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Boutique Hotel

How one boutique hotel is attracting modern travellers to Africa

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

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

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

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

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

Team outside the sign 'I LOVE ACCRA' at hotel

Image credit: Urbano Hotel

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Urbano Hotel

UK’s first vineyard hotel opens in South Wales

1024 675 Hamish Kilburn
UK’s first vineyard hotel opens in South Wales

The UK’s first vineyard hotel has opened its doors in Hensol in South Wales. Llanerch Hotel is the result of a £2m investment by Ryan Davies, owner of Llanerch Vineyard…

Comprising of just 26 rooms and suites, the Llanerch Hotel has opened in South Wales as the UK’s first vineyard hotel, situated quite literally in the heart of the vineyard.

“To become the first vineyard hotel in the UK is a fantastic achievement for the team at Llanerch,” said Ryan Davies, owner of Llanerch Vineyard. “Across Europe, wine hotels are very popular and we wanted to bring that unique experience to south Wales.”

Davies took over the vineyard, which is one of the oldest in Wales, in 2010 with the aim to replicate the successful wine tourism models he had seen whilst working in vineyards in New Zealand and Australia, where vineyards are tourist attractions in their own right, offering restaurants, weddings and events, in addition to traditional wine tasting and vineyard experiences.

Since then, Llanerch has become the largest commercial vineyard in Wales and attracts visitors from around the world with its award-winning restaurant and bar, unique marquee and lodge wedding venues, on site cookery school owned by Angela Grey and wine tasting and vineyard tours.

Davies added: “We have had a number of B&B rooms available at the vineyard since 2010, but as the business grew, so did the demand for accommodation at Llanerch. The popularity of Cardiff, which is just 20 minutes away, as an events destination for everything from rugby to high profile concerts has also pushed up demand for high quality accommodation in south Wales.

“This has been a vision for Llanerch for many years. We have managed every aspect of this project – the biggest we’ve ever undertaken – ourselves to ensure that the hotel offers the highest quality and that every detail has been thought about, from luxury in-room products to maximising the spectacular scenery enjoyed by every room.”

Large, modern guestroom which overlooks green vineyards

Image credit: Llanerch Hotel

The superior rooms at Llanerch Hotel are 42 sq ft and include a super king size bed with a large sofa and living area and a luxury ensuite bathroom with shower.

The four suites, located in each corner of the hotel, are over 45 sq ft and include a bedroom with super king size bed, as well as a large living room with sofas and a seating area, which can be separated by a partition, and a luxury ensuite bathroom with shower.

The vineyard’s existing courtyard rooms, set in one of the vineyard’s original stone outbuildings, have also been fully refurbished in keeping with the new hotel.

Each room has a large widescreen smart TV, allowing guests to stream from their own devices, a Nespresso coffee maker and kettle and luxury interiors, including Welsh wool blankets, made at Pembrokeshire’s traditional woollen mill Melin Tregwynt, and art by local photographer Andy Stoyle.

Main image credit: Llanerch Hotel

Al Faya Lodge: A boutique hotel made from stone and steel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Al Faya Lodge: A boutique hotel made from stone and steel

Architecture firm Anarchitect was inspired by the desert location and opted to use raw materials to design the five-key boutique hotel…

Located in Sharjah, the third largest emeritus that make up the UAE, Al Faya Lodge is a striking architectural gem that was developed by SHEROOT. The lodge-like boutique hotel sits on undisturbed desert, of which architecture firm Anarchitect used as inspiration when crafting it out of raw materials and earthy colours, resulting in a camouflaged hotel within the red sands and baron landscape.

Embracing its heritage, the location of the lodge was formerly occupied by a clinic and grocery store in the 1960s, which were located next to one of the UAE’s first petroleum pumps.

Now the three single-story stone constructions have been transformed, including the addition of a luxury spa and salt-water swimming pool. Featuring just five guestrooms, its contemporary feel combines aspects of its original features, blended together with luxe, minimalist modernity.

image of seats by pool

Image credit: Sharjah Collection

Featuring a dining room, reception room, library and viewing deck, every aspect of the design looks to emphasise its surroundings. The guestrooms feature a skylight for star-gazing at night with a fire pit primed for recapping adventures.

The boutique hotel, steeped in authenticity, becomes one of of the main components of the Sharjah Collection, a unique group of luxury lodges and boutique hotels.

Main image credit: Sharjah Collection

New luxury floating hotel launches in Edinburgh

800 565 Hamish Kilburn

The new floating hotel that will be permanently located in Edinburgh has launched, marking a new era in luxury hotel design in Scotland…

Developed by The Royal Yacht Britannia’s trading company, Royal Yacht Enterprises, Fingal, a new floating hotel with 23 luxury cabins that are each named after Stevenson lighthouses, has launched.

The hotel, which will be permanently berthed in Edinburgh’s historic Port of Leith, includes considered design that offers high specifications of craftmanship and finishes with nautical touches and polished woods throughout. Sumptuous Scottish leathers and the finest linens are in colour palates inspired by Fingal’s journey from land and sea.

The design development was led by the Pedley Group’s Co-founder Alan Pedley who has been responsible for manufacturing and installing more than 180,000 hotel rooms in 61 countries for the world’s leading hotel groups including IHGHyattHilton and Marriott.

Image credit: Fingal

A stylish yet relaxed restaurant with banquette seating offers a light menu celebrating the best of Scotland’s larder, from coast to field. Guests can raise a glass at the welcoming Moët Hennessy Champagne bar or opt to enjoy a cocktail from the creative menu.  Spacious outdoor decks provide a blend of private and public spaces to bask in the quayside setting or sit out under the stars.

Launched in 1963, Fingal was the last ship to be built by the prestigious Blythswood Ship Building Company in Glasgow. She spent most of her service life working out of Oban helping maintain lighthouses and transporting their keepers, equipment and supplies to some of the most treacherous locations in Scotland. Fingal was originally registered in Leith and has now returned home to Edinburgh’s vibrant waterfront, the largest deep-water port in Scotland.

Main image credit: Fingal

 

Top stories of the week: MOB talks, Brit List countdown and celebrating Manchester’s decadent playground

Hamish Kilburn

With less than a week until interior designers, hoteliers, architects and key-industry suppliers descend on BEAT London for The Brit List 2018, editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn breaks down the top five stories of the week… 

There seems to be a lot of uncertainty in the air at the moment – mainly around the political situation in the UK. While the nation performs the political ‘Hokey Cokey’, Hotel Designs has been busy speaking to interior designers, hotel groups and architects on why Britain strongly remains a major international design hub. Celebrating Britain as wonderful incubator of ideas, we are counting down to our most anticipated event this year, The Brit List 2018. There are very limited spaces left, so if you would like to purchase your ticket to network with the industry’s leading designers, hoteliers and architects, click here. I look forward to welcoming you to the climax of our nationwide search to find the hotel design influencers in Britain today. Until then, though, here are the top five stories of the week.

1) Interactive hotel review: Checking in to Hotel Gotham, Manchester’s decadent playground

As Manchester continues to turn heads on the hotel design scene, I checked in to check out Hotel Gotham’s bold and decadent interiors – all sheltered within a former bank.

Ever since its bold entrance onto the unapologetically loud Manchester scene in 2015, Hotel Gotham’s alluring charm has tantalised many senses of those who have passed through its spectacularly framed automatic doors. I, for one, am one of them, and I hold my hands up proudly to say that I have formed a lust for decadence and luxury since checking in.

2) The Brit List 2018: One week to go

In seven days time, the UK’s leading designers, hoteliers and architects will gather at BEAT London for what is being dubbed the ‘after-party of SLEEP + EAT’ for a networking event like no other.

With just seven days until The Brit List 2018 is unveiled and the winners of the six newly launched events are announced, time for designers, hoteliers, architects and key-industry suppliers to purchase their tickets to meet up with the UK’s leading influencers in international hotel design is running out.

3) MOB HOTEL speaks to Hotel Designs about expansion plans in Europe and the US

The hotel group, which launched last year with two properties, has announced large plans to expand its lifestyle portfolio in Europe and the US with a Washington hotel in the pipeline. I sat down with the CEO, Cyril Aouizerate, to find out more.

I predict a riot, at least in the hotel scene anyway. Since launching in November of last year, MOB HOTEL has started a revolution, proving that the centre of a city’s action does not have to neccessarily be geographically pinned in the centre of the city. The lifestyle brand has turned up the volume – and thrown in a bit of colour – in the mid-market sector with two quirky hotels; one located in a Paris Flea Market, the other situated riverside in Lyon.

4) IHG opens first voco on Australia’s Gold Coast

Following the exclusive unveiling of the new branding just five months agoInterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has opened the first hotel globally for its new upscale hotel brand: voco™. Owned by Australian property investment firm SB&G Group and located on the shores of the Gold Coast, voco™ Gold Coast is now open for guests to soak up the sun, sand and sea in Australia’s beloved Surfers Paradise.

voco™, inspired by the meaning ‘to invite’ or to ‘come together’ in Latin, will combine the informality and charm of an individual hotel, with the quality and reassurance of a global and respected brand. The public spaces of voco™ Gold Coast emphasise this social element, fittingly named Social House Café, which collectively houses a bar and lounge within the venue, offering a space for everyone.

5) Overcoming Grade II listed challenges to create £1.8m boutique hotel

Two derelict office buildings in Leicester – adjacent to the site of the car park where King Richard III’s remains were discovered in 2015 – have been converted into the 28-key boutique hotel, St Martins Lodge, which has just opened.

Building Services Design (BSD) provided mechanical and electrical engineering services for the Grade II listed Georgian buildings, with many of the original features being retained –including the hallway, with its chandelier and staircase.

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Overcoming Grade II listed challenges to create £1.8m boutique hotel

Hamish Kilburn

A suite overlooking cathedral gardens, original fireplaces and character windows are just some of the features included in a new £1.8m boutique hotel in a historic location in Leicester…

Two derelict office buildings in Leicester – adjacent to the site of the car park where King Richard III’s remains were discovered in 2015 – have been converted into the 28-key boutique hotel, St Martins Lodge, which has just opened.

Building Services Design (BSD) provided mechanical and electrical engineering services for the Grade II listed Georgian buildings, with many of the original features being retained –including the hallway, with its chandelier and staircase.

“We’re delighted to be involved in a project that has created modern, elegant accommodation while at the same time, honouring the heritage of the important site and its surroundings,” said Joel Sawyer, director at BSD, the lead designer on the project.

“We provided a design that is a mix of traditional and modern installation.” – Joel Sawyer

As 40 per cent of the hotel – located directly opposite Leicester Cathedral – is of listed status, all original internal cornices, ceilings and floors are having to be retained, meaning BSD had to design the building services around the structure of the existing building.

Sawyer added: “We provided a design that is a mix of traditional and modern installation, meaning some of the building services run through the floors and into the ceiling. To meet listed status building regulations, air conditioning equipment has also been moved to the roof where it is out of sight.

“In order to make the spatial challenges work, we held regular on-site visits in order to overcome and catch any potential problems before they happened.”

The plantroom has been designed to fit within the existing basement, which has height restrictions due to a vaulted ceiling.

To ensure the heating system would fit within the confinements of the basement, it has been designed as a modular system for better efficiency and ease of installation.

The domestic water and hot water systems have also been centralised in the basement and we have made provisions within the design to allow for a possible connection to the Leicester District Energy Scheme, which supplies low-cost, low-carbon energy to major buildings across the city. “The future advantages of this will mean energy efficiency and lower running costs,” explains Sawyer.

Nick Quinn, director of St Martins House, said: “With our neighbouring conference and events centre, St Martins House, located only a few steps away, we are now able to offer a 24-hour conference rate – including overnight accommodation with breakfast – alongside our function run hire and catering facilities.

“This is frequently requested by conference and wedding hosts so St Martins Lodge is now meeting a known demand and adding to the room capacity available for business and for tourism in the city.”

The new luxury accommodation offers modern guestrooms with unrestricted views of Leicester Cathedral and its beautiful Gardens. The hotel opens in an unmatched location, becoming an ideal base for all who come to Leicester to enjoy the Richard lll experience and its historical past. 

 

Independent Hotel Show 2018 exceeds expectations

Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs was proud to be a media partner of Independent Hotel Show 2018, which proved to be a huge success ahead of the show’s arrival in Amsterdam next year…

Flawlessly bringing together the UK’s best independent hoteliers with premium and innovative suppliers, delivering insightful seminars and creating a myriad of opportunities to network, the seventh Independent Hotel Show, presented by James Hallam Insurance Brokers, has been heralded a great success.

“We were delighted to see the first-class and visionary quality of the show exceeding all expectations once again,” said Event Director Miranda Martin. “The UK’s most talented hoteliers, industry stalwarts, innovative entrepreneurs and influential media attended in droves, whilst an impressive number of exhibitors rebooked for next year (15 &16 October) on the spot. The feedback about the design features has been amazing and comments from visitors about their experience are evidence of yet another great show for the sector.”

Inspiring new features were found in every corner of the show at Olympia London on 16 and 17 October, including live installation ‘The Hotel Room of the Future’ created by Two’s Company Interiors.

Providing a glimpse into the near future, the Hotel Room of the Future buzzed with excitement and conversation over the two days. The room offered intuitive tech to enhance the guest experience, rather than to taint it with confusing switches and screens, the bed incorporated tech, scent and science for a night of deep sleep, while the futuristic design of the bathroom provided the essential instagrammable feature.

Many hoteliers headed for The Dyson Meeting Space designed by Galapagos to take part in facilitated speed networking sessions. Offering a ‘conversational menu’ as a prompt for peers to share views and experiences on various themes and topics such as ‘The Future is Female’, ‘Multiple Site Operators’ and ‘Future Leaders’, this new feature at the show was a success for encouraging interaction and making new contacts.

Conducive to further networking was The Lobby, designed by Capellini. Located at the heart of the show with a range of seating options and tables, warm lighting and vibrant green foliage, it provided a calm space for conversation.

Over the two days, thought leaders from across the industry discussed a range of hot topics – from service and staffing to technology, design, loyalty, marketing and wellness – in front of packed audiences at the Business Theatre, in partnership with Sky and designed by sofa.com and the Innovation Stage, in partnership with eviivo, designed by Elli Popp.

Over in the Business Theatre, Hotel Designs’ editor Hamish Kilburn moderating an engaging panel with leading figures such as Emma King (Head of interior design at IHG, europe), Chris Hill (Hotels Operations Director, House of Daniel Thwaites), Anant Sharma (CEO, Matters of Form) and Jonathon Slater (Owner, Oddfellows Management).

Panelists in The Great Service Debate 2018, led by EP Business in Hospitality and Penshee, delved deep into the subject of service – attributing good service to five key pillars – low effort (installing systems to allow staff to attend to guests), personality, adaptability, empathy and authenticity.

Recruitment was hot topic at the Business Theatre with HR consultant Claire Elston joined by Adam Rowledge of Georgian House, Sarah Powell of Soho Farmhouse and Babington House and Dee Smith of Springboard, who gave invaluable advice on how to inspire and engage the workforce.

On the Innovation Stage, ‘The Hotel Room of the Future’ was discussed by Gilly Craft, BIID President and Partner & Designer at Two’s Company Interior Design and Rodney Hoinkes, Chief Insight and Innovation Officer, Fresh Montgomery, who talked through the journey of the room, from research to reveal.

“The talks, panel discussion and power breakfast gave us lots to think about and actions to put in place back at our hotel” – Hoteliers Julia and Nick Davies, Owners of The Cottage in the Wood.

UK Hospitality’s CEO Kate Nicholls gave an overview of UK Hospitality and talked about strategies to address the industry’s labour shortage by making it an appealing place to work. Nicholls said work was underway to convince the Government that the sector is not a low-skilled one, but a semi and soft-skilled one and to promote the sector as an attractive and viable place to build a career.

Other events at the show included a rare chance to hear former Waterside Inn Maître D’ Diego Masciaga reveal what it was like to front the three Michelin-starred restaurant for 30 years. Diego shared his service tips in a keynote interview with Peter Hancock, Chief Executive of Pride of Britain Hotels.

Throughout the show, esteemed speakers, VIP hoteliers, show partners and their guests were invited to visit The Suite designed by Valdivian. Bold colours, striking patterns and beautiful furniture set the scene for networking, meetings or simply catching up.

Consistent with every year of the Independent Hotel Show, hoteliers, returning and new exhibitors alike were impressed with the high standards and calibre of opportunities and leads.

“We loved the Independent Hotel Show,” said hoteliers Julia and Nick Davies, Owners of The Cottage in the Wood. “The talks, panel discussion and power breakfast gave us lots to think about and actions to put in place back at our hotel. We met with key suppliers that we were looking for as well as new ones too. The Hotel Room of the Future was fascinating and gave us lots of ideas for our upcoming rooms refurbishment.

Barry Stuart, UK Sales Director Key Accounts, ADA International, whose company also fragranced the show, said: “The Independent Hotel Show 2018 has been one of the best exhibitions I’ve been to in a decade. Our stand was at its best and the footfall has been brilliant with the quality of attendees high.”

Thibault Gence, Co-Founder of tech provider Hotelhero: “This year was our first time exhibiting at the Independent Hotel Show and I have been impressed by the design of the Show and quality of stands. It’s more personal and on-point than other trade shows I’ve been to and is the best one for independent hotels – it’s not just about business, or branding, but about everything relevant to hoteliers.”

Nina Tarnowski, Director and Designer, Woodchip & Magnolia, the Show’s wallpaper partner, said: “Our business has only been going for 18 months, so being at the Show has been about brand recognition as well as connecting with hoteliers. Previously, we’ve only exhibited at design shows. The response we had to our mural in the foyer was amazing, so we’re thrilled to have been able to show our work in key places as well as have a stand.”

The Independent Hotel Show Awards for Independent Hotelier and Outstanding New Hotel were given to Adam Rowledge, general manager of Georgian House, and Another Place, The Lake.

The Independent Hotel Show will be back for its eighth year on 15 & 16 October 2019.

 

Luxurious eco-minded boutique hotel re-opens

800 568 Hamish Kilburn

Let’s Sea Hua Hin Al Fresco Resort sets new boutique standards following renovation…

The ocean-facing boutique hotel Let’s Sea Hua Hin Al Fresco Resort champions locality and eco-minded initiatives. The barefoot Thai luxury hotel has recently completed a significant renovation to its 40 suites, public spaces and famous beachside restaurant. Eco-chic and dedicated to supporting the community whilst preserving the natural beauty of its surroundings – the hotel’s staff are entirely local, and its eco-architectural design minimises the overall environmental impact.

With sense of responsibility to sustain and be a leader in romantic relaxation for conscious travellers, the resort briefly closed over the first two weeks of June 2018 to give each of the public areas the full renovation.

Taking it one step further and looking beyond aesthetics, the ambition behind the renovation is to set inspiring new standards of quality in luxury hospitality. With sense of responsibility to sustain and be a leader in romantic relaxation for conscious travellers, the resort briefly closed over the first two weeks of June 2018 to give each of the public areas the full renovation.

Reopening with its fresh new look as a destination that draws a new blueprint of cutting edge cool in Hua Hin, the intimate suites orbit a spectacular 120-metre lagoon pool whilst the carefully considered architecture takes full advantage of natural light and cooling breezes. Certifying the resort’s carbon footprint is kept to a minimum, all food is locally sourced with sensitive waste management systems.

Leaving lasting impressions, newly installed eco-friendly air conditioning and smart showers blend into natural hues to create an organic ambience that retains a strong sense of place with Thai influence. New to discover is a wellbeing pavilion located above the high-tech fitness studio, high-speed internet connections, Bose Sound Wave 10 Bluetooth speakers and oversized spa tubs situated on the rooftops of the suites whilst recognising the importance of sleep is the hotel’s new collection of next generation LaZzzzz Beds.

“Great design sits at the heart of all we do and we’re lucky to have amazing talent working with us to bring our guests a whole new level of luxury, relaxation and romance,” said Srayut Ekahitanonda, CEO of Let’s Sea Hua Hin Al Fresco Resort. “Our Barefoot Luxury concept introduces a softer, richer character to the resort, creating a space that suggests genuine refinement but with a casual, laid back ambiance that puts guests immediately at ease.’

Let’s Sea Hua Hin Al Fresco Resort originally began as a restaurant which has become renowned with both local and international diners. Female Head Chef Supanee J. Ketbumrung leads the way serving a fragrant blend of local and international favourites that are seasonally sensitive, along with its own unique creations that make Let’s Sea Hua Hin Al Fresco Resort a gourmet destination in and of itself.

Grade II listed townhouse buildings converted into boutique hotel

800 503 Hamish Kilburn

Dexter Moren Associates and 3D Reid reveal 19th Boutique hotel in Hotel Du Vin portfolio, the Hotel du Vin in Stratford-upon-Avon…

The latest interiors by expert hospitality designers, Dexter Moren Associates (DMA) have been revealed at the opening of the 46-key boutique Hotel du Vin, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Positioned in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon, the boutique hotel, which was structually designed by 3D Reid, is situated in two converted Grade II listed Georgian townhouses. DMA has worked with Hotel du Vin to refine and blend the boutique brand’s classic-design style with the building’s sophisticated heritage, emphasising the existing features and creating subtle references to the Bard of Avon throughout the hotel.

The design of the hotel features the traditional Hotel du Vin touches that the brand is known for, but with a contemporary update. Many elements are bespoke to the Stratford site, but providing a “golden thread” that will be taken forward to future projects, developed yet always in keeping with the place and context.

“The client was keen to return to Hotel du Vin’s heritage, and to develop an intriguing scheme that would invigorate the property and attract potential local and tourist clientele alike,” said Neil Andrew, Associate Director of DMA Interiors. “Our design plays with irreverent modern elements within the historic fabric, and subtly references Shakespeare in artwork and styling without being too obvious.”

In the public areas, much of the original brick walls of the Georgian townhouses is left exposed to create an expressive backdrop for the scheme

The mix of Georgian and contemporary structures provide the perfect setting for the traditional style of furniture, art and lighting in the old to transition compellingly to the modern theme and design in the new.

In the guestrooms, the period colours of the Georgian era, usually pale greens, blues and pinks are deliberately amplified to deeper tones of olive green, teal blue and aubergine with punches of ochre yellow to deliver a more vibrant feel. Generous low-set velvet headboards sit against feature wallcovering referencing Shakespeare’s pathetic fallacy; whilst the artwork captures the playful nuances.

The guestroom joinery is finished in rich veneer offset with brass ironmongery and contemporary lighting. In contrast, bathrooms are kept minimal with classic white subway tiles and chrome and stainless steel fixtures.

In the public areas, much of the original brick walls of the Georgian townhouses is left exposed to create an expressive backdrop for the scheme. A rich colour palette influenced by the bespoke carpet, which takes its inspiration from the nearby mythological Forest of Arden, is used throughout. Herringbone cross sawn oak timber flooring links the old and new buildings and injects a feel of traditional charm to contrast the contemporary furniture and detailing.

Hard finishes have been selected to provide a durable and practical environment which will age timelessly with the building. Soft furnishings in accent colours and patterns lift the scheme.

The glazed wine room becomes the central focus in the Bistro; wine bottles are stored in a wire frame structure set against an accent ochre wall for additional impact, further drawing guests’ attention to the rhythm of the display and wine selection.

The luxurious washrooms celebrate the Georgian era with grandiose freestanding vanities made from black granite and inspired by the forms of a cut crystal decanter. Matt blue walls are offset with glossy sapphire blue tiles and contemporary brass fixtures set against a terrazzo and black granite floor. The darker palette links back to privacy and night-time – a key theme in Shakespearean literature.

From the outset, lighting was an integral component of the design, highlighting specific areas to draw guests’ attention where required. The original junctions between the old and new building’s brickwork have been expressed by concealed lighting whilst carefully located coffer lighting accentuates the texture of the existing brickwork and enhances feature metal ceiling tiles. Focused lighting has been designed into the joinery to showcase key styling items such as locally-sourced vintage glassware that references the Hotel du Vin brand. Modern glass orb light fixtures are used to dramatic effect in the bistro, with more traditional pendants with an industrial slant in the older building.

The public areas have been carefully planned to create an intuitive flow around the central service core, seamlessly linking reception, lounge, bar and bistro. This layout also proclaims the stylish landscaped courtyard, visible from the bistro, function space and a large number of the guestrooms. At its centre, the design locates a tree – further referencing the Forest of Arden – that can be lit to become a focal point from all public areas. The reception room itself faced size constraints and so more compact, low level desks have been designed to not only make the space feel more airy but offer a more intimate check-in experience for guests.

Opened on 1st May 2018, the Hotel du Vin, 7-8, Rother St, Stratford-upon-Avon, is located opposite the popular Rother Street Famers’ Market. In total the hotel consists of 46 guestrooms, bar, lounge, bistro and function facilities.

Image credits: Amy Murrell