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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 that Covid-19 – and the pressures that are attached to the pandemic regarding a lack of new business opportunities on the horizon – will create further desperation between design studios that are responding to client briefs.

We have heard from a number of design studios regarding this, and many have decided to reduce project costs in ratio with the cuts they have made to staffing. One firm, again which would wish to remain anonymous, has confirmed that it has made a 20 per cent cut to all current project costs, and the studio has taken this decision in full knowledge that when or if the industry ever returns to what we recognised as normal, then the studio will work at full capacity but will only receive 80 per cent of the original fee. “We have seen this continuously,” said another anonymous designer. “Fees have seriously been trending lower after every recession when clients demand from firms.”

So, you tell me, will greed take its toll, and will meaningful and creative hospitality solutions be overshadowed by a tempting lower project cost? I certainly hope not, as I believe the industry is still made up of solution-driven individuals who understand and respect the need for thinking long-term, despite living and working in what feel like desperate times.

This is the first article within the series of this investigation. If you would like to speak to Hotel Designs – on or off the record – about diversity in design, please email the editorial desk

Editor, Hotel Designs

Burlington injects art deco grandeur in new range

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Burlington injects art deco grandeur in new range

As part of our editorial series exploring the wider context of Burlington’s Bespoke Collection, Hotel Designs understands more about the 1920s and ’30s, art-deco inspired pieces that the bathroom brand has launched to the market…

Characterised by the unmistakable shapes and colours synonymous with the 1920s and 1930s style, the Art Deco range by Burlington was inspired by architecture and vintage tableware.

Charleston

Drawing heavily on the linear and geometric designs of the early modern art movements, the elegant fan-like shape of the Charleston pattern creates an eye-catching focal point. Complementing the traditional silhouette of Burlington’s ceramics, the delicate monochrome illustration is ideal for those wanting to add a unique embellishment to their bathroom interior.

feature in a basin

Image credit: Charleston, Art Deco collection by Burlington

Vienna

A design that exudes confidence and charm, the vibrant appearance of the Vienna pattern blends a classic retro colour palette with the geometric shapes reminiscent of the Art Deco era. Inspired by the yellow ochre and black shades in vintage tableware, Vienna brings a playful nod of the roaring twenties into today’s bathroom.

Vienna, Art Deco collection by Burlington

Image credit: Vienna, Art Deco collection by Burlington

Martinez

Inspired by the iconic Martinez Hotel balcony in Cannes, the hand-illustrated pattern fuses both linear and circular detailing, resulting in an exquisite and attention-grabbing decoration. A subtle incorporation of gold echoes the distinctive balcony design, leaving a lasting impression.

Burlington 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: Burlington

Discussing luxury furniture design with Oki Sato, founder of Nendo

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Discussing luxury furniture design with Oki Sato, founder of Nendo

Following our official ‘first look’ of the 2020 Minotti Collection – and to mark putting furniture under the editorial spotlight this month – editor Hamish Kilburn speaks to one of the designers behind the collection; Oki Sato, founder of Nendo

Airy with constructive details linked to Japanese tradition, the Torii modular furniture, designed by Nendo for Minotti’s 2020 Collection, plays with round-edged volumes, thin profiles and the apparent formal simplicity of an extremely detailed design.

With an interlocking game, the horizontal elements within the furniture are laid on the vertical supports, ensuring a sophisticated visual lightness that accommodates the padded volume, characterised by couture craftsmanship.

The Torii family includes sofas, armchairs, dining and lounge little armchairs, ottomans, coffee tables and console tables. To understand more about these pieces within the context of the timeless collection, I spoke to the visionary behind Torii’s creation; Oki Sato, the founder of designs studio Nendo.

Luxury interiors with Minotti furniture

Image credit: The Torii range of the 2020 Minotti Collection

Hamish Kilburn: Can you describe the Torii range in three words?

Oki Sato: Traditional, lightness, and secureness.

HK: How does your design within this collection challenge conventional furniture design?

OS: Generally, furniture legs are reinforced by connecting vertical members to horizontal members. On the contrary, the leg structure resembles a “torii,” a traditional gate of a Shinto shrine, with a horizontal member sitting on the two vertical timbers.

Moreover, the ends of the horizontal member are designed to look like they are biting into the seat, reminding us of traditional “wood joinery” often seen in vernacular Japanese wooden architecture. The design goal was to maintain the visual lightness while expressing a sense of secureness with each component firmly locked together in unity.

HK: In your own words, what were the major challenges when designing these pieces?

OS: We had received a presentation from Minotti family for this project. This was our very first time to receive a presentation from the brand, despite having presented many times before. I think it was a challenge to design Nendo-like details to evolve Minotti family’s first rough concept and to exceed their expectations. 

HK: Can you describe how the design evolved from initial sketches to the finished product?

OS: After we received first presentation by Minotti, the initial sketch was drawn by Minotti. It was 100 per cent Minotti design at the very first moment. And then, the essence of Nendo was gradually added to the sketch through meetings and prototypes with the Minotti family.

Minotti shared a specific image at the very beginning, which helped us to proceed prototype making faster than ever and we could devote more time to considering the details.

HK: How long did this process take?

OS: I believe this process took about nine months.

HK: Can you explain more about the material you used in the upholstery?

OS: Minotti’s high technology and extensive experience coordinated our idea to concrete shape. The brand arranged everything, including a selection of materials and the softness of the cushion.

HK: What is it about Japanese design that attracts so many luxury brands?

OS: I believe it is about light and shadow. Let’s say for Italians, when one says red, Italian designers can see a lot of different reds. They have hundreds of colours of reds, but not just red.

On the other hand, I think the Japanese perceive more tones of light and shadow. I guess light and shadows are about minimalism, poetry which is one of  the values of Japanese design.

Minotti London, which is exclusive style partner at MEET UP London, 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: Minotti

First look: the ‘different by design’ vision of Japan’s debut Aloft hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
First look: the ‘different by design’ vision of Japan’s debut Aloft hotel

W Design International has completed Aloft Tokyo Ginza, which is scheduled to open in October 2020. Before then, Hotel Designs got a sneak peek inside…

Showcasing innovative creations of Japanese and international artists under the concept ‘different by design’, Aloft Tokyo Ginza, which will open in October 2020, will mark the brand’s arrival in Japan.

W Design International (W/D/I), assigned by Sankei Building, initiated the overall design and realiastion of Aloft Ginza by combining old-school aesthetics inspired by Ginza’s social stories and industrial design. The new 16-storey boutique design hotel with rooftop bar is filled with radiant and iconic works by select artists. W/D/I curated a total of 11 artists whose installation-art was allocated to embody the ambience at Aloft Ginza.

With more than 16 years of experience on hospitality design projects across Japan and the Asia Pacific region, W/D/I is specialist firm in the hospitality design sector, providing strategic and creative solutions for projects in Japan and beyond.

“The guestrooms, including four suites, have been designed with a relaxing, rock-chic vibe.”

True to its ‘Ginza Vogue’ flair, the eclectic style of the 205 loft-like guestrooms, including four suites, have been designed with a relaxing, rock-chic vibe. The hotel is the ideal accommodation for global travellers who love open spaces and stylish boutique design. “Ginza Vogue” also pays homage to Toshiro Mifune’s 100th birthday, a legendary Japanese actor who was loved by film fans internationally.

The ‘different by design’ scheme has been achieved largely by W/D/I collaborating with lightning, audiovisual and music design by WORKTECHT to create one-off meaningful experiences. The atmosphere created was inspired by the Miyuki-Zoku movement from 1964, where Japanese teenagers expressed a cutting-edge and sophisticated style (the suffix “zoku” means “subculture” or “social club“). Meanwhile globally in 1964, pop art changed the art world. Artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein became superstars, and many of them collaborated. W/D/I visualised this Ivy-fashion and rock spirit for “Neo Miyuki-Zoku” in 2020.

Aloft Tokyo Ginza is located less than a five-minute walk away from both Ginza Station and Higashi-Ginza Station, and will open aptly while the city is preparing to face the greatest sporting event in modern times, the Olympics Games, ideal for savvy international travellers who are expected to attend.

Main image credit: Aloft Hotels/Marriott International

Product watch: Newport Bedroom Collection by Taylor’s Classics

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Newport Bedroom Collection by Taylor’s Classics

The Newport Bedroom Collection by Taylor’s Classics is simple yet elegant mix of bedroom furniture. Hotel Designs explores…

A perfect complement to the brand’s other ranges of traditional chairs and tables, Newport Bedroom Collection by Taylor’s Classics is ideal for hotels and other accommodation styles.

The range consists of two styles of wardrobe, a bedside cabinet with a choice of marble tops, a luggage rack, a bedroom desk with gilded leather insert, a selection of bedroom/ desk chairs, bedroom tables and reclaimed lighting.

This range of contract bedroom furniture is crafted in solid and veneered European Oak and manufactured to contract quality standards. The design and detailing recalls that of the late Victorian, Arts & Crafts era, and will blend easily into the interiors of many hotels or inns of the period.

The Newport Collection is available in either a light or medium oak stain and polished in a resistant polyurethane lacquer.

Download our brochure here.

Taylor’s Classics 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: Taylor’s Classics

5 minutes with: Ian Gell, head of new product design at Aqualisa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 minutes with: Ian Gell, head of new product design at Aqualisa

Following the launch of Aqualisa Smart Quartz Collection of showers, Hotel Designs catches up with Ian Gell, the brand’s head of new product design…

The recent launch of the new Aqualisa Smart Quartz Collection of showers shows that the shower brand is firmly in the driving seat for innovative shower technology in the UK. In order to understand the technology behind the new products – as well as some of the major challenges that come with driving innovation in the bathroom – we spoke to Ian Gell, Aqualisa’s head of new product design.

Hotel Designs: As Head of New Product Design at Aqualisa, what was the initial brief when creating the latest Smart Quartz Collection of showers?

Ian Gell: We wanted to create a first truly Smart shower that would improve the showering experience even further and offer connectivity across our Quartz Digital collection in an ever-growing IOT market. We also wanted to develop a feature rich product at an entry level price. Aqualisa are known for designing world class showers and we wanted to go that one step further making our showers that little bit more special.

A modern shower.

Image credit: Aqualisa

“From a concept perspective, having a shower that can be operated via an app or having voice control abilities seems quite straight forward however, the truth is, it was extremely challenging.” – Ian Gell, head of new product design, Aqualisa.

HD: Can you explain some of the main challenges you faced when designing these products, and the solutions you came up with to rectify these?

IG: The development of the app was the biggest challenge for us. From a concept perspective, having a shower that can be operated via an app or having voice control abilities seems quite straight forward however, the truth is, it was extremely challenging. There is no ‘off the shelf’ solution that you can incorporate and use so we had to develop something from the ground up that could communicate with all our products. As well as developing the app, we had to develop the software and hardware in our valves and controllers. Allowing all new controllers and valves to communicate with each other was key.

HD: What makes this collection truly unique from anything else on the market?

IG: Aqualisa invented the digital shower back in 2001 and we have been market leaders in this area since. Having a truly connected shower to offer is the icing on the cake for our well-loved brand as it enables so many exciting and innovative opportunities to become possible.

HD: From concept to launch, how long did this collection take to design/create?

IG: At the back end of November 2018, the designers picked up their pens for the first time and started creating some concept sketches and schemes however, the project really didn’t pick up traction until February 2019 and was launched in March 2020 so it took roughly a year. Most of the work has been developing a connected solution with some purpose. This resulted in the app being created and the hardware and software requiring a major overhaul to allow our product to become connected which took most of the time.

HD: Technology in hotel bathrooms has traditionally divided consumer opinions? How user-friendly is the design of the Smart Quartz Collection of showers?

IG: A smart shower provides a personalised experience with safe and precise water control.   Our smart and digital showers are in fact easier to use than most traditional showers. We have all used showers in the past where you need to stop and analyze the controls and work out what lever turns it on and what lever controls the temperature. Sometimes it’s the same lever and takes a bit of experimenting! In most instances, the user normally gets a cold wet arm whilst trying to get the water to the correct temperature for their liking.  This is not the case with our product.

Our product is activated by a simple on/off button so there is no confusion. Furthermore, our showers can be activated remotely by remote control, through an app also by voice command (if you a have an Alexa or Google home device), so users can turn the shower on from outside the shower. All our showers will indicate when the desired temperature has been reached giving the user confidence the shower will be at the perfect temperature before entry.

As well as having user benefits, our smart showers are quick and simple to install. As the hot and cold water is mixed away from the showering area, there are no bulky valves to fit into the wall. Our valves can be fitted out of site in a convenient location i.e. in a cupboard, in the loft space or under the bath resulting in easy access if needed.

“Quartz Touch also allows users to store their preferred showering profile that can be active through the controller or via the app.” – Ian Gell, head of new product design, Aqualisa.

HD: How does the range of products enhance the bathroom experience?

IG: Smart showers are sleek and modern devices and will compliment any bathroom interior from the more classic approach to the most contemporary design. Quartz Touch is great for tech enthusiasts out there as an LCD display is present showing the user the exact temperature. The user can also access different menus allowing full control for flow. Quartz Touch also allows users to store their preferred showering profile that can be active through the controller or via the app. You can set your preferred flow, preferred outlet and temperature with a simple touch of a button.

Our showers are also compatible with Alexa and Google so once the Aqualisa skill has been downloaded, Aqualisa showers can be added to people’s smart routines. For example, “hey google, start my relaxing bath routine” could turn up the thermostat, dim the lights and start filling the bath from your Aqualisa controller, all via that one command. With the smart technology out there, the options are limitless.

HD: How have you designed these products so that they are eco-friendly?

IG: There is growing pressure to find ways to reduce water consumption per household and per person. We all understand the benefits of reducing water usage and how it effects the environment and household bills. As showers are one of the biggest contributors of wastewater, we wanted our customers to be aware of how much water they were consuming from their shower.  As a result, we have incorporated a water usage dashboard into our app that shows how much water has been consumed for each user as well as the entire house over a specific period. This could be over the last week, month or six months. The app will clearly show who is using the most water and costs associated to them.

We also have a water saving mode on our handset that reduces flow by around 20 per cent.  Our optimised spray pattern still provides an enhanced showering experience whilst using less water.

Our Quartz Classic and Unity controllers have a boost function. The boost option allows users to have added flow if required or users can choose to have it turned off to a lower flow rate and save water.

Our Touch and Optic controllers have three flow settings, Eco Medium and Max. Our Eco setting reduces flow by 40% compared to the Max flow setting.

All of our packaging used for our smart products is made from fully recyclable material. Around 70% of the packaging components we use is made from recycled material. 100% of the waste produced during the production of our packaging is collected and recycled back into paper.

HD: For hotels looking to renovate their properties in the wake of Covid-19, why is the Smart Quartz Collection a good option?

IG: We are continuously improving the installation features of all our products but there is a particularly good replacement and refurbishment story with smart showers around less pipework and push fit cable connection. For example, the major benefit of upgrading from a traditional shower is moving the SmartValve, the brains of the system, completely out of the showering area – and potentially away from the guest bathroom altogether which is so easy for any future adjustment and maintenance.

Also, freeing up more space in the showering area itself opens up much more design and décor flexibility.  Perhaps even more compelling in the post-Covid economy is the ability of hotel management to monitor water usage and costs, if necessary, adjusting the water flow through hotel bathrooms.  Assurances around hygiene and safety have surely never been a higher priority in terms of the hotel guest proposition and contactless smart shower technology clearly meets that brief.

Aqualisa 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: Aqualisa

Reasons why you might sleep better in a hotel room

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Reasons why you might sleep better in a hotel room

With new research showing that 34 per cent of Britons admitted booking trips or holidays just to catch up on sleep, Silentnight Group’s sleep expert Dr Nerina explains why this might be…

When we’re checking out of a hotel, we often feel rested, refreshed and ready to return to our normal lifestyle.

This is usually down to the fact we’ve had better quality sleep than we would have had in our own beds at home. According to new research, 34 per cent of Britons admit booking trips or holidays just to catch up on sleep, so guaranteeing a great night’s sleep for guests is a top priority for the hotel industry. But what exactly is it about a hotel environment that leads guests to enjoy better sleep? As the UK most trusted bed brand, Silentnight know what matters when it comes to changing how people sleep for the better.

The perfect escape

As a hotel guest, you’d never walk into your room and find toys, dirty washing and a cold mug of tea on the side. Hotel rooms are clean, calming and clutter-free environments that are designed for relaxation and a great night’s sleep without the constant reminders of your busy life.

Silentnight’s Sleep Expert, Dr Nerina says “Bedrooms should equal rest and relaxation so it’s important to declutter and tidy up. When traces of work, the laundry basket or children’s toys are out of sight, you’re able to leave the day behind and enter into a deep sleep.”

During a hotel stay, guests can fall asleep and wake up without a to-do list on their minds, allowing them to truly rest, unwind and enjoy their stay.

Image credit: Silentnight Group

The perfect environment for sleep

Hotel rooms are well equipped for quality sleep. Many hotel rooms are fitted with air conditioning, and it’s been proven that rooms at a cooler temperature can help you fall asleep quicker and wake up feeling more refreshed. Lighting can also have a significant impact on sleep so many hotel rooms have black out curtains or blinds to help you drift off easily.

“There’s an optimum temperature for good sleep and it’s around 19°C. Remember; this is all about how you feel and what you need. The same can go for darkness in the room: it’s important to be able to create a level of darkness that feels right for you.” Dr Nerina says.

Providing these options for your guests is a great way to ensure the best possible night’s sleep away from their home environment.

Options to rest your head

Not only do hotels allow guests to personalise the temperature and lighting, they often provide many options for guests to rest their heads, too.

Most hotels provide guests with a variety of pillow firmness choices so they can find the perfect solution for their sleep. Having the correct firmness rating for a pillow can help ease any aches and pains and promotes healthy spinal alignment. Replacing pillows at home when they’ve become tired and flat is often overlooked, whereas in the hotel industry, pillows are upgraded regularly which can ensure guests always have the best quality slumber.

That fresh sheet feeling

Everyone knows how good it feels to sleep on fresh bedding. Hotels have stringent cleaning policies, which have become increasingly important in light of the recent pandemic which means bedding is washed very regularly. That means a hotel guest will probably experience fresh sheets much more in a hotel than they might do at home.

Replacing bedding is another task that can be easily neglected at home, and it can sometimes be the cause of a troublesome night’s sleep. Dr Nerina advises, “if you wake up feeling unrested and uncomfortable, it could be time for some new bedding. Bedding plays a massive role in the quality of sleep by providing all-important comfort.”

Hotels should replace and clean bedding including duvets and sheets often to keep them in the best condition for their guests.

Mattresses made for the best sleep

People and sleep come in many forms and too many people are compromising on their sleep. Inspired by a nation of unique sleepers, Silentnight make it their mission to change how you sleep for the better. A hotel’s priority is the comfort of their guests. The best hotels will invest in top quality mattresses to form the basis of a great night’s sleep.

Mattresses should provide both comfort and support, so guests can sink-in and drift off easily. With over 70 years of experience, Silentnight Group’s range of hospitality mattresses from the UK’s most trusted bed brands are the perfect solution for a great night’s sleep. They tick every box for quality and safety with all of our products are tested to the highest of UK standards, for complete peace of mind.

Wake up and smell the coffee

Surely the best part about a hotel stay is breakfast the next morning? Eating breakfast isn’t just important to stop you going hungry and giving you energy for the day ahead, it also improves the quality and quantity of your sleep.

“Breakfast is really important because eating breakfast activates your circadian clock and allows your body to produce the sleep hormone melatonin,” Dr Nerina says. “People who eat a proper breakfast find it less difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, wake up with more energy and are less inclined to hit the snooze button.”

Whether it’s for a fleeting visit or a longer break, work trips or family fun, a hotel stay can be a haven in the midst of busy living for guests. A good night’s sleep is crucial so hospitality providers should pay extra attention to guaranteeing five-star sleep for their guests.

Main image credit: Silentnight Group

HIX announces postponement of debut event

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
HIX announces postponement of debut event

As a result of the uncertainty that remains in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, HIX has made the decision to postpone its debut event until 2021…

2020 has been a painful and frustrating year for the events industry. Within the realms of hotel design, Salone del Mobile, the Independent Hotel Show, Clerkenwell Design Week and Hotel Designs’ much-loved networking events have all been indirect victims to the virus.

While the pandemic continues to force travellers from certain regions to quarantine and while businesses are encouraged to adapt to new social distancing guidelines as measures to prevent Covid-19’s spread tighten once more, there is heavy sense of uncertainty in the air. HIX, an ever-changing design experience that was expected with high anticipation to launch this year, has released an official statement announcing that it will postpone the debut event until November 2021.

“We made this decision based on uncontrollable factors but just one question: ‘can we guarantee a brilliant HIX experience this year?’ – HIX.

“It hurts to write the above statement because we are still buzzing from our launch and [we] feel a huge sense of gratitude for your support in making HIX London’s only hotel design event… all in the space of six months,” the event organisers expressed in the statement. “We made this decision based on uncontrollable factors but just one question: ‘can we guarantee a brilliant HIX experience this year?’ The potential implications of the uncontrollables made it impossible to answer that question with a confident ‘yes we can!’

“So we made the call; despite our own sense of adventurous optimism, despite the Government announcement for events to go ahead from October and despite our exhibitor’s consensus view of ‘if you guys open this year then we’ll do it with you‘.

“And this brings us to the good news. The HIX 2020 exhibitors have pledged their support for 2021 and with 15 months before the event, we have already allocated most of the stand spaces. So we now have the time and clarity to reflect, discuss, sketch and then create the hotel design experience that the community deserves.

“At this point in the announcement we’re supposed to provide a polished and sensible quote from us, ‘the organiser’. But we reckon that Anand from Hansgrohe summed it up pretty well on a zoom call this week:‘It’s sad not do it this year, but we’ll all build HIX 2021 to be something credible, meaningful and something for the future’. That’s exactly what we would have tried to say. Thank you Anand.”

HIX, which is fully supported by Hotel Designs, is now scheduled to take place at the same venue, sheltered inside London’s Business Design Centre, on November 18 – 19, 2021. Watch this space, we’re with HIX.

Main image credit: HIX

IN RENDERS: Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IN RENDERS: Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi

Legendary designer Jean-Michel Gathy infused a contemporary and traditional aesthetic in Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi, which is sheltered inside the city’s latest landmark building…

Soaring above Tokyo with panoramic views of the Imperial Palace, Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi is poised to reach a new height of luxury in its design statement with Japanese traditions melded seamlessly with a modern European aesthetic.

The 193-key luxury hotel is the design brainchild of Jean-Michel Gathy, legendary principal designer at the award-winning hospitality and design consultancy firm Denniston.

On the top six floors of the new 39-storey tower plus two additional floors (Ground Floor and 3rd Floor) adjacent to the Imperial Palace–the capital’s literal and figurative heart, Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi will be a restful haven for travellers delivering a new level of luxury experiences at the city’s latest sky-high social scene. The hotel will feature 193 well-appointed guestrooms and suites, a prestigious spa sanctuary and a 20-metre pool on the highest floor as well as four distinct F&B concepts.

“The cultural diversity of the country has drawn me to create a contemporary expression of the traditional values for this project.” – Jean-Michel Gathy

Orange entrance to the hotel

Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

Gathy skillfully presents authentic Japanese elements throughout the design in respecting Japan’s culture, traditions and heritage, while incorporating the finest elements and absolute DNA of Four Seasons. “The cultural diversity of the country has drawn me to create a contemporary expression of the traditional values for this project without arrogance or a sense of overbearing,” the designer commented. We aim to ignite the feeling of a home away from home with an inviting, warm and welcoming atmosphere in the most dynamic city.”

Reflecting the vibrancy of Tokyo, a traditional Japanese red-orange lacquer box featuring solid timber panels acts as the frame to the hotel entrance at the busiest district of Tokyo. Gathy has created an experience of sensory excitement from which travellers will discover the city’s intriguing blend of ancient and hypermodern.

To replicate the Japanese aesthetic, Gathy has personally curated a defining art collection to celebrate the distinctive craftsmanship and artistry, which embodies the traditional foundations of the country. Distinct examples can be found in the combination of the Japanese floral art Ikebana, hanging natural fibre/fabric artwork and the timber panel featured at the entrance to awaken the overriding strength of connection between east and west.

Board the lift to the reception lobby on the 39th-floor where an extraordinary view is revealed through a glass curtain wall fronted by a rock installation on a shallow pond. “To truly respect the tradition and interpret the tranquility of Japan, the water feature serves as a buffer area to deflect guests’ eyeballs as it may be considered as discourteous to look straight down into the Imperial Palace.” shares Gathy who leads his team to plan scrupulously and strike a balance between the pursuit of aesthetics and the preservation of culture and respect for traditions. The six-metre high ceiling and cosy nooks and crannies provide capacious space for the reception, while the colour theme of gold and black delivers a subtle and warm welcoming atmosphere to Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi.

Render of minimalist reception overlooking city of Tokyo

Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

The links between contemporary West and the traditions of Japan have contributed to the reception area where guests can discover the hidden details before experiencing the dynamism of Tokyo. In response to the Four Seasons’ core value of “East meets West”, the Japanese calligraphy with the meaning of “season” is harmoniously blended in a typical European pendant chandelier and ingeniously displayed on the bottom part of the dome. The Japanese Zen garden subtly sculpted and reflected on a 3-dimensional wall by the artist Pongsatat Uaiklan (Dong) sits behind an elegant Italian cat-leg cabinet decorated with Japanese blocks.

Distinct Japanese touches immerse guests in the local landscape, the flowing and multidimensional design can be found throughout the 193 guestrooms at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi. Blending the art to the room flawlessly, Gathy appointed the Japanese award-winning photographer Namiko Kitaura to capture the bespoke fabric artwork displayed as the backdrop in each guestroom.

A very minimalist guestroom

Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

All rooms and suites are tailored for intimacy with an innovative open-plan layout. The sophisticated Japanese aesthetic flows through the interiors which are illuminated by natural light during the day and with bespoke modern light fixtures to reflect the after-dark glamour of Tokyo.

a modern suite overlooking Tokyo

Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

Celebrating an authentic wedding in the heart of Tokyo at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi, the ballroom and the function rooms adjacent to the chapel promise magical settings for every moment of celebrations. 

Natural light and elegant décor at the chapel invoke an ambience of romance and peace with distinctive European touches. Incorporating private rooms for the bride and officiant, and offering seamless connectivity to the Ballroom Foyer, Grand Ballroom and each of the smaller function rooms, the Chapel can host not only the ceremony but all other types of wedding events, from intimate family brunches to gala receptions.

Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

The Grand Ballroom’s windows draw natural light into the spacious interior. The chandeliers and cascading lights without concrete shapes echo the beauty of nature and evoke the contemporary transition of Japanese culture. Gathy shares his vision for the project: “Inspired by the hotel name, Four Seasons, we are trying to reflect the essence of traditional literature and poetry – flow of the Seasons.”

Gathy applies his deft touch to create a serene sanctuary for THE SPA at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi with the selection of a gentle and relaxing colour tone. The massive 3D natural fibre or fabric art installations in the spa lobby and pool area billow and sweep outward as if caught in a gust of wind, which offer a sanctuary of tranquility amidst bustling Tokyo for a journey of rejuvenation, relaxation and the pursuit of wellbeing.

A minimalist spa inside the hotel

Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

Gathy proudly leads his team to interpret the luxury brand DNA of Four Seasons with great respect to the culture and tradition of the country while celebrating the cutting-edge creativity and contemporary design ethos of Tokyo as a dynamic city. Gathy continues his innovative design inspiration which draws upon aspects of the country’s rich culture to the brand and his previous completion – Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River will also open on October 1 2020.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

Product watch: Regolo by Casa Ceramica

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Regolo by Casa Ceramica

Dreamlike, flexible, durable, and tactile, Regolo by Casa Ceramica is an essential system characterised by different colour finishes and peculiar textures, that can be arranged and rearranged in an infinite array of compositions…

Regolo by Casa Ceramica takes a fresh clean look, creating a harmonious balance of shapes, functions and shades of colour.

With its clearly architectural vocation, Regolo, is made of glazed stoneware in white body porcelain. Making it ideal for residential, retail, and hospitality premises. In addition to the Flat versions, with their smooth and uniform or iridescent surfaces, Regolo is also available in the Textured Domino 50 and 100, Tatami and Bamboo versions with bas-relief motifs and structures. The new colour palette with its Panno, Lunaria, Ardesia, Ossido, Ceruleo, Cipria, Mattone, Tanè and Tabacco master shades, includes 3 neutral and 6 desaturated shades in both cold and warm tones.

Ultramatte

The Ultramatte opaque finish highlights the structure of the flat surfaces, emphasising the value of the essential elegance, as an invitation to meditation and creative freedom. The 9 colours – Panno, Lunaria, Ardesia, Ossido, Ceruleo, Cipria, Mattone, Tanè, Tabacco – and the Iridescent version, that adds a soft touch and delicate play of light. The Ultramatte finished can even be used on the floors too.

The Iridescent is very different from the essential opaqueness of the Ultramatte. It follows the most current trends, with the mimetic ability to fit into silent and minimal settings with a surprising shiver of colour. The light that illuminates the surface is reflected in different tones depending on the observer’s angle, creating special chromatic effects. Iridescent’s futuristic image is born from a highly refined and environmentally friendly production process.

Domino

Mathematical abstraction turns into beauty and timeless functionality. Domino 100’s covers the entire surface and adds movement by the bas-relief dots. Whereas Domino 50’s surfaces are only half decorated. The accurate spacing of the dots is created by perfect geometry. Domino is available in; neutral Panno, Ardesia, and Ossido shades.

Image credit: Casa Ceramica

Bamboo

A simple bas-relief line marks the opaque surface. A row that scans the surface of the ceramic, emphasising its structure and resistance, showing different compositional paths. The straight line of the tile offers maximum creative freedom when combined with other tiles. The rounded geometry in relief creates relaxing and harmonious play of shadows, in a fluid and coherent expression of elegance. Bamboo is available in the Panno, Ossido and Ceruleo shades.

Tatami

The tactile experience offered by Regolo meets with the sublime interwoven surface of Tatami. The recurring cross pattern is created using a module that is indirectly connected to the brand. Tatami is available in the Cipria, Mattone, Tanè, and Tabacco shades.

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

5 minutes with: the founders of Avenue Interior Design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 minutes with: the founders of Avenue Interior Design

Following the completion of a handful of luxury hospitality projects in the States, Avenue Interior Design has become known for its refusal to be defined by any one style, as editor Hamish Kilburn learns when he interviews the firm’s founders…

Avenue Interior Design, led by founders Andrea DeRosa and Ashley Manhan, has positioned itself as a small yet mighty powerhouse in an industry full of giants.

Most recently, the firm spearheaded the design for Palms Casino & Resort’ renovation ‘From Dust to Gold’, and brought their skills to boutique properties such as The Ramble in Denver, La Serena Villas in Palm Springs as well as SLS Baha Mar.

With the world of hospitality slowly re-opening, there remain concerns and hesitations among operators and travellers on what will become of the industry. I speak to DeRosa and Manhan, two level-headed designers who understand and respect how design evolves around cultural shifts, in order to explore how the pandemic has affected hotel design decisions.

Hamish Kilburn: Let’s dive straight in, how will public areas look in the post-pandemic world?

Ashley Manhan: Business and convention travel will likely lag compared to leisure travel as we see safer at home orders lift. Convention travel has been a critical component for many hotels as occupancy and F&B revenue are strongly tied to properties located near convention venues or for properties that have large meeting facilities.

A luxury F&B interior area with plants and cute seating

Image credit: SLS Baha Mar

Andrea DeRosa: Accommodating large groups and conventions may require smaller breakout rooms with improved air circulation and potentially live streaming speakers to these smaller rooms. On the F&B front, buffets and family-style plating will likely be put aside for individual plates or packaged meals.

HK: What new/different materials might go into hotel builds now?

AD: Given that COVID-19 transmission has found to be primarily airborne, much consideration is going into upgraded air filtration systems. Increased ventilation and better filtration will be essential components of healthy building strategies. Additionally, we may see the use of mobile and handled UV disinfection systems for sterilisation and disinfecting of high use spaces. In terms of interior finishes and materials, and those selected for FF&E, designers will face the added challenge of selecting materials that can withstand more frequent cleaning and disinfecting.

AM: In terms of lobbies, our current clients are requesting short-term solutions for partitions and countertop shields at transaction points, check-ins, and other places social distancing may not be feasible.

Fitness spaces will likely decrease in size- a trend for some properties already in major urban areas with access to specialised gyms and studios. Look for more in-room fitness options and equipment like yoga mats and lightweight dumbbells.

Restaurants face some of the largest obstacles in terms of social distancing and the use of PPE by diners. Restaurants will surely seat fewer guests to accommodate for social distancing protocol. Menus may go digital or restaurants may offer apps to place orders from your own device. Larger service counters for pickups or extended “grab and go” options maybe also be more prevalent as people warm up to the idea of eating out again.

Modern interior design in a clean open bar area

Image credit: SLS Baha Mar

AD: In the short term, we are seeing many hotel brands unrolling programs to build guest confidence and implementing quick, sometimes temporary solutions now while permanent solutions are analyzed and explored. Long term, we anticipate pandemic related measures to be modifiable to give operators the option of adjusting to meet current health risk levels. Such modifications may include digital occupancy signage, movable partitions, and digital projections indicating recommended social distances in queuing areas. A large part of the equation is understanding guests’ demands, expectations, and associations with these changes. There will certainly be varying levels of concern depending on where in the country/world the guest is traveling from. Those guests from the hardest-hit areas are likely to expect greater measures than those traveling from areas less affected. Ongoing observation of guest behavior will inform decisions owners and operators make for long term modifications to their properties.

HK: How can hotels shelter these new hygiene protocols without disrupting the design or the experience?

AM: Taking into consideration that guest safety and wellbeing is, and always has been, a top priority for any property, the next priority remains firmly rooted in good design. Ownership teams require that our commitment to creating a hospitality quality experience remains the top priority just as it was pre-pandemic. Modifications to properties should be subtle, flexible and well-intentioned. This includes careful consideration to the function of the space, the circulation of guests through the space as well as more obvious elements like materials, furnishings and even wayfinding. Creating more space for guests to comfortably, and naturally, socially distance may be as simple as removing a few clusters of lounge chairs in a lobby or replacing a communal table with a series of smaller, movable tables that can be situated individually or easily paired together.

AD: Incorporating decorative, movable screens or drapery also allows for social distancing flexibility while providing a thoughtful, well-designed element to the space. Graphics, signage, and font styles can be utilised in a way that provides informative guidance on precautions or protocol in a way that is consistent with the design language of the brand or property. For new build properties, especially food and beverage venues, you will likely see more fluid floor plans with fewer permanent features to allow for flexibility in furniture layouts and the function of a space.

A blue interior scheme inside a junior king room

Image credit: The Ramble Hotel

HK: Have you already begun incorporating any changes into the hospitality projects you’re working on?

AD: Many of the modifications we’ve made for our current projects have been temporary or short term solutions that will allow our clients to adhere to guidelines as outlined by local jurisdictions. Before making more costly or broad-sweeping modifications, our clients are waiting to gauge guests’ expectations and behaviours to ascertain what long term modifications should look like. For instance, the addition of automated faucets and hand soap dispensers seem like a logical move, however, for many properties that have been without revenue for the last few months, the expense of a modification requiring any construction or electrical work may be out of the budget. Scale is a monumental consideration as well. The cost of making such a change in a hotel with 50 keys is likely more feasible than making that change in a hotel with more than 1,000 keys.

HK: Have you made any changes to guestrooms in the projects you are working on?

AM: Guestroom size, function, and programming have also been a hot topic amongst designers and Ownership teams. In recent years the emphasis was on creating public spaces so dynamic and engaging it drew people out of their rooms and into the lobby, restaurant, bar, pool, etc. Guestroom sizes were generally shrinking and the furnishings were becoming paired down and multi-purpose in their design. It will be interesting to see if guestroom sizes increase to become more of a mini-sanctuaries that offer personalised guest experiences.

Hotel Designs will be discussing topics such as adding personality in public areas and reassuring the post-corona consumer at Hotel Designs LIVE on October 13. If you are a designer, architect or hotelier, click here to participate for free.

Main image credit: Avenue Interior Design

Case study: Bentley & Studio Waldemeyer’s fresh approach to lighting design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: Bentley & Studio Waldemeyer’s fresh approach to lighting design

To celebrate its 100 year anniversary, Bentley Motors approached Studio Waldemeyer to help the brand create all aspects of illumination on the most sophisticated concept car in the company’s history…

The vehicle Bentley Motors showcased to mark its 100 anniversary displays the future of luxury craftsmanship with seamless fusion of materials and intelligent curation of technology, whilst introducing light as a new luxury material – all highly relevant when centering the focus back to lighting solutions for tomorrow’s hotels.

Bentley, which is a brand that has flirted with hotel design for many years with a handful of luxury hotel brands sheltering ‘Bentley Suites’, approached Studio Waldemeyer to join their design team and help design and engineer all aspects of illumination on the show car.

The car manufacturer’s challenging design brief required a completely new approach to light design and engineering. Studio Waldemeyer created an innovative tool chain, seamlessly merging the latest in parametric design tools from the world of computational architecture with electronic circuit design software. This approach not only allowed the perfect 3D integration of light in the complex surfaces of the car, but also the turnaround of the project in record time.

Close up of the centre console of the Bentley car

Image credit: Bentley Motors

The Bentley EXP 100 GT is by far the most complex and challenging project for Studio Waldemeyer up to date and represents the perfect combination of artistic expression and technical innovation the studio is know for.  Entering a new creative discipline the studio has yet again helped to raise the bar of innovation, in this case producing the most sophisticated illumination in the history of vehicle design.

Starting at the very prominent front grill, the illumination continues along the central spine into the interior space and finishes off with the sophisticated treatment of the rear horseshoe panel and 3D rear light clusters. While the approach to the project was that of a holistic 3D body of light, each area had its own challenges – be it the exotic materials, complex curvatures and the interaction with specialist design teams and craftspeople.

Attention to detail was paramount – the flying B logo required a weeks worth of hand polishing before receiving the tiny bespoke LED component that illuminates its wings. Different approaches were taken for every material – be it the hand woven silk or the 5000 year old river wood. The interior contains two hand blown crystal pieces that visualise the inner workings of the car’s AI. Collaborating closely with Cumbria Crystal, Studio Waldemeyer worked on the 3D design, implementation and illumination of this central feature.

The champagne cream interior with led lighting of the car

Image credit: Bentley Motors

The biggest research effort went into the external illumination. Starting from the sculpted surfaces of the car’s exterior, thousands of LEDs had to be placed at precise locations, requiring large numbers of different bespoke circuit board designs. This is a unique problem for an industry that is normally geared to make large numbers of a single design. Since no design tools existed for this task, the studio created their own: merging parametric 3D software with PCB design programmes. The manufacture of these unique pieces of electronics was done in Italy – a country famous for its long tradition in fine craftsmanship.

The concept car created a splash far beyond the automotive world and continues to receive praise in the press – garnering coverage in publications such as Wallpaper and Forbes – whilst collecting some of the most prestigious design awards in the process.

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

Product watch: Mutina by Parkside – monochrome with meaning

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Mutina by Parkside – monochrome with meaning

Chymia, a collaboration between Mutina and Laboratorio Avallone is the latest monochrome porcelain tile collection available in full exclusively at Parkside. Hotel Designs explores…

Chymia fluctuates between the discipline of graphic design, expressive gestures of mark making and the two extremes of black and white, where symbols and textures are combined to create patterns of light and shadow on the surface.

Black forms the basis, in a distinctive tone created by designer Gennaro Avallone, with the patterns taking on various shades of black all the way through to white. Throughout the collection, black and white are never separate but co-exist, with each pattern also available in white, taking on various shades all the way through to black in a reversal of role.

A hotel room door with monochrome tiles on the corridor floor

Image credit: Parkside

Each of the 22 (11 black, 11 white) designs in Chymia is obtained by combining the principle black and white structures with 11 patterned textures, achieving a tile that can be used randomly in monochrome compositions. The collection involved research on glazes and raw materials, along with the combination of traditional applications and modern technology to achieve the absolute colours used.

Chymia came to life in a collaborative project between ceramics manufacturer Mutina and Laboratorio Avallone, a Milan-based studio whose research reaches in to painting and sculpture to create unique objects of contemporary furnishing. The collection was developed with the aim of making a break with traditional styles, restoring an original quality to ceramics with unexpected outcomes.

monochrome walls and floors in modern bathroom

Image credit: Parkside

“Chymia is a collection that’s full of surprises,” said Sarah Holey, marketing manager, Parkside. “Taking the apparent simplicity of monochromatic pattern, it reveals that careful experimentation and attention to the creation of pure colours can bring depth and new-found results to a seemingly traditional black and white palette. Infusing new meaning into checkerboard or bringing more depth and nuance to all-over black or white, it offers some hugely exciting opportunities for designers and we’re delighted to welcome it to the Parkside portfolio.”

Chymia is available in 30 x 30cm porcelain tiles for wall or floor use, supplied in individual patterns in black or white.

Parkside Architectural Tiles 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: Parkside Architectural Tiles

Feature: specifying the hotel bed – sleep on it

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Feature: specifying the hotel bed – sleep on it

To kickstart putting ‘beds’ under this month’s editorial spotlight, Rosie Littler from Design Equals takes her grandma’s advice when specifying the bed in hotel design…

My Grandma always me some wise words that resonate: “Spend your money on your bed or your boots,” she said, “because if you are not in one, you are in the other.”

But when it comes to hotels, how important is the bed you choose and how do you make such a subjective comfort item desirable to all?

For hotels the bed is often the showstopper of the room that attracts attention and boosts bookings. But so many components frame the perfect bedroom setting. Design Equals offer design services – both commercial and residential – with a specific focus on boutique hotels.

Here are our top tips to consider when planning your next ‘Pinterest perfect’ guestroom.

From the top:

Headboard

Shape. Size. Texture. Fabric choice. It ALL matters. And it can really set the tone of your overall look. Make it a real feature to reflect the emotion you want to create within the room. It is a good opportunity to experiment with luxurious fabrics and compliment with cushions.

Bedding

Image credit: THE PIG in Brockenhurst

Image credit: THE PIG in Brockenhurst

Now this is a personal passion project of ours. We love love love beautiful bedding. But it comes at a cost. And we believe you do get what you pay for. Contemporary cottons, laid back linens and sumptuous satins make your guests experience memorable. So many of our residential clients ask us to create that hotel bedroom feeling and so often it will be the linen subconsciously they are referring to. But it needs to be fit for purpose. Durable, easy to launder and look new time after time. Work with wonderful suppliers to ensure you are getting the best value for the products you need.

Bed base

Image credit: Nimb Hotel - Deluxe Balcony Room

Image credit: Nimb Hotel – Deluxe Balcony Room

This is where you can up-sell your rooms if you have the space. Kings, Queens and more allow you to put a premium on your room rate. But in a bed base there is also the opportunity for flexibility. There are hundreds of bed frames to choose from and we are always really thorough with our clients when selecting bases as there are a couple of key things to consider. Height, durability, functionality and sustainability all need to be thought through consciously.

Mattress

It does not matter what grade, star or rating your property has, every establishment that rents out a room for the night is fundamentally selling a good night’s sleep on a clean mattress. Quantifying the cost of your mattress to the price per night principle will help you realise why buying a quality mattress is best for your clients and your business. We have a range of quality suppliers with an extensive choice. By working with a quality manufacturer, you are also gaining invaluable insight into what your guests really want as these companies are champions at customer research. Take the time to try different mattresses and think about the best mattress in your budget that reflects the quality of your stay.

Side tables

This is the opportunity to introduce unique features and give your guests an opportunity to place a morning coffee, bedtime book or dare we say it mobile phone on. The functionality of these pieces of furniture is not to be overlooked and can irritate paying customers if they are not fit for purpose.

Lighting

Image credit: The Hoxton Hotel, Paris

Image credit: The Hoxton Hotel, Paris

Set the mood and the style with beautifully procured lighting and make sure the switches are in a convenient place. That feeling of having to get out of bed to turn the light off is annoying. Make your hotel an escape from the mundane. Whether you are refurbishing rooms or starting from scratch it’s always a good idea to bring in a quality electrician from the get-go.

Final touches

Cushions, throws, accessories, aroma. Small things, big impact. This is an opportunity to bring your brands personality through into your hotel rooms. And make it really special. Draw on the senses by using aromatherapy diffusers and carefully chosen bathroom products to elevate your offering. It is also an opportunity to up-sell products to your guests. The addition of beautiful throws and plumped feature cushions can add the finishing touches to your hotel room that makes your customers want to photograph, post on social media and recreate in their own home.

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

Image credit: Design Equals

Luxury outdoor terrace

The Luxury Collection debuts in Abu Dhabi

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Luxury Collection debuts in Abu Dhabi

Luxury in the desert, Al Wathba, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa’s Arabian-style resort celebrates Emirati culture through design, cuisine and memorable desert experiences…

The Luxury Collection, part of Marriott International, has welcomed Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa to its unique ensemble of iconic hotels, marking the debut of the portfolio in the UAE capital.

Luxury outdoor terrace

Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa is located deep within the expansive landscape of Abu Dhabi. With a design reminiscent of a historic desert village, it is an intimate retreat suffused with natural beauty, unique tranquillity, and rare experiences.

Pool overlooking the desert

Image credit: Marriott International

“We are delighted to welcome Al Wathba, Desert Resort & Spa to our ensemble of hotels that define the destination and offer our global explorers an authentic desert experience alongside warm Arabian hospitality,” said Guido De Wilde, Chief Operating Officer, Middle East, Marriott International. “Abu Dhabi’s legacy as an international cultural destination with a rich history and heritage, together with the diversity of its dramatic landscapes, offers a unique opportunity for us to guide our guests on transformative journeys that touch their spirits and enrich their lives.”

Inspired by native architecture and the destination’s rich history, the resort’s 103 guestrooms and villas feature traditional Arabesque flourishes, mashrabiya detailing, and Bedouin accessories. Understated interiors and neutral tones sit in harmony with the desert landscape that wraps around this extraordinary hideaway. The villas come with spacious indulgence, private plunge pools and a patio that boasts unlimited views of the surrounding Arabian Desert.

Luxury Arabian-style suite

Image credit: Marriott International

Six dining venues and bars lend themselves to a range of unique epicurean experiences. Bait Al Hanine offers a generous menu, including a wide selection of Lebanese classics, for all-day dining. Al Mabeet features authentic Emirati cuisine in an understated desert setting. Hayaakom, a Bedouin inspired lounge serves afternoon tea and sandwiches. Terra Secca is a trattoria-style, classic Italian restaurant that offers guests a theatrical view of the kitchen and chefs. Al Mesayan, an intimate rooftop bar serves as an ideal spot for stargazing or dune watching, while Panache offers a relaxed pool respite.

Arabian style F&B area

Image credit: Marriott International

Nestled within a picturesque garden, the hotel’s spa is seen as the pinnacle of the entire hotel experience. Guests at Al Wathba can enjoy a range of health and wellness rituals in a contemporary setting, whilst harnessing age-old techniques. With 11 treatment rooms, the spa also boasts relaxation areas including a healing crystal salt sauna, traditional Turkish hammam, unique cryo experience, an open-air yoga pavilion, invigorating ice shower as well as steam rooms, plunge pools, and snow caves.

Luxury pool with palm trees in the desert

Image credit: Marriott International

Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa joins The Luxury Collection brand’s rapidly growing portfolio in the UAE which includes iconic hotels such as Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Dubai and Ajman Saray, a Luxury Collection Resort, Ajman.

Main image credit: Marriott International

Behind the scenes: designing the ‘hottest boutique hotel’ in Dublin

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Behind the scenes: designing the ‘hottest boutique hotel’ in Dublin

The Mayson is said to be Dublin’s ‘hottest new boutique hotel’ and one of the most modern and architecturally striking hotels added to the Dublin skyline. Editor Hamish Kilburn checks it out…

Located in the heart of Dublin Docklands, The Mayson is an exciting restoration project by ODOS of 45,000 square feet.

It now shelters a 94-key hotel, as well as destination bars, restaurants, a gym, ample event space and an outdoor courtyard.

a modern penthouse with copper bath

Image credit: The Mayson Dublin

The Mayson is a redevelopment of two protected structures – one formerly a town house built in 1860 and the other an industrial warehouse dating back to 1870. Architects ODOS have kept the original features and fixtures such as the fireplaces and the restoration of the old Valence & McGrath pub including its shop front and worked in collaboration with ODON on interiors.

Image credit: The Mayson Dublin

“This exciting restoration project is a redevelopment of No.81 and No.82 North Wall Quay,” said David O’Shea, founder of ODOS. “ Both buildings were in a dilapidated condition and had not been used in over two decades. The concept was to redevelop these strikingly unique buildings by drawing on their existing, inherent characters. The ambition for No.81 was to retain a public house on the ground floor, resulting in intervention to the existing structure and restoring the original features. No.82 is one of the few remaining warehouse structures on the north quays and presented a rare to establish this forgotten building.”

Image credit: The Mayson Dublin

The hotel also features an unusual ‘living’ wall where plants grow up through an internal courtyard, adding to the unconventional off-beat ethos of The Mayson. Offering a rooftop restaurant with views of all over Dublin, Ryleigh’s restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and The Mayson Bar, which serves food all day long, there is a wide variety of food available.

Main image credit: The Mayson

citizenM has arrived on the USA’s west coast

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
citizenM has arrived on the USA’s west coast

Designed by architecture and design firms concrete and Gensler, citizenM Seattle has opened its doors, marking the brand’s arrival on the west coast of the USA…

Inspired by the neighbourhood and the boundaries between analogue and digital blur, citizenM Seattle has opened its quirky doors.

The seven-storey building is positioned on the corner of John Street facing Denny park and Westlake avenue that runs all the way towards lake Union. The area is home to the headquarters of Microsoft and Amazon and characterised by the iconic Space needle.

Image credit: Richard Powers for concrete

The concept design of the architecture and interior was led by Rob Wagemans from concrete, the firm behind other citizenM properties in areas such as Amsterdam, Munich, Shanghai and Copenhagen. The project work was executed by the Seattle team of architecture and design firm Gensler.

All 264 rooms are prefabricated modular units stacked on top of each other, creating a building with a series of large bedroom windows which are typical for the architecture of citizenM.

The ground floor public areas are spacious with lots of daylight coming from the large store front windows facing the street.

Image credit: Richard Powers for concrete

The bar with a large bottle rack and skylight above it, together with the elevator core wrapped in a bespoke art piece by local artist Jeffrey Veregge make this a remarkable citizenM.

Main image credit: Richard Powers for concrete

Inside the latest luxury lifestyle hotel in Mayfair, London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside the latest luxury lifestyle hotel in Mayfair, London

From the people who brought us the renowned Cliveden House and Chewton Glen comes The Mayfair Townhouse, which is slated to open this Autumn…

Curious, engaging and witty, The Mayfair Townhouse is said to deliver the unexpected and redefines what it means to be a London hotel – think  Oscar Wilde meets Alice in Wonderland.

Part of Iconic Luxury Hotels, this will be the fifth property in the portfolio, but promises to offer a new unexpected personality from what the brand is traditionally known for. Bringing a new lifestyle product into one of London’s most distinguished neighbourhoods – The Mayfair Townhouse is the new charismatic ‘kid on the block’ – a product that has never been experienced in Mayfair.

“We’ve created a product – a personality – that’s exceptionally unique to our collection at Iconic Luxury Hotels.” – Andrew Stembridge, Executive Director of Iconic Luxury Hotels.

“There is nothing like The Mayfair Townhouse,” said Andrew Stembridge, Executive Director of Iconic Luxury Hotels, who has been instrumental in developing this outstanding lifestyle hotel for London’s Mayfair. “When the property debuts in Autumn 2020, you will see something that has not yet been done. We’ve created a product – a personality – that’s exceptionally unique to our collection at Iconic Luxury Hotels. We’re looking to give London and travellers from all over the world, something fresh, something totally different and something totally unexpected. This is a new and exciting chapter for Iconic Luxury Hotels, and as we welcome our second property in London, we look forward to creating remarkable memories in the heart of Mayfair.”

Render of the entrance to the bar

Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

A carefully stylish, imaginative home for the modern traveller – the essence of the new Townhouse invites discerning travellers who appreciate an intuitive, perceptive level of service and a guest who above all, has a refined palette for curiosity. Without the traditions of a regular hotel, there is no room at the Townhouse that has not been thoughtfully curated. The hotel bridges the gap between ritzy high-end lavish hotels and the corporate enterprise properties that currently stand in Mayfair.

When guests walk through the doors of this new Townhouse, expect the unexpected. Moments of surprise await around every corner of the fifteen connected Georgian buildings that line Half Moon Street, which was once the setting for Oscar Wilde’s most famous play, The Importance of Being Earnest. Built from 1730, Half Moon Street was a colourful haunt for bachelors, bohemians and artistic types in Victorian London. During this time many of Half Moon Street’s townhouses were split into residential apartments for the elite to live before marriage. Iconic fictional characters, Oscar Wilde’s Algernon Moncreiff and Bertie Wooster in P. G. Wodehouse’s comedies resided here. Moments of this history and culture are immersed throughout The Mayfair Townhouse’s discreet address, and quickly become the central pillars of design and personality of the eclectic house.

A refined Mayfair restaurant inside the hotel

Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

Dandy is the cornerstone theme and design language of The Mayfair Townhouse – building on the historic connections with Oscar Wilde, Half Moon Street and the dandy lifestyle associated with Mayfair. Capturing this playful spirit to create a new era of the Dandy, Goddard Littlefair has helmed an authentic, quick-witted design of the Townhouse. Telling the tale of Oscar Wilde’s world through an imaginative design, Goddard Littlefair has revived the interiors of the townhouses of which seven are Grade-II listed, bringing to life the Georgian spirit and blending this with a contemporary rhythm. The fox, the hotel’s mischievous motif, is woven throughout the hotel, from the art collection showcasing a series of fox images, to intricate design elements throughout the property.

The design delves into the personalities of the original inhabitants of the area, taking inspiration from characters like Wilde and his contemporary aesthetes, and also the flamboyant aesthetic movement of that period. The result? A contemporary Georgian style interwoven with English eccentricities, capturing the adventurous mischief of the dandy. Twists of the unexpected, curiosities, and a humorous, playful design tone resonate throughout the hotel through various fabrics and colour palettes, to create a flamboyant dressing on the residential townhouse.

Luxe dining area

Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

If the walls could talk. Art plays a pivotal part of the hotel, with Minda Dowling, a leading art specialist, curating unique and unusual pieces for The Mayfair Townhouse to further bring each space to life. The hand-picked collection includes both known names and emerging artists, to celebrate different creators of our time all with their own wow factor. Take Clarita Brinkerhoff’s peacock sculpture for instance – the piece sits at 67 inches high and is made out of 25,000 Swarovski crystals. Guests are invited to learn about the art through special QR codes that have been developed – so guests can scan and absorb details.

The aptly named Dandy Bar is the heart and soul of the Townhouse. This is where you’ll find refuge from the bustling streets of Mayfair. A theatrical, dimly lit atmosphere that creates a place to see and be seen. Dandy Bar epitomises bespoke cocktails. Take The Mayfair Dandy for example – an avant-garde take on the classic Dandy cocktail once enjoyed by hedonists of the area, or AR Lenoble Brut Champagne, Oscar Wilde’s favourite. Of course, the design evokes the dandy spirit. Lampshades have silk pleated shades, seating is covered in printed velvets and leathers with marble, brass and high gloss timbers adorn the room. The flamboyance of feathers in flapper outfits and the traditional gentleman’s pocket inspires the design of the Dandy Bar.

A London hotspot bar

Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

Flavours of whimsy yet practicality make its way through the Townhouse’s individually designed guest rooms and suites. From the functional Classic Rooms, to the indoor-outdoor living themed Garden Suites, to the Dandy muse ‘Penthouse Suites’ – every corner of each room is thoughtfully designed and appeals to what the discerning modern traveller is seeking today.

Super luxurious guestroom/suite

Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

Expect to find the highest quality linens and robes, superb bathrooms, luxury mattresses, his-or-her toiletries, good lighting and intelligent use of space. Little touches reflecting the hotel’s quick-witted personality include minibar contents from local artisans, flamboyant spare socks, takeaway mints and in-room cocktail kits using the dandy’s ingredient of absinthe.

A very plush yet minimalist bathroom

Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

With no traditional restaurant at The Mayfair Townhouse, you’re invited to the Lower Ground floor – a vibrant space located downstairs off the entrance lobby. Appealing to the modern nomad traveller, this is a place to work, explore and connect with the personalities of the time, and enjoy breakfast. Take in the whimsical characters on the walls as you enjoy this convivial Library-esque space. Beyond the walls lies a further dining room, which instils a feeling that it belongs to the residence’s owner. Your own private versatile oasis which can be used for private dining, or a ‘meeting of the minds’ gathering place.

From Autumn onwards, The Mayfair Townhouse is where you’ll find both luxury and the joy of the unexpected. Guests come for the exceptional service and inspiring atmosphere and leave with a renewed confidence that choosing personality over conformity is always worth it.

Main image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

Feature: continuing a bespoke tradition of excellence

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Feature: continuing a bespoke tradition of excellence

Hotel Designs explores bespoke and antique billiards for the 21st Century…

The craftsmen at Sir William Bentley Billiards’ workshop, in Marten, England, have designed and made some of the world’s most beautiful bespoke billiard tables.

With nearly 40 years of experience in Antique Billiards restoration and reproduction, they have worked on countless exquisite pieces made by legendary furniture makers such as Gillow, William Morris, Burroughes & Watts and Thurstons, to become experts in their craft. Their aim has been to emulate these and to continue the Victorian tradition of Excellence in billiard table manufacture. They have done this by restoring and reproducing the designs of the past 200 years at the same time as applying the same attention to detail and focus on quality to the creation of stunning contemporary designs for Snooker tables, Pool tables and dual-purpose dining/boardroom tables.

Image credit: Billiards

The family-run business is committed to providing a truly bespoke, personalised service, producing unique furniture of the highest quality, from the finest materials. Each piece is handmade to order, with every detail subject to the to the client’s individual specifications – or that of their interior designer. As a result, their table designs have become increasingly diverse and contemporary, and the finishes, craftsmanship and attention to detail are subject to the scrutiny of this most discerning audience.

The appeal to these clients is clear – every table, as well as the matching accessories, such as scoreboards, cue-racks and specialist billiard lighting, is meticulously made to match the interior design of the property it’s being made for.

This truly bespoke approach, and the quality of its work, has led the company to be widely known within the Interior design industry, Internationally, as well as in the UK. Many of their tables have been uniquely specified by top Interior designers and are as likely to be found in a Luxury hotel in the far East, or boutique Bar in Dubai as they are in a private Alpine Chalet or a Mayfair basement. The dual-purpose tables in particular have allowed a number of hotels to combine the offering of a conference or function room with that of a billiard room or games room, whether as a public space or offered for private hire.

In recent years, working with commercial clients such as hotel owners especially, the company has been asked to provide their unique tables on a rental basis. These hoteliers have been able to furnish their property with a stunning piece of furniture, beautifully suited to their space, sometimes offering alternative use of this space, without significant capital outlay. In addition, Pool or Snooker table rental is often combined with a service option – so that any maintenance or repairs required can be quickly attended to by the company’s expert fitters and table makers.

Billiards 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: Billiards

Is this the most isolated hotel in Sweden?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Is this the most isolated hotel in Sweden?

Pater Noster, described as a ‘home on the horizon’, is an unedited destination in Sweden where no hotel designer has dared to design – until now, that is. Editor Hamish Kilburn explores how a team of entrepreneurs, hoteliers, restaurateurs, designers and professional sailors have given this island a new purpose…

In the outpost of the archipelago that form the Pater Noster islands – one of Sweden’s most windblown, barren and exposed places – you will find an unlikely hotel experience that rises from the point where two straits (The Skagerack and Kattegatt) meet.

It is marked by a lighthouse; a masterpiece that gave hope and guided seafarers safely for more than a century. Adjacent to it, the keepers and their families built their home, a small-scale community on an island dictated by the elements that had always been perceived as uninhabitable. Until now, that is.

A dramatic view capturing the lighthouse and houses surrounding them

Image credit: Pater Noster

A team of Swedish entrepreneurs, hoteliers, restaurateurs, designers and professional sailors have breathed new life into the lighthouse master’s old home, creating nine design-led guestrooms, accommodating up to 18 guests.

Entrance to the building

Image credit: Pater Noster

Award-winning design agency Stylt, which has completed projects such as Stora Hotellet and HUUS Hotel, in Gstaad, was responsible for the concept and interior design. “During my 30 years within the hospitality business, I have rarely come across such a unique destination”, says Stylt’s founder and partner in the lighthouse project Erik Nissen Johansen. “It’s all there – the remote location, the fantastic nature, the extreme weather conditions, the thrilling history – and soon, great hospitality with a dash of roughness and low-key luxury.”

With the project being so isolated in the middle of the sea, logistics were perhaps the main challenge. “The extra layer of freight combined with heavy winds made things interesting,” Nissen explains. “We had an incident when our new DUX beds arrived at the dock. It was a rough sea and we lost a large box in the water. It quickly disappeared, and all the legs to 24 beds were drifting towardsDenmark. Luckily, we managed to catch all of them with our smaller boats, but they will probably rust faster than normal.”

The interior design has completely been inspired by the destination, even down to the fruit bowl that is a repurposed piece of driftwood that washed up on the shores as the work was being completed. “When we were completing building the large dining table, a piece of driftwood just floated ashore,” Nissen tells Hotel Designs. “It was as if the island wanted to help.” The washed-up item was upcycled into a fruit bowl that now rests on a large dining table that was so large it had to be manufactured inside the property.

Image credit: Pater Noster

The artwork in the dining hall, shot by underwater photographer Christy Lee Rogers, hangs in a respectful bow to the hundreds of shipwrecks that surround the island. The photographic works together push the possibilities of movement, colour and light.

“This is a home, not a hotel, filled with history.” – Mirja Lilja Hagsjö, Chief of Operations at Pater Noster.

Ship and artwork in hallway

Image credit: Pater Noster

The entire site, which is only about 250 metres long and 120 metres wide, includes a restaurant, a bar and outdoor café. “The spirit of the old lighthouse master is all over the place” explains chief of operations Mirja Lilja Hagsjö. “This is a home, not a hotel, filled with history.”

Pater Noster is an apt example how to meet the new demands within the world of hospitality, offering genuine guest experiences with a strong cultural heritage. Depending on the weather, the island is reached by boat or helicopter. It’s perfect for smaller groups looking for a one-off experience, hosting meetings and private parties as well as a range of activities such as deep-sea fishing, sailing, kayaking, scuba diving and visiting the legendary lighthouse itself.

The property is the result of like-minded people, all of whom have different crafts and skills, coming together with a common aim: to put the island on the travel bucket list of all modern travellers and explorers. These individuals behind the project are entrepreneur Olle Langenius, Mirja Lilja Hagsjö (Chief of Operations), Zana ”Sassa” Usorac – (F&B), Frida Langenius och Carl Sylvan – transportation and sea adventures and Erik and Elisabeth Nissen Johansen (design and concept).

Throughout August, Hotel Designs is exploring inspirational hotel concepts from around the world. If you would like to be included in this editorial series, please tweet @HotelDesigns.

Main image credit: Pater Noster

RPW Design unveils next stage of Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
RPW Design unveils next stage of Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire

As well as being responsible for designing the guestrooms inside Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, which we are expecting to get a mock-up at the end of August, RPW Design has revealed the renovation of the hotel’s conference and banqueting space…

The refreshed interiors of the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire’s meeting and event spaces seamlessly breathe fresh life into the historical Georgian property.

In order to appeal to both the social and business clientele at the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, RPW Design has artistically designed different identities for each of the conference and banqueting rooms. These offer guests a more varied collection of options to fulfil their individual requirements.  To ensure the hotel remains quintessentially British, RPW Design chose to specifically work with British manufacturers and suppliers.

“We are delighted to unveil the results of the collaboration between The Four Seasons Hampshire team and RPW Design,” says Elizabeth Lane, Partner at RPW Design. True to our convictions as a firm, the results are testament to our ability delivering designs that will stand the test of time.”

Image credit: RPW Design/Four Seasons Hampshire

Four Seasons Ballroom 

Intended to be both adaptable and flexible the Four Seasons Ballroom, the largest room in the renovation, focuses on neutral colours to complement the natural light that brightens the room. In order to create a stylish aesthetic and reconnect with the property’s magnificent architecture and picturesque countryside location, RPW Design has chosen sophisticated furnishings and light fittings to complement the soft tonal colour scheme of the overall refurbishment. By choosing neutral tones the design lends itself to personalisation of the space for a variety of clients’ needs.

Image credit: RPW Design/Four Seasons Hampshire

Circulation Area 

The design of the circulation area showcases RPW Design’s distinctive flair with a marvellous ceiling installation by Haberdashery, composed of 1,100 floating bone china leaves in natural white with 14 carat gold finishes. This spectacular yet organic display emphasises the central visual axis and circulation, welcoming guests into the Mandeville Ballroom.

Image credit: RPW Design/Four Seasons Hampshire

Mandeville Ballroom, Beckington Room and Bathurst Room

In order to create a sense of intrigue whilst maintaining a very classic design throughout, RPW Design has carefully chosen contemporary crystal chandeliers for the Mandeville Ballroom, Beckington Room and Bathurst Room by Vaughan and Dernier & Hamlyn. Within these rooms, classic soft blues and greys complement the neutral shades, providing an elegant contrast and breathing fresh life into the space.

Shrewsbury Room 

RPW Design has not only modernised the hotel’s spaces but reconnected it with the area’s rich history. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding Dogmersfield Park, RPW Designs has collaborated with Scottish fabric artisans Timorous Beasties to develop a beautiful bespoke chocolate-coloured velvet with gold printed bird motif upholstery for all four walls of the Shrewsbury room. This gives the room warmth and a luxurious feel, coupled with the unique carpet design which incorporates oak leaf canopies. Styled in this way, the Shrewsbury Room can now act as a multi-functional space lending itself to be a ‘mini cinema’, a meeting room or simply a lounge.

Main image credit: RPW Design/Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

TREND ALERT: 2020 outdoor/interior design styles

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
TREND ALERT: 2020 outdoor/interior design styles

Whether you are designing for a small patio, a city-sized rooftop area or a large piece of land, each outdoor living trend can be adapted to suit any interior/exterior style, writes Paisley Hansen…

Following on from predicting 2020 interior trends at the backend of last year, here are some ideas that will help designers and architects maximise their outdoor space in style.

Biophilic design

For years, the biophilic design ‘trend’ or ‘movement’ has been gaining in popularity. It began as a concept for commercial properties to bring nature indoors and has been expressed in the form of living walls and communal green spaces.

According to Stephen R. Kellert at Metropolis Magazine: “Biophilic design focuses on those aspects of the natural world that have contributed to human health and productivity in the age-old struggle to be fit and survive.” It is not enough to simply be outdoors; a purposeful design for an outdoor living space should complement and connect you to your outdoor space.

Hardscaping

The man-made features used in outdoor spaces are the basis for landscape design and generally are installed first. These include paths, walls, and patios. If you are not working with a professional landscape designer, it is wise to sketch your intended design and play with ideas on paper before you rent a bobcat.

Currently geometric designs for garden beds and patios are popular, however a curvilinear design is timeless. The style of your home will help you determine the design for your outdoor spaces.

Plant materials

It is wise to plan your garden on paper also, rather than plant, dig up and plant again. Make use of your public library, horticulture sites and the agriculture department of universities in your plant zone to compile lists of trees, shrubs and flowers that will grow in your area. Merely loving tulips will not make them grow well if you live in southern Texas. The biggest trend in plantings over the last decade is the installation of plants that are native to a climate instead of fighting to keep a plant alive in an inappropriate zone. Not only does this end up saving money it also discourages nuisance plants–especially those that become invasive.

More plant trends

Choosing a type of garden previously meant flowers or vegetables, but this has changed significantly in the last decade. Combination gardens are easy to grow and the variety of flowers, herbs and veggies that are available to home gardeners will help you create a beautiful garden for all your needs. Match plants according to the amount of sunlight and water for companion planting.

Furnishing outdoor space

The current trend in outdoor furniture is the use of natural materials like rattan, wood, or wood-like, along with wicker elements – just look at Minotti’s new 2020 collection.

Lifestyle shot featuring Minotti sofas outside

Image credit: Minotti

Styles range from mid-century modern and classic coastal to contemporary. The perennial favourite in outdoor furniture is the porch swing. The nostalgia associated with a big porch, a wooden swing and a warm summer night is classically American. With fewer front porches these days many people are finding alternatives to the hanging porch swing.

Furniture designs

Adirondack chairs have been fashionable for centuries and the style is popular even today, though many current pieces are brightly painted for a fresh new look. Egg chairs and barrel chairs are trending right now as is flexible outdoor seating. Furniture that can be moved around the yard for various occasions allows you to invest in a few quality pieces rather than buying furniture for every spot in the garden. When creating a fashionable outdoor area, choose what appeals to you. If an all-white garden gives you a sense of peace and harmony that should be your goal to create. For others, a riotous mix of colours may be your happy place.

Additional trends

The trends in lighting are currently focused on overhead string lights hung in outdoor-café style. Lights can also be strung on the perimeter of your space to give more definition to the area. Up-lighting beneath a specimen tree or shrub will highlight the structure of the special plant or vignette of plants. Fire features run the gamut from huge stone fire pits to small, gas-fuelled tabletop models. Water features are also available in a multitude of sizes and shapes.s

Current trends in outdoor design can be specific to a style or be an eclectic mix of styles. The most important part of outdoor design is making it fit your lifestyle.

Main image credit: Taylor Simpson/Unsplash

Using UVC technology to help hospitality reopen safely

752 565 Hamish Kilburn
Using UVC technology to help hospitality reopen safely

The Safeology Tower leverages the science of UV light to inactivate a wide array of pathogens, including the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)…

As hotels and other businesses struggle to survive amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Safeology has released a video demonstrating new technology that will allow them to safely reopen, stay open and return to a time of normalcy

The UVC-disinfection product uses smart technology to eliminate up to 99.9 per cent of pathogens, which is the key to helping our economy thrive.

Image credit: Safeology

“We can safely, quickly and efficiently eliminate up to 99.9 per cent of surface and airborne pathogens, including the coronavirus, helping hotel operators create a clean, worry-free environment for guests,” says Safeology CEO Jim Mischel. “In fact, with this technology, hotels can actually be safer than guests’ homes.”

This video shows how the tower works in a hotel environment.

Designed, engineered and manufactured in Everett, Washington, the Safeology Tower uses UVC and loT technology to allow widescale disinfection of hotels, cruise ships, restaurants, commercial spaces, classrooms,  healthcare facilities, and other spaces with ease and unmatched efficiency. Far more than just a UVC lamp, the Safeology Tower was specifically created with smart technology, complete with wireless touch pad, remote-control functions, safety features, and data collection software useful for a wide range of hospitality and commercial industry needs.

Safeology has also brought together a team of national experts to navigate the UVC technology and its use. The team includes George Diaz, M.D., who treated the first U.S. case of COVID-19; chemical engineer Joseph Anderson, Ph.D.; microbiologist David Rockabrand, Ph.D.; and electrical engineer Rolf Bergman, Ph.D.

The Safeology Tower:  smart reduction of pathogens

The Safeology Tower eliminates up to 99.9 per cent of surface pathogens through the effective use of UVC disinfection – a well-studied germicidal technique gaining prominence in the fight against COVID-19 and other coronaviruses. Designed for both function and safety, the sleek Safeology Tower offers a unique and complete total-disinfection solution loaded with literally dozens of features, including:

  • Laser mapping technology to determine required UVC dosage to deactivate the virus.
  • Multiple safety features including PIR (passive infrared) motion sensors and AI (artificial intelligence) movement detection to ensure safe operation in unoccupied spaces.
  • Interactive 6.3-inch tablet with integrated wireless charger; Wi-Fi Cloud-based control and monitoring; multiple languages, and cycle-completion notification.
  • 74-inch height for floor to ceiling, 360o disinfection coverage; 6 high-output shatter resistant amalgam 253.7 nm UVC lamp emitters with 12,000-hour lamp life; handles and easy-roll wheels for fast deployment of unit, with self-locking casters for secure placement.
  • Full range of other supportive resources, including PPE equipment; complete marketing support; customer service for help with provisioning, set up, and questions; and a continuously updated online archive of related UVC information.

Review the complete list of features, and learn more about the advantages of the Safeology solution.

Main image credit: Safeology

The Brit List Awards 2020: entries close soon!

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Brit List Awards 2020: entries close soon!

Calling all designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers: the deadline to submit your free entry for The Brit List Awards 2020 closes on August 27 (two weeks from today)…

Free to enter, The Brit List Awards 2020 is Hotel Designs’ 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

What’s more, the application process to enter or nominate somebody deserving is completely free – simply click here to apply/nominate.

Unlike previous years, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, The Brit List Awards 2020 will take place as a virtual event on November 12, with a live winners party scheduled for January 28 2021 at Minotti London. Katy Phillips, publisher at Hotel Designs, explains: “While we would prefer to physically bridge the gap between all of our shortlisted finalists by hosting a live awards ceremony, we have made the sensible decision to carry out this year’s awards ceremony virtually,” she explains. “However, in order to ensure that we are offering the valuable networking element of our event, we look forward to welcoming the shortlisted finalists, the winners and key-industry suppliers to our live winners’ party celebration as part of MEET UP London in January 2021 at Minotti London.”

Over the last three years, The Brit List Awards has becoming a significant event in the design, architecture and hospitality calendar, as Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs, 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 January 2021 for the winners’ party.”

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. 

Sponsors of The Brit List Awards 2020:

Quintex announces financing support for affordable energy solutions

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Quintex announces financing support for affordable energy solutions

Quintex is always looking for new ways to support its customers and to make it even easier to benefit from its range of quality solutions for commercial kitchens. The energy-saving experts explain…

Quintex has announced QFinance, the company’s own financing support options to assist our customers when choosing Quintex solutions.

Our aim for QFinance is to give everyone the opportunity to purchase our solutions through a more affordable process, not only making things simple, but ensuring our customers see the benefits and savings from day one. It provides very little risk and enables our clients to keep on track with their energy saving and long term sustainability goals.

How can QFinance help you?

We understand that controlling and monitoring cash flow is now more important than ever. Operators will be dissecting all areas of their business to find where improvements and savings can be made. However, with tighter budgets some of these businesses’ may not have the capital needed to invest in long term solutions. This is where Quintex’s QFinance comes in.

QFinance will give businesses the option to utilise any of Quintex solutions, eliminating the upfront costs and ensuring that businesses can save money from the moment after installation.

Spread the cost of our professional, quality solutions

With low fixed monthly payments, it’s now more affordable to opt for our solutions. This will enable you to get up and running with our products whilst keeping your finances in check.

Eliminate upfront costs

Investing in something right now is probably not at the forefront of every business’ mind. Our QFinance options eliminate the need for those larger upfront costs and ensures that you can plan ahead for the future.

Reach sustainability/Energy Goals

We understand companies may be putting sustainability and energy targets on the backburner due to budget restraints. With QFinance we can get you achieving your goals from the get go with no upfront costs.

Straightforward options

With easy monthly payments and agreement terms, to suit you and your financial needs, you can easily plan your spend each month without worrying about a large cost. We offer a range of straightforward options to suit your current situation, so there’s no reason why you can’t benefit from our solutions as soon as possible.

Find out more about QFinance and how we can help you

As the industry returns to normal, many projects will be pushed aside due to budget constraints, but with our new finance options, we give businesses’ the power to see positive results and savings from day one.

If you’d like to enquire about QFinance or want to know more, get in touch with the team. We’re back in the office and are dealing with enquiries as normal. Call us today on 0118 973 9310 or email us at sales@quintex.co.uk.

Quintex 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: Quintex

Insane hotel concepts for the post-pandemic world

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Insane hotel concepts for the post-pandemic world

To celebrate Hotel Concepts being this month’s ‘Spotlight On’ feature, here are some insane hotel renderings that offer drastic solutions for hospitality and hotel design in the post-pandemic world…

Let’s face it, it’s going to be a while before the industry reflects the same buzz and energy as it did before the Covid-19 outbreak. Protocols around cleaning and social distancing are inevitably changing the way in which hotels are used and perceived. With this month’s Spotlight On feature being on Hotel Concepts, we have decided to look past incredible architecture and have instead identified three new perceptions on how hospitality and hotel design can adapt post-pandemic.

A pre-warning: they are a little ‘out there’, but how else is the industry expected to develop, evolve and challenge conventional theories?

The human zoo hotel, conceived by Bill Bensley

Image credit: Bill Bensley

Earlier this year, the eco warrior Bill Bensley – who is confirmed as our headline speaker at Hotel Designs LIVE – responded to a hotel brief by designing a hotel where guests are caged while wild, exotic animals roam free. The ‘human zoo’ hotel concept, which will be targeted to luxury travellers who are seeking for unparalleled experiences, will shelter 2,400 ‘human cages’ that will actually look more like high-end, design-led guestrooms that frame an uninterrupted and uncorrupted view on natural the wildlife below.

The site where the hotel is being conceived is situated on a 2,000-hectare plot, which will reinstate wetlands to encourage biodiversity. With the concrete aim being firm to free wildlife from captivity, Bensley’s concept has recently reached a milestone, gaining approval from Southern China’s Communist Party to relocate abused animals from zoos in the country, to be released onto the roughly 2,000-hectare piece of land where the ‘human zoo’ will be located.

Although the concept was drawn up before the pandemic, it is an interesting idea nonetheless to flip the luxury consumer journey upside-down. By doing so, the Bensley has yet again put the emphasis on wildlife, nature and sustainability, all of which have experienced neglect amongst the chaos of Covid-19.

The hotel of the future according to Gettys Group

The (potential) future of hotel sleep, as imagined by Gettys Group

Image credit: RC Aradio of Blue Core Creative/Getty Groups

Since June of this year, Getty Group has been developing concepts that aim to address the significant industry-wide challenges posed by Covid-19. 325 hotel owners, designers, architects, and hospitality educators are participating in the research, including brands such as citizenM, Four Seasons, Hilton, IHG and Marriott.

Technology and personalisation (two topics we will explore in Hotel Designs LIVE) continue to play important roles. ‘BedXYZ’, which is described by Gettys Group as an “optimised and gamified sleep platform,” involves temperature-regulating engineered fabrics in the guestroom. Meanwhile, touchless technology will allow guests to control the room’s lighting, scent, sound, temperature and even the firmness of the bed via their smartphone.

Al fresco guestrooms

a room in the middle of nowhere

Image credit: Zero Real Estate/Appenzellerland

This isn’t anything new; Jade Mountain in Saint Lucia, for example, is an architectural marvel with its innovative concept to remove the fourth wall in order to open up the interiors to the natural elements. However, new hotel concepts have emerged recently that are showing completely open-air rooms in the middle of nowhere. One of the developers that is leading the way is the aptly named Zero Real Estate. The theory behind the layout, with the bed being perched on a wooden platform, is that the natural landscape becomes the backdrop. Removing surfaces altogether to eliminate boundaries is a drastic strategy in the post-pandemic world, which will not work for everyone, but it certainly works to deepen one-off experiences for luxury modern travellers.

If you have a hotel concept that you would like us to explore, please tweet us @HotelDesigns. If you would like to participate in Hotel Designs LIVE, where many of the above topics will be explored, click here.

Main image credit: Zero Real Estate

Case study: The Waterside Inn’s invisible tech solution

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: The Waterside Inn’s invisible tech solution

Hamilton Litestat, the decorative wiring accessories company that is supporting Hotel Designs LIVE in October, was specified to create invisible technology solutions inside the award-winning The Waterside Inn, a three-Michelin-star restaurant with stunning guestrooms, located in Bray, Berkshire

Opened in 1972, the building that shelters The Waterside Inn in Bray has a unique heritage and long culinary history. Simple yet opulent, it offers a riverside haven for guests to escape the stresses of normal life in a tranquil and comfortable setting. It has retained its coveted Michelin stars for more than 30 years, with diners flocking to its picturesque setting to sample its delights and enjoy its hospitality.

The Waterside Inn’s in-house designer, Laura Roux, and facilities manager, Shane Spiers, were overseeing the refurbishment of four of its unique guestrooms with en-suite bathrooms, all of which have their own distinct character, inspired by the Thameside setting.

Image credit: The Waterside Inn

Each room has been designed with comfort and luxury in mind, from quality beds and linens to elegant furniture and soft furnishings. The rooms’ names inform the style and theme of the décor:

  • La Tamise, meaning ‘Thames’, features beautiful blues and a stunning mural that nods to the riverside setting;
  • Le Jardinet, meaning ‘little garden’, has a fresh botanical theme with natural tones and beautiful textures;
  • Le Nid Jaune, which translates as ‘yellow nest’, features elegant bird imagery and soft golden tones;
  • La Terrasse is elegant with bold accents in a serene setting.

The main challenge of the refurbishment was to harmonise it with the overall design and décor of the restaurant and the hotel environment. With guests staying for just one or two nights, each room must have impact and make an outstanding first impression. Each item had to earn its place in the finished design, with hand-picked fixtures and fittings adding memorable splashes and surprises to make each stay special.

Hamilton Litestat was recommended as the preferred supplier of stylish decorative wiring accessories by Stephen Hogg of Maidenhead-based H&H Electrical Contractors. A frequent specifier and installer of Hamilton’s solutions, he was confident in Hamilton’s ability to deliver quality products, while finding a suitable design and finish to perfectly match each room, and provide a cohesive theme throughout.

The Solution: Hamilton’s Perception CFX, a high-quality transparent design with concealed fixings, was chosen for the guest rooms. With snap-on clear front plates in a minimalist design, the solution allows for a section of the wallpaper design to be inserted so the plate discreetly blends with the interior décor.

“The beautiful Perception CFX clear plates enhance rather than detract from the impact and design of the spectacular wallpapers and paint treatments we’ve used in each room,” explained Roux. “We have carefully chosen outstanding designer wallpapers to make strong statements in each room and set the theme. This is why the choice of Perception CFX and Sheer CFX sockets have been so integral, since they do not detract or spoil the impact at all.”

Hamilton Litestat is one of our recommended suppliers, a sponsor of Hotel Designs LIVE and The Brit List Awards 2020. 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: Hamilton Litestat

Cork wall in a guestroom

Product watch: wall tiles by Granorte bring new meaning to natural aesthetic

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: wall tiles by Granorte bring new meaning to natural aesthetic

With the natural aesthetic of cork, Decodalle wall tiles from Granorte offer something new for high-end interiors. Hotel Designs explores…

Delivering a rich collection of decorative cork veneers, Decodalle presents the depth and variety of finishes achievable in this natural and sustainable material, proving its association with retro finishes of the 1960s is dead.

Cork wall in a guestroom

Presenting a finish that’s not only intrinsically beautiful and diverse, but also warm, quiet and durable; Decodalle allows interiors a powerful natural aesthetic without compromising function. In fact, with its Parawax matt coating for resilience and lightweight agglomerated cork backing for easy fitting, Decodalle is a wall tile with impressive features all round. Greenguard certified, 100 per cent ortho-phthalate free and with no added formaldehyde, Decodalle also has the sustainable credentials to match its natural origins.

“When developing products, we appreciate the single biggest influence in choosing cork: its status as a natural and renewable material,” said Paulo Rocha, product and R&D manager at Granorte. “We look for ways to preserve as much of this reasoning within the development of the product, so if there’s an option for a more sustainable or less polluting material we’ll take it, even if it means more development.”

Decodalle is available in 14 cork looks in a 600mm x 300mm x 3mm format for vertical or horizontal application. From the natural forms of Expression and geometric blocks of Elements Rustic Black to the colours of Twist and conventional granulated looks like Forest and Grain, it’s a rounded collection that offers designers real opportunity to create a visual treat.

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

PRODUCT WATCH: LED neon strip lighting in the spa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: LED neon strip lighting in the spa

To understand the creative possibilities and boundaries of lighting design, Hotel Designs asks Timage Architecture to share why LED neon strip lighting should be considered in the spa and wellness area…

We have long promoted the benefits of buying a marine-grade product for architectural application and have a dedicated Timage Architecture side to our business which focuses our product range for this specific audience.

The quality of materials and design consideration that goes into a product originally destined for yacht application is generally much greater than its architectural counterpart.  The materials not only offer a better overall aesthetic but also are very durable and can sustain a more aggressive installation environment.  These characteristics sit well with those looking to source sustainable product solutions for the hospitality sector.  Our products are more suited to clients looking to buy once, perhaps paying a small premium over an alternative product but being sure that they will not have to revisit the item once again after a season or two of use.

Nowhere in a hospitality setting is the above situation truer than in a spa.  The humidity levels, use of chemicals and temperatures can all culminate in poor product performance or failure, especially with regards to lighting.  Too often steam rooms have failed strip lighting under the seating or showers have fittings with a few diodes out.  These maintenance issues can have a negative impact upon the customer’s experience and overall perception of the spa.  Our marine-grade lighting can help resolve this problem, offering the hospitality sector a reliable and beautiful solution.

Our range of neon flexible LED strips is one of the best examples of these transferable products.  The neon strip lights are produced to the length required for each installation and the connectors are then injection moulded to ensure a safe IP68 underwater rating.  Lengths up to 20 metres can be specified if powered from both ends and a 24Vdc low voltage input makes them a safe product should any of the outer skin be breached.  The strips are available in a huge variety of colour temperatures as well as fixed colours.  In addition, RGB, RGBW and RGB pixel chasing versions can also be specified.  The RGBW models can be supplied in several white colour temperatures to sit alongside the coloured chips.  RGBW offers the ultimate flexibility for a lighting plan allowing the user to select custom blended colours or run colour sequences whilst still maintaining the option of a high-quality white light.  This year sees the addition of CCT technology or Correlated Colour Temperature to the range which allows users to adjust the strip from warm through to cool white at the touch of a button.  CCT is a great choice for spaces that may have a dual function requiring different ambient lighting styles or simply for those who like to tweak and change their lighting settings from time to time.

We have a large range of spa lighting solutions in addition to the neon strip lighting mentioned above and can supply luminaires for swimming pools, communal areas, shower enclosures and exterior zones.  Our lighting is always made from marine-grade materials and features the latest LED technology, rigorously tested for harsh environment application.  Please contact us for further product information or advice on spa lighting.

Timage 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: Timage

Inside the first ‘luxe lifestyle wellness resort’ in Grenada

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside the first ‘luxe lifestyle wellness resort’ in Grenada

Opening on October 1 2020, The Point at Petite Calvigny will be the first dedicated luxury lifestyle and wellness resort on the island of Grenada in the Caribbean. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

With just three design-led villas and 12 suites nestled on an 11-acre estate on the south coast of Grenada, The Point at Petite Calvigny is the island’s new ultra-luxury resort.

The resort, which slopes down to Benji Bay, features a privately accessed secluded beach, a state of the art gym and wellness centre including The Petite Spa, five swimming pools, a beach bar and restaurant and a private marina.

Chris Ashby, the property’s owner who, in collaboration with Adriana Hoyos Hospitality, took it upon himself to design the interiors following his extensive travel experience, fell in love with the raw, natural beauty of this part of Grenada and its stunning views. This ultimately inspired him to create the luxury ‘cloistered sanctuary’ where the outside world is left at the ‘entrance/gate’. “The Point is the first luxury resort in Grenada that is totally focussed on wellness,” Ashby explains. “We offer discerning travellers the perfect combination of luxury accommodation in a peaceful setting with the ability to design their stay exactly as they wish. I am proud to say that The Point is owned by a Grenadian, was built by Grenadians and is staffed by Grenadians.”

No effort was spared in creating the perfect ambiance, which included changing the orientation of the buildings following recommendations from a Feng Shui consultant who advised that they be aligned ‘with water in front and mountains in the background’. As a result, all the buildings stand in an optimum location in order to capture uninterrupted views of the waters of Benji Bay, the unspoilt marine sanctuary of Woburn Bay and the private resort of Calvigny Island.

Image caption: The hotel has been configured to capture uninterrupted views of the waters of Benji Bay, Woburn Bay and the private resort of Calvigny Island. | Image credit: The Point at Petite Calvigny

The Point at Petite Calvigny, which was developed by C.A.C Partners Ltd., has been built to the highest eco standards without compromising on comfort or luxury. There are many hidden eco-friendly elements such as environmentally compliant building materials; super insulated walls, UV filters on windows and doors to minimise energy consumption; rainwater harvesting to provide drinking water and a wastewater treatment system that produces water to irrigate the gardens.  All toiletries are vegan friendly and free from parabens, sulphates and phosphates while the spa incorporates local products such as scrubs made using natural, local ingredients.

“Designed in a contemporary West Indian style with warm wood finishes, all the rooms are spacious and bathed in natural light.”

Reflecting the wellness focus of the resort and Grenada, all accommodation has been named after crystals such as Citrine and Blue Lace. Designed in a contemporary West Indian style with warm wood finishes, all the rooms are spacious and bathed in natural light from floor to ceiling windows that allow for magnificent, unobstructed views of the bay and nearby islands. Inside the rooms, nautical artwork further reflects the property’s unique sense of location, as does the lighting and sensitively designed furnishings.

Image caption: The clean design of the interiors feature interesting lighting, natural materials and a large nautical map of the region. | Image credit: The Point

Image caption: The clean design of the interiors feature interesting lighting, natural materials and a large nautical map of the region. | Image credit: The Point at Petite Calvigny

Each of the three split level villas have three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a private infinity pool and deck with a grilling station. The 12 single-floor suites have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, private balconies and share two large free form swimming pools, a swim up bar and outdoor grilling station.  A selection of fresh herbs are available for guests wishing to add a little extra flavour to their barbecue.

Image caption: Exterior image of one of three villas available at the resort. | Image credit: The Point.

Image caption: Exterior image of one of three villas available at the resort. | Image credit: The Point at Petite Calvigny

Both the villas and suites have fully custom kitchens, dining and living rooms and internet-based TV. Extra touches such as oil diffusers, mood lighting, high quality hypo allergenic bedding, insulation to reduce sound and black out curtains help to enhance sleep performance.

The Point is specially designed to promote rest and rejuvenation. To take this up a level, and in order for the service to match Ashby’s aim, a complimentary consultation with the hotel’s ‘Vibe Director’ is available to each guest in order to create a stay that is perfectly attuned to their specific needs.

Places like this sanctuary within the Caribbean are highly coveted. The Point Private Residence Club is the first and only luxury residence club on the island of Grenada.

In conclusion, every detail of The Point has been specially designed and curated for the discerning eye – from the location and architecture of the residences to the carefully manicured tropical gardens and exceptional experiences – it is a paradise that is naturally self-isolating in its own unique corner of the world.

Main image credit: The Point at Petite Calvigny

A series of renders of W Sao Paulo

W Hotels to open second hotel in Brazil

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
W Hotels to open second hotel in Brazil

The 80-key W Gramado is expected to open in 2023 and will become the second W Hotels property to open in Brazil. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

For some months now, the highly anticipated – and Covid delayed – opening of W Ibiza has taken the spotlight. In June, Hotel Designs welcome the project’s designers and architects from BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG to debate the future of public areas at Hotel Designs LIVE.

A series of renders of W Sao Paulo

While the noise amplifies as the hotel is finally able to open its vibrant doors, the cutting-edge hotel brand has announced its next venture. W Gramado will become the brand’s second hotel in Brazil and fourth in the Southern Cone of Latin America.

The news was announced after the brand signed an agreement with KJP Participaçoes LTD to bring the W Hotels brand to Gramado, a mountain resort town in the Brazil’s southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul.

“To have a cutting-edge W hotel in Rio Grande do Sul, a destination ready for the brand’s bold design, signature Whatever/Whenever service and innovative programming is exceptional,” said Laurent de Kousemaeker, Chief Development Officer, Caribbean and Latin America for Marriott International.

Renders of the hotel’s design scheme, or any information on which architecture/design firm has been appointed for the project, have yet to be announced – but here’s what we do know.

The 80 room hotel, W Gramado, will be located in the Swiss Village, the highest point of Gramado, known for exceptional views into the valley and hills beyond the city center. The property borders Orchids Park and is located less than one mile from the main attractions of Gramado. The property is planned to occupy a single four-story building with sustainable architecture with vegetation features that are indigenous to Orchids Park. The adjacent W Residences will be developed in a cluster of low-rise buildings within walking distance of the hotel.

The hotel is set to offer guests the world’s most lust-worthy resort experience in a wildly different way, and provide Brazilian visitors an exciting new lodging option that embodies the W Hotels brand’s “work hard, play hard” philosophy.

W Gramado will bring a lodging alternative that does not yet exist in the city, which will provide its guests and owners of W Residences an experience normally only offered in the most sought after global travel destinations. The hotel plans to provide several food and beverage options, both indoor and outdoor; an exclusive Wet Deck, AWAY Spa; FIT Fitness Centre, as well as a rooftop bar that will be at the highest point of Gramado, boasting a view across several surrounding cities. For corporate and social events, the stunning property will provide 500 square meters of meeting space and event centre.

“W Gramado will help put the city firmly on the map as a sustainable luxury destinations with the arrival of W Hotel & Residences,” explained George Brody representing the owners of the Swiss Village. “I believe the city is perfectly set up to welcome future generations of travellers with this exciting addition to Orchid Park.”

KJP Participaçoes LTD expects to begin construction in early 2021 and aims to complete and open the hotel in Q1 2023.

Main image caption: Renders of W Hotel Sao Paulo, expected to open in 2021 | Image credits: Marriott International

PRODUCT WATCH: hansgrohe expands its FinishPlus range

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: hansgrohe expands its FinishPlus range

New for 2020, hansgrohe expands its FinishPlus range to include on-trend Matt Black for an extended number of product lines…

hansgrohe’s latest additions to the FinishPlus range of showerheads, basin and bath mixers, shower hoses and accessories, allows for a seamless and cohesive design aesthetic across the whole bathroom.

Perfect for styling with white or coloured ceramics, crittal-style shower screens and statement lighting, Matt Black offers pared-back, refined elegance; emphasising the striking silhouettes of hansgrohe’s award-winning brassware. The Matt Black finish will be available from September as existing stock, ensuring immediate availability and minimal delivery times.

line of finishes

Image credit: hansgrohe

When opting for FinishPlus, users are guaranteed to enjoy all the quality features they have come to expect from hansgrohe. Offering the ultimate in bathroom customisation, FinishPlus provides modern alternatives to the classic chrome standard, elevating bathroom design and welcoming individuality. With FinishPlus comes the opportunity for a homogeneous design scheme. From the basin mixers and showerpipes, through to overhead showerheads and valves, hansgrohe ensures all brassware parts are available in one consistent colour. Alternatively, the flexibility of FinishPlus means contrasting finishes can be contrasted for a truly unique visual effect.

All FinishPlus surfaces offer exceptional robustness, durability and scratch-resistance; the result of the exhaustive research and development of the wider Hansgrohe Group. Produced in hansgrohe’s state-of-the-art PVD (physical vapor deposition) chambers, the surfaces are hand-finished by expert technicians. Brushed or polished until immaculately smooth, they offer the perfect finishing touch to any luxury bathroom. Since the finishes are manufactured at hansgrohe’s own plant, all products can be reproduced in the same surface finish for up to 15 years after purchase.

FinishPlus is comprised of five colour options that suit a range of bathroom styles, including: Matt Black, Matt White, Gold Optic, Bronze and Black Chrome. All colours are also available in both the polished and brushed finishes, to ensure maximum personalisation when designing a new or renovating an existing scheme.

hansgrohe 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: hansgrohe

Lighting & furniture: raw materials in extraordinary essentials

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Lighting & furniture: raw materials in extraordinary essentials

Buster + Punch’s love for working with rare, solid metals in lighting and furniture has led the brand to transform everyday functional fittings into extraordinary essentials…

From the light bulb, the dimmer switch and the pendant lamp, to the door handle and the cupboard knob, Buster + Punch has created an innovative collection of unexpected design details.

All of its hardware, lighting and accessories are made from solid metal and feature a signature diamond cut knurling. This ensures all our products can be paired within the space, creating a visual, and unified design throughout any space.

The lighting ranges are designed to work in harmony to create a smooth transition between spaces.

CAGED lighting takes a simple design and transforms it into a series of extraordinary building blocks. This light can be mounted as a wall or ceiling light and can work on its own in various rooms and spaces or in a linear procession for maximum impact, such as adding caged lights in a hotel hallway.

This all-time favourite classic Heavy Metal light features a single light pendant made from 450g solid metal and finished with a matt black rubber cord. A light that adds a refined touch in any room. Accent a single Heavy Metal light over a coffee table in a hotel room, or several Heavy Metal lights over a lounge.

Buster + Punch introduced the world to the beauty of cross-knurling and changed the way people felt about their forgotten home fittings. And in 2020 Buster + Punch launched LINEAR – a range of elegant, small-scale, cabinet handles inspired by fashion accessory hardware.

Diamond-milled from rare solid metals, the range features our new signature linear knurl pattern and machined torx screws.  LINEAR features new products such as the L-Bar and Precious Bar,  and new finishes Gun Metal and Burnt Steel. The hardware range can be fitted to a bedside table for a unique finish, on a dresser, or even a bathroom vanity.

Buster + Punch also launched a new door stop range featuring wall-mounted and floor-mounted door stops. The perfect final detail when entering and exiting a room. The signature diamond knurling can also be found, and comes in a range of finishes- brass, steel, smoked bronze, and brass.

Buster + Punch 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: Buster + Punch

Sleep & Eat 2020 Introduces ‘hotel guestroom 2035’

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sleep & Eat 2020 Introduces ‘hotel guestroom 2035’

International hotel groups, students, architects and designers are collaborating to create concept guestrooms of the future, which will be unveiled at Sleep & Eat 2020

Sleep & Eat, which recently announced the plans around this year’s virtual event, has unveiled the hotel brand partners that will be working with award-winning architecture and design firms in the creation of this year’s ‘guestroom sets’.

The firms are: Accor, partnering with Perkins and Will; IHG, working with AD Associates; and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, collaborating with Chalk Architecture, Hotel Hussy and students from University of West London. In addition, ReardonSmith Architects is creating a guestroom for a hotel group yet to be launched in collaboration with students from Glion Institute of Higher Education and Hotelschool The Hague led by the directors of hotel creative consultancy, HoCoSo, and branded by Delight Lifestyle Brand Agency.

The designers and Hotel Brand Partners have been tasked with not only showcasing the best of innovative hotel design today but also, in this 15th anniversary year of the event, giving us a glimpse into what to expect from our hotel guestrooms over the next 15 years. Each Hotel Brand Partner has selected one of its brands for this forward-looking adventure into design innovation: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts – Wyndham; IHG – Voco; and Accor – Mővenpick Hotels & Resorts.

Since this year Sleep & Eat will be a virtual event, the design projects will culminate in simulated digital walk-throughs allowing visitors to explore the concept in detail, navigate around the room and enjoy an interactive three-dimensional experience.

For the hotel groups, this is a unique opportunity to work with design firms that are new to them and to imagine the future for their brands.

“This year’s theme captured our imagination and enticed us to participate in Sleep & Eat 2020,” explained Chris Lee, Director of Architecture, Design & Construction for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “We have been given the opportunity to approach guestroom design with a truly open mind and to bring our vision to life. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to work with our extended team including the inspiring designer Paul Nicholson at Chalk Architecture; Katie Brinsmead-Stockham for Hotel Hussy; and Professor Layton Reid and his students at the University of West London.”

Emma King, Head of Design at IHG, said: “We have built many concept rooms in the past but this is different – the opportunity to conceptualise a room so far into the future,” she said. “Sleep & Eat is a great chance to showcase new design and we’re really pleased to be working with AD Associates on this.”

Accor’s Vice President design for Lux and Premium brands, Federico Toresi, added: “This is a great opportunity for Accor to continue imagining the future of hospitality through design. Today, more than ever before, it is vital to create hotels that are aligned with expectations of our guests whilst fully reflecting brands’ ambitions and their promise.”

Ever since their introduction, the Sets in all their iterations have proved a perennial favourite among visitors as a thought-provoking take on the hotel experience, cultural values and human desires. They have also been a rare opportunity for architects and designers to explore conceptual thought and interrogate societal and environmental issues.

Neil Andrew, Head of Hospitality at Perkins and Will, says: “For us, innovative sustainable design is pivotal to our industry, now more than ever, so our Set will be exploring the role the sector can play in meeting the environmental targets we so urgently need to reach.”

Jonny Sin, Director of ReardonSmith Architects, echoed this sentiment: “We are living through a time of re-calibration when some existing trends will accelerate and others will be re-thought. This makes it particularly meaningful to be working with students who will be the managers and owners, as well as influential guests, of hotels in 15 years’ time.”

Katharine Le Quesne, MD of HoCoSo, added: “Engagement with tomorrow’s stakeholders has been key. Based on our relationships, we handpicked a team of students from two of the best hospitality schools in Europe, to inspire the creative process.”

The four guestroom Sets will be joined by immersive wining and dining experiences as well as by a virtual lounge bar and hotel lobby, and the new on-line platform will enable all event participants and registered attendees around the globe to pre-arrange meetings at the event.

Sleep & Eat Virtual will take place on 17-19 November. For more information and to register, visit the website.

Main image credit: Pixabay/Sleep & Eat Virtual

Feature: a new era of luxury hospitality has begun

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Feature: a new era of luxury hospitality has begun

To coincide with the opening of Birch, which has been described as a ‘next-generation escape’ hotel just outside London, editor Hamish Kilburn considers how Covid-19 has challenged the luxury hotel market by hearing from international architecture and interior design firm Red Deer on the luxury hotel’s design story…

Even after lockdown, Covid-19 has created a distance between us, which is predicted to last for a while. Although we will meet again as we did before, architecture firm Red Deer believes that a new shift in the luxury market will emerge from our time apart.

“For Red Deer, luxury comes from the creation of a meaningful emotional connection between the hotel guest and the space they inhabit.”

Red Deer considers the term ‘luxury’ as degraded through overuse, and the parameters of what constitutes a ‘luxury hotel’ can be difficult to define. The concept can be specific to each individual guest, based on their own expectation, habits and culture. For Red Deer, luxury comes from the creation of a meaningful emotional connection between the hotel guest and the space they inhabit.

Image credit: Birch/Red Deer/Adam Firman

“Millennials represent only about 32 per cent of spending in the personal luxury market, but by 2025 they are expected to make up 50 per cent of the total market,” writes Forbes contributor Pamela N. Danziger. “Some 130 per cent of market growth in the next seven years will be attributed to the Millennial generation.”

Rejecting traditional wealth values

The luxury industry has often been aligned with indulgence and excess rather than sustainability and connections. Quality craftsmanship and experiences may continue to command a premium price tag, however, Millennials are creating a new focus towards sustainability. Both Millennial and Gen Z groups’ expectations from luxury brands are very different from those of Gen X and Baby Boomers who favour traditional wealth values. Social connections and insider knowledge are of more importance to these younger consumers who are more likely to make value-based acquisitions and purchases. Luxury weaves its way through their experiences, free time, travel, community, self-growth and security.

For the Birch hotel project, a 140-key hotel that is set within 55 acres of nature just outside of London, Red Deer deconstructed the meaning of a hotel and pieced it back together to ensure that no element was intrinsic without careful consideration. The obvious need for a bed and bathroom are present, however, more attention was given to the contemporary ‘luxuries’ such as a TV, telephone and smart lighting systems to ascertain their place in a luxury hotel for an increasingly younger generation of guests.

“With Birch, the firm felt it crucial to collaborate with local artists and makers to create some unique pieces in the rooms.”

Image credit: Birch/Red Deer/Adam Firman

As the landscape for luxury hospitality has evolved, the onus is now focused on creating a unique and personalised one-to-one experience for guests. This bespoke experience is a key driver throughout the design of Red Deer’s projects. With Birch, the firm felt it crucial to collaborate with local artists and makers to create some unique pieces in the rooms and challenge the idea that uniformity was essential for large batch furniture specification.

The most prominent of these pieces is a bespoke valet stand constructed by Jan Hendzel Studio, utilising recycled plastic orbs by sustainable material designer Charlotte Kidger, textured vases by ceramicist Emma Louise Payne and hand-beaten copper bowls by metalsmith Lucie Naujalis. It’s a piece that is intimate and personal, telling a story of three different elements brought together in a single form that is simultaneously light and robust, whilst able to be easily taken apart when required and updated over time. It’s a piece designed to stimulate the guest’s senses and spark their curiosity.

Before the pandemic, the global luxury market was predicted to reach €1.3 trillion by 2025. As the hospitality industry enters a challenging period in Q2/3 2020 it is ever-important for the designers and hotel investors to consider the changing market needs and place social connections and insider knowledge alongside premium experiences at the forefront of their business models. Hotels aren’t just bedrooms with smart technology, but memory-making experiences that create value and loyalty.

Image credit: Birch/Red Deer/Adam Firman

Red Deer believes Birch to be an example of how hospitality projects should be approached, considering a long-term commitment to sustainability within a renovation or new build as a crucial component of architectural design.

Main image credit: Birch/Red Deer/Adam Firman

Industry insight: adapting public areas to the “new normal”

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Industry insight: adapting public areas to the “new normal”

Hotel Designs is on the hunt for stylish ways to adapt public areas. Reintroducing Adrenalina, the upholstery label by DOMINGO SALOTTI…

The Adrenalina first made it onto Hotel Designs’ radar in 2018. The Sir-Pent was a functional, quirky and certainly different furniture option. Two years later, in a very different landscape, we believe its design is ideal for the post-pandemic hospitality world.

Adrenalina is the upholstery label by DOMINGO Salotti, born in 1999 with the intention of “breaking the mould”. Adrenalina’s innovative and iconic styles continue to attract the attention of designers who specify our collections for their projects in hotels, restaurants, spas and social spaces around the world.

Each Adrenalina’s piece is the result of a collaboration between cutting edge designers and the knowledgeable and experienced craftsman in our workshop. Each style is 100 per cent hand-made and 100 per cent made in our workshop in Italy.

Adrenalina’s core busines is contract with designers and specifiers of commercial spaces tending to be the brand’s biggest fans and so the companies most important clients. The radical changes brought on by the recent outbreak of Covid-19 have had a considerable impact on the contract market. The last few months at Adrenalina have been quite a journey!

Image credit: TIGRAM by Adrenalina

These months have been an unprecedented experience for everybody, client and company alike. We have all experienced a radical interruption of our everyday routine (both at work and at home). Everybody is now trying to guess what their “new normal” will look like.

Much has been written on the future of workplaces and commercial spaces in general.  Being one of Adrenalina’s big markets, we have been keenly following these conversations. One theme everybody would appear to agree on is that the new normal will be a blend of homeworking, virtual collaboration and physical space. People will spend more time working from home, but these months of lockdown have also made us realise that there is no virtual substitute for the authentic face to face interaction that happens at work. Smart working has its advantages, but it does not promote human connection.  Human connection is not only the antidote to loneliness and isolation, but, more importantly, it is the main instigator of new the ideas and innovation that spark from causal conversations.

The physical office, our workplaces and the need to socialise at work are here to stay. We now need to work out how to reshape them. How can we bring people back to work in spaces that will promote collaboration and opportunities for human connections while respecting new safety guideline and maintain social distancing? How can we maintain aesthetically pleasing environments whilst at the same time creating safe, clean and socially distanced workplaces? This is where Adrenalina with its playful, joyful and iconic pieces can really help.

While we are still learning about the virus and workspace scenarios are still changing, the general recommendation from architects, designers and interior experts is not to take any radical decision with regards to your workplace. There is a lot you can do to adjust commercial premises to respect the new guidelines and adjust the space to your new needs. Look at your workspace with a new pair of eyes and an open mind (or better yet, hire a specialist to do that on your behalf).

Although there is not a one-size-fits-all solution, there are many Adrenalina products that have already inspired and helped many of our clients to solve these problems.

Modular systems

New social distancing rules are affecting the number of people allowed in a workspace. Meeting rooms, labs, break out spaces are being repurposed to create additional seating to address the issue in the short term.

Image credit: SIR-PENT by Adrenalina

Adrenalina modular systems have helped many of our clients creating additional desk stations and pods as companies bring people back into workplaces after the initial phase of lock down. Adrenalina modular soft seating structures are made of panels and blocs that can easily connect by a bayonet system or by hidden magnetic connectors.

The newly reconfigured layouts do not have to be a permanent solution either. The same panels and blocks can be used to create different layouts every time you need. Using one of Adrenalina’s modular structures means that once the Covid-19 emergency has ended you can still use your furniture adapting them to your changed conditions.

All our modular products can be integrated with technical devices (plugs, phone chargers, lightings etc.) and customised to better suit your project’s requirements. Ad hoc solutions can also be studied to add additional devices such as screens, tablets etc.

The systems below are favourites of designers facing the challenge of dividing open spaces to create social distancing:

Seek the advice of your favourite designers or contact our in-house team of creatives if you need help configuring your layout.

Multipurpose furniture

These unprecedented times have forced many logistics changes on a lot of companies. It is difficult to experiment with design geometry reconfiguring workspaces while budgets shrink and you have little idea of what the future is going to look like. The trick should be to allow your mind to be open and your workspace to be flexible, so that you can all evolve and adjust with the change of conditions.

Image credit: MAJI by Adrenalina

Adrenalina acoustic seating is useful to take phone calls or to do some heads-down work in isolation from background noise (check our styles GEA HIGH BACK, WOW, SLY). Adrenalina high back pieces can be used in waiting areas or in restaurant and bars to create areas for small group to gather (GEA high back chairs and Sofas / SLY  / MICROMEGA just to name a few). The Gea High Back seats placed around a table can easily create a restaurant booth for diners, a private environment to have a meeting or produce some teamwork.

Single modules from our banquettes systems can work as a solo seat-desk or can become a starting point for a composition of multiple elements (stations, nukes, pods, row of desks).

The MAJI office PODS can easily be turned into desk stations thanks to the way the panels link, which allows the composition to be set up and dismantled as required.

Bigger focus on health and hygiene

Cleanliness is here to stay. Sanitising will have a bigger place in our lives. Not only our hands – it has been proven that disinfecting and cleaning provides employees with a sense of security.

Image credit: Adrenalina

Adrenalina are integrating hand sanitiser and surface cleaners into some of the furniture (MAJI). Equipping desk stations and office pods with hand gel dispenser or surface cleaning products in order to reassure your staff.

Integrating sanitising products into our furniture will help promote hygiene in the workplace and will also help promote new behaviours. With surface cleaners built into the furniture, your staff will be prompted to clean surfaces before leaving a meeting, or before starting one. This will serve to enhance your staff’s sense of safety.  Making sanitising products readily available to staff will also signal to employees that their wellbeing matters.

The Adrenalina’s in-house team of designers can advise about ways to integrate sanitising products into your chosen furniture.

Growing evidence that the Covid-19 virus can remain airborne for longer than originally believed is drawing a lot of attention to the quality of the air in enclosed public spaces. Increasing ventilation with outdoor air as well as air filtration will help mitigate the spread of airborne germs.

Opening windows to let fresh air come through remains one of the best defences against airborne germs. When talking about enclosed places, being able to monitor the quality of the air and/ or the rate of airflow is important.

SIR-PENT by Adrenalina can be equipped with JSMART, an innovative air monitoring system and air purifier for the indoors. JSMART uses an ornamental plant as a filter. Once connected to the relative app, it monitors and helps control temperature, humidity and pollutant levels indoor.

Domingo/Adrenalina 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: Domingo/Adrenalina

7 years of innovation: The Lychee Garden by Timothy Oulton Studio

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
7 years of innovation: The Lychee Garden by Timothy Oulton Studio

To celebrate Lychee Garden by Timothy Oulton Studio turning seven, Hotel Designs explores the garden that inspired so many of the studio’s innovative products…

The saying goes that we live in seven-year cycles, and as Timothy Oulton Studio’s innovative Lychee Garden turns seven, founders Tim Oulton and Simon Laws have taken time to reflect on what continues to be a transformative project.

Originally conceived as accommodation and communal living spaces for staff of furniture business Halo, the practice was briefed to make use of an established lychee orchard and vegetable garden adjacent to one of the company’s workshops in southern China.

What began as a brief to meet straightforward living needs has evolved into so much more. The Lychee Garden has afforded Timothy Oulton Studio a rare opportunity to test ideas and understand design learnings over the course of time. It has become a test of materials and techniques but, perhaps most importantly, it has shown that the understanding of how people use spaces is a lifelong observation. For an interior design studio that exists to deliver engaging commercial interiors, access to such a study presents both a personal privilege and a distinct business advantage. 

Minimising impact on the garden and its vegetation was a crucial aim for the studio from the outset and thus the curvilinear spiral plan of seven buildings that house 14 rooms was scaled and carefully positioned amongst the mature lychee trees, meaning only three trees needed to be relocated. These round houses use reclaimed local bricks and timbers for their exterior shells, combining local construction techniques and vernacular design elements with newer ideas and materials to create high quality retreats sensitive to their surroundings.

The interiors were envisaged as cocoons, with curved walls intended to ‘hug’ occupants after long work days far from home. The warmly hued 60m2 spaces are paved in natural stone with raw off-form concrete finishes, reclaimed bricks and salvaged timber cabinetry. Windows have been positioned differently in each building to take in seasonal conditions and private vantages of the dappled greenery, which over the years has increasingly become a sanctuary for birdlife away from an ever-expanding industrial neighbourhood.

Image credit: Timothy Oulton Studio

At the heart of the garden sits the Halodome – a large communal lounge, dining room and kitchen contained in an arching 12-meter diameter timber dome certified to German Passivhaus standard. The kitchen is supplied with an abundance of fruit and vegetables fresh from the garden, which itself is fed by reused waste water filtered by a reed system that features a long shallow gravel bed densely planted with Ginger Lilies, whose roots filter water over the seven days it takes to flow through the pond. 

Image credit: Timothy Oulton Studio

Those have spent time at the Lychee Garden understand it as a place of refuge – a sanctuary that steps gently, working with, not against, its surroundings. As the project’s first seven years come to a close it finds its self-sufficiency, ecological-efficiency and bubble-like nature more relevant than ever. For now, both Tim Oulton and Simon Laws are based full-time at the project, working remotely with clients to understand how the Lychee Garden concept can enable businesses to pivot their hospitality offering in a post-Covid world while developing a smaller, panoramic version of the Halodome designed to take the challenges the industry now faces head on.  

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

Main image credit: Timothy Oulton Studio

 

Hotel Designs LIVE: speakers & sessions announced

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs LIVE: speakers & sessions announced

Designers, architects, hoteliers and developers can attend Hotel Designs LIVE for free on October 13, 2020…

Following the success of our first ever virtual conference, Hotel Designs LIVE is back on October 13, complete with new sessions and speakers.

Hotel Designs LIVE 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.”

If you are designers, architect, hotelier or developer, click here to secure your complimentary seat in the audience.

On the agenda

 

In addition to the live interviews and panel discussions with handpicked industry experts – and to ensure that the event is aptly 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.

Gessi on ‘dreaming big’ in bathroom aesthetics

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Gessi on ‘dreaming big’ in bathroom aesthetics

Success in design is based on pleasure, beauty and imagination. Innovative bathroom brand Gessi dictates the recipe to create a happier present: to revert to dream big…

Forward-thinking bathroom brand Gessi has always worked in tandem with the excellences of Italian fashion, food and furniture.

This includes collaborations and exchanges of ideas from which products and concepts transversal to the different disciplines are born, intended to interpret the present, improve life and plan the future.

Image credit: GESSI

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,” wrote Eleanor Roosvelt; this time full of uncertainties filled the man with anxiety, leading him to give priority to negative information and feelings, so it became more difficult to focus on good things, to imagine the future, especially an attractive future.

Stress and anxiety prevent us from being able to dream. By drawing on imagination and dreams, it is possible to model the future with hope and optimism, such as the launch of a holistic Architectural Wellness program.

2 modern showers in ceilings with marble walls

Image credit: GESSI

Have we stopped dreaming?

“When my daughter was seven, one day she asked me what I was doing at work. I told her I was working in college – my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared at me in disbelief and then said: “do you mean that they forgot hot to draw?” – Howard Ikemoto (artist and art professor).

There is something wonderfully simple in the way children see life. it’s a way of seeing where everything is possible and this means that they don’t see any reason why they can’t grow up to become an astronaut, a cowboy or a princess.

For some reason, we stopped dreaming. We actually stopped believing that dreams were possible.

“All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream at night In the dusty recesses of their minds wake up during the day to discover that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, because they can carry out their daydreams, to make it possible.” – T. E. Lawrence

The founder of Gessi talks about the horizon line that goes away every time you try to reach it. “The real meaning of life” says the entrepreneur, “is in that path that brings you closer to the goal, not the goal itself and the values that accompany this path are as fundamental as the people who get on the boat with you.”

Modern bathroom

Image credit: GESSI

In a few words is expressed all the philosophy of Gessi: a continuous trend towards improvement, positivity, courage and a success based on people, humanity and feelings. In a nutshell, the ability  to dream big.

“The important thing is to start dreaming again,” says Mr. Gessi, “we need to imagine big, almost unthinkable things; new Eiffel towers, new pyramids, we need to go back to the moon”.

That’s true, a pragmatic  need for tangible things, bridges, road, seems to be prevalent but we also need a new access to the poetry of things, to return to see butterflies in the city, to recreate an access to the imagination of beauty, of the magnificent.

Why is it important to dream?

Gessi recalls, according to scientific researchers, that once we project ourselves into a dream, changes begin to occur in our brain, we establish neurological traces that literally change our brain to make it look like the brain of the future. In other words, the brain begins to make us feel that the future we want to create has already happened.

When we feel the emotions of our future- whether it’s gratitude, joy, freedom, abundance, enthusiasm, love and so on – creative thoughts in the mind can become real experience: the body receives the chemical signals of these emotions, essentially the body receives the signal that the event has already occurred.

The greatest projects, the greatest entrepreneurial stories always arise from imagination. This is more true than ever for food, fashion and design industries.

Gessi has always thought of the bathroom as “private spaces” of the living, where personal needs, exceeding the functional aspect, are satisfied at an higher level and in a high and “other” dimension by the everyday and the usual, therefore places that go beyond the reality of their hygienic function, they draw on the dream, the emotional sphere, the psychophysical pleasure.

The bathroom brand believes that innovating means fulfilling dreams and anticipating needs. Its projects are born from creative freedom and from an always original trait, with a passion for objects that free themselves from codified and prescribed function to reinvent themselves to new uses: empathetic, friendly, enjoyable objects. Objects that improve people’s lives.

Gessi 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: Gessi

Editor checks in: calling for intelligent hospitality

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor checks in: calling for intelligent hospitality

The measure of intelligent hospitality is the ability to adapt. In his latest column, editor Hamish Kilburn explores this statement while explaining the motives behind Hotel Designs’ upcoming events…

Earlier this month, the long-awaited good news arrived that hospitality businesses were serving once more.

While that was a monumental leap forward amidst the coronavirus crisis, the fact that businesses would be required to shelter new social distancing measures (not something our industry is naturally good at) meant that brands, as well as consumers, had to adapt quickly in order to prevent hospitality from feeling hostile.

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to adapt,” is a memorable quote from Albert Einstein. Putting this into the perspective of the industry we serve– though I am hesitant to edit a legend like Einstein – I would like to alter this quote to read: “The measure of intelligent hospitality is the ability to adapt.”

The reopening of hospitality followed our debut Hotel Designs LIVE, which was our answer to adapting during lockdown. The one-day virtual conference included a carefully curated panel of international speakers who came together from all corners of the world to put their perspectives on technology, public areas, sleep and wellness on the record. One of the many key takeaways was that, post-pandemic, (at least in the short-term) public areas will not feel the same. Adapting as designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers to meet modern consumer demands in order to create flexible and clean spaces, while embedding discreet technology to enhance the guest experience, was key for hospitality to reassure the post-coronavirus consumer to check-in once more.

Following the success of this virtual event, we are launching Hotel Designs LIVE part two, which will take place on October 13. To aptly continue where we left off, we are welcoming eco-warrior Bill Benlsey to become our headline speaker of the event in order to put sustainability through the editorial lens, a topic that has sadly suffered from neglect over the last few months.

The adapted fun doesn’t stop there. On November 12, after much internal deliberation with the team, we have decided that The Brit List Awards 2020 will be delivered in a virtual format. Though the event will be received differently this year, it will still mark the conclusion of our nationwide search to find the top designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers who are operating in Britain. That quest started just a few days ago, when we opened this year’s applications and nominations, which are (as always) completely free. However, as we appreciate that the networking element of the event is much valued, we have decided to host a Brit List Winners’ Party, which will appropriately gate-crash MEET UP London on January 28, 2021.

Click here to submit your entry for The Brit List Awards 2020

On reflection, having worked through the last couple of turbulent months, adapting isn’t so bad. Like many, if not all, I miss my team and I am starting to forget what having a normal daily schedule feels like. But most of all, what I miss most about pre-Covid life, are the live events that both Hotel Designs and Forum Events are able to deliver in order to help bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers.

So, it is therefore my pledge to you – our loyal readers – that our events will be back, bigger and better than ever in order to aptly serve in this new era we are now well and truly living, working and evolving in.

During August, Hotel Designs will be putting ‘Hotel Concepts’ and ‘Beds’ under the spotlight. If you would like to contribute to these topics, please do not hesitate to email me.

Editor, Hotel Designs

FEATURE: nautical lighting trends in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FEATURE: nautical lighting trends in 2020

On or off the water, lighting technology is evolving rapidly. Voltra Lighting explores this year’s most prominent nautical lighting trends…

Every summer, discerning guests seek out the thrill of sailing away on luxury vessels to explore breathtaking far-flung destinations around the world.

In order to meet the sky-high expectations of these jet-setters, yacht owners and luxury cruise liners invest in the most sophisticated decor elements from custom linen and drapes to designer furniture and premium cutlery. But, what is often forgotten is that to enhance your charter vessel’s interior design composition and experience, creative lighting schemes are a must.

That’s why designer lighting brands, such as Voltra Lighting, offer just the right visual and chromatic accents to enhance the look and feel of your stylish marine vessel. Crafted to deliver homogeneous illumination throughout the luxe spaces of yachts and superyachts, its hallmark design is sure to compliment your vision of hi-tech and intimate lighting.

According to designer and naval architect Adam Voorhees, “lighting plays such a critical role in how we understand a space..and how we can control and direct an experience in that space.” Mirroring this thought, especially over the last few years, superyacht lighting has grown to become an essential piece of the yacht design or refit process. From stunning chandeliers, wall lights, and decorative lamps to floor and furniture inlays, there are so many innovative solutions that are mushrooming when it comes to lighting up yachts.

If you are considering using high-end lighting to create the perfect atmosphere within the cabins and lounging areas of your yacht, then here are some upcoming trends to keep in mind:

  • Natural stone lamps: Unique and modish, lighting fixtures fabricated from naturally occurring rock are increasingly being considered a statement decor accessory. These lamps evenly illuminate the surroundings without dazzling the eyes; thus enabling guests to navigate safely over to the deck for a relaxed evening of stargazing.
  • Smart lighting: These intuitive and connected vessels of light are programmed to respond to movement, external environmental conditions, or direct user input; making for an advanced way to light spaces up.
  • Marine light sculptures: Many lighting designers, simply through creative placement, turn tasteful lighting fixtures into works of art. This ensures that the installation remains the focal point of the yacht’s interiors.
  • Charging bays: Particularly useful considering the space restrictions in private yachts, Voltra has bay chargers that charge up to eight lamps simultaneously. It is easy to put anywhere on a flat surface and requires only one power-point per bay.
  • LEDs grow in popularity: Not only are LEDs less sensitive to vibrations of the yacht but also incredibly flexible (can be adjusted to the mood or time of the day) and provide the same (or better) quality of light as incandescent lamps.

Iconically cordless

The right mood lighting can offer the perfect backdrop for a candlelight dinner or a late evening aperitif, on the front deck of your luxury boat. But most yachts and superyachts do not have wired electricity on the deck, upfront.

Enter the ambiance-setting manna from heaven – advanced cordless lighting.

Timeless both in form and function, Voltra’s range of portable lamps are excellent design objects for your yacht’s open-air spaces. Here are some of the many reasons why our portable lamps are found in some of the finest locations across the world:

  • Battery-powered: Voltra’s future-proof light installations are an incredibly customizable and intelligent way to incorporate lighting into any design project. Being battery-operated it does away with design limitations relating to the location of available electrical outlets.
  • Rated IP 65: No need to worry about damage due to water spit and harsh winds, as our lamps are incredibly dust and water-resistant. Voltra’s iconic range is also made from materials that are anti-corrosive in the face of high humidity.
  • Customisable lighting: Voltra’s exquisite lamps feature power, light modes, and the freedom to change lumières, placing the power in the hands of the guests to set the ambiance they prefer.
  • Adherence: All Voltra lights have a silicone border on the bottom, which ensures that they adhere to any surface. And since each of our handcrafted lamp units weighs upwards of a solid 609g, it is unlikely to “slide” or fall easily during oceanic turbulence.

Ultimately, be it a private yacht charter or a corporate event at sea, if you wish to create an intimate ambiance for your onboard guests, think Voltra cordless ambient lamps.

Voltra 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: Voltra Lighting

Conrad Hotels & Resorts to debut in Spain

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Conrad Hotels & Resorts to debut in Spain

Conrad Costa del Sol, Spain’s first Conrad Hotels & Resorts property, is slated to open in early 2022…

Hilton has announced the signing of an agreement to open the Conrad Costa del Sol – a 194-key luxury resort set to bring ‘a new level of contemporary luxury’ to the Andalusian coast.

Owned by Markway Inversiones S.L., a company of the Platinum Estates Group, the property will be managed by Hilton and is set to open at the beginning of 2022, and will mark the Conrad brand’s arrival in Spain.

“The Costa del Sol is an incredibly popular destination with holidaymakers from all over Europe and beyond, thanks to its year-round good weather, expansive beaches and stunning scenery,” said Carlos Miró, Hilton’s Managing Director of Development for Spain and Portugal.” This property – our first Conrad Hotels & Resorts property in Spain – represents an important step for Hilton, as we look to expand our footprint of luxury properties across Europe. We look forward to welcoming guests to this stunning hotel.”

Roshni Mohinani, President of Platinum Estates ltd. added: “We are delighted to announce our agreement with Hilton to operate this hotel under the prestigious Conrad brand, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with our valued partners in the local community to bring this project to life. The beautiful Costa del Sol continues to attract domestic and international tourists alike, and we see great potential for investment in this area.”

The new hotel will join a collection of award-winning Conrad Hotels and Resorts spanning five continents. Each property features contemporary luxury experience, intuitive service and infinite connections with local culture, powered by the latest innovation.

The new hotel will join a collection of award-winning Conrad Hotels and Resorts spanning five continents. Each property features contemporary luxury experience, intuitive service and infinite connections with local culture, powered by the latest innovation.

Conrad Costa del Sol will be no exception, boasting stunning sea views from its vantage point in the Andalusian hills, with spacious contemporary guestrooms and expansive luxurious facilities including a large spa with indoor pool, multiple outdoor pools, two bars and a high-end restaurant. The Costa del Sol’s vast coastline, which is home to more beaches than any other area of the Andalucía region, is a five-minute drive away.

“This property, which exemplifies the contemporary design, beautiful facilities and connection to local culture with personalised experiences which guests expect from the Conrad brand, is a fitting first entry into Spain.” – Nils-Arne Schroeder, Global Head for Conrad Hotels & Resorts.

“From Bora Bora, Koh Samui and The Maldives in Asia to the Algarve and Istanbul in Europe, the Conrad brand is renowned for its award-winning hotels and resorts,” explained Nils-Arne Schroeder, Global Head for Conrad Hotels & Resorts. “This property, which exemplifies the contemporary design, beautiful facilities and connection to local culture with personalised experiences which guests expect from the Conrad brand, is a fitting first entry into Spain. We aim to bring the sophistication of the Conrad brand to key locations all over the world and we are looking forward to introducing our unique luxury to the Costa del Sol.”

The Costa del Sol attracts millions of international and domestic tourists each year, with visitors drawn to its sandy coastline, glamourous harbours and charming remote villages. The area benefits from excellent rail and air connections to the rest of Spain, Continental Europe and the UK from Malaga, which is located just over an hour from the resort.

The Conrad Costa del Sol will join a portfolio of exquisite luxury hotels across the world, including Conrad Algarve – home to Gusto by Heinz Beck, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island and Conrad BaliConrad Bora Bora and Conrad Koh Samui.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

Building which will be the rosewood hotel in Shanghai

Rosewood announces new hotel in Shanghai

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Rosewood announces new hotel in Shanghai

Shanghai is a strategic addition to the Rosewood Hotels & Resorts brand, expanding its footprint in Asia. Rosewood Shanghai will join nine properties in operation and six in development across the continent…

Following recent announcements from the luxury brand to open hotels in St Barths, Madrid and Sardinia, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has been appointed by Shanghai-based property development company, Lonsen Land Group, to manage Rosewood Shanghai.

Building which will be the rosewood hotel in Shanghai

The new 200-key hotel in mainland China, which will join nine properties in operation in the continent, is set to break ground in 2022, with an expected opening in 2028.

Ideally situated in the heart of Shanghai’s Jing’An District and Suhewan area, an emerging business and cultural hub, Rosewood Shanghai will offer travellers unparalleled access to the city. The announcement of Rosewood Shanghai underscores the brand’s careful, selective growth strategy in Asia and across the globe, as well as the strength of its impressive property pipeline, which is now the most robust in Rosewood’s history.

Occupying prime real estate within a mixed-use project designed by renowned international studio Foster + Partners, Rosewood Shanghai is set to transform the city skyline. Occupying the top floors of the site’s landmark building, which will be one of the tallest complexes in the city’s Puxi district at 320 meters, the hotel will deliver unique design conceived to showcase its expansive views of the metropolis. In keeping with the brand’s guiding A Sense of Place® philosophy, the destination’s storied history, rich culture and dynamic spirit will serve as additional inspiration for the property’s design ethos and bespoke programming.

“The country’s largest city and economic hub, Shanghai embodies several of our key brand values – innovation, creativity and originality.” – Sonia Cheng, chief executive officer of Rosewood Hotel Group.

“As we continue to grow the brand throughout Asia and specifically mainland China, Shanghai has long been a priority destination in which to plant the Rosewood flag,” said Sonia Cheng, chief executive officer of Rosewood Hotel Group. “The country’s largest city and economic hub, Shanghai embodies several of our key brand values – innovation, creativity and originality. We are thrilled to bring a new standard of luxury to the region and thank our partners at Lonsen Land Group for the opportunity they’ve given us to do so.”

Rosewood Shanghai will offer 200 guestrooms and suites, five food and beverage establishments and Asaya, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts’ revolutionary wellness concept.

“For many, Shanghai is known as “Mo Du”, the Magic City; cherished for its rich cultural heritage, modern lifestyle offerings and captivating social scenes,” says Mr Ruan Xingxiang, chairman of Lonsen Land Group. “With the brand’s A Sense of Place® philosophy and referencing to the success story of its trophy property in Hong Kong, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts makes an ideal partner of us to reinvent Shanghai’s charm as a destination to the affluential explorers from around the world.”

Rosewood Shanghai will join Rosewood’s collection of distinguished city and resort properties in Greater China, which currently includes Rosewood Hong Kong, Rosewood Beijing, Rosewood Sanya and Rosewood Guangzhou. Additional projects in development in the region include Rosewood Chengdu and Rosewood Ningbo, both set to open in 2023, along with Rosewood Shenzhen and Rosewood Taipei, which are planned to open in 2024.

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Sneak peek: inside “the most stylish hotel in Crete”

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sneak peek: inside “the most stylish hotel in Crete”

CAYO Exclusive Resort and Spa – one of Greece’s most hotly-anticipated new hotel in 2021 – is expected to open in Crete on August 1. Ahead of the doors opening this weekend, Hotel Designs got a sneak peek inside…

It must come as a compliment to the Italian designer Gian Paolo Venier that his latest hotel project, CAYO Exclusive Resort and Spa, which opens this weekend, is already being hailed ‘Crete’s most stylish hotel’.

Taking luxury, gastronomy and design to a new level on the island, the property will open with a mind-body balancing spa, four gastronomic restaurants, stylish rooms, suites and villas with private plunge pools and unrivalled vistas of Spinalonga Island.

A stone’s throw from sought-after Elounda, CAYO is situated in peaceful Plaka, a quaint village lined with boutiques, traditional tavernas and a sun-soaked beach.

Image credit: CAYO

“CAYO was created with the environment in mind – alongside its innovative reusable energy sources, guests are greeted with a seedling, which they can plant anywhere around the resort.”

Drawing from a calming and neutral palette, Venier has blended cool greys, soft blues and greens with brushed marble, chic glass and stone in a nod toward the historical locale and architecture of nearby ancient city of Olous.

Image credit: CAYO

Awash with natural daylight, guestrooms and suites offer uninterrupted views of the ocean, complete with private terrace and heated plunge pool. CAYO was created with the environment in mind – alongside its innovative reusable energy sources, guests are greeted with a seedling, which they can plant anywhere around the resort. 

Image credit: CAYO

With a farm to fork ethos, the menus at CAYO’s four restaurants use the freshest seasonal produce, locally-sourced from selected eco-friendly farms and the resort’s own organic garden. Curated by Chef Lefteris Lazarou, the first Greek chef to be awarded with one Michelin Star, dishes range from authentic Greek to modern Mediterranean fare. In the spa, ancient rituals are combined with cutting-edge treatment techniques, based around the concept of the spiritual, cultural and natural environment.

Image credit: CAYO

Promising to promote inner-peace and restore wellness, CAYO Spa houses three spacious treatment rooms, steam, sauna and relaxation pool. From Yoga and Pilates to detox therapies and mental wellbeing, the fitness centre takes guests on a personalised journey, and the expert team are on hand to curate a 360’ programme. 

While you cannot question the thoughtful design scheme and meaningful hospitality initiatives that the hotel shelters, the jury is out as to whether this is the most stylish hotel in Crete. Feel free to let us know your thoughts over on Twitter. Whether or not it deserves that bold status, there is no denying that its opening will take the destination’s luxury and gastronomy status up a rank or two. 

Image credit: CAYO

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: specifying fabrics for contract markets

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: specifying fabrics for contract markets

There are a lot of things to take into account when specifying fabrics for contract environments and it can sometimes be a bit of a minefield, especially as different sectors often have different requirements and regulations. Edmund Bell explains…

Below are some key considerations to bear in mind when specifying contract fabrics:

Different technical requirements

Technical requirements differ from room to room and for different usages. Here are some examples:

  • A chair in a lobby will require a much higher martindale requirement than a chair in a guestroom
  • COVID-19 has undoubtably highlighted the need for antimicrobial requirements. To request a copy of Edmund Bells anti-microbial brochure, please email marketing@edmundbell.com
  • A fabric used as a bed runner will require a much higher pilling requirement than a fabric used for a curtain
  • A curtain used in a seminar room may need to have blackout properties, whereas a curtain a restaurant may not
  • Upholstery used in a healthcare environment will need to be bleach cleanable, whereas upholstery used in education may not

Image credit: Zanzibar Cobalt/Edmund Bell

Flame retardant standards

There is a lot to consider when making sure your fabric meets the correct flame retardant standards – not only are there different standards in each country, they are different again depending on the sector i.e. hospitality, healthcare or marine/cruise, and also different for each usage e.g. upholstery versus curtains versus bedding etc.

Light control

It is important to consider what light control the fabric needs to have depending on the environment it is going into – for sleep, ambience, privacy. If it is for a hotel bedroom for example, a blackout or dimout fabric is ideal to make sure visitors don’t have a disruptive sleep. Sheers or voiles on the other hand offer little light protection but are great for offering privacy or acting as room dividers where necessary.

Sound control

The use of fabrics is a highly effective way to control or enhance the acoustics by controlling noise reverberation in a certain space – they can create ambience acoustically, as well as visually.

Ecological considerations

Sustainable, ethical, ecological – all these factors are becoming increasingly important when selecting a fabric. Some to look out for include:

  • Oeko-tex®: a worldwide association of independent institutes for product safety and sustainable production in the textile industry. If a textile article carries the STANDARD 100 label, you can be certain that every component of this article has been tested for harmful substances and that the article therefore is harmless in human ecological terms – this is applicable to all processing steps from yarn to finished product.
  • REACH free: a European Union regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals.
  • Phthalate free: phthalates are chemical compounds used in a multitude of products that demand high performance, long-lasting wear and durability.
  • Inherent FR fabrics: inherently FR fabric is made using fibres that naturally contain the flame retardant properties – this means the flame retardant properties cannot be degraded through use or laundering.

Housekeeping needs

Requirements for how a fabric is washed and cared for can again differ for each industry sector. Healthcare environments will no doubt require extra performance features such as anti-microbial, waterproof, stain resistant and washable at 71 degrees for thermal disinfection to name but a few – but these features are becoming more and more desirable for other environments as well such as hospitality.

CASE STUDY: The Hard Rock Hotel London

The highly anticipated Hard Rock Hotel London opened its doors in spring 2019 and Edmund Bell was specified as one of the partners to work with GLH Hotels to supply curtain fabric for all 900 guestrooms.

The hotel, operated by GLH Hotels Management, is the first UK property for the iconic brand. Built in one of London’s most iconic locations – on the corner of Oxford Street and Park Lane – the hotel puts guests just steps away from the very best London has to offer.

Internationally recognised as a world-class entertainment and lifestyle brand, Hard Rock Hotels offer stylish and contemporary design (hardrockhotels.com) and what better way to do this than with a bespoke design using Edmund Bell’s Printlab service in collaboration with the Hard Rock design team.

Designers at Edmund Bell were tasked with creating two Ombré effect designs; one in blue and one in red – fitting the brief of cutting-edge décor, cool tones and modern design. The design was to be printed onto the chosen base fabric; flame retardant Venus dimout together with an FR blackout lining offering 100% light exclusion. These were then paired with a white FR slub sheer to add an element of privacy without blocking out the light during the day.

Click on the links below for more information about their fabrics used throughout the Hard Rock Hotel London bedrooms:

Sustainability 

How Edmund Bell are looking towards the future regarding our efforts around sustainability:

  • They are working with more renewable fibres with less environmental impact and the highest quality available.
  • Many of their products are Oeko Tex Standard 100 approved; meaning they are completely free of toxic or allergic substances.
  • They are working towards complying with the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) base code within our supply chain; an internationally recognised code of good labour practice.

Sustainability remains increasingly important to their business objectives.

Edmund Bell are currently offering a FREE online presentation lasting around 40-60 minutes, discussing “Things to bear in mind when specifying fabric for contract projects”. For more information, please email marketing@edmundbell.com

Edmund Bell 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: Roberto Lara Photography

Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester to re-open in August

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester to re-open in August

Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester, which will host MEET UP North on May 6, 2021, has sensibly decided to delay its reopening until August 28, allowing its team to put…

Following the government announcement on June 23, which highlighted that the hospitality sector could re-open once more from July 4, The Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester started to work on its re-opening plan.

The Manchester-based luxury hotel, which will host MEET UP North on May 6 2021, was among one of the first hotels in the UK to close its door to the public and offer its rooms to NHS key workers during the Covid-19 crisis. Having operated throughout the Covid-19 lockdown period due to hosting NHS professionals, the hotel has already had first-hand experience of operating under rigorous guidelines and processes in order to protect the NHS team and its own volunteers in the building. In a statement, the hotel said: “This has given us valuable insight to how to do things even more safely than we used to before the virus outbreak.

In order to adapt its protocols to face the post-pandemic world, the hotel released a statement, which said: “Even though our doors are not officially open, members of our sales and commercial team have returned to the business and will be dealing with any guest enquiries as we head towards our re-opening date of the August 28.” 

Within the statement, the hotel outlined some of its new health and safety measures, including increasing the frequency of sanitising all public areas and facilities, PPE, increased signage and contactless check-in.

MEET UP North, which was forced to postpone this year due to the Covid-19 spread, will take place in Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester on May 6. To find out more about the event, and how to secure you tickets, click here.

Main image credit: Stock Exchange Hotel

Hotel Designs LIVE: ‘eco warrior’ Bill Bensley confirmed as headline speaker

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs LIVE: ‘eco warrior’ Bill Bensley confirmed as headline speaker

Back by popular demand, following last months debut event, Hotel Designs LIVE, which will take place on October 13, has  announced the renowned ‘eco warrior’ Bill Bensley as its headline speaker…

Last month, the industry gathered for Hotel Designs’ debut virtual conference, which broadcasted a series of debates and discussions.

Following the positive response, highlighting how well the virtual event was received, Hotel Designs LIVE (part two) will welcome yet more internationally renowned designers, architects and hoteliers in order to start relevant conversations like no other.

If you are designer, architect, hotelier or developer, click here to secure your complimentary virtual seat in the audience for Hotel Designs LIVE on October 13.

The next edition of Hotel Designs LIVE, which takes place on October 13, will focus on sustainability, adding personality in public areas, reassuring the post-corona consumer and the revival of smart technology post-pandemic.

Editor Hamish Kilburn, who will host the event, explains: “When we launched Hotel Designs LIVE as a meaningful way to keep the industry connected throughout lockdown, it was our mission to select engaging and thought-provoking topics that would resonate with our audience. The next Hotel Designs LIVE will look past the short-term issues and solutions that emerged during the pandemic, and will instead focus the editorial lens on wider topics, with sustainability expecting to dominate the general tone of the event. It is important to for us to continue discussing new ways to challenge conventional ideas in order to find sustainable, alternative methods when it comes to design and service – and who better to discuss this than the eco-warrior himself, Bill Bensley?”

Affectionately known as the ‘Willy Wonka of Design’, Bensley is a dedicated eco-warrior and a highly qualified jack of all trades – gardener, fisherman, 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. Most recently, he made headlines for unveiling his plans to design a human zoo after publishing his white-paper on sensible sustainable solutions.

Sustainability is at the core of everything I create as a designer.” – Bill Bensley.

When interviewed by Hotel Designs in 2018, the award-winning designer described himself in three words as: “serious, inquisitive and wacky”. Bringing all that energy to discuss innovative and sustainable solutions, Bensley will join Kilburn on the virtual stage to explore how design, architecture and hospitality can coincide with nature. “Sustainability is at the core of everything I create as a designer,” Bensley told Hotel Designs. “I am simply ecstatic to join Hamish Kilburn for Hotel Designs LIVE where we will talk about how, as an industry, it is essential for us to work together to design hotels with meaning, and rework conventional ideas and methods in the process – all to create a more profound and considerate international hotel design landscape that puts nature first.”

Hotel Designs LIVE takes place virtually on October 13. Bensley is first speaker of the event who has been announced, with the full panel being unveiled next week.

If you are a designer, architect, hotelier  or developer and would like to find out more about Hotel Designs LIVE, or book on to any or all of the above sessions, you can do so by visiting the event page.

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.

Hyatt announces plans for its debut hotel in Cyprus

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hyatt announces plans for its debut hotel in Cyprus

Grand Hyatt Limassol, set to open in Cyprus in 2025, will mark a significant milestone for Hyatt’s growth in Europe…

Weeks after IHG announced its arrival on the island, Hyatt has also announced that the group has entered into a management agreement to open the first Hyatt hotel in Cyprus.

With a design and architecture team yet to be assembled, the 300-room luxury resort is expected to open in 2025 and signifies Hyatt’s continued growth into Europe’s leading travel destinations.

The new-build beachfront resort will be situated at a Blue Flag beach east of Limassol, one of the island’s most cosmopolitan cities. With a prime beachfront location on the southern coast of the island and 300 bold, light-filled rooms offering sea views, Grand Hyatt Limassol will be a captivating destination within a destination featuring a stunning 43,000-square-foot (4,000 square meter) beach club including premium spa and fitness facilities as well as an indoor pool and two outdoor pools.

The resort will additionally offer five elevated food and beverage concepts as well as 15,000 square feet (1,400 square meters) of event space. Furthermore, Grand Hyatt Limassol will be a key element of Zaria Resort, a mixed-use luxury development, comprised of residential apartments and private villas totalling more than 861,100 square feet (80,000 square meters).

“We’re delighted to work with Anolia Holdings Limited to bring the Grand Hyatt brand, known for its access to iconic locales, to the island of Cyprus, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe,” said Takuya Aoyama, vice president development for Europe and Africa, Hyatt. “Grand Hyatt Limassol represents a key element of our growth strategy in Europe as we continue to seek opportunities to extend our resort footprint in the Mediterranean.”

Arriving guests will drive past the lush greenery of the hotel’s 150,000-square-foot (14,000-square-meter) public garden and promenades and enjoy a spectacular view of the Mediterranean. The resort promises to be a celebration of all the exquisite details of Cypriot culture, offering guests a stay beyond the ordinary through magnificent moments of more and superior service.

“We are thrilled to team-up with Hyatt on this development,” said Alexander Iakovlev, director of Anolia Holdings “The Grand Hyatt brand is synonymous with luxury and creating unique experiences for guests which remain authentic to the destination itself. In addition, given Limassol’s status as a financial capital of Cyprus, the hotel will not only attract leisure guests but may also prove popular for business travelers, conference-goers and event attendees. We are eager to see Grand Hyatt Limassol become the heart of the Zaria Resort development.”

The announcement of Grand Hyatt Limassol follows a significant expansion in Hyatt’s brand footprint in Europe over the last 12 months. Nine new hotels including Great Scotland Yard, Hyatt Centric Dublin, Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere, Hyatt Regency Chantilly and more opened in the region in 2019, with four more additions in Barcelona, Manchester and Frankfurt this year.

These plans for a hotel in Cyprus represent a key opportunity in Europe as it builds upon Hyatt’s existing and upcoming portfolio in Malta, Athens Thessaloniki and Izmir. The island has furthermore proven to attract travellers from Hyatt’s key strategic markets including the UK, Russia, Greece, Germany and the Middle East.

Main image credit: Hyatt