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Accor’s Aparthotel brand Adagio arrives in London

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Accor’s Aparthotel brand Adagio arrives in London

Hotel Designs attended the official launch party of Aparthotel Adagio London Brentford last night, which marked the brand’s official arrival in London, UK… 

Adagio has celebrated the opening of its first London property by hosting a show-stopping party that was attended by more than 150 people.

The 100-key Aparthotel Adagio London Brentford, which informally opened in October of last year, is located just a few miles from London’s main airport Heathrow and is the fourth hotel within in the brand to open in the UK, with more in the pipeline.

“This is an important milestone for us, with many more openings in the UK to be announced,” said Karim Malak, CEO of Aparthotels Adagio at the event. “Our target is to have 20 properties in the UK by 2023.”

Aparthotels Adagio London Brentford’s public spaces have been created as an open area for guests to meet and collaborate. Each apartment offers a fully equipped kitchen, spacious bedroom and living area with a flat-screen smart TV. Guests also have access to a bar, virtual concierge, fitness centre, laundry facilities, business services and onsite parking.

Image credit: Accor/Adagio

The West London property is part of Brentford’s Kew Eye Tower GWQ development. The aparthotel is the fourth UK opening for the brand following launches in Edinburgh, Birmingham and Liverpool. The aparthotel brand is planning further properties in London Stratford, Leicester (opening by the end of 2019) and Glasgow (opening by the end of 2020).

The opening of Aparthotel Adagio London Brentford emerges as part of the brand’s strategy to open 10 new hotels this year and to double the amount of properties it has within its portfolio by 2023.

Hotel Designs will be investigating the rise of aparthotels when it puts Hotel Concepts under the spotlight in August. If you would like to contribute to this topic, please get in touch with the editorial team.

Main image credit: Accor/Adagio

Kimpton brand arrives in Asia

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Kimpton brand arrives in Asia

Kimpton Da An Hotel has opened its doors in Taipei, marking its entrance into Asia…

Kimpton Da An Hotel brings a new luxury hotel offering to modern Taipei (Taiwan). With its unique location in the heart of the Da’an District and an elevated, sophisticated design, the hotel opens as an urban sanctuary for the laid-back luxury traveller.

Kimpton Da An is ideally located in the heart of Taipei city, allowing guests easy

access to local cafes, boutiques and galleries, while providing a welcoming environment decorated with artwork from local artisans. The hotel features 129 rooms and has been designed by Neri & Hu, the winner of MASION&OBJET Asia in 2015, a prestigious design accolade. Once guests enter the hotel, the lush greenery and sophisticated water installation, coupled with custom lighting, immediately offers guests a sense of calm.

Kimpton Da An will enjoy Kimpton’s signature perks such as in-room yoga mats and a Morning Kick-Starter, as well as tea and coffee served in the lobby living room to energize guests. Guests can also take part in wellness morning yoga on the rooftop, free fitness and wellness classes or explore the city with complimentary bicycles.

Home to The Tavernist restaurant, its culinary experience provides diners with contemporary dishes coupled with local touches and innovative cooking methods. The Tavernist embraces Taiwan’s organic movement and works closely with local farmers and food producers. The restaurant is led by Chef James Sharman, who has travelled to countless countries with his team and has sought inspiration from local cuisine around the world. To him, The Tavernist offers a place where guests can discover something new while feeling at home.

“As the world’s largest operator of lifestyle hotels, the luxury lifestyle hotel segment is a key IHG focus,” said Jolyon Bulley, CEO of IHG Greater China. “We’re delighted to bring the Kimpton brand to Taiwan, one of the most renowned destinations in Asia. Today’s opening marks another milestone for the brand, as it pushes the boundaries to bring design-led hotels and heartfelt, human service to more guests around the world.”

IHG currently has 6 hotels operating under four brands in the Taiwan market including, Regent Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn Express, with another 6 hotels in the pipeline. In the next few years, Kimpton is slated to open new hotels in Shanghai, Beijing, Sanya, Tokyo and Bali.

The brand, which currently operates more than 60 hotels and 80 restaurants and bars across the United States, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean is also due to open a further five properties in Shanghai, Beijing, Sanya, Tokyo and Bali. Last November, the Kimpton Fitzroy became the first UK opening in London, with more in the pipeline.

Main image credit: IHG/Kimpton Hotels

FEATURE: “Industrial bathrooms are here to stay,” say bathroom experts

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FEATURE: “Industrial bathrooms are here to stay,” say bathroom experts

Following ISH this month, PR and marketing firm Esprit breaks down why industrial bathrooms are not going anywhere soon in international hotel design…

Historically a 20th Century style, the industrial trend has a new look and feel.

No longer relegated to offices or loft style apartments, industrial design elements can be seen all over the home even in the bathroom.

“This somewhat harsh, gritty, uniquely urban, style has evolved.”

The original industrial trend has been around for years; but this somewhat harsh, gritty, uniquely urban, style has evolved.  The most obvious aspects such as rough textures, weathered surfaces, concrete, exposed brick and pipe work can look a little harsh in the home.  The use of muted and matt colours, such cool greys, blacks and anthracite work well, helping to achieve a “softer” Industrial look.

The use of metals including steel and aluminium, in both product design and construction, sets the scene, whilst dim lighting and brushed metal drains with matching bathroom accessories completes the industrial vibe.

Image credit: Kaldewei

The versatile, Nexsys Shower Solution is an innovative, award-winning four-in-one system which can be installed immediately, there are 17 different surface colour options including Cantania Grey Matt and City-Anthracite Matt, these can then be combined with five different waste channels variants.

The delicate filigree design of the free standing Miena washbasin made from a single layer of Kaldewei’s superior steel enamel perfectly complements an industrial style bathroom, due to its simplistic form and shape.

The industrial look in the bathroom can be further enhanced with a radiator from VASCO.  Providing a combination of energy efficiency and warmth VASCO radiators are available in variety of contemporary colours and textures; including Metallic Grey, Grey Aluminium, Anthracite Grey and Slate Grey.

Select from edgier, textured radiators such as the Bryce or the Carre which can be supplied as a curved radiator and further endorses this trend with its narrow bar design.

Image caption: Happy D2 from Duravit

Dark, industrial colour accents never fail to impress. By adding a contemporary, monochrome element, AQATA’s Matte Black Collection is a new addition to their successful Design Solutions range, available on DS400 shower screens and DS440 double entry shower screens. As well as matte black profiles and steady bars, there are also three glass patterns; grid, horizontal and border designs available.

In collaboration with sieger design, Duravit’s latest Happy D.2 Plus series reflects current industrial trends in colours, design and finishes. The above-counter washbasins striking individuality comes from the new striking two-tone colour variants of Anthracite Matt and glossy White. The colour concept of Happy D.2 Plus extends to toilets and bidets, with the interior of the toilets finished in glossy Anthracite for optimum hygiene.

Duravit’s Stonetto shower tray is designed to give the appearance of stripped back, water–worn stone, available in lighter shades, when used in anthracite or concrete gives the bathroom an edgier industrial feel.

Image of various industrial products from the range

Image credit: Unidrain

Finally, for maximum impact, Unidrain’s award-winning Reframe Collection brings together the finishing touches to an urban bathroom with their Scandinavian inspired designer accessories including; soap shelf, towel bar, toilet brush. The Reframe Collection mixes sleek design with metallic tones, available in five different colours including; Black, Copper, Brass and Brushed and Polished Stainless Steel.

Hotel Designs will be focusing the spotlight on the bathrooms this May and is currently acccepting editorial ideas. To submit your news/feature ideas, please email the editorial desk.

Main image credit: Aqata

Marriott International announces three-year growth plan

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The hotel giant Marriott International’s growth plans include the openings more than 1,700 hotels around the world… 

Marriott International has presented the company’s three-year growth plan, which includes opening more than 1,700 hotels around the world, at its meeting with institutional investors and security analysts at the New York Marriott Marquis.

The hotel giant has outlined its plan to add between 275,000 and 295,000 rooms by 2021, supported by the strength of its record 478,000-room pipeline, including roughly 214,000 rooms already under construction. The company disclosed that its new room openings during this period could contribute $400 million in fee revenue in 2021 and $700 million annually when stabilised. The company’s three-year growth plan assumes, but does not forecast, comparable hotel revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth of one and three per cent, compounded annually.

“Starwood has made us a more formidable competitor, providing a more valuable loyalty program, brands with strong appeal to loyalty members and owners, talented associates, terrific locations, particularly in the fast-growing Asia Pacific region, significant cost synergies and meaningful scale,” said Arne Sorenson, Marriott International president and chief executive officer. “We launched our newly branded loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy, just last month. The program reached 125 million members as of year-end 2018 adding roughly 50,000 members per day.”

Given the assumptions for its three-year plan, the company could produce the following results:

  • Diluted earnings per share of $7.65 to $8.50 by 2021, a compound growth rate of 11 to 15 per cent over 2018 adjusted results;
  • Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (adjusted EBITDA) increasing by six to nine per cent compounded, with net income increasing by five to eight per cent compounded, each compared to adjusted results in 2018;
  • Cash available for shareholders could total $9.5 to $11 billion for the three years (2019 through 2021);
  • Shareholders could see $1.9 to $2 billion in dividends, assuming a continued 30 percent payout ratio, and $7.6 to $9 billion in share repurchases over the three-year period.

Marriott’s growing pipeline of new hotels is fueled by the strong profitability of its hotels, the broad selection of powerful brands available for development, its rich loyalty program, lower costs from the company’s meaningful scale, and the strong confidence of its owners and franchisees. The company disclosed that 70 per cent of its portfolio of open and signed pipeline projects is held by owners with multiple Marriott properties, and roughly one-third is held by owners with ten or more Marriott branded hotels. Marriott’s development pipeline reflects an increasing number of legacy-Starwood branded hotels. Since the merger date, the pipeline of legacy-Starwood brands has increased nearly 25 per cent to represent nearly one-third of the legacy-Starwood portfolio’s system size.

“In 2018, Marriott launched a new Sheraton brand strategy, guestroom prototype and design approach.”

The company will also discuss its success improving the Sheraton brand. With more than 155,000 rooms, Sheraton is the company’s most geographically diverse brand and the company’s third largest brand globally measured in both rooms and fees. The brand contributes significantly to Marriott’s overall scale and effectively reduces costs for all the hotels in Marriott’s worldwide system. More than one-quarter of Sheratons are already under renovation or committed to a renovation. In 2018, Marriott launched a new Sheraton brand strategy, guestroom prototype and design approach, and just a week ago, unveiled the new Sheraton logo, signaling change to owners, operators, guests and Sheraton associates. Since the acquisition, Sheraton’s RevPAR index has improved to over 100.

“Our new three-year plan, with Starwood fully integrated, demonstrates how our fee-based, asset-light business model generates even stronger and more sustainable cash flows. This allows us to invest profitably in our core business at high rates of return and also return significant amounts of capital to shareholders,” said Leeny Oberg, Marriott International’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “Our proven business model combined with opportunities to leverage our significant scale from the Starwood acquisition uniquely position us for additional shareholder value creation.”

Main image credit: Marriott International

Zuri Zanzibar becomes first hotel awarded EarthCheck’s Sustainable Design Gold Certification

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Zuri Zanzibar, the recently launched design-led resort has become the first hotel in the world to be awarded EarthCheck’s Sustainable Design Gold Certification…

EarthCheck has awarded Zuri Zanzibar, the stylish beachfront 13-acre Jestico+Whiles-designed resort, a Sustainable Design Gold Certification. The resort, which is located in Kendwa, on the the idyllic northern west shores of Unguja, provides a seamless blend of contemporary design, sustainable architecture and authentic African flair offering world-class gastronomy, wellness and responsible tourism.

“We’re extremely proud of being the only resort globally to receive Gold Certification in EarthCheck’s highly-esteemed Sustainable Design Programme,” said Jean-Francois Laporte, the Zuri Zanzibar Project Director comments on receiving the award. “This accolade reflects our unwavering commitment to sustainability, by making positive changes to reduce our environmental footprint and improve social impact

“This award is also testament to the fantastic team behind the construction of Zuri who all shared the joint vision of creating a truly magical resort with ecology at its heart, without compromising on design and style.”

Striking views over the coast

Image credit: Zuri Zanzibar/Adam Letch

The EarthCheck BPDS Final Certification Report found that “Sustainable design principles were integrated from the outset with the building concept respecting the original terrain configuration and utilising local materials and local architectural traditions.”

EarthCheck is the world’s leading scientific benchmarking, certification and advisory group for travel and tourism. Zuri Zanzibar achieved a Gold certification in EarthCheck’s Design Programme which facilitates environmentally, socially and economically sustainable design and construction management of collective buildings and associated infrastructure. Results are determined by operational data from global clients which benchmark their environmental, social and economic performance.

As part of the certification process, the resort was assessed by an independent third-party auditor who appraised Zuri Zanzibar against the ten key performance areas of sustainability approach, energy, water, solid waste, land use planning & biodiversity, sustainable materials & resource conservation, indoor environmental health & pollution control, transport, social, cultural & economic wellbeing and innovation.

Stewart Moore, CEO and Founder of EarthCheck stated: “Achieving EarthCheck Design Gold places Zuri Zanzibar as an industry leader that has benchmarked its design and sustainability performance against internationally recognised criteria and demonstrated responsible business practices across their operation.

“This award highlights the long-term commitment that Zuri Zanzibar has shown to the communities and environment of Zanzibar and has allowed the resort to take practical, meaningful action to provide a quality holiday experience for their guests. We look forward to continuing to support their environmental efforts for years to come.”

Main image credit: Zuri Zanzibar/Adam Letch

Kohler announces plans for Milan Design Week 2019

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Bathroom brand Kohler has lifted the lid on its sensory plans for Milan Design Week from April 9 – 13…

Kohler will return to Milan Design Week to host an enticing sensory experience inside the historic Palazzo Del Senato (via Senato, 10, 20121 Milan, Italy). The large-scale immersive exhibit will showcase the bathroom brand’s bold approach to design and its products through an artful combination of water, technology, texture, and color. The installation will be open April 9 through April 13 from 10am – 7pm daily.

“Milan Design Week is the ultimate celebration of creativity and innovation among the global design community,” said Jim Lewis, Vice President of Kohler Kitchen and Bath Global Marketing. “The energy and spirit of the event make it the perfect place to explore new ideas and celebrate our latest design expressions with an inspirational audience of designers from around the world.”

Nature will play a pivotal role with the inclusion of a “digital garden” at the entrance of the exhibit as well as an infinity garden that whimsically juxtaposes Kohler’s Smart Home collection. Kohler’s space will also feature a bar and lounge area for guests to relax and recharge.

Additionally, Kohler will use the Palazzo as the platform for the launch of the company’s second global design theme, Experiential Luxury, an examination of the details and layers that create rich and dynamic environments.

Products featured at this year’s exhibition include the latest from Kohler Co. brands KOHLER, KALLISTA and ANN SACKS.

Image credit: Kohler

Smart home/Smart hotel

Intelligent Toilets offer the perfect combination of sophisticated design and unmatched technology to deliver the finest in personal comfort and cleansing. Extensive customisation – from ambient lighting and wireless music to temperature control, create a truly personalised experience.

Digital Showering transforms users’ daily routine by allowing customisation down to the tiniest detail. It invites users to orchestrate spray experiences, steam, music and lighting to create a personalized escape. Kohler’s portfolio of Smart Room products help create the world’s smartest bathrooms.

Color, material, finish

With a full range of colors, Kohler finishes visually set the tone for any space’s story and convey a unique personality. A two-tone finish with etched patterns – launching on the Components Collection – offers a beautiful, subtle gradient between two finishes with a precise graphic pattern. A wide range of colors and detailed graphics continue to draw the eye in for a beautiful, decorative impact.

Steeped in Japanese culture, Kensho conveys the story of decorative stitching known as sashiko by using patterns etched in stone. It also leverages the Italian etching technique known as acqueforti, marrying metals and marbles to create a distinctive level of ornamentation. The shape is gorgeous, the real stone adds texture and variation, and the decorative techniques are stunning.

With precise cuts and ultra-flat surfaces, the Parallel Collection of faucets and accessories brings sophistication to the modern bathroom through controlled expression. The dichotomy of round and square forms is unified by characteristic angles that deliver beautiful reflections and precise alignment. Smaller details deliver character originality and heighten the collection to a higher level of sophistication.

In partnership with parent company, Kohler Co., ANN SACKS debuts The Crackle Collection by Kohler WasteLAB, an innovative tile series that employs Kohler’s unfired pottery cull as its medium, transforming the waste into a responsive tile body. Handcrafted in the WasteLAB located in the Kohler, Wis. enamel factory, the bespoke collection was one of the initiatives spun from the Kohler Innovation for Good program.

Main image credit: Kohler

 

Anantara to debut in Mauritius

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Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas is entering the luxury hospitality sector on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius with the announcement of Anantara Mauritius Resort – a new luxury property on the South Eastern coast which is scheduled to open in Q4 2019…

Part of an integrated coastal development, a new Anantara resort located near Blue Bay Marine Park will arrive at the end of this year.

Anantara Mauritius Resort will feature 164 guestrooms and suites, with eight luxury pool villas – two with two bedrooms and six with four bedrooms – to be added in the first half of 2020. Facilities at the resort will include Sea.Fire.Salt – a specialty grill and seafood restaurant with courtyard and beach dining, an all-day dining restaurant, private dining with a wine cellar, a healthy wellness-focused cafe, two bars – one by the poolside and one facing the beach, a 30-metre ozone-based swimming pool, a gym and a signature Anantara Spa.

The look and feel of the new resort have been created by award winning Ground Kent Architects,  Australia, in collaboration with the Office of Global Architecture in Mauritius, alongside Abacus Design interior designers of Thailand. The design reflects the melting pot history of the country, drawing influences from the rich architectural heritage seen in the capital Port Louis and around the island. Natural, locally-sourced materials take precedence, harmoniously anchoring the buildings in their natural setting. Taking inspiration from local colonial architecture, the overall effect effortlessly evokes the vibe of a relaxing, tropical beach house, yet one with a distinctly modern feel.

modern guestroom overlooking the beach

Image credit: Anantara Mauritius

The use of scattered light, basalt and volcanic stone, drift wood, wave-and-ripple patterns and neutral sandy colours blur the line between the indoor and the outdoor. Fabrics and art selected for the rooms are a contrasting combination of accents of orange, deep ultramarine and royal yellow as a nod to Blue Bay’s crystal waters, sandy beaches and legendary sunsets.

With the resort’s dining options ranging from traditional creole cooking to fine dining, guests can expect a gastronomic experience rooted in an exotic blend of European, Asian and African influences. Most of the ingredients will be harvested locally since Mauritius benefits from incredibly fertile soil, while the ocean is the source of the freshest seafood and fish.

As part of Anantara’s commitment to sustainability, the resort will incorporate solar technology for water heating in all guest rooms, to reduce the usage on energy. Other green initiatives include planting endemic flora within the hotel landscaping, reusing water for irrigation and cleaning as well as incorporating recycled materials into resort décor. The property will be plastic straw-free, an Anantara standard, and where possible organic farming methods will be encouraged throughout its restaurant supply chain.

An island nation in the south western Indian Ocean, Mauritius is known for its varied flora and fauna, with many species endemic to the island. Famously the only known home of the dodo, an avian species which became extinct back in the 1600s, the island offers nature-centred activities both onshore and offshore. Visitors can charter a boat for deep sea fishing, paddle over serene blue waters in a glass-bottomed kayak to go snorkelling, embark on bird-watching walks on nearby islands, explore botanical gardens and more.

Main image credit: Anantara Mauritius Resort

GROHE Shapes the Future of Water 500 innovations at ISH 2019

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GROHE welcomed guests to its innovative stand showcasing the ‘Future of Water’ at ISH 2019… 

Consumers are fundamentally changing how they define and use their living spaces in both the home and in the hotel environment. GROHE has identified five mega trends as consumers have risen from passive consumption to taking control over the creation of new living spaces and have become creators themselves in seeking simplicity and intelligent product solutions. Today, more than ever, product innovation and design depend on an empathetic understanding of these trends as consumers are inclined to choose integrated solutions over single products. GROHE gave an impressive account of its journey in reflecting the five mega trends in its offering to consumers and customers during its keynote event at the start of the ISH trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany. With a record number of 500 single new products GROHE surprised its customers and consumers with solutions that actively shape the future of water.

3D metal-printing will revolutionise the water experience in the home

A unique formula of granules has been exclusively developed by GROHE for its 3D metal-printers located at its Hemer manufacturing site in Germany. “The design of our new faucets GROHE Atrio Icon 3D and GROHE Allure Brilliant Icon 3D are beyond belief. They make the unthinkable possible,” Michael Rauterkus, CEO GROHE AG, said. “What you see is the future of design. For consumers, it’s the future of their own creativity and ultimate personalisation. We believe that 3D metal-printing will revolutionise the water experience in the home. It’s the ultimate blend of customisation and industrial production.”

 “Consumer expectations are changing to a great extent”- Michael Rauterkus, CEO, GROHE AG

Changing requirements as consumers become creators

The boundaries between the individual living areas are becoming more blurred. The kitchen is often part of the living room, the bathroom opens up to the bedroom and both are becoming important living spaces instead of purely functional ones. When designing their own living space, consumers pay much more attention to detail in the bathroom and the kitchen than ever before. Consequently, bathroom and kitchen products have become household furnishings that allow consumers to express their individual style and preferences. As the first European leading sanitary brand to launch 3D metal-printed faucets, GROHE breaks with the old principle of form following function and combines cutting-edge technology with spectacular design. It is an impressive statement of GROHE’s willingness and ability to shape the future of water and accompany its customers and consumers on their journey to create the living spaces they desire. “Consumer expectations are changing to a great extent”, said Rauterkus, as he delivered his keynote speech in front of 350 international journalists and invited guests. “GROHE is shaping the future of water, in terms of design and innovation, both analogue and digital, giving our customers and our consumers the building blocks they need to harness the power and the beauty of water – as a tailored experience wherever they enjoy water.” Whilst new living spaces evolve around the bathroom and the kitchen, consumers are often confronted with an unwanted complexity in the creation process.

Dramatic setting with tap

Image credit: GROHE

GROHE helps customers in seeking simplicity – creation without complexity

The search for simplicity in terms of easy and intuitive solutions is met with a new minimalism to people’s homes. GROHE clearly positioned itself as a leading global brand for complete bathroom solutions, supporting consumers in becoming creators without having to deal with complexity. Its products combine quality with a stunning range of colors and materials: from faucets, showers and ceramics, to kitchen faucets, sinks, accessories and flush plates. “Nobody else offers, across the whole product range, the quality and durability in so many colors that bathrooms and kitchens require”, emphasised Rauterkus. Essence, GROHE’s newly introduced and first ceramic line that includes bathtubs, is a perfect showcase of the new minimalism and search for simplicity, showing beauty in its purest form. The design line’s characteristics are its gentle organic forms that are based on their reduction to the essentials. But minimalism by GROHE goes far beyond design, it means also the intuitive handling and easy installation of products. The new GROHE Rapido SmartBox provides architects, planners and installers with an infinite number of possible solutions with just one concealed installation solution: For maximum efficiency and planning flexibility, the concealed installation can be combined not only with the innovative shower system GROHE SmartControl but also with thermostats and single-lever mixers, offering a universal solution for all requirements.

“Overall GROHE introduced a record number of innovations and more than 500 single new products that address the five mega trends.”

A new connected eco system for water security and water management

At ISH two years ago, GROHE launched its first Internet of Things (IoT) solution, GROHE Sense and GROHE Sense Guard. Today, GROHE is pioneering digitisation in the sanitary industry and extends its competence well beyond sanitary hardware solutions. At the ISH 2019 keynote, GROHE announced a new generation of GROHE Sense water sensors and the launch of GROHE Sense Guard Pro, which is optimised for use in multi-family homes and high-rise residential buildings. Installed on both the cold and hot water pipes, it offers water security and provides accurate water consumption data directly onto mobile devices via the GROHE Sense App. This also means that there is full visibility of water and energy consumption, allowing consumers to take control. Moreover, with the combination GROHE Sense Guard and Sense Guard Pro, the global brand is now able to help prevent water damage in 90 percent of the residential market. The GROHE Sense system has created a disruptive new business model for GROHE as well as for installers and new business partners such as insurance and property management companies. “We are creating an intelligent platform, the biggest ecosystem for water security and water management, which will allow our industry partners worldwide, such as insurance companies, to implement new business models”, said Rauterkus.

Largest innovation push of GROHE to date at ISH

Overall GROHE introduced a record number of innovations and more than 500 single new products that address the five mega trends ‘new living spaces’, ‘consumers become creators’, ‘simplicity seekers – the search for simplicity’, ‘taking control’, and ‘intelligent life management’. It is the biggest innovation push of GROHE so far – tailored to the needs of consumers as well as professional partners such as architects, installers, insurers and smart home experts. “As GROHE stands for Water, Intelligence, and Enjoyment, we are creating intelligent water solutions that transform lives for the better”, highlighted Michael Rauterkus. “Most importantly, we are transforming the experience of water itself”.

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, click here.

Main image credit: GROHE

Orangebox refocusing hotel smartworking at CDW 19

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Leading workplace furniture brand Orangebox is preparing to exhibit new smart workplace solutions ideal for the modern hotel at Clerkenwell Design Week 2019…

With the aim to refocus smartworking, while identifying and examining disruptive technologies, furniture brand Orangebox is using innovation to design the workplace of the future. Demand has never been higher  for flexible and adaptable public areas within the modern hotel, and Orangebox has year after year offered freshly designed furniture for the workplace that is productive, innovative – and above all, flexible.

For Clerkenwell Design Week 2019, Orangebox will present an updated smartworking landscape designed to address the challenges and opportunities of disruptive technologies in order to meet the needs of 2020 and beyond.

birdseye view of workplace

Image credit: Orangebox

During the three-day festival of design and innovation in London, the company will showcase several new products framed by a clever smartworking narrative. As expected from previous years, it will also share its latest research and insight, with Jim Taylour, Head of Design & Wellbeing, and Nathan Hurley, key member and research & insight team, presenting their latest projects in a series of talks. These talks will be entitled:

The Magical Wellbeing Mystery Tour – Jim Taylour and James Pack will present an immersive session that explores some facts and myths that surround the largest revolution in office real estate.

SmartLearning: How iGen’s educational experience will impact the new workplace
– Nathan Hurley will lead a presentation on the changing world of higher education and the impact that iGen students will have on the contemporary workplace.

If you are interested in attending either of these presentations and/or would like some more information, please email events@orangebox.com to reserve your place.

Orangebox is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image credit: Orangebox

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Checking In: MOB Hotel Paris, where it all started

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Checking In: MOB Hotel Paris, where it all started

On the doorstep of Paris’ infamous flea market, MOB Hotel Paris – the original MOB – is designed ‘for the people’. Editor Hamish Kilburn checks in to see where the MOB Hotels story started…

In order to understand MOB Hotels’ style, ethos and energy you must first, in my opinion, meet the man behind the brand.

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Cyril Aouizerate, the CEO of MOB Hotels, is a gentleman who eats, sleeps and breathes MOB Hotels, which he created last year and believes that a great hotel is designed around great people. “My desire to was create movement,” he told me when describing the brand’s origins. “My objective is to use the hotels in our portfolio to create a new vision in the world that a hotel is more than just a bed for the night. That is why, for me, understanding the culture of each of our hotel’s location is so important.” That movement started in Paris and has since moved into Lyon as well as there being plans for a 2020 opening in Washington D.C.

Hidden among red and orange buildings, the entrance to the 92-key MOB Hotel Paris is surprisingly understated and worlds away from the stereotypical view of postcard Paris. Instead being among of chic neighborhood of shops and cafes, the hotel is in the heart of an urban adventure, located just south of the Saint Ouen, north of the city centre. It’s not immediately obvious that the two buildings, which were disused telecom factories only a few years ago, would shelter a quirky design-led boutique hotel. But expecting the unexpected is something that all guests should prepare when joining the MOB way of thinking.

Much like the Flea Market that borders the property, the architecture firm BBC Architecte created MOB Hotel Paris around the raw energy and creativity of the brand. The lobby inside is complete with wooden trunks as pod-like reception desks and very wears a bohemian personality. Simple yet productive, the space is a relatively empty shell that is curated only with stylish pop-up-store merchandise.

Image credit: Mob Hotels

The first real indication of Aouizerate’s unravelled creative mind comes when walking through the lobby and into the open-planned, lounge-like restaurant. With interiors by Kristian Gavoille et Valérie Garcia, the walls tell a story of comedy with fruits and vegetables being personified and remembered with plaques – my personal favourite among them being “R.I.P Mister Eggplant, who died for Baba Ganouche.” Furthermore, the large curtains that separate the restaurant from the conservatory, at first, look like they are printed references of The Last Supper. However, on closer inspection, all is not what it first seems. Famous faces in both the design world, from the likes of Philippe Starck, and significant figures in popular culture, such as Barak Obama, have been printed on the fabrics to add character and offer a further reference to Aouizerate’s involvement in the design process and decisions.

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Image credit: Aldo Paredes

Upstairs and although the comedy is softened, the style of each guestrooms is equally as edgy while also remaining thoughtful to the needs and requirements of guests checking in. In the bathrooms, which are tastefully positioned without creating too many unnecessary barriers, include Duravit fittings, Geberit WCs and Villeroy & Boch showers. Although the mustard yellow carpets and peachy pink walls in the guestrooms may not be to everyone’s taste, the unique headboards that are made to reference theatre stage curtains cannot be ignored as a quirky and unique feature to entice guests to tell their own narrative.

Complete with a Fatboy beanbag, low-level furniture from IKEA and mobile spotlight lighting, the guestrooms are idiosyncratic to say the least, but also balance within them a sense of play and can adapted to suit the needs of whoever is checking in. With a strong message to bring guests together, there are deliberately no TVs in each of the rooms, but projectors and iPads can be provided on request.

Sneak peak into the bathroom

Image credit: Mob Hotels

The dictionary definition of mob is “a large crowd of people, especially one that is disorderly and intent on causing trouble or violence.” Although the brand isn’t planning on causing any violence or trouble, it certainly is ready to cause a scene. With plans for the brand to broaden out as far as Washington D.C., the Paris MOB is also expanding. Just down the road, the skeleton of a new kind of MOB is taking form. MOB House, which is expected to open in January 2020, will pride itself on a sheltering a different style. The hotel’s interiors are being imagined by non-other than award-winning designer and long-term friend of Mob Hotels, Phillipe Starck.

Other suppliers

Furniture in the restaurant: Tonet/Drucker
Outdoor furniture: Fermob
Furniture in guestroom: Fatboy/Sempre

Main image credit: Aldo Paredes

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Ritz-Carlton, Berlin reopens after 40m Euro renovation

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The recent renovation of Ritz-Carlton, Berlin showcases a chic, elegant design evoking 1920s Berlin with creative details and references to the golden era of German cinema…

The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin has announced the culmination of a 40 million euro renovation. The meticulous refurbishment, largely funded by its ownership Beisheim Group, heralds in a new era of elegance through refreshed guestrooms and suites, conference, wellness, lobby and lounge areas and the addition of POTS, a new restaurant. Each space evokes a vision of Berlin in the 1920s, with guests encountering creative details and thoughtful references to the golden era of German cinema.

“The recent completion of this meticulous 40 million euro renovation at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin marks a momentous occasion for this hotel, whose storied location has sat at the epicentre of history for over a century,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President, Luxury Brands – Europe, Marriott International. “Present throughout the hotel in details large and small, the new design beautifully captures the gilded glamour of Berlin in the 1920’s, while celebrating the city’s ever-changing spirit. Our Ladies and Gentlemen will continue to provide legendary service to our luxury travellers during their visit to one of the most unique cities in Europe.”

The hotel’s imaginatively redesigned guest rooms and suites are the work of G.A. Design’s Budapest team, as is the grand entrance guests experience in the lobby upon arrival. An ornate sweeping marble and ironwork staircase makes a statement, while sparkling crystal chandeliers evoke the flurry of flashbulbs that punctuate the annual Berlinale Film Festival. Radiating 1920s flair, one wall gleams with stylised champagne glasses while guests will find one of the recurring motifs of the new design at reception: an abstract representation of a screen, reminiscent of film star’s cloakrooms.

“It is wonderful to see how the architecture of the building, with its light sandstone façade, compliments the elegant interior design, forming a harmonious whole,” said Robert Petrović, General Director at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin. “We wanted to make our new Art Deco design story as personal as possible – our guests are our focus.”

Image credit: Matthew Shaw

In the style of early 20th century literary salons, the spacious lobby is the ideal place for guests to relax, exchange ideas or enjoy a game of chess. An eye-catching marble fireplace replaces real flames with a bold sculpture, while She Represents, a 1928 painting by artist Jeanne Mammen, hangs above the mantelpiece – a declaration of love for the vitality of Berlin women. The adjoining space, flooded with daylight, features views of Potsdamer Platz, providing an ambience of a retreat where guests can take a break from the bustling city.

The lovingly redesigned guest rooms and suites of The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin are epitome of modern luxury. Day meets night in the contrasting colours of full-height headboards, while geometric patterns symbolise the historical significance of Potsdamer Platz. As with the lobby, the rooms also echo the city’s great film heritage. Elegant wash and make-up tables suggest the wardrobes of early silver screen icons while the sleek honour bar offers a nod to their classic wardrobe boxes”. State of
the art technology is also thoughtfully woven into the experience, including touchscreens controlling all in-room electronics and convenient charging stations built into seating. In the Carlton Club Suite, shades of blue represent the moon and Berlin nightlife and in The Ritz-Carlton Suite, warm golden tones are a nod to the city’s sunny sides.

The Lounge creates the heart of the hotel, shining in new splendour with dazzling mirror accents across its marble floor.  Designed in the style of a South American hacienda, a Living Room lies in the heart of the bar with a stage for live music.  A vision in red and gold, the Fragrances Bar is home to the high art of mixology, centred around scents and where Heissen enthrals guests with his “fragrant” cocktail creations. An interactive experience, guests choose their favourite cocktails from a walk-through bar menu, the Hall of Fame, where each drink is inspired by a top-quality gourmet perfume. The bar’s design is based on elaborate perfume flacons with ingredients and spirits arranged in pharmacy bottles, reflecting the mixologist’s experimental work. Dark mirrors underscore the sensual approach and mystical character of the space, with six avant-garde Golden Age-inspired drawings by local artist Tina Berning lining the walls.

Re-envisaged by interior expert Carbone Design, the hotel’s newly modernized wellness space brings a hint of glamour to the workout and wellness experience. Guests can also take advantage of two saunas, a cosmetic treatment menu and state-of-the-art fitness equipment. The divisible ballroom of the Beletage conference area is ideal for lavish parties as well as corporate events. Inspired by the 1920s nightlife, Czech lighting designer Lasvit created large Bohemian glass lamps in striking shapes, giving special dimension to the space. Seven additional event rooms featuring state-of-the-art technology have a total area of 1,800 square metres.

Main image credit: Matthew Shaw

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: H-Hotels

LAUFEN collaborates with studio EOOS

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LAUFEN collaborates with studio EOOS that created the Austrian contribution to the XXII International Exhibition of La Triennale di Milano with an ecological project…

LAUFEN has made a contribution to the initiative of Austria at the XXII International Exhibition of La Triennale di Milano. Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival is the title of the thematic exhibition that explores the bonds between mankind and the natural environment, bonds that over the course of time have been deeply compromised or even destroyed.

Through projects of architecture and design on different scales, the exhibition explores the concept of design reparation as a solution through which to reinterpret the relationship between human beings and the context in which they live. This year for the first time La Triennale assigned the Bee Awards, created to reward the three worthiest international contributions to the XXII Triennale. Austria is the winner of the Black Bee, for its profound interpretation of the theme and the quality of its presentation.

“LAUFEN has made a substantial contribution to the project and to the video CIRCULAR FLOWS: The Toilet Revolution!”

A leader in its sector with over 125 years of experience, LAUFEN worked together with highly acclaimed Vienna-based design studio EOOS to develop an innovative project that promises to become an important breakthrough on the global scene. Thanks to its exceptional expertise in the design and production of bath fixtures, driven by constant research and technological experimentation, LAUFEN has made a substantial contribution to the project and to the video CIRCULAR FLOWS: The Toilet Revolution!. Supported by the Federal Chancellery of Austria and commissioned by MAK, the Museum of Applied Arts of Vienna, it all started with the long-term research of Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, and the grant of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The studies demonstrate that current practices of waste water treatment play a significant role in unbalancing the nitrogen cycle, with major repercussions on the ecosystem and the health of human beings and other living things, consequences that will become more evident over the short term. New hygienic-sanitary solutions represent the future in the construction of intelligent cities with more healthful, sustainable characteristics.

The collaboration between studio EOOS and LAUFEN has led to save!, a revolutionary toilet prototype for the separation of urine, offering an effective solution in the battle against the global problem of excess nitrogen, in line with the principles of systemic design. The separate treatment of urine means reducing – in an intelligent, economical way – the quantity of nutrients (such as nitrogen and phosphor) and pollutants released in the waters of the planet.

Up to 80 per cent of the nitrogen found in sewage can be removed from the wastewater stream, which will in turn reduce the resources required to operate treatment plants. Where others have failed in the past, save! represents a design challenge successfully met, raising excellent prospects for the future. In the achievement of these objects, the contribution of LAUFEN to the project has been fundamental, thanks to the deployment of unprecedented know-how. The Swiss company relies on an extremely advanced research and development centre, the only one in the world capable of developing such an innovative idea. At the same time, it boasts a production system capable of making the save! into the toilet of the future, according to the most advanced industry standards.

Main image credit: LAUFEN

MEET UP LONDON: 3 weeks to go

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Calling all designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers: Meet Up London takes place on March 28 at Minotti London… 

Designers, architects and hoteliers can purchase tickets here.
Suppliers can purchase tickets here.

There are just three weeks to go until the industry will gather together for Hotel Designs’ Q1 networking event, Meet Up London.

Taking place on March 28 at Minotti London, the evening event is designed to bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

Meet Up London will be attended by more than 200 hospitality professionals. As well as providing the perfect networking stage for professionals who are working on the hotel design scene, the event will also pay special attention to young designers as it will unveil Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 (the shortlist can be accessed here).

The latest names to the guest list include designers, directors and 30 Under 30 shortlisted finalists from the likes of B3 Designers, Yasmine Mahmoudieh Design Studio, Scott Brownrigg and M Studio.

They will join designers and directors from leading studios such as Richmond InternationalHBA LondonGenslerJestico + WhilesGoddard LittlefairProject Orange and WATG who are among the names that are also confirmed to attend.

Agenda for Meet Up London: 

 

How to attend Meet Up London 

If you are an interior designer, architect, operator or hotelier and would like to attend Meet Up London, click here to book your place.

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to attend the event, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or on z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

For more information about becoming a Hotel Designs Meet Up sponsor, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or email z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk.

ISH PREVIEW: In Conversation With Utopia Projects on bathroom design

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With the increase in demand from hotel operators and owners for the bathroom to become the statement areas within the modern hotel, Hotel Designs’ editor, Hamish Kilburn, sits down with Utopia Projects’ project consultant, Stuart Adamson and director Howard Jones to break down how to create the perfect hotel bathroom… 

Having designed bathroom in hotels such as South Place Hotel London (the hotel that was the set of the NTA award-winning drama series, The Bodyguard), Kimpton Fitzroy London, Pullman London – while currently working on the highly anticipated The Brooklyn in Manchester, Utopia Projects has seen bathroom design go from a necessary facility within a hotel to an area of real design potential. With ISH just around the corner, I sat down with Stuart Adamson and Howard Jones Howard from Utopia projects to understand more about the company and its unique offering.

Image credit: South place Hotel London

Hamish Kilburn: Can you give us an example, from start to finish, on how you help designers create a hotel bathroom?

Stuart Adamson: The same process applies to each project from the earliest possible start, concept stage for new build is ideal. For refurbishment  projects, as early in the process as possible we sit with the designer to review proposed layout drawings and dimensions and discuss functionality, style, colour and budget before we issue a proposal with images and descriptions of all products, and review again as a fine tuning process.

“The three- to four- star projects are driven much more by water-saving products.” –  Stuart Adamson, Utopia Projects

HK: How are wellness trends changing the design of the modern hotel bathroom?

SA: Wellness trends are very much budget driven for the contemporary hotel bathroom. The likes of shower toilets are desired, especially to attract foreign visitor, into major tourist hubs. However, this is driven usually by five- or six-star hotels. The three- to four- star projects are driven much more by water-saving products tied to a good experience from the shower and a good aesthetic. Hoteliers look at maintenance issues also in relation to wellness trends. If there is the possibility of introducing product that is not tried and tested or with great warranty and service package attached, there can be a reluctance to commit to product that has an effect return on investment.

Howard Jones: I think there is more and more technology coming into bathrooms, bidet toilets are almost common place within most manufacturers offerings and certainly being asked for by clients in London. LED lighting under toilets, in shower door profiles, behind mirrors, inside vanity units etc. Bluetooth mirrors with built in speakers, digital showers.

Image credit: Kimpton Fitzroy London

HK: How is the evolution of technology changing the design of modern hotel bathrooms?

SA: Digital showers and hands-free functions for shower toilets are the main areas we have experienced. Push-button fittings for showers are becoming popular too. Anything that the user can use intuitively is a requirement. Simplicity is key!

HK: Can you share any tips in achieving the luxury look on a budget? 

SA: Give Utopia Projects a call and we will talk you through the process. Don’t be put off by brands that can appear expensive at retail cost, our relationships and contract led pricing mean that your budget can go along way with Utopia Projects.

HJ: Minimal/timeless designs on taps, showers etc. Large format wall tiles marble effect give the appearance of a marble slab.

“The most common pitfall is selling a design to a client before they know it’s a workable function.” – Stuart Adamson, Utopia Projects.

HK: What would you say were the most significant product launches of last year?

SA: Not sure they were many last year but the Kit 40 intelligent waste for Victoria & Albert is great! They allow for free-standing that usually comes without overflow to be able to be specified in the hotel market. The intelligent waste is also the overflow giving peace of mind that the bath won’t flood the room. This offers freedom of design that was previously restricted.

Image credit: Pullman Hotels

HK: In your experience, what are the most common pitfalls in bathroom design, and how can designers avoid them?

SA: The most common pitfall is selling a design to a client before they know it’s a workable function. That’s why we recommend early dialogue with Utopia Projects. We can talk through what is actually possible with you and allow the design team to propose a working solution that meets design and budget ER’s.

HJ: Answering from a residential perspective, not thinking about the drainage in the bathroom. Bathrooms tend to be drawn out as boxes with generic toilets, basins and baths plotted in the room. If more though is put into the location of each item with the drainage then its quite easy to achieve a simple layout which works.

HK: We recently worked with Jason Bradbury to help us understand what the hotel room of the future might look like. Can you predict for us what the hotel bathroom of the future will look like?

SA: Many manufacturers are looking to offer an integrated solution fabricated off site for shower cubicles/basin vanity units, using solid surface materials as a bespoke solution. So I see the future as simplicity of design, integrated fittings and accents of coloured brassware.

HJ: High-end hotels will be filled with automation, services similar to Amazon Alexa enabling voice control for your shower or bath fill. I think there will be more pod style hotels appear too as the demand increases.

HK: What’s the most bizarre brief you have worked on?

SA: One-off residential projects are the most bizarre as the client does not really know what they want and the architect pushes through to us to provide a solution; we then have to interpret clients’ tastes and style.

“Colour trends change so quickly that often by the time the room is installed the next trend is developing” – Stuart Adamson, Utopia Projects

HK: What has been the most challenging project to work on – and why?

SA: The most challenging was probably a refurbishment projects I did for a number of hotels for an international brand. The project was a partial refit of bathrooms over several sites. The challenge was site inspecting every room (more than 1,000) and recommending product to the current design and cost team; then communicating this to the six contractors that were awarded the projects.

Each project adapted as the work commenced on site, our expertise was used to lead the design and contract teams to find the solution to the product selection on site as they developed. It was challenging, particularly as communication across client/design team/cost consultants and installers/contractors all had to be managed along with their expectations on budget and timescale.

HJ: Two private residences in London. Each project had unique products in every bathroom. There was a total of around 20 bathrooms with the majority of the brassware being supplied bespoke by THG Paris.

HK: Colour in the bathroom, what are your thoughts on this?

SA: Accents of colour is the key. Simple and discreet to enhance the designer’s overall package. Colour trends change so quickly that often by the time the room is installed the next trend is developing. Stick to classic chrome/nickel or black.

HJ: I think its here to stay. Matt black has been around a number of years and is still popular, bronze, brass, copper all seem very popular too. The technology of the PVD plating now I think has given people new confidence in colours, gone are the days that gold would fade if sprayed with CIF.

HK: Which bathroom trend do you hope never returns?

Both SA and HJ agree: Avacado bathroom suites!

SA: Sanitaryware colours in general really date a bathroom. I always try to keep the bath as a no tap hole and use wall mounted bath fillers either concealed or exposed, or overflow fillers from a concealed valve. I hate with a passion to see deck mounted product on the bath, dirt traps and hard to clean. Toilet brush holders, as well, get rid of them! They’re unsanitary and ugly!

Utopia Projects is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image caption: Stuart Adamson & Howard Jones

 

Sustainable design transforms London boutique hotel

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Each guestroom of the newly renovated Fuller’s Fox & Goose has been consciously designed to allow for the highest degree of sustainable and ethical sourcing…

Interior architects Sibley Grove has completed work on a collection of hotel guestrooms for the brewery, Fuller, Smith & Turner at The Fox & Goose business hotel in Ealing, London.

All products and materials used in the project have been assessed on five fundamental principles: aesthetic quality, build quality, value, environmental impact and social impact. The bespoke joinery has been designed for disassembly making it easier to reuse the materials in the future. Meanwhile, the upholstery and dressing items have been created using fabric with recycled content from mills in the UK or mainland Europe. Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM products have been used throughout, including suspended ceilings from Armstrong, Tiles from Mosa and carpets from Ege Carpets.

Sibley Grove strongly believes that design should be a vehicle for positive change – both environmentally and socially. “A chair that looks great, is affordable and well made, but achieves this through being manufactured in a factory with poor employment rights and a lack of safety equipment is a failed product,” says Sibley Grove director, Jeremy Grove. “Likewise, a product from a great factory using sustainable materials that is poorly made and overpriced is an equally failed product.”

“We’re making a continuous effort to tackle some of the issues that are rife in the design industry.

“In today’s world, regardless of budget, it’s unacceptable to knowingly create stuff that is harmful to the environment or reliant on an exploited labour market. Cradle to Cradle is a great system for designers to measure and manage the impact of the products they specify as it takes into consideration material health, renewable energy, water stewardship and social fairness.”

Image credit: Sibley Grove

Key materials used in the project:

Major suppliers include Castlebrook (furniture), Mosa, Ege, Hansgrohe, Armstrong and recommended supplier Chelsom Lighting.

Reading lighting on side of headboard

Image caption: Chelsom Lighting were used as a sustainable lighting product for the project

The project uses materials, fixtures and fittings that are considerate of the environmental and social impact, with no additional cost to the client. The guestrooms are light, bright and open space with contemporary detailing. In addition, the space is functional and practical, perfect for business customers.

 

Sibley Grove is an interior design studio founded by Kate Sibley and Jeremy Grove, based in Totnes, Devon. The company has a deliberately open and collaborative approach to design, bringing together local suppliers with global companies and clients who share our commitment and ambition to design things better.

 

Marriott to add more than 30 luxury hotels internationally in 2019

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Hotel giant Marriott International plans to add hotels across its eight luxury brands…

Marriott International has announced that it is projecting to open more than 30 luxury properties in 2019, furthering the company’s global perspective on luxury travel with its ensemble of eight distinct luxury brands. Through the world-renowned hospitality hallmarks of The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St. Regis, W, The Luxury Collection, EDITION, JW Marriott and Bulgari, Marriott International continues to push boundaries, creating new guest experiences which meet the needs of the evolving luxury traveller.

With hotels in more than 60 countries and territories, the hotel giant is poised to expand its luxury footprint with more than 200 properties in the development pipeline, representing 20 new countries for the company’s luxury portfolio, from Sri Lanka to Bermuda and Morocco to Kenya.

“Our eight unique luxury brands provide distinct experiences that appeal to different types of luxury travelers, no matter if your priority is residing at the best address in town, completely immersing yourself in your destination, or prioritizing your wellbeing,” said Tina Edmundson, Global Brand Officer and Luxury Portfolio Leader, Marriott International. “From the world’s most iconic destinations to the ultimate undiscovered gems, we are focused on elevating travel with highly contextualized, nuanced brand experiences that signal the future of luxury by allowing our guests to indulge their passions while sparking personal growth.”

A global luxury study, conducted in partnership with creative agency Team One, revealed that luxury travellers of today are travelling not just to discover the world, but also to discover something about themselves. Edmundson continued: “When it comes to experiences, people today are seeking more meaning and personal significance rather than just the opportunity to indulge. Travellers have become active participants in the trips they are taking – they are more engaged and vested than ever before. Ultimately, global luxurians are becoming ‘creators’ in every aspect of their travel experience and for this group, travel is no longer a departure from reality, it is the reality.” With a rapidly growing global footprint and eight distinct luxury brands, Marriott International is uniquely positioned to deliver on these new expectations, inviting globally-minded travelers to look at the world through a new lens. “For our guests, we strive to go beyond offering moments of delight, to creating experiences that will profoundly inspire and transform,” said Edmundson.

Ritz-Carlton to set a new standard of luxury 

Known for its legendary service and refined design, The Ritz-Carlton will continue to set the standard for luxury. With six openings anticipated in the year ahead, the iconic luxury brand also expects to celebrate the opening of its 100th property. The brand is expected to make its return to Australia with the debut of The Ritz-Carlton, Perthand is slated to grow in China with the opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Xi’an. Showcasing the beauty of the Moroccan landscape and culture, The Ritz-Carlton Rabat, Dar es Salam is set to offer an oasis in the country’s vibrant capital, while The Ritz-Carlton, Mexico City will invite guests to experience the city through a new perspective. With a mission to inspire travel and create memories for its guests, the brand also expects to see the completion of a major renovation of The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park and to continue to work towards the inaugural voyage of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection in February 2020.

St. Regis anticipates grand debuts in global hotspots

Currently offering more than 40 hotels in 20 countries and territories, St. Regis recently celebrated the renovation of The St. Regis Rome along with the opening of The St. Regis Zhuhai, China’s premier tourist destination on the Pearl River Delta. In the coming year, St. Regis is planning to debut the André Fu-designed St. Regis Hong Kongwhere the award-winning designer will blend the brand’s timeless elegance with silhouettes representative of the city’s architectural and cultural diversity. The brand is also set to expand its footprint in Europe with The St. Regis Venice, which is ideally situated on the Grand Canal and offers a central location from which to explore the historic city. Finally, St. Regis is also expecting to bring its modern glamour and bespoke service to Cairo, a destination that has captivated travelers for generations and one which is quickly reclaiming its place as a hot spot for the global explorer.

W Rewrites the rules

Trailblazing its way around the globe, W broke the norms of traditional luxury in destinations including Brisbane, Amman and Costa Rica in 2018. The luxury rebel also rewrote the music festival rules, taking the festival experience off the field and onto fabulous hotel grounds with the global launch of WAKE UP CALL. Bringing people closer to the music than ever before, the brand’s signature music festival series made stops at W Hollywood, W Barcelona and W Bali. This year, the brand will live out its mission to fuel guests’ lust for life with eight hotels projected to open, ranging from Aspen and Ibiza to Muscat and Melbourne. W skillfully balances the power of a global brand with the relevance and personality of a local insider and continues to revitalize its global portfolio with multi-million-dollar renovations planned or underway at more than half its properties in North America, including W Washington D.C. and W San Francisco.

EDITION continues growth in iconic destinations

In 2018 the EDITION brand doubled its footprint, growing from four properties to eight with openings in Shanghai, Bodrum, Barcelona and Abu Dhabi. The in-demand lifestyle brand was created through a collaboration between boutique hotel creator and innovator Ian Schrager and Marriott International, which offers sophisticated design, a curated taste of the destination and modern service. Next up, the brand expects to redefine luxury with its recent opening in New York City’s Times Square and will bring its distinct perspective to West Hollywood with a scheduled opening in Q2 2019.

The Luxury Collection brings authentic charm to new destinations

Offering the promise of unique, authentic experiences, The Luxury Collection is a rapidly growing ensemble of 110 hotels in more than 30 countries and territories around the world. In 2018, the brand made its debut in Savannah with the opening of Perry Lane, expanded its footprint in Paris through Hôtel de Berri and brought distinct resort design to Los Cabos with Solaz, among other exciting debuts. With each hotel serving as a portal to the destination’s indigenous charms and treasures, The Luxury Collection anticipates debuting nine properties this year in coveted locations such as Okinawa, Cesme, Buckinghamshire, and Budapest.

JW Marriott Inspires the Passions 

JW Marriott offers differentiated luxury experiences at 84 hotels and resorts in nearly 30 countries and territories, including the recent opening of JW Marriott Nashville. Inspired by its legendary namesake, JW Marriott is committed to curating uplifting experiences for guests, delivering experiences and environments that help guests be fully present and bringing people together to celebrate life’s most meaningful moments. This year, JW Marriott anticipates continuing to bring its distinct style of warm service to established and emerging destinations with planned openings from the Maldives and Shanghai to Savannah, GA.

Marriott International currently encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,900 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 130 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world.

Main image credit: EDITION/Marriott International

Ruby Hotels to open first Nordic hotel

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The 142-room property in Finland’s Helsinki is the latest installment in ‘lean luxury’ hotel brand’s expansion plan…

Ruby Hotels, since unveiling plans for UK and international expansion at the end of last year, has announced plans for its first Nordic property in the Finnish capital, Helsinki, to open in the first quarter of 2021. The new hotel forms part of an expansion plan for Ruby Hotels to unveil a total of nine new hotels by 2021.

Set within a historic 19th-century building, in the same plot which housed Finnish national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg, the new hotel will be located in Helsinki’s charming Kruununhaka district. Enjoying a central position between the city’s main railway station and the hip district of Kallio, guests will be just steps from hotspots including the harbour and marketplace, Helsinki cathedral and the beating heart of the local nightlife, Tori Quarters.

A collaboration with Finnish project developer ICON Real Estate, the hotel will house 142 guest rooms, ranging in size from cosy ‘Nest’ rooms (13-15m²) to expansive ‘Loft’ rooms (23-38m²), a stylish 24-hour bar and breakfast area, a spacious outside terrace and – in a nod to traditional Finnish culture – Ruby Hotels’ first in-hotel Sauna.

“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. “Thanks to proprietary technical innovations, we plan, build and organize ourselves differently from conventional hotels. To be precise, we plan and build in a very modular way and centralize as well as automatize processes behind the scenes wherever possible. This helps us create a luxurious and unique hotel experience at an affordable price.”

A laid-back, contemporary design will take inspiration from the area’s Jugendstil art-nouveau style, with quirky touches such as the inclusion of a Marshall guitar amp in each room. Guests will be able to use the amp with their own guitar or one borrowed from reception, and will enjoy ‘Ruby Radio’, the hotel group’s own internet radio station.

Cutting-edge technology will be on offer throughout the property; in each room guests will find a personal tablet PC and smartphone pre-loaded with Ruby Hotels’ carefully-curated Helsinki city guide, social media apps and unlimited data and calls to use throughout their stay. A state-of-the-art self-check-in system will make use of tablets to reduce check-in time to under one minute, leaving guests free to make the most of their stay.

Just like the group’s other houses, the new hotel will follow 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.

The Ruby Helsinki development is a part of a half-city-block-sized (10,000m2) real estate project which will revitalise the neighbourhood, with a further 50-60 luxury apartments ranging from studios to 4-bedroom apartments also under construction next door.

Main image credit: Ruby Hotels

Alila in Bali achieves zero waste to landfill

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The luxury lifestyle brand, Alila Hotels & Resorts, which pledged the sustainability initiative in August 2016, has announced it has now achieved zero waste to landfill among four of its flagship properties…

Alila Hotels & Resorts has succeeded in piloting a zero waste to landfill initiative across four of its flagship properties in Bali: Alila Villas Uluwatu, Alila Ubud, Alila Mangis and Alila Seminyak, and will now replicate the initiative other Alila-branded properties.

Man walking through garden

Image credit: Alila Hotels & Resorts

The ambitious plans, which started in August 2016, were put in place following the wide-spread coverage of Bali’s waste crisis, which highlighted that much of the population’s waste ends up in overflowing landfills, contributing to the production of harmful toxic methane gas. The luxury lifestyle brand realised that the waste in Bali that does not make it to the landfill is either dumped on the side of the road, in rivers or ends up polluting both the ocean and beaches.

“In order to tackle waste at its source, the brand introduced methods so that it could recycle materials into useful resources.”

With the aim to ‘do its part’, Alila Hotels & Resorts decided to approach the issue in a new way. In order to tackle waste at its source, the brand introduced methods so that it could recycle materials into useful resources. The centrepiece of its Zero Waste Policy is an Integrated Sustainable Resource Recovery Facility (iSuRRF), an on-site laboratory where all waste streams are transformed into higher value products and services through a series of simple yet proven mechanical and biological engineering systems.

For example, plastics, glass and ceramics are shredded and crushed to produce aggregate, sand and fibre that is then reused to produce green building materials. Meanwhile, metals and high-value plastics are recycled. Uneconomical waste plastics, such as wraps and films, are converted into a light crude oil that is distilled down to diesel, kerosene and gasoline for reuse in the hotel.

In addition to the laboratory, each of the four hotels used in the pilot now feature a composting section and an organic garden.

Beyond its own zero waste efforts, the hotel brand also pledges to involve the community in order to be a catalyst for other businesses to put in place eco initiatives. Speaking at an exclusive event in London, Doris Goh, Head of Brand and Marketing for Alila Hotels & Resorts, said: “It has taken one year longer than we originally anticipated, because of how thorough we have had to be, but we are so proud to unveil to the world that we have achieved zero waste to landfill.”

All properties in the Alila Hotels & Resorts portfolio are operated to EarthChecks standards. Since adopting these regulations, the four Bali resorts have collectively reduced their wastage that would have otherwise have filled 64 20ft shipping containers.

Main image credit: Alila Hotels & Resorts

GROHE unveils universal solution of concealed shower installations

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GROHE Rapido SmartBox is now compatable with more than 170 different GROHE trim designs…

Since its initial launch in 2017, the GROHE Rapido SmartBox in combination with the SmartControl Concealed trim sets has ensured the easy installation and premium performance of concealed shower systems, helping to support the trend for minimalist interiors in both residential and commercial projects. With its “push, turn, shower” functions, it offers individual and intuitive control combined with a space-saving and slim design.

Now, the Rapido Smartbox can be used as a universal shower solution thanks to its compatibility with more than 170 different GROHE trim designs, offering architects, designers, specifiers and installers freedom of planning and efficient installation when working on projects. Plus, with an installation depth of only 75mm, the GROHE Rapido SmartBox fits into every kind of wall, even particularly narrow ones. Furthermore, its recent successful WRAS accreditation pays testament to its high standards when it comes to compliance with water regulations. The esteemed approval by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme also enables the Rapido Smartbox to be specified by housebuilders for property development.

The Rapido Smartbox now matches perfectly with three different styles of trim set; two-handle thermostats, single-lever mixers and the SmartControl Concealed, all of which are available in an array of colours, finishes, shapes and sizes. All three styles offer varying functionalities, aesthetics and price points, catering for all projects regardless of space, size and budget.

Rapido Smartbox: Efficient, universal installation

The extensive range of trim set designs which allows greater freedom over aesthetic and functionality for customers is made possible by the exciting innovations that lie behind the wall within the Rapido Smartbox. With three outlets, the Rapido Smartbox facilitates a wider range of showering options, for which previously two rough-ins would have been required. This helps to make the complexity of concealed showering more accessible for both installers and customers alike. In addition, the GROHE Rapido SmartBox makes adapters dispensable as it has ½ inch outlets to which all standard tubes can be connected. Designed with easy installation in mind, the Smartbox is equipped with inlets that connect from below, allowing a direct connection to the hot and cold water supply. Therefore the use of 90-degree fittings is eliminated.

This innovative shower mechanism also provides many other benefits for installers including:
• Subsequent adjustment of the trim set by six degrees post-installation to perfectly align with tiles and joints is possible thanks to long holes in the unit.
• Optional service stops for retrofit allow installers to gain complete access over the water supply in just a few steps. During maintenance, each of the Smartcontrol or Smartbox fittings can be closed directly and separately.
• The GROHE Rapido SmartBox can be retrofitted with a safety protection against backflow and meets the EU standard 1717 when installed with an integrated bath-fill and overflow unit.
• Easy on-site installation is made possible thanks to the helpful brass outlets which allow connection to the pipes to be installed with the use of a pipe wrench. This means mounting can be carried out quickly and easily on-site and a bench vice is not necessary.

SmartControl Concealed: Ultra-thin design for additional space in the shower

For bathrooms where space is extremely limited, GROHE offers a particularly “slim” solution: GROHE SmartControl Concealed in combination with the new GROHE Rapido SmartBox. The installation of the behind-the-wall technology combined with the ultra-slim design of the trim which projects just 43 mm from the surface of the wall, creates a minimalist look and gives the feeling of additional space in the shower. SmartControl Concealed is controlled using intuitive push-and-turn technology to individually select the preferred shower spray type and control water volume. Each shower trim, available in a round or square design, can operate up to three functions from head shower to hand shower and bath filler to body jets, for a truly customised shower that meets the demands of each individual bathroom’s needs. In addition, several styles are available: a classic Chrome finish or a discreet, elegant MoonWhite acrylic glass design. The SmartControl shower mixer trim is also available in SuperSteel and Brushed Hard Graphite and as of May 2019, there will be seven other metallic finishes on offer, complete with GROHE’s unique PVD coating which provides long-lasting colour and durability.

Two-handle thermostats: Simple operation delivers precise control

The new two-handle thermostats have been designed to offer convenient temperature and water flow control, using the same iconic visual icons as the SmartControl. They are compact, space-saving and combine precise performance with a slim, minimalist design. GROHE thermostats excel in delivering ease of operation, safety, comfort and above all, a relaxing shower experience. Equipped with leading technology, the GROHE TurboStat thermostat reacts within fractions of a second to pressure and temperature fluctuations. The mixing ratio of cold and hot water is continuously adjusted so that the temperature selected remains constant. Both head shower and hand shower can be controlled by intuitive rotation of the Aquadimmer handle, the upper control on the trim set. Turning the upper control slightly to the left will activate the hand shower, and by simply continuing to turn to the left, the water flow and power of the spray will increase. When the head shower is required, simply switch the control to the right and once again, increase volume by continuing to turn.
The two-handle thermostats are newly available in a slimmer profile, with only 43mm projection from the wall, and are offered in both round and square designs. In addition to the single-function models, models with two functions are now available, with clear pictograms used to indicate head and hand shower or shower and bath filler.

Single-lever mixers: Comfortable and simple operation for unlimited showering pleasure

GROHE single-lever mixers are designed for functionality and offer a stylish, sleek look that will prove popular with consumers. The latest additions to the range now make three-way functionality a reality, where only single and two-way systems were possible before. Users can now choose from three different types of spray pattern using the upper button on the mixer; from a powerful jet spray, to a relaxing rainshower or a practical hand shower. Meanwhile, the lower handle provides comfortable and intuitive temperature and water control. The trim sets, which have been designed to match all GROHE brassware ranges to ensure coordinated design in bathroom projects, are easy to install thanks to GROHE QuickFix, which reduces fitting time by up to 50 per cent.

FIRST LOOK: Apex unveils Insta-worthy London suite

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Apex Hotels has unveiled the Temple Suite in London that has been designed with Instagram in mind… 

Following the Hotel Designs’ series, Designing Instagrammable, Apex Hotels has revealed a sneak peek at the fabulous, ‘Instagrammable’ interiors that lie within the £6 million extension to its hotel on London’s Fleet Street.

The Temple Suite is considered the jewel in the crown of the multi-million pound extension, which also boasts four deluxe Grand Suites. Each one is perfect for those looking for a new type of luxury in the capital, and those who want to witness #interiordesigngoals first-hand.

While the Grand Suites are already available to book, the outstanding Temple Suite has been kept under wraps – but now the first images have been released, showing exactly what potential guests can expect when the space opens for booking on March 3.

It includes original fireplaces, bespoke furnishings in rich jewel tones, luxury linens and a bathroom (complete with underfloor heating) that’s just begging for mirror-selfies to be snapped.

Image credit: Apex Hotel

Set within a Grade II listed building on the capital’s Fleet Street, dating back to 1912, the Temple and Grande Suites sit alongside ‘The Amicable Society of Lazy Ballerinas’ – a brand new stylish, decadent wine bar – and private dining rooms to really give guests a taste of the ‘suite’ life.

Guests can cosy up in the coolest of surroundings in the Temple Suite, which features a sophisticated grey colour palette that is injected with warmth thanks to the original parquet flooring and wall panelling.

There’s a chance to relax on Scandi-inspired, bold furniture upholstered in rich velvets and textured wools, whilst snapping away at contemporary features including striking pendant lighting, and the intricately detailed glassware and accessories dotted throughout.

Image credit: Apex Hotels

Before languishing in luxury with access to a personal concierge service, guests can be whisked straight into their suite for a private, queue-free check-in before settling in with a welcome drink, testing out the luxury linens and making the most of the sumptuous surroundings – including a totally personalised mini-bar.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to reveal the striking Temple Suite which, along with our Grand Suites, has come as a result of a meticulous, multi-million pound restoration and refurbishment of the stunning Grade II listed building situated right next door to our original Fleet Street hotel,” Karl Mitchell, General Manager at Apex Temple Court Hotel. “Not only are each of the suites entirely Instagram-worthy, with beautiful furnishings and facilities masterminded by our architects, ISA; each and every guest who stays within the suites will enjoy a totally bespoke stay – from a private check-in and access to a personal concierge, to a mini-bar stocked with their favourite tipples and much more. No two stays will be the same.

“Just imagine lazing in front of the fire with your favourite drink from the personalised mini bar…it’s just one of the blissful ways our guests can spend a stay at our magnificent suites.”

Guests looking for a new type of luxury in London can now book to stay at the 115 square metres of pure, opulent relaxation that is the stand-alone Temple Suite – or at one of the four Grande Suites.

 

5 ways to use storytelling to increase hotel revenue

800 533 Hamish Kilburn

As consumers become more and more design savvy when checking in to a hotel, marketing expert Chloe Bennet from UK Services Reviews explores ways in which hotels can increase their profits with the perfect narrative… 

Storytelling is an invaluable component of any hotel marketing strategy. Sharing the right narrative is perfect for content marketing as well as creating a bio that allows hotels to connect with their audience. Here are six ways to use storytelling to increase hotel revenue.

People tell stories, and listen to stories, every day without even realising it. “Stories resonate with customers on a deep, human level. In order to succeed in this industry, your marketing efforts must go beyond simply selling hotel rooms at a certain price. You need to connect with your customer base on an emotional level, so that you can make yourself stand out in an overcrowded and competitive market,” suggests Jose Guenther, storyteller at Academized. The digital age has created a ton of opportunities for marketers to use storytelling, which is fortunate because many customers are wary of conventional marketing tactics.

“It’s all about weaving together the different strands to create an interesting and engaging narrative.”

1) Visual storytelling and hotel marketing online

So how do we go about using online storytelling to increase hotel revenue? It’s all about weaving together the different strands to create an interesting and engaging narrative. Guests checking in are a lot less concerned with basic elements such as amenities and information about the room. It’s not that these things aren’t important, it’s just that in the digital age, guests are looking for visuals of what a hotel has to offer. Whenever you can, tell your story through high resolution photographs, combined with riveting narratives. Hotels should focus on interactive storytelling whenever possible, using things like short videos that shows off the hotel’s best features. It’s hard to go wrong with video content, as long as you keep in mind how short attention spans are online.

2) Shaping your digital story

A hotel’s number one job when crafting its story is to create a connection with its audience. Consumers tend to make purchasing decisions based on how they feel, not how they think. If a hotel wants to connect with its audience in this way, it has to get to know its guests first. Target the right segments, learn what they’re looking for, and create content that appeals to them and their needs. Segments and groups will respond differently to different forms of content, so don’t take a shotgun approach that tries to market to everyone at once. A great story told through the wrong kind of content will not be as effective.

3) Make your stories authentic

A hotel’s stories should feel real and have a natural flow to them. If a hotel can include stories from its guests, then that is even better. There’s no reason for a hotel to make stories up, instead hotels should have a wealth of stories and experiences to draw from. Make the story align with the strongest aspects of the hotel, whatever that may be.

4) Storytelling methods

There are a ton of different ways to tell your story, and you’ll probably find there are multiple ones that work for your situation and audience. Will you take advantage of the two-way communication that using social media offers? Maybe you’ll even put the call out to your audience to create some original content. Each hotel’s methods will depend on its audience and its goals. It’s critical that hotels have a goal that can be measured, so they can determine how effective its storytelling is. Data collecting should work to steer the storytelling strategy back on course if it needs correcting or adjustments.

5) Tell better stories by improving your writing skills

To use storytelling to increase your hotel revenue, you’ll need to be writing at a decent level. A lot of people don’t even realise where their writing weaknesses lie. Thanks to the online age, though, there are a number of effective websites out their to help professionals start writing the first chapter:

  • ViaWriting and MyWritingWay – Use these grammar resources to check over your copy for grammatical errors. Don’t risk leaving in mistakes that can discredit you and make you look like an amateur.
  • Big Assignments and Assignment Help – Check out these editing tools, they’ve been reviewed positively by Revieweal and can make your life a lot easier.
  • WritingPopulist and LetsGoandLearn – Read through these writing blogs and improve your knowledge about the writing process. Even if you’re an experienced writer you can find some helpful suggestions and tips here.
  • OXEssays and AustralianReviewer – These online proofreading tools, recommended at BestBritishEssays, are the perfect solution to leaving typos in your copy. Why risk leaving an error in when there are tools that can help?
  • SimpleGrad and State Of Writing – Try out these online writing guides. If you’re struggling with storytelling, there’s a good chance it’s because you’re rushing out drafts without following the proper writing process.

Guests have a myriad of options when it comes to hotels, so it’s crucial to get creative. Good storytelling can differentiate a hotel from the crowd and allow it to form an emotional connection with your audience by sharing its unique personality.

Main image credit: Pexels

Morgan makes a colourful splash

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New commissions from Morgan Furniture showcase appetite for bold and bright colours ahead of SS19…

With the 1970’s vibe in full swing, designers are looking to colours and patterns that arouse and inspire the imagination. Morgan, contract furniture and manufacture, shares two recent commissions that perfectly encapsulate the current taste for vivid, post-Scandinavian palettes.

A family of Chevy dining and meeting chairs brings the seventies into the 21st century with rich gemstone colours. While the collection itself owes its inspiration to the styling and elegance of an earlier era, its timeless silhouette can adapt to any aesthetic sensibility and contract environment. Turned timber legs and a fully wrapped seat detail combine to create a picture of comfort and simplicity.

The Chevy collection brings together five chairs and seven modish coffee tables, available in three heights.

Image caption: Chevy by Morgan Furniture

A pattern reminiscent of the 1980’s Memphis Group’s abstract geometry and Keith Haring’s pop stylings gives these Goodwood lounge chairs punch. Here the collection piece uses upholstery to showcase the graphic motif from fabric designer GP & J Baker.

With customisable arms and an optional high or low back, the Goodwood range invites guests to sit back and relax. The collection has ten chairs and four tables, available in two heights, three top sizes and a choice of glass, timber or marble inset.

Commenting on the two collections, Morgan’s Design Director Katerina Zachariades said: “When we’re developing the concept for a chair design, we look for inspiration in fashion, nature and architecture. This encourages us to use shapes that are enduring, as opposed to transient styling.

“All Morgan furniture is made to order for clients. Upholstery choices help designers’ visions to be brought to life while scale and base options allow for the chair design to be suitable for a variety of uses.”

Morgan is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Image caption: Goodwood range by Morgan Furniture

 

Avani Hotels & Resorts to enter Cambodia

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Following the opening a hotel in Koh Sumui, Avani Hotels & Resorts prepares to open its first hotel in Cambodia… 

Avani Hotels & Resorts has announced its entry into the Cambodian market with the launch of ‘FCC Angkor – Managed by Avani’. Following an extensive seven million USD renovation which includes the addition of 60 new rooms, the hotel is set to reopen its doors in the second quarter of 2019. The FCC Angkor is one of Cambodia’s best-known hotels and features authentic French colonial architecture intrinsic to the historic and cultural fabric of Siem Reap. FCC Angkor creates an inspiring ambience for remarkable experiences and unforgettable stories in the heart of Siem Reap.

“Avani Hotels & Resorts’ first entry into Cambodia signals our ongoing commitment to offering an upscale experience to all intrepid travellers,” said Dillip Rajakarier, CEO of Minor Hotels, the parent company of Avani Hotels & Resorts. “We believe FCC Angkor will be home to the intrepid traveller seeking an authentic experience in the social hub of Siem Reap.”

Located across from the Royal Independence Gardens and Royal Residence, FCC Angkor evokes the timelessness of Siem Reap for guests who want authentic experiences during their journey. The property centres around the former ‘Mansion’ of the French colonial governor, which became the renowned Foreign Correspondence Club and a popular meeting place for local and international journalists, celebrities, and travellers from around the world seeking to explore Siem Reap. Their stories echo and permeate every corner of the FCC Angkor, encouraging visitors to embrace their inner global adventurer.

“We are excited to be working with Avani Hotels & Resorts as they are exceptional operators of lifestyle hotels, and well aligned to promote and position the FCC Angkor and FCC Collection brand. The new FCC will also be a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, joining us in the commitment to deliver extraordinary, engaging and unique experiences to our global guests,” said Susan Devine, Owner’s Representative, FCC Angkor – Managed by Avani.

The hotel enhancements have perfectly blended the colonial structures with contemporary designs inspired by Cambodia’s natural beauty and Khmer culture, which extend across the pedestrian bridge to the newly built extension. Throughout the property, the exotic environment of verdant gardens, Khmerinspired contemporary art, and exclusive European design accents create a sophisticated, residential feel, a signature concept for the heritage property.

Main image credit: Avani Hotels & Resorts

Leading designers and architects confirmed to attend Interior Design & Architecture Summit

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Two months before the inaugural Interior Design & Architecture Summit, the event has unveiled who among the architecture and design community will be attending… 

Following the announcement of the ‘Rising Ceiling of Creativity’ panel discussion at the event, the Interior Design & Architecture Summit (IDAS) has just announced the attendees list for the meet-the-buyers event.

Dexter Moren Associates, EPR Archtiects, Goddard Littlefair, MKV Design, ReardonSmith Archiects and Zannier Hotels are all among the leading design firms that have confirmed to attend IDAS as delegates.

The event, , is aimed to bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

About IDAS

The one-day event, which will take place on April 29 at Hilton Tower Bridge London, is designed to connect senior executives working within the sector with product and service suppliers for face-to-face meetings and business networking.

The Summit aims to support the design and architecture sector with a unique platform to help create long-lasting and mutually beneficial business connections.

The design and architecture companies confirmed to attend IDAS are:

Aaron Chetwynd Architect Studio
Abode Architecture
Ana Engelhorn Interior Design Ltd
Anita Rosato Interior Design
Brompton Cross Construction
Burke Rickhards Ltd
Burrell Mistry Architects
CMT Design & Construction
CS Design
Dexter Moren Associates
DesignLSM
EPR Architects
Fiona Barratt Interiors
FL Interiors
Forster
Gauri Dole Design Studio
Goddard Littlefair
GA Design
GA Architect
Gereghty Taylor Architects
Gunter & Co Interiors
Harp Commercial Interiors
Hartmann Designs Limited
Harriet Forde Design
HBA London
Henry Prideaux Interior Design
Hyphen
InD Creations
Je Ne Sais Quoi
JPA Design
JCC
Jo Berryman Studio
Koubou Interiors
Kim Partridge
KCA International Designers Ltd
Lambart & Browne
LDA Design
LXA Projects
Materialise Interiors
Mangera Yvars Architects
MKV Design
Natalia Interior Design
NBBJ
NSI Design Ltd
Nine Yard Club
One Creative Environments Limited
Panache Interiors
Project (SW) Ltd
Rebecca James Studio
ReardonSmith Architects
Run for The Hills
RWD
Sapphire Spaces
Suited ID
Stop and Smell the Roses
Studio Mica
Tara Bernerd and Partners
Toca
Temza
Twinning Design
Wilson Associates
Watson Batty Architects
Woods Bagot
WS Design
Yasmine Mahmoudieh
Virserius Studio
Zannier Hotels

If you are an architect or interior designer and would like to attend the Summit, there are very limited spaces available. Please contact Kerry Naumburger on k.naumburger@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to meet the top architects and interior designers, contact Victoria Petch on v.petch@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

Click here for more information about IDAS.

Media partner: Future Contractor & Architect

Woven Image adds on-trend colours to popular geometric upholstery collections

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Inspired by tangrams, an ancient Chinese puzzle, Woven Images adds five new colours to its upholstery collection… 

Woven Image has added five new directional colourways to both Quiz and Zip upholstery fabrics in celebration of classic design. The upholstery, which can be used indoor and outdoor, will launch this September as part of Woven Images’ ‘Refined Ambiance’ product release.

The inspiration for both designs originated from tangrams, an ancient Chinese puzzle that interchanges seven angular forms to create a range of different shapes and structures. As well as this, there is reference to the architectural style of Dutch fashion designer Iris Van Herpen.

Quiz and Zip are produced from 100 per cent solution-dyed polyolefin, allowing for excellent performance characteristics which include outstanding colour fastness to light, UV stability as well as easy-care and maintenance with a bleach solution. From an environmental perspective, solution dyed textiles are considered to be optimal as this method allows for reduced water usage and emissions compared to conventional dyeing processes. Quiz and Zip are also produced using certified green energy (100 per cent renewable resources) and the yarn holds an
Oeko-Tex certification.

five colours

Zip is the larger scale pattern of the two, featuring bold intersecting line-work which creates irregular, angular forms. The five new Zip colourways incorporate a classic neutral latte combination, as well as on-trend azure, olive and sunshine hues accented with a subtle duck egg blue completing a total palette of 12 colourways.

The smaller scale design, Quiz, combines up to four yarn colours per colourway creating a combination of both tonal and contrasting options which coordinate back with the Zip palette.

The new colourways of fashionable blossom, azure, coral, latte and duck egg re-fresh the Quiz collection saluting classic contemporary design.

The geometric fabrics are suitable for both commercial and residential uses; from break-out office spaces to poolside furniture.

Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi adds new tented jungle villas

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The hotel’s safari-style Tented Jungle Villas, designed by Bushtec Safari are a unique alternative to over-water accommodation…  

With the trend for experiential travel continuing to evolve, luxury travellers are adapting a ‘carpe diem’ mindset, pursuing adventures that allow them to traverse the world in style. Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi has announced the launch of its safari-style Tented Jungle Villas, offering an authentic alfresco experience in the heart of the resort’s inland jungle, to unleash the explorer in every traveller. The Tented Jungle Villas, designed by South African luxury tent specialists, Bushtec Safari, house an outdoor rain shower, roll-top tub and locally sourced, rustic interiors throughout.

simple and luxury interiors

Image credit: Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi

Set in their own private wonderland of wilderness, the Tented Jungle Villas are built to mirror the beauty and diversity of the island’s verdant flora and fauna. Built with wooden frames, amber-toned interiors and walls swathed in white canvas, travellers have the opportunity to get closer to nature. A harmonious balance of space and seclusion, the Tented Jungle Villas house a master suite with Californian king-sized bed and en-suite bathroom, a spacious alfresco lounge, complete with handmade wooden furnishings, and a Sala for communal dining that overlooks the private pool and outdoor bath tub.

For film aficionados, private pop-up cinema screenings can be organised in the Tented Jungle Villas, showcasing cult classics and blockbusters under the stars, while adventurers can set sail to a nearby deserted island for a castaway picnic. Gourmands can head out to sea for a sunrise fishing trip and learn the art of Maldivian line fishing, before heading back to their jungle abode for a private BBQ where they can see how fresh seafood and traditional Maldivian dishes are prepared on the private decking area. Relaxation-seekers can luxuriate in a spa treatment in the privacy of the villa, or simply bask under the swaying palms and sounds of the canopy by the beach.

Opened in May 2018, Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi is the only resort on the pristine atoll offering 112 luxury villas, each with their own private pool. In addition to the luxury Tented Jungle Villas, the Beach and Water Villas are bohemian inspired, with rustic chic interiors, copper bathroom fittings and carved wood detailing.

Main image credit: Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi

Editor’s round-up of Surface Design Show 2019

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Taking place from February 5 – 7 at Business Design Centre London, the Surface Design Show gave a platform to more surface material and lighting specialists than ever before. Editor Hamish Kilburn was there and reports…

More than 5,000 architects, designers and specifiers from 47 countries descended on London earlier this month for the much anticipated Surface Design Show. Over the course of three days, the show provided a packed schedule of insightful and entertaining panel discussions, informative CPDs and talks, trend forecasts and allowed exhibitors to display new products.

Presenters included New London Architecture and RIBA who hosted the Opening Night Debate; Chris Dyson who presented the PechaKucha Evening; Hannah Malein of Colour Hive; Oliver Heath of Oliver Heath Design and Daniel Hopwood representing Design Guild Mark, all kept visitors engaged as they educated on ways of thinking about materials, current industry issues and trends.

crowd gathering around the stand

Image credit: Surface Design Show 2019

There were a number of stand-out motifs among the 150 exhibition stands that displayed a positive look at where surface design is heading. The most prominent themes were:

Acoustic walls 

The surface experts at Armourcoat were at the show unveiling its new Acoustics Plaster System, which is designed with hotels and restaurant designers in mind with the aim to optimise the acoustics of interior spaces. While many acoustic surfaces are often bulky and not stylishly flexible, The Acoustic Plaster System offers a clean and smooth mineral surface that can be applied seamlessly over large expanses such as hotel lobbies or restaurants.

Meanwhile, anne kyyro quinn, which produces bespoke three-dimensional acoustic walls coverings, supplied the backdrop for the main stage. The handmade textile wallcoverings are natural, durable, versatile and are therefore suitable for commercial as well as residential projects.

Sustainability

Ethically handmade by master craftsmen, the premium patchwork cowhide rugs from Mosaic that were displayed on the stand were fabricated with 100 per cent recycled hides. Unlike other vendors which buy in full leather hides, Mosaic only use recycled hides from off-cuts of the luxury furniture and leather goods industry. The result, aesthetically, is a completely unique and customisable rug ideal for boutique hotels seeking characterful floors.

Elsewhere, Friends of Wilson displayed its Tessellate acousitic wall panel, which is made from 100 per cent polyester fibres containing a minimum of 60 per cent post-consumer recycled material (PET bottleflake).

Taking this concept into new territory were you designers Poppy Pippin and Emma Raybould over on the Spotlight Surface Live stand. Pippin’s Moss Tiles product has been designed specifically to encourage moss growth in order to improve air quality in the urban environment by absorbing carbon dioxide. Raybould’s silicastone design, displayed at the show, is an eco-architectural alternative to quarried stone for solid surfaces, which was developed at the University of Central Lancashire.

Since 2013 the Show has hosted the Surface Design Awards, now recognised as one of the most respected events in the design calendar. The 2019 Awards received 197 entries from 22 countries,
including America, Italy, China and India.

In a ceremony held over breakfast, the beautiful new Maggie’s Centre St Barts, London was declared the Supreme Winner, capturing the hearts and minds of the stellar panel of judges from the world of architecture and design. A beacon of design in the charity sector, the building by Steven Holl Architects was shortlisted in the Public Building Exterior category, gaining acclaim from the judges, including architect Christophe Egret of Studio Egret West, who stated “You really feel that a person dealing with cancer might feel elevated in this space”.

The 2019 awards ceremony was presented by architecture and design writer Aidan Walker, who cited the specialist focus of the show as key to its success now and for the future: “Surface Design has become one of the most compelling areas of innovation and imagination in design and architecture in the last few years. Driven by technology on one hand and the imperative for sustainability on the other, the application of new techniques and materials to cladding, walls, floors and ceilings has enlivened practice in a way unimaginable 10 years ago. Surface Design Show is perfectly positioned to express, exploit and support this rich seam of imagination and creativity. I see a great future for both the show and its Awards scheme.”

Hotel Designs was a proud media partner for the event.

Main image credit: Surface Design Show 2019

INNSiDE by Melia opens first hotel in France

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Spain’s largest hotel brand, Meliá Hotels International, unveils the new INNSiDE Charles de Gaulle located at Paris’ international airport…

Meliá Hotels International’s INNSiDE has arrived in Paris with the 266-key hotel at Charles De Gaulle’s airport.

Relaunching this year, INNSiDE by Meliá is adapting its business strategy to captivate the younger generation of business and leisure travellers, as well as strengthening its leisure and wellness offering.

INNSiDE Charles De Gaulle’s striking exterior has been developed by Parisian architects SCAU, whilst renowned French designer Jean-Philippe Nuel has created the interior utilising natural, raw materials such as wood and concrete throughout. The property’s open-plan invokes feelings of freedom, echoed in the printed Acrobats on staff’s uniforms created by French artist Sabrina Chess. Chess said: “The idea was to illustrate a universe that offered the possibility of telling several stories of travellers. I imagined them as acrobats moving around…free and happy.”

Nuel has developed this unique airport hotel for guests to recharge their batteries whilst in transit, where guests can work, workout, rest and play, with open lobby spaces ideal for meetings, whether social or business. Guests can relax and unwind in one of the many large armchairs, designed by the Parisian design studio Bouroullec brothers, or enjoy the spacious outdoor terrace.

The lounge features a contemporary glass bar, with mixologists on hand to prepare classic cocktails, such as the bourbon and cherry combination “Catch Me”. Guests can also enjoy DJ sets every Thursday – Sunday nights, whether they are relaxing in the hotel or heading out to experience the ‘City of Light’.

image credit: Meliá Hotels International

Visitors with business in mind can let their imagination run wild in one of four meeting rooms, named “Big Ideas Spaces”. Innovatively designed to inspire creativity, collaboration and positivity, these meeting rooms feature ping-pong tables, breakout areas, complimentary snacks and the largest of the four offers panoramic views of the Concorde and the airport.

Rooms are contemporary with white furnishings, featuring cosy in-room amenities, including bathrobes and slippers, as well as a luxurious coffee machine, complimentary minibar, with fresh juices and local beer. Smeg fridges will be available to Superior+ guests, packed full of healthy treats, drinks and snacks. Superior+ rooms will also have high-end sound systems and complimentary streaming services.

In line with the INNSiDE brand’s commitment to sustainability, INNSiDE Charles De Gaulle does not use single use plastic within the hotel; the bar does not use plastic straws, coasters and business cards are made from recycled card. Bedrooms feature organic cotton linens and towels, kraft paper laundry bags and wooden “do not disturb” signs.

Main image credit: Meliá Hotels International

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SPOTLIGHT ON: March features announced

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Hotel Designs has officially dropped its March editorial features, which are Technology and Guestroom Lighting… 

Throughout March, Hotel Designs’ Spotlight On features will look at two highly topical features, namely Technology and Guestroom Lighting. These topics, which marry up nicely in many of the debates rippling through conversations in the industry, will be explored throughout the month in a series of editorials.

Technology 

Image of in-room ipad next to lighting controls

Image credit: Ecclestone Hotel London

Now that the industry seems to be doing away with gimmicky tools that serve little purpose for anyone checking in, the way has been cleared for sophisticated tech products to launch with the aim to amplify the overall guest experience. “Arguably, this topic has never been more relevant than it is today, which is why are exploring it so early on in the calendar.” commented editor Hamish Kilburn.

Guestroom Lighting

chandelier in a modern guestrooms

Image credit: Chelsom Lighting

Back by popular demand, Hotel Designs will continue March by shining the spotlight on lighting in the guestroom. “Thanks to certain advancements in lighting technology, we predict that guestroom lighting in 2019 will see some serious innovation,” Kilburn commented. “At the heart of this evolution, LED is still king!”

If you wish to find out more, or know of a product that we should be talking about, please contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk

Main image credit: Moritz Waldemeyer

Miraval Group unveils second hotel in Texas

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Miraval opens its second wellness destination in Texas Hill Country…

Hyatt brings its nationally acclaimed Miraval spa and wellness brand to Austin, Texas with the opening of Miraval Austin.

Set on 220 acres of picturesque land overlooking Lake Travis, Miraval Austin is the brand’s second wellness resort to open outside of its flagship property in Tucson, Arizona.

“We are incredibly proud to open Miraval Austin as we embark on an exciting period of expansion at Miraval,” said Marc W. Ellin, global head of Miraval Group. “For more than 20 years, Miraval has been dedicated to inspiring total mind, body and spirit wellness by offering guests authentic experiences rooted in mindfulness.  As we open Miraval Austin, we look forward to welcoming Miraval’s loyal guests, as well new audiences to experience the fulfillment, pleasure and growth that come with a Miraval experience.”

Image credit: Miraval Austin/Hyatt Hotels

Miraval Austin’s 117 guestrooms and suites designed by award-winning firm Hart Howerton are relaxing havens built in harmony with nature. Using a soft neutral color palate, guestrooms combine bespoke furniture, specially-selected fabrics and local, hand-crafted accessories and art to create a restorative atmosphere. In keeping with the Miraval brand’s ethos, the rooms have been designed to enhance guests’ sleep experience with Miraval bedding, black out shades and sleep-enhancing amenities, including Miraval’s signature cell phone sleeping bag.

Image credit: Miraval Austin/Hyatt Hotels

Conceptualised by renowned designer Clodagh, the Life in Balance Spa at Miraval Austin draws inspiration from the surrounding Balcones Canyonlands Preserve to create a serene environment that promotes relaxation, balance and a sense of wellbeing. The 20,000 square foot Life in Balance Spa boasts 30 treatment rooms, a spa pool, relaxation rooms, salon, sauna, steam room and spa retail boutique.

Developed at Miraval Arizona over 20 years ago, the brand’s famed equine programming will also be central to the Miraval Austin experience. The Cypress Creek Ranch at Miraval Austin offers an expertly developed curriculum that expands upon Miraval Arizona’s original programming with new workshops.

Main image credit: Miraval Austin/Hyatt Hotels

Mr. C Hotels to unveil first property in Q2 2019

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The new 100-key luxury property, which will be designed in conjunction with architecture firm Arquitectonica and Brit List winner Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, will open in Miami this spring…

The highly anticipated Mr. C Coconut Grove, the first Mr. C Hotel to debut in Florida from the fourth-generation hospitality leaders, brothers Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani, has announced that the property will open in spring 2019.

“It is with great pleasure that we are able to unveil Mr. C Coconut Grove to the community this spring,” said Ignazio Cipriani, Founder/President of Mr. C Hotels at the announcement. ” Our partners and associates have enhanced our vision and helped to bring this exciting project to life in such an iconic neighborhood as Miami’s Coconut Grove.”

Modern guestrom with palette of light blue and light oak

Image credit: Mr. C Hotels

Mr. C Coconut Grove is situated in the heart of one of Miami’s most notable neighborhoods and is set to provide guests with unmatched views of Biscayne Bay and the Coconut Grove skyline.

From its interior, the hotel draws inspiration from Italy’s iconic coastal style and hints at the aesthetic elements of a classic yacht. Interior design includes high gloss timber paneling, leather-upholstered blue and caramel headboards, nautical style dressers, playful and comfortable sofas and armchairs in a range of soft and airy blue, and white and pink fabrics throughout the space. Acclaimed architecture and design firm Arquitectonica, in conjunction with the Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, combined the stylish European glamour and nautical aesthetic Mr. C Hotels are best known for with the tropical surroundings of South Florida.

In addition to its 100 guestrooms and suites with private outdoor terraces, Mr. C Coconut Grove also features the Bellini Restaurant and Bar, on the hotel’s top floor. The restaurant boasts a refreshing new Italian dining concept inspired by Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani’s travels throughout Italy, and offers indoor and outdoor seating that exudes the intimate old-world atmosphere of coastal Italy while embracing a sleek and soothing Miami modern style.

Rooftop pool render

Image credit: Mr. C Hotels

For corporate meetings and social events, Mr. C Coconut Grove offers guests a top floor ballroom with panoramic views of the Biscayne Bay. The space can accommodate a seated dinner for approximately 150 guests and cocktail reception for 300 guests, with an additional pre-function space. A covered event space is also available in the hotel’s ground floor for up to 720 guests.

Other statement features include a rooftop pool and pool deck with private cabanas and a pool bar, state-of-the-art gym equipment with personal trainer and yoga classes available upon request, a Lobby Lounge with indoor and outdoor garden seating, and a private spa suite with a relaxation area, sauna and treatment room which can be reserved through the concierge team.

Main image credit: Mr. C Hotels

Four Seasons Hotel Montreal incoming this spring

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Architects Lemay and Sid Lee Architecture and interior design firms Gilles & Boissier and Atelier Zébulon Perron will complete Four Seasons Hotel Montreal this spring…

Heralding the city’s world renowned festival season and the biggest sporting event in Canada, the all-new Four Seasons Hotel Montreal has announced that it is confirming reservations for arrivals beginning June 1, 2019.

“We are so excited to join with our community in welcoming Formula One fans from around the world for the 2019 Montreal Grand Prix taking place June 7 to 9. The event virtually takes over the city, and we’ll be right there in the middle of it,” says Four Seasons General Manager Gonçalo Monteiro. “And that’s just the beginning of what promises to be a summer to remember in Montreal.”

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels

The design-led hotel is the result of a collaboration between architects Lemay and Sid Lee Architecture and interior design firms Gilles & Boissier and Atelier Zébulon Perron. The 169-key luxury Four Seasons Hotel Montreal is located downtown in the city’s Golden Mile Square, connected to Holt Renfrew Ogilvy. Just ten minutes by foot from the city’s Bell Centre, the hotel is ideally located for international visitors, regional weekenders and business travellers. In addition to MARCUS restaurant and bar, the hotel will offer an intimate spa and state-of-the-art fitness centre, a skylit indoor pool and a stunning fifth floor ballroom with outdoor terrace.

The guestrooms and suites will feature avant-garde opulence complete with chaise lounges, floor-to-ceiling windows, oversized beds and boldly designed bathrooms. The pièce de résistance is the two-bedroom presidential suite, which is positioned on the top floor.

The new Four Seasons hotel is one of nine luxury statements that the hotel group plans to open this year, including hotels in Bangkok, Athens and Costa Palmas.

The hotel group currently has 111 hotels and resorts in 47 countries – including recent openings in Desroches Island, Seychelles; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and São Paulo, Brazil.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels

GROHE to shape the future of water with record number of innovations at ISH 2019

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GROHE, a Hotel Designs Recommended Supplier, will showcase a record number of innovations at ISH 2019, the world’s leading trade fair for the responsible use of water and energy in buildings…

For the first time, GROHE will position itself as a leading global brand for complete bathroom solutions, kitchen systems and intelligent water management at ISH 2019. The bathroom brand will reinforce its philosophy Water. Intelligence. Enjoyment by bringing the element of water to the forefront of its new innovations.

The event will open with a keynote speech from GROHE CEO Michael Rauterkus sharing his vision of how GROHE actively shapes the future of water; including, amongst other things, digitisation and intelligent water management.

GROHE strives to be a driving force in the sanitary industry’s digital transformation In recent years, GROHE has evolved from a premium brassware expert into a driving force of digital transformation within the sanitary industry, even offering its own Internet of Things (IoT) products. The smart water controller GROHE Sense Guard has arrived in the world of the smart home and secures the brand a place among the Top 100 Insurtechs in the Digital Insurance Agenda1. Digitisation is always impacting new areas of our lives. The change from a smart home to an intelligently connected home will be the subject of discussion at the Intelligent Living Summit, a high-profile ISH panel discussion that will take place on Wednesday 13thMarch as part of the show’s agenda of events. The Intelligent Living Summit will see GROHE partner with German companies Miele and Viessmann to discuss how your home can support your life in various and intelligent ways.

“Visitors to the GROHE booth at ISH 2019 will find inspirations to create their own personal at-home spa.”

New ceramic lines and a vast range of colours and materials The bathroom is being increasingly considered as a ‘living space’; somewhere we relax and unwind at the end of a long day. Therefore, more bespoke requirements and concepts are needed. Visitors to the GROHE booth at ISH 2019 will find inspirations to create their own personal at-home spa. These include minimalist ceramic lines that perfectly match GROHE brassware products in both form and function, as well as the GROHE Colours Collection, a range of GROHE taps and accessories in ten different colours and finishes that allow the utmost possible creative freedom for individualising the kitchen and bathroom.

Simply Universal – GROHE Rapido SmartBox Even behind the wall, GROHE can offer innovations with considerable added value to both installers and end users. The new GROHE Rapido SmartBox provides installers, architects and planners with an infinite number of solutions, using just one flush-mounted unit. It can be used universally for all of GROHE’s final assembly sets, regardless of whether that is a single-lever mixer, thermostat or SmartControl product. The GROHE Rapido SmartBox features three outlets for a wider range of shower options and a tailored showering experience. Installation is easy thanks to inlets for hot and cold water that are connected from below. It also offers subsequent adjustment options by up to six degrees, a minimum installation depth of only 75mm and other benefits that visitors can experience directly at the booth.

GROHE set to inspire visitors with a new booth concept GROHE can be found in the FORUM hall at Messe Frankfurt. Using three themed environments and putting the consumer at the centre of the experience, GROHE will present intelligent and sustainable solutions which have been integrated into a multitude of individual design options for the bathroom and the kitchen. Visitors will be able to experience GROHE products and innovations on all levels of the transparent, elliptical glass construction – live, interactively and with the help of multimedia.

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, click here.

Main image credit: GROHE

FIRST LOOK: Savoy Palace unveils design concept

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Ahead of its highly anticipated opening this summer, Savoy Palace in Funchal has unveiled the first glimpse of its interior design concept… 

Savoy Palace, Funchal, which will be refurbished and redesigned paying tribute to the island’s traditional art and culture, has unveiled the first glimpse of the new hotel. Refurbished in homage to Madeira’s traditional art and culture through its noble and eloquent interiors, the hotel will open its 352 luxury guestrooms and suites.

The new property will retain a classic style adapted for contemporary tastes with elegant, rich decorative interiors. The quality of the materials, the soft textures, along with the perfect finish will certify the hotel’s luxury feel.

The bold, curved structure is designed by the award-winning team RH+ and Nini Andrade Silva, one of Portugal’s most famous interior designers, whose work includes the new W São Paulo and Nini Design Centre Funchal.

The design is influenced by the Belle Epoque period, which is in harmony with the island’s rich resources; a dynamic blend of natural and cultural heritage. Entering the hotel will be like exploring a poetic world, where colours, textures and iconic ornaments and objects are all important.

Photo of luxury suite

Image credit: Savoy Palace

The aesthetic brings together several elements: the exuberant surrounding volcanic landscape, the unique man-made environment with ancient levadas (irrigation channels) and tunnels, the excellence and mastery of Madeiran embroidery, the centuries-old art of wickerwork, and the expertise involved in the productions of one of the best fortified wines in the world, Madeira wine.

The resort’s common areas are bold and inspirational with the emphasis on colour, sinuous curves suggesting plant forms, animals and women, as well as ornaments based on Art Nouveau.

The opening of the hotel will indicate that the history of Savoy Hotels & Resorts is being reinvented but the goals remain the same: consolidating and projecting the centuries-old tradition and excellence of the Savoy brand at an international level.

Top stories of the week: design love from Bangkok, hide and seek architecture and a new hotel chapter

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With architecture and construction firmly in the spotlight, Hotel Designs has witnessed another jam-packed week full of interesting stories that highlights our love in design and architecture. Breaking down these headlines is editor Hamish Kilburn… 

New York, New York! Is there anywhere else on the planet quite like it? In the original metropolis where possibilities soar high above the bustling streets below, the hotel scene is staggering. It’s latest luxury neighbour is situated on 701 Seventh Avenue on the corner of 47th Street, Times Square, and features 452 guestrooms. With four levels of public space, the hotel is, much like the area it surrounds has already done over many decades, evolving with the trends to cater to the modern man and woman.

Changing perceptions has been a theme that has stitched together this week’s headlines – and I have been fortunate enough to be the first to tell many of this week’s main features. From spending quality time in the company of interior designer Celia Chu as she prepares to complete Rosewood Bangkok, to continuing to follow Nicky Dobree on her quest to open her first hotel; it’s been a great week to be part of the industry. To top it off, we are hours away from closing the applications/nominations process for our 30 Under 30 initiative. As a young editor (26 years old), I am personally proud to support this scheme – to support young talent in our industry – with every fibre of my body.

Here are the top stories of the week:

1) EDITION arrives in New York’s Times Square

black armchair infront of black wallcoverings

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

“The Times Square EDITION is an entirely new lens on Times Square. From an aerie above the hubbub below, you can engage, observe or withdraw. The hotel is an oasis of sophistication brought to you through the insight of the incomparable Ian Schrager, my friend and partner. There is simply nothing like it,” said Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

> Click here to read the full story

2) The interior designer behind Rosewood Bangkok

open and airy suite with peculiar angular architecture

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

As its highly anticipated opening is imminently on the horizon, the Rosewood Bangkok’s interior design story is one yet to be unveiled in detail. We caught up with interior designer Celia Chu to establish the narrative told within the walls of the soon-to-open 159-key luxury hotel.

> Click here to read the feature

3) Six Senses joins IHG

Aerial shot of a Six Senses hotel in the ocean

Image credit: Six Senses

The milestone moment, where IHG aquired Six Senses happened on Wednesday. As part of the IHG family, Six Senses is expected to expand to 60 properties within the next 10 years. This includes incredible new Six Senses hotels and resorts from a restored 14th-century fort in Rajasthan, to villas on a private island in Cambodia, and the brand’s first hotel in North America – a contemporary duo of twisting towers designed by Bjarke Ingles near the High Line in Manhattan’s West Chelsea.

> Click here to read the full story

4) Camouflaged hotel architecture of the 21st century

glass structure in the woods

Image credit: treehotel

As we continue putting architecture and construction in the spotlight, Hotel Designs reveals some of the world’s most spectacular hidden architectural gems.

> Click here to read the full story

5) From Concept to Completion: Restoring a 19th-century house to create Plaza 18 (part two)

Moodboard of ideas

Image credit: Nicky Dobree

In part two of our From Concept to Completion series, where we are closely following the design story of Plaza 18, Dobree’s first hotel project is beginning to take form. The building’s design is approaching the final stages before the grand reveal this Easter. Meanwhile, interior designer Nicky Dobree is able to step away from the project for five minutes – something I believe the designer is not accustomed to – in order to explain more about her relationship with the soon-to-be hotel.

> Click here to read the feature

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels

 

Kobe’s is pretty in pink

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It’s confirmed, the hottest shade of the year is officially pink!

The global authority on colour, Pantone has announced its ‘Colour of the Year’ 2019 as Living Coral, a vibrant pink alternative, while paint manufacturer, Farrow & Ball has released its must-have shades for 2019, one being the moodily-named Sulking Room Pink.

Luxury fabric specialist Kobe is focusing its attention on the wide variety of fabrics in the must-have hue.

“Pink is a great colour for brightening up a décor and Pantone’s Colour of the Year has always been an interior trend setter,” said David Harris, md at luxury fabric specialist Kobe. “Living Coral and Farrow & Ball’s Sulking Room Pink, a dusky variation of the colour, is the ideal shade for decorative accessories and soft furnishings and complements a whole host of other colours such as grey, cream and the popular ‘spiced honey’ spectrum.”

Kobe’s Shantung curtain fabric features an extensive selection of 50 shades, three of which meet the Living Coral and Sulking Room Pink criteria.

Kobe’s most established collection, Scala, boasts 205 fabric shades, including a whole section dedicated to Pantone’s colour of the year. Suitable for curtain use, Scala is a cotton, polyester and viscose mix featuring a beautiful drape, guaranteed to zest up a tired looking interior.

Suitable for upholstery and soft furnishings, Volterra is Kobe’s matte-look velvet and will add a serious sense of luxury to a drab space. With 54 shades to choose from, there are also several Living Coral variations in hues 42, 43 and 44.

The pictured sofa is upholstered in Kobe’s Real fabric.

Kobe’s UK operation is based in Crowthorne, Berkshire. The company has been supplying UK interior design and soft furnishing customers for 20 years and has a reputation for outstanding quality, innovative design and excellent customer service.

Kobe is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image caption: Kobe

Make hotels more instagrammable with UNILIN

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A recent British survey suggests that more than 40 per cent of millennials choose their holiday destination based on its Instragammability, so what can you do to make hotel interiors more instagrammable? UNILIN explains…

To find out, UNILIN, division panels, makers of Evola decorative panels have turned to Kel Wouters of So Buzzy, a social media marketing agency that counts Crowne Plaza Antwerp and Hotel BLOOM, among its clients.

“Instagram can give your hotel additional awareness and reach, and often just a small investment can have a major impact,” begins Wouters. “Hotels that are shared frequently are ‘top of mind’ and people will want to stay there and populate their own feed from the same place. It’s a positive circle for any hotel that can crack Instagram.”

Starting small can often reap surprising rewards. A simple yet amusing slogan on the wall of the entrance to washrooms at The Hotel’s (Brussels) restaurant reading ‘men to the left because women are always right’, became one of its most Instagrammed spots. Designers can use UNILIN Evola panels to such effect, choosing from 168 designs as the perfect backdrop to a ‘grammable’ slogan, or even creating a unique ‘selfie spot’ with custom digital print technology available on UNILIN’s HPL, melamine and edging tape.

Wouters continues: “Check what your audience is sharing and looking at on Instagram and respond to that when designing your spot. Think about light in the area and test it out beforehand. Ensure there’s an obvious link to your hotel. If guests are sharing your selfie spot but no one knows that it’s in your hotel, then it’s a wasted opportunity; share your account at the location and encourage people to use a hashtag.”

UNILIN can offer office space designers a flexible way to approach the entire fabric of their Instagram spot – walls, partitions, furniture and surface treatment – with different looks that all possess the same low-maintenance, splash-proof, scratch-resistant, fade-resistant and durable finish. perfect for giving any selfie spot a ‘loveable’ look and joining Evola in 106 matching decors, ClicWall is UNILIN’s instantly transformative wall panel system.

“Interior designers also need to look at what’s currently popular on Instagram, although they need to be careful with temporary trends. Replaceable accessories are the key. The ball chairs at Hotel BLOOM! regularly get new cushions in different colours to create a whole new vibe, and arty objects throughout the hotel are replaced at regular intervals,” concludes Wouters.

UNILIN Evola and ClicWall panels can be used as the perfect, lasting backdrop for any hotel looking to make itself more Instragammable.

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

The Sound Hotel opens to celebrate all senses in Seattle

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The Hotel Group and Hilton have announced the grand opening of The Sound Hotel Seattle Belltown, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. Woven into the fabric of Belltown, one of Seattle’s most vibrant and centrally located neighborhoods, The Sound Hotel celebrates the sights, sounds and tastes that are unique to Seattle. It occupies the first 10 floors of the 42-story Arrivé tower, one of the first mixed-use properties, featuring rental units, in the market.

“We are thrilled to see The Sound Hotel open its doors as the brand’s first hotel in the Pacific Northwest, particularly in a city like Seattle that is known for innovation, great restaurants and a thriving arts scene,” said Jenna Hackett, global head, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. “Just as Seattle is one of the fastest-growing cities in America, Tapestry Collection continues to rapidly expand as The Sound Hotel also marks the collection brand’s first of many 2019 openings.”

Design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) immersed itself into the hotel’s neighborhood, visiting local hotspots and meeting with the community, to create an authentic Belltown experience. Upon arriving at the hotel entrance, guests are immediately welcomed into an artist’s studio as stretched canvases, murals and finished concrete floors flow towards the reception desk. Guest rooms feature warm, wood-toned floors, echoing the feeling of a musician stepping onto a stage. Dark, moody bathrooms are reminiscent of backstage dressing rooms, with microphone lights, plush robes, metal accents and rich black linear tiles setting the perfect backdrop.

Modern guestroom in hotel

Image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

Artistic elements are also featured on the exterior of the hotel. Watkins commissioned Seattle graffiti artist Weirdo, a.k.a. Jeff Jacobson, to paint an original mural on an exterior brick wall facing several of the guest rooms, effectively turning those rooms into some of the most desirable in the hotel. This larger-than-life piece features Jacobson’s signature vivid, post-Internet hyper-realism style and beautifully tells the story of The Sound Hotel through art.

The Sound Hotel features 142 exquisitely designed guestrooms with expansive views of the downtown Seattle skyline and Puget Sound, a ground level restaurant, Currant Bistro.

“The hotel’s design drew directly from the Belltown neighborhood’s deep roots in the arts and local music scene, mixed in with the natural beauty of the Puget Sound region,” said David Watkins, general manager, The Sound Hotel. “Warm, rich textures in our rooms offer visitors an authentic Northwest experience, while the artistic elements reflect Seattle as a bustling hive of creativity.”

Image of modern bathroom with large sliding wooden doors

Image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

The building’s seventh-floor Lupine Room offers 770 square feet of divisible meeting space, ideal for groups of up to 35. Featuring plenty of natural light, it can easily transform into an event space to accommodate an intimate gathering. In addition to the Lupine Room, Sound Bite Lounge is a relaxed, post-meeting gathering spot with a seasonal outdoor sundeck offering stunning views of the Space Needle.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

 

How hotels can utilise this year’s bathroom trends

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With the bathroom trends for 2019 well and truly forecasted, interior designer Charlie Willaims from Heritage Bathrooms explains how hotels can inject these into the modern hotel…  

Luxurious, modern bathrooms are right at the top of the wishlist for homeowners right now, with many of these individuals now increasingly expecting to see this design-led approach when they book a hotel stay.

We have taken a look at this year’s five of key trends and how you can incorporate them to ensure your bathrooms remain at the cutting edge.

Mixed metallics

Metallics have been in vogue for a number of years now, and this trend is showing no sign of slowing down. The key to making it work in 2019 will be to vary the use of metals to create a standout look that will impress your guests.

Choose a distinctive metallic bath or statement copper brassware. Also consider using accent textures and shade with a traditional chrome mirror frame like Heritage’s arched mirror for a classic finish.

Biophilia

Pink bath in front of a floral wallpaper

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

For the uninitiated, biophilia involves bringing a little bit of the outside in – creating warm and welcoming spaces combining plants with natural woods and neutral tones.

A key way to bring this into a hotel space is to maximise natural light. Minimise blinds and curtains to allow the sunlight to pour in and then build a bit of colour on top of the neutral tones by adding an array of low-maintenance plants, or some nature inspired wallpaper.

Memphis Design

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

The 1980s is alive again and experiencing a bit of a renaissance thanks to the Memphis Design movement.

It doesn’t need to be difficult to incorporate this trend, which makes the most of primary colours and geometry, in a subtle way. Pair a colourful roll top tub, like the Buckingham from Heritage, with some funky towel designs for a bit of pattern and intrigue.

Colour layering

Layered tiles in the bathroom

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

Bringing a range of colours and shades into a bathroom space can make it feel warm and welcoming, while adding a little bit of interest and intrigue.

Make sure that you include a common thread which ties the room together if you’re going to implement this trend. A good example would be to layer a range of accessories in soft hues on top of a monochrome bathroom suite. This will also enable you to alter your colour scheme according to the different seasons.

Bold black bathrooms

Croc-scaled bath

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

Dark shades can help bring a spa-like quality to a bathroom, creating an indulgent, high-end guest experience.

Make a statement by including a dark freestanding bath, such as the hand finished Alderley Croc Skin Effect from Heritage Bathrooms. Pair it with patterned tiles or wallpaper for an elegant finish.

Main image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

Final call for entries: Shaw Contract Design Awards 2019

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The deadline for entries is March 1, 2019…

A global programme, the Shaw Contract Design Awards recognise the creative vision of the architects and designers who inspire new ways of living, working, learning and healing. The Awards place a spotlight on a diverse range of talents from across the globe, celebrating design in action and purposefully rewarding the innovative and truly inspiring work being done by the architecture and design community.

The Shaw Contract Design Awards programme is open to all professional interior design firms, architecture firms and end users. Projects must feature a Shaw Contract product as the predominant flooring in the space and must have been completed between February 2017 and February 2019. There is no cost to enter you just need to submit your design story by March 1, 2019.

Supporting a cause

In its 14 years, the Shaw Contract Design Awards Programme has given nearly $200,000 to non-profit and charitable organisations around the world. Each year, the final winners and People’s Choice Award winner select a charity of their choice to donate $2000 USD as part of their prize winnings. This allows designers the opportunity to make an impact beyond the built environment.

Fokkema & Partners Architecten Bv, the Netherlands-based firm whose work drew the judges’ attention for a win in the Small Office category, chose a cause that was near and dear to their firm. A former colleague oversees the construction of schools in Tanzania, and the firm chose to support her work with their winnings.

RossTarrant Architects, the People’s Choice Award winner, designed Western Kentucky University, USA and chose to give back to the Institution’s science and experimentation programmes.

For a chance to win the 2019 Design Awards and support the cause that matters most to your practice or company, please enter here.

EDITION arrives in New York’s Times Square

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The Times Square EDITION is the brand’s second hotel to open in New York…

There simply has never been anything like it before in New York City’s famed cultural and entertainment mecca. Ian Schrager, in partnership with Marriott International, has introduced the sophisticated The EDITION Times Square, which will shelter the first Michelin-starred chef ever to grace the neighborhood, along with the creation of a new form of Cabaret theatre and a complete reinvention of billboard art.

Throughout the decades, Times Square has seen myriad changes and has taken on many iterations. By World War I, it was the center of culture, nightlife and entertainment. By the 40’s and 50’s, the Latin Quarter Nightclub presented festive floor shows that featured chorus girls and can-can dancers, Frank Sinatra, Frankie Laine and the Andrew Sisters. There was Tin Pan Alley, the Copacabana and the Theater District. There was Roseland, Birdland, Ella Fitzgerald, marathon dancing, hot jazz, Doo-Wop and the pop rock of the Brill building as well as the invention of the now gossip columns. It was a democratic “meeting place” and nothing exemplified the disorder of the city or the dichotomy of high and low art than Times Square. Sadly, however, the Great Depression and World War II took its toll on the area and Times Square began its decline. From the 60’s onward, the area was riddled with adult entertainment, prostitution, drugs, and crime. It wasn’t until the mid-80’s when the Marriott Marquis opened its doors and Disney debuted The Lion King at The New Amsterdam Theatre that the clean-up began with the redevelopment of new theaters, retail, hotels and eateries.

Despite Times Square’s notorious reputation, it has managed to maintain itself as a symbolic global, geographic and cultural icon. It had long been home to media giants as well as the center for theater, music, culture and entertainment. This adventurous mold-breaking, however, has disappeared. Today, Times Square and its overindulgent commercialisation that lacks the substance and sex-appeal that once distinguished its streets. It is hungry for a Renaissance and The Times Square EDITION will usher in a new era. The hotel and all of its unique offerings seek to preserve the essence of the area during its Golden Age when it was the microcosm of the best New York City had to offer.

“The Golden Age of Times Square elicited the feeling that anything was possible. New York was the City of Dreams, Times Square at its heart, where everyone came together with a common purpose,” said Schrager. “The Times Square EDITION is the embodiment of this storied past, resurrected for the present, providing hope for the future of this most beloved neighborhood.”

black armchair infront of black wallcoverings

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

From the moment you enter the hotel’s doors on 20 Times Square at West 47th Street, guests are transported to another world—a decompression zone. A long ivory hall with venetian plastered walls and ceiling and a floating custom green mirrored stainless sphere inspired by Anish Kapoor and the colors of Jeff Koons await you. Once gusts arrive at the Lobby and Lobby Bar, a series of black and white spaces, which is worlds away from technicolour scenes located on the streets. Each of these two extremes serves the other yet each stands on its own. But together, something new, original, and even stronger is created. Indeed, with this alchemic symbiosis, a new reality and a virtual fourth dimension is created. As guests move in and out continuously, the space becomes boundaryless. This clash of worlds, this surreal sense of space and time is best experienced on the outdoor terraces, appropriately named the Bladerunner Terraces, that frame the various public space floors. On the terrace off the Lobby Bar, guests can choose to be in your own private oasis escaping in a cocoon-like area or face the brilliance of flashing light and color of Times Square for the best light show in the world.

“The hotel is an oasis of sophistication brought to you through the insight of the incomparable Ian Schrager, my friend and partner.” – Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

Off the Terrace Restaurant, a similar feeling awaits on expansive terraces that were inspired by the L’Orangerie at Jardin des Tuileries in Paris. The outdoor space in totality with thousands of plants, trees and ivy is perhaps the biggest indoor landscaping effort in the country was designed by Madison Cox and is literally, multi-level gardens in the sky. The public space interiors with their rich woods, lush velvets, waxed leathers, polished marbles and smooth metals are combined to create a chic, simple, hip, serene and luxurious setting, an antidote to the hectic life just outside the hotel’s doors.

“The Times Square EDITION is an entirely new lens on Times Square. From an aerie above the hubbub below, you can engage, observe or withdraw. The hotel is an oasis of sophistication brought to you through the insight of the incomparable Ian Schrager, my friend and partner. There is simply nothing like it.” Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

The first Michelin-starred chef ever in Times Square, John Fraser, is spearheading the food and beverage at the hotel to create a cacophony of dining experiences. The fine dining restaurant named 701 West is a gastronomic gem in a jewel box-like setting that is an explosion of color.

The Terrace Restaurant and Outdoor Gardens is an original take on a four meal, 18 hour-a-day restaurant inspired by traditional French brasseries and American chophouses but taken in a completely new direction by Chef Fraser.

The entrance to the Terrace restaurant will host the debut exhibit of specially curated candid portrayals of “the real New York City”, the one not seen by visitors, capturing energetic, gritty and poetic street and neighborhood scenes by renowned photographers Helen Levitt, Elliott Erwitt, Bruce Davidson, Ruth Orkin, Arthur Leipzig and Cornell Capa to name a few. The following exhibit will shift to more current street scenes illustrating the culture and diversity that pervades the city today. The space will continue to house rotating photography and art exhibits by various well-known photographers and artists.

The Paradise Club is an inventive, chaotic, high production spectacle perfectly suited for Times Square. The brainchild of Anya Sapozhnikova, Justin Conte, Matthew Dailey and Kae Burke of House of Yes in Bushwick, Brooklyn, this edgy and provocative modern-day Cabaret manifests the disorder of the City and adds a whole new dimension to the hotel and to Times Square.

The shows will be part theatre, part performance art with talent across many disciplines including dance, voice, aerial acrobatics, choreography, costume design and magic. There will be a regular ongoing performance based on William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. With no formulas, rules or any specific structure, but not for shock value, each performance at Paradise Club will be different from the previous one and different from the next. For a new twist on dining and entertainment, the menu will be original and creative from hot dogs to caviar and everything in between.

“Paradise Club is a place of aspiration… Invention and reinvention… A refuge to enjoy life and forget life and the perfect place to escape into fantasy,” said Schrager.

This one-of-a-kind cultural entertainment space also features the most sensational, immersive, colorful and kinetic lighting effects designed by Tony and Academy Award-winning Fisher Marantz of Studio 54 fame and inspired by a Lenny Kravitz video, as well as bespoke hand painted murals inspired by Bosch and Dali–a modern successor to the world famous Maxfield Parrish’s King Cole mural on Fifth Avenue. Perhaps the most spectacular element of the space is the full-blown production studio and control center that allows for live simulcasts and broadcasts around the world, as well as locally to a “Best in Class” 17,000 sf-8K-8mm Jumbotron outside of the building and a high definition digital screen on the stage. The exterior Jumbotron will also display rotating art by current video artists, cinematographers and animators.

Main image credit: EDITION Hotels

It’s a hat trick for Scape Design Associates as it completes three landscape design projects for Grecotel

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Internationally acclaimed landscape design practice, Scape Design Associates, has completed the refurbishment of three Grecotel resorts in readiness for the 2019 holiday season…

Design firm Scape Design Associates has recently completed renovations on Casa Marron in the Greek Peloponnese, Pella Beach in Halkidiki on Greece’s Cassandra Peninsula and the Corfu Imperial, located on the tip of the private peninsula of Kommeno on the island of Corfu. While the character of each resort is quite different, and Scape’s response completely bespoke to each project, the visions for each project share in the desire to connect with the natural landscape of the location and create numerous opportunities for guest engagement, entertainment and rejuvenation.

The very grand Corfu Imperial is set apart from other hotels on the island, not just by its stunning location surrounded on three sides by the Ionian Sea but by its Italian Renaissance-style gardens which take inspiration from the island’s historic links to Italy. Pella Beach, by contrast, is a modern family resort looking towards the Aegean Sea and Casa Marron, while also offering stunning sea views, is situated in an agricultural landscape.

“We have worked with Grecotels on numerous projects over the years, so it is very special to us when we can our philosophy to their beautiful properties,” says Philip Jaffa, Founder of Scape Design Associates and a finalist at The Brit List 2018. ”We strongly believe in a new kind of tourism that is not just about sustainability and preservation, although it includes both, but is a tourism of harmony, connection and restoration – living in conscious relationship with the earth. Landscape architects are in a unique place right now; we can be the ones who help build the bridge to connection by promoting a unique and harmonious relationship with the magnificent natural world we live in.”

Casa Marron – a modern interpretation of a Greek seaside village

Open bedroom onto green gardens

Image credit: Grecotel

Working closely with the client, Scape Design has master planned and revived Casa Marron as a luxury resort full of laid-back Greek charm, where a harmonious balance of function and aesthetics ensure contented tranquillity. Responding to the tradition of Greek communities where life takes place in the central square, the team has created a modern “village square” in the heart of this seaside destination, complete with dining pavilions, a performance area, pergolas to shade under and open-air seating terraces, all surrounding a reflecting water jet feature. The result is simple and inclusive. The square is complemented by two new beach side pools with undisturbed views of the sea, open lawn areas offering opportunities for play, retreat and reflection, and a new terraced dining pavilion which steps down to the beach.

The plan also sought to achieve better flow between the buildings across the 800,000 sq. m site, which had diminished over the years with successive additions. Starting with guest arrival, Scape Design created a new courtyard to formalise the moment, enable improved traffic management and frame the memory-making view – the new infinity pool and, beyond this, the sea. The entrance road was realigned into an olive tree lined driveway interspersed with water features and leading to a new palm tree-lined drop-off point. Service and delivery were separated from the guest experience by the addition of separate routes.

All the existing trees were preserved under a carefully considered transplantation plan, a new olive grove was planted on an extended open lawn area to provide areas of shade and avenues of trees were introduced to connect the three pools – the 40-metre main infinity pool, the 37-metre beach pool and the kids’ pool. New pathways and the central courtyard were constructed with locally sourced stone and laid in the traditional puzzle paving pattern. New white pergola structures reflect the traditional arches seen elsewhere in the resort and new timber structures echo traditional construction methods.

Pella Beach – a contemporary symbiosis of landscape, architecture and interior design

Light woods feature in one of the modern guestrooms

Image credit: Grecotel

Scape Design has redesigned the landscape of Pella Beach to harmonise with the updated building facades and refreshed interiors and to open it up to what is one of Halkidiki’s longest and most beautiful beaches. Now, generously proportioned modern pools with crisp edges are at one with the buildings and tree-lined avenues take the eye to sea and horizon, frame the green Sukabumi stone-lined pools and create an allusion of distance.

The previously outdated arrival has been transformed. A new walled courtyard offers immediate separation from the roadway outside, drawing guests into another world and, via shaded pathways, to the entrance lobby. The plan is simple and axial. One axis draws guests through the courtyard into the lobby and then beyond into the gardens and beachside restaurant. The other axis is central to the building and powerfully anchors the landscape with the architecture.

The two existing pools were replaced to match and reflect the simple, modern and clean spaces of the renovated interiors. The new restaurant pavilion and lobby bar terrace structures take inspiration from architectural forms, in particular the colonnades that flank the building. In order to ensure a view of both the garden and the sky to every guest, the restaurant has been designed as a garden courtyard surrounded by an open-air double colonnaded space. The roof slopes inwards so that during a rainstorm the internal space amplifies the effect and creates a dramatic rain garden spectacle.

The design team opted for a simple palette of materials. Large porcelain tiles, distinctive for their modernity and uniform textures, highlight the main axes of Pella Beach. In addition to the existing olive trees, new olive trees were planted and Washingtonia Palms were introduced to lend drama to the new avenues.

Corfu Imperial – a revival of the Italian Gardens

Palatial interiors in one of the guestroom at the hotel

Image credit: Grecotel

Set against a backdrop of the crystal-clear waters of the Ionian Sea, the natural beauty of the seven-hectare site, with panoramic views of the Marina and the island’s Old Town as well as the sea, sets this hotel apart. Scape’s mission was to enhance connection between hotel and landscape wherever possible, from new arrival courtyards built within characterful olive groves, to a new lower pool perched above the sea, to stylish garden pavilions. Every moment at the Corfu Imperial now offers unforgettable views far into the distance and closer at hand where the grandeur of the Italian-style gardens with its palette of Cypress trees, formal clipped hedges and colourful flowering aromatic shrubs is a feast for all the senses.

The existing upper pool was treated to elegant new cabanas and the rooftop terraces were refined.

The refurbished landscape now includes an enhanced beachfront promenade for shopping and dining and Il Boschetto – new family accommodation located within the gardens. The existing upper pool was treated to elegant new cabanas and the rooftop terraces were refined. When the Corfu Imperial re-opens this spring, guests will find a stunning juxtaposition of the elegantly modern with a classical jewel.

Main image credit: Grecotel

Camouflaged hotel architecture of the 21st century

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As we continue putting architecture and construction in the spotlight, Hotel Designs reveals some of the world’s most spectacular hidden architectural gems…

Following our search to unveil impressive architectural drawings that are currently on the boards, this week Hotel Designs is investigating architecture’s largest, most impressive, magic trick; to make a building disappear.

With hotel owners and operators around the world competing with one another to open in eye-catching buildings, and sustainability more considered than ever before, here are a few examples of buildings that impressively blend into their surroundings.

1) Shipwreck Lodge, Namibia

Image of one of the lodges blending into the surroundings of sand dunes.

Image credit: Shipwreck Lodge

Crafted around the enigmatic shipwrecks that line Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, there’s nowhere on the continent – or the world – quite like Shipwreck Lodge. The raw and rugged shells of each shack is matched in the interiors with shabby blinds and rough wooden walls. Adding comfort, the soft furnishings and fur throws make the inside feel cosy – almost a home-from-home. The impossibly remote slice of African wilderness, where towering dunes and wind-swept plains roll as far as the eye can see, is buffeted by the icy Atlantic seas.

> Read more by clicking here

2) Whitepod, Switzerland

Image of the pods on the slopes

Image credit: Whitepod

Nestled in the Swiss Alps, the eco pods at Whitepod, complete with electricity, heating supplied by a pellet stove and fully fitted bathrooms, are quite literally on the side of a mountain. Each pod has been designed to be ecologically friendly.

> Read more by clicking here

3) Keemala Phuket, Thailand

Villa that is hidden in the woodland

Image caption: Tree Pool House at Keemala Phuket in Thailand

Categorised into four different tribes, the rooms and interiors at Keemala Phuket have been evenly designed to offer comfort and reflect Phuket’s rural beginnings.

Clay Pool Cottage – it is believed that people of this tribe excel in agriculture and have a strong bond to earth. The furniture is made from carved wood and clever patterns are imprinted to tell the tale of the tribe’s art and culture.

Tree Pool House – Living life at high levels, the people of this tribe can be found in trees. The interiors, therefore, include hanging furniture with embedded patterns throughout.

Tent Pool Villa – Seeking adventure through the art of hunting has been inspired in the design of this style of property. This reflects the tribe that is a born wanderer. The fabrics reveal ease of mobility while dark leather represents stalking instincts.

> Read more by clicking here

4) ÖÖD house – Rood Wood of Mayfield 

Image credit: Round Wood of Mayfield

The ÖÖD house – a stunning, 18 sq/m mini home/hotel facility clad in mirrored glass which blends to its natural surroundings – has been added to Round Wood of Mayfield’s collection of high end outdoor structures.

Originally envisaged as a “pop up” hotel guest room or Airbnb pad by Estonian company ÖÖD, it is now exclusively distributed and assembled by the timber and landscape specialists across the UK.

The stand-alone living space for both commercial and domestic clients, which also make ideal office spaces, guest accommodation or even yoga studios, blends beautifully into any setting courtesy of the striking insulated glazing that covers the front and sides.

> Read more by clicking here

5) Matetsi Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Interior Designer Kerry van Leenhoff fused together design and nature effortlessly. The Zimbabwean created spaces that encompassed the concept of ‘life on the river’ using locally sourced material throughout. The resort, which Hotel Designs reviewed in October of last year, sits alone on a 123,000-acre plot of game reserve.

The future of Matetsi is bright: “We are working on a few things at the moment, which are really exciting projects,” van Leenhoff told Hotel Designs. “The design direction and our aim is to strike the balance between feeling isolated and feeling safe.” The new plans will further challenge conventional luxury lodges in Africa with a real focus on opening up the guests to undisturbed nature.

Read more by clicking here

6) treehotel, Sweeden

a camouflaged mirrored cube in the trees

Image credit: treehotel

The Mirrorcube was launched as an “exciting hide-out among the trees, camouflaged by mirrored walls that reflect their surroundings.” Its base consists of an aluminum frame around the tree trunk and the walls are covered with reflective glass.

The interior is designed from plywood with a birch surface. The total of six windows provide a stunning panoramic view. A 12-meter-long bridge leads up to the tree room.

> Read more by clicking here

Main image credit: treehotel

Top stories of the week: futuristic hotel reviews, amazing architecture and rounding up MAISON&OBJET

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In the same week that the Surface Design Show opened in London and Dubai welcomes a new stylish neighbour (W Dubai – The Palm), Hotel Designs asked the former presenter of The Gadget Show, Jason Bradbury, to review a hotel 30 years in the future. Here are the top five stories of the week, as selected by editor Hamish Kilburn… 

This week, we published a story announcing yet another Hotel Designs’ traffic record. With January 2019’s readership peaking at more than 67,000 readers, the website has never been more popular internationally among designers, architects, hoteliers and industry suppliers. For that reason, this week has felt like a mini milestone on the editorial desk. Adding to that warm and fuzzy feeling, is our exclusive hotel review with Jason Bradbury, the former presenter of The Gadget Show. Equipped with a camera and the latest technology products, Bradbury spent the night in Eccleston Square Hotel in London future-gazing, as he reviewed the hotel in a unique format – 30 years in the future. Following on from MAISON&OBJET last month, the Surface Design Show, of which we are a media partner for, opened its doors at the Business Design Centre to a flood of new and exciting surface companies exhibiting its latest products. Ahead of that review going live, here are what I consider to be the top five stories of the week.

1) Jason Bradbury reviews Eccleston Square Hotel, London

Image credit: Eccleston Square Hotel/Twitter: @JasonBradbury

Healing heating, holographic entertainment and a toilet that tells you your food printer what snacks to make, technology expert and futurist Jason Bradbury spent a night future gazing in the technologically enhanced 19th Century luxury of Eccleston Square Hotel, London.

> Click here to read the full review

2) Editor’s round-up of MAISON&OBJET Paris and Deco Off 2019

Exhibition hall

Image credit: MAISON&OBJET

The streets of Paris at any time of the year ooze chic style, sophistication and a certain ‘je-ne sais quoi’. During January, though, it is a bustling haven for designers seeking inspiration on emerging trends, new pieces and exhaustive conversations. Between both Deco Off, which in my eyes is Paris’ answer to Clerkenwell Design Week, and MAISON&OBJET, an ocean of exciting products displayed from a plethora of exhibitors, Paris in January is quite simply unlike anywhere else on the design globe.

> Click here to read the round-up

3) W Hotels arrives on The Palm, Dubai

Image credit: W Hotels Worldwide

“The desert just got hotter,” is how W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International Inc., announced the opening of W Dubai – The Palm, located on the Palm Jumeirah, the largest man-made island in the world and one of Dubai’s most iconic attractions.

> Click here to read the story

4) Deadline for 30 Under 30 applications announced

With less than two weeks before the deadline, time is running out for interior designers, architects and hoteliers to submit their entries for the 30 Under 30 list that will be unveiled at Meet Up London: 30 Under 30.

> Click here to apply/nominate

5) 5 awe-inspiring hotel architecture projects currently on the boards

Birdseye render of the site

Image credit: Foster + Partners

To kickstart our month shining the spotlight on architecture and construction, Hotel Designs highlights five groundbreaking projects that are currently in planning.

> Click here to read the story

Main image credit/caption: Torno Subito at W Dubai – The Palm

Hyatt Regency Valencia completes multi-million dollar renovation

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The 244-key hotel’s renovation in Valencia California has been designed for the modern traveller in mind… 

Hyatt Regency Valencia and Dimension Development has announced the completion of an expansive renovation of Hyatt Regency Valencia, and the introduction of Greater Pacific, a destination dining experience. Focusing on providing guests with a modern and effortless travel experience, the project enhanced all 244 guest rooms and suites, the lobby, public spaces, and all indoor and outdoor meeting spaces.

The new welcoming lobby opens to the sights and scents of Greater Pacific’s bar. Guestrooms feature modern design elements with a focus on premium style and comfort. Guests will enjoy large work desks, ergonomic chairs, and spacious bathrooms with upscale amenities and glass enclosed showers. Select rooms feature balconies, or views overlooking the pool, golf course or mountains.

The hotel’s 16,000 square feet of meeting space has been updated with energy-efficient lighting and each indoor ballroom features 20 foot ceilings adorned with grand chandeliers. Newly redesigned outdoor meeting space includes lush flower gardens, vine-covered terraces and manicured greens.

The hotel’s new signature restaurant, Greater Pacific, features contemporary décor with Asian and Californian influences and brings fresh fare to the community well beyond the traditional restaurants in the area. Greater Pacific’s menu illuminates a rich variety of approachable flavors and boldly crafted recipes of this country’s most fruitful state.

Main image credit: Hyatt Regency

Melia Hotels International opens first property in Prague

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Meliá Hotels International, Spain’s largest hotel brand, unveils INNSiDE Prague Old Town, its latest property and first hotel in the Czech capital…

Designed by Spanish architect Meritxell Cuartero, INNSiDE Prague Old Town will open in March as the first Meliá Hotels International’s hotel in the Czech capital.

The hotel marks a new era for the INNSiDE by Meliá portfolio, fitting perfectly into the brand’s evolution of design-led lifestyle and resort hotels, to give guests more freedom to relax and explore, whether they are travelling for work or leisure.

Living/lounge area with low seating and contemporary wooden bookshelf

Image credit: INNSiDE by Meliá

With a key focus on sustainability, INNSIDE Prague Old Town Hotel will provide 90 modern guestrooms, all featuring the attributes of the INNSiDE by Meliá brand. This includes in-room amenities, such as bathrobes, slippers and flip flops, a luxurious coffee machine, complimentary minibar, with fresh juices and local beer and Smeg fridges packed full of healthy treats, drinks and snacks. Superior+ rooms will also have high-end sound systems, complimentary streaming services and complimentary bike rental to encourage guests to explore the local area.

“INNSiDE Prague Old Town will be one of the first hotels to offer all of the new attributes and sustainable features of this stunning and fast-growing brand, which adds up to the attractiveness of this amazing city,” said Gabriel Escarrer, Executive Vice President and CEO of Meliá Hotels International.” As the leading leisure hotel Group worldwide, our brands are also extremely successful in an increasingly leisure-inspired urban market, where the city of Prague stands out.”

With health and wellness a key focus point for the brand, INNSiDE Prague Old Town will offer a gym with state-of-the-art fitness suites and the latest digital fitness software. The hotel will have an open lobby space for meetings, whether social or business, as well as boasting creative meeting room spaces including a cinema, wellness studio and recording studio, which can be hired for events and functions.

The INNSiDE by Meliá brand portfolio already has 38 hotels in 20 countries, 20 in operation and 18 in the pipeline.

Main image credit: INNSiDE by Meliá

W Hotels arrives on The Palm, Dubai

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The 350-key W Dubai – The Palm opens, complete with disruptive interiors, to design its own narrative and lead the ever-changing hospitality scene in the Middle East forward… 

“The desert just got hotter,” is how W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International Inc., announced the opening of W Dubai – The Palm, located on the Palm Jumeirah, the largest man-made island in the world and one of Dubai’s most iconic attractions.

With its electrifying style, evocative design and eclectic destination restaurants, W Dubai – The Palm is the newest W Escape, the W brand’s playful spin on the traditional resort experience, is set to add a new beat to the already dynamic and pulsating city.

Guestroom overlooking Dubai

Image credit: W Hotels Worldwide

“Much like W has redefined modern luxury, Dubai is a city that is firmly in charge of writing its own narrative, fearlessly embracing the future through design, technology and global culture,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “The energy and marvel of this incredible city make it the perfect destination for a W Escape – our unique take on a resort holiday – where the bold style, iconic service and signature scene of W come to play.”

“It begins with the hotel’s iconic “W” sign patterned to resemble an evaporated desert river bed.”

The dynamic design of W Dubai – The Palm celebrates the evolution of one of the most dynamic cities in the world, seamlessly juxtaposing the organic, natural curves of sand dunes and coastline with the marvel of the geometric lines of the city’s skyscrapers. It begins with the hotel’s iconic “W” sign patterned to resemble an evaporated desert river bed and the WHEELS (valet) area reminiscent of a falage, a cavernous riverbed covered by palm fronds. Leading guests into the hotel is a stunning display of Orsoni glass tiles in colors inspired by overgrown foliage which reflect the golden sun on the horizon. A head-raising, five-story atrium envelopes the Welcome Desk, a nod to desert fortresses and citadels of long ago. Golden trusses comprised of framed boxes sparkle throughout the space, representing different stages of modern construction in Dubai, a common sight of the ever-changing cityscape, and sit upon carpets that depict the island’s surrounding waters reflecting both construction and clouds. Completing the dramatic entrance is “The Soundwave” – a 6.5 ton, 30m long visual vector that represents a W sound wave. With 640 glass pieces, the towering fixture puts on a show of its own, illuminating in alternating intensities and colors to reflect the beats of the DJ in the neighboring W Lounge.

View of the pool and exterior of the building in Dubai

W Hotels Worldwide

The W Lounge (lobby) is a stage to see and be seen and celebrates the city’s well-known love of opulence with several geometric fixtures that mimic the raw, natural form of gold. An artistic interpretation of a traditional fire pit sits in the center of the W Lounge, signifying the bonfires that Bedouin tribes would gather around during their desert travels years ago. Connecting the W Lounge to the nearby VIP Lounge is a 13.5-meter sofa in muted earth tones, representing a desert mountain range – the skyscrapers of the past.

Vibrant bathrooms at W Dubai - The Palm

Image caption: Vibrant bathrooms at W Dubai – The Palm

All 350 guestrooms and suites offer uninterrupted views and dreamy amenities. Curved walls are intricately tiled to glisten like the lights and colors of the sea at various times of the day, bringing the shoreline into each room. Modern graffiti adorns the walls of every room, featuring lyrics in Arabic from an iconic song by Lebanese singer, Fairouz.

Arial perspective of a render of the W Dubai - The Palm site

Image cation: Aerial perspective of a render of the W Dubai – The Palm site

The hotel features a multiple of pools that sit in a wave-like pattern in the center of the Escape to form the W brand’s iconic WET® Deck experience, beach-facing, with views of the Dubai skyline. The W brand’s signature AWAY® Spa invites guests to ‘Stroll in and Strut out’ offering ten treatment rooms, a steam room, sauna, experiential showers, a hammam and a couples’ suite. Guests are treated to a design inspired by the underwater perspective of a pearl diver, where iridescent shells reflect the sunlight that peeks through the ocean above. Lastly, guests can sweat it out at FIT (gym) which boasts state-of-the-art equipment overlooking the WET Deck, beach and skyline views, featuring abstract art inspired by the graceful forms of both jellyfish and the parachutes of adventure-seeking skydivers.

“As our first W Escape in the region, W Dubai – The Palm combines the city’s unique allure with the brand’s bold design and dynamic lifestyle and gives it a locally relevant twist.”

W Dubai – The Palm is set to infuse even more decadence into Dubai’s booming, multicultural culinary landscape with six beverage and food destinations. Translated as “I will be right back,” Torno Sobito is the first restaurant outside of Italy by global culinary genius, Chef Massimo Bottura – whose Osteria Francescana has been feted as the “World’s Best Restaurant.” The dishes and design of Torno Subito lean in to Dubai’s reputation for all things playful. Guests dig into Massimo’s favorite bites inside converted rescue boats and pedalos (paddle boats) and can choose a flavor from the roving gelato cart. Massimo, like W, has an eye for irreverence, which is evident in the options for decadent pasta bowls ordered by size: medium and large. Guests dine in a 60’s-esque wonderland, decked with woven green chairs, life sized beachfront imagery, bold metallic accents adorning the ceilings and walls, and lighting reminiscent of dressing rooms and marquees from the golden age of Hollywood.

Torno Subito at W Dubai - The Palm

Image caption: Torno Subito at W Dubai – The Palm

“We are excited to bring the W brand to Palm Jumeirah with the highly anticipated opening of W Dubai – The Palm,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “As our first W Escape in the region, W Dubai – The Palm combines the city’s unique allure with the brand’s bold design and dynamic lifestyle and gives it a locally relevant twist. With game-changing style, amplified entertainment and innovative culinary offerings, this W Escape will inject a fresh vibe into the local hospitality scene and offer the most sought-after luxury getaway for locals as well as global jet-setters.”

SoBe (short for South Beach) is an adults-only playground inspired by the eclectic and vibrant spirit of Miami. This is the only rooftop bar in Dubai where guests can watch the sun sink into the Arabian Sea with 360-degree views to watch as the Dubai skyline lights up each night. Serving up eclectic live DJ performances, imaginative cocktails, and even tattoo artists, there will be nothing else like it in the city.

LIV offers guests greener, lighter, fresher and brighter options for breakfast, lunch and dinner and was designed using only upcycled materials, meaning no new materials were created to build the venue. The restaurant is sprinkled with artwork inspired by the patterns left on beaches by sand bubbler crabs, the official mascot of W Dubai – The Palm.

W Dubai – The Palm adopts a bold approach to take events from ordinary to extraordinary. Featuring more than 2,000 square meters of event space, W Dubai sets the stage for any elaborate occasion. The sprawling 1,215-square-meter Great Room boasts an extraordinary oval shape, sensually designed with rotating walls letting in (or blocking out) the dazzling Arabian sun. Custom lighting features allows W Dubai to personalize each event, lighting up the scene with a myriad of colors. The Green Room serves as a holding area for events and weddings and features light pendants reminiscent of wedding bands and carpeting adorned in henna-like patterns.

Technology expert Jason Bradbury reviews Eccleston Square Hotel in the future

730 565 Hamish Kilburn

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Technology expert Jason Bradbury reviews Eccleston Square Hotel in the future

Healing heating, holographic entertainment and a toilet that tells you your food printer what snacks to make, technology expert and futurist Jason Bradbury spent a night future gazing in the technologically enhanced 19th Century luxury of Eccleston Square Hotel, London

We’re living back to front. As technology marches inexorably forward, gaining speed at an exponential rate, it seems that the simple and the authentic have more value than ever before.

The resurgence of vinyl is a great example of this, independent coffee shops and organic grocers too – and so is a certain type of boutique hotel. In order to understand what a night in the hotel room of the future might be like, it’s necessary to appreciate why many of the standout disruptors in the current market are looking backwards, hiding their high-tech flaunts and instead focussing on experiences and simply good service.

Eccleston Square Hotel in London was the setting for my experiment in hotel room time travel. It’s a fine example of how well integrated smart technology can enhance a stay. Notable in-room features include LED clear-to-opaque glass in the bathroom, gestural lighting controls, a massaging bed and an improbably positioned outside/inside courtyard. All of these elements are design decisions that will have echoes in the rooms we will choose to book in the year 2049 (although few will have the Eccleston’s claim of being mere steps away from Winston Churchill’s front door).

Image of in-room ipad next to lighting controls

Image credit: Ecclestone Hotel London

 “The hotel room of the future will still rely heavily on technology, but it will be engineered for invisibility.”

30 years from now, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) that is currently the subject of deep moral conjecture will be commonplace. All retail, education, medicine, travel and data-centric areas of our lives will be handled by our personal Block-Chain driven A.Is. Much of our entertainment will be virtual visualisations; what we now call Augmented and Virtual Reality, immersive movies and games so convincing they’ll be indistinguishable from reality. It’s logical, therefore, to assume that when the mundane in life is handled by our personal A.I assistant and our persistent screen experience digital, we’ll seek out authenticity as an escape.

The hotel room of the future will still rely heavily on technology, but it will be engineered for invisibility. The down-lighters and wall switches that are currently in hotels will be replaced by neuro and mood interpreting imaging, ambient and natural light emulation, aimed at inducing calm and/or focus. Glass wall room dividers won’t just switch to opaque, they’ll transform into shimmering living jungle walls or expansive movie screens or personalised news feeds created by holographic projection. Think Minority Report, but without the need for gloves.

Modern bathroom

Image credit: Eccleston Square Hotel, London

In order to get a handle on all this future gazing, it’s sometimes helpful to have tangible examples to hand. The recently launched Magic Leap mixed reality headset offers insight into how a futuristic hotel room could be brought or augmented with ultra-high definition virtual assets. By 2049, several exponential leaps up the curve, the headset might be unnecessary, imaging handled by a projector and a glass room divider infused with highly refractive silver particles.

That’s entertainment, but what about the health and wellness opportunities offered by the hotel room of the next decade?

“Beyond just heating, far infrared light offers all manner of health benefits including immune system support, helping to alleviate stress, psoriasis and relieving joint and muscle pain.”

Astectherm is an example of an advanced technology that predicts the kind of hybrid between practical and health orientated benefits that might find itself in the guestroom in 10 years from now. I was able to install a working sample of this thin, flexible infrared thermal heating fabric between the electrically operated curtains during my Eccleston Square Hotel stay. More usually, lengths of Astectherm would be installed in walls or under floor and ceilings. Beyond just heating, far infrared light offers all manner of health benefits including immune system support, helping to alleviate stress, psoriasis and relieving joint and muscle pain. This system is an excellent example of an invisible technology that could offer in-room, spa-like health and wellness advantages for the future hotel room user checking in.

Hyper-personalisation will drive much high-end retail and leisure experiences in the future. The 3D printers that are still mainly the preserve of industry today will perhaps print bespoke, nutritionally focused meals in the kitchens of tomorrow. In order to compete, a morning in an Eccelston Square Hotel room circa 2049 will, for example, have to offer a high-end personalised breakfast and coffee experience. To give a sense of where our future caffeine fixes might come from, I tested the Ikawa Personal Coffee roaster in my room. As well as infusing the suite with a gorgeous aroma of freshly roasted green coffee beans, the tiny app-controlled machine offers concrete insight into the quick, delicious and bespoke snacks and meals we will come to expect in the near-future. In future in-room coffee machines, the ingredients will be determined by a stool and urine analysing toilet and other health monitoring wearables. If your morning bathroom routine flags a rise in your inflammatory markers, you might find turmeric in your freshly-roasted, non-dairy latte.

Image caption: Ikawa Personal Coffee Roaster – thanks to coffee gurus @Steampunkcoffeemachine & @Anyalou and Ben from imperialteas.co.uk

While we currently have the Apple Watch, in the future we’ll see far more discrete wearables, which will offer a much deeper insight into our general wellness. Take sleep for example, a critical part of any hotel room experience. At the moment, Some hotels offer a vague ‘good night guarantee’ based on little more than firm pillows. Eccleston Square Hotel already takes its bedtime more seriously than most, but as well as a mood lighting and an electronically adjustable bed, in 10 years time its beds might map guests’ REM and movement signatures. They high-tech beds might compare them to a block-chain powered pattern from thousands of my previous nights’ sleep, cross-referenced with a range of biological and psychological markers, blood sugar readings from bathroom analysis and wearables and even neurological data. And if this is all sounding a little too Sci-Fi, I took the liberty of installing a Nokia Smart Sleep sensor in my Eccleston Square hotel bed.

“The app data showed a high ‘Sleep Quality’ score of 90 per cent, only twenty seconds of snoring and a longer period of ‘deep sleep’ than on previous nights at home testing it.”

Perhaps it was exhaustion from setting up all the gadgets- or the massage – but the app data showed a high ‘Sleep Quality’ score of 90 per cent, only twenty seconds of snoring and a longer period of ‘deep sleep’ than on previous nights at home testing it. This level of detail, while insightful today will seem laughably trivial in ten years, but again, Nokia’s gadget is a fine example of where we’re heading.

Image Caption: Nokia Sleep Sensor. 2. Bed’s Massage Remote Control

The Eccleston Square Hotel has several rooms with distinctive private outdoor spaces. It achieves this by cleverly slicing up what would be larger areas and then giving each outdoor triangle the perception of space with large mirrored walls. This is another precursor to a future trend; the use of spacial sensory imaging, both auditory and visual, to create outdoor experiences, but on a considerably smaller scale. Looking beyond 2049 and it’s not implausible to imagine something like a Star Trek holodeck that transforms a tiny 24m² courtyard into an infinite forest in which you can jog by virtue of a 360° treadmill.

Image caption: Courtyard in Eccleston Square Hotel Room showing outside mirrored wall

It’s a contradiction for sure, but technology will deliver what the hotel guest of the future will desire most, authenticity. The design ethos, eco and energy awareness, food and customer service expectations of the discerning hotel guest a decade hence will still be central to their choice. What will change is the availability of bespoke, luxury personalised services, many of which will have echoes of a bygone age, a time when the gadgets that distract us today hadn’t been invented. Of course there will be no obvious gadgets in the hotel room of the future, just ‘real’ services and experiences. And when reality can’t be delivered, we’ll be happy to accept the perception of it.

Jason Bradbury can booked for futurology talks at jla.co.uk and found on YouTube  & Instagram. Thanks also to the lovely staff at Eccleston Square Hotel. 

 Main image credit: Twitter @JasonBradbury/Eccleston Square Hotel London

The PuXuan Hotel and Spa opens in Beijing

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The hotel and spa in Beijing’s unique architecture form has been designed by acclaimed German architect Ole Scheeren…

Located a stones throw away from Beijing’s Forbidden City, The PuXuan Hotel and Spa has opened with the aim to become a new urban haven in the Chinese capital. The latest Urban Resort Concepts (URC) luxury hotel has been designed by internationally acclaimed German architect Ole Scheeren (formerly with OMA).

In collaboration with Shanghai-based design firm MQ studio, the hotel’s interiors will exemplify URC’s hallmark design principles, integrating luxurious and understated metaphorical design throughout a modern space, uniquely crafted with local, cultural references. The hotel’s artwork, curated by the Guardian Art Centre, will feature some of the finest contemporary Chinese art in the region today.

A collection of immersive half and full day programmes curated by The PuXuan that provides guests exclusive access to local, hidden gems and landmarks alike, ensures travellers to Beijing experience the breadth of the city’s history, culture and gastronomy.

Image credit: PuXuan Hotel and Spa

Comprising 92 guestrooms and 24 suites, each feature handcrafted and artisanal furniture by Hermès-owned Chinese lifestyle brand SHANG XIA and boast awe-inspiring views over either the Forbidden City or one of Beijing’s oldest neighbourhoods, DongCheng District.

A true oasis in the heart of the city, The PuXuan also features URC’s proprietary UR SPA that will offer bespoke treatments by CHA LING – “L’Espirit du Thé”, an LVMH brand that combines traditional Chinese medicine with French beauty, along with organic formulations by one of the industry-leading creators of wellness products COMFORT ZONE.

Set to become Beijing’s definitive dining destinations, Rive Gauche serves up unpretentious French classics with extraordinary savoir-faire whilst Fu Chun Ju serves some of the capital’s finest Cantonese preparations. With direct access on levels two and three of the hotel respectively, the openings of Rive Gauche and Fu Chun Ju are welcome and overdue additions to the culinary scene in Beijing, where guests will discover a new appreciation for local provenance as they enjoy seasonal menus that highlight the unique flavours of the finest, local and heirloom ingredients.

Other spaces include The PuXuan Club, offering a new level of privilege along with round-the-clock exclusive access to a handsome and fully serviced lounge, Tea Room, The Lobby Lounge, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, and a variety of indoor and outdoor venues for both corporate and social gatherings.

Main image credit: PuXuan Hotel and Spa

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to open nine hotels in 2019

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The luxury hotel brand, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts continues with a steady portfolio expansion with openings in new markets and much-anticipated debut of first-ever standalone Private Residences in London… 

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has announced that 2019 will mark significant hotel openings, with the debut of nine new hotels and resorts around the world, plus the continued expansion of its residential portfolio.

“Four Seasons is well positioned for continued success in 2019 with the steady and strategic growth of our global portfolio,” says Christian Clerc, President, Worldwide Hotel Operations, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “Our portfolio continues to grow at a healthy pace, as we focus on projects of the highest quality, in the destinations where our guests want to be. We remain committed to offering the very highest standards of hospitality as we expand with a diverse collection of properties, including our entry in Greece and Spain, our first resort set within a world class vineyard in Napa Valley, and the opening of our first standalone residences in London.”

Clerc continues: “With a continued focus on our residential portfolio, we are solidifying our market position as the world leader in luxury branded residential offerings. Eight of the nine new anticipated openings this year include a residential component, affirming the growing importance of branded residences to Four Seasons growth strategy as well as luxury consumers who want to live with our brand and make Four Seasons their home.”

Extensive Global Growth: 2019 Portfolio Openings

Now numbering 111 hotels and resorts in 47 countries – including recent openings in Desroches Island, Seychelles; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and São Paulo, Brazil – Four Seasons is planning to open the following new hotels, resorts and private residences in 2019:

Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens 

Simple luxury hotel guestroom

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

This project marks the long-awaited entry of Four Seasons in Greece with the transformation of the famed Astir Palace on the Athenian Riviera. The hotel will offer 303 rooms and bungalows along three private beaches with three pools, a spa and seven restaurants and lounges.

Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Bangkok at Chao Phraya River 

Skyline of Bangkok

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

The return of Four Seasons to Thailand’s capital is scheduled to open this year as the fourth property in the company’s Four Seasons Thailand collection. The all-new complex spans 9 acres and 200 metres of prime river frontage with open courtyards, water features and works of art. Ballrooms offer stunning river views and outdoor spaces that are ideal for grand weddings and impressive events while three restaurants and a Latin American inspired social club bring glamour to the riverside lifestyle. With 366 Private Residences and 299 rooms and suites, many with generous outdoor terraces, the property brings the sophistication of a resort to the heart of Bangkok.

Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Bengaluru at Embassy ONE

Modern guestroom with accents of gold in the carpet

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Set in the heart of India’s technology hub as part of the prestigious new Embassy ONE development, the property will feature 230 rooms, 105 Private Residences and prime commercial retail space. Within the hotel, guests will find warm and inviting restaurants featuring interactive live counters and artisanal offerings. The outdoor pool in the lush landscaped private gardens lends a resort-like ambiance and the spa is an uplifting hideaway for modern and holistic wellness solutions. Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru joins its sister property in Mumbai as the second Four Seasons in India.

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Los Cabos at Costa Palmas 

Bathroom in a suite that overlooks the ocean

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

The oceanfront resort in the Baja Peninsula will soon be home to the third Four Seasons in Mexico. Located on the East Cape on a stunning, swimmable stretch of the Sea of Cortez, the resort will include 141 rooms as well as a selection of Private Residences with private yacht slips and a Robert Trent Jones Jr. golf course, within the exclusive Costa Palmas development.

Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Madrid

Guestroom of the hotel with the tops of buildings in Madrid seen in the distance

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

A meticulous restoration and conversion of several historic buildings in the heart of the city’s famed Canalejas district is entering its final stages, with the 200 room Four Seasons as the company’s first location in Spain. The property will also incorporate 22 beautifully appointed Private Residences.

Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Montreal

Render of the guestrooms overlooking the skyline

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

The company’s fourth property in Canada will open in the heart of Montreal’s best shopping neighbourhood, within a development that will mark the city’s very best lifestyle offerings. Guests can look forward to an all-new 169 room hotel and 18 Private Residences connected to the new Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in the Golden Square Mile neighbourhood, as well as the first Canadian restaurant by famed chef Marcus Samuelsson.

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley

Render of the guestrooms which feature dark dues in the interiors

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Glasses are already being raised in anticipation of Four Seasons first resort immersed within an estate winery, in partnership with acclaimed winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown, that will be part of the all-new resort set among the mountains and vineyards of one of the world’s top wine-producing regions. Its 85 rooms and 20 residences will extend the diverse Four Seasons California Collection as its eighth location in the state.

Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences One Dalton Street, Boston 

Exterior render of the hotel above the skyline

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Four Seasons will open its second property in Boston’s prestigious Back Bay neighbourhood, steps from the city’s best cultural, sporting, and entertainment outlets. This sleek, 61-storey skyscraper will be home to 215 hotel rooms and 160 Private Residences and will also include a Zuma restaurant, the renowned Japanese Izakaya with outposts in London, Miami, New York and Las Vegas.

Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center

Guestroom with white linen and floor-to-ceiling windows

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

The company’s return to the city will showcase the future of hospitality in Philadelphia’s tallest building. At 60 storeys and with 219 rooms, the property will showcase advanced technologies from Comcast as well as world-class dining experiences by top chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Greg Vernick, and florals by celebrated creative director Jeff Leatham.

Additional future projects recently announced include hotels, resorts and residences in Dalian, China; Makkah, Saudi Arabia; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Caye Chapel, Belize.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Top 5 stories of the week: Lighting the mood, surface trends and Meet Up developments

800 593 Hamish Kilburn

Concluding January and looking ahead to the future of lighting, surfaces and hotel development, Hamish Kilburn writes the top five stories of the week…

As January turns to February, there is much anticipation in the air around developing trends. The must-watch lists of hues, textures and materials that landed in my inbox on January 1 have filtered subtly into the designs of new hotel spaces. Designers working outside the box establish how they can create a timeless statement scan the floors of the trade shows. The next in the calendar is the Surface Design Show in London (February 5 – 7). Ahead of the show, this week we took a closer look at the trends on the walls, floors and ceilings. Closer to home, Hotel Designs had some developments of its own to announce. Here are the top five stories of the week.

1) 6 trends to look out for at Surface Design Show 2019

dark bathroom design

Image credit: SIBU

Taking place next week in London’s Business Design Centre, Surface Design Show will showcase the latest products and technology in surface design. Ahead of the event, as Hotel Designs is a media partner of #SDS19, here are top surface trends to be mindful of.

> Read more about the trends here

2) Meet Up London: 30 Under 30 Announces Early Bird Tickets

Until February 7, designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers will be able to purchase early bird tickets for Hotel Designs‘ highly anticipated Q1 networking evening, Meet Up London: 30 Under 30.

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

> To book your tickets, click here

3) One-third of consumers believe lighting helps to eliminate January Blues

A study has revealed that one in three people believe that lighting is important to creating a relaxed and calm atmosphere before bed.

As the January blues well and truly set in for some, new research has revealed how lighting can have direct impact on mood and wellbeing in the hotel environment.

> To read more about the study, click here

4) SUSD gains planning consent for hotel and members club on the River Thames

render of the exterior of a manor-like building

Image credit: SUSD

SUSD, the developer behind two of London’s most successful hybrid destinations, The Curtain Hotel & Members Club and Devonshire Club, has just won planning consent, subject to finalising the S106 Agreement, for a third development, this time on the banks of the Thames near Pangbourne, Berkshire.

> To read more about the plans, click here

5) Editor Checks In: January ’19

To round up January – and to help understand the crossroads many designers are at – it felt appropriate to use the metaphor of two worlds colliding. I am, of course, referring to the opportunities that result from authentic collaborations.

> To read my editor’s letter, click here

If you would like to be kept up to date with the latest happenings and news in international hotel design, subscribe to receiving our newsletter here.

Main image credit: ITC Natural Luxury Flooring

Hamilton litestat confirmed exclusive headline partner for Meet Up London: 30 Under 30

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Hotel Designs has confirmed that Hamilton Litestat will be the exclusive headline partner at Meet Up London: 30 Under 30, which takes place at the showroom of Minotti London on March 28…

Hotel Designs has confirmed that Recommended Supplier Hamilton Litestat has become the exclusive headline partner of Meet Up London: 30 Under 30.

The event, which takes place on March 28 at Minotti London’s showroom, is expected to bridge the age gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers by putting the spotlight on supporting young, emerging talent. 30 of the industry’s most inspirational practitioners will be invited with complements of Hotel Designs to attend the networking event.

“Hamilton Litestat is a keen supporter of young, up-and-coming talent and we’re delighted to be working with Hotel Designs to support talent rising through the ranks in interior design, architecture and the hotel industry,” said Gavin Williams, Head of Marketing, Hamilton Litestat. “As an Industry Partner of the British Institute of Interior Design, we’re keen to develop lasting relationships with those that understand the importance of getting the finishing touches of an interiors project just right.

“We hope to build awareness through our partnership with the 30 under 30 Meet Up events and foster long-term collaborations with the next generation of talented industry leaders.” – Gavin Williams, Head of Marketing, Hamilton Litestat

“Through both functionality and aesthetics, quality decorative wiring accessories and lighting control can achieve this. We hope to build awareness through our partnership with the 30 under 30 Meet Up events and foster long-term collaborations with the next generation of talented industry leaders.”

Suitable for all hotels, Hamilton Litestat produces smart lighting controls and multi-room audio systems designed to enhance the hotel guest experience.

Early bird ticket prices for Meet Up London: 30 Under 30

Suppliers: £99 + VAT (£150 + VAT after early bird offer expires after February 7)
Designers, hoteliers and architects: £10 + VAT (£20 + VAT after early bird offer expires after February 7)

To purchase your tickets, click here.

Venue:
Minotti Showroom,
77 Margaret St, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 8SY

Date: March 28, 2019

How to apply for the 30 Under 30 list

If you are/or know of a deserving designer, architect or hotelier who is 30 years old or younger, please send in your application/nomination to: h.kilburn@forumevents.co.uk with the following:

  • 200-400 word bio, which acknowledges achievements to date and why you/he/she deserves to be recognised
  • Name of company you/he/she currently works for
  • Profile image

The final 30 will be confirmed to attend the event with Hotel Designs‘ compliments and the winners will be notified in due course ahead of the networking evening.

How to attend Meet Up London: 30 Under 30

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to attend the event, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or on z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

If you are an interior designer or architect and would like to attend the Hotel Designs Meet Up London: 30 Under 30, click here to confirm your attendance.

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

6 trends to look out for at Surface Design Show 2019.

800 658 Hamish Kilburn

Taking place next week in London’s Business Design Centre, Surface Design Show will showcase the latest products and technology in surface design. Ahead of the event, as Hotel Designs is a media partner of #SDS19, here are top surface trends to be mindful of…

The Surface Design Show, taking place on February 5 – 7, will again provide architects and designers with an exciting and inspirational range of surface designs and materials.

Speaking before the show opens trend forecaster and curator of the Show’s Surface Spotlight Live feature, Sally Angharad enthused: “There are a number of distinct trends coming out of Surface Design Show that visitors will pick up. Once again the Show will set the scene for the next year in terms of design ideas.”

Here are some of the 2019 trends to look out for are:

Scallop Shapes
Scallop shape tiles create decorative patterns in a combination of solid colours and patterned finishes. Blueprint Ceramics, Finsa and Viuva Lamego will both be exhibiting scallop shapes

Sumptuous Neutrals
Warm neutrals replace grey with shades of brown adding depth to tactile surfaces. Look out for Saint- Gobain, Off the Wall Coverings and ITC Natural Luxury Flooring.

Image credit: ITC Natural Luxury Flooring

Dynamic Patterns
A combination of tile formats creates complex designs for statement features. Exhibitors include Blueprint Ceramics and Viuva Lamego

Patina Effects
Weathered metals inspire luxurious patina effects on a variety of surfaces from flooring to finishes. PowderTech (Corby), MUUNA and Finsa will be stands to visit.

Indulgent Darks
Dark colours are key for glazed and tonal finishes to create dramatic yet welcoming effects. SIBU Designs, Grestec Tiles and Sterling Studios will be exhibitors to seek out.

dark bathroom design

Image credit: SIBU

Nature/Nurture
Organic materials translate into surfaces for walls and lighting that bring comforting textures indoors. Exhibitors include Freund, Innerspace Cheshire and PHEE. A range of new materials, prototypes and innovations can be seen on Surface Spotlight Live curated in collaboration by trend expert Sally Angharad and trend, colour & material forecast agency; Colour Hive.

Surface Design Show opens on February 5 from 6.00pm – 9.00pm; February 6 from 11.00 -9.00pm and February 7 from 11.00 – 5.00pm.

Main image credit: Blueprint Ceramics

Domus launches new colourful glazed porcelain tile collection designed by Studiopepe

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The Pittorica collection by Domus is suitable porcelain tile for interior walls and floors…

Launching in the UK in February exclusively at Domus, Pittorica is a new colourful glazed porcelain stoneware collection suitable for interior walls and floors, designed by Studiopepe creative directors Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara di Pinto. Research by the two designers led to the creation of a collection comprised of 14 plain solid colours in three palettes – neutral, background and bold colours, and available in three different shapes, a triangle, a square and a brick shape.

In a silky matt finish, the tiles are mutually compatible and can be used singularly or coordinated to create complex and highly creative decorative layouts, bringing out the full, modern spirit in expressive colour. With a retro feel, the colours span from dark shades to soft greys and neutrals along with pink, blues, green and terracotta shades, expressing the universe of colour though an extremely current palette, offering elegance and modernity to any interior space.

Suitable for both walls and floors, the decorative ability of Pittorica is enhanced by the rectified formats which guarantee layouts and installation with minimum grout lines where the colour stands out. The statement triangular shape formats are a key feature statement in the collection and guarantee a decorative capacity to characterise interior surfaces. The solid matt colours give the collection a silky consistency, which is further enriched with a textured canvas weave print which is stamped into each tile. Each tile has a unique, subtle, almost imperceptible variation.

Studiopepe proudly describe their collection, saying: “The mystery of colour in the game of perception and illusion. Pittorica is the poetry of the imagination, rhymes of graphic patterns and hues of colour put together in freedom and fun.”

Main image credit: Domus Tiles

Nine Hotel Group opens DoubleTree by Hilton in 19th Century Mill House

800 566 Hamish Kilburn

With more and more hotels opening in heritage shells, Nine Hotel Group announces the opening of DoubleTree by Hilton hotel Reading M4 J10 in a 19th century mill house…

Vivek Chadha – of Nine Hotel Group – purchased the Best Western Grade II listed mill house in 2017 and has spent £4 million on the redevelopment, rebranding the hotel to a DoubleTree by Hilton and expanding its facilities.

Now open to the public, the 129-key hotel is conveniently situated on the edge of Reading Town Centre, Providing the ideal base for both business and leisure travellers, the hotel is predicted to bring an influx of people to the area as well as providing luxurious amenities for the local community.

Included in the development is the construction of a 300-person capacity ballroom complete with a large banqueting facility for weddings, giving the hotel a total of five function rooms for groups looking to host events or business meetings.

Inside the historic mill, the bedrooms boast traditional characteristics such as classic wooden beams, and the Godfather & Co Restaurant – part of the original mill – has the River Loddon flowing beneath.

The renovation of this hotel has kept the traditional and distinctive character all of which is set on 10.5 acres of natural landscape, while boasting modern amenities such as a 24-hour fitness centre.

Those looking for a local country pub can visit the onsite Poachers Pub to sample real ales in a cosy atmosphere, complete with real  log fires. The Godfather & Co Restaurant proudly sources local produce, and you can also pay a visit to the Whisky Charlie Lounge where you can enjoy the hotel’s very own local cocktail, The Lion of Sindlesham.

Speaking about the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading M4 J10 refurbishment, Vivek Chadha, Managing Director and founder of Nine Hotel Group, said: “I’m proud to bring the unique Nine Group ethos to the area and I look forward to seeing the hotel prosper. The property was selected for redevelopment as it is part of local history, rich in character and period features. It now boasts premium facilities for the discerning guest whether they are visiting for business or pleasure.”

The latest addition to DoubleTree by Hilton, one of Hilton’s 15 market-leading brands, marks the first DoubleTree property in Reading and joins an existing 50 DoubleTree by Hilton hotels in the United Kingdom.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels/Nine Hotel Group

Hotel lighting in the cruise vessels of the future

800 533 Hamish Kilburn

In response to the final article in the series, Hotels at New Heights, Chelsom Lighting shares its expertise on how it has helped to light the cruise vessels of the future…

Sailing the world’s oceans on one of today’s state of the art cruise ships is just as luxurious and flamboyant as it was on one of the great liners from a hundred years ago. The boundaries of marine interior design, like international hotel design, are constantly being expanded by the world’s top design practices and the scope of things to do on board. The result is that many ships are beginning to surpasses many land based hotels and resorts. It’s no wonder the whole cruise industry is booming with millions of satisfied passengers returning year after year. However, in terms of decorative products which contribute to such amazing interiors, there could hardly be a harsher environment with its pitching seas, salt air and constant motion. It takes a certain kind of design, a certain range of skills, an amount of specialist technical knowledge and a lot of commitment to successfully service such a demanding industry.

Light and airy interiors in the cruise ship

Image credit: Crystal Cruise

Product design

The interior designers who create the spectacular interiors of today’s ships are real specialists in their field. They have an overall brief to be extravagant, breath taking, original and awe inspiring and in the case of public areas they can work on a massive scale within the huge spaces which can sometimes transcend three or four decks. Subtle and understated are rarely the design watchwords so there is often the need for sparkle, drama and statement. The product designer must embrace these interior concepts and interpret them so that they function perfectly within the marine environment. Nothing must be allowed to sway about in rough seas, components must not vibrate, everything must be bolted down so it never falls over, weight restrictions must be considered and installation or maintenance must be as simple as possible. For cabins, space is often a driving feature so scaling down individual components whilst still maintaining perfect ambient light levels is important. Switching and dimming options are also usually essential.

Team work

As a specialist marine lighting supplier, we respect our role as just one of the huge teams of contractors ensuring that a cruise ship has stunning interiors with product that functions perfectly over a long period in a challenging environment. Our team work extends to collaborating with interior designers, lighting designers, shipyards, outfitters and cruise operators all around the world. Whereas a hotel stays where it is, there is a date on which a ship sails away and everybody in the team focusses 100 per cent on that date which is final!

Stairway of a ship

Image credit: Regent Seven Seas

Technical

Some of the manufacturing and structural technicalities of marine lighting are testing to say the least but lighting technology itself plays an ever increasing role in cruise interiors. Energy saving light sources are of course mandatory but colour rendering, colour changing, easily controlled dimming and remote switching are all increasingly important and indeed successful. Mostly it’s about creating the most luxurious and inviting ambience but it’s also about ease of lighting control and ease of maintenance. We work as part of the team of marine experts to bring all the lighting requirements to fruition.

Installation

There can be literally thousands of contractors on a ship at any one time when it is in build. Every one of them is working diligently to complete their own task whilst cooperating with all those around them so nothing gets in the way or delays some other part of the process. We have our own specialist and qualified marine installation team who will be on board at the right time to take delivery of our lighting products, assemble on site, install and commission. This on board presence not only allows successful installation but also allows any last minute adjustment or changes which can occur due to the sheer scale and complexity of the working environment.

Chelsom is a 70 year old company with vast experience in the cruise ship sector. Its knowledge of and close relationship with the industry’s specialist interior design practices, shipyards and operators gives us the closest possible understanding of what the industry needs. The company’s own in-house marine specialists in product design, manufacture and installation ensure that it meets those needs. Chelsom is proud to be one of the world’s leading manufacturers of marine lighting today.

Chelsom are one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image credit: Chelsom/Harmony of the Seas

Top stories of the week: Trending interiors, suites at sea and anti-social hotel rooms

767 501 Hamish Kilburn

Following a bustling Maison&Objet and Deco Off, interior trends have been trending throughout this week’s headlines. Hamish Kilburn breaks down the top stories of the week…

Whoever thought that January was a soft landing was seriously mistaken – or didn’t work in the hotel design arena. My inbox over the last 25 days has been inundated with press releases from hotel groups announcing their vast expansion plans. This week alone, Melia Hotels International, Nobu Hospitality and Kimpton Hotels all announced dramatic plans to open new luxury properties in new destinations. Suggesting a serious change in travellers’ behaviour, the hotel industry is not the other luxury market that is adapting its strategy to cater towards the modern traveller. Concluding our series, Hotels at New Heights, I spoke to the hotel designers that have turned their heads towards the cruise industry.

Here are the top stories of the week.

1) Nobu Hotels announces plans to arrives in Poland

Exterior shot of the hotel. a new building located at Wilcza Street, designed by the Polish architectural firm, Medusa Group,

Image credit: Nobu Hospitality

Nobu Hospitality, a global luxury lifestyle brand founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, has announced its continued global expansion into Warsaw, Poland…

On track to have 20 hotels within its portfolio globally by 2020, Nobu Hotels has announced plans to open Nobu Hotel Warsaw.

2) Inside the world’s first hotel room that determines room rate based on social media addiction

Light glowing red next to the bed of a hotel

Image credit: The Check Out Suite, Hotel

That’s right, a hotel in Gothenburg, Sweden, has launched a new policy where the room rate is determined by how much time guests spend surfing on social media…

With the number of social media users worldwide in 2018 reaching a staggering 3.196 billion, up 13 per cent year-on-year according to Smart Insights, it was only a matter of time before hotels would launch schemes in order to help guests reconnect with the world around their screens. With the aim to take this initiative further, a hotel in Gothenburg, Sweden, has actually launched a hotel room where its rates will be determined by how much the guest spends on social media platforms.

3) Top 14 most tagged interior design trends on Instagram

With so many interior design trends, it can be difficult to choose a style that fits a particular space best. While most of these trends intertwine, some are undoubtedly more popular than others.

4) Hotels at New Heights: suites on the high seas

Render from Richmond International of Balcony Cabin

Image caption: Render from Richmond International of Balcony Cabin

To conclude our series, Hotels at New Heights, I investigate why more and more hotel designers are taking to the seas to design the luxury cruise vessels’ suites of the future.

5) Meet Up London: 30 Under 30 launches early bird tickets

Until February 7, designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers will be able to purchase early bird tickets for Hotel Designs‘ highly anticipated Q1 networking evening, Meet Up London: 30 Under 30.

Main image credit: Image credit: Seabourn Ovation/Adam Tihany Studio

Architects and designers concerned to incorporate flame installations in design

800 503 Hamish Kilburn

79 per cent of architects and designers avoid using flame installations in their projects, a study has revealed…

Architects and designers have growing concerns about including flame in their designs, a study has suggested. 

The research, which was carried out by Glen Dimplex Heating and Ventilation, revealed that the majority of respondents (79 per cent) said they had concerns when it came to incorporating fire and flame in their projects, despite the fact that they often form centrepieces of design work.

Health and safety was cited as the main concern (46 per cent), followed by energy efficiency (39 per cent) and cost (32 per cent). However, respondents also said if health and safety concerns could be addressed and the right technology was available, 53 per cent would be more inclined to use include fire or flame in projects.

“The research demonstrates that there is a definite appetite in the market for alternative ways of incorporating fire into the design of commercial spaces, especially methods that are safer and more cost-effective,” says Jonathan Smith, product marketing manager – Flame Technology, Glen Dimplex Heating and Ventilation.

“This is something that we are seeing more of in our own business, where the demand for our flame technology and flame effects products is increasing rapidly, giving architects and designers realistic flame options that add to the visual appeal of a space with none of the disadvantages.”

The study surveyed 250 architects and designers across the UK to gauge their opinions on the state of the industry, technology in the design process, and the use of flame in their projects.

The concerns around using fire are consistent with the industry’s overall challenges; architects and designers identified cost reduction (64 per cent), keeping on top of innovation (48 per cent) and health and safety (41 per cent) as their top issues.

The research also highlighted the use of other technologies in the design process with 62 per cent of architects and designs saying that smart technology was already having an impact or would be in the next six months. Almost one-quarter of respondents (24 per cent) said augmented reality would influence the industry within the next 18 months, while 23 per cent said virtual reality would affect it in the next six months. Robotics, 3D modelling and 3D printing, and the use of drones, were also cited as making an impact in the longer term.

Hotel Designs’ would like to know your opinion on whether you would avoid using flame installations in your design because of health and safety factors. Please tweet us @HotelDesigns to have your say. 

Main image credit: Glamm Fire’s Operetta 

Hotels at New Heights: Rooms on Rails

800 537 Hamish Kilburn

In the second article in the series, Hotels at New Heights, Hamish Kilburn investigates how the luxury train industry is seeing somewhat of a renaissance for plush suite travel following an uncertain journey on the rails…

The year was 1914. Woodrow Wilson was the President of the United States of America and the greatest war the world had ever seen was brewing in the air. Although the year is nowadays referred to in the history books as the beginning of a bloody war, WW1, it was also a year of huge significance within the travel industry. In January 1914, the world’s first fixed-wing airliner took to the skies for the very first time. Despite the short journey between  St. Petersburg, Florida, to Tampa, Florida, the monumental defiance of gravity set the scene of the aviation industry becoming commercialised.

Up until then, luxury travellers relied on boats and to a certain extent trains – both of which were uncomfortable and long when navigating from one destination to the other. Watching the world disappear over the horizon from above the clouds became an experience that began to dominate the luxury market. What used to take days on a train or boat could now take hours in the air.

Fast forward more than a century, and aviation today is at an all-time high, with more than four billion of the world’s population taking to the skies every year. But as the bulk of the world fastens their seat belts for take-off, the luxury train industry is seeing somewhat of a renaissance, which is largely being led by the demand for one-off high-end experiences. As travellers around the world become more adventurous on their explorations, so too does their preferred method of transport. For some, luxury trains are in an unmatched league of their own. At the core of that splendour is arguably the beautiful, painstakingly detailed interiors that no airline in the world, past or present, can match.

“Travelling by rail has become a prestigious novelty for the few who had the luxury of time on their hands when exploring the world.”

Realistically, with time being the luxury in most peoples’ busy lifestyles, the thought of boarding a train from London to Venice is somewhat a waste of time. But when the method of transport becomes the experience, as opposed to simply the necessary endurance of a journey to get from A to B, the journey becomes a prestigious once-in-a-lifetime memory.

As the aviation industry continued to grow to cater to the expansive demand to travel to all corners of the globe, travelling by rail has become a prestigious novelty for the few who had the luxury of time on their hands when exploring the world. Today, hundreds of trains on the rails that claim to have luxury rooms – and here are just a few to be inspired by.

Ravos Rail

Carrying a total of 72 passengers, Ravos Rail, guests can take one of seven African itineraries, but the most popular is Pretoria and Cape Town. The wood-panelled locomotives take guests to the Big Hole and Diamond Mine Museum, but it is arguably the timeless interiors that keeps guests comfortable in their suites. The Royal Suites occupy half a carriage and come complete with a full bathroom and double bed, as well as luxuriously spacious living quarters.

Venice – Simplon Orient Express

Luxurious suite with mahogany surfaces and light soft furnishings

Image credit: Belmond

Steeped in history, the Venice-Simplon Orient Express is polished perfection when it comes to luxury trains. Expect Lalique glass and wood panelling in the dining area; the Orient Express transports guests, slowly, from London to Venice, via Paris. Cabin suites include two interconnecting rooms and mosaic-tiled lavatories. Wimberley Interiors has been appointed to design three new suites on board, to enhance luxury and reflect each destination along its legendary route (Paris, Venice and Istanbul).

“It was extremely important when developing the design concept, that we embraced the unique story and history of the brand. To capture the epitome of classic luxury travel that the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express exudes,” comments Rachel Johnson, Vice President and London Studio Director, Wimberly Interiors. “We focused on moments within each city, inspiring visual cues and the overall Belmond guest experience. It was an exciting challenge to use this inspiration to recreate the essence of Art Deco glamour in a graceful and timeless design.”

Belmond Andean Explorer

Train carriage with blue seating

Image credit: Belmond

Proving that not all luxury hotels have to transport you back to the glamour days of the 1920s is the Belmond Andean Explorer. Designed by Muza Lab, which was co-founded by Inge Moore and Nathan Hutchins, it has been emotively designed to be simple and not overly stuffy. As a result, the neutral colour scheme throughout all the cabins opens up the interiors with areas of excitement popping through in the soft furnishings and light-violet lampshades. The rooms, meanwhile, combine contemporary furniture with soft, light oak framing the beds.

It seems that what really stands out among the high-earning travellers is the one-off décor and detail. Just like what defines luxe in the luxury travel industry, these one-off experiences are totally unmatched by competition and painstakingly precise when it comes to creating a certain ambiance.

As we delve deeper into the series – and into other industries in the search for inspirational interiors in different arenas – we discover just how parallel these sectors really are. Travelling the same routes, but perhaps on different tracks, the ever-expanding hospitality market is fast taking design to new heights. In the next article in the series, Suites on the Seas, we will be revisiting why so many hotel designers are being tasked to design the next era of cruise ships.

To read last week’s article in the series, Hotels at New Heights: Suites in the Sky, click here

Main image credit: Belmond

Edinburgh’s boutique yacht hotel to open in 2018

850 473 Daniel Fountain

The opening of Scotland’s first luxury static floating hotel – being affectionately nicknamed a ‘boatique’ – is due for 2018.

The former Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) tender, MV Fingal, is being converted into a 23 bedroom hotel, berthed permanently at the Prince of Wales Dock in Edinburgh’s historic port of Leith.

Each of the 23 individually designed cabins will be named after Stevenson lighthouses, and have been inspired by Fingal’s maritime heritage.

The 237ft long ship will also be home to a double height ballroom, able to seat 80 guests and features a moveable skylight.

The development is being carried out by the Pedley Group, a new company formed by Alan Pedley and Stephen Flanagan. Pedley has been responsible for manufacturing and installing over 180,000 hotel rooms in 61 countries for hotel groups including; IHG, Hyatt, Hilton, and Marriott.

Qorokwe Camp, Botswana

Project Spotlight: Wilderness Safaris’ Qorokwe Camp, Botswana

769 400 Daniel Fountain

Wilderness Safaris is delighted to announce the opening of its new Classic Camp, Qorokwe, situated in the private, wildlife-rich 26 180-hectare (64 692-acre) Qorokwe Concession, bordering Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.

Meaning “the place where the buffalo broke through the bush into the water”, Qorokwe comprises nine elegant tented suites, one of which is a spacious family unit with its own splash pool, as well as a dining area, lounge, library, bar and infinity swimming pool, all situated along the banks of a beautiful lagoon. An example of authentic, responsible luxury, the camp was built using innovative techniques and operates on 100% solar power, thus keeping as light an eco-footprint as possible in one of the Delta’s untouched wilderness areas – one that has been unutilised for the past four years.

“In our continuous quest for operating camps – and making a difference – in the best wildlife areas in Africa, the exclusive Qorokwe Concession has earned a well-deserved place in our ranks”, commented Kim Nixon, Wilderness Safaris Botswana MD. “We are proud to have welcomed our first guests to Qorokwe, in partnership with Cobus Calitz and Jil Gérard-Calitz, and are looking forward to revealing this contemporary, land-based camp and highly-productive wilderness concession to the world”.

Architect, Joy Brasler on Qorokwe:

  • The concept for Qorokwe grew out of a response to the landscape – the site lies next to a lagoon and the tented suites are raised off the ground to see over the vegetation growing at the lagoon’s edge, as well as providing a sense of safety in the wilderness.
  • The suites and main camp area were laid out by the team in response to the trees and views available on site. There are a number of large canopy trees which inspired the idea of a fairly cannellated ceiling to the unit which mimics the bark of the trees and canopy overhead. The rest of the unit is predominantly clad in canvas to the rear, and mosquito netting on the view side, with interior blinds/shutters that act as both curtains and environmental control.
  • In our practice, we had been pursuing the idea of a mechano m/s steel unit which would limit the construction time on site and the variations that typically arise out of building in the bush. Materials were therefore chosen for rapid construction with a steel frame with infill panels of either mesh or canvas, timber decks and the detailed timber ceilings perforated with light.Project Spotlight: Wilderness Safaris’ Qorokwe Camp, Botswana
  • The tented suites are spacious and include a large deck. Given that the temperatures are fairly benign and that the thrill of being out in this wild landscape is paramount, much of the main camp features are open and cascading towards the watercourse. The rear of the camp enhances the experience of traversing the various vegetation typologies as you move towards the water – open landscape, vegetated edge, and open view – the entrance sequence is treated as a series of “walls” in the landscape, ascent and view. The ceiling travels over these diverse features and is gently graduated with light.
  • Views are framed and isolated to elevate the visual experience of this photographic environment, water is used to bring the Delta into the camp, both to connect the experience of being in the landscape and to deal with the practical issues of keeping guests away from the edges.
  • References are made to the cycle of decay at the edge of the Okavango Delta through the use of “rusted” finishes in conjunction with lightweight tented construction infill methodology. Colours and imagery from both the landscape above ground and beneath the water are brought into the interiors.
  • The language of the infrastructure is seen as an elemental and contemporary response to an insertion in this landscape – the interiors are a response to the colours and activities of Africa, with the emotive use of materials, colour and form.

Owing to its location on the border of Moremi Game Reserve and its diverse habitat types – from scattered acacia and mopane woodlands, open seasonal and permanent floodplains fringed on either side by the picturesque channels and islands along the Gomoti and Santantadibe Channels – Qorokwe offers an abundance of wildlife. Game drives, walks, boating and mokoro present life-changing opportunities of viewing and photographing the variety of life here, including lion, spotted hyaena, leopard, wild dog, cheetah, elephant and buffalo, to name a few, as well as the myriad birds that are attracted to such pristine surrounds.

Interior designer, Michelle Throssell on Qorokwe:  

  • Sharing a similar design philosophy to Joy Brasler Architects, Michelle Throssell was thrilled to be introduced to the Qorokwe team by Joy Brasler in order to propose an interior design solution for the camp. According to Michelle, “Working off Joy’s canvas is always a pleasure and so our interior design concept grew very much from her inspiration. The selection of interior architecture finishes, various timbers, ceiling details, lighting, shopfitting and fixtures was a collaborative effort and we tried to involve the Qorokwe team in every decision to give them something that reflected their vision for the camp and also their passion for the bush. The palette of colours and materials was inspired by the Botswana landscape as well as by Joy’s strong architectural concept, resulting in a rich mix of bleached timbers, darker stains and accents of rust and burnt orange. By introducing a combination of organic shapes and textural diversity from live-edged timber to steel and canvas, we have created a warm, enveloping space providing comfort and luxury in an understated way”.

According to lead architect, Joy Brasler, and interior designer, Michelle Throssell, the design inspiration for Qorokwe came from the natural setting of the Botswana landscape, resulting in a rich mix of bleached timbers, darker stains and accents of rust and burnt orange.

Project Spotlight: Wilderness Safaris’ Qorokwe Camp, BotswanaThe materials chosen to build the camp include steel frames with infill panels to insulate against heat and cold, canvas and timber decks. Detailed timber ceilings are perforated with light to mimic the experience of being beneath the trees at the side of the lagoon, so that the entire camp experience blends in with its beautiful natural surroundings.

www.wilderness-safaris.com/camps/qorokwe-camp

COSI Hotel Samui

Centara’s first COSI Hotel opens in Samui

640 457 Daniel Fountain

The new COSI Hotel on Samui island is now officially open and welcoming independent, tech-savvy travellers. It is as different from a traditional hotel as a new smartphone is from the mobile phones of the 90s.

Centara completely re-thought what a hotel should be for the new generation of connected, freedom loving, pricey-frill-hating travellers. The result is an innovative and affordable lifestyle hub set in the middle of the shopping, eating, social and entertainment scene on Chaweng Beach. If it feels a little more like staying at the stylish home of a friend, and that’s the whole idea.

“COSI represents a lot of new thinking about what a modern hotel can be, based on what’s important and what’s not so relevant for today’s, youthful-minded, smart travellers,” explains Harry Thaliwal, Centara’s General Manager and Corporate Director of Operations for COSI. “You can create a very fresh and unique place if you’re willing to throw out the usual conventions,” he adds.

For starters, there’s no lobby counter or check-in queues. You can check yourself in and out at the digital self-service stations. COSI is designed to play well with the smartphones in the pockets of today’s travellers. You can book with your smartphone, check in with your smartphone, and play videos or catch-up with your latest boxset on your room’s 43-inch SmartTV screen, which can mirror your phone screen. Fast and free WiFi is everywhere.

COSI Hotel SamuiThe hotel’s Hub is a 24/7 social and media playspace where guests can watch the game, grab a sip or a bite, and connect with friends. You get free daily credits to use for food and drink any time you want at the integrated WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) Café. COSI’s 150 rooms are clean and streamlined. In addition to the hi-tech TV, they feature mega comfy king or twin beds, powerful showers, digital safes and fridges. Each room even has five USB ports so guests can recharge their devices without worrying about converters.

COSI Samui also features an 18-metre rooftop pool and all-hours laundromat. The minimalist mod look and feel of the hotel go well with the technology and service innovations. The “COSI Crew” are trained to help guests new to Samui discover its best places. Central Festival, the island’s main shopping centre, is up the street, and Samui’s airport is only 15 minutes away.

“Today’s young travellers want freedom, connections and shared experiences,” said Thirayuth Chirativat, Centara’s Chief Executive Officer. “They are interested in a simple, smart, fun lifestyle, rather than traditional or superfluous amenities. We designed COSI for them. We expect this will be the first of many.”

www.centarahotelsresorts.com/cosihotels/

Hard Rock Hotels opens first hotel in the Alps

Hard Rock Hotels opens first hotel in the Alps

850 566 Daniel Fountain

Hard Rock Hotels has announced the opening of their first hotel in continental Europe, Hard Rock Hotel Davos in the Swiss Alps.

The hotel is located in the heart of the city in the historic Alexander House, built in 1882. For guests looking to hit the ski slopes, the hotel offers guests a dedicated Ski Room where they can store equipment and gear.

Transforming the 130-year-old building, Hard Rock Hotel Davos makes tribute to the building’s rich history and has been transformed into a luxury music-inspired alpine escape with priceless memorabilia adorning the walls of the property, two bars and the brand’s signature Sessions Restaurant.

Curated by a team of experts, the memorabilia collection complements the local music scene while reflecting the region’s art, style and culture. Hard Rock Hotel Davos is now home to 65 pieces of memorabilia, with notable pieces including a sequin sweater by Michael Jackson, a lace outfit by Taylor Swift and a silk shirt by Elvis Presley.

Catering to both business and leisure travellers, Hard Rock Hotel Davos will have 110 lavishly redesigned rooms, including 31 serviced one to three bedroom apartments, all of which feature Sleep Like a Rock® bed linen.

In addition to three conference rooms offering dynamic meeting space, an on-site, historic chapel is also available for private hire, containing a modern sound system, natural acoustics, fully functioning organ and adaptable lighting, ideal for banquets, weddings, private concerts and events.

The property will also boast a wellness centre, including a Body Rock® workout facility and a Rock Spa®, complete with the brand’s signature music-infused Rhythm & Motion spa menu, five treatment rooms and a yoga studio, set to open in August 2018.

www.hardrockhotels.com/davos

Brand Spotlight: Generator Hostels

Brand Spotlight: Generator continues Europe expansion

1000 667 Daniel Fountain

Generator, the cutting-edge European lifestyle brand responsible for leading the hostel revolution, announces the opening of three new properties: Generator Stockholm and its bar Hilma; Generator Amsterdam and its club Oosterbar; and Generator Rome.

These consecutive, milestone launches, round out the company’s portfolio to include 11 destinations in Europe.

In its quest to continue to provide true native experiences at each location, Generator is opening up their food and beverage venues, and other on-property programming to locals in respective communities. Beginning with Hilma and Oosterbar, and continuing across existing units, this new initiative will bring like-minded travelers and locals together to create a unique social experience driven by design, art, music, food, drink and entertainment.

Brand Spotlight: Generator Hostels“Generator redefined the shared accommodations sector, and transformed the industry as we know it,” said Fredrik Korallus, Chief Executive Officer, Generator. “We are thrilled to offer our unique concept in these three world class cities, and connect our global traveler with even more exciting experiences.”

Stockholm, Rome, Amsterdam, and the addition of new bars and restaurants across the portfolio are an integral part of the company’s robust expansion efforts. 2017 property openings include a city center location in Madrid and the brand’s US debut in South Beach, Miami.

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RELATED LINKS:
SNEAK PEEK: GENERATOR HOSTELS IN AMSTERDAM, ROME & STOCKHOLM
AWARD-WINNING HOSTEL BRAND GENERATOR OPENS IN STOCKHOLM
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Generator Stockholm is located in Stockholm’s city center at Torsgatan 10 and includes edgy bar and restaurant Hilma. In a prime location, dubbed the heart of Europe’s Silicon Valley, the new hostel and Hilma have attracted the traveling and local stylish, creative, and technology elite.

Brand Spotlight: Generator HostelsAlso newly opened, Generator’s arrival to Rome – a major European hub – will disrupt the city’s hostel and boutique hotel scene with its upscale shared accommodations. Centrally located on Via Principe Amedeo in the Esquilino neighborhood near the colorful Mercato dell’Esquilino, the 75-room, 174-bed property provides convenient access to notable attractions like the Roman Colosseum and Termini Station. An array of churches, parks, bars, cafes, and pizzerias line the surrounding streets, which are some of the oldest in the city. On-property features include:
– A rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the Apennine Mountains and ancient Roman aqueducts
– An open layout lobby programmed with live music and local art, including a mural by famous Italian street artist Luca Maleonte

Following the March 2016 opening of Generator Amsterdam, the 168-room, 564-bed property recently launched, Oosterbar, a club located in the building’s basement, the former boiler room of what was the University of Amsterdam’s science department. Its original tiles combined with a new dramatic metal piping sculpture, other raw and industrial-chic elements, and intimate lighting create an energetic nightlife vibe.

Guests can expect diverse DJ programming including special one-off performances, live acoustic acts, comedy shows, and international themed music nights ranging from hip hop and R&B to bass, house and elective to disco. The space will also feature exhibitions with local, emerging artists and fashion designers.

generatorhostels.com

Ramside Hall Tree House Suite External View

Luxury treehouses get the green light at Ramside Hall

1000 576 Daniel Fountain

An ambitious scheme to create six luxury treehouses at a North East hotel has been given the green light by council chiefs.

Durham County Council has given planning permission for Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa to build the unique accommodation behind one of its golf courses. Construction work is set to begin in February 2018, with the first three treehouses expected to open next June.

The plan is the latest multi-million pound development for the Durham hotel, and owner, John Adamson, said it would be a huge attraction for visitors to the area.

“We are delighted that Durham County Council has given us the go-ahead to start work on our new treehouses, which will be totally unlike anything else the region currently has to offer,” he said.

“Work will start in February on the first three, and we expect to be able to welcome our first visitors in June. We have worked very hard on the design and it is going to be fantastic to finally see them start to take shape.”

Built on stilts, the treehouses will each feature two bedrooms, a private living room and a state-of-the-art bathroom complete with a free-standing copper bath. They will give guests unrivalled views over the 18th fairway and green of the Prince Bishops golf course, and will benefit from lots of windows to allow maximum natural light.

The treehouses will be the latest in a string of big developments at the family-owned hotel, which has created an additional wing, a second championship golf course and its award-winning spa in recent years.

“We have been very particular about the design of the new treehouses – we wanted to be sympathetic to the surroundings and have chosen renewable materials where we could,” added Mr Adamson.

“Now that permission has been granted, we can get on with creating this wonderful new addition to our hotel, which we are confident will be very popular. We are looking forward to giving visitors something they’ve never seen before,” he added.

The treehouses will enhance the facilities we already have here at Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa, and we are all very excited about being able to welcome our first treehouse guests next summer.

Sleep Set

Sleep 2017 Live: Italian ‘Daydream’ flair

1000 692 Daniel Fountain

Sleep is one of Europe’s premier hotel design events, and took place in London 21st-22nd November 2017, at The Business Design Centre, Angel.

The brief for designers of this year’s Sleep Set edition is ‘Loyalty: Lessons in Love’: a hotel not as just a place to sleep, but a real experience. Brilliant hotel design creating enduring memories and guest loyalty.


This idea inspired ‘DayDream’ – a suite-stand set up by Studio CaberlonCaroppi from Milan, Italy. A space where technology creates an evolving environment, a changing and engaging hospitality experience.

It’s a choice that celebrates Italian excellence where Italamp perfectly fits the stylistic mood of the installation with elegant design and quality details. The company will be showing the Lily Collection – wall, table and floor lamps – in light gold finish and shade made with a geometrical fabric by Dedar; and Olimpo, a contemporary chandelier with black matte finish and light gold details.

www.italamp.com

Pod Brooklyn opened its doors in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, introducing the next generation of properties

Concept POD Hotel opens property in Brooklyn

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Pod Brooklyn opened its doors in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, introducing the next generation of properties from BD Hotels in partnership with CB Developers.

Following the models in Manhattan and Washington DC (Pod 51, Pod 39 & Pod DC), Pod Brooklyn carries on with the micro-hotel concept, which utilises modular guestrooms built entirely in Poland and shipped to New York City.

POD BrooklynThe 249 modular rooms, each about 100 square feet, and include queen and bunk bed configurations with features like built-in storage and high-tech amenities, which allow guests to stream their own media content from iPhones or other devices.

Guestrooms include oversized windows looking onto green gardens and public spaces, creating a social campus feel, but also include blackout and noise-blocking shades for when travelers wish to unplug.

The property stands on the corner of Metropolitan and Driggs Avenue.

thepodhotel.com

Marriott reveals 'IoT' hotel room of the future...

Marriott reveals ‘IoT’ hotel room of the future…

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As technology continues to evolve and play an increasingly active role in our daily lives, Marriott International has teamed with two leading companies – Samsung and Legrand – to launch the hospitality industry’s first Internet of Things (‘IoT’) hotel room to inspire the ultimate hotel experience of the future.

The IoT Guestroom Lab – powered by Marriott’s Innovation Lab at the company’s corporate headquarters – explores concepts that have the potential to elevate the guest experience, create more efficient hotel room design and construction, and contribute to Marriott’s global sustainability efforts and goals. As the hospitality industry’s “smart” hotel room, the Lab allows multiple responsive IoT systems, devices and applications to communicate with one another to serve guests and optimise hotel operations.

“We know that our guests expect to personalise almost everything in their lives, and their hotel experience should be no different,” said Stephanie Linnartz, Global Chief Commercial Officer, Marriott International. “By teaming with best-in-class partners, we are leveraging mobile and voice-enabled technology to give our guests the ability to set up the room to best meets their needs – whether that is creating the ultimate relaxation environment or one that enables productivity for business travelers.”

“At Samsung, we aspire to make life easier and better for our consumers, whether they’re at home or their home away from home,” said James Stansberry, Senior Vice President and General Manager of ARTIK IoT, Samsung Electronics. “Partnering with Legrand and Marriott, we can offer users unprecedented levels of control and personalisation, thanks to our end-to-end IoT services powered by the ARTIK platform and the SmartThings Cloud. From intuitive lighting to voice-activated room controls, we’re delivering customisable, intelligent experiences that make our consumers’ lives more convenient, productive and secure.”

Developing an intuitive system is critical as Marriott seeks to continuously innovate the global guest experience across its 30 brands. The technology inside the IoT Guestroom Lab allows, for instance, a user to ask a virtual assistant for a 6:30am wake-up alarm, to start a yoga routine on a full-length mirror, request additional housekeeping services and start the shower at the desired temperature stored in their customer profile – all by voice or app.

“We’re proud to be innovating with industry leading partners to get closer to revolutionising the guest experience, along with hotel operations and even hotel construction,” said Karim Khalifa, Senior Vice President, Global Design, Marriott International. “Together with Samsung and Legrand, we are well on our way to creating the hotel room of the future.”

“At Legrand, we offer a suite of power, light and data solutions that bring power and connectivity to previously untapped locations. Legrand is partnering with Marriott to improve the guest experience in a cost effective and intuitive manner. This work further supports our Eliot Program in North America, Legrand’s global IoT program that encompasses our ambition, drives our product innovation and fosters our partnership in the IoT space,” said Ken Freeman, Senior Vice President of Demand Creation, Legrand. “Legrand’s product portfolio can elevate a property by turning everyday features into lasting highlights. We are thrilled to collaborate with Marriott and Samsung to conceptualise and deliver on the future traveler’s needs.”

Marriott is working towards a future where hotel owners would have a seamless, transparent and flexible end-to-end solution that requires minimal equipment, while customers would enjoy an integrated experience with access to their own data and information, as well as accessible voice and mobile-optimised controls. Such systems would also benefit hotel operations and improve personalised service by, for instance, allowing staff to provide services at a guest’s desired time.

Following the three-month-long IoT Guestroom Lab, Marriott, Samsung and Legrand will analyse feedback to continue innovating with IoT technology. Consumers will start to see elements of the technology in hotel rooms within the next five years.

www.marriott.com/default.mi

Moxy Tokyo

Marriott’s Moxy brand continues expansion with Tokyo opening

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Tokyo-based real estate developer Pacifica Capital has opened the Moxy Tokyo Kinshicho, the first hotel in Japan for Marriott International’s new lifestyle brand targeted at the Millennial generation.

Already off to a great start, the hotel was fully occupied on its third night of operations.

Located in the dynamic commercial district of Kinshicho, it is walking distance to Sky Tree and Asakusa, and only 8 minutes by train to Tokyo Station.

The hotel has 205 guestrooms, 24 hour food and beverage service, a complete gym and high-tech meeting rooms.

While guests can comfortably relax in their retro-style rooms, the first floor of the hotel offers plentiful space to eat, drink, talk and play table and board games.

Hotel Football Manchester

Hotel Football, Manchester

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Manchester is going through somewhat of a renaissance in the hotel industry.

Recent openings – including Hotel Gotham – have put the critical and commercial spotlight on the city, drawing some of the attention usually hogged by the capital down south. During this wave of stylish, quirky and conceptual openings came a project by former Manchester United stalwarts Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs – Hotel Football.

Hotel Football ManchesterIts location overlooking the club’s iconic Old Trafford stadium, affectionately known as the ‘Theatre of Dreams’, might suggest this is a haven just for followers of this particular megaclub. Far from it.

Hotel Football ManchesterAny supporter of the ‘Beautiful Game’ will be pleasantly surprised by the ubiquitous football-themed touches throughout – like a mural of great footballing memories accompanying guests on their ascent or descent of the main staircase, the stadium-esque facilities for the gentlemen’s toilets in the Old Trafford Supporters Club in the hotel’s basement or the guestroom bathroom design, with a nod to football changing rooms. Most of the hotel art, too, was commissioned by the hotel and made by University of Salford students.

The interiors are modern and slick, if not slightly ‘corporate’ at times. But make no mistake, the attention to detail is prevalent throughout – and despite this being a ‘themed’ hotel, guest comfort and satisfaction has not been overlooked.

Given the market this hotel is undoubtedly looking to tap into, the corporate and event spaces are excellent appointed and have the ability to cater for various-sized parties. The Owners Room and The Boardroom for smaller meetings, to the Stadium Suite and Players’ Lounge, which can take up to 500 people and match-day hospitality is also available.

Hotel Football ManchesterThe hotel has been well pitched – it is consciously not too over-the-top in being Manchester United-themed (considering the disdain with which some football supporters perceive the club), but rather more focused on football as a whole. The staff throughout the property are also commendably friendly and helpful; whether or not they are Manchester United fans seems irrelevant as they all appear to be genuinely invested in the success of the project. Overall, this is a hotel that knows its USP, does what it says on the tin and does it well. It’s fun, quirky and different – definitely another success story for the Manchester hotel scene.

Based on a stay in March 2017
hotelfootball.com

Dream Hotel Group

Dream Hotel Group announces first hotel in England

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Dream Hotel Group has announced plans to debut Unscripted Hotels, its newest lifestyle brand and hospitality concept designed for the progressive, creative traveller, in England by 2020.

The latest hotel signing with London-based Ciel Capital represents a major milestone for Dream Hotel Group, positioning the company as international hospitality innovators and leading the way for new growth in the region.

Setting a new benchmark for hospitality in the West Midlands, Unscripted Birmingham Central Hall will feature 135 beautifully designed guest rooms and five dining and nightlife venues, including a rooftop lounge on the third floor and two restaurants flanking the street level, transforming nearly half a city block into a communal gathering place for hotel guests and Brummies alike.

The boutique hotel is part of a highly-anticipated restoration and redevelopment of the former Methodist Central Hall on the northern end of Corporation Street, opposite the Victoria Law Courts. Designed by architects Ewan Harper & James A. Harper, the three-story, Edwardian red brick and terracotta Grade II*-listed building opened in 1905, and its distinctive tower remains a recognizable part of Birmingham’s city-centre skyline today.

hub by Premier Inn - Westminster, St. James' Park

hub by Premier Inn – Westminster

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Right in the very heart of any city – London in particular – is probably not the first place one thinks of when ‘affordable accommodation’ is mentioned. But with the opening of Premier Inn’s new, technology-focussed ‘hub’ hotels in the English and Scottish capitals over the last 12 months, that is now a distinct reality.

Invited to take a look around the Westminster, St. James’ Park property earlier this year, which had opened in the October of 2016, I walk through the rather unassuming entrance and am instantly faced with a very impressive digital display complete with locale information and guest guidelines which makes up part of the check-in process for guests.

And this marks the very heart of this new concept from Premier Inn; tapping into the app-driven travel culture. With an app already downloaded, guests can use it to book a room, to check-in, get recommendations on things to see, do, eat and drink in the surrounding area – and ultimately limiting interaction with staff.

Speaking to Toby Wait of project management company TowerEight during my visit, he tells me how much travelling (for business or pleasure) has changed and continues to change. “The way apps have revolutionised our daily lives, it was only a matter of time before it became the norm in the hospitality world,” he says.

While there is no restaurant as such, the hotel does boast a lounge next to the lobby. This is a great concept – being seen more and more in economy-driven properties – with free coffee, tea and pastries all day and complimentary ‘light bites’ offered after 5pm, as well as other drinks available for purchase; it’s a modern, well-designed and well-appointed place for breakfast or evening networking drinks.

The rooms themselves, which come in ‘Standard’ and ‘Bigger’ sizes are also an excellent example of modernity and inch-perfect use of space. The white and olive-green colour scheme is tasteful and keeps the rooms feeling light and airy. A strategically positioned mirror adds to the illusion of space.

The aforementioned app allows guests to control room temperature, lights, change TV channels and take advantage of an in-room ‘augmented reality experience’ – all very clever, but for the less technically adept, there is also a perfectly functional touch screen to perform those tasks by the bed. Providing both UK and European power sockets is another thoughtful extra – meaning that guests are covered should they forget their adaptors.

hub by Premier Inn  - Westminster, St. James' Park

Due to the size of rooms, it is to be expected that storage space is at a premium, which for couples using a ‘Standard’ room might be a bit of an issue. But for solo travellers or those who pack light, the architects have made use of some clever solutions to optimise space. Plus, this is central London after all. Bathrooms are, again, ‘cosy’ but have everything a guest will need for a short stay.

A recent Telegraph Travel survey found that technology-focused hotels are becoming increasingly common and popular with travellers; with the findings showing that 42 percent of UK guests preferring to operate a room’s lighting, air conditioning and television via a display instead of using a separate remote control or switch.

With that in mind, Whitbread and TowerEight have tapped perfectly into this sector in the market with the ‘Hub’ concept. With seven London properties (including the Westminster, St. James’ hotel) and two in Edinburgh, the concept lives up to its promise and delivers both superb locations and a staggeringly competitive room-rate. In London, especially, that is a rare combination and one that I expect will only become more and more popular…

Based on a visit in January 2017
Photos: Whitbread PLC // Daniel Fountain

www.hubhotels.co.uk

New Edinburgh hotel opening: The Wine House Hotel 1821

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Opening October 10th in the heart of Edinburgh at Picardy Place, The Wine House Hotel 1821 represents a truly innovative concept in hospitality brought to you by legendary Italian wine producer ZONIN1821, and Scottish restaurateur, Sep Marini.

Set in a stunning, multi-storied Georgian townhouse, this boutique hotel includes a cosy and elegant wine bar, a cocktail lounge, inviting library, attractive function space and four individually designed hotel rooms, each inspired by ZONIN1821’s iconic Italian estates.

Having spent the last decade establishing some Scotland’s most iconic Italian restaurants, Marini has enshrined in this venue his love of Italian hospitality and cuisine, realising the perfect blend of food, family, and gastronomic excellence. And to this auspicious partnership, ZONIN1821 adds its expertise, knowledge, and passion for Italian wines and hospitality – creating a dynamic destination for wine aficionados and connoisseurs.

At the heart of the Wine House Hotel is ZONIN1821’s newest conception, the Wine Library: a place of entertainment, knowledge and community designed by the world-renowned architect Claudio Silvestrin. Here, guests can experience the Cru wines of ZONIN1821’s Estates offered by the glass, in stylish surroundings resplendent with red marble from Verona, sleek lines and a warm wood. A truly unique location to experience, taste and enjoy a new side of wine, the Wine library will soon be replicated in Brazil, along the most prestigious avenue of San Paolo, and in other European countries starting from 2018.

As a family, the Zonins have been under the spell of wine for nearly two centuries. The family company’s nine different Estates make them one of the most important Italian wine producers and indeed one of the foremost worldwide.

Chapman Taylor Mui Dinh Eco-Resort Hotels

Mui Dinh eco-resort masterplan wins approval

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Chapman Taylor is pleased to report that the 1,100,000m² master plan design for the Mui Dinh Eco-Resort in Vietnam has received approval from the Vietnamese government.

Set on a beautiful site on the east coast of Vietnam, Mui Dinh Eco-Resort is designed to reflect the key elements of the surrounding environment – sand, sea, salt and sun. Intended as an unrivalled hospitality-led mixed-use development in Asia, the development is inspired by the rich local history of Mui Dinh, particularly that of the Cham tribal culture and architecture as well as the lost world of the last dynasty.

Mui Dinh eco-resort Vietnam
Six resort hotels and a boutique hotel provide a total of 7,000 rooms. 500 ocean-facing villas are also available, with all residents served by a leisure offering including a theme park, a casino, a beach club and a mountain clubhouse.

Chapman Taylor’s Bangkok studio is responsible for the design master plan for this striking coastal resort.

Director Oscar Martinez said: “We are delighted that the Vietnamese government has given its full support to our master plan and this ambitious and unique eco-development, which will transform this beautiful coastal area into a new exciting sustainable destination and give an economic boost to this region of eastern Vietnam.”

First Asian YOTEL opens in Singapore

First Asian YOTEL opens in Singapore

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YOTEL Singapore, the first YOTEL in Asia, opened its doors to guests on 1 October 2017, offering 610 rooms known as ‘cabins’ across 30 floors.

By integrating the elements of luxury hotels into smartly designed spaces, YOTEL aims to provide a seamless and intuitive guest experience by giving guests everything they need and nothing they don’t.

With a wide variety of cabins on offer from a Premium Queen Cabin to a VIP View Suite, we have something to suit every budget and every traveller’s needs.

The cabins are equipped with signature YOTEL features such as the adjustable SmartBed™ with super comfortable Serta Gel mattresses as well as a Technowall with mood lighting and smart TVs for easy connectivity to your own devices. There will also be access to complimentary super-strength WiFi throughout the hotel.

Like other YOTELs worldwide, YOTEL Singapore is placed in a central and convenient location that offers guests easy access to the city’s main attractions.

Wimberly Interiors - Orient Express

Wimberly Interiors reveal Orient Express designs

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Wimberly Interiors is delighted to unveil the design of three ultra-luxurious private ‘Grand Suites’ aboard the seminal Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Adorned with opulent marquetry, the sumptuous ‘Grand Suites’ offer guests a once in a lifetime opportunity to be transported to the golden era of travel in suitably contemporary luxury, from March 2018.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express brings to life the romance and nostalgia of the golden age of travel with its luxurious 1920s and 1930s carriages. Drawing inspiration from the romance, adventure and style of each of the destinations the train weaves through; Paris, Venice and Istanbul, Wimberly Interiors has used ornate detailing, hand-beaded embroidery and lavish fabrics to reflect each city’s unique character. Wimberly Interiors worked closely with Belmond to retain the carriage’s intrinsic features and enrich the original bespoke details, celebrating the original décor of the Roaring Twenties in every stylistic detail.

Throughout the season, the train journeys through a mobile-tapestry of changing landscapes, connecting three of Europe’s most exciting and culturally rich cities. The resplendent décor embraces and enhances the carriage’s history, creating an exceptional and genuine experience for the discerning traveller.

“It was extremely important when developing the design concept, that we embraced the unique story and history of the brand. To capture the epitome of classic luxury travel that the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express exudes,” comments Rachel Johnson, Vice President and London Studio Director, Wimberly Interiors. “We focused on moments within each city, inspiring visual cues and the overall Belmond guest experience. It was an exciting challenge to use this inspiration to recreate the essence of Art Deco glamour in a graceful and timeless design.”

The Paris Suite
Taking inspiration from Paris’ historic love affair with the Art Deco movement, Wimberly Interiors has adorned the suite with exquisite decorative touches and a light and crisp colour palette. The city’s haute couture and gastronomic excellence is channelled through elegant furnishings, delicate fabrics, crystal barware and Lalique crystal panels.

Wimberly Interiors - Orient ExpressThe Venice Suite
Wimberly Interiors has interwoven the grandeur of Venice into the space using damask silks, blue and silver hues and bespoke Murano Glass Chandeliers which reflect the city’s baroque and renaissance heritage. Celebrating local craftsmanship, decorative elements include traditional Venetian mirrors and an antique tapestry sourced from Venice, which evoke an authentic sense of the city.

The Istanbul Suite (Main Image)
This suite has been influenced by the rich patterning of the Topkapi Palace, traditional Ottoman design and Istanbul’s famous Grand Bazaar. Hand carved timber and marquetry panel borders accented with mother of pearl recall the opulence and romance of the destination while amber crystal ware, embossed leather and exaggerated metal details honour the city’s unique heritage.

“One of the key design elements in each suite is the extravagant, high gloss marquetry, which blends the unique rich traditional patterns of each city with the Art Deco design of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express carriages.” Sophie Deeley, Project Designer, Wimberly Interiors.

“This is a one of a kind restoration project; we are going to completely transform the individual classic cabins into three exceptional suites. The designs are sensitive to the original history of the carriages and each cabin is inspired by the city it represents.” Comments Gary Franklin, Managing Director, Trains & Cruises for Belmond.

Wilderness Safaris’ Qorokwe Camp – Luxury Eco-Chic in the Heart of the Delta

Wilderness Safaris’ Qorokwe Camp to open in December

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Qorokwe Camp, a new Wilderness Safaris Classic Camp due to open in the private, wildlife-rich 26,180-hectare (64,692-acre) Qorokwe Concession in Botswana in December 2017, will offer the perfect blend of luxury eco-chic within a beautiful Okavango Delta setting.

Designed by lead architect, Joy Brasler and interior designer, Michelle Throssell, Qorokwe Camp is situated along the banks of a beautiful kidney-shaped lagoon. The nine elegant tented suites, one of which is a spacious family suite with its own splash pool, and the main area, which comprises a dining area, lounge, library, bar and infinity swimming pool, are built on raised decked platforms (about two metres/six feet off the ground). This not only provides spectacular views of the lagoon and surrounding bushveld, but also enables the vegetation to thrive underneath the suites – a unique environmental advantage as most rooms create ‘dead’ space beneath.

According to Joy Brasler, materials chosen to build the camp include steel frames with infill panels to insulate against heat and cold, canvas and timber decks. Detailed timber ceilings are perforated with light to mimic the experience of being beneath the trees at the side of the lagoon so that the entire camp experience blends in with its beautiful natural surroundings. “The language of the infrastructure is seen as an elemental and contemporary response to an insertion in this landscape – the interiors are a response to the colours and activities of Africa, with the emotive use of materials, colour and form,” she said.

Michelle Throssel reiterated that their combined inspiration came from the natural setting, stating that the palette of colours and materials was motivated by the Botswana landscape, resulting in a rich mix of bleached timbers, darker stains and accents of rust and burnt orange. “By introducing a combination of organic shapes and textural diversity from live-edged timber to steel and canvas, we have created a warm, enveloping space providing comfort and luxury in an understated way,” Michelle added.

In line with Wilderness Safaris’ commitment to operating with as light an eco-footprint as possible, Qorokwe will be 100% solar-powered and all water will be heated by means of thermodynamic solar geysers, further helping to mitigate the camp’s carbon emissions. “We are also excited to have used a new building technique for the Delta, one that comprises an entirely steel sub-structure,“ said Qorokwe GM, Daniel Crous. “Although this is more expensive than building with wood, we believe that it is a more environmentally and economically sound method in the long run – requiring less ‘reconstructions’, as well as being easier to remove, thus leaving less of an environmental footprint. In addition, using steel removes the threat of termites and therefore there is no need to put chemically treated wood into the ground where it may affect the immediate environment.”

Owned by the Maun-based Calitz family, the Qorokwe (meaning “the place where the buffalo broke through the bush into the water”) Concession is a spectacular and highly productive mix of fertile Okavango habitats. Qorokwe’s diverse landscape includes scattered acacia and mopane woodlands, open seasonal and permanent floodplains and is fringed on either side by the picturesque channels and islands along the Gomoti and Santantadibe Channels. Guests can explore the exclusive concession on day and night game drives and nature walks led by highly-skilled guides, as well as enjoy mokoro and boating activities, depending on the water levels.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Calitz family to reveal this exclusive new land-based camp and private concession – a highly-productive game-viewing area that has been unutilised for the past four years. The beauty of the landscape and our experiences in the Qorokwe Concession to date are such that we know our guests can look forward to exceptional wildlife experiences, in addition to a world-class and original camp offering,” said Kim Nixon, Wilderness Safaris Botswana MD.

Southampton Harbour Hotel to open in October

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Nicolas James Group is pleased to announce that work is nearing an end on the development and opening of its new Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa at Ocean Village. The development marks a major milestone for the city, introducing Southampton’s first luxury five star standard hotel.

The hotel will include 85 bedrooms, an indulgent Harbour Spa, with gym and swimming pool, along with the group’s award-winning Jetty restaurant concept, featuring a luxurious rooftop Champagne Bar.

Southampton Harbour Hotel

A renowned London design house has been appointed to create luxury, nautical inspired interior concepts, with yacht chic décor and a coastal colour palette.

Alongside the hotel, the Nicolas James Group is developing 100 luxury residential apartments for sale, with water views and exclusive use of the hotel’s Harbour Spa.

www.southampton-harbour-hotel.co.uk

avid hotels Exterior day view

IHG’s avid hotels to extend company’s midscale leadership

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InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has revealed the name of its new high-quality midscale brand, avid hotels, alongside a brand logo and renderings of the hotel exterior, public space and guest rooms. First introduced to owners at the IHG Americas Conference in June, avid hotels is franchise ready beginning today, officially marking the start of licensing in the US for this much-anticipated new brand.

More than 150 owners have already expressed interest in the brand demonstrating the strong demand and great potential for avid hotels in this market segment. IHG expects the first avid hotels locations to begin construction in early 2018, and the first hotel is anticipated to open in early 2019.

Keith Barr, Chief Executive Officer, IHG, said: “We built our Holiday Inn Express® brand into a hugely successful, leading midscale brand. Now, with the introduction of avid hotels, we’re set to add another one and extend IHG’s leadership position in this segment. With 14 million potential customers looking for the type of hospitality avid hotels will offer, this new hotel brand represents a significant growth opportunity for IHG and our family of owners.”

This brand is designed for travelers who want a hotel stay that finally meets their expectations for the type of hospitality they value most – the basics done exceptionally well – at a price point expected to be about $10-15 less than IHG’s industry-leading Holiday Inn Express brand.

Elie Maalouf, Chief Executive Officer, IHG, The Americas, added: “Our extensive consumer research and conversations with owners identified a clear opportunity to reach an important set of business and leisure travelers in a vastly underserved $20 billion segment of the U.S. midscale market. We applied our insights, expertise and scale to deliver an experience that features modern and stylish designs, superior guest rooms and public spaces and great service – all at an excellent value. I have no doubt avid hotels will continue IHG’s success in delivering what our guests want, while driving superior returns for our owners.”

New brand features shared for the first time:
avid hotels logo illustrates the brand’s confident and modern design. In its confident and refreshing colors of red and aqua, the logo features a signature checkmark, which acts as a stamp of confidence that avid hotels will deliver an unrivaled experience. This brand is the first to launch using IHG’s master brand mark – An IHG® Hotel – in communications and building signage, underlining its strength as part of one of the world’s leading hotel companies.

Exterior and public space renderings for avid hotels bring the brand experience to life. Setting the brand apart, the modern exterior hotel design includes an open and airy retail-like entry, a canopy and uses the stairwell as an eye catching red architectural feature. On the inside, guests will find vibrant, open public and work areas and inviting communal spaces that allow guests to relax, work, connect or eat. Hotels will offer a focused, high-quality, complimentary breakfast and marketplace options made for guests on the go. The entire hotel will be equipped with IHG Connect® Wi-Fi with the fastest speed in the industry and the ability for loyalty members to be automatically connected for all future visits. Hotels will also leverage IHG’s state-of-the-art, cloud-based next generation reservation system, and guests will benefit from the power of IHG® Rewards Club at avid hotels.

Guest room renderings highlight unique hotel features. Rooms are constructed with sound reducing features for a superior night’s sleep, and the bathroom experience re-energizes guests with a fresh and bright design. Each guest room will also offer a dedicated workspace and ample open, easy-to-use storage, as well as innovative in-room entertainment options that allow guests to cast content from their smart devices to in-room televisions.

In addition to creating the brand to delight guests, its design and operating model was developed in collaboration with an owner advisory board, ensuring that avid hotels are efficient to build, operate and maintain. Hotels will be designed for new build construction on an average lot size of approximately 1.5 acres, and all avid hotels will be built to lead the industry in environmentally friendly and efficient design. The prototype design features 95-100 keys with a minimum of three stories.

3rd citizenM property to open in Paris at Gare de Lyon

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The citizenM Paris Gare de Lyon Hotel, which is now open, is the 3rd citizenM hotel in France and is located a short walk away from the Gare de Lyon station.

It features 338 rooms and as with its sister properties the hotel is home to innovative tech amenities including; self check-in; completely customisable guest rooms via touchscreen MoodPads; communal workspaces; meeting areas fitted with Smart TVs; furniture by the renowned Swiss brand Vitra; canteenM – the 24 hour grab & go style canteen that has a full service cocktail bar, and outdoor space such as an open air patio and cloudM – a rooftop bar offering stunning views of the river Seine and the city.

citizenM Paris Gare de Lyon HotelThe property also features a selection of specially commissioned art works by popular Dutch artists Jetske Visser & Michiel Martens who have created a install called “Reflecting Holons” which combines bubbles and light that continually shine, move, and dance in the entrance area creating a visually interactive arresting spectacle.

citizenM Paris Gare de Lyon Hotel
In addition to this the hotel also houses a bespoke mural by French street artist Mast Cora, and a fresco by Romain Froquet to name a few.

citizenM Paris Gare de Lyon Hotel

The Tulum Treehouse – private jungle retreat opens

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This September, in the dense mangrove vegetation of Tulum, a secret retreat is ready to welcome discerning adventurers and respite-seekers worldwide.

Nestled amongst a swaying sea of lush emerald palms, the Tulum Treehouse is a private home located a stone’s throw from the heart of Tulum — yet it is a flourishing jungle setting near the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve that sets this experience apart.

Tulum Treehouse
Here, a five-bedroom house has been created by local craftspeople in collaboration with an international design team, collectively putting sustainability above everything else.

Large common areas, several spacious wrap-around terraces, multiple spaces for indoor-outdoor living, and five bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms make up this exclusive, full-service jungle escape.

www.tulumtreehouse.com

Kleindienst Group Launches The Floating Venice underwater resort in The World Islands, Dubai

World’s first underwater luxury resort to launch in Dubai

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Kleindienst Group has launched The Floating Venice, the world’s first underwater luxury vessel resort at Cityscape Global. Valued at £512 million, The Floating Venice will be located in The World islands, 4km offshore from Dubai and will bring an authentic Venetian experience to the Middle East.

This unique floating resort has a capacity of up to 3,000 guests daily, with accommodation, restaurants and recreation split over 4 decks, one of which is underwater. Guests will arrive by boat, seaplane or helicopter to the main Piazza San Marco where they can check-in at the underwater lobby. Gondola’s imported from Venice will transport guests to their cabins through the winding canals, or alternatively a short stroll through canal side walkways and bridges will take them to their awaiting cabins.

There will be a range of 414 bespoke cabins arranged over 4 decks, one of which is underwater giving spectacular views of the coral reefs below and passing gondola above. A plethora of elegant boutique hospitality spots and traditional artisanal shops will bring the Venetian experience to life.

Throughout the year The Floating Venice will be a celebration of culture and the arts, where traditional festivals such as Carnivale di Venezia, Binnale di Venezia and Festa del Rendentore will bring the resort alive with the flair and heritage of Venice.

The Floating Venice offers an unrivalled experience for guests where they can relax in one of 24 pools, some of which will have acrylic bases giving amazing views of the coral reefs below. Over 400,000 sq ft of corals will be planted around The Floating Venice from our own on-site coral nursery which will encourage an abundance of sea life. 12 unique floating beaches set against the stunning backdrop of the Dubai skyline are scattered throughout The Floating Venice.

A collection of 12 restaurants and bars offer a variety of entertainment, 3 of which are underwater giving spectacular vistas of the dazzling marine life. Alternatively, the world’s first floating underwater spa awaits to pamper.

Titanic Hotel Belfast

Titanic Hotel Belfast opens for business

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Belfast has welcomed a new link to its famous ship with the opening of the new Titanic Hotel in the Northern Irish capital.

The city’s newest luxury hotel opened its doors this weekend following a £28 million restoration of the former Harland & Wolff drawing offices and headquarters. The 119-room hotel has been transformed with the help of a £5 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant secured by the Titanic Foundation.


During the restoration the telephone exchange, which received the first communication of Titanic hitting the iceberg, has been retained. Designers have tried to make the hotel as authentic as possible, with porters wearing period costumes on hand to welcome guests to the hotel.

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RELATED: BELFAST TITANIC HOTEL GETS GREENLIGHT – STAY THE NIGHT IN THE ROOMS WHERE TITANIC WAS DESIGNED
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Director of hotel operator Harcourt Developments, John Doherty, told Northern Irish press: “To be finally ready to open this historical and authentic hotel is another mark in the history of Queen’s Island. Titanic Hotel Belfast is a hub of heritage and legacy, and we’re delighted to open the doors to the public and our first guests on Sunday.


“To celebrate, the Queen’s Island Male Voice Choir will be performing in the drawing offices after we create a bit of theatre and fanfare when officially declaring the hotel open at noon.”

www.titanichotelbelfast.com

MADE HOTEL OPENS IN NEW YORK CITY’S NOMAD NEIGHBOURHOOD

MADE Hotel opens in NYC’s NoMad neighbourhood

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MADE Hotel comes to life as the inaugural hotel project from developer, Sam Gelin. Spread across 18 storeys with 108 guest rooms at the intersection of 29th and Broadway in the NoMad neighborhood, MADE takes a reinvented approach towards guest experience.

Joining Gelin is Head Chef and longtime friend, Greg Proechel, who will be overseeing all food offerings at MADE. Formerly of Le Turtle in New York City, Proechel has cultivated a respected following. Major Food Group vet Charles Seich will join him as Food & Beverage Partner, while husband-wife team Jeremy Oertel and Natasha David, formerly at Death + Company, Maison Premiere, and Dram, will run the bar program.


Treating experience as the new luxury, MADE’s thoughtful approach is seen in the rich, yet conscious, materials used throughout the hotel’s crafted environment. The food and beverage offerings and striking public and private areas include: communal coffee shop, Paper; Proechel and Seich’s restaurant, Ferris; a lobby level bar; and Good Behavior, the hotel’s stunning rooftop space with panoramic views of New York City.

MADE HOTEL OPENS IN NEW YORK CITY’S NOMAD NEIGHBOURHOOD
Open to the public and guests alike, Paper is a neighborhood coffee shop whose mission is to curate the highest quality coffee, tea and baked good offerings for visitors to enjoy as part of their daily routine. Dusk brings a subtly energetic and social vibe, with cappuccinos disappearing in favor of craft cocktails and selected wines.

Good Behavior, the hotel’s rooftop bar and lounge is located on the 18th floor with unobstructed views of the Empire State Building. The space has a secluded, greenhouse feel while the menu is focused on Tiki-inspired drinks, unique craft beers, and large format cocktail service, with space for both indoor and outdoor entertaining and featuring live music and DJ’s.

MADE HOTEL OPENS IN NEW YORK CITY’S NOMAD NEIGHBOURHOOD
Ferris will serve a menu of New American, seasonal and vegetable focused dishes in an environment built around community, curiosity, and fun. The restaurant is located on the subterranean level of the hotel and features a courtyard. Proechel and Seich’s team is committed to providing guests with quality food and beverage offerings with a high level of service without any pretense.

MADE HOTEL OPENS IN NEW YORK CITY’S NOMAD NEIGHBOURHOOD
Studio MAI have developed an urban international design aesthetic imbued with elements of iconic global simplicity – a guest room design that is humble, elegant and playfully personalizes each room to the guest’s style and mood. Exposed custom raw-bronze shelving and rich handwoven fabrics create a backdrop for a multi directional day bed platform. Precisely manufactured details like a polished stainless-steel mirror contrast with a primitive, hand-carved bench resulting in a well-thought-through layout like no other. Brooklyn based artist, Bill Rebholz, created a vibrant and bold graphic stairwell mural, playfully welcoming guests from the lobby down to Ferris.

With an emotionally intelligent approach to service and a focus within the ethos of community, MADE is a seductive retreat where social and structural barriers have been removed to make room for authentic, inspiring interactions whilst blending exceptional service with a bold design.

www.madehotels.com

Room Mate Hotels adds Istanbul Property

Room Mate Hotels adds Istanbul property

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Room Mate Hotels, the Spanish global company founded and chaired by Kike Sarasola, has increased its portfolio with a new opening in the heart of the exotic city of Istanbul.

Room Mate Emir contributes to the international expansion of the company, which plans to inaugurate in the following year new hotels in cities like Rotterdam, Madrid and Paris.

Room Mate Hotels is an innovative company which is based on the idea that the best way to travel is by visiting friends all around the world. Every Room Mate Hotel has a person’s name and a completely different personality. In this case, Emir is elegant, classic and adventurous, the perfect travelling companion to know in depth the marvelous Istanbul.

Room Mate Hotels adds Istanbul Property
Room Mate Emir has also a spectacular interior design. In this case, the project bears the signature of the acclaimed designer Lázaro Rosa Violán. Emir is the perfect blend of avante-garde furnishings set in a classical building, making it all the more striking. Lázaro Rosa Violán chose to keep the building’s history alive through a distinctive combination of modern day elements, designer furniture, and different materials, all enhanced with an abundance of natural light. Room Mate Emir offers large and spacious suites with everything that everyone would need for a perfect stay.

Its founder and president, Kike Sarasola, is one of the best known and recognised entrepreneurs in the hotelier sector. After succeeding as an Olympic equestrian and working in different business sectors, Sarasola is currently a reference of innovation and creativity in the hotel industry.

Room Mate Hotels adds Istanbul PropertyIn Sarasola’s own words: “Room Mate Hotels are located in the centre of the most emblematic and cosmopolitan cities in the world and Istanbul is one of them. A place where exoticism and culture merge to offer a unique travel experience. We are completely in love with Istanbul. For this reason, we are very proud to increase our portfolio with Emir, our new elegant, modern and stylish new friend. A really special hotel that will bring our guests closer to the wonders of Turkey”.

Room Mate Hotels was born in 2005 with Room Mate Mario as its first establishment in Madrid and currently has 21 more with presence in Milan, Florence, Amsterdam, New York, Miami, Mexico City, Madrid, Barcelona, Salamanca, Malaga, Granada and now Istanbul. Last year, Room Mate Hotels increased revenues by 32% and hopes to continue with this positive tendency in 2017.

28th ICEHOTEL designs revealed

Hotel Concept Focus: Designs for 28th ICEHOTEL in Swedish Lapland unveiled

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Go to bed with a Fabergé egg, check into a space room, sleep within a hanging installation or under a giant cloud, or even settle down in snail world, all made entirely of ice and snow at this winter’s Icehotel.

These are just a few of the designs which have been announced for the unique hotel built each winter on the banks of the Torne river in Jukkasjärvi.

This year, 26 artists from 11 countries will join the Icehotel’s own design and building team in late November to create the 28th rendition of the hotel. It will open to coincide with the first #IceFlight of the season on 16th December 2017. This flight is now in its 11th year of operation taking Discover the World clients directly to the Icehotel in just 3.5 hours followed by a short 15-minute transfer from the airport.

ICEHOTEL 365

Last year’s vision for ICEHOTEL

The suite Hang in There features a unique hanging installation. Frozen sheets of ice drape around the central bed, whilst the Last Faberge Egg suite has a giant egg beside its bed and, the Space Room’s design takes its inspiration from a trip into outer space some 100km from planet earth. Many other surprises await with other suite designs hinted at in their names which include King Kong, White Desert, Monstera and Follow the White Rabbit.

A total of 15 unique Art Suites will be constructed, as well as an Ice Church and a dramatic main hall with a chandelier featuring 1,000 hand polished ice crystals.

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RELATED: ICEHOTEL 365 OPENS IN SWEDISH LAPLAND
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British designers and the selection process
Out of the 100s of applications, the artist teams are selected by the Icehotel’s design jury. Excitingly, two artists have been chosen from the UK this year, both experienced having been involved in last year’s hotel.

The two British artists’ designs to be chosen include the Liverpool based brother design duo, Hugh and Howard Miller. Hugh is a furniture designer and Howard an architect, landscape designer and RHS Chelsea gold medal winner in 2015. Their concept is called A Rich Seam – an accidental space created by an ice seam left over from frantic digging.

The second comes from Dorset based sculptor and taxidermist Lisa Lindqvist called a Wandering Cloud, an art installation featuring a gigantic cloud hanging over the bed. Lindqvist’s mother was Swedish, born in Kiruna and she already has several gold medals for England won at international snow sculpting competitions.

Sketch of art suite Wondering Cloud designed by Lisa Lindqvist

The selection process brings together creative minds from all over the world and from vastly different careers. Each team will see their ideas become reality in snow and ice as they personally construct the designs which makes Icehotel so unique.

The amount of snow used to create all the hotel’s rooms would be enough to make 700 million snowballs alone, with 5000 tons of ice harvested each Spring from the Torne River and stored until November when the building process starts in earnest.

www.discover-the-world.co.uk/destinations/icehotel-holidays

Temptation Cancun Resort - Frontal Rendering

Hotel Concept Focus: Temptation Cancun Resort now open

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Temptation Cancun Resort, part of Original Group, has reopened after a spectacular multi-million-dollar, complete rebuild taken up by award-winning Canadian designer Karim Rashid.

Inspired by the human body, the new resort’s 430 guestrooms and public spaces epitomise Karim’s signature ‘sensual minimalism’ style, including an iconic multi-coloured seven-storey façade. An evolutionary concept in Cancun, the ‘Playground for Grown-Ups’ welcomes adults-only (21+) to experience a sensual vibe throughout the entire property, with its bright colours and rounded, human-like shapes designed to optimise feelings of connectivity and attraction.

Temptation Cancun Resort - Bash Bedroom IIThe design makeover for Temptation Cancun Resort began on September 25, 2016. After a successful trajectory as the number one adult-centric, all-inclusive resort in the Mexican Caribbean, Temptation’s transformation has refined and elevated its original concept by enhancing the guest experience with the highest international hotel standards and a ground-breaking design. Complemented by superior entertainment, gastronomic and accommodation offerings, an electrifying vibe continues to be the hallmark of this beachfront, topless-optional resort.

Temptation Cancun Resort - Bash BathroomNewly reimagined guestrooms evoke a vivid sense through design capturing the innovative spirit of Cancun. The colour palette includes bright colours and smooth textures, fused with long lines and soft curves that simulate the natural beauty and sensuality of the human body through abstract art. Each of the 430 rooms and suites offer a private terrace or balcony, where guests can enjoy breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea or the property’s lush tropical gardens.

Temptation Cancun Resort - Master Suite RenderingAll rooms feature an LED TV, free Wi-Fi, 24-hour room service and an in-room minibar. A selection of rooms and suites include pool and beach butler service, pillow menu, outdoor Jacuzzis, aromatherapy and Blissful Beds among other state-of-the-art amenities.

Temptation Cancun Resort - Pool Side Rendering
Spa Rosé facilities include: a sauna, steam room, Swiss shower, cold water pool and a large Jacuzzi. In addition, it offers a peaceful waiting area where a refreshing variety of teas and other relaxing beverages are served.

www.temptation-experience.com

Concept Hotel Focus: Lifesize LEGO hotel completed at Windsor

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The new 61 bedroom LEGOLAND Castle Hotel opens straight on to the LEGOLAND theme park, offering guests a completely immersive LEGO® experience.

Award winning architecture and interiors practice, The Manser Practice, was commissioned by Merlin Entertainments Ltd to design and deliver the ultimate LEGO family hotel, as well as extension works to the LEGOLAND Resort Hotel facilities at the resort.

With the aim of achieving an enchanted life-size LEGO themed castle for guests to stay in, the ‘LEGO Castle’ range was used as inspiration for the colour scheme and material choices for the project as well as the bespoke facade. Vital to the scheme was the need for guests to feel that they have been transported to a LEGO world.

Concept Hotel Focus: Lifesize LEGO hotel completed at Windsor
The design and layout were critical in achieving this, enabling the hotel to smoothly operate without guests being aware of what is going on ‘behind the scenes.’ From the moment guests approach the drawbridge they become part of the LEGOLAND Castle Story. Chris Jeffcoate, Associate Director at The Manser Practice, said: “The LEGO theming has been considered at every stage and is truly woven into the fabric of the building. We worked closely alongside Merlin Magic Making to coordinate the project from
inception to completion, harmonising layouts and design and build elements with the artistic theming and interior design to ensure that every construction detail would work with custom graphic wallpaper and complex 3D theming. It was essential to understand how children and adults would use and react to the space.”

The complexity of the internal theming presented a challenge for co-ordination of services and structure. Whether in the grand entrance, the restaurant or the bedrooms, each and every element, from light fittings and grilles to FF&E and finishes, has been carefully chosen to tie in with the LEGO brand and colour palette to ensure that the fantasy is fully maintained. Durable furniture selection was also necessary given the intense everyday use by children.

A fully bespoke Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC) cladding system was developed by The Manser Practice for the façade of the building. The cladding gives the impression that the hotel has been constructed of 25x scale LEGO bricks – meaning a scale replica could in fact be built from LEGO. This GRC system was created from tessellating panels formed off site in a predesigned mould which are worked to strict LEGO brick proportions and replicates a unique stonework texture.

The hotel also features a Grand Entrance Hall and a full serviced ‘Tournament Tavern restaurant.

EVEN Hotel Auckland

Concept Hotel Focus: EVEN Hotel Auckland scheduled for 2020 opening

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Travel can play havoc with our mental and physical wellbeing. So many of us spend hours at the gym, watching our diets or taking early morning yoga classes, only to see all the great results fly out the window when we board the plane.

Increasingly travellers are realigning their priorities to put wellbeing first in today’s over-scheduled and ‘always on’ culture. As they increasingly endeavour to stick to good routines on the road, ‘wellness travel’ has flourished, outpacing regular travel by 50% and reflecting the need for travellers to recharge, refresh and rejuvenate themselves to maintain a healthy life balance.

IHG® (InterContinental Hotels Group) and Pro-invest Group today herald the ‘age of the healthy traveller’ in Australasia with the first signing of an EVEN Hotels property in New Zealand, the first and only global hotel brand with wellness at its core.

EVEN Hotel Auckland is scheduled to open in 2020 and is the first of the brand to be signed outside of North America. It is also the first in Pro-Invest Group’s portfolio of 10-15 EVEN Hotels across the capital cities and economic hubs in Australia and New Zealand, in partnership with IHG.

Located in the very heart of Auckland’s centre, at the corner of Albert and Wyndham Street, the 200-room EVEN Hotel Auckland will not only look different, but will also have a distinctive vibe. It will feature fresh, natural and modern design; bringing the outdoors inside and offering playful and energising workspaces, dining and social areas, natural outdoor spaces. It will also feature design and technology elements to enable guests to maintain the balance they desire on a daily basis.

Disneyland Paris to open Marvel-themed hotel

Disneyland Paris plans to open Marvel-themed hotel

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According to reports in the Daily Telegraph last week, Disney is planning a Marvel-themed hotel at its Paris park.

The Disneyland Paris opening will be a reworking of its current hotel, Hotel New York and will be renamed Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel, with displays of props and costumes from numerous Marvel films and television shows, as well as artwork inspired by the original comic books.

The exterior will resemble Stark Tower, Tony Stark/Iron Man’s Manhattan skyscraper, if early rumours are to be believed.

Inside, the four-star hotel will offer 565 guest rooms, as well as a distinctive New York-inspired décor that, from the renderings, also appear to resemble Iron Man’s fictional high-rise hideout. An opening date has not, as of yet, been revealed.

The hotel was announced at the recent D23 Expo in Anaheim. Bob Chapek, Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts, said: “We’re going to create a hotel at Disneyland Paris that would make Tony Stark proud.”

“I’m thrilled to announce that Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel will transport our guests to the action-packed, inspiring world of Super Heroes including Iron Man, The Avengers, and Spider Man among others!”, he added.

Benchmark adds Graduate Berkeley to Gemstone Collection

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Benchmark, a global hospitality company, has announced the addition of Graduate Berkeley to its Gemstone Collection.

Formerly the historic Hotel Durant, the property has been revitalised and renamed Graduate Berkeley following an extensive renovation. Graduate Berkeley pays homage to the historic building’s roots and UC Berkeley founder, Henry Durant, through its distinct design and revitalisation of Henry’s, the hotel’s restaurant and bar.

A dynamic and expanding new boutique hotel brand, Graduate Hotels was founded in 2014 by AJ Capital Partners to create distinctive, approachable hotels in America’s most vibrant university-anchored towns. Each hotel reflects the local college and community in its eclectic décor, food and beverage programming options and homage to the school and town it is designed to serve.

Graduate Berkeley
Drawing inspiration from Berkeley’s bohemian roots, Graduate Berkeley captures the spirit of adventure, global exploration, and constant quest for knowledge cherished by the city’s residents, students, and countless visitors. In the lobby, guests are immersed in printed velvet walls with Persian motifs, a feature wall of thousands of National Geographic magazines, and colorful murals by local artist Chris Lux.

Graduate Berkeley

In both the public spaces and guest rooms, the furniture and art are curated to feel residential, eccentrically preppy, and curated from different eras, as well as all corners of the globe. The same retro vibe is found in the hotel’s 144 guest rooms with original art work, ceiling fans, touch tone replicas of 1930s telephones and in some rooms, posters from the iconic film, The Graduate, parts of which were filmed on Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue. The hotel draws Bay Area residents, visiting scholars and Cal alumni where they can meet, socialise and rest their laptops and tablets on a communal table, and will find free, high-speed WiFi.

With 1050 square feet of conference space, including the California Room and the Boardroom, Graduate Berkeley is perfect for meetings, receptions and gatherings. Like other Graduate Hotel properties, the hotel is geared for destination weddings as Berkeley alumni return to the town and university where they first met.

www.graduatehotels.com/berkeley/

Pentahotels launches global brand refresh

Pentahotels launches global brand refresh

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Pentahotels, the neighbourhood lifestyle hotel group, has revealed its new brand message – “We don’t do normal” – introducing a fresh vision within the traditional hospitality industry, as the brand gears up for ambitious expansion plans in new premium destinations worldwide.

Expansion will begin with its second pentahotel in Hong Kong opening this week and the brand’s first hotel in Russia, in Moscow, opening next year. Pentahotels’ global brand refresh underlines the brand’s competitive advantages designed to meet the changing demands from a new generation of urban nomads. This refresh reinforces the existing brand philsophy that “Penta is not a hotel. Penta is a state of mind.”

Pentahotels launches global brand refresh
From the roll-out of new “penta PlayerPads” which feature private gamer gadgets in selected suites, to its pioneering “check in at the bar” concept, pentahotels reinforces the “We Don’t Do Normal” persona by staying innovative, approachable and constantly pushing the boundaries. As part of this brand refresh, the group will roll out a holistic brand communications campaign, focusing on digital channels including an updated web presence, a vibrant brand video, social media activations, guerrilla marketing campaigns, fresh collateral for guests, clients and investors, and a new CRM system to strengthen pentahotels’ customer engagement capabilities.


Expansion Kicks-Off in Hong Kong

The brand is also set for substantial growth with several openings scheduled for 2017, and many other developments in the pipeline. Pentahotel Hong Kong, Tuen Mun, which opened its doors this week, joins sister pentahotel Hong Kong, Kowloon and is the first international brand hotel to set anchor in the up-and-coming Tuen Mun area of the New Territories in Hong Kong. The former industrial highrise building has been completely renovated into a trendy 298-room hotel sporting the signature “penta” style throughout, with a contemporary rustic decor that seamlessly blends with whimsical local cultural references. Pentahotel Hong Kong, Tuen Mun promises modern technology features and uncomplicated service for stylish, independent-minded business and leisure travelers. The result is a mix of fun with functionality, comfort with creativity, and style with simplicity.

Pentahotel Moscow – Arbat Opens in 2018
Pentahotels has also finalised definitive agreements with Capital Group, one of Russia’s most respected property developers, to open pentahotels’ first Russia hotel in Moscow in time for 2018 FIFA World Cup to be hosted in the city. Pentahotel Moscow – Arbat, will be situated within one of the four famous “Book Houses” located on Novy Arbat, around one mile from the Red Square. Featuring 228 guestrooms, the hotel will feature pentahotels’ trademark offerings, including pentalounge, European-led design elements, as well as meeting space and a gym. With lifestyle features including billiards tables, digital entertainments and other non-standard services, pentahotels will bring an entirely new energy to the area, welcoming tourists and Muscovites to a stylish, comfortable and modern reflection of Moscow’s dynamic environment.

Moscow view of the Novy Arbat and houses Books

Moscow view of the Novy Arbat and houses Books

“Penta’s global journey has just begun,” says Sonia Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of Rosewood Hotel Group, pentahotels’ parent company. “Pentahotels has developed a strong operational structure and highly successful, cost-efficient financial system. Today, we are excited to share our revolutionary vision and renewed brand values. We are and want to be seen as bold, different, everything but normal. With its first entry in Bangkok and Moscow, and a second hotel opening in Hong Kong, pentahotels is ready to advance its plan to extend its footprint in gateway markets worldwide.”

Disney reveals sneak peek at Star Wars-themed resort

Disney reveals sneak peek of Star Wars-inspired themed resort

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During a special preview of D23 Expo 2017, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek unveiled a first look at the epic, richly detailed model of the Star Wars-themed lands under development at Disneyland park in Anaheim, California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida. The exhibition is on display in Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ “A Galaxy of Stories” pavilion at D23 Expo.

“To say we are excited for the Star Wars-themed lands to open in 2019 is an understatement,” Chapek said. “All along, we have said this will be game-changing, and through the model we can begin to see how truly epic these immersive new worlds will be.”

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RELATED: DISNEY HINTS AT STAR WARS-THEMED HOTEL AT ORLANDO PARK
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A Star Wars-themed hotel is likely to be part of the plans; for about $1,000-per-person, a two-night stay would include all meals, entertainment and admission to the upcoming Star Wars-themed land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Rooms will reportedly accommodate up to four guests.

Disney reveals sneak peek at Star Wars-themed resort
Chapek plans to share exciting new details about the project during the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Hall D23 Presentation on Saturday. The model will remain on display at the pavilion throughout the weekend to give visitors an up-close look at what”s to come on this never-before seen planet. In addition, the pavilion will display models, artwork and media that provide a first-ever look at some of the locations, starships, creatures, and droids that guests will encounter when they visit this new planet.

Jaz to open a hotel in Vienna

Music concept brand Jaz makes plans for Vienna property

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The news that a Jaz in the City is set to open at the very heart of historic Vienna in 2020 means that the Austrian capital will soon boast a further hotel.

This will make Vienna the first foreign location at which all three Deutsche Hospitality brands are represented. The Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof and the IntercityHotel Vienna are already firmly established in A1 central positions.

The newly planned hotel is being developed at Windmühlengasse 28 in Vienna’s Sixth District, only 100 metres from the large pedestrianised shopping area at Mariahilfer Straße and 200 metres away from the “Naschmarkt”, the city’s most famous food market.

This is a quarter of Vienna that enjoys considerable popularity thanks to its host of tourist attractions, museums, restaurants and shops.

The Jaz Vienna will offer 167 rooms including two suites. There will also be a restaurant complete with a bar, a small conference area and a health and beauty spa facility. Deutsche Hospitality will operate the hotel under a management agreement. The developer is Immovate Holding GmbH.

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Facebook to build its own hotel

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According to reports in the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Facebook has unveiled plans to build its own California ‘village’ complete with social housing, retail stores and a hotel.

Located on a corporate campus at Menlo Park, which Facebook bought in 2015 for roughly £300 million. There are also plans to build 1,500 new homes at the development which is opposite the social media giant’s headquarters.

It will primarily be for the use and dwelling of Facebook’s employees, who mostly live near the campus.


In a blog post announcing the plans, the social media giants described the future development as a “mixed-use village” that will provide residents, many of which will be Facebook employees, with housing, transportation services and other amenities.

“We plan to build 125,000 square feet of new retail space, including a grocery store, pharmacy and additional community-facing retail,” Facebook said. The review process of the development is expected to last two years with “grocery, retail, housing and office completed in early 2021”. The post went on the say that “subsequent phases will take two years each to complete”.

The plans have not yet been approved and is expected to take roughly a decade to complete.

Cabin raises $3m in seed-funding and launches 'moving hotel'

Opinion: Cabin raises $3m to launch ‘moving hotel’

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Cabin, the first hospitality transportation company on a mission to make the most of every waking and sleeping moment, today announced it has secured $3.3 million in seed financing and launched a moving hotel.

Cabin’s one-of-a-kind overnight travel experience enables people to reclaim their time while saving money by consolidating both transportation and accommodation into one simple and delightful experience.

Initially run as a pilot called SleepBus in early 2016, Cabin sold out of tickets in three days and amassed a waiting list of over 20,000 people seeking to be “teleported” to regional destinations up to 500 miles from home. Led by Founders Fund’s FF Angel with participation from SV Angel, Floodgate, Box Group, Brainchild Holdings, Justin Rosenstein, StartX, FJ Labs, and 1517 Fund, the new round of funding will allow Cabin to scale operations both on a regional and national level.

Cabin raises $3m in seed-funding and launches 'moving hotel'
Editor’s Opinion: At the moment, there is only one route between Los Angeles and San Francisco – and at $115 a journey (£88), flights between the two cities are often cheaper. However what Cabin are offering is travel in comfort and accommodation all rolled into one. And clearly it’s a popular concept given the response to the crowd-funding and the waiting-list uptake. I think ‘hotel’ might be stretching the meaning of the word considering the sleeping spaces are very similar to fully-reclining pods on long-haul flights.

But with amenities like a small communal lounge area, Wi-Fi and earplugs and nighttime tea for all passengers, attendants on hand and a bathroom on board, and each rider being able to bring two pieces of luggage for free – it’s not far off. Should this trial run work later this month and more routes likely to open on the eastern seaboard later on; I expect this could be a concept that really takes off in other places around the globe.

Cabin raises $3m in seed-funding and launches 'moving hotel'“By eliminating the travel time from traveling, Cabin is giving people the freedom to get where they need to be – without having to spend their precious time in transit,” said Tom Currier, CEO and Co-Founder.

How Cabin Works
Guests check into their private cabin at 23:00 while Cabin is stationary at the designated point of departure. Once the guest is comfortable, the moving hotel travels to the arrival destination. Guests check out rested and refreshed in their arrival city at 7:00.

www.ridecabin.com

JK Rowling suite - The Balmoral, Edinburgh

Olga Polizzi leads redesign of JK Rowling suite at The Balmoral

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The suite in the Balmoral, Edinburgh where JK Rowling finished her book ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ has been renovated along with 36 other suites after a three-month refurbishment programme led by Olga Polizzi.

Fans of the wizarding series enter the room through a purple door adorned with an owl door knocker. Inside, whimsical woodland designs can be found, from owl and bird figurines to tree-themed wallpaper. Plush chairs, couches, and colourful orange and red pillows adorn the cozy suite, and the entire Harry Potter series lines a stately bookshelf, just in case you hadn’t read it yet.

The suite also contains a glass-encased bust of the Greek god Hermes, which Rowling triumphantly signed after finishing the fantasy fiction series: “JK Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in this room (552) on 11 Jan 2007.”

This summer, Rocco Forte Hotels is marking its 20th year with the refurbishment of The Balmoral in Edinburgh, the hotel that signifies the beginning of Sir Rocco’s portfolio in 1997.

www.roccofortehotels.com

1hotel Paris - Kengo Kuma + Associates

Kengo Kuma to develop ‘eco-luxury’ 1hotel in Paris

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Kengo Kuma is planning a Parisian project which hopes to incorporate sustainability and hospitality design into an ‘innovative eco-luxury hotel’ which will ultimately serve as a landmark, as well as a popular destination.

The building, which will be called ‘1hotel Paris’ will be bedecked with greenery, becoming what the firm is calling a ‘green lung’ for the neighbourhood. Wooden façade panels will overlap and be arranged in a certain way to blur the shape of the structure.

1hotel Paris - Kengo Kuma + AssociatesIn a comment, the firm said: “Within a series of repetitive volumes along the Avenue de France, our design strategy was to develop a sculptural form, as if shaped by natural erosion, allowing light to reach the avenue below.”

1hotel Paris - Kengo Kuma + Associates
The centre of the hotel will be open, with inner rooms with private balconies overlooking a series of gardens below. On the roof, the hotel will have a rooftop terrace overlooking the bustling neighbourhood. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2022.

All images ©LUXIGON and courtesy of Kengo Kuma + Associates

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