featuring a stunning 43,000-square-foot (4,000 square meter) beach club including premium spa and fitness facilities as well as an indoor pool and two outdoor pools.

The resort will additionally offer five elevated food and beverage concepts as well as 15,000 square feet (1,400 square meters) of event space. Furthermore, Grand Hyatt Limassol will be a key element of Zaria Resort, a mixed-use luxury development, comprised of residential apartments and private villas totalling more than 861,100 square feet (80,000 square meters).

“We’re delighted to work with Anolia Holdings Limited to bring the Grand Hyatt brand, known for its access to iconic locales, to the island of Cyprus, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe,” said Takuya Aoyama, vice president development for Europe and Africa, Hyatt. “Grand Hyatt Limassol represents a key element of our growth strategy in Europe as we continue to seek opportunities to extend our resort footprint in the Mediterranean.”

Arriving guests will drive past the lush greenery of the hotel’s 150,000-square-foot (14,000-square-meter) public garden and promenades and enjoy a spectacular view of the Mediterranean. The resort promises to be a celebration of all the exquisite details of Cypriot culture, offering guests a stay beyond the ordinary through magnificent moments of more and superior service.

“We are thrilled to team-up with Hyatt on this development,” said Alexander Iakovlev, director of Anolia Holdings “The Grand Hyatt brand is synonymous with luxury and creating unique experiences for guests which remain authentic to the destination itself. In addition, given Limassol’s status as a financial capital of Cyprus, the hotel will not only attract leisure guests but may also prove popular for business travelers, conference-goers and event attendees. We are eager to see Grand Hyatt Limassol become the heart of the Zaria Resort development.”

The announcement of Grand Hyatt Limassol follows a significant expansion in Hyatt’s brand footprint in Europe over the last 12 months. Nine new hotels including Great Scotland Yard, Hyatt Centric Dublin, Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere, Hyatt Regency Chantilly and more opened in the region in 2019, with four more additions in Barcelona, Manchester and Frankfurt this year.

These plans for a hotel in Cyprus represent a key opportunity in Europe as it builds upon Hyatt’s existing and upcoming portfolio in Malta, Athens Thessaloniki and Izmir. The island has furthermore proven to attract travellers from Hyatt’s key strategic markets including the UK, Russia, Greece, Germany and the Middle East.

Main image credit: Hyatt

The Brit List Awards 2020: meet the judges

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Brit List Awards 2020: meet the judges

Now that nominations have officially opened for The Brit List Awards 2020, we would like you to meet this year’s judging panel, which has been carefully selected to include international experts in design, architecture and hotel development…

Here at Hotel Designs, it has become tradition, after nominations and applications have opened for The Brit List Awards, for us to then announce the judges.

In previous years, these experts were selected from all corners of the industry, including respected associations, award-winning travel journalists, stylists and developers.

This year, as well as continuing our firm relationship with the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) by welcoming both the President and the Past-President as judges, we have taken our search global to find this year’s individuals who will sit on the judging panel.

To enter or nominate someone for The Brit List Awards 2020 (for FREE), click here.

Without further a due, the judges for The Brit List Awards 2020 are:

Lester Bennett, President, BIID

As a Chartered Designer with 30 years experience, Lester Bennett, who has recently started his presidential year at the BIID, has covered many areas of design from running his own practice to being Design Director for the residential development company Westcity. He has built up a stunning portfolio of high profile residential developments both in the UK and overseas.

Ahead of the announcement that the BIID has become an industry Partner for The Brit List Awards for a third year running, Bennett Commented: “In these extremely difficult times, the BIID, as the professional body for interior designers, is offering real support and advice to our membership and by once again partnering The Brit List Awards, this opportunity to showcase the wealth of talent we have in the UK will, I am sure, further encourage a positive future outlook.”

Harriet Forde, Past-President, BIID and co-host, DESIGNPOD

Harriet Forde, who was an instrumental judge last year for The Brit List Awards as has recently been named co-host of DESIGNPOD with editor Hamish Kilburn, is the founder and director of interior design firm Harriet Forde Design.

Ahead of this year’s event, Forde said: “On behalf of the BIID, we are delighted to partner with The Brit List Awards for the third year running. In these challenging times, it is important to look ahead to occasions when we will be able to come together once again, to network with fellow design professionals and celebrate the outstanding level of design within the hospitality industry.”

Alon Baranowitz and Irene Kronenberg, Co-Founders, BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG

Alon Baranowitz is a guest professor at Shenkar Collect of Engineering and Design at the Rishon Lezion College, and frequently lectures at the Technion Faulty of Architecture and Town Planning School.

BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG, which was co-founded and is led by Alon Baranowitz and Irene Kronenberg, consists of a group of talented architects and designers, all of whome have graduated from institutions around the globe, bringing their worldly cultural experience to the studio’s creative work activity.

The internationally renowned design studio, which operates from Tel Aviv, was resonsible for bringing to to life hotels such as W Amsterdam, Wyndham Grand Frankfurt, Sir Albert Hotel and Mendeli Street Hotel, and has just completed the highly anticipated W Ibiza, which will open later this year.

“We are so pleased to be joining the judging panel for The Brit List Awards 2020,” the pair told Hotel Designs. “With the future of the hospitality sector high on the agenda, we look forward to discovering the best of British talent and who will drive our industry forward into a new and transformative time.”

Erik Nissen Johansen, founder/creative director, Stylt

Erik Nissen Johansen is the founder and creative director of global award-winning hospitality design studio Stylt in Gothenburg, Sweden.

For more than 25 years, Stylt has combined concept development, interior architecture, design and branding to create unique hotel and restaurant experiences for clients all over the world. Under Erik’s leadership, Stylt has won a plethora of awards f0r his portfolio that includes more than 400 restaurants and 250 hotels.

Storytelling is Erik’s tool for bringing experiences and brands to life. Stories are always the red thread in creating the concepts, guiding every aspect of development, from brand positioning to setting of the table. This results in consistent, engaging and memorable design, which in turn creates consistent, engaging and memorable customer experiences. A Stylt story can leverage the guests themselves as marketers, creating word-of-mouth publicity. Furthermore, story-based concepts are well insulated against fluctuating fashions.

Stylt’s completed and ongoing projects include The ANDAZ by Hyatt Dubai, 25h Hotel Düsseldorf, Downtown Camper by Scandic Stockholm, Smoki Korean Marriott Dubai, LEGO House Billund, Huus Hotel Gstaad, Lydmar Stockholm, Spedition Hotel Thun Switzerland, Klaus K Helsinki, Sonya St Petersburg, Stora Hotellet Umeå, The Well Oslo, Le Rouge Stockholm, Le Pain Français Gothenburg, Creekside Villa Canmore Canada and Stenungsbaden Yacht Club Gothenburg.

Ivaylo Lefterov, Hotel Development Director, Miris

With more than 23 years of experience in the luxury hotel development and management industry, encompassing everything from site allocation and acquisition, hotel design and construction to operations and marketing/sales, Ivaylo Lefterov has an eye for quality design and hospitality.

His experience covers the establishment and development of small boutique hotels and large scale resort projects such as The Mirage, Cape Town and Umhlaba Wildlife resort, South Africa, The Cliff Beach&Spa, Bulgaria,  Cibola Vista Resort, Arizona, USA; Villas Del Mar Palmar, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. 

Currently, Lefterov is working as development director of the Svart Hotel — the worlds first energy positive hotel. 

Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs

Hamish Kilburn, who will act as head judge and will also host The Brit List Awards virtually on November 12 for a third consecutive year, is the editor of Hotel Designs, the leading international hotel design website.

In his role, Kilburn has travelled the globe, to far-flung destinations, in order to review some of the world’s most impressive hotels, and has interviewed the masterminds behind their creations. As a result, he has gained a detailed understanding as to what it takes to be at the forefront of the industry’s development and evolution.

In addition to being at the helm of the editorial desk at Hotel Designs, Kilburn is a regular speaker and host at international design, architecture and hospitality events, and is co-host of DESIGNPOD, a new podcast to serve the A+D community.

So there you have it, the judges of The Brit List Awards 2020.

To enter or nominate someone for The Brit List Awards 2020 (for FREE), click here.

The judges will be asked to select the final 75 most inspirational and influential people in British design, architecture and hospitality as well as selecting this year’s individual winners of the following awards:

  • Interior Designer of the Year
  • Architect of the Year
  • Hotelier of the Year
  • Best in Tech
  • The Eco Award 
  • Best in British Product Design
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry

On November 12, the shortlisted finalists of designers, hoteliers, architects as well as key suppliers to the industry will gather virtually where The Brit List 2020 will be unveiled along with the individual winners.

If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050. Tickets to both the virtual event and the winners party will be available to secure soon. 

Sponsors:

Crosswater | Hamilton Litestat | Duravit | Aqualisa | Schlüter Systems

IN PICTURES: inside Bellonias Villas, Santorini

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IN PICTURES: inside Bellonias Villas, Santorini

With Greece becoming a popular go-to destination post-lockdown, Hotel Designs explores the interior design story of Bellonias Villas in Santorini, created by Greek firms K Studio and Interni by Moda Bagno…

Natural, simple elegance is at the heart of Bellonias Villas, which is made up of 26 beach suites scattered alongside the black volcanic Kamari beach, on the east coast of the island of Santorini overlooking the mountain of ancient Thira.

This boutique hotel is also home to Elia Restaurant, a pool-side cocktail bar, and its own private stretch of beach, making it the ideal choice for couples and families who seek stylish, unpretentious luxury and beachside relaxation in a peaceful part of Santorini.

This is a contemporary project that conveys the passion and creativity of the local owners, in combination with the innovative & fresh thinking of up-and-coming Greek architects & artists. The exterior bar, pool area, restaurant and reception were designed by Athens-based design gurus K Studio. Interiors are by Greek company Interni by ModaBagno. Drawing inspiration from the unique landscape of Santorini, the designed environment is composed of natural materials such as wood and stone, with a contemporary aesthetic.  

Stylish white interior suite overlooking the sea

Image credit: Bellonias Villas

The hotel’s beach suites reflect this philosophy of modern elegance paired with the traditional beauty of simplicity. Pressed cement floors and built-in beds and sofas are complemented by selected designer pieces and artistic details adding flashes of colour to a largely monochrome backdrop. This fusion of traditional Cycladic elements with a modern design concept creates a sophisticated environment with a warm, natural feel. 

The 26 suites come in a variety of shapes and sizes including: 

The honeymoon suite

Image credit: Bellonias Villas

Located on the upper level of the hotel, framing direct sea views from its balcony and its private outdoor hot tub is The Honeymoon Suite. An indoor staircase separates the upper level bedroom from the lower level, which features a spacious bathroom, a fully equipped kitchenette and a living area for lounging. 

Superior Sea View Suite

Image credit: Bellonias Villas

These suites offer direct sea views from a furnished balcony or terrace, and sleep two adults in an airy open plan space, with double bed, a fully equipped kitchenette and bathroom. Sea View Suites are located either on the upper level or on the ground floor. 

Apartment Suite

Image credit: Bellonias Villas

Apartment suites, expected to be in popular demand post-pandemic, have a furnished garden view terrace or balcony, and come in a variety of sizes, comfortably accommodating up to five people – perfect for families. There is one bedroom, plus a separate living space that can become a second sleeping area if required. A fully equipped kitchenette with dining area and bathroom complete the apartment.

Studio Suite

Small but perfectly formed, the Studio Suites sleep two adults in a double or twin beds, with furnished garden view balcony or terrace, fully equipped kitchenette and bathroom. 

Elia Restaurant

Image credit: Bellonias Villas

With an inspiring open air setting, and delicious food by award-winning Chef Christos Papageorgiou, Elia is one of the finest dining options in Santorini. Set between the seafront of Kamari beach and the hotel’s chic pool area, the restaurant has a stylish yet unpretentious ambiance and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Within the hotel, a wellness area includes whirlpool tub, gym, steam, sauna and treatment room is available for guests to book on request. 

A note from the editor: If the industry has learned anything during its forced hibernation over the last few months, it’s that simplicity and authenticity is going to be a significant demand for consumers checking into the post-pandemic world. Stripping interiors to reveal a minimalist design, exposing the architecture of a building, and injecting personality into private and public areas with interesting lighting concepts, and stylish art and the use of meaningful colour – much like what Bellonias Villas does so effortlessly – is going to be 

Main image credit: Bellonias Villas

FEATURE: inside Hilton Garden Inn at Heathrow airport’s £4.2m renovation

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FEATURE: inside Hilton Garden Inn at Heathrow airport’s £4.2m renovation

For optimists, the timing couldn’t be better for Hilton Garden Inn Heathrow Airport Hotel to unveil the result of its £4.2m renovation, which now shelters new guestrooms, meeting areas and a few Covid-friendly adaptations. Editor Hamish Kilburn takes a look inside…

Following a number of openings and completed projects that have emerged since lockdown, I, like many, am feeling optimistic about the future of hospitality post-pandemic.

The latest significant project that has opened its doors following an extensive renovation is Hilton Garden Inn London Heathroom Airport Hotel – and I am pleasantly surprised by the attention to detail in the design scheme as I step inside to have a look round.

Although Hilton Garden Inn sits below some of the more desirable brands in the Hilton cluster, the hotel is fit for purpose – it is positioned steps from Hatton Cross Station, and offers easy access to all terminals at Heathrow Airport. What’s more, the newly refurbished hotel, which is the brainchild of Swedish design team DOOS, is warm, comfortable and even knocks on the door of luxury. 

Image credit: Hilton Hotels

As part of the £4.2 million renovation, all guestrooms have been refurbished, with 205 undergoing a light refurbishment and 159 undergoing a full refurbishment and upgrade to Deluxe King Rooms. Additional areas of focus include the reception, restaurant, bar, and gym. Four innovatively designed meeting rooms within the pavilion conferencing area in the gardens of the property have also been completely renovated. Further enhancements to the MICE offering include the creation of three additional meeting rooms within the main building and the renovation of a further three meeting rooms, creating a total of 10 bespoke meeting areas. 

Each guestroom boasts the brand’s signature bedding featuring fresh, white duvets and crisp linens creating the perfect balance between comfort and support.  All bedrooms are fitted with optimum design elements to create a restful stay with stylish headboards, sophisticated lighting fixtures that fill the open space and soft furnishings. The theme is maintained through the upgraded Deluxe King Rooms which offer a larger en-suite bathroom and more luxurious settings, with additional plush sofa and unique lounge design features. The new bathrooms have been completely renovated and now feature large walk-in showers and modern, spacious vanity countertops.

A total of 10 new and newly refurbished meeting and conference rooms have been added to the hotel’s offering. Three brand new distinctive meeting rooms are available in the hotel’s main event space, with the existing three rooms boasting full renovations. The refurbishment continues through the outdoor Pavilion event space located in the gardens of the hotel, where four modern and professional rooms with their own personalities have been created. With these built-for-purpose event amenities, Hilton’s professional spaces offer slick technology, modern menus and expert planners and service teams who are on hand to help guests create special and memorable experiences for up to 300 people. A new shop area has also been completed offering grab & go food, freshly brewed Piacetto coffee, refreshing cold drinks and convenient amenity travel items.

In-house guests at Hilton Garden Inn Heathrow Airport will find greater convenience and more personalised experiences with Hilton’s refurbished health and wellness facilities, including a light and spacious purpose-built gym with state of art cardio and strength equipment by Technogym including the new high-intensity Technogym Bike where you can join interactive live spin classes from One Rebel studios in London.

In response to the impact of Covid-19, the property has responded by implementing key protocols relating to cleanliness and hygiene. This has been done with the protection of customers, employees and collaborators in mind. The hotel is the first in the UK to receive the Certificate of Assurance from Bureau Veritas for its measures in response to Covid-19 prevention, as well as being a part of the rigorous Hilton CleanStay programme.

Owned by Pandox AB, Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Airport offers amenities including complimentary WiFi throughout the hotel, a 24-hour business centre, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, full cooked-to-order breakfast, craft cocktails and shareable plates for dinner, that appeal to those travelling for business or leisure.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

PRODUCT WATCH: Crogiolio tiles by Casa Ceramica

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Crogiolio tiles by Casa Ceramica

Crogiolio by Casa Ceramica is a series consisting of small-sized ceramics and stoneware tiles, with multiple identities…

Crogiolio is a collection of seven; ‘Lume, Zellige, Scenario, D_Segni Blend, D_Segni Scaglie, D_Segni Colore and D_Segni’, that together interprets the craftsmanship and manual skills of traditional potters.

This caters for contemporary taste, while retaining their uniqueness. A collective of versatile and distinctive products that incorporate ideas and impressions from past times. This collective reproduces the look and feel of tiles made by hand: inspired by the flaws typical of crafted ceramics. Carefully graduated colours create intense, constantly changing, hues. Perfect for intimate, comfortable and authentic interior design schemes.

The glossiest of glazes, vibrant textures and colours. Irregular brush-strokes and old-fashioned decorative motifs: “what looks genuinely handmade is actually the product of a sophisticated technology.” This genetic make-up is shared by all the latest additions to the Crogiolo collection, with different stylistic inputs but the same narrative strength: D_Segni Blend, Scenario, Lume and Zellige. Light and carefully calculated imperfection are the key to Lume and Zellige. This porcelain stoneware series was created through leading-edge research into ultra-glossy glazes.

Lume reinterprets the irregular beauty of hand-made majolica tiles, in the unusual 6×24 cm size. Using subtle variations in; hue, density of colour (in 6 shades), and variations in patterning, it makes every module unique and generates variegated compositions for installation with narrow joints.

Zellige, on the other hand, is the 10×10 cm version of the traditional, exceptionally glossy, Moroccan glazed terracotta tiles. Its irregular edges, textures and colours (12) create the perfect replication of an exotic, hand-crafted product.

Strong graphic motifs and geometric patterns make up the identity of Scenario. A 20×20 cm stoneware with a “brush-stroke” effect inspired by the Marazzi collection of the same name, created by painter and potter Venerio Martini in 1958. The uneven application of the colour recalls the hand-decoration process in used at the time. There are two surface variants: Semi Matt in three colours, suitable for the floors and walls of residential and light commercial locations, and Ultra-Glossy in five colours with a Mediterranean flavour.

The new StepWise technology is central to D_Segni Blend. The collection of porcelain stoneware cement tiles in the 20×20 cm and 10×10 cm sizes are produced with latest-generation glazes. This provides a super-matt surface combined with a wealth of colour, in more than 40 pattern varieties and multiple tones of the same shade. All of D_Segni is enhanced by the ornamental exuberance of the mix decors, with 16 different motifs. All six colours in the range offer outstanding anti-slip performances, with no reduction in the soft surface “feel”. The resulting product is both; poetic, high-tech and, like all the other Crogiolo collection series, has a special ability to bring tradition into contemporary architecture.

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

Main image credit: Casa Ceramica

Marriott International opens 800th property in Asia Pacific

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Marriott International opens 800th property in Asia Pacific

A milestone opening underscores the continued development of the Marriott International portfolio in Asia Pacific with brand debuts expected across the region throughout 2020…

Months after claiming to open more than 30 luxury properties in 2020, Marriott International has announced the opening of its 800th property in Asia Pacific, the JW Marriott Nara, marking the brand’s the entry into Japan.

The company also expects the EDITION and Aloft brands to debut in Japan before the end of the year. Across the Asia Pacific region throughout 2020, the Moxy brand anticipates its first hotel opening in China.

“We are encouraged by recent trends, especially in China, where demand has been driven primarily by domestic tourism.” – Craig S. Smith, Group President, Asia Pacific for Marriott International

“We remain confident in the resilience of travel, our owners and franchisees, guests and associates as well as the future prospects of lodging in Asia Pacific, our second largest market, ” said Craig S. Smith, Group President, Asia Pacific for Marriott International. “We are encouraged by recent trends, especially in China, where demand has been driven primarily by domestic tourism, and we will continue to focus on strengthening our footprint in this important, growing market.”

The group in Asia Pacific has, on average, added close to 80 hotels per year in the last three years, with its pipeline growing by nearly 10 percent annually over the same time period. In the first half of 2020 alone, the company recorded 73 new signings, including 43 in the Greater China region.

“These highly anticipated brand debuts are a testament to the confidence that the owner and franchisee community has in Asia Pacific, as well as Marriott International’s long-term vision, especially in today’s challenging business climate,” said Paul Foskey, Chief Development Officer, Marriott International, Asia Pacific. “Our owners and franchisees trust and choose Marriott International because of our overall reputation for product quality, our powerful and differentiated portfolio of brands, our Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program with more than 142 million global members, and our proven track record of operational excellence.”

In the last three years, the hotel group in Asia Pacific saw a 20 per cent increase in the number of conversion hotels added to the portfolio on an annual basis. Conversions allow owners and franchisees to plug into the Marriott system at a quicker pace compared to opening a new build hotel. This year, the company signed Singapore’s first two Autograph Collection hotels – Marriott International’s dynamic collection of independent hotels that champions individuality – both anticipated to fly the Autograph Collection brand flag in 2021.

With six billion domestic trips made to China in 2019 alone, largely attributed to a rise in average disposable income, demand for brands positioned at a moderate price-point has gained momentum among both travellers and hotel owners. To meet this growing demand and support franchisees, the group has introduced an “Enhanced Franchise” model. Under this model, Marriott will appoint a general manager for the first year of a hotel’s opening to help train and equip franchisees to leverage Marriott’s powerful systems.

Marriott International recently debuted the AC Hotels by Marriott brand in Asia Pacific with three AC by Marriott hotels in Malaysia earlier this year and the AC Hotels Tokyo Ginza earlier this month. AC Hotels by Marriott celebrates the beauty of modern design with its European soul and Spanish roots with hotels that are intuitively designed. Also in Japan and situated on the edge of a 1,300-year-old garden set on former royal palace grounds, the 158-room JW Marriott Nara is the first offering from the JW Marriott brand in the country. Additionally, expected to open by the end of this year, the EDITION Toranomon in Tokyo is slated to be the brand’s debut in the country.

With millennials expected to return to travel first, the anticipated opening of the Moxy Shanghai Xujiahui this year is expected to be an ideal addition to the vibrant cosmopolitan city. The millennial-focused Moxy brand features lively public spaces, minimalist design elements and rooms fitted with custom furniture that offers a playful style of traveling.

Note from the editor: while milestones like these should be celebrated as exceptional achievements, it’s also worth understanding that, as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, the demand for hotel development, hospitality and tourism in this region specifically is expected to suffer. It is therefore my hope that familiar hotel brands, like the ones that Marriott International shelters, will re-engage with the modern traveller, giving them much needed assurance to explore destinations beyond their reach once more in the post-pandemic world.

Main image credit: Marriott International

FEATURE: Geberit lifts the lid on bathroom hygiene

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FEATURE: Geberit lifts the lid on bathroom hygiene

While the fallout from Covid-19 has been felt everywhere, it’s fair to say that the impact has been particularly felt in the hotel industry. Here, Sophie Weston, channel marketing manager at Geberit, discusses the ‘new normal’ and examines the significance of the bathroom space in putting hygiene front-of-mind – and how existing product design and innovation can help shape the future for hotels…

From July 4, hotels began the process of re-opening their doors after more than three months of lockdown – and, just like everywhere else, guests are seeing an entirely ‘new normal’. Among the new measures implemented by many hotels are keeping check-in as short as possible, introducing queueing systems and minimising lift usage.

Yet one of the biggest shifts for guests is a move towards a more touchless experience. Using phone, emails and guests’ apps, alongside contactless payments and pre-payments, are all initiatives being encouraged where possible. As the general manager of  The Four Seasons Hotel in New York City – used by medics during the height of the pandemic as a self-proclaimed guinea pig for the industry – observed about this new trend: “…(it) is completely against a hotel’s nature of being hands-on and kind. We used to be known for the human touch — but now we’re all about no touch at all….”

Going touchless?

What the pandemic has taught us is that direct contact with others or surfaces can easily spread the transmission of the virus. This has been responsible for a huge change in consumer behaviour – according to research, 80 per cent of consumers expect to now change the way they engage with publicly available technology[1].

But what of the hotel washroom – a natural focus for the highest standards of cleanliness and where hygiene is particularly crucial?

Just last year, for example, P&G Professional found that 78 per cent of hotel guests believed cleanliness to be the most important factor when deciding where to stay.[2] Indeed, a ‘fresh smelling bathroom’ and ‘an immaculate bathroom’ were the top two choices for UK travellers when searching for a hotel room. This survey was undertaken in September – a lifetime ago in Covid-19 terms. So one can only imagine just how even more critical the washroom space will now be for our hotel guests.

Modern, sleek bathroom

Image credit: Geberit

Importance of the washroom space

It’s worth touching briefly upon the history of the bathroom and its evolution alongside disease prevention to put the significance of the space in a little more context. Today’s bathrooms developed alongside the 1950’s cholera epidemic, the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic and tuberculosis outbreaks. Back then, wallpaper, floorings and finishes were all designed to minimise the spread of bacteria and to promote health and hygiene; the need for bathrooms to be easily cleaned was a crucial consideration.

In later years, when antibiotics and hygiene standards improved, the emphasis shifted from disease prevention in the bathroom. Bathrooms evolved into more sensory spaces, with trends like textured bathrooms in the 70s and into the 80s where carpets and toilet seat covers were ‘stylish’ additions in the space. More recent decades have seen the transformation of the bathroom into a sanctuary, with innovations such as bluetooth and infra-red technology developing alongside this. And hotels have, too, adapted their bathrooms in line with these consumer trends over the years.

So what will the legacy of Covid-19 be in the ‘new normal’ bathroom and what will this mean for the hotel sector?

Product innovations

With touchless technology likely to be the new norm, this is, too, something we at Geberit are now seeing unprecedented demand for from our customers. Manufacturers have, of course, been producing touchless products for many years. Infra-red wall-mounted taps, for example, such as Geberit’s Brenta and Piave products, optimise hand hygiene in high footfall public washrooms and work in conjunction with a pre-wall frame system. Likewise, touchless WC flush controls like Geberit’s Sigma80 and Sigma10 incorporate innovations such as a sensor that allows the unit to flush as soon as the toilet has been used. Making the washroom space touchless wherever possible will be a huge consideration for hotels, particularly in high footfall public areas.

But it’s not just this infra-red technology that can help put hygiene front-of-mind. More simple product developments from manufacturers – for instance, Geberit’s KeraTect Glaze – make cleaning easier with a non-porous and smoother surface; such glazes can also help prevent staining of the ceramics and create a high-gloss, effect.  Solutions like this not only help maintain high levels of hygiene but also, crucially, really help to enhance the look and feel of the bathroom as a ‘clean’ space.

Similarly, developments such as Geberit’s Rimfree ceramic appliances and TurboFlush technology can eliminate tricky corners and hard-to-reach areas around the pan, with removable toilet seats also helping eradicate any hidden areas where dust and bacteria may proliferate.

Image credit: Geberit

Another area we’re predicting real growth in is wall-hung toilets and sanitaryware. Lifting the toilet from the floor naturally makes maintenance and cleaning much easier; and once again, with no hard to reach areas, dirt and dust accumulation is significantly reduced. Alongside this, we predict a strong future for the growth of the shower toilet, with products such as Geberit AquaClean providing guests with the ultimate hygienic experience.

Hotels will, naturally, have to look at all these considerations alongside the wider guest experience of the washroom space. Hotel washrooms are increasingly seen as a place of sanctuary; indeed at Geberit we produced a White Paper in 2017 on the importance of establishing the bathroom as a sensory space and a retreat from our ‘always on’ world. As the trend for selling ‘experiences’ and creating an escapism for guests continues, so too will the value of creating a unique, positive guest experience. And this will need to be carefully balanced when incorporating any new designs and technology.

Image credit: Geberit

Hygiene as a selling point?

The future will no doubt look quite different for hotels as they start to rebuild business – but there are encouraging signs. Knight Frank is confident about the sector’s potential recovery from Covid, predicting occupancy growth beginning slowly in Q3 followed by substantially stronger growth in Q4 as travel confidence returns.[3]

The industry has, of course, been looking at new standards and new ways of working during the peak of the pandemic. The UK Housekeepers’ Association (UKHA) announced the launch of a new ‘Housekeeping COVID-19 Secure Standard’, designed to provide an industry-wide approach to cleaning and offering a clear process for housekeepers and accommodation managers to follow – in line with government guidelines. With more than 700 members at UKHA, the standard will be available to hotels across the sector.

Meanwhile, the AA’s Covid Confident accreditation scheme, announced in June, is aimed at boosting public confidence as lockdown measures ease with premises indicating that they have the necessary health and safety measures in place to reopen to the public.

What will be significant about this focus on hygiene is that, while the vast majority of hotels will undoubtedly always have had the hygiene of their guests as a priority, it has never needed to be a unique selling point. Until now.

At a time when the pandemic has thrust hygiene into the spotlight, the onus is now on manufacturers and hotels to work together to find not only hygienically-optimised products but solutions and designs that also reinforce the perception of a clean space.

As one US architect observed, what is significant about these periods of disease is that “architects are often inspired to come up with fresh ideas during these moments.” And this will need to apply to manufacturers too, as we continue to innovate and work in partnership with the hotel sector to help them adapt to these new times.

Geberit 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, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Geberit

Morris & Co. collaborates with architectural designer Ben Pentreath for AW20 collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Morris & Co. collaborates with architectural designer Ben Pentreath for AW20 collection

Ben Pentreath, renowned architectural and interior designer, collaborates with Morris & Co. to create a joyous collection of colour and iconic pattern, new for AW20. Hotel Designs explores…

Ben Pentreath’s Queen Square collection for Morris & Co. is the result of a seamless meeting of minds between an iconic brand and one of the country’s most sought after interior designers.

The latest collection, which was named after the street that sheltered the Morris & Co factory and showroom, features designs across 18 fabrics and 18 wallpapers and creates nostalgic familiarity.

“It was a wonderful experience to be let loose in the Morris & Co.” – Ben Pentreath, architectural and interior designer.

Now, more than ever, the world is in a reflective mood, finding pleasure in the simple things; an ethos shared by William Morris, who designed from a place of appreciation and understanding. With a love of the English countryside and the beauty that surrounds us, this collection showcases the longevity of expertly crafted design, filling our hopes and hearts with positivity.

“I’ve always loved the designs of William Morris, and we’ve used his superb, timeless papers and fabrics in many of our decoration projects over the years,” said Pentreath. “So it was a wonderful experience to be let loose in the Morris & Co. archive: we’ve taken many original patterns, and recoloured them in a palette of my favourite colours, to cast his designs in a completely new light.”

Claire Vallis, creative director at Morris & Co. adds: “Working with Ben has been the most wonderful experience – his knowledge and clear vision have been instrumental in how we’ve used the products. Combining our passions to create his vision has been phenomenal, and seeing patterns that we know so well in a completely different light is incredibly exciting. We’re delighted with how joyful this collection is.”

Preserving the integrity of Morris’s production methods has been paramount throughout this collection, with all 18 wallpapers surface printed on paper to retain their original look and feel. Similarly cotton/linen cloths provide the closest match to archival Morris & Co. design books, with each design screen printed for an unrivalled intensity of colour.

Queen Square will be styled exclusively by Ben at his stunning Dorset home, with photography featuring in the collection’s design books. Revival designs such as Blackthorn and Daffodil appear alongside the much- loved Willow Bough wallpaper and the favourite scrolling frescos of Bachelor’s Button fabric and wallpaper. Saturated colours exult at the wonder of life, leaning towards an altogether brighter future and the enduring legacy of exceptional design.

Morris & Co. 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, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Morris & Co.

The Brit List Awards 2020: applications are open and FREE

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Brit List Awards 2020: applications are open and FREE

FREE TO APPLY: Hotel Designs’ The Brit List Awards is back for another year to identify the leading interiors designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers operating in Britain…

Following last year’s spectacular event, The Brit List Awards is back for another year, and the nationwide search to find Britain’s leading interior designers, hoteliers and architects starts here.

Nominations for all categories are now open – and, what’s more, the process in which to apply or nominate someone deserving for The Brit List Awards 2020 remains completely free.

FREE TO ENTER: Simply click here to apply/nominate for The Brit List Awards 2020.

Once all nominations have been received by the closing date of August 27, the judging panel – made up of figures from across the hospitality, design and architecture sectors – will select the final 75 most inspirational and influential people in British design, hotels and architecture, as well as selecting this year’s individual winners of the following awards:

  • Interior Designer of the Year
  • Architect of the Year
  • Hotelier of the Year
  • Best in Tech
  • The Eco Award 
  • Best in British Product Design
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry

“The Brit List Awards 2020 will take place as a virtual event on November 12, with a live winners party scheduled for January 28 2021 at Minotti London.”

Unlike previous years, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, The Brit List Awards 2020 will take place as a virtual event on November 12, with a live winners party scheduled for January 28 2021 at Minotti London. Katy Phillips, publisher at Hotel Designs, explains: “While we would prefer to physically bridge the gap between all of our shortlisted finalists by hosting a live awards ceremony, we have made the sensible decision to carry out this year’s awards ceremony virtually,” she explains. “However, in order to ensure that we are offering the valuable networking element of our event, we look forward to welcoming the shortlisted finalists, the winners and key-industry suppliers to our live winners’ party celebration as part of MEET UP London in January 2021 at Minotti London.”

Over the last three years, The Brit List Awards has becoming a significant event in the design, architecture and hospitality calendar, as Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs, explains: “The Brit List Awards was born out of the concept to celebrate Britain as a major design and hospitality hub,” he says. “Arguably, it is more important this year than any other year before to mark that success while celebrating the talented individuals who are continuing to design innovative spaces on the international design scene. It is therefore my pleasure to host this year’s event, albeit virtually, and I cannot wait to personally congratulate the winners when we all meet again in January 2021 for the winners’ party.”

If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050. Tickets to both the virtual event and the winners party will be available to secure soon. 

Sponsors:

Hotel Designs updates in-house event calendar

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Hotel Designs updates in-house event calendar

In the wake of pandemic, Hotel Designs has made a few amendments to this year’s in-house event calendar. Editor Hamish Kilburn explains…

The internal whole team at Hotel Designs and Forum Events have been working tireless, reacting to the latest government guidelines, in order to organise premium networking events that are safe and effective for designers, hoteliers, architects, developers and key-industry suppliers.

Ahead of officially opening nominations for The Brit List Awards 2020, here’s some clarification around the latest amendments to this year’s in-house events.

Hotel Designs LIVE | October 13, 2020 | Virtual event

The next Hotel Designs LIVE will take place on October 13 (more details on the line-up and how to participate coming soon).

In order to continue to create conversations like no other, Hotel Designs has launched Hotel Designs LIVE, a one-day virtual conference to serve the industry during the Covid-19 crisis.  

In addition to the live seminar sessions – and to ensure that the event is bridging the gap between hospitality suppliers and designers, architects, hoteliers and developers – the conference also included structured ‘PRODUCT WATCH’ pitches around each session, allowing suppliers the opportunity to pitch their products and services in a ‘live’ environment to the hospitality buyers that are tuned in.

The inaugural Hotel Designs LIVE, which took place online on June 23, defined the point on international hotel design’s most relevant topics with the help of some of design, architecture and hospitality’s leading figures as well as identifying the latest product innovations on the market.

#HotelDesignsLIVE

The Brit List Awards 2020 | November 12, 2020 | Virtual event

The Brit List Awards is back for another year to identify the leading interiors designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers operating in Britain.

Following last year’s spectacular event, the nationwide search to find Britain’s leading interior designers, hoteliers and architects has begun.

Unlike previous years, due to the outbreak of Covid-19, The Brit List Awards 2020 will take place as a virtual event on November 12, with a live winners’ party (MEET UP London) scheduled for January 28 2021 at Minotti London.

Simply click here to apply/nominate free of charge for The Brit List Awards 2020.

Sponsors:

#TheBritListAwards2020

MEET UP London/The Brit List Winners’ Party | January 28, 2021 | Minotti London

For Hotel Designs’ first live networking event staged since lockdown, The Brit List Awards 2020 is gatecrashing MEET UP London.

Sheltered safely inside Minotti London’s premium and spacious Fitzrovia showroom, MEET UP London will welcome the shortlisted finalists and winners of The Brit List Awards 2020. As well as celebrating Britain as a design and hospitality hub, the event will be themed ‘Inspiring Creativity’. To aptly mark this, Hotel Designs has invited an award-winning sound designer and functional music innovation Tom Middleton and award-winning research entrepreneur Ari Peralta to become headline speakers at the event. 

Applying principles of neuroscience, behaviour and psychology, the visionaries will respond to MEET UP London’s theme by immersing our audience into a sensory experience like no other before. This will be followed by an engaging talk discussing how and why sound should be considered when designing the hotel of the future. From Jet Lag to Mindfulness solutions, their unique collaboration represents the synergy and creativity needed to future-proof hospitality.

MEET UP North | May 6 | Stock Exchange Hotel, Manchester

In response to the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, MEET UP North has been forced to postpone its plans until next year. The event, which is Hotel Designs’ leading networking evening in the north, will return to Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester on May 6, 2021.

Considering the vast amount of hotel projects currently on the boards in the north – many of which are slated to complete and open this year – the theme of MEET UP North will be Manchester On The Boards. The city, which has hosted the concept since its launch in 2018, will once again welcome leading designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers for the industry’s leading networking event in the north.

Sponsors:

If you would like to sponsor any of our upcoming events, please email Katy Phillips, or call +44 (0) 1992 374050. 

In Conversation With: Penta Hotels’ new MD, Rogier Braakman

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In Conversation With: Penta Hotels’ new MD, Rogier Braakman

In February 2020, weeks before the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a pandemic, the new Managing Director of Penta Hotels Worldwide was announced. Following what we can only imagine was a turbulent start to his role, Editor Hamish Kilburn catches up with Rogier Braakman to understand his plans for the lifestyle hotel group…

It’s hard to recall that a few months ago, before the words ‘furlough’ and ‘pandemic’ were being splashed across the daily news channels, the industry as a whole was feeling rather optimistic about 2020. New colour trends were being predicted, hotel groups were expanding, and, in February 2020, the news broke that Rogier Braakman would take over from Eugène Staal to become Managing Director of Penta Hotels Worldwide, marking a new era for the group. 

As regions were seeing record-breaking levels of development, Covid-19 sent its shockwave through all industries – arguably hitting hospitality the hardest – which decimated sales and marketing strategies as businesses went into survival mode. “It is the biggest burden of every business owner being forced to suspend operations for an undefined time,” explained Braakman in a press release that was released at the time. “Since opening, we have operated our hotels 24/7, 365 days a year, and hadn’t had to close for a single day. Yet, instead of carrying out our initial plans, we have been working around the clock to temporarily suspend operations in many hotels, restructure our processes and ask for many intense sacrifices from all team members and stakeholders. Despite all this, we have been putting a lot of effort in bringing in new innovations and improving our product throughout all hotels.”

Following the lockdown, and after what can only be described as one of the most challenging months for all hoteliers, I sat down with Braakman (virtually) to understand more about his role.

Hamish Kilburn: Where were you self-isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic?

RB: I make a weekly commute between our family home in the Dutch forest and our Frankfurt Penta office, always adhering strictly to all Covid-19 regulations. I feel privileged to be able to enjoy my family life and the positively contagious Penta-spirit!

Image caption: The lounge inside Pentahotel Berlin

Image caption: The lounge inside Pentahotel Berlin | Image credit: Penta Hotels

“But what sets us apart from other lifestyle brands is that our ‘neighbourhood’ promise extends to the wider community and environment, which we have committed to protecting through various initiatives and our goal of being carbon neutral by 2030.” – Rogier Braakman, Managing Director, Penta Hotels.

Hamish Kilburn: What makes Penta Hotels a unique lifestyle hotel brand?

RB: Penta Hotels are characterised by our lively neighbourhood brand that emits a happy camper ambience. The positive attitude of our staff and our unique interior design makes us a model host. We have created a comfortable environment for our guests with a relaxed atmosphere centered around our buzzing Penta Lounges in every hotel, which function on a 24/7 basis where all our guests’ needs are catered for in one space. But what sets us apart from other lifestyle brands is that our ‘neighbourhood’ promise extends to the wider community and environment, which we have committed to protecting through various initiatives and our goal of being carbon neutral by 2030. In keeping with the Penta spirit, we don’t ever do single acts of charity, but instead offer ways that our guests can take part in giving back so that they too can feel a part of our community. However, lately we have had the tendency of exchanging the word ‘lifestyle’ more and more with the word ‘lively’, which we believe nowadays is more spot on.

Hamish Kilburn: Can you explain a little bit about Penta Hotels’ plans for expansion?

RB: Our focus is to grow our brand in prime locations in secondary cities or secondary locations in primary cities across Europe. Expansion should arise as a result of our strategy, rather than the other way around.

Image caption: Suite inside Pentahotel Moscow | Image credit: Penta Hotels

Image caption: Suite inside Pentahotel Moscow | Image credit: Penta Hotels

Hamish Kilburn: You mention that lockdown has allowed you to look at new innovations and improving your product throughout all hotels. Can you elaborate on this?

RB: With the pandemic we’ve had to adapt quickly to the new normal, or as I heard an entrepreneur recently say, a ‘temporary abnormal’. In just over a month, we managed to think up and execute our Between Us campaign, based on the notion that although Covid-19 has forced more physical distance between us, it can be seen as an opportunity for bonding and creating solidarity between people. Through this campaign we are allowing our guests to feel comfortable, safe, but also have fun with social distancing. It includes the VIP Rock Star Service where we’ve mapped out routes guests can take around the hotel and Penta Lounges that limit interaction with others, cashless payments, and introduced excellent hygiene training for our staff members that includes no housekeeping, but also exciting perks like free Take Care package on entry, and free bag of snacks every morning at your door.

The campaign sets us apart from our competitors because it shows we are seizing the pandemic as an opportunity to learn how to better accommodate our guests, by finding new ways to create a safe and comfortable space. So far, guest feedback has been really positive.

Image caption: Meeting room inside Penta Hotel Paris | Image credit: Penta Hotels

Hamish Kilburn: What advice would you give the rest of the hospitality industry at this time?

RB: Unfortunately, COVID-19 is a predator and it will stay around for a while, so we are having to take a real ‘don’t crack under pressure’ attitude as we adapt to new circumstances. In order to do this, we have to stay strong and try our best to turn this crisis into a success by playing to our strengths, as well as recognising which things weren’t working well even before the crisis. Our strengths have always been a positive attitude and creative approach, and we are making sure to always be direct with each other, not beat around the bush, and take immediate actions to make our hotels safe.

Hamish Kilburn: How will lifestyle hotels, which typically focus heavily on utilising public areas, differ post-pandemic?

RB: This predator is going to remain for a long time – so we’re going to need to work with it. We have revisited our business operations and figured out how best to safely and securely reopen, and although we do not want our hotels to serve as extended intensive care units, we need to make sure that all hygienic measures are in place and that people feel safe. Luckily, we don’t have small lobbies and most of our Pentalounges are extensive spaces in which we’ve been able to encourage social distancing with our Between Us campaign, by mapping out distanced routes and introducing cashless payments.

We do not want our brand standards to vaporise due to all these extra precautions, so we had to redefine our new operating standards within the ‘temporary abnormal’. This means taking serious precautions that alter the Penta experience, including no more housekeeping, and training our staff on additional hygiene procedures. For example, when you check in, you’re given a ‘Take Care’ bag from Penta, and we’ve even made our own ‘Penta Pointer’ which is similar to a keyring that can be used to open all access points within the hotel, therefore reducing the risk of being contaminated. We’re also doing trials with heat cams to see how our guests are responding, and introduced the Penta Hotel app, which isn’t fully in place yet, but it means everyone can check in from home using their own device, or even chat to our reception team.

Image caption: Fitness area inside Pentahotel Leipzig | Image credit: Penta Hotels

Hamish Kilburn: What does lifestyle in ‘lifestyle hotel’ mean to you?

RB: A lifestyle hotel means ensuring all our guests are happy campers, and however brief or extended their stay, they are made to feel part of our community. Instead of custom reception areas we have created social spaces in every hotel called the Penta Lounge, areas with 24/7 service where guests can check in, but also chill out, do some work or play on our games consoles. At our hotels, there is always an initiative that guests can take part in that benefits the wider community and environment, and our social staff members are always willing to engage with any problem a guest has

Hamish Kilburn: What do you love most about the hospitality industry?

RB: What I love best about hospitality is working with people, and I was drawn to Penta because it is an appealing and distinctive hotel brand centered around people, with a buzzing community spirit. I believe success comes from guest satisfaction and high-quality service, which is only possible when you have a team of brilliant staff members that communicate well with one another and our guests. I share Penta’s vision for a modern approach to hoteliering, where giving back to the community and providing a relaxed, neighbourhood feel is at the centre of its brand. Penta has had a rocky climb in the last year or so but our positive staff with their can-do attitude, have really helped with recent difficulties. Their team spirit and desire to truly make Penta a success has made me feel extremely supported and inspired my confidence that we will continue to succeed in the future.

Image caption: The lounge inside Pentahotel Moscow | Image credit: Penta Hotels

Image caption: The lounge inside Pentahotel Moscow | Image credit: Penta Hotels

Hamish Kilburn: Can you explain Penta Hotels in three words?

RB: Relaxed, positive, friendly

Hamish Kilburn: If money or development were not obstacles, where in the world would you like to open a hotel?

RB: Every self-conscious city with a sustainable, interesting and appealing backcountry deserves a Pentahotel.

Penta Hotels, which has 28 operating properties across Europe and Asia, represents a new generation of neighbourhood lifestyle hotels offering modern-minded individuals and business travellers comfort and style in a relaxed atmosphere. Known for its unique interior design and attitude, the lifestyle brand stands for true innovation in the industry’s upper- midscale segment.

Main image credit: Penta Hotels Worldwide

IN VIDEO: Parkside’s discussion about colour & wellbeing

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IN VIDEO: Parkside’s discussion about colour & wellbeing

To officially mark the launch of the brand’s new Matrix collection, Parkside Architectural Tiles invited editor Hamish Kilburn to get comfortable on the virtual sofa to discuss colour and wellness in design, architecture and hospitality… 

If the pandemic was a colour, it would arguably be a dull grey. While hospitality is reopening its doors, and designers are making their way back into studio life, the need for colour has never been greater than it is right now.

Cue the launch of Matrix collection by Parkside Architectural Tiles, which was inspired by the brand’s desire to create a range of colours that would allow the design community to curate co-ordinated looks or mix and match colours to create striking design statements.

Its launch has allowed us to question colour and its relationship to wellbeing in and outside the hotel. To start the conversation, Parkside welcomed experts in the international design and architecture arena to participate in an exclusive panel discussion where all colourful opinions were welcome, and indeed encouraged.

Chaired by Joanna Watchman from workinmind.org, the experts on the virtual sofa were Ben Channon, associate architect and head of wellbeing at Assael Architecture; Constantina Tsoutsikou, founder of Studio LOST, who brought a hospitality and public space perspective; Hamish Kilburn, editor, Hotel Designs, who was able view the topic through editorial lenses; and Vanessa Konig, Konig Colours, who collaborated with the brand to create the new collection.

Here’s the discussion in full:

Parkside Architectural Tiles 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, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Parkside Architectural Tiles

Nobu to open debut hotel in Africa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Nobu to open debut hotel in Africa

Global lifestyle brand Nobu Hospitality, founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, has announced it will open its first hotel in Africa in 2021…

Where rich heritage meets Nobu Hospitality’s contemporary flair, Nobu Hotel Marrakech will be located in the Hivernage district, steps from the historic heart of the city, souks and vibrant Djemaa el-Fna.

Transformed into a luxury lifestyle destination, the hotel will house 71 spacious guest rooms and suites, a selection of dynamic dining venues and rooftop spaces, a 2,000 sq. ft luxurious spa and fitness centre, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and meeting and event space.

King Mohammed VI’s “Tourism Development Strategy Vision 2020” plan has been the driving force at encouraging foreign investment in Morocco’s tourism sector.  His Majesty has outlined great vision and Nobu is pleased to be entering the market at this exciting time.

Ahmed Bennani, President Hivernage Collection said, ‘The partnership with Nobu Hospitality with the launch of the Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Marrakech will enable our existing Pearl Hotel to be taken to next level. It is further significant, as the launch in Marrakech will be the first Nobu Hotel in Africa. Marrakech as a destination fits seamlessly within the Nobu Hotel collection and we expect it will be embraced by locals and the strong base of European and US Nobu customers.’   Daniel Shamoon, Director MC Hotels comments, “We are very pleased that Marrakech will become a part of our growing collection of Nobu Hotels joining Marbella and Ibiza Bay. In a time when our global society and economies are fragile, we maintain our continued belief and commitment to hospitality.”

Trevor Horwell, Chief Executive Officer Nobu Hospitality comments, “We are excited to be working with Ahmed Bennani and his Hermitage Collection, and again with Daniel Shamoon and MC Hotels on this exciting project.  An increasing number of hotel owners today want to maintain the integrity of their properties, whilst having an appetite to work with us to enable complete differentiation, revenue advantage, and leveraging our food and beverage prowess.  The global health and economic crisis have underscored this, and with Nobu’s strong appeal to the local market as well as the international traveller, we are pleased to provide such advantage.”

Six Senses to open second hotel in Italy

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Six Senses to open second hotel in Italy

Six Senses Antognolla, which marks the brand’s second opening in Italy, will shelter more branded residences than it will rooms…

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has announced its latest project in the group’s expanding portfolio with Six Senses Antognolla, set in Umbria, the green heart of Italy.

Opening in 2023, the same year as the hotel plans to open its debut London property, Six Senses Antognolla will welcome guests to a rural escape against the backdrop of olive groves, vineyards and cypress-topped hills.

The castle, borgo and estate are being reincarnated with a sustainable focus. There will be 71 rooms and 79 branded residences, a diverse wellness and cultural offering, 18-hole golf course, equestrian centre, cookery school and organic farm. Encompassing a 1,335-acre (540-hectare) site, the surrounding contours and forest provide privacy and exclusivity, while the variety of facilities and activities make it a year-round destination. 

The redevelopment is being headed by VIY Management (VIYM), a London-based investment firm focused on luxury hospitality and mixed-use real estate projects and Alessio Carabba Tettamanti, an investor in Antognolla and the owner of the luxury Umbrian estate Tenuta di Murlo. The masterplan is by Woods Bagot, ranked sixth in the BD World Architecture 100. Interiors are by Tokyo-based Design Studio SPIN, known for transforming the interiors of renowned hotels and restaurants into the most luxurious venues. 

“We are delighted that our vision of the project is in line with that of Six Senses.” – Jim Ryan, development director, Antognolla

 “We are thrilled to start bringing our collaborative plans with Six Senses to life. Antognolla is a unique project in Italy in terms of its concept; combining a luxury hotel in a medieval castle, stylish serviced residential properties, an exceptional golf course and a luxurious spa complex – all of which will be operated by a world-renowned international hospitality brand,” said development director Jim Ryan of Antognolla. “We are delighted that our vision of the project is in line with that of Six Senses, and we have a truly unique opportunity to carefully preserve and develop this area of historical and cultural significance.”

A new chapter in this rich history has now begun. The 71 guest rooms and suites will be located within the historical castle and traditional old borgo buildings. The 79 residences, which will soon be available to purchase, range from apartments and two-bedroom villas to six-bedroom farmhouses, combining the heritage of Umbria with the comfort of modern living. All accommodations offer a unique home-from-home retreat thanks to the location, design features and abundant resort facilities. Old or new, everything blends seamlessly with the surroundings.

Six Senses Spa will be located within a contemporary wing of the new main building, and will offer wellness programming that incorporates sleep health, nutrition, movement and self-discovery.

Running through the centre of the estate, the 18-hole golf course has been designed by renowned designer Robert Trent Jones Jr. With long, cliff-lined fairways, undulating greens and pesky lakes, the course has been installed to provide year-round playability and quick-drying surfaces. Drainage water is captured and recycled, boosting the course’s eco-credentials.

The charm of Umbria’s ancient towns and villages is complemented by its cuisine, which is renowned for superb ingredients and authentically rustic dishes. Guests and residents will enjoy the very best of local produce, including herbs, olives, fruit and vegetables grown on the estate itself.

Main image credit: Six Senses

PRODUCT WATCH: 2 pieces that demonstrate timeless core of Timage

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PRODUCT WATCH: 2 pieces that demonstrate timeless core of Timage

Timage’s background in the architectural and yacht sectors has resulted in a high quality and varied product range. Hotel Designs identifies two pieces that perfectly define the brand’s timeless core both on and off the water…

The hospitality sector can benefit from this collection of marine-grade components which all fit the company’s sustainable philosophy of “buy to last” and that quality is timeless.

When beautiful design is also brought into play then you have the recipe for success.  Two key products that perfectly demonstrate the company’s core beliefs, albeit with very different purposes, are the Piacentini table lamp and both the Iseo and Montisola director’s chairs.

Piacentini

The Piacentini table lamp – A new icon and a unique product designed by Christian Grande Designworks. The table lamp takes its name from its main inspiration, the works of Marcello Piacentini.  Piacentini was one of the great early 20th century Italian theorists and the main proponent of Italian fascist architecture.  Designed and hand-crafted in Italy with the finest materials, the lamp’s luxurious deco design is embodied in its refined components, brass and marble, bringing together some of the finest materials in two stunning forms.  Both materials offer a solidity and permanency to the product, once again drawing attention to its source of inspiration.

The modern interpretation of a classic design language is demonstrated using the latest LED technology, incorporating an “invisible” touch dimmer on the marble base.  This marble piece can be specified in several standard Italian varieties of stone.  It is also possible to use a customer supplied marble for situations where the lamp must match another material already in use in a space.  The brass metal elements are available in a range of different finishes or platings for a versatile product to suit a wide variety of interior styles. The rotating lamp shade is adjustable and allows the user to arrange the lamp for best use, making the Piacentini a practical solution for bedside or side table application.

Montisola & Iseo

Functional and stylish seating is always in demand within the hospitality sector. The answer to this requirement is the director’s chair – an iconic and classic piece of design. Originally intended as an outdoor seating solution, the director’s chair was then adopted by the yacht community and quickly, by association, became a symbol of luxury.  Within the hospitality sector, the director’s chair has also been welcomed thanks to its ability to bring a comfortable seating solution to a wide variety of spaces.  Whether it is a balcony, terrace, poolside bar or perhaps even a restaurant environment, the director’s chair promises to bring an elegant but relaxed feel whilst continuing to be a flexible tool in the creation of seating areas.

The Montisola and Iseo director’s chairs elevate this practical piece of furniture design to an entirely new level, bringing together some of the finest materials in two stunning forms penned by Christian Grande Designworks. The chairs are made from solid teak and are available in a wide range of Maria Flora outdoor fabrics. Both models of chair feature exquisite details such as mirror polished hinges and leather protective pads on the feet to avoid marking any flooring.

The director’s chair is the ultimate space saving solution and these models too can be neatly folded away when not required.  Each chair is also supplied with a tailored carry bag.

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

Main image credit: Timage

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: enhancing guestrooms and suites post-pandemic

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INDUSTRY INSIGHT: enhancing guestrooms and suites post-pandemic

While public areas in hotel design are having to adapt in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, Hotel Designs asks the experts at Billiards how their products can add entertainment in suites and large guestrooms…

With the hospitality industry seeking creative responses to the short and long term effects of the Pandemic, Hoteliers and Interior Designers are looking especially at the division between public and private spaces, and the need to make significant changes to appeal to guests in the first place, and to provide an ideal environment for them when they arrive.

The need for Social distancing creates challenges in Public areas in particular, so one area of focus will be on expanding and enhancing the Private areas, and providing entertainment within these, that might previously have been features of the Public areas. Key to attracting guests, for extended stays especially, will be to offer them ways to enjoy spending more time with family and fellow travellers in their own space, without the need to socialise more widely, and thus less safely.

Imagine the option of a home away from home in a fabulous location, the opportunity to enjoy a luxury ‘staycation’ with all the comforts of home, or, even better, with more. What better way to entice your wealthier guests, than to provide them with luxury leisure items, in the comfort and security of their own Rooms, Suites or Apartments. By doing so, you significantly enhance their experience of the Private area, and therefore of their entire holiday.

Snooker tables and Pool tables, whether in a Bar or dedicated billiard or games room, have long been a staple piece in many hospitality venues.  At the luxury end of the market especially, bar-owners, and interior designers have often chosen to make a statement of quality, and personality, at the same time as creating a focal point for social entertainment, with a truly bespoke, well-designed and hand-crafted table, like the ones made by Sir William Bentley Billiards, at its workshops in Marten, England.

Ranging from carefully restored antique billiard tables, through strikingly contemporary pool tables, to dual-purpose dining & conference tables, examples of the company’s work can be found in hotels and bars as far afield as Macau, Singapore, Dubai & New York, and as close to home as Mayfair and the West country. Every piece is uniquely specified and finished to suit the room it is being made or restored for; and, although most have been purchased outright, for commercial clients, the company also offers tables on a rental basis.

The majority of its tables, however, will be found in the homes of discerning private clients. For more than 40 years, Sir William Bentley Billiards has been the choice of Interior designers and private clients seeking to furnish their games rooms, dining rooms or open-plan living spaces with unique, bespoke Snooker, Pool and dual-purpose dining tables. It is this experience of providing truly personalised pieces of furniture that makes them so unique, and so suited to the ‘boutique’ or independent hotel.

During the lockdown, we have all been made to realise how important our living space can be to us; what we’re lacking, and what we’re so lucky to have. Those whose homes already had a focus for social entertainment such as a Pool table or Table tennis table, have appreciated it more than ever. And many who haven’t, have begun to realise how valuable something of this sort might be. As a result, in residential environments at least, there is now an even greater perception of the value of a Pool or Snooker table – for those who have the space for a games room – or a multi-purpose Pool-dining table, for those who want or need to make better use of a dining room or open plan living space.

For hotels and resorts, therefore, and especially lifestyle hotels, and those at the higher end of the market place, there is an opportunity to take advantage of this desire for luxury social entertainment, and provide your guests with a reason to escape the public spaces and indulge their private spaces with a friendly frame or two of Snooker or Pool.

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

Main image credit: Billiards

IN PICTURES: Inside the soon-to-open Hotel Fariones, Lanzarote

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IN PICTURES: Inside the soon-to-open Hotel Fariones, Lanzarote

The new five-star Hotel Fariones, which will open in Lanzarote in September of this year, will shelter laid-back luxury. Editor Hamish Kilburn gets a sneak peek inside…

Hotel Fariones will open in Lanzarote on September 1, having undergone a significant refurbishment under the privately-owned PY Hotels & Resorts family that also owns the acclaimed Princesa Yaiza resort.

Located in the centre of Puerto del Carmen on the southeast coast of the island, the hotel boasts an enviable beachfront location surrounded by palm trees with direct access to an idyllic sandy cove and the extensive Playa Grande beach. 

Featuring 213 contemporary rooms, guests can choose from a range of categories, all with outdoor terraces and many with panoramic views over the Atlantic Ocean. There are a range of spacious suites accommodating up to four adults, including the impressive 150m² Royal Suite Fariones with an expansive outdoor terrace and private Jacuzzi.

Image of interiors of suite in the hotel in Lanzarote

Image credit: Hotel Fariones

A spectacular sea view infinity pool and two heated outdoor Jacuzzis encircled by palm trees provide a tranquil setting at all times of day. 

A rooftop pool and lounge bar will launch in the second phase of the hotel’s opening. The rooftop will provide one of the best locations to watch the sunset in Lanzarote, with views over Fuerteventura and The Isla de Lobos.

rooftop pool in hotel

Image credit: Hotel Fariones

The hotel will offer a variety of restaurants to suit every palate. The main à la carte restaurant, Restaurant Atlantico, will serve fresh local fish and shellfish with traditional Canarian influences, whilst a snack bar will serve light lunches on a sophisticated outdoor terrace overlooking the ocean. A buffet restaurant will launch in phase two, along with Kaori restaurant specialising in Asian Haute Cuisine.