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Birdseye view of Private Pool Residences Collection residence

In pictures: Inside the largest overwater residences in the world

640 426 Hamish Kilburn
In pictures: Inside the largest overwater residences in the world

Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas, located on the Baa Atoll, has launched the largest overwater residences in the world with a major renovation of the resort’s two-bedroom over water pool residences…

Birdseye view of Private Pool Residences Collection residence

Setting a new precedent in naturally inspired design and luxury living, the renovation of the seven residences at Anantara Kihavah sees a careful preservation of the element of space while marrying a light and airy interior refit with smart technology home comforts.

Each overwater residence is generously spaced at 1,500 sq. m. and comes with the addition of a new fully equipped gym, a couples’ spa treatment room, a fully equipped professional kitchen with wine fridge, expanded outdoor decks and larger swimming pools. This follows a multi-million-dollar redesign of the two-, three- and four- bedroom beach pool residences in 2020 just before lockdown, with the four-bedroom residence at a commanding 2,000 sq. m. 

Anantara Kihavah Two-bedroom Over Water Pool Residence Spa Treatment Room View

Image credit: Anantara Kihavah

Two-bedroom overwater pool residences

The two newly completed two-bedroom overwater pool residences feature floor-to-ceiling windows across its entirety, guaranteeing vast views of the ocean. Fitted with a professional working kitchen in the living and dining room, each en-suite bedroom at either end features ample individual outdoor living space, whilst the extended infinity pool tiled in natural Sukabumhi stone and shaded outdoor dining sala is the ideal hangout for shared leisure activities.

Anantara Kihavah Two-bedroom Over Water Pool Residence Exterior Aerial

Image credit: Anantara Kihavah

With fitness and wellness being a bigger focus than ever in the modern-day traveller’s needs, the redesign of these residences sees the addition of a gym, fully equipped with the latest in TechnoGym machinery, and a couple’s spa treatment room. Both rooms are fitted with retractable blinds, allowing for natural sunlight by day and unfiltered stargazing at night. Whilst relaxing with a signature Anantara Spa massage, a view of the marine life just beneath the residence, is made possible with the strategic placement of glass panels underneath the spa treatment beds. Glass-bottomed whirlpool bathtubs have also been fitted in each bathroom, providing therapeutic massages even during bath time.

Staying true to the heritage of the Maldives, each residence features Kajan thatched palm roofs and Balau hardwood flooring spanning the entire length of its expansive outdoor deck, accompanied by netted hammocks suspended over water.

Two-, three-, and four-bedroom beach pool residences

Anantara Kihavah’s beach pool residences start from 1,330 sq. m for the two-bedroom option to 1,770 sq. m for the three-bedroom residence and 2,000 sq. m. for the four-bedroom pool sanctuary.

Surrounded by foliage and bright bougainvillea accents, occasional sights of coconut trees jutting through floors or ceilings is testament to the resort’s commitment toward preserving the natural beauty of the island, whilst optimising each residence’s space.

Anantara Kihavah - Guest Room Three Bedroom Beach Pool Residence Exterior View

Image credit: Anantara Kihavah

Like the over water pool residences, the architecture of each beachfront residence reflects Kajan palm roofs and Balau decks. The newly extended swimming pools are now fitted with massage jets, whilst an outdoor Sala Thai provides shaded relief for lounging and dining.

A light neutral palette uplifts a previously dark wood scheme, presenting an atmosphere that is at once comfortable and relaxed, yet modern and luxurious. Rattan details, woven straw carpets, Maldivian motifs and teak wood furniture further accent the distinctively tropical vibe of each room. Floor-to-ceiling doors of the main living and dining area effortlessly slide open for views of the tropics.

Further embodying island living at its most luxurious, a water feature wall designed to mimic that of a real waterfall, is the highlight in each revamped bathroom newly fitted with intelligent toilet technology. Wellbeing and fitness are also not forgotten – with each residence fitted with its own private double-bed spa treatment room and gym featuring a complete range of fitness equipment.

Anantara is a luxury hospitality brand for modern travellers, connecting them to genuine places, people and stories through personal experiences, and providing heartfelt hospitality in the world’s most exciting destinations. The collection of distinct, thoughtfully designed luxury hotels and resorts provides a window through which to journey into invigorating new territory, curating personal travel experiences.

 

Main image credit: Anantara Kihavah

Arte - Essentials � Les Tricots_Chintz_73100_Roomshot_Print_UPPR

Product watch: Les Tricots by Arte, inspired by haute couture

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Les Tricots by Arte, inspired by haute couture

Arte’s latest wallcovering collection, Les Tricots, is a celebration of haute couture – think unique printing methods and the use of velvety soft yarns. Hotel Designs explores the power of fashion in design…

Arte - Essentials � Les Tricots_Chintz_73100_Roomshot_Print_UPPR

Following the recent launch of Cameo, which is a collection that embraces imperfection in nature, already it has been a busy year for wallcovering brand Arte – and by the looks of things, the year has only just begun.

Les Tricots is latest collection that has made it onto our editorial radar, which intricately creates the illusion of rich fabrics and elaborate textiles thanks to the combination of unique printing methods and the use of velvety soft yarns.

The new collection consists of five different patterns including the versatile Boucle and Tulle, intricately detailed Cashmere and Sergé, as well as the showstopping Chintz, offered in an explosive colour palette of blue, green and red.

Arte is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Arte

In (lockdown) conversation with: Art consultant Harry Pass

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In (lockdown) conversation with: Art consultant Harry Pass

For one year now, Hotel Designs has been amplifying art consultancy firm Elegant Clutter in order to get a deeper understanding of art’s role in hotel design moving forward. Here, editor Hamish Kilburn catches up with the brand’s creative director, Harry Pass

Whether it’s virtual escapes or understanding how designers should brief their at consultants, the team at Elegant Clutter have kept the pages of Hotel Designs colourful and vibrant over the last year. The art consultancy firm has been responsible for injecting personality into hotels for brands such as Hyatt, 25Hours Hotels, Bespoke Hotels, Radisson Blu and many others. To learn more about how the brand stays ahead of the curve, I caught up with Harry Pass, the Creative Director and art consultant who understands how to meaningfully amplify narrative in hotel design.

Hamish Kilburn: What sets Elegant Clutter aside from other art consultants?

Harry Pass: I think it’s how wide-ranging our work is and the fact that we create as well as curate. If you took a stroll around the place, you’d bump into product designers, paint sprayers, fine artists, carpenters, art consultants, metalworkers, researchers and picture-framers, amongst plenty of other roles – so we are very different to the agency model that you often find with art consultants. I could go on passionately about this for hours but if I can add one more difference, it’s our collective imagination!

Work in progress in Elegant Clutter’s 3D Studio for The Brooklyn Hotel, Manchester

Image caption: Work in progress in Elegant Clutter’s 3D Studio for The Brooklyn Hotel, Manchester | Image credit: Elegant Clutter

HK: Has the role of art in hotel design changed since the pandemic? 

HP: No – it hasn’t changed. Art in hotel design is mostly about narrative. There may be a shift in the type of projects that are being invested in, but the main role of art to tell stories is not going to change. I think history shows us that we will see a surge in creativity and art following the pandemic and hopefully this will also provide some powerful inspiration for hotel design.

Image caption: Suspended Star Sculpture by Elegant Clutter installed at Hard Rock Hotel Budapest | Image credit: Elegant Clutter

Image caption: Suspended Star Sculpture by Elegant Clutter installed at Hard Rock Hotel Budapest | Image credit: Elegant Clutter

HK: What would you say is the main pre-conception people have of art curators? 

HP: There’s lot of different hats to wear but when you talk about Art Curators, people can have this idea of someone waltzing into artist studios, selecting pieces on the spot and then having the vision to instinctively point to wall locations to indicate where they should be hung. The reality is that it is of course more technical and more reliant on a team of people, working together on many details to build an experience with lots of layers.

HK: What are the main challenges when curating art for hospitality? 

HP: One thing I love about art is that it is subjective. But this aspect can be one of the biggest challenges in a project. For example, following weeks of curating art options, we may present to an investor client and an interior designer who have quite different opinions on the art. In some ways this reflects the discussion a group of guests may have in the finished hotel space. At the end of the day, we all see something slightly different. A slight edge to the art collection can be a good thing and we want to keep those conversation starters…

Image caption: Close up of Henry VIII mixed media portrait, destined for the AMEX Centurion Lounge, Heathrow | Image credit: Elegant Clutter

Image caption: Close up of Henry VIII mixed media portrait, destined for the AMEX Centurion Lounge, Heathrow | Image credit: Elegant Clutter

HK: At Hotel Designs, we love art when it is outside the conventional frame. What is the most creative art project you have worked on to date?

It’s really hard to pick out one but probably the 25Hours Hotel in Düsseldorf, which we worked on with Stylt Trampoli. Our brief for that project was to imagine the hotel was the child of a German father and French mother – when your brief starts like that you know you are onto a winner! The approach in this project was very open minded and a great deal of the art we created was painted directly to the wall surfaces, including an oversized ‘sketch book’ of nude studies in the 16th floor restaurant.

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

HK: What projects are you working on currently?

HP: Hard Rock Hotel Madrid, Raffles Jeddah and some Curio and Indigo projects in the UK.

HK: What is the most common pitfall designers fall down when specifying art?

HP: Specifying it late instead of building it into earlier stages of project development.

HK: If (touch wood) your house was burning down and you only had time to take one piece of art, which piece would it be?

HP: An abstract artwork that my children painted that hangs in our kitchen.

HK: If you had to get rid of one piece of art in your home, which piece would it be?

HP: The ‘Chocolate box’ painting of our house that my aunt gave me (please don’t tell her!).

HK: What is the best part of your job?

 HP: I could write an essay! Summed up, it’s the possibility to be creative every day within the world of art.

HK: What’s your advice for designers who are working on a tight budget?

HP: You don’t need to cover every wall! I would concentrate on the most important locations – where you know a guest will linger and take it all in. Some spotlights in these locations focused onto the art will double your impact. Regarding the content, being creative is the way to go – encourage your client to embrace the philosophy that anything can be art if it is arranged and presented imaginatively. Some of the humblest materials are the best to work with. If you have a little more budget to buy some fine art, you don’t need to go with established names – there is so much emerging art talent out there.

HK: I suppose art doesn’t really follow trends, as such. What’s your secret to keeping art current yet timeless?

HP: I think that by keeping the story telling as the main focus, the style of art is actually inspired by the story. It’s the combination of different pieces that could be from different eras and styles that builds the narrative and so you are not relying on one single trend. We want to be trend setters rather than followers and we are about to launch an Art Story student competition to help us spot and mentor emerging talent. There is a balancing act between being both aware and inspired by trends but also being confident enough to ignore them.

Elegant Clutter is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Black Friday package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

Main image caption: When Harry met Henry | Image credit: Elegant Clutter

Atico rooftop bar in Aloft Tulum

Aloft Tulum arrives in Mexico

759 565 Hamish Kilburn
Aloft Tulum arrives in Mexico

The new Aloft hotel arriving in Mexico marks Marriott Bonvoy’s entry into the ‘bohemian paradise’, Tulum…

Aloft Hotels, which currently operates more than 185 hotels in more than 25 countries and territories, has opened a new boho-chic property in Tulum, Mexico.

Atico rooftop bar in Aloft Tulum

The four-storey property, which is managed by Highgate Hotels, features 140 loft-like guestrooms and suites and a variety of vibrant spaces for socialisation and music, including: signature Ático Rooftop Lounge & Bar with an infinity pool, teepees for kids, and the destination’s only venue for corporate meetings and events. Aloft Tulum is part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of brands, and its first property to debut in Tulum, Quintana Roo.

The hotel’s location – near Tulum’s desirable downtown district and its white-sand beaches – caters to Aloft’s tech-savvy, music-loving crowd, as general manager Sergio Parra explains. “After much anticipation, we are thrilled to welcome visitors to Aloft Tulum,” he said. “It is the ideal choice for travellers who are in search of a boutique-like hotel with bold design at an approachable price point.”

Next-gen travellers enter the hotel’s lobby to be greeted by urban art that changes seasonally, modern furniture and floor-to-ceiling windows. While guest rooms boast 10-foot-high ceilings, plush platform beds and light airy décor infused with natural textiles to deliver the ultimate comfort. Each room includes complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, 55-inch LCD televisions, free signature coffee and walk-in showers with rainfall showerheads.

Render of guestroom of Aloft Tulum

Image credit: Marriott International/Aloft

The hotel offers several design-forward spaces including its Ático Rooftop Bar & Lounge. At this hangout spot, guests can take a dip in the infinity pool, experience local cuisine and sip on seasonal cocktails – all while marvelling at unrivalled views of Tulum.

Aloft Tuluum bar

Image credit: Marriott International/Aloft

Aloft Tulum is situated off-the-beaten-path in a beautiful location on Coba Avenue that is just a short walk or drive away to internationally recognised cuisine, local shopping and recreational activities.

For Highgate, which is a leading real estate investment and hospitality management company, the opening of Aloft Tulum solidifies the company’s reputation as a dominant player in major U.S. gateway cities including New York, Boston, Miami, San Francisco and Honolulu, with a growing Caribbean and Latin America footprint.

Main image credit: Marriott International/Aloft

 

Render of lounge inside Soho Beach House in the Caribbean

Soho House: A sneak peek of upcoming openings

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Soho House: A sneak peek of upcoming openings

Soho House, which shelters members-only Houses targeted towards ‘creative souls, has unveiled renders and details of projects that are expected to open this year. Editor Hamish Kilburn explores…

Render of lounge inside Soho Beach House in the Caribbean

Following a challenging year for all sectors in hospitality, Soho House, which was founded in 1995 by Nick Jones, has emerged from the pandemic with a teaser that showcases an optimistic year – with six new Houses that will soon become part of the members-only brand’s ever-growing footprint.

Aside from opening its first property in 1995, key milestones include the brand’s first countryside property (Babbington House in 1998), its arrival in the US (with the opening of its first property in New York in 2003), the brand’s venture into Europe (with the opening of its Berlin property in 2010) and the brand’s first opening in Asia (both in Mumbai and Hong Kong in 2019).

Fast-forward to the present day, and as the brand’s 27 Houses are awaiting the return of modern travellers, we take a look at the new destinations and Houses that are expected to open this year.

The Strand, London – coming soon

Just down the road from the original House – 40 Greek Street, Soho, London – 180 House, which will be located on The Strand, will become the brand’s 10th property in London. Just a short walk from Somerset House, the property will shelter a club, three floors of co-working space, and a rooftop pool with views of Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Canouan – opening Q1, 2021

The opening of the brand’s property in Canouan will mark its arrival in the Caribbean region and will be located on the secluded island of Canouan, which is part of St Vincent and the Grenadines. The renders of the 40 bedrooms and a gym show a paired back design that celebrates barefoot luxury and the authentic charm of the Caribbean.

Tel Aviv – opening spring, 2021

Located in a former convent in the historic Jaffa neighbourhood, the property will feature a pool, terrace, and 24 stylish bedrooms expected to reflect the life and soul of the destination.

Rome – opening summer, 2021

In recent months, there has been a lot of development interest in Rome – with brands such as Rosewood and Bvlgari Hotels also announcing debut arrivals excepted in the next few years. Located in the San Lorenzo district, the debut Soho House property in Rome – the brand’s seventh property in Europe – will shelter 49 bedrooms and 20 apartments, with unparalleled views stretching across the Eternal City from its rooftop, terrace and pool.

Paris – opening summer, 2021

For a brand that is known for amplifying creatives (connecting travellers and locals alike) in thriving neighbourhoods, it makes a lot of a business sense for the members-only lifestyle brand to expand its portfolio with a property in Paris. In the former red-light district of Pigalle – steps from the 19th-century cabaret Moulin Rouge – the brand’s property in Paris will shelter 35 bedrooms, a gym, and a courtyard garden overlooked by a pool terrace.

Austin – opening summer, 2021

On South Congress Avenue, Soho House Austin will become the brand’s first property in Texas and the 10th Soho House territory in North America, and will feature a rooftop pool, 46 bedrooms, and a members screening room.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

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Main image credit: Soho House

12 design pieces by Hommés Studio that will transform your interiors

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
12 design pieces by Hommés Studio that will transform your interiors

From lighting and mirrors to room dividers and rugs, Hommés Studio presents a perfect selection combining high-end materials in design pieces that will elevate your interiors and offer your design project the desirable unique style…

Hommés believes that a home must express the owner’s soul, as clothes convey the personality of the person who dresses them. With the vibrant purpose of introducing a nouveau Haute Couture Interiors concept, Hommés presents spaces with bold and unique identities.

1) LIGHTING

Lighting plays a significant role in human life today. Since ancient times, it has fascinated us, regarded as a synonym of security and a chance for survival. Adequately selected lighting for the interior can give the room a completely new look.

Cocoon

The shapes of Art Deco jewels inspired cocoon Suspension Lamp. It was designed to bring elegance and character to any living area. A luxury chandelier for a high-end interior design project.

Minelli

Minelli Chandelier reflects an irreverent modern design style. It combines a premium selection of materials, making it the ex-libris of the Hommés Studio ceiling lamps collection.

Dyta

Dyta Table Lamp was designed for lovers of authentic, provocative design. Its structure represents a female silhouette’s shape, holding a globe lamp with a rotating circle in a refined brass finish. The product was inspired by the ancient Greek goddess Aphrodite, associated with love, beauty, pleasure, passion, and procreation.

2) MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL

A mirror is a unique element of interior design. Hommés Studio always intends to offer the boldest and daring option, and this collection is no exception.

It allows us to cover up many of projects’ imperfections and expose their advantages. A room may seem deeper and bigger and a narrow room – wider, thanks to a correctly positioned mirror.

Ibiza

Ibiza is an eye-catching wall mirror perfect for a modern design decor. The hanging mirror is inspired by the raw and timeless textures of the tribes’ decorations, jewels, and artistic elements.

Image of Ibiza mirror

Image caption: Ibiza | Image credit: Hommés Studio

Moritz

Moritz is a luxury wall mirror inspired by the raw and timeless textures of the tribes’ ornaments, jewels, and creative aspects. Moritz’s mirror reflects identity and character to any contemporary wall decor.

Titan

Titan Wall Mirror is a spontaneous and sophisticated mirror design for walls. Inspired by the solar system, Titan is the largest moon of Saturn. This mirror represents a multifunctional design vision. While human beings cannot live on the Titan moon, Titan Wall Mirror can surely be part of their living areas.

3) ROOM DIVIDERS

HOMMÉS Studio presents you with products that offer an eclectic mix of cultures and design styles. From vibrant colors to more neutral tones, this room dividers collection was customized to a luxury lifestyle and elegant interiors.

Rebus

Rebus Folding Screen is the perfect choice for a room divider. This Folding Screen is the encounter between aesthetics and functionality, honoring an expertise handmade manufacture process.

Manu

Manu Folding Screen is a modern project must-have piece. Instantly transform your space with this statement screen: a designer room divider crafted with traditional details.

Zebra

Boasting a melodic and luxury flair in the gentle curves and warm sand tones, the Zebra Folding Screen is perfect for sectioning-up a luxurious space or adding a different mood and texture.

4) RUGS

Exceptional in design and fearless in attitude. Rugs have the power to create a new silhouette in the home and hotel. A welcoming variety of opulence rugs to take your interior design project to another level. With an aesthetic ranging from abstract, organic, and bold design, it will inject colour and personality into any division. A modern rug performs a significant part in space design, a reflection of your distinctive identity in the space you call home.

Antelope Rug

Antelope rug is a design masterpiece, perfect to be part of your next luxury design projects as a statement decor item. The beautiful and one-of-a-kind details will infuse any room division with elegance and magnetism.

Piano

Piano Rug evokes a potent combination of colours and shapes that collide in the same dimension. An abstract design is a bold choice for a modern-living project. Made by the wisest hands, this rug features a unique design. Following the design trends dictated by the interior design gurus, this rug can be placed on a wall as an art piece.

Ammir

Ammir rug is a boundless expression of the Islamic culture. Hand-tufted with New Zealand wool, mohair, and cotton. A mix of shapes and neutral tonalities will make your dining room a one-of-a-kind.

Hommés Studio is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: Hommés Studio

Image of panelists for first session of Hotel Designs LIVE

(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: The hotel experience 10 years from now

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: The hotel experience 10 years from now

To kickstart Hotel Designs LIVE on February 23, editor Hamish Kilburn hosted a panel discussion with leading designers and architects entitled: Floor 20, room 31, which virtually checked in to the hotel experience 10 years from now…

Image of panelists for first session of Hotel Designs LIVE

On February 23, 2021, Hotel Designs‘ editor Hamish Kilburn returned to host the third instalment of Hotel Designs LIVE, which launched last year with the aim to keep the industry connected and the conversation flowing during and after the Covid-19 crisis.

The one-day conference welcomed world-renowned interior designers, architects and hoteliers to discuss the future of our industry in four engaging panel discussions, which were:

  • Floor 20, room 31, checking in 10 years from now
  • Sustainability, beneath the surface
  • Safe & sound hospitality & hotel design
  • A new era of wellness

The production of Hotel Designs LIVE took place while adhering to the current lockdown regulations and kickstarted with an editor’s welcome from Kilburn who explained the need for the virtual event. “The industry’s new swear word, Covid-19, has temporarily brought hospitality and tourism to its knees, but in these challenging times we have seen the real power of designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers all working together to invent and implement meaningful solutions,” he said. “Hotel Designs LIVE was born in those confusing times, and our aim is simple: to create conversations unlike any other and keep the industry connected.”

The first session of the day, which was sponsored by Hamilton Litestat, was designed to look ahead towards what hospitality and hotel design will look and feel like one decade on from today, and was curated to confront recent cultural shifts that have smudged the sketches, so to speak, as to what the hotel of the future will look like.

On the panel: 

The conversation began with Kilburn asking the panel how accurate previous predictions were regarding the ‘hotel room of the future’. It was concluded that the word ‘experience’, in all sectors of hotel design, was used 10 years ago in order to meet the then new demand among modern travellers who were expecting a deeper and more purposefully driven hospitality journey. Related to this, a new era of luxury lifestyle brands started to emerge to blur the lines in luxury travel, which, following the most testing year the hospitality arena has experienced in modern times, takes us to where we are now.

When the conversation turned to technology, interior designer Martin Goddard led the discussion to argue that moving forward, he expects modern travellers will be burnt out by technology and hotel design in many areas will encourage human connection once more as well as injecting meaningful sense of location, which was evident in Hotel Designs’ recent hotel review of The Mayfair Townhouse, which Goddard Littlefair recently completed steering clear to reference obvious clichés in the design. “One of the best pieces of feedback I’ve received from that hotel is that it always felt like a cosy winter’s day,” Goddard said.

Interior designer Albin Burglund was able to offer a unique perspective when it came to predicting the future of hotel design from both a luxury design as well as a wellness perspective. “I agree with Martin that the industry will be cautious to inject technology,” he explained, “and this will largely follow consumers putting more of a focus on their own personal wellness and wellbeing.”

Chris Lee injected qualitative research into the discussion following a campaign he and his team completed last year for Sleep & Eat, which involved collaboration with Chalk ArchitectureHotel Hussy and students from the University of West London, presenting an interactive render for a ‘2035 guestroom of the future’ based on the groups prestigious upscale Wyndham brand. As well as the project “capturing the imagination” of the modern traveller, the guestroom design and layout challenged conventional hotel rooms – and despite the focus being largely on the ‘Gen-Z traveller’, the product was actually carefully designed for all generations as it allowed guests to select their own scene settings to reflect their mood or preferred environment. Following research into understanding the DNA of the hotel guestroom experience, technology had to be seamlessly blended in to the design scheme.

The discussion soon veered towards Covid-19 and specifically the pandemic’s impact on future design and hospitality. Rob Steul, with more than 20 years’ experience in architecture and design, used the upcoming luxury hotel in Leicester Square, The Londoner, as a prime example of how the industry’s already high standards put hospitality design in good stead for when hospitality and travel returns in the post-pandemic world. “Long before Covid-19, we had already considered elements such as air flow,” he explained. Burglund agreed while also questioning the short-term purposes of event spaces and questioned how these could be utilised and used during what has no-doubt been a testing time for hospitality worldwide.

Here’s a highlights video of the panel discussion, which includes Product Watch pitches from Hamilton Litestat, Chelsom, PENT Fitness, Blueair and Yeames Hospitality.

The full recordings of the other three sessions (‘Sustainability, beneath the surface’; ‘Safe & sound hotel design’ and ‘A new era of wellness’) will be available on-demand shortly.

SAVE THE DATE: Hotel Designs LIVE will return for a fourth edition on May 11, 2021. Session titles and speakers will be announced shortly. Once these have been announced, tickets for Hotel Designs LIVE will be available. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities, focused Product Watch pitches or the concept of Hotel Designs LIVE, please contact Katy Phillips or call +44 (0) 1992 374050.

Render of vibrant interiors in a boutique hotel in Milan

VIP arrivals: Hottest March hotel openings

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
VIP arrivals: Hottest March hotel openings

Back by popular demand after publishing our two-part series on hotel openings in 2021, Hotel Designs is serving up the hottest, most spectacular March hotel openings. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Render of vibrant interiors in a boutique hotel in Milan

Despite uncertainty around travel in the near-distant future, Hotel Designs’ editorial team has detected optimism on the international hotel design scene. And with this positivity comes hotel openings, which are coming in thick and fast as travel demands surge following the Covid-19 crisis.

From where we are sitting, still, most hotel openings are expected for later on in the year, but there a handful of gems are expected to arrive early to the party. Hot off the heals on February’s openings, ere are some of the hottest hotels that are opening this month:

The Rally Hotel

March hotel openings: The Rally Hotel guestroom render

Image credit: The Rally Hotel

Denver’s newest independent lifestyle hotel, The Rally Hotel, is set to open its doors to guests in early Spring 2021. The Rally Hotel pays homage to its baseball roots and takes its name from an age-old baseball superstition – the rally cap – in which fans wear their caps backwards or inside out as a talisman for their team to pull off a come-from-behind victory. The hotel’s 176 guestrooms, including 29 suites, are thoughtfully designed to maximise comfort and evoke the feeling of approachable luxury. The hotel will feature a rooftop pool and deck on the Bridge-Way overlooking Coors Field with stunning views of the Rocky Mountains.

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley

Image render of outdoor pool of Four Seasons hotel opening in March

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Located in the charming community of Calistoga, the next addition to the diverse Four Seasons California Collection will include wine country’s first Four Seasons resort with an on-site winery and vineyard, in partnership with Thomas Rivers Brown. Featuring 85 luxurious guestrooms and suites designed by Erin Martin, two outdoor pools, and a distinctive wellness-focused spa concept, Spa Talisa, the property will also introduce the highly anticipated TRUSS Restaurant and Bar led by Michelin starred Chef Erik Anderson.

Vico Milano 

Image of render of courtyard in hotel in Milan- hotel opening in March

Image credit: Vico Milano

Neri Baccheschi-Berti, whose family is behind the beautiful Castello di Vicarello, a restored 12th Century castle in the rolling Tuscan hills, is expanding his vision across Italy with the launch of Vico Milano in March 2021 – a seven-bedroom guesthouse in the country’s most design and fashion-forward city, Milan. The family’s connection with Milan is deep-rooted, having lived and worked there for many years. The site of Vico Milano was previously the mother’s showroom from her days as a fashion designer for her brand Bungai, prior to which it was a factory designing and producing legendary Legnano racing bikes. Positioned in one of the city’s most sought-after locations, Corso Genova 11, the boutique property is just a short walk to the Duomo and the fashionable district of Via Tortona, home to designer showrooms and a Milan Fashion Week hotspot.

Wyndham Grand Algarve

Image of lounge of hotel that is opening in March overlooking garden in Algarve

Image credit: Wyndham Grand Algarve

Following a €5million transformation, the Wyndham Grand Algarve will relaunch in March to shelter a sophisticated interior design scheme. The all-suite resort has been reimagined to provide premium amenities, stylish interiors and the most attentive service. The 132 suites are the largest in Quinta do Lago, with one-, two- and three-bedroom suites offering a relaxed lounge area with kitchen facilities. A sun-drenched balcony or terrace provide extensive views across the lush gardens.

Azumi Setoda

Azumi Setoda_Bedroom_Credit Tomohiro Sakashita

Image credit: Azumi Setoda/Tomohiro Sakashita

Azumi Setoda, which will open in early March, is located on Ikuchijima, a small island of about 8,000 people in the Seto Inland Sea. With this debut property, the brand will take the cultural framework of the traditional ryokan and infuse it with a quality offering that appeals to the modern, global traveller. The balance between tradition and innovation is integral to all parts of Azumi; demonstrated through everything from the design, service, food and beverage, to wellness and cultural programming. The main structure of Azumi Setoda is Horiuchi-tei, a 140-year old Japanese compound, formerly the headquarters and private residence of one of the most dynamic salt farming and shipping families in Setouchi, after whom it is named. The family would also use the space to host and entertain important guests. 

Keep an eye on the Hotel Designs website for all the latest hotel opening news. On the editorial desk, we are hopeful and anticipate the lockdown regulations to relax somewhat. With this in mind, we expect more noise on the hotel design scene from March onwards. In the meantime, you can read all about this year’s hottest hotel openings in part one and part two of our editorial series on hotel openings. 

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Main image credit: Vico Milano

Bringing colour to bathroom design with RAK-Feeling

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bringing colour to bathroom design with RAK-Feeling

To kickstart our editorial series putting bathrooms under the spotlight, we hear from RAK Ceramics how personality, warmth and character can be injected into the bathroom by simply introducing colour…

For a long time, the focus for sanitaryware has been starkly white, but things are changing. While we remain a long way from the avocado greens, electric blues and candy pinks of the 1980s, wall-to-wall white and chrome bathrooms are also seeing a change-up, with a return to colour. Soft pastels and muted shades are increasingly being seen on sanitaryware.

A pastel designed bathroom

image credit: RAK Ceramics

Less clinical than an all-white bathroom, these pops of colour can be scaled up or down to meet individual requirements. It is not necessary, for example, to choose an entire suite of sanitaryware in a single colourway; a washbasin bowl in cappuccino can add colour and visual interest to a bathroom while being enhanced by more traditional white pieces elsewhere, an idea that works particularly well in smaller spaces.

 

Coloured sanitaryware also works in harmony with brassware finishes other than chrome, giving designers greater choice and creative freedom. Colour doesn’t need to mean bold and bright and in this instance the trend takes a far subtler approach, with nature-inspired tones that serve to add character while creating a relaxed and tranquil vibe.

Using black is a popular way of adding a sense of drama to the bathroom, for example. This is a stylish and sophisticated colour palette that is very easy to match with other shades, going darker in large spaces and lighter in compact settings. A black basin can easily be combined with matt black brassware for the basin bath and shower, for instance, for a co-ordinated look that is far from overbearing.

RAK Ceramics is the first manufacturer in the UK to launch colour into its portfolio with intent, with the introduction of RAK-Feeling; a complete collection of shower trays, enclosures and valves, washbasins, brassware, WCs and bidet, made with innovative materials and available in a range of colours.

Alongside Matt White, the range is also available in Matt Greige, Matt Cappuccino, Matt Grey and Matt Black.

RAK-Feeling countertop wash basins with slim edges will enhance any modern bathroom and are finished with an exclusive matt glaze, matching exactly with RAK-Feeling shower trays. Designed to create a spa-like finish with elegant and contemporary lines the flush-to-the-floor shower trays are made of RAKSOLID, a durable material composed of a mixture of natural minerals and resins, with an anti-slip smooth finish.

Since you’re here, why not read more about RAK Ceramic’s RAK-Saint?

The perfectly colour matched WCs and bidet and beautiful brassware offer the perfect final touch. RAK-Feeling is where quality and harmony merge with functionality to create a bathroom of the utmost comfort, in colour.

RAK Ceramics is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: RAK Ceramics

A lounge area inside The Upper House in Hong Kong

André Fu Suite to open inside The Upper House

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
André Fu Suite to open inside The Upper House

The world-renowned Hong Kong architect André Fu, has been given the ultimate compliment by the owners of The Upper House who have named a suite in his honour. Hotel Designs learns more about what to expect in the suite when it opens this spring…

A lounge area inside The Upper House in Hong Kong

A brand new and soon-to-be ‘sought-after’ experience awaits guests at The Upper House with the arrival of the André Fu Suite this Spring. Although we are still eagerly awaiting the professional images of the suite, we have in the meantime managed to find out more details of what to expect inside, which is a space that gives a sensitive nod to Fu’s style that has effortlessly evolved in tandam with modern traveller demands and the brands expansion in new locations.

The 1,960-square-foot suite combines the understated luxury of the 117-key luxury hotel with the André Fu philosophy for living as realised through Fu’s own collection of furniture, homeware and decorative accessories. The suite is a tribute to the world-renowned Hong Kong designer and his enduring relationship as the architect of The House.

Perched above the metropolis that is known as ‘Asia’s World City’, on Level 48, the André Fu Suite presents a completely new experience from The Upper House brand and acts as an aspirational space that is a testament to what a suite can offer. As guests explore and interact with the surroundings during their stay, they enter and discover the world of André Fu Living and his collaboration with The House that has spanned over a decade.

“Framed sketches of the architect’s original concept designs of the hotel from 15 years ago adorn the walls.”

Giving a nod to both the architect and the hotel’s journey, framed sketches of Fu’s original concept designs of the hotel, from 15 years ago, adorn the walls. More than 100 pieces of homeware are curated from the André Fu Living Collection, including the Spring Summer 2021 collection while hand-selected books from the visionary’s personal library each translate the shared vision and history of Fu and The House into an immersive living experience.

The space draws on the philosophy shared by both brands that true luxury is in the experience and not just the aesthetics. As such, the suite is designed to act as a conduit for experiential and authentic connections to people and place.

A dining table, set for 20, is the perfect background for entertaining, whether for dinner parties, celebrations or more formal business lunches. The intimate and inviting space is intended to give visitors the sense of walking into somebody’s home, and enables hosts to embrace their personal expression of living.

A contemporary bed in a modern guestroom

Image credit: The Upper House

A place for rejuvenation, the suite’s integrated spa is a dedicated and transformative space featuring twin massage beds. Guests can embark on a completely immersive experience to cultivate inner peace and rejuvenation, or simply escape the urbanity of the city and their everyday lives.

The suite’s design is a testament to the sensibilities of its designer and his ability to bring a calm simplicity into interior spaces. Using a palette of mineral blue, dusty mink and pale ivory, the space will feature pieces from the existing André Fu Living collection, which first made its debut in Milan during Salone del Mobile 2019, as well as presenting brand new unseen pieces. These will include a collaboration with British heritage wallcovering specialist, de Gournay, and lounge seating upholstered in Lora Piano’s finest wools.

From the sculptural ottoman to the fluidity and linear structure of the Mid-Century inspired furniture, and the refined porcelain tableware delicately garnished with artisan brush gilding, each piece within the suite is an expression of Fu’s signature understated sophistication and fascination with craftsmanship, focusing not simply on how beautiful things look but how they make guests feel.

In addition to the arrival of the suite, Fu has turned his hand to transform level four from a place to check-in and out to a space that feels more akin to a living room. Replacing traditional check-in desks with a more open high table removes the barrier between guest and the guest experience team.

A fire in a modern lounge

Image credit: The Upper House

An adjoining lounge space, featuring pieces from André Fu Living, is also created for guests to conjure. The result is an increased sense of intimacy, interaction and relaxation in an area that combines form and function for an enhanced guest experience.

Fu reflects on his long relationship with The Upper House and how his and the brand’s style has adapted over the years. “When the Upper House first opened 11 years ago, it was considered the antithesis of what typically defines an Asian luxury hotel,” he says. “At the time, I attempted to infuse how I saw hospitality going forward into this property. Fifteen years later, I am still excited to evolve with the House as it has remained a key relationship for me throughout my career. I’m thrilled to be able to bring my own André Fu Living brand to the hotel as part of this new suite and once again, I’m eager to see how guests will respond to it, whether it’s through entertaining or indulging in an urban escape.”

After much anticipation, the André Fu Suite opens this spring, which champions his motto of design not being about ‘imposing a lifestyle’ and instead being ‘a personal expression of living’.

Main image credit: The Upper House/André Fu

eathfield & Co Veletto Wall Light

Product watch: Popular lighting designs from Heathfield & Co

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Popular lighting designs from Heathfield & Co

From the soft curves and natural textures of Elder and Terra, to the simple and understated linear forms of Torchere and Veletto, this month Heathfield & Co celebrates its bestsellers…

eathfield & Co Veletto Wall Light

Featuring classic pieces, recently launched favourites and long established designs, Heathfield’s collection of bestsellers perfectly illustrate popular products for the home. Warm, earthy textures, brass tones and neutral fabric shades complement both classic and contemporary interior schemes.

Image caption: Heathfield & Co's Audrey Pendant

Image caption: Heathfield & Co’s Audrey Pendant

Drawing from a range of influences, from mid-century aesthetic to organic forms, these popular designs in ceramic, glass, wood and metalwork cover decorative and functional styles with a focus on quality and fine details.

Heathfield & Co is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Main image credit: Heathfield & Co

Image of clean looking space

Product Watch: Marvel Shine by Atlas Concorde

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product Watch: Marvel Shine by Atlas Concorde

Marvel Shine is the new ceramic tile collection inspired by four fine white marbles, which Atlas Concorde presented to engaged designers, architects, hoteliers and developers in a Product Watch Pitch at Hotel Designs LIVE on February 23…

Image of clean looking space

Marvel Shine is the new ceramic tile collection inspired by four fine white marbles, thanks to which Atlas Concorde has been able to further expand its already extensive range of marble-effect surfaces. The new natural variants are all rooted in Italy, where “white gold” has been shining for centuries in all its purity, recalling a history of illustrious sculptors and monumental architecture.

Marvel Shine draws on this prestigious legacy and translates it into a concept of a new Italian Renaissance, which evolves classicism into an unprecedented contemporary style ideal for designing the spaces of our time.

Shiny tiles from Atlas Concorde in showroom

Image credit: Atlas Concorde

To develop this collection, Atlas Concorde sought out the assistance of SAVEMA, a leader in the international marble industry that made available all its experience for the selection of the most suitable references, confirming Atlas Concorde’s role as a standard-setter when it comes to the ceramic reinterpretation of natural marble.

The four variants of the range, inspired mainly by Calacatta and Statuario marbles, share a bright, pure white background varied by veins in warm and cool tones.

Calacatta Delicato has a bright warm white background crisscrossed by subtle light grey streaks. Calacatta Prestigio is inspired by a fine-grained marble with a pure ivory-white background and sparse thin grey-beige veins alternating with some broader branches that determine its value. Statuario Supremo stands out as the most refined and sought-after stone in recent years thanks to the extreme brilliance of its white background and its broad light grey veins. Calacatta Imperiale is perfect for spaces of sumptuous elegance thanks to the crystal white background traversed by precious yellow-gold and grey streaks.

Image from above of sofa on shiny tiled surface from Atlas Concorde

Image credit: Atlas Concorde

Esthetic purity and natural majesty make the surfaces of Marvel Shine perfect for architectural and interior projects where the contemporary nature of the spaces merges with the timeless strength of a noble material. Combinations mixed and matched with other products in the Marvel range and other Atlas Concorde collections also add infinite expressive potential to the collection, expanding the boundaries of style.

Image of honeycomb shelf on shiney tiled surface from Atlas Concorde

Image credit: Atlas Concorde

Marvel Shine can be laid in a bookmatch pattern replicating the way marble slabs are used on walls for an even more spectacular effect. It’s available in porcelain tiles in the large 120×278 cm format and in the 75×150 cm format, making it possible to create a 6×3 m graphic composition.

The collection features a wide range of formats that today Atlas Concorde makes available to designers around the world: large porcelain slabs measuring 160×320 cm with a 6 mm thickness, slabs for furnishings (Atlas Plan) measuring 162×324 cm, the large format measuring 120×278 cm with a 6 mm thickness and so on down to strips measuring 37.5×75 cm. Completing the selection are single-fired white body wall tiles in the brand new 50×120 cm format and in the traditional 40×80 cm size.

The two classic Matte and Polished surfaces are joined by the new Silk finish, inspired by a traditional workmanship of marble that introduces a new sensation in the realm of tactile ceramic experiences: a silky, soft touch that also reflects the light. It gives surfaces a naturally velvety appearance, highly valued in contemporary design.

Marvel Shine is the latest addition to the rich Marvel family, further expanding it with new creative solutions. The Scenic Mosaic, made from 120×278 cm porcelain slabs cut into smaller pieces, makes it possible to reproduce the bookmatch look in original shapes and even on curved surfaces for added design versatility, ideal for interiors with a eye-catching impact.

The decorations in the range of single-fired wall tiles are instead designed to soften the intense white of marble-effect surfaces through the use of precious materials (including gold, pink gold and platinum) and elegant colour accents.

Atlas Concorde was a Product Watch Pitch partner at Hotel Designs LIVE, which took place on February 23, 2021. Read more about the virtual event here. The next Hotel Designs LIVE will take place on May 11 2021.

Main image credit: Atlas Concorde

Image of large suite with staircase and blue furniture

MINIVIEW: Inside newly renovated Hyatt Regency Houston

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: Inside newly renovated Hyatt Regency Houston

New York-based Stonehill Taylor lives up to its reputation as a leading interior design firm operating in the luxury lifestyle hospitality arena by unveiling a clean and sophisticated renovation inside Hyatt Regency Houston. Editor Hamish Kilburn explores…

Image of large suite with staircase and blue furniture

Located in downtown Houston – a short distance from the George R. Brown Convention Centre and Minute Maid Park – the Hyatt Regency Houston shelters 955 rooms, including 20 suites, all of which have been revamped by award-winning architecture and interior design firm Stonehill Taylor.

Image of stylish king bedroom in Hyatt Regency Houston

Image credit: Julie Soefer

In addition to the private areas, the New York-based firm, which is also responsible for the interior design scheme inside Ace Brooklyn, has been tasked with the interior design of the public spaces, including several food and beverage venues. The design team set out to create a multitude of compositions as the sculptural dimension of modern furniture interacts with the unconventional use of materials, geometry and scale – resulting in a hotel infused with creative flair.

The existing hotel boasts a Brutalist-influenced 30-story atrium with a series of transparent elevator cabs that climb the full height. A black material accentuates the lift shaft and contrasts with the neutral bone-coloured interior architecture.

“The fluidity between the interior design and architecture is inspired in part by the famed village of Marfa, Texas.”

Next to the main entry sit four new reception pods, creating a warm welcoming to the arrival experience. Though simple in design, the new reception pods’ wooden slats add texture and detail to the arrival experience. The reception desks are framed to create an intimate effect within a towering space. The fluidity between the interior design and architecture is inspired in part by the famed village of Marfa, Texas, well known as a haven for artists and their iconic installations often created from existing architecture.

Image of lobby/bar area from balcony in atrium of Hyatt Regency Houston

Image credit: Julie Soefer

In the lobby, there is a main bar that has been redesigned to occupy one full level. To similarly foster a sense of intimacy and human scale, there are distinct seating zones, including a collection of soft seating elements around the bar’s perimeter and wood-framed booth seating. The bar is defined by natural materials, including a stunning marble countertop and concrete-inspired porcelain tiles crafted by artisan Concrete Collaborative. Over the bar hangs a slatted wood canopy creating the illusion of a ceiling in a cavernous setting. The floor is a custom herringbone carpet. Behind the bar, an escalator leads to the second floor.

Also, on the first floor are two restaurant spaces: an upscale steakhouse and a grab-and-go eatery. The former space has been rebranded with an industrial-meets-Scandinavian, contemporary aesthetic that incorporates warm neutrals and earth-inspired materiality. Wood is used throughout the space to create texture, as with the slatted wood ceilings and tambour-clad columns that define the lobby-facing seating. Past the hostess zone is the interior dining area complete with natural wood flooring and inset pattern black and white porcelain tiles. Open shelving and banquette seating are arranged along the edge of the space. There is also a private dining area consisting of three joined rooms with a dividing wall to demarcate different zones; this area has porcelain floor tiles and tambour-clad walls with cove lighting. The more casual venue, meanwhile, conveys a crisp coolness with a navy and tan palette throughout, and rich wood tones for a cozy approach.

There are a series of ballroom spaces throughout the hotel, where a you can find integrated custom lighting, a distinctive carpet pattern and textured wall finishes.

The corridors leading to the guest rooms feature a tailored palette of grey, black and white, and deep gold hues. Inside the rooms, guests will be greeted by the surreal undertones of the corridor continuing into the room complemented by a semi-open closet finished in a rich wood tone.

Image of guestroom inside Hyatt Regency Houston

Image credit: Ralph Esposito

The guestroom palette and colour-blocking approach are influenced by Mark Rothko, an artist best known for his Abstract Expressionist works, examples of which are housed in the nearby Houston-based Menil Collection. In a nod to Rothko, a headboard light shines on a textured navy wall; the effect is a subtle variation in tone that creates a striking centerpiece for each guest room. Furnishings embrace a playful aesthetic and feel as if they are art pieces themselves. Casegoods feature elegant, curved corners, a departure from the typical brand standard of corner edges. In the bathroom, black floor tiles and grey porcelain wall tiles channel a vintage feel yet timeless feel.

Main image credit: Julie Soefer

Accor Announces First Mondrian

Accor’s Mondrian to arrive in Singapore in 2023

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Accor’s Mondrian to arrive in Singapore in 2023

The international hospitality group Accor has announced Singapore’s first Mondrian hotel will be built in the heart of the city’s prominent Duxton Hill neighbourhood and is set to open in early 2023, which will come after seven Mondrian hotel openings globally, which are slated for 2022…

Accor Announces First Mondrian

Singapore’s first Mondrian hotel is currently being developed by Craig Road Property Holdings. This news comes on the heels of Accor’s recent announcement regarding its planned venture with Ennismore, which will see the creation of one of the world’s largest and fastest growing lifestyle and entertainment operators set to include Mondrian hotels.

Mondrian Singapore, a luxury lifestyle hotel comprised of 300 guestrooms and suites, a restaurant, a lounge and a rooftop bar will combine historic architecture from Singapore’s centuries-old shophouses with a new build of modern, contemporary influences. 

Chadi Farhat, Chief Operating Officer of sbe, believes that the hotel will be an apt addition to the already thriving hospitality scene in Singapore. “We are thrilled to bring the iconic Mondrian brand to Singapore’s Duxton Hill neighbourhood. Mondrian is a natural fit for a global destination like Singapore, said Farhat. “The property will provide a cultural hub of food and beverage experiences for locals and travellers alike. Mondrian Singapore will be more than a hotel; it will be a destination.” 

Sun You Ning, Director, Craig Road Property Holdings, added: “We are excited to debut the Mondrian brand in South East Asia and Singapore with our partner Accor. Mondrian Singapore will provide guests an opportunity to stay in the heart of Duxton Hill, a vibrant heritage conservation area surrounded by Michelin-starred eateries, award winning bars, and iconic retail stores – all within walking distance to the Central Business District.”

A collaboration between DP Architects and Studio Carter, Mondrian Singapore will feature a lower three-story building in a contemporary take on the famous Singapore ‘shophouse’ building typology. This portion of the hotel features a terracotta roof and colonial-style window shutters and will include the hotel’s premier guest accommodations in loft suites. The hotel will then be expanded with a new, contemporary tower housing the majority of the hotel’s guestrooms as well as a rooftop pool and bar and signature restaurant.

The two buildings will be united by an urban oasis landscape deck to remind guests of their location, as Singapore is known as the “Garden City.” In addition to the rooftop pool, the hotel will also feature a speakeasy bar with a hidden entrance for travellers and locals to explore. sbe subsidiary Dakota Development, led by President Joe Faust, will provide design management services for the project.

Mondrian Singapore will be the first Mondrian hotel in Singapore, further expanding the brand’s luxury lifestyle experiences in South East Asia. The hotel’s location in the charming “day-to-night” Duxton Hill neighbourhood of Singapore’s bustling Downtown Core District positions itself as a prime location for travellers looking to immerse themselves in local cultural explorations.

Mondrian Singapore is one of the new Mondrian properties that Accor plans to open globally and will be one of the first to open in early 2023 in its next phase of expansion following Accor’s acquisition of sbe’s hotel brands.  It follows the company’s recent announcement of Mondrian Gold Coast opening in 2023 and the upcoming opening of Mondrian Shoreditch London in Q2 2021 and Mondrian Bordeaux and Mondrian Cannes in France in 2022.

The debut of the Mondrian brand to Singapore reflects the strategic expansion of the brand’s international footprint, which will include soon-to-be announced Mondrian properties in the Dominican Republic, Germany, the Maldives, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Main image credit: Accor

Galvin at Windows_Hilton Park Lane

Bring your vision to life and make it sustainable

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bring your vision to life and make it sustainable

Leaflike is on a quest to help customers with their sustainability agenda, switching to recycled planters, introducing hydroculture planting, flower rejuvenation programmes and green walls…

Galvin at Windows_Hilton Park Lane

Leaflike saw an increasing trend for sustainability within the Christmas packages last year, from a decorative tree made with recycled glass bottles at the Holiday Inn Camden Lock to beautiful wooden wreaths for Galvin at Windows, Hilton Park Lane.

Leaflike considers sustainability in every project delivered for customers, recognising that venues want to know where their products are from and that its ok to have them recycled and upcycled if it means they are more sustainable.

One customer has recently gone for all sustainability options including having herbs as table centre pieces and then using them in the kitchen for cooking thereafter. Using recycled plant pots made from either coconut shells or PCs, phones and microwaves. Plus, hydroculture planting using no soil or compost and a flower rejuvenation programme. These initiatives ultimately make them award winning and truly amazing with their global commitment to respect and preserve the planet.

In addition, we are launching a 40 by 40 initiative. Leaflike will plant 40 trees a year which in turn will provide 40 tonnes of carbon reduction over the next 40 years. We will be doing this through the national trust. You can track the company’s progress on its website.

The Waldorf Hilton has been a customer for more than five years and they recently adopted sustainable and recycled products in their venue including the famous Palm Court.

Guy Hilton, General Manager, The Waldorf Hilton explains how the brand has helped connect interior design with the outside world. “I have been working with Leaflike for five years at this venue and previous Hilton hotels as well,” he explains. “The key thing here was to establish the historical planting that takes it back to the glory days of 1908 when there was Tea Dance The room Palm Court, famous for its Tea Dance, we have worked hard with the team at Leaflike to bring palms back into the Palm Court! Across the hotel the plants and planting are in keeping with the style of the hotel.”

‘In these difficult times we have worked closely with Leaflike to consider interior planting that also covers the hygiene needs and distribution of hand sanitiser.’

Join Leaflike in its next webinar

Hear how Leaflike helps customers transform any space into something beautiful and place sustainable solutions in their venues. Visit www.leaflike.co.uk/cpd.

Leaflike is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Leaflike/Hilton Park Lane

Product watch: Ceiling light collection from Chelsom

834 788 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Ceiling light collection from Chelsom

From the looks of things in the Edition 27 collection, which launched last year, Chelsom likes to give designers plenty to play with. With this in mind, Hotel Designs takes a sneak peek at the diverse range of ceiling light options the brand offers…

Every hotel or cruise ship needs a statement chandelier and this eclectic collection has been carefully created to cater for all budgets and applications, taking design aesthetics to the next level without compromising on function and efficiency.

Hello VETRO: a seamless fusion of design and function

Slender disks in brushed brass and sculptured glass create a timeless, elegant design that makes the range extremely versatile for any application in hospitality and marine environments.

This statement pendant dramatically illuminates the surrounding area with each facet of the sculpted glass catching the light creating a striking light effect that is a statement in itself.

Chelsom is one of our recommended suppliers and regularly feature in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Chelsom

OPAL collage

Outstanding Property Award London: Winners announced

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Outstanding Property Award London: Winners announced

The annual OPAL Award celebrates and give exposure to the most exceptional projects in architectural design, interior design, and property development from all over the world. Editor Hamish Kilburn, who joined the judging panel for a second year, is here to unveil the winners…

OPAL collage

From a shortlist of more than 600 global projects, the OPAL jury panel selected three “Designs of the Year” winners in Architectural Design, Interior Design, and Property Development along with Platinum Winners, Winners and Honourable Mentions.

Platinum Winners include a commercial development in Hong Kong by Zaha Hadid Architects, a museum by Ooki Architects & Associates, Stylt Trampoli’s Pater Noster and Hotel Indigo Venice Sant’Elena designed by THDP among many others. Meanwhile winners included a hotel project by Yasmine Mahmoudieh, a marina tower by Buwog Group and a quirky F&B scene created at BOHO Social.

You can view the full list of winners on the OPAL website, but here are some of the major wins from this year’s event.

Architectural Design of the Year

White Deer Plain. Mountain Land Resort Hotel

Image credit: WuLicheng (lead architect) and Huiyimingcheng (collaborating firm)

Sharp contrasts and a tin box-like structure, the White Deer Plain. Mountain Land Resort Hotel offers a strong vision of different material usage and highlights the perpetual battle between light and shadows through its shapes and framework. The space and dimensions of the building remind the viewer of the ratios and relationship between human and architecture.

Interior Design of the Year

Technopolis Auditorium: An acoustic device

Image credit: ahylo architects

The Auditorium was a renovation project designed for the Municipality Of Athens, completed recently in the cylindrical Historic Industrial Gas Park building. Keeping with the concept of a gasholder tank, the forms of the inner design fold and flow, transforming the auditorium into an “acoustic device.” The roof enhances passive acoustics through geometric sound reflectors and absorbers and oak surfaces that form prismatic clusters. In total, the structure consists of 564 elements coming together into an alluring, jubilant meeting spot for art lovers.

Property Development of the Year

Park Silom

Image credit: NYE & RPG Development Co. Ltd.

“Silom” translates to “Windmill” in Thai. Historically, the area was a humble rural location that, with the evolution of Bangkok, became the financial district. At Silom, the windmill symbolises new beginnings, which is reflected by the intention of breathing new life into the community right from the heart of the building. The o ice complex is a38 storeys with two basement levels and 56,000 square metres in total area.

Main image credit: OPAL entries

Various images of bathroom mirrors and lights

What’s in the spotlight this March on Hotel Designs?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
What’s in the spotlight this March on Hotel Designs?

This March, Hotel Designs is serving up a multiple stories that will be dedicated to lighting and bathroom; two areas in hotel design that are seeing evolution and meaningful change…

Various images of bathroom mirrors and lights

Throughout March, Hotel Designs will be putting both lighting and bathrooms under its editorial spotlight in order to continue to define the point on international hotel design.

Lighting (part 1)

Due to the popular nature of the topic, the editorial team have planned two features this year dedicated towards lighting solutions. We will be exploring the latest innovations on the market as well as understand more about lighting’s role on the post-pandemic hospitality scene.

Bathrooms (part 1) 

Also being covered in two parts throughout the year, our editorial features around bathrooms will explore hygiene demands and solutions as well as how designers are working on new ways to inject personality in the bathrooms, ahead of the topic being amplified at the next Hotel Designs LIVE in May.

If you are a supplier and would like to find out more about how you could feature in Hotel Designs, or know of a product that we should be talking about, please email Katy Phillips

Main image credit: Villeroy & Boch/Duravit/HBA/Chelsom

Image of Balony king inside Hotel Nyack

Joie de Vivre brand by Hyatt welcomes Hotel Nyack

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Joie de Vivre brand by Hyatt welcomes Hotel Nyack

Hyatt Hotels and Juniper Capital Partners has announced the opening of Hotel Nyack, previously The Time Nyack Hotel in New York’s Hudson Valley…

Image of Balony king inside Hotel Nyack

Following the hotel group’s debut property opening in Cambodia, and its Unbound Collection making an entrance in Sweden, Hyatt Hotels has recently announced that Hotel Nyack in New York has joined the group’s Joie de Vivre brand, which consists of a collection of boutique hotels offering ‘unique accommodations’ that reflect the neighbourhoods they’re located in.

Recently acquired by Juniper Capital Partners, Hotel Nyack now joins Hyatt’s Joie de Vivre lifestyle brand today inspiring the spirit of playful travel through neighbourhood connections. Located in Hudson Valley’s Rockland County, Hotel Nyack will provide picturesque views of the Hudson River and newly reconstructed Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, and is primed to welcome guests and locals with the Joie de Vivre brand’s joy-driven service.

In addition, Juniper Capital Partners has appointed international hospitality management company, Real Hospitality Group, Inc. (RHG) to oversee the operations of Hotel Nyack. RHG brings its comprehensive management services to create success and deliver a memorable and enhanced guest experience.

“At Hotel Nyack, guests are able to immerse themselves in the vibrant town that offers art, culture, history and nature,” said Lawrence Bain, Managing Partner of Juniper Capital Partners. “With a commitment to the Nyack community and our guests, we were drawn to Hyatt’s Joie de Vivre playfulness and deep respect for its neighbourhoods and Real Hospitality Group’s industry leading performance. We believe installing these two groups as an extension of our team will bring a bright, successful future for the hotel.”

The 133-room hotel with loft-style accommodations housed within the framework of a four-story, former factory, has plans to renovate several portions of the hotel including its culinary offering. An open, industrial feel and reflection of the urban neighbourhood within the property’s contemporary design lends itself to the overall heartfelt and inclusive spirit of the Joie de Vivre brand. An urban stopover, less than an hour drive from New York City, all guests will notice touches of greater New York influence throughout the unprecedented level of excellence and service at Hotel Nyack.

Hotel Nyack also joins the World of Hyatt loyalty program, providing members with opportunities to enjoy valuable loyalty benefits on qualifying hotel stays, dining services, meetings, events and more as a part of their unique stay experience.

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Viceroy at Ombria in the Algarve, Portugal

Adaptation is the design trend to celebrate in 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Adaptation is the design trend to celebrate in 2021

Hotel Designs goes behind the scenes of one of the leading design firms, Wimberly Interiors, to understand what hotel designers are expecting to be the major design trends of 2021…

Viceroy at Ombria in the Algarve, Portugal

Since 2021 started, we have deliberately put an emphasis on trends – from surface design trends to architecture trends and recently predicting what colour palettes will be popular this year and in the future. Instead of rolling our eyes, which is often the reaction when the trends are mentioned, we are embracing new ideas and meaningful solutions following what has been the largest disruption to hospitality in living memory.

In order to understand how designers worldwide are thinking right now about the future, we have heard from seven leading professionals from Wimberly Interiors. Here are their predictions…

“I would say personalised boho. A lot of natural, raw materials and earthy palettes with an emphasis on plants brought indoors in any shape or form, to take us back to nature after being locked in for so long.” – German Mendoza, Associate and Senior Designer, London.

library/lounge in Rosewood Baha Mar, reflecting soft design trends

Image credit: Rosewood Baha Mar

“My interiors prediction for 2021 is ADAPTATION! As this year has laid down in front of us a path of restaurant, hotel and venue closures and abandon, 2021 will be the year of taking those left behind spaces and turning them into something new, exciting and hopeful.” – Josh Held, Vice President and Director of Entertainment, New York.

“After being part of Fortis 2019 [WATG and Wimberly Interiors’ internal rising star program], my eyes have been opened to the need for resilience in interior design. More than just a trend, it is gaining momentum and is ultimately about the use of materials – tactile, natural, honest and, most importantly, local. Interior design is moving rapidly towards a sense of place and appreciation of available materials and products with a low carbon footprint. It is this availability of resource that is key to the future of design beyond trends.” – Damien Follone, Senior Associate and Senior Designer, Restaurant and Bars, London and The Brit List 2020 Designer.

A

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

“After a chaotic 2020, we’re predicting that 2021 will be all about calm and comfort.

“Natural and organic materials and cool neutral colours with touches of earthy tones are on the way in. Think stone, wooden finishes, recycled and plant-based woven fabrics, and touches of greenery.

“We’re also going to see more open, uncluttered spaces that balance a minimal aesthetic with comfort, warmth, and a feeling of ‘home’ – especially in hospitality design. Objects that are both beautiful and functional, or possess special meaning rather than being purely decorative, will take prime position.

“Blending old and new with curated feature pieces will also continue to dominate the interior design space. Over the past few years, we’ve seen consumers move towards buying better made, longer lasting statement pieces as opposed to their faster, in the moment or ‘on trend’ counterparts.” – Rachel Johnson, Senior Vice President and Studio Director, London.

A soft interior scheme and trends reflected in lobby/lounge of Kempinski Jinan

Image credit: Kempinski Jinan

“Wellness has topped trends lists for years – and not just in the travel and hospitality industries. As we begin contemplating our post-pandemic (or next-pandemic) world, wellness is going to be bigger than ever and take on a much more holistic form: health, safety, and resilience will become one, and we’ll see designers collaborating more freely with new and unexpected industries and professionals. In the short-term, it’ll mean opening windows in guest rooms, saying goodbye to individually packaged plastic bottles for products or water, and ensuring a better relationship between the indoors and out through integrated design.” —Margaret McMahon, Global Director, Wimberly Interiors

“Within hotels, I think there will be a real move towards creating spaces where people feel private and protected. Interior design will feel cozier and more residential, while still providing all the finishing touches that guests have come to love from hotel environments versus the home. Luxury hospitality in particular already has a head-start on this, with spaces often designed with exclusivity in mind.” —Liana Hawes, Creative Director, Wimberly Interiors New York.

“2021 will bring a consciousness of how we conceive private spaces by giving them more flexibility. Think ‘light furniture’ that adapts to different situations with concealed extra functionality to accommodate luxury, comfort and purpose, such as a chair that doubles for dining and working. As many continue to spend increased hours at home, the role of the artwork, textured and natural materials, and botanical wallcoverings will become extremely important – especially in spaces that have prolonged hours of use. As Joan Miró said, ‘A simple line painted with the brush can lead to freedom and happiness.” – Paolo De Simone, Associate and Senior Designer, Wimberly Interiors Singapore.

Main image credit: Wimberly Interiors

Gif of top stories of the week on Hotel Designs

Weekly briefing: A new design podcast, Moxy arrivals & 2021 colour trends

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: A new design podcast, Moxy arrivals & 2021 colour trends

Huddle in, folks. Editor Hamish Kilburn here with your weekly briefing of the biggest stories that have been published on Hotel Designs in the last few days. Is everyone sitting comfortably? Let’s begin…

Gif of top stories of the week on Hotel Designs

“Finally some good news,” said nobody, ever, on the editorial desk at Hotel Designs, because despite hospitality still suffering as a result of the pandemic there are always room for positive stories to focus on. And this week was no exception. As our in-house team furiously prepare to serve up our third Hotel Designs LIVE, we have also been busy launching and promoting our new podcast and publishing engaging content such as a colour trends forecast for all of you who are alergic to colour trends (spoiler: nature is calling).

So, let’s get started, shall we? Here are what I am calling the hottest hotel design stories of the week:

Episode 1 of DESIGN POD has landed

DESIGN POD logo

In each episode, the new podcast for all designers and architects, which can be listened to on all major podcast platforms such as SpotifyAmazon Music and Acast, will welcome influential guests to share their opinions on the conversations and challenges that are shaping our industry. Together, they are embracing innovation while balancing the important issues we all face as modern designers and architects.

In association with series sponsor Bathroom Brands Group, the first episode of DESIGN POD explores the topic of ‘choosing your lane’ in both architecture and design. In order put some personality into this topic, Kilburn interviews special guest interior designer Constanina Tsoutsikou, the former Creative Director of HBA London and founder of Studio LOST, to understand the process and challenges that came with launching her new design studio, Studio LOST.

Listen here:

Colour trends: A trends forecast for designers who are allergic to trends

Image of pink colour on walls and black outdoor furniture indoors

Image credit: Stefen Tan/Unsplash

A year after hospitality lost its colour due to the outbreak of Covid-19, we’ve asked brand strategist Emma Potter to inject our pages with some vibrancy. Here, she explores colour’s role in post-pandemic hospitality and hotel design.

Read more.

Moxy madness: Moxy arrives in Miami, South Beach

Image of ensuite in stylish Moxy room

Image credit: Moxy Hotels

Moxy South Beach has arrived in Miami’s Art Deco District. Lightstone, the developers behind three award-winning Moxy hotels in New York City, worked with design firm Rockwell Group and architect Kobi Karp to create a stylish, playful open-air concept celebrating Miami’s cosmopolitan culture.

Read more.

Last chance to sign up to Hotel Designs LIVE

Main image for Hotel Designs LIVE

Hotel Designs LIVE, the one-day virtual conference for designers, architects, hoteliers and developers that has just been shortlisted at the Digital Event Awards, takes place on Tuesday February 23 – and it will shelter four engaging panel discussions with world-renowned hospitality and design experts.

Participate. | Read more.

And that’s your lot! Have an enjoyable and safe weekend, and in the meantime we will get cracking to create next week’s juicy headlines which include a behind-the-scenes look into design firm Wimberly Interiors and all the action from Hotel Designs LIVE.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Main image credit: Moxy Hotels

Image of modern bathroom

In safe hands: New hygiene products from Villeroy & Boch

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In safe hands: New hygiene products from Villeroy & Boch

Following last months spotlight being on hygiene products and safe design, bathroom manufacturer Villeroy & Boch responds with new products that cater for the post-pandemic hospitality arena…

Image of modern bathroom

Interesting fact: in the 19th century, significant scientific insights create the foundations of modern hygiene. An essential contribution is made by sanitary products, which are still not widely used around 1900 and are more a privilege for the wealthy people. At this time Villeroy & Boch starts large-scale production of bathtubs and toilets. This is an important contribution towards democratising bathing and hygiene.

Hygiene in the bathroom with a modern white bath

Image credit: Villeroy & Boch

Are you looking for hygienic, fresh and easy-to-clean bathroom products? Well, with the Villeroy & Boch’s champion and Quaryl you are in safe hands. The rimless DirectFlush toilet with the innovative CeramicPlus and AntiBac surface is the perfect hygiene solution from Villeroy & Boch.

The new generation of rimless WCs offers particularly quick and thorough cleaning. A precise, splash-free water flow ensures the entire interior of the bowl is rinsed thoroughly to ensure cleanliness. The design of the DirectFlush WCs makes them easier to clean – which saves times and money. So the DirectFlush WC is suitable for use in both private households and commercial projects. One of the leading European Hygiene Institutes, IZORE – the “Centre for Infectious Diseases”, Friesland, NL has shown in tests that, thanks to the optimised design, the rimless Villeroy & Boch DirectFlush WC is practically germ-free after cleaning.

The low water consumption of just 3/4.5l is standard for Villeroy & Boch and sufficient for flushing the entire bowl. This is better than required by the standard. As standard EN 997 permits an unflushed area of 85 mm below the upper edge for rimless WCs. But DirectFlush flushes the entire inner bowl!

AntiBac is the innovative hygiene solution for busy commercial areas. The new glaze contains silver ions that have been proven to reduce the growth of bacteria on ceramic surfaces and WC seats by more than 99.9%!

Villeroy & Boch has succeeded in improving the properties of ceramics. A special process gives the CeramicPlus surface a permanent highquality finish. CeramicPlus offers optimum hygiene and is kind both to the environment and the wallet. The water forms in droplets on the CeramicPlus surface. These flow off into the outlet, taking residues, such as limescale and dirt with them which makes the cleaning process much easier and quicker.

In combination with CeramicPlus and the rimless DirectFlush WCs, AntiBac ensures maximum cleanliness and hygiene – throughout the product lifetime!

Quaryl from Villeroy & Boch is a unique material for unique bathrooms. Robust, durable yet allows a wide range of designs, nice and warm to the touch. An exclusive material for unusually precise shapes with clearly defined edges and small radii, setting new standards in baths and shower trays design. A great advantage of the material is its surface which provide a perfect hygiene solution. Quaryl is a material with a smooth, pore-free surface that makes cleaning easier and quicker as dirt and limescale have hardly any hold – this ensures a permanent, glimmering shine.

Villeroy & Boch is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Villeroy & Boch

Parkside guides designers through the power of patterns

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Parkside guides designers through the power of patterns

Parkside is now taking bookings for virtual presentations of its RIBA accredited CPD that takes designers through the relationship to patterns and symmetry…

‘An Introduction to Tiling Patterns’, is a RIBA accredited CPD presentation by design-led tile specification company, Parkside, that introduces tiling patterns through the world of tessellations, looking at symmetry, repeat patterns and a handful of mathematical terms and rules.

Now available as a virtual presentation, An Introduction to Tiling Patterns initially takes a look at tessellations, giving an understanding of the etymology, terminology and types. Showing common examples of regular, semi-regular and irregular tessellations, the CPD then goes on to explore how these founding principles translate into tiling patterns.

Tracing the history of tiles, as well as designs found in nature and their psychological meaning, it then goes on to explore the impact of tiling patterns on interiors, as well as the creative possibilities of creating your own unique pattern.

Brian Linnington, managing director, Parkside; “We’re bringing unique insight into the power of patterns to remote working teams with our CPD presentation that’s ready to be presented virtually. Reflecting on tiling patterns in the world all around us, we’re hoping that teams will find an inspirational and ultimately informative exploration of how to integrate innovative tiling designs in future projects.”

Including interview excerpts with famed designer and BIID director, Sue Timney, An Introduction to Tiling Patterns can be presented to remote teams by one of Parkside’s experienced consultants. It provides an opportunity to combine team wellbeing with RIBA approved professional development.

Parkside, which won Best in British Product Design at The Brit List Awards 2020, is one of our recommended suppliers and regularly feature in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Parkside

GROHE X - Key Visual

GROHE launches ‘GROHE X’, a new digital experience hub

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GROHE launches ‘GROHE X’, a new digital experience hub

In an industry-first, On March 16, 2021, Hotel Designs will join LIXIL EMENA to launch a digital platform enabling visitors to experience exclusive GROHE brand insights and product news first-hand…

GROHE X - Key Visual

With GROHE X, LIXIL EMENA launches an industry-first digital platform for its leading global sanitary brand, GROHE. Visitors to the hub have the opportunity to create their own individual GROHE brand experience thanks to informative and inspirational multimedia content tailored to the needs of its professional business partners and consumers. Whether a trade customer wants to know which global trends are impacting the sanitary business, an installer is looking for how-to videos to make their working day easier, an architect is seeking inspiration on the latest design trends, or a consumer is searching for state-of-the-art product innovations to make their dream bathroom a reality – GROHE X allows everyone to explore the world of GROHE and expand their horizons for a better way of living.

Originally intended as an alternative to the biennial ISH, the world’s leading trade fair for water and HVAC, from which GROHE withdrew due to the Covid-19 pandemic, GROHE X is now more than a trade fair substitute. Alongside uniting thought-provoking and entertaining stories in one place, GROHE X brings the world closer together, offering a platform that can facilitate engaging exchange and support from the brand’s experts. Now that opportunities for face-to-face meetings are limited, GROHE X provides the perfect environment for collaborating and sharing ideas – the new place to meet in the digital world. In addition to the comprehensive free editorial content available, the platform launches on Tuesday 16th March 2021 with dedicated event formats tailored to GROHE’s professional business partners.

“GROHE X is a result of our disruptive way of thinking. We embraced the new normal and understood challenges as new opportunities,” is how Jonas Brennwald, Leader LIXIL EMENA and Co-CEO Grohe AG explains the central role that GROHE X plays for the global brand. “For me, GROHE X is proof that, especially at times like these, you need to exchange ‘but’ for ‘imagine if’ and I’m more than proud that everyone at GROHE was so bold to thinking open-mindedly like this.

“With GROHE X, we offer our customers a central, always-available brand hub to get inspired but also to interact with us – wherever they are, whenever they need us. Also, in the future, we aim to pave new paths with GROHE X. The digital platform is just the beginning of an own experience ecosystem that will drive engagement with our customers in the years to come. As soon as it is possible again, GROHE X will be supplemented by hybrid or truck tour events.”

A modern and minimalist bathroom featuring GROHE products

Image credit: GROHE

“Although physical distance is key these days, we still want to offer our customers a unique setting to experience our innovations and to exchange with us directly,” says Thomas Fuhr, Leader Fittings LIXIL International and Co- CEO Grohe AG. “GROHE X allows everyone to immerse in the diverse world of GROHE and it gives you the building blocks to create an individual brand experience. You will get exclusive, behind-the-scenes insights of our plants and how our customer-centric supply chain connects them to the global markets; learn more about our latest technologies developed in our in-house R&D department located in Hemer, Germany; and we will also take you along with us on our sustainability journey, to which we will add another milestone. It is amazing what our teams have brought to life in such a short period of time.”

Putting customer-centricity at the heart

With tailored content carefully curated for each target group and industry channel, GROHE X also reflects GROHE’s new commercial strategy which will begin to be rolled out in the UK to align with the introduction of new product launches. Based on comprehensive feedback from GROHE’s business partners on their expectations from the brand, GROHE’s leadership team developed a go-to-market approach that offers a differentiated product portfolio and dedicated services to each of its target customer groups: distributors, retailers and installers, architects, designers and planners, as well as consumers.

Developing relevant product solutions that improve consumers’ lives requires a deep understanding of what consumers expect from their living spaces and GROHE is striving to anticipate even those unarticulated consumer needs at an early stage of its product development process. The focus on the needs and aspirations of customers will be of central importance with regards to several new products that GROHE will unveil on GROHE X during its launching weeks.

To discover which key consumer insights the brand is building on, which solutions will offer consumers added value in the bathroom and kitchen of the future, and how the brand plans to further expand its sustainability transformation following its double win success at the German Sustainability Awards 2021, visit grohe-x.com from March 16, 2021.

GROHE is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: GROHE

shortlisted image for Hotel Designs LIVE

Hotel Designs LIVE shortlisted at the Digital Event Awards

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs LIVE shortlisted at the Digital Event Awards

Hotel Designs LIVE, which was created to keep the industry connected and the conversation flowing during lockdown and beyond, has been shortlisted for ‘Best Webinar Series’ at the Digital Event Awards 2021…

shortlisted image for Hotel Designs LIVE

One week until the team at Hotel Designs go live with the next virtual conference – designers, architects, hoteliers and developers can secure their complimentary tickets here –Hotel Designs LIVE has been shortlisted in the ‘Best Webinar Series’ category at the Digital Events Awards 2021.

Secure your complimentary tickets to Hotel Designs LIVE here (booking form takes less than 2 minutes to complete).

“We are all very proud that our simple yet solid virtual concept has been recognised as one of the UK’s best webinar series,” explained editor Hamish Kilburn who will return to host Hotel Designs LIVE next week for the third time. “Since launching last year, Hotel Designs LIVE has been a meaningful way to keep our wonderful readers around the globe connected, engaged and entertained –  and for that reason, we feel like we have already won!”

Still questioning whether or not the event is right for you? Here are 5 reasons why you should attend Hotel Designs LIVE.

The event, which launched in June 2020, has been recognised by the judges at the Digital Events Awards for its ability to connect both suppliers and buyers operating in the international hotel design arena. In addition to the live interviews and panel discussions with handpicked industry experts – and to ensure that the event is bridging the gap between hospitality suppliers and designers, architects, hoteliers and developers – the conference also included structured ‘Product Watch’ pitches that are amplified in each session, allowing the audience, while trade shows are on hold, the opportunity to hear about all the latest innovations and product launches.

“This category will recognise the team behind a webinar series that has consistently delivered outstanding results,” explained the organisers of the Digital Events Awards. “Judges will be looking at the diversity of content, range of topics and speakers as well as audience numbers for registration and attendance. The series that can demonstrate a high engagement with returning attendees will be highly considered.”

The winner of Best Webinar Series will be unveiled at the virtual awards ceremony, which will take place at 4pm on March 18.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

birdseye view of pool from above

IN PICTURES: Inside Moxy South Beach

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IN PICTURES: Inside Moxy South Beach

Moxy South Beach has arrived in Miami’s Art Deco District. Lightstone, the developers behind three award-winning Moxy hotels in New York City, worked with design firm Rockwell Group and architect Kobi Karp to create a stylish, playful open-air concept celebrating Miami’s cosmopolitan culture…

birdseye view of pool from above

Moxy South Beach has opened with a design that blends the glamour of midcentury Havana, the artistry of contemporary Mexico City, and a tropical vibrancy that’s unmistakably Miami. 

The 202-key, eight-story hotel, featuring two pools and the nearby Moxy Beach Club, will be the first resort-style property under Marriott International’s Moxy Hotels brand, marking a new chapter for hospitality in Miami Beach. Moxy South Beach is upending the way travellers experience hotels in the new year, from contactless check-in to indoor-outdoor lounging, meeting, fitness, and dining spaces.

Birdseye image of pool from above Moxy Miami South Beach

Image credit: Moxy Hotels

The highly anticipated opening of Moxy South Beach comes at a pivotal time for Miami Beach, which is repositioning its traditional entertainment district as the new “Art Deco District” — a reimagination of the historic neighbourhood with Moxy South Beach at the forefront. 

“In a way, the design anticipated the needs of the current environment, so we’re able to accommodate what people are looking for right now.” Mitchell Hochberg, President, Lightstone.

 “Opening the hotel during this unprecedented time presented Lightstone with a unique challenge,“ says Mitchell Hochberg, President, Lightstone. “Moxy South Beach isn’t a response to the pandemic, even if it feels like an antidote to it. In a way, the design anticipated the needs of the current environment, so we’re able to accommodate what people are looking for right now: contactless check-in, outdoor spaces, and a do-it-yourself ethos. But we always stayed true to the roots of the Moxy brand, letting guests curate their own experience while they escape reality for a few days in South Beach – and the icing on the cake is that it’s all at an attractive price point. That’s an idea with timeless appeal.”

Moxy South Beach’s interiors are designed by Rockwell Group (public spaces and bedrooms) and Saladino Design Studios (Serena, Como Como, and Mezcalista), while exteriors are by Kobi Karp Architecture in collaboration with Rockwell Group. Guests can customise their level of interaction as they move from the sanctuary of their bedroom to public spaces designed for socialising on demand. The majority of spaces are open-air and blend seamlessly with indoor areas. Public areas are peppered with private and semi-private enclaves — including poolside cabanas, open-air meeting studios, and sequestered dining tables — that let guests be in the mix and on their own all at once. 

 Guests enter the hotel through the main walkway on Washington Avenue or the modern porte-cochère at the east entrance. The sun-drenched lobby features several relaxed seating areas with amusements such as a foosball table whose players are vintage pinup dolls brought into the modern era as a women’s soccer team as well as a carnivalesque, Zoltar inspired, pay phone that provides complimentary horoscope readings from resident astrologer Bassfunkdaddy. The lobby’s three flexible meeting studios and restaurant all converge around a large, open-air courtyard. The space is surrounded by glass walls that can open or close as the weather allows.

The indoor-outdoor spaces continue with a fitness centre inspired by nearby Muscle Beach; an outdoor movie screening room on the rooftop; and the Moxy Beach Club on Miami’s famous South Beach. The 72-foot, cabana-lined pool on the second-floor terrace maximises see-and-be-seen sightlines with tiered lounge seating, benches in the water, and luxury private cabanas. A circular communal shower invites flirtatious interaction, with flamingoes peeking through the surrounding hedge.

Image of pool at Moxy Miami Beach

Image credit: Moxy Hotels

Swimmers in the pool can peek down directly into the lobby through an eight-foot, see-through cutout at the bottom of the pool, adding up to an exhibitionistic vibe that embodies South Beach. The hotel’s eighth floor rooftop features a shallow lounging pool with chaises submerged in the water and daybeds shaped like lily pads. 

The 202 thoughtfully-designed guestrooms include King, Double Queen, or Quad Bunk options, as well as residentially styled suites. All rooms are dressed in vivid Miami hues and bathed in sunlight thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows.

Image of lifestyle guestroom in Moxy Miami

Image credit: Moxy Hotels

Inspired in part by the Clyde Mallory Line, an overnight ferry service between Miami and Havana that operated in the 1940s and ‘50s, the rooms resemble ocean liner staterooms with ingenious, space-maximising storage solutions. Oceanview rooms on higher floors offer unobstructed vistas of the Atlantic, while other rooms feature expansive views of South Beach’s pastel-hued architecture. Bedrooms feature custom art by Miami artist Aquarela Sabol depicting iconic artists — Frida Kahlo, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dalí — visiting South Beach.

“To capture the bright, carefree sophistication of South Beach, we blurred the boundaries between indoor and outdoor amenities.” – Greg Keffer, Partner and Studio Leader at Rockwell Group.

“Our design concept for Moxy South Beach celebrates Miami’s uniquely multicultural style, from eclectic Art Deco motifs and Miami Modernism, to Cuban and other Latin American influences,” says Greg Keffer, Partner and Studio Leader at Rockwell Group. “To capture the bright, carefree sophistication of South Beach, we blurred the boundaries between indoor and outdoor amenities, and created light-filled guestrooms that have a feeling of openness.”

For the dining and drinking venues, Lightstone tapped the Miami restaurateurs behind the uber-popular Coyo Taco and 1-800-Lucky to create six new exclusive concepts, drawing on Mexican, Caribbean, and local flavours. 

Starting at the signature Bar Moxy, guests can simultaneously check-in contact-free and order a handcrafted cocktail. Retro-style swivel barstools surround the oval-shaped bar, while an infinity mirror installation above contains the phone number of El Floridita, the legendary Havana watering hole, paying tribute to Miami’s Cuban heritage.

Image of bar at Moxy Miami South Beach

Image credit: Moxy Hotels

Facing Bar Moxy is Los Buenos, the all-day bodega and taco stand, which will dish up tacos on hand-pressed tortillas and burrito bowls, as well as breakfast items and a variety of specialty coffee drinks by La Colombe.

On the second floor, an open-air rooftop restaurant and bar, Serena, channels the enchanting rooftop and patio restaurants of Oaxaca and Mexico City. Located on a vibrant, lushly planted terrace, Serena has a laid-back yet sophisticated vibe that’s like none other in Miami. Lounge and table seating — plus an enticing menu of shareable dishes and hand-crafted cocktails — create an inviting atmosphere for sunset cocktails and nibbles, leisurely lunches and dinners, or buzzy brunches accompanied by live music.

The hotel’s eighth-floor rooftop bar, aptly named The Upside, has a shallow lounging pool, alfresco movie screening area, whimsical seating options, and 360-degree panoramic views of the ocean and Miami Beach. Available exclusively to hotel guests and for private events, The Upside will become a coveted space for parties, film screenings, and pop-ups. A sinuous canopy on the rooftop provides shade during the day, while showcasing a brilliant, geometric mural by New York artist Edward Granger when illuminated at night. The piece is a nod to the thriving street art scene in nearby Wynwood and acts as a colorful beacon for the hotel.

Opening April 2021 is Como Como, a marisqueria (seafood restaurant) and raw bar centred around the “fuego,” a wood- and charcoal-fired grill utilising ancient Mexican techniques. The open-cooking concept allows diners to watch the culinary process firsthand, while a “tequila tree” sculpture theatrically dispenses the agave spirit from hand-blown glass spheres. The restaurant also serves diners in its outdoor courtyard, a lush space layered with coloured tilework, hanging plants, and a sign reading “Besos De Mezcal,” hinting at the night to come. 

Also opening in April is a sexy and mysterious mezcal lounge, Mezcalista, accessed either from the back of the marisquería or through a discreet entrance on Washington Avenue. 

 

“We’re creating concepts that give people a lot of choice,” says Sven Vogtland, co-founder of Coyo Taco Group. “You can head up to Serena for a sunset drink and a bite, sit down for an elegant meal at Como Como, or enjoy the intimate energy of Mezcalista while the DJ spins. Or you can have all three in one night. We’re providing a variety of vibes and environments, which in turn will attract a real intermingling of different types of guests.”

An energetic mix of cultural and lifestyle programming will roll out at Moxy South Beach, including several exclusive partnerships. Adapting the notable #SWEATatMoxy program from its sister properties in New York, Moxy South Beach will have guests working up a sweat with “Glutes Check” classes from local fitness guru Starr Hawkins, taking part in restorative sessions from NYC-based BeRevolutionarie, or joining a Surfing Bootcamp from Surfrider Foundation, an organisation dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean waves and beaches. The Surfrider Foundation collaboration continues with Silent Disco beach cleanups and surf-inspired movie screenings on the rooftop. The rooftop will also host biannual screenings in partnership with the Miami Film Festival.

Exterior image of Moxy Miami South Beach

Image credit: Moxy Hotels

On the rhythm front, Prism Creative and Tigre Sounds are curating a weekly live music series with emerging musicians. The hotel is also partnering with heralded genre-bending Miami orchestra Nu Deco Ensemble to share frequent live streams of their sold-out concerts. These partnerships continue on the small screen via Moxy South Beach’s in-room TV channels, including Nu Deco Ensemble’s “Orchestra Reimagined” performances. Hotel guests will also receive special perks at cultural institutions like the Bass Museum, Rubell Museum, Superblue Miami, and the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).

Main image credit: Moxy Hotels

DESIGN POD logo

Listen now: DESIGN POD, a podcast for designers and architects

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Listen now: DESIGN POD, a podcast for designers and architects

The wait is over! Following more than a year of planning, Hotel Designs has launched DESIGN POD, a contemporary podcast for designers and architects on the go. Episode one looks at ‘choosing your lane’ with special guest, Constantina Tsoutsikou

DESIGN POD logo

Hosted by editor Hamish Kilburn and co-hosted by designer Harriet Forde, DESIGN POD has launched to be a contemporary voice for the design and architecture community.

In each episode, the new podcast, which can be listened to on all major podcast platforms such as Spotify, Amazon Music and Acast, will welcome influential guests to share their opinions on the conversations and challenges that are shaping our industry. Together, they are embracing innovation while balancing the important issues we all face as modern designers and architects.

“The topics and personalities that are amplified on this podcast will give texture and perspective on the key issues that face modern A&D professionals,” explains Kilburn. “But it is also a ‘safe place’ for anyone who has an interest in architecture and design.”

In association with series sponsor Bathroom Brands Group, the first episode of DESIGN POD explores the topic of ‘choosing your lane’ in both architecture and design. In order put some personality into this topic, Kilburn interviews special guest interior designer Constanina Tsoutsikou, the former Creative Director of HBA London and founder of Studio LOST, to understand the process and challenges that came with launching her new design studio, Studio LOST.

“In episode one, Constantina Tsoutsikou also lifts the lid on some of the most challenging client requests.”

As well as throwing back to career highlights and understanding how the designer, against many odds, set up her own design studio following almost 15 years at HBA London, Tsoutsikou also lifts the lid on some of the most challenging client requests she has had to manage. “I’ve had clients where they send you a brief that says they love art deco,” she explains, “and months down the line, after a whole creative process has taken place, they actually meant Baroque, which changes everything!”

Listen to DESIGN POD on Spotify, Amazon Music, Acast, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts.

Case study: hospitality and privacy combined in a listed patrician house

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: hospitality and privacy combined in a listed patrician house

The comfortable apartments have been individually designed and offer guests a stylish interior with feel-good hospitality that appropriately nods back to the buildings heritage…

Carl Wunderlich, was a colonial goods merchant and mayor who built his imposing municipal residence in 1798. Alexander Hugenberg took over the listed municipal mansion, they lovingly converted it into an extraordinarily stylish lifestyle and event location.

Their modern take on the historical building opened its doors in 2019.  It’s a perfect place to unwind whilst still upholding the history and tradition of the building. The comfortable apartments have been individually designed and offer guests a stylish interior with a feel-good factor.

Outside of traditional building

Image credit: Michael Gregonowits

One can stay for a few days, several weeks or even months. The extraordinary design, with its combination of modern and vintage elements generates a warm, cozy atmosphere. In keeping with the style of the mansion, washbasins and toilets from the Starck 3 range were fitted in each of the apartments. This bathroom classic, created by designer Philippe Starck for Duravit, harmoniously rounds off the interiors.

The location also features a restaurant, which can be booked for both private and commercial functions offering a range of options for individually planned events. The extensive garden with its terrace is an ideal venue for celebrations, as are the inner courtyard or vaulted cellar. The in-house library with fireplace is the perfect place for a small group to spend a cozy evening.

Duravit is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Michael Gregonowits

Weekly briefing: Wellness takes over, architecture trends & new podcast incoming!

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: Wellness takes over, architecture trends & new podcast incoming!

Editor Hamish Kilburn here with your weekly briefing. It’s been another busy week on the editorial desk and there’s a a lot to get through – so let’s get started, shall we?

Following last week’s story of February VIP Arrivals, in the last few days we’ve heard from a number of interesting developments globally, which gives us hope and faith that the travel industry will recover from the harsh sting of Covid-19. But if you still needed a boost of positivity, then we have the podcast waiting in the wings for you…

DESIGN POD available to listen to from Monday

At Hotel Designs HQ, we are days away from launching our new podcast DESIGN POD – which will be available to listen on all the major podcast platforms from Monday onwards. Designed to be the contemporary voice for all interior designers and architects on-the-go, DESIGN POD will amplify conversations and new perspectives on key issues that face modern A&D professionals.

Before Monday, though, here’s a sneak peek of what to expect in episode one, which is entitled ‘Choosing Your Lane’ with special guest, designer Constantina Tsoutsikou, founder of Studio LOST.

In pictures: Inside Six Senses Botanique, Brazil

A luxury villa that shows a indoor private pool with stone surfaces

Image credit: Six Senses

Bookmarked by our editorial team as one of 2021’s hottest hotel openings, Six Senses Botanique, Brazil, which has been built from indigenous materials such as jacaranda and chocolate slate, has opened in the heart of the Mantiqueira Mountains, which is known as the “mountains that weep” due to the abundance of springs and rivers.

Read more.

Seychelles debut for Waldorf Astoria and Canopy by Hilton

A render of an open air suite in Seychelles

Image credit: Hilton

Things are heating up in the development team at Hilton Hotels after the company has signed for two hotel brand debuts in the Seychelles. The properties – a Waldorf Astoria and a Canopy by Hilton – are scheduled to open in 2023 and will build upon an already impressive Hilton portfolio on the archipelago, in addition to the soon-to-be-opened Mango House Seychelles, LXR Hotels & Resorts.

Read more.

5 minutes with: Interior designer Saar Zafrir

Headshot of Saar Zafrir

Image credit: Saar Zafrir

2012 was a pivotal year for Saar Zafrir, who changed lanes from a 12-year career in finance to take a year off. The next 12 months prepared him to ‘get into the game’, taught by his own passion to become an interior design, at first starting small with friends and family but soon being offered a pathway into the hotel design arena. With a new focus on hospitality and F&B design, Zafrir’s approach was born; to transforming established corporate-style hotels and hospitality groups into fun and lively boutique brands that speak loudly to the growing demands of the modern traveller.

Read more.

Architecture trends for 2021 & beyond

Arches at Miami Design District by SB Architects.

Image credit: Miami Design District by SB Architects

Last week, we published our close look at surface trends, where it was concluded that strict pre-pandemic industry standards mean that hospitality design is “well-placed to weather the storm” without a major supply-side rethink.

Following this feature, SB Architects, an award-winning international architecture firm focusing on designing soulful and inspiring destinations across hospitality, residential and mixed-use, has stepped up to release what its team believe are the top architecture trends that are emerging in 2021.

Read more.

JW Marriott celebrates opening of 100th property worldwide

Image of pool at JW Marriott Hotel

Image credit: JW Marriott

Following the Marriott International’s recent announcement to open almost 100 hotels in Asia Pacific this year, JW Marriott’s 100th property, JW Marriott Tampa Water Street, is now open, bringing a new level of luxury to the Tampa Bay area. Located in the heart of the dynamic Water Street neighbourhood, the 519-key property invites discerning guests to take time for themselves, relax, and rediscover a balance in mind and body.

Read more.

Right, that’s your lot! Have an enjoyable and safe weekend, and in the meantime we will get cracking to create next week’s juicy headlines…

Main image credit: JW Marriott

image of catalogue

Geberit launches Hotel Guest Experience Report

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Geberit launches Hotel Guest Experience Report

Bathroom designer and manufacturer, Geberit, has launched a Hotel Guest Experience book in collaboration with some of the UK’s leading architects and design experts…

image of catalogue

The exclusive publication examines what the future may hold for hotel guest experience, exploring the challenges facing future design in the wake of Covid-19 and the complex changing needs of the modern guest.

The report features contributions from writers, architects and leading experts across areas including hygiene, sustainability and design.

Industry-recognised expert in the field of biophilic design, Oliver Heath, shines a spotlight on the importance of designing for the senses, focusing on a human-centred approach to hotel design and examining how hotels can help guests experience a better state of physical and mental state of wellbeing during their stay.

Dexter Moren, partner at Dexter Moran Associates, looks at how hygiene can be optimised throughout hotels in a post-Covid world. The report also looks at sustainability, with Juliet Kinsman, founder of BOUTECO and respected sustainable luxury travel writer, exploring the role of sustainability in a hotel’s story, and what strategies can help hotels reduce energy, conserve water and minimise waste. Tanya Griffiths, chartered architect at Kay Elliot, considers the growing demand for hotels to offer a diverse and personalised experience, and offers readers some solutions to successfully achieve a mixed-use design. 

Sophie Weston, channel marketing manager at Geberit UK, said: “Geberit’s Guest Experience Hotel report will provide some thought for hotels on what the future may look like and insight into the key challenges facing hotels today.

“We’ve produced this in collaboration with some of the most well-renowned individuals in their respective fields. We want to support hotels and help them navigate these uncertain times – we explore how intelligent analysis, creative design and clever specification can meet the changing needs of their customers. We’ve produced this in collaboration with some of the most well-renowned individuals in their respective fields.”

Ruth Slavid, architectural writer, editor and author of nine books, provides the foreword to the report. She says: “We know that hotels will undoubtedly have to change. The unimaginative operator may slosh around some sanitiser and encase a few things in plastic. But those who succeed will do so through intelligent analysis, creative design, clever specification and a real understanding of what tomorrow’s customer needs and wants. This book will be a valuable resource for hotels looking for expertise and insight into future needs.”  

Geberit is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Geberit

Render of two isolated pod-like buildings made of wood

Architecture trends for 2021 & beyond

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Architecture trends for 2021 & beyond

To cut through the noise of emerging architecture trends, we hear from architecture firm SB Architect’s President and Principal, Scott Lee, and Senior Vice President and Principal, Bruce Wright…

Render of two isolated pod-like buildings made of wood

Last week, we published our close look at surface trends, where it was concluded that strict pre-pandemic industry standards mean that hospitality design is “well-placed to weather the storm” without a major supply-side rethink.

Following this feature, SB Architects, an award-winning international architecture firm focusing on designing soulful and inspiring destinations across hospitality, residential and mixed-use, has stepped up to release what its team believe are the top architecture trends that are emerging in 2021.

“One positive thing to come out of this pandemic is that design and architecture will be more responsive and intuitive to the needs of humanity unlike ever before.” – Scott Lee, President and Principal, SB Architects.

Undoubtably, the Covid-19 pandemic has left an indelible mark across every industry, shifting priorities, and dramatically impacting how the firm – and industry as a whole – approaches design as well as how architecture trends are defined. “2021 will be a year of transformational growth for society – and how we design our world in response to the recent events will create lasting change for years to come,” said Scott Lee, President and Principal, SB Architects. “The architecture community must shift our way of thinking about how society will function moving forward, with a focus on designing spaces for our physical and mental wellbeing. I believe one positive thing to come out of this pandemic is that design and architecture will be more responsive and intuitive to the needs of humanity unlike ever before.”

Experience-driven design

SB Architects sees experience-driven design continuing to thrive in the years ahead. Our lives are filled with experiences that are all fulfilled virtually – from ordering food online to work and school. To make an impact, spaces must be adaptable and designed to enhance our wellbeing and offer a physical experience that elevates the offering from the virtual – a moment of ‘wow’ so to speak. Spaces will be designed to entice occupants to feel energised and experience the natural surroundings of a space to reconnect with nature.

Arches at Miami Design District by SB Architects.

Image credit: Miami Design District by SB Architects

The firm sees this architecture trend extending into the retail space, too. Retail development can no longer just be basic, cookie-cutter boxes in an open space; it needs to be a multi-faceted community and cultural experience. Retailers have and will continue to get creative with strategically curated facades to inspire and arouse curiosity – the idea that retail is entertainment.

Going private in public

People want to feel connected and be able to socialise in a way that feels safe. Guests are going to be socialising outside for the foreseeable future, and the coming year will showcase innovative design solutions that speak to this pressing need. This will lead to a rise in zoned dining in hotel spaces including pavilions and landscape barriers to create safe spaces for eating in public.

Hotel Villagio, restaurant

Image credit: SB Architects/Hotel Villagio

A street well-known for restaurants may close on Friday night so that it is walkable with seating outdoors, and food trucks, dining al fresco, and micro-restaurants with takeout windows will likely become more popular. Hyper-personalisation has always been a luxury signifier, but the current climate is pushing for innovation, SB Architects anticipates a rise in interesting private dining options and chef-to-table experiences.

 Hybrid hotels: the rise of ‘bleisure’ travel

A trend at the intersection between hospitality and residential is the aparthotel – hotel rooms that function like an apartment, reducing the amount of guest to staff interaction.

Render of outdoor pool surrounded by mountains

Image credit: SB Archtiects/Pendry Park City Residences

This trend is experiencing a comeback and gaining traction for a number of reasons; the locations are desirable, guests can stay for extended periods of time to experience ‘living like a local’, and a huge majority of the population is working from home, meaning that ‘staycations’ and localised travel, for ‘bleisure’ (business and leisure) are rapidly growing in popularity.

render of ground-level f&b area, open to nature

Image caption/credit: Render of Speciality Restaurant | SB Architects/Conrad Hotels & Resorts

In a similar vein, SB Architects anticipates branded private residences will continue to grow in popularity. Buyers will gravitate to luxury hotel brands that they trust from the hospitality space, with residences that offer a suite of unique and boutique offerings the most in-demand with buyers, given the increased focus on customising residential spaces and spending more time at home.

“This focus on intentional wellness translates into adopting more empathetic design.”

Intentional wellness

Human beings have an innate biological affinity to nature. Biophilia, spending time immersed in natural environments, is proven to reduce stress and improve a person’s well-being. In terms of the built environment, the crisis has reinforced the belief in the positive power of nature, placing it front and centre of the hospitality experience through outdoor facilities, natural light, and fresh airflow.

Presidential Bathroom_St. Regis Los Cabos_HBA

Image credit: HBA San Francisco/SB Architects/St Regis Los Cabos

It also reinforces a broader trend for intimately scaled environments that emphasise privacy and personal space. People are taking a slower and more considerate approach to travel and are looking to bring that same sense of peace and tranquility into their personal space.

Over the next few years, SB Architects anticipates an upsurge of people prioritising exercise and wellness into their homes. This focus on intentional wellness translates into adopting more empathetic design – or design that acts as a conduit of an experience and not an architectural statement.

 The science of feeling good

The current global pandemic has instilled a sense of uncertainty and unease, and hotels are going to be relied upon to provide a space to escape, disconnect and retreat in comfort. Today’s traveller is looking to check-in to a hotel and find the same level of comfort, if not more, than they have at home. Most people are now living a relatively ‘smart’ life, using AI daily, with smart assistants managing and automating a lot of day-to-day tasks – from waking them up and turning on the heaters, to ordering their groceries – so, a ‘smart’ hotel room is almost expected.

“Once the pandemic eases, SB Architects predicts a rise in ‘tech-free’ packages to allow guests to detox from being consistently connected.”

 Tackling tech-burnout

Technology was already evolving at an incredible rate but has gained momentum and taken on a lightning pace in reaction to the Covid-19 crisis. The global pandemic has proven to be a catalyst for acceleration and change.

Working remotely has created the expectation that one is always available, creating a ‘tech burnout’. Luxury hospitality is defined by choice, and guests want the choice of how they interact with technology during their hotel stay, whether that is being connected, offline, or somewhere in-between. Once the pandemic eases, SB Architects predicts a rise in ‘tech-free’ packages to allow guests to detox from being consistently connected, providing a chance to unplug and enjoy a no-tech experience without smartphones and computers. 

bar designed in natural wood overlooking the sea

Image credit: Kimpton Hotels/SB Architects

“The past year has given us a clearer focus of the ideal function of shared spaces and how architecture and design must be sensitive to the needs of occupants,” said Bruce Wright, senior vice president and principal of SB Architects. “Simply put, 2020 has underscored the fact that we need our spaces to do more for us – more flexibility in form and function and to inspire creativity and promote wellness. We are looking forward to meeting these new challenges.”

Main image credit: SB Architects/ascaya

New architectural wrap patterns now available from William Smith

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New architectural wrap patterns now available from William Smith

William Smith Group leads the way in architectural wrap solutions with 500 3M DI-NOC patterns now in stock…

A major investment in 3M DI-NOC stock now places a choice of 500 patterns (half the entire 1000 pattern collection) at the fingertips of William Smith Architextural division’s customers.

All stock is available off the shelf, and by the metre, giving installers the advantage of more choice for their clients, readily available samples, and shorter lead times.

The new DI-NOC finishes available include an even greater choice in wood, colours, metallic, stone, and fabric, as well as 3M’s recently launched suede collection. More specialist finishes include abrasion resistant, matt, and exterior, to meet even more design requirements to create innovative solutions.

Since you’re here, why not read our exclusive roundtable on sustainability in surface design?

The investment of almost £300,000 in the addition of 350 patterns is a clear demonstration of the William Smith’s commitment to the UK market and to further enhancing support for its installers.

“This investment in additional stock represents our dedication to supporting our installers more than ever,” explains Architextural Marketing Manager, Lindsay Appleton. “Stock availability means we can offer greater access to material by the metre, and help our customers to win more projects by enabling them to offer sampling and prototypes to their customers.”

An open catalogue

Image credit: William Smith

Williams Smith Group 1832 Head of Marketing, Chris Bradley comments: “Our Architextural Division was created to drive awareness with architects, designers and specifiers about the concept of architectural wrapping as an alternative surface in redesigns. Recognition of the sustainability and cost saving benefits of wrapping existing fixtures and fittings, instead of replacing them, is growing in momentum in the UK and we are seeing rapid growth in demand for these products.”

“Architextural is leading the market, and is now the largest UK stockist of architectural films, from the two leading brands, 3M DI-NOC and Cover Styl,” concludes Chris Bradley.

Working in partnership with 3M, William Smith is the lead supplier of DI-NOC stock in the UK. To view the full 3M DI-NOC stock range or request samples visit the William Smith Group or Architextural websites. To request the new Architextural brochure email lindsay@williamsmith.co.uk. To book a training course and become part of the growing installation network, click here.

Architextural is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: William Smith Group

A modern interior design of a kitchen

How surface design can elevate guest experience

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
How surface design can elevate guest experience

With public healthcare in the spotlight like never before, the Covid-19 pandemic is challenging hoteliers to rethink the entire guest experience. Here we hear from Harris Jackson on the role of surface design…

A modern interior design of a kitchen

From bringing the outside in to focusing on building a sense of community, wellness is high on the agenda for many brands as they look for new ways to connect with their customers and rebuild trust. And for good reason – according to a variety of data, consumer trust is at an all-time low.

Last year a study by End of Tenancy Cleaning Company, which surveyed almost 2,000 British travellers, found that 50 per cent of people do not trust hotel hygiene and over a third would avoid international travel for the next 12 months. Almost half of the people surveyed also said they would clean a hotel room themselves before using it. Research like this demonstrates the lack of confidence guests currently have and just how important safety and security is as a key message.

There are many ways hoteliers can respond to this and instil a sense of trust far beyond placing hand sanitisers in lobbies and installing perspex screens in the reception area. One way to elevate the customer experience and improve health and safety is through the design of surfaces.

Form and function

Beautiful design is about more than aesthetics, it’s about responding to customer needs and the current climate. There are a number of surface trends to look out for in 2021 (and beyond) that explore both form and function; sustainability, ventilation, flexibility and connecting to nature are all taking centre stage alongside technology that can improve public health.

Wellbeing is at the top of the agenda when it comes to design and we have seen this impact design trends before. In 1918, influenza impacted design by throwing more emphasis on light and air, and more minimal interiors (with heavier more cluttered interiors thought to be unhygienic). And now due to Covid-19 we are going to see another shift. It’s long been known that the surfaces we interact with can be transmitters for bacteria and some, such as E.Coli, can last for months on surfaces.

So how can hoteliers invest in surface technology to improve public health and the overall guest experience?

It can purify air

Some technologies are focusing on purifying air, such as Pureti’s photocatalytic applications. It utilises the natural process of plants. As well as purifying air it can also be applied to surfaces to help them stay cleaner for longer. Apparently this treatment has even been used by NASA! We know that air quality is so important for guest comfort and with many people seeking out less urban environments and a stronger connection to nature, technology like this could have far reaching benefits.

Pureti air purifying in a modern kitchen

Image credit: Pureti

Texture can limit transmission

The texture of surfaces can play a key role in not only the aesthetics of a room but in helping to eliminate viral transmission of bacteria. The Imperial College London looked at different textures and coatings and found that copper surfaces provide antibacterial protection, killing 99.9 per cent of bacteria within two hours. This raises some interesting ideas around materials used throughout the hotel environment, especially within heavy traffic areas such as lobbies and doorways.

Fabrics for more than comfort

New technology extends past hard surfaces and covers soft furnishings too; Aguaguard365 is an example of an antibacterial protection system for fabrics that helps keep textiles free of bacteria. From bed linens to towels, technology is constantly evolving.

A lounge that has been annotated to show furniture

Image credit: Aguaguard365

So as travel restrictions begin to lift and consumers consider staying away from home again, it’s clear that surface technology can do more than just elevate appearance – it can help to instil trust and boost confidence, something that’s crucial in the current climate.

Since you’re here, why not read Harris Jackson’s article on bringing the outside in & reconnecting with nature?

Harris Jackson is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: Harris Jackson

Headshot of Saar Zafrir

5 minutes with: Interior designer Saar Zafrir

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 minutes with: Interior designer Saar Zafrir

Amsterdam-based interior designer Saar Zafrir joins editor Hamish Kilburn to discuss his latest project to redesign The ReMIX Hotel in paris as well as his wider mission to ’boutique-ify’ large corporate hotels…

Headshot of Saar Zafrir

2012 was a pivotal year for Saar Zafrir, who changed lanes from a 12-year career in finance to take a year off. The next 12 months prepared him to ‘get into the game’, taught by his own passion to become an interior design, at first starting small with friends and family but soon being offered a pathway into the hotel design arena. With a new focus on hospitality and F&B design, Zafrir’s approach was born; to transforming established corporate-style hotels and hospitality groups into fun and lively boutique brands that speak loudly to the growing demands of the modern traveller.

A rich narrative told in the interior design inside Sir Savigny Berlin

Image credit: Sir Savigny Berlin

In fact, in less than a decade, the designer has catapulted himself as a unique creative and developer of hospitality projects throughout Europe, including the award-winning Brown Beach House Croatia (a former tobacco processing plant on the Dalmatian Coastline of Croatia, transformed into a signature Brown Hotels property) as well as Max Brown HotelsSir Savigny Berlin and Gekko Group’s Provocateur Berlin Hotel.

Image credit: Provocateur Berlin Hotel

Through savvy attention to detail, Zafrir creates more than simply beautiful spaces. His work gives spaces a second life, thus generating a new audience that can optimise revenues for hotel chains. The latest example is The ReMix Hotel in Paris., a new hotel that was slated to officially open this month located in Paris’ 19th arrondissement and a longtime property of Schroder’s Group. 

Schroder’s hired Zafrir to develop a new brand to revamp the pre-existing 259-key hotel property in Paris’ Parc of La Villette. With a colourful and eclectic design influenced by the retro and abstract flair of the 1980’s, The ReMIX Hotel is a far pivot from the previous concept behind the original Schroder’s property. Inspired by the 1980’s pop song ‘Forever Young,’ Zafrir has worked to reminisce the essence of the 80’s tune into a modern day design style. The result is a playful yet sophisticated atmosphere with vivid colours, mix of patterns and textures and custom-made furnishings. The ReMIX Hotel will be an anchor for drawing in new breaths of culture, art, entertainment and dining in Paris’ 19th arrondissement.

A bold bar with green and gold explored in the interior design

Image caption: Interior designer Saar Zafrir explored a distinct, loud ’80s interior design theme when redesigning the F&B areas inside The ReMIX Hotel in Paris. | Image credit: Marvin Gang

 

Hamish Kilburn: First things first, what inspired your career change from finance to enter the hotel design landscape?

Saar Zafrir: After 12 years within the capital world, I decided to take a year off. I used my shares to buy an apartment in Tel Aviv. During my year off, I decided to work on design and renovation. Whilst getting familiar with design, I taught myself how to use Sketchup, AutoCAD and congeneric software and I totally fell for it. The design was so brilliant that I began to design for both my family and friends. Two years later I bought partnership within the hotel industry and I sold my apartment. That’s how I got into the game.’’

HK: You’ve become known for modernising corporate-style hotels into fresh new brands. Is there any transformation project that you’re specifically proud of?

SZ: “Yes, ReMIX. ReMIX used to be an extremely dull cooperate hotel. We managed to transform it into a very exciting, fascinating hotel people love to visit, even just to take pictures.’’

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

HK: What is one trend that you wish will never return?
SZ: Terrazzo, for sure.

HK: What items during lockdown could you not have lived without?
SZ: “I would say both my oven and stove. I can’t choose.’’ 

HK: What makes a good design team?
SZ:
“Working together as a team to inspire each other along the way.’’ 

HK: Who is your interior design hero?
SZ: “Philippe Starck! He was the first to create something that really went out of the box.

HK: Tell me about the concept for your latest project: The ReMIX Hotel in Paris.

SZ: “The client presented us a very large building that needed total renovation. The building was built in the 80’s.

I had always dreamt of designing a hotel 80’s themed. I have always been a fan of the song ‘’Forever Young’’ by Alphaville. The design pitch was shared with the client and the investors of the project and they liked the idea very much. We wanted to bring back the 80s with the roller-skates, the pop, the neon and the rubiscos. The initial idea was to not just open one ReMIX hotel but more of them.’’

HK: What challenges did you face with this project?

SZ: The big challenge was to transform a very old and dull building into something that’s very exciting to look at. It has also been a challenge to convince the client of our initial design. Additionally, we were tied to a very tight budget. It has been a challenge to meet the client’s needs whilst taking the budget into consideration.’’ 

Image caption: a clever seating/bed in a guestroom inside The ReMIX Hotel in Paris. | Image credit: Marvin Gang

Image caption: a clever seating/bed in a guestroom inside The ReMIX Hotel in Paris. | Image credit: Marvin Gang

HK: Finally, can you tell me about some exciting projects you have in the pipeline?

SZ: “Yes, so we created a new brand called Cardo. Cardo is an autograph collection. It will appear in Rome (640 rooms), Paris (300 rooms) and Brussels (540 rooms). Cardo is a cooperate hotel that is characterised by super cool brands, an amazing F&B concept and Spa. I am convinced that it will soon become an evolutionary concept within the hospitality industry.’’

Main image credit: Saar Zafrir

A render of an open air suite in Seychelles

Seychelles debut for Waldorf Astoria and Canopy by Hilton

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Seychelles debut for Waldorf Astoria and Canopy by Hilton

Hilton has announced to bring its iconic luxury brand, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, as well as lifestyle brand, Canopy by Hilton, to the Seychelles in 2023…

A render of an open air suite in Seychelles

Things are heating up in the development team at Hilton Hotels after the company has signed for two hotel brand debuts in the Seychelles. The properties – a Waldorf Astoria and a Canopy by Hilton – are scheduled to open in 2023 and will build upon an already impressive Hilton portfolio on the archipelago, in addition to the soon-to-be-opened Mango House Seychelles, LXR Hotels & Resorts.

Carlos Khneisser, Vice President, development, Middle East & Africa, Hilton believes that these properties mark a sigificant milestone in both brand’s expansion.“The Seychelles remains unquestionably one of the world’s most desirable destinations for the discerning traveller, ” he said. “We are proud of the role our teams have played in the sustainable development of the Seychelles, and these new additions, coupled with Mango House Seychelles, LXR Hotels & Resorts, will give our guests an unprecedented range of world-class experiential options to choose from when planning what is sure to be an unforgettable visit.”

Waldorf Astoria Platte Island

A truly exclusive luxury experience, the resort will offer a collection of 59 seafront villas all equipped with private pools. Guests will have access to six restaurants and bars, a spa, kids’ club, outdoor observatory, tennis courts and a marine conservation discovery center – all within the sanctuary of Platte Island. The island itself lies just more than 130 km south of Mahé and is renowned as a nature lover’s paradise, covered with palm forest and surrounded by a coral reef and lagoon. A small airstrip allows for access to the island from the main airport of Mahé. In an effort to create and use renewable energy as part of the resort’s operation, many buildings throughout the grounds will be equipped with solar-paneled roofing.

Canopy by Hilton Mahé

Located on Mahé’s Anse à la Mouche beach, famed for its calm and shallow waters, this resort is set to bring a new sense of vibrancy to the oceanfront community.  Significant investment is going into developing the facilities of the surrounding beach, including a boutique shopping village. The resort will offer 120 locally inspired guestrooms and space to accommodate more intimate meetings and events.

Hilton operates six brands in Africa and the Indian Ocean and recently reached the milestone of 100 hotels trading or in the pipeline across the continent. Hilton remains steadfastly committed to the sustainable development of travel and tourism across the region and has implemented several award-winning sustainability measures at its three operating Seychelles properties. These range from the removal of plastic straws and bottles to the use of locally sourced produce through to wildlife conservation and community engagement projects.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

Outside luxury pool and spa

Weekly briefing: Tech talk, art escapes & beyond the surface of trends

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: Tech talk, art escapes & beyond the surface of trends

‘Ey-up’, Hamish Kilburn here to deliver your weekly briefing. Over the last couple of days, we have showered our readers with exclusives, the latest news and insightful features. For those of you on-the-go, here are this week’s hottest stories in one easy-to-consume story…

Outside luxury pool and spa

If you only read one of our stories this week, make sure it’s this one! This week’s stories that have dominated the Hotel Designs website include an exclusive sneak peek of a major hospitality project in Silverstone (UK), a feature that tackles how the pandemic will affect hotel development, an inspiring interview about a hotel in Italy that will simply take your breath away and two – yes two – trend forecasts around surfaces and technology. Oh, and we also take a glance at some of this month’s hottest hotel openings. Are you sitting comfortably? Let’s begin.

FEATURE // How will the pandemic affect hotel design and development?

Modern and clean interiors inside Ruby Lucy

Image credit: Ruby Lucy

Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room: the pandemic. To help us separate fact from fiction, Tom Bishop, Director of Project Management at Concert, is here to offer some clarity and perspective on the current Covid-19 situation. We wanted him to answer the fundamental question to understand once and for all how the pandemic will impact the hotel design community. Here’s what he had to say…

Read more.

INTERVIEW // Meet the visionaries behind Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

Pascale Lauber & Ulrike Bauschke on steps

Image credit: Katja Brinkmann

This feature was a strange one for me because, if Covid-19 hadn’t entered on its wrecking ball last year, it would have followed my review of the hotel under the spotlight.  Almost a year after my flight was cancelled, plans to review the luxury lair are unsurprisingly still on hold. While we wait patiently, though, it felt fitting to catch up with Pascale Lauber & Ulrike Bauschke in order to understand the context and challenges that come with such a magnificent project…

Read more.

TECH MAD // CES 2021: Best hotel design tech trends

Image credit: Samsung/TOTO/Kholer/Care OS

Technology’s role in hotel design has arguably never been so relied upon. If you happened to miss CES 2021, fear not as myself and wellbeing expert Ari Peralta – together, an editorial dream team – are here to share the best hotel design tech trends that emerged from the show…

Read more.

EXCLUSIVE // Inside flagship hospitality development at Silverstone

Villas overlooking the Silverstone Racecourse

Image credit: Escapade Living

When we were told that we were going to be the first to publish about Bergman Interiors – the design firm that cleaned up at The Brit List Awards 2020 – teaming up with Twelve Architects and Escapade Living on a new hospitality development in Silverstone, we were so excited. And then we saw the renderings of the luxury villas overlooking the iconic racetrack and that took the anticipation up a level. Take a look for yourself in our exclusive feature that takes a glance at what this hospitality project will look like…

Read more.

HOTEL OPENINGS // VIP arrivals in February 2021

Render of NoMad London

From where we are sitting, most new hotels that are expected to open this year are holding off until later in the season, but there a handful of gems are expected to arrive early to the party. Without further a due, here are some of the hottest hotels that are opening this month.

Read more.

FEATURE // Virtually escape into the world of art in hotel design

A blue abstract art installation

Image credit: Melia Rhodes/Elegant Clutter

Are you swooning over staycations or dreaming of distant lands? We are all feeling the desire to escape from it all. I started the week in search for that holiday away from my thoughts by catching up with Elegant Clutter’s Creative Director Harry Pass to find out how art in hotel design can be a wonderful way of elevating a sense of escapism…

Read more.

TRENDING // Surface trends for 2021 & beyond

Image credit: Lindsay Lauckner

And finally, here’s a meaningful and relevant trends forecast that goes way beyond the surface… “Strict pre-pandemic industry standards mean that hospitality design is well-placed to weather the storm without a major supply-side rethink,” says Meghann Day, partner, HBA San Francisco. In this exclusive feature, the designer walks journalist Oriana Lerner through what’s ahead for surface design trends in 2021 and beyond…

Read more.

That’s your lot! Join us next week when we will take a look at W Hotels’ latest opening in Australia and we share our in conversation with Amsterdam-based designer Saar Zafrir. Also, keep one eye open for our podcast DESIGN POD, which will drop with episode one shortly…

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Main image credit: Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

Render of NoMad London

VIP arrivals: Hottest hotel openings in February 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
VIP arrivals: Hottest hotel openings in February 2021

Hot off the heels of our two-part series on hotel openings in 2021, Hotel Designs is serving up the hottest, most spectacular hotel openings to expect in February. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Render of NoMad London

For many of us, the idea of checking into a hotel in February 2021 is an unrealistic expectation. The UK hospitality sector is feeling the brunt of a third national lockdown, while Europe and many other regions around the globe are also restrained from large gatherings. The world may look very different now from this time last year, but behind the scenes designers and architects are putting finishing touches on tomorrow’s hotels.

From where we are sitting, most new hotels that are expected to open this year are holding off until later in the season, but there a handful of gems are expected to arrive early to the party. Without further a due, here are some of the hottest hotels that are opening this month:

W Nashville

In true W style, ready to cause disruption to conventional hotel design and hospitality, W Nashville is set to take the stage in the heart of The Gulch. “Striking the music city chord,” the hotel is expected to open with curated local tunes, garden-to-glass cocktails and welcoming communal spaces. “Expect the unexpected” is how the brand is teasing this special 346-key arrival, with a high-energy urban experience paired with our Whatever / Whenever® approach to hospitality and Southern comfort you can expect in downtown Nashville.

AC Hotel Maui Wailea (Hawaii)

AC Hotel in Maui render of pool bar

Image credit: AC Hotels/Marriott International

Perfectly placed and featuring two white sand beaches, AC by Marriott Maui Wailea offers scenic views of South Maui. 110-key hotel will shelter a ‘stylish comfort’ and will be complete with an infinity pool and a restaurant serving European cuisine, among other amenities.

Six Senses Botanique

Wooden interiors inside a suite of Six Senses Brazil

Image credit: Six Senses

Six Senses is gearing up to open its first property in the Americas. Situated in Brazil’s Mantiqueira region – known as the “mountains that weep” – Six Senses Botanique showcases its surrounding beauty from a hillside amid 700 acres (283 hectares) of lush, mid-tropical Atlantic forests.

Formerly known as Botanique Hotel & Spa, the hotel was born out of Fernanda Ralston Semler’s vision to set a new benchmark in luxury hospitality that was completely home-grown, recognising local traditions and culture, as well as its natural setting. The hotel was constructed in 2012 by regional architects and designers using indigenous materials such as jacaranda wood, natural stone, and chocolate slate. The slate is mined just once every 17 months and the hotel’s bearing walls incorporate three-ton boulders from the adjacent river. The massive 120-year-old wooden beams are reclaimed from farms in nearby Minas Gerais. Huge glass panels line the rest of the construct to evoke a sense of “outdoors inside” with uninterrupted views of Mantiqueira’s valleys and mountains.

NoMad London

Although we have been updated that this boutique gem is preparing to cut its ribbon in Spring of 2020, February was supposed to be the month when NoMad arrived in London, which is sheltered inside a heritage shell. Just days ago, we caught up the visionaries at EPR Architects, which teased our editorial senses before we are allowed to officially check in.

Located metres from Covent Garden, NoMad London will take residence inside the historic, grade II-listed building famously known as The Bow Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station. Designed by New York-based interior design studio Roman and Williams, the transformation of the storied 19th century building draws inspiration from its history and location in Covent Garden, as well as exploring the artistic and cultural connection between London and New York.

Keep an eye on the Hotel Designs website for all the latest hotel opening news. On the editorial desk, we are hopeful and anticipate the lockdown regulations to relax somewhat. With this in mind, we expect more noise on the hotel design scene from March onwards. In the meantime, you can read all about this year’s hottest hotel openings in part one and part two of our editorial series on hotel openings. 

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Main image credit: NoMad London

Alfresco dining overlooking the coast

Industry insight: Why alfresco dining is the new normal

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Industry insight: Why alfresco dining is the new normal

Alfresco dining has become more important and popular than ever. See how hotels can tap into this to serve more customers in every season. Canopies UK explores…

Alfresco dining overlooking the coast

When bars and restaurants reopened their doors last July, people flocked to enjoy the summer sunshine in beer gardens and outdoor terraces.

Alfresco dining has long been a desirable experience. Many of us can picture walking along the promenades or cobbled streets of holiday destinations looking for the perfect spot for lunch or an evening cocktail. While this isn’t possible all year round in many countries, particularly the UK, the enthusiasm is certainly there. At the first sight of blue skies, Brits can be seen headed outdoors to eat and drink.

Since the onset of the pandemic, alfresco dining has become necessary. We know it’s much safer to socialise in groups sitting outdoors, and when it’s possible to, many people prefer to do so now.

An outdoor alfresco dining experience

Image credit: Canopies UK

Adapting to the new normal

It’s been suggested we will be living with the threat or presence of pandemics forever. While this idea is a hard pill to swallow, it means societies will find new ways of operating. The way we socialise being one of the main priorities.

It follows that hotels, bars, and restaurants are turning to underused outdoor space to create seating and event space. Designing an outdoor seating area that’s comfortable, appealing, and sheltered, is a way to expand your offering and differentiate from the competition.

Removing weather as an obstacle

We might have the best intentions to enjoy breakfast outdoors or share an evening drink under the stars. But not every destination can rely on warm, dry weather all year round. The solution is to treat the outdoor area as you would an indoor space.

With a bespoke canopy system, you control the climate of your outdoor area. The retractable sides and roof offer flexible shelter and you can heat, light, and ventilate your space to exactly how you want it. Your outdoor area becomes profitable no matter what the weather is doing.

Transforming spaces for the future

Seamlessly blending outdoor and indoor areas is the future of hotel design. Multipurpose terraces, balconies, and rooftops are features guests will look for, particularly when hosting events.

The Savage Garden rooftop canopy installed 12 storeys high on the DoubleTree by Hilton at the Tower of London has become an important function space. Bernadette Gilligan, General Manager of the hotel, explains: “Come rain or shine, guests can enjoy everything from drinks to private events in the space. The retractable canopy – designed and built as bespoke for Savage Garden – means that the terrace can be cosy and covered during winter, and the perfect sun trap come summer.”

Building: Hilton Double TreeLocation: LondonClient: Canopies UK

Image credit: Hilton Double Tree

Hotels that can make their venues as versatile as possible are the businesses that stand the best chance of welcoming more guests in the future. Embracing outdoor dining and the alfresco experience is a promising move in the right direction.

Canopies UK which designs, manufactures, and installs bespoke dining canopies for hospitality venues, most notably the Skyroof and Cantabria systems, is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Canopies UK

Pascale Lauber & Ulrike Bauschke on steps

5 minutes with: The hotel designers behind Ostuni’s new boutique jewel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 minutes with: The hotel designers behind Ostuni’s new boutique jewel

Pascale Lauber & Ulrike Bauschke, owners and hotel designers of Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa, have not had the smoothest ride to open their labour of love. Hotel Designs’ Hamish Kilburn catches up with the duo as they prepare to welcome the world to their dream boutique hotel…

Pascale Lauber & Ulrike Bauschke on steps

Back in early 2020, before Covid-19 had become the distraction of the year, Hotel Designs was packing its bags ready to check in to a new boutique hotel that had made it onto the editorial team’s radar. Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa is situated in the heart of Puglia’s White City of Ostuni – on the heel of Italy – and is elegantly sheltered inside a restored red palace.

Arial view of Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

Image credit: 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

The team were particularly impressed by the story of Pascale Lauber and Ulrike Bauschke, owners of the property, who painstakingly restored every inch of the former Italian palace using traditional handcrafted techniques, while injecting a splash of modern flair.

Unfortunately, days before our scheduled trip to review the new 11-key hotel that stands in stark contrast to the whitewashed buildings of the city around it, the spread of Covid-19 put a major halt on plans to visit the naturally stunning destination.

Almost one year later, plans to review the luxury lair are unsurprisingly still on hold. While we wait patiently, though, it felt fitting to catch up with Lauber and Bauschke in order to understand the context and challenges that come with such a magnificent project.

A vintage looking room inside 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

Image credit: Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

Hamish Kilburn: How did you come to take on the restoration project?

Pascale Lauber: It was in 2016. We were actually in Puglia to recharge and had no intention of taking on a new project at all. An Ostunian friend invited us to visit the Palazzo Rosso and we agreed, simply to admire the architecture of such a historic building. However, as soon as the red carriage door opened it was love at first sight and we knew instantly that we would not be able to resist. We were immediately drawn to the potential of the centuries-old gem. The height of its ceilings, its vaults, its frescoes, its red-stone.

HK: Did you always know that you wanted the building to be transformed into a hotel?

Ulrike Bauschke: For us, it was unthinkable not to make the building a hotel and accessible to the public, it really is just too beautiful to stay hidden! We have shaken up the rules of real estate and interior design in projects all over the world, from Romont, Lausanne and Verbier, Switzerland; to Paris, New York and Cape Town and knew instantly that we could do the same here.

“Several smaller details and treasures were also discovered, such as a wooden door with peepholes typical of 17th century cloisters” – Ulrike Bauschke.

A artefact of a monkey on a bar

Image credit: Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

HK: What discoveries did you make during the restoration?

UK: We worked with conservator Maria Buongiorno to uncover the mysteries of the multi-secular Palazzo, which has so many stories to tell from the 17th Century to present day. The most ancient parts of the building from the 1700s including fireplaces, stone vaults and also frescoes, like the magnificent “Jesus and the Samaritan” were significant discoveries. Several smaller details and treasures were also discovered, such as a wooden door with peepholes typical of 17th century cloisters that suggests that the Palazzo once housed a convent.

PL: Equally, the beautiful original majolica tiles, which have been brought to new life in Bar 700. On the back of some of those tiles, we found an M stamp, the brand of a famous workshop owned by the three Massa brothers, ceramics masters of early 18th century Naples, suggesting the building was once in Neapolitan hands.

a dark room with high vaulted ceilings

Image credit: Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

HK: You both worked on the project together, who does what and are you always in agreement on the design details?

UK: We have opened and renovated restaurants, boutique hotels and apartments all over the world together and we make a complimentary pair, each with our own, very distinct strengths.

PL: I’m an instinctive designer, something that runs through my veins and guides everything I do, so the architecture and interiors were very much my vision. I took the lead with the renovation, but the way I work is with few words and thousands of images in my head. Sometimes I wish one could invent a copy machine to print all my ideas that are spinning in my head 24 hours a day… I couldn’t have brought it to life exactly how I wanted it without the help of Ulrike, who as a passionate traveller as well knows exactly what makes an outstanding hotel.

UK: Yes so we are pretty much in agreement and the only challenge was to show and create understanding of what Pascale’s vision was. She had it all in her head so between us bringing it to life exactly as she envisioned it was the biggest challenge.

A large red headboard in a vintage setting

Image credit: Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

HK: Let’s address the elephant in the room… You opened the hotel in the middle of Covid-19, how was this?

UK: The timing could not have been worse for us and like everyone in the hospitality and travel industry we have been badly affected. However, we’ve been luckily has it seemed that everybody wanted to come to Puglia when we finally managed to open our doors and welcome guests throughout the summer months. With only 11 rooms and plenty of beautiful outdoor space, the hotel is actually ideal for safe travel in these times so we are lucky in that respect as well and have always made sure the health and wellbeing of our guests and team is paramount. We have been blown away with the glowing feedback from our guests and if we can make a success of a hotel opening during a global pandemic, we can do anything!

HK: Pascale, can you explain your personal design ethos and would you say Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel embodies this?

PL: Each project I do is so different and distinct, but the creative association of old and new art, objects and furnishings in a head-spinning and yet personal mix is my trademark and signature design style. I have a vision that is multicultural and original down to the smallest detail and this creates a unique result that is coherent, deeply modern and stimulating. I would say that Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa embodies my design ethos. The heart of the hotel’s design and what I really set out to achieve was creating exquisite design in every detail with beautiful energy while also preserving and celebrating the history of the building.

HK: Where do you look to for inspiration?

UK: We love travelling and have been lucky to live around the world, providing a fantastic source of inspiration. Visiting countless international art and trade shows, but also local flea-markets, is always inspiring and for this particular project the architecture and heritage of Puglia was certainly an influence.

Image credit: Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

HK: If (or should I say ‘when’!) I can come and visit the hotel, what should I do first?

UK: If you can, request to stay in the room called Onyx. Every one of our guest rooms and suites is different, but Onyx, which is black, is a firm favourite. Once you have checked it out, head to the pool, which is the only one in the city, for a refreshing swim followed by some time unwinding in the garden and of course an aperitivo at Bar 700. The next day you will be ready to enjoy beautiful Puglia- the food, culture, people, history, landscapes, countryside and sea!

A luxury pool with white washed buildings

Image credit: Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

PL: With only 11 guest rooms, our friendly team are able to offer an insider experience so be sure to ask them for their personal tips and recommendations and also enjoy some of our bespoke experiences, from burrata making to motorbike tours or trips out on our boat, a former carabinieri boat transformed into a private yacht, Dragonfly.

Main image credit: Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

Fabrics in a concrete room

Sekers Fabrics becomes exclusive brand partner of FR-One (UK)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sekers Fabrics becomes exclusive brand partner of FR-One (UK)

Collaboration goals, fabrics brand Sekers has become the exclusive brand partners of FR-One in the United Kingdom. Here’s what we know…

Fabrics in a concrete room

FR-One is the industry leader in Inherently Fire-Retardant furnishing fabrics, offering maximum safety by providing a wide range of self-extinguishing multi-use* drapery, bedding and accessory fabrics which meet all necessary UK and Marine (both IMO and MED Module E Certification) Standards, making FR-One a great choice for contract, marine and residential projects.

“This new relationship brings together two of the market leaders in the supply of contract fabrics to the commercial and hospitality industry,” said David Lawton, Group Sales Director at Sekers. “With FR-One’s enviable product range, rigorous testing and one standard that meets all attitude, we are confident that clients old and new will continue to utilise and enjoy FR-One’s stunning collections. Trend-setting colours and designs, beautiful upholstery ranges, fabulous sheers and attractive dim- out collections, all backed by Sekers long standing reputation, loyal sales force and technical knowledge brings us to the beginning of an exciting chapter!”

RE-Invent, let’s reshape the future of FR Fabrics

With the new partnership comes a range of new and exciting fabrics. FR-One has a strong interest in the requirements of our consumers and our environment which has led them to re-use, recycle and ultimately RE-Invent their own collections.

The new RE-Invent range features six collections of upholstery, drapery and bedding fabrics; Re-Vive, Re-Store, RE-Delis, Regal Velvets, Resurgence, and Moon. It showcases three new fabric constructions, manufactured from recycled polyester, fully certified and compliant with the Global Recycled Standard (GRS).

This concise range includes timeless and proven best-sellers that have been thoughtfully reinvented for today’s consumer to encourage appreciation of the value of quality and proven products.

The ranges; Re-Invent, Edition 1 and Edition 2 are sampled in our new stylish dual branded binders and/or pattern books. All of the designs and sample cuttings can be accessed via the FR-One link on the Sekers website, including all three e-binders.

RE-Vive

As FR-One’s first 100 per cent recycled fabric, certified by the Global Recycling Standard, RE-Vive is a wide width dim out that is best suited to contract drapery applications. Featuring a sumptuous touch and drape with a silky smooth finish, this collection is available in a broad and versatile colour palette.

Re-Delis

FR-One’s best-selling ‘Delis’ has been reinvented in a renewed wide width and recycled format suitable for contract drapery applications. Re-Delis is 300cm wide and features a matte, dry and natural look and touch, emulating a beautiful raw linen. Composed of 52 per cent recycled GRS certified polyester, this collection is a brilliant choice for today’s conscientious market.

Two twin beds in a modern setting

Image caption: Re-Delis | Image credit: Sekers

RE-Store

A trio of wide width textured dim outs in GRS certified recycled polyester, the RE-Store collection features RE-Juvenate, RE-Boot and RE-New, three designs well suited to contract drapery applications. RE- Juvenate features a small basket weave texture subtly combining matte and shiny yarns, RE-Boot is composed of fine multi-coloured yarns delivering an elegant sheen when caught in the light and RE- New has an organic, dry and tactile look and feel, bringing sophistication to any interior.

Regal Velvets

A grand collection of multi-use* signature jacquard velvets in three striking designs; Regalia, Remain and Requiem, are available in a beautifully succinct and rich colour range. Regalia is an all-over abstract design that gives great visual texture and movement, reaching 100,000 rubs on the Martindale rub test. Remain is a classic key design with a hidden optical zigzag twist, while Requiem is a small-scale irregular spot effect with an intentionally fuzzy look and feel. Both Remain and Requiem achieve 70,000 rubs, boasting strong durability.

Red velvet interiors in guestroom

Image caption: Regal Velvets | Image credit: Sekers

Resurgence

This collection presents two unconventional vinyl qualities: Register and Refined. Both mirror the look and texture of natural woven linens in the form of boundlessly durable engineered vinyl, boasting 100,000 rubs on the Martindale Rub Test. Both designs are compiled together with a range of FR-Ones carefully curated sheers, drapery and upholstery* fabrics – all in a soft, enduring and neutral colour palette.

Moon

FR-One’s best-selling and timeless multi-use* velvet has been refreshed with a deeper colour palette, now available in a total of 39 rich and on-trend colourways, including a range of metallics, neutrals and jewel tones. Moon’s excellent durability and luxurious touch will enhance the appearance of any interior.

A navy blue studded headboard

Image caption: Moon | Image credit: Sekers

*NB All FR One upholstery fabrics to be used within the U.K. will require additional FR treatment to pass the following standards:

  • BS 5852: 2006 Part 1 Ignition Source 0 & 1, Part 2 Ignition Source 5 (Crib 5)
  • BS 7176: 2007+A1:2011 Medium Hazard, incorporating BS EN 1021-1: 2006, BS EN 1021-2: 2006 When tested over CMHR Foam – density approx. 35kg/m3

Sekers is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Sekers

A drawing wallpaper of a ladder on a wall

Surface trends for 2021 & beyond

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Surface trends for 2021 & beyond

Strict pre-pandemic industry standards mean that hospitality design is “well-placed to weather the storm” without a major supply-side rethink. Meghann Day, partner, HBA San Francisco, walks Oriana Lerner through what’s ahead for surface design trends in 2021 and beyond…

A drawing wallpaper of a ladder on a wall

Travel won’t look the same for months, at least. With a tentative return to ‘normal’ still in the medium-term future and experts predicting a full global industry recovery for hospitality likely still years away, patched-together design solutions and austere Plexiglass screens won’t cut it. Essential business travellers, the guests who are willing and able to travel during the pandemic, and those venturing out once vaccinated still expect the ‘hospitality’ in the hotel stay.

Designers have to find ways to meet those standards without making spaces seem clinical or isolated. That requires some creative thinking of how layout and surfacing can work together for an optimal guest experience that keeps hospitality truly hospitable.

Image credit: Lindsay Lauckner

It’s crucially important to understand that while cleaning standards have become more enhanced and brought to the forefront due to the pandemic, hotel owners and operators won’t be binning their supplier list, and designers don’t necessarily need to do a major rethink of what materials to use. Rather, it’s about effectively communicating what is often already in place and a heightened awareness of surfaces, materials, and surroundings.

“While beautiful, marble is usually not a surface option for high-traffic hotel spaces. In many ways, the hospitality industry is quite proficient in materiality with respect to sustainability, sturdiness and hygienic design,” says Day. “For example, high-touch surfaces are sealed, and we already put glass tops on wood. We’ve been designing to the necessary level of cleanability for the last decade.”

Image of geometric book shelf in suite

Image credit: Will Pryce

Fabrics are already strictly regulated for cleanability and moisture content, as well as being treated in various ways to improve durability and stain resistance. We will see more of easy-to-clean and antimicrobial fabrics, carpeting and wallcoverings in the year ahead that are luxurious and beautiful.

Even with few supply issues with the ‘what’ of surfacing (Day adds that during the pandemic there are and have been some logistical challenges getting orders filled on time due to Covid regulations in factories), there are plenty of changes to the ‘how’. Each project will be unique, depending on location, type and opening date, but occupancy limits and social distancing require creative use of surfacing.

Don’t worry about having to add permanent wayfinding into design. Day says no clients have yet asked her to incorporate that into flooring or wallcovering in a hotel, and she doesn’t see that coming in the future, either. Quick changes to regulations make temporary solutions such as removable signage a more practical option if it’s needed.

An image of a large lobby area with a large mural of a cat on the wall

Image credit: Will Pryce

The more elegant solution for enforcing social distancing? Taking advantage of surfacing designed for separating spaces without leaving them looking or feeling subdivided. Screens and greenery have long been used in compact spaces to create the feeling of privacy or individual space. Now they have a starring role in doing just that. “There are companies now branching out into screens that really are design elements, not just practical necessities,” says Day. And, she adds, some of them have quick ship programs that will get product onsite in four to six weeks.

The flexibility of screening is another advantage. Many projects are in locations where phases of reopening dictate multiple changes to occupancy, layout and amenity options in public spaces. “Phase one could be just eight to 10 occupants allowed in the lobby at one time,” says Day. “By Phase three, those spaces would have a layout that is designed to allow more space between people [not to return to pre-Covid design] but would not have occupancy restrictions.” Bars and restaurants would also have a phased approach. Day sees greenery as another way to gently encourage people to keep their distance.

A luxe pool area at the top of a hotel

Image credit: Will Pryce

Conference rooms will likely see less use of these techniques. Portable chairs and multipurpose layouts in many larger spaces mean they are essentially adaptable. Simple rearrangement of seating and so on can satisfy social distancing requirements.

Overall, Day doesn’t anticipate major changes to the materials palette, but there are some innovations and trends she sees as emerging in the near future.

A stronger finish: Additional sealants

Day predicts that antibacterial sealant options will improve. These will provide an extra layer on top of products already being used to treat surfaces.

Intimacy without isolation: Screen play

Screening elements in public spaces, such as lobbies and lounges, allow for privacy without the feeling of being alone and act as partitions for social distancing.

Hilton Guadalajara Midtown restaurant_HBA_credit-Lindsay Lauckner

Image credit: Lindsay Lauckner

Even more glass

Seamless and with top-notch cleanability, glass may take a greater role in surfacing. Look for it on bar tops, as a topper for other materials, as panels that create visual separation, and as operable walls to invite nature in as décor and to promote reciprocal indoor/outdoor flow.

Nature-inspired tones

Greens, blues and earthy hues connect us back to nature. In deep tones, these colours evoke a sense of calm. We will see more spaces enveloped in nature-inspired tones, from painted wall panelling and wallcoverings to drapery, mixed with warm woods and natural stone.

Throughout February, Hotel Designs is positioning surfaces under the spotlight. To catch our exclusive HD EDIT on all the latest surface products to launch, click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Main image credit: Will Pryce

A guestroom inside a older property

Industry insight: The thrill of designing a new hotel in an old shell

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Industry insight: The thrill of designing a new hotel in an old shell

With a little help from our friends at ADP Architecture, we explore how a hospitality brand’s personality can burst with creativity inside a heritage hotel. Amrit Naru, Director of ADP architecture, writes…

A guestroom inside a older property

It’s no secret that finding a suitable spot to build a new hotel is incredibly challenging. This is especially true in cities and towns, where open spaces are few and far between. But focusing on this idea of ‘open space’ misses a trick: with a bit of creative thinking, many hospitality brands are finding that their next hotel may have already been built.

This is certainly not a new idea, although challenges like the climate crisis have brought it to the fore. From former banks, department stores and offices to dilapidated theatres, there’s a worldwide treasure trove of underused buildings waiting to be brought back to life. Done well, this approach can unfold a rich, multi-layered story for guests and visitors, built on the foundations of a site’s intriguing historical features, and evolving through thoughtful redesign.

‘Doing it well’, of course, is the key here. History is full of insensitive reuse and shoddy restorations; any project like this also needs to work for the whole community, who will have strong attachments to historic buildings and landmarks. This means that it’s essential to collaborate with as wide and inclusive a group as possible, covering disciplines as varied as architecture, interior design, artwork, branding and marketing, sustainability, technology, legal support, financial advice, historical expertise, and the practical work of construction.

Take North Tyneside, where ADP’s Newcastle studio recently worked with the local council to bring new life to Spanish City. This Edwardian seafront building with its distinctive dome is a shining example of early 20th-century seaside entertainment – but in spite of its latter-day fame as a venue for live rock music, Spanish City eventually fell into disrepair and was left empty in 2002. When North Tyneside Council began their ambitious plan to regenerate the complex, it was essential for them to consider how an Edwardian building could appeal to 21st-century interests, without losing what had made it special in the first place.

It’s worth looking at this problem in more detail, since it’s at the heart of every project to repurpose a historic building, and sparks questions which certainly don’t have easy answers. What is the history of the building, and why is that history interesting or valuable? How can a new identity – as a hotel or leisure venue – add to that history as a new chapter, rather than detracting from it? What key physical elements and ideas could best tell this story? How can the team use art, design and architecture to help guests understand the identity and story of the hotel – and, ultimately, allow them to participate in it?

At Spanish City, for instance, uncovering that history involved reversing some of the changes that had happened during its lifetime. The building’s standout feature is its dome, constructed from reinforced concrete with a technique perfected in France and scarcely seen in the UK at the time. From the outside, the dome has always been visible for miles around; inside, though, an additional floor was added barely a decade after Spanish City opened. One of the most magical moments in our renovation of the building was removing that floor, and experiencing – for the first time in almost a century – the feeling those first visitors would have got when they stood on the ground floor and looked up through the triple-height atrium to the dome above.

At Spanish City, the standout feature is its dome, constructed from reinforced concrete.

At Spanish City, the standout feature is its dome, constructed from reinforced concrete.

Of course, there are additional challenges when a historic building is involved. Planning introduces new demands and stakeholders such as local conservation groups: the key here is to view the planning process not as an obstacle to be overcome, but as an opportunity to make sure that the project works for everyone. Put engagement first wherever possible, and speak to the community as early as you can to get their buy-in and understand their concerns. Investing that time early on can pay massive dividends at the planning stage – and can even turn a potential naysayer into a passionate advocate.

This frees up time and effort to make sure you get the details right. Infrastructure standards across historic buildings can vary wildly, and it’s vital to understand what you’re dealing with in terms of fabric and mechanical or electrical components. Do these need to be upgraded? Adapted? Or ripped out entirely and replaced? If the building had a different former use, how will the new infrastructure need to reflect that? Bear in mind that the infrastructure demands for a modern hotel are far different from other commercial uses, particularly when talking about older buildings.

Again, these surveys will need to happen early enough in the process to allow you to make a decision on whether the development is feasible – and not only from a financial perspective. Historic buildings often rate poorly in terms of sustainability, so engineers and technical experts will need to think carefully about whether (and how) the site can be made to meet required standards of any zero-carbon initiatives or sustainability goals. Not putting in that early legwork can lead to massive disappointment later down the line.

If this all sounds a little overwhelming, it may help to remember that any number of historic buildings can be and have been converted to hotels, restaurants and recreational destinations – often with tremendous success. Where there are challenges, there are also a wide range of innovative and exciting solutions, and an apparent hurdle could be the USP of your new hotel. Take Oxford Castle, where we designed a particularly unusual historic conversion: turning a 19th-century prison into a modern hotel for the Malmaison brand. The project’s success lay in identifying unexpected similarities between two apparently very different types of building, and our approach was encapsulated in the way that the original prison doors –used to keep prisoners in – became doors to private rooms, keeping the rest of the world out.

In fact, a single detail like that – a door, a view, a piece of decoration – can act as a hook to a much wider story, turning a routine overnight stay into something truly memorable. This effect often gains extra power from its unexpectedness, as guests typically don’t expect a hotel to tell a story. It’s important to make wider decisions about how that story fits into the more practical context of a project: how each space can tie into the narrative, from rooms to add-ons like a spa or retail, and how a brand can potentially add to (or detract from) the message.

Looking to the future, our adaptive reuses must resonate with sustainability. New technologies that mitigate the challenges of rising energy costs were the draw of a shiny new state of-the-art building – think building management systems, sustainable energy, innovative construction methods and materials – alongside all the elements that a future guest will expect. These technologies and elements are now more easily integrated (and accepted by the conservators and planners) into older buildings. And they have become more accessible and affordable to support the viability of these developments.

Our focus at ADP is on the positive experiences our buildings create for people and communities, and how they can benefit the environments around them. We work with our clients using a bespoke Sustainability, Belonging and Engagement (SBE) Assessment Tool and a research-based approach to measure, monitor and maximise the adaptive reuse and longevity of a building.

The potential to transform historic buildings into unique and long-lasting hotels is endless if you approach with creativity and a confident vision of what an unloved asset could become.

ADP Architecture is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: ADP Architecture

Two images of lighting in kitchen and lighting in lounge

Franklite launches 15 new lighting product ranges

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Franklite launches 15 new lighting product ranges

With designers requesting for variety and choices, Franklite has introduced 15 new lighting ranges, each with its own variations within the brand’s new supplement…

Two images of lighting in kitchen and lighting in lounge

Over the last few months, following a busy 2020, the team at Franklite have been working tirelessly to design a range of products that are not only functional and efficient, but also beautiful and creative. In continuation of Catalogue 26, the brand is launching 15 new product ranges each with its own variations within the new supplement. Here’s our sneak peek of the collection, including our editor’s pick.

The Allium range is perfect for adding style and sophistication to any space. This range consists of two spherical pendants and two half-sphere flush ceiling lights in chrome with elegant, multifaceted crystals on wire stems. The organic curve of the cable adds to the floral aesthetic of the pendant, giving the impression of a stem or vine, perfectly paired with natural interior design elements.

Cut-out image of the Allium range from Franklite

Image credit: Franklite

For those looking for something a bit more contemporary and industrial, the Wain pendants are ideal. These rustic matt finish ‘wheel’ pendants on a chain suspension will compliment a space with wood tones such as exposed ceiling beams and wall panelling ideal in open plan living areas or restaurants. Designed to be used with decorative LED lamps these pendants are available in an eight and 10 light option depending of the size of the space.

Cut-out of Wain lighting product from Franklite

Image credit: Franklite

Editor’s pick

The Prophecy, Hotel Designs’ editor’s pick out of the collection, is a comprehensive range of modern matt black fittings with smoked glass spheres. There are three semi-flush fittings, two pendants for a longer drop, a matching wall bracket and a three light floor lamp. The pendants in the Prophecy range have adjustable arms which allow customers to style the pendant as they like. Whilst the bold, smoked globes create a moody and minimalist aesthetic.

For a more subtle, yet extraordinary, industrial pendant we have the Precis range. These elongated dome shaped pendants feature a sturdy, smooth cement outer shell. With two interior options, either in a copper or satin nickel finish, this pendant will go with most kitchen accents.

Cut-out of Precis in the Franklite range

Image credit: Franklite

Franklite is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Main image credit: Franklite

Villas overlooking the Silverstone Racecourse

Exclusive: Inside flagship hospitality development at Silverstone

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Exclusive: Inside flagship hospitality development at Silverstone

Bergman Interiors and Twelve Architects have teamed up with Escapade living, led by CEO Will Tindal, to design a new development at the iconic British racetrack, Silverstone. Here’s what we know…

Villas overlooking the Silverstone Racecourse

Award-winning design studio Bergman Interiors has been named the design firm that will bring to life a mixed-use development project at Silverstone in the UK, which will include 60 residences, a club house, wellness spaces, F&B areas and outdoor terraces that overlook the iconic racetrack.

Silverstone has always been a centre of excellence from a racing, technology and engineering perspective. Bergman Interiors, which is led by Interior Designer of the Year Albin Berglund and Brit List Designer Marie Soliman, have told Hotel Designs that they are ‘delighted to be working with Escapade Living’ in creating a peerless hospitality experience. “Escapade Silverstone will enable motorsport lovers to buy residences right on the edge of the circuit,” explains Soliman, Co-Founder of Bergman Design House. “For us, its immersive, bespoke, guest-led offering hails the dawn of something special.”

Who’s who?

The Escapade Living team has combined the talents of Twelve ArchitectsBergman Interiors and project management consultant Tower Eight, MEP led by Applied Energy, with landscape by Illman Young and construction by MY Construction.

Escapade Living aims to redefine experiential travel around the concept of high-performance living, which was founded by experienced development and investment professionals, Will Tindall and Jerome Darker.

Escapade Silverstone received full planning at the end of 2019 and breaks ground in Q1 2021 and is due to complete in May 2022.

Trackside luxury

Designed for high performance living, the clubhouse and facilities include state-of-the-art simulator rooms, briefing rooms, a driver-focused gym, oxygen swimming pool and sauna, restaurant, bar and private dining room.

The residences themselves have cantilevered terraces, allowing spectators to get even closer to the racetrack. Light-filled and with high acoustic specifications, they have underfloor heating, comfort cooling and ensuite bathrooms. When an owner is not staying in their residence, it will form part of the wider accommodation available to guests at Silverstone and offer a healthy net yield.

Escapade Silverstone will enable owners to capitalise on the 1.2 million visitors that the circuit welcomes every year. It is a reimagining of leisure, lifestyle and investing putting capital into something that provides entertainment, enrichment, enjoyment and learning, while also making a return. We look forward to following the projects development.

Main image credit: Escapade Living

What’s in the spotlight this February on Hotel Designs?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
What’s in the spotlight this February on Hotel Designs?

Hotel Designs’ February editorial features have landed, which will explore Technology and Surfaces, two ever-changing areas in the hotel design arena…

Throughout February, Hotel Designs will be putting both technology and surfaces under its editorial spotlight in order to continue to define the point on international hotel design.

Technology

From clean tech to micro LED, emotional intel and multi-sensory hotel experiences, this February we are bringing you all the latest tech trends that emerged throughout the virtual CES 2021, a show that’s famous for amplifying the latest innovations in consumer and commercial technology.

Surfaces

Following on from the brand’s most recent roundtable, GROHE will kick things off in February with an exclusive CPD module on hygiene, which editor Hamish Kilburn will help host. In addition to this, we will take a look at how hygiene is changing the demands for surfaces and why now is the perfect time to inject personality into public area walls.

If you are a supplier and would like to find out more about how you could feature in Hotel Designs, or know of a product that we should be talking about, please email Katy Phillips

Main image credit: Unsplash/Ben Kolde

A modern and clean workplace

New event: Workspace Show launches in London in November

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New event: Workspace Show launches in London in November

Brand new design event, Workspace Show, is expected to launch in London this November with a mission that Hotel Designs is fully behind, which is ‘to bring together the commercial interiors community’…

A modern and clean workplace

Workspace Show, which Hotel Designs is a proud media partner of, is an exciting addition to the global design events calendar that has just launched, with the inaugural edition taking place from November 4 – 5, 2021 at London’s Business Design Centre, at the heart of the UK’s commercial interiors community.

With a theme of ‘re-designing tomorrow’s commercial interiors together’ the show aims to unite architects, designers, developers, contractors, facilities managers, procurement managers and more in one place to explore and share the latest industry thinking from product launches to a comprehensive talks program to networking opportunities aplenty.

“The Workspace Show 2021 will be an amazing opportunity to see what’s next and explore how the workplace will continue to evolve” – Kate Vine, principal at Perkins&Will.

Founded by Esha and Charlie Bark-Jones, who together have a wealth of industry experience between them, Workspace Show is dedicated entirely to the commercial space community. The content and format of the show has been carefully guided by an expert panel of leading industry figures, among them Collin Burry, design principal at Gensler, Katrina Kostic Samen, head of workplace design at KKS Savills and Kate Vine, principal at Perkins&Will, who says: “2020 was a catalyst for epic change in the world of work. The Workspace Show 2021 will be an amazing opportunity to see what’s next and explore how the workplace will continue to evolve.”

A man walking through a modern and clean workplace

Image credit: Unsplash/Laura Davidson

Workspace Show, which offers free entry for trade visitors, will present more than 100 exhibitors and more than 70 product launches across the office, education and healthcare sectors from the world’s leading brands. This includes furniture, Lighting, technology at work, storage, fit-out and interiors and surfaces as well as the ‘Sustainability Zone’, a feature focussing on the importance of sustainable products in the office environment. There will also be a special feature dedicated to co-working spaces, reflecting the transformation they are undergoing in the post pandemic world.

Workspace Show will feature more than 20+ workspace talks across the two days, with leading voices from the office, healthcare and education sectors sharing their insights. There will be numerous opportunities for the 3000+ attendees to meet and network, from an Architects and Designers Night to a Trends Tour of the show’s highlights by a well-respected journalist to a British Pub Quiz night where teams can pit their knowledge of office design against each other.

Charlie Bark-Jones, one of the co-founders of Workspace Show, believes that demand for a workplace trade show has never been higher. “We have been overwhelmed by the industry response to the event, with many local and international exhibitors, partners and speakers already signed up,” he said in a statement. “The need for agile working models is leading to a demand for workspaces to be re-designed to suit the changing needs of companies and employees, and we are excited to bring together the community later this year to drive forward this transformation”.

Workspace Show, taking place on November 4 – 5 2021, will be held at the Business Design Centre, London. For further information visit the website or email charlie@workspaceshow.co.uk

Main image credit: Unsplash/Laura Davidson

Black sink and dark patterned wallcover

Create an impactful bathroom using pattern with Burlington

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Create an impactful bathroom using pattern with Burlington

Renowned for offering the very best in traditional bathroom design, leading industry specialists, Burlington gives designers freedom to introduce impactful bathroom design with vibrant patterns. Hotel Designs explores…

Black sink and dark patterned wallcover

With an impressive and ever-growing collection, breadth of choice allows homeowners the opportunity to effortlessly pair complementary patterns and colour for expressive interior design.

From bold and beautiful wallpapers placed against coloured ceramics, to arresting basins and WCs adorned with decorative hand-illustrated details, there is a multitude of ways to add impactful pattern into the bathroom with Burlington.

The perfect contrast against dark and captivating wallpaper, the warm ivory of the Medici collection was inspired by the iconic colour palettes of the 1920s. The elegant and timeless ceramics and coordinating accessories stand proud within a darker, patterned setting and add a touch of vintage charm to traditional bathroom spaces, providing a more eclectic look.

To achieve a dark and decadent bathroom enlivened with pattern, combine Burlington’s Jet range with striking, exotic wallpaper. Encapsulating the deepest shade of black, the glossy ceramics seamlessly complement extravagant patterned schemes for an impressive, timeless bathroom.

Ceramics themselves can be embellished with pattern for an alluring bathroom statement. The Floral range from the Bespoke by Burlington collection injects beautiful, nature-inspired décor into the bathroom. Following trends for individuality, the delicate, hand-illustrated floral designs bring iconic elegance and character to creative interior schemes, transforming everyday bathrooms into works of art. With a choice of four exquisite patterns, the Floral collection promises to add a captivating, modern touch to traditional bathrooms.

Combining historical influences with a contemporary approach, Burlington’s expansive collection allows individuals to create an expressive and imaginative space where on-trend design coincides with timeless style for a modern traditional look the brand is renowned for.

Burlington is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Main image credit: Burlington

Classic Romance - Master Suite1

Product watch: Hommés Studio launches new bedroom collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Hommés Studio launches new bedroom collection

As part of Hommés Studio’s collection, the brand has introduced eclectic and timeless master bedroom furniture. Hotel Designs explores…

Classic Romance - Master Suite1

Hommés was born from a skilled blend of visionary identities, with unique perspectives of design, art, fashion, and cultures. The brand’s life motto is introducing an Haute Couture concept in the Interior Design industry.

From their ordinary look and textures to exquisite and colourful versions, all Hommés pieces are a homage to craftsmanship. Thus, this line of master bedrooms is no exception.

The master bedroom is our little wonderland, and it is in this space that we must feel comfortable and at home. With warm colours and textures, this suite looks like a fine mixture between Spring and Autumn. The most memorable bedroom furniture sets with wood details transform this bedroom into a sophisticated and elegant room.

Kara Bed and Kara Bedside Table is the perfect furniture set for your dream master bedroom. Kara Bed is a modest luxury styled piece stripped away any superfluous decoration in search of simplicity. Kara Bedside Table is a charming piece in a rounded silhouette with striking accents.

A master hotel suite that has a lounge area is a dream master bedroom. In this way, it is possible to create a welcoming yet modern living area by placing two armchairs and a coffee table in front of the bed.

It is important to have a beauty corner in any room, where people can relax and start their day in the best way – taking care of themselves.

In addition to an elegant room, a walk-in closet is a star when it comes to storage solutions. With a design thought to the smallest detail, this room conveys a vibe of a cosmopolitan city. That is, a room with several styles, but always keeping a sophisticated line.

Classic romance Master Suite

Hommés believes that a house must express the owner’s soul, as clothes express the person’s personality who dresses them.

The Master Suite needs to be serene and warm. In this room, what stands out is the bed’s elegant design and the bedside tables with a statement design. The bedside table and how it is decorated can transform the bedroom into a little wonderland.

Jannu Bed owns a singular form projected by creative minds and sculpted by expertise hands. Kimura Bedside Table is a must-have in any modern bedroom project. Boasting beautifully rounded corners and a simplistic scheme perfect for an array of spaces.

The green hues with blush details, refined materials, rich colours, and wallpaper design make this room a romantic space.

Surrender to this room and fall in love with the little details in the living area next to the bed. A pink sofa contrasting with the green hues of the room transmit harmony and peace.

Lunarys Sofa is a contemporary style sofa that features a glamorous aesthetic look. It is an outstanding sofa that amazes everyone with its powerful presence. A stunning piece that disrupts commonly seen shapes, transitioning its admirers to another dimension.

Italian Affair Bedroom

In the Italian Affair Bedroom, the richness of the Italian culture and taste prevails. An intimate bedroom that allows us to feel a little bit of peace and comfort.

Image credit: Hommés Studio

An incredible and dramatic design on the walls and ceiling reminds us of the Italian renaissance.

Isis Bed is an inspiring and indulgent design. This luxury bed merges futuristic flair with contemporary chic vibes. Niagara Side Table features a geometric design shape. Inspired by the Memphis movement vibe, it incorporates a selection of different types of marbles.

The chest of drawers together with sumptuous decor and luxury fabric creates a luxurious and elegant room. The beautiful Malala Chest of Drawers chooses to be different. It is a unique piece for a standout bedroom.

Hommés Studio is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: Hommés Studio

residential moss wall

Product watch: Leaflike has a green wall message of positivity

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Leaflike has a green wall message of positivity

With the demand for sustainable surfaces being at an all-time high, it’s an exciting time for Leaflike, which has been successful in providing planting solutions to hospitality venues for more than 20 years…

residential moss wall

Working with the likes of Savoy, Hilton Park Lane, London EDITION, Shangri-La Hotel and The View from the Shard, Leaflike transforms venues and provides a new arrival experience.

Providing design-led solutions, Leaflike remains on trend with green walls including sustainable artificial, moss and living, plus wall art, flower walls and ceilings, as well as 3D murals. Following the sustainability agenda and never compromising on quality, the brand delivers bespoke solutions including a free visualisation service.

Image of green wall outside of 54 Queens Gate

Image credit: Leaflike

You can also build your bespoke green wall with a theme, for example, orchids, tropical or fern based. Make it special to you with your preferred colour, plant or neon signage as a plugin feature with your logo, message or welcome sign.

Leaflike’s artificial green wall solutions are a sustainable option, UV protected and FR rated for ultimate safety of guests and longevity of the wall in direct sunlight or enduring outside conditions.

A stunning design-led moss wall was recently installed by Leaflike at a residential country mansion in Surrey. The feature wall was carefully hand crafted by our florists using natural moss and had a special message using calligraphy style text in ‘stand out’ lime green moss. This was very important to the client, it translates to ‘Be positive about what you want and it will be!’

For more than 20 years, Leaflike have helped customers to transform their spaces into something beautiful and more recently providing cost-effective packages during challenging times and adapting to new market solutions for Covid-19. Additional services include interior and exterior planting, Christmas packages and floristry.

Plants hanging from ceiling

Image credit: Leaflike

Rahul Sharma, Managing Director, The Regency Club, London, believes that Leaflike helped to transform his venue’s atmosphere. ‘”We felt the venue lacked warmth and character, so we brought in Leaflike to help us overcome this and ensure it was attractive on Instagram as well,” he said. “Ultimately what you have produced for us is our vision, you understood exactly what we wanted.

“There isn’t more we could have asked for, the service provided throughout was fantastic, the product is of premium quality and it adds to the look and feel of the whole place.”

Image credit: Leaflike

Leaflike will be hosting a series of CPD modules for both architects and designers alike. Hear why green walls are different and how Leaflike helped customers transform their space into something beautiful, placing green walls in their venues.

Leaflike is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Leaflike

A moodboard of various bathroom accessories

Modern bathroom inspiration from Unidrain

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Modern bathroom inspiration from Unidrain

The modern bathroom has never been as innovative as it is today, as proven by the creative team at Unidrain who have launched the Reframe Collection…

A moodboard of various bathroom accessories

As one of the foremost drains manufactures in the world; Unidrain knows a thing or two about designing a chic bathroom. The current pandemic has meant people – designers included – have spent more time in their homes and have taken a critical look at their bathrooms, the outcome; a re-vamp or the addition of a completely new bathroom.

A moodboard of innovative modern bathroom accessories

Image credit: Unidrain

Stylish bathroom accessories are an intelligent addition to any bathroom, Unidrain worked with designer Kenneth Waaben to create their Reframe Collection. This exclusive and unique collection of bathroom accessories is grounded in Scandinavian design and quality with addition of intelligent features these products have improved functionality within an elegant linear design.

A moodboard of innovative modern bathroom accessories

Image credit: Unidrain

The Reframe collection comprises of:

Soap Shelf & Shower Wiper – hidden magnets in the wall mounting ensure the safe and discrete storage of the silicone blade wiper, while the shelf above provides a platform for your showering essentials.

Towel Bar – place alongside your bath, shower or washbasin, with its unique mounting design this bar keeps towels stylishly in situ.

Hook – Discrete and effective, these perfectly shaped hooks will prevent towels and garments from slipping.

Toilet Paper Holder – this reversible holder means it can be positioned for your convenience.

Toilet Brush – Sleek design with hygienic functionality. The toilet brush holder has an anti-drip function and for additional cleanliness an easily exchangeable brush head.

Corner Shelf – The shelf is created from a reinforced steel plate and adapts to fit the ‘corner’.

Available in five different colour options; copper, brass, brushed stainless steel, polished stainless steel and black.

The Reframe Collection is designed to work and colour co-ordinate with Unidrain’s award winning linear drains.

Unidrain is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Unidrain

Image of cut-out switch plates in luxury suite

Case study: Why Hotel Indigo Bath chose Hamilton Litestat

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: Why Hotel Indigo Bath chose Hamilton Litestat

When finding the balance between contemporary and classic, Hotel Indigo Bath ‘fell in love’ with Hamilton’s Hartland CFX wiring accessories in Antique Brass – and here’s why…

Image of cut-out switch plates in luxury suite

Just a stone’s throw from the vibrant city centre, Hotel Indigo Bath provides a unique stay in the historic Somerset location famed for culture, architecture, literature, and romance. Set in a stunning grade one listed Georgian terrace, the hotel features 166 guestrooms, of which no two rooms are the same.

As with all Hotel Indigo venues, the boutique hotel has been renovated to reflect the charm and character of its local surroundings. Mixing contemporary design with a traditional 18th Century twist, the Georgian building caters for all the requirements of a modern guest while telling the historic story of the city’s architectural and literary influences.

Exterior image of Hotel Indigo Bath

Image credit: Hotel Indigo Bath/IHG

The guestrooms inside the hotel have one of five different design themes: Romance and Mischief, Architectural Beauty, Literary Hideaway, Garden Rooms, and The Vault Rooms.

The Romance and Mischief rooms look back to the famous Debutante Season in Bath and the afternoon teas and grand balls that inspired literary depictions of the city. These rooms put a modern and abstract twist on the era’s romantic promises and frivolity, but also draw attention to the mischievous gambling culture that was commonplace in Georgian society.

The Architectural Beauty Rooms accentuate the building’s period features and reflect the city’s stunning architecture. The rooms benefit from high ceilings and walls lined with ornate ceiling sconce covers that revive the elegance of the Georgian period.

Bath influenced the writings of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Mary Shelley, amongst many others, and the Literary Hideaway Rooms feature décor inspired by novels and a traditional writer’s bureau that provides the perfect spot for guests to lose themselves in a book, or be inspired to write their own story.

Within a newly built extension, the Garden Rooms overlook the hotel’s garden terrace, bringing the outside view indoors with light and airy nature-inspired design, while incorporating modern features to create a warm and comfortable environment.

And finally, the Vault Rooms are set within the building’s 18th Century vaults. The vaulted Bath stone ceilings and traditional black timber finishes are softened with delicate lighting and underfloor heating to create cosy and atmospheric guest suites.

“Hotel Indigo Bath sought a decorative range of wiring accessories that offered modern conveniences and services to its guests, but would be sympathetic to the building’s period features.”

The brief

To support its thorough refurbishment, Hotel Indigo Bath sought a decorative range of wiring accessories that offered modern conveniences and services to its guests, but would be sympathetic to the building’s period features. To be installed within all 166 guest rooms for continuity, the wiring accessories also needed to complement all five design themes.

The solution

Hamilton Litestat was the supplier chosen with its popular Hartland CFX plate selected in Antique Brass with Black inserts to equip all of the guestrooms.

The Hartland CFX plate has a sophisticated, contemporary design with soft edges and a screwless faceplate thanks to Hamilton’s patented four-point clipping system that conceals the fixings. While elegant in appearance, the design is also robust, making it suited to the high demands of the hotel industry. The choice of Antique Brass finish gives the contemporary design a classic flair and reflects the traditional-meets-contemporary décor scheme that permeates the Hotel Indigo Bath.

Image of cut-out switch plates in luxury suite

Image credit: IHG/Veerle Evens

At the main entrance to each guestroom, a Grid Fix 4-Gang plate controls the master light switch, bathroom light and features two LEDIT-B100 rotary dimmers for softer lighting options.

Beside each bed, dual switched sockets are equipped with two 2.4A USB Ultra charging outlets to provide easy and accessible charging functionality for smart devices, a modern convenience expected by today’s guests. Positioned alongside is a 2-Gang 2-Way Rocker Switch plate to control the bedside lighting.

In the same Hartland CFX design with distinguished Antique Brass finish, power is distributed throughout the rooms with 1-Gang and 2-Gang Switched Sockets. Meanwhile, in the larger suites these are supported by a 4-Gang Aperture Sheer Floor Plate housing dual USB charging outlets and an Unswitched Socket to provide further charging capability.

The Result:

The Hamilton wiring accessories within Hotel Indigo Bath complement the boutique hotel’s refined décor that blends traditional with contemporary design and modern convenience. The wiring accessories are in-keeping with the architecture while also providing robust and innovative functionality.

A guestroom inside Hotel Indigo Bath and cut out images of Hamilton products

Image credit: IHG/Veerle Evens

According to the hotel’s manager, Nicola Fender, the switch plates were the perfect fit for the project. “The rooms look stunning, with the wiring accessories fitting our décor and functionality requirements perfectly,” she said. “The design of the switch plates and sockets delivers the exact look needed, and provides a robust finish that will cope with the wear and tear anticipated of a hotel environment. The finished setting is a delightful place to relax, and the process of specification, ordering and delivery was smooth and seamless despite dealing with lockdown restrictions as a result of Covid-19. We couldn’t be happier, and we look forward to welcoming the many guests that will appreciate these fitting features.”

Hamilton Litestat is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Main image credit: IHG/Veerle Evens

Collage of Kobe fabrics

Look for the month from KOBE: Ceramic collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Look for the month from KOBE: Ceramic collection

KOBE is starting 2021 as it means to go on; with enthusiasm and optimism – thinking ahead towards a better year for everyone. The fabric brand’s ‘look of the month’ in January takes inspiration from the Ceramic collection…

Collage of Kobe fabrics

Leaving behind a sombre 2020, we step into 2021 with enthusiasm and optimism for a better year ahead for everyone.

The New Year brings new collections from KOBE, and are happy to take inspiration from one of the brand’s favourites – Ceramic a 100 per cent natural velvet with a fetching colour palette.

Colour palette

Mixing soft and warm variated tones of terra and peach, sophisticated neutrals, along with browns, greys and black. The contrasts of white with warm wood colours gives a balanced feel for a clean, clutter free setting.

Colour mix

Ceramic is available in four colourways, each having an alluring combination of hues that blend into each other with perfect harmony. This gives a choice of many variations in colour combinations in balancing out the complementing and contrasting colours to create unique personal interpretations.

Accessorise with personal style

A contemporary interior style doesn’t have to feel “empty”. Accessorising with personality and styles that reflect you and your interior style, adds a touch of personal statement to your interior.

Matching plains

Ceramic is suitable for both curtains and upholstery use. It can easily match with many Kobe plains, creating beautiful colour combinations with Scala, Volterra or other plains such as Chacar, Levanto or Potenza, used together can create stunning interior styles.

Kobe is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Kobe

Profile image of Joel Butler, Co-founder of HIX

In the HIX seat: recovering from Covid ‘all together now!’

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In the HIX seat: recovering from Covid ‘all together now!’

Wearing his most comfortable slippers – working from home really does have its perks – our columnist Joel Butler, co-founder of HIX Event, explores the power of ‘all together now’. Can the events industry and the hotel design community work in tandem to recover and reopen following the Covid-19 outbreak? Let’s talk about it…

Profile image of Joel Butler, Co-founder of HIX

A quick scan of this morning’s headlines gives us the three Rs of this young and already-challenging decade; ‘Risk, Reopening(?) and the R Number’.

As an event organiser it’s important to read beyond the headlines, to consume the full story and then ‘crack on’ with a stoic, pragmatic optimism. Because in all my years of making design events, this is the most starkly reflected and shared challenge that I’ve faced together with our community. Put simply, events and hotels are currently closed and recovery from Covid is needed.

So once the risk factors are mitigated and the global creaky chorus of the opening of event and hotel doors sings out, it’s the next R that remains the goal; Recovery.

Of course re-opening and recovery are not the same thing, the former can lead to the latter but true recovery will likely call for real change in the way we design our experiences. The fact that both the events and hospitality industry rely on people means that perhaps a good place to start is with our personal recoveries.

It’s too early to understand how the pandemic has changed us, but a year of social distancing, lockdowns and wearing slippers for 95 per cent of our waking hours must surely change us, right? 

Social commentators have spoken about a shift towards self-compassion as a resource for managing stress during and after the pandemic. Not the same thing as self-pity or self indulgence, Dr. Kristen Neff describes self compassion as “a connected way to relate to ourselves…a recognition that it can be hard for all of us.”  This is relatable to all of us right now and the challenge for hotels is to create spaces and experiences which allow for and encourage self compassion.

Another element of our shared personal recovery relates to safety and comfort. As well as our health and wellbeing, we’ve worried about friends and family, about global political unrest, and about which tier we’ll find ourselves in when we get back from the shop. It’s not surprising that our homes have become bubbles of comfort and security. So how will hotels create an experience that feels like home, working with the paradox of making a truly ‘special and memorable’ stay whilst designing the cosiness the guest’s living room? 

“The return to events and hotels represents the chance for joyous, communal celebration and togetherness. Imagine that; being all together now.” Joel Butler, Co-Founder, HIX Event.

Thirdly, ‘All together now’. Since the first few weeks of Lockdown 1.0 we made this our theme for HIX. An event for the hospitality community is always going to be about warmth, celebration and togetherness and the long wait to get back to face to face will only accentuate this. However, a sense of absence, isolation and often loneliness have been experienced during the pandemic with friends, families, colleagues and communities being kept apart. The return to events and hotels represents the chance for joyous, communal celebration and togetherness. Imagine that; being all together now.

By understanding our guest’s personal recovery we begin to understand and plan our industry’s recovery. Self-compassion, safety and comfort, and ‘all together now’ are just a few of the topics we’ll be exploring at HIX in November, applying these conversations to hotel development and design. By which time the headlines should be infinitely more positive, with the front pages being dominated by the new 3xR’s; ‘Recovery, RevPAR and Refurbs’.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Main image credit: HIX Event

A minimalist guestroom in the hotel opening in Japan soon

Hotel opening to watch: Azumi Setoda arrives in March 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel opening to watch: Azumi Setoda arrives in March 2021

A hotel opening to keep an eye on, Azumi Setoda is the brainchild of hotelier Adrian Zecha. The new arrival, on an island within the Japanese Seto Inland Sea, will mark his first contemporary ryokan…

A minimalist guestroom in the hotel opening in Japan soon

Throughout January, we have been keeping an eye on the most significant hotel openings to look out for in 2021. Following parts one and two of The Hot List, we’re excited to hear that hotelier Adrian Zecha and Japanese hospitality group Naru Developments have announced the launch of Azumi Setoda, the first opening of their new brand Azumi. 

 Azumi Setoda, which will open in early March, is located on Ikuchijima, a small island of about 8,000 people in the Seto Inland Sea. With this debut property, the brand will take the cultural framework of the traditional ryokan and infuse it with a quality offering that appeals to the modern, global traveller. The balance between tradition and innovation is integral to all parts of Azumi; demonstrated through everything from the design, service, food and beverage, to wellness and cultural programming. 

The main structure of Azumi Setoda is Horiuchi-tei, a 140-year old Japanese compound, formerly the headquarters and private residence of one of the most dynamic salt farming and shipping families in Setouchi, after whom it is named. The family would also use the space to host and entertain important guests. 

With these original intentions of the building and the next century of its life in mind, Kyoto-based architect Shiro Miura was entrusted with the renovation. An expert in private residences and trained in the sukiya style of Japanese architecture, he balances the elements of a homey atmosphere with aesthetics rooted in tea ceremony, which date back to the 16th century. 

The restoration was driven by rebalancing the relationship between moisture, wind and light, as he treats his primary materials of wood, stone and soil as living materials, exemplified by the way they bend, break, and change colour at their own will, and reflect the conditions of the environment. He thinks about how the building breathes; the nearby presence of the ocean requires not just thinking about the interior climate, but to consider the garden’s role in bringing in and taking out mist, fog and sunshine.

Contemporary accommodation standards call for a mix of well-defined private and public spaces in order to create a harmonious atmosphere and experience. This juxtaposes the traditional ryokan experience in which guests are hosted within their own rooms. The spaces at Azumi Setoda are designed on a gradient from the more public spaces: including the reception and main dining room at Horiuchi Tei; traversing the property’s semi-private dining and entertaining areas; before guests reach their generous, peaceful rooms. Every guest room has its own outdoor area: either a private garden designed by WA-SO landscape architects, a generous balcony, or a combination of both. Each one is unique and is well-secluded thanks to Shiro’s bold, unconventional take on the traditional kakine (cedar fence), which has been adapted to create harmony between private and communal spaces within the property.

Azumi Setoda Destination_Credit Max Houtzager

Image credit: Max Houtzager

Azumi Setoda is located on Ikuchijima island, which is on the West Side of the Setouchi Region (the Seto Inland Sea) in Hiroshima Prefecture. The East Side of the region has become well-known to international guests thanks to the ‘art islands’ of Naoshima, Inujima and Teshima. It is also home to the Setouchi Triennale, a contemporary art festival that takes across a dozen islands. 

 By contrast, just on the other side of the channel from Naoshima, the lesser-known West Side of the Setouchi Region is prized by a thriving agriculture industry. Connected by bridges, the islands in the West are popular with cyclists who traverse the 70km Shimanami Kaido cycling route, where Setoda is a midpoint of the journey. 

 This area is the calmest part of the Seto Inland Sea, with clear, blue waters and pure, fresh air. It is known today, due to its mild and temperate climate, as a key part of the citrus industry within Japan. 

 Within Setoda, the ryokan is located on Shiomachi Shotengai, a local market street that spans from Setoda port to Kosanji Temple. It was once considered the entrance of the island, serving up to 10,000 people daily in its heyday; Azumi wants to help restore this vitality to the neighbourhood. The team behind Azumi has partnered with community leaders to make Setoda a more desirable place to live, as well as to visit, with a strong sensibility around interaction between guests and the local community. One result of direct community feedback includes Soil Setoda: a mixed-use facility at the very entrance of the shotengai, which will function as ‘the living room of the city.’

“My previous projects have frequently been considered as ‘luxury’ due to the impression created by our clientele and its high price point, however my original intent was always to shed light on local culture, community, arts and food,” explained Zecha. “At Azumi, we are updating the ryokan, which was typically a traditional family managed inn, that naturally does what we envisioned. At Azumi, our highest priority is to welcome people wholeheartedly so that they feel at home, no matter the location.” 

Azumi Setoda guests can enjoy the wellness programming at yubune, which translates as ‘bathtub’ or ‘bath boat’ in Japanese. While Azumi Setoda is the secluded, walled ryokan in-keeping the deep gravitas of the Horiuchi family, yubune, also designed by Shiro Miura, is located just across the street. In a further gesture to the wider community of Setoda, Azumi will operate yubune not only for Azumi guests, but as a public bathhouse where all are welcomed. Guests will be invited to learn about and experience the Japanese bathing culture, lemon and salt bathing, and sauna.

The food programme provided at Azumi Setoda will express the abundance of local ingredients and the mixed cultures, herbs, and spices that came across the ocean during ancient times, as if the Horiuchi family, the residence’s former owners, were inviting an important guest to their feast. Beyond its abundance of seafood and fresh citruses and vegetables, the area in the ancient days was known as the intersection of a variety of cultures coming from the sea and from the Asian continent through the Silk Road. Meals will be offered communally in Azumi Setoda’s main dining room in a break from the traditional ryokan offering, in which guests are served in their rooms. For those who prefer more privacy, there are three characterful private dining rooms to choose from.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Main image credit: Tomohiro Sakashita

close up flowers brown sml

Case study: adding personality in the carpets at Grantley Hall

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: adding personality in the carpets at Grantley Hall

Carpet manufacturer Wilton was commissioned to design and supply the carpet for the listed Yorkshire gem Grantley Hall, an exquisite space that dates back to 1680…

close up flowers brown sml
Formally a private home, the owners of Grantley Hall were determined the property would retain the sumptuous extravagance of its past during its conversion to a five-star luxury destination.  The complete refurbishment of Grantley Hall Hotel into one of the country’s most desirable places to stay has been completed with individually designed, exquisitely crafted Wilton carpets.

Outside image of Grantley Hall

Image credit: Grantley Hall

“The brief was very demanding in terms of the final finish; the client wanted to achieve the highest possible rating and as such, every aspect of the interior had to live up to those exacting standards both in terms of design and product quality.”

Set in the outstanding natural beauty of Yorkshire, and bordered by historic woodland, the estate boasts extensive landscaped gardens, a kitchen garden and an English Heritage listed Japanese Garden. The team at Grantley was keen to reflect the splendour of outside in the opulent indoors.

To know more about Grantley Hall, why not also read our feature on renovating its public areas with stylish lighting?

A creative approach

All of the designs had to have a timeless quality with contemporary styling. Damasks were fused with herringbones with subtle, luxurious grounds and bold accent pops. Grand florals were used to bring the flora from the surrounding gardens into the property.

The Skykes family, who own the property, trusted the Wilton team to explore adventurous design concepts to elevate the sumptuous interior to even greater heights. Colour and design was tailored to the style and tone of each room.

Solution delivered

5,400sqm of axminster carpet was delivered to Grantley hall. Lavish 7×11 row quality throughout the public areas, including four restaurants, three bars, lounges and gym and spa suite, and 7×9 row quality through the 47 luxury guest bedrooms and suites.  We delivered over 20 bespoke designs to this unique, heritage building, using bespoke colours throughout.

Wilton is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

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A pink room full with maximalist design

MINIVIEW: inside the latest design-led boutique hotels in New Zealand

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: inside the latest design-led boutique hotels in New Zealand

The maximalist interiors sheltered inside Naumi Hotel’s three recent arrivals have lifted our editorial spirits and added some serious style to boutique hotels in New Zealand. Editor Hamish Kilburn speaks to the brand’s CEO to understand more…

A pink room full with maximalist design

Naumi Hotels recently announced the openings of three new boutique hotels in New Zealand. The Central by Naumi Hotels and The Dairy Private Hotel by Naumi, both in Queenstown, and Naumi Studio Hotel Wellington, now join Naumi Hotels’ first New Zealand property, Naumi Auckland which opened in 2018.

The Central and The Dairy look set to raise the bar when it comes to design-led, boutique accommodation both locally in Queenstown and in New Zealand as a whole, whilst Naumi Studio Hotel represents the creative reimagining of an iconic historic listed property in Wellington, full to the brim with the work of local artists and designers.

“We say to expect the unexpected with all of our hotel designs and this most definitely applies to our three new openings in Queenstown and Wellington,” said Gaurang Jhunjhnuwala, CEO, Naumi Australia and New Zealand. “ We’ve taken three very different buildings and crafted a completely new hospitality offering for both iconic cities. Each property has its own story and its distinct vibe, with Naumi’s signature playful approach woven throughout. We are currently treating New Zealanders to escapist staycation breaks and look forward to New Zealand’s borders being safely open to international travel once again so we can welcome our guests from around the world.”

The Central by Naumi Hotels, Queenstown – opened November 20, 2020

A surreal sanctuary in Queenstown’s city centre, The Central is the second Naumi hotel to open in New Zealand’s adventure-capital. Here a creative, cool vibe meets a sense of childlike curiosity, with a bold design inspired by magic, nature and vivid colour.

Naumi Hotels has transformed the building, the site of a previous hotel, into a 15 key whimsical wonderland, unlike any other property in Queenstown. Naumi’s creative approach showcases innovative and unexpected design details, playing with exaggerated scales and disproportionate sensory details in the public areas to create a memorable experience for guests. A lounge with roaring fire and comfy seating forms the heart ofthe hotel. It’s here complimentary award-winning New Zealand wines are served every evening between 5-6pm, and complimentary snacks and so drinks throughout the day. Adjacent to the lounge is a garden area, perfect for an alfresco breakfast.

Expect to find the same creative use of light, shape and colour in the three bedroom types, “Habitat”, “Oasis” and the “Junior Suite”. All feature specially commissioned headboards by local artist Deborah Moss, in a cacophony of colour and light. Habitat rooms have an earthy hue and private courtyard, whilst Oasis rooms are amongst the largest in Queenstown, sitting amongst the treetops, with most enjoying a private balcony. The Junior Suite features a bold, viridescent colour palette and spacious accommodation.

A luxury bar

Image credit: Naumi Hotels

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Main image credit: Naumi Hotels

Image of shoes by the modern bed

Weekly briefing: an exclusive hotel review in Dubai & full steam ahead for Marriott

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: an exclusive hotel review in Dubai & full steam ahead for Marriott

Kick your shoes off and get comfortable. Welcome to your weekly briefing with me editor Hamish Kilburn. This week’s round-up features an exclusive design review of Zaha Hadid’s ‘legacy project’ in Dubai, exclusive details behind the launch of a new lifestyle hotel brand and Marriott’s 2021 ambitious expansion plans for the Asia Pacific region…

Image of shoes by the modern bed

It’s not been the smoothest of starts to the year, with many of us still working from home, balancing work around disruptive lifestyles.

Meanwhile, the editorial team at Hotel Designs have been busy preparing for our next Hotel Designs LIVE and we are weeks away from launching our brand new podcast for the design and architecture community.

But enough about us… when it comes to keeping up to date with the latest headings that are shaping the future of our industry, we’ve got you covered with our weekly briefing! Here’s our round-up of the hottest the stories of the week.

Exclusive design review: ME Dubai, Zaha Hadid’s ‘legacy project’

An exterior shot of the Opus

Image caption: Set in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa district, the Opus is a mixed-use mirrored glass building, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, that shelters ME Hotel’s latest property. | Image credit: ME Dubai

Known as Hadid’s ‘legacy project’, ME Dubai is the only hotel in the world to have both its interiors and exteriors designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) – and its futuristic architecture, characterised by curves, sharp angles and bold materials epitomises the studio’s unique design style. We sent renowned furniture designer Rock Galpin to the vibrant metropolis to exclusively review the new Dubai hotel.

Keep your eyes peeled, as we are going live with our ‘In Conversation With’ Christos Passas, the architect behind this project, next week. 

Read more. 

Marriott International to open almost 100 hotels in Asia Pacific this year

Luxury pool at Domes Zeen, a Luxury Collection Resort, Chania

Image credit: Marriott International

Last year, despite the pandemic putting a halt on travel demand, Marriott International opened 75 new hotels in Asia Pacific, representing more than one opening per week across the region. This year, the hotel group is expected to continue this growth in the region. In a recent press statement, Marriott announced announced its ambitious plans to open nearly 100 new properties in the area in 2021.

Read more.

EXCLUSIVE: Wink Hotels has arrived in Vietnam with a fresh eye for design

Wink Hotels has arrived in Vietnam, here you can see quirky interiors in a render of the hotel's lobby

Wink Hotels has arrived in Vietnam, entering the hospitality arena by opening its debut hotel this March. Hotel Designs exclusively catches up with AW2, the Parisian based architecture firm, that designed the brand’s design scheme.

Read more.

Sandals remembers Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart (1941 – 2021)

Image credit: Sandals

It is with regret that we report on the passing of Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, Company Chairman and Founder of Sandals and Beaches Resort. The master marketer made Sandals a household name and brought opportunity to the Caribbean.

Read more.

Cutting through the noise // 7 innovative hotel hygiene solutions

Image credit: Unsplash

To kickstart Hotel Designs’ mission to put ‘Safe Design’ under the editorial spotlight – and following a lot of confusion when it comes to which hotel hygiene solutions are most appropriate for the hospitality industry – here are a handful of innovations that will help hospitality back on its feet.

Read more.

One month to go: Hotel Designs LIVE

Main image for Hotel Designs LIVE

Hotel Designs LIVE returns on February 23 to keep the industry connected and to serve our readers with relevant and engaging conversations that are unlike any other. With just over a month before the virtual event, here’s why you should attend.

Read more. | Participate.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Main image credit: ME Dubai

Collage of ME Dubai, including the exterior of the building, the sleek bedrooms and the luxury pool area

Checking in to ME Dubai, the ‘legacy project’ of Zaha Hadid

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in to ME Dubai, the ‘legacy project’ of Zaha Hadid

We set renowned furniture designer Rock Galpin a comfortable mission to kickstart the year: to write the exclusive design review of ME Dubai, the brainchild of the late Zaha Hadid, which has become the destination’s latest architectural marvel…

Collage of ME Dubai, including the exterior of the building, the sleek bedrooms and the luxury pool area

Being a designer myself, and familiar with the pioneering and expansive body of work of Zaha Hadid since her very first project, I was very much looking forward to reviewing the recently opened ME Dubai, which is sheltered inside The Opus.

Known as Hadid’s ‘legacy project’, ME Dubai is the only hotel in the world to have both its interiors and exteriors designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) – and its futuristic architecture, characterised by curves, sharp angles and bold materials epitomises the studio’s unique design style.

An exterior shot of the Opus

Image caption: Set in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa district, the Opus is a mixed-use mirrored glass building, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, that shelters ME Hotel’s latest property. | Image credit: ME Dubai

Inside the 93-key hotel you can find lighting, furniture, patterns, bespoke-shaped products, rugs and seamless features and detailing, all of which have been designed by the forward-thinking studio – it really is a celebration of Hadid’s full scope of work and will be remembered, no doubt, for this.

Following Hadid’s passing, Christos Passas, who recently won Architect of the Year at The Brit List Awards 2020, was responsible for the project that aimed to ‘leave its mark’ in the urban space of Dubai. “I think the idea of having a coherent approach, to both interior and exterior design, is very compelling and indeed it requires a whole lot of commitment by the designer,” he told Hotel Designs. “We were given the opportunity to transit intellectually and emotionally from an architectural, large scale project to the finer details of the building that have to do with the user interfaces and the experience of the visitor. Such a context can allow designers to develop more holistic experiences for the user and to express the clients vision in a much more consistent and eloquent way.”

First impressions count

Having recovered in awe from taking in the huge glass cube facade and amorphic structure of the building in person, the entrance into the hotel itself is subtle and aptly plays down your reaction to what is to follow, with its minimal led forecourt dot lights, at night, tracing a suggested route to the door for cars. The proceeding experience, as you head into the reception is simply quite special.

Approaching the lobby, I was not surprised to be suitably impressed by the vast and completely and utterly unique parametric design styling of the four-storey atrium.

An image to show the expansive atrium inside the ME Dubai

Image caption: The expansive atrium inside the ME Dubai, which is a strong first impression. | Image credit: ME Dubai

“Here, all the rules are broken and re-written with inspiring results.”

Sweeping and fluid mezzanine balconies flow in rhythm around all floors, traced by a light channel and a sloped-in continuous glass railing at an impossible angle. There are so many examples of bold innovation and experimentation which demonstrate very advanced design vision and engineering feats indeed. Hadid’s undulating, fluid and visually engaging design typology references, for me, a soft bio mimicry that clearly push the technological boundaries of materials, fabrication and build possibilities. Here the rules are not only being broken they are being re-written with inspiring results.

Whilst the atrium is an addictive dream for any photographer, myself included, it does somehow feel perhaps lacking a little something if it’s aiming to house a ‘warm’ hotel reception. Therefore, I question whether the design in this space is too hard – are softer acoustics and materials absent? Some would argue that as a hotel lobby, the space is too sparse (or too white perhaps).

Close up of furniture in the atrium at ME Dubai

Image caption: ME Dubai is the only hotel in the world only hotel in the world to have both its interiors and exteriors designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA). | Image credit: ME Dubai

The large oval-shaped seating zones carefully positioned around, which feature built-in sweeping curved sofas, provide neat social areas that create necessary micro enclaves of activity. These softer social spaces, within a vastly white atrium, work well but feel almost not enough to create warmth, softness and a welcoming feeling. In fact, it feels a little sterile – a tad cold – but nonetheless, no one can argue against this space being spectacular! When the hotel is up to speed, with a healthy occupancy and the vibrancy and colour of many guests, it may fill that void.

“If you love progressive architecture and interior design that pushes the boundaries, bringing interior typology and technology closer to us, then you will no doubt be impressed with ME Dubai.”

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

Hotel Designs: What will you remember most about the hotel?
Rock Galpin: The dynamic and compelling relationship between architecture and interior design and the emotive impact that this parametric based design has when experienced first hand.

HD: What should guests experience when checking in?
RG: DESEO Restaurant, bar and pool complete with Ibiza DJ, and the Wagu steak and Rum sponge. The 18:00 ‘lights on’ till 00:00 where the building’s facade comes to life with LEDs – most notable is the inner ‘hole’ which is more intensely lit.

HK: What could be improved?
RG: The extreme, experimental interior is impressive to say the least, however, there needs to be a further appraisal of how people feel in this space; how they react, how they interact and their needs in order to improve guest engagement. Despite the staff being lovely, the service throughout the hotel was, when I checked in at least, a little erratic.

HK: What was your favourite area of the hotel?
RG: DESEO restaurant and bar and of course the atrium.

HK: Can you describe the hotel in a sentence or two?
RG: This is a unique and inspiring hotel to be experienced first-hand. If you love progressive architecture and interior design that pushes the boundaries, bringing interior typology and technology closer to us, then you will no doubt be impressed with ME Dubai.

Between spaces, an often-forgotten part of the hotel experience

There’s a lovely journey to be had when walking from your room to most parts of the hotel, as you’re pleasurably forced to walk along the atrium mezzanines taking in beautiful elevated views of the upper floors. Aside from the DESEO restaurant and pool area, there is a distinctive lack of outdoor space in the hotel, so you do feel somewhat incubated with some light passing through the atrium roof.

Guestrooms and Suites

I had the opportunity to explore two category rooms; the standard Aura room at 47m squared and the much larger Personality Suite at 92m square. There are two colour schemes. Desert is much more subtle – think spiritual and cool. Meanwhile, the Midnight Blue scheme is deeper and more intimate that also packs a masculine punch. Both are equally as beautiful and any decision for either style will be down to personal preference.

Aura Room

The first impression of the generously sized Aura room was of light – there’s lots of it – from floor-to-ceiling windows which span the width of the whole room. The beds are quite something! Not only are they large, but they are super comfortable, with an angled cushioned Alcantara headrest at 45 degrees, which works really well.

The built-in cantilever bedside tables are a well-considered feature – there are no ugly plug sockets in sight. Instead, these are hidden under the table with a useful, minimal touchtronic operated black light arm sprouting upwards from the tables, with two useful USB ports at the base. The bed base also features flat areas to the frame that extend useful seats, which works well with the complementary, asymmetric matching rug underneath.

“No wall was perpendicular to another.”

As I started to look more at the interior, I was surprised to realised that no wall was perpendicular to another and that many materials are cut on the angle or applied in complex shapes. The full marble bathroom, for example, white in the Aura and black in the Personality Suites, runs on the diagonal in both directions, so the pieces are actually rhombus shaped. These features very much reflect the entire design approach, to experiment and push the limits of what has conventionally been done up until now.

Personality Suite

The Personality Suite, similar to the Passion Suite, is 92m square and is one of the hotels larger mid-level rooms. It’s differentiated by a separate lounge/dining area and two bathrooms, one with bath, double sinks and shower cubicle the other with toilet, bidet and another sink. The Midnight Blue suite felt special. The deep blues and darker colour scheme had more contrast to that of the Desert scheme. The black and white quartz streaked marble throughout the whole bathroom is beautiful, offset by the amorphic ZHA shaped double sink and mirrors, with parametric laser etched patination.

“The technology in the rooms match the design form in being progressive.”

All bathroom fittings are designed by ZHA and follow suit to studio’s typology. The technology in the rooms match the design form in being progressive, with touch plates on many walls for the double-skinned electric curtains and lighting throughout. In fact, download the ME Hotels App and you have full mobile electrical control of the entire suite, including the two large TVs.

The lounge area, complete with the boomerang shaped ZHA sofa and beautifully crafted dark wood desk blended in and, looks aesthetically harmonious. However, the comfort and desire to want to use this space was sorely missing. The sofas are extremely hard, no doubt to retain the sculpted form, but off-putting in terms of comfort and relaxation, where the lounge should be king.

Image caption: A ZHA designed sofa in one of the Midnight Blue themed suites in the hotel.

Image caption: A ZHA designed sofa in one of the Midnight Blue themed suites. | Image credit: ME Dubai

The F&B experience

The F&B journey within the luxury hotel starts on the ground floor. Botanica, described as a gin bar, features an Italian accent throughout and doubles as a lunchtime restaurant. It occupies part of the lobby, where the reception dominates with its music, reverberation and activity that is heard through the pale-slatted wooden walls of the bar. The space is soft, comfortable and pleasant, lending itself more to a relaxed lounge bar/restaurant.

Meanwhile, Central is the designated breakfast restaurant that seems quite lifeless outside of breakfast time, inward looking to the Atrium, which gives you the opportunity to take more of those lovely views in. This would seem a hard, austere place for a morning bite, however, despite the reverberation from lower down, the experience was actually very pleasant being relaxed and quite peaceful.

Where the Botanica, on the ground floor, is perhaps lacking some atmosphere, DESEO makes up for it ten-fold – in fact it is real contrast in most ways and a very welcome part of the hotel experience. This is where the up-tempo vibes lives.

The design of the restaurant uses Downtown skyscrapers as a backdrop and contrasts this with a leafy green design scheme that is simply lovely. With a raised freestanding bar and a wooden pergola adorned by a thousand wind cones, the impression was of movement and energy, mix that with a DJ on an Ibiza-style white podium – his back to a rectangular pool lined by sun loungers one side, slatted cabana’s the other – you realise DESEO has what it takes.

The gym is a generous in size and a pleasant space to work up a good sweat. there is also a sauna, which is an intimate small, pined welcome addition. On the fourth floor, a little bit out the way, but worth a trip just for the quirky space complete with high tech curved glass, as it’s on the cusp of the atrium’s ceiling curving into the vertical inner ‘void’ wall is a specialist massage treatment facility.

An industrial-styled gym in ME Dubai

Image caption: The hotel features a state-of-the-art industrial-style gym. | Image credit: ME Dubai

In addition, and not to be missed, there are two excellent restaurants, which are also part of The Opus building. The Maine is a big favourite of mine, from interior to food quality, and Roka restaurant is also a fantastic new asset to the local area.

Standing out in a city like Dubai, which is no shrinking violet, is one thing. But sheltering an interior design scheme that is equally as impressive as its architecture is an almost impossible task. The interior design scheme inside ME Dubai seamlessly compliments the buildings unique architectural form and meets, I would argue, the ever-changing demands of modern travellers and in-the-know locals alike.

Over and out,

Rock.

Main image credit: ME Dubai

Luxury pool at Domes Zeen, a Luxury Collection Resort, Chania

Marriott International to open almost 100 hotels in Asia Pacific this year

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Marriott International to open almost 100 hotels in Asia Pacific this year

Following Marriott International announcing its 800th hotel opening in Asia Pacific, the group is expected to open almost 100 more properties in the region this year alone…

Luxury pool at Domes Zeen, a Luxury Collection Resort, Chania

Last year, despite the pandemic putting a halt on travel demand, Marriott International opened 75 new hotels in Asia Pacific, representing more than one opening per week across the region. This year, the hotel group is expected to continue this growth in the region. In a recent press statement, Marriott announced announced its ambitious plans to open nearly 100 new properties in the area in 2021.

“I am proud of the way we have continued to grow and have moved quickly to adapt to the challenges that arose from the pandemic. With the launch of new global industry hygiene standards in April 2020, innovative offerings such as work anywhere packages and hyper-localised marketing and sales strategies, our nimble and forward-thinking approach will continue to lead us through the recovery,” said Craig S. Smith, Group President, International, Marriott International. “We are grateful for the continued resilience and positivity demonstrated by our associates and for the confidence our guests, owners and franchisees continue to have in us. We remain well-positioned to meet the travel demands of our guests across Asia Pacific and the rest of the world.”

Greater China has led the global recovery to date, and the company expects to soon celebrate its 400th hotel in Greater China and its 50th hotel in Shanghai with the opening of JW Marriott Shanghai Fengxian in spring 2021. With this hotel opening, Shanghai has the distinction of reaching this important milestone for the company in Asia Pacific.

“Mainland China is on track to become the world’s largest personal luxury market by 2025.”

According to a joint report by consultancy Bain & Co. and Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury unit, Mainland China is on track to become the world’s largest personal luxury market by 2025 even seeing year-over-year domestic growth in 2020 despite the pandemic. To leverage this trend, Marriott International continues to strengthen its luxury portfolio with expected openings in 2021 such as W Changsha, W Xiamen, St. Regis Qingdao and The Ritz-Carlton Reserve Jiuzhaigou. With the anticipated opening of the Ritz-Carlton Reserve, China will be the first country in Asia Pacific to house all of Marriott International’s luxury hallmarks.

Pool at Ritz-Carlton Reserve, China

Image credit: Marriott International/Ritz-Carlton Reserve, China

Marriott’s leisure bookings in China have been particularly strong, up over 25 per cent year over year in the third quarter in Mainland China, demonstrating the resiliency of demand once consumers are comfortable that the virus is under control and restrictions can safely be lifted. The company is introducing more travel experiences across its brand portfolio, including at popular leisure destinations such as Mianyang in the Sichuan province with the expected opening of Sheraton Mianyang, as well in the culturally-rich destination of Nanjing with the anticipated opening of The Westin Nanjing Resort & Spa.

Beyond Greater China, Marriott International continues to strengthen its footprint, with several expected brand debuts across Asia Pacific in 2021. In Japan, W Hotels is expected to debut with the opening of W Osaka, while The Luxury Collection is also slated to debut in Australia with the opening of The Tasman in Hobart. The iconic Ritz-Carlton brand is expected to celebrate its debut in the leading resort destination of Maldives in early summer, bringing legendary service to the picture-perfect archipelago.

A render of the first Luxury Collection hotel in Australia

Image credit: Marriott International/The Luxury Collection

Further expanding Marriott’s presence in breathtaking resort destinations, the JW Marriott brand is slated to bring its warm luxury experience to Jeju Island in South Korea with the planned opening of JW Marriott Jeju in late 2021. The company’s signature wellness brand, Westin, is also highly anticipated to debut in one of India’s top beach destinations, Goa, this summer.

Since you’re here, why not read ‘The Hot List’, referencing the most significant hotels openings expected in Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 of this year?

To support domestic travel in Japan, the company plans to open six additional Fairfield by Marriott hotels throughout 2021 along ‘Michi-no-Eki’ roadside stations aimed at revitalising the country’s local sightseeing spots. Japan expects to have more than 30 Fairfield by Marriott hotels by the end of 2023. Touted as one of the best cities in the world for art, culture, music and food, Australia’s Melbourne is expected to see the opening of the country’s second W Hotel with W Melbourne in spring and the opening of Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands in early 2021.

Pool area at Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands overlooking city

Image credit: Marriott International/Melboure Marriott Hotel Docklands

“The strength of our pipeline is testament to the long-term growth prospects in Asia Pacific,” said Paul Foskey, Chief Development Officer, Asia Pacific, Marriott International. “Despite a challenging environment in 2020, we are pleased with the signings we have achieved across the region during the year. We have full gratitude to our owners and franchisees for their belief in the resiliency of travel and the strength of Marriott’s portfolio of brands.”

Main image credit: Marriott International/Domes Zeen, a Luxury Collection Resort, Chania