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      The Dorchester Terrace Penthouse living room

      The Dorchester, where style will always conquer over fashion

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      The Dorchester, where style will always conquer over fashion

      The new challenge for traditional luxury hotels in London – aside from navigating the obvious pandemic – is confronting the demand for a new era of contemporary luxury hotels. Editor Hamish Kilburn checks in to one of Mayfair’s finest establishments, The Dorchester, to understand the power of style over fashion in hotel design. Inside the 250-key hotel, he investigates how heritage luxury hotels are sensitively remaining relevant in modern times…

      The Dorchester Terrace Penthouse living room

      London, which to many is regarded a capital city of worldwide hospitality (at the very least a major hospitality hub), is entering a new era: the luxury lifestyle market is answering to the demand of modern travellers and, as a result, a new wave of contemporary hotels is approaching the city on an unprecedented scale.

      According to the data analysts at STR, pre-Covid, 2020 was expected to become the year with the highest number of hotel openings that the city has ever seen, which was fuelled somewhat by the fall in the pound against other currencies in the on-going Brexit saga. Although this can only be seen a positive for the holistic hospitality industry in London, it no doubt puts into question the demand for – and therefore the role of – traditional luxury hotels that are dotted around Mayfair.

      If we were to personify these illustrious jewels in a theatrical manner, think of them as the headline acts; their roles so impressive and unique that they have earned the right to a residency following countless standing-ovation and headline-grabbing performances.

      Within this cluster of legends is The Dorchester, a 250-key luxury hotel that shelters a distinct classic English residential style, which has stood proud on Park Lane – majestically on the fringe of Hyde Park – for nearly nine decades. Within that time, it has managed to build and retain a legacy while effortlessly leading London’s premium hospitality scene to rank itself time and time again as an award-winning luxury hotel.

      To truly understand what sets The Dorchester aside from other luxury addresses in London, I invited our official videographers at CUBE Video along with me to check in and capture luxury hospitality meeting stylish design. Here’s how we got on:

      Since first opening in 1931, after being built in record time over just 18 months (which is the equivalent to the speed of completing one floor per week), The Dorchester has been favoured by royalty and celebrities alike. It was here, in the Park Suite, where HRH Prince Phillips famously spent his last night as a bachelor – and down the corridor where Queen Elizabeth II was spotted on the day of her engagement.

      > Since you’re here, why not read our ‘In (Lockdown) Conversation With’ Robert Whitfield, The Dorchester Collection’s Regional Director (UK) & General Manager of The Dorchester.

      The hotel’s style was originally created by Oliver Ford, who also handled the decoration for the Queen Mother’s residence at the Royal Lodge in Windsor and Clarence House in St James. Ford introduced details such as handmade carpets on each floor in different floral patterns.

      One of the most iconic, and most photographed, areas inside The Dorchester is The Promenade, which is adorned with rich coral coloured silk draperies, custom gold-framed mirrors and striking chandeliers. Rumoured to be as long as Nelson’s Column is high, The Promenade is a clever use of space that stretches right down the hotel’s spine and is aptly decorated with sumptuous seating and striking floral displays that feature ‘The Dorchester Rose’, which was dedicated to the hotel by award-winning rose breeders Meijer Roses. The hotel’s in-house designer florist Philip Hammond explains how a small detail like a rose can compliment the hotel’s design scheme. “This specially selected rose is blousy in composition and has a pale blush colouring, with the pink tone gaining more colour as the rose gradually opens up,” Hammond says. “When you see it against the backdrop of The Dorchester, you really appreciate how it complements our timeless interiors.”

      The Promenade at The Dorchester

      Image caption: The Promenade at The Dorchester, which features stunning floral displays using the signature Dorchester rose| Image credit: The Dorchester

      The Grill has been an integral dining outside within the hotel since it opened. However, with the recent appointment of head chef Tom Booton – who at just 27 years old happens to be the restaurant’s youngest ever head chef – the restaurant has been led into a new chapter (and the critics love it!).

      As well as serving up a creative and playful menu that was designed by the man who, in his own words is, “all about fine dining without the formality”, everything about The Grill’s modern personality is surprisingly applauded by the hotel’s luxury status. The lobster thermidor tart, for example, has become somewhat of a signature dish for The Grill: a cheesy cheddar tart with thermidor foam and a rich lobster bisque, topped with a roasted lobster tail.

      For dessert, The Grill’s twist on tradition now challenges the very nature of conventional dining, subtly, by introducing The Pudding Bar, which is the perfect way to finish off Booton’s dining experience. By pulling up a stall (quite literally), guests can break away from their tables to watch their sweet treat, such as the rich Double Decker (it is as delicious as it sounds) being prepared. Not only does this create a welcome disruption to a standardised dining formula – not to mention putting apt emphasis on what is, let’s face it, the best part of any meal – but it also tactfully injects a healthy dose of theatre within the experience, with guests able to interact with the chefs.

      The Pudding Bar complete with artefacts on a feature wall inside The Grill | Image credit: The Dorchester

      Image caption: The Pudding Bar inside The Grill | Image credit: The Dorchester

      There is no doubt about it, the public areas and F&B outlets inside The Dorchester are breathtaking, and operate smoothly under awe-inspiring original design features. But public areas aside, what about the private areas within a hotel where guests demand modern flavour; the guestrooms and suites?

      With such a bold and distinctive design narrative comes great challenges and enormous responsibility when the time inevitably approaches to renovate; finding the balance to create the right level of contemporary flavour while staying true to the hotel’s traditional leafy design scheme is an ambitious and somewhat arduous task for any designer, regardless of previous credentials.

      Image caption: The bedroom inside The Dorchester Suite | Image credit: The Dorchester

      In 2002, the hotel underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment with an all-encompassing renovation of guestrooms and suites, including the addition of a custom-built, high-tech entertainment and business console in each guestroom and a remarkably advanced telecommunications system.

      In 2007, award-winning design firm Alexandra Champalimaud, design studio that created the interiors for Raffles Singapore, The Carlyle and Monkey Island Estate, was given the responsibility to refurbish a handful of the property’s most prestigious suites: The Audley, Terrace and Harlequin Penthouses. And with the studio’s ability to effortlessly transform these areas to become tech-savvy yet timeless abodes, the design plot for The Dorchester thickened and a new era for the hotel was born. Whilst these suites stayed true to the hotel’s classic English residential style, the design within them fused contemporary comfort with timeless glamour.

      In 2012, Champalimaud Design returned to sensitively renovate a further 22 suites. As well as redesigning the bedrooms and living areas, the design team also remodelled the statement marble-flooded bathrooms, which feature a separate stall shower with large drench shower head and what are said to be London’s deepest hotel bathtubs.

      An all-marble bathroom inside one of the finest hotels in London

      Image caption: The Dorchester bathrooms are said to shelter London’s deepest baths | Image credit: The Dorchester

      Having now secured landmark status, The Dorchester’s majestic glow is physically protected from change. In terms of its secret to remaining relevant nine decades since first opening to the world, the answer is perhaps unclear. What is transparent, however, is the hotel’s ability to evolve with meaning into modern times while also retaining and celebrating the building’s history, which has become its legacy.

      What’s more, by consistently choosing style over fashion, The Dorchester remains a much-loved and integral part of history in British hospitality, and stands as proud today as it was in 1931 as one of London’s most refined headline acts.

      [Cue The Dorchester’s post-lockdown curtain call.]

      Main image credit: The Dorchester

      Look of the month from Kobe: worry less, live more

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Look of the month from Kobe: worry less, live more

      This month’s fabric and soft furnishing inspiration comes from FIBREGUARD upholstery collections by Kobe, which offer luxury style and easy-to-clean design…

      This month’s look from fabric supplier Kobe is more of a feeling rather than a look: worry less, and live more, which taps into comfort, balance and creating the ultimate home-from-home environment.

      With working from home (WFH) meaning that we are all staying indoors more during autumn and as we fall into winter, Hotel Designs and Kobe want to remind the industry that the meaning of a happy work/life balance is about enjoying the small yet significant moments.

      Within this month’s ‘look‘, the colour palette includes a mix of earthy tones – think beige, grey and blue – and have been captured for this feature with black as the frame for the upholstery and soft purple as an accent.

      The look of the month, a brown/beige armchair with food on it

      Image credit: Kobe

      Upcycle and recycle

      Although worrying less and living more suggests we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff, topics such as sustainability should always be on the agenda – and can be so within this look by connecting us with nature.

      The ‘look’ in Kobe’s archive

      Kobe’s stain-free velvet fabrics like PAXTON FR can give a piece of furniture new life. For a more rustic look, the BARIUM FR or BERYL FR is a textured linen. If you are looking for a bit of a statement maker, we suggest the metallic look chenille NICKEL FR.

      All of Kobe’s Fibreguard collections are stocked with a Domestic Cig & Match back-coat, available direct from stock. For Contract use, the brand offers suitable treatments – available on request.

      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

      A london bus outside Sofitel London St James

      Weekly briefing: a London review, a Japanese gem & re-living the drama

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Weekly briefing: a London review, a Japanese gem & re-living the drama

      Just in time for the weekend, here’s your weekly briefing, featuring the hottest stories of the week. This briefing includes our video review of Sofitel London St James, a boutique bombshell up for sale in Bordeaux and how you can re-watch all the drama from The Brit List Awards 2020…

      A london bus outside Sofitel London St James

      As we gear up to dive into our ultimate throwback, when we will revisit the hottest product launches from the last 11 months, the editorial team at Hotel Designs has been busy publishing the latest news and engaging original features. We appreciate that you may not have time to read all the hot content that Hotel Designs has been published this week, therefore, here is our ‘editor’s pick’ of what we believe are the juiciest stories from the past five days.

      Inside Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa

      Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa, has opened in the heart of Japan’s ancient capital – sheltering design by an international team of renowned architects and designers including Akira Kuryu, André Fu, Shunsaku Miyagi and Yohei Akao.

      Read more.

      Boutique hotel, La Vue, in Bordeaux region goes on sale

      An outdoor pool iun between barns in La Vue

      Image credit: La Vue

      2020 has proven itself to be the year of distressed assets, with characterful hotel properties around the world being sold to the chains. However, there is nothing distressed about La Vue, a perfectly placed boutique hotel that has potential to be something incredible on Europe’s independent hotel scene.

      Situated right at the centre of a triangle drawn between three major cities in France – Bordeaux, Cognac and Angouleme – La Vue is a luxury boutique gem set in one acre of land, which is surrounded by vineyards and spectacular views.

      Read more.

      Hotel review (in video): checking in to Sofitel London St James

      Sofitel London St James bathroom

      image credit: Sofitel London St James

      17 years after first unveiling the original designs for the Sofitel London St JamesPierre-Yves Rochon returned to London to breathe new life into the 183-key lifestyle luxury hotel. Editor Hamish Kilburn, along with a production team to film his response, checks in find out more.

      For Sofitel London St James, a flagship for the global hotel brand that is positioned in between Westminster and Mayfair, the decision to invite legendary designer Pierre-Yves Rochon back to redesign the guestrooms and suites was one that came naturally. And it was his ability to combine English décor with refined French elegance that gave this hotel’s interiors a new and somewhat an unexpected personality.

      Read more. 

      Re-live all the drama from The Brit List Awards 2020

      Image of the Sterling Suite with Brit List logo

      Hundreds of designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers tuned in on November 12 to watch the awards ceremony that crowned the winners of The Brit List Awards 2020. But if you missed it, you can watch the full ceremony here, on demand.

      Adhering to social distancing measures and the latest government guidelines, this year’s awards were produced by CUBE Video and filmed from inside Minotti London’s Fitzrovia showroom, which will host The Brit List Winners’ Party/MEET UP London on April 29, 2021.

      Read more.

      (In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: The revival of smart tech post-pandemic

      Main image for Hotel Designs LIVE Session 4

      In the final session of Hotel Designs LIVE, editor Hamish Kilburn was joined by global industry experts to discuss the revival of smart tech after he checked in to a completely contactless hotel experience.

      The final session that took place during Hotel Designs LIVE was entitled: The revival of smart tech post-pandemic – and was sponsored by Grohe, a bathroom manufacturer that is clearly leading the way when it comes to utilising technology to create innovative bathroom solutions.

      Read more.

      A safari accomodation tent in the dessert

      Luxurious and comfortable accommodation from Bushtec Safari

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Luxurious and comfortable accommodation from Bushtec Safari

      Following the brand’s presentation as a Product Watch Partner at Hotel Designs LIVE, Bushtec Safari explains why luxury tented resorts have become global trend for guests seeking luxurious and comfortable accommodation…

      A safari accomodation tent in the dessert

      Luxury tented resorts have become global trending destinations for luxurious and comfortable accommodation, seeing to unique experiences, without compromising on quality.

      Bushtec Safari as part of the Canvas & Tent Group is one of the leading tent manufacturers and suppliers to well-known safari camps and game reserves, hunting and luxury lodges, villas and resorts within the travel market both locally and internationally.

      A tented accommodation in front of a river

      Image credit: Bushtec Safari Display Area

      The brand is renowned globally as we have provided luxury tents to countless projects through our head office and our branches in America, Europe and Botswana as well as our distributors in the UAE, Australia and Asia.

      With more than 1,000 different tent designs, we prefer keeping everything we do in-house – from design, to manufacturing, delivering, and installing.

      Over the years that we have been designing and manufacturing luxury tents, we have truly tested boundaries and accomplished the unthinkable. We have a range of standard designed luxury tents which can be customised according to specified requirements, alternatively we can create a custom design from scratch based on a concept on paper. With our team of in-house designers, we can create almost anything that you can imagine. We also work closely with the investor’s architect should one be appointed.

      A tented accommodation in the middle of nowhere with stars above

      Image credit: Mountain View Safari Lodge

      Ladysmith, which is in the Kwa Zulu Natal province in South Africa, shelters our state-of-the-art factories, totalling a productive area of 27,500 m2 where more than 300 skilled design, technical and specialist personnel are employed. Here we craft masterpieces with passion and dedication.

      Despite the rigorous quality standards which we adhere to when manufacturing our tents, we still need to deliver on our mantra: “Designed to Impress. Built to Last”.

      While our materials are manufactured according to the most exacting quality and climatic durability standards, over time exposure to the elements will take its toll. To conserve the aesthetic appearance of your tented accommodation and extend the lifespan and return on investment, we offer regular on-site inspections and a maintenance service.

      If you’d prefer to do it yourself, we can provide maintenance training for your camp managers and staff members, so they can extend the lifespan of your tented accommodation. The usual maintenance includes replacement of zips for canvas-style doors, resealing of the square tubing, tensioning of flysheets, washing each tent as well as reproofing each tent.

      We also understand the importance of different environmental elements that have to be taken into consideration when we manufacture luxury tents. In order to accommodate these considerations, we offer different types of steel frames, different combinations of materials, fire-retardant materials, insulated materials and even guarantee that our canvas and flysheets are UV treated, welded and stitched to high standards. We engineer our tent structures in such a way that it can withstand the elements that it is exposed to, enabling the tents to last the investor for more than 10 years, which will be great for your return on investment.

      Aerial shot of a tented site

      Image credit: Bushtec Safari/Private Resort

      Our tents are eco-friendly and can blend in with the natural surroundings quite effortlessly. Each tent has a light footprint, and by securing it to a wooden deck that plants into the ground, you can have your luxury tented camp without disrupting the environment at all.

      Bushtec Safari luxury tents are designed and manufactured for year-round use in various weather conditions – from the African bush, to the deserts of the UAE, to the woodland landscapes of Europe and even tropical island style resorts – Bushtec Safari has got you covered.

      Not only do we supply these one-of-a-kind luxury tents, we can also offer the investor the option of a full turnkey solution through our sister brand, Bushtec Creations. In this scenario everything concerning the project will be managed and implemented by our in-house team, from planning to concept development, design, site layouts, sourcing, manufacture and supply of all items needed including interiors, right through to deployment and project management. With our professional and experience team you can rest assured that your investment is in the best hands. For us, no destination is too remote, no idea too bold, no challenge too big.

      Bushtec Safari was one of our Product Watch Pitch Partners for Hotel Designs LIVE

      Main image credit: Bushtec Safari/Good Moremi Gorge

      Sofitel London St James luxury room with blue tartan carpets and blue modern furniture

      Hotel review (in video): checking in to Sofitel London St James

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Hotel review (in video): checking in to Sofitel London St James

      17 years after first unveiling the original designs for the Sofitel London St James, Pierre-Yves Rochon returned to London to breathe new life into the 183-key lifestyle luxury hotel. Editor Hamish Kilburn, along with a production team to film his response, checks in find out more…

      Sofitel London St James luxury room with blue tartan carpets and blue modern furniture

      The ultimate compliment for a hotel designer, aside from a client signing off one stage allowing them to move on to the next, is being asked to return back to a project years later to lead it sensitively into a new era. This scenario, although rare and therefore highly momentous, also comes with certain pressures, considering that each and every decision will be scrutinised by client and critic and compared to the statement design scheme that was originally unveiled and considered a success.

      For Sofitel London St James, a flagship for the global hotel brand that is positioned in between Westminster and Mayfair, the decision to invite legendary designer Pierre-Yves Rochon back to redesign the guestrooms and suites was one that came naturally. And it was his ability to combine English décor with refined French elegance that gave this hotel’s interiors a new and somewhat an unexpected personality.

      “It was important to preserve the identity of the hotel that was created 17 years ago.” – Pierre-Yves Rochon

      To truly capture the essence of this modern hotel sheltered in a heritage building, I checked in with our product team at CUBE Video to explore what makes this hotel special. Here’s how I got on…

      “It was important to preserve the identity of the hotel that was created 17 years ago,” Rochon told Hotel Designs. “So, there was a clever mix between the elements of the past that we have kept and the new elements marking the new decoration. For example, we kept the headboards and bedside tables the same, but we created a new concept in the guestrooms and suites, which we refer to as the ‘Media wall library’.”

      Sofitel London St James luxury twin room in red

      Image credit: Sofitel London St James

      Inside the new guestrooms, which are complete with retro furniture and bold colours, it is clear that the aim was to, in Rochon’s words, “give a new life to the hotel.” To prevent each room in either green, red or blue colour schemes from looking ‘tired’, and to refine a modern interior design scheme fit for the flagship status it has been given, Rochon’s bold leap away from convention allowed him to further blur the definition of what a London hotel should look like. The tartan carpets, for example, create a textured layer of detail but also compliment the 1960s – 70s theme explored in the design scheme, as Rochon explains: “The choice of Scottish-inspired carpets in the bedrooms is, of course, linked to the fact that we are in the UK, but another reason we choose these carpets was because of the geometric appearance which corresponds to this particular period of design in the 1960s and 70s.”

      Image credit: Sofitel London St James blue guestrooms with tartan carpets and blue walls

      Image credit: Sofitel London St James

      Throughout the hotel, there is a dominant theme of English Style meeting French elegance. While the guestrooms are trendy with certain nods to British iconic fashion figures of the 60s and 70s, the bathrooms are chic, well-lit and with a black and white colour scheme they are also somewhat timeless. “The bathrooms have always been appreciated by the hotel’s guests, so we simply decided to refurbish them when necessary,” said Rochon. “This included improving the lighting, creating showers and redesigning the floors in black and white graphics, in continuity with the original decoration.”

      When asked, Rochon admitted that the most challenging aspect of the renovation was staying within budget, “while also respecting the decorative spirit” of the hotel. Regardless of having to stay between the lines of a budget, it is admirable how one designer’s creativity can lead one hotel into two different eras, and as a result re-unveil a modern masterpiece that lives up to its flagship title.

      Main image credit: Sofitel London St James

      The entrance to the Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto

      Inside Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Inside Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa

      Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa, has opened in the heart of Japan’s ancient capital – sheltering design by an international team of renowned architects and designers including Akira Kuryu, André Fu, Shunsaku Miyagi and Yohei Akao…

      The entrance to the Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto

      The Luxury Collection, part of Marriott International Inc., has announced the opening of Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa in Kyoto, Japan.

      Once the private residence of the aristocratic Mitsui family, the property’s 300-year-old main entrance, the Kajiimiya Gate, still stands today. Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto resides in the heart of Kyoto, the only luxury hotel in the city centre with its own natural hot spring drawn from the thermal waters deep below ground. The hotel opens up to one of the world’s most enriching and desirable destination discoveries, including the 17th-century UNESCO World Heritage-listed Nijo Castle located directly opposite the hotel and other shrines, palaces and gardens.

      An image at night of the traditional gate framing the entrance to the hotel

      Image credit: Marriett International/Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto

      “We are delighted to celebrate the expansion of The Luxury Collection here in Japan with the opening of Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto as the brand’s second iconic property in Kyoto, in partnership with Mitsui Fudosan Group,” said Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific (excluding China), Marriott International. “The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts are an ensemble of unique hotels across the world that celebrate authenticity and indigenousness in every destination. Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto is a wonderful addition to this very special collection, and we are confident that guests will enjoy its impeccable service as much as its beauty and surroundings.”

      Thoughtfully designed by an international team of renowned architects and designers including Akira Kuryu, André Fu, Shunsaku Miyagi and Yohei Akao, Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto blends tradition with modernity. Throughout the hotel, guests will be inspired by the minimalist yet contemporary design, which creates a sense of comfort with natural luxury. The gardens express the beauty and serenity as expected of a classical Japanese garden.

      The hotel’s 161 guest rooms and suites feature exquisite natural materials shaped by traditional artisanal skills. Each room reimagines elegance and relaxed luxury of traditional Japanese tea-rooms, and bathing areas in every room feature spacious bathtubs hewn from stone. Two Onsen Suites feature separate living rooms, private gardens and outdoor hot spring baths for a highly memorable experience of Japanese onsen traditions in complete luxury and privacy.

      A modern suite inside the mitsui kyoto a luxury collection hotel and spa/

      Image credit: Marriott International/Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto

      Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto features two restaurants, a bar and lounge and a private dining space, all of which showcase Japanese and international epicurean experiences while offering breath-taking views of the hotel gardens. In the signature gastronomy teppan restaurant TOKIguests are offered culinary specialties prepared on an open-plan steel teppan framed by a Kabazakura birch counter.

      The hotel’s Italian restaurant FORNI features an okudosan, a traditional Japanese cooking range reimagined as a wood-burning oven for pizzas and roasts. The Garden Bar, meanwhile, offers the perfect space to enjoy afternoon tea, drinks and cocktails and SHIKI-NO-MA provides an exclusive dining venue in an elegant setting, ideal for private events.

      The hotel’s unique thermal spring spa is a relaxing sanctuary of more than 1,000 square metres of space which includes a thermal onsen spring, two private onsen facilities, four spa treatment rooms and a fully-equipped gym.

      “Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto represents the essence of Japan, as framed by the narrative of its history, culture, architecture, crafts and cuisine. We seek to express this essence in our brand concept of “Embracing Japan’s Beauty”,” said Jennie Toh, Vice President, Brand, Asia Pacific, Marriott International. “We have merged tradition and modernity across all aspects of our hotel design, culinary offerings and service. We look forward to welcoming guests to our hotel, and to usher them into a world of luxury inspired by the beauty and traditions of Japan.”

      Since you’re here, why not read more about Marriott International’s expansion in the Asia Pacific region?

      Main image credit: Marriott International/Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto

      Industry insight: bathroom planning for the future of hotels

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Industry insight: bathroom planning for the future of hotels

      As the pandemic continues to challenge existing hotel concepts in all sectors of hospitality, the conventional bathroom and wellness area is being confronted. Tony Taylor-Sherif, Area Specification Consultant at Schlüter Systems who delivered a PRODUCT WATCH pitch at Hotel Designs LIVE, explains…

      It is no secret that 2020 has been an unpredictable year with challenges faced by all due to Covid-19. The hospitality sector is one of many which has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, but hopefully a strong bounce back will be on the horizon due to the resilient nature of the industry.

      However, the design and build of a hotel is a long process that can take a number of years, and predicting how the landscape of the hospitality sector will look on the other side of a global pandemic really is anybody’s guess. One thing that is certain, though, hotels at the early stages of the design process will need to be impressive, welcoming and have the all-important ‘wow’ factor.

      Schlüter Systems’ latest range of shower boards could be a key player in assisting with the long-term plans of hotels going forward: a low height version within the Schlüter-KERDI-SHOWER-LTS range has been created specifically to work alongside the Schlüter-KERDI-LINE-G3 linear drain to provide low build up and level access whilst being fully waterproof.

      Exclusive modern white bathroom with glass shower

      Image credit: Schlüter Systems

      The reason this product can help future high-rise hotels is that when installed with the KERDI-LINE-G3 drain, the KERDI-SHOWER-LTS low height offering has the potential to allow for an extra storey to be created with the additional space available due to the fall of 1:80. When return on investment is such an important factor, this option could make all the difference.

      Not only does the low height offering provide architects with more space to build upwards, another benefit is that it can easily be installed as part of a warrantied and fully waterproof system. The KERDI-SHOWER-LTS can be used seamlessly with other products in their portfolio, such as Schlüter-DITRA-HEAT to offer the popular choice of underfloor heating, and the BBA-certified Schlüter-KERDI-BOARD for the slick creation of niches or partition walls.

      New design bathroom with shower and two basins, in gray and white with black details

      Image credit: Schlüter Systems

      This will provide both hotel owners and their guests with the much-needed reassurance and peace of mind that the specified bathrooms will be long-lasting and reliable. Getting the parts behind the tiles right ensures that any elements you add to give guests an unforgettable experience will stand the test of time.

      Although it is difficult to know what the next few years will look like for the hospitality sector, it is clear that hotels will need to offer the very best to their customers and with Schlüter Systems, this can be done stylishly with ease.

      Since you’re here, why not read more about Schlüter System’s stylish niches and shelves.

      Schlüter Systems was a PRODUCT WATCH pitch partner at Hotel Designs LIVE.

      Main image credit: Schlüter Systems

      Product watch: the Statement Sculpture by Marokka Design House

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Product watch: the Statement Sculpture by Marokka Design House

      Need to add a little statement into your next hotel project? Marokka Design House, a brand that is built on creating geometric objects of desire, may have just the thing…

      The best destinations always have a sense of place by connecting with visitors on a deeper more experiential level, this can be through heritage, architecture and attention-grabbing designs.

      The latter resonates especially with Marokka Design House, a business that is built on creating geometric objects of desire that also gives back to the societies and places in which they exist.

      It is not surprising that sculpting one of the oldest forms of art, preceding painting, the purpose not being to depict beauty but to provide a physical presence for the spirituality of early civilisation.

      When the imposing three-metre high Gus, a western lowland gorilla, was originally created in partnership with Broadgate and The Aspinall Foundation for a unique, tech-inspired exhibition – WILD LIFE, it had a clear objective which was to raise the awareness of endangered animals.

      The stunning polygonal gorilla formed the cornerstone of an interactive exhibition in the centre of London’s Financial District and combined the physical sculpture with digital experiences. By downloading Marokka’s free app, visitors were able to bring augmented reality animations to life while highlighting the plight of endangered animals around the world and celebrating the incredible work of charity partner, The Aspinall Foundation in protecting them and sending animals back to the wild.

      The advantage of creating a physical sculpture is its permanence and in the case of King Gus (as he has since been named), is that he now resides in the entrance at Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve and his large presence makes the experience all the more memorable for those who visit.

      Charlotte Clout, owner of Marokka Design House, has also revealed that another King Gus will be launching soon and will be looking for his forever home. He can be customised to enhance and reinforce the brand presence of any business park, hotel interior or exterior.

      As well as making large scale sculptures, Marokka makes smaller-scale sculptures for the home that are made from sustainable and eco-friendly materials, available to buy on the website – plus, the brand donates 10 per cent of all sales to The Aspinall Foundation and DOTS (Dogs on the Street).

      Marokka is one of our Industry Support Package clients 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: Marokka

      Man in mirror

      KEUCO’s mirrors ensure bathrooms don’t get left in the dark

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      KEUCO’s mirrors ensure bathrooms don’t get left in the dark

      The Royal Modular 2.0 from KEUCO is a stylish mirrored cabinet that combines state-of- the-art technology with adaptable storage and modern design…

      Introducing the Royal Modular 2.0 from KEUCO; a stylish modern cabinet that combines state-of- the-art technology, such as intelligent LED lighting with adaptable storage and modern design elements.

      Man in mirror

      Size matters

      There’s a saying ‘one size fits all’ but in the case of the Royal Modular 2.0 it’s one cabinet to fit all sizes. With widths of 500mm now through to 2100mm, options of two heights and two depths, recessed or wall mounted and the option to be with or without illumination this cabinet can be designed to fit any bathroom wall and match any size of washbasin.

      Substance meets style

      Because the Royal Modular 2.0 is available in so many versions it does not mean it falls behind in any aspect of design or technology. Intelligent LED lighting is integrated horizontally at the top and bottom of each cabinet. The lights are easily adjusted to provide a brighter daylight white light when needed, for example when shaving or applying make-up. A softer gentle warm yellow shade is available for other times of the day; whatever time and which ever shade of white is selected the lighting produced is both shadow and glare free.

      The cabinet has mirrors on both sides of the doors, the shelves within the interior of the cabinet are made with tinted glass, whilst the rear of the cabinet is white glass. This makes it easy to see the contents and clean the inside.

      Personalisation is one of the key elements of the Royal Modular 2.0. It easy to alter to suit a persons needs as the interior shelves can be easily adjusted to cater for the heights of different bottles and jars. In addition the soft close doors can be adapted to close as slowly or as quickly as needed.

      It’s all in the detail

      Specific practical design elements which have been added to the Royal Modular 2.0 cabinets.

      • A magnifying cosmetic mirror has been added, this can be attached to the interior shelves, the doors or an external surface.
      • Magnetic strips on the interior ensure that smaller beauty items are stored safely and are easy to find.
      • Secure power sockets and usb ports are safely hidden within the body of the cabinet, enabling you to charge your mobile even in the bathroom

      KEUCO 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: KEUCO

      Boutique hotel, La Vue, in Bordeaux region goes on sale

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Boutique hotel, La Vue, in Bordeaux region goes on sale

      The family-owned La Vue, a luxury hotel and wedding venue that is sheltered inside a former 17th Century Cognac distillery, is up for sale – and Hotel Designs, for the first time in the publication’s history, is keen to find a buyer for the family…

      2020 has proven itself to be the year of distressed assets, with characterful hotel properties around the world being sold to the chains. However, there is nothing distressed about La Vue, a perfectly placed boutique hotel that has potential to be something incredible on Europe’s independent hotel scene.

      Situated right at the centre of a triangle drawn between three major cities in France – Bordeaux, Cognac and Angouleme – La Vue is a luxury boutique gem set in one acre of land, which is surrounded by vineyards and spectacular views.

      The 15-key property, which was refurbished in 2018 and reviewed in The Telegraph shortly after where it was described as a “tasteful, secluded little gem” and dubbed the “Tuscany of France”, is home to five three-bedroom self-catering gites, which are attached to a spectacular Manor House with en-suite guestrooms, bar, bistro and staff accommodation.

      The hotel and wedding venue is located in a small village called Birac, which is roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes from Bordeaux, 30 minutes from Cognac and 25 minutes from Angouleme. Previous guests have often tied in trips to La Vue with visits to St Emilion, Pauillac and other famous wine making domaines. Cognac lovers are well catered for too in the eponymous city – with tours of Remy Martin, Martel and Courvoisier available. Adjacent to La Vue is an organic Cognac maker called Jean Luc Pasquet who supply the hotel and offer tastings and tours.

      “The hotel has recently been granted preliminary approval from the local authorities for a further 50 beds.”

      La Vue itself is a former 17th Century Cognac distillery, and is architecturally very typical of the Charentes region. The current family who own the property acquired it in 2017 from a British couple who had been running it as a wedding venue for many years, primarily catering to British guests. In 2018 it underwent a complete overhaul to bring it up to a standard where it could be relaunched as a high-end wedding venue. 

      An outdoor pool iun between barns in La Vue

      Image credit: La Vue

      Outside, there are two swimming pools and a small spa and wellness area that is complete with sauna and steam room, plus staff accommodation facilities. The landscape has a beautiful lawn to the rear surrounding the pool deck, and a pergola that is suitable for outdoor dining. At the rear there is an observation deck with views that stretch across the valley, and that frames spectacular sunsets.

      What’s more, the hotel has reported a strong pipeline of bookings running into 2022, and it has recently been granted preliminary approval from the local authorities for a further 50 beds – the site for the proposed expansion is a currently disused cognac barn.

      To find out more details about this boutique hotel, and to be put in touch with the owners, please email us on the editorial desk. 

      Main image credit: La Vue France

      (In video) Watch The Brit List Awards 2020 – the awards ceremony

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      (In video) Watch The Brit List Awards 2020 – the awards ceremony

      Hundreds of designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers tuned in on November 12 to watch the awards ceremony that crowned the winners of The Brit List Awards 2020. But if you missed it, you can watch the full ceremony here, on demand…

      Hotel Designs’ nationwide search to find the top designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers operating in Britain came to a head last week when the winners of The Brit List Awards 2020, sponsored by Crosswater, were officially announced.

      Adhering to social distancing measures and the latest government guidelines, this year’s awards were produced by CUBE Video and filmed from inside Minotti London’s Fitzrovia showroom, which will host The Brit List Winners’ Party/MEET UP London on April 29, 2021.

      Editor Hamish Kilburn hosted all the drama, which included an engaging panel discussion with the international judging panel, the unveiling of The Brit List 2020 and announcing this year’s individual winners.

      You can watch the action unfold below:

      Since you’re here, why not read The Brit List Awards 2020 winners’ story, referencing the judges’ reasons behind this year’s seven worthy individual winners.

      Thank you to our partners:

      Bathroom brand Aqualisa expands its brassware offering

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Bathroom brand Aqualisa expands its brassware offering

      Hard on the heels of launching an extended brassware range – the warmly received Uptown collection – shower manufacturer Aqualisa has introduced two more ranges of brassware under the new Downtown and Central branding…

      All three ranges are a value for money option, that will support shower sales with a combined, style matched brassware proposition. This latest move establishes Aqualisa as a brassware category player with a strong proposition for market sectors where bathroom customisation and the trend towards ‘mix and match’ is a strong purchase influence.

      These new tap offerings are relevant to all Aqualisa’s target markets – trade, consumer and specifier – where the opportunity exists to offer a co-ordinated sale of shower and taps under one brand with the same style elements. With a variation of lever styles, these taps cover both basin and bath variants and can be paired with a wide selection of single and dual lever mixer showers and bar valves, including the AQ, Mian, Midas and Dream ranges.

      “We’re keen  to support our showers through specialist retail and merchant showrooms with consumers that are looking for co-ordinated taps with strong brand values as well as to brand loyal installers at the trade counter who will specify taps as part of a complete bathroom refurbishment project,” says Head of Marketing Sian Brink.

      The introduction of these new tap ranges announces Aqualisa’s serious entry into the brassware market as it heads towards the end of 2020, but, importantly, the launch positions Aqualisa as a brassware brand with a more extensive offering to come in 2021.

      “These brassware options see the Aqualisa brand covering full, matching combinations of showers and taps to suit a broad range of bathroom installations,” says Sian Brink. “The choice of different lever styles provides options to match both new and existing sanitaryware styles, making them ideal for bathroom makeovers and updates.”

      All taps in the ranges are easy to fit with flexible hose connections and click clack wastes included with the basin taps. They are durable and functional with high quality limescale resistant chrome plate finish, justifying a five-year guarantee against any manufacturing defect.  With integral flow limiters and full WRAS approval, the ranges satisfy all Part G water safety, usage and efficiency standards.

      Aqualisa 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: Aqualisa

      Geometric tiled walls inside Marriott Hotel Kensington

      Case study: Parkside’s role in Marriott Hotel Kensington

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Case study: Parkside’s role in Marriott Hotel Kensington

      Several architectural tile collections from Parkside feature in the newly refurbished reception lobby, bar and restaurant of London’s Marriott Hotel Kensington

      Geometric tiled walls inside Marriott Hotel Kensington

      Drawing inspiration from the culture, museums and architecture of the Kensington district, Design Coalition worked with Parkside on a scheme involving the specification company’s wall and floor tiles.

      Behind the main check-in desk and on the front of counters, the 3D Rombini Triangle by Mutina is used to striking linear effect, bringing a distinctly modern feel in crisp white. On the floors of the reception lobby, Design Coalition has drawn inspiration from the grand architecture of the museums surrounding the hotel with the large format terrazzo design Blythe combined with a concrete effect tile waterjet cut to shape.

      The hotel’s Cast Iron restaurant takes on a classic British mid-century theme and so Parkside sourced custom mosaics to meet Design Coalition’s brief, as well as supplying Lome in the Crochet pattern, a design inspired by traditional hand-painted terracotta tiles.

      Kim Thraves, interior design associate, Design Coalition, says: “Parkside really helped us to make the most of our tile specification for the hotel, working to source exactly what we needed and offering fast samples. They even met the contractors on-site, surveying the project to check the specification was suitable and gave advice on installation and the selection of the correct adhesives and grouts.”

      A total of 450m2 of ceramic and porcelain tiles supplied by Parkside were installed at Marriott Hotel Kensington by Charnic Interiors, a specialist hotel refurbishment company.

      Parkside, which has just 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/Marriott Hotel Kensington

      Marriott debuts first Moxy hotel in Taiwan

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Marriott debuts first Moxy hotel in Taiwan

      Moxy Taichung combines stylish, industrial-chic design with sociable service at the intersection of Taichung’s uptown and downtown districts…

      Following the hotel group announcing its 800th hotel opening in the Asia Pacific region, Marriott International has announced the opening of its first Moxy Hotel in Taiwan, shaking up the city’s hospitality scene with its playful spirit. The experiential and next gen-focused Moxy Taichung is located near many of the city’s attractions, including the colorfully quirky Rainbow Village, Zhongshe Flower Market, as well as the street food paradise of Yizhong Street Night Market – all must-visit destinations for the young and young-at-heart.

      “We are excited to see the arrival of the Moxy brand in Taiwan with the opening of Moxy Taichung,” said Henry Lee, President, Greater China, Marriott International. “This opening marks the sixth Moxy Hotel to open in Asia Pacific and further underscores Marriott International’s commitment to continue growing its lifestyle portfolio across the region, and to cater to the next-generation of travelers with tailored experiences in a well-designed space that is surprisingly affordable.”

      Queen supier room inside Moxy Hotel

      Image credit: Moxy Hotels/Marriott International

      Moxy Taichung features 262 bedrooms that are cleverly designed to maximise space and allow guests the flexibility to adapt the room to their needs. Each room is equipped with the latest technology featuring a 55-inch flat screen television, high quality sound system, furiously fast and free Wi-Fi, ample USB power outlets, motion-activated LED guidelights below the bed, and a backlighted glass panel to add ambiance.

      The hotel also features several of the brand’s signature playful touches, kicking the experience off with check-in at Bar Moxy where guests are greeted with a complimentary “Got Moxy” cocktail. The bar also doubles up as a communal hub for dining, drinks, and social gatherings. At sunset, the chic rooftop bar XOXO is buzzing with energy, and is the place to be for light bites, decadent drinks, and curated cocktails.

      The hotel also shelters a 24-hour fitness centre decked out with cardiovascular equipment, free weights, and other equipment including SYNRGY and TRX. In addition, a tech-enabled meeting room is also available for any team brainstorming sessions in the hotel.

      “Across the Asia Pacific region and the world, the strong growth of our playful Moxy brand is proof that its brand philosophy resonates with millennial and next-gen guests, who seek a hotel stay at an affordable price point, saving on space and splurging on experiences,” said Jennie Toh, Vice President, Brand, Asia Pacific, Marriott International. “We are excited to be bringing the Moxy brand to Taiwan with the opening of Moxy Taichung, and to welcome travellers to the Moxy experience in this dynamic, future-forward city.”

      Taichung is Taiwan’s second largest city, home to its lively cultural, arts, entertainment, and lifestyle scenes. In addition to its many museums, theaters, parks and temples, Taichung’s Chun Shui Tang teahouse is said to be the original birthplace of bubble tea. The city is also home to many of Taiwan’s high-tech manufacturing facilities, particularly in the semiconductor and transport industries.

      Main image credit: Moxy Hotels/Marriott International

      UNILIN Evola brings the perfect blue to KafKaf

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      UNILIN Evola brings the perfect blue to KafKaf

      UNILIN Panels, has helped to create an Instagrammable Parisian hotspot at KafKaf, a Middle Eastern inspired coffee bar with an interior by design studio Fairly…

      After just a few months of opening in the 11th district of Paris, KafKaf boasts an online community of some 15,000 followers and has become a favoured meeting place for the local community. UNILIN Evola decorative finishes have been used in a scheme created by studio Fairly, unusually developed before the bar’s location had been decided.

      Adeline Paty, co-founder of design studio Fairly, comments: “Even before the final site was determined, we had to develop the concept and select the materials and furniture. We had the opportunity to start at the very essence of the project without getting lost in site-specific challenges. This ultimately led to stronger and more radical design choices.

      “Whoever walks through KafKaf’s door has to feel like they’ve travelled to Tunisia without running into cliches and so used a few small, original Middle Eastern details in the interior. Everything also had to be connected – the colours of the coffee makers and other decorative accessories are in the same hues as the finishes. Terracotta-rose comes up in different places and surfaces and on the skirting boards and some chairs you’ll find black accents. The famous Majorelle blue, contrasting with the rest of the interior, gives the bar its unique identity.”

      The original colours and high-quality finish of UNILIN Evola HPL panels, notably in Persian Blue, captured the aesthetics of KafKaf and fitted with the sustainable goals of Fairly. Offering a finish that delivers impressive durability and low maintenance, UNILIN Evola is ideal for the busy café, with the décor’s matt finish to giving the colour an authentic richness.

      “Of course, the most important reason for choosing UNILIN Evola for the bar and counter was that perfect blue hue. It was precisely what we wanted.” continues Adeline Paty. “In addition, we always recommend solutions to our customers that have the smallest possible CO2 footprint. During a visit to UNILIN’s production site in Belgium, we were impressed by the company’s global, sustainable approach – particularly its use of recycled wood in panels. For a company called Fairly, this means something.”

      UNILIN 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: UNILIN

      Colourful Morgan showroom in Clerkenwell, featuring an option of contemporary furniture

      Morgan showroom in Clerkenwell, London, goes virtual

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Morgan showroom in Clerkenwell, London, goes virtual

      Morgan, one of the UK’s most respected contract furniture designers and manufacturers, announces a forward-thinking digital launch, making what otherwise would be an impossible task, a completely viable option in today’s online world…

      Colourful Morgan showroom in Clerkenwell, featuring an option of contemporary furniture

      With the world falling into a second wave of lockdown and restrictions, Morgan have moved its Clerkenwell showroom from London to online, creating a showroom tour accessible to its clients worldwide, via a virtual showroom found on the company’s website.

      The virtual tour allows clients and prospective buyers to walk through the double-height gallery space with as much clarity as if they were truly in Clerkenwell. Allowing a brilliant opportunity to safely explore the products, showcased in a brightly lit, carefully curated interior.

      Each product is tagged with a link directly to the associated product page, allowing you to quickly and easily see alternative options for your interior. Further links included take you to the resources page, full of detailed information and downloadable files.

      While you’re here, why not read about how Morgan put a new spin on furniture with classic materials?

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

      Main image credit: Morgan

      Weekly briefing: sustainability standards, awards countdown & biophilic design 2.0

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Weekly briefing: sustainability standards, awards countdown & biophilic design 2.0

      Only got a minute? As we prepare to host The Brit List Awards 2020 next week, we have have compiled our top stories that have been published over the last five days, including a haunted check-in, a hotel that sets new standards in sustainability and how we begin to engage with the post-corona consumer…

      We are days away from unveiling the winners of the The Brit List Awards 2020. On November 12, starting at 14:00 (GMT), the industry will pause momentarily to tune in to attend our virtual awards ceremony. It will be an afternoon of celebration as we not only reflect on what has no-doubt been a challenging year for designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers but also champion those who are driving change. As well as crowning this year’s individual winners, the awards ceremony will also include the official unveiling of The Brit List 2020, which will profile the top 25 designers, top 25 architects and top 25 hoteliers who are operating in Britain.

      Want to attend The Brit List Awards 2020 free of charge? Designers, architect, hoteliers and developers: click here to secure your places in the audience. Suppliers: click here to secure you places in the audience.

      Before the awards, though, here are this week’s top stories, brought to you by editor Hamish Kilburn

       Biophilic design 2.0 – from living walls to living hotels

      Large hotel atrium with living walls

      Image credit: Pixabay

      For article three in the Hotel Designs LAB seriesHotel Designs and Arigami explore wellbeing through the lens of biophilic design. Founder of Arigami Ari Peralta compiles the thoughts of biophilic design expert Oliver Heath and environmental psychology researcher Nigel Oseland to explore the science of nature in design.

      Biophilic design is much more than adding plants to a space, it is a strategy for developing a multi-sensory relationship with the world around us…

      Read more. 

      (In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Reassuring the post-corona consumer

      In the third session of Hotel Designs LIVE, we were joined by hoteliers from around the world in St Lucia, France, Zimbabwe and the UK to ask how we will reassure tomorrow’s travellers in a post-pandemic world.

      On the panel: 

      Watch the panel discussion.

      Checking in to The Bull Inn, Totnes – a new standard in eco hospitality

      Wooden furniture inside the pub of The Bull Inn in Totnes

      It is time we erase the myth that sustainable hotels are a compromise on luxury. No longer should it be culturally acceptable to greenwash your way into the headlines by simply replacing miniatures and enforcing a ban disposable plastic – this should now be common practice. Instead, hotels and hospitality businesses should be conjuring up new, innovative ways to make a difference, not only environmentally, but also locally within the community.

      Cue the arrival of The Bull Inn, an eight-key British bolthole located in Totnes. This deliberately rough round-the-edges pub/hotel is the fourth brainchild of visionary Geetie Singh-Watson, who worked with local architect Jackie Gillespie to ensure that, from concept through to completion, that every nook and cranny – from the pastel-coloured, untouched rooms right down to the innovative heating system – is sustainable.

      Read the full review. 

      In the HIX Seat: the journey back to ‘in real life’

      An image of Joel Butler and HIX Event animations

      Joel Butler, Co-Founder of HIX Event, has become a monthly columnist for Hotel Designs. In his first published opinion piece, Butler contemplates challenging times and asks ‘what’s next’ for the industry and its much-loved series of trade events.

      Read Joel’s debut column here. 

      One&Only Mandarina arrives in Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit

      Overlooking the Pacific Ocean with dramatic vistas and an awe-inspiring beachfront rainforest setting, One&Only Mandarina is a hidden retreat complete with secluded eco-designed treehouses and clifftop villas, swimmable shores, destination dining from Chef Enrique Olvera, active and mindful experiences, and an environment crafted for reconnection.

      Read more.

      5 Minutes With: Karen Richards, co-founder and designer, The Idle Rocks

      Image of Karen Richards and various interior shots inside The Idle Rocks Hotels

      During a laid-back luxury experience at The Idle Rocks, we caught up with co-founder and designer Karen Richards to understand the hotel’s design narrative, and how it has adapted since lockdown.

      Read the interview here.

      Industry insight: from hospitality furniture to prison cell

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Industry insight: from hospitality furniture to prison cell

      Award-winning furniture designer Rock Galpin is preparing to speak at Dubai Design Week about the highly challenging brief to design a new era of furniture for the Ministry of Justice inside HM Prisons in the UK…

      Furniture designer Rock Galpin will open up next week at Dubai Design Week about one of his most challenging briefs to date; his ongoing work with the Ministry of Justice inside HM Prisons in the UK.

      As well as unveiling details about his most recent projects, the established furniture, product and brand designer from London (who has recently escaped to live in Dubai), will speak at Dubai Design Week about his furniture projects have been exhibited in more than 40 exhibitions worldwide, from London, Tokyo, Paris, Milan, Cologne and New York. 

      You can catch one of three of Galpin’s talks by signing up below:

      While you’re here, why not read Hotel Designs’ exlcusive interview with designer Rock Galpin? 

      Main image credit: Rock Galpin

      A luxury pool and tented accommodation in the middle of the desert

      The architecture of luxury tented accommodation

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      The architecture of luxury tented accommodation

      As many areas of the world continue to hunker down in the Covid-19 crisis, we take a look at Exclusive Tents and architect Patrice Belle and the value of luxury tented accommodation in a pandemic world… 

      A luxury pool and tented accommodation in the middle of the desert

      Tents have afforded shelter and respite in the histories of most cultures around the globe, since ancient times. Whilst cultures have become sedentary with nomadic lifestyles seemingly consigned to the past (or the hotel room), the tent has nonetheless found a new lease of life as the appeal of a stronger, more fundamental link with nature is being actively sought – most especially in the tourism sector with the rise of experiential travel.

      The interiors of a luxury tent

      Image credit: Telal Resort

      As an Anglo-French international architect, Patrice Belle began practising architecture in both London and Paris for clients making the leap across languages and cultures to establish themselves in foreign markets. In 2008 a friend and colleague found an ideal site near Limoges, in France, for an African themed leisure park. Projected to have 200 luxury family sized tents of an irreproachable quality and design, fantasy pool reminiscent of the Great Lakes, and excellent facilities, it was to be open to guests all year round.

      While you’re here, why not read our exclusive biographical feature: a journey through tents? 

      As project architect, Belle carried out research to source the most appropriate tents, providing the best quality, design, longevity and value for money. Exclusive Tents came out significantly ahead of the field (and continue to do so, according to Belle’s monitoring of the market). The global financial meltdown was too much for the “African Legends Resort” Project. However, an excellent working and personal relationship was forged with Paul and Angelika Zway, of Exclusive Tents, where the meeting of architecture and luxury tents has perfectly reflected the emergence of experiential travel.

      Belle has witnessed glamping grow rapidly as the concept is adopted in new locations. Mostly, glamping has established its niche as an essentially rustic experience: tents that offer a greater degree of comfort and space than a recreational tent, and sometimes with amenities such as wood burning stoves, bathrooms, electrical supply or kitchenettes. By their nature, they have been predominantly off-grid, with very little infrastructure, purely seasonal, and small scale.

      Image of a camouflaged tent structure

      Image credit: Patrice Belle

      In essence the glamping experience has been fashioned from the range of tents available on the market. With very few exceptions, every owner has had no choice but to adapt their project to the constraints of a defined range of floor plans and forms, and are very quickly faced with numerous constraints with which both they and their designers are unfamiliar. As is to be expected, they lack the knowledge and experience with tents to know what can be done to marry the tent to their requirements. Furthermore, they will not have the expertise to compare and assess between different tent providers, or assess whether or not a certain type of tent will perform as they require.

      It is in response to this disconnect that Belle architects have evolved a very close symbiotic relationship with Exclusive Tents as they bridge this divide. As glamping captures the publics’ imagination there is an emergent demand for a more complete and culturally sophisticated experience. This is the field in which Belle delights in integrating, adapting, and designing luxury tents as an integral part of the process of creating exquisite destinations that offer all the intrinsic benefits of an enchanting experience under canvas yet with the underpinning benefits of modern levels of comfort, performance and longevity.

      Aerial view of tented accommodation in the desert

      Image credit: Telal Resort

      Rather than be constrained to adapt the project to the tent, the tent can be made to suit the project: think custom made fitted shoe but without the cost penalty. As tents, and other forms of alternative accommodation, are adopted for more demanding roles, they need to be integrated within a much broader range of considerations. For Belle, this is where an architect’s specialist skills and experience come into play: for any project to succeed it needs to provide an elegant solution to myriad objectives, constraints, and requirements. Deciding to use tents rather than main-stream construction solutions can prove to be beneficial and advantageous for a number of key reasons – both aesthetic and financial. The romance of a closer link with nature, the exhilaration of creating something exotic, seductive and sexy is the driving force. Yet whilst the imagery is very seductive, making the transition from dream to reality means navigating a huge spectrum of factors with a direct influence on the project, facing myriad choices, and implementing numerous decisions. Without a deep knowledge and understanding of luxury tents and canvas structures, this can quickly become a huge challenge.

      Image taken under tented accomodation to show rolling sand dunes in the desert

      Image credit: Telal Resort

      Whilst each tent is configured to client specification (canvas colours, tent body performance, door and window positions, etc.), and Exclusive Tents have a long experience of providing luxury tents to demanding customers, their expertise is in the development and fabrication of high-end tents. It is the project designer’s role to work with the client to define the strategic (project) brief: choosing, customising, or designing the tents is only one – albeit important – part of this process. From the brief begins an exciting and challenging journey to create a final destination that responds to location, terrain, geography, geology, climate, fauna and flora. Core to this is the guest or occupant experience – both subjectively (enjoyment, pleasure, uniqueness) and objectively (kept warm/cool, safe, and well looked after in comfort) – which must be framed within the desired and attainable ROI (Return on Investment).

      Successful resorts offer a quality experience and service at an attractive financial ROI (for others this need not be purely financial. The ROI for an individual might simply be an exquisite guest suite for visiting family). Luxury tent resorts embody this principal with the advantage of a quicker and potentially better ROI – with a big Asterix. Of course, any resort project depends on much more than just choosing what type of guest accommodation to offer or how to embody the resort facilities, but that will not come as a surprise to existing hotel & resort owners and operators!

      The fascination and reward for Belle and his team is multi-faceted:

      • Almost without exception, owners and clients that are attracted to these types of project are adventurous, courageous, and open-minded. They have the courage of their convictions and the determination to make it happen. It is enriching to meet such individuals.
      • Belle has a simple philosophy for all projects: arrive with an open mind and a blank canvas. This, he confirms, is easier said than done and always provokes a frisson of anticipation, and the experience is always both intimidating and exhilarating.
      • Listening attentively to the client, immersing within the project site and its physical and social location, and working closely together to clearly identify and establish the ambitions, goals, constraints, and defining factors that will mould the project: beginning to fill the canvas with the information that will mould the project.
      • Creating and refining a fully integrated project design: filling the canvas with each detail of the project where every participant is co-author. Great design is more than just good aesthetics, it is by its nature complex and intricate. Design does not exist in isolation: It is the search for an aesthetically pleasing, fully functional solution to complex interconnecting factors, a reflection of our goals and aspirations, brought to reality with a deliberate balance of light, space, materials, and time that makes its impact in ways both subtle and overt.
      • Working closely with Exclusive Tents to either select or create tents that are the best match for the project (not being forced to shoe-horn the project into standard tents when there is a mis-match). The tents need to be integrated into the project and its site – even (especially) if they are the centre pieces – rather than the other way round. The luxury tents are core elements of such a project: there has to be a coherent integration within the project and its context as a whole.
      • Enabling our clients, who quickly become our friends, to turn their dreams into destinations that enchant the senses, applying the values of ecologically sustainable low-impact implementation and life cycle with a clear conscience.

      At this point, Belle clarifies a key point: his teams expertise and in-depth knowledge of Exclusive Tents methods and products is a valuable asset in aligning the client’s goals with Exclusive Tents prowess. However, when appointed by a client, they will act in strict accordance with their professional code of conduct: the advice given and professional services will be entirely independent. For example, Belle will not systematically propose tents for all and every situation even if the client has come through Exclusive Tents. Instead, their philosophy is to advise their client and provide to the project exciting, beautiful solutions in the context of short, medium and long-term project objectives. Project design can integrate tents with other forms of structure arising from aesthetic or functional choice, for example integrating the creative use of locally sourced materials, or more rigid structures for certain back-of-house facilities such as kitchens, stores, and utilities infrastructure.

      The close professional relationship with Exclusive Tents is clearly working well. Together, they have designed and provided some stunning tents as can be seen at Telal Resort in the UAE where the notion of glamping has been taken to a luxurious zenith. The resort, its amazing tents, and eclectic interiors were entirely designed by Patrice Belle Architects to offer an exceptional experience in the Arabian desert. The resort includes a main reception tent inspired by Arabic geometry covering an astonishing 2,625m2 set atop a magnificent dune and featuring a hidden subterranean cloistered pool. The guest accommodation ranges from delightful 50m2 canvas lodges to the resplendent 440m2 interior of the VIP lodge under 810m2 of canvas.

      Whilst Telal Resort is clearly at one end of the spectrum, it shows the benefits of the tent being an integral element of the overall project design rather than a fixed point around which everything else must adapt. It also demonstrates clearly that tents are being tasked with meeting new challenges. They are being pushed to evolve, to meet modern requirements of luxury, convenience, comfort, sanitation, technical performance, bathrooms and WC, ventilation, heating, cooling, etc., whilst retaining their connection with nature, ecological and sustainable credentials, and capacity to ‘leave no footprint’.

      Whereas most projects clearly adapt to the tent, Patrice Belle Architects and Exclusive Tents are working with clients to provide tents best adapted to each project. Each and every project provides feedback and fuels the constant development of ever better tents with improved performance: thermal, acoustic, wind resistance, materials, longevity, robustness, etc. Rather than steal his thunder, Patrice leaves the in-depth summary of the many advances in high-end luxury tents made over the last couple of years to an upcoming article by Paul Zway of Exclusive Tents.

      This brings us back the Asterix mentioned earlier. The demands made upon the tents, and other forms of adventurous accommodation that cater to our desire for experiential travel, become ever more demanding. The tent has to be fully integrated with electrical and sanitary provisions, heating, cooling, and often AC (although the more we move to alternative forms of cooling the better), and should always do so in as discrete a way as possible without detracting from the essential ‘escapism’ of the experience.

      As cost and investment rise with the increase in complexity, and provision of greater comfort and luxury, it is increasingly evident that a good quality tent is one (important) element in an extensive armoury of tools and solutions for creating wonderful destinations, all of which should be expected to have a significantly longer useful lifespan at the forefront of ecological sustainable development. As with everything in architecture, a tent is only as good as its design, materials, implementation, and maintenance. From Patrice’s perspective, a well-designed, specified, implemented, and maintained luxury tent project will have a lifespan of decades before significant refurbishment is required – on a par with traditional hotels and resorts. So, as Patrice advises: “Choose wisely, care for, and enjoy your investment”.

      These are exciting times as experiential travel captures the public’s imagination, and there are some beautiful destinations that have been created by adventurous investors and talented designers around the globe. Patrice Belle and his team are looking forward to working hand-in-glove with the pioneers of experiential travel to make their dreams become reality. Their specialist understanding of luxury tents and canvas structures gives Patrice Belle Architects a unique skill set designing stunningly beautiful luxury tents, traditional structures, and complete projects, in harmony such that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

      Exclusive Tents International 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: Exclusive Tents

      Image showing collage of projects and The Brit List Awards 2020 logo

      The Brit List Awards 2020: how to gatecrash!

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      The Brit List Awards 2020: how to gatecrash!

      With The Brit List Awards 2020 taking place this Thursday (at 14:00 UK time), there is no need to gatecrash, as it is completely free to attend this year’s virtual award ceremony…

      Image showing collage of projects and The Brit List Awards 2020 logo

      You won’t hear phrase “if you’re not on the list, you’re not coming in” at this year’s The Brit List Awards 2020 as Hotel Designs’ nationwide search prepares to go live with its virtual award ceremony, taking place this Thursday at 14:00 (GMT).

      Although this year’s award ceremony is free to attend, you do however still need to register in order to secure your complimentary seats in the audience.

      DESIGNERS/ARCHITECTS/HOTELIERS/DEVELOPERS, CLICK HERE TO ATTEND (FOC) 
      SUPPLIERS, CLICK HERE TO ATTEND (FOC)

      Following the unveiling of the shortlist, which referenced more than 120 individuals and projects, this year’s virtual awards ceremony will be broadcast from Minotti London, which is where the winners’ party will be sheltered on April 29, 2021. Following a catch up with this year’s global juding panel, editor Hamish Kilburn will unveil The Brit List 2020, which is Hotel Designs’ annual publication that references the top 25 designers, top 25 architects and top 25 hoteliers. Following this, he will be joined by a number of the event’s sponsors to unveil the individual winners of the following categories:

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

      Following the virtual awards ceremony on Thursday, Hotel Designs is inviting the industry to come together on April 29, 2021 for a spectacular winners’ Party. To attend The Brit List Awards Winners’ Party, click here.

      Over the last three years, The Brit List Awards has becoming a significant event in the design, architecture and hospitality calendar, as Kilburn explains: “The Brit List Awards was born out of the concept to celebrate Britain as a major design and hospitality hub,” he says. “Arguably, it is more important this year than any other year before to mark that success while celebrating the talented individuals who are continuing to design innovative spaces on the international design scene. It is therefore my pleasure to host this year’s event, albeit virtually, and I cannot wait to personally congratulate the winners when we all meet again in April 2021 for the winners’ party.”

      Meet our Partners:

      An image of Joel Butler and HIX Event animations

      In the HIX Seat: the journey back to ‘in real life’

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      In the HIX Seat: the journey back to ‘in real life’

      Joel Butler, Co-Founder of HIX Event, has become a monthly columnist for Hotel Designs. In his first published opinion piece, Butler contemplates challenging times and asks ‘what’s next’ for the industry and its much-loved series of trade events…

      An image of Joel Butler and HIX Event animations

      I was on a zoom call last week with a designer. We were discussing vaccines, tests, curves and tiers (I think he meant tiers and not tears) when he informed me that our respective products were the future, ‘because we both do IRL’, you see. Excited by the dynamism and mystique of this fresh acronym I asked what it meant. “‘In Real Life’,” he replied, “events, hotels, travelling, shared experiences…it’s what we do!”

      And he’s right, of course, both bizarrely and tragically the 50,000 year-old activity of face-to-face communication has been reduced to a futuristic concept, and hospitality, travel and ‘tangible’ togetherness have all hit ‘pause’ in the process.

      So how can we understand the current hotel landscape and the hospitality experience that waits for us in our brave new world? We have industry pipelines and reports, the wonder of social media and the insightful views of experts, but of course it’s not until we all get back to ‘In Real Life’ that things will begin to become clear.

      “In answer to the question, ‘what’s next?’, people’s views may vary from the apocalyptic to the utopian.”

      As event organisers we consider ourselves to be ‘in hospitality’ so we’ve been following these discussions with interest. In answer to the question, ‘what’s next?’, people’s views may vary from the apocalyptic to the utopian. A popular consensus is that Covid-19 has pressed fast-forward on the trends that were already happening anyway, then there’s the ultimately pragmatic view that it’ll be a case of ‘as we all were’ but with cleaner hands. Many design details have also been discussed, the check-in experience, social distancing and F&B and the death of the buffet. My 10 year old daughter has already expressed fury at this last prediction.

      But beyond the detail shines a star of optimism that the entire community can see and universally agree is worth following – responsible travel. Travel that is respectful towards ourselves, the communities we visit, and to the planet Earth. 2020 forced peace, quiet and reflection onto us all, and as we had no choice but to accept these gifts fish began to swim in the unusually clear water of Venetian canals. The world felt like it was resetting. So here’s our biggest hope from what has been an incredibly challenging year: that truly responsible hospitality can be universally demanded by the guest, imagined by designers, championed by owners and delivered by operators. If this new-normal (and we extend these ideals to the events that we create) allows us to share experiences, travel and to explore the world in a way that allows our kid’s kids to enjoy the same privileges then all of the details will take care of themselves.

      So, here’s to the big picture and all of the design details, to all who are virtually attending and all who are shortlisted for The Brit List Awards 2020! As we raise raise our glasses to celebrate community and your incredible achievements in such challenging times, we look forward to seeing you ‘IRL’.

      HIX Event is the Networking Partner for The Brit List Awards 2020, and Hotel Designs is with HIX ‘IRL’ as it prepares to launch in November 2021.

      Main image credit: HIX Event

      (In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Reassuring the post-corona consumer

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      (In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Reassuring the post-corona consumer

      In the third session of Hotel Designs LIVE, editor Hamish Kilburn was joined by hoteliers from around the world in St Lucia, France, Zimbabwe and the UK to ask how we will reassure tomorrow’s travellers in a post-pandemic world…

      In the second edition of Hotel Designs LIVE, sponsored by Technological Innovations Group in association with Crestron, editor Hamish Kilburn returned to host a number of panel discussions and interviews with the aim to keep the conversation and the industry connected.

      With the pandemic on everyone’s agenda, the third session of the day – sponsored by Room To Breathe UK – was a hotelier special that virtually checked in to hotels around the world to understand the impact Covid-19 is having on global hospitality and possible solutions when re-engaging with tomorrow’s travellers.

      On the panel: 

      The session, followed recent studies that suggested that the post-corona consumer will be hesitant to re-explore the hospitality scene, looked at how tomorrow’s hospitality arenas can effectively and sensitively reassure modern travellers that hotels are safe spaces.

      Within this session, the audience heard PRODUCT WATCH pitches from Room To Breathe UK, Bushtec Creations, Air Revive and Bromic Heating.

      We join the panel discussion as Kilburn introduces the session sponsor and speakers (the conversation starts at 02:26 in the video)… 

       

      While you’re here, why not tune in to Hotel Designs LIVE’s other sessions on discussing sustainability with Bill Bensley and adding personality in public areas.

      The recording of the final session, The revival of smart tech post-pandmeic, will go live shortly. 

      SAVE THE DATE: Hotel Designs LIVE will return for a third edition on February 23, 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.

      A messy bed inside The Bull Inn in Totnes

      Checking in to The Bull Inn, Totnes – a new standard in eco hospitality

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Checking in to The Bull Inn, Totnes – a new standard in eco hospitality

      The award-winning indy hotel, The Bull Inn in Totnes, is a bare reminder that hospitality can be fully sustainable in both design and service. Editor Hamish Kilburn checks in…

      A messy bed inside The Bull Inn in Totnes

      It is time we erase the myth that sustainable hotels are a compromise on luxury. No longer should it be culturally acceptable to greenwash your way into the headlines by simply replacing miniatures and enforcing a ban disposable plastic – this should now be common practice. Instead, hotels and hospitality businesses should be conjuring up new, innovative ways to make a difference, not only environmentally, but also locally within the community.

      Cue the arrival of The Bull Inn, an eight-key British bolthole located in Totnes. This deliberately rough round-the-edges pub/hotel is the fourth brainchild of visionary Geetie Singh-Watson, who worked with local architect Jackie Gillespie to ensure that, from concept through to completion, that every nook and cranny – from the pastel-coloured, untouched rooms right down to the innovative heating system – is sustainable.

      Image credit: Rachel Hoile Photography

      A short stroll uphill from the town’s high street, the boutique jewel is positioned in an ideal location that captures the atmosphere of the town. Locals can claim it as their own while guests visiting can stay in the heart of Totnes, and while doing so are able to discover a comfortable and conscious slice local life.

      Downstairs, the stripped back design of the pub – with earthy tones and quirky detailing – celebrates the building’s unique style and design narrative. Mismatched wooden furniture and authentic rugs work were either reclaimed or upcycled. The walls have been stripped back to create a deliberately rustic feel that makes the place feel immediately cosy.

      This bare and minimalist design is also apparent in the guestrooms – there are no TVs or radios and each room has its own personality. After climbing the original stairs that are layered with meaningful art, the first thing I notice as I walk into my room is the original, slightly sunken ceilings, which further indicate that this hotel embraces its quirks and imperfections with confidence.

      Image credit: Rachel Hoile Photography

      The trendy rooms are scattered with antiques that Singh-Watson sourced or upcycled herself, and every supplier specified has been done thoughtfully. The side lamps, for example, were handcrafted by a Dartmoor wood craftsman. The beds, all made up with 100 per cent organic linens from greenfibres, were also sourced locally by Naturalmat, which won ‘Best in British Product Design’ at The Brit List Awards 2019 after earning Hotel Designs‘ stamp of approval for being a sustainable and eco-friendly manufacturer.

      A close up of a bed inside The Bull Inn in Totnes

      Image credit: Rachel Hoile Photography

      The white brick tiled bathrooms with accents of muted gold – two rooms with baths and six with showers – feature quality brands such as Crosswater (fittings and showers), Bette (baths), Duravit (toilets) and Geberit (WC flush button levers). These modern areas are stylish, functional and eco-friendly, complete with organic shampoos and conditioner and sustainable waffle towels which were again sourced locally.

      “Singh-Watson’s latest property is a sustainable statement that has certainly made a mark on the hospitality map.”

      The roof has been fitted with solar panels, while the hotelier worked with the architect to develop an innovative heat recovery system to be installed in to lock in heat generated by the kitchen. The result is that the hot water from the guestrooms is heated from this new system that is fully sustainable.

      The Bull Inn is so much more than an organic pub featuring a few well-dressed guestrooms. Singh-Watson’s latest property is a sustainable statement that has certainly made a mark on the hospitality map – it has just been named Eco Hotel of the Year by The Times and The Sunday Times and was runner up in the National Geographic Big Sleep Awards 2020.

      And image of Geetie Singh-Watson standing outside The Bull Inn in Totnes

      Image caption: Geetie Singh-Watson outside The Bull Inn in Totnes | Image credit: Rachel Hoile Photography

      Standing modestly as a true, consciously driven hospitality gem, The Bull Inn in Totnes was rescued from a tired pub and transformed into a clutter-free, authentic pub and hotel that is timeless in both design and service.

      Main image credit: Rachel Hoile Photography

      A chain-like art piece that hangs on the wall surrounded by moody interiors

      Siminetti: Proud producers of sustainable mother of pearl surfaces

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Siminetti: Proud producers of sustainable mother of pearl surfaces

      Siminetti is proud of its ethical and ecological credentials and takes the greatest care when sourcing its range of natural products, to ensure the brand meets strict ecological standards…

      A chain-like art piece that hangs on the wall surrounded by moody interiors

      Siminetti, a unique surface brand that sources its materials from sustainable, farmed locations wherever in the world they are grown, absolutely opposes the use of overfishing and exploitation of our worlds sea beds and actively engage with ocean charities who look to sustain our oceans for the betterment of marine life and the conservation for our futures.

      The company only deals with raw material suppliers who have a full understanding of relevant practices and legislation to ensure consistent, high quality products – they must hold a fisheries export license when appropriate, comply with biosecurity laws, provide Certificates of Origin and demonstrate evidence of the specific harvest area.

      While you’re here, why not check out Mother of Pearl decorative panels by Siminetti?

      Siminetti have been hand crafting sustainable mother of pearl surfaces since 2010. This year, along side the celebration of the company’s 10 year anniversary, the brand is launching a new line (of sorts, the brand has been doing it for a while just not really spoken about it)! Siminetti Wall Art, utilising its stunning decorative panels in bespoke frames to add a luxury accent to any discerning space.

      Image credit: Siminetti

      The brand currently offers more than 30 decorative surfaces which can all be made into wall art. In 2021 this will be increasing, with a new line of decorative panels Siminetti are developing in conjunction with a renowned British surface designer.

      As with all our mother of pearl, we are also ensuring the materials used to make our frames is sustainably sourced, with FSC approved timber to protect our planet for future generations.

      Siminetti 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: Siminetti

      Feature // Is Covid an opportunity for cleaner, greener hotels?

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Feature // Is Covid an opportunity for cleaner, greener hotels?

      Following an engaging discussion about sustainability with Bill Bensley at Hotel Designs LIVE, we asked session sponsor Silentnight Group how Covid-19 will impact the industry’s stance on hygiene and eco-friendly behaviour. Sales Director, David Lawenson writes…

      The past seven months has been challenging for the hospitality industry. The current global pandemic has hit the industry hard and reopening has been a confusing and staggered process. At a time where the current topic of the moment is cleanliness, could the post-pandemic environment be an opportunity for cleaner, greener hotels?

      David Lawrenson, Sales Director of Hospitality at Silentnight Group believes that it could be the push that businesses in the hospitality industry needs to choose sustainable options. “Sustainability promotes a healthier environment, both inside and outside of a hotel property, and given the recent pandemic, this has never been more relevant.”

      Image credit: Silentnight Group

      In recent years, sustainability has shifted from a niche concern to a mainstream opportunity, and current trends are being driven towards sustainable practices. In response, we have seen a big shift in the way brands in other industries are responding to sustainability, and it could be time for the hospitality industry to follow. Becoming carbon neutral could soon be the minimum for hospitality suppliers, and there will be movement towards businesses becoming carbon negative too.

      Silentnight Group are proud to be carbon neutral, and through their eco-friendly product development, progressive work practices and their partnership with the Marine conservation Society, they are determined to make the world a greener place, maintaining their position as a trusted mainstream brand at the same time. As a mass market manufacturer simply switching to ‘naturals’ like cotton or wool was not a commercial option for Silentnight.

      Angela Moran Product Strategy Director at Silentnight explains: “Instead we took inspiration from the likes of Nike, Adidas and Patagonia and take single use plastics and turn them into new products. Whilst there is much media hype demonising plastic following Blue Planet, it’s not so much plastic per se, but the littering of plastic, particularly single use, that’s the problem.

      “Circular economy thinking makes perfect sense for any business because ultimately it’s about being a resource efficient business. In nature there is no waste as everything is re-cycled. We’re taking another industry’s waste product and converting it into new comfort fibres, therefore adding value by making new consumer goods.”

      Taking inspiration from the principles of the circular economy, Silentnight’s innovative Eco Comfort filling contains intelligent fibres made from recycled plastic bottles. Not only does each mattress prevent 150 plastic bottles from entering the waste stream, but the high-tech design process offers greater breathability and is available at an affordable price point. Thus far, the Eco Comfort filling has prevented a staggering 105 million plastic bottles from entering landfill and oceans.

      Silentnight’s Eco Comfort 1200 Pocket mattress has been awarded a ‘Which? Best Buy’ 5 years running and is the brands best-selling mattress online, proving that sustainable design doesn’t always mean paying a premium for the consumer or sacrificing sales as a brand.

      It could be said that the pandemic has handed the hospitality industry the opportunity to harness sustainable practices. With the many changes required due to government legislation, potentially fewer guests permitted into hospitality venues and a need to focus on being a resource efficient business, it could be a perfect time to introduce small changes that together, could have a big impact on the environment.

      Silentnight Group, which provides sustainable sleeping solutions for the hospitality industry, was a session sponsor for Hotel Designs LIVE, which took place on October 13, 2020.

      Main image credit: Silentnight Group

      Weekly briefing: lighting confessions, new arrivals & a contactless check in

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Weekly briefing: lighting confessions, new arrivals & a contactless check in

      Only got a minute? It’s been a busy week on the editorial desk but we have have compiled our top stories, including a confession of a lighting designer, multiple hotel debuts and a panel discussion on the future of public areas…

      As we gear up to unveil the winners of The Brit List Awards 2020 on November 12, the headlines this week have been flooded with positivity – from new hotel arrivals and new lighting solutions to eco and conscious design brands unveiling new products. We appreciate you may not have time to read all the content that Hotel Designs has published this week. Therefore, here is our ‘editor’s pick’ of the juiciest stories that have been covered this week.

      Checking in to a contactless hotel (with touchless tech from TIG)

      Technological Innovations Group (TIG) has played a key role in helping BLOC Hotels develop and implement new ‘touchless’ hotel technology. In an exclusive video review, editor Hamish Kilburn checks in to discover what the contactless hotel experience is all about.

      “You may already be familiar with Bloc Hotels, but you haven’t seen anything like Block Hotel Gatwick’s recent renovation…”

      Read more.

      Banyan Tree unveils first luxury resort to open in Krabi in 11 years

      Nestled on a verdant hillside with spectacular vistas of limestone cliffs rising from the sea, Banyan Tree Krabi has opened. Owned by Asset World Corporation (AWC), the new luxury resort backs onto a lush national park and Naga Crest Hill, granting three ultra-exclusive beachfront pool villas, 10 beachfront pool villas, and 59 pool suites — each of which has its own private pool — a westward-facing view of sunset over the Andaman. A natural spring flows downhill into the property where it is transformed into a flower-fringed canal ferrying spring water to the sea.

      Read more.

      Virtual roundtable: lighting solutions for tomorrow’s hotel

      Following a number of recent roundtables where lighting was unintentionally put under the spotlight, Hotel Designs collaborates with innovative lighting expert Moritz Waldemeyer and a number of designers to understand lighting’s role in tomorrow’s hotel.

      Read more.

      Confessions of a lighting designer – sparks and relationships

      In the second editorial of the ‘confessions of a lighting designer’ series, Gary Thornton, senior project designer at neolight global, explores lighting relationships.

      Following our previous article, the hotel guest experience can be considered as being framed physically by the architecture, informed by the interior design, and reinforced by the service that you receive, but transcending across all of those to make it an outstanding experience is the intangible – great lighting design.

      Read more.

      How conscious design studio Harris & Harris was born

      Founded in 2014 by husband and wife team Alexander and Sharon Harris, Harris & Harris emerged onto the design scene as a sustainable breathe of fresh air. Working internationally, the studio creates chic yet playful designs focusing on craftsmanship and quality whilst minimising the impact on the planet – and it was this unique blend that caught our editorial attention.

      Read more.

      (In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Adding personality in public areas

      In the second edition of Hotel Designs LIVE, sponsored by Technological Innovations Group in association with Crestron, editor Hamish Kilburn returned to host a number of panel discussions and interviews with the aim to keep the conversation and the industry connected.

      Following on from the inaugural Hotel Designs LIVE where an expert panel questioned the very existence of lobbies in the wake of Covid-19, Hotel Designs was back to put public areas back under the spotlight.

      Read more.

      SNEAK PEEK // INNSIDE Newcastle to open in December

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      SNEAK PEEK // INNSIDE Newcastle to open in December

      Meliá Hotels International, Spain’s largest hotel group, has released new CGI renders of INNSiDE Newcastle, which is slated to open this December…

      The 161-key INNSIDE Newcastle, designed by Faulknerbrowns Architects, will be located in the heart of the city on the historical Quayside, offering breath-taking views across the River Tyne and an eclectic home-from-home feel for guests to explore Newcastle’s city centre.

      The building that shelters the hotel has taken architectural inspiration from iconic local landmarks such as the Tyne’s bridges, whilst the hotel’s interior will showcase a light, minimal and versatile space, featuring modern and comfortable furnishings. 

      Image credit: Meliá Hotels International

      Each stay is expected to be enriched with music, art and literature curated by the hotel’s local experts. The Open Living Lounge will act as the beating heart of the hotel, with the open plan lobby offering the ideal transitional space to allow guests skip seamlessly from work to play. The Open Living Lounge will serve food throughout the day with local DJs providing the perfect soundtrack for guests and visitors to relax and unwind over a post-work cocktail. Meanwhile, a well-appointed gym, complete with state-of-the-art Technogym equipment, will be available for guest use 24-hours a day. 

      Guests and locals alike will be able to enjoy an exclusive dining experience on the Tyne, thanks to the restaurant’s floor to ceiling windows and beautiful outdoor terrace overlooking the iconic river. This space will become an exciting destination restaurant for both hotel guests and locals alike. 

      INNSiDE by Meliá’s philosophy ‘Stay Curious’ promises to accommodate guest’s every need and desire, providing them with a home away from home, offering the ideal work life balance. INNSiDE Newcastlewill offer five multi-functional meeting spaces with maximum capacity for up to 170 banqueting, including a Big Ideas Space, full of smart, sustainable touches to inspire the unconventional. The hotel will also offer a bespoke ‘Workcation’ package for business travellers looking for convenience, comfort and flexibility.

      Demonstrating INNSiDE by Meliá’s commitment to sustainability, single-use paper and plastic have been eliminated throughout all properties with sustainable amenities available in all rooms, along with 100 per cent eco-friendly bed linens and towels. INNSiDE by Meliá has hotels in 28 locations, spread across 10 countries with 13 additional properties in the pipeline. Upcoming new openings include INNSiDE Liverpool, INNSiDE Newcastle, and INNSiDE Lisbon.

      As part of Meliá Hotels International, INNSiDE Newcastle will operate the global ‘Stay Safe With Meliá’ programme across the hotel, including measures to prioritise guest and staff safety during Covid-19.

      Main image credit: Meliá Hotels International

      Product watch: Niza collection by CTD Architectural Tiles

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Product watch: Niza collection by CTD Architectural Tiles

      The new Niza collection by CTD Architectural Tiles is inspired by the colours of both the earth and the ocean…

      Niza is a collection of rectangular and hexagonal tiles in an understated nature-inspired palette. From the warmth of Clay to the freshness of Green, the various tiles come with a gentle shade variation that reflects the essence of traditional ceramic tiles, bringing a modern touch to this cutting-edge product range.

      Available in a rectangular 92 x 370mm and a hexagonal 215 x 250mm format, the versatile cement-effect tiles will add an injection of character to both walls and floors in all residential, commercial and hospitality projects. With a +36 PTV wet slip resistance, the matt glazed porcelain tiles deliver on both technical and aesthetic properties, allowing specifiers, architects and designers to bring subtle texture and warmth to surfaces, whether used in bathrooms, kitchens or living spaces.

      Part of the Saint-Gobain family, CTD Architectural Tiles specialises in the supply of high quality ceramic tile finishes and tiling solutions across all sectors in the UK commercial specification market. With clients in a variety of sectors including the leisure, retail, hospitality industries, CTD Architectural Tiles is committed to bringing customers the latest innovations in product and in service. With unparalleled expertise and technical knowledge, the team works with industry leading, innovative manufacturers to offer a complete portfolio of ceramic and porcelain tile ranges to suit the architect, interior designer, developer and specification professional.

      CTD Architectural Tiles 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: CTD Architectural Tiles

      BREAKING: Hyatt brand to arrive in Sweden

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      BREAKING: Hyatt brand to arrive in Sweden

      Located in Stockholm, Hotell Reisen will join The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand, continuing to fuel Hyatt’s brand growth in Europe…

      Hyatt Hotels has announced that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into a franchise agreement with First Hotel Reisen AB to open the first Hyatt property in Sweden. The 144-key Hotell Reisen will be available on Hyatt’s booking systems, on an unbranded basis, as of December 1, 2020 with plans to join The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand after refurbishment in the first quarter of 2021. In the Nordics, the hotel will join the planned Grand Hansa Hotel in Helsinki, Finland as part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt and Hyatt Centric Reykjavík, Iceland. The three hotels represent strategic cornerstones in Hyatt’s expansion plans for Northern Europe.

      “The rich history and unique location in central Stockholm make Hotell Reisen a perfect addition to The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand.” – Peter Norman, Senior Vice President of development Europe, Hyatt.

      Located in the heart of Stockholm’s old town directly on the waterfront and on Skeppsbron, Hotell Reisen is rich in history, dating back to the 17th century. The property will offer cultural moments for guests seeking a sophisticated yet unscripted experience, as it will be located within walking distance of many of Stockholm’s landmark attractions. Independent-minded travellers can experience highlights of the city including The Royal Palace and the ferry to Djurgården, bringing guests to the tranquil oasis that is home to many of the city’s most famous museums and cultural attractions.

      “At Hyatt, we are focused on thoughtful growth based on locations that matter most to our guests, World of Hyatt members and customers, and Stockholm has been a priority market for some time,” said Peter Norman, Senior Vice President of development Europe, Hyatt. “While Stockholm is known for its high barrier to entry for global brands, the rich history and unique location in central Stockholm make Hotell Reisen a perfect addition to The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand. This brand has seen great momentum across the region, as each property celebrates their destination’s distinct culture and atmosphere, and we look forward to expanding the brand’s footprint in the Nordics.”

      The name of Reisen originates from a 1750’s coffee house run by a Dutchman, Frederik Reiss. As the coffee house was a popular meeting space for merchants and travellers from all over the world, Frederik Reiss’s daughter soon started to rent rooms in the early 19th century. Ever since, the building has been in use as a hotel and today is a celebration of the vibrant and rich history of Sweden’s capital.

      “We are delighted to work alongside Hyatt for the first Hyatt hotel in Sweden,” said Anders Moe, CEO of Host AB which owns First Hotel Reisen AB. “In creating a destination that locals and guests from afar will treasure, Hotell Reisen will honour the history of the building and the city. The combination of our expertise in Sweden’s hospitality market and Hyatt’s international reputation will allow for our vision to come to life.”

      Born out of the belief that every property has a unique story to tell, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand invites guests to discover unforgettable places, showcasing the uniqueness of each property’s location. Hotell Reisen will join the eight European hotels under The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand, including Great Scotland Yard Hotel, Hôtel Martinez, Hôtel du Louvre, Hôtel du Palais Biarritz, Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest, Hotel SOFIA Barcelona as well as Byblos Hotel and Grand Hansa Hotel, which are both expected to open in 2022.

      Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

      Speakers for Sleep & Eat 2020 announced

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Speakers for Sleep & Eat 2020 announced

      Sleep & Eat returns virtually this November to serve up an impressive line-up of speakers, including Tony Chi, Adam D. Tihany, Lauren Rottet and more…

      Every year, Sleep & Eat delivers a conference that combines global insights from design polymaths, perspectives from hospitality industry leaders, inspiration, education and a unique theme to galvanise its audience.

      This year, the virtual event is presenting a three-day conference entitled ‘Redefining Freedom’, which will explore the likely impacts of the pandemic on guest behaviours and lifestyle choices, and the investment, operational and design implications of these. After selected talks, visitors will also be able to ask their own questions directly to the expert speakers, in live speaker Q&As.

      Click here to register to Sleep & Eat 2020.

      The six keynote speakers have been announced. They are:

      Tony Chi, Founder of tonychi and Alison Chi, Managing Director and Co-Creative Director of tonychi studio – Designing to Contain the Chaos

      Image caption: Alison Chi, Tony Chi

      Design maverick, Tony Chi, may have first coined the phrase: “Design is the organization of the chaos within” several years ago, but now it has clearly gained a new and pressing meaning. In conversation with Alison Chi, he will argue that before creativity becomes cohesive, it must have free-reign, before a team can harmonise, its members must dive into the asynchronous rhythms of their own expertise and before an interior becomes iconic, its designers will have drawn on inspiration from across time and space. Taking the audience through some of the studio’s most acclaimed projects, the pair will encapsulate the notion of designing to contain the chaos.

      Stefan Leser, CEO of Langham Hospitality Group – Delivering Luxury Hospitality in the Next Normal

      With nearly 30 years’ experience in the travel and hospitality industries, Hong Kong based Stefan Leser will share his insights into how a luxury hospitality brand can manage to operate in the current crisis. He will consider what the new learnings have been, how guest expectations have changed, what might be embraced in the future more than ever before – and what may never return.

      Adam D. Tihany, Founder, Tihany Design – Designer as Problem Solver

      Adam D. Tihany has been solving problems through design for world-renowned chefs, hoteliers and restaurateurs creating spaces of wonder and awe that not only enlighten but also transcend. The world is currently facing a problem of immeasurable scale. What can designers and design do it uplift and soothe? Adam D. Tihany will offer his views as he looks back on his ground-breaking career to pave a way for a more hopeful future.

      Lauren Rottet, Founding Principal of Rottet Studio – Clean Design

      As we move forward, we may speak about different levels of clean – clean, really clean and the perception of clean. In her keynote, Lauren Rottet, one of the most celebrated interior architects of our time, will explore how to create for the future, now. Digging deep into her understanding of her craft, she will seek to find answers to the meaning of clean, how they will manifest themselves in guest behaviour and what this means for design over the years to come.

      Yann Bernard Lejard, Executive Chef at Ritz-Carlton Bahrain – Bridging Art and Gastronomy

      Representing an extraordinary confluence of fine cuisine and artistry, chef Yann has created some of the most fascinating plate art in the world and helped to unleash global awareness of the possibilities of this art. Chef Yann’s motto is “to dare”, and looking at his plates, it’s easy to see what he means. His keynote at the Sleep & Eat Conference will provide an insight into the work and inspiration of this exceptional person.

      While you’re here, why not check out ‘hotel guestroom 2035’ which will be unveiled at Sleep & Eat 2020…

      In addition to the keynotes, insightful panel discussions are promised, including members of Women in Hotels considering the latest in hospitality acquisitions and developments, a panel of leading hotel general managers and another of international design company principals. The designers of the concept Sleep & Eat Sets, which in this 15th anniversary year of the event are focused on guestroom design for the next 15 years, will share their thinking and inspiration, and resort developers from around the world will talk about the rise of wellness travel and the closely aligned issue of sustainability.

      Main image credit (and all credits): Sleep & Eat 2020

      How conscious design studio Harris & Harris was born

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      How conscious design studio Harris & Harris was born

      Harris & Harris has earned Hotel Designs’ stamp of approval as an environmentally and socially responsible interior and product design studio…

      Founded in 2014 by husband and wife team Alexander and Sharon Harris, Harris & Harris emerged onto the design scene as a sustainable breathe of fresh air. Working internationally, the studio creates chic yet playful designs focusing on craftsmanship and quality whilst minimising the impact on the planet – and it was this unique blend that caught our editorial attention.

      The dynamic duo met in 2007 whilst working for an architecture practice in Melbourne, Australia. They moved to London in 2010 and later married and started a family whilst growing their dream design studio.

      Prior to founding Harris & Harris, Alex worked for some of the biggest names in design; Terence Conran’s furniture company Benchmark, David Collins, Kelly Hoppen and Yoo, co-founded by Philippe Starck.

      Sharon has a truly international perspective having worked as an interior designer in Singapore, Melbourne and London for blue-chip clients including China Construction Bank, Citigroup, Molton Brown and Goldman Sachs as well as the Dubai property developer Emaar.

      In 2019, the team boldly stepped into a new territory by unveiling the conscious bedroom for the Independent Hotel Show London. The guestroom set that was designed sensitively challenged conventional hotel design from every angle.

      The Harris & Harris team now creates inspiring and innovative designs for clients that include hospitality brands, interior designers and developers such as The Arts Club, Conran, Finchatton, Four Seasons, Hakkasan, The Hoxton and Soho House as well as private individuals. Products and projects reach far across the globe including Monaco, The Hamptons, Miami, Seoul, Munich, Limassol, Macau and Paris.

      The studio’s Product Collection features more than 100 pieces of furniture, lighting, outdoor furniture and interior accessories, all designed in-house by the studio. The designs are influenced by the founders European and Asian heritage, together with their love of modernism, art deco, mid century and 1960s pop design.

      Each product is handmade to order by skilled artisans and workshops and are named after the places Alex and Sharon have frequented around Singapore, Australia and Great Britain.

      Image caption: The Raffles seating range, named after the iconic hotel, is a refined family that injects refined glamour into an interior space. The pieces are influenced by art deco style of designers, including Eileen Gray and Charlotte Perriand.

      Aside from being a studio that shelters awe-inspiring design, Harris & Harris strives to be environmentally and socially responsible wherever they can and in all areas of the company. The studio developed the Product Collection to include as many of their self-initiated ‘Responsible Factors’ as possible:

      1) Designed For Life Foundation

      The studio established the ‘Designed For Life Foundation’ to donate a percentage of every sale from the product collection to charity. Their furniture and lighting is predominantly specified for luxurious hotels, bars, restaurants and high end private homes and the founders felt it was important to help balance this. So for every product sold from the Collection their clients are automatically donating to the following three charities concerned with providing those without the basic needs of food, water and shelter: FareShare – the UK’s national network of charitable food re-distributors, WaterAid – providing clean water and hygiene solutions worldwide and ShelterBox – an international disaster relief charity, providing emergency shelters.

      2) Made in the UK

      Most of the collection is manufactured in the UK. Being a London-based company, this helps reduce transport energy consumption, particularly when a project is also UK based. Producing in the UK also helps support local industry and communities.

      3) Sustainable upholstery option

      Most of the upholstered seating is designed to have the option of being manufactured with natural materials including coconut fibre, natural latex, wool & cotton wrap and feathers. This minimises the impact on the environment by reducing the use of harmful chemicals, plastics and oils as well being biodegradable at the end of the product’s life. Natural materials are also far better for the health and well being of those using the seating.

      4) Made from recycled materials

      Recycled materials have been introduced into many of the products. This includes working with the German manufacturer Magna to provide their ‘Glaskeramik’ material for table tops in the collection, which is produced from 100% recycled waste glass. Harris & Harris also works with London stone specialist Diespeker to provide their terrazzo material which includes crushed recycled glass and marble off-cuts. A selection of the products are produced from clay and terracotta which create very little waste as off-cuts and unused material can be easily reused in future production

      5) Made from renewable, low-embodied energy and natural materials

      Most of the products are made from abundant and sustainable materials. Harris & Harris uses timbers including Ash and bamboo, which is very fast growing and requires no fertiliser or pesticides. They use natural stone, glass, clay and terracotta on many of the products which have a very low embodied energy (the total energy within the material from extraction to finished product). The natural upholstery option minimises the impact on the environment as highlighted above and Harris & Harris work with UK based Alma Leather to provide their natural cow hides that have a sustainable 100 per cent vegetable tan finish. The studio will also be introducing a vegan option as an alternative to the current leather selection very soon

      6) Made from FSC or PEFC-certified timber

      Harris & Harris ensures its factories and craftsman only ever use sustainably sourced timber that has been given either FSC or PEFC certification. The studio will never use exotic tree species from non-renewable forests

      7) Supplied with Low Energy LED Bulbs

      The Azzero and Kyoto lighting ranges utilise efficient LED G9 bulbs. For the Wharf, Siloso and Chalford lighting ranges Harris & Harris works with the UK based lighting brand Tala to provide their long lasting and low energy LED bulbs. Tala bulbs look fabulous thanks to their old filament style design but with using the latest LED technology. Tala are committed to reducing carbon emissions in the atmosphere and support reforestation programmes around the world

      8) Built for longevity and durability

      Harris & Harris work with well respected craftsman, factories and workshops who use high quality production methods, together with durable and premium materials, to ensure the product collection is created for a long life span. The team is passionately against a throw away culture and design all of their products to be resilient and long lasting that can be handed-down over generations rather than thrown away

      9) Easily disassembled and recycled at end of life

      Many of the products are easily disassembled and can be taken apart by hand (or are single-material) so they can be separated into their individual materials to be recycled, biodegraded or reused.

      Harris & Harris was a PRODUCT WATCH pitch partner for Hotel Designs LIVE, which took place on October 13, 2020.

      Image credit: Harris & Harris

      EXCLUSIVE: Space Copenhagen appointed to design revolutionary wellness hotel

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      EXCLUSIVE: Space Copenhagen appointed to design revolutionary wellness hotel

      Danish designers Peter Bundgaard and Signe Bindslev Henriken of Space Copenhagen will mastermind the complete interiors for new wellness and eco hotel in Norway, Svart

      Svart, which will become the world’s first energy positive hotel, has appointed award-winning Danish design firm Space Copenhagen to lead the property’s interior design.

      Image credit: Svart

      The 99-key hotel, which Hotel Designs first unveiled the concept of last year, will be located in Arctic Norway at the base of the Svartisen glacier and will house an indoor-outdoor spa, four restaurants, an education centre and a design laboratory. Developed by Miris and archtiecture by Snøhetta, the glass-fronted, circular property will float on stilts above the Holandsfjorden fjord. Following my hype already, the hotel is slated to open to guests in late 2022, and aims to be fully off-grid, carbon neutral and shelter zero waste within the first five years of operation.

      The Denmark-based design studio Space Copenhagen, founded by Peter Bundgaard and Signe Bindslev Henriken in 2005, has been charged with masterminding the entire interior vision for the new hotel. The duo will draw on their years of creative collaboration, with past projects including 11 Howard, Geist 2.0 and The Stratford London, to create an aesthetic which will reflect the project’s core values of sustainability, innovation and holism.

      “It was essential for us to find a design partner that shared our vision, with the ability to create a truly stunning aesthetic that both complements and emphasises the natural beauty of the destination, without distracting from it,” said Ivaylo Lefterov, Svart’s Development Director and judge for The Brit List Awards 2020. “Longevity, human connection and a distinctly Scandinavian quality – themes which run through Bundgaard and Bindslev Henriken’s award-winning work – will be at the heart of the Svart experience. We could not have found a better fit for us in Space Copenhagen and we are thrilled to have them on board.”

      “The design aesthetic does not seek to mimic or filter the magnificence of the Norwegian landscape, but to be a humble backdrop to it.” – Peter Bundgaard and Signe Bindslev Henriken, founders, Space Copenhagen.

      Image credit: Space Copenhagen

      Providing Hotel Designs with an insight into their vision, founders Bundgaard and Bindslev Henrikson said: “The four elements’ intrinsic connection to Norse mythology has provided the design aesthetic, poetically and holistically bringing together the tactile materials of stone and wood from the earth, the transparency and fluidity of water, the magic warmth of fire and the ephemeral intangible qualities of air. The design aesthetic does not seek to mimic or filter the magnificence of the Norwegian landscape, but to be a humble backdrop to it. The building itself – an unbroken, seamless circle – will become a portal dedicated to enhancing human connection to nature, the seasons, and to time itself.”

      With an approach they call ‘Poetic Modernism’, Space Copenhagen seeks to forge new paths by balancing opposites within their work. For the team, curiosity is a fundamental human condition and it is this transformative curiosity they will bring to Svart.

      While you’re here: click here to read more about Ivaylo Lefterov, Development Director at Miris and judge for The Brit List Awards 2020.

      Main image credit: Svart/Space Copenhagen

      (Video exclusive) In conversation with: Simon Whittaker, Architect of the Year 2019

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      (Video exclusive) In conversation with: Simon Whittaker, Architect of the Year 2019

      Simon Whittaker, architect and Associate Director at Orms, joined editor Hamish Kilburn to exclusively reveal details of the firm’s latest project: to redesign the former Central St Martins building in London…

      Lover of retro-buildings, Simon Whittaker is a modest architect with a modern vision. Partly responsible for designing the impressive building that now shelters The Standard London – a hotel that in many ways challenges conventional hospitality in London – Whittaker was rightfully crowned Architect of the Year at The Brit List Awards 2019.

      With this year’s awards ceremony imminently approaching, Whitaker joined me to launch the Interior Design & Architecture Summit (IDAS). In an exclusive interview, the award-winning architect revealed for the first time the mix-used development plans for an iconic site in London. Over the years, Central St Martins Building in Holborn sheltered significant moments in time for legendary figures in design and fashion, such as Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Christopher Kane and Stella McCartney.

      Nearly a decade after University of Arts London moved out of the site, Orms is currently working with a world-renowned team to sensitively restore the building and give it a new lease of life as a mixed-used development site, which will include a new lifestyle hotel.

      “We were very conscious that had to be more than just a hotel.” – Simon Whittaker, Associate Director, Orms.

      At a pinnacle moment in the project’s development – having just secured planning permission – Whittaker reveals all, as well as discussing The Standard London’s statement and architecture in a pandemic world.

      Watch the full interview below.

      > While you’re here: check out our review of The Standard London.

      Orms were approached last year to, through the power of architecture, secure consent for a hotel on the iconic site. The plot within the Holborn area includes the Grade II listed building, formerly Central St Martins, that fronts Southampton Row as well as a collection of 60s buildings behind. “We were very conscious that it had to be more than just a hotel,” Whittaker told Hotel Designs. “As a result, we have developed the concept for a new neighbourhood that happens to include a hotel.”

      The ‘new neighbourhood’ has Whittaker describes it will include a new lifestyle hotel, exhibition spaces, a refurbished lecture theatre, a screening room, various F&B outlets, a library, a series of function rooms and co-working spaces. “There’s a huge variety which will offer real benefits to the local area,” Whittaker adds.

      Orms and the wider team have recently been granted the necessary planning permission they need, with a unanimous consent from the committee, in order start work on the new urban development.

      About the Interior Design & Architecture Summit (IDAS)

      The Interior Design & Architecture Summit (IDAS) is Hotel Designs’ premium meet-the-buyer event for designers, architects and suppliers.

      “Couldn’t fault the organisation and we also got some decent opportunities.” – Schlüter Systems (supplier)

      “I thought the calibre of delegates was high and all seemed open to discussion.” – The Soho lighting Company (supplier)

      “It was great to meet new people and the meetings were largely a success.” – Anglepoise (supplier)

      “Fast-paced event with quality contacts and lots of opportunities for new work.” – Vivid Hospitality (supplier) 

      If you are interested in learning more about the event, please contact our team. For all supplier enquiries, please speak to Jennie Lane on 01992 374098, or email j.lane@forumevents.co.uk. If you are a senior designer and/or architect, please contact Victoria Petch on 01992 374082, or email v.petch@forumevents.co.uk.

      Main image credit: Orms/The Standard London

      White Elephant Palm Beach to open this November

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      White Elephant Palm Beach to open this November

      From one holiday destination to another, Nantucket’s White Elephant resort will welcome a sister boutique property in Palm Beach, which will open on November 4, 2020…

      The 32-key White Elephant Palm Beach is housed in the former Bradley Park Hotel – originally constructed in 1924 as one of the first resorts on Palm Beach’s Main Street. During its century-long history, it was initially owned by Colonel Edward R. Bradley, who ran a private and celebrated Beach Club casino on land that is today Bradley Park. For more than 20 years, the hotel served as a magnet for business tycoons and high rollers who frequented the salon. Over the decades that followed, the hotel remained a mainstay for seasonal visitors. In 1980, in part to its architectural significance, the hotel was listed with the Landmark Preservation Commission.

      The footprint of the structure and the facade remains, while the interiors have been stripped to the bones and rebuilt by Boston-based Elkus Manfredi Architects. The nationally recognised firm, known for its projects with The Peninsula Chicago and Four Seasons Residences, Boston, worked closely with the Town of Palm Beach to create a new hotel that showcases the history of the existing building while incorporating a contemporary interpretation of Mediterranean-revival architecture. White Elephant Palm Beach will maintain the welcoming feel of a private residence with 13 rooms and 19 suites spread across four stories.

      The hotel stands one street north of Royal Poinciana Way, Palm Beach’s original Main Street, less than two blocks from the Atlantic Ocean and one block from the Intracoastal Waterway.

      The layout of the property takes advantage of the South Florida sunshine and features a U-shaped outdoor courtyard that is the social heart of the hotel – a place to relax and recharge, whether lounging on the patio or around the pool. The landscaping features mature, local flora whose lush colours and tropical fragrances envelop guests.  Previews of what’s to come started earlier this year, when White Elephant Palm Beach’s signature restaurant Lola 41– a Nantucket staple – began serving its globally inspired dishes and local seafood specialties.

      Image caption: In the lobby parlor, guests face a row of arched windows looking out onto the courtyard and outside restaurant seating. Sheer drapery filters the natural light and offers slight opacity, lending a sense of privacy and separation from the activity outside. | Image credit: Chi-Thien Nguyen/Elkus Manfredi Architects

      The design captures the spirit of a grand home while maintaining the ambiance of a landmarked boutique hotel. Breaking from the bright pinks and greens that dominate the Palm Beach aesthetic, the White Elephant Palm Beach features a neutral colour palette with sleek metal accents and vibrant pops of colour. The hardwood floors, Carrara marble, elegant tiles and woven rugs are all interpreted with contemporary style.  Outside, the Mizner-style facade is painted a light, creamy-white colour with classic black-and-white striped awnings, terracotta roof tiles, and black trim to bring a fresh, sophisticated look to the classic structure. Guests will be welcomed onto the property by a seven-foot white elephant statue by Santa Fe-based artist Fredrick Prescott.  (A “sister” elephant statue, Trunket, is on the grounds of White Elephant in Nantucket .)

      The statue is just one of 120 original pieces of colourful modern and pop art personally curated by the owners and Elkus Manfredi. The museum-worthy collection will be on display throughout the rooms and common spaces. Featured artists include Robert Rauschenberg, whose early creations in the 1950s anticipated the pop art movement, and Jennifer Bartlett, known for her small, square steel plates that are combined in grid formations to create large-scale works. Several pieces by painter Kenzo Okada, the first Japanese-American artist to receive international acclaim using abstract expressionist style, will be on display, as will works by Donald Baechler, part of the East Village, New York 1980s art movement. A 54-inch round acrylic work by Orit Fuchs was specifically created for the hotel and is a focal point of the lobby; while six prints by Yinka Shonibare, who will unveil a new public sculpture installation in West Palm Beach in 2021, will be found on the second-floor corridor. Doodle Boy, a 10-year-old British artist, was also commissioned to create 30 exclusive pieces for the powder rooms. Using clean black lines hand drawn with a thick marker, he incorporated a hidden signature elephant in each of his drawings.

      Guestrooms and suites range from 510- to 3,000-square feet featuring custom-designed furniture. King-size beds will be outfitted with Pratesi by Rivolta linens with upholstered backboards accented in a colourful palm and flower print. The same fabric will be found on the back of the desk chairs and on the throw pillow piping.

      Other noteworthy pieces include console tables by Selamat Designs in collaboration with the heritage brand, Morris & Co, which are wrapped inside and out with authentic William Morris “Strawberry Thief” covering. The pattern was originally created in 1883. Each of the suites will be furnished with plush grey and cream armchairs and couches. The custom-designed wooden arches that frame the entrance to some of the rooms are a defining architectural element of the hotel. Other decorative accents such as bronze elephant door knockers, bold patterned throw pillows, rattan ceiling light fixtures, and black and white striped side tables are sprinkled throughout. The bathrooms feature marble tiles, double sinks crafted from stone, a dry vanity and glass-enclosed walk in showers with L’Occitane bath amenities.

      Image caption: The master bedroom in the Park Suite is the largest of the suite’s three bedrooms and includes a seating area at the foot of the bed. Behind us, double doors lead to the master bathroom. | Image credit: Chi-Thien Nguyen/Elkus Manfredi Architects

      The two penthouse suites are ideal for those who want to entertain, with large living rooms, fully equipped kitchens, and terraces ranging between 800- to 1,200-square-feet. With views of Bradley Park, the Park Suite is a three-bedroom that can be expanded into four, and the ocean-facing Palm Suite is a two-bedroom that can be expanded into three.

      Image caption: All the hotel’s exterior furniture is by Janus et Cie, all in black-and-white to keep in tune with the graphic quality of the architectural language of the exterior. | Image credit: Chi-Thien Nguyen/Elkus Manfredi Architects

      “Our main mission is to combine our vision of hospitality with the ethos and style of casually elegant Palm Beach,” comments Douglass Karp, President of New England Development. He notes, “We are pleased to combine our promise of service excellence with the exciting tradition of hospitality in this legendary resort destination. We feel right at home in Palm Beach.”

      Main image credit: Chi-Thien Nguyen/Elkus Manfredi Architects

      Checking In: The Cave Hotel, Canterbury – Kent’s tech-savvy luxury pad

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Checking In: The Cave Hotel, Canterbury – Kent’s tech-savvy luxury pad

      In a sea of standard ‘luxury’ hotel offerings in Kent, The Cave Hotel in Canterbury, which opened late last year, has certainly made a statement. Editor Hamish Kilburn checks in to The Penthouse to discover the warm design scheme inspired by multiple hotels around the world…

      Before humans had yet understood the concept of a home – let alone a hotel – we sheltered in caves for warmth, comfort and safety. They were practical and offered natural protection from the harsh elements and predators on the outside. The original hotel, one could argue, and once a fire was lit, these territories became sanctuaries.

      Positioned on the outskirts of Canterbury, in Kent, and attached seamlessly to Boughton Golf Club, a new unexpected hotel has emerged. The Cave Hotel is not really like a cave at all. Instead, it is a well-designed luxury hotel that cleverly removes all who check in from the stress of modern life. It shelters an authentic design scheme – from the room layouts right down to the technology that works behind the scenes – that was inspired by owners James Tory and Jonathan Callister’s own experiences during their many years of checking in and out of some of the world’s finest hotels. “We have lived hospitality for years,” Callister told Hotel Designs. “Having travelled the world, we have injected the best design and architecture that we have experienced into this hotel.” The result is a well-rehearsed and well-timed arrival onto the luxury hospitality scene.

      Image credit: The Cave Hotel

      On the outside, the 41-key boutique hotel is an isolated gem, surrounded only by undulating hills in the county that is known as the Garden of England. But inside, the hotel shelters a very different vibe, one that challenges conventional hospitality and hotel design in Kent and beyond.

      The arrival experience creates a powerful first impression with a modern take on the nomadic lifestyle (times have evolved since caves were our homes). Walk past the heavy curtained entrance, and the lobby becomes a comfortable den that features a high-vaulted ceiling and dark warm tones – a secluded sanctuary far away from the outside world with an atmosphere that is automatically muted and relaxed. It is complete with low-level furniture and contemporary shelving, which provides textured décor as well as clever boundaries between spaces.

      Image credit: The Cave Hotel

      An exposed elevated walkway above – accessible via lift or stairs – leads to the ‘Firepit’, a sleek bar and restaurant, which serves up a contemporary sharing-plate experience. A burst of flavours of world cuisine meet and fuse together in the fresh, re-imagined menu. The smokey, barbecue aromas of the American west combine with the delicate spiced tastes of the far east to create ambitious dishes that excite.

      Image credit: The Cave Hotel

      Upstairs, the 41 guestrooms and suites are serene havens, and further reveal intuitive design features inspired by the owners’ travels. The lighting, for example, is set simply via moods (chill, romance and blaze), which automatically adjusts the temperature and harshness of the light in the room, allowing guests to simply personalise their own hotel experience from a touch of a button.

      Image credit: The Cave Hotel

      With no expense spared – and leading its market in terms of using 21st century technical innovation – the hotel puts emphasis on guests’ digital needs and demands. Each room is complemented with state of the art Wi-Fi, super-fast internet, bespoke 65″ Smart LED televisions with music, digital art and connectivity for laptops and smart phones. 

      Even the function of the bed has been carefully considered from concept through to completion, with there even being an area under its structure where guests can store their luggage. “It was a a big bugbear of mine,” said Callister, “checking in to a hotel where there was no where to put my suitcase after I had unpacked. It was therefore an important element to include when designing the bed, and was it was only achievable by designing everything bespoke.”

      “I have never slept in such a comfortable bed and mattress in my life.” – Hamish Kilburn, editor, Hotel Designs.

      In addition to the beds being functional and stylish, the mattresses are also unique to the hotel. They have been designed bespoke by manufacturer Harrison Spinks. The brief from the owners was to create a mattress that guests would sink into but also felt secure on. “This idea came from sleeping on so many hotel mattresses that didn’t offer the right level of support or comfort,” Callister explained. “I was yet to find a mattress that met my two demands [as a modern traveller].”

      Image credit: The Cave Hotel

      “We provided Johnathan and his team the opportunity to sample a range of hospitality beds, each with its own unique look and feel,” said Stephen Truswell, Hospitality Sales Director at Harrison Spinks. “Once we had established the look and specification, we moved on to feel. Because we have the facility to provide different tensions, our showroom allowed them to select the tension that would deliver their guests the ultimate night’s sleep.”

      In my editorial opinion, although bed and mattress preference differs from person to person, it was the most comfortable sleep experience I have ever had in a hotel, which is a testament to both the hotel and the manufacturer.

      While the guestrooms offer their corner of luxury and unparalleled comfort, the jewel in the crown is the custom-build penthouse, which is located on the fifth floor at the end of the architecturally lit corridor and offers more than a bed for the night – it is an experience; a unique space and an opportunity to explore a cutting-edge smart hotel in style. Framing what are unreservedly the best views of the gold course and surrounding landscape of rolling hills, the expansive suite, at just under 3,000 sq ft, features a unique space that is layered with technology to enhance and enrich the consumer journey.

      The living area is flooded in tech – from the Gallo acoustic speakers to the personalised Lutron lighting and blinds. To add personality into the space, a distressed leather bar from Timothy Oulton provides the perfect minibar. Adjacent to it is a large dining table, which filters into the suite’s private kitchen. A separate work area in the lounge plays well into the new ‘workcation’ travel trend that has emerged in recent months. Once the work emails are answered, guests can sink into what the hotel describes as “the most comfortable sofa in the world”, which was imported in from America.

      The style of the bedroom within The Penthouse is similar to other rooms within the hotel, but the bathroom is an open-planned area of indulgent luxury. Complete with a freestanding bath, a large shower and dark, moody and textured stone surfaces (giving a nod to the inside of a cave, perhaps), this area further provides laid-back character and seductive design.

      Meanwhile, downstairs on the ground floor the spa and wellness area may be small but it is fit for purpose. Complete with a sauna, steam room, hydro-pool and a gym, the wellness facilities are there to cater to modern demands of luxury ‘bleisure’ (business/leisure) travellers.

      Image credit: The Cave Hotel & Resort

      The hotel recently appointed award-winning hotelier Robert Richardson to take the helm as General Manager, who believes The Cave Hotel’s independent status gives it an advantage in a post-pandemic world. “As an independent hotel we can be boundlessly creative in our approach to providing a memorable guest journey,” he said. “The natural beauty of the stunning Garden of England, our close proximity to London, and the singular vision of the hotel owners has all been combined to create a destination venue never before seen in Kent.”

      What makes the hotel that much more interesting – other than it just being a superb luxury countryside hotel with an urban personality – is its expansion plans. It may well be an independent hotel at the moment, but the aim is for The Cave Hotel in Canterbury to be the first of what is said to be many hotels that will open in the portfolio in and outside of the UK.

      As I come back down to earth to check out of The Penthouse, I can see how The Cave Hotel’s effortless style and thoughtful design would work in metropolis’ around the world. It’s refreshing to immerse myself in a hotel that answers to the hefty demands of modern luxury travellers. With its luxe contemporary design and laid-back atmosphere throughout, the hotel in many ways erases conventional hospitality and replaces it with a completely new hotel experience that makes a lot of sense in the tech-fuelled ‘new normal’ world we live in today.

      Main image credit: The Cave Hotel 

      (IN VIDEO) Hotel Designs LIVE: Discussing sustainability with Bill Bensley

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      (IN VIDEO) Hotel Designs LIVE: Discussing sustainability with Bill Bensley

      To kickstart Hotel Designs LIVE on October 13, editor Hamish Kilburn discussed sustainability and purposeful eco solutions for the post-pandemic world with designer Bill Bensley

      Hotel Designs LIVE, sponsored by Technological Innovations Group, took place on October 13. 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:

      • Discussing sustainability with Bill Bensley
      • Adding personality in public areas
      • Reassuring the post-corona consumer
      • The revival of smart technology post-pandemic

      The production of Hotel Designs LIVE took place in Technological Innovations Group’s Experience Centre in London, and was produced CUBE Video, a bold, innovative and strategic video and animation agency that believes in empowering businesses with creativity.

      The event was launched with an editor’s welcome by Hamish Kilburn, where he discussed the aim of Hotel Designs LIVE. “This event, this concept if you like, has been designed to keep the conversation flowing and the industry connected,” he said. “It is our way to position under the spotlight what we believe to be are the most relevant and engaging topics that are impacting our industry right now. It’s also an opportunity to gain access – albeit virtually – inside hotels and design and architecture studios around the globe.”

      Following this welcome, Kilburn introduced the event’s first session and speaker. In order to definitively understand sustainability in international hotel design, while also highlighting new, unconventional methodology in the process, the event invited headline speaker Bill Bensley onto the virtual sofa.

      Affectionately known as the “Willy Wonka of Design”, Bensley is a dedicated eco-warrior and a highly qualified jack of all trades – architect, interior designer, lover of all things natural, and most of all, a wide-ranging explorer of as many corners of the earth as he can.

      The award-winning designer, who never fails to deliver innovative solutions when designing sustainable spaces, joined Kilburn to discuss how design, architecture and hospitality can coincide with nature. In this session, which was sponsored by Silentnight Group, Bensley and Kilburn discussed whether or not the Covid-19 crisis – which resulted in global daily emissions of CO2 to fall by 17 per cent – had effectively balanced the scales, and debated if hotel design could ever be completely sustainable.

      Within this session, the audience heard PRODUCT WATCH pitches from Silentnight Group, Harris & Harris London and Schlüter Systems.

      Below is the recording of the full session, which starts with the PRODUCT WATCH segment and leads into our exclusive interview with Bill Bensley.

      QUICK-FIRE ROUND:

      Hamish Kilburn: What has been your favourite year in this industry and why?
      Bill Bensley: Right now!

      HK: What lesson would you teach your younger self if you were able to? 
      BB: As my folks were both English and homophobic, perhaps I would have reassured a young Bill that being gay will prove to be the happiest life positive ever!

      HK: What luxury item would you not live without? 
      BB: My dogs, I have six Jack Russells and I couldn’t live without them.

      So there you have it, sustainability doesn’t have to be a heavy burden in hotel design. Like Bensley has evidenced within this conversation, being conscious to the environment and implementing sustainable methods in design should be a playful, fun, and enjoyable process. By thinking locally yet still outside the box, we will be able to create innovative and purposeful solutions that will authentically meet the new demands of modern travellers.

      The full recordings of the other three sessions (Adding personality in public areas, Reassuring the post-corona consumer and The revival of smart tech post-pandmeic) will go live shortly. 

      SAVE THE DATE: Hotel Designs LIVE will return for a third edition on February 23, 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.

      Skopos launches Tarim as a flexible flame-retardant fabric

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Skopos launches Tarim as a flexible flame-retardant fabric

      Skopos, which has almost 50 years’ experience of developing flame-retardant fabrics and soft furnishings for the contract market, has just introduced Tarim to its portfolio…

      Tarim has been welcomed into the Skopos portfolio as a flexible plain flame-retardant fabric with the appearance of elegant slub silk.

      The new product is wide width, perfect for contract curtains, bedding and cushions, available in a range of versatile neutrals and rich, exotic tones. Designed to work well with Skopos woven and printed collections, Tarim is perfect for accessories or to create a simple elegant statement within hotel bedrooms. Seen here with our soon-to-be-launched print design, Palmyra, on our Sonno velvet blackout, Tarim reflects luxury. 100 per cent Polyester FR, Tarim is washable at 30°C. Skopos offer a full make-up, measure and installation service or the option to buy fabric only from the roll. Tarim has been tested to the high FR standards set for contract fabrics and achieves IMO bedding, for marine interiors.

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

      Main image credit: Skopos

      Sustainable surfaces: a playful way to connect with nature

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Sustainable surfaces: a playful way to connect with nature

      3DForms by Granorte is a sustainable collection of wall tiles with three-dimensional structures that can be used in various arrays to create one-of-a-kind textured walls that also benefit from the natural properties of cork…

      Designed by Alzira Peixoto and Carlos Mendonca of SimpleFormsDesign, 3DForms takes inspiration from Portuguese ceramic wall tiles of the 1950s and 1960s, creating striking geometric pattern across the wall. Relying on the tonal contrast between shadows and highlights, 3dForms has a sculptural quality that changes emphasis as light changes throughout the course of day and night.

      Made in Portugal by cork innovator Granorte, 3DForms uses a lightweight agglomerated cork compound made from 92% post-industrial waste derived from wine stopper production and is FSC certified. Protected with Granorte’s proprietary Corkguard® water-based finish, the tiles are easy to clean and protected from marks and stains and are suitable for use in commercial and domestic interiors.

      A renewable natural resource, cork has excellent thermal and acoustic properties, helping 3DForms to contribute to improving energy performance, as well as a tangible reduction of noise within the room. The tiles are available in two sizes – 150 x 150mm and 300 x 300mm – and in three forms – Pyramid, Aztec and Ramp – allowing numerous patterns to be created. Each design is available in natural, pearl, terracotta, smoke and bluemoon colourways.

      “3DForms delivers a striking alternative aesthetic to ceramic wall tiles,” says Paulo Rocha, product and R&D manager, Granorte. “From simply rotating designs to create subtly changing, rhythmic repeating patterns to unique combinations made up of any of the three forms in any size, it’s a playful way to welcome the cork look, creating a cossetting and comfortable feel that brings you closer to nature.”

      Granorte 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: Granorte

      Checking in to Selina Brighton – a room with a view

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Checking in to Selina Brighton – a room with a view

      Following the recent opening of Selina Brighton, we sent travel journalist Sara Darling – who pre-Covid would be travelling to far-flung destinations around the world – to be one of the first to check in to the hotel, which is conveniently located on her doorstep…

      Brighton has got the best of everything. And I say that, because I am biased (it’s my home)! It’s hilly, happy and generally quite hippy! It’s also perfect for a staycation – something we have evolved to love since lockdown.

      However, with all it’s quirks, the seafront is like a mecca of swish hotels, posh apartments, restaurants and quaint squares – and very rarely do I get to frequent them. However, the opening of the latest hotel to hit the beach was a local affair, and I was happy to shimmy on down, with little more than a toothbrush and a party frock, to check it out.

      Selina Hotel is situated in a perfect tourist spot – opposite the i360 and the West Pier; the iconic landmarks have not been forgotten within the design of the redecorated rooms as many have a view of both.

      Designed to reflect Brighton’s iconic ocean-front location and the city’s creative spirit, interior designer Tola Ojuolape collaborated closely with Selina’s workshop team, using materials that represent and embrace the community, and each of the rooms has been given a quirky and whimsical twist.

      As an international nomadic lifestyle brand, Selina is renowned for its combination of co-working spaces, wellness and recreational experiences; in fact, you can find Selina Hotels in more than 70 urban, beach, jungle and mountain-side locations across 20 countries worldwide. With a plan to develop a global infrastructure for nomads and remote workers who want to make the world their classroom/office/playground Brighton is a great fit.

      Image credit: Selina

      The modern, on-site restaurant, The Old Pier, offers an uninterrupted vista for people watchers- and the constant enchantment of the bobbing tide and 360 pod will ensure anyone who doesn’t have their sea legs, feels safe cocooned in the shabby-chic, atmospheric, plant-filled bar.

      31 uniquely designed private rooms, suites and shared rooms are all tasteful, yet uncluttered; they are designed not to be lived in, as Brighton is there to be explored! I stayed in a delightful king size room, with a damn comfortable bed, and sash windows which let in a refreshing sea breeze. With a small (original natch) school desk and chair, open plan wardrobe and ensuite with quality condiments, the room led off a rickety floorboard corridor, which was miraculously un-squeaky throughout the night.

      Image credit: Selina

      But perhaps that had something to do with copious amounts of alcohol that came when celebrating the opening of the property. Both residents and non-residents are welcome to take part in the weekly bingo sesh, which is hosted by Party with Ginger and her entourage of incredible performers. If you’ve never seen Grace Jones, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Madonna or Kylie up close, I can only imagine it would be as much fun as this! Bingo is the name of the game, but actually takes second place to these dancers – socially distanced of course, and complemented by house line shots of tequila.

      While you’re being entertained, you can scan the menu from the table topped bar code and enjoy table service – I’d highly recommend the signature 48-hour sourdough pizza – they do a vegan one obviously this being Brighton- the Dungeon with vegan mozzarella, grated chilli seitan, red peppers and crushed green chillies, which was insanely delicious! Over the coming months, The Old Pier will also expand the menu further to include salmon sashimi poke bowls, Bajan style fish tacos and beef and vegan burgers, but I loved the sweet corn niblets and cauliflower tempura and fish tacos.

      If your first night was unexpected, it’s well worth engaging in the full Brighton experience and signing up for a rejuvenating morning yoga session in the i360. Blow away the cobwebs and set yourself up for the day with sea views from a downward dog position, before tottering back across the prom to the hotel for brunch.

      Whether you are keen to get out and explore the city, which is right on your doorstep, hang around the lobby with your laptop or peruse the products from local brands that are on display in reception, Selina is in the heart of the action. Locals will soon be able to snap up a spot in a co-working space, which will no doubt be a creative hot pot – showcasing local artist Amy Isles Freeman, whose work themes around female sexuality, freedom and joy.

      Whether you live in Brighton or just fancy a Covid friendly trip to the seaside, I’d highly recommend checking out the range of lofts, suites, family rooms that accommodate up to four, standard and micro-sized double rooms at the Selina. What’s more, the brand has a further 19 opening in 2021 including shared community rooms which fit up to six guests.

      Main image credit: Selina Brighton

      Virtual Roundtable: health & wellbeing in hospitality and hotel design

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Virtual Roundtable: health & wellbeing in hospitality and hotel design

      With a question mark on what the future of health and wellbeing will look like in tomorrow’s hotel, editor Hamish Kilburn, in collaboration with HDR | Hurley Palmer Flatt, asks industry’s experts to decipher what’s fact and what’s myth when predicting tomorrow’s wellness scene…

      One of the major challenges that hotel designers and architects are facing globally at the moment is how much emphasis to put on Covid-19 when making decisions that will impact the future look and feel of hospitality. The pandemic has no doubt changed the demands of modern travellers, no more so arguably than in what will be expected in the wellbeing and wellness areas of tomorrow’s hotels.

      In an attempt to define realistic solutions, we speak to leading designers, architects and developers from around the world – and ask about the future of health and wellbeing in hospitality and design.

      On the panel: 

      Hamish Kilburn: We have never seen this before; every single hotel around the world putting together a reopening strategy. How has the pandemic, and the reopening of these hotels, changed the mindset of operators when it comes to health and wellbeing?

      Chris Lee: Any operator will say that guest safety is their first priority. Obviously with Covid-19, that’s paramount. In times like these, the majority of travellers are leaning towards brands they can trust.

      Wyndham Hotels & Resorts set up a working party back in March. We looked across the whole spectrum of the business, including all brands and hotels, to identify what we needed to do to get ahead of this pandemic, all the time with the aim to keep our guests in a place where they trust us, whilst feeling safe and comfortable.

      As a result, we launched an initiative called ‘Count on Us’, which is a long-term initiative with the emphasis being on additional cleanliness to address the characteristics of Covid-19 . We have had to adapt certain procedures, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing and it has allowed us to enter into partnerships with new suppliers. For example, Ecolab is supplying the EPR-approved cleaning chemicals and products for our hotels across the region. As part of that deal, they have offered product training to our staff. These team members are, bit by bit, becoming ‘Covid safety officers’.

      HK: How will Covid-19 impact how hotels are designed?

      Mark Bruce: The truthful answer to that is that our clients are all trying to figure that out themselves, which is why this discussion is very timely.

      Six Senses arriving in London is a good example, with its core focus being wellness. What I will say, strictly architecturally, is that there is a wider emphasis on indoor/outdoor spaces, which I think makes sense to us. On the luxury end, customers want things to be the same but with more space. On the more lifestyle and budget end of the scale, travellers want confidence.

      Image caption: Rendering of Six Senses London, slated to open in 2023

      Working closely with our mechanical and engineering suppliers to understand the practical aspects, such as air conditioning systems and finding ways to bring in natural air, has been fundamental in order to understand our limits as architects.

      Matthew Voaden: We are finding that working more closely with architects from early stages of design is beneficial in not only addressing the concerns of enhanced ventilation to the space, but also to the architecture/interior design as integrating the services from outset does not later compromise the initial concept.

      Tom Bishop: From a project management perspective, we usually get operator and design feedback far too late (usually during stage three or four). Do you reckon that this support system will bring forward when we are able to have these discussions?

      MB: Yes, I think it’s a good point. 50 per cent of our clients are owner/operators, developers, which means from day one you can have good conversations about it. This is a huge challenge for operators – and you’re right, these conversations do not currently happen early enough.

      HK: Covid-19 has amplified the need for service and design to work in harmony, something that the lifestyle sector was already very good at. What are the new challenges in lifestyle hotels? 

      TB: Ruby Hotels is a great example of a lifestyle hotel that shelters design working with service. Typically, guests checking in to a Ruby hotel are looking for a bed for the night. You check in to ‘lean luxury’ ­– it’s clean and well designed and you are not spending that much time in your room. The public area space is minimal, cool and trendy while the F&B offering is limited – so they are almost already designed for the post-pandemic world and naturally cater to new demands from travellers. It will be interesting to see what the hotel group does next. I know the brand is looking for sites still, and it’s an exciting time for them.

      Image caption: A playful interior design scheme inside Ruby Lucy, London

      There is definitely a difference in demand from guests checking in to a five-star hotel than travellers checking in to a three-star hotel. On the luxury end, the question is now how to create the same atmosphere pre-pandemic in a space that now limits how many people are in that area.

      “We are trying too hard at the moment and, dare I say it, over reacting.” – Ivalyo Lefterov, Hotel Development Director, Miris.

      HK: Ivaylo, talk to us about SVART. How is this project challenging conventional methods of wellbeing and wellness?

      Ivaylo Lefterv: That’s a very wide question, I have to say. I’m addressing this situation having worked on both the design and operational side. From my perspective at least, we are trying too hard at the moment and, dare I say it, over reacting.

      First of all, we have no idea how things will evolve six months from now, so making any assumptions or drastic changes could be quite damaging. But equally, with SVART in particular, sustainability and wellness were already key pillars of that project. So, Covid-19 has somewhat brought attention to what we were already trying to achieve, which is a positive.

      Image caption: SVART, which is slated to open in 2022 as the world’s first ‘energy-positive’ hotel

      The building itself, sheltering a new F&B concept, is part of the wellness journey. We have been discussing how we activate the building, and our conclusion is that we want the guest to be in control. We are talking about touchless without losing human interaction. That is an important balance. We are trying to allow the customer to be guided intuitively but also using technology as a tool to allow us to measure the condition of their stay and be able to adjust their experience accordingly. I do believe that lighting will become much more of a focus in the post-pandemic world.

       MV: I agree, having worked recently with a number of clients on integrating smart technologies into new and existing buildings, we are trying to strike a balance between introducing technology that benefits the development and not just an innovation that is an immediate reaction to the current Covid-19 situation, which ultimately might not be required.

      HK: It’s a given that hygiene is creeping – no, leaping – up on the agenda for hoteliers. When it comes to Value Engineering though, what will fall off in its place?

      Dan Curtis: We have seen a move towards less cluttered space. When you walk into a hotel room there is now more clean space with natural materials, focusing on the light and scenery.

      “Value Engineering should not be a factor when considering safety” – Kobi Karp, Founder, Kobi Karp Architecture and Design.

      Kobi Karp: I agree. Value Engineering should not be a factor when considering safety. Traditionally we have used copper pipes in buildings before we discovered the properties in PVC. I now see a movement that is drawing designers and architects back to raw materials, such as copper. In my firm we design a lot of restoration projects, and it’s very easy to convert those hotels into sustainable hubs as a result of Covid-19.

      Over the last few months the focus has also switched to technology – it is evolving rapidly! To date, we have not felt the need to implement this. Now, we are taking another look at it technology’s role in a post-pandemic world.

      HK: We can have all the best will in the world, but let’s realistic and talk about scalability – change is very expensive for global hotel brands that need to maintain branding across all hotels. Chris, how are you making these decisions?

      CL: It’s such a difficult call! If I was in a developer’s position, and it was my money, I still wouldn’t know what to do.

      We’ve had numerous discussions internally about reviewing our design standards. At the moment, we have to stay where we are because no one has the answers on timing. Like Tom said, if you double the size of your lobby then you are doubling the size of your real estate, which naturally reduces your ROI. I don’t think we are yet in a position to fix these financial and design issues.

      Image caption: Wyndham Introduces new hybrid meeting concept at Dolce Hotels in Europe

      TB: Let me explain this from a refurbishment approach. An owner has an asset. It was worth X in January 2020 and it’s now worth Y. If they are trying to loan against the asset, that value has reduced. This means your refurbishment budget has reduced along with occupancy levels (for example, from 85 per cent to 65 per cent) and a lower room rate. Ultimately, you are going to see, I believe, more QS-led design in the four-star and below market because ultimately there is more of a budget constraint that has to be adhered to. There is a delicate balance between health, design (to ensure that the hotel is competitive within its market), increasing room rates and overall yield.

      Image caption: Minimalist design-led guestrooms inside Ruby Hotels’ properties

      Veronica Givone: In the last six months, I have been talking with a lot with investors. My conclusion is that the last decade has already seen a shift in what brands wanted to provide. 10 years ago they were designing for their brands. Now they are designing for the people checking in to the hotel.

      “We now need to avoid designing hotels that look like hospitals.” Veronica Givone, Managing Director, IA Interior Architects.

      I believe that the pandemic will just amplify this. People are more aware when it comes to wellness and wellbeing. We now need to avoid designing hotels that look like hospitals. It’s the balance the find when applying tech and keeping service fresh. We need to understand how to make our staff feel confident and comfortable to use the space. We need to make short-term solutions, and I hope that social distancing will not be a long-term hurdle. In 15 years from now, who will be the guest? That’s what we now need to think about.

      HK: Matthew, HDR | Hurley Palmer Flatt Group has its ear to the ground when it comes to identifying and utilising new innovations that will improve building quality. What have you seen emerge recently?

      MV: When cultural changes happen, it always results in a lot of discussions around new innovations and products.

      UVC Lighting, and air purification systems are really interesting, but would be better and easier to cost, if they were disguised in the foundations of a new build. Upgrading filters in maintenance, CO2 monitoring, modification to the Building management system to extend fan runtimes etc and other factors are constantly being analysing as part of our teams initial response to the pandemic.

      I would say, it is easier to integrate new innovations into budget hotels. It’s more challenging for luxury properties and brands in order to not disrupt the familiar luxury guest experience and journey.

      IL: I can see the industry moving forward towards the guest designing their experience before check in. That will allow the actual hotel stay – take the arrival experience for example – to be more like a performance, a theatre if you like. The guestroom itself would become your butler to make it more personal without removing the human factor. Your reception becomes your living room, as opposed to being purely a practical and frankly unenjoyable element.  

      “Gen Z want to be in control – they like choices.” – Chris Lee, Director of Architecture, Design & Construction, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

      CL:Hotels have changed in the last decade. Lifestyle didn’t really exist much 10 years ago. Gen Z want to be in control – they like choices. What better way to make a choice: on your phone, you have everything you need. But, regardless of the evolution of tech, hospitality is about people and you can get that interaction in all hotels. I just hope the pandemic doesn’t adjust the people factor in our industry, because that is so important.

      VG: The key is balance all possible demands and offer flexibility, allowing the guest to decide.

      HK: Can sound offer solutions in the post-pandemic world?

      MB: I was really pleased that this came up as a topic. I have never really spoken about sound in a roundtable discussion, but it’s important to consider. Like many of the sub topics we have explored in this session, we were analysing sound in hospitality before Covid-19 was a thing. The pandemic has allowed us to refocus on new ways to create atmosphere, and one of the most impactful ways to subconsciously evoke a mood in pursuit of wellness is to consider sound.

      A great example is Six Senses, and it is an absolute joy working with the brand. They talk about anti spaces, the moments in between moments. I believe that the spaces in between create the emotion and memories. We have been helping Six Senses to transfer their look and feel and their renowned focus on wellness into an urban environment, and sound has been a massive part of that.

      The minute you walk in, sound from the outside is­ muted –  the perception of the city gets left behind and the focus turned to the naturally aerated lobby. As you move further towards the spa, the way sound is treated is going to be a very exciting part of the project. To see a leading brand like Six Senses embrace sound to elevate the experience is very exciting! I think it will add a lot of value to hospitality in the future.

      Thanks to HDR | Hurley Palmer Flatt and all of our international experts, we have started the conversation around health and wellbeing in hospitality in hotel design. Now it’s over to you. Have your stay by tweeting us @HotelDesigns.

      Confessions of a lighting designer – what is lighting design?

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Confessions of a lighting designer – what is lighting design?

      Throughout October we are, for the second time this year, putting the spotlight on lighting. To kickstart this series, we reach out to Gary Thornton, senior project designer at neolight global, to understand lighting design from the inside.

      The profession of architectural lighting design is a relatively young industry, even though the practise of what we do in determining where there is light and where there isn’t has been around for centuries.

      Of course back then this was simply people deciding where to put candles or, as far back as the 9th century, where to locate oil lamps.  But architectural lighting design as a more formal profession really only goes back to around the 1950s with the likes of Richard Kelly pioneering the practice, followed by people like Derek Phillips and Jonathan Speirs.

      So what is lighting design and what is it that lighting designers actually do?  I’ve lost count of the times I’ve tried to explain this to my friends who think we “choose where to put light bulbs”!

      It can be easily forgiven that it is not a widely known profession.  There is no formal educational pathway and many people stumble into the profession from a semi-related field of design and find themselves “doing lighting design” before they even realise what it is (myself included!).

      As an example, our office comprises lighting designers with backgrounds in product design, interior design, electrical engineering, film and television, photography, sculpture and architecture.  There are indeed well-established Masters degrees, or undergraduate courses in Theatrical Lighting Design, but this is not the case for Architectural Lighting Design.  Something that has been brought up again recently in our industry.

      Lighting

      Lighting concerns itself with how people perceive their environment, yet because light is intangible it has an intrinsic, and often underestimated, role in all aspects of visual design.

      Working in a medium which remains invisible until it strikes a physical surface means that we lighting designers must be as concerned with the nature of the surface and the biology behind the human eye as with the light which strikes it.

      Ambient illumination, direct light, reflected light, the use of colour, areas of relative darkness and contrast all contribute to how a space looks and how it feels, resulting in designs made up of layers of light.  The better lighting schemes consider what should be left unlit as much as what should be lit, so maybe we are just as much “darkness designers” as we are lighting designers.

      Because of the immateriality, great lighting is rarely lauded.  If you walk through a space and it looks and feels great then chances are it is because of the lighting. Not to take away from the interior designer, architect, or landscape designer that has typically designed more of the physical environment, but certainly in how the colours appear, how the material textures catch your eye, whatever the mood it prompts or the visual aesthetic it provides, it is because of the lighting.

      Poor lighting on the other hand gets no end of complaints.  Lighting that is overly bright or dark, too much glare, or feels cold and uninviting can make spaces feel uncomfortable so people don’t want to visit and spend time there.  Even the best interior design schemes can be marred by bad lighting, and at the extreme bad lighting can even be bad for your health depending on the time of day or the tasks required of the people using it.

      Lighting for hospitality

      At the core of neolight’s work is the hospitality sector, and one of my favourite spaces to illuminate is the All Day Dining restaurant within a hotel.  This is largely because it’s such a transformative space and great way to demonstrate the power of lighting.  An All Day Dining restaurant needs to be able to provide a bright and fresh environment for breakfast, right through to the warmth and relaxing ambience of an evening meal.

      When you get this right, the space will look and feel like a different restaurant to the guests from morning to night.

      Lighting experiences

      Architectural lighting design really started an accelerated upward curve with the mainstream adoption of LED.  Since then light sources have been getting smaller and more efficient, and the fixtures themselves are increasingly packed full of technology.

      Alongside this evolution of lighting technology has been an evolving expectation of the role of the lighting designer.  No longer are we providing simple scene-setting schemes with smooth dimming to meet the client expectations, now clients are looking for more engaging and dynamic schemes concealed within the fabric of the building, with light that entrains and supports your circadian rhythm, they want an experience.

      Yes the experience is framed by the architecture, or informed by the interior design, or the service that you receive, but transcending across all of those to make it a good experience is good lighting design.

      Lighting design = experience design.  And if that helps become popular on social media, then all the better.

      To this end we are not just designers anymore.  We have to be artists and scientists, knowledgeable in Bluetooth and LiFi, experts in daylight and green building codes, understanding biology of the human eye, of the physics of light, and all manner of material properties.

      And this is all before we even mention the Internet of Things, where we are suddenly being asked about the limitations of LoRaWAN as a protocol to control light fixtures with.

      Lighting is digital

      There is an underlying expectation to all of this that we are digitally savvy.  Lots of industries are going through change and digitisation, but lighting is changing right up there with them.  In order to keep meeting the expectations of a modern day lighting design, we have to be able to understand and design with all these evolving elements.

      One particular attribute that I’ve taken on is learning to code due to the increasing overlap with disciplines that do require this, and at the very least we need to be able to coordinate with them. For example, this is a prototype app written in Python that communicates with light fixtures in a hotel room to automatically adjust the colour temperature and brightness based on personal circumstances, such as jet lag.

      Internet of Things

      We have gone through the exponential growth of LED and now we have even further miniaturisation of technology so there is virtually nowhere that LEDs cannot be integrated, and conversely almost anything, like a sensor or a camera, that can’t be put back into light sources.

      Lighting is a prime choice for the IoT to piggy back onto as it has an already existing ubiquitous infrastructure of power and data.  This means that light fixtures can be used for monitoring space occupancy, improving shopping experiences, reporting crimes, and more.

      But in order to be able to implement this we have to understand it, and that means lighting designers becoming experts in something else that isn’t traditionally “lighting”.  It’s becoming experts in data, cloud servers, and Bluetooth meshes as part of the whole IoT network.

      And this isn’t a trend that’s going away. At a macro level Smart Cities are well underway around the world (we are working on a Smarty City strategy for a brand new city in KSA at the moment), and on a micro level it’s using your voice to control the lighting in your own home. Lighting is a key part of the future of connected services.

      Covid-19 will undoubtedly accelerate the demand for contact-free environments. Why carry a physical ID or ticket and have to touch door handles, when AI could verify you and open the door automatically?  Why touch any number of surfaces and interfaces to check-in to a hotel, when facial recognition could automate this as you walk through the lobby and give you a “key” on your mobile phone?

      In assessing these expected trends we see that lighting is well placed to provide this as part of the IoT. Retrofitting sensor-embedded light fixtures becomes much easier than ripping out ceilings, pulling cables, and installing new networks.

      As part of this learning curve affecting lighting, designers are no longer just visiting project sites, but also visiting data centres that test these sensor embedded light fixtures and the data points that they capture to understand it first hand in order to be able to implement it as part of a lighting scheme.

      Misunderstandings

      As lighting becomes more understood it’s great to now be reading comments like this, highlighting the importance of lighting to a space.

      But for every moment of understanding, we still work with wider design teams who still misunderstand what we do. Consultants that have heard of ZigBee or BLE, and so that’s how they want their lighting controlled – when in reality all they really need is a simple control plate.

      Part of our role is taking a step back from the technology and really understanding the project needs. We won’t use technology for the sake of it, especially if it’s not needed and likely to end up not being used.  How often have you struggled with a fancy lighting control system in a hotel guestroom when a simple rotary dimmer switch would have been just perfect?

      As lighting design finds its way into mainstream vocabulary, more buzzwords like “human centric lighting” have come to the fore, which is another misconception to overcome.

      Human centric design is human focussed design. At the heart of this notion is what we have been doing for many years now.  Designing for humans.  Lighting for humans.  Lighting for, and with, people at the centre.

      The future

      Who knows what the limits are to where lighting will reach – even a few years ago we were barely imagining what we have today of subscription models offering Lighting as a Service, secure wireless data through light in LiFi, and even highly secretive LED spectrum recipes used in horticulture to maximise crop yield!

      Of what I have no doubt is that as lighting design continues to advance and evolve, so will the humble lighting designer along with it.

      Main image credit: neolight

      Editor checks in: will design ever be the same again?

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Editor checks in: will design ever be the same again?

      Weeks ahead of celebrating the best British designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers in The Brit List Awards 2020, editor Hamish Kilburn warmly remembers a design legend, Sir Terence Conran, in his monthly column…

      I have procrastinated long enough over writing this month’s Editor’s Letter. Perhaps it was a case of word block. More likely it was the anticlimax I experienced after my previous column didn’t achieve the level of engagement I had hoped it would. That’s not to say it wasn’t read – it was, and its context has emerged in many conversations since – but it seems people were afraid to ‘like’ and ‘comment’ on a topic that carries such heavy stigma in a desperate and lonely landscape. Not only that, but we are all operating with fatigued resources while not having the faintest clue about what tomorrow will bring – and yet our role in all of this is to offer solutions.

      “He, the man who founded Habitat, the Design Museum and Conran and Partners, was very much that: a visionary.”

      Just when we thought we had reached the pit of all lows – locked away from each other, and somehow busier than ever – our phones light up with a newsflash from the BBC. The headline reads: Sir Terence Conran ‘visionary’ designer dies at 88. He, the man who founded Habitat, the Design Museum and Conran and Partners, was very much that: a visionary; a legend in every sense of the word who during his near 70-year career revolutionised design in Britain and Europe. And we have everything to thank him for, whether we knew him personally or not.

      Image caption: Sir Terence Conran (1931 – 2020)

      Architect Thomas Heatherwick said it best in Dezeen. “For me, Sir Terence Conran was one of a small handful of amazing people who dragged Great Britain out of the post-second world war gloom and modernised the country by revolutionising how we think about our homes, the products we buy for them and even the food we eat and how we eat it,” he wrote. “His impact and influence is around us every day and has been so successful that we don’t even realise where it came from. Without Terence, there would have been no Habitat. Without Terence, there may still not be excellent food in the United Kingdom. And without Terence, there certainly wouldn’t be any Design Museum in London.”

      Conran’s passing, especially in a year that has shaken the hotel design and hospitality industry on a global scale, begs the pertinent yet terrifying question which (let’s face it) is on all of our minds at the moment: will British design ever be the same again?

      ‘Yes’ and ‘no’ – not what you wanted to hear, I understand, but it’s the only honest answer we have at the moment. One could rightly argue that nothing will ever be the same as it once was. The industry will evolve as it always has done. And people, brilliantly talented and authentically charismatic people, will come forward to offer real-life solutions for the challenges we are currently facing.

      “I think it’s safe to say that British design and hospitality is resilient and evolving quickly to meet new demands of modern travellers.”

      There are no boundaries, and we can literally reimagine the world to design better and healthier cities, like WATG has done for the new New York concept it unveiled recently, transforming the concrete jungle into, well, a jungle!

      GIF credit: WATG

      In many ways, now is the perfect time to celebrate such innovative forward thinkers. Last week we opened the floodgates to unveil the shortlist for The Brit List Awards 2020. With more than 120 individuals and projects selected across eight categories, I think it’s safe to say that British design and hospitality is resilient and evolving quickly to meet new demands of modern travellers. We will proudly reveal and celebrate this year’s top designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers in our virtual awards ceremony, which takes place on November 12 at 2pm (GMT).

      Aside from building up to our annual awards, Hotel Designs has also sheltered some thought-provoking conversations this month. In an exclusive roundtable discussion that will be published shortly, we heard from a developer who has become a distant friend of mine during the pandemic. He said that he can envision the day when travellers will design their own hotel experiences on their smartphones before they have even checked in. This will, he hopes, eliminate public areas being seen as clinical, functional and at times unwelcoming spaces, which they have unexpectedly become since the pandemic emerged onto the scene. Instead, this design concept will allow lobbies to be filled with personality once more and become, if you like, a sort of lounge area where guests can relax and unwind in.

      “This month I had the opportunity to physically check in to a completely contactless hotel experience.”

      Don’t underestimate technology’s role in the post-pandmeic world, is certainly a lesson I have learned during this turbulent time. As well as zooming in and out of virtual roundtable discussions, this month I had the opportunity to physically check in to a completely contactless hotel experience (the novelty was almost overwhelming). Following an opportune tech overhaul, Bloc Hotel Gatwick has been able to reimagine the hotel journey. With software from SymbiOT and hardware from Crestron, the hotel’s guests are now able to check in and operate their entire stay – everything from lift calls to light and temperature adjustment – by using their smartphones without even having to download an app. The video feature we filmed will be broadcast at Hotel Designs LIVE on October 13, and will kickstart our panel discussion on the revival of smart technology in the post-pandemic world.

      Yet again, it has been an unstable and explosive month on the editorial desk at Hotel Designs. On behalf of the entire team, I would like to send our condolences to Sir Terence Conran’s family and friends. We have lost a British and world design icon, and his legacy lives on through those who were inspired by his immeasurable talent and class.

      Editor, Hotel Designs

      Main image credit: Dale Southfield Portraiture

      Checking in to Villa Copenhagen, a new brand of conscious luxury

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Checking in to Villa Copenhagen, a new brand of conscious luxury

      A much-anticipated addition to the Danish capital city, Copenhagen, transforms an iconic architectural landmark into a modern oasis of cool. Writer Collette Swindells explores…

      It is not often that a space of more than 25,600 square metres becomes available in the centre of a European capital – least of all in a city like Copenhagen, where it is often considered something of a luxury to have a separate shower and toilet in your downtown apartment.

      Instantly recognising the tremendous potential of the site, Nordic Hotels & Resort, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, sought to transform the imposing old-world grandeur of the five-floor, Neo-Baroque former headquarters of the Danish Post and Telegraph into a fresh expression of what it means to be Scandinavian.

      Combining an impressive roll-call of talents including award-winning London architecture and interiors firm Universal, award-winning design studio Goddard Littlefair, specialist F&B design studio Epicurean, Danish architect Eva Harlou and Nordic jewellery designers Shamballa Jewels, the reconstruction weaves together three key themes of contrast, conscious luxury and happiness.

      The arrival experience

      Entering the somewhat unassuming frontage, adjacent to the Copenhagen Central Station, guests are immediately greeted with an expansive, light-filled, glass-roofed atrium lobby – appropriately named The Square – centrally adorned by a tongue-in-cheek ‘Whispering’ sculpture from Spanish artist Jaume Plensa.

      A large lobby with glass ceiling and modern furniture

      Image credit: Stine Christiansen

      Cleverly designed to be a multi-functional space that welcomes both locals and foreigners, it artfully mixes classic Danish design elements with contemporary flourishes and finishes that unite the functions of the hotel boutique, lounge area, bar, self-service check-in and reception. It is a space that comes alive at night too, with live music and DJs cementing its vibrant personality, and other day-time pop-ups including a mobile piercing station from jeweller Maria Black.

      Direct access to most of the hotel’s F&B and public areas is available from The Courtyard, ensuring it is continually an animated, lively thoroughfare and meeting point for all.

      Relaxed public areas for all occasions

      To the city side of this, The Playroom acts as a further extension of the lobby lounge space, with even more intimate spaces and cosy pockets that encourage visitors to have fun with friends while playing board games, foosball and other table games on custom-made tops. Part grand parlour part secluded den, the space is also perfect for hosting large groups, with Epicurean ensuring a relaxed, cultivated atmosphere with its Carl Hansen furniture, vintage tiling, antique-style woodwork and panelling and patina mirrored walls.

      Image caption: The Playroom | Image credit: Villa Copenhagen

      On the alternate side of The Courtyard, Kontrast, a contemporary brasserie, offers an equally smart take on mid-century styling, with subtle tributes to its former tenant. Replica carvings and window details from the original posthouse inspire wood panelling details, with reused and recycled materials cleverly woven in where possible.

      A diner style F&B area with tiled floors and globe like chandeliers

      Image caption: Kontrast | Image credit: Stine Christiansen

      Curved booth seats in warm brown leather tones are complimented with custom high chairs in striking hues that fill out the main dining area inside, allowing guests the chance to gaze into the large, open kitchen and bar. Bespoke tables are inlaid with brass, showcasing the level of craftsmanship and attention Epicurean brings to each fit-out, while also adding something new and fun to the traditional Scandinavian styling visitors might come to expect elsewhere in town.

      On the terrace, overlooking the main station, more contemporary woven textile furniture sits outside, alongside Tore Gustafsson’s menu of fresh, local and seasonal produce. Taking inspiration from the south of Europe and North Africa, Gustafsson – known for previously steering the helm of Copenhagen Meatpacking favourite Paté Paté – has built an impressive sustainable food profile across all the F&B outlets, with a focus on providing a ‘carbon-free’ experience.

      Sustainable hospitality solutions

      Part of the overall commitment by the hotel to four of the UN Sustainable Development Goals – Decent Work and Economic Growth; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption; and Production and Partnerships for the Goals – meat consumption at each outlet has been reduced, alongside overall food waste, with an innovative technology converting this into green energy. Fresh herbs and spices are also handpicked from the hidden rooftop garden, which sits next to a beehive from Bybi and the famed lapping pool.

      F&B areas

      Designed by Goddard Littlefair to reflect the local community’s relationship with food, drink and socialising, there are a plethora of options when it comes to F&B in the hotel. Breakfast is served daily in the former postage sorting room, Public, located on the lower floor which is accessed via a neon light-filled stairwell off The Courtyard. Descending into what feels like the belly of the grand building, you can hear the hum of the nearby train station, which provides a steady memory of its previous life.

      Image caption: Public | Image credit: Stine Christiansen

      Indeed Epicurean drew heavily from archival photos of the space in its former glory, invoking its archways, lighting, brickwork and paneling in their redesign. The expansive area, filled with rows of bespoke banquette seating and commanding repurposed copper arches, can also host larger functions and groups and extends onto the sunken garden, containing the entrance to the almost completed Rug Bakery.

      The original arrival point for the mail, the impressive terrace space is somewhat of a hidden gem for the hotel – exposed when the roof was removed from the loading dock – and a perfect place to enjoy the freshly baked local pastries Denmark is known for.

      The guestrooms and suites

      In contrast to the lively public and F&B areas, Universal took their starting point for the design of the guestrooms and suites from the art of Danish master painter Vilhelm Hammershøi – known for his understated composition, elegant lighting, muted palette and study of secluded moments and spaces.

      Mapping out the building’s original interior, the studio restored and reinstalled many of the key period features like the impressive windows, herringbone flooring, cornices, architraves and wood paneling. Each room and suite has been treated like a grand Danish residence, housing a sophisticated collection of custom-designed classic and contemporary furniture, alongside original pieces from known Danish designers Hans Wegner, Finn Juhl, Nanna Ditzel, Niels Otto Møller, Ole Wanscher and Borge Morgensen. Warmth and softness is key, with bespoke textiles, lighting and ceramics amplifying the comfort to create a calm refuge with more than a few touches of brilliance. Materials are locally and sustainably sourced where possible, with Kvadrat’s Sahco brand providing natural wool textiles that sit next to other highlights including biodegradable and recyclable linen headboards produced by Scandinavian interior textile studio Astrid.

      Image caption: Delux guestroom | Image credit: Villa Copenhagen

      Image caption: Delux guestroom | Image credit: Villa Copenhagen

      Each of the rooms has its own typography – there are 50 in total – with sprawling four metre-high ceilings on the lower levels and near floor-to-ceiling windows that give you various views of the city surrounds. The converted attic, with its exposed timber beams, differs only because of its unique character and obvious height limitations – but its roof-lit views of the city more than compensate for this.

      Of course all the usual five-star modern conveniences apply, with keyless entry, remote check-in, virtual check-out, and an optional white glove service available in each of the 381 rooms. In-room facilities are on-point too, with a considered range of local favourites that includes Mikkeller beer and chocolate, Great Dane Rum, Nordic winegums, Harahorn Norwegian gin, and ELG vodka.

      Image caption: Guestroom | Image credit: Villa Copenhagen

      Sustainability stays top of mind, with custom in-room guest amenities provided by Skandinavisk in a signature range that pays homage to the smell of wood-laden northern forests. Gone are the plastic-wrapped pairs of slippers, replaced instead by slides that can be bought in the hotel’s boutique store, together with a collection of other local, sustainable and notable designers.

      But if you really want to experience something different, then check-in to the ‘Universal Penthouse Suite’ which was designed across two floors with a central walnut and steel spiral staircase connecting the upper master bedroom with the lounge space on the lower floor.

      Added to this next-level option is the completely sustainable suite, the Earth Suite, designed by Eva Harlou using eco-friendly furniture and recycled materials and textiles. Denmark’s most expensive suite, the Shamballa Master Suite was designed by Shamballa Jewels and takes in 110sqm that includes the former Postmaster’s office and the best view of the adjoining main station.

      Sitting in a collection of seven other Shamballa suites, these exclusive retreats are due to be completed by the end of 2020 – a small casualty of the Covid-19 lockdowns.

      Luckily though, if you can’t afford the additional extravagance of the Shamballa suites, the lapping pool, with its centralised cooling system using excess heat from the hotel to keep it at a steady 34 degree, provides a welcome space to relax and unwind. Adjacent to the 24-hour fitness centre, sauna and wellness area, it is a colourful, secluded spot that sits beside the rooftops of Copenhagen and offers a cabana service from its Pool Bar.

      a rooftop pool overlooking Copenhagen

      Image credit: Stine Christiansen

      You might also like to take a walk through the five floors to check out the private collection of artwork – valued at more than US$2 million – that includes local and international artists like Per Kirkeby, Ian McKeever and Bent Stokke. Norwegian Stokke produced 383 unique charcoal artworks to be featured in each room, as well as along the many hallways and restored stairways.

      But perhaps the real jewel of the hotel is the Old Boardroom, available to be hired as a private function space for intimate dinners and gatherings, and still proudly displaying the plaque bestowed to the building by both Kings Frederick III and Christian X who both ruled the year it was inaugurated. Its restored tapestry-and-chandelier adorned space, with adjoining bar, sits in stark, refined contrast to the other over 2,000sqm of meeting and event room spaces that are decorated with more than 850 conference chairs produced using 2.75kg of upcycled plastic ocean waste and fishing nets. It is just another example of how the hotel holds dual respect and reverence for the past and the future – carefully balancing respect for each in the present.

      And like a home that becomes more of itself every day new memories are created within it, Villa Copenhagen, in all its imposing glory, is sure to become a welcomed part of the city’s new landscape: a reinvigorated icon that stands even taller than its predecessor.

      Main image credit: Villa Copenhagen

      Light it up: Chelsom officially launches Edition 27

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Light it up: Chelsom officially launches Edition 27

      More than two years in the making, Chelsom’s brand new lighting collection, Edition 27, has official launched. Hotel Designs celebrates by selecting some of its favourite pieces. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

      Every two years on the international hotel design scene, something incredible happens. The industry becomes temporarily blinded by new lighting designs that are created with tomorrow’s luxury hospitality projects in mind. The brand behind this much-awaited artificial phenomenon is, of course, Chelsom.

      The launch of a new ‘Chelsom Edition’ becomes a precious moment etched in modern design history, usually marked in a grand setting with no expense spared to introduce the A + D community with the brand’s latest dynamic and timeless designs. And although, this year, suppliers are prevented from hosting live events, this, by no means, makes Chelsom’s unveiling of Edition 27 any less sensational. In fact, some would go as far to argue that the pandemic has created a catalyst for brands like Chelsom to launch their latest products with a deeper meaning for the sake and sanity of tomorrow’s hospitality landscape.

      As expected, the collection reflects Chelsom’s brand image, showcasing a plethora of beautifully designed lighting products specifically created for the international hospitality and marine interior design arenas. More than 40 per cent of the collection is entirely new and all pieces are available with LED light sources to accommodate the latest developments in technology and energy efficiency.

      “I believe that our clients will not only appreciate the refinements we have made to our product collection in terms of even sharper product designs, higher quality levels and strong focus on value engineering, but also the continued evolution of our brand image as international market leader,” said Will Chelsom, Managing Director at Chelsom. “Both the catalogue and website illustrate this perfectly and have been carefully designed with our clients’ requirements as a priority.”

      “Edition 27 has been a fantastic collection to produce and it’s our most ground-breaking to date.” – Robert Chelsom, Chairman at Chelsom.

      Edition 27 is a truly eclectic harmony of lighting that harnesses and refines the latest trends in finishes and materials. Striking brass tones, textured Venetian glass and cutting-edge LED pieces are just some of the elements that dominate the bold and exciting new collection, offering designers creative lighting solutions for any interior space from guestrooms, to corridors, through to restaurants and other public spaces. Amongst many things, Edition 27 offers the widest collection of LED reading lights in the company’s history including the LED Eye range which moves on the aesthetics of your standard bedside reading light whilst maintaining all the successful features of function and light output.

      Robert Chelsom, Chairman at Cheslom, added: “In all my years working within the industry never has there been a more challenging yet exciting time to be designing lighting products. Triggered by fashion cycles, interior trends are moving increasingly faster and in doing so constantly stimulate new design directions when it comes to finishes and materials, which is something we have given careful consideration to. Edition 27 has been a fantastic collection to produce and it’s our most ground-breaking to date. Will and I are proud to be able to say that all product has been designed in- house to create this diverse lighting collection that truly caters for all levels of the hospitality and marine sectors.”

      Here are some of our editor’s picks:

      LED EYE

      Image caption: LED EYE | Image credit: Chelsom

      Image caption: LED EYE | Image credit: Chelsom

      When Chelsom designed the iconic bedside reading light LED Dock, the design intent came with years of experience in successfully lighting hotel guestrooms. Trying to mix being inconspicuous and striking at the same time was a large design challenge, little did they know it would become the company’s most successful product ever enhancing hotel schemes in more than 30 countries worldwide.

      In the new collection, Chelsom moves on the aesthetics of a bedside reading light whilst maintaining all the successful features of function and light output. The starting point was to create a product that was inconspicuous in that it nestled successfully into a headboard with minimum projection and yet was cool and stylish to look at when guests first entered the room. Development led to compact and slim outer vessel  which surrounded the ‘eye’, a sculptured cast metal piece which invites the hotel guest to open the eyelid thereby illuminating the light and allowing a full range of movement to create the perfect light spill. Much time and engineering skill went into prototype development ensuring that the cast centrepiece revolve and rotates wit the lightest of touch and can be easily opened to operate the microswitch and closed to extinguish the light.

      The highly tactile moulded centrepiece still remains extremely slim with a subtle curve at the bottom edge. Once opened the warm white LED light passes through a high-quality focusing lens to create perfect reading light.

      Hybrid

      Image caption: The Hybrid set | Image credit: Chelsom

      Image caption: The Hybrid set | Image credit: Chelsom

      The main concept of this striking collection of wall, floor and table lamps centres around the over-scaled cylindrical head, creating ambient room light through the matt opal glass top dome and directional task light from below. The head swivels from left to right with a mechanical stop to prevent over rotation.This sleek and contemporary range is available in an assortment of finish options and is the perfect fusion of design aesthetic and technological refinement making it the perfect addition to any interior space.

      Crook

      Crook features a stepped column supporting a shepherd’s crook-styled arm, which allows a good spread of downlight. The base on this product has a rounded stepped detail, while the lampholder cover features interesting knurled detailing.

      Shield

      On the wall, the perforated metal tapered half shield emits a warm glow and throws light onto the oval backplate, which creates a halo effect around its concave-curved perimeter. On the ceiling, the chandelier ha conical, perforated shades with opal acrylic liners giving a warm glow.

      Glass Effect

      Image caption: Glass Effect | Image credit: Chelsom

      Image caption: Glass Effect | Image credit: Chelsom

      The main concept of this striking range of wall lights centres around how light effect can be created on the wall and within different types of glass so that the fittings were not just about achieving ambience but also about the projection, pattern and play of light on surface and the refraction of light through different coloured and shaped glasses. Traditional components have been used in unique applications to achieve a powerful light effect suited to any environment with one of the key features being that the glasses can be fully interchangeable to create totally different results.

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

      Main image credit: Chelsom

      Hotel Indigo debuts in the historic city of Bath

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Hotel Indigo debuts in the historic city of Bath

      IHG Hotels & Resorts has further expanded its boutique footprint with the opening of the highly anticipated Hotel Indigo Bath

      Set in a honey coloured Georgian terrace built in the 18th century, the 166-key Grade I listed building, which now shelters Hotel Indigo Bath, has hosted famous figures from history including Sir Walter Scott, William Wilberforce, and the Duke of York.

      Just as no two neighbourhoods are alike, no two Hotel Indigo properties are alike. Each is designed to uniquely reflect the local culture, character, and history of the surrounding area.

      Exterior of the hotel

      Image credit: IHG/Hotel Indigo

      Taking its design cues from the city’s surrounding Georgian architecture and the history of the local neighbourhood, Hotel Indigo Bath creates a truly memorable experience by artfully combining modern design and historical architecture. Guests will have five different room types to choose from, reflecting the surrounding neighbourhood of Bath:

      ‘Romance & Mischief’ rooms – Taking inspiration from the infamous Debutant Season in Bath, where grand evenings of gambling and frivolity mixed with afternoon tea and whispers of romantic promises. The rooms have dark green headboard wooden panelling combined with vibrant luscious red velvet soft furnishings. Nodding to the old gambling culture, there are playing card side tables. The artwork on the walls plays on the theme of romance with love birds and portraits that have been vandalised by ex-lovers.

      ‘Literary Hideaway’ rooms – Reflecting Bath’s abundance of famous authors, these rooms are designed to be cosier and reflect a getaway for creative writers. The walls behind the bed are covered in a montage of novels by many of Baths authors and the desk is a traditional writer’s bureau with a captain’s chair. There is a slightly more muted colour pallet of browns and mustard yellows.

      Image caption: Literary Hideout Room | Image credit: IHG/Hotel Indigo

      ‘Georgian Architecture’ rooms – With the back wall of the bed lined with ornate ceiling sconce covers and grand high ceilings, this room amplifies the grand Georgian residence feel. Bold, symmetrical, geometric patterns favoured by Georgian architecture of that time, are visible with a deep and rich colour pallet – designed to accentuate the period features.

      Image caption: Image caption: Georgian Architecture Room | Image credit: IHG/Hotel Indigo

      Image caption: Image caption: Georgian Architecture Room | Image credit: IHG/Hotel Indigo

      ‘Garden’ rooms – Moving through the design periods, these rooms are a newly built modern extension. With a more contemporary, light and youthful modern design, these rooms are reflective of the garden in which they sit. 

      Image caption: Image caption: Garden Room | Image credit: IHG/Hotel Indigo

      Image caption: Image caption: Garden Room | Image credit: IHG/Hotel Indigo

      Underground Vault’ rooms – Built in the 18th century the vaults are an amazing example of historical architecture and house the hotel Suites. Designed with soft lighting, black timber finishing, vaulted bath stone ceilings, underfloor heating and high-end crafted furniture, these rooms are offer something raw and authentic.

      Image caption:Vault Suite | Image credit: IHG/Hotel Indigo

      All rooms are equipped with comfy Hypnos beds with luxury Egyptian cotton linen, spa-inspired bathrooms, Nespresso coffee machines, high speed Wi-Fi and a variety of channels on a 40” flat screen TV.  

      The sensitively designed bathrooms, which include top-quality brands, were specified by bathroom consultancy brand Utopia Projects.

      Hotel Indigo Bath is also home to “The Elder”, a new and exciting restaurant from multi-award-winning West Country restaurateur Mike Robinson, co-owner of the only Michelin-starred London pub, the Harwood Arms in Fulham. He also opened The Woodsman restaurant and bar at Hotel Indigo® Stratford on Avon last year, winning the Good Food Guide Best New Entry 2020. 

      The Elder is the place to enjoy authentic, honest and timeless British cooking, with a focus on sustainability, seasonality, and locally sourced produce and is open for lunch and dinner with an à la carte menu.  In the bar and the south facing terrace, visitors can enjoy small plates alongside cocktails and Somerset ciders.

      There are currently 121 Hotel Indigo properties open globally including the recently opened Hotel Indigo® Verona – Grand Hotel Des Arts and Hotel Indigo® Larnaca, with another 102 in the pipeline to open in the next three – five years. The first Hotel Indigo in the Arabian Gulf, Hotel Indigo® Dubai Downtown is also set to open later this year.

      Main image credit: IHG/Hotel Indigo

      Product watch: Overclay tiles by Casa Ceramica

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Product watch: Overclay tiles by Casa Ceramica

      The inspiration for the Overclay tile series by Casa Ceramica comes from the earth, the authentic material par excellence and from the architectural marvels of the past…

      From the ziggurats of Mesopotamia to the terracotta army of Xi’an: raw clay is the oldest and most alluring construction material, found again today in both ambitious and innovative architectural projects.

      The enveloping dusky colours of the desert and the charm of the Mediterranean kasbahs provide the inspiration for Overclay by Casa Ceramica, a series of porcelain stoneware floor and wall tiles, with an authentic yet sophisticated flavour. Making this collection perfect for bringing character to both indoor and outdoor residential and commercial settings.

      This collection of floor and wall tiles, is available in seven colours, all of which are inspired by the authenticity of earth and the heat of the desert. Among the nuances selected are Rose and Cotto, two incredibly expressive, on-trend accents. Paired with these are five more muted tones off; Ecru, White, Grey, Taupe and Dark.

      The decorative study underlines the sophisticated character of the series through Petra, innovative shades of colour with graceful, material waves. Available in both cool and warm versions, in the 60x120cm and 30x120cm sizes, these shaded surfaces are perfect for bringing an engaging touch to any interior. These innovative and fascinating decorations are available in the of 60x120cm and are suitable even for floor installation.

      Casa Ceramica 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: Casa Ceramica

      BIID becomes Industry Partner for The Brit List Awards 2020

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      BIID becomes Industry Partner for The Brit List Awards 2020

      The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) has become the official industry partner for The Brit List Awards 2020 for a third year running…

      The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID), a brand committed to encouraging and supporting creativity and competence in the field of British interior design, has become an Industry Partner for The Brit List Awards 2020.

      The BIID are delighted to partner with The Brit List Awards again in 2020,” said Charlotte Davies on behalf of BIID. “The event is always popular with our members and is excellent opportunity to showcase some of the amazing design within the hotel industry. Our President Lester Bennett is excited to be invited to judge this year’s entries and we are all looking forward to what will undoubtedly be a different Brit List to what we are used to, but equally enjoyable.” 

      The Brit List Awards is Hotel Designs’ annual nationwide search to find the top designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers who are operating in Britain.

      As well as selecting the the top 25 designers, architects and hoteliers who will be profiled in The Brit List 2020, the campaign also selects individual winners of the following categories:

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

      “We have always felt that there is a natural synergy between The Brit List Awards and the BIID, and we are therefore extremely excited that the brand has become our Industry Parter for the third year running,” said editor Hamish Kilburn. “As well as helping us promote the event, including the applications process, the BIID have also been paramount to the quality of this year’s judging panel, with both President Lester Bennett and Past President Harriet Forde being on the international judging panel.”

      How to attend the virtual award ceremony

      If you are a designer, architect, hotelier or developer and would like to attend the virtual award ceremony, which will take place at 14:00 (GMT) on November 12 2020, click here.

      If you are a supplier and would like to attend the virtual award ceremony, which will take place at 14:00 (GMT) on November 12 2020, click here.

      If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050. Tickets to both the virtual event and the winners party will be available to secure soon.

      Weekly briefing: A sensational shortlist & the secret to a good night’s sleep

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Weekly briefing: A sensational shortlist & the secret to a good night’s sleep

      Only got a minute? Our editorial team have compiled the top design stories that they have published this week, including the shortlist of The Brit List Awards 2020 and an exclusive interview with designer Lisa Haude about tomorrow’s design challenges…

      With the industry re-strategising following further constrictions to social distancing, we appreciate that you may not have time to read all the content that Hotel Designs has published this week. Therefore, here is our ‘editor’s pick’ of the juiciest stories that have been covered this week.

      EXCLUSIVE: Shortlist unveiled for The Brit List 2020 

      This year, more than 120 individuals and projects were selected across eight categories. The winners will be announced at the virtual award ceremony on November 12. Now in its fourth year, The Brit List Awards is Hotel Designs’ the nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers operating in Britain.

      Click here to read the story | Click here to secure your seats in the audience at the virtual awards ceremony.

      1 in 3 Brits want to replace shower with modern system, survey reveals

      A survey carried out by GROHE has revealed British showering behaviours and consumer attitudes towards their bathroom. As indicated in the debut broadcast of Hotel Designs LIVE, bathroom and wellness demands have shifted as we look ahead towards a post-pandemic world.

      Read more.

      In Conversation With: interior designer Lisa Haude

      A storyteller in her own right, designer Lisa Haude creates one-of-a-kind spaces that breathe a new level of authenticity into the projects she touches. Working predominantly with the larger brands, such Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and Marriott International, Haude’s style is to celebrate the history of each hotel’s destination, which is channeled through an meaningful design narrative that is sheltered inside each project. 

      Read more.

      Bathroom goals: when sustainability meets design

      Sustainability meets design in Austria’s Winzendorf-Muthmannsdorf municipality. Surrounded by grapevines, and set on a sloping plot of around 1,600 square metres, is a detached house in harmony with nature. The distinctive and nature-loving architecture is in evidence outside, in the form of the charred larch cladding used on the façade. The client requested elegance and eco-conscious design everywhere, including the bathroom.

      Read more.

      New speakers announced for Hotel Designs LIVE

      Calling all designers, architects, hoteliers and developers: you can secure your complimentary seats in the audience for Hotel Designs LIVE, which takes place on October 13, by clicking here

      Industry insight: a special sleep experience during Covid

      Chris Ward, Group Marketing Director at Hypnos Contract Beds, looks at how in addition to having Covid-compliant practices, hotels can offer a more discernible experience to guests by providing premium experiences that have sustainability at their heart.

      Read more.

      1 in 3 Brits want to replace shower with modern system, survey reveals

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      1 in 3 Brits want to replace shower with modern system, survey reveals

      A survey carried out by GROHE has revealed British showering behaviours and consumer attitudes towards their bathroom…

      As indicated in the debut broadcast of Hotel Designs LIVE, bathroom and wellness demands have shifted as we look ahead towards a post-pandemic world.

      The demands on bathroom design have risen significantly, with the shower gaining a lot more attention, being preferred over bathing by 64 per cent of UK participants surveyed in a recent study by global market research institute, Explorare, commissioned by GROHE.

      As many as 43 per cent are now viewing the bathroom as an indulgent space for wellness and relaxation with 48 per cent using the shower to help them relax, the survey found.

      Whatever our reasons for showering; whether it’s an invigorating way to start the day, a quick freshen up after working out or for pure relaxation, our needs vastly differ from person to person and even day by day, and showers need to be able to meet this demand.

      Alongside flexibility in design and functionality, the survey results revealed that safety and sustainability are two key factors consumers take into consideration when it comes to showering. 78 per cent said that having a shower surface that doesn’t get hot whilst they’re showering was a priority and similarly, 61 per cent deemed a thermostat that can balance out fluctuations in temperature an important factor in their shower’s performance. Meanwhile, around half (51 per cent) of Britons are actively trying to save water with 54 per cent seeking additional sustainable functions from their shower to help them live more eco-consciously in their day-to- day lives.

      The combined results of the study provide in-depth insights into consumer behaviour around showering and help bring to light some key customer profiles:

      • The “Hygiene Pragmatist”, who showers after exercise like 55 per cent of those surveyed, does not spend much time in the bathroom and favours a practical shower system that keeps water consumption to a minimum.
      • The “Wellness Lover”, who is looking for intelligent shower systems with lots of innovative features for a truly luxurious water experience
      • The “Freshness Enthusiast”, who prefers a shower system with comfortable user-centric features and high design standards.

      The bathroom is no longer a purely functional room used exclusively for personal hygiene. Expectations have risen considerably which has been accompanied by the increasing complexity of bathroom design and furnishing.

      Retailers, designers and installers can really build an understanding of their customer’s needs by exploring individual customer behaviour and combining this with their product and industry knowledge to make informed, relevant recommendations. At a time when 40 per cent of us are using the bathroom for some much-needed space and me-time, conveying the emotional added value of a product can create plenty of upsell opportunities, and ultimately result in a higher level of positive customer satisfaction.

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

      Main image credit: GROHE

      New speakers announced for Hotel Designs LIVE

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      New speakers announced for Hotel Designs LIVE

      Calling all designers, architects, hoteliers and developers: you can secure your complimentary seats in the audience for Hotel Designs LIVE, which takes place on October 13, by clicking here

      With just a few weeks to go until Hotel Designs LIVE on October 13, new speakers have been announced for the one-day virtual conference.

      Click here to read the agenda for Hotel Designs LIVE. | Click here to participate in Hotel Designs LIVE.

      Hotel Designs LIVE, sponsored by headline partner Technological Innovations Group, was born out of the idea to keep the industry connected and the conversation flowing during the lockdown period following the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus. However, considering the noise the virtual conference created, the team at Hotel Designs have decided to return with part two. “The aim of this event on October 13 is to look beyond today’s pandemic in order to find real solutions for designers, hoteliers, architects and developers,” explains editor Hamish Kilburn who will host the virtual event. “To do this meaningfully, we have invited industry experts from around the world to sit on our virtual sofa.”

      Confirmed speakers include:

      • Bill Bensley, Founder of BENSLEY
      • Erik Nissen Johansen, Founder of Stylt
      • Erica Pritchard, Associate at HBA London
      • Eric Jafari, Chief Development Officer at Locke
      • Constantina Tsoutsikou, founder of Studio LOST
      • Sara Gardiner, co-founder of Matetsi Victoria Falls
      • Karolin Troubetzkoy, Executive Director of Anse Chasanet & Jade Mountain
      • Ari Peralta, CEO of Arigami
      • Fiona Thompson, Principal at Richmond International
      • Therese Virserius, Founder of Virserius Studio
      • Olivier Delaunoy, Technology Director at SymbiOT

      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 around each session, allowing suppliers the opportunity to pitch their products and services in a ‘live’ environment to the hospitality buyers that are tuned in.

      If you are a designer, architect, hotelier  or developer and would like to secure your complimentary seats in the audience, click here.

      If you are a supplier to the hotel design industry and would like to promote your latest product or services to the Hotel Designs LIVE audience, please contact Katy Phillips via email or call +44 (0)1992 374050.

      Product watch: wall hanging mirrors, made in London

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Product watch: wall hanging mirrors, made in London

      Alguacil & Perkoff was created with the aim to help create distinctive, beautiful and harmonious interiors through the design and careful selection of original and exquisite collections of mirrors.

      The importance of mirrors in hospitality is undeniable in a great number of ways. Obviously crucial in every room and bathroom for use by guests, they are also extremely valuable elements for the design of all spaces in the building. Equally important is the selection of the right partner to create and supply those mirrors.

      Mirrors not only bring light into a room and a greater sense of space, but they also provide designers with a wide range of unique and original decorative options to create beautiful feature points that reflect, complement or enhance the interior design.

      Mirrors used as unique feature points have a great aesthetic impact and require unique and at times minimalist or very dramatic designs, always with impeccable finishes.

      Although their design is important in their selection, mirrors in guest rooms and bathrooms often fulfil more practical requirements and are often required in larger volumes.

      Whichever the case may be, there are three key qualities that the supplier of such mirrors needs to possess:

      • Original designs and complete flexibility to customise them
      • High Quality with an understanding of budget constraints
      • Reliability and remarkable customer service

      Alguacil & Perkoff was created by founding directors Jose Luis Alguacil Rodriguez and Serge Perkoff with the aim to help create distinctive, beautiful and harmonious interiors through the design and careful selection of original and exquisite collections of mirrors.

      The team design and manufacture in London, UK . They have developed their own collections of modern and high quality hand-crafted wall hanging mirrors that proved rapid successes. Offering a variety of traditional or more modern shapes, their mirrors are either frameless or elegantly embellished with brass, copper, stainless steel or powder coated frames.

      Each mirror is fully customisable, including size, mirror tint, frame style / finish / colour, and backing material. They also create and/or fabricate bespoke mirrors on demand.

      Perkoff says: “We founded our workshop with an appetite for design, creativity and hand-crafting. We were not driven by trends but followed our instincts to create often minimalist, but always high quality, elegant and beautiful mirrors.

      Moving to source our components locally not only gave us complete control over quality and flexibility in design, but also allowed us to customise each and every one of our mirrors still maintaining reasonable delivery times and without ramping up costs or compromising quality.”

      Alguacil & Perkoff is building trust every day among the design community, placing a strong emphasis on reliability and customer service. They are today working on a daily basis with interior designers, architects or individuals who are seeking to acquire hand-crafted mirrors that fulfil their specific requirements to make their interiors more unique.

      Alguacil says: “Although attention to details is paramount to our work, our designs do possess a hand-crafted feel to them which is a signature of our work and our quality, and that makes each mirror unique. We have kept true to our original intentions and stayed away from finishes that make a mirror look like it has been mass-produced.

      We however love our work with designers, and do adapt and listen to the needs of our customers. It has lead for example to the development of a highly successful collection of ceiling suspended mirrors. Each is custom made and possesses a high quality finish both at the front and at the back of the mirror. Those can also be double sided if required.”

      Alguacil & Perkoff mirrors are safely shipped worldwide on a daily basis. They are today a reliable supplier of mirrors for all hospitality projects, with the capacity to supply large volume pieces from existing collections, or fully customised creations for more unique designs.

      Alguacil & Perkoff 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: Alguacil & Perkoff

      Supplier insight: the indispensability of hygiene

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Supplier insight: the indispensability of hygiene

      For commercial interiors, the Covid-19 pandemic will leave a lasting legacy in the demand for surface finishes that can contribute to improved hygiene, says UNILIN

      More often only thought about in sensitive environments, hygiene has quickly become a factor in the specification of materials where before it wasn’t considered a concern. Now everywhere demands surfaces that can fight off bacteria or that are easy to disinfect.

      Fortunately, the need for a hygiene friendly finish doesn’t mean that interior projects have to compromise on design, at least not when it comes to laminated boards and HPL materials from UNILIN panels. These surfaces can be cleaned several times a day by 70 per cent alcohol solutions without fear of damage, helping in the ongoing maintenance and daily hygiene of commercial environments.

      In everywhere from schools and shops to offices and hotels and on everything from desks, tables and walls to doors and cupboards; UNILIN panels can provide a hygienic surface without sacrificing aesthetic integrity. With the UNILIN Evola collection, specifiers can bring the feel and look of natural materials, brushed metals and terrazzo, explore the crisp ‘clean’ colours of pure white and bright fresh green, or embrace the soft-touch effect of Super Matt Black; creating surfaces that are at once beautiful and hygienic. With more than 190 options, there’s really no limit to creativity.

      Bringing perfection in the details, UNILIN develops its surfaces in-house, experimenting with the depth of emboss and level of gloss to develop harmonious and lifelike designs, all without affecting the surface’s ability to be cleaned. So, whether creating a natural ambience for hotel guest rooms or a bold, graphic design for corporate offices; designers can offer customers universally simple maintenance in a finish designed to cope with busy commercial spaces.

      Jurgen Plas, marketing manager, UNILIN panels, says: “Undoubtedly, Covid-19 has accelerated change in commercial environments, not only in terms of how we use and engage with the space, but also in what that particular environment demands from its finishes. It’s been a dramatic and rapid shift, yet one that is set to last and we’re ready to rise to the challenge of hygiene with our melamine faced panels, HPL and innovative Clicwall system.”

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

      Main image credit: UNILIN

      In Conversation With: interior designer Lisa Haude

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      In Conversation With: interior designer Lisa Haude

      Interior designer Lisa Haude, founder of PDG Studios, is known for her creative and unique approach to design. Editor Hamish Kilburn sits down with the storyteller to understand why she is considered one of the industry’s finest…

      A storyteller in her own right, designer Lisa Haude creates one-of-a-kind spaces that breathe a new level of authenticity into the projects she touches. Working predominantly with the larger brands, such Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and Marriott International, Haude’s style is to celebrate the history of each hotel’s destination, which is channeled through an meaningful design narrative that is sheltered inside each project. 

      One of her recent projects – among many others – is AC Hotel by Marriott Washington D.C. Downtown, a hotel in the heart of the city that’s design marries together the architectural relevance of Washington D.C. with a modern twist.

      Image credit: AC Hotel by Marriott Washington DC Downtown

      “The one-of-a-kind light fixture that spans from the bar through the lobby space is actually a replica of the Potomac River from an aerial viewpoint.” – Lisa Haude, founder of PDG Studios.

      To learn more about the project, and the designer who brought it to life, I caught up with Haude, the founder of PDG Studios.

      Hamish Kilburn: What inspired you to be a designer? 

      Lisa Haude: I’ve always loved being creative. Thinking outside of the box and bringing a vision to life is such a rewarding experience and one that I treasure the most.

      HK: One of your recently completed projects was the AC Marriott DC. Can you explain for us the design scheme and what the challenges were for this project? 

      LH: With this project, we wanted to take the iconic, historical architectural elements of Washington DC and reinvent them with a modern interpretation. This was done by juxtaposing strong structural lines (which the building already had) and incorporating softer curves and fluid movement via furniture and unique, yet focal, point details. For example, the one-of-a-kind light fixture that spans from the bar through the lobby space is actually a replica of the Potomac River from an aerial viewpoint, which was reinterpreted in an artistic light form to provide soft, fluid lines and movement throughout the space.  

      Our biggest challenge with this space was working within a very small building that had many structural constraints. Although difficult at times, these challenges are what really allow us to expand our creativity and bring something truly unique to life! 

      HK: As well as high-end luxury you have also completed some recent budget hotels. How do you achieve adding personality on a budget? 

      LH: With a small budget, we focus on being strategic with how the funds are allocated, paying attention to every little detail and having a very strong design story that can be implemented from start to finish. This requires some flexibility and creativity as you work through the execution of the design with the contractor to ensure that the design intent is carried through and will make the most  out of the budget you are working with. 

      Image credit: Hilton Garden Inn Bozeman

      HK: Can you explain to us more about the projects you have on the boards? 

      LH: We are currently working on a historic/adaptive reuse property, a modern mountain get-away, and another very fun project that will be a nod to history but with a modern twist, among a few others! 

      HK: In your work, there seems to be a lot of emphasis on art. What is your secret to persuade the client to allocate enough budget for artwork? 

      LH: We believe that art is part of the design story and we are very intentional with the placement and selection of the pieces we use. We work closely with our owners to make sure we have some money carved out to include some unique pieces in the spaces, as they are the necessary cherry on top that helps complete the design. 

      Image of an art exhibition

      Image credit: Hilton Garden Inn Sunnyvale

      QUICK-FIRE ROUND

      HK: What is one trend that you wish will never return?

      LH: Wallpaper borders! This may be dating me slightly, but when I started in the design industry, a guestroom or residential project was not complete unless you had a wallpaper border in the space.

      HK: What items during lockdown could you not have lived without? 

      LH: Computer, iPhone and wine (and, of course, my daughter and dog!)

      HK: What makes a good design team? 

      LH: A team of like-minded individuals who respect each other and truly value each other’s input and love to collaborate.

      HK: Who is your interior design hero? 

            LH: I have so many people in the industry that I look up to, but today, the people I admire the most are those working around the clock to find safe alternatives and vaccines so that we may all soon be able to travel freely and be inspired by the people and places around us.

      HK: Describe PDG Studios in three words…

          LH: storytellers, authentic and collaborative! 

      “It’s important to plan for and design zones that allow for individual space.” – Lisa Haude, founder of PDG Studios

      HK: How have the challenges of the pandemic allowed you to challenge conventional design? 

      LH: We now need to be more adaptive and creative with how we approach design. In our current designs, we encourage the incorporation of more green and outdoor space (i.e. rooftop  terraces, balconies and courtyards), the use of larger windows/natural light sources and less toxic materials, such as natural materials and plants. It’s important to plan for and design zones that allow for individual space, where one can work and be conscience of the materials that are being used. Moving forward, it will be imperative to source materials that do not harbour germs and can be easily cleaned—and those people spending time in these spaces will want to know that! 

      Image credit: AC Hotel by Marriott Washington DC Downtown

      HK: How will smart tech evolve in the hotel guestroom post-pandemic? 

      LH: Easy/quick access to tech will become even more of a necessity. From the ability to work from your room via teleconferencing to the ease of being able to fully automate your room via your smart device, tech is most likely going to continue to evolve and become more mainstream and expected.  For example, the ability to turn on/off lights, control the AC /heat, open/close the door, etc., without contact (using voice activation instead) will be very desired and important to many people. The technology is already there for many of these items, but I believe there will be a greater push to make it more affordable and mainstream to the greater public in a hospitality-type setting.

      HK: Has sustainability slipped off the agenda in hospitality? 

      LH: I don’t think so. I feel like it is now even more important that we use products that are sustainable, locally sourced and easy to clean and maintain. I believe that this period of time has taught us all to take a step back and appreciate the people in our life and our surroundings. We have also become more conscience about our choices and how products are used and/or disposed of. 

      Main image credit: PDG Studio/Hilton Garden Inn Bozeman/AC Hotel by Marriott Washington DC Downtown

      Weekly briefing: safe design, A+D post-pandemic and Hyatt at new heights

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Weekly briefing: safe design, A+D post-pandemic and Hyatt at new heights

      Only got a minute? Our editorial team have compiled the top design stories that they have published this week, including an exclusive report into safe design, an interview about A+D post-pandemic and Hyatt making another debut…

      We appreciate you may not have time to read all the content that Hotel Designs has published this week. Therefore, here is our ‘editor’s pick’ of the juiciest stories that have been covered this week.

      FEATUE: safe design & emotional guest wellness

      For article two in the Hotel Designs LAB series, Hotel Designs and Arigami move past sound in design. Founder of Arigami Ari Peralta and editor Hamish Kilburn compile the thoughts of neuroscientist at NASA Human Research Program and a neurofeedback technologist at MuArts to dive beneath the surface of safe design and emotional wellness.

      Read more.

      Hotel Designs LIVE adds new speakers to event

      The next Hotel Designs LIVE, which is free to attend for designers, architects, hoteliers and developers, will take place on October 13.

      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 around each session, allowing suppliers the opportunity to pitch their products and services in a ‘live’ environment to the hospitality buyers that are tuned in.

      Click here to secure your place in the audience.

      In Conversation With: architecture and design in a post-pandemic world 

      Image caption: A render of a new wellness experience that will be sheltered inside Pan Pacific London

      With the world the way it is at the moment, the conversation in the industry has steered sharply towards how architecture and design will be affected in the post-pandemic world. Looking ahead, we sat down with Mark Kelly, Partner at PLP Architecture, to understand how to build a meaningful hotel landscape.

      Read more.

      Parkside collaborates with brassware brand Rutland

      The Parkside x Rutland London collaboration has brought together the two companies for a series of photographs showing off the latest ceramic tiles and brassware. With Parkside sourcing tiles from the world’s best manufacturers and Rutland London manufacturing its luxury brassware in Hampshire, the project demonstrates the ability of global and local design influences to work in unison.

      Read more.

      Hyatt Regency Lanzhou Opens as “new architectural landmark”

      Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

      Hyatt Hotels has announced the opening of Hyatt Regency Lanzhou, Hyatt’s debut hotel in the city of Lanzhou, China. Located in a city that is considered a gateway to China’s west region, the hotel is designed for productivity and peace of mind through its anticipatory service for which the Hyatt Regency brand is known.

      Read more.

       

      Product watch: Bow from CTD Architectural Tiles

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Product watch: Bow from CTD Architectural Tiles

      Inspired by the typical roofs found in Mediterranean cities, BOW by CTD Architectural Tiles is a collection of large curved tiles in a range of on-trend colourways…

      Measuring at 150 x 450mm, the BOW collection by CTD Architectural Tiles stands out for its relief pattern and characteristic volume, offering a modern new take on traditional roof tile design to create standout feature walls in residential, commercial and hospitality spaces.

      Ideal for adding depth and interest to walls, the curved tiles reflect light and shade in a distinctive manner. Available in five glossy colourways from crimson red to minty green, and a matte finish Clay colour, the BOW range provides designers, specifiers and architects with a versatile tiling solution ideal for projects of all styles and sizes.

      Part of the Saint-Gobain family, CTD Architectural Tiles specialises in the supply of high quality ceramic tile finishes and tiling solutions across all sectors in the UK commercial specification market. With clients in a variety of sectors including the leisure, retail, hospitality industries, CTD Architectural Tiles is committed to bringing customers the latest innovations in product and in service. With unparalleled expertise and technical knowledge, the team works with industry leading, innovative manufacturers to offer a complete portfolio of ceramic and porcelain tile ranges to suit the architect, interior designer, developer and specification professional.

      CTD Architectural Tiles 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: CTD Architectural Tiles

      In Conversation With: Mark Kelly, Partner at PLP Architecture

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      In Conversation With: Mark Kelly, Partner at PLP Architecture

      Looking ahead, past the pandemic, editor Hamish Kilburn sits down with Mark Kelly, Partner at PLP Architecture, to understand how to build a meaningful hotel landscape…

      With the world the way it is at the moment, the conversation in the industry has steered sharply towards how architecture and design will be affected in the post-pandemic world.

      PLP Architecture is a firm behind some of the world’s smartest and most sustainable buildings, which will soon include Pan Pacific London. Expected to be completed in 2021 – and already being described as an ‘architectural marvel’ – the project’s vision is to balance a design that is sensitive to the Asian heritage of the brand whilst creating an ultra-modern, timeless hotel and complex that challenges conventional architecture.

      As a result of the firms sustainable mission, the building will shelter mix of 42 native wildflower and some sedum species populate levels 34 and 42 – 44, protruding above the structure’s rooftop, seeking to create a sense of continuity between the tower and the outdoor public spaces and gardens on the ground floor. 

      Representing a number of firsts for London, such as being the first tower development in the City of London to harmoniously fuse private apartments with a luxury hotel, PLP Architecture’s collaborative approach with Yabu Pushelberg and developers UOL and Stanhope ensures the delivery of an integrated and seamless design at every level of building, helping to bring to life a bold, emblematic and creative new embodiment of urban expression for the capital. Most importantly, though, it has been built with tomorrow’s consumers and travellers in mind.

      So how are architects evolving to meet the hefty demands of modern travellers and budget conscious clients in the post-pandemic world? I spoke to Mark Kelly, Partner at PLP Architecture, to find out.

      Hamish Kilburn: How will coronavirus reshape architecture?

      Mark Kelly: Architecture is an inherently flexible process – always evolving while constantly questioning and reinventing itself. As such, it is well placed to respond to the current and seemingly ever-changing Covid crisis and, for that matter, other current and future global concerns such as the climate emergency. Covid has specifically put extra focus on the health of the architectural spaces we inhabit – not just in the way they operate, but in the way they make occupants behave and feel.

      We are already seeing a shift towards greater implementation of technology to reduce levels of contact. There is also now a greater recognition of the benefits of architecture enhancing a state of health and wellbeing – achieved through more natural lighting and ventilation, improved climate control, larger areas of personal space more robust and cleanable surfaces, increased sizes and more options for circulation, clearer signage and better management of wayfinding – as well as more pragmatic inclusions like well-designed and integrated places for washing / sanitising hands and select use of screens and shields where required in areas of frequent interaction.

      “The current environment is a perfect opportunity for hotels to think creatively about ways to not just reconsider and reactivate their existing spaces.” – Mark Kelly, Partner, PLP Architecture.

      HK: How should the hospitality industry prepare for post-pandemic work in terms of architecture and design?

      MK: Though we are in very challenging times at the moment, we see opportunities for an exciting future across the industry – one that addresses the requirements of a post-pandemic world and also reinvents itself into a more dynamic, safe and inclusive environment for people to use and enjoy. Ultimately hospitality, as a service-based industry, has the goal of accommodating and providing comfort – not just for guests, although they are a clear priority – but for staff as well. Everyone involved has a right to feel safe and protected at all times.

      Image caption: Final mock-up room inside Pan Pacific London

      During the pandemic, we have seen some creative uses for hotels being implemented – including people using them as remote offices, exercise studios and other support for a newly mobile workforce. This has not only helped to counteract the problems associated with lower occupancy levels but started to address other issues that were present before the pandemic. The current environment is a perfect opportunity for hotels to think creatively about ways to not just reconsider and reactivate their existing spaces, but transform their business models to help further diversify and futureproof their assets.

      We see a real need to shift towards the inclusion of more local target groups, with a new and expanded reliance on the local population to add authenticity and ensure year-round activation and use of hotels. The pandemic has provided, and in some cases necessitated, an opportunity for the industry to expand from a more straightforward offering of overnight accommodation with perhaps a restaurant and gymnasium, into a truly community-minded hub where locals, tourists and business men and women alike interact and intermingle in an environment that entices each.

      Premium hospitality can remain a core function in hotels, but it will need to be flexible enough to adapt to take advantage of this exciting and beneficial adaptation into a Hospitality Integrated Business that brings together the workplace, wellness and placemaking.

      HK: What kinds of spaces will we be willing to live, travel and work in now?

      MK: Everyone’s goal is and will be to avoid contamination with the virus. As a whole, many of the types of spaces we will be willing to live, travel and work in already exist in limited quantities and going forward their designs will become more widespread through the adaptation and retrofitting of existing spaces and the creation of new ones.

      Image caption: Render of the hotel entrance at Pan Pacific London

      Density control is easier than ever now, and in hotels we believe that good design for the management of arrivals and departures in a reception space, for instance, can be easily integrated with new goals for sustainability to achieve environments that actively help prevent the spread of the virus and, ultimately, are healthier and more invigorating for everyone.

      The inclusion of more natural light, better ventilation, clearer wayfinding, more generous sizing, and adaptable personal spaces – all things we as a practice have been incorporating into our designs for many years – have become crucial visual indicators of safety that allow us to feel comfortable and protected at our homes, in our places of work, and while moving around outside of both.

      “No longer a futuristic dream, loop circulation systems with horizontal movement will help optimise people movement across levels.” – Mark Kelly, Partner, PLP Architecture.

      HK: How can architecture mitigate pathogenic risks in an interconnected world?

      MK: Architecture will play a crucial role in supporting our control of pathogenic risks in our increasingly globalised world. Natural ventilation and better air management, including the use of HEPA filters, for instance, are already recognised for their ability to reduce infection rates and virus spread. Easy-to-clean materials, such as high-pressure laminates and other smooth, anti-microbial surfaces, enabling efficient management of contagion mitigation measures.

      Spatial use and organisation are also important, including the ways in which shared spaces (corridors, lounges, lobbies, dining areas) are activated. New developments in vertical circulation are poised to be a game-changer for taller structures in our cities. No longer a futuristic dream, loop circulation systems with horizontal movement will help optimise people movement across levels, spaces, and even buildings and reduce risk associated with unnecessary interaction.

      Crucially, we believe that changes in architecture can be carried out subtly and effectively, preserving a sense of design identity and uniqueness, accommodating luxury and comfort, while embracing risk reduction and contagion prevention to ensure we can get back to close to what we define as our normal lives as possible.

      Main image credit: PLP Architecture/Pan Pacific London

      Lighting product watch: Eltham Collection by Vaughan

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Lighting product watch: Eltham Collection by Vaughan

      Vaughan has launched Eltham Collection, a selection of products, based on early 20th Century design…

      Featuring four new table lamps, and five pieces of faux shagreen furniture, Eltham Collection continues Vaughan’s longstanding theme of creating products rooted in antiques, but then given a contemporary flair.

      Lucy Vaughan, chairman and co-founder of Vaughan Designs, recalls how the collection came into existence: “From admiring my grandmother’s monogrammed boxes, to professionally taking an interest in my time as an antique dealer, shagreen has a particularly special place in my heart. Paired with the lights, it encapsulates all that I love about early 20th century design, with its emphasis on simplicity, purity of line and subtlety of form.”

      The Eltham Collection includes :-

      Hudson Table Lamp

      A contemporary shape, reminiscent of American skyscrapers, this table lamp has an appealing crisp line to it. The decorative applied lines on the sides add a more ‘statement’ feel to the piece. The monumentality and decoration have an affinity to Axumite obelisks from 4th Century Ethiopia.

      Wyndham Table Lamp

      Based on an early 20th Century original, this vase is decorated with flowing swirl motifs to give it a wonderful textured feel. The non-uniform color adds a Modernist element to the aesthetic.

      Shoreham Table Lamp

      Based on an antique original, this playful design takes its inspiration from the work of the mid-20th Century. Its bright pop of color makes it a wonderful, statement piece.

      Fairmont Table

      A neat and satisfying design, this side table has a classic hexagonal shape to it, which is given a contemporary twist thanks to the addition of faux shagreen.

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

      Main image credit: Vaughan

      Product watch: N.A.P (Neuron Activation Pod) by WellTek

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Product watch: N.A.P (Neuron Activation Pod) by WellTek

      WellTek, the leading London-based furniture company, has introduced N.A.P (Neuron Activation Pod) to the UK from Lo0ok Industries, a ground-breaking Finnish technology company…

      The N.A.P pod uses Neurosonic technology to increase the user’s wellbeing by helping to improve sleep quality, reduce migraine problems, relieve stress and many more ailments both physical and mental.

      N.A.P is not simply a silent capsule or traditional nap pod. The science behind this pod affects human natural relaxation and recovery mechanisms. The N.A.P technology guides the human body and mind mechanically to a meditation-like state that minimises and prevents stress-related symptoms. Sleep mechanisms are restored, and at the same time, many other stress triggers in the body and mind are corrected.

      The Neurosonic technology is based on sensory tissue stimulation, built-in elements transmit a very low-frequency (20-100 Hz) sinusoidal vibration, which is targeted simultaneously to the whole body. As a natural mechanism, vibration affects your body calmly via the autonomic nervous system and the mind. The treatment brings a new dimension to fixing stress-based symptoms and is used to enhance quality of sleep, to ease stress, muscle tensions and swelling. It activates metabolism and assists in both physical and mental recovery.

      Marco Kärkkäinen – Neurosonic Founder, Psychotherapist explains: “What does a zebra do when it has managed to escape the lion? It shakes itself. The purpose of this natural mechanism is to calm and relieve the stress reaction. Neurosonic produces this same natural effect – and thus takes relaxation and recovery to a completely new level.”

      There are four key effects on the human body and mind, all linked to the influence the technology has on the Autonomic Nervous System, i.e the part of the nervous system responsible for control of bodily functions not consciously directed, such as breathing, heartbeat and digestive processes.

      Sleep Quality: N.A.P has a calming effect on the human body. The production of stress hormones is reduced and sleep mechanisms are restored. You calm down and fall asleep more easily. Nightly awakening decreases, and sleep becomes more restful and effective. 

      Pain Alleviation:  The neural network calms down, lymphatic circulation becomes more active and pain alleviates. Your body feels more relaxed and sleep mechanisms return to a more normal state, which causes many other things in the body and mind to be corrected.

      Stress Relieving:  Positive changes take place in the neurotransmitter action and the neural pathways in the alarm state calm down. Stressed people are able to fall asleep more easily and at night, the wake-ups that are being monitored are reduced or completely gone.

      Recovery:  Neurosonic relaxes your body effectively, by balancing the autonomic nervous system. At the same time, muscle circulation and metabolic restoration are restored at a faster pace. On average people report a 50 per cent reduction in recovery time from a strenuous run, work out etc.

      Neil Jenkins, Managing Director of Office Blueprint says: “Our product portfolio is committed to supporting healthy and stress-free office environments and N.A.P is an inspiring addition. When your mind is full, it is difficult to find the mental capacity to help relieve the stress from hectic lifestyles. A research based proven and safe treatment with no side effects, N.A.P is a truly remarkable product with transformative effects that will help employee wellbeing whether mental or physical”.

      WellTek 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: WellTek

      Weekly briefing: a London review, ‘fit’ design & the power of art

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Weekly briefing: a London review, ‘fit’ design & the power of art

      Only got a minute? Our editorial team have compiled the top stories that they have published this week, including news on Moxy’s development, an exclusive review and our feature on the power of art…

      We appreciate you may not have time to read all the content that Hotel Designs has published this week. Therefore, here is our ‘editor’s pick’ of the juiciest stories that have been covered this week.

      “Fit is the new sexy,” and it’s here to stay in hospitality!

      Image credit: ACCOR

      In an exclusive editorial to celebrate the upcoming ‘WELLNESS’ concept coming to ‘ACCOR’ by Bergman Interiors, we took a closer look at the future of wellness in hospitality.

      Within the luxury market, wellness is not an expectation; it’s a dominant consumer value that is essential to the future hotel experience. This demand has inspired the collaboration between ACCOR and Bergman Interiors, in order to design wellness for tomorrow’s consumers.

      Read more. 

      EXCLUSIVE REVIEW // Checking in to No.5 Maddox Street, London

      Image credit: No5. Maddox Street

      Nestled between high-end art galleries and luxury boutiques – conveniently tucked behind Bond Street and metres away from Regent Street – is the discreet entrance to No.5 Maddox Street.

      Sheltering just 12 luxury apartments – all of which were renovated last year by the owner herself, Tracy Lowy – No.5 Maddox Street is part of the Living Rooms collection, which also includes The Laslett and Weymouth Mews. Offering what it claims is ‘the best of apartment living and hotel service’, it’s almost as if the collection was unconsciously designed for the post-pandemic world.

      Read more.

      Moxy makes it a hat-trick in Japan!

      Image credit: Marriott International/Moxy Hotels

      Moxy has opened its third hotel in Japan. Located in one of the main hubs of Osaka City, the new Moxy hotel will provide guests with what Marriott is describing as “a fun and playful experience” through lively communal spaces.

      “We are thrilled to be opening Moxy Osaka Shin Umeda, which marks the third Moxy branded hotel to open in Japan,” said Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific (excluding Greater China), Marriott International. “This opening is a testament to Marriott International’s commitment to continue expanding its footprint across Japan and Asia Pacific with the experiential lifestyle portfolio catering to the next generation of travellers.”

      Read more.

      TRENDING // bathroom tap trends emerging in 2020

      According to UK Bathrooms, taps in a range of metallics and subtle brushed finishes are trending in the bathroom for 2020 and beyond.

      Taps with matt or brushed finishes are flooding into the most contemporary bathrooms in a varied palette of muted metallics and monochromes, transforming pieces of brassware into elegant design statements.

      Read more.

      Feature: the power of art in hotel design

      Image caption: Cocktail series – tequila sunrise | Image credit: Michelle Lucking

      Image caption: Cocktail series – tequila sunrise | Image credit: Michelle Lucking

      More than ever before, there is a demand among modern travellers for hotel operators have to create destinations we feel a connection with; a place we want to spend time in. Interiors, therefore, need to captivate, inspire, and resonate with us. Art can do that and so much more; art has the power to stir our emotions and leave a lasting impression.

      That’s why, in a search for creativity post-lockdown, we decided to catch up with Clare Howlett, artwork design manager at Elegant Clutter, to see how the brand is engaging new artists and the process it applies when pairing artists to projects.

      Read more.

      Product watch: The Arena Collection by Crosswater

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Product watch: The Arena Collection by Crosswater

      The Arena Collection by Crosswater has been specifically developed to complement the most popular elements of modern bathroom design…

      Crosswater’s Arena Collection uses state-of-the-art manufacturing technology and the essential characteristics of traditional Scandinavian design.

      It excels in both form and function with a focus on slender space-saving proportions, ample storage and clean simple lines. From the beech wood effect of Modern Oak to the sleek finish of Pure White Gloss, the new 500, 600, 800 and 1000mm console units added to the Arena range will sit cohesively within bathrooms of all styles.

      Steel

      Embracing a subtle brushed texture with a linear grain, the Steel finish provides a modern twist on a natural finish. The blend of silver, grey and white gives a unique look, completed with an easy-clean anthracite finish drawer box. For a striking twist, pair the Steel designs with brushed brass detailing, wood accents and hints of greenery for a beautifully tied together scheme.

      Modern oak

      The wood-like finish of Modern Oak creates a warm and inviting aesthetic. Each piece features authentic elements including knots, inclusions and chalky-limed accents, with matching edging and a birchwood drawer set to finish. Modern Oak pairs effortlessly with Scandinavian influences, herringbone style backdrops and soft grey colour palettes – delivering a scheme that exudes charm and sophistication.

      Pure white gloss

      Take white bathrooms to a new level with the Pure White Gloss finish. Sleek and impactful, this classic colour reflects and maximises natural light into the bathroom. It has also been finished with an additional UV coating technology – meaning the surfaces will remain more resistant to scratches, heat, impact and yellowing, retaining the beautiful finish for longer. Complete the look with wicker accents, greenery and a soft tonal colour palette for an ultra modern interior.

      Portland grey matt

      Silky smooth, the Arena Matt Grey finish is the perfect option for family bathrooms. Thanks to its anti-fingerprint properties and scratch and impact resistance, it makes for a truly stylish yet practical choice. Portland is a medium, cool grey and its simple internal accents act as the perfect match for any colour brassware, handle or accessory. The furniture comes complete with a long-lasting and easy-to-clean textured anthracite melamine drawer box for added appeal.

      Combining form and functionality, each piece across the Arena Furniture collection is designed to look beautiful and be as efficient as possible in today’s contemporary bathroom.

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

      Main image credit: Crosswater

      Checking in to No.5 Maddox Street, London

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Checking in to No.5 Maddox Street, London

      Embracing change – and predicting a rise in demand for luxury apartments post-pandemic – editor Hamish Kilburn checks himself in review No.5 Maddox Street

      It was the first time since the start of lockdown I had made the trip into the capital, but certain things were not how I remembered.

      For starters, not a single person on the train journey had demanded for me to move my bag on the empty seat next to me. Pre-Covid, not standing on the commute would have been seen as a miracle. Five months after the government put us into a forced hibernation, the empty carriage felt lonely. I disembarked the train at St Pancras International, checked my watch – it was 08:59 on a Wednesday – I could hear the echo of an barren terminal in what was supposed to be ‘rush hour’.

      On my walk from the station to Maddox Street in Mayfair, the stark reality hit: most of London’s iconic hotels were closed and lifeless. And yet, while the majority of hotels in the city were shaking up re-opening strategies and not cocktails, other accommodation offerings – like for example No.5 Maddox Street – were able to open fully because of their design scheme being friendly to social distancing.

      I launched the Living Rooms concept in 1999 after recognising the modern traveller’s desire for privacy and independence.” – Tracy Lowy, owner, Living Rooms.

      Nestled between high-end art galleries and luxury boutiques – conveniently tucked behind Bond Street and metres away from Regent Street – is the discreet entrance to No.5 Maddox Street.

      Sheltering just 12 luxury apartments – all of which were renovated last year by the owner herself, Tracy Lowy – No.5 Maddox Street is part of the Living Rooms collection, which also includes The Laslett and Weymouth Mews. Offering what it claims is ‘the best of apartment living and hotel service’, it’s almost as if the collection was unconsciously designed for the post-pandemic world. “I launched the Living Rooms concept in 1999 after recognising the modern traveller’s desire for privacy and independence,” Lowy told Hotel Designs. “From concept through to the finished product, we sought to create the best of both worlds; design-led apartments that combine the services of a luxury hotel, complete with the privacy, space and the comfort of home.”

      Image credit: No5. Maddox Street

      The arrival experience at No.5 Maddox Street is unlike any hotel I have ever stayed in – there is no lobby, for example, which immediately creates an understated entrance with no room for drama. With no lift, meaning that No.5 Maddox Street is not accessible for everyone, I climbed the industrial-like stairs to check in.

      While each apartment sheltered within the building is different, all of them are competitively spacious. In fact, the smallest apartment, at 27 sqm, is almost double the size of a typical London hotel guestroom, which adds to the home-from-home setting that Lowry has created. In addition, and something of a rarity in the city where space is a premium, many of the apartments feature decked terraces, balconies and open fire places.

      A luxe masculine bedroom

      Image credit: No5. Maddox Street

      The property was given a refurbishment last year to mark its 20th anniversary. Impressively, No.5 Maddox Street remained open throughout. “As the refurb was mostly cosmetic, we remained open for guests and blocked apartments out in groups  – it was a bit of a game of Tetris,” explained Lowy.

      “We sourced a lot of vintage design pieces which come with their own set of challenges.” – Tracy Lowy, owner, Living Rooms.

      Although Living Rooms decided not to hire in a design firm for the project, Lowry carefully selected items that she believed would create an apt homely environment in the centre of the action. “We sourced a lot of vintage design pieces which come with their own set of challenges,” she said. “But we are lucky to have some great partners in that area that we can always count on to help us come up with the goods.” 

      The apartments have been refreshed, nipped, tucked and brightened with modernised interiors. As well as vintage rugs by Larusi, the spaces feature one-of-a-kind furnishings from Les Couilles Du Chien and a curated selection of photography and artwork that reflects the rich history of the local area.

      With as much emphasis on service as well as design, guests of No.5 are encouraged to ‘live like a local’. Those checking in can explore the city by using the constantly updated neighbourhood guide, as well as tapping up the knowledgable and friendly concierge service.

      an open light kitchen

      Image credit: No5. Maddox Street

      As I checked out of No.5, following a relaxing and comfortable nights sleep, I am intrigued to understand from Lowy’s perspective whether or not the demand for this style of accommodation has increased following the pandemic. “Travellers, both leisure and business, are really seeing the benefit of the personal space we can offer,” she explained. “In this part of London, where hotel rates can be very high, we can often offer an entire apartment for the price of a hotel room.”

      In conclusion, I agree with the term ‘hotel alternative’ when describing No.5 Maddox Street. Although I am not fully won over by apart-hotels stealing the limelight in hospitality completely, the apartments at No.5 Maddox Street are smartly designed to offer a discreet urban pad, suitable for one or two nights. They are warm and inviting but, in my opinion, feel more like you are staying in someone else’s home-from-home – similar to a stylish, well-stocked and well-hosted AirBnB, if you like.

      Main image credit: No5. Maddox Street

      Product watch: Facet lighting by Studio Waldemeyer

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Product watch: Facet lighting by Studio Waldemeyer

      Hotel Designs learns how lighting designer Moritz Waldemeyer bent glass to its will in order to create FACET…

      In all its beauty and variety, glass is essentially an amorphous material with no regular crystalline structure.

      Yet through a design vision and mastery in glassmaking craft, the material can come to mimic its opposite, creating highly organised and consistent structures.

      As if trying to systematise the chandelier-making tradition, Moritz took the geometrical shape of the Classic chandelier outline and turned it into a diamond-like hexagonal glass building block. On its own, with just single pendant, or in combination of multiple items into a large chandelier, the FACET modules stand out as clear, disciplined and geometrical.

      The light source included inside every block allows the FACET system to be universal and almost unlimitedly extendable.

      Moritz Waldemeyer is an internationally renowned London based designer who’s work occupies a diverse range of creative spaces. 2004 saw his debut into the design world with an interactive chandelier for Swarovski. With a forward thinking approach and a philosophy of playful experimentation Studio Moritz Waldemeyer is forging links between technology, art, fashion and design.

      Led by Waldemeyer, the studio has taken on projects for Audi, Intercontinental Hotels, Rinacente and Wallpaper Magazines 2014 Handmade issue. Studio Moritz Waldemeyer has also created bespoke light studded costumes for Will.I.AM, Rihanna, Take That and the 2012 London Olympics handover Ceremony performers. Under Moritz’s direction the studio strive to create innovative concepts incorporating his signature aesthetic into each piece.

      Studio Waldemeyer 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: Studio Waldemeyer

      “Fit is the new sexy,” and it’s here to stay in hospitality!

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      “Fit is the new sexy,” and it’s here to stay in hospitality!

      In an exclusive editorial to celebrate the upcoming ‘WELLNESS’ concept coming to ‘ACCOR by Bergman Interiors, Hotel Designs takes a look at the future of wellness in hospitality…

      A few years back, gyms were a place where you trained, lost weight or gained muscle. Today, gyms are part of our lifestyles. And with that lifestyle comes community. Whether the gym has a nightclub style with beaming lights, or is an industrial shell, we all seek a gym with the lifestyle and community that speak to us.

      This lifestyle is getting us stronger, not just physically but also mentally – such an awakening calls for mind, body and soul.

      Within the luxury market, wellness is not an expectation; it’s a dominant consumer value that is essential to the future hotel experience. This demand has inspired the collaboration between ACCOR and Bergman Interiors, in order to design wellness for tomorrow’s consumers.

      Image credit: ACCOR

      How hotels are changing regarding fitness in general?

      Within the exercise world, fitness methods and training techniques have changed however these methods and concepts have been slow to be embraced within the hospitality industry.

      What was once seen as an amenity for guests is being recognised as a key facility within luxury hospitality. 66 per cent of Gen X’ers say they actively participate in self-care to improve their physical wellbeing. What’s more, 76 per cent of millennials exercise at least once per week – exercise has become a vital part of our hotel customers lifestyle and our concepts need to meet this heightened expectation.

      With this key demand in mind ACCOR has brought the fitness concept centre stage for the Pullman brand with our newly created Pullman Power Fit concept. Working with Bergman Interiors was a natural choice with their strong experience in creating innovative exercise and fitness concepts coupled with a depth of experience within luxury hospitality.

      Image credit: ACCOR

      Pullman Power Fitness replaces the stale one-size-fits-all hotel gym environment with a bold, artful, social approach to contemporary fitness. Pullman Power Fitness defines and explores our ambition to energise bodies and inspire minds. In-touch with today’s traveller and their fitness goals, we offer much more than a gym. We provide a community where guests can have fun while challenging themselves to take their performance to the next level within a stylised interior design, energetic branding and the latest on Video on Demand exercise technology.

      A collaborative partnership with Bergman, the Pullman brand, Wellbeing and ACCOR design departments the concept was developed over 12 months and the result is a vibrant fitness space that makes a statement, beckons interaction, and energises the body while inspiring our guests. Our spaces and programming tap into an exciting new era of training diversity, integrated technology, and embracing the spirit of friendly competition.

      Wellness mentally and physically?

      “When it comes to wellness consumer research confirms a fundamental societal shift underway, feeling healthier as a lifestyle goal has well and truly entered the mainstream,” Albin Berglund, co-founder and managing director of Bergman Interiors, told Hotel Designs. “Because the modern luxury travellers of now- and the future- is on a journey: to find purposeful new travel experiences that speak to their inner self and to personal fulfilment. And they’re willing to pay a premium for it.”

      Image credit: Engine Room

      Broadly, we have defined five areas – nutrition, holistic design, movement, spa, and mindfulness – that we view as essential to the overall wellness experience within hospitality. We then customise the delivery and tactics in these areas to suit each brand and its unique guest preferences, demographics, psychographics, brand positioning, culture and locations.

      Changes to wellness within the hotel industry after Covid-19

      It is important to separate the temporary impact such as heightened sanitation measures, social distancing and impact on travel versus the longer term impact on consumer attitudes and behaviour.

      Image credit: BXR

      These push factors are the relentless pressures on our health, such as less physically active work, the prevalence of processed food, air quality concerns, light and noise pollution – all of which create malaise, illness and stress. Covid-19 has been a “super-accelerator” to these “push factors” globally, with a cross generational embrace of the need to invest in ones well being and a clear reminder of the benefit of leading a “preventative” lifestyle.

      Then we have the pull factors. Wellness is a highly appealing touch point among consumers, a desirable draw that promises unique, enriching, relaxing experiences that help us define and express ourselves. Wellness helps us move away from the push factors and embrace the highly attractive lifestyle that is so integral to luxury hospitality and again this desire to combine wellness with travel will blossom.

      In conclusion, we are expected to see an increase in the demand for healthy food within our restaurants, for outdoor exercise and access to nature, exercise will move from inside the gym to outside or a greater demand for in room or video driven options.

      Main image credit: Bergman Interiors

      Product watch: Maria Teresa chandelier by Masiero

      740 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Product watch: Maria Teresa chandelier by Masiero

      The Maria Teresa chandelier by Masiero is an iconic product that comes from Venice’s historical tradition and each piece is characterised by uniquely shaped crystal glass pendants…

      The precious classical style of the Maria Teresa chandelier maintains its original, iconic look but adopts a new personality thanks to the fascinating creativity of colour and a varied range of lighting effects achieved by the latest control systems.

      Image credit: Masiero

      Each Masiero’s Maria Teresa is available in three different lighting technology: the classic, the Dynamic White LED that allows you to customise light temperature and the RGB_W Led that allows you to transform light in colours.

      In Touquet Paris la plage, for its renovation, the Grand Hôtel Le Touquet specified the brand’s red Maria Teresa chandelier, made with Murano glass, as the decorative fulcrum of its atrium.
      More recently, the bar of the Hotel, “Le Menko”, has been adorned with 10 black Maria Teresa chandeliers that gently illuminate the room and reinforce the Gatsby / art deco style of this new space.

      Masiero 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: Masiero

      TRENDING // bathroom tap trends emerging in 2020

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      TRENDING // bathroom tap trends emerging in 2020

      According to UK Bathrooms, taps in a range of metallics and subtle brushed finishes are trending in the bathroom for 2020 and beyond…

      Gone are the days when your choice of tap colour was high shine chrome or high shine chrome.

      Taps with matt or brushed finishes are flooding into the most contemporary bathrooms in a varied palette of muted metallics and monochromes, transforming pieces of brassware into elegant design statements.

      “A wide range of tap finishes are emerging as part of the trend for statement bathrooms.” – Graeme Borchard, Managing Director, UK Bathrooms.

      Metallic finishes in gleaming hues ranging from copper to bronze have moved into the bathroom over the recent years, as brassware became more experimental – and #bathroomselfie started trending on Instagram. Now it’s the turn of subtler, more gentle shades, as brushed and matt finishes are launched across taps of every tone. “A wide range of tap finishes are emerging as part of the trend for statement bathrooms,” explains Graeme Borchard, MD at UK Bathrooms. “There’s a real desire for spaces which are bold and luxurious, but also unique and personal.”

      Adding a tap – or other brassware – with a brushed, matt or textured finish to the bathroom instantly creates a sophisticated, tranquil feel, thanks to their delicate and understated nature. Due to the wide variety of shades which have recently become available, there’s now a tone to harmonise with every bathroom scheme. Brushed nickel, for example, is a mellow version of classic chrome, the soft silvery colour working beautifully with bathrooms in cool, watery hues that have blue, green, turquoise or white bases. For bathrooms decorated with warmer colours like pink, coral or yellow, muted brass and bronzes will blend in with the dusky, sunset feel of the space.

      As well as their chic appearance, taps lacking the traditional high shine have practical benefits too, accumulating fewer watermarks and finger prints, and requiring minimal polishing, so are joyfully low maintenance.

      Want to make more of a statement? Matt black and white taps have also taken hold of 2020, the striking shades packing more of a punch than brushed metallic tones, but with a minimal texture that doesn’t reflect light at all.

      Matt monochromes work in any bathroom setting. A matt black tap absorbs light, forming a shadowy silhouette against the surface behind it – team it with matching brassware to create a pared-back take on the industrial, New York loft-style bathroom trend. Matt white taps speak of elegance and crispness, a point of difference against other glossy white ceramics in the room, while also working alongside them. Against surface materials like marble or tiles, white taps let the walls take centre stage, while black taps add a shapely focal point.

      Matt textures work best on taps which have simple, modern shapes, so the material is emphasised and can be fully appreciated; a bevy of new releases from key bathroom brands combine brushed or matt finishes with clean, contemporary styling.

      Taking influence from modern architecture, hansgrohe has added Matt White and Matt Black to its FinishPlus range, which also includes Brushed Bronze and Brushed Black Chrome, and can be applied across the sleek Metropol and Talis E ranges. Crosswater’s MPRO collection is also all about minimal shine finishes, its basin taps – as well as other coordinating showers, valves and accessories – can be coated in Matt Black, Matt White and Brushed Stainless Steel or Brass. Colour Your Bathroom by Abacus has the option to apply on trend Matt Black, Brushed Bronze and Brushed Nickel across its entire collection of taps and more, while VitrA’s angular Origin range carries Matt Black and Brushed Nickle on more than 150 products.

      Finding a tap with a finish that will complement but not overpower your bathroom has never been easier – choose a single piece for a sculptural statement or use textured metal across the entire space to fully embrace this year’s hottest bathroom trend.

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

      Main image credit: UK Bathrooms

      Industry insight: the power of art in hotel design

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Industry insight: the power of art in hotel design

      At Hotel Designs we have always championed the value of art, but in this feature we explore the power of art. Editor Hamish Kilburn speaks to Clare Howlett, artwork design manager at Elegant Clutter, to learn more…

      More than ever before, there is a demand among modern travellers for hotel operators have to create destinations we feel a connection with; a place we want to spend time in. Interiors, therefore, need to captivate, inspire, and resonate with us. Art can do that and so much more; art has the power to stir our emotions and leave a lasting impression. It’s no wonder that so many designers turn to art to inject personality into an installation but commissioning the right piece of art for your project is a craft in itself.

      That’s why, in a search for creativity post-lockdown, I have decided to catch up with Clare Howlett, artwork design manager at Elegant Clutter, to see how the brand is engaging new artists and the process it applies when pairing artists to projects.

      “We go on a creative journey with our clients. We start by drawing out the narrative to reveal the story and spirit of a place.” – Clare Howlett, artwork design manager at Elegant Clutter.

      “One of the biggest advantages of being an art consultant is that we are not constrained by a house-style,” explains Howlett. “At Elegant Clutter we go on a creative journey with our clients. We start by drawing out the narrative to reveal the story and spirit of a place. We’re not about finding a theme; we are about how we amplify  character through artistic collaboration.”

      As well as a strong in-house artwork studio, Elegant Clutter has a growing portfolio of artists they are working with. Having nurtured creativity in others throughout her career, Howlett is particularly passionate about the process of discovering new talent. Her years of experience as a  judge on international under-graduate design competitions is a distinct advantage when researching new collaborations. “We are art lovers as well as art curators,” she adds, “so I get an enormous amount of joy in supporting emerging artists as well as introducing established artists to new sectors.”

      Quite often, Elegant Clutter is able to provide an already established local artist a brand new platform to showcase their work. The brand is currently working with swiss artist Etienne Krähenbühl to install one of his famous “Bing Bang” sculptures in the lobby of the new Hyatt Regency Hotel, which is directly connected to the Circle convention centre at Zurich airport. Working closely with Krähenbühl, Elegant Clutter will complete the installation using its own craftspeople to present the art in a way that integrates perfectly to the hotel’s specific situation. The sculpture is created with hard crafted oak, which honours the Butzenbüel, a small hill in parkland created as place of reflection near the airport buildings and the Circle complex.

      Art piece showing sculpture of a circle

      Image caption: A sculpture by Etienne Krähenbühl, which honours the Butzenbüel | Image credit: François Busson

      In addition to installing bespoke artwork in hotels across Europe, Elegant Clutter’s influence can be found in all sorts of installations. A good example is inside the American Express lounge at Heathrow airport. Here the brand is working with Minty Sainsbury, a London based artist specialising in architectural pencil drawings. Having studied architecture at the University of Cambridge, graduating top of her year in 2013, she went on to work in a London architectural practice. But she soon discovered that the drawing board no longer has a place in the modern architectural office, so returned to the pencil with the intention of keeping the art of architectural drawing alive. Sainsbury’s work can be found in iconic hotels such as Gleneagles but having the opportunity to display her drawings where they will be seen by travellers from the world over was a first. She explains the inspiration behind this commission.

      “Elegant Clutter wanted to capture London’s personality in two pictures that travellers from around the globe could relate to,” the artist explains. “So, I was asked to draw St Pauls which I have done many times and the Walkie Talkie, which was a first and a building I wouldn’t have thought of drawing if it hadn’t been for this commission. The two illustrations convey the classic and the contemporary side of  London perfectly.”

      “I discovered Michelle’s Instagram account during lockdown and was captivated by her beautiful seascapes.” – Clare Howlett, artwork design manager at Elegant Clutter.

      Howlett is constantly on the lookout for artists to collaborate with. This can be driven by the project brief, for example, researching local artists to tell a specific story with the art narrative, or discovering someone who has established a unique style and wants to extend their reach. Michelle Lucking is one such artist. She specialises in creating beautiful seascapes and underwater portraits. Her art explores the contrasting raw power and calm serenity of the differing states of water, and the technical challenge of capturing both its translucency and movement. In 2017, she won the prestigious Annie Longley Award at the annual British Pastel Society exhibition. She is also brand ambassador for the internationally acclaimed pastel company Unison Colour and now Elegant Clutter’s most recent artist signing.

      Howlett explains how she connected with Lucking during lockdown: “I discovered Michelle’s Instagram account during lockdown and was captivated by her beautiful seascapes. We spoke on the phone and had an instant connection. She has an established following within the residential sector, so I can see the potential for her work being displayed in beautiful boutique hotels. It’s really exciting and rewarding to introduce new artists to the commercial sector.”

      An art piece showing girl swimming in turquoise and orange bikini

      Image caption: Cocktail series – tequila sunrise | Image credit: Michelle Lucking

      Lucking’s work can already be found in private collections around the world. She told us why it was the right time to broaden her reach and why Elegant Clutter is the right fit for her: “I wanted to share my work with more people, but it was essential that I collaborated with a company who valued and supported independent artists. Elegant Clutter are true art custodians. I feel confident they have the skill in placing my work to enhance an interior space where it can connect to a new audience.”

      Celebrating artist talent is something close Hotel Designs’ heart. Elegant Clutter is in a unique position where it can use its project management, installation skills and its knowledge on the fine art of storytelling to introduce new artists into the world of contract interiors – a precious responsibility to keep art alive in hospitality design.

      Elegant Clutter 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: Tim Perceval

      Inside Moxy Hotels’ third property to open in Japan

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Inside Moxy Hotels’ third property to open in Japan

      Located in one of the main hubs of Osaka City, the new Moxy hotel will provide guests with what Marriott is describing as “a fun and playful experience” through lively communal spaces…

      In a city that is buzzing with an attitude that does not always follow the rules, the 288-room Moxy Osaka Shin Umeda has officially opened its doors. As Marriott International’s bold experiential brand, the new hotel features fun, playful and stylish experiences, designed to give guests everything they want and nothing they don’t.

      Render of outside of the Moxy hotel

      Image credit: Marriott International/Moxy Hotels

      “We are thrilled to be opening Moxy Osaka Shin Umeda, which marks the third Moxy branded hotel to open in Japan,” said Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific (excluding Greater China), Marriott International. “This opening is a testament to Marriott International’s commitment to continue expanding its footprint across Japan and Asia Pacific with the experiential lifestyle portfolio catering to the next generation of travellers.”

      Creating an environment that appeals to today’s modern traveller as well as locals,  the hotel’s chic design pays homage to the vibrant city of Osaka. The aesthetics of the hotel are inspired by a combination of the fashionable art of Umeda and the unique expressions of local Fukushima, known as the “mechanical arcade” that once supported the development of Japan’s electronic industry.

      Upstairs, the 288 guestrooms are cleverly designed to maximise space and allow guests the flexibility to adapt the room to their needs. Each room is equipped with the latest technology featuring a 55-inch flat screen television with screen casting ability, furiously fast and free Wi-fi, abundant USB ports, motion activated LED guidelight and backlighted glass panels to add ambience.

      The hotel also features several of the Moxy brand’s cheeky lifestyle touches. The signature Bar Moxy doubles as the hotel’s check-in counter, where guests are greeted upon arrival with a complimentary ‘Got Moxy’ cocktail. Buzzing with high-energy is The Terrace, an outdoor area where ‘Fun Hunters’ can eat, drink and socialise. The Lounge calls its charms through its graffiti art walls, modern furniture and ambient lighting, ideal for gatherings, special events or crafted cocktails, while Grab and Go allows guests to satisfy their cravings day or night. Guests can plug in and tune out in the Library or re-energise using the pink Moxy punching bag in the hotel’s 24-hour fitness centre that also features gymnastic equipment, spinning bikes and a full-circuit gym.

      With the opening of Moxy Osaka Shin Umeda, the animated brand, which now has more than 60 experiential hotels open across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, continues to make design-led hotel experiences accessible and affordable.

      Main image credit: Marriott International/Moxy Hotels

      DESIGN CONCEPT// A vision for a new New York City

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      DESIGN CONCEPT// A vision for a new New York City

      Design and architecture firm WATG has shared its urban planning solution that shapes a new vision for a greener New York City – one that underscores the unforeseen positives revealed during the pandemic…

      While the Covid-19 crisis and lockdown took force of major metropolises, an unusual thing happened across the world’s best cities: the sounds of taxi horns hushed, the skies cleared and the gloomy haze of pollution lifted – there were even reports of city dwellers waking up to the song of birds, rain pouncing on windows, and the rustling of leaves.

      As New York City begins to emerge from its forced hibernation – unlocking bodega doors, flipping open blinds, and turning around its “Open for Business” signs – there are obvious unintended positives that almost instantaneously took hold of the city that never sleeps. New Yorkers should not forget what a cleaner city looks like, and fight to find a way to adopt new ways of living that contribute to a healthier, safer, more breathable way of life.

      It is that spirit that fueled WATG, the multidisciplinary global design firm, to “roll out” a new vision for New York City’s streets. The concept, titled Green Block, led by John Goldwyn, WATG’s London-based master planner and landscape architect, was an internal innovation competition focused on how its team of leading urban planners, landscape architects and designers could use their skills, and lessons learned from the pandemic, to transform urban spaces in a post-pandemic world for the better. The concept at once allows for a green, carless, alfresco-hopping, streetscape vision for New York’s streets.

      “Our cities have long been overdue for transformation and, as some people flee for greener landscapes in the wake of COVID-19, Green Block proves that you don’t need to sacrifice one for the other – we actually can, in fact, have both the urban and the green lifestyle,” said Goldwyn.

      Focusing on the intersection of Manhattan’s Flatiron Building, an iconic symbol for the city itself, Green Block claws back space from the roads and reclaims it for the people and environment.

      Green Block is built using a modular program that transforms city streets into green spaces using a kit-of-parts system that is maintenance-free and created from 100 per cent recyclable materials. Green Block not only adds greenery to existing cafes and shop fronts but it creates untapped revenue opportunities for retail, commerce, and restaurants, and helps clean and filter city air while beautifying streetscapes.

      Green Block brings limitless value to cities and destinations – serving as a living, breathing solution to air filtration; reducing car noise, impact and pollution; providing homes for the world’s decreasing bee population; and increasing the amount of space for people to exercise and leisure. The solution provides greater opportunity for cyclists and walkers, replacing paved footpaths with lush plants; and increasing street appeal for restaurants and retail – providing untapped opportunities for outdoor dining and shopping. Restaurant operators can also use the new outdoor space to grow vegetables, herbs or fruits to serve on their menus.

      “People who are all too often disconnected from nature should be allowed respite on their streets. The pandemic tapped into an underrepresented desire in urban dwellers to connect with nature. That desire is a human right, and the city needs to address it. Green Block is in the best interest of New Yorkers and New York City’s standing in the world,” finished Goldwyn.

      “As planners and designers, we have to help communities become more self-reliant. We have to make sure we’re creating systems that help ourselves and future generations thrive,” continues Goldwyn. “Communities that are resilient with strong, built-in systems of support become even stronger during times of crisis.”

      WATG is currently working with confidential land owners in the United Kingdom to deploy Green Block on select streets of London, and the concept has been recognised by Urban Design Forum, based in New York, as a solution for their “City Life After Coronavirus”call for entries, which focuses on organisations advancing a just and equitable recovery for communities most impacted by the crisis.

      Main image credit: WATG

      Inside Hart Shoreditch, London’s latest lifestyle hotel

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Inside Hart Shoreditch, London’s latest lifestyle hotel

      The 126-key hotel, which is in the heart of Shoreditch, has been designed by Fabled Studio and draws inspiration from East London’s past as a centre of craftspeople and makers. Hotel Designs takes a peek inside…

      East London lifestyle hotel, Hart Shoreditch Hotel London from Curio Collection by Hilton, which has recently opened, was designed in collaboration with London-based interior design consultancy Fabled Studio. The 126-key property seamlessly blends the vibrant heritage and modern-day creativity of East London, through its thoughtfully designed spaces.

      “Gone is the tired aesthetic of exposed graffitied brick walls, filament lightbulbs and mis-matched furniture to create a bright, fresh and life-affirming space.” – Steven Saunders, co-founder and director of Fabled Studio.

      Image credit: Hart Shoreditch/Gary Edwards

      Drawing inspiration from East London’s past as a centre for craftspeople and makers, the hotel’s design narrative is deeply rooted in showcasing the industries that thrived there including furniture makers, metal workers and silk weavers. In keeping with the Curio Collection by Hilton portfolio, the hotel will give visitors to London the chance to experience one of the city’s most sought-after neighbourhoods and discover its unique history.

      Image caption: The lobby | Image credit: Hart Shoreditch/Gary Edwards

      “We set out to create a brand-new identity for a Shoreditch hotel and restaurant/ bar by delving deeper into the stories and history that the East End has to tell,” said Steven Saunders, co-founder and director of Fabled Studio. “Gone is the tired aesthetic of exposed graffitied brick walls, filament lightbulbs and mis-matched furniture to create a bright, fresh and life-affirming space. Natural textures and a muted architectural colour palette create a crisp canvas which we have dressed with soft sage velvets, woven linens and Kilim patterns to offer an elegant and mature space to enjoy.”

      Luxe guestroom

      Image credit: Hart Shoreditch/Gary Edwards

      Hart Shoreditch takes its name from one of the building’s previous occupants, The Harts, who were cabinetmakers in the 1800’s. The distinctive space encapsulates East London’s rich industrial and artisan past. Design details including a steel re-bar and copper staircase, and contemporary, bespoke mahogany lights have been designed to replicate cabinetmaker’s boxes and pay homage to the building’s earlier artisan life.

      Soft textures, furnishings and warm lighting will guide guests through to Tavla, the hotel’s bar where guests and locals alike will be encouraged to relax and spend time throughout the day and into the evening. Here, textured woven stools are mixed in with lounge chairs in muted tones and softened textures giving the space a modern, residential feel. The restaurant BARBOUN, boasts an industrial-luxe aesthetic with rattan and Thonet-style chairs and partitions inspired by the Victorian furniture makers workshops of Great Eastern Street. Warmth and softness is brought into the space through natural linen café curtains, drapery in deep oxblood and upholstery in nude leather; as well as the asymmetric architecture of the vast timber ceiling replicating the beamed structure of a factory warehouse. A striking steel re-bar and copper staircase sits towards the back of the space along with a central cascade of moon chandeliers.

      Guests can choose from nine room and suite categories, all of which feature a soft and elegant colour palette of white and grey with striking burnt orange and deep green accents. Predominantly contemporary in style with copper mirror detailing and simplistic modern furnishings, the guestrooms are warm and inviting with subtle design details throughout such as saddle-stitched leather strapping and copper rendered marmorino textures. Copper leafed bedside mirrors are embossed with woven lace etchings in a nod to the deep-rooted Huguenot history of nearby Spitalfields. Bathrooms feature a combination of materials which come together to create a sophisticated, urban space. Luxurious marble showers and rolltop baths with impressive views across Shoreditch are complimented by contrasting concrete vanities, herringbone flooring, bold geometric tiling and paired back brass detailing.

      Hart Shoreditch is also home to two unique meeting spaces which have been designed to emulate the look and feel of 18th century Huguenot townhouses synonymous with East London and its silk weaving past. A classic London aesthetic intertwined with modern textures and details set against soft green walls.

      Image credit: Hart Shoreditch

      Located in the heart of Shoreditch on Great Eastern Street, the hotel is conveniently situated just a moment’s walk from Shoreditch High Street underground station and within walking distance of the neighbourhood’s independent boutiques, vibrant bars, restaurants and famous markets such as Brick Lane and Spitalfields.

      Main image credit: Hart Shoreditch

      Stylish emerald green and golden poster above comfortable king size bed with headboard and pillows in dark green bedroom

      Upcycling: “Revamp, don’t replace,” says surface brand Architextural

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Upcycling: “Revamp, don’t replace,” says surface brand Architextural

      The trend for upcycling shows no sign of abating; businesses are increasingly looking to upgrade their interiors on a budget and without the upheaval of ripping out and replacing furniture, explains surface brand Architextural

      Stylish emerald green and golden poster above comfortable king size bed with headboard and pillows in dark green bedroom

      Upcycling taps into the trend for sustainability that continues to be big news; it is better for the environment for venues to make use of what they already have and give it a new lease of life, rather than replacing it wholesale and sending old furniture and fittings to landfill.

      This is where vinyl wrapping processes come into their own, providing a fresh new look in a multitude of styles, quickly and easily.

      Wrapping is a simple process, whereby an existing surface is covered with a self-adhesive film. Architectural finishes are highly engineered, durable films, designed to look and feel like real-life materials. The films are applied with heat, by skilled installers, to provide a realistic hardwearing finish. This allows clients to create bespoke furniture using less expensive materials, wrapping them to look like authentic marble, wood or concrete. With thousands of finishes available, the possibilities are vast.

      Modern loft living room with black steel slats 3d render.There are concrete floors , Decorate wall with pattern of black steel slats.Furnished with dark gray fabric chair.

      Image credit: Architextural

      Diverse applications

      Architectural films can be used on a wide range of surfaces, including walls, lifts, doors and FF&E.

      Such films are conformable for 3D applications, meaning their use is not limited to flat surfaces. Almost any surface can be wrapped, making films ideal for the commercial environment. What’s more, they can even be applied over existing substrates.

      As the surface finishes are conformable, they can be applied to curved structures to create eye-catching designs. This provides a key advantage over laminates that require edge banding, whereas films offer the opportunity to wrap fully over edges to completely seal them.

      “Wrapping is also highly durable – lasting for an average of 12 years on interior surfaces.”

      Environmental benefits

      On average, it costs seven times more to rip out and replace interiors. Refurbishment with architectural films is a way to upcycle existing fixtures and fittings, rather than send to landfill.

      It’s a budget-friendly option for architects when costs are being squeezed, allowing businesses to refresh a venue more frequently or at a lower cost. Wrapping is also highly durable – lasting for an average of 12 years on interior surfaces – meaning it can work out more cost effective over the lifetime of the product, when compared to fabric, paint or veneer.

      a clean living room with black wallcovering

      Image credit: Architextural

      Less day-to-day disruption

      It’s also easier for businesses, as vinyls are applied in situ, with no noise, mess or waste – allowing the venue can stay open throughout. Little equipment is needed, with minimal prep, meaning less downtime and inconvenience.

      All finishes are fire tested and meet building regulations. And as the product is a PVC solution, it is fully water and heat resistant, as well as and hygienic, all of which are important in high-traffic venues such as gyms, bars and restaurants.

      With a world of possibilities at their fingertips, companies looking to reduce costs and improve their sustainability would be wise to look at upcycling using self-adhesive finishes to refresh spaces with minimal disruption to the business.

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

      Main image credit: Architextural

      Case study: a bespoke approach to lighting two hotels

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Case study: a bespoke approach to lighting two hotels

      To showcase Heathfield & Co’s bespoke approach to lighting design, Hotel Designs explores how the brand designed unique lighting schemes for two well-known hotels in London… 

      From cruise ships and shared working spaces, to five star hotels and restaurants across the world, Heathfield & Co’s bespoke portfolio showcases more than 40 years of knowledge and experience in commercial projects. Here are just two examples that illuminate the brand’s creative approach to lighting.

      The Curtain

      Located in the heart of Shoreditch, The Curtain is a 120-key go-to for London creatives.

      Starting with the client’s initial brief, Heathfield & Co’s bespoke team worked closely with U.S. based Duncan Miller Ulmann to design unique lighting to suit the sophisticated urban city aesthetic.

      From an initial project review, through to final delivery and site support, Heathfield’s dedicated project managers led every stage of the process, ensuring the budget was met and final designs were perfectly executed.

      Adjustable bedside wall lights, perforated ceiling pendants and picture desk lamps were among the bespoke products designed, developed and manufactured exclusively for this stylish hotel.

      Kimpton Fitzroy

      Combining contemporary interiors with the original features of its 19th century building, the Kimpton Fitzroy in Bloomsbury is a London hotel like no other.

      Collaborating with the creative teams at Tara Bernerd and Russell Sage Studio, Heathfield’s dedicated team of product designers and engineers created a series of extravagant chandeliers and sleek wall lights to complement the hotel interior. Specialist finishes and materials were developed and produced for the project to achieve a truly unique design.

      Heathfield Lighting 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: Heathfield & Co

      Editor Checks In: the price tag eliminating diversity in design

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Editor Checks In: the price tag eliminating diversity in design

      An independent investigation on diversity in design, carried out by Hotel Designs, has highlighted the potentially ‘unethical’ lengths that studios are willing to go to in order to win projects on the international hotel design scene. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

      Traditionally – as well as recently – in the international hotel design and hospitality arena, the word ‘unethical’ and the phrase ‘dirty money’ was targeted largely towards the abusers of power; a handful of hotel owners, for example, have used money laundering to fund ostentatious and, quite frankly, outrageous development projects in luxury addresses.

      However, it turns out that even some design firms have also been sheltering their fair share of unethical methods when it comes to business development, and I believe it is having a dramatic impact on equality within the industry – something that I was once proud of, but as I scratch beneath the surface, I am beginning to realise that we are at risk of this being nothing but a façade.

      In new supporting evidence, there have been an increased number of design firms that have been exposed of deliberately undervaluing the proposed cost of a project in what has been described as “a desperate bid” to win the client’s commission. And especially in these challenging times that lie ahead, it is apparent that the scales are no longer level and the playing field is no longer fair.

      “These allegations could drastically disrupt the design industry’s performance, as well as put several question marks on how ethical and diverse the industry is becoming.” – Hamish Kilburn, editor, Hotel Designs.

      It is understood that for some design firms, certain prestigious projects – or more accurately all projects won during these unstable economic times – are considered more valuable within a portfolio now that we are are heading into a recession. As a result, firms are strategically pitching to clients with a significantly lower cost on the table – eliminating any possibility to make a profit – in order to drastically further the chances of winning the account.

      One anonymous business development manager from a design studio, who Hotel Designs spoke to, described how he/she lost a commission for a recent project after a competitor allegedly undervalued the development by roughly 80 per cent to what he/she believed the project should achieve in design fees.

      Furthermore, another anonymous leading designer reached out to Hotel Designs with a claim that he/she has witnessed projects being won by competitors at up to 75 per cent lower than what he/she believed was a reasonable professional fee to complete the hotel project.

      In addition, other designers have come forward and claimed that they have witnessed situations whereby even suppliers have agreed to pay the design studio separately in order to be specified in a particular project, again this is with the understanding that being specified in the project’s design will generate positive PR around the brand as a result – effectively out-valuing the fee to the design studio.

      Although not directly linked, these drastic methods of securing new business have circled back towards further inquiries regarding how design firms are actually funding their existence in the already competitive market.

      If proven correct, these allegations could drastically disrupt the design industry’s performance, as well as put several question marks on how ethical and diverse the industry is becoming, especially, for example, if mystery backers are then funding the project on behalf of the design firm.

      What’s more, the risk design studios are willing to take in order to secure these projects rings deafening alarm bells in my head, because it will inevitably be the talented individuals – often juniors on low-pay packages – who will be working on the project and who will ultimately suffer the most.

      “Fees have seriously been trending lower after every recession when clients demand from firms.” – Anonymous designer.

      There are also concerns among the industry t