Product watch: Crackle decorative panels by Siminetti
Siminetti supplied a large number of stunning ‘Crackle‘ decorative panels to Aquamare Marine Ltd (UK) for installation within all three bathrooms of a Princess Yacht. Specially requested by the client, the installation of ‘Crackle’ on a yacht is a first and the results speak for themselves…
14 individual handcrafted ‘Crackle’ mother of pearl decorative panels were produced to the clients dimensions. The ‘Crackle’ surface was chosen to improve the luxury feel of each bathroom within this new Princess Superyacht, destined for Princess Yachts – Hong Kong.
Each ‘Crackle’ panel was handcrafted from the exacting dimensions required for its location. Each bathroom typically consisted of 3 or more panels with each panel being designed to fit seamlessly alongside the next, resulting in a wall of Mother of Pearl.
The crackle surface is suitable for numerous applications. As shown in these images the surface dramatically elevates small spaces through dramatic reflections of light and stunning texture. This makes the design an ideal solution for luxury hotel bathrooms, adding both a unique style and reflecting generous amounts of diffused light.
Siminetti has built an enviable reputation with hoteliers all over the world for the production of stunning surfaces. Made using mother of pearl; Siminetti’s surfaces are unrivalled by manmade materials. The decorative surfaces are a favorite due to their ease of installation, providing a waterproof solution without the need for grout.
Image credit: Siminetti
Image credit: Siminetti
From their base in Plymouth, Aquamare Marine Ltd are specialists in the marine industry. They fit out many of the most spectacular yachts manufactured in the United Kingdom and Siminetti is honoured to have consistently worked alongside them for many years.
‘Crackle’ undergoes a unique manufacturing process to ensure we achieve the special characteristics of the design and as with all Siminetti decorative surface panels, they are waterproof, lightweight and sustainably produced making them perfect for Superyachts.
Crackle and its unique design reflects light and texture from every angle. Strong iridescent colours flow through the surface with an underlining silver tone. Small cracks crafted into the surface create dramatic texture but are resin sealed and smooth to the touch, ensuring a long lasting strong surface.”
Siminetti Mother of Pearl is sourced from eco-friendly, sustainable sources, are exceptionally strong and suitable for wall and floor surfaces. Crackle is perfect for wet areas in bathrooms, feature walls and spas.
Siminetti is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.
Case study: adding personality in the carpets at Grantley Hall
Carpet manufacturer Wilton was commissioned to design and supply the carpet for the listed Yorkshire gem Grantley Hall, an exquisite space that dates back to 1680…
Formally a private home, the owners of Grantley Hall were determined the property would retain the sumptuous extravagance of its past during its conversion to a five-star luxury destination. The complete refurbishment of Grantley Hall Hotel into one of the country’s most desirable places to stay has been completed with individually designed, exquisitely crafted Wilton carpets.
Image credit: Grantley Hall
“The brief was very demanding in terms of the final finish; the client wanted to achieve the highest possible rating and as such, every aspect of the interior had to live up to those exacting standards both in terms of design and product quality.”
Set in the outstanding natural beauty of Yorkshire, and bordered by historic woodland, the estate boasts extensive landscaped gardens, a kitchen garden and an English Heritage listed Japanese Garden. The team at Grantley was keen to reflect the splendour of outside in the opulent indoors.
All of the designs had to have a timeless quality with contemporary styling. Damasks were fused with herringbones with subtle, luxurious grounds and bold accent pops. Grand florals were used to bring the flora from the surrounding gardens into the property.
The Skykes family, who own the property, trusted the Wilton team to explore adventurous design concepts to elevate the sumptuous interior to even greater heights. Colour and design was tailored to the style and tone of each room.
5,400sqm of axminster carpet was delivered to Grantley hall. Lavish 7×11 row quality throughout the public areas, including four restaurants, three bars, lounges and gym and spa suite, and 7×9 row quality through the 47 luxury guest bedrooms and suites. We delivered over 20 bespoke designs to this unique, heritage building, using bespoke colours throughout.
Wilton is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.
How integrated smart tech can enhance hotel experiences
Whilst the hospitality industry is rapidly adopting smart tech during the pandemic period, the benefits go way beyond simple automation and touchless control. Christophe Malsot, Director of Hospitality, Leisure and Retail for EMEA at Technological Innovations Group (TIG), explains how selecting technologies that integrate with one another can provide hotels with the opportunity to elevate the guest experience to another level…
Post-lockdown, guests will undoubtedly expect to see more technology in all areas of a hotel, that provides a safer but still very welcoming and ultra-personalised experience. Great examples of integrated technology will include digital signage in lobbies, bars and restaurants, gyms and conference rooms, that indicates the availability and cleanliness status of the furniture and equipment in these spaces. Guests will also expect to be able to use their own smartphones to check in, open their room, control their environment and in-room entertainment, and get in touch with the concierge.
But, with the hospitality industry not expected to recover much before 2023, hotels are being forced to reconsider their offering and find ways of staying ahead of the game. Christophe Malsot, Director of Hospitality, Leisure and Retail for EMEA at Technological Innovations Group (TIG) says: “Covid is forcing companies in all industries to innovate and, by marrying together the right smart tech solutions, hotels can completely change the way visitors want to use their space, above and beyond a place to stop and rest.”
TIG offers an ecosystem of class-leading technologies that can be bundled together to form tailor-made solutions, which will help cater to new consumer habits and an altogether enhanced user experience. As Malsot explains, “Technology integration can provide many more opportunities to be creative in the way hotels use their existing assets, by increasing the functions of a communal space or guestroom and thus offering a multi-faceted guest experience.”
For instance, during this challenging period of mass under-occupancy, and with the meetings and events industry in complete standstill, many hotels have taken to renting out guestrooms, conference rooms and communal spaces for individuals to use as an office. The ‘hotel office’ concept goes hand-in-hand with the flexible working culture which has developed in response to the pandemic. Rooms may also be hired out to serve as the backdrop for virtual events. Packages range from late check-out to single-day rental or even five-day Monday to Friday deals, with the option to extend and include overnight stays, use of the gym or luxury add-ons such as a butler service.
Ideal for visitors who are in the city for work and need a quiet place for a few hours or for locals who simply need to escape the distractions and monotony of working from home, this initiative can maximise the benefits of your hotel’s existing space and recover lost revenue. By combining the need for a dedicated working space with the amenities of your hotel, with perks such as a proper desk, a clean and peaceful private environment, high-speed internet, printing privileges and the latest integrated technology, hotels can provide a value-added service in today’s volatile climate.
“TIG understands the need for a human touch, to ensure it is truly beneficial to the user.” – Christophe Malsot, Director of Hospitality, Leisure and Retail for EMEA at Technological Innovations Group (TIG).
Little touches like cute stationary packs, free refreshments and loyalty rewards programmes are also a way to make your offering competitive, but they’re just the cherry on top, as the key to developing this kind of service lies in technology!
What users need first and foremost is to be able to rely on easy-to-use unified communications systems, impressive audio-visual facilities and remote collaboration tools that work with any device, so they can simply connect and hit go from their own laptop, tablet or smartphone.
According to Malsot: “Any crisis will unveil the need to go through a series of technological changes and transformations. But simply injecting tech without purpose is not the most user-friendly approach. TIG understands the need for a human touch, to ensure it is truly beneficial to the user. That’s why our solutions integrate to form bespoke bundles that match your clientele’s needs today and futureproof your offering.
Image credit: TIG
Image credit: TIG
“There’s a fine line between something working well, and something that is so seamless and intuitive that it transforms the entire experience and leaves your guests begging for more!”
TIG’s portfolio includes intuitive automation, beautiful control hardware, remote management, audio-visual equipment, best-in-class unified communications solutions, conference room booking software and show-stopping digital signage. Mix and match between:
Collaboration, unified communications and automation technology from Crestron
Intuitive contemporary control panels from Black Nova
Energy-saving power distribution and remote monitoring systems from GUDE
Luxury custom-design switches and sockets from Rhombus Europe
Status lights and signs from Embrava that indicate availability and cleanliness of communal facilities
Advanced conference room booking software from NFS
Made-to-order furniture from Salamander Designs that fits in perfectly with specific AV products to bring a space-saving and stylish finish
Unified communications tech from Crestron enables the guestroom to function like the home office, only better. The unmatched videoconferencing services facilitate easy-to-manage, hassle-free collaboration to professional standards, making remote working feel less remote! AirMedia enables secure, wireless content sharing from the comfort of a personal device. This integrates with Crestron touch screens and occupancy sensors to turn the system on with just one command or automatically, the moment a guest enters the room. Do Not Disturb signs help drive efficiency and increase motivation, with zero distractions.
Below is a video that captures editor Hamish Kilburn checking in to review the recent tech renvoation of Bloc Hotel Gatwick, in collaboration with Symbiot and Crestron:
Room booking software from NFS is an ultra-convenient and cost-effective solution, empowering hotels by streamlining the management of meetings, catering and resources. It offers search and reporting functionality, giving staff real-time visibility of how spaces are being used, and includes visitor management such as parking and building controls, as well as the booking of services like catering and AV. Its integration with Crestron also enables the in-room lighting and tech systems to automatically shut down when the room is no longer in use.
For the ultimate in comfort and ergonomics in any-size room, Salamander Designs’ AV furniture brings a compact, sleek solution which is as functional as it is beautiful. The innovative design of its cabinets, tables and mobile trolleys allow virtually all wiring, power supplies, components and cables to be hidden yet easily accessible, packaged within a customisable solution that perfectly matches your hotel’s style.
Image credit: Salamander Designs
Malsot concludes: “In today’s climate of uncertainty, hotels that show forward-thinking will be the ones that reap the rewards. Tech is the glue that holds together many different aspects, and TIG is helping hotels across EMEA use this to their advantage. By building multi-purpose smart spaces where every device is seamlessly connected with an intuitive and user-friendly control solution, hotels can remain flexible, futureproof and confidently able to ride the storm!”
To help people understand how TIG’s ecosystem works, it has opened two Experience Spaces in London and Frankfurt, with more to come in Paris, Moscow and Johannesburg in 2021, where visitors can see the solutions in action.
Technological Innovations Group is the founding Headline Partner of Hotel Designs LIVE. The next online conference takes place on February 23.
Kaldewei provides bathroom solutions for Germany’s largest hotel
Bathroom brand Kaldewei has been specified to provide high-end bathroom solutions for The Estrel, which is Germany’s largest hotel…
With no less than 1,125 guestrooms and suites, The Estrel, located in Berlin, is Germany’s largest hotel – and it has just announced a major refurbishment.
In addition to the mass of rooms, the hotel also shelters four restaurants, three bars, a summer garden with its own landing pier, a state-of-the-art wellness area and gym. Adjoining the four-star plus hotel is the Estrel Congress Center, where more than 75 conference rooms provide the ideal setting for events and conventions.
As part of its refurbishment, the hotel specified Kaldewei bathtubs, shower surfaces and washbasins for more than 1,000 of its bathrooms. Thanks to these superior steel enamel bathroom solutions, the bathrooms have been transformed into exclusive sanctuaries, surrounded by, but far removed from hectic city life.
The Estrel offers an intimate ambience and modern design that shapes the character of the spacious rooms and suites. In addition to the numerous standard and de luxe rooms, accessible rooms are also available. Whatever a guest’s room requirements, The Estrel will meet them with its Junior, Deluxe and Executive suites or its Presidential Suite, which also features antique furnishings. Located on the 17th floor, the 250 square metre Presidential Suite is one of the hotel’s highlights. As a privately-run property, creating an intimate ambience and ensuring guests are given individual attention are paramount for the Estrel Berlin. This includes special features such as the Estrel summer garden with its own landing pier, from where guests can embark on a cruise on the Spree through Berlin.
The guest bathrooms: personalised comfort of the highest standard
At the Estrel, guests can experience to shower surfaces, washbasins and bathtubs made of sustainable Kaldewei steel enamel which, thanks to state-of-the-art add- on accessories, promise unparalleled relaxation. More than 1,000 of the hotel’s bathrooms feature Cayonoplan, Superplan and Superplan Plus shower surfaces so guests can enjoy a wonderfully invigorating experience.
Image credit: Kaldewei/The Estrel
In addition, the Pure Duo bathtubs – some fitted with Kaldewei Skin Touch and Sound Wave – guarantee delightful bathing that stimulates all the senses. While the Skin Touch wellness feature delivers a naturally rejuvenating effect, guests can immerse themselves in the resonant vibrations of their favourite music with the Sound Wave bathtub audio system. In keeping with the elegant and aesthetic bathroom design, the wellness experience is rounded off with over 500 Puro undercounter washbasins. In this way, Kaldewei once again meets the hotel industry’s demanding requirements for aesthetic, long-lasting and sustainable bathroom solutions.
Steel enamel: for sustainability in the bathroom
Thanks to the resilient surface made of superior steel enamel, Kaldewei bathroom solutions show no signs of wear and tear even after years of intensive use and cleaning. Once their long useful life comes to an end, they are fully recyclable making them ideal for sustainable hotels. “We are delighted that our high-end bathroom solutions are helping to make the Estrel Berlin a very special place for rest and regeneration. Kaldewei and Estrel are two brands that fit perfectly together and meet the highest standards,” says Managing Director Franz Kaldewei.
Kaldewei is one of our recommended suppliers and regularly feature in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.
CASE STUDY: a bespoke lighting scheme for The St. Regis Venice
Bespoke lighting solution provider Inspired by Design was approached by interior design firm Sagrada to assist in sourcing lighting for just under 200 guestrooms and suites inside The St Regis Venice…
The St Regis Venice, designed by London-based design firm Sagrada, captures unmatched vistas that stretch over the building’s luxurious gardens, as well as the Grand Canal.
When it came to lighting, here’s how the designers created the appropriate ambiance in both the public areas and guestrooms.
“It was a difficult project to achieve as it required our extensive knowledge of manufacturers worldwide to produce a bespoke floor light reminiscent of the 1950s,” explains Simon Shuck from Inspired by Design. “As always, we rose to the challenge and found a factory that still had the molds available.” The factory then provided sample finishes with slightly colour variation to ensure we could match the clients exacting finishes. To finish the floorlight there was a shade manufactured to the interior designers choice of fabric and detailing.
However, the involvement did not stop there.
The next item was to produce a bespoke triptych mirror for the bathrooms. It had an exquisite sandblasted detailing to be produced on either side, backlit and to a very specific size and shape. The factory worked closely with the design team as numerous drawings and revisions were made until all the finer details of their designs were achieved before the triptych went into production.
Image credit: St Regis Venice/Marriott Hotels
Within the nearly 200 guestrooms and suites, the company’s expertise was tested again to produce both the bedside and vanity pendants . These required a facetted design to the glass, produced by Venetian master glass blowers to replicate the ceiling details. At the same time the faceting enabled the light to to cast a shadow onto the headboards to mimic the detailing on the ceiling and drapes.
Many samples had to be produced to ensure that the overall design intent would be achieved and as always the Venetian artisans lived up to their reputation.
The completed lighting creates a perfect ambience in the guestrooms, which compliments the history of the building. Shuck adds: “We are confident that when the guests arrive into their room they will be greeted by a beautifully and tastefully designed bedroom creating a luxurious stay in a very relaxed atmosphere.”
Inspired By Design 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: St Regis Venice/Marriott Hotels
A stone’s throw from the River Thames and London’s South Bank, the Hoxton Southwark opened its doors in September last year. The design team at Ennismore specified lighting products from Heathfield & Co to create a vibrant interior design scheme…
The new-build hotel contains 192 rooms, various meeting and events spaces, and its two popular restaurants; Albie, an all-day dining spot and Seabird, a rooftop seafood restaurant with spectacular views across the capital.
Alongside owners Ennismore, Heathfield & Co’s experienced team of project managers, product designers and engineers worked on this incredible project for a year, supplying bespoke lighting across the hotel’s public areas. Aimed at creating a vibrant and welcoming space, the clients brief included vintage references and classic styles, which the team designed, developed and manufactured, resulting in 22 completely bespoke pieces, from table lamps and wall lights, to multiple ceiling fittings and pendants.
Image credit: Hoxton Southwark/Ennismore
Image credit: Hoxton Southwark/Ennismore
Unique materials and specialist finishes come together in the production of this beautiful collection of bespoke lighting, each manufactured and assembled in Heathfield’s UK warehouse. A custom brass finish created specifically for the project will organically develop over time, harnessing the natural antiquing process.
Heathfield Lighting is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.
CASE STUDY: How Page8 Hotel has made its air cleaner
The ‘new normal’ in hospitality and hotel design will largely revolve and evolve from a demand for clean environments, which goes beyond wipe-clean surfaces, as Page8 Hotel has learned after installing Blueair purifiers…
In a YouGov survey commissioned by leading air purification brand Blueair, it was found that there is consumer demand for clean air hotels, with 54 per cent of Brits considering air quality to be important when choosing a hotel.
Prior to the government-stipulated lockdown, Page8 had begun its soft launch and was on the front foot thanks to its status as the first ‘clean air’ hotel in central London, a title it claimed by placing a Blueair air purifier in all 138 rooms.
Experts from the Swedish brand Blueair tested the difference in air quality before and after using an air purifier in the rooms of Page8 Hotel. Thanks to the efficiency of Blueair’s unique HepaSilent™ filtration technology, airborne particles were reduced by 96 per cent after using an air purifier for only one hour, making the air in the hotel rooms as pure as the Swedish Archipelago.
Philip Chan, Project Development Manager of Butterfly Hospitality Group explains why Page8 has opted for air purifiers and the importance of clean air for both guests and hoteliers alike.
Image credit: Blueair
Image credit: Blueair
Every little thing we do is to improve the experience of our guests – even if this is invisible.
Air quality is directly related to the quality of our health and environment. After a long day of activities, Page8 which is located in the heart of London, welcomes urban explorers back to the hotel with the purest air, detoxing them from the pollution of the city and providing a hygienic, clean environment for a quality night’s sleep. All 138 rooms, from single to family rooms, are equipped with a Blueair air purifier to ensure our guests are breathing the purest air throughout their stay.
Our urban explorers travel with a health-concerned state of mind.
By partnering with the best air purifier brand in the world, Page8 promises to provide the best indoor air quality for guests. A cozy well-designed hotel room is essential for a pleasurable trip, while breathing clean air in the room is an added value which is not commonly offered to guests of a hotel. Given now the world’s pandemic, we wish to provide the best confidence to our guests that we are dedicated to providing sanitised rooms with the best possible air quality resulting in less germs. Using a Blueair air purifier that removes airborne pollutants will go a long way towards helping our guests stay healthy by breathing cleaner air.
A great night’s sleep is everything.
Breathing pure air definitely improves your sleep quality and helps you to relax in a new sleeping environment. Blueair works so quietly that you can enjoy the best air quality without even hearing it. We aim to provide every guest with the best night’s sleep in the heart of London.
Page8 Hotel opted for Blueair’s Blue Pure 411 air purifiers. Based on Blueair’s proprietary HepaSilent™ technology, these air purifiers remove at least 99.97 per cent of airborne particles as small as 0.1 microns in size from the air. These compact air purifiers effectively clean the air while taking up little space and the colourful pre-filters can be changed to suit the décor of any hotel room!
Blueair is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.
As a supplier to Hilton Hotels, Jameson Seating has completed many projects across the UK and Europe, providing both upholstery and window treatments. Here, Hotel Designs understands what went in to furnishing one of its latest projects, Hilton Hotel Cobham…
In early 2018, Hilton hotels quoted Jameson Seating to supply curtains and sofa beds for the 152-key refurbishment project, Hilton Hotel Cobham, which was expected to be completed during 2019/2020.
The brand has built up a strong relationship with the Hilton Supply Team over the years and has also worked closely with the Quantity Surveyors Barton Minty.
Two colour schemes were used on this project, an Indigo for the standard rooms and Teal for the Suites, with the curtains being blackout lined as the usual Hilton standard. The Daytona sofa beds supplied by Jameson’s are one of their best selling products and are manufactured in their factory in Birmingham. They come in a range of sizes to suit almost any space and are fully knockdown eliminating any access issues and can be easily assembled on site.
Image caption: In-situ image shot of the Daytona sofa bed | Image credit: Jameson Seating
The seat cushions are attached to the mechanism so there are no storage issue as they are hidden under the bed once the mattress is folded out, there is enough storage space for pillows too. Due to the nature of the Daytona sofa bed, if any part becomes damaged or soiled it can easily be replaced. The 100mm deep quality mattress is fully pocket sprung and the action folds in and out so takes no effort to operate making it easier for housekeeping staff. There are a range of styles available and if there is limited to space the armless option is ideal.
Jameson Seating Ltd has an experienced Project Management team to oversee both the curtain and furniture installations. Working with the client from quotation stage right through to installation is all part of the service. They pride themselves on supplying high quality furnishings manufactured right here in the UK.
Jameson Seating is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.
CASE STUDY: utilising sustainability and emotional practice in hotel design
Conscious, emotion and sustainability formed the design recipe for Kalukanda House, as interior designer Dee Gibson from Velvet Orange explains…
As an interior designer, I have always extolled the virtues of how a successful design makes my clients feel – and the aesthetics form only a part of that.
A space should functionally work, but it must also awaken as many senses as possible and I believe that comes from the designer at design stage connecting at a human level. Right from the get-go, we should be thinking about all the elements that will be pulled together to create an awakening for a user within a space that will stay with them long after we have gone.
“I deliberately allowed the design thinking to evolve as I discovered materials and fixtures that would fit the bill.” – Dee Gibson
Building a luxury hotel from scratch was an opportunity for me to put this into practice, and I deliberately allowed the design thinking to evolve as I discovered materials and fixtures that would fit the bill. Of course, the story doesn’t end there, we have a responsibility as hoteliers and designers to create and build sustainability, especially considering residential design trends can be influenced by the hotel market. Sharing this information and passion encourages others to join us; to engage emotionally and create spaces that people understand and want to talk about and replicate themselves.
Image caption: The colonial Walauwa architectural style of the building had to be restored sensitively in order to retain its charm and character
The hotel is on a gorgeous natural piece of jungle backed by a tall, golden cliff and 100 metres from the beach. Its garden was overgrown and the original derelict building had to be razed to the ground (not part of the plan). With a finite budget, it was important not to cut corners just to save money. At the same time, we had to balance the requirements of a demanding, luxury travel market. The challenge was to build and respect the elements of sea air, enormous trees, wildlife and extremes of weather and make the right financial choices around this.
The hotel is created in the colonial Walauwa architectural style associated with “Headmen” and the aristocracy, so the look was to be ultra luxury but had to be built responsibly. We wanted to evoke feelings of nostalgia for beautiful bygone eras, far away from the glass and steel structures that many developers favour today.
Image caption: Elements such as clay roof tiles and shutters were up-cycled to keep the style of the property
We stripped the bungalow of every inch that could be re-used. Original clay roof tiles were removed one by one and saved, shutters, doors, even the rotting fretwork was all dismantled. It was important to us to re-use as much as possible but also replicate original patterns wherever we had to make new. The charm of the original building had moved us and this was the closest I could get to completely replacing it and creating a sense of history.
The original grounds were bursting with tropical life; the trees and flora giving home and sanctuary to countless monkeys, birds and other wildlife. We carefully hand selected and cut back a small number of trees that were blocking light and designed outdoor spaces around the remainder. The gardens today are packed full of original, gigantic palms and Jackwood trees, and sunlight floods through to the ground where we have planted new exotic flowers, shrubs and Frangipanee.
Image caption: The hotel has a distinct residential style that is both luxurious and thoughtful.
Working with the footprint of the original bungalow was crucial. Rather than cramming lots of small rooms in as was suggested (bums on seats), we created two levels and carved off half the space for a large double height, vaulted living area which would stay cool naturally, and the other half for four lovely bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. We installed the refurbished doors, shutters and windows from the original property back into similar locations and had additional ones handmade by local craftsmen from local, sustainable sources.
We have a natural water well and that water is used to irrigate the gardens. If the well runs dry when it is particularly hot, then the gardens go without. The original jungle has been there for centuries without being watered and we chose beautiful but hardy plants that could withstand extreme weather patterns. It was one of hundreds of decisions we debated – how to balance finances, sustainable design and luxury market expectations.
Image caption: The bedrooms shelter a traditional look and feel with hidden technology keeping it relevant for the luxury market
Powerful hot showers are a personal must have for comfortable, luxury travel and the electricity for this comes from solar panels. The Grohe fittings are expensive in Sri Lanka but the thought of having cheaper, mass produced variants was not an option. In a hot country like Sri Lanka there are times when the heat can be intense, so we have installed fast, efficient high-tech AC units in the bedrooms in addition to ceiling fans, and we actively ask and encourage guests to use the fans where possible and be mindful of the impact on the environment.
Our future plans include switching over entirely to solar power, but frequent power cuts will mean we still have to rely on our generator.
The hotel is styled with antiques that are all in daily use, and individually selected based on how they stirred us emotionally. We used a local antique dealer who had stories to tell of his life including where he was on the day of the Tsunami in 2004. These human connections and stories of provenance added layers of interest and emotion into the process.
Image caption: The hotel used a local antiques dealer when styling the interiors
Image caption: The hotel used a local antiques dealer when styling the interiors
Other craftsmen hand carved furniture for us, and we consciously sought out Sri Lankan artisans instead of mass produced, replica retailers. The entire space breathes and pieces are installed for specific use, their inherent beauty and details are styling enough. Carvings and statues add a sense of nostalgia, these too are minimal so they can be admired.
Image caption: The interior design scheme inside the hotel evokes a strong sense-of-place and time
Having regular contact with the contractors meant that I could see the hotel going up brick by brick. Our Sri Lankan builders had knowledge of local building techniques as well as modern materials, they used labourers from local streets to help on smaller tasks and we retained the caretaker who had looked after the site before we bought it. Relationships were built and strengthened, our presence in the village has roots.
Every detail was considered, from drainage and irrigation to power sources and building materials, and contractors, craftsmen and staff. It took time and effort and since opening, there are costs associated with maintenance, but the hotel has been built responsibly and with authenticity.
Sustainability is an on going project for us. We share our story with guests and engage them as much as possible to join in by making conscious choices on meal ingredients, water and electricity consumption and even local experiences. Our toiletries are all organic and every bathroom has china bottles that are topped up with products. Single use plastic is down to less than five per cent and we are always thinking about what we can do to improve.
We are asking that all guests go on at least one of our experiences where we encourage a human connection with locals. We also have strong links with a local children’s charity who we support through donations from guest bookings and other means.
Our staff are trained to be discrete while attentive and they are encouraged to warmly interact with guests if it feels appropriate, recreating those moments of connection we had with various people when building Kalukanda House.
All of this brings the guest experience into a deep sense of connection with the provenance and values of the hotel, the people, and the environment. Guests want to actively participate in our sustainability and green initiatives and ask about this when booking to stay.
Designers and hoteliers must insist on thinking about a design approach that is both conscious, emotional and sustainable. Whether in Sri Lanka or anywhere else, we can use our influence to create engagement between users and their environment, as this is the beginning of a journey to good mental health, wellbeing and thinking about our world in a kinder and respectful way.
Over complicated technology, throw away fixtures and faddish design aesthetics result in buzzes that are easily forgotten, and an un-conscious lack of respect for the environment.
The Kalukanda House definition of luxury is having the time and means to engage at a human level, to savour every pleasure our senses can find and to leave a positive social impact on the space we leave behind. That word ‘conscious’ is the golden key to sustainable and timeless design.
CASE STUDY: Designing the carpets for Tewkesbury Park
Brintons Carpets, together with ADS design, have designed stunning, high-performance axminster carpets for independent luxury country resort, Tewkesbury Park…
The resplendent 18th century manor house, Tewkesbury Park, with some later additions, sits proudly above the historic riverside town of Tewkesbury, which is famous for its battle in 1471. Over the last couple of years, under new ownership, the hotel has undergone a major renovation and refurbishment, resulting in a wonderfully intimate yet stylish space for guests torelax and unwind.
The modern glass fronted extension by Bristol architects Childs & Sulzmann with interior design overseen by ADS Design, includes a £3 million suite for conferences and events such as weddings. Built in just under a year, it was the fourth stage of the independent hotel’s £9 million investment. ADS Design worked on the new Cotswolds Suite and Berkeley Bar. The overall brief was to design a timeless yet luxurious and welcoming hotel. Brintons was commissioned by the design firm to create bespoke carpets for the new conferencing areas. “Our aim was to create an exciting, multi functional space for events, appealing to both corporate clients and weddings,” said interior design at ADS Design, Rachel Eaton. “The large conference room with full height glazing has amazing views of the Gloucestershire countryside and features a Cotswold stone wall to add texture and depth, these tones are reflected in the carpet design. The space can be divided into smaller spaces for a variety of functions and works well with the adjoining Restaurant and Bar which feature deeper colours, subtle plaids and rich velvet upholstery, the flexible lighting changes to create a daytime or evening atmosphere.”
The Cotswolds suite is a large function room and exclusive-use bar accommodating both wedding and business functions. It is a largely glass structure that provides panoramic views of the countryside. The design theme is classic and timeless incorporating a colour palette of steely blues and golden honey hues, reflecting the generous sense of light and space.
“The pattern has Gothic undertones helping to link the story back to the old manor house.” – Senior creative designer at Brintons, Jane Bradley-Bain.
“We selected Stacey Garcia Dark Fairy Tale for its classic design but treated in a contemporary way, by using a modern neutral colour scheme it combined the two areas giving a flexible interior that spans classical and modern themes equally suitable for all events,” said senior creative designer at Brintons, Jane Bradley-Bain. “The pattern has Gothic undertones helping to link the story back to the old manor house.”
Brintons worked alongside Eaton to create an inviting and opulent atmosphere supplying bespoke carpet for the recently refurbished function rooms, meeting rooms, corridors and Berkeley bar. Sumptuous designs from the Stacey Garcia Dark Fairytale collection were selected to complement the upscale interiors. The collection offers designs embellished with shadowy imagery, forest tones and dark feminine motifs which complement the history of the surrounding area and are reflected in subtle elements of Tewkesbury’s medieval past.
Manufactured using Brintons signature axminster blend of 80 per cent wool 20 per cent nylon to provide a durable and stylish carpet that will withstand footfall over a prolonged period of time. Brintons’ carpets contribute to the intimate and welcoming ambience that ADS Design aimed to create.
New hotel opens to put Germany’s answer to the Hamptons firmly on the map
Holistic architect and designer Yasmine Mahmoudieh has injected new life into a building in Usedom, Germany, by completing the restored Strandhotel Atlantic & Villa Meeresstrand. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…
Germany is not known for its islands, nor is it famous for its sugar-white sandy beaches.
However, on the northern tip of the country sits the island of Usedom. The coastal escape is blessed with untouched coastline, a royal history and recently a new boutique design-led all-suite hotel.
As the modern traveller seeks adventure to untapped new locations, the island’s secret has been unveiled, drawing in more crowds than ever before. The increase in visitors has been the driving influence to restore a building on the Bansin stretch to become a luxury boutique hotel, known today as Villa Meeresstrand.
Barely adrift on the Baltic Sea, where Germany meets Poland, Usedom stretches about 30 miles from end to end and has been a popular summer resort since the late 19th century. Nicknamed Berlin’s Bathtub, its connection with Germany’s capital is as legendary as that of Brighton to London, and the Hamptons to New York City.
Yasmine Mahmoudieh, a well known designer on the international hotel design scene, was tasked to work on the project that became a labour of love following extensive research. The designer and architect delved into the lives of people of its past to add just the right amount of sense of place, while merge the impressive history between the current and modern time. “I took portraits of famous writers such as Maxim Gorky and Leo Tolstoi and imprinted them in a pixel like fashion on wallpaper in the rooms and their positive quotes are printed on suspended ceilings above the hotel beds.” The result of this adds a deeper nod to the building – and island’s – past becoming, which has become the motif of the overall design concept.
Image credit: Strandhotel Atlantic & Villa Meeresstrand/Yasmine Mahmoudieh
Image credit: Strandhotel Atlantic & Villa Meeresstrand/Yasmine Mahmoudieh
In order to mindfully design areas to retain the location’s charm, while also blending in one-off experiences, Mahmoudieh has played on more than just the sense of two-dimensional sight to explain the building’s past. “Once you enter the hotel there is a projection of a video artist,” she says, “commissioned to tell the story about the rich past and this is projected against a three dimensional entrance wall, that distorts the viewing and melts past and present once more.”
Subtle hints of bringing nature indoors run throughout the hotel. For example, the lighting above the bar is imitating the seagulls seen all over outside which are part of the natural landscape to be found everywhere on the island.
Meanwhile, a three dimensional wall of bottles from the French company Elitis defines the fine dining area and seating benches are diving the restaurant between the a la caret and general restaurant.
The lounge area, which also includes a magnitude of books from other celebrated Russian writers, also picks up on the spectacular sunsets outside, by a touch of violet to be found in fabrics, melted with the rather natural colour scheme that depicts all hues directly from nature.
Going forward, the hotel owner, which currently owns 16 hotels on this island, in reaction to the crisp design scheme. “We are going to redesign three more hotel buildings for the same owner and like to give this area a sense of a new identity that will attract once more an international crowd of hotel guests,” explains Mahmoudieh.
Villa Meeresstrand is located on the beach promenade, and is regarded among those who stay there as ‘a real gem on the Baltic Sea’.
Main image credit: Strandhotel Atlantic & Villa Meeresstrand/Yasmine Mahmoudieh
CASE STUDY: Carpeting Studley Castle during £50m renovation
Brintons supplied carpets for key public areas within Studley Castle, a Grade II* listed gothic revival house set in 28 acres of countryside in Warwickshire…
Studley Castle re-opened in March 2019 after undergoing a £50 million transformation. Brintons worked on this project alongside design practices Newman Gauge, Leisure Concepts and Blueprint Interior Architecture.
Studley Castle, close to Stratford-upon-Avon, marks the 14th hotel in short-break company Warner Leisure Hotels’s portfolio. It is the first hotel the company has opened in nearly 20 years and, stands as the group’s flagship. The investment has taken three years from purchase to re-opening and has included building an entirely new hotel wing, revamping and rearranging the pre-existing interiors, and creating a spa in the original stables block.
The interior designers have taken their inspiration from Alice in Wonderland, the classic fairytale is anything but ordinary as it takes visitors down the rabbit hole through an interior design plan that is as colourful as the original story and its characters, from rabbits to clocks, to mini armchairs and crowns, the design scheme features many quirky and regal details.
“Newman Gauge were appointed by Warner Leisure Hotels for the refurbishment of the existing period buildings including the Stables, Brintons worked closely with us to understand the scheme and interpret the design brief until we realised our vision – and brought it to life on time and within budget,” said Aniela Sweeney, Associate Director, Newman Gauge.
Brintons senior creative designer Jane Bradley-Bain worked with the Interior Designers to create several bespoke, contemporary carpet designs for key public areas within Studley Castle as part of an extensive refurbishment programme.
Brintons is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.
Concept to completion: Stock Exchange Hotel, Manchester
As the opening date draws ever nearer, Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester is starting taking form. Hotel Designs caught up with architecture firm jmarchitects to understand how the company restored a historic city building so that it can shelter Manchester’s new kind luxury hotel…
The Manchester Stock Exchange building is a Grade II listed, fine example of Edwardian Baroque architecture.
Built between 1904 and 1906 and designed by Bradshaw, Glass and Hope, this historically symbolic institution has been lovingly extended and refurbished to create a new boutique hotel with a restaurant headed by Chef Tom Kerridge and a luxury penthouse residence.
When co-owners Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs first purchased the building, it comprised of three floors of office space which were converted in the 1980’s. These sat above a previously popular ground floor restaurant housed under a magnificent domed ceiling. Several trees had rooted themselves on the roof and had spread through the drainpipes, unfortunately causing water and material damage to the historic asset.
Image credit: Proposed GA Section B-B
image credit: Proposed GA Section A-A
Stripping the building back to its bare bones, retaining only historical features and carefully preserving rooms of historical significance was the necessary starting point for the restoration and refurbishment. This process provided the opportunity to sensitively strengthen the existing structure in preparation for a two-storey roof extension.
Architect studio, jmarchitects began the design process with a thorough appraisal of the building and a brief to create a unique boutique hotel and restaurant with a luxury penthouse residence; focussing on the guest’s experience through the building while paying homage to its history.
image credit/caption: Artist impression of public areas,/Autoban
“Several schemes to extend the building were explored with the client in virtual reality, arriving at an extrusion of the existing mansard roof form, set back from the building frontage and clad in monolithic zinc.,” says Laura Turner, Architect, jmarchitects. “A contemporary insertion routed into the building via a seven-storey sculptural staircase in place of the former 1980’s circulation core.”
The complex nature of the historic building fabric was unveiled during the strip-out, which necessitated an ever-evolving design approach in adaption to the building’s needs. This was executed by working in close collaboration with a design team of engineers and specialists.
Image caption/credit: Artist impression of guestroom/ Autoban
The interiors are designed by internationally renowned, Istanbul-based, multidisciplinary design studio Autoban. The finished designs are opulent yet elegant, drawing on the building’s material palette of original marble, brass and woodwork.
“After three years testing and developing designs with the team we are thrilled to see this 100 year old building repurposed for modern use; bringing it up to date with current standards and technologies to see it through the next century,” adds Andrew Rogers, Director, jmarchitects. “We are confident that this sensitive, yet extensive refurbishment and extension will see The Stock Exchange become the first choice for hotel accommodation and dining in this fantastic city. We eagerly await the November opening and the excitement it will bring to those who visit.”
The Stock Exchange will be welcoming guests once again on November 15, 2019 as the first ever Relais & Châteaux member in Manchester.
Main image credit: jmarchitects/Stock Exchange Hotel Manchester
Creating a fresh new look for its offices and stores, Belgian supermarket giant, the Colruyt Group, has turned to UNILIN, division panels, to help it complete the circle and repurpose its old retail and office interior fittings…
The family-owned Colruyt Group is famed for its sustainable approach to retailing and is active in many initiatives positively impacting its entire supply chain.
As part of its drive towards a circular, sustainable approach – that it sees just as important as competitive pricing – the retailer has placed reuse high on its agenda. So, when it came to creating a fresh new look for its offices, it turned to its long-running relationship with UNILIN, division panels, to see what could be done:
“Our current chipboard is 100 per cent circular,” explains specification director, Christof De Poorter. “Comprising 85 per cent recycled wood, the remaining 15 per cent is sourced from thinning and waste flows from the timber industry. We save an average of 5,000 trees per day and reduce CO2 emissions by some 1.2million tonnes a year.”
Colruyt Group took this circular process one step further, delivering its old panels and shelves directly to UNILIN, so that they could be recycled and returned for use in its new offices. UNILIN undertook a sophisticated cleaning process involving a range of technologies including NIR (near infared), sifting, induction and magnetism, before working them into new Evola panels to be used within the retailer’s offices. Selecting H720 BST White Birch and 625 BST Silicon, Colruyt has selected a look that’s fresh, yet easy to maintain and resistant to the knocks of modern working environments. More importantly, it has brought new transparency to the materials it specifies.
“We sense just how important sustainability is to our customers and our circular approach helps them to take action,” continues Christof De Poorter. “Colruyt’s approach and commitment to taking every step possible to become more sustainable shows that consumers are no longer buying just a product, they place a great deal of importance on the complete production chain.”
Colruyt is not the only company to take advantage of UNILIN’s circular chipboard production with more and more organisations looking for positive actions on sustainability to increase transparency and gain competitive advantage.
UNILIN is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.
Lighting company B Light has lit up the interiors of the new chalet-like hotel in the Swiss Alps…
A luxury hotel surrounded by the Swiss mountains that hides behind the façade of a traditional chalet, Ultima Gstaad Hotel is very much seen as a jewel of hospitality at high altitude. Illuminating the hotel to show it in its best possible light were the lighting experts at B LIGHT who used various products to give each area of the hotel new life.
The hotel introduces a new luxury concept that provides an extraordinary level of refinement, relaxation and style. Located in the heart of the village of Gstaad, the exclusive resort offers its guests all the comforts of a luxury hotel, without sacrificing the welcoming and homely atmosphere, which has long been a characteristic of mountain accommodation.
Thanks to B LIGHT luminaires, chosen in the colour temperature of 4000K in order to contrast with the warm colour of wood, the hotel shines to impress. From the bedrooms to the spa, the lighting company has given the final touch to the refined and elegant areas.
Baster Sq and Baster Sq Mini were chosen to illuminate the ceiling of the public areas – the café, restaurant and hallways. The two recessed and dimmable luminaires belong to the Baster family: their lighting effect can be adjusted so that the designer is free to choose how to add value to spaces and objects. Baster luminaires are also to be found in the bedrooms, together with some luminaires of the Maia family. These adjustable projectors have a sober and neat design and were installed between the ceiling beams in order to add a suggestive and enchanting atmosphere. Elsewhere, Maia X1 illuminate the flowerbeds at the entrance of the resort.
Atria Mini was used to illuminate the fireplace situated in the hall. This product’s compact recessed and dimmable LED light makes it perfect for enhancing the most polished spaces, as it does not have visible screw holes. In the stainless steel version, Atria Mini Inox also light up the spa with a delicate and relaxing light, typical of a high level structure.
The lighting experts did not neglect the walkway to the relaxation area, near the outdoor Jacuzzi. Here the recessed luminaire Lappen 1 was used to create unexpected lighting effects, thanks to the soft oblique light that is its main feature.
B LIGHT’s innovative solutions together with attention to detail and quality, has created fabulous lighting for an enchanting and stylish environment that sits in the mountain as an authentic jewel.
“In a world where customer service has evaporated, Mode:Green is still holding on to being proactive in maintaining high levels of customer service; they show up when needed, and you’re confident that they’re going to stand behind their installation” — Fergal Hayes, project director for Capital Expenditures with Starwood Hotels
In all markets, millennials are causing businesses to reinvent themselves. In retail, brands are forced to improve their online shopping experience. Fashion is speeding up. Workplaces are becoming more social and tech savvy. Now, hotels, too, are meeting the high expectations of millennials by using technology to transform their lobbies and take guest experiences to the next level.
As younger generations frequent hostels, dorms, and coffee shops, hotels are trying to attract them by injecting life into their formerly stagnant common areas. For example, as the lobby transforms into a destination where guests and locals can interact, the bar has now become a part of the front desk.
New York’s W Hotel created a space like this and styled it as a tribute to Times Square, offering a lively atmosphere that could shift from daytime to parties with a custom DJ booth and features of the legendary landmark.
Putting Times Square Indoors The iconic sights and sounds of Times Square originate from the lights, graffiti, interactive displays, and energy from tourists, street performers, and busy New Yorkers.
“The design of the living room at the W Hotel was leveraged from a design narrative that drew inspiration from its Time Square location,” said Fergal Hayes, project director for Capital Expenditures with Starwood Hotels, who contributed to overseeing the vision and completion of the W Hotel’s new lobby space. With Times Square as the motif for the W Hotel’s new lobby, a group of design teams working in cooperation with integration firm, Mode:Green, were tasked with capturing the New York landmark’s atmosphere and recreating it indoors.
Adding to the modern décor, neon lighting, vibrant signs, and graffiti were custom-designed for the space and were given digital life by Mode:Green: a digital countdown clock takes up a wall reaching about seven feet tall, and the lobby-lounge teems with vibrant sound from 32 independent zones and hidden, custom speakers. But it’s not just the bright lights that make the lounge so lively – the lounge has its own digital brain, capable of shifting its atmosphere for different guests and events.
Reinventing an Iconic Scene All the Times Square advertisements, interactive billboards, and skyscrapers come from many different companies and the individual pieces weren’t designed to work together initially. In the same way, aesthetically, W Hotel’s team of designers were challenged to create a cohesive, yet diverse space as a tribute to the Big Apple’s famous landscape. For Mode:Green, this meant taking the technology from dozens of different manufacturers and making them all communicate with one another as a singular system.
Mode:Green was the technology expert for the project, collaborating with the design team to connect all of the dozens of LED lights and custom speakers throughout the lobby and inside the private booths with one another, as well as with the wall-sized countdown clock.
Doing so involved careful planning. The wiring and speakers are all hidden among the décor, where an invisible automation system makes everything simple to control. Using a touchscreen, the staff can activate and adjust every light and speaker to create the right atmosphere from a selection of presets, including Happy Hour, Morning, and Fire Alarm, which shuts off the music and brightens the lights for a safe exit. Guests in the private booths also have control over their own audio zone, so they can pump the music from the custom New-Year’s-Eve-Ball inspired DJ booth or turn it down for a quiet conversation.
Mode:Green specialises in this type of complex audio and lighting systems, geared towards a hotel environment that accepts rotating guests. “To bring the highly customised Times Square-themed lighting into the hotel lobby and DJ area, Mode:Green was hands-on from the beginning with the design team,” said Hayes. “The W Hotel is a completely custom space and Mode:Green was instrumental in helping to deliver the brand.”
The Final Countdown In large, complex construction projects like the W Hotel’s lobby-lounge, a giant timer – much like the one that sits in the finished lobby today – ticks down to the collision between final days of construction and the opening day that welcomes guests.
Design work is completed early on, but the technical team races to get everything working, fine-tuned, and ready for prime time.
“Every project gets compressed towards completion, and Mode:Green completed the installation in a short amount of time and was quick to solve issues,” said Hayes. Mode:Green’s approach to creating a smart space like this involves detailed collaboration with the hotel’s teams, as well as the manufacturers. While unseen by guests, the technology is as important a fixture as the custom décor.
New problems often arise while working in the balance between design and technological smarts; Mode:Green had to make last-minute changes to accommodate the space as it came to life. “At the end, last-minute changes of speakers being switched out from the original design to more appropriately fit the space were required, and Mode:Green reacted quickly to make it work in time for the reveal,” said Hayes.
The W Hotel’s Times Square lobby-lounge welcomed guests on the deadline for its opening, without a glitch — despite New-York-fast changes that had to be made in the final construction days. “In a world where customer service has evaporated, Mode:Green is still holding on to being proactive in maintaining high levels of customer service; they show up when needed, and you’re confident that they’re going to stand behind their installation,” stated Hayes.
Hotels face a new challenge to create lobbies that are immersive, social environments. It’s a design and, now, a technological challenge, but the result can differentiate a brand and nurture a crop of new, young guests who will become loyal patrons.
Mode:Green has quickly become the trusted leader in providing integrated solutions to today’s top hotels. Landmarks like The New York Palace, and the flagship St. Regis New York have both undergone major renovations with Mode:Green at the forefront of technology integration.
In celebration of its 110th anniversary, the Hotel Walther commissioned Brintons to translate the elaborate designs of interior designer Virginia Maissen into woven Axminster rugs and fitted carpet to complement the refurbishment of the hotel.
The concept of the design was to create a modern, inviting and comfortable feel in this grand hotel with inspiration taken from its surroundings and history. Zürich-based interior designer Virginia Maissen worked with Brintons to redesign the interior to highlight the heritage of the hotel, but also incorporate modern art installations by Rolf Sachs and Sandro Fabbri.
The newly refurbished hotel, a member of the Relais & Châteaux group, unveiled its updated design earlier this year. The 17 bespoke carpet designs throughout are bold and abstract, in a colour palette of reds, greens and yellows that reference the hotel’s alpine surroundings.
Brintons collaborated closely with Virginia Maissen to translate her designs into Axminster carpet. The layering of imagery within the designs, mixing bold colours and the subtle photographic representation exploited the full range of the carpet manufacturer’s 32-colour High Definition Weave; a unique Brintons’ innovation that allows for infinite design possibilities and highly dynamic visuals.
The end result is a beautifully detailed collection of bespoke carpets in the lobby, fine dining room, stairs and smoking lounge of the hotel.
Virginia Maissen commented: “I am so proud of the bespoke carpets, Brintons translated all my designs perfectly, the stand out details coupled with a classic pattern brings together both of our design visions. The 17 unique carpet designs demanded special attention from both sides, and Brintons delivered on time and within budget. This project perfectly demonstrates Brintons’ skill in creating one-off pieces to a client specification.”
Antique treasures and decorations have been reinterpreted to reflect the hotel’s history: original ceilings and rounded archways from the early twentieth century have been exposed with the help of local craftsmen. Specially designed wall tapestries, curtains, and carpets created by Brintons have been added to complement the furnishings of each room.
The 4-star Hotel Walther is a third-generation family-run business, currently headed by Anne-Rose and Thomas Walther. Brintons is well known in Switzerland for its design expertise and market presence, and has an established reputation for high quality custom Axminster carpets and rugs.
Z Hotel City is a newly converted boutique hotel on London’s Fleet Street. It’s the latest addition to the Z Hotels group, which has seven other venues in the UK, all offering “affordable, compact luxury in prime locations”. The hotel’s small but perfectly formed rooms are built to a standardised design, with the aim of making things as simple as possible for guests.
When guests enter the room the lights automatically come on to a ‘welcome’ scene. With no need to find a switch or card slot.
When designing the rooms for the new hotel, Z Hotels was looking for an alternative to the usual key card system for lighting control, and wanted to come up with a simple solution that it could repeat across all Z Hotel City’s 100+ rooms. With building already underway, they needed a solution fast. Z Hotels’ project manager Eamon Kelly said, “Our main objective was to make the guest experience a bit easier. As a guest you don’t want to have to fumble around to find light switches.”
The new solution had to be as simple as possible. “Our average length of stay is 1-2 nights,” said Kelly, “so people don’t have time to get to know a complex system. Anything we fit needs to be intuitive.”
Guests can then dim lights up and down, and control the bathroom lights separately.
The hotel chose to use Lutron’s myRoom prime control system with Pico wireless controls. myRoom prime uses a combination of technologies to determine if a guest is in the room. When the room is empty, the lights turn off and the temperature is set to a background level. There’s a sensor on the door, occupancy sensors in the room, and pressing any of the control buttons alerts the system that someone is present.
Lutron got involved in the project in September 2015, and the hotel was opened before Christmas – as requested by Z Hotels – so the system had to be designed, delivered, installed and commissioned in a very short time, with an average commissioning time of 40 minutes per room. The system was installed and commissioned with the help of Lutron, working closely with Z Hotels to fit in around building works. Because the control system is wireless, installation and commissioning were quick and straightforward.
The look of the Pico controls was an important factor for Z Hotels. Kelly says it’s crucial that everything “not just looks sharp, but is nice to touch and feel as well.”
Z Hotels are delighted with the performance of the system, and are now looking at rolling out the myRoom prime system to their next hotel in Covent Garden. It is a cost-effective, easy-to-use solution that saves energy and creates a fantastic user experience in guest rooms. The success of this project highlights the versatility of myRoom solutions in a wide range of hotels– solutions such as myRoom prime can be adapted to all budgets. The hotel is also reducing energy costs, because myRoom prime’s occupancy sensing makes sure that air conditioning and lighting are off when the room is empty. Unlike a key card system, it can’t be fooled by leaving a spare card in the slot.
“I typically associated Lutron with high-end hotels only, so I was delighted that they were able to supply us with a nice simple system, but with the backing of a company that’s been doing it for years” Eamon Kelly, project manager, Z Hotels group