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Weekly briefing: Nobu exclusive, Rosewood footprints & sustainability explored

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: Nobu exclusive, Rosewood footprints & sustainability explored

Editor Hamish Kilburn here with your weekly briefing. This week’s round-up includes an exclusive lighting feature, details about Rosewood’s second hotel in London and how to watch out latest panel discussion on sustainability beneath the surface…

2021 is shaping up to be an extremely exciting year on the hotel design front. Already this quarter, we have seen Zaha Hadid Architects complete an incredible architectural marvel in Dubai, watched Moxy Hotels turn up the volume with a landmark opening in Miami and we have even published plans for hospitality to launch into space.

As impressive as that all sounds, this week, the international development plot has thickened, with Hotel Designs leading the narrative around sustainability and the future of hospitality at Hotel Designs LIVE, Rosewood dropping yet more news around its second arrival in London and a study being launched that cuts through the noise to reveal new demands from modern traveller following the pandemic.

So, without further a due, here are the top stories from the last few days.

The industry comments on International Women’s Day

Gif of strong women for International Women's Day

Our nod to International Women’s Day is more of a formal bow or curtsy. For this year’s IWD, we heard from leading female designers, hoteliers and architects about how far we have come and, crucially, how far we have still got to travel in order to operate in an equal and fair global arena.

Read more. 

EXCLUSIVE // Case study: The bespoke lighting narrative inside London’s Nobu hotel

Image credit: Jack Hardy

Inside Nobu Hotel London Portman Square – a hotel that has caused a lot of noise recently on the international hotel design scene – there is a bespoke lighting narrative that flickers unlike any other. We exclusively caught up with Lyn Newcombe, Head of Projects at Dernier & Hamlyn and Lewis Taylor, Design Director at David Collins Studio, to capture the full story.

Read more. 

Nearly half of Brits surveyed expect air purifiers in tomorrow’s hotel

A navy blue air purifier next to a navy blue bed

Blueair, which produces air purifiers that remove air pollutants like smoke, mold and allergens, recently participated as a Product Watch Pitch Partner at Hotel Designs LIVE. Here, the brand shares insights into how consumers feel about visiting hotels in a post-pandemic world.

Read more.

(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Sustainability beneath the surface

Collage of speakers for Hotel Designs LIVE Sustainability talk

On February 23, designers, architects, hoteliers and developers from around the globe tuned in to watch Hotel Designs LIVE. Following an engaging panel discussion on the future of hotel design and hospitality, the spotlight for the second session of the day landed on leading design and hospitality figures to debate sustainability, a topic that continues to be weighed down by heavy stigma. Sponsored by Grohe, a brand that inherently has sustainability running through its DNA – if recent accolades are anything go by – the panel was inspired by the recent Q&A between Hotel Designs LIVE and eco warrior, Bill Bensley.

Read more. 

Industry insight: Biophilic spa & wellness design

maggies by thomas Hetherwick

Image credit: Thomas Heatherwick

As wellness evolves as we enter a new era of hospitality, we invite Beverley Bayes, Creative Director at Sparcstudio, to discuss the growing trend for biophilic design in spa and wellness properties. It is inevitable that spa and wellness, post-pandemic will become an ever more important and integral part of our lives. We are entering a new era where ‘Health is the New Wealth’ and a healthy lifestyle is recognised as an important part of preventative medicine.

Read more.

In Conversation With: Lucienne Walpole, Vice President, SB Architects

Image of Lucienne Walpole

Since joining SB Architects in 2007, Lucienne Walpole has played a valuable role on the design team for a number of the firm’s most exciting hospitality projects. Combining her dual backgrounds in interior design and architecture, Walpole brings to the firm strengths in space planning as well as architectural design. Following Walpole’s participation in Hotel Designs LIVE conference, we caught up with the architect to learn more.

Read more.

The Chancery Rosewood, arriving in London in 2024

Render of Rosewood London in former US Embassy

Image credit: DBOX for Qatari Diar

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, which currently manages 27 luxury properties in 16 countries with a further 21 hotels under development, has announced that its second hotel in London will be sheltered in the former US Embassy and will be named The Chancery Rosewood.

Read more.

And finally… 

If you haven’t yet had a change to listen to DESIGN POD, here’s the latest episode. Entitled ‘Choosing Your Lane’, we invite interior designer Constantina Tsoutsikou to join us as our first guest. Episode two, with guest Christos Passas, Director of Zaha Hadid Architects, goes live on Monday!

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

DESIGN POD logo

Listen now: DESIGN POD, a podcast for designers and architects

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Listen now: DESIGN POD, a podcast for designers and architects

The wait is over! Following more than a year of planning, Hotel Designs has launched DESIGN POD, a contemporary podcast for designers and architects on the go. Episode one looks at ‘choosing your lane’ with special guest, Constantina Tsoutsikou

DESIGN POD logo

Hosted by editor Hamish Kilburn and co-hosted by designer Harriet Forde, DESIGN POD has launched to be a contemporary voice for the design and architecture community.

In each episode, the new podcast, which can be listened to on all major podcast platforms such as Spotify, Amazon Music and Acast, will welcome influential guests to share their opinions on the conversations and challenges that are shaping our industry. Together, they are embracing innovation while balancing the important issues we all face as modern designers and architects.

“The topics and personalities that are amplified on this podcast will give texture and perspective on the key issues that face modern A&D professionals,” explains Kilburn. “But it is also a ‘safe place’ for anyone who has an interest in architecture and design.”

In association with series sponsor Bathroom Brands Group, the first episode of DESIGN POD explores the topic of ‘choosing your lane’ in both architecture and design. In order put some personality into this topic, Kilburn interviews special guest interior designer Constanina Tsoutsikou, the former Creative Director of HBA London and founder of Studio LOST, to understand the process and challenges that came with launching her new design studio, Studio LOST.

“In episode one, Constantina Tsoutsikou also lifts the lid on some of the most challenging client requests.”

As well as throwing back to career highlights and understanding how the designer, against many odds, set up her own design studio following almost 15 years at HBA London, Tsoutsikou also lifts the lid on some of the most challenging client requests she has had to manage. “I’ve had clients where they send you a brief that says they love art deco,” she explains, “and months down the line, after a whole creative process has taken place, they actually meant Baroque, which changes everything!”

Listen to DESIGN POD on Spotify, Amazon Music, Acast, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

Weekly briefing: Wellness takes over, architecture trends & new podcast incoming!

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: Wellness takes over, architecture trends & new podcast incoming!

Editor Hamish Kilburn here with your weekly briefing. It’s been another busy week on the editorial desk and there’s a a lot to get through – so let’s get started, shall we?

Following last week’s story of February VIP Arrivals, in the last few days we’ve heard from a number of interesting developments globally, which gives us hope and faith that the travel industry will recover from the harsh sting of Covid-19. But if you still needed a boost of positivity, then we have the podcast waiting in the wings for you…

DESIGN POD available to listen to from Monday

At Hotel Designs HQ, we are days away from launching our new podcast DESIGN POD – which will be available to listen on all the major podcast platforms from Monday onwards. Designed to be the contemporary voice for all interior designers and architects on-the-go, DESIGN POD will amplify conversations and new perspectives on key issues that face modern A&D professionals.

Before Monday, though, here’s a sneak peek of what to expect in episode one, which is entitled ‘Choosing Your Lane’ with special guest, designer Constantina Tsoutsikou, founder of Studio LOST.

In pictures: Inside Six Senses Botanique, Brazil

A luxury villa that shows a indoor private pool with stone surfaces

Image credit: Six Senses

Bookmarked by our editorial team as one of 2021’s hottest hotel openings, Six Senses Botanique, Brazil, which has been built from indigenous materials such as jacaranda and chocolate slate, has opened in the heart of the Mantiqueira Mountains, which is known as the “mountains that weep” due to the abundance of springs and rivers.

Read more.

Seychelles debut for Waldorf Astoria and Canopy by Hilton

A render of an open air suite in Seychelles

Image credit: Hilton

Things are heating up in the development team at Hilton Hotels after the company has signed for two hotel brand debuts in the Seychelles. The properties – a Waldorf Astoria and a Canopy by Hilton – are scheduled to open in 2023 and will build upon an already impressive Hilton portfolio on the archipelago, in addition to the soon-to-be-opened Mango House Seychelles, LXR Hotels & Resorts.

Read more.

5 minutes with: Interior designer Saar Zafrir

Headshot of Saar Zafrir

Image credit: Saar Zafrir

2012 was a pivotal year for Saar Zafrir, who changed lanes from a 12-year career in finance to take a year off. The next 12 months prepared him to ‘get into the game’, taught by his own passion to become an interior design, at first starting small with friends and family but soon being offered a pathway into the hotel design arena. With a new focus on hospitality and F&B design, Zafrir’s approach was born; to transforming established corporate-style hotels and hospitality groups into fun and lively boutique brands that speak loudly to the growing demands of the modern traveller.

Read more.

Architecture trends for 2021 & beyond

Arches at Miami Design District by SB Architects.

Image credit: Miami Design District by SB Architects

Last week, we published our close look at surface trends, where it was concluded that strict pre-pandemic industry standards mean that hospitality design is “well-placed to weather the storm” without a major supply-side rethink.

Following this feature, SB Architects, an award-winning international architecture firm focusing on designing soulful and inspiring destinations across hospitality, residential and mixed-use, has stepped up to release what its team believe are the top architecture trends that are emerging in 2021.

Read more.

JW Marriott celebrates opening of 100th property worldwide

Image of pool at JW Marriott Hotel

Image credit: JW Marriott

Following the Marriott International’s recent announcement to open almost 100 hotels in Asia Pacific this year, JW Marriott’s 100th property, JW Marriott Tampa Water Street, is now open, bringing a new level of luxury to the Tampa Bay area. Located in the heart of the dynamic Water Street neighbourhood, the 519-key property invites discerning guests to take time for themselves, relax, and rediscover a balance in mind and body.

Read more.

Right, that’s your lot! Have an enjoyable and safe weekend, and in the meantime we will get cracking to create next week’s juicy headlines…

Main image credit: JW Marriott

Main image for Hotel Designs LIVE

Speakers announced for first Hotel Designs LIVE event in 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Speakers announced for first Hotel Designs LIVE event in 2021

Following two successful events, Hotel Designs LIVE will return on February 23, 2021, with a global line-up of speakers who will appear in a series of four engaging panel discussions. Editor Hamish Kilburn, who will host the event, reveals all…

Main image for Hotel Designs LIVE

It all started in June 2020. The temperatures in the UK soared to record-breaking highs, which helped the industry awaken from its forced hibernation with passion, energy and optimism. At the time, we were going live to our global audience for the very first time with the aim to keep the conversation flowing and the industry connected during the Covid-19 crisis.

Following a successful debut, Hotel Designs LIVE returned in October 2020 with a new production crew, a fresh panel of speakers and a slightly different tone. UK hospitality was slowly being patched up; hoteliers were polishing off their post-war opening strategies that would reassure the post-corona consumer and the focus for designers  and archtiects was around adding personality to eliminate hotels looking and feeling like sterile shells in a post-pandemic arena.

Since then, though, a second lockdown and a carefully monitored government-led tiered system has left yet more dents on UK hospitality, with other destinations around the globe suffering from similar restrictions; hotels were forced to close or at least part-close once more and the industry felt the sting of the pandemic’s tail with more distressed assets were being announced. Meanwhile, the editorial desk at Hotel Designs exposed the desperate methods that some designers are using in order to win business in turbulent times.

So, with discussions and debates far from over on how the pandemic will impact the global hotel design and hospitality landscape, Hotel Designs LIVE is back with purpose! While the industry is still somewhat socially distanced, the first of three scheduled Hotel Designs LIVE events to take place in 2021 will further amplify conversations unlike any other with the help of what might possibly be the brand’s most renowned speakership line-up to date.

Here are our confirmed speakers (so far) for the event, as well as the topics that we will explore:

Secure your place in the audience for the editor’s welcome.

Secure your place in the audience for session 1: Floor 20, Room 31 – Checking in 10 years from now.

Secure your place in the audience for session 2: Sustainability, beneath the surface.

Secure your place in the audience for session 3: Safe & sound hospitality & hotel design

Secure your place in the audience for session 4: A new era of wellness in hotel design.

“With three Hotel Designs LIVE series planned for 2021, our aim is to further challenge conventional views and opinions in global hotel design and hospitality.” – Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs.

In addition to the live interviews and panel discussions with handpicked industry experts – and to ensure that the event is bridging the gap between hospitality suppliers and designers, architects, hoteliers and developers – the conference also included structured ‘PRODUCT WATCH’ pitches around each session, allowing suppliers the opportunity to pitch their products and services in a ‘live’ environment to the hospitality buyers that are tuned in.

“While the industry’s Covid-19 restrictions continue to change lanes, Hotel Designs LIVE will continue to quickly adapt so that we can serve the design, architecture and hospitality industry with purpose,” said editor Hamish Kilburn who will host Hotel Designs LIVE for a third time in February. “With three Hotel Designs LIVE series planned for 2021, our aim is to further challenge conventional views and opinions in global hotel design and hospitality.”

If you are a designer, architect, hotelier  or developer and would like to secure your complimentary seats in the audience, click here. If you are a supplier to the hotel design industry and would like to promote your latest product or services to the Hotel Designs LIVE audience, please contact Katy Phillips via email or call +44 (0)1992 374050.

Main image credit: Oladimeji Odunsi/Unsplash

The Residences DC Duplex 28

Sneak peek inside The Residences, Dorchester Collection, Dubai

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sneak peek inside The Residences, Dorchester Collection, Dubai

The opening of the 32-storey glass-facade building, which is being described as ‘a landmark of opulence’ in Dubai, will mark the Dorchester Collection’s entrance into the Middle East. Here’s a sneak peek inside the luxury address…

The Residences DC Duplex 28

Developed by OMNIYAT, which is one of the most recognised property developers in the Middle East, The Residences, Dorchester Collection, Dubai will be located in globally renowned Downtown Dubai, and will be sheltered inside an eye-catching, glass-facade building that has been designed by award-winning architecture firm Foster + Partners.

The Residences Dorchester Collection Dubai Exterior

Image credit: Foster + Partners/Dorchester Collection/OMNIYAT

Boasting two spectacular interconnected towers – one housing the 10th iconic Dorchester Collection hotel and the other a residential tower – the property, which is said to be 60 per cent complete, perfectly captures the essence of chic metropolitan dwelling and offers patrons of luxury around the world an unequalled lifestyle experience.

The Residences Dorchester Collection Dubai Terrace

Image credit: Foster + Partners/Dorchester Collection/OMNIYAT

The 32-storey residential tower includes just 39 fully furnished residences, ranging from 3,900sqft to 10,100sqft, with two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments. Additionally, situated on the 30th, 31st and 32nd floor, The Residences, Dorchester Collection, Dubai, offers six elegant four- and five-bedroom penthouses exclusively designed to create a private, high-quality and lavish lifestyle statement for the world’s luxury cognoscenti. Consisting of a staggering 17,700sqft with soaring ceilings and vast, uninterrupted views of the sea, each penthouse features its own swimming pool overlooking Dubai Canal and stunning Dubai cityscape.

The Residences DC Duplex 14

Image credit: Dorchester Collection/OMNIYAT

“At OMNIYAT we work with pioneers and leaders in their respective fields to provide audiences with a bespoke, luxury lifestyle, and The Residences, Dorchester Collection, Dubai, embodies this,” explained Mahdi Amjad, Founder and Executive Chairman of OMNIYAT. “We are delighted to be the first developer to collaborate with the legendary hospitality brand Dorchester Collection in launching the 10th iconic hotel and exclusive residences, therein bringing an unrivalled experience to Dubai.”

The Residences DC Duplex 46

Image credit: Dorchester Collection/OMNIYAT

Managed by legendary hospitality brand Dorchester Collection, synonymous with quality and known for its unparalleled standards of service – with The Dorchester in London arguably being the flagship of the brand – this development will be setting the benchmark for the ultimate city lifestyle. An inimitable blend of design, landmark architecture and exceptional service in the heart of Dubai, The Residences, Dorchester Collection, Dubai, is as unique as a fingerprint, set to meet the needs and expectations of connoisseurs of luxury around the world.

“We are immensely proud to partner with OMNIYAT, a pioneer renowned globally for its architectural landmarks,” said Christopher Cowdray, CEO of Dorchester Collection. “Set to become a significant new beacon on the Dubai skyline, The Residences, Dorchester Collection, Dubai, will offer one of the most exciting propositions seen in the Middle East, especially combined with our legendary award-winning service.”

> Since you’re here, why not watch our design tour of The Dorchester?

Bringing the interior design to life is the Parisian Duo Gilles & Boissier. Ensuring residents step into their very own sanctuary of sophistication, the interiors combine exquisite finishing, intricate detail and a sumptuous material palette with unique features such as floor to ceiling glass windows and doors, expansive terraces and bespoke furniture designed by Gilles & Boissier, offering a seamless turnkey experience for buyers.

A large masculine bedroom overlooking Dubai

Image credit: Dorchester Collection/OMNIYAT

At OMNIYAT, details make perfection, and in addition to a timeless and elegant interior design, residents get to enjoy a wide variety of the latest technology and utilities. With grandiose kitchens fully equipped with modern touches such as large fridge and wine cooler made by Sub-Zero, as well as cooking and cleaning appliances by Gaggenau, each residence is also fitted with instant filtered, sparkling and boiling water by Quooker and modern taps by THG Paris, custom designed by Gilles & Boissier.

Image credit: Dorchester Collection/OMNIYAT

Each apartment also features the latest collection of wide-screen televisions by Bang & Olufsen, audio systems fitted by Sonos, home automation system for easy living by Crestron and dressing rooms by Molteni Dada and Poliform.

Further adding to the overall living experience, residents will get to indulge in unrivalled amenities including swift access to sports thanks to the private gym and yoga studio, the expansive outdoor pool with a view of Dubai and a 200-metre wide untouched water frontage on the Dubai Water Canal.

Main image credit: OMNIYAT/Dorchester Collection

The entrance to the Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto

Inside Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa

Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa, has opened in the heart of Japan’s ancient capital – sheltering design by an international team of renowned architects and designers including Akira Kuryu, André Fu, Shunsaku Miyagi and Yohei Akao…

The entrance to the Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto

The Luxury Collection, part of Marriott International Inc., has announced the opening of Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa in Kyoto, Japan.

Once the private residence of the aristocratic Mitsui family, the property’s 300-year-old main entrance, the Kajiimiya Gate, still stands today. Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto resides in the heart of Kyoto, the only luxury hotel in the city centre with its own natural hot spring drawn from the thermal waters deep below ground. The hotel opens up to one of the world’s most enriching and desirable destination discoveries, including the 17th-century UNESCO World Heritage-listed Nijo Castle located directly opposite the hotel and other shrines, palaces and gardens.

An image at night of the traditional gate framing the entrance to the hotel

Image credit: Marriett International/Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto

“We are delighted to celebrate the expansion of The Luxury Collection here in Japan with the opening of Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto as the brand’s second iconic property in Kyoto, in partnership with Mitsui Fudosan Group,” said Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific (excluding China), Marriott International. “The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts are an ensemble of unique hotels across the world that celebrate authenticity and indigenousness in every destination. Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto is a wonderful addition to this very special collection, and we are confident that guests will enjoy its impeccable service as much as its beauty and surroundings.”

Thoughtfully designed by an international team of renowned architects and designers including Akira Kuryu, André Fu, Shunsaku Miyagi and Yohei Akao, Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto blends tradition with modernity. Throughout the hotel, guests will be inspired by the minimalist yet contemporary design, which creates a sense of comfort with natural luxury. The gardens express the beauty and serenity as expected of a classical Japanese garden.

The hotel’s 161 guest rooms and suites feature exquisite natural materials shaped by traditional artisanal skills. Each room reimagines elegance and relaxed luxury of traditional Japanese tea-rooms, and bathing areas in every room feature spacious bathtubs hewn from stone. Two Onsen Suites feature separate living rooms, private gardens and outdoor hot spring baths for a highly memorable experience of Japanese onsen traditions in complete luxury and privacy.

A modern suite inside the mitsui kyoto a luxury collection hotel and spa/

Image credit: Marriott International/Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto

Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto features two restaurants, a bar and lounge and a private dining space, all of which showcase Japanese and international epicurean experiences while offering breath-taking views of the hotel gardens. In the signature gastronomy teppan restaurant TOKIguests are offered culinary specialties prepared on an open-plan steel teppan framed by a Kabazakura birch counter.

The hotel’s Italian restaurant FORNI features an okudosan, a traditional Japanese cooking range reimagined as a wood-burning oven for pizzas and roasts. The Garden Bar, meanwhile, offers the perfect space to enjoy afternoon tea, drinks and cocktails and SHIKI-NO-MA provides an exclusive dining venue in an elegant setting, ideal for private events.

The hotel’s unique thermal spring spa is a relaxing sanctuary of more than 1,000 square metres of space which includes a thermal onsen spring, two private onsen facilities, four spa treatment rooms and a fully-equipped gym.

“Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto represents the essence of Japan, as framed by the narrative of its history, culture, architecture, crafts and cuisine. We seek to express this essence in our brand concept of “Embracing Japan’s Beauty”,” said Jennie Toh, Vice President, Brand, Asia Pacific, Marriott International. “We have merged tradition and modernity across all aspects of our hotel design, culinary offerings and service. We look forward to welcoming guests to our hotel, and to usher them into a world of luxury inspired by the beauty and traditions of Japan.”

Since you’re here, why not read more about Marriott International’s expansion in the Asia Pacific region?

Main image credit: Marriott International/Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto

Main image for Hotel Designs LIVE Session 4

(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: The revival of smart tech post-pandemic

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: The revival of smart tech post-pandemic

In the final session of Hotel Designs LIVE, editor Hamish Kilburn was joined by global industry experts to discuss the revival of smart tech after he checked in to a completely contactless hotel experience…

Main image for Hotel Designs LIVE Session 4

The final session that took place during Hotel Designs LIVE was entitled: The revival of smart tech post-pandemic – and was sponsored by Grohe, a bathroom manufacturer that is clearly leading the way when it comes to utilising technology to create innovative bathroom solutions.

To introduce the topic to the audience, editor Hamish Kilburn shared a video feature that showed him teaming up with Headline Partner Technological Innovations Group to explore technology’s role post-Covid. To do this, they checked in to Bloc Hotel Gatwick, which has just undergone an extensive technology renovation and now shelters a completely contactless hotel experience.

Here’s how they got on:

Following this immersive hotel review, which was produced by the event’s official videographers at CUBE Video, Kilburn was armed with relevant questions to put forward to his expert panel about tech solutions for a post-pandemic world.

On the panel:

Within this session, the audience heard PRODUCT WATCH pitches from Grohe, Technological Innovations Group, Aqualisa, Hamilton Litestat and a sponsored question from Duravit.

Since you’re here, why not watch all four sessions from Hotel Designs LIVE – sessions one, two and three – on demand?

SAVE THE DATE: Hotel Designs LIVE will return for a third edition on February 23, 2021. Session titles and speakers will be announced shortly. Once these have been announced, tickets for Hotel Designs LIVE will be available. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities, focused PRODUCT WATCH pitches or the concept of Hotel Designs LIVE, please contact Katy Phillips or call +44 (0) 1992 374050.

(In video) Watch The Brit List Awards 2020 – the awards ceremony

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
(In video) Watch The Brit List Awards 2020 – the awards ceremony

Hundreds of designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers tuned in on November 12 to watch the awards ceremony that crowned the winners of The Brit List Awards 2020. But if you missed it, you can watch the full ceremony here, on demand…

Hotel Designs’ nationwide search to find the top designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers operating in Britain came to a head last week when the winners of The Brit List Awards 2020, sponsored by Crosswater, were officially announced.

Adhering to social distancing measures and the latest government guidelines, this year’s awards were produced by CUBE Video and filmed from inside Minotti London’s Fitzrovia showroom, which will host The Brit List Winners’ Party/MEET UP London on April 29, 2021.

Editor Hamish Kilburn hosted all the drama, which included an engaging panel discussion with the international judging panel, the unveiling of The Brit List 2020 and announcing this year’s individual winners.

You can watch the action unfold below:

Since you’re here, why not read The Brit List Awards 2020 winners’ story, referencing the judges’ reasons behind this year’s seven worthy individual winners.

Thank you to our partners:

Editor checks in: calling for intelligent hospitality

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor checks in: calling for intelligent hospitality

The measure of intelligent hospitality is the ability to adapt. In his latest column, editor Hamish Kilburn explores this statement while explaining the motives behind Hotel Designs’ upcoming events…

Earlier this month, the long-awaited good news arrived that hospitality businesses were serving once more.

While that was a monumental leap forward amidst the coronavirus crisis, the fact that businesses would be required to shelter new social distancing measures (not something our industry is naturally good at) meant that brands, as well as consumers, had to adapt quickly in order to prevent hospitality from feeling hostile.

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to adapt,” is a memorable quote from Albert Einstein. Putting this into the perspective of the industry we serve– though I am hesitant to edit a legend like Einstein – I would like to alter this quote to read: “The measure of intelligent hospitality is the ability to adapt.”

The reopening of hospitality followed our debut Hotel Designs LIVE, which was our answer to adapting during lockdown. The one-day virtual conference included a carefully curated panel of international speakers who came together from all corners of the world to put their perspectives on technology, public areas, sleep and wellness on the record. One of the many key takeaways was that, post-pandemic, (at least in the short-term) public areas will not feel the same. Adapting as designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers to meet modern consumer demands in order to create flexible and clean spaces, while embedding discreet technology to enhance the guest experience, was key for hospitality to reassure the post-coronavirus consumer to check-in once more.

Following the success of this virtual event, we are launching Hotel Designs LIVE part two, which will take place on October 13. To aptly continue where we left off, we are welcoming eco-warrior Bill Benlsey to become our headline speaker of the event in order to put sustainability through the editorial lens, a topic that has sadly suffered from neglect over the last few months.

The adapted fun doesn’t stop there. On November 12, after much internal deliberation with the team, we have decided that The Brit List Awards 2020 will be delivered in a virtual format. Though the event will be received differently this year, it will still mark the conclusion of our nationwide search to find the top designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers who are operating in Britain. That quest started just a few days ago, when we opened this year’s applications and nominations, which are (as always) completely free. However, as we appreciate that the networking element of the event is much valued, we have decided to host a Brit List Winners’ Party, which will appropriately gate-crash MEET UP London on January 28, 2021.

Click here to submit your entry for The Brit List Awards 2020

On reflection, having worked through the last couple of turbulent months, adapting isn’t so bad. Like many, if not all, I miss my team and I am starting to forget what having a normal daily schedule feels like. But most of all, what I miss most about pre-Covid life, are the live events that both Hotel Designs and Forum Events are able to deliver in order to help bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers.

So, it is therefore my pledge to you – our loyal readers – that our events will be back, bigger and better than ever in order to aptly serve in this new era we are now well and truly living, working and evolving in.

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

Editor, Hotel Designs

FEATURE: inside Timothy Oulton’s self-isolation dome

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FEATURE: inside Timothy Oulton’s self-isolation dome

It may not be a hotel, but Timothy Oulton Studio’s Halodome was meaningfully created ahead of its time to shelter a luxurious home-from-home. Its dynamically designed interiors are enclosed under a dome structure – and its naturally isolating features meet the new demands of modern travellers…

Originally conceived as a refuge for visitors, Timothy Oulton Studio’s Halodome, which is nestled at the centre of a mature lychee garden in southern China, has evolved into a living, breathing test bed – the kind of experiment in sustainable architecture, materiality and hospitality that can only happen meaningfully over the course of time.

The current global situation has only served to push this testing bed to new extremes, with co-founders Timothy Oulton and Simon Laws establishing the garden their base for 2020, allowing them to continue working whilst riding out the storm.

“The Halodome is China’s first residential building certified to German Passivhaus standard.”

Designed and built entirely by the practice, the Halodome is China’s first residential building certified to German Passivhaus standard. It uses sustainably sourced FSC and reclaimed timbers alongside high performance glazing to create a soaring column free space that can be internally configured to suit the varying needs of visitors who arrive from all four corners of the globe, with guests typically staying for anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.

Inside the luxury dome

Image credit: Timothy Oulton Studio

More recently however, Oulton and Laws have found themselves part of a small group, residing permanently in the garden; using the dome as a base from which to continue working on projects whilst simultaneously contemplating what the future holds for hospitality and design post-Covid 19. Time spent in the dome living, working and hosting local industry leaders as their businesses began to emerge from lockdown has proved an invaluable insight. It is precisely Halodome’s ability to offer a hospitable environment bridging the gap between living and visiting that has stimulated so much interest in the design this year.

“Furthermore, it [the Halodome] can offer guests the chance to escape crowded cities and reconnect with nature.” – Simon Laws, co-founder, Timothy Oulton Studio.

“The hospitality sector in is in a deep period of reflection and transition,” Laws told Hotel Designs. “Hoteliers are looking to pivot their businesses and adapt to the new normal. At the same time, there is an opportunity for the industry to actively turn towards a more sustainable future. What the Halodome does rather successfully is offer a multipurpose space that meets unique new demands – it is in itself a bubble, cocooning its occupants safely in a manner that can be easily adapted to individual or group needs. Furthermore, it can offer guests the chance to escape crowded cities and reconnect with nature in a really unique setting.”

The Halodome’s ecological, logistical and long-term fiscal credentials undoubtedly play a part in concept’s appeal to the sector. The prefabricated building can be shipped anywhere in the world in just three containers, which can be combined with the shipping of pieces crafted by the studio’s sister company – the global furniture manufacturer Timothy Oulton – to offer an entire hospitality solution where needed. Its passive energy design principles take careful consideration of sun control, ventilation and insulation, combined with modern, high performance and recycled materials, to create a building with a smaller ecological footprint and ongoing energy cost savings.

Hoteliers have found themselves charting unknown territory and the Timothy Oulton Studio team believes concepts like the Halodome can help to navigate these choppy new waters.

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

Main image credit: Timothy Oulton Studio

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island debuts redesigned villas

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island debuts redesigned villas

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, the luxury destination resort located on the picturesque setting of Rangali Island in the Maldives, is redesigning a unique set of villas available on the property…

Just more than year after Hotel Designs interviewed the designers and architects behind the world’s first underwater hotel suite, the same hotel, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has unveiled the design details of its new mix of villas.

By next month, the resort will introduce five new room types including the Two-Bedroom Deluxe Beach Villa, Grand Water Villa with Pool, Grand Water Villa, Two-Bedroom Grand Water Villa with Pool and Two-Bedroom Grand Water Villa, encouraging all travellers – groups, families and couples alike – to find the room best suited to fit their every need and desire.

Yuji Yamazaki, principal of Yuji Yamazaki Architecture PLLC, NYC and design collaborator on the underwater THE MURAKA residence will apply his signature style of simple paired back luxury to the updated accommodations. The design of the villas will feature a clean and minimalist aesthetic, giving the space a natural, bright and airy feel intended to focus on the beauty just outside of the villa. The new design will promote a sense of harmony with the surrounding environment, awakening but not overwhelming the senses and providing absolute privacy and exclusivity.

“Our pioneering innovative hospitality to cater to the passion points and needs of our guests is the cornerstone of this resort,” said Stefano Ruzza, General Manager of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.“We are thrilled to debut new villa categories to discerning travellers, marking the beginning of the next chapter of Rangali history and our commitment to driving the evolution of travel to the Maldives.”

The Deluxe Beach Villas were refurbished throughout 2018 and 2019. A selection of villas have recently been converted into new luxury Two-Bedroom Deluxe Beach Villas to offer the ideal space for any Maldivian holiday. The Two-Bedroom Deluxe Beach Villas will feature a new design with a private garden and pool, indoor state of art bathroom, a private outdoor rain-shower and floor-to-ceiling glass windows that illuminate the villa with natural light. Set amongst the tropical greenery, the standout feature of the newly designed villa is the addition of the second bedroom adjacent to the main villa, which has been purposely designed to accommodate a twin bedroom with luxurious floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

Image credit: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

In addition to the Two-Bedroom Deluxe Beach Villas, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is reinventing the Retreat Water Villas into two villa types – Grand Water Villa and Grand Water Villa with a pool. A popular room category, the Water Villas are set on stilts above the gentle ocean waves where guests can discover the true meaning of indoor-outdoor living. The redesigned villa will greet guests with a large living room, which can be converted into a second bedroom, along with views of the outdoor deck complete with a Jacuzzi or pool. Featuring clean lines and muted natural tones, the villas are located in the Spa Retreat, 100 meters off of the tip of the main island Rangali Finolhu, with vistas across the Indian Ocean to the resort’s second island, Rangali.

The in-demand Family Water Villa will also be transformed into two villa types and renamed Two- Bedroom Grand Water Villa and Two-Bedroom Grand Water Villa with pool. The design of the Two- Bedroom accommodation will be similar to the Grand Water Villas, but will offer two bedrooms, instead of one and can host any group of guests. Set on stilts over the Indian Ocean, the villas offer views of either the lagoon or ocean and a sunset or sunrise view and can sleep a maximum of four persons – two adults and two children, or four adults.

Set across two islands connected by an open-air overwater path, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island plans to announce additional enhancements in 2020 offering guests a Maldivian playground full of possibilities.

Main image credit: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Hotel Designs becomes media partner for Outstanding Property Award London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn

[vc_row padding_top="35"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_column_text el_class="newposttitle"][page_title][/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Hotel Designs become an official media partner for the Outstanding Property Award London as editor Hamish Kilburn is confirmed on the jury...  The Outstanding Property Award London (OPAL), which honours innovation and talent in the most exceptional projects globally within property development, interior design and architecture, has confirmed Hotel Designs as an official media partner.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="2/3" el_class="top-left-border"][vc_column_text][thumbnailnew][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In addition to covering news and features around the awards, Hotel Designs has also put forward its editor, Hamish Kilburn, to be on the jury. "As the leading international hotel design website, Hotel Designs is all about supporting awards, events and concepts that are dedicated to rewarding outstanding individuals and projects worldwide," he said. "There's a lot of synergy between OPAL and Hotel Designs. For starters, both brands aspire to identify and celebrate the leading individuals and firms who are pushing the boundaries of design and architecture. On a personal note, as a member of this year's jury, I am eager to sift through the entries, but what I am most looking forward to is helping to amplify the individual property developers, designers and architects who are internationally shaping the future of our industry." Other jury members of OPAL 2019 include Richmond International's Fiona Thompson, Stylt's Erik Nissen Johansen, Zaha Hadid Architects' Michele Salvi, Beauchamp Estates' Gary Hersham and Yasmine Mahmoudieh among others.  "The awards are now open to outstanding entries from around the world." Described on its website as "not just another award", OPAL creates the opportunity for each participant to gain visibility for their latest innovative projects and allows developers, designers and architects to connect with leading professionals within the industry and beyond. The awards are now open to outstanding entries from around the world. An exclusive event, organised in London, will celebrate the winners. OPAL will reward the world's most outstanding property projects and expose them to the world - and Hotel Designs will now be there alongside the awards with live updates between now and the ceremony. OPAL accepts applications for project submissions from three industry sectors, which are property developers, interior designers and architects. To apply for this year's OPAL, and/or to find out more information about the concept and the jury, please click here. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Rendering of the Wet Deck, one of the hotel's two pools

W Hotels announces second arrival in Bali

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
W Hotels announces second arrival in Bali

W Bali – Ubud is set to bring a new level of W’s bold design to the cultural heart of Bali…

W Hotels Worldwide has announced the signing of W Bali – Ubud, the brand’s newest W Escape, which is being developed in partnership with Indonesia’s Ruang Teknik Group.

The expansion into Ubud marks the second W Hotel in Indonesia, following the opening of W Bali – Seminyak in 2010.

Rendering of the Wet Deck, one of the hotel's two pools

Positioned on a hilltop, deliberately oriented toward the morning sun rising in the east, and southwards over stunning, unobstructed views of the Tanggayuda Valley, W Bali – Ubud is expected to reinvent the dreamy Ubud experience with eclectic, surprising art and design set amongst a versatile vibe that is at once laid back and social.

“Ubud is a hidden destination like no other, where legends and nature intertwine with everyday life to create a magical sense of adventure,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “W Bali – Ubud is an exciting next step for us. We are applying a unique, vibrant sensibility to this hotel, one that has not been seen before on the island. W Bali – Ubud will combine the brand’s boundary-breaking approach to design with the rich cultural, spiritual and artistic influences of Ubud to show off the best of this incredible locale and all we’ve learned in the decade since W debuted in Indonesia.”

The hotel’s design will redefine modern luxury in the destination, taking inspiration from social, historical and physical insights and embedding elements of each into the rooms and public spaces. Upon entering the hotel, guests will be immersed in modern interpretations of traditional Balinese art styles with works from local artists, that lead to breath-taking lounges perfect for soaking in spectacular jungle sunsets as sounds of cool beats drift through the air. The hotel will offer 100 inspired guestrooms, including 10 villas with private swimming pools and an EWOW suite (the brand’s take on the traditional Presidential Suite).

As the brand’s newest W Escape, W Bali – Ubud will bring a bold new take on international cuisine with a Balinese twist to multiple on-site bars and restaurants. Traditional Asian flavors intertwine with international influences at the stylish all-day dining restaurant Morinda. Meanwhile, Synn, a specialty restaurant featuring the finest of Balinese and world cuisines will be an underground sensation, literally. The new restaurant is partially underground, opening towards a jungle cliff.

“Bali’s hotel market continues to see strong growth and it remains a major destination in Marriott International’s footprint,” said Paul Foskey, Chief Development Officer, Asia Pacific, Marriott International. “We look forward to partnering with Ruang Teknik Group in introducing W Bali Ubud, the second W-branded hotel in this market.”

W Bali – Ubud is slated to join the brand’s robust portfolio of more than 50 hotels around the globe, including the recently opened W Dubai – The Palm (February 2019), as well as the soon-to-open W Aspen, W Ibiza and W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island following Marriott announcing that it will add 30 new luxury hotels to its thriving portfolio this year.

Main image credit: Marriott International/W Hotels

Laura Ashley guestroom

Coventry hotel to rebrand as a Laura Ashley Hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Coventry hotel to rebrand as a Laura Ashley Hotel

The Chace Hotel, in Coventry, will after major refurbishment become a Laura Ashley Hotel…

Laura Ashley Hotels today announced it is expanding its portfolio with the addition of The Chace Hotel, in Coventry.

The 66-key hotel is undergoing a major refurbishment to bring it in line with Laura Ashley brand standards. The elegant new interiors will showcase the Laura Ashley Home range and its exquisite, high-quality inherently British fabrics and furnishings throughout.

Laura Ashley guestroom

The Chace Hotel is a striking example of Victorian architecture, surrounded by three acres of attractive landscaped gardens. Original features of the building, such as the ornate fireplace and mullioned windows, create a sense of grandeur in the oak-panelled reception area. The grand sweeping staircase leads upstairs to the new beautifully designed Laura Ashley bedrooms.

The deluxe Laura Ashley bedrooms are designed to infuse a sense of tranquillity and with an effortless style, drawing inspiration from the hotel’s Victorian heritage. Carefully selected colours and fabrics complement each other to create an elegant space in which to relax and unwind. Classic Laura Ashley design adorns every surface, from plush cushions and floor-to-ceiling drapes to statement lighting and stylish mirrors.

The portfolio, which also includes The Belsfield Hotel, Windermere, and is soon to include Burnham Beeches Hotel in Buckinghamshire, aims to offer guests an authentic home from home experience against the backdrop of the Laura Ashley Home range in characterful properties in the UK.

Chris Bowron, Hotel Manager of The Chace Hotel, said: “We’re delighted that The Chace Hotel will be joining the Laura Ashley Hotel portfolio. A thorough refurbishment is underway using the Laura Ashley Home collection’s beautiful range of décor, fabrics and soft furnishings. It is an exciting time for the hotel, and we are excited to offer our guests a whole new experience.”

The Chace Hotel is already home to the Laura Ashley The Tea Room, which opened in October 2018 and is the newest addition to the tea room portfolio.

aussenansicht-03-h4-hotel-moenchengladbach-1500x1000-1170x658

Two new hotels with 500 rooms to arrive at Düsseldorf airport.

1024 576 Hamish Kilburn

H-Hotels signs a new contract for H2 Hotel and H4 Hotel at Düsseldorf airport, both slated to open in 2024…

H-Hotels Group is embarking upon the next stage of its dual brand concept by announcing two new hotels at Düsseldorf airport. The hotels will be constructed on Wanheimer Straße, in the immediate vicinity of Düsseldorf airport, and will be of particular interest to business travellers as a conference and congress venue.

The building complex will occupy grounds of around 15,000 square metres, located to the north of the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia. It will host an H2 Hotel featuring 237 rooms as well as an H4 Hotel offering 264 rooms. A generous conference centre with an area of around 1,000 square metres will be available to guests of both hotels. This will also be the case for the planned fitness centre and ‘sky bar’ on the eighth floor. Around 18,000 square metres of office facilities will occupy the area that is parallel to the hotels. An underground car park with 700 parking spaces will complete the facilities.

Thanks to its unbeatable location in the immediate vicinity of the airport, the terminals can be reached using the SkyTrain in just a few minutes. The ICE long-distance train station is just five minutes away, which means that both the city centre of Düsseldorf as well as the exhibition complex can also be reached quickly using public transport.

“Our dual brand concept with its impressive conference facilities is the perfect response to this exclusive location, right next to one of the largest airports in the country,” said Alexander Fitz, CEO of H-Hotels AG. “This means that travellers can choose between completely different accommodation options depending on their preferences.”

The real estate partners for the project are Nördliche Spitze GmbH & Co. KG, a joint venture between Reggeborgh, Delta Project Development, and Kondor Wessels. Managing Directors Johannes G.S. Hegeman and Lars Stillmann are delighted by the joint project: “In the H-Hotels Group we have found a very experienced hotel operator, whose concept corresponded perfectly with the project and its environment. Future office users will be able to take advantage of all of the hotel’s services within the building.”

Reggeborgh is a family-led investment company from the Netherlands and has also been active as a property business in Germany for more than 25 years. The company is responsible for the fund and asset management of several property funds in Germany and the Netherlands, with which Reggeborgh is also significantly involved. Another of the company’s fields of activity is the development and management of projects for high-quality residential and commercial property projects. In this respect, Reggeborgh stands for the sustainable and innovative development of ambitious property projects, as well as their implementation.

“The fundamental idea behind their property developments is the C2C concept.”

With more than 120 completed projects, primarily within Germany and the Netherlands, the Delta Group is active as a property development company. The fundamental idea behind their property developments is the C2C concept. The intelligent use of all kinds of resources – as well as the possible reutilisation of these resources – is one of the challenges facing the property sector of today and the future. The value of the group’s current portfolio, with a focus on residential and commercial properties, is in excess of €500 million.

Kondor Wessels boasts more than 25 years of experience in the development, planning and construction of residential properties, care homes, and office properties as well as mixed residential districts. With all of its projects, the company takes responsibility for the entire construction process as a partner, as well as delivering added value – all from a single source. Currently, more than 38 property projects with a total value of more than 700 million euros are being supervised by Kondor Wessels in Berlin, Frankfurt and North Rhine-Westphalia.

The project was supervised by Horwath HTL Germany – hcb hospitality competence berlin GmbH, operating as a consultant. The tenants were assisted by GVW Graf von Westphalen lawyers, and the lessors were assisted by lawyers from Bornheim and Partners.

Main image credit: H-Hotels

Holiday Inn Denver East – Stapleton Hotel completes $12.8 Million refurbishment

Hamish Kilburn

Holiday Inn Denver East – Stapleton announced today the completion of a $12.8 million renovation…

Following Hotel Designs’ Miniview on The Holiday Inn brand and its direction, Holiday Inn Denver East – Stapleton has completed a renovation that included 298 guestrooms; 20,000 square feet of meeting space; 3,210 square feet of public spaces; and the hotel’s restaurant, Burgers & Crafts.

“After much anticipation we are excited to reveal our newly redesigned property and restaurant concept,” said Brian Lenfestey, Complex General Manager of Holiday Inn Denver East – Stapleton. “With a design unlike any other in the brand, this renovation elevates the guest experience while creating a familiar at-home feeling, giving us an edge in Denver’s growing hotel market.”

Built in 1974, Holiday Inn Denver East – Stapleton sits in an area where the original Denver airport was located. A remaining control tower seen from the east facing balconies serves as a visual reminder of the hotel’s unique history. Today, the hotel serves as a convenient option for travelers, located midway between Denver International Airport and downtown Denver in the Stapleton neighborhood, an area that has become a destination in itself with a plethora of new restaurants, walking districts, and residential neighborhoods.

Large guestroom with white bedding and large headboard

Image credit: The Holiday Inn

With the renovation overseen by InterServ, Holiday Inn Denver East – Stapleton has been renovated with a grey and white color scheme accented with orange tones. Designed for the contemporary traveler in mind, the new design offers familiarity, reliability and excitement paired with a smooth guest experience whether traveling for business or leisure.

  • Guestrooms: Renovated guestrooms create a familiar experience like entering a home with residential carpet patterns, residentially-inspired surface mounted or wall sconces, a welcome nook that provides the guest a place to store their belongings, charge their devices, and settle in, and a living zone with a TV, dresser, additional storage and a moveable table.
  • Meeting Space: The meeting spaces have been revamped with new lighting fixtures, wall coverings, and grayscale carpet accented with blue tones.
  • Lobby: The Lobby of the Holiday Inn has set the modern yet simple tone that the rest of the hotel emulates. The renovation brought new modern couches, chairs, and local photography throughout the public space.

As part of the $12.8 million renovation, Holiday Inn Denver East – Stapleton has also revamped its casual, all-day restaurant, Burgers & Crafts, which officially re-opened in November 2018.

The centerpiece of the restaurant is the craft centric bar which smoothly conforms with the design of the restaurant to feature an inviting “open” feel with communal tables and soft seating. The bar will provide a retail “to go” selection of espresso drinks, pastries, fresh fruit, parfaits and breakfast sandwiches, as well as casual dining with a wide selection of craft beers and whiskeys.

“We are thrilled to be reopened for our guests with a new design and dining concept,” said Keith Falco, Executive Chef of Holiday Inn Denver East – Stapleton. “Our team has thoughtfully crafted a food menu using regional ingredients and a drink menu that highlights the strong history of our region’s breweries and distilleries.” 

Main image credit: The Holiday Inn

Checking in to Matetsi Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe’s answer to luxury

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in to Matetsi Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe’s answer to luxury

Travelling 7,500 miles to Zimbabwe, editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn learns more about the design direction of one of the country’s most luxurious hotel offerings, the award-winning Matetsi Victoria Falls

Beyond the baobab trees – which are said to be sacred among the locals because of the natural healing powers they lock within their roots.

The dehydrated shrubs on the African soil, elephants, hyenas, zebras, warthogs, leapards and lions sits an award-winning luxury riverside hotel that is indubitably one of the most luxurious offerings in Zimbabwe.

After 15 minutes 4x4ing the dirt road into the heart of the 123,000-acre (55,000 hectres) reserve, we arrive at Matetsi Victoria Falls, a place that promises luxury, comfort and unmatched style. “I have the largest back yard in Africa,” jokes the owner John Gardiner who greets me on arrival. And with nothing between us and the natural safari, my experience in the African bush begins.

The entrance of the hotel is framed by three traditional Mokoro (dug-out) canoes, which hang from wooden beams and sway in harmony with the soft Zambezi breeze. With no need for a traditional lobby, guests are immediately welcomed into the indoor-outdoor public areas complete with a copper bar and durable outdoor sofas and chairs scattered in a home-from-home setting that has been designed around nature, and not the other way round. “We didn’t take out a single tree when designing these camps, because we wanted these areas to remain as close to nature as we could,” said interior designer Kerry van Leenhoff , a previous graduate from Cape Town University of Technology who was hand-selected by Gardiner and totally supported in all her decisions. Using the striking vista of the Zambezi River, which flows towards the tremendous Victoria Falls, dining tables are placed in such a way to make every meal one to remember. “The lobby areas have been designed in order to encourage guests to connect with people and nature,” adds van Leenhoff.

As we approach suite 17 – AKA, my home for the next four nights – I am reminded just how ‘in the sticks’ we are, catching a glimpse of an elephant and a giraffe just metres from each other as my key enters the lock. I open the heavy, black teak front door, which was recycled and polished from the previous lodge, and the room is immediately filled with light. Interestingly enough, though, this was not the case when the hotel first opened, as van Leenhoff explains: “When the hotel first opened and the guests gave us their feedback, we realised that we needed to revisit the lighting, especially in the public areas,” she says. “So we added some more outdoor feature lighting around the trees and columns in order to really pronounce what we felt were the important and dramatic areas of the hotel.” However, my immediate attention is not on the lighting. Instead, my imagination is taken over by the striking panoramic view of the Zambezi River, which I later find out is home to legend; the locals believe that a famous God is said to protect the flowing waters, and his name is Nyami Nyami. As legend goes, the spirit which is often depicted as half snake half fish, protects life in and around the river.

The River Lodge Suite is everything you would expect of a luxury lodge in the bush, and so much more. The skin of matepi latte creates an organic ceiling and roof – and this material does more than just give a nod to the location. This decision was made in order to keep the lodge blending into its location and celebrate Zimbabwean culture. “It was really important for us to work with skilled craftsmen and women from our culture,” explains van Leenhoff. “We have such a diverse culture with about 16 different tribes and languages. We mainly focused around the Tonga tribes as we were by the river.” The result is that from the far side of the river, you can’t actually see where the hotel starts and ends, which suggests even further that the whole property has been created with nature in mind.

Van Leenhoff decided to take Matetsi’s love for nature and the environment and inject it into the fabrics and the walls. The result is a naturally calming, peaceful abode, which empowers an everlasting feeling of total luxury and relaxation. Modern high-quality furniture and hand-scultpted trunks of trees used as tables create the perfect blend of modern, luxury and timeless décor.

All 18 suites have been thoughtfully curated and the hotel is a credit to the talent of van Leenhoff. The art, for example is by Helen Teede who spent much time on site at Matetsi in order to find the inspiration of a unique collection of 18 paintings entitled ‘Mapping Matetsi’. Having done extensive walks and drives in the area, Teede divided the cartographic map of Matetsi unit seven into 18 parts and drew it to scale on each canvas, adding her own impressions of the river, the landscape and the pathways walked in the area, both man and animal-made. These 18 paintings hang separately in each suite. However, put together and these pieces of art actually form the aerial map of the reserve.

With the privilege of space, the hotel shelters two camps: East Camp, West Camp and one large villa, River House, which sits in between the two camps. Interestingly, the whole team – chefs, butlers, housekeeping, back-of-house staff – alternate between both East and West camp every couple of weeks in order to maintain the property and keep service personable at all times.

Gardiner, who I first met in London just a few weeks before my trip, is the real visionary behind the property surrounding the reserve. A local Zimbabwean hotelier, Gardiner has transformed the reserve since acquiring it in 2014 and aims to “give back to Zimbabwe”. With the help of his team, who all share Gardiner’s love for nature, he has restored and conserved the natural wildlife within the reserve by building various watering holes, 15 in total with a further 10 in the pipeline, I am told.

Before I check out, I have an opportunity to exclusively discuss the future of Matetsi with the team and how it plans to expand its luxury arm. “We are working on a few things at the moment, which are really exciting projects,” adds van Leenhoff. “The design direction and our aim is to strike the balance between feeling isolated and feeling safe.” The new plans will further challenge conventional luxury lodges in Africa with a real focus on opening up the guests to undisturbed nature.

The future sounds exciting and it’s clear that the design team and the hotel are totally in sync with ideas, vision and what luxury in Africa should look like. I leave Matetsi and Zimbabwe having cemented my respect in African design and culture. I am grateful that the reserve’s calming atmosphere allowed me to relax and escape from the lively London scene, if not only for a few days.

Key suppliers

Guest Suites-
Tables/ Headboards/ Beds- Adam Seager Furniture (ZIM)
Upholstery – Fiona Edmunds (ZIM)
Desks/ Luggage racks/ Wardrobes/ Lounge chairs – Nigel Joselyn (ZIM)
Pottery Pendants and Chandeliers- Chart Pottery (ZIM)
Beaded Ottomans- CHIPO women’s group (ZIM)
Spring stone Basins- Tonderayi Mahachi (ZIM)
Bamboo Lights- STEP Trust (ZIM)
Floor lamps- Collaboration between Bruce Elliot & Tonderayi Mahachi (ZIM)
Porcupine wastepaper baskets- Lupane Women’s Centre (ZIM)
Basin Tops- Zambezi Roots (ZIM)
Bath- Euro trends (SA)
Sanitary ware- Antique baths (SA)
Nguni Cowhides- Holly Hudson (ZIM)
Ceramics- Marjorie Wallace: Mutapo (ZIM)
Mirrors- Brigette Lotter (ZIM)

Main areas-
Dining tables- Adam Seager Furniture (ZIM)
Woven Screens- Collaboration between Jane Taylor & Judith Ncube of Matabeleland Weavers (ZIM)
Curated Tables- Helen Teede (ZIM)
Bar and Interactive kitchen- Collaboration between Adam Seager & Copperwares (ZIM)
Woven Poufs – Lupane Women’s Centre (ZIM)
Wrought Iron lights- Misty Edwards (ZIM)
Pottery Pendants and Chandeliers- Chart Pottery (ZIM)
Reed mats- Newlands Craft Market (ZIM)
Shop – Nigel Joselyn (ZIM)
Sofas- Fiona Edmunds (ZIM)
Coco chairs- Coricraft (SA)
Chairs/ Bar stools- Weylandts (SA)
Boardroom table- Collaboration between Zambezi Roots & Complete Steel (ZIM)
Ceramics- Marjorie Wallace: Mutapo (ZIM)
Wine cellar Chandeliers- Basil & Lindy Rowlands (ZIM)
Wine cellar- Ruwa Furniture (ZIM)

Ikos Resorts begins construction on €150 million development project

Hamish Kilburn

The resort will be the company’s fifth property in the Ikos Resort portfolio and first outside of Greece, slated to complete construction in 2020… 

Ikos Resorts has announced its move full speed ahead with the construction of Ikos Andalusia, having recently celebrated the cornerstone laying ceremony at the hotel. Located in Estepona, the €150 million development will be the group’s fifth resort and its first outside of Greece, opening its doors in May 2020.

Construction of Ikos Andalusia started on November 15 with the placing of the first stone and will complete in March 2020. Once the works are complete, the resort will initiate a pre-opening period during April and will start welcoming guests in May 2020.

The objective of the company is to position Ikos Andalusia as a benchmark for excellence in the luxury all-inclusive resorts sector in Spain, bringing its award-winning* Infinite Lifestyle experience to the Costa del Sol.

Ikos Resorts announced the acquisition of the current Costa del Sol Princess hotel in Estepona in the first quarter of 2018. The brand will invest a total of €150 million in the reconstruction of the current building and its adaptation to the product and service standards of Ikos Resorts.

“We are also delighted to be transforming the existing property into a world-class premium resort, adding further to the proven success story of Ikos Resorts, while investing further in beautiful Estepona and this magnificent region, said  Dr. Andreas Andreadis, CEO of Sani/Ikos Group. By offering premium holiday experiences to international luxury travelers we aim to contribute in Estepona’s development as a top luxury tourism destination worldwide”.

The ceremony of the first stone was attended by different representatives of the company at an international level – Andreas Andreadis, CEO of Sani/Ikos Group; Luis Herault, CEO of Ikos Iberia, as well as local and regional authorities, who wanted to support the presentation of a project that will constitute as a milestone in the tourism transformation process in the region.

“Located on the shores of a 14,000 square meter beach, Ikos Andalusia will offer 411 rooms and suites.”

José María Urbano, Mayor of Estepona, thanked Ikos Resorts for investing in Estepona and expanding the city’s tourism offering.  “We are convinced that this new high-end resort will strengthen Estepona’s touristic brand in the international markets, while promoting employment and the revitalization of the economic sectors linked to tourism”, he said.

On another note, Luis Herault, Chief Executive Officer of Ikos Iberia, commented: “With Ikos Andalusia, we will contribute to further develop Estepona as a high end destination by offering world class service excellence and individual unique Ikos touches such as the Dine-Out Service, which includes selected restaurants from the surrounding area in our offer to our guests, the Local Discovery complimentary drive around experience promoting interesting destination experiences, sourcing local produce, the Ikos Green initiatives and recruiting approx. 60% of the minimum of 635 jobs required, from the local community.”

Located on the shores of a 14,000 square meter beach, Ikos Andalusia will offer 411 rooms and suites. In addition, the new resort will house seven restaurants, top-level sports facilities, a theatre, 3,100 square meters of heated and outdoor swimming pools, and a spa. It will also offer Ikos Deluxe Collection, an exclusive service meticulously created for the most discerning guests, offering a wide range of privileges and services including the use of reserved pool and beach areas.

InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland has opened as the brand’s 200th hotel

Hamish Kilburn

The luxury hotel, InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland, becomes the brand’s 200th hotel and unveils apt art installation to honour the milestone…

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), as one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has opened InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland, which has been under construction for the past 10 year. Developed by Shimao Group and managed by IHG, InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland has been masterfully built into the side wall of a formerly abandoned quarry in Southwestern Shanghai. Stretching 88 metres underground, the hotel was nominated as one of the architectural wonders of the world by the National Geographic Channel’s MegaStructures series due to its pioneering architectural design.

“The art installation is made from 200 champagne bottles individually hand-painted by Alexander Hall in his bright and energetic drip-style.”

Marking 200 captivating destinations around the world

To celebrate reaching 200 destinations, the InterContinental brand partnered with London-based contemporary artist Alexander Hall, also known under the alias Haut de Gamme©, to create a stunning art installation, commemorating the milestone. The art installation is made from 200 champagne bottles individually hand-painted by Alexander Hall in his bright and energetic drip-style, with unique artwork on each bottle inspired by each destination. The finished bottles are suspended together in a stunning oeuvre to reveal the number ‘200’.

An architectural feat

The concept and façade was designed by JADE+QA, led by architect and former Atkins employee Martin Jochman who worked with local architect firm ECADI (East China Architectural Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd.), which was responsible for design development, construction documents, structural design and MEP. The interior design firms are AB Concept and Cheng Chung Design (CCD) were menawhile responsible for the interior design.

The new-build InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland combines the brand’s signature luxury with revolutionary design at a wonderfully unique location, creating an unprecedented experience. Located at Sheshan Mountain Range, this new hotel is mostly subterranean, with two floors above ground and 16 below ground, including two floors underwater. Individually designed to best reflect both modern elegance and the unique features of the quarry’s landscape, all 336 guestrooms and suites provide ample, luxury living spaces with spectacular views of waterfalls and the surrounding cliffs.

The stunning underwater loft offers two awe-inspiring levels: the landing deck at water level houses the outdoor terrace and living room, whilst the underwater bedrooms are encased within a turquoise aquarium where guests will be surrounded by the schools of fish that swim by. All hotel rooms on the bottom floor are provided with around-the-clock butler service to ensure a truly hassle-free stay experience and keep guests feeling truly pampered.

“We are delighted to be joining forces with Shimao Group again to open InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland – an architectural masterpiece which is a wonder and beauty in the global hospitality industry,” said Ms. Lin Wang, CMO of Greater China, IHG. “ IHG has maintained staggering growth since entering the Chinese market in 1984, and the opening of InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland marks a significant milestone in our development strategy and further enhances our luxury portfolio in China. With its exceptional experiences and personalised services, the hotel is ready to welcome guests to a world of alluring luxury and natural wonder, inviting everyone to live and enjoy the InterContinental life.”

As the world’s first and largest international luxury travel hotel brand, InterContinental Hotels and Resorts have been welcoming guests with new international destinations for decades – from historic buildings to city landmarks and immersive resorts in every corner of the globe. Celebrating the brand DNA of service, sophistication and style, InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland will create unprecedented hospitality experiences for guests and stand out as a must-visit destination for visitors to the financial capital of China.

 

THE BRIT LIST 2018: Just two weeks to go

Hamish Kilburn
In just two weeks, the leading interior designers, hoteliers, architects and key-industry suppliers will gather at The Brit List 2018…

There are still limited tickets available to attend The Brit List 2018 on November 2018 at BEAT London. The evening will welcome Britain’s leading interior designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers to celebrate Britain as an international design hub in hotel design. As well as unveiling the 75 most influential designers, hoteliers and architects who deserve their place in The Brit List 2018Hotel Designs will also announce the winners of the six newly launched awards. These include:

  • Inspiration in Design – Innovative use of Technology (Sponsored by DLAppTap)
  • Inspiration in Design – Hotelier of the Year
  • Inspiration in Design – Interior Designer of the Year (Sponsored by Tarkett)
  • Inspiration in Design – Architect of the Year
  • The Eco Award
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hotel Industry

Managing Director of RPW Design Ariane Steinbeck, Managing Director of WATG (London) Martin Peace, Director of Goddard Littlefair Jo Littlefair and Chairman of Bespoke Hotels Robin Sheppard are all among the names confirmed to attend The Brit List 2018.

How to attend

To register you’re interested in purchasing tickets, would like to talk about sponsorship opportunities, or to request the latest attendee list, please contact Katy Phillips on 01992 374050 or via email by clicking here.

If you are an interior designer, hotelier or architect you can book tickets for £20+vat per person here

If you are a supplier to the hotel industry you can book tickets for £175+vat per person here

Event timings: 6.30 p.m. – 10.30 p.m.

6.30 p.m. Welcome drinks are served
7.00 p.m. Welcome speech from Hotel Designs Editor, Hamish Kilburn, to include unveiling of The Brit List 2018 winners
7.15 p.m. Canapés are served
7.15 p.m. Headline speaker, Charles Leon, Leon Black Interior Architecture addresses the Brit List 2018 – Britain’s position in international hotel design and hospitality post-Brexit
7.30 p.m. Awards presentation commences
8.00 p.m. Headline speaker, Moritz Waldemeyer, Studio Moritz Waldemeyer addresses The Brit List 2018 – Hotel lighting; how it has changed in recent times and how is lighting technology allowing for more creative interiors
8.15 p.m. Celebrations and networking

BRIT LIST 2018 Industry Partner: British Institute of Interior Design

BRIT LIST 2018 Event Sponsor: Hamilton Litestat

BRIT LIST 2018 Supporting Partner: Studio Moritz Waldemeyer

BRIT LIST 2018 Award Sponsor: Inspiration in Design – Interior Designer of the Year: Tarkett

Tarkett Logo

The Brit List 2018 Innovation In Technology Award sponsor: DLAppTap

 

Architecture meets fashion: Zaha Hadid Design’s latest collaboration weaves a new direction in sportswear technology

640 400 Hamish Kilburn
Design giant Zaha Hadid Design unveils collaboration with a Swiss performance sportswear brand, suggesting that inspiration for designers and architects is not limited to one – or even two – industries. Hamish Kilburn investigates…

A designer recently told me that that it’s imperative to be at the edge of curve in design, to always think ahead of the present – sometimes as much as fives years ahead. But, in an industry that is forever forward-thinking, can we, as creatives, benefit from taking inspiration from other those far removed from the front line of design and architecture. One of the most well-known brands in the design sphere, Zaha Hadid Design, believes so. The firm has found common ground with a Swiss performance sportswear brand, Odlo, and through a thoroughly researched two-year collaboration, the two companies have recently unveiled Odlo Futureskin to the world, a new baselayer for winter performance sports that has been created with design and architecture at its core.

The idea that sportswear isn’t always sexy is what sparked the opportunity for Odlo to reach out to the design and architecture arena for some inspiration when creating the next chapter for next-to-skin sportswear. Inspired by its seamless design qualities, the company approached Zaha Hadid Design with the brief in December 2016. The true collaboration between both brands – in knowledge, research and resources – resulted in the birth of Odlo Futureskin, a baselayer that is arguably the most technically advanced on the market. The garmet is smart. So smart that it controls the flow of air and adapts to breathing and even movement. The ‘body mapping’ technology allows the garment to act like a second skin – and in full  Zaha Hadid Design spirit, it’s also seamless.

The engineered baselayer tops for men and women formed in the same manner as most of the Zaha Hadid Archtiects projects come together; with the combination of visual ideas, extensive research and the desire to push boundaries and challenge conventional design.

Two years after first putting pen to paper, following much planning – and even more prototypes – the companies gathered at the Zaha Hadid Gallery in London on a late October evening for the global launch of Odlo Futureskin.

Through this unique collaboration, which has no sign of ending as Zaha Hadid Design unveils that it will continue to work with Odlo for the sportswear brand’s SS19 female line, both companies have opened up new avenues for inspiration among designers, architects and sportswear brands, further proving that great ideas comes from thinking outside the box.

Meanwhile, Zaha Hadid Architects continues to show that it’s at the top of the architectural food chain, as it has recently completed the Morpheus in Macau and it presses ahead to complete Malta’s Murcury Tower, which will shelter a new boutique hotel.

If you have looked to other industries for inspiration when designing a product or project, our editorial team want to hear from you. Tweet us @HotelDesigns