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contemporary

Rosewood’s lifestyle brand, Penta, makes comeback in Russia

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Pentahotel Moscow, Arbat unfolds a new neighbourhood lifestyle hotel category and opens as the brand’s first step into Russia…

Penta, the neighbourhood lifestyle brand under Rosewood Hotel Group, is back in Moscow after 20 years. Formerly operating as the ‘Moscow Olympic Penta Hotel’ under different ownership, the property had closed its doors in the late ‘90s, only for the brand to make a much-anticipated re-entry into Russia with its latest addition, Pentahotel Moscow, Arbat. A first in Russia for both Penta and Rosewood Hotel Group, the opening marks another milestone in the brand and group’s global expansion.

“Each Pentahotel is a combination of the cultural characteristics of the country it is in with the unique attributes of its location.” – Eugène Staal, President of Penta Hotels Worldwide

“Pentahotel Moscow, Arbat is a great example of our neighbourhood lifestyle hotel concept, a new category of hospitality in Russia,” said Eugène Staal, President of Penta Hotels Worldwide. “Each Pentahotel is a combination of the cultural characteristics of the country it is in with the unique attributes of its location. Here in Moscow, travellers are close to popular attractions, eateries and experiences that bridge tourism and living; we want our guests to feel as if they are part of the neighbourhood, exploring, shopping and interacting with local residents and the community, whether their stay is for a few nights or a few months.”

Exterior image of the hotel

Image credit: Penta

Pentahotel Moscow, Arbat is located in one of the four famous “book houses” – The Book on Novy Arbat Avenue. The Book is a mixed-use building, and is among the first high-rises to appear in Russia on Novy Arbat 15. After a major overhaul, the building now offers three new accommodation types – Pentahotel Moscow, Arbat, for visitors to the city, serviced apartments for rent, and apartment suites for permanent residents. Developed by mastermind developer/ author Capital Group, The Book is a 26-storey building with 28,900 sq.m that stands as a place of modern history fused with three state-of-the-art urban living solutions in the heart of Moscow. The dynamism of The Book stems not only from the commitment to delivering top quality comfort to its residents, but also from the very history of the property, which was constructed to reflect the contemporary side of Moscow – ‘The Book, is done for living’.

Occupying six polished floors, Pentahotel Moscow, Arbat also carries the mission of bringing Penta’s latest global design concept to life: the trademark Pentalounge, 228 guestrooms and a Pentagym. Meeting rooms range from 44 to 82 sq.m and are equipped with the latest technology and facilities to accommodate any occasion, from trainings and board meetings to personalised events. The Pentalounge is the first stop for guests checking into the hotel at its signature bar. With its open atmosphere and lifestyle features, the multi-functional space is set to become a lively hub and gathering point in the city for both travellers and Muscovites alike.

Image of the bar area at the hotel

Image credit: Penta

The restaurant includes the enticing “bistro style” Breakfast Box, serving freshly-made morning delights, while the Pentalounge adopts a more “living room-style” vibe, and is open for travellers and locals to find the brand’s signature dishes, homemade local cuisine and warm conversations in a cozy environment.

The opening marks the eighth country and 29th property in Penta’s ever-expanding portfolio. Thanks to a very efficient product model, high level of centralised support and relatively low development cost, Penta enjoys a strong track record of delivering a high return on investment, which appeals to owners and investors around the world. The brand is spearheading substantial growth with its upcoming openings in Asia, along with a significant number of developments currently in the pipeline.

Main image credit: Penta

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.

The Maldives’ first immersive art resort opens

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Joali in The Maldives has unveiled a full immersive array of ec0-inspired artworks and high-concept sustainable design throughout… 

Conceived as an immersive island retreat, Joali Maldives has opened with an array of original, experiential works of art and dynamic design, reflecting the beauty of nature, and with sustainability at their core. Situated on the idyllic isle of Muravandhoo in the remote Raa Atoll, just 45 minutes by seaplane from Male, the unspoilt island celebrates the creativity of world-class talent.

Dotted around the resort, adorning villas and hidden beneath the waves are a collection of extraordinary works by 13 international artists, hand-picked by curators and concept developers of No LaB; Ala Onur and Zeynep Ercan. From sculptures to design and experiential pieces, No LaB has chosen pieces which capture and conserve nature both visually and materially. Each artwork is thoughtfully integrated into their natural surroundings: some pieces were created by artists on-site, other creative concepts were adapted for Joali’s tropical climate. Joali will continue to curate surprising interactive art experiences, with new pieces added throughout the year. An annual art calendar will host a roster of workshops and residencies with visiting artists, designed to inspire, inform and enchant.

Image caption: Three-bedroom ocean residence with two Pools

Joali’s impressive roster of artworks are integrated with impeccable design and architectural skill by acclaimed Istanbul-based Autoban, whose other projects include House Hotels Istanbul and London’s Duck and Rice. The firm used custom-made furnishings, hand-carved wooden panels, local wood, bamboo and terrazzo flooring to create the ultimate sense of jungle chic. In designing the resort, Autoban worked to preserve the natural flora of the island as much as possible, saving more than 1,000 palm trees in the process. On arrival, guests are wowed by an impressive Manta Ray-shaped welcome jetty complete with undulating Maldivian thatched roof crafted by Istanbul’s Atölye4n, while Tokyo-based Studio Glitt are behind standout Japanese restaurant SAOKE, with its majestic pyramid roof made up of timber blocks like origami, with clean lines and soft lighting reflecting Japanese aesthetics.

Heron Chair & Manta Ray Treehouse – Porky Hefer, Cape Town

A beak-like seat hangs on the beach/bar area of the hotel

Image caption: Porky Hefer_ Grey Herron Head found in the Mura Bar area

Vernacular architect Porky Hefer, who recently partnered with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation at Art Basel, displays his signature passion for local wildlife and endangered species, with his hanging ‘Heron’ chairs, which overlook the beach. The grey heron is the national bird of the Maldives and Joali’s signature, spirit animal. Hefer’s astonishing Manta Ray hideaway, woven in-situ from natural materials (WHAT) is suspended in the trees, experiential dinners in the treetops. His imaginative, nature-inspired works are designed for functionality as well as style, and have a message of conservation.

Club Tropicana Table & Underwater Coral Sculpture Garden – Misha Kahn, New York

Renowned for his sculptures which use unconventional materials, including recycled rubbish, bronze and glue, at Joali, Kahn has created an underwater sculpture garden using a combination of vibrant-coloured and pale mosaic tiles to reflect the coral bleaching occurring in the Indian Ocean. Visitors to the island will be able to snorkel or dive to interact with this piece, and coral itself will gradually attach as part of the regeneration of the reef. Above land, Kahn’s Gaudi-esque communal table, which echos the shapes of the underwater pieces, is the perfect spot for sunset drinks and experiential dining experiences overlooking the beach.

Evolution Chair – Nacho Carbonell, Spain

A contemporary bench on a white beach

Image caption: Nacho Carbonell_Vandhoo, The Art Bench

Recreated especially for Joali with materials like sand and tree sap, Nacho Carbonell’s iconic Evolution chair has been adapted for the tropical climate. The cocoon-like chair offers a private moment of quiet introspection to anyone seated inside its depths.

 

‘PEARL’ wall art – Seckin Pirim, Istanbul

A dark room, lit by an eye-catching clam-like centrepiece by Seckin Pirim have a ripple shape reminiscent of the aquamarine waters surrounding the island

Image caption: The water villa features an eye-catching clam-like centrepiece by Seckin Pirim have a ripple shape reminiscent of the aquamarine waters surrounding the island

On the wall of each villa, an eye-catching clam-like centrepiece by Seckin Pirim have a ripple shape reminiscent of the aquamarine waters surrounding the island. Pirim’s installations are a reflection on his childhood memories and pick up on the varied tones of brilliant sea blue around Joali.

Maldives Vibes – Zemer Peled, Israel

Inspired by the Maldives’ rich underwater world and appearing in Joali Spa, this dramatic sculpture comments on the issue of coral bleaching affecting the region, with striking bursts of colour against a stark white backing reflecting a hope for future regeneration.

The hotel, which opened in December 2018 on the island of Muravandhoo, embodies the joys of life in its focus on art, wellbeing and sustainable luxury, with a boutique feel to its 73 beach and over water villas.

 

In Conversation With: COO and Partner of luxury hotel group LHM

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Hotel Designs editor Hamish Kilburn catches up with Hans Joerg Meier the COO and Partner of LHM to discuss regional differences, design ethos’ and the challenges that come with setting up a new luxury hotel group…

With a new hotel about to open just over the horizon, which will add to the LHM (Legian Hotel Management) portfolio, the luxe hotel group is starting to find its bare-foot luxury feet in the international hotel design sands. Currently based in Indonesia with plans to expand across the globe, its ambition to “raise expectations of what a holiday can be” has been set in stone by the COO and co-founder Hans Joerg Meier. As its next hotel, The Legian Sire, Lombok, prepares for a Q1 2019 Launch, we caught up with Joerg Meier to find out  what the future for the hotel group looks like.

Hamish Kilburn: What has LHM identified as differences in markets between Indonesia and Europe?
Hans Joerg Meier: Travellers from Europe are seeking an authentic Indonesian/Balinese cultural experience – the warm and sincere service/hospitality. Furthermore, European guests want to travel around the island, visiting temples, renowned rice paddies, tasting local cuisine and attending cooking classes. Many are also keen to attend/participate in a local ceremony. Our regular guests from the local Indonesian market are very familiar with Bali/Seminyak where The Legian is located, and most seek a getaway to relax in the hotel from the pressures of their working lifestyle. They come to wine and dine and visit friends. This pattern is also similar with our regional markets from Hong Kong and Singapore. Both European and Indonesian markets are very interested in our wellness programs and following this we have recently launched a new wellness concept ‘Wellness by the Legian’ which will be available in all LHM hotels.

HK: There seems to be a lot of emphasis on experiences when it comes to luxury travel. Is the experience more important than the product these days? 
HJM: I am of the opinion that both are equally important. A good product is imperative and superior guest experiences personifies the product and vice versa. They synergize each other and are essential for the luxury traveller.

Image caption: Legian Seminyak, Bali

HK: Can you explain the design ethos of LHM properties?
HJM: Each LHM property is/will be exquisitely crafted by renowned architects and interior designers as well as legendary local artisans. This will reflect the sophisticated taste of our refined clientele who will feel right at home within LHM’s exceptional natural timeless surroundings, each one tastefully and utterly unique in their style.

HK: What are the main challenges for a new hotel group in today’s hotel landscape?
HJM: The main challenges include coming up with unique selling/marketing ideas which clearly differentiate the brand from the many competitors. It is also important to have a clear strategy in place and stick to it, not to follow every single trend, but rather create a bespoke experience. New hotel groups need to have a solid structure in place which allows the brand to expand on firm grounds without becoming too corporate. The key element is to form a strong team and nurture talents to take on more responsibility and to fully embrace the culture of the company. It is important that the team truly understands and is passionate about the brand so the company can successfully expand in the right direction. People are key in our industry as every guest interaction is vital.

Image caption: The site at Legian Sire, Lombok

HK: How did the management team come together?
HJM: Our first property, The Legian, Seminyak Bali has been owned by the Djohan’s family since the opening in 1996. Irma Djohan, The youngest daughter of Robby and Nanan Djohan, has a career in banking and at the same time was mentored by her father to eventually become a partner at LHM. Ralf Ohletz von Plattenberg was working for Adrain Zecha at Aman and GHM for over 30 years and was part of the team who setup The Legian. As for myself, I was working with GHM, who managed The Legian, for 15 years. Therefore, Irma, Ralf and myself knew each other. When the late Robby Djohan decided to start his own management company, he brought the 3 of us together help him form LHM, based on our diversified backgrounds.

Image credit: Legian Sire, Lombok

HK: The team clearly has a lot of experience in luxury. What key elements have you taken from Como, Peninsula and Aman to make LHM truly luxurious?
HJM: The LHM team have utilised their experience to create LHM’s own bespoke luxury key elements. LHM balances authentic unsurpassed service within captivating environments of exquisite craftsmanship reflecting the sophisticated lifestyle and intellectual curiosity of our guests. Every LHM property reflects its location, culture and people and does not wish to be a ‘cookie cutter’ brand. The one main key element I have taken from all my experience is that the people are key to creating a truly memorable and luxurious experience.

HK: How important is location when expanding a luxury hotel portfolio?
HJM: Location is important not just for each individual property but expansion should be based on a strategic plan. Some destinations may complement each other which can be of great advantage to boost occupancy. LHM’s 5 year business plan focussed on Indonesia and South East Asia which allows us to streamline efforts and keep operations efficient.

The First Roma Dolce to open in February 2019

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The 19th-Century building will shelter Rome’s first patisserie-style hotel…

Situated on Via del Corso, ‘The First Roma Dolce’, a new patisserie-themed boutique hotel, is set to open its doors in February 2019. The Dolce will be the newest addition to the ‘First Experience’, which joins three distinctly unique hotels together and emboldens guests to truly experience the city as locals.

The hotel will be housed within a classic 19th-Century building designed by the renowned Italian architect and urban planner Giuseppe Valadier, who is known and widely celebrated for creating the elliptical design of Piazza del Popolo.

“The hotel encourages guests to feel as though they ‘live’ in the city during their trip.”

The boutique hotel will shelter 23 refined suites and guestrooms, with views overlooking the bustling Via del Corso. With particular attention being paid to the contemporary design of the guestrooms and spacious suites, the hotel encourages guests to feel as though they ‘live’ in the city during their trip. State-of-the-art amenities include in-room fitness equipment, and ensure The Dolce will become guests’ ‘home-away-from-home’, offering an elegant yet comfortable and familiar atmosphere whilst visiting the Italian capital.

Image Credit: First Experience

An innovative patisserie-style restaurant will serve sweet treats from the pasticceria during the summer, whilst offering guests gourmet experiences such as chocolate tastings during the winter months.

Providing the very same award-winning hospitality as its sister property, The First Roma Arte, the two hotels are located less than five minutes walk away from each other. Guests of The First Roma Dolce will be able to enjoy the facilities at The First Roma Arte, including the Michelin-Star restaurant Acquolina and the newly redesigned panoramic rooftop terrace. The ‘home-away-from-home’ concept is threaded through both properties, with guests encouraged to enjoy the unique offerings of each hotel, for real immersion into Roman culture and the intimate ‘First Experience’.

Image Credit: First Experience

A third hotel, ‘The First Roma Sensi’, will open in late 2019, completing the ‘First Experience’ under the Pavilions Hotels & Resorts collection. The First Roma Dolce is affiliated to Preferred Hotels & Resorts and is a member of the L.V.X collection.

In Conversation with: Michael Seum, how Grohe recreated a classic

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Grohe’s Vice President of Design, Michael Seum, talks about revisiting a classic, challenging the engineers and creating an icon in the new Atrio (as published in Grohe Magazine No. 2 2018)… 

Redesigning a classic is a task not to be taken lightly. It’s a design opportunity that involves walking a tightrope between respecting the past and opening oneself up to contemporary ideas. Grohe’s Vice President of Design Michael Seum, however, was delighted to step up to the challenge with the classic Grohe Atrio faucet. It was, he says, an exciting opportunity to build on the strengths of this Grohe icon while giving it a feeling of timelessness.

Grohe: What was the idea behind the new Atrio? 
Michael Seum: For me, the very definition of an icon is something you can draw from memory. We are calling this the icon of elegance and precision. The elegance is drawn from a single circle , or a cylinder right, which is one of the most feminine geometrical features you can find: pure and perfect. It;s a firmly contemporary design, but with the right interior decor strategy, it could fit in a classic or cosmopolitan environment. Because we’ve used such a simple, singular geometry, the precision has an analogue, tactile feel to it. So much of this world is digital and uber-connected that we felt like for our spa collection, we needed to have this tactility. And it’s done in such a way that even when you look at the design, all of the intersections are precise. Nothing is off-centre.

Image credit: Grohe

G: How is is driven by the technology that’s inside, like the cartridges? 
MS: The quality of the design comes through the craftsmanship and also the precision of our high-quality cartridges. There are three principles that we draw from: the cylindrical element that drives the entire line, an absolutely pure intersection of all these geometries, and lastly, the obsessive attention to proportion. We wanted a design that celebrates the quality of the Grohe cartridge – its the perfect expression of our design DNA.

G: How long, from first sketch to now, have you and your team been working on this? 
MS: We had a discussion about the possibility of having the spa geometry perfectly intersect, I think, about 18 months ago. While we came pretty quickly to the idea, the execution was actually the hardest part of the job; getting the engineering team to find a way to do that.

“It really is iconic, it’s beautiful, it’s flexible and it’s simple.”

G: What challenges did you have to overcome with the engineering? 
MS: The engineers saw the potential of the design. But they also saw that it was their responsibility to help us realise it. So I’m really pleased at how they’ve embraced the design vision and made all of the technical elements work, going through such meticulous, geometrical work with the Atrio. This is where the precision of the tactile feedback, the craftsmanship, the quality, the handmade aspects – it’s all due to their efforts.

Image credit: Grohe

G: How has the feedback on this product been so far? 
MS: We’ve had some sneak previews with a few long-standing customers and architects that we have very positive relationships with. We do a lot of work on projects that are two to five years – and the response when we put this on the table is just jaw-dropping. It really is iconic, it’s beautiful, it’s flexible and it’s simple. We designed something that allows architects or consumers to design spaces in so many different ways. The fact that the product is so simple means that it can work with different interior strategies. They see that immediately.

G: What plans do you have for the Atrio in the future? 
MS: We will launch it in Spa Colours over time. Because this design is so neutral, we believe that this is the vehicle for expressing new colour and finish possibilities in the bathroom. It’s a design that works in so many different environments, from classic to contemporary to cosmopolitan. It has transformatative affect in those spaces.

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 
Image caption: Grohe’s Vice President of Design, Michael Seum

 

 

 

Condé Nast Traveller reveals its editors’ all-time favourite hotels from around the world

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As we prepare to wrap up another year of innovation, design and style, here are what our friends over at Condé Nast Traveller believe are the hotels to visit in 2019… 

If there’s one thing we have learned in 2018, when it comes to predicting the next hotel design hotspot, it’s that location is everything. Towns, cities, villages – even islands – that evoke one-off experiences tend to become destinations that lend themselves naturally to luxury design-led hotels. We have seen this time and time again, which is why Africa for example has long been a destination that many hotel owners and chains have bookmarked for future development. The real task is designing the seamless link between the design of the hotel and its setting.

With a recent survey suggesting that 95 per cent of consumers would rather spend money on an experience over product, it’s clear that designers, architects and hoteliers need to further consider location and how the property would blend into its surroundings. In order to establish, from a consumer point of view, which hotels are at the top of their game, we have peered over the fence to understand what our friends over in London’s Vogue House believe are the best hotels in the world.

With 78 hotels ranging from game-changer Heckfield Place in Hampshire, to the romantic Castello di Vicarello in Tuscany, the nostalgic St. Regis New York and plenty to choose from in far-flung destinations, Condé Nast Traveller shines a rather bright and dynamic spotlight on the most wonderful places to stay next year with The Gold List 2019:

UK

Claridge’s, London
Covent Garden Hotel, London
The Kensington, London
Soho Farmhouse, Oxfordshire:
Lucknam Park, near Bath
Heckfield Place, Hampshire

Image credit: Firmdale Hotels

EUROPE

FRANCE

Hôtel de Crillon, Paris
La Réserve Paris
Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Antibes
Les Fermes de Marie, Megève

Image credit: Oetker Collection

ITALY

Aman Venice
Belmond Hotel Caruso, Amalfi Coast
Le Sirenuse, Positano
JK Place Capri
Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli, Lake Garda
Castello di Vicarello, Tuscany
Borgo Egnazia, Puglia
Hotel Il Pellicano, Tuscany

SPAIN

Soho House Barcelona
Sant Francesc Hotel Singular, Palma de Mallorca

IRELAND

Ballyfin

GREECE

Perivolas, Santorini

CYRPUS

Anassa Hotel

DENMARK 

Hotel Sanders, Copenhagen

SWEDEN

Ett Hem, Stockholm

ICELAND

Deplar Farm

NORWAY

The Thief, Oslo

AFRICA & THE INDIAN OCEAN

 MOROCCO

La Mamounia, Marrakech
L’Hôtel Marrakech

TANZANIA

Singita Sasakwa Lodge, Grumeti

SOUTH AFRICA

Ellerman House, Cape Town

Image credit: Ellerman House, Cape Town

KENYA

&Beyond Bateleur Camp, Masai Mara

BOTSWANA

Jack’s Camp

MALDIVES

Amilla Fushi
Soneva Fushi

MAURITIUS

One&Only Le Saint Géran

SEYCHELLES

Six Senses Zil Pasyon

 THE MIDDLE EAST

 OMAN

Six Senses Zighy Bay

Image credit: Six Senses

DUBAI

Bulgari Resort Dubai
Madinat Jumeirah

ASIA

INDIA

Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur
The Leela Palace New Delhi

JAPAN

Aman Tokyo

Image credit: Aman Tokyo

THAILAND

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
The Siam, Bangkok

CAMBODIA 

Song Saa Private Island

CHINA

The Upper House, Hong Kong
The Peninsula Shanghai
The Opposite House, Beijing

Image Credit: The Upper House, Hong Kong

AUSTRALASIA & THE SOUTH PACIFIC

 NEW ZEALAND

The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, North Island

AUSTRALIA 

Halcyon House, New South Wales

FRENCH POLYNESIA

The Brando

SOUTH AMERICA & MEXICO

BRAZIL 

Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa, Trancoso
Hotel Unique, São Paulo

Image credit: Hotel Unique

CHILIE 

Awasi Atacama

ARGENTINA

Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt, Buenos Aires

Image credit: Park Hyatt

MEXICO

Chablé, Yucatan
Hotel Esencia, Quintana Roo

NORTH AMERICA & CARIBBEAN

 USA

The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel, New York
The St. Regis New York
The Carlyle, New York
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Hawaii
Amangiri, Utah
Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club, Miami
Hotel Bel-Air, LA
Sunset Tower Hotel, LA
The Dewberry, Charleston
The Robey Chicago
Farmhouse Inn Sonoma
Wynn Las Vegas
The Peninsula Chicago

Image credit: The Beekman, New York

CANADA 

Clayoquot, Vancouver Island

THE CARIBBEAN

GoldenEye, Jamaica
Playa Grande Beach Club, Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic
The Cotton House, Mustique
COMO Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos
Bahama House, Harbour Island

Image credit: COMO Hotels & Resort

Through Condé Nast Traveller’s award-winning editorial team under Editor-in-Chief, Melinda Stevens, The Gold List 2019 provides inspiration and expert consumer advice for discerning travellers on where to stay. Hotel Designs will be following this in January with an editorial around the top hotel openings of 2019.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club, Miami

Ruby Hotels unveils plans for UK and international expansion in 2019 and 2020

Hamish Kilburn

The Munich-based hotel brand, Ruby Hotels, has announced plans to open an additional eight hotels by 2020…

Pioneering the ‘Lean Luxury’ concept, Ruby Hotels is attempting to break new ground in international hotel developement as it announces that it will add eight new hotels to its portfolio by 2020.

The hotel group, which currently operates six hotels, plans to expand the brand across international waters with a hotel slated to open its first UK-based hotel, opening on London’s vibrant Southbank in Autumn 2019. In addition, the Group is preparing to open hotels in areas such as Zurich, Cologne, Frankfurt and Shanghai before the end of 2020.

The ‘Lean Luxury’ model eschews hotel features typically associated with high-end properties, such as in-house restaurants, mini-bars and room service. These are replaced with communal areas serving an organic breakfast without the need of a chef or full kitchen, as well as ‘maxi bar’ vending machines and galley kitchens.

The guestrooms sheltered underneath each property portray a more relaxed vibe. Each room is luxurious, white and clean-looking with strong interior statements in the lighting and fittings. Meanwhile, the facilities such as a 24-hour bar, co-working spaces, a boutique movie theatre and a yoga studio appeal to the modern-day traveller and current modern traveller trends.

The public areas in all the hotels balance an industrial look and feel with a distinct music theme running throughout. The corridors, on the other hand are playful, with vibrant pops of colour in the carpet dominating the space.

Modular architectural designs capitalise on space, while flexible, unconventional layouts and intelligent technological solutions allow the hotel group to occupy real-estate traditionally seen as unsuitable for hoteliers, without compromising on the experience offered to guests.

Technology is also a major theme that is explored throughout the properties; in each room guests will find a personal tablet PC and smartphone pre-loaded with Ruby Hotels’ local city guides, social media apps and unlimited data and calls, while a state-of-the-art self-check-in system makes use of tablet-computers to reduce check-in time to under one minute.

Ruby Group, led by founder and CEO Michael Struck, launched in 2013. By having a lean organisational structure and concentrating on the essentials, Ruby Hotels has managed to create a contemporary, affordable form of luxury for modern, cost- and style-conscious customers.

Brown Hotels’ The Lighthouse opens in Tel Aviv

Hamish Kilburn

Brown Hotels, the design-savvy boutique hotel brand born out of Tel Aviv, opens doors today to The Lighthouse, the group’s eighth property in Israel and its largest and most amenity-rich hotel to date…

Brown Hotels, the rapidly expanding boutique hotel brand from Tel Aviv, has opened its largest property to date, The Lighthouse. The 100-room hotel is situated within an iconic Brutalist architectural-style property and located in the heart of central Tel Aviv. The Lighthouse honors its ethos of “work hard, play harder” with sleek design details and amenities for savvy business travelers and tourists alike. The high-style rooms pair well with a lively lobby, two vibing cocktail bars, a 360° panoramic rooftop lounge (Haiku), two upcoming pools and terrace rooms with private decks and jacuzzis. True to its name, The Lighthouse is named for its desired effect as a source of energy and light in a revitalizing corner of Tel Aviv, just steps away from the Mediterranean Sea and beach promenade.

Image credit: Assaf Pinchuk

“We are entering new territory with The Lighthouse; it is a high energy hotel with a big, thumping heartbeat.”

Brown Hotels is a rapidly-expanding global boutique hotel brand with roots in Tel Aviv. Conceived by native Israelis, Leon Avigad & Nitzan Perry with partner Nir Waizman, the collection includes four hotels in Tel Aviv, two in Jerusalem and one in Trogir, Croatia. Each boutique property packs big design punch with a unique vibe of their own, yet true to the Brown Hotels’ spirit. As its largest property, The Lighthouse boldly explores a new sense of scale for the brand. The hotel’s building is an iconic Brutalist office tower built in the 1970s and fully restored. Its sheer size offers sweeping views of the White City and Mediterranean Sea from each vantage point in the hotel, from the private rooms to its communal spaces.

Image credit: Max Morron

“We are entering new territory with The Lighthouse; it is a high energy hotel with a big, thumping heartbeat,” says Brown Hotels founder Leon Avigad. “We are creating a bit of a wonderland within its walls, where a certain young and fun-seeking guest with a fine palate for design can find everything they’re looking for. If they still want more, they’re in luck: The Lighthouse is two minutes from the Mediterranean promenade, five minutes from the Carmel Market and ten minutes from Rothschild Boulevard.”

The Lighthouse takes Brown Hotels high-design sensibility to the next level through the collaborative vision of Leon Avigad and Argentinian-Israeli architect, Nestor Sandbank. The spatial layout of the property thinks big with two high-energy cocktail bars, two pools, a full-service gym/spa, a sprawling eighteenth-floor rooftop lounge and lower-level conference/banqueting center. The lobby of the hotel features Brown Hotels’ iconic library wall, complemented by new textures, rich tones of navy and emerald and décor. Never taking itself too seriously, the lobby lightens up with playful accents from its birdcage swing, gold-plated sections, antlers mounted to the wall and colorful contemporary furnishings. Guests are treated to a range of accommodations ranging in size from twenty-two to twenty-seven square-meters, making them much more spacious than the average city room.

Image credit: Assaf Pinchuk

Twelve exclusive terrace rooms offer private balconies with outdoor jacuzzis, stunning views and ensured privacy by a natural fence of lush greenery. Twelve Junior and Executive Suites feature separate seating areas and a slew of in-room amenities. Other room categories provide obstruction-free vistas of the Mediterranean Sea coastline, while city-facing rooms feature the best panoramic views of Tel Aviv. Each room is adorned with bright wooden-clad walls that punctuate light through their innovatively designed-crevices. Bright carpets rest upon hardwood flooring accented by contemporary furnishings and lighting accents. The sumptuous queen and king-size beds feature 800-thread count Egyptian Cotton and full-tub showers are filled with Molton Brown amenities. Phase two of The Lighthouse will open an additional two floors with sixty guest rooms, bringing the total room count to 160.

The hotel will house Haiku, a much-anticipated addition to the city’s nightlife offerings on the hotel’s panoramic rooftop. Mood-setting music, dim lighting and rich color-schemes amplify the dramatics at the stylish sky lounge. Guests and party-goers can enjoy bottle service and local cuisine at the luxurious and spacious banquet seating. A range of food and beverage offerings will also be made available in the hotel’s banquet and conference complex that accommodates up to 400 people in its well-appointed and stylishly-designed meeting rooms.

Founded in 2003 by Avigad, Brown Hotels evolved out of the desire to introduce a collection of truly boutique hotels to Israel. The Brown properties are all rooted in a devotion to service, design, innovation, style and authenticity.

Main image credit: Assaf Pinchuk

 

The Reverie Saigon opens new luxury apartments

Hamish Kilburn

Following popular demand for residence-style accommodation, the luxury hotel in Vietnam, which originally opened in 2014, has now unveiled 89 apartments…

The Reverie Saigon, which opened in late 2014 as Vietnam’s answer to luxury with its lavish interiors, has recently unveiled new apartments that are now sheltered within the five-star hotel.

As demand surges for residential-style accommodations that come with the comforts of home but the service of a five-star hotel, The Reverie Saigon, Vietnam, is opening-up eight floors of The Reverie Residence’s luxury serviced apartments to hotel guests as alternatives for leisure and business travellers.

Like the hotel itself, the home-style suites of The Reverie Residence are a culmination of a collaboration with several renowned Italian design houses. Interiors vary from contemporary to the classic, with elegant design touches such as exquisite, handmade porcelain chandeliers by the 70-year-old, Florentine company Le Procellane as well as fine furnishings by the likes of Cassina, Medea and Grifoni.

In addition, each apartment’s sleek, modern and fully equipped kitchens are designed by the cutting-edge Italian kitchen manufacturer Snaidero, perhaps most recognised for its collaboration with Pininfarina on the design of a Ferrari-inspired kitchen.

Guests of The Reverie Residence also enjoy a separate entrance, lobby and lifts, 24-hour guest service, use of the Residence Lounge – which is furnished by Giorgetti and includes a private gym – and access to the hotel’s swimming pool as well as all of its restaurants & bars.

Render of public areas

Hampton by Hilton debuts in the Middle East

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Hampton by Hilton Dubai Airport opens as the brand’s largest hotel in Hampton by Hilton’s portfolio…

Hampton by Hilton has celebrated its Middle East debut with the opening of Hampton by Hilton Dubai Airport, marking the largest property in Hampton’s global portfolio. The opening of Hampton by Hilton Dubai Airport reinforces the brand’s commitment to international growth, driven by concerted efforts in China and Latin America, while deepening its reach in the U.S. and Europe.

“The opening bolsters Hampton’s international footprint of more than 2,380 hotels in 22 countries and territories.”

“Hampton continues to bring quality accommodations, strong value, and outstanding service everywhere travelers need and want to be,” said Shruti Gandhi Buckley, global head, Hampton by Hilton. “Hampton has a long legacy of delivering an incomparable guest experience, which will be led by General Manager Nayla Chowdhury at Hampton by Hilton Dubai Airport, whose appointment signifies Hilton’s growing international female leadership representation.”

The opening bolsters Hampton’s international footprint of more than 2,380 hotels in 22 countries and territories. With the largest pipeline in the brand’s history and in the Hilton enterprise with 620 planned hotels, Hampton is positioned for successful, rapid and steady growth in its target markets. Hampton recently opened its first hotel in Kazakhstan, and soon will enter into Argentina, Chile and France, with continued expansion in China, where it is the fastest growing international hospitality brand in the country.

The contemporary 420-key hotel is located near the Dubai International Airport and the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA). Hampton by Hilton Dubai Airport also features a state-of-the-art rooftop gym with panoramic views of the Dubai skyline, a large infinity pool and a fully licensed bar. Guests will immediately feel at home with the property’s warm and modern interiors, flowing with natural light and complemented by touches of lavender, gold, and locally inspired artwork that adorn the hotel walls and corridors.

The highly anticipated property brings Hampton’s signature value-added services and amenities for the first time to the region, offering free, hot breakfast with healthy options, spacious rooms, complimentary Wi-Fi, and a 24/7 business center. Hampton continues to be a category leader in terms of guest experience with its 100% Hampton Guarantee, making sure guests are 100% happy.

Globally recognised for its unmatched approach to hospitality and friendly, caring service culture known as ‘Hamptonality’, Hampton aims to serve the region’s growing demand for mid-market hotels – particularly among millennial travelers, who are increasingly prioritizing value in their search for accommodation. A recent survey of just over 1,000 respondents conducted by Hilton in partnership with YouGov found that when choosing between two destinations, almost half (44 per cent) of UAE travelers were likely to base their decision on overall travel cost.

“With Dubai’s vision of welcoming 20 million tourists annually to the emirate by 2020, diversifying its hospitality offering has become a major priority for the travel and tourism sector,” said Rudi Jagersbacher, Area President – Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. “Today’s travelers are increasingly looking for affordable hospitality without compromising on quality. They want a hotel in a well-connected location, with clean and modern rooms, free Wi-Fi, and friendly, reliable, quality service. This is precisely what the Hampton by Hilton brand offers.”

 

Hyatt announces beach resort debut in Japan

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Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa opens as the brand’s first beach resort in Japan…

With the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo approaching, hotel design in Japan, with its tech-savy attitude, is enjoying somewhat of a moment. The latest hotel brand to debut in the country is Hyatt Beach Resort, which has just announced the opening of Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa.

Located on the private Seragaki Island and linked by a bridge to the main island of Okinawa, the hotel offers a stunning view of the East China Sea from all 344 guestrooms. An immersive destination hotel, Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa blends local culture, warm hospitality and thoughtful service, enabling guests to feel refreshed and reconnected to who and what matters to them most.

“We are delighted to celebrate the opening of Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa, the first Japanese beach resort in Hyatt’s portfolio and we are grateful for the continuous support from Tokyu Land, NTT Urban Development Corporation and Milial Resort Hotels Co. Ltd.,” said David Udell, group president, Asia-Pacific, Hyatt Hotels Corporation. “With the debut of Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa, our 12th Hyatt property in Japan, we are excited to offer guests an energizing seaside retreat in the country’s sunshine isles.”

Image caption: Hyatt Hotels

The breezy, light-filled interiors by Tokyo-based, Hashimoto Yukio Design Studio draw from the hotel’s idyllic waterfront surroundings and the rich traditions of Okinawan culture to create intuitive spaces where guests can connect and recharge. All guestrooms feature mesmerising views sf the crystal clear waters. There are 320 guestrooms housed in a seven-floor building on Seragaki Island, including 71 Regency Club rooms and 16 suites which come with unique privileges such as dedicated check-in and check-out and use of a private lounge.

Suited for families or longer stays, an additional 24 Beach House rooms are located in a three-story building across from the main hotel. These accommodations range from 592 to 807 square feet, and are equipped with full kitchens or pantry-style kitchenettes.

Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa is home to six dining outlets, offering delicious comfort food alongside breathtaking scenery.

The resort has six banquet venues with ocean views and outdoor terraces that can be configured to range in size from 968 to 1614 square feet to host business retreats and social gatherings. Featuring a glass rooftop and a 32-foot aisle leading toward the ocean, the luminous Seragaki Island Chapel offers an elegant setting for an unforgettable and intimate beachfront wedding for up to 40 guests.

The Hyatt Regency brand than 180 conveniently located Hyatt Regency urban and resort locations in over 30 countries around the world, which serve as the go-to gathering space for every occasion – from efficient business meetings to memorable family vacations.

How can hotel design help achieve a great night’s sleep?

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Health expert Ali Howe awakens how thoughtful hotel design can lead to a better night sleep for both your business as well as your guests…

Around 60 million Americans are affected by sleeping disorders every year, a fact which affects physical and mental wellbeing to varying degrees. Sleep deprivation is linked to daytime drowsiness and fatigue, but also to serious long-term illnesses such as heart disease, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes.

At the same time, the travel industry is continuing to grow exponentially. The Global Business Travel Association pegs the number of business trips taken annually in the US at 488 million, and that means that many people on the move are sleeping away from home. New environments are known to be added stressors when it comes to sleep. So, how can good design help clients enjoy a great night’s sleep, even when they are sleeping in a hotel for the first time?

Quality sleep is key

We know that the majority of people aren’t getting the recommended seven hours of sleep a night, yet research shows that we shouldn’t just be worrying about quantity, but also about quality. In order to feel truly refreshed when they wake up, people need to enjoy between 1.5 and 1.8 hours of deep sleep (or delta sleep) per night. Achieving good quality deep sleep depends on a number of factors, which the National Sleep Foundation lists as follows: sleeping at least 85 per cent of the time in a bed, falling asleep in half an hour or less, waking up no more than once a night, and spending no more than 20 minutes in wakefulness after initially falling asleep.

In contemporary hotels, gradient panel systems can work well to create total darkness

Let in the darkness

To improve delta sleep, complete darkness and quiet are key for most people. Hotel interior designers should therefore design rooms in such a way that natural light is allowed during the day but blocked out at night. In traditional or classical rooms, this can be achieved through blackout curtains. In contemporary hotels, gradient panel systems can work well to create total darkness. Gradient panel systems are motorised, with individual panels moving independently of each other thanks to a central axis pivot. They can be fully closed (to completely block light out) during the night, but they can rotate during the day to either let in direct sun or to provide interiors with indirect light. This savvy system works well in high-end hotels, since discerning clients can program the system themselves to adjust the amount of light entering to their desired preference.

Soundproofing guestrooms

One only needs to consult popular travellers’ forums to see one of the most frequent guest complaints is noise. When designing rooms, allow for the space reduction necessitated by soundproofing. The use of soundproofing boards (or laminated glass to dampen sound vibration of windows) can reduce external noise by around 95 per cent, which is great news for early sleepers – and those who are jet lagged – who are easily bothered by the sound of people talking in halls and in adjacent rooms.

When deciding on color schemes, avoid loud contrasts between walls, furniture and flooring

Calming hues

Shades of grey, blue, or green are known to create a calming effect. Studies have shown that these colors can reduce stress and anxiety, as well as make a room seem more expansive. When deciding on color schemes, avoid loud contrasts between walls, furniture and flooring, opting for complementary rather than contrasting color schemes. You don’t need to forego artistry. Hand-painted wallpapers or paint effects can still be used to add touches of creativity; just opt for muted rather than primary shades and consider the use of natural elements such as wood, which help instill a sense of tranquility.

For many people who already struggle to get a good night’s sleep, spending one or more nights at a hotel can be challenging, especially if light and noise are an issue. To balance the room’s interiors with human circadian rhythms, create spaces that are completely dark at night and ensure guests enjoy complete silence. Finally, create soothing ambiences and consider installation of sound systems that play ambient music, white noise, or sounds of nature, which many people find to be effective at reducing stress and anxiety.

Main image credit: Bruno van der Kraan | Unsplash

Wooden flooring in contemporary interiors

SPOTLIGHT ON: Flooring that’s not slippery when wet

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Osmo UK Polyx®-Oil Anti-Slip eliminates the possibility of any slips, trips and falls without compromising on the flooring appearance… 

Wooden flooring is a highly attractive material for commercial and residential environments, but like any hard flooring material, it can become slippery when wet, resulting in a slip hazard where accidents are all too easy in these situations. Osmo UK Polyx®-Oil Anti-Slip is an easy to apply finish which helps eliminate these risks while not disrupting the room’s appearance.

Applying a coat of Polyx®-Oil Anti-Slip increases the slip resistance of frequently maintained flooring areas.  The surface retains its natural appearance while the fine structure particles in the finish prevent it from becoming slippery.

Alongside the makeover and anti-slip properties, the finish will also provide added durability to the flooring. Protecting the floor from everyday elements, including scuffs, stains and water damage, Polyx®-Oil Anti-Slip also allows the woods surface to remain breathable, reducing the chance of warping and cracking.  Made from natural ingredients, the product provides perfectly complements the natural elements of the wood, nourishing the surface, and will not crack, flake, peel or blister.

Polyx®-Oil Anti-Slip is available directly from Osmo UK and from its nationwide network of stockists. For more information, please call Osmo on 01296 481220 or visit www.osmouk.com.

Lounge by Pool - Hotel La Vida - PGA Catalunya Resort - Girona - Spain

Bryan O’Sullivan Studio unveils its latest hotel design project: LAVIDA Hotel

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The Bryan O’Sullivan Studio announces its latest hotel design project, LAVIDA Hotel in Girona, Spain, situated within the world-leading PGA Catalunya Resort

LAVIDA Hotel is an expertly designed, contemporary and convenient gateway for golf and activity enthusiasts alike. Aimed at those looking to discover the natural beauty of the local area through wide-ranging activity options, from golf, cycling and hiking to trekking, horse-riding, boat trips or exploring nearby Girona, the design Studio has created a distinctive contemporary aesthetic without compromising on a design-led space in which to relax. The result is a fresh and modern hotel that provides all the comforts needed for weekend getaways and trips for groups of friends.

Set over three floors, LAVIDA Hotel has fifty standard double rooms that can be configured as twins, each featuring sweeping golf course views from private balconies, Bella’s – a bar and restaurant area, plus a large covered outdoor terrace with swimming pool. The curved design of the building ensures that each bedroom has an uninterrupted birds-eye view over the golf course.

Working closely with Barcelona-based architects GCA, the team at Bryan O’Sullivan Studio has ensured that all the spaces provide guests with everything they need to enjoy a seamless experience. Throughout the hotel, there are nods to the local vernacular to keep a sense of place, interwoven in the contemporary design framework.

The project has been fun to deliver, and we’ve kept the outdoors experience front of mind

Room 39 - Hotel La Vida - PGA Catalunya Resort - Girona - Spain

Room 39 at Hotel La Vida – PGA Catalunya Resort – Girona – Spain

The hub of LAVIDA Hotel is the main bar and restaurant, Bella’s, which creates a laid-back atmosphere for socialising. With a pared back material palette of concrete, warm woods and bright furniture, the decoration is immediately both modern and welcoming. Bespoke laser-cut metal screens divide the main seating areas, whilst an open pizza kitchen adds to the vibrant, busy atmosphere, serving classic dishes for dinner including pizza and antipasti made with the freshest ingredients.

The focal central bar is beautifully finished with local marble and monochrome cement tiles.

“We’ve absolutely loved designing the interiors of the public spaces and guest rooms here at LAVIDA Hotel,” said Bryan O’Sullivan. “The project has been fun to deliver, and we’ve kept the outdoors experience front of mind. We hope this comes through in our designs for the visitor experience. It’s important for us at the Studio to combine our highly aesthetic approach with exceptional functionality. We believe we’ve created a hotel that will be vibrant for years to come.”

Bella´s Bar at Hotel La Vida - PGA Catalunya Resort - Girona - Spain

Bella´s Bar at Hotel La Vida – PGA Catalunya Resort – Girona – Spain

Beyond the bar is a covered outdoor lounge space, with a stylish outdoor pool and sunbathing decks, all of which overlook the golf course. Guests will find plenty of relaxed seating areas, in a bright colour palette of yellow mixed with relaxed grey, and comfortable cushions overlooking the beautiful countryside surroundings.

The bright and stylish aesthetics continue in the bedrooms, with a fresh palette of aquamarines and sea greens, inspired by the Mediterranean Sea, and bespoke hexagonal floor tiles reflecting the traditional coloured cement tiles local to the Girona region in Spain. All the bedrooms are carefully designed including details such as specially designed golf storage, making the rooms highly functional as well as stylish. The full-length glass windows echo PGA Catalunya Resort’s overall design aesthetic of connecting the interiors with exteriors and bringing guests closer to nature.

Swimming Pool at Sunset at Hotel La Vida - PGA Catalunya Resort - Girona - Spain

Swimming Pool at Sunset at Hotel La Vida – PGA Catalunya Resort – Girona – Spain

Original artwork brings the room to life with an abstract aerial view of the golf course, designed by the Bryan O’Sullivan Studio. Guests have full control of music and audio entertainment within the bedrooms via Bluetooth, adding to the personal feel.

David Plana, CEO of PGA Catalunya Resort said, “We are delighted to have worked with the Bryan O’Sullivan Studio to bring to life the concept of LAVIDA Hotel. Contemporary, stylish design is key to the Hotel. The Bryan O’Sullivan Studio has delivered smart and precisely designed rooms and interiors, which, coupled with the stunning natural surroundings and extensive activity options at PGA Catalunya Resort, provide an ideal home away from home for the adventure-hungry activity enthusiast.”

The resort, which last week announced new luxe villas is on track to becoming Catalunya’s the finest luxury offering.

Point Two Design puts wallpaper on the map

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The Vancouver-based company is able to replicate any map, town or city in crisp, detailed wallpaper…

Point Two Design is a company using city planning and municipal data to create detailed wallpaper maps of any of your favourite cities. Founded in 2013 by Owen de Lancie and Emily Warkentin who studied architecture and urban planning, the company aims to put detailed wallpapers on the map of international hotel design.

Point Two Design and the team of architects, urban planners, scientists, and experts in mapping distills the data down to streets, land mass and water bodies to create highly detailed museum quality prints. This is the only company using raw GIS data and architectural tools of the trade to gather the same data that municipalities use for their urban planning – to create custom designed maps of any city or town.

No town or area is too small – Point Two Design can find it and map it down to streets an allies with technical precision. Show the person how much the memory means to you and let them be reminded of it each day with these high quality prints.

The new line of wallpaper was launched in April 2018 and each custom order receives personalised attention from PTD designers. The map wallpaper as well as satellite imagery wallpaper is available in vinyl peel and stick or classic suede wallpaper.

In addition to wallpapers, the company also prints soft furnishings, art prints and even wall clocks.

Monochrome interiors in the guestroom with accents of mustard yellow

DoubleTree by Hilton debuts in French medieval city of Carcassonne

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DoubleTree by Hilton Carcassonne opens a Fairy-Tale Escape in the Heart of France’s Medieval City…

France’s medieval city of Carcassonne has welcomed the country’s first DoubleTree by Hilton, one of Hilton’s 14 market-leading brands. The property is the first DoubleTree by Hilton in France and joins nine other Hilton properties in the country.

The 88-key hotel includes 33 deluxe town-facing rooms, as well as 14 junior suites and three one-bedroom suites with private terraces overlooking the fortifed city. Conveniently located along the banks of the Aude River, DoubleTree by Hilton Carcassonne enjoys panoramic views of the fairy-tale-like town, which is accessible via the “Pont View” pedestrian bridge over the river. Guests will receive a warm welcome the moment they arrive at the hotel with a signature DoubleTree by Hilton Cookie, a symbol of the upscale hotel brand’s dedicated service and thoughtful approach to hospitality.

Resembling a scene taken out of a children’s storybook, the fortified city of Carcassonne is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous worldwide for its stout walls, Gothic cathedrals, medieval castles, and beautiful vineyards.  Every year, the Cité Médiévale, as the old walled town is now known, attracts more than 4 million visitors who come to experience its historic charm.

Exterior shot of the hotel

Naturally fitting into the city’s picturesque landscape with its medieval inspired design, stained glass windows, and greenery adorned exterior, the hotel boasts a prime location, just a 100-metre walk to the city and a five-kilometre drive to Carcassonne Airport.

“We are delighted to bring the DoubleTree by Hilton experience to the beautiful city of Carcassonne. Guests’ will feel right at home in the heart of one of France’s most fascinating medieval towns,” said Sandrine Kaiser, the hotel’s general manager. “From enjoying a cruise along the Canal du Midi to visiting the Languedoc vineyards, a host of experiences await guests just minutes away from the hotel. After exploring the city, guests can take comfort in our spacious rooms, enjoy town-facing views from our garden or terrace, or indulge in a relaxing spa treatment.”

Public areas of the hotel

Image credit: Hilton Hotels

DoubleTree by Hilton Carcassonne also offers 60m2 of stylish and naturally lit meeting space. The hotel’s beautiful garden area can also be privatised to host a memorable event with breathtaking views of the city.

DoubleTree by Hilton is a fast-growing, global portfolio of more than 525 upscale hotels with nearly 125,000 rooms across six continents. The brand offers contemporary accommodations and full-service facilities, including restaurants and lounges, room service, health clubs, business centers, and meeting and banquet spaces.

The Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa opens as region’s first five-star contemporary hotel

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The Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa is the region’s first five-star contemporary hotel set in the hills above the area’s most famous villages – Champillon and Hautvillers, of Dom Perignon fame…

The storied history of Champagne – the world’s most iconic wine regions – has taken on a new dimension with the launch of the Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa. The new hotel has made its debut as the destination’s first contemporary luxury hotel, embracing the lush bounty of the wineries and the surrounding UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Reimagining a wine-country retreat for all seasons, local Reims-based architect Giovanni Pace has designed the property in the style of a contemporary amphitheatre, incorporating the original 19th Century Post House where it is said that King Charles X of France stopped over before heading to Reims for his coronation. Each of the 49 rooms and suites affords spectacular views of the Champagne valley, appointed with Hermès amenities and state-of-the-art comforts.

Unparalleled views of Champagne

The original property has been closed since 2014 after it was acquired by Boston-based Champagne Hospitality collection, a group of boutique luxury hotels and spas that includes the award-winning Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa in St. Barths. The hotel is led by Nicolas Béliard, formerly General Manager of the Peninsula Paris. “It is my great pleasure and privilege to introduce Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa,” said Béliard. “We have embarked upon something absolutely unique in this very special place, enveloping our guests in a sensory experience that is wholly restorative and as uplifting as the bubbles in a glass of champagne. The beauty of our surroundings will be matched only by the inner sanctuary we have created at Royal Champagne.”

Pool

Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa is home to the region’s first world-class destination spa spanning 16,000ft2.  In partnership with acclaimed French brand Biologique Recherche, the wellness centre comprises nine treatment rooms; state of the art fitness facilities; a wood-lined yoga studio; eucalyptus-infused sauna; manicure and pedicure stations, and a mosaic-tiled Hammam. Completing the experience are two temperature-controlled, chaise longue-lined swimming pools – one indoor, one outdoor – along with dedicated staff who deliver invigorating juice blends and guide guests to multiple relaxation lounges.

The contemporary hotel, nestled into its surroundings, opens as a modern retreat that caters effortlessly to the modern traveller while also embracing both its location and the vast history of the land that it sits on within both its exterior and interior features.

First look into the interiors of London’s The Academy

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The 50-key hotel will open in the heart of London’s West End this summer. New York-based design firm Champalimaud Design explain how through the use of small details have made the interiors look and feel larger…

Following a full refurbishment by YTL Hotels, here are the first images that have been released of London’s soon-to-open Academy Hotel, Bloomsbury.

Situated in the heart of Bloomsbury in London’s West End, the boutique hotel is set to fully reopen this summer and will act as a base for both leisure and business travellers alike.

Renowned New York-based Champalimaud Design has overseen the comprehensive refurbishment, and has created an engaging blend of modern and antique throughout the 50 new guestrooms, Alchemy Bar, and cosy Library. Throughout the renovation, the design team, led by principle designer Alan Mainer have taken inspiration from the lives and loves of the Bloomsbury Set who lived and worked in the area in the early 20th Century. “The Bloomsbury group were a bridge from the Victorian era into modernity,” explains Mainer. “So too did our design want to feel electric in its choices – a mix of traditional English, art deco, and mid-century modernist forms, but forward-looking in its attitude.”

The lighting and furniture is made to look and feel particularly residential, including “things you would find in the home of one of our well-travelled guests,” said Mainer.

One of the challenges that the design team faced re-imagining the building’s interiors was the architecture of the hotel itself. “The UK is wonderfully protective its landmarked spaces and The Academy is composed of five 18th-century Georgian townhouses that are recognised as landmarks,” said Mainer. “There were many elements that we had to be mindful of when re-envisioning the design of the hotel including staircases, moldings, and other specific architectural details.”

Another challenge – “which was rather exciting,” admits Mainer,  was figuring out how to make the smaller guestrooms feel more luxurious.  Mainer explains: “We accomplished this by delivering a sense of expanded amenities for the guest: a great bar cart, beautifully detailed closet systems that were a small footprint but big on design detail and guest consideration, larger TV’s, completely new and modernized bathrooms. We also upgraded the rooms by adding stylish furnishings and luxe materials, such as authentic grasscloth wallcovering for a residential feel.”

Adding accents of colour and humour throughout the hotel, most of the brightly patterned wallpapers have lively motifs that inject charm to reflect their spaces – and “create real conversation starters,” explains Mainer. “We’ve also employed brightly coloured paints to help add vibrancy to areas that previously felt dark.”

All rooms feature a marble en-suite shower room and bespoke furniture. In addition to the elegant interior, and luxurious amenities.

Based on famous Gower Street, The Academy is set across five traditional townhouses, and includes a spacious conservatory and garden courtyard. The lower ground floor will house a breakfast bar Refectory, while cosy nooks and small spaces set the tone for convivial, intimate gatherings. Designed to become a new neighbourhood social hub for the young media and academic crowd, the public areas of the hotel have been made to be the beating heart of all individual houses.

Steeped in glamorous yet laid-back luxury, The Academy’s contemporary take on townhouse living – and its refined look and feel – is said to become the perfect spot for city breaks in the Capital.

 

Excava surface product

Surface trend alert: Caesarstone launches new industrial-themed collection

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The new Caesarstone Metropolitan Collection, launched last night in London, comprises of nine surface products that reflect the UK industrial design trend…

Surface manufacturer Caesarstone has launched the Metropolitan Collection in the UK. The new collection welcomes five new products, which join the four already launched surfaces. Interior designers, members of the press and friends of the brand gathered last night at rough and rustic Barge House, on London’s Southbank, to celebrate the launch.

The latest products include:

Manufacturing on two continents, Caesarstone products are sold in more than 50 countries around the world. Now seen to be leading the industrial trend, Caesarstone’s s latest collection includes rough and unpolished, bold surfaces that form part of the revival of modernism, a rethinking of brutalism and the rekindling of industrial architecture.

The collection launches as a response to the robust construction finishes that have become a popular choice among consumers. This trend, and the collection itself, has been inspired by factories and lofts and has been translated for residential and commercial interiors. Each energetically styled surface in the collection has been designed to reflect the authentic textures of raw manufacturing, such as oxidized steel, poured plaster and raw concrete. Via innovative cutting-edge technology, weathered patinas have been achieved in quartz for the very first time – a breakthrough that can be felt as well as seen.

“Caesarstone continues to set surface design trends that others can only follow,” said Jon Stanley, Caesarstone’s UK Vice President of Marketing. “Last year’s reveal of 4033 Rugged Concrete was a significant hit with both commercial and residential designers; numerous projects and a number of awards followed. But what the launch really did was set the tone for the Metropolitan Collection that we are unveiling now. The brands’ deserved reputation for product design innovation continues without challenge.

“Caesarstone works with the world’s leading trend forecasters and the in-house design team are acutely aware of what’s becoming in vogue and when. Many of our leading partners that already have display materials in their showrooms are seeing significant interest.”

4046 Excava

Inspired by the intriguing patinas of casting and oxidising, combining the authentic features of rust and concrete. Its beauty reflects the geological decay of stone, weathered by time and nature. Its excavated look is appreciated for its texture and depth, ranging from different layers of earth shades to copper and dark brown. Its rough concrete finish is subtly coarse to the touch, yet cleaning remains as effortless as with all Caesarstone surfaces.

Rough industrial-style surface

4011 Cloudburst Concrete

Subtle. Sophisticated. 4011 Cloudburst Concrete with its white on white, tonal cloud like patina delivers a truly unique look. With its “Rough” low reflective matt surface, the design works alongside light and dark timbers, stainless steel, concrete surfaces (including 4033 Rugged Concrete) providing wide design flexibility, from industrial loft to Scandinavian through to minimal contemporary aesthetic.

White industrial-style surface

4044 Airy Concrete 

The light grey base illustrates the richness that minimalism can achieve: an authentic rough concrete finish that has been refined for the home. Its airy visual textures express depth across the worktop, enriched by dark grey and white areas, providing the true feel of concrete while maintaining the easy care synonymous with all Caesarstone products.

Authentic concrete-like finish

4023 Topus Concrete

Inspired by topological strata – fossilized textures built up over time in veiled layers – and combines the mineral formations found in nature with the rugged patinas of industrial materials, giving this surface movement, opacity, and depth. With a gentle hint of warm pink, its blush undertone echoes the pastels that are impacting the interiors market today.

Soft grey surface with a hint of pink

4601 Frozen Terra

Fresh, modern, industrial-inspired concrete / terrazzo fusion with sparsely distributed irregular translucent aggregate and fine black basalt. Further enhancing the overall appearance of Frozen Terra is the “Concrete” matt finish which brings an authentic industrial patina, look and feel to the surface and like all Caesarstone surfaces, never requires sealing.

Caesarstone’s Metropolitan Collection has been designed to reflect the authentic patinas of industrial materials. The variations in appearance capture real depth and movement, revealing different qualities that make each slab unique

In addition to the Metropolitan Collection, two further products have also been added to Caesarstone’s UK range; 6011 Intense White and 4643 Flannel Grey. Both are priced in Caesarstone’s Premium Group 2 category.

Surface with a concrete matt finish

4643 Flannel Grey

Grey has become a versatile neutral in the home-from-home environment. It works in contrast to complementary colours or can calm the space in monochromes, making any of its shades a reliable choice for the contemporary interior.

versatile neutral surface

6011 Intense White

6011 Intense Whites brings light into the kitchen. Its evenly distributed glass flakes reflect the gentle granular nature of stone, while its truly white colour illuminates the surface and adds sophistication.

Pure white surface

The new Caesarstone Metropolitan Collection is available nationally now..

Nobu Hotel Marbella opens

1024 446 Hamish Kilburn

Sleek, clean design elements create an open-air feel throughout the newly opened Nobu Hotel Marbella

To mark the opening of Nobu Hotel Marbella, co-founders Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper hosted a traditional Sake Ceremony in the trendy Spanish city.

The large pool area

Nobu Hotel Marbella is set on the Golden Mile, on one of the most vivacious locations in Southern Spain. Reflected very much in the interior decor, the hotel is designed exclusively for grown-ups; a destination for fun, entertainment and indulgence. The first Nobu Hotel on mainland Spain, Nobu Hotel Marbella’s style embodies the energy, culture and warmth of the destination, a stone throw away from the nightlife, dining and atmosphere of an urban hotel, and metres away from sandy beaches and turquoise waters of the Mediterranean.

In true Nobu fashion, sleek, open-plan 81 guestroom suites wrap around La Plaza, Marbella’s social and epicurean hotspot. The Nobu Restaurant is at the heart of the resort, offering signature dishes, alongside special creations inspired by Andalusia.

The hotel also features a Six Senses Spa, a world-class tennis club, a Dave Thomas designed golf-course, an equestrian centre, and conference and event venues.