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Concept

Bill Bensley has designed a ‘human zoo hotel’ concept

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bill Bensley has designed a ‘human zoo hotel’ concept

Architect Bill Bensley responded to a hotel brief by designing a hotel where guests are caged while wild, exotic animals roam free…

Known for his bohemian and brilliant ideas when it comes to sustainability, architect Bill Bensley has perhaps new creative heights by designing a concept to flip the idea of a zoo on its head, allowing animals to run free while humans in put in cage-like rooms.

CNN reported that the first phase of the eight-year WorldWild project, which will consist of several different top branded hotels, is slated to open in as early as 2023.

The ‘human zoo’ hotel concept, which will be targeted to luxury travellers who are seeking for unparalleled experiences, will shelter 2,400 ‘human cages’ that will actually look more like high-end, design-led guestrooms that frame an uninterrupted and uncorrupted view on natural the wildlife below.

The site where the hotel is being conceived is situated on a 2,000-hectare plot, which will reinstate wetlands to encourage biodiversity.

With the concrete aim being firm to free wildlife from captivity, Bensley’s concept has recently reached a milestone, gaining approval from Southern China’s Communist Party to relocate abused animals from zoos in the country, to be released onto the roughly 2,000-hectare piece of land where the ‘human zoo’ will be located.

Bensley’s latest wild concept will give animals the luxury of 95 per cent of the land to roam about in, while humans will reside in just five per cent of the grounds in the hotel.

Turning the Zoo concept on its head when designing a new hotel approach has raised further questions as to how hospitality can help to educate people on how to conserve areas that would not otherwise be protected.

Main image credit: Bensley

Aloft Hotels arrives in Bali with new ‘future-proof design’

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Aloft Hotels arrives in Bali with new ‘future-proof design’

Aloft Hotels’ First property on the Island of Bali introduces the brand’s new ‘future-proof design formula’…

Aloft Hotels, Marriott International’s hotel brand for music enthusiasts and tech-savvy travellers, has announced the opening of Aloft Bali Seminyak.

Located in the heart of vibrant Seminyak, within walking distance to the beachm, the urban-inspired hotel features interactive social spaces and modern style, along with a fresh new social scene to Bali as the first Aloft hotel to open on the island.

“We are excited to be unveiling the Aloft Hotels brand in Bali,” said Mike Fulkerson, Vice President, Brand & Marketing, Asia-Pacific, Marriott International. “The new Aloft Bali Seminyak is set to own the stage as the hottest gathering hub for travellers visiting the well-known social scene of Seminyak. From its bold design to its live music programming, locals and guests alike can experience the next generation of hotels that will enhance their stay while vacationing on island paradise.”

Aloft Bali Seminyak embodies the brand’s new tech-forward design philosophy with a lively, industrial-inspired aesthetic intermixed with distinct local touches that complement the free-flowing open spaces. The hotel is home to 80 modern and stylish guestrooms, all of which have been designed with the brand’s signature artful and innovative loft layout in mind. They feature airy nine-foot-ceilings, Aloft’s ultra-comfortable beds and contemporary décor with Balinese accents. In addition, the hotel features eight guestrooms with direct access to a lap pool, complete with stunning views of a tropical hanging garden.

render of luxury guestroom

Image credit: Aloft hotels/Marriott International

The hotel features a variety of dining and social spaces including its main attraction: The Kahuna rooftop restaurant, which serves up a fusion of eclectic fare with a playful twist on international and local cuisine complemented by mesmerising sea views as a backdrop.

The open and expressive lobby is adjacent to Re:mix lounge that provides locals and travellers a space to mix and mingle. The brand’s signature W XYZ bar offers signature cocktails and light bites for guests to enjoy over live music as part of the brand’s iconic Live At Aloft Hotels music series which offers emerging local artists a platform to showcase their musical talent.

Business travellers can make use of the two multi-functional, tech-forward meeting spaces equipped with fast and free Wi-Fi, which can also be transformed into an intimate event venue accommodating up to 66 people.

Aloft currently operates 176 lifestyle hotels globally. There are 132 Aloft hotels in the signed pipeline expected to open in North America, Caribbean & Latin America, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Asia Pacific.

Main image credit: Marriott International/Aloft Hotels

GROHE adjusts production across Europe amidst pandemic

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GROHE adjusts production across Europe amidst pandemic

The bathroom brand GROHE has announced suspended production in Portugal and manufacturing sites in Germany to  run adjusted production schedules in reaction to the COVID–19 pandemic…

GROHE has implemented its next steps in taking action to protect employees across its European manufacturing sites.

Production in Albergaria, Portugal, will be suspended from 30th March 2020, reflecting latest government regulations and the intensifying situation in this region. It is currently planned to resume operations on 12th April 2020. The structured and orderly phasing out period for the production in Albergaria has started. Besides the European plants, the manufacturing site in Klaeng, Thailand, is also following strict procedures including those around temperature controls to ensure increased hygiene standards and safety for employees.

With its measures the GROHE brand wants to uphold the safety and health of its staff and support overall efforts to help contain the pandemic. For all sites, applicable regulations and measures are under constant review and subject to adjustments as necessary. Together with its business partners, the GROHE brand is closely working on managing stock and service levels across the EMENA region, taking into account the circumstances and requirements of individual markets.

“With the spread of the novel coronavirus we witness an unprecedented situation, across the globe. Over the recent weeks, the impact has increased on society and the economy alike. Given the overall dynamics, we have constantly evaluated the rapidly changing circumstances early on to determine necessary actions. It is now, that we are tightening existing measures to further protect our employees,” says Thomas Fuhr, COO Fittings LIXIL International and CEO Grohe AG.

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

SNEAK PEEK: Inside Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SNEAK PEEK: Inside Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid

The iconic Hotel Ritz, Madrid is expected to reopen later this year as the Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid, following the most extensive restoration in its 110-year history…

The statuesque property, which will become Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid later this year, was designed and built under the supervision of legendary hotelier César Ritz, and first opened its doors in 1910.

An extensive restoration is underway to significantly enhance the hotel’s facilities and services, while maintaining its unique character, encapsulated in the Belle Époque style of the original building.

Spanish architect, Rafael de La-Hoz, has been instrumental in providing the context for the historical restoration, while French designers, Gilles & Boissier, have overseen the interiors with the aim of increasing the property’s appeal to local and international guests alike while celebrating César Ritz’s pioneering spirit.

The re-design of the public spaces has focused on restoring the hotel’s many fine interior architectural features, while incorporating a number of valuable artistic pieces from the property’s collection, including crystal chandeliers, antique paintings and sculptures.

Image caption: Rendering of the restaurant inside the hotel | Image credit: Mandarin Oriental

Image caption: Rendering of the restaurant inside the hotel | Image credit: Mandarin Oriental

The hotel has always been an integral part of society in Spain’s capital, and has been host to royalty, politicians, corporate leaders and celebrities. It is situated within the ‘Golden Triangle of Art’, an area defined by the most important museums in the city – the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía Museum of Modern Art. The property’s location within a prestigious residential area close to Madrid’s financial and commercial district and to El Retiro Park,  adds to its appeal.

“The meticulous restoration is designed to ensure that this legendary property is once again recognised as one of Europe’s greatest hotels,” said James Riley, Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.  “We are confident that the local community will be even more proud of this historic landmark, and we look forward to providing our guests with memorable experiences, in majestic surroundings, all underpinned by Mandarin Oriental’s exceptional service.”

Gilles & Boissier have created a sophisticated design for the hotel’s new guestrooms, encapsulating a classic but contemporary residential style for the 153 rooms including 53 suites. Within the suite inventory, there are several one-of-a-kind speciality suites, featuring unique design elements inspired by the hotel’s historic connections to the city, Spanish culture and art. A spacious Royal Suite and the Presidential Suite feature magnificent views over the Prado museum. Located in the top floor turrets are two new suites, each with private balconies and views over the Prado Museum and Lealtad Square.

Image caption: Rendering of the Royal Suite, designed by Gilles & Boissier | Image credit: Mandarin Oriental

Chef Quique Dacosta, one of the most celebrated chefs in Spain, was appointed to design, develop and oversee all culinary operations at the hotel’s five restaurants and bars.

The hotel’s new leisure and wellness facilities include a heated indoor swimming pool, a vitality pool, experience showers, a steam room and a contemporary fitness centre. A dedicated treatment room has been designed as a hidden sanctuary, providing a range of exclusive local and signature beauty and massage treatments.

As one of the most iconic buildings in the Spanish capital, Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid is ideally placed for memorable social events. The ballroom and functions spaces, with their large windows facing the Prado Museum will be beautifully restored and designed to ensure the hotel is once again the venue of choice for weddings, private dinners and parties.

Main image credit: Mandarin Oriental

VIP Arrivals: hotels opening in April 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
VIP Arrivals: hotels opening in April 2020

Despite COVID-19 putting the brakes on hotel development activity, Hotel Designs’ Hamish Kilburn wants to still celebrate the hotels that were originally planned to open in April so that we have something to look forward once the crisis is over…

It was all going so well. Only last month I wrote that 2020 was shaping up to be a year of expansion for many hotel brands.

A few weeks after publishing that article, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a pandemic following the COVID–19 outbreak. Now with businesses and homes in lockdown – something that everybody is having to comes to terms with – hotels that were originally planned to open in April have hit a temporary red light, but we still want to shine the spotlight on a handful of them away.

Villa Copenhagen

CGI rendering of a light and open classy brasserie

Image caption: CGI rendering of The Brasserie inside Villa Copenhagen

Sheltered inside what was the century-old Central Post and Telegraph Head Office, the 390-key Villa Copenhagen was originally planned to open in April. Traditional Danish and international F&B areas have been designed by London-based studio Goddard Littlefair with the aim to promote wellbeing and sociability. It was described in an interview with Jo Littlefair as “the destination’s answer to The Ned, London”. A member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, the hotel will offer a conscious approach to luxury with a focus on all things eco-friendly.

W Ibiza

Render of green and blue exterior of the hotel

Image credit: W Ibiza

The brainchild of BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERGW Ibiza was slated to open in April. Located off the beaten track, the 167-key hotel strikes a pose on the palm-fringed beachfront of Santa Eulalia. As the only global brand on the island, the design brief was to fuse together the parallel realities of Ibiza with a magnetic pull that turns up the sass.

The design scheme has opened up the public spaces to become a flexible social hub, the hotel becomes a place that nurtures human connections, and through the use of subtle levels creates touchable distance between each functional area. “The idea is that the energy descends into the unconventional pool area,” Alon Baranowitz told Hotel Designs in an exclusive interview. “As you move up levels, the lobby/lounge area becomes more reclined, but the open architecture scheme allows for a clever connection between all spaces.”

Soneva Fushi, Maldives

Render of luxe villa on the water

Image credit: Soneva Fushi, Maldives

Sources have told Hotel Designs that there are no new guests arriving in any of the hotels in the Maldives at the moment, and that hotel staff are being told to self-isolate for at least 14 days.

Meanwhile, Soneva Fushi is preparing to launch new overwater villas, which were expected to be up and running in April. The one- and two-bedroom villas of the refreshed Soneva Fushi will feature private pools, sunken seating areas, catamaran nets strung over water, and retractable roofs.

Six Senses Shaharut

Villa over looking desert

Image credit: Six Senses

Following a significant year of growth for the hotel brand that aggressively extended its luxury portfolio with a number of openings around the globe, Six Senses is preparing to open its first hotel in Israel.

Perched on the edge of a cliff in the south of the Negev Desert, the 58-suite hotel will pride itself of on eco-living, going as far to ban cars on the property as well as all outdoor lighting to further minimise light pollution.

Camp Sarika by Amangiri, Utah

Image credit: Aman/Amangiri

A five-minute drive across the desert from Amangiri, Camp Sarika’s collection of 10 elegant and spacious one- and two-bedroom pavilions was slated to open in April. Complementing the clean lines and natural material palette of Amangiri’s suites, the generously proportioned pavilions each have indoor living and dining areas, as well oversized terraces with fire pits and heated plunge pools.

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

Main image credit: Aman/Amangiri

Naturalmat launches 500 thread count, organic percale bed linen

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Naturalmat launches 500 thread count, organic percale bed linen

Made by hand in Devon, Naturalmat’s new luxury 500 thread count, organic cotton percale bed linen is the answer to a good sleep, which is what we all need right about now… 

Naturalmat, the award-winning brand in organic and ethically made mattresses and beds that has been supplying the industry for more than 20 years, has launched its keenly awaited luxurious, new wholly organic bed linen.

All Naturalmat’s new bed linen is a premium 500 thread count cotton percale which is delightfully soft, crisp and more luxurious than high street brands. This, combined with its organic credentials, offers a unique combination.

The organic bed linen collection has been a long time in the making. This is because Naturalmat distinguishes itself in its singular quest to deliver a luxurious, wholly organic, ethically made yet affordable offering… a bed linen collection that meets the most stringent organic credentials.

“From the outset at Naturalmat we have made it our purpose to deliver a luxury yet ethical and organic alternative offering,” said the company’s CEO, Mark Tremlett. “This is more important than ever now as we have become increasingly aware of concerns over environmental impact and the importance of sustainability. I am excited that Naturalmat can finally deliver consumers a high quality yet affordable bed linen which meets the most stringent social, ecological and healthiest organic criteria.”

The new bed linen collection is GOTS-certified – GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) is a worldwide standard for organic fibres incorporating both ecological and social criteria. From the time the cotton seed is planted to growing it without pesticides or chemicals, through to harvesting and processing it is done in a way that doesn’t deteriorate the land and looks after the welfare of workers. Naturalmat sources the cotton from a mill in southern India – known to produce the best quality cotton for some of the most prestigious brands in the world.

The mill is fully certified organic and is unique in that it carries out the entire production process… here they spin, weave, wash, finish, cut and sew the cotton to create and realise the Naturalmat organic bed linen collection. This is reflective of and entirely in keeping with Naturalmat’s ethos – all its beds and mattresses are made completely from scratch at its Devon-based bedworks which generates its own Green electricity and only sources its wool from organic sheep farms within a 50 mile radius of the bedworks.

The buttons on Naturalmat’s organic duvet covers are made from nuts produced by Tagua Palms which grow naturally in equatorial rainforests and enables local people to make a living from the nuts produced by these trees. The Tagua tree has such an economic and sustainable status that it’s saving rainforests. The resulting button is as hard wearing as polyester but has as beautiful a finish as ivory.

Naturalmat’s fitted sheets are unique in that they have capacity to accommodate both a super thick mattress as well as a topper yet are elasticated the entire way around – not just the corners. This elasticated perimeter stretches or contracts under the mattress to provide a perfect smooth, wrinkle-free sheet atop… whether it’s to fit mattress only, or a super thick mattress combined with topper. With the increase in prevalence to combine topper with mattress, these sheets are versatile enough to suit both and ensure there’s no need to purchase new bed sheets due to the addition of a topper.

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

In Conversation With: Interior Designer of the Year 2019, Jo Littlefair

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Interior Designer of the Year 2019, Jo Littlefair

Securing her place in the history books, Jo Littlefair came out on top last year at The Brit List Awards 2019, spectacularly winning the coveted title, Interior Designer of the Year. A few months later, she welcomes editor Hamish Kilburn into the Goddard Littlefair HQ to give him a glimpse into studio life…

“Jo, can I borrow you for just a second,” says senior associate and architect David Lee Hood as Jo Littlefair and I walk through the studio. “This archway,” he says pointing to a life-like rendering on his monitor, “what are your thoughts on adding in a line of colour here?” As he shows the before and after, it is a game of ‘spot the difference’ to the untrained eye. But for the multi-layered studio Goddard Littlefair, where the devil is so often in the detail, it could be the difference between winning a pitch or losing it, as any design practice operating on today’s international scene will confirm.

“We have made a few changes to encourage people to come and talk to us more.” – Jo Littlefair, co-founder, Goddard Littlefair

The short but important moment is proof, if ever I needed it, that Littlefair likes to naturally lead from within her team. And as we walk through the open-planned office that is flooded with natural light towards her workstation, I notice also that there is no door, and no boundary, between herself and everyone else in the building.

Image caption: The Lowry Presidential Suite, designed sensitively by Goddard Littlefair

Image caption: The Lowry Presidential Suite, designed sensitively by Goddard Littlefair

“We got to the point last year when, as we reached 60 employees, we decided Goddard Littlefair was too big as a studio,” she confesses. “We have made a few changes to encourage people to come and talk to us more, because I would rather know about something – and be able to comment at a point where it is possible to comment – rather than get further down the line and it be too late. At the end of the day, leading this design studio with Martin Goddard has always been a collaboration, not just between himself and I but also our team.” As the designer is explaining, I notice that there’s a cordial and relaxed atmosphere in the Clerkenwell studio, and the strong relationship between the co-founders and their team is apparent.

Image caption: The bar inside Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, designed by Goddard Littlefair

“We look at the finer details, as you have just seen, that perhaps make a space look and feel more residential,” the designer explains. “Things like tabs on the curtain pole having a little leather strap and a metal rivet, and it’s those elements that give it quality and detail. It’s important that someone has thought about it in that much detail, and there is a reason why it’s leather and why it’s embossed, or whatever.”

“What’s most important is that it has to be right for our client, the property and the location every time.” – Jo Littlefair, co-founder, Goddard Littlefair

Recently completed projects within the studio’s portfolio include The Biltmore Mayfair  London, Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik , Sheraton  Grand Warsaw , the new F&B areas inside Hilton Munich City, The Lowry in Manchester and the Kimpton Charlotte Square. Having followed many, if not all, of these projects from concept through to completion, it’s fair to say that the studio believes that variety is the spice of life. “We don’t like being pigeon-holed,” explains Littlefair. “We have a great variety of style, which is fantastic. Also, we are not divas when it comes to our personal taste. What’s most important is that it has to be right for our client, the property and the location every time.”

Modern award-winning bar

Image caption: The award-winning Juliet Rose at Hilton Munich, designed by Goddard Littlefair, has become the city’s new destination bar.

Despite the studio clocking up the air miles with unavoidable trips abroad for site visits and account management, in order for the team to understand the culture and fabrics of new destinations, the studio’s HQ is positioned slap-bang in the epicentre of the design community in London, just a few streets behind some of the city’s major design showrooms in Clerkenwell. “There is always a corner of London that you can find a narrative to that is really individual,” says Littlefair. “Whether  When? you are living, working and breathing in London, like many of our designers, the city becomes a fantastic place. I think that’s because it is made up of villages that have, over time, morphed together. As a designer working on a project here, the identity of what those villages were can really shine through.”

“I literally had to work my way around the world, and it made me a different person.” – Jo Littlefair, co-founder, Goddard Littlefair

Despite London having its place in the designer’s heart, Littlefair mostly finds inspiration in design from nature, and decompresses daily from city life, after a hefty commute, in Buckinghamshire where she lives. “It’s a very open community, close enough to London for work, but full of fresh air,” she explains. “My kids love it there, and so do I!”

But where was Littlefair’s inquisitive nature born, I wonder? “When I left university and went travelling, technology as we know it now didn’t exist; email had just come out for crying out loud,” she admits. “I used to pay to sit in a café to type an email home to say I’m alive. For me, that was about really cutting off from the world. My mum didn’t think I was going to come back,” she laughs, “I did some crazy things; I worked out on boats and I threw myself into experiential travel, albeit on a shoestring. I literally had to work my way around the world, and it made me a different person. Experiencing places and learning about people and cultures.”

Image caption: The Principal York's luxe, residential look and feel was designed by Goddard Littlefair

Image caption: The Principal York’s luxe, residential look and feel was designed by Goddard Littlefair

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

Hamish Kilburn: What trend do you hope will never return?
Jo Littlefair: Rag-rolled walls and transitional furniture.

HK: What’s next on your travel bucket list?
JL: Chile , Argentina and Egypt.

HK: What would you say is the number-one tool for success?
JL: Hard work, and you can’t teach taste. I learn something new every day, nobody can know everything!

HK: Who was your inspiration growing up?
JL: The reason I made it into interiors is because I used to work on super yacht designed by Terence Tisdale. I couldn’t believe that somebody got paid to put this together and design with  all those beautiful timber veneers and mirrors everywhere, which I had to clean! I spent four months in the Med working on this 64m Feadship  . It had everything and gave me an insight into luxury and interior design.

HK: What is the one item you cannot travel without?
JL: This is ridiculous but my cashmere jumper, which is so not me. You will always find a lightweight cashmere jumper in my flight bag!

HK: What is the last item that will show up on your bank statement?
JL: Whole beans for my coffee machine. Always buy a small bag because you want the freshest roasted beans for your coffee.

HK: What has the last year taught you?
JL: To keep everyone in the studio on one floor, so that we are working together. Also that quality far outweighs quantity.

“Think of it as the destination’s answer to The Ned.” – Jo Littlefair, co-founder, Goddard Littlefair

Back to today, and the studio is currently hard at work with a number of projects on the drawing boards. The studio is currently working on designing four restaurants and bars inside the soon-to-open 360-key Villa Copenhagen. “Think of it as the destination’s answer to The Ned,” Littlefair teases. “But it’s so not about men and women in suits. Instead, the whole project has been about understanding the Danish vernacular, the locals’ way of life.”

Other projects that the studio is working on include five star resorts on the Mediterranean coast line, the repurposing of a beautiful Viennese building to a 150 plus bedroom five star hotel and what may be the future best spa in London.

Image credit: The atmospheric restaurant Cucina Mia inside Shertaton Warsaw, designed by Goddard Littlefair

Image credit: The atmospheric restaurant InAzia restaurant in Sheraton Warsaw, designed by Goddard Littlefair

As two people who are, parallel to others in the industry, so thoughtfully leading interior design forward in terms of meaningful innovation, Goddard and Littlefair both feel pressure to adapt sensitively with the times while also maintaining a fundamental quality. And their approach to evolution is enlightening.  “Someone once told me that everything in life is a phase,” explains Littlefair. “I have learned to embrace change and see it as a positive. It is intrinsically scary to human nature, but when you learn that it is necessary to be a little bit cathartic about things, life runs smoother.” I would argue that it is this breath-of-fresh-air attitude that led the designer to win The Brit List Awards’ Interior Designer of the Year 2020.

“You have no idea how much the award means to me.” – Jo Littlefair, co-founder, Goddard Littlefair

“I just can’t believe it,” she said fresh off stage at the event in November when her new-found title was revealed in front of a sea of leading designers, architects, hoteliers and developers. Months later, and the reality of ‘that win’ hasn’t quite sunk in. “You have no idea how much the award means to me,” she says now. “The line-up of people you had there was fantastic, they are my peer group and I am very respectful of what everyone else is doing. So, that people within this industry consider what we are doing here to such high regard means everything!”

Image caption: Interior Designer of the Year, Goddard Litterfair's Jo Littlefair with editor Hamish Kilburn at The Brit List Awards 2020

Image caption: Interior Designer of the Year, Goddard Litterfair’s Jo Littlefair with editor Hamish Kilburn at The Brit List Awards 2020

In a recent roundtable discussion that Littlefair attended, it was mentioned that all designers are having to work harder than ever before in order to differentiate from other styles and common motifs. As I sit around the table in the hub of her studio, I wonder how Littlefair and her team approach this topic when it comes to designing future hotels. “We are getting to the point where people have not seen a beautifully letter-pressed card before,” she says. “The ‘tech revolution’ has changed everything that we do and the way our work is perceived, but we can’t lose touch of humanity in the process.”

“We crowned a really worthy winner,” I can’t help by think to myself after I’ve said my goodbyes to the  Goddard Littlefair team. For me, it’s not necessary  necessarily? Littlefair’s work that is the most inspiring thing about but  the designer, but more her incredible journey, which was fuelled by hard-work, passion and determination, that I believe every single designer can learn from – or at least be energised by.

Main image credit: Goddard Littlefair

Hotel Designs launches new initiative to help businesses through uncertain times

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs launches new initiative to help businesses through uncertain times

The industry’s leading online platform, Hotel Designs, has launched a three-month introductory offer for companies, as the leading international hotel design website continues to support the hospitality industry…

In direct response to the COVID–19 pandemic, Hotel Designs has launched an ‘Industry Support Package’ to help brands to engage with the hospitality sector spanning designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and those that supply to the industry during the testing months that lie ahead.

“The aim of this three-month package is to simply support businesses that have been effected by the COVID–19 outbreak and that require a springboard of support,” explained publisher Katy Phillips. “While the hospitality market adapts, the ‘Industry Support Package’ will enable brands from all sectors of the market to share their latest news to our highly engaged readers via our various online platforms.”

The Industry Support Package, which is just £99 + VAT, includes: 

  • A comprehensive company profile page on Hotel Designs website to include full company details, contact information, product imagery etc.
  • Editorial coverage on the Hotel Designs website for a three-month period
  • Contribution to Hotel Designs’ ‘Spotlight On’ monthly editorial features
  • Social media support across all social channels – reaching more than 20,000 users
  • Exposure within Hotel Designs weekly e-newsletter sent to more than 12,000 recipients

The package is only available to new clients, and to take advantage of the offer, companies will need to be book by EOP on Friday, April 3, with activity commencing no later than Monday, April 13. 

If you would like to take advantage of this offer, please email Katy Phillips or call +44 (0)1992 374050.

Low-profile support: easy bathroom installation options from Kaldewei

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Low-profile support: easy bathroom installation options from Kaldewei

Kaldewei‘s preassembled system ensures fast installation for nearly flat shower in the bathroom…

There’s no easier and quicker way to install an enamelled shower surface: thanks to the low-profile support, it takes just a few steps to install the Kaldewei Conoflat, Cayonoplan, Superplan, Superplan Plus and Scona showers directly onto a suitably prepared floor.

Shower surface, tray support and central support are already preassembled, perfectly coordinated and easy to handle. This benefits installers as they save time on the installation and therefore increase their efficiency.

Preassembled system in one package

Using the low-profile support, Kaldewei showers can be installed very quickly and easily onto the floor or, if necessary, directly onto the tiles. The enamelled shower surface, tray support and central support are delivered in one package as a preassembled system solution. This provides the optimum solution for time-saving fitting in almost every installation situation, whether with a tiled, concrete or wooden floor.

Simple and standard-compliant installation

A floor recess is only required for the waste fitting. Thanks to the low built height, Kaldewei showers can be virtually installed at floor level. It takes just a few steps to install the enamelled shower surfaces onto the floor. For standard-compliant sealing, Kaldewei recommends the Flex sealing kit that can be integrated with the greatest of ease into the surrounding bathroom sealing.

Persuasive material properties

Not only can Kaldewei’s enamelled shower surfaces be installed quickly and easily with the low-profile support, but they also possess highly persuasive material properties. With superior Kaldewei steel enamel, these include longevity, anti-slip properties, ease of maintenance and recyclability. All Kaldewei bathroom solutions are supplied with a 30-year guarantee.

Kaldewei 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: Kaldewei

The Unbound Collection expands in The Americas region

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Unbound Collection expands in The Americas region

New Unbound Collection openings and signings signify a strategic focus on the Hyatt brand expanding in the Americas region… 

Hyatt Hotel’s recent announcement of Unbound Collection openings and brand transitions suggests that the brand is focusing its ongoing development plans on the Americas region.

Currently, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand includes more than 20 unique hotels – located in key destinations around the world – each with their own distinct story.

“Because Hyatt’s efforts are grounded in listening and fuelled by care, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand has a unique position within the Hyatt portfolio, as each property has the opportunity to tell its own story,” said Heather Geisler, senior vice president of global brands, Hyatt. “As we continue to see the brand thoughtfully grow across the globe, we are excited to watch each story unfold, further driving brand loyalty to travellers looking for experiences unlike any other.”

Image caption: Aerial of Carmel Valley Ranch | Image credit: Hyatt Hotels/Unbound Collection by Hyatt

The latest development agreements within The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand include plans for Hotel La Compañia in Panama City, Panama, which will be nestled within the heart of Casco Viejo (Spanish for “Old Quarter”), a UNESCO World Heritage site. Expected to open in 2021, the 88-key hotel is set to become the first property in Panama that is part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand.

The historic Chicago Athletic Association landmark property located in the heart of Chicago’s business and cultural district joined The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand in November 2019. The unique property was restored from a renowned 19th century athletic club to a hotel in 2015, with the purpose of returning the building to Chicagoans following 125 years of members-only access. Today, the 241-key “urban playground” offers seven award-winning food & beverage outlets – including the Prohibition-era microbar Milk Room, lively Game Room, the swanky, James Beard Award-winning Cherry Circle Room, and the hotel’s crown jewel, Cindy’s, its rooftop restaurant and bar perched 13 stories above Millennium Park.  In addition, locals and guests alike are invited to experience the Chicago Athletic Association hotel’s 150+ annual programming events, ranging from pop-up roller skating nights in the hotel’s vintage gym to hands-on cocktail workshops with in-house experts.

The storied Carmel Valley Ranch, a 500-acre all-suite resort tucked in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains on the Monterey Peninsula, joined The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand in January 2020. Unveiled as part of the resort’s 2019 reimagination, Carmel Valley Ranch offers a variety of interactive adventures including artisanal cheesemaking workshops at The Creamery, wine and cheese tastings at The Market, falconry, hatchet throwing and more.

Mar Monte Hotel, located just minutes from downtown Santa Barbara, nestled between the rugged Santa Ynez range and pristine Santa Barbara beach, is set to join the collection in Spring 2020, rebranding from Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara after an extensive renovation. The 200-key hotel has been reimagined to establish a style of contemporary Santa Barbara with classic Spanish-influenced design.

Two additional properties within The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand that are set to open in the U.S. in 2020 and 2021, respectively, include the 144-key restored landmark property, Hotel Kansas City, in Kansas City, Mo. and a 64-key boutique hotel in Hollywood, Calif. Both properties are currently being restored to their original beginnings, with a focus on providing extraordinary architectural details for guests looking to feel inspired.

Globally, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand expanded its footprint in 2019, with the reintroduction of Hotel du Louvre, after completing a property-wide renovation in June 2019. Inspired by the original Napolean III style, the famed hotel sits in the heart of the Paris’s Palais-Royal district, surrounded by the Musée du Louvre, the Comédie-Française, the Palais Garnier and Palais Royal.

In December 2019, the brand also debuted in the UK with the opening of Great Scotland Yard, a luxury hotel with rich history residing on the site of the former headquarters of the Metropolitan Police. Expected to reopen in summer 2020 is the historic gem Hotel du Palais Biarritz, a palace built by Napoleon III for his wife Eugenia de Montijo.

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels/Unbound Collection by Hyatt

BREAKING: MEET UP London postponed until September

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BREAKING: MEET UP London postponed until September

BREAKING NEWS: MEET UP London, which is Hotel Designs’ premium networking evening for designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers, has postponed this year’s event until September 15 in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak… 

MEET UP London was due to take place at Minotti London on May 13, but in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, and Government recommendations, the event has been forced to postpone until later in the year.

Sheltering the theme of Inspiring Creativity, the networking evening will still welcome award-winning sound designer and functional music innovation expert Tom Middleton and award-winning research entrepreneur Ari Peralta as headline speakers.

“The decision to unveil the shortlisted finalists of The Brit List Awards 2020 at MEET UP London has come because we want to give the individuals a platform that lasts longer than one awards ceremony.” – said editor Hamish Kilburn

In addition, given the timing of the postponed event, Hotel Designs will use the event as a springboard to unveil the shortlisted finalists for The Brit List Awards 2020. “We are used to adapting to the times here at Hotel Designs, and the decision to unveil the shortlisted finalists of The Brit List Awards 2020 at MEET UP London has come because we want to give the individuals a platform that lasts longer than one awards ceremony,” said editor Hamish Kilburn. “In line with our theme for MEET UP London, Inspiring Creativity, it makes sense to celebrate the individuals who are proving to lead the way.”

MEET UP London 2020 is just the latest event that has been forced to postponed in response the spread of COVID-19. Yesterday, Clerkenwell Design Week announced it has postponed this year’s event until July 14 – 16. Salone Del Mobile, which is arguably the most popular trade fair in the design calendar, was the first to announce a postponement, which was followed by the Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam last week.

Tens of thousands of people in the UK have been tested for Covid-19, with currently 1,950 cases. Meanwhile, the government has now put in place strict social distancing rules in an attempt to deal with the pandemic.

How to attend MEET UP London

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

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

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Event partner: Crosswater 

* Those eligible to purchase Supplier Tickets must be industry suppliers.
** Those eligible to purchase buyer tickets must prove that they are an interior designer, architect, hotelier or developer.
***Hotel Designs’ Early Bird promotion ends on March 31. After this time, tickets for designers, architects, hoteliers and developers will inflate to £20 + VAT and supplier tickets will inflate to £150 + VAT. 

Cole and Son unveils Seville wallpaper collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Cole and Son unveils Seville wallpaper collection

The wallpaper company Cole and Son’s latest collection was inspired by the plethora of cultural fusions of Seville, the Andalusian capital…

From the breath-taking blend of Mudéjar architecture and art, fragrant flora and diverse fauna, to the percussive strumming of guitarists accompanying passion-filled flamenco dancers resounding through the vibrant city, emerges Cole & Son’s latest collection Seville.

With graphic architectural prints in sun-drenched antique palettes to vibrant botanicals and primary-toned ceramic tile motifs, Seville captures all the ebullience of southern Spain.

From its Phoenician foundation to Roman rule, and centuries of Islamic dynasties and Christian Castilian conquerors, came waves of unique crafts and traditions leaving an indelible mark upon the Iberian city port.

A total of 15 new artworks have been born from the collection, which are as follows:

Orange Blossum

Colourways: Orange & Spring Green on Parchment; Lemon & Dark Olive Green on Duck Egg; Orange & Spring Green on Black; Burnt Orange & Mint on Seafoam.

Oranges are synonymous with Seville, with its city streets and courtyards teeming with fruit trees.This delicate, fabric-like representation of Seville’s iconic fruit pays homage to the regal tapestries found hanging in the Royal Alcazar’s Salón de los Tapices with a subtle textured feel to its foliage. Orange Blossom’s elegant repeat is presented in muted, vintage-inspired palettes of Orange & Spring Green on Parchment; Lemon & Dark Olive Green on Duck Egg; Burnt Orange & Mint on Seafoam; and the moody Orange & Spring Green on Black.

Angel’s Trumpet

Colourways: Cream & Olive Green on Charcoal; Chalk & Sage on Stone; Ballet Slipper & Sage on Cerulean Sky; Coral & Viridian on Ink.

Native to the tropics of South America, Angel’s Trumpet flourishes in the searing Sevillian heat of the Alcazar’s courtyards and city gardens. Its feminine shape is enhanced by delicate, painterly details in pretty palettes of Cream and Olive Green on Charcoal; Chalk & Sage on Stone; Ballet Slipper & Sage on Cerulean Sky; and Coral & Viridian on Ink. Entirely hand-painted in a traditional botanical illustration style, Angel’s Trumpet creates a beautifully bold, elegant floral stripe.

Hispalis

Colourways: Khaki Multi.

Hispalis takes its name from the Latinisation of Seville’s earliest known moniker, Spal, with Julius Caesar designating the city Colonia Iulia Romula Hispalis. This tapestry-like design depicts an antique land in the balmy late afternoon sun with its densely overgrown archway in sun-bleached shades of Khaki, Burnt Orange and Sand.

Alfaro

Colourways: Canary Yellow & Petrol on Parchment; Ochre & Racing Car Green on Terracotta; Dark Ochre & Forest Green on Duck Egg.

The Plaza Alfaro residence in Seville is said to have inspired the iconic balcony scene in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. With its wrought iron balustrades, sunshine yellow paintwork and blooming tropical flowers, Alfaro is a vibrant ode to Sevillian architecture in true-to-life tones of Canary Yellow & Petrol on Parchment; Ochre & Racing Car Green on Terracotta; and Dark Ochre & Forest Green on Duck Egg.

Light and bright coloured wallpaper in a suite

Image caption: The Alfaro range from Cole and Sons’ Seville Collection.

Triana

Colourways: Canary Yellow & China Blue on Teal; Teal & Dark Teal on Denim; Marigold & Hyacinth on Canary Yellow.

The Triana neighbourhood is home to Seville’s famous ceramic workshops and potteries, filled with artisans creating the traditional, vibrant tiles seen throughout the city. Triana’s design contains time-honoured elements of flowers, leaves, and geometric shapes, hand-painted to reflect each of the unique hand-crafted tiles to come out of this bustling quarter. Choose from classic, primary palettes of Canary Yellow & China Blue on Teal;Teal & Dark Teal on Denim; and Marigold & Hyacinth on Canary Yellow.

Alcazar Gardens

Colourways: Terracotta & Spring Green Multi.

An enduring architectural icon of the city, the Real Alcazar is a stunning testament to centuries’ old blend of Mudéjar architecture and ornamentation. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Alcazar left an indelible impression on the Cole and Son design studio, leading to this fantastical interpretation of the fortress palace’s gardens. Illustrative and pictorial in style, it is a unique artwork piece presented in a classic Terracotta & Spring Green Multi colour palette.

Bougainvillea

Colourways: Rouge, Olive Green & Emerald on Cream; Rouge, Leaf Green & Cerulean Sky on Charcoal; Marigold, Leaf Green & Emerald on Parchment; Ochre,Viridian & Petrol on Ink.

Covering palaces, chalky plaster walls and creating bright borders to parks and sun- soaked avenues, Bougainvillea is another of Seville’s vibrantly coloured flora. With its soft, water-coloured petals and leaves, Bougainvillea’s inflorescence has a delicate ombré creating movement and life. Choose from organic, sunshine palettes of Rouge, Olive Green & Emerald on Cream; and Marigold, Leaf Green & Emerald on Parchment; or the deeper evening tones of Rouge, Leaf Green & Cerulean Sky on Charcoal; and Ochre,Viridian & Petrol on Ink.

Piccadilly

Colourways: Petrol, Red & Metallic Gold on Ink; Grey & Metallic Gold on Black; Leaf Green & Mint on Forest; Denim & Rouge on Chalk

Composed of a host of beautiful curved, swirling lines, Piccadilly is a classic tile print found throughout Seville, from the Alcazar’s tiled bench nooks, to restaurant walls and elaborate ceramic floors. Piccadilly’s traditional print is made contemporary in striking shades of Petrol, Red & Metallic Gold on Ink; Grey & Metallic Gold on Black; Leaf Green & Mint on Forest; and Denim & Rouge on Chalk.

Talavera

Colourways: Rose & Spring Greens on Terracotta; Fuchsia & Forest Greens on Cerulean Sky; Magenta & Spring Greens on Stone.

Talavera’s plentiful pots abundant in flowers and trailing plants can be found throughout Spain, with the traditional ceramics each painted with their own unique decoration. The plaster-style grounds of Terracotta, Cerulean Sky, and Stone are reminiscent of Seville’s sun-soaked buildings with the pots presented in authentic tones of Rose & Spring Greens; Fuchsia & Forest Greens; and Magenta & Spring Greens.

Geranium

Colourways: Lemon & Forest Greens on Electric Blue; Rouge & Leaf Greens on Black; Rose & Forest Greens on Parchment;White & Sage on Seafoam.

Flourishing in Seville’s temperate climate, geraniums can be found adorning balconies as well as creating vibrant bursts of colour throughout parks and cultivated gardens. This archive design was completely redrawn and repainted by the Cole and Son design studio to enhance the lush, robust fanned leaves and blooming clusters of bright petals in vibrant Lemon & Forest Greens on Electric Blue; earthy White and Sage on Seafoam; and the day to night Rose & Forest Greens on Parchment; and Rouge & Leaf Greens on Black.

Jasmine & Serin Symphony

Colourways: Rose & Racing Car Green on Dark Viridian; Yellow & Leaf Green on Dark Forest Green; Coral & Petrol on Ink; Char treuse & Olive Green on White.

At once sprawling and serene, Jasmine & Serin Symphony is a contemporary update of a graceful Arts and Crafts-style print. Depicting ethereal birds perched among trailing jasmine vines, its flora and fauna create a subtle ombré as the design fans in gentle arcs across the wall. Presented in soft botanical shades of Rose & Racing Car Green on Dark Viridian;Yellow & Leaf Green on Dark Forest Green; Coral & Petrol on Ink; and Chartreuse & Olive Green on White.

Alicatado

Colourways: Soot on Snow; Hyacinth on Chalk; Leaf Greens on Chalk; Terracotta on Parchment

Alicatado, meaning a geometric mosaic of coloured glazed tiles, is the design studio’s interpretation of Seville’s famous azulejos. Its simple two-toned print creates a striking graphic backdrop and has been designed and coloured in order to complement other designs within the collection. Choose from fresh hues of Hyacinth or Leaf Greens on Chalk, as well as the monochromatic Soot on Snow, and the warm Terracotta on Parchment.

Lola

Colourways: Forest Greens on White; China Blues on Midnight; Petrol Blues on White.

Lola is a damask with a hidden secret; within the rolling scrolls and flowers of this archive print is one of Seville’s most iconic figures: the flamenco dancer.With its cultural origins firmly in Andalusia, Lola captures the dynamic, vivacious drama of a traditional flamenco performance. Verdant palettes of Forest Greens on White and Petrol Blues on White evoke a freshness, whilst China Blues on Midnight are reminiscent of a deep evening sky.

Image caption: Cole and Sons’ Lola range in the Seville Collection

Flamenco Fan

Colourways: Cerise, Dark Tangerine & Metallic Gold on Black; Magenta, Red & Metallic Gilver on Ink; Fuchsia, Rouge & Metallic Gold on Cream; Rose, Bright Rouge & Metallic Gold on Crimson

A cultural symbol of Spain and deeply entrenched within flamenco culture, the fan exudes romance and passion with its dramatic shape and versatile movement. The theatrical print of Flamenco Fan incorporates many of the dance’s notable symbols such as the carnation and rose, both representing love and admiration.The delicate metallic detailing of the fans elevates decadent tones of Rose, Bright Rouge & Metallic Gold on Crimson, and the sultry Cerise, Dark Tangerine & Metallic Gold on Black; and Magenta, Red & Metallic Gilver on Ink, as well as the soft, lace-like Fuchsia, Rouge & Metallic Gold on Cream.

Cole and Sons 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: Cole and Sons

5 new elements to look out for at Clerkenwell Design Week 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 new elements to look out for at Clerkenwell Design Week 2020

At an exclusive press launch in London, editor Hamish Kilburn learns how the organisers of Clerkenwell Design Week 2020 are preparing to make this year’s festival of design bigger and better than ever before…

Members of the press gathered at The Charterhouse last week in the heart of London to understand how the 2020 edition of Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) will once again demonstrate the vibrant creativity and originality of this three day celebration of design.

In London’s key hub for design and architecture, visitors can participate in new dialogues between showrooms and designers, hear from influential voices in the world of design and experience upcoming talent and innovating brands who are taking part. 

Here are five take aways from the press launch.

1) CDW Presents will be themed around ‘CLOCKWORK’

Each year, CDW presents new design projects and street spectacles, commissioned specially for the festival and featured prominently around Clerkenwell. Inviting some of the leading pioneers in the creative industry, these projects aim to push the boundaries of design, in terms of concepts, process and material capabilities. Often a response to the local area, CDW Presents allows visitors the opportunity to discover Clerkenwell in a new and imaginative way, often referring to the area’s illustrious past.  At the beginning of the 18th Century, Clerkenwell was the home of clock-making and the area quickly became a hothouse for horologists; for 2020 in recognition of Clerkenwell’s historical importance in the clock-making industry, CDW Presents ‘CLOCKWORK’ – a series of five large-scale horology-themed installations, each interpreting the area’s significance to the craft and the artisans that once lined the cobbled streets.  From a contemporary take on the traditional sundial to an installation inspired by the hourglass, the selected designers who include Pilbrow and Partners and Shape London,  have created ideas that play with and explore the notion of measuring time.

Scale Rule, now in its 5th year at Clerkenwell Design Week, continues to engage students from across London in design as well as young architects and engineers to realise those emerging ambitions. This year’s design concept for the NextGen pavilion exemplifies human impact upon the earth and in turn mankind’s responsibility to protect and shape it for better.

The domed structure illustrates a deconstructed planet, which is formed, fractured and reconfigured from natural materials including timber geometric segments. The pavilion celebrates sustainability through its modular production methods, recycled materials and future re-use. The pavilion encourages people to rest and socialise within its bounds making use of and leaving their positive trace upon the structure.

2) ClerkenWELL playing its part to inspire designers to think about wellness and wellbeing

On trend, Clerkenwell Design Week will be focusing on wellness, tying in with Mental Health Awareness Week which coincides with the festival. With the rise of nomadic working and a society that has 24/7 access to email, the ability to disconnect from our work can become increasingly challenging and in turn employers are recognising the need to improve their wellbeing offering.

From ergonomic furniture that helps physical posture, to acoustic pods that block out exterior noise, to workplace yoga and discounted gym memberships, more and more employers are taking steps to help their employees achieve wellness in the workplace. 

Clerkenwell Design Week will be hosting free activities and events throughout the area demonstrating how we can relax and de-stress during the day, from outdoor yoga sessions to meditation workshops.  Holistic counsellor Julie Strandberg will explain how decluttering your workplace can lead to better mental health.  Having trained under Japanese tidying guru Marie Kondo, Julie innovatively blends the KonMari Method with her own innate Scandinavian aestheticism.

Texaa, the Bordeaux-based specialists in acoustic products for architecture, marks its debut at Clerkenwell Design Week with a colourful tepee installation in Design Fields. This will also be the first time new colours for Texaa’s Aeria fabric will be seen in the UK. 

3) Conversations at Clerkenwell to amplify vegan interiors, colour and the environment

Render of a bandstand pavilion

Image caption: CDW Presents The Bandstand Pavilion, where many of the talks will take place.

CDW 2020 has commissioned architectural practice Fieldwork to design the Talks space, sponsored by Equitone, within Spa Fields.  Their concept reimagines the traditional Victorian bandstand as a focal point within the Park, a place for gathering, discussion, entertainment and shelter.   

Rather than a traditional forward facing seating arrangement, the nature of the bandstand form allows the focus point to be partially in the round and engage the audience as a discussion, rather than a presentation. Equitone panels clad the internal dome and the external cube at high and low level. A bold use of colour and CNC pattern formed façade panels aim to draw attention from the surrounding park, as a modern interpretation of a Victorian architectural style. The bandstand becomes a place to stand, lean and sit in participation, focussing attention on the speaker and engaging the audience and the park in its entirety. 

Conversations at Clerkenwell, the programme of panel sessions and debates exploring show content, trends and issues, is again curated by Katie Richardson. Lead speakers include Morag Myerscough, known for her expansive use of colour across both art and design,  designer and craftsman Sebastien Cox and designer Ab Rogers.

Increasingly focused on design-led issues currently underpinning the changing world as we know it, the programme this year will look specifically at topics connected to the workplace including design responses to mental health issues and an increased need for overall wellness. Trends – led curators Franklin Till present recent work on the importance of Play. Dulux Creative Director Marianne Shillingford reveals what shifts in colour trends will take place over the next few years. Other topics for 2020 include vegan interiors, retail marketing and how contract showrooms need to keep reinventing to succeed, restoration with Roddy Clarke and New London Architecture host ‘don’t move, improve’ – a series of presentations from architects looking at how re-used materials and conscious environmental design, create the perfect home for a modern family.  Hosted on a purpose built space on London Spa Fields the programme runs across the three days and a separate series of talks focusing on lighting will be held at Fabric.

4) New showrooms open for business

Each year Clerkenwell welcomes a host of new showrooms to the district and these make up a key part of CDW with installations, launches and exhibitions. This year, the festival welcomes Ideal Standard, VitrA and Fritz Hansen.  Many other showrooms will be hosting a variety of events, with this year seeing a focus on wellness, recycling and sustainability.  Ultrafabrics,  the Japanese-American performance animal-free fabric brand will be collaborating with award winning design duo PATTERNITY who are creating a tactile and immersive installation within Ultrafabrics’  showroom entitled ‘Closed Loop: The Future of Design’.  Plastic waste has rightly become a major issue and Camira Fabrics will showcase its latest fabric innovation using plastic sea waste as a key component.   Oceanic is a fabric born of the SEAQUAL Initiative to achieve a waste free environment. 

Other participating showrooms include Actiu, Ceramiche Piemme, Davison Highly, Havwoods, Interface, KI House, Modus, Moroso, Catellani & Smith, Sky-Frame, Solus, Tarkett, and Orangebox.

Parkside, a leading specifier of architectural tiles, will focus on colour and how we can use it as a way of improving our wellbeing in our work and leisure spaces. The showroom’s series of events will include a panel discussion, ‘Curative colour: the power to heal’, exploring just how deep our emotional wellbeing is related to colour and whether a genuine link to health improvement can truly be found.

5) Fringe activities for all

As well as hosting an abundance of furniture and interiors showrooms, Clerkenwell is also home to a variety of other creative practices including architects, branding agencies and craft studios.  In celebration of Clerkenwell Design Week, a selection of these local practices open their doors to the festival’s visitors and host workshops, displays and installations. At the Zetter hotel, Sophie Thomas, Creative Director of Thomas Matthews, will be showing a collection of beautiful glass vases made using recycled plastic ocean waste.

If you are interested in attending CDW 2020, head over to the website to register.

Main image credit: CDW 2020

Red headboard, colourful art work and a white bed

Hard Rock Hotels makes its long-awaited debut in Ireland

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hard Rock Hotels makes its long-awaited debut in Ireland

Hard Rock International debuts in Ireland with Hard Rock Hotel Dublin, which aims to brings the brand’s musical energy to the famed Temple Bar district…

With a presence spanning more than 76 countries, Hard Rock International continues its expansion into Europe with the opening of Hard Rock Hotel Dublin.

 

Red headboard, colourful art work and a white bed

The iconic red-brick property is located on Exchange Street Upper near the Temple Bar district, and shelters a theme that is a celebration of the rich cultural and musical history of Dublin, bringing Hard Rock’s signature music-infused vibes to the heart of the city.

The 120-key hotel is a contemporary reimagining of two historic buildings, combining the Exchange Building, a listed property built at the turn of the 20th century, and the adjacent Fashion House building, linked together by a newly built glass bridge.

“Dublin connects to our deep musical roots, we are honoured to bring the Hard Rock Hotel experience to the city, its residents and visitors alike.” – Dale Hipsh, Senior Vice President – Hotels for Hard Rock International

Reflecting Dublin’s vibrant atmosphere, the rooms are furnished with electrifying colour schemes, paired with warm woods and bright stone. The fresh interiors are adorned with priceless Hard Rock memorabilia, expertly curated to include treasured possessions and instruments from some of Ireland’s most loved musicians. Irish favourites such as Phil Lynott, Van Morrison, Hozier and U2 feature, as well as pieces from artists that have played truly memorable gigs in Ireland.

Image credit: Hard Rock International

“As Hard Rock furthers its expansion into Europe, we continue to target destinations that are culturally influential and perfectly aligned with our musical soul,” commented Dale Hipsh, Senior Vice President – Hotels for Hard Rock International. “Dublin connects to our deep musical roots, we are honoured to bring the Hard Rock Hotel experience to the city, its residents and visitors alike.”

Enda O’Meara, CEO of the Tifco Hotel Group, added: “We are greatly looking forward to the opening of Hard Rock Hotel Dublin. Our aim is to match the energy of this vibrant city through our world-class service offered by the people who truly make up the fabric of the hotel, and who will work passionately to deliver the best guest experience.”

Surrounding the hotel is an abundance of local attractions, heritage sites, eateries and bars. Within walking distance are the world-famous Guinness Storehouse, the Jameson Distillery, Dublin Castle and the renowned Temple Bar district. Also easily accessible from the hotel are several of Dublin’s cultural institutions, including the Olympia Theatre, the Gallery of Photography and the Irish Film Institute.

Following the opening of the hotel in Dublin, Hard Rock International portfolio plan to open Hard Rock Hotel Amsterdam American will break into the entertainment capital of Europe in April 2020, located in a famous Art Nouveau building on the lively Leidseplein Square. Opening in May, Hard Rock Hotel Budapest will be situated in the heart of “Budapest’s Broadway” surrounded by the city’s famed cultural attractions. Hard Rock Hotel Madrid will follow, opening in a prime location opposite the historic Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in the Atocha district.

Main image credit: Hard Rock International

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The philosophy of wellness

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The philosophy of wellness

For more than 25 years, Gessi has designed and produced furnishing elements for bathro­oms, kitchens and private and public wellness. Recently, the brand is exploring the wonders of wellness…

With its total look design products that in­clude fittings, advanced function shower systems, accessories, ceramics, tubs and shower trays, Gessi is synonymous with wellbeing and quality living in all types of environments, from hotels to spas, from yachts to private homes.

Gessi creations allow the enjoyment of private spaces to live a daily experience of Private Wellness, to re-establish contact with oneself. Strictly “Made in Italy”, Gessi products dictate a new trend in living, attentive to ele­gance and the charm of objects, but also to the wellness that they provide to those around them.

The bathroom brand has created a new philosophy linked to domestic environments through a vast line of products, styles, models and new installation solutions, offering an unlimited free­dom of design linked to water.

Gessi designs are born from creative liberty and constant originality, with a passion for objects that are freed from mere functionality to be reinvented for new uses: empathic and indispensable objects, objects that improve people’s lives and make them happier.

Gessi has created an iconic and unique design style, and brings its distinctive style to the most exclusive buildings around the world. The Gessi Collections transmit a mes­sage of timeless elegance and simplicity, combined with a typically minimalist style and maximum attention to detail.

The inspiring principle behind the Gessi Collections is the power of naturally empa­thic primary shapes that, in an original and iconic style, convey essential and evocative graphic symbols and transform everyday objects into small household sculptures.

Combining vanguard technology and typical Italian craftmanship, Gessi realises designs that achieve manufacturing excellence and reliability in an original integrated ecological model of Made in Gessi.

Main image credit: Gessi

7 interior trends to emerge from London Design Week 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
7 interior trends to emerge from London Design Week 2020

During London Design Week 2020, Design Centre Chelsea Harbour is sheltering many of the product launches, teasers and conversations that are expected to make a noise on the design scene this season. Editor Hamish Kilburn identifies some of the prominent styles, colours and trends to look out for… 

“We champion creative excellence,” said Becky Metcalfe, Head of Content at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour (DCCH). “And we have certainly seen a move towards inform choices.”

Now that there is more demand among consumers for conscious and meaningful designs to compliment seamless service, hotel designers are widening their lenses to understand the narrative, craft and creative vision of new collections launched.

It is this change in behaviour that is enforcing most, if not all, of the strong styles that I discovered during my time at London Design Week 2020.

1) Botanical paradise on earth

With biophilic design being put front and centre at the moment around the world, conversations and the products that are launching are finding the balance between indoor space and the great outdoors – think exotic gardens where fragrance and sound are depicted in patterns and colours. Sanderson’s floral showroom, which houses hundreds of new designs this week, highlighted the creative possibilities that can emerge when designers open the door to outdoor influence with purpose. Other brands to leverage nature in design include Pierre Frey’s enriched wallcoverings, Abbott & Boyd’s capture of birds and Bec Brittain’s Taxonomy collection seen in the Tai Ping showroom that explores unexpected paradoxes inspired by the minutiae of insect anatomy and pleating techniques.

Offer with pink and black textured rug

Image credit: Taxonomy collection by Bec Brittain/Edward Fields Carpet Makers/Tai Ping

2) Land of the rising sun – everyone is talking about Japan

Considering the incredible oriental principles – not to mention the in-depth culture, heritage and authentic craftsmanship – it’s hardly surprising that many designers and brands are finding inspiration in Japan. There are parallels between the demand for simple, elegant luxury and the minimalist aesthetics of design in Japan (take a look at Muji to see this in action). Wallcovering brands such as Arte are exploring Japanese techniques and diverse styles, such as the Kimono pattern motif, to create new textured layers to their collections.

Intricate Kimono pattern detail in wallcovering

Image credit: Arte Wallcovering

Taking the theme in a different direction, Arteriors’ Trapeze Sconce is an effortless example of how Japanese influence can be balanced delicately in elegant lighting. With so much yet to explore, we expect more designers and brands to delve into the archive of Japan’s design heritage to invest in timeless practice and precious pieces.

3) Embracing imperfections

Admittedly, this isn’t anything new. In fact, designers, consumers and brands alike have been championing and demanding one-off products that can’t be replicated for as long as time. But recently, with timelessness and narrative playing so much importance in any design scheme – and while designers become more adventurous with materials – this look is everywhere. Lighting brand Vaughan is celebrating a proud authentic look and feel with its Chalk White collection, while wallcoverings brand Harlequin is keeping in touch with nature by using natural materials and creating an interesting weave structure.

Chalk-like chandelier

Image credit: Vaughan’s Chalk White collection is a curation of six products

Meanwhile, Parkside Architectural Tiles are showcasing their fantastical imperfect Spectre collection of tiles, which have proved a hit with designers and architects looking to add personality onto the walls of new and existing spaces.

Spectre collection by Parkside Architectural Tiles

Image caption: Spectre collection by Parkside Architectural Tiles

A relatively new brand thats DNA is very much focused on creating this look is Ilala, curated by Miranda Vedral, which proudly presented its idiosyncratic handwoven  furniture and lighting during the event.

4) Amplifying craftsmanship in all areas

There are more and more brands out there that are willing to collaborate with experts to produce the highest quality and the most interesting designs. With a digital overload from social media and a move to challenge the disposable mindset, brands such as Porta Romana have enhanced tactility in products and styles, which is putting momentum behind the sustainable movement.

Image credit: Porta Romana

5) Take a walk on the wild side

As we have identified before, the eco-conscious world is allowing for more adventurous influences to emerge to the surface. During the showrooms in Chelsea, there was a clear and defined theme of endangered species being used in wallcoverings, fabrics and soft furnishings. Some of the brands that are mastering this with style include Altfield, Anthology, Harlequin and Andrew Martin.

Image credit: Harlequin’s Mirador Collection

6) Warm colours are in!

Finally, in the doom and gloom of the current economic climate, designers and brands are discovering the warmer end of the colour spectrum. Designs from Edelman Leather, Vaughan and Zoffany are all setting their style compass to rosy red, which suggests there is a new confidence in the air. Grasping the statement-like benefits of using primary colours, British brand David Hunt Lighting has recently opened up its archives to find unique techniques and craft that has inspired their latest collections of pendants and chandeliers. In the Design Avenue – a hotspot for talent and unmatched styles – there was arguably no brand more colourful and bold than Timorous Beasties, but with their intricate signature of styles, would you really expect anything less?

Red, yellow and blue pendents

Image credit: David Hunt Lighting/Instagram

7) Home Heritage

An interesting theme to explore on the international hotel design scene – and one that no doubts divides the industry – there seems to be a move towards home-from-home comforts, but not perhaps as you would expect. We know that lobbies are becoming more lounge-like, but in addition there is an interest to explore storied providence. Brands such as Zimmer + Rhode, Samuel & Sons and Holland & Sherry are all using this to drive their latest designs, and I suspect more brands will keep this in mind when innovating new products in the future to add further meaning in design.

If you identified anything at the show that you believe we should be sharing our readers, please tweet us @HotelDesigns.

Main image credit: Design Centre Chelsea Harbour

New ibis Styles hotel offers striking Art Deco interiors

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New ibis Styles hotel offers striking Art Deco interiors

Having recently opened in the heart of Hounslow, ibis Styles London Heathrow Airport East offers stylish and affordable accommodation, inspired by the architecture of Hounslow’s Golden Mile…

The Art Deco-styled ibis Styles London Heathrow Airport East hotel celebrates the modern world with an eclectic blend of 1920s glamour.

The 125-room ibis Styles hotel has been developed in partnership with Splendid Hospitality Group, and designed by specialist Hotel & Leisure interior design company, Matthews Mee, whose previous clients have included Mercure, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Hilton’s DoubleTree.

“The inspiration was the Great West Road into central London and the Art Deco mid 20th century style of architecture,” said Design Director of Matthews Mee, Robert Matthews. “This includes the Hoover building, Firestone headquarters, Gillette factory and tube stations that line this main arterial route to London, celebrating the modern mechanical world with an eclectic blend of progress and handcrafted tradition.

The hotel is the whole package, the roaring 1920s narrative runs through everything from door handles to furniture, some details are obvious whilst others need more work such as bespoke woven carpets and wallpapers.

“Although the hotel’s story is based around the 1920s, the idea behind the interiors was that the hotel should not recreate the exact style of the Art Deco era but instead, use the upscale simplicity of form to create a contemporary interpretation of the style reminiscent of the age.”

Quirky Art Deco carpets, mirrors and furniture in lobby

Image credit: ibis Hotels

The lobby is bright, fresh and comfortably elegant with a touch of Romanticism. Remaining faithful to the hotel’s glamorous theme, the restaurant and bar blends classical features with modern touches, such as brass accessories and vibrant art with hard materials such as walnut and marble. The polished flooring and statement rugs also add to the multi-functional space and encourages leisure and corporate guests to relax and unwind in the decadent bar and lounge areas.

The practicalities of the hotel match the high standards of the design, with each of the spacious bedrooms fitted with triple glazed windows to ensure a completely sound-proof environment. A stand-out feature of the hotel is the availability of four accessible family rooms on each of the three floors, with two each at opposite ends of the corridor and the option to book them together to have interconnecting rooms. Bespoke ‘roaring 20s’ music and dance style bedhead murals are featured in each bedroom, along with Art Deco inspired dress mirrors to complete the sophisticated look.

Main image credit: ibis Hotels

5 Minutes With: Emma Masters, associate at Richmond International

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 Minutes With: Emma Masters, associate at Richmond International

Taking five minutes out of planning and designing luxury hospitality scenes of the future, Emma Masters, Associate at Richmond International, speaks to editor Hamish Kilburn about landscape changes, client demands and over-used words in the industry…

Hamish Kilburn: How long have you been involved in interior design, and how has the landscape changed from when you started to now?
Emma Masters: I’ve been working in the industry for around 16 years, 15 of those have been with Richmond International. In this time the industry has steadily changed, largely due to technological development, i.e. the changes in the ways we research subjects and destinations, to retrieve design references and influences. The proliferation of imagery shared internationally makes the world feel smaller and more accessible.

CGI and VR experiences are becoming a minimum expectation, having replaced hand drawn and coloured renderings. Whilst computer generated images provide almost an exact representation of the design proposal, hand drawings were very evocative and left some element of wonder to what would finally be revealed in reality.

We’ve also seen massive advances in manufacturing techniques, the materials used, and specialist finishes to the extent that we can add unique signatures to interiors.

There’s also certainly a greater awareness of our environment and the need to be mindful of our design impact, ensuring our designs have longevity, rather than being based on trends that will date and need replacing frequently.

Large, luxurious and grand penthouse

Image credit: London West Hollywood penthouse, designed by Richmond International

HK: What are your clients currently looking for in hotel design?
EM: We’re seeing a demand for public spaces that are transitional, for environments that work for social dining, meetings, shared workplaces and seamlessly blend together to create one holistic space.

Additionally, we’re regularly creating designs that are authentic to the location and with strong narratives – this helps us bring the interiors alive for their guests.

“We as a company have regular team meetings where everyone from junior designers to associates can contribute their ideas and participate in the building of the narrative of a project.” – Emma Masters, Director, Richmond International

Bath in modern marble bathroom, with skyline of Chicago in the background

Image caption: Bathroom in Langham Chicago suite, designed by Richmond International

HK: Where do you find inspiration to keep your designs fresh and meaningful?
EM: Trade shows like Salone de Mobile and Maison et Objet are a great source of new products and styles. I also get a lot of inspiration from travelling, working with artisanal manufacturer and, in general, a lot of research.

HK: How important is nurturing young talent for Richmond International?
EM: It’s a very important part of our company and something I experienced first-hand having started at Richmond as a junior designer. It was a hugely nurturing experience and I was able to work with talented designers who allowed me to explore my capabilities and mentor me in my development. We as a company have regular team meetings where everyone from junior designers to associates can contribute their ideas and participate in the building of the narrative of a project.

“F&B areas have also evolved to become destinations in their own right aside from the hotel and are a draw not just to hotel guests but the general public that wish to dine.” – Emma Masters, Director at Richmond International

HK: We had Terry McGillicuddy join us on the Vision Stage at the Hospitality Restaurant and Catering show. How are F&B areas in hotels evolving?
F&B areas now blur the boundaries between lobby lounge, restaurant, bar and meeting spaces. The public spaces are the heart of a hotel and the is a desire for them to be vibrant has activated a move away from the traditional lobby lounge space. F&B areas have also evolved to become destinations in their own right aside from the hotel and are a draw not just to hotel guests but the general public that wish to dine. They now have a different identity to the rest of the hotel, where it previously was designed to work with the overall feel of the rest of the hotel. F&B is now more independent and can have a completely different narrative that may relate to the food served, for example rather than being simply a functional part of the hotel.

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

HK: What trend do you hope will never return?
EM: String curtain dividers, they were everywhere and not surprisingly disappeared as quickly as they arrived after the realisation that they were really impractical for public spaces and looked neat for all of five minutes before tangling an unwilling hotel guest who had stumbled into one.

HK: What is one word that is overused in our industry?
EM: Two words admittedly and the phrase we all dread – Value Engineering.

HK: What would you say is the biggest catalyst driving change in the hotel design area recently?
EM: Sustainability and authentic experiences across the board.

HK: What would you be if you were not a designer?
EM: I had always wanted to be an art teacher until I went to St Martins for my foundation year. My tutor was very inspiring and introduced me to the idea of interior design as a career instead of teaching.

HK: What’s one lesson about the industry that studying didn’t teach you?
EM: My role at Richmond has been predominantly FF&E focused and I feel it can really complete and enhance a design. As an Interior Architecture student, spatial design was key, and furnishings were more secondary, but I feel one cannot work as a cohesive design without the other.

HK: What’s your biggest bugbear in interior design?
EM: Designing to a trend and not for longevity.

Luxurious longe area in suite

Image caption: Metro Suite inside London West Hollywood, designed by Richmond International

HK: What has been your favourite project to date?
EM: My favourite project would have to be working on The London, West Hollywood Penthouse with Vivienne Westwood. Alongside the interior design we also worked closely with her team to develop custom fabrics, rugs and wallcoverings, as well as bespoke bath robes and towels. We worked with an archive of scarves that were then mounted and framed to use for the penthouse artwork.

Main image credit: Richmond International

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Finding balance in bathroom mirror lighting

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Finding balance in bathroom mirror lighting

Advancements in meaningful technology is allowing designers to be more creative when it comes to lighting spaces. But when it comes to bathroom lighting, a sensitive approach is best, as Electric Mirror explains… 

Lighted mirrors began appearing in five-star luxury hotel bathrooms more than 20 years ago.

As their popularity has increased, so too has their presence – today you can find lighted mirrors in millions of hotel rooms worldwide. So what’s new?

Today’s lighted mirrors come in virtually unlimited styles, from on-trend radius corners to custom designs that include asymmetrical shapes and added functionality such as built-in shelves.

The once-ubiquitous rectangular frosted-light window has given way to new light shapes and patterns, allowing designers to create lighted mirrors that match or complement anything from wall coverings to furniture.

Lighted mirror technology has continued to evolve as well. For example, Electric Mirror’s Savvy™ Smart Mirror, chosen for Marriott Autograph Collection’s Sinclair Hotel – America’s most technologically advanced hotel – includes Pro:Idiom and is PoE compatible.

And finally, lighted mirrors aren’t just for the bathroom vanity any more. Designers can offer hotel guests the beauty, convenience and luxury of a lighted mirror as a mirrored cabinet, a fog-free shower mirror, a makeup mirror, even a wardrobe mirror.

Electric Mirror is a Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Electric Mirror

Zannier Hotels opens property atop boulders in the Namib desert – built on stilts

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Zannier Hotels opens property atop boulders in the Namib desert – built on stilts

Comprising of ten luxury tents, Zannier Hotels Sonop has been cleverly constructed atop a group of boulders, affording spectacular, unmatched 360-degree views of the Southern Namib desert…

Arnaud Zannier’s inspiration for the hotel’s design was conceived during his very first trip to the site and first view from the top of the boulders. Arnaud recognised that he had been fortunate enough to discover somewhere very special, likening the feeling to an old explorer discovering a destination for the first time – hence the property was designed to resemble a 20th Century tented camp for explorers.

The construction process was challenging due to the hotel’s remote location and protected surroundings. All building materials and interiors were manually transported up the huge boulders, by expert craftsmen from Namibia. Zannier Hotels only used a limited number of existing roads to the site, to ensure the human impact on the fragile flora was minimal. In addition, each piece of furniture, including twelve 30kg handcrafted four-poster beds, had to be carried by hand over the rocks and boulders thereby avoiding the use of disruptive machinery.

Built entirely on stilts connected through sturdy elevated wooden decks, Zannier Hotels Sonop’s tents are covered by an elegant canvas, designed to harmonise perfectly with the surrounding environment. Shaped in an oval formation facing out towards the spectacular landscape, the tents offer comfort to cater for today’s discerning travellers whilst also avoiding soil erosion and ensuring the preservation of the insects, fauna and flora that make up the Namibian desert dune ecosystem.

Each tent has been devised to invite guests to live the life of intrepid explorers from the early 20th Century, whilst the materials and colour palette have been selected to complement the surrounding desert and blend into the boulders. Zannier Hotels Interior team only worked with natural textures and materials including dead wood, rocks, mud and thatch to ensure that nature remained at the forefront of the design. Not to mention, the spa at Sonop has been designed to resemble the rich traditions of the Owambo tribes in terms of its interiors, its construction and the materials used. The Owambo are admired for their respectful attitude towards nature – values that Zannier Hotels maintain.

“Rather than buying new furniture, Zannier Hotels endeavoured to reuse as much as possible – preference was always given to antiques.”

All tents feature a large bedroom, living room area and a separate bathroom with a large bathtub and rain shower. Furnishings include dressing tables with ornate objects, such as tiny flasks and antique combs. Moreover, the ceiling to floor windows allow guests to experience a taste of living in complete isolation, immersed in the surrounding landscape. The bedrooms feature handcrafted king size four-poster beds, an airy living area with comfortable armchairs, and a telescope to look out into the distant surroundings or gaze into Namibia’s dark sky reserve.

Explorer suite with dark interiors to reflect landscape

Image credit: Zannier Hotels

Complete with private terraces that extend out across large wooden decks, the tents offer magnificent views of the desert. Rather than buying new furniture, Zannier Hotels endeavoured to reuse as much as possible – preference was always given to antiques. Zannier Hotels sourced more than 550 antiques for Zannier Hotels Sonop, including binoculars, maps, mirrors, magnifying glasses, bedside tables, carpets, trunks, armchairs and picture frames, as well as unique ornaments such as gramophones, 19th Century explorer boots, vintage walking sticks and historical Pith helmets. Any new furniture was specifically made from Namibian materials by local architects, carpenters and construction suppliers, native to Namibia.

Main image credit: Zannier Hotels/Oyen-Rodriguez

MEET UP North confirms Manchester venue

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MEET UP North confirms Manchester venue

Hotel Designs’ MEET UP North will take place on July 6 at Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester… 

In hot pursuit of the exclusive March-only Early Bird promotion launch for all of Hotel Designs’ MEET UP networking events, MEET UP North has announced that it will take place this year in Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester.

Hotel Designs’ premium northern networking event, which will bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers, will be themed Manchester On The Boards following the number or creative hotel concepts being developed in the city.

Situated in the heart of the city – in the former home of the Manchester Stock Exchange – the hotel was one of the city’s most anticipated openings of 2019. The stunning example of Edwardian Baroque architecture, with its original marble, brass and woodwork, has been carefully restored to breathe new life into one of the city’s most historically symbolic institutions.

Monochrome tiles in the luxury lobby at Stock Exchange Hotel, Manchester

Image caption: The lobby inside Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester

“The hotel’s event space, The Vault, is the perfect setting to shelter a networking event like MEET UP North,” said editor Hamish Kilburn who will host the evening. “Oozing character, style and sensitive interior architecture, Stock Exchange Hotel will effortlessly and aptly shelter the creative geniuses who are transforming cities and hotels in the north of England.”

More information on our headline speaker will be announced shortly.

Exclusive Headline Partner: Hamilton Litestat

Event Partner: Crosswater 

Venue: Stock Exchange Hotel

Boutique aparthotel, The Gate, debuts in East London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Boutique aparthotel, The Gate, debuts in East London

With a Banksy in the lobby, Maple & Co café, 360-degree views of the city and quality suppliers specified throughout, aparthotel The Gate shelters the best of a hotel with a home-from-from look and feel throughout…

The Gate is a boutique aparthotel opening in Aldgate East, which offers the service and style of a hotel with the privacy of a self-service apartment.

Modern travellers’ needs and taste in accommodation are changing – people desire more choice than a traditional hotel versus self-catering apartments, and The Gate aims to bridge the gap between the two. The new aparthotel feels like an elevated version of your own home, with full-service amenities and flexible stay periods where guests can stay for one night or up to three months.

Situated in Whitechapel, just a one-minute walk from Aldgate East tube station, The Gate is directly influenced by the style and culture of the vibrant London streets it overlooks, connecting guests with its surroundings and the local East London community.

With 20 floors and 189 rooms, The Gate offers unparalleled 360° views of The Gherkin, The Shard and Brick Lane appealing to guests no matter the length of their stay. Partners include Maddox Gallery, who have curated the artwork around the hotel including a Banksy in the lobby and Retna, Bradley Theodore and The Connor Brothers pieces displayed in the private members lounge, making the property their new East London Gallery.

Apartments feature include cooking facilities, quality and comfortable Hypnos beds, Soundbars with Bluetooth connectivity, Nespresso machines, walk-in showers and rainfall shower heads, washing machines and dishwashers.

Yellow headboard, with luxe bed

Image credit: David Cleveland | Caption: Each of the 189 rooms feature Hypnos Beds.

Guests checking in for days or weeks can enjoy rooms designed to be modern and functional, but with artistic flourishes to create a distinctly homely feel. There are nine room categories each with a bedroom, fitted kitchen and living area, and some featuring a separate living space with a sofa bed. Room types include one and two bed apartments, accessible rooms, interconnecting family rooms and rooms with skyline views. No two rooms are the same with unique art and bespoke upholstery and new mid-century furniture designed in Europe.

The healthy-eating trailblazer Maple & Co will be opening its eighth location here, Maple & The Gate café, opening to the public on the ground floor including outdoor seating. The renowned New York fragrance brand, Le Labo, supplying in-room bathroom amenities and a boutique gym with Technogym equipment including Peloton bikes, which are also available in apartments by prior arrangement.

The Gate promises to combine a lifestyle hotel with apartment amenities to cater for a modern generation of long and short-term guests providing a Gateway to the capital.

Main image credit: David Cleveland

MEET UP London announces headline speakers

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MEET UP London announces headline speakers

MEET UP London, under the theme ‘Inspiring Creativity’, will welcome two award-winning visionaries to explore the concept of using sensory experiences in international hotel design… 

Hotel Designs has invited an award-winning sound designer and functional music innovation expert Tom Middleton and award-winning research entrepreneur Ari Peralta to become headline speakers at MEET UP London.

“The visionaries will respond to MEET UP London’s theme by immersing our audience into a sensory experience like no other before.”

The event, which takes place on May 13 at Minotti London, will be carry the theme of ‘Inspiring Creativity’, and will further bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers.

Applying principles of neuroscience, behaviour and psychology, the visionaries will respond to MEET UP London’s theme by immersing our audience into a sensory experience like no other before. This will be followed by an engaging talk, entitled: “Amplifying Wellness: Using Sensory Experiences To Innovate International Hotel Design”. The talk will discuss how and why sound should be considered when designing the hotel of the future. From Jet Lag to Mindfulness solutions, their unique collaboration represents the synergy and creativity needed to future-proof hospitality.

“As the boundaries of our industry widen, designers, architects, developers and suppliers are willing to reach new depths to find innovative and meaningful ways to evolve the hotel experience,” said editor Hamish Kilburn who will host the evening’s event. “I believe it is, therefore, perfect timing to invite both Tom and Ari to share their wealth of knowledge and experience in this subject with the aim to inspire the leaders of our industry to think beyond conventional architecture and interior design.”

The pair, who in 2019 gave a powerful keynote on the ‘future of wellness’ for Innovation Day’s (ID19) at Marriott International HQ, are on a mission to engage with the hoteliers, designers and architects to highlight how the sensory experience could enhance the overall guest journey. 

About the speakers

Tom Middleton headshot

Image caption: Tom Middleton in the studio

Tom Middleton is a true polymath who literally wears many hats, including a pioneering electronic musician, award-winning sound designer, DJ and producer, a certified Sleep Science Coach, trained in Mental Health First Aid, and Co-Chair on the AFEM Health Group. He has toured the world and performed to millions observing the positive affects of sound, and has shared the stage with Mark Ronson, Lady Gaga and Kanye West.

Middleton regularly speaks on panels covering sensory customer and guest experience, immersive wellness, sound architecture, how to sleep better, workplace wellbeing and mental health.

Creator and innovator of empathic science-backed functional music and soundscapes for mental, physical and emotional health and wellbeing, relaxation, mindfulness, focus and productivity. 

His mission is to rescore the soundtrack to life with functional, transformational soundscapes, music and immersive experiences to help tackle stress, anxiety, burnout and sleep deprivation. Middleton aims to do this by applying principles of the neuroscience and psychology of sound, listening, breathing and human behaviour. 

As YOTEL’s chief Sound Architect for eight years, he developed smart and cohesive soundtracks to optimise guest experience.

His most recent work includes content for meditation and sleep app Calm, a collaboration with Nissan to create a zero-emission lullaby and Breathonics for Silentmode –  the first passive fitness platform for guided breathwork and music on the Appstore.

Middleton believes the science of sound, combined with mindful listening and conscious breathing within holistic multisensory environments can help us relax and reduce stress, be more happy, healthy and productive.

Headshot of Ari

Image caption: Ari Peralta

Ari Peralta is an international award-winning research entrepreneur working alongside a global network of scientists, immersive technologists and artists, developing wellness-led sensory initiatives across a wide range of industries.

By 2019, after two decades working in media research (Nielsen), medical marketing (ALO), immersive and strategic development (ProFix), he co-launched Arigami, an independent innovation consultancy dedicated to helping organisations design healthier and happier environments. 

Today, Peralta is a Forbes recognised provider for wellness and sensory-based strategies within hospitality, mobility, retail and healthcare. Arigami powers holistic innovation programs for startups, corporates and academic labs seeking to mitigate anxiety by developing transformative immersive and service design solutions for complex human problems within wellness, sleep and human performance. Besides leading his firm, Peralta dedicates much of his time guest lecturing at universities, speaking at international conferences and volunteering for organisations that promote STEM education for children.  

How to attend

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

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Event partner: Crosswater 

* Those eligible to purchase Supplier Tickets must be industry suppliers.
** Those eligible to purchase buyer tickets must prove that they are an interior designer, architect, hotelier or developer.
***Hotel Designs’ Early Bird promotion ends on March 31. After this time, tickets for designers, architects, hoteliers and developers will inflate to £20 + VAT and supplier tickets will inflate to £150 + VAT. 

CASE STUDY: Designing minimalist bathrooms for Nobis Hotel Copenhagen

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Designing minimalist bathrooms for Nobis Hotel Copenhagen

The recently refurbished Nobis Hotel in central Copenhagen specified Unidrain in the luxurious bathrooms of its 100 hotel guestrooms…

When renovating Nobus Hotel in central Copenhagen, attention to the detail was imperative. Each of the bathrooms within the hotel have been created with Scandinavian elegance; as this chic minimalist design ethic helps to create an environment where there is a space to pamper oneself and relax whilst exuding a sense of wellbeing.

One of the main characteristics of each of the 100 bathrooms is a large bathtub surrounded by marble tiles. A large single mirror is positioned above the dark framed washing area and wash basin reflecting light back into the room. The shower cubicle maintains the minimalist feeling, as it is enclosed by a sleek sheet of glass. The water falls from the oversized shower head bouncing on the tiles beneath, before disappearing into the bespoke single drain.

At the architect’s request Unidrain created and supplied designer drains for the shower cubicles in the entire hotel. The drains for 80 bathrooms were fitted with Unidrain’s linear drains each with the customised solution option.

Here the classic steel Unidrain grating has been replaced with exactly the same marble as the rest of the bathroom, making the drain almost invisible to the eye. It is elements such as these Unidrain custom-designed solutions that make these stylish bathrooms completely unique.

At the Nobis Hotel, Unidrain worked in conjunction with its architectural advisor Dennis Bagge, to ensure that the clients every detail was met. For example twenty of the bathrooms in the hotel are particularly large and needed extra-long drains. This required a single drain to cover an expanse of more than two metres. Unidrain were able to create bespoke extra-long drains made to the client’s specific dimensions.

“When liaising with the architect on this project the bathroom solutions were easier to create. This was due to Unidrain’s reputation and ability to craft and install a single drain which would run from wall to wall covering a length of over two metres ” Unidrain Architectural Adviser Dennis Bagge.

These tailor-made solutions add the finishing touch and help to create the coveted wellness experience wanted in a bathroom today. This room has evolved more than any other in the home, from an outdoor WC, it transferred inside, initially as an enlarged broom cupboard, now it is no longer a room we have for practical reasons, but a space we want to spend time in to pamper and relax; be it in a home or a hotel.

Unidrain is a Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Unidrain/Nobis Hotel Copenhagen

Inside the world’s first ‘super boutique’ hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside the world’s first ‘super boutique’ hotel

The world-class design team of The Londoner ‘super boutique hotel’ consists of interior designers at Yabu Pushelberg, engineer experts at Arup Associates and artist Ian Monroe

After seven years and a £300 million investment, The Londoner, the world’s first super boutique hotel, will open its doors in June 2020.

The property will take centre stage on London’s Leicester Square and is the latest project by Edwardian Hotels London.

 The project is a feat of design, architecture and engineering that aligns with the vision of Edwardian Hotels London’s Founder and Chairman, Mr Jasminder Singh to create “a celebration of London; its history, aesthetic and people.”

Its 16 storeys will incorporate 350 guestrooms, suites and a tower penthouse with panoramic views, two private screening rooms, a mix of six concept eateries – including bars and a tavern, alfresco dining on the ground floor and a contemporary Japanese lounge bar with a rooftop terrace and fire pit – plus an expansive ballroom suited for any occasion, a variety of meeting spaces and a results-driven gym and spa.

Edwardian Hotels London’s Design Architect, Rob Steul and architectural firm Woods Bagot CEO, Nik Karalis collaborated to develop the architectural design concept fitting of its cornerstone position on Leicester Square, and a guest experience with a ‘West End Story’ narrative at its core. Interior designers Yabu Pushelberg, engineers Arup Associates and artist Ian Monroe round out the world-class design team.

“From inception, Edwardian Hotels London saw the building as more than a hotel and sought to create an ‘urban resort’ destination of the highest architectural quality,” said Steul. From the wellness space below, to an extraordinary rooftop terrace overlooking Trafalgar Square, we developed a central core of meeting, eating, lounging and event spaces running vertically through the building around which wrap the guestrooms.”

“It is essentially two buildings intertwined – with the interplay between them creating a dynamic guest experience. Working closely with City of Westminster planners, we carefully considered the urban context of the site and responded with a building which fits its context in both massing and materiality.”

Engineers Arup Associates provided expertise across 16 different disciplines, from mechanical, electrical and public health to fire, acoustics, vertical transportation, accessibility and façade engineering.

Image credit: Edwardian Hotels London

Due to urban planning height restrictions, the architects proposed a 30-metre subterranean series of spaces on six levels, creating the deepest habitable basement in London and among the deepest in the world – a factor that presented a number of architectural, structural and engineering challenges for the teams involved.

In order to reach down to the depths required, an excavator had to be specially designed and made by construction company McGee Group, who built the basement and building superstructure.

Portland stone predominates on the façade with a vertical pattern of punched bronze-framed windows trimmed in rich blue architectural faience tiles numbering over 15,000, which were both conceived and designed by artist Ian Monroe and individually hand-made by British company Darwen Terracotta. 

Each tile took traditional artisans up to six weeks to create, from the initial pour through to the final firing – and when in place, set at a specific angle, will reflect the natural light of the sky during the day and the dynamism of the area’s myriad of lights following nightfall.

A truly public work of art (a condition of the hotel’s planning approval) and Monroe’s first hotel project, the faience extends from the ground floor of The Londoner up and through to its roof.

Inside, a luxurious and contemporary experience crafted by world-renowned designers Yabu Pushelberg speaks to the backdrop and approximation of the city’s cinema district. Marrying charming wit with British sentiment, thoughtfully designed common areas, dining spaces and guest rooms enhance the motions of everyday life.

When talking about The Londoner’s guestrooms, George Yabu of Yabu Pushelberg said: “The Londoner was designed to play into the roots of Leicester Square as London’s historic theatre district. We created layers of programming up into the sky and deep into the earth that emphasise this extraverted, alluring, playful voice.

“Through subtle nuances, we gently infused this energy into the guestrooms because we wanted them to remain evident spaces for comfort and relaxation. Stylistically, we tapped into traditional British sensibility and a minimal, cohesive neutral palette.”

Ensuring sustainable luxury for future generations, The Londoner secured a £175 million Green Loan from HSBC UK, which will ensure it exceeds the BREEAM Excellent category in building environmental and sustainable performance.

The Londoner, a member of the prestigious Preferred Hotels & Resorts Legend Collection, is the latest project by Edwardian Hotels London, the privately-owned hotel group behind the development of The May Fair Hotel, the newly opened The Edwardian Manchester and a collection of restaurant and bar brands, including May Fair Kitchen, May Fair Bar, Bloomsbury Street Kitchen and award-winning Peter Street Kitchen.

Main image credit: Edwardian Hotels London

Dormy House launches new Scandi-chic suite, The Studio

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

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

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

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

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

Luxe modern guestroom

Image credit: Dormy House Hotel

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Dormy House

In Conversation With: Hamish Brown, Partner at 1508 London

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Render of two towers in doha

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

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

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

Render of the outside of the building

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

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

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

Luxury pool area inside The Lanesborough

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

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

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

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

striking bar with marble surfaces featuring distressed mirrors

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: 1508 London

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

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

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

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

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

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

Under, Europe’s first underwater restaurant

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

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

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

 Burbank Restaurant at Roomers Frankfurt

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

Beefbar restaurant, Le Coucou Hotel

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

Hey Yo – Hong Kong

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

Wild Honey St James

black and white floors above striking chandeliers

Image credit: Sofitel London St James

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

Harlan & Holden Glasshouse Café

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

Main image credit: Under/Ivar Kvaal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Ultima Collection

Hotel Designs speaking at HRC next month

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs speaking at HRC next month

As part of Hotel Designs’ media partnership with Hospitality Restaurant and Catering, editor Hamish Kilburn will speak on both the Vision Stage as well as the TechX area of the show… 

With less than a month until the industry gathers at ExCeL London for Hospitality Restaurant Catering, Hotel Designs has announced its movements around the three-day event.

HRC (formerly Hotelympia) is the UK’s largest and most prestigious event for the hospitality and foodservice industry and is one event is split in to four shows: The Food Service Show, The Professional Kitchen Show, Interiors and Tabletop Show and Hospitality Tech Show.

All of the four shows within HRC offer food service and hospitality professionals the chance to meet with a range of leading suppliers, to taste, test and source new products and business services to drive their business forward for 2020 onwards. Learn more about what’s on at the show here.

The Vision Stage on March 3 (13:00 – 13:45)
Session: Designing Hospitality for the Modern Consumer

Joining a popular list of professional speakers, Hotel Designs will host the panel discussion entitled: Designing Hospitality for the Modern Consumer. With first impressions now being made before guests have even considered checking in or making a reservation, the future design of hospitality needs to evolve with the connected and eco-conscious consumer. How does an independent or group operator add personality, stay relevant and appeal to the experience and social media gripped customer? The design-savvy panel will explore the top design trends to engage the next generation.

On the panel: Hayley Roy, Harp Interiors | Rita Alves Machado, Great Hotels of the World | Terry McGillicuddy, Richmond International | Stefan Trepp, The Dorchester.

TechX Stage on March 4 (14:30 – 15:00)
Session: Comfort and Control – Tech’s Place in Hospitality Design

Following the panel discussion, Kilburn will engage the audience on the TechX stage with a TED-style talk entitled: Comfort and Control – Tech’s Place in Hospitality Design.

As hospitality design continues to evolve, exciting developments in technology will allow us to further push the limits of conventional hotels and restaurants, creating space for more creativity in their design. But are we thinking about technology meaningfully enough? Hotel Designs’ TED-style talk will investigate technology’s place in tomorrow’s hospitality.

HRC takes place between March 3 – 5, 2020. Head over to the website to register for your ticket.

Center Parcs unveils luxury spa following £6m refurbishment

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

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

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

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

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

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

living wall in coridor next to salon

Image credit: Center Parcs/Sparcstudio

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

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

sauna looking outside

Image credit: Center Parcs/Sparcstudio

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

biophilic design in restaurant

Image credit: Center Parcs/Sparcstudio

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

Main image credit: Center Parcs/Sparcstudio

SHOW PREVIEW: Clerkenwell Design Week 2020

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SHOW PREVIEW: Clerkenwell Design Week 2020

Clerkenwell Design Week returns on May 19 – 21 for the 11th edition of the UK’s leading independent design festival, London’s most creative district…

Last year, 34, 185 individuals of the international design community flocked to the streets of Clerkenwell to attend one of the most-anticipated design festivals in the design calendar.

Since its beginnings, Clerkenwell Design Week has worked in synergy with the natural growth of vibrant Clerkenwell – an area full of design showrooms, practices and creativity – flourishing into the much-loved independent design event.

Now in its 11th edition, the festival has become a well-established, key event in the design calendar as well as a platform for brands to launch their latest products. In 2019, Established & Sons debuted works from renowned designers Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec and Konstanin Grcic, and the show welcomed high profile speakers like Sebastian Wrong, Benjamin Hubert and Neisha Crosland.

Talk with host and audience

Image credit: Clerkenwell Design Week

Building on the success of CDW’s 10th anniversary last year, for 2020, designers and architects are being told to expect a show full of the latest designs, innovations and creative ideas, striking installations celebrating the fascinating history of Clerkenwell, as well as hundreds of design-led fringe events, pop-ups, workshops, talks and showroom presentations.

This year, Morag Myerscough will be speaking as part of Conversations at Clerkenwell and joins Sebastian Cox on the line up so far.

A number of brands will be marking significant milestones at the 2020 show, including iconic British furniture company, ercol who will celebrate their 100th anniversary as part of CDW. ercol will be launching a collection of new pieces which have been designed and developed in collaboration with Norm Architects, these pieces not only reflect ercol’s heritage and craftsmanship but build further on ercol’s vision for the future. For CDW, ercol will present their new Norm collection, pieces from the Originals collection, the Pennon table, and pieces from the Von collection.

Renowned Danish furniture manufacturer, Fritz Hansen, will also be bringing to life their first UK standalone showroom, which has just opened on Cowcross Street in Clerkenwell.  The beautiful, two-floor space in the heart of London’s busiest district for architecture and design, will play home to the full collection of Fritz Hansen furniture, lighting and accessories. New pieces from Nendo see a chair created from household waste, Ant Deco is a re-imagined version of the classic Arne Jacobsen Ant chair and exciting new collections of accessories, as well as reissued pieces will be seen for the first time during CDW. The space is designed to be a restful backdrop for the Fritz Hansen universe and a hub for designers, specifiers and customers alike.

Presenting at CDW for their inaugural year, UniFor, the contract sector of Italian design brand The Molteni Group will be exhibiting an interactive workspace of the future in a stand-alone display at Design Fields, showcasing the new Touchdown unit by Studio Klass.

Focusing on sustainability at CDW, Cosentino will be encouraging visitors to recycle their guides and maps in special collection points around Clerkenwell. These will then be collated and turned into a sculptural papier-mâché installation after the event displayed in their showroom. Billi UK will be providing five drinking water points around Clerkenwell for the event, as well as distributing reusable bottles for free to CDW visitors. In a collaboration with Bee Midtown, they will also be helping distribute collector’s edition glass bottles to lucky visitors at random.

Bee Midtown will also be partnering with CDW to rejuvenate the Three Corners Adventure Playground on Northampton Road. As part of this, they will be offering seed planting in conjunction with Bee Wild, a project committed to encouraging bees into the area to pollinate plants, thus preserving the urban environment.

CDW Presents

Each year, one of the highlights of the show is CDW Presents, showcasing specially commissioned, site-specific street spectacles across Clerkenwell.

In celebration of Clerkenwell’s history in the clock-making industry, time will be a key focus for the 2020 edition of CDW Presents, with four large-scale horology-themed installations dotted throughout Clerkenwell.

Another highlight commission of CDW Presents is Scale Rule, a project focused on inspiring young people to become the next generation of designers, architects and engineers. 2020 will mark five years of the project, which brings together local school students and Clerkenwell-based architectural practices via a series of workshops to create and realise a design installation. For 2020, Scale Rule will return to its original location in the Garden of St James, creating a kinetic installation that responds to movement.

Showrooms

Growing in synergy over the eleven years of the festival, Clerkenwell has flourished as one of London’s creative hotspots. From CDW’s humble beginnings with less than 40 showrooms participating back in 2010, CDW now sees more than 100 showrooms participating in the event. Integral to the festival are the local resident design showrooms, providing an array of stimulating events from talks and workshops to major installations and parties.

number of lights to refelct different daylight in the day

Image credit: Light exhibition at Clerkenwell Design Week

Exhibitions

The sheer popularity of Clerkenwell Design Week is evident by the growth of exhibitors – with more than 200 brands participating for 2020. CDW’s exhibitions are hosted in distinctive spaces around the area linked by a route running through the centre of EC1. There are seven exhibitions, each with a different curatorial focus, ranging from cutting edge international design, to emerging talent, lighting, luxury interiors and the best of British design.

Main image credit: Clerkenwell Design Week

Surface Design Awards 2020: Winners announced

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Surface Design Awards 2020: Winners announced

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Still to come at the Surface Design Show 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Surface Design Show

Hotel Indigo opens botanical boutique gem in Brussels

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

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

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

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

plants frame lifts

Image credit: IHG

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

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

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

large lobby/lounge bar area with plants

Image credit: IHG

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

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

Main image credit: IHG

Render of luxurious public area

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

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

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

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

Render of luxurious public area

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

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

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

Curio Collection openings

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

Tapestry Collection openings

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

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

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

TREND ALERT: Matt black for the modern bathroom

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image caption: Black MPRO set from Crosswater

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

Industrial black tap on bath

Image Caption: UNION collection by Crosswater

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

Main image credit: Crosswater

7 savage hotel construction projects on the boards

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

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

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

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

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

Mandarin Oriental Melbourne

render of the Mandarin Oriental Melbourne

Image credit: VA

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

Rosewood São Paulo 

image of building camouflaged in trees

Image credit: Jean Nouvel

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

Shishi-lwa House

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

Downtown LA Jenga-like skyscraper

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

Image credit: Arquitectonica | JMF Developments & Co.

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

25hours Hotel Paper Island

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

Kisawa Sanctuary 

render of beach-front bungalows

Image credit: Kisawa Sanctuary

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

Infinity London

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

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

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

Image of the built in bath

Bette launches its first circular built-in bath

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

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

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

Image of the built in bath

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bette is a Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Bette

MINIVIEW: Inside London’s hotel designed by kids

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Park Plaza London Riverbank

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

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

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

Main image credit: Park Plaza London Riverbank

Discussing biophilic design in hotel surfaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Discussing biophilic design in hotel surfaces

Ahead of their panel discussion at the Surface Design Show next week, editor Hamish Kilburn and Parkside Architectural Tiles’ architectural consultancy manager Fraser Lockley discuss sustainable surfaces in hotel design… 

Design is all around us, and we interact with it from the moment we get up in the morning, through our working day and into leisure time.

Design is a reflection of society and impacts on how we interact in our daily lives. The way in which buildings and spaces are designed has the potential to greatly impact the wellbeing of those interacting with it, so to promote biophilic design seems a given.

Ahead of hosting a panel discussion (February 13 at 12:30pm on the Main Stage) at the Surface Design Show next week, I caught up with one of my panelists early to understand, from a suppliers perspective, how designers’ methods for injecting biophilic design into projects is allowing new possibilities to emerge in surface design.

Hamish Kilburn: What makes biophilic design more than just a trend?
Fraser Lockley: The ideas and principles of biophilic design have been around for many years, it is only the term that has come to the forefront of the design world more recently. The use of natural materials was a foundation for many of the classic societies (Egyptians, Greeks etc), so biophilic design is definitely not a new trend. It’s more a return to exploring the use of natural shapes, colours, textures and patterns as well as sustainable materials and interpreting these to modern designs and how they impact on end users.

HK: Can you explain what Parkside is looking for when it investigates new materials?
FL: We are always looking for opportunities to bring new products to the interiors and A&D sector. Our Sequel range is a great example, using recycled glass and ceramics normally discarded in the sanitary products manufacturing process, we were able to offer a great looking tile that appealed to the aesthetic requirements of clients while embracing sustainability and a biophilic ethos.

“While 15-20 years ago the idea of using recycled content was associated with inferior or cheaper products, now producers are more comfortable in declaring the resourcing of products to create new tiles.” Fraser Lockley, architectural consultancy manager at Parkside Tiles.

HK: What would you say are the least sustainable materials available in the marketplace?
FL: Sustainability can be measured in various ways, so it is not always easy to pinpoint exact materials, for example some materials may be more energy intensive to produce but then have a much longer product life than sustainably produced equivalents. In addition, products that stand the test of time in terms of look and performance could arguably be more sustainable over something very niche and on-trend for a particular timeframe. For us, it’s about achieving a balance across all of these and providing products that have a long-term design, good product life and made without over-exploiting earth’s natural resources.

HK: How is technology unlocking the potential for designers to affordably access sustainable tiles?
FL: Digital printing technology means that a majority of looks, finishes and styles can be replicated onto tiles, thereby protecting valuable natural resources such as marble, slate, quartz etc. It’s worth bearing in mind that tiles are generally long-lasting and hardwearing. In fact, tiles are only likely to be removed because someone wants to change them rather than through necessity. Looking around modern-day London, our tube stations are testament to some of the iconic tiles from the 1900s that are still in use today.

HK: How many of Parkside’s tiles would you consider to be sustainable?
FL: With the longevity that tiles provide we consider tiles to be a sustainable option for exterior and interior finishes. Many of the major manufacturers are using a percentage of recycled content within their production processes. While 15-20 years ago the idea of using recycled content was associated with inferior or cheaper products, now producers are more comfortable in declaring the resourcing of products to create new tiles.

HK: How can designers on a budget sensitively inject biophilic design in public areas?
FL: Designers can concentrate on one or two of the biggest elements of a project that will impact on the overall design, this could be key features or focusing on particular aspects like the lighting or flooring and sourcing one or two products that embrace the biophilic ethos. This one change may seem small but incorporating even just a single element can have an impact on how the end user interacts with public areas.

HK: In your role, how has demand for sustainability increased in recent years?
FL: There has been a massive increase! Architects and designers continue to incorporate sustainability within their projects and the latest generation of designers have been introduced to sustainability from the start of their careers, so we predict continued demand for new products that address these practises.

HK: What are the consumer benefits of biophilically designed tiles?
FL: Any biophilic design which helps end users connect with nature while inside, provides the benefits of reducing stress, supporting wellbeing, and helping with performance in an ever-hectic environment.

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

Render of rooftop bar and pool in city

Canopy by Hilton to open 20 hotels in 2020

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

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

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

Render of rooftop bar and pool in city

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Canopy by Hilton

Sekers launches new collection of wide-width curtains

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sekers launches new collection of wide-width curtains

Sekers has launched BACCHUS, a collection of wide-width curtains, ideal for the contract market…

Hot off the heels of launching FIORA early this month, Sekers has unveiled BACCHUS, a collection of wide-width curtains that are available in a generous range of shades from vivid blues and earthy neutrals to ethereal pastels.

Bacchus includes two fabrics, each representing a distinct route to achieving lightweight contract curtaining. With a chunky yarn and soft drape, semi-sheer Bobal embraces natural light, making a simple and elegant statement. Gamay’s subtle melange colouration, fine woven, opaque appearance and supple drape makes for optimal snoozing.

The Bacchus collection is washable and fully FR tested with Bobal meeting FR curtain standards for the UK and US markets and with Gamay additionally meeting European and IMO FR curtain standards. With the width forming the drop and a fluid drape and subtle texture, Bacchus casts a positive glow on any interior and is an ideal choice for the designer specifying for the contract market.

Sekers 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: Sekers

Ruby Hotels arrives in London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Ruby Hotels arrives in London

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

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

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

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

Booth to look like a circus tent

Image credit: Ruby Hotels

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Ruby Hotels

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

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

Main image credit: Ruby Hotels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Marriott International

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay tuned…

Editor, Hotel Designs

CASE STUDY: Creating signage for stadium hospitality spaces

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

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

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

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

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

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

Collaboration was the key to success

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

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

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

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

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

Shama expands Bangkok presence in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Shama expands Bangkok presence in 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: ONYX Hospitality Group

Image of bathroom from the ceiling

INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: Bathroom solutions for accessible spaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: Bathroom solutions for accessible spaces

Bathroom supplier Kaldewei reminds us on some of the affordable and timeless solutions for all guests around simple bathroom renovations… 

The hotel bathroom should be a place that feels comfortable as well as practical. In recent years, the hotel industry has demanded bathrooms to be fit for purpose for guests of all ages.

Image of bathroom from the ceiling

For some individuals checking in, old age restricts their freedom of movement and poses trip hazards when negotiating their way into and out of the bath or shower.

It’s high time for a bathroom upgrade to meet the needs of advancing age. Kaldewei advises ideal solutions for a flexible bathroom – meeting the needs of both now and in the future, as well as looking stylish – without over-stretching the often limited budget in retirement.

Everyone eventually faces the challenges of advancing age, where daily life and mobility in our own home becomes increasingly difficult. This is when we need an interior that is optimised for the needs in later life, enabling us for as long as possible to live autonomous lives without assistance. The bathroom is one place in the home where privacy is paramount and it should therefore be designed to ensure independence in taking care of personal hygiene needs, regardless of age. How do we eliminate trip hazards? What can we do if getting in or out of the bath is no longer safe? How can we maximise space for more room to manoeuvre?

Kaldewei offers practical and affordable solutions that help upgrade the bathroom to a flexible bathroom which meets the needs of now and the future as well as having the feel-good factor, as seen in the below ‘before and after’ images.

XXL-size floor-level showers in place of a bath

Developers increasingly opt for a floor-level shower to replace the bath and for good reason, because floor-flush showers create a seamless transition to the floor, improving comfort, safety and visual appeal. This fusion makes the room appear bigger and provides ease of access with no edges to trip over. As a manufacturer of double steel enamel bathroom products, Kaldewei has a portfolio of more than 100,000 solutions for floor-level shower areas. Upgrades benefit particularly from large-size shower surfaces, as they can be easily and inexpensively installed in place of a bath. The position of the waste outlet eliminates the need for complicated shifting of the bathroom waste pipe. Enamelled XXL shower surfaces from Kaldewei start at around £509 for the Kaldewei Cayonoplan shower surface in size 90cm x 140cm. Shower surfaces can optionally be finished with a slip-resistant coating such as Kaldewei Secure Plus for additional safety at no extra cost for many models.

Smart washbasin design for greater freedom of movement

The Kaldewei steel enamel washbasins are the perfect match for a floor-level enamelled shower surface. They are available in a variety of sizes and designs, including several wheelchair-accessible wall-hung models. A countertop washbasin with wall-hung bathroom furniture is ideal where extra utility space is essential. Kaldewei offers countertop washbasins in four different designs.

Main image credit: Kaldewei

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

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

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

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

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

Alila

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

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

Andaz

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

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

Destination Hotels

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

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

Grand Hyatt

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

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

Hyatt Centric

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

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

Hyatt House

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

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

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

Hyatt Place

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

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

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

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

Hyatt Regency

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

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

Joie de Vivre

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

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

Miraval

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

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

Park Hyatt

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

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

Thompson Hotels

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

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

The Unbound Collection by Hyatt

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

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

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Location special: Factors behind rapid hotel growth in West Africa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Light, bright room features soft finishes and warm wood tones

Sheraton brand “reinvents experience and design” with new guestrooms

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sheraton brand “reinvents experience and design” with new guestrooms

Sheraton Phoenix Downtown has completed a renovation of 1,000+ guestrooms, which feature the brands reinvented experience and design… 

Evoking a timeless comfort that welcomes guests into a light and bright room, the new guestrooms inside Sheraton Phoenix Downtown feature soft finishes and warm wood tones.

Light, bright room features soft finishes and warm wood tones

The well-lit rooms are accented with black and metallic accents. A platform bed and crisp white bedding centres the space of curated furniture that feels reminiscent and as welcoming as a friend’s guestroom.

A houndstooth chair gives a pop of classic Sheraton pattern while the new 65-inch televisions are mounted to a noise cancelling, woven fabric paneling that make for statement wall. A height adjustable table makes a quick transformation to a standing desk through integrated height controls and a bench running beneath the tv provides additional sitting. The bathroom features a walk-in shower or bath surrounded by neutral porcelain walls while a light wood tone vanity and backlit mirror with modern polished chrome fixtures and black finishes complement the guestroom design.

Rooted in its community-forward ethos, Sheraton’s design approach embraces community-fluid spaces that feel warm and inviting from a statement bar serving coffee creations in the morning and spirited sips in the evening to restaurant concepts that satisfy both purpose and cravings. In addition to fresh guestrooms, Sheraton is also redefining what the hotel lobby is by making it downtown’s best-positioned co-working space, with everything from Community Tables with lockers and charging tabletops, to uniquely designed studios for groups of varying sizes.

Once unveiled in the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, the luxury hotel will have completely revamped the guestrooms, food and beverage, programming, and a lobby which will be home to the property’s Club lounge.

Main image credit: Sheraton

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

Palacio Solecio opens as Malaga’s first luxury boutique hotel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exterior of the palace

Image credit: Palacio Solecio

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

Reading light on blue and cream textured wallcovering

Image credit: Palacio Solecio

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

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

Image credit: Palacio Solecio

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

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

Main image credit: Palacio Solecio

Bill Bensley launches ‘Sensible Sustainability Solutions’ White Paper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How? By Employing common sense

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

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

Main image credit: Bensley/Shinta Mani Siem Reap

VIP ARRIVALS: Top hotels to open in February 2020

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

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

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

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

Here’s February’s top picks…

Hotel Brooklyn, Manchester

Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn Manchester

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

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

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

ME Dubai

Image credit: ME Dubai/Zaha Hadid Architects

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

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

Zedwell, London

Image credit: Zedwell London

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

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

Artist Residence, Bristol

Image credit: Artist Residence

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

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

Arctic Bath in Lapland, Sweden

Image credit: Arctic Bath Sweeden

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

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

The Guardsman, London

Image credit: The Guardsman Hotel/Tonik Associates

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

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

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

Main image credit: ME Dubai/Zaha Hadid Architects

CASE STUDY: Furnishing London Marriott Hotel Kensington

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Furnishing London Marriott Hotel Kensington

Recommended Supplier Curtis has recently supplied headboards, TV units, wardrobes, desks, vanity shelves and mirrors in London Marriott Hotel Kensington…

In line with the design brief to create a stylish and modern ‘bleisure’ hotel, Curtis was specified to create bespoke furniture for London Marriott Hotel Kensington.

The company supplied furniture in xylocleaf MFC, hand-selected pressed European walnut, including upholstery, and polished stainless steel.

Due to the complexity of the room design for this stunning hotel refurbishment, the client needed to find a supplier whom they could trust to work closely in partnership with the main contractor.

Having worked with the furniture company before, the client chose Curtis to supply the hotel because it is a quality UK-based supplier with large manufacturing capability, it prides itself on having a meticulous project management process, tried and tested since 1998 and its solid partnership approach with a strong customer service record.

“The effect of all these different co-ordinating materials is of a luxurious design with consideration given to every detail.”

Each room needed to be supplied over four separate visits to allow other contractors, such as decorators and electricians, in to complete their work in the correct sequence.  Curtis, already known to the client for our eagerness to be flexible and provide great customer service, worked in close partnership with the main contractor to ensure our timings fitted into the schedule perfectly.

“The initial stages had tight lead times and Curtis pulled out all the stops to ensure we could get moving as quickly as possible,” explained David Elliott from County Contractors. “We were impressed with how smoothly everything went, and with the quality of finish and fitting of the furniture.”

Curtis manufactured, supplied and installed bespoke furniture, including:

  • Upholstered headboards
  • Gladstone oak MFC TCMF trays with black powder coated legs
  • Statement hand-selected pressed walnut features on TV units, sideboards and wall panels
  • Xylocleaf MFC bedsides
  • Fenix NTM desks, with solid ash legs and mirror panelling
  • Upholstered luggage benches
  • Co-ordinating wardrobe areas with Gladstone oak drawers with leather handles, xylocleaf minibar units and black powder coated hanging rails
  • Metal-framed mirrors with integrated glass vanity shelf.

In the suites, slotted privacy walls and swivel TV units in hand-pressed walnut add to the impressive combination of beauty and function.

The effect of all these different co-ordinating materials is of a luxurious design with consideration given to every detail and how it will impact on the guests’ experience.  Thoughtful design doesn’t come better than this.

Curits 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.

Feature: A well-designed accessible hotel bathroom can look and feel elegant

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Feature: A well-designed accessible hotel bathroom can look and feel elegant

UKBathrooms investigates the leading bathroom manufacturers who are creating stylish and accessible hotel bathroom products…

The UK hotel business is thriving, and whilst that’s great news – and despite awareness generated by the Blue Badge Access and Style Awards – there is still a lack of genuinely accessible hotel rooms, particularly outside of capital cities.

Despite the demand hoteliers remain wary of creating accessible guestrooms, for fear of putting off non-disabled customers and because of concerns over installation costs. However, they be missing out on significant business opportunities each year. Guests with accessibility needs would certainly travel more, for work or for pleasure, if more accessible rooms were available, businesses are missing out on a huge opportunity to attract a range of potential clients, meeting the needs of all without lessening the experience of existing customers.

“There is absolutely no reason why a well-designed, accessible hotel bathroom cannot look and feel like a luxury upgrade.” – UK Bathrooms

According to UK Bathrooms, one of the leading online store for premium designer bathrooms, there is absolutely no reason why a well-designed, accessible hotel bathroom cannot look and feel like a luxury upgrade. A beautiful, stylish space can be created that appeals to all guests, creatively designed and appealing to everyone, regardless of ability.

With more than 13.9 million disabled people in the UK and a total spending power of £249 billion a year its certainly worth businesses considering investment in this area.

An accessible hotel bathroom can be characterised by certain improvements to comfort along with a number of design options. Intelligent planning of taps, fittings and furnishings is required to create an accessible space.  The bathroom should be large enough for the guest to move around in if they are a wheelchair user and the layout of the room should allow for a clear turning circle of 1500 mm, its also important that the bathroom door opens outwards into the bedroom.

Toilet flush controls should be positioned towards the front of any cistern and on the side that is most easily accessed. Handles should also be easy to grip, and the toilet seat should ideally sit about 400mm from the floor.  A level access shower is often the best option and a shower seat is recommended. Again, easy to grip and accessible controls should be made available.

At UK Bathrooms, accessible bathrooms mean you do not have to compromise on design and comfort. Luxurious, elegant bathrooms can be created using the best in designer bathroom products available. A perfect example of this is the O. Novo Vita collection by Villeroy & Boch.  Its many attractive details blend harmoniously with the bathroom design taking every consideration of comfort, practicality, hygiene and appearance into account. The extended wall mounted toilet from this collection gives a greater degree of accessibility to the toilet space and is easier to reach.

An alternative WC to consider would be the VitrA V care Comfort Intelligent Rimless model. It combines the convenience and ease of a wall mounted WC with the comfort and cleanliness of the bidet. Fitted with an automatic seat and lid that senses approach, its heated seat can be warmed and ready for the ultimate in bathroom luxury and your guest experience.

When it comes to wet room panels, then Matki offer a superb choice, in a variety of sizes, the shower panels offer full flexibility when planning an accessible hotel bathroom yet retaining a stylish elegance.  This Matki Wet Room Shower Panel can be supplied with a shower seat option.  There is also a vast array of walk in shower trays to complete the accessible bathroom and with their ultra-flat design hoteliers can create more room for guests to move around and still retain a luxury feel. Additional features such as a rain shower head will provide the ultimate spa experience.

Don’t forget discreet handles near washbasins, toilet, bidets and showers these can blend harmoniously with the bathroom interior.

Your hotel accessible bathroom will look and feel luxurious to all guests, it will provide a high level of comfort and style ensuring that your business maximises all revenue opportunities.

UK Bathrooms 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: Villeroy & Boch

FIRST LOOK: Inside the renovation of Oatlands Park Hotel

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lavish dining area with high ceilings

Image credit: Oatlands Park Hotel

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

Horse like lamps facing each other in white coriddor

Image credit: Oatlands Park Hotel

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

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

Main image credit: Oatlands Park Hotel

Industry insight: What is driving the digital bathroom trend?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Industry insight: What is driving the digital bathroom trend?

As Hotel Designs continues to put technology under the spotlight, Nick Brown, hospitality channel manger for GROHE UK, explains why digital modern bathrooms are going to be trending for a while… 

In recent years, the hotel guest experience has undergone a mass transformation.

As seen in Hotel Designs’ Year in Review of the most significant products to launch in 2019, digital technology is now commonplace throughout a hotel from app-based digital check-ins to slick entertainment systems providing music, TV and concierge support at the touch of a button.  The hotel bathroom is the natural next step in the evolution of the smart hotel, offering convenience, comfort and relaxation for the customer. Digital or smart fittings in the bathroom are now being specified to help increase functionality and usability in the bathroom, and in many cases, enhance the luxury atmosphere that so many visitors are now seeking from their travel experiences.

As far as interiors go, it is usually the crème de la crème of hotel designs that spark the trends for residential interiors. However, with digitalisation, the roles have been reversed to some extent. The integration of digital and smart concepts in the home is much more readily available now than they were even a few years ago, and with increased understanding as to their benefits and how to use them, the uptake from the mass market has become more profound. As most consumers are now much more in touch with tech and the digital world, hotels can really benefit from integrating smart features and there is even a growing expectation from savvy travellers for these elements to be included as standard.

“In particular, there has been a growing desire amongst hoteliers for infra-red basin mixers in guestrooms.” – Nick Brown, hospitality channel manager, GROHE UK.

The rise of lifestyle hotel brands over the past few years has certainly helped spur on the desire for digital. Designers of these spaces are instilling character and innovations such as smart technology into both guest rooms and communal areas to create an enhanced, unique atmosphere. These experiential hotels are generating enormous appeal particularly with millennial guests and are consequently being shared in abundance on social media platforms. The hotel bathroom already has its own corner of the social media sphere, with the most luxurious and aspirational designs reaching hundreds of thousands of users around the world. Like bespoke design and idyllic aesthetics, digital products offer this same element of aspiration and can really help create a unique hotel experience, a trend which is trailblasing travel experiences for younger generations.

From the perspective of hoteliers and facility management teams, the trend for digital products in the bathroom stems from growing pressure on hotels to reduce their footprint and integrate fittings that will generate more efficient consumption of water and energy, as well as being mindful of how much single-use plastic waste they are generating. In particular, there has been a growing desire amongst hoteliers for infra-red basin mixers in guestrooms which can be monitored via an app as well as set to run for a limited amount of time, helping to reduce on water consumption and costs whilst preventing against water damage from the tap being accidentally left on.

Many of the leading global hotel groups are beginning to implement their own sustainability targets and initiatives and are therefore turning to suppliers for smart solutions that can help them to reduce consumption without comprising performance as well as use app connectivity to monitor and manage their usage. Hotel conglomerates such as Hilton have subscribed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, which encourages the implementation of 17 targets to be in place by 2030. GROHE and its parent company LIXIL can work hand in hand with hotels supporting these initiatives as it too has pledged its support to the programme.

The challenge for meeting this new trend for digital is that bathroom interior fittings must still be beautiful and elegant, as well as functional and innovative. Each aspect is valued of equal importance and is key to creating an aspirational bathroom setting that will create a lasting memory in the minds of the guests, both for its looks and the experience it offers. Of course, sustainability will remain a dominating factor too as digitalisation continues to transform hotel bathrooms. Guests are becoming more and more conscious of the footprint they leave when travelling and will welcome encouragement from their hotel to help them be more eco-conscious during their stay. In 2020, basin mixers with LED temperature displays will emerge on the market, acting as a subtle but impactful reminder that guests can make small changes such as turning the temperature of their water down by just a few degrees to help reduce their energy consumption. Infra-red operated eco-modes will also be available on basin mixers which will see hotels actively offering guests more conscious choices when it comes to managing their carbon footprint and water usage.

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 UK

Apurva Kempinski Bali unveils new design-led villas

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Apurva Kempinski Bali unveils new design-led villas

Newly launched villa collection, designed by Trivium Design Group, marks the competition of The Apurva Kempinski Bali…

Nestled in tropical gardens on the clifftops of Nusa Dua, The Apurva Kempinski Bali has completed its design renovation, which results in the launch of 43 new villas. 

Named after the mighty kingdoms that once ruled over Indonesia, the one-, two- and three-bedroom pool villas designed by Trivium Design Group evoke the tropical characteristics of southern Bali, offering discerning visitors complete privacy, spacious indoor-outdoor living and a delectable flavour of Balinese life.

“We have made tremendous efforts to showcase Indonesian heritage in the eyes of the world by incorporating the best local craftsmanship, philosophy and materials into the interior design,” said Rudy Dodo, founder of Jakarta-based Trivium Design Group, which is responsible for interiors throughout the resort.”

Image credit: Kempinski Hotels

Hidden away among tropical gardens, each of the two-storey villas affords complete privacy. Self-contained plunge pools and outdoor terraces are surrounded by lush foliage and clever architectural features created by architect Budiman Hendropurnomo, who founded the Indonesia office of Denton Corker Marshal.

“The debut of our new villa collection means The Apurva Kempinski Bali is ready to welcome families or groups of any size, for any occasion; from intimate family escapes and show-stopping weddings, to board-level meetings and incentives,” said General Manager Vincent Guironnet. “The completion of the villas marks the final stage in our development, just in time for our grand opening. With 475 rooms, suites and villas, six dining outlets, an outstanding spa and a collection of versatile meetings and events spaces, The Apurva Kempinski Bali is one of the most dynamic, dramatic and breath-taking resorts on the Island of the Gods.”

All of the villas offer private plunge pools and spacious outdoor terraces, while the larger options also feature kitchens and rooftop dining areas. Wood and stone-clad interiors are meticulously finished with rattan bamboo furniture, woven Sumba textiles and handmade woodcarvings from Bali and Java, giving guests a flavour of Bali’s rich history of design and creativity.

Main image credit: Kempinski Hotels

UNILIN’s new designs add comfort with nature in surfaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
UNILIN’s new designs add comfort with nature in surfaces

UNILIN division panels has unveiled four new decors in its Evola range that work together to bring comforting, calm of nature into commercial surfaces and interiors…

With the growing pressures of a fast-paced world, the need for comforting nature-inspired interiors has surged in popularity, and recently identified in Hotel Designs’ trend forecast for 2020 and beyond.

It is predicted to be a continued key emphasis for designers over the coming months. The light schemes that dominated last year’s trends are eclipsed with the dark and black tones of nature’s varied palettes.

“Using our advanced technology and manufacturing processes, we’ve been able to create an astounding range of calm, nature-inspired ranges that are predicted to be popular for 2020.” – Sofie Coulier, UNILIN division panels.

“Our Evola range, like the fashion, styles and interiors that inspire the range, continues to evolve to satisfy the demands of designers looking to create new frontiers in interiors,” explains Sofie Coulier from UNILIN division panels. “Using our advanced technology and manufacturing processes, we’ve been able to create an astounding range of calm, nature-inspired ranges that are predicted to be popular for 2020.”

Sustaining and refreshing interiors could be attributed to the very practices that UNILIN source their materials. Scratch and stain-resistant, safe from fading and easy to wipe down. All Evola melamine-faced chipboard are made from 100 per cent circular wood, including a minimum 85 per cent recycled content.

Free A4 samples of all Evola decors can be ordered on request 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

Manchester welcomes two new Hyatt hotels

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Manchester welcomes two new Hyatt hotels

The opening marks the first two Hyatt-branded hotels in Manchester, and the debut of the Hyatt House brand in the United Kingdom…

After Hotel Designs announced it will return to the city for Meet Up North, Hyatt Hotels  has announced  the opening of the 212-room Hyatt Regency Manchester and the 116-key Hyatt House Manchester in the city’s landmark building “The Lume.” The openings represent a significant milestone for Hyatt’s brand growth in the U.K. and the debut of Hyatt’s extended stay segment, the Hyatt House brand.

Hyatt Regency Manchester offers empathetic service that anticipates the needs of guests and event planners to ensure they have a seamless and personalised experience. The hotel will stay true to the brand promise of making travel free from stress by providing guests everything they need under one roof. Hyatt House Manchester is designed to make guests feel at home, offering residents spacious, apartment-style living paired with amenities that help them maintain work and personal routines while on the road.

Situated in the Innovation District on the Oxford Road Corridor, both hotels are close to Manchester’s major transportation hubs and provide easy access to major attractions. “We look forward to welcoming guests to the first Hyatt hotels in Manchester – one of the UK’s most multicultural cities and a hub for innovative start-ups,” said Assumpta McDonald, general manager of Hyatt Regency and Hyatt House Manchester. “A city popular for leisure and business travelers, Manchester and its growing commercial center is an ideal destination for having two brands within one building. Located in close proximity to the University, the city center and a number of tourist attractions, we believe that both hotels will attract business and leisure travellers alike.”

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

The properties offer a variety of shared facilities, including The Laureate Restaurant, The Graduate Bar, seven state-of-the-art meeting rooms and a fully equipped 24-hour fitness centre. Additionally, guests staying at Hyatt House Manchester have access to the Omelet Bar and the 24/7 H Market.

Establishing shot of hotel

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Hyatt Regency Manchester offers 212 contemporary guestrooms and suites, all featuring floor-to-ceiling windows with city views. For travellers looking for an extended stay, Hyatt House Manchester offers 116 studios and one-bedroom suites, all featuring fully equipped kitchens, free wi-fi and stylish living and working spaces. Guests of the hotel can also enjoy 24-hour access to complimentary laundry facilities, inclusive breakfast, and the 24/7 H Market.

Hyatt Regency Manchester and Hyatt House Manchester share two distinctive gastronomic offerings – The Laureate Restaurant and The Graduate Bar. The Laureate Restaurant boasts a menu that celebrates Manchester as one of the UK’s most multicultural cities. Aptly named to reflect the academic brilliance of the hotel’s surroundings, The Graduate Bar is a vibrant, airy oasis inspiring guests and locals to relax and unwind. It offers cocktails, quality beers and gourmet bites. Exclusively accessible for guests of Hyatt House Manchester, the H Market is open 24/7 and provides a range of groceries and on-the-go snacks.

Hyatt Regency Manchester offers an array of flexible meeting spaces, with seven state-of-the-art meeting rooms. The hotel pays tribute to some of Manchester’s best-known academics, naming the meeting rooms after famous alumni and those working closely with the University. These include former chief executive of Manchester City Council Sir Howard Bernstein and renowned mathematician Alan Turing, best known for his work in breaking the German Enigma code during World War II.

Hyatt House Manchester offers two intimate event spaces: The Conservatory and The Living Room, both located on the 18th floor of the hotel.

The varied selection of meeting spaces offered by the two hotels provide guests of both properties the option to book from a range of options to ensure a seamless environment for every event. The meeting rooms are equipped with LCD projectors and screens for presentations, and the on-site business center is open 24 hours a day. Additionally, all meeting rooms and event spaces offer expert catering services.

Hyatt Regency Manchester and Hyatt House Manchester are the seventh and eighth Hyatt-branded hotels to open in the U.K., alongside Andaz London Liverpool Street, Hyatt Regency Birmingham, Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, Hyatt Place West London/Hayes, Hyatt Place London Heathrow Airport and the recently opened The Great Scotland Yard Hotel.

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Checking in: Heckfield Place

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in: Heckfield Place

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

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

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

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

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

Wooden staircase

Image credit: Heckfield Place

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

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

Mustard walls in guest room looking through into bathroom

Image credit: Heckfield Place

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

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

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

Soft pastel colours on bed and on armchair

Image credit: Heckfield Place

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Heckfield Place

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

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

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

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

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

Basin in black set

Image credit: Laufen

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Laufen

EARLY RELEASE tickets open for Hotel Designs’ premium networking events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sponsors for Meet Up London (so far): 

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

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

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

Sponsors for Meet Up North (so far):

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

Early Release offer strictly ends January 31, 2020.

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

colourful, modern guest room

Room Mate Hotels to launch beach resort brand

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

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

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

colourful, modern guest room

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

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

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

Main image credit: Room Mate Hotels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Junior Suite with views over the city

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

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

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

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

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Render of high-rise among low level buildings

Radisson Red to open hotel in Reykjavik in 2021

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

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

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

Render of high-rise among low level buildings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Radisson Red

Talking ‘art logistics’ with Momentous’ Dan Moore

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Talking ‘art logistics’ with Momentous’ Dan Moore

Art specialist logistics company Momentous’ new GM meets editor Hamish Kilburn to discuss market growth and misconceptions in art logistics…

Momentous, the specialist logistics company, have recently welcomed Dan Moore as its General Manager. With extensive management experience within the specific sector of the industry, covering commercial, FF&E, Workplace, Fine Art, Storage, UK and International project management, Moore joined us to tell us more about how he plans to support the hospitality industry’s booming art scene.

Hamish Kilburn: What sets Momentous aside from any other logistics company?  
Dan Moore: Momentous provide clients a turnkey solution to their logistical challenges. We’re not an ordinary logistics company, we have an experienced team with diverse backgrounds, which only adds value to our clients’ projects. What makes us unlike any other logistics company is our approach:

        • Zero downtime
        • Saving money through expert planning and advice
        • Project delivered with in timescales and budget costs
        • Delivered excellence through innovation
        • Money would have been saved
        • A trusted relationship would have been built
        • Over 40 years’ industry experience
        • We take responsibility for our actions
        • We care

“My background is based on relationships, I believe this is the best route to market.” Dan Moore, General Manager, Momentous

HK: How will your experience in this market help Momentous’ growth?
DM: 
I’ve been in the logistics industry for more than 13 years now, and have a passion for the industry and leadership. I’ve come from a diverse background that can only add to the development of Momentous. Over previous years, I have been involved in Workplace Solutions and FF&E, working with some leading brands delivering turn key solutions for their projects. My background is based on relationships, I believe this is the best route to market.  I’m excited to develop the team and work alongside some great people, as mentioned I’m passionate about leading and feel these skills will help motivate and retain our existing team and attract new talent to our business.  A good business starts with employing good people!

HK: What would you say is the biggest misconception about art logistics?
DM: 
Dare I say “money” – when you mention you’re in the world of Art Logistics, they automatically assume you must be very successful and there’s lot of money in that market. However, over the years the cost per job has declined and it’s become harder and harder to win business in this sector, unless you have some relationships on going and in place! Buyer’s of art are very conscious of the price when it comes to shipping and taking care of it. In some cases we see the “Man & Van” handle the work.

“Art finds a good fit to the hotel industry.” – Dan Moore, General Manager, Momentous

HK: How has the art arena in hotels changed in recent years, and why is that?
DM: Like a lot of industries, you need to stay fresh and current and find different ways of attracting visitors and customers. I think art finds a good fit to the hotel industry. In regards to design, hotels are considering innovative ideas rather than the traditional look.

HK: Explain the day-to-day role of a General Manager in your industry?
DM: Well, every day can be different and particularly for me. Balancing revenue targets with margin expectation can always be challenging and I am sure in any industry. As General Manager your role is overseeing the brand in its entirety from H&S to Budgets and all the in-between. I think motivation, development and leadership are key roles as a GM as well as analytical skills to be able to challenge the status quo.  For me, I like being involved in the selling of our services too, I’m always active in developing new relationships or pitching to a new client.

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.

Main image credit: Momentous

MarBella Collection announces debut in mainland Greece

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MarBella Collection announces debut in mainland Greece

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

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

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

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

Aerial view of sea and white sunbeds

Image credit: MarBella Collection

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

Image of modern room overlooking the sea

Image credit: MarBella Collection

146 spacious and contemporary guestrooms and suites have been designed using natural and simple materials, creating a clean and crisp look and feel, allowing the striking landscape to complete the guests’ hotel experience. Guests will have 13 different room types to choose from, all with balconies offering uninterrupted views of the Ionian Sea and include flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, organic toiletries and premium ultra-soft bedding.

With three restaurants and three bars, guests at MarBella Elix will not be short of choice when deciding where to slake their appetite. The choice ranges from modern Mediterranean dining at Saffron Main Restaurant in a sublime sea view setting to healthy, light bites beside the pool or Indigo Beach Restaurant.

The hotel will be the brand’s third hotel to join the portfolio of two unique properties. The iconic family 5* resort, MarBella Corfu Hotel, is located and in Agios Ioannis Peristeron and its adjacent sister, adult-only suite hotel MarBella Nido Suite Hotel & Villas, which opened in May 2018, is also a proud member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World.

Main image credit: MarBella Hotels

Tomorrow’s hotel technology unveiled at CES 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Tomorrow’s hotel technology unveiled at CES 2020

With CES 2020 currently taking place in Las Vegas, Hotel Designs launches technology as its January Spotlight On by futuregazing at tomorrow’s products that are expected to further evolve the international hospitality scene (edited by Hamish Kilburn)…

Question: how far are you willing to stretch your imagination in search of finding the latest technology that will go on to further evolve – possibly even lead – the inner workings of the global hospitality industry?

Although great attempts have been made by hotel giants such as Hilton and tech experts such as Jason Bradbury to identify emerging technology trends, the reality is that predicting the hotel room of the future is like asking a toddler to complete a 1,000-piece puzzle, while blindfolded.

The industry, as a whole, has largely learned its lessons from the mistakes it made at the beginning of last decade, when too many hotels fell into the trap door (probably operated by a tablet) of adopting the smart home into the hotel market. Using ‘tech for the sake of tech’ to create gimmicky spaces proved to be a meaningless method to attract modern travellers. Thankfully, in 2020, we are operating in an era where less is certainly more when it comes to integrating technology into the hotel experience.

Tech genius’, forecasters and consumers are currently in Las Vegas to attend the annual CES 2020, which is regarded as the global stage for tech launches in all industries; it is where tomorrow’s products are being unveiled for the very first time. Inside the venues that are scattered all over the city are all the various pieces of the industry’s most complex jigsaw, which, when put together, will form the high-definition image – or at least a strong rendered representation – of what the future hotel will look like.

In order to make sense of the chaos from the show’s many previews and launches, here are Hotel Designs’ edited top five finds…

Alexa in the shower 

Render of grey shower with speaker on it

Image credit: Kohler

Claiming to be the latest in digital shower design, Kohler has launched a render of a showerhead that, if launched commercially, could mean the end of showering alone forever. Kohler Moxie showerhead pairs cleanliness with voice activation, with a removable smart speaker that clips into place.

Plants with personality

Image of yellow plant pot with a happy face and plant inside

Image credit: Lua

With awareness rising day-by-day around sustainability, the wonderful idea that a fully sustainable design-led guestroom is no longer an alien concept that won’t make it past the drawing board. Bringing the outdoors inside was a dominant interior design trend last year than, which is expected to progress in creative ways. One company making its mark is Lua, which wants to turn plants into pets. The product is a sensor-packed pot that shows animated faces to let consumers know when the foliage is thirsty, or in need of sunlight.

Robotic toilet assistants

pink background, robot carrying toilet roll

Image credit: Charmin

I know what you’re thinking. And yes, we have trialled hotel robots in the past and, currently, robots cannot replace human beings when it comes to meeting and greeting guests. However, considering the average person is expected to spend a year and half on the toilet, a question has been raised as to whether artificial intelligence could benefit us in the bathroom. Consumer goods specialist Procter & Gamble aims to modernise our bathroom behaviour with the company’s toilet paper brand, Charmin. Rollbot is a a self-balancing robot that connects to your phone and will deliver a fresh toilet roll directly to the user if they happen to find themselves in need at a crucial moment.

Boundless possibilities for TVs

Render of flat tv

Image credit: Samsung

Considering the year-on-year evolution in the technology – not to mention the demand among consumers – it is no surprise that TVs continue to be one of the most common talking points during CES 2020. This year’s show directed the spotlight on Samsung’s no-bezel edge-to-edge screen as well as LG’s product that rolls down from the ceiling after unveiling the world’s first rollable OLED TV last year in Milan.

Questionable fitness software

Image credit: EnvisonBody

Controversial for many, but interesting nonetheless as the demand for wellness travel continues to rise, EnvisionBody has launched a concept that will allow the consumer or guest to see what they would look like if they added more exercise into their lifestyle. The technology plans to work with gym equipment-makers to show idealised versions of users’ physiques as they work out.

Back on UK soil, Forum Events, the parent company of Hotel Designs, is beginning the new year with the opportunity to start conversations like no other by hosting the Hospitality Tech & Innovation Forum. If you are a supplier and would like to attend, please email Lisa Rose or call 07930 402303. If you are a delegate and would like to attend the event, please email either Emily Gallagher or Lucia Guilisano or call 01992 37485/94.

Alternatively, if you have a technology product that you would like to put on the editorial team’s radar, please email h.kilburn@forumevents.co.uk with images. 

Main image credit: Pixabay

nhow London opens and Hotel Designs is first in

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
nhow London opens and Hotel Designs is first in

Sensitively designed by The Brit List 2019 accredited firm Project Orange, nhow London has opened in Shoreditch to become a brave and bold accent on the capital’s booming hotel scene. Editor Hamish Kilburn is first in…

NH Hotel Group has arrived in the UK hospitality arena with the opening of nhow London. The 190-key hotel shelters many contemporary and quirky design statements to frame the interior design theme of ‘London Reloaded’, which was imagined and created by Shoreditch-based design firm Project Orange.

With six properties in Europe, the nhow brand aims to evolve the lifestyle hotel market by surprising and inspiring its guests through unconventional experience and design, which is unique to each hotel’s location. nhow London is part of the exciting new development 250 City Road.

Project Orange has been responsible for the interior design of the project from concept through to completion, and has specified British manufacturers as much as possible throughout the entire project. The ‘London Reloaded’ theme is prominent throughout the hotel with bold and fresh design that takes inspiration from traditional British icons, such as the Royal Family, London landmarks and the underground.

All areas of the have an eccentric and contemporary take, with stand-out features including a Big Ben rocket sculpture in the lobby, tables in the ground-floor restaurant Bells and Whistles featuring cockney rhyming slang and oversized gold bell lights, a reminder of the city’s famous church bells.

Render of the ground-floor restaurant with green banquet seating

Image caption/credit: Render of Bells and Whistles restaurant | nhow London/Project Orange

Upstairs, the corridors have been designed to reference a walk in a typical London park. Featuring eye-catching designed HD carpets by Brintons, as well as colourful ‘townhouse front door’ style doors, this area of the hotel, which can all too often feel stale and unforgotten, has been brought to life with humour. Each floor, facing the lifts, features a stencil of a bike chained to a fence. As guests move up each levels of the hotel, another part of the bike is removed, which is a playful nod to the reality of most, if not all, for cyclists in the city.

Colourful textures confront contemporary art in the rooms, creating a dynamic version of London – think punk meets high-tech style, while graffiti appears alongside unconventional images of past monarchs.

As with all NH Hotels, everything in a nhow London is pleasingly unexpected. The nhow experience has arrived in London as the brand continues to make its mark on the European hotel scene.

Main image credit: nhow London

Hilton Dalaman to launch swim-up pool villas

730 564 Hamish Kilburn
Hilton Dalaman to launch swim-up pool villas

The hotel in Dalaman, Turkey, will expand its accommodation by opening new lake house rooms and villas in May 2020…

With the wellness craze well and truly taking over on the international hotel design scene, Hilton Dalaman in Turkey is expanding its accommodation offering with a new collection of luxury Lake House Swim-up Rooms and Villas.

The swim-up rooms and villas will be surrounded by a luscious green garden, each overlooking or with direct access to an incredible swimming pool. The new development will feature 123 rooms with three accommodation types, including; Lake House Swim-Up Room, Lake House Family Swim-Up and three Lake House Villas. Each contemporary-style property offers spacious accommodation for four – 10 guests, up to four bedrooms with Super King Size or Queen Size beds, a living room, private terrace with direct pool access or a private balcony with pool view.

Render of new swim-up rooms

Image caption/credit: Render of new swim-up rooms | Hilton Hotels

The 71 sqm Lake House Swim-Up Rooms sleep up to four guests within one stylish bedroom, a fully equipped living room, a large bathroom with luxury amenities and a private terrace with its own sunbeds and umbrellas. The larger, 142 sqm, Family Rooms offer an additional bedroom, living room space and pool terrace and sleeps up to six adults + one child.

“The private facility will feature more than 6,065 sqm. of swimming pool.”

With striking views of the Dalaman River, the private facility will feature more than 6,065 sqm. of swimming pool, three whirlpools and 1 children’s pool, the Lake House Restaurant and Bar and three Lake House Pool Bars. With the main resort in in close proximity, guests can enjoy Hilton Dalaman’s fantastic offering. From a 650m private beach, 10 swimming pools, heated aqua park, excellent kids’ club, an extensive spa, tennis courts, plus a choice of 21 restaurants and bars – the resort offers something for everyone.

Grey, black and white pallet in guestroom

Image credit: Hilton Hotels

With an enviable location on the edge of the Dalaman River, Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea, the luxury beach resort is easily accessible from Dalaman International Airport, a short walk from Sarıgerme village and close by to historical and natural attractions such as Kaunos Ancient city Dalyan, Blue Lagoon, Koycegiz, Iztuzu Caretta Caretta Beach.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

PARIS PREVIEW: What to expect at MAISON&OBJET and Deco Off 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PARIS PREVIEW: What to expect at MAISON&OBJET and Deco Off 2020

As Paris prepares to welcome designers from around the world for Maison&Objet and Deco Off, editor Hamish Kilburn previews what he expects to be the most significant products to launch at both shows… 

Maison&Objet and Paris Deco Off never fail to attract and engage a large international crowd, and with just days until this year’s shows open, 2020 is going to be no exception.

Despite the two events contrasting in style – one dominating the volume of Parc des Expositions de Paris Nord Villepinte on the outskirts of the city with a variety of brands, and the other spilling out into the streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés – together they work harmoniously. As a pair, they are undoubtably two of the hottest events in the design calendar, intriguing more than 80,000 design enthusiasts to descend onto the streets and trawl through the exhibition halls of Paris.

Many would argue, myself included, that both shows have become the go-to destinations to garner and guage the product launches and new styles from leading suppliers that are expected to dominate the market over the course of the rest of the year. It is for that reason, and the fact that there sea of interior design trends flooding the market, why Paris a quality trip worth taking in January if you are looking to cut through the noise for interior inspiration.

However, as someone who has walked the six halls and the narrow streets, it’s wise to approach Maison&Objet and Paris Deco Off as a marathon, and not a sprint. In order to give you a headstart, here are just some of the product launches and new collections that we expect will create the most noise this month.

Zaha Hadid Design: Hall 6 — Stand P38 (M&O)

Image of abstract glass plate

Image credit: Zaha Hadid Design

Interpreting the ordinary into something unexpected. Referencing Zaha Hadid’s process with each new project – ZAHA HADID DESIGN (ZHD) continues to examine its significance within the dialogue of contemporary design by interpreting both the present and the future, and by continuing to share Hadid’s story.

ZHD, which has been led by co-directors Maha Kutay and Woody Yao since 2013, has an extensive cross-disciplinary portfolio which includes design in fashion; jewelry; limited edition furniture; interiors; exhibitions, installations, sculpture, and set-design.

NANOLEAF: Hall 1 — Stand G49 (M&O)

Image of lounge funky lights above comfy sofa

Image Credit: Nanoleaf

Founded in 2012, but only recently exciting the hotel industry with its modular lighting design, is NANOLEAF. The lighting company prides itself on creating innovative lighting solutions that are smarter by design. By infusing artistic design and technological innovations in their products, NANOLEAF brings excitement, convenience, and joy to the way people experience light. NANOLEAF is a green technology and “IoT company” changing the world with innovative lighting solutions.

The newly