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    Surface Design Show brings back ‘New Talent’ to support emerging creatives

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Surface Design Show brings back ‘New Talent’ to support emerging creatives

    Back by popular demand at Surface Design Show, ‘New Talent’ supports emerging creatives, specialising in producing interior and exterior surface materials and lighting design…

    Surface Design Show, which takes place from February 11 – 13, will bring back New Talent, with the aim to support emerging talent in surface materials and lighting design. The area offers attendees the chance to see the next big innovations in surface design.

    New Talent is curated by Chief Creative Director at Trendease International Jennifer Castoldi. All of those chosen to exhibit in New Talent have been in business for five years or less, and with 37 exhibitors showcasing, compared to 16 last year, the section has grown substantially.

    “We are thrilled to have collaborated with Trendease International; Jennifer has brought togethersome of the most exciting new designers with the freshest ideas in material design to New Talent,” said Christopher Newton, Director of Surface Design Show. “We can’t wait for visitors to immerse themselves in New Talent’s designs, textures and materials.”

    Many of the New Talent exhibitors are using traditional craft techniques and combining them with contemporary design. Charlotte Relf is an experimental embroidery artist who uses exaggerated stitches to add detail and energy while Royal School of Needlework graduate Frances Stone uses various experimental embroidery techniques such as gold work, crewel work and beading to create her range of foot stools, chairs and cushions. Charlotte Clayton Design, meanwhile, combines knitting with automotive interior design for her surface designs and Farr Designs marries photography and contemporary design using hand screen prints and digital technology.

    The sheer wealth of approaches to surfaces is one of New Talent’s strengths from Janine Partington’s emphasis of carving and hand painted leathers to Trifold, a company which has designs constructed of thermal and acoustic layers, folded via means of a traditional origami tessellation to research-based designer Megan Cowley, who creates mild steel moulds using water jet technology, which are then transferred onto glass.

    Wallcoverings are well-represented in New Talent this year, Olenka’s luxury British wallpapercollection features natural motifs of leaves and flowers whilst Catherine Griffiths’ work takes in boldwallpaper designs as well as fabric and cushions with inspirations as eclectic as Celtic mythology, the Renaissance period and European architecture. West by Design specialises in intricate hand-painted wallpaper inspired by the English countryside and King Kong Design creates site-specific corporate wall art and custom wall panels for retail, public and residential installations.

    It’s no surprise given the current climate emergency that exhibitors in New Talent are focussed on nature or sustainability. This focus is reflected throughout the whole of Surface Design Show with its theme of Close to Home: looking beyond aesthetics and designing with a conscience. Jonel van Schalkwyk uses a painterly style to create surface designs featuring human-sized plants while designer Paula Nerlich has a strong focus on circular biomaterials and exploring vegan compostables

    and foams from industrial and household food waste. Atticus Durnell, the brains behind the That’sCaffeine brand, has created a material made from recycled coffee grounds, that imitates granite stone. Brussels-based Studio Gilles Werbrouck also takes a novel approach to material reuse, making knitted textiles from unconventional material such as video tape or dead stock from fashion designers.

    Tickets are free to professional and trade visitors. Register here.

    Main image credit: Surface Design Show/King Kong Design

     

    CASE STUDY: Designing the carpets for Tewkesbury Park

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    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.

    Main image credit: Tewkesbury Park

    Duravit’s tap fittings – from the washbasin to the bathtub

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Duravit’s tap fittings – from the washbasin to the bathtub

    Four different sizes make the C.1 tap fittings from Duravit compatible with any washing area, from a small handrinse basin through to a generously proportioned above-counter basin…

    Selecting the correct tap for a bathroom can both enhance the overall aesthetic and add an additional design statement. Whether for the washbasin, the shower, the bathtub or the bidet: Duravit taps set themselves apart. This is due to their high-quality materials and universal design, it makes them an ideal match for all Duravit ceramic and bathroom furniture ranges.

    Convenient functions and ease of use are the hallmark of all Duravit tap ranges. The B.1 to B.3 series impresses with their attractive price points this appeals not only to architects and developers, but to private individuals too.

    The B.1 series is characterised by its gently rounded contours and contrasts with the angular design of B.2. The B.3 tap series adds yet another dimension to the Duravit B series. 

    Its sophisticated ergonomics are particularly noticeable in the circular recess in the handle, perfectly positioned for ease of operation. Minimalist, unpretentious design is the order of the day with the C.1 series from designer Kurt Merki Jr. This series features a handle that is perfectly proportioned both to the eye and to the touch. Alongside classic chrome, the series also introduces contemporary Black Matt into the bathroom.

    Black tap and white basin

    Image caption: The C.1 design range by the Swiss designer Kurt Merki Jr. is available in Chrome or Matt Black.

    With the two finishes and the four different tap sizes, the series will bring out the best in any washing area – from the handrinse basin through to the wash bowl. All harmonize perfectly with different furnishing styles and offer plenty of scope for individual design preferences. 

    Hand shower or showerhead? Why not both! The all-in- one Duravit shower system solution combines all the benefits of the two variants. Use the hand shower for a quick all-over clean if you’re in a hurry, or give yourself a well-earned wellness experience with the relaxing showerhead. 

    On the technical side, Duravit also offers a choice between single-lever shower mixers and a thermostatic shower mixer for exposed or concealed installation that can be combined with any square or round showerheads for wall or ceiling fitting. A similar degree of variety is available for bathtubs, too. From the bathtub faucet through free-standing bath mixers to thermostatic or single-lever mixers for exposed or concealed installation – Duravit satisfies all the customer’s wishes. Exposed and concealed variants offer the perfect solution for any bathtub situation. The Duravit BlueBox®, a universal installation system for a range of tap designs (lever mixers or thermostats), is used for concealed installation. This allows the design decision to be taken even after the basic set has been installed. 

    The faucets are splash-free thanks to an individually adjustable aerator. Thermostats offer additional comfort for use in the shower area. An integrated safety cut-off efficiently guards against excessive water temperatures.

    The bathroom of today is also the bathroom of the future. The precision-manufactured, long-lasting and maintenance-free ceramic cartridges that are installed in all mixers play a big part in that. With a maximum flow rate of 5.7 liters per minute, the noise-optimized Duravit taps are also impressively economical. Especially important for customers: Duravit provides a five-year warranty across its entire faucet range. 

    Duravit 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.

    Is this the world’s most expensive Christmas tree?

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Is this the world’s most expensive Christmas tree?

    Kempinski Hotel Bahia shelters 2019’s most decadent Christmas tree. In partnership with designer Debbie Wingham has unveiled this year’s festive decorations, which are complete with Bulgari, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Chanel statement baubles…

    With balmy temperatures all year round, Marbella is not the first place we would expect to find the most decadent Christmas tree in the world.

    Nonetheless, Kempinski Hotel Bahia has partnered with celebrity designer Debbie Wingham to reveal a festive showstopper; the beachfront escape is housing the world’s most extravagant Christmas Tree, worth a total of £11.9 million. Fashioned from high-value stones, the tree is peppered with pink, red, white and black diamonds, edible treats and traditional decorations.

    All flawlessly cut and ethically sourced, decorations include 3crt pink diamonds, 4crt sapphire, oval red diamonds, black and white diamonds, and a mixture of remastered, expertly upcycled jewellery from the likes of Bulgari, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Chanel.

    Inspired by the verdant feathers of a peacock and the modernist art-deco era, the tree features unique martini glasses, feathers, perfume bottles and even 3D printed chocolate peacocks. But it wouldn’t be Christmas without tradition, and guests can still expect to find classic decorations such as snowflakes, fairies, nutcrackers and beautifully decorated baubles, carefully curated with a mixture of materials, from diamond dust and 24 carat gold to emu and ostrich eggs.

    Think you can beat it? We’re on the hunt for the most elaborate hotel Christmas decorations. Tweet us @HotelDesigns.

    Main image credit: Kempinski Hotels

    The Brit List designers of 2019 (Part 1)

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The Brit List designers of 2019 (Part 1)

    In the coming weeks, Hotel Designs will be profiling the individuals who made it into The Brit List 2019. We start by profiling The Brit List Designers of 2019 (in alphabetical order)…

    The Brit List 2019 is Hotel Designs’ annual nationwide search to identify the top 25 designers, top 25 architects and top 25 hoteliers who are operating in Britain. The Judges, which are made up of experts in all pockets of the industry, gathered to decided who was eligible to make this year’s list.

    The industry’s leading figures then gathered on November 21 at Patch East London, where The Brit List 2019 was unveiled and the individual winners were announced. 

    Here are The Brit List Designers of 2019…

    Akram Fahmi, Design Director – 1508 London

    Following seven years at ReardonSmith Architects (four years as an associate project architect), Akram Fahmi joined 1508 London earlier this year as the London-based studio’s design director, bringing with him his expertise in high-end hospitality and residential projects.

    Fahmi is predominantly focused on luxury hotel design, space planning, brand standards, feasibility and viability consulting, technical design and delivery in the UK and abroad.

    Amanda Rosa, Director – Amanda Rosa Interiors

    Having created award-winning design concepts for hotels including One Devonshire Gardens, Malmaison, Gleneagles, Columbus Monaco and Aviator, Amanda Rosa has recently completed Dakota Manchester, a 137-key luxury hotel in the heart of the city. With sophisticated interiors,and the city’s largest and boldest penthouse suite, the hotel has injected a subdued atmosphere inbetween the Nortern Quater’s ever-evolving hotel scene.

    Ariane Steinbeck, Managing Director – RPW Design

    With an award-winning career that has spanned throughout the United States, Asia and Europe, Ariane Steinbeck, managing director of RPWDesign, has built on the studio’s considerable worldwide recognition since her appointment in 2015. Steinbeck is an active contributor to the hospitality and interior design industry, serving as a frequent elquent speaker and mentor to many.

    Completed projects in 2019 include Lincoln Plaza London and Mezemiso, London, and ongoing projects include: the guestroom refurbishment at InterContinental London Park Lane, Four Seasons Hampshire, the Marriott Tbilisi, Les Ambassadeurs Casino, London and Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa, all under construction at the time The Brit List 2019 went to print.

    Caroline Smith, Founder/Head of Creative – WISH London

    Overlooking The Strand in a restored Edwardian building, the 57-key The Nadler Covent Garden has opened as the hotel group’s fourth luxury boutique hotel in London.

    Architecture rm PJMA designed the hotel over six floors. Meanwhile,its stylish and thoughtfully designed guestrooms were imagined by The Brit List 2018 winner Caroline Smith of WISH London. Each guest room and suite offers chic accommodation that, as per the company’s ethos, delivers on comfort, convenience and features aesthetically dynamic spaces throughout.

    Charlie North, Design Director – Ennismore

    Charlie North is the design director of Ennismore. His position involves leading the efforts of the interior design studio at the premium developer/operator firm. His portfolio includes working with the likes of David Collins Studio and Alexander Waterworth Interiors, among others.

    The multifaceted approach to his design style has led to the completion of recent projects such as Gleneagles Strathearn (following the unveiling of Ochil House) and Hoxton Portland.

    Christopher Ash, Director – Project Orange

    Christopher Ash is currently designing new residential projects in the UK and Russia, as well as working to complete nhow’s first hotel in London.

    Ash chairs the RIBA Premises Committee, was a member of the RIBA Finance and Operations Committee and has organised and contributed to the annual RIBA Guerrilla Tactics Conference promoting small practice.

    Constantina Tsoutsikou, Creative Director – HBA London

    Constantina Tsoutsikou joined HBA London 14 years ago and has since led many prestigious and internationally acclaimed hotel projects from concept to completion.

    As well as completing an awe-inspiring set at Sleep & Eat 2018 in collaboration with the Natural History Museum. One of her recently completed hotels is situated in Zagreb, Croatia. Amadria Park, which previously served as a bank, features bespoke interiors that combine the original and the new with a deft touch, embracing the building’s historiccharacter as a signi cant example of Secessionist architecture.

    David Mason, Director of Hospitality – Scott Brownrigg

    Just three years after joining the studio, last year David Mason was promoted to director of hospitality at Scott Brownrigg.

    Among other hotels that have launched this year, Scott Brownrigg completed the interior design of Hard Rock Hotel London in Marble Arch, which provided London with its latest destination venue. Mason and his team designed all the public spaces for the hotel and worked closely with both Hard Rock International and glh Hotels in order to create a unique concept tailored for the UK hospitality market.

    Edward Davies, Managing Director (London) – G.A Group

    Working as the managing director at G.A Group (London), EdwardDavies is a dynamic and energetic individual who runs the day-to- day management of the 100-strong London-based studio, whilst also acting as Principal across a number of high-profile interior design andarchitecture projects worldwide.

    Current projects overseen by Davies include a 184-key hotel in Mayfair, which will have a distinct focus on laid-back luxury and sustainability, with all materials and suppliers being sourced from the UK. In addition, he is also working on a number of new designs for Corinthia Hotels, following a long-standing relationship with the group that started when the rm designed its flagship hotel in London.

    Henry Reeve, Director of Interior Design – IHG (Highly Commended: Interior Designer of the Year 2019)

    The sharp and charismatic Henry Reeve has reshaped and redefined the upper upscale boutique Hotel Indigo brand for IHG, taking it to anenvious position as a brand with multi-award winning hotels that define and go on to lead in the local market in which they sit.

    Working collaboratively with numerous design agencies across the European region, Reeve creates a partnership between interior designagency, operator and owner to create brand-defining and truly uniquehotels. In addition to work on Hotel Indigo, the designer has successfully launched Kimpton in Europe with iconic openings, such as Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam, Fitzroy London, Charlotte Square Edinburgh, Blythswood Square Glasgow, and more to come in Manchester, Paris, Rotterdam and Frankfurt.

    James Soane, Director – Project Orange

    As well as being a director at Project Orange alongside Christopher Ash, James Soane is also the director of Critical Practice at the LondonSchool of Architecture. Soane’s projects include the €60m fit-out of the new Raddisson Farnham House Hotel in Ireland and the Park Hotel in Navi Mumbai, India. Recently, he completed the dining rooms for the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London and a concept room for the Hoxton Hotels. Busy as ever, Soane is currently working on an exciting new concept hotel in India, a new-build house in Moscow and a large housing project in London.

    Jeremy Grove, Director – Sibley Grove

    Rather than perpetuating the waste problem, Jeremy Grove strongly believes that designers need to rethink their role and be a vehicle for positive change.

    The Fox & Goose is an excellent example of an eco-hotel, which was completed by Sibley Graven November 2018. Sheltering 73 rooms, the hotel features environmental and social benefits without compromising cost, style and guest experience. All products and materials used in the project were assessed on five fundamental principles: aesthetic quality, build quality, value, environmental impact and social impact.

    Jo Littlefair, Director and Co-Founder – Goddard Littlefair (WINNER: Interior Designer of the Year 2019)

    Layering inspiration from her travels into the studio and sharing her passion for new and exciting dining, dwelling and hospitality experiences, Jo Littlefair is a naturally born design leader with an effortlessly focused eye. Leading from within the pack, her curious and observant nature quickly recognises coming evolutions in consumer, industry and design trends, which is evident in the stuido’s impressive portfolio.

    Recent completed projects include the Presidential Suite at The Lowry Hotel Manchester and Juliet Rose, a new striking destination bar sheltered inside Hilton Hotel Munich.

    Kate Jarrett, Senior Designer – Scott Brownrigg*

    Kate Jarrett, who was named in Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 this year, is a young creative designer who thrives in all elements of the design process, from initial concept to project management and site installation. Having joined Scott Brownrigg in 2016, she has excelled in winning the respect of every client she works with. Jarrett has worked closely with glh Hotels and Hard Rock in delivering the public areas for the exciting new hotel located in London’s Marble Arch. She has also been intrinsic in creating afun, young and Instagramable hotspot and destination 10th- oor bar onthe edge of Leicester Square. A key strength is Jarrett’s all-round ability to communicate extremely well with clients, design team, consultants and contractors, with an end goal to produce an exceptional and innovativenal product.

    *Kate Jarrett has recently joined David Collins Studio.

    Katie Edgar, Designer – SpaceInvader Design**

    This year, Katie Edgar has been an invaluable member of the SpaceInvader team and a key designer within the hospitality, leisure andresidential sectors. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Edgar headed up the hospitality division, working on projects that include the development of a new hotel brand in the UK, development of new scheme for hotels in Europe, as well as several F&B projects across the UK. The fresh-thinking designer has worked with most of the major hotel brands nationally and internationally and has a deep understanding of these sectors.

    **Egdar has recently joined Qbic Hotels.

    To read The Brit List 2019, click here.

    Year In Review: Hotel Designs’ top products of 2019 (Part 1)

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Year In Review: Hotel Designs’ top products of 2019 (Part 1)

    Hotel Designs starts December as it means to go on; looking back to reflect on some of the major statement products of 2019 (edited by Hamish Kilburn)… 

    It has finally happened. ‘Trends’ is now a ‘dirty word’ on the international hotel design scene. In its place, meaningful design is allowing creativity to run freely through the unclogged veins of design studios, which is resulting in each project to have its own personality. Designers and architects are able to choose their tools carefully in order to create the hotels and cities of the future.

    As a result, there’s a greater desire to cut through the noise in order to identify the game-changing products that have recently launched.

    Since January, Hotel Designs has put a a different topic under the spotlight each month in order to identify the most innovative products and services. 11 months later, here’s what we found…

    1. The Cleanet Navia shower toilet by Laufen
    Orange set with WC toilet in the middle

    Image credit: Laufen

    The new Cleanet Navia by Laufen is an upgrade in comfort compared with a classic designer WC. It impresses with a compact design, simple functions and with a gratifying price.

    “My aim with the Cleanet Navia was to create a classic designer WC with a minimalistic, timeless look, that has another ace up its sleeve when you take a closer look,” explains Swiss designer Peter Wirz, who created the shower WC for Laufen. The technology is fully integrated into the compact all-ceramic body and reduced to the essentials. Thus, Keramik Laufen has succeeded in developing a shower toilet with an excellent price-performance ratio, which is also suitable for use in commercial buildings.

    2) The Balmoral collection by Bisque

    Soft pink radiator and amenities

    Image credit: Bisque

    Pioneering designer radiator brand Bisque has, for the last four decades, represented the pinnacle of cutting-edge, contemporary design; however, for the first time, the luxury firm has announced its inaugural range of traditional towel radiators for use in classic bathroom designs for 2019.

    The collection – comprising the Buckingham, Osbourne and Balmoral – was designed with a timeless appeal, without compromising on performance or output.

    In particular, the Balmoral radiator. Its centre section, conventionally a timeless white, can now be ordered in Bisque’s selection of stock finishes or, for when only an exact shade will do, can be colour-matched to popular paint brands such as Farrow & Ball, Mylands or Little Greene. This makes it a fantastic option for those who prefer to add a pop of personality to an otherwise fairly neutral scheme, and complements many bathroom brands’ latest offerings of colourful baths, basins and brassware.

    Bisque’s Balmoral Radiator colour-matched to RAL 6005.

    The addition of a colour finish further adds to the Balmoral’s flexibility. Traditionally a radiator for period homes or vintage-inspired bathrooms, this sleek update means it sits right at home in contemporary settings, too.

    3) GROHE Plus Single-Lever Mixer M-Size with LED temperature display

    Tap with digital display on faucet

    Image credit: GROHE

    Take your bathroom to a place as technologically sophisticated as the rest of your life with the GROHE Plus basin mixer with LED temperature display. Its slim, D-shaped form, designed to complement both traditional and contemporary bathrooms, contains a range of user-friendly technology. The upper surface of the spout in chic white acrylic hosts an LED temperature display, which shows the exact water temperature as it flows. The tap also employs infra-red sensors to switch smoothly between a sustainable standard spray (5.7l/min) and even greater water-saving with the Spray function (4l/min). Just wave your hand in front of the lit icon on the spout to activate. The large size of this tap offers the space for a more user-friendly, comfortable experience. It features a GROHE SilkMove ceramic cartridge, offering smooth, precise control via the tactile solid metal lever handle. The swivel spout with easy docking system turns through 90° for added ease of use, while an integrated GROHE AquaGuide lets you adjust the spray angle of the spout with ease and precision. The SpeedClean aerator can be wiped free of limescale with just your finger.

    4) Timeless lighting pieces in the Edition 26 collection by Chelsom

    Image desk and lamp shade

    Image credit: Mr C Coconut Grove/James McDonald

    For nearly two years, Chelsom’s Edition 26 collection has been inspiring designers and architects to add statement in lighting. This year, Hotel Designs has identified the design potential of some of its products in the collection, such as Orb, Criterion, Icicle, and one of the editorial team’s favourite, Roma, which is an industrial-chic masterpiece.

    Creativity is in the cooker as the lighting experts at Chelsom prepare for a busy 2020 with the launch of its next collection.

    5) Morgan’s award-winning Rakino

    One chair on top of the other behind white background

    Image credit: Morgan

    The family of lounge chairs and tables, which feature crisp timber detailing that is emphasised by a clean linear structure, has just won Product of the Year at the FX Awards 2019.

    Interviewed by Hotel Designs shortly after the collection dropped, Tim Rundle said about the collection: “The Rakino collection stands out due to its striking timber architectural frame, with a strong, square, clean aesthetic, combined with a soft sculpted and slim line upholstered shell that is held within the frame. The frame is very open and honest and is a reflection of Tim’s eye for detail and our passion for precision CNC manufacturing and a hand-crafted finish.”

    7) Luxe bathrooms inside Stock Exchange Manchester by Utopia Projects

    Luxe marble bathroom overlooking Manchester

    Image credit: Stock Exchange Hotel Manchester

    In a recent study it was revealed that more than 70 per cent of designers and architects fear the bathroom most when designing a hotel. For those professionals, there’s Utopia Projects that has unrivalled relationships with suppliers and an acute eye for detail when it comes to designing meaningful bathroom spaces. The bathrooms inside Stock Exchange Hotel Manchester are an excellent example of this. Hotel Designs’ got the concept-to-completetion exclusive of the challenges and triumphs for this hotel, which opened recently.

    If you know of a product you believe should be involved in PART 2 of Hotel Designs’ ultimate throwback, please email h.kilburn@forumevents.co.uk

    Main image credit:

    Editor’s round-up of Sleep & Eat 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Editor’s round-up of Sleep & Eat 2019

    Rounding off this year’s show season, editor Hamish Kilburn attends Sleep & Eat 2019 on the search for new product launches, sensational design concepts and more brands under one roof than in any other hotel design trade show in Europe…

    It is often said that the sequel is never as impactful as the prequel. And although that may well be the case in the film industry, design is different. For the second year running, Sleep & Eat 2019 went west to found shelter at Olympia London, a hotly debated venue but a popular one no doubt during show season.

    The show opened its doors on November 19 to offer designers, architects, operators and owners a unique chance to learn from the game-changers, while discovering new products and expand their thinking.

    On the surface Sleep & Eat’s success from last year was matched with many of the same exhibitors taking the same positions as in 2018. The most significant statement from the 2019 show, however, took place in the lecture theatre, where a mix of interesting and colourful insights and debates became the highlight for many.

    Amar Lalvani, CEO of Standard International, opened day one by sharing his experience oftransforming an ‘ugly’ and unloved building in London into a hotel that is now headline news around the world. Christoph Hoffman, CEO of 25Hours Hotels, opened day two and, in conversation with Conference Moderator, Heleri Rande, talked about the importance of “soul”. While his group has so notably charted its own course, hedeclared himself inspired by the great luxury hotels of the world. “It’s about keeping the stories alive,” he said. Josh Wyatt, CEO of NeueHouse, also delivered a captivating keynote. “More than ever before,design is essential to survive as the world becomes more crowded. Design is a defensive necessity,” he told the audience. “In NeueHouse, we are forging places where commerce and creativity collide, where new enterprises that will shape our futures will be conceived by our users.”

    Image credit: Rob Jones

    Panel topics were diverse and layered, from hotel F&B trends to managing and designing flexible public spaces and the meaning of eco in the luxury hotel experience, but all with an eye not just to the hospitality scene today but in the future. Architect, Richard Coutts, and engineer, Ben Fitzgerald, took the audience to the under- and above-water frontiers of their work, presenting a project destined for Hobart Harbour – an underwater hotel with public park on top – and the Under restaurant off the Norwegian coast. The knowledge, skills, vision and technology exist to harness our lakes, rivers and oceans for greater hospitality experiences, claimed the duo Design maverick and disrupter, Johannes Torpe, considered the future of hospitality in space but, despite his collaborations with NASA and his passion for space movies, he argued that there was still much work to do before space could be accessible for most of us. Instead, he called on the audience to create unearthly places on Earth, citing his Red Mountain resort project in Iceland, a spa and wellness retreat that will offer complete escape into Icelandic nature.

    Sleep, Eat and Party in this year’s Room Sets

    This year’s event theme of “Social FlexAbility” explored the power of hospitality to stimulate human interaction in our age of digital isolation. It proved to be just the challenge that six international architectural and design firms needed to create concept guestrooms, a bar and a restaurant which were inspiring in vision, intriguing in detail and astonishing in execution.

    Yuna Merge, unveiled the VIP Area entitled ‘Gather’. The designer transformed Olympia Club Room into a whimsical flora and fauna-inspired space.

    London-based hotel design practice twenty2degrees designed a concept guestroom to explore hospitality’s power to stimulate human interaction in our age of digital dislocation. Complete with a fully retractable bed and a tap that poured chilled negroni, the set utilised space, senses and colour.

    “The process of designing the concept guestroom has been fascinating,” says Joe Stella, Creative Director and Partner of twenty2degrees. “Essentially, we were our own client freed from the usual constraints of commercial hotel design. We followed certain paths of thought, then found new sources of inspiration and were able to flip the aesthetic. We hope that the result of this creative license will be ideas that operators, owners and other visitors to our pop-up will want to take away with them and adapt for real-life projects.”

    Other Set designers were HAT Design (guestroom), SpaceInvader (bar) and NAME Architecture (restaurant).

    In the exhibition hall

    Image credit: Rob Jones

    More than 160 design-led suppliers – established and up-and-coming manufacturers, artisans and fit-out companies – chose Sleep & Eat 2019 to showcase their products and launch new collections. Some highlights included:

    GROHE returned to Sleep & Eat for the 14th year and presented its most eclectic and diverse product offering yet, including its ground-breaking Icon 3D metal-printed taps on their first official UK outing.

    Image credit: Rob Jones

    Following Hotel Designs’ interview with designer Marcel Wanders one day prior, the team from Laufen unveiled the curtain on its latest collection, The New Classic.

    Ammique, the world’s most technologically advanced bed, was at Sleep & Eat for the first time. The company launched its Platinum limited edition bed with a choice of three sensual fabrics created in collaboration with textile designer, Hannah White. Marlene Greenhalgh, Co-Founder of Ammique,says: “Having thought long and hard about taking space, we are utterly delighted that we decided to. We would unequivocally recommend anyone in the industry to consider investing in a stand at Sleep & Eat. It really is a show that delivers.”

    Hansgrohe, which was an Event Partner at The Brit List Awards 2019 later in the week, launched its Rainfinity range and Sunbury Design launched Perception Collection in collaboration with renowned print designer, Amelia Graham. Meanwhile, both Bette and Kaldewei gave visitors the opportunity to test their materials themselves, with wire brushes, hammers, nail varnish and naked flames.

    Morgan, which has just won Product of the Year at the FX Awards, unveiled a new stripped-back sustainable furniture collection, Kaya, which finds its roots in the openness, honesty and purity of trees.

    Showing the design world it’s place as a premium shower supplier was Aqualisa, which was also an Event Partner at The Brit List Awards 2019. The company, which was the first to launch the digital shower to the hospitality market, was making noise with a range of new high-tech products.

    There were cause of celebrations on the Knightsbridge stand as the British furniture company announced its 80th anniversary. In apt fashion, the brand displayed its design-led Caravelle collection, which was redeveloped to celebrate theanniversary and its rich history, taking influence from a past mid-century piece of furniture.

    Also new to Sleep & Eat, Marie Martin, the range of exclusive lighting by the Dutch company Lumière, presented its lush and extravagant lighting fixtures. Stemming from a passion for interiors, this collection arose from the desire to unite a love for antiques, Paris, colour and fully decorated spaces.

    Bette’s new Red Dot award-winning basin and luxurious circular bath made their UK debut at the show.

    Image credit: Rob Jones

    Other familiar brands at the show included: Astro Lighting, Roca, Interna UK, Chelsom, Grok, Northern Lights and Perrin & Rowe. Newcomers included Eichholtz, ILIV Contract Textiles and Absolute Lifestyle.

    As tradition, Sleep & Eat presented two awards for best-designed stands, this year judged by designers, Constantina Tsoutsikou, Yasmine Mahmoudieh and Ben Webb together with architect, Angela Dapper and event director, Mark Gordon. Hospitality artwork suppliers, Verdigris Art, with artist in residence, Marcus Aitken, was awarded Best Stand, and luxury wallcoverings manufacturer, Arte, was the recipient of the Best Space-Only Stand Award.

    Following the two-day event, industry experts gathered for an after-party style awards ceremony, The Brit List Awards 2019, which is where this year’s winners of seven individual awards were crowned, as well as where The Brit List 2019 was unveiled.

    With rumours circulating, it is down to interpretation whether or not Sleep & Eat’s second year at Olympia London was as or more successful than its first year. Whether or not the show ‘hit the mark’ in your opinion, there was no denying that it was a engaging two-days of talks, networking opportunities and interesting product launches.

    Have your say by tweeting us as @HotelDesigns. What was your highlight of Sleep & Eat 2019?

    Main image credit: Rob Jones

    New geometric designs for Skopos base-cloths

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    New geometric designs for Skopos base-cloths

    Playful compositions of triangles, squares, circles and diamonds come together in elegant formations to create the new Skopos Oslo collection

    Skopos’ latest collection, Oslo, features a creative mix of muted cool Nordic tones and playful bright colours and geometric shapes. Together with a horizontal organic stripe, the designs are a mix of neat graphic outlines and softer, natural forms, tuning into the ongoing trend for geometrics in interiors.

    As with all of the Skopos print collections, Oslo is available on more than 14 base-cloths, including bedding, drape and upholstery qualities, a mix of velvets, linen-look and waterproof fabrics and with the new addition of an exquisite blackout velvet drape, there is a solution for all contract environments. All meeting the FR requirements for contract interiors, Oslo print provides a perfect solution for hospitality and leisure soft furnishings. Alongside Oslo, Skopos is also introducing a new wide width, wool-look fabric, called Farne. A simple textural washable plain, Farne is available for bedding, drape and cushions for a neat statement within contract interiors.

    With almost 50 years’ specialist experience, Skopos provide high-quality flame retardant fabrics and soft furnishings to the contract market.

    Defining the signature styles of many flagship hotels and cruise-liners, Skopos are dedicated to design, service and best performance. Its full service or fabric only option provides choice for the company’s customers, with expertise in design, make-up (curtains, cushions and bedding), fitting and installation. Its bespoke design and colour matching service provide the opportunity to create unique solutions.

    Samples of both Oslo and Farne are available immediately.

    Skopos 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.

    What makes Versa Wallcovering sustainable without sacrificing style?

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    What makes Versa Wallcovering sustainable without sacrificing style?

    Launched in 1999, Versa Wallcovering is a leading wall covering brand for commercial interiors, finding the balance to find the perfect formula to create sustainable and stylish surfaces. Business Development Manager Paul Gibson explains… 

    Innovative, creative, sustainable, classic to contemporary and subtle to sensational are the driving principles for Versa Wallcovering. Our award winning design studio continues to develop new proprietary embossings, as well as a balance of core classic textures, with more specialty patterns for healthcare and hospitality.

    Our products are classic, affordable, yet sophisticated and on trend. Unique embossings have always been the focus for the brand, along with a broad distinctive range of silks, linens, and textural patterns.

    Versa has always been the industry leader in sustainability, from the first to switch to low VOC water-based inks, to the award winning Second-Look reclamation and recycled content program, to the first manufacturer to certify to NSF/ANSI 342, and part of the global industry wide EPD.

    All Versa Wallcovering products are low VOC, meeting CA01350; produced with an environmentally preferable non-ortho phthalate; and utilize recycled inks. The company has implemented an aggressive waste reduction program, minimising manufacturing material scrap and reducing overall energy and water consumption through improved operational efficiencies.

    Versa Wallcovering is the only US brand to manufacture base film from raw materials. This allows most products to have colour thru film, which enhances durability and overall performance.

    The company has a strong international global presence, with a distribution network spanning more than 70 countries and a world-class manufacturing facility in Suzhou, China.

    VersaGuard and Versa Impact are part of Versa Wall Protection. We are the only company to offer specifiers an option in wall protection products.  With the addition of Versa Shield 20in early 2020, Versa will have three different levels of wall protection based on budget, and need for any interior space.

    Versa PVC-Free will be another industry first, with a non-PVC product which performs extremely well, is cost effective, and takes color and embossing like vinyl. PVC-Free Impact will be a first, in a flexible attractive wall protection product.

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

    Main image credit: Versa Wallcovering

    Hyatt to debut in Czech Republic with Andaz Prague

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Hyatt to debut in Czech Republic with Andaz Prague

    Following plans for the luxury lifestyle brand Andaz to continue to grow across Europe, Hyatt has announced that Andaz Prague will open in 2022…

    Hyatt Hotels has announced that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into a management agreement for the group’s first property in the Czech Republic. The “Sugar Palace” hotel project, currently being developed by UBM Development AG, will become the new Andaz Prague. Located at Senovážné Square, the 175-room hotel is expected to open in 2022.

    Andaz Prague will be among the first luxury lifestyle hotels in the Czech capital. A juxtaposition of heritage and modernity, and echoing the sights, sounds, scents and tastes of its surroundings, Andaz Prague will create a stay that immerses curious travelers and neighborhood guests in the very best of its locale.

    Originally built in 1916, the neoclassical landmark, commonly known as the Sugar Palace, features a unique architectural design and will provide unscripted access to the rich heritage and history of Prague. The most important sights can be easily reached by foot allowing guests to experience the city’s unique flair. Andaz Prague will feature three distinct food and beverage outlets, approximately 4,840 square feet (450 square meters) of event space, a fitness center and a spa.

    “Prague has been a popular destination particularly since the Velvet Revolution 30 years ago,” said Takuya Aoyama, vice president development, Hyatt. “This city of Mozart, Mucha and Hrabal continues to inspire people to explore its rich offerings. With the addition of Andaz Prague, we are excited for Hyatt to have a brand presence in the three imperial cities of Europe – Vienna, Budapest and Prague – and grow our opportunities to cater to the luxury demand.”

    “It is wonderful to be working alongside Hyatt to bring the Andaz brand to the Czech Republic. This hotel has great potential for those wishing to explore Prague, and we believe that the Andaz brand is the perfect choice for this culturally rich city,” said Thomas Winkler, CEO of UBM Development AG. “With our long-standing expertise as Europe’s leading hotel developer, we will transform this truly exceptional building in a new jewel of Prague’s hotel landscape.”

    The growing demand in Europe for unique experiences and personalized service has led to the Andaz brand welcoming two new properties this year in Europe – Andaz Munich Schwabinger Tor and Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere, which joined Andaz London Liverpool Street and Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht.

    Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

    Checking in: Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain, Saint Lucia

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Checking in: Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain, Saint Lucia

    With his aim fixed on understanding how one jaw-dropping location can harbour two very different – but no doubt both luxury escapes – editor Hamish Kilburn travelled to Saint Lucia to review the wonders of Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain…

    On the western stretch of Saint Lucia, an island that last year welcomed more than 1.2 million visitors, two incredible design gem stones can be found. While the two hotels are very different in style, the experience of Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain comes as one.

    Not only are the hotels two of the region’s most sought-after places to check in to, but they also stand as a permanent reminder of an unforgettable journey, which is full of discovery, challenges and sustainable solutions that is still ongoing for husband-and-wife team Nick and Karolin Troubetzkoy.

    “I’m a man that looks for logic,” says the critically acclaimed architect Nick Troubetzkoy as he peers over the evening’s dinner menu to take in the sweeping views of the sun disappearing over the edge of the horizon. The last of the day’s light reflects off the luscious jade-green mountains, which are commonly referred to as The Pitons. Jade Club literally takes the concept of fine-dining to new heights, as it is perched majestically on the hotel’s top floor. It doesn’t matter where you sit, you somehow always manage to catch the postcard perfect perspective of the twin mountains. Nothing here has been designed by coincidence, which is refreshing. “Designing a hotel requires logical and thoughtful steps throughout the entire process,” Troubetzkoy smirks as he leaves a pause in the air for effect. “The game rugby on the hand is not a logical game – you pass the ball backwards for starters” And just like, as England prepares to execute its World Cup campaign, I catch my first glimpse of the legendary architect’s sense of humour, and his dislike for design without purpose.

    Image credit: Jade Mountain

    For guests checking in, the adventure of both Anse Chasanet and Jade Mountain starts shortly after the plane touches down on the island’s soil. For the Troubetzkoys, though, the adventure started in the ‘70s, when the couple visited the tropical destination and fell in love with the island’s pristine, Caribbean Sea-facing, west coast.

    Drivers in Saint Lucia don’t lie. When warned that you’re going to endure a bumpy ride, that’s a cue to buckle up. The exact location of both hotels is the first indication that these magnificent properties have been designed meaningfully, from concept through to completion, in order shelter ultimate and unquestionable privacy and luxury. That kind of treasure comes at a cost, which in this case is an uneven road and a toe-curling drive over a cliff-edge. It’s the only road that has access to the hotels and it’s a thread that connects them from the heart of Soure Friee, a charming and friendly town, which is home to many of the staff – and prevents trespassers.

    Anse Chastanet

    Anse Chastanet sits at the foot of the mountain and is, in part, hidden within the surrounding forest that covers a staggering 77 per cent of the island. The hotel’s open-air design in both the public and private areas invites nature in at every opportunity. This is where the Troubetzkoy’s quest began, to create and develop the luxury hotel experience. Purchased in the ‘70s, the 49-key hotel was the Troubetzkoy’s debut luxury resort. Their plans to redevelop the hotel was in order make room for a new level of premium accommodation in Saint Lucia, the Caribbean, and indeed the world.

    Image credit: Anse Chastanet

    B.T. (Before Troubetzkoys), the Anse Chastanet was a collection of a few huts scattered along the beach, reflecting a conventional and arguably unmemorable Caribbean hotel. Years later, the Troubetzkoy family transformed it into a thriving multi-award-winning resort that operates as one of the Caribbean’s most premium destinations – and for good reason. “As far back as when we first opened, I remember asking our guests why we didn’t see very much of them outside their one-with-nature rooms,” says the architect. “I was told by them, that they were simply relaxing, breathing in the air, basking in the surroundings and enjoying a wonderful sense of calm and peace. When you compare that experience to being boxed into a traditional glass enclosed hotel room, breathing recirculated, machine-processed air, the difference is enormous.”

    There is no doubt about it, the resort is of its time, but that’s also its charm; a space that feels lived-in with a warming home-from-home character that is amplified further by the caring and considerate staff. A home that has no boundaries between interiors and exterior, designed to reflect the topography of the land. A home that celebrates literally the very definition of nature in design. Anse Chastanet is a wonderful, colourful, playful and unpretentiously luxurious hotel – and it was here where the idea for Troubetzkoy’s next project, Jade Mountain, was born.

    Image credit: Anse Chastanet

    There are references of the same design ethos in the foundations of both Anse Chasanet and Jade Mountain. The Royal Palm, Anse Chasanet’s most premium suite, is an excellent example of this, and is located half way up the mountain where the two hotels almost meet. The open-air concept carves out an understated premium scene, very much opening up the space to allow for the 260-degree views to do the hard work, while the Caribbean-infused interiors frame nature and sense of place in all its majesty. Famous art pieces by both local and international artists add personality into the space. The walls in the are covered with vibrant paintings by postmodernist German painter, Elvira Bach. But what is most impressive, in my opinion, is how the structure of the suite, including the bathroom, has been carved out in such a way, with a logical eye, so that, just like Jade Club, guests can almost always see The Pitons from each and every corner, which adds scrutiny and challenges to the standard cookie-cutter approach when it comes to designing luxury suites.

    “One day, while the plans for the hotel were still in early development, he looked at his collection, turned towards me and commented that ‘Jade Mountain’ had a nice ring to it.” – Karolin Troubetzkoy

    Jade Mountain

    “Do you know why we called it Jade Mountain?” asks Karolin Troubetzkoy who, as well as being the co-owner of the resort and is very much the brains behind its incredible initiatives, is also the current President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism. “Everyone always gets it wrong. They think it was simply the views of The Pitons. But actually, for years my husband created and collected these amazing miniature mountains, which were a luscious shade of jade. One day, while the plans for the hotel were still in early development, he looked at his collection, turned towards me and commented that ‘Jade Mountain’ had a nice ring to it.”

    Image credit: Jade Mountain

    What makes the hotel unique to any other design story – or any other hotel around the world for that matter – is how decisions were made, and quickly changed. “I wanted to create individualised spatial environments that would enable guests to forget about the furniture or the fact that they’re in a hotel room,” explains Nick Troubetzkoy. “In essence, I want our guests to forget about everything but experiencing the psychology of the space on an emotional almost spiritual level.”

    Image credit: Jade Mountain

    The term ‘jewel of the crown’ feels appropriate when describing its position on site. The magnificent structure of rough concrete imbued with locally quarried stoneappears once guests make it up the stairway to heaven by either foot or complimentary shuttle bus, and walk across the long, suspended private bridges that lead to what the hotel describes as ‘sanctuaries’.

    Editor Hamish Kilburn soaking in the views from JD1 Galaxy Suite at Jade Mountain

    All 29 sanctuaries frame the unparalleled vistas of The Pitons. While each area has been individually designed, they all share a few common themes. The lack of right angles in the design, for example, removing the fourth wall and creating an open-air concept helps keep the relationship between guest and nature together, while the interior walls are finished in a crushed blush toned coral plaster quarried in Barbados. Because of these indoor and outdoor moments working in harmony, there is a natural rhythm to guests’ stay without the need for clocks or televisions. Almost all sanctuaries feature infinity pools – and, by far, the most impressive spaces are the Galaxy Sanctuaries. JD1, which became my luxe home-from-home (and my handstand hangout) felt like an oversized luxurious penhouse apartment. Following my move up the mountain from Anse Chasenet, it’s the first time during my trip where I recognised luxury manufacturers and suppliers, such as Duravit W/Cs and premium seating by Janus et Cie and Dedon.

    And that’s not all. At Jade Mountain, unlike many other luxury hotels that claim to be eco-friendly, sustainability is a core value and not greenwashed simply as a marketing tool. While Anse Chasanet shares the same ethos, the living areas of each sanctuary in Jade Mountain are finished with more than 20 different species of tropical hardwood flooring and trims harvested in an environmentally meaningful way. The resort’s technicians actually visited the Rain Forest of Guyana and personally chose which trees to be used. A multitude of hardwoods have been used including Purpleheart, Greenheart, Locust, Kabukali, Snakewood, Bloodwood, Etikburabali, Futukbali, Taurino, Mora and Cabbage Wood.

    The consciousness of the resorts stretches beyond the design. 30 per cent of all produce at both Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain is grown on site, just a few miles away from the hotels. It’s also here where the resort grows its own coco beans, so that both properties can make their own mouth-watering chocolate for guests to enjoy.

    While hotel designers continue striving to cater to the heavy demands of the modern traveller, perhaps there is something to be said in stripping away unnecessary technology and opening up interiors to nature to ultimately allow the natural experience of a pocket of paradise to stand the test of time.. After all, luxury will never go out of style.

    Main image credit: Jade Mountain/Anse Chastanet

    GROHE joins forces to reduce plastic waste

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    GROHE joins forces to reduce plastic waste

    Recommended Supplier GROHE has united with the Pacific Garbage Screening Project as it continues its eco mission… 

    Soon after announcing that it will go carbon-free in manufacturing by 2020, GROHE has shared its support of the Pacific Garbage Screening (PGS) project of architect Marcella Hansch. Together with an interdisciplinary team of natural scientists, engineers and marine biologists, the trained architect is working on the development of a water platform that will collect plastic waste before it damages the ecosystems in oceans and rivers.

    The vision of clean water through the reduction of plastic waste is also of vital importance for GROHE. For one of the leading suppliers for full bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings, sustainability and avoiding plastic play a leading role in the brand’s manufacturing processes and product development. For example, with the GROHE Blue filtered tap system, disposable plastic bottles are a thing of the past. By using GROHE Blue, a family of four avoids an average of 760 plastic bottles per year1 – a benefit not only for consumers but also for the environment. In addition to self-initiated projects, GROHE also wants to contribute to the field of sustainability through co-operations, such as the alliance with PGS. Therefore, GROHE will not only support the project financially, but representatives of GROHE and PGS also plan to join forces to draw the public’s attention to the worldwide plastic problem and to forward-thinking solutions.

    “We are very much looking forward to working with Marcella Hansch and PGS. The enormous amount of plastic waste in rivers and oceans are a collective problem and represent one of the greatest challenges of our time. This is why we directly decided to promote such an important project for the reduction of plastic waste,” explains Thomas Fuhr, CEO of Grohe AG, confirming the commitment. “We are particularly impressed with howpassionately Marcella Hansch and her team dedicate themselves to their mission. They not only want to create a solution that extracts plastic from the ocean, but also encourage people to change their minds.” The collaboration with GROHE is also significant for Marcella Hansch. “Partnerships are incredibly important for us, because we can only tackle a global problem together,” she said. “We are excited about the commitment of GROHE to avoid using plastic and reduce plastic as much as possible with regard to their products but also in their productionchain. That is why we are very much looking forward to working with them.”

    During a dive, Marcella Hansch encountered copious amounts of plastic waste instead of fish. She immediately realised that there was an urgent need for action. This led to an in-depth study of a technical solution for the reduction of plastic waste in the oceans in her thesis. Since then, the idea has continuously evolved: to prevent the pollution of the oceans, PGS concentrates on the moment where plastic waste enters the oceans. Specifically, the focus is on a floating platform. Its design makes it possible to extract plastic particles from the water. Since it is assumed that around 80 per cent of plastic waste in the oceans is generated on land2 and rivers are regarded as major pathways, the platforms are to be used in rivers and estuaries.

    Sustainability as an integral part of the GROHE brand

    GROHE pursues a 360-degree sustainability approach that in equal measure encompasses employees, suppliers, customers, processes, products and its societal contribution. In this way, the global brand not only develops resource-saving product innovations that enable consumers to live more sustainably but also aims to become the first leading manufacturer in the sanitary sector with CO2-neutral production in 2020. The use of green electricity, photovoltaics and combined heat and power plants is of decisive importance here. From 2020, the sanitary brand will support two compensation projects in order to offset CO2 emissions, which have thus far not been reducible. For its continuous efforts, GROHE has once again been nominated for the top 3 “most sustainable big companies 2020” at the German Sustainability Award.

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

    Main image credit: GROHE

    GROHE’s answer to the digital revolution of the modern shower

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    GROHE’s answer to the digital revolution of the modern shower

    GROHE launches Rainshower SmartConnect 310 head shower, combining tech and wellness to create its answer to meaningful bathroom design… 

    Digitalisation and wellness-inspired spaces are two mega-trends that are changing the way we perceive bathroom design. The two may seemingly juxtapose one another but with the Rainshower SmartConnect 310 head shower, GROHE has found a way to merge the two to create easily accessible, personalised showering that can be tailored to each individual user.

    Thanks to its flexible and accessible positioning, the wireless control enables all users to conveniently select different spray patterns, choosing the spray that will best suit their mood. Users can choose from the ActiveRain spray which is a powerful jet perfect for rinsing away shampoo, loosening tense muscles or for a much-needed wake up call on an early morning; and PureRain which delivers larger, softer droplets for a more luxurious, relaxing shower experience. Each spray can be activated by pushing the relevant pictograph on the control, with a third icon allowing you to combine both sprays at once.

    What makes the system unique is its compatibility to work alongside existing shower thermostats without the need for complete refurbishment of the shower space. Installation is quick and simple as the shower head can easily be mounted on existing shower extension arms. Thanks to its wirelessconnection which doesn’t require any behind-the-wall installation, the Rainshower SmartConnect 310 is a cost-effective and simple upgrade that will bring enhanced shower enjoyment using smart, forward-thinking design.

    GROHE Rainshower SmartConnect 310 has already received a number of highly coveted design accolades since it was first showcased at the ISH show earlier this year. These include Winner of the Red Dot Award for Product Design 2019, the Innovative Architecture – Best of Best award at Iconic Awards 2019 and winner at the iF Awards 2019.

    Main image credit: GROHE

    In Conversation With: Marcel Wanders – “bathroom design can be poetry”

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    In Conversation With: Marcel Wanders – “bathroom design can be poetry”

    Ahead of Sleep & Eat 2019, editor Hamish Kilburn speaks to acclaimed designer Marcel Wanders to understand how he hopes his new collection and collaboration with bathroom manufacturer Laufen will create long-lasting poetry in the modern bathroom…

    Designing interiors and designing an interior design product are two very distant things that should not be confused with the other. They both require two separate methods, and most of the time, two separate designers.

    For an individual to be able to effortlessly switch between the two disciplines shows great versatility, creativity and passion. Combine these three elements together and you have something close to Marcel Wanders’ drive, determination and dedication when it comes to creating timeless interiors. “Designing a product is much like creating a new word in an empty sentence,” Wanders explains. “Depending on how the words are curated will determine the dynamics of the sentence, and in effect, the quality of the poem it becomes. I love seeing what sentences and poems designers will create with my empty words.”

    “I wanted The New Classic to break into a new territory, which I think makes it interesting.” – Marcel Wanders.

    If Wanders’ latest collection was to be described in one word only, he would use simply the adjective of ‘contemporary’, which balances both sides of the coin when it comes to sensitively depicting the delicate, classic lines with modern architectural details that seems to be the DNA strand within all the pieces in Lauren’s The New Classic collection, which first previewed in Milan earlier this year. “I wanted New Classic to break into a new territory, which I think makes it interesting,” Wanders explains.

    The collection, which makes its UK debut at Sleep & Eat 2019, is complete with washstands, countertop and vanity washbasins, WCs, faucets, bathtubs, showers and furniture to match, and arrives on UK soil after a healthy amount of anticipation in the build-up to the event, making it one of the most exciting product launches of this year’s two-day show.

    “The idea is not about throwing away the past,” adds Wanders. “Instead, it is about trying to blend the past into the now and the future. I started with the concept of a table you would find in your Grandma’s home, for example, and used that as a strong metaphor to create the structure of the range,” explains Wanders. “I then added some soft, elegant shaping and the whole collection started to take form.

    “Like all architectural fittings, The New Classic had to feel timeless and designed with purpose. I kept imagining these pieces in a house that’s just been sold. I wanted the new owners to feel as if they didn’t need to change the fittings, because they become the foundation of its design. Bathrooms are not meant to feel disposable or stuck in the past. The durability of the materials, therefore, was paramount.”

    Originally, Wanders had designed this collection to be made from ceramic, but Laufen’s unique SaphirKeramik gave the design – and its creative process – unmatched strength. “SaphirKeramik is differnet because it allows you as a designer to create thinner products that don’t loose their strength,” says the designer. “Considering the design concept was to create elegant pieces, it was the perfect material.”

    The major challenge when designing the new iconic statements was to ensure that the idea and design approach was also functional. “We are talking about minuscule changes that can totally change the way in which the product performs,” adds Wanders. “For me, this area of product design is interesting as well as complicated – and it takes time to perfect.”

    QUICK-FIRE ROUND

    Hamish Kilburn: If The New Classic was a music artist, who would it be?
    Marcel Wanders: Puccini, because I think opera can also be contemporary.

    HK: What item can you not design with?
    MW: Honestly, I can design without anything. It is all in my mind.

    HK: What would you say has been the most bizzare collaboration you have worked on?
    MW: Antiques Capellini, because I don’t think anyone was expecting something so bold.

    HK: Which bathroom trend to you hope will never return?
    MW: Trends in general!

    HK: What is the secret to a successful collaboration?
    MW: Mutual respect.

    For a designer who is well-known for entering meaningful collaborations, I am intrigued to know more about what makes this particular project special and memorable among the more than 1,500 other projects to his name. “I love to work,” Wanders projects. “It’s been the first time we have done a serious project of scale in the bathroom. I am so excited to see my designs injected into projects around the world.”

    In regards to the humble designer behind Lauren’s The New Classic, I believe this collection has the narrative and strength to win the hearts of designers and specifiers and to become the great bathroom love story sheltered in many hotel projects in all corners of the globe, that we, as industry, will reflect on decades from now as a significant moment in bathroom design.

    Laufen, which will be showcasing The New Classic collection on stand L10 at Sleep & Eat, is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

    Main image credit: Marcel Wanders

    A wealth of benefits using walnut in surfaces, says Unilin

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    A wealth of benefits using walnut in surfaces, says Unilin

    With the popularity of mixed wood and metal finishes, UNILIN, division panels, is making sure that designers can source authentic surfaces without the expense and complexities of genuine materials…

    Aspirational interiors continue to play a key part in furniture and interior design. Combinations of luxury brushed and gloss metals, cool alabasters and rich wood pairings are prevalent in many top global design projects within the high-end commercial and hospitality sector.

    While material combinations are not a new trend, it feeds an ongoing focus on reinventing retro elements into modern and contemporary schemes. The inclusion of metals to a wood scheme provides an edgy modernity, while introducing wood to metal schemes provides warmth and comforting luxury.

    Lorenzo Walnut, one of the 168 decors available in the UNILIN Evola surface collection, brings the delicate fine grain and silky-smooth attributes of solid walnut into a versatile surface finish.

    What’s more, thanks to the adaptability and durability of UNILIN Evola HPL and melamine, Lorenzo Walnut can be used on everything from wall panels and column features to reception desk fascia, café tables, work desks, bar and work surfaces.

    It’s all-round performance and ease of maintenance makes it a more cost-effective option than solid walnut.

    “There are tactile and aesthetic assets from walnut that provide an exciting material partner for metal and stone finishes,” said Sofie Coulier at UNILIN division panels. “Its distinctive structure and weathered patina give that detailing that sets it high on the luxury scale.

    “This almost architectural wood gives the soft, sleek and high-end finish that is popular with key designers throughout the interiors sector and works perfectly with our brushed metal and stone decors in the Evola range.”

    Scratch and stain-resistant, safe from fading and easy to wipe down. All Evola melamine-faced chipboard panels are made from 100 per cent circular wood, including a minimum 85 per cent recycled content. Not only great performing, Lorenzo Walnut delivers a more sustainable solution to extracting raw material from natural resources.

    Free A4 samples of all Evola decors can be ordered from the UNILIN, division panels website.

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

    Main image credit: UNILIN

    EXCLUSIVE ROUNDTABLE: Meaningfully differentiating luxury in hotel design

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    EXCLUSIVE ROUNDTABLE: Meaningfully differentiating luxury in hotel design

    To continue Hotel Designs’ series of articles to put sustainability under the spotlight, editor Hamish Kilburn chairs an exclusive editorial roundtable, in collaboration with Minotti London, to understand how today’s leading designers are sensitively working to create a more meaningful luxury hotel design landscape. Joining us on the Minotti sofa to discuss this topic:

    With the aim to conceive and design meaningful luxury hotels, there is undoubtedly a question mark on how designers and architects can differentiate their projects to stand out as timeless jewels. With the rise in technology and social media, competition for hotel operators and developers is no longer limited to a single neighbourhood; we have very much entered a global arena. But how are today’s leading designers confronting the evolving hospitality landscape, and just how significant is sense of place when approaching sensitive luxury projects? We invited a handful of the industry’s most distinguished innovators to Minotti London‘s alluring showroom in Fitzrovia to find out more.

    Hamish Kilburn: What are the largest misconceptions when it comes to designing luxury?

    Jo Littlefair, Director and Co-Founder, Goddard Littlefair: Travelling globally, and understanding global attitudes towards luxury is so important. We have clients that have huge misconceptions to whatever project they are developing. We still struggle when clients associate harsh golds and marbles with luxury, for example. I find it really disheartening, because for me, a non-material object like ‘time’ is a luxury. When approaching the design of any luxury hotel, it’s really important to keep in mind the attitude you are trying to create.

    Hamish Brown, Partner, 1508 London: There are a few buzzwords that keep coming up in the studio. We don’t have a ‘house style’ as such, therefore we are really trying capture and create sense of place within each projects. It’s not about fashion but about style. If you look at the great Hollywood movie stars now and compare them to images of themselves 30 to 40 years ago, quite often they will look as relevant now as they did then. That is certainly to do with style over fashion. We look at ways in which classical details and proportions can manifest themselves within a design.

    David Mason, Head of Hospitality, Scott Brownrigg: The definition of luxury is not the same for everyone. Some may see luxury in technology, while others believe it is in the foundations of a hotel. In our studio, we don’t necessarily design the ultra six-star luxury hotel, but many of our clients are interested in ‘luxury’, which can come from anything from the service down to the attention to detail. What is luxurious to one person is different to another.

    Constantina Tsoutsikou, Creative Director, HBA London: I think luxury is also about being generous as a designer. You always give more than what is expected and make sure that the spaces are comfortable and also have longevity. Where I can, I try to avoid anything too shiny. It’s becoming more apparent that the days of clients wanting to the interiors to show off wealth are behind us. Instead, well-designed luxury interiors are more honest and truthful. That in itself is a luxury mindset.

    “We have realised that clients want luxury but almost on a shoestring budget.” – Constantina Tsoutsikou, Creative Director, HBA London

    Image caption: (centre) Hamish Brown, (right) Jo Littlefair

    HK: When did your clients start accepting a shift in consumer demands when it comes to luxury?

    HB: I think it massively goes back to what that hotel means within its location as well as the characteristics of the building. There is certainly more of an acceptance from both sides. Some clients believe that what they want is a grand, sweeping entrance, whereas to really differentiate themselves and to make their hotel work within its location and to be relevant to the building, we suggest to park pre-conceived ideas and think about what would work for that particular hotel.

    CT: We have realised that clients want luxury but almost on a shoestring budget. If you compare it to a good few years ago, budget expectations are certainly getting lower. Perhaps it is a sign of the times. At the same time, palettes are becoming more concise, that’s a good thing because designs are cleaner. There’s still a layering there, but the money that was being spilled into a hotel project before the 2008 crisis is not there anymore. However, the expectation certainly is. So, as designers, we have to work out how to manage that.

    JL: Also, you cannot ignore the noise and influence of social media – it has a lot to answer for. That inaccurately convinces clients and developers that design is easy and disposable, and that it doesn’t take five minutes to produce a moodboard. But in reality, especially when considering sense of place, you’re thinking about a building and a brand. Putting these elements together requires a real curation of things. Otherwise, I have seen it when people go off on tangents and throw details into the canvas. Nothing ends up gelling and it becomes a messy clash of ideas.

    “Trying to get the balance between the soft, the elegant while making these spaces feel comfortable places to work, sit and socialise is a challenge.” – David Mason, Head of Hospitality, Scott Brownrigg

    HK: One of the most obvious changes in hotel design, and in the demand from guests, is in the public areas. How has this changed the way in which you specify furniture?

    CT: Everybody is working from everywhere. We have a beautiful resort project, which is currently on the boards. As a result of the direct demand from modern travels, we are thinking about putting USB charging sockets on the day beds next to the pool. Generally, I think this is a positive step forward for hotels, which have a life on their own. I think it’s wonderful – and a real stamp of approval from the community – when the neighbourhood becomes part of the life inside a hotel. After all, nobody likes a dead public space.

    “All of our furniture is designed at a deliberate height so that each piece can gel with other elements. As opposed to creating one iconic piece, we wanted to create a design DNA.” Digby Summerhill, Director, Minotti London

    DM: It’s a hard balance to strike. When our commercial interior designers get asked create these multifunctional spaces, the way in which they design is very task oriented. Trying to get the balance between the soft, the elegant while making these spaces feel comfortable places to work, sit and socialise is a challenge.

    Digby Summerhill, Director, Minotti London: We’ve always had modular systems that are flexible. All of our furniture is designed at a deliberate height so that each piece can gel with other elements. As opposed to creating one iconic piece, we wanted to create a design DNA; something that runs through an interior design scene. It’s not a coincidence that no individual item stands out in our collections. One thing I think is interesting is that we didn’t design any of these pieces with hospitality necessarily in mind. Instead we very looked at consumer behaviour and understood the demands of consumers within public areas.

    HB: We are often trying to design public spaces to not look like public areas. The idea of a lobby/lounge going against what people would expect in a conventional hotel, to shelter intimate spaces, private nooks where people can work, is very appealing to me. I agree that idea of the community coming in and using the hotel is huge, but perhaps this is something that London has not got right in the past. In other cities there is much more fluidity and it works beautifully. Allowing furniture to adapt to how people are using is a big part of this, and an idea that is really exciting.

    Image caption: (Left) David Mason, (Right) Jo Littlefair

    HK: Let’s talk about sustainability. A study recently showed that 76 per cent of guests believe that hotels could be greener. Is consciousness the new luxury, as I suggested in my recent editor’s letter?

    JL: We’ve been really encouraged recently to have had two projects come to us with sustainability at their hearts. Absolutely every decision has to have a sustainability angle. What we hope is that it continues through to the final touch points, because there will be financial implications along the way. Having filter taps in the room so that hotel guests can refill water bottles is a fresh approach that I love. The design utilities recycled parts of the existing building, giving a whole new meaning of injecting life back into a hotel. We are really thinking about those elements, including timelessness. I agree that it is about style. For us, it’s not about having a hemp interiors, it’s about creating luxury that has a slight assured sense of elegance and quality that has a higher purpose.

    DM: The best way to differentiate luxury when it comes to sustainability is to be clever. Having a brief like this is rare, let alone working on two. So, designers, it is our responsibility to educate our clients and specify materials and items that don’t harm the environment or the end user. Behind this, it’s therefore so important that we understand the products and materials and what sets them apart from others in the market.

    “Luxury is not just about design, it is about service as well and so many other things that are intrinsically layered on top.” – Hamish Brown, Director, 1508 London

    HK: To me it’s very transparent when hotels use words without actions when it comes to sustainability. Is it the designer’s responsibility to ensure clients avoid greenwashing?

    CT: You have to remember, we are designing spaces that will open in three years time. It’s a long time, and things change very quickly. You have to be ahead of the game and lead in that way so that the hotel is relevant when it opens. You have to ensure that the strategy you have in place is looking ahead and avoids the need for significant last-minute changes. On the other hand, as designers, we have a responsibility to influence the clients. But I think soon, it will become a necessity across the entire industry. I predict this will happen faster than we think, and it’s already started with wider conversations with local suppliers.

    HK: What are you all doing at the moment to try and differentiate your luxury projects from others?

    CT: I am always asking myself, how do I position this hotel in the current market, or in a wider sense, how do I position this hotel for an international clientale? This is because the competition is no longer just the hotel’s neighbour, it’s a global arena.

    DM: I suppose it is now about experience. People desire luxury experiences. A hotel group has just bought the Fort of India. How incredible would that be; to stay and experience something totally unmatched like that. Travellers want authenticity and they consider that to be luxury.

    HB: Sense of place cannot be underestimated. The definition of luxury differs from place to place and demographic to demographic, and you have to respond, beneath the surface, to understand what is happening in those locations. Luxury is not just about design, it is about service as well and so many other things that are intrinsically layered on top. When those elements and concepts interlock, that’s when you have a seamless luxury experience when service and design sit side by side and are harmoniously linked.

    HK: Consumer demands of public areas have spilled out into outdoor spaces. Has this changed the way in which you design these areas together?

    JL: We love integrating the outdoor areas so that they becomes a seamless flow where we can. I would say this is especially the case in food and beverage sector. We have recruited designers that only specialise in those areas so that we can get the operational flow right. That connection to the outdoor is integral to our overall wellbeing. Humanity is an element of luxury that we have not touched upon, because our disassociation with human relationships is becoming more enforced by our use of technology. I feel that human touch – it can be as simple as eye contact, and/or just being understood in a different country – is really important that we deliver with hospitality. And first and foremost, design and architecture should enable this.

    “Usually I will use the sustainability angle as an added value and not the primary reason why we are specifying, unless the brief has an eco-friendly thread in its core.” – Jo Littlefair, Director and Co-Founder, Goddard Littlefair.

    HK: Sustainability is becoming a buzzword that some would argue is losing its meaning. What makes a piece of furniture sustainable for you?

    JL: At the end of the day we, as designers, have to ensure that the furniture looks fantastic – and it meets all the needs and demands from our clients as well as regulations. But it really does come down to how we communicate this with the client. We do have to choose our words carefully, but that’s the same as when pitching any idea to the client. Usually I will use the sustainability angle as an added value and not the primary reason why we are specifying, unless the brief has an eco-friendly thread in its core.

    DM: Different cultures are going to be more interested than others, that is for sure. It is all about baby steps, and we do as much as we can.

    Technology and manufacturing has been a massive help. Sustainable products and materials are now at a price point that works for a client and a luxury brief. To then specify a product that is eco-friendly and longer lasting than another becomes a no-brainer. I really believe it is changing. Clients are more aware of the value of reclaimed or reupholstered furniture. Having said this, it is also a balancing act. I am working on a hotel at the moment with the aim to reupholster the casegoods and the beds, and sadly it is actually almost as expensive as buying new pieces.

    “I think if you can justifiably explain how a decision adds value, then cost can sometimes be reconsidered.” – Hamish Brown, Director, 1508 London.

    HK: In regards to luxury, do you believe value outweighs cost?

    HB: It’s a lovely idea, and my view is that value does outweigh cost. If you look at today’s market and the economy, there is a huge sense of getting value. It’s not always about cost. I think if you can justifiably explain how a decision adds value, then cost can sometimes be reconsidered.

    JL: We get closer to understanding the deal that the developer has struck and the budget that has driven the deal, which underpins the whole project. Basically, our client has a figure that they cannot deviate from. So yes, it is common sense, and I do value beautiful furniture, and we do have to be ambassadors that push for quality so that these pieces don’t end up in landfill, but there is a bottom line figure discussion. As a designer, you are the piece of magic in the middle having to constantly and consistently value engineer the project.

    HB: The most successful projects that we work on are the ones where everyone involved is upfront and honest with cost and there is a real transparency there.

    HK: Has the weight on where the budget is spent in the hotel changed?

    DM: It’s always in the ceiling!

    CT: I have seen that generally, not enough budget is left for the finishing touches.

    JL: For me, it’s artwork.

    Following the exclusive panel discussion, the leading designers and architects were able to browse the showroom, which showcased, in an apt setting, Minotti’s 2019 collection of timeless indoor and outdoor furniture.

    Minotti London will be the venue of Hotel Designs’ Meet Up London, which will take place in Spring 2020. More details will follow.

    If you are interested in hosting our next editorial roundtable, please email Katy Phillips or call +44 (0)1992 374050. 

    GROHE pledges to have carbon-neutral production by 2020

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    GROHE pledges to have carbon-neutral production by 2020

    With the aim of becoming the first manufacturer of the sanitary industry to achieve carbon-neutral production by 2020, GROHE has once again stepped up its pledge…

    Less than a month after editor Hamish Kilburn unveiled Independent Hotel Show’s Conscious Bedroom Report to highlight that a whopping 76 per cent of guests believe hotels could do more to be greener – and while Hotel Designs continues to put sustainability in the spotlight this month – GROHE has laid out its carbon-neutral plans.

    Sustainability has been an essential element of GROHE’s corporate strategy for almost 20 years now. As early as 2000, the global brand for complete bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings committed itself in its “principles and guidelines for sustainability” to continuously improving all products, processes and services in terms of protecting the environment and conserving resources.

    “In July, as part of the “GROHE goes ZERO” initiative, all five production plants worldwide as well as the logistics centres in Germany were converted to run on green electricity.”

    Since then, the bathroom manufacturer has set new industry standards, applying its 360- degree sustainability approach that incorporates employees, suppliers, customers, processes, products and thecompany’s social contribution alike. With the aim of becoming the first leading manufacturer of the sanitary industry to achieve carbon-neutral production by 2020, GROHE has once again stepped up its pledge. In July, as part of the “GROHE goes ZERO” initiative, all five production plants worldwide as well as the logistics centres in Germany were converted to run on green electricity. With the start of the new fiscal year in April 2020, the sanitary manufacturer will offset unavoidable CO2 emissions through two compensation projects.

    “For years now, we have been investing not only in research and development in order to produce intelligent, sustainable solutions, but also to a large degree in a resource- saving value chain.” – Thomas Fuhr, CEO Grohe AG

    “More than ever, manufacturers like GROHE are in demand to take on responsibility and strive towards more sustainability,” said Thomas Fuhr, CEO Grohe AG. “For years now, we have been investing not only in research and development in order to produce intelligent, sustainable solutions, but also to a large degree in a resource- saving value chain. With GROHE goes ZERO, we are now setting an example for the entire industry: We are actively addressing the CO2 challenge by increasingly avoiding emissions and, if this is not possible, compensating for them.”

    The sustainability initiative is seamlessly linked to numerous measures that are taking place at the GROHE plants, promoting the long-term reduction of the carbon footprint and conserving resources: The brand has invested in block heat and power plants, was awarded the silver certificate by the German Sustainable Building Council for the plant extension in Klaeng, Thailand, and built a state-of-the-art test laboratory in Hemer, Germany. GROHE also uses advanced technologies that increase sustainability, such as the material-saving 3D metal-printing process which has been launched this year.

    As a result, GROHE has been able to increase its energy efficiency by 24 per cent and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by around 40 per cent since the introduction of its sustainability programme in 2014. This means that the global brand has already far exceeded its 2021 targets of 20 per cent respectively.

    GROHE Supports Two Water Projects in India and Malawi

    Supporting two offsetting projects is another logical step for GROHE to compensate for so far unavoidable CO2emissions: In the north of India, the operation of a hydroelectric power plant replaces electricity that mainly comes from coal-fired power plants. In the African non-coastal state of Malawi, a project repairs and maintains boreholes that are used to produce drinking water. With the help of selected offset projects, GROHE will support activities based on extremely stringent criteria, such as the Gold Standard, developed under the aegis of the WWF. In addition to avoiding CO2, the measures also contribute to a more sustainable, ecological and socialdevelopment within the projects’ environments.

    “With GROHE goes ZERO, we are further expanding our leading position as one of the most sustainable brands in the sanitary industry,” says Thomas Fuhr. “But at the same time, we have by no means reached all of our sustainability goals; we can and must get even better.”

    GROHE has received numerous awards for its commitment. Currently, the brand is one of three major companies that have been nominated for the German Sustainability Award. GROHE CEO Thomas Fuhr was recently awarded for his commitment to sustainability by the corporate network B.A.U.M., the German Environmental Management Association.

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

    Main image credit: GROHE

    Manchester’s Hotel Brooklyn to open in February 2020

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Manchester’s Hotel Brooklyn to open in February 2020

    The doors to Manchester’s highly anticipated Hotel Brooklyn will open in February 2020…

    Designed by Squid Inc – the team behind renowned Hotel Gotham – the long-awaited Hotel Brooklyn is scheduled to open in February 2020. The 189-key hotel is inspired by the New York Borough and chosen for its resonating similarities to Manchester, in terms of its buzzing industrial growth, as well as its strength of identity and culture.

    The hotel will pay homage to Brooklyn’s history from early 20th century to the present day, with the inclusive design of the hotel being overseen by Motionspot, the UK’s leading accessible design company. Positioning itself as Manchester’s most accessible hotel, Hotel Brooklyn will be a trailblazer in championing accessible, sexy and modern design for all.

    “We believe Hotel Brooklyn is a perfect fit for Manchester” – Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels

    Squid Inc’s starting point was to create a distinctly Mancunian destination that resonated with the characteristics of its counterpart, Brooklyn: the sense of neighbourhood, the grittiness of its culture and edginess of its people. Brooklyn residents, from Mel Brooks to the Beastie Boys, have helped inspire this vibe.

    “It was an honour to work with Bespoke Hotels again on creating another iconic Manchester hotel with a strong identity and character,” said Olly Redfern, Lead Interior Designer of Squid Inc. “Weaving the lines between Manchester and Brooklyn is a bold and inspirational project that draws many parallels and it was incredibly fun to do, partnering with some of the best local suppliers to create the finished look.”

    Beautiful Victorian brownstone buildings have become icons of both Brooklyn and Manchester and Squid Inc have been driven by the ambition that the architects of Brooklyn showed when repurposing an area which had fallen out of favour, transforming it into one of the most exciting parts of town.

    The brownstone idea is explored from the moment guests enter the hotel, with the industrial feel of the architecture softened by the lobby interior and designed to recreate the sense of journeying down a Brooklyn avenue, with brick stone and trees lining the walls.

    Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

    Beyond the lobby is a flight of wide-paced steps, designed to provide a communal space to hang-out – paying homage to the iconic stoops of Brooklyn, and the sense of community these have inspired in film and art.  

    The Snug is designed to be a playful, contemporary twist on the traditional.

    Harking back to historic Victorian brownstone buildings and their expansive drawing rooms, The Snug is designed to be a playful, contemporary twist on the traditional.  This space is cosy and intimate – a sanctuary from the hubbub – with an open fireplace and a record player spinning vintage records from the Manchester music scene.

    “Bathrooms have been cleverly-angled to allow their back walls and semi opaque windows to look out across the guestroom.”

    The aesthetic of the 189 guestrooms has been inspired by Brooklyn’s loft spaces, peppered with immaculate features that favour quality and high-spec finishes. Beds have brass adornments, while Turkish rugs have been designed to contrast with the concrete floors. Bathrooms have been cleverly-angled to allow their back walls and semi opaque windows to look out across the guestroom, while street art wall features finish off the bold design direction.

    Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

    Bathroom amenities include organic bamboo toothbrushes and ethically sourced toothpaste, green soap and lotion dispensers with minimum waste.

    In addition, the hotel features 18 dynamically designed accessible bedrooms, each of which has been stylishly designed to complement the aesthetics of the hotel. “Accessible accommodation at Hotel Brooklyn features subtle details like basins with integrated hand grips, removable matt black grab rails, accessible bedroom storage and a hidden ceiling track hoist”, said Ed Warner, Founder & CEO of Motionspot. “We hope this high level of attention paid to inclusivity will make Hotel Brooklyn one of the most sought-after venues for guests of all abilities.”

    Hotel Brooklyn’s bar and restaurant, named Runyon’s after Damon Runyon, an American writer renowned for his depictions of Brooklyn characters, will present a diverse menu showcasing European and American influences. Paying respect to the remarkable industrial craftsmanship of the Brooklyn Bridge (immortalised in many iconic images), Squid Inc have taken the bridge’s tension lines as inspiration, giving Runyon’s a flavour of downtown Brooklyn – a mix of gangster and quality, purposeful engineering – adding a desirable irregularity to proceedings.

    On the top floor of the hotel, Salvation is the hotel’s dedicated events bar, featuring exposed brick work, pop art and neon lights to create a lively destination bar for the UK’s preeminent Northern city.

    “We are thrilled to have secured this fantastic site in the heart of Manchester’s historic industrial thoroughfare of Portland Street”, commented Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels. “We believe Hotel Brooklyn is a perfect fit for Manchester, not solely in terms of the architectural grandeur and convenience of its location, but the abundant character and feistiness of the city. Portland Street is experiencing a regeneration as the hotel strip of the city”.

    Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

    Throughout the hotel, regional suppliers have been selected wherever possible. Deanhouse Interiorswere commissioned to fabricate the entire fit-out package, including cased goods from wardrobe and bedroom fittings, to the reception pods and 9th floor bar counter. Alongside this, PS Interiors sourced several key furniture pieces throughout, including the retro styled bedroom chairs, while sourcing New York street art was overseen by Elegant Clutter Artwork. In addition, Manchester-based The Knot Collective were commissioned to design two bespoke rugs for the hotel’s public spaces.

    Main image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

    FIRST LOOK: Inside Riggs Washington D.C., a new level of unrivalled luxury

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    FIRST LOOK: Inside Riggs Washington D.C., a new level of unrivalled luxury

    Ahead of the highly anticipated opening of the 181-key luxury hotel in Washington D.C., Hotel Designs takes a closer look inside…

    Lore Group, the international hospitality company behind renowned hotels, such as Sea Containers London and Pulitzer Amsterdam, has released model images of Riggs Washington D.C.. The new luxury hotel is the latest hotel development to hit the headlines, and is the brainchild of The Brit List 2019 judge Jacu Strauss, designer, architect and Lore Group’s creative director.

    In concepting and designing the property, Strauss, invoked the spirit of the former bank while preserving and restoring much of the property’s original design features to reimagine the storied building for the modern traveller. The 181-room property features playful nods to the building’s rich past, drawing on the parallels between the activities that take place in banks and at hotels to offer something personal and serendipitous around every corner.

    The hotel’s development, which was first explored by Hotel Designs in a exclusive interview Strauss when he described the Washington D.C. as: “a city with a particularly strong and quirky evolving hotel and F&B market.” As such, the design of Riggs has paid particular attention to the public areas of the hotel, with the aim to add sensitive statement on the hotel design scene in the US capital. In the original barrel-valuted lobby and cafe, restored expansive ceilings, corinthian columns, classic stonework and custom furniture set the scene for an eye-catching arrival experience. A medallion of Juno Moneta, the Goddess of Money, presides over the room, while original features have been given a new lease of life and the grandeur of the building embraced to create a welcoming and inspired hotel that is deeply rooted in D.C. and its impressive history.

    Image credit: Lore Group/Riggs Washington DC

    Upstairs, the 181 guestrooms – including 15 bespoke-designed suites are full with flair and personality. The marble-patterned headboards and wall coverings by Vousta blend together to create a thoughtful motif in each room. The interiors, balanced to create a romantic, sophisticated and calming oasis, have been inspired no doubt by Strauss’ love for travel.

    Image credit: Lore Group/Riggs Washington DC

    Catering to Washington DC’s ever-evolving social scene, the hotel’s 2,500 soft rooftop will offer panoramic views over the capital, and also feature a number of meeting, dining and events space.

    “Lore Group continues to explore ways to deliver inspired and approachable hospitality concepts to interesting places around the world,” said Billy Skelli-Cohen, group CEO. “With Riggs Washington D.C., we have created a hotel and F&B concepts that celebrate both the legacy of the building – and the history of the city – through unexpected details and a thoughtful approach to guest experience.”

    The arrival of Riggs comes an interesting time for Penn Quarter, which has been rejuvenated over the last two years. The new hotel is expected to further raise the level of luxury, creativity and innovative hospitality in the area – and Hotel Designs is keen to follow its progress.

    Main image credit: Lore Group/Riggs Washington DC

    GREEN WELLNESS CONCEPT: The eco-friendly luxury spa

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    GREEN WELLNESS CONCEPT: The eco-friendly luxury spa

    To continue the editorial team’s efforts to position sustainability firmly under the spotlight this month, Hotel Designs dives in to understand Recommended Supplier Starpool’s eco credentials in its wellness products…

    While recent statistics have highlighted that consumers are demanding for hotels to do more to become greener, luxury spa manufacturer Starpool believes that hospitality businesses could benefit from the brand’s various products and wellness solutions, all of which are sustainable in their concept and design.

    Biocompatibility

    All of Starpool’s products are designed with eco-sustainability in mind. For example, the sauna wood is 100 per cent natural and untreated. The special working of the slats and the construction system employed limits the use of adhesives in the installation phase, thus optimising the healthiness of the surroundings.

    Sustainable Production

    Starpool’s products are manufactured with a low environmental impact with limited energy consumption from clean and renewable sources, recyclable raw materials and external emissions equal to zero.

    Renewable materials

    The company is proud that more than 75 per cent of its materials that goes into each product are made from recyclable materials. In addition, the simple system for dismantling the components makes it easy to recover the raw materials at the end of a product’s life cycle.

    Natural, reusable packaging

    All products under the Starpool brand are dispatched in fir wood boxes from the Fiemme Valley that can be collected and reused many times over, thus reducing the use of new packaging materials.

    Image caption/credit: Sweet Sauna Vision/Starpool

    Green Technology

    The company uses software and hardware that adjusts and keep the temperature consistent. Its Green Pack includes self-closing doors and remote diagnostics, which enable approximately 20 per cent energy saving during standard operation and optimisation of energy loads. Controlling the power distribution allows you to avoid the overrun of the kW and obtain long- term savings.

    Making a difference

    Starpool sorts waste materials and, where technically possible, it regenerates the components of products that have been withdrawn and are no longer in use.

    The company’s products are manufactured to the highest standard, using only the top-quality materials to deliver exceptional eco-friendly spa and wellness facilities that represent true luxury.

    Main image credit: Starpool

    Swissotel aquires Hotel Allegro in Bern, to reopen property in Autumn 2020

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Swissotel aquires Hotel Allegro in Bern, to reopen property in Autumn 2020

    As part of this exciting next chapter for the property, Kongress + Kursaal Bern AG will invest approximately 16 million Swiss Francs on remodeling the property’s 171 guestrooms and public areas. 

    More than 20 years after opening, the Kursaal Bern enters a new chapter in its history. Kongress + Kursaal Bern AG entered into an agreement with Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts whereby, effective in autumn 2020, Hotel Allegro will then be operated as Swissôtel Kursaal Bern.

    Renovations inside the 171-key hotel will commence next January and are due to be completed by autumn 2020, and the hotel will remain open during the refurbishment process. Once complete, guests can look forward to clever design solutions, high-quality furnishings and a carefully thought-out sustainability concept, but also to traditional Swiss hospitality in the midst of one of the country’s most historic cities.

    “Our search for a strong international brand partner led us to Swissôtel. It combines genuine Swiss hospitality with intelligent design and a stimulating atmosphere. This makes us a perfect match,” said Kevin Kunz, CEO Kongress + Kursaal Bern AG. “Regardless of the change in brand, we will of course keep the proven management team in place and will continue offering traditional Bernese hospitality.”

    modern and contemporary guest room in a hotel

    Image credit: Swissotel

    Operating more than 30 hotels in 18 countries, Swissôtel, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2020, has been part of the Accor group since 2016.

    The partnership agreement between the brand and Kursaal Bern is a landmark moment for the tourism sector in the city. Both Kursaal and the hotel will benefit from Accor’s global reservations system, the company’s worldwide sales teams, direct booking channels, and access to new, innovative technologies. Guests at Swissôtel Kursaal Bern will also have the opportunity to become a member in the ALL loyalty program that puts all Accor brands and businesses worldwide under one umbrella.

    “We offer a genuine expression of Swiss values and a steadfast commitment which is deeply rooted in quality, efficiency and reliability,” said Lilian Roten, Vice President Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts. “We are excited to add a third property in the brand’s birthplace. Our contemporary Swiss style combined with local characteristics creates a balanced environment for guests to relax and feel at home.”

    The renovation is led by architects Marazzi + Paul together with interior designer Nina Mair. “She uses high-quality, natural materials and has managed to win us over with well-conceived and confidently stylish functionality,” added Kunz.

    Roten adds: “Our alpine heritage has its roots in craftsmanship, sustainable design and a conscious, active way of life. This is exactly what Nina Mair’s design brings to the new Swissôtel Kursaal Bern. It’s through these approaches that we offer our guests a sense of well-being, energy and joy of life, which is perfectly in-tune with our brand promise ‘Life is a journey. Live it well.’”

    Main image credit: Swissotel

    Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort wins prestigious sustainability award

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort wins prestigious sustainability award

    Continuing our theme this month to put sustainability under the spotlight, Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort has been recognised for its commitment to the environment, winning Best Sustainable Residential Development, Portugal at the European Property Awards… 

    Luxury real estate development Ombria Resort in the heart of the Algarve, which is slated to open in 2021, has been honoured at the 2019-2020 European Property Awards.

    Announced at the awards ceremony in London, the destination won the coveted new category recognising excellence in sustainability, the Best Sustainable Residential Development, Portugal, with the Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort project.

    “We have definitely seen a shift across the last decade in the requirements of prospective buyers – they are much more focused on sustainability.” – Julio Delgado, CEO, Ombria Resort.

    The European Property Awards is considered one of the most prestigious and recognised programme celebrating the highest levels of achievement across the real estate industry. The Sustainable Residential Development category, introduced this year for the first time to reflect the importance of sustainability in real estate, judged developments on their economic, environmental and social responsibility with Ombria Resort demonstrating strong practices in each area.

    Reflecting the resort’s overall ethos Carved by Nature, Ombria Resort has a deep commitment to pioneering sustainable tourism; incorporating environmental, economic and socio-cultural values into innovative, everyday actions that will ensure the natural and cultural surroundings live on for future generations.

    “We are thrilled to win this prestigious achievement and be leading the way in sustainable residential developments,” said Julio Delgado, CEO, Ombria Resort. “We have definitely seen a shift across the last decade in the requirements of prospective buyers – they are much more focused on sustainability, the natural environment and supporting local ecosystems. Our commitment to sustainability and a respect for nature is at the heart of everything we do, so to have such an accolade to recognise our efforts is truly an honour.”

    The Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort is a collection of 65 one- and two-bedroom freehold apartments serviced by Viceroy Hotels & Resorts, set within the Viceroy at Ombria Resort 5-star hotel, located in the heart of the development which spreads over 150 hectares in the inner Algarve. Ranging in size from 70 to 173 sq.m of gross internal area, the apartments are fully furnished and equipped to exacting five-star standards.

    Designed as an elegant Portuguese village with all the charm and character of a long-established settlement and blending seamlessly into the hills, the resort eature a unique, sustainable vision of NZEBs (Nearly Zero Energy Buildings), which will lead the way for the Portuguese market – including creating a national case study for the use of geothermal energy.

    Its pioneering shallow geothermal system will use water to transfer heat energy found just below the ground surface for climate control, hot water supply and swimming pool heating. Reverse heat pumps utilize the stable temperature of the ground as the main source of energy to produce heating in the winter, cooling in the summer and hot water throughout the year, safely and responsibly. The strategy for a sustainable, efficient Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system is based upon achieving high levels of user-friendly comfort while ensuring low energy consumption and maintenance costs.

    Bioclimatic architecture, both innovative and traditional, allows for energy to be conserved wherever possible, with heat gained or lost through materials with low heat transference coefficients and age-old design tricks to protect from the sun.

    Other innovative sustainable programmes at Ombria Resort include a comprehensive recycling programme, electric vehicle charging points and the conservation and cultivation of the local flora and fauna.

    Adopting and implementing sustainable trade practices and supporting local suppliers with many building materials such as stones, tiles, plasters and insulation materials sourced regionally and nationally, vastly reduces Ombria Resort’s carbon footprint. The overall aim is to become a member of the community and actively contribute to the preservation of local traditions, generating new jobs and business opportunities. Activities at Ombria Resort will include an area for organic farming, honey harvesting facilities, astronomical observatory, paths for nature walks, mountain biking, and other sports facilities.

    Main image credit: Ombria Resort

    INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Simple ways to increase hotel bookings

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Simple ways to increase hotel bookings

    TravelDailyMedia in conversation with STAAH uncovers ways technology can help hoteliers increase bookings and maximise revenue, to keep business afloat…

    Following the Independent Hotel Show 2019, it seems as if a common concern shared by hoteliers is how to increase bookings and revenue. It’s a huge challenge when you are also hands-on with the day-to-day operations of the property. Regardless of size of hotel – and empire – no one is spared from this challenge, and who can argue with the prospect of more guests?

    STAAH, an innovator in hospitality solutions, offers products that put property owners in control by empowering them with technology that helps attract, convert, analyse and maximise online reach and revenue. In layman’s terms, STAAH provides hotel owners with the technology that does all the work for them.

    The company offers technology solutions for hospitality distribution, direct bookings and digital marketing services. These are used by all segments of the hospitality industry, from big hotel and motel chains to boutique properties, independent hotels, holiday parks and guest houses.

    It’s is a real-time online distribution platform that allows hoteliers to reach a captive global audience through the company’s 200+ hotel channel manager integrations with OTAs, GDS and other booking platforms.

    Using STAAH’s Channel Manager, hoteliers can manage the rates and inventory anytime, anywhere. This allows them to make informed decisions to grow bookings. It’s the one system that manages all OTAs using a single log-in. It helps hotels grow direct bookings with real-time and quick updates to all channels, ensuring rate parity. Moreover, customise packages, price filtrations, multiple currency handling, dynamic and seasonal pricing any time.

    User-friendly booking engine

    Who doesn’t love direct bookings? When bookings are made on third-party channels, hotels have to pay hefty commissions of up to 30 per cent. However, there are times that booking engines of hotels tend to be daunting and not-so user-friendly. Increase hotel bookings with STAAH’s customisable booking engine.

    STAAH can completely customise the booking engine to meet the creative and operational needs of your property or chain. Equipped with advanced features such as WatchMyRate (a price compare widget) that allows hoteliers to ensure rate parity while encouraging guests to book direct.

    Engaging website is a must

    There is no better way to attract guests than to have a beautiful and engaging website. Convert web visitors into paying guests with great content and amazing web design. STAAH makes it easier for hotels to establish web presence using its intuitive content management system that even non-geeks can operate and instant publish of updates that will increase hotel bookings.

    Improve your online reputation

    Guess what? Your guests’ feedback matters! STAAH’s ReviewMinder is a review management system that alerts owners of new online reviews across multiple sites in one easy dashboard and responds directly to customers.

    Manage your online reputation by knowing what is out there. This way, hotels can share or respond to reviews in a timely manner. Using ReviewMinder, hotels can also consolidate ratings as well as sort reviews by keywords, sentiments and channel partners to get valuable insights.

    Upsell with gift vouchers

    Unleash the true power of gift vouchers with a feature-rich e-shop. It allows guests to buy gift vouchers directly from the website increasing hotel’s revenue. Gift Voucher Engine enhances guest experience by giving them the ability to buy experiences from your existing website with our simple and mobile-friendly design.

    Image credit: STAAH

    STAAH takes pride that its products are easy to use and the fact that one doesn’t have to be tech-savvy to use them. STAAH focuses on developing products that are intuitive and reliable. STAAH works with 9000+ properties in 90+ countries. The company also works closely with its partner properties to continuously improve their effectiveness and efficiency, helping businesses get closer to their goals.

    Whether you own a teeny-tiny B&B or a chain of hotels, STAAH can tailor its technology to increase hotel bookings and serve your needs.

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

    Main image credit: Pixabay

    The Brit List Awards 2019 becomes sold-out event

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The Brit List Awards 2019 becomes sold-out event

    With less than three weeks to go until Hotel Designs’ premium annual award ceremony, The Brit List Awards 2019 becomes a sold-out event… 

    Following unprecedented demand, The Brit List Awards 2019, which takes place on November 21 at Patch East London, is now sold out. The event, which is Hotel Designs’ annual award ceremony, will be attended by the industry’s leading designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers.

    The only way now to attend The Brit List Awards 2019 is to become the event’s last remaining partner, which can be secured by contacting Katy Phillips by email or by calling +44(0)1992 374050.

    “The overwhelming demand to attend The Brit List Awards 2019 is a clear indication that Britain remains a strong creative capital on the international design and hospitality scene,” commented editor Hamish Kilburn. “We very much see the event as the after party of show season, and the whole team at Hotel Designs is looking forward to welcoming and celebrating the creative genius’ who are keeping Britain’s design hub an innovative and exciting place to operate – and write about!”

    The event, which is sponsored by Crosswater, Hamilton Litestat, the British Institute of Interior Design and SYS Visual, will be attended by more than 300 of the industry’s finest. These include individuals from the likes of David Collins Studio, Goddard Littlefair, Dexter Moran Associates, Jack Irving Design, Jestico + Whiles, 3D Reid, EPR Architects, Richmond International, ReardonSmith Architects, IHG, Eccleston Square Hotel, Great Scotland Yard Hotel, Inhabit Hotels and Rosewood London, among many others.

     

    The nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations and applications to readers.

    Since then, an independent panel of expert judges have gathered to select this year’s individual award winners and also to confirm the 75 individuals who have made it into The Brit List 2019.

    Individual award categories:

    • Interior Designer of the Year
    • Architect of the Year
    • Hotelier of the Year
    • Best in Tech
    • The Eco Award 
    • Best in British Product Design – NEW CATEGORY FOR 2019
    • Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry

    The Shortlist for The Brit List 2019 can be viewed here.

    #TheBritListAwards2019

    Headline Partner: Crosswater

    Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

    2019 Industry Partner: BIID

    Videography Partner: SYS Visual

    Eco gem: The Tongsai Bay, Koh Samui

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Eco gem: The Tongsai Bay, Koh Samui

    In search of eco gems, as we continue putting sustainability under the spotlight this month, journalist Sara Darling has committed to long haul, and Asia is firmly on her agenda. Removed from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, Koh Samui is Darling’s next adventure as it is home to one of the world’s few fully sustainable boutique hotels, The Tongsai Bay…

    Koh Samui, just east of mainland Thailand, is a relaxed island, famous for its giant temple of the Big Buddha- a 39ft golden Buddha erected in 1792 at Wat Phra Yai. It is also the home of what I have found to be one of the world’s most sustainable boutique hotels.

    The Tongsai Bay, on the north east tip of the beautiful island, is a family run business which has been welcoming visitors since 1987, and is the ideal  tranquil break that is full of many sustainable and thoughtful moments thanks to its design, architecture and day-to-day operations.

    Nestled amongst 28 and a half acres of greenery, the secluded property consisting of low rise apartments, bungalows and cottages are spread in the valley of a private cove. Only 15 minutes from the airport, it is a short hop north of the popular Choeng Mon beach, and a ten minute transfer to the buzzy restaurants, bars and shopping in Fisherman’s Village.

    Paying attention to all the small details, the hotel has a modern rustic feel, which blends Eastern and Western philosophies with science and spirituality; However the subtle decor is more homely than pretentious and enhances the brand’s ethical stance. For example, the art throughout the property, which has been created by the hotel’s resident artist Mook, uses recycled materials – and paints my first indication of a sustainable and eco-friendly picture.

    Meanwhile, the elegant, airy villas have private pathways and pools which are interspersed amongst the greenery. Along with cottages, villas and suites, there are low rise blocks, all which maximise the uninterrupted sea views, and are designed to utilise the natural sun and shade within their open spaces.

    With a low-key, back-to-nature environment, the 83 chalets and villas that cascade down to a private beach on the Gulf of Thailand, have also been designed to enhance their natural surroundings, so guests can enjoy the birdsong, crashing waves and sound of crickets on their terrace. The terrace cottages all offer an outside “bath with a view”, four poster gazebo, bar, dining area and sun loungers, along with a freshwater plunge pool for ultimate luxury while feeling at one with the elements.

    “Dedicated to improving its carbon footprint, Tongsai Bay has abolished the use of all plastic – providing re-fillable glass drinking bottles and lemongrass straws for guests.”

    Great care has been taken to integrate the buildings into nature. They are furnished in contemporary Thai style – dark wood tables and beds, hardwood floors, along with modern showers, hairdryer and walk-in wardrobe.

    Dedicated to improving its carbon footprint, The Tongsai Bay has abolished the use of all plastic – providing re-fillable glass drinking bottles and lemongrass straws for guests. It also applies energy-saving measures throughout, stocks guestrooms with environmentally-friendly toiletries made by local supplier, and only changes bedding when requested.

    Other eco-conscious details include washing-up liquid and cleaning products produced from leftover peelings, and mosquito deterrent created with natural citronella and lemongrass. Staff are trained to be environmentally aware and the hotel prides itself on upcycling and composting everything it can- including the waste of the compost toilets for fertiliser, and recycling cooking oil.

    These simple approaches go a long way in making a difference to the future of the planet, and the ethos is subtly carried out across the site. From a bay that is free from mechanical water sports, to avoid pollution, to the two fresh water pools.

    Image credit: Tongsai Bay

    In regards to food, as much produce as possible is home grown for the Tongsai, at an impressive, off-site organic garden which provides ingredients for the bar, kitchen and spa, and is open to guests by arrangement. Packed with edibles including exotic fruits, herbs and vegetables, they are cared for using sustainable agricultural practices, and knowledgeable gardners.  The breakfast “Happy Juice” prepared by larger than life Khun Pu is an essential kick start to your day.

    A visit to Thailand is not complete without a massage, and the onsite Prana Spa provides a wide range of luxury, innovative treatments for a traditional  taste of Thailand. The scents and oils are provided by the same organic company as the bathroom products, and you can get transported to another world either in one of the cosy spa cottages or shady daybeds on the beach.

    For a deluxe stay in a hotel that really puts the environment first, along with friendly staff, The Tongsai Bay is a great place to escape from the rat race where guests can feel at one with nature and themselves.

    Main image credit: Tongsai Bay

    Parkside unveils “most sustainable tile material on the market”

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Parkside unveils “most sustainable tile material on the market”

    To kickstart Hotel Designs’ month with ‘Sustainability’ under the spotlight, we investigate Parkside’s Sequel Vibe, a material from yesterday made for tomorrow…

    While the company settles in to its new design studio in the Cotswolds, Parkside has launched Sequel Vibe, the most waste-efficient and sustainable tile readily available to designers and architects to date.

    Answering a demand for sustainable and stylish tile solutions without compromise on design and aesthetics, Parkside was keen to include a collection that lived up to sustainable credentials while appealing to the creative spirit of designers and architects.

    Sequel Vibe is the work of the team at Alusid, a creator of eco-friendly surfaces. Alusid started its life as a research project at the University of Central Lancashire by Dr Alasdair Bremner and Professor David Binns that aimed to explore the ways waste and low value materials could be reused rather than ending up as landfill. It was also important that the process used to manufacture would use less energy and added chemicals than conventional tile manufacturing.

    This research led to Sequel Vibe, created using 98 per cent recycled materials from post-consumer glass and pre-consumer vitrified ceramic carefully bound during a low-impact, ingenious manufacturing process. The glass element is sourced from bottles, windows and car windscreens that have reached the end of their useful life cycle, while the porcelain is sourced from sanitaryware and fine china tableware manufacturers.

    Since its launch at Clerkenwell Design Week 2019, the range has continued to endear the design community it was aimed at. With its unique subtle nuances in colour and texture, the finished tile is a perfect companion for designers and architects wanting a modern, contemporary twist for interiors. During the manufacturing process, tiles take on a unique shade and patina making each one an individual work of ceramic art.

    There are three glossy organic shades available; Greenwich Green, Paddington Pink and Shoreditch Blue, each bringing a contemporary twist to design schemes. Three size options are available: square (100x100mm), metro (200x100mm) and large metro (300x75mm). The colours chosen are a step ahead of palette trends predicted for the design market for 2020 and work as a great companion for multiple design schemes and styles. If designers are looking at alternative colour options, then these will be considered for large scale orders.

    “Sequel Vibe was a great addition to our tile offering, with sustainability and aesthetics at its core,” comments Sarah Holey, the marketing manager for Parkside. “The collection would be a great option for feature walls in reception areas or would look stunning as a bar front but its adaptability as a wall tile is enormous, and ready to take on the most creative of architects and designers on commercial and hospitality focused projects.

    “As well as being sustainable products themselves, when Sequel Vibe tiles come to the end of their useful life they themselves can be recycled within the very same process used to create them.”

    The Sequel Vibe collection can be seen at all four Parkside design studios in Chelsea, Clerkenwell, Leicester and the recently opened Cotswolds location, where the Parkside team will be able to provide help and advice.

    Main image credit: Parkside

    Five emerging AW/19 interior trends to keep an eye on

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Five emerging AW/19 interior trends to keep an eye on

    Now that autumn has arrived, and winter is fast approaching, all eyes of the international hotel design world are focused on trends and new products as we gear up towards awards season and prepare to wind down for another year. Recommended Supplier Bisque has taken this opportunity to shine the spotlight on emerging AW trends to bookmark… 

    Leading radiator supplier Bisque has taken note of a few key A/W interiors trends on the rise.

    Trend: Tranquil Dawn

    Dulux’s Colour of the Year has been revealed for 2020 as Tranquil Dawn. A cool and calming tone selected by a panel of experts from around the world, this lusciously soft green works for all rooms in the house, no matter how big or small.

    Trend: Brown is the new black

    Image credit: Bisque

    Step aside black, brown is back! A versatile shade that ranges from beige to copper these brown hues – this doesn’t make sense? – it is time to bring these earthy tones back into your home to create a warm and welcoming feel.

    Trend: Dusky pastels

    Image credit: Bisque

    Adding pops of colour into your home, not only is a great way to put a stamp of your personality on a room but adds a statement piece to the room.

    Trend: Soft minimalism

    Keep it simple with soft neutral colours, creating a calming tone throughout your space. Also perfect for those renting out their homes, as it’s a theme that everyone can complement with accessories and soft furnishings.

    Trend: Maximalism  

    Image credit: Bisque

    Electric glamour and indulgent dual tones gives off a sense of power and strong personality. These bold schemes will fit in both traditional and modern homes and great for those also wanted a transitional look.

    Main image credit: Bisque

    MINIVIEW: Austin Proper to open in December 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    MINIVIEW: Austin Proper to open in December 2019

    Austin Proper Hotel and Residences offers an artful immersion in lifestyle and well-being. Ahead of its official opening in December, editor Hamish Kilburn took a sneak peek inside..

    Following the opening of Santa Monica Proper in July, Proper Hotels has extended its portfolio with the launch of Austin Proper Hotel and Residences.

    Also designed by the acclaimed Kelly Wearstler, the hotel shelters 244 rooms and suites; 99 branded residences; four unique settings for dining and drink; a focus on wellness with a dedicated spa and fitness centre; plus a variety of atmospheric spaces for events. And it wouldn’t be Proper without a 5th floor pool deck offering small-batch tequilas and majestic lake views.

    This sculptural new construction also integrates the work of award-winning Handel Architects in a progression of atmospheres including two pools, 9,500 square feet of event spaces, and multiple dining concepts by McGuire Moorman Hospitality. In step with Austin’s natural lifestyle, LEED Gold certification minimizes footprint and maximizes sustainability. To promote wellness for those who stay and work with Proper, these rigorous environmental standards extend from water use (reclaimed irrigation systems, in-building chilled water loops, centralized boilers) to low-VOC paints, energy-efficient LED lights, and insulated dual-pane windows that save energy and block UV.

    Render of a private pool

    Image credit: Proper Hotels

    Wearstler’s creative direction for the site-specific design of Austin Proper has unfolded over three years. The layered, individualistic look mines a tradition of artistry and craftsmanship distinct to Austin. The historical influence of Austin’s most stately homes inspires eye-catching details, from a sculptural staircase installation of 60 patch worked vintage rugs, to the lobby’s monolithic wood-and-ceramic grandfather clock. Local artists and materials feature prominently throughout, with every surface adding textural interest: pots, trays and cabinet inlay tiles by ceramicist Rick Van Dyke; locally quarried travertine on the pool deck; Delta wood panelling; native elmwoods; and antique mirror finishes.

    With Austin as muse, each of the 244 rooms and suites has been carefully detailed by Kelly Wearstler for refined living and restful evenings. The design is deeply influenced by local craft and material, from raw travertine sourced at nearby quarries, to trays by Rick Van Dyke to original fibre artworks by Magda Sayeg. Well-considered appointments include Aesop bath amenities, Kelly Wearstler x Parachute Home robes and signature Proper beds layering Simmons Providence Mattresses, Fili D’oro and Bellino Fine Linens.

    Stylish and chic restaurant with glass barriers

    Image credit: Proper Hotels

    Leading Austin Proper’s dining front is McGuire Moorman Hospitality, the award-winning team behind many of Austin’s best dining and entertainment spots. At the landmark eatery, guests can savour Mediterranean–inspired foods and flavours. Mezze plates and wood-grilled fare are colourful, healthy and wholesome, paired with house-made pita from the wood-burning oven. On the rooftop pool deck, a coastal Mexican restaurant with raw bar offers wood-fired seafood and fajita offerings. Morning, noon or night, a ground floor Mediterranean coffee shop serves savoury items to-go and tempting treats like soft-serve Greek frozen yogurt, while the sunken bar is an elegant hideaway.

    In step with Proper’s commitment to wellness, this urban getaway begins with a private reception to discuss a client’s needs. The facility includes a soothing lounge, five spa treatment rooms, men’s and women’s locker rooms with steam showers, and wellness experts on call. A 2,000-square-foot fitness centre is also on property.

    An array of high-end amenities aim to refresh, whether with a challenging workout in the 2,000-square-foot fitness centre, borrowing a bicycle for a lakeside trail ride, or a dip into world-class wellness at the spa. Guests are encouraged to linger on property, perhaps set up your office for the day by the 5th-floor pool. Dining options satisfy a variety of moods, whether cafe grab-and-go, garden cocktails overlooking Shoal Creek; poolside suppers, or a full feast at the landmark restaurant.

    From well-appointed ballrooms to music gardens, Austin Proper offers more than 9,500 square feet of thoughtfully designed spaces for indoor and outdoor meetings, weddings and special events, and private dining. Adding distinction to the creative design, the Proper team and McGuire Moorman Hospitality specially curate menus and styles of service to match any occasion.

    Austin Proper rises above the waterfront of a 2nd Street District booming with creative offices, world-class design, conveniences and culture. Add in an easy-going lifestyle, and you’ve got a style forward epicentre of pedestrian activity.

    Main image credit: Proper Hotels

    MEININGER Hotels signs for second hotel in the UK

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    MEININGER Hotels signs for second hotel in the UK

    The hotel group, MEININGER Hotels, will open 87-key hotel in Liverpool in 2021…

    MEININGER Hotels, which currently operates 29 hybrid hotels in Europe, has signed a contract for a new hotel in Liverpool, reinforcing its aim for further growth in the UK. “Our new hotel property in Liverpool is an existing building that will be converted into a typical MEININGER Hotel according by spring 2021,” says Thomas Hagemann, COO of MEININGER Hotels.

    “On a gross floor area of 36,049 sq ft (3,349 sq m), the result will be a state-of-the-art accommodation with 87 rooms and 277 beds spread over six floors, a lobby, reception, guest kitchen, bar, lounge, game zone as well as a breakfast area and luggage room.

    “Our guests can also look forward to sufficient social spaces for shared community experiences as well as to our flexible room concept, which is unique in the industry. The MEININGER Hotel Liverpool will appeal to individual, group and business travellers with its room structure consisting of two, three and four-bed rooms.”

    The MEININGER Hotel Liverpool will be located on Union Court, right in the heart of the city. Most of the main cultural, architectural and gastronomic attractions of the city are within walking distance of the hotel: from the UNESCO world heritage buildings around the Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool One, the Tate Gallery or the Cavern Club. Thanks to the excellent public transport links via the nearby train and bus stations, both Anfield and Goodison Park are also within easy reach for football fans.

    This will be the MEININGER Group’s second hotel in the UK after the opening of the MEININGER Hotel London Hyde Park in 2006. A MEININGER Hotel Manchester is also underway and expected to open at the end of 2021.

    Hannes Spanring, CEO of MEININGER Hotels commented: “Together with openings planned for this year in Paris and Lyon as well as next year in Washington D.C., which will mark the respective market entries in France and the U.S., Liverpool is an important milestone in MEININGER Hotels’ goal to operate approximately 34,000 beds internationally by 2024.”

    “There is no doubt that the UK capital is very popular with visitors, and we had a 94% occupancy rate last year at our Hyde Park hotel,” he added. “But the UK is very rich in attractive destinations with enormous development potential elsewhere too. We are therefore delighted to have signed the contract for a new MEININGER Hotel in Liverpool.

    “In Liverpool, the figures for overnight stays and hotel offerings have shown a sustained upward trend in recent years, and the forecasts are also very positive,” Spanring continues. “The current range of rooms consists mainly of four-star and budget hotels, hostels account for only one percent of all accommodation in Liverpool to date. Our goal is to become the UK market leader in this segment with our unique hybrid hotel concept, which combines the service and comfort of international budget hotels with the exceptional amenities and flexible room structure of hostels.”

    Main image credit: Xtravagant

    The world’s first guitar-shaped hotel arrives in Florida

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The world’s first guitar-shaped hotel arrives in Florida

    Located in the prime spot in Greater Fort Lauderdale, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel, which is the world’s first ever guitar-shaped hotel, has opened following a $1.5 billion property-wide expansion…

    Seminole Hard Rock Hotel has made history this week, becoming the first ever guitar-shaped hotel to have opened. The 638 new luxury guestrooms and suites and an oasis tower housing 168 guest suites all sit within the now iconic structure of the hotel.

    Known as an icon for hospitality and entertainment, The Seminole Hard Rock will also be introducing it’s flagship casino which has doubled in size. The casino will include high-stakes table games, South Florida’s premier poker room and an extensive roster of slot titles.

    Guests can now enjoy a 4.5-acre lagoon-style heated pool area featuring dramatic waterfalls, private cabanas, 182-foot high waterslide, elevated jetted spa, hot tub and Beach Club. There are a plethora of restaurants within the hotel, and a luxury spa.

    The hotel group this year also made its entry into the UK with the opening of Hard Rock London as well as shaking this up in the Maldives.

    Main image credit: Hard Rock Hotels

    Editor Checks In: The new luxury for AW/19 and beyond

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Editor Checks In: The new luxury for AW/19 and beyond

    Following an enlightening month at the helm of the editorial desk, Hamish Kilburn pauses for just a moment on whether or not consciousness is the new luxury in design, architecture and hospitality…

    Am I accurate in saying that a few years working on the international hotel design scene can often feel like a lifetime of achievement? So much seems to happen in such a short period of time.

    Within what feels like a blink of an eye, sketches of projects have become the jewels of populated skylines, while juniors have evolved into directors of studios. Meanwhile, topics we have discussed in the specialist press for decades, such as sustainability and designing with purpose, have finally hit the headlines of the mainstream media to leave whole cities and populations petrified about their future.

    I so vividly remember my first ever trade show in this colourful industry. I was a 22-year-old, fresh-out-of-university features editor. You could spot me in the crowd from a mile away, complete with a three-piece suit, polished black shoes and new glasses to match. I may as well have just worn a sign with the word ‘noob’ printed in permanent ink.

    I scurried towards my pre-booked seat to catch an insightful on-stage Q&A with Martin Brudnizki, who had at the time just completed the extensive renovation of The Ivy in Soho, London. Whether I was shy or just inexperienced (or quite possibly both), I was not a fan of audience participation back then, at least not if it involved speaking up myself. I would rather leave a question burning within my chest than all eyes in the audience potentially focusing on me.

    How things have changed, and thank the high heavens they have too. This month was full of minor milestones for both myself and Hotel Designs, which as a result has made my former self a mere shadow of the editor I feel proud to have become.

    Firstly, in an interview to understand what the designer has achieved since becoming The Brit List 2018’s Interior Designer of the Year, I was finally able to put my questions to Brudnizki. I visited the celebrated designer in his Chelsea studio just a few months ahead of this year’s ceremony, which takes place on November 21 at Patch East London.

    In addition to the award-winning designer unknowingly becoming our poster boy for this year’s awards, I also held the microphone to host the headline panel discussion at the Independent Hotel Show London 2019: The Conscious Bedroom Report. And although this was my fifth time hosting an on-stage session, it was – in many ways – the most significant of them all. For starters, the subject area that was restrained under the spotlight, sustainability and thinking consciously, was one of huge relevance. And also, my panel made up of Alex Harris from Harris + Harris London, Olivia Richli from Heckfield Place, Sue Williams from Whatley Manor and Xenia zu Hohenlohe from Considerate Group made the whole experience seamless and the topic easy to digest.

    “Unmistakably, business owners from up and down the country were, in a way, pledging that they would do more to make a difference.”

    “Let’s have a show of hands,” I said to the overflowing audience as I ignored entirely what my 22-year-old self would be thinking. “Who here is a hotel owner/operator and truly believes that they could do more to be sustainably and socially more conscious?”

    One by one, hands raised and remained firm in the air. It was a moment. Unmistakably, business owners from up and down the country were, in a way, pledging that they would do more to make a difference. Admittedly, this was after hitting them hard with the statistic that 76 per cent of guests believe that hotels could be greener while 72 per cent hope a hotel can provide local produce. I am not a gambling man, but if I was I would bet for the same overwhelming result if we were to put forward the mini yet mighty experiment on our readers – the designers, hoteliers, architects, suppliers, procurement managers, and design and architecture enthusiasts from far and wide. If the session was anything to go by, we can all do more to become more thoughtful in our actions on this global stage.

    “My conclusion for the audience at the show was to not think about sustainability with red tape around it.”

    So where do we go from here? Things are changing. In April 2020, just five months from now, plastic cotton buds, drinks stirrers and straws will be banned in England. This is very much a ‘today’ problem, and in order to keep ahead of the game, all individuals operating within this market need to consider the issues we will face tomorrow instead. I’m talking about food wastage, using upcycled materials in design and eliminating the ingredients for greenwashing. My conclusion for the audience at the show was to not think about sustainability with red tape around it, but to instead brainstorm new and innovative ways to add organic, conscious personality into your hotel or service.

    One of our breakfast planning meeting to establish and define the theme for this year’s show was sheltered inside the extremely quirky and sustainable Artist Residence London. I was inspired and captivated to hear about some of the initiatives that were already happening in a handful of the UK’s leading independent hotels; how they were tackling the war on food wastage, going paperless and spending hours scrolling through search engines for second-hand furniture pieces. But it was Julio Margues, the General Manager of London Bridge Hotel who, for me, hit the nail clean on the head. “My vegetable patch has a great view of The Shard,” he said casually. And that’s the point. Hoteliers, designers and architects should not boast about being sustainable in their day-to-day decisions, which in my opinion should naturally be a common value shared by all. But they should highlight the minor and quirky – somewhat personal – details that set them aside from others.

    I leave you with an open question to sign off October 2019, a period of my editorship I will struggle to forget (for all the right reasons). In an industry and era where and when trends are becoming more and more obsolete, could consciousness become the new luxury?

    Editor, Hotel Designs

    ARCHITECTURE GOALS: Architects unveil Japanese infused urban retreat in Sydney

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    ARCHITECTURE GOALS: Architects unveil Japanese infused urban retreat in Sydney

    The new development of five buildings in Sydney will feature new penthouses that will offer rare traditional Japanese design details…

    Australian developer Crown Group’s latest residential development, Mastery by Crown Group, will offer a rare infusion of Japanese design in Sydney, complete with traditional Japanese hinoki timber onsen style baths.

    The five towers are designed by three different architects, with a Japanese aesthetic and design scheme. The tallest, at 20-storeys, is designed by world-renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, and features lush, timber-clad innovative design on the building’s green exterior emulating a ‘stacked forest’. Three further towers are the work of award-winning architect Koichi Takada Architects, while the fifth residential building is designed by established Sydney based architects Silvester Fuller.

    Prisca Edwards, Director of Sales at Crown Group said the apartments would have the most sophisticated Japanese-inspired interiors Sydney had ever seen, with a neutral palette and generous use of natural materials, timber tones and soft warm hues, inspired by the interplay of light (hikari) and shadow (kage).

    “Mastery by Crown Group has been designed with the most sought-after features drawing on an inspirational Japanese concept of simplicity, peace, and nature,” she said. “Koichi Takada himself conceptualised and curated the interior of every apartment. It’s very Japanese inspired, very minimalistic and also represents what Crown Group stands for.”

    The modern and sophisticated interior design varies between five buildings to complement the exterior architecture. In all residences, natural light takes centre stage. Landscaping on the facades relates to materials used inside the apartments.

    Edwards said the design created a natural urban retreat, incorporating the calming, zen design sensibilities of Japanese architecture and interiors.

    “We are giving penthouse buyers the option to have a hinoki wood bathtub — it is a traditional Japanese onsen style bath using the densest wood in the world,” she said. “Normally, wood disintegrates in the water but this type of timber is really unusual because it becomes hardened.

    “Natural oils with medical properties and soothing fragrances are released in the warm water for a sensation of extreme wellbeing when you soak in the warm water. Hinoki wood oil is also traditionally used to treat skin irritations and injuries thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal action. When inhaled, it acts as a decongestant of the respiratory system, used to cure asthma and as a tonic for the nervous system. So, we are going all out with this – soaking in a Japanese natural style – because they are limited and with a Japanese concept these are different.”

    Mastery by Crown Group, being developed in partnership with Mitsubishi Estate Group, will comprise 368 luxury apartments across five-tower residential towners. When completed in 2021, residents can access to Crown Group’s signature resort-style facilities including an infinity-edge rooftop pool, gym, spa, mini-cinema, community room and a ground-floor retail precinct comprising a mix of restaurants, cafes and shops, as well as Sydney’s first Japanese “eat street”.

    Main image credit: Crown Group

    Permission submitted to integrate 400,000 plants within façade of new London hotel

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Permission submitted to integrate 400,000 plants within façade of new London hotel

    Set to radically change the city’s landscape and add to its eco hotel offering, hotel developer Dominvs Group and architecture firm Sheppard Robson have submitted permission for a living wall to be the façade of a new London hotel, with the aim to absorb more than eight tonnes of the city’s gaseous pollution each year… 

    Following Hotel Designs publishing the results of a new study that showed that 76 per cent of guests believed that hotels could be greener, the architecture firm of a new development in London has submitted planning permission to include 40,000ft² as part of its exterior shell.

    The hospitality-led, mixed-use project designed by Sheppard Robson for Dominvs Group is characterised by one of the largest green walls in the world, creating a distinctive architectural addition to a gateway City site, while absorbing eight tonnes of pollution annually and setting the standard for urban greening in London.

    Radical plans have been submitted to the City of London to create a 382-key five-star hotel, featuring the vertical landscaping, as well as 40,000ft2 of workspace, a sky-bar on the tenth floor, meeting and events space, spa and ground level restaurant and co-working space. Situated on a prominent site on Holborn Viaduct at the gateway of what will be the City’s “Cultural Mile,” the proposed building creates an opportunity to broadcast fresh ideas about how the built environment can address pertinent issues such as air quality, climate change and air pollution.

    “Dominvs Group is incredibly proud of our proposals for 61-65 Holborn Viaduct which aim to play a major role in the regeneration of the Smithfield area,” said Jay Ahluwalia, Director of Dominvs Group. “With the City of London’s vision for the area and the creation of the Culture Mile, we feel this project will support and enhance the overall ambition for this exciting, new cultural destination as the creative heart of the Square Mile.”

    “The wall will also significantly contribute towards improving local air quality, by trapping approximately 500kg of particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) per year.”

    Coming after our successful opening of The Dixon at Tower Bridge and the recent breaking of ground at Creed Court, St Pauls we hope our proposals demonstrate our ongoing commitment to providing developments of the highest quality in Central London. We also believe the building’s proposed Living Green Wall, the largest in Europe, could be an exciting, innovative and celebrated addition to London for years to come.”

    By integrating 40,000 square feet of living wall within the façade, the building is projected to annually capture more than eight tonnes of carbon, produce six tonnes of oxygen, and lower the local temperature by three to five degrees Celsius. The wall will also significantly contribute towards improving local air quality, by trapping approximately 500kg of particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) per year.

    The project engages with the Urban Greening Policy set out in the GLA’s draft New London Plan, incorporating strategies to encourage more and better urban greening, while adopting measures for an ‘Urban Greening Factor.’ The projected Urban Greening Factor score of 1.37 exceeds requirements by 45 times and has the highest greening score in Greater London.

    The development also includes new public green space, with the roof-top viewing gallery on the eleventh floor open to the public and featuring incredible views overlooking St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Grade I listed Holy Sepulchre, and over the city beyond. At roof level, the greenery continues to wrap around the building, with spaces designed for threatened native wildflower species to flourish.

    Dan Burr, Partner at Sheppard Robson, said: “On a site that is so prominent, there was a real drive to inject some fresh perspectives on how to grapple with some on London’s most urgent environmental issues, including air quality and noise and dust pollution. Rather than having an isolated patch of greenery, we felt that an immersive and integrated approach would have the biggest impact on the local environmental conditions and making a better and more liveable city, as well as articulating a clear architectural statement.”

    Hotel Designs will be exploring the topic of sustainability all next month. If you have story for the editorial team, please email editor Hamish Kilburn. 

    Main image credit: Sheppard Robson

    One month until The Brit List Awards 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    One month until The Brit List Awards 2019

    Calling all hotel designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers: Tickets are selling out fast for The Brit List Awards 2019, which is just one month away… 

    There is just one month to go until Hotel Designs announces the winners of The Brit List 2019. The awards, which will be sheltered at Patch East London on November 21, is the climax of the publication’s nationwide search to find the UK’s top interior designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers.

    Supplier tickets (£150 + VAT) can be purchased here.
    Delegate tickets (£20 + VAT) can be purchased here.

    Among the leading designers who have already confirmed are design directors and principals from Richmond International, Project Orange, Sibley Grove, Harriet Forde Design, Harris + Harris, RPW Design, Scott Brownrigg, David Collins Studio and IHG.

    In regards to architects attending The Brit List Awards 2019, Hotel Designs will welcome associates and directors from the likes of Zaha Hadid Architects, WATG, Jestico + Whiles, Holland Harvey Architects, EPR Architects and Dexter Moren Associates.

    Hoteliers confirmed to attend the annual awards ceremony include, among others, Heckfield Place, Good Hotel London, Limewood Group and Homegrown Hotels, Rosewood London, Cliveden House, The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences London, The Dixon, Bespoke Hotels, Great Scotland Yard Hotel, Eccleston Square, Inhabit London and Hotel Gotham.

    The nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations and applications to readers.

    Since then, an independent panel of expert judges have gathered to select this year’s individual award winners and also to confirm the 75 individuals who have made it into The Brit List 2019.

    How to attend

    Suppliers:
    Click here if you are a supplier to the industry to secure your ticket for £150 + VAT.

    Designers, architects, hoteliers and developers:
    Click here if you are either a designer, hotelier, developer or architect to secure your ticket for £20 + VAT.

    If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050.

    #TheBritListAwards2019

    Headline Partner: Crosswater

    Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

    2019 Industry Partner: BIID

    Latest concept in hotel wellness design is the Five-Star Bedroom Spa

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Latest concept in hotel wellness design is the Five-Star Bedroom Spa

    The five-star private spa by Starpool is the latest concept in hotel wellness design that brings modernisation and beauty to the most ancient spa rituals…

    Inspired by luxury living, the private spa suites by Starpool offer unique relaxation experience for body and mindthat goes well beyond customers’ expectations in terms of functionality and design.

    Awarded with the ‘Best of the Best’ by Reddot Design Award, the iconic Starpool SweetCollection combines high technology and style for a tailor-made environment dedicated to wellness.

    The SweetSpa is designed exclusively for luxury hotels that aim to offer only the highest standard spaexperience to their guests. That is the company has incorporated its new sp.a_system to the SweetSpa, where guests can choose from four wellness paths for four wellness goals.

    Image credit: Starpool

    How sp.a_system works

    The sp.a_system helps the user by informing him/her on times and conditions of use of each spa facility. Just choose your goal from one of the four wellness bracelets (relax, tonic, purify, excite), put the bracelet on and follow the guidelines. The facilities in the SweetSpa are marked with a wellness sign that matches the ones displayed on your bracelet, so all you need to do is follow the wellness path and enjoy the private spa experience.

    Also, for those of your clients that are jet-lagged or looking for a stress relief solution, the SweetSpabedroom setting provides another luxury facility, designed exclusively for body and mind regeneration– Zerobody.

    Zerobody is a dry floatation cloud for deep relaxation and enhancement of sleep duration and quality. The Zerobody cloud is at the forefront of wellness technology, providing multiple health benefits such as muscle and joint pain reduction; improvement of memory capacity and skills; reduction of chronic insomnia and headaches.

    How Zerobody works

    During the floating experience, your body causes to regulate its temperature and gravitational alignment – two activities that alone absorb 90 per cent of our resources. Once on the Zerobody cloud, your body is free to use the extra energy for quicker muscle and jet lag recovery and reduction of mental pressure. All you need to do is lie down and enjoy the ultimate body and mind recovery booster.

    Image credit: Starpool

    In combination, Starpool’s new sp.a_system and Zerobody Relax make the SweetSpa unique wellness concept that brings the spa relaxation to the next level of five-star luxury.

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

    Main image credit: Starpool

    Conran and Partners designs spin on flexible working spaces

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Conran and Partners designs spin on flexible working spaces

    Design firm Conran and Partners has completed new flexible working spaces within the lobby that are sheltered inside Crowne Plaza Paris – République…

    Conran and Partners has completed a significant redesign of the lobby spaces at Crowne Plaza Paris – République. The launch marks the first step in a wider roll-out of a new concept-design blueprint for the brand in Europe, aiming to deliver a distinctive guest experience globally.

    The lobby has been reinvigorated as the brand’s exible work and meeting concept, ‘Plaza Workspace.’ This contemporary hub was developed to meet the changing needs of modern business travellers seeking more comfortable public and semi-public spaces in which to work and relax. Regarded as the largest design innovation in the brand’s history, Crowne Plaza Paris – République is the first hotel to launch the Plaza Workspace in Europe.

    Throughout Plaza Workspace there is an abundance of tech savvy elements: tables feature integrated wireless phone chargers and high-speed Wi-Fi is available to address the growing trend in flexible work and life preferences and people’s desire to work from anywhere. Plaza Workspace also includes The Studio, a bookable-by-the-hour meeting space to cater for private meetings and events, complete with its own bar counter and break-out lounge seating. The studio’s design maximises the flow of guests through the spaces, allowing them to transition seamlessly between work and down time.

    The former main entrance of the hotel has been relocated from the Place de la République to one side of the building, giving the arrival experience a more private feel with access via a courtyard in the style of a traditional Parisian apartment block. The signature bar is now in a more prominent position closer to the outside terrace, which runs along the hotel’s principal façade.

    In contrast to a conventional arrival experience, guests are initially welcomed by a centrally-located monument wall. This wall – referencing the original Haussmann-era architecture of the area – serves to orientate the guest, dividing the space between the ‘plaza’ (the informal and relaxed bar spaces) and the ‘gallerie’ (the refined and elegant recep on and studio spaces). Among the book selection adorning the shelves of the lounge and Plaza Workspace are titles on Haussmann’s contribution to the remodelling of Paris.

    Conran and Partners have also completed the design of the European adaptation of the ‘WorkLife’ concept guestroom, a design patented in the United States, which will serve as the basis for the wider redesign of rooms and other non-public facing areas of the hotel in the future.

    The Place de la République is famous as the site of the statue of Marianne – the personification of the French Republic – commemorating the founding of the First Republic of France in 1792. The square is important as one of the key locations where Parisians congregate during times of national significance.

    The hotel occupies an exceptionally attractive and restored Haussmann building, formerly a department store, Les Magasins Réunis. It is located at the point where three different arrondissements (3rd, 10th and 11th) of the city meet. A couple of original Haussmann features are s ll visible, including the staircase, wrought-iron balustrade and doors onto the original caged lifts at higher levels. Conran and Partners’ design also responds to the different – yet complementary – feel of each adjoining arrondissement (‘Fashionable’ (3rd), ‘Bohemian’ (10th) and ‘Modern’ (11th).

    “Within the individual elements of a project there are always opportunities to work with manufacturers to create distinctive furniture commissions and bespoke materials,” said Simon Kincaid, Partner at Conran and Partners and a shortlisted finalist for The Brit List 2019. “For each new development, we study the locale and create a narrative, drawing on our experience of blurring the boundaries between work and leisure to create strong, characterful places.”

    Image credit: Anna Stathaki

    Conran and Partners’ approach was based on a thorough analysis of Crowne Plaza’s success in the Americas as well as among its European target market. The practice developed an architectural strategy focusing on key elements within a typical guest stay. A series of seating typologies and a hierarchy of signature elements was created which enabled key functional elements to be located, while defining specific design features and focal points. This has given hotel guests and visitors a wider variety of spaces to encourage more dwell time.

    The approach has also sought to reinterpret the idea of a ‘plaza’ as a place where people can meet and relax and applied this to the various spaces within the hotel, encouraging guests to move between different types of spaces. The design also responds to changing consumer behaviour, in particular exible working and the ‘always on’ and ‘on-demand’ workplace culture. Spaces and services have been created to facilitate more business- related functions within the plaza workspace, both formal and informal, as well as helping to bring people into the hotel.

    “The spaces in Place de la République are tech savvy, while acknowledging the need to embed humanity in the design to create a comfortable place to work and relax,” continues Kincaid. “The narrative we created for Crowne Plaza Paris- Republique is based on the concept of ‘New Modern’. It seeks to demonstrate that business hotels can be exciting by offering guests kind, personal touches, while introducing new, meaningful experiences for them to share and – above all – to appeal to the senses as far as possible.

    “Our design narrative has informed the choice of furniture and accessories and even the rug design and the artwork selection (developed in collaboration with Double Decker Artwork Consultants), which seek to reference the various key art movements and ar sts closely associated with Paris since the mid-nineteenth century. Materiality and palette are central to our design thinking.”

    Libby Escolme, Global Vice President, Crowne Plaza, commented: “I have always loved travel and staying at an inspiring hotel is o en why I am excited about a business trip. Today’s traveller wants to stay somewhere that inspires them, where innova ve design creates great spaces that work well. We have collaborated on this project with Conran and Partners, a best-in-class design rm, and I feel genuinely excited about how our new hotel spaces will enhance a guest’s stay with us.”

    Main image credit: Anna Stathaki

     

     

    Laufen expands BASE bathroom furniture collection

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Laufen expands BASE bathroom furniture collection

    Swiss bathroom manufacturer Laufen has extended its popular BASE bathroom furniture range, with the addition of new vanity units for the Ino washbasin collection. The extensive furniture range is timelessly simple and graceful and features Laufen’s trademark attention to detail in carefully thought-through functionality, high-quality materials and the latest colour schemes.

    Bathroom furniture helps to create a tidy, uncluttered atmosphere in the bathroom, allowing bathroom accessories and towels to be unobtrusively tucked away out of sight.

    The latest additions to Laufen’s BASE range are not only designed to complement the company’s fine-profile SaphirKeramik Ino washbasins, designed by French designer Toan Nguyen, but are cleverly created for an even more refined and sophisticated bathroom ambiance.

    A key detail of the new BASE furniture collection is the recessed inverted metal strip handles, which extend for the entire width of each unit. This ensures intuitive, safe handling and also prevents dust and grime from collecting. The handles will be available in two colour variations: anodised aluminium and black aluminium.

    The furniture itself is available in matt or gloss white, classic furniture colours which stand for purity and tranquillity. Other available colour variations are light elm and dark elm, plus the new colour option of traffic grey. For special bathroom designs, Laufen offers many other on trend colours in a matt finish on request. All furniture colours can be combined with either handle colour option.

    The range features high-end vanity units in a variety of dimensions, along with a generously proportioned tall column cabinet. For the 900 mm-wide Ino washbasin unit, Laufen offers a choice of a wall-mounted frame with one drawer or a floor-mounted frame with two drawers. Smaller washbasins can be combined with vanity units in two sizes with either a left-opening or right-opening door. Further storage space is provided by the matching tall column cabinet, with a vertical strip handle running the whole height of the cabinet.

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

    Main image credit: Laufen

    Editor’s round-up of London Design Festival 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Editor’s round-up of London Design Festival 2019

    Strap yourself in for editor Hamish Kilburn’s annual round-up of London Design Festival (LDF). The 2019 edition was a thought-provoking insight into how the bare bones of the industry, led by innovative manufacturers working with open-minded designers and architects, are taking it upon themselves to design a better future of international hotels from the foundations upwards…  

    “Most cities are experts in one or two disciplines,” said Ben Evans, Director of London Design Festival. “But the breadth and depth of London’s expertise is unparalleled.”

    For the 11th year, LDF was the epicentre of the design universe, publically displaying in full the ingredients to make the capital an incubator of ideas, creativity and something different.

    Initially established in 2003 by Sir John Sorrell and Evans, the festival has grown to encompass a broad range of activities, and attracts visitors from around the world: last year welcomed a record-breaking 588,000 direct visitors from more than 75 countries, generating almost one million visits.

    Despite Brexit call-to-actions being plastered across the front of the city’s major newspapers, the festival’s spotlight this year was thankfully not on the political landscape (or landslide) of whether or not this is really happening, but instead the lenses were focused on conscious change for good. With designers being now more aware than ever before on the need for design responsibly, sustainable products, materials and initiatives were evident in all corners of the metropolis, at all of the four Design Destinations. “LDF celebrates and promotes London’s design excellence in a period when showcasing creativity is even more important, adds Evans. And installations around the city from the likes of Matthew McCormack, Sony Design and Paul Cocksedge were a visual reminder of how design can influence change and educate wide-spread audiences of all demographics.

    Focus 19

    Neatly kicking things off after Hotel Designs led an exclusive roundtable at Arte Wallcovering at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, Focus19 extended its luxurious arm to welcome a select number of pop-up stands. Whether green is or isn’t this year’s colour is irrelevant. What’s more important for hotel creatives is following how suppliers are turning up the volume on how they are designing with purpose and further bringing the outdoors in using sustainable methods. One area where this is very apparent is in fabrics and large prints – both of which are never in short supply at DCCH. Arte arguably stole the show with the launch of four new collections. Following last year’s collaboration with Moooi, any collection to launch after would be a tough act to follow, but the wallcovering experts delivered and the results are extraordinary.

    While fabrics were strong, so too was lighting. Pookey Lighitng’s installation designed by The Brit List 2019 judge Florence Rolfe was a vibrant LED light show. Meanwhile, David Hunt Lighting cut the ribbon on its new permanent hub within the DCCH, showcasing its bespoke service as well as its intricate lamps. As well as hosting a captivating talk with the lighting company’s founder, Vaughan, unveiled a new collection of simple, yet extremely chic sculptured lamps as well as a new range of Tribal Collection shades, that were first unveiled at last year’s show.

    Elsewhere, collaborations from the likes of Barnaby Gates, Kit Kemp and others were on display under what will soon become the Design Centre Avenue, but during Focus was a pop-up exhibition of pure, untouched talent.

    100% Design

    Making its bold, colourful entrance, 100% Design celebrated its 25thbirthday with a bold line-up of speakers, including David Rockwell, Marcel Wonders and Daniel Shofield among others.

    Following last year’s move to London’s Olympia, the show found its feet in historic halls as visitors flocked to see the plethora of interactive installations, cutting edge collections and plenty of products. The Two Lovely Gays unveiled an piece entitled Insta-interiors, which featured a playful mix of pastels. “Social media can has brought design to everyone in a way that we love,” the studio explained on its stand. But it can also be a confusing arena, with so many images and ideas vying for attention. Our hope is that it opens up a new freedom in design, promoting diversity and confidence.”

    With a noticeable shift in behaviours, especially in public areas of the hotel, it is no surprise that there was a significant focus on furniture. Taking centre stage directly opposite the show’s doors was Benchmark with its latest collaboration with design legend David Rockwell. The Sage Collection has a specific focus on human health and wellbeing. Made with natural, sustainable and non-toxic materials, it meets the standards required for well-certified buildings. The collection includes slick sit-stand desks and tables, dining and meeting tables, high-low sofas, benches, occasional tables and storage.

    Hamilton Litestat also exhibited its impressive answer to personalising the hotel experience, by being able to colour-match its products to suit any hotel design brief – something that I saw in person recently when visiting the studio’s Bristol-based hub.

    Image credit: Paul Cocksedge’s Please Be Seated

    designjunction

    In the midst of LDF, just as the feet of the design community start to tire, the VIP party for designjunction comes alive. Offering exclusive access into the show 24 hours before it opens to the public, the event is typically a great opportunity to network as well as catching new products on the market. This year’s event unveiled its catwalk for trends alongside the exclusive Tom Dixon party. Taking place in what I can only describe as LDF’s most interesting design districts, Coals Drop Yard, the event arrived fabulously fashionably late (as ever) to the week-long party.

    While the talent sheltered inside was fresh, the narrative of designing responsibly was solid and synonymous among many if not all brands exhibiting at the show. Furniture brands and lighting manufactures put an equally significant emphasis on utilising recyclable materials. Sixteen3, for example, showcased a dynamic range of contemporary furniture pieces that were made from 99 per cent recycled material, while over in the light tunnel, designer Huw Evans unveiled The CONCERTINA COLLECTION, which comprised of both furniture and lighting. Using natural timbers, English Ash and Cherry, the designer accentuated the drama of the product’s raw form by with carefully positioned up-lighting. Meanwhile, Qiang Huang used inspirations from dissembled bike parts to design an equally precise lighting piece. The product follows research that suggests that by 2020, it is estimated that there will be 10 million shared bikes reaching their scrap age, which equates to a staggering 1.6 million tons of solid waste, which Hauang believes can be reduced by designers looking more outwardly when it comes to recycling products and materials.

    Whether or not designjunction created a larger mid-week statement than last year’s show on The Southbank is down to interpretation. There was, however, no denying that it sheltered something for everyone, including a number of engaging talks. For that reason alone, it is certainly not an event that should be skipped over when navigating around LDF in future.

    London Design Fair

    Keeping an understated mantra in the heart of Shoreditch, London Design Fair was this years’ stand-out show for Hotel Designs, because of its ability to allow the products and exhibitors to do the talking. The show, which took place on the iconic Brick Lane, featured meaningful themes, such as biophilic materials and design as well as showcasing the only bathroom pavilion during London Design Festival – highlights of which included Roca’s new collection with Armani and West One Bathrooms’ eco-themed stand.

    In addition, the show included its worldwide theme, allowing regions in all pockets of the world to exhibit a little bit of their own personalities and creativity.

    As a result, London Design Fair focused on form, function and looking forward, past tomorrow’s trends, to globally identify pieces that will really help to change and shape the landscape of international hotel design.

    While the installations, projects and districts differed in style, the thread between each was very much about confronting convention and offering something different, an abstract reality, if you like, of London through the eyes of the creatives.

    LDF provides a platform like no other that time and time again harbours creative talent and fascinating stories of product design in action. And with variety being the spice of the life, as so many wise bodies have announced before, this year’s exhibitions were in heavy supply of something different, something new and something fresh for everyone.

    Main image credit: designjunction

    Insight into Dormero Hotel’s newly designed bathrooms

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Insight into Dormero Hotel’s newly designed bathrooms

    Rich mix of contrasting colours at the four-star superior hotel enhanced by Kaldewei bathroom solutions...

    Just outside Nuremberg in the small 25,000- strong town of Roth, Marcus Maximilian Wöhrl – founder of the Dormero hotel chain – has converted his grandparents’ venerable “Modehaus Wöhrl” fashionstore into a four-star superior hotel.

    Since then, as at all properties in the hotel group, the colour red has been setting the tone, as demonstrated within the new Dormero Hotel. In all 68 guestrooms, this most sensual of colours is extravagantly contrasted with black and white. In the bathrooms, the elegant steel enamel alpine white washbasins and ultra-flat shower surfaces from the Kaldewei Cono range provide a counterpoint to the red walls and black tiles. It is a stylish combination that accentuates the designer character of the new hotel.

    The four-storey building, which now houses the hotel, holds memories for the Wöhrlfamily: From 1949 Berta and Rudolf Wöhrl established their “Modehaus Wöhrl”fashion store that made a name for itself throughout Germany. When the shop finally had to close after almost 70 years in 2017, the decision was made to revitalise this special place by opening a hotel there. Extensive conversion work was carried out: a glass-roofed atrium now stands in the place where escalators onceconnected the four floors. The fashion store’s trademark arched doorway hasbecome the entrance to the lobby. In total 68 bedrooms, a restaurant, a bar, five event rooms and a spacious wellness and fitness area were created. The conference hotel on the northern edge of the Franconian lake region opened in March 2019.

    Within this concept, a vibrant shade of red – which is part of the corporate design – particularly stands out.

    The Dormero hotel group relies on a young, fresh concept with “state-of-the-arttechnology, clear design and sophisticated details.” Within this concept, a vibrant shade of red – which is part of the corporate design – particularly stands out. Thisis also the case at the latest property in Roth: from the interior design to the hotel’sown pets – three (non-poisonous) red poison dart frogs, who live in a terrarium in the lobby – to the red sneakers worn by the staff. The property’s distinctive charm is this use of red for the interior design, combined with black and white.

    In the bathrooms, Kaldewei Cono countertop washbasins with generous surrounds offer superb user-friendliness and design. Thanks to the large range of sizes available, it was possible to choose washbasins that made the best possible use of the existing space. Whilst, at the same time, their beautiful design make them a truly eye-catching feature in the colourful bathrooms. The ultra-flat Kaldewei Conoflat shower surface also fits seamlessly into the design concept, offering guests the highest degree of comfort underfoot in the bathroom.

    “We chose enamelled shower surfaces because they offer clear advantages over tiled shower areas,” says Michaela Neuner from TETRIS Grundbesitz GmbH & Co. KG who own the site on which the hotel stands. “We have found that with the latter, there are constantly problems with installation, or the joints wash away over time. This can lead to water damage. We have now completely ruled out that risk with the steel enamel Conoflatshowers.”

    With a portfolio of over 600 shower surfaces, washbasins and bathtubs, the premium manufacturer Kaldewei provides perfectly coordinated solutions for project business and private clients – featuring a uniform material throughout and harmonious design.

    Main image credit: Kaldewei

    UNILIN injects maximalist luxury vibes new finishes

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    UNILIN injects maximalist luxury vibes new finishes

    UNILIN develops products inspired by everything from reclaimed wood, through trending colours, to concrete and brushed precious metals such as gold to create an ideal setting for all hospitality scenes…

    Nothing can match gold for injecting glamour into our living and working spaces and the material is now a favourite for high-end interiors looking to deliver a maximalist luxury vibe. However, for most projects the ‘real deal’ is beyond grabs and this is when UNILIN Evola decorative surfaces come into their own.

    With UNILIN Evola’s brushed gold decor, space and furniture designers working in retail, hospitality, commercial office spaces and even high-end residential projects can capture the magic with versatile surface finishes in scratch, wear and stain-resistant HPL. Used to create ultra-luxe splashbacks and surrounds in washrooms to stylish feature panels on furniture, or even as a detail highlight on door handles; UNILIN Evola brushed gold brings the look without breaking the bank.

    “There’s no doubt that high-end luxury is a major driver in interiors and our brushed gold is the perfect way to get the look while keeping a lid on your budget,” says Jurgen Plas, marketing manager for UNILIN, division panels. “With decors such as brushed gold, marble, ceppo and brushed bronze, the Evola collection can answer the demand for glamour with highly-functional surfaces that are not only cost-effective alternatives, but also functionally better.”

    Teamed with the black of a UNILIN MDF door panel to create a fan inlay in radiant gold, offset beautifully against the marble of carrara creamy wall panels, brushed gold brings a look straight out of 1920s decadence. Or bonding it to shelf edges set against the walnut backdrop of Lorenzo, sees the very same elegant gold-effect take on a luxury modern edge: brushed gold can lift any space beyond the ordinary.

    With many of the 198 décors in the UNILIN Evola collection completely exclusive, UNILIN, division panels develops products inspired by everything from reclaimed wood, through trending colours, to concrete and brushed precious metals. All UNILIN Evola décors are available in HPL, melamine-faced chipboard and edging-tape; each product providing exceptional quality and a surface that is scratch and UV resistant, as well as easy to look after. With authenticity and practicality, UNILIN Evola is a serious alternative to natural materials.

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

    Main image credit: UNILIN

    In Conversation With: Outstanding Property Award London’s Jesper Thomsen

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    In Conversation With: Outstanding Property Award London’s Jesper Thomsen

    Making its debut on the international design stage, Outstanding Property Award London (OPAL) has begun its global search to identify the most innovative design and architecture projects. As the exclusive media partner of the awards, Hotel Designs speaks to OPAL’s  co-founder to understand what sets the initiative aside from others. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

    “What makes a building, a project, a person and/or a hotel’s design outstanding,” I ask myself as I weave between some of London’s architectural skyline statements while running embarrassingly late to meet with Jesper Thomsen. It feels like only yesterday we were both sitting down over coffee for the first time discussing the bones of what has now become the Outstanding Property Award London (OPAL).

    Fast-forward to today, and I am on the jury –  as well as at the helm of a very special media partnership -imminently about to be asked to identify the ‘outstanding’ from the ‘extraordinary’ and ‘unique’ – all of which are buzzwords that are overused and I struggle at the best of times to define. Considering the vast amount of innovative architectural gems that have appeared in cityscapes around the world in recent years, I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel the entire weight of the industry’s judgement pressing down on my shoulders. It’s an interesting concept becoming a judge, and ironic that what follows is then the feeling – or apprehension at least – of judgement. But it’s reassuring to know that I’m not alone when casting my opinion, as the awards now has significant number of jury members, all of which have been hand-selected to offer different perspectives from all corners of the industry.

    By the time I make it to meet Thomsen, I have decided that, for me, something unconventional will be my winner, which is a word that I feel would best describe Thompson’s ambitions for OPAL, along with ‘bold’, ‘courageous’ and ‘about time.’

    Hamish Kilburn: What was the aim when setting up OPAL? 

    Jesper Thomsen: The aim was created out of a passion for creativity in the property industry. We aim to highlight and celebrate the most exceptional design projects in the world, raising their awareness and honoring its creators. Buildings last for decades, sometimes centuries, they tell our history and legacy, where we come from and where we are now. They are fundamental to our existence, so it’s essential that they are well designed and serves humanity in the best way possible.

    We seek to reveal projects that are not only highly creative but show useful function, provide better living experiences for its users, and meeting the clients’ expectation. Class-leading projects that demonstrate innovation and embracing new technologies, setting new trends, respecting and protecting the environment, and pushing boundaries of human ingenuity.

    OPAL was established with my friend and business partner Hossein Farmani, founder of the Farmani Group of companies, who has vast experience in the design awards industry since 1985. Having worked together in the past, the award feels like a natural progression of our combined experiences.

    HK: Can you tell more about your experience in the industry? What’s your story? 

    JT: I always wanted to become an Architect. Since a young age, I’ve been fascinated by design, and for me, architecture was the ultimate expression of human creativity and design evolution. However, my father was the third-generation owner of a printing and design practice in my native Denmark and got me interested in graphic design. At the time of A-level graduation in Denmark, I wanted to apply for the School of Architecture, but the ministry of education regulating the free admissions had almost no openings for new students due to a slump in that industry.

    Instead, after one year as an apprentice in an architectural firm in Paris, I moved to London and began a Masters degree at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, which related more to graphic design, I also supplemented my studies with photography. Following graduation, I was a creative director, designing websites for major companies during the dot com boom era. Here I gained considerable experience in digital marketing and branding. After a seven-year itch, I became tired of commercial design, and my love for the arts was calling.

    I launched a private art gallery in Londons’ Knightsbridge, including spending one year developing and designing the gallery space. In this process, it felt like all creative aspects came together, and after completion, I would subsequently spend another seven years running the gallery exhibiting artworks by artists such as Damian Hirst and Bill Brandt.

    I decided to move on from the gallery business, and fate got me involved in developing a few properties in Londons Knightsbridge, I spent nearly 3 years responsible for all operations, learning hands-on all the disciplines from interiors to architecture, planning, research, 3D modeling, materials, procuring and team management. It was a very creative period but also learning the hard way how complex the creation of properties really is. So my past really covers hugely varied types of creative practices. I’ve learned that creativity, in all its forms, is about ‘seeing’, sensing, letting your imagination unfold, and this can be applied to all its disciplines.

    HK: Why is London such a significant destination to base these awards? 

    JT: London has always been incredibly important for creativity and design in the built environment, spanning from historical landmarks up to today’s groundbreaking contemporary designs. Some of the most famous developers, architectural firms, and interior designers, have a base here and continue to inspire and influence the global property industry. The OPAL Award is open to entries from around the world, and we want to bring outstanding projects to London and celebrate them in our fantastic capital we are so proud of.

    “OPAL offers a three-way synergy between our three main entry categories; Property Development, Architecture and Interior Design.” – Jesper Thomsen

    HK: What sets OPAL aside from other design awards? 

    JT: Many awards are confined to a single industry within the property sector; An Architecture Award, is for Architects, by Architects. An interior design award, is for interior designers, by interior designers and so on. OPAL reaches fully across the property sector. It offers a three-way synergy between our three main entry categories; Property Development, Architecture and Interior Design. These industries continuously collaborate to create exciting projects, each bringing their expertise, and combined, they deliver outstanding designs. We are also very proud of our talented jury panel who will evaluate the global entries, they are our backbone and aspiration to those who enter our award.

    HK: What other destinations around the globe would you are design hotspots? 

    JT: It’s incredible how major cities in Asia have become design hotspots. Shanghai for example, really pushes boundaries fuelled by a concentration of industrial partners and strong government support. As the countdown to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games draws closer, the Japanese capital is in the middle of a hotel gold rush. Anything from boutique design hotels to glittering skyscrapers, a raft of new establishments are opening or are in the pipeline. Mexico City is also one to watch after being nominated for World Design Capital last year. I love their particular design language, elegantly fusing original colonial architecture with contemporary.

    HK: What’s the number one thing you cannot travel without?

    JT: This is an obvious one; my laptop. It’s glued to my fingertips at all times. I travel extensively, and this enables me to run operations and be connected at all times. Oh, and an online back-up of it too.

    HK: What is your favourite hotel you have ever stayed in and why?

    JT: There are so many. I recently visited Extremadura, a remote and less traveled part of Spain. Here, in the historic town of Cáceres, inside its UNSECO walled city and housed in a beautifully restored 16th-century palace is the stunning hotel Atrio. Striking white minimalist architectural features blends lovingly with the old stone walls and shiny black wooden floors. The surrounding streets have no tourist shops, nor huge crowds with selfie sticks you’d typically find in places of such beauty, just quaint, peaceful alleys defined by sandstone and ivy leaf clad palaces. The rooms and amenities are styled in a fashionable 60s Scandinavian design, Miles Davies’ Blue Note years playing softly in the background, a pleasing opposition to the striking view onto the empty medieval square below. Atrio is also home to a fabulous two-starred Michelin restaurant boasting one of the finest wine cellars in the world. I thoroughly recommend a visit here.

    HK: What do you look for in an outstanding property?

    JT: What really excites me about a great project is when the original vision of a completed building shines like a star, its purpose is evident to the eyes and the senses. Those projects are likely to be those who have seen mostly green lights during the creation process.

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

    JT: My sights are on Mongolia, away from civilisation and buildings. When I take time off, I grab my camera bag and go shooting landscapes, happy to be off-grid. No place is better for me to clear my mind than to connect with solitary, vast open expanses or wild roaring oceans.

    HK: What is your favourite restaurant/bar in London at the moment?

    JT: I like Aquavit in St. James. Maybe I’m a bit impartial due to my Scandinavian roots, here you can eat classic dishes such as gravid lax in a beautiful, sumptuous setting. I also like the buzz of The Ned, the physical scale of it is bars, and restaurants area is incredible. I just had a sneak peek of the yet to be launched upstairs bar and restaurant of the Standard Hotel, a funky design offering fantastic views over Londons’ city to one side and the clock tower of St. Pancras to the other, so close it feels glued onto their windows.

    HK: What trend do you hope never returns?

    JT: Brutalist 60s’ architecture. Its primitive obsession with concrete made an austere generation of buildings where function superseded design, creating discouraging living conditions for its users. I don’t think architects and developers of that time really understood or considered the human factor as part of a design concept, that a building serves to improve peoples lives and its environment, not just a structure to keep you dry from the rain. They are genuine eyesores and should be demolished, and only the best examples should be preserved for the record. I doubt this trend will return anytime soon due to a much better understanding of peoples needs along with technological advancements in the building industry, 3D printing, new materials and simulation methods give designers today far more freedom, flexibility, and individuality to create exciting designs.

    Main image credit: OPAL

    Accessibility championed at inaugural Blue Badge Access Awards

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Accessibility championed at inaugural Blue Badge Access Awards

    The Blue Badge Access Awards, which took place last night at The Langham London, has created a pivotal moment in international design by celebrating and championing thoughtful accessible design… 

    Last night, the inaugural Blue Badge Access Awards were held at The Langham London with the support of charity Leonard Cheshire Disability. Thirteen winners were awarded on the basis of celebrating thoughtful and stylish inclusive design and business practices across the world.

    This year’s winners included Shakespeare’s Globe as the most Inclusive Employer and Sea Containers for Best Hotel, sponsored by HEWI.

    The evening included a comedy set by British stand-up comedian, writer, actor, presenter, and disability-rights campaigner, Laurence Clark. Laurence was born with cerebral palsy and uses his line of work to alter the general public’s perceptions of disabled people. Alongside this, an inclusive fashion show was put on by Samanta Bullock, founder of SB. SB is an online department store that provides comfortable and fashionable universally-designed clothes with the focus on inclusion and benefiting the seated position.

    The 2019 judging panel included Fiona Jarvis, CEO of Blue Badge Style; Tina Norden, Partner at Conran and Partners; Alex Taylor, BBC Journalist; Paul Vaughan, Bespoke Access; Neil Heslop, CEO, Leonard Cheshire Disability and Karen Fewell, daughter of Arnold Fewell.

    “Nowhere can be 100 per cent accessible but everyone can start somewhere,” said Fiona Jarvis, Founder of Blue Badge Style. “There is tremendous public interest in the area of accessible design, with a strong desire to honour and recognise businesses that go the extra mile for their customers. We are delighted to champion these venues with Blue Badge Access Awards and will continue to do so to amplify enthusiasm across the hospitality sector, as well as wider tourist attractions, museums, and public organisations.”

    “Awards like this are profoundly important because they shine a light on best practice”, added Neil Heslop, Chief Executive of Leonard Cheshire Disability. “Leonard Cheshire exists to improve life choices for people with disabilities globally, and accessibility is key to this. We work with cross-sector organisations every day in supporting individuals to live, learn and work independently, whatever their disability. We congratulate everyone who has been involved to date and hope many more join in, having been inspired by tonight’s winners.”

    “We are thrilled to unveil so many exemplary winners at the first Blue Badge Access Awards and celebrate the great work of designers and architects around the world in inclusive design” said Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels and Hotel Sector Champion for Disabled People. “It is important to make access a permanent addition to the agenda. No one would have dreamed that sustainability would be as high as a priority as it is now, and we want access to be just lionised in the future.”

    The Blue Badge Access Awards are here to accelerate progress, and highlight that the importance of inclusive design should not be underestimated. It gives businesses and venues access to a market of over 1 billion people across the world, a group of more than 13 million people in the UK alone with spending power of over £250 billion.

    Main image credit: Blue Badge Access Awards

    EXCLUSIVE ROUNDTABLE: Adding personality in hotel public areas

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    EXCLUSIVE ROUNDTABLE: Adding personality in hotel public areas

    In partnership with Arte Wallcoverings, editor Hamish Kilburn invited some of the leading hotel designers and architects to Design Centre Chelsea Harbour for a live debate on how to add sustainable personality in the ever-evolving arena of public areas. In addition to being involved in the engaging conversation, the designers, directors and principals were also the first to see Arte’s five new collections, which were officially launched a few days later at Focus19 during London Design Festival… 

    Design experts around the table:

    Regardless of style, size or star-rating, recent hotel openings suggest that public areas are evolving, and fast. No longer an empty air pocket in the building’s structure, the lobbies that are being created or renovated today are unconventional active spaces, designed to flexibly accommodate all guests whether they are checking in for business, for leisure or in many instances, for both.

    Hamish Kilburn: How have the ways in which consumers use public areas changed?

    Fiona Thompson (FT), Principal, Richmond InternationalGenerally, how guests behave in hotels has changed. The demographic is completely different. At one point, hotels were quite intimidating places, and not very accessible. That’s been one of the most significant changes I have seen. Hotels have become much more outward-looking and much more accessible to everyone. People now use spaces how they want to use them. Therefore, public areas, in general, have a greater sense of informality.

    Vitalija Katine (VK), architect, Jestico + WhilesOne of the largest changes I have noticed is the accent of activation points in lobbies. The activation point of, for example, pop-up bars and pop-up receptions can be positioned and adapted easily in the lobby. I think the public space of a hotel has been the highlight of the last four years, because people are lounging in the lobby as opposed to using it simply as transitional space.

    David Mason (DM), Director of Hospitality, Scott BrownriggThere’s a lot more awareness now about the ecological message that hotels are trying to amplify. Also, with the appeal to millennials, there’s much more awareness on the public areas. I imagine there will be a lot more focus on some kind of hotel standard where we really start to look into what is going into hotels, and that will come from hotels aiming to achieve an environmental space. Although hotels are already acting to be more eco-friendly, I think it will become even more of a focus.

    Caroline Cundall (CC), Director of Interior Design IHG – Europe: How people work and specifically how people hold meetings has changed massively. That has had a large affect on our lobby spaces. More and more people are roaming around with small laptops and lobbies are much less formal than they used to be. Hotels are recognising the value in attracting more than just the guests staying at the hotel, and the current boutique influence is a catalyst in all of this.

    Sam Hall (SH), Global Head of FF&E, GA GroupI have seen more awareness in hotel operators in understanding how space is used. There are many examples of hotels that use every inch of the space as a revenue generator. CitizenM, for example, feels very intimate because the space is broken down. The grand volume of entering a hotel is behind us, perhaps not in Asia or the Middle East, but in Europe and elsewhere for sure. Space is at a premium and every inch of it has to make money. Designers are using the materiality to make spaces feel softer and warmer. These grand areas full of marble are not really where it’s at anymore. Instead, designers are trying to make these soft and reduced acoustics, so it feels more comfortable.

    “It doesn’t matter what word you throw on it, what people want is a well-designed space.” – Arianne Steinbeck, Managing Director, RPW Design

    Arianne Steinbeck (AS), Managing Director, RPW DesignThe launch of W New York on Lexington Avenue in 1998, designed by David Rockwell, was a pivotal moment. Before that, it was unheard of to serve drinks in the hotel [public areas] and play music. And now everyone is doing it. That was the start of this boutique look and feel that we see today. It doesn’t matter what word you throw on it, what people want is a well-designed space. I think that everyone in the industry has upped their game across all brands, which is a result of consumer demands. To be honest, I’m surprised it took so long.

    HK: Are you saying that there is less of a space for grand and open lobbies on the international hotel design scene?

    AS: I think there will always be a space for this style of hotel. Personally, I love hotels that remind you that they are a hotel, where the service element absolutely completes the overall experience.

    SH: I agree with you, and it’s about the coming together of quality and luxury, working as one.

    FT: But even some of the smaller luxury resorts capture that feeling of grand luxury. It all comes down to that amazing sense of service, but it is perhaps delivered in a more modern way.

    “All these hotels that feature over decoration to differentiate from others will disappear.” – Fiona Thompson, Principal, Richmond International

    HK: Trends is a sensitive term in hotel design. But do what extent do emerging trends come into your decisions when selecting wallcoverings on a project?

    AS: It’s come full circle. When I started in the ‘80s there were a lot of patterns on the wall. And then it washed out to a symphony of beiges. Now we seem to be coming back to a little bit more colour and pop. In a few years’ time we might perhaps look at this ‘greyeige’ situation again. That’s why we have all these different brands, because there is room in this industry for individuality.

    FT: There is going to be a move away, for sure, of this extraneous design for the sake of it. All these hotels that feature over decoration to differentiate from others will disappear. The young generation want something that is a bit more meaningful. All these words get thrown around: timeless, authentic, and I’m not really sure what they all mean. There is going to be this move away and everything will have more of a purpose.

    Hotels are typically big environmentally bad beasts that use power and electricity and decimate environments. Therefore, I predict there will be a call for them to be more responsible, and this filters down to the materials being used to design them.

    HK: From a product point of view, how does Arte select trends?

    Siobhan Kannenberg, Commercial Manager UK & EIRE, Arte Wallcoverings: As a brand, we don’t really have a specific style. You can always recognise Arte by the quality, but we try to cover all basis. Trend-wise, sustainability is becoming more and more important for our customers, so we are using more natural materials and that is certainly what is called for. Also, I am really excited to see tactile patterns are coming back around.

    CC: The fashion industry has always had a huge influence on design. There’s so much talk about recycling in the fashion industry at the moment. Like for example reusing materials, and this is already something that hotels are looking at.

    FT: The fashion industry is always half a season ahead. However, things are going to change because they are being challenged. It will be interesting to see how this will filter down into the design sector.

    SH: Where brands could go wrong is using sustainability as a selling point, whereas I believe it should be the foundation of the brand and not the feature. I’m hoping that everyone will end up speaking the same language in design to use for purpose and just naturally recycle materials. One of the key benefits of wallcoverings is that it is so easy – and much more affordable – to change and update interiors.

    AS: I have no problem reusing something from a previous renovation that still looks good. You don’t always have to throw everything out. Sometimes the casegoods, for example, are on par or better than what you could buy new. And with the right wallcovering, the space will look fresh and retouched.

    SK: When we are designing our Arte collections, we like to think of wallcoverings as our showstopper. Is that accurate?

    FT: I think it hasn’t been in the past, but actually bright colours and patterns are becoming the centre stage.

    HK: In all honesty, how much of the budget, time and consideration goes on the wallcovering decisions – and can you talk me through that process?

    CC: You can never estimate these things. The fact that Arte has many wallcoverings that are quite distinctly statement pieces is interesting. If an interior designer would put that into specifications there’s no way that would be changed. It’s the one thing that would be a focal element to a scheme. And if that’s an initiative that everyone agrees on then it will go ahead.

    DM: Designs are moving massively forward. From what I remember 20 years ago, the range and difference is incredible. There are so many interesting things you can do now with the wallcoverings, and I have been introduced to such a vast range of materials.

    AS: It’s also worth mentioning how much more you get in a product these days. Digital printing changed the pace of innovation. You can have so many awesome effects with digital printing, and I expect to see more of that.

    HK: What would you say is the biggest misconception from a client’s point of view?

    ALL: That the client can do it better!

    SH: In all seriousness, all of these interior designer programmes make it look so easy.

    HK: How has the evolution of social media changed the ways in which your briefs from clients are coming in?

    FT: I don’t think it’s any different from years ago when we were asked to create ‘wow factors’. It’s just a different terminology. I ban Pinterest. It is too easy to find information these days. I really encourage our designers to go out and see hotels in person, because I don’t want them to lose that discovery process.

    AS: I always have to ask which page on Pinterest a look came from, because if it’s from the first page, I don’t want to know.

    DM: You’re right, and when they see hotels, I encourage them to find something new than what they have seen online. Too often people are looking for the same shot, the same framing that they have already seen on social media, and it is stripping creativity from the process.

    We were actually given a brief for an independent hotel which was solely to create an instagrammable hotel, which would never have happened only a few years ago.

    We were challenged quite a lot by Hard Rock International when designing the London property. The brand is American and very bold. To be fair to the client, although we did go backwards and forwards, we did manage to convince them to tone down the ‘instagram moments’ for an audience in London.

    VK: We are asked quite often by clients what we consider to be ‘our moments’ in the design. The attention that the ‘Instagram moment’ is getting is much larger and much more exposed to the general public. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. What works in one region does not necessarily work in others.

    HK: With the rise in demand for hotels to feel more boutique and independent, how are the materials you are using in the public areas changing?

    SK: From Arte’s point of view, there seems to be a lot of misconception that vinyl is what is asked for from the big brands. Actually, with the influence of independent and boutique hotels, hotel groups are more willing to use range of products and materials. As manufacturers, we see vinyl an essential material for corridors for obvious reasons, but it’s a different story in the lobby. People don’t really touch the walls, so there is the ability you can have more fun with a variety of materials.

    CC: Fire regulations is key for the country you are in. As long as a material and product has passed its certification, I totally agree.

    HK: How do you predict public areas further changing in the next 10 years?

    CC: More people will start to work remotely. Working in London, there isn’t anywhere comfortable to sit and have a meeting with a few people. I think that should be the next focus, to have more discreet places to have a meeting – and hotels could harness this well.

    SH: I think that there is more that can be done around connectivity. Public areas can still further become even more accessible.

    FT: It will be totally connected to how we work and live. People don’t have the formality so much of going to an office anymore. The behaviour of ‘hotdesking’ is interesting and public spaces in hotels can really respond to that.

    Following the exclusive panel discussion, the leading designers and architects were the first to browse Arte Wallcoverings’ five new collections (Expedition, Wildwalk, Essentials – Les Nuances, Velveteen and Sketch (HookedOnWalls)) before they were officially launched a few days later at Focus19.

    The Standard Hotels brand arrives in the Maldives

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The Standard Hotels brand arrives in the Maldives

    The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives opens as the brand’s second hotel outside America and its debut hotel in Asia… 

    Following the brand’s first venture outside The States to open in London, The Standard brand has spilled into Asia with the arrival of The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives. With 115 stunning private pool villas, The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives is a short sea plane ride away from Male, nestled between the Raa and Baa Atolls, on a naturally protected island.

    The goal of every Standard project — be it a hotel, a rooftop discothèque, or a magazine — is to defy conventions, up the aesthetic stakes, and deliver an experience that can only be had at The Standard. While the Maldives has traditionally been seen as a ‘couple’s destination’, the famed hotel brand has approached the development with a fresh set of eyes. The resort offers an unmatched combination of relaxation, dynamic social life and vibrant cultural programming that also welcomes groups of friends or singles looking to meet others or just reset and recharge in Paradise.

    Each of the 115 villas features its own private lounge deck and plunge pool, and guests can choose from one of six unique culinary offerings. The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives presents culinary options that are inspired by the bounty and beauty of the Indian Ocean and guided by the brand’s commitment to authenticity. Both local and global cuisines are offered, and special, local ingredients – some grown on its very own island farm – are woven throughout the menu.

    The Standard Spa is a haven for recovery or reboot, offering a communal hammam, aroma cypress steam room, chromotherapy and contrast shower, and ten private treatment rooms. Guests are able to drop in to a daily yoga or personal training session, or chill out at the Spa Deck and Tonic Bar plunge pool.

    Of course, no Standard experience would be complete without nightlife, from tribal beats at a beach bonfire to a glass bottom nightclub. And a disco ball above your bath tub, for guests to enjoy their own private party.

    The hotel brand, which was created in 1999, now has six hotels within its portfolio, which includes properties in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London and now the Maldives.

    Main image credit: The Standard Hotels

    In Conversation With: British designer Bim Burton

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    In Conversation With: British designer Bim Burton

    Following the unveil of his latest collaboration with bathroom manufacturer Kaldewei, Bim Burton sits down with Hotel Designs to discuss sustainability in design and the inspiration behind ‘those bath chairs’… 

    Bim Burton is an innovative modern furniture maker and designer, creating timeless design with space saving ideas. Taking this year’s themes of (Re)act at designjunction, Bim and Kaldewei worked together to create, exclusively, for designjunction, a series of recyclable, sustainable unique bath chairs in three different styles.

    These were showcased within the Installations area, located in Lewis Cubitt Park, Kings Cross, London, throughout designjunction, which was very well attended and hosted cutting-edge designers, breakthrough brands, an unrivalled talks programme and unique design experiences.

    Kaldewei steel enamel baths are 100 per cent recyclable, made from Kaldewei’s ownsuperior steel enamel and have been ingeniously crafted to Bim’s unique design -creating beautiful, designer chairs for designjunction’s visitors to relax in.

    Hotel Designs: Why did you want to be part of designjunction?

    Big Burton: I was really flattered to be asked to take part in designjunction this year. I was recommended by British Designer Steuart Padwick, the creator of the breathtaking sculpture “Head Above Water’ also on show in London. Designjunction is one of the best destinations during the London Design Festival (LDF), so obviously, I just couldn’t say no.

    Image credit:: Bim Burton/Kaldewei

    HD: Where did the idea to create bath chairs come from?

    BB: The theme this year is (Re)act and renew so when designjunction asked me what I would design, I immediately thought of the bath chair as it’s an object which is notonly functional but has the chance of a second life. The Kaldewei bath makes a great exterior for seating and I thought this was relevant today with the theme re- use as well as being great for an outside seating area.

    HD: Why is sustainability so important to you?

    Sustainability should be important to everyone. Kaldewei’s baths are 100 per cent recyclable so perfect for this product. During my time as a designer, I have recycled many objects into practical and interesting pieces of furniture.

    “I’ve found Kaldewei to be very enthusiastic when working with their baths.” – Bim Burton

    HD: Why Kaldewei?

    BB: Again, this was a recommendation, this time from designjunction. I’ve found Kaldewei to be very enthusiastic when working with their baths. I couldn’t believehow well made and strong they are, I would definitely recommend them as a bath for their design and durability alone. Kaldewei were very generous in providing me with the chance to realise my design idea of turning baths into chairs – to reuse baths as seating. Kaldewei provided their steel enamel baths for me to cut and workout different ways to use the parts as chairs. I turned them up, sideways, and discovered how many variations I could make. I am very grateful for them trusting me and my imagination.

    HD: How did you find working with steel enamel?

    BB: Cutting the steel wasn’t nearly as difficult as I had imagined, cutting the steel with the right tools is very forgiving!

    HD: What was the biggest challenge?

    In a word – “time”. There just isn’t enough of it. Time is so precious, I usually havevery little of it to bring a project together.

    HD: What was the most enjoyable part of the project?

    BB: I’ve enjoyed working with the challenge of the bath shape and its material, as well as having the freedom to use my creativity bringing to life my design – transforming the baths into bath chairs!

    HD: What’s happened to the bath chairs now that the event has passed?

    BB: Good question! They will probably go for sale. I already have a list of people who would like one… so let’s see.

    From Inside to Out is in collaboration with – Kaldewei, AJ Wells, Agua Fabrics & AHEC.

    Main image credit: Bim Burton/Kaldewei

    Sleep & Eat unveils design details of this year’s VIP Lounge

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Sleep & Eat unveils design details of this year’s VIP Lounge

    ‘Gather’ in the enigmatically designed VIP Lounge. Sleep & Eat announces collaboration with Megre Interiors to create a new design-led experience…

    Sleep & Eat, one of Europe’s leading design and innovation event for the hospitality sector, has revealed an enticing glimpse of its new-look VIP Lounge. Created for the first time this year by an international design firm, the lounge will be brought to life by Moscow-based interior design studio Megre Interiors. With this year’s theme of ‘Social FlexAbility’, VIP Lounge guests are promised an experience like never before.

    Named ‘Gather’ by the designers, the original oak panelled Olympia Club Room will be transformed into a whimsical flora and fauna-inspired space. Drapes, upholstery and even the flooring will be in a fabric depicting exotic flowers, specially designed for Sleep & Eat by Megre Interiors, cascades of fabric flowers will loop through the space and, in the epicentre, a large-scale light installation will flicker like a fire. This will be surrounded by orbicular seating –referencing the circular gathering places of human history and drawing a parallel to the primeval pleasure of coming together around a firepit.

    “In an age marked by the impersonal, it’s vital to trust people over brands.” – Yuna Megre, Founder and Principal of Megre Interiors

    Arriving in the entrance reception, guests will find themselves enticed into the space by a single thread of light. Inside, lighting remains low, shapes and forms are obscured and audacious texture and colour prevail. Collections of poufs as well as the circular seating will be underlit to glow like beacons. Vastly adaptable, this will be a room that gives its users the power to interact with it and alter as they wish, moving the seating around to suit their needs. It will be about the opportunity is to meet, talk, learn and relax, and to emerge better connected than before.

    “The human soul blossoms fully only when we meaningfully connect with one another,” says Yuna Megre, Founder and Principal of Megre Interiors. “In an age marked by the impersonal, it’s vital to trust people over brands. To meet, to see, to know each other and embark on the adventure of creation together.”

    The VIP Lounge will not be the only space at Sleep & Eat to be specially designed by an international design firm. Plans for this year also include the introduction of The Hub – yet to be revealed – as well as the much-loved Sleeper Bar which will host the late evening networking on day one and is this year being designed by Michaelis Boyd.

    Sleep & Eat, November 19 – 20 in the National Hall, Olympia London. The show will be open from 10am on Tuesday 19 with an evening drinks reception until 8.30 pm, and from 10am-6pm on Wednesday 20. To register for a complimentary pass, visit registration.

    Main image credit: Merge Interiors/Sleep & Eat

    THROWBACK: Duravit looks back on 2019’s top bathroom trends

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    THROWBACK: Duravit looks back on 2019’s top bathroom trends

    As we hurtle into Q4 of 2019, Bathroom manufacturer Duravit is taking a look back at some of this year’s top bathroom trends that are still holding strong. From organic shapes to matte finishes, these are the looks to add a high-end touch to any designer bathroom into the coming season and year…

    Organic elegance

    Frank Lloyd Wright, an early pioneer of organic architecture, took his inspiration from nature.

    The legendary architect integrated organic forms into his works, seeking to harmonise the object with the environment.

    Duravit’s latest additions to its product ranges perpetuate this idea: sweeping lines and dynamic curves characterize new products like Viu/XViu and Starck T.

    The Viu/XViu series by sieger design boasts a post-industrial elegance with a combination of organic forms and precise geometry. The highlight is a washbasin with Duravit’s patented c-bonded technology: the clear rectangular definition on the outside contrasts with gentle organic curves within, reminiscent of the softness of water.

    The fluid transition from the round base to the geometric “T” shape is the defining design feature of the Starck T series, the first accessory line by Duravit and longtime collaborator Philippe Starck. It is reminiscent of an organic, branching tree structure. This simple yet chic design element runs through every part of the series as a subtle, recurring signature.

    Colours, Materials, and Surfaces

    Matte colors are reigning strong in interior design. In the bathroom silky, matte surfaces and wood create a soothing, warming atmosphere. Duravit’s new light and dark matt glazes for washbasins and toilets open up an even greater variety of combination options. Their velvety finish exudes a sophisticated elegance and creates contrasts with glossy individual pieces or zones with other pops of color.

    The Happy D.2 Plus bathroom furniture, created by sieger design, is available in a total of 11 finishes for an individual look in the bathroom, featuring quality wood or fashionable matte surfaces in light and dark shades. Even greater customization options are afforded by the choice of six finishes for the console panel, enabling a whole range of creative combinations: monochrome, harmonious tone-on-tone, or contrasting.

    These can be further enhanced with the expressive Starck T accessories in stylish Matt Black or Chrome to create a cohesive aesthetic. Ranging from toothbrush holders to towel hooks and soap dispensers, the range encompasses 16 high-quality accessories.

    Smart Technology

    Duravit’s tech-forward mirrors provide a bevy of features and intuitive ease of use that make them optimal for any bathroom setting. The features of the round Happy D.2 Plus mirrors in particular offer added comfort. Mirror heating and the ambient light and colored light switching function can be operated via icon control. The series also provides the opportunity for a perfectly matching double washing area: two mirrors can be paired at the factory for additional convenience.

    Main image credit: Duravit

    In Conversation With: Mark Tremlett, co-founder of Naturalmat

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    In Conversation With: Mark Tremlett, co-founder of Naturalmat

    With ‘the bed’ continuing to be the first and arguably most important furniture element to get right when designing any hotel experience, editor Hamish Kilburn sits down with Mark Tremlett, co-founder of Naturalmat, to understand how it has uniquely become one of the world’s leading bed and mattress manufacturers for the hotel industry…

    20 years ago, when Britney Spears, Steps and Ricky Martin were dominating the UK pop charts, Naturalmat’s interesting narrative began in rural Devon, where its headquarters remains to this day.

    And like all great manufacturing stories, it started with a family business. Mark Tremlett and his father were boat builders, working to design luxury superyachts at their base in Topsham, on the picturesque banks of the River Exe.

    Despite consumers investing a lot of money in high-quality interiors, using bespoke fixtures and fittings, let alone the cost of each vessel, the father-and-son duo saw a fundamental issue with the conventional beds that were being specified in the marine industry. “I saw that people were still sleeping on poor quality polyurethane foam mattresses underneath it all,” explains Tremlett, the co-founder of Naturalmat. “This is not a great material to use on a boat (or any bed) as it’s not breathable, leading to issues of damp and mould, and doesn’t give the most comfortable experience.”

    Fine-tuning his entrepreneurial skills, Tremlett teamed up with Peter Tindall to develop a mattress that made full use of the organic sheeps’ wool that was naturally in thick supply in the West Country, combined with coconut fibre and natural latex. “This made for a superior night’s sleep, greater longevity and an all-round more comfortable experience for the owner,” he adds.

    Following success in the marine industry with the innovative and practical bed solution, Tremlett settled down and began a new journey, fatherhood, which inspired the next branch of Naturalmat’s portfolio to grow.

    In 2001, after noticing the lack of sustainable, durable and functional materials on offer when searching for an appropriate cot for his new-born baby, Naturalmat Nursery was formed. “Materials wise,” Tremlett explains, “we have not changed that much for the mattresses. The core organic and natural fibres that you find in our marine mattresses will also be found in our nursery, domestic and hotel mattresses.” The result was a breathable, organic and comfortable mattress for a market that was, prior to Naturalmat’s entrance, screaming out for innovation.

    The next turn in the story came in 2008 when Tremlett was approached by Simon Woodroffe who was developing the YOTEL concept. With smaller sized rooms, which the hotel brand refers to as cabins, the stars aligned, which led to Naturalmat further expanding globally and entering what is now its largest market; the international hotel industry. “Simon was looking for a sustainable, organic sleep solution that worked in his compact spaces, but didn’t cut corners on comfort,” explains Tremlett. “We worked together and became the bed consultants for his business.” Following the milestone partnership, more opportunities emerged, such as working with Qbic, Six Senses Resorts, Z Hotels, Hoxton Hotels and more.

    Image credit: Naturalmat

    Each and every Naturalmat mattress and bed is made by hand in the company’s purpose- built factory in the same site where Tremlett began his venture in 1999. “We believe that people, not machines, make a superior, longer lasting product,” he adds. “Our team ensure every stitch, every fibre, every tufting button and every cover is painstakingly created, teased and checked.”

    “When we started, I was making mattresses on my old table tennis table in a small corner of our boatyard.” – Mark Tremlett, co-founder of Naturalmat.

    With demand at an all-time high, the company’s British infrastructure also had to grow. “What has changed is the size and space that we need to make all our ranges,” says Tremlett. “When we started, I was making mattresses on my old table tennis table in a small corner of our boatyard. We now have almost 40,000 sq/ft of dedicated space and are

    building another new 25,000 sq/ft. We also now design and make a full range bed bases and headboards so our upholstery skill set and our knowledge of fabrics has had to develop to achieve this.

    Another unique strand to the fabrics of the company is the method of sourcing its materials. “Our organic lambswool comes from Soil Association certified farms in Devon, Dorset and Somerset,” says Tremlett. “We buy direct from organic farmers, to ensure the highest quality. Buying direct also gives the farmers a better return than taking it to market, so we are supporting our local farming community.”

    By keeping a close eye on its supply chain and manufacturing, all the way to delivery, Naturalmat is able to guarantee a great quality product every time, and also meet the needs of hoteliers who have specific requirements. “When a mattress leaves our factory, we are confident it will give years of long lasting comfort,” adds Tremlett.

    While the industry is slowly starting to design more consciously and responsibly around the environment, with thanks to a number of catalysts – the obvious being the David Attenborough effect – Naturalmat’s core DNA is, and has always been, to create sustainable and comfortable products. Largely, if not wholly, as result of the company remaining firm in its eco and quality ethos, Naturalmat has become a market-leader in several sectors. “I think that everybody is very conservative at heart and changes just take time to come about,” adds Tremlett. “Also the price initially would have put people off, but now the value of making a sustainable product is much more important in the buying decision than it ever used to be.”

    QUICK-FIRE ROUND:

    Hamish Kilburn: On a scale of one to 10, how eco-friendly do you consider your lifestyle to be?
    Mark Tremlett: A solid 8/10

    HK: Where do your product development ideas usually come from?
    MT: Our products are created in answer to two big problems that are universal issues. 1) How do we live more sustainably? 2) And how do I get better sleep?

    HK: What other eco products on the market are you impressed by at the moment?
    MT: We are always keeping an eye on the latest eco technologies and considering how they could be applied to our products. I have been very impressed with some of the emerging fibres and fabrics that we have seen at design and trade shows. We have been playing around with Pinatex, a sustainable alternative to leather that’s made from pineapples. I could see that upholstering a stylish bed!

    HK: Can you name one trend you wish never returns?
    MT: Supermarket fruit and vegetable plastic packaging – please can we make this an endangered species.

    HK: Becoming a parent inspired a new direction in your business. What do you hope your child/children learn from you?
    MT: Try hard, work hard, have fun and it will all be ok in the end.

    HK: Is the bed still the most important element of a hotel experience?
    MT: If I said anything other than yes, I would by lying.

    Image credit: Naturalmat

    Through conversations that are happening at the moment on the international hotel design scene, the industry seems to be surfing on the crest of the wave when it comes actively designing eco-friendly hotels, but is the future landscape of international hotel design one that is layered with eco hotels? Tremlett seems to believe so. “Whereas for many years eco travel appealed to a niche consumer, it is now very much in the mainstream,” he explains. “The environment is a universal concern and increasing numbers of people are making positive changes to their everyday lives with this in mind, from choosing a reusable cup, to organic furnishings, to locally sourced restaurants, to an eco- friendly trip. It makes sense that the demand for eco hotels will only continue to grow, and that existing hotels will feel a pressure to make more environmentally friendly choices.

    In regards to the future, as well as being specified for the Conscious Bedroom concept that Harris & Harris will be unveiling next month at the Independent Hotel Show London, Naturalmat continues to innovate its products to cater for growing and evolving demand. “Our customers have been asking us for better bedding, so we are about to launch our new range of 500 thread count GOTS certified organic cotton bedding,” Tremlett explains. “We are buying direct from source and have been very fussy about the level of what we want, it has taken ages but we will be launching this in the Autumn.”

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

    Main image credit: Naturalmat

    A new look and feel for Momentous

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    A new look and feel for Momentous

    Momentous, the specialist logistics company that has recently become Recommended Supplier, has just launched a fresh new look and feel for its international business… 

    Momentous, which is part of AGM Group, has just pressed the button on a new website that has been dynamically designed specifically to highlight the company’s three core areas of specialist logistics, which are:

    1. FF&E Logistics for Interior Design
    2. Event and Tour Logistics for the Performing Arts
    3. Fine Art Logistics and Installations

    “Momentous provides a versatile service covering multiple specialist and complimentary disciplines.”

    Momentous provides international transportation with customs management, digital condition reporting, bespoke case making and installation of pieces of art and sculpture in spaces with specialist lifting equipment. Consolidated storage with FF&E inventory management, distribution and installations for major interior design projects. Its events logistics team provide transport logistics and crews on-site for live events and storage of equipment, film sets and wardrobes. Momentous provides a versatile service covering multiple specialist and complimentary disciplines.

    With decades of experience, the team includes project managers who are experts in their fields, experienced fine art technicians and logistics crews with decades of experience, ready to apply their knowledge to plan and execute your project just the way you need.

    When it comes to the important aspects such as safety, compliance, equality and sustainability, it is good to know that Momentous is part of the AGM Group which means everything complies to the company’s ISO standards and governance.

    “The company provides world class logistics management for its interior design, events and fine art clients.”

    “As a group, Momentous offers companies an exceptional level of expertise and service for specialist logistics services,” said Russell Start,  Managing Director of AGM Group.” Momentous caters for projects that are more complex than most.”

    The company, which originally began in the 1970s as an independent fine art shipping company, provides world class logistics management for its interior design, events and fine art clients.

    These three areas have a clear synergy and are particularly relevant today as fine art is increasingly intrinsic to hotel and interior design projects. Furthermore, where event logistics are now just as relevant to hotel launches and art exhibitions as they are to the thriving live events market. Momentous provides all these services through a single source.

    Giles Bristow, Project Manager at Momentous, commented: “Having all these specialist services available under a single Momentous brand, makes complete sense. It means that we provide a flexible and seamless logistics service, enabling us to condition report, pack, move, store and install just about anything for our clients.”

    To request a quotation or to discuss your project logistics requirements please click here.

    Momentous 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.

    PRODUCT WATCH: Latest innovation from Unidrain embraces contemporary corners

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    PRODUCT WATCH: Latest innovation from Unidrain embraces contemporary corners

    With its products available across the globe, Unidrain is a world’s leading drainmanufacturer and nobody puts Unidrain in the corner! Unless of course it is the new Reframe corner shelf, which is the latest addition to the award-winning Reframe Collection created by Danish designer Kenneth Waaben

    Unidrain’s latest product is further proof that stylish bathroom accessories are a key part of the company’s offering.

    The award-winning Refrane Collection has expanded with the addition of the Reframe corner shelf. The ethos behind all the products, within the Reframe Collection, is a desire to improve and reframe the existing; the innovative new corner shelf is no exception.

    Most bathroom shelving is linear as corners; in reality tend to not be an exact 90 degree angle. The beauty of the new corner shelf is not only visual but practical as it adapts to the shape of the corner in which it is placed. The shelf has an anti-slip barrier to ensure shower essentials do not slip when the shelf is wet, whilst discreet grooves enable excess water to drain away easily.

    The shelf is created from a reinforced steel plate and is available in five different colour options; copper, brass, brushed stainless steel, hand polished stainless steel and black.

    Unidrain is not your average drain company; in the last year they have won three prestigious international film awards for their corporate video, these now sit alongside over 12 other design awards.

    Unidrain were established in 2003 and have gone from inventing the linear floor drain to creating a leading international brand, spreading Danish design ethics and Nordic minimalism to the rest of the globe. Unidrain products and accessories play a key role in the look and feel of the most stylish bathrooms on the planet, from five star hotels in the Maldives, to the award winning Herman K in Copenhagen.

    Winner at The Brit List 2018, Robin Sheppard, given Lifetime Achievement Award

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Winner at The Brit List 2018, Robin Sheppard, given Lifetime Achievement Award

    Bespoke Hotels Chairman, who was last year’s winner of the Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Award at The Brit List 2018, has been honoured at 2019 AA Hospitality Awards…

    Bespoke Hotels’ Chairman, Robin Sheppard, has been honoured with the Lifetime Achievement accolade at the 2019 AA Hospitality Awards.

    Having co-founded Bespoke at the end of 1999, alongside Group CEO Haydn Fentum, Robin enters his 50th year in the hospitality industry, a sector he has described as “the most wonderful family” that comprised “a fellowship that I cherish, but which I could never have anticipated when starting out”.

    Now 64, Robin has no thoughts of retirement, and is increasingly focussed on promoting accessible tourism via the Blue Badge Access Awards, alongside encouraging young people to enter hospitality and have a career to be proud of.

    Presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award, Simon Numphud, Managing Director of AA Media, referred to Robin’s 2004 diagnosis of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which resulted in paralysis from the neck down for a period of several months. Following two years of relentless physiotherapy, Robin was ultimately able to return to work and has gone on to spearhead Bespoke’s ongoing growth.

    “Robin has been an inspiration to us all”, he stated. “With his career made even more remarkable by the exceptional challenges he has overcome, as well as his involvement in the creation of the Blue Badge Access Awards and appointment as chairman of the Institute of Hospitality.”

    “I’m actually on cloud nine”, added Sheppard. “I have just got married, and it’s not often you spend the second night of your honeymoon in the company of 1000 people at Grosvenor House!

    “I’ve been around the block a few times, but I’ve no intention to slow down yet. It’s a tremendously exciting time for Bespoke Hotels, with the team currently focused on opening three properties in 2020: Hotel Brooklyn in February, with the Telegraph Hotel in Coventry, and Sun Street Hotel, near Liverpool Street in London, launching later in the year.”

    Bespoke Hotels entered its third decade of operations in 2019, and now stands as the UK’s largest independent hotel group with over 200 properties represented worldwide. Co-founded in 1999 by CEO Haydn Fentum and Chairman Robin Sheppard, Bespoke has enjoyed consistent growth and now manages over 9,500 hotel rooms, with £815 million in assets, and 8,000 employees under its wing.

    “While the business itself has transformed dramatically over the preceding two decades, I am immensely proud to say our principles and focus have not changed”, he added. “Bespoke has been a fantastic chapter in my career, where I have learned a huge amount from my colleagues, and been able to develop and put into practice many of the ideas I stumbled across in the preceding decades; not forgetting to have some fun along the way, especially in creating our flagship Hotel Gotham brand. And we are far from finished yet!”

    Main image credit: AA Hospitality Awards

    Leading designers, architects and hoteliers to attend The Brit List Awards 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Leading designers, architects and hoteliers to attend The Brit List Awards 2019

    Here are some of the leading names that have confirmed to attend Hotel Designs annual award ceremony, The Brit List Awards 2019…

    It’s been just seven days since Hotel Designs officially unveiled the shortlisted finalists for The Brit List 2019, and already design directors, principals and hoteliers from the UK’s leading firms and hotels have confirmed to attend the exclusive award ceremony, which will take place at Patch East London on November 21.

    Among the leading designers who have already confirmed are design directors and principals from Richmond International, Project Orange, Harriet Forde Design, Harris + Harris, RPW Design, Scott Brownrigg and IHG.

    In regards to architects attending The Brit List Awards 2019, Hotel Designs will welcome associates and directors from the likes of Zaha Hadid Architects, WATG, Jestico + Whiles and Dexter Moren Associates.

    Hoteliers confirmed to attend the annual awards ceremony include, among others, Good Hotel London, Limewood Group and Homegrown Hotels, Rosewood London, Cliveden House, The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences London, The Dixon, Bespoke Hotels, Eccleston Square, Inhabit London and Hotel Gotham.

    The nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations and applications to readers.

    Since then, an independent panel of expert judges have gathered to select this year’s individual award winners and also to confirm the 75 individuals who have made it into The Brit List 2019.

    Head of Interior Design at IHG, Emma King, attended last year’s event and was one of the 75 names in The Brit List 2018. “The Brit List recognises the UK’s best hotel design talent,” she said at the time. “We at IHG are proud to be recognised for the hard work we have done to the interior design of our brands in recent years.”

    The shortlist is available to read here.

    “The Brit List is an unparalleled networking opportunity for all,” said editor Hamish Kilburn. “Bridging the gap between designers, architects, suppliers, hoteliers, developers, owners and operators has always been – and continues to be – the aim of every decision made by the team at Hotel Designs.”

    How to attend

    Suppliers: Click here if you are a supplier to the industry to secure your ticket for £150 + VAT.
    Designers, architects, hoteliers and developers: Click here if you are either a designer, hotelier, developer or architect to secure your ticket for £20 + VAT.

    If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050.

    #TheBritListAwards2019

    Headline Partner: Crosswater

    Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

    2019 Industry Partner: BIID

    MINIVIEW: The Pig at Bridge Place

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    MINIVIEW: The Pig at Bridge Place

    Following its hotly anticipated opening in April, The Pig at Bridge Place marks the hotel brand’s sixth authentic boutique hotel within its portfolio. Editor Hamish Kilburn heads back to his home county in Kent to explore the countryside gem… 

    With its welcoming red brick façade and ornate Jacobean interior, Bridge Place is an intriguing old building with an usual rock-n-roll vibe. Over the past four decades, this musical honeypot in Bridge, Kent, has been home to some renowned parties and gigs playing host in the ‘70s to Led Zeppelin and The Kinks.

    The property houses a wealth of period features, which are most noticeable in the public areas, including large fireplaces, secret stairways, panelled walls and endless nooks and crannies. In the refurbishment, all of these structural nuances have been respected and enhanced to create seven bedrooms along with numerous cosy bars and sitting areas.

    But now, the building has turned the page to a new chapter, The Pig at Bridge Place is a 31-key boutique hotel that oozes effortless style thanks to the acclaimed designer Judy Hutson, whose signature style has given The Pig its unique brand of laid-back chic, which has been beloved by guests to date.

    The Pig, Bridge Place, Canterbury, Kent, hotel, boutique hotel, gardens, restaurant, bar

    Attached to the main building a new, carefully detailed Coach House contains a restaurant with open kitchen. Within The Coach House are 12 bedrooms; four on the ground floor and eight on the first floor. Over the brook via a hand crafted wooden bridge are seven fitting Hop Pickers’ Huts created from reclaimed materials all dotted along a meandering wooden walkway. Each hut houses a double bedroom with cosy bathroom and wood-burning stove. Next to the kitchen garden is The Barn; a large upstairs/downstairs room with vast bathroom and bedroom views across the garden.

    Worlds away from the building’s former existence of being an illustrious party scene in the ’70s, the rooms inside The Pig at Bridge Place are a calming oasis reflecting countryside bliss. Overflowing with character and style, each key unlocks its own personality. Original details can be found in each room, which are finished effortlessly with carefully curated artwork and an array of personally chosen vintage features.

    “We’ve had a great couple of years, with customers seeming to love what we do. Occupancy is in the mid 90 per cent in our rural locations and we know from our guests and their invaluable feedback that they want more PIGs,” said CEO of Home Grown Hotels Robin Hutson. “After searching far and wide for truly unique properties, we really are over the moon about our new hotel in Kent.”

    If the design wasn’t impressive enough, as with every other PIG, the kitchen garden and restaurant sit at the beating heart of this property; anything that can’t be supplied by the gardens are impressively sourced from Kent’s best producers within a 25-mile radius of Bridge.

    Main image credit: The Pig at Bridge Place

    Top furniture looks to come out of London Design Festival

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Top furniture looks to come out of London Design Festival

    Are you sitting comfortably? Here is Hamish Kilburn’s editor’s pick of the most innovative furniture pieces that were exhibited at London Design Festival 2019…

    With the design world watching, London Design Festival (LDF) once again delivered a spectacular performance full of colour, shapes and thoughtful design. Full of twists and turns – and too many highlights to mention – the nine-day festival included events, talks and installations that all explored how product design is changing to cater to the evolving behaviours and demands of modern consumers.

    For the purpose of this article, I have selected my top picks from four of LDF’s leading exhibitions that made the most noise – and they were: Focus19, 100% Design, designjunction and London Design Fair.

    Winch Design’s Arc Collection for Summit Furniture – weaving new design directions 

    Winch Design and Summit Furniture introduced Arc, their debut collaboration, at Focus19. The two companies collaborated to create “the ultimate exterior furniture range”, which is inspired by the sea and the sky.

    A signature feature of the range is laminated teak, which is woven between maritime-grade brushed stainless steel rods, alternatively undulating, they arc around the back of the seats in gentle rows. The final result is reminiscent of the woven rope traditionally used on sailing yachts. Winch Design is inspired by the patterns, colours and textures of the natural world, and every design that leaves the studio is imbued with its own unique spirit, identity and story. With dedication to storytelling underpinning their fastidious attention to detail and commitment to design perfection, Arc was brought to life. The name ‘Arc’ is visually evocative and brings to mind the long arcing lines of latitude and longitude, the curve of the horizon, of a full sail, and of the shapes in the sky made by sailors when navigating by the stars using the arc of the marine sextant.

    Each piece in the collection complements the other, enabling the client to enjoy a unified, contemporary exterior look. Arc by Winch Design features a lounge chair, dining chair, bar chair, low coffee style table, sun lounger, bar cart, dining table and occasional table.

    The low, deep seating style encourages a laid back and relaxed atmosphere, creating the perfect environment to enjoy a drink at sunset. The curve of the woven teak contrasts with the straight, smooth edges and clean lines of the cushions, keeping the overall impression fresh and contemporary. The fabric on any of the soft furnishings is completely customisable.

    Ligne Roset – adaptable by nature

    Creative and pioneering by nature, Ligne Roset’s bold and contemporary stamp was imprinted on Focus19 and left a lasting impression. The brand presented its iconic ‘Prado’ settle, which adjusts freely with weighted cushions that can easily be moved from sofa to floor. The result is a comfortable, non-conformist piece of furniture that can adapt as quickly as the travel trends and guest behaviours within modern, design-led hotels around the globe.

    Andrew Martin – taking a walk on the wild side

    Unveiling a multi-layered theatrical approach design, Andrew Martin – in try Andrew Martin style – let the leash off his new collections in his own jungle-covered installation, which was entitled: The Lost City of Ozymandias.

    The new collections that were hidden in an enclave of treasure and travel included the Evans side table and Retrospective, in collaboration with Kelly Hoppen, which is a statement collection of more than 40 designs, which includes everything from furniture to lighting.

    Benchmark – architecture meets biophilic furniture design

    Image credit: Benchmark

    Benchmark presented a new collection of furniture by award-winning American architect David Rockwell at 100% Design. The Sage Collection, designed for office and commercial environments as well as the home, has a specific focus on human health and well-being within the built environment and meets the standards required for WELL certified buildings. The tenets of biophilic design inspired the collection, with its natural materials, colours and textures, rounded profiles and inviting ergonomic shapes. These elements are intrinsic in the work of both Benchmark and David Rockwell, which, together with an interest in transformation and mobility, have resulted in a collection that offers moments of both refuge and prospect.

    sixteen3 – recycled quality

     

    Image credit: sixteen3

    Exhibiting at designjunction, sixteen3 unveiled a number of contract furniture pieces that stood out for their eco qualities. Claiming that the product is made from 92 per cent recycled material and is 100 per cent recyclable, the Pop stools has been designed with purpose and is ideal for contemporary urban public areas. Another product launched at the show was Reece are armchairs that have been made from 83 per cent recycled materials and are 100 per cent recyclable.

    Inspired by the evolution of the workplace to a more relaxed, social and mobile interior, the brand’s product portfolio offers a softer approach to working, with an extensive collection of seating ranges, stylish cafe chairs and modular space division systems.

    Kolho Series by Matthew Day Jackson

    Image credit: Made by Choice

    As hotel public areas become less defined by hotel branding, and more attuned with the behaviour of guests, there is a opening for suppliers to become more daring with their designs; to take a practical item, like a piece of furniture for example, and bring it to life to make a bold statement. Cue the launch of Kolho Series by designer Matthew Day Jackson. Sheltered at London Design Fair, the new range of tables and chairs take their inspiration from the Apollo landing and a small town called Kolho in Finland.

    “The serpent represents temptation and chaos which supports the flat plane of reason,” said Day Jackson. “The space between reason chaos is that of play. This is the space where our human animal truly shows its greatest self.

    Hotel Designs’ official LDF round-up will be published shortly.

    Main image credit: Made by Choice

    Carlton Tel Aviv reveals new public area interior scheme

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Carlton Tel Aviv reveals new public area interior scheme

    Award-winning hotel Carlton Tel Aviv speaks to bleisure trend with infusion of new, contemporary art, stylish lightning schemes, and a circular beachfront lobby bar and beyond…

    Carlton Tel Aviv, a The 268-key luxury property that was voted “Israel’s Leading Business Hotel 2019” by World Travel Awards, today officially reveals its newly designed lobby, corridors, business lounge, work spaces and lobby bar.

    With the aim to offer guests an infusion of new and artistic decor, lighting schemes, public areas and workspaces, the hotel commissioned interior design studio Yaron Tal to manifest new and fresh renovations as Tel Aviv continues to excel as one of the world’s most attractive destinations for both leisure and business travel.

    To make walking through the corridors a more meaningful experience, the new design exists of deep, warm and rich materials. Warm colors such as deep blue and copper are used, and rich materials such as copper and brass. Wallpaper printed with copper accents are to be found throughout the corridors. The unique and reflective, yet romantic lights, gives a sense of lightness in the historic Brutalist building.

    The concept in the lobby was to make a lighter, less heavy feel to the lobby that is a blend between business and pleasure. Materials such as oak wood, rich fabrics, glass and brass, allow a more formal atmosphere to mix with young and sophisticated, and with the feeling of a luxury vacation.

    In the old floor plan, the bar was somewhat hidden in the back of the lobby. By bringing the bar to the front of the lobby it becomes more inviting, and a central meeting point at the hotel. The design, with ceramic tiles of which both colour and shape complement the view, the bar is now a central area, offering a relaxing environment for breakfast, lunch, dinner and cocktails with a view over the Mediterranean Sea.

    Main image credit: Carlton Tel Aviv

    Moxy Hotels opens third property in New York City

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Moxy Hotels opens third property in New York City

    Moxy NYC East Village shelters stylish and affordable design-driven guestrooms, co-working spaces, and four new dynamic F&B areas…

    Marriott International’s quirky lifestyle brand, Moxy, which currently has 44 hotels in America, Europe and Asia, makes it a hatrick in New York City, with the unveiling of its third property in the city that never sleeps. Moxy NYC East Village has opened in the heart of East Village, where rock ‘n’ roll, renegade art, LGBTQ+ activism, and generations of immigrants all merged to give birth to American counterculture.

    Located on East 11th Street between Third and Fourth Avenues, directly across from the legendary concert venue Webster Hall, the hotel features 286 design-driven guestrooms, co-working spaces, and tech-savvy amenities, as well as lively restaurants, bars, and cultural programming – all at an affordable price. Part of Marriott International’s experiential Moxy Hotels brand, Moxy East Village marks the third Moxy property developed by Lightstone, following the successful openings of Moxy Times Square and Moxy Chelsea.

    “Moxy East Village is conceived as a vertical timeline, drawing inspiration from various eras in East Village history.”

    With interior design by Rockwell Group and architecture by Stonehill Taylor, Moxy East Village is conceived as a vertical timeline, drawing inspiration from various eras in East Village history, from the earliest settlers to the punk era to today. Interior design is inspired by urban archaeology, with the hotel’s 13 floors loosely conceived as homages to different eras in the East Village’s past and present, as well as its future. Three check-in kiosks just inside the entrance are assemblages by local artist Michael Sanzone, made from found objects and materials. Behind the kiosks, striped tapestries hang on the walls and bleed onto the floors. Their alternating bands of graffiti and graphics recall shredded layers of wheat-pasted posters—the kind you might see peeling off a downtown building façade.

    The guestrooms are, like all Moxy properties, smartly designed featuring the brand’s iconic peg wall. The rooms are completee with trendy hotel bathrooms, which include walk-in rain showers, glazed lava stone sinks and MUK amenities.

    Image credit: Moxy Hotels

    Lightstone has once again teamed up with Tao Group Hospitality who oversees the four brand-new dining and drinking areas at Moxy East Village that offer a multitude of scenes all under one roof: Alphabet Bar & Café, Cathedral, Little Sister and a rooftop bar which will launch in Spring 2020. “I don’t think there are any places in New York where you can get an outdoor café vibe, a coffeehouse vibe, a dimly lit bar, a backyard rooftop party, and a grand dining room all in one,” said Noah Tepperberg, Co-Founder of Tao Group Hospitality.

    Alphabet Bar & Café, situated in the lobby, serves as the social heart of Moxy East Village, comprising a bar, terrace, co-working lounge, and meeting studios that seamlessly transition from day to night. The seating includes plush sofas and swinging chairs; a Skee-Ball game provides a hit of nostalgia for the arcade era.  An interactive real-time graffiti installation lets guests use a tablet to draw their own tag or sketch a bit of street art, like a latter-day Basquiat or Haring, and see it projected on the wall. The iconic Strand Bookstore will have a cart in Alphabet Bar offering free books, and nearby Academy Records will offer free vinyl LPs and curated collections so guests can listen to the sounds of the East Village’s past, present, and future—to play on a retro turntable, provided in-room on request.  Alphabet Café serves an all-day menu of custom artisanal brews by Intelligentsia Coffee, freshly baked goods, composed salads, and seasonal panini and tartines.

    The centrepiece of Moxy East Village is Cathédrale, a French-Mediterranean restaurant conceived by Tao Group Hospitality Chef/Partner Ralph Scamardella, in collaboration with Executive Chef Jason Hall. As diners descend from the lobby—via a staircase that resembles a fire escape between two East Village buildings—they’ll feel like they’re discovering an abandoned architectural treasure. That’s thanks to the show-stopping Rockwell Group-designed main dining room, a triple-height space covered by Italian artist Edoardo Tresoldi’s dramatic wire mesh sculpture that looks like the apparition of a grand domed ceiling. Named by Forbes as one of the 30 most influential European artists under 30, Tresoldi is revered for his installations in public spaces, including Etherea at the 2018 Coachella Music Festival. His ethereal sculpture for the ceiling of Cathédrale pays homage to the interior of the Fillmore East, once known as the “Church of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” The delicate yet monumental sculpture, called Fillmore, is made from Tresoldi’s signature wire mesh and floats above the main dining room, creating a dramatic dialogue with the restaurant’s architecture. Tresoldi describes Fillmore as an “architectural precious wreck” and a “tribute to the legendary cultural background that influenced not only New York’s culture, but several generations worldwide.”

    Under Cathedrale’s soaring, 26-foot ceilings, the space includes a blue-tiled, open-hearth kitchen hung with copper pots and equipped with a rotisserie grill. An outdoor dining terrace, with a retractable roof, also feels like a hidden surprise: channelling the improvised backyard gardens tucked behind many East Village restaurants. The Poster Room, a private dining space that seats up to 26, immerses guests in the psychedelic rock era, its walls and ceiling lined with backlit screen prints of vintage concert posters from the Fillmore East.  Cathédrale brings elemental cooking and a poised French-Mediterranean sense of hospitality to its striking setting. The menu is focused on well-prepared but simply arranged dishes that pay quiet deference to the cuisine of Southern France with traces of Italy, Spain, and Greece.

    Located on the lower level, adjacent to Moxy East Village, Little Sister is an intimate, seductive, sophisticated lounge – an update from the underground clubs that defined East Village nightlife in the 1990s. Its clandestine, cavern-like feel is enriched by jewel-toned velvet sofas and plush banquettes, embossed leather accents, a glowing copper DJ stand, and a mirrored-copper bar illuminated by an overhead bank of backlit whiskey bottles. Wood-clad, barrel-vaulted ceilings evoke a hidden underground chamber where whiskey might have been stored in the bootlegger era. Legendary doorman Wass Stevens, will conspire to create an exclusive, in-the-know vibe at the ropes.

    Opening in Spring 2020, the rooftop bar is designed to resemble a coveted New York City backyard garden, with strung garden lights, abundant foliage, and colorful patio furniture. A retractable roof allows the bar to be used in all seasons. Behind the bar, liquor bottles will be displayed in stacked plastic milk crates—not unlike those you’d spot on an East Village sidewalk. On one wall, interlaced with crawling ivy, will be a mural that overlays a map of the area with images from the neighbourhood’s musical and artistic history. The venue will be available for private events and hotel programming before its official debut.

    Authentic, local, and experiential have all become buzzwords in the hotel business,” said Hochberg. “With Moxy Times Square and Moxy Chelsea, we’ve seen how putting visitors and New Yorkers in the same space can foster a sense of community. The East Village’s breadth of experiences and layers of history allow us to take that concept to a whole new level. Moxy East Village is multidimensional—a thrilling mashup that lets people honour the past, experience the present, and dream about the future. We’re embracing it all to create a true sense of magic.”

    “Moxy is a brand that has always boldly broken the rules of a conventional hotel experience, and we’re excited to be able to bring our fun and spirited brand to New York’s iconic East Village to help evolve the hospitality scene in the neighborhood,” said Toni Stoeckl, Global Brand Leader, Moxy Hotels, and Vice President, Distinctive Select Brands, Marriott International.

    There are 96 Moxy Hotels in the pipeline opening in North America, Asia, The Caribbean & Latin America, and Europe.

    Main image credit: Moxy Hotels

    Circles and colours: Bette’s UK to launch new bath and basin at Sleep + Eat

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Circles and colours: Bette’s UK to launch new bath and basin at Sleep + Eat

    Bette’s new Red Dot award-winning basin and luxurious circular bath will be making their UK debut at Sleep + Eat…

    The circular BetteCraft basin, which gained a Red Dot Award 2019 for product design, will be unveiled at Sleep + Eat in just some of the hundreds of colours available.

    Also making an impact on the stand will be the new BettePond Silhouette freestanding bath. The spacious 150cm diameter bath is the first circular bath to be created in glazed-steel and takes the form to new levels of luxury and elegance.

    Image caption: BettePond Silhouette bath from Bette

    Bette’s baths, basins and shower trays/floors are made of glazed titanium-steel, are highly durable, easy to clean and come with a thirty year warranty. They are available in an extensive range of colours, including matt and gloss options. Bespoke colours can be created, along with bespoke sized products to fit a space perfectly.

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

    Main image caption: BetteCraft washbasins

    The Brit List 2019: Shortlist unveiled

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The Brit List 2019: Shortlist unveiled

    The shortlisted finalists for The Brit List 2019, who are considered to be the leading interior designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain today, have been announced. The annual award ceremony will take place on November 21 at Patch East London (tickets available here)…

    The wait is over. Hotel Designs has exclusively published the shortlist for The Brit List 2019. The finalists listed below will be invited to the annual award ceremony at Patch East London on November 21 where the The Brit List 2019 and the individual awards will be announced.

    It is here where 2019 edition of The List, which is made up of the top 25 interior designers, top 25 hoteliers and the top 25 architects in Britain today, will be unveiled as well as the individual winners crowned.

    The nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations and applications to readers.

    Since then, an independent panel of expert judges have gathered to select this year’s individual award winners and also to confirm the 75 individuals who have made it into The Brit List 2019. “Yet again, I am overwhelmed by the number and quality of this year’s candidates who have either applied or have been nominated for The Brit List 2019,” said Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs. “Despite Britain sailing into some of what I can only describe as ‘uncharted waters’ with Brexit dominating the headlines and conversations, the creative industry – and hotel development in general – continues to be booming in the UK.

    The Brit List was launched three years ago and continues to celebrate the leading figures operating in Britain today. This year’s chosen venue, Patch East London, is the perfect stage for the occasion. Adding an extra layer to the evening will be the currently confirmed 2019 sponsors: Crosswater (headline partner), Hamilton Litestat (event partner) and the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID – industry partner). “I am excited that Hotel Designs will once again provide an unparalleled networking opportunity,” added Kilburn, “further bridging the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers, owners, developers and key-industry suppliers.”

    Britlist_28-800x602

    The shortlisted finalists for The Brit List 2019 are: 

    Interior Designers

    StudioDesigner
    Wimberly InteriorsRachel Johnson
    GA GroupEdward Davies
    Scott BrownriggDavid Mason
    Dexter Moren AssociatesNeil Andrew
    RPW DesignAriane Steinbeck
    DesignLSMLisa Robertson
    CocovaraRebecca Blow
    Nicky Dobree DesignNicky Dobree
    Bright Space DesignSarah Antoniou
    Philip WattsPhilip Watts
    Ana Engelhorn Interior DesignAna Engelhorn
    IHGHenry Reeve
    Sibley GroveJeremy Grove
    WISH LondonCaroline Smith
    Scott BrownriggKate Jarrett
    David Collins StudioSimon Rawlings
    Russell Sage StudioRussell Sage
    GA GroupTerry McGinnity
    EnnismoreCharlie North
    MBDSMartin Brudnizki
    HBA LondonConstantina Tsoutikou
    1508 LondonAkram Fahmi
    MKV DesignMaria Vafiadis
    Rocco ForteOlga Polizzi
    Amanda RosaAmanda Rosa
    Harris & HarrisAlex Harris
    Space InvaderKatie Edgar
    Twenty2 DegreesJoe Stella
    Twenty2 DegreesNick Stoupas
    Goddard LittlefairJo Littlefair
    Project OrangeChristopher Ash
    Project OrangeJames Soane
    Shawn Hausman DesignShawn Hausman
    Muza LabInge Moore
    Richmond InternationalTerry McGillicuddy
    Soho House DesignMarcus Barwell
    Soho House DesignScarlett Supple
    B3 DesignersStephanie Riedl
    Jack Irving StudioJack Irving
    studioisleIlse Crawford

    Architects

    StudioArchitect
    Emil Eve ArchitectsRoss Perkin
    Falconer Chester Hall ArchitectsAdam Hall
    East ArchitectureJulian Lewis
    Ben Adams ArchitectsBen Adams
    EPR ArchitectsGeoff Hull
    Orms ArchitectsSimon Whittaker
    Jestico + WhilesJames Dilley
    WATGGina Langridge
    Foster + PartnersLuke Fox
    Zaha Hadid ArchitectsMichele Salvi
    GenslerTom Lindblom
    Conran + PartnersSimon Kincaid
    Hawkins/BrownDarryl Chen
    Yasmine MahmoudiehYasmine Mahmoudieh
    jmarchitectsLaura Turner
    Holland Harvey ArchitectsRichard Holland
    RPP ArchitectsSimon Robinson
    Tate HarmerLaurence Pinn
    Moxon ArchitectsScott Gibb
    EPR ArchitectsMark Bruce
    Goddard LittlefairDavid Lee-Hood
    LDS ArchitectsCatarina Pina-Bartrum
    Simpson HaughSarah Matheou
    Jane Duncan Architects + InteriorsJane Duncan
    3D ReidGordon Ferrier
    Consarc ArchitectsLiz Pickard
    Dexter Moren AssociatesJohn Harding
    Aukett SwankeNicholas De Klerk
    Divercity ArchitectsDimitris Travasaros
    Allison Pike PartnershipPaul Dunlop
    HOK LondonFemi Oresanya
    ReardonSmith ArchitectsJonny Sin
    ITOLabBarbara Bochnak

    Hoteliers

    HotelHotelier
    The GrandRobert Richardson
    Cliveden HouseFrancisco Macedo
    Bespoke HotelsRobin Sheppard
    Hotel GothamMario Ovsenjek
    Hard Rock Hotel LondonIan Fletcher
    The LanesboroughMarco Novella
    Rosewood LondonMichael Bonsor
    Nadler HotelsRobert Alam
    CuckoozCharlie Rosier
    CuckoozFabienne O’Neill
    Doyle CollectionPat King
    Carbis Bay Hotel & EstateStephen Baker
    Carbis Bay Hotel & EstateJose Baker
    Starwood Capital GroupBarry Sternlicht
    The StandardBruce Robertson
    Wyndham Hotels & ResortsDimitris Manikis
    Café RoyalGuillaume Marly
    Corinthia LondonThomas Kochs
    Eccleston Square HotelOlivia Byrne
    GleneaglesConor O’Leary
    The ConnaughtSandeep Bhalla
    LaLiTKeshav Suri
    Great Scotland Yard HotelSholto Smith
    The DixonHasham Soliman
    Heckfield PlaceOlivia Richli
    Whatley ManorSue Williams
    InhabitNadira Lalji
    Ham Yard Hotel LondonLaura Sharpe
    Cottage In The WoodNick Davies
    The London Bridge HotelJulio Marques
    Limewood Group & Home Grown Hotels (The Pig)Robin Hutson
    Milsom HotelsPaul Milsom
    Sway ManorTim Holloway
    Watergate Bay HotelWill Ashworth
    Exclusive Hotelsdanny Pecorelli
    The GallivantHarry Cragoe
    The Good Hotel GroupMarten Dresen
    The AthenaeumJoanne Taylor-Stagg
    Hotel: Georgian House HotelSerena von der Heyde
    Hotel Indigo Stratford Upon AvonCarl Davies Phillips

    The Eco Award

    Carole Collet
    Harris & Harris
    Heckfield Place
    Inhabit London
    Naturalmat
    Sibley Grove
    Zuri Zanzibar

    Best In Tech

    Criton
    Eccleston Square
    Electric Mirror
    FUTURE Designs
    Hamilton Litestat
    Laufen
    Ruark
    STAAH

    Best in British Product Design

    Anthology
    Bisque
    Chelsom
    FUTURE Designs
    Harlequin
    Knightsbridge
    Panaz
    The Monkey Puzzletree
    Vaughan
    Naturalmat

     

    There is no shortlist for the award for Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry, which will be the final award presented at the exclusive ceremony.

    To purchase tickets to The Brit List 2019 Awards, click here. If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050.

    #TheBritListAwards2019

    Headline Partner: Crosswater

    Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

    2019 Industry Partner: BIID

    London Design Festival opens 17th edition in the capital

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    London Design Festival opens 17th edition in the capital

    London Design Festival launches its annual celebration of design with an inspiring programme of more than 300 events, including Landmark Projects, Festival Commissions, Projects at the V&A and Special Projects. The highly anticipated festival comprises 11 Design Districts, four Design Destinations and one Design Route

    London’s most iconic locations have transformed by a series of commissions and installations by internationally-renowned designers, as London Design Festival 2019 opens once more.

    London’s most iconic locations have transformed by a series of commissions and installations by internationally-renowned designers, as London Design Festival 2019 opens. Each intervention will add an exciting new dimension to the city’s streets, exploring the power of design to shape our world and demonstrating the role it plays in how we live, feel and solve problems.

    The V&A will once again be the official Festival hub and play host to a series of specially-commissioned projects and curated collection of displays. The Museum will also play host to London Design Festival’s thought leadership programme, Global Design Forum, which celebrates design with an inspirational line-up of talks, debates, daily tours and workshops.

    “Over the past 17 years, the London Design Festival has continued to evolve and we are excited to launch this year programme, which will be our most ambitious to date,” said London Design Festival Director, Ben Evans CBE. “We hope audiences from the UK and further afield will discover something thought provoking and inspiring and celebrate our city’s diverse creative talent.”

    The festival was established in 2003 by Evans and Sir John Sorrell CBE. 17 years later, London Design Festival has arrived to celebrate and promote London as the design capital of the world – an ethos shared by Hotel Designs with the upcoming The Brit List.

    London Design Festival has since earned the reputation as a key calendar moment of London’s autumn creative season, alongside London Fashion Week, Frieze Art Fair and the London Film Festival, attracting the greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to the capital, in a citywide celebration.

    Main image credit: Please Be Seated/Paul Cocksedge

    SNEAK PEEK: Kimpton Hotel Palomar South Beach

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    SNEAK PEEK: Kimpton Hotel Palomar South Beach

    The new chic boutique hotel, which is located in the heart of Miami’s South Beach, is slated to open later this year – and will be Kimpton’s Fifth Property in Florida…

    Kimpton Hotel Palomar South Beach is waiting in the wings to open as the boutique hotel company’s fifth in the Sunshine State, complementing its existing hotels in Miami Beach, Downtown Miami and Vero Beach. Featuring striking design by legendary Miami architect and designer Kobi Karp, the 96-key hotel is set to become an iconic addition to the South Beach scene.

    Karp’s design takes its cues from the waterfront. Spanning over five stories, the hotel’s guestrooms surround a spacious central atrium. Meant to resemble the hull of a private luxury yacht lilted on its side, the lobby excites the senses with its custom-built light installations and is peppered with art displays, including light panels, abstracted shapes, and large format fabrics meant to resemble the ripples of the Atlantic Ocean. Guestrooms feature private balconies available for nearly every guest and design that is inspired by the oceanic environs.

    Sitting atop of the sixth floor, the rooftop pool and two-tier roof deck features stylish décor and lounge area seating, utilising panoramic views of the ocean.

    “In addition to what the Altamarea Group will bring in terms of an elevated culinary experience, we are excited to assemble a stellar on-property team for this project,” said Ronny Finvarb, Principal of Finvarb Group,  the property’s developer and owner. “We’re confident that through Kimpton’s collaboration with the Osteria Morini team and our collective expertise in the South Florida market, we’ll be able to create an amazing experience for our hotel guests and Miami locals alike.”

    Osteria Morini, from Chef Michael White, will debut shortly following the opening of the hotel. Right off the lobby of the hotel, the restaurant will feature rustic Northern Italian fare in a light and breezy space, drawing inspiration from the area in which it is located off the canal, with both indoor and outdoor seating. It will be open all day, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    Main image credit: Kimpton Hotels

    Exhibitions to visit during London Design Festival 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Exhibitions to visit during London Design Festival 2019

    While the capital of creatives – AKA London – prepares to once again display its colourful feathers for London Design Festival, editor Hamish Kilburn attempts to cut through the noise to share the key exhibitions and events taking place over week-long celebration of design…

    There’s a faint yet noticeable nip in the air as London’s summer haze softens over the cityscape. Emails and invitations have been flooding in for weeks, and it all comes down to this: London Design Festival 2019 has arrived.

    With events, installations, exhibitions and parties happening all over the capital, what to see – and where to be seen – is very much down to interpretation and preference. But ahead of the week-long festival, which can feel like running multiple marathons at times, here is an insight into what Hotel Designs is bookmarking with the aim to unlock emerging trends, new products and celebrate London’s creative heroes.

    Focus/19  (September 18 – 20)

    For six days, Focus/19 at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour will once again be the design event for excellence. Welcoming trade professionals and design enthusiasts from around the globe, the programme is dedicated to inspiring, informing and delivering the best in world-class talent.

    This year, expect more product launches and showroom openings than you can shake a stick at, alongside an array of talks, demonstrations, workshops, discovery tours and guest pop-ups. Sheltered all under one ever-evolving space, guests will be able to see firsthand the latest collections from 120 showrooms and 600-plus international brands. What’s more, entrance is free.

    Speakers this year include David Mlinaric, Anthony Collett, Andrzej Zarzycki, Andrew Winch, Paolo Moschino, Staffan Tollg.rd, Luke Edward Hall, Flora Soames, Bryan O’Sullivan, Anna Beeber, Nick Ashley-Cooper and Charu Gandhi.

    #Focus19atDCCH

    Hotel 360 (September 18 – 19)

    One of the UK’s leading hospitality events dedicated to improving hotel profitability is back at ExCel London. This year, as well as showcasing some of the leading brands while connecting the industry’s most ambitious professionals, Hotel 360 will also feature the Innovation Awards, of which I am thrilled to be on the judging panel for. The awards are a celebration of the innovations, services and solutions that have made an outstanding impact on the world of hospitality over the past 12 months.

    Each finalist will showcase their product or service the panel in front of a live audience, making for an entertaining and educational break from the hustle and bustle of the show floor – and the city centre.

    #Hotel360

    100% Design (September 18 – 21)

    Returning to Olympia London, 100% Design is billed to be the destination for architects and designers to discover contemporary interior design trends and emerging talent during London Design Festival. This year, the show celebrates its 25th anniversary and features a carefully curated selection of world-class brands within Design London.

    The show is free to attend for trade professionals and press, please register to attend [link here] by completing the form below. Public tickets are available for £15 and student tickets are available for £10.

    #100Design25

    designjunction

    Arriving fashionably late to the week is designjunction, which will take place in what I believe to be the most exciting design hub in the city this year, Coal Drops Yard.

    Showcasing breakthrough brands shaping the international hotel design scene, the exhibition is the interior design show you don’t want to miss! As part of the newest Design District of London Design Festival, this year’s designjunction, is packed full; from discovering the latest furniture and lighting trends in Cubitt House through to immersing yourself in design debates at the Talks Programme in the Everyman Cinema.

    #designjunction

    London Design Fair (September 19 – 22)

    Located in the creative heart of East London, a thriving design hotspot that is the first to present new and daring trends, the London Design Fair is a four-day event that brings together 550 Exhibitors from more than 40 countries.

    As one of the most international destinations of London Design Festival, more than 29,000 influential retail buyers, architects, interior designers, press, designers and design-conscious members of the public attend to see and specify the very latest furniture, lighting, textiles, materials and conceptual installations from around the world.

    A global journey in collectable design, Crossovers by Adorno presents 11 countries, 11 curators and 11 collections. Norway returns to the line-up alongside new countries Mexico, Belgium and Iceland.

    The Bathroom Gallery, in partnership with Elle Decoration, will be a bespoke, highly curated exhibition of leading bathroom brands, including Roca and Armani among others – and is the only dedicated bathroom showcase during LDF, so certainly not one to miss.

    #LDNDesignFair

    Hotel Designs will be on the ground for all of London Design Festival. To arrange a meeting with our editorial team, tweet us: @hoteldesigns.

    ibis Styles launches hotel design challenge in search for emerging creatives

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    ibis Styles launches hotel design challenge in search for emerging creatives

    ibis Styles and Glug have launched a nationwide competition, giving designers the chance of winning £1,000 for the best hotel design concept…

    Known as one of the UK’s leading eco hotel brands, ibis Styles has announced a new design challenges, asking designers to create a moodboard for their dream hotel concept, giving the creative candidates the chance to showcase their skills and unlock a possible £1,000 prize.

    Aiming to uncover creative potential in dormant designers, they are hosting a mood-boarding workshop on 18th September at ibis Styles London Southwarkto share inspiration with those entering. Run by two award-winning designers, Clare Morton and Emma Fisher, the hands-on event will equip budding creatives with the know-how to create an eye-catching mood board surrounded by the vibrant West End themed design touches at the hotel.

    To launch the ‘ibis Styles By Us’ competition, which closes at midnight on September 25, both Morton and Fisher have crafted and released mood boards for their own hotel design concepts. Emma’s pops with a myriad of eye-catching colours, patterns and geometric forms, and Clare has channelled her passion for Punk culture in hers with magazine cuttings and famous iconography.

    Judged by Arun Rana, Design Manager for Accor Northern Europe, the creator of the winning mood board design will be awarded a cash prize of £1,000 and £500 worth of stays at ibis Styles.

    “Every one of our ibis Styles properties in the UK is unique,” said Arun Rana, Design Manager for Accor Northern Europe, “bringing to life pop culture through fun themes, eye-catching aesthetics, so it’s really exciting to celebrate this through our challenge with Glug. We’re looking to discover new design talent and seeing how people express themselves through their mood board creations.”

    Tickets to the ibis Styles By Us x Glug mood boarding event cost £5 and are available to book via Eventbrite here. To enter the ibis Styles By Us design challenge before the September 25, 2019 by visiting @glugevents on Instagram.

    Main image credit: ibis Styles

    Aman announces its debut in Bangkok

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Aman announces its debut in Bangkok

    Slated to open in 2022, the luxury hotel will be Aman’s debut hotel in Bangkok, and second property in Thailand, further proving that the region is a design and hotel development hotspot… 

    Luxury hotel brand Aman, which has grown to encompass 38 hotels in 22 destinations around the world, has signed a long-term partnership with Nai Lert Group to manage a hotel and branded residences offered under a long-term leasehold ownership, which will mark the brand’s entrance in Bangkok.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Aman and Nai Lert Group will develop a luxury hotel and residences project, with construction works scheduled to commence in the coming months. The project is expected to welcome its first hotel guests and residents in 2022.

    “Aman Nai Lert Bangkok will offer a unique connection to the rich heritage and history of Bangkok” – Vladislav Doronin, Chairman and CEO of Aman

    “Thailand holds a special place in our hearts ever since the conception of Amanpuri, and our brand, in Phuket over 30 years ago,” said Vladislav Doronin, Chairman and CEO of Aman. “Aman Nai Lert Bangkok will be situated in its namesake iconic central city parkland and will further cement our vision to bring the Aman ethos to global cities. Nestled in the century-old tropical gardens of Nai Lert Park, Aman Nai Lert Bangkok will offer a unique connection to the rich heritage and history of Bangkok enhanced by the gracious traditions of Thailand.”

    Pursuing its long-lasting legacy in real estate and hospitality, Nai Lert Group is making its entry into the ultra- luxury segment with the upcoming mixed-use project, Aman Nai Lert Bangkok. Nai Lert Group Managing Director Naphaporn Bodiratnangkura commented: “We are very pleased to be working with world renowned hotel and resort brand Aman, which shares our values of delivering exquisite customer experiences.”

    Aman is the latest group to announce hotel openings in Bangkok. According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), in 2016 more than 32.59 million tourists visited Thailand, which was an almost 20 per cent increase over the year before, and a record number for the country. With recent openings from Rosewood and Avani Hotels, the region is proving to be a hotel development hotspot in the making.

    Main image credit: Amanpuri (Aman’s current hotel offering in Thailand)

    Parkside opens new Design Studio in the Cotswolds

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Parkside opens new Design Studio in the Cotswolds

    Hotel Designs headed up to the Cotswolds to attend the official opening party of Parkside’s latest studio opening…

    Design-led tile specification company Parkside has formally opened its Cotswolds Design Studio. Surrounding by the quintessentially British surroundings of the undisturbed region of the Cotswolds, Parkside welcomes designers, architects, contractors, developers and select members of the press to attend the official opening party, which also marked launch of a new collaboration with Barneby Gates.

    The new Design Studio is the fourth in the Parkside portfolio and again demonstrates the company’s dedication to provide inspirational spaces for the architecture and design communities. The ability to see the tile collections displayed and to have in-house support has been an invaluable element in Parkside’s existing Design Studios in Clerkenwell, Chelsea and Leicester.

    The Barneby Gates tile collection sees the design duo’s stunning wallpaper patterns on extra-large format porcelain tiles. The bold and courageous collection focuses on colourful and playful patterns and represents Parkside’s mission to offer distinctive tile collections.

    “Many of the intricacies of modern tile surfaces need to be seen up close to be truly appreciated and we have seen a continued demand from our clients to engage with our products first hand,” said Sarah Holey, marketing manager, Parkside. “Our Cotswolds Design Studio was an obvious progression in providing an invaluable hub for those looking for professional support from our Parkside team. There’s a wide choice of inspirational displays which will show visitors how tiles can provide impact and spark creativity for inventive interior projects.”

    The newly unveiled Design Studio provides an impressive 300m² of space. Continuing the theme from its Clerkenwell Design Studio of treating tiles like pieces of art, Parkside have framed extra-large format porcelain slabs (measuring 3200 x 1600mm) around the edge of the space to provide a dramatic impact upon entering. Display boards of varying sizes sit in front and are grouped by style for easier browsing. A free-standing island unit in the centre of the space houses a meeting room for up to 14 as well as an informal meeting space on top with impressive views out over the rolling Cotswolds hills. The intention is for the space to be used as a hub for the design community with free wi-fi, great coffee and plenty of working space in a relaxed, creative environment.

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

    Main image credit: Parkside

    Zaha Hadid Architects to open Concept to Completion exhibition at LDF 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Zaha Hadid Architects to open Concept to Completion exhibition at LDF 2019

    Following our closer look at The Morpheus, Zaha Hadid Architects’ is giving visitors to London Design Festival 2019 an exclusive look at some of its projects on the boards and about to be unveiled…

    During London Design Festival 2019, Zaha Hadid Gallery in London will present ‘Concept to Competition’, an exhibition that will showcase architecture projects by Zaha Hadid Architects set to open in 2020.

    The exhibition, which celebrates and embraces the holistic journey of a live architecture project, will feature Bee’ah HQ in the United Arab Emirates, King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) Metro Station in Saudi Arabia, and One Thousand Museum in the United States.  The projects will be presented through the stages of concept, design, detail and construction, highlighting how the design intentions for a building evolve and develop as a part of the design process.

    Zaha Hadid Gallery is offering two architect-guided tours of ‘Concept to Completion’ on Wednesday, September 18 at 2pm and Thursday, September 19 at 5 pm.

    The Zaha Hadid Gallery showcases the latest in architecture, interiors, furniture, and product design through curated exhibitions, and provides insight into the process, and ethos of the architecture practice, and design studio that was founded by Zaha Hadid more than 40 years ago.

    Main image credit: King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) Metro Station. ©Picture Property of RDA – All Rights Reserved

    Egypt has most active project pipeline in Africa

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Egypt has most active project pipeline in Africa

    The latest data published from TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION shows Egypt is home to 55 new hotel projects which further adds 15,485 new rooms to the region…

    The hospitality market in Africa has been booming for some time, new statistics from the TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION database has provided an insight into the region’s future growth in development and overall tourism.

    A recent report from TOPHOTELCONSTRUCTION finds that Egypt is the country with the most active project pipeline on the entire African continent, with currently 55 projects in the pipeline, which is nearly double that of the next closest country, Morocco with 36 hotels on the boards.

    This likely means Africa’s hospitality boom is being powered in part by the rise in tourism in Egypt, where visitors come from across the globe each year to enjoy unique historical sites and landscapes, as luxury travel for most becomes more about experience rather than product.

    Some of the significant hotels currently in the pipeline in Egypt include The St. Regis Cairo, Hilton Secon Nile Tower and Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh.

    Egypt is far from the only country in Africa with many hotels currently in its project pipeline. Below Egypt in the hotel development race (in order) is Morocco, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Algeria, South Africa, Cape Verde, Senegal, and the Ivory Coast.

    On average, Africa’s top ten countries in terms of their hospitality market currently have in the region of 22 hotels in their pipelines, with Egypt standing out its 55 projects on the boards.

    The most recent development data compliments The Egyptian tourism ministry’s strategy to target social media influencers to boost tourism in the area and promote it as a travel hotspot destination.

    Main image credit: Marriott International/St Regis Cairo

    Goa is about to welcome a 17-key luxury hotel designed to shelter holistic wellbeing

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Goa is about to welcome a 17-key luxury hotel designed to shelter holistic wellbeing

    Slated to open in early 2020, Kings Mansion, Goa will combine heritage, architecture, design, Ayurvedic philosophies, state-of-the-art medical aesthetics and a global approach to holistic wellbeing…

    Located in northern Goa, an area rich in tropical forests, historic Portuguese architecture, avenues of Banyan Trees, and vast, unpopulated sandy beaches, King’s Mansion will open early next year.

    Recognising that today, wellness refers to a holistic state of being, where one’s mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health are in balance, the defining experience of King’s Mansion will be one of mindfulness, transformation, recovery and wellbeing.

    Modern yet sympathetic architecture and interior design are key elements at the boutique hotel that not only honour Goa’s legacy and culture, but also serve as a welcoming nod to the growing international interest in India as an exciting and evolving luxury and wellness destination.

    Image credit: Red Architects

    The Indian entrepreneur and Bollywood star, Sachiin Joshi, bought the property in 2017. He is also the Chairman of corporate company, Viiking Ventures, a multi-faceted business working across various industries including film production, fin-tech and charter aviation; Moss Wellness, a leading spa consultancy with experience developing international five-star brands including Aman resorts and Four Seasons. Responsible for the overall design is Indian film producer and interior designer Gauri Khan and Rajiv Parekh, founder of Red Architects, who is bringing a new energy to a modern day India with his past and future projects on the boards.

    The 17 luxury suites, which are set over 2,800m2, are being designed as private retreats. Each room will utilise the natural light with floor to ceiling windows, which will stretch out to views of private lush gardens. The large ensuite bathrooms will continue to balance a timeless and luxurious look and feel with the renderings showing a strong use of marble as well as statement matt-black fittings.

    Covered pavilions and thickets of Frangipani Trees create pockets of rest and shade in the landscaped gardens, which are set against 50 metres of unspoiled golden coastline and the Arabian Sea.

    Five dining and social areas offer guests the chance to explore India’s Ayurvedic culinary culture and international fusions. The hotel’s chefs will create daily menu plans for internal health and harmony, but with an understanding that food and satisfaction are not mutually exclusive. Continuing the theme, food will be cooked using fresh, locally sourced produce.

    At the heart of the wellbeing experience will be the spa, which will open as a hidden oasis within the property. With five luxury spa suites, a large hydrotherapy pool, and indoor and outdoor relaxation areas, guests will discover a safe space to surrender, gain awareness and achieve conscious rest and peace.

    Image credit: King’s Mansion

    Designed to offer personalised, results-focused wellness programmes, the hotel will aim to further help travellers rejuvenate, reset and recover.

    Main image credit: King’s Mansion

    The Luxury Collection announces opening of eighth hotel in China

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The Luxury Collection announces opening of eighth hotel in China

    With a design narrative that celebrates Chinese culture, the 290-key Na Lotus Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, has opened… 

    Following Marriott International’s plans to open more than 30 luxury hotels in 2019, the hotel group, which has recently debuted the W Hotels brand in Oman, has announced the opening of Na Lotus Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nanning. Strategically located in the business district of the Guangxi Province, the opening marks the global brand’s eighth property in China.

    The contemporary setting merges the rich heritage of the Zhuang Minority Group and showcases their history through beautiful décor, evocative catering and magnificent surroundings.

    “The hotel’s interiors echo strong elements of the Zhuang culture.”

    “We are excited to introduce Nanning to our Global Explorers, allowing them to discover the destination, also known as the Green City and it’s abundance of lush foliage,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection. “As a culturally rich ethnic minority area in Guangxi Province, the destination is a perfect gateway for travellers to experience through the lens of The Luxury Collection.”

    Each of the 290 guestrooms, including 26 suites, takes inspiration from the lotus flower, and feature floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic views of the city as well as the Yong River and Qingxiu mountain. The hotel’s interiors echo strong elements of the Zhuang culture such as farmlands, symbolizing happiness and prosperity. Na Lotus Hotel also features a 1,100 square metre Ballroom, state-of-the-art fitness centre, and an indoor pool overlooking the skyline.

    Indigenous and international cuisines are celebrated at Na Lotus Hotel’s four signature dining venues, including Na Lian, a Chinese restaurant offering a journey of flavors with an emphasis on fresh Guangxi and Cantonese cuisines. Sky Lounge is a popular social hub serves exclusive cocktails, wines and spirits accompanied by distinctive sweet treats. Elsewhere, The Clouds features an all-day dining experience showcasing international delights, while Yun Yue, a Thai and Vietnamese fusion restaurant,  focuses on signature seafood and meat dishes prepared with local and seasonal produce.

    Image credit: Marriott International

    “As the first Marriott International luxury hotel in Guangxi Province Na Lotus hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel invites the guests to explore the charm of Nanning,” said Henry Lee, Chief Operations Officer and Managing Director, Greater China, Marriott International. “Na Lotus Hotel is a rare gem of the Zhuang Minority, and we are thrilled to uncover this hidden treasure for our global travelers who are sure to develop a deep connection with this fascinating destination.”

    The opening of the hotel follows the hotel group unveiling its three year plan in March of this year. The strategy included adding 1,700 hotels, which would result in between 275,000 and 295,000 more rooms by 2021, supported by the strength of its record 478,000-room pipeline, including roughly 214,000 rooms that were already under construction when the press release was published.

    Main image credit: Marriott International

    TUI Blue to expand in Asia with debut hotel in Vietnam to open in Spring 2020

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    TUI Blue to expand in Asia with debut hotel in Vietnam to open in Spring 2020

    TUI’s flagship hotel group, TUI Blu, has announced plans to expand its portfolio in Asia, debuting in Vietnam next year with TUI Blue Nam Hoi An hotel…

    With the opening of TUI Blue Nam Hoi An hotel slated to take place in March 2020, the hotel brand is set to become the world’s largest leisure hotel brand, slated to expand its portfolio to more than 100 hotels by 2020:

    TUI Group’s existing portfolio of own hotels in Asia includes three Robinson Clubs in the Maldives and in Thailand and three Riu hotels in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. In addition, TUI operates three concept hotels in the region. TUI Blue Nam Hoi An is the first hotel of the world’s leading tourism group in Vietnam. The resort, to be converted and extended in the style of the flagship brand, will expand TUI Group’s portfolio of long-haul destinations for European travellers.

    “We see great potential for TUI Blue in Asia and have already started to pursue further growth plans. South East Asian destinations enable us to operate our hotels all year round, reducing our seasonal swing, and to tap into new target groups,” said Sebastian Ebel, TUI Group Executive Board member is charge of Hotels & Resorts. “We also work with local partners”, said Thomas Pietzka, Managing Director TUI Hotels & Resorts. “We are investing in our first hotel in Vietnam in cooperation with our new joint venture partner TMG, a company with many years of experience in the tourism and hospitality sector in Asia. They ideally complement the expertise held by TUI Blue, which will be in charge operating the new hotel.”

    The TUI Blue Nam Hoi An hotel features 318 rooms and is situated in a beachfront location on the fine sandy Tam Tien beach on the Central Vietnamese coast. Holidaymakers can combine their stay with a visit to the coastal town Hoi An. Its well-preserved old town with numerous canals and diverse architecture is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. “Vietnam is a perfect hotel location for travellers interested in culture”, said Artur Gerber, Managing Director TUI Blue. “The country offers ideal conditions for guests wishing to combine their stay with authentic experiences in the region. From 2020, we will label corresponding hotel offerings as ‘TUI Blue For All‘.”

    Main image credit: TUI Group

    Curio Collection by Hilton debuts in South East Asia with hotel in the Maldives

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Curio Collection by Hilton debuts in South East Asia with hotel in the Maldives

    The new 198-key property will form part of the first integrated resort in the Maldives…

    Hilton has announced the opening of SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton, a free-spirited tropical escape that offers sun, sea, style and sustainability, creating a playful getaway for groups of fun-seeking friends, couples and families. Nestled within the idyllic Emboodhoo Lagoon, SAii Lagoon Maldives forms part of CROSSROADS Maldives, the country’s first and only integrated resort and game-changing retreat.

    The opening of SAii Lagoon Maldives also marks the debut of Curio Collection by Hilton in South East Asia, and the fifth Curio Collection by Hilton property in Asia Pacific. With a total of 198 guestrooms and villas, the resort will be Hilton’s third property in the Maldives, making the global hospitality company the largest and longest-running international hotel operator in the Maldives. Hilton opened the country’s first internationally branded resort in 1997, and today, it operates Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, which features 151 villas, suites and THE MURAKA Residence, as well as the 122-villa Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, which was recently unveiled in July 2019.

    “For more than 20 years, through the many firsts that Hilton has introduced in the Maldives, we have been sparking travellers’ imagination of waking up right above the Indian Ocean, or dining and even sleeping beneath the crystal-blue sea,” said Alan Watts, president, Asia Pacific, Hilton. “In addition to putting the Maldives on the global map, we have brought meaningful opportunities for employment and we continue to make positive contributions to the livelihood and well-being of local communities. With the launch of SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton, we are looking to further deepen ‘The Hilton Effect’ in the Maldives and continue to set new benchmarks for hospitality through innovation.”

    “We are excited to welcome the world to SAii Lagoon Maldives,” said Martin van der Reijden, General Manager of SAii Lagoon Maldives and Vice President of Operations of CROSSROADS Maldives. “Guests will be able to experience the exquisite beauty of this destination, with plenty of places to stay and play. The architecture is quirky, and the interiors are daring. And yet, the resort also has a wonderfully inspiring ambience. We want everyone to walk into the resort and instantly feel a sense of excitement and exploration.”

    “Every room at SAii Lagoon Maldives is adorned with a bright, contemporarily eclectic design that reflects the archipelago’s maritime heritage.”

    “The Maldives is a dream destination for global travelers and we are thrilled to pair its tropical charm with Curio Collection’s spirit of discovery,” said Mark Nogal, global head, Curio Collection by Hilton. “SAii Lagoon Maldives is a breathtaking resort with distinct character and direct access to the fantastic facilities at CROSSROADS Maldives. Supported by Hilton’s 100 years of hospitality, guests of this resort are guaranteed memorable experiences in one of the most beautiful destinations in the world.”

    Every room at SAii Lagoon Maldives is adorned with a bright, contemporarily eclectic design that reflects the archipelago’s maritime heritage, complete with natural textures, driftwood décor and marine-inspired hues and views. Guests can choose from a series of rooms and villas, including overwater pool villas.

    The resort’s innovation is also showcased at its restaurants and bars. Miss Olive Oyl is a vibrant poolside Mediterranean seafood grill and bar, while Mr. Tomyam is an exciting Thai fusion eatery with an open kitchen and alfresco dining areas.

    The resort’s ocean-view infinity pool and fitness centre will allow guests to refresh and recharge in paradise. A wide range of water sports and recreational facilities will also be available at The Marina @ CROSSROADS, a 30-berth marina and vibrant lifestyle district.

    Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

    INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The changing colour of hotel bathrooms – going greener

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The changing colour of hotel bathrooms – going greener

    In the second part of our colour series (click here for part one), Recommended Supplier UKBathrooms explain how and why designers should opt for greener designs in bathrooms…

    Bathrooms make up a huge proportion of a hotel’s water and energy usage, which on average is 84 to 173 gallons per room per day, far higher than the average daily household usage of 66 gallons per day.

    This explains why they’ve become the focus for many hoteliers looking not only to save money, but also to minimise their impact on the environment.

    However, any environmental worries have to be balanced with the needs of guests. The seamless blend of sustainability and luxury, with little compromise to guest experience is the aim for hotel owners and trends show that this will be the case in the years to come. And ‘green’ considerations go way beyond the bathroom space, with materials used in bathroom products, transportation, waste produced during manufacture and subsequent biodegradable components all being important.

    UK Bathrooms, is the leading, independent supplier of designer bathroom products and as such is seeing a change in trends of sales to hoteliers in the UK and internationally. “We’re seeing a trend to natural materials, as well as reclaimed and recycled, such as timber from sustainable forests and stone,” said Graeme Borchard, director of UKBathrooms. “We’re a leading supplier of premium brands. As a company they are ‘a champion of the value of water’, pioneers in environmentally friendly, luxury, bathroom products. Their ongoing research, and development in technology and design, means that hansgrohe produces superb products which are beautifully designed, highly efficient and sustainable.”

    A great example of this is EcoSmart. Hansgrohe showers and taps equipped with EcoSmart technology use up to 60 per cent less water than traditional products, not only using less water, but also needing less energy to heat the water.  The Hansgrohe Raindance EcoSmart overhead shower provides guests with a relaxing and therapeutic experience whilst being eco-friendly.

    By implementing greener practices, and ensuring guests are aware of these, hotels can make being eco-friendly even more attractive. Hotel bathrooms have a certain ‘luxury’ which people then like to emulate in their own homes, the choices that hotels make end up being reflected in homes around the world.

    UKBathrooms 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.

    Katy Perry’s stylist co-creates hotel suite to appease arguing couples

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Katy Perry’s stylist co-creates hotel suite to appease arguing couples

    Katy Perry’s stylist has co-created a luxury hotel suite – to appease bickering couples who can’t agree when booking a room…

    Taking the personalised hotel experience to a new level, Johnny Wujek, who is behind some of the singer Katy Perry’s most memorable looks, has teamed-up with fellow fashionista Kaitlyn Ham, to create a room to please all tastes.

    The suite has been described as the ‘perfect compromise’ for couples with drastically different preferences, who crucially can’t agree on what they want from a hotel.

    Hotels.com recruited the world-renowned fashion influencers to style the room in London’s The Curtain – in TWO completely opposing styles.

    The ‘So Extra So Chic’ suite is split right down the middle and features Wujek’s maximalist décor on one side and the minimalist style of Ham on the other.

    “It’s a touch of overgrown Great Expectations with a dash of California casual.” – Johnny Wujek.

    Wujek’s extravagant ‘So Extra’ half of the suite features golden ornaments, monkey lamps and a luminescent mini bar.

    The stylist to the stars’ side has also been accessorised with clashing prints, colourful rugs and dazzling wallpaper.

    “I wanted my side of the room to feel exciting and ‘extra’ but also comfy and cosy,” explains Wujek. “It’s a touch of overgrown Great Expectations with a dash of California casual. Style is all about self-expression and, clearly, I have a lot to express.”

    In contrast, Kaitlyn Ham’s ‘So Chic’ half includes a statement white leather lounge chair, bespoke line-drawing art, décor pieces in muted tones and a plush wool throw.

    She said: “I took inspiration from modern mid-century design to create a space that feels open and calming. All the pieces were chosen for their style and functionality with a focus on quality. The space should feel modern and light, yet have an inviting warmth that makes it feel like home.”

    The creation of the one of a kind room follows international research also commissioned by Hotels.com into different tastes when it comes to planning a holiday. One fifth of the 300 Brits polled in a 7,200 person study would choose a luxury hotel styled with gold, marble and velvet – if money was no object.

    In contrast, just eight per cent would opt for a simple ‘shabby chic’ according to the research carried out through OnePoll.

    It also emerged those polled would like see their hotel rooms include a free-standing bath (35 per cent), a walk-in wardrobe (26 per cent) and ‘incredible’ lighting (21 per cent).

    Liz Oakman, senior director and general manager EMEA, from Hotels.com said: “No matter if it’s shades of grey or an explosion of patterns, we love that people want to stand out with their unique style even when they travel.

    “At Hotels.com, we’re all about trying new things, so with the So Extra So Chic suite, style-loving travellers out there can experience both ends of the minimal, maximal spectrum. Now all that’s left is picking which side of the bed you’re on.”

    This is not the first time fashion designers and stylists to the stars have filtered on to the hotel design scene. Earlier this year, the iconic fashion designer Jack Irving unveiled his first ever hotel design project, which is now sheltered in W London Leicester Square.

    Main image credit: SWNS

    Parkside launches Barneby Gates Collection of tiles

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Parkside launches Barneby Gates Collection of tiles

    Parkside has collaborated with leading design duo Barneby Gates, on a collection that brings the pair’s stunning wallpaper patterns to porcelain tiles…

    In the Barneby Gates collection, the trusted tile specification company, Parkside, has translated eight bold and courageous designs onto extra-large format porcelain tiles measuring 1000 x 500mm or 2500 x 1000mm, creating the effect of wallpaper on a high-performance, commercial-ready tile. Ideal for features in bar areas, spas, bathrooms and hotel lobbies; the range faithfully recreates designs such as Watermelon, Pheasant and Bolt from Mars.

    With backgrounds in the home lifestyle press and decorative arts, Vanessa Barneby and Alice Gates (Barneby Gates), have forged a reputation for forward-thinking fabric and wallpaper designs that have received widespread acclaim. Whether reinventing traditional motifs for modern interiors with Deer Damask or taking on trends with Pineapple and Watermelon; the pair’s distinctive designs are notably outside of the norm. In collaborating with Parkside, Barneby Gates is bringing its unique style to a commercial finish that offers moisture-resistance, durability and easy maintenance.

    “Our designs celebrate the life-affirming positivity of pattern and colour and we’re delighted to have worked with Parkside to bring our style to a broader range of environments,” said Barneby and Gates. “The notion of wallpaper on a tile is a great way to bring continuous pattern to areas where its traditionally been off-limits and we look forward to seeing our designs in commercial interiors wanting to make a statement.”

    The Barneby Gates collection has launched at the opening of Parkside’s new Design Studio in the Cotswolds and will be on display throughout London Design Festival (14-22 September) at the company’s Chelsea Design Studio.

    “We’re thrilled to be bringing Barneby Gates’ designs to the Parkside portfolio,” added Mark Williams, sales and design director for Parkside. “The pair’s designs are certainly uplifting and have been at the heart of many fearless schemes, so we’re ready to see how they can be embraced in commercial locations with the practicality of a porcelain tile construction.”

    At just 3.5mm thick, the Barneby Gates tile collection is suitable for internal walls, is easy to install and available to order exclusively from Parkside.

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

    Main image credit: Parkside

    UNVEILED: Amenities guests really want in the hotel

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    UNVEILED: Amenities guests really want in the hotel

    The humble shoehorn and bubble shower caps have long since been replaced by newer amenities. Here’s a list edited by STAAH of amenities that modern travellers have requested. Some are essential, some nice to have and others are (admittedly) over-the-top…

    Free Wi-Fi

    You don’t expect your guests to check if your property’s room includes power and indoor plumbing; it is a given.

    Same with wireless and free internet. This is 2019, and we’re all connected. Wi-Fi is not a perk reserved for your loyal or business guests. It should be an amenity that’s available to all. Forcing guests to join your loyalty programme (a common practice) to access free Internet is also a no-no.

    Adequate power points

    Most guests today move around with an average of three to five gadgets. Therefore, they need to be charged. Hotels that feature easily accessible power points, including in the bathroom and by the bed, are a winner modern travellers.

    Quality bathroom toiletries 

    Thanks to airline restrictions, an increasing number of travellers (75 per cent if some statistics are to be believed) use the toiletries provided. So, anything sub par just won’t do. Here’s also an opportunity for you to infuse a bit of local into your rooms. Partner up with a local provider and weave in a story about the toiletries provided. With the increasing demand for conscious hotels – a topic that Hotel Designs will be exploring on stage at the Independent Hotel Show 2019 – the latest hotel groups to pledge miniature-free hotel bathrooms globally include IHG and Marriott International.

    Hair dryer

    This is so popular, it deserves a whole point of its own! Put yourself in your guests’ shoes, travelling with hair dryers is too cumbersome. Be kind to your guests and invest in a few for them. If you want to go the whole nine yards, add in flat irons and curling irons into the mix.

    Laundry facilities

    Another essential, especially if you market yourself as a family-friendly property. Who wants to go home after a holiday with bags full of dirty laundry? Communication is key, though. Eliminating unnecessary laundry is great, but there is no point offering eco-initiatives – such as advising guests to hang up their used towels if they don’t want them washed – if the staff ignore this when on a deadline to clean a room/suite.

    Microwave and small fridge

    There is a rise for ‘hometel’ concepts, such as Room2 Southampton. Not uncommon on the amenities wishlist at all, a fridge and a microwave are appreciated by travellers, especially families with babies and young kids. The pressure-sensitive mini bars that charge you even if you pick up a bottle to read the ingredients are not welcome.

    Lint rollers and stain removers

    A petty investment but a very thoughtful addition to your room amenities. Think of the business traveller running out of the door who spilt coffee on his shirt. Or, a wedding guest who inadvertently brought along her pet’s hair on her special dress.

    Electronic chargers and adapters

    Phone chargers are among the most forgotten travel accessories. And, landing in a foreign country without the required adapter to charge your battalion of gadgets can easily ruin your holiday from the get go. Here’s when hotels are expected to come to the rescue with chargers and adapters to borrow. If you can’t have one in each room, keep some aside on the front desk.

    Coffee, tea and more

    Coffees that are substandard and tea bags that are past their use by date just don’t cut it. Artisan teas, quality coffee (including plunger coffees) and other hot beverage options are almost a norm nowadays.

    Add a cookie or packet of chips as a complimentary extra.

    Entertainment

    From books to board games and television (preferably with channels that are worth watching), hotels are expected to have downtime covered.  Check your list of amenities and see what you offer. The more, the better is the general rule.

    There’s a new trend among hoteliers to add in fun extras such as musical instruments. Nothing like a guitar in the hotel room to wind you down.

    Welcome extras

    Greet your guests with a bottle of wine or a few truffles. Great way to kick start a relationship. And, if the guest is a loyal one, up the ante on what you offer – a free massage maybe?

    STAAH 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.

     

    Marriott International to eliminate single-use shower toiletry bottles

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Marriott International to eliminate single-use shower toiletry bottles

    By December 2020, the hotel group will introduce new, large amenity bottles to reduce plastic waste…

    Following on from IHG’s big announcement last month to ban miniatures, Marriott International is the latest hotel group to announce a change in policy when it comes to bathroom amenities, with the company announcing that it will replace single-use toiletry bottles of shampoo, conditioner and bath gel in guestroom showers with larger, pump-topped bottles.

    To date, the company has already rolled out larger bottles at about 1,000 properties in North America, and now expects most of its other hotels to make the switch by December 2020. When fully implemented across the globe, Marriott International’s expanded toiletry program is expected to prevent around 500 million tiny bottles annually from going to landfills; that’s about 1.7 million pounds of plastic, a 30 per cent annual reduction from current amenity plastic usage.

    “This is our second global initiative aimed at reducing single-use plastics in just over a year, which underscores how important we believe it is to continuously find ways to reduce our hotels’ environmental impact. It’s a huge priority for us,” said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International. “Our guests are looking to us to make changes that will create a meaningful difference for the environment while not sacrificing the quality service and experience they expect from our hotels.”

    “The group first began replacing single-use toiletry bottles in the guest bathrooms of about 450 select-service hotels with larger toiletry bottles that contain more product in January 2018.”

    Already, more than 20 per cent of Marriott International’s more than 7,000 properties now offer larger-pump-topped bottles in guestroom showers, doing away with single-use bottles that often end up in landfills.

    A typical large, pump-topped bottle contains the same amount of product as about 10 to 12 miniature, single-use bottles. Because miniature bottles are not usually recycled, they end up in the hotels’ trash bins – generating refuse that will never truly decompose in landfills. In addition to allowing guests to use as much of a product as they need, the larger bottles are also recyclable along with other basic containers, such as plastic soda bottles.

    Marriott International first began replacing single-use toiletry bottles in the guest bathrooms of about 450 select-service hotels with larger toiletry bottles that contain more product in January 2018. Today, the estimated 1,000 hotels that have made the switch overwhelmingly report positive feedback from guests. Each brand will implement the larger amenity bottles in a way that is consistent with the brand experience and quality standards that Marriott International’s guests have come to expect. The company is already working on ways to reduce single-use items elsewhere in the guestroom.

    This initiative furthers Marriott International’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact as part of its Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction platform that addresses social and environmental issues. As part of Serve 360, Marriott International is working toward several sustainability goals such as reducing landfill waste by 45 per cent and responsibly sourcing its top 10 product purchase categories – including guestroom amenities – by 2025.

    The global shower amenities initiative comes 13 months after the company’s first global plastics-reduction initiative, which addressed disposable plastic straws. In July 2018, the company’s hotels across the portfolio began phasing out disposable plastic straws and stirrers and switching to an on-demand approach with alternative products wherever possible. As of last month, the company had met its goal, resulting in an estimated annual diversion of 1 billion plastic straws from landfills – a first step on its journey to further reduce the portfolio’s reliance on single-use plastics and other disposables.

    The latest announcement expands Marriott International’s early 2018 initiative to switch single-use shower toiletry bottles to larger bottles with pump dispensers in five brands: Courtyard by Marriott, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, Fairfield by Marriott and TownePlace Suites. In addition, four of Marriott International’s brands – Aloft Hotels, Element by Westin, Four Points and Moxy Hotels – previously implemented the pump-dispenser toiletry concept, while a fifth – AC by Marriott – is also preparing to make the change.

    Main image credit: Marriott International

    INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The psychology between colour in interior design and wellbeing

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The psychology between colour in interior design and wellbeing

    Colour has the power to raise or lower our heartbeat, impact our sleep and influence our overall wellbeing. There’s a tremendous amount of research that’s gone into the psychology of colour and the impact it has on our health. Kicking off our colour series, brand strategist Emma Potter explores how conscious consumers are of their relationship with colour, especially when checking in to a hotel…

    Depending on our upbringing, gender, values, geography, and other influencing factors – colour can have very different meanings. For example, orange is often considered friendly, confident and cheerful (think Amazon and Orange); red is excitement, youthful and bold (think Coca-Cola and Lego); blue is trustworthy, dependable and strong (think Unilever and PayPal).  Colour evokes feelings and emotion, and choosing the right colours can make the difference between success of failure of a brand, business, and hotel environment – the colours that adorn and decorate these spaces will evoke feeling that make us connect.

    Colour with purpose

    Colour has the power to silently influence how consumers think and behave in an environment. Interior designers and hoteliers put a huge amount of effort into the hues they choose to decorate a spaced, be that a lobby, restaurant, bedroom or lounge area, as they appreciate the effect colour has on their consumers emotions. In order to create an appropriate scene for a certain target audience, it’s worth understanding the science of colour psychology and the tremendous ability it has to change entire moods.

    A welcoming hotel reception and lobby has the ability to make or break a first impression when a customer walks through the doors. All sorts of creative elements are utilised to deliver the ‘Wow’ factor – this may include impressive sweeping stair cases (Plaza 18), bold curvaceous sculptures, wood-burning fire places that house a Italian marble mantel, sculptural sofas and alternative seating to make customers feel welcome and relaxed, and bold artwork – in some instances they may even look like a gallery.

    Exploring colours that are timeless and evoke healthy wellbeing

    Some may argue that using neutral colours (beige, cream, grey) will appeal to a broader market. While white may be a natural choice for a Greek Mediterranean style hotel (Mykonos Riviera Hotel & Spa), some people may associate white with cleanliness, whilst others may associate it with hospitals. Either way, white will significantly brighten up a room and will help to reflect light and colour.

    Green typically symbolises growth and harmony, which is extremely grounding and brings us back to nature – think rolling countryside surrounded by lush leafy trees or blossoming flowers and open spaces. It is often associated with evoking a feeling of peace, trust and tranquillity, and it helps to reduce feelings of anxiety, whilst stimulating love, balance and harmony in the body. The ideal choice for rural hotels, some would argue. But it can also be injected into urban hotels, such as Nhow London, to add flair, vibrancy and electricity.

    Image credit: Project Orange/Nhow

    Blue symbolises trust and tranquillity, is often considered a calming colour, and goes well with grey and white to create a Scandinavian style. It’s reminiscent of flowing rivers, the ocean and the sky. The blue blossom of forget-me-nots help to stimulate mental clarity and creative expression, so floral arrangements also need to be considered from a design perspective. Perhaps the ideal choice for hotels by the sea or near water.

    Oranges and reds symbolise energy, fire and passion, they resemble a sunset which represents creativity and emotion wellbeing. Mixing these colours with black would create a dramatic, mysterious ambience, perhaps lending themselves to Moroccan or Arabian interiors. However, where natural light is not in abundance, it may best to keep black to a minimum.

    From the outset, a designer must work with the hotelier to decide upon the right colour palette to suit not only the style of the hotel, but the environment, ambience and setting they’re aiming to create, and the type of guest they’re aiming to attract.

    Colour and the design process

    There is no doubt about it, hotels are becoming more personalised – the recent renovation inside W London Leicester Square is a perfect example of this. As the saying in creative development goes: “Structure has integrity”, but designers – and guests checking in for that matter – are multi-faceted people, with multiple interests, so why just present one version ourselves? The core of our personality – or brand DNA / identity – will remain, but we give ourselves the permission to personalise aspects to make every room and space special and stand out in its own right. Be that through an aspect of design, a feature that’s maximised, lighting to create a mood, music to evoke a rhythm, technology to take us into the next millennia, temperature control to make it feel like a fresh spring morning or a hot summers day, it all plays its part in the personalisation process. I liken it to a menu in a restaurant – everything on the menu will reflect the chef behind the brand, but the choice each customer makes creates a unique, individual, memorable experience. Ideally one that each guest wants to talk about. In addition, lighting will change the atmosphere of a room or space, and this continues to be an ever-evolving trend.

    Image credit: W Hotels

    Design trends through the decades

    I’m sure, like many of us, we’re more influenced subconsciously by colour than we realise. Thankfully 2019 has represented a year where bright new colours have returned to the trending palette.

    A new word for me this year is ‘Biophilia’ meaning ‘an innate and genetically determined affinity of human beings and the natural world’. To quote Angie Lee: “Biophilia is a design driver that engages the end user by connecting them to primal instincts about the relationship between humans and nature.” As the quest with technology continues to push the boundaries to supposedly make our lives better, more efficient, smarter and more connected – in reality what we crave as ‘human beings’ is connection, and being in nature, hearing the rhythm of waves, being able to touch natural surfaces like stone are wood, is what brings us to a state of consciousness where real life flows. No longer a place to pass through whilst checking in, I love the idea that the hotel lobby has become a place to connect and congregate. Moreover, now we often see artists being commissioned to create bespoke pieces for lobby areas, which ties the concept of ‘art and wallcoverings’ much closer together.

    The return of bold colours in 2019

    I appreciate that multiple shades and tones of grey have been in fashion for some time now and are timeless and therefore appropriate for the international hotel design scene, but consumers are beginning to become more drawn to bold, warm, vibrate colours such as pink and orange. So, it was heart-warming to see Pantone name ‘Living Coral’ as the colour of the year, described as follows ‘an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energises and enlivens with a softer edge’. It certainly adds vibrancy and a natural injection of warmth that has perhaps been missing in recent years.

    “Rooms should not be put together for show, but to nourish one’s own wellbeing.” – Albert Hadley

    Global growth of the wellness industry

    Spanning multiple sectors including personal care, beauty and anti-aging; wellness tourism; traditional and complimentary medicine; wellness real estate; and workplace wellness, global growth has sky rocketed in recent years, and at the end of 2018 the wellness economy was dubbed to be worth $4.2 trillion.

    Moreover, the projected average annual growth rate for 2017-2022 has been noted at eight per cent for wellness real estate, 6.7 per cent for workplace wellness, and a staggering 6.4 per cent for spa facilities. Perhaps this is due to the human race living longer, poor health as we age, and the increased stress levels this induces? One thing is for sure, the wellness industry is a driving dynamic force that’s converging to create a more connected experience in all areas of our lives – personal, home, work, travel.

    Whilst ‘Mindfulness’ may have grown in popularity in recent years, it seems 2019 is fast becoming the year of wellbeing and consciousness – in all areas and aspects of our lives. To quote Albert Hadley: “Rooms should not be put together for show, but to nourish one’s own wellbeing.” Interior design is deeper than simply decorating, colour schemes have the ability to cleverly transform and/or evoke emotions and designing with purpose as a whole will result in space that is more functional, more inviting and more appropriate to the guests checking in.

    Main image credit: Hilton Doubletree

    Roca inspires with new Escuadra brassware range

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Roca inspires with new Escuadra brassware range

    Roca has added to its brassware offering with its latest collection, Escuadra. With its contemporary single lever design, Escuadra creates a stylish impression in any bathroom space…

    A versatile choice, Escuadra is available in a range of brassware options, including basin, bidet, bath and shower mixer styles. “When it comes to brassware, there is now more choice than ever before. Many homeowners are moving away from the traditional mixer in favour of something more contemporary”, comments Claire Gay, Marketing Manager at Roca.

    “Escuadra meets that demand, its sleek and minimalist design complements a range of basin shapes, making it a functional yet sophisticated choice for homeowners, installers, specifiers and retailers.”

    Escuadra features many of Roca’s latest innovations, including the exclusive Roca EverShine® finish. The hardwearing coating ensures the tap retains its shine, along with discouraging limescale build up and preventing stains. Additionally, the ceramic disc cartridge has been thoroughly tested with over one million movements to assure customers that their brassware will continue to function for many years to come.

    The basin and bidet mixers are equipped with Roca’s Cold Start technology; this prevents unnecessary energy consumption by only activating the boiler when the handle is turned to hot, this conserves energy and provides a cost-effective solution for homeowners.

    To further enhance the sustainability of the range, Roca has utilised many water-saving functions. Soft Turn technology provides the highest levels of precision and puts the homeowner in complete control, with the ability to set the desired water flow and temperature. Furthermore, the integration of flow limiters restricts the water flow, which prevents wastage.

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

    Main image credit: Roca

    Accor’s JO&JOE brand moves in with IKEA in Vienna

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Accor’s JO&JOE brand moves in with IKEA in Vienna

    Construction work will commence in January 2020 on the seven-storey IKEA in Vienna, which will shelter a 345-key hotel…

    Accor’s JO&JOE lifestyle brand is partnering with IKEA to open an innovative hospitality concept: the two upper floors of the building will contain an Open House by JO&JOE. After openings in Paris and Hossegor and with seven signed projects, this is the first JO&JOE in the German-speaking region and is slated to open in 2021.

    “The JO&JOE brand is characterised by a combination of hostel and traditional hotel elements.”

    “The modern architecture and the unique location of the new City IKEA harmonise perfectly with the exciting new world offered by JO&JOE,” said Volkmar Pfaff, Managing Director of Accor Austria. “We are working together to create an inviting, well-connected environment that reflects the lifestyle trends of a young, urban clientele. We are delighted with this strategic partnership with IKEA and welcome further cooperation in the future.”

    The JO&JOE brand is characterised by a combination of hostel and traditional hotel elements, impressing guests with its novel accommodation experience, modern design and attractive array of restaurants and services. The Open House concept is equally suited to business and leisure guests who appreciate both a central location and a platform for interaction with the local community.

    Image credit: ZoomVP/Accor

    “Our first JO&JOE Open Houses have already proven to be wildly popular, as the concept blends the best of private-rental, hostel and hotel formats,” said Francois Leclerc, VP Brand & Operations, JO&JOE. “We are very enthusiastic about our partnership with IKEA and our newest location in Vienna, where we feel our commitment to freedom, autonomy and brilliant design will fit right in with the city’s aesthetic and the guests who travel here.”  

    With its modern architecture and the innovative ideas for the interiors, the furniture store on Äussere Mariahilferstrasse will offer customers a unique shopping experience. The shopping concept specifically responds to current megatrends and takes into account changing shopping patterns and new forms of mobility that do not involve cars. For example, customers can have major purchases delivered to their homes within 24 hours. Living facades of greenery and a publicly accessible park on the roof terrace also provide an inviting ambience and a pleasant microclimate.

    “By collaborating with JO&JOE, we have found a partner who is an ideal match for our urban target group and who, like us, offers customers unique, new experiences and innovative concepts”, says IKEA Austria Managing Director Viera Juzova.

    JO&JOE’s entry into Austria underpins the brand’s international expansion plan. The brand was launched by Accor in September 2016 to cater to millennials and all who value a culture of sharing, spontaneity and individual experiences. JO&JOE is part of Accor’s lifestyle division and rounds out the Group’s portfolio of economy brands.

    Main image credit: ZoomVP/Accor

    Main image credit: Accor/IKEA

    Hotel bathroom trends that guarantee to make a statement

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Hotel bathroom trends that guarantee to make a statement

    Ahead of London Design Festival 2019, bathroom manufacturer Crosswater identifies some of the major emerging design trends in international hotel bathrooms… 

    Hospitality is one of the biggest industries in the world as well as being one of the most important branches of commercial design. Acting as a fundamental factor, hotel décor can increase customer satisfaction immensely.

    It also acts as a benchmark for the levels of service, quality and comfort that a guest expects. Unlike most businesses, hotels rely almost entirely on aesthetics, which only proves how difficult the design aspect actually is. While travellers often choose a hotel based on five-star dining, luxurious spas, convenient locations or even dreamy beds, the bathroom is one amenity that is often overlooked, so we have put together five of the most popular hotel bathrooms across the UK that focus on the key interior trends for creating a high-end bathroom scheme.

    Timeless & Traditional

    Fine finishes, elegant fittings and timeless accessories combine to create exquisite bathroom décor in London’s Laslett Hotel. Nestled into Notting Hill, The Laslett is a boutique hotel that comprises 51 guestrooms; meticulously designed by award-winning London based architecture and design studio Waldo Works. A refined palette of grey, black and white has been used to create a seamless continuation of style from hotel suite to bathroom. Although the overall design is traditional, elements of understated contemporary style have been subtly integrated into each space – the porcelain checkerboard tiles add an edgy look whilst the contemporary pendant lighting projects a flattering light across the room, adding a final modern touch. Complete with Crosswater Belgravia brassware, the Laslett hotel bathrooms are the perfect example of how to create a timeless and traditional design scheme suited today’s style-conscious, discerning hotel guest.

    “With the demand for more luxurious bathrooms on the rise, hotel designers are opting for a more minimal design aesthetic.”

    Refined Luxury

    A sophisticated Grade II Listed building situated in the heart of Shepherds Bush, The Dorsett Hotel underwent a stunning transformation by architects Flanagan Lawrence from an old cinema into an elegant eight-storey building. With the demand for more luxurious bathrooms on the rise, hotel designers are opting for a more minimal design aesthetic when it comes to achieving a contemporary bathroom interior. The smaller amenities and touches can often be the deciding factor for a winning hotel bathroom scheme. For hotel designers, choosing the right bathroom suite and bathroom products is vital for reflecting the hotel décor. A seamless blend of luxurious surfaces and chrome detailing, the sleek, smooth edges of the brassware work effortlessly with the marble splashbacks to deliver a truly sought-after bathroom aesthetic that is the epitome of refined luxury.

    Monochrome

    Seen throughout many hotel interiors across the UK and Europe, monochrome is a timeless trend that continues to be favoured by designers and specifiers. Whether incorporated through subtle hints or fully embraced from floor to ceiling, there are numerous ways that monochrome can create a truly standout hotel bathroom scheme. The Ampersand Hotel is a stunning example of how to create a striking bathroom using a monochromatic palette. Designed by Dexter Moren Associates, the 111-bedroom luxury boutique hotel in the heart of London provides an exquisite Art Deco theme across all of its bathroom interiors. The classic black tiling creates a statement aesthetic and combines flawlessly with contrasting white walls and crisp white ceramics. Working closely with Crosswater, Dexter Moren Associates incorporated complementary contemporary brassware to give the bathroom suites a luxurious finishing touch.

    Texture & Pattern

    Working as key elements in interior décor, texture and pattern have become popular interior trends used within modern hotel design. The use of these two components has been incorporated in varied ways throughout all style spaces, keeping the concept and project brief in mind. Deep in the Hertfordshire countryside, family-run hotel Sopwell House, is a hidden sanctuary for customers looking for a natural sense of freedom. The combination of the textured wood surfaces with the eye-catching geometric patterned tiles works nicely to create a harmonious and calming aesthetic.  The lighting enhances the tiles, adding texture and creating a relaxing environment for customers. The bathrooms in the hotel guestrooms are complete with Crosswater MPRO rainfall showers and the Crosswater MPRO Brushed Brass Basin Taps, adding a high-quality finish to the overall décor.

    Brutalist Glamour

    Eclecticism, luxury details and refined finishes make up the bathroom interiors of the Mondrian London Hotel located on the banks of the River Thames. Decorated by award winning designer Tom Dixon, each room features a truly glamorous aesthetic. The hotel embodies the elegance of a transatlantic 1920s liner. Built with 359 guestrooms and furnished with custom designed furniture; the interior features rich colour palettes contrasted against standout metallic finishes, providing a brutalist nautical theme. The use of marble surfaces and black basins within the en-suites works seamlessly to create luxe finish, whilst the public washrooms deliver a high quality appeal featuring porthole mirrors and metallic detailing usually found on board a ship.

    For hoteliers looking to achieve the perfect high-end hotel look it is essential to design spaces that offer functionality as well as a deluxe finish. Hotel bathrooms have the capacity to showcase significant design statements, they serve as a sanctuary providing the comforts of home and as such are a key factor when creating a luxurious décor scheme.

    Crosswater is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click her