Posts Tagged :

Architecture

Case study: Designing furniture for the world’s first underwater residence

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: Designing furniture for the world’s first underwater residence

The unique and complex architectural project to design the the underwater residence, THE MURAKA by Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, required a timeless, stylish and quality furniture brands to compliment the underwater world…

THE MURAKA by Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, which opened in 2018, aptly translates in native Dhivehi to “coral”.

Its complex structure spans an area both above and below the surface of the Indian Ocean surrounded only by water. One of the many challenges faced throughout the project was to ensure that the interior design scheme complimented the architectural significance of the construction both under the surface as well as above.

Suite overlooking the ocean

Image credit: Justin Nicholas

The interiors were led by Japanese architect Yuji Yamazaki, and choosing appropriate suppliers to reflect the interior design vision was an imperative responsibility. Minotti furniture was, therefore, thoughtfully specified in order to add an extra layer of sophistication and timeless quality.

What makes the room design unique is the varying uses of acrylic that has been incorporated into one unit. The bedroom is an acrylic tunnel that makes guests feel completely submerged under the waves. The acrylic that forms the living room is curved vertical glass, which allows guests to further marvel at the marine wildlife outside the sea-wrapping pod.

Underwater suite featuring luxury bed and furniture

Image credit: Justin Nicholas

Adjacent to the bedroom, a sophisticated lounge area shelters two Portofino armchairs facing the open ocean (seen above) that are paired with a Benson coffee table.

Many products from the Minotti collection were also chosen for the design of the spaces above the water. Particular care was dedicated to the large, ultra-bright living area, characterised by floor to ceiling windows and furnished with two Powell seating systems, some Quinn armchairs and a series of Cernobbio coffee tables.

Image credit: Justin Nicholas

In addition to the Aston stools, designed for the counter in the lounge, a row of Leslie dining chairs brightens up the dining area. The master bedroom features the Creed bed, with a matching pair of Creed Small armchairs, the Kitaj coffee table and the Prince Cord Indoor armchair. A large Florida seating system is the centrepiece of the open-air spaces.

Exterior shot of lonely suite in the middle of the ocean

Image credit: Justin Nicholas

The result of years of planning and construction, married together with a number of forward-thinking suppliers, is an out-of-this-world hotel experience that literally takes hotel concepts to new depths.

Minotti 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: Justin Nicholas

Editor Checks In: Colouring outside the lines, searching for creativity

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor Checks In: Colouring outside the lines, searching for creativity

Casting back to a two-dimensional art classroom, editor Hamish Kilburn has a few confessions to make regarding the creativity of his sketch book before rekindling his relationship with art in design…

As someone who regularly rushed his art homework in blue biro ink at the back of the school bus, reserving a seat in detention in the process, I am a disgrace to art enthusiasts everywhere. I had no time for the subject, or its storied history. Patience didn’t come naturally to me or my teachers. As far as they were concerned, there were two types of people in the world: people who could draw life-like hands to not look like Monster Munch on a portrait and people who couldn’t. In hindsight, though, I am regretful for not digging beneath the surface of the subject and for not paying more attention. I realise now that I would have loved learning about the likes of Van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Edvard Minch and other hall-of-famers.

12 years later, I am writing about the very topic that made my eyes enthusiastically roll with disinterest when presented with the next homework assignment. Still unable to draw or paint anything to resemble anything or anyone, the ink from my biro-infected Year-9 art book has run into my career; its stain is in every hotel I review, every feature I commission, every conversation I have, and now even in one of my editor’s letters. The fact is, art is unavoidably everywhere. It is adding texture and meaning to the beautifully painted picture of an industry that refuses to colour within the lines and that is not afraid to veer off into new lanes in search for creativity.

This month, I attended my first ever fashion show, which is shocking considering creativity in interior design and architecture very often derives from unconventional threads in fashion. But the reality of manning the editorial desk, scrutinising which envelopes are necessary to open and which should remain sealed, quite often results in me avoiding the noise amplified through London’s landmark during London Fashion Week. That is until now.

“It was a fantastical depiction of a partnership between two worlds that often meet, art and fashion, but rarely hold hands in public.”

Having finally joined the stampede of fashion week, the first theory of the fashion world I crushed into a myth was being ‘fashionably late’. Unapologetic to the stragglers, the lights went down at 6.30pm on the dot to signifying the show starting, as we were pre-warned on the e-invitation. The perfectly timed, choreographed performance of artistic frocks commenced – and a late arrival would have almost certainly ruined the atmospheric mise én scene, as well as ones captured point of view.

Everyone’s eyes in the high-ceilinged lobby inside Sofitel St James London were fixed to the centre of the room. Detaching the audience from their day-to-day deadlines, the models marched forward, one by one, to showcase a moment. It was a fantastical depiction of a partnership between two worlds that often meet, art and fashion, but rarely hold hands in public.

It was the work of French artist Stephane Koerwyn who put these colourful pieces together, delicately connecting the stylish similarities between the two industries and creating a new layer of design in the process. Bright, colourful and bold dresses made from Aluminium illuminated the catwalk to celebrate the sustainability movements in both territories. We were able to appreciate the pieces in motion before they were displayed as statues throughout hotel in an exhibition of the artist’s work, which is now on display until June 2020.

Koerwyn is not the only creative who isn’t afraid to cross boarders into other industries. In all corners of our endless industry, designers and artists are raising the ceiling and filling the space with more iconic, standalone statements. Hotel Le Coucou, which I recently reviewed in the French Alps, is the brainchild of Pierre Yovanovitch – a former fashion designer – whose injection of houte couture interiors, has taken this slope-side 56-key luxury boutique to new heights of creativity where bear chairs, emoji-themed plates and ice-cube lighting become genius layers in luxury design.

Meanwhile, meaningful collaborations between suppliers and designers continue to catapult innovation in material, style and wider in design. A few years ago, a collaboration between sportswear brand Odlo and Zaha Hadid Design (ZHD) went under the radar of most designers. But in reality, it was a remarkable ‘two heads are better than one’ approach that led ZHD to vastly improve the form of a conventional sports ‘baselayer’, with new technology allowing the companies to create a seamless garment that adapted with the body.

Only last year, at Sleep & Eat 2019, Laufen’s A New Classic was launched. The collection of bathroom products and furniture was the unrivalled result of a partnership with Marcel Wanders, who further pushed the boundaries in bathroom design and aesthetics to create a collection that confronted gender. At the same time, Roca unveiled its next collection of timeless bathroom gems with fashion brand Armani and furniture brand Benchmark worked with architecture legend David Rockwell to transform the workplace with a new, ergonomic table.

Even as we speak, commercial furniture brand Morgan, known and respected for its carefully aligned collaborations, is (I am told) working on its next partnership that will be unveiled at Clerkenwell Design Week 2020 in May.

Before that, lighting brand Chelsom, which was recently specified in Riggs Washington D.C. and Great Scotland Yard Hotel, is preparing to light up a new collection of lamps, pendants and chandeliers that has been inspired by two years of thorough research. Meanwhile, luxury Italian furniture brand Minotti is weeks away from raising the curtain on the 2020 – 2021 collection of luxury indoor and outdoor furniture, inspired, no doubt, by the family’s travels and evolution of public spaces in hospitality.

As the list of conscious collaborations continues to grow, Hotel Designs is inviting the industry to celebrate creativity in all its colours at Meet Up London. Taking place on May 13, at the Minotti London showroom, our spring networking event will further bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers with conversations like no other. Above all, though, we promise to inspire all avenues of creativity, even if that means colouring outside the lines from time to time.

During March, Hotel Designs will be putting ‘Lighting’ and ‘Bathrooms’ under the spotlight. If you would like to contribute to these topics, please do not hesitate to email me.

Editor, Hotel Designs

Renaissance Hotels debuts in New York

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Renaissance Hotels debuts in New York

The 39-floor luxury hotel, Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel, has opened as plans for the brand to open another hotel in the city move forward…

Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel has officially opened its doors to become one of the tallest properties in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.

Rising an impressive 39 floors at 430 feet high, the brand’s first hotel in Chelsea is crowned with one of the highest rooftop pools in the city, offering unparalleled 360-degree views.

Located on the former site of the iconic Antiques Garage flea market, the hotel pays homage to the site’s history and the area’s charming antique shops with a theatrical design concept by architecture and interior design firm Stonehill Taylor. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding neighbourhood, spaces within the hotel aim to surprise and delight guests with unexpected moments, each thoughtfully designed to tell a story.

“Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel encourages guests to discover this iconic location with a sense of reimagined curiosity,” said George Fleck, vice president of global brand marketing and management, Renaissance Hotels. “This new hotel, coupled with our significant growth and renovation strategy in North America, further reinforces our brand’s global commitment to ensuring that guests experience the DNA of the neighbourhood through our dramatic design and engaging guest experiences – ultimately leaving with a new appreciation of the destination.”

Colourful artwork in the suite

Image credit: Marriott Hotels/Renaissance Hotels

Underscoring Renaissance Hotels’ unexpected design aesthetic, Stonehill Taylor created an escape that plays on the contrasting dichotomy of the hotel’s industrial, antique and floral market surroundings to create the illusion of walking through a secret garden. The hotel’s top-floor exterior features a sleek, modern glass facade, while the entrance embodies the look and feel of an English manor. Behind a stone-walled arcade entry lays a private, open-air courtyard studded with lush foliage and seating for guests to lounge.

Penthouse bedroom overlooking skyline of New York

Image credit: Marriott Hotels/Renaissance Hotels

Tapped to curate the hotel’s collection of artwork, art consultant Indiewalls led a massive two-story installation of antique knobs, locks and keys created by local artist Laura Morrison that takes center stage as the backdrop to the lobby staircase. As guests pass through the space, they are encouraged to touch and interact with these whimsical wares. Indiewalls also oversaw mixed media artist Liam Alexander’s creation of various video art moments throughout the hotel, reflecting inspiration from the flower district and flea market concepts in the surrounding locale, eliciting the feeling of a “living painting.” Trellage-Ferrill Studio fabricated custom pieces like a collection of upside-down bird cages, as well as a large pendant at the elevator lobby inspired by a bird’s nest to pique the curiosity of travelers. Inside the elevator cabs, leather tiles made from vintage belts coat the walls, adding intrigue of the hotel’s overall design.

Earth tones dominate the color palette of the 341 guest rooms and suites. Interiors are outfitted with wood-panelled printed wallcoverings and unexpected playful touches include gnome desk lamps and rabbit coat hooks. Guest bathrooms evoke a quaint garden shed with concrete sinks, porcelain tiles and mirrors etched with silhouettes of wildflowers. Suites on the fourth and 36th floors are distinguished by their 14-foot high ceilings. A focal point of each suite is a floor-to-ceiling framed wallcovering art installation of a magnified peacock feather, as well as an oversized mural of a woman’s silhouette comprised of fuchsia roses by artist Sara Byrne.

The hotel is the latest property to debut under the brand’s growing North American portfolio which includes recently opened hotels in Philadelphia, Toledo, Reno, Dallas and Newport Beach, as well as renovated properties in Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Palm Desert, among others. Additionally, the brand is set to grow its New York City footprint two-fold over the next two years with highly anticipated openings in both Flushing and Harlem.

Main image credit: Marriott/Renaissance Hotels

BREAKING: Salone del Mobile postpones exhibition due to coronavirus outbreak

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BREAKING: Salone del Mobile postpones exhibition due to coronavirus outbreak

BREAKING NEWS: Salone del Mobile in Milan, which is largely considered as the leading furniture fair globally, has postponed this year’s event until June 16 – 21 in response to Italy’s coronavirus outbreak…

Salone del Mobile, which is the world’s largest and arguably most visible furniture fair in the international design calendar, was due to take place from April 21 – 26, but in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the fair this year has been forced to postpone its plans.

Days after the 2020 global press conference to give the rundown of the up-coming show, the organisers of the show released a statement. “Following an extraordinary meeting today of the Board of Federlegno Arredo Eventi, and in view of the ongoing public health emergency, the decision has been taken to postpone the upcoming edition of the Salone del Mobile,” the statement said. “Confirmation of the change of date for the trade fair – strongly supported by the Mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala – means that the manufacturers, in a major show of responsibility, will be able to present their finalised work to an international public that sees the annual appointment with the Salone del Mobile as a benchmark for creativity and design.”

“Italy now has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Europe, with more than 280 cases that have been reported.”

The update comes after The Foreign Office in Britain updated its travel advice, warning against all but essential travel to 11 quarantined towns in Italy. The country now has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Europe, with more than 280 cases that have been reported.

A Foreign Office spokesperson told the BBC: “We advise against all but essential travel to the 10 small towns in Lombardy and one in Veneto, which are currently in isolation due to an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus.

“Any British nationals already in these towns should follow the advice of the local authorities.”

Main image credit: Salone del Mobile/Andrea Mariani | Image caption: Salone Del Mobile press conference on February 12, 2020

Clean, simple lobby with marble check in desks and dark green walls

MINIVIEW: Inside Kimpton Hotel’s first Spanish boutique gem

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: Inside Kimpton Hotel’s first Spanish boutique gem

The arrival of Kimpton Vividora Hotel marks the brand’s Spanish debut. The 156-key design-led hotel was poised to be the most exciting hotel opening in Barcelona in 2020. But has it delivered on that promise? Hotel Designs checks in to find out… 

IHG’s brand Kimpton has made an early statement in 2020 on the hospitality scene with the opening of Kimpton Vividora Hotel.

Clean, simple lobby with marble check in desks and dark green walls

Located in the heart of Barcelona’s cultural and historical epicentre; the Gothic Quarter, the hotel is attracts the energy from the pedestrian-friendly nature of the neighbourhood.

When it comes to the bold Barcelona-inspired design, the hotel is sensitively inspired by the textures, colours and historic details of the city. Kimpton’s Creative Director and Global SVP of Design, Ave Bradley, collaborated with local design agency El Equipo Creativo to infuse all spaces with an authentic Barcelona feel, contemporary details and local artwork.

The guestrooms and suites, complete with stylish furniture, warm wooden flooring and quirky details such as geometric headboards, look and feel comfortable. The spaces feature a textured interior design scheme that seamlessly works around original features of the building.

Image credit: IHG/Kimpton Hotels & Resorts

With three F&B outlets, the hotel’s answer to creating an authentic culinary experience is in sync with the destination’s reputation for quality and meaningful cuisine. Perched one floor above the lively streets, Fauna restaurant welcomes guests into a warm space reminiscent of an elegant Barcelonian home. Chef Ferran López’s menu is rooted in Mediterranean flavours and family recipes with a creative, Kimpton twist.

On the hotel’s ground floor, floor to ceiling windows offer a look at Cafè Got, which offers locally-roasted artisan coffee and light bites by day, and natural wines, artisanal vermouth and cocktails by night.

Relaxing cafe area with low-level furniture

Image credit: IHG/Kimpton Hotels & Resorts

The rooftop bar, Terraza de Vivi, features a striking pool with sun loungers, elegant lighting, pergolas and lush greenery and offers clever cocktails paired with creative small plates and expansive views of the city centre.

Born in San Francisco from an idea to anchor one-of-a-kind experiences, Kimpton now operates more than 65 hotels and 80 restaurants, bars and lounges across urban locations, resort destinations and up-and-coming markets in the United States, Canada, Europe, Caribbean and Greater China. Kimpton spaces and experiences centre on its guests, offering inspiring design that evokes curiosity to forward-thinking flavours that feed the soul. And the brand’s new Spanish hotel is no exception.

Main image credit: IHG/Kimpton Hotels & Resorts

Dormy House launches new Scandi-chic suite, The Studio

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Dormy House launches new Scandi-chic suite, The Studio

The award-winning rural retreat within the Farncombe Estate in the Cotswolds has launched The Studio, a brand-new suite designed by owner and design director Nette Reynolds…

The Studio at Dormy House is characterised by the clean lines, soft curves and warm, natural materials that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavian design, and has been created with a sense of playful relaxation and utter escapism in mind. 

“The launch of The Studio marks another milestone in the continued success of Dormy House and further strengthens its reputation as one of the UK’s best countryside hotels. We now have a total of 11 suites here at Dormy and all are extremely popular with our guests, having been individually designed to provide the greatest levels of comfort, space and modern design. The Studio offers some quirky, unexpected twists that our guests are going to love” commented Stephen Browning, General Manager, Dormy House. 

At 980 sq ft, The Studio is now the largest suite at Dormy House, providing the luxury of light-filled contemporary space across its stylish living, sleeping and bathing areas.  

Luxe modern guestroom

Image credit: Dormy House Hotel

Taking inspiration from elements of the Cotswold countryside in which the Farncombe Estate sits, The Studio is slightly more eccentric and eclectic in style than the other suites at Dormy – with textures, patterns and one-off pieces of furniture and art that really make the suite unique.  

A natural colour palette of cream, taupe and biscuit shades lend the space a relaxed, warm feel, accentuated by subtle green tones and the use of natural materials such as wicker and sheepskin, with plenty of green plant life.  

As well as being the largest suite, The Studio offers a totally new dimension to a stay at Dormy House, with its very own curated vinyl collection, turntable and state-of-the-art sound system by Project, perfect for kicking back, relaxing and immersing in soulful sound. Playful mood lighting which works in time with the beat of the music adds to the immersive feel. A first for Dormy House, the new music den in The Studio echoes the hotel’s atmosphere and ethos, which is as relaxed as it is fun.

In addition to its fully equipped music den, the suite features the very latest technology including a 4K 65” flatscreen Samsung smart TV in the lounge and one in the bedroom; free wifi; and Nespresso coffee machine. The Studio also features a seriously dreamy bathroom, complete with double rainfall showers, free-standing Burlington bathtub and luxurious Temple Spa products – representing the ultimate in Hygge living.  

Main image credit: Dormy House

Le Méridien Hotels arrives in South Florida’s design destination

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Le Méridien Hotels arrives in South Florida’s design destination

Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, along with national real estate developer Charles S. Cohen, has announced the opening of Le Méridien Dania Beach at Fort Lauderdale Airport…

Taking cues from the brand’s mid-century design aesthetic, the top-to-bottom conversion of the property that now shelters Le Méridien’s latest hotel brings to life Le Méridien’s distinctive French heritage and the allure of the Côte d’Azur to South Florida.

Located just steps from the city’s famed The Design Center of the Americas, the 12-story hotel, designed by David Ashen of dash design, features 245 thoughtfully designed guestrooms and suites. Throughout the exterior and interior of the hotel guests will find references to the sky and sea with design details such as a grand oculus in the lobby that frames the sky to pay homage the glamorous era of air travel, allowing guests to stargaze and view planes passing over. The guestrooms are minimal and modern in design with touches of blue and grey to reflect the destination, features custom-made headboards with mappings of the city inlaid into the wood veneer, and local photography captured by Elizabeth Gill Lui that celebrates the diverse architecture and environment of Fort Lauderdale.

“It was a true pleasure for us to partner with real estate developer Charles Cohen and Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts,” says David Ashen, the founder of dash design, the interior design and brand consulting firm for Le Méridien. “The design we created supported the tenets of Le Méridien brand as well as the lifestyle that is emblematic for South Florida, both for its residents and visitors. Every detail was thought out: form, function, as well as beauty. The concept sets a standard that we are proud to have contributed.”

“With a nostalgic nod to the glamour of the French Riviera in the 1960s, Le Méridien inspires travellers to explore the world in style, savour the good life and enjoy experiences that offer something more than meets the eye,” said George Fleck, Vice President of Global Brand Marketing & Management. “The debut of this hotel is part of the brand’s significant growth strategy and further reinforces our brand’s commitment to ensuring that guests experience destinations around the globe through the lens of its European spirit”

Guests will have the opportunity to indulge in five culinary outlets throughout the hotel including the brands signature Latitude/Longitude Bar serving light fare at Le Méridien Hub and Cabana, as well as Toro Latin Kitchen, serving up a South American menu, La Bibloteca de Tequila which is an exclusive tequila bar and lounge, Constellation Café serving daily French fare, and the hotel’s outdoor bar offering Caribbean-style fare poolside.

For meetings and events, the hotel offers 25,000 square feet of state-of-the-art flexible meeting space within a prime location, in the epicenter of South Florida. Conveniently located minutes from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Fort Lauderdale Everglades Cruise Port, the new hotel also neighbors Las Olas Boulevard, downtown Fort Lauderdale and the evolving Dania Pointe.

Le Méridien Dania Beach at Fort Lauderdale Airport will also offer guests a sensorial environment through the brand’s signature scent, which was developed with MALIN+GOETZ. Aptly named LM002 for airplane tail numbers, the alluring scent will be featured in the public spaces, as it is at all of Le Méridien’s properties globally. Paying homage to its French roots, the brand also has a signature soundtrack that will fill the Hub and public spaces, curated by French Bossa Nova band Nouvelle Vague.

“Being able to bring the Le Méridien brand to South Florida has been an exciting venture,” said Mr. Charles Cohen, developer and owner of Le Méridien Dania Beach at Fort Lauderdale. “We’ve curated a team of esteemed professionals to bring the brand’s French flair to life while paying homage to the maritime spirit of Fort Lauderdale. The hotel’s design-centric appeal stands at the forefront – a visual story beautifully told by David Ashen with dash design, and the Pentagram team – and will be complemented by elevated dining experiences, innovative meetings and event spaces, and unrivalled service.”

In addition, Le Méridien Dania Beach at Fort Lauderdale Airport will offer guests a variety of amenities including a signature Club Lounge with views of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, a fully equipped state-of-the-art 1,200-square-foot fitness centre and yoga room, an 82-foot zero-entry pool and an outdoor terrace called the “Water Club.”

Main image credit: Marriott International

5 minutes with: Radisson’s Hotel Group’s new Area SVP (UK, Ireland & Western Europe)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 minutes with: Radisson’s Hotel Group’s new Area SVP (UK, Ireland & Western Europe)

Radisson Hotel Group’s new Area Senior Vice President for UK, Ireland & Western Europe (UKIWE), Tom Flanagan Karttunen, speaks to Hotel Designs about project pipelines and where, geographically, is the next hotel hotspot…

Tom Flanagan Karttunen joined Radisson Hotel Group more than 20 years ago and has grown within the company, holding different leadership positions in numerous business areas at Radisson Blu Hotels in Copenhagen, Beijing, Manama, Hamburg and Galway. He has served as District Director Turkey, Azerbaijan & China, based in Istanbul, before being appointed as Area Vice President Eastern Europe & Russia, based in Moscow in 2009, and then Area Senior Vice President, Northern Europe. Most recently, though, he has become the group’s new Area Senior Vice President for UK, Ireland & Western Europe. 

Hamish Kilburn: What have you identified as being the main areas of change in your 20 years at Radisson?
Tom Flanagan Karttunen:
Radisson Hotel Group has made huge progress during my time with the company and is a leader in the hospitality industry, with properties situated in the heart of key global destinations. In 2019, Jin Jiang International acquired Radisson Hotel Group, becoming the second largest hotel chain in the world by number of rooms. Despite rapid growth, we have retained a customer centric approach, delivering best-in-class service to our guests. This is helped by our teams providing outstanding, personalised experiences and our hotels showcasing iconic, sophisticated and stylish design. My team and I have worked extremely hard to reposition our Northern Europe offering through an extensive renovation programme over the last few years, all with the aim of improving guest experience. With my expanded role, I now look forward to the opportunities to develop the UK, Ireland & Western Europe portfolio.

HK: Can you tell us a bit more about where, geographically, the brand is developing its portfolio within UK, Ireland and Western Europe?
TFK: There are exciting openings in the pipeline and large-scale renovations underway across the region in global hubs such as London, Madrid, Paris and Brussels. These projects include introducing the Radisson Collection and Radisson RED brands to countries and major cities where they don’t yet have a presence. For example, later this year we will open a Radisson RED in Greenwich, London, close to The O2, the world’s busiest concert and events venue.

“Beyond 2020, we already have more than 60 hotels in the pipeline for the region and no doubt more exciting developments to come.” – Tom Flanagan Karttunen, Area Senior Vice President for UK, Ireland & Western Europe

HK: Your new role requires you to grow talent, what do you look for in your employees?
TFK:
At Radisson Hotel Group, we are lucky to have the best talent in the industry. We value employees that embody our values and are willing to go the extra mile to give our guests exceptional service. Also, we are proud to have an international employee base that can understand how guest expectations differ between countries and regions, and therefore deliver the best possible service and experience.

HK: How many hotels is the group planning on opening this year? Can you divide into brands?
TFK: Across EMEA, we are on track to introduce 30 new offerings to the market within 2020, which are either new properties or significant renovations. Beyond 2020, we already have more than 60 hotels in the pipeline for the region and no doubt more exciting developments to come. In the UK, Ireland & Western Europe, our brands of focus for openings are Radisson Collection, Radisson RED and Radisson, our Scandinavian-inspired upscale brand, which is yet to arrive in the region.

Main image credit: Radisson Hotel Group

Nobu Hotels announces 8 new properties in the pipeline

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Nobu Hotels announces 8 new properties in the pipeline

2020 is an exciting year for Nobu Hotels, with 10 hotels currently open and eight more in the pipeline across the US, Europe and Middle East, including regions such as London, Chicago, Warsaw and Riyadh…

Founded by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, Nobu Hotels continues to solidify its reputation as a global hospitality brand with instinctive design, discreet service and fine ingredients at its core.

With eight properties in the pipeline, here are what are expected to be the most significant openings in the near future…

Nobu Hotel Warsaw

Image credit: Nobu Hotels

Nobu Hotel Warsaw 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, making this year the ideal time to explore modern Poland. The capital is evolving as a vibrant travel destination, and with nearly a dozen hotels set to open in Warsaw in 2020, none are as highly anticipated as Nobu Hotel Warsaw. Dynamic and distinctive, the new Nobu Hotel Warsaw is set in the heart of this historic city and will occupy a new building located at Wilcza Street.

Designed by the Polish architectural firm, Medusa Group, the property will also encompass the existing Hotel Rialto. The design will be a collaborative effort between Medusa Group and Californian-based Studio PCH, and will see a transformative architectural design for Warsaw, blending with the original Rialto building.

Nobu Hotel Palo Alto

Slated to be Silicon Valley’s most anticipated hotel renewal in some time, Nobu Hotel Palo Alto will unveil a completely brand-new hotel following its multi-million-dollar transformation.

The 73-room boutique property is elevating its façade, reception and arrival experience, wellness offerings, meeting venues and amenities, guest rooms and a signature Nobu restaurant to reflect the world-renowned standards of Nobu Hospitality. Standout highlights include high-tech guest rooms with Alexa and Toto Neorest washlet toilets, with 90-inch televisions in the eighth floor Ryokan guestrooms, and an elevated fitness studio.

Nobu Hotel London Portman Square

Image credit: Nobu Hotels

Expected to open in summer 2020, the hotel is set in the heart of the city’s West End, in Portman Square W1. Steps from Mayfair’s vibrant restaurants and independent boutiques and on the edge of Soho’s world-famous theatres, Nobu Hotel London Portman Square will shelter 259 guestrooms and suites, a Nobu Restaurant, ballroom and meeting spaces.

Conceptualised by London-based architecture and design firm, David Collins Studio, in conjunction with Make Architects, the property will embody Nobu’s signature Japanese minimalism, drawing upon traditional weaving techniques, patterns and artworks.  

Nobu Hotel Chicago

Image credit: Nobu Hotels

Ideally situated in the vibrant area of Chicago’s west loop, Nobu Hotel Chicago will harness the essence of the energetic and iconic Midwestern town.

Offering 119 guestrooms and suites, Nobu Hotel Chicago will play host to a 10,000-square foot Nobu restaurant, opening out on to Randolph’s famed Restaurant Row. An exquisite 3,000 square foot, multi-use suite will be available for private social functions and meeting space, alongside an indoor pool, state-of-the-art fitness centre, spa treatment rooms and a stylish rooftop indoor and outdoor bar and lounge.

Nobu Hotel Riyadh

Set in the heart of downtown Riyadh, Nobu Hotel Riyadh sports clean lines and a casual elegance, an urban oasis that is the very first five-star luxury boutique hotel in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

A 23-story glass panelled skyscraper, the property rises proudly above the storied skyline and is styled to reflect Nobu’s Japanese heritage, with a nod to arabesque architecture. Innovative printed, layered glass allows light to flood through the façade, complimenting the airy interiors and addressing its striking surroundings. 119 guestrooms and suites sit alongside a spa, fitness facility, executive club lounge, meeting spaces, ballrooms and the Kingdom’s first Nobu Restaurant.

Nobu Hotels are distinctive destinations, each offering a sense of place and a celebration of their own locality.  What they have in common, is that each is designed as a space in which to relax and savour an experience, in an atmosphere charged with a sense of being a part of something rather extraordinary.

Main image credit: Nobu Hotels/Make Architects

In Conversation With: Hamish Brown, Partner at 1508 London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Hamish Brown, Partner at 1508 London

Following some major global project wins, 1508 London’s entrance into hospitality was one that was led by a burning desire to reference local culture, unique design and organic materials in a new generation of luxury hotels. Editor Hamish Kilburn joins one of the firm’s Partner, Hamish Brown, in the London-based studio to learn more…

“There’s a real desire at the moment for brands not to be completely dictatorial about what their hotel should look like,” comments Hamish Brown, Partner at 1508 London, who warmly welcomes me into the studio moments before arriving himself having just walked off the red-eye flight from New York to London. “There are operational and functional standards, for sure, but in terms of design and aesthetics, there is so much more freedom now than there ever has been in hotel design.”

Could it be this movement that opened the door from residential into hospitality for the design studio? Or maybe it’s Brown’s ability to sharply define where the industry is at in this moment even while enduring transatlantic jetlag. Before then, the team at 1508 London were residential pioneers who had created a unique thread of new design standards on the high-end market around the globe; an appealing DNA for developers and operators in the hospitality arena.

It’s a refreshing experience, visiting a working studio that is – despite having already completed The Spa at The Lanesborough, awarded Best Hotel Spa 2019, and is currently working on new spaces for brands such as Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Park Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels and Jumeirah – still relevantly new on the international hospitality scene. It is perchance the gems that are on the boards, as well as the major project wins that the studio has achieved recently, therefore, that is causing the heads in the industry to turn towards the direction of 1508 London.

“I have always really hated the ‘one size fits all’ approach in design.” – Hamish Brown, 1508 London

Most recently, the studio’s pipeline of statement projects includes Rosewood Doha, which is said to become “Qatar’s latest landmark five-star hotel”, the first branded residences in Beverly Hills’ golden triangle and the redesign of Jumeirah Carlton Tower in London, which will infuse a new, lighter sense of grandeur to elevate the guests’ arrival experience.

Render of two towers in doha

Image caption: Render of the majestic towers that will shelter Rosewood Doha, slated to open in 2020 | Image credit: 1508 London/Rosewood Hotels

The structure of the 70-strong designers at 1508 London is supported by four design directors, one of which, Akram Fahmi, was published in The Brit List 2019 following his recent move from his success at another studio. “We try as much as possible here to throw things up in the air, because I have always really hated the ‘one size fits all’ approach in design,” Brown tells me. “We start by first understanding the building’s context – the architecture and the local vernacular – and, as designers, it is our job to be able to draw inspiration from that.”

Brown, who The Times named as a ‘tastemaker’ in 2018, joined the firm in its infancy in 2010. Before that, he worked for a property development firm, swerving anything design-related succeeding a full-on interior architecture degree at the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design. “To be honest, I was a bit overwhelmed after my studies,” he admits. “The modules were attempting to be sensible, but, in reality, they did not prepare me for what life is really like as a designer. It felt a bit like passing my driving test and then merging onto the motorway for the first time.”

Render of the outside of the building

Image caption: Render teasing what the front of Jumeriah Carlton Tower will look like when it majestically remerges back onto the London scene later this year. | Image credit: 1508 London/Jumeriah Hotels

After flirting with the idea of working in high-end residential and retail development, giving student life some time to deliquesce in the memory, Brown initially joined 1508 London as a Business Development Manager. Climbing the ladder rapidly, in 2011 he became Head of Projects, was promoted one year later to become Studio Director and in 2013, he joined CEO and Partner Stuart Horwood as a Partner. “Originally, we were just four people with one vision, and we deliberately didn’t have a house style.” Walking around the studio, I am presented to the brand’s perhaps most impressive creation: the carefully curated cluster of characters – AKA, the designers – who are all driven, I’m told, by the idea of producing better spaces. “We take pride in being very client-centric, and that’s not to put anyone else or any other studio in the industry down – we really do try to respond to briefs with creativity,” Brown adds.

In a recent exclusive roundtable discussion on the topic of meaningfully differentiating luxury in hotel design, Brown mentioned that the studio tries to always capture and create sense-of-place with every project it works on. “Intrinsically, we believe that the exterior and interior of a building should have a strong relationship,” explains Brown. “And that’s often the starting point on most projects. We ask about the location, the architecture and the materials. Quite often, our inquisitive nature then takes over and we will investigate more about things like the culture, the art and the food.”

Luxury pool area inside The Lanesborough

Image caption: Thoughtfully designed, The Spa at The Lanesborough shelters a luxurious hydro pool area. | Image credit: 1508 London/The Lanesborough

In regards to the company’s own sense-of-place, the studio is situated in the heart of the capital and has famous neighbours, sharing the same roof as fashion house Tom Ford’s studio and showroom. With 27 different nationalities under one roof, 1508 London is an outwardly thinking practice that is inspired by different cultures. “Britain is a design hub because of its education,” Brown says. “Our studio is a perfect example. There is a natural flow of talent in London, and that is because individuals from all over the world choose to operate here.”

“Although the first impression in a hotel usually comes from the look and feel, the last impression is of equal importance.” – Hamish Brown, 1508 London.

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

Hamish Kilburn: Where do you feel most at home in London?
Hamish Brown: In South London, with my wife and two children

HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
HB: Sri-Lanka

HK: Was there a designer/or designers who inspired you when you were studying?
HB: Zaha Hadid and Antoni Gaudi, I’ve always fascinated by their uses of materials.

HK: What is the most rewarding part of your role?
HB: Working with people, and learning about cultures. I have learned more about geography as a designer than I ever did at school.

HK: If you were not a designer, what would you do?
HB: I would restore furniture, which is what I want to do when I retire.

HK: How would you describe your four design directors?
HB: They are completely open-minded and expansive beyond belief. You give them a challenge and they will each respond in the most wonderfully exciting ways.

HK: What’s the last item that shows up on your bank statement?
HB: A tactical coffee a Gatwick airport.

One of Brown’s most valuable lessons that he has learned is the balance between design and function. “Although the first impression in a hotel usually comes from the look and feel, the last impression is of equal importance,” he says. “The lasting memory comes from the service and function. To make someone fall in love with their stay, to attract them in the way it looks, you have to be able to deliver on that promise – and that is where the symbiosis happens between design and function.”

For most designers, one project will stand out in the portfolio. For Brown, that project sits majestically on Hyde Park Corner, just a few miles from the studio, and was also one of the first luxury hotels I checked in to as a journalist. “Working with the hotel’s Managing Director at the time, Geoffrey Gelardi, on the design of The Spa at The Lanesborough was incredible,” he says. “He had unbelievable knowledge on how the back-of-house operated, which allowed us to design spaces with complete precision, and enabled us to learn exactly how each area should be utilised. Without a doubt, those lessons have been the major transition between residential and hospitality.”

striking bar with marble surfaces featuring distressed mirrors

Image caption: Worlds away from the hustle and bustle of London life above, The Spa at The Lanesborough is an urban sanctuary unlike any other. | Image credit: 1508 London/The Lanesborough

The fact that we are sat around a beautiful oak table that I find out was rescued by the 1508 London team from an antique shop in Chelsea, exemplifies the studio’s respect for objects and restoration. “In many ways, you are only as good as your materials,” explains Brown. “This rug, even, came from a woman I met in the Middle East. She devoted her life to travelling to tribal areas, bringing groups of people together in the process to make these detailed rugs.”

“I remember using a recycled car windscreen in a bar, which a supplier fused together in order to create a striking bubble-like surface.” – Hamish Brown, 1508 London

The studio is so passionate to learn about new materials and products that it even dedicates time, one day a week, to invite select suppliers into the studio. “This time is an opportunity for us to learn, which is fascinating,” he says. “I remember using a recycled car windscreen in a bar, which a supplier fused together in order to create a striking bubble-like surface. When you backlit it, the result was incredible. The point is, I would never have thought about doing that on my own, and it added a new layer to the high-end project.”

Inspired by the studio’s infectious ethos – as well as its ability to sensitively lead the industry’s evolution ­– I leave Brown and his team in peace to continue reshaping the international landscape of luxury hotels. My evaluation of Hamish Brown? He is a polite and modest man who you can effortlessly spark up a conversation with. Listening intently to hear his passion for design, architecture and the carving out of a new era of hospitality, I can conclude that we do, after all, have more in common than simply a memorable name.

Main image credit: 1508 London

F&B Special: Restaurants raising the bar in architecture & design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
F&B Special: Restaurants raising the bar in architecture & design

Say farewell to conventional restaurants, and say hello to a delicious and enticing world of pure imagination to the latest design-led restaurants to open. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes… 

Ahead of next month, when Hotel Designs will take centre stage at Hospitality Restaurant Catering show, I have good reason to believe that some of the latest restaurants that have opened recently (in and out of the hotel industry) have changed the landscape of hospitality.

And while, some may argue that we should be cautious to focus the lens on purely the F&B scene in fear of losing purpose on other areas within the hotel, it is also an undeniable truth that the new era of international hotels are using their restaurants and bars to drive in a local crowd in order to make the public areas a vibrant hub of activity.

Therefore, here are just some of the latest restaurants and bars to open, which have been designed holistically to improve the overall guest experience.

Under, Europe’s first underwater restaurant

Located at the southernmost point of the Norwegian coastline, where the sea storms from the north and south meet, Europe’s first underwater restaurant is situated at a unique confluence. Marine species flourish here in the both briny and brackish waters to produce a natural abundance in biodiversity at the site. The Snøhetta-designed restaurant, which has just received a Michelin-star status, also functions as a research centre for marine life, providing a tribute to the wild fauna of the sea and to the rocky coastline of Norway’s southern tip.

The structure is designed to fully integrate into its marine environment over time, as the roughness of the concrete shell will function as an artificial reef, welcoming limpets and kelp to inhabit it. With the thick concrete walls lying against the craggy shoreline, the structure is built to withstand pressure and shock from the rugged sea conditions. Like a sunken periscope, the restaurant’s massive window offers a view of the seabed as it changes throughout the seasons and varying weather conditions.

“Under is a natural progression of our experimentation with boundaries, says Snøhetta Founder and Architect, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen. “As a new landmark for Southern Norway, Under proposes unexpected combinations of pronouns and prepositions, and challenges what determines a person’s physical placement in their environment. In this building, you may find yourself under water, over the seabed, between land and sea. This will offer you new perspectives and ways of seeing the world, both beyond and beneath the waterline”.

 Burbank Restaurant at Roomers Frankfurt

Burbank is a new design-led, Asian-fusion restaurant by leading chef, The Duc Ngo. It is situated within Frankfurt’s chic Design Hotels member, Roomers Frankfurt by the Gekko Group. The restaurant is the third partnership between Berlin culinary innovator, The Duc Ngo, and Gekko Group’s founders, Micky Rosen and Alex Urseanu. Burbank joins the group’s portfolio of leading destination restaurants including moriki Frankfurt, moriki Roomers Baden-Baden, and the Golden Phoenix at Provocateur Berlin Hotel. The Duc Ngo creates an inventive and unconventional menu at Burbank, fusing pan-Asian flavours with relaxed Californian and Latin American cooking. 

Beefbar restaurant, Le Coucou Hotel

Reviewed recently in Hotel Designs’ wider feature of Le Coucou Hotel, Beefbar restaurant is, like the rest of the property, sheltered within a unique design scheme. Pierre Yovanovitch, Wallpaper*’s Designer of the Year 2019, pulled out all the stops for this area, using it’s naturally striking vista as strong inspiration. The area is full of thoughtful nods to the hotel’s name, location and character of its owners. A wall of cuckoo clocks above the tables, for example, reflects the traditional decor of the region, and emoji-themed plates create humour in all the right places.

Hey Yo – Hong Kong

Think fresh, vibrant (and wear sunglasses) when stepping inside Hey Yo, which was a winner at the Bar and Restaurant Awards 2019. Inspired by the all the pastel colours of macaroons, the design team at Design Action & Associates took and adopted these colours in different areas of the shop, just like a pastry chef forming different shapes with flour and dough. The designer formed different shapes of design and furniture. Each arch window is painted with grey texture paint. The arch window on the front of the door, includes a bright neon sign which permeates the atmosphere. Beside the continuous arch windows, different colours of display shelves and display items are composed like a dream-like oil painting. Round countertops resemble Macaroons is in their unique hues, and chairs resemble coloured dough in contrast to shaped countertops.’

Wild Honey St James

black and white floors above striking chandeliers

Image credit: Sofitel London St James

Situated metres from The Mall in London, Sofitel London St James’ Wild Honey is a collaboration with renowned chef Anthony Demetre and a reimagination of his iconic restaurant concept. Located on the former site of the beloved bistro The Balcon, the dining room decor has been redesigned and refurbished by Jim Hamilton Design to echo its new direction.

Harlan & Holden Glasshouse Café

With biophilic design wrapping its branches around almost every sector, is it any wonder why design firm GamFratesi used nature as its primary inspiration in the creation of Harlan & Holden Glasshouse? We think not. The rehabilitative restaurant is inspired by a greenhouse. Breaking boundaries between interiors and exterior, the studio swapped windows for walls and used the surrounding landscape to create the space.

Main image credit: Under/Ivar Kvaal

Ultima Collection’s retreat in Geneva marks its first urban property

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Ultima Collection’s retreat in Geneva marks its first urban property

Ultima Collection announces the launch of Ultima Geneva Grand Villa, an urban sanctuary opening on April 1, 2020…

Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, Ultima Geneva Grand Villa will be a luxury residence available for private hire only, offering travellers a stylish gateway to the Alps.

Ultima Geneva represents what the brand is calling a “a new chapter” in Ultima Collection’s development, bringing the luxury comforts for that the Ultima brand is renowned to an urban environment. The Grand Villa is also the first of a series of properties to be located in and around Geneva, which, once opened, will offer both city centre and country destinations.

“The property features high ceilings and is bathed in natural light, offering a sumptuous home with a subtle yet elegant design narrative.”

The retreat will sleep up to 16 guests and will be comprised of one master bedroom, seven bedrooms and a one-bedroom guest villa, all of which are en-suite. Built over three storeys, the villa will be in keeping with Ultima Collection’s commitment to providing an environment of pure relaxation, conviviality and privacy. The property features high ceilings and is bathed in natural light, offering a sumptuous home with a subtle yet elegant design narrative. An understated mix of contemporary lines and traditional architecture will be complemented by the brand’s signature design aesthetic of leather and natural materials, nubuck, sumptuous textiles, and rare marble sourced from Italy and Brazil, punctuated with bold art pieces and statement soft furnishings.

The Ultima Geneva Grand Villa has also been designed with a variety of holistic spaces for those who want to incorporate wellness activities into their itinerary and truly rejuvenate. The villa includes a 200sqm wellness area where guests can choose from a plethora of holistic therapies, a fitness centre, an aesthetics clinic for more specialist treatments, as well as a heated outdoor pool and Jacuzzi. In addition, there will be both an indoor hammam and sauna for guests to enjoy heat therapies.

Ultima Geneva Grand Villa follows on from the success of the Ultima Collection’s existing properties in Gstaad, Crans-Montana, Megève, and Courchevel and will complement the collection by offering travellers the ultimate city break to their ski season itinerary in the winter, or an idyllic summertime getaway.

Main image credit: Ultima Collection

Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower officially opens

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower officially opens

Hyatt Hotels has opened the fully renovated 280-key Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower, a hotel in the gateway to Barcelona’s new financial district…

Connecting travellers between Barcelona’s international airport and city centre, the opening of Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower  marks the second Hyatt Regency branded property in Spain.

Designed by renowned architect Richard Rogers who is best known for his work on the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Millennium Dome in London, and the European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg, the hotel is one of Barcelona’s skyline landmarks. The 344-foot (105-meter) high and 29-story tower is topped by a stunning glass dome providing the top-floor restaurant with breathtaking 360-degree views of the city.

Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower offers 280 contemporary rooms including 41 suites, one Presidential Suite as well as twelve duplex suites, all offering beautiful views of the city skyline. The Presidential Suite is located in the tower on the 26th floor and includes two separate bedrooms, a private office, two large terraces and free access to the Regency Club and Metropolitan Health Club & Spa.

All rooms have ample space, each with walk-in closets, luxurious bathrooms and wall-to-wall mirrors. In addition, the hotel also offers 24-hour room service and around the clock laundry service.

Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower features a range of energising F&B areas. Terrum is a new and unique restaurant concept led by the prestigious two-Michelin starred chef, Oscar Velasco. Fresh and seasonal produce as well as excellent service allow guests to depart on culinary adventures. The Axis Bar invites guests and locals to indulge in cocktails and a variety of snacks and sandwiches in a sophisticated setting. A spectacular outdoor terrace completes the Axis Bar as a perfect place to enjoy the comfortable year-round weather in Barcelona.

The Azimut Restaurant offers a daily breakfast buffet with a wide range of nutritious and healthy options to start the day confidently.

Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower offers a variety of intuitive event and meeting spaces, including its own 500 seat auditorium. Additionally, the Cosmos Room can hold up to 1,800 people and 24 panelled meeting rooms. Furthermore, the hotel lobby offers a wide and open space to work and relax including a spectacular 2034-square-foot (189-square-meter) LED screen, one of the largest in Europe. The flexible meeting spaces backed by the brand’s signature service of personalized care and attention to detail ensures that event planners have seamless and high-touch gatherings.

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Center Parcs unveils luxury spa following £6m refurbishment

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Center Parcs unveils luxury spa following £6m refurbishment

Design consultancy firm Sparcstudio collaborated with Center Parcs on one of the UK’s most highly anticipated spa refurbishments, Aqua Sana Longleat Forest…

Reimagined as a ‘Forest Spa’, with the creation of 24 spa experiences that draw inspiration from different aspects of nature and the surrounding landscape, Aqua Sana Spa at Center Parcs Longleat Forest, UK has relaunched following a £6m refurbishment.

Sparcstudio worked alongside Center Parcs’ own spa experts to help create and design the new ‘Forest Spa’ concept for Center Parcs which is inspired by the tranquil and therapeutic properties of the forest environment. It follows in the footsteps of the first Forest Spa at Aqua Sana Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire and the acclaimed Aqua Sana Longford Forest, Ireland.

“We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work with Center Parcs again on such a transformational and creative project,” said Neil Fairplay, Director at Sparcstudio. “Center Parcs have put their trust in Sparcstudio to deliver the best possible innovative and stimulating spa experience; we couldn’t be happier with the outcome. We focused hard on creating a seamless and intuitive guest journey to provide a more comprehensive and complete spa offer.’’

Following the restyle, the spa’s footprint has increased by 40 per cent and is spread across five themed zones – Nordic Forest, Hot Springs, Volcanic Forest, Forest Immersion and Treetop Nesting – all of which are designed to take guests on a journey through different aspects of nature using multi-sensory experiences, each with a unique, temperate feel, aesthetic and soundscape, inspired by the cold ice climate of the Nordic regions, Volcanic geothermal landscapes and Japanese Mountain Onsens.

living wall in coridor next to salon

Image credit: Center Parcs/Sparcstudio

“From the outset, we imagined a double-height cave environment with an opening in the roof, allowing natural light to flood in, with trailing foliage and gentle mists adding to the ambience,” Fairplay added. “It’s hard not to be wowed by this experience; I think we’ve really pulled it off.”

Guests can enjoy more than 20 hot, cold, herbal and meditative experiences and a multitude of light and dark, immersive and stimulating relaxation spaces 24 treatment rooms and a huge range of steam rooms and saunas, a heated outdoor pool, hot tubs, an ice cave, a selection of relaxation rooms and reflexology foot baths. Two new exclusive experiences have been created the Moonlight Steam Room and the Forest Cavern, replicating a cave hidden deep within a forest, (the region around the site is well known for its caves) this gently warming experience helps to balance mind and body.

sauna looking outside

Image credit: Center Parcs/Sparcstudio

“Our Forest Spa concept has been a huge success at our Sherwood Forest and Longford Forest sites and we wanted to bring that same high quality design and innovative approach to Longleat Forest,” explained Paul Kent, Development and Construction Director at Center Parcs. “We wanted to create a space where the positive benefits of the outside environment fed into the décor, design, experiences and overall atmosphere – a place which is effectively an extension of the forest setting.”

biophilic design in restaurant

Image credit: Center Parcs/Sparcstudio

With the spa now holding up to 125 guests at a time (or 175 including the Vitale Café Bar, treatment and outdoor areas), a sense of space and a clear journey became a major priority for the project. The result is a modern, biophicially designed wellness and wellbeing interior scheme that utilises all areas to create a seamless and intuitive guest journey through the space.

Main image credit: Center Parcs/Sparcstudio

Vienna House opens innovative bleisure hotel in Germany

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Vienna House opens innovative bleisure hotel in Germany

The new 96-key Vienna House hotel forms part of the Musikquartier Kronberg development project to open clear, relaxed designed spaces for bleisure guests…

Centrally located in the idyllic town of Kronberg, just outside the financial hub of Frankfurt am Main, the cosy and stylish Vienna House MQ Kronberg im Taunus is a retreat for business travellers, trade-show guests, music lovers and tourists visiting the city and the region.

“For me, Vienna House MQ Kronberg is a real hotel original,” said Rupert Simoner, CEO of Vienna House. “With playful ease, the classy and timeless design, clear structures and inviting atmosphere meet the specific needs of the location,” says . “Thanks to the good working relationship with Daniel Rinck and his team at Contraco, this vision has become reality after just two years of construction.”

Entering the lobby is an experience in itself. In front of the large staircase hangs an imposing bell, nearly two metres in diameter, which not only serves a decorative purpose but acts as a carillon of sound and light when the cord is pulled. Guests will also notice the audiographic visualisation of a few bars from Ludwig van Beethoven’s Grand Fugue hovering above the free-standing reception tables. The common area continues in the living room on the first floor.

High-quality materials such as warm wood, leather, brass and velvet set the tone in the stylish guest rooms. The surroundings are reflected in the large windows, with window seats that induce reverie. Smart TVs, cosy beds, elegant furnishings, air conditioning and modern bathrooms with walk-in showers complete the wonderfully relaxed atmosphere. The room categories cover the complete range starting from Classic to Superior and Executive.

Breakfast is served in the open kitchen with a large selection of varied and regional products. Real Viennese hospitality can be experienced at lunchtime and in the evening in the cosy restaurant and on the terrace. For the restaurant experience, Vienna House has for the first time entered into a partnership with the famous

The fitness area gives hotel guests an exclusive workout experience with cross-trainers and cardio machines made of wood, which are real eye-catchers. The mobile concierge provides various jogging routes to choose from and the reception team will gladly help in booking a tee time at the nearby Kronberg Golf Club.

At Vienna House MQ Kronberg, music and hospitality go hand in hand. The neighbouring concert hall, named after the great cellist Pablo Casals, will host concerts showcasing young talent from Kronberg Academy as well as world-class musicians and orchestras.

The hotel even has sufficient underground parking, two electric vehicle charging stations and bicycles for hire.

Vienna House is all about endless exploration, the European zeitgeist and modern hospitality. The brand is always bespoke and prides itself on, “always being down-to-earth and on the pulse of the times”.

Main image credit: Vienna House

Wyndham Grand arrives in Portugal

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Wyndham Grand arrives in Portugal

With more than 9,200 hotels across more than 80 countries on six continents, Wyndham Hotels has just opened it’s first Wyndham Grand in Portugal…

The opening of Wyndham Grand Algarve, which is nestled in the coveted Quinta do Lago resort, marks the brand’s arrival in Portugal.

“We are thrilled to have expanded our upper-upscale offering for our guests travelling across EMEA,” said Dimitris Manikis, President & Managing Director for EMEA, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “From Georgia to Greece, Turkey and now Portugal, we now have even more options to suit our traveller’s needs combining one-of-a-kind experience with accessible luxury. This stunning location in the Algarve is the perfect spot to introduce our iconic brand to Portugal. With more than 20 million overnight stays recorded in the first eleven months of 2019 alone, the Algarve continues to attract more travellers and we are delighted to expand our collection in Portugal’s southernmost region.”

birdseye view shot of the property

Image credit: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Helder Santos, CEO of Dynamic Hotels, added: “We are excited about our collaboration with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and to introduce the Wyndham Grand brand to Portugal. The demand for quality accommodation and meeting space in the Algarve is continuing to grow, and working with the world’s largest hotel franchising company will further strengthen our position in the market and help us attract even more international guests.”

The hotel features 132 elegant suites with one or two bedrooms, luxury amenities, a balcony or terrace and complimentary Wi-Fi. The property offers multiple dining options, a full-service spa, state-of-the-art fitness centre, indoor and outdoor pool, and kids clubs. Six renowned golf courses are nearby, as is Quinta do Lago’s sports campus, which offers tennis, swimming, football and much more.

Wyndham Grand is an ensemble of distinguished hotels that are approachable by design, with refined accommodation, attentive service and relaxed surroundings. The debut of Wyndham Grand in Portugal is the latest in the brand’s recent expansion to more sought-after destinations around the world. In 2019 alone, Wyndham Grand entered Georgia (Tbilisi), Croatia (Novi Vinodolski), the Greek Islands (Crete) and added other iconic properties in Turkey, California, Vietnam and Mexico. Other top destinations for Wyndham Grand include Shanghai, Istanbul, Salzburg, Athens, Manama, Chicago, Orlando, amongst others.

The brand’s future expansion plans include a pipeline of 20 additional hotels in various destinations, including St. Kitts and Nevis, Barbados, Belize and a new dual-branded Wyndham Grand and TRYP by Wyndham hotel in Miami, Florida.

Main image credit: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

UNILIN has the perfect match this Valentine’s Day

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
UNILIN has the perfect match this Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day, division panel supplier UNILIN is enticing designers and architects to “find the perfect match” with UNILIN Evola

Edges can play a leading role in delivering a high-quality aesthetic. And with UNILIN, division panels, there’s no shortage of complementing and contrasting edging tape to bring your surfaces and furniture to life.

From a uniform look with perfectly matched edging tapes in texture and colour for every UNILIN Evola décor, through to contrasting pops of citrus, designers can use UNILIN edging tapes to show that it’s the details that matter in delivering a first-class finish in commercial interiors.

Sofie Coulier, UNILIN, division panels, says, ‘Edges are not often thought of as a design element, but they can really make or break the quality of finish, as well as add a sense of quirkiness or added luxury. By choosing a perfectly matched edging tape you can give a more authentic look, with synchronised texture and colour ensuring the very best in realism. Want to add a bit of personality? Add lime, lemon or orange pops as a surprise on the inside of drawers. Or for that ultimate luxurious look, edge shelves in metallic gold for a really custom-made, high-end feel.’

To make sure its UNILIN Evola edging tapes deliver authenticity, UNILIN, division panels, has gone to extraordinary lengths. For example, to emulate the original look of solid wood the manufacturer has developed edging tape with an end-grain print. The cross-section design gives a more natural overall result.

Not only has UNILIN, division panels, considered the detail in the design of its edging tapes, but also in performance. With standard melamine as well as an ABS specification that delivers high levels of impact-resistance for demanding interiors such as offices, hospitality and retail, specifiers and designers can be confident of lasting performance in virtually any application.

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

Surface Design Awards 2020: Winners announced

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Surface Design Awards 2020: Winners announced

The winners of the Surface Design Awards 2020 have been announced at the 15th Surface Design Show in London. Editor Hamish Kilburn was at the breakfast ceremony to catch the winners being crowned…

The final day of the Surface Design Show 2020 started in spectacular fashion, with the winners of the Surface Design Awards 2020 being crowned.

The Awards, hosted by author and independent event organiser Aidan Walker, celebrate excellence in architectural projects worldwide and the materials used in their creation.

The impressive Krushi Bhawan from Bhubaneswa, India by Studio Lotus was named the Supreme Winner, as well as winning the Public Building Interior and Public Building Exterior categories. Capturing the admiration of all the judges Krushi Bhawan is a testament to design, created for the Odisha State Government’s Agriculture Department in India. The centre incorporates an eye-catching façade drawn from vernacular materials and narratives, which responds to the local climate and offers glimpses into the region’s agricultural folklore and mythology, which have been envisioned at an unprecedented architectural scale.

Judge Paul Priestman of PriestmanGoode praised the project’s sense of place, stating “This building characterises part of the world. It’s a lovely reflection of culture using local materials.” Glenn Johnson of Collins Aerospace added “Somebody’s heart and soul is in this building.”

Across 14 categories in total, from retail and public buildings to commercial projects and housing, including new categories public realm and affordable housing, the Award’s entries comprised the best in architecture and design from across the globe. Giles Miller Studio, Mikhail Riches and Chris Dyson Architects from the UK, Steven Holl Architects for the USA, and Kris Lin International Design from China were amongst those shortlisted.

Launched six years ago, the Awards have continued to grow in stature to become one of the most respected accolades in the design awards realm. This year’s shortlist comprised an impressive 39 projects across the 14 categories. Such was the quality of entries submitted that some projects won nominations across several categories. Demonstrating the truly international reach of the Awards, projects on the shortlist spanned 13 countries from 34 different organisations with emerging practices represented, as well as established firms.

The 2020 judging panel of industry experts was Co-Chaired by Paul Priestman from PriestmanGoode and Amin Taha from Groupwork. The judges were Nikki Barton, British Airways; Sean Griffiths, Modern Architect; Charles Holland, Charles Holland Architects; Glenn Johnson, Collins Aerospace; Daniel Mota Veiga, KEF / GP Acoustics and Steve Webb, Webb Yates Engineers.

The judging panel commended both the high quality and variety of entries within the field of surfaces and materials. The entries in the new affordable housing and public realm categories were particularly praised for their innovation and diversity in their respective sectors.

WilkinsonEyre and Zeidler Architecture’s CF Toronto Eaton Centre Bridge won in Public Realm after being admired for its avant-garde design. Goldsmith Street, based in the UK and designed by Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley, was applauded for its warmth and community feel by the judges, and was announced the winner of the Affordable Housing category.

With sustainability at the top of the agenda throughout the design industry, the Sustainable Surface Exterior and Sustainable Surface Interior categories captured the judge’s attention. Crystal Palace Park Café by Chris Dyson Architects, with its external cladding in half round cedar shingles, was the exterior winner whilst Muse Acoustic Panels, by Woven Image in collaboration with Michael Young won in the interior category.

The Housing Exterior category had an outstanding level of bespoke entries. House on an Island, by Atelier Oslo and Kebony, was rewarded the winning position with judges admiring the building’s relationship with the nature that surrounds it. Winning the Housing Interior award, the elegant 20 Kings Road, London was highlighted for its complementary and sensitive use of materials.

Designed by Arup, University of Sheffield Concourse’s bold simplistic lighting was congratulated for making it a destination rather than an area to get through quickly, by creating a multi-use space to encourage students to sit, dwell and relax. Nikki Barton, British Airways, said Arup has “completely transformed and enhanced the space,” with the entry being awarded the Light and Surface Exterior award.

Captivating the hearts of the judges, the Yashoda Cancer Hospital’s open sky courtyard creates a focal point for the New Delhi hospital, and gives patients a place to escape and be surrounded by greenery. The pergola above the courtyard is made using a combination of colourful hanging glass panels which create a light-well filled with colourful shadows within the core of the hospital. The installation, designed by Studio An-V-Thot Architects, was highly commended for its commitment to creating a less-hospital-like environment for patients, being awarded the winner of the Light and Surface Interior.

Putting education at the forefront, Vora’s Can Rosés Temporary School claimed the Temporary Structures award for the redesign of an ancient Spanish farmhouse into a school for 3 years use. The judges were impressed by the innovative repurposing of an existing structure to create a school space with great character, which after the period of use will be easily dissembled.

The winner of the Commercial Building Exterior award was the expressive linear form of the Nobu Hotel Shoreditch by Ben Adams Architects, whilst Kingdom Design Studio by Kingdom Industry in the USA gained the Commercial Building Interior award. In an effort to be resourceful Kingdom Industry’s design utilised raw materials in such a way as to elevate their intrinsic quality, creating an experience for visitors through differing break-out spaces, materials and environments used throughout the space.

United Cycling LAB & Store, which distributes and sells high-end brands for the bicycle market in Northern Europe, was named winner of the Retail Building award. Its first ever flagship-store and showroom was designed by Johannes Torpe to reflect the underlying principles of the company, creating a space that fosters knowledge, learning and innovation.

Still to come at the Surface Design Show 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Still to come at the Surface Design Show 2020

As the final day of Surface Design Show approaches in London, there is so much still to look forward to, including an engaging panel discussion hosted by editor Hamish Kilburn

Celebrating 15 years, Surface Design Show (#SDS20) has once again stolen the limelight early in the season, with an impressive 170 exhibitors showcasing their latest products as well as a packed programme of 30 presentations from 50 expert speakers.

Among them is editor Hamish Kilburn who is preparing to take the main stage with Jeremy Grove (head of design and director, Sibley Grove), Richard Holland (director, Holland Harvey Architects) and Fraser Lockley (architectural consultancy manager, Parkside Architectural Tiles) to deliver the panel discussion entitled: Biophilic Materials in Surface Design at 12.30pm.

The show is a must-visit for architects, designers and specifiers looking for material inspiration from the UK and around the world. The 2019 show hosted 5,071 unique visitors, 80 per cent of whom were from the A&D sector, who came to explore the inspiring array of surfaces on display, be entertained and learn from the presentations on offer and network with like-minded industry professionals.

With sustainability at the top of the architecture and design agenda, the chosen theme for this year’s show is ‘Close to Home’. The theme has allowed the industry to look beyond aesthetics and into manufacturers’ impact on the environment, from the processes used in mining or manufacture, through to the carbon footprint sustained during sales and distribution. Designing with a conscience will also be examined, from reusing waste materials to looking at what happens at the end of a product’s life cycle. This topic is not only highlighted throughout the extensive talks programme but is also a focus within Surface Spotlight Live.

Hotel Designs’ ‘editor’s round-up’ of the Surface Design Show 2020 will be published shortly.

Main image credit: Surface Design Show

In conversation with: Pierre Yovanovitch, interior design’s answer to haute couture

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In conversation with: Pierre Yovanovitch, interior design’s answer to haute couture

With his latest project Hotel Le Coucou in the French Alps as an apt backdrop, Wallpaper*’s Designer of the Year Pierre Yovanovitch joins editor Hamish Kilburn to discuss milestones, new directions and his signature couture approach to interior design…

In my official review of Hotel Le Coucou, I mention that it is the hotel’s idiosyncratic take on slope-side luxury that has made it onto the radar of winter luxury travellers. Far removed from the conventional ski-in/ski-out luxury hotel, Hotel Le Coucou, more than 1,400 metres above sea level, takes unapologetic risks in its design to boldly shelter contrasting tones, bespoke lighting and animal-shaped furniture.

“They told me about the project, and mentioned that I was the only designer they were interested in working with for it.” – Pierre Yovanovitch.

The creative genius behind the project who in just three years sensitively created the 55-key new-build hotel, from a piste ski route into the jewel it stands as today, is Pierre Yovanovitch. The fashion designer who turned architect/designer was recently crowned Wallpaper*’s Designer of the Year 2019. He joins me for breakfast during my review of the hotel in the property’s Bianca Neve restaurant. Together, we discuss overcoming project obstacles, working to tight deadlines as well as the key moments that have shaped his abstract career.

Making the headlines recently for becoming Wallpaper*’s Designer of the Year 2019, Yovanovitch’s unique style is in hot demand. “For me, being celebrated in that way was completely unexpected,” he tells me. “For the business, though, it has been a real turning point. We have just opened an office in New York, which was completely necessary because of the increase in projects we are working on in North America. However, regardless of where we open offices, we will always be proud to be a French design studio in our approach to all projects.”

Room with interesting pieces of shaped furniture and art with man lying dead on beach

Image caption/credit: Chateau de Fabrègues, Provence/Jérome Galland

Hamish Kilburn: Let’s talk about Hotel Le Coucou. Why was was it your most challenging hotel project to date?

Pierre Yovanovitch: First of all, where we are sat right now was a piste slope before. Meribel has many constraints when it comes to architecture. Some ski resorts in France made a lot of mistakes in the ‘70s and ’80s when they built new properties without respecting the mountain-chalet style.

“Hotel Le Coucou is a complex design; its structure cascades down more than 10 levels and has very narrow areas.” – Pierre Yovanovitch.

Here, buildings have to be made from local materials, they have to match the colour of other buildings in the area and even have a specific shape. While in some ski resorts, designers and architects are able to create architectural masterpieces, in Meribel that simply is not possible. Hotel Le Coucou is a complex design; its structure cascades down more than 10 levels and has very narrow areas. Therefore, it was not an easy project to work on.

White fluffy chair and bold blue sofa

Image credit: Hotel Le Coucou

HK: Can you explain how Maisons Pariente reached out to you with this project?

The Pariente family approached me three years ago, which only feels like yesterday to be honest. They told me about the project, and mentioned that I was the only designer they were interested in working with for it. Yes, there was a burden, but I was also very honoured, and the pressure was good. 

HK: What inspired you when you first started drawing the design for Hotel Le Coucou?

PY: The views! In most hotels, you have rooms with good views and bad views. Here, though, every room opens up to capture an amazing panoramic vista of the area. It was important to me that each room utilized this fabulous site. Sometimes, the view even becomes more important than the décor.

HK: How did the hotel’s concept come to life?

PY: There were so many local constraints, so I worked with a very local architect on the building’s construction. Once we had the shell of the building, I started to draw everything inside, and some changes were made in order to open up the space. The ceiling in the lobby, for example, was too low and we had to lose a bedroom in order to create that dome-like structure you see when you arrive.

We designed everything and we had to work as quickly as possible. We drew and designed more than 140 pieces of furniture and lighting for this project. I wanted to create something special, and when we decided to purchase something over making it, it was usually because it was vintage. Creating so many pieces was a good exercise for me, because I want some of my items of furniture and lighting to become more accessible.

HK: What is it about the Scandi/American style of furniture that you love?

PY: Scandinavian furniture is instantly recognisable, but it is also timeless and I like the fact that you cannot link it to a period in time or a trend. It becomes more chic. It is also simple, made from nice wood and has a good shape. My experiment was to blend this with a Californian style, which was something new to me and other French designers.

Bear chair next to lamp and on snow-inspired carpet

Image credit: Hotel Le Cou cou/Jérôme Galland

HK: What was it like to work with Christian Louboutin in 2015, and how did that change your career?  

PY: Chistian Louboutin called me one day, out of the blue, and asked me to design the global concept of his first boutique dedicated to beauty. It was a lot of fun, and I love working on projects that are very different because they challenge me in the best way.

Image of Christain Louboutin and Pierre Yovanovitch in white space

Image credit: Louboutin Beauty Boutique Paris, 2015

HK: What other highlights in your career can you now identify as milestones?

PY: As you can see, I have a very strong interest in furniture, and I have always taken a lot of inspiration from the short yet impactful ‘Swedish Grace’ movement from the early 20th century. In 2005, my profile as a designer grew quickly after I decided to create an exhibition that was inspired by this movement.

Another moment happened two years ago when I was asked to put on an exhibition at Villa Noailles Hyères. I invented a narrative about a woman. In each room, different pieces of art and furniture as well as text told the story of this character. The area sparked a lot of interest from press and the design community. People understood my love and passion for art, theatre and literature. You see, design is larger than interiors. It sits somewhere between art and craftsmanship. I don’t like to be enclosed and I work better when I have freedom on where I source my inspiration from.

HK: Who inspired you to take risks in design?

PY: I worked with fashion designer Pierre Cardin. He warned me that if I didn’t take risks then I would stay small. He has a very strong style and, in a way, he is an architect. Working with Cardin was a very good experience for me, and his words still inspire me today.

QUICK-FIRE ROUND:

HK: What trend do you hope never returns?
PY: Trends are not interesting. I hate the idea of following trends.

 HK: Where is next on your travel bucket list?
PY: Glasgow. I am taking my whole team there next week to learn the work of architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. I really need to learn new things when I travel.

HK: Describe your team in three words?
PY: Family, friends and positivity

HK: If you could start from scratch with Hotel Le Coucou, would you change anything?
PY: I would change everything! I have new ideas all the time, but this project is a moment in time that I am proud of.

HK: What have your learned from this project?
PY: That constraints are fantastic because budget and time limits allow you to be more creative.

While working on the final stages to complete Hotel Le Coucou, Yovanovitch’s time was split among other projects. In London, he was given just two months to design new interiors for high-end restaurant Hélène Darroze at The Connaught. With the history and heritage of the building on his shoulders, the designer injected style into the space with a sensitively blend of salmon-toned surfaces, bespoke curved furniture and a distinct refined yet comfortable style.

“For me, there are two reasons why I liked that project, Yovanovitch explains. “The first is the chef, Hélène Darroze, who is such a lovely lady. And second was the building itself. Darroze asked me to design something feminine and she ended up loving my idea to narrate through design the tension between masculine and feminine. This project was another example of me drawing everything from scratch – from the lighting to the furniture and even the ceiling. It became a haute Couture project unique for her.”

As our breakfast comes to an end, I am left with little more than a teaser that unveils the designer/architects next movements will be as bold as his latest project. “I am currently working on a few projects, which means that I am travelling a lot” he concludes. “Expect something loud and over the top.”

It’s difficult not to be touched by Yovanovitch’s approach to new challenges. His confident approach to say yes to projects that will stretch his limits as a designer has allowed his to take the industry to a new level – one that is playful, couture-driven and always meaningful.

It’s clear that overhauling iconic spaces into something more is, each time, a personal journey itself that allows Yovanovitch to grow as a creative and artist. Although the challenges that Yovanovitch faces often come with insomnia and the inability to simply switch off, it is his passion and devotion to innovation in the industry that has made him one of the greatest designer/architects of our time.

Main image credit: Pierre Yovanovitch Studio/Vincent Desailly

FIRST LOOK: Inside the Maldives’ next-gen wellness hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FIRST LOOK: Inside the Maldives’ next-gen wellness hotel

Kagi Maldives Spa Island will harbour a 360-degree wellness experience, complete with a teardrop-shaped floating yoga pavilion at its centre…

Designed by esteemed architect Yuji Yamazaki, who was the mastermind behind the world’s first underwater villa, Kagi Maldives Spa Island is expected to open in July 2020. 

The boutique 50-villa property will provide travellers with a 360-degree wellness experience, with 1500-square-metre spa and wellness hub, complete with an open-air, teardrop-shaped floating yoga pavilion at its centre. Kagi will also house a state-of-the-art gym, two restaurants, three bars, a dive centre and a house reef.

Guests will be able to choose from three room types, a Beach Pool Villa, a Lagoon Pool Villa or an Ocean Pool Villa, all of which will be distinguished by their unique locations and will house a private pool, a sun deck and an expansive indoor-outdoor bathroom.

render of floating villa

Image credit: Kagi Maldives Spa Island

A fully integrated wellness centre, the spa will consist of four treatment rooms with outdoor bathing facilities, a relaxation lounge, beauty salon, fully-equipped yoga and sound-healing studio, steam rooms and a spa wellness boutique. A ‘Spa Corner’ will raise the ‘juice’ bar with superfoods and ingredients rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, offering a variety of drinks that are as delicious as they are energising and nutritious.

The hotel will shelter two restaurants, three bars and an expansive wine cellar in addition to the wellness-oriented ‘Spa Corner’. The resort’s fusion cuisine will take inspiration from the geographical ‘ring of fire’ that surrounds the Maldives, from the highly spiced and fragranced cuisine of East Asia to the bold, fiery flavours of South America and Oceania.

Render of open-planned restaurant

Image credit: Kagi Maldives Spa Island

The resort will provide an ‘out-of-home kitchen experience’ across its dining outlets, with a focus on whole foods and locally and sustainably sourced ingredients. Menus will be designed to create dishes that are high in flavour and low in sugar, fat, salt and gluten. For example, chefs will make use of the tandoor, a type of Indian oven that allows for the fat-free cooking of meat and fish while introducing a smoky, charred flavour.

Main image credit: Kagi Maldives Spa Island

One of the Maldives’ few resorts with a female-led management team, Kagi will embody the country’s warm island spirit while promoting the art of wellbeing.

Hotel Indigo opens botanical boutique gem in Brussels

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Indigo opens botanical boutique gem in Brussels

IHG has announced the opening of Hotel Indigo Brussels – City…

Adjacent to the gleaming international office buildings of Brussels-centre, named locally as the “little Manhattan”,  IHG’s boutique brand Hotel Indigo has opened Hotel Indigo Brussels – City in Place Charles Rogier.

Just behind this bustling modernity lies a beautiful and tranquil green space, the Botanic Gardens, which became a dominant source of inspiration behind the interior design concept of the hotel.

plants frame lifts

Image credit: IHG

Hotel Indigo Brussels – City shelters 284 guestrooms, putting it on the larger scale of ’boutique’. Referencing its surroundings, the hotel’s rooms and suites feature three garden-inspired themes: floral, herbal, and tropical. The room designs mimic what used to be the grand greenhouse in the Botanical Gardens which was also split into the above three climates. Guests will be fully immersed into a unique botanical theme throughout the hotel, with the walls and some ceilings in the rooms boasting very bold botanic inspired patterns and self-sustaining PikaPlant Jars, the original airtight terrarium. Each room boasts premium bedding, a working corner equipped with complementary water, a coffee-machine, a smart TV, high-speed internet, and a spa-inspired en-suite bathroom with Art Deco touches.

Brussels is the epicentre of architectural treasures with unique neighbourhoods strewn throughout the city. From the Royal Quarter to the Grand Palace and Îlot Sacré which houses the city’s 15th century Gothic town hall, the city has a lot to offer those coming to visit. 

“Hotel Indigo is IHG’s fastest growing boutique brand and is set to double over the next three – five years,” said  Eric Viale, Managing Director Southern Europe, IHG. The brand is now at home in over 100 different and vibrant neighbourhoods globally, which is an incredibly exciting milestone. We provide guests with the best of both worlds – the promise of a design-led hotel and the reassurance of a consistently upscale experience with the IHG name behind it.”

large lobby/lounge bar area with plants

Image credit: IHG

The hotel is also home to the new SERRA, a restaurant that is dedicated to producing good food that has a positive impact on people and the planet. A combination of terra (the soil) and serre (the greenhouse), the name SERRA is a tribute to nature as both aspects help to grow food. Offering a quick bite at Urban Picnic or a delicious menu at Garden Kitchen, Serra is centred around the ethos that good food has a positive impact on people and the planet. Serra describes itself as “authentic, eco-friendly, locavore” with everything being sourced or grown within 100 miles of the hotel.

Hotel Indigo has amplified its presence on the international hotel design scene recently, with more than 112 properties open globally and a further 102 in the hotel pipeline, including Hotel Indigo Clerkenwell that Hotel Designs is following from concept through to completion.

Main image credit: IHG

PRODUCT WATCH: Spectre from Parkside

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Spectre from Parkside

Ahead of Fraser Lockley from the brand joining editor Hamish Kilburn on stage on Thursday at the Surface Design Show, Parkside Architectural Tiles has launched a new ceramic wall tile collection…

A study that investigates the reactions of light on different glazes to playful effect, Spectre is the new ceramic wall tile collection from Parkside Architectural Tiles.

Made up of three glaze finishes; the playful and pearlescent hologram, matt and gloss, Spectre lets designers explore the interaction of light on different surfaces. The matt and gloss finishes are available on their own, or with a mixed finish box including all three finishes. By combining the different glazes in either a random combination or structured pattern, the collection can be used to dramatic effect, with light dancing across the finishes for a unique look at every viewing angle.

Most notable, the hologram finish uses a precious metals glaze to recreate an incredibly captivating and ever-changing spectrum effect. Each tile is unique, simply adding to the impact, with different gradients and shade combinations. Changing colour and reflectivity depending on where its viewed and the light conditions at that time, the hologram finish brings a different kind of pop to wall tiles.

Spectre comes in four colours of Sky, Cream, Rose and Milk and brings a thoroughly modern aesthetic, heightened by the intriguing 5cm x 25cm vertical format: “Spectre is an extraordinary collection that uses light as its catalyst for creativity,” explains Ian Mattacola, product manager, Parkside Architectural Tiles. “Creating iridescent rhythmic patterns through thoughtful pastel tones, it’s a tile that feels thoroughly modern and elegant while somehow bringing an intoxicating, playful spirit.”

Suitable for both commercial and residential interiors, the exclusive Spectre collection is available from Parkside in all four colourways, giving designers and specifiers the chance to explore unique finishes with the reassurance of the supplier’s high service levels.

Hotel Designs’ Hamish Kilburn will host the panel discussion entitled: Biophilic Materials in Surface Design. He will be joined on the sofa by Fraser Lockley (architectural consultancy manager at Parkside Architectural Tiles), Jeremy Grove (Managing Director of Sibley Grove) and Richard Holland (Director of Holland Harvey Architects).

Main image credit: Parkside Architectural Tiles

Render of luxurious public area

Hilton’s ‘Collection’ brands add more than 100 hotels to global pipeline

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hilton’s ‘Collection’ brands add more than 100 hotels to global pipeline

Curio Collection and Tapestry Collection by Hilton unveil to increase global pipeline by 120 hotels…

From picturesque island getaways to charming small towns, Hilton’s full service Collection brands – Curio Collection by Hilton and Tapestry Collection by Hilton – opened 40 unique hotels last year in sought-after destinations.

Render of luxurious public area

In 2020, the brands’ development goals feature notable milestones, including Curio Collection’s 100th hotel opening and Tapestry Collection’s debut in Europe.

“Today, Curio Collection and Tapestry Collection offer travellers distinctive experiences at more than 100 hotels worldwide – from enjoying locally sourced seafood from the surrounding ocean waters as part of the Dock to Dish program at Baker’s Cay Resort Key Largo, to admiring the original chocolate factory design at The Wilbur Lititz near historic Hershey, Pennsylvania,” said Jenna Hackett, global head, Hilton’s Collection brands. “Hilton’s Collection brands promise our guests an enriching travel experience. Through the introduction of unique hotels to our growing global portfolio, we can maintain that promise on an even greater scale with anticipated openings in destinations like Lisbon, Paris and Madrid.”

In the year ahead, Curio Collection and Tapestry Collection are expected to welcome the following hotels:

Curio Collection openings

  • The Emerald House Lisbon, Curio Collection by Hilton (Q3 2020): The Emerald House Lisbon is undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation and will be situated in the heart of Lisbon, steps away from many of Lisbon’s top attractions and the historical districts of Chiado and Baixa, known for its vibrant restaurant scene, boutique shops and local culture. The hotel will boast 67 guest rooms, a fitness center, restaurant and bar for guests and local residents to enjoy.
  • Navy Pier Chicago, Curio Collection by Hilton (Q3 2020): As Curio Collection’s second property in Chicago and the first hotel on Navy Pier, Navy Pier Chicago’s 222 guest rooms will feature floor to ceiling windows that showcase breathtaking views of the city’s famed skyline, Lake Michigan and the Pier. Guests will also enjoy a high-energy first floor restaurant, a state-of-the-art fitness center and an unparalleled 30,000-square-foot rooftop restaurant, bar and event space.
  • The Fellows House Cambridge, Curio Collection by Hilton (Q3 2020): The Fellows House Cambridge embraces Cambridge’s heritage as home to one of the U.K.’s most prestigious universities. Everything from the hotel’s interiors to its name pays tasteful tribute to the great minds who have graced the city through the centuries. Filled with poetry, scientific drawings and famous quotations, the hotel will offer guests a place to truly stay, eat and drink in the style and culture of the city.

Tapestry Collection openings

  • Atocha Hotel Madrid, Tapestry Collection by Hilton (Q1 2020): The first Tapestry Collection hotel to open in Spain, Atocha Hotel Madrid will introduce the Tapestry Collection experience to Madrid locals and visitors alike. The 46-room hotel on Calle Atocha is just metres from Madrid Atocha railway station, the busiest in Spain, and is within walking distance of popular tourist attractions, including the Golden Triangle of Art museums, Puerto del Sol which contains the famous city square clock and Plaza Mayor, boasting grand Spanish architecture.
  • Le Belgrand Hotel Paris Champs Elysees, Tapestry Collection by Hilton (Q1 2020): As the first Tapestry Collection hotel in France, Le Belgrand Hotel Paris Champs Elysees is undergoing a significant renovation designed to create a unique ambience and reflect the building’s heritage. Guests will enjoy a lobby/bar area and thoughtful touches throughout the property, including original artwork exclusively curated for the hotel and placed in all rooms and public areas showcasing well-known French artists.
  • Bermudiana Beach Resort, Tapestry Collection by Hilton (Q4 2020): Situated on a cliff overlooking the pristine pink-sand beach and turquoise waters, Bermudiana Beach Resort will welcome guests to 90 fully furnished hotel residences. As the first Hilton property in Bermuda, the resort will offer an array of vibrant amenities including a family-friendly swimming pool and infinity pool, an indulging spa, an immaculate and secluded beach in addition to a terrace with its signature restaurant, bar and ocean views.

Together, Curio Collection and Tapestry Collection have more than 120 properties in their pipelines. From urban destinations like Washington, D.C. to cultural hot spots like Taipei, both brands will continue to evolve their offerings to feature each hotel’s unique identity and story, weaving in local culture and providing each guest a rich experience that is authentic to its destination.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

Yello and blue contemporary arm chairs in light chalet-style room

Checking in to review Hotel Le Coucou, Meribel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in to review Hotel Le Coucou, Meribel

15 years after first discovering the magic of Meribel in the French Alps, editor Hamish Kilburn is back – this time to review the destination’s latest ski-in/ski-out luxury hotel

In-between snow-blanketed fir trees, more than 1,400 metres above sea level in the French Alps, Hotel Le Coucou is Meribel’s latest luxury ski-in/ski-out hotel.

Yello and blue contemporary arm chairs in light chalet-style room

Award-winning French designer/architect Pierre Yovanovitch, who was last year crowned Wallpaper*’s Designer of the Year, was presented with a blank-canvas brief with his latest hotel project. Within just three years, he managed to create a sensitive architectural shell and fill it with his signature couture approach to interior design, including more than 140 bespoke furniture and lighting pieces – think abstract, animal-like armchairs and ice-inspired chandeliers. “There was so much pressure, because three years is not long for a project on this scale,” says Yovanovitch, “but it was a good challenge and the time restraint spurred me on to create something unique for the area.”

“We were familiar of Pierre’s work and knew instantly that he was perfect for what we had in mind for this hotel.”  – Kimberley Cohen, Artistic Director of Maisons Pariente.

Image from balcony looking out onto the mountains

Image credit: Hotel Le Coucou

With a list of strict local architectural planning constraints to abide by, in regards to using only local materials and regionally-integrated styles, the 55-key boutique hotel quickly became one the of designer’s most ambitious projects to date. “Previously, hotels that opened in ski resorts made a lot of mistakes, especially new-build properties that opened in the ‘70s,” Yovanovitch adds. “It was impossible to create a striking architectural structure because of the town’s uncompromising architecture regulations.”

“We had to lose a bedroom in the design stages in order to open up space for the oval-shaped lobby.” – Pierre Yovanovitch.

Despite the hotel seamlessly blending in to the natural winter wonderland location from the exterior (literally positioned on what was previously a piste ski route), inside, Yovanovitch paints a contrasting picture. Through the blonde, wooden-framed automatic doors, an understated check-in desk sits under a large painted oval ceiling. “Originally, the ceiling in the lobby was too low,” the designer explains. “As a result, we had to lose a bedroom in the design stages in order to open up space for the oval-shaped lobby.” The now intricately painted ceiling that forms a backdrop for a chandelier that looks like a melting ice cube is also guests’ first introduction to a loose motif, which continues throughout the hotel: the theme of owls – think of it as the designer’s contemporary flair, or a well-placed obsession.

intricate dome in the ceiling shelters seating underneith

Image caption/credit: The quirky, understated hotel lobby/Hotel Le Coucou

For the owners of the hotel, Maisons Pariente, there was only ever one designer for the job. “We were familiar of Pierre’s work and knew instantly that he was perfect for what we had in mind for this hotel,” said Kimberley Cohen, Artistic Director of Maisons Pariente. Thanks to the designer’s idiosyncratic take on slope-side luxury, Hotel Le Coucou has made it onto the radar of winter luxury travellers.

As well as the property remaining sensitive to its location in order to not lose the charm and personality of the local architecture, the public areas are also a nod to Yovanovitch’s stamp in the world of interior design. Several iconic Bear Chairs from his recent collaboration with R&Company, for example, are meaningfully scattered around the public areas, which adds the designer’s signature playful and contemporary style inside the shell of what on the outside looks to be a traditional alpine hotel.

“I was inspired to ensure that every room had an amazing view.” – Pierre Yovanovitch.

Capturing what you could strongly argue, from a hotels perspective at least, to be the most striking panoramic vistas in all of the French Alps, each of the boutique jewel’s guestrooms and suites have been designed to frame postcard-perfect views of undulating mountains. “I was inspired to ensure that every room had an amazing view, that was the most important thing when I came to design these areas,” explains Yovanovitch. “Sometimes, the view itself is more important than the décor.”

The 39 suites and 16 rooms are adorned with rich, warm colours and more than 160 contemporary art pieces as well as modern technology. The snow-inspired carpets inject sense-of-place and add a new layer of character into the lodge-like spaces. Although each guestroom and suite share the same motif, each shelter individual elements and somehow still maintain a traditional alpine style.

Bear chair next to lamp and on snow-inspired carpet

Image credit: Hotel Le Coucou/Jérôme Galland

The plush en-suite bathrooms, which are layered in marble, feature quality supplier labels and are complete with Italian faucets from Stella, Duravit W/Cs with Geberit operation panels and Beurer vanity mirrors as well as discreet wash-room style shower that is simple to operate. Character is injected into these spaces with imperfect oval-shaped mirrors and Yovanovitch’s bulb lighting.

Hidden downstairs, away from the public eye, are the hotel’s two four-bedroom chalets; worlds of their own. Both expansive two-floor chalets showcase Yovanovitch’s mastery of volume and architectural angles and continue to combine five-star luxury amenities with the detailed craftsmanship found in a traditional alpine home. Each are fully equipped with en-suite bedrooms, spacious living area and a games area as well as a private ski room, pool and spa.

For the main hotel guests, the hotel’s indoor and outdoor pool also feature private moments, such as relaxation areas that are nestled poolside underneath sculpted arches. The pool areas, divided by a bay window, create a stunning, trompe-l’oeil effect with views of the postcard-perfect vista outdoors. Down the corridor, six massage treatment rooms with specialist treatments from Tata Harper and a sauna area offer a deeply relaxing experience, and above this area is a state-of-the-art fitness studio and gym.

While there are three F&B areas in the hotel, the Beefbar restaurant and the adjacent bar create equal statement, as they frame the most spectacular views through unobtrusive floor-to-ceiling windows and are deliberately placed on the ground floor to create a dramatic first impression.

The Beefbar restaurant is full of thoughtful nods to the hotel’s name, location and character of its owners. A wall of cuckoo clocks above the tables, for example, reflects the traditional decor of the region, and emoji-themed plates create humour in all the right places. In the bar, low-level furniture that, when not sat on, abstrusely depicts an owl sitting on a textured geometric carpet. Together with a pastel pink, blue and mustard palate in the walls and furniture makes this area an exciting instagrammable space that feels warm, inviting and far from stuffy. Meanwhile, the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant, Bianca Neve, is located on a lower floor and is ideal for an evening meal, once the sun has disappeared over the horizon and guests’ attention can focus inwards. Yovanovitch’s artistic mark continues with a strong choice of bold colors, rich materials and an intricate ceiling fresco for good measure.

Light and bright restaurant

Image caption/credit: Bianca Neve restaurant/Hotel Le Coucou

Hotel Le Coucou is the third opening for Maisons Pariente in 2019, following closely behind the opening of Hotel Lou Pinet, Saint Tropez in June 2019 and the reopening of the refurbished Hotel Crillon le Brave in Provence on May 1, 2019. The Pariente family have their sights set on Paris, in le Marais, for a fourth addition to the collection in 2021.

Exterior shot of the hotel

Image credit: Hotel Le Coucou

A destination as precious as Meribel, in my humble opinion, requires a meaningful design eye when it comes to redevelopment. Yovanovitch has proven that rigid architectural boundaries do not automatically limit the level of creativity. Instead, it is clear that his studio’s eccentric style was everything and more the destination was crying out for.

Image of man standing with back to camera overlooking snow-capped mountains

Image caption/Credit: Editor Hamish Kilburn saying goodbye to Meribel once more from his slope-side luxury suite at Hotel Le Coucou/hotel_design_editor

If anyone was in doubt of Yovanovitch’s credentials of being one of the great modern designers of our era, then they have only to check in to a place truly like no other, Hotel Le Coucou is open for business.

Suppliers
Bathroom: Duravit, Geberit, Stella | Furniture: Pierre Yovanovitch Studio, R&Company, Ethimo| Lighting: Pierre Yovanovitch| In-room technology: Samsung

Main image credit: Hotel Le Coucou

Dorchester Collection unveils first foray into branded residences

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Dorchester Collection unveils first foray into branded residences

Mayfair-based developer Clivedale London has unveiled Dorchester Collection’s first branded residences in London…

With interiors by acclaimed Parisian design duo Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku from Jouin Manku and fully serviced by neighbouring hotel, 45 Park Lane, Mayfair Park Residences are Dorchester Collection’s first foray into branded residences and set a new benchmark for the London super-prime market.

Located in south-west Mayfair, adjacent to Hyde Park and opposite the world-famous hotel, The Dorchester, ‘Townhouse One’ – a 3,334 sq. ft, three-bedroom duplex townhouse – offers the first glimpse inside this collection of 24 residences in the form of apartments, townhouses and a penthouse all fully serviced by Dorchester Collection. The eight-storey residential development seamlessly integrates the building’s Grade II listed façades on two traditional Mayfair Streets. Lee Polisano of PLP Architecture designed the residences, taking a scholarly approach to the refurbishment of historic Georgian façades whilst creating a contemporary counterpart, blending effortlessly into Mayfair’s eclectic patchwork of architectural styles.

Clean and spacious bedroom

Image credit: Clivedale London/Dorchester Collection

Accessed through its own private Georgian portico on Stanhope Gate, ‘Townhouse One’ features capacious Georgian proportions that exude a refined luxury. Marking the first time the innovative Parisian designers Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku have created interiors for a residential development project, the practice has created a luxurious, yet liveable space inspired by the fusion of classic and contemporary elements. The resulting design is one that exudes a strong sense of place – where historical references of English heritage and the period grandeur of the building’s Georgian origins are blended with exquisitely considered, custom interior architecture to create sumptuous interior spaces that are organic, elegant and evocative.

“We are thrilled to be part of the creation of Mayfair Park Residences and to work with Dorchester Collection again,” said Sanjit Manku, Founding Partner at Jouin Manku. “We’ve endeavoured to create a high-end interior with a sense of ease, relaxation, warmth and comfort with a little bit of sizzle and dazzle; a little bit of sparkle. A focal point of the new home is the blending of both natural and warm light throughout with coffered backlit ceilings illuminating the space and a six-metre-high bespoke light installation which extends down to the lower ground floor, melding the two levels together.”

Beyond the ornate décor of ‘Townhouse One’ lies a hidden gem; a 1,280 sq. ft vaulted garden filled with decadent alcoves, that span the length of the residence and is accessible from the kitchen and the bedrooms.

Tarun Tyagi, CEO at Clivedale London, commented: “Mayfair Park Residences marks a significant moment for Clivedale, and we are thrilled to be the first residential developer globally to partner with Dorchester Collection to create one of London’s most sought-after addresses. Our residents will become the first people in the world to enjoy the renowned services of a Dorchester Collection hotel in the comfort of their own home and we are excited to set a new benchmark for private residential developments. We are overjoyed how ‘Townhouse One’ reflects the unprecedented standard that will be seen throughout the wider scheme and hallmark quality that is synonymous with both Clivedale London and Dorchester Collection.”

Dorchester Collection’s 45 Park Lane will provide exclusive access to a tailor-made array of services including housekeeping service, 24/7 concierge services, 24-hour in-residence dining, a Rolls-Royce town car and chauffeur service, sommelier expertise as well as secure valet underground car parking, all helping to facilitate every and any aspiration of a resident. Indulgent in both service and amenities, Mayfair Park Residences 10,000 sq. ft Health Club will comprise a state-of-the-art gym, 20m pool, sauna and steam rooms, hydrotherapy pool, two private treatment rooms and residents lounge, all fully managed by the team at Dorchester Collection.

“Our first venture into private residences is a pivotal moment in the history of our company,” added Christopher Cowdray, Chief Executive Officer of Dorchester Collection.” We have partnered with Clivedale as they are known for their pursuit of outstanding design excellence in prime locations. Mayfair Park Residences will offer its residents the best combination of a spectacular home close to Hyde Park with the highly personalised services offered by 45 Park Lane.”

Main image credit: Clivedale London/Dorchester Collection

TREND ALERT: Matt black for the modern bathroom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
TREND ALERT: Matt black for the modern bathroom

Inspired by the recent resurgence of rich, dark colour palettes within interior design, Crosswater has challenged the traditional trend of bathroom fittings with its wide offering of stunning matt black products…

Dark bathrooms with a confident approach to colour are back on trend after an extended period of whites and neutrals, and are promising to redefine the modern hotel.

From solo black monoblocs in matt finish to a complete collection of coordinating brassware and bold use of black on the walls, there are many ways to bring this dramatic tone into your home without overpowering it.

Both Crosswater’s popular MPRO and Marvel ranges feature a sleek Matt Black finish, while its cutting-edge UNION collection celebrates a redefined Brushed Black Chrome option within its collection of artisan Italian brassware.

Designed to create a bathroom space that is as beautifully crafted as it is functional, the Matt Black surface combines high-end specification with striking aesthetics to create brassware that truly stands out. Celebrating simple lines and a sleek, matt black finish, this surface option for the MPRO collection explores a stylish update to any contemporary bathroom scheme.

Image caption: Black MPRO set from Crosswater

Meanwhile, UNION takes inspiration from the industrial era and brings it boldly into the 21st century. Smart on the inside, each piece in the collection is manufactured using the most advanced brassware engineering techniques and the latest in valve technology to offer complete water flow control. Intuitive, high performing and built to last, the UNION brassware collection in Brushed Black Chrome is guaranteed to command attention in any bathroom. Responding to the latest trends with a rich, deeply dark surface, the Brushed Black Chrome finish option epitomises modern luxury.

Industrial black tap on bath

Image Caption: UNION collection by Crosswater

Delivering high-performance functionality with a modern aesthetic, the Marvel collection in Matt Black promises to create a statement look within any contemporary setting. The exclusive range of monobloc taps, bath fillers and shower valves is beautifully designed with sleek spouts and simple lever controls, which lends this product to those looking for modern, yet timeless, brassware that fits seamlessly into any bathroom.

Main image credit: Crosswater

Radisson brand to debut first property in South Africa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Radisson brand to debut first property in South Africa

Radisson Hotel Group has signed its first ‘Radisson branded’ hotel property in South Africa, the Radisson Safari Hotel Hoedspruit

Slated to open as early as 2022, Radisson Safari Hotel Hoedspruit will be the first ‘Radisson branded’ hotel to arrive in South Africa. 

The brand Radisson will become Radisson Hotel Group’s fourth brand and 13th hotel to open in the area and will take the group’s portfolio to almost 100 hotels in operation and under development.

The new 138-key hotel will comprise of rooms and suites, coupled with Radisson’s Scandinavian-inspired hospitality and unique brand features. Guests will be able to indulge in local and international cuisine at the all-day dining restaurant. Drinks can be enjoyed at the bar and coffee lounge overlooking the infinite and tranquil landscape as well as the pool bar and traditional lapa, with the majestic Drakensberg as a backdrop. 

“We are thrilled to introduce the Radisson brand to South Africa with our first safari-inspired hotel in the country,” said Elie Younes, Executive Vice President & Chief Development Officer, Radisson Hotel Group. “The hotel will be the perfect complement for our other hotels in South Africa.”

Gerrit Jan van der Grijn, CEO of the Lowland Group, developer and owner of the hotel, added: “It is an honour to be partnering with the Radisson Hotel Group to introduce the Radisson brand to South Africa and welcome the first safari-style hotel to the Group’s African portfolio. The hotel will most certainly uplift the area with the credibility that the Radisson Hotel Group brings as the first international hotel brand in the region. We look forward to a flourishing and long-standing partnership with the Group and together opening the doors in 2022.” 

With the rise of blesuire travellers, the hotel will also boast an expansive meeting and events area, which will include contemporary and versatile venues, from a conference centre to various meeting and board rooms which lead onto a spacious pre-function area and a business centre.

Main image credit: Radisson/Radisson Hotel Group

Sensitively renovating a luxury jewel in Malta

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sensitively renovating a luxury jewel in Malta

Design firm RPW Design has completed the extensive renovation inside Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa, inspired by Maltese craft and culture…

Opening its doors this month after an extensive renovation led by RPW Design is Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa.

The refreshed interiors of the hotel’s public spaces, restaurants, bars and 301 guestrooms blend modernised elements of traditional Maltese craft with the heritage of the hotel’s local area of Balluta Bay. 

In order to create a local, authentic and sophisticated aesthetic, the design firm carefully studied the culture and architecture of Malta and the history of Balluta Bay to take inspiration from natural materials and shapes.

“The hotel is situated in amazing location which has inspired our design throughout.” – Alessandro Tessari, Interior Architect at RPW Design.

The design highlights elements of traditional Maltese craft in a modern way. Within the curtains and carpets throughout the corridors and bedrooms, there are subtle references to lace; artworks created from locally made cement tiles decorate the interiors and hand-blown glass is incorporated into the light fittings.

With five diverse restaurants and three bars, functionality was at the forefront of the design process. The designers carefully considered the different spaces and how these will be used to create spaces that are adaptable to the modern traveller who may have a business meeting in the morning, but wants to enjoy a relaxed drink in the evening. The result is an elegant aesthetic that is both intuitive for guests and functional for operations, underpinning the exceptional service that the Malta Marriott team deliver. 

“We have been delighted to work on this exciting design project,” said Alessandro Tessari, Interior Architect at RPW Design. “The hotel is situated in amazing location which has inspired our design throughout. It has been a pleasure to showcase the history and heritage of Malta through our eyes for all the guests to enjoy. We are excited to see how the hotel develops as it embarks in a new era as a Marriott hotel.”

Guests enter the hotel and step inside The Great Room and the original Villa Garden, where the hotel is now situated, was the main source of inspiration for this space. Organic features and natural elements are used throughout the property. Furnishings with elegant textures mixed with traditional materials such as cane, wood and raffia are featured. Traditional Maltese with decorative glasswork including a large-scale lighting feature in the reception adds colour and vibrancy to the space. The use of soft curves subtly encourages guests to move through the expansive space. 

“Inspired by the heritage of Balluta Bay, we have woven the traditional crafts of Malta throughout the design.” – RPW Design partner, Elizabeth Lane.

The Atrio features luscious wooden elements, warm tones and rich textures throughout, creating calm and casual environment by day, and a relaxed, intimate setting in the evening. The space showcases expert joinery through the stunning bespoke wine display and crafted wooden bar. The use of varied furniture again allows guests to clearly distinguish between the spaces. 

“It has been a privilege and really exciting working with the team on the renovation and rebranding of the hotel,” added RPW Design partner, Elizabeth Lane. “Inspired by the heritage of Balluta Bay, we have woven the traditional crafts of Malta throughout the design in a contemporary way thereby giving the hotel a real sense of place while looking to the future. It will be an ideal destination for business or leisure or a combination of both.”

As for the guestrooms, the design team exchanged the bright yellow walls and terracotta furnishings for a palette of soft greys and browns that reflect the local architecture. The studio also introduced accents of vibrant colours inspired by the colourful balconies and doors found on traditional Maltese buildings and soft blues that reflect the shades of the sea. 

Light and bright image of room with wooden floor and white bed.

Image credit: Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa

Within the new executive suites, a timber slatted wall partition adds a new layer that is inspired by traditional balcony shutters. The partition creates an interesting effect which ensures natural light and air can travel across the lounge and bedroom areas whilst maintaining privacy for the guests. 

Located on the seafront, separate from the main hotel, The Villa has been designed in continuity with the hotel but the overall design is more traditional, as this is one of the few villas left in Balluta Bay.  Since the hotel was built in the original villa gardens, RPW decided to incorporate flora as the main feature to showcase the outlet’s fine dining experience.

The Marketplace, situated on the second floor, is Malta Marriott’s main restaurant. The designers have created a large open space that is flooded with light. The studio has continued to use slatted timber detailing that can be seen throughout the hotel, as well as soft upholstery, decorative tiles, marble detailing and colourful accessories to create a harmonious atmosphere. The design allows the space to be seamlessly adapted from a daily breakfast venue into a lavish evening restaurant, perfect for special occasions throughout the year.

The M Club Lounge offers spectacular views and the ideal space to work or relax. A versatile range of furniture meets the ever-changing needs of travellers. Soft lounge chairs and sofas create an intimate setting for leisure guests, whilst a large communal table with integrated work space is the perfect spot for business travellers to work. 

Image of rooftop overlooking Malta

Image credit: Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa

Overall, the hotel’s latest renovation has not only given life into the hotel, but has also enriched the surrounding area with RPW Design’s sensitively accurate approach. The design firm, which first showcased its ability to transform the Marriott brand back in 2016 with the completion of London Marriott Hotel County Hall’s complete renovation, has done it again with the completion of Malta’s Marriott to prove that this hotel brand is not reserved to the colour scheme of maroon reds and dark greens.

Main image credit: Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa

Versa’s new Invinci surface collection harnesses art and tech

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Versa’s new Invinci surface collection harnesses art and tech

Versa’s new surface collection, Invinci, harnesses art and technology to create one-of-a-kind textures, intriguing embossings and multi-faceted prints…

From subtle textile effects to dramatic iridescent mylars, the expansive Invinci collection from Versa Designed Surfaces delivers the right aesthetics to achieve your design vision.

Choose from a range of textile designs that project the luxury of silk, the warmth of cotton and the refinement of linen. Peruse reflective embossings that change appearance in different light and when viewed from different perspectives. Browse inspired, multi-colored patterns that intermingle flat and metallic inks to produce three-dimensional looks. Invinci blends fresh, sometimes unexpected, design elements with classic motifs to fashion wallcoverings that will stand the test of time.

image of marble-like textured wallcovering behind sofa

Image credit: Versa Designed Surfaces

Invinci wallcoverings meet or exceed stringent U.S. and international standards for quality, performance and sustainability. Versa Designed Surfaces, one of the largest commercial wallcovering manufacturers in the world, designs and produces the collection in state-of-the-art U.S. facilities. The company follows an aggressive sustainability plan that includes sourcing high quality and recycled raw materials, recycling inks and materials, and reducing usage of water and energy that was outlined in a recent interview with Paul Gibson, the Business Development Manager EMEA at Versa.

Invinci wallcoverings carry Environmental Product Declarations that provide a comprehensive picture of the product’s environmental impacts. This tool offers complete transparency into the wallcovering’s sustainability profile, detailing impacts from cradle to grave. The EPDs are accepted internationally and may contribute points to environmental rating systems such as LEED and Green Globe.

Versa Designed Surfaces 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: Versa Designed Surfaces

7 savage hotel construction projects on the boards

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
7 savage hotel construction projects on the boards

To celebrate ‘Architecture & Construction’ firmly being in the spotlight this month, the editorial team at Hotel Designs have identified some of the industry’s most ambitious hotel projects that are expected to open in the next few years… 

The hotel industry is booming, is the verdict from the data analysts at STR as they reveal to Hotel Designs that there are currently 74,417 hotels on the boards in Europe alone.

In the next few years, millions of rooms will open in major cities, towns and far-flung travel hotspots around the world. In order to shelter these rooms and suites, architects are using new rendering software to challenge conventions like never before to conceive new exciting buildings that will have the power to transform skylines on an epic scale.

Ahead of Forum Events’ up-and-coming inaugural Building and Construction Summit next month, here are just a few hotel construction plans that we expect will disrupt the international hospitality industry as we know it when they complete with innovation, style and substance.

Mandarin Oriental Melbourne

render of the Mandarin Oriental Melbourne

Image credit: VA

Mandarin Oriental’s first hotel in Melbourne is taking shape. First realised in 2016, Zaha Hadid Architects were asked to design the mixed-used 185-metre tower located in the heart of the city’s financial district. When completed, it will feature an all-day dining restaurant and a bar with a landscaped roof terrace. There will also be a variety of meeting spaces and an executive club lounge. A Spa at Mandarin Oriental will offer the Group’s renowned wellness,relaxation and beauty facilities, while further leisure options include a comprehensive fitness centre and an indoor swimming pool.

Rosewood São Paulo 

image of building camouflaged in trees

Image credit: Jean Nouvel

Opening later this year, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will launch its first South American property situated in the centre of São Paulo. The hotel, which is being designed in collaborations with design and architecture legend such as Philippe Starck and Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, will feature 151 guestrooms. The striking biophilically designed building will include two swimming pools with one rooftop pool and the other set amongst the landscaped grounds and a large spa and a fitness area.

Shishi-lwa House

From one Pritzker Prize winner to another, architect Ryue Nishizawa has designed the concept of Shishi-lwa House in Japanese city of Nagano. Expected to open next year, the eight-key hotel’s aim will be to provide a sanctuary in a cluster of 10 interconnected pavilions made out of locally sourced jinoki cypress wood.

Downtown LA Jenga-like skyscraper

Render of the top of a building that has been made to look likke a jenga set

Image credit: Arquitectonica | JMF Developments & Co.

Architecture firm Arquitectonica‘s dream to evolve the city of Angels’ iconic landscape is becoming a reality after the company has recently got approval for the 53-storey building by the city’s planning commission. The condo tower with its cantilevering glass-bottom swimming pools. JMF Development Co. aims to have the building completed by as early as 2023.

25hours Hotel Paper Island

Slated to open in 2024, 25hours Hotel Paper Island will mark the brand’s arrival into the Copenhagen property market. Pulling out all the stops, the hotel company has enlisted the help of interior design guru Erik Nissen Johansen from Stylt Trampoli and architecture firm Cobe to imagine the concept of the hotel developed by Nordkranen and Union Kul.

Kisawa Sanctuary 

render of beach-front bungalows

Image credit: Kisawa Sanctuary

Taking the hotel scene in Mozambique back to basics, Kisawa’s founder Nina Flohr’s latest hotel is stripped-back luxury escape in the pipeline. Comprising of 12 luxury bungalows – each one furnished to echo cultural references of the island – the hotel is expected to open this Summer. “My mission for Kisawa is to create a level of hospitality and design that to my knowledge, does not exist today, a place that inspires feelings of freedom and luxury born from nature, space and true privacy,” Flohr. “We have used design as a tool, not as a style, to ensure Kisawa is integrated, both culturally and environmentally into Mozambique.”

Infinity London

Once you have worked out how to get in and out of what was surely the talked-about infinity pool concept of last year (via a spiral staircase “based on the door of a submarine” that rises from the pool’s floor), the next question is: who would be brave enough to peer over the edge? Infinity London is the brainchild of Alex Kemsley, a pool designer and technical director for Compass Pools. The 55-story high-rise in London, will provide 360-degree views of the city below and takes wellness to new death-defying heights.

If you are a contractor, developer or surveyor and are interested in attending the Building and Construction Summit, which takes place on March 16 – 17 at Radisson Blu Hotel, please email Daniella Batchelor or Josh Oxberry. Alternatively, you can call 01992 374048/04.

Main image credit: Arquitectonica/Kisawa Sanctuary/Rosewood Hotels/Compass Pools 

Image of the built in bath

Bette launches its first circular built-in bath

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bette launches its first circular built-in bath

The sustainable, recyclable and luxurious BettePond bath is made from the company’s signature glazed titanium-steel…

Bathroom manufacturer Bette has launched the first built-in circular bath, BettePond, made of glazed titanium-steel, which uses only natural materials in its production.

Image of the built in bath

The generously proportioned 150cm diameter BettePond bath is made from durable glazed titanium-steel,  which keeps its shine, is easy to clean and can be a more sustainable choice for the bathroom.

The BettePond bath has a slender rim of only 8mm, and when inset into a surface creates a stylish pool or pond-like effect. Bette can also install a whirlpool system into the bath.

Like the freestanding version (the BettePond Silhouette) the new built-in BettePond was designed by Dominik Tesseraux as a reminder of the original shape of the bathtub. With a generous diameter, the bath is the perfect place for luxurious relaxation.

The sustainability of Bette’s glazed titanium-steel products is independently verified by an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) which is based on the ISO 14025 and EN 15804 standards. It covers the entire life-cycle of Bette’s products, and their functional and technical qualities.

The brand’s baths, shower trays and washbasins are made from glazed titanium-steel, which uses only natural materials in its production, and they are so durable that they come with a 30 year warranty.

Bette has invested in energy-efficient manufacturing and creates two-thirds of its own energy requirements with electricity that it produces itself from renewable sources.

Bette is a Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier. 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: Bette

MINIVIEW: Inside London’s hotel designed by kids

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: Inside London’s hotel designed by kids

Supervised by a qualified bunch of adult designers, kids were part of the design team and inspiration behind Park Plaza London Riverbank’s latest renovation… 

After reading a survey by Room To Grow showing that a staggering 40 per cent of children are ‘bored’ on holiday, Park Plaza decided to create a design team that involved children when renovating Park Plaza London Riverbank

Complete with suites that include chalk-board walls, neon lights and personalised experiences, the hotel has opened in response to 71 per cent of adults believing that hotel rooms are designed with grown-ups in mind, rather than children. 

With research revealing families’ main concerns are ensuring their children are entertained, as well as the entire family feeling relaxed, the suite has been designed so that everyone is catered for. The suite pairs ‘child-approved’ design elements with a modern and relaxed lifestyle vibe that will make adults feel equally at home, alongside services such as a family concierge to create the ultimate experience for guests.

Guests enter the two-bedroom suite to the warm, neutral tones of the master bedroom, which features sophisticated splashes of yellow and gold, mixed with earthy tones and textures that breathe life into the space. Soft and stylish cushions and throws make the room feel just like home, as striking art and books to inspire guests’ stay in London providing the finishing touches that will make it easy to relax from the moment they arrive.

Image credit: Park Plaza London Riverbank

Full to the brim with bright and bold colours and adorned with design elements that will stimulate both their senses and creativity, it’s the perfect place for them to call home during their break to London. After deciding who’s sleeping on the bunk or single bed provided, they will be instantly excited as they discover trunks full of treasures that include interactive games, and a projector that will illuminate the room come bedtime. 

Following the design consultations, Park Plaza London Riverbank has also launched a new concierge service, exclusive for guests of the Ultimate Family Suite, who will help plan their trip from the moment they make their reservation. By sharing their family’s interests, the hotel will carefully tailor a personalised itinerary for their trip, pairing their interests with places to see and things to do within the capital. 

The younger guests will also be able to personalise their stay, by choosing one of four themes for their soft furnishings: superhero, princess, sport and enchanted forest, as selected by the youngest members of the design team. Welcome treats and a ‘night cap’ for the adults can also be ordered in advance, so that every guest can arrive in the knowledge that everything is catered for.

Main image credit: Park Plaza London Riverbank

Everything you need to know about Hilton’s new lifestyle brand

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Everything you need to know about Hilton’s new lifestyle brand

Last month, Hilton dropped the news that it was launching a new lifestyle brand. Tempo by Hilton is an elevated and approachable brand offering thoughtful design, efficient service and exciting partnerships. Editor Hamish Kilburn investigates…

With no less than 30 hotels under development – and 30 more pending deals – Tempo by Hilton has launched with no intention of pacing itself into the market.

By combining thoughtful design and diverse lifestyle partnerships, Tempo by Hilton provides hotel owners and developers with a highly scalable brand that is both uplifting and within reach for future guests – all powered by an efficient service model.

“For more than 100 years, Hilton has pioneered the hospitality industry as we know it,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, President and CEO, Hilton. “Tempo by Hilton is the latest example of our unique ability to anticipate what our guests are looking for and deliver unmatched value for customers and owners alike. We’re thrilled to welcome this new brand to our Hilton family and look forward to building on our legacy of innovation with Tempo by Hilton.”

As part of its commitment to helping guests live better lives, Tempo by Hilton has established and built upon partnerships with leading experts across the well-being, food and beverage and other lifestyle spheres. The experts on board include Arianna Huffington’s renowned behaviour change platform, Thrive Global and established culinary firm, Blau + Associates. These organisations bring a sense of discovery to the brand, while empowering guests to continue prioritising well-being and personal growth even while travelling.

“Tempo by Hilton introduces a new concept by combining all the benefits and efficiencies owners expect from a limited service model with an uplifting dose of inspiration,” said Phil Cordell, SVP and global head of new brand development, Hilton. “Utilising a data-driven blueprint, we identified lifestyle offerings inside the guest rooms and throughout the property that push the entire sector to new heights. The end result is a compelling, yet approachable brand that enables owners to expand their portfolios in sought-after locations across the country as well as capture a new demographic of travellers.”

Guided by its various lifestyle partnerships, as well as exhaustive market research surveying more than 10,000 consumers, each Tempo by Hilton property will feature elements designed to help ambitious guests continue their journey without disrupting their routine.

Reinvigorating and Relaxing Guestrooms

More than rooms, Tempo by Hilton accommodations are said to serve as a refuge where modern travellers are reinvigorated for the day ahead. In-room experiences include the one-of-a-kind Power Up and Power Down collections; curated assortments of morning and bedtime rituals created in partnership with Thrive Global; as well as other unexpected touches, such as a finely tuned sleep environment and a dedicated Get Ready Zone with space to get ready, organise for the day and focus on work. In addition, the oversized bath suite, which includes mirrors with built-in Bluetooth speakers, is spacious, bright and invigorating to help guests recharge and renew.

render of plush yet simple guestroom

Image credit: Tempo by Hilton

Shared spaces

Envisioned as catalysts for genuine, memorable experiences, all Tempo by Hilton public areas bring a fresh approach to industry mainstays. These include art and design collections specifically chosen to encourage guests to look up from their daily grind and take a moment for themselves. Guests will also enjoy state-of-the-art fitness offerings; flexible meeting spaces.

Render of public areas

Image credit: Tempo by Hilton

Culinary journeys

Developed alongside the award-winning Blau + Associates, Tempo by Hilton’s food and beverage offerings ensure guests have access to everything they need to sustain energy and boost focus.

Sustainability

Tempo by Hilton aligns with Hilton’s Travel with Purpose 2030 Goals to double its investment in social impact and cut its environmental footprint in half. To that end, this new brand is committed to implementing sustainable practices throughout the guest experience. Examples of specific initiatives include LightStay, food waste programs, responsible seafood sourcing, hydration stations throughout the property to replace single-use plastic bottles and full-size bath amenity dispensers to reduce disposable plastics.

“Through our research, we found that while our current upscale offerings have been incredibly successful at earning loyalty among specific guest segments, there was a rising demographic of ambitious and highly discerning travellers that weren’t engaging with the category,” said Jon Witter, chief customer officer, Hilton. “With Tempo by Hilton, we are able to reach these influential consumers through a new, elevated yet approachable class of hotels designed to surpass expectations of both customers and owners in truly meaningful ways.”

Conceived with extensive input from leading hotel owners and investors around the country, the new brand has seen strong momentum ahead of its unveiling. There are more than 30 individual commitments to date with properties confirmed in several prime markets across the US, including New York, Maui, Boston, Los Angeles, Lexington, Nashville, San Diego, Charlotte, Washington D.C., Houston, Atlanta, and more. An additional 30 deals are in various stages of development.

Tempo by Hilton is the latest brand created by Hilton to address the future of travel. Other recently launched brands include Motto by Hilton – an affordable, lifestyle micro-hotel with a communal vibe in prime urban destinations – and Signia Hilton – the portfolio’s premiere meetings and events brand.

Main image credit: Tempo by Hilton

PRODUCT WATCH: Gessi’s sophisticated Anello faucets

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Gessi’s sophisticated Anello faucets

Gessi describes the new faucets as: “the poetry for a form that symbolises a promise…”

The Anello collection by Gessi speaks of harmony, love and fidelity. The design concept was, in fact, inspired by the form of a circle, a ring, that symbolises perfection, infinity, eternity.

Not only refined design, love for details, harmony of lines and proportions: Gessi wants to enter the home, enter daily life, in a discreet way, but that also touches an emotional chord. The Anello line is mainly distinguished by the handle of the mixer that features a new circular form, a ring, a true jewel of functional use, a promise of love and union that gives wellness and happiness every day, morning and night.

concept image of two faucets

Image credit: Gessi

The collection includes a variety of faucets for sinks, base and wall moun­ted. The mixer is produced in brass with treated surfaces, and presents va­rious finishes and patterns that enhance the uniqueness of the design with different hues and material or architectural effects. The new finishes in gloss brass, from warm to deep colours, and flamed brass, that has a charmingly rustic elegance, give a new alternative to the metallic surfaces that we are used to seeing in the bathroom fittings sector. Anello offers the possibility of creating innovative looks also thanks to a matte black finish, that joins the others of chrome, copper, gloss and satin metallic black.

In addition to the different models and versions, the Collection incorporates many modular and coordinating variables. The finishes may be combined in creative matches: the ring itself is available with smooth finish or in two different variations of knurling. Combining or overlapping opaque and gloss surfaces, smooth or knurled, creates very interesting and pleasing contra­sts and original decorative effects.

Gessi, which is a Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier, is a synonym of exclusivity and style in the world of design. The company’s mission is to bring a sense of private wellness to everyday life through its water sculptures: water as a means of wellbeing, the beauty of design as a pleasure to the eyes.

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

Concept to Completion: Designing Hotel Indigo Clerkenwell (Part 1)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Concept to Completion: Designing Hotel Indigo Clerkenwell (Part 1)

In the first article of a new series, editor Hamish Kilburn exclusively speaks to the designers at 3Stories to understand how the studio will sensitively convert an iconic neighbourhood pub into Hotel Indigo Clerkenwell… 

It’s been almost a year since IHG announced plans to open a 151-key Hotel Indigo in the heart of London’s design district.

Responsible for the interior design of the 151-key boutique hotel is Ben Webb and Jordan Littler who are the co-founders of 3Stories. The entire project, meanwhile, is being overseen by IHG’s Director of Interior Design, Henry Reeve, who was highly commended in the Interior Designer of the Year category at The Brit List Awards 2019. Reeve, who recently led the completion of Kimpton Fitzroy and Hotel Indigo properties in Stratford-Upon-Thames and Barcelona among other projects, is a sharp, dynamic designer who awarded 3Stories with one of the firm’s first hotel projects, Hotel Indigo Antwerp that opened in 2017.

Almost three years later, while the studio is working on on-going projects such as a Jo&Joe hotel in Liverpool, a Bistro in Brixton and a new music venue down the road in Kings Cross, Webb and Littler are putting their hearts and souls into sensitively restoring Clerkenwell’s much-loved pub, the Hat & Feathers, into a thriving hotel hub. 

I travelled to the duo’s Clerkenwell studio to exclusively speak to Webb about the plans of converting what is currently a building site into a statement hotel in the city’s design hub.

 

Hamish Kilburn: When did you win the project?
Ben Webb: August 2019

HK: How much time went into the pitch?
BW: We utilised the studios entire time, as we only had two weeks to come up with our concept.

HK: Can you explain for us how 3Stories developed?
Jordan Littler and I started our careers together 15 years ago and subsequently over that time worked for a number of different design agencies. In 2017 we both decided to join forces and essentially set up a company that specialises in hospitality design. 

HK: How did your pitch allow you to keep an ‘open window’ of ideas throughout the project?

BW: We kept the presentation quite broad, looking at all of the different areas in the hotel, meaning we didn’t present a finished design. This left more room for the client to use their own imagination and fill in the gaps. From a render perspective, we kept the visuals in a hand-sketch format as we felt a stunning photorealistic 3D was not required and the pitch was more about the ideas we could bring to the table. 

“Our first design job was located opposite the hotel and we would use the Hat and Feathers pub as our local.” – Ben Webb, Co-founder, 3 Stories

HK: What is the significance of this project, the site and why do you believe you are the best designers for the job?
BW: My business partner and I have worked in Clerkenwell for the past 14 years and are therefore very familiar with the area. Our first design job was located opposite the hotel and we would use the Hat and Feathers pub as our local. We specialise in F&B which is a huge part of the project and therefore our knowledge in the market helped us sell the concept to the client. 

HK: What are the biggest challenges you expect to run in to during the project?
BW: An obvious answer, but I have to say budget. There are a lot of elements to this project especially surrounding the listed nature of the pub and therefore the budget maybe squeezed in certain places. 

HK: Can you set the scene for our readers on what the hotel’s interiors will look like?
BW: If you are not familiar with the Hotel Indigo brand it is all about creating the neighbourhood story. With that in mind the hotel’s interior takes lead from the areas architectural and design heritage. The bedrooms themselves (three types) are designed in relationship to Clerkenwell, giving the guest a choice when booking to stay at the hotel. We have also defined four restaurant concepts within the hotel that we are currently developing with the F&B consultants, all of which take on a different feel based on the level cuisine being served.

HK: Do you plan on using suppliers that are local to the area?
BW: 100 per cent yes. This project more than any, due to its location in Clerkenwell and being surrounded by so many suppliers. One of the bedroom designs is purely dedicated to the ‘supplier showcase.’

HK: What are you most excited about with this project?
BW: The fact that we can bring a lot of local knowledge to the design from the relationships with current suppliers down to our understanding of the F&B market in Clerkenwell. 

The project continues…

This is part one of Hotel Designs’ Concept to Completion series, following design firm 3 Stories and IHG throughout their journey to create Hotel Indigo Clerkenwell. If you have a question regarding the design of the project that you would like to put forward, please email our editor.

Main image credit: 3 Stories

Render of rooftop bar and pool in city

Canopy by Hilton to open 20 hotels in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Canopy by Hilton to open 20 hotels in 2020

Hilton is calling it ’20 in 20′ as its lifestyle brand, Canopy by Hilton, is predicting to nearly triple its portfolio with 20 expected openings in the next 11 months… 

Hotel group Hilton has just announced that its ‘upper upscale’ lifestyle brand, Canopy by Hilton, is predicting to open 20 hotels in 2020 across seven countries.

Render of rooftop bar and pool in city

Canopy’s current and projected openings in 2020, which join the brand’s 12 existing hotels in China, Croatia, Iceland and the U.S., include:

  • Brazil: São Paulo-Jardins
  • China: Hangzhou-West Lake
  • France: Paris-Trocadero
  • Mexico: Cancun-La Isla (opened Jan. 28)
  • United Arab Emirates: Dubai-Al Seef1
  • United Kingdom: London-London City
  • United States: Austin-Downtown; Baltimore-Harbor Point; Charlotte-SouthPark; Dallas-Frisco Station; Grand Rapids-Downtown; Jersey City-Arts District; Kansas City-Downtown; Memphis-Downtown; Philadelphia-Center City; San Antonio-Riverwalk; Scottsdale-Old Town; Tempe-Downtown University Area; Washington, DC-Embassy Row (opened Jan. 14); and West Palm Beach-Downtown

“We’ve received resoundingly positive feedback from guests who have loved their local adventures while staying in our 12 existing hotels,” said Gary Steffen, global head, Canopy by Hilton. “We are excited to create more of these authentic experiences with all that Canopy offers in 20 more vibrant neighbourhoods this year.”

Strategically located in dynamic neighbourhoods across the globe, the concept of a Canopy hotel is a natural extension of the community in which it calls home and provides an energising atmosphere with thoughtfully local touches.

Following extensive consumer research, Canopy by Hilton was created to provide the uncomplicated comforts, thoughtful design and thriving atmosphere that today’s travellers demanded.

Prior to 2020, Canopy by Hilton opened properties in Atlanta-Midtown; Chengdu-City Centre; Columbus, OH-Short North; Dallas-Uptown; Ithaca-Downtown; Hangzhou-Jinsha Lake; Minneapolis-Mill District; Portland, OR-Pearl District; Reykjavik-City Centre; Washington, DC-Bethesda North; Washington, DC-The Wharf; and Zagreb-City Centre.

Beyond this year, the brand is working with local partners to develop hotels in Bangkok, Boston, Cape Town, Chicago, Kuala Lumpur, Madrid, New Orleans, Riyadh, Toronto and more.

Main image credit: Canopy by Hilton

Ruby Hotels arrives in London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Ruby Hotels arrives in London

The 75-Room, carnival-themed ‘Ruby Lucy’ brings the disruptor brand’s ‘Lean Luxury’ philosophy to the Southbank in London…

Following the opening of Ruby Leni, and Hotel Designs’ exclusive interview with the brand’s Head of Design Matthew Balon, Ruby Hotels has arrived to London, opening its debut hotel on the Southbank.

The new 75-room hotel, Ruby Lucy, forms part of an ambitious expansion plan for Ruby Hotels to unveil a total of eleven new hotels – including a second London property – by 2022.

Enjoying a prime position on the Southbank’s Lower Marsh, Ruby Lucy’s interior design is inspired by the area’s bustling fairs and markets, entertainment and theatre scene, with a carnival theme running throughout the hotel. Rich, dark tones meet bright brass accents and subtle stripes are accented with playful props including circus drums and juggling pins.

Booth to look like a circus tent

Image credit: Ruby Hotels

Just like the group’s other houses, Ruby Lucy follows Ruby Hotels’ ‘Lean Luxury’ philosophy: a top location, high-quality fittings, and outstanding design. All of this is offered at an affordable price by rigorously cutting out the superfluous and focusing on the essential. 

For example, a hip communal space serves a healthy, locally-produced breakfast without the need for a kitchen or chef, and instead of overpriced minibars and room service, galley kitchens, vending machines and ironing stations supply guests with all of their needs. Likewise, a modular design sees Ruby hotels occupying mixed-use and former office buildings in the heart of the city, rather than the traditional, prestigious addresses with sky high rents typically favoured by hoteliers. 

“This works because we accommodate luxury in a relatively condensed space, similar to luxury yachts, and we forego unnecessary services,” explains Michael Struck, Ruby Founder and CEO. “Every hotel is designed and developed individually, referencing local themes and stories. Thanks to proprietary technical innovations, we plan, build and organise ourselves differently from conventional hotels. To be precise, we plan and build in a very modular way and centralise as well as automatise processes behind the scenes wherever possible. This helps us create a luxurious and unique hotel experience at an affordable price.”

Located just a three-minute walk from Waterloo station, Ruby Lucy rubs shoulders with some of the city’s best-loved and lesser-known cultural gems. From theatres and galleries to concert halls and independent shops, the area buzzes with artistic flair and creativity.

Ruby Lucy houses 75 rooms, ranging in size from cosy ‘Nest’ rooms (14-15 m²) to expansive ‘Loft’ rooms (21-23 m²) and a stylish 24-hour bar. All guest rooms showcase Ruby Hotels’ sleep-scientist-approved formula for a peaceful night’s sleep, with full soundproofing, blackout curtains, high-quality linen and extra-long and wide custom mattresses.

Image credit: Ruby Hotels

A laid-back, contemporary design sees quirky touches such as the inclusion of a Marshall guitar amp in each room, which guests can use both with their own guitar or one borrowed from reception, and ‘Ruby Radio’, the hotel group’s own internet radio station.

Founded in 2013, the group already operates eight Ruby Hotels, with 11 additional hotels either under construction or in the planning phase of construction. Also, with the Ruby Asia joint venture, founded in 2018, and following it’s London arrival, Ruby Hotels is expanding into new territories around the globe.

Main image credit: Ruby Hotels

The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach re-opens following $90 million renovation

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach re-opens following $90 million renovation

The historic Art Deco Ritz-Carlton resort unveils an elegant new design as it is poised to become one of the most coveted destinations in South Florida…

The iconic Ritz-Carlton, South Beach has re-opened its doors following a $90 million, multi-year renovation by owners Flag Luxury Group, LLC and Lionstone Group that touched all elements of the property.

Ideally located in the heart of South Beach, Miami, the landmark hotel was originally imagined by architect Morris Lapidus, and following its floor-to-ceiling restoration is set to deliver a rare and refined experience marked by timeless design, thoughtful programming, and the anticipatory service of the Ladies and Gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton.

Positioned at the intersection of Collins Avenue and Lincoln Road, the historic hotel showcases a design scheme created by Meg Sharpe, who oversaw the lobby, the Lapidus Bar, restaurant, pool, club and spa, and Cristian Rubio, from design-firm HBA, who was charged with reimagining the guestrooms and meeting spaces. Finding inspiration from the gorgeous natural surroundings, the interiors are warm and inviting, reflecting the serene natural beauty of Miami while celebrating the historic roots of the hotel.

Upon entering The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, guests will discover the stunning new lobby that is a celebration of the original design, enhanced by elegant touches that transition the property into a modern era. Steps away, the all-new Lapidus Bar is a classic cocktail lounge honoring a bygone era of Miami with live music, vintage cocktails, and a design that invites visitors to settle in and absorb their magnificent surroundings.

“The design of the public spaces was inspired by the history of the building itself,” said Sharpe. “By upholding the integrity of the storied past of the property, we have revealed the architectural base created by the giants of the Art Deco and Mimo styles renowned in Miami. The gentle nod to the past is imbued with modern purpose.”

The vibrant flavors of Latin America take the lead at Fuego y Mar, the hotel’s new restaurant with Executive Chef Anthony LePape at the helm. Within this space guests also find a tech lounge, where they work in a sophisticated, convivial setting while ordering coffee and cocktails. DiLido Beach Club and its oceanfront location promise an intimate dining enclave with plush seating and views out across the turquoise water.

A true urban oasis in the heart of South Beach, The Ritz-Carlton Spa centres around a holistic approach to wellness that celebrates mindfulness and offers a range of therapies and journeys carefully designed to promote rest and rejuvenation. Home to the only Timeless Capsule in the United States, this one of a kind elliptical space is designed to condense spa treatments and is the ideal offering for time-restricted guests.

Each of the 376 guestrooms and suites reflect Rubio’s vision, which is the result of his extensive research into Miami and the many facets of the city that make it so special. Meticulously-designed furnishings and custom millwork blend together to create a space celebrating the city and its culture. Enhanced soundproofing additionally ensures guests a restful night’s sleep.

“Culture has been infused into each and every guestroom and meeting space, resulting in an authentic Miami experience,” said Rubio. “A relatively new city, Miami’s unique culture has been translated into the hotel with both depth of design and whimsical details that allow guests a feeling of being in the city without having to leave their rooms.”

The ballroom at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach spans more than 10,000-square-feet, and is supplemented by 11 separate meeting and event spaces, all of which showcase a design that is infused with the spirit of Miami’s history and rich cultural scene.

Main image credit: Marriott International

Editor Checks In: Is it time to reinvent the hotel design experience?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor Checks In: Is it time to reinvent the hotel design experience?

Steering away from the days of absurd tech-flooded hotels, editor Hamish Kilburn has identified a number of factors in the industry that are acting as catalysts to pave a more meaningful hotel design landscape…

The hotel design industry is a shrinking violet, said nobody… ever. And you can always count on the leading individuals to shake things up with a sprinkle of unconventional concepts.

In order to keep the tide of ideas flowing, though, designers, architects and suppliers need inspiration. Cue the arrival of CES 2020 in the wild and raucous city of Las Vegas, well and truly unlike anywhere else in the universe – AKA the perfect platform for the latest innovations in technology to take flight. The CES Convention, which took place on January 7 – 10, was a playground of breakthrough technologies and next-generation innovations. From Alexa-enabled showers to rotating TVs, the show was an insight into the possibilities of hotel design, if you knew where to look.

But what it perhaps lacked, which is often the case when futuregazing, was context on how these products will benefit the guests’ overall experience (I’m not sure we need a robot to check us in or fetch us a new toilet roll).

Learning the lessons from the days when the hotel industry layered hotels with unnecessary and complex technology, designers are now looking for ways in which to make the hotel experience smarter – think seamless cyber security preventions, products that aid better sleep and atmospheric lighting.

“My aim with the February features is to explore how the industry is reinventing itself through the use of materials.”

And that leads me seamlessly to introduce next month’s features: Architecture & Construction and Surfaces. My aim with the February features is to explore how the industry is reinventing itself through the use of materials. At last year’s London Design Fair, eagle-eyed visitors would have noticed a collage of biophilic materials being introduced and explored as palpable alternative in design. Hemp, tobacco, potato waste and palm leaves were among them.

I will be presenting ‘Biophilic Materials in Surface Design’ at the Surface Design Show next month. Joined on the Main Stage by Jeremy Gove from Sibley Grove, Richard Harvey from Holland Harvey Architects and Fraser Lockley from Parkside Tiles, together we will lift the lid on new, emerging and alternative surface materials with the aim to inspire the industry to think more consciously when designing the foundations of tomorrow’s hotels and cities.

Stay tuned…

Editor, Hotel Designs

CASE STUDY: Creating signage for stadium hospitality spaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Creating signage for stadium hospitality spaces

Recommended Supplier Signbox manufactured bespoke signage for 12 restaurants and premium hospitality spaces at Tottenham Hotspur stadium…

Working closely with F3 Architects, which was responsible for designing the premium interiors of the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium, Signbox manufactured and installed brand signage for each of the 12 individual restaurants and hospitality spaces across the new stadium.

This including a commission to design, manufacture and install extensive glass manifestations for the Tottenham Experience, the Club’s new store.

The bespoke hospitality signage manufactured by Signbox were fabricated using a range of materials such as brass, copper, Corten steel, acrylic, LED neon and aluminium to create an elaborate suite of signage across the stadium’s premium interiors.

Installed across nine floors on both the East and West sides of the stadium, the Signbox’s installers covered on average 10km and 12 flights of stairs a day, working 24|7 to a tight deadline. Almost every single sign type was unique and as such had to be coded and marked on the plans with its individual location ID.

Collaboration was the key to success

Following on from the success of the previous Spurs project at their training campus (a stone’s throw from the new stadium) ‘The Lodge’ player accommodation, F3 Architects invited Signbox to become involved with the stadium works and to support them in the delivery of the bespoke hospitality, player and media signage across the new stadium for their client Tottenham Hotspur.

Collaboration with the client and BASE Contracts who were responsible for the delivery of the build was the key to success. With F3 Architects, we went through a highly detailed design process for each of the spaces and developed every element of the fixings, specification and location ensuring this was coordinated with the surroundings and making sure the placement for each sign was considered exactly.

Click here to read to find out more about the signs manufactured and installed by Signbox at Tottenham Hotspur stadium, the greatest and most innovative stadium in the world.

If you want to create that critical first impression that speaks volumes about your hotel brand and delivers a guest experience they’ll remember for all the right reasons, talk to Signbox about our award-winning hotel and hospitality signage solutions.

Signbox 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.

Shama expands Bangkok presence in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Shama expands Bangkok presence in 2020

The serviced apartments brand will be present in four prime Bangkok neighbourhoods by late 2020…

Already a fast expanding Asia-Pacific serviced apartments brand with two properties in two prime locations in Bangkok, Shama Serviced Apartments by ONYX Hospitality Group is doubling its neighbourhood presence in the Thai capital by adding Phrom Phong and Yen Akat to its portfolio in 2020.

The two new properties – Shama Sukhumvit 39 Bangkok and Shama Yen Akat Bangkok – will complement the existing Shama Sukhumvit Bangkok in Ploenchit and Shama Lakeview Asoke Bangkok.

 Douglas Martell, President & CEO, ONYX Hospitality Group, said: “We are excited to welcome the new decade with the expansion of Shama to four prime locations across the Thai capital – Ploenchit, Asoke, Phrom Phong and Yen Akat. This follows an exciting 2019 where we opened our second Shama property in Hangzhou, relaunched Shama Lakeview Asoke and Amari Pattaya following extensive refurbishments and signed our first hotel in Japan with Amari Niseko. As we enhance our presence across the Asia-Pacific region, we are equally committed to expanding our reach within Thailand where we are headquartered.”

Developed by Walton Asset Limited and managed by ONYX Hospitality Group, Shama Sukhumvit 39 Bangkok in Phrom Phong is scheduled to open in February 2020 as an extended stay residence with 52 apartments in five different one-bedroom and two-bedroom layouts. The property features a pool and terrace, gym and kid’s playroom.

Situated in the heart of what has affectionately been referred to as Bangkok’s largest Japanese neighbourhood, Shama Sukhumvit 39 Bangkok is a short stroll from the EM District comprising the Emporium and Emquartier shopping malls, Samitivej Hospital, numerous international schools and Soi Thonglor, best known for fine cuisine, buzzy bars and hip coffee shops.

Shama Yen Akat Bangkok, developed by SP Plus Property Company Ltd and managed by ONYX Hospitality Group, is scheduled to open in September 2020 with 136 units, welcoming both short stay as well as extended stay guests. The property will offer a restaurant, gym and a rooftop pool terrace with barbeque pit.

The hotel brand was named the “Best Serviced Apartment Operator of Asia” for the 7th time at the AHF Asia Hotel Awards 2019. It was also named the “Best Serviced Apartment Operator” at the Hong Kong Business High Flyers Awards 2018.

Shama is a leading and award-winning provider of premium serviced apartments, with a portfolio of 11 properties in China, Hong Kong and Thailand. Upcoming Shama openings are anticipated in Johor, Malaysia and additional locations within mainland China.

Based in Bangkok, ONYX Hospitality Group has a growing regional portfolio of 50 operating properties across three core brands in eight markets. The Group has a robust development pipeline of 25 new properties in markets such as China, Malaysia and Laos, and has set a target of having 99 hotels open by 2024 as part of its journey towards being the best medium-sized hospitality player in the region.

Main image credit: ONYX Hospitality Group

Leading suppliers to attend Hotel Summit 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Leading suppliers to attend Hotel Summit 2020

Hotel Summit, the original meet-the-buyers event for hotel operators and suppliers that was recognised last year at the IndyAwards, returns this year on April 27 – 28 at Five Lakes Resort, Colchester…

With more than 20 years’ experience serving the hotel industry with relevant and engaging meet-the-buyer events, Hotel Summit has announced the suppliers (so far) that will be attending this year’s Summit.

Portable Floor Makers, Airwave, Birchall Tea, Victoria + Albert, ADI Trading, Cole & Son, Sico, LUQEL, James Alexander Bespoke Furniture, Ruark Audio, Matrix Fitness, Meiko, HCI, Good Energy, Falcon Contract Flooring, Schluter and NT Security are all among the suppliers that will showcasing their latest products and services.

 

The Summit, which this year celebrates its 22nd year anniversary, is specifically organised by Forum Events for senior professionals who are directly responsible for purchasing and procurement within their organisation, and those who provide the latest and greatest products and services within the sector. ‘ The event was amazing,” commented The Beaumont Hotel after last year’s event. “I met some really great people and it’s always good to network and discover hidden secrets of the industries, and you only find them through events such as this.”

Already confirmed delegates attending Hotel Summit 2020 include Sloane Square Hotel, Marriott Hotels, Laura Ashley Hotels and Nadler Hotels among many others.

How to register 

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

If you are a hotelier and would like to attend the Summit for free, please contact Kerry Naumburger at k.naumburger@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

*Please contact Kerry Naumburger for complete delegates list.

Hyatt expected to open up to 200 hotels in the Americas region by 2022

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hyatt expected to open up to 200 hotels in the Americas region by 2022

Hyatt’s Americas full service and select service brand portfolios expected to grow by 33 percent by 2022…

Hyatt Hotels plans to grow its Americas brand portfolio with the expected opening of more than 50 full service and select service hotels in 2020 and the addition of more than 140 additional hotels to its pipeline of hotels expected to open by 2022.

This growth is set to fuel Hyatt’s regional brand presence by 33 per cent of its current Americas portfolio. Newly executed deals for properties – under management and franchise agreements – will join 585 Hyatt hotels that are currently open and operating in the Americas.

The Americas region continues to be a top priority for Hyatt and prospective developers due to business demand in several strong regional markets like California, Texas, New York, Canada and Mexico.

“Hyatt remains focused on thoughtfully growing our full service and select service portfolio of brands in the Americas region – and growing and running our core hotel business: the development, management and franchising of full service and select service hotels, while being best-in-class,” said Pete Sears, Americas group president, Hyatt. “Hyatt’s Americas growth through 2022 further signals incredible strength in our brand among owners, customers, and guests across the largest region within Hyatt’s global portfolio.”

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Notably, Hyatt’s newest brands – Alila, Destination Hotels, Joie de Vivre, and Thompson Hotels – are experiencing strong growth with new openings and executed managed and franchised deals, including the following:

  • The 225-room Thompson Washington D.C., which marked the Thompson Hotels brand’s introduction to the nation’s capital on January 8, 2020;
  • A 130-room Alila hotel in Encinitas, Calif., which will mark the Alila brand’s first new-build hotel in the Americas in early 2021;
  • The 80-room Quirk Hotel Charlottesville, A Destination Hotel (Va.), which will mark the second Quirk Hotel in Virginia, joining Quirk Hotel Richmond in March 2020; and
  • A 161-room Joie de Vivre hotel and 226-room hotel within the Destination Hotels brand, located in Oceanside, Calif., in late 2020.

The growth of the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House select service brands, remains a strategic priority with more than 100 expected to open across North and South America through 2022.

New openings and executed managed and franchise deals in the Americas, per brand, include:

Alila

The Alila brand features luxury hotels in unique locations, distinguished by innovative eco-design and a strong commitment to sustainable tourism. Alila means “surprise” in Sanskrit, which suitably describes the refreshing character of Alila hotels and the impression guests feel when they stay as a guest.

  • A hotel within the Alila brand, located in Encinitas, California, will shelter 130 guestrooms, and is expected to open in early 2021

Andaz

Global in scale while local in perspective, the Andaz brand of luxury lifestyle hotels weaves the sights, sounds, and tastes of each property’s surroundings for a distinctively local experience. Every Andaz hotel is a unique expression of the culture that surrounds it, and enables guests to go beyond the familiar and satiate their curiosity.

  • Andaz Palm Springs (California), 150 guestrooms, Late 2020
  • Andaz Toronto – Yorkville, 160 guestrooms, 2021
  • Andaz Turks & Caicos at Grace Bay, 184 guestrooms, 2021

Destination Hotels

The Destination Hotels brand is a collection of more than 40 upscale and luxury independent hotels, resorts and residences across North America. Serving as both the explorer and the guide, Destination hotels ensure a sense of genuine belonging and the chance to encounter life-enhancing discoveries.

  • Quirk Hotel Charlottesville, A Destination Hotel (Va.), 80 guestrooms, March 2020
  • Wyndhurst Manor & Club, A Destination Hotel (Lenox, Mass.), 46 guestrooms, May 2020
  • The Shay, A Destination Hotel (Culver City, Calif.), 148 guestrooms, Late Summer 2020
  • A hotel within the Destination Hotels brand, located in Oceanside, Calif., 226 guestrooms, Late 2020

Grand Hyatt

Grand Hyatt hotels celebrate the iconic in small details and magnificent moments. Drawing inspiration from each destination, Grand Hyatt hotels provide superior service and signature experiences within a backdrop of dramatic architecture, world-class restaurants, luxury spas, and spectacular meeting and event spaces.

  • Grand Hyatt Nashville (Tenn.), 591 guestrooms, Fall 2020
  • Grand Hyatt Grand Cayman, 351 guestrooms, 2022

Hyatt Centric

Hyatt Centric is a brand of full-service lifestyle hotels located in prime destinations around the world and is Hyatt’s fastest growing lifestyle brand. Hyatt Centric hotels help fuel guest discovery, located in the heart of the action with passionately engaged team members always on-hand to serve up insider knowledge and provide local expertise.

  • Hyatt Centric Old Town Alexandria (Va.), 124 guestrooms, January 22, 2020
  • Hyatt Centric Downtown Portland (Ore.), 220 guestrooms, February 2020
  • Hyatt Centric Downtown Minneapolis, 145 guestrooms, Spring 2020
  • Hyatt Centric 39th & 5th New York, 163 guestrooms, March 2020
  • Hyatt Centric San Salvador (El Salvador), 138 guestrooms, April 2020
  • Hyatt Centric Las Olas Fort Lauderdale (Fla.), 238 guestrooms, May 2020
  • Hyatt Centric City Center Philadelphia, 332 guestrooms, June 2020
  • Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis (Tenn.), 227 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hyatt Centric Downtown Austin (Texas), 200 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hyatt Centric Downtown Nashville (Tenn.), 252 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hyatt Centric Downtown Sacramento (Calif.), 172 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hyatt Centric Koreatown Los Angeles, 310 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hyatt Centric SouthPark Charlotte (N.C.), 175 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hyatt Centric Buckhead Atlanta, 218 guestrooms, 2022
  • Hyatt Centric Niagara Falls (Ontario, Canada), 364 guestrooms, 2022
  • A hotel within the Hyatt Centric brand, located in downtown Los Angeles, 138 guestrooms, 2022

Hyatt House

Hyatt House hotels are designed to welcome guests as extended stay residents. Apartment-style suites with fully equipped kitchens and separate living areas remind guests of the conveniences of home

United States: More than 40 executed contracts for Hyatt House hotels in key markets, including Scottsdale, Ariz.; Los Angeles; Sacramento, Calif.; Denver; Lewes, Del.; Tampa, Fla.; Orlando, Fla.; Atlanta; Chicago; Louisville, Ky.; Kansas City, Mo.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Harlem, N.Y.; Allentown, Penn.; Columbus, Ohio; Portland, Ore.; Nashville, Tenn.; Houston; and Dallas.

Canada: Six executed contracts for Hyatt House hotels in Edmonton, Alberta; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Ottawa, Hamilton and Mississauga, Ontario.

Hyatt Place

Hyatt Place hotels offer a modern, comfortable and seamless experience, combining style and innovation to create a casual hotel environment for today’s multi-tasking traveler. From the lobby to the guest rooms to in-hotel dining, every touchpoint is designed with the high value business traveler in mind.

United States: More than 65 executed contracts for Hyatt Place hotels in key markets, including Fairbanks, Ala.; Flagstaff, Ariz.; Fayetteville, Ark.; Bakersfield, Paso Robles and Sonoma, Calif.; Titusville, Fla.; Chicago; Indianapolis; Des Moines, Iowa; Wichita, Kan.; Bossier City, La.; Boston; Reno, Nev.; Fort Lee and Newark, N.J.; Albany, N.Y.; Winston Salem, N.C.; Philadelphia; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and McAllen, Texas; Harrisonburg and Virginia Beach, Va.; and Vancouver, Wash.

Canada: Fourteen executed contracts for Hyatt Place hotels in Kelowna and Prince George and Richmond, British Columbia; Edmonton, Alberta; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Moncton, New Brunswick; Toronto, Ottawa, Mississauga, Brampton, Ontario; and Montreal, Quebec.

Latin America: One executed contract for Hyatt Place San Jose Cariari located in Heredia, Costa Rica.

Hyatt Regency

Hyatt Regency hotels are intuitively designed to make travel free from stress and filled with success. Conveniently located in urban and resort locations in more than 30 countries, Hyatt Regency hotels offer seamless experiences for any occasion, from energizing vacations to personalized, high-touch meetings.

  • Hyatt Regency Frisco (Texas), 301 guestrooms, Spring 2020
  • Hyatt Regency Insurgentes Mexico City, 250 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hyatt Regency Niagara Falls (Ontario, Canada), 703 guestrooms, 2022
  • Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City (Utah), 700 guestrooms, 2022

Joie de Vivre

Since its founding in San Francisco in 1987, the Joie de Vivre boutique lifestyle brand has made curating playful travel through local connections and eclectic experiences its signature. Each Joie de Vivre hotel is an original concept designed to reflect its neighbourhood.

  • The Ambassador Chicago, a Joie de Vivre Hotel, 285 guestrooms, February 2020
  • El Capitan, a Joie de Vivre Hotel (Merced, Calif.), 114 guestrooms, Summer 2020
  • A hotel within the Joie de Vivre brand, located in Oceanside, Calif., 161 guestrooms, Late 2020

Miraval

Miraval is a luxury leader in wellness resorts and spas for individuals looking to create a life in balance through alignment of the body, mind and spirit. Opened in 1995, Miraval Arizona in Tucson, Ariz., pioneered the destination wellness spa resort category with its comprehensive program of activities, experiences and personal treatments.

  • Miraval Berkshires (N.Y.), 102 guestrooms, May 2020

Park Hyatt

Park Hyatt hotels provide discerning, global travelers with a refined home-away-from-home. Guests of Park Hyatt hotels receive quietly confident and personalized service in an enriching environment. Located in several of the world’s premier destinations, each Park Hyatt hotel is custom designed to combine sophistication with understated luxury.

  • Park Hyatt Toronto* (Ontario, Canada), 219 guestrooms, October 2020
    • *Reopening after property redesign
  • Park Hyatt Los Angeles at Oceanwide Plaza, 184 guestrooms, 2021
  • Park Hyatt Los Cabos (Mexico), 163 guestrooms, 2021
  • Park Hyatt Mexico City (Mexico), 155 guestrooms, 2021

Thompson Hotels

Founded in 2001, Thompson Hotels is an award-winning lifestyle brand that delivers a new take on modern luxury and tailored stays for guests with connections to world-class culinary offerings, arts and entertainment, and groundbreaking design. Each location offers a stunning, carefully layered and dynamic urban or resort setting that molds into the surrounding community.

  • Thompson Washington D.C., 225 guestrooms, January 8, 2020
  • Thompson San Antonio, 162 guestrooms, Late Summer 2020
  • Thompson Dallas, 219 guestrooms, Fall 2020
  • Thompson Hollywood (Calif.), 190 guestrooms, 2021
  • Thompson Austin, 200 guestrooms, 2021
  • Thompson Denver, 220 guestrooms, 2021
  • Thompson Savannah (Ga.), 193 guestrooms, 2021
  • Thompson New York – Central Park*, 2021
    • *Rebrand from Parker New York
  • Thompson South Beach (Miami), 150 guestrooms, 2022

The Unbound Collection by Hyatt

The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand is a portfolio of independent, premium hotel properties, ranging from historic urban gems to contemporary trend-setters and boutique properties to resorts. Each hotel is one-of-a-kind and offers story-worthy and extraordinary experiences for our guests.

  • Mar Monte* (Santa Barbara, Calif.), 200 guestrooms, Spring 2020
    • *Rebrand from Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara
  • A hotel within The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand, located in Kansas City, Mo., 144 guestrooms, Summer 2020
  • A hotel within The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand, located in Hollywood, Calif., 64 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hotel La Compañia (Panama City, Panama), 88 guestrooms, 2021

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Hamilton Litestat announced as Headline Partner for MEET UP networking events

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hamilton Litestat announced as Headline Partner for MEET UP networking events

Recommended Supplier Hamilton Litestat has been announced as Headline Partner for MEET UP London and MEET UP North….

Electrical Solutions and wiring provider Hamilton Litestat will once again support Hotel Designs as Headline Partner at two of its key industry networking events in 2020.

MEET UP London, which will take place on May 13, and MEET UP North that takes place in Manchester on July 6.

Having previously supported Hotel Designs with its annual The Brit List Awards event, Hamilton aims to further increase its business and product awareness amongst the site’s loyal audience.

“We’ve found a supportive partner in Hotel Designs and The Brit List Awards was a great way for us to strike up meaningful conversations within the industry.” – Gavin Williams, Head of Marketing for Hamilton

“A key part of the Hamilton business is engaging with those within the design, architecture and hotel industries, and the Hotel Designs MEET UP events are an ideal way to get face-to-face time with important players,” said Gavin Williams, Head of Marketing for Hamilton. “We’ve found a supportive partner in Hotel Designs and The Brit List Awards was a great way for us to strike up meaningful conversations within the industry. We’re hoping that we can take that one step further with the MEET UP networking events.

Until January 31 (this Friday), EARLY RELEASE tickets to both Meet Up London and Meet Up North are available to purchase for designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and those who supply to the hospitality industry. The regional events, which last year bridged the gap between more than 400 design and hospitality professionals, are regarded as two of the industry’s most established networking events. “We are fully committed to host our networking events in locations and venues that are at the heart of the hotel design community,” said editor Hamish Kilburn. “We hope that Meet Up London and Meet Up North, which include relevant themes and talks at both, help to build seamless relationships as well as inspire the industry to further push boundaries in design and hospitality.”

To book tickets to MEET UP London:

EARLY RELEASE SUPPLIER TICKETS*: £99 + VAT (expires on January 31)  | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.
EARLY RELEASE BUYER TICKETS**£10 + VAT (expires on January 31) | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.

To book tickets to MEET UP North:

EARLY RELEASE SUPPLIER TICKETS*: £99 + VAT (expires on January 31) | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.
EARLY RELEASE BUYER TICKETS**£10 + VAT (expires on January 31) | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.

If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, or if you have any enquires regarding tickets, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050.

Early Release offer strictly ends January 31, 2020.

* Those eligible to purchase Supplier Tickets must be industry suppliers.
** Those eligible to purchase buyer tickets must prove that they are an interior designer, architect, hotelier or developer.

 

Location special: Factors behind rapid hotel growth in West Africa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Location special: Factors behind rapid hotel growth in West Africa

In an interview, Philippe Doizelet, Managing Partner of Hotels at Horwath HTL in conjunction with the Forum de l’Investissement Hôtelier Africain (FIHA), identifies four fundamental factors that are fuelling an increasing flow of investment into the hospitality sector in West Africa. Bench Events reports… 

Air connectivity, better economic growth, currency and demographics are the four factors recently identified as being the catalysts for hotel development in West Africa.

Today, Africa is seen as one of the most promising regions for hotel developers. Aside from small chains and independents, four global hotel groups dominate signings and openings on the continent.

Over the last four rolling quarters, as of September 2019, Accor, Hilton, Marriott International and Radisson Hotel Group have opened 2,800 rooms and signed deals for 6,600 rooms. Across Africa, hotel development remains important in most advanced economies, such as Morocco and South Africa; and projects are multiplying in East Africa, especially in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In West Africa, Nigeria is back on the development scene thanks to emerging regional destinations beyond Abuja and Lagos. Francophone Africa is also moving fast. The Ministry of Tourism of Ivory Coast has launched an ambitious national plan for tourism development, Sublime Cote d’Ivoire, and already announced more than US$1bn investment in the sector. Senegal is the other regional star, with local programmes such as Diamnadio, Lac Rose near Dakar and Pointe Sarene. Other countries showing active hotel development include Benin, Cameroon, Guinea, Niger, and Togo.

Now, in an interview, Philippe Doizelet, Managing Partner, Hotels, Horwath HTL, West Africa’s leading hospitality consultant, in conjunction with the Forum de l’Investissement Hôtelier Africain (FIHA), the premier hotel investment conference in Francophone Africa, has identified four fundamental factors which are fuelling an increasing flow of investment into the hospitality sector in West Africa. They are, in alphabetical order: Air connectivity, Better economic growth, Currency and Demographics.

“According to the UNWTO, international tourist arrivals in Africa grew by seven per cent in 2018, one of the fastest growth rates in the world together with East Asia and the Pacific.”

In the past few years, additional flight connections have transformed travel to and from West Africa, which, in the words of Philippe Doizelet, Managing Partner, Hotels, Horwath HTL, has been a game changer. He said: “It used to be that the main hubs for flying between West African countries were Paris and Casablanca. However, thanks to the rapid growth of Ethiopian Airlines and other carriers, such as Emirates, Kenya Airways and Turkish, the situation has changed; and new routes are offered to travellers. For example, it is now possible to fly direct from New York to Abidjan, where the African Development Bank is located, and to Lomé, where the Central Bank of West African States (BOAD) is situated… and with increased travel comes increased commerce and demand for accommodation.”

According to the UNWTO, international tourist arrivals in Africa grew by seven per cent in 2018, one of the fastest growth rates in the world together with East Asia and the Pacific. The flight data analyst, ForwardKeys, recently confirmed that trend continuing. In 2019, African aviation experienced 7.5 per cent growth and it is the stand-out growth market for Q1 2020. As at January 1, international outbound bookings were ahead 12.5 per cent, 10.0 per cent to other African countries and ahead 13.5 per cent to the rest of the world. As a destination, Africa is also set to do well, as bookings from other continents are currently ahead by 12.9 per cent.

The second factor is the superior economic growth of many West African countries, which are expanding substantially faster than many of the world’s most advanced economies. According to World Bank data for 2018, several, such as Benin, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Senegal are growing at six per cent per annum or better, more than double the world average, three per cent. That is a potent attraction to international investors. However, that’s not all; as prosperity grows domestically, so too does the local financial services industry. It then looks to invest client monies; and a good proportion of that capital gravitates towards real estate projects and, in turn, new domestic infrastructure. As those projects come to fruition, more prosperity is generated and so a virtuous cycle is stimulated, which acts as a catalyst for further economic development.

Currency is the third factor. Later this year, the CFA franc, which is pegged to the euro, is planned to be dropped and 15 countries in West Africa (ECOWAS) will adopt the Eco, a new, free-floating, common currency, designed to reduce the cost of doing business between them and so increase trade. However, whilst there is great enthusiasm for the Eco, it is somewhat qualified because the economies of participating countries are at different stages of development and governments may find it difficult to adhere to agreed guidelines for managing their economies.

The fourth factor is demographics. The population is young and the fastest growing of any major world region. According to Doizelet, it is also characterised by a hunger to learn and confidence about the future. “People are seeing their standards of living improve and they are keen to seize opportunities. We are seeing that mindset reflected throughout the hospitality industry; it’s incredibly refreshing and it’s attracting business.” He explained.

“Africa is not the easiest place to do business, but it is an incredibly exciting place because the opportunities substantially outweigh the threats.” – Matthew Weihs, Managing Director, Bench Events.

However, the picture is not all rosy. Horwath HTL also identifies four factors which threaten economic progress; they are security issues, political agenda, governance and increasing public debt. Although Africa today experiences much less conflict than it did three or four decades ago, when most African countries experienced war, some parts of the Sahel are still subject to security threats. On the political front, although democracy is continuing to spread, it is not yet the general rule everywhere, especially when come the times of major elections. Third is governance. Doizelet adds: “When people are poor and the state is weak, there will be corruption, but I’m not convinced that it is much worse than in other parts of the world.” The fourth concern is rising public debt, much of which has been incurred as long-term loans from the Chinese to build infrastructure. That said, the debt to GDP ratio of many West African states is still less than many highly developed nations.

Matthew Weihs, Managing Director, Bench Events, which organises FIHA, concluded: “Africa is not the easiest place to do business, but it is an incredibly exciting place because the opportunities substantially outweigh the threats. Every time we organise a hotel investment forum, I see more hotel openings being announced and I meet new players keen to enter the market. The FIHA delegates are literally constructing the future of Africa in front of our eyes and anyone who attends the conference has the opportunity to join in.”

FIHA takes place at the Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire in Abidjan, March 23-25.

Main image credit: Hotel Bab Rimal, Foum Zguid, Morocco

Authentic restaurant inside 18th century palace. Large pillars separate tables and rustic fabric hanging down from the ceiling adds charm and character

Palacio Solecio opens as Malaga’s first luxury boutique hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Palacio Solecio opens as Malaga’s first luxury boutique hotel

An inspiring transformation of an aristocratic palace, Palacio Solecio has opened as a 68-key luxury boutique hotel in 18th century building…

In the heart of old town Malaga sits Palacio Solecio, an 18th century architectural gem that now shelters the destination’s first luxury boutique hotel.

Authentic restaurant inside 18th century palace. Large pillars separate tables and rustic fabric hanging down from the ceiling adds charm and character

The palace, which was derelict for 80 years before restoration began, has been lovingly and sensitively redesigned by Antonio Obrador in order to retain its authenticity. The building, which became a masterpiece of architecture for its time, has been transformed, whilst maintaining the essence of its architecture and decorative details, creating a hotel where old meets new.

“The idea was to be authentic, but not folksy.” – Pablo Carrington, founder of Marugal Hotels.

The hotel is operated by Marugal Hotels, which specialises in the management of independent, one-off hotels. “Palacio Solecio is one of the finest examples of 18th century domestic architecture in Málaga, so our restoration has been incredibly sensitive,” said Pablo Carrington, founder of Marugal Hotels. “We’ve been able to incorporate the wonderfully decorative original architectural elements – pilasters, garlands, Tuscan columns topped by vases, the original staircase – into the design of the hotel. For the interiors, we’ve been led by old photos of the palace. The idea was to be authentic, but not folksy.”

Exterior of the palace

Image credit: Palacio Solecio

Current rules dictate that the footprint of Listed buildings in Spain must remain the same – so details such as the inner courtyard are exactly as they would have been when the palace was new. Original features – the old grills over the windows, elements of the main staircase (including the decorative arch and columns)– have been meticulously restored. The façade has been re-painted and returned to its original appearance.

Reading light on blue and cream textured wallcovering

Image credit: Palacio Solecio

In a deft and subtle acknowledgment of Andalucía’s history, the decorative details are rich with Moorish influence. Painted leatherworks – Cordobanes – which became popular in Andalucía in the 16th and 17th century adorn the walls, bringing their striking patterns and deep colour palettes to the interior. Fabrics have been reproduced from old photos of the palace interiors, such as the typical espiga fabric with its herringbone design, used in the guestrooms. Even the smallest detail – door handles, the bedside tables – are subtly redolent with local character to brilliant effect.

Image of the guestroom, which features blue and cream fabrics on bed, headbaord and led lighting in the ceiling

Image credit: Palacio Solecio

The guestrooms meld quiet sophistication and comfort with the authentic charm of the building, with parquet floors, and stunning lighting. The interiors are both rustic and modern, a combination of neutral colours with splashes of bold prints and local Andalusian artwork.

Following the initial opening, in 2021, the hotel is expected to add a further 49 rooms as well as a rooftop bar and pool.

Main image credit: Palacio Solecio

In Conversation With: Hotelier of the Year 2019, Thomas Kochs

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Hotelier of the Year 2019, Thomas Kochs

The Managing Director of Corinthia London, Thomas Kochs, has confidently evolved – and arguably led – the luxury hospitality scene in London for decades. Editor Hamish Kilburn joins the man of the moment who was recently crowned Hotelier of the Year at The Brit List Awards 2019

London’s luxury market stands and operates alone on the global hospitality map. Although ‘competition’ is a rare word spoken among hotel operators in the city, there is no denying that the luxury hotels in the capital are all vying for the title of being the best and most interesting hotel in London.

One man who knows more than most hoteliers about the luxury hospitality scene is Thomas Kochs, the Managing Director of Corinthia London. In the last decade alone, the German-born hotelier has managed properties such as The Berkeley, The Connaught Hotel, Claridge’s and Hotel Café Royal. More than likely, it was this impressive portfolio that qualified him as the man for the job to take the helm of Corinthia’s flagship property in 2017.

Roof terrace that has modern furniture, a large chess board and the view of the London Eye

Image credit: Corinthia London’s Whitehall Penthouse

Since its opening in 2011, in a building that dates back 1885, the 300-key property has proven, time and time again, that Mayfair is not the only neighbourhood for premium hotels in London. Sitting undisturbed on the bank of the River Thames; a hop, skip and a jump away from London landmarks such as Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Corinthia London faces, and in some suites frames, the iconic London Eye and the contemporary and eclectic South Bank.

Having just clinched the prestigious title of Hotelier of the Year at The Brit List Awards 2019, Kochs is rightfully considered one of the best in his field. With an acute eye for detail, and a calm, collected yet dynamic approach to leadership, the hotelier has seen – perhaps even led – the evolutions of many hospitality trends driven by consumer behaviour and demands. “Design has evolved,” says Kochs. “10 – 15 years ago, hotels had more opportunities to impress through design. However, a good design formula alone is no longer enough in today’s market. There are some design-driven brands where the customer only checks in because of the design and aesthetic, but we don’t consider ourselves one of them.”

Spacious and luxury hotel lobby. Grand piano in the centre, and a large chandelier in the background

Image cpation/credit: Corinthia London’s luxurious lobby | Jack Hardy

Last year, Corinthia London was the backdrop of a BBC docuseries entitled: A Hotel for the Super Rich & Famous. The two-part series, which echoed a similar format of another series that featured Kochs when he was General Manager of Claridge’s, gave consumers a window into the inner workings of a luxury hotel.

As well as following the day-in-the-life of housekeepers, florists and the concierge, the cameras were also given access to creative meetings with the hotel’s Futurists-in-Residence, The Future Laboratory. The trend forecasters, who began their partnership with the hotel in 2018, believes the future of luxury is about intelligent encounters – think cool cultural exchanges, and the kind of exemplary food for the mind, body and soul that stimulates thinking. “These are dear friends of ours,” Kochs explains. “The Future Laboratory were trying to make the point that that consumers are too busy with themselves, to the point that only severe disruption would make them talk to each other.” One option suggested was to deliberately shut down one of the lifts. “That’s all well and good,” Kochs adds, “but that just doesn’t work in hotels. The aim of the partnership was to position ourselves as a forward-thinking hotel that also respects our history and brand values.”

Another common theme explored in the TV series was how decisions were made, and often changed. “Why would you stick to something that your mind is warning is not the right decision?” Kochs rhetorically questions. “I know it can sometimes be exhausting and an inconvenience to people around you, but it’s important to get it right and sometimes you just have to trust your gut.”

Quick-fire round

HK: Congratulations on your win at The Brit List Awards 2019. How does it feel, being Hotelier of the Year?
TK: It’s amazing, I have never been a hotelier of the year before.

HK: Why is Britain a hospitality hotspot?
TK: Because creativity, design and hospitality is deeply rooted in British culture.

HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
TK: Japan.

HK: What’s the one item you cannot travel without?
TK: My Bottega Veneta holdall travels everywhere with me.

HK: What is the one hospitality trend you hope will not return?
TK: The idea that the most expensive is the most desirable. That was vulgar.

HK: What is the last item that will show up on your bank statement?
TK: Organic dog food, hand-cooked in Devon, for my new puppy.

HK: What is the most important element to get right in hospitality?
TK: The team is essential. The team here really do inspire me every day.

HK: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
TK: A GP in the countryside.

HK: If you were not living in London, where would you be?
TK: Somewhere with a beach, potentially Los Angeles.

HK: Who inspired you when you were early on in your career?
TK: It was more the feeling of quality hospitality that inspired me.

HK: What’s your favourite part of the hotel?
TK: I really like the Northall Bar. I like the high ceilings and the historic elements, but also there is space to breathe.

As a someone who has been at the top of the luxury hotel triangle in London since 2001, Kochs understands that the roles of a hotelier are changing, and evolving fast. “The structure of having your strategy, the next five-year plan and the budgets has remained the same, explains Kochs. But now, more than ever, you need to be really close to your team; understand your employees and what they are working on. You also need to spend time with the guests, and really consider the sense of location when doing so. The minute you lose interest in any of these components, you’re fighting a losing battle. That brings me nicely onto relevance. The hotel has to understand how to remain an exciting place. It is a beating heart; a live operation. It’s not something that we can put into storage and sell later. Instead, it’s happening now.”

modern, contemporary guestroom with green cushions and bed throw.

Image caption/credit: Corinthia London’s Duluxe King guestroom | Jack Hardy

It’s an interesting time for Corinthia Hotels. Following its announcement to debut in Dubai, which CEO Simon Naudi explained the ins and outs of in an exclusive interview last year. While the brand expands sensitively, the London hub remains the mothership of the group, where the DNA of its award-winning style and service was born and refined. “I do certainly feel the responsibility,” adds Kochs. “We are in one of the most exciting cities in the world, which is all too easy to forget because we have access to it every day. We are lucky and blessed that we identify trends before others. This, I believe, comes with experience. It’s crucial to stay alert and awake to consumer trends and shifts in demands so that we capture them both verbally and intellectually, which we can then communicate seamlessly through the hotel experience.

Render of luxe, light and airy suite.

Image caption/credit: Render of Corinthia Dubai | Corinthia Hotels

Considering its widely known reputation, it’s easy to forget that the hotel group currently only has one hotel on UK soil. “We have the advantage of being small,” says Kochs. “Look at what is going on around us. Everything is getting bigger. Travel to Vietnam, for example. You enter Saigon and the streets are a bit dusty, and souk is steaming on the side of the road. But then you are confronted with Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada; the same brands and products you would find on Bond Street.

“The hotel industry is not too dissimilar. The Corinthia brand is small, and we are quick in our decision making. There isn’t a corporate paralysation and we are not overly governed by brand guidelines. A large brand would argue that the opposite is their advantage, which can also be true.”

Dark spa with fire on the left and luxe sauna on the right.

Image caption/credit: The Spa inside Corinthia London | Jack Hardy

What I believe is most telling of Kochs’ style as a hotelier is the fact that, throughout our interview, he had a subtle, non-invasive watch on everyone else in the room. The self-proclaimed perfectionist continues to stand as a leading example for the brand that is slowly by surely expanding its luxury offering in far-flung destinations around the world.  Personally, I believe that Kochs’ attention to detail is what sets him apart – like how, during this interview, he paused politely to ask for the lighting to be lowered as the last of the London light filtered into the late afternoon. Despite his impressive background in hospitality, Kochs remains humble, warm and a worthy Hotelier of the Year.

Main image credit: Corinthia London

Bill Bensley launches ‘Sensible Sustainability Solutions’ White Paper

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bill Bensley launches ‘Sensible Sustainability Solutions’ White Paper

Why? Because thinking about sustainability is the right thing to do…

Last year, Hotel Designs put sustainability and designing conscious spaces at the root of many of its editorial and feature concepts, including speaking on the topic at the Indepdnenet Hotel Hotel London where editor Hamish Kilburn unveiled new research on consumer demands for hotels to be more eco-friendly.

Following this, designer and architect Bill Bensley has unapologetically published White Paper research entitled: “Sensible Sustainability Solutions”, which is aimed towards the for the global hotel industry and incorporates more than three decades of experience from designing more than 200 hotels around the world.

“Let’s all lose the greenwash and do something real.” – Bill Bensley

Deeply passionate about conservation, sustainability and philanthropy and a man who seriously walks his talk, Bill wants to shout his message from the treetops for all to hear.  “I am done with designing lavish hotels just to put heads on beds.  Every hospitality project that we have on the drawing boards right now has a purpose and a candle to light.  Those of us in hospitality – be it designers, owners or operators – have the power of reaching thousands of people through our hotels and spreading this message of purpose.  We should shoulder more responsibility concerning issues such as education, clean accessible water, alternative energy, energy consumption, food waste, wildlife protection and conservation,” he said.  “Let’s all lose the greenwash and do something real.”

The concise Sensible Sustainable Solutions White Paper outlines 20 suggestions for hotel designers, owners and operators on designing better hotels to help fight climate change and make the world a better place, covering three core pillars:

  • Build with a purpose – hotels with a strong sense of local community, educating guests and employees, creating new experiences and championing environmental issues – all of this can increase profits.
  • Think locally and sustainably – including everything from branded amenities, water bottling plants, sourcing locally and farming/landscaping in a way that is sensitive to both the community and environment.
  • Build sensibly – the keys to building smart in terms of building materials and energy conservation through architecture, as well as aspects such as upcycling and using solar panels to harvest the sun. An amazing statistic: in ONE HOUR the sun provides more power than the entire world needs in one YEAR!  Think about that!

Bensley explains: “By issuing my standards to all hotel companies, I am sharing an unbranded, open-source archive of lessons which we have learnt about hotel design, purposes, and sustainability. Everything here is, I believe, low hanging fruit for the hospitality industry. It is my dream to have a positive impact on our planet’s future by harvesting that fruit. In the next five years, more than 15,000 new hotels will be built. For each of those, every hotel operations company will have a set of standards that they issue to architects like me, explaining how they want their hotel to stand apart from the rest. Very few, surprisingly few, of these standards specify concrete statements or changes regarding sustainability.

“It is my hope that “Sensible Sustainability Solutions” will give hoteliers ideas to create, hand-in-hand with hotel operators, eco-friendly hotels – not just greenwashed – using ideas which align with owners’ rigorous standards. We promise it can be done, as we use these on every project! I have long believed that hotel design should take advantage of that human attention by way of teaching, providing experiences, and setting examples of sustainability.  Through these ideas, we can save money, improve communities and better our environment. We really must understand, NOW, in the 11th hour of life on earth that our world requires some serious rethinking. We are in the midst of the world’s sixth extinction, and it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to save our planet.

“There is a fundamental illusion in the world today, that we are separate from nature, when the reality is, we are nature.  This fundamental misunderstanding is what is wreaking havoc on the world’s environment; our society points to us as the superior life form on the plant. Why should anyone protect nature if they don’t think they are part of it?  In focusing on our economy we have forgotten our age old wisdom that cross-culturally, from Eskimos to Aboriginals, says in a nutshell – if you disrespect the balance of nature, a price will be paid!”.

How? By Employing common sense

By way of this White Paper on all that Bensley has learnt in more than 30 years of designing and building hotels, he is sharing ideas, suggestions and lessons in building and running hotels sustainably, as well as using hotels as tools for change, both in terms of the environment but also for the communities they can support.

Throughout the paper the designer cites examples of hotels he has designed that showcase these principles, including Four Seasons Tented Camp and Four Seasons Koh Samui in Thailand, Capella Ubud in Bali, the Siam Bangkok, Rosewood Luang Prabang, JW Marriott Phu Quoc in Vietnam and his co-owned Shinta Mani and Bensley Collection Hotels in Cambodia.

Main image credit: Bensley/Shinta Mani Siem Reap

VIP ARRIVALS: Top hotels to open in February 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
VIP ARRIVALS: Top hotels to open in February 2020

With the aim to cut through the noise in a contemporary tone, Hotel Designs has the scoop on which statement and game-changing hotels are expected to open in February, 2020…

The hotel industry never ceases to amaze with its ability to break through hard barriers to take design, architecture and creativity to new heights and levels.

Following Hotel Designs’ two-part series published last month, where it shared the major hotel openings of 2020, the editorial team have narrowed down the search even further to identify the hotels that will arrive onto the international hotel design scene this month. From architectural firsts in Dubai to long-awaited heritage hotels in London – and the start of a family of hotels in Manchester – the industry, in all corners of the globe, is about to display a spectacular performance of how far design and architecture briefs can be stretched.

Here’s February’s top picks…

Hotel Brooklyn, Manchester

Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn Manchester

As Hotel Designs prepares its troops for its annual northern networking event to take place in the city that is fast-becoming a hotel developer’s dream, Hotel Brooklyn is ready and waiting in the wings to unveil its contemporary design.

Designed by Squid Inc – the team behind the renowned Hotel Gotham – the long-awaited Hotel Brooklyn will shelter 189 rooms that are inspired by the New York Borough and chosen for its resonating similarities to Manchester, in terms of its buzzing industrial growth, as well as its strength of identity and culture.

If Hotel Gotham, its older sibling that opened in 2015, is anything to judge by, then we expect a playful hotel that is not afraid to bend, even break, the rules of hospitality for its guests.

ME Dubai

Image credit: ME Dubai/Zaha Hadid Architects

Following the opening of The Morpheus last year, and Hotel Designs’ interview with one of the lead architects behind the projectZaha Hadid Architects is preparing to celebrate yet another groundbreaking moment in architecture.

The London-based firm’s latest project, the Opus, is days away from entering onto the international hotel design landscape with arrival of ME Dubai. The 93-key hotel will feature dramatic, signature furniture in the lobby, lounges and reception area, which were either designed or personally selected by the late Zaha Hadid.

Zedwell, London

Image credit: Zedwell London

Opening it’s doors February 2020, the first Zedwell will be housed in one of central London’s most iconic venues; The London Trocadero. Holding in excess of a staggering 700 guestrooms, the flagship Zedwell will be one of the largest hotel openings in the capital within the last decade.

As well as large in size, the hotel is also clever and ahead of its time for many reasons, such as installing high-tech soundproofing, filtered air to enhance the overall guest experience.

Artist Residence, Bristol

Image credit: Artist Residence

The founder of Artist Residence, Justin Sailsbury, is known today as a true pioneer in sustainability and meaningful design who spends hours on end browsing ebay and other search engines for vintage-gem furniture and casegoods to layer into his hotels.

Following the success of the London property, the brand is expanding – and so too is his message to other independent hoteliers in the industry. Entering into tier two cities around the UK, allows the brand to stay in its unique lane of offering a residential, friendly and quirky hotel and hub. The bustling city of Bristol is the next location on the list, with the opening of Artist Residence Bristol moments away.

Arctic Bath in Lapland, Sweden

Image credit: Arctic Bath Sweeden

Situated under the northern lights in winter, and the midnight sun during the summer months, Arctic Bath is a unique hotel and spa experience that welcomes guests to immerse themselves in the elements while leaving a minimal environmental footprint behind.

The idea of a floating sauna first came to Harads resident Per-Anders Eriksson during the opening of Treehotel in 2010. At first, the vision was a glass cube on a raft. Bertil Hagström, who designed Treehotel’s The Bird’s Nest, took over the idea and in 2013 he and Johan Kauppi designed Arctic Bath’s floating, circular building.

The Guardsman, London

Image credit: The Guardsman Hotel/Tonik Associates

The Guardsman is a purpose-built luxury London boutique hotel that is expected to offer the atmosphere, discretion and personal service usually associated with a private members’ club.

Presenting guests with what is being described as “a true home away from home experience”, the 53-key hotel, which sits on Buckingham Gate, London, has been designed by Dexter Moren Associates and multi-disciplinary design practice Tonik Associates.

Hotel Designs is currently researching and writing the next article in this series, which will identify the top hotels that are opening in March, 2020. If you are working on a hotel project, or know of a hotel, that would qualify, please email the editorial team

Main image credit: ME Dubai/Zaha Hadid Architects

Radisson opens in the heart of Times Square, New York

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Radisson opens in the heart of Times Square, New York

Marking the brand’s third opening in New York City, Radisson has opened a 320-key hotel in the heart of the tourist hotspot…

Following the news that the brand will debut in Iceland in the coming years, Radisson Hotels has announced the opening of Radisson Hotel New York Times Square at a unique landscaped entrance that offers a park-like setting and a sleek and elegant interior design scheme.

 

The newly constructed hotel in the center of New York City’s most thriving tourist district exemplifies Radisson’s growth in key gateway cities.

“The opening of this new hotel in the heart of New York City is a true testament to Radisson Hotel Group’s commitment to growth in key international gateway markets,” said Aly El-Bassuni, chief operating officer, Americas, Radisson Hotel Group. “With New York City being one of the top leisure and business destinations in the world, we’re excited to greet travelers from across the globe with this newest addition to the Radisson family.”

Located in Midtown West, the hotel offers 320 guest rooms, with 70 rooms that offer stunning views of the Empire State Building. Each room features free Wi-Fi, room service and a mini fridge, creating a perfect sanctuary to unwind after a high-energy day of shopping or seeing the latest hit show on Broadway. Throughout their visit, guests have access to an onsite fitness centre and business centre, luggage storage and complimentary tea and coffee. For those traveling on business, a 12-person New York style boardroom is available with a coordinator to assist with all the important details, including catering. The hotel also has a seasonal rooftop cocktail bar featuring sweeping views of the Empire State Building, the Hudson Yards development including The Edge observation deck and the Hudson River.

Main image credit: Radisson Hotels

MINIVIEW: The Spa at South Lodge

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: The Spa at South Lodge

Following a thread of rave consumer reviews, Hotel Designs travels to the scenic countryside of West Sussex to take a dip inside the nature-inspired spa at South Lodge…

Opened in the Spring 2019 to become a contemporary wellness extension for the luxury hotel, The Spa at South Lodge was designed sensitively by Sparcstudio in partnership with architecture studio Felce and Guy.

Situated within the grounds of the hotel, The Spa at South Lodge follows the natural contours of the land and provides a haven away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Surrounded by wildlife, nature and peace, and perched above the rolling hills of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. the 44,000 sq. ft. spa champions the estate’s landscape.

The natural theme continues throughout the Spa’s interior, with a colour palette of beige, white, pale blues and greens across the walls, floors and soft furnishings. Natural light floods into the wide, open spaces and carefully placed lighting guides guests down the stairs and through to the workout areas, 14 nature-themed treatment rooms and changing rooms. Luxurious brushed-brass hardware and plush chairs give the expansive changing areas a personable touch, complemented with the very best in grooming equipment, including premium brands such as Dyson Supersonic hairdryers and Paul Mitchell hair straighteners.

Image credit: South Lodge Hotel

Relaxation is at its best in The Spa’s treatment rooms encourage deep relaxation, with heat, light and sound mood pods. A variety of thermal experiences include a private mud room and infused sauna, as well as marble-lined salt steam and jasmine herbal steam rooms.

Outside, lounge chairs lead the way to a vitality hydrotherapy pool and beyond, the spa boasts a serene heated wild swimming pool, with an attractive wooden bathing platform inviting guests to take a revitalising dip. In colder months, the 22m x 10m indoor infinity swimming pool is the place to swim against the dramatic Sussex landscape.

New-York style gym area with punch bag and weights area

Image credit: South Lodge Hotel

A New York loft-style fitness gym slots right into the West Sussex countryside, where beaten-leather punch bags, retro-inspired boxing gloves and state-of-the-art Technogym equipment compliment all kinds of fitness programmes. An adjoining terrace provides space for alfresco training and first-class fitness instructors are on hand to ensure workout goals are met.

Outdoor hydrotherapy pool on wooden decking

Image credit: South Lodge Hotel

The hotel’s spa has been meaningfully designed to combine the best of luxe interiors with the natural, untouched geology of the surrey countryside. What really sets it aside from others, though, is its answer to the rise and evolving demands of modern travellers in regards to wellness and wellbeing. For that reason, The Spa at South Lodge is a timeless gem, perfectly placed in England’s pleasant land.

Main image credit: South Lodge Hotel 

FIRST LOOK: Inside the renovation of Oatlands Park Hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FIRST LOOK: Inside the renovation of Oatlands Park Hotel

Following a multi-million pound renovation, Oatlands Park Hotel has given Hotel Designs a sneak peek inside the new contemporary hotel in Surrey… 

A venue steeped in History, Oatlands Park Hotel has been the home to previous Kings and Queens of England. Following more than ten million pounds of investment to date towards extensive and careful renovations over the last four years, the hotel is nearing its completion.

The transformation of the hotel includes a brand-new glass ceiling guest foyer, a new restaurant and bar, The Mulberry and Bar 1509, alongside the grand total of 144 guestrooms, 120 of which have been completely updated and modernised. There’s also been dramatic developments in the hotel’s multiple meeting rooms and conferences spaces as well as significant improvements and new crafted landscaping to the grounds.

The design of the hotel’s lobby and lobby bar was led by interior designer Përparim Rama from 4M Group, while Penny Patterson from Make It So Design set the design language for the new guestrooms, other feature areas and meeting spaces.

Originally the site of a Tudor Palace commissioned by Henry VIII in 1538, Oatlands Park Hotel in Weybridge is described as ‘the jewel in Surrey’s crown’. The multistage refurbishment project started back in 2016 with the aim of retaining historic features alongside a fresh contemporary style, to ensure the hotel is kept at the very forefront of the marketplace, meeting the high expectations of both its corporate and leisure clientele who come from all over the world to stay here.

Lavish dining area with high ceilings

Image credit: Oatlands Park Hotel

The recently developed hotel lobby and welcome foyers have meant the project has come to near completion. The design of these areas within the hotel has been highly enriched by the elegance of natural marble and oak timber flooring. Reflecting the history of the hotel, the lobby has been refurbished with marmorino walls, recreating the Italianate style of the original building of the 19th century. A hand-crafted brass and glass chandelier looks down from a privileged position as a classic symbol of the luxurious past in this historic venue. The idea is that this sets a goal of creating a comfortable space welcoming guests to the hotel lobby, lobby bar and grounds, encouraging customers to walk around and interact.

Horse like lamps facing each other in white coriddor

Image credit: Oatlands Park Hotel

Throughout the whole project, the historic hotel façade will remain intact and retains its character of the grade II listed building and grounds. The Oatlands Park Hotel’s magnificent grounds, trees and gardens are included in the “Register of Gardens and Park of Special Historic Interest”. The team at the hotel has been working closely with Emma Adams, a local heritage planning expert and SSA Architects to ensure that they keep the existing historical spirit of the hotel, while anchoring the establishment firmly in the 21st century.

Following the latest phase of renovations, there are additional plans for a luxury spa, further conference rooms as well as 33 guestrooms currently going through planning permission stages.

Main image credit: Oatlands Park Hotel

Checking in: Heckfield Place

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in: Heckfield Place

Former senior stylist for House & Garden and The Brit List Awards 2019 judge, Florence Rolfe, checks in to the award-winning Heckfield Place to discover how the hotel is anything but ‘greenwashing’ in both its design and operation…

I recently received a dream invitation to the highly acclaimed country manor hotel Heckfield Place. Naturally, I obliged.

The Georgian Manor House, which is set within a 438-acre estate, is now a hotel that holds a substantial reputation in the market for its extremely elegant and sophisticated interior style.

Cleverly designed by Ben Thompson (a protégé of Ilse Crawford), a surveillance and understanding of the natural surroundings seem to have inspired a subtle colour palette. Not much pattern to be seen here (which I love), but instead a clever use of varying textures that combine to create a relaxing and peaceful environment for guests.

Located only one hour outside of London, I couldn’t wait to get there. As I approached the spectacular Georgian Manor House I was welcomed by the concierge dressed in a plain, rather cool looking linen pinafore and shirt (designed by cutting edge London based label Egg) who took our bags and offered to park our car for us. We were greeted again in the grand hallway by a member of staff offering a delicious welcome refresher.

Wooden staircase

Image credit: Heckfield Place

No sign of a traditional desk check-in. Instead, we were immediately given a choice of an initial tour of the building or to go straight to our room. Tempted by the sound of murmuring voices at the bar and the smell of a roaring fire, I decided to opt for the latter after arriving in darkness. Corridor walls are lined with carefully curated art works from the owner’s private collection. Windows along the corridor are decorated with delightful white lace sheers for added privacy. Over-sized decorative pots on the window-sills force you to notice their eye-catching shapes and interesting textures.

Every single design element has been so carefully considered. On the approach to our room, the concierge pulled the room key from a small envelope that had my name embossed on it. If that isn’t considered luxury attention to detail,  I don’t know what is! Whilst on the subject of details, the electronic door lock (often very unattractive) has been beautifully disguised behind a plain white linen hoop.

Mustard walls in guest room looking through into bathroom

Image credit: Heckfield Place

As our guide opened the door, an immediate warmth overwhelmed me. I was not only confronted with a few of my favourite interior design comforts, but any amenities that were waiting for us had been so carefully thought about and beautifully styled – a tray of apples and a bag of chestnuts became a work of art. A clear intention to steer away from plastics was consistent throughout the room. Any homemade treats left for us in the minibar were presented in jars (home-made Ribena) or paper bags (containing salted almonds or coconut macaroons).

This was no ordinary minibar: a dark and mysterious, rather chic looking kettle sat on the top with a secret drawer beneath. It cleverly pulls out of the minibar with a connector to hold the kettle.

Coat hooks have been styled with woven baskets that hang ready and waiting for you take to the spa (or to collect any items that you might have foraged from around the grounds). Vases of dried flowers (grown and dried on site) are dotted around the room amongst carefully considered clientele coffee table books – ready for you to fall into a large, comfortable sofa and indulge.

Soft pastel colours on bed and on armchair

Image credit: Heckfield Place

The addition of the Fiddle leaf fig plants are something that I don’t always see in hotel rooms. Effective, as it is now considered that house plants are thought to be a calming influence in a space. A contemporary natural rush woven headboard runs across the width of the bed, creating a back drop that highlights the antique bedside tables on either side. Overall, the bedrooms feel stylish and homely. Everything from the furniture to the lighting to the styling has been carefully thought about with detailed consideration and most importantly with the guest in mind. I really didn’t want leave!

After an extremely peaceful nights sleep, breakfast was only a short walk away. An impressive dining room with full panoramic views of the grounds means that you can sit, relax and enjoy your eggs (collected fresh from the farm earlier) just the way you like them!

After breakfast I took a walk around the ground floor as I was intrigued to explore during the day. Daylight floods in through the main hall and along the corridors bouncing off the grand interior architecture throughout. Two enormous airy yet cosy drawing rooms still adhere to the muted colour palette. Thompson has stuck to linens in soft greys and neutrals on both the curtains and chairs, adding punch here and there with pastel coloured velvet cushions. Fires are lit throughout the day during the winter, making this an ideal spot to sit and enjoy a cuppa after a long country walk.

A wood panelled private dining room with a grand marble fireplace also has full views of the estate. It also hosts an array of beautifully arranged floral arrangements by florist Kitten Grayson, including a stand out dried floral wreath that hangs over an enormous oak dinning table.

I jumped at the chance when I was offered to go on a tour of the farm. Heckfield Place has become well known for its contribution to sustainability and the farm follows biodynamic principles. Guests are advised to wear willies, which are provided for by the hotel –  downstairs you are spoilt for choice with black Hunter wellies laid out for you, in every size possible.

In my opinion good hotel interior design is about creating a home away from home: to feel that you can walk in somewhere and simply fall into bed or onto an extremely comfortable sofa – a peaceful retreat. Heckfield Place seems to have got it just right. The aspirational photography featured on its website and Instagram account is only a hint of the true inspirational experience this place so effortlessly shelters.

Main image credit: Heckfield Place

INSIGHT: 5G and hotel security technology in the ’20s

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INSIGHT: 5G and hotel security technology in the ’20s

To launch the next few weeks putting Technology under the spotlight, Mark Tucknutt, the owner of specialist security consultancy Toren Consulting Ltd, breaks down some of the cyber security issues the design, architecture and hospitality sector will face in the Roaring 20s…

It’s pretty hard to resist a technology forecast at the turn of the decade, and when you misspent your teenage years playing ‘Cyberpunk 2020’ its nigh on impossible.

I run a boutique security design consultancy, supporting developers and architects in designing hotels that meet the security requirements of planning authorities, hotel brands and hotel guests. While we’re not living in the dystopian tech-obsessed 2020 that 13 year old me was promised in the early 1990s, we are living in interesting times for the hotel sector, for technology and for security risks.

Most commentators agree that one of the key technology trends for the 2020s is going to be the continued rolloout of 5G networks. Here are a few ways that I believe that may impact on hotel security and allow ‘security’ devices to better support hotel business operations.

Distributed Video Analytics

We all know from the mainstream media that 5G is coming, and that it will bring huge increases in bandwidth and speed over mobile networks. The impact of 5G on hotels, with their transient users and geographically dispersed properties, is going to be significant. Of course, I’m not talking about the ability of guests to download a movie more quickly, as exciting as that might be. 5G is going to enable hotel chains to make use of a wide range of intelligent devices, and I predict that some of the most valuable will be video surveillance cameras.

5G networks will increase the ability of business systems to make decisions based on information from edge devices. For traditional security cameras monitored by a human operator, the reduced latency isn’t really a factor; fibre optic latency is already a tiny factor compared to human decision-making speeds. But when we’re talking about automated business systems, that faster response is going to enable lots of interesting processes. 5G will allow hotel brands and operators to reliably use video analytics to monitor and react in real-time to AI-based alerts from a global hotel portfolio, for example about queue lengths, unusual patterns of behaviour in the lobby or recognition of a VIP guest.

More devices, fewer wires and more integration

Security systems have been, somewhat belatedly, moving to a cloud-based architecture during the last few years. 5G is going to accelerate that development so that access control panels and servers and video surveillance recorders located on the premises will be consigned to history.

Video surveillance cameras will finally become truly wireless for data transmission. The increased reliability of 5G will give hotels the confidence to deploy wireless cameras throughout hotels, rather than only in hard to reach locations. Instead of ‘wireless’ guestroom locking connecting to wired hubs (often several in each guest corridor), guestroom locks will make use of 5G’s reduced latency to become truly wireless, also improving the guest experience by reducing the time taken to unlock the door.

5G will therefore lead to reduced security installation costs for new hotels by removing network cabling, switches, wireless access control hubs, network video recorders etc from construction. New locks and cameras will become quicker, easier and cheaper to deploy.

Mobile app guestroom locking comes of age

The capabilities of 5G phones are going to make mobile phones even more ubiquitous, and hotel guests even more comfortable with expecting to use phones for secure tasks.

The use of mobile phones for guestroom locking ‘keys’ has existed for a while now, but adoption hasn’t been as strong as it might have been. I’m predicting that as the technology matures, and integrations between locking systems, guest apps and booking systems become more open, that 2020 is the year that we finally see mobile phones take over from plastic RFID cards as the de facto guest room access control device.

While there is still a concern that guests will be reluctant to download a new app for each hotel stay, the major guestroom locking providers are at least now offering integration to not just a hotel’s own app development but to the main third-party hospitality app providers. This means that just as smaller hotel chains can now ‘white-label’ a guest app solution from a third-party (such as HotelBird or AeroGuest), those apps are now likely to be integrated with a guestroom locking product (such as Salto XS4 or Vingcard Essence).

Main image credit: Salto

Laufen’s technology secret: it’s all in the material

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Laufen’s technology secret: it’s all in the material

Design reduced to the essentials, SaphirKeramik has been bathroom manufacturer Laufen’s trade technology secret since 2013. Since then, the material has been used to create some of the most stunning bathroom products…

With SaphirKeramik the Swiss bathroom specialist Laufen is setting a new trend in bathroom design.

SaphirKeramik is an innovative ceramic material, which possesses all the hygienic advantages of traditional bathroom ceramics, but is thinner, more defined, and extremely robust. The special properties are due to the addition of corundum, a colourless component of sapphire, which has been prepared for the market by years of research and development work by Laufen. Since its launch in 2013 SaphirKeramik has developed into a favourite material of many architects and bathroom planners, because it permits a whole new design language with ceramics in the bathroom, which could not have been realised in the same way with conventional ceramic material.

Basin in black set

Image credit: Laufen

SaphirKeramik from Laufen is a very hard and rigid ceramic, which for the first time allows very thin, but extremely robust ceramic walls and at the same time a defined rim – a narrow edge radius of 1-2mm is possible, whilst traditionally ceramic material manages 7-8mm. The name SaphirKeramik is related to sapphire glass, known from watch-making, which also contains corundum, making it also a very hard material. However, SaphirKeramik not only permits a more precise and slimmer design language, but also has functional and ecological advantages: thus in the case of SaphirKeramik washbasins, with less material more functional space is created. In the process SaphirKeramik is exactly as hygienic and safe with drinking water as traditional ceramic material, and can also be recycled completely. The low material quantity, thanks to a simplified ceramic structure, has further advantages in terms of environmental protection and sustainability, since fewer raw materials and less energy are required for the firing, production and transport of SaphirKeramik.

Meanwhile Laufen has gained extensive experience with the innovative ceramic material, integrating numerous bathroom products made of SaphirKeramik into its ranges. Together with the washbasins in the successful Kartell by Laufen bathroom collection, and the SaphirKeramik bowls from the Living Square collection, the washbasins from the Val and Ino collections have now joined this exclusive club. Val and Ino have been developed from the SaphirKeramik project, to which Laufen invited the two designers Konstantin Grcic and Toan Nguyen, in order to collectively explore further the design potential of the material in conceptual studies. SaphirKeramik also plays a key role in Patricia Urquiola’s Sonar collection for Laufen.

“Laufen is convinced that the potential of SaphirKeramik has not yet been fully exploited, and that with this innovative material we are going to realise many exciting developments in the future,” says Marc Viardot, Director of Marketing and Products at Laufen. “Since the dimensions of bathrooms in reality hardly change, it is our vision of wellbeing in the bathroom to optimise the proportions of features and to create a sustainable product design in accordance with the available room.”

Laufen is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Laufen

EARLY RELEASE tickets open for Hotel Designs’ premium networking events

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EARLY RELEASE tickets open for Hotel Designs’ premium networking events

For limited time only, Hotel Designs has opened discounted EARLY RELEASE tickets to Meet Up London (May 13) and Meet Up North (July 6)…

After hosting a hat-trick of successful and meaningful premium networking events up and down the country last year, Hotel Designs is offering designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers to purchase discounted EARLY RELEASE tickets to Meet Up London and Meet Up North.

Until January 31, tickets to both Meet Up London and Meet Up North are available to purchase for designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and those who supply to the hospitality industry. The regional events, which last year bridged the gap between more than 400 design and hospitality professionals, are regarded as two of the industry’s most established networking events. “We are fully committed to host our networking events in locations and venues that are at the heart of the hotel design community,” said editor Hamish Kilburn. “We hope that Meet Up London and Meet Up North, which include relevant themes and talks at both, help to build seamless relationships as well as inspire the industry to further push boundaries in design and hospitality.”

About Meet Up London 
Date: May 13, 2020 | 6pm – 10pm
Venue: Minotti London | Theme: Inspiring Creativity
Headline Partner: Hamilton Litestat | Partner: Crosswater

Following the success of last year’s spring networking eventHotel Designs is delighted to return to Minotti London for Meet Up London 2020, the publication’s first networking event of the year. The London Fitzrovia showroom, which recently played host to an exclusive roundtable, will shelter an evening like no other around the theme of Inspiring Creativity, with the concrete aim to further bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and key-industry suppliers.

EARLY RELEASE SUPPLIER TICKETS*: £99 + VAT (expires on January 31)  | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.
EARLY RELEASE BUYER TICKETS**: £10 + VAT (expires on January 31) | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.

Sponsors for Meet Up London (so far): 

About Meet Up North 
Date: July 6, 2020 | 6pm – 10pm
Venue: Central Manchester (venue to be announced shortly)| Theme: Manchester On The Boards
Headline Partner: Hamilton Litestat | Partner: Crosswater

Considering the vast amount of hotel projects currently on the boards in the north – many of which are slated to complete in Manchester and open this year – Hotel Designs will be returning to the city of Manchester for Meet Up North 2020. The city, which has hosted the concept since its launch in 2018, will once again welcome leading designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and key-industry suppliers for the market’s leading networking event in the north of England.

EARLY RELEASE SUPPLIER TICKETS*: £99 + VAT (expires on January 31) | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.
EARLY RELEASE BUYER TICKETS**: £10 + VAT (expires on January 31) | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.

Sponsors for Meet Up North (so far):

If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, or if you have any enquires regarding tickets, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050.

Early Release offer strictly ends January 31, 2020.

* Those eligible to purchase Supplier Tickets must be industry suppliers.
** Those eligible to purchase buyer tickets must prove that they are an interior designer, architect, hotelier or developer.

close up of wall partition in the restaurant

How twenty2degrees redesigned Budapest Marriott Hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
How twenty2degrees redesigned Budapest Marriott Hotel

Hotel Designs follows twenty2degrees, which has just completed a two-phase refurbishment of Budapest Marriott Hotel…

Whenever a project completes from The Brit List 2019 accredited design firm twenty2desgrees, you know that its design is going to do three things: 1) stand out from the crowd, 2) be full of personality and 3) have meaning. The team’s latest project, Budapest Marriott Hotel, is no exception of that unwritten, yet widely known, rule.

close up of wall partition in the restaurant

Phase one of the renovation began with the brand’s signature ‘greatroom’ concept, which harmonises reception, lobby lounge, bar and restaurant in a single open space, followed by the hotel’s function and meeting rooms. The result not only aligns with brand expectations but, thanks to the designers’ introduction of local context and artistic provenance, feels absolutely at home in this historic and creative city.

Large contemporary partition in lobby/f&B area

Image credit: Marriott International/twenty2degrees

Tucked along the banks of the Danube River, the hotel overlooks some of the capital’s most iconic landmarks including the Chain Bridge and Buda Castle. The 50-year old building belongs to the Brutalist mid-twentieth style of architecture, and the designers pay homage to the concrete façade with a new stone sculptural relief in the lobby. Beyond this, however, the interiors are now modern and tactile with numerous residential-style details to ensure guests feel at their ease from the moment they arrive. The firm, headed up by Nicolas Stoupas and Joseph Stella, has also introduced Marriott’s first ‘disruptive bar’ – a free-standing island bar in the lounge designed to evolve through the day, from morning coffee and pastry service, to cocktails and snacks in the evening.

Large and comfortable lobby/lounge area

Image credit: Marriott International/twenty2degrees

“While addressing all the ‘Marriott Modern’ touchpoints, we felt it was important to also capture the rich essence of Budapest, a vibrant European city with a tremendous amount of history and a vast number of creative individuals, both past and present, from whom to draw inspiration,” explained Stella, Creative Director of twenty2degrees. “Whenever we begin a new project, we first look to the brief in order to form the bare bones of the design. Then we explore the locality in order to added layered design elements”.

The work of Hungary’s renowned Bauhaus designer, Marcel Breuer, and artist, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, was the inspiration for the specially designed carpets and the refined-yet-elaborate decorative screens throughout the Greatroom. Integrated as an artistic and architectural element, they also serve to zone the space without shutting off any areas. These areas include: The Individual Zone for guests to relax, read, work and enjoy a coffee or a light snack, The Social Zone that is centred on the Liz and Chain Bar, and The Guest Service Zone where customers check in. Zones are defined by varying colour palettes as well as by different seating, tables and lighting options. The multi-functional, open plan scheme is designed to reflect our modern lifestyle where the opposing demands for privacy and human connection, work and socialising need to be met within a flexible space.

large island in the middle of modern F&B area

Image credit: Marriott International/twenty2degrees

Together with cubist shapes and Bauhaus curves, twenty2degrees’ celebration of the local is continued through a collaboration with contemporary local artists, Janos Huszti, Petyka, and Stefan Osnowski. Their pieces, as well as a collection of traditional paintings and prints and integrated artworks compliment the colour scheme and provide an impressive gallery feel to some of the areas.

The meeting and banqueting spaces boast stunning views of the city. Together they represent 17,000 square feet of versatile space that includes Grand Budapest Ballroom, Ballroom Terrace, and a number of flexible meeting rooms. The redesigned spaces display similar aesthetic values to the Greatroom, echoing Bauhaus principles, favouring functionality over ornamentation and asymmetry over symmetry. They too are modern and tactile, combining cubist inspired forms with a contemporary design style.

Main image credit: Marriott International/twenty2degrees

colourful, modern guest room

Room Mate Hotels to launch beach resort brand

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Room Mate Hotels to launch beach resort brand

Room Mate Hotels, the Spanish hotel chain founded and led by Kike Sarasola, will launch its beach resort brand next year with the opening of Room Mate Olivia

Having established its position in the hospitality market, the Spanish urban chain, Room Mate Group has created a new beach resort brand that will launch next summer.

colourful, modern guest room

Owned by HIP in Calviá, Mallorca, the 391-key Room Mate Olivia’s opening will mark the brand’s arrival. Envisioned by interior designer Jaimie Beriestain, who drew inspiration from the island’s unique charm, the hotel will feature a total of four outdoor swimming pools, a sun deck with Balinese beds, a wellness centre complete with gym, gardens and a children’s play area.

Room Mate Olivia will also have a range of dining options, including an à la carte and buffet restaurant – where guests will be able to enjoy a variety of dishes from around the world – and a healthy corner offering a selection of nutritious snacks.

The new hotel and brand is part of Room Mate Group’s ambitious plan to rediscover the experience and concept of the beachfront hotel. The entrance into beachfront hotels is part of a larger expansion plan to open 14 hotels and 13 apartment buildings over the next 24 months, doubling their portfolio from 1,900 rooms to more than 3,600 rooms.

Main image credit: Room Mate Hotels

NH Hotels arrives in style to join Amsterdam’s hotel scene

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
NH Hotels arrives in style to join Amsterdam’s hotel scene

nhow Amsterdam RAI is the brand’s second hotel to open this year – and it is as quirky as the rest of the portfolio…

Just days after opening the brand’s first hotel in the UK, NH Hotels has official cut the ribbon to its debut property in Amsterdam, which is located on the fringe of the culture hub’s city centre.

Designed by Dutch architecture firm OMA, famous for its cutting-edge buildings, the 24-storey shell that shelters the hotel a series of glass and steel triangular slabs that area stacked on top of each other at different angles. This is so that the building is not limited to face just one direction.

In addition to its location, which is situated steps from Amsterdam’s RAI convention centre, the hotel has been designed for bleisure travellers, and is complete with nine meeting spaces over three floors that offer the latest technology and stunning views of the city.

The 650-key hotel is described on its website as: “A place where contemporary art, design, gastronomy and cultural expressions mix. A new vibrant hub for business travelers, tourists and Amsterdam locals alike. The iconic building, facing various wind directions, symbolises the melting-pot the city of Amsterdam has always been.”

The guestrooms are inspired inspired by the cardinal direction the particular room faces – South, East, North, South West, South East and North West, with an eclectic mix of vibrant colors, patterns and traditional elements freshly interpreted throughout.

Referencing Amsterdam’s many different cultures and cuisines, the hotel features three terraces, each overlooking a different part of the city and a restaurant located on the 17th floor, with a bar also located on the ground floor.

nhow Amsterdam RAI is NH Hotels’ latest property to opening, making its permanent mark in The Netherlands as well as the overall European hotel scene.

Main image credit: NH Hotels

Thompson Washington D.C. opens in quirky Navy Yard neighborhood

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Thompson Washington D.C. opens in quirky Navy Yard neighborhood

Thompson Hotels’ lifestyle brand expands to America’s capital, Washington D.C., in the heart of bustling and emerging Navy Yard neighbourhood…

Hyatt Hotels has announced the opening of Thompson Washington D.C., the Thompson Hotels brand’s first property in the nation’s capital.

With architecture by New York-based Studios Architecture and interiors by award-winning firm Parts and Labor Design, the new hotel features 225 sleek and modern guestrooms and suites. It also features restaurant and bar concepts by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, positioning Thompson Washington D.C. to serve as a modern hub for locals and visitors against the backdrop of the city’s dynamic waterfront neighbourhood.

The hotel’s deeply textured façade and large industrial-inspired windows are a visual standout that embody the historic industrial language of the neighborhood, The Yards, a 42-acre waterfront development at the center of Capitol Riverfront’s Navy Yard neighborhood. As the first lifestyle hotel in the growing mixed-used development, Thompson Washington D.C. is designed to be a social anchor in The Yards community, joining dozens of specialty retailers, restaurants, high-end residences, and cultural attractions. Situated on D.C.’s scenic riverfront, outdoor parks such as the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail and The Yards Park are all mere steps from the hotel, inviting visitors to walk around and explore.

“Thompson Hotels is a brand that has always boldly pushed the norms of a traditional hotel experience.” – General Manager, Sherry Abedi

“We are proud to introduce the sophisticated and evocative Thompson Washington D.C. to the nation’s capital,” said General Manager Sherry Abedi. “Thompson Hotels is a brand that has always boldly pushed the norms of a traditional hotel experience, and we look forward to super-serving our global visitors, World of Hyatt members, and the Washington, D.C. community with a stylish destination to eat, drink, connect and relax. We have already felt a warm welcome from the neighborhood’s residents and local businesses.”

Junior Suite with views over the city

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

The hotel’s interiors were inspired by the Thompson brand’s signature mid-century modern aesthetic and the area’s notable Navy Yard, incorporating industrial patterns and textures found in the neighborhood’s historic naval structures. The hotel’s 225 guestrooms, including 17 suites, boast floor-to-ceiling windows and breathtaking views of the Anacostia River and Nationals Park. Two expansive Thompson Suites also feature stunning outdoor terraces with views of the Washington Navy Yard. Each guestroom features custom headboards upholstered in a mélange wool boucle from Holland complemented by sherry and plume-colored leather framed in a dark oak. Additional room elements include bathroom vanity tops made of green onyx and Brazilian white avalanche marble, 400-thread-count SFERRA linens, Tivoli radios, 55″ flat screen HD TVs, D.S. & Durga custom bath products, and kimono-style robes. The hotel’s mini bars are stocked with locally sourced items, including guilt-free snacks and candles from Frères Branchiaux Candle Co., where 10 per cent of proceeds benefit Washington, D.C.’s homeless shelters.

Among Thompson Washington D.C.’s many standout features is its signature restaurant, Maialino Mare, from famed Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG). The restaurant – a coastal sister to the original Maialino in New York City – focuses on seafood-forward pastas and other seasonally-inspired dishes sourced from local farmers and fishmongers, complemented by a robust Italian wine list and rustic desserts. Maialino Mare’s interior reflects a nod to Italian tradition but is rooted in the local metropolitan, modern setting and community.

Anchovy Social, the hotel’s rooftop bar, boasts an airy atmosphere accented with nautical elements and sweeping views of the city. Parts and Labor Design sought to create a contrasting but unified experience seen through the dark-to-light palette, allowing the space and its unprecedented 360-degree views of the city and waterfront to become a destination in itself. Anchovy Social will open in the weeks to come.

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Render of high-rise among low level buildings

Radisson Red to open hotel in Reykjavik in 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Radisson Red to open hotel in Reykjavik in 2021

Radisson Hotel Group has revealed the design concept and renderings for the brand new Radisson RED Reykjavik…

It is said to be a new urban hub for travellers and locals alike, the first ever Radisson RED in Iceland is slated to open its doors in 2021 and will take shelter in a 17-storey sea-facing building in the heart of the city.

Render of high-rise among low level buildings

“Radisson RED is Radisson Hotel Group’s upscale, select service hotel brand that presents a playful twist on the conventional,” said Tom Flanagan Karttunen, Area Senior Vice President of Radisson Hotel Group in Northern Europe. “Radisson RED hotels inject new life into hospitality through informal services, a social scene that’s waiting to be shared and bold design that kick-starts the fun. It is the perfect match for Reykjavik and the entire Radisson Hotel Group team and owners are thrilled to introduce this landmark Reykjavik.”

“It is inspired by the history of the architecture and geology of the land, with its colorful buildings painted red, black and white and dramatic natural phenomena of basalt columns and red and black lava flows.” – Architect Tony Kettle.

The 203-room Radisson RED Reykjavik will be a newly built property that provides travelers with an ideal base from which to explore the city and beyond. Located in the city centre, the hotel will be an ocean front property offering guests panoramic views of the ocean, city and the surrounding mountain ridge. The design is comprehensive, welcoming, accessible and connects locals and travelers with the restaurant and bar on the ground floor, street plaza, Red Sky bar and a Terrace viewpoint.

“The idea for this new landmark hotel is to create a special building which will reinforce the sense of the city of Rekyjavik and the landscape of Iceland to create a new and exciting destination for the city,” added the architect Tony Kettle. “It is inspired by the history of the architecture and geology of the land, with its colorful buildings painted red, black and white and dramatic natural phenomena of basalt columns and red and black lava flows.”

The roof of the hotel is activated with a two-level roof bar and viewing terrace accessed from a glazed panoramic lift with spectacular views to and from the spectacular city.

Sigurborg Osk Haraldsdottir, the chairman of the planning and transport committee says the planning and transport committee emphasized that special attention was paid to the local environment, that the building would be accessible to the public and that the building would be of the highest quality.

“I, myself would say that it has been successful and that this building will be a great part of the city’s skyline for the future. The building, its surroundings and all the finishing work, in my opinion, create a comprehensive design that leads to higher quality in the urban environment and it matters when condensing settlements”, says Sigurborg Osk Haraldsdotti and adds: “I also emphasise that the redesign of Vitastigur and the square in front of the Skúlagata building will be safe and very accessible for the public. In the site plan, there is a requirement for access from Skúlagata through the entrance to the site, so that the public will have access to the entire site. The ground floor will also be open with dining facilities along with the top floor with, a terrace viewpoint for guests and walking.”

Main image credit: Radisson Red

Streets of vienna at night

Hotel market in Austria to expand by 12,000 rooms

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel market in Austria to expand by 12,000 rooms

Could Austria be the new hospitality hotspot in Europe? The Latest findings by TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION could suggest so…

With more than 12,000 rooms due to be added to Austria’s hotel market in the coming years, according to TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION, the Alpine nation of Austria is adapting to growing demand.

Streets of vienna at night

According to the online database, 90 hotel projects are currently in the development pipeline in Austria, 62 per cent of which will open as either ‘first class’ or ‘luxury’ properties.

For 2020 specifically, the region is expected to welcome 29 hotels, which will add a further 4,125 rooms to the Austrian hospitality scene, which compared to 21 openings in 2021 and just nine openings in 2022, suggests that the next 12 months will see the market peak in Austria with a flurry of new design-led hotels entering the market place.

Austria’s capital, Vienna, will be the backdrop of 27 of these openings, adding 5, 488 new rooms in the city. This follows the demand for more urban, midscale four-star developments in Vienna, as the tourism board recorded an increase of almost 12 per cent in room revenue between the months of January to November.

Brands jumping on the hotel development bandwagon in Austria include Hilton, Accor, Six Senses and Radisson Red.

Main image credit: Pixabay

MarBella Collection announces debut in mainland Greece

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MarBella Collection announces debut in mainland Greece

MarBella Collection is months away from opening the brand’s first property outside Corfu. Hotel Designs took a sneak peek inside Marbella Elix on the mainland of Greece…

Up until now, the hotel brand MarBella Collection has enjoyed developing its hotel portfolio of luxury properties around the rugged mountains and within the resort-studded shoreline of Corfo in Greece.

But that is all about the change as the brand steers towards a new era. MarBella Elix, which will open in June of this year, will mark the brand’s first footprints onto the mainland of Greece.

As the third hotel to join the MarBella Collection portfolio, the luxury hotel will be perched above the beautiful Karavostasi Beach in the Parga region, looking west towards Corfu and Paxos. An area of astounding natural beauty, the luxurious MarBella Elix sits in unspoilt surroundings where the mountains meet the Ionian Sea.

Aerial view of sea and white sunbeds

Image credit: MarBella Collection

MarBella Elix is situated close to Parga Village and within the region of Thesprotia in mainland Greece which lies opposite Corfu and is a much-loved holiday destination for locals and the lucky few who have discovered this off-the-radar, picturesque area.

Image of modern room overlooking the sea

Image credit: MarBella Collection

146 spacious and contemporary guestrooms and suites have been designed using natural and simple materials, creating a clean and crisp look and feel, allowing the striking landscape to complete the guests’ hotel experience. Guests will have 13 different room types to choose from, all with balconies offering uninterrupted views of the Ionian Sea and include flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, organic toiletries and premium ultra-soft bedding.

With three restaurants and three bars, guests at MarBella Elix will not be short of choice when deciding where to slake their appetite. The choice ranges from modern Mediterranean dining at Saffron Main Restaurant in a sublime sea view setting to healthy, light bites beside the pool or Indigo Beach Restaurant.

The hotel will be the brand’s third hotel to join the portfolio of two unique properties. The iconic family 5* resort, MarBella Corfu Hotel, is located and in Agios Ioannis Peristeron and its adjacent sister, adult-only suite hotel MarBella Nido Suite Hotel & Villas, which opened in May 2018, is also a proud member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.

Main image credit: MarBella Hotels

Luscious greenery hiding rooftops of villas and ocean

Rosewood Little Dix Bay opens in Caribbean after 4-year closure

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Rosewood Little Dix Bay opens in Caribbean after 4-year closure

British Virgin Islands’ Rosewood Little Dix Bay, which suffered major structural damage from Hurricane Irma in 2017, has reopened in the Caribbean for the first time in four years… 

After much anticipation among luxury travellers, the legend that is Rosewood Little Dix Bay returns to the Caribbean and the BVIs, following a four-year closure.

Luscious greenery hiding rooftops of villas and ocean

An eco-tourism destination long before the term was coined – and developed by conservationist Laurance Rockefeller more than half a century ago – the beachfront hideaway celebrates Virgin Gorda’s natural beauty. Located on half-mile crescent bay, spanning 500 acres, rooms and suites are set just steps from the beach.

The hotel originally opened in 1964 and was quickly established amongst affluential explorers as a destination of choice. Throughout a fifty-two-year tenure, the property held a premier place in the hearts of international travellers.

“Over the last four years, an expert team of environmentalists, architects and designers have worked tirelessly to honour the resort’s storied past.” – Andreas Pade, managing director of Rosewood Little Dix Bay

After closing for a refurbishment in 2016, the property was soon shuttered by the effects of Hurricane Irma. Nearly half a decade later, following a full renovation, the renowned resort remerges to universal delight as a paramount Caribbean retreat, retaining its original emphasis on celebrating the surrounding natural environment while introducing new elements that speak to the wants and needs of today’s travellers.

“We are excited to welcome a new wave of ultra-luxury travelers as well as our adoring legacy guests to the reimagined Rosewood Little Dix Bay,” said Andreas Pade, managing director of Rosewood Little Dix Bay. “Over the last four years, an expert team of environmentalists, architects and designers have worked tirelessly to honour the resort’s storied past while incorporating modern amenities and comforts, creating a truly one-of-a-kind offering in the British Virgin Islands that will delight discerning travelers for generations to come.”

Inspired by its supreme setting with architecture positioned to follow the lines of the landscape, the property’s intuitive, modern design by New York-based design team Meyer Davis evokes a relaxed yet refined sense of luxury bolstered by boundless natural beauty. Honouring Rockefeller’s original vision, the footprint and structures of the property remain the same, including the resort’s unmistakable conical shaped roofs that sit atop the heart of the resort, Pavilion.

Inside, each distinct guest space pays homage to Rosewood Little Dix Bay’s laid-back heritage while simultaneously incorporating a contemporary and residential vibe, with an aim to exude the feeling of a private home and offer a transcendent sense of ease throughout the entire guest journey. In keeping with Rosewood’s guiding A Sense of Place philosophy, wherein the local sensibilities of the destination inspire the offerings provided there, the resort’s new design reflects the intrinsic style and sentiment of Virgin Gorda through unique décor, authentic artifacts and dynamic design elements that bring the external environment indoors.

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

80 guestrooms, suites and villas have been designed with privacy, relaxation and reconnection in mind, with the majority of rooms serving as digital-free sanctuaries without televisions. Dressed in the soothing tones of the island’s pristine sands, ancient boulders and cooling waters, each accommodation offers elevated design and décor and unobstructed views of the sea, including the hexagonal-shaped Ocean View Cottage and Beach Front Cottage guestrooms. Sophisticated and spacious suites, ranging from Tree House Suites inspired by the resort’s original stilt houses to One-Bedroom Pool Suites with private plunge pools and adjoining Ocean View Junior and One- and Two-Bedroom Suites, provide an inspired home-away-from-home ideal for group getaways.

For those seeking an even more elevated stay, the resort’s luxury villas deliver the utmost in space and service and include the four-bedroom Villa Joy, two-bedroom Columbus House and three-bedroom Laurance House. Both original to the 1964 property, Columbus House and Laurance House feature large living spaces, full kitchens, oversized terraces, private pools and direct beach access.

Four dynamic dining outlets combine the best of Caribbean cuisine with international influences and awe-inspiring ambiance to produce a one-of-a-kind culinary experience unmatched in the region. Featuring a freehand menu that rotates daily, the chic and colorful signature restaurant Reef House showcases premier al fresco “farm-to-fork” dining, with fresh provisions and ingredients sourced daily from the property’s on-site garden as well as through local purveyors. Slightly more casual, Sugar Mill serves creative tapas-style dishes paired with specialty craft cocktails from within the property’s open-air stone mill. Situated in the heart of the resort beneath its iconic vaulted rooftops, Pavilion utilizes international cooking methods, global ingredients and bold spices in every dish, as shown through demonstrations at the restaurant’s outdoor show kitchen. Located just off Pavilion, the relaxed, indoor-outdoor Rum Room is stocked with 107 different labels of aged and rare rums from around the world.

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels

nhow London opens and Hotel Designs is first in

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
nhow London opens and Hotel Designs is first in

Sensitively designed by The Brit List 2019 accredited firm Project Orange, nhow London has opened in Shoreditch to become a brave and bold accent on the capital’s booming hotel scene. Editor Hamish Kilburn is first in…

NH Hotel Group has arrived in the UK hospitality arena with the opening of nhow London. The 190-key hotel shelters many contemporary and quirky design statements to frame the interior design theme of ‘London Reloaded’, which was imagined and created by Shoreditch-based design firm Project Orange.

With six properties in Europe, the nhow brand aims to evolve the lifestyle hotel market by surprising and inspiring its guests through unconventional experience and design, which is unique to each hotel’s location. nhow London is part of the exciting new development 250 City Road.

Project Orange has been responsible for the interior design of the project from concept through to completion, and has specified British manufacturers as much as possible throughout the entire project. The ‘London Reloaded’ theme is prominent throughout the hotel with bold and fresh design that takes inspiration from traditional British icons, such as the Royal Family, London landmarks and the underground.

All areas of the have an eccentric and contemporary take, with stand-out features including a Big Ben rocket sculpture in the lobby, tables in the ground-floor restaurant Bells and Whistles featuring cockney rhyming slang and oversized gold bell lights, a reminder of the city’s famous church bells.

Render of the ground-floor restaurant with green banquet seating

Image caption/credit: Render of Bells and Whistles restaurant | nhow London/Project Orange

Upstairs, the corridors have been designed to reference a walk in a typical London park. Featuring eye-catching designed HD carpets by Brintons, as well as colourful ‘townhouse front door’ style doors, this area of the hotel, which can all too often feel stale and unforgotten, has been brought to life with humour. Each floor, facing the lifts, features a stencil of a bike chained to a fence. As guests move up each levels of the hotel, another part of the bike is removed, which is a playful nod to the reality of most, if not all, for cyclists in the city.

Colourful textures confront contemporary art in the rooms, creating a dynamic version of London – think punk meets high-tech style, while graffiti appears alongside unconventional images of past monarchs.

As with all NH Hotels, everything in a nhow London is pleasingly unexpected. The nhow experience has arrived in London as the brand continues to make its mark on the European hotel scene.

Main image credit: nhow London

PARIS PREVIEW: What to expect at MAISON&OBJET and Deco Off 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PARIS PREVIEW: What to expect at MAISON&OBJET and Deco Off 2020

As Paris prepares to welcome designers from around the world for Maison&Objet and Deco Off, editor Hamish Kilburn previews what he expects to be the most significant products to launch at both shows… 

Maison&Objet and Paris Deco Off never fail to attract and engage a large international crowd, and with just days until this year’s shows open, 2020 is going to be no exception.

Despite the two events contrasting in style – one dominating the volume of Parc des Expositions de Paris Nord Villepinte on the outskirts of the city with a variety of brands, and the other spilling out into the streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés – together they work harmoniously. As a pair, they are undoubtably two of the hottest events in the design calendar, intriguing more than 80,000 design enthusiasts to descend onto the streets and trawl through the exhibition halls of Paris.

Many would argue, myself included, that both shows have become the go-to destinations to garner and guage the product launches and new styles from leading suppliers that are expected to dominate the market over the course of the rest of the year. It is for that reason, and the fact that there sea of interior design trends flooding the market, why Paris a quality trip worth taking in January if you are looking to cut through the noise for interior inspiration.

However, as someone who has walked the six halls and the narrow streets, it’s wise to approach Maison&Objet and Paris Deco Off as a marathon, and not a sprint. In order to give you a headstart, here are just some of the product launches and new collections that we expect will create the most noise this month.

Zaha Hadid Design: Hall 6 — Stand P38 (M&O)

Image of abstract glass plate

Image credit: Zaha Hadid Design

Interpreting the ordinary into something unexpected. Referencing Zaha Hadid’s process with each new project – ZAHA HADID DESIGN (ZHD) continues to examine its significance within the dialogue of contemporary design by interpreting both the present and the future, and by continuing to share Hadid’s story.

ZHD, which has been led by co-directors Maha Kutay and Woody Yao since 2013, has an extensive cross-disciplinary portfolio which includes design in fashion; jewelry; limited edition furniture; interiors; exhibitions, installations, sculpture, and set-design.

NANOLEAF: Hall 1 — Stand G49 (M&O)

Image of lounge funky lights above comfy sofa

Image Credit: Nanoleaf

Founded in 2012, but only recently exciting the hotel industry with its modular lighting design, is NANOLEAF. The lighting company prides itself on creating innovative lighting solutions that are smarter by design. By infusing artistic design and technological innovations in their products, NANOLEAF brings excitement, convenience, and joy to the way people experience light. NANOLEAF is a green technology and “IoT company” changing the world with innovative lighting solutions.

The newly introduced Unified Light Panels Line with interconnectivity will give users complete design freedom to create all new creative configurations, from abstract geometric layouts to perfect replicas of their favorite characters and shapes. The Unified Hexagons invite users to truly tap into their imagination to personalize their lighting designs.

NARDI: Hall 6 — Stand M111

Birdseye view of pink outdoor furniture

Image credit: Nardi

NARDI Italian manufacturer of outdoor furniture 100 per cent Made in Italy that is furiously waving the sustainability flag. The company, which was founded in 1990 and based in Italy, is specialised in designing and producing high-quality designer furniture in resin for outdoor use in the residential and hospitality sectors. All of its products, designed for people’s wellbeing and relaxation, are made in a production chain that is entirely “Made in Italy” and are eco-friendly. High-quality resin processed using cutting-edge systems is combined with aluminium, synthetic fabrics, padded elements and glass to make products with a design that is original and almost completely recyclable.

OGO Furniture: Hall 6 — Stand C80 (M&O)

An aray of quirky seatsOGO is a brand with roots that comes from the Spanish islands. The mild temperatures have marked the serene and peaceful character of the company’s products, so that guests can enjoy the open air.

Nacho Timón and Ana Llàcer, both Valencian designers, together with the OGO creative team have developed an original collection created to be practical and useful. A key aim for OGO is to not limit designers when decorating a space. Exhibited at the show, LOLA by OGO is a minimalist, versatile and unique piece that is ideal for a contemporary hotel lobby.

PEDRALI: Hall 6 — Stand J2 / K1 (M&O)

Studio image of four varying sized chairs with blue and pink background

Image credit: PEDRALI

Since 1963, PEDRALI has produced seats, tables, complements and lighting exclusively manufactured in Italy through a design process, which combines tradition and innovation, engineering excellence and creative brilliance. The latest collection, Folk, is the result of an accurate research aimed to create industrial design products made of metal, plastic materials, wood as well as upholstery.

Following the cornerstones of a 100 per cent made in Italy production philosophy, the company’s activity is joined by a profitable collaboration with numerous designers that has allowed the company to achieve an award-winning status in the international contract market.

Arte Showroom – 6 Rue de l’Abbaye (Deco Off)

Showroom with large colourful, jungle-like wall

Image credi: Arte

Following the unveiling of an army of new and adventurous collections in 2019 – as well as hosting an insightful roundtable – Arte’s showroom in Paris is preparing to lift the lid on more new wallcoverings for 2020. Arte wallcoverings adorn the walls of both residential homes and project interiors in more than 80 countries worldwide. Every year, an in-house team of experienced designers creates several new collections. All of these new products must be innovative and trendsetting while also being of superior quality. The wallcoverings vary from urbain sophistication to dramatic exuberance, but they always retain the same tasteful elegance.

If 2019’s eclectic mix of surfaces is anything to go by, then the showroom will be well worth a visit during Paris Deco Off.

Designers Guild – 4 Rue Vide Gousset (Deco Off)

Residential set with grey sofa and plants

Image credit: Designers Guild

Designers Guild is introducing a distinctive new season abundant with an elegant mellow richness. Spring 2020 examines the influence of the early twentieth century garden designers and their innovative use of natural wild planting – pushing the boundaries of style just as its artistic and literary counterparts of the Aesthetic Movement also did. Discover a decorative fabric collection of floral prints, elaborate embroideries and complex geometrics, plus versatile textured wallpapers and four new plain and essential fabric textures. Imagined in every organic hue, from earthy sepia, birch and hemp, to celadon, emerald and topaz with hints of azalea and turmeric. With beautiful new home accessories too, a new paint collection inspired by the soft, soothing shades of nature and new collections from the company’s brands.

Jab Anstoetz – 25 Rue du Mail (Deco Off)

Yellow and pastel coloured chairs around white modern table

Image credit: Jab

Since 1946, Jab Anstoetz has been showing its true colours in textile furnishings at the highest level of quality. The Bielefeld-based group of company’s portfolios is continuously growing, setting new trends in interior decoration with a sure instinct. Among its range: textile furnishings, wallpapers, flooring lines (carpets, wall-to-wall carpets, LVT), high-quality curtain rods, blinds and panels, upholstered furniture as well as exclusive accessories.

Jean Paul Gaultier – 325 Rue Saint-Martin (Deco Off)

Colourful chair and curtain in front of leaves

Image credit: Jean Paul Gaultier

This time the influences in Jean Paul Gaultier’s new collections are taken from the pop universe, where the fortune teller and the work of the macrame makers blend naturally into magical landscapes of floral opulence and the third dimension and other graphic waves. The introduction of the first two outdoor fabrics continue the mix of playing with nature, but still with a nod to the influence of pop and even rock.

Kobe – (Deco Off)

Modern furniture with glass windows

Image credit: Kobe

Kobe is a successful editor of soft furnishing fabrics and wall-coverings for domestic and contract interior markets and will be among the leading suppliers exhibiting in the neighbourhood during Paris Deco Off. Kobe has showrooms and offices in major European cities and has a passion for interior design is paramount, with a strong focus on innovative high-quality products.

Rubelli – 11 Rue de l’Abbaye (Deco Off)

Catering for all contract needs, Rubelli is keeping tight-lipped around the launch of its new textile and wallcovering collections in Paris later this month. The company is, however, promising us new textures and new colours that are both smart and iconic, timeless as well as contemporary. The collection will be one to be seen, to be touched, to be experienced, to be loved. Following last year’s show, where the company launched a colourful display of new textiles, wallcoverings and partnerships, the showroom is expected to be among one of the most popular during Paris Deco Off 2020.

Zimmer + Rhode (Deco Off)

Green and yellow armchair in front of red backdrop

Image credit: Zimmer + Rohde

Raising the curtain on the ZR autumn collection – CIRCUS. The CIRCUS collection combines spectacle with precision and skill, whisks you away to a magical world, and shows that a great passion lies behind every true virtuoso.

If you or a company you know of are launching a new product or collection in Paris later this month, and you would like it featured on the Hotel Designs website, then please contact the editorial desk with description and high-res images.

Main image credit: Kobe

Electric red led lights in modern and quirky lounge

Most anticipated hotel openings in 2020 (Q3 & Q4)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Most anticipated hotel openings in 2020 (Q3 & Q4)

Hotel Designs continues to glance at some of the most significant hotel projects that are expected to complete in the next 12 months (edited by Hamish Kilburn)…

According to the latest findings by Top Hotel Projects, a whopping 50,000 new rooms are expected to open in January alone of this year.

Electric red led lights in modern and quirky lounge

Following on from part one of this series, where we put hotel openings in 2020 under the spotlight, here’s a closer look at some of the more significant hotels that are slated to open in Q3 and Q4 of this year.

Pendry West Hollywood (Q3)

Render of modern building

Image credit: Penury Hotels

Located on the iconic Sunset Strip, Pendry West Hollywood is one of the most anticipated developments in the creative heart of Los Angeles. The ‘new luxury’ hotel – set in an eye-catching glass fronted building with interiors designed by the acclaimed Martin Brudnizki Design Studio to evoke Californian glamour – comprises 149 guestrooms, including 37 suites and 40 additional residences. For the property’s signature restaurant and food and beverage outlets, Wolfgang Puck has created an unparalleled culinary experience inspired by the artistic energy of the surrounding area. Other stand-out features include a spectacular rooftop pool and bar adorned with chic cabanas; Spa Pendry a tranquil sanctuary offering personalised wellness treatments; curated public art collections showcasing local talent; bowling alley; and screening room.

Hilton Garden Inn Silverstone (Q3)

Render of modern building overlooking racetrack

Image credit: Hilton Hotels

Racing fans will have a new hotel to call their home away from home from 2020. Hilton Garden Inn Silverstone is the first hotel to open at the premier motor racing venue and will provide guests with extensive views over the track. Enjoy the breakneck speeds and gripping circuit side action from the comfort of the guestroom balconies or the hotel’s gorgeous rooftop terrace.

The hotel will also offer race-day experiences for all major sporting events held at the venue.

The Reykjavik EDITION (Q3)

Render of the exterior of The EDITION Reykjavik

Image caption/credit: Render of The EDITION Reykjavik | EDITION Hotels/Marriott International

Opening in a prime location within the downtown area of the city, The Reykjavik EDITION is set to launch in late 2020. Adjacent to the prominent Harpa Concert Hall, the hotel is situated in both a vibrant and scenic part of Iceland’s historical capital.

Ian Schrager Company has collaborated with architects T.arch and designers Roman & Williams to introduce EDITION Hotels to Iceland. Poised to offer 250 rooms and suites, The Reykjavik EDITION is poised to house a private rooftop, nightlife space and ballroom. In addition, the hotel is expected to offer guests and locals a diverse culinary offering with three restaurants and a café.

Crowne Plaza & Holiday Inn Express, Warsaw Hub (Q3)

Render of hotel

Image credit: IHG

A phoenix arisen from the ashes, Poland’s capital is a modern and dynamic metropolis that radiates contemporary style and sheer joie de vivre. The city boasts diverse architecture, beautiful outdoor spaces, cultural treasures, and a superb selection of dining spots, as well as over 100 cultural events taking place on a monthly basis. This new dual-branded hotel is part of The Warsaw HUB – a new business concept that will offer 430 rooms and suites from Holiday Inn Express and Crowne Plaza, conveniently located in the heart of the city’s Silicon Valley – Rondo Daszyńskiego in the Wola district.

Rosewood Hong Kong – Asaya (Q4)

Two sun loungers overlooking bay

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

November 2019 marks the launch of the ultimate urban wellness destination, ASAYA, at Rosewood Hong – offering progressive, comprehensive integrative wellness in a destination setting. This is the first urban outpost of Asaya, following its resort debut in Phuket in December 2017. Asaya will occupy a vast indoor and outdoor space at Rosewood Hong Kong, making it the largest lifestyle and wellness facility of the city.

Ambiente, A Landscape Hotel, Arizona, USA (Q4)

Render of hotel under rocks of Arizona

Image credit: Ambiente

Described as North America’s first landscape hotel, Ambiente is designed to blend in with the mystical red rocks of Sedona, Arizona.

Developed, owned and managed by Two Sister Bosses, a Sedona family-owned and operated company, Ambiente is being built with a deep respect for the environment with a focus on sustainable methods and organic, modern architecture that complements the surrounding topography and minimises the impact on the land. Designed by award-winning, Scottsdale-based ASUL Architects, the hotel will be constructed around the natural vegetation and topography, requiring less cut and fill, which better meets today’s expectations of being responsible land stewards.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

EDITION to open three new hotels in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EDITION to open three new hotels in 2020

The luxury hotel brand EDITION Hotels has announced that it will open properties in Japan, Iceland and Dubai this year… 

Following the announcement of Marriott International’s strategy to open 30 new luxury hotels in 2020, EDITION Hotels has shared that it will open three new properties across three continents this year.

With the completion of new EDITION properties in Japan, Iceland and Dubai, the brand is expected to reach 13 properties worldwide. In addition, Marriott International has a further 15 hotels in EDITION’s signed development pipeline which, upon opening in coming years, should more than double the brand’s footprint.

“All of the EDITION hotels are unique, original and one of a kind, embedded with a sense of time and place,” Ian Schrager.

The brainchild of famed designer and hotel visionary Ian Schrager, EDTION Hotels continues to expand its home-from-home luxury interior scheme in major travel hotspots around the world. “All of the EDITION hotels are unique, original and one of a kind, embedded with a sense of time and place,” Schrager commented.

With two existing properties in the Asia Pacific region, the brand expects to open its first property in Japan – The Tokyo EDITION Toranomon. EDITION expects to expand its footprint in the Middle East with the opening of The Dubai EDITION, the second hotel in the UAE following last year’s launch of The Abu Dhabi EDITION. Europe is also expected to see its fourth EDITION property with the launch of The Reykjavik EDITION in Iceland.

Render of the exterior of The EDITION Reykjavik

Image caption/credit: Render of The EDITION Reykjavik | EDITION Hotels/Marriott International

Each new opening will further entrench EDITION Hotels’ position as a global leader in the luxury lifestyle hotel market. Working with eminent global designers to create distinctive properties, each EDITION Hotel is uniquely tailored to its destination. Displaying the best of dining and entertainment, services and amenities “all under one roof,” each EDITION property is completely unique, reflecting the best of the cultural and social milieu of its location and of the time.

EDITION Hotels’ commitment to uncompromising quality, true originality and impeccable modern service continues to define the luxury boutique hotel category. The brand’s rapid international expansion is set to continue with further openings slated throughout 2021 across multiple continents.

Main image credit: EDITION Hotels/Marriott International 

Render of luxury bedroom overlooking snowy slopes

Kiroro Resort in Japan opens new residences

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Kiroro Resort in Japan opens new residences

Construction has completed on first residential resort in world-class alpine destination in the heart of Hokkaido, Japan…

Within the powder paradise in the heart of Hokkaido, Japan, Kiroro Resort has welcomed the arrival of new luxury residences and several new restaurants and bars.

Render of luxury bedroom overlooking snowy slopes

Developed by Property Perfect PCL, Kiroro Resort, which is tucked away in the mountains of Hokkaido, was amongst the top three best ski resorts 2019 in the 7th annual World Ski Awards.

Yu Kiroro comprises of a collection of exclusive ski-in/ski-out private residences at the base of the mountain. The development features 104 one-, two-, three-bedroom and penthouse freehold luxury private residences that are fully-furnished with premium services such as ski valet, a natural indoor-outdoor onsen, 24-hour concierge, fitness centre and lounge.

“Residents will have ski-in/ski-out access to the world’s best powder, the longest ski season – Mr. Chainid Adhyanasakul, CEO of Property Perfect PCL.”

“We are thrilled to be completing the construction of Yu Kiroro, just in time for the winter season,” said Mr. Chainid Adhyanasakul, CEO of Property Perfect PCL. “Our owners are excited about the special opportunity to be the first to own in this highly coveted, high end mountain resort. Residents will have ski-in/ski-out access to the world’s best powder, the longest ski season, and year-round recreation in the heart of charming Hokkaido.”

render of the slopes and the exterior of the hotel

Image credit: Yu Kiroro

The completion of the residences also coincides with the opening of several new restaurants and bar in Kiroro Resort, including Yukashi (Japanese / Western) restaurant in Yu Kiroro, as well as Asian Kitchen (Thai-Chinese dining), The Hokkaido Bar, Yanshu Yakiniku, Belgian Waffle Shop and Shiro.

Main image credit: Kiroro Resort

 

Render of the building, featuring the outside f&b areas and the exterior of the rooms

Concept to completion: Journey to design Conrad Punta de Mita

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Concept to completion: Journey to design Conrad Punta de Mita

In the first article of the first concept-to-completion series of the year, Hotel Designs exclusively invites SB Architects explain the unique design concept of Conrad Punta de Mita, which is slated to open later this year…

Situated within what is being called ‘Mexico’s next major ‘it’ destination’, Riviera Nayarit, Conrad Hotels & Resorts is months away from opening.

Render of the building, featuring the outside f&b areas and the exterior of the rooms

Co-developers HRV Hotel Partners and Contact Development Company envisioned a modern design and destination that highlights and enhances the natural beauty of the surrounding area.

In 2016, architecture firm SB Architects was commissioned to transform the former La Tranquila Resortin Punta de Mita, Mexico to redesign and refresh the existing buildings to become Conrad Punta de Mita. The brief included repositioning the lobby and lobby bar, as well as the addition of new low-rise guest room buildings. In answer to the ever-evolving food and wellness travel market, the firm was asked to also design a three-meal restaurant, specialty restaurant, pool bar and grill, beach grill, sunset bar, adult pool bar, spa, and conference centre.

render of ground-level f&b area, open to nature

Image caption/credit: Render of Speciality Restaurant | SB Architects/Conrad Hotels & Resorts

Riviera Nayarit boasts more than 200 miles of sun-kissed beaches, provides a backdrop of the majestic Sierra Madre mountains, and is one of the only places in the world where you can find all four groups of mangroves; White, Red, Black and Buttonwood.

“People and place were the primary sources of inspiration, drawing from the rich, multi-cultural identity of Riviera Nayarit.”

One of SB Architects earliest and clearest project goals was to create a rejuvenating resort that places people at the centre of the design and harnesses the ambiance of the site. Weaving Conrad Hilton’s key brand attributes into the design, people and place were the primary sources of inspiration, drawing from the rich, multi-cultural identity of Riviera Nayarit.

People thrive best in environments that allow them to connect authentically to nature and the sophisticated, the contemporary architectural design, with seamless transitions between interior and exterior spaces, provides a fluid, natural and relaxed guest experience. Dovetailing with the dramatic scenery, resort bungalows, pavilions, and cabanas are nestled in coastal vegetation, overlooking ponds or the Pacific Ocean beaches and Litibu Bay coves. Influenced by Mexico’s rich history and unique culture, indigenous artwork integrates with luxurious amenities to create a sense of barefoot resort elegance. In each motif lies a story, a statement and a valued part of the local Mexican identity.

Image caption/credit: Render of exterior spa | SB Architects/Conrad Hotels & Resorts

A tranquil respite from Mexico City’s energetic pace, the 324-key hotel boasts serene natural landscapes, aquamarine waters, and uninhabited isles. Facilities include three dining venues, three pools; adult, family, activity; spa and 45,000 square feet of combined function space; including 30,000 square feet outdoor event space, 10,000 square-foot ballroom, and 3,000 square feet of breakout rooms, each with ample pre-function terraces.

Hotel Designs continues to follow the project, through concept to completion, as it heads towards its official opening later this year.

Main image credit: SB Architects/Conrad Hotels & Resorts

Guest room with modern interiors

Hyatt Regency brand debuts in Greater Bay area of Southern China

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hyatt Regency brand debuts in Greater Bay area of Southern China

Hyatt Hotels has announced the opening of the 493-key Hyatt Regency Hengqin in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China, designed in response to the rise in bleisure travellers visiting the area…

Situated in the heart of the dynamic and fast-growing Greater Bay Area of southern China, Hyatt Regency Hengqin is part of the vibrant Novotown complex, which features an impressive array of attractions including Lionsgate Entertainment World, Natinoal Geographic Explorer and more.

Guest room with modern interiors

The hotel has a total of 493 guestrooms, including 55 suites, ranging from and from 430 to 2,583 square feet (40 to 240 square meters). Subtle design touches include soft warm timber blinds, giving an overall feeling of natural comfort. Regency Club guests enjoy exclusive access to our club lounge offering a range of complimentary amenities including concierge service, private check-in and check-out, delicious bites served daily, and a dedicated meeting room.

Boasting six restaurants and bars, the hotel offers a wide range of global cuisine. Market Café is a self-service, market-style restaurant where diners can watch their food being prepared by expert chefs at live cooking stations. La Cucina is an extension of Market Café, bringing the delicious flavors of Italy to Hengqin, with a variety of popular European dishes.

Exterior shot of the hotel

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

In early spring of 2020, the hotel will open three additional food and beverage outlets. The open-kitchen Xiang Yue Chinese restaurant will specialise in the delicate flavors of Cantonese cuisine. Pool Pavilion will be a relaxing, al fresco dining venue delivering sumptuous barbecue and craft cocktails. Meanwhile, the 180-degree rooftop bar, will be located on the 23rd floor.

Modern design in restaurant with open kitchen

Image caption/credit: Market Place/Hyatt Hotels

The modern 24-hour fitness centre features a wide variety of state-of-the-art workout equipment in a bright and airy space. In addition, the hotel shelters a 1,076 square foot (100 square meter) members’ lounge, as well as an indoor and outdoor swimming pool.

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

render of open-planned lobby/lounge area in hotel overlooking the pool and the sea

Most anticipated hotel openings in 2020 (Q1 & Q2)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Most anticipated hotel openings in 2020 (Q1 & Q2)

Kickstarting 2020, Hotel Designs takes a glance at some of the most significant hotel projects that are expected to complete in the next 12 months (edited by Hamish Kilburn)…

If 2019 was anything to go by, then the next 12 months on the international hotel design and hospitality scene is going to be a jam-packed series of hotel openings in all corners of the globe. But with the industry churning out all kinds of hotels, it can be a challenge identifying the projects that will make the biggest impact.

render of open-planned lobby/lounge area in hotel overlooking the pool and the sea

In order to cut through the noise, the editorial team has sifted through the lists of projects on the boards in order to determine which among them are the most significant hotel projects that are slated to complete and open in 2020.

We start our series by putting the spotlight on the hotels forecasted to opening in Q1 and Q2.

Fusion Suites Vung Tau (Q1)

Render of rooftop pool and dynamic angular roof

Fusion’s latest hotel, Fusion Suites Vung Tau, is set to open in January in southern Vietnam’s popular coastal playground. The new 21-storey property features 171 well-appointed suites and apartments, a multitude of dining options, a spa, yoga studio, and a rooftop infinity pool. The property offers views of the ocean, and complements the setting with playful interiors dressed in sea green, ocean blue, and a wide range of ocean-inspired hues in between. The same sense of whimsy informs the building’s complex facade with pastel-coloured glass panels that zig-zag upwards. For dining options the hotel has the Fresh restaurant (open all-day), a rooftop bar, and market stalls in the lobby. The property’s 12 treatment room spa is inspired by the sea and features signature therapies based around salt. Conveniently located in the heart of Vung Tau, the hotel is just a short trip by boat or road from Ho Chi Minh City.

Mama Shelter Paris West (Q1)

Light room with living coral coloured decor

Image credit: Mama Shelter

Following a successful soft opening, Mama Shelter’s second hotel in Paris, located in the eclectic 15th arrondissement, will officially open in January 2020. With cutting-edge design elements by up and coming French designer Dion & Arles, featuring the playful design and vibrant colour palettes – guests can unwind in front of the open fire in the all-day restaurant or dine al fresco on the terrace, complete with its very own half-size basketball court. This will be Mama Shelter’s 12th property.

Hotel Brooklyn, Manchester (Q1)

Designed by Squid Inc – the team behind renowned Hotel Gotham – the long-awaited Hotel Brooklyn is scheduled to open in February 2020. The 189-key hotel is inspired by the New York Borough and chosen for its resonating similarities to Manchester, in terms of its buzzing industrial growth, as well as its strength of identity and culture.

Riggs Washington D.C.

Image credit: Lore Group/Riggs Washington DC

The long-awaited brainchild of The Brit List 2019 judge Jacu Strauss, Riggs Washington D.C. is expected to open its illustrious doors in February 2020. The famed designer has invoked the spirit of the building’s former bank while preserving and restoring much of the property’s original design features to reimagine the storied building for the modern traveller. The 181-room property features playful nods to the building’s rich past, drawing on the parallels between the activities that take place in banks and at hotels to offer something personal and serendipitous around every corner.

Atocha Hotel Madrid – Tapestry Collection by Hilton (Q1)

Render of gold and modern guest room with gold headboard and light grey bedding

Image credit: Tapestry Collection/Hilton Hotels

Tapestry Collection by Hilton is making its debut in EMEA and will soon land in two of the most iconic European cities.

Atocha Hotel Madrid will be the first hotel to join Hilton’s Tapestry Collection in Europe. It is located in the buzzing heart of Madrid, within walking distance from popular tourist attractions such as the Museo Reina Sofia and the El Reitro Park.

Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour (Q1)

Render of infinity pool over the edge of the building, overlooking the skyline of Sydney

Image credit: IHG/Crowne Plaza

The new build hotel features 152 modern guest rooms and suites suspended in a prime position just a short stroll to the CBD’s commercial & transport hub, the lively Darling Harbour precinct and the International Convention Centre. The new hotel will feature a heated outdoor plunge pool with vista across Sydney’s skyscraper as well as three restaurants & bars.

W Ibiza (Q2)

Render of a colourful exterior of the hotel

Image credit: W Ibiza/Baranowitz + Kronenberg

Conceived and designed by BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERGW Ibiza is slated to open in April ahead of the 2020 Summer season. Located off the beaten track, the 167-key hotel will strike a pose on the palm-fringed beachfront of Santa Eulalia. As the only global brand on the island, the design brief was to marry the parallel realities of Ibiza with a magnetic pull that turns up the sass.

By opening up the public spaces to become a flexible social hub, the hotel becomes a place that nurtures human connections, and through the use of subtle levels creates touchable distance between each functional area. “The idea is that the energy descends into the unconventional pool area,” Alon Baranowitz told Hotel Designs in an exclusive interview. “As you move up levels, the lobby/lounge area becomes more reclined, but the open architecture scheme allows for a clever connection between all spaces.”

The hotel will open as part of Marriott International’s goal to add more than 30 new luxury hotels to its extensive worldwide portfolio in 2020.

The Emerald House Lisbon, Curio Collection by Hilton (Q2)

Render of 70s inspired furniture in bar and restaurant with modern touches

Image credit: Hilton Hotels

One of the world’s most historic cities, known for its one-of-a-kind beauty and unique dining, will soon welcome The Emerald House Lisbon, Curio Collection by Hilton. The hotel will be located a few streets away from the historical districts of Chiado and Baixa, famous for their impressive plazas, vibrant restaurants and boutique shops, making it ideal for curious travellers seeking unexpected and authentic experiences.